Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Being Green in 2013, Week 2

Being Green in 2013: Week 2

        Now that January has swiftly flown by and is coming to a close, we'd like to ask, how are your resolutions for 2013 coming along?  We know you may be thinking, if this is only one month and I've already begun to fall back to old habits, how can I last the whole year? Well, fret not, we're here to help motivate you and keep you on track - especially when it comes to keeping your life green this year and creating good, lasting habits.

       We thought we'd give an interesting twist to a common New Year's resolution - combining the idea of working out/getting healthy and keeping your exercise routine easy and eco-friendly.  If you're just getting back into the workout routine and are buying equipment, try to find used items - like exercise bikes and weights.  And when you're treating yourself to some workout gear to look good and stay motivated, maybe take a look into companies that practice and promote sustainability, such as REI, Patagonia, and Nau.  Make sure to avoid plastic water bottles, and try something more reusable to cut down on extra unneccesary waste (if you have an aversion to tap water, try out a Brita filter to fill your reusable bottle!).

      With the weather at a whopping 50+ degrees at the end of January here in Ann Arbor, its hard for us not to say unplug from the indoors and take your workout outdoors - although we know it may not last that long.  Still, when the warmer months roll around, think about moving outdoors for walks, runs, hikes, or even grab your yoga mat and enjoy the environment around you.  We know you'll be keeping at this resolution, just like us, so in a few months make sure to recycle those old worn out running sneakers if you're buying a new pair.

Here's to a new year and new habits! Keep up the good work!

(photo cred: 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Being Green in 2013, Week 1

Being Green in 2013: Week 1 

         Being "green" doesn't mean you have to drastically change up your entire lifestyle (although it is possible) or spend an extravagant amount of money on better appliances or green technologies.  For 2013, we at the Waste Reduction and Recycling Office propose that each week you make one small environmentally friendly change for the better in your daily habits.  These little shifts in habit will be low cost, and only require your attention to following them.  

        This week we're going to make sure we REDUCE our personal paper demand.  Think about how much paper comes through your mailbox - whether it be catalogs, Yellow Pages books, paychecks, and all sorts of bills.  With most companies offering opt-out services, it is pretty simple to request that you stop the service on free catalogs and Yellow Books.  If you still want to receive news, sign up for email newsletters and online catalogs.  And while moving towards online bills and direct deposit may be a bigger and more noticeable lifestyle shift, it is definitely worthwhile.  You can still keep track of your bills and book keep using an online based system.  Setting up a folder on your computer for different bills and your direct deposit will allow you to download PDF files and save them here, while staying organized.  Lastly, another easy way to reduce your paper use is to reuse paper you are done with (and would normally head to the recycling) for notes and scraps.  Forget about notepads and post it notes, just cut your used paper into quarters and use the blank side for reuse.  You'll maybe even save some money with this one! 

       All in all, we intend for our tips to be costless and painless for you!  Make a few changes and make a difference in 2013!

(Picture credit:

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Recycling Programs to Look Forward to in 2013

        Happy New Year from the Waste Reduction and Recycling Office at the University of Michigan!  We are excited about 2013 to make even greater strides in reducing waste on our campus and spreading new ideas about recycling.

       There is already exciting news on the horizon for February, as H&M has announced an exciting clothes exchange program.  Working with a global recycling company, I:Collect, H&M will be taking used garments from any brand in exchange for a voucher.  This program will be the first global initiative of its kind, and H&M looks to reduce the environmental impact of clothes throughout their life cycle.

To read the article in full about the pros and cons of such a sustainability initiave, follow the link below: