How important is recycling?

Posted: January 12th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Energy Conservation, Green Recycling, plastic recycling | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

This post comes to us from the lovely and talented Christine Maddox from
We have a complete open door policy for guest blogs. If you have an idea for a blog, please email it to me, and if it fits our criteria, I will send you a complete submission guide. We post one blog per week, more or less.


There has been a huge focus on recycling in recent years as people across the world attempt to cut down on the negative impact they can have on the environment. As well as individuals doing their bit, businesses and entire nations are getting involved; coming together to make a difference. With this in mind, are we doing enough to hit recycling targets, or does more need to be done?

Why bother?

There are some people who don’t think there is any point in recycling anything and just throw everything away. However, if you are one of these people, take a moment to consider the impact this actually has. You may find that you want to start recycling some of your items. Landfill sites are filling up rapidly and space is running out for all the rubbish. Nobody wants to be living next to a giant rubbish site, but if the amount of waste keeps building, this is a very real possibility for the future.

A lot of the items that end up in landfill sites can easily be recycled, effectively taking up less room and making space for things that can simply rot into the ground. Plastic bags from supermarkets take years to break down but can easily be reused for your shopping several times over. Some shops have started giving incentives to people who reuse their old shopping bags, while others have started charging for plastic bags in a bid to crack down on the amount of waste these create.

Bigger scale

The amount of waste being created across the world can impact us in a bigger way as well. Many people are concerned about the effects of global warming and the greenhouse effect so governments in various different nations have implemented recycling targets. Wales was recently shown to be on track to meet its recycling target, having a long-term goal of zero waste by 2050. While that might seem like an unachievable goal, they are already hitting over 50 per cent of that target.

If all the countries in the world took a similar stance to recycling, the effects it has on the environment could be drastically reduced. From the point of view of a business, recycling might not be a top priority but it should be. There are various companies that are dedicated to waste disposal and recycling so it would be wise for businesses to recruit these services if necessary. If the nature of the business means that lots of waste is being created but it is not practical for them to recycle or reuse any of it, an external company could sort this out for them.

It’s easy to think that the little things don’t make much difference but if everyone started recycling on an individual scale, the overall results would be breath-taking. Even in a small office, doing as something as simple as putting the empty milk cartoons into the recycling bin can do its bit towards saving the environment and cutting down on the carbon footprint left on this earth. Of course as a business there are professional providers of business recycling including

Berlin Street Artists Make Insane Art Out Of The City’s Waste

Posted: September 22nd, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: green art, Re-use | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

This is a really cool article about a ‘green’ activity that’s going on in Berlin Germany. The link below will take you to the Fast Company blog where this article is posted. I think this would be a great initiative to try and get launched in Canada, where there seems to be a never ending supply of stuff destined for landfills just hanging around on the streets. The artists’ ‘re-use of this material not only  makes for some very interesting art, but also reduces the burden that our ever growing landfills must carry.

The blog was written by NYC writer Sydney Brownstone, whose bio is below the link.

Sydney Brownstone is a New York-based staff writer at Co.Exist. She lives in a Brooklyn apartment with windows that don’t quite open, and is interested in systemic abuse of public space and the commons. She’s written for the Village Voice, Mother Jones, Brooklyn Magazine, The L Magazine, and has contributed to NPR.

Composting: How to Do It and Why It Matters

Posted: July 26th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Composting, Green Communities, Green Home, Green Technology | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

This is a guest blog from writer Chloe Trogden. Thanks Chloe

Image by Chris Breikss via Flickr

Every year, we generate about 250 million tons of trash in the United States, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. That’s a lot of waste, and it has to go somewhere. A lot of the chemicals and other toxins in our waste can end up in the ground and the water supply, contaminating our food or drinking sources. In addition, all that waste is contributing to the depletion of natural resources.

Recycling is one way that people have started to reduce the amount of waste produced, but it’s not enough. We need to recycle more, and we need to compost more. The EPA estimates that 87 million tons of material are recycled or composted each year. However, if each household and small business made a commitment to composting, that number could improve dramatically.

How to Compost at Home

Composting is very easy to do at home. You need to set up a compost bin in your yard, which you can either build yourself or buy from a home improvement store. The bin should be enclosed except for an open bottom and a removable top. You can build a pallet out of wood or an old trashcan.

You can put a wide variety of materials into your compost bin, but they should consist of a mix of “greens” and “browns.” Greens include kitchen scraps (except for meat), grass clippings, weeds, and other nitrogen-based materials. Browns include dead leaves, cardboard, newspaper, sticks, branches and other carbon-based materials. Simply put these materials into the bin and leave them to compost.

Keep your compost pile active by adding new materials regularly and turning it with a pitchfork or shovel about once a week. Water it about once a week, as well, to help activate the pile. If you keep the pile fed and activated, you should have a rich, nutrient-dense compost to add to your garden or your lawn in about three to four months.

How to Compost for Your Small Business

No matter what type of small business you have, you can also compost your waste. Traditional office environments will have plenty of paper materials to add to the compost bin, which can be supplemented by scraps from employees’ lunches and clippings from office plants. Businesses that serve food stuffs can supplement their steady supply of scraps with old receipts, waste paper from old files, and cardboard boxes from shipments.

By composting, businesses can help to reduce their carbon footprint and conserve resources. Cafes and restaurants can use the compost to grow a small garden to supplement their supply. Other businesses can donate the compost to local community gardens or farms, helping to give back to the community.

The Benefits of Composting for Everyone

Composting helps to recycle materials that might have otherwise ended up in the landfill, taking up precious land, requiring the use of natural resources and manpower to transport and process the waste, and potentially ending up contaminating the water supply. You can help to reduce your carbon footprint as an individual or as a business by composting what you can to turn that waste into something useful and to reduce your consumption of natural resources.

Individuals can also save money by composting. They can use it in place of fertilizer or garden soil, and they can grow bigger and more nutritious vegetables. Small businesses that are in the food industry can do the same.

Composting is a great way to reduce your waste and maybe to even save a little money. It’s easy to do, and it can make a big impact. Consider composting in your home or even your business to start reaping the benefits.


Chloe Trogden is a seasoned financial aid writer who covers specific opportunities such as grants for minority students. Her leisure activities include camping, swimming and volunteer work.


State of Fear…A Revealing Perspective on The ‘Green’ Movement

Posted: February 24th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Green Books, Green Technology | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

I’m a big fan of the late Micheal Chrichton. Ever since the Andromeda strain he has worked very hard in his novels, articles and non-fiction books to unearth some sort of objective truths about a great deal of stuff that is reported in the media as objective news.

In State of Fear, which was published in 2004, his weapon of choice is the environmental movement. While he doesn’t not seek to discredit the movement in any way, he does point out that like any other force for change in society, it can be tainted by greed and corruption. And just because the environmental movement is well intentioned, that doesn’t mean that a lot of people involved with it are not ignorant about much of the science behind how the ecosystems of our planet really work.

An Adventure Novel With Footnotes

What’s really interesting about this book, beside the fact that it is a rollicking good adventure story with lots of amazing stuff that happens to the heroes, is the fact that the comments of antagonists, of which there are three or four, are all supported by scholarly and scientific research which is frequently footnoted. As you read through these footnotes you really get a clear picture of the main point that this novel is trying to make, which is that the powers that be who used to control people and keep them in a constant “State Of Fear” through intimidation about the Communist Scare, The Counter Culture Movement and Stock Market Instability are now using Media Control to achieve their ends.

Admittedly this all sounds quite dastardly, until you think about it for a while. And State of Fear makes you do just that.  It also goes a long why toward reinforcing the theory that the human race isn’t destroying the planet so much as it is destroying itself.

I know we are all trying to do the right thing by the environment: to conserve, to recycle and re-use as much as possible and that’s a good thing. But the minute you start to become ‘fanatical’ about it, or fanatical about anything else in life for that matter, rest assured that there is always someone out there who is willing to use that fanaticism for their own ends.

State of Fear was nowhere near being Micheal Crichton’s best selling novel…but it may very well have been his most realistic. These days it’s easy to find novels that are enjoyable to read. Novels that are enjoyable to read and actually make a strong point are few and far between. I recommend it very highly.



Taiwan’s Eco Arc — Green Architecture In Action

Posted: March 25th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Green Initiatives, Green Technology | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »


Arthur Huang. Young, smart, and committed to building a better world.

While we tend to think of the Chinese culture as something very old and traditional, the young Chinese architects of Taiwan are anything but. Recently one of these young architects, Arthur Huang, was profiled on an episode of the Megastructures on the National Geographic Channel.

His idea was to build the world’s lightest eco friendly building, mainly of something called polli-bricks, injection moulded bottles made entirely of recycled plastic drink containers. The commission, for the Far Eastern Group, was to build a completely sustainable and completely deconstructable building that would initially be used as a pavilion for the 2010 Taipei International Expo. The Building would then be taken down and reconstructed in various locations around the world and would serve as a shining example of sustainability and recycling, not to mention Chinese architectural innovation.

Impressive Specs

The ECOArks walls, painstakingly assembled from injection moulded recycled drink bottles.

The 130 metre long and 26 metre high building itself is a true architectural wonder. Nicknamed the EcoARK and composed of 1.5 million polli-bricks, bonded together, by a small amount of silicon into 3 metre square panels, the building was engineered to withstand large earthquakes and typhoons. It is also designed to be self -heating and cooling, using the power of both the sun and the wind in innovative ways.

The pavilion includes an amphitheatre, museum space and a screen of falling water collected during rainy periods for air conditioning. The clear plastic containers in the wall allow natural light to flood the cavernous interior.

Douglas Hsu, Chairman of the Far Eastern Group is quoted as saying ,“EcoARK is the world’s lightest, movable, breathable environmental miracle,”

Today’s Technology Builds A Modern Classic 

The story of the design and construction of this unique building is an incredible example of how, with today’s technology, recycling can play a major role in building and home construction. And the raw materials available to anyone wishing to build with them are abundantly available from the recyclable plastics, wood and metals that are all around us.

To view a series of videos on EcoARK