Archive for March, 2018

Eco-Friendly Easter: How To Celebrate

Posted by pauloneal

Did you know that the Easter holiday produces over 4,000 tonnes of waste each year? The majority of the waste comes from single-use plastics such as Easter baskets and artificial grass. Plastic eggs, another culprit, harm the environment as people toss them out once the festivities end. Thus, we’ve put a few ideas together on how to make your Easter celebrations zero-waste.

1. Say no to plastic eggs

Around the world, single-use plastics clog up landfills. Wind and rain also blows these single-use plastic litter into our waterways like the ocean. Single-use plastics affect wildlife, and when they break down into microplastics, they enter our food chain and water supply. The amount of plastics in our world is staggering. Therefore, consider plastic-free activities this Easter, starting with saying no to using plastic eggs.

Parents often purchase plastic Easter eggs because of their price point. Why shell out more money for eggs that would otherwise be thrown away at the end of the holiday? For an event like an annual Easter Egg hunt, it doesn’t seem too bad to buy single-use plastic eggs every year.

Wrong – in fact, think about the plastic eggs that children don’t find at the end of the event. Unless someone goes through the field combing for every egg, chances are some end up as litter.

Therefore, consider using real eggs for decorating. Dyeing eggs produce brilliant colours similar to plastic eggs. Also, if you use natural dyes, these eggs can be composted after the event. Another benefit of dyeing your own eggs is being able to include your children in the activity.

Simply set aside a day or two before the Easter holiday to prepare the eggs and dyes. Turn the egg-dyeing activity into a teachable moment with your children. Chances are, they’d find egg-dyeing super interesting and fun!

This might not be as effective if you’re running a community Easter egg hunt. Still, we encourage you to think twice about using plastic eggs for your hunt. At the very least, think of ways you could retrieve all the plastic eggs you hide, wash and reuse them for Easter next year.

Another option is to consider wooden eggs. Simply reuse and repaint over and over, year after year (RecycledScene).

2. Repurpose plastic Easter eggs

If you already bought plastic Easter eggs – don’t fret! Why not turn the eggs into storage capsules for your children when you’re done with them? They can be used to store toys and more, like Play Doh. You can also paint over plastic eggs and turn them into decoration. Finding a new use for the eggs can be a fun challenge for your children. Besides, this encourages your children to learn about reducing, reusing, and recycling.

Recommended article: How to introduce recycling to your kids

3. Reduce candy wrapper waste

Candy wrappers are wasteful. Companies like TerraCycle can turn them into new products. Still, making new recycled products require energy and resources. Plastic wrappers can’t be easily broken down in nature. They find their way into our water streams when it rains and end up in our oceans over time. Our oceans are filled with so much plastic right now. CBC has reported that the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is 16 times larger than previously estimated. Other studies have shown that bottled water sold by major corporations are all contaminated by microplastics.

Find a local grocery store that sells unwrapped candy in bulk and bring your own zero waste container to fill them. You might get some weird looks — so first figure out whether the store will let you do this. The good news is as Vancouverites become more aware of the plastic pollution issues on Earth, bringing your own containers can become more acceptable. In the meantime, you can reduce waste by buying unpackaged candy in bulk.

4. Ditch the plastic basket

People are surprised when they learn plastic Easter baskets can’t be recycled. This is true, so if you must purchase plastic Easter baskets, try to find a second use for it around the home. You can even use the baskets for future holidays. Choosing a natural, compostable Easter basket will still be the best option, but we understand it might not be possible for everyone.

5. Make your own basket grass

Did you know that most grass fillings for Easter baskets are plastic and non-biodegradable? This means you end up throwing the fillings out in your regular garbage, which gets dumped in landfills. We know preparing for Easter can be stressful, but take a few seconds at the store to buy paper grass fillings instead. If you’re looking for a cheap alternative, why not make your own grass filling using construction paper? Just shred the paper and you have your own compostable and recycable grass filling.

Do you have any tips or tricks to reduce your holiday waste? Share them with us at @cdnmattrecycler or comment on Facebook! We love hearing suggestions for ways to reduce waste at home.

Canadian Mattress Recycling is a 100% locally-owned BC company with a team of employees dedicated to customer service and environmental preservation through recycling. We are located in the middle of Metro Vancouver on Annacis Island on Delta, BC and serve the entire Lower Mainland region and beyond. We are winners of the Green Business of the Year in 2016 by the Delta Chamber of Commerce.

Questions You Should Ask Before Throwing Away A Mattress

Posted by pauloneal

As we head into spring cleaning, we begin to wonder how we can even start throwing away our mattresses and old furniture cluttering up our homes. Sometimes the task can seem stressful and exhausting. Sometimes we don’t know where to start, or how to even think about throwing our mattresses away. So we have put together the top 5 questions to ask yourself. Following these suggestions can help make your spring cleaning less stressful!

1. Do I really need to replace my mattress?

Sometimes we replace things that don’t need to be replaced. Mattresses are one of them, especially if they are in good condition or almost brand new. Maybe there is a better sale for another brand mattress, but ask yourself if you really need it. Of course, when your mattress gets old through wear and tear, it is time for a replacement. However, asking yourself if you really need to is the first step to making sure mattresses stay out of landfills. Mattresses take up a lot of landfill space, and it takes about 80 to 100 years to fully decompose. Materials inside the mattress, from the springs to the fiber, can also leak into the soil and groundwater. These chemicals can be toxic for the environment, and for us.

2. What condition is my mattress in?

This is one of the most important questions to ask. Depending on the condition of your mattress, transfer stations or recycling centers might reject it. Keeping your old mattress in good condition and unsoaked is the best way to save money, as it often costs more to recycle a wet or soaked mattress than a dry one. If your mattress has bed bugs in them, there are specific steps you need to take before a recycling center or transfer station is willing to pick it up. This is due to cross-contamination and facilities working to reduce the spreading of these pests.

One of the best ways to avoid unnecessary hassle is to take good care of your mattress while you use it. When you start thinking about replacing your old mattress, store your old one away in a clean and dry environment. Then days, weeks, and months after, when you finally decide to recycle your mattress, you can do so without a lot of hassle. The better you take care of your mattress, is the more likely it can be recycled. Thoughtful planning and use of your items can help save a lot of headaches down the road!

Fun fact: did you know up to 95% of a mattress can be recycled?

3. Do I need my mattress picked up?

When you’ve decided to recycle your mattress, think about whether you need a pickup service or have the ability to drop off your mattress at a nearby recycling facility. If you need a mattress picked up, what would be the best day or hours? Take a look at your schedule to see what works best. We are all busy individuals, but conserving our environment can be as simple as taking the time to schedule a mattress pickup for recycling instead of taking it to the landfills or throwing it on the side of a road.

Did you know: you can be fined for dumping a mattress by a road or an alley.

4. Can I drop-off a mattress?

You can also drop-off mattresses depending on the facility you choose. This is a good time to start planning how you can get there, at that time, to avoid rushing. Perhaps you can find a time outside of rush hour to drop it off. If you are also looking to reduce your carbon emissions while driving, you can also offer to drop off your neighbour’s mattresses. Certain recycling centers offer discounts for mattress drop-offs, and you will able to save on pickup fees.

Keeping your mattresses and garbage out of landfills help protect our environment.

5. Can I donate a mattress?

Maybe you don’t want to drop off a mattress for recycling or hire a pickup service. That’s okay too. Think about ways you can avoid letting your mattress end up in landfills. One of the ways you can do this is by asking your friends and families if anyone is looking for a mattress. Some of the drawbacks about giving away a mattress is the condition that it is in. People can be afraid of mold, bed bugs, and contaminated mattresses. So keep yours in good condition if you’re thinking about giving it away later! If not, you may have to consider recycling your mattress, instead of donating.

Find this post helpful? Share it on Facebook and Twitter and add your own tips and tricks when it comes to getting rid of your old mattress. Rather than throw your mattress away, let’s reduce, reuse, and recycle, and help protect the environment around us.

Canadian Mattress Recycling is a 100% locally-owned BC company with a team of employees dedicated to customer service and environmental preservation through recycling. We are located in the middle of Metro Vancouver on Annacis Island on Delta, BC and serve the entire Lower Mainland region and beyond. We are winners of the Green Business of the Year in 2016 by the Delta Chamber of Commerce.

Like our Facebook Page: @canadianmattressrecycling

Follow us on Twitter: @cdnmattrecycler