Repurposing–and a Contest

ecolassieEco Lassie is a huge fan of repurposing things.

So she’s always looking for new uses for an old item.
One of the neatest ideas she’s come across is courtesy of “Real Simple” magazine and has to do with balloons.

Have a teen who wants cash above all else? I know the teens on my list prefer to choose their own clothes and presents these days.

Simply roll cash bills and insert into a balloon with a handful of confetti. Then blow it up! A clear balloon would allow the items inside to be seen, but any balloon will do.
moneyballoon

Inflate and tie off with colorful ribbons. Instant gift and so cute!

Have a youngster who loves to make noise? Make a simple drum by cutting off the opening and stretching the remaining rubber piece over the top of an empty coffee can. Secure carefully with several rubber bands. The tighter the stretch the different tone you’ll get.
balloondrums

The cans can be painted and personalized, too. A great craft project for kids.

One other idea that is a keeper: to keep guests from having to plunge their hands into cold, icy water when you’re having a party, make a beverage cooler that rocks. Simply freeze water in balloons and use them to line a tub filled with your drinks. Your guests will thank you.
icecooler

Now for the best part: REAL SIMPLE is having a contest challenging readers to come up with new uses for ANY of the following household items:

wineglass * dustpan * wooden spoon * smartphone case * belt * soda-can tab top * balance/fitness ball *
melon baller * coffee cup sleeve * DVD case * cutting board * rolling pin * magnets * shoelaces * garment bag *
shot glass * coffee K-Cup * contact-lens case

Winners will have their ideas published in REAL SIMPLE and receive a $100 gift card.

You can enter more than once. Send your ideas to: newusescontest@realsimple.com by November 14, 2014

If you win, let Eco Women know!! Good luck~

Getting ready for the school year

RecyclaRecycla is having a hard time coming to terms with the fact that her daughters start school next week. Where did the summer go?

Both daughters will be in high school this year, so the supply list this year is much shorter that in past years, which is making preparations so much easier.

Before Recycla took the girls shopping for supplies, they first went through the supply drawer in their kitchen and took inventory. They already had plenty of pencils and paper, so those were crossed off the shopping list. They discovered several binders, so those too were taken off the list. By the time the girls were done, they realized that they only needed to buy a few folders and some pens. That was it. Easy peasy.

Continue reading

HHW sites

ecolassie  Eco-Lassie has been pondering HHW sites. These are for household hazardous waste materials.

She was shocked to discover that even supposedly “eco-friendly” nail polishes are so friendly.

These are usually labeled 3-FREE or 5-FREE and give the impression to the user that they are sound for the environment and the user, and can therefore could be safely disposed of in your normal garbage. They may be labeled “vegan” or “natural.”

polishaboutinrowThere’s no question this type of polish is healthier for your nails, and for the environment as well as the lungs that are inhaling the vapors from them.

But don’t be fooled into thinking they can be chucked out in your household garbage.

Enesta Jone, a spokesperson for the US Environmental Protection Agency, says that they are “not safe for the environment” and ALL of your polishers to be discarded should be brought to an HHW facility.

Other items that you should bring to these kinds of facilities? Paint cans are a biggie, as is hair dye–who knew? and of course, those pesky pesticides.

paintcans1

To find a collection area near you:

Visit earth911.com; click on Recycling Search.

Now input “nail polish” and your ZIP code.

Bt what to do if, like Eco-Lassie, the closest facility is over thirty miles away? It’s hardly cost- and environmentally efficient to drive that far to dump used nail polishes.

You can let the polishes dry out by loosening the caps. Leave them outside, away from flames, for at least 48 hrs. THEN you can throw them away in household garbage.

Letting them dry out allows the solvents in the polish to break down and evaporate, so they won’t seep into groundwater surrounding a landfill.

That’s Eco-Lassie’s tip for the day!

 

 

 

 

Why Your Yard Count Matters

enviro girlToday Enviro Girl challenges you to conduct a species count.  Head outside and begin counting every different type of plant, fungi, insect, animal and bird you can see.  Why would she suggest such a silly exercise? Continue reading

New Life for Glass Jars

ecolassieEco Lassie loves this time of year. The berries are in and she’s waiting for jams and jellies from her friends. Canning vegetables is starting, too. As she uses up the remnants of last year’s bounty, she’s left with a drawer full of nice glass jars with tight-fitting lids she could reuse for other purposes.

Of course Eco Lassie keeps her coffee beans in several of the larger jars, with their nice tight-fitting lids, but she’s also been thinking outside the box for other uses besides pantry items. Continue reading