Glass Recycling: A Mason Jar Herb Garden

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
>  Herbs
>  Soil
>  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.

Safely Disposing Household Hazardous Waste (HHW)

What Are Household Hazardous Wastes?

You wouldn’t know it, but there is probably a large amount of hazardous waste in your home. Any bottle that says: Danger! Warning! or Poison! Is probably dangerous to both you and the environment. Products like paints, cleaners, oils and pesticides are just a few household products that contain potentially hazardous ingredients and therefore require extra care when you dispose of them.

How to Dispose of Household Hazardous Wastes

Because of these dangerous ingredients, these materials and other HHW’s cannot be poured down the sink or in your backyard because then they pose a threat to sanitation workers, septic tanks, children, and the environment as a whole. Many communities in the U.S. offer a variety of different options for safely managing hazardous waste and it’s important for you and the environment to take advantage of these programs!

Benefits of Proper Household Hazardous Waste Management

Disposing of your HHW’s correctly isn’t enough. To make an even stronger impact on the environment it’s important to reduce the purchase of HHW’s as well. It’s really quite easy when you think about it. Before you buy a HHW product, ask yourself these two questions:

  1. Does it do just one job, or can I use it for multiple tasks?
  2. What restrictions does this product have?
  3. Does the label say what to do if the product contacts skin, or is inhaled or swallowed?

If a product can only be used for one task, has a lot of restrictions, and doesn’t contain the proper medical advice, it’s probably best to steer clear from buying it. Reducing the amount of HHW’s you purchase in your household helps conserve energy and materials that would have been used to make the product in the first place.

When you reduce the amount of HHW’s your buy and dispose of them in the proper manner, you are doing a lot of good for yourself and for the environment. To learn more about HHW’s, visit the EPA’s information page. If you’re looking to safely dispose of any petroleum or lead contaminated soil, get in touch with a Westside Environmental Application Form.

10 Ways to Reuse Plastic

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.

  1. 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!
  2. 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!
  3. 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!
  4. 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.
  5. 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!
  6. 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.
  7. Plastic bags are soft when piled together so you can use them to stuff pet beds or throw pillows that have thick fabric covers.
  8. 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!
  9. 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!
  10. 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.

Go Green – Make Your Own Paint

Go Green, Environmentally Friendly, Non-Toxic, Recycled – these are all “keywords” we hear more and more often today. How can we keep the earth green? The world healthy? What can we do to make the world a better place?

As we were browsing Pinterest one day we came across this great idea, and we just had to share it with you.

Did you know you can make your own paint for you kids’ crafts at home using every-day ingredients? Not only are the ingredients something you’ll have lying around your house, but you can even recycle used ketchup bottles for the containers! Once you do this quick and easy recipe, we have a feeling you’ll never have to buy paint again!

This recipe is really easy. Just combine 1 cup of salt, 1 cup of flour, 1 cup of water, and the food coloring of your choice. It’s quicker than running to the store and safe for children to play and create with (and even accidentally eat!).

Go Green and Make Your Own Paint!

Want to be even more creative? You can even mix and match different ratios of food coloring to create a wide spectrum of colors (like this photo shows us).

Go Green & Start Creating

So, clean out your old ketchup bottles (or start eating a lot of french fries so you have more), then turn your kitchen into a paint lab and be artistic, have fun and go green! We’d love to see what you’ve created with your “green” paints, so share your creations with us on Facebook using #wegogreenpaint.

Where your Construction Aggregate Material goes

Crushed Stone Sales

Aggregate material is generally, gravel, sand, crushed concrete and recycled stone.
Some aggregates are mined, the ones produced by Westside Environmental are recycled from construction sites, building projects, and commercial businesses.

What Kinds of Projects Use Aggregate Material for Construction?

Construction & Demolition Waste

The major end markets for this recycled material are commercial construction, private home residential construction, and publicly-funded projects such as roads, bridges and other infrastructure improvements. Of these markets, public infrasture improvements require the most construction aggregate materials for repairing roads and building highways. Over 1.64 billion metric tons of these green materials were produced in just the first nine months of 2014. This is an increase of  8 percent compared to 2013. More construction sites recycle their materials during deconstruction then ever before. Many project managers use recycled aggregate to save money and go green.

Where to buy or remove Construction Aggregate

Westside Environmental

It’s great that you want to use recycled, environmentally friendly construction aggregate.
You can contact Westside Environmental to remove waste from your construction site, or you can purchase construction aggregate for your project. We offer both services.

Materials We Have Hauled

Disposal & Remediation
Petroleum Contaminated Soil
Non-Hazardous Contaminated Soil
Lead Contaminated Soil
PCB Window Caulking
Construction Waste
Demolition Waste
Non-Hazardous Waste
Vegatative Waste
Dry Industrial Waste (ID27)

Aggregates for Sale

AGGREGATE FOR SALE!  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

Available for pickup or delivery

Hauling Capacity

We Use the Westside Environmental and Cardella Waste Green Fleet to haul any waste from your construction site. It’s cheaper, and better for the environment.

Avoid hidden fees in every dumpster rental with this tip.

What they don’t want you to know

rail-car-facility-bw

There are Green waste management services like Cardella Waste and Westside Environmental and then there’s  NonGreen dumpster rental services. These commercial construction waste haulers don’t want you to know this one thing. It is more expensive to dump the waste generated when building a New York skyscraper or a New Jersey home than it is to recycle it. Don’t give your waste to a roll-off rental company that just dumps directly into a landfill. It’s cheaper to use a company that recycles and then only goes to the landfill as a last resort.

 

How does Recycling Lower your New Jersey Tipping Fee

Sustainable Jersey Logo

Every pound of waste that is given to a landfill costs you more money. New Jersey has some of the highest tipping fees in the country. The average cost per ton of waste is $72 according to a 2013 survey of Tipping Fees per US State. Recycling waste from a construction site means you can save thousands of dollars by the end of the project. Remember, the tipping fee is more expensive than the cost to recycle in many parts of the US.

Get in Touch

Westside Environmental

 

Click the link to learn more about our Green Services for construction crews seeking LEED qualification or just looking to save on hauling construct waste. Don’t forget to check out our other blog post here.

Eco-Friendly Thanksgiving

There are many ways to go green this Thanksgiving holiday. Below is a list of ideas that can help you save money, aid the environment, and create a beautiful Thanksgiving meal for you to share with your friends and family. This is a great time to try some eco-friendly concepts that will result in an effortlessly green holiday. Keep in mind Thanksgiving is about community and helping those in need and you will be on your way to a green holiday.

1. Shop Local

A white sign with red letters spelling out Goffle Road Poultry in Wykoff NJ Fresh Turkeys and Chickens wth a blow up Thanksgiving turkey with a pilgrim hat on.

Check out poultry from local and organic markets. We recommend checking out Goffle Road Poultry Farm. They produce locally sourced turkey that are perfect for your feast. The Goffle Road Poultry Farm, is located at 549 Goffle Road in Wyckoff, NJ. They use “Free Range Poultry” methods, which prohibits the use of steroids, antibiotics or animal by-products in producing happy healthy poultry. All Goffle Road Poultry Farm products are home grown and naturally processed. Feed your family an environmentally friendly, local turkey. Local means less fuel is needed to get the turkey from where it’s produced to your home - which is great for the environment.

2. Donate to Your Local Foodbank

Men and women wearing yellow and white shirts  loading food into  cardboard boxes at a Food Bank

According to Feeding America 1 in 6 Americans goes hungry every day. So, why not donate to your local food bank? Keep in mind that every year food banks get more than enough donations on Thanksgiving, and then receive little to no help throughout the rest of the year. So, try donating on a monthly basis, click this link to start now - or set aside a time now for early in 2015 for your family to bring food over to your local food bank. Here’s a link to finding a local foodbank. Just type in your zip code and the website does the rest.

3. Use Candles and Limit Your Electric Lighting

30 tea-candles lit with a warm glow and flickering flames

Use your candles to light up your Thanksgiving meal this year! Every year around the holidays Americans consume a ton of energy for holiday lights. So, make it a point to use candles to light your home. It’s a relaxing and beautiful way to celebrate Thanksgiving. Warm candle light even has a calming effect that can help you relieve holiday stress while being environmentally friendly. Try to use candles as much as possible, reducing your use of electricity, and helping the environment. Keep your wits about you, don’t put candles where kids can knock them over or near any flammable materials like curtains, drapes, wall paper. Be safe.

4. Decorate Your Home with Natural Elements

decorate your thanksgivng table with pumkins and squash and candles flowing out of a brown wicker cornucopia

Try using natural seasonal items like squash, pumpkins, and  Native American corn. Pinecones, branches, wicker cornucopias and apples are also popular and beautiful items to use on your table and around your home. Try not to buy anything plastic that will be thrown out and end up in a dump. Use things that you can naturally compost.

5. Remember, Thanksgiving is about Being Grateful

Thanksgiving, is the ideal  time to give thanks for all we have and to not focus on what we need to buy. Ask your guests to be prepared to give a brief message about what they are thankful for this year. You also may want to consider inviting someone over for your Thanksgiving meal who may be alone this year.

Happy Thanksgiving
from Westside Environmental

 

5 simple tips for an Eco-friendly Halloween – Westside Environmental

Halloween fast approaches and with it comes sugared up kids, adults in cheesy costumes, and the sound of ‘Monster Mash‘ on the radio.

Each Halloween, American’s spend around $75 on candy, costumes, and decorations which produce waste that hurts the environment. We have five easy ways for you to have an eco-friendly halloween.

Number 1 – Go Organic

Organic healthy halloween candy

Try handing out Organic Goodies. These treats are healthier and kids love them. Plus Organic means they use less pesticides in production, helping the planet.

Number 2 – LED the Fight for Energy Efficiency!

Pumkin halloween LED decorations and Lights

Decorate your house and walkway with energy efficient LED’s. Click the pumpkin to learn how to make your own Pumkin LED’s for Halloween.

Number 3 – Sweep Your Leave

rake your leaves sweep leaves

If trick-or-treaters will be walking up to your door, sweep away the leaves on your lawn. Some people use a hose to spray the leaves into the street, but this wastes gallons of waters. Use a rake for earth’s sake. Click the image to get tips on keeping a tidy lawn.

Number 4 - Ditch the Car, Walk the Streets

Leave your car in the garage and walk around the neighborhood with your family. It’s great exercise, saves you money on gas, and helps the environment.

Number 5 - Party!

If you throw the party you can put out recycling bins for soda cans, bottles, and plastic wrappers. Your party, your rules. Set an example for an eco-friendly halloween. Let your guests know where you placed your recycling bins.

 

 

Eco-Friendly Sukkot 2014

The harvest festival of Sukkot 2014 is here! Westside Environmental knows that going green and helping the environment is important to our clients, so we compiled the best ways to go green during this holiday season. If you are celebrating the holiday of Sukkot and want to go a bit greener this year, keep reading. Do what you can and remember, enjoy the holiday and the people you are with. Happy New Year to all!

For any of our readers who do not know what a Sukkah is see the image below. This is a harvest festival hut that a temporary structure built annually on the property of Jewish people (or collaborative private and public properties) during the Jewish new year. To learn more, click here.

Loft sukkot 2014

A Sukkah has four walls and a roof made of bamboo, bamboo mats, or palm frond thatching. The tradition is to build the hut and eat a meal in it. People who go the extra mile even sleep in the hut.

How to go Green this Sukkot

Step one: Host an eco-friendly meal in your sukkah:

 Use washable dishes, silverware and glasses as to not create any waste.

If you want to go green but can’t commit to using fine China dinnerware, I recommend using this eco-friendly bio-degradable party kit.

Serve a vegetarian or vegan meal. Meat production is a strain on the environment.

Ok, fine. Maybe ‘no meat’ is a little harsh, but if you do get meat try to find locally sourced, grass fed meat and free-range poultry.

Use cloth napkins that you can wash later.

Step Two: Create environmentally friendly decorations for your sukkah:

There is a tradition of hanging fruits and decorations in the sukkah so get some string to hang these items:

Got any old CD’s laying around the house? Color them in to resemble stars and hang them

 toilet paper rolls that you turned into butterflies

Hang homemade paper chains 

Create and hang up a Gourd Bird

use old plastic bottles to create recycled plastic bottle flowers to hang in your sukkah

Step Three: ENJOY

Take this time to enjoy the holiday with your friends and family. Do what you can to help the environment this year. No one expects you to completely change the way you do things. But one small change here and there can make a big difference when everyone is doing it.

Happy new year and Chag Sameach from Westside Envrionmental

 Our Other Holiday Tips

Check out our eco holiday tips,  recycling videos you need to see, and construction trends on  Twitter,  Facebook, or Google+.  If you want to learn how Westside Environmental is helping New Jersey go green then click that link.  Tweet us at @WestsideEnviro.

What is Zero Waste?

Zero Waste is a Philosophy

zero waste recycling green background with the earth rising above the white words zero waste

This philosophy brings recycling into every step of the consumer system. Zero Waste encourages humanity to design products and systems that use recycled materials and discourage waste. In a nutshell, all resources used to create new products should come from recycled sources, the products should also not be thrown away, they should recycled further to create new things. Basically, waste not, want not.

zero waste recycling methods infographic

“Zero Waste maximizes recycling, minimizes waste, reduces consumption and ensures that products are made to be reused, repaired or recycled back into nature or the marketplace.” says the Grass Roots Recycling Network.

Connect with Westside Environmental

Check out more information about our recycling center and how we are trying to get New Jersey as close to Zero Waste as possible. Check us out on Twitter,  Facebook, or Google+.  Click our logo below if you want to learn how Westside Environmental is helping New Jersey construction crews go green.  Tweet us at @WestsideEnviro.

Westside Environmental