Archive for the ‘recycle’ Category

Donate Your Old Books to Help a Child Get a Shot at Better Learning

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

Even though it is one of the richest countries in the world, all across the US (as well as across the globe) schools are struggling to provide their students with the textbooks they need to meet their learning goals, including those laid out by the governments for standardized tests.

Kids end up having to share their textbooks, taking them home on a rotating basis or teachers have to photocopy relevant pages to distribute as flimsy handouts. Or spending their hard earned cash buying books themselves (yes a lot of teachers do that and they really should not have to. Contrary to the opinions of some politicians a teacher does not make a lot) is a site that has been providing a portal for people to swap their unwanted books, CDs and DVDs for several years now. For a fee of between 50 cents and a $1.00 users can safely trade their stuff for something they do want, saving thousands of books, DVDs even video games from ending up in the trash while giving someone else the pleasure of getting something enjoyable for very little.

So popular has the concept become (the site has 1 million regular swappers and counting) that the founders wondered if their concept could be put to good use to help alleviate the book shortages in the nation’s schools. From that notion swap4schools was born.

The concept is still a familiar one to members. Schools post their “wants” for other users to browse and if you have a matching product you can donate it to them via the site. Donating the books gets you nothing physical in return but you will get a nice warm fuzzy feeling knowing that the book that sat on your shelf for a year gathering dust is now helping a child somewhere master say, the intricacies of the works of Shakespeare.

Stop the Junk Mail , Save a Tree and Safeguard Your Identity

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

Even in the age of the email there still seems to be an almost endless flow of junk mail hitting mailboxes every day. In actual fact the average American adult will receive 41 pounds worth of junk mail in a single year. Apart from the fact that it can become rather annoying for both you and your local postmaster that is an awful lot of paper that most people file directly in the round file without ever even opening.

Its not just the wasted paper (and therefore wasted trees) that impact the environment either, There is the carbon footprint of all those inks and chemicals used to print them (which often make the paper harder to recycle) as well as all the fuel wasted to transport the junk mail from place to place.

If you are not to be moved to action by all of this eco – unfriendliness may we point out what a security threat junk mail can be. Apparently a whopping 27 thousand of us will have our identities stolen in 2011 thanks to baddies getting their hands on those pre approved credit offers and all those personalized letters about well, what is usually quite frankly, a load of junk.

But what can you do to stop the flow of junk mail, as least as far as your own mailbox is concerned? You probably have no idea how you ever got onto these mailing lists in the first place, so knowing who to write or call to stop it is a nigh impossible task.

There are certain organizations that can help. If you want to make sure those pre approved credit offers stop (therefore safeguarding your credit score and a tree or two) You should visit Opt Out Pre Screen

which will remove your name from consumer mailing lists sold by the three major credit bureaus – Equifax, Transunion and Experian- for five years (yes that is where those direct mail marketers were getting your info from)

To stop a lot of other direct mail “offerings” from cluttering up your life you can contact the Direct Marketing Association and for a $1 fee they will add you to a list of people to be deleted from all mailing lists and send that information out to their list of direct mail marketers. This tactic will only work if those sending the junk mail are members of the DME but that does cover most large companies.

If your junk mail is coming from local companies a simple phone call or quick note politely asking them to stop should hopefully do the trick. The savvy local business owner needs all the community support they can get so will not want to upset anyone just for the sake of delivering an extra pizza menu.

Ziploc Announces New Recycling Program that Rewards Customers for their Efforts

Friday, February 11th, 2011

Often big corporations make it onto the eco activists’ radar because of the bad practices they have embraced the damage the planet at large. That is not always the case though, as a newly announced initiative from the makers of Ziploc bags demonstrates.

We’re all familiar with Ziploc bags. You probably have some (or some of their private label counterparts) sitting your kitchen cupboards right now. They are oh so handy for all kinds of reasons but the one thing they are not is easily recyclable.

It’s harder to recycle the plastic that Ziploc products are made from so often they are sent to landfill to sit for years instead. SC Johnson, Ziploc’s parent company, has created a program designed to reduce some of that waste.

Ziploc have partnered with Recyclebank to encourage families to recycle and the goal of the venture id to reduce the amount of plastic waste in landfills by 100 million pounds in 24 months.

Recyclebank offers consumers who up their recycling efforts rewards for doing so in the form of points that can be used toward the purchase of some pretty neat stuff. They do not yet operate in all areas of the country though, but the reach is expanding everyday.

One of the most important aspect of the Zip Loc program though could soon show up in grocery stores and retail locations in your neighborhood. The company plans to put in place  18,000 in-store recycle bins that will accept clean and dry Ziploc Brand sandwich, storage and freezer bags.

In addition, wherever you live , within the next few  months, you will have the opportunity to earn reward points  when you make a pledge to resposnibly recycle Ziploc bags and packaging by entering the code from specially marked packages of Ziploc Brand Sandwich and Snack Bags on

Inspiring Re Use in Your Community

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

Reduce,reuse, recycle – a mantra we have been hearing for years now. The recycling bit? We are all getting better at that and the reduce part is catching on as well. The reuse? Still needs some work. Here are some great ways you(yes, humble little you) can inspire reuse in your community and really make a difference to feel good about.

Freecycle not RecycleFreecycle is an amazing website that lets users (both individuals and businesses) post items they no longer need. Items are dispersed free of charge on a first come first served basis so as soon as you spot someone’s trash that in fact you would consider a treasure get your request in right way.

Post on Craigslist –  Freecycle can be a little hit-or-miss, since your emails might not get answered right away. For a faster response (and a way to maybe make a buck or two) post your unwanted goods on Craigslist. No you won’t get rich (Craigslist enthusiasts are the ultimate bargain hunters) but you’ll brighten someone else’s day and keep those old cell phones/CDs/dog eared paperbacks out of the local landfill.

Start a Book and Magazine exchange – Personally I  love readingmagazines of all kinds but really how many times can I read about Lindsay Lohan’s adventures (as salacious as they are) And do you really need that stack of Newsweeks that have been sitting next to the toilet for months? Once you have read your magazine pass it on to a neighbor to enjoy as well. The same holds true for those summer beach books.

Many communities have now set up formal book and magazine exchanges at places like the post office or local grocery store. It’s a great way to reuse and to get more people doing a bit of old fashioned reading in the computer age.

Frequent your Local Thrift store – When you have that bi annual clean out of the closets, garage, attic or whatever don’t throw the good stuff away (clothes, toys, the computer monitor you upgraded from last month) If they are in good, useable shape take them down to your local thrift store instead. The charities they usually serve get money when they sell the items, and someone else in the area gets a great bargain.

And fashionistas, don’t be thrift store snobs. I am a frequent (and well-practiced) thrift store shopper and the clothing I have scored on some of those trips is the kind I couldn’t afford in a month of Sundays. All it takes is a keen eye and the patience to go through the racks.

Have more ideas to share to help encourage reuse in the community? Share them at Tip the Planet– the green wiki that is growing and educating people in the art of environmental responsibility every day, thanks to people like you.

Making the Most of What You Don’t Want – Recycling and Freecycling

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

Recycling is one of the easiest ways that everyone can do their part to help improve and preserve the health of the planet and although most people are aware of that fact they also often believe that they are too busy to spend much of their precious time making the extra effort to actively participate in recycling efforts. Recycling does not have to be time consuming and difficult though as these ideas from Tip the Planet, the green wiki, demonstrate:

Reusing and recycling your clothes to help the environment and others less fortunate than you is a great way to do your part for the planet with very little effort. Tip the Planet has dozens of tips for recycling clothing of all kinds:

Are you an avid DIYer? Home improvements are great but they generate a lot of waste that can not only clutter up your garage but impact the health of the environment around your home as well. Construction and gardening waste as well as leftover paints and cleaning products can and should be recycled: &,_paints_and_oils

These days we all have a great many electronic items hanging around the house that we simply do not use anymore but we simply don’t know what to with them other than stuff them out of sight in a drawer or a cupboard. Recycling like items like old cell phones, the computer you upgraded from two years ago even the batteries you use in all those handheld devices not only helps save the planet but helps make your own home a little more organized as well.

Recycling starts at home but your good efforts should continue at work as well. There are plenty of opportunities to recycle in the workplace and even if it’s not your decision to start taking green business measures you can talk to your boss about implementing some environmentally conscious policies around the office.

Freecycling groups are springing up all over the globe. Freecycling is a way for communities to give as well as to receive useful resources that benefit everyone. Thousands of people are working together to keep waste of the landfills and give a new lease on life to all kinds of items.

Have a recycling idea we haven’t mentioned here or a recycling project you think the world should know about? Submit your tips to Tip the Planet, the fastest growing green wiki on the internet