A very green shout-out

The 3 Rs

We are as pleased as punch that folks have been picking up on our recycling practices. Thanks to some great stories by The New York Times: Green Blog and TreeHugger. My favorite part has to be The NY Times calling us “Virtuous” and “Fun”. How very flattering! If you didn’t get a chance to read the articles (tsk, tsk!), let me recap.

We recycle plastic jewel cases.
How? After our 90-Day Guarantee expires, we round up the jewel cases that came with your mail-in kit, and deliver them to our local Waste Management facility. Waste Management processes the recyclable materials and finds markets to manufacture new items from the recycled plastic.
How much? On an average trip to the recycling facility, we drop off a ton of plastic!
Why’s that important?
It’s always better to recycle than to dispose.

We sell used music compact discs.
How? Once we receive your CD collection at our HQ, we post all your discs to your Murfie account. Start making sales and trades with other Murfie members, so that CDs get to have a longer life. When products are reused, their life becomes a continues cycle.
How much? As many CDs as you’d like to send us and list for sale on Murfie. ;)
Why’s that important?
It’s always better to reuse than to dispose.

Disposing waste is bad because it usually means one of two things: landfill or incineration. Both are icky for the environment. In fact, disposal is the least attractive option in waste management. The Rs are much more eco-friendly: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

Waste management is kind of like a pecking order. If you need a visual aid, take a look at this waste hierarchy (it’s a pyramid that classifies waste management strategies according to their desirability). If you want to recycle your CDs and packaging, but don’t want to sell them on Murfie, take a look at the CD Recycling Center of America. It’s an incredibly helpful website dedicated to disc recycling education, awareness, and options.

Lose the dead weight

Your CD collection is too heavy

Did you know that 10 CDs weigh approximately 2 pounds? That means, if you do the math, 100 CDs weigh 20 pounds. And 300 CDs weigh 60 pounds. And face it, most of y’all have at least 300 discs lurking in some nook and cranny of your home.

But losing weight, 60 pounds of weight, takes strength, courage, and confidence. Lucky for you, I’ve got some inspirational songs to help you out. If you lack motivation, I highly recommend that you give ’em a listen. They’re pretty much all from training or fight montages in 80s movies, or they’re just straight-up 80s songs. (Go figure.)

But beware. They are frighteningly powerful, and you’ll have enough fist pumps to last the entire day.

Ride into the danger zone.
Turn me loose.
It’s the eye of the tiger.
Nothing’s gonna stop us now.
I need a hero.
Don’t stop believing.
Oh we’re not gonna take it.
You’re the best around.
Take me where the future’s lying.

For the frugal music lover

10 things to do with your old CDs

Yeah, yeah, “they” say CDs are a thing of the past. Fair enough. Everyone’s entitled to an opinion. But let’s get real. Lots of us still warehouse sprawling compact disc collections. And lots of us don’t like acting as babysitter.

So, what the heck are we supposed to do with the plastic little buggers making Jenga towers in our closets and attics? Some suggestions…

1) Make an ornament. No tree is complete without a little sparkle.
2) Use as a coaster. One can never have enough coasters.
3) Make a disco ball. Bring.back.disco.fever.
4) Use as a compact mirror. Beauty is everything.
5) Make a Murf-wolf. They are the coolest species ever. Since the liger, that is.
6) Use as a frisbee. Face it, you were never that accurate anyway.
7) Make a suncatcher. Way more classy than a mother of pearl one.
8) Use as a shuffleboard disc. Don’t try this on a cruise ship. Unofficial shuffleboard equipment judged…harshly.
9) Make wallpaper. I don’t have a good reason. My bad.
10) Use as a driveway reflector. Impress your neighbors with unparalleled creativity.

Of course, you can always just send ’em to Murfie.

Green alert #2

Code green @ Murfie HQ!

Murfie boxed up and recycled 944 pounds of plastic CD stuff yesterday. Murfie: 944; landfills: 0.

Poor poor Mr. Landfill. I bet he’s irked that we’ve deprived him of plastic. Eh, he’ll just have to deal. Another green element of our recycling project? We used Community Car to deliver the plastic to Waste Management.

P.S. You may have noticed that the picture of jewel cases on your upper-left isn’t real. If you were fooled, it’s OK. The distinction is shockingly subtle. Point is, I forgot to snap a photo of the batch of boxes, so I rendered my own interpretation. Next time, like last time, I promise you’ll be treated with the real deal.

Overwhelmed by 99 probs?

10 ways to be nice to our planet

In sharp contrast to my typical devil-may-care ‘tude (“Dream on, Ashley”), I’m gonna get a little heavy here. The world’s got >99 problems. There’s no way around it. Sustainable development, climate change, poverty, species extinction, energy security…the swarm of social, political, economic, and environmental issues can get a little overwhelming. What’s more distressing is the feeling that we are powerless to do anything, that individual action would be ineffectual, that no one is actually capable of making a meaningful difference. That’s a little scary. But you know what? I don’t think that’s an accurate representation of our capability and willingness to force change. I mean, nobody can do everything, BUT everyone can do something. And small steps can make great strides. “If you think you’re too small to be effective, you have never been in bed with a mosquito” (Betty Reese).

So to get the ball rolling, I thought I’d brainstorm a few easy, painless ways we can all (all!) help out:

1) Recycle, including old electronics (no explanation needed).
2) Buy in bulk to reduce the amount of packaging waste.
3) Unplug electronics when you’re not using them to kill standby/phantom power.
4) Use reusable drinking containers, instead of disposable coffee cups and plastic water bottles.
5) Turn off the lights when you leave a room to reduce energy use.
6) Don’t take 10 minute showers – consider cutting your shower short by a few minutes to conserve water.
7) Lower your home thermostats, including water heater, to conserve energy.
8) Buy energy efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs to save energy.
9) Use a reusable rag or towel, instead of napkins and paper towels.
10) Use reusable lunch bags and shopping bags to cut down on paper and plastic.

Obviously, there are a ton of other ways to help our planet, so we’d love to hear your suggestions. A good idea goes a long way, so have at it! @murfiemusic

Operation ID Plastic Packaging

What the heck is a resin ID code?

You can exhale now. Phew! I hope that wasn’t too strenuous. I know you’ve all been holding your breath until I posted something here about the resin identification coding system. I mean, I did talk it up. Breathe now, the time has come to discuss that little rounded triangle, with arrows and a number, on the bottom of plastic packaging. AKA resin identification code, the symbol is simply a way to identify a container’s polymer type and facilitate the recycling of post-consumer plastics by providing a consistent, uniform national system.

The resin ID coding system was designed to help all parties involved: consumers, manufacturers, recyclers. Our job as consumers is to take a peek at the bottom of plastic containers and identify the resin content. The seven plastic resin codes help us figure out whether and how to recycle all the plastic products invading our everyday lives. Now, there are countless articles out there on the world wide web breaking down the 7 resin codes, so I won’t beat a dead horse here…but I must say that this table is quite useful (and dare I say the best snapshot?). For each number, you’ll find a pretty little graphic, detailed description, properties of the polymer, product applications, and products made with recycled content.

One last thing to add. Municipal (curbside) recycling programs traditionally pick up only codes #1 and 2. For those other plastics coded #3-7, you may have to contact a local recycling facility or do a little digging on recycling programs in your area as new markets become available for polymers.

Operation Recycle Plastic

Murfie’s recycling practices

Murfie can be kind of a MRF sometimes. Though not a riddle, you may feel stumped, so take a look at this Q&A to clear things up. If you’re only mildly confused, let’s skip ahead to the short version. Murfie=MRF=Materials Recycling Facility, because Murfie receives collections of CDs, then separates and recycles the unwanted plastic stuff. Unwanted?—Yes, unwanted—So stuff, plastic stuff, that I don’t want anymore?—Yeahhh—So that could mean, that must mean…—Plastic jewel cases, we bid you farewell.

Yes indeedy, we’ll help you part ways with your jewel cases. And I promise, saying goodbye is really easy:
Step 1
Request a kit, and we’ll send you a box and prepaid postage
Step 2 Round up your discs, put ’em in the box, and send it back to us
Step 3 Once we receive your kit, we’ll warehouse your CDs at our HQ
Step 4 Go Operation Recycle Plastic

So, how exactly does Murfie execute Operation Recycle Plastic? I regret that my answer cannot be more epic, but nonetheless here’s a quick breakdown of our humble recycling practices. Because municipal recycling programs typically don’t collect the type of plastic (polystyrene) that’s used in jewel case manufacturing, we partner with a local Waste Management facility to take care of the bulk quantities we accumulate. As North America’s largest recycler, Waste Management manages the recyclable plastics we drop off.

While not terribly exciting, talking about plastics recycling does have merit. Plastics are valuable as a resource. When recovered properly, recycled plastics can help make other products, which also decreases the volume of waste subject to landfills. Reduce, reuse, recycle! By the way, plastics recycling is not available in all areas, so you’ll have to check to see if recycling facilities exist in your community. Here’s one way to do so.

Next post I’ll cover the resin identification coding system. Good times, so get.excited.now.