Did you know that from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, household waste increases by more than 25%? With food, shopping bags and packaging, it’s easy to see how it can add up fast. Luckily, we can begin reducing this number with a few simple changes, and our team at Happy Stan’s Recycling have rounded up five waste-reducing tips that you can start implementing today.
- E-cards: Instead of spending money on cards, envelopes and stamps that will inevitably end up in the trash, send your holiday wishes via e-cards. Not only does this reduce waste, it also ensures your cards will arrive on time. If writing and sending cards is a family tradition, look for those printed on eco-friendly or recycled paper.
- Unplug: Sure, holiday lights look pretty, but they also use up a lot of electricity. Make a note to unplug the lights both inside and outside of your home any time before leaving the house. Turning them off during the night when people are unlikely to be out enjoying them is also a smart practice to put in place.
- Reuse: Instead of purchasing bows, ribbons, and gift bags each December, start collecting those you receive and reuse them the following year. Brown paper, newspaper, and fabric are also great alternatives to use in place of holiday wrapping paper, especially since they are commonly found around your home, and – bonus – can be recycled.
- Bulk up: Preparation is key when it comes to dinner parties and one of the best ways to do this is by stocking up on bulk food. Not only does this avoid excess packaging but it also allows for perfect meal planning. If you’re doing a potluck, try assigning different dishes to different people to avoid too much of one thing, so that multiples of the same dish don’t end up in the trash.
- Get crafty: Instead of buying items that have a lot of excess packaging, try your hand at a few homemade gifts. Popular ideas include gingerbread and shortbread cookies (or any holiday baking for that matter), ornaments, and scrubs. Eliminate waste completely by gifting experiences such as a movie night or a day out on the mountains.
Do you have any other tips that you like to use? Tweet us at @happystans!
With the end of the year fast approaching, there’s no better time than now to whip your office into shape. To ensure you start off 2017 with a clean slate, the crew at Happy Stan’s Recycling are sharing their most convenient and efficient services that are guaranteed to help optimize your workspace.
● Office Shredding: From customer lists to correspondences to employee information, every business produces confidential data. Instead of letting these documents pile up and create clutter, HSR Services can securely transport and destroy them. Once shredded, the documents are then sent in bulk to a paper broker to be baled and sold as paper fiber.
● Junk Removal: If sorting through your recyclable materials is the last thing you want to do, or if some of your items are not considered recyclable, our junk removal service may be for you. Unlike most junk removal companies, we have the facility, network of fellow recyclers, and equipment to turn your junk into materials that can be sent to different recycling companies around North America. Super easy, we simply provide a pick-up and then dispose of your discarded items for you.
● Office Furniture Recycling: Out with the old, in with the new. If your office furniture is getting an upgrade, we’ll ensure your unwanted desks and chairs aren’t just tossed into a landfill. Our team works hard to separate the different materials that your furniture is made up of, so your wood and metal desks that would otherwise end-up in a landfill will get dismantled and recycled separately.
● Introduce an office recycling program: Now that your office is clean, why not maintain that cleanliness throughout 2017? We can create a custom recycling program perfect for your office that will take care of everything from paper and cardboard to old computers and electronics. We provide you with recycling bins and will schedule pickups on a regular basis that can be adjusted at anytime.
If you’re interested in moving forward with any of these initiatives or if you need more information, email Jamie at jamie [at] happystan [dot] com and he’ll be happy to chat!
Now that the school year is well underway, have you noticed any eco-friendly changes that could be made in the classroom or your own routine at home? We know how hectic your schedule may be, which means you may not even be aware of how to make a greener footprint when your family hits the books. So the team at Happy Stan’s Recycling rounded up five tips that you can start implementing today for the greenest year yet!
School Supplies: Chances are your kids have siblings, cousins, neighbours and friends that have a ton of extra pencil crayons, binders, or other school supplies they’re not using. Once you’ve figured out what you don’t need to repurchase, try to source eco-friendly alternatives for the rest, like these organic binders or paper and pencils that are FSC Certified.
Textbooks: With the rain season in full effect, a quick way to protect textbooks is through DIY covers. Use recycled paper to cover the exterior of the books and use fun patterns and colours to decorate. This will reduce chances of damage so that you can lend your textbooks to others in the future or sell them back to the bookstore.
Lunch box: Instead of buying meals at school or purchasing snacks that are individually wrapped, pack food in a reusable lunch box, bring water in a refillable bottle, and buy in bulk. Not only will you keep plastic sandwich bags out of landfills, but you’ll save a lot of money! Buying bulk instead of opting for single-serve “convenience” packs will also help cut down on waste.
Carpool: If bussing isn’t an option, get a group of friends together and carpool to school. This will help reduce the amount of emissions and toxic fumes in the air, making the atmosphere greener and cleaner. Or, if the weather’s nice and a safe route is available, bike with friends. Afterall, what better way to start and end a day of learning than with some fresh air?
Green Program: Finally, if your school has a green program, join it! And if one doesn’t exist – create one! The more opportunities we have to share knowledge with others about eco-friendly ways of living, the more people can actively work to change their habits to create a greener tomorrow.
Are there any eco-friendly school tips that we missed? Tweet us at @HappyStans and let us know!
As summer begins to wind down, we’re finding ourselves spending as much time as possible enjoying the beautiful warm weather – and we know we’re not the only ones! With temperatures expected to rise in the coming weeks, the Happy Stan’s Recycling team will be looking to our favourite local hot spots in the Tri-Cities to keep cool while enjoying all that nature has to offer.
Rocky Point Park: Located in Port Moody, Rocky Point is regarded as the city’s best known park, and it’s easy to see why. With a recreational pier, outdoor pool, numerous hiking and bike trails, as well as a boat launch, it has virtually something for everyone. The perfect spot for a family outing, it also features a spray ground for kids (activated by a push button that turns the water on/off), and of course, Pajo’s delicious Fish & Chips.
Photo: Dave Worden Photography
Crystal Falls: Walk, run, or bike the 6km picturesque trail alongside the Upper Coquitlam River to reach the equally stunning Crystal Falls. A popular destination year round, we particularly love frequenting this spot during the hot summer months, always taking advantage of the cool river and canyon pools. Due to the trails low elevation, it’s an easy trek that’s both children and dog friendly, so bring your furry friend along and make it a family affair!
Alouette Lake/Golden Ears Park: Double the fun, Golden Ears Park is one of BC’s largest parks, whereas Alouette Lake is a summer paradise. Located in Maple Ridge, the breathtaking scenery that includes mountains and lakes is well worth the trip alone. If that isn’t enough, it also boasts enough outdoor activities to keep you busy all weekend long. Canoes and kayaks are available to rent, and many enjoy swimming, windsurfing, and waterskiing. Out of the water, there are great hiking trails, as well as three large campsites that will likely convince you to stay the weekend.
We love these local parks and lakes, and want to help preserve them for years to come. Here are some great tips on how to do just that:
- Bring water and food in reusable containers
- Hang onto garbage and dispose of it either in a park garbage can or at home
- While camping, opt to ‘unplug’. Water is used in all forms of energy generation. Did you know it can take over 4 gallons of water to keep a 60-watt light bulb lit for 12 hours?
- “Take nothing but pictures. Leave nothing but footprints.” Ideally, you should be leaving any park or lake just the way you found it.
Which is your favourite spot? Tweet us at @happystans and let us know!
With 67% of weddings in Canada occurring between the months of June and September, chances are you’ve attended at least one nuptial this summer. If you’re about to get hitched or are planning your big day, we know just how hectic it can get. Between picking the venue, flowers, and catering, tying the knot in an eco-friendly way may not be top of mind. So to help you save time and kickstart your planning, we’ve rounded up five simple DIY and upcycling ideas that check the green box and (bonus!) help keep celebration costs down.
Pop, clink, cheers: Transform empty wine bottles into beautiful centrepieces by painting and decorating them according to your theme or colour palette. Looking to add even more ‘greenery’? The wine bottles also make great vases for your favourite long stem arrangements.
Image: The Wedding Chicks
Pack it up: Not only are old suitcases the perfect way to inflect a vintage vibe into your special day, they are also a creative alternative to collecting cards at the reception. Use the suitcase as is, or dress it up with some on-theme ribbon and fun lettering.
Image: Project Wedding
Sip: Reduce the amount of glassware used during the reception by opting for mason jars labelled with your guests’ names. This will (hopefully) prevent people from losing their cups and requesting new ones, resulting in less water used during dishwashing. Bonus: the mason jars can also double as party favours!
Image: Perfect Wedding
Spell it out: Your wedding day should be all fun and games, right? Use pieces from your Scrabble board game to spell out the names of anything from dishes on your dessert table to the members of your bridal party. This is also a unique option for labelling table numbers and adds a playful touch to the celebration.
Image: The Knot
Odds & Ends: Although you normally wouldn’t think twice about throwing out wine corks or empty spools of thread, they are worth hanging onto. Use them to create elegant place card holders that truly tie your table setting together. Easy to make and 100% recyclable, they are also beautiful keepsakes for your guests.
Image: Kara’s Vineyard Wedding
Once the wedding festivities have ended, either recycle your DIY decor or look into local bridal swaps or Facebook groups that will allow you to sell and donate your items to other soon-to-be-brides.