The latest available data (2009) shows that 263 million tires were scrapped, which amounts to more than 4.7 million tons of waste.
Toxins released from tire decomposition, incineration or accidental fires can pollute the water, air and soil. While 42 states regulate tire disposal to some degree, eight states have no restrictions on what you must do with your discarded tires. Even with laws in place, illegal dumping still occurs, presenting negative environmental impacts.
Find below some creative ideas to use old tires, but if you are not into DIY projects, help the environment with the Reuse Tips below:
Tire Dealers: Local tire dealers recycle old tires. Most tire dealers will accept tires for a fee, even if you did not buy new tires from them.
Garbage haulers: Some accept tires (fees may apply). Some landfills and transfer stations also accept tires for recycling.
City and township clean-up events may offer tire recycling (fees may apply). Contact your city or township for more information.
Source: US Dept of Energy & Google
It's true that it is still more expensive to buy eco-friendly products, but more and more companies are trying to improve consciousness because of the consumption growth on green products. A much greater selection of free-range products is now available, and I’m sure that this is a response to customers buying more and more of these products.
People are not just thinking about the environment, but also their health and their role in the society…
These are little details to make your shopping more conscious:
- Cleaning products as cleaning sponges made from recycled materials or recycled-paper tissues;
- To buy greenwash, look for certification from a reputable organization such as WWF, RSPCA or MSC (Marine Stewardship Council);
- Always check for the recycling symbol when buying plastic packaged products;
- I shouldn’t even mention it, but SAY NO TO PLASTIC BAGS!
- Read labels to avoid GM food, and if you need guidance, click HERE
Pic 1 - Do you know that old suitcase that is been sitting for years in your closet? How much your pet would love that as a bed?
Pic 2 - Do you know that old old blanket, scarf or t-shirt that is full of holes and you can't donate? Hands on to make beautiful and fun hangers!
Pic 3 - Is there a white wall in your office that could use some creativity? Get some old forks and attach them as a cool business card holder!
Pics 4, 5 and 6 - Don't you know what to do with old mags? Cut them into strips, roll them, and glue each piece with a decoupage medium. Wait 20min t dry and then apply 2 coats of decoupage medium on top.
THESE ARE JUST A FEW IDEAS...
TAKE SOME TIME TO NAVIGATE ON INTERNET AND DO SOME THERAPEUTIC CRAFT WORK TO IMPROVE YOUR HOUSE ;)
Ideas from: www.diyinspired.com
Use fabric for wrapping gifts! Inexpensive remnants can be bought for any season or occasion. Tie the fabric with colored yarn.
Skip Your Dishwasher's Dry Cycle
Doing this saves tons of energy, and all you have to do is give them a quick dry with a dishtowel as you put them away.
Boost Your Fridge's Efficiency by filling it up!
Keeping your refrigerator full, but not to the point of overstuffing, will allow it to run at max capacity. To help retain cold temperatures when the fridge and freezer are less full, place glass or ceramic pitchers of water in their compartments. Like using ice in a picnic cooler, this will insulate the interior and keep it cold.
Refrigerators and freezers account for about a sixth of all electricity use in a typical American home, and they use more electricity than any other single household appliance.
Over- or under-crowding makes the fridge work harder to maintain its optimal internal temp (37 degrees F).
Have your Own Bags at the car
There’s always something we forgot to buy, or some little grocery shopping. For these days, avoid using plastic bags, and when doing a big supermarket shopping that might not fit in one or two recycled/ reusable bags, ask them for a paper bag!
Each year the United States consumes 30 billion plastic and 10 billion paper grocery bags, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. That translates to about 14 million trees and 12 million barrels of oil. And then there's what happens after the bags are used -- they clog landfills, contaminate recycling and composting facilities, and litter the landscape.
Avoid Overnight Shipping
Select ground transportation, instead of rush delivery, for your mailing needs and cut down on fossil fuel use and pollution.
Try to avoid overnight shipping, which burns the most fossil fuels per item. In fact, ground shipping tends to be six times more energy efficient than air.
Also, because airplanes release their greenhouse gases way up in the atmosphere, they tend to do more damage than gases emitted at ground level, at least as far as global warming is concerned.
Avoiding overnight delivery will also save you a bundle of money, since companies add a hefty price for the service.
+ info: www.thedailygreen.com
After searching for information and volunteer opportunities, I realized that the hardest part of working the largest offshore spill in U.S. history, is the unknown.They don’t know exactly how much oil has actually been released into the Gulf, or where exactly it will go.
The spill has occurred at a critical time for the nesting shorebirds and seabirds on Breton National Wildlife Refuge, which is composed of a chain of islands and is still recovering from the impacts of the 2005 hurricane season and other weather events, so protecting birds and their nests is mission-critical.
Brown pelicans are highly susceptible to oil spills. Their breeding, roosting and foraging sites are often close to shipping channels with heavy commercial traffic, harbors containing refineries or storage facilities, and offshore oil wells. Oil can thus harm pelicans at each of their life stages, from feeding and roosting to breeding and chick-rearing. Already, brown pelicans have been found coasted in oil from Deepwater Horizon spill.
Sperm whales, which can weigh up to 60 tons and reach 60 feet in length, reside year-round in the Gulf of Mexico. Their strong attraction to specific areas for breeding and feeding may override any tendency for them to avoid noxious oil, and several whales have already been spotted swimming through oily, contaminated waters.
The waters of the Gulf of Mexico and Florida’s Atlantic coast are home to five species of sea turtles: green, hawksbill, leatherback, loggerhead and Kemp’s ridley. All are listed as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act. The oil gushing from BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig poses several additional threats to the already precarious existence of these rare creatures. Unfortunately there’s not a lot that mere mortals can do.
If you don’t have the opportunity to volunteer and put your hands on, at least try to be conscious about where you live and do something towards the environment:
- Never discard fishing line, tackle and other lines and plastic substances that might entangle or be consumed by brown pelicans. Carefully pick up any discarded line you see and dispose in an appropriate container.
- Report pelicans that are injured by collisions with power lines and other structures to a certified animal care facility.
- Support designation of marine sanctuaries and other marine protected areas where sperm whales and other marine life are buffered from disturbances caused by shipping and industrial development.
- Urge your elected officials to pass comprehensive climate change legislation that addresses the impacts of global warming on wildlife and our natural resources.
- If you live on or near the Florida coast, sign up for Neighbors ensuring Sea Turtle Survival (NeSTS) at www.turtlenests.org to help protect sea turtles and their nesting areas.
- If you live near a beach, turn off outside lights at night. Sea turtle hatchlings use light to find their way to the water.
- Reduce the amount of garbage you produce and clean up trash you see on the beach.
- Reduce your use of chemicals such as fertilizers and pesticides that can wash from gardens and lawns into coastal waters, harming plants and animals.
Everything from common dish soap used in the kitchen to laundry detergent or floor polish and bathroom milder removers, cause pollution. Not just when we use these products full of toxins in our homes (polluting the air with their toxic chemicals), but also when they are manufactured and transported to the stores.
Cleaning products pollute our water supply when they’re washed down the drain. They end up in our lakes, rives and oceans having a negative effect on our health as well as the health of nearby wildlife.
According to data published by the Western Regional Pollution Prevention Network, six of every 100 janitorial workers injured on the job each year are hurt by the cleaning chemicals they use.
Some of the products we already have in our fridge can be easily and efficiently used as natural cleaners. For ex:
- Baking soda can be used to scrub surfaces in much the same way as commercial abrasive cleansers. Baking soda is also great deodorizer: place a box in the refrigerator and freezer to absorb odors and/or before you vacuum, sprinkle it on your carpet.
- Lemon Juice. The acid in lemon juice neutralizes hard water deposits, dissolves buildup and dirt on wood, and tarnish on silver.
- Grapefruit seed extract and essential oils such as lavender, clove, and tea tree oil have antiseptic properties and operate as natural fungicides.
Sometimes choosing eco-friendly cleaning products are a more expensive option, so here is a better tip for the environment and your pocket: make them yourself. I make my own, and by having five dogs in the house, I want to make sure I get rid of bacteria and odors! These are some recipes that I tried and approved:
All-Purpose Cleaner: Mix 1/2 cup vinegar and 1/4 cup baking soda (or 2 teaspoons borax) into 1/2 gallon (2 liters) water. Store and keep. Use for removal of water deposit stains on shower stall panels, bathroom chrome fixtures, windows, bathroom mirrors, etc. Another alternative is microfiber cloths which lift off dirt, grease and dust without the need for cleaning chemicals, because they are formulated to penetrate and trap dirt. I also mix around 5 drops of lavender (or tea tree) essential oil by the time I’m cleaning in each liter of these mix to leave a nice smell…
Mold Killer: Combine 2 teaspoons of tea tree oil in 2 cups of water in a spray bottle. Shake to blend. Spray on mold and don’t rinse.
No-streak glass cleaner for sparkling mirrors and windows: combine 1/4 cup undiluted white vinegar, 1 tbsp cornstarch, and 1 quart warm water. Divide into spray bottles. For a lint-free shine, wipe dry with a sheet of crumpled newspaper or a coffee filter.
Tub and tile cleaner recipe: 1 2/3 cups baking soda, 1/2 cup liquid soap, 2 tablespoons vinegar, 1/2 cup water, a few drops of Tea tree essential oil. Mix soda and soap. Add water, vinegar and oil. Store in a squirt-top bottle and shake before using. Rinse thoroughly to avoid leaving a residue.
Have a GREEN cleaning time!
This video (in Portuguese) shows how a creative Brazilian developed during a blackout in 2002, an eco friendly way to produce lightning into poor houses and warehouses in Brazil.
This past week was a busy one regarding green issues. Starting with the sad news about President Lula signing the bill that allows Amazon farmers to acquire an area of public land, and ending with a hopeful one involving President Barack Obama, who has pushed urgently for passage of legislation to confront global warming.
Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva looks set to approve a bill that is due to transfer an area of public land – estimated to be around 670,000 square kilometres (259,000 square miles) – into private hands.