Tuesday, April 22, 2014

5 Easy and Fun Ways to Decrease Waste Including Inspired Projects + Resources

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Last year for Earth Day I wrote a post regarding my frustration with Earth Day festivals. The juxtaposition of these celebrations and the production of disgusting overflowing landfill waste and mess.  I don’t attend Earth Day festivals any longer due to the damage they create.  I do attend something called the Whole Earth Festival in my town that is a 100% waste free event.  This happens in May over Mother’s Day weekend. 

Check out my Green Living page for all my green living posts.  In our home, we treat everyday like Earth Day.  We are mindful of our impact on a daily basis.  

The Tasty Alternative is a low-waste, environmentally mindful zone.  So for this Earth Day I thought it would be fun to share a few environmentally inspired (and practical) projects with you, and as always, a bunch of resources to help you recycle or dispose of products that are not landfill friendly.  

1.  Create a Waste Material Holding Station

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This idea came about after I noticed all the non-garbage and non-recyclable items piling up in the garage (waiting to be properly disposed of a recycling center). Ever the organizer, I made a little station (from recyclable items) to house such things as old batteries, dried up markers, old CDs, LED lights, electronics, wires, etc. See the list below on where to properly dispose of these items.

Note:  DO NOT throw away old pens, sharpies, markers,etc.  

TerraCycle is an excellent online program that collects these waste materials.  No cost to you.  Click HERE to find out more about how you can send in your old dried up writing utensils. 

2.  Chip Bag Chaining 

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Here is a picture of my daughter’s Earth Day project(s). Each student was to take materials that would be thrown away and use them to make an art project. Plastic potato chip bags (in addition to dried fruit bags, pretzel bags, nut/seed bags, chocolate chip bags, tortilla chip bags, etc) are not recyclable. Did you know that more than 7 billion plastic bags go into the landfill every year! I asked friends to pass long their bags so we could use them for the project. We made a purse, basket, crown, and bracelet. The purse and bracelet have snaps for closures. I googled this craft idea.  My daughter loves origami, so this was a very fun project for her.

#3 Use Cans for Storage, Organization, & Projects

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Adorable homemade candle in old food can. Found on jessicakenenske.blogspot.com

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I love the idea of using tin cans for craft supplies. This design is super space friendly and functional. Found on Indulgy.com

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Love this tin can storage idea. Found on Indulgy.com

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Easy and elegant vases created from tin cans. I like the look of the natural indentations. Found on Marthstewart.com

 

#4 How to Store Food Without Plastic 

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Picture courtesy of Myplasticfreelife.com

 

See THIS excellent document describing how to store food without plastic – created by the Berkeley Farmer’s Market

#5 Waste Free Lunches

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An easy place to start decreasing your waste is with your packed lunches (for children or adults).  Making one small change, such as using cloth napkins instead of paper napkins,  can make difference.  I share some of my favorite eco-friendly products HERE.  Check out the many products such as plastic free food containers, reusable fabric snack bags, and more.  

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Have something to Recycle?  Earth911 is my favorite online resource.  Find out how and where!  Earth911 JUST changed their website 24 hours ago.  The format is a little different. You can still find out where to recycle items.  Visit their new site HERE for the search option.  Enter in the material you are looking to recycle and your zip code.  It’s as easy as that! 

Automotive

Auto Fluids
Car Batteries
Tires
Used Motor Oil & Filters

Construction

Carpet
Construction Waste
Shingles

Electronics

CDs & Tapes
Cell Phones
Computer Monitors
Computers
Inkjet Cartridges
Large Appliances
Large Electronics
Rechargeable Batteries
Single-use Batteries
Small Appliances
Small Electronics

Garden

Glass

Glass
Glass Bottles & Jars

Household Hazardous Waste

CFLs
Items Containing Mercury
Medical Sharps
Paint
Pesticides & Containers
Unwanted or Expired Medications

Metal

Aerosol Cans
Aluminum Cans
Aluminum Foil
Metal
Tin or Steel Cans

Paper

Books & Magazines
Cardboard
Cartons
Gift Cards & Gift Wrap
Newspaper
Paper
Paper Bags
Paper Cups
Paperboard
Phone Books
Shredded Paper
Waxed Cardboard

Plastic

Packing Peanuts
Plastic Bags
Plastic Caps & Lids
Plastic Jugs & Bottles
Plastic Wrap & Film

Household

Clothing & Accessories
Cooking Oil
Cookware
Corks
Fluorescent Tubes
Frozen Food Boxes
Furniture
Household Cleaners
Mattresses

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Labels: green living, Uncategorized.

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