Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Recycle by Colors

We're big fans of recycling around here. In fact, as I look up across my desk, I catch a glimpse of our extra large green bin - piled high, overflowing with reusable goodness.

Ah. Be still my heart.

So when we saw that our recent post, Recycle by Numbers was a hit with readers - we figured, why stop there? Let's keep this educational train running.

Today, we bring you a handy guide on how best to re-use and recycle some of the most common materials. From your car battery to that 90's TV and everything in between, we guarantee you'll think twice about how to get rid of that hot pink Razr phone.

Oh, stop. We know you have one.

Let the learning begin.


Americans discard about 2.7 million tons of aluminum each year. But - only half that amount is recycled.

And, there's no excuse. Across the U.S., over 10,000 locations buy back aluminum cans. Plus, who doesn't love some extra cash? 100% recyclable, cans return to the shelves as new within only 60 days after dropping them into the bin. Oh, and recycling just one saves enough energy to run your TV for three hours.

Now that's a lot of Netflix binging.

Aluminum foil is no exception. Last year, Americans discarded almost 500,000 tons of the material - all of which could've been recycled. Re-use it as much as possible (it's easily wiped down) and give it a good rinse before dropping it into your bin. Better yet? Splurge a little for the 100% recycled foil. This kind uses 5% less energy than traditional foil during the manufacturing process.



In the U.S. today, most glass bottles contain at least 27% recycled material. But, when it comes to recycling this sturdy substance, even the smallest remnants of food waste or dirt can contaminate the entire batch. Cue memories of mom nagging you to "rinse out the recyclables!" Yup, she was right... again.

Here's an interesting tidbit: brown glass, the most common color for beer bottles, is manufactured by adding nickel, sulfur and carbon to molten glass. Since this brown color can't be removed, recycled brown bottles = more brown bottles!

Pizza & a brew, anyone?! In the GreenBox, of course. ☺

So, feel free to toss your clear, green and amber glass into the recycling (rinsed clean!) - but mirrors, Pyrex and ceramics (such as dishware and ovenware) aren't accepted.


Car batteries are the most recycled product in America. That's right - in the U.S. alone, about 100 million batteries are replaced a year, and 99% of these are recycled. Cool, huh?

Each car battery is made up of about 60% lead and contains three pounds of plastic - most of which can be reclaimed to produce new batteries. Oh, and the sulfuric acid contained within the product can be neutralized, purified & released as clean water.

Minds. Blown.

Bottom line? Many retailers (like AutoZone!) will take back batteries, but contact your local municipality to find out where to recycle yours. Easy as pie.


Each day, over 130,000 computers are dumped in landfills. But, guess what? Nearly 100% of your old computer can be re-used. Plastic, metal, glass... it's a recycling center's dream!

So, no need to chuck that dust-gathering laptop. Apple, Dell, HP and IBM are just a few of many manufacturers that offer trade-in options. Circuit City and Best Buy will also accept your "e-waste," and Staples even welcomes desktop printers, faxes and all-in-ones. Ta da!


Making the switch to a 75", HD, wall-mounted flat screen? Us too. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that only 18% of TVs discarded last year were recycled. That leaves 20 million televisions, each containing about 8 pounds of lead, polluting our landfills.

Check with your local municipality for drop-off centers, or find a retailer that offers a TV recycling program (LG and Sony do!). Or, if your TV is still in working condition, here's a list of non-profit organizations that would gladly take that clunker off your hands. They'll even scoop it up for free. 

Cell Phones

At this moment, over 1 billion gadgets are catching cobwebs in our junk drawers. And - only 10% of these will be recycled.

Trashed cell phones (hello, Blackberry) represent about 65,000 tons of electronic waste each year. For every 1 million cell phones we recycle, 35 thousand pounds of copper, 772 pounds of silver, 75 pounds of gold and 33 pounds of palladium can be recovered.

Yeah, we said it. Gold.

Before you toss that iPhone 4 (we know, it's so yesterday), consider a program like Eco-cell. They'll even pay you for your old smartphone! AT&T and Verizon both offer trade-in programs, and our personal favorite - Cell Phones for Soldiers - will ensure that your working device gets into the best of hands.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Red, Green & Reindeer All Over

Cheese-less “pizza”? Oh my!

Just ask the Aussies, who top their pies with good ‘ol BBQ – and extra crocodile. 

Yeah, we said it. Forget the pepperoni. Down under, kangaroo is king.  

But they’re not the only ones putting a spin on this saucy staple.

In India, they’re mad about mutton. Which, if you didn’t know... is minced sheep. Perfectly complimented by pickled ginger and cottage cheese.

To each his own, right?

Now, we might be partial to extra cheese, but in a world where 5 billion pizzas are consumed annually - you've gotta expect some variation (even if this does mean swapping out traditional sauce for ketchup).

...Not gonna lie, that stings a little.

Anyway, we digress. Check out some of the ways the world is "thinking outside the pie". Caviar included.


Cold pizza? We thought that was only for breakfast. And midnight snacking in the dark when no one's watching. Don't judge.

But, the Russians prefer their pizza chilled at all hours – topped with mockba (a "four fish" combo of sardines, tuna, mackerel, salmon & onions). 

Hmmm. This one's debatable.


Shrimp, mayo & a whole lot of mini hot dogs. Need we say more?


In these parts, "Pizza Berlusconi" is a delicacy. This combo of smoked reindeer, onions  & chanterelles (aka golden mushrooms) looks pretty good to us. But, better not tell Rudolph.


Thin crust, a layer of ketchup, and.... peas. Oh, and maybe a quail egg or two. 

Brazilians are also best-known for their dessert toppings - ranging from fresh plantains to "guava paste." Who even knew that was a thing?


In Germany, canned tuna is a go-to. Mix in some onions & olives and you’ve got yourself a fishy favorite. 


Even in Japan, Domino’s delivers. Their most popular pie is a “mayo jaga” – a mayo, bacon, onion, corn & potato pizza. Oh, and it’s not uncommon to tack on some eel or squid. You know, just to keep things interesting.


For the Swedes, curry is classic. Paired with ham, sweet bananas & pineapple rings, it's a tangy twist on the Hawaiian pie.

The UK

Is it just us, or does the phrase "blood sausage" freak you out? Regardless, Brits love it on their pizza - creepy name and all. Mushrooms, baked beans & bacon complete this "full English breakfast" style pizza.

So, tell us. How do you like your slice?