Posts tagged Recycling

Recycling Paper

I have always wondered what happens to paper after you put it into the recycle bin? Is every piece transformed into another piece of paper? In 2008 57.4% of the paper consumed in the united states was recovered due to recycling. That is just over half. I am guessing the other half is in a landfill or dispersed throughout the air from being burned. A piece of paper can be recycled approximately 7 times, but what are the odds of that piece making it back to the recycling center that many times? recycling plastic is obviously a more pressing issue, but if we can only dispose half of something as easy to recycle as paper then we are in a world of hurt. Metals, plastics, and glass are more of a hassle then paper so I could not even imagine what percentage of those are actually being recycled daily.

~Cody Males

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Bottled Water Vs. Tap Water

Who’s the winner in this debate?  All of my life I have always preferred tap water compared to bottled water because to me bottled water always taste weird.  However, most of my friends prefer bottled water to tap. Now needless to say they are on city water when I have a well and the difference in taste is very noticable. For example the other day while I was in Portland I needed to refill my water bottle so i went over to the tap to do it and once my water bottle was full i took a drink, and it was some of the most gross water i had ever had the pleasure of drinking.

So what I’m trying to get at is, if people buy a case of watter bottles lets say like every two weeks or so think of all that money and plastic bottles that are ending up in the trash. Instead of buying a case of water bottles why not just buy a water cooler for your home? That way you dont have to keep throwing away the water bottles just get a reusable one, and if there is another e coli scare or the power goes out or some other reason the tap water is not safe to drink you will have a supply of good drinking water handy. Now that’s what I call thinking ahead without really any planning. Also you have to get water less regularly because there is much more water in a water cooler than in a case of water bottles.

-Melissa L.

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From Christmas Tree to Biofuel

        On Friday in downtown Portland, exactly at 5:30 pm, a huge Christmas tree has been lighted. The Pioneer Square was crowded with many people who came to watch this amazing event, of course I was there!! However, a question has come to my mind that I could not wait to get home and look it up on internet. I was wondering where the old tree went and what are they going to do with the new one after the charismas time is over.

 So I looked it up and I found some interesting information.  Approximately 200 million Christmas trees are bought each year worldwide. That is a lot, yet the good news is that they have found a way to reuse them instead of throwing   them on roadside. Christmas trees can be recycled to make ethanol that can be used in cars. Actually according to the DSM Company, “if all the Christmas Trees in the US were recycled to make ethanol, 1,200,000,000 kilometers could be driven – that’s the equivalent of driving around the world 29,943 times.” The DSM website has also included other interesting facts about the number of Christmas trees that has been sold in many countries around the word and the amount of fuel that can be produced from them. Go ahead and check it out.

Needa L

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Recycling Flip Flops

Lately, I have been thinking more about what kinds of everyday items are recyclable and how they can be recycled. I think that when a lot of people think of recycling they think of the basics;  paper, plastic, glass, etc. But there are a lot more common everyday objects that are recyclable. I read an interesting article about recycling flip flops. Most flip flops are made out of polyurethane, which can’t usually just be thrown in the recycling bin. There are alternative ways discarded flip flops can be used, instead of just letting them hang around the enviornment. In this article there are some examples of how you can use a discarded flip flop. Flip flops can be used as packing material, a door stop, or even made into a rug. Flip flops are just one example of how to be creative and recycle things you might not normally think to recycle!

Grace W

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Article of clothing made out of recycled plastic bottles?

Companies in America are making articles of clothing out of our used plastic bottles.  The bottles go through a cleaning process, then from there they get chopped up into small pieces, and then are turned into polyester.  Patagonia is a sporting good company that uses the recycled polyester in their clothing.  The clothing that was mad eout of the polyester can also be recycled as well.  This is just one step of cutting down our plastic waste in the world.

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Garbage Garbage Garbage!

I’m sure most of you guys have heard of the island of trash sitting out in the Pacific Ocean. It is known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Maybe you heard it as a myth, but it is NOT a myth. Not only is the island of trash real, but it is estimated to be twice the size of Texas. This island is created by trash floating out into the ocean being caught by the North Pacific Gyre and getting stuck inside. It has added up tremendously over the years. It is a real problem and I feel that if we don’t do any action about this soon, then it will be too late.

Samples have been done on the water there and some samples found 6 pieces of plastic to 1 plankton. This is devastating since the plankton is essentially the basis of the oceanic food chain. Not only will this effect that ecosystem, but it will effect us. Phytoplankton are an immense contribution to protecting the Earth from too much carbon in the air as they absorb carbon dioxide and they live in mass numbers, but I’m getting off topic, so I will leave you guys at that.

With less plankton in the ocean, that means more carbon dioxide stays in our atmosphere. Think about your trash and where it will eventually ends up. If not in the landfills, then on our precious oceans.

David Dang

Update
Once trash is in, it can NOT get out naturally. Due to the currents vortex-like spinning, it is basically a one way street. Trash comes close to the gyre and eventually gets picked up by the current and then becomes stuck inside.

We could go there and try picking all of it out, but that would costs a lot of resources, and then what would we do with trash? We can’t just put it in a landfill, that doesn’t solve much.

Here are some helpful visuals:

Estimated Size

GPGP

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