Showing posts with label Environmental. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Environmental. Show all posts

Monday, April 18, 2016

Just Listen!

The earth has music for those who listen. - Shakespeare

The earth is constantly trying to get our attention. Every time a species is added to the endangered list. Every time the words climate change are uttered. Every time we read about a fish kill from contaminated water. We have but one planet and it's resources are not unlimited. Let us listen to what it is telling us.

Earth Day is Friday, April 22.

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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

If Your Recycles Could Talk

Yes, this is the inside of my recycle bin.  This was last week's contribution, and the bin was at least 3/4 full.  This Spring we switched from the small green bins (we had two) to the large 96-gallon roll out bins. 

With the smaller bins and were required to separate the recyclables, one box for papers and chipboard and one for glass, plastics and metals.  Now we put everything in all together.  If it is recyclable and will fit in the bin, you're good to go, and they are collected every other week.

I have always liked the idea of recycling.  It's like protecting our planet from ourselves, which in turn is protecting us.  So I am always happy to see the bins out on recycle day.  They are covered now so that the contents are kept dry on rainy days, and your neighbors don't see what's in there.  The evidence of who had the party last weekend is hidden.  Your brand of soda and where you shop remain your secret, and no one knows if you didn't remove the caps from your bottles?

If your recycles could talk, what would they say about you?

Monday, March 1, 2010

Reusable Shopping Bags

Do you use reusuable shopping bags?  They're everywhere these days. 
It's the green way to shop, and many stores offer them for sale, sometimes free or discounted with your purchase.  Some stores even offer cents off your bill or a credit for using them.  This is all good, and I use them too.  My one complaint is that when the cashier or bagger puts as much as will possibly fit in the bag.  If you have a lot of heavy items, this can make the bag too heavy to carry comfortably.  

To all the baggers out there, please ask us before filling it to the brim, and offer plastic or paper bags for the excess if we don't have more reusuables.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Giving Plastic a New Life

A ban went into effect on October 1, 2009 requiring all plastic bottles such as soda bottles, milk and laundry detergent containers, etc. to be recycled rather than tossed into the garbage.  This posed no problem for the folks of Winston-Salem.  City residents have been recycling at a rate of 84%.  The city's curb-based recycling program makes that easy.  It is not so easy for people outside the city limits where there is no curbside pickup.  One company is working to make recycling available for their customers.  Rural Garbage Services, Inc. which services eastern Forsyth Co. is currently providing that service for free, with pickup of recyclables on regular trash collection days.  Chris Parrish, president, says he has been an environmentalist and recycling for years, and will continue to provide this service until there is a better solution.

While the ban on disposing of plastics is difficult to enforce, it does encourage recycling.  The success of this can be measured by the amount of plastic collected.  For the one-year period from September 2008 - September 2009, collection averaged 14,000 lbs. per month and increased to 19,000 per month for the first three months following the ban.  

There is a huge market for plastics to recycle, and North Carolina has some of the largest processors, with a new plant under construction in Fayetteville.  With one out of two bottles going to China, it leaves the US fighting for recyclables  The ban should help us retain more for our own use.  There are many items made with recycled plastic such as flower pots, strapping, tiles, plastic furniture, and yes, even new plastic bottles.  

While there is an expense to collecting and recycling these items, and a it is a much discussed issue between city and county officials, it does help extend the life of our landfills by not filling them with unnecessary items.  

So please help give used plastic a new life.  Reduce, Reuse and Recycle today.  For more information see the full story in the Winston-Salem Journal, or my original post on the ban.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Recycle your Christmas Tree

Christmas has passed, the decorations are packed away, and the tree is bare.  Do you put your tree out by the curb for recycling, toss it in the woods, or take to a drop-off point, or does it get picked up by the trash collector and wind up decaying in the landfill?  The latter is of no benefit to anyone, and the tree is wasted.  Let's all put our trees to good use.  Recycled, they become mulch to beautify the landscape and enrich the soil.  Even those who recycle their trees in the woods are benefiting the environment by returning the tree to nature, and even creating a winter sanctuary for birds and animals.

The cats especially enjoy having a live tree of their very own (or so they think anyway).  Sophie and Dood like drinking the water from the stand.  I'd rather they didn't, but it hasn't seemed to do them any harm, and it's not like they don't have fresh water in their bowl every day.  I guess it's the Eau du Frasier Fir that's so appealing.

So now it is January 6th, the day of the Epiphany, and the day many people take down their Christmas trees and decorations.  The date varies for me, depending on how our tree is holding up.  This one is great, still takes up water and smells nice.  We had a tree one year that was so great we kept it up (lights only) until mid-January - I just couldn't throw it out.  They're not all like that, and some shed so bad that right after Christmas you want to get them out of the house. 

Anyway, I took all the ornaments off this morning, and all that remains are the lights.  It is still beautiful, but I need to let it go.  I'll be vacuuming up needles for weeks to come.  The cats carry them all over the house since they like to sleep under the tree.

So when do you take down your tree?  Are you motivated to get your house back to normal, or do you carry out the tradition of the 12 Days of Christmas, culminating in the Epiphany?  Whenever, I hope you remember to recycle.  It's good for all of us.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Junk Mail Is Not Trash!

How many of you get a mailbox full of unsolicited ads, catalogs, credit card applications, etc.?  The other question is what do you do with it?  Do you just toss it, unopened, in the trash?  Do you sort out the personal, financial stuff, and trash the rest?

I know it's a pain to process this unwanted barrage of junk mail.  Opening, sorting, shredding (we're all aware of identity theft) and recycling.  Did you know you can even recycle your shredded material?  Just place it in a bag that can be secured so it doesn't blow out.

Not only does recycling save space in our landfills and conserve our natural resources, it helps conserve energy, water and cuts down on air and water pollution.  We have but one planet, and its resources are not without limit.

The goal for paper recycling is to recover 60% of paper consumed by Americans by 2012. 

For more information on recycling, has a section on frequently asked questions and other recycling facts, and Curb to Consumer has videos on paper recycling.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Recycling 101

It is recycle day in our part of the city, and as I drove by the many bins at the street, I noticed that some people still do not understand how to recycle. Here are some guidelines:

Just because an item is marked with the recycle symbol doesn't mean you can put it in the bin.

Paper goods consist of newspaper, junk mail, office paper, phone books, chipboard and corrugated cardboard.

All paper goods must be separated from the commingled items.  Use 2nd bin or brown paper bags to hold the paper.

Commingled items consist of glass, plastic, aluminum and steel.

Metal and plastics lids must be removed, and container must be rinsed.

Items such as pizza boxes, deli containers, margarine tubs, and waxed paperboard such as frozen foods come in are not recyclable.

Do not put items in the bins in plastic bags.  The exception is shredded paper, which must be tied.

Break down all chipboard (like cereal and soda boxes) and cardboard.

See Recycle Today's Frequently Asked Questions for more information on how to recycle.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Recycle Plastic Bottles - It's the Law Now

Effective today, all plastic bottles such as water, soda, detergent, milk, juice, etc. must be recycled.  These items are banned from the landfill going forward.  Here is an excerpt from the city's website:

The city’s curbside recycling program accepts all plastic bottles that have a neck smaller than the base or widest part of the bottle. It does NOT accept bottle caps or tops; antifreeze, pesticide, motor oil or other hazardous material containers; containers that are not bottles, such as deli or yogurt containers, margarine tubs, or flower pots; plastic bottles that are not marked with the recyclable symbol; wide-mouth prescription bottles; plastic bags of any type; plastic wrap, or Styrofoam.  For more information about recycling go to the Recycle Today web site.

I urge all of you to please recycle these items.  North Carolina has several facilities that turn used plastic bottles into new ones.  Another plant makes carpet from plastic bottles.  This will benefit us all by reducing our dependence on foreign oil (plastics are made from petroleum) and providing more jobs by increasing production in our recycling facilities.