When you consider reusing do you sigh and believe that you simply do not have the time or energy to do it? Do you see visions of numerous countless empty plastic bottles in some far-away manufacturing facility preparing yourself to be melted down? Do you assume that recycling is something that has to be tough; otherwise if it's not hard, after that it does not count?
I'm embarrassed to claim that at one time, these were the ideas that ran through my head and also they validated my reasons for not reusing. I'm below to inform you that I was misinterpreted; recycling isn't something hard, or something you have to go out of your means to take part in when it's very easy, well, it's just easy; and also it still counts toward recycling.
I have a terrible practice of leaving lights on when I leave a room. I seem to be somebody who, when doing any kind of work, whether it's creating or removing wallpaper, I need a lot of light around to do it.
The initial two means I found to preserve power as well as count myself in as a "recycler" was to shut off lights as I left an area. Sounds easy, appropriate? Well, that's due to the fact that it is easy. The only thing I needed to do was remind myself that I was no more going to squander power by leaving lights on in a room that no person was occupying.
Mind you, I've had 43 years of doing things the method I 'd been doing them and also the change didn't occur overnight, however it did happen. There hasn't already been a doorway I've walked through in the past 6 months or so that I have not offered a quick supply before travelling through the limit and reasoning, "Did I leave any type of lights on?"
The excellent thing is, the times that I have actually left a light on, I'm given the last opportunity to quit and turn around and switch off the lights before leaving the room completely. Is this a hard adjustment? Like I stated, it didn't happen as soon as I thought of my part in the effort to recycle, however it is something I have actually enabled myself to consider every day.
The other way I have discovered to quickly comply with this reusing thing is that I altered my lightbulbs. Yup, that basic act of replacing a burnt light bulb with among the brand-new, power saving kind has actually been a big aid. The newer bulbs consume to 75% less energy when lighting a room and they will last approximately ten times much longer, as well.
Just how can you defeat that? As well as there had not been any effort on my component; all I did was change the bulb with the brand-new and also better bulb as well as have made fairly the effect on my electric bill.
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Fortunately is this; there are very easy means to stay on track with recycling, and also you do not have to look really much to locate them.
You may not be aware, but in the United States, we are using bags all of the time! There are the bags we get at the grocery store, the ones we pack lunches in, the ones other retail items come in and everything that is packaged by the manufacturer. Inevitibly we could all end up, literally, buried under the pile of bags that we collect in a life time. And what a waste that would be! The good news is that most of those bags come from recycled products and with any luck, in the recycle process, will return to the start and be recycled into bags that we will use again and again.
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But what should the average American consumer do when those bags start to pile up? It doesn't take long for the pile to start to form, maybe two or three big trips to the grocery store, and you could end up with 15 or more bags per visit. What are some of the ways we can keep the build up of plastic bags to a minimum?
It there are cats in your house those left over bags from the grocery store come in handy when cleaning out the litter box. Just having the bags around when you have to touch something you really don't want to. By having the bags, in hand, the actual touching of the item is no longer an issue and it will help with germs being passed from cat litter box to human, which can cause all kinds of illnesses.
People can reuse the bags as lunch bags, rather than the old way of using a new "brown bag" for lunch carrying purposes. It may not seem like a great effort but each and every effort, no matter how little, is having an impact.
Another way to cut down on the recycling in the area of shopping is to have a designated bag that can be used over and over again for the groceries. Totally eliminating the need for the plastic bag is a huge step toward progress when it comes to recycling.
There are companies that sell bags for this purpose and some of them are made from organic materials and even have sayings on them like, "Nothing on me is plastic," and my personal favorite, "I'm not an old bag!" I love the companies that make bags like these because they can do it with flair.
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Some of the recycled bags come in a rainbow of neon colors that are, to say the least, eye catching, as well as reusable! Canvas totes can be thrown into a washing machine and will serve for many, many trips to pick up bread and milk.
The bottom line is becoming aware of what we use and how such items can be reused. No matter where you shop or what purchases you make, if, at the end of the day you're surrounded by plastic bags, there's always a way to get more use out of them.
The holidays are finally over and we can all hopefully begin slowing down and getting our lives back to normal.
If your home is like mine, the holidays left you with a huge mess. Empty boxes and torn wrapping paper litter the floor after the kids excitedly open their gifts. It's so tempting to gather it all up and through it in the outside garbage bin.
But this is a great opportunity to not only recycle, but to reuse. Almost all of the wrapping paper and boxes can be recycled, so consider keeping your contribution out of the landfill. And for the reuse possibilities...they are practically endless.
I'm pretty sure that most of the ribbons I use have been used for several years. And many of the boxes that hold the gifts are great to use for packaging gifts next year. Do you realize that many stores now CHARGE you for a gift box? Sheesh, I'll save mine for next year, thank you.
Not to mention the gift bags. I LOVE getting my gifts in those pretty little bags. Especially since I know I will be using it for someone else's gift somewhere down the road. Do you know how much those things cost? They are outrageous. No way would I throw them away. They are too valuable.
Now what are we to do with the tree? If you use an artificial tree, it's a pretty easy decision. You fold it up and store it for next year.
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Simple. And if you are lucky enough to live in a warm environment and purchased a live tree including the root ball, you can get to work planting it in your yard to enjoy for years to come. But what about cut trees? Most communities offer some sort of Christmas tree recycling. The lucky ones have curbside pickup to recycle their trees. The rest of us need to decide what to do. What convinces me to haul the tree to the recycling facility is a couple of things.
I was willing to haul it home after I purchased it, so I can just as easily take it to be recycled.
Some communities use the old trees to shred and cover pathways and trails through parks. This helps to repair and reduce the damage we create as we enjoy our hikes.
Some communities turn the old trees into mulch and then provide it to the public for free! What a deal. Spring is just right around the corner, by the way.
So that pretty much covers what we can do to reduce our holiday effect on the environment. Now it's a new year and we can begin thinking about getting a fresh start.
Some resolutions to consider:
- Resolve to begin recycling if you don't already. You can start small. This site provides a wealth of information about getting your recycling efforts off the ground.
- If you already recycle, step it up a notch. If your curbside recycling service doesn't accept a particular item (like glass or cardboard), resolve to begin taking that item to the drop off facility in your area.
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- Resolve to purchase more products packaged with post consumer recycled materials. The higher the percentage listed on the package, the better.
- Resolve to purchase more items made from recycled materials. Paper towels, toilet paper, napkins, and many other paper products fall into this category.
- Resolve to purchase more items in bulk, thus reducing packaging waste.
- Resolve to create at least one creative craft using something you might otherwise throw away. This is fun, gets your creative juices flowing, can reduce stress, and is a g reat way to spend some quality time with your family.
The Truth About Free Inkjet Cartridge Recycling
In a recent stand-up routine, comedian George Carlin suggests that maybe man’s reason for existence is because the Earth wants plastic.
The comedy team, Penn & Teller, assert in their cable show “Bulls**t” (bullpucky?) that recycling isn’t really all that useful and maybe not necessary.
Whether the Earth wants plastic or not, recycling of inkjet cartridges is useful in many different ways. However, before you choose where to recycle your inkjet cartridge, do a little research to make your recycling efforts effective.
Recycling won’t work if we don’t close the loop. Many charitable institutions around the world have initiated ink cartridge recycling programs, which fund hospitals, school activities and other social concerns. This type of funding cuts costs in many ways from tax breaks for charitable donations to lowering the price that we have to pay for the services the funded organizations provide. In addition, remanufactured compatible inkjet cartridges are usually a fraction of the cost of brand name inkjet refills.
Several inkjet printer manufacturers also maintain recycling programs. However, your recycled ink cartridge doesn’t always make it around the loop.
Epson, in cooperation with Funding Factory, recently launched a free recycling program for its customers. Schools and businesses can get points for collecting and remitting empty cartridges to Epson.
However, the cartridges are not remanufactured or refilled. They are incinerated. To be fair, mention must be made that the incineration is at an environmentally friendly waste-to-energy plant; however, it’s easy to see that Epson is the big winner in this recycling effort. Their recycling plan takes cartridges out of the hands of remanufacturing plants that can offer less expensive remanufactured compatible cartridges to the consumer.
Hewlett Packard also has a free recycling program and they proudly announce that more than 1.8 million HP inkjet cartridges were recycled in 2003.
Unfortunately, for the consumer, plastics and metal from the HP cartridges are also disassembled and made into new products. Other components are “used to generate energy or are disposed of in an environmentally responsible manner.”
Canon offers its customers several options for recycling toner cartridges, including a single return option, an up-to-eight multiple return option, and a bulk return option. Whichever you choose, a shipping label can be downloaded directly from their website. Return shipping via UPS is pre-paid by the company. It appears from many recycling and other eco-friendly programs displayed on their website, that Canon is a leader in environmental stewardship, however to date they have no recycling program in place for inkjet cartridges.
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Lexmark’s recycling program is 100% free, as are the other printer manufacturer recycling programs. Customers request a kit using an online order form. Lexmark pays the postage both ways. However, there is one major difference between Lexmark’s program and the programs of the other print giants.
Lexmark works with Planet Ark and Close the Loop in Australia to ensure every collected cartridge is remanufactured or recycled. In addition, they have similar recycling programs in Latin American and South Africa. In Europe, every purchase of a Lexmark high-volume cartridge comes with a postage-paid recycling bag included. Now that’s closing the circle!