Friday, January 28, 2011

January's One Small Change Wrap-Up

My December One Small Change, of getting rid of junk mail is starting to show that it is working.  You should see how slim our pile of mail is everyday.  It is amazing!  We still have random junk mail coming, and I will immediately call or email that company to get us off their mailing list.  It feels good!  I urge everyone to do the same.

My January One Small Change was supposed to be three small changes but I found out a little fact that shocked me, so it went down to two.  I focused my small changes on recycling this month.  I wanted to take steps to recycle everyday household items that we tend to throw away.  So I researched how to recycle light bulbs and batteries.  I hate throwing these things away and knew if I did some research I could find out how to recycle them.   While doing my research I found that you can not recycle household incandescent light bulbs any where in Oregon, other than the florescent kind.  I hate throwing away all these light bulbs!  Maybe I need to think of a crafty way to reuse them!  Any ideas? 

We use a lot of batteries in our home between cameras, flashes, toys, and electronics.  Every type of battery we use has chemicals inside of it.  The worst chemicals you can find in some batteries are lead, cadmium, and mercury.  I know that sending any type of battery to the land fill will lead to these chemicals getting into our soil, air, groundwater, and surface water.  So my goal is to make sure these batteries stop going into the landfills.  So this month, I grabbed a glass jar and set it on our desk and this is where all of our dead batteries go.  Come to find out, my husband had been keeping a stash of old batteries in a drawer, knowing that they can be recycled.  I love that we share the same goals and how in sync we are with our thoughts!   I did some research on where I can take household batteries to recycle.  I started at the Portland Metro website (awesome organization & website!),  they have a tool that tells you where you can recycle all different types of household items.  This tool will definitely be put to use by my family.  It then directed me to Pride Recycling Depot, which will take up to 1 quart of batteries for free.  SOLD!  This Monday I will be taking my batteries there and I will continue to do this every time that glass jar fills up.  And what a fun learning field trip for my son and I!  I am curious to know where the batteries go after Pride takes them, so I am going to ask them when I drop it off and report back to you all! 

For those of you that are local to the Portland area and looking to recycle household items that they don't pick up curbside, go to Metro's website.  For everyone else who isn't local, is a great resource and can lead you to your local recycling centers. 

My other small change was signing the Oregon Ban the Bag petition.  In Oregon we are urging our state legislature to pass the Senate Bill 536 that promotes the use of reusable bags and bans the use of plastic check out bags.  These petroleum made, plastic check out bags are one of the greatest environmental horrors that we face today.  It contributes to the large amount of plastic that is found in our oceans and garbage around our streets, hurting our wildlife.  It also requires 12 million barrels of oil a year to make these bags.  YUK!  Please sign this petition! 

Thanks for reading my really long One Small Change blog.  I had a lot to say this month, I guess!  Next month I kind of have a big project that ties in with my One Small Change. I also signed up for a local tree planting and a SOLV street clean-up for the month of February.  I will write all about my February changes this weekend.  If you would like to read why I joined the One Small Change, click here or to join the campaign click here

Be well, friends,


“Don’t blow it - good planets are hard to find.”  -Quoted in Time Magazine


  1. Great topic!

    Light bulbs are a tough one, although using compact flourescent ones I don't think we've had a light burn out in at least 3 years, so at least they last a ton longer, but yea, not recyclable. Glass art maybe? You got me thinking:)

    We have a shop just down the street that will recycle all types of batteries and I have a big bag that I keep forgetting to take in. In the last 2 years we've gradually moved over to re-chargable batteries and so it's rare now that I have battery that goes in the bag. We purchased a Nuon battery charger for $20 that will re-charge all sizes of batteries and it will charge both duracell and nuon brand (the duracell charges will only charge duracell).

    Switching over to re-usable cloth bags was easy for us, but we still seem to accumulate the plastic ones here and there, so I'm with you that they should just be banned.

  2. Hi Julie! Happy Saturday!

    We actually do try to use those energy efficient light bulbs that last for a couple of years but when we moved into our house all the light bulbs were regular ones and now they are all starting to die, so we have collected quite a few. Let me know if you think of a cool idea for these bulbs. I'm going to brainstorm too!

    I love rechargeable batteries and we try to use them in most household things but my husband is a professional photographer. So with all of his equipment he has noticed that rechargeable batteries don't work the same as with regular batteries, so we are stuck with using them. He needs his gear working top notch on shoots!

    We do have two duracell chargers. I like the idea of the Nuon battery charger. I should look into that. Thank you!

    Thanks for writing me!


  3. You are doing so much ... it's great! I love the whole concept of making small changes ... imagine what the world would be like if we all did that! Wow!

    Here's another recycling option ... Home Depot takes CFLs, rechargeable batteries and once a year they have a trade-in program for holiday lights. It doesn't cover regular bulbs or regular batteries but ... it's something!

    BTW ... love your blog!! I'm a new follower and I'm going to put your blog in my blog roll so that I don't miss a thing. :-)

  4. Hello Small FootPrints,

    I am glad you found my blog and that you stopped by. I love networking with other bloggers who have the same goals and views as me. It's a wonderful community!

    Thank you SO much for telling me about Home Depot. We definitely have a lot of Christmas lights that don't work anymore and are just sitting in our garage.

    I checked out your blog and I love it. You have some great information on there. I love the Change the World Wednesday and I will definitely be joining that challenge.

    Nice to meet you and I look forward to following your blog. Thank you for reading!


  5. We use rechargeable batteries, we have a small box to charge them if we need and we haven't bought batteries in years!

    We try not to bring any plastic into our home since here in DR there is no recycling program and they burn it all, it's horrific thank fully we live a distance away in the mountains - I was thinking today how can I get word out to these poor people that it's such a hazard to their health.


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