Extreme Recycling

Going green — By Stephanie on June 2, 2009 at 6:21 am
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Ordinary vs. Extreme Recycling

Well all know its hip to reduce, reuse and recycle!  But what about extreme recycling?  You know, I have to believe that there IS a line that can be crossed when you’re trying to minimize your carbon footprint.

Some people are going beyond the ordinary in their aims to save the planet.  I say – good for them, but maybe not good for me.  What do you think?

Here are the top 5 extreme recycling ideas that I’ll never use:

1.  Pet Hair Wool.

Have a dog or a cat that sheds a lot?  I usually just get out my handy-dandy Dyson vacuum and clean it up.  A few people, however, save the furballs (sometimes for years) and send them into specialty sites that create pet hair wool.  Then, you can knit a sweater or stocking cap – maybe even a blanket – to remind you of Fido.

Creative, yes.  Creepy?  That too, in my opinion….

2.  Your drinking water came from where?

Each day, we lose about 2-3 liters of water through sweat and urine.  NASA astronauts qualify for an extreme recycling award by recycling water from their own liquid bodily excretions.  Not too surprising, given the small amount of room in space vessels, but this is “light packing” that I simply cannot stomach.  Good thing I’m not in the space program.

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Not in my paper plates!

3.  Your “paper” plates are made of what?

Much crazier than drinking recycled human urine (IMHO) is eating off “paper”plates made from pig urine.  No, I am really not making this stuff up.  I read about it in an online Time Magazine article:

A Denmark company called Agroplast can take urea compounds — a key component of urine — and use it to produce bioplastics that can be made into biodegradable plates and utensils. Other companies use less cringe-inducing starters like vegetable oil, but the Dutch company says pig urine, fraught with health hazards and high disposal costs unless processed, is a better environmental solution.

And you thought eating pigs feet sounded like a bad idea.

4.  Homemade Fertilizer.

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Homemade fertilizer from a composting toilet

I am 100% for composting.  If you have a dog, and a good compost bin location in your backyard… go ahead and add some of the waste into the mix.  But… you know where I am going with this, don’t you?  Some extreme recyclers are actually using their own crap too.  The thought being that they’ll use less water from flushing the toilet and less energy may be spent at the wastewater treatment plant.

Wow, your dahlias are just gorgeous!  What’s your secret?  Wait – no, don’t tell me.  And, do me a favor.  Please don’t grow your tomatoes with your special compost and then invite me over for dinner.

5.  Scrub pots with nail clippings.

No, not the nails that are still attached to your hands.  This one requires an old pair of nylons (aka pantyhose) and nail clippings from your fingers and toes (even from your 4-legged friends) to provide the magical scrubbing power.  Insert, tie it off and scrub away!  Who needs steel wool, when you’ve got a steel stomach?  Three cheers for recycled nail clippings!

Safe to say that I’m sticking to the single-stream recycling bin in our garage – where newspapers, plastics and other approved materials go!  I just don’t know if I can subject myself or my family to extreme recycling.

How far would you go?

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  1. Roberta says:

    LOL– there is such a thing as too green I guess. I’ll pass on the pig urine:-)

  2. Stephanie says:

    LOL – yuck. Me too! ;-)

  3. work at home says:

    Very good work, interesting post, bookmarked !

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