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By Archive, September 11, 2007  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Archive
School's back in session, meaning a return to routines. How do you incorporate green living and awareness into the daily routine for your family? Peggy shares her story: "My six children learned about reduce, reuse and recycle long before they learned their ABC's. They amaze me with some of the creative ways they come up with to reuse items that so many of their friend's families view as trash. So many times they have come home and said, 'Mom, you'll never believe what so and so's mother is throwing out.' We have made quilts out of old flannel pajamas (they are so soft and warm), wind chimes out of old keys that no one knows what they go to, and purses out of old jeans. Even old bits and pieces of broken crayons get melted in the microwave and cooled in old muffin tins (found at the curb) and made into multicolored 'cookie crayons.' Broken dishes get saved and used for creating stepping stones - pizza boxes are a great mold for this use." What are some ways you instill green awareness and make eco-friendly practices a part of your family's daily life?
Category: Green Action

 

24 Comments

Comments

Barbara says ...
Since I work in a school, there are lots of ways for me to recycle. I bring my plastic drycleaning bags for our ceramics teacher to use to keep student projects from drying out between work sessions. The painting teacher is always in need of plastic yogurt containers for paints and cleaning brushes. Paper bags are recycled into book covers so that our books are kept in good condition longer. I cut one-sided memos that are not confidential into quarters and leave stacks of them near telephones in school offices and by computer terminals throughout the school. Give your local school's main office a call; there is probably a use for these and other items you might otherwise discard. Go green!
09/13/2007 12:38:32 PM CDT
Cristina Carolan says ...
I always keep those large plastic clear salad/spinach containers. They stack nicely and can be used to store toys, art supplies, craft items etc. You could even start some seedlings in them since they are deep and wide. They also make a nice caddy for cleaning supplies under the sink. You wont have to worry about wet sponges ruining your cabinets. Since they are clear, you can always see what is inside. If they get damaged or broken, they can always be recycled with your plastic items and they didnt cost you anything except nice salad.
09/13/2007 2:43:13 PM CDT
Kerry says ...
I teach art to pre schoolers in a childcare center. I have the small plastic containers with lids from babyfood saved in the infant room. We make "aquariums" by filling with water colored with blue food coloring and add beads, cut up green pipe cleaners etc. to make a little fish tank. The children love them. The baby food jars are saved for scent jars filled with pot pourri, snow globes filled with corn syrup, old glitter and plastic objects, and also use them for beads, buttons and craft supplies or sensory jars filled with misc. items like cotton, shells, and marbles. We also make crowns and masks out of recycled materials such as paper bags, coffee cup jackets, food boxes, food can labels and wrapping paper. The trays from the apples in the produce dept. make great backgrounds to display the art!
09/13/2007 3:07:26 PM CDT
Caryl Rogers says ...
I like to use a smooth edge can opener to open cans so that I can recycle them to use to store items like paper clips, keys, pencils, etc. It's a fun project for kids to decorate them and use them as organizers in their rooms and bathrooms.
09/13/2007 5:17:00 PM CDT
Stefanie Schmidt says ...
I am a marine science educator and each week we make ocean themed crafts out of recycled materials. My favorite crafts are the sea jellies we made out of coffee filters and the octopus we made out of a water bottle. It gets the kids to think about ocean conservation and is fun too!
09/13/2007 6:57:13 PM CDT
Robin Sauvie says ...
I am a pre-school teacher and my children and I save water bottles and turn them into science themed viewing bottles. We put in old colored beads from broken necklaces and colored water and seal the tops. My 2 year old class loves them. Also, egg cartons make great sorting containers for small craft items. Empty paper towel rolls make great bases for rockets that you can make with your children. Empty film canisters can be used to make shakers if you add some beans and seal the tops with tape. Just use your imagination and the possibilities are endless.
09/13/2007 7:33:49 PM CDT
Roxanne McConnell says ...
I believe we have to try our best to think of how to save the planet. I click on free tabs in ecologyfund.com and Rainforest Site website to help save trees, land, reduce CO2, rainforests, etc. Also, I only buy natural cleaning products which is healthier for your homes. I also think it's critical to save electricity and energy as much as possible. I use unscented candles to light my place during the evening and then just using night lights when candles aren't in use. I wash clothes in mostly cold water to reduce the use of the energy it takes to heat them. Also, I've dried our clothes on the deck using the sun's energy since it dries them quickly and the clothes smell fresher. I turn off the shower when soaping up since it only makes sense not to wash off yet...We try to walk more, scooter and bicycle more instead of using the car which produces CO2... We use flourescent bulbs or very low energy bulbs in our place. We use the Clubhouse's computer and library computers since I'd be addicted all day long if I had one. There are so many creative ways to save energy that I'm open to reading more of these fantastic ways to save and be creative with the environment and pray that others will be too. Thank you for your time.
09/14/2007 7:32:23 AM CDT
Shauna says ...
I make a lot of vegetable and chicken stocks to use when I make soups or sauces - I used to store the stock in the freezer in tupperware, always buying more plastic containers when I needed. Now I reuse the plastic containers from salsas, sauces, grated cheeses for my frozen storage needs. The containers are durable, freeze well and can be reused many times. I even give homemade stock or soup to friends in the containers so they are encouraged to reuse also.
09/14/2007 10:21:22 AM CDT
Suzanne Anderson says ...
My kids are in high school and college so they are always using the computer and printer. We reuse paper from previous projects, research, extra from emails, and any other scrap paper by printing on the opposite side. It is a little thing that really cuts down on the amount of paper we are using. We also recycle the printer cartridges through a program at school.
09/14/2007 6:20:44 PM CDT
Peng says ...
After we finshed our box cereal, I carefully tear open the bags the cereal comes in and roll it on to an empty paper towel tube (roll). I never have to buy any wax paper. These bags makes the best and strongest wax paper. You can use it to roll your pie crust out or any pastry without making a mess. You will save some time and water. Save those empty paper towel tubes and use it to keep some of your kitchen appliance's electrical cords (electric skillet,frying pan,rice cooker etc.) neatly. Simply insert 2 or 3 of sets of cords through a tube. Depending on the length of the cords, you may have to double up for long cords. You will have the wire on one end and the plugs on the other end of the tube.
09/16/2007 9:47:17 PM CDT
Martha Heun says ...
My daughter recently got her own apartment at college. Her goal was to not buy anything NEW to furnish it. First stops were garage sales and thrift stores for furniture, bedding,decor,etc. Then, as she bought groceries, she reused all the plastic containers for her dishes, plates, bowls, cups, storage containers.She'll rinse out bread bags and reuse them. She'll use cardboard from cereal boxes to make post cards and greeting cards, and uses newspaper or junk mail as wrapping paper for gifts. Any napkins, silverware, plastic/paper bags, condiments she aquires from "where ever", she collects and reuses them as well. She gets more inventive everyday, saves alot of money, and tries not to leave her carbon foot print. However, I do think that her room mates think she is nuts! But by the end of the semester, I'm sure they will be joining in! I know I have!
09/20/2007 7:59:55 PM CDT
Candace Drimmer says ...
Reuse, reuse--and reuse again. Having lived 18 years in the 3rd World--I learned, everything can be reused one more time.
09/21/2007 7:34:46 AM CDT
jennifer palmer says ...
Broken pieces of colored glass, china and plain old dinner ware can also be saved for the creation of all kinds of mosaic art pieces... everything from the design of a funky concrete table top to a picture frame...
09/26/2007 2:50:29 PM CDT
K says ...
I print or writie on scrap paper. I use tote bags when grocery shopping and reuse the plastic bags that my produce comes in. I do not purchase items that have excessivie packaginig/plastic. I purchased polycarb bottles and we filter our water - we do not use bottled water. I am very lucky that I work from home 3 days a week so I walk to where I need to go on those days. We bring our lunches to work and reuse the same gladware and use lunch coolers. Go Green!
09/29/2007 5:30:49 PM CDT
Dale Litvany says ...
Glass jars make wonderful storage containers. Any size jar with a screw on type lid can be hung under a shelf by piercing senter of the lid with an icepick, and attaching it with a small screw to the under side of a shelf. Screw on the jar, and it hangs in the same spot. Unscrew the jar, remove the amount of contents desired, and replace. This is perfect for bulk grains, fruits, nuts, and other dry items. They are easy to find time after time, always in the same spot. I use glass mayonnaise jars. Baby food jars are great for spices and dried herbs. Glass jars are more difficult to find, plastic jars will work.
10/01/2007 5:57:12 PM CDT
Marie Millard says ...
I wash out the plastic trays that meats come wrapped in, then try to think of ways to use them again. I use them as small serving trays, or make crafts with them.
10/05/2007 3:35:40 PM CDT
Michele Finn says ...
EVERY LITTLE BIT ADDS UP! I plan ahead when I'm going to use my oven. If I'm baking a homemade pizza I will also bake potatoes for hashbrowns in the morning or sweet potatoes for lunch the next day. Also I have started recycling all cardboard and paper that comes into the house if it can't be reused. Even tags off of clothing!
10/09/2007 10:03:48 AM CDT
Jean says ...
A favorite wellness "tip" - I like to buy a pack of 7th Generation Baby Wipes and add various essential oils (lavender + orange for example) and keep this in my car for handwiping! SO wonderful! Probably would be nice for babies and children as well ...
10/19/2007 8:16:38 AM CDT
siu moy says ...
Save those bags for the next shopping trip. I like to save my grocery shopping bags and keep them in my car where they're always ready to be reused at the next grocery shopping trip. This keeps the bags from piling up in the kitchen as well as trying to be a earthfriendly.
10/20/2007 9:19:02 PM CDT
JAD says ...
Does anyone have any suggestions to completely replace Aluminum Foil? I actually only purchase one roll a year for basically covering a casserole dish in the oven that doesn't need browning...but I hate to use it!! Any other tips out there? (in other words, to prevent liquid from drying up while baking or browning things too fast) Thanks in Advance?
01/03/2008 9:54:21 AM CST
Frank Ferrara says ...
To help cut down on mail I receive I have gone paperless for all of my statements (bank, credit card, electric bill, etc.). Not only does this cut down on the amount of mail I get, but the amount of paper I have to shred and recycle. CD's and movies that I don't want anymore I bring to a local shop that buys them back. These unwanted CD's and movies do not wind up in the garbage and landfills. I also have a credit card that earns points so Brighter Planet can fund renewable energy projects. Every 1,000 pts. I earn funds 1 ton of carbon offsets.
01/13/2008 12:56:30 PM CST
Crystal says ...
I have 3 very young children, but I am constantly using "green" language: recycle, organic, donate, energy, etc. I hope that by hearing and watching me model a more eco-friendly lifestyle, my children will easily learn to do the same and continue when they are adults.
01/23/2008 7:21:06 PM CST
Mira Barbir says ...
Cut down on all the unsolicited marketing that is mailed to you. Not only will you save some trees, you will also create a more peaceful home and mind by cutting down on clutter. Here are three steps we can all take. First, go to the Direct Marketing Association website and ask to be removed from their marketing members' mail and e-mail lists. This is a free service. Second, call the organizations that send you the neighborhood coupon books and ask to be removed from their lists. Third, call individual catalogue companies and other unsolicited companies, and ask to be removed from their lists. This is easy and effective, and has dramatically reduced the amount of mail I receive.
02/07/2008 11:21:09 PM CST
Mira Barbir says ...
We all live busy lives, and eat out from time to time. Instead of using and throwing away the plastic carry out containers and flatware that comes with carry out food, consider bringing your own containers and flatware with you. I carry a plastic spoon and fork with me in my bag. I use it to eat my carry out food. When done, I put it back in a bag or napkin. Then, I wash it at home, and reuse again and again. I also bring my own plastic carry out containers to my favorite restaurants. I then take leftovers home in that container. If I'm ordering a carry out, I ask them to place the food in my container. With both ideas, think about all the plastic you will not be using, and all the landfill space you will not be adding to!
02/07/2008 11:15:45 PM CST