Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Money and waste saving tip #4:

If you live anywhere near Portland, OR and have a painting project, try Metro Paint. It's recycled paint and it's a lot less expensive than it's new paint counterparts. Buying Metro Paint supports this important waste-saving program by closing the loop and creating a market for a recycled good.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

plastic bags?

In the last post, I mentioned it's not a good idea to put plastic bags in your recycling bins (unless your area allows it-in most cases, they ask for bags of bags) This newsletter has an article explaining why we don't want plastic bags to show up with other recyclables. Most grocery stores have an area to return plastic bags for recycling. Better yet, reduce your consumption of plastic bags by using reusable tote bags!

Where to put my recycling?

It's interesting (and frustrating) to me to hear people say, "I don't have anywhere to collect my recycling, so I just throw it all away." I've heard this more than I care to remember. First of all, you bought yourself a garbage can, didn't you? I would venture to guess that most people buy themselves garbage cans (we have six in our house!) and yet everyone seems to think that recycling receptacles should be provided. I don't really understand that dichotomy.

If you are throwing everything in your house in the garbage and claiming that it is more convenient, I would say this: The more you recycle, the less garbage you're making. The less garbage, the less often you have to take it out. If you want to take your garbage out half as often (or less) start recycling! And if you don't have a receptacle, well, go buy one! Or, better yet, reuse something for a receptacle. I'm sure you have an empty box or bag somewhere-use it for recycling. Just don't put plastic bags in with your recycling-opt instead to dump the materials in the bins. I'll post more on why later.

How do you deal with recycling in your home? Are you reusing something or did you buy a separate bin?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Money and waste saving tip #3

If you don't already take advantage of recycling in your area, give it a try! You'll probably be amazed by the amount of garbage space saved by recycling. Recycling is, in most cases, less costly than garbage service, so if you're able to decrease your garbage service as a result of recycling, you'll actually be saving money. In some cases, recycling is mandatory (as in the City of Vancouver) and in some places it's "free" (although the true cost of recycling is usually just rolled up into your garbage bill.) Check with your local solid waste officials and/or your hauler for the specifics in your area. Make sure you're recycling everything you can. You will most likely see a cost savings-especially if you aren't already recycling.


Money and waste saving tip #2

If you have a little left over room in your dishwasher and some recycling you need to set out (like, say a salsa or spaghetti sauce can or bottle) you can throw it in with your dishes. It will be clean and ready to be recycled.

Reusing pop tabs

Here's an example of a handbag made out of pop tabs. Awesome!

Saturday, March 14, 2009


Money and waste saving tip #1:

Use cereal liners to hold meat while tenderizing. They're usually stronger than plastic baggies or wrap and are probably something you'd be throwing out anyway.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Thrift store shopping

One of the best ways to reuse is to buy...well, used items. To this end, I like to do my fair share of thrift store shopping. Habitat For Humanity just recently opened their Vancouver store, so I went in yesterday. (Actually, I went in for a board meeting, but that's another story) Anyway, so something caught my eye... it looked at first like a tree skirt. Upon closer inspection, I realized it was a kimono on a stand. I was immediately taken with it, but had no idea how much they were asking, assuming it was out of my grasp. Turns out it was within my grasp. I debated last night and finally convinced myself to go back for it today. I LOVE it! I will take some pictures and share with everyone, as soon as I get it set up.

Have you had any fantastic thrift store finds? Share your stories in the comments section!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Green Drinks

Have you heard of Green Drinks yet? If not, I highly recommend it. Check out Green Drinks in your area. Here's the Vancouver, WA page. I help put together these events, so if you're in this area, come see us! If there's a topic you want to see, let me know. I might be able to oblige.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

why reuse?

When I first got started in waste reduction, I soon heard of this hierarchy of the three R’s. If you’re also in waste reduction, you probably already know what I mean by that. For those that aren’t, the three R’s are “Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.” The hierarchy pertains to the fact that it’s better to reduce your consumption (not make waste in the first place) than it is to reuse or recycle and it’s better to reuse something than to just recycle it. Shortly after I heard about the hierarchy, I heard the term, “Reduce, Reuse, then Recycle” encouraging people to do the “higher use”

Anyone who knows me has probably heard me say I don’t consider myself a very creative person. I don’t have much talent for creating something from nothing. However, I know other people are incredibly talented in this way and my talents lie in talking about other people’s work. To that end, I wanted to create a blog focused on creative reuse of objects that normally would have either been (hopefully) recycled or (unfortunately) landfilled. My hope is that readers of this blog will send in innovative (re)uses for items and I can share them with all. So, if you have a project you’re particularly proud of and would like to share, please email it to me. (Please include photos as we all like pretty pictures!)

Hello World!

Hello green world!

Welcome to my blog. I've been wanting a space to blog about green items in general (tips, events, etc.) and reuse of items in particular.

Some plans I have for posts on this site:
  • posting waste items and asking for creative reuses from readers
  • posting events that I will be attending or wish I was attending
  • posting green tips, tricks, etc.
  • posting articles that I think would be of interest to my readership (just as soon as I build it...)
If there's something specific you want to see here, let me know. My background is public education and my expertise currently is in waste reduction. If I don't know the answer, I may be able to track it down for you, so ask away!
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