Archives for the month of: June, 2012

If you consume soda or bottled water, you may be wondering what you can do to recycle the plastic bottle once you’ve emptied it. Recycling is not only an Earth-friendly move, but it can be fun and save you some money. Here are a few ways to use recycled bottles around your home and garden.

Planters and Seed Starter

For a larger planter, take a two-liter plastic bottle and cut off the top portion. Poke a few holes in the bottom to allow drainage. Use the same process with smaller bottles to make seedling starters. These can be reused again and again, so keep a stack in your garden shed.

Bottle 2

Insect Trap

Forget chemical deterrents. To make an insect trap, cut the bottle in half. Fill the bottom with a small amount of sweet liquid such as juice or sugar water. Then insert the top of the bottle into the bottom upside-down, like a funnel, and tape it into place. Insects will fly in and be unable to escape. These can be discarded and remade as needed throughout the summer.

Paint and Craft Tray

Recycled soda bottle caps and bottoms make for great arts and crafts containers. Simply cut off the top of the bottle and use the bottom for mixing paint, holding beads, or dispensing glitter. Cleanup is also a snap with these remade bottles, as they rinse very easily and can be reused.

Bottle 1

Ice Packs and Cooler Inserts

If you have kids, you know that bumps and bruises happen. An old soda bottle half-filled with frozen water and wrapped in a damp towel feels great against a minor injury. Likewise, if you enjoy hiking or tailgating, a few bottles full of ice will keep your snacks and drinks cool.

Water Toy for Toddlers

Recycling old soda or water bottles is a smart move for both the Earth and your wallet. With some time and creativity, you can use them for a whole new second life.If your child has a tendency to lose toys, you know that the cost can quickly add up. Simply add some water, cooking oil, food coloring, and glitter to an old bottle. Then add small toys or brightly-colored stones. Leave a small amount of room at the top, and then screw the lid on as tightly as you can. Your child will love it!

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For those travelers wishing to shrink their carbon footprint, Virgin Airlines offers an eco-friendly flying experience. Greenopia, a Santa Barbara research group, performs an annual ranking of airlines based on their response to environmental concerns. Greenopia ranked Virgin America top of the 10 airlines rated. According to Greenopia, Virgin America does a great job of flying green. While air travel consumes more energy than other forms of travel, at least Virgin America’s passengers can be proud of Virgin’s sustainability.

VA 1

Virgin Airlines makes it easy for eco-concerned passengers to purchase carbon offset units. The airline’s young fleet of planes are fuel efficient in both consumption and emissions, and Virgin increased its use of biofuels. Virgin not only recycles at its headquarters, but 47 percent of flight wastes are recycled as well. Virgin’s terminal at San Francisco Airport is LEED certified, meaning the building was designed to have the least impact on the environment, a certain stamp of green approval.

VA 2

When measuring the airlines’ impact on the environment, Greenopia factored in recycling programs, transparency in reporting about energy consumption, company spending on researching alternative fuels and the relative ease for passengers to buy carbon offsets when they travel. While Virgin America rated first overall, Continental Airlines was top of the list for the major carriers. Delta Air Lines made the most improvement in lessening its impact on the environment in the past year. As an industry, Greenopia reports, airlines reduced their carbon footprint over 30 percent in the past decade in contrast to most companies making two to three percent change in going green. Following Virgin’s example, airlines are getting greener all the time.

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Salons are cutting away 135 million pounds of hair on an annual basis, and all of this excess has been ending up in landfills. Recycling hair is not only a great way to help relieve environmental pollution, but it also provides an excellent opportunity to help those who are less fortunate. There are many people who suffer from extreme hair loss due to severe medical treatments and diseases like cancer. Donating your own hair to causes such as these can help both the environment and the person who is enduring the hair loss.

Hair 1

For those who might be interested in helping the environment, recycling hair to help clean up an oil spill is one of the many options out there. When you send your clippings to an organization like Matter of Trust, the hair will be manufactured into a “boom”, or oil mat, that incorporates such fibrous materials as feathers, wool and seeds. These mats are earth-friendly and make a great alternative to the dangerous chemicals that corporations use for their oil spill cleanups.

Another great Green article from Green Halo
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For the environmentally conscious, a wedding can seem like the ultimate in excessive consumption. But it’s becoming more acceptable to sideline tradition in favor of an eco-friendly approach. From start to finish, a wedding day can be as “green” as the couple can imagine.

Green Wedding 1

One way to save money and help the environment is with the invitations. The best option is to send electronic notices using a site with RSVP-tracking, such as Evite. Couples who must mail invitations can look for recycled paper and soy-based inks. Alternatively, handcrafted invitations using snapshots of the couple give an inexpensive, personal touch.

The greenest options for wedding attire are to buy secondhand, rent or reuse the dress of a close friend or relative. For those who need to buy new, designers now offer gowns in organic or eco-friendly fabrics such as hemp or bamboo.


Some caterers specialize in locally grown foods and wines. This eliminates the impact on the environment from trucking food long distances while contributing to the local economy.Couples should also plan for the cleanup by arranging for recycling bins at the reception site., for example, offers a list of companies that offer recycling or composting services for bottles, plastics, paper and more. Couples can enter a ZIP code at to find the nearest facility.It is possible to make green choices at every stage of planning a wedding. Even something as simple as recycling the wine bottles or decorating with seasonal flowers can create a positive energy for the big day.

Another great Green article from Green Halo
Track your recycling at
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