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Southface Top 11

5-4-3-2-1. Rolling...tour Southface with Tom of Greenshortz as he lists his top 11 highlights of cool things at Southface. If you are into the Green Built, then make Southface a list on your places to visit if you are in Atlanta. Green Building isn't only happening on the West Coast but it's also happening in downtown Atlanta in a big way!


Be a Film Star

Does it seem like plastic shopping bags multiply in the dark corners of your pantry? Globally, we consume nearly a trillion single use plastic bags every year. Yes, that's 1,000,000,000,000,000 bags. Yikes! And we "consume" versus "use" these bags, as most of them are only used once and then tossed. But, they can be recycled. Bags aren't alone. There is a whole category of thin plastic that can be captured and returned to to resource stream. And this group of oil-based products is referred to a "film." A large portion of this film can be recycled together with plastic grocery bags at your local supermarket. This videos shows you can be a recycling superstar by expanding your efforts to include film. Are you ready for your close-up?


Six Alt Streams

Your personal recycling efforts don't have to be limited to what you put in the curbside bin. It is important to know what is on that list...what can go in the bin. But, there are many additional items that can, and should, be recycled. They just have their own stream--or method of capture and remanufacture. You can join the ranks of the recycling superstars, by learning about these alternate streams and diverting items from your trash can and the landfill into a better life as a reusable resource. Watch this video to learn about six alternative recycling streams that you can incorporate into your recycling efforts.

If you are located in the Atlanta, Georgia vicinity, you can connect with a local e-waste provider at To find a recycler in your community visit


Put the RE in Batteries

Greenshortz bets if we all looked around the house, we'd find an assortment of dead or dying batteries. And we may wonder what to do with them once their life is over. Because of the sometimes toxic nature of the metals and chemicals that makes batteries work, it is vital that they be disposed of or recycled properly. But, there is one type of battery that can just be tossed in the trash. Watch this video to find out and walk through the recycling process.


The Garbage Drive-By

Wouldn't it be cool if going green meant doing less work? Well, here is one case where that is true. I call it the garbage drive-by...letting the trash truck pass your house by only putting your trash and recycling at the curb when they are completely full. This isn't the kind of thing that saves you money, but it will help you think about what is going in the trash and what can be recycled or composted. And will save a you a few trips to the curb. If you're like me, you're not afraid of a little extra work to live a greener lifestyle, but it's nice to know that some options cost nothing and actually save time. To hear about one way we compost, watch Put Joe Back to Work.

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Billboard to Bag to Job

Billboard Bags makes bags, wallets and satchels from upcycled billboard vinyl. The Atlanta-based company is actually a job-creation program that employs refugee women to create their products. The beautiful and sustainable products are the vehicles for much needed jobs. The women are trained to sew, provided English language classes and taught basic financial skills, while being paid a fair wage. After one year, they are placed in full-time jobs. Billboard Bags is part of Plywood People, an Atlanta non-profit devoted to fostering social innovation and addressing the needs of the poor. Buying a bag not only gets you a cool re-use product, you'll also be building diginity in the lives of refugee women starting over in America. This is one way green empowers good. Buy one bag.

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