Recycling, reclaimed, upcycled, repurposed… are they all the same? Well, yes and no. Though the terms are often used interchangeably, we like to think of them as slightly different. Recycling, the term everyone is most familiar with, is simply taking an item, breaking it down into its base material and creating something new (and sometimes different) with it. Repurposing, or upcycling, is using an item for something other than its intended purpose; maybe it was also reclaimed in the process. To be reclaimed, an item has to have reached the end of its useful life and be destined for the trash, but instead of being thrown away, it’s transformed into something new. Continue reading
“Made from recycled materials.” Those words are emblazoned on everything from paper products to glassware, but what do they really mean? And what about “pre-consumer” and “post-consumer” labels? Is one better than the other?
It’s World Water Day, and the theme this year is international water cooperation. What does that mean? Every action involving water management requires effective cooperation between multiple agencies. Rivers cross geographic and political boundaries and cooperation is necessary to share the water resources of a transboundary river basin between upstream and downstream users with different and sometimes conflicting needs, claims and cultures.
Most of us have done a detox of some sort, acting to help clear internal toxins, but have you detoxed your home? It’s surprising how many unpleasant chemicals can be found around the average household. Spring time, and the traditional spring cleaning, is the perfect time to give your home a detox. Indoor air is typically more polluted than outdoor air thanks to thinks like home insulation, wall-to-wall carpeting, cleaning products, adhesives, and all the things we use to keep our homes nice, neat and pleasant to be in. While it’s not possible to completely eliminate potentially harmful chemicals from our lives, it is very possible to reduce the number of them in our homes, and their impact on us. Continue reading
From downsizing empty nesters and young professionals looking for affordable housing to eco-minded folks wanting to reduce their carbon footprint, small homes are in. But just what is “small”? And is it for you?