Archive for the ‘Recycling’ Category

6 Ridiculously Easy Ways to Help the Environment

Using expanding technology can make our lives easier, but it can also damage the environment. Much of our technology releases toxic greenhouse gasses and other emissions that are harmful to the planet, especially most transportation technology. Thankfully, as people become increasingly aware of our technology’s impact on the earth, we’ve used innovation to create new ways to minimize the negative impacts.
Even the average person can contribute to keeping our environment healthy and intact. Here are six extremely easy ways you can help keep the planet intact.


If you want to take your environmental obligation to a new level, try sharing your passion with your community. Volunteering to help protect the environment has many benefits. In addition to helping our planet heal from human impact, volunteering provides an excellent avenue to meet like-minded people. There’s no better way to make friends than to meet people while working toward a common goal. Not sure where to volunteer?

Here are a few ideas that might help you choose organizations that positively impact the planet.

  • Local animal rescue organizations
  • Parks and Recreation programs
  • Volunteer matching websites

Plant a tree.

It’s been estimated that anywhere from 3.5 to 7 billion trees are cut down each day around the world. Isn’t that devastating? It seems that humans are cutting down more trees than new ones have a chance to grow.
You can help improve this problem by simply planting a new tree. Even planting a single tree can do so much good for nature and the environment. Trees help clean the air, filter water, absorb carbon, create shade, give birds shelter, and enrich the soil.

Not sure how to plant a tree? Here are a few tips:

  • Research what species thrives in your area
  • Plan a location that helps survival
  • Plant the tree during cooler seasons when soil is moist
  • Use supports for smaller trees until they’re bigger and stronger

Eat seasonally.

Eating produce during their proper season reduces the demand for out of season fruits and vegetables. Mega farms often use harmful practices that damage the earth in order to provide produce out of season, so keep this in mind. Watching what you eat from season to season reduces the impact of harmful chemicals because of decreased demand for that produce item. Additionally, it supports your local economy because it boosts business for local farmers who often provide cheaper and cleaner produce.

Save the bees.

Believe it or not, it takes more than soil, water, and sunshine to make the world green. According to an article published by The Penn State Extension, at least 30 percent of the world’s crops and 90 percent of all plants require cross-pollination to thrive. Bees are pollinating powerhouses, yet many bee species are declining in population due to rapid development, abandoned farms, and diminishing flowers. Some colonies collapse due to consuming plant or seed matter laced with pesticides.
You can help prevent further decline of the bee population in your area by planting more flowers that the bee population requires for survival. Do some research about the kinds of bees in your area as well as the types of plants they need most. Make sure to use only nonharmful fertilization and pesticide treatments on your plants.

Conserve energy.

All energy sources have some level of impact on our environment. Coal oil and natural gas cause more harm than renewable energy in many ways such as air and water pollution, damage to public health, wildlife loss, and much more.
Reducing your use of energy alone will not impact the environment much, but if you do it and encourage others to as well, that’s how a movement begins! Taking steps to reduce your energy consumption and spreading the word for others to do the same, will reduce the demand for harmful energy.


Recycling is such an easy thing to do, yet so many don’t bother to do it. Reusing materials and properly disposing of harmful ones is an essential step toward protecting our world. With dozens of recycling facilities and most cities offering recycle pickup, there are few available excuses for not recycling.
Before tossing your garbage in the nearest trashcan, take an extra second to look around for a recycling receptacle. Many cities have now provided recycling bins right next to public trashcans.
You can also shop with the environment in mind! Consider purchasing more used items throughout the year. Every new product you purchase leaves a footprint on the environment because making new products requires mineral mining and manufacturing plants that consume exorbitant amounts of energy. Practice doing a bit of thrifting when it makes sense for you.
Hopefully, these ideas will get you started on helping to heal our earth, but if you still have concerns about recycling and eco-friendly living in general, Carolina Fibre is here to help. Check out our blog for more tips or contact us today!

What to Do With All Your Stuff That Doesn’t ‘Spark Joy’

With an entire new year ahead of you, decluttering your home may not seem so hard. But after January, when that fresh, new year energy begins to wane, the prospect of taking on a big clutter tackling project tends to overwhelm. But whether it’s a plan to deep clean (aka, Kondo your life), or simply a new-year-new-you approach to simplicity, a good purge doesn’t always have to be a chore. More importantly, it doesn’t need to take up space in landfills. So what do you do with all of the stuff that doesn’t spark joy? There are four main ways to dispose of your stuff, and thrift stores can’t handle all of it. So here’s how to donate, recycle and re-sell all that stuff effectively.
After you’ve purged your closet, there are a few different steps you might want to take before hauling everything off to the donation center. If you have some name-brand items, you might be able to sell them on sites like Poshmark or LePrix. They don’t accept all items at all times, but it’s at least worth looking into if you are trying to make a few bucks. For donations, in addition to organizations like the Salvation Army and Goodwill, Dress for Success is a non-profit that provides women with professional attire.
Before you make a trip to the thrift shop, keep in mind that donation centers aren’t trash bins for your ripped or stained gear. However, don’t forget that you can recycle pretty much anything. You can repurpose old t-shirts as cleaning cloths or turn them into a fun DIY craft project. Contact local animal shelters to see if they are accepting old clothes, particularly linens. Stores like Levi’s and H&M recycle certain types of garments for customers and will even offer in-store discounts. You can also search for green clothing drop-offs in your area, which will try to recover as much usable cloth as possible from your cast-offs.
Books and paper.
Paper, of course, can be recycled. And to cut back on paper clutter in the new year, call the companies sending you catalogs you no longer want, and cancel subscriptions you don’t actually read. Switch your bills and bank notifications to auto-pay and e-statements.
Books are a bit trickier. You have more options and can potentially make some money. Try the online companies like BookScouter, Amazon, and Bookfinder. You input the book’s ISBN and it will compare buyback vendor options for you. Other ways to sell are by posting on Craigslist and Facebook. Don’t forget to check out your local used bookstore as well. Guidelines differ from store to store, but generally, you can just bring in your old books and they’ll buy them from you. You can declutter your life and make a little money at the same time. If you aren’t having much luck with the sale, you can always donate and recycle.
Miscellaneous stuff.
Miscellaneous, or “komono” in Kondo’s world, includes a lot of stuff. If you’re purging tech items clear all your data and delete all your accounts. Furniture is a bit more difficult. If it’s still in good condition you can always sell or donate. If you can’t transport it yourself, there’s always Craigslist or companies that pick up donations from your home. For old toys, go beyond the usual suspects like the Salvation Army and Goodwill and call your local children’s hospital, doctor’s office, daycares, children’s shelters, and churches. All are likely to be in need of certain types of toys and entertainment options (check for recalls before you donate any items). Online communities on Facebook and the Freecycle Network may also be helpful.
If you are still struggling to get rid of some stuff always consider a recycling corporation like Carolina Fibre for your old stuff that no longer sparks joy.  We hope this post has given you some new ideas for recycling your old stuff. If you liked this post, follow us on Facebook for more helpful tips and tricks. And if you have any questions about recycling, contact us today!

Four Ways to Recycle Your Old Books and Textbooks

Another school year is here, and that more means books, papers and magazines cluttering your home. As they all start trickling in this season, you realize you haven’t even gotten rid of unnecessary materials from the past three years. So what are you supposed to do with all these old textbooks and novels? Your first instinct may be to throw your books in the trash, but wait – there are better options! Keep reading for four ways to recycle your old books and textbooks.
Your library: Supporting your community library is always a great idea, so check your local branch’s website for its donation process. Libraries could use your donated books in their system or find another avenue for book donation on your behalf.
Charity: Bring your boxes of used books to your local Goodwill, Salvation Army, or other local charity. These centers will take donations of almost any sort, but be sure to check their specific guidelines just in case. If you already donate your clothes or former household items, adding books that you no longer need to the pile is simple. To find a local charity center in your area, visit the Charity Centers website.
Schools: Oftentimes, teachers have to create their own classroom library. Reach out to your local schools and tell them what types of books you have available for donation, and they may be able to point you in the right direction.
Drop-off Boxes: Companies like Better World Books collect and sell books online so they can in turn donate books and fund literacy initiatives worldwide. They have tons of locations, and their drop-off sites are convenient and easy to access on the go.
Yourself: Craigslist and Facebook are two online options for getting rid of unwanted books on your own. You can declutter your life and make a little money at the same time.
Online Companies: Sites like Amazon, Bookfinder and Bookscouter are some of the biggest and most trafficked global bookstores. For a fee, they will basically sell the books for you.
Local used bookstore: A local used bookstore is the easiest way to get rid of unwanted books. Guidelines differ from store to store, but generally you can just bring in your old books and they’ll buy them from you, or make a trade.
Shelving: You can use your favorite hardcover book as a statement piece to conceal a standard shelf, resulting in a creative storage method that looks like a stack of books is floating in midair.
Planters: Another way to recycle your books is to get creative and turn them into something fun. For example, Eco-Pots made from recycled books are a great illustration of how you can breathe new life into your old books.
Use as accents: Books add warmth and a level of coziness to any room. Add a stack of books to a tabletop, shelving unit, kitchen counter, or fireplace hearth. Use odd numbers of books and a variety of colors for the best result.
Curbside: Paperback books that are torn or unusable can be placed in your curbside recycle bin for quick and convenient salvaging.
Reuse in fun ways: Another way to put an old book to good use is make something fun and unique. Use the pages to make gift tags, greeting cards, envelopes, or even wrapping paper.
Recycling center: Last but not least, always consider a recycling corporation like Carolina Fibre for your old books. Paper recycling is the process of recovering waste paper and remaking it into a new product, so you’d get rid of those old books and help the environment.
We hope this post has given you some new ideas for recycling your old textbooks and books. If you liked this post, follow us on Facebook for more helpful tips and tricks. And if you have any questions about recycling, contact us today!

Straight from the Heart

Around this time of year, we hear a lot about the newest trends in gift-giving, the latest thing you must give your sweetheart to show your appreciation come February 14. In 2018, instead of breaking the bank and possibly giving your valentine something that’s less than kind to the environment at large, consider a homemade offering that’s personal and takes it easy on our planet. The staff here at Carolina Fibre found a few that are simple enough to do in a pinch, but easily customized to fit your special someone, whoever he or she may be.
Appeal to the Sweet Tooth
Whether it’s chocolate, butterscotch, or something with a little saltiness to the sweet, everyone has a favorite candy. Thanks to the internet, it’s easier than ever to become a master chocolatier… or to at least borrow a secret or two. And by making your own sweet treats, you can be sure of exactly where the ingredients came from and how they were sourced.
Dinner for Two
When you shop local, you help reduce the carbon footprint left by shipping and transporting the items that make up a delicious meal. Treat your valentine to a home-cooked meal in your very own kitchen, and the environment will get to enjoy the night in, too! 
Custom Arrangement
Flowers never go out of style, and they’re easy on the atmosphere, too! Find a locally operated flower shop and have all your sweetheart’s favorites put together, or go on a scouting mission and arrange them all yourself. Either way, both your significant other and the ozone layer thank you.
Preserving the Memories
In the digital age, picture frames may not be the first gift idea to come to mind. But, with a little creativity and a great snapshot, you can reminisce over first dates, weddings, or any other memorable occasion. Your local craft supply store will have plenty of environmentally friendly pieces to add to a basic wood or plastic frame, and your present this year can truly be one-of-a-kind!
Creating Ambience 
Sometimes, all a nice dinner needs is a touch of candlelight. Luckily, you can make your own in a few easy steps, and with ingredients that don’t take a toll on the planet to obtain or use. Do a little digging to find out your valentine’s favorite scents, and add some mood lighting to your evenings in!
Roses are Red…
When all else fails, you can never go wrong with a homemade card. Possible materials range from recycled cardstock and eco-friendly markers to something with a bit more pizzazz. The main thing to remember is to make it personal, and your date is bound to appreciate it – almost as much as the planet will!
These are just a few environmentally friendly ideas we’ve come up with for the upcoming holiday, but you can show your appreciation for a loved one or for the earth all year long! Stay tuned to our blog for tips and updates to come, or contact us to get a greener program started at your place of business.

5 Green Road Trip Tips

With summer winding down, the race to fit in just one last vacation is on and here at Carolina Fibre, we’re just as eager to enjoy the sunshine as you are! As you plan for your weekend excursions to the beach, or for that drive to your favorite camping spot, here are some tips for keeping it green and making your trip as environment-friendly as possible.
Get your car serviced beforehand
Whether you drive a hybrid or not, all vehicles run better and remain safer with regular tune-ups; this is especially important right before an extended trip. Maintenance checklist items include oil changes, tire rotations, battery and fluid checks, and yearly inspections. Before you venture out in your car, remember that a well maintained one will ultimately have a smaller impact on the world around you via emissions, so be sure to schedule a checkup in advance whenever possible.
Cruise down the highway
As tempting as it is to make those miles disappear between where you are and where you want to be, try to avoid speeding during your travels as much as possible. Not only will the journey be a safer one for you and your passengers, but following the speed limit is better for general fuel efficiency. The chances of being in an accident and putting a damper on your gas mileage all go up the faster you drive. So forget sudden starts and stops, road rage, and burning rubber: enjoy the ride!
Travel light
Speaking of fuel efficiency, packing light can help shed some pounds from your vehicle so that your mileage improves. It can be difficult to choose what’s most important on a weekend getaway, so give yourself plenty of time to pack rather than waiting until the last minute and possibly grabbing much more than you’ll need; extra pounds means extra gallons of gas you’ll have to lose later. This includes anything you might stow on top of your car in the roof rack, or on the back such as a bike rack. A good rule of thumb: if you don’t use it, remove it.
Refreshments, anyone?
On longer trips it can seem more convenient or easier just to stop along the way for food and maybe the occasional caffeine boost if you’re the driver. But, picking up snacks on the go tends to mean lots of paper and plastic wrappings, all of which take a toll on the planet when not disposed of properly. Instead, consider packing a few of your favorite bites to munch on along the way. Not only does the simple act of packaging your own food save you some money, it tends to save you from eating unhealthy alternatives. Reusable containers and utensils – not to mention a quality water bottle – cut down on the amount of trash you’ll accumulate on your trip; and who doesn’t like a nice clean car?
No need to wait – recycle as you go
Who says you can’t do two things at once? Even though you thought ahead and won’t be stopping at the gas station for a refill on food, you’re still likely to garner some kind of trash along the way to your destination. But, if you plan ahead, you can have readily available ways to dispose of this waste before your even click your seatbelt into place. Grocery bags, boxes, or bins are great for placing under seats or behind your own to collect recyclables and trash respectively, making the task of cleaning up after you finish the drive virtually nonexistent. Plus, the only thing you’ll have to think about while you navigate traffic is which container handles recycling and which houses the garbage, leaving you more headspace to drive safely.
We hope these tips prove useful to you as you wind down the summer with a few more adventures. There are so many great ways to reduce your impact on the planet and enjoy the seasonal sunshine, but if you’re ever at a loss, stay tuned for more pointers from the team at Carolina Fibre!

This Halloween, Put Your Pumpkin to Work

As we gear up for that infamous day of trick-or-treating, pumpkin becomes a staple for the whole month of October, in both our diets and our décor! When you are driving by that pristine patch, wandering through your town’s fall festival, adding that extra touch of autumn to your front porch, or carving this year’s jack-o-lantern with your kids, the humble pumpkin is everywhere.
Unfortunately, Jack-O-Lantern isn’t as tough as he looks. As the days become cooler, he will become weaker. But fear not! Before Mother Nature reclaims her work, you have a chance to compost your pumpkin and add even more use to it. These simple steps will you help start a new “green” Halloween tradition!
Step 1: Go All Natural 
The first step to composting your pumpkin is to remove any artificial or non-organic materials. For instance, if you have a candle inside your jack-o-lantern or perhaps any decoration on the outside, those items will need to be detached. Prior to the composting process, you want to ensure that only natural items remain.
Step 2: Be a Little Shady       
The second step for preserving your pumpkin is to find a compost spot. If you do not already have a compost pile, don’t worry! The best place you can use for compositing is a shady area, so find a shady spot in your garden to place your pumpkin.
Step 3: Smashing Pumpkins  
Smashing Pumpkins is no longer just a rock band from the 90s—now it’s also your next step to a green Halloween! Take your big, round pumpkin and smash it up into tiny pieces. Eliminating large surface areas enables a faster compost process.
Step 4: Cover Up         
Now is the time to use other natural materials from your yard, such as leaves, sticks, and saw dust, and cover up the remains of your pumpkin. Keep those tiny critters away from the airing-out process of composting.
Step 5: Let Mother Nature Do Her Thing
All Mother Nature needs now is a little time to do her job! After a few weeks, your pumpkin will evolve and become dense in nutrients. Now is the time to take that hard-earned compost and bring fresh life and special care to your beautiful garden during the sometimes harsh winter months.
Think outside of the box and find ways to turn each season into an opportunity to go green. Add a little sustenance to your Halloween holiday! For more tips on contributing to a clean earth, like us on Facebook and follow us on Pinterest.

Save Energy and Stay Green Over the Holidays

Tis the season for sharing special time with family and friends—the indulgent and festive holiday parties, the gift-giving shopping frenzy and the sweet school plays and musicals. It’s also a time to reflect on decisions you’ve made throughout 2014—both business and personal—and regroup as you look ahead toward another great year. But more often times than not there is more rushing than relaxing, and with so much on your plate it can be hard maintaining that level of dedication to the environment. Let’s close the year on a good note and think green, together, throughout the holiday season.
When it comes to wrapping those white elephant gifts at work, consider natural, renewable materials over the glossy and metallic gift-wrap. Cotton, hemp, silk and wood are all excellent options that add character and a personal touch. Sift through your Sunday paper and find stories that resonate with each recipient: comics for the office personality, a sports story for the sports enthusiast. Grab pages from old, worn-out or damaged books for the writer in your group and various advertisements from an old magazine for the marketer. You can even take it one step further by adding some vibrancy and depth to packages with patterns and colors from old magazines. Old greeting cards also work exceptionally well for gift tags. If every American family wrapped just 3 presents in reused materials, it would save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields.
According to one U.S. Department of Energy study, if everyone replaced their conventional holiday light strings with LEDs, at least two billion kilowatt-hours of electricity could be saved in a month. So it goes without saying: at home and in the office, make it a point to use LED holiday lights. They’re more energy-efficient and will save you money on your electricity bill.
Having a holiday party can be stressful in itself, and you want your guests to be as comfortable as possible. And while temperatures may dip down this holiday season, there are still ways to be conscious of your carbon footprint. Lower your energy consumption by lowering the heat a few degrees at night, and forego plans to up the thermostat during holiday get-togethers. More people in the area means more body warmth! Serve food in large containers and, if you can, provide bulk water, coffee and drink dispensers instead of individually packaged products.
When the holiday seasons is over, Marketing and Operations manager Aimee Chellew suggests composting your pine garlands, dried up wreaths and other flower arrangements.  “You can compost anything that has lived or grown recently, and it has a huge positive impact on the environment. Tis the season for giving, after all!”
What steps has your office taken to green the holiday season? We’d love to hear!

Carolina Fibre Featured in Recycling Today

Recycling builds more competitive manufacturing industries by converting waste into raw materials and adds significantly to the U.S. economy. Among many benefits, the recycling industry makes a vital contribution to job creation as well in their efforts to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills.
You’ve no doubt heard of Sonoco and Pratt Industries—both world leaders in recycling. But you’ll find Carolina Fibre headquartered in the same region as those leaders, doing well and serving its community by creating new revenue streams and sustainability plans; greening supply chains; optimizing product lifestyles; and minimizing environmental footprints. Services include paper recycling, plastic recycling, aluminum recycling, consulting services and confidential shredding. Carolina Fibre can even help you set up a Corporate Recycling Program.
But the thing that sets Carolina Fibre apart from the rest is their commitment to quality customer service, paying customers quickly and adhering to ethical business practices. Ayscue points out, “When you call our office, you will not get voicemail; you will get a live voice to help you with your questions.
“Our niche is customer service and timely payment,” Ayscue continues. “In a big company, turnover may be very high. People get lost in the system. For us, we make sure we provide one-on-one service. Our customers want their places serviced quickly and to get paid fast.”
The U.S., Europe, Japan and Hong Kong have been exporting raw materials internationally for many years. When it comes to China in particular, the U.S. would receive many shipping containers of imported goods and then ship them back empty.  It made sense for China to capitalize on the higher quality of cardboard to make better, more environmentally friendly packaging, as well as make money reprocessing and selling the raw materials. It was also a sustainability win for the U.S.
Operation Green Fence, implemented by China in February of 2013 placed restrictions on the waste in allowed into the country. Any shipment that has a single contaminant can be turned away. And according to the International Solid Waste Association, about 7,600 tons of material from the U.S. was rejected during the first three months of the initiative.
When it comes to Green Fence and China’s current economic climate, Ayscue said that Carolina Fibre has explored more overseas markets to “fill the void we are experiencing with the downturn in China.” He also mentions that they have been much more meticulous with “allowing export buyers on site to inspect material before taking orders for overseas shipments.”
The Recycling Today Media Group is the go-to publisher in the recycling industry, giving suppliers and companies the tools, resources and insight necessary to help sustain the environment for future generations. Suffice it to say, Carolina Fibre was thrilled to be featured as Recycling Today’s cover story earlier this month.
You can read the entire feature at Recycling Today.

Carolina Fibre: Plastic Recycling

carolina-fibre-plastic-recyclingBuilding a reputation as an eco-conscious company carries a great deal of weight with today’s green-minded consumers. Carolina Fibre offers paper recycling, aluminum recycling, consulting services, confidential shredding and plastic recycling to help businesses become more sustainable. Plastic recycling is a budget-friendly, responsible way to dispose of post-industrial waste. Plastics are known as the largest contributor of waste in the world and take hundreds of years to biodegrade.
Plastics are sorted according to their resin identification, a method of categorization of polymer types, before recycling. We accept the following plastics at our facility:
Polythylene terephthalate (PET, PETE) – PET is used in synthetic fibers like beverage, food and other liquid containers.
High-density polyethylene (HDPE) – HDPE is made from petroleum and commonly used in the production of plastic bottles. Some of its many common applications include folding chairs and tables, hard hats, plastic bags, plastic lumber and wood plastic composites.
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) – Just about half of the world’s polyvinyl chloride resin manufactured annually is used for producing pipes for municipal and industrial applications.
Low-density polyethylene (LDPE) – LDPE is widely used for parts that need to be weldable and machinable, and for manufacturing various containers, tubing, plastic bags for computer components, and molded laboratory equipment.
Polypropylene (PP) – You’ll find PP in packaging and labeling, and things like textiles, carpets, stationary, and lab equipment.
Polystyrene (PS) – PS is unfortunately very slow to biodegrade and is often abundant as a form of littler in the outdoor environment. It’s the most widely us plastics and includes protective packaging, containers, lids, bottles, trays and disposable utensils. Discarded PS does not biodegrade for hundreds of years.
Other (often polycarbonate or ABS) – Polycarbonate is used for electronic applications, data storage, construction materials and eye protection. Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) is used for medical devices for blood access, enclosures for electrical and electronic assemblies, protective headgear. ABS can be recycled, but it is not accepted by all recycling facilities.
Plastics are not recycled as efficiently as they should be. And with the use of plastics increasing over the year—in everyday products, furniture, and appliances—it’s more important than ever for your business to conserve energy and reduce your own destructive waste output. Aside from the positive impact you’ll have on the environment, going green is good for your business. Carolina Fibre can help your organization with its sustainability efforts to lower operating costs, attract new business and reduce waste.