What rock have I been under? I was doing some email spring cleaning during an especially snooze-inducing conference call, and there in my Gmail Trash file, up popped a random recycling tip. Newspapers can be reused as wrapping paper for gifts. I’ve been painting the New York Times classified for decades in lieu of Hallmark’s pricey wrapping, so this naturally appealed. But I’m fairly immune to advertising pop-ups, so it’s curious that this caught my eye.
Apparently, Google doesn’t monetize space reserved for Web Clips in their Gmail Trash folder. Instead, it offers clever enviro-tips and recycling facts in that folder’s top bar.
I started to compile a list of these ideas, but a few moments instead spent Googling (what did you expect?) landed me the complete collection of Gmail’s sustainable tidbits.
They range from the sensible to the nice-to-know-but-come-on-you’ll-never-really-do-it:
Here are some green tips:
- Empty tissue boxes can provide easy and handy storage for plastic grocery bags.
- Junk mail and newspaper can be reused as package stuffing.
- Unneeded printouts can be cut and stapled to make notepads.
- Plastic bags can be reused as bin liners or package stuffing.
- Film canisters can be reused to store nails, screws, buttons and pins.
- Recycling a 3-foot-high stack of newspapers can save one whole tree.
- Recycled cans can be made into airplanes, appliances, furniture and more.
- Recycled plastic bottles can be made into rugs, jackets, fences and more.
- Recycled paper takes about 60% less energy and water to make than new paper.
- There is no limit to the number of times an aluminum can can be recycled.
- Recycled glass bottles can be made into roads, tiles, even surfboards.
- Rubber shoe soles can be recycled to make basketball courts and soccer fields.
..and the oddball…
- You can make a lovely hat out of previously-used aluminum foil.
…would that be a tinfoil hijab or yarmulke? Unlikely in a Middle Eastern summer.
Because of its gargantuan storage capacity, not many folks actually empty their Gmail Trash. It’s tiring enough to handle real world cleaning, why bother with virtual clutter? But it’s worth a peek to view the green ideas.
The tips seem a tad tired: they’ve been recycled on this website for years. Google could use a kick in their creative pants to freshen it up; keep it as new and relevant as their Doodles. In the meantime, Green Prophet’s improved their ideas by linking them to fantastic examples of creative reuse brought to you over the years by Tafline, Karen, Karin and James.
Green Prophet applauds all the great ways to promote recycling and energy conservation, from text messaging on water conservation to posts on top ten (or twelve) lists on how to green up your life. Good ideas are like glass bottles and tinfoil: always worth recycling.
Got any new ones to share?
Image of Earth Day Doodle via Google