Category Archives: Recycling

FABMO – a great choice for Fabric

Fabric and clothing make up a large amount of the filling in the local dumps throughout the US and this is true in the SF Bay Area. People throw out clothes, fabric and other items like yarn, buttons and thread in enormous quantities. It’s a shame because it could be diverted into useful items. I really enjoy this store, with volunteers running the show and bundles, bolts and baskets of beautiful fabric, it is a fun way to take a dream project into reality.

How did FABMO commit to making a difference in fabric dumping? Here are some commments from an article in the Mountain View Voice, Sept 24, “”Saving the Fabric of Society”: 

The idea to organize, expand and create a nonprofit around FabMo happened almost without trying, Welstein recalled. As their collections grew, someone had the idea to accept cash donations, then someone had to the idea to launch a website, and so on, she said. One regular FabMo customer asked if something similar could work in Santa Cruz, and now they hold multiple giveaways in that coastal city each year. They’ve also trucked out supplies to give away in Vallejo and the Sacramento area.

“We just grew little by little, and it just continues to be organic,” Welstein said. “That feeling of not wanting to throw away good stuff, I think more and more people are feeling that way in the world.”

The FabMo philosophy — take only what you need, don’t waste anything — might seem old fashioned, yet it was ahead of the curve for the larger do-it-yourself movement that has taken root in the Bay Area.

FabMo is open for three consecutive days each month for its free drop-in giveaway days at its main showroom at 970 Terra Bella Ave. More information can be found at its website.

Next month, FabMo will be organizing its Textile Art Boutique, the group’s largest annual event. This event exhibits dozens of different artists’ works that were designed using recycled materials. It is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Oct. 28 at the Palo Alto Elks Lodge at 4249 El Camino Real in Palo Alto.

Need a great place to volunteer? Fabmo volunteers love what they do!

Glashoff Sculpture Ranch

Great recycled and inventive sculptures.  You’ll love these events, the whimsy and the artwork collides and turns into something that will make you smile, especially if you bring one home. Hound dogs, wild women, wizards their themes are varied and unique!  Look at their website to get an idea!

DATES:

Palo Alto Festival of Arts
August 25th and 26th from 10:00am-6:00pm.
We’ll be on the corner of High Street and University Ave,
The next Glashoff Sculpture Ranch VIP Studio Show will be happening on October 13-14th. 
Glashoff Sculpture Ranch
5402 Williams Road
Fairfield, CA 94534

 

 

 

Don’t dump your OLD PHONE, Find it a home with Flipsy

Flipsy.com with a quick reminder that a lot of people will sell their old phones after this week’s Galaxy Note 9 release – and our free service is an excellent alternative to eBay, Swappa, Craigslist and carrier trade-ins.

Why Flipsy.com? Three reasons:

  1. You can get an average of 30% more – in cash – than carriers will pay
  2. You can sell faster and easier with less work than eBay, Swappa and Craigslist – there’s no need to create a listing, and payouts are sent within 2 days
  3. You can eliminate risk – all Flipsy buyers are fully vetted, so there’s no risk of scams, delayed payments or other shady practices

Flipsy.com doesn’t buy phones. Instead, trust verified buyers compete to pay top dollar for used phones (even broken phones). It’s a good alternative for anyone who wants more money than carriers will pay, guaranteed payments and fast, easy cash.

Eight Insane Facts About Textile Recycling 

Waste not Want Not? I often get questions about how to re-purpose clothes that are too worn to be used again…. but there are MANY OTHER uses.   Here are a few basic ideas for the ripped / destroyed clothes

  1. QUILTS– cut out squares of the material, or the logo / school name and use again.
  2. Make a shopping bag. Put two tee shirts together- cut out the neckline with a deep U shape, and sleeves and sew the bottom end shut the Shoulders will be your handles and the bag will be great for groceries and soft for vegetables. And best of all, washable.
  3. Rags. You know how to do this.
  4. Stuff a pillow case with worn out clothes and use a s a dog / cat bed. Easy to re-stuff, and wash.
  5. RE-sew an item. For example: Cut a ripped man’s shirt down, and make a cute skirt for a little girl, keeping the buttons and pocket, adding an elastic waist. Make a stuffed toy, or a cloth piggy, like Ms. Oink.
  6. Contact a re-cycler. In the Bay Area we have a wonderful group: SCRAP. They gather materials to reuse, and give them away for free to TEACHERS, and sell them for a small about to consumers.

You will also be interested in these 8 Insane Facts About Textile Recycling posted by USAgain on their blog.  Great motivation to RE-USE.

No matter what side of the Atlantic you represent, the extent of personal textile waste is staggering. One battle that both Brits and Americans are losing is the battle against textile waste. Here’s why:

  1. The average lifetime of a piece of clothing is only about 3 years.
  2. The consumer is the biggest culprit. In the U.S., 75% of pre-consumer textile waste is recycled by manufacturers, but only 15% of post-consumer textile waste is recycled.
  3. The average American throws away about 70 pounds of clothing, shoes and other household textiles each year.
  4. Americans generate almost 13 million tons of textile waste per year.  Brits generate about 1.12 million tons of textile waste a year.
  5. Even though the UK appears to generate less textile waste, One in five Brits admit to throwing away a garment after a single wear. This means that more than $127 million of clothing winds up in landfills each year after being worn once. (One in five Brits also think that light sabers exist.)
  6. One in four American women own seven pairs of jeans, but only wear four of them regularly. (One in Four Americans also don’t know what nation the U.S. declared independence from.)
  7. The U.S. textile recycling industry creates around 17,000 jobs and removes 2.5 billion pounds of post consumer textile product from waste stream each year.
  8. Over 70% of the world’s population uses secondhand clothes.

By placing drop boxes for used clothes across the country, USAgain has saved over 480 million items of clothing from landfills, and they aren’t stopping there.

Make a change in your own life by depositing reusable clothes, shoes and household textile in a USAgain dropbox near you.

World Environment Day June 5

What can you do? TIPS and HINTS

Energy:

  • Make your computer more efficient. Remove screensavers and turn on your computer’s power management features to save energy and extend the life of your battery.
  • Unplug. Devices like phone chargers and power adapters continue to draw electricity even when not in active use. So unplug these items when they are not in use to save energy and the environment.
  • Opt for the revolving door. Energy is wasted when we enter and exit a warm or cool building. Help us conserve by using the revolving door.

Use Less Paper:

  • Make your meetings digital. In the meeting invitation, let your colleagues know that the meeting will be paperless. Use projectors and monitors to display slides rather than printing handouts and encourage attendees to use their laptops for slide viewing and note taking.
  • Print responsibly. Make double-sided printing your default, purchase 100% recycled paper and reuse sheets whenever possible.
  • Transition to online banking. Take advantage of  many paperless banking options, which offer convenient and secure access for account holders while conserving resources and money.
  • Use Microsoft OneNote.  This is so much easier and better than a paper notebook! Take your meeting notes online, file them online and easily share them. This works so well for me!

Reduce Waster & Recycle:

  • Dispose of Electronic Waste responsibly. Never recycle it or throw it in the regular trash. There are many local recyclers in your area, Goodwill and community groups have recycling days.
  • Trade before you buy. Before you purchase something new, see if your friends family have what you need, or upgrade to get just the thing you need. Look on Craigslist.org for swaps and trades. Renting equipment, or using a renting/sharing app  works well for equipment that you seldom use: trimmers/hedgers, kayaks, canoes, wheel-barrows, cement mixers, tile cutters, nailers, floor sanders…. you know! …the stuff that can fill up your garage!
  • Take advantage of the recycling and composting facilities available near you. Protect the environment and save valuable company resources by sorting your trash correctly.

Save Water:

  • Refill and reuse. Conserve water when using a reusable water bottle or hydration backpack by reducing water used in producing disposable bottles and shipping containers to new locations.
  • Conserve energy. Electricity uses water. In fact, the energy sector is the single largest consumer of water in the United States, using 201 billion gallons a day to generate electricity. WOW!!! So, save two resources at once by being energy efficient.
  • Turn faucets off all the way. A steady drip can waste 20 gallons of water per day. And report any leaks as soon as you notice them in bathrooms, kitchens, gyms or any other locations.
  • When working out, make sure your fitness center knows you are environmentally minded by asking your fitness center staff about low volume shower heads. Post-workout showers: turn off the water while shaving, shampooing or lathering up.

Green your Commute:

  • Route your commute. You can find the fastest way to work using public transit — and other useful information — by using helpful websites like publictransportation.org
  • Combine your commute with exercise. Check out bicycle safety tips  from the CDC and facts and stats  from Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center to learn how you can commute by bike or walking and save yourself a trip to the gym.
  • Use more active transportation. Researchers looked at residents in Charlotte, North Carolina , before and after the city built a light-rail transit system (LRT). People who used the LRT reported they walked more when using the train than when they drove regularly. And they lost weight.

Get involved in your community and help with conservation, tree planting, beach clean-up and other eco-activities!

Earth Day with a Environmental View from the Pool

Across the globe, April 22 is celebrated as a day of support for environmental protection, but at Wells Fargo, every day is Earth Day. This commitment is illustrated through partnerships with businesses that are working to create a lower-carbon economy and reduce the impacts of climate change, like Alan Smith Pools in Orange Country, California believes in  water conservation and sustainability.
With almost 4 decades of experience, this company takes a long-term view toward the Earth Day mantra of reduce, reuse, recycle — using efficient and eco-friendly construction practices. With 29,000 projects completed, it is great environmental news that THIS  company has proven to be a pioneer in pools / spas.

  • innovative materials and repairs when possible
  • repairing pools with a view towards reuse, reduction of waste
  • saving millions of gallons of pool water
  • purifying water through osmosis
  • company-owned electric vehicles
  • implementing a waste management system for demolition debris
  • recycles 100% of demolition materials

“We know water is a precious commodity, especially in California, so we are continuously looking at ways to conserve the water that sustains our industry and manage our waste materials while constructing pools to be more sustainable. When the drought hit hard, we knew we had to help make our industry be more efficient and cut down on water waste to survive. This is why we began educating communities and regulators on the benefits of water recycling and purifying technology.”  — Alan Smith

Working with operators of large-scale pools such as YMCAs, & resorts, water waste is 3X – 4X  their annual water volume. Higher traffic means high levels of cleaning chemicals and the need to be completely drained and refilled with clean water every year. EACH 700,000 gallon pool that adds up to 2.8 million gallons of precious water drained into the sewers. The water purification technology that Alan proposed would recycle the existing water through reverse osmosis, removing impurities down to the level of drinking water–all within two to three days.

Smith recently acquired two water purification trailers to work with more customers; which makes $$ sense for CA homeowners as water districts move toward a tiered pricing system.

Kent Westfall
Commercial Division Manager
(760) 399-6428

Recycle your CRAYONS!

I didn’t know that you could do this! The Crayon Initiative recycles unwanted crayons and remanufactures them into new ones!  These new crayons are donated to children’s hospitals, art programs and other organizations that are invested in our children.

Art projects for kids and their families can be so therapeutic and relaxing. It takes the stress of a new room or hospital bed and puts the emphasis on fun, coloring, pictures, art. It is really a blessing for a family that is working through health issues with their kids. A small distraction, a way to forget about the pain or fear. I’ve seen many pediatric units covered with crayon art,  it helps.

This is really a cool idea.

How can you be a part of the Initiative?

  • Collect crayons
  • Volunteer
  • Donate Funds
  • Share Your Colors. Recycling unwanted crayons into unwanted possibilities.

Buscycle – Group Bicycle Pedal Power

Saluting Pedal Power!
There is a “Ride your Bike to Work” day and gas prices help us “convert” from our cars to bikes everyday! Pedaling can be a mere method or it can be an experience.
Take a look at the BUSCYCLE for inspiration! I have gotten to be part of the pedal team, lumbering along at a top speed of 5mph or maybe slower, it was GREAT. Highly recommended. You can see it at Palo Alto Music events during the summer.
Take a look at their gallery: http://www.buscycle.com/gallery.html

Party bike – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

If you love this kind of silliness and innovation, its a mash-up that needs your energy (volunteer) and your donations (send a check).

Here are pictures of a Buscycle in Boston. Not the same as the Berkeley buscycle but still loads of fun!

This buscycle is made of mostly recycled and repurposed parts. Most of the group cycles start out that way, because that is the path of most quirky adventures or “invention on a dare!   The motorized car-like lazyboy was just such a project!

    

And in San Francisco:  SF BIKE COALITION  they have events, maps and news on the latest trends and difficulties of biking in and around SF.

Sustainable Sandwich Wraps

Bee’s Wrap Sandwich Wraps are a natural food storage container and are reusable! They are made from organic muslin infused with beeswax and jojoba oil. The antibacterial properties of the beeswax and jojoba oil help to keep food fresh. Perfect for lunch on the go!

BEESandwichwrap

FarmFresh

 

I found this information in my “love note” from Farm Fresh to You, in addition to great fresh, delivered food, they have great green ideas and recipes!

Finally! A way to fill YOUR OWN k-CUPS!

Instead of selling pre-filled k-cups, Ekobrew instead is a k-cup filter that you can reuse as many times as you’d like – filling it with whatever brew you prefer. While this does open up many new possibilities, the biggest drawback to the Ekobrew is the loss of the convenience. It took a bit longer from “I think I want to have a cup of coffee…” to actually drinking one.

However (and this is a pretty big deal) the biggest benefit of the Ekobrew and other similar filter options is the decreased environmental impact. K-cups and the Keurig movement have been declared the most “wasteful form of coffee.” Ultimately, these two balance each other out.

Price is another big win. This option has an estimated price tag of $0.20-0.25US per cup, and could be brought down even lower depending on the total life and operating time of the filter.

NOTE: Keurig 2.0 owners who have attempted to use other or older k-cups with no success, have no fear. There is a simple fix (it’ll take you less than five minutes) that will let you work around it. Just search “Keurig hack” on YouTube or check out this one.