Green America’s
20 Plastic Things You Didn’t Know You Can Recycle

green & glam
Sweet Treat for Your Feet

Easy Ways to Reduce Plastic Use

Zeenie™ Dollz
Fashion-Forward Environmentally Friendly Dolls

Composting With Cat Litter

nature conserve

Green America’s
20 Plastic Things You Didn’t Know You Can Recycle

1) Bottle and jar caps: Weisenbach Recycled Products accepts clean plastic bottlecaps, plastic jar caps, flip-top caps from personal care products, and flexible snap-on lids (e.g. butter tub lids) to turn into funnels and other items.

2) Brita pitcher filters: Preserve’s Gimme 5 program accepts Brita-brand pitcher filters for recycling. See #11 below.

3) Compostable bioplastics: Find a municipal composter at

4) Computers and other electronics: Find the most responsible recyclers near you at Your local Best Buy store will also accept many types of electronics, large and small—from televisions and gaming systems to fans and alarm clocks. Best Buy partners with responsible recyclers that do not ship items overseas, including Green Business Network™ member Electronic Recyclers International. You can bring three small items per day to Best Buy for free. The company charges a fee to recycle large electronics.

5) Eyeglasses: Your local Lions Club collects them for people in need.

6) Fishing line: Mail to Berkley Recycling, which turns it into fish habitat structures: 1900 18th Street; Spirit Lake, IA 51360.

7) Gift cards and customer loyalty cards: Fill out the form at to recycle them. (Accepts conventional cards only, not bioplastic/ compostable cards.)

8) Ink Cartridges: pays $1 each and will recycle them. (Also see
#12, “Technotrash.”)

9) Pantyhose/tights: No Nonsense collects all brands of hose, tights, and kneehighs to be recycled into other products.

10) Plastic packaging: Many pack-and-ship stores will take packing peanuts and bubble wrap. For drop-off locations for foam blocks, contact the Alliance of Foam Packaging Recyclers.

11) Polypropylene (#5) plastics (all types): Preserve’s Gimme 5 program accepts all types of clean #5 plastics, which are turned into Preserve personal care and kitchen products. Drop them off in the “Gimme 5” container available at select Whole Foods and food co-ops. Visit to find a location or learn how to mail them in.

12) “Technotrash”: Organizations and schools can earn money for recycling ink cartridges and small electronics like cell phones and iPods through Recycle a large box of CDs, DVDs, jewel cases, audio and video tapes, small electronics, and ink cartridges for $30 (includes postage) through Green Disk, 800/305-GREENDISK,

13) Telephones: Call to Protect ( refurbishes cell phones for domestic violence victims (see also “Technotrash,” above). Take corded and cordless phones to a local Best Buy for recycling.

14) Sports equipment: Resell or trade it at your local Play It Again Sports outlet, 800/476-9249,

15) Tennis balls: reBounces restores old tennis balls that have lost their bounce.

16) Tennis shoes: turns them into athletic flooring. and sends still-wearable shoes to runners in need in developing countries.

17) Toys: Domestic Metals and Plastics accepts plastic toys of all types for recycling.

18) Trophies: Lamb Awards will break your trophies down and remake them into
new ones. E-mail, and put “recycling” in the subject line.

19) Tyvek envelopes: Quantities less than 25: Send to Tyvek Recycle, Attn. Shirley B. Wright, 8401 Fort Darling Road, Richmond, VA 23237. More than 25: call 866/33-TYVEK.

20) Yoga mats: accepts yoga mats for recycling.

Green America is a not-for-profit membership organization founded in 1982. (They went by the name "Co-op America" until January 1, 2009.)  Their mission is to harness economic power—the strength of consumers, investors, businesses, and the marketplace—to create a socially just and environmentally sustainable society.  For more information about Green America and the fantastic work they do, visit


green & glam
Sweet Treat for Your Feet

One of the perks of our job as editorial staff of the Green Living Newsletter is that we often get products to “test-drive”.   Once the product arrives, we marry the product with the best person to review it.  In this case, there was no discussion, no option for selecting anyone other than Lynda Calimano, the publisher, as the tester or this product.  She has been on the hunt for a foot cream that is soothing, restorative, and eco-friendly.  She found it in green & glam’s Peppermint Grapefruit Hand & Foot Repair.   Here’s her feedback.

Dry and unsightly hands and feet are no challenge for green & glam’s Peppermint Grapefruit Hand & Foot Repair.   A cure for the cracked heels of summer feet or the harsh and drying months of winter, aloe vera and Ugandan shea butter are the base of this healing and repairing cream. Adding rhatany root extract is a great addition as it is an anti-microbial, anti-infammatory and supports the repair of tissues, which is an excellent weapon for rough or calloused hands or feet. Peppermint, spearmint, lemon and grapefruit essential oils have anti-fungal properties and provide a lovely upbeat fragrance. Sunflower seed oil, orange peel wax and beeswax provide moisturize to distressed skin.

8oz. pump. $30


Easy Ways to Reduce Plastic Use

Join the Surfider Foundation’s Rise Above Plastic campaign and everybody wins!  Everyone has a plastic footprint that measures how much plastic a person uses during a given time.  The challenge is to cut unnecessary plastics from your routine. In honor of Rise Above Plastics Month, strive to make your plastic footprint look less like Big Foot’s and more like Tiny Tim’s with these recommendations from the Surfrider Foundation.

  • Stop using plastic grocery bags.  Each year over one trillion plastic bags are used worldwide.  Because these bags are so light and thin, they are easily carried by the wind out into the environment.  Instead of taking a plastic bag when you shop, use reusable bags to get your groceries and other purchases home.

  • Stop using single-use plastic water bottles.  In nearly all cases, the water out of your tap is just as safe – if not safer – than the water distributed in single-use plastic bottles.  Instead, buy and use a reusable bottle and fill it with water.

  • Use a reusable travel mug each time you fill up for coffee (or tea).  Use a reusable travel mug or to-go cup for your coffee, tea or other beverage purchases.  Think of all the lids (as well as the waxed paper cups) you’ll save.

  • Recycle!  In those instances where you must use plastic, please make sure to recycle it.  Most plastics can be upcycled to make cool and useful items.

  • Reusable containers are rad!  When it comes to lunch and leftovers, ditch the plastic bag and use reusable containers instead.  Reusable containers are just as easy to use and far less harmful to the planet.

  • Buy food in bulk.  Buying food in bulk helps to reduce the total amount of packaging materials consumed.

  • Always look for alternative packaging.  Many items such as soft drinks, detergent, cat litter, etc. come in alternate packaging (such as aluminum or cardboard) that can be more easily recycled than plastic.

  • Say “NO” to pre-packaged single-serving portions.  These types of products are among the worst when it comes to excess packaging.

  • Buy and sell secondhand.  Clothing, toys, baby gear, furniture, household supplies, sporting goods and many other consumer items can often be found through secondhand sources, thereby reducing the amount of new plastic entering the waste stream.

The Surfider Foundation’s mission is the protection and enjoyment of oceans, waves and beaches through a powerful activist network.  For more information, visit

Zeenie™ Dollz
Fashion-Forward Environmentally Friendly Dolls

The powerful, stylish and vibrant eco-warriors are on a mission, to save the planet with style!  Perfect for holiday gift-giving, the six doll series merges fashion and eco-awareness.  Each Zeenie, in addition to being a trendsetter, possesses a unique eco-power that protects the environment. To further the series’ green mission, each 12-inch ball jointed doll is made entirely of recyclable materials and non-toxic plastics.

Created for young girls and eco-conscious parents, the dolls are fashionistas, donning the latest in groundbreaking style, but Zeenie Dollz stand for much more. Each doll also brings to light an environmental cause that needs attention, bringing together education and green ideals for young girls. Zennia, the special edition doll in the series, leads the pack and embodies Mother Earth, the protector of our planet.  As the giver and sustainer of life on earth, Zennia is passionate about combating the evil anti-environment villains that threaten to destroy the world. To assist her in protecting our environment and spreading eco-awareness, Zennia is joined by a team of five eco-warrior fashionistas:

  • Evee, Protector of the Skies and Defender against Pollution

  • Kazumi, Protector of the Polar Regions and Defender against Global Warming

  • Lina, Protector of the Rainforest and Defender against Deforestation

  • Sini, Protector of Farmland and Defender of Mistreated and Abused Animals

  • Yana, Protector of the Oceans and Defender of Marine Conservation

The concept and mission behind Zeenie Dollz started with a sketch by Hansini Wadhwani, the creator, designer and inventor of the series. Hansini showed her mother, Laxmi Wadhwani, the first sketch of a girl with flowing blue hair and explained that her persona was that of Mother Earth. With overwhelming support and belief in the concept, Laxmi leveraged her years of experience in the toy industry to bring Zennia, the first doll in the series, to life. From there, the mother-daughter duo have worked together  through every step of the creative process to take a beautiful sketch, a meaningful cause and a passion for the environment, and merge it into the Zeenie Dollz series.

Zeenie Dollz are made of a combination of two completely recyclable, non-toxic materials. The packaging also follows suit with the sustainable message; the shipping cylinder is made of a biodegradable plastic. In addition to their sustainability, the Zeenie Dollz also come standard with 12 ball joints offering much more flexibility and movement during play time.

“We are thrilled to launch the new Zeenie Dollz series,” said Laxmi Wadhwani, sales director, Zeenie Dollz LLC. “The dolls truly tap into a unique, eco market and we are proud to bring this message to the toy industry. The Zeenie Dollz are beautiful and fashionable, but they also align with environmental causes that need our attention. We hope this eco-awareness will appeal to a wide range of today’s children and parents.”

We can’t think of a better way to introduce and educate young girls to the environmental issues facing our planet today.  Sassy, passionate, and fun…these dolls will make a perfect gift for the young girls on your holiday list.

Zeenie Dollz retail for $49.99 (special pre-holiday buy now for $39.99 and free shipping) are available for purchase at and will be available at select retailers nationwide. For more information about the series, visit or follow Zeenie Dollz on Facebook at

Composting With Cat Litter

There are multiple benefits to composting, including minimizing your household’s waste and creating premium (and free!) chemical-free fertilizer for your home or neighborhood garden. These eco-friendly advantages are being embraced by both rural and urban dwellers. In just the last few years, progressive U.S. cities have even begun encouraging, and in select locations mandating, that residents separate their trash for recycling and composting purposes.

Michael R. Bloomberg, New York City’s long time mayor is the latest to join the movement in an effort to seize both the environmental and economical benefits of minimizing the city’s spending on trash removal. According to The New York Times, the big apple spent a whopping $336 million in 2012 disposing of residential trash, in which most of it was exported to landfills in other states. Clearly, composting is being seen as a personal and national resource and solution.

So where does kitty litter become part of the conversation? Unlike ordinary clay-based litters that are mined and never decompose and contribute to landfill overfill, Swheat Scoop® Natural Clumping Litter is made from natural wheat – a renewable, sustainable resource that’s 100 percent biodegradable.

Here are a few tips to composting with Swheat Scoop kitty litter:
Clean the litter box regularly.

  • It’s recommended that feline pet parents scoop twice daily to encourage healthy feline elimination habits and to help keep the remaining, non-soiled litter clean and fresh.

  • When it’s time to replace the litter (it’s recommended that the litter box be fully emptied, cleaned and refilled once a month), the residual litter can be added to the compost pile meant for enriching decorative gardens with flowers, shrubs, trees and other plants not intended for consumption. * Swheat Scoop compost should not be used in vegetable gardens.

Sort your waste.

  • To yield the most successful compost, you must have the right “ingredients.” If you’re composting indoors you’ll want a compost bin, which may require you to add water periodically. An outdoor compost pile will naturally receive the appropriate amount of moisture from the ground and the rain.

  • Materials you can add to the compost pile or container include:
    · Non-protein food scraps
    · Plant, vegetable, fruit or grass cuttings
    · Eggshells
    · Grains
    · Coffee grains (this balances the compost’s pH levels, which helps manage odors and encourages a faster compost cycle)

  • Items to sift or discard from your compost are:
    · Meat or fish
    · Dairy
    · Grease
    · Plastics or plastic-coated paper products

Maintain and enjoy the spoils, literally.

  • Add your “ingredients” as they become available and turn your compost pile regularly (once a day is recommended). Over time the materials will break down and begin to look like rough-textured soil, that’s when it’s ready to add to your ornamental gardens!

Since emerging on the market in 1994, Swheat Scoop® Natural Clumping Litter has been celebrated for its effective, eco-conscious qualities. For more information on the brand’s ongoing commitment to the environment with it’s Happy Family. Happy Cat. Happy Planet.TM seal, please visit Also find them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram, just search Swheat Scoop.