Tag Archives: reuse

Homemade Playsets

Have you checked out the Homemade Rainbows website yet? This website contains loads of great playsets put together by a couple of stay-at-home mums who used to teach kindergarden together.

The website explains itself in one sentence:

“Providing imaginative play sets that inspire play and promote children’s natural sense of wonder…using mostly recycled, repurposed and homemade (by us!) materials…”

What fun! Check out Homemade Rainbows for some inspiration and fun with your kids!


Electric Car Built from Recycled Oil Booms

Did you know YMCA Calgary has a Green team? We work hard to ensure YMCA Calgary is a leader in Green initiatives and to encourage others to live cleaner and with more love and care for our environment.

We also share information about actions individuals, organizations and companies are doing to ensure the longevity of our planet. Here is information about action General Motors is taking with the Chevrolet Volt:

Chevrolet Volt Spares Landfills from Gulf Oil Spill Waste
212,500 pounds of recycled oil booms provides year of air deflectors for electric car

Oil-soaked booms from the Gulf of Mexico are providing more than enough recycled material to make a production year’s worth of air-deflecting baffles for the Chevrolet Volt electric car with extended range, a positive outcome of the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history.

“GM decided to offer assistance by collecting boom material from the Gulf coast until there was no longer a need,” said John Bradburn, GM’s manager of waste-reduction efforts. “We’re in the process of identifying other areas where the material we have left can be used – potentially in our plants – now that we have a sufficient quantity for the Volt.”

Using the recycled booms, whose oil and water was refined or used for energy, allowed GM and its supplier partners to:

  • Reuse 365 kilometres of the absorbent boom material
  • Save almost 110,000 litres of water and oil from the nation’s landfills
  • Eliminate 212,500 pounds of waste from being thrown out
  • Eliminate 149 tons of CO2-equivalent emissions from entering the air

The air deflectors comprise 25 per cent boom material, 25 per cent recycled tires from GM’s Milford Proving Ground vehicle test facility and 25 per cent packaging plastic from GM’s Fort Wayne Assembly plant. The remaining 25 per cent is a mixture of post-consumer recycled plastics and other polymers.

GM’s team of partners, including Heritage Environmental, Mobile Fluid Recovery,and GDC, Inc., worked together on the process to recycle the booms into car parts.

Before GM began the project, the only options for the contaminated boom material were disposing of it in a landfill or burning it for energy. While energy conversion was preferable to waiting hundreds of years for the material to decompose, both options end the life of a material that, if recycled, could live indefinitely.

“We applaud GM for moving beyond traditional corporate responsibility efforts and finding a way to turn a portion of the waste from one of the worst environmental challenges in our nation’s history into something valuable,” said Corey Lambrecht, president of Earth911, Inc., host of the US’s largest recycling directory. “We need more, creative cleanup and recycling efforts like these.”

In 2010, GM facilities worldwide recycled 92 per cent of the waste they generated. It uses recycled and bio-based materials such as plastic bottles, blue jeans, cardboard, carpet, tires, kenaf fibres, balsa wood and soy in its vehicles.

“We use recycled and bio-based materials whenever possible,” Bradburn said. “Fortunately, we were able to leverage what we know to aid in the Gulf cleanup efforts, produce a high-quality part for a brand-new vehicle and keep the boom material in its use phase all in a cost-neutral way.”

What do you think about the work GM is doing to try and find balance between the work they do and helping the environment?