You may know of the hazards of BPA coated receipts but I’m guessing most of you DON’T know that they cannot be recycled. That’s right. NO tossing them in your recycle bin. If that’s not motivation to nix receipts altogether I don’t know what is. Especially when you get those two foot long ones popular at pharmacies and big box stores. That thermal coating that harms your skin also means it has to go in the garbage. Talk about waste. What can we do? There are some calls to action. Green America has a petition going to get the CVC giant to expand its digital receipt options and start using plain paper for printed ones – more on that below. And this month, CA became the first state to propose a bill that requires all businesses to provide receipts electronically as the default starting in 2022. They got rid of plastic straws so I’m optimistic. On the home front: skip the slip whenever you are given the option. The IRS accepts digital receipts so don’t fear the audits. If a paper receipt is the only option, don’t stockpile them! That tends to be one of the biggest causes of paper clutter. ONLY keep receipts for big ticket items like furniture and appliances and keep those in a labeled manila envelope. If there is a user’s manual for your purchase, tape the receipt to the inside of the front cover. In addition, take a photo of the receipt and keep in a digital folder. This is especially a good idea for jewelry, laptops and artwork.
TAKE ACTION: Producing CVS’ notoriously long receipts takes over 35,000 trees and enough energy to power 84,800 refrigerators every year. The pharmacy’s receipt production emits 44 million pounds of CO2 and produces the same amount of solid waste generated by half a million people every day. The phenol coating makes them unfit for recycling, adding even more waste. CVS receipts have been tested and found to have BPS in their coating, which poses health risks for workers and customers. CLICK here to sign the petition to Skip The Slip.
Join me Friday the 12th for a FREE and fun event. This 8th Annual Sustainability & Repair Fair brings a great group of folks together at the Garden Home Library in SW Portland. Lots of earth friendly products and information. You can even get your toaster fixed while you visit with vendors. Note: You can bring up to 2 items for repairs but they ask for a heads up. Click here for the Repair Fair registry. This event is so popular they now have to hold it in the adjacent gymnasium to accommodate everyone. And that’s a good thing! 5 to 7:30 pm. Corner of Oleson & Garden Home Rd. See you then!
The waste industry has made major strides in coming up with ways to recycle our refuse. Everything that is except those ginormous blocks of Styrofoam. You know the ones – hermetically sealing everything from flat screen TV’s to furniture and glassware. Even if you break them down into tiny pieces, the choice for disposal is still an ugly one: landfill. UPS takes peanuts but not blocks. The only recycling center in Portland that took Styrofoam stopped accepting it in March. Now what? Enter Agilyx – an energy alternative company located in Tigard, OR. Implementing new technology in renewable energy and chemical recycling with a focus on environmental impact; the company broke ground this year on a facility that will convert polystyrene foam (foam cups, packaging materials) into styrene monomer. Reducing to the monomer form allows for global reuse in tons of ways. Fuel, helmets, housing … sky’s the limit. Best part for Portlanders? Consumers can drop off their Styrofoam for free. YAY! I spoke with the folks at Agilyx to confirm the free part and they shared that there are bins available 24/7 at their facility. Make sure your foam has the “6” on it and that it is clean and dry. If you are a business or have more than a truck load, contact Agilyx at 503-217-3160 to schedule a drop off time. Click here for map and more info. Not in the PDX area? Visit Home for Foam to find recycling near you. Until manufacturers are mandated to use earth friendly packaging, let’s do our best to dispose of stuff mindfully. Here’s to creative solutions and making Earth a clearer home for everyone.
Photo courtesy of NRWS, Paradise, CA.
It’s here! A Clear Place September Enews. Meet my feisty 86 yr. old friend and learn how she’s still making a difference; get an update and helpful recycling link from Earth911; get a quick tip on organizing your clearing and download a FREE sorting guide. And, in honor of Autumn – the season of letting go – get FREE shipping on ACP Wisdom Cards. All this and more. Happy Fall and happy clearing! View Enews now.
Matt Damon, Socks for Water, IKEA, and Earth Hour are all part of this month’s Clear News. Find out how you can help support Water.org in their global game changing programs. It’s tax time so I’ve included a reminder on what you do or don’t need to hang on to and tips on how to finally get on top of that paper clutter mountain. Plus, get some help with keeping your brain clear … something we can all use! View now.
Challenge: Find a better way to present multiple topics, links and graphics on one page that all open easily with mobile devices. It needs to look good and inspire action. Oh … it should also have a personal vibe and consistent quality. Something that’s professional yet warm and, of course, always clear in voice and message. Result: Today I launch my latest Clear News format … thanks to MailChimp and lots of pots of jasmine tea. Hope you enjoy it!
Not on the ACP mail list? Send me your email address to get the monthly ACP Clear News delivered directly to your inbox. Addresses are never shared or used for promotion.
Prompted by next week’s workshop, Saying YES To Less (hosted by the Tualatin Public Library), the local Times did a nice feature on ACP. After the interview, I asked the reporter if he personally had experienced any issues with stuff. A young guy who recently went through a move, he admitted being surprised at how much he had accumulated in a short time and in finding things stored away that he had forgotten about. Yep. That’s a common tale. Dealing with stuff has no generation boundaries. It can get to the best of us … and bring out the worst in anyone. I love sharing the how to’s of getting and staying clear and the immediate relief it can bring to any space. And there’s no time like the present to start! Read the Times.
“No blame, no shame” guidance for whatever is ailing your space.
Clutter issues? Sharing space?
Downsizing? Stuffed rooms?
Out of ideas?
House Call to the rescue! Perfect for figuring out where to start and for getting a fresh perspective on your space. No nonsense, practical steps. The perfect gift for you or anyone on your list. Options include onsite or online consultations. Contact me or view packages and purchase at the ACP Etsy shop. Make it a happy green holiday!
I just couldn’t share enough about this wonderful organization, so here’s a follow up to last week’s feature. Community Warehouse Communications Director, Rena Satre Meloy, took time from her busy schedule yesterday to give me the inside view of this bustling nonprofit. The warehouse was buzzing during my entire visit – a continual stream of donations coming in and going out. And just like their Tualatin location, everything was done with efficiency and a smile. Adjacent to the warehouse, we toured the Estate Store and as at their SW branch, I was impressed with the organization and clean and attractive displays. And such diverse items! Everything from a Murano glass chandelier to a nautical folding screen to a vintage doll complete with clothes and trunk. All at bargain prices with proceeds supporting the CW programs. Rena shared that an average of 40 families a week are outfitted with everything they need to set up house. An additional 20 families are serviced weekly at the Tualatin location. It’s amazing how much work can be accomplished by so few when the hearts are dedicated. Thank you, Rena, for being such a warm ambassador for a worthy and much needed cause. You guys are the real deal.
DONATE, SHOP & SUPPORT – Be mindful of stuff and get it/bring it where it matters. CW Estate Stores are open 7 days a week. Click here for address and hours. Watch here for more updates and ideas on helping our community by helping Community Warehouse. Don’t live in the PDX area? Visit the ACP Resources page or Contact me with your location and I’ll find an organization that can use your stuff. As always, thanks for making it a brighter world!
Getting rid of stuff is just one piece of the downsizing puzzle. There are many other components including where, how, what and who gets the items you are letting go of. Community Warehouse has been on my Resources Page for years as one of the best places to donate household goods and there are lots of reasons why. Their mission of “redistributing donated furniture and household goods to neighbors in need” continues to grow in demand along with the number of working class poor. The nonprofit is one of the few places that accepts mattress donations (no kings/always in need of twins), drop off is open 7 days a week AND they offer pick up service ($30 nominal fee).
I recently toured their newer Tualatin location and was impressed by its organized and efficient operation as well as the welcoming staff. Like its parent location in NE Portland, the warehouse is divided into two sections. The largest area contains about 90% of the donations and it’s where clients are outfitted with everything from linens and a set of cookware to dining chairs and a sofa. Their Estate Store sells select items at great prices to benefit the mission. It’s open to the public 7 days a week. CW networks with over 200 agencies between Portland and Corvalis and in 2014 helped over 7,000 neighbors in need. AND kept 550+ tons of stuff out of landfills. Now that’s a WIN-WIN!
Visit Community Warehouse to learn more about scheduling a pick up, location hours and items most needed. How you let go of your stuff matters. Contact me if you need guidance. As always, thanks for being mindful of where things go … and for doing your part in making our Earth a lighter place!
TIP: Not in the PDX corridor? Use the nationwide donate/recycle guide at Earth 911 (another favorite from my Resources Page). Just put in your zip code and up pops a list of who in your area accepts what you what to donate. Easy!