Trash or (art class) treasure?

number 5 yogurt 2I’m a recycling maniac. I really do recycle just about anything I can justify going into the recycling can… mostly because I know the list of common recyclables AND because I can’t stand NOT recycling. (Small paper tag on a new article of clothing?… oh yea.  Even something THAT small!)

Sometimes, however, there are items that just don’t fit the guidelines: plastic containers that your community won’t accept, polystyrene trays and egg cartons that can’t be recycled, kids cups from restaurants or just that miscellaneous something-or-other that is destine for the trash.

Have you ever considered your children’s school or a local art group? I have, and I donate all of this unwanted “trash” to my kids’ art class.  They accept it with open arms and put these supplies to good use.egg fm crtn

Drop the teacher a note or call the school to see if they are interested.  You might be shocked with how excited they’ll be to take your “garbage” off your hands.

One family’s trash can be an art class treasure!

5 tips to “go green” for “back to school”!

back 2 schoolThe summer is dwindling… it’s the countdown to the “end”… sounds dramatic, doesn’t it?  But this is truly my least favorite time of year.  Sure the weather is wonderful and there is still so much fun to be had, but I get this feeling in the pit of my stomach when I have to send my kids back to school.  I actually happen to be a mom who loooves to have my kids at home!

But school time is looming and it’s time to prepare. So, while you’re prepping your list (the long list!) of everything they need, keep these tidbits in mind to help keep it on the green side:

  • Check your “stock” – you may already have supplies at home; some may even be leftover from last year, so check carefully before you buy.
  • Look for recycled content – notebooks, pens, pencils, folders, binders and even backpacks… there are lots of options out there made from recycled content, so be wise when you choose. Also, choose paper, paperboard or canvas over plastics.
  • Waste-free lunches – plan to pack your kids’ lunches with reusable lunch kits like those from Kidcitiznpp kits Konserve or Citizen Pip.  Also, opt for reusable containers, bottles, real silverware and cloth napkins over anything single-use or disposable, and make sure everything is BPA-free.
  • Backpacks and totes – as exciting as it seems to purchase new every year, convince your kids that if it’s still functional, it’s still usable.  If you can, also steer them away from something “character” based, so when they outgrow the character you don’t feel forced into a replacement. And when you do need to replace one, consider donating the outgrown version and make sure the new one is PVC-free.
  • Clothes – we all know how quickly kids grow, but the bigger they get the slower they grow.  Take a little time for a “try-on” session.  If it’s not outgrown, no need to replace it just yet.  When it no longer fits, be sure to donate everything to organizations that provide clothing to those in need.  Even consignment shops and sales or swaps are great resources for giving or getting items that still have usefulness.

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

… and the flip-flops lived on…

flp flpsI’m a “flip-flop girl”… I LOOOOVE my flip-flops! And most of my friends know about my obsession too.  If it’s above 50 degrees… FLIP-FLOP TIME!!!

It’s needless to say, however, that the lifespan of a flip-flop can be somewhat limited.  They wear out, they break and, well, sometimes they just start looking pathetic.

Want to help those tired, poor flip-flops live on? (Clearly, I also enjoy “saying” flip-flop!…) but sincerely… there is a fabulous use for them after they outlive their original purpose.

From now until May 21, Terracycle has teamed up with Old Navy stores to collect those flip-flops.  Deposit them in the collection bins at any Old Navy location in the U.S. and Terracycle will be turning them into playground materials.

The playgrounds will be given to a few schools and organizations that participate in the Terracycle Brigades too.  My children’s school participates in the Drink Pouch Brigade so hey, who knows… my old flip-flops may just end up being a part of my kids’ playground!ONTC flip

We’re all preparing for summer (anxiously!) and pulling out everything that has been put away for far too long. If your seasonal wardrobe includes some flip-flops that have seen better days, make your way to an Old Navy store before they make their way to the trash…

… beloved flip-flops can live on!

Five tips to “go green” for “back to school”!

The sumback 2 schoolmer is dwindling… it’s the countdown to the “end”… sounds dramatic, doesn’t it?  But this is truly my least favorite time of year.  Sure the weather is wonderful and there is so much fun to be had, but I get this feeling in the pit of my stomach when I have to send my kids back to school.  I actually happen to be a mom who loooves to have my kids at home!

But school time is looming and it’s time to prepare. So, while you’re prepping your list (the long list!) of everything they need, keep these tidbits in mind to help keep it on the green side:

  • Check your “stock” – you may already have supplies at home; some may even be leftover from last year, so check carefully before you buy.
  • Look for recycled content – notebooks, pens, pencils, folders, binders and even backpacks… there are lots of options out there made from recycled content, so be wise when you choose. Also, choose paper, paperboard or canvas over plastics.citiznpp kit
  • Waste-free lunches – plan to pack your kids’ lunches with reusable lunch kits like those from Kids Konserve or Citizen Pip.  Also, opt for reusable containers, bottles, real silverware and cloth napkins over anything single-use or disposable, and make sure everything is BPA-free.
  • Backpacks and totes – as exciting as it seems to purchase new every year, convince your kids that if it’s still functional, it’s still usable.  If you can, also steer them away from something “character” based, so when they outgrow the character you don’t feel forced into a replacement. And when you do need to replace one, consider donating the outgrown version and make sure the new one is PVC-free.
  • Clothes – we all know how quickly kids grow, but the bigger they get the slower they grow.  Take a little time for a “try-on” session.  If it’s not outgrown, no need to replace it just yet.  When it no longer fits, be sure to donate everything to organizations that provide clothing to those in need.  Even consignment shops and sales or swaps are great resources for giving or getting items that still have usefulness.

Whether yoschoolbusu 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!

Upcycle with TerraCycle… joining the “Brigades”!

Mom Goes Green is now also “Upcycle Mom” to 400 kids… the kids at our daughter’s elementary school, that is!

We’ve finally joined TerraCycle in their “Drink Pouch Brigade”.  If you know TerraCycle you probably know all about their products, but if you don’t know about their brigades, let me give you the rundown…

terracy prodsFirst of all, keep in mind that each year literally BILLIONS of non-recyclable drink pouches get tossed in the trash and wind up in landfills… fortunately, along came TerraCycle.  They upcycle this otherwise worthless trash and convert the used drink pouches into fashion bags, tote bags, pencil cases, and a whole slew of other items for kids and adults.  All you have to do is save the drink pouches, send them to TerraCycle and earn a little cash for your school, organization or charity of your choice.

Sure the financial part is a little incentive, but more than that (to me!) is the idea of all the trash that is being salvaged, upcycled and put to use.  Anytime something DOESN’T go in the trash can (thus the landfill), I’m one happy green momma!

These programs are perfect for schools, community groups, Boy Scout or Girl Scout troops, youth groups, churches… you name it… any group can do it and make quite a contribution to the planet.  terracy logo

And it’s not just drink pouches… they also collect yogurt cups, candy and cookie wrappers, chip bags, glue sticks and glue bottles… there is a list of 25 brigades, so something is sure to fit.

I’m ready to go and lead my little troops in the Drink Pouch Brigade.   Now, if I suddenly stop blogging, could someone please come over and rescue me from under the mountain of drink pouches where I’m likely to be buried?!?