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Can You Recycle Wax Paper?

A few nights ago, we came across a sheet of wax paper in some food we bought.  My husband asked if it was recyclable.  I didn't think it was, but I decided to do some research to confirm.

The answer:  no, it's not.

Wax paper is considered "mixed paper" because it is paper coated with wax.  Other "mixed paper" products that can't be recycled are: milk and juice cartons, stickers, and plastic laminated paper (the kind of paper that wraps fast food hamburgers and the like.)

So, the question is...what can you do with wax paper?  Can you compost it?  Technically, yes.  It does eventually break down.  But the problem is that wax paper usually has synthetic additives (usually petroleum) you want that in your compost pile?  I don't think I do.

There are natural wax paper alternatives, though.  If you need wax paper to do baking, or if you want an eco-friendly solution to disposable sandwich bags,  try out the "If You Care" line of wax paper products.  Their wax is made of soybeans!  It's not recyclable, but it can be composted -- even better!  ... read more

The future of garbage in Palo Alto, CA

What’s in your trash receptacles? Palo Alto is in the process of crafting a new Recycling and Composting ordinance to restrict recyclables and compostables from the garbage.

On January 27, 2010, the City of Palo Alto conducted its first public meeting regarding the proposed Recycling and Composting Ordinance. ... read more

Sewage Treatment - Micromidas has Green Technology for a Messy Problem

As I noted in an earlier post, the matter of figuring out the best way to dispose of human waste has been haunting mankind since the beginnings of civilization.   Current treatment of raw sewage results in large quantities of sludge which is not good fertilizer and is laden with toxic materials. Disposing of sludge is a huge problem for waste treatment plants.   Enter Micromidas, a finalist at the Clean Tech Open.  They have an idea - and it sounds like it's loadSludgeSludgeed with win!

Why It's Keen:  

Using Microbes, they are able to convert the CO2 in the sludge into polyhydroxylalkanoate (PHA) flakes which then can be turned into bio-plastics.  Bio-plastics can be used for plastic containers and function similar to synthetic plastics.   Finally, by capturing carbon that would normally be released into the atmosphere the process should result in carbon credits, mostly likely for the municipality who runs the sewage treatment plant.  If this turns out to be true, it could be a key element in turning this technology into a reality as it will make it easier to be economically as well as environmentally justified.  

Why It's Green:  

... read more

The Lowdown on Takeout Containers

When it comes time to order some takeout, obviously, the greenest option is to bring your own containers...but, let's face it, that's not always realistic, especially if you order delivery or aren't planning ahead.  takeout containers green

So, what are the most common types of takeout containers and how can you dispose of them?

The worst is Styrofoam.  It baffles me that some places still use it, since it's both environmentally unfriendly and dangerous.  But if you get some food that comes in Styrofoam, don't throw it in the trash.  It can sometimes be recycled, but you'll have to take it to a recycling center.  Visit to find a recycling center that takes Styrofoam.

The most common is plastic containers.  They're better than Styrofoam, but they're still pretty bad.  If you get takeout from these types of containers, don't microwave the food, as chemicals can get into your food.  As far as recycling these containers, not all municipalities will take this type of plastic, so check with your city.... read more

Green test your home and save money!

How would your home or building perform on a Green test?

Buildings and homes rarely operate at peak performance. The sector of building and home efficiency audits,  a growing vocation in the San Francisco Bay Area and California, focuses on optimizing the comfort of buildings and houses occupants, money saving, along with reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving utilization of resources. Image by Avi Decorative Painting, Inc.Image by Avi Decorative Painting, Inc.... read more

Clean Tech Open Gala Awards

I was fortunate enough to attend the CleanTech Open this week in San Francisco.   The  CleanTech Open is a business plan competition in the Green sector and they provide mentoring and  significant funding (and media and VC attention) to Green start-ups.   These were their Academy Awards at the beautiful Masonic.   I particularly enjoyed the variety, creativity and potential of the finalists  and imagine  there are many great ideas that didn't make it to the finals.  This gave me a lot to write about and even one product to lust about.  I want one of these 3 wheeled vehicles which will get 100 mpg and bends into a turn like a motorcycle (from Green Lite Motors).... read more

Green Lite Motors

Contenders at Clean Tech Open Who Did Not Win


I was struck by how great some of the contenders were that did not win final awards at Clean Tech Open.  Below are some of the stand-outs in my opinion.  Check them out below!... read more

Clean Tech Open Winners

 At theClean Tech Open Gala last night, awards were made to early stage start-ups that compete for recognition and financial assistance.  Also, there was an alumni award made.

The winners were:... read more

Another look at how to Green your Halloween

A scary piece of information: Americans spend over 3 billions of dollars on Halloween (statistics from 2006 and 2007)! This includes parties, candy, decorations, and, of course, costumes.

As our environmental and health awareness increases, we may want to choose alternative and greener ways to celebrate a fabulous Holiday, and also demonstrate to our friends and family how to be considerate to nature on Halloween.

Here are 5 unusual tips to Green your Halloween:... read more

Green your Holidays; Green your gifts

How to reduce usage of gift wraps? How about saving trees?

Learn about biodegradable dinnerware and other green suggestions for your festive.

And, of course, best ideas for Green Gift Giving!

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 Avi Green Now!, an environmental and educational venue, presents:... read more

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