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Posts Tagged ‘reuse’

Help your books find good homes!

January 25th, 2012 No comments

Are you the kind of person that hates to discard used books for fear they’ll end up in a landfill?  Do those late-night pet adoption commercials get you thinking that you’d like to set up an adoption agency for used books?  We’re right there with you, and we’ve got some great news for you!

We Recycle Books: http://ecycler.com/books

We’re delighted to announce that we now accept books as a part of our recycling programs.  We’re committed to helping find good homes for your books, and now it’s easy to join in. Simply navigate to ecycler.com/books and click the Start Recycling Now button on the page, select the number of books you are recycling (or enter in the count). Fill in the form, print out your shipping label and then rest assured that your books are on their way to nice, new homes where they’ll be treated well, with lots of tender loving care.
Recycle your Books on ecycler.com

Books cannot be easily recycled like other paper, because of the chemicals, such as glue, and other binding materials used to make them, so reuse is a great option.

We happily accept all sorts of books, be they hardcover or softcover editions, new or old. All we ask is that the books be in decent condition, without mold or mildew. It’s okay if there are markings. Just use common sense – don’t send any books that you yourself wouldn’t want to receive. The books will transferred to the care of our recycling partner who shares our commitment to getting books out of the trash and into the hands of new readers. The goal is to give each book as many new lives as possible. Come join the revolution.

According to ALA Recycling Industries, in 2006 the U.S. printed more than 172,000 new book titles. In order to produce just one ton of paper needed for these new books, 3,688 lbs. of wood, 24,000 gallons of water, 216 lbs. of lime, 360 lbs. of salt cake and 76 lbs. of soda ash are required. The process produces 84 lbs. of air pollutants, 36 lbs. of water pollutants and 176 lbs. of solid waste which must be treated and properly discarded.

Happy recycling!

Attention, no books were harmed in the filming of these Crush that Can videos:

Thanks for Ben Oh for the use of his image
Categories: materials, recycle Tags: , ,

Reducing, Reusing and Recycling in the Workplace

January 17th, 2012 No comments

We often talk about (brag about!) being earth-friendly, going green and recycling in our home. But most of us spend a good portion of our lives in another environment, one that generates its own share of waste: the workplace. Whether you work for a large company or a small business, you likely have an office in which you spend five or more days a week. That office requires heating and cooling; it uses paper, appliances, and other materials; and it creates waste just as prolifically as does the home – if not more so.

If you are a business manager or simply an outspoken person in your office, you can take concerted steps toward reducing, reusing and recycling in the workplace. Here’s how:

REDUCE

Technology has made it increasingly easy to reduce in the workplace. By using cloud computing, electronic billing, and email communication a business can go paperless and save troves of trash (and money) the process. You can also reduce on your electricity consumption by installing intelligent thermostats and energy-efficient lighting. The possibilities are truly endless and the potential for savings are considerable. As a successful energy-reducer can tell you, you don’t need solar power to save on utilities in the workplace.

REUSE

Changing workplace trends dictate that companies are always creating waste. Every technological and management change likely yields discarded furniture, printers, and various other office items. All of these materials can be donated to agencies that will help reuse them in some capacity. An office truly committed to being environmentally-friendly is not one that will leave generations of printers sitting in a landfill.

RECYCLE

Most people find it far easier to recycle in the home than in the workplace. The reason? At home, many of us have a dedicated bin for trash and another one dedicated for recycling. Every time we empty the trash or take the bins to the curb we are reminded to sort the recyclables out from the items that are not. We often don’t get this kind of reminder in the office, where trash receptacles are abundant but recycling bins are a far rarer find. There’s an easy solution to this, however: next to every trash can add a well-marked recycling bin. Certainly make sure there is one in the kitchen or wherever employees tend to eat their lunch.

Hopefully these tips can help your business better reduce, reuse and recycle. Doing so not only helps the environment, but can also translate favorably towards the company’s bottom line. As far as the workplace is concerned, there’s really no reason not to go green.

Top-20 Ways to Make your Business Greenerhttp://blog.ecycler.com/2010/11/13/top-20-ways-to-make-your-business-greener/

Read more…

Walking and Being Green

December 16th, 2011 No comments

A lot of people can’t walk and chew gum at the same time, but everyone can walk and be green.

That’s because several shoe makers have launched environmentally-friendly sneakers. Timberland has a line of shoes called Earthkeepers made from eco-friendly materials. The boots are outfitted with organic cotton laces, recycled rubber outsoles and linings made from recycled plastic bottles. The leather in the shoes come from tanneries that meet certain criteria for energy use, waste production and water treatment.

When these boots are no longer suitable for walking, customers can return them, free of charge, to Timberland and they’ll recycle or reuse the materials. The company also makes clothing under the Earthkeepers brand made from organic cotton and recycled polyester, none of which is “dry clean only,” due to the hazardous chemicals involved in dry cleaning.

Fans of Nike shoes can participate in the company’s Reuse-A-Shoe program, which collects old, worn-out athletic shoes for recycling. The company transforming them into “Nike Grind,” a material used in creating playground and athletic surfaces, such as tennis courts.

Here’s how it works: Any brand of athletic shoe can be accepted, so long as it meets Nike’s recycling guidelines. Shoes can be dropped off at Nike Reuse-A-Shoe recycling locations around the country or at one of the company’s events. Once a critical mass of shoes has been collected, Nike ships them to a processing center in either Belgium or Memphis, TN, where the shoes are dissembled and sorted into three types of raw material: rubber from the outsole, foam from the midsole and fabric fibers from the upper. Once those items are ground up, they find new life on sports fields and tracks, and sometime in new shoes and clothes.

Sadly, another eco-friendly shoe maker is going out of business. Simple Shoes, which made shoes from bamboo, cork and coconuts, is ceasing distribution, but Zappos.com will continue selling select styles while supplies last.

 

Categories: materials, recycle 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: ,

A Green Shave

September 1st, 2011 No comments

Special guest post by John Koontz.

In the quest to reduce our impact on landfills and environment, many men (and women) are forgoing the morning shave. However, some of us can’t rock the beard like Sean Connery and get away with it. So what’s a guy to do? Good news. There is a way to be environmentally conscious and still look dapper – traditional wet shaving. Let me illustrate by using the proverbial “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.”

REDUCE – Wet shaving products reduce your use of disposable materials and you will find yourself purchasing these items less frequently because they were designed to last. Unlike a cartridge razor you find in the drugstore, a quality double edge razor (like the Edwin Jagger DE89L or Merkur 34C) will last for decades, with only a simple metal blade to change. A straight razor, like one from Hart Steel (made in the USA, by the way) can be used for centuries. Take care of your shaving brush (Simpson Colonel) and it will last longer than most cars. Unlike shaving goop in a can, a hard soap will last at least 6 months of daily use. You can easily see the reliance on extraneous materials, like the plastic in a disposable razor handle, or metal can for shaving foam, will be drastically reduced.

REUSE – If these tools last so long, you may have guessed used items are easy to find. And you’d be correct. Razors are commonly found at online auctions, flea markets and antique stores. However, if you’re scared of the nasties from the previous unknown user, we understand. Buy a new razor and know that your kids can reuse it when you’re gone. Refills for soap bowls are available so the wood bowls can be used for years. The plastic containers for shaving cream are nice quality and can be used to store and organize small items, like screws in the garage.

RECYCLE – While the items that could be discarded are few, the ones that are can be recycled. From the daily shave itself, only the double edge blade is discarded about once a week. Being metal, it is easily recycled. Most packaging of wet shaving products is simple, often consisting of only a simple cardboard box or tissue paper. Again, easily recycled.

You’ll also find that wet shaving products have a focus on being healthier, cutting out many nasty chemicals and using more eco and face friendly ingredients (like products from The Gentlemen’s Refinery or Edwin Jagger). You probably already figured out that wet shaving products are far more economical. (Shhhhh! The cartridge razor companies don’t want you to know this.) And if all this wasn’t enough, most people that try wet shaving find it simply works better. Less razor burn, fewer ingrown hairs, smoother shave. You may even start to enjoy that morning chore.

Grandpa had it right a hundred years ago!

Read more…

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: ,

3 Ways to Recycle Soda Bottles and Use Them in Your Garden

November 22nd, 2010 4 comments

Special guest post by Mike Lieberman.

Starting your own garden doesn’t require you to invest a lot of money on new containers. With a bit of creativity you can repurpose old items to grow in.

One item that I’ve been able to use in multiple ways is a soda bottle.

According to Earth911, “Less than 1 percent of all plastics is recycled. Therefore, almost all plastics are incinerated or end up in a landfill.”

So why not do your part and keep the soda bottles from the landfill.

Unfortunately soda bottles are a plenty and can be found nearly anywhere. During Keep America Beautiful’s 2009 Great American Cleanup, volunteers recovered and recycled 243,000,000 PET (plastic) bottles that littered highways, waterways and parks.

Here are three ways that I’ve successfully used soda bottles in my garden. Whether you have a backyard or a windowsill, you can utilize one of these low-cost ideas in your garden today.

Hanging Soda Bottle Planter

These are easy to make and hang well from railings and hand rails. I had about 10 of these lining the railing on my fire escape.

Self-Watering Container

If you have limited space and are lazy about watering, you can pack a lot of these in a small space to grow your veggies.

Herb Garden on a Shipping Pallet

For those of you that are bit more handy or would like a small challenge, you can double up on your recycling with this project by using a shipping pallet and soda bottles.

Help to give another life to a soda bottle and new life to a plant.

Thanks Mike!

Mike Lieberman started urban gardening and growing some of his own food in May 2009 on his fire escape in NYC. He inspires others to start growing their own food on his blog Urban Organic Gardener. Lieberman believes that growing just one herb or vegetable will make a difference. It will help to cut back the intensive resources that go into the production and transport of food to our plates. It will also help us to re-establish our connection with food that we’ve lost over the past few years. We are humans. We grow food. For more information on Lieberman, please visit CanarsieBK.com.

Upcycle with Bottle Caps

November 9th, 2010 No comments

What does it mean to upcycle? Upcycling is the process of converting discarded materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or a higher environmental value. We, at ecycler, have found some terrific examples of upcycling recently, but this artist has really caught our eye: RotorCaps.

RotorCaps are made with materials from everyday life that would normally end up in the trash. The aim is to transform these materials into jewelry for adornment and quirky personal expression. It is also to get people excited about recycling and the idea that we can look at these items in a different way and see that there is beauty and value in them.

Bottle caps collected from bars local to Philadelphia (the artist’s home town) are the main attraction. In addition, almost anything that is printed on metal–including cans and tins–will do.

The jewelry is eye-catching, interesting and whimsical. It is inspired by common symbols found in mainstream advertising that when removed from the product is transformed into a personal icon to be celebrated by the individual. Most importantly though, Rotorcaps are about fun!

Check out Jen Roder, renegade silversmith, and her creations at RotorCaps.com

Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.

September 3rd, 2010 No comments

Recycling is important, but it’s only one aspect of the trilogy: REDUCE, REUSE and RECYCLE.

Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.Just because something is recyclable doesn’t mean it is the best choice. Recycling is the last “R” in the cycle of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. The best choice is to reduce your impact by buying products with minimal or no packaging. Next, reuse (and choose reusable products like rechargeable batteries and cloth shopping bags) whenever possible. Reusing an item only once cuts its environmental impact in half, and choosing and reusing durable goods many times can have an enormous positive environmental impact. Finally, recycle. ecycler.com makes that part easy with free pick-up at your home, institution or business by one of our local ecycler collectors.

REDUCE

  • REDUCE consumption. Think about what you buy — do you really need it or can you find it used?
  • Consignment shops have flourished in recent years. Garage sales are everywhere.
  • Buy things that are durable whenever possible. If you buy cheaply made furniture made of particle board, you are buying space in a landfill in the not too distant future. Buy used if possible and look for solid, sturdy pieces.

REUSE

  • REUSE whenever possible. This is easy. Simply rethink everything you see in stores. Especially grocery stores – anything that is a single use product should be avoided.
  • You can re-fill your shampoo bottle at your local hairdresser or health food store. The plastic bottle can be refilled for years and years and save dozens and dozens of containers from being manufactured.
  • And by the way… how much fuel is used to transport the average plastic shampoo bottle? We bring it home. We, or a curbside recycling firm, take it to a recycling center. Then it travels to a place to be shredded (using energy) and might even then be sold as raw stock and be shipped again to a bottle manufacturer (using energy to form new bottles). Next, it goes to the brand plant to get filled with shampoo again, then ships to stores.
  • By RETHINKING we can stop being a part of all that carbon waste. Make a list of things you can refill or reuse. Start rethinking what other containers can be RE-used.

RECYCLE

  • RECYCLE what’s left. The more effort we spend doing the first two stages of this triad, the less we need to recycle. However, it’s important to recycle what we can. With fewer items in the landfill our Earth will be a happier one.
  • Let’s think about why we are recycling. If you buy bottled water for your staff or clients (or your home) and that plastic goes into a recycling bin at the end of a single use, you should rethink if “recycling” is doing anyone any good at all. If you can’t come up with an alternative in your situation to bottled water or Styrofoam cups, please email us.
  • ecycler is a new way to recycle. Our goal is to make it even easier by pairing discarders and collectors through our web site. The ecycler discarders are those who give away recyclables and the ecycler collectors are those who pick them up from a business, an institution or a residence and then sell them to their local materials buyer.

Visit ecycler.com and start making a difference!

Categories: recycle Tags: , ,

Beyond Traditional Recycling!

April 17th, 2010 No comments

When someone says, “I’m going to recycle material X“, it usually references the action of placing something in a recycling bin for curb-side pickup or taking it to a recycling center. A lot of materials are capable of being recycled–everything from aluminum cans to rubber tires, we’ve outlined a few on our Recycling Facts page.

What’s the purpose of recycling? There have been books written on the subject, so we’ll simply list a few points here:Where everything you buy counts for our Earth

  • Reduce waste going into landfills
  • Recover natural resources
  • Energy conservation (less energy to make cans from recycled aluminum than from mining aluminum oxide, for example)

So, what if instead of the traditional recycling flow from consumer to recycling center to raw materials for manufacturing, we take those materials and merely create a product? Better yet, how about a product that is fun or useful (or fun and useful)?

We’re spotlighting several myEARTH360.com products made from recycled/reclaimed materials. Come check them out:

  • ecoist bags made from recycled/re-purposed newspapers, candy3 design choiceswrappers, food packages, soda labels, subway maps, etc.
  • one eighty design home decor made in the USA from reclaimed metals found via dumpster diving
  • reiter8 totes made from reclaimed sails

Think outside the (recycling) bin for an opportunity to make a green impact. For a full catalog of these wonderful items, check out myEARTH360.com.