A Second Life and Then Some

Apr 26, 2013 No Comments by

Green-Glass-EarthEarth Day was Monday and I’ve spent this week offering ways that Change Agents can go beyond impacting their work for the better by contributing to protecting the environment.

Here’s a recap of the week:

Monday10 Water-Saving Tips

Tuesday5 Ways to Save on Your Electricity Bill

Wednesday12 Heating & Cooling Cutters

Thursday5 Earth-Friendly Transportation Tips

Today, we’ll consider a few easy things that anyone can do to reduce the amount of junk they pile into their local landfill:

1.  Think Before You Toss It. Stop yourself each time you pull out the wastebasket. Consider if the item you are pitching could be recycled. Recycling is almost always a good idea with paper, cardboard, clean plastics and glass.  It’s best to rinse out all bottles and cans before recycling them.

recycle-glass2.  Say Hello to the Big Green Bins: Sign up for community recycling program if your community offers it.  Usually its free – or included in the cost of your trash collection.

3.  One Exception: Most recycling programs don’t accept packaging that has food stuck to it. A pizza box is a great example of an item that might look like a perfect candidate for recycling, but the embedded food can mess up the recycling process, so most recyclers advise that we do not mix them with our recycling.pizza-box

4.  Can It Be Reused? If you think about it, almost everything we throw away could have a potential secondary use. Food scraps can go into a compost pile, empty containers can be used in the garage, egg cartons make great mini-pots for starting plants, etc.

Starbucks-coffee-25.  My Personal Favorite ReUse Story: Coffee grounds provide a great source of additional organic matter for your flower beds. Starbucks actually gives used grounds away for free. Look around next time you’re getting a mocha-frappe-half-caff-latte there. You’ll see a box, basket or pail with basketball-sized bags of used coffee grounds tightly-wrapped in their original packages. 

They will be labelled “Grounds for Your Garden”. Sprinkle the used coffee grounds liberally over your soil and work them in with a small hand rake. I’ve turned this little trick more than once and each time it makes our garden smell great for several days!


Let’s Do It! Being a Change Agent for the planet not only helps put change back in our pockets, it helps us improve the world around us and feel better about the way we interact with our environment.

Tomorrow’s final post of this “Earth Week” will get into a nasty subject: Chemicals – and how we can reduce the amount of harmful pollutants we allow into the air and water systems we share with those around us.


Questions for Chatter:

  • What can you do if your community doesn’t have curbside recycling?
  • Do you have any other unique recycling tips for us?

 .tbr green bar


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I help people and teams succeed with big changes... never a dull moment!
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