We save money on fair-trade organic coffee by buying five-pound bags. Larger bags also mean less garbage per pound of coffee, but those metallized plastic bags are still an environmental problem: Most recycling programs won’t take them, and they're not biodegradable. For several years, I collected coffee bags—our own and those discarded by friends, co-workers, my … Continue reading Recycling Coffee Bags with TerraCycle
This guy in Panama is building a village of houses whose walls are insulated with empty plastic beverage bottles! Click through to watch the video. This is a really great idea for making use of garbage, reducing construction costs, and building well-insulated homes that will require less energy to cool or heat. BUT! This is … Continue reading Houses Built from Plastic Water Bottles!
My son Nicholas is in fifth grade. He and his friends Emma and Sadie have been running a recycling program at their school since third grade. Each year they have to make arrangements with the principal so that their recycling bins will be left alone by custodial staff and they have permission to go around … Continue reading Pen and Marker Recycling: Starting Year 3!
This is a guest post from the staff of Modernize.com, a site for home ideas and inspiration. The Earthling's Handbook is not affiliated with any of the businesses whose products are linked here, and the editors of The Earthling's Handbook have not used any of these products in our own home--but we strongly encourage recycling … Continue reading Eco-Friendly Building Materials for Your Home
Earth Day is coming up in less than a month! What will be your Earth Day resolution? One easy thing to do is to switch to a more earth-friendly version of something you use regularly--like toilet paper. There are many brands of toilet paper on the market now that are made from post-consumer recycled paper … Continue reading Save Money on Earth-Friendly Products!
This is a guest post by Nicholas Efran, nine-year-old son of 'Becca and Daniel. He wrote this article for the June 2014 issue of the Colfax Communicator, his school's newsletter. (Mr. Sikorski is the principal.) We hope it inspires other kids to start recycling things that are getting thrown away in their schools! Three third-graders … Continue reading Recycling Used-Up Pens and Markers
One of the annoying things about recycling food containers is that you're supposed to get them relatively clean and rinsed-out before you put them in the recycling bin. This is particularly difficult with cooking oil because it clings to the inside of the bottle, and it doesn't mix with water to rinse out, and if … Continue reading Use those last drops of cooking oil!
Note to my relatives coming to my house for Christmas: Spoiler alert! Don't read this until after Christmas! I've had a pretty hectic December--including a back injury that has made some tasks impossible and forced me to spend more time resting than usual--but my gift shopping has come together pretty well. Just last night, though, … Continue reading Pens Made from Recycled Plastic (B2P product review)
It's Works-for-Me Wednesday, and it's also Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. If you don't belong to a religion that observes Ash Wednesday--or even if you do--you may never have thought about where churches get the ashes that are used to draw a cross on each person's forehead to remind us that our physical … Continue reading Holy Recycling!
A while back, I got into an online discussion on the topic, "What's the grossest thing you've done to help the environment?" started by someone who thought it was really, really gross that she had swished her smelly dish towels in a mixture of hot water, vinegar, and tea tree oil with her bare hands, … Continue reading What’s the grossest thing you’ve done to help the environment?
This is the composting method that works for me! It's really simple, and it produces rich dirt for my flowerbeds quickly enough to suit me. If you are serious about making really high-quality compost or doing it quickly or being certain it is safe for growing food, then you should seek out instructions from somebody … Continue reading Lazy Composting
Last year I wished this story had a happy ending. Now it does! The Greater Columbus Convention Center had recycling bins for cans and bottles, and for paper, set up in many parts of the building during Origins this past weekend. I am thrilled! Last year's news was so discouraging, I hadn't expected them to … Continue reading Origins 2008 Recycling Report
Origins is a huge game convention ("con") held annually at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio. We've attended every year since 1999. In addition to enjoying the exhibits and activities, we've helped our friends from Looney Labs sell their wonderful games and operate their "Lab", a large room where people can try out their … Continue reading The origins of recycling at Origins
No matter how strongly you feel you should do your part to save the planet, it can be difficult to change your lifestyle. We recommend a gradual approach: Do one new environmentally-friendly thing every few months. This gives you time to get used to each change and incorporate it into your daily life. As an example, here's a list of changes I've made in my own life.