Tag Archives: Reuse

Apply Reduce, Reuse, Recycle While Going Green In The Kitchen


Going green in the kitchen encompasses everything from what you eat to how you cook it  There are tons of things you can do in your kitchen that will help lessen your impact on the environment. From using a water saving faucet, to energy efficient appliances to cleaning with non-toxic cleaners, going green in the kitchen can be great for the environment as well as for your budget.




One little thing you can do is reduce your use of paper towels.  The average family uses several rolls of paper towels a week but you can reduce your usage by keeping some cloth towels handy in the kitchen and use those for wiping your hands,  spills and other uses that would normally call for a paper towel. I like micro fiber cloths  You’ll save money on paper towels and there will be less of them in the landfill which, in turn, helps the environment  Also, the less paper towels that are manufactured, the less pollution in the air from those manufacturing plants.

Use microfiber cloths to clean up spills. They are also great to clean glass, stainless steel, and stove tops, microwaves etc. By doing this you reserve the use of paper towels for draining bacon and other fried foods. Use cloth napkins, avoid paper, Styrofoam and other convenience items Reduce by Using rags for items like scratch cover polish and just throw them away. Also use rags for other chores like cleaning cabinets, walls , woodwork and floors. These can be washed and reused as long as there is any use left in them.


Any Item can be reused including clothes, rags, furniture, Glass jars,  Just think a minute and you will add a lot to the list.  I save paper from the printer like that last page they just have to add on at the end with one sentence on it. I cut them in half 5 1/2 x 8 and clip a stack with one of those big black clips to form a pad. why buy steno pads when this work just as well. You reduce the need to make more paper. You reuse  the paper at hand , and when it is no longer needed you recycle the paper you wrote on.


Did you realize that some types of cooking are more energy efficient than others?  While many cooks love a gas stove, the fact is that the newer model electric stoves are more energy efficient  Not only that, but if you opt for a toaster oven or microwave instead of using your big oven, you can drastically reduce the energy needed for cooking. Another method of cooking that greatly reduces the amount of energy being used are convection ovens. Many microwaves have convection oven features in them  use it whenever possible as it cooks more evenly and saves a great deal of energy.

Reduce the cost of Energy with LED Bulbs

I save quite a bit by putting dimmer capable Led bulbs in the fan light. You can dim them down to use as a night light. The electric company gives you 5 Led bulbs if you bring incandescent bulbs in to their scheduled day, I t is held approximately once a month. In our town it is held at the senior center.  My favorite place to by bulbs is  Batteries & bulbs and more. I  bought some dimmable bulbs there last week and the electric company  pays them a rebate. On one package of bulbs I saved &7.00.


Another thing you can do in the kitchen to help the environment is buy local whenever you can. While this might seem like a small thing, transporting food is actually a big drag on the environment. Flying bananas into upstate New York from the tropics can be costly in terms of air pollution.  Not to mention that foods from the grocery store can be loaded with pesticides which damage the environment and your health with GMO’s  Your local growers probably don’t put so much junk on their crops.  Plus, it’s nice to support the farmers in your own community. We have a farm market on the town Green every Wednesday & Sunday. Seniors can get a book of coupons at the Sr. Center. Each coupon is worth $3.00. We also have  produce stand at one of the gas stations and another stand at a nursery in a nearby town.  Just google for farm markets in your area.


Using reusable cloth grocery bags, reusing jars I use canning jars for leftovers  This also saves because you can see what is in the jar and it doesn’t get forgotten to be lost. Composting organic materials are great ways to reduce waste.  You can compost your kitchen scraps, paper and even cardboard.  This will make great fodder for your garden and does double duty as it acts as an organic fertilizer saving you from buying fertilizer which saves you money and ensures that harmful chemicals don’t leach into the environment from commercial fertilizers you might have had to purchase.

Note: Some paper is needed to have a proper mix.


Possibly the most important thing you can do to be greener in the kitchen is to recycle. Make sure you get a good handle on all the plastic and glass materials you use that can be recycled.  Check the rules at your landfill as to what has to be separated out and buy yourself some bins to help you keep things separate. My goal is to get enough people recycling so much that they pick u[ recycling every week and trash twice a month.


Lastly, you want to keep the environment in mind when you clean. Cleaners full of chemicals can be bad for the environment and the fumes from these can be harmful to the health of yourself and your family.  There are plenty of natural things you can use for cleaning like vinegar, baking soda and tea tree oil that will help keep your kitchen sparkling without harming you or the environment.

I recommend Melaleuca products. I have used them exclusively since 2005


Is Your Home Renovation Green Enough? Learning About Green And Sustainable Building Materials

265x265BeFunky_28181444cM0UkB0ySue & Shawn Kelly (2)If you’re thinking about building or renovating your home, you might want to consider some green options. No – I don’t meant having a green color scheme (although you certainly can if it suits you), I’m talking about making eco-friendly choices for your new design.

11-4 Certainly one of the first things that comes to mind is using “green” products. Low VOC carpets and floors and cabinetry made from sustainable materials like cork and bamboo should be high on your choice list.
3f54d87a0931a029c73da9ea1dd2c78bIn the kitchen and bathrooms, you could opt for recycled glass counter-tops that add a unique touch to the kitchen and are a great way to put old glass to use. These counter-tops come in many color combinations and resemble artful mosaics which lend a classy air to your room.

Another thing to consider is recycling your old items or, using items from someone else’s home. These days, wood floors are very popular and if you are considering them for your home you might look around at older homes that are being torn down to see if you can salvage the flooring. Every item that you reuse from your old design or from someone else’s home is one less item that will end up in the landfill. If you find chestnut you have found a gold mine. check out old barns built before blight killed all the chestnut trees in the U.S.
If you need to go with new wood floors choose bamboo It grows very fast 3-4 years instead of 20-30 years Truly sustainable.

If you are redoing your heating, then look into solar or wind power. Wind power might not be practical for all homes since you need to have quite a bit of land and a high area for the turbine. Solar power, on the other hand, can be adapted to almost anywhere. If putting in a solar system is not within your reach, you should at least make sure that you insulate properly RX 15 or higher and use triple pane windows and tight fitting seals on your doors to minimize loss of energy from your home.

Avoiding use of paints and glues that produce air pollution is another consideration. This is not only important for the environment, but for your health as well. Toxic fumes can build up in your home and are bad for your health. In fact, the EPA estimates that the pollution inside your home can be up to 100 times worse than that outside the home! In order to have cleaner air inside, use water based paints instead of oil based and avoid products that have a lot of adhesives. When you do need to use adhesive, try to make sure they are as “green” as possible.

Luckily, there are plenty of exciting options in eco-friendly materials and you don’t have to sacrifice beauty or function to go green. When choosing the new materials and items for your home, be sure you do your homework and look for eco-friendly options – I think you will find plenty of items that fit in your new design
When choosing lighting choose LED lighting although the cost is higher you will save the extra you spent in no time.

Simple Things You Can Do To “Go Green”

Simple Things You Can Do To “Go Green”


Going green is something we all want to do to help save the planet, but many times it seems that the things you need to do are very costly or overcomplicated and a lot of us just simply don’t know where to get started. Luckily there are some simple and easy things you can do today that will help to reduce your carbon footprint and some of them will even help you save a little bit of money too.


When it comes to going green, every little bit counts and one of those little bits has to do with using paper towels. The less paper towels you use, the lower your carbon footprint will be. While this may seem like a small thing, every little bit adds up!  One great way to lower use of paper towels is to get some good quality kitchen towels that you can wash and reuse and make sure you have them handy for drying your hands, wiping up spills, and drying off dishes. Limit the use of the actual paper towels to the really nasty messes. It doesn’t really take much effort and you soon discover that you’re spending less money on paper towels at the grocery store each week!

The best way to do this is to use microfiber cloths and Towels.  I have stacks of them in the kitchen and bathroom and with my cleaning supplies. There are also available cloths for polishing that I use for windows and polishing metal  If you are afraid to get them too stained with polishing metal use rags to polish and newspaper for glass.

Multi Colored Microfiber Towels Thumb  Microfiber Cloth  Lightweight Microfiber Glass Towel 2


Speaking of the grocery store, another thing you can do to help the environment is to stop using plastic bags and switch to those tote bags that you can use over and over again.  While the plastic ones might be convenient, there are literally millions of them that pileup in the landfills every year and may take up to 1000 years to decompose.

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Plastic bags are bad for the environment, and plastic water bottles are bad for the environment and your health. Invest in some stainless steel drinking mugs to carry your water in instead of buying water in plastic bottles. You’ll be helping to reduce more plastic in your landfill as well as saving your body from harmful toxins that can leach into the water you are drinking.

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Heating your home is another area where you can help the environment and save a little bit of money with your efforts.  Have your furnace serviced to make sure that it is working most efficiently and make sure that you caulk your windows thoroughly so that they are no little places that cold air can get in. Buy a programmable thermostat so you can keep your home at a steady temperature, but try to keep at 68° or below when you are home and 58° when you are sleeping or at work.


Everyone knows that using energy-efficient appliances can help reduce your carbon footprint and save on utility bills, but not everyone can afford to buy new energy-efficient appliances. However, there are some things you can do that will help reduce your electric bill and be good for the environment. If you have a home computer (and who doesn’t these days) then make sure you turn it off when you’re not using it. Don’t leave lights on in rooms that no one is in and take a good look at all the appliances that you normally leave plugged in all the time. Do they have little LEDs or lights? You might consider unplugging them as these little lights do consume some energy even when the appliance is off.



Other simple ideas

When drying clothes in the dryer  add two dry bath towels  in the load.. They absorb the moisture and make the whole load dry faster. Less drying time means less money.  for electricity. Also remember  to press the off button on your washer  and dryer when laundry is finished.  The same is true of DVD players,T.V’s , V.C.R s etc. Turn them off  when not in use.  When I was doing this I discovered our DVD players did not have a power button so I had to unplug them. We need a new one now so the new one will have a power button.



Also keep in mind when you get a new TV or Computer  Monitor make sure it is an LED screen this save  a  lot less power.


Trash Talk Saving Time, Money & The Environment


Saving time, money and the environment
by refusing, reducing and reusing
Source From
Dave and Lillian Brummet

Zero waste is not just about recycling and the 3-Rs. It embraces waste as a resource that creates jobs and new products. Increasingly, more North American cities are taking on the Zero Waste initiative. Many of these efforts are focused on composting, worm bins and promoting recycling by having more depots available and providing residential blue-box services.

The 3-Rs of recycling (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle) are often mentioned, but the order in which they are implemented is not often discussed. For instance, even before recycling, a plastic peanut butter container can be reused for various storage means – numerous times, possibly indefinitely. There is another, rather unknown fourth “R” to consider: Refuse to buy the brand that has a container that cannot be reused or recycled, or that has unnecessary packaging. 

Plastic container  not only serve as a (otherwise costly) storage containers they also stay out of the recycling loop, saving more time and resources that would have gone into reprocessing the plastic. Eventually it might get broken and end up being recycled anyway, but in the meantime, the accumulated savings and benefits are undeniable.

Trash Talk is about implementing the Refuse, Reduce, Reuse tactics first – in that order –before even considering recycling, which is an excellent but costly industry. We encourage the raising of our collective voices to let the appropriate politicians know we want our money re-routed towards Zero Waste. More importantly, we need to start right where we are – at home. By taking matters into our own hands, we can reduce our own household costs, ease the burden that is upon the recycling industry and preserve our resources.


Recognizing the power of the consumer’s voice is the first step to restructuring your shopping habits. When purchasing, avoid disposable over packaged or individually packaged products, especially those that contain polystyrene foam. Reconsider when purchasing products made from virgin materials as opposed to recycled. You are sending a powerful message to manufacturers when their sales figures decrease. Not only are these bad for the environment but many contain hydrocarbons which leach in to the food and cause toxins which damage our bodies and worse yet our children’s  bodies. It also raise the price of electricity by making freezers use extensive amounts of electricity with all those  packages reducing the efficiency of the freezer  and refrigerator

I recently went to buy some cooking wine and found they had switched to plastic bottles. Not good for the wine and not good for the environment.  I took it back and got  cooking wine that was in a glass bottle. .

Refusal to accept manufacturers’ standards is very important. Consider the automobile industry that has slowly released green energy (hydrogen fuel cell, solar or electric power) and hybrid cars (gas/electric) to their production lines in the last few years. The trend has really bloomed and we can expect to see many more improved variations available in the near future. You, the consumer, helped accomplish that.

Ensure that you are heard by writing your concerns or ideas to the editors of various publications, to governments and to manufacturers. Let the powers that be know you want reduced packaging that is designed for recycling. Ask for clean energy policies that lean toward reducing pollution. Remember, what all it boils down to is this: They work for you.

Purchasing Eco-certified products and bulk amounts are other sound environmental choices. Did you know that the average grocery store fruit or vegetable travels 800 miles before you purchase it? Frequenting local organic farms helps reduce this avoidable use of energy.

Keeping an eye on the second hand stores can actually make good “cents”. Older tools are often of higher quality than many newer ones now available in stores, so it is worth attaching a new handle to an old head. Bargain prices on nearly new clothes can be found at second hand clothing stores, many of which donate their proceeds to a worthy cause. Refusing to buy cheaper items that are not durable to the test of time will ultimately extend your shopping dollar and the life of the landfill.


Start by reducing the amount of waste packaging that comes with consumer goods. Choosing to buy large sizes of concentrated products is one way. By purchasing rolls of photo film in 36 rather than 12 exposures, you will reduce packaging alone by 66 percent (or use a digital camera!). Sometimes we buy turkey burger or “Veggie Burgers and I remove the boxes before putting them in the freezer to save room but basically we use fresh produce and buy meat and fish in bulk.

Strive to find goods that come in sturdy reusable containers. By buying in bulk, you avoid any packaging other than the occasional plastic bag, which is reusable (or take your own container, where permitted). All of these actions convince manufacturers to meet the consumer demands. They seem to hear money quite clearly! You can scrub your recycle bin that has been replaced by large recycle containers you can roll to the street. The former bin can be made into  a bin for Farm market shopping days.

Reducing the waste that is destined for the landfill begins simply by asking a few questions before discarding an item and purchasing another. Can I donate this or reuse it in any way? Can it be repaired, recycled or composted?


Trash Talk is essentially about reusing items formally destined for the landfill or recycling depot. It is not about a quick fix solution; it is about changing consumers’ mindsets by providing ideas that inspire participation from the ground level. We hope to provide encouragement by showing you the direct effect these actions will bring. Here are some of our favorite assorted reuse ideas for some common items. As there are numerous things you can do with any one item, this is only scratching the surface of the concept of reusing. The only limits are your imagination and creativity.

Baling Twine
Most especially on farms, baling twine can be found strewn in fields, along fencing, in the garden, tucked into nooks and crannies, wrapped up on sticks or just balled up together. Taking the time to cut each loop into a length and tying each length end-to-end is a great sitting-on-the-porch-in-the-shade job. Once you have a good length of rope formed, wrap it around a stake or stick. In no time you will have a good collection started. It can be used to construct pea and bean trellis-type fencing and in place of rope anywhere, except where a lot of strength or beauty is desired. Once the climbing beans cover up the string, visibility is no longer an issue.

Belts and Watch Bands
Belts work well as strong straps to support young trees, being that they are strong enough to support and yet soft enough not to cut into the bark. Cut into desired lengths to glue under items like desks, dressers, tables or anything that may scratch the floor surface. Cut to the desired size, a belt can make a good pet collar. Leather watch bands can be reused as cupboard door mufflers. Simply cut into small pieces and glue to the inside corners of the cupboard, muffling the sound of banging doors. With watches being very low priced, it can be tempting to simply throw them in the trash and consume another one. Before opting for the wastebasket, consider replacing your battery or buying a new band.

Caps and Corks
Painted bottle caps can replace missing board game pieces – or used as a tiny mixing bowl in the shop for glue or paint. Corks can be used as a key chain float or as fishhook covers in the tackle box. Construct a corkboard by gluing corks onto a section of plywood. And don’t forget that corks will compost over time.

Computer and Audio Disks
Reuse damaged or junk mail CDs as reflectors for vehicles traveling at night. Simply nail them, shiny side out, on fence posts and mailboxes or wire them to gates. Our good friend Brian reuses CDs as coasters. Backpackers can use them as emergency signaling mirrors. And they can be hung in the garden to keep birds from eating the fruit.

Construction Materials 
If you can’t reuse your own construction trash from a home reno. job, landfills are increasingly accepting asphalt, asphalt shingles, bricks, concrete and re-bar for reusing or recycling. And in some places, businesses exist that will purchase and resell used construction materials.

Keep groceries cool during transport in summer months by storing an old cooler in your vehicle. They can be donated to youth groups that do outdoor activities. The lids make excellent outdoor picnic trays. Many cooler lids have convenient drink holders on the under side. Use to store toys, beach or pool ware, or as an activity box with art and craft supplies. In the yard, they can be used as a mini pond, a birdbath or water basin for thirsty pets. For container gardening on the patio or for storing garden harvests in the cold room, a cooler is a good strong device too valuable to discard.

Because paper cups are not recyclable, every time we use one, we contribute to the growing landfill problems. When coated in wax, these little conveniences do not decompose easily. Styrofoam™ is worse; the process of manufacturing Styrofoam or polystyrene is particularly damaging to the environment and it is a difficult substance to recycle. It is easy to refuse to use disposable cups by carrying a travel mug with you and taking a reusable coffee cup to work. If all else fails, both paper and foam cups can be used as transplant pots in your garden. Ceramics are not yet recyclable, but abused cups still have some use in them. Old cracked or stained mugs make beautiful pots for small houseplants and transplants. And many an office has one on the desk as a pen or pencil holder.images

Before discarding, consider donating window curtains to thrift shops, second hand stores or shelters, or sell them yourself at a garage sale. If they are too tattered and worn to be of value, there is still reuse potential in them. Utilize as a drop cloth around the shop, under a child’s kitchen chair or wherever crafts and painting take place. Reuse light-colored, sheer nylon or polyester window curtains as row covers in your garden. Line the trunk of your car to protect the carpet from a dirty cargo. Use old, clean shower curtains like a smock to protect clothes when painting or during other messy art projects. Cut into large rectangles and secure them to the shoulder seams of the kids’ shirts with clothespins. A shower curtain under the tent will protect the floor in wet weather. Extend the life of the shower curtain by using a hole-punch to create new holes for the rings to go through.

Ironing Boards
Old ironing boards make excellent potting benches and are often found at garage sales. They are just narrow enough to fit nicely in most greenhouses. They will fold up and store away when not in use, and the holes in the ironing board provide ample drainage for transplants. When we have a lot of plants hardening off, this bench can be placed anywhere convenient.

Light Bulbs 
Light bulbs work well when repairing tears in clothing, especially socks. The bulb’s shape is perfect for forming the tear to the body’s form, and because it is glass, the needle is easier to control. Those who are crafty, tell us light bulbs are as commonly used as molds in paper-mache.

Plastic Eggs Packaging
Children’s toys and gifts often come packaged in an assortment of plastic containers, which are most commonly egg-shaped. Filled with aquarium gravel or rice, these make a good sounding musical shaker. Dave (who is a percussionist) has made several of these over the years and uses them both live and in the recording studio. The larger eggs from pantyhose work well for packaging small gifts. These look really nice when permanently decorated. Lillian once had a very large egg with an Easter bunny design glued onto its outer surface. It was so nice, we used it in an Easter supper table display. The following year it was filled with chocolates and given to a child as a gift.

Pots and Pans
Pots and pans, dishes and most other kitchenware can be donated to charities and thrift stores or sold at garage sales. They can be reused as toys in children’s sandboxes or for playing at the beach. Camping results in far too many bumps and bruises for good kitchen equipment to be taken out. Many campers reuse older pots because it does not matter if the bottom is burned from the open flames of a campfire. Consider replacing any broken handles with those from a second-hand pot to extend the life of an otherwise perfectly good utensil.

Reuse plastic herb, spice or Parmesan cheese shakers in the kitchen by either buying in bulk and refilling them or filling them with dried herbs from your garden. They can also be utilized in the garden by filling with soil amendments like kelp meal or rock phosphate. Use to sow crops like grass, clover, carrots and parsnips, which are commonly planted fairly thickly.

Swing Sets
Often found for free or very cheap at garage sales, old swing sets can have their lives extended as greenhouses. Remove the swings and cover the frame with six-mil clear plastic. Use cut coat hanger pieces to pin down the outer edges, then cover the entire edge with dirt for added security. For extra insulation, pile leaves or hay on the edges in the fall. One creative fellow used duct tape to attach a zippered door from the recycled family tent for the entrance.

Hang the stripped umbrella skeleton upside down from the showerhead and use as a foldable drying rack for clothes.

Telephone Wire
Multi-colored strands work well for arts and crafts or easy plant identification in the greenhouse. Use to tie tomatoes or other climbing plants onto their support systems.

Three-Ring Binders
Cut out the ring section. Open the rings and cut the upper half of the rings off – using bolt cutters or a hack saw. Drill holes in the flat surface so that you can hang, nail or screw the panel to a wall. The hooks can be used to hang keys, hats or coats.

One technique parents can try is to exchange toys with friends and family rather than buying more new ones. This will ease the cost for the parents, while providing variety for the children. Another approach is putting half of the toys in storage then switching them when the children begin to show signs of boredom with their present playthings. Garage sales are popular ways of buying and selling used toys. Donating toys to a daycare, hospital or doctor’s office is a very good option as well. Whether you are donating or selling the toys, try to repair the broken ones as well. A number of years ago, we met an older couple who bought used toys, bringing them home to their workshop to repair and repaint before giving them to poor and needy children. A modern day Santa’s workshop! When you are purchasing new toys as gifts, parents recommend keeping the quality of the toy in mind; the longer the toy lasts, the longer it will be enjoyed.

There is Hope

As a final note, we would like to point out that although it is a big task to change the thinking of such a mass of population, there is hope. The collective actions of many people are much more powerful than that of any one high-ranking politician. As the majority, we can force changes by making changes.

The material in this article is also found in the book Trash Talk ã by Dave and Lillian Brummet, published in 2004 by PublishAmerica LlLP, www.publishamerica.com

I use Glass to store staples such as  macaroni, nuts, raisins, flour etc  and also use glass in the refrigerator for  Left-overs   Glass can be recycled over and over to infinity.  Consider these savings.

Think of it no insects walk through your flour in a glass jar they can’t get in.

  • No odors penetrate glass
  • Glass does not stain with tomatoes
  • You see what is  each container each time you go in the refrigerator.  This  prevents  food from getting kicked to the back and going to waste  which saves you money and  reduces your  having to clean out  spoiled food.
  • Glass is being made into beautiful tiles to be used for counters and back splash. Think of it there is blue glass, green glass, white glass  the tiles are great
  • I like the ones that are straight taking up less space.
  • The odd shaped ones are great to store buttons, Bows I use in place of buttons on my kitchen towels  They can even be used for  nails and screws with the tops secured on the wall  after you get what you want you just screw the jar into the secured top

Just refuse to use products that are not proper containers.


121712-ASL-132-b-350x640x72ppiUse reusable bags for shopping  You can get some great hemp ones at a site called reusablebags