We’ve all heard it. Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. But why? What are you doing when you follow these 3 simple phrases?
Make An Impact
It’s simple. You can make an impact on the environment when you make a couple changes. Here are a few suggestions we’ve put together to help you make those changes—and lessen the waste going into landfills.
- Reduce. This means:
- Buy items in BULK, CONCENTRATE, RECYCABLE or REFILLABLE containers, and use LITTEL or NO packaging
- Use REUSABLE lunch boxes/bags, shopping bags
- Use CLOTH napkins & rags instead of paper
- Use RECHARGEABLE batteries
- Use WASHABLE plates/cups/utensils
- RENT items you don’t use often
- GO TO THE LIBRARY to borrow books and magazines
- Reuse. This means:
- Use old glass jars for FOOD STORAGE, ART SUPPLIES, VASES.
- SELL or DONATE used items, don’t just toss them
- MAKE ART, think of all the uses for newspaper (painting, decoupage)
- Recycle. This means:
- Recycle common items such as:
- Purchase items made from recycled materials such as:
Do you have any other tips we’ve left out? What do you do to reduce your carbon footprint and work towards a cleaner, healthier environment?
Did you know that here at Westside Environmental we offer aggregate? We have the following types of aggregate available for either pickup or delivery, so be sure to contact our team today at: 201-472-1031 if you’re in need of aggregate now.
• 3/8” Pea Gravel
• 3/8” Clean Stone
• 3/4” Crushed Stone
• 1 1/2” Crushed Stone
• 2-4” Crushed Stone
• Mason Sand
• Concrete Sand
Not familiar with aggregate? Recycled concrete, rock, brick & block can be used to create aggregate. Then, the aggregate is used to reinforce and strengthen composite material.
There are a variety of uses for construction aggregate such as:
• French drains
• Septic drain fields
• Retaining wall drains
• Road side edge drains
Base material for:
From stabilizing something that has an unpredictable base to ensuring good drainage, get the right aggregate for the job.
Want to learn more about how it is used in construction? Or, curious about where it goes? Or maybe you want to know more about worldwide sales? Whatever it is you are curious about, we’ve written up some more information on it, so go ahead and check it out.
Anything else you’d like to know? Let us know and we’ll look it up for you.
Last month we celebrated the 46th annual Earth Day and it was so exciting to see so many people stepping up to take care of our planet! While Earth Day is technical just one day per year, you can celebrate Earth Day every day by doing simple things like participating in a park cleanup or reusing recyclable materials to create something new and beautiful like these mason jar herb gardens that we shared last month! But, did you know that humans aren’t alone when it comes to taking care of planet Earth?
Plants also work hard to try and make the world a cleaner, healthier place. Specifically, some plants help by remediating petroleum-contaminated soil. Petroleum-contaminated soil is actually one of the most common forms of soil pollution and tends to happen due to drilling refineries, accidental spills and even illegal dumping. Not only is petroleum-contaminated soil bad for the Earth but it’s bad for humans as well! There are dozens of health risks that come with being near soil that is contaminated with oil considering even inhaling the vapors from it can lead adverse health affects.
So how do plants help fight soil pollution? It’s a process called phytoremediation. It sounds fancy, but it’s pretty simple. Plants located in petroleum-contaminated soil use their roots to absorb the contaminants. This is called stabilization. Then, depending on the plant, there are three different ways the pollutant is dealt with above ground, but all ways involve removing it from the soil. Take a look at this informative chart by Urban Omnibus if you’d like to learn about the process in more detail:
While phytoremediation is one method of removing petroleum hydrocarbons from soil, it doesn’t work for every pollutant and with all plants. To help out hard working plants, see what you can do by taking a look at these easy tips for reducing land pollutions.
For those really tricky soil contamination emergencies, rely on experienced environmental companies like Westside Environmental to rid the soil of contaminants by using our state of the art negative air system. Call us today at: 201-472-1031 to learn more.
There’s a saying that March comes “in like a lion and out like a lamb.” So far, March 2016 has been a little different. Warmer than average temperatures and sunny days have made the beginning of this month seem more lamb than lion. While it might seem like the perfect time for heading outdoors and gardening, you never know what the weather will be like at the end of the month. In order to get you through the almost unpredictable weather, we found this easy DIY herb garden craft that you can keep indoors; in case Old Man Winter decides to pay us another visit before the end of the month!
Image from: ConsumerCrafts.com
Here’s what you’ll need to add some spice to your kitchen:
> Reused Pint Sized Glass Mason Jars
> Mason Jar Holder (optional)
This craft is a really great way to reuse materials (like glass mason jars) instead of throwing them away and bringing the springtime indoors. The first step is to fill the mason jars halfway with soil and then add the seeds for the herbs or small plants you wish you to grow. All that’s left to do is find a sunny windowsill in your kitchen and take care of your herbs. If March decides to go out like a lion instead of a lamb, you can at least enjoy the green of the outdoors with these cute and functional herb gardens!
And, usually the rule of thumb is after Mother’s Day (it usually marks the end of cold weather), you can transfer these herbs into bigger pots and move them outside if you’d like!
Stay tuned for more glass recycling tips, or general recycling information, by following us on Facebook.
The environmental and fiscal benefits of using aggregate in construction are no secret. Being able to repurpose recycled materials to lower costs and improve the overall quality of projects is a major advantage that construction aggregates offer to property owners and city planners alike. But how exactly do construction companies use aggregate? If you can’t think of the answer: Don’t worry. We’ve compiled a list that demonstrates that many ways that aggregate is used.
To Strengthen and Support
Construction workers turn to aggregate most often to strengthen and support various structures. Aggregate provides a strong, hard base for workers to build on top of. Its use as a foundation offers a strong yet flexible base for buildings, bridges, and dams. In roads and railway ballast, aggregates are used to resist the overall (static and dynamic) load as well as to distribute the load properly to the supporting ground.
To Drain Water
When used as a foundation, recycled aggregate also greatly improves drainage for buildings. Construction aggregate also allows water to better drain off of road surfaces. Aggregate is one of the main reasons why your vehicle doesn’t simply sink into the soil during wet spells. While water sticks closely to soil particles, it has a harder time holding on to the voids between aggregates so gravity takes over and allows the water to drain.
To Reduce Shrinkage and Cracking
When concrete is mixed, construction workers mix in more water than necessary with the dry components. This extra water results in a difference of moisture content which produces stresses that ultimately are relived when they crack the concrete structure. These are called “Shrinkage Cracks.” Since water doesn’t affect aggregates like it does soils, the use of construction aggregates keep structures from sustaining shrinkage cracks during dry spells.
Do you know any other uses for construction aggregate? Let us know in the comments below!
If you can’t tell from scanning through the rest of our blog, we love DIY recycling projects. When you’re the greenest material recovery facility in the NY/NJ metropolitan area, repurposing materials like peanut butter jars, toilet paper rolls, and soda cans is just something that comes naturally. When we’re lacking in inspiration though, we love to turn to the Internet to see what crafters are up to. When we saw this DIY jewelry stand made out of plastic soda bottles, we just knew we had to share it with you!
We’ve seen a lot of great recycling crafts during our searches but this one is by far the most beautiful and useful idea. Jewelry is not that easy to organize and even when you have jewelry boxes they aren’t always the most attractive (or environmental friendly) holders. Why not make your own, aesthetically pleasing jewelry stand that repurposes the bottom of old plastic bottles?
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Two 2 liter bottles of soda
- One 1 liter bottle of soda
- One 20oz bottle of soda
- One 12-inch length of threading rod
- One bag of nuts
- One bag of washers
- Dremel (optional)
- Glass bead (optional)
The directions are pretty simple and straightforward. You can get detailed instructions by taking a look at the creator’s blog. We’ll give you the basic steps:
- First cut the bottom of your soda bottles off as deep or as shallow as you’d like. These will serve as the holders for your jewelry on the stand, so keep in mind what jewelry you’d like to put on each bottom.
- Drill holes that are the same size as your threaded rod in the center of each “petal.”
- Stick the rod through the holes and secure it with the nuts and washers.
- Decorate and place jewelry.
Don’t forget to post pictures of your completed craft on our Facebook page and keep the conversation going about recycling on Twitter using #werecycle @westsideenviro!
We love the start of fall here at Westside Environmental. The kids are back in school, temperatures are starting to get cooler, football is starting up—did we mention the kids are back in school?
As relaxing as your kid-free home might be, we know you secretly miss spending time with them. When we came across this fun recycled craft we knew it was perfect for an afterschool or weekend activity with your little students. Not only is soup can bowling a craft that’s fun to make with your kids, but it’s also a game that can be played over and over again for unlimited fun!
Recycled Can Bowling Game
This craft is easy to make and only requires a few materials that you can find in your home. All you’ll need are soup cans, a 5″ Styrofoam ball, and some paint! The soup cans will serve as your bowling pins so while we recommend five for the size of the Styrofoam ball, you’re welcome to use as many as you wish you recycle! The more cans you use the more challenging your game will be!
Here’s how you put it all together:
- Clean out your soup cans and dry them so they’ll be ready to be painted!
- Paint your Styrofoam ball black like a bowling ball. For some added detail, add three white dots to serve as finger holes.
- Next, let your kids paint the soup cans however they’d like. Let them get creative! You never know what your little art students are going to come up with!
- Paint numbers on the front of the cans with black paint. Be sure to paint them with the bottom of the paint can facing up!
All that’s left to do is to line them up and knock them down! Don’t forget to post pictures of your completed craft on our Facebook page and keep the conversation going about recycling on Twitter using #werecycle @westsideenviro!
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. We all know these three words. In fact, most of us have grown up hearing them. Why is it then, that we often focus only on “recycle”? Reduce and Reuse are just as important when it comes to going green and taking care of our environment.
This post is going to focus on the second word, “reuse” and how we can reuse plastic bags without just throwing them in the recycling bin or using them again at the store. Over 1 trillion plastic bags are used every year worldwide. That means every minute, approximately 2 million plastic bags are used. Think about that… that’s a lot of plastic being used probably only one time. Below are 10 creative ways to reuse plastic bags to make our lives easier and our impact on the environment greener.
- Keep left over plastic bags in your glove compartment to use as trash and recycling bags on road trips. This is also helpful if you have kids and are just driving across town!
- When going on a trip, pack your shoes in plastic bags before you throw them in your luggage. That way, the rest of your belongings will be kept clean from any dirt or germs at the bottom of your shoes. You can also use these on trips to keep dirty clothes separated from clean ones!
- Have kids? You can use plastic bags as parachutes for action figures to elevate the fun at playtime. All you need are plastic bags and string (or dental floss!) Check out these directions and get crafting!
- If you’re moving anytime soon, save up your plastic bags and use them to pack drinking glasses, vases, and other fragile items. A layer of four bags or so around each object provides it with enough protection without the mess of newspaper ink or broken Styrofoam.
- In the winter you can use plastic bags to cover up your side view mirrors and windshield wipers on your car. When it gets cold or snows those parts will be frost-free!
- You can even use plastic bags to help you clean! Use them to dust off out-of-season shoes and anything dusty that might be forgotten in your closet.
- Plastic bags are soft when piled together so you can use them to stuff pet beds or throw pillows that have thick fabric covers.
- When it’s cold outside you can use plastic bags to protect plants from getting frost overnight. Just cover them with the plastic bags and tie the handles around the pots. Make sure you remember to take the bags off in the morning!
- If you’re going to be doing arts and crafts, cut slits in the sides of your plastic bags and lay them out on your crafting surface so you don’t make a mess!
- If all else fails or you’re just not the creative type, you can save up your plastic bags and donate them. Look for local food pantries, libraries, grocery stores, or hospitals that will take them.
The summer months are the perfect time to spend your days outside. There’s nothing more peaceful than enjoying the beautiful weather and relaxed summer wildlife. An easy way to enjoy the wildlife is to invest in a bird feeder for you yard or apartment. You could invest a lot of money on an expensive bird feeder or you could invest some time by building one yourself. Although it may sound complicated, building your own bird feeder can be very simple and environmentally friendly—especially if you build one from a clear peanut butter container.
We’re always looking for new ways to use old materials and this bird feeder not only makes use of an old peanut butter container but a yogurt lid as well! All the supplies you’ll need are listed here as well as the directions.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- a recycled clean plastic, clear peanut butter jar
- a lid from a large, plastic yogurt container
- a dremel
- a washer or nut
- sturdy string or twine
- a pair of scissors
- Gorilla Glue
- a stick
Once you’ve got your materials together it’s really quite simple to put together. You can also get creative and try different shaped plastic containers. This person decided to use a water bottle. You can use whatever shape or color plastic you can find. Send us some pictures of your finished bird feeders and we’ll share them on our social media pages!
Don’t forget to recycle your cut out pieces from the peanut butter container! And don’t forget to keep the conversation going about recycling on Twitter using #werecycle @westsideenviro!
We hope you’re enjoying the summer months so far. We can’t believe it’s July already—where did the time go?
Since July is here, that means Independence Day is just a couple days away. This time can be a crazy part of the year but it’s also jammed pack with fun and exciting things to do. In the midst of all the upcoming baseball games, picnics and fireworks this can be a really great opportunity to be environmentally conscious and dispose of all your holiday waste in an environmentally friendly way. To get in the patriotic (and environmentally friendly) spirit, why not try decorating your home with these awesome red, white, and blue coffee filter fireworks.
This craft is extremely simple to make and are really great at adding a pop of patriotic pizazz to your household or party. All you’ll need is:
- basket coffee filters*
- chenille stems
- blue and red water color paint
- and 2 pieces of paper towel
These fireworks (or flowers, whichever they look like more to you!) work great as centerpieces or as a kid’s craft. Better yet, why not combine the two and let your kids feel like they helped decorate for the big party? Not hosting the big shindig? No problem! You can easily place the decorations outside (as long as it’s not raining) or bring them along as a small gift from your children to the host.
If you want to learn about more environmentally friendly craft ideas, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. Also don’t forget to share your picture of your firework flowers with us!
*Although in order to pain the filters red and white they will need to be new filters, you can try this less festive and more intricate on your own with used coffee filters and old papers.