Got rust?: Aluminum foil, remove, recycle…

alum foilYesterday we were gifted with some fantastic warm weather and bright sunny skies (an anomaly around Ohio these days!).

After school, all our daughter wanted to do was jump on her Razor scooter and scoot around the neighborhood.  But when she pulled it out of the place in the garage where it had been propped up, for the better part of winter, we were mortified… rust, rust, and more rust!

It’s only a year old and it had been well cared for, but it looked like it had literally been left out in the elements for weeks.razor

Fortunately, I had exactly what we neededNot a chemical, not a commercial cleaning concoction, just plain old aluminum foil waiting in our pantry.  Before my daughter started to panic, I got “the supply”.

All you need to do is tear off a sheet, roll it into a ball (shiny side out, preferably) and start rubbing away the rust. And voila… shiny and new!

This works wonderfully on chrome and many types of metals.  For the tougher spots, you can also saturate it in distilled white vinegar for a few minutes and then put the aluminum foil to work.

The beauty of it all?  When you’re done, the aluminum foil can go in your bin for alum flrecycling!

Mom saved the day!  The scooter was scootin’, “green principles were intact” and everything (and everyone) was bright and shiny!

Simple tip: aluminum blinds are wise window treatments!

alum blindzSo lately I’ve been hitting some serious topics… toxic mattresses and destructive palm oil (yikes!).

Today, we’re going to keep it nice and simple… as simple as this…

Did you know that purchasing aluminum mini blinds for your home is a wise environmental choice? The fact of the matter is that many manufacturers like Levolor and Hunter Douglas are using recycled aluminum to make their mini blinds… about 90-95% recycled content actually!

And the beauty of it all is when you need to replace them… they can be recycled too! A few snips of the strings and you’ll be loading slat after slat into your recycling can instead of your trash can.

See… nice and simple.  Aluminum blinds ARE wise window treatments!

More recycling do’s and don’ts… answered.

I received a great response to my recent post about recycling paper.  Recycling always seems to be a great mystery, as so many cities and municipalities have varying rules.  When you consider that the average American produces 4.5 pounds of trash DAILY (75% of that IS alum cansrecyclable), we certainly want to make the right decisions.

It’s often hard to compile a “grand list” of everything you can and cannot do, but the best resource I can provide is earth911.  Simply enter your area code on the homepage and you will (hopefully) find your city or recycling resource to answer specific questions.

But, in the broad sense, I hope to help dispel some myths about the “real” answers for recycling… some may be a big surprise…

  • Paper – refer to my prior post… I think I covered it all!
  • Glass – rinse out the original contents as best you can.  Don’t worry about labels since they’ll be removed in processing. You CAN recycle the metal caps(!)… most recyclers will accept them.  Do NOT attempt to recycle treated glass, like plates, drinking glasses, windows, etc.  This glass is, unfortunately, contaminated due to the special “treatment” they have received.plstic bottles
  • Metals – every can should be hitting the recycling can!  Soup, soda, veggie cans (even the top you’ve removed)… they’re all recyclable.  Even wire coat hangers, aluminum foil, pie tins… include them all!  And a new revelation to me… aerosol cans, as long as they have not contained a hazardous waste.  I sincerely never knew they could be recycled, but just be sure they are EMPTY.  That is the key.  If your recycler does not accept them, they will be quickly weeded-out, but it’s worth a try!
  • Plastic – most plastic bottles and jugs (with necks narrower than the body) can be recycled, just be sure to remove the plastic caps.  They are a different type of plastic and can cause contamination in the recycling process.  Number 5 plastics are often questionable.  This is one where you should definitely refer to your local recycler, but remember that there is a use for Number 5’s!… don’t count them out and send them to the trash can too quickly!  They are also good candidates for the reuse category, although maybe not for food items, due to the plastic-leaching issues.

Take these tips, memorize them and soon your 75% of daily trash will find its way to the proper destination… the cherished land of “Recycleville!”