Mom Goes Green “takes on” City Hall!

So… my day started with retrieving my local newspaper from my driveway.  While my first thought was “…I wonder what’s new in the news”, my second thought was “… will have to recycle this paper when I’m done!” (Obvious, right?)

Well, sadly, I was greeted with the following (bad!) news:  “Recycled pick-up could end” (ummm… what???)

Seems our city is considering eliminating curbside recycling service to ease a strained budget.  Oh, not on MY watch, my friends.

Next came contact with a member of City Council (who is also a friend and whole-heartedly agrees with ME… and graciously provided me with the email address of the mayor, all city council members and our Law Director).

Here is the email that was sent one hour later:

“I am contacting you regarding today’s Dec. 1 Sun Post article entitled: “Recycled pick-up could end” – Seven Hills

I am urging you NOT to discontinue recycling in the City of Seven Hills. I believe it is our social and environmental responsibility to see that the citizens of our community have the opportunity to recycle at curbside.  Each week, as I drive through the city, it is obvious that our community has embraced this responsibility, as I see blue recycling cans at the end of nearly every driveway on collection days.

Discontinuing recycling would be a step toward rolling back the progress of Seven Hills and, sending recyclables into our trash system and tossing them into landfills, is truly irresponsible.  While I personally would have the physical ability to collect my recyclables and deliver them to a recycling center, many citizens (especially seniors) would not have this option or ability.  ALL citizens of Seven Hills have embraced this program and I URGE you to explore other cost-saving measures in our city… DO NOT eliminate a service that is part of our civic duty or create a situation that contributes to environmental harm and irresponsibility.

Here are some things to think about … is this what we want to contribute to in our city?

  1. PLASTIC– it can take 20 years for a plastic bag to biodegrade and 250 years for a plastic container.  Americans use 2,500,000 plastic bottles every hour(!) but if every household recycled just one of every 10 plastic bottles, it would keep 200 million pounds of plastic out of landfills each year.
  2. PAPER – it accounts for nearly HALF of what is sent to landfills and approximately 1 billion trees worth of paper are thrown away every year in the U.S.  Plus, recycling one ton of paper would save enough energy to power an average American home for five months.
  3. ALUMINUM – an aluminum can is recycled and back on a store shelf in approximately 60 days, and just one recycled aluminum can save enough energy to run a computer for 3 hours.  Last year cans that were NOT recycled and went to landfills were valued at $600 million!
  4. GLASS – a bottle in a landfill would take more than 4000 years to decompose, but glass never “wears out” and can be recycled forever. The energy saved from recycling one glass bottle can power a compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL) for 20 hours.

Again, I URGE you, do not allow the elimination of curbside recycling in the city of Seven Hills.  Recycling is not just a service; it is a social responsibility.”

So, take this as a story of encouragement.  I have no idea how this will “go down” but remember “silence is compliance”… you have a voice and “no ear is out of reach”.

Some things are definitely worth fighting for… and you’d better believe, I have just begun to fight!

Celebrate “America Recycles Day” – November 15!

America Recycles DayNovember 15 is “America Recycles Day”… a day that “encourages more people to join the movement toward creating a better natural environment by recycling and buying recycled products” and “promotes the social, environmental and economic benefits of recycling.”

Are you planning to celebrate?!?!

Once again this year, we’re promoting this great day at my children’s school by encouraging the kids to submit their best recycling tips and the favorite ways their families recycle. We’ll compile all of their great ideas and turn them into a recycling newsletter that will be sent home to each family.  Some will even win cool prizes, like recycled drink pouch pencil bags and recycled newspaper pencils from Terracycle, reusable (yet recyclable!) BPA-free water bottles and 100% recycled content “green” notebooks!  I don’t doubt that the response will be amazing… kids always have the best idearecycl itemss!

So, as we celebrate the day, let’s remember WHY we recycle:
•    to reduce pollution
•    to save energy
•    to help the environment
•    to save natural resources
•    to keep trash out of landfills

And here are some things to think about …

  1. PLASTIC– it can take 20 years for a plastic bag to biodegrade and 250 years for a plastic cup!  Americans use 2,500,000 plastic bottles every hour(!) but if every household recycled just one of every 10 plastic bottles, it would keep 200 million pounds of plastic out of landfills each year!
  2. PAPER – it accounts for nearly HALF of what is sent to landfills and approximately 1 billion trees worth of paper are thrown away every year in the U.S.!  Plus, recycling one ton of paper would save enough energy to power an average American home for five months!
  3. ALUMINUM – an aluminum can is recycled and back on a store shelf in approximately 60 days, and just one recycled aluminum can saves enough energy to run a computer for 3 hours.  Last year cans that were NOT recycled and went to landfills were valued at $600 million!
  4. GLASS – a bottle in a landfill would take more than 4000 years to decompose, but glass never “wears out” and can be recycled forever! The energy saved from recycling one glass bottle can power a compact fluorescent bulb (CFL) for 20 hours.

ARD 2011Now is the time… TODAY is the day… let’s get to recycling!  As you can see, clearly it makes a world of difference!

MGG Giveaway Day 3: “Glass Dharma” for ‘green karma’!

glss dhrma logo(This giveaway is now closed for entries… see “comments” for the winner!)

It’s time for another giveaway, friends!… but you may be asking yourself “What is Glass Dharma?” and how will it give me ‘green karma”… well, let me tell you!

Glass Dharma makes the original glass straw.  How many straws do you and your family go through in a year? Plenty, I would imagine.  Whether you do or don’t have kids, there seem to be straws in every shape and size shoved at us everywhere we turn. And let’s face it, straws can be fun!glss dhrma glass

But not only do we toss those plastic things in the trash, many of us also worry about the plastic that leaches into whatever we’re drinking.  Luckily Glass Dharma makes glass straws in all shapes, sizes and designs so you never have to go down that road again.  They’re sustainable, reusable, durable, easy-to-clean, dishwasher safe and suitable for hot or cold drinks.  PLUS they come with a Lifetime Guarantee Against Breakage… if it breaks, they replace it!

Let me tell you about what’s up for grabs!  How about four of them???  Your winnings would include a 9.5mm Green Decorative Dot straw (with a hemp sleeve, to take it on the road with you!), a 9.5mm Beautiful Bends straw, a 7mm Amber Decorative Dot straw, AND a 12mm Simple straw (great for sippin’ a smoothie!).  Oh yea, and let me throw in two sizes of cleaning brushes too!

glss dhrmaIf you want to experience some Glass Dharma karma, just leave a comment here saying you’d like to win, or send a Twitter message that includes a reply to @momgoesgreen and a link to this blog. Facebook friends can also leave a comment to be entered. The winner will be randomly selected on October 28! (U.S. entries only… sorry.)

Check them out, enter to win… and “sip on”!…

Consider the packaging… not just the contents!

produce bagsWhen we make food choices for our families, we often put most of our effort into what we’re buying but, there is another part of the equation.

How is your purchase packaged? I get really annoyed when I see lovely organic eggs placed in a polystyrene container.  Nope, that’s not green at all because, while it can be upcycled, it certainly can’t be recycled.

Take a closer look:

  • Glass – it’s a dream container. Not only can it be recycled but it can be safely reused.
  • Aluminum cans – yes, it’s recyclable but many also worry about leaching into the contents.glss jar
  • Paper packaging – it often gets contaminated from food residue or has a wax coating, making it unrecyclable.
  • Plastic – some of it is recyclable, but it’s also made from fossil fuels.  And, would you believe, only about 4% of plastics ever get recycled! (Plus, many also worry about plastics leaching toxins into the food.)
  • Cardboard or paperboard – definitely “Recycling 101”… make sure it reaches your recycling can.
  • Polystyrene (often called Styrofoam) – covered in my “egg” comment… avoid it!

The moral of the story is to consider the packaging of what you purchase right along WITH your purchase.  You CAN bring your own containers for bulk foods, the meat and deli counter, produce… and you’ll earn a green star for being “as green as you can be!”

The glass IS half full… but broken, it’s trash!

glass halfThe other day a friend of mine mentioned that she recently had a horrible bout with “fumble fingers”… while emptying her dishwasher, she managed to wipe-out four glasses from her countertop.

Knowing that I am Mom Goes Green, she commented:  “Well, at least I put them in the recycling can!”

Oh, beloved friend, I appreciate the gesture, but wrong! (… and I mean that with lotsa green love!)

In actuality, drinking glasses CANNOT be recycled.  The content is a bit different than glass jars, bottles, and containers. These glasses are, unfortunately, trash.

The same goes for windows, mirrors and glass cookware.  While other glass can be recycled indefinitely, these cannot.  Adding them in with your recycling risks ruining an entire batch of recycled glass and you certainly want to consider the danger created when your recyclables are being sorted… glass shards everywhere don’t make for a great work environment at your recycling facility and they can seriously damage equipment.glass brkn

Years ago I managed to completely destroy a door on the front of our entertainment center.  It shattered to small bits and I actually used the pieces to fill the bottom of some clear vases for floral arrangements. (See, some creative license to upcycle still exists!)

So, while I agree with the idea that we should go through life with a “glass half full” mentality, if fumble fingers strikes you too, don’t risk it.  Thank the glass for its service, but you’ll need to put it in the trash.