With a stocked, or semi-stocked, pantry in your home, you probably have a handful of items that you just keep pushing out of the way to get to the cans or boxes that you want. Maybe these items were supposed to go into a recipe that you never made, or perhaps you bought too many and ended up with some you weren’t going to use. Many of us have extra non-perishable food items in our homes that we could easily part with and don’t think much of it, but with a 16% hunger rate in Northern Indiana alone, we hold a veritable goldmine!Read More
Sunday, December 1, 2013 11:08:31 AM GMT+5
Monday, November 11, 2013 10:15:24 AM GMT+5
As stated in previous articles, when we discuss recycling, we often think of plastics, aluminum, glass, paper, cardboard, and similar commodities. What about another item commonly thrown away? Food. “Recycling” food seems a little unsettling, but composting is a recycling of sorts.
Sunday, November 3, 2013 9:20:57 PM GMT+5
We hear that we should recycle everything we can anytime we can. We should recycle plastic. We should recycle paper. We hear it on television, on the radio, at work, at school…..you get the idea. The fact that we should recycle is clear. Why we should recycle is something altogether different. This may be what we need to be reminded.Read More
Thursday, October 24, 2013 6:35:09 PM GMT+5
Recycling companies often talk a lot about...well…..recycling. What is unfortunately allowed to hang back in the shadows are the other 2 “Rs”. Reducing and Reusing are such an integral part of the recycling process that they should always remain in the forefront.Read More
Sunday, October 6, 2013 3:39:09 PM GMT+5
The term “Recycling Bias” refers to the propensity of people to throw larger or full sheets of paper into the recycling bin while bits and scraps of paper went into the trash. The same was found to be true of crushed cans or plastic bottles. Empty but intact cans or bottles went into the recycling bin while their crushed or dented counterparts were destined for the landfill.
Sunday, August 25, 2013 10:45:17 PM GMT+5
Recycling to some people seems like a no-brainer and a civic responsibility. Easy. Convenient. Sensible. Even more positive adjectives can be listed here…..but not for everybody. As unusual as it may be, some people are not in favor of recycling at all. Bring in the idea of recycling being mandatory, and you’ve got yourself a debate.
Saturday, August 17, 2013 8:17:41 PM GMT+5
When the term “Recycling” is used, we generally think of plastics and aluminum being melted down and used to manufacture new items. But let’s not forget that recycling is also cycling used items through new people making that item new....to them!Read More
Sunday, August 4, 2013 8:27:22 PM GMT+5
When deciding how to dispose of things into the trash or as recycling, we usually turn things over and all around to find the triangle with a number inside of it denoting a recyclable item. But does everything that is recyclable have the number in a triangle? I used to think so. Which probably means that many more people probably think so too.
Sunday, July 28, 2013 4:10:04 PM GMT+5
Generally, we shop around for bargains on services just as we do products that we purchase. It’s sometimes amazing to me that a couple dollars a month will make us switch service providers in most cases. Of course, if the service is a physician or a mechanic, a couple dollars...or even $10 or $20 for the same service may not make us switch. Many of us are very loyal to some types of service providers.
Wednesday, July 24, 2013 6:54:57 PM GMT+5
If you’ve ever opened a brand new bag of potato chips only to find the bag half, or even a third full, you are not alone. This disappointing phenomenon is called over-packaging and greatly adds to our landfill problems in the United States. Potato chips aren’t the only culprit. Cereal, cookies, over-the-counter medicines, candy, toys....the list goes on and on.Read More
Monday, June 17, 2013 2:28:44 PM GMT+5
With all of the new information available on recycling and all of the “Green Initiatives” being introduced, it would stand to reason that restaurants, more particularly fast food restaurants, would somehow fall into the recycling trend. This would also seem true considering that restaurants are some of the biggest generators of recyclable material. There are, however, “no federal laws or regulations in the U.S. specifically aimed at getting fast food chains to reduce, reuse or recycle their waste.”*
Monday, May 13, 2013 7:26:43 PM GMT+5
In our fast-paced lifestyle, it is not unheard of for families to hit a fast food restaurant or the drive-through at least once a week...maybe more. Ball games, practices, meetings, going here, going there. It has become the norm. We seem to not even notice it anymore, until the statistics really hit home. “At least one quarter of American adults eat fast food everyday”*
Thursday, April 25, 2013 8:19:41 AM GMT+5
In order for many of us to do certain things, it has to be simple, convenient, and of benefit to us in some way. Fortunately, when it comes to recycling in Northern Indiana and Southern Michigan, it is all three of these things.
Monday, April 1, 2013 8:00:42 PM GMT+5
The term “recycling” conjures up thoughts of aluminum, plastic, glass, and paper. A recyclable commodity that may get overlooked is wood. Wood recycling, consisting both of raw wood and used wood products, as well as paper, and has become more of a focus in the past decade. We don’t normally think of recycling a natural, renewable resource, but considering the staggering statistics, it is more than necessary.
Thursday, February 7, 2013 10:17:51 PM GMT+5
With the development of single stream recycling, the recycling process has come a long way from its initial introduction. Labels can be left on tin cans and plastic bottles since the heat involved in the processing of these materials eliminates the labels altogether. Most recycling centers even allow lids to be left on plastic bottles and containers. If that’s the case, surely something as harmless as stickers on a cardboard box is ok, right? The answer to that is a surprising No. How about a little food residue in cans, plastic or cardboard? Although recycling centers ask that plastic, glass, and metal recyclables be rinsed and clean, cardboard and paper is a different story.
Monday, January 7, 2013 6:56:15 PM GMT+5
When researching and learning about recyclable materials this past year, I have come across some things that I hadn’t necessarily thought of. Along with information that I was looking for on what to recycle, how to recycle, and even statistics on the demographics of those most likely to recycle, comes some sad and alarming news about cooking with these materials.
Thursday, December 20, 2012 4:25:38 PM GMT+5
With so many things in our lives being made of one type of plastic or another, it’s important to understand what these different plastics consist of and if they are able to be recycled. Toys, packaging, electronics, and even cars almost always have some type of plastic in them. Are they all recyclable? Unfortunately, no.
Monday, December 3, 2012 10:11:49 AM GMT+5
Considering that recycling bins and carts around our neighborhoods always seem to be full, and recycling drop-off locations are brimming with newspapers, cardboard and all kinds of other recyclable materials we have successfully saved from the landfill, you would think that the recycling rate in America would be quite high, right? Not really.Read More
Wednesday, November 28, 2012 12:48:46 PM GMT+5
Historically, the phrase “The 3 Rs” meant Reading, wRiting, and aRithmetic. The basis on which all other schoolwork, and life for that matter, was going to be based.
In more recent years the 3 Rs became the 4 Rs as awareness and emphasis on recycling, preservation, and conservation grew. Not to say, however that the original basis doesn’t still hold some validity. Reading, writing, and math are still stressed in school systems, as well they should be.
As the 4Rs make their debut in the everyday language of Americans, “they are commonly summarized as... reduction, reuse, recycling and recovery.*
Monday, November 19, 2012 11:54:18 AM GMT+5
In discussing the subject of recycling, we’ve touched on what can be recycled, what can’t be recycled, why we recycle, and so on….all of the pertinent information on recycling. Or have we? We could talk about all of those topics all day long, but one of the biggest challenges our society faces is how to get people to recycle.Read More
Monday, November 5, 2012 10:02:21 PM GMT+5
Is Styrofoam recyclable since it has a recycling symbol on it? Has this question crossed your mind? Styrofoam is actually a genericized brand name for the actual material called polystyrene. Polystyrene containers do have a recycle symbol in it, but very few recycling centers accept it. There are a couple reasons for this. Polystyrene is such a light material and, since raw commodity recycling is purchased by the ton, its market value is less than other commodities. It may be more profitable in extremely large quantities, but usual amounts produced by residential recycling collection has very little demand as a recycled product. It can, however, be made into products like insulation and packing material.Read More
Monday, October 29, 2012 8:11:29 PM GMT+5
We’ve talked about throwing trash into the landfill. We’ve talked about recycling. But what do we do with items that we don’t put in either place? Toss it out the window? Throw it on the sidewalk? Well, “75% of Americans Admit to Littering within the last 5 years.”* The fact that 3 out of 4 people admitted to doing something my 4-year old knows not to do is very alarming.
Monday, October 15, 2012 7:35:07 PM GMT+5
We’ve all heard of recycling in one context or another, but not many of us really know what spurred on this environment saver. On March 22, 1987, “it started when the Long Island town of Islip, overcome by its own refuse, shipped 3,168 tons of it down the Atlantic coast, with a plan to dump it in some farmers’ backyards. But North Carolina turned the barge away, as did Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Texas and Florida; Mexico and Belize sent out their militaries to keep the barge offshore. The barge returned and spent the summer stinking up New York Harbor.... Six months after its sorry tale began, the barge finally unloaded at a Brooklyn incinerator. The story turns uplifting only after it ends: the incessant news coverage helped inspire Americans to pay more attention to their trash, ushering in the recycling era.”*Read More
Thursday, October 4, 2012 12:15:49 PM GMT+5
It wouldn’t be as beneficial to talk about recycling if we didn’t add in information and discussion on topics that round out the concept of recycling. Conservation and preservation of our natural resources remains of equal importance. For our purposes today, and along the lines of conservation, I’d like to discuss water conservation.Read More
Monday, October 1, 2012 7:32:49 PM GMT+5
With so much information on recycling available at the touch of a button, some of it being erroneous, it’s no wonder that myths come about. Once these myths circulate for so long, they tend to become viewed as reality. Between these myths and excuses for not recycling, they drag down the number of households participating in a recycling program.Read More
Friday, September 14, 2012 12:01:18 PM GMT+5
Many of us don’t know what to do with the ever-problematic piles of leaves in our yard. It doesn’t seem quite right that organic matter would be banned from a landfill, but that is exactly what has happened in Indiana and several other states. According to Indiana Code 13-20-9, leaves are specifically named as being something that the landfills can no longer accept in large quantities. “In the U.S., yard waste accounts for nearly 17% of all Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) according to the EPA. The waste consists of the usual backyard things like grass clippings, leaves and tree trimmings that adds up to nearly 31 million tons each year. Records show that over the last four decades the amount of green waste that ends up at landfills has drastically reduced due to residential composting, waste management, and composting facilities.
Saturday, September 8, 2012 9:47:52 AM GMT+5
“What do I do with these old tires?” One of the most popular recycling questions ever asked. Our best advice to you is to go to your local tire dealer to dispose of them properly. Tire dealers usually take unwanted tires for around $1.50 - $2.00 per tire, then turn them over to authorized recyclers.
Thursday, August 30, 2012 7:37:18 AM GMT+5
Have you found yourself wondering, “If I recycle a plastic bottle...does it go to make new plastic bottles?” or “What could possibly be made from recycled glass?” You are not alone. Recycling is one of those “blind processes” that we know happens, but it happens behind the scenes.Read More
Friday, August 24, 2012 3:00:16 PM GMT+5
Eight glasses of water a day? In today’s fast-paced society, how often are we near a glass and a kitchen faucet? The obvious answer to being able to drink this much water a day is, of course, is the ever-popular water bottle. It is estimated that, “every 27 hours Americans consume enough bottled water to circle the entire equator with plastic bottles stacked end to end. In just a single week, those bottles would stretch more than halfway to the moon — 155,400 miles.”*Read More
Saturday, August 18, 2012 1:59:45 PM GMT+5
When we were in high school and asked the question, “When am I ever going to use this again?”, we heard that we would need that math somewhere in our lives...but who would have thought it would be for recycling? Numbers, triangles, densities...what do all of these mean? Well, it’s not really math, and not as difficult as it sounds.Read More
Thursday, August 9, 2012 9:52:50 PM GMT+5
“Recycling one plastic bottle can save enough energy to power a 60-watt light bulb for six hours”.* Imagine how much energy Americans could save if every one of the estimated 30 to 50 billion water bottles that are thrown away each year were recycled! Although it seems impractical to think that every one of them would be recycled, if even half of them wound up in the recycling bin instead of the landfill, it would impact the United States greatly.Read More
Friday, July 6, 2012 2:37:39 PM GMT+5
Can you spot the recycling in this trash container? Well, not only is it in there, but it’s staying in there. I mean, is it possible that a trash truck can compact several hundred pounds of waste material, dump it at a transfer station, take perfectly clean, untorn recycling bags out of it, and send it to a materials recycling facility (MRF) for use in manufacturing other products? It’s possible...but not very probable. Statistics show that this method of taking recycling materials mixed with trash to a dirty MRF for separation and eventual processing at a recycling facility can have very poor results.Read More
Tuesday, June 19, 2012 3:13:21 PM GMT+5
Recycling has been around in some form as long as any of us can remember. We took glass and plastic bottles back to the grocery store for the deposit and we collected aluminum cans to take to the scrap yard for a little pocket change. We even understood the importance of repurposing items for other uses than their original intended use, which is why most of our parents had a bird feeder made from an old milk jug or a paper mache picture frame made from popsicle sticks and newspapers.