Archive for the 'Recycle' Category

kcfreecycle links for 2009-05-15

Saturday, May 16th, 2009

(more…)

How big is YOUR footprint?

Tuesday, November 14th, 2006

The following is an excerpt from the most recent edition of the World Wildlife Fund’s eNewsletter:

Human footprint too big for nature

The world’s natural ecosystems are being degraded at a rate unprecedented in human history according to WWF’s 2006 Living Planet Report. It shows that on current projections we will be using two planets’ worth of natural resources by 2050 – if those resources have not run out by then.

The Living Planet Report is WWF’s periodic update on the state of the world’s ecosystems. It describes the changing state of global biodiversity and the pressure on the biosphere arising from human consumption of natural resources.

The Living Planet Report includes information on both the “Living Planet Index” (“the health of the planet’s ecosystems”) and the “Ecological Footprint” (“the extent of human demand on these ecosystems”).

While the report is certainly grim, the good news is that there are a number of ways that we can reduce our demands on the ecosystem – that is, reduce the size of our footprints. Many of these focus on the “3 R’s”: reduce, reuse, and recycle. In addition to regifting your unwanted stuff via Freecycle, the WWF recommends sending eCards versus paper greeting cards, using rechargeable batteries, and buying products with less packaging, to name but a few examples.

You can view the WWF’s complete list, “How you can help the environment in your daily life,” here.

Also, if you’d like to calculate the size of YOUR ecological footprint, check out http://myfootprint.org.

Recycling Old Clothing & Textiles

Friday, July 14th, 2006

Used clothing is certainly a popular item on Kansas City Freecycle ™. However, some members might be at a loss when it comes to clothing that’s so stained, so ripped, so beat that they’d feel embarrassed to gift it to fellow Freecycle ™ members. Not to worry! Grist Magazine’s advice columnist Umbra tackles the issue and comes up with some helpful solutions:

I haven’t tried this, but the first idea that springs to mind is using natural fabric in the garden, either composting it or using it for mulch as one would use a burlap sack. Another idea I found on the worldwide webaroo is to call around to animal shelters to see if they could use your large rags for bedding or cleanup. […]

It seems we have been ignorant about the true nature of textile recycling in the United States. I thought, and you thought, rags were landfilled in the modern throwaway society. Nope. There are domestic and foreign markets for our discards, to be reworn by people, or used as rags, or formed into recycled-content textiles. We don’t get to these markets through our curbside recycling, but through donation sites which — on the surface — appear to take only our usable clothing. Goodwill, for instance, bales unusable clothing and sends it for recycling and reuse, which helps support their programs. Other similar organizations in your area may also do this. I recommend calling before assuming that they are prepared to take your discards, in case a local business is too small to broker them.

Your discards will either be reused by poor people in faraway countries, or shredded to fill car seats, or used as industrial-type wipes, or reworked into textiles. By the way, shredded used textile material that’s ready to be integrated into a new item is called shoddy. Almost as good as cullet!

If anything, this just goes to show that no item is beyond Freecycle ™. Before trashing your next batch of so-called garbage, try to find it a new life on Freecycle ™ – you might just be surprised!

(You can read the entire column here.)