1:5:10:365 EcoTip Blog

March 31, 2008

:091 Change AC Filters

Filed under: :091 Change AC Filters — Tags: , , , , , — John Banta @ 12:01 am

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet.

1:5:10:091 Tip: Summer is coming. If you have air conditioning that will be used, the filters should be changed now to help your system run as efficiently as possible. The more efficient filters discussed in :110 usually need to be changed every three months.

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 Additional Information

Suggested Review – :110

The Filtrete pleated filter by 3M has a MERV 11 rating which means it will do a pretty good job of removing mold spores, pollens and other small particles and it fits in a standard system slot.

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March 30, 2008

:090 Write a Letter

Filed under: :090 Write a Letter — Tags: , , — John Banta @ 12:01 am

Suggested Review – :089

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet.

1:5:10:090 Tip: Write letters. Yesterday I suggested getting to know your government representatives and their views. Today’s tip is to let them know your views. Sending emails saves paper (but doesn’t seem to get the same level of attention as a letter that is mailed). Letting them know about specific issues that are being considered is important. It is also important to let them know about issues your are concerned about that need to be considered. 

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Additional Information

Your communications should always be polite. Its usually best to keep them short (preferably a single issue at a time) and try to provide positive suggestions. 

Writing an email to one of your representatives is a good way to fill a daily 1:5:10 action goal anytime the daily tip doesn’t apply or your already doing it.

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March 29, 2008

:089 Know Your Reps

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Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet.

1:5:10:089 Tip:If you have been following this blog, you can probably tell that I am a firm believer in the need for environmental infrastructure. You personally can reduce, reuse, recycle and that simply won’t be enough. Each of us can make a difference, but political action is just as important. Get to know your local, state & federal representatives and not just what they say they will do, but find out what they are actually doing and have done in the past.

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Additional Information

Congressional representatives can be searched at: https://forms.house.gov/wyr/welcome.shtml

U.S. Senate representatives at: http://www.senate.gov/

State representatives can usually be tracked down by searching Google for: <your state>senate and <your state> assembly

They are also commonly listed in the government listing section of your phone directory.

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March 28, 2008

:088 Garage Sale

Filed under: :088 Garage Sale — Tags: , , , , , , — John Banta @ 12:01 am

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Suggested Review – :055

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet.

1:5:10:087 Tip: A garage sale or yard sale is a good way to recycle unwanted items that still have a useful life. If you can’t afford to donate and have the time many items will find a new home.

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Additional Information

Swap meets are another effective way to recycle unwanted items.

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March 27, 2008

:087 Electronic Waste

Filed under: :087 Electronic Waste — Tags: , , , , , , , — John Banta @ 12:01 am

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Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet.

1:5:10:088 Tip: Electronics frequently have a number of heavy metals like lead and cadmium. Many electronics manufacturers are setting up programs to take back their devices when they need to be disposed and some manufacturer’s will take other companies equipment when you buy a new one of theirs.

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Additional Information

A listing of manufacturer’s electronic recycling programs as well as community options is available at www.mygreenelectronics.com

They also provide information about less toxic electronic options.

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March 26, 2008

:086 HazMat Disposal

Suggested Review – :029, :056

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet.

1:5:10:086 Tip: Every county in the U.S. is required to have a plan for household hazardous waste disposal. It may not cover every type of hazard, but most of them are addressed. So if you’ve decided to clean out that pile of unused – whatever, give your county a call first to find out what arrangements they have for disposing of it safely.

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Additional Information

Left over pesticides, herbicides, unused paints and sealants, cleaning products, auto maintenance materials and many other chemicals may be considered hazardous wastes. The label will generally tell you how they must be disposed, but not always. Appliances and electronics contain amazing amounts of hazardous waste materials. Each computer or television contains about 5 pounds of lead. Our appliances also frequently contain mercury switches or thermocouples. Some older fluorescent ballasts and appliances capacitors contain PCBs, fluorescent tubes have mercury, batteries may have lead, mercury and other toxic or hazardous chemicals.

Once you know what options your county has check in on-line at www.earth911.org and entering the item you want to get rid of and your zip code. They provide great information on how to recycle and dispose of just about every type of household hazardous waste product.

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March 25, 2008

:085 Community Recycling

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Suggested Review – :084

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet.

1:5:10:085 Tip: Different communities have different recycling options. The fact that you are reading this tip means its likely that you are willing to sort your wastes and recycle – but many people don’t. Even with curbside pickup programs a GFK Custom Research survey showed that only 52% of households recycle their glass and aluminum and 14% don’t recycle anything at all. Having people separate their recyclables is a good habit to establish, but using a Materials Recovery Facility  to collect recyclables collects the most.

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Additional Information

The community of Roseville, California had to start a public relations campaign to let Roseville residents know that their trash is sorted to remove recyclables at a Materials Recovery Facility at the landfill. If you want to seperate your cans and bottles you can sell them back, but if you just throw them in the trash, they still are collected and recycled. More information about this system is available at: http://www.roseville.ca.us/eu/solid_waste_utility/recycling/default.asp

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March 24, 2008

:084 Recycle

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Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet.

1:5:10:084 Tip: Recycling household wastes not only reduces the amount going into landfills, but also helps save energy and resources since it generally takes less to process recycled materials than to manufacture them from scratch.

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Additional Information

Waste reduction is becoming more important as landfill resources become more scarce. Most communities have recycling options available.

Earth 911 does their best to keep up to date information available on recycling options in your community. Go to http://earth911.org/ enter your zip code and what you want to recycle.

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March 23, 2008

:083 Kitchen Waste

Filed under: :083 Kitchen Waste — Tags: , , , , , , — John Banta @ 12:01 am

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Suggested Review – :006, :069, :081, :082

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet.

1:5:10:083 Tip: If you don’t compost, you can still recycle a lot of kitchen wastes by disposing of them as yard waste. Basically if its plant based it can be placed in the curbside yard waste can instead of the trash or down the garbage disposal.

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Additional Information

Vegetable clippings, carrot tops, outer leaves that don’t go into the soup pot can still be recycled. The first choice is composting them yourself, but if you aren’t into composting they will blend in nicely with the curbside yard wastes.

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March 22, 2008

:082 Community Yard Waste

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Suggested Review – :069, :080, :081

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet.

1:5:10:082 Tip: Even if you mulch mow, you will probably have some form of yard wastes that should go in the compost pile. Many communities have yard waste recycling programs that turn grass clippings, leaves, and other organic materials from your yard into composted mulch – which is frequently available to residents at low or no cost.

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Additional Information

Turning your own yard wastes into compost is the best for the environment, but a quick reality check is that most people will never make their own compost. For this reason community yard waste recycling programs are going to be best for the environment.

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