Webfinder : Recycling

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Recycling in South Plainfield provides information for local residents on drop-off and curbside pickup, including yard waste, textiles, motor oil, paint, tires, electronics and more. The South Plainfield Public Library accepts empty ink and toner cartridges from computer printers or copiers. Our Where to Donate Goods page offers information on local, regional, and national organizations that can make good use of your used goods!

The Language of Recycling [NEW!] offers some basic advice to help you figure out whether a product or package is recyclable or made with recycled materials.

Recycling NJ and Earth 911 have lots of useful information on what can & cannot be recycled (including The Great Pizza Box Recycling Mystery!), and on where to recycle what. See also 20 Things You Didn’t Know You Can Recycle (Green America). The Recycling Materials Index [NEW!] is an alphabetical list of product recycling information (N.J. Department of Environmental Protection). Close the loop by buying products with recycled content! See Recycling NJ: Buy Recycled and Recycled Products: The Smart Choice.

Recycle Nation [NEW!] features a comprehensive database that you can search to find local recyclers for whatever type of product you want to recycle – whether you’re clearing out the house during spring cleaning or simply looking to recycle a few shopping bags! (Electronic Recyclers International, Inc.)

Reduce.org offers tips on reducing all kinds of waste: ‘When you avoid making garbage in the first place, you don’t have to worry about disposing of waste or recycling it later.’ (Minnesota Pollution Control Agency). Source Reduction [NEW!] provides advice and links on reducing yard waste, junk mail, disposables, holiday waste, and more (N.J. Department of Environmental Protection).

E-Cycling Central & related links gives you additional info about where and how to recycle electronic products.

LampRecycle.org tells you where you can recycle Compact Flourescent Light bulbs (CFLs). See also Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFLs), which includes info on how to handle broken bulbs safely  (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency).

Nike’s Reuse-A-Shoe Program collects used athletic shoes (any brand) at its U.S. retail locations.

Proper Disposal of Medicines links explain the safe way to get rid of old medications.

Links updated April 2016.

Webfinder : Green Shopping

Buy Recycled Products [NEW!] provides links to online stores and companies that sell clothing, paper, building materials, home furnishings, and other products made with recycled content (N.J. Department of Environmental Protection). See also Recycling NJ: Buy Recycled.

Climate Counts can tell you whether your favorite company is taking steps to prevent global warming (non-profit organization).

Good Stuff is a ‘Behind-the-Scenes Guide to the Things We Buy’ with tips, facts, and links you can use to start making more informed purchases that benefit your health and the environment. (Worldwatch Institute, an independent research organization)

Green America’s Responsible Shopper helps you ‘go green’ when buying a wide range of products & services. (Non-profit membership organization)

Sins of Greenwashing teaches you how to spot false or misleading environmental claims on product labels and in advertisements (TerraChoice Group Inc., part of the Underwriters Laboratories). The Federal Trade Commission explains standards for Green Advertising Claims which are enforced by the FTC, and has additional useful information on Green Products.

Eat Well Guide and Local Harvest list places where you can buy locally-grown food; searchable by zip code. Click on the Eat Local map to find out what’s in season in your state at different times of the year (Natural Resources Defense Council). Consumer Reports’ Greener Choices offers advice and recipes for eating more healthfully and sustainably. How to Read Meat and Dairy Labels defines common label terms such as Certified Organic; Free-Range, Pasture-Raised or Grass-Fed; Certified Humane; Hormone-Free, rBGH-Free, rBST-Free, or No Hormones Added; Dolphin-Safe; Natural; Grain-Fed; and similar terms (Humane Society of the United States). See also What is Organic? (USDA). To find information about sustainable fish & seafood, see Seafood Watch (Monterey Bay Aquarium) or EDF Seafood Selector [NEW!] (Environmental Defense Fund).

EWG’s Skin Deep [NEW!] is an online safety guide for cosmetics and personal care products, launched in 2004 to help people find safer products, with fewer ingredients that are hazardous or that haven’t been thoroughly tested. EWG also has similar guides for Household Cleaning Products and  Food (Environmental Working Group)

Greener Electronics includes resources to help you buy more environmentally-friendly electronic products (Electronics TakeBack Coalition, sponsored by the Tides Center; non-profit organization). See also Story of Electronics [UPDATED LINK!] (Center for Environmental Health).

Shopping for Light Bulbs [NEW!] explains the different types of light bulbs now available, and how you can choose the most efficient bulbs that meet your lighting needs.

So Kind Alternative Gift Registry makes it easier to give and receive non-material, homemade, second-hand, and environmentally-friendly gifts (Center for a New American Dream).

Links updated April 2016.

Webfinder : Green Lawn & Garden

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Bug Review offers descriptions of some common home & garden insect pests, with photographs, habits, potential damage, and non-chemical control recommendations (University of Illinois). Pest Management in Homes, Gardens, Landscapes, and Turf includes guidelines for monitoring pests, and non-pesticide alternatives for managing pests – including birds, mammals, reptiles, deer, gophers, raccoons, etc. (University of California; some information is specific to California).

Composting for Kids [Link opens a PDF] has good basic instruction in the whys and hows of composting, for kids or adult beginners (Texas Agricultural Extension Service). See also Composting for the Homeowner (University of Illinois Extension) and Grasscycling and Composting Yard Waste (California Integrated Waste Management Board). The Middlesex County Division of Solid Waste Management sells compost bins to Middlesex County residents at a reduced price.

Garden for Wildlife shows how you can landscape your yard to attract birds, butterflies, and other wildlife. Includes a Gardeners’ Guide to Global Warming (National Wildlife Federation). The Coevolution Institute offers free eco-regional Pollinator Planting Guides to help you make your yard more friendly to birds, bees, butterflies, bats, beetles and other pollinators (non-profit organization). The Butterfly Site has helpful tips and links specifically for attracting butterflies to your garden (site includes advertisements).

Gardener’s Supply Company website includes helpful articles on flower & vegetable gardening and lawn care, useful tools & calculators, and more (commercial site).

Greenscaping [UPDATED LINK! Link opens a PDF] explains how you can save time & money and protect the environment by changing your landscape to a GreenScape (2006, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). Less Lawn also provides information and inspiration to help you create a more beautiful, low-maintenance, organic, and wildlife-friendly landscape (by author Evelyn J. Hadden). Landscape For Life [NEW!] “shows you how to work with nature in your garden, no matter where you live, whether you garden on a city or suburban lot, a 20–acre farm, or the common area of your condominium” (United States Botanic Garden Conservatory). See also Lawn Pesticide Fact Sheets & Safer Lawn Care [UPDATED LINK!] (Beyond Pesticides coalition), Rain Gardens [NEW!] (Rutgers), and NJ Fertilizer Law: Answers for Homeowners [NEW!] (Rutgers)

Native Gardening and Invasive Plants is a guide to native plants in different regions of the U.S., and to some of the weedy or invasive plants that are best avoided in the garden. NOTE : You must provide an email address to use some features of the site (e-Nature.com; site includes advertisements). Invasive Plants offers photos and basic information to help you identify invasive species, with links to additional resources. Also offers similar information on invasive animal and insect pests (USDA).

Tree Planting [Link opens a PDF] – Explains the basics of choosing, planting, and maintaining trees on your property (USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service). The SelecTree database will search for specific tree species to match the type of site and desired tree characteristics you specify (Cal Poly State University). And don’t forget to Call Before You Dig!

Links updated April 2016.

Webfinder : Green Living

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10 FREE Ways to Go Green [NEW!] provices practical green tips that can easily be introduced into your daily routine.

Green Tips are simple steps you can take today to green your clothing, your home, your transportation and more! Green American shows you even more ways to live better, save more, invest wisely, and make a difference. (Green America)

Ask Umbra provides answers to frequently asked questions such as: paper or plastic? cloth or disposable diapers? handwash dishes or use the dishwasher? buy organic food from far away, or non-organic food grown locally? and other common green dilemmas. Plus more helpful advice for living green. (Grist Magazine)

EPA’s Household Carbon Footprint Calculator helps you estimate your household’s greenhouse gas emissions, then suggests actions you can take to lower your emissions while reducing your energy and waste disposal costs. You’ll find links to related resources at Greener Living [UPDATED LINK!] page. (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)

EWG’s Healthy Home Tips [NEW!] are aimed at helping you create a cleaner and greener home that is good for your family and the planet. Printable PDFs cover topics such as personal care products & household cleaners, organic & fresh foods, plastics, tap water, healthy pregnancy, school lunches and more. (Environmental Working Group)

Green Home Guide offers lots of practical advice on greening your home and yard. (U.S. Green Building Council)

Metro: Sustainable Living includes good advice on green cleaners, waste prevention, natural gardening, home improvement, and more (Metro Regional Government, Portland, OR).

Solutions for Your Life: Sustainable Living is an extensive library of links to information about living sustainably, covering energy consumption, families & consumers, lawn & garden care, and more (University of Florida Extension).

Living Green isn’t out of Renters’ Reach suggests low-cost ways for apartment dwellers to be eco-friendly. (2010, Los Angeles Times / Washington Post; site includes advertisements).

And be sure to check out our other Green Living and Energy Conservation Webfinders!

Links updated April 2016.