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Clamshell Packaging - Bad for the Environment AND Frustrating

clamshell packagingWho else hates that plastic packaging (called blister packs or clamshell or oyster packaging) that things like electronics come in?  I think they're so annoying, dangerous, unnecessary, and bad for the environment.   There's even a name for the anger associated with opening these packages:  wrap rage!  Who hasn't had a bout of wrap rage when trying to open up the packaging for something they were initially excited about?... read more

RECYCLE IT! Recycling Tip of the Week #2 - Bring it to the Recycling Center

recycling styrofoamHappy Monday, folks!  I hope everyone had a nice weekend!  

In last week's RECYCLE IT! series, I wrote about how you can recycle bottle caps right along with the bottle!  In this series, I want to make all of our readers the most efficient recyclers they can be.  There are a lot of items where the average person might be unsure whether or not it's recyclable.  Sometimes it's confusing.  We all know the basics - recycle your jars, cans, and newspapers.  Put them in your recycling bin, drag it curbside, and your duty is done.   Right?  Well, not always.

 But, some things are a lot less clear.  Some items are totally recyclable, just not through curbside recycling.   That brings us to...

Recycle It Tip #2: Call your city and go to the recycling center!  ... read more

RECYCLE IT! Recycling Tip of the Week #1

This is the first in a weekly series entitled "Recycle It!"   I was inspired by a little tiff I had with my husband about whether or not an item was recyclable.  We are both obsessive about recycling but sometimes one (or both) of us is unclear about what is recyclable or the rules of recycling.  Sometimes they're not obvious - even to avid recyclers like my husband and me!   Other times, the rules change with more modern recycling technology.  

So, I bring you "Recycle It!"  Every Monday we're going to start the week off with a tip to help you make the most of recycling!  

Recycle It Tip #1:  Leave the bottle cap on the bottle!... read more

10 Ways to Reduce Plastic Use

plastic bottlePlastic is a HUGE problem for the environment.  Yes, some of it is recycled, but they’re technically downcycled. Instead of a milk jug being recycled into another milk jug, it gets turned into lower quality plastic which is not recyclable.  Not all plastic is readily recycled, and it ends up just sitting up in a landfill.  And another enviornmental problem with plastic is that it’s made from oil.  

We can reduce our plastic usage easily.  You may not realize how much plastic you use on a daily basis, but here are 10 tips to reduce how much plastic you use:... read more

Recycling Oyster Shells

oyster shell recyclingInstead of selling seashells by the seashore...recycle 'em!  Many coastal communities have seashell recycling programs, oyster shell recycling in particular.  

Young oysters must attach themselves to a hard substance - often another oyster shell. If  the young oyster doesn't find a suitable substance, the the oyster will die.  Unfortunately, in areas where oysters are harvested frequently, there are oyster shortages so oysters are dying out.  ... read more

Is it Recyclable? A Quick Guide

are batteries recyclable?Some items are obviously recyclable, like glass or cans.  Other items, like pizza boxes?  Not so obvious.  Here's a quick guide to see if the item is indeed recyclable.  Click on the link for more details.

Books - Usually not, but sometime recycling centers will accept them.  Read more.

Drinking Straws - Sometimes, it's tricky. Read more.

Dryer Lint - No, but you can compost it.

Laminated Paper - No

Laptops - Sometimes. 

Lithium Ion Batteries - Yes

Lottery Tickets - Sometimes.  Read more.... read more

My job as a recycling worker, Part 2

Sorry it took a little longer than expected to post Part II, but here it is.

Having to interact with workers at all types of business has shown me that you never know who will be a good customer and who won’t be. People who you expect to not care about recycling can sometimes surprise you.... read more

My job as a recycling worker

My job as a recycling worker, Part 1

For the past four years I have been working for a small recycling hauler in the city of Boston while waiting for my writing career to take off. Surprisingly I’m a better recycler than a writer, o well. Quick side note- I decided to do this one in two parts, because I soon realized for a blog this was going to be a little to long. I’ll post the second half in a week or two.

 On a weekly and many times daily basis I pick up recycling from a range of different types of businesses. This includes small non-profits, startups, large law firms in town and commercial warehouses. Depending on the day I may spend most of my time going in and out of offices in Downtown Boston or dodging forklifts in over-packed warehouses in East Boston.

 Before I started the job I wondered what people, especially customers would think of the “recycling guy”. Would people just think of me as a grubby janitor? Once I started I quickly began to see how people perceived us (my co-workers and myself). After about a year my idea of what people thought of the “recycling guy” had changed greatly from before I started the job.... read more

Reusing your Christmas tree -- creatively & green!

Christmas is over, it's almost the New Year, and you still have your tree sitting proudly in your living room.  I almost feel bad for Christmas trees...last week, they were the centerpiece of the holidays, decorated with garland, lights, and ornaments, with presents beneath it and children excitedly gathering around it.  Today, it's a reminder that the holidays are nearly over and that you need to remember to discard it.

Most municipalities offer Christmas tree pickups in January.  However, I have a few fun alternative things you can do with your old tannenbaum: ... read more

Recycling in the Workplace: How Much of a Difference Can Really Be Made?

Think about how much trash you throw into your recycling bins at home each month. Now think about how much trash you produce in your office. Can you image how much garbage your office throws out could be recycled? If you think that recycling in your workplace would not make a difference, think again. 

Each year, businesses throw away tons of garbage that could be recycled. It’s such a waste of resources and money, and it overruns our crowded landfills. Make the change to start a recycling program in your workplace today. 

Make a Plan 

It’s easy to say “we want to recycle in our office,” but it’s much harder to make a program that actually makes the workplace more efficient. Before you implement a recycling program, take a few minutes to make a plan. Be sure to decide: 

  • What items you want to recycle
  • Who will head the recycling program
  • How you will dispose of waste 

Each of these steps is very important because you need to stay focused in order to keep track of your results to see how much of a difference you are making with your new program.... read more

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