Reuse, recycle or…. just GIVE IT BACK!

hangrzHow often are you given something you want to give back or never even asked for? (Well, I can think of about a dozen things when I think back to my wedding gifts.  Of course, my thoughts then were something like “my god, WHAT were they thinking!” ) But now I’m thinking more about the things that come our way from purchases or services.

Think about wire hangers from the dry cleaner, packing peanuts from shipments we receive, plastic bags that always seem to slip by us when we aren’t paying attention and burned out CFLs.

Well, they don’t need to become needless trash. Consider this the next time one of these things slip your way:

  • Wire hangers – (hopefully you’re using an eco-friendly dry cleaner!… but) take them BACK to your dry cleaner the next time you make a drop-off.  Most will accept them and reuse them.
  • Packing peanuts – even if they didn’t come from a UPS shipment, they will accept them with a smile and reuse them too.  Check here to find a location.packn peanutz
  • Plastic bags – if I’m not vigilant and paying attention, a cashier always seems to manage to slip one in on me.  Save them at home and many stores have collection bins at their entrance if your curbside recycling does not accept them.  And don’t forget about all of those “other bags” too (like bread bags, plastic wrappers, etc.)
  • CFLs – so many people get hung up on the mercury content in CFLs, but keep in mind that most still contain only enough mercury to fit on the head of a pin and each new generation of CFLs has even less.  However, when they finally do burn out, remember to dispose of them properly at your local Home Depot through their CFL Recycling Program.  They’ll take them off your hands for proper disposal, free of charge.

Now, as for those hideous items I received for wedding gifts, well those were “given” too… in the way of donation. They do say “one (wo)man’s trash is another (wo)man’s treasure!”

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23 Eco-Friendly Ways To Save Money While You Save The Planet

"Going green" has always been a part of my daily life. It began, as a little girl, when I helped my mom gather the recyclables and deliver them to a recycling center. It continues today, as a mom myself, when I teach my own children those same responsible virtues.

There are so many more facets of going green in the modern day, and the definition of the term reaches far beyond simple recycling. But going green isn't just about installing solar panels on your rooftop... it's about all the little choices that make the biggest difference. From food choices, to cleaning your home, to saving money on your monthly utility bills and consumption; the choices are vast.

However, there is a popular misconception that "going green" will "cost you green." We're inundated with green products, eco-friendly formulas, organics and mountains of options, making it seem that going green is an investment rather than an opportunity.

Well, I'm here to help dispel that myth and actually show you all of the ways you can live green, keep your family healthy, and benefit the environment without sacrificing anything, including your money.

When you make wise choices to gain the most benefit, relieve the burden on the environment, and save money to use elsewhere, everyone wins. You've already taken the first step. You've come here for help to make it happen.

Put these tips into action, and you will soon find that you can "save green" while you "go green"!

2 thoughts on “Reuse, recycle or…. just GIVE IT BACK!

  1. Great ideas but plastic bags can be repurosed or upcycled. If you sew or crochet plastic bags can become source material. First cut off the handles and closed sides to square it up. The next step is to fold the bags top and bottom so they touch, do that several times. Now cut the folded bag into about an inch or so to make strips. Open the folded strips and tie the loops together, like one links several rubber bands together. Now you have water proof and forgiving material to work with. As you gather this “yarn” ball it up as you would traditional materials. Color and durability will depend on your source “material”.

    Another alternative for upcycling plastic bags would be to fuse the plastic with an iron. Fusing melds several bags together. If you do decide to fuse plastic be sure to work in a well ventilated work space. Many sources say to use three or more layers. Fused plastic becomes rigid and more durable than the source material. Many online sources explain how to fuse plastic and the ease of sewing items out of this upcycled material. Terracycle sells fused plastic bags in the ladies department at Walmart and Target. The bags you may find are made from cookie wrappers or drink pouches in the design.

  2. Sorry about the last post. I meant to say in the first section that you cut off the closed bottomor end of the bag instead of the sides. Then fold the outside edges together over and over again to make the strips. You can find similar possibly clearer instructions under key word searches like making plastic yarn or yarn out of plastic. ETSY, Craft magazine and other DIY or green sources online have instructions about fusing and making things out of plastic bags

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