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Going Green: A Recycling Update... and Fun With Dryer Lint (Yes... Dryer Lint)

Adventurer B

Have you ever heard of World Environment Day?  Me neither.  Apparently, World Environment Day is held every year on June 5 and was established by the United Nations in 1972 to stimulate worldwide awareness of the environment. 

This year, the conference will be hosted in Brazil and the theme is Green Economy.   One aspect of “Green Economy” that I found interesting was recycling—using resources wisely and reusing where possible.  This seems like a perfect opportunity to give you a recycling update for our first quarter.  A big thanks to our Cabin Services Team and our super-mega stations for participating in co-mingled recycling.  We processed 683.5 tons of recyclables, up 6.8 percent from 640 tons in first quarter 2011.  We were able to reduce our waste pick-up costs by nearly $20,000 as a result of diverting our recycling—way to go! 

For those Stations that are not able to participate in our systemwide co-mingled recycling, nearly 73 percent of you are recycling in some way.  Our Facilities Maintenance Team is actively working with those Stations who have expressed a desire to expand their recycling efforts, as well as working with those that don’t have a recycling program in place, but would like to implement one.  Thank you all very much for being so Green and for working for ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle. 

Southwest is known as being one of the best when it comes to the Green filter we put on business decisions, because we know that environmental decisions can make good business sense, and our recycling program is one of the leading the industry.  Keep recycling and keep looking for ways to reduce and reuse—even things you think can’t be recycled, sometimes can be.  Here are some ideas for recycling dryer lint (I know, crazy!!) from the website

  • For paper mache projects, use dryer lint for paper mache paste.
  • To make modeling clay, mix 3 cups dryer lint, 2 cups water, 1 cup of flour, and 1/8 teaspoon of vegetable oil in a large saucepan and stir over medium heat until smooth. Make sure it has cooled before using, and allow it to air dry several days before painting or decorating.
  • Use dryer lint along with recycled egg cartons to make homemade fire starters.
  • If you don’t feel like taking the effort to make fire starters, dryer lint makes great kindling.  Just add it as-is, along with your kindling and newspaper when starting a fire in your woodstove or while camping.
  • Some people use dryer lint as mulch around plants, but gardeners say it doesn’t last very long.

What are some of the off-the-wall things you recycle?  Let us know by commenting below.  Have a tip for Green Tuesday?  Send them our way at

DING!  You are now free to be Green.