Posts Tagged ‘reuse’

Three New Year’s Resolutions to Help the Planet

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Each year, many of us resolve to lose weight, exercise more and basically take better care of ourselves. This year, why not resolve to take better care of the planet with these tips for recycling and reuse.

 

1. Start a personal recycling program. Check with your local municipal government to find out if it offers free recycling. If not, inquire if your local waste management companies offer free or reduced price recycling. If push comes to shove, just about every community has a free recycling center where you can drop off recyclable bottles, cans and paper.

 

2. Reduce the amount of paper and plastic you consume. Start by making the switch from paper to electronic billing, payments and bank statements. Also register with directmail.com or dmachoice.com to remove your address from junk mail lists. You can also consider subscribing to the digital versions of your favorite magazines and newspapers. California has already banned plastic shopping bags, but you can enact your own personal ban on plastic by investing in a few durable, reusable (and washable) canvas shopping bags. Replace cases of bottled drinking water with a water filter for the faucet or filtered water pitcher and reusable water bottle or canteen.

 

3. Find more ways to reuse things around your house. For example, empty 2 liter soda bottles cut in half make great garden planters. Repurpose old jeans into oven mitts and last year’s sweaters into this year’s scarves, boot toppers and coffee cup cozies. Along with recycling and waste reduction, reuse decreases how much waste is sent to landfills. It also saves energy and conserves and incinerator natural resources, such as water, all while reducing pollution and limiting the greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global climate change.

How To Turn Last Year’s Holiday Cards Into This Year’s Decorations

Every year you send and receive holiday greeting cards, and every year, you add to the collection. If you’re one of those people who can’t bear to part a single card, check out these creative ways to display last year’s greetings while decorating for this year’s holiday season.

Use ribbon to create a waterfall of cards

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Use clothes pins to creatively display your cards in a wreath

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Playfully arrange your cards in the shape of a tree

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Or use the cards as ornaments on your tree
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Consider this:
The 2.65 billion Christmas cards sold each year in the U.S. could fill a football field 10 stories high. If we each sent one card less, we’d save 50,000 cubic yards of paper.

Celebrate Memorial Day With Patriotic Upcycling Projects

What’s more patriotic than preserving this beautiful country for future generations by reducing the amount of waste that goes into our landfills? Displaying that patriotism with these super cool flag-inspired projects.

Turn an old shutter into a patriotic display.

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This flag made from upcycled baseball bats is as American as apple pie and, well, baseball.

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Upcycled soda and beer bottle caps combine to make this beautiful “red, white and brew” wreath.

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Dyed or painted scraps of burlap — or old jeans or T-shirts — form the basis for this flag-inspired banner.

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No flag to fly? No problem. Paint  old soup cans red, white and blue and use them as planters in your garden or along your front walkway.

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A Glossary to Help You Go Green

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Are you ready to join the reuse revolution but still unsure about terminology? Do you know the difference between recycling and upcycling or reuse and refashioning? Never fear. Here is a quick glossary to help get you started on your earth-friendly journey.

Traditionally recycling means making or manufacturing new products from a product that has already served its purpose. For example, a recycled plastic soda bottle is chipped, melted and made into fiber, which then becomes sleeping bag stuffing.

Upcycling and reuse are interchangeable terms. It’s taking something old and worn like a used tire or plastic/glass bottles and refashioning it into something wonderfully useful like a garden planter or bird feeder. The goal of upcycling is to prevent wasting potentially useful materials and keeping as much waste as possible out of our landfills.
Other examples of upcycling projects include:
• Creating jewelry from computer chips and parts
• Creating a table or foot stool from a wine crate or dresser drawer
• Creating shelves from outdated license plates
• Creating tote bags from outgrown T-shirts
• Creating a clock from a vinyl record

Downcycling, on the other hand, involves converting waste materials into new materials that have reduced functionality and often a lower quality over time. Some examples of downcycling include:
• Creating product packing from cardboard such as PCW
• Creating rags from clothing

Precycling is a relatively new term, although most of us already practice some form of precycling. When you opt to take your own reusable bags to the grocery store instead of choosing paper or plastic, you’re precycling. It’s being proactive about limiting the amount of waste you add to our landfills.
Other ways you can precycle:
• Buy products with the least amount of packaging.
• Opt for paper over Styrofoam, which contains polystyrene –the most difficult material to break down in landfills.

Five Reuse Craft Ideas for Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is May 10. If you’re still looking for gift ideas, we’ve collected five awesomely easy reuse craft projects that are sure to put a smile on Mom’s face. Click on the photos below for step-by-step instructions.

flowers

 

 

Love Bug

 

 

candles

 

 

vase

 

 

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Take the Sting Out of Tax Season

shredded tax formAh spring. As Mother Nature knocks the chill out of the air,the sounds of the season – birds chirping, bees buzzing – begin to wake us from our winter hibernation. But then like a lawnmower on a Saturday morning, we’re jerked from our reverie by the shrill sounds of pencils tapping, hair pulling, calculator keys clicking and clacking and the inevitable whirr of the paper shredder. Ah tax season.

Check out these post-tax season projects that make use of all that shredded paper. Even if you don’t get a refund from Uncle Sam, your “green” conscious will be greatly rewarded.

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• Use shredded paper as mulch in the garden. Mulch protects the soil underneath your plants, helps retain moisture and prevents weeds from cropping up. Best of all, paper mulch is biodegradable.
• Use shredded paper to line your pet cages or litter boxes. Paper is the safest — and cheapest — liner for bird cages.DSC_0402
• Use shredded paper instead of store bought “grass” to line Easter baskets or decorative flower vases.

• Use shredded paper as gift box/bag stuffing or as packing material when shipping small items. That’s a gift for your friend AND the environment.

paper-shredded-paper mache

 

• Use shredded paper to make paper mâché. You’ll need flour, table salt and watery and this simple recipe.

Don’t Get Boxed In!

Lots_of_boxesTips For Transforming Old Shoe Boxes
If you’re a shoe hound like me, then you know the only bad thing about a new pair of shoes is the box that – the box that will inevitably end up on top of the pile of countless other boxes threatening to overtake your closet and then eventually a landfill. Never fear, up cycling is here! Check out these super easy tricks to turn your old shoe boxes into cool and creative containers.

 

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