Everyone knows one of the first steps to going green is to recycle. Recycling allows us to reuse materials and items, instead of need to pull more vital resources from the earth. The reverse is also beneficial, keeping dangerous materials out of the landfills where they can seep into the ground and water.
The basics of recycling are well known, glass, paper, plastics, metal, but there are many other items that can and should be recycled that many people are unaware of:
Compact Florescent Lights contain a small amount of mercury, which can be hazardous if it makes its way into our water and soil. Many companies offer recycling programs to take back your used CFLs.
Plastic bags, if put into a landfill, will take thousands of years to to break down. Luckily, they are easy to reuse. Many stores will take back used shopping bags, and some will even take sandwich bags and plastic wraps.
Batteries contain heavy metals than can contaminate soil and water. Many retailers and full service recycling centers will take batteries.
Tattered rags and clothing may not be something you would think to recycle. Who would want them? Goodwill takes donations of these items and has them recycled for uses such as sofa stuffing.
Printer cartridges often end up in landfills but are super easy to reuse. Many electronic retailers will refill your cartridge for much less than a new one. Some companies will also pay you for your old cartridges to reuse themselves.
There are many more things that can be recycled but often aren't: cell phones, televisions, and many other electronics for example. Next time you're throwing something unusual away, stop and think that maybe this doesn't need to be in a landfill.
Electric cars are slowly chipping away at our fossil fuel dependency and stemming the tide that is global warming. This is great, but so far most have been fairly conventional. Why should only the able bodied have easy access to the wave of the future? Well, an auto company in Hungary thought the same thing. Developed in Hungary and now built in Pflugerville, Texas (yup, Pflugerville), the Kenguru is an electric car that can reach speeds of 25 mph and travel 60 miles on a charge. It has a door in the back that allows for easy roll-in access for wheelchairs. The vehicle is handled similar to a moped, with acceleration, steering, and braking controlled via hand controls.
Normally, wheelchair conversion of cars or vans can cost $14,000 or more on top of the cost of the vehicle. The Kenguru makes for a much more affordable option at $25,000. This cost can often be brought down more by federal and state aid programs. And, with recent developments in lithium ion technology, the cost of electric cars is expected to go down in the future. While not the perfect solution, the Kenguru is a greener, more affordable option for those confined to wheelchairs but looking for some independence.
Green Lawn by Green Team,posted Jun 4 2012 10:10AM
Everyone loves a well kept lawn in the summer. It's nice to look at and fun to play on. But to what extents should we go to keep our lawns green? Can we keep our lawns green while still being "green"? Yup! And here's how.
Set your lawn mower higher. Longer grass retains water better.
Water in early morning when it is cooler to minimize evaporation.
Adjust sprinklers so only the lawn is watered, not the lawn, house, sidewalks, cars, etc.
Collect rainwater and use it to water your lawns and gardens later.
Direct gutters and downspouts towards shrubs and bushes.
Install drip irrigation systems to water more efficiently.
Keep your lawn healthy while conserving water you'll have a guilt free summer knowing you're doing your part to save the world.
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