7 Ways to Precycle, Upcycle, and DIY Your Way to (Almost) Never Recycling Again – Planet Green

A landfill in Poland

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7 Ways to Precycle, Upcycle, and DIY Your Way to (Almost) Never Recycling Again – Planet Green.

Conventional green wisdom used to be that recycling was one of the best things you could do for the planet — you’d be keeping trash out of landfills, using items made from old materials, and trimming your waste all at once. But these days we know that recycling has its own footprint: It requires energy to breakdown and repurpose the original material, and the resulting product is often a blend of post-consumer and brand-new substances.

Learn ways to pre-cycle at the above link.

Planetgreen.com suggests:

1.  Buy in Bulk

2. Ditch disposables

3. Upcycle

4. Think Outside the Kitchen

5. Stop Getting Junk Mail

6. Read mags and newspapers online

7. Make Your Own

Sierra Club: Back to School with the Sierra Club!

Sierra Club: Back to School with the Sierra Club!.

This is a link to an interactive page for children by the Sierra Club.  They are also hosting a Walk to School Challenge.

“During October, elementary and middle school students and their families can help their schools win one of five $5,000 grants — simply by walking (or bicycling) to school. The five schools with the highest levels of participation will be eligible to win a $5,000 grant. Walking uphill not required.”

This is a good find for anyone with kids who wants to begin their interaction with nature and other issues.  Children can learn more than we think they can.

My nephew is 5 and I tell him the truth about ALMOST everything (if it’s about Santa or the Easter Bunny I refer him to his mother).  He knows the Water Cycle and the last thing we were talking about is how we see colors.

Sierra Club No Impact Project Experiment Day 1

The carbon footprint as it is understood by pe...

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Update for this project…life happened and I was experiencing severe pain so I was unable to complete the project.  Please keep reading, however, there is still some useful information and links.


I was emailed the packet for this project a few days ago and I have been excited about starting it.  To sign up and receive the package, click here

Here is how they describe it on their site:
“The No Impact Experiment is a one-week carbon cleanse that starts on Sunday, August 29th. It is a chance for you to see what a difference no-impact living can have on your quality of life. It’s not about giving up creature comforts but an opportunity for you to test whether the modern “conveniences” you take for granted are actually making you happier or just eating away at your time and money.”

WHAT: A one-week experiment in living with a lower carbon footprint.
WHEN: The No Impact Experiment lasts for a week starting on Sunday, August 29th.
HOW: Sign up at the above link. Once you sign up, they will email your No Impact Experiment guide, which will walk you through each daily challenge.

Sunday, August 30th 2010

The first thing they asked me to do was to watch a video called Story Of Stuff. It was educational AND entertaining. I actually lol’ed a few times at 5 am. I posted this video on my last blog but here it is anyways.

Here are the steps I was given next and how I did them:

1. Type up a list of all the stuff you “need” to buy this week. Delete the items that you can live without for the week. For the rest of the items, figure out if you can purchase them second-hand, borrow them, or make them yourself.

Here was what I typed out for myself:
Stuff I need for the week:
1. Dog food
2. School books
3. School supplies
4. Food
5. Cigarettes
6. Bus pass
7. Worm medicine for the dog
8. Co-pays on medication
9. Bills
10. Laundry
-There is nothing to delete, I need all of these things.
-I have to buy dog food, food, bus pass, medicine for dog, co-pays for medicine, and pay for bills
-Cigarettes I don’t need but will more than likely buy although I can buy rolling tobacco to lessen the cost and amount of waste
-I am going to rent as many of my schoolbooks that I can or buy used

I realized I really don’t buy that much when I’m broke. I also learned that in the last few months; while trying to lose weight and reading about toxic chemicals and how to make my own cleaning products I have already begun to consume less. All of the things on the list are NEEDED except for cigarettes.

2. Put an empty re-usable bag in a private place at home. Throughout the day, fill it up with all of your trash, recyclables, and food waste. If you’re out of the house, carry your trash home with you. Make sure that nobody else’s trash gets in there but your own. This will help you get ready for Monday’s challenge.


3. Just for this week, try not to shop for new items. Will you find something better to do with your time and money? Could you use this time to spend with friends instead?

4. What is the hardest part of decreased purchasing? Go to their site and comment about your experience, thoughts, and overall consumption habits. If you’re trying something new or unique, tell us about it.

5. If you have not already submitted answers to your pre-experiment survey, please do so now. It will help us continue to offer the program for free and help you gauge the change you will experience this week.

They gave me a few good ideas for change including some links. I will include the links and let you explore the rest for yourself when you join the experiment.

Church Of Life After Shopping
How To Mend It
Swap For Good
5 Strategies For Throwing The Perfect Clothing Swap
Center For A New American Dream
Green Guide

Tomorrow is TRASH!!

Part 8: “Do One Green Thing: Saving the Earth Through Simple, Everyday Choices” by Mindy Pennybacker: Transportation

ECO Certified tourism logo

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Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7


I have recently been left without a car (well maybe like 6 months ago). I have been packing up my back-pack for a day downtown and heading out. It is difficult with my pain issues, but on good days I love walking and listening to my headphones. I also get a chance to smile at people as I walk by and get a closer look of local businesses.

Walking, Biking, and Ride Sharing
–spend 30 minutes a day walking or cycling instead of driving
–flying is greener, when going coast to coast, than driving. Driving about doubles your CO2 pounds.
–Union of Concerned Scientists’ green travel report
–you can improve your mileage on your car by simplesteps such as keeping the engine tuned and tires correctly inflated and driving at a steady speed
–the train across country is better than flying
–compare prices online
–;public transportation
–reduce what you carry in your car
–driving slower saves CO2 emissions and is more cost-effective

Best Shoes
Adbusters’ Blackspot Sneakers: 100% organic hemp uppers, made in union shop
Adidas SLVR Eco-labeled shoes: made with hemp and company claims to be working towards being PVC-free
Asics Running Shoes: look for PVC-free labels
Birkenstock: cork soles are a renewable resource; they take it back and replace soles
Brooks: uses FSC-certified paper fpr packaging; Biomogo midsole biodegrades quicker in landfills
Chaco: PVC-free shoes, sandals, flip-flops
Dan K. Forest: organic hemp shoes
Earth Shoes: 70% recycled material in insoles
–End Running Shoes: made with PCW recycled plastic, bamboo
Hunter PVC-free: natural rubber “Wellies”
Keds Green Label Shoes: PVC-free sneakers made of 100% organic cotton, 20% recycled rubber outsoles, recycled insoles, recycled PET bottle laces
Nike Considered: vegetable-based tanning; fewer petroleum-based and more water-based, low VOC solvents and adhesives; recycled laces, etc.
Patagonia Eco Shoes: stitched, reducing VOC glues and solvents, can replace some parts of shoe; leather is vegetable tanned
Rawganique: hemp sandles for men and women
Simple Shoes Eco Sneaks and Green Toe Eco: blend organic cotton and other natural fabrics, cork, and PCW-recycled PET plastics
Timberland Earthkeepers: shoes and boots; natural rubber soles, etc
Toms: makes footwear for a greener tomorrow with hemp, recycled plastic bottles, and recycled rubber

Donate Old Shoes

–trim off carbon footprint in other areas of your life if you are a frequent traveler
–you can purchase carbon offset with companies that invest in renewable enerfyu
–Offset Companies:
Climate Friendly
Vermont-based NativeEnergy
–fly airlines with good environmental records with Climate Counts

Part 3: “Do One Green Thing: Saving the Earth Through Simple, Everyday Choices” by Mindy Pennybacker: Meat, Dairy, Poultry, Eggs

This is the logo for the CDC-NIOSH's SENSOR-Pe...

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Part 1

Part 2

Whether you choose to eat these things or not it is still important to know the different labels. It is also important to know in case you get in a discussion about these products; whether it be about animal rights or hormones and antibiotic use in the meat industry.

The truth is that the lower you eat on the food chain the closer you are to the primary producers. I myself am not “vegetarian“, “vegan”, “lacto-ovo”, etc. However, I have made some choices recently in my life about food because of weight issues. I was pleased to find out that by trying to lose weight I have stepped into a world of healthier eating over-all, both for me and the Earth.

–Mindy Pennybacker makes a suggestion at the beginning of this chapter to, “skip red meat at least once a week” (p55). I would suggest even less than this. Are there really people who eat red meat that much? I have been trying to cut out all red meat and to tell you the truth…I don’t even miss it. Last night I made sloppy Joes with ground chicken. It was delicious and not greasy…mmmmmm.
–Less red meat is healthy for you because there is less of a chance to develop heart disease and cancer.
–Eating less red meat is good for the Earth for a few reasons like the industry’s part in climate change due to methane gas. There is also spillage of waste into water sewers and waterways and the amount of water and food use needed to raise cattle. Also, there is pesticide use and deforestation (to make more clearings for ranches).
–Vegetable protein is usually cheaper per pound than from meat.
Calculate the carbon in your diet

Trusted Labels
–the characteristics (which vary from label to label) include having a third party verification, no antibiotics or only using antibiotics on the sick, and no use of growth hormones. Also, no feeding parts of animals to other animals. Some look out for the welfare of the animal.

American Grass-fed Association: spend most of their lives out-doors and sick animals are removed instead of given antibiotics
Animal Welfare Approved: this is a family farm label and the animals spend their lives outdoors
Certified Humane: animals are given humane sheltering
Demeter Biodynamics (link 1)
Demeter Biodynamics (link 2): this label promises exercise and humane treatment of animals
Food Alliance Certified: lifetime access to pastures and humane treatment
Maine Quality Trademark: no growth hormones and animal welfare is respected
USDA Organic: This is listed in trusted labels and in the lose it side because it is better for you but not always necessarily better for the animals

Her list of Thumbs Down labels-mostly due to no 3rd party verification

Animal Care Certified/United Egg Producer: no 3rd party verification
Antibiotic Free/Raised Without Antibiotics/No Antibiotics Administered: no 3rd party verification
Free Range/Free Roaming: no guarantee
Fresh (poultry): Could have still been frozen at some point
Grass fed: no 3rd party verification
USDA “Naturally Raised”: claims no hormones or artificial colors, few antibiotics used, but there is no verification
USDA Process Verified Certified Grass (Forage) Fed: Access to pasture required but not guaranteed. They can be fed hay in stalls and still qualify. Antibiotics and growth hormones can still be used.

Grass-fed beef is lower in saturated fats and has more heart healthy omega 3 than regular beef.
Union of Concerned Scientists
Find local, grass-fed animal products

Protein/ Calcium for Vegetarians
Protein: beans and peas, nuts, and soy products (WARNING: to dieters, these things can be very high in fat)
Calcium: dark leafy veggies, soy, and calcium-fortified orange juice

rBGH is a genetically recombinant bovine growth hormone. It can cause pain in cows because it stimulates the OVER-production of milk, which causes the udders to swell. This can lead to infections in the udder. Where there are infections there is antibiotic use. With the amount of antibiotics already used in people, (one for every friggin cough or sneeze) having antibiotics in our diets can cause problems. We are already at risk of developing stronger bacteria by nature because with every generation bacteria mutate. They have such a short life cycle that they go through MANY generations in our one. This gives them the capacity to evolve faster than we can evolve the defenses to them. Now that we have antibiotics the ones surviving are the ones that do not respond to the antibiotics. You know how your doctor says, “Make sure you take them all even if you are feeling better”? That is why.

Links about antibiotic resistance
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Get Smart campaign
Antibiotic Resistance by Sean D. Pitman M.D.

Find rBGH-free milk locally

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8