Tag Archives: Recycle

What impact do your recycling efforts have on the environment? Here is the answer


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Did you ever wonder how much your recycling efforts have on the environment? Check it out here! Every bit helps…

Check out Recycling Energy Saver here and let us know how you’re doing!

 

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My guilt on fake vs real tree has been answered!


My guilt on fake vs real tree has been answered! Real Christmas trees more sustainable than fakes http://ow.ly/g2oRl#healthyhomeschicago

Real Christmas trees more sustainable than fakes, forestry professor says

Steve Mitchell among the cultured Christmas trees at the UBC Farm in Vancouver, B.C., December 7, 2012. Mitchell says the most sustainable Christmas tree is the wild tree cut from underneath power lines and road right of ways – with a permit. The carbon footprint of artificial trees takes about 20 years to payback.

Photograph by: Arlen Redekop , Vancouver Sun

An artificial Christmas tree would have to be used for 20 years before its carbon footprint matches that of a farmed tree, according to a forestry professor at the University of B.C.

Steve Mitchell said most artificial trees are kept only six years before fashions change and owners throw them out. Most end their life in a landfill.

“Artificial trees need to be kept for 20 years for the carbon emissions to be equivalent to using natural trees,” Mitchell said, referring to a life cycle study done in 2009 by Ellipsos, a Montreal-based sustainable consulting company.

People can choose a wild tree and either a farmed cut tree or a farmed living tree. Of all the options, the most sustainable is a wild tree, he said.

Sustainable Style : Rebuilding or Renovating Your Home with Reclaimed Wood


See on Scoop.itGreen Real Estate

I first talked about reclaimed wood, briefly, in my piece 10 Eco-friendly ways to Renovate your Home…. Now, on the heels of Hurricane Sandy many of us are looking to rebuild or renovate our homes after suffering severe damage and devastation.

See on homes.yahoo.com

Sustainable Green Building Materials from CalRecycle


Green Building Materials

Introduction

The concept of sustainable building incorporates and integrates a variety of strategies during the design, construction and operation of building projects. The use of green building materials and products represents one important strategy in the design of a building.

Green building materials offer specific benefits to the building owner and building occupants:

  • Reduced maintenance/replacement costs over the life of the building.
  • Energy conservation.
  • Improved occupant health and productivity.
  • Lower costs associated with changing space configurations.
  • Greater design flexibility.

Building and construction activities worldwide consume 3 billion tons of raw materials each year or 40 percent of total global use (Roodman and Lenssen, 1995). Using green building materials and products promotes conservation of dwindling nonrenewable resources internationally. In addition, integrating green building materials into building projects can help reduce the environmental impacts associated with the extraction, transport, processing, fabrication, installation, reuse, recycling, and disposal of these building industry source materials.

What is a green building product or material?

Green building materials are composed of renewable, rather than nonrenewable resources. Green materials are environmentally responsible because impacts are considered over the life of the product (Spiegel and Meadows, 1999). Depending upon project-specific goals, an assessment of green materials may involve an evaluation of one or more of the criteria listed below.

Green building material/product selection criteria

This information was based on Lynn Froeschle’s article, “Environmental Assessment and Specification of Green Building Materials” (Adobe PDF, 1.4 MB), in the October 1999 issue of The Construction Specifier, a publication for members of the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI). Selection criteria similar to what is presented below was also used for the East End Project as identified in the Review of Construction Projects Using Sustainable Materials.

Overall material/product selection criteria:

Resource Efficiency can be accomplished by utilizing materials that meet the following criteria:

  • Recycled Content: Products with identifiable recycled content, including postindustrial content with a preference for postconsumer content.
  • Natural, plentiful or renewable: Materials harvested from sustainably managed sources and preferably have an independent certification (e.g., certified wood) and are certified by an independent third party.
  • Resource efficient manufacturing process:Products manufactured with resource-efficient processes including reducing energy consumption, minimizing waste (recycled, recyclable and or source reduced product packaging), and reducing greenhouse gases.
  • Locally available: Building materials, components, and systems found locally or regionally saving energy and resources in transportation to the project site.
  • Salvaged, refurbished, or remanufactured: Includes saving a material from disposal and renovating, repairing, restoring, or generally improving the appearance, performance, quality, functionality, or value of a product.
  • Reusable or recyclable:Select materials that can be easily dismantled and reused or recycled at the end of their useful life.
  • Recycled or recyclable product packaging: Products enclosed in recycled content or recyclable packaging.
  • Durable: Materials that are longer lasting or are comparable to conventional products with long life expectancies.

Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) is enhanced by utilizing materials that meet the following criteria:

  • Low or non-toxic: Materials that emit few or no carcinogens, reproductive toxicants, or irritants as demonstrated by the manufacturer through appropriate testing.
  • Minimal chemical emissions: Products that have minimal emissions of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). Products that also maximize resource and energy efficiency while reducing chemical emissions.
  • Low-VOC assembly: Materials installed with minimal VOC-producing compounds, or no-VOC mechanical attachment methods and minimal hazards.
  • Moistureresistant:Products and systems that resist moisture or inhibit the growth of biological contaminants in buildings.
  • Healthfully maintained: Materials, components, and systems that require only simple, non-toxic, or low-VOC methods of cleaning.
  • Systems or equipment: Products that promote healthy IAQ by identifying indoor air pollutants or enhancing the air quality.

Energy Efficiency can be maximized by utilizing materials and systems that meet the following criteria:

  • Materials, components, and systems that help reduce energy consumption in buildings and facilities. (See Green Building Basics for more information.)

Water Conservation can be obtained by utilizing materials and systems that meet the following criteria:

  • Products and systems that help reduce water consumption in buildings and conserve water in landscaped areas. (See Green Building Basics for more information.)

Affordability can be considered when building product life-cycle costs are comparable to conventional materials or as a whole, are within a project-defined percentage of the overall budget. (See Environmental and Economic Assessment Tools for links to resources.)

Three basic steps of product selection

Product selection can begin after the establishment of project-specific environmental goals. The environmental assessment process for building products involves three basic steps. (Froeschle, 1999)

1. Research. This step involves gathering all technical information to be evaluated, including manufacturers’ information such as Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS), Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) test data, product warranties, source material characteristics, recycled content data, environmental statements, and durability information. In addition, this step may involve researching other environmental issues, building codes, government regulations, building industry articles, model green building product specifications, and other sources of product data. Research helps identify the full range of the project’s building material options.

2. Evaluation. This step involves confirmation of the technical information, as well as filling in information gaps. For example, the evaluator may request product certifications from manufacturers to help sort out possible exaggerated environmental product claims. Evaluation and assessment is relatively simple when comparing similar types of building materials using the environmental criteria. For example, a recycled content assessment between various manufacturers of medium density fiberboard is a relatively straightforward “apples to apples” comparison. However, the evaluation process is more complex when comparing different products with the same function. Then it may become necessary to process both descriptive and quantitative forms of data.

A life cycle assessment (LCA) is an evaluation of the relative “greenness” of building materials and products. LCA addresses the impacts of a product through all of its life stages. Although rather simple in principle, this approach has been difficult and expensive in actual practice (although that appears to be changing).

One tool that uses the LCA methodology is BEES (Building for Environmental and Economic Sustainability) software. It allows users to balance the environmental and economic performance of building products. The software was developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Building and Fire Research Laboratory and can be downloaded free on their Web site.

3. Selection. This step often involves the use of an evaluation matrix for scoring the project-specific environmental criteria. The total score of each product evaluation will indicate the product with the highest environmental attributes. Individual criteria included in the rating system can be weighted to accommodate project-specific goals and objectives.

Source: Green Building Materials: Sustainable Building.

References

  1. Lynn M. Froeschle, “Environmental Assessment and Specification of Green Building Materials,” The Construction Specifier, October 1999, p. 53. (Back)
  2. D.M. Roodman and N. Lenssen, A Building Revolution: How Ecology and Health Concerns are Transforming Construction, Worldwatch Paper 124, Worldwatch Institute, Washington, D.C., March 1995, p. 5. (Back)
  3. Ross Spiegel and Dru Meadows, Green Building Materials: A Guide to Product Selection and Specification, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York, 1999. (Back)

Where to Recycle Your Christmas Tree in Chicago – Chicago Christmas Tree Recycling 2012-2013


I will once again be leading up the St Josaphat’s Elementary School Green Recycle Christmas TREECYCLING efforts. We are offering pick-up services for a $10 donation in the Lincoln Park and Lakeview and surrounding neighborhoods and will bring your Christmas trees to the Chicago Park District for you!

If you would like to set up a time for us to come between January 1-15 please let me know!

Here is a list of recycling sites if you are venturing out on your own!

Ready to take down your Christmas tree? The Chicago Park District is accepting trees at the following locations. Also, there will be some wood mulch available at the sites. If you have additional questions, you can call the Department of Environment at 312-744-7606. The Park District will be accepting trees through January 17.

Chicago Christmas Tree Recycling Sites:

Bessemer Park: 8930 S. Muskegon Ave.

Clark Park: 3400 N. Rockwell Ave.

Forestry Site: 900 E. 103rd St.

Garfield Park: 100 N. Central Park Ave.

Grant Park: 900 S. Columbus Dr.

Humboldt Park Boathouse: 1369 N. Sacramento Blvd.

Jackson Park: 6300 S. Cornell Ave.

Kennedy Park: 11320 S. Western Ave.

Kelvyn Park: 4438 W. Wrightwood Ave.

Lake Meadows Park: 3117 S. Rhodes Ave.

Lincoln Park: Cannon Dr. at Fullerton Ave., parking lot east of Cannon Dr.

Margate Park: 4921 N. Marine Dr.

Marquette Park: 6700 S. Kedzie Ave.

McKinley Park: 2210 W. Pershing Rd.

Mt. Greenwood Park: 3721 W. 111th St.

North Park Village: 5801 N. Pulaski Rd.

Norwood Park: 5801 N. Natoma Ave.

Portage Park: 4100 N. Long Ave.

Riis Park: 6100 W. Fullerton Ave.

Rowan Park: 11546 S. Avenue L

Sheridan Park: 910 S. Aberdeen St.

Warren Park: 6601 N. Western Ave.

Wentworth Park: 5625 S. Mobile Ave.

Where to Recycle Your Christmas Tree in Chicago – Chicago Christmas Tree Recycling

City of Chicago Climate Action Plan


What is the Chicago Climate Action Plan?From the start, the charge and scope of the Chicago Climate Task Force was broad and ambitious. Dozens of experts and a nationally recognized research advisor committee took part in discussions. Leading scientists were consulted to describe various scenarios for Chicago’s climate future and how these would impact life in the city

via City of Chicago Climate Action.

Grants from The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity – Recycling


Grants available for funding Green Projects – recycling money and deadlines. Starting accepting grants 10-3-2011 and Deadline is Dec 8, 2011

Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity – Recycling.

Going Green : A Case Study


I LOVE case studies and success stories of how a group of teachers, parents and/or community leaders not only get it but GOT it done!

Check out how this Arrowhead High School Green Group structured their successful group almost completely ONLINE (how green) and made it work. Way to GO Arrowhead.

Although we still meet as a class at least once a week, all of the materials students need are online: we discuss and edit papers online, we talk about problems and solutions online, we read articles online, we take notes online, we watch videos online and we hold discussions online.

Within this form, students demonstrated learning and growth when they were able to:
•    Set and have a goal they can reach (that makes sense to them)
•    Be internally motivated
•    Be positively challenged
•    Be useful in the learning process
•    Be given a chance to practice what they’ve learned
•    Produce quality work they’re proud of
•    See the outcomes of their learning
•    Do something
•    Complete enjoyable assignments
•    Take charge of their learning
•    Become competent in the subject
•    Be partners with the teachers in their own learning
•    Evaluate their own learning and

•    GO GREEN!

Going Green at Arrowhead.

How to Start a Recycling Program at Your School


Recycling is one of the easiest and most traditional ways to have a positive impact on your environment and community. The simple act of tossing a can into a recycling bin rather than a trashcan not only diverts needless trash from entering landfills, but also decreases the need to extract and process virgin materials from the earth.  In this way, recycling saves natural resources and energy, thus helping the economy by reducing production and energy expenses.

Here is a great step by step path to going Green by starting with a recycling program at your school.  Why reinvent the wheel? Use this great step by step guide to getting your program started and share with me your successes and failures!

I am about to start one at my daughters’ school here in Chicago and really want to expand the idea just beyond a recycling program.

Why are we recycling? What are the implications for our planet and how will our efforts measurably impact our school, our community and the world?

If kids can undertand in some way (depending on their grade level) WHY they are doing something then I think it will go a long way towards their involvement with and their more complete understanding of why we should recycle (and re-use and reduce) our waste.

How to Start a Recycling Program at Your School.