Only One Jar of Trash after Two Years

March 3rd, 2017 Posted in eco hero, green living, recycle, reusing | 2 Comments » Make sure you like EcoJoes on Facebook to stay updated on green ways to save money and help the environment. Just click the "like" button below. Muchas gracias!

Lauren Singer, recent recipient of the EcoJoes Eco-Hero award, has made it a goal to be as close to zero-waste as possible. After two years, she only had one jar’s worth of trash. Wowsers!

She says she got 80% of the way there just by composting and buying in bulk; she brings her own jars or tote bags when buying in bulk.

Lauren also has these three steps to help you become zero-waste:

Step 1: Know Your Trash

Paw through your garbage immediately (this very second) and see what you throw out. You might be surprised. I know I was!

Step 2: Use Reusable Items

Forget disposable stuff like plastic bags and styrofoam containers, and go with durable cloth tote bags and jars.

Step 3: Make Your Own Products

From toothpaste to deodorant, if you make your own, you can store it in a reusable container, thus eliminating waste, AND saving money at the same time. Hot diggity dang!

Speaking of making your own toothpaste, here’s a simple recipe for homemade toothpaste:

  • 2 tbsp organic coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp baking soda
  • ~ 20 drops peppermint oil

Plop a drop of that on your compostable bamboo toothbrush, and start scrubbing. You’ll know you’re done when you taste blood.

Anyhoo, enough chit-chat! Here’s a moving picture featuring the zero-waste lady herself, Lauren Singer.

If you want a more in-depth look at this eco-hero, check out this here video:

Save the Rainforests!

April 28th, 2015 Posted in plants, world | 3 Comments » Make sure you like EcoJoes on Facebook to stay updated on green ways to save money and help the environment. Just click the "like" button below. Muchas gracias!

If you have 5 minutes, I recommend this motion-picture about saving the rainforests. Share it with your friends (and enemies, too).

How to Recycle Electronics in Durham: Triangle Ecycling

February 10th, 2015 Posted in computers, eco hero, green business, recycle | 8 Comments » Make sure you like EcoJoes on Facebook to stay updated on green ways to save money and help the environment. Just click the "like" button below. Muchas gracias!

Last weekend, I replaced the logic board of my ol’ trusty Macbook Pro. And lo, once it had risen from the ashes like the majestic Phoenix, I pondered what to do with the old, broken logic board. I didn’t want my computer part to end up in the landfill; but I wondered how to recycle electronics in Durham?

Old Macbook Pro Logic Board

How could I recycle my electronics in Durham (Durham, North Carolina, that is, not Canada)?

Triangle Ecycling

Triangle Ecycling Learning Center
Luckily, right next to my work is Triangle Ecycling, a great place to recycle computers, radios, phones, printers — heck, almost ANY used electronics (here’s a list of the electronics they recycle).

I scampered across the street to the Triangle Ecycling building, fearfully clutching my broken logic board in my clammy hands, playing Frogger in real life. A bead of sweat trickled down my forehead.

After making it to Triangle Ecycling, I bumped into none other than Larry Herst, CEO and founder of Triangle Ecycling. He was nice enough to take my broken electronics to recycle, and give me a quick tour of the place.

Recycling Ewaste into Education

Besides helping people recycle electronics, this place also holds classes for Durham high school students, where they’re taught how to repair computers.
Triangle Ecycling Learning Center


Not only that, but they then donate some recycled computers to Durham charities. They sell the rest of the repaired computers on eBay in order to help cover their operating costs. Very great.

Recycle Electronics, Help Durham

So if you have any old electronics that you don’t want anymore, I recommend taking them to Triangle Ecycling to be recycled. Not only will you be keeping toxic electronics out of the landfill, but you’ll be helping Durham charities, and giving high school students a chance to learn how to fix electronics through the E-Scholar Program! Win-win-win!

P.S. They might even give you a free sticker if you tell them EcoJoe sent you.

I shall close with a video about this wondrous place:

Wolves Change Rivers

December 30th, 2014 Posted in animals, water | 7 Comments » Make sure you like EcoJoes on Facebook to stay updated on green ways to save money and help the environment. Just click the "like" button below. Muchas gracias!

You always hear that every living thing affects its ecosystem, so it’s hard to predict what the absence of a species might mean for a given environment.

Here’s a good video illustrating this concept perfectly, by showing how wolves change rivers. Well worth the 4 minutes to watch.


If you have any stories of how the presence of a species (or lack thereof) caused an interesting effect on its eco-system, por favor share it with me.

Have a Green Thanksgiving

November 23rd, 2014 Posted in food, green living, holidays, Uncategorized | 7 Comments » Make sure you like EcoJoes on Facebook to stay updated on green ways to save money and help the environment. Just click the "like" button below. Muchas gracias!


This Earth pilgrim is highMany moons ago, the American Indians used to celebrate Thanksgiving the right way — the green way. Then the pilgrims came along, and ol’ Gaea wasn’t invited to many more Thanksgiving dinners after that.

Well, I say it’s time to slide back a chair, dust it off, and offer Mother Earth a seat at an ol’ fashioned green Thanksgiving this year.

Green Thanksgiving Foods

  • Wild food – forage through your local woods for edible plants. Mushrooms are always a tasty treat. Don’t forget your protein-packed pal, the grubworm!
  • Reused food – you’d be shocked and appalled at the food that some businesses throw out. Save this food from the landfill! A barely-expired can of cranberries can make a sumptuous side dish to complement a locally-found bird or deer.
  • Clover leaves – a young EcoJoe used to READ MORE »

How to get Free Desert Plants

November 16th, 2014 Posted in free, gardening, plants, Uncategorized | 11 Comments » Make sure you like EcoJoes on Facebook to stay updated on green ways to save money and help the environment. Just click the "like" button below. Muchas gracias!

If you’re like me, you like having a desert plant around, whether it be a colossal cactus, a jolly jade plant, or another succulent species o’ flora.

But if you’re like me, you ain’t exactly the Monopoly man, and cactus plants just aren’t in your budget. So here’s how to get free desert plants and cactuses, like this guy:

Free desert plant

Anyhoo, without further ado, here’s how to get free desert plants (for free, I might add)!

Step 1: Go to a store (Lowes, Home Depot, anywhere they sell cactuses and other succulents). Play it cool.
READ MORE »

Green Building Tips n’ Tricks

November 16th, 2014 Posted in energy conservation, green construction | No Comments » Make sure you like EcoJoes on Facebook to stay updated on green ways to save money and help the environment. Just click the "like" button below. Muchas gracias!

If you’re contemplating upgrading your simple hovel into a natural palace, you might want to check out these green building tips n’ tricks thoughtfully provided by AbleSkills. Thanks, Ableskills!


View Interactive Version (via Able Skills).