Saturday, January 3, 2009

Green Up Saturday

OK, I am back.
Farmer Dad has returned to work after being on vacation for
a couple of weeks, much of it spent hogging the computer. ;-)
Here is a fun link from the people who bring us the Green Hour.
It will help you find many of the local, state and national parks near you as well as
some private parks and nature centers.
Just because it is cold outside there is no excuse
to stay indoors.Of course if it is too mucky to be out
and about, or you are a little "under the weather", here is a fun "green" site for the kids
to enjoy while inside.
Did you green up your holidays this year? We did.
We asked for less stuff, we gave less stuff, we were much more careful about
the kind of stuff we asked for or gave. We tried to re-use a lot
of stuff,like my supply of gift bags and large pieces of previously used wrapping paper
that I keep in an old suitcase in my basement.Instead of buying new.
Let's see that takes care of reduce (less stuff bought) and re-use (dishes,utensils,decorations,gifts,gift wrap)what's left? Oh yes, re-cycle.
We shredded wrapping paper that was too small for re-use to use in gift bags
later in the year. I have a small shipping box that I keep it all in on an old changing table
that I received from a freecycler near me. I would have used my own, but I never bought one
for when P was a baby. I used a changing pad on a small dresser that is now her bedside table.
This is what it looks like...
I will have to take a new photo of the wrapping station when my camera is done charging.
I do not have my old photos on this machine..yet.
Do you have ideas for re-purposing items to organize your home a bit more?
I'd love to hear them.


Cher Mere said...

Very inspirational!

Z said tonight, as we were putting her to bed "Oh! I forgot to make a New Year's Resolution!"

So I told her to think of one. I came back later to give her a kiss and tuck in and I asked her if she thought of anything and she said "I want to pollute less, recycle, and help the earth more. What is that called?"


Tara said...

I was glad not to buy any wrapping paper at all this year- I used bags I already had and at one point construction paper!!
We re-purpose things I guesss the most by tossing them in the wood stove- paper,lightweight cardboard, etc.

zilla said...

Despite my best intentions and encouragement, I think our Christmas was about as black (is "not green" black, or should it be orange?) as they come.

One horrific discovery: I restocked wrapping paper after Christmas '07, when it was 75% off, carefully selecting colors and patterns that could serve a variety of gift giving occasions. I found out that a few of the wrapping papers I chose were not even paper. They were some kind of plastic. I unwittingly bought enough of that crap to kill an entire pod of whales, and I am very sorry.

I think the greenest thing I planned to do that didn't work out was foregoing the whole light-a-tree thing. I hung lights on the porch, instead, the idea being that they would serve as THE porch light, and be switched on only during porch light hours.

Beanpole saw the lit porch and was inspired to light the outdoor tree, without asking for permission. On the not so bright side, 3/4 of the strands he used were inoperable. Good for the energy aspect of greenness, but all the broken lights looked very ghetto out there, and I quickly became Mrs Grumpypants, and now I have to figure out a green way to rid myself of broken twinkle lights so they don't get dragged out by a well-meaning kid again next year.

We were pretty conscientious about recycling packaging, which, with so many people here is a huge job in itself. The happiest day of my life was when I found out our local shipping store accepts those hateful styrofoam peanuts for re-use. Why has styrofoam not been outlawed yet???

You gonna put on a fresh pot, or should I go home now?

Okay, I'll go home.

Freakmom said...

I never thought of shredding small used pieces for stuffing. What a great idea! We didn't send out cards unless we were mailing a gift card. All the carbon emissions from mailing really add up. Just to get a card that most people will throw away. We did a couple of e-cards and some phone calls instead.

Gottfredsen said...

Great Ideas as usual. I never thought about the shredded wrapping paper either. That is a great idea because it does not matter how bad the boys rip the paper. There is still a way to use it.

Oh I just learned something that you might find interesting. We stalked up on some fabric this weekend and learned about some of the fabrics that they are making out of thing like plastic bottles. Sam was so excited because on of them that we got was made that way. So far I only know of felt and fleece, but how cool is that. I knew they had organic fabrics but not the recycled. I may be a little behind in the time (probably :)) but just wanted to share.

Frankie said...

I re-purpose cardboard boxes for organizing. In my kitchen cupboards, I use bigger but low boxes to put things in so I can pull the box out and see what's everything. Flats, like used for pop, work well for this, too. I have a pasta box, a misc. box with instant potatoes, crackers, etc. I even put my appliance in these boxes. My Foreman grill sits alone, but all its grill plates are in a flat.

My mom did this, and she also used Velveeta boxes for pencils, combs, etc. I was going through my sewing stuff and came across some of her boxes. Wow, those boxes aren't as strong as when mom was alive, but I save them, too.

I also use powder detergent instead of liquid. The big plastic jugs just bother me and I like powder better. Well, I went on a saving spree and I have tons of them. I used them to put our book donations in, and I also use them for organizing on our shelves. (I am going to recycle all the leftovers when I'm done with our big clean-out, though.) Everything in them ends up smelling really good. ;-)

I don't set out to be green, I set out to be cheap. The thing is, the two go hand in hand.

When we started our big declutter spree, Bob and I talked about using Freecycle and Craig's list to get rid of things. We decided against both for a couple reasons: We don't have either for our town, but we could use a town 50 miles from us. We also didn't want people coming to our house--weird, but true. We decided to just donate instead.

We're not feeling guilty about anything we've thrown away, either, because our trash facility turns everything into compost.

Now, as for going outside...the thermometer may say 11 but it "feels like" -4, and I say ick to that! =) I'm a wimp.

Looking forward to a photo of your wrapping station when you get them transerred. What a great idea.

My Inspired Heart said...

We definitely thought much more carefully about the things we bought for our kids and family members, keeping our gift giving limited to immediate family only and at a limited $ amount. We spent less, were less financially stressed, and had a merrier Christmas all around. I only bought one roll of wrapping paper and reused all my gift bags. I also kept all the gift bags we received to reuse again next year.

As far as re purposing things around the house, since I love red, I bought red accessories when we moved in our house and they fit in all year long...especially at Christmas time. It always looks brand new, but it's really the same red stuff that's been here all along ;) I'd love to find other ways to re purpose other household things, too.

Here's a fabulous way to re purpose a dresser to see it click here


Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

We did spend less, buy less and do less. I'm about to post how we did the gift wrapping. I think I will even donate the roll I bought on sale two years ago and still haven't opened.

This year my big goal is to recycle less. Meaning I want to buy less that needs to be recycled. I am going to make my own veggie and chicken stock instead of buying it in boxes, I'm going to buy powdered soy milk for dh's cereal, I'm grinding peanut butter at the store instead of buying it in containers. I also plan to just use a little less of everything. I hope to write about it.

Have you seen the blog of the man who saved all is trash for a year. Pretty cool.

Frankie said...
Not exactly what you were talking about, but I figured you'd enjoy the pretty pictures like I did. I love her use of the handkerchief in the vase with the flowers.

Lori said...

we definitely had a greener christmas this year, scaled way down and lots of handmade (by us) gifts - and it was the best christmas ever!

Frankie said...

This blogger made a bookshelf out of a box spring! Talk about perfect repurposing!

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My homeschool buddies and I are all posting pics of our "home schools" as part of our idea sharing.

Plato said...

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