Taking care of ourselves & our planet

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world.
Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Recycle Every Day! - Recycling

The third idea Wallace suggests in her book Recycle Every Day! is to recycle. For me, this is one of the easiest things to do to make a huge difference. In our kitchen, we have a separate bin just for recyclables located right beside the trash bin. From the young age of 2, both of my kids have participated in our efforts to recycle everything we can. To this day, if they have a question about whether something can be recycled, we discuss and educate our kids.

I know it may take a bit of time to learn what all can be recycled, but I believe a little investment of time to acquire the knowledge has a big payoff. I always keep a "cheat sheet" beside our bins so I can refer to it quickly to find the answer to a questionable item.

So, I know there are still skeptics out there who believe they can't make a difference or don't want to make the effort but I hope these simple facts can shed some light and motivate everyone to recycle every day!!!

Here are some interesting facts about plastic milk jugs:

1 lb of recycled milk jugs = the energy equivalent of 3,000 AAA batteries
1 lb of recycled milk jugs = the electricity needed to power a TV for 3 whole weeks
1 lb of recycled milk jugs = the electricity needed to keep your laptop up and running for a month

Recycling Facts:

*Every 90 days a recycled aluminum can makes its way back on the shelf as something useful.
*80-100 years: that's the lifespan of an aluminum can that gets tossed into the trash instead of a recycling bin.
*700 years: that's how long a trashed plastic bottle will sit in a landfill taking up space and refusing to degrade.
*1 Million Years: Put a glass bottle in a landfill and that's how long it'll sit there doing nothing.

Products Made from Recycled Bottles and Cans:

T-shirts: Fourteen 20 oz. plastic bottles yield enough fiber for an extra large T-shirt.
Carpet: It takes fourteen 20 oz. plastic bottles to make one square foot of carpet.
Fleece Sweater: It takes sixty-three 20 oz. plastic bottles to make a sweater.
Jacket Fiberfill: Fourteen 20 oz. plastic bottles yield enough fiberfill for a ski jacket.
Sleeping Bag Fiberfill: It takes eighty-five 20 oz. plastic bottles to make enough fiberfill for a sleeping bag.

New glass containers
Decorative home décor
Fiberglass Insulation

Picture frames
Decorative home décor: Bowls, vases, etc.
Baseball bats

"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,

Nothing is going to get better. It's not."

~ Dr. Seuss, from The Lorax

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Recycle Every Day! - Composting

The second idea Wallace suggests in her book Recycle Every Day! is putting "all the leaves and weeds into the compost maker." In one of my previous posts, you will see that we started our own compost in our backyard this summer using an old plastic trash bin with a lid. It has worked fabulously. I love the fact that I am reducing the waste I send to the landfill and recycling matter back into the earth.

One thing I have been researching is getting a decorative kitchen composter that I can have out on my counter so I'm not stacking food waste in a bowl on my counter. I discovered a company in Fort Worth that sells eco-friendly products called "The Greener Good." I've also discovered a lot on Amazon.com as well. They have many different versions including those made from ceramic, stainless steel, bamboo, and plastic. So, a wide range of personal preference can be accomodated.

Some pictures of the kitchen composters that "The Greener Good" sells:

"Methinks my own soul must be a bright invisible green."

~Henry David Thoreau

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Recycle Every Day! - REsale Therapy

One of the first points Wallace points out in her book
Recycle Every Day! is, "Passing along clothes in good condition to others is a form of recycling."

I was so fortunate to find such a great deal on school uniforms for my daughter. The first time the seller and I met up, I got 10 items for $15. The second time we met up, I got 14 items for $20. So, I got 24 items for $35. Go ahead, do the math! That's $1.46/item.

If you have never used Craigslist, you must! http://www.craigslist.org/

See the Smilebox I made after I got the first batch of clothes to demonstrate how used clothing works just as well as new.

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Recycle Every Day!

This is one of my favorite books to use when educating children & parents about going green. Someday I would love to write a story about Green Girl and have my 2 super talented daughters illustrate it for me.

The author/illustrator, Nancy Elizabeth Wallace, does a fabulous job of demonstrating in this book how we can recycle every day of the week...and make it a habit.

So, the next 7 posts, I will be showing you how our family tries to recycle whatever we can.

Like Wallace says, "When we all work together, you can see how much can be done to take care of our Earth!"