green living en-US 17 Cheap and Awesome Reusable Replacements for Disposable Products <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/17-cheap-and-awesome-reusable-replacements-for-disposable-products" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="groceries" title="groceries" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The average person generates <a href="">4.3 pounds of waste</a> every day, and well over half of this waste (about 220 million tons) ends up in a landfill. Not only is this rate of trash production terrible for the planet, it wastes lots of your hard-earned money. While that single-use item or throw-away packaging feels convenient, disposable items are the same as throwing money in the trash. Save money, and be kind to the planet, by switching to one of these cost-effective reusable replacements instead. (See also: <a href="">21 Disposable Products You Can Reuse</a>)</p> <h2>1. Rechargeable Batteries</h2> <p>While rechargeable <a href="">batteries</a> cost more initially, they can be reused hundreds of times and last for years, if used properly. At the end of their life cycle, rechargeable batteries can be recycled to keep toxic chemicals out of the landfill.</p> <h2>2. Water Bottles</h2> <p>Bottled water has to be the biggest scam ever. Despite what the industry says, <a href="">bottled water</a> isn't any cleaner or healthier than tap water. The production of one plastic bottle uses more water to produce than actually put into the bottle for drinking! Skip the scam and carry tap water in <a href="">a non-BPA water bottle</a> instead. (See also: <a href="">The Best Eco-Friendly Water Bottles</a>)</p> <h2>3. Diva Cup</h2> <p>Disposable pads and tampons aren't the only option. Ladies, if you'd like to save money and be kind to the planet during your time of the month, consider a reusable option like <a href="">menstrual cups or washable pads</a>.</p> <h2>4. Glass Food Storage Containers</h2> <p>Plastic wrap, aluminum foil, and cheap plastic containers are all money in the trash. If you've got leftovers, or want to bring your lunch to work, store food in reusable glass containers instead (glass is better than plastic because it won't leach toxins into your food or retain food residue).</p> <h2>5. Cloth Shopping Bags</h2> <p>Those plastic bags they give you at the store aren't free. You pay for them in the form of increased food prices. They also take hundreds of years to break down in the landfill, often becoming microscopic plastic waste in the ocean. Buy or make your own cloth shopping bags, and you could receive a nice credit at the register. (See also: <a href="">20 New Things You Can Make With Old Denim Jeans</a>)</p> <h2>6. DIY Swiffer Pads</h2> <p>If (like me) you've only got a small uncarpeted area, a full size mop and bucket are unnecessary. With a Swiffer you can give your kitchen and bathroom a quick once over without all the fuss. Instead of constantly buying disposable pads, make your own <a href="!/">Swiffer pad</a> or buy a <a href=";search_query=swiffer">washable one</a> on Etsy.</p> <h2>7. Safety Razor</h2> <p>Most of us shave at least one body part, and disposable razor heads are astronomically expensive. There are lots of <a href="">greener alternatives to disposable razors</a>, however, including some that can be sharpened repeatedly. (See also: <a href="">Save Money On Shaving With These Razor Tricks</a>)</p> <h2>8. Cloth Napkins and Cleaning Wipes</h2> <p>Paper napkins, paper towels, tissues, and disposable cleaning wipes are convenient, but incredibly wasteful. Using washable cloth napkins and handkerchiefs, and turning <a href="">old t-shirts</a> into reusable cleaning cloths, will save heaps of money and drastically reduce your garbage production.</p> <h2>9. Permanent Coffee Filter</h2> <p>Still using bleached paper coffee filters to brew your morning java? Save lots of money with a permanent, reusable coffee filter instead. When dirty, simply run it through the dishwasher.</p> <h2>10. Diapers and Baby Wipes</h2> <p>Unlike disposable diapers, which cost a fortune, cloth diapers are softer, less-toxic, and result in zero landfill waste. Same thing goes for baby wipes. Consider using <a href="">cloth diapers</a> and making your own reusable <a href="">cloth baby wipes kit</a>.</p> <h2>11. Dryer Balls</h2> <p>Fabric softener and dryer sheets are an expensive way to get the soft, clean-smelling clothes that you want. Save time, money, and energy with these <a href="">DIY wool dryer balls</a> instead (tennis balls also work in a pinch, but they're loud).</p> <h2>12. Reusable Straws</h2> <p>Unless you're a baby (or have a physical condition that makes drinking difficult) I'm not really sure why you need a straw. Nevertheless, using a washable <a href="">glass</a> or <a href="">metal straw</a> instead of the plastic ones drastically reduces waste.</p> <h2>13. Permanent Air Filter</h2> <p>To keep your home and car running efficiently, you need a clean air filter. Many people simply replace these disposable filters every few months, not realizing there are permanent alternatives.</p> <h2>14. Wrapping Paper</h2> <p>Paper wrappings and gift bags look good, but are often only used for minutes before being tossed in the trash. Save money and reduce paper waste with <a href="">eco-friendly alternatives</a> like cloth gift bags and upcycled wrappings.</p> <h2>15. Paper Plates and Plastic Utensils</h2> <p>Whether you're planning a picnic (or simply packing a lunch) strive to use traditional metal cutlery that can be washed repeatedly. Really need a disposable option? Try compostable alternatives made from corn or bamboo.</p> <h2>16. Toothbrush</h2> <p>Toothbrush bristles wear out quickly, so to maintain a healthy smile, they've got to be replaced. This doesn't mean the entire toothbrush needs to end up in the trash, however. You can reduce 93% of toothbrush waste by using toothbrush handles with <a href="">replaceable heads</a>.</p> <h2>17. Vacuum Bags</h2> <p>Vacuums that require disposable bags are, well, vintage to say the least. Upgrade to a vacuum that features an easy-to-empty canister and washable air filter, and never waste money on vacuum bags again. (See also: <a href="">The 5 Best Robotic Vacuums</a>)</p> <p><em>Anything I've missed? Use the reusable comments box below to share your favorite reusables!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="17 Cheap and Awesome Reusable Replacements for Disposable Products" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Beth Buczynski</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Green Living Home green living recycle reuse Tue, 13 May 2014 08:24:22 +0000 Beth Buczynski 1138731 at How to Celebrate Earth Day <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-celebrate-earth-day" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="Clouds and Sky" title="Clouds and sky" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Earth Day is a day when businesses and individuals show their commitment to preserving the environment and promoting sustainability around the globe. The idea for the occasion came to U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson after observing the devastation following the Santa Barbara Oil Spill in 1969 (it was the largest oil spill in the U.S. at that time, and is the third-largest after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon and 1989 Exxon Valdez spills). Senator Nelson was inspired by anti-Vietnam War protests to create another movement, this one focused on engaging the public in caring about the preservation of air and water quality. Nelson recruited Harvard graduate student Denis Hayes as national coordinator of the Earth Day campaign.</p> <p>The first Earth Day was held on April 22, 1970, and it was marked by some 20 million Americans demonstrating in enormous rallies from coast to coast. The occasion was unique in its support from both Democrats and Republicans, rich and poor, union workers and corporate leaders alike. The first day is credited with paving the way for the creation of the <a href="">U.S. Environmental Protection Agency</a> in December 1970 and the passage of the <a href="">Clean Air</a>, <a href="">Clean Water</a>, and <a href="">Endangered Species Acts.</a></p> <p>Following the celebration of the first Earth Day, Denis Hayes founded the <a href="">Earth Day Network</a> to promote environmental education, further environmental policies, organize national and local Earth Day events, and promote activism and environmental protection. In honor of the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, the Earth Day Network created multiple worldwide initiatives that succeeded in rallying the support of 1.5 billion people in 170 countries. Learn more about the initiatives for Earth&nbsp;Day 2011 on the official <a href="">Earth&nbsp;Day website</a>.&nbsp;</p> <h2>How to Celebrate Earth Day</h2> <p>Perhaps you are a committed environmentalist who wastes nothing. Perhaps you have never cared, or thought, about your impact on the environment before. Or perhaps, like me, you are somewhere in between. Whatever the case, you can do something to show your commitment to preserving the environment and learning more about sustainability. (See also: <a href="">Save the Planet: Work at Home</a>)</p> <h3>Give Money</h3> <p><a href="">Donate</a> to the Earth Day Network or other causes related to sustainability and the environment. One cause close to my own heart is <a href="">EARTH University</a> in Costa Rica, which promotes sustainability in the tropics (I studied in Costa Rica during my undergraduate days and worked on a marketing project for EARTH). Find something close to your own heart related to the environment or sustainability, and help that organization achieve its goals with a show of support.</p> <h3>Commit to Protect the Environment</h3> <p>Whether you do it publicly by pledging it through the Earth Day Network&rsquo;s <a href="">A Billion Acts of Green</a>&reg; or by simply adding a &ldquo;take the recycling out&rdquo; line to your family&rsquo;s chore chart, every bit helps. Try making a small pledge to act this Earth Day, and follow through.</p> <h3>Take Action in Your Community</h3> <p>Check out your community events calendar for Earth Day activities, or take a look at this <a href="">map of Earth&nbsp;Day events</a> to find ones in your area.</p> <h3>Think Politics</h3> <p>The first Earth Day led to the passage of several critical pieces of environmental legislation. Continue that trend by researching environmentally friendly legislation that you believe in and writing your congressman or congresswoman this Earth Day. If you agree with the proposed <a href="">HOME STAR</a> green energy jobs bill currently in the Senate, <a href="">sign the online petition</a> urging the passage of that bill.</p> <h3>Take Action in Your Own Home</h3> <p>In addition to making a pledge to act, try adjusting your lifestyle in small ways to conserve energy, reuse, and recycle. Fortunately for you, Wise Bread reader (and frugal genius extraordinaire), using less of anything also often translates into saving money. Try these tips for <a href="">using less heat</a> or these for <a href="">reusing common household items</a> we often throw away.</p> <h2>Learn More About Green Living and Sustainability</h2> <p>Intrigued by the concept of sustainability? The following websites are great resources for learning more about it:</p> <ul> <li>Environmental Protection Agency&rsquo;s <a href="">Definition of Sustainability</a></li> <li>The <a href="">Go Green Initiative</a></li> <li>The <a href="">Clean Water America Alliance</a></li> <li><a href=""></a></li> </ul> <p><em>How are you going to celebrate Earth Day this year? What environmental causes are important to you? Share your thoughts in the comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="How to Celebrate Earth Day" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Janey Osterlind</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="">Green Living articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> General Tips Green Living Earth day environmental protection green living sustainability Fri, 22 Apr 2011 10:24:05 +0000 Janey Osterlind 528968 at Book Review: Eco-Friendly Families (Win a Copy!) <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/book-review-eco-friendly-families-win-a-copy" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="107" height="160" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="MsoNormal">I didn&rsquo;t know what to expect when I started into <a href=";tag=wisebread03-20&amp;link_code=as3&amp;camp=211189&amp;creative=373489&amp;creativeASIN=159257761X">Eco-Friendly Families by Helen Coronato</a>.<span>&nbsp; </span>I am, after all, only considered &ldquo;moderately green.&rdquo;<span>&nbsp; </span>Would this book, with over 200 pages of family time mixed with eco-awareness be too much for my already hectic lifestyle?<span>&nbsp; </span>Find out what I loved about it, and how you can snag a copy, too!</p> <p class="MsoNormal">I saved this book back for awhile after I received it.<span>&nbsp; </span>I was overwhelmed with green literature and wasn&rsquo;t sure how I could handle another book claiming to be the guide to all things eco-friendly.<span>&nbsp; </span>I gave this book a chance, however, because it had a unique angle:<span>&nbsp; </span>families.<span>&nbsp; </span>It&rsquo;s not every day that a book on the subject is written to include everyone in the home &ndash; from the tiniest to the oldest.<span>&nbsp; </span>I was hooked.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Let me start by saying this book is full of ideas.<span>&nbsp; </span>So many, in fact, that the average reader may become overwhelmed by all the tips, tricks, and nuggets of useable info.<span>&nbsp; </span>No one (especially the author) intend for you to make all the changes in the book.<span>&nbsp; </span>The best part?<span>&nbsp; </span>You are probably doing some of it and may not even be aware of the benefit!</p> <p class="MsoNormal">The book starts with a primer on Taking Inventory: Getting Ready to Go Green.<span>&nbsp; </span>Ms. Coronato has a family herself, and understands that no change can be done without planning and communication between all family members.<span>&nbsp; </span>Whether you are interested in changing the way you eat, growing your home recycling program, or finding healthier cleaning alternatives, there will be preparation involved.<span>&nbsp; </span>(Tip:<span>&nbsp; </span>If you want to get the most out of this book, take advantage of the &ldquo;Five-Minute Makeovers&rdquo; scattered throughout the pages.<span>&nbsp; </span>They are not only completely doable, but inspiring, too!)</p> <p class="MsoNormal">The book then goes into the formula for living green:</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Fundamental + Financial + Functional = Forward</strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal">The author understands that green is only as good as it is simple, affordable, and useful. These are the tips that will be implemented and easily taught to your children<span>&nbsp; </span>FOR A LIFETIME.<span>&nbsp; </span>Way to go, Helen, for grasping the common sense that can accompany any small home green movement.</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-left: 0.5in; text-indent: -0.25in;">Other topics discussed in depth and with very specific action plans, goals, and checklists include:</p> <ul> <li><span><span style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; font-size: 7pt; line-height: normal; font-size-adjust: none; font-stretch: normal;"> </span></span><br /> <!--[endif]--><!--[endif]--><p><strong>A 12-month schedule of Green Goal Setting</strong> (something practical for all seasons)<span><span style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; font-size: 7pt; line-height: normal; font-size-adjust: none; font-stretch: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <br /> </span></span></li> <li> <!--[endif]--><!--[endif]--><p><strong>Reduce </strong>(personal waste, excessive and dangerous driving, and personal toxins)</p> <!--[if !supportLists]--><!--[if !supportLists]--><p><span><span style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; font-size: 7pt; line-height: normal; font-size-adjust: none; font-stretch: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <br /> </span></span></li> <li> <!--[endif]--><!--[endif]--><p><strong>Reuse </strong>(the basics, a little frugality, plus cute and creative ideas for the kiddos)</p> <!--[if !supportLists]--><!--[if !supportLists]--><p><span><span style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; font-size: 7pt; line-height: normal; font-size-adjust: none; font-stretch: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span></p> <!--[endif]--><!--[endif]--></li> <li><strong>Recycle</strong> (how to really buy recycled, e-waste, and precycling for beginners)<br /> <!--[if !supportLists]--><!--[if !supportLists]--><p><span><span style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; font-size: 7pt; line-height: normal; font-size-adjust: none; font-stretch: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <br /> </span></span></li> <li> <!--[endif]--><!--[endif]--><p><strong>Room-by-Room Ecodesign</strong> (your home in stunning green detail)</p> <!--[if !supportLists]--><!--[if !supportLists]--><p><span><span style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; font-size: 7pt; line-height: normal; font-size-adjust: none; font-stretch: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span></p> <!--[endif]--><!--[endif]--></li> <li><strong>Your Food</strong> (what you wish you didn&rsquo;t know, plus how to deal with it)<br /> <!--[if !supportLists]--><!--[if !supportLists]--><p><span><span style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; font-size: 7pt; line-height: normal; font-size-adjust: none; font-stretch: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<strong> </strong></span></span></p> <!--[endif]--><!--[endif]--></li> <li><strong>Cleaning Green</strong> (DIY options for the frugal, healthy, and safety-minded)<br /> <!--[if !supportLists]--><!--[if !supportLists]--><p><span><span style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; font-size: 7pt; line-height: normal; font-size-adjust: none; font-stretch: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <br /> </span></span></li> <li> <!--[endif]--><!--[endif]--><p><strong>Green Special Occasions</strong> (who knew birthdays could be so special?)</p> <!--[if !supportLists]--><!--[if !supportLists]--><p><span><span style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; font-size: 7pt; line-height: normal; font-size-adjust: none; font-stretch: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <br /> </span></span></li> <li> <!--[endif]--><!--[endif]--><p><strong>Green Sites</strong> (the appendix of all appendices)</li> </ul> <p>No, you don&rsquo;t have to have a family to enjoy this one.<span>&nbsp; </span>In fact, it&rsquo;s all-around good advice for families of one to 100 (college campuses need green, too.)<span>&nbsp; </span>I found it to be a balanced look at green for every level, and even with the occasional reference to green theories I haven&rsquo;t quite gotten on board with, it is mild in its politics and bold in its genius.<span>&nbsp; </span>This is one book that avoids lip-service and gives you the means to go out and do it!</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Want to give it a read?&nbsp; I have 3 new copies of <a href=";tag=wisebread03-20&amp;link_code=as3&amp;camp=211189&amp;creative=373489&amp;creativeASIN=159257761X">Eco-Friendly Families</a> to send to a few lucky Wise Bread readers.<span>&nbsp; </span><strong>To enter the giveaway, post a comment below by September 20th, 2008. U.S. and Canada only.<span>&nbsp; </span>Must be 18 or older to enter. </strong></p> <p><em>Wise Bread will not sell or use your email address for any purpose other than to contact the winner.</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Book Review: Eco-Friendly Families (Win a Copy!)" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Linsey Knerl</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Giveaways Green Living book review giveaway green living Sat, 13 Sep 2008 03:16:12 +0000 Linsey Knerl 2423 at 4 Reasons Why Green is Good, But Isn't Always Better <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-reasons-why-green-is-good-but-isnt-always-better" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="356" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in">I&#39;m all for taking care of the world around us. In fact, it surprises my friends and family when I share my enthusiasm for sustainability and wise use of our natural resources. Is it possible, however, that we&#39;ve taken “green” issues at more than their face value? Do we accidentally limit our discernment and give false credence to anything that calls itself “globally-aware”? Of course. And here are four ways we sell ourselves short by sporting those green-colored glasses. </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in"><strong>We give credit where it isn&#39;t due.</strong> I recently reviewed the most horrible children&#39;s book. It was pitched to me as a “green” book designed to teach children about clean habits and hybrid cars. Unfortunately, it was lame. There was an unbelievable plot, thin characters, and sub par illustrations. I tried to love this book because I believed in the values it taught, but I just couldn&#39;t get behind its credibility as a children&#39;s story. I often see other book reviewers giving this book the highest praises for its innovative approach at teaching kids green values, and I&#39;m confused. Since when is it OK to lower our standards for an agenda (no matter how valid that agenda may be?) </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in"><strong>We overlook other vital teachings. </strong><span>Before the green movement was popular in my area, we still picked up trash at the local park. We called it “being a good neighbor.” We also recycled our cans and bottles. It was considered a “good return on an investment.” We used as little water as possible, often employing rain barrels and mulch to keep our usage low. We called it “being a good steward of the resources we were given.” Today we speak of many of the same practices. We teach our children the exact same ideals, but not for the reasons we did before. Now it is “good for our earth and good for our environment.” I&#39;ll agree. I just hope that we don&#39;t forget to pass on other important life lessons because they now conveniently fall under this “eco-umbrella.”</span> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in"><strong>We believe everything.</strong><span> The term “greenwashing” was invented for a reason. It is all too tempting to get a piece of the pie by rebranding a product or service under an earth-friendly name. Everywhere you look, big brands are switching formulas, packaging, and advertising to signal their official entrance into this global initiative. We just need to be careful who we believe. By taking the time to dig deep and evaluate each product for what it really is, we can keep our wits about us in this fast-changing world. Who knows? Maybe your old standby has actually been more “green” all along.</span> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in"><strong>We become divided.</strong><span> I have never attended an Earth-day rally. I don&#39;t buy organic vegetables. At first glance, it would appear that I am on the other side of the fence from my more environmentally-active friends. If you took a second look, however, you would see that there are simply no Earth-day rallies near me, and the gas used to get there would be costly and wasteful. I grow my own vegetables (in an organic fashion.) I recycle what I can. I take the clippings from my neighbors and use them in my garden. I own free-range chickens and use rain water for my flowers. I&#39;m more eco-aware than you would think, but I&#39;ve just never applied the label. Most people are beginning to think like me (and like you.) We are not all that different. I don&#39;t need a t-shirt or a club to tell me that we have the same ideals and goals. Let&#39;s try to remember that “green” is less about being part of something and more about doing your part.</span> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in">It&#39;s exciting to explore all the ways we can take care of our planet, and I feel encouraged to know that so many people care. Let&#39;s keep it in perspective when we move into the next few years, and remember that it&#39;s nice to feel good but it feels better to do good! </p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="4 Reasons Why Green is Good, But Isn&#039;t Always Better" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Linsey Knerl</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Green Living green living Sun, 24 Aug 2008 18:46:03 +0000 Linsey Knerl 2362 at New Ideas for Old Neckties <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/new-ideas-for-old-neckties" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="240" height="180" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="MsoNormal">Recently, at an open mic night event my husband and I attended with friends, I noticed an interesting use of a recycled necktie. Seeing this reminded me of a skirt I saw years ago in the same medium. So I got to thinking, what else can you create from old neckties?</p> <p><strong>Guitar Strap. </strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal">This is the idea I saw at the open mic event. Grant you, it was a smaller guitar, but it was really folksy and unexpected. Not exactly something that would project much of a rock star image, but if you want to go with a folk theme, this was a fun look and definitely eco friendly.</p> <p><strong>Make a School Bag. </strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><a target="_blank" href="">This one</a> has a magnetic snap closure. You have to scroll all the way down to see all the images they are mentioning, but it illustrates pretty well how the author created her project.<span>&nbsp; </span></p> <p><strong>Let your imagination run wild. </strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal">I found a few sources on my quest which illustrated numerous ideas each.</p> <p class="MsoListParagraphCxSpFirst"><span><span>&middot;<span>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></span></span>There are several <a target="_blank" href="">ideas here</a> on a Flickr collection of photos, including a funky throw pillow and a fun clutch purse.</p> <p class="MsoListParagraphCxSpMiddle"><span><span>&middot;<span>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span></span>Here&rsquo;s <a target="_blank" href="">a link</a> with several tie-sewn items pictured . . . skirt, a gothic looking corset, unusual round rugs, and a fun quilt.</p> <p class="MsoListParagraphCxSpMiddle"><span><span>&middot;<span>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span></span>Some additional runway <a target="_blank" href="">fashion ideas</a> here for the necktie craze. Including some interesting halter and wrap style cocktail dresses, backpacks, and additional purse designs. Oh, snap! They also have some interesting and festive looking Christmas stockings.</p> <p class="MsoListParagraphCxSpMiddle"><span><span>&middot;<span>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span></span><a target="_blank" href="">Additional link</a> for fashion ideas for old neckties.</p> <p><strong>Children&rsquo;s Dress Up Item. </strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Let them store your old ties in their dramatic play trunk. They&rsquo;ll dig it.</p> <p><strong>Donate them to a theater troupe&rsquo;s costume department. </strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Every theater group I&rsquo;ve ever run across has a need for help with their costume elements collection. They&rsquo;ll go to good use.</p> <p><strong>Table Runner. </strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal">You&rsquo;ll need to get creative with the fabric collage and embellishment techniques, but with some of the unusual vintage fabrics available on all the old ties out there, I&rsquo;m sure those with crafting and sewing skills will be able to come up with something really unique.</p> <p><strong>Children&rsquo;s Stuffed Toys. </strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal">I&rsquo;ve heard of both <a target="_blank" href="">snake </a>and scarecrow projects.</p> <p><strong>Fabric Collage Photo Frame. </strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Very interesting. You can go vintage, country or funky with <a target="_blank" href=",1789,HGTV_3256_1371273,00.html">this one</a>.&nbsp;<span>&nbsp;</span></p> <p><strong>Make a Belt. </strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal">If you don&rsquo;t want to sew, the skinny ones work better for this. Bonus? Teens dig it.</p> <p><strong>Wind Sock. </strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><a target="_blank" href="">This link</a> has some instructions. Unusual, but interesting.</p> <p><strong>Christmas Tree Skirt. </strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Modify the round rug idea to allow for an open side. Use embellishments and fabric patterns suitable for your tree&rsquo;s theme.</p> <p><strong>Patches. </strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Make your own stylish patches for <a target="_blank" href="/twenty-five-things-to-do-with-old-jeans">jazzing up your jeans</a>.<span>&nbsp; </span></p> <p><strong>Beaded Necklace. </strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal">These were never really my thing, but if you liked the original &ldquo;marbles inside a tube of fabric&rdquo; necklaces with the separation beads in between, this might be a more stylish version than the country style fabric they used to be made of. The right tie fabric and some stylish glass beads in between could bump this project up a notch. Money saving tip? Cut up an old scratched up costume jewelry bead necklace you had in the throw away pile.</p> <p><strong>Coffee Sleeve</strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Try a <a target="_blank" href="">DIY coffee sleeve</a> for Father&rsquo;s Day. This link shows a similar one to the project shown with denim in a previous article.&nbsp;If you liked the denim idea, but prefer something a little dressier, this might be just the ticket.</p> <p><strong>Make a Keepsake. </strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal">This sort of incorporates all of the ideas in the list in some way, but I think it&rsquo;s worth pointing out that in addition to just collecting old ones at thrift stores and as hand-me-downs, ties are a great thing to recycle into a memory item for a loved one who is no longer with us.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Santa Ornaments . </strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal">There are some <a target="_blank" href=";Store_Code=HHD&amp;Category_Code=NT">fun ideas</a> out there, many of them more Victorian in nature through the choice of fabrics.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Pumpkin Decorations. </strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><a target="_blank" href=";Store_Code=HHD&amp;Category_Code=NT">This link</a> shows a pattern for a harvest theme stuffed pumpkin made with old neckties.</p> <p><strong>Corset Cinch. </strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><a target="_blank" href="">Pretty cool</a>, if I do say so myself.</p> <p><strong>Make a case for your cell phone or ipod. <span>&nbsp;</span></strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal">The one <a target="_blank" href="">pictured here</a> is plain, but could glitz it up with a different choice of fabric, button and fun embellishments.</p> <p><strong>A Thong.</strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal">I know. I thought so too. But apparently, it IS <a target="_blank" href="">possible</a>.</p> <p><strong>Make a Wrist Cuff.</strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal">While this is clearly something that would be more <a target="_blank" href=",2025,DIY_13768_4888190,00.html">popular with teens</a>, my mind went in a slightly different direction. How about dressing up an old denim or corduroy jacket, or even a great blouse? You just need one where the cuffs are getting ratty but the rest of the item is good. Cover the cuffs and even perhaps the color with old necktie fabric for an updated, Bohemian look.</p> <p><strong>Weave a Chair Seat.</strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Got an old ladder back chair from the dump, er . . . I mean thrift pile with the chair weave missing? <a target="_blank" href=",,DIY_13823_2269615,00.html">Try this</a> for a fun and unique place to sit.</p> <p><strong>Dresden Plate Pillow.</strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal">I know I mentioned pillows above, but <a target="_blank" href="">this one</a> has such a unique formal look, I thought it was worth its own line item.</p> <p><strong>A Hanging Wallet. </strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Another<a target="_blank" href=""> fun idea</a> from Dr. Popular.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><em>Guys, this is the best of the best from the ideas I was able to find. If you have something else you feel is outstanding, please feel free to post about it below. In the meantime, happy stitching. </em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="New Ideas for Old Neckties" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Staff</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> DIY Green Living crafting DIY frugal fashion green living unique projects for neckties Mon, 02 Jun 2008 12:36:27 +0000 Staff 2139 at 10 Easy Ways to be Nicer to the Environment and Your Wallet <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-easy-ways-to-be-nicer-to-the-environment-and-your-wallet" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="Live Earth" title="Live Earth" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="250" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <div style="margin: 1em; float: right;"><script type="text/javascript"> digg_url = ''; </script> <script src="" type="text/javascript"></script></div> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>In recognition of upcoming Blog Action Day, I have ten easy suggestions for improving your lifestyle and the environment. Thank you to Joanna Yarrow's <a target="_blank" href="/%3Ca%20mce_thref=%22;;tag=wisbre09-20&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325%22%3E1,001%20Ways%20To%20Save%20The%20Earth%3C/a%3E%3Cimg%20mce_tsrc=%22;amp;l=ur2&amp;amp;o=1%22%20width=%221%22%20height=%221%22%20border=%220%22%20alt=%22%22%20style=%22border:none%20%21important;%20margin:0px%20%21important;%22%20/%3E">1,001 Ways To Save The Earth</a> for providing me with the creative inspiration. </span></p> <h2><span> 1. Make Your Jeans Walk The Mile</span></h2> <p><span>Believe it or not, 3/4 of a pound of fertilizers and pesticides are used to produce one pair of jeans. But thanks to Myscha's <a target="_blank" href="/twenty-five-things-to-do-with-old-jeans">recent popular article</a>, there are at least 25 things you can do that will keep your torn up tattered denims from being a waste.</span></p> <h2><span>2. Dry Cleaning Isn't Dry Cleaning Anymore</span></h2> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>It isn't dry, and when you think of all the chemicals used to dry clean your fancy duds, it isn't really clean either. Try not to buy clothes that require dry cleaning. If you must, then try to space out trips to the dry cleaners by taking care to air out your outfits between wearings. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>Also believe it or not, some clothes that are &quot;dry clean only&quot; can in fact get washed on the cold cycle. Certainly heed this advice with caution, but I've done many a delicate load with my &quot;dry clean only&quot; duds and not had any troubles.</span></p> <h2>3. And If You Must Dry Clean, Get Rid of Those Hangers!</h2> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>In my dry-cleaning days, I had more hangers than I did clothes. Take your extra dry cleaning hangers back to the dry cleaner for recycling. They'll save money on their own overhead, and you'll also help them save the environment from further hanger consumption. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span> </span></p> <h2><span>4. It Doesn't Have to Be Scalding Hot to Clean</span></h2> <ul> <li><span>Speaking of washing clothes, try using a cooler cycle than what you are used to. Nine times out of ten your clothes aren't so dirty that they absolutely require the hot wash, and you'll save 30-60% of the energy consumed using the hot cycle. </span></li> <li><span>When it comes to drying, don't over-dry your clothes, and consider using the cool-down cycle to utilize the residual heat in the dryer. </span></li> <li><span>Even better, consider line drying your clothes. </span></li> <li><span>If you're in the market for a new washer or dryer, <a target="_blank" href="">this site</a> has some great tips on what to look for to save both energy costs and the environment. </span></li> </ul> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span> </span></p> <h2><span>5. Iron Clad Pots &amp; Pans</span></h2> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>Although they may cost a little more at the outset, a good set of cast-iron pots and pans will last a lifetime (or two), and is more energy efficient than many other kinds. With the superior performance and non-stick qualities, you'll also turn out some of the best home-cooked meals you've had in years.</span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span> </span></p> <h2><span>6. Car Washing Is A Gas!</span></h2> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>When I owned a car, I loved to have it clean. I mean sparkly clean. But it meant many trips to the car wash, which was both expensive and a waste of energy and resources. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>Of course, I tried to visit car washes with a <strong>water-recycling system</strong> (which recycles 95% of the water), but that wasn't always possible. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>For those more disciplined than I, you can save some money, and heck - burn some extra calories - by washing the car yourself, and hold off on the hose; use a bucket and sponge to <em>save extra 20 gallons of water consumption</em> over using the hose. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>Really into this idea? Better yet, use a rain barrel to catch rainwater for your car washes. The properties of rain water are actually more beneficial for getting the dirt off your car and keeping it shiny longer. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span> </span></p> <h2><span>7. Cancel The Gym Membership</span></h2> <ul> <li><span>Huge energy is consumed to light and air condition your gym, and power all the machines. All to allow you to <em>pretend</em> you're climbing stairs, riding a bike, or running in the park. Why not try <em>actually</em> climbing the stairs, riding a bike, or running in the park?</span></li> <li><span>I already showed you <a target="_blank" href="/how-to-turn-a-video-game-system-into-a-gym-membership">one way</a> to reduce your gym membership fees, but here are a few more: </span></li> <li><span>Find a way to volunteer for a conservation project. You'll not only help the environment by planting trees or maintaining public green spaces, but you'll also burn a ton of calories doing so!</span></li> <li><span>If you can, bike to work. You will actually inhale <em>less</em> pollution than your counterparts who are sitting in their cars in bumper to bumper traffic. And if the commute is too painful to bicycle the old fashioned way, <strong>try an electric bicycle</strong> to help you pedal.</span></li> </ul> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span> </span></p> <h2><span>8. Cut Down On Your Pens</span></h2> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>I never knew where they come from, but if you saw my pen collection five years ago you'd say I had an obsession. Now there's only one pen I actually use, and it's a really nice refillable ball-point pen given to me as a present exactly five years ago. Not only does it write beautifully, feel great in my hands, and the refills are cheap, but it saves all those crappy disposable pens from filling dumps. </span><span> <br /> </span></p> <h2><span>9. Recycle Your Cell Phone, and Pocket Some Cash</span></h2> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>In this day and age of having not only a functional but fashionable cell phone, we seem to replace them more and more frequently. Of course you can donate your old phone to local charities, or give it back to the retailer for recycling, but you can also find a service like <a target="_blank" href="">this one</a> that will actually purchase your used cell phone from you. </span><span> <br /> </span></p> <h2><span>10. Be Frugal</span></h2> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>Just being frugal not only saves your wallet, but helps to keep the planet green. In the age of consumption and abundance, it is easy to absolutely have to have the latest this and the most popular that. Before you put your <a target="_blank" href="/a-guaranteed-way-to-avoid-impulse-credit-card-purchases">credit card</a> down to pay for the latest impulse gizmo though, consider your actual needs. Will this item be truly useful to you, and a positive addition to your life? Can you live without it? </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>Seventeen million heated toilet seats have already been sold worldwide, and one of the manufacturers of heated toilet seats projects sales of over 400,000 a year to North Americans alone. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>Reality check, anyone?</span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><em>Don't miss another tip from Wise Bread. <strong><a href="">Subscribe to our articles via email</a> or <a href="">RSS feed</a>.</strong></em></p><a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="10 Easy Ways to be Nicer to the Environment and Your Wallet" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Nora Dunn</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Green Living blog action day environmentally friendly tips frugal living green living Thu, 11 Oct 2007 00:46:43 +0000 Nora Dunn 1274 at Prefab Fab - This ain't yer grandma's double-wide <p><img src="/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/legohouse.jpg" alt=" " width="153" height="224" /></p> <p>Are prefabbed homes the wave of the future? Judging from some of the magazines that I receive (Sunset, Metropolitan Home), it sure looks like things are heading in that direction. I stumbled across an ad for <a href="">Modern Cabana</a>, a company that makes an environmentally smart answer to that toolshed that your Uncle Jim used to use as his home office because Aunt Arlene wouldn&#39;t let him have the garage. Seeing this stylish little structure got me thinking about all the prefab designs that I&#39;ve been leafing through over the past couple of years.</p> <p>Prefabbed homes are great for a number of reasons: they are easy to put together. They have a lower cost per square foot than most built homes, even tract housing. They are increasingly environmentally friendly, using low VOC-emitting and sustainable and/or recycled materials.</p> <p>I was reading about the cost per square foot for some of the prefabbed homes - even with all the fixins, most homes come in at under $200 per square foot, and most of them at much less than that. Of course, you have to add the cost of land and a foundation to that, but even at $300 per square foot, that still about $100 psf cheaper than anything in the Seattle or Bellevue areas.</p> <p>Modular housing comes in all shapes and sizes. The <a href="">Katrina cottages</a> that were such a media sensation following the flooding in New Orleans and Missouri in 2006 have proven that good things come in really teeny packages.</p> <p>Tree Hugger has done a nice job reviewing a number of ecologically sound, modular homes. Click to read about the <a href="">Flatpak House</a>, <a href="">Glide House</a>, and <a href="">NowHouse</a>.</p> <p>This <a href="">very excellent site</a> contains links to just about every modern prefab housing company out there.</p> <p>I&#39;m particularly fond of the <a href="">tour</a> that you can view on the <a href="">Living Homes website</a>, narrated by the CEO, who is either quite charming, or has a great speech writer (warning: audible tour begins immediately). </p> <p>I&#39;ve seen the <a href="">Loft Cube</a> in a number of magazines before, and it totally feeds my desire to live on the very top of a tall building.</p> <p><span style="font-size: 7.5pt; font-family: Verdana">I&#39;m not sure if these homes will take off in America - are they the answer to the McMansion, or is prefab simply another version of the fast-and-easy experience that we&#39;ve come to expect from life?</span> </p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Prefab Fab - This ain&#039;t yer grandma&#039;s double-wide" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Andrea Karim</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Green Living Real Estate and Housing double-wide green living housing manufactured homes prefab price per square foot Fri, 04 May 2007 22:46:01 +0000 Andrea Karim 593 at