Simple conservation tip: Put your “greywater” to work…

Greywater may be a new term to you… once again, this one was recently a new one for me too!

buckt grnGreywater is defined as the “waste water generated from bathing, showering, dishwashing and laundry”.  Initial thoughts might sound something like “well… ick.”  Sure, I certainly don’t recommend you grab a glass(!), but there are plenty of household uses for this water (as long as you aren’t using harsh cleansers and detergents).

Think about watering your indoor plants, outdoor plants and shrubbery, or washing your car.  This water is ideal.

All you need to do is add a handled bucket to your shower, scoop out a bucket or watering can full from your bath, or add the bucket to your utility tub when your washer is draining.  Plants will actually thrive from the content of this water and your car happens not to care if the water has a bit of added body wash or laundry detergent.

Considering this greywater accounts for somewhere between 50%-80% of residential water waste, conserving and using it will certainly amount to a lot more than just “a drop in the bucket”.

Where, O where, should the Christmas remnants go?

xmas strgeThe post-holiday wrap-up is being wrapped up! So sad to see it all come to an end, but alas… it’s back to the less dreamy and festive real world!

Hopefully we’ve all made wise choices about bidding a fond farewell to everything that’s come our way throughout the season and even thought ahead to preparing for next year (… yes, next year!).

Make sure all of these activities made your “to do” list, including:

  • Recycling your cut Christmas tree.  Check out Earth911 to make sure it gets recycled into mulch or composted, or if you have woods or a ravine near your house, add the tree back to nature and animals will surely turn it into a wonderful winter habitat.christmas tree_live closeup
  • Recycling materials from gift packaging, boxes from shipments and everything that gets a thumbs-up from your recycling can. If you have a lot of boxes, list them with BoxCycle or save them, along with any reusable packing materials, for when you need to ship something.
  • Folding and storing all gift bags to be put back into circulation next year. Even ribbons, bows and tissue paper can get more than a single use.
  • Taking advantage of those clearance sales and purchase LED lighting for next season’s energy-efficient decorating. Check out HolidayLEDs.com… they’ll accept your old incandescent lights and give you a 15% discount on a new LED purchase (now, until February 28, 2010)!
  • Making way for new gifts… but simultaneously continue to gather items around home (clothes, toys, books, household items) that will now be cast aside and donate them to charity for the ultimate in reuse.
  • Recycling all of the Christmas cards you received with St. Jude’s Ranch for Children.  (This non-profit organization cares for abused, abandoned and/or neglected children.)  They accept used greeting cards and the children remove the fronts, attach them to a recycled paper back, and turn them into new greeting cards… and then sell them! This is a great option to traditional paper recycling and a great cause to support.  Your cards will christmas cardsbe accepted until February 28, 2010.  Just bundle them up and mail them off to:

St. Jude’s Ranch for Children
Card Recycling Program
100 St. Jude’s Street
Boulder City, NV 89005

I’m certainly anxious to get my life back in order after some fantastically crazy holiday madness… and if you love to organize and clean, I’ll send you my address.  Be here in an hour.  I’ll leave on the lights and one massive pot of (organic) coffee!

Easy holiday gift idea: Win a FREE Citizenpip Lunch Kit!

(This giveaway is now closed for entries.  See “comments” for winner.)

Well, I am officially in Stress-Out Land thinking about the holidays and all that needs to be done.  Shopping  (NOT “checked”).  Christmas cards (NOT “checked”!).  Tree up and house decorated (NOT “checked”!)   Outdoor decorations and lights (NOT “checked”!).  Yea, I’m way behind… and I’m starting to sweat!

prsntsSo today, instead of a mind boggling post, I’m just going to help a reader get one item out of the way so I can get to some holiday “business”!

Let me first tell you about Citizenpip.  They sent me this fabulous lunch kit that will put at least one recipient on my gift list in the “checked” column.  It’s their Soup to Nuts Kit that includes an insulated lunch bag, stainless steel water bottle, insulated food jar, four food containers, a stainless steel fork and spoon set and five cotton napkins.  Everything is BPA-free, safe, reusable, eco-friendly galore and super cute! Perfect for avoiding all of that needless lunchtime trash, so yes… one little recipient on my list is going to be happy and really GREEN this Christmas.

Do you have someone on your list that would love a lunch kit too?  Well, I know you would certainly love giving one(!) and today, you can win a FREE Square Meal Kit right here! It includes an insulated lunch bag, stainless steel water bottle, four citiznpp kitfood containers and five cotton napkins.

All you have to do is leave a comment saying you’d like to win and tell me who you’d like to “gift” it to, or send a Twitter message that includes a reply to @momgoesgreen and a link to this blog. The winner will be selected one week from today’s post. (US entries only… sorry!)

If you don’t win, don’t worry!  The fine people at Citizenpip are offering an extra something for Mom Goes Green readers.  You can get a free fork & spoon set for every order over $50 (use coupon code: MOMGOESGREENgives at checkout), and for every $10 you spend, Citizenpip will plant one tree in partnership with Trees for the Future.  That, alone, should give you the warm, green, fuzzies!

So, while I try to de-stress and get something accomplished, take a chance at winning a gift that will make you feel a lot better too!

Recycle old t-shirts into new treasures!

This weekend my husband and I have made a pledge to one another… a serious vow and promise that will not be broken.  That promise?…

Clean our clothes closets and drawers! Ohhh, sounds romantic, yes?

teecycleWell, okay, not so romantic, but a necessity?… oh, yes!  It is a promise we have made innumerable times in the past year (and never followed through), but this time we really (REALLY!) mean it!

I have no doubt that one of the most popular items that need to go will be an abnormally huge amount of t-shirts.  Some will be destine for the “rag bag”, others will be donated, but did you also know that there are tons of ways to recycle t-shirts?

I discovered a site that has it all. Andy from hideyourarms.com has done all the legwork for us and has nearly EVERY way – most with tutorials and instructions!  Old t-shirts can be turned into amazing new products with real usefulness:teecycle scarf

Think new shirts, reusable bags, yoga pants, throw pillows, camis, scarves, carrying cases, blankets, skirts… the list goes on and on.

While you may not be looking to make a ninja hood (although Halloween is around the corner!) or decide to fashion a bikini (those days are looong gone!), there are some great ideas to “get your ‘reuse’ on”!

Take a look, grab an old tee and give it new life!

Earn a “green” star for back to school!

Am I obsessed and saddened that the summer is ending?  Yes, (obviously) because I am mentioning it constantly.  Is the end of summer inevitable?schoolbus Well, yes it is!

So, as we prepare for sending our children back to school it’s easy to become a little “spend happy” since every corner we turn seems to remind us to buy, buy, BUY!  Don’t fall victim to feeling like you have to go overboard.

This year, when we received our daughter’s supply list, the first thing I did was check what we already had.  I was surprised to find that we already had over half of the list… notebooks, pencils, glue, scissors, erasers, ruler, CHECK!  I actually kept a box of what was left over from last year, and I assure you, that bottle of Elmer’s glue that was still 2/3 full is perfect to get her started.  If you do need to buy, buy recycled:  pencils, paper, and even backpacks of recycled materials exist if you just look.

I’m happy to say that we also have a green lunchtime covered.  By using her waste-free lunch kit, I can rest easy that our daughter creates almost zero trash. Lunchboxes and reusable containers are both earth-friendly and economical because all of the single-serving foods are expensive in comparison.  (Still looking for a waste-free lunch kit?  There are still a few days to win one in my giveaway!)

The hardest part of preparing for school is outfitting your kids with a new wardrobe.  Little ones grow so quickly, but the older they get the slower star-greenthey grow.  Before you charge out to charge a new wardrobe, find out what still fits.  Don’t replace clothing before it’s been outgrown.  If it has, you can still be green by putting “reuse” into action.  Gather up the unneeded clothes, shoes, jackets and coats and donate them to an organization so those less fortunate have the opportunity to use them.  Even consignment shops or swaps with friends are an option and simply give more life to items that haven’t worn out their usefulness.

Whether you get teary-eyed at the idea of sending your kids back to school, or the first day couldn’t come soon enough (I will be a teary-eyed one!) be sure to earn a green star for your efforts before they go!