Teen Green: Unconventional Handbags

28 08 2008

Handbags are a pain to shop for, that’s the reality. They are either not big enough, not small enough, not pretty enough, and in my case, not green enough. At the moment, I’m carrying around a brown polyurethane/polyester bag (that’s made in China) and am looking for a new one. I stumbled across this really great company called EcoHandbags.ca (it is based in Canada) that sells handbags made out of recycled materials ranging from juice boxes, skateboards, and chopsticks, to felt, organic cotton, and recycled canvas. They also sell reusable shopping bags made out of Ecospun (recycled plastic), jeans, hemp, cotton, and jute. They have a huge variety of shapes and sizes and are really cool looking too. So whenever you’re in the market for a new purse or totebag, remember that there are eco friendly bags out there!

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Teen Green: Paper, Post-its, and Napkins

15 08 2008

In the course of one day, I use at least 2 napkins, a couple post-it notes, and countless scraps/sheets of paper. I’ve been told this is wasteful, and in fact, it is: the average U.S. person generates 2 lbs. of paper waste per day and uses 10,000+ sheets of printing and copying paper every year. Consequently, paper waste makes up over 40% of North American landfills. There are a couple easy ways to decrease the consumption of paper:

1. Confession: I am a compulsive doodler. When I doodle, taking up a whole page at times, it’s extremely wasteful. So I know this is pretty obvious, but using less paper is the easiest (and cheapest) way to help the increasing use of paper products.

2. If you cut something out of a piece of paper, leaving “useless scraps” behind, don’t go straight to the recycling bin; keep a pile or bin on your desk or on your counter at home. The scraps are great for leaving reminders, shopping lists, to-do lists, really anything.

3. If you must buy post-it notes, buy them recycled. Post-it makes recycled products, which still look like their colored selves, but are much less harmful for the environment than the originals. Also, you can buy recycled printing paper and napkins as well (you can find these recycled paper products at Staples and SeventhGeneration.com).





Recycling Non-rechargeable Batteries – Not a Problem!

7 08 2008

Doesn’t it feel strange, holding a handful of heavy batteries and then casually tossing them in the trash? Throwing away non-rechargeable batteries is not illegal, but when in a landfill, most batteries begin to leak, causing lead contamination to our groundwater.

Recycling these batteries is not a difficult task in the least, and it is helps the environment out a lot. All you have to do is mosey on over to the nearest Staples or Best Buy [a reader checked with Best Buy and they no longer accept batteries – but Staples still does](find the location nearest you here),  and ask them if they can recycle your non-rechargeable batteries. Yup, it’s that easy! All this commotion over how to get rid of these useless burdens is really unneeded, seeing as it is so simple and easy.





Can sippys save the world?

18 04 2008

We went to a 4th birthday party last week and our hostess put out plastic sippy cups with the kids’ names on them instead of juice boxes. What a great idea. We took ours home and of course anything with your almost-4-year-old’s name on it immediately becomes a family treasure. We will use it many many times before it’s ultimate demise – or more likely, we’ll lose it into the black hole where all kid stuff eventually goes.

Even the kids realize that throwing away (or even recycling) a juice box is wasteful when you can just fill up a cup and drink from it.

So inspired, we bought re-usable juice boxes from the Container Store for daily lunches and family outings.

Our son loves them and we further reduce the amount of stuff leaving the house into the waste stream.





Guess what we’re recycling now.

23 03 2008

So my husband let me sleep in yesterday.  I woke up to find odd gray lumps spread out over our little backyard.  Thinking they were dead mice I asked him to come look.

Turns out he looked online and found alternative uses for dryer lint.  It seems that the birds love it and use it for nest-making materials.   Here’s the original link.

Maybe the next rainy day we’ll make dryer lint clay!





Recycling – Oprah style.

16 01 2008

recycling-oprah-style.jpg

One of the reasons I started this blog was to have a handy, easily accessible place to store links and other useful information I come across.

I found this is the current issue of “O”, Oprah’s magazine in an article about how to green your home. If Oprah can’t convince people to stop using styrofoam and adjust their thermostats, no one can.