1:5:10:365 EcoTip Blog

December 5, 2008

:340 Holiday Light Recycling

Take the 1:5:10:365 challenge: Do one thing – for 5 to 10 minutes – 365 days a year to make our home and planet environment better.

1:5:10:340 EcoTip: Those old burned out light strands shouldn’t just be tossed in the trash. They contain lead in the PVC, but they also have recycling value in the copper and glass. Recycle them by sending them to Holiday LEDs. This supplier will see to it that they are recycled and also (as of the time of this post) send you a discount coupon for purchasing LED holiday lights.

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 Additional Information:

Suggested Review: :339

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October 25, 2008

:299 Recycled Plastic Decking

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

1:5:10:299 EcoTip:  Recycled Plastic Lumber (RPL) made from recycled plastic milk jugs and other types of plastic and fillers. Currently it is generally considered non-structural, but is being used successfully for decking, landscaping, benches, sign posts and playground equipment.

I especially like the idea of using it for below ground applications like fence posts or deck piers because it won’t rot. It is also fully recyclable when it is no longer wanted. Some RPL is being made that is a mixture of wood and plastic. It doesn’t hold up as well to moisture or last as long.

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 Additional Information:

According to the California Integrated Waste Management Board:

RPL is clean, nontoxic, and nonporous, and lasts longer than wood. In addition, all types except wood-filled RPL have the following advantages over wood:

  • Moisture and chemical resistant.
  • Graffiti resistant.
  • Splinter free, does not crack.
  • Does not need sealants or preservatives.
  • Colored throughout, does not need paint.
  • Impervious to insects.
  • Flexible, can be curved and shaped.
  • Maintenance free.
  • Does not absorb bacteria.

Additional information is available at the California Integrated Waste Management Board website.

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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 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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February 28, 2008

:059 Stop Junk Mail

Filed under: :059 Stop Junk Mail — Tags: , , , , , , , , — John Banta @ 12:01 am

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Suggested Review – none

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

1:5:10:059 Tip: Junk mail is responsible for a lot of paper waste. Even if you recycle – junk mail uses huge amounts of resources. If you want to reduce the amount of junk mail you recieve – check out www.stopjunkmail.com They have some great tips for cutting back on a wide variety of unwanted mailers. 

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February 25, 2008

:056 Freon Capture

Filed under: :056 Freon Capture — Tags: , , , , , , , — John Banta @ 12:01 am

Suggested Review – :025, :026

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

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Courtesy of EPA region 7 – Katrina appliance graveyard

1:5:10:056 Tip: Refrigerators have a number of components that shouldn’t be disposed at a regular landfill and in fact should be recycled by an authorized “appliance deconstructor”. Yep that’s the official term for companies that recycle these types of things. After hurricane Katrina over 390,000 large appliances like refrigerators were inspected and deconstructed. Some of the materials that must be collected for recycling or hazardous waste disposal include:

Mercury switches,

Mercury thermocouples,

Fluorescent tubes

• Freon refrigerant

• PCB containing capacitors

• PCB containing ballasts

So don’t just abandon those old appliances. Most companies that sell and install new appliances will take the old one off your hands and be sure it is handled properly – but make sure you ask.

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Additional Information: You can check for recycling and freon capture options by checking with your appliance supplier, local sanitation company or by checking on-line at www.earth911.org and entering the item you want to recycle and your zip code.

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February 24, 2008

:055 Donate – Don’t Toss

Filed under: :055 Donate Don't Toss — Tags: , , , , , , , — John Banta @ 12:01 am

Suggested Review – none

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

1:5:10:055 Tip: Before you throw any clothing out – Think about recycling it. Someone else may have a use. If you can sell it at a garage sale, swap meet, or on-line, and make a few bucks – that’s still a form of recycling! Even ragged clothes that can’t be worn anymore have a recycling use. So if you can’t sell them –  give them away by donating to one of the many charities that have collection boxes around town.

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Additional Information

As I was researching this tip, I came across a comment by someone that said not to donate scrap clothing to Goodwill or other charities because they have to pay to have them hauled away. This may be true for some charities but my research led me to the American Baler website where they state: “Today Goodwill Industries also funds its programs through the resale of surplus textiles. Donated clothing and linens that do not sell in Goodwill retail stores are sold to brokers or buyers who typically recycle or resell the items in Third World countries. “… “Some items are resold as clothes and household goods; many are reprocessed into rugs and rags.” They typically get paid about 6 to 11 cents a pound. 

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