Monday, February 20, 2012

Start Your Own Recycling Circle!

While DC curbside recycling accepts a lot of goods, most households generate a lot of goods that are re- or up-cyclable, but not in enough quantities to really make the effort worthwhile. The answer to this dilemma? - create your own recycling circle with friends. It’s easy! 

1) Gather a couple of friends/neighbors who are dedicated recyclers in on this idea. 
2) Decide what you (as a group) generate that you want to re- or upcycle. These good can include corks, energy bar wrappers, Brita filters, sneakers, denim, batteries, etc. 
3) Decide who in the group will commit to recycling what…and designate that person the point person for re- or upcyling that particular product. 

In my neighborhood, folks know that I upcycle corks and recycle batteries. Our local liquor store collects corks for me, and once a month I pick them up, add in the other corks I get from work, friends and my own stash and drop them off at a Whole Foods. Another friend collects energy bar wrappers and sends them off to Terracycle – which will even pay for the shipping! Proceeds go towards a local elementary school. Check out the right side of this blog to find places to re- or up-cycle your goods. If you don’t see what you want to recycle there, check out Terracycle to see if they have an ongoing brigade for your goods. While you’re at it, check out the wide list of environmentally friendly Terracycle products (gifts, toys, school supplies, cleaning products, patio furniture, etc) that are made from these recycled goods.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Don't Underestimate the Power of the People

It's easy enough to fall into the trap of thinking that you as an individual have no power to change the world for the better. But, in fact, in the last six months, we've seen some clear examples that prove just the contrary. Bank of America reneged on its banking fees. The Susan B. Komen Foundation learned that people felt strongly that they should support Planned Parenthood and JC Penny decided to continue to keep Ellen DeGeneres as a spokesperson – despite her sexuality. Now, it’s your turn. Do you know where your toilet paper comes from? Buy toilet paper that is made from recycled and/or sustainably sourced content. Below is a video showing which brands (like Paseo) to avoid as well as a list of major US companies that have stopped sourcing Paseo – and other companies have done nothing. Call these supermarkets and let them know that you’re watching what they do. One person can make a difference!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Cork It!

CORKWATCH is an app from ReCork that lets you know which wines use REAL corks (good!) versus those ugly plastic corks(bad!).  It also allows YOU to add new wines to the list. The site is compatible with all mobile devices and super intuitive.CORKWATCH also has a searchable database and map that allows you to find a drop off location for corks in your area.  Most Whole Foods will also accept real will Firefly restaurant in DC (and you can just drop them off don't have to stay for a meal - though you should as the food is sustainably sourced and fab!)  For more information as to why you should opt for wines with cork stoppers, check out the WWF Report, "Cork Screwed?"