Posts made in December, 2014

Making Your Keurig More Environmental

Keurig drink makers are inventions that allow you to prepare a singe serving of your favorite coffee, hot cocoa or tea. Many consumers, however, wonder what to do with all those empty K-cups and how they can enjoy their individual cup of coffee, cocoa or tea with as little environmental impact as possible.

Invest in a Reusable Filter

Purchase a plastic reusable filter to fit into your Keurig machine, and you won’t have to toss out so many of the small plastic cups. Fill the filter with your favorite coffee grounds or tea leaves to make your single serving of hot beverage just as you would with the prepackaged K-cup. Then, simply rinse the filter out and use it again next time you want a warm drink.

Compost the Coffee Grounds or Tea Leaves

Coffee grounds and tea leaves can be composted, so instead of throwing the remains in the trash can, toss them onto your compost heap instead. If you don’t have a compost heap, dig a small hole in your garden area, and bury the grounds. In addition to keeping them out of the landfill, the grounds or tea leaves will enrich your soil.

Grounds to Grow On Program

Set up by the Keurig company, the Grounds to Grow On program encourages consumers to return their used K-cups to them. Once the company receives the used cups, they are given a second life doing things such as becoming a useful source of energy. The used grounds inside the cups are given to various agricultural entities to be used as valuable compost. Each of these actions helps keep the cups and packaging out of the landfill.

Repurpose the Cups

Those little empty cups can be used for a variety of creative things around your home and garden. Increase drainage in potted plants by filling the pots about one-third of the way with empty K-cups and then topping with dirt and planting flowers or houseplants. Give the empty cups to your children as art projects. Use the cups as paint cups to keep the mess to a minimum or use them to separate beads, buttons or other supplies by color, shape or size. Show your kids how to stack clean, dry cups to make towers, castles or other structures. Line up ten K-cups and give your child a small bounce ball to play a miniature version of bowling.

For more information, speak to a provider of coffee products, like Mountain Valley Water.

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Dos And Don’ts Of Owning A Septic Tank System

Your septic system is an important part of your plumbing system. Incorrect usage and maintenance of the system can lead to a host of problems including the septic backing up. Here are some dos and don’ts of using and maintaining your septic system.

  1. Do not flush dangerous chemicals. Dangerous chemicals, such as flammable products and pesticides, can cause damage to your system. The chemicals can eat away at the plumbing lines. 
  2. Do close the tank access lid. The access lid should be properly closed and fastened at all times. Children and animals in your yard could accidentally fall into the tank. If you are not able to lock the lid, keep everyone out of the area until you can.
  3. Do not drive over the lid. Some tank access lids are fitted for traffic. Others are not. If your lid is not, do not drive over it. You could cause the lid to break. Instead, put up signs or other indicators to alert others not to drive over it.
  4. Do not use water excessively. The more water your home uses, the quicker the tank will fill up. Refer to the manufacturer’s guide for the suggested water usage per day. Practice conserving water by taking shorter showers and using low-flow faucets.
  5. Do schedule regular maintenance. Your system needs to be inspected and pumped every three years. If you have a larger capacity system, you might have up to five years. Talk to your service pro to set up a schedule.
  6. Do not plant trees near the system. The roots from the trees can eventually find their way into your pipes. As a result, you could end up with clogged pipes. 
  7. Do not perform construction near the system. The construction of items such as decks and patios can have an impact on your system. The project could inadvertently result in damage to the system. 
  8. Do grow grass over the system. The grass helps with holding the drain field in the correct place. It also helps with controlling excessive runoff. 
  9. Do divert roof runoff. When it rains, water from your roof can wind up pooling up in your yard and impact your system. To avoid this, ensure that the runoff is diverted from the area in which your system is. 

Talk to your service pro from a company like Soares Sanitation Pumping Inc about other ways you can ensure the well-being of your septic system. In addition to following those tips, be sure to notify your pro whenever you have a problem.

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3 Items That Should Be Tossed In Your Recycling Bin

Recent years have seen an increased focus on “going green” within American communities. One of the easiest ways for consumers to join the green movement is to take advantage of the recycling centers that exist in their area. Many municipal governments provide recycling bins for residents to use, but these bins are only effective if residents understand the types of items that can be recycled in them.

Here are three items that you should be tossing in your recycle bin each week.

1. Tin Products

Many consumers are not aware of the fact that the canned foods they purchase at the grocery store come in cans made from tin. Steel and tin, the primary materials used to construct the #5 cans your foods come in, are among the easiest materials to recycle. In fact, tin and steel have a recycling rate of about 95%.

By choosing to place your steel and tin cans in your recycling bin, you can help to prevent steel shortages and contribute to a healthier environment.

2. Plastic Water Bottles

Americans consume a lot of bottled water; about 1,500 plastic water bottles per second to be exact. While it might seem intuitive to think that these plastic water bottles can be placed in your recycling bin, studies show that of the 50 million plastic water bottles purchased by American consumers today, 80% end up landfills.

Making the conscious choice to place your plastic water bottles in the recycling bin is an excellent way to ensure that you are doing your part to reduce your carbon footprint in the future.

3. Paper Products

The average American produces about 4.6 pounds of waste per day. This number has increased from the meager 1.6 pounds per day produced in 1960, largely because of our growing reliance on packaged foods.

Many of the packaging materials your foods come in can be recycled in the bin provided by your municipal government. Paper products like boxes, bags, and instruction sheets can be used by recycling centers to help create new items. Choosing to recycle your paper goods is a great way to have a positive impact on the environment.

Becoming familiar with the items that are allowed in your recycling bin is essential if you want to get involved in recycling. If your municipal government does not provide a recycling bin, you can take your items directly to the recycling service center, or contact a government official to request a recycling bin in the future.

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