Chimpanzee Sanctuaries and Towards Zero Waste Living Year 4

Hello All!

It has been quite a while since I’ve published anything on here and I think that’s good, I know my inbox is constantly filled up with newsletters and other content and whatnot, which can be quite overwhelming, so maybe I’ve been doing us all a favor by keepin’ to myself. But alas, I do have some things I wanted to jot down real quick for continuity.

As far as the Zero Waste Journey goes, a couple new advances have been made since I last wrote about transitioning to a more Zero Waste lifestyle:

1. Stone nail files: These particular ones come in a plastic tube but that’s the only plastic involved. There are other stone nail files on the market but I haven’t found any others available in the US.

2. Toothpaste tabs: I’ve been buying them in bulk from a local Zero Waste Shop called Ethos in Capitola, Ca. They’re by the company Unpaste.

3. Nudi Goods Mascara: When I first wrote about this mascara I didn’t like it, but now that I’ve been using it for a while I really do like it. So I say go for it!

4. Micro-plastic laundry bags: I figured I should give these a shot because plastics in the ocean is not a good thing. I bought one and then another because it balances the machine spin better to have two. The one’s I bought are by Guppyfriend. They are good for washing clothes made from synthetic fibers because they catch plastic micro-fiber lint that comes out in the wash cycle. I haven’t noticed a huge amount of plastic lint and don’t really enjoy the process of using these bags, but I’m going to continue using them because it seems like a good thing to do.

5. Laundry detergent strips: I also get these in bulk from a low-waste living store. The ones I’ve been using are by Tru Earth. They’re a bit pricey, but I really appreciate how compact and plastic free they are. And they work. I get the Fresh Linen scented ones.

6. Bulk Dishwasher Detergent Pods: When I was living in a home with a dishwasher I tried these out, also from the bulk section of a low-waste living shop. The ones I tried are by Dropps and they work great.

7. Probably most importantly, I started on the “road to Veganville” aka started avoiding animal products. I’m not psychotic about it, just shifting. Since I work in the Veterinary field caring for animals and have all these environmental leanings, I felt it makes sense for me to start making that shift. How to Create a Vegan World: a Pragmatic Approach by Tobias Leenaert was a helpful read for me in this process.

If interested in other zero waste shift ideas, I’ve written about transitioning to a more Zero Waste Lifestyle for the past 3 years:

Year 1, Year 2, Year 3

Now for the the initial reason I started writing this blurb: a short list of chimpanzee sanctuaries to check out:

International

  1. Liberia Chimpanzee Rescue and Protection: West Africa

Domestic:

  1. Chimp Haven: This is the largest chimp sanctuary in the USA, home to ~300 chimps and located somewhere in Louisiana.
  2. Freedom for Great Apes: They’re located near Bend, Oregon and are currently hiring a chimp caregiver. There are 7 chimps living at this sanctuary.

That’s all folks!

❤ Kelly

PS I’ve been hosting a late-night radio show on KSQD community radio. The show is called The Basement and I share it with DJ Kimi, hosting every other Saturday night from Midnight-2am. The shows can be streamed live on KSQD.org and if you miss it live, the shows are available to stream in the 2 week archive for…you guessed it…2 weeks after they air. Here’s a link: https://ksqd.org/two-week-archive/ . My last episode was Sunday July 31st 12am.

PPS Shamelss plug? I have some music footage up on Youtube if you’re interested. Most of it is clips from a local TV show I did a few months ago called Look Mom, I’m on TV, enjoy!

Tap Dancers and Guitarists – Artistry

You’ll never get through it…a bunch of videos by mostly contemporary dancers and musicians that I admire and you might also enjoy. May I present:

Demi Remick – Excellent, comical Tap Dancer

John James – Ragtime Guitar

John Fahey – American Primitive Guitar

Doc Watson – Blind Bluegrass Guitarist

Molly Tuttle – cuz she rips on guitar and turns out has alopecia and is helping others by talking about it, artfully

Billy Strings – plays bluegrass guitar like a champ and is a good storyteller

Sierra Ferrell – chef’s kiss for style points, baselines, and chord shapes

Assata Madison – tap dancer with interesting phrasing

Syncopated Ladies – for bridging the “cool” gap

Sarah Reich – for her ability to speak with her feet

Art and Adventure for Ape Conservation, Fall Greetings

Greetings all, its been a while! Wanted to share a few morsels of art and information for you to keep this blog fire alive. First, lets warm up with a reminder of the amazingness of tap dance:

Next, I was asked to share it…and so I will: an article about Eco-living which features some content by little old me. See link below! My blurb is about saving shower water (an idea I credit to my Grandma) and is below the photo of the bee. I’m not sure how I got on the radar for this Real Estate blog, but I appreciated the opportunity to write and share ideas with a wider audience. Boop! https://www.redfin.com/blog/living-sustainably-at-home/

On the subject of eco-living, I also came across an article recently about mobile phone energy saving tips and thought it interesting that turning one’s phone off vibrate is a way to save energy. Its the little things! If we all pick just one of these little things, we can help the world just a little bit. If we pick 2, so much good will ensue. Plus, ringtones can be fun! See article if you wish to learn something: https://earth911.com/eco-tech/mobile-phone-energy-saving-tips/

That’s pretty much it for now. A very belated Happy World Chimpanzee Day, year 4 to you all! The special day was on July 14th. I didn’t manage to properly commemorate it this year, so look out for next year’s festivities.

How bout some music to close us out. Here’s an artist I have been loving for the past few years. Her name is Sierra Ferrell and she started out as a busker and is really starting to make it big. So cool!

Stay safe.

~KB

Towards Zero Waste Living Year 3

Hello dear readers,

This is my annual reflection on working towards zero waste living, an effort I began writing about in 2018.

This past year was most about learning to make my own things at home to replace needing to buy them at the store in plastic packaging.

Here are a few things I learned –

I also tried a few new plastic-free toothpastes/powders. I tried this one – Georganics Tooth Powder with Charcoal– it was black. In terms of taste experience, I would recommend it because it tasted fine and worked, BUT, it stained my clothes since its a powder and can fall from the trip from jar to mouth, so next time I would go for one of the white flavors.

Next I tried Georganics Natural Toothpaste in Spearmint. I was not expecting it to be a paste when I bought it (packaging is similar to powder option). The paste tastes fine and works well, but it kindof gunks up on the toothbrush head where the bristles attach, and I’m not a fan of that. I like the powder better and next will try a different flavor of toothpaste powder from Georganics. Also on my radar as something to try are toothpaste tablets.

Since I finally ran out of shampoo, I’m now trying out shampoo bars. I went with Ethique brand for my first bar since they have a bar that suits my hair needs, the Heali Kiwi Shampoo Bar. It has been working great for me; I find it lathers well and does not leave a residue in my hair, something I’ve heard some shampoo bars do. I did some research on shampoo bars since I’ve heard they can be hit or miss. This is an article I found helpful: https://www.byrdie.com/best-shampoo-bars-4707191.

I also got a sample conditioner bar but haven’t tried it yet since I’m still working through the last conditioner I bought, which came in a cardboard container with a plastic pump.

I like this conditioner a lot. Its by Seed Phytonutrients which offers free recycling of the plastic pumps once you’re through with the product (https://seedphytonutrients.com/our-standards/sustainability/). Apparently there is a packet of seeds inside the cardboard packaging, but I haven’t finished my bottle yet so I cannot vouch.

I also transitioned away from dish soaps which usually come in plastic containers to solid dish soap bars. The first one I bought was from the Package Free Shop, and the 2nd one I purchased from a different Zero Waste Shop called Fountain House & Body which makes its own soaps. Here is a link: https://www.fountain.nyc/shop/coconut-dish-soap. I’m going to make my next batch because it seem easy enough despite the creepy lye aspect.

I’ve also begun to experiment with zero-waste cosmetics. So far I’ve tried a cake mascara by Nudi Goods which I don’t really like (but might not be using correctly) and a liquid eyeliner from Clean Faced Cosmetics, which I also don’t really like. There is a learning curve with these products and I’m still fresh to the bandwagon, so much experimentation is still needed. I do really like this daily moisturizer with SPF that comes in a glass jar with a metal lid. Here is an article with links to zero-waste cosmetic brands – https://www.sustainablejungle.com/zero-waste/zero-waste-mascara/. There are also some DIY recipes out there I’m curious to try: lipstick and mascara. In case you’re interested, here is a zero-waste mascara comparison/review video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9PHaW0sZTqQ.

I also transitioned zero-waste q-tips. I got these ones because they come in a cardboard box and some of the other brands come in plastic. They work as ear cleaners and make-up correctors (works best if you wrap the end in tissue). https://www.etsy.com/listing/865261920/reusable-buds-pack-of-4-bamboo-and?ref=yr_purchases. Another alternative to q-tips is an ear pick, but since I already got the reusable and multi-purpose q-tips, I’ll probably just stick with those as long as they last me.

Other things to note, one point which I learned from Youtuber Gittemary Johansen, is to take extra napkins home when we go out to eat so they can be used later or composted. Its a good practice to do this since they’ll be thrown out at the restaurant anyway, even if they were untouched. Also composting smaller paper scraps rather than recycling them is a good habit to get into since its less energy intensive to compost these than to recycle them, and it adds a good carbon component to the compost pile.

GOALS for 2021

My goals for the coming year are to reduce online video/music streaming since there is an environmental impact associated with memory storage, and to try out micro-plastic catching laundry bags.

Zero Waste Swap List, Year 3

Below is my running list of Zero Waste Products I have tried over the years (excluding some of the items described above).

  • Dental Floss
    • Dr. Mercola – favorite thus far, works better than silk dental floss and comes in a cardboard container, the floss itself may be made of plastic though
    • Silk dental floss in glass container – a bust, the silk floss breaks easily between teeth as does the container if you drop it, which is likely since its round and can roll off counters…will continue experimenting with different brands.
  • Toothpaste
    • DIY toothpaste eliminates toothpaste associated garbage which tends to be difficult to recycle.
    • Toothpaste in a Jar –
      • Georganics Natural Toothpowder – comes in glass jar with metal lid, I tried the black charcoal one, its weird but it works, would buy again (in different flavor) due to plastic free packaging
      • Georganics Toothpaste – similar to Uncle Harry’s but completely plastic free packaging
  • Deodorant
    • Meow Meow Tweet – can be bought in bulk and comes in a glass jar
    • Lush – Aromaco – no packaging, smells nice-n-hippylike
  • Sunscreen
    • Meow Meow tweet everyday sunscreen – without pump=no plastic, hard to rub in, works well, smells nice, makes you look like a ghost if you don’t rub it in, would 100% buy again
    • Raw elements – I tried the tinted one, feels thick and oily, works well, once you work it in you cant see it, comes in a metal tin
    • Daily Moisturizer w/SPF –By Robin Creations
  • Razor
    • Leaf Shave – an investment, but rewarding since it is zero-waste and also has lifetime guarantee so if it breaks, you can send it in and get a new one free of charge
  • Menstruation
    • Diva Cup, a reusable menstrual cup enables pad and tampon free living. The cup prevents garbage and exposure to chemicals, and saves time and money since you never have to buy pads or tampons after the initial purchase.
    • Period Panties – Thinx
  • Cloth hankies
  • Reusable q-tips
  • Glass spray bottles (with plastic spray nozzles, unfortunately) for home-made home surface cleaner (vinegar + water) to replace store-bought ones in plastic bottles.
  • Food Wrap
  • Dishes
  • Laundry
  • Food and Beverages on the Go
    • To-Go Ware (bamboo utensil set, but you can also make your own set with any silverware you’d like)
    • metal straws – small, smoothie, and bubble tea sized
    • Sea-To-Summit “Seal and Go Set” – didn’t particularly like this but its worth mentioning because it is a compact food container, pretty heavy, which is what I didn’t like. I wanted something I could carry around at all times. Ask me about my invention.
    • reusable water bottle
  • Shopping/bags
    • shopping bags and produce bags (either cloth or bring my own plastic bags to reuse)
    • cloth velcro bags instead of zip-locks

Reflections

The areas of garbage accumulation I wanted to work on reducing from last year were to-go cups (for coffee and smoothies/juices), to-go food containers (for take-out and nuts), and bread bags. I still find coffee cups to be an issue in 2021. I find it cumbersome to always travel with a drink cup just in case, but maybe that is the solution. The nut problem I have solved by buying in bulk. As for bread, I have pretty much stopped buying bread at store and instead go for bakeries and farmers markets where I can use my own bag, or I buy baguettes at the grocery store that come in paper sleeves. Twistie ties and rubber bands are the next area to tackle…

Notes on Buying Less and noticing packaging options:

Whenever possible and within reason, I first look to purchase items second-hand, usually resorting to Craigslist, having found this to be the easiest way to locate specific items, locally. I like doing this because it reduces packaging and production waste and is usually cheaper. For example, I purchased a blender ($20) and cast iron pan ($5) through Craigslist last year instead of purchasing these items new somewhere else. Saved me beaucoup bucks with the added benefit that there was no packaging or shipping involved. That’s not to say I don’t buy anything online or anything new, because I certainly do. But whenever possible and reasonable, I do look for local options first. to keep in mind.

In addition, I have become very choosy about the products I buy and my thought process around purchasing has shifted. When I am food shopping, I look at all the options and prioritize options packaged in glass, cardboard, and metal. That can be tricky, because sometimes things come in a glass bottle but have a plastic lid. Sometimes we strike gold and find a glass jar with a metal lid. Sometimes not. As an example, if I know I can get a cooking oil that comes in a completely plastic free container from one store and notice its not available at another, I’ll hold off on restocking until I can make a trip to the store that has the product I want. I do this so I don’t have to buy the oil with the plastic lid. Its not always practical to do this, but its something to keep in mind. I also buy veggies at the farmers market whenever possible and bring my own bags to put things in because that can eliminate a lot of packaging waste as well.

Finally, here are a few videos you might find interesting for zero-waste transition ideas:

And a vid about the environmental impacts of streaming, which is a bit ironic, but definitely food for thought.

And Finally Finally, since winter is over, an homage to snow beaches, my winter enchantment:

That’s all folks, many thanks for reading!

~Kelly

EWAP Final Report

Hello all!

As The Electronic Waste Awareness Project finally comes to a close for 2020 (ie my grant report is due), I would like to present a final summary of all the items collected and recycled through the program.

Total Items Collected: 39

Total Items returned for direct Reuse: 2 (brought to Goodwill for resale, could have diverted more working electronics to Goodwill if items had been discarded with remotes/cables)

Total Items fit for repair/recycling (and possibly reuse): 39

~900 lbs of waste diverted from landfill

Environmental benefit – definitely

Item Breakdown

  • 19 TVs
  • 5 Printers
  • 5 Computer Monitors
  • 3 DVD Players
  • 2 Computers
  • 2 laptops
  • 1 CD Player
  • 1 Amp
  • 1 Modem
  • 1 Speaker
  • 1 Computer Cooler

Brand Breakdown

  • Dell – 6 items
  • Samsung -3 items
  • LG -3 items
  • Panasonic – 3 items
  • Sony – 2 items
  • Intertek – 2 items
  • HP – 2 items
  • Emerson – 2 items
  • Other – Insignia, Lenovo, Epson, Canon, Brother, RCA, Haier, Vizio, Dinex, Hisense, Ubee, Kenwood, Sharp Liquid Crystal (one item each)

What does this tell us?

These companies would do well to educate their customers about reuse, repair, and recycling options. Retailers could also play a part in this education. Customers purchasing TVs in particular need to be educated on where to take these items once they are done with them. More convenient disposal options might help increase recycling rates and reduce illegal dumping.

Master Spreadsheet (for those that enjoy that sort of thing)

ComputersMonitorsTVsPrintersLaptopsOther
Dell  Vostro PC – Windows 7 hom e prem OA – mailed to Dell for recyclingLG Flatron E2211PU-BN
12 lbs
Sony LCD color tv model no: klv-s19A10 (HEAVY) serial no 7016499
30 lbs
HP printer – photosmart C4600 Series
11 lbs
Lenovo laptop – Thinkpad T430s and charger
4 lbs
Panasonic dvd player, DVD-S27
5lbs
Dell Optiplex Sx270, model no: DCT
~15lbs mailed to dell for recycling
Dell monitor and keyboard – model no. 1504 fp – mailed to dell for recycling
20lbs
Insignia LCD tv model no NS-L 19Q-10A – mailed to Dell for recycling
10 lbs
Epson Printer Stylus NX300 model C362A
13 lbs
Dell
Inspiron 15-3521
6lbs
Sony DVD player/Video Casette Recorder Model No – SLV-D300P
10 lbs
Dell- model no 1702fp Rev A01 17”
17lbs
RCA 32” HDV LED TV Model No – RT3205-C
15 lbs
Printer – Canon- TS6020
14 lbs
Emerson DVD Player – Model # EWD7004 (1800-256-2487 for help with operating) – mailed to dell for reycling
3 lbs
LG Monitor, 38″ x 23″ 43UF6430 Model No: 43UF6430-4B
21 lbs
LG 32 LC2DU Model No: 32LC2DU-UE AUSLLJM
40 lbs
Brother, Worksmart Series, MFC-J680DW
20 lbs
Cooler Master haf 392
30 lbs
Dell Model No: 1905FP
~20 lbs
Vizio E321ME
20 lbs took to goodwill – works
HP Deskjet 2540 All-in-one series Regulatory Model No. SNPRB-1204-02, appears to work, turns on, out of ink
12 lbs
Samson – servo-170 studio amplifier 85 watt stereo –
30 lbs
Intertek – LE Super4 X43 Pro – LED Tv – 38” X 23”
~40lbs
     Maybe the brand is called – Le Shi Zhi Xin Electronic Technology (Tianjin) Limited
Kenwood Compact Disc Player SL16 XS8, “Kenwood Multiple CD Player” CD-204, 1BIT dual D/A converter
Samsung – Standard Telvision Receiving Apparatus Model Code UN32J5003AFXZA Version No LS03
15 lbs
Ubee Interactive Corp. TWC Model: DVW32CB – Wireless Modem
Panasonic High Definition Plasma Television, model TH-42PX600U
70 lbs
Speaker Intertek Listed 3044275 CA3554
Haier Model: 32E2000 TFT-LED LCD Colour Television Receiver
15 lbs
Sharp Liquid Crystal TV Model LC-32D43U Serial no: 711851587
30lbs
Panasonic = Plasma HDTV Model No:TC-P42S1
60 lbs
Emerson – Funai Corporation – Model No: LC391EM3*
Hisense LED LCD TV Model No 65R6E3
40 lbs
RCA Model No. L26HD32D**26″ x18″ Serial No. 196EH29Y May 2008
722565A063SH…works, has remote
20 lbs
Samsung Model No. LN40B550K1F Model Code LN40B550K1FXZA S/N AUD03CLSA00365M*** 39″ x 2ft, works, no remote Version AA04
40 lbs
Hisense Model No. 32D12 Item:D12-WX01A WLCH032D1201446 Manufacture Date 6/03 Works, no note about disposal on TV 18″x 30″
Dynex DX-32L 100A13
20lbs
samsung
UN50RU7100F
30 lbs
Insignia 32in LED Tv model no: 32D220NA18
~10 lbs
E-waste Collected from Streets March-October 2020

Where were these items recycled:

  • Goodwill – for items in working order that include all necessary cords, cables, and remotes
  • Staples – can bring most electronics under a certain dimensions, monitors for free, tvs for a charge
  • Best Buy – monitors and TVs for $29.99 fee each item, 2/customer/day
  • Dell trade-in/mailback
  • GreenChip E-waste and ITAD Solutions – offers free e-waste drop off

Other Resources

  • Samsung takeback
  • Samsung also offers free mail in recycling – https://www.oemtakeback.com/
  • Eco-cell – free recycling for cell phones, smartphones, iPhones, iPods, iPads, tablets, Apple\Android watches, bluetooth, tablets. GPS, MP3 players, e-readers, digital cameras, handheld gaming systems and the accessories that come with them

Next Steps/Reflections

It became abundantly clear to me that engaging with local legislators and representatives is a worthwhile pursuit in the effort to establish more wide-reaching e-waste collection programs. I reached out to my local councilman (James Van Bramer) a few months ago to see if he was aware of the e-waste dumping issue and/or had any thoughts on the matter and have not yet heard back. Will keep you posted. Something I wish I would have done is extend e-waste collection services to my building by posting a flyer in the mail room. That would have been easy enough to coordinate and who knows how many items are being stockpiled within these walls. Next time!

Thank you for reading,

Kelly

EWAP Update: Part IV

Hello All,

As my year of collecting E-waste off the streets and shuttling them to whatever facility will accept them for recycling comes to a close, I wanted to commemorate the experience with a spreadsheet, ah, sweet spreadsheets. In total, I collected 34 items which collectively was probably hundreds of pounds of waste. Unfortunately, I did not take the time to weigh the items, but did take down all their specs in case I needed actual weights for reporting someday.

In summary, I learned that it is inconvenient to recycle electronics, which is why many people opt to throw them out with regular garbage. The good news is, there are many free recycling drop-off options still available, you just have to look for them. Staples and Best Buy are reliable drop off locations that accept most electronics in any condition. Goodwill is a good place to bring working electronics, but note that you must have all associated chords, cables, and remotes for them to accept your donation. Also, they actually throw out, in the garbage, electronics that are found to be broken, so keep that in mind. Other than Staples, Best Buy, and Goodwill, there are also scrap metal/other drop off facilities that may be available to you in your area, you just have to do a little research. Feel free to contact me if you need help investigating.

Without further ado, my life’s work in 2020–

ComputersMonitorsTVsPrintersLaptopsOther
Dell  Vostro PC – Windows 7 home prem OA – mailed to Dell for recyclingLG computer screen Flatron E2211PU-BNSony LCD color tv model no: klv-s19A10 (HEAVY) serial no 7016499HP printer – photosmart C4600 SeriesLenovo laptop – Thinkpad T430s and chargerPanasonic dvd player, DVD-S27
Dell Optiplex Sx270, model no: DCT (~15lbs), mailed to dell for recyclingDell monitor and keyboard – model no. 1504 fp (~30lbs) – mailed to dell for recyclingInsignia LCD tv model no NS-L 19Q-10A – mailed to Dell for recyclingEpson Printer Stylus NX300 model C362ASony DVD player/Video Casette Recorder Model No – SLV-D300P
Dell monitor- model no 1702fp Rev A01 17”RCA 32” HD LED TV Model No – RT3205-CPrinter – Canon- TS6020Emerson DVD Player – Model # EWD7004 (1800-256-2487 for help with operating) – mailed to dell for reycling
LG Monitor, 38″ x 23″ 43UF6430 Model No: 43UF6430-4BIntertek – LE (brand?) Super4 X43 Pro – LED Tv – 38” X 23” HEAVY probably 40lbs
     Maybe the brand is called – Le Shi Zhi Xin Electronic Technology (Tianjin) Limited
Brother, Worksmart Series, MFC-J680DWCooler Master haf 392
Samsung – Standard Telvision Receiving Apparatus Model Code UN32J5003AFXZA Version No LS03HP Deskjet 2540 All-in-one series Serial No. CN37U1FGVX FPU No. A9U22-64001 Regulatory Model No. SNPRB-1204-02, appears to work, turns on, out of inkSamson – servo-170 studio amplifier 85 watt stereo – heavy ~30 lbs
Panasonic High Definition Plasma Television, model TH-42PX600U (70 lbs)Kenwood Compact Disc Player SL16 XS8, “Kenwood Multiple CD Player” CD-204, 1BIT dual D/A converter
Haier Model: 32E2000 TFT-LED LCD Colour Television ReceiverUbee Interactive Corp. TWC Model: DVW32CB – Wireless Modem
Sharp Liquid Crystal TV Model LC-32D43U Serial no: 711851587Speaker Intertek Listed 3044275 CA3554
Panasonic = Plasma HDTV Model No:TC-P42S1
Emerson – Funai Corporation – Model No: LC391EM3*
Hisense LED LCD TV Model No 65R6E3 4.75 ft by 2.75 ft.
RCA Model No. L26HD32D**26″ x18″ Serial No. 196EH29Y May 2008
722565A063SH…works, has remote
Samsung Model No. LN40B550K1F Model Code LN40B550K1FXZA S/N AUD03CLSA00365M*** 39″ x 2ft, works, no remote Version AA04
Hisense Model No. 32D12 Item:D12-WX01A WLCH032D1201446 Manufacture Date 6/03 Works, no note about disposal on TV 18″x 30″
E-waste Collected from Streets Casually March-June 2020

*Sticker (in TINY text) on back of this item states: “THIS LCD TV Contains a lamp with Mercury, please dispose of according to all local, state, and federal laws.” It was not treated as such.

**Also had sticker that said “This product contains Mercury and must be recycled or disposed of according to applicable local, state, or federal laws. Visit rca.com/tv for more information. Note: This link lead to a webpage providing ZERO information about recycling as far as I could see. Emailed customer service, waiting to hear back, email bounced back..shadyyyyy. 1800968-9853 will have to call

***Had in fine print on back sticker, Contains Mercury, dispose according to local, state, or federal laws

In summary, electronics are meant to be recycled. They usually have tiny stickers or text somewhere on the body of the electronic item indicating that the item contains toxic chemicals that must be disposed of properly in order to preserve human and environmental health. Why that is in fine print, I don’t know. In addition to protecting human and environmental health, recycling electronics is important because it promotes reuse of materials. With a reliable supply of recycled parts, the recycling industry is strengthened, and companies can be encouraged to use recycled materials in place of raw materials. Finally, recycling electronics also prevents environmental and species destruction in places where electronic components are taken from the earth, for example chimpanzee habitat in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

It is interesting to note that the majority of items I found set out with regular garbage were large flatscreen televisions and printers. It appears education needs to be put into place to educate consumers on the appropriate way to dispose of their items once they reach the end of their useful life.

And thats about all I have to say about that. I’ll leave you with a photo montage of this years’ collections:

  • EWAP

Zero Waste Cleaning

In other news, on the path towards Zero Waste living, I have a new development–plastic free cleaning supplies. The short story is that instead of buying windex and other cleaners in plastic spray-bottles, you can instead buy glass spray bottles and use either white vinegar and water (1:1 ratio) or hydrogen peroxide for cleaning. CAUTION: USE SEPARATELY, when mixed, vinegar and hydrogen peroxide form an acid. Here is an article that provides recipes and in depth information about the applications of each as a house-hold cleaner –click here for article. While they are not as killer as other chemical cleaning products, vinegar and hydrogen peroxide (separately, remember) are effective disinfectants for e-coli and salmonella bacteria, so thats good. They can also be used to kill mold. Also, vinegar is effective in cleaning windows and mirrors, so why bother with windex ever again?

Vote for a Plastic Free Amazon

My final thought for you all today is, lets show amazon that we want plastic free shipping options!

Here is a petition you can sign, created by a marketing lady who’s goal is to help businesses grow while adopting sustainable practices. The petition asks Amazon to provide a “Plastic-free” option during checkout to request no bubble wrap to be used in the delivery package, as well as a label on plastic-free products. The goal is to get 100,000 signatures and they’re already at 650,000. Take a moment to add your name and reduce the amount of plastic flowing into your home. Remember to uncheck the box that asks if you want to join the mailing list.

Here is that link: http://chng.it/ppJMHWYYfK

And finally, some recent packaging inspired creativity, a window covering:

Made from fused plastic food packaging sewn together

New Fad Diets- “Eating for your A-hole” and The Zero Waste Diet

Not to be confused with any other combination of those words, eating for one’s a-hole is a diet idea inspired by a Subway Ad declaring colon cancer the #2 cause of cancer in New York City. No pun intended. No disrespect either. Colon cancer is no joke, which is why I am sharing this idea.

The diet concept is simple, every food that enters the mouth is considered in terms of its way out of the body– whether or not the food will nourish the colon.

This diet thus includes high fiber foods: lentils, chick peas, fruit, nuts, seeds, vegetables, carrots, oatmeal. Basically, a healthy diet. Rabbit like. Nothing new. The only novel element here is training the mind to consider and reach primarily for foods that benefit the colon. Shoot for 30 grams of fiber per day. Just remember, when you are eating anything, eat for your a-hole. You’ll thank yourself later.

In addition to eating for your a-hole, I’d like to put in a good word in for the Zero Waste Diet. This diet idea is also simple and will impact shopping and purchasing habits more than anything. The concept, which is probably not new, is to buy food with limited packaging. Why? To benefit the macro-body, Mama Earth, as well as our individual bodies.

Like eating for one’s a-hole, the Zero Waste Diet is heavily focused on the way out. It considers waste generated by eating in terms of environmental impact. The diet is thus comprised of foods that come in their own natural packaging, ie fruits, veggies, nuts, etc with rinds, shells, husks, etc. These foods leave us with no garbage in the end, only compostable material. Bulk bins and farmers markets are critical elements to a zero waste diet, as is bringing re-usable shopping and produce bags along on shopping excursions.

When package free is not possible, paper, cardboard, glass, and metal are preferred packaging options. Plastic is the least preferred packaging option since it is very difficult if not impossible to dispose of and poses environmental and human health risks.

A final component of the Zero Waste Diet is being resourceful and creative. Observing our personal waste footprint can lead us to find new ways to reduce plastic consumption and little by little lead us down the path towards a zero waste diet and lifestyle. For example, recently I have learned how to make my own hummus and nut milks, so now I am free from having to buy packaged milks and hummus. Two steps closer to zero waste livin’. It feels good. Join me!

(This is an original sketch digitized and colored in by Enhance Graphic Design Team, hence watermark)

EWAP Update: Part III

Hello All~

I wanted to write a little something about chimpanzees since July 14th was World Chimpanzee Day, the 3rd annual “global celebration of respect for our closest genetic relatives”.* Happy belated! This year, Chimp Day marked the 60th Anniversary of when Jane Gooddall first visited Gombe, Tanzania and began studying chimpanzees in the wild.

*all cited information comes from the Roots and Shoots newsletters

Credit: Graphic template from World Chimpanzee Day Challenge, edited by moi.

The takeaway from Dr. Gooddall’s work over the past 60 years is that chimpanzees are awesome and worthy of our attention and protection.

The Lowdown

Currently, chimpanzees are considered an endangered species. Over the past 100 years, the population of chimpanzees has been reduced from 1-2 million in the wild to between 340,000-150,000 across their entire range in Africa today. That’s about a 15% loss over the last 100 years. Gorillas occupy similar zones and have been similarly endangered. Human population has grown by about 30% in that same time period.

Deforestation, wildlife trafficking (think: Tiger King), and poaching/bush meat trade are some of the main reasons for this decline. Unfortunately, the problem is complex, as many human livelihoods depend upon the very activities that are contributing to chimpanzee loss. For example, industrial and artisanal mining provides incomes for families to survive, but the resulting influx of humans into chimpanzee habitat and mining related deforestation are endangering chimpanzees. It is hard to argue to protect chimpanzee life when human life is also at stake.

Fortunately, there is a solution: education. Through education, people can be inspired and empowered to develop alternative livelihoods and industries that are less environmentally destructive (same goes for the whole world).

Education is particularly important amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. Since chimpanzees are so genetically similar to humans, disease transmission is a real hazard, and viruses like Covid can easily infect chimpanzees and spread throughout their population. This once happened while Dr. Gooddall was studying chimpanzees in Tanzania during a polio outbreak. Unfortunately, the polio virus had infected individuals in a nearby human village and soon was transmitted to the local chimpanzee population, which resulted in the infection and death of many chimpanzees. If interested in that saga, you can read about it in Dr. Gooddall’s book, In The Shadow of Man.

Fortunately, groups like the Jane Gooddall Institute (JGI) are currently working hard to reduce the risk of transmission of Covid to wild chimpanzee populations through education. JGI is also focused on improving captive care standards for chimpanzees worldwide by developing a Chimpanzee Welfare Index (CWI) which outlines care standards for captive chimps. The index consists of criteria that assess an individual chimpanzee’s entire existence in captivity including socialization, psychological behaviors, health, and diet. Using the Index, captive care facilities can assess their level of care and adapt their practices to better fit their animals’ needs.

Side note, the chimps rescued from the G.W. Zoo from Tiger King were transferred to The Center for Great Apes in Florida which is an accredited sanctuary. Tiger King could have benefited from the CWI Index.

Click HERE to find a list of CWI factors to look out for next time you visit a zoo or chimp in captive care, they include ASA and AZA accreditation, having limited visiting hours, having a veterinarian on staff, and a few other things to research and watch out for.

And that is what I learned from JGI’s World Chimpanzee Day 2020. Stay tuned for next year.

Now, on to updates on The Electronic Waste Awareness Project.

The Electronic Waste Awareness Project

So far, from March to present, I have collected 30 items illegally dumped on the sidewalk that would have wound up in the landfill and are now instead *hopefully* being recycled. Unfortunately, I am not confident in the recycling process, but hope, through this project, to become more clear on that matter, ie – Where exactly is “Away?”.

This is my running list of items picked up on the sidewalk since EWAP Update #1

PrintersTVs/MonitorsCD PlayersMisc
Brother, Worksmart Series, MFC-J680DWHaier Model: 32E2000 TFT-LED LCD Colour Television ReceiverKenwood Compact Disc Player SL16 XS8, “Kenwood Multiple CD Player” CD-204, 1BIT dual D/A converterUbee Interactive Corp. TWC Model: DVW32CB – Wireless Modem
Printer – Canon- TS6020Sharp Liquid Crystal TV Model LC-32D43U Serial no: 711851587Speaker
Panasonic = Plasma HDTV Model No:TC-P42S1
Emerson – Funai Corporation – Model No: LC391EM3*
LG Monitor
*Sticker (in TINY text) on back of this item states: “THIS LCD TV Contains a lamp with Mercury, please dispose of according to all local, state, and federal laws.” It was not treated as such.

Following is the breakdown of my project expenses, for transparency’s sake. Funding was awarded in November 2019, collection activity began in January 2020, better record keeping began in March:

Transportation to and from recycling drop-off facility (taxi+tip)

$70

$45

Total – $115

Storage (in my own tiny apartment, RE- precious real-estate–> $75/month)

$225 (for March-May)

$150 (June-July)

$75 (August)

Total – $450

Labor Stipend (for time spent collecting and transporting)

Total – $300

Funding allotted for creating an annual report: $300

Grant total – $1400

Total used so far – $1165

*Grant cycle to end October

Since I am recognizing that my method of recycling action is limited in its impact, I’m not certain I will continue this activity for much longer, given that storing and transporting materials is taxing- energetically and space wise. I feel that education (ie talking to people face to face) is probably a more effective and sustainable solution to reducing illegal/improper disposal of electronic waste. Am I an Eco-prostelytizer? Methinks yes.

That being said, I do continue to find items on the sidewalk and recently discovered most items can now be brought to Staples (up to 3 printers/person/day and TVs less than 20 inches) for recycling. This is a huge relief since there is a store in walking distance and relieves the need to use my own apartment for longer term storage. In the height of Covid, that was not an option since Staples had been closed.

I also found out that Goodwill does not accept electronic waste, only electronics that are in working order and suitable for resale. I haven’t been testing the items I collect to see if they are working, but suppose that is something to consider since there is also a Goodwill in walking distance. Note: in the recycling hierarchy, reuse comes before recycling:

Best buy has a recycling program similar to Staples. Re-these are all places people can go to recycle electronics. It takes more energy than setting them out in the trash, which is probably why most people don’t do it. There is really no incentive to exert the extra energy…unless one cares a whole awful lot…

The Lorax – Dr. Seuss

It seems that a lack of enforcement on illegal dumping is making current regulations ineffective. Supposedly there is a $100 fine for setting electronics out with the trash, but I doubt these fines are being issued. Perhaps if fines were issued, people would start to make the effort. But who will issue the fines?

Last week, while walking home from work late at night, I saw 2 TVs set out in the trash, one on each side of the street. By the time I picked up one and went back for the 2nd, it was already gone. It had been picked up by the garbage men who were making their way down the street. I decided to stop and ask the sanitation workers what they do with electronic waste when its set out with garbage. The gentlemen explained that they used to have special trucks that would come around for electronics, but that was now suspended. He said that now, if the items are large, too large for the recycling trucks to pick up, that they put them in the garbage trucks. They go to the landfill, hazardous waste in all. He candidly expressed doubt in the recycling system as well. Sad. I felt defeated by the system, but also glad that at least I had saved that one TV and all the other items I’d picked up in the past 6 months. There has got to be a better solution.

Thankfully, the city has recently resumed collection of e-waste from building of 10 units or more, but for smaller residences, nothing, which is why it is difficult to identify who is responsible for the electronic waste that is currently, needlessly, heading for the landfill when placed next to curbside garbage and recycling.

My next step is to interview the Sanitation Department for their official statement. I’m curious how the department itself would describe its policy on how to handle e-waste that is left out with regular garbage or dumped randomly.

That’s all for now, thanks for reading!

As a treat for readers who have made it this far, a music video collaboration made with my music and produced by choreographer Jenn Rose for a “Screen Dance” class at Steps on Broadway. The dancer is Becca Fox and the guitar track (pre-whistles) was recorded and produced by my guitar teacher Dave Muto. It was recorded in Ridgewood, Brooklyn.

Also another video by Jenn Rose, showing how tap dance can be used for political commentary:

EWAP Update: Part II

Hello all,

It is quite unlikely but entirely possible that you’ve all been gripping your seats in anticipation, wondering what would happen with all that e-waste I had stored in my apartment for the past few months. Lets pretend that has been the case, for the dry humored among us.

Well, prepare to unclench those fists and breathe a sigh of relief, for I found a free drop off site in Astoria that took everything, all 20ish items listed here. The company, Green Chip – E-waste and ITAD Solutions. Glorious.

Huzzah! So exciting, I know.

No idea where the items went after I left them. A subject for further exploration as the EWAP develops.

Haven’t been seeing as much e-waste lining the streets this past week. Save for a printer I encountered during a long walk through Queens the other day. Unfortunately it was too hot, and the item too heavy, for it to be salvaged. Alas, I cannot close the e-waste loop on my own.

I am curious, dear readers, if you are reading this, might I call upon you to take a tally of electronics you might be holding onto at home, ready for disposal. What are the barriers preventing us from recycling e-waste? Are there any? How do you dispose of your unwanted electronics? Do write in if you have any thoughts on the matter. I’m collecting data and here to help.

And now, onto other topics of import perhaps to no one but myself –here is a list of tap dancers today that are quite spectacular, each in their own special way. I’ve broken them into categories. Mind you, there are a lot of amazing dancers that have been left out here, this is merely a list of dancers that have struck my personal fancy. I am including this list to showcase the variety and versatility of tap as an art and entertainment form and to introduce some of today’s best tap dancers for those who are interested in delving in to the world of contemporary tap.

Most entertaining to watch//best stage presence//most likely to end up on the big screen:

Sarah Reich // Postmodern Jukebox // her own thing

The Syncopated LadiesAssata Madison and Annissa Lee, in particular, plus the rest, including Chloe & Maude, a sister duo and Syncopated Ladies bandleaders who are arguably doing the most to get tap into mainstream media today

Melinda Sullivan – a classy lass, hearkens to the film era tap days (Ginger Rogers, Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly-type)

Funky

Demi Remick // Postmodern Jukebox // Caleb Teicher & Co.

Posessing that “COOL” Factor

Christina Carminucci – she used glitter, enough to win any heart forever

Derrick Grant – excellent teacher, now in Boston, I believe

Starinah Dixon – Chicago

Michela Lerman – NYC, plays with big bands

Dormeshia Sumbry Edwards – in the Derick Grant, Jason Samuels clan, also teaches a lot of people, champions the heels

Legendary

Barbara Duffy – has taught basically every great tap dancer today, her teacher – Leon Collins, among others

Excellent and Note-worthy for their own unique reasons

Ayodeli Casel

Dolores Sanches w/April Nieves tap dancing Acupuncturist and Emma Bigelow

Felipe Galgani – Brazilian

Dorrance Dance – Michelle Dorrance, Leo Sandoval, Claudia Rajardinato, among others

Kazu Kumagai – Japan, often plays with a bassist, does humanitarian work in Japan

People I’ve learned about from taking classes//seeing performance and being impressed by their overall skill and essence:

Amanda Castro, Rachel Binney, The Ground Sisters (Spain), Gerson Lanza, Magaly Azuara

Liz Carroll – particularly for her for her choreography, also – Jared Sprague

Naomi Funaki – Japan/USA // Caleb Teicher & Co. // Dorrance Dance

Melissa Almaguer – Mexico

Ian Berg – saw him dance in a Diane Walker tribute

There are so many more…tap dancers tend to be interesting people of all shapes, sizes, ages, cultures, etc. Check-em out.

And now, three pet insurance companies in order of recommendation by an animal hospital insurance coordinator:

Healthy Paws – cheapest monthly rates

Pet Plan – medium range

Trupanion – most expensive per month, best coverage, fastest response to claims

Thats all for now folks,

KB

EWAP

EWAP Findings: Part I

Hello all, it is time I write about the not so exciting, but very important topic of electronic waste recycling.

<p class="has-drop-cap" value="<amp-fit-text layout="fixed-height" min-font-size="6" max-font-size="72" height="80"><span style="font-weight:400;">Below is a running list of electronic devices I have found on the streets over the past 3 months and am storing in my apartment. They were all left out with regular garbage collection, destined for the landfill. </span>I scooped them up and am now figuring out how to recycle them. Why do I do this? Its for the conservation of chimps, gorillas, and humans alike. When electronics are thrown in the garbage, valuable resources are sent to the landfill, never to be reclaimed and reused. Instead, raw materials must be mined to make new electronics. The raw materials for electronics come from parts of Africa where chimpanzees and gorillas live. Child labor is sometimes used to process mined materials. It is the ultimate waste and a serious conservation issue. Below is a running list of electronic devices I have found on the streets over the past 3 months and am storing in my apartment. They were all left out with regular garbage collection, destined for the landfill. I scooped them up and am now figuring out how to recycle them. Why do I do this? Its for the conservation of chimps, gorillas, and humans alike. When electronics are thrown in the garbage, valuable resources are sent to the landfill, never to be reclaimed and reused. Instead, raw materials must be mined to make new electronics. The raw materials for electronics come from parts of Africa where chimpanzees and gorillas live. Child labor is sometimes used to process mined materials. It is the ultimate waste and a serious conservation issue.

ComputersMonitorsTVsPrintersLaptopsOther
Dell  Vostro PC – Windows 7 home prem OA – mailed to Dell for recyclingLG computer screen Flatron E2211PU-BNSony LCD color tv model no: klv-s19A10 (HEAVY) serial no 7016499HP printer – photosmart C4600 SeriesLenovo laptop – Thinkpad T430s and chargerPanasonic dvd player, DVD-S27
Dell Optiplex Sx270, model no: DCT (~15lbs), mailed to dell for recyclingDell monitor and keyboard – model no. 1504 fp (~30lbs) – mailed to dell for recyclingInsignia LCD tv model no NS-L 19Q-10A – mailed to Dell for recyclingEpson Printer Stylus NX300 model C362ASony DVD player/Video Casette Recorder Model No – SLV-D300P
Dell monitor- model no 1702fp Rev A01 17”RCA 32” HD LED TV Model No – RT3205-CEmerson DVD Player – Model # EWD7004 (1800-256-2487 for help with operating) – mailed to dell for reycling
Intertek – LE (brand?) Super4 X43 Pro – LED Tv – 38” X 23” HEAVY probably 40lbs
     Maybe the brand is called – Le Shi Zhi Xin Electronic Technology (Tianjin) Limited
Cooler Master haf 392
Samsung – Standard Telvision Receiving Apparatus Model Code UN32J5003AFXZA Version No LS03Samson – servo-170 studio amplifier 85 watt stereo – heavy ~30 lbs
Panasonic High Definition Plasma Television, model TH-42PX600U (70 lbs)
E-waste Collected from Streets Casually March-June 2020

Let us note that in NYC, it has been illegal to throw out electronics with regular garbage since 2015, with the looming threat of a $100 fine for doing so. This legislation was passed to protect human and environmental health. Who knows how strictly this law is enforced. I see e-waste in the garbage frequently. Each state has its own way of dealing with electronic waste, mind you. In California, it is not illegal to throw out E-waste, but there is a tax imposed when you buy electronic devices that is meant to cover the cost of recycling at the end of the product’s life cycle.

Now, with Covid, there have been no places open to recycle electronics. Whereas in the past there was free curbside pick-up and various free drop off sites around for people to dispose of electronic waste, everything has been shut down, leaving no convenient options for people to responsibly dispose of their e-waste. No wonder they are opting to dump them as trash.

Luckily, I am obsessed with this topic and have been doing some research. Here is what I have found.

Dell’s Free Mail-In Recycling Programs (Click Here)

These are free program anyone can use, regardless of whether you’re a Dell customer or not. The programs are simple. You can send Dell old electronics of any brand, in any condition, and they will recycle the items for free. The fine print requests a limit of 5 “systems” per customer. You can load as many items into each package so long as you do not exceed the maximum allowable package weight of 150 lbs. You do have to supply your own packaging materials and print out a shipping label, but otherwise, this is a very convenient, free recycling option. Fed Ex will come to your door to pick up the package.

The items can be recycled through the Dell’s mail-return program are limited to the following categories:

  • Notebook//laptop
  • PC//CPU
  • CRT Monitor
  • LCD Monitor
  • Printer//Scanner
  • Other “Dell” Branded products

In addition, Dell offers a trade-in program where you can send in select electronic items of various brands and receive a Dell gift card.

For an overview of Dell’s electronic sourcing policies, click here.

To date, I have sent in only one item through the Dell program. I am in the midst of researching other local options, as some of the items I have found are quite heavy and may be easier to recycle through a local company. I will have to pay a fee for this service at this time, since none of the free drop off sites are open at this point (Goodwill, Best Buy, Staples, Salvation Army). Luckily, I have Citizen’s Committee grant for this. Woo.

Another topic I wanted to bring up before wrapping up this article is the subject of buying refurbished electronics instead of brand new ones. The site: Back Market is an online retailer of refurbished electronics with excellent ethos and is doing a tremendous job to reduce electronic waste. Their products are inspected and tested by knowledgeable technicians and brought back to working condition, ready for a second life. Their prices are significantly lower than brand new items and come with a 1 year warranty. If you don’t need the newest product on the market, consider purchasing your next electronic device through Back Market to support reuse, recycling, and repair. It will support a good company, reduce the amount of e-waste being sent to landfill, and best of all, improve your karma.

Bye for now,

KB