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4 Weird Ways to Green Your Home Business

You refuse to purchase plastic water bottles, your home business is paperless, and you recycle and reuse whenever possible. You are at peace knowing your efforts to minimize your carbon footprint are making a small but meaningful impact on the planet.

But there’s always something more you can do. Consider the following 4 unordinary ways your business can continue to make progressive moves to better the planet’s health.

Create a Healthy Breathing Ecosystem

Plant life is important for filtering the air we breathe. Your home business will benefit from healthy plant life both in and outside of the house. Consider using a rain gauge to water your plants and conserve water. The presence of healthy plants is not only aesthetically pleasing, but it also adds more essential oxygen to the environment.... 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

Candy wrappers cannot be recycled

Candy wrappers are not recyclable. Now before someone jumps down my throat, yes they are reusable and upcyclable. There are a couple of places that collect and make stuff out of the candy wrapper material. TerraCycle does this. They actually have a program set up for candy wrappers specifically.

That being said it doesn’t mean people can throw them in regular paper or single stream recycling. The discarded candy wrapper won’t magically find its way with his other candy wrapper friends to their specific recycling program somewhere.

Most likely anyone reading this blog wouldn’t throw his or her empty candy wrapper in the wrong bin. Many of you reading this though, would be very surprised how often people do toss these wrappers into recycling bins instead of trash bins.... read more

Thank You MBTA

Dear MBTA (Mass Bay Transportation Authority for the non-Boston area readers),

Thank you for ruining another commute to work. The other day I spent nearly two hours on the red and green line attempting to go from Dorchester to Somerville, roughly ten miles.... read more

Recycling finds

 I’ve been working for a small recycling hauler for about two years now. We collect all around Boston and the surrounding area. I have come across a lot of items that are not recyclable stashed away in our recycling containers; in the business we call these contaminants. Some are funny and some are gross. Many are interesting.

Here is short list of interesting things I’ve found in the recycling:

 Women’s shoes. So far I’ve found one and a half pairs of women’s shoes. Apparently women’s shoes appear discarded in recycling bins more than you think. My co-workers have also come across a few pairs in their day. In the past twenty five years of my company being in business collecting recycling, we have found about five pairs of women’s shoes, but no men’s shoes.

 Dirty Diapers. This really sucks, almost as bad as dog waste. The smell is just horrendous. I’ve seen one or two of these in my short and illustrious recycling career. Why are you dumping your kid’s stinky diaper in a recycling bin? Please, moms of the world, stop this.... read more

Are E-Readers Green Readers?

book and e-readerJust when I thought it was safe to love technology, now this. Recent articles show that using e-readers (like Kindles or iPads) may harm the environment more than reading paper books. Since I fancy myself as a green consumer I did some eco-bean counting (better known as calculating your environmental footprint) to see whether I’d go green or brown if I bought an e-reader.... read more

The Rubber Meets the Road

Will someone please tell me whether I should buy snow tires? Living in Boston, I've survived decades of commuting, carpooling, and even ski trips without buying snow tires. I just didn't need them. Then came last winter -- sidewalks like icy canyons, weeks below freezing, and I frequently found myself stuck at home when my mere summer tires couldn't get me out of the driveway. My dad said he hadn’t seen a winter like it since he was in college -- when they had cars called “Packard”. So what’s going on?... read more

Solar Powered What?!?! 10 strange gizmos from bikinis to soccer balls...

Recently I have been doing a lot of research on all stuff solar – especially solar power for homes/businesses and solar water heating. But there are lots of products out there that don't require a major purchase in order to reduce your CO2 emissions. Some of them are a bit strange, but hey, I'll take it!

1. Solar Powered Bikini – Don't you hate it when your iPod and laptop run out of power at the beach? Dilemma solved. Student Andrew Schnieder designed the solar powered bikini with 1 USB input... just avoid the water.... read more

Worst Bottled Water Brands

People love their bottled water in our culture, and I'm sure you know the reasons why you should stick to tap water.  However, here's a little more insight into the bottled water industry.  The EWG released a report and "graded" bottled water brands.

Did your favorite make the grade?  You might be surprised...even Whole Foods flunked!  ... read more

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