Happy Halloween from all of us at Associates III!
I teach a lab section for an Introduction to Environmental Science course at UC Denver where we cover topics from water, food systems, and risk assessment to energy, climate change and personal consumption. This week’s topic is about waste in all its forms – landfill, recycle, compost, hazardous, electronic and sewage.
At the beginning of each semester I ask everyone to provide a personal historical narrative about their relationship with the environment. A common response from students is to write about their familiarity with recycling and the attitude their family has toward the act. If I were to consider my students from the past few years as a sample population of the world at large, recycling appears to have become the poster child of the environmentalist movement.
Which begs the question – when did the third “R” become the most recognized “R”? What happened to first REDUCING and then REUSING before RECYCLING?
According to greenwaste.com the average person generates 4.5 pounds of trash every day (or about 1.5 tons of solid waste annually). Although 75% of this waste is recyclable, the EPA estimates only 30% of this actually escapes the landfill. With these statistics in mind, it makes a lot of sense to reconsider our daily habits regarding what we use and throw away. After all, there is no such thing as “away” – just out of sight and, often, out of mind.
And if you ever wonder what happens within a recycling facility, I’ll leave you with this educational video from Boulder County Recycling Center about the single-stream recycling process:
— Amy DePierre
I previously wrote about Why and What’s Under Our Sink to explain the supply selecting process for our office. Read on for some recommendations for a few of the many companies we happily buy from for our day to day operations:
Boulder Eco-Products: Boulder, CO:
Based in Boulder, CO this local company is in the business of creating all types of cleaners that are non-toxic, 100% bio degradable, manufactured in CO, and are offered in bulk sizes.
Guided Products: Seattle, WA:
Re-Binder expects the best and delivers the best every time. Focusing on practical but unique office supplies from binders, presentation folders to CD covers that all are made of materials sourced from responsibly managed forests and verified FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) and SFI (Sustainable Forestry Initiative) certified sources. For in house use and for client presentations, every product offered is thoughtfully produced while also considering the end of its life cycle. We love the way the products look and that they are made in the USA.
The Green Office: San Francisco, CA:
This online source of all types of office supplies labels and ranks each product with a scale of sustainable and responsible factors, which makes choosing and comparing aspects that are important to us easy to do. All orders are shipped next day air with Carbon Neutral Delivery.
Seventh Generation: Burlington, VT:
The pioneer company to offer household cleaning and lifestyle products that are all effective yet healthy and safe for the planet and its inhabitants. One of our favorite products: Free and Clear Dish Soap.
Conserve-A-Watt: Denver, CO:
A Colorado company in business since 1980’s specializing in saving energy by providing a wide selection of CFL and specialty lighting.
Green-Up: Denver, CO:
The hottest new retailer in Colorado where you can shop for hip, fashionable, useful gifts that are fabulous for the home, kids, life and that are quality made, and are sustainably produced through and through. Based in Denver, you can find goods online or at few local farmers markets and boutique shows bringing stylish green goods to the masses.
Have a company you love and would like to share? Let us know!
— Kelley Cleveland
Autumn in Colorado is one of the state’s most beautiful seasons. Along with colorful foliage, it brings with it brisk mornings, warm afternoons, crunchy leaves underfoot and the ideal hot tea weather. As fall changes the landscape around us we are provided with opportunity to transform our homes to reflect a time of moving inside and prepping for the upcoming festivities that often include get-togethers with families and friends.
To fully place ourselves in the mood for fall, here are a few simple ways to modify interiors for the season:
These are just a handful of ideas to make the shift from summer to fall in your home. Do you have any other favorite ways of designing for the change of season? Let us know!
— Amy DePierre