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April 20, 2011
“We do not inherit the earth from ourancestors, we borrow it from our children.”
That old native American Indian proverb speaks of the need to work toward preserving the land, waterand air we breathe so future generations may enjoywhat we have.Thursday marks the 40th anniversary of Earth Dayin America, a day aimed at creating awareness andappreciation for the environment. A story on Page 7 of this section reviews the history of Earth Day inspiredby the late U.S. Sen. Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin,which was an environmental teach-in for the nation.The incredible day sparked many changes in oursociety.Earth Day’s ideals should be embraced every day.And it makes good business sense for companies —big and small — to incorporate greener products,services and operations into their business strategy.The stories inside this section tell what some localfirms are doing to assist area residents who areinterested in renewable energy and cutting their energyconsumption. Other stories offer tips on how tobecome more environmentally-friendly.Each of us can do something to help preserve theenvironment. Small steps by everyone lead to signifi-cant and meaningful progress.
— Terry Housholder, publisher
Plastics come in seven types
Open your refrigerator door rightnow, and chances are you have at leastone plastic milk bottle and maybe twoplastic two-liter soda bottles. If everyperson in the United States has theseand only a few recycle, what does thismean for the environment? Plasticwaste is adding significantly to thegrowing waste problem in thiscountry. Landfills are quickly reachingcapacity. As disposal sites close,tipping fees increase and recyclingbecomes increasingly necessary.When recycling plastic, the biggestproblem is sorting out the differenttypes. By law, most plastic containershave a code denoting what kind of plastic resin is used in their produc-tion. The code should be inside thethree-arrow recycling symbol foundnear the bottom of the item. Thisnumber identifies the composition of the product and will help serve as aguide for proper sorting.Nearly all plastic is recyclable, butthe most common types are 1 and 2.The recycling of types 3 through 7 inmany communities is often not donefor economic reasons, so if at allpossible, buy products that have a 1 or2 displayed on them. It is a good ideato check with your local recyclingfacility to see what types they take.What are the seven types of plasticresin?• Number 1 is poly-ethlene tereph-thalate (PET). The most common kindof plastic, this type is used in softdrink bottles and containers for ice,water, liquor, cooking oil, mouthwash,food condiments and cleaningproducts. It can be recycled into fillingfor jackets and sleeping bags, foodcontainers, bathtubs and swimmingpools, and other plastic items.• Number 2 is high-density polyeth-ylene (HDPE). This type is found inmilk jugs, yogurt and film containers,grocery bags, detergent bottles,gasoline tanks, toys, pipes and 55-gallon drums. It can be recycled intoplastic lumber, toys, mud flaps, sheetplastic and containers, flower pots andgrocery bags.• Number 3 is polyvinyl chloride(PVC). This type is much moredifficult to recycle than numbers 1 and2, even though it is frequently used. Itcan be recycled into surgical gloves,pressure pipe, clear food packages andhouse siding.• Number 4 is low-density polyeth-ylene (LDPE). This type is used infrozen food bags, toys, paint can lids,milk bottle caps and bread packaging.• Number 5 is polypropylene (PP).This type is used in food containers,yarns and fabrics, upholstery, luggageand car seats.• Number 6 is polystyrene (PS).This type is used in video cassettes,TVs, egg cartons and fast-foodpackages.• Number 7 includes all other resinsand multi-layered material.
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