Tag Archives: Environmental

Share Your Ideas And Celebrate Earth Day!

Vocal Trash Wants Your Ideas For Earth Day!

With Earth Day today, you are likely thinking about the environment and recycling a lot more. Anyone who is dedicated to sustainability and saving the planet will occasionally feel angry and confused. Why aren’t there appropriate recycling bins everywhere? Why are products and packaging materials still being manufactured that are so bad for Mother Earth? Why won’t everyone do their part?

Yet, it’s important to remain positive and hopeful. The Vocal Trash crew urges you to think of even just one little way you can change your own behavior and purchasing habits. Focus on those areas that you DO have control over! Try to encourage and inspire others to follow in your conservation foot steps this Earth Day.

Here Are Some Ideas:

  • Switch to 100% recycled fiber toilet paper and save 500,000 trees from being cut down!
  • Keep your sandwiches in a reusable container to avoid dependence on plastic bags, which stay in landfills for 1,000 years! 
  • Leave reusable cloth grocery shopping bags in your car, so you never forget them!
  • Instead of buying plastic bottle drinks, buy a reusable aluminum container for your beverages..and use it!

You CAN Make A Difference!

You may think, “What good will reusing just one bag really do?” But it’s amazing how the smallest action compounds over time. Think of it this way:

  • If you reused just ONE bag in your everyday life… that would save around 6 bags a week.
  • That works out to 288 bags per year saved from landfills.
  • So, over the course of one’s lifetime, it would reduce the need for over 20,000 plastic bags!

Ditching plastic bags protects marine life, reduces energy consumption related to manufacturing, reduces the spread of toxins in the soil (that leech out of the bags over time as they decompose) and keeps our planet greener.

Hey Trash-Heads: Share Your Thoughts!

Sometimes people want to help, but they’re just not sure where to get started. You can lead by example and be a beacon of light to others this Earth Day and every day. Please share your ideas on one way you are making a difference today!

And, as always,

“THINK…Before You THROW IT AWAY!”


Vocal Trash Members Vocal Trash is a troupe of environmental entertainers who have been engaging audiences with their unique and exciting brand of entertainment for a decade from New York to Seattle. Whether in Madison Square Garden or the Venetian Hotel and Casino,  Vocal Trash is environmentally conscious using upcycled materials on stage. The group asks that you "THINK… before you throw it away!"

Fun, Alternative Workouts with Vocal Trash (Video)

Reuse Trash to Get Fit!

Maybe your resolution this year was to recycle more and improve your efforts at conservation. That’s an admirable goal to have and it’s one that we here at Vocal Trash take to heart. Yet, you can totally combine your goal of reducing pollution and landfill waste with another common aspiration: to lose weight! How, might you ask? We’ll show you!

Weight Loss With Old Trash 101

In this edition of the Vocal Trash Street Show, Kelsey Rae, Steve Linder and Larry Parish  demonstrate how common household items can be turned into workout equipment!

Workout with kitty litter container
Don’t let this 16 pound plastic tub of kitty litter sit in a landfill for 100 YEARS!

Fill it up with water or sand after the litter is gone and use it as a weight to do arm curls and for lunges or squats when you hold one in each hand.

 

Workout with Tide Laundry Containers
Laundry containers work great for DIY weight-lifting too!

Use them with the liquid still inside as you do your laundry or when it's empty fill it with water or sand.

 

 

Use a wash tub for a stair stepper

Flip over a metal wash bin and use it for step-ups!

Combine  this move with your litter or laundry containers to increase your efforts with muscle building and cardio.

Make sure the tub is on a non slip surface and you step securely on to the tub.

Old Guitar Cables as Jump Ropes
An old guitar cable may have frayed wires and no longer function, but it makes the perfect jump rope! 

Use your imagination but make sure to keep safety in mind as well.

 

Reusable Water Bottle for HydrationSteve also reminds you not to forget your reusable water bottle to hydrate yourself while working out!

Making sure you are replenishing your body as you sweat is essential for maximum muscle building.  If you are dehydrated your cells won't have the proper material to rebuild what you tear down which is muscle fiber.  Refilling your bottle is better than adding more plastic into landfills and does a body good.

What’s Wrong With Just Recycling?

You may say, “Well, I’m doing the right thing. I’m not throwing my kitty litter containers and laundry detergent bottles into the trash; I’m recycling them!”

While recycling is always better than throwing away in the trash, keep in mind that it does require a lot of energy to recycle old materials into new ones. This burns fossil fuels and maintains our dependency on foreign oil. Boo, hiss!

Besides, you also have to consider the big, old trucks coming to pick up your recycled goods and how much energy that uses too. Let's use your creativity to reuse and decrease your dependency on fossil fuels.

Why Upcycle?

There is something poetic about turning your trash into treasure. By reusing and upcycling, you don’t require any additional energy expenditure – except for your own, while you exercise with these reusable goods, of course!  Wink, wink!

Thanks for taking this time to think about environmental issues and getting yourself fit at the same time.

As always, “THINK…before you throw it away!”


Vocal Trash Members Vocal Trash is a troupe of environmental entertainers who have been engaging audiences with their unique and exciting brand of entertainment for a decade from New York to Seattle. Whether in Madison Square Garden or the Venetian Hotel and Casino,  Vocal Trash is environmentally conscious using upcycled materials on stage. The group asks that you "THINK… before you throw it away!"

How Do You Reuse Magazines and Newspapers? (Video)

What Can You Do With Magazines & Newspapers?

What do you do with your old magazines when you’re done reading them? Do they sit around your house for years? Do you just throw them in the trash? Even though you can recycle them, 25 PERCENT of our landfills are filled with old magazines and newspapers that are just tossed out.

"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It's not."
— Dr. Seuss, from The Lorax

Did You Know…?

Magazines are made out of paper that has been coated and buffed by a process called "supercalendering," in order to give a glossy appearance. The paper is covered with a white clay called "kaolin" and put under high pressure rollers. This makes the resulting shiny pages suitable for color photographs. That's a lot of processing, don't you agree?

How Long Does It Sit In Our Landfills?

A newspaper will decompose in a landfill in 25 weeks

But a magazine takes more than a YEAR to decompose! (Additional processes equal longer landfill time.)

Getting the Word Out

Many consumers are afraid to put magazines into paper bins, but the glossy paper does not contaminate paper recycling. Magazines are now accepted by all curbside recycling programs that collect paper. Find out more about your local recycling program using Earth911.

Every day, Americans buy about 62 million newspapers and throw out around 44 million of them. If we recycled just half our newsprint every year, we would need 3,200 fewer garage trucks to collect our trash.

Reusing Magazines:

The Vocal Trash crew recommends donating your old magazines to the following places:

  • Airplanes
  • Churches
  • Colleges
  • Craft Stores
  • Dentists’ Offices
  • Doctors’ Offices
  • Fitness Centers
  • Hobby Shops
  • Libraries
  • Preschools
  • Senior Centers
  • Work Break Room

Reusing Newspapers:

You can donate your newspapers to many of the same places you would donate your magazines, but Vocal Trash recommends also using your newspapers as compost.

  1. Shred the newspaper into narrow strips by hand or in a paper shredder.
  2. Spread a 10-inch layer of shredded newspaper at the bottom of your compost bin.
  3. Layer several inches of green compost material.
  4. Add half an inch of dirt.
  5. Water the layers.
  6. Repeat with additional layers if desired.

Art Projects Are A Great Way To Reuse Magazine & Newspapers!

You can also cut pictures and words out of newspapers and magazines to create art projects like greeting cards, posters and collages. When you’re done, be sure to recycle the rest of your materials in the appropriate bin! Use Earth911 to find a good place to recycle magazines and newspapers in your area.

Remember Vocal Trash says…

"THINK before you THROW IT AWAY!"


Vocal Trash Members Vocal Trash is a troupe of environmental entertainers who have been engaging audiences with their unique and exciting brand of entertainment for a decade from New York to Seattle. Whether in Madison Square Garden or the Venetian Hotel and Casino,  Vocal Trash is environmentally conscious using upcycled materials on stage. The group asks that you "THINK… before you throw it away!"

Why Are You Not Recycling This Material?

What You Can Do With Cardboard

In the United States, 90 percent of all products are packaged and shipped using cardboard, according to Earth 911; and, as Annenberg Media reports, cardboard accounts for 41 percent of all municipal waste in the United States. Only 25 percent gets recycled, which means that 75 percent of used cardboard ends up in landfills.

"Thanks to my mother, not a single cardboard box has found its way back into society. We receive gifts in boxes from stores that went out of business twenty years ago."
~ Erma Bombeck

How Long Does It Take For Cardboard To Decompose In A Landfill?

There are many factors that affect how long it takes for cardboard to decompose. It can take years if it is packed tightly in sheets with little surface area exposed to the elements, as in landfills. In a home garden, cardboard used as mulch – shredded and soaked with water – the cardboard can decompose rather quickly and be completely broken down by microorganisms within 3 months. 

How To Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle Cardboard

If you’re wondering what to do with cardboard, here are a few great ideas…

  • Mulch! As mentioned, you can recycle your cardboard in your own backyard garden. According to Cornell University’s Department of Horticulture, “Cardboard and newspaper (several sheets thick) are effective mulches around vegetables or flowers, used to block weeds and retain soil moisture.” They add that the paper also blocks light, preventing weeds longer than traditional mulches, and also decreases the amount of other mulches needed. They add, “There is the benefit of reusing paper products, which reduces costs and the need for their disposal in overcrowded landfills.”
     
  • Make crafts! Disney’s Family Fun site shows you how to make everything from racecars, mazes and puppet stages to seats, art galleries and dragon costumes out of cardboard! There are countless fun ways to reuse cardboard in your creative endeavors.
     
  • Pet Toys! Animals like rabbits, gerbils, hamsters, guinea pigs, mice and rats are easily entertained with boxes to chew. These products are not harmful for animals to shred. If you have cats, you can turn long cardboard tubes into cat teasers or mice toys using these instructions.

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  • Breakdance on it! Yes, it’s true – you can recycle cardboard by using it as a practice space for your dance moves. Check out the Vocal Trash crew’s breakdancing skills in this video!

Why Recycle Cardboard?

Sure, trees may be a renewable resource because we can always plant more, but the decomposition of cardboard releases methane – a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming. Also, the cutting down of trees destroys ecosystems, where birds, squirrels, and other animals live. Furthermore, processing the pulp and creating boxes consumes energy and releases emissions into the atmosphere.

For all these reasons, we need to reduce, reuse, recycle – and…

THINK… before we THROW IT AWAY!”


Vocal Trash Members Vocal Trash is a troupe of environmental entertainers who have been engaging audiences with their unique and exciting brand of entertainment for a decade from New York to Seattle. Whether in Madison Square Garden or the Venetian Hotel and Casino,  Vocal Trash is environmentally conscious using upcycled materials on stage. The group asks that you "THINK… before you throw it away!"

Are Your Water Bottles Being Recycled? (Video)

Alarming Facts About Plastic Bottle Caps

Are you one of the many people who have been recycling plastic bottles with the bottle caps still on?

Well, first of all, bravo to you for thinking before you threw that bottle away! Recycle bins are one of the most powerful weapons we have in environmental conservation today. However, we still have a long way to go in terms of plastic bottle recycling. It’s not a perfect process as Kelsey Rae, Steve Linder and Greg Dugan of Vocal Trash explain in this video. The type of plastic the bottle is made from and the type of plastic the lid is made from require two totally different recycling processes at two totally different recycling facilities. So all those caps you’ve been sending into the recycling bins and machines have been going to waste in landfills!

What You Can Do:

Good news, gang! There is a way you can recycle bottle caps. The good folks at Aveda have made it easy for you. Simply send an email to CapCollection@Aveda.com to receive 20 prepaid postage mailing labels and call your local UPS to schedule a pickup for all the old bottle caps you’ve been collecting. These bottle caps can then be recycled into new shampoo or conditioner containers, face wash jars, or body wash bottles.    

Types of Plastic Bottle Caps To Save:

In addition to plastic water bottle caps, you can also collect…

  •  Laundry Caps
  •  Soda Pop Tops
  •  Milk Jug Carton Lids
  •  Peanut Butter & Mayonnaise Lids
  •  Ketchup, Mustard & Salad Dressing Flip-tops
  •  Shampoo Bottle Lids
  •  Make-up Tops
  •  Face Cream Plastic Lids
  •  Any Plastic #5 Lid

The program does not accept: yogurt lids, pharmaceutical lids, tub lids (margarine, cottage cheese), or non-screw-tops. As a general rule, look for thick, sturdy plastic lids that screw onto their bottles.

As An Added Bonus…

Not only are you saving tons of plastic from ending up in a landfill somewhere, but you are also preventing any of those colorful lids from winding up inside the stomachs of marine-life and birds.

Everybody, "THINK…before you throw it away!"


Vocal Trash Members Vocal Trash is a troupe of environmental entertainers who have been engaging audiences with their unique and exciting brand of entertainment for a decade from New York to Seattle. Whether in Madison Square Garden or the Venetian Hotel and Casino,  Vocal Trash is environmentally conscious using upcycled materials on stage. The group asks that you "THINK… before you throw it away!"

Is YOUR Christmas “Green”? (Video)

Vocal Trash Dreams of a Green Christmas

 

 

“May your world have air that is clean!
And may all your Christmases be green!”

Vocal Trash has some helpful suggestions with how you can have a very Merry Christmas, but still be kind to the environment and “go green” this holiday season.  

What Can You Do To Recycle Gift Wrap?

The Vocal Trash gang recommends the following “green” gift wrapping ideas

  • Choose reusable packaging such as old Altoids cans or old boxes.
  • Wrap gifts in used magazines, sale ads, and newspapers for a little added creativity.
  • Take old Christmas and birthday cards or junk mail to create To/From tags.
  • Get more green gift wrapping ideas here!

What Can You Do To Recycle Your Christmas Tree?

“Treecycling,” or Christmas tree recycling, is a great way to save your tree from ending up in a landfill. Instead of throwing your tree in the trash (where decomposition rates are slow due to a lack of oxygen), go to www.Earth911.com to find out where you can recycle Christmas tree waste to be reused as mulch, landscaping material, or gardening wood. Sometimes recycling Christmas trees can also go toward playground material, walkways, hiking trails, walking paths, or beachfront erosion prevention efforts.

How Else Can You Have A Recycling Christmas?

Another great eco-friendly trend is to buy living Christmas trees that come in pots. After the Christmas season, you can then replant the trees in your backyard. Many growers also offer to pick up your tree after the holidays and plant it on their own lots too!

Keep in mind that real Christmas trees absorb carbon dioxide and other gases, and emit fresh oxygen. One acre of Christmas trees produces enough oxygen for 18 people, so the one million acres of Christmas tree farms in America provides 18 million people with life-giving oxygen every day! With Christmas tree recycling programs in place, you no longer have to worry about having a beautiful, real tree in your living room hurting the environment.

Don’t forget to take your reusable shopping bags to the stores with you this holiday season and

“THINK… before you THROW IT AWAY!”

Best Holiday Wishes,

The Vocal Trash Gang

 

 


Vocal Trash Members Vocal Trash is a troupe of environmental entertainers who have been engaging audiences with their unique and exciting brand of entertainment for a decade from New York to Seattle. Whether in Madison Square Garden or the Venetian Hotel and Casino,  Vocal Trash is environmentally conscious using upcycled materials on stage. The group asks that you "THINK… before you throw it away!"

Thankful for… (Video)

Happy Thanksgiving, kids!

This Thanksgiving, Vocal Trash is thankful that we have such amazing fans who are eager to learn all about how to recycle and why recycling is good for the planet. In this video, the gang is at the Dallas Arboretum for National Recycling Day to spread our positive message about sustainability. What we hope to teach all of you is how incredibly EASY it is to make choices that benefit the planet!

For example…

STOP before you throw out that old milk carton, cardboard packaging, or glass jar.

  • Instead, place that item in the appropriate recycling bin so it can be reused another time!

STOP before you ask for “plastic” bags at the grocery store.

  • Instead, bring your reusable shopping bag with you every time. It’s sturdier and better for the Earth!
     

STOP before you buy items that are made from new plastics or unsustainable products.

  • Instead, you can shop for recycled clothes, toys, cleaners, home and personal care products here.
     

STOP before you buy a 20 ounce soda or water cased in a plastic bottle.

STOP before you buy new school supplies that come from companies that do not support sustainability.

 

More Eco-friendly Resources Vocal Trash Is Grateful For…

 

Click on the links above to learn more about how YOU can participate in creating a cleaner and more efficient Mother Earth!

This Thanksgiving, take a moment and be thankful for this beautiful world we’ve been given. Wouldn’t you like it to still be here for our children’s children?

All you have to do is…

“THINK before you THROW it away!”


Vocal Trash Members Vocal Trash is a troupe of environmental entertainers who have been engaging audiences with their unique and exciting brand of entertainment for a decade from New York to Seattle. Whether in Madison Square Garden or the Venetian Hotel and Casino,  Vocal Trash is environmentally conscious using upcycled materials on stage. The group asks that you "THINK… before you throw it away!"

Vocal Trash Wants Your Ideas! (Video)

Vocal Trash Is Looking For Fan Ideas!

By now, you know the mantra: Recycle, Reduce and Reuse!

We’ve been talking about these very things at Vocal Trash for years now and you’ve been learning all about  how to reuse, how we recycle, and how we can save the planet by reducing the amount of waste that ends up in landfills. Whether it’s food waste, product packaging, old clothing, scrap metal, or whatever – we can make a difference by being more aware of our environment and how fragile it really is.

Facts About The Environment:

  • If just 25% of US families used 10 fewer plastic bags a month, we’d save 2.5 billion+ bags a year!
     
  • Leaves account for 75% of our solid waste in the autumn months (totaling 24 million tons!)
     
  • Americans consume 850 million trees and use 50 million tons of paper annually!
     
  • Every ton of recycled paper saves 380 gallons of oil.
     
  • Replacing 75 watt bulbs with energy efficient bulbs would prevent 1 ton of CO2 emissions a year.
     
  • 1% of our landfills are full of disposable baby diapers, which take 500 years to decompose. 

Why Recycle, Why Reduce, Why Reuse?

  1. We’re running out of room to store our trash. After all, who wants to live on top of or next to a garbage dump? Many cities already have to ship their waste somewhere else. With so many people, it’s hard to find space!
     
  2. Some resources like trees and fossil fuels are not here in limitless supply. Eventually we will run out! Learning to become more energy independent and planting more trees is essential!
     
  3. Burning more fossil fuels during the manufacturing process of metals, plastics, and other goods creates a lot of air pollution and contributes to global warming. To make the world a safer and more sustainable place, we need to reduce our level of polluting by reusing what we already have.
     
  4. We can protect our planet! As you know, our current waste management system is NOT perfect! Often times, metal drums bust open and spill toxins into our soil. Corporate and household waste often ends up in our streams, on our beaches, and littering our environment. Why not reuse these things instead and keep the world a beautiful place?

What We’re Asking of YOU…

In these videos, you’ve seen many of the ways that we rescue items from the landfill and reuse them. Now we’re looking for YOUR ideas! What have you creatively reused in your home? What uses can you find for egg cartons, plastic jugs, scrap metal, old paper towel rolls, old packaging, old light bulbs, and other items? We would love to hear your comments below.

And as always, remember to…

“THINK…before You Throw It Away!”


Vocal Trash Members Vocal Trash is a troupe of environmental entertainers who have been engaging audiences with their unique and exciting brand of entertainment for a decade from New York to Seattle. Whether in Madison Square Garden or the Venetian Hotel and Casino,  Vocal Trash is environmentally conscious using upcycled materials on stage. The group asks that you "THINK… before you throw it away!"

Pros & Cons of Reusable Bags (Video)

Reusable Bags, Choosing the Best Option…

In this edition of the Vocal Trash Street Show, the gang muses on the pros and cons of reusable shopping bags. We simply can’t afford to overlook this important area of conservation.

Why Use Reusable Shopping Bags?

As you may know (based on the number of reusable bags offered at shopping centers nowadays), plastic is the worst choice of all!

Did you know that plastic bags remain in a landfill for over 500 years? Worse yet, when they do break down, the leads and toxins contaminate the soil! Most of the plastic bags you see in supermarkets and retail outlets come from China, where the labor is cheaper and there are lax rules regarding how plastics are processed. When you factor in all the fuel it takes to get these bags to the US from overseas, it’s really unbelievable how bad plastic bags are for the environment!

Problems With Most Reusable Shopping Bags:

Unfortunately, as Steve and Larry point out, it can be difficult to put leaky chicken into reusable shopping bags because most of the ones you see in stores can’t be washed. Also, many of the bags are not a significant size, so you can’t fit very much in each bag.

However, There IS A Solution!

In the video, Kelsey iiTySEs sporting hip reusable shopping bags made by a woman from Idaho, which you can find at www.ityse.com. All bags are lead-free, eco-friendly, washable, and made right here in America.

Other Places To Look…

At iTySE, a number of independent sellers who are totally committed to recycling, reducing and reusing have created sustainable bags that are non-toxic, can be washed, are sized appropriately, and are even biodegradable! Best of all, they’re made right here in the USA, which conserves resources, not to mention American jobs.
 

More Environmentally Friendly Bags Include…

Together, we can all do our part to save the planet.  Remember to

“THINK… before you THROW IT AWAY!”


Vocal Trash MembersVocal Trash is a troupe of environmental entertainers who have been engaging audiences with their unique and exciting brand of entertainment for a decade from New York to Seattle. Whether in Madison Square Garden or the Venetian Hotel and Casino, Vocal Trash is environmentally conscious using upcycled materials on stage. The group asks that you "THINK… before you throw it away!"

How to Recycle Batteries and Why Use Rechargeable (Video)

Are You Using Rechargeable Batteries?

As Steve Linder and Larry Parrish prepare to go camping, Kelsey Rae of Vocal Trash reminds them of the importance of choosing rechargeable batteries instead of conventional batteries, which contain mercury and are thrown away. 

Did you know that 80% of the mercury level in our solid waste stream comes from batteries?

Why Mercury From Batteries Is Bad…

According to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, “Wastewater treatment plants face a big dilemma when it comes to mercury. Many are faced with permits to control the levels of mercury that leave their plants, but it is much too costly to remove mercury at the treatment plant itself (millions of dollars per pound to reach regulatory expectations). The only way to control mercury entering a wastewater treatment plant is to prevent its release.”

Here’s what mercury can do to our environment:

  • It hurts wildlife – Ingestion can cause reproductive failure, impaired muscle coordination, vertigo, convulsions, behavioral abnormalities, paralysis, and even death.
     
  • It hurts people – Exposure through the consumption of contaminated fish can cause sleep disturbances, irritability, memory loss, behavioral changes, blurred vision, malaise, and speech impairment. Children born after ingesting high mercury levels may be deaf or mentally challenged.

Did you know that batteries spend 100 years in landfills before degrading?

Get Rid of Old Batteries the Smart Way…

The first step to save the earth is to get rid of all your old toxic batteries safely by recycling batteries at ethically responsible venues. Go to any Batteries Plus store to learn how to recycle batteries. Or you can also learn where to recycle batteries at www.BatteryRecycling.com.

In The Future, Buy Only The Rechargeable Battery For Your Needs.

If you’re wondering how to save the Earth, you can do so in little ways. In addition to recycling, you can choose to reuse rechargeable batteries again and again, rather than throwing them into a landfill. Amazon sells popular rechargeable batteries made by known brands like Energizer and Duracell that will last for many, many years.

As always, remember to

“THINK… before you THROW IT AWAY!”


Vocal Trash MembersVocal Trash is a troupe of environmental entertainers who have been engaging audiences with their unique and exciting brand of entertainment for a decade from New York to Seattle. Whether in Madison Square Garden or the Venetian Hotel and Casino, Vocal Trash is environmentally conscious using upcycled materials on stage. The group asks that you "THINK… before you throw it away!"