Good Science & Sound Policy: Concerns over Banning Plastic Bags

As plastic bag bans become widespread, some people have deep concerns, and believe that critical questions need examination. Moreover, the discussion needs to be well grounded, so that decision-making derives from good science and sound policy rather than hype. The time is ripe for this, especially as LA undergoes its four-month long environmental review before codifying the ban into law.

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Soil Magic with Sandwich Composting

It might seem highly improbable that just a pile of cardboard, newspaper and grass clippings will magically turn into beautiful rich soil, but that is indeed what actually happens. I saw it with my very own eyes. In our quest to find more space to plant vegetables in our ever expanding garden, we did a trial sandwich composting project on the sunny, but weedy side of our house last October. Now in spring, our simple compost sandwich has really turned out beautifully.

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10 Ways to Recycle Clothes & 3 Recycled Clothes Purchasing Options (America Recycles Week)

For this year’s America Recycles Week, I decided to focus on clothes recycling, a seldom-discussed but important recycling topic. As the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) writes, “Thanks to fast fashion, the average American now discards 68 pounds of clothing a year, wasting energy, water and landfill space.” We need to cut down on our clothing waste. To start with, I’ve got 10 good ways to recycle clothes, and then I’ve got 3 ways to buy recycled clothes. Feel free…

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Recyclable Laptop? (America Recycles Day)

The laptop on which I am typing this post will sooner or later become obsolete.  Some part of it will break or crash. My eco-options at that point are limited. At best, I can drop it off to be recycled, where it might make it to a facility in Asia to be laboriously taken apart and some elements recycled for use in another other product. But what if laptops just lasted longer or damaged components could more easily be replaced…

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Some Good Environmental News

When you stop to look at the state of the environment, it’s difficult sometimes not to plunge into despair.  Climate change, species loss, water pollution – negative news is real and abundant.  But here’s a look at the other side – the hopeful one. Released earlier this year, the U.S. EPA’s annual air quality report disclosed that seven key pollution indicators dropped from 14% to 78% between 1990 and 2008. Total toxic air pollution pollutants decreased by about 40% over…

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Almost 80% of School Waste Could be Recycled

A study of school waste in Minnesota’s Twin Cities region has found that 78% of such waste could be recycled, adding to evidence that schools can rack up significant dollar savings that can be redirected to education. Another state-school effort, the Cutting Carbon Initiative, is supporting pilot projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Minnesota study, conducted by the state’s pollution control agency in conjunction with Minneapolis and county recycling programs, found the biggest opportunity lies in composting food waste,…

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Don’t Trash the Phone Book Debuts

Many Americans, especially in urban metropolitan areas, have made it clear they no longer use printed telephone directories — turning to the Internet instead — and would prefer not to receive them. Others want to receive them but would like more information about convenient recycling options.  A new Minnesota website announced Wednesday, Don’t Trash the Phonebook, provides opportunities for both opting out of and recycling yellow pages directories.

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Recycling, Reusing, and Not Landfilling Clothes

USAgain CEO Mattias Wallander says the volume of landfilled U.S. clothing  is still increasing. As the volume of discarded U.S clothing grows, a national for-profit business is expanding to keep up.  USAgain, with collections in 11 major metropolitan areas, is finding that the two-year-old U.S. recession isn’t diminishing the number or volume of shirts, pants, shoes and other clothing that is going to American landfills.

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Mexico Eco Resort & Spa Aims to Be Greenest Resort in World

People love to travel. Travelling is not the greenest thing to do, generally speaking, since both driving and flying are major contributors to global warming, air pollution, and water pollution. But if you are determined to travel, the least you can do is stay in environmentally friendly accommodation (and offset your travel emissions). One very green resort and spa I recently found out about is the Sandos Caracol Eco Resort & Spa in Riviera Maya, Mexico. This eco resort is…

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Green Planet Bottle, Not So Green

It has arrived. Ladies and gentlemen: the compostable water bottle has arrived. Earlier this month, Green Planet Bottle launched an organic, 100% plant-based bottle which is not only petroleum- and BPA-free, but it’s also carbon neutral. This is certainly a good business move: Green Planet is entering the $11 billion bottled water market that doesn’t seem to go away. But can bottled water really be “green,” or sustainable? The company is targeting schools, corporate campuses, and hotels, and can be…

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Atlanta Museum Offers Free IMAX Ticket for Recycling Your Cell Phone

Not only do millions of cell phones end up in landfills each year, but those old phones contain a number of toxins, like arsenic and lead, which need to be disposed of properly to avoid contaminating the environment. With Christmas and Hanukkah come and gone, tons of folks are playing with brand new cell phones and wondering what in the world to do with their old ones. If you’re in the Atlanta area, you can dispose of your old phone…

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TWTC: Grassroots Recycling in Atlanta

Rhonda and I have gotten to talking, and it turns out that despite living on opposite sides of the country, our neighborhoods have a lot in common. She lives in the Bayview area of San Francisco, CA and I’m living in Edgewood, just east of downtown in Atlanta, GA. We thought it would make for a cool project to talk about the ups and downs of trying to live sustainably in our different cities. We wanted to talk a little…

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