Thinking Green This Holiday Season?

Thinking Green This Holiday Season?

Did you know… Americans throw away 25% more trash between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve than any other time of year?

It’s true! From all the gift buying and wrapping of presents to parties and packaging materials to holiday greeting cards and decorations — waste really starts to add up during the Holidays. That’s about one million tons of extra garbage each week!

Being mindful of sustainable consumption and managing your waste this holiday season is easy if you have the right information. Here are some creative and useful tips you and your loved ones can use to have a brighter celebration with less waste.

Did you know… Americans throw away 15 million used Christmas trees each year?

Tree Smarts

When it comes to the iconic Christmas tree, it’s easy to go with a reusable “fake” tree to prevent a lot of the landfill impact. But if you have to have a live tree, garland, or wreath in your home, be sure to check with your local communities about potential recycling programs. Many areas collect trees in the first few weeks after the Holidays to be composted or mulched and used in water conservation and weed control.

When gift-giving this season, consider…

  • Thinking Digital Choose no-waste gifts, such as downloadable music, subscriptions to streaming services, online newspapers, etc.
  • Gifting An Experience Choose sports lessons, memberships to a gym, symphony, or museum, or tickets to an event or concert. Plan an activity as your gift, such as camping at a national or state park or visiting a gallery.
  • Going DIY Choose environmentally-smart gifts such as homemade food items like baked cookies, bread, and jams, or make your own soap or candles to gift.
  • If you must buy new… Buy products made from recycled or organic materials and look for gifts with an environmental message: a nature book, a refillable thermos bottle, a canvas tote bag, a battery recharger, gardening supplies or give a plant.
  • If none of those ideas work for you… Go for items of quality, durability, and practicality – things that someone can use for years to come rather than ending up in a landfill after a couple of months. Lastly, remember to shop local and support area shops, makers, and artisans while reducing shipping costs and impacts.

Wrapping is as easy as 1-2-3

  1. Consider reduced or no-waste wrapping options! For example, put a large reusable or cloth bow on the gift or place it in a reusable bag, purse, or backpack.
  2. You can even get creative and try using colorful pages torn from magazines, old maps, Sunday comics, kid art, or old posters instead of traditional wrapping paper.
  3. If you must use new store-bought wrapping paper, then try to look for ones made of recycled paper and remember that foil, metallic or glitter accent wrapping paper IS NOT recyclable.
Did you know… the 2.65 billion Christmas cards sold each year in the US could fill a football field 10 stories high?

Card Care

If we each sent one card less, we’d save 50,000 cubic yards of paper waste. Think about sending holiday greetings via e-mail or social media. It’s a great way to share photos and memories, while customizing your message and making it more personal!

If you are old-fashioned and want to send a physical card, consider making your own or sending plantable/seeded cards. If you must use store-bought traditional cards, remember to avoid cards with glossy, shiny or gold foil coatings since these CANNOT be recycled.

Final Thoughts

  • Reduce. Donate old toys and unwanted gifts or clothes.
  • Reuse packing and shipping materials. Save ribbons, bows, boxes, bags, and decor for the next holiday.
  • Recycle old electronics and batteries at a local facility.
  • Replant, mulch, or compost your live tree and compost food scraps.

If you’d like to read more tips about this, you can check out these links here.

What do you think? Let us know if you have any Green tips or Holiday hacks to reduce waste this season! Leave us a comment 🙂

Dumpster Brokers: The Truth You Should Know

Dumpster Brokers: The Truth You Should Know

This piece is especially timely right now, because there are always outsiders looking to “make a buck” off of local tragedy. When natural disaster strikes, as it has in Southeast Texas recently with Imelda, predatory businesses sometimes try to use the circumstances to their advantage, mostly at the expense of true locals.

“What is a dumpster broker anyway?”

In short, they are middlemen. Brokers often act as if they are a local dumpster service, when in fact they don’t own any dumpsters and are definitely not locally based or owned. If you are the average person looking for quotes or pricing info for local dumpsters, rolloffs, storage containers, etc. and you have ever done a simple search through Google, Bing, or another search engine, then you have likely seen a broker advertising as if they were local.

Don’t be fooled by the fakes, choose local.

Dumpster brokers are sometimes hard to spot because they typically don’t announce the fact that they are a broker. They actively seek unused local addresses and phone numbers to advertise on their websites. But when you call them and ask for a return phone number, they will often give you a direct line that is out of State or toll-free. These guys answering the phone often want to make a commission, can be pushy about securing terms soon, and will insist on theirs being “the best deal locally”. The broker businesses they represent want to charge you more for using the same products and services you could find locally with a phone book directory or simple word of mouth referral.

You can avoid these companies (and extra fees!) by calling known dumpster providers in your area!

One quick way to check if the company is truly local is to edit your search terms for another city. For example, if you searched for “local rolloff Beaumont Texas” and have come across a company that might be a broker, change your search. Have it read “local rolloff San Antonio Texas”, or Houston, Austin, etc. instead. If the very same company comes up as local and has a different phone number for each area code, that is a red flag that this is not a locally-owned company. It’s a broker.

Besides the increased cost of using brokers, communication pitfalls are another inevitable result if you aren’t choosing truly local companies.

“Information on getting what you want, where you want it, when you want it now travels through a third party. Details and advice on sizes, placement, payment, loading and more all get short-changed. Broker’s information is usually somewhat vague because they advertise the same services and roll-off containers to every city in the country with one website.”

From Sam Stankie of Sam’s Hauling Inc. in Denver, CO.

If you need to make last minute adjustments and update your delivery driver directly, going through a third-party can cause delays and confusion. If you are not sure about the size of rolloff you need for your specific projects, a local company’s best interest is to customize your work order to your needs. However, a broker’s main concern is making money as the middleman and may not give the best advice on which size container to use.

|REMEMBER| A reputable, local dumpster/rolloff rental company will be licensed, insured, and upfront about its pricing structure. Avoid broker websites that have vague, outdated information, or very generalized details but no pricing information anywhere.

Do you think you’ve been duped by a broker before?

Do you have any experiences with brokers like this? We would love to know your thoughts about them and any tips on how to look out for their tricks.

Making Waves: Imelda

Just two years after Hurricane Harvey’s devastating rainfall, southeast Texas once again faced costly flooding and loss of life. Such is the aftermath of Tropical Storm Imelda.

2019 – Images courtesy of NASA.
IMERG satellite technology estimated rainfall totals (left) and Tropical Storm Imelda (right).

Most of the areas hit by Imelda received at least 9 inches of rain from Tuesday to Friday, but in isolated areas, such as to the southwest of Beaumont, the hardest-hit areas saw up to 43 inches of rain. Imelda now ranks as the seventh-wettest tropical cyclone to impact the United States.

Texans will be picking up the pieces left by this storm for many years to come, though many have yet to fully recover from the last.

If you are a local of SETX, you’ll already know that some of the flooded areas are the very same as those already hit hard in 2017 by Hurricane Harvey, which dropped more than 60 inches of rain and 68 deaths with its historic flooding.
Imelda cleanup is well under way here and we’re working hard to help everyone.

In the wake of this repeated destruction, we at 2S Companies wanted to share some helpful information about using any rolloff container, and not just give yet another update about the effect of Imelda on our communities.

Tips for Using Rolloffs During Disaster Cleanup

  • Do Not Over-Fill the Rolloff – It may be tempting to try and work around a dumpster that is too small by piling as much debris as possible into a container, but don’t do it. Debris piled over the top/rim of the rolloff is a road hazard and we cannot legally haul it.
  • Choose the Right Size – Stuffing 30 yards of debris in a 20 yard container simply doesn’t work. It can end up costing you way more because of multiple hauls. Do your homework and be sure to order the right sized container for your specific needs. It’s much cheaper!
  • Talk to Our Team – If you are unsure about your specific needs and want to avoid more headache during this devastating time, please express your needs when asking for a quote. Our team can be very helpful since having an understanding of roll-off dumpster sizes and their measurements is very important in choosing the right size container for whatever your project may be. We are here to help!
Still hard at work!

As always, we are hard at work to meet your needs and are working overtime to help everyone we can. We love this community and, although times of hardship like these are never any easier, the visible outpouring of Local support and National assistance warms our hearts! Texas Strong!
Texas Strong, Always.

To read more, visit the articles consulted for this post here, here, and here.

How to Declutter the Right Way

How to Declutter the Right Way

2018 – Source Pexels

Here are some small ways that you can reduce your household waste impact on the environment when cleaning and decluttering your home!

Be Mindful When Discarding Larger Items

When it comes to outdated furniture and appliances, or other additional items that take up more space than your average waste items, there are a few ways that you can lessen your environmental impact by making responsible waste disposal decisions by upcycling or reselling.

  • Upcycle! This has been a popular trend for years, if Pinterest boards are any indication. People love to find ways to reuse old furniture pieces in creative ways to give them new life. For example, you can transform old wooden shutters into a small decorative table, you can turn trash cans into garden planting pots for medium-to-large plants, and even turn old dresser drawers into adorable and rustic end tables.
  • Resell! Using classified ads to resell usable items has been around for ever, but with the advent of the internet and popular usage of social media sites becoming ever more popular, now is as good a time as any to give your items new life by using the second-hand economy. Popular places such as Facebook Marketplace have made it easier than ever to connect with locals seeking similar items or even looking to give away stuff rather than send it to a landfill. Whether you decide to adventure to a site like Craigslist, use an existing social media platform, or try your luck at local/regional websites such as, reselling or bartering items is a good idea!

Remove Paper Waste and Clutter

Have you ever noticed how paper waste from mail advertisements, important documents, and random paper notes tend to accumulate on common surface areas like kitchen tables, counters, and desk surfaces? For so many people, a big source of visible clutter in their life is in fact from paper waste they’ve collected over time.

  • Go Digital! One great way to reduce your physical clutter is to switch to digital storage for photo mementos and essential documents. Most of the photos we take are already digital, so storing them in that way is easier than ever. For older photographs, you may want to consider scanning and archiving them by using a common printer/scanner or even taking a “new” picture with your camera phone. For secure documents and paperwork, much of the time people are using PDF documents and sending/receiving through e-mail anyways. Unless you are a business owner, you should consider using a free digital storage platform like Google Drive or Dropbox, but there are many more options if you take a few minutes to look around the internet.
  • Cut out the JUNK mail! If you are like most people, you receive far too many unsolicited advertisements and “pre-approved” credit offers in the mail. Consider using an Opt-Out Service by having yourself removed from mailing lists and stop unwanted junk mail and magazines from accumulating in your life. There are several ways to do this online and it’s super easy! In the US alone, we accumulate 5.6 million tons of catalog and junk mail in landfills every year! The junk mail “industry” destroys 100 million trees per year.
2019 – Source Pexels

Clean Up Routines

Have you noticed the trend in retailers’ cleaning supply options where there are many e-friendly, perfume-free, and natural-based cleaners popping up? This is because of increased public awareness about common cleaners and their accumulated polluting effect on our environment. Some cleaners we have commonly used to sanitize, degrease, or whiten and wash clothes and surfaces have also been harming our water and air for years.

  • Switch to Eco-friendly! When harmful cleaning chemicals find their way into air and especially waste-water, thereby polluting soil and animal/plant ecosystems, it has a cumulative effect. Think about switching one of your common cleaners to a Natural alternative.
  • Reduce Plastic Use! Many cleaning tools and products come in plastic packaging or contain plastic as the base of the product (such as sponges and brushes). One way to mitigate this is to switch to reusable and washable cotton cloths for cleaning or using old bits of cloth from broken, unsalvageable clothing and fabric, using biodegradable loofah scrubbers, and by using classic “cleaning” items like lemons, vinegar, and bicarbonate soda AKA baking soda to help in your routine.

To read more, visit the article here.