The Psychology of Recycling

September 4, 2013

Crumpled Paper

photo by *_Abhi_* via

Would you think twice about dropping a torn piece of scrap paper into a trash can as opposed to recycling it? How about a full sheet of standard notebook paper? An entire newspaper?

Researchers from the University of Alberta have found that the more damaged something appears to be, the more likely people are to throw that thing away. Co-author of the study Jennifer Argo explained that “people are psychologically hard-wired to believe that products that are damaged or that aren’t whole—such as small or ripped paper or dented cans—are useless, and this leads users to trash them rather than recycle.”

Changing the Way We See Our Trash

Interestingly, the same ripped pieces of paper were recycled 80% of the time after participants were asked to use them to perform a creative writing task, the implication being that once the paper was given a purpose, it was then understood to have a value that warranted recycling.

The full results of the study are set to be published in December, and Argo hopes that her research will inform policy and even product design decisions. She believes that if packaging can be kept more intact once it has been opened, then people will be more likely to recycle it than if it had been torn to shreds.

CJ Environmental Makes Recycling Easy

At CJ Environmental, we want to help you make the most of your old and broken gold and silver jewelry, your electronic scrap, and your unwanted cell phones. Instead of either throwing it in the trash or letting it take up space in a closet or drawer, you can sell your precious metals and electronic scrap to us. We will take care of recycling everything in an environmentally friendly manner for you, and you will get cash in return. For more information on how to start selling your precious metals and electronic scrap for cash, request a quote today.

Related Blogs

  • Related Blogs on The Psychology of Recycling

Entrepreneurs Plan to Mine Asteroids for Precious Metals

May 16, 2012

Asteroid Mining for Precious MetalsAsteroids have always been intriguing to scientists, aerospace engineers, science fiction writers and futurists, but they’ve recently become increasingly more attractive to tech billionaires. Asteroids, known to contain tons of precious metals, have been the focal point of Planetary Resources, Inc. The venture, made up of a group of extremely wealthy and adventurous entrepreneurs, plans to send swarms of robots to outer space, where they will scout asteroids for precious metals, set up mines, and return to Earth with tons of precious metal resources.

In addition to bringing back valuable precious metals, the robots will add trillions of dollars to the GDP and pave the way for future human space exploration and settlement. While there are plenty of resources available on Earth, they are nothing compared to the amount of precious resources available elsewhere in the solar system. Nearly 9,000 asteroids exceeding 150 feet in diameter are in orbit near the Earth, and some contain as much platinum as is mined in nearly one year on Earth. Potentially, these asteroids could be worth several billion dollars each. For those willing to take the right kinds of risk, the pay-off could be immense.

Most investors have been turned off to the idea of space mining due to long-term scales and uncertain returns on asteroid mining. Although the promise of astronomical profits is enough to lure in investors, the risk is often more than enough to turn them away almost as quickly. Technically, the endeavor is feasible, but the necessary technology has yet to be developed. Planetary Resources Inc. would specifically target the platinum-group metals: platinum, palladium, osmium and iridium. These highly valuable commodities are used in medical devices, renewable energy products, catalytic converters, and down the line perhaps even automotive fuel cells.

Platinum alone is worth over $20,000 a pound, which is nearly the same price as gold. Mining only the top few feet of an asteroid containing precious metals could yield around 130 tons of platinum, worth about $6 billion on the market. Within the next two years, Planetary Resources, Inc. hopes to launch telescopes that will identify potentially valuable asteroids. Five years down the line, the business venture hopes to send out a small swarm of spacecraft for a more detailed prospective mission. The company is tight-lipped about how they actually plan to use robots to mine, and this is the most difficult phase.

Related Blogs

  • Related Blogs on Entrepreneurs Plan to Mine Asteroids for Precious Metals

Prepare For The Holidays & Sell Your Silver Jewelry

October 31, 2011

Although it’s not yet Thanksgiving, it’s never too early to think about Christmas. Christmas is only a couple short months away and although Christmas is supposed to be a time of celebration and time with one’s family, many Americans may find themselves shaking in their boots at the very mention of the word. They have their reasons. Many worry about their finances year round, but one’s bank account never takes a hit quite as much as it does during the holiday seasons. Maybe Tim Allen in the movie “Christmas with the Kranks” had the right idea when they made plans to travel to a tropical island and avoid the holiday altogether.

If you’re one of the many Americans who find it difficult to budget your money during the holiday season, you may want to consider selling silver jewelry for some extra cash. There are many companies all vying for you to sell silver jewelry to them, but which is the best to choose? In a world wide web where it may seem like scams are right around every corner, it makes sense to sell silver jewelry to a company that prides themselves on being honest, straightforward, and professional. With a thirty-five year history and a strong reputation in the precious metal community, this company won’t leave you empty-handed.  And, you won’t have to worry about how to sell silver, because the steps are clearly laid out in easy-to-read section of the website.

Buy your husband the cologne he’s always wanted, and don’t be afraid to spend a fortune on the newest toy trend for your kids. Be the woman who buys everyone exactly what they wanted, and even have a little extra to spend on yourself. After all, doesn’t a smart and business savvy woman like yourself deserve to buy that handbag you’ve had your eye on since October? Of course you do! Make sure everyone is happy, and sell silver jewelry to a company with the highest return rate. Once your shopping is done, don’t forget that it’s never too early to start thinking about the cruise you want to take during the Summer.

The Time is Right for Selling Silver for Cash

October 24, 2011

So you’ve seen the web sites and the advertisements offering cash for silver and you are wondering if it is a scam. Yes, there are some cash-for-silver scams out there, but there are a few steps you can take to protect yourself so you don’t get ripped off.

The first thing to do is not be greedy. When you are greedy — trying to get a lot of something (cash) for nothing — then you are an easy mark for the scammers and flim-flam artists out there. If you have some silver and you need some cash, now is a good time to sell silver. Both silver and gold are at historically high prices. But you want to be smart about it, not greedy. If you are smart, you will take your time and only do business with someone who has been in business for a few years. If you are greedy, you will do business with anyone who promises the most cash. Don’t be greedy, because the con artists can and will make big empty promises. It’s not about promises. It’s about sound business practices.

If you have some silver jewelry or tableware, another way to protect yourself from scams is to understand what you have. Are your items pure silver? Or just silver plated? Or is it possible that your item just looks like silver and may not have any silver content at all?

The easiest test to start with is to see if a magnet sticks to the item. If it does, then you know that your item is not pure silver. Both gold and silver are non-ferrous metals. Only ferrous metals (metals which contain iron) are attracted to magnets. If your item sticks to a magnet, it may be silver plated, but it is not pure silver.

If a magnet does not stick to your item, you will then want to look for a sterling silver mark. If the item is made of sterling silver, it will almost certainly have a mark indicating that it is sterling. Marks can be found in an inconspicuous location on the item and can vary. Look for “sterling” or “ster” or “925” which refers to the silver content of sterling silver, which is 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper. If the item does not have a mark, then it is very unlikely to be sterling. It is possible for marks to be counterfeited, but it is relatively rare. If you got the item from a legitimate source, then you can rely on the mark to tell you that it is sterling silver.

Related Blogs

  • Related Blogs on The Time is Right for Selling Silver for Cash

Know What You Are Selling Before You Sell Your Silver Jewelry

October 24, 2011

You’ve seen the ads and the web sites and you’ve decided that it’s time to take advantage of historically high silver prices and get some cash for your silver jewelry. Selling your silver jewelry is easy to do online, but getting the best price for your jewelry may be another matter. The first step to getting the most cash for your silver jewelry is to understand how much silver you really have. You may think those silver earrings are 100% silver, but they may not be. They could be silver plated and actually have very little silver content, in which case you would be very disappointed with the amount of money that is offered. However, if you have silver jewelry that you know is plated, you may be surprised at the amount of money that even silver plate is worth, given the high price of silver these days.


To determine how much silver is in a given piece of jewelry, the first thing to do is look for a sterling mark such as “sterling” or “ster” or “925.” If the jewelry has a sterling mark, then you can reasonably believe that the item is 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% copper. If there is no sterling mark, then it is likely that the item is plated with silver, or may not contain any silver at all. Another simple test is to see if the item sticks to a magnet. Silver is a non-ferrous metal, meaning that it contains no iron, and therefore will not stick to a magnet.


The online silver buyer will probably do an acid test to determine the silver content of your jewelry. The is done by placing a drop of nitric acid on the jewelry and depending on what color the acid turns determines the silver content, if any. To determine if the item is silver plate, it is cut or scored with a small file to expose the material within the piece and a drop of acid is applied. If indeed it is silver plate, the acid will react differently with the underlying metal than it does with the the silver plating on the surface. Even though anyone can buy silver and gold test kits, it is not recommended that this testing be done at home as the acids are very strong and need to be handled very carefully to avoid burns.


Knowing the quality of your jewelry before you send it off to a silver buyer will give you reasonable expectations about how much cash you can get for it. Keep in mind that online silver buyers are only interested in the scrap silver content. They are not interested in the craftsmanship or rarity of the jewelry as jewelry. So don’t send anything that may have value greater than the silver content of the item.

Related Blogs

  • Related Blogs on Know What You Are Selling Before You Sell Your Silver Jewelry

Investors’ Inflation Fears Benefits Consumers With Silver

October 24, 2011


With global economic uncertainty at all-time highs, silver buyers are in the market seeking a safe haven for their investment dollars. As a result, the price of silver is at a historically high level, which means that now is a good time to turn silver into cash. There are several web sites that buy silver, but those who prefer the convenience of selling their silver online need to be careful in who they decide to use. Legitimate online silver buyers do a lot more that just throw up a website that says, “we buy silver.”


People who are selling silver online need to understand the process so that they get the best value for their valuable silver items. The best websites make sure that it costs you absolutely nothing to get cash for your silver. Sites such as will send a silver seller a prepaid and insured package into which the seller can place their silver and send it to the company to be appraised. The company will then send the seller a check based on that day’s spot market price for silver. The seller then has the option to accept the price and cash the check, or decline the check and have their silver returned to them at no cost. Given the high price of silver these days, most sellers are pleasantly surprised at the amount of money they are offered for their silver.


Investors who are buying silver are generally doing so as a hedge against inflation. For consumers, inflation means rising prices, and with high unemployment and employment insecurity, consumers are getting pinched. So on one side are investors who want the safety of silver as an investment vehicle that holds value, and on the other side are consumers who need cash and may have a variety of silver items around the house that are unused and unwanted. This is where online silver buyers step in to make the deal that satisfies everyone. Investors convert their cash holdings into silver, and consumers convert their unwanted silver into cash. And cash in the hands of consumers who spend it will stimulate the economy and improve economic conditions in the process.


It’s the miracle of the free market in action — people acting in their own self interest end up increasing the general welfare of all. The first step is to search the house for that old jewelry, flatware and tableware that is made with silver, then get the prepaid and insured package to send it to a carefully selected online silver buyer. It’s a quick and easy process that can take less then 10 days to convert silver into cash.

Related Blogs

  • Related Blogs on Investors’ Inflation Fears Benefits Consumers With Silver

Recovering Silver: How to Refine Silver

March 18, 2011

Because the scrap silver market is always on the rise, many individuals may wish to find scrap silver from various substances and sell them for profit. While the notion of extracting silver from different sources may sound like a fool’s wish, this is entirely possible and in fact, many people do extract silver from various resources all the time. There are certain items that will not contain a lot of silver for you to extract; thus, making it not worth your while. Fortunately, there are certain items that contain an abundance of silver in addition to items that are made with silver. While you shouldn’t expect to hit the jackpot and make thousands of dollars at once, you might make some spending money while having fun with a new hobby.

According to Professor Haruo Ishikawa, approximately one-fifth of the silver used each year ends up in X-ray film. After the X-ray film is developed and fixed, it will hold roughly two percent by weight of silver in its emulsion layers that are made of gelatin. While it is possible to remove silver from X-ray film, it is somewhat challenging.

For those who are interested in removing the silver from X-ray film, one would need to buy an electrolysis machine (these can be found on any science supply website). Fill the machine with a caustic solution and power on the machine. Take your X-ray film and burn it, saving the ashes. Place the ashes inside the tank of the electrolysis machine and allow the silver to be extracted by the chemical reactions that are being conducted by the machine. As progress is made, you will begin to notice silver flakes being created on the charger plates. This process can take anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours so patience is key. Once the process is complete, power off the machine and collect your silver.

The most obvious source of silver will come from silver scrap. This can exist in the form of an old silver necklace you have lying around or an old computer part from your outdated laptop. To extract silver from a silver-plated item, mix a solution of ¾ sulfuric acid and ¼ nitric acid inside a metal pot, heating it up to 176 degrees Fahrenheit. Attach a copper wire to the object you wish to extract silver from and dip it into the solution for a few seconds. Rinse off the object and rub in sawdust to dry the object. Then you must turn off the heat source connected to the acidic solution and allow the solution to cool. Pour distilled water into the acidic solution three times, ensuring there is as much water in the solution as acid. Pour the liquid through a Buchner funnel into a vacuum filtration flash. Save the filtered substance and heat the remnants on a hot plate until crystals begin forming. Dispose of the leftover water, repeating the process in order to purify the silver even further.

These are just a few examples of how to extract silver from different substances found in everyday life. Of course, there are other sources you can recover silver from, such as movie camera film and alloy 42 parts. However, keep in mind that recovering silver can be dangerous because you are required to work with chemicals. Therefore, if you are not confident in attempting to remove silver from different sources, seek out a professional who specializes in removing silver from different objects. Naturally, this will cost money and may in fact cost more to pay a professional to extract silver than the worth of the actual silver you will be extracting. The simplest solution is to use a large operation like