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Dreaming of a Green Christmas

December 13th, 2011 No comments

Time is running out to wrap up holiday shopping, and if you still don’t know what to get for people, turn to the environment. Everyone can feel good about receiving a gift that’s green.

Uncommon Goods, a web-based retailer and catalog, has a whole section of green gifts that are more unusual and thoughtful than the standard fare of knickknacks made from recycled glass bottles.

For the fashion plate on your list who doesn’t want to be caught wearing the same thing as someone else, consider a skirt made from recycled sweaters – no two are alike. There are also scarves made from t-shirts and belts made from spent fire hoses.

For the techie who has every device, the retailer sells iPad cases made from old mail sacks and pouches made from the same material that can keep cords and chargers organized, as well as other items. A company called ATP Electronics makes the EarthDrive, a USB drive made from biodegradable polyester that’s derived from renewable resources, such as corn. Another company called Devotec recently came out with a portable stereo speaker system that can play music wirelessly via Bluetooth while charging its battery from an integrated solar panel. The system can play continuously when in the sun, even if the battery has no charge.

The home decorator might enjoy vases made from recycled fire extinguishers, picture frames made from recycled ceiling tins or bookends fashioned from old vinyl records (if they even know what a record is), also available from Uncommon Goods.

And don’t forget about kids- they can be green, too.

Plum caters to parents who don’t want to keep buying new clothes for their fast-growing babies and toddlers.

People can sign up to receive a set number of outfits each month and then return them a month later for all new clothes. All items are washed before they’re sent out, and outfits that come back stained are donated or recycled. A perfect gift for the new parents on your list.

Bigger kids might like the Wild Science Worm Farm, a fun way for them to learn about the ecosystem.

Categories: ecycler, recycle Tags: , ,

Ten Ways to Green up your Thanksgiving!

November 23rd, 2011 No comments

Happy Thanksgiving!

‘Tis the season of consumption. But there are ways to enjoy the kick-off to the holiday season and also be green.

Give thanks and try these ten ways to give back this Thanksgiving:

Stay home – Tell your aunt Sally that you can’t fly out to see her or drive to grandmother’s house. Your relatives will understand that traveling takes its toll on the environment – won’t they?

Carpool or use mass transit – If you really must leave your house, travel with a group in one car or take public transportation, if possible.

Buy natural and local – Buy free range turkey and organic produce for your Thanksgiving feast and get your fixings from local suppliers, like a farmer’s market.

Waste not – Roast your turkey in a reusable roasting pan. If you must use a foil pan, be sure to recycle it.

Light candles – It sets an intimate mood for your meal and saves electricity. Use beeswax or soy-based candles, rather than paraffin candles, which are made from petroleum.

Bring out the china and good silver – Even though the last thing you want to do after a food-induced coma is wash dishes, avoid using paper plates and plastic cutlery. Also, use cloth napkins instead of paper.

Get creative – Play a game with the family by awarding an extra piece of pumpkin pie to the relative who comes up with the best ways to be green this holiday season.

Recycle – Toss all cans and bottles used during dinner into the recycling bin.

Compost – Don’t throw the scraps in the trash – compost them!

Re-use – The best part of Thanksgiving are the days after. Use those leftovers again and again to save on trips to the grocery store.

This and all the Crush that Can episode 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.

Happy Thanksgiving from ecycler.com!

 

Categories: ecycler, event Tags: ,

Junk Afflicting Cities Across the Country

November 18th, 2011 No comments

From excessive junk on property to hoarding, cities across the country are dealing with the problem of how to deal with residents’ excessive stuff.

In Arlington, MA, a hoarding response team made up of police, a mental health expert and the Health and Human Services department is helping hoarders clear their homes of junk before they suffer health and safety problems.

Excessive piles of household items and food and unclean conditions can attract bugs and rodents.

What started as part of a jail diversion program in June has since become focused on the broader problem of hoarding. The team has handled 16 cases so far, including that of a man who had no plumbing and didn’t know what to do about it because his apartment hadn’t been cleaned in two decades.

Chicago’s solution to junk? Fine people for it. The city, which is aiming to balance its budget in part by raising fees on a number of items, plans to raise nuisance fines to between $300 and $600, up from $250 to $500, for such violations as illegal garbage dumping, excessive junk and poor lot maintenance.

Los Angeles is facing the problem of homeless people’s possessions taking up space on the sidewalks of Skid Row, a 50-block area where mentally ill or addicted people sleep on the street and where everyday appliances and mattresses are piling up. Stuff started accumulating ever since a federal judge ordered the city four months ago to stop seizing property from Skid Row streets.

According to a recent newspaper article, one block alone was lined with 20 packed shopping carts.

Courts across the country have likewise ruled that the property of homeless people cannot be seized just because it’s on the street. But, Los Angeles has lost four lawsuits over property seizures since 1987.

Visit chicago.ecycler.com

We are making junk removal simple, problem free and without surprises. We are born out of the idea that we can enhance the social value of recycling. All junk collected is treated as an asset and not as trash with the appreciation toward sustainability and end-of-life concerns.

We make all efforts to reuse (i.e., donate), upcycle and recycle the materials before the landfill is considered.

Thanks to LA Weekly for use of the images
Categories: ecycler, junk Tags: ,

America Recycles Day – November 15, 2011

September 30th, 2011 No comments

Get ready for America Recycles Day!

America Recycles Day (ARD), November 15, is the only nationally recognized day dedicated to encouraging Americans to recycle and to buy recycled products. Celebrating its 14th year, it has grown to include millions of Americans pledging to increase their recycling habits at home and work. And to buy products made with recycled materials. Volunteer America Recycles Day coordinators are positioned throughout the country and work to organize recycling awareness events in their schools and communities, and in conjunction with their local municipalities.

On November 15 each year, millions of people become better informed about the importance of daily recycling and buying recycled products. One day to educate and motivate. One day to get our neighbors, friends and community leaders excited about what can be accomplished when we all work together. One day to make recycling bigger and better 365 days a year.

Check out the America Recycles Day website and Take the Pledge to Recycle!

Or, follow @recyclesday on twitter

Recycling of VHS Tapes

August 15th, 2011 3 comments

Did you know that the recycling of VHS tapes is available? There are hundreds of thousands of people that have old VHS tapes and don’t know what to do with them. Many people feel guilty giving box loads of these tapes to donation services because in reality most people don’t even own VHS machines anymore. This doesn’t have to happen anymore because now you have the ability to recycle those tapes. Ecycler.com developed their website to make it possible for you to begin recycling almost everything you own.

VHS, cassettes, reel-to-reel and old 8-track tapes can now be recycled relieving you of the guilt of dropping them off on someone else. Over the years people probably have collected hundreds of different types of recorded media and as a result, they probably have boxes and boxes of these items stored somewhere in the garage or basement. Many of these tapes have probably already been digitized and now people are wondering what to do with them. You have to realize that by simply throwing them away doesn’t really do the trick because they aren’t biodegradable. If you do throw them away it will take thousands of years for them to break down.

Why take a chance when you can turn those old tapes into jobs, reusable resources and a positive contribution to the environment. That’s right, you can turn those old tapes into a job for someone else. You will also be providing a reusable resource by allowing the recycler to turn those tapes into new products or materials that will be used for future items. You are also helping the environment by decreasing our need to deplete more natural resources and not allowing those tapes to be buried in the country’s landfills.

You see, ecycler.com understands that people simply need to know that they can recycle items like VHS tapes, and by doing so they are able to see the positive effects it creates for their environment and the community. The neat thing is that all of this can be done quickly and easily right here on our website. Ecycler.com provides a way for people that have stuff to recycle the ability to connect with specialized recyclers, in this case, for VHS tapes.

The collector breaks down the VHS tapes into their basic components (plastics, metal, etc.) and gets paid for their recycle value. The items get recycled into something new, the collector as been provided a job, and all of this has been created by the person that submitted the items to be recycled. Pretty neat idea, but it all starts with you. Recycling of VHS tapes is available and what a better way to do it then by helping your environment, and the people that live in your community. Start recycling today to begin helping your environment one collection at a time.

If you have materials (in this case, VHS tapes) to recycle, sign on to ecycler.com, submit all the information, package the tapes (reuse a box!), print out out the label and ship the package. It’s that simple!

Thanks to makelessnoise for the image!

 

Categories: ecycler, materials, recycle Tags: ,

Recycling of Crayons

August 2nd, 2011 3 comments

You now have a place for the recycling of crayons which is a well received alternative when it comes to discarding crayons in landfills. It has been found that between 45,000 and 75,000 pounds of broken crayons have been documented as the annual amount discarded in landfills throughout the country. This is no small number when you consider that crayons are a bi-product of petroleum called paraffin. Although the crayon wrapper may deteriorate over time, the wax is not biodegradable and will never break down leaving a waxy sludge in our landfills for centuries to come.

There is hope because ecycler.com has developed a service that will allow people, restaurants, education systems and community services programs to get rid of all those unwanted crayons in a safe and environmentally friendly manner. If you have broken, rejected, and very unusable crayons that need a new home, you can simply sign on to ecycler.com and a label will be provided to ship them to a specialized recycler. The process is simple and can be done easily and effectively. When using this service you are contributing to much more than saving your landfills.

When properly recycling your crayons you are actually creating jobs. You are not just creating jobs for the recycling industry but also for the ecycler collectors. You are allowing them the ability to work and redeem any recycling credits that can be used to sustain them and their families. You are also helping to decrease the need for foreign resources and materials that are needed to make new crayons. So what you’ve done is help to create jobs, helped to decrease our dependence on outside resources, and saved the environment from the crayons you may have discarded.

This is not to be taken lightly because look at what you have actually achieved. People are working because you simply decided you weren’t going to throw something away and instead decided you were going to recycle. Now you alone are just one person that has the wheels of sustainability moving forward. What if everyone were to do the same thing? Instead of throwing all their recyclables in the trash, they’ve decided that they too want to recycle. Not only would thousands and thousands of pounds of crayons be eliminated from landfills, but all the other items that could be recycled would be eliminated from landfills as well.

The program is simple! If you have materials (in this case, crayons) to recycle, sign on to ecycler.com, submit all the information, package the crayons (reuse a box!), print out out the label and ship the package. Depending on the company that recycles your crayons, they may come back as non-toxic recycled crayons that can be used over and over again. The recycling process all starts with you because in order for people to really be sustainable and lower their dependence on foreign resources, they will need to understand how important it is to begin right here at home recycling something as small as a simple crayon.

Categories: ecycler, materials, recycle Tags: ,

ecycler checks in!

June 17th, 2011 No comments

There are many great options to enable your business across facebook and twitter in what we, ecycler, call second tier social media channels. A couple of obvious examples are YouTube, TwitPic and Flickr. We would also include del.icio.us in this group. One way we’ve found to go beyond the standards is to engage our community with these great services.

One of our favorites is a site called foursquare.com––it is a geo-centric check-in service. It is a friend-finder, a social city guide and a game that challenges users to experience new things, and rewards them for doing so. Foursquare lets users “check in” to a place when they’re there, tell friends where they are and track the history of where they’ve been and who they’ve been there with…

In addition to monitoring the commodities market (aluminum, cardboard, paper) via special websites, we find going to (or calling) our local recycling center for “on-the-ground” reality an important aspect of ecycler.com. If you’re following ecycler on foursquare, you’ll see our occasional check-in to various recycling centers.

We also foursquare any of the green events ecycler attends. For example, in late May we attended an event at St. Pascal School in Chicago to show support of the rally’s mission of raising awareness among students about the importance of recycling. St. Pascal won PepsiCo’s Dream Machine Recycle Rally Dream Green School Makeover contest, a $100,000 prize that it will use to make green improvements at the school including a new energy efficient computer lab powered by solar energy.

Naturally, we check-in to ecycler HQ regularly to update our followers on upcoming site features or to send out random messages.

Follow us on foursquare! We are foursquare.com/ecycler

Shippable Recyclables

May 26th, 2011 1 comment

Almost every household item, from tennis balls to old cell phones, can be recycled —  if you know where to take them.

Many recycling centers only accept the usual suspects – newspapers, aluminum cans and plastic or glass bottles – but there is value and potential reuse in almost everything around your house.  And there are a lot of businesses that allow people to ship them items that the average recycling center or curbside program won’t accept. Some such services will send you a prepaid shipping label so that you don’t have to pay to recycle your item while others require you to pay the shipping cost.

With the advent of digital music and downloadable movies, many households have CDs and DVDs that they no longer use. Many homes and businesses also frequently upgrade their computers and components, leading to extra hard drives lying around.

CDs and DVDs are made of high value recyclable material such as polycarbonate plastic and precious metals.  It is estimated that it will take over a million years for a CD to completely decompose in a landfill.

Another common item found in homes and businesses is Styrofoam, which is one of the hardest materials to recycle because of food contamination. But there are places where you can mail your styrofoam dishes to be recycled.

There are even companies that recycle old tennis balls. Rebounces.com repressurizes dead balls, restoring them to their original bounce.

So next time you plan to toss out something that your city or local recycling facility won’t accept, do a quick search online to see if you can ship the item to a business that specializes in recycling it or go to ecycler and check out the shippable recyclable section where you can print shipping labels pre-populated with addresses to these specialized recyclers.

On ecycler, all you have to do is click on “start recycling” and scroll down to the list of shippable items. You can select from among discs, crayons, tennis balls, alkaline batteries, wine corks, VHS tapes, inkjet cartridges, eyeglasses and keys. Once you indicate how many of those items you have to recycle, you will be taken to your dashboard, where you can view the transaction and print out a customized printing label so that you can ship them off. Ecycler also will e-mail you the shipping label, along with shipping instructions for each type of item.

UPDATE

We officially launched our new landing pages on Nov 15, 2011 (America Recycles Day). We now have the capability to recycle 11 materials:

CD’s, DVD’s and discs: http://ecycler.com/discs
Crayons: http://ecycler.com/crayons
Tennis Balls: http://ecycler.com/tennis_balls
Alkaline Batteries: http://ecycler.com/alkaline
Wine Bottle Corks: http://ecycler.com/corks
VHS Tapes: http://ecycler.com/VHS_tape
Inkjet Cartridges: http://ecycler.com/inkjet
Eyeglasses: http://ecycler.com/eyeglasses
Keys: http://ecycler.com/keys
Bicycle Inner Tubes: http://ecycler.com/inner_tubes
Books: http://ecycler.com/books

More materials will be added as demand increases!

Official Press Release: http://www.free-press-release.com/news-recycle-hard-to-recycle-materials-1321372327.html

Categories: ecycler, materials Tags: ,

Invite Friends

April 22nd, 2011 No comments

Ecycler is rolling out a new feature that will make it easier for people to tell their friends, family and co-workers about our site.

Spreading the news of ecycler is a great way to be more green. You can simply tell your friends about our site, or you can send to them an e-mail introduction directly from ecycler.com.

The new feature will enable a message to be sent to the e-mail addresses of anyone you choose. A link will appear in your friends’ inboxes that will take them directly to the ecycler sign-up page where they can choose to register as discarders or collectors.

Or, you can enter your gmail or yahoo account information and choose who would want to invite. And, the site will automatically send an email to those contacts.

Lastly, you will be able to grab a customized link to post on your twitter stream or facebook wall.

From your ecycler dashboard, you will be able to track everyone who registers from your invitation(s). You will receive credit for every successful registration.

We developed this feature because sometimes word-of-mouth only goes so far. You might mention ecycler.com to your friends, but they might forget to go and register later. Having a tangible reminder in their inbox, while they’re right there at their computer or on a mobile device, might just nudge them to sign up right then and there.

Categories: ecycler Tags: ,

You can Save the World

April 13th, 2011 No comments

ecycler.com – A new way to recycle!

Make improvements to the environment through recycling–it all starts with one can or one bottle. Collect. Connect. Recycle.

Enjoy!

Ecycler provides an alternative to the many U.S. (and Canadian) households, institutions and businesses that are not offered curb-side recycling. It’s also an option for people who have to pay for curb-side recycling or who want to have their recyclables picked up when and where they desire.

Categories: ecycler, recycle Tags: