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4 Ways to Reuse Plastic Bottles

4 Ways to Reuse Plastic Bottles

Plastic bottles have found a way to integrate themselves into almost every aspect of our lives. We’re not just talking about plastic drinking water bottles. Laundry detergent, bottles of honey, and your favorite bottle of shampoo are all sneaky ways that plastic makes its way into your home. They’re in our homes in abundance, so why not find a few fun ways to reuse them? Reuse coffee creamer containers for snacks   After you’re done with your favorite coffee creamer, rip off the label, and rinse the bottle thoroughly. Once it’s dry, you can store snacks in them! You can also use them for dry goods such as coffee beans, salt, and sugar.   Start an herb garden   You don’t usually associate plastic bottles with gardening, but there’s a first time for everything! All you need to create a small herb garden is an empty 2-liter bottle. Poke drainage holes in the top third of the bottle, and then cut the bottle in half. Flip the top half over, and place in the bottom with a strip of fabric between them. And now you’re ready to fill your bottle with soil and herbs!   Beach bucket out of laundry detergent bottle   Those laundry detergent bottles are SO big, and therefore seem like they wouldn’t be useful for crafting purposes. Because when you think of crafts, you think of reusing your bottles as pencil holders or piggy banks. But you can cut the bottom off of a large laundry detergent bottle, and use the top half(the half with the handle) as a beach bucket! Perfect for scooping sand...
5 Reasons You Should Compost

5 Reasons You Should Compost

There are a lot of different ways that you can recycle and reuse things that you may be currently throwing away. It may be extra effort to recycle and reuse the things you consider “trash”, but that extra effort is worth it. Not only will you be doing your part and having a positive impact on the environment, but recycling can also give you a sense of accomplishment and help you reduce cost in some areas of your life. One way to recycle and reuse that a lot of people don’t take advantage of, is composting. Composting is the process of reusing food waste, usually by way of turning food waste into soil. Composting builds soil   Probably one of the biggest reasons that you should compost, is that we use a lot of soil. Composting plays a very important role in the creation of healthy soil. The US loses about 3 tons of topsoil every year, and at this rate, the US will be out of healthy topsoil to use in about 60 years. Composting your food waste may seem like it won’t make a difference, but every effort makes a difference.   Healthier plants   Compost makes incredibly rich soil. This is because composting fosters the growth of diverse life, and this will make your plants healthier. Healthy plants are less likely to suffer damage from pests and the environment.   Composting negates the need for pest control   Pesticides are generally regarded as unhealthy for the environment. Adding compost to your soil not only feeds the plants by giving them valuable nutrients, but it also creates...
3 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day Every Day

3 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day Every Day

We all love our Mother Earth, although we don’t always act like we do. Earth day was on April 22nd, and it’s a wonderful opportunity for us to remember all we have to gain by taking better care of the Earth that we live on. It’s a reminder to treat the Earth better, every single day of the year. Here are a few ways to continue to celebrate Earth Day for the rest of the year. Ride a bike   You may think that just you driving a car doesn’t contribute much to the pollution, so you alone can’t make a difference. But that’s wrong. Every single person who chooses to live more sustainably, makes a significant difference, even if you can’t see it. Try riding your bike when you have to only travel short distances! Plus it’s great for your physical health!    Grow a garden   Not only is a garden great for the environment, but you help cut down on CO2 emissions used to transport fresh produce. Growing and shipping fresh produce takes up a lot of energy, so growing your own garden, if that’s an option for you, is wonderful for the environment.   Support renewable energy   There are so many benefits to switching to renewable energy like the use of solar panels. Solar panel prices have dropped since they’ve become a more commonplace home purchase, which means that now is definitely the time to take advantage of that. By buying from renewable energy companies you’re not only supporting the environment, but you’re also supporting renewable and green energy as a whole and making...
Where does Ocean Pollution Come From?

Where does Ocean Pollution Come From?

We all know that a lot of plastic is ending up in our oceans. But a lot of us also don’t really know how this plastic gets there. You certainly aren’t emptying your recycling bin off the edge of the pier into the water below every single night. So how is all of this toxic plastic making it into the ocean? A lot of plastic is produced annually   As of 2015, 8.3 tons of plastic is produced every single year. That’s a lot of plastic. On average, only 9% of that is recycled, and about 12% of it is incinerated. That leaves 79% of it to find a new home in either a landfill or somewhere in the natural environment. With all of this plastic, the answer alone is not to recycle more. We need to be using reusable items and recycle everything that we can.   What countries put the most public waste in the water?   A study was done to determine where most of the plastic in water comes from. And it isn’t America. However, that does not mean that we are not still a huge part of the problem. The reason for that? The US sends over half of it’s recycled material to China to sort and recycle. China can’t/won’t recycle something with more than 1% contamination, as it can cause potential harm to its employees. When we don’t abide by this rule, the plastic sent to China to be recycled cannot be recycled properly. This doesn’t mean that China is off the hook for dumping plastic into the ocean(The US is on the...
4 Items to Stop Using to Reduce Your Waste

4 Items to Stop Using to Reduce Your Waste

Trying to live a waste free life can be really hard, but it’s also incredibly rewarding. There are so many items that we only use once, throw away, and then those items end up in landfills. That isn’t what we want. If you ever have to use a disposable item, you can always recycle them to try to lessen the impact that it has on the environment. The ideal situation, however, will always be to use reusable objects instead of disposable ones. Here are four disposable items that are easy to swap with reusable ones that will make a huge impact on how much waste you throw out. Plastic bags   Did you know that it takes 12 million barrels of oil to make the 100 billion plastic shopping bags that the U.S. uses each year? And then the majority of those 100 billion plastic shopping bags don’t get recycled; they end up landfills. Make sure you bring your reusable bags with you to the grocery store to reduce your use of plastic bags!   Water bottles   How many water bottles do you think you throw out in a month? If you have access to clean drinking water, there is absolutely no reason that you should be wasting so much plastic on a bottle that will just be thrown out after. 8 million tons of plastic are dumped into the ocean every year. Try using reusable water bottles instead.   Straws   Another huge plastic consumption culprit? Straws. Did you know that you can buy reusable straws? You can choose from bamboo, glass, stainless, and silicone! They even make...
4 DIY Projects to Make Your Home More Efficient

4 DIY Projects to Make Your Home More Efficient

We all want to save a little money, and we all want to do just a little bit more for the environment, right? And when those two goals lineup, it’s even better. Because is there anything better than helping the environment and being more eco conscious and saving money, while you’re at it? We contend that there is not. If you want to make a few small fixes and repairs to your home that will save you money and make your home a little more energy efficient, read on! Install low flow toilets   Your toilet uses a lot of water every day. The older models of toilets are also designed to use a lot more water than is necessary, whereas newer toilets use a considerably less amount of water. New toilets are a lot less expensive than you’d think, plus they’re much less expensive than what it costs to run a toilet that uses a lot of water. You don’t have to replace the whole toilet in order to start saving water, though. You can replace a few of the mechanics within the tank to make your toilet low flow and more efficient.   Fix your leaky faucet   A leaky faucet wastes a lot of water and money, understandably. And it’s usually a very quick fix. Tighten the faucet to the best of your ability, and that will probably fix the leaking, and at the very least, will minimize it. If the drip doesn’t stop, replace the faucet or washers, whichever is causing the leaky issues.   Seal up your drafty windows and doors   If you...
Recycled Insulation Materials For Your Home

Recycled Insulation Materials For Your Home

Have you ever seen the insulation of your home? Or a photo of insulation? It’s not pretty, and it’s also not great for the environment. You don’t need the huge rolls of pink or blue insulation that wreaks havoc on the environment in order to keep your home insulated and your utilities bill low. Luckily, you can ditch those monstrous rolls, and opt for a green insulation option instead! There are plenty of both green and recycled insulation options to choose from to keep you cool this summer, and warm this winter.   Cork insulation   Of all of the recycled wood insulation options available to you, cork insulation is one of the most common. Cork is made from the bark of a species of Oak trees, and it’s a sustainable wood product. It’s not just for stopping your bottles of wine. Cork has outstanding temperature moderation capabilities. In addition, when you use recycled cork insulation for your home, you are preserving the bark on those trees to be used for other eco-friendly solutions.   Newspaper insulation   Newspapers become irrelevant as soon as you put it down after finishing reading it. Instead of throwing these away or recycling them, set them aside for a greater purpose. If you have naked water pipes, especially ones in your basement, you can wrap these naked pipes with old newspaper. This preserves the temperature of the water in the pipes. This will help you save money on your utility bill, because your water heater won’t have to work as hard.   Cellulose insulation   Cellulose is the most widely found organic compound...
A Breakdown of Plastic Recycling Numbers

A Breakdown of Plastic Recycling Numbers

What do you do when you’re done with plastic goods? You should be recycling them. A lot of people get overwhelmed with the rules and regulations surrounding recycling, and give up before they even get started. Don’t let recycling intimidate you! One thing that commonly many people find confusing, is the plastic recycling numbers on different types of plastic. There is no explanation readily available on the actual product you are trying to recycle, so it’s easy for you to disregard it and either recycle it improperly, or not recycle altogether. Don’t let this be you! Recycling is so incredibly important. Here’s a quick guide to what the different plastic recycling numbers mean. PET 1: Polyethylene Terephthalate. This applies to liquid bottles such as soft drinks and water bottles, and things like peanut butter jars.   PE-HD 2: High Density Polyethylene; milk and juice bottles, or trash bags.   PVC 3: Polyvinyl Chloride; can be used for PVC pipes, juice bottles, and plastic/cling wrap.   PE-LD 4: Low Density Polyethylene; Flexible items, such as freezer bags, flexible lids, and squeezable bottles.   PP 5: Polypropylene: can be used for microwavable disposable containers such as takeout containers, disposable plates and cups, and yogurt containers.   PS 6: Polystyrene; this applies to products like packing peanuts, egg cartons, and disposable cutlery.   O 7: This applies to other types of plastic, like polycarbonate and ABS. This can apply to things like electronic casing and beverage bottles.   Check with your local recycling plant   Not every area will recycle all types of plastic. To save both them and you hassle, give...
Three Steps for Sustainable Grocery Shopping

Three Steps for Sustainable Grocery Shopping

If you want to be more eco-conscious, there are lots of things that you can do. In order to have the most impact, though, you might want to start with one of the activities that you do the most often: grocery shopping! Most of us go to the grocery store once or twice a week, and when we do so, the decisions that we make can greatly contribute to the sustainability of our lifestyle. Here are three major things that you can do to make your grocery store trips better for you, and better for the planet: Bring your own bag I’m not just talking about bagging at the end of your grocery trip, but also for getting produce – put fruits and veg into reusable bags that you bring yourself. It’s easiest for everyone if you get simple mesh bags that are easy to clean, and easy to see through and scan. If you don’t have these, it’s okay! You can just reuse old bags from your last grocery shopping trip. Buying organic What does this do for the environment? Well, it supports businesses that are doing the harder, but more responsible thing by using natural pest control methods instead of threatening public resources, waterways, aThree Steps for Sustainable Grocery Shoppingnd wildlife with dangerous pesticides. But there’s more to it than that. For example, opting for organic milk and dairy products will protect you from growth hormones that are used to increase milk production in dairy cows. These hormones can impact your own hormone balance, leading to mood fluctuations, health problems, bad skin, and even issues with your...

Dealing with an Old Mattress

Curbside trash pickup is one of the most wonderful inventions of modern society. However, there are some items that don’t qualify for curbside pickup. These bulky items can quickly become the bane of our existence, if we don’t find a good way to take care of it. King of this category is the old mattress. There are often donating restrictions on mattresses, and it’s probably the least likely item of furniture in your home to actually sell if you post it on Craigslist. An old mattress is useful to no one, but they’re also inconvenient to dispose of, and that probably explains why they’re so often found junking up garages, yards, and houses. So how can you get rid of your old mattress effectively, and with minimal cost? First, Try Recycling Your Mattress According to the International Sleep Products Association, landfills in America receive about 50,000 mattresses PER DAY – that’s crazy! Mattresses and box springs take up a lot of space, and with their metal springs and potentially inorganic construction materials (synthetic fabric and foam and plastic frames,) it’s usually much better to find a way to recycle your old mattress, rather than chuck it in the garbage. About 90% of the average mattress can be recycled and reused. However, mattresses are made of a variety of materials which have to be pulled apart and separated in order to be recycled. Wooden frames, layers of foam and latex, fabric cushions and covers, and metal springs all make up the overall construct of the mattress. Foams and plastics can be shredded and used as carpet padding. Fabrics are shredded...