It’s Simple

Americans use billions of plastic bottles every year, at quite a cost to the environment. While they can be recycled – although not all plastics can be – that requires energy and raw materials. Oil and gas resources needed to create new products are in limited supply. It would be difficult to avoid buying plastic all together. But if you really want to help the environment, take steps such as using filtered pitchers to replace bottled water, or choose from the many styles of reusable plastic, stainless or glass bottles available. Another solution is to find a way to repurpose those bottles

Practically a symbol of fall’s bounty, pumpkins sit as décor atop porches and Thanksgiving tables alike. But they are far more versatile than traditional holiday decorations and can be creatively used in a number of ways. The most familiar tactic is to scoop out the seeds. Season and roast them as snacks by themselves or stir into a brittle. Save them to grow your own pumpkin. Dry them and make mosaic tiles to use in kids’ crafts. Boil or bake the flesh for fresher and tastier puree to use in pie, soup and baked goods. (Puree can even be made into a

Glass has served as a universal packaging container for centuries. The glass in many items never wears out ­– it can be recycled over and over without losing its strength. In fact, 90% of recycled glass is used to make new containers, as well as kitchen tiles, countertops and wall insulation. Many glass manufacturers rely on a hefty supply of recycled crushed glass, or cullet, to supplement raw materials needed. Using cullet is more economical, and it saves the environment, cutting mining waste by about 75%. Curbside collection helps dramatically in meeting the demand. Bottle deposits have also aided in getting

Many schools and government offices follow recycling programs to promote materials reuse, recycling and waste reduction – from dual-sided copying to buying remanufactured equipment. Other businesses and organizations are getting on the bandwagon too. Besides their corporate sustainability measures, retailers such as Target and Kohl’s provide collection barrels for plastic shopping bags – no matter whose brand is on them – to encourage guests to join their efforts in waste reduction. Some stores have stations for electronic items as well. Parks and zoos will often have separate receptacles for trash and recyclables. When frequenting these establishments, be sure to use the recycling

Aluminum can be recycled into many different products, such as tractor-trailer and car bodies, gutters, siding and more. However, aluminum cans usually become new aluminum cans. Recycling aluminum does not reduce the quality of the metal, so it can be recycled indefinitely. In fact, 75% of all aluminum produced since 1888 is still in use today. With their constant demand, manufacturers are able to have an aluminum can back on store shelves quickly. Producing new cans from recycled aluminum saves 95% of the energy used to produce cans from ore, known as bauxite. And the cost savings are significant, even when

Typically used for less than 30 minutes, plastic shopping bags are rarely recycled. Many stores sell fabric bags or even bags made of recycled material. But here’s a way to kill two birds with one stone without spending any money. Repurpose an unwanted t-shirt into a reusable tote bag. With just two quick seams and minimal cutting, you can create a t-shirt tote that is strong and washable. Plus, you can keep what might be a treasured souvenir that you just can’t bear to part with. Fold them up and stash a few in the car to carry groceries, books, gym

Besides helping the environment, harvesting rainwater can also save you some other “green.” Depending on the size of your house and the amount of rainfall in your area, you can collect a substantial amount of rainwater with a simple system, making a big impact on your water bill. All those drops can be put to good use in your home and garden.When warmer months roll around, municipalities may implement restrictions on water usage to ease the stress on underground aquifiers. Rainwater collection helps keep water available for days when access is limited. As no filtration system is required for water

On April 22, 1970, Gaylord Nelson, a United States Senator from Wisconsin, called for an environmental teach-in, or Earth Day. Over 20 million people participated that year, and Earth Day is now observed on on that same date each year by more than 500 million people and several national governments in 175 countries. Moreover, that event aided the creating of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Clear Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts. There are plenty of ways that we can make small changes in our everyday lives to benefit the environment and our own well-being. Check out our latest Earth Day infographic for green

Spring brings to mind growth and renewal, as well as the seasonal varietals of fruits and vegetables soon to be available at the market. For most of us, that is. In many cities, inadequate, unreliable and irregular access to food is a recurring problem. Urban agriculture has been a positive response to addressing those concerns. Households and small communities take advantage of vacant land and contribute not only to their household food needs but also the needs of their resident city. Supplemental food production beyond rural farming operations is not a new concept. As early as 1893, Detroiters struck by the