Thursday, January 31, 2008

HP Makes New Printer Cartridges from Plastic Water Bottles

Jan. 30, 2008 — Hewlett-Packard has engineered a way to produce inkjet printer cartridges from post-consumer recycled plastics. More than 200 million Original HP cartridges have been manufactured using the process so far.

The new recycling process combines multiple sources and grades of recycled plastics, from everyday water bottles to used inkjet cartridges, with a cocktail of chemical additives to achieve the necessary strength and durability of the finished material. The used inkjet cartridges are sourced from HP's Planet Partners (PDF) cartridge-recycling program.

“By developing the technology to use recycled plastics in Original HP inkjet print cartridges, we have the opportunity to reduce the environmental impact HP products have on the planet,” says Michael Hoffmann, senior vice president of HP's Supplies, Imaging and Printing Group. “HP’s considerable investments in building a recycling infrastructure made this achievement possible, and this is just the beginning of what we hope to accomplish.”

HP used more than 5 million pounds of recycled plastic in its inkjet cartridges last year. The company says it is committed to using twice that much in 2008.

Article by: Sustainable Life Media

Monday, January 28, 2008

Going green for a year yields plenty of energy-saving ideas

Chicago Tribune

During the past 12 months, the Chicago Tribune embarked on a project called "Living the Green Life" meant for real people (with kids, budgets and mortgages) who want to do better by the environment.

The focus was gathering suggestions on lifestyle changes -- minor adjustments in daily behavior that might seem inconsequential. But taken in aggregate, as a nation (when all of us do even one thing), the changes have a huge impact.

Here are some of the best tips from engineers, chemists, environmentalists, recycling experts, government agencies, medical professionals, appliance-makers, master gardeners and readers.


Contrary to popular belief, a dishwasher is greener than hand-washing -- if you run it with full loads and scrape rather than rinse.


Do not over-dry laundry. An electric dryer operating an extra 15 minutes a load can cost up to $34 a year. Also, clean the lint trap before every load. It's the safe thing to do and can save as much as $35 a year in energy costs.


Wash only full loads of laundry and save as much as 3,400 gallons of water a year.


Group thirsty plants in one bed close to the house. Fill farther beds with drought-tolerant perennials that need little or no watering.

Garbage disposals

Feeding the disposal is greener than putting food waste in a plastic bag and sending it to the landfill.

Home electronics

Power them off. A home office with a computer, printer, fax machine, computer speakers, scanner and cordless phone could cost you $100 a year in electricity.


Get a programmable thermostat and save as much as $150 a year. Set it way up (in the summer) or way down (in winter) when everyone's at work or at school and when they're asleep.

Doggie waste

Switch to doggie bags that biodegrade in the landfill -- which means Fido's poop won't be forever preserved in the landfill in the plastic bag you grabbed without considering its end-of-life issues.

Leaky toilet

A leaky toilet can waste 200 gallons of water a day. Check for leaks by adding food coloring to the tank. If you have a leak, color will appear in the bowl within 15 minutes.


A year's worth of papers from a big-city daily weighs almost a half-ton. Every ton of paper that gets recycled saves the equivalent of 17 trees.

Light bulbs

Switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs. If you replace five of your most-used incandescent bulbs with these, you can save $25 to $65 a year in energy costs.

CFL disposal

The mercury contained in compact fluorescent light bulbs should not be accumulating in a landfill or, even worse, incinerated. Check with your municipality to see whether it has a hazardous waste collection date.

Hand soap

Rediscover bar soap, and eliminate the plastic bottle waste that comes with using liquid soaps.


Use them instead of the oven or stove to reheat food or cook small portions. You will reduce cooking energy by as much as 80 percent.


Match pots to the appropriate-size burner. A 6-inch pot on an 8-inch burner wastes more than 40 percent of the burner's heat.

Water for laundry

Forgo the hot water when doing laundry. Heating water to "hot" accounts for 90 percent of the machine's washing energy; only 10 percent goes to power the motor. Switching to "cold" can save more than $400 annually.

Multiple-use products

Pay attention to all the single-use items in your life -- the throwaway plastic water bottles, paper napkins, paper towels, disposable wipes -- and try to figure out alternatives.


Keep shower tiles sparkling clean without using chemicals. After a shower, use a microfiber cloth or chamois to wipe down tiles and fixtures or for glass, use a squeegee.

Brushing teeth

Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth and save as much as 10 gallons a day a person.


Soda cans are small but not insignificant. Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to run a television for three hours.

Printer cartridges

Office Depot, OfficeMax and Staples take back ink and toner cartridges -- and hand you a $3 store coupon.


Recycle your electronic waste -- computer monitors, desktops, laptops, fax machines, printers, scanners, peripherals, keyboards, telephones, digital cameras, DVD players, televisions -- which could be chock full of lead, mercury and plastics.


Avoid using them in your garden and yard. Build up healthy soil instead to help prevent disease.


Don't overfertilize. Plants can absorb only so much; the rest pollutes waterways.

Native plants

Use them in your garden. They know how to fend for themselves.


Don't sprinkle more than necessary or in the heat of the day when much water evaporates. Put drip irrigation and soaker hoses on timers to water at night or in the early morning.


Put a rain barrel under a downspout to collect free water for the garden.


It is the basic ingredient of good soil. Start with a simple heap of plant material or buy a bin to keep out animals.

Garden plastics

Take cardboard boxes to the nursery and leave plastic nursery flats behind.

Garden power

Electric mowers, string trimmers, leaf blowers and hedge trimmers create less pollution and are more energy-efficient than gas ones.


Plant them. One mature tree takes care of the pollution caused by 13 cars per year.


Driving 75 mph instead of 65 mph can cut fuel consumption by as much as 15 percent. A clean air filter can improve gas mileage by as much as

10 percent. Properly inflated and aligned tires improve mileage by about 3 percent.


Check out It's a kind of eBay experience -- but without the financial gain. The city-specific sites allow people to post items they want to get rid of and others who live close by, in turn, to "shop" for something they need.

Kitty litter

Consider alternative litter. There are more earthy-friendly, organic options than the standard clay litters, which pile up in landfills.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Major Designers Commit to Key Sustainability Principles

Jan. 21, 2008 -- Thousands of designers have signed on to the Designers Accord, a formal set of principles for sustainability in design, BusinessWeek reports. The so-called "Kyoto Treaty of Design" is earning widespread support throughout the design industry.

Written for designers of every discipline, from industrial design to graphic arts to architecture, the Designers Accord calls for signatories to "proactively engage in a dialogue about environmental impact with each and every client, and to evaluate sustainable alternatives in design." Signers also pledge to measure and work to minimize their carbon footprint. (Click here for a complete list of principles.)

Click here to read the entire article from Sustainable Life Media.

Monday, January 21, 2008

How to Green Your Media Plan

Authentic, verifiable positive impact behind concrete action is the true ticket to winning the hearts, minds, and brand preferences of today's green-minded consumer. By the same token, greening your brand communications requires far more than a few mere edits on a page. Here are four key elements to creating a smart, effective media strategy that won’t call your green cred into question. By Matt Heinz

To truly make your company's practices more sustainable, you have to change how you do business. The good news is that you don't have to wait for product manufacturing and supply-chain changes (which can take a long time) to have a material, carbon-cutting effect on your business, and your marketing in particular. By examining various elements of your media plan, you will uncover several significant opportunities to reduce your marketing department's carbon footprint — all while maintaining and in some cases increasing the effectiveness of your campaigns.

Read about the four elements here at Sustainable Life Media.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Where can I donate my used mobile phone, PDA or pager?

The solution to this problem is as close as your mailbox, your local Staples© office supply store, or your local Fedex/Kinkos store. Keep in mind that shipping costs to get the phone to us are also tax-deductible. Some of our programs even offer free shipping, so you can recycle your old mobile phone for free without leaving your home. Simply mail your phones (be sure to fill out the online donation form, so we know which charity to credit, and the charity can send you a donation acknowledgement letter / tax-deduction receipt) directly to our refurbishment facility at:

CollectiveGood, Inc.
Boulder, CO 80303-1350

Go to for more information!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

A greener workplace

A greener workplace can mean a lighter ecological footprint, a healthier and more productive place to work, and good news for the bottom line. Whether you’re the boss or the employee, whether your office is green already or still waiting to see the light, some practical steps can lay the groundwork for a healthy, low-impact workspace.

More tips to come!

Tip one:
Don’t be a paper pusher

When buying printer paper, look for recycled paper with a high percentage of post-consumer content and the minimum of chlorine bleaching. Even recycled paper gobbles up a great deal of energy, water, and chemical resources in its processing (toxic pulp slurry is the paper recycling industry’s dirty secret). When using the real stuff, print on both sides of the page when appropriate and use misprints as notepaper. Try to choose printers and photocopiers that do double-sided printing. If your office ships packages, reuse boxes and use shredded waste paper as packing material.

Reference: Tree Hugger


America's baby boomers were born when sprawl and the move away from public transit were just taking off, and during their lives those trends have taken on a life of their own, becoming defining characteristics of the American cultural and physical landscape.

As the oldest of the nation's 79 million baby boomers turn 61 this year, the specter of aging and its consequences loom large. It appears that 21% of Americans over the age of 65 don't drive, meaning that the very system created during their lives now threatens to greatly limit the mobility of the boomer generation as they move into retirement. For the elderly, a lack of transportation options equates to dependency, isolation and loneliness.
While climate change and other environmental issues loom unavoidably large, one of the problems has been that it is hard to put a human face on them. But all of us have parents, grandparents, relatives or friends that will suffer as a result of how we have chosen to design and build our cities. What we need to do a better job of is connecting the quality of life to land-use and climate change, so that people will feel inspired to take action because action means better cities, jobs and products for them.

Via: ::USA Today

See Also: ::The Problems With Green Sprawl, ::Radiant City: A Documentary about Suburban Sprawl, ::Interview: Don Schmitt on Sprawl, ::Los Angeles on the Verge of Nation's Best Mass Transit?, ::US Cities Make You Fat, and ::The Long Emergency: a Long Review

Did you know?

Did you know that for every 38,500 paper documents delivered

1 ton of paper is used

2 tons of trees are destroyed

16,450 gallons of water are used

1,941 pounds of solid waste are generated 60 pounds of air emissions are spewed out

5,058 pounds of greenhouse gases are emitted