Archive for December, 2012

Living Green: Is it worth it?

Thursday, December 20th, 2012

In theory, living green is an ideal situation for everyone and the environment. However, as we research and look into “green” solutions, we realize that the greener we live, the less green there will be in our wallets. The price of renewable energy systems has been debated many times leaving us wondering- is it really worth it? While renewable energy systems have changed and come a long way in the past decade, the prices are still fairly steep. Another drawback to renewable energy solutions is the toll it actually takes on the environment. For example, animal rights organizations claiming that wind turbines are damaging to bird populations. Another example is corn-based ethanol farms, that are not only spendy but we may be missing out on income from crop that could be growing in that area instead. While we strive to be more eco-conscious in our business and production endeavors, the installation of these solutions currently use huge amounts of finite resources. The irony of using enormous amounts of energy in order to save energy in the long run is a barrier that is increasingly difficult to cross. Only in the future will we see a return on our eco-investment.

A Creative Way to Reuse DVD Cases

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

The cheapest and most beneficial way to be more sustainable and eco-friendly is by reusing products and their packaging for things other than their intended use. Just like the young couple that used jewel CD cases as simple picture frames, one 4th grade teacher writes in her blog about a simple way to reuse DVD cases. Not only did this purpose extend the life of a once wasted product, but it saved her a lot of money in her first year of teaching. This first year 4th grade teacher wanted to use individual dry-erase boards for activities in class, but couldn’t afford to purchase one for every student. That’s when her sister gave her the idea to reuse old DVD cases as white boards by turning the printed insert inside out. The clear overlay allows for any dry erase marker to be easily wiped away. The teacher asked all of her students to each bring in an old DVD case which, let’s be honest, we all have a DVD case we don’t use anymore. Each student was able to choose their favorite colored construction paper insert to make the board more colorful and fun. The end result; a cheap (practically free) dry erase board for each of her students, and since they were DVD cases, the students were able to store whatever papers or extra inserts they needed for class activities.


read more of this teacher’s blog

Increasing Demand for Post-Consumer Recycled Plastics

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

According to a new study from the Freedonia Group, “Recycled Plastics”, theU.S.demand for post-consumer recycled plastic is forecast to rise 6.5% per year, meaning in 2016 it is projected to be up to 3.5 billion pounds. This demand is driven by a number of factors, one being a growing emphasis on sustainability among packaging and consumer product manufacturers. The advancements in processing and sorting technologies make it more attainable by allowing a wider variety of plastic to be recycled into high quality resins. Along with these factors supporting the movement are the federal, state, and local governments providing a significant boost to recycled plastic collection, processing, and demand. Other study results showed that PET and high-density polyethylene were the two leading resins used in recycled plastic products in 2011 which accounted for over 70% of demand, fueled by rising recycled content in beverage bottles and thermoformed containers. The most rapid growth is forecast for recycled low-density polyethylene. Also on the horizon is the increase in recycled polypropylene collection volumes and improved processing techniques which improve the quality of the resin.