30 things you should never compost or recycle
Though recycling and composting are two of the most important green practices, there are some items that are bad for the environment. Follow these guidelines for best practices.
While some folks might quibble with certain of the “do not compost” items, this list does represent a good guide regarding certain items that you shouldn’t try to compost and/or recycle. Most of these qualifications concern how a given product is made or processed. In general, we recommend that you do your own research into the restrictions in your area before you decide what you should and should not send to the compost pile or recycling bin.
Going green is a growing popular movement that can touch nearly every aspect of your everyday life. Green living practices can help you save money on your electricity bills, as it encourages you to adopt attitudes and practices that are friendly towards the environment. Given that smartphone technology and the apps that drive them have also increasingly come to influence the lives of people across the county, it is natural that people look for ways to have these two areas intersect. Lo and behold, a wide variety of apps exists to help people interested in green living. Here are a few of the latest and greatest smartphone apps to help you go green.
1. Good Guide
This app is essential for green conscious shoppers. Users can download the app on their iPhone to scan the food or other products they are interested in purchasing. They will receive information about the nutritional content of the item, as well as the environmental footprint for cultivating that product. Users can personalize the app so that the issues that matter most to them – whether they are human rights issues, animal cruelty, safe ingredients, or climate change – will appear on screen if the product meets their specific criteria.
You can also create personalized shopping lists, share your recommendations on social media, and more. The app contains the information for over 170,000 products available throughout the United States, including food, pet food, baby and child care products, household cleaners, and other common household products. It has been featured in a number of publications, including NewsWeek and TechCrunch. While it is compatible with most iPhone and iPod Touch products with iOS 5.0 or later, it has been optimized for iPhone 5.
2. Seafood Watch
If you combine your love of quality seafood with concern for the environment, you probably worry a bit about the pollutant content of the fish you’re consuming as well as how sustainably it is being raised. Some seafood has been found to contain excessively high levels of potentially dangerous pollutants, such as mercury, which can be very harmful to people in large doses, pregnant women, and small children. Furthermore, there are also fish populations which are overfished and becoming increasingly endangered. To help people sort through the various fish available in conjunction with green living practices, this app will help to create personalized recommendations based on geographic location.
In addition to standard seafood found in restaurants or supermarkets, the app is also designed to help those who prefer their seafood raw and wrapped in rice and seaweed. Users can search for seafood based on their traditional Japanese names so that you make the best green choice when you’re enjoying sushi. You can also access lists that organize the available food options by “Best Choice”, “Good Alternative”, and “Avoid,” as well as receive recommendations for those that fall on the ‘Avoid” list. The app is compatible with most Android devices.
Recycling has been an important green living practice ever since the birth of the modern environmental movement. Our ability to reuse items means that manufacturers do not need to demand as much from the environment and the world around them. Since many items, such as plastics, are not biodegradable, recycling also reduces the different types of products that wind up in landfills. Earth911, a company dedicated to providing information and resources for those looking to live lifestyles more compatible with the environment, developed this app to help people learn about how to recycle in their own areas.
Users are given information about how to recycle over 350 different types of materials whether they are at home or out and about. The app advertises over 1.5 million ways to recycle, as well as offering a social and news connection for people to stay up to date with those with a similar mindset. You can search for ways to recycle the products used in your daily life, and the ease of the application means that finding the perfect way to recycle has never been simpler. This app is available for iOS, iPad, and Android.
4. Dirty Dozen
Just about anyone who is interested in green living has heard of the “Dirty Dozen” (no, not the movie) – a list that describes a group of fruits and vegetables who have been found to contain the highest amounts of dangerous chemicals. This list is created by the Environmental Working Group to help customers navigate buying foods in conventional supermarkets while limiting their exposure to pesticides and other harmful chemicals.
This app is designed to help shoppers go even a step further by providing helpful information about some genetically modified ingredients that shoppers might encounter as well as additional foods associated with pesticides. It is a wonderful app for those looking to balance shopping conventionally with being mindful about how their food was prepared. This app is compatible with most Android and Apple devices, including iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.
Going green requires people to make radical changes in their lifestyles that affect what they do with garbage to what types of food they eat. As people go green, they often realize how much of an impact they can have on the planet just going about their day. Fortunately, green living technology is catching up to make the lifestyle changes easier, and smartphone apps for going green are a part of the puzzle. The apps we’ve introduced today can help you adopt more green living practices, as you seek to help make the world a better place.
This post is the second in our series featuring ways to reduce consumption and save money in your home’s most used rooms.
While the best meals often involve secret family recipes, the perfect recipe for saving money by keeping your kitchen energy efficient is well-known. The kitchen…
It’s always a good idea to think of ways you can be more energy efficient in the kitchen, especially since so much heat can be wasted in that room. We concur with concepts like replacing old appliances with Energy Star rated new ones - the money you save on your electricity bills by using less electricity each month will easily offset the purchase of those new appliances within a couple of years.
Since this is part II of the series, we’re looking forward to Part III.
1. Use water-based paints. Rinse paint brushes and other equipment in an interior drain only. Reduce smog (low level ozone) by painting when temperatures are under 90 degrees.
2. Bike or walk instead of driving (Every 25 miles you don’t drive prevents a pound of pollution)
This is a fantastic collection of 50 tips to help you increase your green living. The basic thrust of these concepts:
- Look for ways that you can reduce and reuse before you recycle.
- Recycle everything else and don’t create waste.
Pleasant as windows might be, they form one of the places where a great deal of heat is lost during the winter, and where heat comes in during the summer. Double-glazing is the obvious way to improve their insulation properties, but it is a relatively expensive investment. There are other…
Don’t have the available funds to replace all of your windows with high-tech Energy Star models? Try these 5 easy, low-cost alternatives to improve the energy efficiency of your windows and help lower your energy costs.
The fall season is synonymous with a lot of things - changing colors, falling leaves, cooler temperatures and, of course, football season. And synonymous with football season is the treasured practice of tailgating. You know the drill: gather up your friends together hours before the game, set up tents and tables, cook up food, knock back a few cold beverages, and reminisce about the good old days while you wait for kickoff.
But there’s one other thing that’s synonymous with tailgating, and that’s the mess that it leaves when the game and party are over. Cans, trash, litter and other debris of all shapes and sources need to be removed from the tailgating grounds, and unfortunately, lots of this refuse can’t be recycled. But it doesn’t have to be this way – there’s a way to “go green” with your football tailgate. And it’s easier to do than what you might think.
Here’s a look at a handful of tips that you can implement at your football tailgate this season to make it both fun and environmentally responsible:
This year, when you’re doing your back to school preparations, add a bit of green to your school’s colors. It’s easy to show your love for the environment at college, even if you’re busy with schoolwork or an exciting social life. The key is to start planning now, and by incorporating strategies now that will help you go green at college, by the time you arrive on campus, you’ll be all set with your new habits. Get started on the right path with these 7 tips.
1. Account for the climate. Most of us waste too much electricity trying to stay warm or get cool, depending upon the seasons and the geographic location of your college. This year, as you do your back to school shopping, stock up on items that will help you stay comfortable in your dorm room without having to crank up the heat or the air conditioning. If your campus experiences long cold spells, you may want to bring a warm quilt or 3, some cozy blankets, and a pair of thermal undies. For those of us living in the sunshine most of the year, using a high-circulation fan is a good idea, as it will use considerably less energy than an air conditioner does.
Labor Day weekend is a time for recognizing the end of summer, celebrating the start of football season, and taking some time off from work. It is also an opportunity for family and friends to get together for a cookout or other outdoor activities.
If you have recently tried to “go green” in your everyday life by taking steps to better protect the environment, Labor Day weekend should definitely be part of your efforts. But in case you’re not sure where to begin as a “green” entertainer, we have put together some helpful green tips. Being more aware of what is being served and on what it is being served should be a conscious first step for everyone. Once you get the hang of it, you may come up with more ideas on your own. Going green for Labor Day weekend can be fun, and it is easier than you may think.
Begin with the grill. Most people tend to use an outside grill for their parties. Getting rid of the traditional black charcoal and using wood or natural charcoal instead is one of the easiest things to change. Basically when you are using natural charcoal, you are using wood that is charred. And when you use wood as your heat source, all you need to do is go around your yard and pickup sticks to put in the grill. This in turn will make your yard look better while you keep obnoxious charcoal smoke out of everyone’s lungs.
How to regrow food from scraps
Don’t toss those old potatoes or celery scraps. Put them to work and grow a kitchen garden from leftover bits and pieces.
Feeling a bit adventurous with your green living efforts? If so, I’d recommend trying out a few of these tips to help you grow fresh veggies from the scraps you’d normally throw away. A few of my friends have experienced success in the past with celery, avocado, garlic, and green onions.
If you’ve re-grown any vegetables using scraps, please let us know what works best for you.
TEN TIPS FOR EATING CHEMICAL-FREE/ORGANIC ON A BUDGET
1-Eliminate processed/prepackaged foods from your grocery cart. This will allow more available funds for healthy/organic items.
2-Buy foods that you prepare and cook yourself rather than ‘convenience’ versions—they are far cheaper. (Example: buy individual salad ingredients rather than bags of packaged, pre-cut salad; buy blocks of cheese and a grater rather than bags of pre-shredded cheese, etc.)
3-Invest in a good cookbook (used copies can be found online for as little as three dollars) and collect a file folder of recipes you find for free online.
4-Avoid eating out. It’s expensive and unhealthy…most restaurants obtain their ingredients in bulk—ingredients that are frequently filled with potentially dangerous preservatives, dyes, additives, pesticides, synthetic animal hormones, antibiotics and other animal drugs). Instead, invite your friends and family to a cook-in or host potluck dinners of healthy homemade dishes free of unwanted food chemicals.
5-Take advantage of the times your local health food/organic store has specials on large shipments of fruits and vegetables. If you have a good supply of recipes you can save money by getting the fruits and veggies that are on sale because you will know what to do with them/how to prepare them.
6-If you are free of dietary restrictions, include grains and beans as a part of your diet. They supply plenty of nutrients and can be purchased very cheaply in bulk. There are many delicious recipes that focus on both of these food groups.
7-Grow your own vegetables and herbs/seasonings. Look through our archives (or online) for articles on how to start a garden—there are numerous, easy step-by-step instructions—including for people who have apartments or even a single room they are renting.
8-Check your area for community gardens and discounts with local farms. Many offer deep discounts for picking your own fruits and vegetables and/or volunteering a couple hours a month.
9-Make your own healthy, organic snacks and breakfast drinks rather than buying prepared versions. We have posted recipes for both so check our archives and watch for future postings.
10-Use the recipes we have posted on this blog and other online sources to make your own grooming products like shampoo, conditioner, facial wash, masks, etc. Not only are these organic versions chemical-free and healthier for you but you will save a significant amount of money that can be put towards your organic food budget.
This is a great list of ideas to help you purchase great organic food while adhering to a tight budget. We especially recommend the following tips:
#1 Eliminate processed/prepackaged foods from your grocery cart.
#3: Invest in a good cookbook.
#9: Make your own healthy, organic snacks and breakfast drinks rather than buying prepared versions.
What are some of your preferred ideas for reducing costs while still purchasing and consuming organic products?
By just increasing the temperature by 1 degree, one can save 10% on the power bill and reduce impact on environment.
Today’s green energy-saving tip, complete with a cute anthropomorphic air conditioner unit.