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How to Avoid a Deflated Super Bowl Party

Posted on January 30, 2015 by | Comments (0)

FootballThe “deflate-gate” news got me thinking recently and I came up with three surefire ways to deflate a good Super Bowl party: a clogged sink, an overflowing toilet, and a trashy house. Allow me to explain and help you avoid these common pitfalls so you can host a pressure-free party on Sunday:

Clogged Sink
Wings…check! Sausage balls…check! Plumber…wait, what? That’s right, football snacks are notoriously greasy. Whatever you choose to indulge in, make sure the fats, oils, and grease from preparing and serving these snacks end up in the trash and not down the drain. When poured or washed down the drain, fats, oils, and grease from cooking can clog sink drains and pipes, causing backups in a home’s plumbing. Avoid inviting the plumber to the party and keep your drains fat-free!

Overflowing Toilet
Think about it, your guest dashes in during a timeout to do his or her business only to flush and…uh oh. That’s not supposed to happen. You don’t want the plunger to make an appearance at your party so always remember to only flush your “personal contributions.” No trash, no paper towels, no feminine hygiene products, no disposable wipes (even the kind that market themselves as “flushable’). Only flush the three Ps – pee, poo, and (toilet) paper.

Trashy House
To avoid the trashy house scenario there’s one easy play to have in your game book: recycling! Lots of bottles and cans are consumed during the big game so make sure they end up in the recycling bin, not the trash can. Think about it this way, that aluminum can or glass bottle has the potential to be recycled into a new can or bottle that you could possibly consume again at next year’s Super Bowl. Don’t ruin the aspirations of that poor bottle or can to be a part of Super Bowl 50 and beyond! Put your recycling containers in an accessible location and encourage all of your guests to recycle and keep the dream alive!

Posted in: Fats, oils and grease disposal, Going Green, Household tips, Reduce reuse and recycle

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Can We Become a Zero Waste Planet?

Posted on January 28, 2015 by | Comments (0)

Imag Credit: OneGreenPlanet.org

Image Credit: OneGreenPlanet.org

Becoming a planet with zero waste is a dream of many environmentalists around the world. Yet, the dream of becoming a zero waste planet is far from reality. There are many things that can be done to achieve a part of this dream. Generally, accumulation of waste happens when people do not have the slightest idea about how to manage their waste. The following tips are a great start to living waste free.

Tips for Going Zero Waste:

  • Replace Plastics: There are certain materials that can be avoided altogether. You can easily replace plastic bags with reusable cloth bags. You can also create reusable bags at home from leftover t-shirts. It’s also easy to buy foods  in glass jars rather than plastic ones. Empty glass bottles can later be recycled or reused for different storage purposes around the house.
  • Use Less Paper, Then Recycle: The main culprits or contributors in paper misuse are different offices and corporations. It is best to print on both sides of a paper when you have to print hard copies. Also, it is better to check the print layout and other details before giving the print command. Office papers, newspapers, and other mixed papers are accepted in every curbside recycling program in Hampton Roads. Introduce your office to paper recycling and use paper with a high percentage of recycled content to help manage the paper waste situation in your office.
  • Landfill Last: Believe in your recycling container! Review the askHRgreen.org Curbside Recycling Guide so you can “know before you throw.” And items not accepted in your curbside recycling may still be recyclable at drop off centers – like plastic bags, motor oil, metals and more! You can also divert food waste and biodegradable materials into a compost bin. Landfills should be a last resort.
  • Recycle Electronics: Electronic waste should be taken to an approved recycler not tossed out with the trash. The accumulation of electronic waste in different dumping grounds is thought to contribute to various diseases and soil disorders. The recovered materials like metal, glass and plastic can also be reused to make new electronics.
  • Get to Composting: It is a great idea to use a compost bin for disposing of food waste and biodegradable materials. As these can decompose easily, they create natural fertilizer that can be used in lawns and gardens. You can even add worms into compost to speed up the decomposition process – it’s called vermicomposting!

 Whether it is your home, office, or city, it is important to take advantage of proper waste management and reduction techniques as part of our dream of a zero waste planet.

Erich Lawson is very passionate about the environment and effective recycling. He has written a wide array of articles on behalf of Northern California Compactors, educating others on how modern recycling equipment can be used to reduce garbage bills and increase recycling revenue.

Posted in: Going Green, plastic bags, Reduce reuse and recycle

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Be a Tree in Your Next Life

Posted on January 21, 2015 by | Comments Off

sunrise-tree-1442778-mI want to be a tree in my next life.  And guess what.  IT’S POSSIBLE!! 

I just recently learned about these companies that can turn ashes into trees.  The way they do it is they put the ashes into a biodegradable container and then they pop a seed inside.  The phosphorous in the ashes helps the plant to grow and before you know it – bam! – you’re a tree!  And this isn’t just for humans.  You can do this for pets as well.   There are actually several different companies who can do this for you.  Just Google it for more info.

I know this is a bit of an odd topic for the Let’s Talk Green blog but the burial business has a huge environmental impact. It’s nice to know there are other options out there like becoming a tree or resomation which you can also read about on the blog.  (Don’t get me wrong – it’s always a personal choice so there’s no wrong way to bury a loved one or a pet!) 

I can’t think of a better legacy to leave on this earth than a living, breathing tree that will contribute positively to generations to come. 

Posted in: Beautification, Going Green

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How to Green Clean the Inside of Your Fridge

Posted on January 20, 2015 by | Comments Off

1-Green_Clean_FridgeThe holidays are a fun, festive time for food, togetherness, and… more food. Now that they’ve passed and you’ve cleared out that inevitable bounty of leftovers, start fresh with a spotless fridge—scrubbed to a sparkling clean the green way.

1. Keep vs. Toss. 
Take each item out one by one and place them in one of two distinct areas: a clear counter for what you’ll keep and a garbage bag for what you’ll throw out. This whole task shouldn’t take you more than an hour, but if you foresee it taking longer, have a cooler to keep the salvageable goods safe.

For food that doesn’t have an expiration date, here’s a handy guide to know how long perishables stay edible:

  • Lunch meat, opened or deli: 3-5 days
  • Lunch meat, unopened: 2 weeks
  • Ground meat: 1-2 days
  • Fresh steaks, chops, and roasts: 3-5 days
  • Fresh poultry: 1-2 days
  • Soups and stews: 3-4 days
  • Cooked meat/poultry: 3-4 days
  • Pasta, egg, or protein salads: 3-5 days

2. Wash the shelves and drawers. 
Carefully remove the moving pieces of your fridge. An affordable, eco-friendly solution of 1 quart hot water + 2 tbsp. baking soda works wonders to cut the grime. Give them a sponge bath, bathe in the sink, or hose them down. Dry each piece thoroughly.

3. Clean the interior. 
Using a solution of equal parts water and vinegar, start at the top of the fridge and move towards the bottom so that drips are caught as you go. A toothbrush comes in handy to get into the crevices without straining yourself. When you’re finished, dry the interior completely with a clean cloth.

4. Beauty is on the outside, too. 
Wipe down the sides and door with your vinegar mixture. Get the top and underneath, as well; a yardstick with an old pair of pantyhose on the end makes a perfect upcycled duster.

5. Restock. 
Back to its home your (non-expired) food goes! Consolidate multiple bottles of the same product, and wipe extra goop and gunk off the outsides.

6. Start fresh, keep fresh. 
Make it a habit to evaluate your food weekly and wipe up spills as they happen. Keep a box of baking soda inside to absorb odors. You can even sprinkle vanilla or orange extract on a cotton ball to create a delightful odor to greet you every time you swing open that door.

Sarah Kellner writes for The Home Depot about organizing and cleaning your kitchen and appliances in a green way. 

Posted in: Going Green, Household tips

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Living Trash Free – Could You Do It?

Posted on January 15, 2015 by | Comments Off

shutterstock_70004710_WEBThe other day I stumbled upon a story about a girl who hasn’t created trash in 2 years.  Seriously!  No trash.  She stopped buying packaged products, used her own bags and jars to get bulk items from the store, bought only secondhand clothing and made her own personal care and cleaning products.  My mind immediately exploded with questions.  But what about this?  But how can you live without that?  And just…how?!  I can’t wrap my brain around a life with no trash.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t like trash and I try to create as little as possible but creating absolutely no trash?  It just seems…impossible.  Or maybe more honestly, it sounds like a lot of work.   

Truth time – I don’t think I could do it.  Despite the fact that I like to think I’m an environmentally friendly person and – hello! – I’m writing for a “green” blog.  But we keep it real here.  And I’d be willing to bet that most of you out there would feel the same.  And that’s okay.  We shouldn’t feel shamed by these stories, we should feel empowered.  If she can do all that, I can at least do something!  Here are a few things I’m taking away from this:

  • It’s not all or nothing.  While I completely admire how “all in” this girl went, every little bit helps.  If we all choose one thing to change that would decrease the amount of waste we create, that all adds up. 
  • Clothes are trash too.  This wasn’t something I ever really thought about.  That shopping habit creates a lot of waste and uses a lot of energy (to ship and make the clothes) and resources (cotton, plastics, etc.).  Note to self: Chill out on the shopping habit or stick to secondhand.  (Bonus: Happier wallet and happier husband.)
  • If you can’t make your own personal/cleaning products, buy responsibly.  I’ll admit that I don’t have plans to start making my own toothpaste any time soon – though more power to this girl who did, I’m impressed – but I do plan to be more picky about what brands I purchase.  I love GoodGuide.com.  They rate thousands of products on how safe, healthy, green and ethical they are.  (That sounded like a commercial but I promise it wasn’t – I just like the website!)  It’s a good way to see where your favorite brands stand when it comes to environmentally sustainable practices.  Remember – voting with your dollar is a powerful way to encourage change!

So – what small thing can you do to scale back on the amount of waste you create?

Posted in: Going Green, Household tips, Reduce reuse and recycle

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