Happy Stan’s Eco Tips for Dining Out

September 25th, 2013 • By: happy Eco Tips, Energy Saving Tips, Live Green, Uncategorized



Dining out can be a pretty wasteful activity, depending on where you go and the choices you make. Here are a few ideas to make dining out a pleasure for you and the environment.

eco tips for dining out

We’re not going to eradicate take-out waste completely, but you can make a dent by bringing your own containers. Remember a few years ago, when very few people actually brought their own recyclable bags to the grocery store? Now it’s the norm. What if the new norm was to bring your own takeout container to a restaurant? You’d be cutting down on your waste, and wouldn’t have to feel guilty for leaving the food you paid for on the table, just to be thrown out.doggybag

Or maybe you could focus on not having any leftovers to begin with. Portion sizes have grown between 25% and 60% in the past twenty years, and people are eating more than ever, contributing to obesity rates. This is in part because consumers want to get more for their money, so restaurants are offering “value meals.” Here’s an idea: how about less food for less money? Try ordering off of the starter menu rather than the entrees, split your entree with your fellow diner, or ask if you can order a half size. Many restaurants will do this, even if they don’t advertise it.  

How you get there is just as important. Are you taking your car and meeting a fellow driver? Why not choose a place that you can walk or ride your bike to? You’ll save money and get a workout in, leaving you feeling guilt-free about ordering dessert. If driving is necessary, carpool or choose a nearby restaurant to save on gas and emissions.

Think about what you really need to enjoy your meal. Does the bread basket get left untouched? Ask the server not to bring it and save everyone the time. Once an item hits your table, it will be washed or thrown away, whether it’s been used or not. Think twice about asking for extra napkins or plates, thereby reducing trash and excessive water consumption.

eco tips for dining outSeek out restaurants that have a reputation for being green. This comes in many forms, whether it be only serving sustainable seafood, local produce and meats, or only using fabric napkins and tablecloths. A lot of restaurants are now waiting to bring you only the cutlery and glasses you need, based on your order, to help them cut down on water usage. Green Table Network is a great source for locating restaurants that have made the commitment to improve their environmental performance while serving the best quality, tastiest food imaginable.

This doesn’t just mean meals, either. Bring your reusable mug on your daily coffee run, and at most places, it will even save you a bit of money. Happy Stan’s can recycle most plastics and metals, so you don’t have to make more trash.

What this all comes down to is consuming less. Monitor your consumption of food, materials, water and energy when it comes to dining out, and we’ll all be much better off.

What are you green tips for dining out? Tweet @happystans and post on our Facebook page, we’ll get the eco word out! 

Trash It or Recycle It? It’s Time to Change Your Perception

September 19th, 2013 • By: happy Eco Fair, Energy Saving Tips, Live Green, Uncategorized




Chances are you have looked at a crumpled up can or the little holes from your hole puncher and thought “Well, now that’s trash”.

Guess what: you’re wrong.

hole punch

A recent study found that people do not understand the difference between trash and recyclables, and it’s all based on perception. When an item is not in its original form, people think it as damaged, and therefore, trash.

The authors of the study stress that the challenge to recycling is largely about changing people’s beliefs. If companies made it easier to preserve the condition of the package once it had been opened, then people would be more likely to recycle it.


Around the world, more than two billion tons of trash are generated each year, with the United States throwing away more than any other country, followed very closely by Canada.

Of course, companies investing in their packaging and labelling would also help to remind people that they can recycle their products, but you can do your part by taking a look at what you are trashing and consider if it is truly garbage, or just not your usual recyclable.

Here at Happy Stan’s, we’re happy to receive your recycled materials from your home at our Drop-Off Facility, which is open seven days a week in Port Coquitlam. Our list of acceptable materials is a good place to learn what you can give new life. You can also tweet us or post a question on Facebook and we’ll be happy to tell you if it’s recyclable.

So spread the word by tweeting this blog post! Let’s change our perception – and the future. 


Being Silver and Being Green




recycle You may not think it, but the pre-boomer generation were the original recyclers. Except they just didn’t call it that. They called it being frugal. They called it simply a way of life.Preservation was an important endeavour for this generation and it was based completely out of necessity. Many different materials were rationed, including food, so nothing went to waste. Have leftover fabric from making clothes? Use the scraps in a rag rug. Have some leftover meat from a meal? Add it to rice or noodles for a completely new dish the next day. Did you get something new? Give the old one to someone who needs it. Everything seemed to have more than one life. Items in those times also tended to be more durable and higher quality. People took care of their possessions much more so than now. Clearly our grandparents were ahead of the green trends.

In fact, according to a 2007 survey from Stats Can, the households most likely to have recycled all of their waste were those that contained only individuals aged 65 years or more.

Recycling became a buzz word in the mid-80s, which is when we saw an influx of curbside recycling programs. In the past thirty years, recycling has come a long way. We now have services like the ones we provide at Happy Stan’s. However, we seem to take for granted that we can just ‘expect’ to recycle. While we’re proud to offer a multitude of recycling and disposal solutions to meet your business and household needs, we would all benefit to live more like our grandparents in a zero waste economy.

So take a tip from the older generation and think twice about what you have and what you can do with it. If you don’t need it anymore, try donating it to someone who does, or upcycle it into something new! chairupcycle

Once those options are exhausted, bring it by to our drop off centre , or contact us for a free recycling consultation.

The 5 Rules of Back to School

August 16th, 2013 • By: happy Eco Tips, Energy Saving Tips, Live Green, Uncategorized



The three R’s have a completely different meaning than they did 175 years ago when the expression was first coined. They are no longer Reading, Writing and Arithmetic. It’s all about the 5 R’s now: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Repurpose and Reframe.

back to school green tips

Back to school means one thing – new stuff! There are ways, however, to cut down on the costs of back to school and be green at the same time.


If you do have to buy new supplies, choose products that have reusable containers or recyclable packaging like cardboard. It cuts down on waste, and can be recycled. Try buying plain binders with clear outside pockets so you can change up the look with paper or fabric if you have trend-conscious kids. They can be reused for years to come, as long as they are in good shape.

The first thing to do is look at the school supplies your children have brought home from the previous school year. Chances are, you can make many of them work for the new school year. Instead of buying all new pencil crayons and pencils, give them a fresh sharpening. Encourage your children to use pencils over pens. Most pens are not refillable, or people choose not to refill, so encouraging pencil use can save you money and extra plastic. Some items don’t take too much of a beating- rulers, calculators and scissors can last for years.

Ask other parents if they have spare supplies lying around their homes that you could take off their hands. Often, the needs of each class are different and the slightly older child may not need the supplies from the previous year. See if you have anything that may be of use to them too.

Instead of buying plastic binders, find ones made of recycled cardboard. If they are looking a little worse for wear, cover them with recycled paper- finally a use for your child’s artwork! There are likely to be objects around the house that can be used in a whole new way- an old makeup bag or chocolate box makes a great pencil case, or you could transform last year’s holey backpack into a new lunch bag with a bit of time and sewing.

What do you do about lunches? Most times, it’s actually cheaper to buy snacks in bulk and invest in some great reusable containers. They come in many different shapes and sizes, and often come in your kids’ favourite characters and designs. Take a tip from Eastern cultures and find your child a tiffin or bento-style lunch box. These are comprised of several compartments that keep the food separated, and are made of recycled plastic or stainless steel.back to school green tips

Many schools have implemented a no waste policy, so if you bring your sandwich in a plastic baggie, it must go home with the child (discarded crusts and all).This is a great way to learn with your kids about materials that can be composted, recycled and reused.

These are just a few ideas to get you started on back to school. Don’t forget that when the school year is over, you can recycle many of your school supplies that can’t be reused next year.

What tips do you have? Tweet us with your green back to school ideas.

Office Recycling Starts with You

July 29th, 2013 • By: happy Uncategorized



office recycling Though it may seem like these four items have nothing in common, they all share a common destiny: the landfill.

Unfortunately many people are unaware of the extensive list of items that can actually be recycled (including these four above). The amount you can salvage from the landfills really is endless, just take a look! From office furniture to wood pallets, fluorescent tubes to hard-drives, Happy Stan’s Recycling has been giving new life to these products for almost 25 years.



From Apartments to the Office: How Does It Work?

For small to large businesses, office buildings, warehouses and apartment complexes, we can pick up and design a recycling program to suit your needs.

All of the materials that we collect are brought back to our own facility. We then separate them by hand into 50+ grades of material for recycling. This allows us to recycle thousands of difference products.

office recycling

In addition to our full-service junk removal (which accepts just about anything), we also provide a drop-off facility for select items. Check out our website for the list of materials we’ll accept for free.

It’s simple, easy, and often saves you time and money. Set the right example for your employees by leading with green initiatives. Contact us and we’ll be Happy to start designing your custom recycling program.


Request a Recycling Pickup Quote Request a Recycling Pickup Quote


Recycling Drop Off Location
1603 Langan Ave., Port Coquitlam, BC

Receiving Hours:
Monday - Friday 7:00AM - 3:30PM
Saturday and Sunday 11:00AM - 4:00PM
(closed on statutory holidays)

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