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3 Tips to Help You Declutter For The New Year

3 Tips to Help You Declutter For The New Year

Every New Year it seems that we try to promise ourselves that we are going to get more organized and declutter our homes. It’s a perfect time to use that new year resolution momentum to give yourself the motivation to finally get it done and we are here to help. Organization is no small task, but there are many ways to make it easier and feel less impossible. Decluttering can be great for your mind and for your physical space, providing more ease of mind and reducing stress. Whether it takes a weekend, or it takes a few months to finish your project, it will be worth it in the end! The first steps to decluttering are deciding what to remove, how to remove it, and where to begin. Here are some tips on all three of those first steps:   What to remove There are always options for decluttering your home. Things like expired food in your pantry, old clothes you never wear in the back of your closet, or even things you’ve been meaning to get rid of for a long time that you just never got around to. Now is the time! What is collecting dust, tucked into hard to reach places or dark corners? It may be a good thing to even go through book cases or movie collections!   How to remove clutter It’s always hard to remove clutter because it seems too daunting and too large a task. It is tough to know just what to do with the various items you may have decided are okay to get rid of. It is...
Simple Ways to Recycle During the Holidays

Simple Ways to Recycle During the Holidays

The Holiday season is upon us and believe it or not, this is a great time of year to recycle, upcycle, and reduce waste! Think of all the candy wrappers from Halloween or the wrapping paper on the many Christmas presents under your tree. Did you know that household waste can grow up to 25% more during the holidays? To help you make the most of your holidays, here are some ways to reduce waste during the holidays that will be sure to get you on Santa’s nice list. First things first Before you can begin recycling and planning your great holiday green initiative, you need to be aware of when your recycling/trash day is. If a holiday happens to fall on your regular recycling day, collection will be taking place on a different, alternative date. Check with your city and local waste department to see when your recycling day will be. This will make things a lot easier so you have more time to spend with family.   Give gifts with a creative touch Everyone loves receiving thoughtful gifts, and those gifts can be even better when we are thoughtful of how we give gifts. Some ways to be creative with your gifts are.. Give gifts of your time that don’t require packaging or wrapping like babysitting, chores, or fun activities Gifts that require very little packaging like tickets to an event, or you can even look for recycled products. Wrap using creative or reusable wrappers, like newspaper, maps, or other paper materials that you can either reuse or recycle afterward.   Live and plan with waste in...
Easy Ways to Manage Leaf Cleanup This Fall

Easy Ways to Manage Leaf Cleanup This Fall

Autumn is in full swing and winter is on it’s way! If you have not cleaned up all of those pesky leaves cluttering your yard and property, now is the perfect time and we are here to help you do it the easiest way while still disposing of them properly. Leaves can be a hassle, and it is great to know what specifically to do with all of them once you have finally managed to get them all cleaned up. Here are a few tips for cleanup and disposal: Regulations and Decisions When cleaning up leaves, you generally have a few options and it all depends on your personal situation. Before doing this common fall chore, be sure to check your city website and see what kind of regulations are in place for vacuuming, mowing, leaf blowing, or bagging. This will help you decide what option is best for you.   Bagging If you are choosing to bag, be sure to check to see what bags are allowed. Some towns require that you use recyclable bags. Also check to see when your town picks up compost or bagged leaves so that you can dispose of them correctly!   Natural Areas If applicable, and permitted, you can blow your leaves into woods or fields by your home where they can decompose and naturally recycle themselves. Be careful to not let them fly back into your yard on a windy day by blowing them deep enough into those natural areas.   Vacuuming A lot of towns have curb vacuuming service available and if you coordinate your cleanup with the timed they...
Sustainable Roofing Options

Sustainable Roofing Options

There are ways that you can reduce your environmental footprint and make a better impact on the world, ways that you wouldn’t think about initially. There’s actually a lot more ways you can help the environment than you’d originally think, you can do a lot more than just recycling your discarded soda cans and eating local, organic produce. In fact, you wouldn’t expect it, but you can actually replace your roof with a more sustainable, environmentally friendly roofing option.   Eco-friendly metal roofs   There’s no need to waste the roof you already have, but when it’s time to repair or replace your roofing, you should explore your options and figure out what’s going to be the best option for both you and the environment. A metal roof is a great eco-friendly roofing option. Most metal roofs are made from some sort of combination of tin, steel, copper, and aluminum. You can easily purchase a roof made from recycled metals. A metal roof will last about 50 years, making it a great option. When that metal roof is ready to be replaced, you can recycle all of the materials in your metal roof, making this a fabulous option for both you AND the environment.   Living roofs   Unfortunately, a living or “green” roof, isn’t always an option, depending on your location and the type of building you live in. A living roof is made of a material that absorbs water and provides a home for wildlife. You can even add a garden to this material, so your roof will be covered in lush plants that are impacting the...
How to Clean Green

How to Clean Green

You would be surprised by all of the toxic products that most households use on a daily basis. Using toxic things, such as harmful and harsh chemicals, is something that’s become common practice and many people do without realizing the impact that it has. There are countless ways that you can easily make your home more sustainable and eco-friendly, but many people just don’t realize how easy it is to make these change. Many people think that in order to be “green”, they’ll have to completely change their lifestyle and give up some of their favorite or most convenient things, and that’s simply just not true. Creating a greener home by cleaning greener, is a lot easier than a lot of people think. You can make a huge impact to both your home and the environment by just making a few simple changes. Natural cleaners   The first step to cleaning green, is to get rid of all of the harmful chemicals you use to clean your home. This especially important if you have young children. It would be devastating if your young child, just learning to crawl, got into something toxic and got harmed in any way. Using chemical-free cleaners not only protects your home, but it also protects the environment. You can easily, and inexpensively, create your own green cleaners at home. White vinegar mixed with water is a cheap, and easy way to clean. You can use this mixture to mop floors, disinfect your bathroom sink, and scrub down your toilet, among countless other options. If your bathroom drain is clogged, use white vinegar and baking...
Recycling and Conserving Energy

Recycling and Conserving Energy

How many times have you heard the phrase “reduce, reuse, recycle”? Probably too many times to count. It’s a phrase that’s been around for a while, and you’ve heard it enough that it probably goes in one ear and out the ear, without a single thought about the phrase or the importance behind it. Despite it being a common phrase, not enough people utilize the principles behind this phrase. Too many things that everyone uses on a daily basis are disposable. This creates a problem because many of these could be, and should be, recycled but they aren’t. Why you should recycle   There are a lot of different reasons that you should recycle. Recycling helps make the environment a cleaner place. It also aids in the conservation of materials, so we don’t waste as much during the production of new products. Recycling also saves energy. And one of the most important reasons to recycle, is it reduces the garbage that ends up in landfills.   When you recycle something, you’re enabling that product to be used again and have another life. When you reuse a product to be used in another product, we save a considerable amount of energy because we don’t have to create another material to use. Saving energy is super important if we want to slow down the effects of global warming and preserve the environment for future generations. Refusing to recycle shows that you don’t really care what happens to anyone else around you, or the earth that you’re lucky to be able to call home.   If you don’t need something, don’t use...
Understanding Recycling Labels on Plastic

Understanding Recycling Labels on Plastic

Have you ever noticed the numbers inside of the recycling symbol on the bottom of your plastic products? Those were classified by the Society of the Plastics Industry in 1988 in order to make sorting plastic waste easier. Now, those numbers are better known as the Resin Identification Code, or RIC. In order to be recycled effectively, plastic items need to be paired with resins of the same type. Different resins have different functions: whether they’re safe for food items, resistant to heat, or able to resist pressure and breakage can all be evident from a plastic’s RIC. As a consumer, knowing some basics about RIC can help in a few ways: Knowing the dangers and advantages of each plastic type helps you re-use plastic products safely. It allows you to make smarter purchasing decisions when you understand which plastics are the most difficult to recycle. You can understand the connection between your plastic type and whether certain recycling facilities and programs will accept it A General Guide to the 7 RIC’s 1: Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET): This plastic is usually used for plastic water bottles, and food containers like peanut butter jars. PET plastics are easier than most to recycle, and yet a woefully small percentage of them actually are recycled. Recycled PET is used for clothing insulation, textiles, and the inside of life jackets. 2: High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE): This material is used for slightly thicker packaging, like milk carton bottles, soap bottles and detergents. It’s important to note that if an HPDE container was used originally for a non-food item (like bleach or engine oil) it should never...
Residential Guide to Recycling

Residential Guide to Recycling

We all want to do our part to keep our world a beautiful and healthy place to be. Some of us try to cut back on gas usage; others shop for organic produce. Something that every one of us should be doing is recycling in our homes in order to reduce waste. However, how many of us actually know how to effectively recycle? Which materials are eligible and how do we prepare them? More Demand for Well-Sorted Recycling China is the world’s biggest buyer of recycled materials. However, in 2012, they started rejecting recycled materials for being dirty, shipping them clear back across the ocean to be put in American landfills instead. The truth is that mixing food waste with recyclable materials can sometimes make them ineligible for recycling. This is especially true for paper and cardboard, which can start to break down just from being exposed to grease and moisture. More hardy materials like plastic and aluminum don’t suffer as much with exposure to food materials. However, in single-stream recycling programs is helps to be aware of the best way to manage residential recycling. Additionally, with the time that sorting, storage, and shipping takes, it’s best to have recycling waste clean and free of food scraps so as to inhibit the growth of bacteria. That being said, rules for recycling varies from place to place. For example, in San Francisco, all recycled items must be rinsed. However, in Chicago, it’s unnecessary to rinse out anything before putting it in the bin. Your Basic Guide to Prepping Recycling Plastic: The first thing you need to know about plastic recycling...
How to Reduce Moving Waste

How to Reduce Moving Waste

If you’re getting ready for a big moving day, then you’ve probably got a good deal of stress on your hands. However, it’s important to note that moving usually creates a great deal of waste. Reducing the amount of waste that you create when you move is not only environmentally friendly, it’s also helps you save money on moving expenses. Here are some tips on how to cut down on the amount of waste generated by your move… Save your boxes when you move Cardboard boxes start to add up, in terms of materials and money spent, when you need to purchase them every time you move. For this reason, try saving your leftover boxes after a move so that you can use them later. When you break them down, they can easily be stored without taking up much space. If you don’t have any leftover boxes from your previous move, ask around to see if any friends or family have leftover boxes, or even check with some local business if you can use shipping packages they were planning on tossing. Use newspaper, instead of packing paper When packing your belongings, using packing paper helps keep things neatly tucked away and safe. However, purchasing paper specifically used for packing is a little bit overkill. Old newspapers will have the same effect as packing paper, but without costing you anything extra or wasting more paper. If you don’t have any newspaper around, you can also use t-shirts or towels to accomplish the same thing. Use linen bags that you have When you are moving, putting your clothes into boxes is...
Simple Steps to Reduce Your Environmental Impact

Simple Steps to Reduce Your Environmental Impact

Nowadays, more and more families are opting to become “greener” and reduce the impact that they have on their environment. Individually, each of us might only be able to do a little to make a difference, but together, we can add up to make a global impact. For this reason, it’s worth looking around at your home and seeing some different ways that you can reduce your waste and help preserve more of this lovely planet that we all live on! Here are some simple steps you can take to reduce your environmental impact… Recycle, obviously! The first, and most obvious, step that you can take is to recycle. Families have known this for decades, and most cities/counties have services that help families recycle materials like paper, aluminum, plastic, and glass. Even if your city doesn’t take a certain type of material, such as steel, there are plenty of facilities that will take pretty much anything to recycle it. Not only does recycling help save those specific materials, but it also helps reduce the gas and energy that is needed to produce those products. Use compost For the most part, people who recycle will recycle paper and plastic, but throw away organic materials. However, if you want to take your recycling habits to the next level, these organic items can be used for compost. Some cities/counties will have a separate receptacle that is used for organic materials, for this reason. You can even make your own compost pile to help with your own landscaping needs. Go paperless Paper is one of the biggest materials that take up resources on...