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4 Ways You Can Support U.S. Land Conservation Efforts

Serenity lake in tundra on Alaska

Protecting land within the U.S. is a big task. At the turn of the 20th Century then-president Theodore Roosevelt became a champion for land conservation to protect wildlife species, ecosystems, and precious landmarks. He saw certain swaths of land as public spaces that belonged to all Americans, and recognized that their existence was in danger.

In a time when many people thought that our natural resources were limitless, President Roosevelt saw things for what they really were. He knew that expansion came at a cost, and without protecting land our country was at risk of depleting our precious natural environments. In an effort to correct the problems, President Roosevelt created the United States Forest Service (USFS) and enacted the 1906 American Antiquities Act.

Now as our country faces new environmental threats, conservation is more crucial than ever. Each and every one of us can take action to protect our public lands and follow in the footsteps of our “conservationist president”.

Visit National and State Parks

Anytime you visit a national or state park you are showing your support. The funds that you pay for entrance fees, camping fees, and necessities go back to the National Park Service (NPS) and state departments so that they can continue maintaining preserved land. Park visitors also help to establish that there is a demand for conserving our public spaces so that they can continue to be enjoyed for future generations.

Become Familiar With the American Antiquities Act

Most Americans have never heard of the American Antiquities Act even though it helped to establish 150 national forests, 18 national monuments, and five national parks among other many other conversation lands. The sole purpose of the act is to protect natural resources and public spaces that are scientifically and/or culturally important. It was most recently used by President Obama to further expand the Pacific Remote Islands National Marine Monument, which was established by President George W. Bush.

Support the National Parks Conservation Association

The National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) provides additional support for our National Park System. The NPCA is responsible for a variety of valuable services and keeps the public updated on the condition of parks as well as the most recent happenings that impact conservation. The group serves as a powerful advocate for the preservation of our national parks, often lobbying on Capitol Hill to establish bills that further conservation of public land.

You can help the NPCA meet its goals by becoming a member, making a donation, attending a regional event or sharing your story.

Support the National Park Foundation

Another noteworthy organization is the National Park Foundation. The foundation supports initiatives that protect over 400 parks and the treasures they contain. They provide essential funding for projects that range from restoring wetlands to erecting monuments for 9/11 victims. Without the support individual donors the National Park Foundation’s work wouldn’t be possible. In addition to donations you can show support by becoming a member or joining the Stewardship Circle.

 

You can also do your part to protect our precious lands by reducing your waste generation and practicing safe waste management. If you have a large project or clean up that will create a significant amount of debris Dumpsters.biz can help you keep the trash contained with dumpster rentals. Check online to find affordable rates in your area.

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The Easiest Ways to Instantly Improve Your Recycling Habits

Recycling efforts in the U.S. have been nothing short of miraculous in the last few decades. The EPA estimates that in 2013 we recycled or composted 87 million tons of the 254 million tons of trash that was generated. Compare that to 1985 when just 16.7 million tons of trash was recycled and it’s clear that more people have made recycling a priority.

Many factors influence how much we recycle. The availability of recycling pickup services is highly influential, but so are our daily habits. If you want to clean up your act and increase your recycling, start building the good habits below.

illustration of vector recycle symbol

Invest in an Indoor Recycling Container

Wherever you put your regular trashcan, put a recycling bin right beside it. Every time you go to throw something away it will make you think twice about whether it can be recycled instead of simply thrown out.

Become More Familiar With Recyclables

When you know what can and can’t be recycled garbage is more likely to end up where it needs to be. Recycling symbols make it easy on plastics, but that’s only one type of recyclable material. For the next week or so make it a habit to read through the EPA’s list of common recyclables until you’ve got a firm grasp on what should go in the blue recycling bin. You’ll also need to check with your local waste management provider to understand what their facility is capable of processing.

Keep Reducing and Reusing in Mind Too

Before you think about recycling, consider ways you can reduce the amount of waste you and/or your family produces and how items can be reused. Waste reduction addresses the problem before it becomes a problem and reusing an item is even greener than recycling. Start by making it a habit to buy high quality goods that are built to last. Next, make it a habit to reduce your portion sizes whether it’s food, hygiene products, cleaners, etc. Another way to reduce waste is to buy in bulk or use products that aren’t packaged.

Consider Recycling Before You Buy

Today consumers have more choices than ever, which can be a good thing for recycling. Make it a habit to always consider the recycling or reuse options before you buy. That way you can choose the option that’s easier to recycle right from the start.

Have a Waste Free Day

Last year when Coco-Cola and OpenIDEO announced a competition that focused on coming up with creative ways to improve people’s recycling habits the reaction was huge. One of the best ideas that made it to the final eight was remarkably simple – Waste Free Wednesdays. It’s based on the popular Meat Free Mondays concept. One day a week (Wednesday) make it a goal to not use any items that would end up in a landfill. By using only recyclables and compostable materials you’ll be thinking all day about the waste you’re generating.

 

At Dumpsters.biz we’re doing our part to increase the rate of recycling by providing trash separation for our dumpster rental customers. All you have to do is throw everything into one container, and we’ll separate out the recyclables. That way no recyclables end up at the landfill.

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DIY Home Projects for the Fall & Winter

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Now that you’re stuck indoors during the cold months it’s the perfect opportunity to give your home a little TLC. Here are our top 5 picks for DIY home projects that are easier and more affordable to execute during the fall and winter.

Energy Efficiency Improvements

Most people think about improving their home’s energy efficiency during the hot summer months, but this is when products and services are at a premium. If you make improvements during the fall and winter there’s a better chance that you’ll save some money. Even better – you’ll be prepared for summer as soon as it hits.

In addition to standard items like insulation and caulking up air leaks, it’s a good idea to add some smart features. For example, Nest is a programmable thermostat that can be controlled by your smart phone and learns your preferences so it can make automatic adjustments. Another new invention is Pulse Smart Bulbs that incorporate a wireless stereo system with lighting that can be controlled with your phone. These smart home features can help you save money on energy every month and add value to your home since they are in high demand with buyers. A recent Coldwell Banker study found that two thirds of buyers are interested in smart features like the ones noted above.

Improve the Lighting

Since you’ll already be focused on energy efficiency, another easy project to take on during the darker winter months is updating your lighting. From simply swapping out old bulbs for CFLs to replacing the fans and overhead lights, improving illumination will quickly transform the look of a room. You can also:

  • Change the light switch faceplates.
  • Add lamps or change the shades.
  • Update the fixtures to give a room an immediate facelift.

Also consider ways to improve the functionality of the lighting. Installing dimmers and sensors can give you more control over your lighting and lower electricity costs.

Update the Hardware

One of the easiest and most affordable ways to update the look of your interior is by replacing the hardware on cabinets and doors. Knobs and handles may be small but they are eye-catching elements that are handled on a daily basis. Taking just an hour or two to replace them will have an instant impact that improves the look of your home and adds a bit of personal style.

Closet Organization

Closet space is one of the top items on all homeowners’ wish lists. No matter how much space you have it never seems like enough. When you can’t add more closets the next best thing is efficient organization.

The first step is going through and clearing out the clutter. Donate, trash or give away things that haven’t seen the light of day in a long time. Next, consider how you want the space to function. Closet organization options are endless these days. When the space is cleared out it’s easier to see how to make the best use of the space. Create a plan on how you want things arranged and what you’ll need. Finally, set aside a full day to install your new shelves, racks, bins, etc.

Clear Out the Garage

Once your closets are in order, you may find that the garage needs a little attention as well. A garage clear out is perfect during the fall and winter when you don’t have to deal with stifling heat that slows the work down. You’ll also have more room to park your vehicles so you don’t have to get out in the cold. While you’re reorganizing you may want to consider creating a pseudo mudroom around the entry into your home. This can help keep coats and boots collected in an area where the mess can be contained.

Have more clutter than you expected? Dumpsters.biz can help you clear out the mess from your fall and winter home projects with fast, affordable dumpster rentals. Get an estimate in seconds online!

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How Different Types of Trash Affect Wildlife in Your Community

Portrait of majestic powerful adult red deer stag in Autumn Fall forest

The wildlife roaming our planet doesn’t generate trash, but all too often they come in contact with it. When debris is not disposed of properly it becomes harmful litter that pollutes our environment and puts wildlife at risk. The problem is so significant that the Humane Society estimates their organization alone helps more than 14,000 animals a year that come in contact with debris.

All trash has the potential to do harm, but each one does so in different ways.

General Municipal Waste

The things we throw out in the trash on a daily basis pose countless problems for wildlife. Nets and fishing wires that are left behind in oceans are a perfect example of how debris can turn deadly for wildlife. Even larger animals like whales can become entangled. Another indirect way that litter negatively impacts wildlife is by putting animals in harm’s way. Curious creatures will venture closer to dangerous roads, developed areas, and boat paths to check out debris.

Cigarette butts are one of the top litter pollutants. So it comes as no surprise that every year animals are poisoned by the butts’ nicotine, which is toxic when consumed. What’s worst is cigarette butts don’t break down and can build up in an animal’s system.

When litter is significant it can impact the ecosystem and cause alterations that indirectly affect the wildlife. In some cases animals will have to find new habitats to live in or alter their migration routes.

Plastics

Plastic is the most prominent type of garbage polluting our oceans, and it is one of the most harmful pollutants on land as well. Plastics wreak havoc in a number of ways from entangling animals to blocking sunlight that grows the plankton that many marine creatures feeds on. Plastic six-pack rings are especially dangerous since it’s easy for many animals to get them looped around their neck and choke to death.

Another danger comes from animals eating plastic. When consumed plastic often causes deadly blockages in the intestines. One of the most famous cases was in 1993 when a pygmy sperm whale was rescued off the New Jersey coast. Rescuers discovered the whale had three square feet of plastic in her stomach. Balloons, plastic bags, and more can travel much further than their place of origin, putting animals across an expansive area at risk.

Metal

Sharp metal shards can cause significant injuries to a variety of wildlife. Sea birds have been blinded by hooks, and raccoons have sliced their skin open on metal containers. Curious creatures can even get their limbs stuck in the opening of cans. These cuts can turn to infections or weaken the animal to the point that they can’t eat enough to survive.

Glass

We all know that glass can quickly become unsafe once it’s broken. The same danger that glass poses for people rings true for all wildlife. Animals out in the wild often cut open their paws by unknowingly walking over broken glass. Animals can also be impaled by glass, which often leads to death. Another common problem is wildlife getting their heads or paws stuck in glass jars.

Paper

Paper isn’t as dangerous as other types of trash, however it still can become a threat. Wrappers quickly become chocking hazards for hungry animals. Chinese lanterns are another paper product that can harm wildlife both from ingestion of the paper and impalement or being trapped by the wires.

Hazardous Waste

Chemicals, toxins, poisons – they are all components of hazardous waste. These materials pose a serious threat to both animals and humans. Lead products are life threatening when consumed by animals. Old coolant that’s been removed from vehicles has the potential to kill unsuspecting pets around the neighborhood. Hazardous materials can leach into the ground and water causing untold dangers for every living thing.

 

Want to protect the wildlife in your area? Dumpsters.biz helps people all over the U.S. keep jobsites clean and reduce pollution through the use of dumpster rentals. These dumpsters offer construction teams, landlords and homeowners an easy solution for containing waste so it doesn’t become harmful litter. Learn more about renting a dumpster in your area and get instant rates online.

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3 Must Follow Rules for Renovating Any Home

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Remodeling your home is a great way to add value and improve its livability at the same time. The National Association of Home Builders’ Remodeling Market Index shows that since the end of 2013 renovation activity has been high. This indicates that more people are taking on major projects, minor projects and general maintenance for their homes.

If you are one of the thousands of home owners that plan to renovate in the coming months, following the renovation rules below will make the entire process go smoother and significantly decrease the amount of stress that’s involved.

Rule #1 – Always Create a Budget . . . With a Contingency

If you’re using a contractor then the cost of the renovation will be clear before anything gets underway. But before you start taking bids it’s best to put together a budget for your project. If you plan to take on the renovation yourself, a budget is absolutely necessary to keep the expenses from getting out of control. RemodelingCalculator.org has a number of calculators that can help you get a rough estimate of what the costs will be.

One thing that many people don’t do when budgeting is add in an expense line for the contingency. A contingency is extra money that’s factored in for unexpected expenses. No matter how well you plan and research the costs, there’s a very good chance something will crop up or won’t be accounted for. Factoring in a contingency of 10-20% will help to ensure you have enough to cover all the expenses and keep the project within budget.

Rule #2 – Have Everything Planned Out & Decided Beforehand

It’s easy for renovations to drag out much longer than expected because decisions have to be made during the process. To minimize cost and reduce the renovation time, put together a plan beforehand that includes both a timeline and a clear picture of what the renovation will include. The more decisions you can make about how things should look and function (the paint color, type of flooring, specific appliances that will go in, etc.) before the project the less delays there will be.

Rule #3 – Know What You Will Do With All the Waste Before the Project Starts

Even minor renovations can create a lot of trash and debris. These materials not only take up space at the construction site, they can also pose a safety risk. If you live in an HOA another consideration could be regulations regarding how renovation waste should be contained. Before your project begins you’ll need to put a plan in place for containing the waste so it doesn’t begin to pile up with nowhere to go.

For small projects you may be able to load the waste into the back of a truck, however you do have to be careful loading to avoid damaging the vehicle. Moderate to major renovations typically create many truckloads of waste, which is difficult to manage without a dumpster. Anyone can order a residential dumpster rental that is placed on the property, making it easy to keep waste contained. The dumpster rental company will pick the garbage container up when you’re done and dispose of the trash, saving you time and money.

If you are about to begin a renovation project and need an affordable dumpster rental, Dumpsters.biz can help. We work with dumpster operators all over the country to make the rental process stress-free and reliable for homeowners. Use our online form to see rental estimates in your area!