Monday, April 21, 2014

Mattress Recycling

Today's recycling topic: Mattresses

We throw out 40 million mattresses in the United States every year, and since each one can take up to 40 cubic feet of landfill space it's really important to recycle them if possible.

If your old mattress and boxspring are clean and still in usable shape, call around to family and friends first to see if anyone can use them (when you buy a new bed, you can ask your salesperson if they offer an old bed recycling service, too.) You can also move the old bed to a spare room to make it into a guest room. You may also check with your local thrift shops, homeless and crisis shelters to see if they will take them (because people often try to donate soiled mattresses most thrifts won't, but it doesn't hurt to check.)

If your old mattress and boxspring are not in usable condition, before you throw it to the curb contact your local waste management facility to see if they offer any kind of recycling service. Some do change a fee to take them, but this covers the cost of breaking down the bed into its many recyclable components.

One final thought: protect all the beds you own to help them last longer and be in good shape for future recycling by covering the mattresses with a waterproof cover. They now make them very thin, and often with cloth outer covers so it doesn't feel like you're sleeping on top of a garbage bag.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Wishing You

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Cardboard Recycling

Today's recycling topic: Cardboard

Discarded cardboard and paper constitute up to 41% of the municipal solid waste stream, which makes sense, as every year an American family throws out 2,460 lbs. of it. Tossing out cardboard really bothers me, so I try to recycle it whenever I can by reusing shipping boxes (many of my giveaway winners know that, as they receive most of their packages in reused boxes.) I also challenge myself to find new ways to reuse cardboard in my journal making and art projects, and instead of storing things in carboard boxes (which over time inevitably fall apart) I try to use sturdy reusable plastic bins (and I'll admit here, I'm still in the process of changing over and replacing them.)

Recycling one ton of cardboard saves 9 cubic yards of landfill space, 46 gallons of oil, 390 kWh hours of electricity, and 6.6 million BTUs of energy, and that's the actual change your family would make if you stop throwing away your paper. Most local waste management companies offer paper recycling bins for pick up on garbage day, and this can become your family's paper "trash can", so why not get one and get started?

Friday, April 18, 2014

Recycling Week

My guy and I like to recycle whenever possible, so we make regular trips to our local waste management site. On our last visit I took along the camera to snap some shots and hopefully remind everyone of why it is important to think before you dispose of anything. I got some neat pics while we were there, so I'm officially kicking off:

Up first: Plastic Bottles

Americans throw away 35 billion plastic bottles every year, but what they don't realize is that it can take up to 1000 years for plastic to degrade in a landfill. Recycling plastic, on the other hand, offers all sorts of benefits. Recycling one ton of plastic saves 30 cubic yards of landfill space, 685 gallons of oil, 5,774 kWh of electricty and 98 million BTUs of energy.

You can make one simple, positive change by eliminating disposable plastic water bottles from your household and using instead reusable water bottles filled with tap water (we put a carbon filter on our pump to eliminate the "well water" taste, and there are other filtering products should you have tap water taste problems.) This one change can prevent the waste of at least 100 plastic bottles per person per year.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Objects Appear Larger . . .

When they land on your car's windshield an inch from your nose just after you get your new prescription glass, they look five times bigger than this. In reality Mr. StrangeBug was about 3/4" long.

Being a child of the Seventies, all I could think was, Alien!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Down is Up

Lakes are often sky mirrors, as seen here. Also lovely to come home to after a long road trip.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Brownie Moon

I stayed up until the wee hours to photograph the lunar eclipse, which was supposed to produce a "blood" moon. From my position on the planet it looked more like a big brownie, and the lack of light made it hard to capture the last stage of the eclipse. Still, first time I've ever watched one, so that was rather neat.

Here's a slideshow of the least-blurry pics I took: