Free Stuff at Your Local Household Hazardous Waste Facility

Day 253 – Most of us are familiar with what items our local household hazardous waste facility will accept. Everything from household chemicals, such as bleach, harsh cleaning materials and drain cleaners to motor oil, gasoline and auto fluids. Most facilities will also accept electronics like computers, televisions and printers.

For a complete list of acceptable items at Chicago’s Household Hazardous Waste Facility click HERE.

Chicago’s HHW facility is located at 1150 N. North Branch Street.

During business hours, an attendant is outside, ready to help unload your vehicle and accept your materials.  Materials should not be left outside the facility unattended.  Therefore, please do not drop off any items outside of scheduled business hours:

Tuesdays 7 am – 12 pm

Thursdays 2 pm – 7 pm

The first Saturday of every month 8 am – 3 pm

Something you might not know is that there are free items at your local HHW facility. At Chicago’s HHW there are useable paints, stains and other cleaners available for free at the facility’s material exchange room. Please ask a staff person to enter the exchange room, which is open during regular hours of operation. Chicagoans are welcome to take materials without dropping off any of their own.  

So, the next time your in need of these items consider dropping by your local HHW and check out what they may have to offer for free.

Tomorrow, recycling car seats.

Medical Supplies: Donation Options

Day 252 – It’s not hard to acquire medical supplies that you end up only using for a short time. You are then faced with either storing them away, throwing them out or finding someone else that may be able to use it. Today’s post gives you a few suggestions on donating your surplus medical supplies.

MedShare

MedShare’s recovery efforts save millions of pounds of surplus medical supplies and equipment from landfills and incinerators that, for various regulatory reasons, hospitals and medical companies must discard. They accept donations of unused, unexpired medical surplus supplies and used biomedical equipment through our hospital recovery program and corporate product donations. To see the complete list of accepted items, click HERE.

MedWish

MedWish International is a not-for-profit organization that saves lives and the environment by repurposing discarded medical supplies and equipment to provide humanitarian aid to people in need. To see list of accepted items, click HERE.

Alliance for Smiles

All over the world children born with cleft lip and palate anomalies suffer physically and emotionally. They may become malnourished and are prone to ear infections and hearing loss. Often times, they experience upper-respiratory problems or speech and dental difficulties; many need multiple operations and long-term treatment.   Alliance for Smiles offers these children and families hope for a bright future. To see the complete list of accepted items, click HERE.

American Medical Resource Foundation

The American Medical Resources Foundation’s mission is to improve health care around the world by donating medical equipment and supplies to hospitals that serve the poor in underdeveloped and developing countries of the world. Click HERE for more information on what items are accepted.

Project C.U.R.E

Project C.U.R.E. is the world’s largest distributor of donated medical equipment and supplies to resource-limited communities across the globe, touching the lives of patients, families, and children in more than 135 countries. For more information on donating supplies, click HERE.

Before tossing your unwanted medical supplies, find out if someone else can use it.

Tomorrow, free stuff at HHW.

There is Trash Everywhere! Even at 29,031 feet

Day 251 – It’s a sad reality, but people continue to throw garbage to the ground and waste out car windows and into our waterways. I don’t think anyone can walk anywhere without finding trash where it doesn’t belong. Even atop Mt. Everest, there is trash.

On average, 800 people attempt to climb Mount Everest every year. With each of those climbers comes a great deal of gear and in turn a lot of waste. Over time it all piles up and this majestic mountain turns it into one large trash can.

Nepalese climbers removed 2.2 tons of garbage from Mount Everest when tourists were away due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The cleaning expedition was lead by activist and mountaineer Dawa Steven Sherpa and took 47 days to complete. The climbers braved harsh conditions and managed to clean the eight highest mountains in Nepal.

So, the next time you find trash where it doesn’t belong, think about those Nepalese climbers and what they endured to help clean the planet. It will probably make that effort of bending over to pick up that trash and place it in the nearest garbage can, not feel like a huge inconvenience.

Tomorrow, donating medical supplies.

Drones and Their Impact on Wildlife

Day 250 – I received a drone as a gift last Christmas. I have not spent much time using it. Actually, I have not spent any time. The few times it has been in the air, I have not been the one piloting the drone. I guess I’m afraid I’m going to break it. I’m also very aware of how annoying they can be. So, there’s that. I’m sure I will end up loving the little flying machine. However, making sure to use it responsibility will be my number one priority.

When I came across an article about a drone scaring birds aways from the their nesting area, it gave me yet another reason to be a responsible drone user. In a Washington Post article from June 7th, a story was shared about 1,500 to 2,000 eggs being abandoned by a flock of elegant terns. A drone crashed in the nesting area located on the nesting island at the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve in Southern California. The crash scared away the birds, who most likely mistook it for a predator. The terns never returned, leaving the eggs unviable.

This scenario is repeated countless times around the country and the world. People flying drones where drones should not be flown. One really needs to think about the potential harm a drone could cause before deciding where to fly it.

“These open spaces are a place for wildlife to rest, to breed, to forage and it’s a place where they should feel safe to raise their young and if they truly can’t do that we’re not fulfilling our mission. We need to protect these places.” – Melissa Loebl, an environmental scientist who manages the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve

Tomorrow, removing trash from Mt. Everest.

Sustainability Expo

Day 249 – A sustainability expo is coming to Morton Grove.

So, what’s a sustainability expo?

It is a gathering of like minded people, trying to conserve and protect the planet.

Go Green Illinois wants you to know:

Join the Morton Grove Environment and Natural Resources Commission at the Morton Grove Sustainability Expo. This free event is family friendly, all are welcome, and encouraged to attend.

Over 30+ vendors and exhibitors. Come learn about solar options in IL, sign up for a free energy audit, pick up a sapling to plant, design an eco-focus button, pick up some native plants, eco-friendly tools, or learn about composting, recycling, green lawn care and more!

Stop by the Go Green Morton Grove table for some free native plant seeds and enjoy a fun activity to show how your efforts to go green help us all combat climate change.

Don’t miss the electric car show!

Event will be inside and outdoors at the Morton Grove Civic Center: 6140 Dempster Street in Morton Grove. 

One can only hope that there is a sustainability expo coming to your neighborhood in the near future.

Tomorrow, drones and their impact on wildlife.

Green Circle Salons: Creating Beauty, Not Waste

Day 248Green Circle Salons is a Certified B Corporation and they offer to help salons go green.

They provide services that will help salons do the following:

  1. Recycle and repurpose up to 95% of your salon’s beauty waste including hair clippings, used foils, color tubes, excess hair color and more.
  2. 84% of salon guests care about a salon’s environmental impact. Grow your business while being an industry leader and making a difference.
  3. Get help setting up a simple revenue-building program that supports environmental sustainability as well as financial sustainability.
  4. Use additional revenue to invest in environmentally friendly technologies, which conserves energy, reduces waste, and saves you more money.

You may not think about the waste produced by hair salons, but it is substantial.

  1. 63,000 pounds of hair gets thrown away every day.
  2. Over 42,000 pounds of excess hair color, lightener and toner is thrown away every day. When rinsed down the drain, it can find its way back into our drinking water and soil.
  3. Over 110,000 pounds of used metal, including hair foils, is thrown away every day in salons in North America.
  4. Single use items – like nail files, waxing strips and cotton swabs – make up a large portion of beauty waste that ends up in our landfills.
  5. More than half the waste thrown away in salons is paper and plastic. If not properly recycled, these items clutter our landfills.

Since 2009, Green Circle Salons have been able to keep close to 8 million pounds of beauty waste from entering the landfill.

To find a salon that is putting the environment first, click HERE.

Tomorrow, a sustainability expo coming your way.

Help Save Wildlife

Day 247 – An endangered species is an animal or plant threatened with extinction. A few of the factors that may endanger a species includes overhunting or overharvesting, habitat loss, pollution and human-wildlife conflict. There are over 500 species of wildlife that are currently endangered.

Here are 10 things you can do today to help protect and preserve wildlife (shared by endangered.org)

  1. Create a backyard wildlife habitat. Put bird feeders and other wildlife attractants, such as bird houses and baths.
  2. Establish a pollinator garden with native vegetation in your yard. Native plants provide food and shelter for native wildlife. Attracting native insects like bees and butterflies can help pollinate your plants. Avoid planting invasive species. Non-native plants can overtake and destroy native species on which animals depend.
  3. Minimize use of herbicides and pesticides. Herbicides and pesticides are hazardous pollutants that can affect wildlife at many levels. Reduce use of fertilizer. Excess fertilizer will likely wash into streams and rivers and may lead to amphibian deformities and deaths.
  4. Reduce your use of water in your home and garden so that animals that live in or near water can have a better chance of survival. Don’t dump paint, oil or antifreeze or other chemicals, which pollute the water and can harm people and wildlife. Keep litter and pet waste out of the street drain, which often washes into rivers, lakes or the ocean.
  5. Place decals on windows to deter bird collisions. Millions of birds die every year because of collisions with windows. You can help reduce the number of collisions simply by placing decals on the windows in your home and office.
  6. Slow down when driving. Many animals live in developed areas and this means they must navigate a landscape full of human hazards. So when you’re out and about, slow down and keep an eye out for animals. Don’t litter because trash can attract wildlife to the roadside.
  7. Recycle and buy sustainable products. Buy recycled paper and sustainable products like Forest Stewardship Council wood products and shade-grown coffee to save rainforests.
  8. Don’t litter/otherwise destroy sensitive habitats, which may be home to native/visiting species that are endangered or threatened.
  9. Never purchase products made from endangered species like ivory, coral and tortoise shell. Buy exotic plants and animals only from reputable stores. 
  10. Learn about endangered species in your area. Teach your friends and family about the wonderful wildlife, birds, fish and plants that live near you. The first step to protecting endangered species is learning about how interesting and important they are.

On this National Wildlife Day take some time to appreciate and care for the amazing wildlife that surrounds us everyday.

Oyster Shells: Creating New Colonies

Day 246 – I have never eaten an oyster, but plenty of people enjoy the salty, slippery mollusk. However, they do so much more than offer a food source.

They play a vital role in habitat restoration with the growing understanding that oyster reefs purify the waters in which they live and create preferred habitats for commercial and recreational fish species. Oyster reefs help stabilize shorelines and mitigate some of the impacts of sea level rise while acting as a carbon sink in part by improving the water’s capacity to absorb excess atmospheric CO2.” – Oyster Recovery

So, it makes perfect sense that making sure these habitats are healthy and thriving would be a major priority. One of the ways this is being done is through discarded shells. The shells discarded by diners are being collected, cleaned and dumped into waterways around the country and the world, where they form the basis of new oyster colonies. Not only is this process benefitting ecological restoration, but it has kept 65 tons of shells out of landfills.

The oyster colonies also are being planted along coastlines as a shore stabilization and storm mitigation strategy: the bumpy underwater colonies can act as speed bumps for destructive waves headed for the shoreline, dissipating some of their energy.” – ABC News

Currently the oyster restoration and and shell recycling program are only offered in states located along the ocean shoreline. Hopefully, the program will expand across the country, where oyster shells continue finding their way to landfills.

Tomorrow, celebrating National Wildlife Day.

Green Disk: Recycling Your Techno Trash

Day 245 – Today, you can stream pretty much anything. Music, movies, TV shows, video games and anything else you can think of, are ready to go without the need for disks or tapes. So, what can we do with all that stuff that once lined the shelves of your media cabinet? There are some places that will take your old movies and CDs as a donation. There are even places that might even pay you. However, don’t expect to get rich from your collection. The need and want for these items is rapidly decreasing. As for your burned CDs or VHS tapes, no one wants those and throwing them out should not be an option.

Green Disk offers recycling services for your techno trash. Just a few of the items that Green Disk will accept, includes:

  1. CDs, CD-Rs, CD-RWs and cases
  2. DVDs and cases
  3. Blu-ray and cases
  4. 3.5″ and 5.25″ floppy disks
  5. Zip and Jazz disks
  6. VHS
  7. Audio cassette tapes
  8. DAT, DLT, Beta and Digibeta

To see the complete list of accepted items, click HERE.

Green Disk offers a variety of ways to recycle your techno trash through numerous container options. Choose the size that fits your needs.

As technology advances and we find ourselves with items that we no longer need, it is our responsibility to try to find ways to dispose of items in an environmentally friendly way. At times there is a cost, but the cost to the planet is far greater if we don’t take proper action.

Tomorrow, old oyster shells being put to good use.

Do You Recycle? Challenge

Day 244 – A new program just started in Atlanta, Georgia, to try to encourage more people to recycle.

“Atlanta’s Do You Recycle? Challenge is engaging 100 multifamily buildings citywide to provide recycling training and education to residents over the next 12 months, culminating in a public recognition event for the properties with the highest achievements in improving recycling participation and reducing the amount trash or nonrecyclables in the recycling.”recyclingpartnership.org

So why is Atlanta offering this challenge?

In the US, every year 22 million tons of household recyclables go to landfills, become litter, and pollute our waters. While packaging plays a key role in keeping products safe and transportable, it too often is discarded when it could be used again. Recycling protects resources from depletion, allows communities to manage the amount of trash they have to handle, and protects the environment by saving water and greenhouse gases.” – recyclingpartnership.org

The program is planned to run three years and hopes to include more multifamily homes. They hope their efforts will keep more recyclables out of landfills.

Live Thrive, an Atlanta-based recycling non-profit organization, will serve as the community hub for the Do You Recycle? Challenge. Last year Live Thrive’s Center for Hard to Recycle Materials (CHaRM) diverted 1370 tons of items from the landfill.

Participating properties will receive:

– Technical assistance
– Education materials
– Signage
– Public recognition
– An improved sustainability amenity

If Atlanta can prove that such a program can be successful in diverting recyclable material from to the landfill, then there is no reason why it should not be pushed out to cities around the country. Would you be ready for the challenge?

Tomorrow, an option to recycle your old CDs, DVDs and VHS tapes.