recycling http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/543/all en-US New Isn't Always Better: 12 Used Things to Love http://www.wisebread.com/new-isnt-always-better-12-used-things-to-love <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/new-isnt-always-better-12-used-things-to-love" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_reading_000019797365.jpg" alt="Woman reading a book" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Although I admit that new can sometimes be very nice, old or used can be just as good! Here are some examples of used goodies that are even better than new:</p> <h2>1. Books and Magazines</h2> <p>Go to your neighborhood library, and take out a book or flip through the magazines. You can also buy used books that look practically brand-new from websites such as <a href="http://www.amazon.com/" target="_blank">Amazon</a>, or trade them on the web at&nbsp;<a href="http://www.swap.com/" target="_blank">Swap.com</a>.</p> <h2>2. Cars</h2> <p>The value of a new car drops dramatically right after you drive it off the dealership, so consider getting a used car to get more bang for your buck. Remember to do your research first, watch out for these <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Car-Salesmen-Tricks-28307430">car salesman tricks</a>, and ask the seller the <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Questions-Ask-Used-Car-Seller-31000145">right questions</a>.</p> <h2>3. Clothing</h2> <p>You can get great hand-me-downs from friends and family members instead of splurging for a new outfit at a boutique. You can score good buys at thrift store, too, if you use a little <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Consignment-Store-Shopping-Tips-13456315">know-how</a>.</p> <p>RELATED: <a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Things-Worth-Money-3508809#photo-3508809" target="_blank">11 Items That Are Worth the Big Expense</a></p> <h2>4. Wedding Gowns</h2> <p>There's no better steal than buying a dress that has only been used once &mdash; and paying less for a dress that you are only going to wear once as well. Check out <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Questions-Ask-Used-Wedding-Dress-Seller-15718982">these questions</a> to ask the used wedding gown seller before you buy a dress from her.&nbsp;</p> <h2>5. Tools</h2> <p>Get big discounts on used tools, but do your research before you end up buying a dud. Buy the tools from a legitimate seller or from people you know and trust.&nbsp;</p> <h2>6. Animals</h2> <p>There are plenty of cute pets waiting to be loved at your local shelter. Remember that adopting <a href="http://www.petsugar.com/Reasons-Adopt-Adult-Pet-11442625" target="_self">older dogs has its benefits</a> too. For example, you won't need to bother with potty training, and most dogs calm down after they pass the rapscallion puppy stage.</p> <p>RELATED: <a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Why-Alone-Time-Healthy-37072341" target="_blank">9 Reasons Alone Time Is Good For Your Soul</a></p> <h2>7. Designer Bags</h2> <p>Vintage bags give the classic brand names a one-of-a-kind twist (after all, you don't see these golden oldies in stores anymore!). Find one from a thrift store or online at places like <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Poshmark-Tips-34541949">Poshmark</a>. You can also consider renting a handbag from Avelle's <a href="http://www.bagborroworsteal.com/" target="_blank">Bag Borrow or Steal</a>.</p> <h2>8. Furniture</h2> <p>There are plenty of great deals on Craigslist, and if your friends or neighbors are giving away their old furniture, that's even better. Don't be afraid to check out thrift stores, as well; you can find some unique pieces with great price tags. But keep in mind that staying away from used furniture with fabric will lower the risk of bringing bed bugs into your home.</p> <h2>9. Things for Baby</h2> <p>Baby clothes, toys, and other baby-related gear doesn't get much use once baby is all grown up. Just stay away from items like car seats and cribs, because the safety standards are updated all the time, so the used items may not meet the current safety requirements.</p> <p>RELATED: <a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/How-Save-Money-Travel-36092909" target="_blank">Need Quick Cash For a Trip? 11 Easy Ways to Save</a></p> <h2>10. Jewelry</h2> <p>Those pretty trinkets you keep admiring also depreciate quickly once they are in a buyer's hands. Check out estate sales, eBay, and pawnshops to see what old goodies you can score. But be sure to do your homework to avoid getting scammed.&nbsp;</p> <h2>11. Residences</h2> <p>Ah, the great rent vs. buy debate! It depends on whether buying a house is within your means and what state your finances are in. Renting is not always a bad thing; sometimes it's a more sensible choice for people who are living more transient lifestyles. Remember the seven-year rule: seriously consider renting if you're going to be in a place for less than seven years.&nbsp;</p> <h2>12. Information</h2> <p>Historical knowledge will never grow old. Reading current news is great, but learning more about history can sometimes be even better. You'll be able to make more solid arguments and form opinions that are well-rounded and supported by past examples. You'll also gain a deeper understanding of human nature.</p> <p>RELATED: <a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Ways-Get-Taxes-Done-22109519" target="_blank">4 Steps to Stop Procrastinating With Your Taxes</a></p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Buying used usually costs less and that&#039;s always a plus. Even better -- some goods really do get better with age. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p style="text-align:center;"><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com" style="border:none;"><img alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u921/POPSUGARrgb.jpg" style="height:95px; width:300px" /></a></p> <p><em>This is a guest contribution from our friends at </em><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/"><em>POPSUGAR Smart Living</em></a><em>. Check out more useful articles from this partner:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Things-Worth-Money-3508809">11 Items That Are Worth the Big Expense</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Why-Alone-Time-Healthy-37072341">9 Reasons Alone Time Is Good For Your Soul</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/How-Save-Money-Travel-36092909">Need Quick Cash For a Trip? 11 Easy Ways to Save</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Ways-Get-Taxes-Done-22109519">4 Steps to Stop Procrastinating With Your Taxes</a></li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/popsugar-smart-living">POPSUGAR Smart Living</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/new-isnt-always-better-12-used-things-to-love">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-is-gasoline-so-cheap-a-cost-comparison-of-40-common-household-liquids">Why is Gasoline So Cheap? A Cost Comparison of 40 Common Household Liquids</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-11-best-and-worst-things-to-buy-used">The 11 Best and Worst Things to Buy Used</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/price-adjust-your-big-fat-shopping-safety-net">Price adjust - your big, fat shopping safety net.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/double-coupons-they-could-cost-you">Double Coupons – They Could Cost You!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-cant-save-if-you-dont-try">You Can’t Save if You Don’t Try</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Entertainment Shopping buying used recycling shopping thrifting used Fri, 10 Apr 2015 21:00:10 +0000 POPSUGAR Smart Living 1372907 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Ways to Save Cash by Purging Your Place of Plastics http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-save-cash-by-purging-your-place-of-plastics <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-ways-to-save-cash-by-purging-your-place-of-plastics" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/family-recycling-plastics-81266232-small.jpg" alt="recycling" title="recycling" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We've all heard a lot of bad stuff about plastics over the years. Anything from plastic bottles leaching BPA or <a href="http://www.care2.com/greenliving/which-plastics-are-safe.html">other hormone disrupting chemicals</a> into food and drink to the harm plastic bags have on the environment as they pile up in landfills and oceans. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cash-for-trash-making-money-recycling?ref=seealso">Cash for Trash: Making Money Recycling</a>)</p> <p>If you've ever considered heading down a less plastic-y path &mdash; no matter the reason &mdash; start here with some sound tips for consuming less. It could even save you money.</p> <h2>1. Give Up Bottled Water</h2> <p>Not only is bottled water remarkably more expensive than the H2O you get from the tap, it comes in plastic bottles, creating a ton of waste you need to deal with after you sip. Instead, pick up a glass or metal water bottle that you can reuse again and again. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bottled-or-tap-the-right-choice-for-water-may-surprise-you?ref=seealso">Bottled or Tap: The Right Choice Might Surprise You</a>)</p> <h2>2. Eat Whole Foods</h2> <p>Another way plastic makes a sneaky appearance into our homes is through the packaged foods we buy at the grocery store. Most whole foods (fruits, vegetables, meat) come with little or no packaging, so stock your cart with them. Otherwise, make condiments, breads, and other pantry goods from scratch whenever possible to save on both waste and money. Once you get the hang, it's not as difficult as it sounds. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/35-grocery-items-you-should-make-at-home-and-5-to-buy?ref=seealso">35 Grocery Items You Should Make At Home</a>)</p> <h2>3. Bring Your Bag</h2> <p>While you're at it, always bring reusable bags to the grocery store or skip them entirely. I shop at Aldi, so if I forget my canvas bags, I get charged for new ones. Talk about incentive. So, I go around the aisles and pick up a few cardboard boxes to carry my food. If you do have quite a stash of plastic bags, recycle them. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-disposable-products-you-can-reuse?ref=seealso">21 Disposable Products You Can Reuse</a>)</p> <h2>4. Try Cloth</h2> <p>Whether it's for diapers or sandwich bags, there are options that can help steer you away from plastic. Try some of the many cloth alternatives to everyday plastic products we consume. Though buying these items in cloth is a bigger investment initially, you can use them for years to come and eventually break even (or save money). In the case of cloth diapers, you may even be able to resell ones in good condition and get back the bulk of your dollars.</p> <h2>5. Use Glass</h2> <p>In the kitchen, my favorite plastic alternative is glass. I have Ball jars of various shapes and sizes that I use in place of plastic baggies for freezing foods. Some tips:</p> <ul> <li>Let foods cool completely before freezing;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Leave 2-3 inches of headroom for soups and applesauce that might expand when frozen;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>And handle carefully to avoid breaking.</li> </ul> <p>Additionally, we have a shelving system for all our bulk foods that are stored in &mdash; you guessed it &mdash; Ball jars. Oh, and I also put my leftovers in them versus covering with plastic wrap.</p> <h2>6. Concoct Your Own Cleaning Products</h2> <p>If you make eco-friendly cleaners from scratch, you'll keep a load of plastic out of your home on bottles alone. My favorite all-purpose spray is just half a bottle of vinegar with half water and 10-20 drops of my favorite essential oils. You can even make your own laundry detergent for pennies on the dollar with water and castile soap &mdash; here are five <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-diy-laundry-detergent-recipes">simple detergent recipes</a> to get you started. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-other-green-cleaners-already-in-your-house?ref=seealso">8 Green Cleaners You Already Have in Your Home</a>)</p> <h2>7. Eat In</h2> <p>A ton of waste is created when we get foods to-go. Between plastic containers, utensils, and bags, it piles up, and fast. So, if you want to enjoy food out, take the time to have a sit-down meal. Better yet, save your cash and cook your meal at home or pack your lunch for work. Here are <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-packed-lunch-ideas-youll-want-to-steal-from-your-kids">some packable lunch recipes</a> to get you started. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-tricks-to-keeping-your-kitchen-clean-while-you-cook?ref=seealso">10 Tricks to Keeping Your Kitchen Clean While You Cook</a>)</p> <h2>8. Examine Personal Care</h2> <p>Yes &mdash; most of those products and potions you use to clean and care for yourself are clad in plastic. They also contain some ingredients that are difficult to pronounce. You can try the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/diy-shampoo-the-baking-soda-experiment">no-shampoo method</a> of washing your hair using baking soda and an apple cider vinegar rinse. I recently made my own <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2014/08/diy-natural-lotion-cubes.html">DIY lotion cubes</a> custom for my sensitive skin using shea butter, beeswax, and coconut oil. And <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2014/08/5-minute-homemade-deodorant-review.html">homemade deodorant</a> really works &mdash; trust me! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-hair-conditioners-you-can-make-at-home?ref=seealso">5 Hair Conditioners You Can Make At Home</a>)</p> <h2>9. Buy Less and Repair</h2> <p>Rather than immediately toss a broken plastic item and buy new, try to repair it. Or just buy fewer plastic things in general. Much of what we purchase isn't terribly essential anyway. If you do need to buy something, consider second-hand versus new. Check Craigslist, Goodwill, The Salvation Army, and more. You can save additional plastics from ending up in landfills this way (and keep some cash in your pocket).</p> <h2>10. Start Small</h2> <p>If you're committed to living with fewer plastics, you can become overwhelmed when you see how much of our lives is literally wrapped up in the stuff. So, pick a room or purpose and start from there. You may want to give the <a href="http://www.nationofchange.org/numbers-plastic-bottles-what-do-plastic-recycling-symbols-mean-1360168347">worst offenders</a> the boot first. Generally speaking, numbers 2, 4, and 5 are safest. Avoid the rest. Remember: Any move away is in the right direction for your health, your wallet, and your planet.</p> <p><em>What are you doing to use less plastic? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-save-cash-by-purging-your-place-of-plastics">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-money-recycling">Make Money Recycling: Get Paid to Recycle by 15 Websites</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-rid-of-your-old-electronics">How to Get Rid of Your Old Electronics</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dumpster-diving-101-6-strategies-for-success">Dumpster-Diving 101: 6 Strategies for Success</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-to-cut-down-on-garbage-and-save-money-too">12 Ways to Cut Down on Garbage and Save Money Too!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-i-saved-30000-and-helped-the-earth-at-the-same-time">How I Saved $30,000 and Helped the Earth at the Same Time</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living declutter extra income plastics recycling Mon, 13 Oct 2014 17:00:06 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1233077 at http://www.wisebread.com How I Saved $30,000 and Helped the Earth at the Same Time http://www.wisebread.com/how-i-saved-30000-and-helped-the-earth-at-the-same-time <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-i-saved-30000-and-helped-the-earth-at-the-same-time" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/environmental-superhero-470863339-small.jpg" alt="environmental superhero" title="environmental superhero" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="194" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Over seven years ago, I joined <a href="http://sfcompact.blogspot.com/2006/01/new-years-resolution.html">The Compact</a>&nbsp;out of <a href="http://www.myromanapartment.com/march-madness-compact-free-stuff-edition/">green guilt</a> (and because everything I do in my life has to be a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-compact-mindfullness-and-frugality-through-buying-used">dare</a>).</p> <p>In brief, The Compact is an environmental movement that challenges members to step away from the consumer grid and take as few <em>new</em> resources out of the planet as possible for one calendar year. Compactors pledge to buy only used goods for twelve months, with obvious exceptions for things like food and health care products.</p> <p>I've stayed with The Compact for longer than one year because, in addition to allowing me to live closer to my environmental values, it's also a super fun challenge.</p> <p>As it turns out, The Compact is also a massive money saver.</p> <p>This week's horrible personal project is purging the filing cabinet. I have gone through all sorts of boring paperwork, fiddling with old receipts. Along the way, I've also been doing a little math (always a dangerous thing for me) and discovered that my effort to save the planet has saved me at least $30,000. $30,000! That savings is spread over 7.5 years, but still. $30,000! And that's a conservative estimate.</p> <p>Here are 22 ways I saved at least $30,000 while also saving the planet.</p> <h2>1. I Make Every Effort to Buy Only Used Goods</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/yard-sale-83590593-small.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Since I happen to like vintage clothes, old houses, and classic cars, only buying used goods is hardly deprivation &mdash; it's my aesthetic. That said, about once a year, I'll get dinged financially for buying used. For example, I could have bought a new, cheap pair of boots for less than the price I paid to resole my old ones. However, for most purchases, buying used is far cheaper than buying new.</p> <h2>2. I Spend Consciously</h2> <p>I can no longer shop without intention. When I buy something, I don't just think about how I will use that item, but how I will eventually dispose of it. This extra environmental awareness saves me a lot of money, because I can't unlearn my good shopping habits and go back to the days of mindless spending. The extra bit of inconvenience sourcing used versions of everything I want also gives me time to consider how badly I need something. Is it something I really need or can I get by with something I already own?</p> <h2>3. I Shrank My Living Space</h2> <p>One of the fastest ways I shrank my carbon footprint was to share my house with other people. When I lived alone in my 1000 square foot house, I took up all 1000 square feet. I also paid for the entire mortgage. While living alone was something I considered an adult achievement, having roommates, renting my house out as a B&amp;B, and ultimately moving in with my husband have all saved me money and helped lighten the load on the planet.</p> <h2>4. I Cut My Car Use to Under 5000 Miles a Year</h2> <p>To a lot of city folk I know, this doesn't sound impressive. But in Los Angeles, a gigantic metropolis, with iffy public transit, this is a huge challenge. My rule? If the destination is less than three miles from my house on surface streets, I have to walk or bike instead of getting in the car. In addition to cutting my gas costs by more than half, I also saved money on tire replacement, car servicing, and insurance. Also, because I now walk anywhere from three to 10 miles daily, I was able to cut my $40 a month gym membership.</p> <h2>5. I Bought a Used Car</h2> <p>As much as I'd love a gas-sipping Prius, the resource cost of creating a new car is much greater than the resources I will use to drive and keep up the 1989 Volvo station wagon my husband and I just bought from a friend for $3500. It's hard to see on the surface, but an old gas-guzzler, driven less often, can be lighter on the planet than the creation of a brand new car. Also, to quote my mechanic, &quot;You cannot buy a new car of this quality for $3500.&quot;</p> <p>I should note, too, that my parent's first generation Prius just died after 200,000 miles, and there is no way repair the hybrid engine. 200,000 miles on a Volvo 240 is nothing. Our other car is a Volvo 240 sedan that is still rolling strong after almost 400,000 miles of driving.</p> <h2>6. I Realized That Car Preservation Was Smarter Than Car Repair</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/car-polish-78751334-small.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>My husband's Polish relatives drive &quot;The Machine,&quot; the name they gave to their Iron Curtain-era compact automobile because it is so lacking in amenities. The Machine is in its 4th decade but still running smoothly because the family treats the car like it's the only car they will ever own. (And it is.) They do everything from driving the speed limit to regularly washing The Machine (to maintain its original 1970's paint job) to ensure that they put as little wear and tear on the car as possible. It's preventative medicine for automobiles.</p> <p>I used to drive, everywhere, like the cops where chasing me. Now I drive like an old lady. It's annoying to my speed-demon friends, but it saves wear and tear on my car and gives me superior gas mileage.</p> <h2>7. I Pay Attention to My Tire Pressure</h2> <p>The average driver who drives 12,000 miles a year on under-inflated tires uses an extra 144 gallons of gas and adds an additional 2880 pounds of green house gases to the environment annually!</p> <p>Properly inflating my tires saves me about $240 a year in gasoline costs, but it also extends the life of my tires. Under-inflation causes more rolling resistance, which adds substantially more wear and tear to the tires. This is also a safety hazard. A badly timed blow-out can kill.</p> <h2>8. I Became a Black Belt Composter</h2> <p>Dirty cardboard food containers cannot be recycled. However, the greasy pizza box, the butter wrappers, the take-out containers, and the wax paper from the cheese can all be put into the compost as the &quot;brown&quot; ingredient. In addition to dramatically cutting down on food related trash, the resulting light and fluffy compost is the perfect amendment for my clay garden soil, adding both nutrients and friability. Better soil equals a more productive garden. Beyond the food savings of a victory garden, using my homemade compost has saved me several hundred dollars in fertilizer and soil amendment costs.</p> <h2>9. I Mulched The Yard</h2> <p>California is in the middle of a severe drought. As a result, our water bill is sky high. To suppress weeds and keep our garden soil moist, I first laid down a layer of &quot;liquor store mulch,&quot; aka flattened cardboard boxes procured for free from my corner liquor store. For the delivery cost of $30, the stables at my local racetrack were more than happy to supply me with an entire truckload of wood chips and horse poop as a garden topcoat. Not only did this organic buffer cut the amount of water used in the garden by 50%, three years later we are still enjoying the results. The cardboard and topcoat have composted down to rich topsoil, and we have 90% fewer weeds.</p> <h2>10. I Got Hardcore About Wastewater</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/bucket-water-187371073-small.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Because fresh water is becoming scarcer and more expensive with each passing year, I am constantly on the hunt for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-ways-to-save-water">more ways to save water</a>. One major component of this is recycling my waste water. Sadly, my home and yard is poorly configured to use the gray water from my washing machine. That said, I've gotten into the habit of cleaning my floors and my car with buckets of leftover bathwater, and watering my ornamental plants with leftover dishwater.</p> <h2>11. I Started Using Homemade Cleansers</h2> <p>Reusing my gray water got me thinking about how I clean my house. If a cleanser was too poisonous to pour into my garden, isn't it also too poisonous to pour down the drain leading to the ocean? Cleaning with <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-awesomeness-of-sodium-bicarbonate-27-uses-for-baking-soda">baking soda</a> and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-household-products-vinegar-can-replace">white vinegar</a>, or removing the soap scum out of my bathtub with table salt and a grapefruit rind, is not only less toxic than any of the commercial cleansers, it is also far cheaper. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-clean-everything-with-just-3-all-natural-cleaners?ref=seealso">How to Clean Everything With Just 3 All-Natural Cleaners</a>)</p> <h2>12. I Bought a Small (Used) Refrigerator</h2> <p>Every new home now seems to feature double wide, French door refrigerators. Unless you have a gigantic family, it is impossible to eat through 20+ cubic feet of food before it goes bad. This leads to poor shopping and eating habits.</p> <p>When <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-refrigerators">shopping for a refrigerator</a>, read the fine print on the energy usage. There are many smaller refrigerators that don't get an Energy Star rating but use less energy than the bigger refrigerators that do.</p> <p>Also, refrigerators and freezers run more efficiently when they are full rather than empty. Why pay extra to cool unused space? Consider ignoring the signage inside the fridge and arrange your food in the most space-saving way (like using the crisper drawer for canned drinks instead of vegetables), using every nook and cranny. My small refrigerator enforces smart shopping habits and saves me money on my energy bill all year long. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-fridge-last-almost-forever-with-these-8-tips?ref=seealso">8 Ways to Make Your Fridge Last Forever</a>)</p> <h2>13. I Exorcised the Phantom Load and the Vampire Draw From My Home</h2> <p>Here's a terrible secret: Many modern appliances <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/hands-in-your-pocket-the-cost-of-standby-power-environmental-and-otherwise">leak energy</a> even when they are turned off. The Dust Buster, the phone charger, the video game console&hellip;I love them, but they were sucking up $20 a month in electricity while I slept. Those little monsters. To combat phantom load, I plugged my entertainment system into a power strip and then I put the power strip on a timer. From 2 a.m. to 8 a.m., the TV, the DVD player, and the game consoles get switched off automatically at the plug. All other small electronics are unplugged manually and religiously when they are not in use.</p> <h2>14. I Became a Beekeeper</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/beekeeper-178850019-small.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Beekeeping, unlike gardening, takes up very little space. I know over a hundred yard-less, urban beekeepers who keep bees on their tiny balconies, on the rooftops of their office buildings, or at community gardens. Honeybees increase the yield of gardens by 30% to 60%. This dramatic increase in productivity is an obvious money saver for the home gardener. More produce for less work!</p> <p>Since bees are in decline all over the world, giving a safe home to pollinators is good for the planet. My new skill set also gave me two more revenue streams: selling honey and doing live bee removal from public buildings and peoples' private homes. Keeping bees is a fascinating hobby job, and I learn something new about beekeeping every day. That said, the youngest member of my local bee club is five years old and the oldest is 96. It's an activity that people of all ages can learn and enjoy.</p> <h2>15. I Learned How to Preserve Food</h2> <p>Canning is the new knitting. And, as with knitting, canning is a fake frugal activity if you are paying retail for your supplies. Canning really only saves money if you are preserving <em>surplus</em> produce. Even though I have my own garden, I have yet to grow enough food that I can't eat it all myself.</p> <p>When I learned to can, instead of buying fruit for jam at the store, I put a want ad on my local <a href="https://www.freecycle.org/">Freecycle</a> group for surplus fruit. I got an insane response from my neighbors. The first year, I collected over 2000 pounds of free fruit. In exchange for gleaning privileges, I give my fruit-donating neighbors a jar of every new batch of preserves. My neighbors love being members of my Jam of the Month Club, and I've met so many new friends this way.</p> <p>Because I have access to so much free produce, I've started canning the surplus to sell and barter. I trade my jam with my neighbor for eggs and fresh poultry. I also make several hundred dollars a year selling my preserves at local craft fairs.</p> <p>Beyond my own grocery savings, making homemade preserves has saved me hundreds of dollars on gift purchases. People make birthday jam requests now!</p> <p>After the ingredients, the next most expensive aspect of canning is the jars. New jelly jars cost $1 each. I accidentally fell into a free source of canning jars last year when my friends got married. Apparently, the new trend in frugal summer weddings is to use eight-ounce jelly jars instead of buying or renting glassware for the wedding. After the wedding party, my friends offered to give me the dirty jars for free. For the cost of elbow grease I got 340 jars with new, unused lids, my friends had one less thing to deal with after the wedding, and the reusable jars stayed out of the waste stream for that much longer.</p> <p>It's old-fashioned etiquette to return jars to the cook when you finish eating the jam. My customers actually love this green aspect of my business, and I get about a 30% return rate of jars every year.</p> <h2>16. I Decided to Take Bottle and Can Recycling Seriously</h2> <p>Los Angeles has the largest recycling program in the country. I used to just throw my bottles and cans into the recycling bin without another thought. It's so easy. But then I realized that my laziness was costing me about $300 a year in easy money!</p> <p>While recycling for money versus letting the city recycle for money had a net impact of zero on the environment, the time spent dropping off bottles and cans at the recycling center myself pays for one entire month of water and power. For me, this is a huge deal.</p> <h2>17. I Became a Hard Core Trash Picker</h2> <p>Last week I made $120 at a garage sale. Most of the merchandise I'd found on the curb while walking through the neighborhood on trash day. I kept fifty items out of the waste stream for a little longer by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/from-dumpster-diving-to-garage-sales-turning-trash-into-cash">literally selling garbage</a> back to my neighbors.</p> <h2>18. I Moved The Cats Indoors</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/kitten-482462371.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Our two cats used to be indoor/outdoor cats. Although the cats loved the freedom, the injuries that they sustained from running around outside were costing upwards of $800 a pop at the vet.</p> <p>The most obvious way to save on medical costs and medical waste is to stay in good health. Veterinary waste might be smaller than human medical waste, but just like at the people version of ER, very few medical supplies at an animal hospital can be recycled or reused legally. All the tubes, syringes, and medications are single use items, and even washable equipment uses a lot of resources to keep clean.</p> <p>Although the cats still lurk by the door, hoping they can sneak outside without me noticing, I am resolute in my decision to keep them indoors. The <a href="http://www.cat-world.com.au/indoor-vs-outdoor-cats">average lifespan</a> of an indoor cat is 12 years, while outside cats often live less than five.</p> <h2>19. I Split the Cost of Tools With My Friends</h2> <p>I share a china pattern with my brother-in-law. I share a weed whacker with my friend Laura. I share luggage with my sister. I share a Cuisinart with my neighbor Alexandra. Why do I need to buy and store an entire set of tools that aren't in constant, daily use when I can split the cost and the storage space with other people?</p> <h2>20. I Stopped Eating Meat During the Week</h2> <p>Eating a vegetarian diet is an easy way to live light on the planet and light on my body. My husband and I eat meat twice a week, usually when we are dining out with friends. Eating meat is now an event for us, which is how it was for humankind for most of history. Monday through Friday we eat vegetarian meals. Cutting out meat during the week has allowed us to spend more money on organic produce and dry goods. As part-time vegetarians, we actually eat better quality food, and still have money left over to eat dinner at a restaurant twice a week.</p> <h2>21. I Reuse Paper Before I Recycle</h2> <p>American businesses throw away 175 pounds of paper per worker per year. Even though I run my business from my home, it would take me over a decade to use that amount of paper as I make an effort to use both sides of every sheet of paper that crosses my desk.</p> <p>In addition to making double-sided printing the default setting on my printer, I save myself a lot of hassle and misprinted documents by carefully labeling my printer, so I know exactly how to insert paper, envelopes, and labels for perfect print outs every time.</p> <p>I never use virgin paper as scratch paper.</p> <p>I can get two extra uses out of used envelopes! First, I like to write grocery lists on the back of used envelopes. That way I can store my coupons inside for easy access while I'm shopping. Once both sides of an envelope are used, I carefully pull apart the envelope and refold it inside out for reuse a third, or even fourth time! A little glue stick is all that's needed to glue everything back together.</p> <h2>22. I Use Second Hand Packing Material</h2> <p>I sell a lot of vintage goods on Etsy and a lot of books on <a href="http://www.half.ebay.com/">half.com</a>. I get all of my padded envelopes for shipping books and records from my local college radio station. College radio stations, with their eclectic music programming, receive hundreds of CDs and records from musicians and record labels for play on air every month. If you don't have this type of radio station in your area, think of what local businesses might receive a lot of packing material they aren't reusing. It never hurts to ask.</p> <p>My go-to source for small, heavy-duty boxes is my local hardware store. Hardware stores have a huge variety of boxes of all shapes and sizes because their merchandise selection is so broad. Every day, the owner of my local mom-and-pop hardware store puts all the unwanted cardboard boxes next to the dumpster in their back parking lot. The hardware store pays less for trash pickup, and my neighbors and I get the pick of free storage and shipping containers.</p> <p>Has anyone else had this sticker shock, but in a good way?</p> <p><em>What do-gooder things for the environment did you do that ended up saving you a lot of money? Please share in comments.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/max-wong">Max Wong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-i-saved-30000-and-helped-the-earth-at-the-same-time">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dumpster-diving-101-6-strategies-for-success">Dumpster-Diving 101: 6 Strategies for Success</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-to-cut-down-on-garbage-and-save-money-too">12 Ways to Cut Down on Garbage and Save Money Too!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-recycling-is-my-lowest-priority">Why Recycling Is My Lowest Priority</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-ultimate-recycler-utah-man-saves-70-000-beer-cans">The ultimate recycler - Utah man saves 70,000 beer cans</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/welcome-to-container-city-how-shipping-containers-are-recycled-into-green-dwellings">Welcome to Container City - How Shipping Containers Are Recycled into Green Dwellings</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living Lifestyle buying used recycling reuse saving upcycling Tue, 03 Jun 2014 15:43:34 +0000 Max Wong 1141613 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Ways to Cut Down on Garbage and Save Money Too! http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-to-cut-down-on-garbage-and-save-money-too <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-ways-to-cut-down-on-garbage-and-save-money-too" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-recycling-86514941-small_0.jpg" alt="recycling" title="recycling" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When I was a child, my family saved hundreds of dollars a year by cancelling our residential trash service and hauling our own junk to the dump instead. Once a month my sister and I would load the household garbage into the pickup truck and escort our father to the town dump. We liked going to the dump. The spectacle of sanitation workers racing around the garbage pit on their bulldozers had an entertaining &quot;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0790731932/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0790731932&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=LP65J22N7YSGYOXA">Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome</a>&quot; quality. Also, as a reward for our services, our dad would take us for breakfast at Denny's on the way home. We saved the Sanitation Department work, my parents got a break on a monthly bill, and my sister and I got Pigs in a Blanket. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/from-dumpster-diving-to-garage-sales-turning-trash-into-cash?ref=seealso">Turning Trash Into Cash</a>)</p> <h2>Opt Out of High Trash Bills?</h2> <p>Flash forward to adulthood in Los Angeles and an outrageously high trash bill. Since it took me more than a month as a single lady to fill the gigantic black trash can provided by the city, I decided to call the Department of Sanitation and cancel my trash collection. Why pay so much money for something I was barely using? I could easily dump my minimal trash output at work. The office dumpster was never full and got picked up weekly. And, even if my bosses forbade my trashy freeloading, was it really so inconvenient to bring my trash to the dump on my own every few weeks?</p> <p>As it turns out, one cannot cancel residential trash collection in LA. I get charged a sanitation fee regardless of whether my can is full or empty.</p> <p>This is infuriating and unsportsmanlike, but unfortunately not uncommon.</p> <h2>The Financial and Environmental Costs of Trash Hauling</h2> <p>While there are some civilized communities where good garbage behavior is rewarded financially, most people pay dearly for the privilege of throwing things away. Even the most thrifty do-gooders can get gouged by their garbage bills, as there are still many municipalities that don't offer recycling services or provide a way to dispose of yard waste that doesn't involve a landfill.</p> <p>However, this doesn't mean that everyone should just start throwing things away with abandon. Americans generate, on average, 4.4 pounds of garbage per person per day. This level of waste is obviously a terrible burden on the environment, and a not-so-obvious burden on everyone's bank account.</p> <p>Most people, myself included, don't immediately connect their garbage as the product of their lives. And, that product has a cost &mdash; everything that I throw in the trash is something I've paid for, with cash, with time, or with labor. Although I can't cut what I pay the city for garbage pick-up, I can cut down on the time, money, and labor I spend on my garbage product.</p> <p>Here are 11 ways I cut down on both trash and expenses.</p> <h2>1. Do a Trash Audit</h2> <p>Periodically, I will audit the contents of my garbage can. For one week I will throw all of my household waste into one garbage can. At the end of the week I dump the can out onto a tarp and take a count of what's there.</p> <p>Although this sounds crazy, doing a trash audit is really instructive in terms of figuring out where I am over-consuming (also known as &quot;wasting money&quot;).</p> <ul> <li> <p>Is there a lot of food waste? I need to alter my shopping schedule or make more time for food preservation tasks.</p> </li> <li> <p>Are there a lot of plastic toy parts? I need to buy better/fewer toys and teach the kids in my life to take better care of them.</p> </li> <li> <p>Is there a lot of food packaging? I need to source products with less packaging and be more diligent about recycling.</p> </li> </ul> <p>Just like people bust their budgets by frittering away a lot of money with tiny impulse purchases, many people generate literally a ton of trash with tiny actions.</p> <p>For example, until I really looked at my trash, I didn't realize that I was putting 5200 foil tea bag wrappers into the landfill every year. (I have since switched to loose tea in a metal tea ball). While switching tea-steeping methods doesn't save me money at the store, if more people were nit picky about their waste stream, we'd all save more money on garbage collection fees in the long run. Every year the price of trash &quot;storage&quot; goes up because dumps are filling up and the costs of opening a new landfill is high. The longer we can make due with our current dumping grounds, the better.</p> <h2>2. Use Less</h2> <p>This is where the Trash Audit really helps. What are you throwing away the most? Is it your hard earned cash? Because that's what you're dumping when you waste your purchases through lack of attention.</p> <ul> <li> <p>Buying food in bulk doesn't save any money if it goes bad before you can eat it.</p> </li> <li> <p>If you are using more than <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-secrets-to-keep-your-clothes-brighter-whiter-and-lasting-longer">two tablespoons</a> of laundry or dish-washing detergent, you are probably using too much.</p> </li> <li> <p>How many times can you wash and reuse zip-lock bags before they go kaput?</p> </li> <li> <p>Do you really need a trashcan liner or can you just hose out the bin periodically?</p> </li> </ul> <h2>3. Pay Yourself Every Time You Use a Reusable Shopping Bag</h2> <p>Last year Los Angeles became the largest city in America to ban single-use plastic grocery bags. People love to whine about the unfair 10 cent bag fee, as if getting charged for shopping bags is new at all. Grocery stores have been charging customers all along for their bags. How do I know this? In exchange for shopping with reusable bags, I've been getting a five-cent rebate per bag, at the grocery store, since moving to LA in 1988. Big grocery stores have always penalized customers for using plastic bags, they've just been less transparent about it.</p> <p>But the cost of plastic bags doesn't end when you leave the store. Californians spend 25 million dollars a year to <a href="http://www.usc.edu/org/cosee-west/Nov07Resources/Why_replace_plastic_bags.pdf">collect and landfill plastic bags</a>. Some cities pay up to 17 cents per bag for disposal. And by cities, that means you, the taxpayer.</p> <h2>4. Choose Reusable Over Disposable</h2> <p>Just like plastic bags, consumers can save their tax dollars and mind their pennies by purchasing durable goods to replace disposable ones. For example, the average American uses six paper napkins a day. If everyone used just one less paper napkin per day, we'd keep a <a href="http://www.hawaiizerowaste.org/news/14/48/Use-One-Less-Paper-Napkin/#.U3qs3lhdV7k">billion pounds</a> of napkins out of the landfill every year.</p> <p>Convenience comes with a heavy price. Disposables actually cost more per use.</p> <p>I bought 20 Italian linen napkins from Pottery Barn in 2002. Each cloth napkin was a pricey $4.00. Compared to what I would have paid for 20 napkins at a thrift store, $80.00 seems like a crazy amount to spend on table linens. However, 12 years later, I still have 10 of those napkins in daily rotation. In addition to keeping 26,400 paper napkins out of the landfill, I've also saved, according to analysis by the Ocean Conservancy, somewhere between $645.00 and $5271.00 that I <a href="http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2012/08/31/five-reasons-to-use-cloth-napkins-over-paper/">would have spent on paper napkins</a> in that same period. And that's a conservative estimate!</p> <h2>5. Compost Compost Compost!</h2> <p>I am a ninja composter.</p> <p>In addition to yard and kitchen waste, I also compost newsprint, dirty cardboard food containers, and fabrics made from natural fibers. When clothes moths decided to use my angora sweater as their headquarters for wardrobe destruction, I dumped the sweater into the compost bin, not the garbage. It was so satisfying to smother those evil bugs under coffee grounds and melon rinds.</p> <p>Compost is a cheap and easy soil amendment that anyone can make. It simultaneously fertilizes your garden <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Business/video?id=8848605">for free</a> and keeps waste out of the landfill.</p> <p>If Americans composted their food waste instead of putting it into the landfills, the yearly <a href="http://www.greenwaste.com/recycling-stats">reduction of greenhouse gases</a> produced would be equal to taking two million cars off the road. What's a bigger time waster: composting or global warming?</p> <h2>6. Bring Your Own Container Instead of Taking a Doggie Bag</h2> <p>Styrofoam is toxic to produce and doesn't break down in the landfill. Instead of bringing home all that dirty packaging, I bring my own Tupperware containers to restaurants to use, not just for leftovers, but for take out as well.</p> <p>While this habit is mortifying to my friends, in the 10 years I've been doing this, I've never had a restaurant refuse me. In fact, I've only gotten positive feedback from restaurant owners, some of whom have rewarded me with extra food. Every Friday my husband and I get take out from our local Indian restaurant. We got a terrible shock the one time that we forgot to bring our own plasticware and used the restaurant's take out containers instead: We came home with 30% less food! Although our Tupperware containers clearly state the volume on the bottom of each piece, the restaurant just fills everything to the brim.</p> <p>If you pack a lunch, invest in a lunch box instead of using a paper sack. Teach your kids to bring home their reusable lunch supplies. In addition to honing their organizational skills, something that will help them their entire lives, this <a href="http://www.wastefreelunches.org/what-is-a-waste-free-lunch-program.html#waste-free-lunch-cost">good habit will save $246.60</a> per school year per kid. Imagine how much money you'd save as an adult by switching to sustainable lunch packing!</p> <h2>7. Avoid Over-Packaged Goods</h2> <p>Even if packaging can be recycled, recycling costs both money and resources. It's far better for the planet and your wallet to avoid excess packaging to begin with. For example, buy one big container, instead a bunch of smaller containers. Most stores charge less for bulk purchases, and the reduction of packaging weight will save you on online shipping costs.</p> <p>Buy dry goods like grains and pasta in bulk. The closest bulk bin section to me is at the notoriously expensive Whole Foods. That said, organic bulk oatmeal at Whole Foods is still cheaper than the non-organic, generic brand at my regular grocery store. It pays to comparison shop!</p> <p>Only purchase products that can be recycled locally. Check with your municipal recycling center about what they accept.</p> <h2>8. Recycle Recycle Recycle!</h2> <p>Even though every recycling program I know of accepts glass, Americans still throw away 9 million tons of glass every year.</p> <p>Over one ton of natural resources are conserved for every ton of glass recycled. Recycled glass melts at a lower temperature than raw materials, so manufacturing recycled glass bottles emits less greenhouse gases.</p> <p>Recycling glass is clearly the right choice for the planet, but why do so many people refuse to do it for personal finance reasons? <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/from-dumpster-diving-to-garage-sales-turning-trash-into-cash">In 2012 I made $120.00</a> just by recycling the glass bottles of my wino neighbors.</p> <p>Even if you don't have recycling in your area, consider reusing glass jars. Use jars instead of plastic drinking cups at your next party. If you eat a lot of tomato sauce, team up with someone in your community who is a canner and who will reuse your pint jars over and over.</p> <h2>9. Cancel the Junk Mail</h2> <p>Sale circulars and solicitation letters are mailed out to entice customers to spend money. For me, junk mail is annoying. It's an extra chore that some stranger has added to my day. Even if separating out the junk mail from actual mail takes five minutes a week, that still adds up to over four hours of wasted time per year that I could have spent doing something that I enjoy.</p> <p>Junk mail is also taxing on the environment because it takes resources to print and mail all those unwanted letters and catalogs.</p> <p>To stop junk mail, register your name and address with the <a href="http://www.dmachoice.org">Direct Marketing Association</a>. If you register online, they will wave the $1.00 processing fee they charge check writers. DMA Choice divides junk mail into four categories: Credit Offers, Catalogs, Magazines (this includes newsletters and subscription offers), and Other Mail Offers (including donation requests, bank offers, and retail promotions). You can request to stop mail from individual companies or from an entire category.</p> <h2>10. Share the Surplus With Your Neighbors</h2> <p>Why throw away leftovers when you can use them as bait to lure your neighbors into your frugal network? If you have extra anything, offer it to those who live close by. Sharing is one of the easiest ways to build community and save money. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-you-should-build-a-frugal-community-and-how-to-do-it?ref=seealso">Why You Should Build a Frugal Community &mdash; And How</a>)</p> <p>In exchange for homemade jam and honey, my neighbors give me free eggs, orchids, backyard fruit, house sitting, manual labor, rides to the airport, and friendship.</p> <h2>11. Sell, Donate, or Curb Away Unwanted Items</h2> <p>I am always surprised by what people buy first at my garage sales. It's always the stuff I think is junk. Search on Craigslist and eBay to see if your trash is actually treasure.</p> <p>Generally, I only donate items that are in extremely good condition, because I only buy items from charity shops that are in extremely good condition, and most stores can only sell items that are in extremely good condition. Even with my picky donation standards, I still get a nice tax write-off every year.</p> <p>Anything I think is useful but not sellable, I put out on the curb the day before trash day. This includes worn clothes, partially used office supplies, random storage containers, and furniture I'm too lazy to repair. Most items I curb are gone within an hour.</p> <h2>12. Buy Used</h2> <p>Buying used is a direct form of recycling. It keeps things out of the landfill, and it uses far fewer virgin resources.</p> <p>Making every effort to only buy used goods has saved me thousands of dollars over the last seven years. Unless something is highly collectible, most used goods cost considerably less than their new counterparts. And even when they don't, a lot of used goods are considerably better made than newer models. Thrift stores of full of old things that were built to last. The new J. Crew T-shirt I bought last August developed holes after just 10 wearings, but the J. Crew T-shirt I bought in 1988 has lasted through at least 1000 washings.</p> <p><em>What do you do to generate less garbage? If you have incentives in your area that help you save money on your trash bill, please help your fellow Wise Bread readers conserve cash and resources by sharing in the comments section.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/max-wong">Max Wong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-to-cut-down-on-garbage-and-save-money-too">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dumpster-diving-101-6-strategies-for-success">Dumpster-Diving 101: 6 Strategies for Success</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/oprah-asks-a-great-question-what-can-you-live-without">Oprah Asks A Great Question; What Can You Live Without?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-i-saved-30000-and-helped-the-earth-at-the-same-time">How I Saved $30,000 and Helped the Earth at the Same Time</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-diy-magazines-can-help-you-be-self-reliant">These DIY Magazines Can Help You Be Self-Reliant</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/eco-capitalism-how-to-make-money-from-garbage">Eco-Capitalism - How to make money from garbage</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living Lifestyle Shopping recycling trash trash fees Thu, 29 May 2014 08:24:18 +0000 Max Wong 1140924 at http://www.wisebread.com Off the Wall: 21 Clever Uses for Leftover Wallpaper http://www.wisebread.com/off-the-wall-21-clever-uses-for-leftover-wallpaper <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/off-the-wall-21-clever-uses-for-leftover-wallpaper" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/gift-4965032-small.jpg" alt="wrapping paper" title="wrapping paper" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you've done any home remodeling projects or gone thrift shopping lately, no doubt you've seen your fair share of scrap wallpaper rolls. They're everywhere &mdash; mismatched cast-offs in nearly every pattern, color, and style &mdash; still in the shrink-wrap just waiting to be repurposed. With such a glut in supply, I thought it prudent to brainstorm a few ideas on exactly how to repurpose all this decorating detritus. So grab a roll and try your hand at a few of my creative uses for leftover wallpaper. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-ways-to-use-old-newspaper">17 Ways to Use Old Newspaper</a>)</p> <h2>1. Table Runner</h2> <p>For inside or al fresco dining, a few feet of wallpaper can be unrolled to make a unique and stylish table runner. Don't worry about dribbles and stains; when you're done, just wipe off and roll it back up or recycle it.</p> <h2>2. Art Matting</h2> <p>Why pay for custom matting with so much scrap wallpaper around? Cut to size and frame your favorite family photos or small art pieces.</p> <h2>3. Scrapbooking</h2> <p>Wallpaper with a small scale pattern can make nice embellished detail for a scrapbook. Use it to create photo corners, page borders, or cut out figures and letters.</p> <h2>4. Framed Art</h2> <p>Large, bold, or abstract wallpaper designs <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/free-or-cheap-wall-art">can become art all by themselves</a>. Compose an off-center study of a single wallpaper design detail. Mat and frame for instant and unusual art. Create a coordinated look by pulling colors from the framed paper and using them throughout a single room.</p> <h2>5. Gift Wrap</h2> <p>This is one of my favorite ideas &mdash; use scrap wallpaper as wrapping paper. Folding and taping takes some practice because the paper is a heavier weight, but the look is classic and always comment-worthy. Go for plaids, pinstripes, or other classic patterns and color-coordinate the wrapping for all of your gifts at the holidays, for a baby shower, or for other special occasions.</p> <h2>6. Gift Tags/Gift Card Holders</h2> <p>Cut small squares from wallpaper rolls, fold, and use as hanging gift tags. Use larger pieces to craft elegant gift card holders; use adhesive photo corners to secure the cards in each holder.</p> <h2>7. Surface Protector for Crafting</h2> <p>If you're a crafter like me, you know the hazards of cutting and gluing on your favorite tabletop or desk. Use wallpaper as a durable and disposable surface protector for your crafting projects or kids' art projects.</p> <h2>8. Placemats and Matching Napkin Rings</h2> <p>Cut matching placemats from wallpaper rolls and use indoors or out. Make matching napkin rings by cutting thin strips of wallpaper and gluing the ends together.</p> <h2>9. Drawer or Shelf Liner</h2> <p>Spruce up a guest room dresser or those pantry shelves by using wallpaper as drawer and shelf liner. Wallpaper cut to size works perfectly, is durable, and is easy to wipe clean.</p> <h2>10. Bulletin Board Cover</h2> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-10-ways-to-improve-your-home-office-cheaply">Class up your home office </a>by customizing your bulletin board. Cut a piece of vintage wallpaper to fit exactly inside the frame and tacking at the corners. Paint the frame a coordinating color.</p> <h2>11. Collage Projects</h2> <p>Collage is great art medium for adults and kids alike because it's so forgiving. Try your hand at assembling a collage that includes wallpaper scraps, fabric, found objects, old photos, and images from cast-off books. Not happy with the way a piece is turning out? Just remove what you don't like and try it again!</p> <h2>12. Temporary Coasters</h2> <p>Add some elegance to an evening on the patio by making disposable coasters. Cut to size with pinking shears. Make personalized coasters for a party so guests don't grab the wrong drink.</p> <h2>13. Book Dust Jackets</h2> <p>Need a durable dust jacket for a text book? Try using wallpaper. Get your kids involved and <a href="http://www.ehow.com/how_2090384_make-book-dust-jacket.html">make custom book covers</a> for back-to-school.</p> <h2>14. Paint Drop Cloths</h2> <p>Have a dozen particularly hideous rolls of wallpaper from the 80s (read: seafoam green and apricot)? Roll it along the baseboards of a room you're painting to catch those inevitable drips and splatters.</p> <h2>15. Party Decorations</h2> <p>Have you been to a party supply store lately? The prices are high enough to put the damper on any celebration. Use colorful wallpaper to create streamers, scalloped table skirts, and large signs on a budget. Add some glitz by embellishing with glitter, paint, or silk flowers.</p> <h2>16. Puppet Theater Backdrops</h2> <p>Little kids love puppet shows. Get creative with wallpaper scraps and try your hand at set design. Cut, paint, and embellish landscapes, streetscapes, and interior stages for a kids' puppet theater.</p> <h2>17. Birdcage Lining</h2> <p>Polly wants a crafter. Wallpaper is more durable, protective, and nicer to look at than newsprint.</p> <h2>18. Papier Mache Projects</h2> <p>Use newspaper to create <a href="http://familycrafts.about.com/cs/papermache/a/051500pm.htm">the foundation of a papier mache project</a>, and then add wallpaper strips as the outer layer. It'll add strength and rigidity to your creation and give it a more finished and decorative look.</p> <h2>19. Dollhouse Decorating</h2> <p>Encourage your little Martha Stewart or Nate Berkus. Use scrap wallpaper to decorate your kid's dollhouse. Make it a fun project you can do together. Gravitate toward small-scale patterns for the smaller-scale format and use a thin coat of craft glue or a glue stick to apply.</p> <h2>20. Fun Menus for Family Dinner Night</h2> <p>Valentine's Day, birthdays, anniversaries, and graduations can all be <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-fun-ways-to-celebrate-valentines-day-with-kids">made a bit more special</a> with fun family dinner menus. Use wallpaper as the border or the cover for the menu, and play around with the name of your &quot;restaurant&quot; and the items on the menu.</p> <h2>21. Garland or Tinsel on a Christmas Tree</h2> <p>Long thin strips of classic wallpaper glued back-to-back can give a unique look to any Christmas tree. Wrap it like garland, and when the season's done, just roll it up for next year. Or add your homemade &quot;garland&quot; as an accent to fresh evergreen boughs.</p> <p>The next time you pass a few rolls of wallpaper at a yard sale or thrift store, see if there's a particular pattern you like. Chances are you'll find dozens of additional ways it can be used in crafting, at the holidays, for picnics, and for other practical projects around the house.</p> <p><em>Have you found a novel use for wallpaper? What's your favorite off-the-wall wallpaper idea?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/off-the-wall-21-clever-uses-for-leftover-wallpaper">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-gifts-you-can-make-today">25 Gifts You Can Make Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-cool-uses-for-a-slow-cooker">10 Cool Uses for a Slow Cooker</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-awesome-practically-free-upcycled-craft-projects">18 Awesome, Practically Free Upcycled Craft Projects</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-recycle-and-reuse-old-t-shirts">15 Ways to Recycle and Reuse Old T-shirts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-great-uses-for-old-ties">10 Great Uses for Old Ties</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY crafts interior design recycling wallpaper Wed, 07 Aug 2013 10:36:35 +0000 Kentin Waits 981012 at http://www.wisebread.com From Dumpster Diving to Garage Sales, Turning Trash Into Cash http://www.wisebread.com/from-dumpster-diving-to-garage-sales-turning-trash-into-cash <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/from-dumpster-diving-to-garage-sales-turning-trash-into-cash" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/1357082362_f34c658249_z.jpg" alt="yard sale" title="yard sale" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Last year I made over $1,200 off of other people&rsquo;s garbage. But then, I'm serious about reusing and recycling. I'm not afraid to yell, &quot;Stop the car! That's good garbage!&quot; in a crowded intersection. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-compact-mindfullness-and-frugality-through-buying-used">The Compact: Mindfullness and Frugality Through Buying Used</a>)</p> <p>Some of the garbage I find is actual money. Every year I manage to pick up around $20 in change off the ground. My favorite places to find lost change are in front of the counter at the post office and under the CoinStar machine at the grocery store. Last year I got lucky and actually found a $20 bill on the street, so my found money total rose to $44.03.</p> <p>I don&rsquo;t know what makes pennies not real currency in the eyes of so many people. A penny saved really is a penny earned, but a penny found is a penny that isn&rsquo;t taxed. Do I even spend ten minutes a year bending over to pick up an average of $20 in small change? You would think that most Americans, especially in this economy, would be stoked to do an activity that pays $120 an hour. But no. Even total strangers laugh at me when I lean down to pick up coins off the ground. Yep, I am <em>so</em> embarrassed that the $44.03 I found bought a very nice dinner for my husband and me.</p> <h2>Bottles and Cans Are as Good as Cash</h2> <p>Although Los Angeles has the largest recycling program in the nation, and <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-money-recycling">bottles and cans are redeemable for cash</a>, I was still able to recycle $340 worth of glass and plastic bottles and aluminum cans that I picked up off the street. $120 of that $340 came from one alcoholic neighbor who decided that throwing her wine bottles onto the parkway from her window was easier than walking them to her recycling bin. Sadly, I don&rsquo;t think that <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-ultimate-recycler-utah-man-saves-70-000-beer-cans">my neighbors are particularly terrible litterbugs</a>. Many students at my local universities appear to have problems putting their recyclables into a recycling container, even when the container is right next to the trash. Classroom trashcans are full of plastic water bottles and Red Bull cans.</p> <p>For me, $340 seems like big money for bringing a box of recyclables to the grocery store every week, but I am not even Junior Varsity when it comes to recycling income. There&rsquo;s a family in Los Angeles who put <a target="_blank" href="http://abcnews.go.com/2020/story?id=1787254&amp;page=1#.UU6Z1I73BdQ">three of their kids through college with the money</a> they earned collecting cans.</p> <h2>Found Textbooks Are Educational (and Redeemable)</h2> <p>Speaking of college, I live within walking distance of one university, work at another one night a week, and am a student at a third. Last year, I earned $468 from selling back textbooks I&rsquo;d pulled out of the dumpsters at school. This paid for my tuition and my textbooks for my Italian classes. My education was paid for with garbage.</p> <h2>Found Objects Are Garage Sale Inventory</h2> <p>Last year I made over $400 selling things I&rsquo;d found on the street on Craigslist and at <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-have-a-successful-garage-sale">garage sales</a>. I paid for my wedding ($159) with the earnings of one garage sale. This is hardly my greatest feat of trash picking. I <a target="_blank" href="http://www.myromanapartment.com/alternative-lifestyle-hand-life-featured-jeff-probst-show/">paid for two entire years of my life by collecting stuff</a> that my neighbors had curbed on trash day &mdash; and selling the stuff back to them at monthly garage sales. While my monthly expenses during 1996 and 1997 were only $1,000 a month, that&rsquo;s still $24,000 I made at my part-time trash picking &ldquo;job.&rdquo;</p> <p>Depending on the laws regarding trash pickup and garage sales in your area, my success may or may not be achievable everywhere. Some cities like West Hollywood, California cap the number of garage sales a household can have each year, while other municipalities prohibit &ldquo;dumping&rdquo; usable items on the curb. Check the laws in your area so you don't get saddled with a hefty fine.</p> <h2>Keeping What You Find</h2> <p>In addition to making money from the cast-offs of others, I also save around $1,000 a year by reusing items that are destined for the dump.</p> <p><strong>University Finds</strong></p> <p>At the end of every school year, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/college-move-out-days-the-best-time-to-dumpster-dive">university dumpsters are full of everything from textbooks to clothes to electronics</a> &mdash; items deemed too inconvenient or too expensive to ship home. While I have yet to get up early enough to nab a last generation iPod or mini fridge like my neighbors have, I rarely pay for laundry detergent and can&rsquo;t remember the last time I spent money on a spiral notebook, manila folder, mailing envelope, or three ring binder. School dumpsters are full of half used cleaning supplies and stationery products. Some schools like NYU actually have a garbage amnesty day that encourage community recycling, so if you live in a college town, check into your school&rsquo;s end of the year trash picking policy.</p> <p><strong>Hardware Store and Nursery Finds</strong></p> <p>My local hardware store is my shipping box supplier. Hardware stores carry a lot of heavy products that come in sturdy, tiny to small cardboard boxes that are the perfect size for shipping etsy sale items. Since the hardware store has to pay for trash collection and recycling per dumpster, the owner encourages people to take the boxes by stacking them neatly by the back door. I get a steady stream of cardboard boxes (one less thing that I have to hoard in my house), and the store gets a lower garbage bill.</p> <p>One of the local plant nurseries has a similar policy with their pony packs &mdash; those segmented plant containers that hold four to six seedlings. Apparently it&rsquo;s cheaper to trash the entire pony pack if just one of the plants is dead or missing, rather than going to the trouble of replanting the plants in single containers or putting the pack on sale. Unlike the big box stores, which chop up the plants before throwing them in the garbage, ensuring that everyone and the planet gets screwed, the local nursery puts the &ldquo;damaged&rdquo; pony packs by the dumpster in the back alley every Sunday night before closing. There is a dedicated group of frugal gardeners that show up at 5:05 pm every week to divvy up the plants. Since I don&rsquo;t mind growing mystery vegetable and flower varieties, this is a great way to get free landscaping and food.</p> <p>The <a target="_blank" href="http://www.myromanapartment.com/green-hack-repair-antique-furniture-trashpicked-antique-wood/">2012 trash to treasure project that I am most proud</a> of was using wood that I harvested from a damaged dresser, to make a shelf for my vintage armoire.</p> <p><em>Are you a trash picker? Why or why not? What&rsquo;s the best thing you&rsquo;ve ever found in the garbage?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/max-wong">Max Wong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/from-dumpster-diving-to-garage-sales-turning-trash-into-cash">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-money-recycling">Make Money Recycling: Get Paid to Recycle by 15 Websites</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-awesome-practically-free-upcycled-craft-projects">18 Awesome, Practically Free Upcycled Craft Projects</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-hobby-pay-its-way">Make Your Hobby Pay Its Way</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-i-saved-30000-and-helped-the-earth-at-the-same-time">How I Saved $30,000 and Helped the Earth at the Same Time</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/off-the-wall-21-clever-uses-for-leftover-wallpaper">Off the Wall: 21 Clever Uses for Leftover Wallpaper</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Extra Income Dumpster diving garage sales recycling upcycling Tue, 09 Apr 2013 10:00:35 +0000 Max Wong 971473 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Get Rid of Your Old Electronics http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-rid-of-your-old-electronics <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-get-rid-of-your-old-electronics" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/7904351958_ddb0efe239_b.jpg" alt="old tv" title="old tv" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We have an old TV. It's old and huge and heavy and not at all flat-screened. By &quot;old&quot; I mean to say that our TV probably rolled off the assembly line about 10 years ago, a fact that, unless you're a teenager, will probably make you feel very old yourself. This TV is not high-tech or beautiful, but it does work, so we keep it around.</p> <p>As it turns out, that's increasingly rare.</p> <p>According to the Consumer Electronics Association, American consumers consistently spend more than $1,000 per year on household electronics like televisions, computers, and smartphones. That's a lot of money, but assuming we all have the money to pay for these gadgets, what's more distressing is what happens to the older, less-advanced devices they aim to replace.</p> <p>To be blunt, most of these discarded gadgets end up in landfills, says the Environmental Protection Agency. In fact, it is estimated that Americans throw out more than 350,000 cell phones and 130,000 computers every day, making electronic waste, or &quot;e-waste,&quot; one of the fastest growing components of landfill waste. And while that huge, old computer monitor may seem innocent enough, it's packed with lead and other toxic chemicals, which isn't just bad for the environment, it's bad for us too.</p> <p>So what can you do with your electronics when they're no longer of use? Here are a few environmentally friendly options. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-things-to-throw-out-today">25&nbsp;Things to Throw Out Today</a>)</p> <h2>Safety First</h2> <p>First things first &mdash; whether you're offloading an old cell phone to a recycling service or selling a laptop to a friend, you need to wipe any and all electronic devices that store data.</p> <p>When it comes to your cell phone, you also need to ensure that your account with your service provider has been terminated. If you aren't sure how to wipe an electronic device (hint: it involves more than just deleting your files), you may want to consult a professional (or tech-savvy friend) for advice. Leaving personal data on a device could make your private life more public than you'd like &mdash; and put you at risk for identity theft.</p> <h2>Sell It</h2> <p>If your old devices still work, you could try selling them on eBay, Craigslist, or through a local classified ad. There are also several services that are willing to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-money-recycling">pay cash for certain gadgets</a>. <a href="http://www.nextworth.com/" target="_blank">Nextworth</a>, <a href="http://www.gazelle.com/" target="_blank">Gazelle</a> and <a href="http://www.recellular.com/" target="_blank">ReCellular</a> all offer such programs. Some will only buy devices that work, others will buy things that are broken.</p> <p>There are many such services out there, so take some time to research whether there's anyone who'll pay for what you're trying to offload. If you can't find any takers for a device that still has some life left in it, you could try to find a new home for it on <a href="http://www.freecycle.org/" target="_blank">Freecycle</a>.</p> <h2>Trade It In</h2> <p>Many electronics retailers and manufacturers are now offering trade-in programs for retired electronics. Turn in your old PC, for example, and you'll get a gift card or credit for what the company deems your item to be worth. After all, even broken electronics often contain valuable materials that companies can recycle. <a href="http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Electronics-Promotions/Online-Trade-In/pcmcat133600050011.c?id=pcmcat133600050011&amp;DCMP=rdr101887" target="_blank">BestBuy</a>, <a href="http://www.targettradeinprogram.com/" target="_blank">Target</a>, <a href="http://www.radioshacktradeandsave.com/online/home/index.rails" target="_blank">RadioShack</a>, <a href="http://www.apple.com/recycling/gift-card/" target="_blank">Apple</a>, and <a href="http://store.sony.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ContentDisplayView?storeId=10151&amp;hideHeaderFooter=false&amp;cmsId=tradeup&amp;langId=-1&amp;catalogId=10551" target="_blank">Sony</a>, among other retailers, all offer this type of service. If you're looking to replace a device, this might be an option worth considering.</p> <h2>Donate It</h2> <p>There are many charities, schools, and community centers that will happily accept working computers, printers, and other electronic devices. Others will take electronic devices in any condition to refurbish or recycle.</p> <p>You can start by looking locally, but there are also a number of national organizations to consider. These include <a href="http://www.goodwill.org/get-involved/donate/donation-acceptance-guidelines/" target="_blank">Goodwill</a>, <a href="http://www.salvationarmyusa.org/usn/www_usn_2.nsf/0/e3610fb5ddd550a1802573250030e32a" target="_blank">Salvation Army</a>, <a href="http://www.recyclingforcharities.com/index.php" target="_blank">Recycling for Charities</a>, and <a href="http://www.komputers4rkids.com/index.html" target="_blank">Komputers 4 Kids</a>. They all accept donations, and may even <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cleaning-out-for-a-cause-make-a-noncash-tax-deductible-donation">provide a tax receipt</a>! <a href="http://www.thinkrecycle.com/en/" target="_blank">ThinkRecycle</a> allows organizations to run drives for electronics and raise money for a cause, all while helping to remove a few more devices from the waste stream.</p> <h2>Recycle It</h2> <p>For devices that no longer work or that are undesirable (like my old TV, when it finally meets its re-maker), recycling may be the only option. The best place to find out where to recycle your old electronics is the Environmental Protection Agency, which offers a great <a href="http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/conserve/materials/ecycling/donate.htm">search tool</a> for finding manufacturers and retailers that will take old stuff. Many do.</p> <p>The other option is to connect with a recycling program like <a href="http://www.call2recycle.org/locator/" target="_blank">Call2Recycle</a>, <a href="http://search.earth911.com/" target="_blank">Earth911</a>, <a href="http://ecyclingcenter.com/" target="_blank">ECycling Center</a>, <a href="http://www.ecyclingcentral.com/" target="_blank">Electronic Industries Alliance</a> and <a href="http://greenergadgets.org/" target="_blank">GreenerGadgets</a>.</p> <p>According to the EPA, there's no federal mandate to recycle e-waste. There have been numerous attempts to develop a federal law to deal with the issue; unfortunately, sometimes waiting for new legislation is like watching grass grow...only slower.</p> <p>If you're concerned about keeping electronic waste out of landfills, you're the one who'll have to take the initiative to ensure it's properly disposed of. I know I'll be looking for some way to recycle my old TV in the next few years. Fortunately, that appears to be getting easier all the time. If only I could say the same for carrying the darn thing down the stairs.</p> <p><em>How have you responsibly retired your old electronics?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tara-struyk">Tara Struyk</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-rid-of-your-old-electronics">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-money-recycling">Make Money Recycling: Get Paid to Recycle by 15 Websites</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-save-cash-by-purging-your-place-of-plastics">10 Ways to Save Cash by Purging Your Place of Plastics</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dumpster-diving-101-6-strategies-for-success">Dumpster-Diving 101: 6 Strategies for Success</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-to-cut-down-on-garbage-and-save-money-too">12 Ways to Cut Down on Garbage and Save Money Too!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-i-saved-30000-and-helped-the-earth-at-the-same-time">How I Saved $30,000 and Helped the Earth at the Same Time</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living donating electronics recycling tax deductions Thu, 04 Apr 2013 10:36:31 +0000 Tara Struyk 971504 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Unique Garden Containers and Techniques http://www.wisebread.com/10-unique-garden-containers-and-techniques <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-unique-garden-containers-and-techniques" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/egg container gardening.JPG" alt="egg carton seed starters" title="starting seeds in egg cartons" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="187" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Creating a garden that is both beautiful and functional doesn&rsquo;t require a three acre homestead in the middle of nowhere. In fact, some of the best community and urban gardens are not only creatively small, they make use of recycled materials to create a healthy growing environment and eliminate waste. Here are ten of the more distinctive methods of starting and growing many common fruits and vegetables. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/garden-ideas-for-small-spaces">Garden&nbsp;Ideas for Small&nbsp;Spaces</a>)</p> <h2>Starting Seeds</h2> <p>If you opt out of garden plants that have gotten their start at a commercial greenhouse, you&rsquo;ll likely need to start ahead. Seeds can easily be started with commercial kits and pots, but these savvy strategies work well too!</p> <p><strong>Bottles, Jugs, and Tubs</strong></p> <p>Some gardeners swear that they get great results from growing their seeds in whatever containers they can find around the house. This includes the bottom half of milk jugs, old margarine containers, and salad bar quart containers. Just be certain that whatever you use is clean and can provide proper drainage.</p> <p><strong>Egg Shells</strong></p> <p>After you&rsquo;ve cracked a few for your omelet, rinse out the shells and set them carefully aside to start your next tomato plant. These <a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/Eggshell-Seed-Starters/">tiny little containers</a> are all-natural, which means you can place them directly into the soil after your little seed has sprouted, minimizing trauma to the roots and allowing the shell to become a natural compost ingredient for the tiny guy. Plus, slugs hate eggshells! Note that it&rsquo;s best to crack just the top of the shell &mdash; the pointy end &mdash; and break it away when using the egg. This leaves more of the bottom portion intact to hug the soil.</p> <p><strong>Egg Cartons</strong></p> <p>The amazing egg is good for a few garden tricks; the humble egg carton (the paper, not foam kind) can be transformed into a planting center for all kinds of vegetable seeds. Use two layers of egg cartons to create a sturdier surface; constant watering can wreak havoc on the cartons over time. Since they are not waterproof, you&rsquo;ll want to lay down a sheet of plastic wrap or an old tarp to catch moisture that leaks through. <a href="http://www.lillepunkin.com/2012/04/update-seeds-of-change-have-sprouted.html">Egg carton seed starters</a> can also be placed directly in the soil come time for the transplant.</p> <h2>Container Gardening</h2> <p>Now that your seeds have become plants (or if you skipped this step and purchased your plants outright), you&rsquo;re ready to give your greens a permanent home! Here are some unique containers to hold the soil and your new plant.</p> <p><strong>Tires</strong></p> <p>We have used others&rsquo; trash as a way of creating raised tire beds for years. Stacking tires, filling them halfway with dirt, and planting your tomato or pepper directly into the center will not only offer it protection from wind, it will also keep the soil warm and help plants to bear fruit far sooner than a typical container. If you are concerned about tires &ldquo;leaching&rdquo; chemicals into the soil, check out our <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-uses-for-those-old-whitewalls">recycled tire tips</a> for making sure they stay safe.</p> <p><strong>Barrels</strong></p> <p>Root plants love staying hidden under the soil, and using old barrels as both a way to grow and cold-store potatoes and other tubers is economical and eco-friendly. This article from GreenUpGrader shows you how to literally <a href="http://greenupgrader.com/11708/4-simple-steps-to-grow-a-hundred-pounds-of-potatoes-in-a-barrel/">grow hundreds of pounds of potatoes in one barrel</a>, giving even urban dwellers a chance at the taste of fresh fingerlings this year.</p> <p><strong>Dresser Drawers</strong></p> <p>Inspired by these <a href="http://webecoist.momtastic.com/2010/03/17/good-things-in-small-boxes-urban-garden-tiny-footprint/">stair-step commercial planters</a>, many DIY&rsquo;ers are fashioning their own multi-level <a href="http://www.organicauthority.com/organic-gardening/use-old-dresser-drawers-to-plant-a-container-garden.html">gardens using old dresser drawers</a>. You will want to be certain that the dresser you plunder from isn&rsquo;t covered in lead paint and is made from genuine wood (not particle board); make sure that you drill holes in the bottom for proper water drainage and set up a slightly elevated surface as well. You can arrange your drawers in any way you can imagine!</p> <p><strong>Shoe Organizers</strong></p> <p>This idea for an herb garden <a href="http://greenupgrader.com/8460/diy-vertical-herb-garden-with-a-shoe-organizer/">planted in a canvas shoe holder</a> is amazing! I can imagine doing this for flowers as well. (Leave one or two pockets empty for a convenient place to hold your gloves and tools.)</p> <p><strong>Wheelbarrows</strong></p> <p>Not only are these one-wheeled utility carts whimsical to look at, they can make a back-breaking job quite easy.&nbsp; Grab an old wheelbarrow with a fresh coat of paint to match your decor, and then use it as your garden &ldquo;container.&rdquo; Moving your plants into better light, away from damaging winds or storms, or even closer to water simply involves picking it up and pushing it along.</p> <p><strong>Old Shoes</strong></p> <p>Unless you wear a size 20, this one won&rsquo;t work for larger veggies. Planting one or two herbs or a sweet, small annual, however, would work perfectly in an <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-case-for-expensive-shoes">old pair of boots</a>. One blogger decided to <a href="http://www.frugalgardening.com/container-gardening-with-a-twist.html">create a memorial for her father</a> using his last pair of shoes and a delicate floral.</p> <p><strong>Toilets</strong></p> <p>This is one you either love or hate, but there are dozens of photos online and on <a href="http://pinterest.com/pin/29273466298095967/">Pinterest</a> showing this theme in action. Perhaps we can agree to use it for decorative plants only?</p> <p>As you can see, gardens can take most any shape and size.&nbsp;</p> <p><em>What unusual planting ideas have you seen? What are your favorite tricks you can share with the readers?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-unique-garden-containers-and-techniques">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-money-recycling">Make Money Recycling: Get Paid to Recycle by 15 Websites</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-rid-of-your-old-electronics">How to Get Rid of Your Old Electronics</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-save-cash-by-purging-your-place-of-plastics">10 Ways to Save Cash by Purging Your Place of Plastics</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dumpster-diving-101-6-strategies-for-success">Dumpster-Diving 101: 6 Strategies for Success</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-to-cut-down-on-garbage-and-save-money-too">12 Ways to Cut Down on Garbage and Save Money Too!</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living containers garden ideas recycling Wed, 25 Apr 2012 10:24:07 +0000 Linsey Knerl 924187 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Futuristic Business Opportunities http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/5-futuristic-business-opportunities <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/articles/5-futuristic-business-opportunities" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/articles/5-futuristic-business-opportunities</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/5-futuristic-business-opportunities" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000018513238Small.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="190" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Keeping up with trends is crucial for any business that wants to succeed in today&rsquo;s rapidly changing world. In fact, there are <a href="http://trendwatching.com/" target="_blank">firms that make it their business to research trends</a>, provide insights, and <a href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/innovation/article/8-great-business-ideas-you-can-start-today-1" target="_blank">suggest business opportunities</a>. Based on their prognostications, here are five hot opportunities for 2012.</p> <p><b>1. DIY Health</b></p> <p>According to <a href="http://mobihealthnews.com/" target="_blank">MobiHealthNews</a>, by the middle of next year there will be 13,000 mobile apps devoted to preventing health problems and monitoring or improving health. <a href="http://www.technavio.com/" target="_blank">Technavio</a> predicts the market will reach $4.1 billion by 2014.</p> <p>I recently downloaded a free app by Philips called <a href="http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/vital-signs-camera-philips/" target="_blank">Vital Signs Camera</a>. Using my iPad&rsquo;s built-in camera, the app measures my heart rate and breathing by just watching small changes in the color of my face and chest movements. I showed it to my cardiologist&mdash;the department head at one of the best known hospitals on the West Coast&mdash;and even he was amazed.</p> <p>How does a free app help Philips? Bet you didn&rsquo;t know they sell medical electronics. Now you do.</p> <p><b>2. Cashless Shopping</b></p> <p>You probably already know that you can use your iPhone to pay for that <i>venti</i> <i>latte</i> at Starbucks or buy a great new accessory at the Apple store, but that&rsquo;s just the beginning of cashless shopping. In 2012 Google and MasterCard will roll out not just a new way to pay, but a new way for businesses to offer deals, track purchases, and provide rewards.</p> <p><a href="http://www.google.com/wallet/" target="_blank">Google Wallet</a> went live in October for customers with Android phones. The system is based on MasterCard&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.mastercard.us/paypass.html%23/home/" target="_blank">PayPass</a> and Tap &amp; Go technologies that allow you to simply tap a special terminal to pay. It&rsquo;s only available from a few merchants so far, but it&rsquo;s clearly the way to pay in the future.</p> <p>In a previous incarnation, my wife (also an <a href="http://www.openforum.com/search/text/?searchstring=lister" target="_blank">OPENforum contributor</a>) and I ran a &ldquo;flightseeing&rdquo; business. We would have paid just about anything to have a simple way to charge someone&rsquo;s credit card while we were standing on the tarmac at an airport. We sold the business six years ago, but if we still had it today, we&rsquo;d definitely be using a <a href="https://squareup.com/" target="_blank">Square</a>&mdash;a simple little (square) device that plugs into an Apple or Android phone. With it you can swipe anyone&rsquo;s card, verify their credit, charge them, and pay one simple rate (2.75 percent). That&rsquo;s a bit higher than some traditional merchant accounts, but if convenience is what you&rsquo;re after, it&rsquo;s well worth it.</p> <p><b>3. See Do</b></p> <p>Ubiquitous smart phones are opening entirely new business opportunities. As a nerd, one that fascinates me revolves around <a href="http://www.google.com/mobile/goggles/" target="_blank">Google Goggles</a>.</p> <p>Goggles lets me take a picture of something (a book cover, a landmark, a logo, an artwork, etc.) and Google will search for information about it. Google Goggles will even translate text, such as, say Chinese road signs.</p> <p>Yesterday my wife and I visited the San Diego Museum of Art. Google&rsquo;s app and all the Internet's information resources made for a very rich experience.</p> <p>Afterwards we went to the annual <a href="http://sosorgan.com/" target="_blank">Spreckels Organ</a> Christmas concert and used <a href="http://www.shazam.com/" target="_blank">Shazam</a> music recognition software to find details on the composer of one of the compositions, and ordered a CD so we could hear more of his music.</p> <p>Other examples of &ldquo;See Do&rdquo; abound. Ralph Lauren is using scannable <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QR_code" target="_blank">QR codes</a>, such as the one that accompanies this article, to give away US Open tennis tickets and help customers buy products from their website. John Fluevog, a Canadian designer of handmade shoes, molds a QR code into the sole of his clogs that points to a video showing how they are made. The possibilities are endless.</p> <p><b>4. Trading In</b></p> <p>Green is good, no news there. But some companies are not only encouraging customers to return old products, they&rsquo;re using them to do create something new.</p> <p><a href="http://www.patagonia.com/us/common-threads/" target="_blank">Patagonia</a> has taken back 45 tons of old clothes and turned them into 34 tons of new clothes, for example. Nike has recycled 25 million worn out shoes by grinding them up and turning them into material to surface playgrounds. <a href="http://target.nextworth.com/" target="_blank">Target</a>, <a href="http://www.officedepot.com/a/promo/pages/0328_tradeintradeup/%20;jsessionid=0000F3h4lkaq9XJ8BPQk-iNx7zp:13ddq0ud1" target="_blank">Office Depot</a>, <a href="http://walmart.gazelle.com/" target="_blank">Walmart</a>, <a href="http://radioshack.cexchange.com/online/home/index.rails" target="_blank">RadioShack</a> and <a href="http://www.bestbuy.co.uk/trade-in.aspx" target="_blank">Best Buy</a> have jumped on the trade-in wagon too.</p> <p>A business opportunity worth pondering, especially in this economic environment, is how to encourage your customers to consider the trade or resale value of your products when they make a purchase decision. We just sold a two-year old iPhone that cost us $200 for $150. And we sold our almost four year old iMacs that cost us about $1500 for $800.</p> <p>Your customers want the latest and greatest, they want to be savvy and responsible, and they want creative ways to save money. Think about ways to help them return their old products, learn more about what you have, and do more with less.</p> <p><b>5. Simple Sourcing</b></p> <p>Crowd sourcing allows people to be part of something big&mdash;think Wikipedia&mdash;and the idea offers oodles of business opportunities. Think of it this way: people will work for you for free if you make it easy for them.</p> <p>People in Boston are using an Android app called <a href="http://www.newurbanmechanics.org/bump/" target="_blank">Street Bump</a> that uses smart phone sensors to report potholes.</p> <p>Make it easy for your customers and they&rsquo;ll tell you what they like (and dislike) about your products. Photographers will give you images free through <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/" target="_blank">Creative Commons licensing</a> or almost free through <a href="http://www.istockphoto.com/" target="_blank">iStockPhoto</a>. Musicians will create <a href="http://creativecommons.org/music-communities" target="_blank">tracks and whole songs</a> you can license for free. The opportunities are endless.</p> <p><b>Just Do It</b></p> <p>No, this isn&rsquo;t another business opportunity, <i>per se</i>. It&rsquo;s my way of encouraging you use these five ideas to shape your vision of what your company can do. Use them to develop new products or services or even whole new businesses.</p> <p>I&rsquo;d love to start a dialogue in the comments section about other opportunities you see, or obstacles you feel will make it hard to use these ideas. In other words, let&rsquo;s put Simple Sourcing to the test.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tom-harnish">Tom Harnish</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/5-futuristic-business-opportunities">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/new-isnt-always-better-12-used-things-to-love">New Isn&#039;t Always Better: 12 Used Things to Love</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-money-recycling">Make Money Recycling: Get Paid to Recycle by 15 Websites</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-rid-of-your-old-electronics">How to Get Rid of Your Old Electronics</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-all-successful-freelancers-do">10 Things All Successful Freelancers Do</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Small Business Resource Center business opportunities goggles green business recycling simple sourcing small business trends Mon, 26 Dec 2011 23:48:16 +0000 Tom Harnish 835749 at http://www.wisebread.com Cash for Trash: Making Money Recycling http://www.wisebread.com/cash-for-trash-making-money-recycling <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/cash-for-trash-making-money-recycling" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/recycling_day_0.jpg" alt="Recycling bins in the street" title="Recycling bins in the street" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="136" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Want to &ldquo;go green&rdquo; and make some money while you're at it? It's possible. You won't exactly get rich doing it, but I certainly wouldn't say no to making some extra cash &mdash; especially for recycling, which is kind to the environment. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-easy-ways-to-be-nicer-to-the-environment-and-your-wallet">10 Easy Ways to Be Nicer to the Environment &mdash; and Your Wallet</a>)</p> <p>A while back, Elizabeth put together a list of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-money-recycling">ways to make money recycling</a>, which outlines some websites that will pay you to recycle various items from electronics to ink cartridges to cardboard boxes to golf balls. Here are more websites, businesses, and programs that pay you for recycling a variety of goods that you can't otherwise recycle yourself. It's a win-win situation; your stuff stays out of landfills, <em>and</em> you get paid to recycle it.</p> <p>Most (if not all) of the online companies will pay for your shipping expenses by either emailing you a pre-paid shipping label to print, or by sending you an addressed box in which to ship your recyclables. Many also have charitable status and will issue you a tax-deductible receipt instead of a cash payment.</p> <h2>Cell Phones</h2> <p>Cell phone recycling led the way in the now burgeoning industry of getting paid to recycle. Most of these companies will refurbish your phone and redistribute it by selling or donating it to non-profit organizations or consumers (local or overseas). Some will require your charger or other accessories, while others don't.</p> <p>Some companies will even pay you for a cell phone that doesn't work any more, but if they don't, they usually still pay for shipping and accept broken phones to recycle them responsibly.</p> <p>There doesn't seem to be a standard rate for any make or model of phone, so do a little comparison shopping to get the most for your recyclables.</p> <h4>Sell iPhone for Cash</h4> <p>A Wise Bread reader recommended <a href="http://www.selliphoneforcash.com">Sell iPhone for Cash</a>. List the model of your iPhone and what condition it's in (including whether you have power cords or other accessories), and they'll give you a free shipping sticker and a box too, if you want one. They send a check within 30 days.</p> <h4>Pace Butler</h4> <p><a href="http://www.pacebutler.com/" target="_blank">Pace Butler</a> has been around forever and will quickly send you a check for your phone (within four days of receipt and inspection).</p> <h4>Simply Sellular</h4> <p>Your phone must be in working condition. <a href="http://www.simplysellular.com/" target="_blank">Simply Sellular</a> will pay within 45 days of receipt and inspection of your phone.</p> <h4>iBuyPhones</h4> <p><a href="http://www.ibuyphones.com/">iBuyPhones</a> plants a tree if you donate your phone instead of requesting payment or if your phone is damaged and can't be refurbished. This doesn't exactly line your pockets, but you can rest assured that your phone is being responsibly recycled, <em>and</em> there's a tree out there with your name on it.</p> <h4>FlipSwap</h4> <p><a href="http://www.flipswap.com">FlipSwap</a> will also plant a tree if your phone isn't in working condition. If the phone works, they'll send you a check (checks are issued twice per month). FlipSwap has also collaborated with Recycle Bank (see below).</p> <h2>Other Electronics</h2> <p>Cell phones are just the start. What about recycling the other electronics we have that we can't dispose of in an environmentally friendly way on our own? Similar to cell phones, your device usually needs to be working for you to get paid; if not they'll still pay for shipping and will recycle it responsibly.</p> <h4>Electronics for Cash</h4> <p><a href="http://www.electronicsforcash.com">Electronics for Cash</a> recycles Mp3 players, video game systems, digital cameras, computer monitors, HDTV screens, laptops, GPS devices, and phones.</p> <h4>My Laptop Broke</h4> <p>Wise Bread readers have had good fortune with <a href="http://www.mylaptopbroke.com">My Laptop Broke</a>. List your laptop (they're looking for any make and model, and don't care if it's broken), get a quote, then they'll send you a self-addressed stamped box. Send your laptop to them, and they'll pay you via PayPal or check. The overall process takes 2-3 weeks.</p> <h2>Furniture, Clothing, and Sporting Goods</h2> <p>In another article, I outline a few ways to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-recycle-your-clothes-shoes-electronics-and-more">recycle your clothes and shoes (and more!)</a>. But don't forget about your local consignment shop if you want to make some extra cash. Your wardrobe or garage full of unused sports equipment might be useless to you, but it could be treasure to somebody else. In a consignment shop, you set the asking price, and when the item sells, the shop takes a commission and gives you the rest.</p> <h2>Curbside Items: Recyclebank</h2> <p><a href="http://www.recyclebank.com/">Recyclebank</a> is in a category all its own because it's quite a comprehensive rewards program for recycling and adopting other environmentally friendly habits (and it looks like fun too!). You get reward points for doing a variety of &ldquo;green&rdquo; things such as switching from bottled water or bringing a reusable coffee mug from home when you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-coffee-cup-revolution-lets-take-a-stand">buy coffee</a>.</p> <p>I also really like their Home Recycling program; you receive a special recycling cart (no sorting required), and your recyclables are picked up by their special carriers. You are rewarded points by weight of how much you recycle. Recyclebank points are convertible into gift certificates for a number of retailers and restaurants. So while you don't get paid in cash, you can subsidize some of your normal expenses with the certificates (or even treat yourself to something nice as a reward for your hard work).</p> <h2>Bottles, Cans, and More</h2> <p>One crafty Wise Bread reader mentioned that they get paid for taking soda cans to a local recycling center, and they are paid based on weight and the current price of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/another-36-uses-for-tin-foil">aluminum</a>. You can also do this with bottles, scrap metal, and a variety of other things.</p> <p><a href="http://earth911.com/">Earth911.com</a> is a comprehensive resource for recycling all sorts of things from bottles and cans to electronics to paint, hazardous materials, and more. Some centers will pay for your recyclables, while others simply promise to take materials off your hands to dispose of them responsibly. You can easily search for recycling centers near you with this site.</p> <p><em>Do you get paid to recycle? If so, how?</em>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cash-for-trash-making-money-recycling">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-money-recycling">Make Money Recycling: Get Paid to Recycle by 15 Websites</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-rid-of-your-old-electronics">How to Get Rid of Your Old Electronics</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-save-cash-by-purging-your-place-of-plastics">10 Ways to Save Cash by Purging Your Place of Plastics</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dumpster-diving-101-6-strategies-for-success">Dumpster-Diving 101: 6 Strategies for Success</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/from-dumpster-diving-to-garage-sales-turning-trash-into-cash">From Dumpster Diving to Garage Sales, Turning Trash Into Cash</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Extra Income Green Living electronics green websites recycling Tue, 22 Nov 2011 11:24:38 +0000 Nora Dunn 791968 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Paths to a Greener Back-to-School Season http://www.wisebread.com/6-paths-to-a-greener-back-to-school-season <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-paths-to-a-greener-back-to-school-season" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/schoolkids2.jpg" alt="Schoolkids" title="Schoolkids" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Adding an eco-friendly focus to the back-to-school season can be a great way to teach kids about sustainability, and parents don't have to part with a bunch of green in order to be green. The key is finding simple, cost-effective ways to introduce environmentally conscious approaches and items. Here are a few options to consider. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-go-green-and-save-money-at-the-same-time" title="10 Ways to Go Green and Save Money at the Same Time">10 Ways to Go Green and Save Money at the Same Time</a>)</p> <h2>1. Scrounge for Leftovers</h2> <p>Just because a binder or folder got used last year doesn't mean it's out of commission. Check your household inventory and make use of what's left. You may be surprised to find some unopened packs of pens, pencils, or paper. Also, put those excess rulers, calculators, and pharmaceutical pens to good use. After taking stock of what you already have, you'll be able to make a list of anything you still need.</p> <h2>2. Check the Closet</h2> <p>Go through the closet with your kids and make two piles: what fits and what doesn't fit. If you know other parents, try to organize a clothing swap. Otherwise, donate the stuff that doesn't fit. Don't feel obligated to buy brand new clothing, either. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/to-buy-or-not-to-buy-criteria-for-thrift-store-clothes-shopping" title="thrift store clothes shopping">Thrift stores</a> and garage sales always have a bundle of gently used, fashionable clothes. This goes for students of all ages.</p> <h2>3. Buy Recycled</h2> <p>It's become easier to purchase recycled school supplies, backpacks, and clothing, even from big box stores. Recycled and chlorine-free paper notebooks are a favorite. You can also purchase pencils made from recycled wood, which ensures new trees aren't felled. Natural fiber backpacks have become more popular. Some retailers, like REI, have rolled out entire clothing and supply lines with an environmental bent. It won't be long before <a href="http://www.grassrootsstore.com/5_Corn_Plastic_Scissors_p/15219.htm" title="corn plastic scissors">corn-plastic scissors</a> are all the rage.</p> <h2>4. Buy Reusable</h2> <p>Paper products clog landfills nationwide, comprising about 40% of all waste. Getting a sturdy, insulated reusable lunch box or lunch bag can help curb the problem and eliminate the need for paper bags every week. Consider going a step further and giving your child a set of cheap silverware and a cloth napkin. You can also pick up a BPA-free <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-eco-friendly-water-bottles" title="The Best Eco-Friendly Water Bottles">water bottle</a> and cut down on the need for water bottles, non-recycled milk cartons, and trips to the school water fountain.</p> <h2>5. Opt for E-Books</h2> <p>It isn't always possible, but opt for an electronic version of a book when you can. Some textbook publishers are beginning to beef up their e-books, although college students are still at the mercy of their professors.</p> <h2>6. Transportation</h2> <p>Walking or biking to school, so long as it's a safe option, can have a significant impact on sustainability. But taking the school bus is certainly preferred over a solo trip to drop off a child at school.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chris-birk">Chris Birk</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-paths-to-a-greener-back-to-school-season">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-11"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-to-cut-down-on-garbage-and-save-money-too">12 Ways to Cut Down on Garbage and Save Money Too!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-on-school-supplies-without-going-crazy">How to Save on School Supplies Without Going Crazy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wise-bread-reloaded-back-to-back-to-school">Wise Bread Reloaded: Back to Back to School</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/its-not-too-late-to-save-on-back-to-school-shopping">It&#039;s Not Too Late to Save on Back-to-School Shopping</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/packing-it-in-the-independent-of-london-issues-a-challenge">Packing it in - The Independent of London issues a challenge</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Green Living Shopping back to school recycling reusable school supplies Mon, 22 Aug 2011 09:48:15 +0000 Chris Birk 666833 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Helpful (and Weird) Uses for Hair and Excess Pet Fur http://www.wisebread.com/9-helpful-and-weird-uses-for-hair-and-excess-pet-fur <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-helpful-and-weird-uses-for-hair-and-excess-pet-fur" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/hair_cut.jpg" alt="Haircut" title="Haircut" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="180" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are several things &mdash; from plastic bags to old clothes &mdash; that I make a regular effort to reuse. Plastic bags mean no need to buy expensive bubble wrap. Clothes too stained to keep wearing make great cleaning rags.</p> <p>But there are some things that I've never thought about recycling, like hair. And especially not those great fluffy tufts of fur that come from brushing cats and dogs. But, of course, there are clever folks out there who have thought of a use for everything...even if some of the uses aren't all that pleasant. Read on to find ways to recycle, upcycle, and reuse hair and fur.&nbsp;(See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-sell-your-hair-for-cash">How to Sell Your Hair for Cash</a>)</p> <h2>1. Wig Making</h2> <p>The most realistic wigs are made out of, well, real hair. <a href="http://www.locksoflove.org/">Locks of Love</a> is perhaps the most well-known organization to take human hair and turn it into wigs (for &quot;financially disadvantaged children...suffering from long-term medical hair loss&quot;). Similar organizations include <a href="http://www.wigsforkids.org/financial-donations">Wigs for Kids</a> and Pantene's <a href="http://www.pantene.com/en-us/beautiful-lengths-cause/pages/default.aspx">Beautiful Lengths</a>.</p> <h2>2. Crafting</h2> <p>There is an entire book dedicated to <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Crafting-Cat-Hair-Kaori-Tsutaya/dp/1594745250">crafting with cat hair</a>. Have a different furry friend? Maybe you'd prefer to <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Knitting-Dog-Hair-Better-Sweater/dp/0312152906/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;s=books&amp;qid=1308262718&amp;sr=8-1">knit with dog hair</a>.</p> <h2>3. Making Yarn</h2> <p>This is a subset of crafting, but it's worth it's own mention &mdash; there is a company that will take your dog or cat fur and <a href="http://www.vipfibers.com/">spin it into yarn</a>.</p> <h2>4. Cleaning Up Oil Spills</h2> <p>Human hair &mdash; as well as animal fur and feathers &mdash; is great at soaking up oil, plus its biodegradable. Nonprofit organization <a href="http://www.matteroftrust.org">Matter of Trust</a> has, in the past, set up collections of hair during oil spill crises to help with clean-up efforts.</p> <h2>5. Gardening</h2> <p>Human hair clippings can be added to your compost pile. Some also claim that many garden pests dislike the smell of human hair, and sprinkling hair clippings around your garden can help keep those nosy critters out.</p> <h2>6. Solar Power</h2> <p>A boy in Nepal invented a solar panel that, according to <a href="http://gizmodo.com/5355137/forget-silicon-this-teenagers-solar-panel-uses-human-hair-as-a-conductor">Gizmodo</a>, &quot;uses human hair as a conductor.&quot;</p> <h2>7. Tying Flies</h2> <p>Several fly fishing forums and blogs extol the benefits of using dog hair or fur to tie flies. One fly tying site even sells <a href="http://www.deschutesangler.com/Fly+Tying/Hair+and+Fur/Temple+Dog">dog fur</a>.</p> <h2>8. Jewelry</h2> <p>The Victorians fashioned elaborate jewelry out of human hair, often to help remember a loved one. You can see some examples on the <a href="http://www.hairworksociety.org/">Victorian Hairwork Society website</a>.</p> <h2><span style="font-weight: bold;">9.</span> Screwing With Junk&nbsp;Mail Companies (and More)</h2> <p>Finally, I leave you with this not-so-serious (and occasionally, a little gross) video that offers many options for recycling dog hair, including screwing with <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-remove-yourself-from-mailing-lists-and-eliminate-junk-mail">junk mail</a> senders.</p> <object width="640" height="390"> <param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/QWa3IkLZLOk&amp;hl=en_US&amp;feature=player_embedded&amp;version=3" /> <param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /> <param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always" /><embed width="640" height="390" src="http://www.youtube.com/v/QWa3IkLZLOk&amp;hl=en_US&amp;feature=player_embedded&amp;version=3" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always"></embed></object><p><a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QWa3IkLZLOk&amp;feature=player_embedded">Watch video</a></p> <p><em>Do you know of any good (or weird!) uses for human hair or pet fur? Share them in the comments.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/meg-favreau">Meg Favreau</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-helpful-and-weird-uses-for-hair-and-excess-pet-fur">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-12"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-ultimate-green-workout">The Ultimate &quot;Green&quot; Workout</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-wonderful-uses-for-witch-hazel">15 Wonderful Uses for Witch Hazel</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-cheap-and-easy-homemade-mosquito-repellents">4 Cheap and Easy Homemade Mosquito Repellents</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-sell-your-hair-for-cash">How to Sell Your Hair for Cash</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-hair-conditioners-you-can-make-at-home">5 Hair Conditioners You Can Make at Home</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living Health and Beauty gardening hair pets recycling Fri, 17 Jun 2011 10:24:06 +0000 Meg Favreau 583933 at http://www.wisebread.com Surprising Items That Criminal Recyclers Are After http://www.wisebread.com/surprising-items-that-criminal-recyclers-are-after <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/surprising-items-that-criminal-recyclers-are-after" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/bleachers.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Tough economic times can breed innovation. For some, innovation comes in the form of novel sources of work. For others, it comes in the form of novel theft. The booming industry of criminal recycling is an example of the latter. Hardcore and unethical recyclers strip homes, boats, cars, and constructions sites of every conceivable item of value. The carcasses they leave behind are a testament to their creativity and desperation.</p> <p>For the sake of awareness and prevention, let&rsquo;s take a look at some of the more unique items that are on the shopping lists of criminal recyclers and resellers.</p> <h2>Catalytic Converters</h2> <p>Since 1975, every vehicle produced in the US has a catalytic converter as part of its exhaust system. This device minimizes air pollution by funneling hot exhaust into a converter that partially neutralizes toxic gases through a complex chemical reaction. Rhodium is the primary precious metal inside the converter that allows the chemical reaction to take place. The price of Rhodium has varied widely the past few years &mdash; from a high of $10,000 per ounce in 2008 to about $2,300 today. Converters are either sold for scrap metal or as replacement parts in other vehicles.</p> <p>Trucks and SUVs are particularly attractive to thieves because they are set higher off the ground and provide easier access to the goodies. Help prevent the theft of your converter by spot-welding it to the exhaust system (rather than just bolting it), or securing it with welded bars attached to the frame of your vehicle.</p> <h2>Military Headstones</h2> <p>It takes a particularly cold heart to disturb a graveyard, but metal grave markers are next on our list. Older military headstone plates are made of bronze and are sold for scrap. Remote and urban cemeteries that don&rsquo;t have regular patrols are especially susceptible to this new breed of grave robbers.</p> <h2>Boat Propellers</h2> <p>Bronze is corrosion-resistant and extremely rigid &mdash; perfect for boat propellers and just as attractive to thieves as military grave markers. Propellers are sold off by the pound as scrap.</p> <h2>Bleachers</h2> <p>Say goodbye to those classic memories of kissing under the bleachers. The aluminum that most modern bleachers are made from is dense and high-quality &mdash; a perfect product for criminal recyclers with a little patience and time. Camden, New Jersey, learned this the hard way in 2010: <a href="http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Bleachers-Stolen-From-Camden-Football-Field-103655459.html">Thieves disassembled a set of 12-foot long bleachers</a> at a local football stadium in a single night.</p> <h2>Solar Panels</h2> <p>With a booming interest in green energy and more portable solar technology, the market is expanding for cheap solar panels and thieves are there to fill the orders. Panels are stolen right off rooftops at night or while homeowners are away. The goods are sold on Craigslist or eBay at cut rates.</p> <p>Methods of thwarting solar panel theft are just in their infancy. Some homeowners are installing surveillance equipment, painting the frames of the panels with a bright, easily identifiable color, or installing the panels with custom screwheads that are more difficult to remove.</p> <p>We can&rsquo;t completely protect items that aren&rsquo;t bolted down, locked up, or under 24-hour surveillance. Recycling centers are working with law enforcement to disrupt the stream of stolen recyclables, but it&rsquo;s nearly impossible to know the source and legality of all the goods that come in. As criminal recyclers get bolder and bolder, perhaps local awareness will increase and some of the more preventable losses will subside. Meanwhile, hold on to your wallet and nail down anything that moves.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/surprising-items-that-criminal-recyclers-are-after">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-13"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-wonderful-uses-for-witch-hazel">15 Wonderful Uses for Witch Hazel</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-money-recycling">Make Money Recycling: Get Paid to Recycle by 15 Websites</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-rid-of-your-old-electronics">How to Get Rid of Your Old Electronics</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-baking-soda-took-my-bathroom-from-yuck-to-yes">How Baking Soda Took My Bathroom from “Yuck” to Yes!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-save-cash-by-purging-your-place-of-plastics">10 Ways to Save Cash by Purging Your Place of Plastics</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips Green Living criminal recycling theft Mon, 11 Apr 2011 10:36:13 +0000 Kentin Waits 521052 at http://www.wisebread.com Should We Pay $2 Per Pound for Garbage Disposal? http://www.wisebread.com/should-we-pay-2-per-pound-for-garbage-disposal <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/should-we-pay-2-per-pound-for-garbage-disposal" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/trash_collection.jpg" alt="Garbage truck" title="Garbage truck" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In many European countries, including Germany, throwing away garbage is a costly affair. Whether it&rsquo;s based on weight, volume, or some other system, it&rsquo;s a way to cut down on the physical amount that people throw away. And I have to wonder, should we implement something like that here in America?</p> <p>As someone who loves savings, the idea of charging by the pound for garbage collection is scary to say the least. But that&rsquo;s because, right now at least, I&rsquo;m quite lax when it comes to the things I throw away.</p> <p>We do not compost in my family. We should, but it&rsquo;s just something we never got around to doing. We recycle when we can, but we haven&rsquo;t set up a regular collection yet (shame on us, I know; space is an issue right now though). I recycle paper and cardboard at work. At home, not so much. All in all, I&rsquo;d get a definite FAIL in the good garbage SATs. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-money-recycling">Make Money Recycling</a>)</p> <p>Sadly, most of the people I know would fail as well. And that&rsquo;s simply because people don&rsquo;t want to go to the time and trouble of sorting out different piles of garbage, having five different trash cans in the garage, tying up newspaper with twine, and so on. It&rsquo;s a hassle.</p> <h3>Fees, the Great Deterrent</h3> <p>Apply a significant fee to the cost of hauling away your garbage, on top of the one you already pay for the trash removal service, and you may think twice before dumping everything in the bin. I know I would.</p> <p>So how would it work? Weighing scales? Measuring sticks? Special bags or containers?</p> <p>Well, on the website <a href="http://www.reddit.com/r/todayilearned/comments/g8wu2/til_that_in_germany_the_city_weighs_your_garbage/">Reddit</a>, a user called <a href="http://www.reddit.com/user/Nachteule">Nachteule</a> breaks down one such service that&rsquo;s employed in Germany. It basically uses different colored trash barrels for different kinds of trash. Here&rsquo;s how Nachteule describes it:</p> <blockquote><ul> <li>The Braune Tonne/Biotonne (brown trash barrel) for compost</li> <li>The Blaue Tonne/Papiertonne (blue trash barrel) for paper and cardboard</li> <li>The Gelbe Tonne/Gelber Sack (yellow trash sack/barrel) for plastic packaging</li> <li>The Graue Tonne/Restmüll (grey trash barrel) for trash that can't be recycled (for example a broken small electrics like a watch or a toaster, cold ashes, broken ceramics...)</li> </ul> <p>There is also a public service that will get old clothes that are still wearable to support homeless persons and January there is also the &quot;Weihnachtbaumabholung&quot; &mdash; that's the day they will collect your old Christmas tree for free.</p> </blockquote> <p>Each trash barrel has a fee based on the size and color. For instance, the grey 16-gallon trash barrel, for unusable garbage, costs around $140/year. Other systems in Germany weigh the garbage, charging by the kilogram ($4/kg, or roughly $2/lb).</p> <h3>It&rsquo;s Working Over There. Would It Work Here?</h3> <p>The net result of all these measures is that in Germany (and Europe) people are way more reluctant to just throw their waste into a big pile for the garbage collector. Everything is sorted, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-recycling-is-my-lowest-priority">recycled</a>, composted, and donated, so that only a very small pile of garbage is left out. And if we all recycled, and I mean all, then we would see less waste, experience more savings, and help our planet. Sounds good to me.</p> <p>In fact, I talked to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/meg-favreau">Meg Favreau</a>, Wise Bread's Senior Editor, about a <a href="http://www.ci.ithaca.ny.us/index.asp?Type=B_BASIC&amp;SEC={47765127-999E-4E7E-882F-D7A7D8665499}&amp;DE={FE699DAF-AD3E-4D7A-86B3-00065A567F3F}">system already in place in Ithaca, New York.</a> Here's the basic set-up, according to the city's website:</p> <blockquote><p>A trash tag must be placed on the neck of each trash bag, or on the handle of each trash can used. A trash tag is valid for cans and/or bags weighing up to 35 pounds. If more than one bag of trash is put into a can, please make sure the total weight of the can does not exceed 35 pounds.</p> <p>Effective January 1, 2011, the price of City of trash tags will be $3.50 each. The tags are sold in a sheet of 6 for $21.00, or can be purchased individually at the City Chamberlain&rsquo;s Office only.</p> </blockquote> <p>Is Ithaca the exception to the rule? Probably, although if your town employs such a system we'd love to know about it. But to my knowledge, nothing as comprehensive as the German system is in place here in the states.</p> <p>So what do you think? Is it worth considering? Would you rather stick with the current system of throwing everything out on the curb? Or do you have an even better idea? Let us know.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-we-pay-2-per-pound-for-garbage-disposal">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-14"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-money-recycling">Make Money Recycling: Get Paid to Recycle by 15 Websites</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-rid-of-your-old-electronics">How to Get Rid of Your Old Electronics</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-save-cash-by-purging-your-place-of-plastics">10 Ways to Save Cash by Purging Your Place of Plastics</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dumpster-diving-101-6-strategies-for-success">Dumpster-Diving 101: 6 Strategies for Success</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-to-cut-down-on-garbage-and-save-money-too">12 Ways to Cut Down on Garbage and Save Money Too!</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living recycling reducing trash trash collection Thu, 24 Mar 2011 11:00:07 +0000 Paul Michael 509517 at http://www.wisebread.com Why Recycling Is My Lowest Priority http://www.wisebread.com/why-recycling-is-my-lowest-priority <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/why-recycling-is-my-lowest-priority" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/recycling.jpg" alt="Recycling" title="Recycling" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We live in a world that loves sound bites and oversimplifications. We embrace concepts that sound wonderful without much critical thought. All the noise around recycling is a classic example of what happens when an idea gets a lot of press, but in isolation doesn&rsquo;t really solve much. The larger and more inclusive mantra of &quot;reduce, reuse, and recycle&quot; is the real game-changing idea, yet we often forget about the first two &ldquo;R's&rdquo; and what they truly mean. To me, the three R&rsquo;s are in descending order of importance. Here's why. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-money-by-rekindling-the-art-of-reusing-your-stuff">Save Money by Rekindling the Art of Using Your Stuff</a>)</p> <h2>Reduce</h2> <p>For those of us who care about sustainability, good environmental stewardship, and simplicity, reduction is the primary motivator and the foundation of all the other principles. Reducing our wants and needs sets the stage for managing reuse effectively and recycling efficiently. Eliminating items from our personal orbits is the first small step in eliminating demand for them entirely.</p> <p>It's comical and only cosmetically green to continually over-buy and think that we&rsquo;re saving the earth by merely recycling the packaging of our surplus. Without reduction, restraint, and constant review, recycling is only marginally effective and provides us with a misleading sense of comfort and a hollow consolation.</p> <h2>Reuse</h2> <p>Reuse is the big brother of recycling. It involves avoiding single-use items and giving new life to objects in their original form or with only slight modifications. Recycling means destroying the original form and remanufacturing a new item from the material. Recycling is energy-intensive; reusing is creative. Reuse happens in the sewing room, garden, art studio, or workshop. Recycling happens at the curb.</p> <h2>Recycle</h2> <p>Recycling has a voracious appetite for waste &mdash; paper, aluminum, glass, and plastic are all fed into its gaping maw. Waste implies a cycle that&rsquo;s just inefficient enough to leave something behind. As a result, recycling is the last stop in the short life of a product we couldn&rsquo;t do without and couldn&rsquo;t figure out how to reuse. It's a passive, business-as-usual approach to consumption that requires the very least of us &mdash; sorting the wrappers of our spoils.</p> <p>I&rsquo;m not saying that <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-recycle-your-clothes-shoes-electronics-and-more">recycling</a> isn&rsquo;t necessary or valuable &mdash; it&rsquo;s just the lowest priority. But it continues to get top billing in a world of environmental sound bites. After all, manufacturers, retailers, and marketers can&rsquo;t quite figure out how to market the idea of &ldquo;less&rdquo; to us. Instead, they sell us designer &quot;green&quot; shopping bags, reusable mugs, colorful recycling containers, and more disposable products made with 45% post-consumer waste. What kind of revolutionary statement would we make if we just shopped less, bought less, reused more and ultimately had very little to recycle?</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-recycling-is-my-lowest-priority">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-15"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dumpster-diving-101-6-strategies-for-success">Dumpster-Diving 101: 6 Strategies for Success</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-to-cut-down-on-garbage-and-save-money-too">12 Ways to Cut Down on Garbage and Save Money Too!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-i-saved-30000-and-helped-the-earth-at-the-same-time">How I Saved $30,000 and Helped the Earth at the Same Time</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/welcome-to-container-city-how-shipping-containers-are-recycled-into-green-dwellings">Welcome to Container City - How Shipping Containers Are Recycled into Green Dwellings</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-money-recycling">Make Money Recycling: Get Paid to Recycle by 15 Websites</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living Lifestyle recycling reduce reuse recycle waste less Fri, 18 Mar 2011 11:36:10 +0000 Kentin Waits 506071 at http://www.wisebread.com