Saturday, February 16, 2013

Recycling Aluminum and Reducing Your Aluminum Foil Use

How to Reuse, Recycle, and Reduce Aluminum

Aluminum is 100% recyclable, yet only about 65% of the average Americans household aluminum gets recycled each year. Nearly all of that is in the form of aluminum cans. You can recycle 100% of the aluminum your family uses, and here's how to do it.

Eliminate, or significantly reduce your aluminum foil use. It's estimated that each American throws away about three pounds of aluminum foil per year. None of that foil should be getting to the landfill, recycle it instead. 

Not all recyclers allow aluminum foil, but if yours does then make sure to do your part. Remember it takes around 400 years for that aluminum foil to break down naturally. 
If you're lucky, like me, your city does allow aluminum foil to be recycled. Just wash, and dry before recycling with the rest of your household aluminum. Or follow your cities recycling regulations for aluminum. 

Instead of using aluminum foil to cover leftovers place food in bowls with lids. Or make your own covers. 
Rewash and reuse all the aluminum foil that you do use until it can't be used anymore and then take it to the recyclers. You can also recycle those aluminum pie plates and other baking containers, so be sure to recycle them too.

Recycle all the aluminum packaging that comes into your household per year. Remember aluminum is 100% recyclable. The average American throws away 14 1/2 pounds of aluminum from packaging a year. That's not counting aluminum cans. 

It is all recyclable, and we can all do our part to see that our household aluminum does get recycled. Consult your area recycling company for how and where to recycle aluminum packaging from your household, or from your job.

Aluminum cans are the most common aluminum recyclable, but we can do even more. Do you recycle the 2.5 cans that each American worker is said to consume at work each day? 
If your work does not recycle aluminum cans, maybe someone can at least be responsible for taking the cans home and recycling them. Recycling aluminum cans is big business. It's also good for the environment so do your part.

Other aluminum recyclables include things like aluminum siding, gutters, aluminum wire, and anything else made of 100% aluminum. It can all be recycled. And it all should be. Our landfills are far too full of recyclable materials like aluminum.


  • Recycle 100% of the aluminum that comes into your household.
  • Drastically reduce your households use of aluminum foil.
  • Don't forget to recycle aluminum cans and other aluminum at your workplace.

Rain Forest Facts

The worlds rain forests. Brazil's rain forest is huge, if it 
were a country it would be the ninth largest in the world.

The Disappearing Rainforests

  • We are losing Earth's greatest biological treasures just as we are beginning to appreciate their true value. Rainforests once covered 14% of the earth's land surface; now they cover a mere 6% and experts estimate that the last remaining rainforests could be consumed in less than 40 years.

  • One and one-half acres of rainforest are lost every second with tragic consequences for both developing and industrial countries.

  • Rainforests are being destroyed because the value of rainforest land is perceived as only the value of its timber by short-sighted governments, multi-national logging companies, and land owners.

  • Nearly half of the world's species of plants, animals and microorganisms will be destroyed or severely threatened over the next quarter century due to rainforest deforestation.

  • Experts estimates that we are losing 137 plant, animal and insect species every single day due to rainforest deforestation. That equates to 50,000 species a year. As the rainforest species disappear, so do many possible cures for life-threatening diseases. Currently, 121 prescription drugs sold worldwide come from plant-derived sources. While 25% of Western pharmaceuticals are derived from rainforest ingredients, less that 1% of these tropical trees and plants have been tested by scientists.

  • Most rainforests are cleared by chainsaws, bulldozers and fires for its timber value and then are followed by farming and ranching operations, even by world giants like Mitsubishi Corporation, Georgia Pacific, Texaco and Unocal.

  • There were an estimated ten million Indians living in the Amazonian Rainforest five centuries ago. Today there are less than 200,000.

  • In Brazil alone, European colonists have destroyed more than 90 indigenous tribes since the 1900's. With them have gone centuries of accumulated knowledge of the medicinal value of rainforest species. As their homelands continue to be destroyed by deforestation, rainforest peoples are also disappearing.

  • Most medicine men and shamans remaining in the Rainforests today are 70 years old or more. Each time a rainforest medicine man dies, it is as if a library has burned down.

  • When a medicine man dies without passing his arts on to the next generation, the tribe and the world loses thousands of years of irreplaceable knowledge about medicinal plants.
The Wealth of the Rainforests
  • The Amazon Rainforest covers over a billion acres, encompassing areas in Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia and the Eastern Andean region of Ecuador and Peru. If Amazonia were a country, it would be the ninth largest in the world.

  • The Amazon Rainforest has been described as the "Lungs of our Planet" because it provides the essential environmental world service of continuously recycling carbon dioxide into oxygen. More than 20 percent of the world oxygen is produced in the Amazon Rainforest.

  • More than half of the world's estimated 10 million species of plants, animals and insects live in the tropical rainforests. One-fifth of the world's fresh water is in the Amazon Basin.

  • One hectare (2.47 acres) may contain over 750 types of trees and 1500 species of higher plants.

  • At least 80% of the developed world's diet originated in the tropical rainforest. Its bountiful gifts to the world include fruits like avocados, coconuts, figs, oranges, lemons, grapefruit, bananas, guavas, pineapples, mangos and tomatoes; vegetables including corn, potatoes, rice, winter squash and yams; spices like black pepper, cayenne, chocolate, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, sugar cane, tumeric, coffee and vanilla and nuts including Brazil nuts and cashews.
  • At least 3000 fruits are found in the rainforests; of these only 200 are now in use in the Western World. The Indians of the rainforest use over 2,000.

  • Rainforest plants are rich in secondary metabolites, particularly alkaloids. Biochemists believe alkaloids protect plants from disease and insect attacks. Many alkaloids from higher plants have proven to be of medicinal value and benefit.

  • Currently, 121 prescription drugs currently sold worldwide come from plant-derived sources. And while 25% of Western pharmaceuticals are derived from rainforest ingredients, less than 1% of these tropical trees and plants have been tested by scientists.

  • The U.S. National Cancer Institute has identified 3000 plants that are active against cancer cells. 70% of these plants are found in the rainforest. Twenty-five percent of the active ingredients in today's cancer-fighting drugs come from organisms found only in the rainforest.

  • Vincristine, extracted from the rainforest plant,periwinkle, is one of the world's most powerful anticancer drugs. It has dramatically increased the survival rate for acute childhood leukemia since its discovery.

  • In 1983, there were no U.S. pharmaceutical manufacturers involved in research programs to discover new drugs or cures from plants. Today, over 100 pharmaceutical companies and several branches of the US government, including giants like Merck and The National Cancer Institute, are engaged in plant research projects for possible drugs and cures for viruses, infections, cancer, and even AIDS.
Rainforest Action
  • Experts agree that by leaving the rainforests intact and harvesting it's many nuts, fruits, oil-producing plants, and medicinal plants, the rainforest has more economic value than if they were cut down to make grazing land for cattle or for timber.

  • The latest statistics show that rainforest land converted to cattle operations yields the land owner $60 per acre and if timber is harvested, the land is worth $400 per acre. However, if these renewable and sustainable resources are harvested, the land will yield the land owner $2,400 per acre.

  • If managed properly, the rainforest can provide the world's need for these natural resources on a perpetual basis.

  • Promoting the use of these sustainable and renewable sources could stop the destruction of the rainforests. By creating a new source of income harvesting the medicinal plants, fruits nuts, oil and other sustainable resources, the rainforests is be more valuable alive than cut and burned.

  • Sufficient demand of sustainable and ecologically harvested rainforest products is necessary for preservation efforts to succeed. Purchasing sustainable rainforest products can effect positive change by creating a market for these products while supporting the native people's economy and provides the economic solution and alternative to cutting the forest just for the value of its timber.
The above information is all from the web site: Rain Forests Facts. 
Link to Rain Forests Facts Much more information, and what you can do to help save the rain forests at this great web site.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Urban Dumpster Diver

Jars of sauces found in one dumpster on one dive.

Perfectly good produce found in the dumpster

Words from Urban Dumpster Diver, from various posts on her blog:

"Since I am no longer involved in organized religion and go to church regularly, I consider dumpster diving a form of tithing and helping mother earth.

In my truck for delivery tomorrow is a huge box of food, toys, books and other goodies I’ll never use. God will not send me new stuff if the old stuff is still here. Clutter is stuck energy and since I’m a person of light and love, I like to keep things clean and simple.

Those toys could help a poor child or a single mom with children who can barely put food on the table. Little children or even grade school children feel compelled to fit in. Sometimes a new blouse or a new purse can make all the difference in the world.

The cosmetics could give a middle-aged woman who has lost her job and is barely making it a shot of self-confidence. Sometimes a little bit of blush and lipstick can make a gal feel all the more better. 

Our society tends to minimize middle-aged women. So many middle-aged women I talk to feel invisible. That’s really sad. I go out of my way to engage with middle aged women and men. These baby boomers are the ones who received a huge hit in this economic depression.

Last Friday we found all these snacks in the dumpster, the vendor threw them out I believe. We have given some away and some my husband will take to the office to let others enjoy them as well.
Nature abhors a vacuum, if your life is full of things you do not need (that can also include relationship as well as “stuff”), you won’t have the room to receive the good stuff.

I’ve been diving since the latter part of 2008. I started this blog about a year later after my friends insisted I share my finds with the world.
We divers are a different breed of people, maybe a little nuts, but who cares?

I find it morally repugnant to allow this stuff to go to waste. Why buy things when I can find them. I’m also doing these stores a favor. Less waste that the waste management has to haul for them, the less their trash bill. Plus all that stuff stays out of the landfill.

One of the biggest reasons I dive is to give stuff to someone who really needs it. With so many Americans out of work one would think these stores would either donate it or give to their customers. The same customers who spent money in these stores when times were good. Now it’s time for these stores to give back.

Want to know how to help poor people?
Sort your cans and bottles, set them outside with a sign that says something like free cans and bottles and let someone have them. Who cares who takes them into the recycling center? Either a street person will pick them up or someone like me who isn’t homeless who will pick them up to redeem them for money. Either way the money is recycled back into the economy – creating jobs and keeping the flow of money.

Throwing stuff in the trash that can be used stifles the flow of money.

We are such a wasteful society. It’s really a sin.

Since I’ve been diving and giving stuff away I never worry about money anymore. I just don’t. It’s changed me in a very big way. I loathe malls and shopping now. I usually just buy small amounts of food, gasoline and necessities. If companies continue to throw perfectly good stuff in the trash – then people like myself and others who need it – will use it.

My husband and I are not embarrassed by what we do. Ever. That’s why I have this blog. To show my booty and to show others how it’s done. I love free stuff. I love helping and feeding the poor and I love my planet. I love it enough to keep unnecessary garbage out 
of it.

Link to Urban Dumpster Diver's Blog