Recycling & Conservation Club Tips ARCHIVE
for Greener Trash Practices
According to the Seventh Generation company, if every household
in America replaced just 20 tall kitchen drawstring trash bags made with
virgin plastic with 20 bags made with 65 percent recycled content, we would
save 39,000 barrels of oil, enough to heat and cool 2,200 US homes for a
year. We would also save landfill space and reduce air pollution needed to
produce the plastic. Here are some ways to be greener with trash disposal:
Reduce waste. Buy products with less packaging
or packaging that can be recycled. Recycle everything you possibly
can—paper, plastics, glass, cardboard, and metal—and compost plant-based
food scraps to make a great soil conditioner for your garden.
Reuse plastic grocery and shopping bags. They
make great liners for small wastebaskets.
Empty smaller wastebaskets into a larger trash
can. That way you don’t have to throw away the bag used to line the
Choose the right size bag. Using bags that are
larger than you need is simply a waste of resources and money.
Compact your trash by hand. Reduce the volume of
bulky items such as milk cartons by pressing or stepping on them.
Consider investing in a trash compactor. It will
reduce the volume of trash and the number and size of bags you use.
Buy greener trash bags. Purchase bags made with
recycled materials, degradable plastic, or biodegradable plastic.
Source: "Easy Green Living" by Renee Loux
—Submitted by the Recycling and Conservation Club (05.18.11)
Reduce CO2 Emissions
The average American produces approximately 40,000 pounds of carbon dioxide
(CO2) emissions a year. By decreasing this number, we save the
environment, as well as save money. Here are some helpful tips:
Turn your refrigerator down.
Set your clothes washer to cold.
Turn down the temperature on your hot water
tank. Most are set at 140 degrees. You can set it down up to 20 degrees.
When purchasing any electrical
equipment/appliance, select an Energy Star.
Clean your air filters every three months or
Buy energy efficient compact fluorescent light
bulbs. Yes, they cost more, but you will save money on your electric bill
and lower your CO2.
Use a low flow shower head.
Plant shade trees to help keep your house cool.
By just doing these few things (there are many
more), you can reduce your CO2 and save money! For more
information, check out the following websites:
—Submitted by the Recycling & Conservation Club (04.06.11)
Reduce Paper Waste
In 2008, Americans recycled or composted 83 million tons of
recyclable waste, compared to an estimated 250 million tons of waste
created, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (about 1/3 of
the waste was recycled). According to the EPA, one office worker uses an
average of 10,000 sheets of copy paper in one year, amounting to an annual
nationwide usage of 4 million tons. To do your part to reduce paper waste,
use the recycling bins located on MCC campuses. For double the contribution
to a recycling effort, purchase paper products made from recycled paper.
—Submitted by the Recycling & Conservation Club (03.23.11)
—Submitted by the Recycling & Conservation
Should You Recycle at Work?
Much of the waste we use at work ends up in the landfill where most of it
could be recycled. Recycling at work must start with you. What can be
recycled at work? It depends on your work environment. If you work in an
office, you can recycle old computers, printers, toner cartridges,
cardboard, unwanted newspapers and magazines, and waste paper. If you work
at a restaurant, you can set up recycling for glass, aluminum, plastics, and
paper products. Many items at an automotive repair shop can be recycled as
well. Recycling has to begin with one person and spread to the entire
workplace. Reducing waste goes with recycling. You can look for ways to
reduce or reuse items at your work place; for example, print what you need,
print on both sides, share newspapers and magazines, use reusable cups,
mugs, silverware, and flatware instead of disposable items, and bring your
lunch in a reusable container. Also, you may purchase items for work that
were made from recycled material. Lead by example; recycling starts with one
person. Share with your co-workers recycling tips and why it is important to
recycle; then, recycling becomes a habit! Here are some websites for more
—Submitted by the Recycling & Conservation Club
Composting is an
easy and free way of getting rid of lawn and kitchen refuse. The bacteria-
and nutrient-rich compost is also excellent fertilizer for lawn or garden
use. You may create a pile of yard debris and other organic items. It will
take approximately six months to a year for this material to become
nutrient-rich fertilizer for your lawn or garden. One can create a more
effective compost pile by collecting organic material, periodically turning
the material with a shovel, and watering the material bi-weekly or monthly
depending on the amount of material collected. When the compost is
"finished" (i.e. ready to use), none of the refuse in it will be
distinguishable. —Submitted by
the MCC Recycling and Conservation Club (01.19.11)
"Green" Gift Wrapping
During the holiday season and all through the year, green gift and gift
wrapping ideas are welcome to help the planet while celebrating holidays,
birthdays, and other occasions! Green gifts include donations to charities,
gift certificates for services, or tickets to arts events. Other gifts that
do not add packaging and other waste to the local landfill include personal
gift certificates of yard work, babysitting, or home-cooked meals. If you
choose to purchase a gift, beautiful and meaningful green gift wrap ideas
abound! Purchase inexpensive colorful cloth napkins, tea towels, or small
tablecloths or use fabric squares to wrap gifts that can be tied with ribbon
or interesting yarn or twine. All of these wrapping materials are useful or
can be "recycled" for future presents. Brown paper or newspapers tied with
bright fabric ribbons or twine are other attractive and reusable wrapping
paper ideas. Always save and reuse gift bags, ribbon, and bows. For more
ideas for green gift wrapping, visit
Happy Holidays!—Submitted by
the MCC Recycling and Conservation Club (12.08.10)
Your Old Batteries
Each year, Americans throw out almost 180,000 tons of batteries.
Only about 14,000 of those tons are rechargeable batteries. If we replace
single-use batteries with rechargeables, we save money and ensure fewer
batteries end up in landfills. Once rechargeable batteries reach the end of
their usable life, recycling is a great option. Some Iredell County
retailers who take used rechargeable batteries are:
RadioShack—Crossroads Shopping Center and Signal
Hill Mall locations in Statesville
Home Depot in Statesville takes rechargeable
batteries. Receptacle at main entrance.
Lowe’s in Mooresville, Statesville, and
Troutman. Receptacles at main entrances.
Best Buy in Mooresville. Battery bin inside the
—Submitted by the MCC Recycling and
Conservation Club (11.10.10)
Eco-Friendly Personal Care and Household Products
Have you ever wondered about how the personal care and household
cleaners that you use impact your health and environment? There is a
Web-based company named GoodGuide that rates products related to their
impact on health, environment and society. They rate each product on a scale
of 0 to 10 where the higher the value, the better. If each consumer was more
careful in selecting products that are better for themselves and better for
the environment and society, the health of all three could be improved. Two
products we all consume are toothpaste and laundry soap. The highest ranking
toothpaste they list is rated 8.7. Two brands that appeared at the top of
the toothpaste list are Miessence and Tom’s. The highest ranking laundry
soap they list has a 9.0 rating. Top brands in this category include Ecos
and Seventh Generation. While all of the top rated brand names might not be
available in every store they are available if you are willing to shop
around. How does your toothpaste and laundry soap rate? Might you consider
making changes in your product selections if different products would be
better for you and the environment? A detailed article on this Web site can
be found in the October 25, 2010 edition of Newsweek but of course
the easiest way to learn more is to go to their Web site at
How To Stop Junk Mail
Ask credit card companies and other businesses
and organizations with which you do business not to sell, rent or trade
Call (888) 567-8688 to request credit reporting
firms to delete your name from their lists.
Send a card to Mail Preference Service, Direct
Marketing Association, PO Box 282, Carmel, NY, 10512, to request that your
name and its variations be deleted from the direct mail preference list.
Send a card to ADVO, Consumer Assistance, PO Box
249, Windsor, CT, 06095, and request that your name and address be removed
from its mailing list. Be sure to include your signature along with your
Log on to NC Division of Pollution and
Environmental Assistance Junk Mail Web site at
—Submitted by the MCC Recycling and Conservation
The Simple (and Cheaper)
The next time you feel thirsty, forgo the bottle and turn on the tap.
Only about 10 percent of plastic water bottles are recycled, leaving the
rest in landfills where it takes thousands of years for the materials to
decompose. You’ll lower your environmental impact and save money—bottled
water can cost up to 10,000 times more per gallon than tap water! And
because the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s standards for tap water
are slightly more stringent than the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s
standards for bottled water, you’ll be drinking water that’s just as safe
as, or safer than, bottled. If, however, you don’t like the taste of your
tap water or are unsure of its quality, you can buy a filter pitcher or
install an inexpensive faucet filter to remove trace chemicals and bacteria.
If you will be away from home, fill a reusable bottle from your tap and
refill it along the way; travel bottles that have built-in filters also are
available. (Bottles made of stainless steel or plastics with the numbers 2,
4 or 5 are best; check the bottom of the bottle.)
—Submitted by the MCC Recycling and
Conservation Club (10.06.10)