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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.

banner-labor-day-weekend

 

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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Why We Should Recycle

UK households produced 30.5 million tonnes of waste in 2003/04, of which 17% was collected for recycling (source: defra.gov.uk). This figure is still quite low compared to some of our neighbouring EU countries, some recycling over 50% of their waste. There is still a great deal of waste which could be recycled that ends up in landfill sites which is harmful to the environment.

Approximately 55% of 220 million tons of waste generated each year in the United States ends up in one of the over 3,500 landfills. Municipal solid waste landfills are the second-largest source of human-related methane emissions in the United States, accounting for approximately 22 percent of these emissions in 2008 (EPA, 2011).

Recycling is an excellent way of saving energy and conserving the environment. Did you know that:

  • 1 recycled tin can would save enough energy to power a television for 3 hours.
  • 1 recycled glass bottle would save enough energy to power a computer for 25 minutes.
  • 1 recycled plastic bottle would save enough energy to power a 60-watt light bulb for 3 hours.
  • 70% less energy is required to recycle paper compared with making it from raw materials.

Some Interesting Facts

  • Up to 60% of the rubbish that ends up in the dustbin could be recycled.
  • The unreleased energy contained in the average dustbin each year could power a television for 5,000 hours.
  • The largest lake in the Britain could be filled with rubbish from the UK in 8 months.
  • On average, 16% of the money you spend on a product pays for the packaging, which ultimately ends up as rubbish.
  • As much as 50% of waste in the average dustbin could be composted.
  • Up to 80% of a vehicle can be recycled.
  • 9 out of 10 people would recycle more if it were made easier.

Aluminium

Discarded cans
Discarded cans
  • 24 million tonnes of aluminium is produced annually, 51,000 tonnes of which ends up as packaging in the UK.
  • If all cans in the UK were recycled, we would need 14 million fewer dustbins.
  • £36,000,000 worth of aluminium is thrown away each year.
  • Aluminium cans can be recycled and ready to use in just 6 weeks.
  • 20 recycled cans can be made with the power needed to make a single new can.

Glass

In this Sept. 15, 2009 photo, discarded glass piling up at the Cheyenne, Wyo., landfill is shown. The city continues to struggle to find a market for the jars and bottles it collects for recycling.  (AP Photo/Mead Gruver)
In this Sept. 15, 2009 photo, discarded glass piling up at the Cheyenne, Wyo., landfill is shown. The city continues to struggle to find a market for the jars and bottles it collects for recycling. (AP Photo/Mead Gruver)
  • Each UK family uses an average of 500 glass bottles and jars annually.
  • The largest glass furnace produces over 1 million glass bottles and jars per day.
  • Recycling 15 glass bottles saves enough energy to power a laptop for 31.3 hours or run A/C for 1 hour.
  • Glass is 100% recyclable and can be used again and again.
  • Glass that is thrown away and ends up in landfills will never decompose.

Paper

a world of waste paper
a world of waste paper
  • Recycled paper produces 73% less air pollution than if it was made from raw materials and 35% less water pollution.
  • 12.5 million tonnes of paper and cardboard are used annually in the UK.
  • The average person in the UK gets through 38kg of newspapers per year.
  • It takes 24 trees to make 1 ton of newspaper.

Plastic

50 billion plastic bottles used in US
50 billion plastic bottles used in US
  • 275,000 tonnes of plastic are used each year in the UK, that’s about 15 million bottles per day.
  • Most families throw away about 40kg of plastic per year, which could otherwise be recycled.
  • Every pound of recycled plastic reduces energy use in plastic production by 84% and greenhouse gas emissions by 71%.
  • The use of plastic in Western Europe is growing about 4% each year.
  • In the US four fifths of plastic water bottles used ended up in landfill.
  • Plastic can take up to 500 years to decompose.
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