Getting Your Monies Worth…and Saving Resources

Squeeze It

Yesterday my son threw away a ketchup bottle and a toothpaste tube.  The ketchup bottle had another serving it it, about 1 1/2 Tablespoons.  I grabbed it and turned it upside down on the counter and used the rest last night. 

I took the toothpaste tube and showed him how much product was being thrown away.

Americans throw away 1 BILLION toothpaste tubes a year, along with shampoo, conditioner, and lotion bottles. On average, they leave 10% of the product in them. Not only does this waste the earths resources, it wastes your money!

Recycling your used toothpaste container helps you go green because…

  • It keeps usable materials out of the landfill.
  • It provides resources to the post-consumer manufacturing industry, and requires fewer virgin resources for the creation of new products.
  • It saves energy and water since creating products from recycled materials is less resource-intensive.

About 1 billion toothpaste tubes are sent to landfills every year, many of which are recyclable. Toothpaste tubes are generally made of with aluminum or plastic. Recycling aluminum instead of mining and processing virgin ore results in energy savings of up to 95 percent. The process of converting raw bauxite (the source of aluminum that makes up 8 percent of the earth’s crust) into aluminum is an energy-consuming one, requiring roughly 7.5 kilowatt hours for each pound of virgin aluminum. In addition, reusing aluminum means that less bauxite needs to be procured to create new materials: open-cast mining of bauxite leads to deforestation and destruction of ecosystems.

Plastic is not biodegradable, taking up to 700 years before beginning to decompose.Recycling plastics keeps this non-biodegradable waste out of landfills and can reduce energy consumption by 70 percent. Recycling paper products, like cardboard packaging, results in energy savings of 40 percent.

Cut open those containers with scissors, use the rest of the product, them wash and recycle it!

Also, use a Squeeze It to get more paste out of that tube!

Millie; Since toothpaste is highly toxic I use Neem Tooth Powder, it comes in a jar that I reuse.   It is FAR less expensive than toothpaste and whitens as well as being an anti-bacterial agent that promotes gum health. Their Neem Mouthwash is also wonderful and so are their lives plants and seeds!    Neem Tree Farms

More options for recycling;

Do you ever find yourself wanting to do the right thing… use less and recycle more, but find that your recycling system can’t quite accommodate your sensibilities?

Well, here’s a list that may help make life easier! Between curbside recycling, these 5 recyclers and good old fashioned waste not want not thinking, you can bring your waste quotient down to almost zero!

It may require a periodic trip to a local retailer or a few postage stamps, but when you account for how much trash can be diverted from the landfill or how much less smoke could be produced by incinerators, I’m sure it will be worth it!

1. TerraCycle – M&M wrappers, Starbucks coffee bags, toothpaste tubes, flips flops and more!

TerraCycle has teamed up with scientists and designers to figure out how to take almost any packaging and turn it into fashion, home and other products!

Through their Brigades program, schools, communities, groups can  collect all sorts of hard to recycle or normally non-recyclable products, send them to TerraCycle (for free), earn points, and know that their ‘waste’ will be recycled or upcycled into other useful products. The company manages to divert BILLIONS of pieces of waste from landfills and incinerators!

Candy wrappers, Colgate toothpaste tubes, brushes and packaging, Lay’s chip bags, coffee bags, Garnier product containers, and even flip flops…!

The full list is unbelievable. You can find it at TerraCycle Bridgades.

CD Recycling Center of America – CDs, DVDS, outdated CD software, ABBA, BeeGees…

Remember when CDs came with everything? That was so 1990′s. Today, millions of CDs and DVDs end up in landfills or incinerated.

The CD Recycling Center of America accepts and recycles discs, the paper booklet and any other paper or cardboard that comes with the disc. The CDs and DVDs are processed, the metal and plastic are separated, and the remaining plastic is used in automotive and building materials industries.

Not sure it’s worth the effort? Just collect your unwanted CDs and DVDS fro six months. Tell your friends you’re collecting and ship them off at once. It will cost you a few dollars at the post office, but think of how much waste you can keep from the landfill.

Send your CDs and DVDs to:

The Compact Disc Recycling Center of America
68E Stiles Road
Salem, NH 03079

Whole Foods and Preserve – Brita filters, yogurt cups

Yes, I know. Some refer to Whole Foods as whole paycheck, but if you can get past that, you should check out the Preserve Gimme5 recycling program. They have partnered with Preserve, Stoneyfield (yogurt) and Brita to collect yogurt cups and Brita filters for recycling.

I don’t know if you realize this, but most curbside recycling does not accept yogurt cups or other plastics with the number “5″ on the bottom. If you toss those in with the recycling, they will just end up in the landfill.

The recycled materials are turned into razors, very cool toothbrushes (the handles) and takeout containers.

Don’t have a Whole Foods near you? Check out this list of other Gimme 5 participating markets. You can also mail items to:

Preserve Gimme 5
823 NYS Rte 13
Cortland, NY 13045

Call2Recycle – antiquated cell phones, rechargeable batteries that won’t recharge…

Do you have old cell phones or rechargeable batteries to get rid of?

This is the one service, of those listed here, that I haven’t used yet. But, they provide pretty good detail about the who, what when, where and how. They offer a great deal of information about recycling, in general.

According to their website,

New batteries and stainless steel products are made from the precious metals recovered from used batteries. Cell phones are recycled, refurbished and/or resold. None of the broken down material makes its way into landfills.

Ready to drop off old cell phones and batteries? Call2Recycle has partnered with many well known retail outlets including: RadioShack, Ace Hardware, Apple and Home Depot.

You can find a location near you using the Call2Recycle drop off locator.

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