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Posts tagged "recycling" - Page 4

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Discussions Discussion Reuse & repurpose
Nacima Aden, Oct. 13, 2013

Hi everyone!
Today I cleared my wardrobe for autumn and found clothes I no longer use. I then became curious about the recycling of clothes and came across an article about recycling clothes using pyrolysis. Recycling of clothes is a challenge since there’s clothing with metal, rivets or plastic parts. Stena Metal research is using pyrolysis, to test the recycling of objects with metal parts. A clothing company donated several kilos of clothes with metal parts including jeans, bras. They were then handled in a pyrolysis process, which means that the material is heated to between 300 and 400 degrees in an oxygen-free environment. The textiles are broken down into gas, which is then cooled to form oil that can be recovered. The metal parts are not oxidized as when clothes are burned, but kept intact and can be collected after pyrolysis. However the problem with this method is that it is expensive, today there are no commercial pyrolysis establishments for textiles.
In Sweden, each person consumes an average of 15 kilos of clothes and textiles per year, according to the EPA. The majority, about eight pounds, is incinerated when they are used. Only three kilograms are reused for examples of second-hand market or by charities. One of main factors why clothes aren´t recycled is that new clothing and textiles are very cheap. It is also very hard and time consuming to sort the metal parts from the clothes. Therefore a new technique is needed for the recycling of clothes with metal parts. A more efficient and easy method to apply is to donate you used old clothes to second hand or charity or buy clothes on second hand shops.
In our neighborhood we have two boxes, one for recycling of clothes and the other one is for charity. I used both of them today and I felt pretty good about it!

Nacima Aden
Comments (2)
  • Nikki Farrow Nikki Farrow Oct. 14, 2013
    Hey Nacima,
    This process of recycling clothes sounds very expensive and kind of inconvenient. Burning clothing to separate the small pieces of metal or plastic from the fabric sounds over-compllicated (and why burn plastics? That is not one of the smarter or safer things one could do for the environment) when reusing clothes is an option. Reusing the clothes (by giving them to charity, switching wardrobes with a friend, or simply wearing the clothes you do have longer) is a better option than recycling using pyrolysis. However, if Sweden uses that much clothing a year, maybe it is a good alternative. Recycling and donating your old clothes is a step in the right direction.
    Nikki Farrow
    ps- here's my footprint:
    Home - 7026
    Food - 3729
    Transportation - 3927
    Purchases - 623
  • Sean B Sean B Oct. 14, 2013
    Hi this is Sean. I think that it is interesting that you can recycle clothes with the process that you just described. I honestly have never heard of pyrolysis before. It does seem like a great idea, but I agree with you on the fact that the process of heating the material into gas would be very expensive. Unfortunately, especially in the United States, there is a great amount of ignorance about environmental issues. Instead of thinking about how their actions as individuals affect the earth, people fall into the tragedy of commons. This is when people feel that their actions as one person do not make a significant difference. When everyone thinks like this, all of the seemingly insignificant actions add up to the point where major problems occur. It seems that as of now, most people do not even know of pyrolysis, and even the few who do may not have access to the establishments or simply do not care to find one. We have so many solutions that we know of that are readily available, but the main problem is the fact that people are not willing to utilize them. In our world, industries and companies are more interested in making a profit than helping benefit society. Many companies will unfortunately dismiss the great method that you just described because of one factor. Money. Also, in the United States, society is very materialistic, and people buy new clothes without even thinking about what they should do with their old ones. The first steps towards becoming friendlier with the environment are through processes such as the one you described, and we have to work to promote stronger establishments for them. By the way, here are my ecological footprint statistics: 1884 kg of carbon for transportation, 5273 kg of carbon for home energy, 5278 kg of carbon for food, and 538 kg for purchases.

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Discussions Discussion Reuse & repurpose
Vendela G_Na11bswe, Oct. 13, 2013

Hi everyone!

I have read a lot of posts that encourages recycling in order to decrease emissions. Of course, this is a great way to get the most out of our natural resources. Though, I wonder if that is enough. Recycling can take us only so far considering the enormous demand of products we have today. I think that even in a scenario where everything that is produced also gets reused and recycled, the environmental problems will remain. I recently watched a documentary (unfortunately in swedish, http://www.svtplay.se/video/1480596/del-5-av-18 ) that stated that people make a big mistake when not linking emissions and consumption. The documentary spoke of China as an example. It is true that the country has emissions far beyond what is sustainble. At the same time Sweden (where I live) is happy about having managed to decrease the emissions during the past couple of years. What many seem to forget is that countries like China have high emissions only beacuse we want to buy their cheap products. As long as the demand exists the manufacturing will continue. So, reusing and recycling are both great actions, but they should not be the first ones to take. Instead the process should start at the mall or where you buy your electronics. I think the question we all need to pose is: “Do I really need this?”. That way you will both decrease emossions and save money. Another way to do it can be to see if you find what you are looking for in a second hand shop before buying it in the regular store. Analyzing my way of living, I realize that I buy a lot of things that I do not really need.

How about you? What do you buy that you do not really need? And what would you be willing to refrain from in order to lower your global footprint?

Vendela G_Na11bswe
Comments (2)
  • Aditya Rao Aditya Rao Oct. 14, 2013
    Vandela,

    A couple years ago I learned about the three r's. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Everyone talks about the reuse and recycle parts but I haven't heard people talking about the reduce. W should reduce what we buy. We will make a bigger impact on the world by using less than using more and recycling it.
  • Vendela G_Na11bswe Vendela G_Na11bswe Oct. 14, 2013
    I had not heard about those before! Clever ;)

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Discussions Discussion Reuse & repurpose
Travis N-USA, Oct. 13, 2013

how it going?
im that type of guy who’s always looking to make or build something out of old parts or electronics weather it is a model, or a functioning piece. I am an employee at a hobby shop in my city, so i am involved with a ton of electronics and “RC” things. We are always charging batteries and have about 5 computers running all day to help us find parts and such things for fellow hobbyist. I personally own a lot of radio controlled things like planes, cars, boats and helicopters, And all of these use batteries or electricity. if i was able to make something sort of like an alternator for a car but for use in electric things. I wouldn’t ever have to recharge anything, this could also work for phones and computers….. Just gotta think of a way to do it :/

Travis N-USA
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Discussions Discussion Reuse & repurpose
Vanessa A-USA, Oct. 11, 2013

Hi everyone,

I recently was on Pintrest, a shopping and organizing site, and found a great site that gives ideas and easy ways to repurpose items that have accumulated in the house over the years. One of the example is an old lunch box. Instead of throwing it away the idea given is to reuse the lunchbox to store accessories and keep small personal items in one place! Other ideas given are simple and clever ways to reuse old gardening tools and even old mattress spring boards!

http://www.bobvila.com/creative-storage-solutions/5752-get-organized-20-clever-ideas-for-repurposed-storage/slideshows#!5
Vanessa A-USA
Comments (4)
  • Elena G-USA Elena G-USA Oct. 14, 2013
    I love Pinterest! Recently I have also noticed all of the environmentally friendly ways to reuse certain household items in cute “do it yourself” projects. I have actually used open toilet paper rolls to hold together wrapping paper! I really like how even on other social media networks, people are trying to use less and be resourceful with what they have. Such a great and fun way to help the planet! From your link I really want to try making furniture out of used items such as a suitcase.
  • Xinting C-USA Xinting C-USA Oct. 17, 2013
    These ideas are so great and useful. i've always been thinking how to reuse things instead of wasting them. Now I kind of get how to make different new things out of the used or old things.Im so willing to try them all.
    Also I think it will be a reachable goal for people to protect the earth if all the people gather their ideas on reusing things just like you suggested.
  • Nicci J Nicci J Oct. 17, 2013
    I took a look at this site and actually found all these ideas really helpful and also very interesting! I loved the idea of using a rake to hold your accessories, my room is cluttered with old jewelry and I've always kept in the back of my mind to buy a new jewelry box but I may try this rake idea! I also enjoyed the idea of using a suitcase as a little bedside table, it looks really cute and applies to the three r's. Thanks for sharing!
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Discussions Discussion Reuse & repurpose
LeeAnne W-Usa, Oct. 11, 2013

According to www.cleanair.org, “827,000 to 1.3 million tons of plastic PET water bottles were produced in the U.S. in 2006, requiring the energy equivalent of 50 million barrels of oil. 76.5 percent of these bottles ended up in landfills.” This should not be happening. There are so many uses for plastic water bottles, some of which include using it as an expansion chamber for an inhaler. This can be done by cutting a whole in the bottom of the bottle and placing the medicine part of the inhaler into the whole. Another way to reuse plastic water bottles is to cut the top off and use that as a funnel. Besides reusing the plastic water bottles, they are so easy to be recycled. I have a recycling truck that comes by every Friday and picks up our recycling. He picks up paper, plastic, and glass. If you do not have a recycling truck that comes and picks up recycling, then you can drop it off at your nearest recycling center, it may even be a school. When plastic water bottles are produced, carbon is emitted into the air. A common way to stop this is just by drinking from a reusable bottle. The school I attend highly encourages this, and i see people every day drinking from reusable bottles. You should never throw away a plastic water bottle. If you have to use one, and you can’t use a reusable bottle then you should always try to use it, reuse it, and then recycle it. Thus, getting the most out of the bottle.

http://www.cleanair.org/Waste/wasteFacts.html
LeeAnne W-Usa
Comments (3)
  • Nacima Aden Nacima Aden Oct. 12, 2013
    That is some interesting facts that you minded, forward. People do not think about how easy it really is to recycle. Something as easy as recycling has a big influence on the environment. We recycle bottles at home, or just reuse them again. It’s very useful!
  • Vendela G_Na11bswe Vendela G_Na11bswe Oct. 13, 2013
    I agree with you! You suggested that one can decrease the environmental impact by recycling the bottles or reuse them and this is true. Though, I would always recommend to reuse them as many times possible before recycling. Especially when you live in a country or area where you can get good, clean drinking water right from the water tap. I am from Sweden and have never been forced to buy bottled water beacuse of poor quality water from the tap. Usually, I carry the same bottle for weeks and just make sure to wash it regularly. Recycling is a great way to reuse materials, but even that consumes energy. Another important aspect is that the bottled water often comes from distant places, which not only requires transportation (one of the biggest reasons for global warming), but also ships the water out of its local cycle. Of course this also applies for soft drinks such as Coca Cola and Sprite. I recently watched a documentary named “A World Without Water”( http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/the-world-without-water ) and learned that since Coca Cola opened a factory in India, the amount of water in the area is decreasing for every year that passes. The documentary states that it takes three (!!) liters of water to make one liter of Coca Cola. And then the soft drink is shipped across the world so that we can buy it for small amount of money. The people that live in the area of the factory are left with empty wells and are facing the devastating consequences that comes with lack of water.

    This opened my eyes to an extremely unfair situation at the same time as it gave me an idea of an adjustment that I can do rather easily. Really, it is not that hard to quit soft drinks!
  • Xinting C-USA Xinting C-USA Oct. 17, 2013
    I checked out the site you provided, the data indicates that tons of landfill waste is caused by plastic bottles.It kinda shocked me after I calculated my carbon footprint, I didnt know if im not recycle often, ill produce lots of carbon just in seconds.
    Its really necessary for me to either use recyclable bottle to drink water or use a reusable watter bottle.
    Thanks for the idea. I will try my best to reduce my carbon footprint by starting to recycle or reuse the water bottle.

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Discussions Discussion Clean development
Michael H-USA, Oct. 11, 2013

Hi, my name is Michael and I am a high school student in Oakland, California.

The biggest reason that is causing the climate crisis is the amount of waste going into the atmosphere. Most everyone has heard that these gases trap heat from the sun inside the earth’s atmosphere, changing the climate from regular to warmer.

One of the most obvious ways, according to me, to reduce this amount of waste in the atmosphere and return the climate to a more natural state, is to stop putting waste into the atmosphere and start taking the pollution already in it, out. One of the most effective ways to do this is to use the waste in the atmosphere as a fuel source rather than using new fuel, and some companies are doing just this.

This article, published back in March of this year, shows how one dairy company in particular is using natural gas from manure released by its cows as fuel for the surrounding community, its fleet of delivery trucks, and as fertilizer for its crops. This is not the only company to use this same method, but in one smooth stroke, it takes the methane (a greenhouse gas) released from its cows and converts it into electrical and diesel energy. While the company still burns this diesel to power its trucks, it is diesel fuel manufactured out of manure; recycled diesel fuel, and not new, from-the-ground diesel.

If we got every company in the world, from Coca Cola to Apple to BP, to recycle natural wastes into energy, like this dairy farm, and in turn use that energy, recycled energy, to power its processes, image the impact it would have on the environment. Such actions would effectively plateau the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, instead of adding to them and causing the greenhouse gas line graph to soar above previous points. Hypothetically, after we stop fretting over adding gases to the atmosphere, and recycle them instead, we could then specialize people to work on removal of gases rather than preach and solve their destruction.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/28/us/dairy-finds-way-to-let-cows-power-trucks.html?ref=biofuels&_r=0
Michael H-USA
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Discussions Discussion Reuse & repurpose
Taylor M-us, Oct. 10, 2013

I recently read: In 2004, 55 billion aluminum cans were landfilled, littered or incinerated, that’s 9 billion more than were wasted in 2000. This is enough cans to fill the Empire State Building twenty times. It is also a quantity equivalent to the annual production of three to four major primary aluminum smelters.
I was very unpleasantly shock by this stat we need to work together to bring this number down!!

http://www.greenwaste.com/recycling-stats
Taylor M-us
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Discussions Discussion Reuse & repurpose
Hannah W-USA, Oct. 10, 2013

Recycling is a great thing that we can all do to help lower our carbon footprints. I know that my neighborhood has just recently given everyone new recycling bins. And anyone from my school can tell you that recycling is a MAJOR part of our school. Everywhere you turn there is a recycling bin. We also do electronic recycling drives all the time. I know that if i have something that can be recycled, i’m going to recycle it. i’m sure a lot of people recycle, but another way to contribute to this is buy buying paper products that are made from recycled paper. Most people just buy the new paper; we don’t think about how we can help the earth by buying recycled paper products. And i’m sure we all have gone to print out a multiple paged document and printed it on one side only. If we print on both sides, then we can save so much paper and reduce our carbon footprints.

http://www.nrdc.org/cities/recycling/gsteps.asp
Hannah W-USA
Comments (2)
  • Taylor M-us Taylor M-us Oct. 10, 2013
    Recycling is huge at my school, but even if you have a recycling bin every three steps you still need to use them. I have now learned that instead of printing 10 pages print 5 by using the back and before you throw your lunch trash away go through it and make sure that you cant recycle some of your trash.
  • LeeAnne W-Usa LeeAnne W-Usa Oct. 11, 2013
    Yes, while you are correct on how recycling reduces our carbon footprints, reusing materials and then recycling them reduces our carbon footprints even more. For example if you have just drunk out of a plastic water bottle, you can reuse the plastic water bottle. One of the ways you can reuse a plastic water bottle is by cutting the top off and using it as a funnel. Another way you can reuse a plastic water bottle is by turning it into a bird feeder. After you have reused the plastic water bottle, and it just can't be used anymore then you should recycle it. This way you get the most out of the plastic water bottle before you recycle it. According to http://www.keepkingwoodgreen.org/FunFacts.html, “Americans throw away 2 million plastic bottles an hour.” If we reuse and recycle our plastic water bottles then we can cut down on our carbon footprints. Here is a website that has more information on reusing and recycling: http://www.epa.gov/wastes/homeland/res-reuse.htm

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Discussions Discussion Reuse & repurpose
Hannah W-USA, Oct. 10, 2013

School is about 20 - 45 minutes away from my house, depending on traffic. My dad works at the school and my sister goes to the same school as well,l so it works really well for us. But we also carpool with two other girls. In the morning we have 5 people. Carpooling is an excellent way to lower your carbon footprint. It’s good for the environment and it also helps people save money on gas. If everyone in the United States (and other countries that emit high levels of carbon) carpooled with other people that they lived nearby, we could lower out carbon footprints a lot!

http://www.buzzle.com/articles/why-is-carpooling-good-for-the-environment.html
Hannah W-USA
Comments (1)
  • Maggie OUSA Maggie OUSA Oct. 14, 2013
    Hi Hannah. I also carpool on my way to school. In the state if Georgia they have a Clean Air Campaign. Specifically, they reward citizens who “clean their commute”. The rewards range from winning gas cards (when you carpool with three or more people), earning three dollars a day, and your name can be entered into monthly drawings for gift cards. (Here is the article with more information https://www.logyourcommute.org/cac/TDMLogin.jsp?client=&idActivation= ) For some people knowing that carpooling is better for the environment is enough to make them do it, while others need an extra incentive. I also think this is great way to reward those who take care of the environment.

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Discussions Discussion Reuse & repurpose
Victoria L- USA, Oct. 10, 2013

Re-purposing items is a smart and easy way to reduce your carbon footprint. According to carbonfund.org, re-purposing is a more efficient and helpful way to reduce the amount of carbon you use. In my own daily life, I reuse plastic bags from the grocery store for storage bags and small trash bags. I also reuse glass containers to make something like a vase to put flowers in. There are so many ways to re-purpose lightly used objects, and we should strive to use items that can be used again.

Victoria L- USA
Comments (1)
  • Paige M - USA Paige M - USA Oct. 11, 2013
    This is a great way to re-purpose recyclable and non-recyclable items! I'll try to start doing this to reduce my own carbon footprint! Thanks!

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