Back to school season is here! Like every year, the list of school supplies can be very overwhelming. Notebooks, folders, binders, pens, pencils, etc. are flying off the shelves and into book bags. One of the best ways to save a few dollars AND contribute to the future of these supplies is to look for recycled materials. Most new paper products have an alternative – new materials made out of recycled paper. Shopping around to find these items may be a bit difficult in your area however they are always worth looking for. Before you buy brand new supplies, also work with family and friends who may have some of the supplies your child needs. Sharing school supplies that may just be lying around someone else’s house is a great way to save money.
While shopping for supplies, be sure to include your children on what you are looking for and why. Explaining the importance of using recycled materials to children when they are young starts them off on a good habit, which will hopefully be reinforced throughout their lives and will lead to future generations also embracing the importance of recycling and sustainability.
Summer is upon us and that means more bare skin, enjoying the rays of the sun and the outdoors. Unfortunately, baring skin and catching some rays have some negative effects.
You don’t need to rush out and buy expensive summer skin care products, however, most of what you need to take care of your skin in the warmer months can be found right in your fridge or pantry. Natural remedies are inexpensive and easy to use.
Summer is also a key time for sunburns. Particularly in the first part of the summer, we overestimate our body’s abilities to process the sunlight. Keep an aloe plant on your windowsill. When you experience a burn, one of the best natural remedies is to cut a small piece off one leaf and slice it in half. Rub the inside of the aloe leaf over your burn and repeat as needed.
Heat rash can be awful during summer, but you can soothe yourself with an oatmeal bath. You can find oatmeal in the drugstore specifically marketed for this purpose, but it is even easier to use the same oatmeal you already have in your pantry. Grind it to a fine powder in your blender or food processor, and add half a cup to a lukewarm bath. Natural remedies do not have to be complicated to be effective.
Another common skin ailment of summer months is bug bites of one sort or another. An easy and effective way to treat them yourself is to mix a paste consisting of a small amount of meat tenderizer powder and water. Add this paste to a small bandage and place it on the bug bite. This is one of the most effective and fast natural remedies available for insect bites.
Switch Up Your Facial Care
During the summer, your skin can act differently than it does in the winter. You may want to look for cleansers and masks that are lighter and do not clog your pores. Consider making your own masks and facial treatments. These types of natural remedies are easy, and they contain lots of vitamins and other nutrients that help your skin replenish itself.
With warmer weather always comes one of nature’s wonderful problems, bugs. Ants, mosquitoes, bees, flies, etc., come to life and into your home the warmer it gets. Outdoors, we expect to see them, however when they start to come inside, many people start to break out the pesticides. Most pesticides (chemical sprays and traps) are not only fatal to the insects but to other animals as well as the environment itself! Pesticide sprays can be absorbed into the ground and get into water supplies, which you may wind up ingesting. There are many other ways to avoid the pending pest problem, environmentally (and pet) friendly by using items you may find around your house.
Bees, wasps and hornets love to build nests in places like the eaves of porch roofs and pool rims. One simple way to keep them from building nests is to block off the area that they tend to inhabit. If it is too late to do so, keep an eye on the hive. Once the queen has left, you are safe to remove the nest and fill it with dirt. Also, keep all sugar and meat products away from the areas where they may build nests.
Similarly, ants and flies are attracted to food sources. Keep food securely stored and this will reduce the allure. However, lemon juice and vinegar are a great deterrent. The strong odor blocks the scenting of the ants and flies, causing them to leave the area of this smell. A small cup of apple cider vinegar kept in the kitchen keeps the flies away.
Whatever type of “pest” you may have visit this summer, keep in mind that they have their own purpose in nature’s grand scheme and you don’t have to kill them to keep them out of your house.
Summer is rapidly approaching and that means long trips to the beach are already in the making! The last thing you want to worry about are SKY HIGH gas prices to and from your vacation destination. Unfortunately, the high demand for gas and fluctuating prices are something we can’t control. However, there are ways (tricks, really) to save your hard earned gas money and maybe even help out Mother Earth at the same time!
- Carpool – Carpooling is a simple and economical way to significantly reduce gas mileage and decrease the amount of trips you make during the week. It’s easy to get wrapped up in our personal, daily routines, but carpooling gives you the opportunity to help improve the planet by diminishing the amount of gas emissions that are released into the atmosphere and cause pollution.
- Cruise Control – Did you know that cruise control can actually help save gas? By keeping your vehicle at a steady speed and reducing the amount of times you hit the accelerator, your automobile will perform more efficiently and you’ll end up saving money and gas at the same time. You might also avoid a couple speeding tickets in the process!
- Annual Maintenance – Keeping up with your vehicles annual maintenance will greatly impact the longevity and efficiency of your car and how it operates. Uphold proper tire pressure and keep your car tuned up on a regular basis and you will see the best possible results with your vehicle. You will also end up saving several problematic issues that may have otherwise occurred due to lack of maintenance.
These three tips may not lower the gas prices at your local pump, but they will ensure a fuller gas tank, improved savings and increased environmental awareness at the same time. Be sure to apply these simple tips to your life and watch the savings grow!
As the weather gets warmer, the time begins again for vehicle repairs and maintenance. Motorcycles, cars, trucks, boats and lawnmowers are brought out of storage and dusted off; oil changes, antifreeze flush and fill, battery replacements, etc., are done quite often. So what to do with the used parts and fluids? I stopped by a local junkyard to find out what they typically do with these items and was informed that they accept all parts and fluids, some which they recycle and some they send out for recycling. They also accept used items for free. This is incredibly important, as many people who work on their own vehicles often have difficulties finding places to dispose of the old parts and not many people advertise recycling services. These materials then wind up in landfills and very few of these materials are biodegradable and often contain extremely hazardous materials. Motor oil and anti-freeze are the two main fluids found in all motors and these fluids, if they get into the ground or the water supply will do immense damage. However, there are many uses for these materials once they are recycled.
Motor oil can be recycled and re-used, either through refining or through a special process that allows companies to turn the old motor oil into heating oil. Anti-freeze, on the other hand, is much more difficult to find a place to recycle and re-use. The employee I spoke with stated that they have a re-fining process that removes the impurities and allows them to use the cleaned anti-freeze around the yard.
So remember, whether you work on your own vehicle or have someone work on your vehicles for you, all the old fluid and parts can be recycled in some way. It may take a bit of research to find a proper place to dispose of these items but in the long run, it is worth it. You may even be able to benefit, either by receiving a discount on other products and services or even replacement parts, depending on what is available in your area.
It’s that time of year where the tree-hugger within us comes out to celebrate the achievements made in protecting and preserving our environment! What a great time of year to remind our customers of the importance of recycling, as it is a simple choice you continue to make each day that creates a HUGE impact.
When materials are discarded as trash, they end up in one of two places: the incinerator, which burns materials for energy, or the landfill, which buries materials underneath the earth. Both of these two places ultimately end the life cycle of a material so that its value is lost forever. Recycling, however, involves taking materials that could be discarded as waste but gives them a new life. By taking the time to recycle, not only will our need for landfills and incinerators be reduced, but we will also be helping to conserve natural resources like timber, water, fossil fuels and minerals.
Below are a few examples of plastics you may not have known were recyclable.
This month’s focus is on recycling plastics commonly found in your kitchen pantry or refrigerator. If you take a good look at either one of these places, you’ll find a myriad of recyclable objects waiting to be disposed of properly.
Because plastic recycling is in constant evolution, it is important to remind our customers of the different types of plastics that are now accepted as part of our program.
Wide-mouthed plastics (Tubs)
Butter tubs, yogurt tubs, mayonnaise jars or even the clear plastic tubs you receive from your favorite Chinese food take-out (see image left).
Small individual yogurt cups along with larger tubs are all recyclable
Bottles and Jugs
Soda bottles, water bottles, all condiment bottles, salad dressing bottles, milk jugs and juice jugs
Take-Out Containers and Clam Shells
As stated above, clear plastic tubs obtained from various take-out restaurants are now recyclable. Additionally, clear plastic clam shell containers predominately used at to-go salad bars are also recyclable. No Styrofoam clam shells, please!
**Make sure to give your plastics a gentle rinse before throwing into your single stream collection container. This avoids contamination of other materials in your bin.
Source: American Disposal Services Monthly Newsletter
- Remove spots on your carpet with shaving cream: The foam breaks down the grease sticking to the carpet fibers and makes it easier to clean.
- Remove greasy fingerprints from walls with a slice of white bread: The absorbent and spongy nature of white bread works as a natural grime remover. Rub a slice of bread over smudges and marks will simply disappear!
- Get rid of burn stains from pots with cola: Let your pots and pans soak in the cola overnight and the stains will wipe right off, thanks to the acid in the soda.
- Spruce up dull wood furniture with beer: Residue from commercial cleaners and polishes makes wood look dull. “Beer cuts through all that and brings back the luster of the wood.” Apply with a soft cloth, gently rub and let dry.
- Use a tennis ball to remove scuff marks from your floor: Squirt a bit of water over the offending mark and rub with a tennis ball. The soft felt covering works at the spot and the marks are gone in a flash!