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Tag Archives: recycle

  • Fourth of July Bracelet

    I cannot believe that it is July and in just two days it will be Independence Day. This year is just flying by so quickly. Any who! I realized I do not own anything patriotic. So I wanted to make something that I could wear on my wrist. I used some of my beads that I got at the antique mall. I had some old red, white, and blue buttons that I thought would be prefect for this project. I didn’t use a book for this I just winged it. I think that it turned out well. Here are a couple of books that I love and inspire me by Leisure Arts Easy DIY Jewelry Book 2 and DIY Jewelry Pendants. I bought some 19 gauge wire this morning at my local hardware store that has been around since before I was born. I just love going to hardware stores. I went to get a key made and came out with a new key and a couple different gauge wires. The one thing about using regular wire is that after you use it or wear it, it oxidizes and starts to lose its shine.

    IMG_7815

    The tools that I used are needle nose pliers, and wire cutters. The supplies were 6 buttons two red, two white, and two blue. I used toggle, clasp, and a few jump rings. I cute a good 5-7 inch length for both sides of the button to wrap and make an eye to join the next button or eye for the jump ring. I know that I usually use head pins but I thought I would see what the wire would look like. I like the wire. Make sure that you feel around on the end of the wire so that it doesn’t have a sharp end, or a tiny bit of an end that can get snagged on say your shorts and cannot move your arm and have to ask a stranger at the grocery store if she could unsnag you. Yes!! Yes!! This actually happened a couple weeks ago.

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  • Key Fob

    Playing with my beads and buttons again this week I was wondering what new pretty things that I could make. Then I remembered that I recently went through my keys and cleaned out all the old keys that I didn’t need any more and after cleaning out my old keys I had empty key rings that were sitting on my bedside table taunting me because they were empty and I didn’t know what to do with them. If I throw them away then I would need one. So I got out my button box and then my bead box. I remembered a pair of Dangling Earrings from my Leisure Arts book called Easy DIY Jewelry Book 2 and thought something like that would look really cute on a key chain. The back of the book has easy to follow directions and photos to help. I found them very useful.

    IMG_7686 (1) Key Fob

    I chose buttons and beads that didn’t have a mate. I should have thought to go into my arts cabinet and get a spool of wire to make them longer than in the photo. I will do this next time and oh yes there will be a next time. These were quick and easy to make and would make great little gifts. For the one with the buttons, small silver spacers, and glass beads I used a hoop earring with an eye. I used needle nose pliers to pull really tight after putting on the buttons on the hoop and around through the eye. Then I added the glass beads and small silver spacers. You want to make sure that you save enough space on the hoop earring to go around your key chain and are able to wrap it a few times and use your needle nose pliers to make sure that your ends aren’t sticking out so nothing can grab on to it. The other fob is basically the same glass beads, silver spacers, and fancy headpins posts.

  • T-Shirt Bags

    T-shirt Bag T-shirt Bag

    It is Memorial Day Weekend that means warm weather can’t find a bag to take to the pool or beach. Back in April sometime around Earth Day I was aimlessly looking at different websites were I came across how to recycle old t-shirts. I cannot remember where I saw this. But I thought what a clever way to reuse those old favorite tees that you got a stain on or accidentally splashed bleach on or even your kid’s favorite tees that they have out grown. Turn them into bags. Make a bag for groceries, kid’s overnights, or even to give away as a gift. I myself never have enough bags to put projects in.

    Step One: Find a t-shirt that you don’t mind cutting up.

    FullSizeRender (16)

    Step Two: Cut sleeves and ribbing off the neck and arm. (I like cutting at the seam and I do the front first and lay it flat to cut a little more off the back so that the front and back matches)

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    Step Three: Turn t-shirt inside out and lay flat making sure that the bottom seam is even then cute 3-4 inches on both sides after that is done you are ready to start cutting anywhere from ½ an inch to an inch. I didn't measure I just guessed at it.

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    Step Four: Pick an end and start making knots all the way across.

    Remember you want to make sure to turn your shirt inside out so your knots don’t show. I hope that you enjoy recycling some old t-shirts. I don’t know if you can post photos of your projects. But if you can I would love to see some of them. I know that I didn't get this from a Leisure Arts book but here is another clever idea to recycle your favorite T-Shirts a book by Leisure Arts called T-Shirt Quilt by Linda Causee. Maybe some day when I have enough nerve I will do this with all of my Hard Rock Cafe tees that I have collected over the years.

  • WIP Wednesday: Crocheting the Lace Tote from Enviro-Totes

    Hello! We're smack in the middle of summer and I'm currently crocheting another bag.  This time it's the Lace Tote from Enviro-Totes.

    I know I've said it before, but I'll say it again and probably won't stop until we have some cooler temperatures: bags are a fantastic summer project. A big tote, a small clutch, or anything in between is the perfect summer project.  They're quick and creative and they're some of my personal favorites.  And!  This one is using cotton yarn!

    All four patterns in Enviro-Totes call for cotton yarn, but this project feels extra special because I'm using up scrap yarn.  Man, I love using up scrap yarn.  I took a bunch of my yarn scraps and tiny fragments of skeins and wound them into balls a couple of months ago.  Then I almost immediately forgot about them.  But as I was getting ready to work on this project, I debated using my cone of cotton yarn for the whole bag or maybe making the bottom, sides, and top edging in three different colors.  The pattern calls for just one color, but I was feeling like working with a little more color.  And then I remembered that I could be working with a lot more color.

    So here we are!  Lots of color!

    By using up my yarn scraps I'm being environmentally friendly and saving landfills a little bit of space (to say nothing about how, if I remember to actually take this tote to the store, I'll skip out on using hundreds of plastic bags!).  And I'm doing a great thing economically because I'm pretty sure I have over 600 yards of scrap yarn ready for this project.  So yay!  My complete skeins can be saved for dishcloths and I can use up my bright cottony remnants and I'm going to get a tote bag out of the deal! And I'm working on a tote bag in the summer and I love working on just about any kind of bag in the summer.  Hooray!

    I'm using an H hook, and worsted weight cotton yarn in every color and of every brand.  I'm almost wishing that I only did color changes at the beginnings of new rows, but just barely almost.  For the most part I really like this literally ragtag project.  I'm adding new colors when I pull the thread through all three loops of the half double crochet stitches, and then I crochet over the ends.  I won't be doing very much weaving in ends, and I think I like the way the red center of the bottom of this bag looks.

    This could just be my summer bag crafting euphoria speaking, but I think I'm really going to like how this turns out.

  • Crafting with Kids: Wreath-Making and Improvising

    I decided my front door wreath could use a bit of an update, so I consulted with Decorate with Ribbon and .... sort of went from there with a little bit of help from a three-year-old.  These things happen.  I just try to enjoy the process as long as the process doesn't involve needles being pulled out of socks.

    It only happened once, but the trauma's going to stick with me for a while.

    To recap, this is what my front door looked like before:

    From Crafting with Florals.

    This is what I thought I would do based on the instructions in Decorate with Ribbon.

    And this was the end result!

    I simply stripped the old burlap from my wreath form.

    Then I wrapped it around the wreath form, and held the ends in place with some blocking pins.

    Then I looked for some type of wide ribbon that was long enough to tie at least a two-loop bow.  Yes, I know there are supposed to be six-loop bow but there's a reason I primarily write about knit and crochet projects.  I'm just not super experienced with bows, and I thought a crisp and simple bow would look plenty cute.  And it darn well would have if I had any wide ribbon in my house.  Which I did not.

    I knew the day would come when I ran out of some type of ribbon I needed for a project, but I did not expect it to be in the middle of a storm.  I decided that bow was not going to happen because I was in no mood to drive back into rush-hour traffic in the rain for anything short of medical supplies or a gallon of milk.  But I knew I liked wreaths I'd seen somewhere on the Internet that had fabric flowers or some other object arranged on a portion of the wreath form.  And what did I have a lot of that would match my big, green letter?

    Granny squares, of course!  I thought about hot-gluing them in place, but opted to use blocking pins instead so that I could reuse them the next time I changed up my wreath.  I thought they looked cute!

    At this point, you're probably wondering how any of this has anything to do with crafting and children.  Well, I was crafting and there was a child in the room.  That means I stopped and restarted this project at least ten times (and three times when I was just trying to take pictures of the finished project hanging up) to answer questions, go potty, refill a cup, and open eight cans of play dough.  There were also three serious discussions about not touching glue guns, I answered twenty or so questions (at least some of them were craft-related), and my little girl liked playing with the granny squares and the letter.  In some ways, I feel like just working on these projects around my daughter counts as crafting with her because she's usually observing and learning.  And also because when we are doing a project together, I'm doing most of the work anyway.

    She didn't even use that hammer.

    Which is as it should be because she's three and has no business being around pins or glue.  I had her stand a respectful distance away as I glued the letter onto the wreath (some of those granny squares aren't going to make it! Eeek!), and she was a big helper when it was time to help me put away the supplies and clear the table for dinner.

    But!  Lest you think I'm just using her for the free housekeeping, I have to tell you that she did make my favorite contribution:

     

    She found a little felt heart with some of the granny squares and wanted to add it to the wreath.  I put some tape on the back so that she could handle it by herself, and she placed it where she thought best.

     

    I'm think it's perfect as a result of her little addition.

  • Rip Back and Reuse: Getting New Life from Failed Projects

    Do you ever have WIPs, and even FOs, that you just don't like?

    That's kind of a trick question.  Or more of a pointless question, because I'm pretty sure you do.  We all do.  It happens.  If you finish something for yourself and you're just not a fan, you can usually add it to your gift stash.  But some things just don't turn out how you wanted, regardless of gauge or yarn type.  And other things you just can't even finish.

    And then those things sit in project bags and at the backs of shelves, haunting you.

    Or at least bugging you.

    These have been bugging me lately.

    Every now and then I have to face the music and decide that certain projects aren't working out like I want.  Then I go ahead and unravel the unholy mess.  This is not an act of defeat!  Like a phoenix rising from the tangled ends and fluffy bits of lint, I emerge with sorta-kinda-new yarn!  Full of hope!  And promise!

    Just go with it. 

    This guy:

    is supposed to be a Twisted Headwrap from Crochet Slouchy Beanies and Headwraps. The pattern is fine, and the yarn is fine, but I just don't like them together.  It looks fine in the book--the pattern calls for this very yarn, which is Lion Brand Amazing--but I don't like this in real life.  So I finally unraveled this after letting it sit for months.

    I'm not sure what I'll use the yarn for, but I think it will be something knitted.  I still want to crochet this headwrap, but I think I'll use a solid color with a little less fuzz so the texture of the front post crochet stitches will show up.

    This hat ran out of yarn.

     

    Yup. I was pretty sure I'd be able to finish the Cable Hat from Knit Slouchy Beanies and Headwraps, but I was wrong.  I could have run out to buy more, but I just didn't want to.  If I did that, I'd have another partial skein laying around, and the more I looked at this.... well, the more I realized I'm more of a six-stitch cable kind of girl.  I felt like there was too much purling in between the cable columns, and I just wasn't feeling this.

     

    I'm not completely sure what I'm going to do this with yarn, but I think it's going to be granny square-related.  So I'm not even upset that this hat didn't work out.  You have to be happy when granny squares are involved! It's a rule!  Or it should be a rule.  Whatever, I'm looking forward to my granny squares.

    I made this scarf several billion years ago, and then I stopped wearing it.  Then it got a hole in it.  And I decided I didn't like the fringe anymore. 

    This waste of yarn was just being a waste of space in my closet for a couple of years, and now it's a nice collection of potential!

     

    I think I want to make another scarf!  I'm serious, so stop laughing.  I'm wondering about one of the patterns in Skinny Scarves.  I think I have enough yarn for a small scarf, and I love this color.

    And this hat?

    I moved it to the gift stash.  I knit it for one of my sisters from some free vintage pattern on Ravelry two years ago, and then I decided it just didn't work.  I pulled it out last week, and decided the decrease stitches weren't as bad as they seemed to be when I had a little baby and holiday stress on the brain.  I think she'll be happy to wear this alarmingly bright hat this winter and I can't see the yarn being anything else. 

    I don't know what most crafters do with their unhappier projects, but I take the approach that I'm not getting any use out of items I don't use, or won't finish. Unraveling and re-stashing the yarn is a quick, cheap, and easy way to get new yarn for a project that will actually make me happy.  And I don't even have to put on shoes and go to the store and spend money on more yarn!  This appeals to both my frugal side and to my lazy side that doesn't like wearing shoes.

    To review:
    -new yarn
    -less clutter
    -less being bugged
    -not wearing shoes.

    Yes, ripping back and reusing is the perfect crafting tactic.  Perfect.

  • Eco-Conscious Crafting

    Well, it looks like I missed Earth Day.  Again.

    But it's okay!  We can keep caring about the world! And I'm going to get the jump on it next year.  I'm writing my Earth Day post just a few days after this year's Earth Day has passed!  I'm fairly confident that we're allowed, and probably encouraged, to be conscientious crafters year-round.

    I'm hardly the greenest person out there, but I still think it's best to do the best I can in small ways so I can avoid burnout and giving up on doing anything to conserve resources again. I'm all about little baby steps.  In addition to daily activities like air-drying dishes (mostly because I'm lazy), or using simple household cleaners, I also try to be mindful when I'm knitting and crocheting.

    Here are some things I've learned to do:

    -BYOB(ags).  Yes, we all know about bringing reusable bags to the grocery store.  But, not to be super-obvious, you can bring them to your yarn store or craft supply store, too.  I typically forget, but I'm going to try to do better after I realized how many Michaels bags I have lining my bathroom trash can.  Yikes.  Don't have reusable bags?  Let me prattle on....

    - Make your own bags.  If you're reading this, then you're probably already a crafty person.  You've totally got this!  My favorite lazy method is to stitch up the bottom of a tank top. That's it.

    I probably had no business wearing this in the first place.  If it can barely hold produce, chances are it can't hold you.

    And this bag is one of the first things I sewed when I was 11 or so.  It's a tote bag my Mamaw helped me make using my granddad's pants leg from some worn-out jeans.  I still use it as a project bag because it holds happy memories for me.  I smile every time I see it!  Plus, that cowgirl applique is too amazing for me to not trot it out for all the world to see.

    Bask in this repurposed glory.

    The Internet is full of patterns for knitted or crocheted bags as well.  I've noticed that many of them call for recycled cotton or other reused materials, but you could always just use what you have. 

    -Speaking of the Internet, epatterns are a great way to save resources, space, and money.  If you typically have your laptop by your side, or you're one of those lucky iPad people, then epatterns are a fantastic option.  I've noticed that most of the ebooks Leisure Arts sells are at least $2 less than than their paper versions, but most are even better deals than that.  The Big Green Book of Recycled Crafts is currently $19.95 in paper form, but only $9.99 if you download it as an ebook.  Holy smokes, the future will actually save you money!

    -Working with recycled materials is always a great way to find more environmentally friendly ways to use up new materials.  Making your own recycled materials is another option.  I've heard of people going to thrift stores and buying sweaters and unraveling them for the yarn.  I've only gone so far as to buy clothing that I salvaged for the fabric at thrift stores or garage sales, and it's a great way to get some unique fabrics.  I'm also a big fan of cannibalizing my own projects for the yarn.  See this scarf?

    I crocheted it back in the fall of 2010 with some gorgeous self-striping yarn I bought from who-knows-where for who-knows-what-price.  I never wore it and I never gave it as a gift.  It's been sitting in a pile for nearly 3 years and I'm not entirely thrilled with how it looks.  So it's going to be unraveled and knitted up into a hat.  I think I'll really like the look of that, and I think I know what place it will have under the Christmas tree.  Awesome!

    I only broke the yarn once!  And you can't see, but there's orange in there too.

    -I know unraveling is not everyone's preference, so a less destructive approach would be to simply declare some weeks or months 'no-shopping' periods so that you're focused on crocheting, knitting, scrapbooking, welding, sewing, or whatevering from your existing stash of supplies.  You'll not only save money, but you'll have a chance to really figure out what you like working with and how much you want/need.  In the long run, you could buy less of something you don't like and then you'll take up fewer resources that you won't use.

    -Repair something instead of throwing it out.  Sewing machines can be fixed (usually).  Scissors can be re-sharpened.  Crafters are already an impressively resourceful bunch, and I know you have plenty of things you probably do to give new uses to old items.

    -Pass it on.  Yarns and fabrics can be swapped amongst friends.  Unwanted items can be donated.  Regifting is actually pretty great.  There's always a second chance to use what you have for something unexpected.

    -Have fun and be creative.  I like seeing how I can take what I have and use it to fit the needs I have at the time.  Looking at a shirt and imagining it as a bag, mixing two really different yarns to create unexpected texture in knitted fabric, or taking just about anything and using it as a container for supplies is like a grown-up version of the hidden pictures games I play with my little girl.  Looking for a dress for her in a skirt I don't wear anymore is really not that different from looking at skeins of yarn and knowing what they'll turn into.  And I like that.

    What are your green tips and tricks?  Is it part of your overall mindset, or do you stick to a few baby steps here and there?  Either way, I want to know!

  • Tips for Eco-Conscious Crochet

    As an obsessed collector of stuff and a crocheter, I’ve noticed the push these days to rediscover items and collectibles from the past! I don’t think this fascination with "timeless treasures" has never been lost on my fellow crocheters. Admit it…You’re a collector…You’ve got a yarn leftovers stash that you just can’t part with! Just like me. And like me, you probably need and intervention! Check out the following tips from Leisure Arts crochet fans from over the years on how crochet enthusiasts of all skill levels can save abandoned yarn from the trash can and while also managing their yarn stashes.

    • Be green and economically minded! Scour garage sales, flea markets, and other secondhand haunts for yarn. You'll be surprised at the variety of hues and the quality of material you can find at reasonable prices. Look for yarn with labeling that includes the fabric content and/or care instructions.
    • Save on filler for your next pillow by stuffing it with leftover yarn (in the same or similar colors as your project). Yarn is a good substitute for white fiberfill, which can show through crocheted work.
    • Recycle yarn left over from baby projects by crocheting it into 4-inch squares using single crochets. Border each square (also using single crochets) in a coordinating color. When you have enough squares to form rectangle, use whipstitching to join blocks into a baby shawl or carriage blanket. Scrap yarn can also be used to create coasters, pot holders, and hot mats. These are great ways to clean out that overflowing craft closet!
    • Contrary to popular belief, you can reuse yarn from a previous project. The only challenge is removing kinks. After unraveling an item, your grandmother probably would've formed a large hank by winding yarn around her shoulder and the bend of her elbow. Instead, use a straight-back chair as a simple substitute. When finished, tie two scraps of the yarn around your hank to bind it; then immerse it in cold water until the yarn is completely soaked. Remove excess water by rolling the hank in a cloth towel, but don't wring it! Return the hank to a stretched position across the chair back to finish drying (if necessary to protect chair from moisture, wrap chair back with plastic first). Be sure to keep any wool yarns away from direct sunlight.
    • To use up scrap yarn, work a variety of leaf and flower patterns and store them in zip bags. Then, when you’re working on a bathroom set, a wreath, a pillow, an afghan, or any other project that could benefit from these embellishments, you’ve already have different styles that are ready to attach. You can even tack on a pin back for a simple piece of colorful jewelry!
    • Here’s a great idea for using up partial skeins of yarn. Tape two metal clothes hangers together with masking tape, then holding two strands of yarn together, make single crochets around the hangers for a cute wardrobe accessory!
    • Love to crochet all kinds of projects but hate having a lot of small balls of yarn laying around? Each is usually not enough to use in another project, but too much for us "pack-rats" to throw away. Solution: Keep a few patterns for scrap yarn afghans that feature small motifs handy, so when you finish a project, instead of throwing the small ball of yarn away, pull out a pattern and use the remaining yarn to make motifs. Once you have enough motifs, complete the afghan. Doing this not only uses up extra yarn, but it also makes scrap yarn afghans requiring hundreds of motifs less overwhelming.
    • When those leftover little balls of yarn start adding up, get out your favorite square pattern and just keep adding on the extra yarn. The various colors mix together wonderfully, and the one square turns into an entire afghan—it's really fun to watch it all come together in the end.
    • Combine cotton yarns left over from making dishcloths to make multicolored pot holders.

    Looking for a few good crochet pattern books to inspire you to use up that leftover yarn? Check out some of my favorite titles and patterns:






    It can be fun and easy being green!
  • Another New Quilt Pattern Book—Simply Creative Quilts

    Even relatively simple quilts can make a striking impression when you follow Maya Chaimovich’s creative approach in the new Leisure Arts quilt pattern book—Simply Creative Quilts. Her practical home accessories (featuring quilts and more) sparkle with distinction from her integration of diverse fabrics, patterns, and techniques. The designs employ variations of work with stripes, squares, and crazy quilting, as well as promoting the idea of “green” quilting through use of recycled fabrics. 

    The 15 projects in Simply Creative Quilts include:

    Desert Stained Glass

    Language and Music Quilt

    Midnight Rose

    Memory Lane Album Cover

    Citrus Sassafras

    Vibrant Window Valance

    Fuchsia Forest Medley

    Azure Wonder

    Golden Age Pillow Covers

    Quilt of Many Colors

    Charming Chair Cushions

    Practical Blanket Pillow

    Gorgeous Garden Apron

    Handy Hip Handbag

    Practical Chair Pockets

    Meet The Designer: Maya Chaimovich
    Born on Kibbutz Yad Mordechai in southern Israel, Maya Chaimovich grew up in Holon, Israel, on the central coastal strip south of Tel Aviv. Today, she lives in Ramat Gan, east of Tel Aviv. Prior to developing her art in quilts, Maya created all sorts of handiwork—from woodcarving, jewelry making, embroidery and needlepoint, to assorted weaving and lacework, in particular, bobbin lace.

    Maya’s art quilts have been exhibited, and won recognition and awards, in her native country, as well as England, Japan, Switzerland, The Netherlands, and the U.S. Her work also has appeared in numerous magazines and show catalogues. She has participated in the International Quilting Association exhibition, the Quilt Nihon Japan exhibition (2008 and 2010), and Quilt National in Athens, Ohio (2009). Maya’s solo exhibitions included MILESTONES in 2006 in Columbus, Ohio, which traveled in 2007 to 5 different cities across England., Her current exhibition ‘A Bundle of Letters’ was exhibited in 2011 at the JCC in Columbus, Ohio and the JCC in Houston, Texas.

    Are you ready to creative some art of the simple quilted variety? Get your copy of Maya’s Simply Creative Quilts today!
  • 10 Tips: Being Green Can Be Easy…

    It’s Earth Day—April 22nd. Founded by Senator Gaylord Nelson in 1970, Earth Day’s celebrating its 42nd birthday, and we’re still struggling to clean up our world.


    We all remember good ole Kermit the Frog singing about how hard it is to be green, but in honor of Earth Day, take a look at my list of really easy things that you can do—so you can proudly say, I’m going green, and I like it!"


    1. BYO Bag/Bottle—Bring your own bag or water bottle. Get yourself some of the really cute reusable bags (or make yourself one) and personal water bottles that are available these days and actually use them. Keep those throwaway plastic bags and bottles out of our landfills. Did you know that it takes 700 years for a plastic bottle to decompose and 1000 years for your grocery bag? (Wanna make an eco-friendly bag for your very own? Check out this free downloadable Fused Recycled Bag Tote pattern from Leisure Arts!)

    2. Conserve water—Just turn the water off when you’re brushing your teeth. Take shorter showers. Turn both activities into games for the kids with an egg timer. They can’t stop brushing till they hear the buzzer, and they have to finish their showers before the ding.


    3. Plant a tree—One tree can help reduce 13 pounds of CO2 per year in our atmosphere. And the birds really like them, too.


    4. Save on electricity! Daddy always said, “Turn off the lights when you leave a room.” He was right. Unplug any unnecessary appliances when you’re not using them, too. The DVD player, TV, coffee maker, cell phone charger, and computer—all use electricity even when you’re not using them.



    5. Revamp your wardrobe or home décor rather that replacing it with brand-new. Don’t know how? Check out these two (on sale at 50% off) DVDs from Leisure Arts. In Style Remix, we’ll teach you how to transform that dull stuff in your closet into fab fashions...


    ...And in Refresh, Remix, Restyle, design and decorating expert Chris Olsen will take you step-by-step through the process of giving new life to old stuff—without breaking the bank. (But if you really can’t stand your stuff anymore, don’t just throw it away. Donate it to a thrift store, church, or recycling center.)


    6. My kids go through batteries like there’s no tomorrow. I’m slowly replacing all of their batteries with rechargeable ones. They may cost more initially, but they save money and resources in the long run. One rechargeable battery can often be used up to 1000 times.


    7. You’ve probably read rants about eco-friendly, toxin-free cleaning products in the past. There are lots of different ones available now, but I still maintain that just plain ole vinegar is the greatest of all. And my favorite vinegar cleaning tip: Just microwave a cup of vinegar until it steams up and condenses on the walls of the microwave. Let the condensation sit for a few minutes, and that nuked-on gunk sponges right off the inside of the microwave.


    8. Did you know that using cold water can save up to 80 percent of the energy required to wash clothes?


    9. I work on the first floor of a three-story building. When forced to leave my office, I automatically head for the elevator. How ungreen of me. I should be taking the stairs to promote good health and save electricity. (I’ll really have to work on this one.)


    10. Is your office green? Our company makes it easy for us to recycle paper and cardboard with conveniently placed bins. An enterprising employee has boxes for saving our soda cans—which she then recycles for cash. Car pooling is popular with lots of our folks, too, because most of us don’t actually live in Little Rock where the company is.


    Hope one of my ideas spurs you to do your bit for Earth Day…and for Earth Days to come!

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