Recycle Your Cartons!

15 09 2011

Here’s an update from the Environmental News Network about carton recycling, one of the newest recycling movements in the US:

Cartons are recyclable! Made mainly from paper, cartons are in demand to be recycled into new paper products.

The Carton Council is committed to increasing carton recycling in the United States. By promoting both recycling technology and local collection programs they work to limit the number of valuable cartons that end up in a landfill.

The Carton Council, formed by four of the country’s leading carton manufacturers—Elopak, Evergreen Packaging, SIG Combibloc and Tetra Pak, is specifically committed to increasing carton recycling in the United States. Made mainly from paper, a renewable resource from responsibly managed forests, cartons are recyclable. By promoting both recycling technology and local collection programs, the Carton Council is planning to limit the amount of cartons that end up in a landfill.

The implementation of carton recycling in Dallas is the latest example of a national trend.  In 2008, only 18 percent of U.S. households had access to carton recycling programs.  Today, this number has nearly doubled to almost 36%, with cities in over 40 states representing approximately 40 million households now accepting cartons in their curbside collection programs.  Dallas increases these numbers by an additional 235,000 households, and is setting the bar for other cities in the state of Texas to follow suit.  Dallas also joins a growing number of cities across the country such as Los Angeles, New York, and Boston that have expanded their recycling programs to include cartons.

Last year, the City of Dallas recycled more than 50,000 tons of materials and is on track to recycle nearly 65,000 tons this year.  Carton recycling will help the city toward their 31% diversion goal for the year.  By increasing their recycling rate and coming up with innovative ways to increase waste diversion, the city saved $1,185,260.21 of landfill space.

For further information:

Even if you don’t live in an area that is offering carton recycling, you can encourage your local community to ask for this program to be implemented! Let local officials know that you’re interested in the latest advances in protecting the environment!

The 9/11 Memorial & The Environment

11 09 2011

On the tenth anniversary of September 11th, the memorial site has been unveiled to the public. Not only is the memorial space beautiful and tastefully designed, it is environmentally friendly as well.

From Treehugger:

From a green roof to locally harvested trees, the National September 11 Memorial and Museum opens on the 10th anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Center with a dedication and much media coverage of every angle, including Steven Spielberg’s The Rising: Rebuilding Ground Zero. Despite delays, this moving site centers on two dramatic waterfalls and reflecting pools in the footprints of the Twin Towers as the focus on the 16-acre site for contemplation and the commemoration of 9/11. The sustainable features in the design were intended to be viewed as a sign of hope.

The water-conserving irrigation system includes stormwater capture in underground storage tanks to saves energy and resources. A suspended paving system supports the trees with soil-filled troughs and pavement for walking. The space is seeking LEED Gold certification. The plaza also meets the environment-conscious practices required by New York State Executive Order 11 and the WTC Sustainable Design Guidelines.

In addition, one new structure at the World Trade Center site that has replaced a fallen building, features a sophisticated system that generates off-peak electricity and composts paper waste.

– Roberta Cruger, Treehugger: A Discovery Company


Want to see a Supernova?

8 09 2011


Image via The Huffington Post

For those of you who love star-gazing, this piece of news will provide some excitement!

From The Huffington Post‘s Green section:

Last month, scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California discovered what they think could be the youngest — and closest — supernova in decades, leading UC Berkeley’s Joshua Bloom to call it “the supernova of a generation.”

The supernova, which is essentially an exploding star, has been named PTF 11kly. And even though it exploded in the Big Dipper, 21 million light-years away in the Pinwheel Galaxy, you might just get to see it over the next few weeks.

The Huffington Post spoke to Peter Nugent, a senior scientist at the Berkeley Lab who was the first to discover the supernova, who gave us some tips about how best to view the supernova.

, The Huffington Post

If you’re interested in catching this before its gone, head over to the original article for some great tips on the best equipment, times, and location to view PTF 11kly!

Do you frequently take a look up into the night sky? What are some of your favorite constellations?

The Petermann Glacier

4 09 2011

Petermann Glacier After the Break

A true sign of the precarious environmental times we live in comes in the form of the Petermann Glacier, which lost a very large chunk last year and stands to lose more in the near future. If anyone ever needed proof of the damage that has been done (and is still being done) to our planet, this is a perfect example.

The Huffington Post‘s Green section reports:

When a 100 square mile chunk — an area four times the size of Manhattan — broke off Greenland’s Petermann Glacier in the summer of 2010, scientists knew that it was a historic event. After all, it was the largest known calving in Greenland’s history, and the largest to occur in the Arctic in nearly 50 years.

Over the last year, scientists have only been able to view the extent of the breakup via satellite imagery. Until now.

Photographs taken in July and released on Wednesday offer a new perspective on the August 2010 break, showing before and after images of different areas of Petermann Glacier.

“Although I knew what to expect in terms of ice loss from satellite imagery, I was still completely unprepared for the gob-smacking scale of the breakup, which rendered me speechless,” Alan Hubbard, the scientist from Aberystwyth University in Wales who took the most recent photograph, said in a statement.

And we can expect more. Hubbard told that another sheet, about half the size of the 2010 chunk, is poised to break away.

Jason Box, a scientist with the Byrd Polar Research Center at The Ohio State University and photographer of the 2009 image, told HuffPost that the summer of 2010 was Greenland’s warmest on record, and records have been kept since 1873.

“We’re bearing witness to abrupt climate change,” Box told HuffPost. “This isn’t of in the future. It’s very much now.”

, The Huffington Post

Unfortunately, at this point it seems there is not a great deal that can be done to change the course of this glacier’s future. The damage is there, but we need to look forward to the future and what we can do to prevent more incidents like this.

Technology News: Can Your Smartphone Help the Environment?

1 09 2011

Smartphones have become a universally necessary product for most people. People who love their phones seemingly cannot part with them for even a moment! Now, when speaking about technology and electronic devices, many people probably don’t see that cell phones could be assisting the environment in any way. However, a new study has shown that there are ways these products can help us manage our energy resources.

A recent article from the Environmental News Network reports:

In July, at the Association for Computing Machinery’s MobiSys conference, researchers from MIT and Princeton University took the best-paper award for a system that uses a network of smartphones mounted on car dashboards to collect information about traffic signals and tell drivers when slowing down could help them avoid waiting at lights. By reducing the need to idle and accelerate from a standstill, the system saves gas: In tests conducted in Cambridge, Mass., it helped drivers cut fuel consumption by 20 percent. Cars are responsible for 28 percent of the energy consumption and 32 percent of the carbon dioxide emissions in the United States, says Emmanouil Koukoumidis, a visiting researcher at MIT who led the project. “If you can save even a small percentage of that, then you can have a large effect on the energy that the U.S. consumes,” Koukoumidis says.

Who knew that our phones could also help promote greener living? Very exciting stuff.

Can you think of any additional ways that smartphones (or other popular electronic devices) could help the environment? Are there any Apps available that you’d recommend for others interested in green living?