According to an article in Good written by Andrew Price there is a company, ecoATM, that will give you cash or store credit to trade up to a newer cell phone.

You take your old phone to a kiosk which will visually or electronically inspect it and decide what its value is. You can then get cash or store credit for a new phone.

You can find a location here.


The RE Store

April 7, 2012

A Repurposed Headboard From The RE Store
Photo Courtesy of The RE Store

For almost twenty years RE Store (there are actually two) in Western Washington has been providing quality recycled building materials as an alternate to new materials to sustainably conscious consumers. And over those twenty years the store has grown into a company that now also offers an amazing range of services. Not only can you go to the store to pick out materials, the RE Store also offers a free pick up service and a green demolition service.

What is green demolition you ask? It is a way to dismantle a building using machine and hand techniques to recover materials for reuse. This can include everything from structural framing beams to flooring and fixtures. The RE Store specializes in whole-building deconstruction, which is economically competitive with regular demolition and allows for the reuse up to 50 percent of most structures. This keeps a lot of materials out of the land fill.

The RE Store also has skill building workshops for the community and a Sustainable Living Center. Take a look at their web site and blog for more information about this inspiring and highly useful venture.

Did you know that most of the to go cups we drink out of are made from oil meaning they can not be recycled? I didn’t until I found out about a company called Repurpose Compostables and read about what they have been up to lately. I urge you to go to their web site and find out the exciting things they are doing.

It seems they have figured out a way to make cups out of plants. Cups made out of plants can be composted to make more cups out of plants. Pretty cool, right?

The cups can be found at select Bed Bath & Beyond stores,, and

You can visit the Retail Locations page of their web site to see when new stores will be carrying their innovative new product.

Slow Trash?

February 24, 2012

Most of you have probably never heard of SWANA, The Solid Waste Association of North America. Until an hour ago I hadn’t either, but it turns out that for fifty years now they have been “the leading professional association in the solid waste field.”

Recently Jennifer Santry at the High Country Conservation Center in Summit County, Colorado wrote a piece about a SWANA conference she attended called The Road To Zero Waste run by SWANA’s Recycling & Special Waste Division.

Most people would think a conference titled The Road To Zero Waste would be about how to more effectively get rid of our garbage: composting, recycling and turning waste into fuel. However this was not the case.

“Surprisingly,” Jennifer wrote, “my take away message had more to do with the purchase than the garbage.” In other words Slow Trash. Instead of focusing on how to make our trash into something useful, concentrate on creating less waste.

In the article Jennifer wrote “Slow trash challenges you to slow down consumption and connect with the purchase. My favorite line in the article is, “slow trash is all about taking a snapshot of the life-cycle of a particular item.”

Think about that for a moment. (Or two since our theme here is slow.) Think about where the product was made and by whom. Was he or she paid a fair wage? Did it have to be shipped from across the globe using tons of fuel? How long will you use this item? When you are done with it can you pass it along to a friend?

The conference was here in Austin and Jennifer gave Austin’s Future Craft Collective a big thumps up for their “Don’t Shop; Swap” event where Austinites can swap clothes instead of going out and buying a new wardrobe. She also touted the fact that the landfill here has a last chance pile for people to go through.

We used to have two things that comprised about a third of our recycling; yogurt containers and seltzer bottles. It drove me nuts. So I went out and got a yogurt maker – which I love and highly recommend for anyone who likes yogurt. (Get one with a timer that automatically shuts off.) But I didn’t know what to do about the seltzer situation. My husband loves it, it’s not unhealthy and it didn’t seem fair to ask him to give it up.

Then I heard about soda makers for the home and I thought what a great idea. On TreeHugger Pablo Paster, an Energy and Sustainability Management consultant at Hara Software, addresses just the topic I’ve been wondering about since I first heard about them. Are those soda makers you see in stores really greener than buying seltzer in bottles or cans? Here is what Pablo has to say about the topic.

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