Friday, January 22, 2016

#Green2016 Challenge!

Take 1 of 5 pledges and reduce your waste. Do something sweet for the planet for Valentine's Day.

If you are on Facebook and don't follow The Reuser; Go. Do it. This is primarily where I post stuff these days, but I realized I should probably let you know about the #Green2016 Challenge. I'll post all the pledges here as well, but the basic premise is: you pick 1 of 5 pledges, post it to your favorite social media site (social media is how we communicate our norms to people these days so posting about waste reduction behaviors can be really powerful and can inspire others!) and then spend the first 2 weeks of February doing your best to stick to your commitment. We don't expect perfection (The Reuser has tried and failed many times before she tries and succeeds!) but we do expect you to do your best! 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

PurJuly 2015 Day 1

So, day 1 and I'm already cheating. (I actually did this purge Sunday excuse for breaking my own rules is that July is shaping up to be CRAZY busy for me...and I make the rules, so I can break them!)

Cabinet: Before
Anyway, if you're following along on the FB event, you'll know that this is the "After" of the banner photo. This was the cabinet that had gotten so outta hand, that it was opening itself back up after I closed it. Soooo many glass jars, lids, etc, etc....

All the contents laid out

The canning supplies went back with
their brethren in the garage, the jars
 and tins will be given away or recycled/trashed
 and the mixing bowls will go to
my nephew who is moving out on his own. 

And here's how the cabinet looks now:
I actually think I could purge a bit more,
but, for now, I'll take this as a victory.

 Bonus tip: Did you know some peanut butter and mayo lids fit canning jars? You can see this in the foreground of the last photo. What items do you reuse in your home?

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

PurJuly 2015

Train of thought: My arms are flabby...must look into one of those 30 day arm challenges...those are sorta fun...*Google Image arm challenge*....Suns Out, Guns Out, that looks like just what I need...What's this? Conquer the Clutter? I've been wanting to do that, too....40 bags in 40 days, huh?...well, I don't really follow Lent, obviously....but, I could revive the PurJuly Challenge. I've been thinking about doing it anyway....*Posts on FB asking if anyone is interested*....whoa! There's a ton of interest....*Thinks about it for the next 24 hours solid*

So, that's how PurJuly was revived! I tried the PurJuly Challenge awhile ago, (Whoa...just figured out it was 4 years ago...) but didn't really stick with it. What I did do was pretty awesome, though. So, without further ado, here is the PurJuly Challenge for 2015:

1. For every day of July, you must *make an effort* to spend 30 minutes tidying, sorting, organizing, etc *1* spot in your house. If you'd like, fill out your name in the PurJuly area planning doc and start filling in your 31 spots.
2. That's about it for rules. I know that guilt is a poor motivator and since that's not really how I roll, I want this to work for you. Think about a goal that you've set for yourself in the past. What "rules" did you put on yourself to get there? Use those. We're all different and have different motivators. For some, it's competition (that's so NOT me...) Whatever works for you-use it!
3. If you want to take pictures and send them through to me, that would be awesome. You could also be awesome and fill out data on your purged items using this tracking form. Or not. Whatever works.

If you are going to be posting pictures for the PurJuly Challenge, please tag them with #PurJuly so we can create a tagboard later on. The pics on this post are some of the terrible areas that I'm posting so that I will be forced to see this through.... Scary!

If you need a little motivation, I'll be posting various blogs and resources throughout the challenge, but for now, check out this one that one of my good friends and colleagues, Erin, posted when I was asking on FB if anyone was interested in this.

Scary? Hell, yes. Needed? Again, hell, yes. Do I think I'll actually stick with this and post every day in July? Probably not. Do I care? Not really. It's the thought (and effort-however imperfect) that count. Come be imperfect with me? (and perhaps a tiny bit tidier/less stressed/calmer?)

Monday, April 20, 2015

Wow. I'm truly touched!

I recently gave my presentation entitled "Recycling doesn't matter....and what to do about it" to a class at Clark College. My friend/colleague Erin has had me present to her class a few times now. After my presentation, she asked her students: "What was your favorite part of Terra's talk? Which idea or suggestion did you like of hers the best or are you most likely/excited to implement in your own life?"

Here are a few of the answers:

I'm so happy that I could be inspiration for positive behavior changes. These words are precious to me. Thank you, Erin! Thank you to the students in her class for the participation and willingness to listen to this crazy gal who is super passionate about lightening the load we're putting on this planet in a nonjudgemental and encouraging way!

If you have a group that you think could benefit from this presentation, please email me. I love this work!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Making Spirits Bright

Worried about finishing off that holiday shopping list?
Want to help someone in need this holiday season? 
Spend some time with the family and make a wreath?

The good news is you can do all of this in one day!

There are 3 events that you absolutely must mark on your calendar. The best news is that they're all in the same location and at the same time! 

Next Saturday, December 13th, 2014

First, you'll want to bring your holiday shopping list to the 5th Annual Check 'Em Off, Green Holiday Gift Event. With over 60 vendors, you will be able to check everyone off your list in a "green" way here. 

Secondly, if you want to have a part in helping Northwest Battle Buddies get a service dog for a veteran in our local community, you can bring bags of unwanted clothing/textiles to Check 'Em off, Green. (Each bag is worth about $2 to the organization and will get you a raffle ticket!)

For even more holiday cheer, stop by the Christmas at the Fort Festivities. 

What a great way to spend the day! 

Monday, April 28, 2014

Four-minute, no-sew modesty skirt

Spandex may be a privilege but everyone has the right to be comfortable.

So, some of you know that I quit my "day job" back in November and have started my own business promoting sustainable consumption. Some of you also know that I've been working a part time job to help make ends meet in the mean time. That position consists of organizing and running clothing collection events. What's appropriate attire for this position? I should probably wear jeans, but then I have to unload the clothing (sometimes 10,000+ lbs!) later that day. My compromise has been to wear spandex/yoga pants but then also wear one of my 2 Sweet Spot Skirts over the top. It makes me more comfortable (and probably everyone else at the event) while still giving me enough flexibility for the unloading workout that is entailed at the end of the event.

Fast forward to last Friday when I hadn't done my laundry in awhile. What to do? I had a somewhat brilliant (if I do say so myself...) idea. I cut the bottom of a too-big t-shirt off, flipped it upside down and added some elastic. Voila!

While it's true this wasn't nearly as cute or well made as a Sweet Spot Skirt, it served the purpose well and was super quick/easy. I might even make a few more.

It's easy to reuse the original hem by
slicing a small hole and threading
the elastic through there. The new "bottom"
 of the skirt will roll and doesn't need hemming.
After I wore it for the event, I went ahead and replaced the safety pin that was holding the elastic with actual sewing (this could be done by hand, but of course my sewing machine was much faster.)

Here's the original T.
I simply cut it off under the armpits,
flipped it over, and threaded some elastic
 through the original hem.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Reusable bag tips

I was chatting with some of my favorite people from Glass Dharma this morning and realized that I've never really done a post about how I taught myself the habit of taking reusable bags into the store with me. Maybe these will be helpful to you, too!

Monday, January 20, 2014

An epidemic of disposables on Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Why does it have to be a plastic water bottle?  

I'm a geek. I've talked about it many times on this blog before. I love me some scifi. I've watched just about every major science fiction show you could name. Moreover, I really love me some Joss Whedon. I'm a Joss fangirl, I guess you could say. Heck, 3 of my dogs have been named after Firefly characters. He's done no wrong, for me. Until now. 

Now, I know it's probably not fair to pick on Joss for the epidemic of plastic water bottle portrayal on ABC's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Man, that's a bitch to type....) However, it really is an epidemic. Check it out: 

Thirsty after a long workout with your ridiculously handsome "SO"? (that's supervising officer, not significant other) I get that you need a little drink of water, but perhaps next time you can take a cue from another super hero show and use a reusable water bottle? 

Perhaps the most interesting thing, though? When the show wants to show a serious "moment" and get out the good stuff, do they serve it in disposable cups? Of course not. 18 year old booze deserves (and gets) something a little more classy: 

Hey, SHIELD writers, props people, director (I'm talking to you, Joss!) I can get you some reusable water bottles for your show and they're even made here in the United States. Really. Just please stop portraying plastic water bottles as perfectly acceptable and normal, because they really do some damage. Sincerely, -The Reuser

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Artist/Vendor Profile: Reca Brodie


Reca Brodie

Company name:

Portland, OR



Other social media: - RecaCreations

I have some pieces for sale at:
The Dancing Elephant Gallery in Baker City, OR
Belle Fleur Flower and Garden Boutique in Oak Grove, OR

Your products/projects:

There have been so many pieces I've made over the years that I have fallen in love with and swore that I would just keep for myself. I'd look at it for quite some time and finally come to the conclusion that, Oh, it's just too cute not to sell it. I just had that dilemma a few weeks ago with a piece that I just loved. I felt I could not part with it...then decided, Oh, someone is just going to fall in love with this one as much as I do...I just have to sell it. It's called Exquisite'll have to check it out on under RecaCreations.

My recycled yard art is made from used plates, platters, saucers, cups, mugs, bowls, vases, pitchers, figurines, knickknacks, etc. These items can have chips, cracks, blemishes, inconsistencies, flaws, etc. These items are made from glass, ceramic, porcelain, china, pottery, etc. Each piece is named, unique and one of a kind. These pieces cannot be reproduced. These pieces are made to be put outside and used as birdbaths, birdfeeders, plant stands or just art for your yard. Some clients have purchased them to put in their kitchen and place goodies upon them.

Me....I'm running and laughing in broken heels!

Green "Cred"
Creative reuse, Recycled content product, Refashioned, Reused materials
Why is "green" important to you?

For a very long time, I have believed in taking care of this great Earth of ours. When I was younger, I used to go to the dump with my best friend and her father. He was a handyman/gardener and would take tree limbs/yard debris to the dump. I was so sickened by what I saw there, and I have viewed the Earth differently after those trips to the dump.

I have tried to minimize my footprint at the waste facilities, as they're called now, and I still feel that I never do enough. We have become a throw-away society! We don't fix things anymore, we just get new ones. We have to have the newest, latest, greatest item out there before the other one has lived out its life expectancy.

I am happy that more and more people are recycling, and that more items can be recycled.

I would like to see this World of ours stay green and healthy for the rest of my life and for future generations to come....but, we have a long way to go to make sure that each and every one of us are responsible in accomplishing this goal.
Your origin story?
I have been crafting all my life, and mainly just for fun as a hobby. Over the years many friends and family have enjoyed my creations. Ten years ago I decided to see how well the general public would accept my creations as well, and to date they still seem to enjoy and embrace which I am greatly appreciative. I have always been a huge recycler and I'm glad to say that my art reflects that view.
Your inspiration?
Nature inspires never ceases to amaze me. Just when you think you've seen it all, around the next bend is something even more spectacular! When people look at my art they always comment on how the items I have chosen to put together really don't match, but they do go together. I take examples from doesn't matter if things match, but they do go together very well!
Your heroes? 

I don't have a particular hero but, my heroes are the ones who overcome adversity when all odds are against them.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Artist/Vendor Profile: Vance Family Soy Candles

Amy Vance

Company name:
Vance Family Soy Candles

Vancouver, WA



Other social media:

Your products/projects:

I make sustainable soy candles utilizing as many local materials as possible. NO SYNTHETIC FRAGRANCE. NO PETROLEUM PRODUCTS. Just pure, NON-GMO plant oils go into my candles that are hand poured into American made (and some handblown local) containers and labeled with handcrafted labels made of recycled, unbleached paper.

My favorite item is my American Scent Trip line of candles. I am creating a candle for every state (based upon my personal journeys) that takes the buyer on a journey through the state with their nose.I am very proud of my Keep Portland Weird candle made in collaboration with Music Millennium of Portland, OR. The candles were created to support buying local and small business and proceeds from the sales go to Oregon Music Hall of Fame which promotes music education in Oregon schools.I learn everyday and am continually humbled and thankful for all of the support and encouragement received by my family, buyers, friends, and fans.  

Green "Cred"

Creative reuse, Handmade, Durable, Made in the USA, Non-gmo ingredients, Recycled content product, Recycled content packaging, Reusable, Reusable packaging, Reused materials, Locally sourced materials, No Synthetic Fragrance or Petroleum 

Why is "green" important to you?

It is a given. Obviously, using synthetic fragrance would never even be an option. And when it comes to the rest of my manufacturing and business practices, it just comes natural to want to be as sustainable and thoughtful as possible. I run an almost zero waste business. This is not only earth friendly, but saves money! We re-use what other businesses might classify as trash (clean trash!) to pack our orders and create one-of-a-kind shredding for our gift boxes. We recycle and compost.

Your origin story?

I'm highly allergic to synthetic fragrance (found in virtually all candles as well as cleaning products, lotions, perfumes, the list goes on!) and couldn't burn candles without having an asthma attack. Being an avid cook and gardener, I knew real scents didn't bother me, so why the allergic reaction to candles? After researching, I learned of all of the detrimental and harmful ingredients put into most candles. I knew I could create an all natural, 100% plant based, candle and set out to make it a reality. My main goal was to create a natural cinnamon apple candle. Cinnamon essential oil was easy to find, but the apple... It was harder than I thought! It took a couple years to find an organic, oil soluble extract of apple that would translate into an amazing candle. But I found it! While I was at it, I knew I wanted all of my ingredients (including the soy) to be GMO-free, made in America, and recycled when possible. Thus, my line of Vance Family Soy Candles was born. The journey and response has been amazing and it is a wonderful feeling being able to provide for my family, create jobs, support local artists, give back to the community and create a product that is making the world a healthier place to live!

Your inspiration?

Scent memories and travel inspire me! Most of my candles are created due to personal journeys I have experienced.My brain is continually pumping out new ideas for styles and scents. I have to remind myself to turn it off & be patient most of the time because in order to make a profit I can't be running in a hundred different directions!


Your heroes?

I am inspired by, and appreciate, anyone who is willing to do what is right despite their situation. I am forever grateful to all those who have fought for freedom and human rights.

Favorite celebrities?

Oprah Winfrey because she is one of those brave people as described above.

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