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What a load of rubbish: the traditional focus is on litter-picking volunteer groups. Photograph: Alamy

It’s time the responsibility for recycling was laid firmly at the door of the packaging manufacturers

Litter brings out an urge in me to ban everything. Under my regime, straws would be outlawed. Plastic drinks bottles – only 57% of which find their way into recycling – would be verboten. But top of the list of banned items would be wacky recycling surveys.

The latest, from Business Waste, highlights the craziest eco blunders found in the nation’s recycling bins. The list includes a car door, 1,000 Greenpeace badges (oh, the irony!) and a full Christmas dinner including plates, tablecloth, crackers and pudding.

Read the full article on ethical and green living here.

By Lucy Siegle for The Guardian.

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Leaving this world a better place than you found it. Green burials or funerals offer an alternative for remembering those you love in a sustainable way. Truly giving back to nature and turning death into life may seem morbid, but is something to think about nonetheless — have you thought of how and what will happen to your remains after you die? Have you thought about what kind of legacy you would like to leave?

Returning to nature

A green funeral is an alternative burial method that incorporates environmental philosophy through preservation of natural habitats, and consideration of space. Natural, organic, “back to the land” burials are becoming more popular, with several different options both on land at sea that can make a positive environmental impact.

Green burials allow us to return naturally to Earth. Bios Urn and Capsula Mundi offer ways for ashes and corpses to grow into tress. Eternal Reefs transform cremated remains into something that helps to create new marine habitats for sea life.

Here is some additional information on how you can leave an environmental legacy:

Pre-planning your funeral

Make your choices and let your friends and family know exactly what you want in a will. Seek advice of your ideal sustainable burial with trusted deputies who will carry out your wishes. Check out these useful links for planning and facilitation of your green burial:

Green funeral home

Some funeral homes consider the environment; check out certified green funeral homes options at Green Burial Council. There are also sustainable and biodegradable shrouds, eco-friendly caskets or urns.

 

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Recycling Tips for Your Post-Holiday Waste

Categories: Green Tips, People and Places, Planet, Waste
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Wondering how to deal with all that decorations and waste from gift giving after the holiday season? Here are 5 handy tips for your post-holiday waste:


  #1: Christmas Trees 

Don’t throw away your Christmas trees when the holiday is over. Real Christmas trees are biodegradable, which means they can be easily reused or recycled for mulch and other purposes. Learn how to recycle your Christmas tree and give it a second life.

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 #2: LED Lights 

If your lights still work after the holiday season, reuse them for as long as possible. When they can no longer be used, take the time to help the environment and have them turned in for recycling. Check out where and how to recycle your old lights.

#3: Gift Wrappingshutterstock_167381660

Don’t just toss wrapping paper, boxes, ribbons, bows, or other gift wrap accessories that are in good shape. You can preserve recycle wrapping paper of all kinds by unwrapping your gifts carefully and save wrapping for crafts as well as future celebrations or holidays. Here are 19 ways to repurpose gift wrap, plus another 30 fun ways to reuse leftover gift wrap.

#4: Cards 

Wondering what to do with all the holiday cards after the holidays are long gone? It’s time to get crafty – check out these websites for more ideas on recycling and reuse your used holiday cards:

#5: Gift

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Amazon Give Back Box (photo credit: Amazon)

Are your gifts not quite your taste? Here’s what you can do with unwanted gifts after the holiday.

Let’s us make an effort to be ‘zero-waste’ in time for New Year’s, and beyond!

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Step up & Switch to Post-Consumer Waste Products

Categories: Green Tips
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Image Source: MNN

Recycling does not always stand for used products that were actually recycled. With paper, for example, look out for real Post-Consumer Waste paper which indicates that this paper has been used by consumers already and was cleaned up to be reused again.

Sometimes companies claim their products to be recycled, but really they are only made up from left-overs that come from the production process. In the case of paper, the left-overs from the trimming process can be used again to produce more paper to sell to consumers, but it has not yet been used and would therefore fall under “Pre-Consumer Waste”.

Another positive byproduct from making PCW products is the decrease in resources needed for the process. PCW paper production consumes 45% less energy than the production of non-PCW paper, and also it creates about half the amount of waste compared to the traditional process.

Find out more about the difference between post- and pre-consumer waste.

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Textiles are the next frontier in recycling for cities looking to cut waste

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textile recycling markham

Image Source: CBC

About 85% of the clothes we discard ends up in the landfill, but some municipalities are trying to change that.

It started with a blue sock. I pulled it off and realized it had a big hole in the heel. I balled it up and was about to test my athletic skill by attempting a long, basketball-style shot into a waste can when I paused.

Was that the right thing to do? Shouldn’t my sock go somewhere else?

 

Research led me almost immediately to Claudia Marsales at the City of Markham, a senior waste manager so committed to recycling she has been dubbed “the Queen of the Heap.” By Havard Gould. Read more.

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Reuse and recycle books and magazines!

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Reuse and recycle books and magazines

The conservation of natural resources and recycling paper is very important. All forms of paper, including notebooks, printer paper, newspapers and magazines, are 100% biodegradable, but in order to reduce the cutting of trees, there are simple and effective ways to reuse books in addition to selling them online through socially conscious sites such as Better World Books, or donating them to a recycling service! There are many secondhand book cafes where you can buy and sell your books in countries all across the world. This is a wonderful way to positively impact a community while traveling, support and experience a local cafe, and leave with a unique souvenir.

PATA is also collecting book donations for the Daw Khin Kyi Foundation, established in 2012 by the Nobel Laureate, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, in memory of her mother, Daw Khin Kyi. If you would like to donate gently used books, please contact us at ssr@pata.org.

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Langham XmasIn the spirit of sustainability and re-cycling, the hotels under the Langham Hospitality Group have all come together and created their very own sustainable Christmas tree.

Check them out!

 

Malaysia Fish

09 April 2015 – “I’ve been told I’m stupid for doing this stuff for no money,” says Yusof Bural, chairman of the Banggi Youth Club . “But I really love the environment here and I want to see more members in the BYC, so I keep going, even as a volunteer.” Read more.

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Managing plastic waste is a global problem with increasing amounts of waste in developing countries as well as industrialised nations. This paper outlines the research that needs to be conducted before establishing a plastics recycling business, such as availability of raw material, availability of technology and funds, and market prospects for recycled products. Vital information about processes and equipment, and successful case studies are also included.

by www.practicalaction.org
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One Man’s Trash is another Man’s Treasure: Strategies to Minimise Waste and Examples of Innovative Ways that “Trash” is Being Given a New Lease on Life to Enable Communities Globally

Categories: Manual, Oceania, Pacific, Planet, Waste
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This presentation provides an overview of Victorian waste statistics and reprocessing industries, and outlines the socio/economic impact of recycling natural along with a range of recovery systems and trends.

by Michael Skudutis, Veolia Environmental Services

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