Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Go RISE Up vs. Go Green

Going Green can be a little to broad and often times confusing so I wanted to provide an easy alternative, Go RISE Up. Comparing my companies mission vs. the popular phrase "Going Green" and the sometimes annoying advertising message that "Going Green" is easy. Everyday you see another list of The TOP 8 WAYS TO GO GREEN or THE TOP 10 WAYS TO GREEN UP YOUR LIFE and so on. Are these list working? If so where are all the reusable bags at the checkout counter, where are all the solar panels in your neighborhood and where our all the compost bins in our back yards? Obviously, the catch phrase "Going Green" is an attention getter as marketers would have discontinued using the phrase years ago if it did not draw and keep your attention. The problem is going green is not necessarily easy or cheap and the term is vague.
Go RISE UP at face value is a message we teach to schools and businesses to get them up and participating in recycling everyday. Go RISE Up is a message that encourages an individual or a community to not only recycle but to close the loop. By closing the loop I mean we encourage people to buy recycled goods, demand that companies they buy from recycle, demand that companies manufacture goods that can be recycled, to make sure your school, town, or business is recycling and to make sure local markets for recycling flourish. The last part is imperative if we don't want to send recyclables to landfills or 5000 miles across the ocean to be recycled due to a lack in demand for recyclables.

So at the end of the day if you "Go Green" I am sure you are doing something worth while and very important. I guess we all have our passions and ours is to recycle and therefor we will continue to push the message to Go RISE Up!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Made in the USA

If you are reading this post than I am sure you are aware that the recycling market is experiencing a major funk. Municipalities are loosing their "shirts" on recycling the same items they were making record revenues on just a year ago. The quality and the amount of the recyclables are not to blame for the slump. The demand for actual recyclables across the world is the culprit. The problem is directly related to our countries economic downturn, drastic declines in consumer spending and therefor our decrease demand for foreign goods coming from China. China is the biggest user/buyer of our recyclables. Surprised. Our biggest export is our discarded paper to China. The richest women in China is the head of a recycling company, so you can imagine how much that company relies on our demand for what those recyclables are made into. As a country of consumers who are not consuming, it does not take long for the chain reaction of demand for our recyclables in China to dry up. When demand for their goods decreases, fewer recyclables are being bought by their factories. That is where we are today.
As people in the US are out of work and looking for jobs, could their garbage and recyclables be their best bet for strengthening their local economies? Absolutely.
We need to invest as a country in local markets and demand for our recyclables A single plastic bottle or recycled piece of paper can travel all the way around the world before coming back in the form of a new product due to our reliance on foreign manufacturing. I know that the best way forward for everyone is a global economy where we buy and sell goods and services across the globe. What I propose is each country initiates a pact to incorporate recyclables into their countries economies. This not only is a 'green" thing to do but will create a lot of jobs and local revenue when you local recycling center has local buyers who are the end users of the recyclables. This investment in a locale recycling infrastructures would not eliminate the global sales and shipping of recyclables but would significantly curb the stockpiling of recyclables due to the fact our limited manufacturing industry in the USA has not Incorporated our recyclables into the ingredients of the products and goods we are manufacturing currently.

Friday, March 20, 2009


What does that word mean to you?
To me it simply means to live and provide the same quality of life to future generations.
How does sustainability relate to recycling?
If you still are throwing away items that are recyclable then to be blunt, that is not sustainable.
There are a lot of other issues that relate to sustainability such as energy, food, and population growth. I know recycling will play a vital role in the sustainability of our current existence on this planet. We have such a huge need in the US and across the glove to standardize recycling as only a small percentage of what we buy is currently being recycled. Our recycling sustainability is directly linked to market conditions for buyers and sellers of recyclables. This is currently in disarray due to the lack of consumer confidence and therefor lack of production in the manufacturing sector.
So what should you do? Stockpile recyclables that are currently not on your towns list of accepted recyclables? No, but let your elected officials know that the way we currently do business; buy, use, recycle a very low percentage of what we buy, and then throw what is left is not sustainable.

I know there are growing outlets to send specific consumer waste items like wrappers and the like to companies that will re-purpose them, but that is few and far between. Realistically the average consumer can only recycle what their municipality will collect. When I first started Go RISE Up (www.goriseup.com) I assumed that education was the key to recycling but being in the game for over a year now I know that legislation and enforcement coupled with education are the 3 keys to recycling.

Friday, December 12, 2008


What company in your area is doing a great job recycling?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Recycle and Christmas. Do they go together?

Considering Christmas and the months leading up to the big day are some of the most productive shopping days of the year in terms of money being exchanged and goods being sold it is no surprise to think a lot of recyclables are being generated. Some easy ideas to implement are listed below and belive me, I am not going to tell you to slowly unwrap your presents and reuse/recycle the wrapping paper but this list should help you add some recycling to the Holiday season.
1.Use existing boxes before buying new ones to wrap presents.
2.Save and use existing unused wrapping paper form years past. If possible save the unused paper for next year.
3.Use items such as the backside of a junk mail for gift tags. Be creative as cutting a cereal box for a more sturdy tag is not outside the realm of creative thinking.
4.Do not feel bad about recycling a gift that you know will be used. A lot better than chucking it or letting it sit in your closet for years.
5. Recycle all of those gift bags, tissue paper, bows, and the like. It is so disappointing to see those huge black plastic bags outside of the house an hour after opening presents full of these packaging items you will need to buy again next year. Hello...Recycle them this year.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Bring in the Green

I see a lot of schools are doing project based recycling programs. Starting a specific program such as recycling plastic bags and ending the program after a certain time frame. Recycling needs to be a permanent part of the schools fabric and not an optional item to inject around Earth Day. Schools need to do the work up front and find a point person in the school to take responsibility and work with students to keep the recycling programs up and running. Please share any feedback on recycling programs your school or business has implemented and continued to keep up.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Green Turkey?

You may have a hard time finding one but here are some other things you can do for Thanksgiving this year to add a little green to the big Turkey Dinner.
1. Make sure your produce is coming from local farms
2. Compost your produce scraps
3. Cut down on your use of paper towels and napkins.
4. Turn the TV off when you are eating. Sorry football fans.
5. Lower your thermostat while the bird is cooking...
6. Do not use one time use cups and plates. Come on break out the good stuff from the China Cabinet.
7. Recycle all those cans, bottles and other boxes you may generating for the big dinner.

You will not even notice a change to your Thanksgiving Day while you help cut down on your Carbon Footprint.......