Easy Peasy Sustainability

by Amy on August 13, 2015

Want to live more sustainably?Blue Recycling Bins

Want the easiest way?

Start recycling! If you already recycle then increase what you are doing now.

Philly’s doing it…follow their lead. During FY2015, Philadelphians recycled almost 120,000 tons of single stream recyclables – that’s a 140% increase over the start of the program in 2007.

Recycling is good for the environment because it helps conserve natural resources and saves energy in manufacturing and acquiring raw materials.

The Philadelphia Recycling Office reports, “…that the accrued greenhouse gas reductions and energy savings from our curbside recycling efforts last year were equivalent to removing more than 60,000 cars off of our streets, and the annual electricity usage for almost 40,000 homes.” July 2015 Newsletter.

It is also good for the city budget and for you. For every ton of material recycled, Philly avoids a $60 tipping fee. RecycleRewardsStickerRecycling Rewards provides direct benefits to you through earned points for free or reduced cost services and products. It’s easy to sign up and easy to retrieve rewards. Sign up here: Recycle Rewards Sign Up Link Get your sticker, stick it on your bucket, and start earning points (actually it takes a really, really long time to get your sticker but don’t worry, you will start earning points anyway).

If you are confused about what can and can’t be recycled, check out recyclebycity. Why is that

From This From This To Raw Materials To Raw Materials

important? Because we are all collectively creating new raw materials and its important to keep the waste stream as clean as possible by recycling the right stuff. That means keeping things like plastic bags and other thin film plastic; Styrofoam cups and plates; food waste out; and garbage out of the blue bins!

What to do with that other stuff? Check out our guide to recycling other stuff including clothes, carpets, batteries and what have you.

Speaking of batteries, call2Recycle reports that so far in 2015, North America (US and Canada) have recycled more than 5.7 million pounds of batteries! Check out the location feature on the #call2Recycle website for places to recycle many types of batteries and cell phones – there are 6 drop off locations within a mile of my house….

….actually there are 6 call2Recycle stations and one battery drop off at Whole Foods.

Actually Whole Foods solves several recycling problems in one handy vestibule:

  • Plastic bags and other thin film?         Check

    Don't let you bags try to imitate a jellyfish! Recycle! Don’t let your bags try to imitate jellyfish! Recycle!

  • Batteries and Cell Phones?                 Check
  • Corks from all those wine bottles?     Check

Ugh all this schlepping and sorting, is a lot of work you say. One way to reduce the work is to #Precycle! And reduce the amount of potential waste coming in by changing your habits:

  • Keep recycling in mind while you shop for groceries and other products and choose products packaged in recycleable materials.
  • Do a mental Life Cycle Analysis. Before you buy, ask yourself; What will I do with this after I am done with it?
  • Borrow, find anew or trade instead of buying. Use the library to read the newest book, movie, newspaper or magazine; some libraries even have tool collections for check-out; trade books with friends; look in the back of the pantry for never used foodstuffs and make something new and different; know someone with an unused exer-cycle? Borrow it from them! Set up a community swap day and everyone will come away with something ‘new’.

It is great to look in your trash can on pick-up day and see one lonely bag in the bottom – makes the can lighter and brings home that fact that lots of waste has been diverted from the landfill. Of course the recycling bins might be a little heavy… but congratulate yourself that you have achieved your recycling goals.



GreenTravelogue: What is Sustainable Travel?

August 5, 2015

What’s sustainable travel? Being open to the world around you. Reducing car miles and reliance on fossil fuels. Eating healthy. Exercising De-stressing. Relaxing and smiling…a lot. Discovering something of beauty. Relaxing enough to appreciate that beauty. Staying hydrated. Discovering what it means to live like a local. Taking things in stride. Reducing waste (bring a […]

Read the full article →

What Does Renewable Energy Mean To You?

July 28, 2015

Burlington, VT is getting a lot of press for its announcement that it is the first U.S. city to run on 100% Renewable Electricity. I think this is great because Burlington set a sustainability goal for itself, put a plan in place and has been very successful in achieving its goals. That begs the question: […]

Read the full article →

Go Get Gardening

June 23, 2015

You might not think of your garden as a lively place but if you look and listen you will find there is a veritable party going on out there. The flowers brighten the view but the pollinators bring the garden to life. At first you might think this little Sphinx Moth is a bee; then […]

Read the full article →

Water Consumption at 14% of National Average!!!

May 30, 2015

According to the EPA’s WaterSense program, the average American family of four uses about 300 gallons of water a day. We have been working hard to reduce water usage at our home. Since moving into the city in August of 2014 our average family of four’s water use has been 43 gallons per day – […]

Read the full article →

Green Travelogue – Firenze – Live Like A Native

May 23, 2015

So now you are back home…alas, so am I…but I plan to visit Florence again soon.  Meanwhile, how do I keep that Tuscan vibe alive? By vowing to try and live like a Florentine at home? How? By walking everywhere; living with the sun and seasons; eating fresh and seasonal foods; hanging my clothes out […]

Read the full article →

Dark Sky and the Streets Department

May 16, 2015

Light is different in the vertical environment of the city.  We chose to live on a numbered street so the house runs east-to-west and has a south facing light shaft.  This brings light down through the house especially in the summer. Even with that, sunrise and sunset are wonderful at the highest levels but the […]

Read the full article →

Philadelphia From A Bike Seat

May 11, 2015

Since moving to the city I have rediscovered the joy of riding my bicycle. It took about two weeks for me to build up the courage to ride with traffic and then another week to build up even more courage to venture out at night with lights blazing! This Friday, May 15th, is Bike to […]

Read the full article →

Green Travelogue: Firenze

April 29, 2015

Florence is a beautiful city filled with art and history. That is what the tourists come for, many of the vendors depend on and much of the general populace takes for granted. Florence is also a very livable city. It is clean. It has successful recycling and food waste composting programs. It has virtually unlimited […]

Read the full article →

Green Travelogue: Frankfurt International Airport

April 21, 2015

I have never been in Frankfurt, Germany….well not really…but I have been in the Frankfurt International Airport which is technically in Frankfurt so maybe I can count it…If the airport is anything like the city, Frankfurt must be clean, green and easy to negotiate…in other words, Frankfurt International Airport is a sustainable place that presents […]

Read the full article →