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How to Make Every Day Earth Day

(happyimages.org)

(happyimages.org)

 

Happy Earth Day! Since 1970, people around the world have set aside April 22nd to demonstrate their support for environmental protection. Countries, cities, and communities launch campaigns to motivate citizens to reduce their impact on the planet. You may even be involved in a few campaigns yourself.

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Is the E-Waste You’re Recycling Really Being Recycled?

This post is part of our Earth Day campaign to raise awareness about the hazards of electronic waste.

Ever wonder what happens to your electronic device after you drop it off ? Probably not, right? Most of us assume our old cell phones, laptops, computers, and ink cartridges are safely recycled and go on to be used as something else. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case.

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How to Reduce Your E-Waste

This post is part of our Earth Day campaign to raise awareness about the hazards of electronic waste.

With Earth Day less than a week away, now is the perfect time to start ramping up your recycling efforts. If you’ve already “gone green”, you probably have several bins devoted to different materials –one for glass, one for plastic, one for cardboard, et cetera, et cetera. But you may have over looked an even more important category: electronic waste.

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How will you spend your extra hour?

Sunday, at precisely 2am, we roll our clocks back 1 hour. And POOF, just like that, we have earned an extra hour.

Every Fall I do the same thing with my extra daylight savings time (DST) hour.  I wake up; I enjoy my day, and then when I need the extra hour of time I roll my clocks back 1 hour.

It is magical to have saved and earned the extra hour of time for just the right moment.

Here is a trivia question for you:                               What 2 states DO NOT observe DST?

Get the answer @uSellAlexandra.

Recycling: Upstream vs. Downstream

Have you ever wondered what upstream and downstream recycling means? 

If so,you’re not alone.  I often get asked this question and I thought I would answer it.

Upstream recycling can be summed up in one term- “design for environment” or DfE.  An upstream product is manufactured with a keen eye on environmental sustainability.  For instance, a manufacturer will create packaging that weighs less by using fewer materials for a product’s packaging. A DfE manufacturer will also consider using eco-friendly materials or a single material in the packaging & product design, coding and labeling when different materials are used, and allow ease of product material dis-assembly.  DfE products may cost less to recycle and have a sustainable impact on our environment.  A fantastic example of DfE is the Micro-USB charger. The Micro-USB will be the common charging interface for mobile phones.  The Micro USB-based plug will enable all mobile phones to power up using the same charger regardless of make and model.  For more information please see my recent blog “One-Charger Fits All Revolution”.  For upstream recycling, the responsibility is on the manufacturer.

Downstream recycling can be summed up in one term- “giving products a second life”.  Downstream recycling or down-recycling is when a non-recyclable product is re-purposed into material for a new product of sometimes lesser quality. This can include varying grades of plastic, paper products, and other materials. An outstanding example of a company built upon down-cycling is TerraCycle. TerraCycle turns non-recyclable products into recycled products. Through their international waste collection programs, they turn the collected waste into new products, such as fertilizer, backpacks and park benches. For downstream recycling, the responsibility is on the consumer.

Please share your comments and experiences with upstream and downstream recycling.  We would love to hear your story.

How to Get Your Device Ready for Recycling

This post is part of our Earth Day campaign to raise awareness about the hazards of electronic waste.

hard drive recycle

Now that you know a little more about recycling e-waste including how to choose a recycling center, it’s time to put your knowledge into action. But first, you’ll have to prepare your device. Here are a few simple steps to take before you drop off (or send in) your phone, tablet, laptop or computer.

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Get Cash and Go Green This Halloween!

Save Money and Go Green This Halloween
Did you know you could make money this Halloween?  Check out these quick tips and ideas to have a frightfully thrifty and creative Halloween!

To brew up a fantastic Halloween, the recipe is simple:
Costumes – Reuse, re-purposed, or made from reused items
Food – Focus on healthier and organic treats                                                Decorations – Reusable or recyclable
Activities – Games, trick or treating with emphasis on the ‘treats’ & “tricks”

Costumes are where you can get creative!  Use your imagination and make costumes from what you already have, borrow from a friend, or go to a thrift store.  This time of year second hand stores have all their Halloween merchandise displayed and ready to be put to use.  TerraCycle  is sponsoring the Monster Mash Your Trash Costume Contest. Terra Cycle is encouraging us to learn in a hands-on way how every day waste materials can be reused into unique, innovative products.  Enter your upcycled costume by November 4th and you could be one of four contestants to win a gift card for cool TerraCycle upcycled products.

This year think outside the wrapper. Once you decide on your costume it is all about candy, candy, candy and more candy. Halloween is great time to introduce kids (and adults) to healthier and organic treats.  Some of my kid’s favorites are Florida’s Natural organic fruit snacks.  Honestly, they are like candy and it is a treat kids (and adults) will enjoy beyond Halloween.  Many health care providers, especially dentists, participate in the Halloween Candy Buy Back program.  Basically, healthcare providers will pay you cash for you candy or in exchange for your candy they will give you a free gift.  In turn, the candy is donated to charitable organizations such as Operation Gratitude. My dentist pays $1/per pound.  That is easily $5 to $10 for the family, plus the candy is distributed to a good cause.  We all win!

Halloween decorations set the mood for a spooky, fun or festive environment. Like costumes, use your imagination to create an original and sustainable atmosphere.  Reuse your decorations from last year, or re-purpose décor items to make original works of art. Halloween also ushers in the Fall and it is easy to decorate with “edible” decorations. The natural palate of autumn’s rich, warm colors of fruits, leaves and winter squashes make for interesting and fun crafts and décor.

Now it’s time to let the fun begin. Activities and games of trick or treating can be engaging and memorable.  This year, when you get the knock on the door, and hear the words “Trick or Treat!” think about doing a “trick”.  Now is the time to brush up on your magic tricks.  There are several simple and fun card or hat tricks that will give your visitors a unforgettable moment along with their treat.

Share your green and money saving tips to create a memorable 2011 Halloween!

Infographic: What Discarded Cell Phones Could Buy

Happy Tuesday everyone! Today we’re sharing an infographic we put together that clearly demonstrates the staggering volume of old cell phones that will be placed in desk drawers or tossed in the trash in 2011 alone – *143 million cell phones* – which averages out to about *$3.5 billion* that Americans could be making by trading those phones in for cash.

In today’s shaky economy, trading in old electronics is a very real way for consumers to earn cash fast. Many people aren’t aware of the latent value in their old phones, mp3 players, tablets, e-readers, and other devices. But if everyone traded in their unwanted devices for cash, on average that would be enough money to buy every American an iPod® nano, a month’s worth of gas OR a week’s worth of groceries.

So next time, think twice before ditching that old gadget – it just might be worth some serious cash!