Posts Tagged ‘Recycle’

Plastic Waste Forms Island of Garbage in Pacific Ocean

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

The Great Eastern Garbage Patch. Have you ever heard of it? Most haven’t. Located at a natural collecting point right in the center of revolving currents called the North Pacific Gyre, the Great Eastern Garbage Patch is a floating island of waste estimated to be twice the size of Texas. That’s right- TEXAS. Somehow this massive garbage heap had shied away from the media for years, but has now been brought to the public’s attention via Captain Charles Moore of the Oceanographic Research Vessel Alguita, who is credited for its discovery.

Thousands of miles from land this garbage patch is littered with debris that many would assume is from people aboard passing ships, but researchers think not. They estimated that 80 percent of the trash is actually due to land dwellers and has eventually found its way over the years to the North Pacific Gyre. This is nothing but bad news considering that there is even more trash riding the currents as you sit and read this now, destined to add to the island’s growth.

A 10 mile-wide fleet of plastic Taco Bell take-out bags.

80,000 Nike running shoes involved in a containership spill in 1990.

Discarded fishing nets and lines that run miles long.

“Nurdles”, or tiny plastic pellets that resemble tapioca and carry high concentrations of deadly chemicals, one hundred billion pounds of which are used each year to make things like CD cases and plastic pipes.
This is just some of what can be found on and near the Great Eastern Garbage Patch, but they all equal this: roughly one million pieces of plastic per square mile across hundreds of miles of the Pacific Ocean. Countless animals in and out of the water have confused these floating plastic objects as food or have gotten tangled or strangled in plastic lines and nets only to lose their lives. According to Marine Biologist David Barnes of the British Antarctic Survey, “Plastic is not just an aesthetic problem. It can actually change entire ecosystems.”

Right now we can only expect the trash to continue invading the ocean. There are bans in place to prevent the dumping of plastics but enforcement on the open ocean is not taken seriously and when accidents occur they do not need to be reported. This means people like Captain Moore, who are trying to stop plastic from taking over our ocean, don’t even have a chance to clean up the debris left by others, even if by accident.

What is ironic is that people value plastics for the same reason plastics are causing so much harm to our oceans: its durability. While manufacturers place the blame of plastic debris on consumers, Captain Moore makes a good point saying that, “there’s no reason why a six-pack ring or a peanut butter jar should have to last for 400 years.” While manufacturers have attempted to perfect biodegradable packaging there is only one company, EarthShell, which has made real progress. The company has already begun work with the National Park Service who uses their biodegradable plates and has even provided many McDonald’s restaurants with their clamshell boxes. The Environmental Cleanup Coalition has also made a huge impact by taking the initiative to collaborate with other organizations who try to come up with ways to safely remove plastic and other pollutants from the ocean.

Recycling for Charities is passionate about helping to eliminate waste in any way possible. While we are limited to recycling electronic waste we have tips to help consumers prevent the growth of this plastic-waste island too. You can buy products with less plastic packaging and therefore decrease your plastic waste. For example, instead of buying pop or soda that has a six-pack ring around them, buy the case in the cardboard box that can later be broken down and recycled. Also, you can practice and promote the proper disposal of plastic items. Recycle your plastic waste when possible and never litter, especially near places like the beach where wildlife can mistake your trash for food. If you do not have the means to donate money to an environmental organization you can always donate your time by helping with a local clean-up at a park or beach. Remember, your small effort can make a big difference.

Wrapping and Reusing

Monday, November 30th, 2009

As the holiday craziness sets in, there is no reason why we have to continue to add to the growing pile of shredded printed paper and crumpled ribbons and bows. Sometimes it takes a little extra time, a little creativity and an open mind. If you are looking for a few ideas on how to wrap your gifts in a green and reusable way, you are just in luck- we always have ideas don’t we?!

Create a reusable collection that you can use next year (and the next).

Start using reusable gift bags. They might cost more the first year, but just think of how great it would be to never have to buy wrapping paper again? On top of that, you never need scissors, tape or the knowledge and savvy it takes to tie those crazy curling ribbons. One company specializing in these reusable bags,, offers whimsical prints that are chosen with re-purposing in mind. The Christmas prints can also be used for Valentines Day and the birthday bags are gender neutral and festive. The bags are fitted with a grosgrain ribbon for tying- these bags are pretty and practical.


Fabulous Food and Fashion Event

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

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Last night Abuelo’s of Sterling Heights hosted the Fabulous Food and Fashion Event.

With a fashion show presented by Parisian of Partridge Creek, chair massages given by the students at Center for Healing Arts,  Recycling for Charities had a great time enjoying the atmosphere and getting to know people in the community. With all of the proceeds going to CARE of Macomb’s Children programs, it was an event to remember!
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Reuse Stores Rethink Use of Recycled Items

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

Reuse stores are popping up everywhere throughout the country. These reuse stores take old items from empty yogurt cartons to old cabinets and allow consumers to come in and buy them at a much lower cost. The reuse centers are products of the ever growing environmental green movement and the economic crisis. It is common sense to be able to get something for free or at a much reduced cost. It is not only helps your budget being able to find certain items at such a low price but it is also just the right thing to do. Hundreds off these reuse centers have formed businesses that allow consumers to come in and go through what once was considered trash and shop through the odds and ends to buy items to be reused, which keeps them out of our landfills.

Some of these reuse centers operate as businesses to sell reused items for a few dollars to generate revenue but, most are non-profit organizations getting by with grants, government support or income off of sales. No matter the size or vehicle of revenue they are all based on the same idea that for almost every item there is someone that has a use for it.

Not only are they located across the nation but they also specialize in certain areas.  Reuse centers can come in all different sizes depending what exactly they aspire to accomplish inside their business. Large ones like the Loading Dock, Baltimore, Maryland specialize in building materials such as lumber, cabinets, windows, and almost anything else except broken appliances. Then there are the smaller ones like the Scrap Box, Ann Arbor, Michigan that specializes as an arts and crafts shop to reuse items towards creativity. They provide creativity/art classes for children and families and consider their shop as a way to creatively recycle.

Much like what Recycling for Charities, these reuse centers strive keep materials that still have value out of our landfills. When it comes to preventing useful materials from entering landfills both the reuse centers and Recycling for Charities have the right idea. Organizations like the Loading Dock, the Scrap Box, and Recycling for Charities continue promote an eco-friendly environment and the green movement in hope to make our planet a better place.

EcoFinder App For iPhone Users Encourages Recycling Efforts

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

What did people do before there was an iPhone app for just about every aspect of life?  There are iPhone apps for virtual lighters and a “Hold On” app (an app that allows you to see how long you can keep your thumb on the Hold button without moving it).  All-in-all there is an app for just about everything you can think of!

Yet, aside from all of the iPhone apps that seem to have little or no relevance at all, one app that is potentially very useful and extremely relevant is called the EcoFinder application. The EcoFinder application allows residents of the San Francisco Bay Area to find recycling areas for items ranging from anti-freeze to mannequins.

This application is free and was released by the San Francisco Environment Department.  It allows users to search for the specific item they would like to recycle and then provides details regarding sites that accept this item and whether or not there is a cost associated with recycling that item.  Thus far, 2,900 people have signed up for the free resource and people in other cities are interested in duplicating this app.

Interested in downloading this app?  Click here. And if you find yourself desirous of recycling a cell phone, iPod, MP3 player, digital camera, or PDA, Recycling For Charities is the place to do that—donate now!

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