How to Have a Green Super Bowl Party

January 31st, 2008 Posted in food, green living, holidays, recycle, reusing | 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!

EcoJoe hits pollution where it hurtsHut hut hike! It’s almost Super Bowl time, and for many o’ us, that means going to a party to watch “The Big Game”. All too often, this means a lot of trash and wasted energy. Make sure you don’t get penalized for roughing the Earth by following these helpful Super Bowl party hints.

Kick an Extra Point with Online Invitations!

Instead of throwing a desperate Hail Mary of paper invitations to people to your Super Bowl party, throw a quick shovel pass of an online invitation (much higher completion rate), through email or Facebook or what have you. This will cut down on paper waste, as well as speed up how soon they receive your invitation.

Don’t Let Your Environment get Sacked by a Blitz of Trash!

  • Don’t use disposable plates/cups/forks/chop sticks. Serve people with reusable plates and cups.
  • Recycle any bottles or cans that there be. Make sure people know about this, so they don’t just automatically toss their can into the trash.
  • Decorate with reusable decorations. That way you can use them each year to bring joy to people, instead of having them sit in a landfill.

Choose First-String Food!

The Super Bowl is for all the marbles; don’t let the benchwarmer food into this game!

  • Serve local food. Check your local farmer’s market or local food store.
  • Avoid food with way too much packaging. Go for the food that’s naked and ready!
  • If you want, serve vegetarian food. It takes a lot less energy to get a pound of vegetables than a pound of meat. Plus, it’s healthier!

Warning: Green Super Bowl Tips for Eco Pro-Bowlers

  • Don’t watch the Super Bowl on an energy-sucking TV; listen to it on a low-watt radio, or better yet, just ask people the next day who won.
  • Don’t buy any food. Instead, at halftime, go outside to forage in your yard/woods for any edible roots or grubs.
  • Power of imagination. Set your brain lose, and just imagine the entire Super Bowl. Anything can happen! Another “wardrobe malfunction”! A crazy 4th quarter comeback! Streakers running all over the field! That player you hate gets injured!

Hopefully, this playbook of how to have a green Super Bowl party has got you fired up and ready to give 110%. Remember, when it comes to helping out the environment (and saving you some money), EcoJoes is ready to take the handoff and score a touchdown! (or else fumble miserably as the crowd boos)

The Day I Bravely Rescued a CRT Monitor

January 29th, 2008 Posted in computers, free, recycle, reusing | 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!

It’s still good, it’s still good…Back in the day, CRTs were all the rage. For those o’ you that don’t know, CRTs are those big, heavy monitors that used to be all over the place. All the cool kids had them. But no more. Now, people can get flat-panel monitors for a lot cheaper than they used to be. This has led to perfectly good (except for the fact they weigh a ton) CRT monitors being thrown away. Which leads to what I saw yesterday…

Discovery of the Discarded CRTs

I was leaving work when I happened to see some mess next to the dumpster. I took a closer look, and fought down a wave of nausea as I realized that another office was throwing away two old CRT monitors. With tears in me eyes, I gingerly lifted them and brought them into my car, hushing their whimpers as I buckled them in.

Resuscitation of the CRT Monitors

I peeled into my house’s parking space and ran the heavy CRTs into my computer room at home. They were safe… for now. Luckily, I actually needed a CRT, since I had tried to set up Linux Mint on a computer, but had failed when it tried to use monitor frequencies that my other monitor couldn’t handle. Anyhoo, I ended up using the found CRT to successfully fix up that computer.

Where Can I Donate my CRT Monitor?

If you have a CRT you don’t want, you gots some options on where to donate it:

  • Ask a public school or library if they want it.
  • Give it away on Freecycle, Craigslist, or OhSoHandy
  • See if Goodwill or another thrift store wants it

Why Shouldn’t I Just Throw Out My CRT?

First, it’s wasteful. Come on now. Second, there’s a lot of toxic mess in CRTs that could leak out in a dump, such as:

  • lead
  • phosphorous
  • cadmium
  • barium
  • mercury

Moral of the Story

Instead of just tossing your old, faithful CRT monitor into the trash, give it a second life somewhere. You’ll be helping someone while helping the environment, too. Now that’s what I’m talking about.

Rubber Sidewalks Made From Scrap Tires

November 23rd, 2007 Posted in inventions, recycle, save money | 1 Comment » 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!

Just look at them!Americans throw out tons o’ tires each year.  In 2003, we threw out approximately 290 million scrap tires.  But the good news is, more and more are being recycled.  In 1990, only about 17% of our discarded tires were reused or recycled; by 2003, about 80.4% were being recycled.  Scrap tires can be used for many things, but until now, I did not know that they could be used for rubber sidewalks.

How Many Tires in Rubber Sidewalk?

It takes one tire to make about one square foot of rubber sidewalk.  That means that for every 400 square feet of rubber sidewalk made, two tons of scrap tires are kept out of the landfill!  Very good.

Who Invented Rubber Sidewalks?

I’m glad you asked.  Richard Valeriano, the Public Works Inspector for the city of Santa Monica, California, invented these.  His thinking was that they would be able to bend around growing tree roots, thus cutting down on the maintenance needed to keep the sidewalks up to snuff.  After testing the rubber sidewalks in Santa Monica for three years, they are now on the market.

Rubber Sidewalks Save Money

Yes, that is true.  When concrete sidewalks crack, they have to be entirely demolished and rebuilt.  So much money and time (and resources).  But with rubber sidewalks, they can be lifted for periodic tree root trimming and replaced at a fraction of the cost of concrete sidewalks.

Health Benefits of Rubber Sidewalks

With rubber sidewalks, there are no cracks where people can trip and get hurt.  Also, it is easier on the ol’ knees than walking/jogging on concrete sidewalks. 

I’d like to get a chance to check them out in person.  If anyone has tried them out, please let me know how rubber sidewalks made from recycled tires compare to old-school concrete sidewalks.

Recycle Your Cell Phone For Money And The Environment

October 11th, 2007 Posted in cell phone, recycle, save money | 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!

Old School Cell PhoneIf you’re like me, you are always looking for ways that you can make money and help the environment. Welp, here is one such way that I will try soon, since I have two old cell phones sitting at home unused.

Why Cell Phones Hurt The Environment

Old cell phones should not just be thrown away in normal household garbage, yet Americans are getting rid of more than 100 million cell phones a year this way! Cell phones contain a lot of toxic materials, such as lead, zinc, and arsenic. When cell phones are thrown away in an ordinary dump, their toxic chemicals can leech out into water sources. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like too much arsenic in my water.

What Can You Do With Old Cell Phones

Instead of throwing away old cell phones, you can use them as a crude yet effective hammer. Either that, or you can donate your cell phone or sell them. Look for donation areas at your local schools, grocery stores, or even your church. They will go to needy people, or maybe even an old person who’d like to be able to chat with their friends.

Donating cell phones is a great way to reduce their harmful impact on the environment. But even better than donating them is selling them! But who would buy an old cell phone? Cell For Cash or SellYourCell, that’s who. They offer between $2 and $200 depending on the model of the phone and how old it is. Even if you get the bare minimum, $2 is a heck of a lot better than just throwing away your cell phone and hurting the Earth.

Where do the Old Cell Phones Go?

It turns out that a lot of the old cell phones go to Latin America or the Caribbean. A lot of these countries are developing, and it’s cheaper for people to get cell phones as opposed to telephone companies running cable every which way through the country. They already have good wireless networks, so there is a demand for cheap cell phones down there. You can be happy that your old cell phone will be used by someone who really needs it.

I’m about to go out of town, but once I come back, I’ll actually try out one of those cellphone-selling sites and see if I can get rid of my old cell phones in an eco-friendly (and profitable) way. If anyone else tries it out, let me know how it worked out.