Southeast Green - Business depends on the environment and the environment depends on business

Made in Georgia

Where does my recycling go? Have you ever wondered? Do you suspect it might just end up in the landfill like your trash in the next bin over. Well, if you find yourself in the camp of the recycling cynic...this video will (hopefully) shift your perspective. In Georgia over 120 companies want your recyclables. It could even be said that they are clamoring for them. These companies use your old milk jugs, cans, paper and even carpet to make new products, sometimes even the same product. And that is a good thing...especially when you consider that creating that product from a recycled material uses 95% less energy. And that in doing so, additional local jobs are needed. So, take a look at this video we produced for the Georgia Recycling Coalition to celebrate the many companies that help us make the claim that "It Was Made in Georgia, with Recycled Materials."

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Weaving a Better Life

Got an old t-shirt at the end of its life? Is it trash? Destined for the rag-bag? What if that well-loved t-shirt could actually be fuel for generating dignity. At re:loom it will be! re:loom is a Decatur, Georgia non-profit that employs and empowers homeless and low-income individuals through weaving beautifully-designed products out of upcycled materials. Proceeds support weavers’ salaries and the Initiative for Affordable Housing to reduce homelessness in the Atlanta region. Shop re:loom. Are you loving this? re:loom also uses volunteers to help sort and prep donated materials for the weavers. They need you! Learn more about volunteering.

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Audit Your Trash

Ever wonder how much of your "trash" is actually trash? When a magical truck comes and takes it away every week, it is easy to not think about it. The truth is we send a lot of material to the landfill that doesn't need to be there. And in the case of compastables, we are locking nutrients away forever...nutrients that our soils would benefit from. Well, I needed to know for myself, so I did my own up-close-and-personal trash audit. The goal was to determine just how much I could divert from the landfill and recycle, compost or perhpas even use again. And the results...watch and see. You can a see a 6-minute DIY version of this video here.

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LBC+DIY=Adaptive Reuse

I love DIY. Ever since I was old enough to swing a hammer, I was building stuff. First it was treehouses, then bike ramps and ultimately adding onto my home. For me, the act of creating is even more gratifying when I'm reusing materials that have been found, hoarded or salvaged. And the nifty-factor goes even higher when the material's new life is different than its original purpose. It's the broken concrete driveway...crafted into a retaining wall, the metal trash cans...reimagined as a fire pit. The concept is called Adaptive Reuse and it is the subject of this video. Lifecycle Building Center is a organization that captures reusable construction and demolition waste and resells it to the public at a big discount. They've also started hosting DIY workshops that utilize the materials they have on-hand to make new items. The classes also teach participants the skills to do it themselves. Adaptive reuse, just gotta re-love it.

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Holding Water in High Regard

No matter where we live, we can't live without water. A recent trip to Haiti broadened my perspective on water and how we use it - or abuse it - here in the United States. Daily we use about 110 gallons per person, while the rest of the world gets by on much less. In Haiti, water is close at hand along the coast, but getting safe drinking water is more complicated that just turning on the tap. In this video you'll follow me on a trek for drinking water and understand some of the issues facing Haitians. But you'll also see their unique approach to water use...only the best for drinking. My hope is that you'll consider your own water use and commit to conserving more.

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The Blower Door Test

Want to reduce your energy bill by up to 40%? Start with a blower door. The first step in any home efficiency project is finding and fixing any leaks. Why spend money on a super efficient air conditioning system only to blow cold air out the gaps. The first step to fixing a leaky house is having an assessment done and there are specialized companies to assist you. In some parts of the country, power companies offer their customers free or reduced cost assessments, with the goal of building greater efficiency across their system. Joe Thomas of Renewal Systems Solutions came out to run a few diagnostics on my home and educate me about the process. Whole house assessments include multiple tests, the blower door test being one of them. Watch this video to see how the test is done.

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