BYOB: Bring Your Own Bags!

Plastic bags have been a scourge to the planet for decades. Tons of bags are buried in landfills every day and they remain there for a millenium. Grocery store bags, Ziploc bags, and trash bags. As the plastic breaks down, it decomposes into toxic particles that contaminate soil and water. Although they seem insignificant in our lifetime, plastic bags will be poisoning our world well after we pass. The production of the bags contaminates the atmosphere with noxious gases that are harmful to our health. Paper bags are also a big problem. Deforestation is a crippling side effect of our culture of consumption. Cutting down trees requires a substantial amount of energy and releases dangerous amounts of greenhouse gases. Without the trees, there is nothing to absorb the greenhouse gases that are thundering through the atmosphere. Reusing or recycling paper or plastic bags is a wasted effort, because it actually requires more energy than making them. Decent reusable bags are available almost everywhere and are always reasonably priced, or often given away for free at events. Incorporating reusable bags into your routine allows you to be less dependent on plastic and paper bags, saving the world waste and pollution. There’s really no excuse for not having reusable bags. They’re cheap, they’re larger than plastic bags, they’re more durable, and they fold up. In Philly, Whole Foods and Target will give you a discount when you bring your own bag. Meanwhile Trader Joe’s will put you in a raffle for a $25 gift card. Reusable plastic bags are a wise investment, for the earth and its...

A Call For Change: Renewable Energy

Aside from ruining roads and causing a lot of slip and falls, this winter has raised numerous concerns about climate change. As the northeastern US experienced severe blizzards, the rest of the world experienced record high temperatures. As temperatures rise, the ice in the polar ice caps melts causing sea levels to rise rapidly around the world. If humans continue using toxic, non-renewable energy, our sea levels will rise at an alarming rate. As this happens, migrations will increase around the world. Being aware of available renewable energy alternatives will delay the damage of these strains on the environment. IMG Source: http://bit.ly/1Oa2KnD Renewable energy is energy created without using finite amounts of resources. Unlike fossil fuels that take millions of years to form, renewable energy can be replenished quickly and easily. Since energy is obtained from the sun, running water, or the wind, among other sources, there is no need to fear running out of energy, at least until the Sun dies. The diversity in alternative energy prevents entire regions from losing power due to natural disasters. When hurricane Sandy hit, many homes were left without power when gas and nuclear power plants were shut down. Renewable energy power plants hardly sustained any damage and remained operational throughout the disaster. IMG source: http://bit.ly/1DCN09o Opponents to alternative energy argue that this source cannot produce the same amount of energy as fossil fuels. If each type of renewable energy were to stand alone in powering a region then this could be true. However, a mix of solar, wind, hydroelectric, geothermal, biomass, etc. creates plenty of clean energy to power regions even...

Reduce Your Paper Footprint

It’s easy for magazines and mail to pile up at home. The terms ‘digital copy’ and ‘email subscription’ had not become relevant until recently. According to ForestEthics.org, North Americans consume more than any other continent on earth – about 500 lbs. every year. Where does that leave us in the future? Resourceless. Each day natural resources are used, they are more susceptible to elimination. We understand that many of the day-to-day products ingrained in our society are made with paper, i.e money, greeting cards, packaging, and paper comes from trees, but we don’t seem to understand the problem with endless production. Paper is the fourth largest greenhouse gas emitter, after It makes up almost a third space in landfills– 26 million tons per year. Lady Bird Johnson, the First Lady of the United States alongside President Lyndon Johnson in the 1960’, said “[Sustainability:] It’s the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do, it’s the profitable thing to do.” Here at Greendog Recycling, we couldn’t agree more. Interested in being part of a positive change for our ecosystem? We’ve got the answers. Spring cleaning Spring is approaching, along with dust and allergies. When you’re tidying and tossing, save money by using dish towels instead of paper towels. They’re more durable and less wasteful, but be sure to wash them frequently to avoid insanitation. Keep it simple (and digital) Everything can be accessed through the internet; credit card bills, newspapers, and now even health records. When you’re given the option to receive your receipt digitally, go the paperless route and be guilt free without a bunch of papers...

Composting: Small Steps, Big Impact

The process of recycling is quite simple. We’ve been educated since our childhood about what materials to place in which bin, but have you thought twice about composting? After doing your research, you will come to the conclusion that there are many benefits to this simple practice. Composting is recycling organic materials into rich filled soil. There are three types of composting: backyard composting, worm composting, and grasscycling. So what can actually be composted? Anything that was once living. “Earth was created for all of us, not some of us.” Our most important job as inhabitants of the earth is to work to ensure the wealth of its resources for future generations. With that in mind, we should be conscious of our usage and constantly be taking steps to reduce it every day. The environmental benefits of composting are numerous. It reduces toxins while regenerating healthier soil. Composting also reduces pollution, because it eliminates the high levels of methane production in other disposal areas like landfills. Compost can also reduce and/or eliminate erosion from places such as fields, hills, and even golf courses. It can help reduce greenhouse gases, water pollution, and manage the effects of storm water. Ultimately, the rejuvenation of once living things promotes healthy growth for soil, trees and plants. You may not think your trash collection matters, but it does. And you don’t even need a backyard to help out– indoor compost receptacles are sold at most hardware stores. In a backyard environment, all you need to get started is a good balance of browns (fallen leaves), greens (grass and food) and water. Its better...

Why It Pays to Scrap

Metals are an extremely valuable resource in our industrious world. As the planet becomes depleted of its resources, the availability of metals like copper, aluminum and steel decreases. Without these metals, we would be unable to, among other things, construct buildings and houses, generate electricity, or transport ourselves and the commodities we need to live. That’s why it’s so important to recycle everything we can. And as the planet becomes depleted of these resources, the value of metals increases, which is why it can be profitable to sell your scraps. Recycling metals at demolition sites will not only help the world by reducing waste and pollution, but it will also make a real difference to the site owners. Some metals like copper sell for $2.58 per pound. Imagine having around a 100 pounds of copper: that’s an extra $258 to buy your crew lunch, or spend on the newer tool. Before metals can be recycled, a magnet is used to distinguish whether they are ferrous or nonferrous. The value of the metals are then assessed. The magnet will attract any piece of ferrous metals, meaning it contains iron. The magnet will not attract anything non-ferrous. Knowing the difference is important because non-ferrous metals sell more per pound than ferrous metals. Many metal recycling facilities will separate your metals, but there’s typically an additional charge. Things to remember when scrapping metal: Separate ○ Having your metals organized means you make more money. Many scrap yards won’t let you sort the metal at their location because it will hold up their service to other customers who have their items already sorted....