The Interview: A Conversation With A New Jersey Home Performance with Energy Star Customer

How does someone go about participating in the Home Performance with Energy Star program?  In this episode of Greenable Woodbridge, host Caroline Ehrlich talks with Denise Fishman, a Woodbridge New Jersey resident who recently completed a New Jersey Home Performance with Energy Star project.

Learn how Denise received thousands of dollars worth of cash incentives and a $10,000 zero interest loan to make upgrades to her home.

Listen to Denise's full interview with Caroline Ehrlich here:

New Jersey Clean Energy Program Receives National Recognition

We congratulate New Jersey's Clean Energy Program on their

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 2015 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence Award.

Sustained Excellence Awards are given to a select group of organizations that have exhibited outstanding leadership year after year. These winners have reduced greenhouse gas emissions by setting and achieving aggressive goals, and employing innovative energy efficiency approaches.

We are honored to be a participating provider of the New Jersey Home Performance with Energy Star Program which is part of New Jersey's nationally recognized Clean Energy Program. We extend our congratulations to the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities and to everyone else who contributed to the success of this fantastic program!

New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program provides financial and other incentives to the state’s residential customers, businesses and local governments that install high-efficiency or renewable energy technologies. These programs are administered by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities.  

New Jersey's Clean Energy Program Receives National Recognition - New Jersey Business Magazine

Glen Rock Energy Audit Program Continues

We were thrilled to see today's article in the Glen Rock Gazette newspaper highlighting the success of the "Energy Smart Rock Homes" Home Energy Audit program!  We've worked hard to deliver a comprehensive home energy audit program to Glen Rock residents, and we're really glad to have the support of this wonderful community!


  • More than 125 Glen Rock homeowners have now utilized discounted home energy audits under the borough-approved "Energy Smart Rock Homes" program
  • Of that number, 22 have proceeded with improvements recommended by the audit reports, utilizing up to $5,000 in incentive rebates and up to $10,000 in zero-interest financing available through the New Jersey Home Performance with Energy Star program.
  • Incentives can be applied to replace outdated furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and insulation with new and more energy-efficient products.
  • Initial audits — which cost residents $49 compared with commercial charges typically as high as $300 — have been underway for about a year

Glen Rock energy audit program continues

2014 Energy Efficiency Tax Credits

The folks at Consumer Reports magazine compiled this list of tax credits available to homeowners who made energy efficiency upgrades to their properties in 2014.  Many of these credits were unknown to most folks because they had previously expired and were introduced retroactively through recent legislation.

Energy Upgrade Tax Credits and Rebates - Consumer Reports

Qualifications: What To Look For In Your Insulation Contractor

We often get the question about what qualifications our customers should be considering when hiring an insulation contractor.  We thought this recent United States Environmental Protection Agency blog post would be helpful to many folks visiting our site.

Getting the Seal and Insulate Job Done - Hiring a Contractor

Millburn Partners With South Orange, Maplewood, and Irvington To Offer Expanded Home Energy Audit Program!

In addition to launching its own campaign, The

Millburn Home Energy Assessment Program

, Millburn has taken the additional step of partnering with surrounding communities to launch the "Essex Community Energy" campaign.  In cooperation with South Orange, Maplewood, and Irvington, this campaign is designed to promote local awareness of home energy audits and incentives available through the New Jersey Home Performance with Energy Star program!

'Essex Community Energy' Campaign Debuts in Maplewood, Millburn, South Orange & Irvington - The Village Green

Ciel Power LLC Among The First New Jersey Businesses Named To The New Jersey Sustainable Business Registry!

We're thrilled to become one of the first New Jersey businesses named as a registered member of the

New Jersey Sustainable Business Registry!  

Our belief is that business should create value for customers, employees, and the larger environment.  The New Jersey Sustainable Business Registry provides us with a structured environment and assistance with implementing sustainable practices at every level of our organization.

It's exciting to be at the forefront of the ground breaking sustainability programs sweeping through New Jersey.  We've been working hard to improve the quality of life in our communities, and we've extended this effort to formalize our company-wide sustainability initiatives that deliver a better way for us to do business. 

We're creating our own "Green Team" that will meet regularly to develop short- and

long-term plans; support project implementation, evaluate our processes, and track and monitor the programs we've implemented. 

We've reaffirmed our commitment to green construction, and we're embarking on a review of the building materials used in our retrofits to ensure we're using products that align with the values of our organization.  

We'll be announcing new initiatives as our newly formed "Green Team" begins its work.  I look forward to sharing updates with you as we work to create high quality jobs, improve the quality of life in our communities, and offer a better way of doing business.

Celebrating Sustainable Princeton's 100th EnergySmart Homes Home Energy Audit!

Last fall, Sustainable Princeton and Ciel Power introduced a new program where Princeton residents could undergo a home energy audit at a reduced rate of $49.  The audit, designed to pinpoint how Princeton homes are losing or wasting energy, provides Princeton homeowners with prescriptive measures to improve the overall energy efficiency of their homes.

Residents participating in the EnergySmart Homes campaign receive information about specific cash rebates and financing incentives available through the New Jersey Home Performance with Energy Star program to offset much of the cost associated with installing the recommended energy efficiency upgrades.

Launched at a press conference in October of 2013, the EnergySmart Homes campaign was conceived as a way to provide Princeton residents with affordable, high-quality home energy assessments. With representatives from Sustainable Princeton, local government, and the media in attendance, Sustainable Princeton kicked off the EnergySmart Homes campaign with the goal of performing one hundred home energy audits in Princeton.

"Thanks to the efforts of Sustainable Princeton, Princeton Mayor Liz Lempert, Princeton University, and the Princeton Library, we've been able to get great exposure for the EnergySmart Homes campaign." said Scott Fischer, Managing Member of Ciel Power.  "The whole community has been incredibly supportive and has welcomed the program with exposure in local newspapers, participation in local events, and panel discussions at the Princeton Library.  It's because of this incredible support that we've been able to achieve our goal of providing one hundred home energy audits ahead of schedule."

Audits are still available at the $49 rate through the EnergySmart Homes program.  To schedule a home energy audit, visit, or call Ciel Power at 201-632-3463.

To celebrate the 100th EnergySmart Homes Home Energy Audit, Ciel Power surprised the lucky Princeton homeowners, Carol and Carl Haag, with an energy efficient lighting upgrade!  

2014/2015 New Jersey Home Performance with Energy Star Rebates and Incentives

We're excited to announce the New Jersey Home Performance with Energy Star rebate and incentive program will be relaunched on July 1st, 2014.  Incentives will be identical to the 2013/2014 program year with multiple incentive tiers of either a $2,000, $4,000, or $5,000 cash-back incentive.  Financing tiers include a $5,000 or $10,000 zero interest loan.  Incentive tiers are determined by the projected total energy savings of the installed upgrades.

The Home Performance with Energy Star program provides a comprehensive solution to solving climate, comfort, and efficiency issues by upgrading outdated boilers, furnaces, air conditioners, hot water heaters, and upgrading air-sealing & insulation levels.  These upgrades significantly improve the overall comfort, energy efficiency, and durability of the home.

For more information, download our FREE guide to participating in the New Jersey Home Performance with Energy Star program.

Home Energy Auditing: A Day In The Life of an Energy Auditor

It's 11 a.m. in Glen Rock, New Jersey and John Sladky, a Ciel Power Home Energy Auditor is hard at work helping this homeowner understand why his living room and daughter's bedroom located above their garage are generally colder than the rest of the home during the winter.

On this day, during a home energy audit arranged by the homeowner as part of Glen Rock's Energy Smart Rock Homes program, our Ciel Power auditor is put to the test -- so far he's already found two pipe fittings leaking natural gas in the basement of the home and a water heater who's exhaust is not properly venting..

These green-shirted Ciel Power technicians carrying combustion analyzers, combustible gas detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and blower doors are the heart and soul of the energy audit process.  In the four years since Ciel Power performed its first energy audit in New Jersey, these skilled technicians have helped Ciel Power become the official provider of Glen Rock's Energy Smart Rock Homes campaign, Greenable Woodbridge's Home Energy Assessment campaign, Highland Park's "It's In Our Power" campaign, and Sustainable Princeton's EnergySmart Homes Home Energy Assessment campaign.

Day after day, these technicians explore homes throughout New Jersey to determine how they lose or waste energy.  Doing so involves a combination of experience, book smarts, and specialized diagnostic equipment designed to help pinpoint areas of air-infiltration, poor insulation, and other deficiencies in what they call the "building envelope".

"I wanted to become a home energy auditor because I really enjoy helping people get a better understanding of how the individual systems in their home work together to form a complete system," says John Sladky, the soft-spoken 21-year-old Ciel Power Home Energy Auditor who handles many of the Ciel Power audits in Bergen County, New Jersey.  "Sometimes," says Sladky, "simple adjustments or repairs can make a tremendous difference in the overall performance of a home, so I'm there to help the customer gain a better understanding of their home and most importantly, to be comfortable in their own home."

Since each home takes John up to three hours to complete, John performs two, possibly three home energy audits per day, most of them with a common dilemma: Whether it's due to poor insulation, outdated mechanical equipment, or high air-infiltration rates, these homes cost a considerable amount of money to heat and cool, and it's occupants are often uncomfortable in their home during the summer and winter months.

"Most of the homeowners I meet with are surprised to learn that up to $15,000 worth of cash and financing incentives are available to New Jersey residents through the New Jersey Home Performance with Energy Star program to upgrade the insulation, heating, air-conditioning, and hot water systems in their homes," says Sladky.

"I really need to head back to the office to get these photos uploaded," says John.  "The company does not like to have customers waiting long to receive their report".  Referring to the Home Energy Assessment report that Ciel Power customers receive shortly after their home energy audit.

John quickly heads back to the office to submit the eight pages of data he's collected on this home.  In addition to the data collection forms, John submits over fifty standard photographs as well as infra red images taken to better understand insulation levels in the walls of these homes.

This information is passed along to Kevin, a graduate of New Jersey Institute of Technology's engineering program.  Kevin oversees Ciel Power's administrative division as Ciel Power's Home Performance and Administrative Manager.   Kevin's team works directly with the New Jersey Home Performance with Energy Star program and it's administrators at Conservation Services Group (CSG).

In minutes, Kevin has the data collected during the Glen Rock home energy audit entered into Real Home Analyzer, CSG's propitiatory software designed to perform energy modeling.  He begins to create a custom report using easy-to-understand graphical images to communicate the results of the home energy audit to the customer.

"We've had several iterations of this report over the past several years," says Kevin.  "We're continually refining and enhancing this report to provide as much information as possible, with the understanding that most of our customers aren't involved with building science on a daily basis."

Kevin is located in Ciel Power's Lyndhurst headquarters, an open "bullpen" style facility designed to encourage interaction between its auditors, engineers, operations, and customer experience managers.  This open forum helps foster collaboration between John, Kevin, and the rest of the Ciel Power staff to ensure they are meeting each customer's expectation and providing the highest level of service to every customer.

While customer service has helped propel Ciel Power to the forefront of the home performance industry, the company's growth has not been without growing pains. "The past few years have seen significant expansion and growth in both the volume of home energy audits we perform and the number of energy efficiency upgrades we install." said Scott Fischer, Managing Member of Ciel Power LLC.  "We've learned a lot of lessons during our relatively short tenure, and we continue to learn new ones on a daily basis."

Asked to recall a specific incident, Scott quickly pointed to an online review left by a disgruntled customer on Yelp.  "That review really hit home for me," said Scott.  "We completely dropped the ball with that customer, and I've made some sweeping changes to this company as a result of that review." Scott continued.  "We exist as an organization to serve our customers, our community, and the state incentive program we participate in. Since the changes we've made as a result of that review, we've really connected more with our customers and I think the huge jump in the number of positive online reviews we've seen is a testament to these efforts."

As Kevin completes the customers Home Energy Assessment report, he invites Michael Mulholland, a Ciel Power Home Performance Consultant to review the upgrades being proposed for this home.  As a Glen Rock resident himself and having recently completed his fiftieth Energy Smart Rock Homes presentation, Michael has become very familiar with the housing stock in Glen Rock.  As it turns out, adding insulation and performing air-sealing measures throughout this home is projected to yield over 25% energy savings, qualifying this customer for a $5,000 cash-back incentive payment and a $10,000 zero interest loan through the New Jersey Home Performance with Energy Star program.

Asked whether this was an unusual occurrence, Mulholland stated: "The average home in Glen Rock is over fifty years old.  The vast majority of homes in the area of Glen Rock and Ridgewood are a perfect fit for the New Jersey Home Performance with Energy Star program.  These older homes are often qualifying for the top incentive tiers of the NJHPwES program, and we are seeing Bergen County residents truly excited about participating in this incentive program."

It's now early evening and Michael is leaving the office with several customer reports.  Michael's two appointments scheduled for later this evening are both qualifying for $15,000 in financial incentives.  It's a common occurrence with older homes and Michael is excited to share the news with these homeowners.

"Increasing the energy efficiency of an older home is a process."  Mulholland continued, "With the increasing threat of climate change, the rising cost of energy, and the simple pleasure of being comfortable in your home, energy efficiency retrofits make sense to a lot of the customers that i'm meeting with."

Contact Ciel Power at 201-632-3463 or visit for additional information.

Is It Time to Have a Home Energy Audit?: This Greenable Woodbridge Episode Shows How A Home Energy Audit Can Contribute to Your Energy Efficiency Plan.

When it comes to having a home energy audit, having the right provider can mean the difference between disappointment and success.

As demand for energy efficiency continues to grow, so too does the demand for home energy audits. Home performance is a relatively new discipline, so there’s no surprise that homeowners struggle to gain a better understanding of home energy audits and work to define the features they need in an audit.

Want more instruction on home energy audits? Check out the latest episode of Greenable Woodbridge. In this episode, host Caroline Ehrlich follows Ciel Power as they perform a home energy audit on this home in Woodbridge, NJ.  Woodbridge resident?  The Greenable Woodbridge Home Energy Assessment program provides discounted rates for Woodbridge residents on home energy audits.

Live outside Woodbridge?  Check out our home energy audit services!

Maplewood New Jersey is hosting the 7th annual Green Day Fair!

Maplewood New Jersey is hosting the 7th annual Green Day fair on Saturday, May 17th 2014 from 11:00 to 4:00 to demonstrate simple ways that every person can make more planet-friendly, sustainable choices in their everyday lives. With an expected turn-out of over 4,000 attendees, the fair is a community celebration with live music, how-to demonstrations, and over 80 eco-vendors, environmental organizations, health and fitness representatives, organic and local food providers and farmers. Green Day offers a variety of events and activities for all ages.

Join Ciel Power representatives to discuss insulation, heating equipment, cooling equipment, and other energy efficient products and services.  Ciel Power will also be available to discuss up to $15,000 in rebates and incentives available to New Jersey homeowners through the New Jersey Home Performance with Energy Star program.

As part of its year-round effort to promote sustainability in the community, the township of Maplewood has a Green Day environmental fair each year. With a long tradition of being a leader in environmental initiatives, the township of Maplewood uses this event to highlight existing programs, share different ways of reducing one’s environmental impact, and engage and teach residents of all ages. The fair is organized by a volunteer committee made up of members of the Maplewood Green Team and municipal leadership and staff.

Saturday, May 17, 2014   11 am – 4 pm
Maplewood Memorial Park
WHEN: 11:00 – 4:00 pm, Saturday, May 17, 2014

WHERE: Memorial Park between Dunnell Rd. and Maplewood Ave., directly across from NJ Transit Maplewood Station, Maplewood, NJ

BRING: Bikes and trikes, ride-on toys and wagons, reusable water bottles, and shopping bags

Energy Efficiency Retrofits In Historic Homes: Montclair Historical Society's Restoration Fair

On Saturday, June 21st 2014 Ciel Power representatives will be available to discuss energy efficiency upgrades in historic homes at the upcoming Restoration Fair in Essex County, NJ.  Sponsored by the Montclair Historical Society, the event will feature architects, carpenters, roofers, floor refinishers, painters, and more.

Ciel Power representatives will be on hand to discuss insulating historic homes, and upgrading heating systems, cooling systems, and hot water systems in historical properties.  As a leading provider of energy efficiency retrofits in New Jersey, Ciel Power has performed installations on numerous historical properties including an installation at the Charles Schultz Carriage House owned by the Montclair Historical Society.

Ciel Power is also a New Jersey Home Performance with Energy Star participating contractor.  As such, Ciel Power customers are eligible for up to $15,000 worth of rebates and incentives to offset the cost of adding energy efficiency improvements to historical homes in New Jersey.

To learn more about this event, visit Montclair Historical Society's website.

Ciel Power Presents: How To Participate in the New Jersey Home Performance with Energy Star Program

We get lots of questions from homeowners in New Jersey about how they can participate in the New Jersey Home Performance with Energy Star rebate and incentive program.  We've put together this helpful info-graphic to let folks know how they can receive the financial incentives offered through this award winning program.

The New Jersey Home Performance with Energy Star program provides New Jersey homeowners with up to $15,000 in financial incentives to install insulation, air conditioning, heating, and hot water equipment in their homes.  Incentives are tiered based upon the anticipated projected energy savings of the upgrades installed in the home.

How-To Guide: Put the Brakes on Commuting Waste

Did you know? Americans logged over 10 million trips on buses, trains or subways in 2013 to hit the highest public transit ridership in nearly 60 years. According to a recent report by the American Public Transportation Association, those aren’t the only encouraging numbers. While car miles driven went up a minimal .3% overall nationwide, the miles per person actually dropped in 47 states. The numbers say people are generally driving less, especially on the way to work.

How can you get in on the action? Here are a few ways to cut your commute and put the brakes on extra fuel costs.

Walking: If you actually are lucky enough to live within 5 -10 minutes walking distance of your job, lace up your sneakers and hit the road. This method has the added bonus of a little exercise (and thus, stress relief) built right in. Just remember to check the weather and grab an umbrella as needed. Spring showers could dampen (pun totally intended) your quest to go Green.

Biking:  This is another active and emissions-free way to get to work. Here are a few tips to start your biking
to work journey.
Start with realistic goals: You don’t have to bike to work every day. Start with one or two days a week and work up from there. You could also plan on carpooling one way in the beginning.
Test Your Route: Before you take the biking plunge, set your course and test it out. Make sure that it is safe and time effective. You probably wouldn’t want to bike more than 45 minutes to an hour.
Always Be Safe: Make sure to grab your helmet on the way out! You may be able to skip the spandex, though. Just make sure to wear pedal-ready shoes and clothes that won’t get tangled in the wheels.

Carpools: Sometimes due to distance or weather, skipping a car commute is just not in the cards. Have no fear! Carpooling gives you a way to half the fuel you use by teaming up with a coworker or friend who works nearby. Other benefits of carpooling include:
You can use the HOV lane to skip most traffic.
You will decrease the wear and tear on your car.
You will split the cost of fuel and parking.

Public Transit: There are plenty of opportunities to join the record-setting public transit riders right here in NJ. Here are a few helpful links to help you chart your course. Bring a book and enjoy letting someone else take the wheel.

Glen Rock Transportation and Parking
Princeton Public Transportation Find everything you need to know for the entire area here.
Flexible Hours or Telecommuting: Maybe you can do your part by changing your schedule or not going to work at all (!).

To establish a Green flex schedule, start by seeing if your office is open to a workday that would allow you to skip major traffic jams. Or you could try compressing your schedule so that you only have to drive to work 4 of 5 days.

Telecommuting at least once a week would also drastically cut down on your time on the road. All you would need is your customary coffee, an internet connection and a comfy couch.

With Ciel Power, energy efficiency starts at home. Contact us today to schedule your energy audit.

2014 Woodbridge Earth Day Celebration

As the four time Sustainable Jersey Champion Award winners, the administration in Woodbridge is pioneering new and innovative ways to deliver environmental awareness and sustainable initiatives to their community.  Hosted by the Woodbridge Environmental Commission, this year's Woodbridge Earth Day Celebration was one of New Jersey's premier 2014 Earth Day Events.

A high-energy day of innovation, fun, and giving back, the Woodbridge Earth Day was a chance to learn from industry visionaries, product experts, and environmental leaders who can help you transform your home and business.  Ciel Power was on hand to discuss insulation, heating, cooling, and hot water equipment available through the New Jersey Home Performance with Energy Star Program.  Discounted Home Energy Audits were available through Greenable Woodbridge's Home Energy Assessment Program and giveaways included trees, seeds, and rain water collection systems.

As the administration in Woodbridge continues to blaze a path to the future, Ciel Power is proud to continue in its role as the Home Energy Audit provider of the Greenable Woodbridge Home Energy Assessment Program. 

Celebrating Earth Day 2014 in New Jersey!

The world is becoming more focused on sustainability.  Statewide, New Jersey's 2014 Earth Day celebrations reflect this resurgence with bigger events, higher turnouts, and innovative programs being developed by local Environmental Commissions and Green Groups.

2014 Madison Earth Day Celebration
2014 Madison, NJ Earth Day Celebration
The migration to a sustainable lifestyle has never been more important than it is today.  New Jersey's Home Performance with Energy Star program is helping New Jersey residents engage sustainability by providing financial incentives that help working families upgrade insulation, heating, cooling, and hot water systems in their homes.  Now every New Jersey family can discover greater comfort, lower energy bills, and a healthier environment by engaging the rebates and incentives offered by the New Jersey Home Performance with Energy Star program.

2014 Highland Park Earth Day Celebrataion
We've been at Earth Day events throughout New Jersey to promote this award winning home improvement program.  So far, we've attended events in Woodbridge, Highland Park, Glen Rock, Norwood, Madison and Paramus.  We've also partnered with several corporations in New Jersey to help companies provide their employees with the tools they need to participate in this program.

We're at the dawn of a more sustainable future in New Jersey ~ where home performance is a household name and inside every New Jersey home is a high efficiency heating system, an energy efficient air-conditioning system, and properly installed insulation and air-sealing measures.

2014 Woodbridge Earth Day Celebration, Woodbridge Community Center
Ciel Power delivers the products, services, and technologies to transform the comfort, efficiency, and durability of your home.  Now every New Jersey homeowner can leverage this unique energy efficiency program to upgrade their home and realize the benefits of lower energy consumption, lower environmental impact, and increased comfort.

Glen Rock's "Energy Smart Rock Homes" Kickoff

Adding to successful Home Energy Audit campaigns in Highland Park, Princeton, and Woodbridge, Ciel Power joined in the excitement as the Glen Rock Environmental Commission kicked off the Energy Smart Rock Homes campaign in Glen Rock, New Jersey!

The Campaign kicks off with Ciel Power offering home energy audits at a discounted price of $49 to residents of Glen Rock, New Jersey.   Homeowners who participate in the Energy Smart Rock Homes campaign can qualify for up to $5,000 in rebates and $10,000 in zero interest financing through the New Jersey Home Performance with Energy Star Program.

Residents participating in the Energy Smart Rock Homes program can utilize the rebates and incentives available through the Home Performance with Energy Star program to help offset the cost of installing insulation and upgrading heating, cooling, and hot water systems.  A portion of these incentives may also be applied towards the remediation of health and safety concerns such as asbestos, knob and tube wiring, and mold.

To schedule a Home Energy Audit, Glen Rock residents can visit  Homeowners residing outside of Glen Rock can schedule a Home Energy Audit at

8 Surprising Items You Can Recycle!

With Earth Day just around the corner and spring cleaning upon us, we thought focusing on recycling made a lot sense. Not only can recycling keep tons (literally) of reusable trash out of landfills, but it can also help NJ homeowners like you clear some clutter.

We’re always here to share the many benefits of going Green. From auditing your home systems to helping you repurpose your jeans (yes, really), we are your one-source solution to energy efficiency. You’re welcome.

1. Blue Jeans: Maybe you finally decided to try skinny jeans this year. Don’t toss out those bell bottoms. Companies like

Blue Jeans Go Green will take old (or outdated, whatever) jeans and turn them into insulation for charity housing projects like Habitat for Humanity. Turn your ill-fated fashion choice into a warmer home for those in need!

2. Christmas Lights: Yup. That tangled pile of Christmas lights that only half work can also be shipped to recycling programs like HolidayLEDs

. Your former source of frustration and clutter will be broken down and made into something new! As a bonus, you’ll get a 15% off coupon for anything on their site once your shipment of lights is confirmed.

3. Crayons: Give all those dull, broken crayons that you just can’t ever really sharpen (to a 5 year old’s satisfaction at least) a chance to add color to someone else’s life. The CRAYON RECYCLE PROGRAM is a great way to get the kids on board with going Green.

. Once this innovative program receives your tired old crayons, they will melt them down and upcycle them into new crayons for kids to enjoy.

4. Panty Hose: Guess what they can make out of panty hose. Go on, guess! If you said park benches, playground equipment and toys, you’re right! Give your run-filled tights new legs with the No Nonsense recycling program.

5. Makeup Containers: Before you throw out that lipstick tube, make sure that your brand of choice doesn’t take their containers back. Origins and Mac, to name a couple, will let you recycle their containers. Origins offers free skincare samples to recyclers, while Mac will throw in a free lipstick after receiving 6 containers back.

6. Coffee Bags: If you throw out Starbucks coffee bags, you are missing out on the cheapest date possible. Just return the bags to your local Starbucks to receive a tall coffee on the house. You can also save 10 cents per drink by using a refillable tumbler.

7. Water Filters: Good for you! You’re already skipping the waste of water bottles with a pitcher at home. Take your Green strategy one step farther by recycling your water filters, too.  Brita makes it easy to do just that.

8. Athletic Shoes: Even your most grass stained pair of shoes can be used for something new. The Nike Reuse-A-Shoe program will grind them up and turn them into Nike Grind (go figure). This springy material is perfect for sports surfaces like tennis court or running tracks.

Did any of these items surprise you? What crazy thing have you found that you can recycle?