Jun 15

What Exactly is E-Waste?

Posted on June 15, 2018 at 9:09 AM by Regina Connelly

What Exactly is E-Waste

Electronic waste (or E-Waste) is loosely defined as consumer and business electronic equipment that has reached the end of its useful life. These can be hazardous when improperly thrown away, as many contain some form of harmful materials such as mercury and lead. And because almost all e-waste items contain some form of recyclable material (like plastic, glass and metals) not turning them in for proper disposal is totally a missed opportunity!

E-waste is created from anything electronic:

  • Audio equipment
  • Cameras
  • CD players
  • Cell phones
  • Circuit boards
  • Computers (laptops and desktops)
  • Computer mice
  • Copiers
  • Fax machines
  • Gaming devices
  • Monitors
  • MP3 players
  • Printers
  • Projection equipment
  • Receivers and transmitters
  • Servers
  • Speakers
  • Stereos
  • Tablets
  • Televisions
  • VCRs

To help make it easier for you to dispose of these items, visit the Electronics Waste page to find places to repair your broken electronics and also where you can drop-off your unwanted electronics.

Jun 08

Recycling Plastic Flower Pots

Posted on June 8, 2018 at 2:47 PM by Regina Connelly

Recycling Plastic Flower Pots

Much like those pesky plastic bags, plastic flower pots and trays cannot be recycled in your regular curbside bin. This is often attributed to the type of plastic that is used to make these pots; the pigmentation gives sorting machines a run for their money, making it challenging to identify the type of plastic used. They can also contain far too much contamination of soil and other organics to make it past inspection, and must be rejected.

Lucky for us, there are a few options to deal with plastic flower pots:

1)     Return them to a local retailer
Lowe’s offers a plastic flower pot recycling program, that allows them a second chance at life. Regardless of where you purchased your plants, simply return the plastic pots to their Garden Center. To learn more about the program, or find a store nearest to you, simply
click here.

2)     Reuse them
They make great space-filler for larger flower pots that would otherwise be too heavy if filled to the top with soil. Simply crush them up, and fill in around them with soil. It’s not only good for the environment, it’s much better for your back!

3)     Avoid them all together
Making a conscious effort to plant from seeds (smaller packaging!) or purchasing plants housed in biodegradable pots, is a great way to minimize the number of plastic pots entering the waste stream.

Remember, every little bit makes a big difference! And now that you know what you can do with plastic flower pots and trays, you can help spread the word. Happy gardening!

May 31

But Wait There's More - The 5 R's

Posted on May 31, 2018 at 11:00 AM by Regina Connelly

But Wait Theres More - The 5 Rs
Most of us are familiar with Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle, but did you know that a few new R’s have joined the mix? “Refuse” and “Repurpose” have been added to remind us all, we really ought to bring home less and use what we have!

Refuse
The idea here, is to turn down things that you don’t actually need, and would otherwise cause waste.

  • Refuse “freebies” that would otherwise end up in your trash, unless there is something you will actually use (Ex: a reusable tote or a reusable water bottle are freebies!)
  • Refuse plastic grocery bags, especially if you only have a couple of items that you could easily carry out yourself 
  • Refuse plastic straws when dining out

Repurpose
Repurposing means to take something, and reuse it for something else. While this may require a bit of crafty thinking, it doesn’t have to be Pinterest-worthy to be good! Check out One Green Planet’s 6 Kid-Friendly Christmas Decorations to Make From Trash for some quick inspiration.

In addition to adding these steps, the arrangement has been changed to reflect the optimal order in which we should all follow along.

Refuse 
If at all possible, say no to things you are offered, but don’t need.  

Reduce
Minimize the number of items you are purchasing on a regular basis.

Reuse
Reuse something you already have, or purchase second-hand items when necessary.

Repurpose
Figure out a new way to use something before determining if you should dispose of it.

Recycle
If the above options don’t work, you should do your best to recycle it.


In the end, any combination of these efforts will make a lasting impact on the environment, and simplify your life at the same time!