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Recycling Tips

Make It A Habit – Rethink What You Do
Remember: decomposition requires light, heat oxygen and moisture — things not very abundant in landfills.

A wax paper cup takes 5 years to decompose out in the open. Imagine how long it takes in a landfill!

A disposable diaper won’t decompose for at least 300 years!

Glass items never decompose

A standard shower head uses 5-7 gallons of water per minute-low flow shower heads reduce water use by 50% or more

40% of the pure water you use in your home is flushed down the toilet

A double-pane window retains twice as much heat as a single-pane window.

We save 17 trees for each ton of recycled newspaper

It’s against the law to dispose of motor oil in the landfill, into sewers, drainage systems, septic tanks, surface water or onto the ground. The law also prohibits oil for dust control or weed abatement. It must be recycled!

Dumping just one gallon of motor oil into a drain can contaminate 1 million gallons of fresh water.

Americans throw out enough iron and steel to supply all the nation’s automakers on a continual basis.

A 150 lb adult will leave a legacy of 90,000 lbs of trash for his or her children.
Using fewer hazardous materials benefits you, your loved ones and the environment. Here are some safer substitutes:
  • All-purpose cleaner: Mix 1/2 cup of borax with 1 gallon of water
  • Furniture polish: Mix 2 parts vegetable oil with 1 part lemon juice
  • Glass cleaner: Mix 3 tablespoons of white vinegar in 2 cups of warm water
  • Air freshener: Place baking soda or herbs in an open dish and place around the house
  • Rug or upholstery cleaner: Sprinkle corn starch and let is set five minutes. Vacuum as usual
  • Fabric softener: Add 1/4 cup of baking soda or white vinegar to rinse cycle
  • Remember to use sponges and cloths to clean or polish with rather than disposable towels
Make It A Habit – Reuse What You Have
With almost 1500 members, Freecycle Greenville is growing fast. And proving daily that one man’s trash is indeed another man (or woman’s) treasure.

Freecycle Greenville is a web-based group whose members are dedicated to the giving away of useful but unwanted goods to keep them out of landfills and maybe help someone less fortunate in the process. Items posted here must be FREE, LEGAL AND APPROPRIATE for all ages. No spam, politics or general crankiness allowed. Any one can join but members are expected to not only take items but offer them as well. Join

Reuse organization – www.redo.org
  • Repair it instead of trashing it!
  • Use rechargeable batteries instead of disposables
  • Don’t use disposable razors
  • Check the batteries—it may not be broken after all!
  • Donate your unwanted clothes and household goods to a charitable organization.
  • Check with Habit for Humanity or local non-profit groups if you have paint you no longer need.
  • Donate unwanted toys or other children’s items to churches or daycares.
  • Check with local shelters to see if they could use scrap cloth, blankets or padding for homeless animals.
  • Have items that your local recycling program doesn’t accept? Check schools, churches and daycares. Most items can be used for crafts.
Make It A Habit – Reduce What You Use
Reduce your incoming junk mail! Here’s some links to get started:
  • Catalog Choice – it’ll get you on no-send lists and stops catalog spam.
  • DirectMail.com – free, quick way to get your name off commercial mailing lists.
  • OptOutPrescreen.com – opt out of pre-approved credit card and insurance offers online or by phone: 1-888-5-OPTOUT.
  • EcoLogical Mail Coalition – helps businesses stop mail addressed to former employees.
  • Native Forest Network’s Guide – five easy steps to stop junk mail.
  • Keep America Beautiful: www.kab.org
  • Environmental Defense Fund: www.edf.org
Choose an environmentally conscious hotel when you travel: Check out www.greenhotels.com and let the management of the Establishment know that their environmental practices are why you chose them. Choose to use your sheets and towels more than once while staying in a hotel. 

Avoid disposables: use your large bottles to fill travel-size reusable containers with your shampoo, lotion and other toiletries. Don’t use disposable razors.

Purchase electronic tickets when possible — save paper!

Shopping: Make a statement! Don’t accept a bag with purchases when possible. Bring a reusable bag for shopping. Carry a reusable mug to fill at convenience stores and coffee shops. Sometimes you’ll even get a discount for doing so.

At Home: Use rechargeable batteries instead of disposables. Use lightweight plastic plates when having a picnic or get-together because they can be washed and reused along with the plastic flatware. Save mustard, ketchup and other packets for use the next time you’re on the road or at home. Reduce your dependence on herbicides and pesticides. See composting.

Use washable napkins and cleaning cloths instead of disposables. Always conserve energy — turn off lights, televisions, etc.

Local Travel: Use public transportation. Carpool when possible.

Find out how many trees it took to make the magazines you have at home or in the office! 

Make It A Habit – Use Retailers Who Recycle
Want to know where your recycled paper goes? Want to commit to buying recycled or tree-free paper products?

FedEx KINKO’S stocks their self-serve copiers with recycled paper. Over the span of this year’s “Green Holidays” (St. Patrick’s Day – Earth Day – Arbor Day), FedEx Kinko’s is also stocking a Green Machine copier at every U.S. location, featuring copy paper that is 100% postconsumer, processed chlorine free. They’ll also plant a tree if you buy a ream of recycled copy paper or recycled content greeting cards at their store. Best of all, FedEx Kinko’s announced in March 2003 a new Sustainable Forest-Based Products Policy, developed in consultation with Rainforest Action Network (RAN). The new policy promises to provide more and higher-content recycled papers, no use of old growth or endangered forest fibers, stock papers that are processed chlorine free, increase use of tree free papers, support source reduction such as double-sided copies, and work with suppliers to ensure that they also verify their sources and follow FedEx Kinko’s guidelines.

STAPLES announced in November 2002 its commitment to phase out paper products from endangered forests and dramatically increase its sale of recycled paper, thanks to a campaign led by ForestEthics and Dogwood Alliance, with help from lots of other environmental groups around the country.

OFFICE DEPOT now carries its “Green Top” house brand of recycled paper with 35% postconsumer content at very competitive prices with many virgin copy papers. We’ve seen specials where it’s sold at the same price as their house brand “red top” virgin copy paper.

Click the link for more retail locations offering recycled paper products including cards and gift wrap.
Cards, Calendars and Paper Products