Searching for reasons to recycle? A Recycling Revolution website provides excellent facts about glass and paper recycling that will make you think twice about throwing away those newspapers or glass bottles.
- The mining and transporting of raw materials required for glass production creates about 385 pounds of waste for every ton of glass made. The waste is cut by more than 80% if half of the raw materials are replaced with recycled glass.
- It takes at least 4,000 years for a glass bottle to decompose.
- Americans would save about 25,000,000 trees a year by recycling one-tenth of their papers.
Check out A Recycling Revolution for more information.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the personal automobile is the single greatest polluter in many cities because emissions from millions of vehicles on the road add up. Plan a train trip to Chicago or other locations online.
Metra - Schedules, fare and train station information are available on the Metra website
Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) - You can also plan what trains or buses you will take once you are downtown
How-to Guide: Riding the train - Let the CTA website guide you through the steps of using the ‘L’
Searching for a way to get your children or grandchildren interested in the environment? The Waukegan Public Library has children’s books that can help you.
Bridging the energy gap by Andrew Langley
Brilliant! : shining a light on sustainable energy by Michelle Mulder
Green energy by Molly Aloian
The Next wave: the quest to harness the power of the oceans by Elizabeth Rusch
Power for the planet by Anne Flounders
Shred it! by Thomas Kingsley Troupe
Reducing waste by Anne Flounders
Everybody’s got some old medications they no longer use, or have expired. I’ve got some in a drawer that go back years. One time I was at a conference in San Antonio, Texas and had a kidney stone. If you’ve ever had a kidney stone you know they’re pretty painful. By the time I got out of the hospital I was heading home with all kinds of pain relievers. Also, by that time I had passed the stone so I no longer needed the pain meds. That was 2010 and I still have them in that same drawer. I even have meds from the veterinarian that our dogs no longer take. In the old days we flushed them down the toilet. Don’t even think about that now. So what are you going to do with them? Take them to your local police station and they will dispose of them for you. It’s the Earth friendly way to unclutter your home.
Compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) are designed to replace incandescent (standard) lamps and here’s why they will be a big success:
· The integrated lamps combine the tube and ballast in a single unit allowing consumers to easily replace incandescent lights.
· Their service life is estimated to be 6,000 to 15,000 hours and a standard bulb has a life of only 750 to 1,000 hours.
· The energy efficiency (rated in lumens per watt) are 50 to 70 compared to incandescent lights at 10 to 17.
· Though the cost of a CFL is typically 3 to 10 times more than an equivalent incandescent bulb, CFLs last 8 to 15 times longer.
So far the only drawback is that like all fluorescent lamps, CFLs contain mercury (in the form of a vapor) which is toxic. Most CFLs have 3 to 5 mg per bulb with those labeled “eco-friendly” containing as little as 1 mg. In the U.S., the National Electrical Manufacturers Association have voluntarily capped the amount of mercury per CFL.
Learn more about CFLs on the internet.
Two Toyota Priuses in a row passed by me and it grabbed my attention; I started to notice all the hybrids around me - including cabs. It made me feel good that there are so many environmentally friendly cars on the road.
The awesome thing about owning a hybrid is that you become an advertisement - hopefully leading to an increase in green cars.
How can you find out more about hybrids? Websites!
For Christmas 2011, I was fortunate to receive a Keurig Coffee single cup coffee maker. This was a dream come true for someone like me who appreciates a fresh cup of coffee. The downside to owning a Keurig, however, is that the individual coffee packaging (the K-Cup) was not recyclable and I truly felt bad about throwing the used packaging in the trash. I did invest in a reusable filter assembly that can be easily cleaned and is compatible with my Keurig and was able to cut down on waste that way.
During August 2012, a few members of the Off-The-Grid team went on a field trip to Waste Management’s Edu-cycle Facility in Grayslake. I had been there several times before and am always pleasantly surprised that I learn something new during each visit. This time I learned that it is in fact possible to recycle K-Cups. The presenter told us that recycling decisions are made based upon having a market for the used items and due to their popularity, used K-Cups now had a market. She suggested cutting off the foil top and filter, then recycling the K-Cups with any other recyclables. Try it. It is easy!
I thought I would write again about more ideas I found on creating crafts from recycled items. Normally craft items from the store or catalog can become quite costly so finding items around the home can be a wise and economical alternative. In the past I have used empty cardboard tape rolls, empty paper towel rolls, and milk and juice bottle tops to create a variety of projects from super hero bracelets to fairy wands to board game pieces. Today I will explore different ways you can use paper bags, paper towel rolls, and old puzzles pieces to make exciting new projects.
Grocery store paper bags can be used to create kites, vests, funny hats, paper play houses, and scrapbooks. Simple supplies like crayons, pasting pieces, strong string, and scissors are needed to transform a simple bag into a new creation. Visit this website for other ideas. www.freekidscrafts.com/recycled_paper_bag_crafts_for_kids-t106.html
Paper towel rolls can be used to make rocket ships, used as painting brushes, bird feeders, cardboard flowers, and swords. Just grab paint, scissors, and small pasting pieces like sequins, pom poms, or glitter and convert your everyday item into a work of art. Visit this website for other ideas. http://green.yourway.net/recycled-crafts-from-toilet-paper-and-paper-towel-rolls/
After your child has become bored with creating the same puzzle over and over again, you can reuse the puzzle pieces to create a variety of different craft projects. For example, you can paint the puzzle pieces white and glue them together to create a winter snowflake craft. You can take an old nut can or oatmeal container and paste old puzzles pieces around it to create an artistic keepsake container or art supply holder. You can make a picture frame out of craft sticks and glue the puzzle pieces around the craft sticks to brighten up the frame. Visit this website for other ideas. http://familycrafts.about.com/od/puzzlegamepiececrafts/tp/PuzzlePieceCrafts.htm
The best craft projects are the ones where children are allowed to be creative and use a variety of materials to create a project out of their own imagination. Using recycled materials to create crafts is great and an inexpensive way for children to develop their imagination.
Have you ever taken a look at our two long tables in the Mathews Art Studio section of the Early Learning Center (ELC)? They are made of a remarkable new material called 3Form which is a 100% blend of post-consumer recycled high-density polyethylene (HDPE). It is primarily made from milk jugs, plastic bags, cereal box liners, yogurt & margarine tubs, water jugs, household cleaner bottles, and plastic soda bottles. This particular pattern is called Orange Slice and has a Sandstone finish. Nice huh?
When we do grocery shopping, about the time we are at the checkout with the clerk asking, “Paper or plastic,” is when I remember the reusable grocery bags we purchased sitting in the trunk. So how do you remember to take them in and actually use them and stop using bags that require trees being cut down or plastic bags that sit in our landfills for tens of thousands of years? Every time I do remember them, I feel good about saving the environment plus they are nice, sturdy bags. Sometimes I tell my wife to go through the line while I run out to the car in the parking lot and get the bags. I guess it’s just a matter of putting them on the seat next to you when you head to the grocery store or attach your grocery list to them so you have to take them in when you enter the store. Anybody else have any ideas?