“Unroll your Imagination”… and win $$$ !!!

WC imag unrlldSo, I recently told you about my participation in a blind test of White Cloud’s GreenEarth 100% recycled fiber toilet paper (bath tissue!) versus the leading recycled brand.  And yes, in the Mom Goes Green family opinion, GreenEarth is the clear winner in the recycled TP world, but now YOU have the opportunity to “unroll your imagination” and win some serious cash!

This “Imagination Unrolled” contest encourages you and/or your children to let your creativity flow and put together a craft project using toilet paper and paper towel tubes, the packaging and/or the product!  And it just so happens today is “America Recycles Day”, so it’s the perfect time to get those wheels turning and dream up your best idea imaginable of how to recycle and CREATE!  The grand prize winner will receive $1000(!) and two runners-up will receive $500 each… Once your creation is complete, submit the photo to:  http://MyWhiteCloud.com/Imaginationspy

Voting is now open, so don’t wait!  The entry with the highest number of votes on December 3 wins big (plus two runners-up!).  And even if you aren’t feeling creative, just VOTE! You can vote for all of your favorites but only one vote per entry each day.

Now, I admit, I’m not the most crafty creature on the planet (by far!), but even the Mom Goes Green family is taking a shot at it!  My “family pirate” was committed to creating this spyglass so we can spot those scurvy dogs and scallywags that come to pillage and plunder our treasures!  Arggggg! All it took was some toilet paper and paper towel tubes, recycled aluminum foil, a bottle cap with the end cut off and skulls & crossbones printed on the opposite side of a piece of paper bound for recycling!J spy

Now… “get ye selves to creatin’ and a votin’, Mom Goes Green crew, or we’ll make ye walk the plank!”

(Disclosure: I am a White Cloud blogger.  While I am compensated for my time, my opinions are entirely my own.  White Cloud neither directs nor edits my posts, comments, views or opinions.)

Keeping it green for Halloween!

j-o-lanternHalloween is just around the corner… and it’s the ideal time to let the creativity flow.  But it’s also an opportunity to make some fantastic green choices.

While that creativity is in action, remember to give these green tips a try!:

  • Crafts & games – this is a great chance to upcycle materials, from jars & cans, to toilet paper and paper towel tubes… crafts don’t require a trip to a craft store!  And choose games that don’t require major purchases, like “Rotten Pumpkin” with a miniature pumpkin (played like “Hot Potato”) or create a large jack-o-lantern from paper and play “Pin the Nose”.  All of the paper can be recycled afterward.
  • Costumesyour own closets and drawers are a great resource!  Visit your local thrift store.  Or organize a costume swap with your friends.  Avoid face paints, unless you make them yourself… they often contain some harsh chemicals that you truly don’t want on your children’s face!
  • Decorationsnature provides plenty of resources, from pumpkins and gourds, to mums and leaves, to cornstalks and Indian corn.  After the season, they’re all completely compostable.fall decrtions
  • Partiesavoid disposable anything.  Use real serveware, cups, silverware, fabric table coverings and napkins.  If you MUST purchase disposables, at the very least, choose paper over plastic.  Try to help carry these rules over to classroom parties too.
  • Treats & candy – organic candies would be fabulous, but not easily found, so just be conscious to avoid some treats that are over-wrapped and over-packaged and, truly, treats don’t need to be candy.  Consider recycled-content pencils or mini-notepads.  Avoid plastic trinkets.
  • Treat bags – cellophane bags are the easiest to find but, with a little extra effort, you can find Halloween-themed paper bags instead.  Reusable bags are also ideal for collecting the loot!
  • Over-abundance of treats? – Consider pilfering some of your kids’ haul and drop it off at a homeless shelter!

Happy planning, Happy Halloween and be sure to keep it green and “EEK”-o-friendly!

“Green lessons” from our grandparents…

1930s cplThis past weekend I had a conversation about how truly excessive we’ve all gotten in our lives… not necessarily you and me, but people as a whole.  I’m not sure where to place the blame.  Perhaps it’s because we have too many choices.  Maybe it’s because everything is so disposable, and convenience leads us to excess.  Possibly it’s fabulous product marketing and advertising… or maybe just a good… ummm, BAD dose of vanity and wanting to have the ‘latest & greatest’…

But there is one thing I know for sure… our grandparents (and especially our great-grandparents!) would be appalled! Think about the fantastic green lessons that can be learned from them:

  • Minimal products – I guarantee they didn’t have an individual product for every task and need on their list.  Today, many people could fill multiple cabinets with everything we’re enticed to buy & try when, truly, the minimal would do!
  • Grow your own food – my grandparents ALWAYS had gardens for growing their own food.  They were organic, chemical-free and fabulously plentiful.  Only soil, water and sun needed! And the food they had never, ever, went to waste.veg grdn
  • Tap water is okay – can you imagine their reaction to the amount of money we spend on bottled water?  Then tell them that the water is also likely contaminated with a chemical called BPA!
  • Reusing at its finest – everything had a secondary use and nothing of value was thrown away.  I still remember my grandfather’s garage filled with cans, jars and boxes that became the most organized of storage containers.
  • Hand me downs are okay too – everything from clothing to furniture, books to pans… it was passed around from family member to family member.  NOTHING was thrown away before its time.
  • Mass transit & foot power – while some of them certainly had their own cars, they also made great use of mass transit or (just imagine!) they walked!
  • If it’s not broken, don’t replace it! – can you also imagine their reaction to the suggestion that we replace something that still worked just because we wanted to “upgrade”…
  • The world was their playground – being indoors meant you were grounded or sick.  The outdoors was everyone’s playground from dawn ‘til dusk!

elder peepsI bow to our elders for being green when they didn’t even know what “being green” would eventually represent… we can learn a lot from them.

Now, what do you do that would make YOUR grandparents shudder?…

The red, white, blue and GREEN for the 4th of July!

grn fireworksThis weekend is the mother of all “picnic times!” The 4th of July picnics, parties, cookouts and celebrations will go on all weekend!  (I know they will for us!)

But it can also be a time of excess, waste and lots and lots of traditions that aren’t green at all and it can leave you feeling a little blue!

So here is my list of things to keep in mind as you celebrate:

  • Cookouts – skip the charcoal & lighter fluid and go for propane grilling.  Even if you’re headed to a picnic area, you can prepare the grill items at home and bring them along.  Did you know that newspaper is a great insulator for any containers and will keep your hot foods incredibly hot!  (But remember to bring the newspaper home for recycling afterward!)
  • Food – choose fresh, locally-grown, organic produce and meats.  Whatever you can buy local, choose it!
  • Coolers – no cheapo Styrofoam coolers… they may be convenient but they don’t last long, and after buying a few Styrofoam versions you could have actually owned a “real one” that you can use again and again and again!
  • Dinnerware, flatware and serveware – if you’re at home (or even away), choose the reusables… just avoid throwaway 4th ckoutplastics and paper at all costs.  And if you are away from home scrape off the food scraps, bring home the reusables and wash ‘em!  You can even go crazy and choose some compostables!
  • Table covering – three words:  CLOTH, not plastic!
  • Containers – three more words: REUSABLES, not throwaways!
  • Beverages – whenever possible, mix up big batches of beverages (lemonade, iced tea) and have a large container of water, and use (or bring) the reusable glasses or tumblers (again, no Stryrofoam or plastic, pleeeeze!).  For those refreshing “adult beverages”, choose an organic and/or local brew and remember to…
  • RECYCLE! – it goes without saying… bottles, cans, cardboard & paperboard… have a can or container ready to receive it all!

Happy 4th of July! Celebrate your freedom and exercise your right to choose “green”… and add it to the red, white and blue!

The 411 on recycling bottle caps…

beach trshDid you know that bottle caps are the second most littered items behind cigarette butts?  Did you also know that bottle caps are one of the top ten most common items found littered on beaches? Sad, isn’t it?

Most people might not give much thought to these little caps but they are becoming a big problem.  Overall, ALL types of caps are creating a problem because most of us don’t know whether or not they are recyclable.  Even if you’re like me and don’t buy bottled water or beverages in plastic bottles we all have mountains of caps that pass though our hands every day… everything from shampoo bottles to food product lids to soap and detergent containers.

So what do you do? Well, there are a few choices, so give these some thought:

  • Recycle with Aveda – these salons and stores will accept a variety of caps for recycling, including #5 twist caps, flips caps, jar lids and detergent lids and turn them into new lids for their products.  Find a location near you!
  • Recycle with Preserve – they also accept any #5 plastics (including yogurt containers) via mail or at any Whole Foods location and turn them into new Preserve products like toothbrush and razor handles, tableware and kitchenware.PVC cap
  • Give your local recycling a try – it’s sometimes difficult to figure out if your curbside recycling can actually recycle these caps but, if nothing else, include them in your recycling.  They cannot be processed with a batch of #1 and #2 commonly recycled plastics because there is a 100 degree difference in their melting points.  But if they can’t recycle them, they will be removed and at least properly disposed of, which is certainly better than letting them become litter!  Just make sure you detached the lids and caps from the container so they can be easily sorted out at the recycling facility.

So, what can’t be accepted? Well, that would be medication bottle caps, metals lids, pumps and sprayers.  These are unfortunately destined for the garbage can so, whenever possible, make wise choices when you make purchases.  Remember that buying larger containers means fewer lids too!

That’s it… the real deal on caps and lids.  Let’s just do our part to make sure we help remove them from any “most littered lists!”