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!

… 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!

The glass IS half full… but broken, it’s trash!

glass halfThe other day a friend of mine mentioned that she recently had a horrible bout with “fumble fingers”… while emptying her dishwasher, she managed to wipe-out four glasses from her countertop.

Knowing that I am Mom Goes Green, she commented:  “Well, at least I put them in the recycling can!”

Oh, beloved friend, I appreciate the gesture, but wrong! (… and I mean that with lotsa green love!)

In actuality, drinking glasses CANNOT be recycled.  The content is a bit different than glass jars, bottles, and containers. These glasses are, unfortunately, trash.

The same goes for windows, mirrors and glass cookware.  While other glass can be recycled indefinitely, these cannot.  Adding them in with your recycling risks ruining an entire batch of recycled glass and you certainly want to consider the danger created when your recyclables are being sorted… glass shards everywhere don’t make for a great work environment at your recycling facility and they can seriously damage brkn

Years ago I managed to completely destroy a door on the front of our entertainment center.  It shattered to small bits and I actually used the pieces to fill the bottom of some clear vases for floral arrangements. (See, some creative license to upcycle still exists!)

So, while I agree with the idea that we should go through life with a “glass half full” mentality, if fumble fingers strikes you too, don’t risk it.  Thank the glass for its service, but you’ll need to put it in the trash.

“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:

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.)

Recycling a wardrobe = purge + donate + swap + sell

wrdrobeNow that summer vacation for both of my kids has finally arrived, it’s time to compile that list of “to do’s” that has been taking a backseat to kid’s activities all school year long.

Top of that list?… purging closets and drawers of clothing, shoes and accessories that are causing said closets and drawers to have stress fractures!  Yea… you know the feeling… that moment after finishing all of the laundry when you “attempt” to put everything away and it simply doesn’t fit in the “space” any longer.  Mine have reached that point.

First comes the purge. What is the rule of thumb?… if it hasn’t been worn in two years, face it… you won’t wear it. And if your children have outgrown it, truly… it’s over!  But many times your clothing is in great condition and you know it isn’t yet destine for the rag bag (although if you know it truly isn’t worthy, turning it into a rag IS a great choice for upcycling!).

So what are your choices? More than ever, there are plenty of them:

  • Ebay – everyone knows this one as “the original”… it’s still around and does a great job of buying or selling what you want or only want to get rid of! (*Hint: it’s best to sell in a “lot” of clothes – i.e. six size 4T boy’s outfits)
  • Craig’s List – this is the best way to localize a sale or search of items because you list by community (again, a “lot” works wrdrobe pilebest)
  • Freecycle – this list also centralizes items to specific communities and all items are offered for free, so you know someone who really wants it gets it!
  • Bigwardrobe – this site is brand new to the U.S. (after huge success abroad) and lists many high-end designer items for sale and SWAP.
  • Soles4Souls – this organization accepts donated shoes to distribute to those who simply need shoes.  (Right now there are 14 children’s feet safely covered in Haiti thanks to the generous donation of my own children!)
  • Good ole’ American garage sale – you’ll nearly have to give them away, but if someone wants them, they’ll buy them!
  • DONATE! – there is always a long list of community organizations that serve those in need.  This one is obviously my favorite because I’m not so concerned about making money… I just want to help those who are less fortunate and I find this the most rewarding choice.

Whatever you choose, just make it a choice that keeps valuable clothing and shoes from being tossed away. I know you have plenty to give… so come’on!  Let’s purge!!!