Good news for us New Yorkers - speaker Christine Quinn has just announced a major expansion of the city recycling program. This means more types of plastics, e-waste, and textiles get recycled, and there will be more public recycling bins all over the city.
Great news - but why not go one step further and try to keep stuff out of the recycling stream in the first place? Recycling is awesome, and definitely better than sending material to landfills. But it still involves a lot of waste and energy spent. After all, the trucks that come to pick up your bags of plastic jugs and aluminum cans sure use a lot of fossil fuel, and then everything needs to be crushed or melted down in big factories before it becomes reusable raw material - not a simple process! - so we think that upcycling your waste, re-making it into something useful before it ever hits the trash can or recycling bin, is the best solution of all.
And we have plenty of suggestions on how to do it. Plant your herb garden in those old yogurt cups. Save your soda tabs for a stylish belt. Weave thick cardboard or treated paper into nifty placemats or coasters. Or check out our projects index for more ideas, and happy upcycling!