Tag Archives: save energy

Top 10 Reasons to Recycle

I’ve long been a fan of recycling, but not everyone is. Some think it’s too hard, even in places where recycling is a matter of throwing it in the recycle bin and not the trash can, not a matter of sorting and taking elsewhere. There are plenty of good reasons to recycle.

1. Save trees.

Ok, kind of boring if it’s not your thing. And yes, trees are easily planted, trees are easily farmed, but a replanted forest is no match for an old growth forest. The biodiversity just isn’t there. True recovery for a forest is a matter of far more than putting some trees in the ground.

2. Paper recycling pollutes less water.

In general recycling paper requires less water and fewer chemicals.

3. Reduces the need for landfills.

If you throw it in the trash, most places it goes into the landfill. Not only can landfill space fill up, there can be problems with toxins leaching into the soil from landfills. Throwing it out just isn’t a solution, especially for toxic products.

4. Reduces incinerator use.

Burning trash doesn’t solve the toxic problems. It just puts them into the air people in the surrounding areas breathe.

5. It takes less energy to reuse aluminum.

Making a new aluminum can from old takes less 95% less energy. There are also savings for recycling glass, PET plastic and more.

6. Glass can keep being recycled.

Recycled glass is as good as new glass. The quality doesn’t decrease as it does for some recycled products.

7. Recycling batteries keeps heavy metals out of the environment.

Batteries in the landfill eventually release harmful heavy metals such as mercury and lithium into the environment.

8. Recycling electronics keeps toxic materials out of landfills.

It’s amazing how many toxic materials are in computers and other electronics. Dumping them into landfills allows lead, mercury, cadmium, chromium and other materials to be released into the environment.

9. Recycling makes more jobs than landfills.

When products are recycled, jobs are created to sort the recycled materials. There are also jobs with the manufacturers who reuse the recycled materials.

10. Recycling costs less than landfills.

This is a bit of a tricky one, as initial collection and sorting does cost more than putting all the trash in the landfill. However, communities can earn much of that back by selling the reclaimed materials to manufacturers, making the overall cost less.

Here are more resources to help you learn about why you should recycle:


11 Eco Friendly Ways to Keep Cool During the Summer

Summer’s here in full force and it’s not always easy to keep cool without using the air conditioner. While sometimes that really is the only way, there are other ways you can cool yourself and your family that won’t add so much to your power bill.

What works best for you will depend on the conditions you live in. Some tips aren’t so great for areas with high humidity, for example. Try things out and see what’s right for you.

1. Damp Washcloth on the Neck

Soak a washcloth or bandana with cool water. Drape it on your neck. It feels great.

You can also wipe the cloth across your face and wrists to feel cooler. It’s amazing how much of a difference such a small thing can make.

2. Turn on the Fans

Before you resort to your air conditioner, turn on your ceiling fan, standing fan or any other fan you have. The motion won’t make the air any cooler in reality, but the moving air will help you to feel cooler. Plus fans are cheaper to run than air conditioners.

3. Eat Spicy Foods

It may sound contrary, but it works. Spicy foods can help you to feel cooler due to your body’s reaction to them.

4. Get Your Hair Wet

Damp hair helps you to feel cooler too. Use the coldest water you can stand, and towel dry as little as you can stand. Most people aren’t going to enjoy going dripping around the house, but on a really hot day that effect won’t last for long.

5. Spray Yourself with Water

Fill a clean spray bottle with water. Spray yourself lightly with water wherever you have bare skin. The evaporation of the water will help you feel cooler. You can even spray a fine mist into the air and walk through it.

6. Cover Your Windows

Windows are a major source of heat for your entire house. Let the sunlight through them and you’re going to heat up.

Closing curtains and blinds should be a basic step, but you can do more. Cardboard boxes look ugly, but they block a lot more heat. Covering your windows with blankets is an alternative, as is using mylar sheets to block out more sunlight.

7. Open the Windows

Different times of day, different solutions. If your nights are cool enough, an open window can cool your home nicely while letting in a breeze.

8. Eat Raw Fruits and Vegetables

These won’t cool you directly, but they’re quite refreshing on a hot day. Keep them in the refrigerator until it’s time to eat. Cucumbers are particularly popular with my family.

9. Enjoy a Frozen Treat

I make popsicles out of fruit smoothies, but any sort of frozen treat is going to feel good on a hot day.

10. Wear Cool Clothes

Dress right for the weather. Wear lightweight cotton clothes as much as you can. If not, at least go for short sleeves.

11. Adapt

Your body can adapt wonderfully to a range of temperatures. It can cope well with hot days if you don’t always demand a thermostat set at 72 degrees F.