Happy Earth Day Month!!
We’re continuing with green tips this week to help people find simple ways to live more sustainably.
Amp up your recycling!
Portland helps us recover a lot of our waste at curbside. Curbside composting really has decreased the amount of waste in our landfills; in fact, a report released in January showed that more than 63 percent of what businesses and residents threw away in 2013 was recovered through recycling, composting or energy generation, which was a new record. Do you recycle reuse, repurpose, or compost 60% of your waste? Maybe not, but as far as recycling goes, there are good ways to increase the amount of non-curbside waste you can recycle without too much effort – our friends at Whole Foods in Hollywood (who are sponsoring the Fremont Fest Parade again this year) have a wider array of items that can be recycled than you’d expect.
– In the parking garage, there are bins for both “soft clear plastic” and “non-curbside plastic”. Soft clear plastic are things like clean clear (not colored) plastic bags, bubble wrap, shrink wrap and cling wrap. (Crinkly crunchy plastic like potato chip bags aren’t considered soft). It’s important it is rinsed – food contaminates plastic recycling and could make a facility reject and landfill the entire load.
– “Non curbside plastic” are things like clamshells and the flexible lids that come on tubs like yogurt, cottage cheese or deli items. Our curbside only allows plastic tubs (like cottage cheese), plastic buckets (like for kitty litter) or plastic containers with necks (like a water bottle), but these other items are not allowed. New Seasons also has a bin for clean clamshells and flexible lids as well.
– You can also bring hard bottle caps to Whole Foods. They have a little collection bucket in their dining area, or you can bring them to the customer service counter. Wine corks (real cork only) are another thing you can easily recycle there.
– The other interesting thing at Whole Foods is the bin (looks like a dumpster) in the parking garage where you can recycle clothes and fabrics. Wearable items will be donated and unusable fabrics will be recycled. This makes it a one stop solution for many of your household recycling needs, and it’s convenient to drop things off on your way in to do some shopping.
– Do you have other things like styrofoam, TVs or other electrical appliances, batteries, or CFL bulbs? Metro will help you find a place to bring them! There are many nearby options (a few right on Columbia Blvd) that will take them for free or for a small fee.
Springtime cleanups are a great way to unload a lot of waste easily.
Neighborhood Clean-ups are plentiful this month
The Cully Cleanup takes place on April 23rd! Check out the list of accepted items as well as tips on where to bring items they can’t take
There are actually over 40 neighborhood cleanup events scheduled around Portland in April and May to give residents a chance to remove unwanted clutter from their homes, basements and garages. Keep your eyes open in your neighborhood for signs advertising cleanups.
You can recycle computers and electrical gadgets at Free Geek – they accept “nearly everything that plugs into a computer or uses electricity (including smart phones, tablets, e-readers, video game systems and any old gadget you can think of) whether or not it’s in working condition. We are happy to accept your printers (including extra ink and toner), scanners, routers, UPS, digital cameras, PDAs, cell phones, and a whole lot more!” Link here
Things we take or give away at Green Dog:
We save packing materials that come to us (cornstarch and styrofoam peanuts, etc) and donate them to people who have needs for them. If you have a local business and would like us to call you when we have bags of peanuts or other items you might be looking for, let us know!
Cardboard Boxes – are you moving? Check with us for loads of boxes of different sizes. We normally have a lot of them to give away, unless the recycling truck just picked them up.
Paper Shopping Bags – Bring them to Green Dog! We love reusing clean paper bags with handles. We don’t mind if it has a logo from another store on it, it just lets people know we like to reuse things!
Good links for folks everywhere:
Recycle your empty pill bottles to benefit this charity
Recycle any old sneakers at a Nike Store! They have a bin labeled “Old soles never die”
Here’s a good list of many ways to recycle common household items that you may not have thought of before. Click Here
Recycling Guide from Earth 911 has even more nifty tips
Apple is doing an amazing job with recycling and other sustainable practices these days. They’ve invented a new robot that can quickly disassemble something like a phone and recover even every tiny screw and recycle or reuse them. They’re growing their own forests for paper as well as other initiatives. Check it out here (as well as a nifty video of the robot in action). They often have programs where you can bring your Apple products to the Apple store for recycling and in turn you can get a better deal on a new item.
Note: From now until April 24th, go to the Apple App Store and look in the Featured app section. You can choose from different causes and 100% of the proceeds from those participating apps will go towards that cause.
It should go without saying that the greenest things you can do are to reuse things (the bag that sliced bread comes in makes a good poop bag!), re-purpose things – a jar with a lid makes great food storage, a smoothie to go cup, or transport for bulk foods), or better yet, choose a product that comes with less packaging waste to begin with, and tell that company why you skipped buying it!