Tag 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!

TraX – Social Media encouraging Re-Use

Great News!

TraX awarded at StopWaste Business Efficiency Awards 2014

TraX, founded in Berkeley, is a new social impact media platform that encourages positive “reuse actions”!

  1. When you use a reusable cup, bag or straw while shopping…
  2. Photograph the reuse items via Instagram or Facebook mobile apps
  3. Add the store location and the  #traXactions hashtag and share the action online for cash rewards.

By using popular social media channels, traX is accessible to most US shoppers.  Each action is rewarded via “Square” cash from the TraX partners, including top reusable products companies, non-profits and other organizations committed to reducing waste from single-use disposables.

What are traX rewards?

WHY is this a GREAT IDEA? Many reasons – here’s one: 7 Million non-degradable TO-GO Coffee Cups disposed off in Landfill everyday.

traX coffe cup infographic

TraX also connects and acknowledges their “Action Hero” users to leverage their actions to motivate others.

Six months after launching, 60% of traX users are based in Northern California and 10% in Alameda County.

See StopWaste.org

5 Places in Your Home to Find Scrap Metal

Sourcing valuable metals from around your home and recycling them can help the sustainable development of the planet. Learn how recycling ferrous and non-ferrous scrap metal found around the home can save energy and benefit the environment.

As we start off the New Year, Sims Metal Management is putting efforts toward the promotion of recycling household items, given that only 35 percent of Americans recycle, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). While the recycling of paper, plastics, glass, rubber, cloth and other such items are popular among many homeowners, recycling scrap metal is not. Few are aware of how many recyclable objects containing metals might be in your home. A couple examples include cell phones, batteries and much more.

Learn and understand what metals you can recycle and the enormous value generated via the recycling of these metals.

Not only can you save tons of energy by recycling the scrap metal found in your home, but you could earn money off it too! Sims Metal Management has scrap metal recycling units across the country where you can sell your scrap metal in return for cash.

Find the facility closest to you by clicking here.

As a homeowner, your initiative to recycle scrap metal will not only help reduce your carbon footprint, but help sustain our planet in the future. This year, take steps to include the recycling of scrap metal around your home along with items that are generally recycled. Energy saved equals a greener planet!

Celebrating Earth Month= Reduce Waste

Celebrating Earth Month is about the little things—every part of the hundreds of millions of pounds of e-waste discarded each year starts with each of us choosing to throw away a 1 lb. cell phone.

E-Waste is the fastest growing part of the US garbage stream and, if improperly disposed of, these items leak lead, cadmium, mercury, chromium and polyvinyl chloride. Gazelle (www.gazelle.com) is an ecofriendly online service that offers the simplest, fastest and most trusted means for people to responsibly recycle and trade in their used gadgets for cash.

In 2010 alone, Gazelle’s reCommerce services helped divert 314,436 items, totaling up to 264 tons of e-waste. Consider, on average, a cell phone contributes 1 lb. to global e-waste, and a desktop PC contributes up to 20 lbs. Using Gazelle to reCommerce these items not only ensures they will be recycled according to US government standards that include a zero landfill policy, customers receive an average of $100 for their items.

Gazelle proves that celebrating Earth Month can be easy.

e-Stewards Enterprises

Your company can join e-Stewards® Enterprises! It shows that you believe in recycling responsibility, ensuring that electronics and components are recycled in a responsible way, from the manufacturing process to decommissioning and the steps in between.

Sustainability diagram

What is e-Stewards Enterprises, exactly? Well it’s a group of companies and institutions committed to using e-Stewards Recyclers that meet the world’s highest standards for responsible recycling. These standards were created by the Basel Action Network (BAN), along with leading electronics recyclers, certification industry experts, and occupational, health, and safety specialists.

By becoming an e-Stewards Enterprise and using e-Stewards® Recyclers, a company knows that old computers and other electronics aren’t going to be disposed of in a way that harms people or the environment, and that, whenever possible, electronic components will be recycled and reused.

Here is the roster for the new e-Stewards Leadership Council (representatives from, e-waste collectors, recyclers, electronics mfg, corporations and regulatory groups) :

  • Capstone Wireless (TX)
  • CloudBlue (OH)
  • Electronic Recyclers International (CA)
  • Surplus Exchange (MO)
  • WeRecycle! (NY)
  • Philips Services Corp
  • Samsung
  • Wells Fargo
  • Natural Resources Defense Council
  • two government representatives will round out the Council

You have seen the burning or dumping of electronics into streams, landfill and empty lots. Recovery of the precious metals and disposal of the toxins in these items is essential. Lead exposure is one of the many consequences when electronics are not properly disposed of. e-Stewardship addresses this problem and provides standards of recycling, waste reduction and environmental safety.

Another Reason to Think about Garbage!

It’s piling up! And why? Because San Mateo County Garbage workers are on strike!
When we pay attention to recycling, composting, using less packaging, this becomes less of an issue. I wouldn’t want to be the family with a mound of plastic disposable diapers and no trash pick-up on this very hot sweltering week. Ugh!

Garbage workers in San Mateo County started a 48-hour strike Wednesday (Aug. 25) to protest stalled contract negotiations with Allied Waste Industries, a company spokeswoman said.

Several East Palo Alto residents said their garbage bins, normally collected Wednesday at 6 a.m., still lingered on the curb by mid-afternoon. The sweltering afternoon heat accentuated the pungent smell, one resident said.

Thirteen workers at the Ox Mountain Landfill near Half Moon Bay are participating in the two-day strike over negotiations that have stalled since their contract expired at the end of 2009, Allied Waste spokeswoman Peg Mulloy said.

Labor Dispute news… more information!

Free Composting Classes

These classes are available all over, check the schedule. You can also register to be a GREEN BUSINESS. For Palo Alto and most other communities, you’ll have to register. In PA, call for location and registration (650) 496-5910 or email recycling@city.palo-alto.ca.us In addition to classes, some areas offer low cost composting bins. All this effort reduces solid waste in the landfill and lowers your garbage bill.

Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch

There are two masses of garbage floating in our oceans, both the size of Texas. Two! One site is 1000 miles west of California and 1000 miles west of Hawaii.  The other site is 1000 miles off the coast of Japan.  Ocean currents [gyres] moved the discarded trash into a giant heap. Nudging the bottles and plastic junk into an amorphous spheres like stirring a pot of plastic soup. The SF Chronicle reported on this in October 2007. This patch has a long history growing ten-fold every decade for the last 50 years. Most of the refuse comes from land where it was not disposed of properly – floating in from rivers, streams and waterways.

The Independent offers a recent article. Its celebrity has prompted a page on Face Book. Maybe soon the Garbage patch will get an SSN and an identity, it will be here for a long while.

water bottles on cart

Look at this too – Plastiki a boat made of plastic bottles, sails to Sydney to promote ocean awareness.