Posts Tagged ‘recycling’

Recycling Asbestos

Posted by Colleen Kennedy on June 9th, 2017

If you’ve ever remodeled an older home, then you know the trouble you’re in when finding asbestos insulation, siding or ceiling tiles. Most of us have heard about the dangers of Asbestos, but where did this material come from and why is it so bad? And how can we get rid of it safely? Well, let’s start at the beginning.

WHAT IS IT?images-5 It’s a natural occurring mineral found in the ground on every continent in the world. The asbestos minerals are made up of fine, strong fibers that are resistant to heat, fire and other chemicals. Because of it’s fire-resistant and insulation properties, it has a wide variety of  uses. Asbestos has a long history starting as far back as 2500 B.C. where it was first used as a cloth. But it was during the Industrial Age that it became the “go-to” material for ships, buildings, cars, and our homes. Some of the products made from asbestos include, cement, roofing, flooring (linoleum and carpet),  ceiling tiles, paper for electrical panels, break pads, and the ever popular home insulation. This stuff is everywhere!

asbestos4

Unfortunately, this widely used material comes with a heavy price, Cancer. One such cancer is Mesothelioma, a rare but deadly form of cancer linked to Asbestos exposure effecting your lungs, heart and/or abdominal regions. Those at greatest risk are construction workers, firefighters, mechanics, people working in factories, shipyards, mines and more.

The reason Asbestos is so dangerous is because the strong, tiny fibers that make up Asbestos can be easily released into the air. The fibers as so microscopic that you can’t tell you’re breathing them in. Essentially, you could be exposing yourself to it for years without any symptoms as it grows, and grows in your body.  Fortunately, we’ve moved away from using it and have instead replaced it with more environmentally acceptable substitutes. (*learn more on my website under Eco-Friendly Decorating). However, there’s still a lot of it out there.  So, what do we do with all of this cancer-laden material we’ve just unearthed in our home-sweet-home?

Recycle it! Yes, Asbestos can be recycled! Even though Asbestos resists most chemical reactions, it will react with strong acids and bases. The dissolved asbestos solution can then be melted and used to create glass or ceramic material. Recycling keeps it out of the landfill, where it’s still an active and dangerous material, and it can be reinvented into a useful, non-toxic material. Pretty cool, huh? Check with your local waste management facility to find out how and where you can recycle asbestos. *Removal of Asbestos material should always be handled by licensed and trained professionals.

There’s a lot of information out there on Asbestos and I want to point you to a very informative site brought to my attention by a Bright Ideas follower, Virgil, who was recently diagnosed with Mesothelioma and who has benefited greatly by the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net.

https://mesothelioma.net/recycling-asbestos/

This site has a wealth of information on Asbestos, industrial and occupational hazards, how to protect yourself, cancer treatments and support, how to recycle asbestos and so much more,  free and available to you. Please check it out!

Thank you  ~Colleen

If you have a Bright Idea you’d like to share, please contact me!

 

 

 

Clutter Happens…Get Over It & Get Organized!

Posted by Colleen Kennedy on January 9th, 2012

It’s a new year, and like it or not, that means new clutter will soon be upon us. It’s inevitable.“What?!”, you say. “but I’m still dealing with  clutter from last year!” Yea, me too. It’s O.K.  Clutter happens. But we need to get over it and get organized!

This week-end, I took a brave first step. I cleaned out one drawer in my desk that holds all of my bills and monthly statements. Being an organizer, I already had them in chronological order (mostly!). Next, I made a shred pile, a recycle pile and put the keepers into a  shoe box marked “2011″ to be put away in storage. Now the drawer is ready for the new 2012 batch.

That was easy, I thought. So I continued. Next, a shelf that holds copy paper, photo paper, notebooks and anything else I’m not quite sure of where to put. I grabbed some files and a marker and started…….organizing! Yes, me…. an organizer, was organizing for myself!  What a concept! Whenever I came across anything that I knew I wanted but didn’t know where to put it, I created a file for it. Before I knew it, I had files for my loose photos, my current projects, one for articles I wanted to read and even one with brochures of places I want to travel this year. And guess what? It wasn’t difficult. It didn’t take long. And in the end, I had cleared up just one little area in my office but the effect was huge! I feel so much lighter. The room feels lighter. It even looks bigger!

So, how can you feel this good? Easy.

Start Small & Simple

Pick a room ……your home office, for example. Now choose one area. Your desk, one drawer of your desk, a filing cabinet, a closet. Any area,  just keep it small and simple. When you start small and simple and you’ll reach your goal quicker. You reach your goal, you feel good.

Set Yourself Up For Success

Have an area for items to shred (old bills), recycle (magazines), and keep. As you pick up each item, decide which category it falls under. Shred? Recycle? Or keep? *NOTE- there is no “I’ll deal with it later” category. When you have your 3 piles ready, immediately shred your shred items and recycle your recycle items. Now, all you have left are the items your’e keeping. This is where the work comes in! You knew there was a catch, right? What do you  do with it all? Calm down. Let’s not get all excited. No need to be overwhelmed. Put your thinking cap on and get creative.  Group like things together. For my loose papers, I created files. For magazines that I decided to keep, I put them in baskets and put one basket  in my bathroom and one by my reading chair. Putting items where you’ll use them, will keep you better organized. When your better organized, your less stressed. It’s really rather nice once you get used to it!

Stay One Step Ahead

Don’t try to do too much at once. Try to carve out just one hour a week to de-clutter. Also, get in the habit of regular shredding and recycling. That alone will help save you time. If say, you’re all caught up on your shredding, then you can spend that hour you’ve set a side for something else. Maybe even something other than de-cluttering!

It’s all about forming new good habits, having a little bit of discipline and focusing. It feels good  to de-clutter.

Lighten your load, lighten your mess.

Free yourself of clutter and stress! 

It’s all a part of healthy living!

Cheers,

Colleen

 

Host Your Own “Shop & Swap”!

Posted by Colleen Kennedy on October 7th, 2011

Let’s face it, money’s tight these days. Everyone’s pinching pennies. But that doesn’t stop us from needing (or wanting) new clothes or home decor. So why not host your own Shop & Swap? It’s the latest trend in fashion but I’m suggesting it can be done for home decor too. It’s a great way to recycle unwanted items and get “new” ones too! Here’s what you need to get started.

1. A good size room (or two)

2. A few folding tables & chairs

3. A rolling clothes rack & two full size mirrors

4. Items you want to swap

First, create invitations through evite. Send them out 2-3 weeks in advance. Make sure to invite all shapes and sizes, to be fair. Then, choose a room or two large enough to hold a few folding tables, rolling racks and mirrors. This can be your garage, basement or living room. If you can, set up a small area to act as a dressing room.

Organize the area according to items. Home decor (small items like candle holders, vases or table ware), tops, bottoms, shoes, accessories, etc. Place mirrors in an accessible  area of the room for guests to use.

Set Some Rules If you can’t part with it, you can’t bring it. Items must be clean and undamaged. Empty pockets, check zippers and buttons. Also, you may want to have your guests pick a number upon arrival to see who shops first. This will help in the event there are some really desirable pieces that more than one person might want.

Set A Theme Use the current season to make it a theme party such as a Halloween costume swap, or a  Holiday decorations swap.  Or how about a vintage, party dress or athletic swap? I’ve even heard of young women hosting a prom gown swap. Use your imagination and have fun! Don’t have any items to swap, how about making some coupons for a service you can swap for? For example, 2 free hours of babysitting or house cleaning. Or, with the holidays coming up, your coupon can be for help with shopping, cooking, or gift wrapping.

Finally, donate leftover items to your local charity. Remember, you’re all in this to de-clutter your closets. No need to take things for the sake of taking. If there’s nothing you want, at least you lightened your load and had fun with friends.

So have fun with your event. Make it a party! Serve snacks or make it a pot luck. Play some fun music to set the mood. Any way you choose to do it, it’s a great way to gather your friends, have some fun and who knows, maybe even get a new look for your home and yourself! Hosting a Shop & Swap is Eco-friendly, affordable and fun!

Have you hosted or been to a clothing swap party? Please share your experience or helpful tips!

Easy Green Shopping

Posted by Colleen Kennedy on December 23rd, 2009

Here’s a few last minute gift ideas:

  • Eco-friendly shopping bags. You can find them just about everywhere these days. They’re smart, stylish and inexpensive. Use them as a gift or in place of wrapping paper. Put a toy inside for a child and the bag becomes a little gift for Mom too!
  • Make a donation to a charity in a loved one’s name. Find one that they can relate to be it animals, children, or a cancer foundation. This type of gift touches more people than just the person you give it to.
  • Bake cookies, pies or breads. This is one of my favorites! A little old fashion but a whole lot tasty!! This year, I  used holiday tins left over from last year to put my cookies in. It’s a great way to recycle the tins and who doesn’t love cookies?

Whatever gift you give, make it from the heart and they will love it. Try not to get caught up in all the hoopla. Sometimes the best gift you can give is time. So for my last suggestion, I’ll say this:

  • Plan some time with someone whether it’s lunch with your sister or a beer with your brother maybe tea with your mom, as long as it’s time well spent it will be the best gift of all.

Merry, Merry and Happy, Happy to you all!