Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Video By TreeHugger Showing Green Tips for Slackers

The people at TreeHugger have put up a video showing a couple things anyone can do to live greener. One is unplugging your cell phone charger to save wasted phantom energy. The other is to buy local beer instead of imported brews. Check out the video below.

Monday, June 29, 2009

How To Recycle Used Blankets and Pillows

I have some old pillows that I needed to recycle and didn't know a thing about it. I knew enough that nobody really wants to sleep on a used pillow and couldn't think of anything else to do with them. I hit the web and here's what I found:

Many veterinary clinics, pet hospitals, and pet boarding facilities accept old blankets and pillows. They use them to give the animals something other than a metal floor to sleep on.

You can also take off the pillow cover and either buy a new one or make a new one to match your needs. This would save you from throwing your whole pillow away and also save you money on a new looking pillow.

Some homeless shelters will gladly accept old blankets and pillows. This is where I ended up taking mine. I didn't just help the environment, I helped a person in need.

How To Recycle Video Games

New gaming systems seem to come out every couple years. This presents the problem of what to do with old games and systems. There are several things you can do with both working and broken video games and consoles.

If your console is still working, consider selling it. Ebay is a great place to sell old consoles. Just be sure to package it safely when shipping. Craig's List is another great place to do this. Additionally, many video game stores will accept working systems for cash or store credit towards new games. There is actually a pretty good market for old systems.

If the console is broken there are still ways to make money. Two of the three video game stores in my city actually pay you for a broken system. I got $20 for a broken Nintendo DS that I found at a park and I got $40 for my old XBOX 360 when it broke and was out of warrany. My guess is that these companies refurbish the systems and resell them at a profit, but I'm not exactly sure. Check with your local stores.

I've been told that for a fee Staples will recycle old video game systems and games, but I can't personally verify this.

Check The Filters On All of Your Appliances/Machines Regularly

There are so many appliances and machines around our home, work, and everywhere else that use filters. Filters block particles in the air from getting inside a machine. After a while, filters get dirty and reduce the flow of air, making machines less efficient. Regularly changing filters will keep your stuff running smoothly and using less energy.

Common machines that use filters include furnaces, air conditioners, and cars. Check them to make sure they are not blocking air from flowing.

Green Disposal of Grass Clippings

It's summer and many of us are mowing our lawns. Grass clippings are a byproduct and some people don't know what to do with them.

If your lawn isn't too overgrown consider not using the grass catcher and let the mulched grass clippings feed your lawn. Grass composts very quickly and it can leave behind great nutrients for your lawn, and also save the need to fertilize.

When the clippings are too long leaving them on your lawn can be bad for the lawn. Piles of clipping can block the living grass from sunlight and actually kill your living grass. In this case it would be good to catch the clippings and put them into a compost pile. I usually throw a couple scoops of dirt on top of the clippings and this helps them compost even quicker. The compost works great in flower and vegetable gardens!

Ways To Keep Cool Without Running the AC

Here's a list of tips on keeping cool without running your costly air conditioner.

  1. Grill out. It's a good way to have hot food without heating up your house like the oven does.
  2. Put some bottles of water in the fridge or freezer. You'd be amazed how much an ice cold drink cools you down.
  3. Find places on the lowest floor of your home to work or relax. Heat rises, and cool air falls.
  4. Use ceiling or floor fans. They are much less costly to run than air conditioning.
  5. Take cold showers. Humid air from steamy showers makes your home feel even warmer than it is.
  6. Open windows on all sides of your home. This will help air circulate through your home.
Stay cool! Remember this. The average fan uses about 100 watts/hour while the average air conditioner uses about 1200 watts/hour.

Are Your Home Appliances Outdated? Save Money By Replacing Them!

According to the EPA, or Environmental Protection Agency, an old refridgerator can cost around $150 to run. If you have an old refridgerator plugged in just because you don't want to throw it away you may want to reassess whether or not you need it. Appliances account for nearly 20% of your annual utility costs. If you have an old appliance you can see immediate savings on your bills by replacing it with a newer energy efficient model.

Be sure to recycle your old appliances!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Craig's List Can Be A Great Way To Recycle

Do you have an odd or out of the ordinary item that you would like to recycle. Craig's list can be a great place to advertise something you have no use for but don't want to see it end up in a landfill. List your item for free on Craig's List and tell potential takers that they can have it if they come get it from you. This can be a great way to get rid of the item and not have to move it yourself.

Even some broken items can find homes through Craig's List. You'd be surprised at how many people even pay for broken items. Some repair companies need spare parts and would be happy to take a broken television or refrigerator off your hands. It's free to list items so even if you are unsure whether someone's interested it doesn't hurt to try.

How To Recycle Marbles

how to recycle marbles Marbles used to be very popular and I don't notice them in stores as much anymore. When cleaning out my grandparents old house we came across a huge bag of marbles. None of us really had a use for them so I came to the internet to find ideas on how to prevent them going to the landfill. Here's some ideas I found:

  • Use them in place or along with gravel in a fish tank or aquarium
  • Use for decoration around stems of potted plants
  • Put them in the bottom of a vase that's too tall
  • Mix in with cement for a decorative stone
  • Donate to second hand store or charity
I think mine are going to Goodwill.
**image courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Friday, June 26, 2009

How To Recycle Backpacks

The American Birding Association accepts donated backpacks. If you are interested in more information visit The American Birding Association's website.

Is There Any Way To Recycle Old Plastic Bottle Caps?

Is There Any Way To Recycle Old Plastic Bottle Caps?

I've received this question many times and I don't have a good answer. As far as I know there is no reliable way to recycle these unless you know someone who needs them for a unique craft. If anyone has any suggestions please put them in the comments section of this post!