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40 Easy Ways to Go Greener at Home—Besides Recycling

1.  Plant an herb garden.  It’s good to have a reminder around of where our food originates, and this one is super easy.

2.  Switch all your lightbulbs to CFLs (or at least switch a few).

3.  Create a homemade compost bin for $15.

4.  Switch one appliance to an energy efficient model (look for the “energy star” label).


Photo from Flip & Tumble

5.  Stop using disposable bags. Order some reusable bags—my favorites are Flip & Tumble. Or, make your own—they’re insanely easy.

6.  Buy an inexpensive reusable water bottle, and stop buying plastic disposable bottles.  Then watch The Story of Bottled Water, a short movie about the bottled water phenomena.

7.  Wash laundry in cold water instead of hot.

8.  Turn off lights when you leave the room.

9.  Don’t turn on lights at all for as long as you can—open your curtains and enjoy natural light.

10.  Drive the speed limit, and combine all your errands for the week in one trip.


Photo by Kamyar Adi

11.  Better yet, walk or ride a bike to your errands that are two miles or closer.

12.  Support your local economy and shop at your farmer’s market.

13.  Turn off your computer completely at night.

14.  Research whether you can sign up for green power from your utility company.

15.  Pay your bills online. Not only is it greener, it’s a sanity saver.

16.  Put a stop to unsolicited mail — sign up to opt out of pre-screened credit card offers.  While you’re at it, go ahead and make sure you’re on the “do not call” list, just to make your life more peaceful.

17.  Reuse scrap paper.  Print on two sides, or let your kids color on the back side of used paper.

18.  Conduct a quick energy audit of your home.

19.  Subscribe to good eco-friendly blogs.  My favorites Keeper of the Home, Kitchen Stewardship, Live Renewed, and of course, Simple Homemade.

20.  Before buying anything new, first check your local Craigslist or Freecycle.

21.  Support local restaurants that use food derived less than 100 miles away, and learn more about the benefits of eating locally.

22.  Fix leaky faucets.

23.  Make your own household cleaners.  I’ve got quite a few recipes in my book.


Photo by Kasia

24.  Line dry your laundry.

25.  Watch The Story of Stuff with your kids, and talk about the impact your household trash has on our landfills.

26.  Learn with your kids about another country or culture, expanding your knowledge to other sides of the world.

28.  Lower the temperature on your hot water heater.

29.  Unplug unused chargers and appliances.

30.  Repurpose something. It’s fun.

31.  Collect rainwater, and use it to water your houseplants and garden.


Photo by Lori Ann

32.  Switch to cloth diapers – or at least do a combination with disposables. Even one cloth diaper per day means 365 fewer disposables in the landfill each year.

33.  Switch to shade-grown coffee with the “Fair Trade” label.

34.  Use a Diva Cup for your monthly cycles. At the risk of TMI, I’ve been using mine for more than five years now.

35.  Use cloth instead of paper to clean your kitchen. Be frugal, and make these rags out of old towels and t-shirts.

36.  Use cloth napkins daily instead of paper.

37.  Read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, and be utterly inspired.

38.  Repurpose glass jars as leftover containers and bulk storage, especially in the kitchen.

39.  Watch the myriad documentaries on Netflix about the food industry. Some of my favorites are Food Inc., Fresh, and What’s on Your Plate?. My daughter was totally mesmerized with that last one—it’s insanely important that our kids understand where our food originates.

40.  Donate to—and shop at—thrift stores.  You’ll be recycling perfectly usable items, you’ll be supporting your local economy, and you’ll be saving money.

Which of these do you already do?  Which ones are you going to focus on this next year?  And what can you add to the list?

http://theartofsimple.net/tips-to-go-green-at-home/

 

E-Waste Recycling

Recycling can be described as the assembling, developing, promoting or buying of products which are prepared from waste products. Recycling process is majorly practiced in all parts of the world owing to the depletion of naturally occurring raw materials and increase in energy consumption, decreasing landfill space and ultimately its adverse effects caused on the environment.

Recycling comes into picture for those commodities that are used extensively by almost everyone in the world. It is important to reduce the wastage and increase the re-usage of such items to maintain a good balance in the environment. One such commodity that has found increasing usage in the past decade is the computer. Computers are largely in demand in all walks of life, be it for personal use or for other businesses. Although, since these gadgets get outdated pretty soon and require replacing every now and then, it poses a problem in increasing the disposal of such electronic waste, also known as e-waste, into our landfills. e-waste recycling is a method of retaining operable parts and components from unusable electronic devices and having systems dismantled in a way that allows for safe extraction of certain constituents from the original to be reused in other products.

Computers contain toxic and carcinogenic chemicals such as lead oxide, mercury, nickel, zinc, cadmium, dioxins, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), chromium and radioactive isotopes which are extremely perilous to human health and the environment. Some of these materials like tin, silicon, iron, aluminum and a variety of plastics can be reused in the construction of new systems thus curbing the costs of manufacture of fresh raw materials. They may also contain valuable components like lead, copper and gold that can be retained successfully. Although this comes with a drawback. The lead that is contained in the lead glass of the cathode ray tube and the lead contained in the circuit boards in the form of lead-solders have the tendency to leach into groundwater or create air pollution through incineration. Another drawback is when retaining the valuable metals via incinerations and acid treatments, they may release and synthesize further toxic by products.

So the best possible way to reduce accumulation of e-wastes is to donate used computers to schools and non-profit organizations or you can send it to a recycling facility that recycles metals, glass and plastic like articles. The parts of the computers that can be recycled are the glass monitor, keyboard, CD Rom drive, plastic case, cathode ray tube, cables, copper in power cord, metals from the circuit board, printer cartridges and batteries. You can also take a step ahead while ordering new computers by cross checking if the manufacturers offer recycling services. Most major brands and companies offer some form of recycling. Certain manufactures also offer a free replacement service while purchasing a new computer of a specific brand. They take back the old computers, refurbish them and re-sell them in the market. There are also online auction sites like eBay where one can resell their computers for a reasonable price.

The only thing to be taken under consideration for secure recycling is that the private data on the hard drive is destroyed because we do not want to encourage illegal activities like identity thefts that can cause major businesses to lose more than just money.

scrap recycling is one of the most considerable recycling processes which is required to be conducted at a large scale in several parts of the world. RecycleinME.com is a best market place to find all type of ferrous and non ferrous recycling and other similar kinds of materials recycling companies.

 

Garden Waste Recycling – What To Do With Your Green Waste Surplus?

Recycling can be described as the assembling, developing, promoting or buying of products which are prepared from waste products. Recycling process is majorly practiced in all parts of the world owing to the depletion of naturally occurring raw materials and increase in energy consumption, decreasing landfill space and ultimately its adverse effects caused on the environment.

Recycling comes into picture for those commodities that are used extensively by almost everyone in the world. It is important to reduce the wastage and increase the re-usage of such items to maintain a good balance in the environment. One such commodity that has found increasing usage in the past decade is the computer. Computers are largely in demand in all walks of life, be it for personal use or for other businesses. Although, since these gadgets get outdated pretty soon and require replacing every now and then, it poses a problem in increasing the disposal of such electronic waste, also known as e-waste, into our landfills. e-waste recycling is a method of retaining operable parts and components from unusable electronic devices and having systems dismantled in a way that allows for safe extraction of certain constituents from the original to be reused in other products.

Computers contain toxic and carcinogenic chemicals such as lead oxide, mercury, nickel, zinc, cadmium, dioxins, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), chromium and radioactive isotopes which are extremely perilous to human health and the environment. Some of these materials like tin, silicon, iron, aluminum and a variety of plastics can be reused in the construction of new systems thus curbing the costs of manufacture of fresh raw materials. They may also contain valuable components like lead, copper and gold that can be retained successfully. Although this comes with a drawback. The lead that is contained in the lead glass of the cathode ray tube and the lead contained in the circuit boards in the form of lead-solders have the tendency to leach into groundwater or create air pollution through incineration. Another drawback is when retaining the valuable metals via incinerations and acid treatments, they may release and synthesize further toxic by products.

So the best possible way to reduce accumulation of e-wastes is to donate used computers to schools and non-profit organizations or you can send it to a recycling facility that recycles metals, glass and plastic like articles. The parts of the computers that can be recycled are the glass monitor, keyboard, CD Rom drive, plastic case, cathode ray tube, cables, copper in power cord, metals from the circuit board, printer cartridges and batteries. You can also take a step ahead while ordering new computers by cross checking if the manufacturers offer recycling services. Most major brands and companies offer some form of recycling. Certain manufactures also offer a free replacement service while purchasing a new computer of a specific brand. They take back the old computers, refurbish them and re-sell them in the market. There are also online auction sites like eBay where one can resell their computers for a reasonable price.

The only thing to be taken under consideration for secure recycling is that the private data on the hard drive is destroyed because we do not want to encourage illegal activities like identity thefts that can cause major businesses to lose more than just money.

Every home gardener or commercial gardener knows how hard it sometimes can be to compost all garden waste materials that have accumulated over a season or even years.

Especially in New Zealand it is hard to keep up with home composting in urban areas like Auckland as plants grow 365 days a year and the garden waste just will take up useful space on your property.

So, what can we do if we have an excess in garden waste without necessarily dumping it into our landfills and cause environmentally harm?

Actually mentioning the latter, a lot of organic waste gets thrown away in precious landfill sites. This can lead to running out of landfill space in the future.

Another worry is the fact that green waste does not compost naturally in landfill sites, for the reason not being piled up in a proper compost heap, instead the green waste materials are often trapped in plastic bags. That leads to a release of e.g. methane gas and other noxious gases which can have a negative effect on our environment in too high concentrations.

To prevent the issue of organic waste getting “wasted” on our landfill sites, it is wiser to recycle garden rubbish professionally on bigger composting sites that have the equipment to deal with huge amounts of green waste.On these special sites garden debris gets processed naturally and it turns into nutrient rich compost. Nothing will be wasted on landfill sites; everything is recycled and can be reused as a great garden product.

If you have a surplus of organic debris in your home garden or you are dealing with garden waste commercially you can always get a local garden waste collection company to pick up your green waste. To see an example of a garden bag and bin company please see http://www.gabco.co.nz .

They will provide you with a green wheelie bin (often of 240 l volume) or a garden bag (in different sizes) or even skip bins (often measured in m3 capacities as a one off garden waste removal) to fill up for collection.

The green waste collection service will then bring the load to an approved composting site in your area, where everything gets processed in an environmentally friendly way.

Another good thing about green waste recycling is that it does not cost the earth, literally.

You can always search on the internet for green waste collection companies in your area by using the following keyword examples: garden bins [your town/city], garden bags [your town/city], green waste collection service, garden waste removal.

Born in Germany, living in New Zealand. Studied horticulture in Berlin and enjoys working as a gardener and arborist in Auckland’s residential gardens. He is the author of the gardening blog www.GardeningMind.com . He likes to write and teach about gardening in general. He has a passion for trees and growing vegetables. He encourages people to share their knowledge and experience in gardening with the global community on his blog. He’s never tired of learning from mother nature.
He is currently involved with a garden maintenance company in Auckland, New Zealand, where he is working as the general manager and creative representative – www.gabco.co.nz.