In under four short years, Earth Hour has become the largest campaign in history for the planet. It has grown from one city, one country to over 128 countries and territories in 2010. Earth Hour — By The People, For The Planet.
Download the iCalendar reminder for Earth Hour 2011…
Switch off your lights for Earth Hour at 8:30pm, Saturday 26 March 2011 and celebrate your commitment to the planet with the people of the world!
History of Earth Hour
WWF started Earth Hour in 2007 in Sydney, Australia when 2.2 million individuals and more than 2,000 businesses turned their lights off for one hour to take a stand against climate change. Only a year later and Earth Hour had become a global sustainability movement with more than 50 million people across 35 countries participating. Global landmarks such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge, CN Tower in Toronto, Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, and Rome’s Colosseum, all stood in darkness, as symbols of hope for a cause that grows more urgent by the hour.
Have you ever tried to recycle Styrofoam? It sure can be difficult–but, it’s not impossible. Styrofoam is also known as Expanded PolyStyrene (EPS). If it is landfilled, the material never breaks down. When it’s burned, it creates a toxic ash. With the holiday season especially, there’s an avalanche of it surrounding our gifts and arriving at our doorsteps. Polystyrene’s blessings are also a curse- its light weight and durability make it such a great packaging material, but currently in the USA, foam packaging is being recycled at a rate of only about 10-12% each year.
What is Styrofoam?
Styrofoam is only one name for polystyrene plastic, and is a Dow Chemical Co. trademarked form of polystyrene foam insulation. Polystyrene is made from styrene, a petroleum by-product. Styrene was first commercially produced during World War II in the production of synthetic rubber. Only about 5% of a foam package is polystyrene, the remainder is air. Part of what makes food containers, for example, so difficult to recycle is that they are generally contaminated and require cleaning before they can be processed. Unfortunately, this makes recycling less cost effective. For more information visit the Polystyrene Packaging Council.
Drop Off Styrofoam For Recycling Near You
Thankfully, Alliance of Foam Packaging Recyclers is a great resource for finding out where to drop off or mail your Styrofoam. Their collection system relies on EPS manufacturers to serve as recycling locations, allowing AFPR members reprocess up to 60% of the post consumer foam collected and incorporate it directly into new packaging. Expanded polystyrene has a National Mail-Back Program if drop-off sites are not available.
TIP: Make sure your Styrofoam is clean and free of any tape, labels, film or glued-on cardboard.
American Chemistry also provides a resource to search by zip code to find a company near you that will actually buy back protective polystyrene packaging from you. Click the button that says, “Less Than Truckload Quantity” to choose your state.
The Plastic Loose Fill Council promotes reuse of polystyrene, or packing peanuts. The Loose Fill Council provides a very easy way for you to search for a place to drop off your polystyrene loose fill packaging. You simply search loosefillpackaging.com by zip code for a place that will reuse your packing peanuts.
The Council’s Peanut Hotline is a national, 24-hour consumer hotline and website directory service with referrals to the nearest locations that accept packing peanuts for reuse. Call the Peanut Hotlineat: 1–800-828-2214. Many local businesses gladly accept peanuts free of charge for reuse, so look into Postal Annex and Mail Boxes Etc. Try and give a little to the planet this season- don’t let your Styrofoam end up in a landfill!
We officially launched our squidoo lenses today with a few interesting articles! All proceeds from the pages will be donated to kiva.org, one of our favorite charities.
Squidoo is a community website that allows users to create pages (called lenses) for subjects of interest. Naturally, all of our lenses are related to recycling and being more green.
Our first six squidoo postings:
Crush that Can! Ecycler has taken its popular Crush that Can web series to a new level. In addition to our YouTube and Vimeo channels, we have now syndicated our series to Apple’s iTunes platform-the full videos are…
ecycler We watch the recycling world and blog about important events, legislation or just plain interesting ideas. We also post updates regarding our main site, ecycler.com. Ecycler creates a new way to recycle…
Recycle Bin Setup Setting up a recycle bin in a business (store, restaurant, office) or an institution is not as simple as your home recycle bin. Several factors including placement and signs are important to their success…
Top-20 Ways to Make your Business Greener Businesses have an opportunity to offer their customers more than just a product or service – by making green thinking part of their culture, their customers gain peace of mind knowing that concern for…
Reverse Vending Machine On ecycler’s most recent trip through Michigan (a bottle bill state) we took the opportunity to document a typical grocery store redemption center. In four easy steps we went from having an empty soda…
Reasons to Support your State Bottle Bill We watch the recycling world and blog about important events, legislation or just plain interesting ideas. We also post updates regarding our main site, ecycler.com. We fully support bottle bill legislation…
In its first year of implementation, New York´s expanded beverage container deposit law, known as the “Bottle Bill”, the state has collected more than $120 million in unclaimed deposits and has helped boost plastic recycling rates nationally.
The Bottle Bill, which went into effect Oct. 31, 2009, added water bottles to the list of beverage containers requiring a minimum 5-cent refundable deposit. Under the new law, beverage companies are now required to transfer 80% of the unredeemed deposits to the state General Fund. Previously, beverage companies kept all the unclaimed deposits.
Susan Collins, executive director of the Container Recycling Institute, noted that 2009 was a year of excellent growth in recycling rates in the container deposit-refund programs around the country.
“The expansions in New York, Connecticut and Oregon added nearly four and a half billion containers to deposit programs, and have the potential to increase the nation´s overall beverage container recycling rate by two percentage points,” Collins said. “PET reclaimers in the U.S. are hungry for this material. They are busy building new plants in the U.S., and can staff them with new employees as long as the materials are available to them.”
What beverages are covered by NY’s Bottle Bill?
Carbonated Soft Drinks, including Sparkling Water, Carbonated Energy Drinks, Carbonated Juice (anything less than 100% juice, containing added sugar or water)
Beer and Other Malt Beverages
Mineral Water – Both carbonated and non-carbonated mineral water
What beverages are NOT covered by NY’s Bottle Bill?
Ecycler featured on StartUpLift.com! Come check it out and make a comment. StartUpLift.com was created to help promising startups get exposure and receive insightful feedback. People come to StartUpLift to learn about new startups and to engage in stimulating conversation. Sounds good to us!
Do you find the site intuitive? Meaning, upon arrival to ecycler.com, is it obvious as to what the site is all about?
During the Fairfield Challenge, ecycler exceeded its goals of improving the environment, enhancing the social value of recycling and supporting local communities.
Here’s how we did it:
During our visits to 13 cities, totaling 15 stays, using Fairfield Inn & Suites as our base, we spread word to numerous businesses and individuals about how ecycler can help them recycle for free. We posted ecycler posters at grocery stores, coffee shops and restaurants in all of the cities we visited as a way to encourage discarders to join.
ecycler visited Kokomo, Indiana where we visited a variety of local shops and restaurants to let them know about ecycler and encourage them to register on the site as discarders. We are also handed out some of our ecycler reusable shopping bags.
While in Michigan we met with one of our Collectors who picked up the largest discard of cans to date to get feedback from him and learn more about his salvage business. In Lansing, Michigan, we met with the Michigan Recycling Coalition about developing a partnership with that organization. Also as part of the Michigan trip we were able to get in contact with the Michigan Recycling Partnership. Ecycler is now a member of the partnership and will be presenting to the partnership in January.
During a stop in Colorado Springs, Colorado, we met a woman who said she doesn’t recycle at all because she has to pay a fee to do so. By signing up on ecycler.com, she can now recycle and save money at the same time.
As a result of our efforts on these trips, hundreds of new users have registered on ecycler.com. These new discarders and collectors will help keep cans, bottles and newspapers from clogging up landfills. Local communities will benefit because the collectors will earn extra income that can be pumped back into the local economy. It will also encourage people who haven’t recycled before to start.
We are very pleased to announce our newest business discarder the Fairfield Inn Orlando. We plan to find collectors for this hotel to meet their recycling needs. We now have several bins setup at a large car dealership in Northern Illinois with the approval to setup more bins at their multiple locations. We are working with the businesses to build out their ecycler profile pages so that their green efforts are known to the community.
Some of the best things we have heard said about ecycler are,
“ecycler is such a good idea for so many reasons.” tweet @ecycler
“I definitely will let anyone I know who may have cans to donate about your website.” tweet @ecycler
“Your new website should be a blazing success. I’ll talk to your again in the future.” Richard in MI
Radio host Kim Komando, whose weekly three-hour call-in talk show is heard on more than 470 stations, chose ecycler as a “Cool Site of the Day” on Nov. 15 in conjunction with America Recycles Day.
Another one of our goals for the future is to add scrap metal and appliances to the items that can be recycled via ecycler. During our trips we heard from potential discarders that there is growing demand for this kind of service.
We feel that ecycler deserves to win the Fairfield Challenge because there is nothing more important than the sustainability of our planet, and our site is doing its part – and encouraging legions of people around the country to do theirs – to help protect the Earth.
This and all the Crush that Can episodes may be viewed here: CrushthatCan.com. Crush that Can is a series of videos–short, humorous videos to demonstrate different ways to decrease the size of aluminum cans in order to prepare them for recycling in non-bottle bill states.