Posts Tagged ‘Saving’

July 26, 2010 · by pcriadmin · PCRI

There’s no shortage of stories these days about “banning the bag” and the three R’s: reduce, reuse, recycle.  The City of Portland and State of Oregon are even stepping up their positions on the subject by looking at eliminating plastic bags and levying a nickel fee for other bags at large grocery and other stores.

Changes can often be a challenge to adjust to, but PCRI is working hard to practice what we preach.  In fact, this past spring, PCRI received a grant from the Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) to implement a reuse and recycling initiative at our office and community centers.

While we’re always working to do a better job at recycling at our office, our primary use for the BPS Paper and Plastic Challenge grant is to purchase new dishes and utensils for our main office as well as our community centers (Did you see? Our community center info is now on our website!).

Our goal with the new dishes is to significantly reduce our use of disposable paper and plastic plates, utensils and cups.  The paper plates and cups are easy, but giving them up is not only good for the earth and keeps junk out of the landfill, it’s also good for our budget since we’ll no longer need to purchase these items over and over (check out our post with other money-saving reuse ideas).

Today, we kick off our reuse challenge with a goal of eliminating our use of all paper cups and plates.  Here are a few facts about paper that might help you kick off a challenge of your own:

Each time paper is recycled, the fiber length decreases–which impacts its strength.  It’s estimated that paper has approximately seven generations (meaning it can be recycled up to seven times).

57.4% of the paper consumed in the US was recovered for recycling in 2008.  This means nearly half of our paper waste ends up in the landfill (boo!).

But … every ton of paper recycled saves more than 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space (hey, it’s got to go somewhere!).

In the coming weeks, we’ll be highlighting some of the other ways we’re working to reduce our waste (and save money!).  Stop back and check it out … or keep up with us on our Facebook page for other tips!

July 26, 2010 · by pcriadmin · PCRI

There’s no shortage of stories these days about “banning the bag” and the three R’s: reduce, reuse, recycle.  The City of Portland and State of Oregon are even stepping up their positions on the subject by looking at eliminating plastic bags and levying a nickel fee for other bags at large grocery and other stores.

Changes can often be a challenge to adjust to, but PCRI is working hard to practice what we preach.  In fact, this past spring, PCRI received a grant from the Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) to implement a reuse and recycling initiative at our office and community centers.

While we’re always working to do a better job at recycling at our office, our primary use for the BPS Paper and Plastic Challenge grant is to purchase new dishes and utensils for our main office as well as our community centers (Did you see? Our community center info is now on our website!).

Our goal with the new dishes is to significantly reduce our use of disposable paper and plastic plates, utensils and cups.  The paper plates and cups are easy, but giving them up is not only good for the earth and keeps junk out of the landfill, it’s also good for our budget since we’ll no longer need to purchase these items over and over (check out our post with other money-saving reuse ideas).

Today, we kick off our reuse challenge with a goal of eliminating our use of all paper cups and plates.  Here are a few facts about paper that might help you kick off a challenge of your own:

Each time paper is recycled, the fiber length decreases–which impacts its strength.  It’s estimated that paper has approximately seven generations (meaning it can be recycled up to seven times).

57.4% of the paper consumed in the US was recovered for recycling in 2008.  This means nearly half of our paper waste ends up in the landfill (boo!).

But … every ton of paper recycled saves more than 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space (hey, it’s got to go somewhere!).

In the coming weeks, we’ll be highlighting some of the other ways we’re working to reduce our waste (and save money!).  Stop back and check it out … or keep up with us on our Facebook page for other tips!

June 17, 2010 · by pcriadmin · PCRI

Yahoo! Green posted an article yesterday titled “Stop throwing money away.”  Author Lori Bongiorno proposed that thinking twice about using disposable products and making some simple changes to avoid them will not only help reduce the volume of trash going to the landfill, but can also help save money, and maybe even time.  She points out:

While it might be quicker to throw something in the trash when you’re done using it than washing it and putting it away, you do have to have to spend time going to the store and buying the same products all over again. The costs for buying products again and again can really add up.

In the article, she has several suggestions for simple changes that can make a difference.  Though she points out that in many cases, the up-front cost might be a little extra, the long term savings can be especially worthwhile. Here are a few of her ideas:

For cleaning, use rags instead of paper towels (make your own by cutting up old sheets, T-shirts, towels, etc.) and for cleaning glass, use old newspapers (try it–they actually leave fewer streaks than rags or paper towels–and read on for ideas for cleaners …).  If you’re able to cut back by one roll of paper towels each week, you can save around $83 a year.

Instead of single-use bottled water or soda, rinse and reuse drink bottles (or invest in a spiffy stainless one).  It’s possible to save about $2,187 if each member of your family consumes one bottled beverage a day.

And here’s one of my favorites: rechargeable batteries.  They’re actually easy to get used to, plus most stores now sell rechargeable AA batteries and chargers.  But here’s the best part: you don’t have to run to the store when your remote runs out of juice.  Just recharge the batteries and you’re good to go (or keep an extra set on hand).  If you use around 25 AA batteries a year, you’ll save around $28 a year, you’ll also keep batteries’ chemicals out of the landfill.

There are other easy ways to save money on household items.  Many of the most simple ones are stored in the cleaning cabinet.  Metro Portland has several suggestions for inexpensive, less-toxic and easy household cleaners.  Here are just a few:

For home-made glass cleaner, combine 1 quart warm water with 1/4 cup white vinegar or 2 tablespoons lemon juice (use both vinegar and lemon if you want the cleaning abilities of vinegar with the scent of lemons).  Refill a used-up glass cleaner bottle with the solution … and wipe clean with old those old newspapers!

Need to clean up the kids’ crayon marks?  Forget store-bought chemicals, to remove crayon marks from walls, floors, counters, cabinets and furniture, rub area with toothpaste and a damp cloth.  As with other cleaners, test it in an inconspicuous area first.  Oh, and don’t use it on wallpaper!

Have some ideas of your own?  Share ’em in the comments!

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