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:

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:

Taking Out The Trash in Russia

October 19th, 2014 Posted in bike, cleaning, eco hero | 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!

There’s an eco-hero patrolling the streets in Russia, bringing swift justice to litterbugs. Check out this video of her cleaning up the streets and taking a bite out of crime:


So next time you’re about to chuck some trash out your car window, remember what happened to these poor souls, and dispose of that trash properly instead. You know it’s the right thing, sir/madam.

How to make a homemade hydroelectric power plant!

August 3rd, 2014 Posted in construction, eco hero, electric, green living, off the grid, water | 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!


Ho-ly mo-ly. Manfred Mornhinweg, de la Rep├║blica de Chile, is now an official eco-hero, joining the proud ranks of such luminaries as Amory Lovins (and almost Michael Jackson).

Not only did Manfred freaking build his own homemade mini-hydroeletric power plant, but he documented the entire process with pictures and step-by-step instructions!

With the help of some of his friends and neighbors, and a whole lot of gumption, he dug a side-channel off a creek to divert some water for his lil’ hydroelectric plant.

Digging hydroelectric channel

He ordered the hydroelectric turbine from the glorious People’s Republic o’ China:
Hydroelectric turbine

And eventually was able to READ MORE »

10-minute Litter Cleanup Challenge Winner!

February 9th, 2014 Posted in cleaning, contest, eco hero | 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!

Welp, ’twas a close race, ’twas indeed, but the first ever 10-minute Litter Cleanup Challenge is over, and it’s time to name the winner.

* takes several minutes struggling to open envelope to reveal winner *

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages… the winner is none other than the illustrious Peg Downes of Asheville, North Carolina, who sent in this picture of her accomplishment:

Litter picked up by Peg

A hearty congratulations and “kudos” to Peg, who has shown how you can take a tiny sliver of time and make a big difference in your community! I hereby anoint her as an O-fficial Eco Hero.

Her mYsTeRy PrIzE for winning the litter cleanup challenge is a Kitchen Crop Sprouter, which will allow her to grow her own organic, ultra-local, vegan food right in her kitchen! Huzzah! Take a gander at it with your eye-balls!

Kitchen Crop sprouter

Thanks for all the contest participants, and stay tuned for more challenges of various and diverse types. This is EcoJoe, signing out!

16-Year-Old Builds His Own Tiny House

September 1st, 2011 Posted in eco hero, green construction, save money | 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!


Have you ever wanted a tiny house of your own, but thought it’d be way too hard to build? What if you found out a 16-year-old (by the name of Austin Hay) was about to finish his very own small home? It’s just 130 square feet, but it’s 100% custom-made, plus has no mortgage!

Not only does it waste a lot less building materials to build (plus use a less resources to maintain) a tiny house, but it can save you a chunk o’ change. As Mr. Hay himself put it, “Living small means less bills, living big means more bills. I don’t want to pay big bills”.

Without further ado, I’ll let Austin take it away and give you a tour of his very own tiny house.

If you’re all pumped up now to go off and build a lil’ casa, take a looksie at this tiny house book, first, just to see what you’re getting into.

Time Lapse Proof of Crazy Ice Loss

November 9th, 2009 Posted in eco hero, global warming, science, water, world | 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!


Man, it’s been a busy as heck couple of months. First, I’ve been busy with a brand new job, developing the web software of tomorrow, today.

Second, I just yesterday got back from mi luna de miel. What with that and helping with wedding planning, my life was purty dang busy.

Anyhoo, enough about me. What I bring to you today is a good video from TED Talks showing time lapse proof of extreme ice loss.

James Balog, a photographer, founded the Extreme Ice Survey to capture the changing glaciers by time-lapse photography and video. His goal is to show everyone visual proof of just how fast glaciers are melting.

Without any further ado, I bring to you his talk.