Tag Archives: aluminum

How Green is your Labor Day?

labor day fruit

We are now into September……the kids are back at school (sigh of relief) but there is still more to celebrate!!  Even though summer is still not officially over, the Labor Day weekend signals the beginning of the end of summer.  For many of you it will be the last chance for barbeques or beach parties with family or friends.  Remember that how you choose to spend this weekend will have an effect on the environment.

So why not make your Labor Day weekend as green as possible.  There are so many ways available to make your party successful but still be kind to the environment.

  1. Buy Keg Beer.  Why not get a few 1/4 or 1/2 kegs of beer instead of buying individual bottles or cans  Your guests can then use glasses for drinking out of instead of plastic cups.  A little more cleaning up after we know but much less waste.
  2. 2 liter soda bottles.  Buy your soda in 2 liter bottles rather than individual cans to reduce the amount of recycling needed.
  3. Washable dishware (or at very least recycled products).  If you can, use glasses, plates and real cutlery (we’re sure thid kids will help with the washing up after?)  If you can’t then be sure to buy eco-friendly alternatives that are biodegradable or recyclable.
  4. Provide Recycling Points around your garden.  Have CLEARLY marked buckets/containers so that any plastics, cans or bottles can be collected separately and therefore recycled properly.
  5. Natural Centerpieces.  Decorate your tables with fresh fruits or flowers – from your own garden perhaps?
  6. Choose Aluminum and Glass over Plastic.  If you do provide individual drinks, then go for aluminum cans or glass bottles over plastic.  Both these products can be recycled over and over again whereas plastics only have a limited number of re-uses due to its breakdown of chemical structure each time it is recycled.
  7. Solar Lighting. If your party is going on until late, why not get some solar lights for your garden instead of moving indoors and having all your house lights blazine away using energy?
  8. Buy Local Products.  Make use of what is on your doorstep, at your local stores.  Buy local seasonal goods instead of buying stuff that has been hauled half way across the country to get to you.

your carbon footprint

You can lead by example.  The more people who see how you can entertain without leaving huge carbon footprints everywhere, the more people will follow your GREEN example.

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However, the most important message this weekend is ENJOY YOURSELVES!!!

Footnote:

If you are not planning on having a party this weekend, you can still take advantage of the break to get down in that basement and clear out all your unwanted items.  Bag up your old clothes and send them to a local charity.  If you have any obsolete computers or cellphones then contact us and we can take them away for you.

 

 

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Cans Recycling – How to get started?

Setting up a recycling scheme at school is a stimulating way for students to get ‘hands-on’ experience of the benefits of recycling and learning about the environment.

Getting Started:

  1. First step……..you’ve already taken it by coming to this site to find out the best way to set up a scheme in your school.
  2. Announce the start of the scheme in school and at home. You can also ask pupils/students to collect cans at home and bring them into school for recycling.
  3. Set up collection points for recycling – place containers close to vending machines, in canteens, and group recycling containers together.
  4. Make it fun! Recycling can be a vibrant part of your school activities and daily life. Why not hold special assemblies, encourage staff to utilise our free teaching resources.
  5. Communicate regularly with teachers, pupils and their families to remind them about the recycling scheme. Use notice boards, newsletters, the school website, letters home and word of mouth – shout about how well the scheme is doing!

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Handy Tips:

  1. Tell the cleaner or janitor! Make sure he/she is aware that the recycling bins should not be emptied into the general rubbish but saved for recycling.
  2. Find out where your local can recycling centre is and how what is the minimum weight they will accept.
  3. Keep track of how much you have collected so far………and circulate the good news. This will keep everyone motivated and encourage them to recycle more.
  4. Make sure you have enough bags or boxes to keep your recycling in.
  5. To save space, squash cans before saving them.
  6. Remember….if you’re not sure whether your can is made of aluminum…..get a magent.  Aluminum is not magnetic so the magnet won’t stick.
  7. Make sure you rinse out the cans before recycling them – food waste left inside cans contaminates the recycling process.

For information about aluminum and the recycling process click here.

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Aluminum Cans – CA$H in your hand?

No other material offers the versatility and environmental benefits of aluminum.

Aluminum is infinitely recyclable making it the material of choice for balancing the demand of a growing economy with the need to preserve the environment.

Since the first industrial production of aluminum in the 1880s, 75% of all material produced is still in use today.

The benefits

Aluminum recycling provides significant energy savings in multiple sectors:

Recycling aluminum requires 95% less energy, and produces 95% fewer greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), than manufacturing primary aluminum. That is a GHG saving equivalent to taking 900,000 cars off the road for 12 months.

Today, the global aluminum recycling industry prevents close to 170 million tonnes of GHG from entering the environment every year.

Recycling 1 tonne of aluminum avoids the emission of about 9 tonnes of CO2 emissions – just 1 tonne of CO2 is equivalent to driving nearly 3,000 miles.

Recycling aluminum reduces the use of natural resources and chemicals (caustic soda, aluminum fluoride and lime) and eliminates the need for bauxite ore to be mined.

More than one million tons of aluminum containers and packaging (soda cans, TV dinner trays, aluminum foil) are thrown away each year.

Americans throw away enough aluminum every three months to rebuild our entire commercial air fleet.

Recycling aluminum beverage cans

The aluminum beverage can is the world’s most recycled packaging container.

Eight billion aluminum beverage cans are sold in the UK every year, and each one could be recycled over and over again, saving energy, raw materials and waste.  In the US, approximately 36 billion aluminum cans are landfilled annually. The cans that were thrown away had an estimated scrap value of more than $600 million.

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It is estimated that over the past twenty years, the US population has trashed more than 11 million tons of aluminum beverage cans worth over $12 billion on today’s market.

A used aluminum beverage can can be recycled, reprocessed, remade and ready for re-sale in around 60 days.

In a whole year, that one can could be recycled eight times, saving enough energy to make 160 new cans.

Making one aluminum beverage can from raw materials uses the same amount of energy that it takes to recycle 20.  And if you really want to put this into an everyday context – recycling just one aluminum beverage can saves enough energy to power a television for three hours or keep a 100 watt lightbulb burning for four hours.

100 watt lightbulb

The future

Globally, close to 70% of all aluminum beverage cans are recycled, making it the world’s most recycled packaging product. Because aluminum is infinitely recyclable, it can be reused in applications vastly different from its previous purpose, and it can also be recast into its original form.

These properties make aluminum an ideal material for use in premium applications, even after being recycled many times. For example, a 50-year-old building facade can be recycled into the aluminum needed for the engine block of a new car with no degradation in quality.

So next time you go to throw that can of soda away – just remember you are throwing HARD CA$H away.

 

 

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