Going Green Blog

america recycles flag for recycling organizations

So much is being done across the country to help spruce up our environment. Recycling has picked up over the past several decades and continues to build traction in every state thanks to recycling initiatives, legislation and the efforts of nonprofit organizations. According to the EPA, the national recycling rate has increased from about 10% in 1985 to about 35% in 2012. It has steadily increased year after year due to advancements in recycling technology, and the realization that recycling has a major economic impact. Oh…not to mention the huge environmental benefit!
Eco-friendly, sustainable city graphic

LEED isn’t just for tree hugging hippies. Everyone benefits. It’s a set of standards designed to boost green building practices. It helps preserve the environment and also has a positive impact on the economy. A Brief Overview of LEED Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) in 2001. Today any building can become LEED certified as long as it meets the standards set forth by the USGBC. The LEED rating system is on a scale between 0 and 125. A higher score is better. The minimum score for LEED certification is 40. Other levels of certification are as follows:
Sewer - man hole cover

To the average person, the idea of sewage is best left out of sight, out of mind. Applied CleanTech, an Israeli startup focused on recycling raw wastewater into reusable materials, is making sewer water seem sweet. They’ve developed an efficient way to recycle the waste product in a process that saves millions of dollars on operational costs compared to traditional sewer water treatment processes.
Comparing junk removal service with renting a dumpster

Whether it’s a renovation project, new construction, home cleanout, furniture removal, or any other type of waste or debris removal, a junk removal service or dumpster rental are the top two solutions for the job. But, when is it better to rent a dumpster vs. hiring a junk removal company, and vice versa? Let’s explore the difference between the two and determine which is best for your situation.
T-shirts made from recycled PEF plastics

A Dutch company called Avantium is a leader in the production of a 100% bio-based plastic material called polyethylene furanoate, or PEF. It’s a lot like the PET plastics used to make soda bottles and the like, but it’s a much greener alternative. Avantium recently launched a line of shirts made from PEF fibers, and it’s surely just the beginning of sustainable clothing design.
Energy efficiency in the U.S.

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, or ACEEE, has released its 2013 energy efficiency scorecard which ranks each of the 50 U.S. states plus the District of Columbia based on its energy and sustainability commitments.
Reduce, reuse, recycle

(Nov,2013) November 15 is the day nationally recognized as America Recycles Day (ARD). It started back in 1997 by the National Recycling Coalition and as of 2009 has been handled by Keep America Beautiful (KAB) -- one the nation's largest non-profits focused on improving the health and vibrance of communities through sustainability, recycling and other green initiatives.
NYC single-stream optical recycling machine

Make recycling easier and people will actually do it. Read on to see what I’m yapping about. A first-of-its-kind optical sorting system is one of the most efficient recycling machines in the nation. Action Environmental Group of the Bronx, New York borrowed recycling innovation ideas from all over the world – Canada, Europe and Germany – to build one of the most technologically advanced recycling machines in the U.S.
Beanbag chair filling

Remember those old beanbag chairs you could just plop down on in front of the TV and watch a movie or play video games with your friends? Some of you may actually still have a few of these lying around the basement! Our parents had enough of them after the first “beanbag blowout” when weeks of cannonballs onto these things finally took its toll and caused a polystyrene blizzard in the basement.
Keep America Beautiful (KAB) Launches Recycling at Work initiative

The current recycling rate in the U.S. is hovering around 35% and Keep America Beautiful (KAB) – a nonprofit aimed at promoting sustainability nationwide – is looking to change that. Specifically, KAB is promoting its new Recycling at Work initiative where businesses pledge to increase workplace recycling rates by at least 10%. It’s a modest goal with a major upside.
Artist Muharrem Batman creates sculptures constructed from trash and junk

What to do with all that e-waste? It's a bigger issue than you may think. The EPA stated 2.37 million tons of e-waste was disposed of in 2009, and this figure has no doubt grown in subsequent years. One artist has a creative solution to repurpose old computers, mobile devices, and other hardware. Muharrem Batman is transforming e-waste into creepy, yet eccentrically beautiful, head busts.
recycled trash at Nike Concept Store

What’s a $10 billion Fortune 500 company doing digging in the dumpster? Gathering building materials to construct its one-of-a-kind showroom made from discarded and recycled debris, of course. The eco-friendly design was actually dreamed up and built in the summer of 2013 by Miniwiz Sustainable Energy Development Ltd. based in Taiwan, which partnered with Nike, based in Portland, OR, to create the so-called NIKE X158 Hyper Nature concept store.
Cities going gree - Dallas, TX

The city of Dallas, TX was near the bottom of the list in terms of pollution, air quality and recycling rates just a decade ago but within the past few years has made a major turnaround. It adopted the forwardDallas sustainability plan back in 2006 and since has made major improvements in the city's greenhouse gas emissions, air quality, green building practices and overall carbon footprint.
Cities going green - Charlotte, NC

Sure, it hasn't always been synonymous with "sustainability" or "green", but things are starting to change for the 17th biggest city in the United States.
Indianapolis is going green

The state of Indiana hasn't had the best of reputations when it comes to maintaining an eco-friendly profile. In fact, a 2007 report published by Forbes ranked Indiana second to last -- 49th out of 50 -- in terms of overall air/water quality, waste management, green policy, energy efficiency and other factors. As the state capital and second largest city in the Midwest, Indianapolis has taken the bull by the horns in trying to turn things around.