Empty Stonyfield yogurt containers usually end up in the recycle bin over here. And there are plenty of them!
Many of you know that I’ve been working closely with Stonyfield as a Stonyfield Yo-Getter and have had the privilege of trying out Stonyfield products and reporting back to you. Thus, there are empty yogurt containers everywhere.
Have you heard of the three R’s? Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. I’ve been giving a lot of thought lately to recycling and reusing. Before I throw things in the recycle bins in my garage and before I chuck something in the garbage I’m trying really hard to pause and consider whether it has life left in it.
Quite simply, reusing an item lengthens its life span. What if before those empty yogurt containers landed in the recycle bin we gave them one more job?
While all three of my kids are at sleepaway camp our house is going through a major overhaul. We are purging. Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?!
New Uses for Yogurt Containers
Over the years we’ve accumulated a lot of art supplies. The latest art projects over here have everything to do with gimp or lanyard. We’ve made key chains, necklaces and more. There are spools and strings of lanyard everywhere.
Thanks to an empty Stonyfield yogurt container the strings of lanyard now have a new home. The spools didn’t quite fit.
All the magic markers that have filled drawers and floors also have a new home.
And the sidewalk chalk fit perfectly.
There are so many more uses for these containers.
Next up…..we’re taking them to the beach for sand castles!
Can you think of any other great uses for yogurt containers?
This post was created in partnership with Stonyfield. All opinions are my own.
This photo was taken on our way to a Red Sox game in Boston. I’m always amazed to see what people can do with their small patch of green space in the city. Some of the gardens are breathtaking. I once spotted a bed frame converted into a flower bed. Not my taste, but very clever!
Shoe containers embrace the true meaning of reusing.
The saying goes: “One person’s trash may be another person’s treasure.” We live in a use-and-toss society where most of the time we don’t give a second thought to using an item once and then tossing it. If we stopped before tossing we might realize that some of those items that seem ripe for the trash can be repurposed into something completely different for our own use.
It’s Wednesday and all over the internet you will find photos with no words of explanation. Why? Because pictures say a thousand words and today is Wordless Wednesday.
This coming week I am going to be cutting back on my writing and focusing on some fun with my family. My oldest son is (finally!) home from 4 weeks at sleepaway camp. I can’t stop staring at him and looking for ways that he’s changed. Of course I’ve been pummeling him with non-stop questions about every detail. I’m getting as much info as expected out of an 11 year old boy. He had a fantabulous time!
Before I sign off for a few days I wanted to share with you what my other two boys were working on while their older brother was at camp.
Thank you to the great people of the Flatbread Company for making interesting pizza boxes which are perfect for robot making.
Here’s a closeup of the robots head. Yes, those are broken pencil lips. And it’s a bit hard to see, but he’s wearing an itty bitty hat.
Have a wonderful few days and I’ll see you back here soon!
Welcome to week two of Green Questions, Groovy Answers. A big thank you to everyone who submitted their excellent name suggestions for this new weekly column. Rebecca from Natural Mothers Network came up with the winner: Green Questions Groovy Answers. Thank you Rebecca! If you have a question you would like answered please submit it through the comment section, Facebook, Twitter or shoot me an email.
This weeks question came from @twituva on Twitter.
What should I do with my old Teflon non-stick pans? Is there a preferable way to recycle/discard them?
Despite the ease and convenience of non-stick pots and pans such as Teflon, many health conscious people are tossing their non-stick and replacing them with healthier options.
What’s wrong with Teflon?
Non-stick pots and pans are metal pans (such as aluminum pans) coated with a synthetic polymer called polytetrafluoroetheylene (PTFE), also known as Teflon. Teflon is toxic. According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), toxic fumes from the Teflon chemical released from pots and pans at high temperatures have lead to many pet bird deaths and an unknown number of human illnesses each year.
Now the 20 million dollar question: What do we do with all of our old Teflon and non-stick pans?
This is a challenging question. Do we really want to donate something that could potentially harm someone else? If we throw them in the trash they’ll end up lying around in an overflowing landfill, leaching toxins into the soil. So what’s the answer?
I decided to turn this tough question over to some of my favorite green gurus in the blogosphere to see what they had to say.
Nancy from Surviving and Thriving on Pennies says ” I donated mine to Goodwill a few years back. What I think is bad might be a perfectly good pan to others. In a way helping others get stuff for cheaper. Still bothers me though.”
Suzanne from Mommy Footprint has a fantastic suggestion and Karen from EcoKaren agrees : “tough one…many play-based preschools have sand boxes with pretend kitchens. This is the perfect spot for discarded Teflon…it won’t be heated back up!”
Deanna Duke from Crunchy Chicken suggested “As much as I hate passing the toxic buck to someone else, giving it to Goodwill is a decent option. If someone else buys it, then that’s one less new pan being purchased and, in the end, produced.” Stephanie from Good Girl Gone Green agrees that donating the pans is a good option.
Anna from Green Talk came up with a few creative uses for those non-stick pans: “I wonder if you could put a picture in the middle of the pan and create kitchen art. Lots of people have those hanging pot racks. Or maybe you could take the handle off and use the pot for plant drainage.”
Diane from Big Green Purse came up with an interesting thought “Why not send them back to the manufacturer?”
Beth from My Plastic Free Life agreed with Diane “I love Diane’s idea of sending them back to the manufacturer with a letter explaining why. I donated mine to Goodwill. I don’t like ‘passing the buck’ either, but I figure if someone wants Teflon pans, better they use my old ones than buy new ones and encourage the market for Teflon.”
What do you do with your old Teflon pans?
[Photo used under creative commons from Jerry Pank/Flickr]
Kids never cease to amaze me. Not just my own, all kids. They are so innovative and creative. When my three boys turn their creativity on there’s no stopping them. They cruise around the house searching for odds and ends for their masterpieces. They come to me with strange requests: “mom, do we have any fishing line?”, “I’m looking for goggles, preferably blue”, “Do we have any diapers?”. Once they have secured the items needed one never quite knows what these simple, repurposed and recycled items will become.
We live in a use-and-toss society where most of the time we don’t give a second thought to using an item once and then tossing it. If we stopped before tossing we might realize that some of those items that seem ripe for the trash could be used by our children and turned into something completely spectacular. Recycling materials that we already have will also save us a few pennies and prevent more ‘stuff’ from entering our overflowing landfills.
Be green. Create recycled masterpieces
Most of us have access to yarn, fabric, glue, crayons and paper. You don’t need much more to create a recycled work of art.
Here are a few great recycled craft ideas for reusing things commonly found in your home.
Star Wars Star Fighter aka Rocket Ship
4 Popsicle sticks
Old pen covers
2 Binder clips
Something creative for the motor
Yep. My boys love finger knitting. We have an assortment of yarn lying around our house from various projects. Finger knitting has become a big hit and a great way to use up the scraps of yarn. Wondering how to finger knit? It’s very simple. Here are DIRECTIONS.
Recycled car/robot thingy
I’m not really sure what to call this creation, but I love it.
6 Jar lids
A lot of masking tape
If you are in the market for Safer, Greener Art Supplies and Activities take a peek HERE for some inspiration.
Do you have a favorite art project that uses recycled materials?
I adore the Patagonia brand. The company is about as groovy green as they come. Patagonia has in place a program called Common Threads where they take back old outdoor garments for recycling into new fibers. They have partnered with eBay, the world biggest online second-hand marketplace, to encourage their customers to “reduce, reuse and recycle” by buying their gear second-hand rather than new.
Let me add some perspective to this ingenious, eco-friendly initiative: Patagonia is encouraging their customers to buy consumer goods second hand instead of turning to their store for a new product. Really? Really! Their strategy is simple: teach people to fix things that are fixable and reuse what you can. Once all of those options have been exhausted you can think about buying new. How brilliant and green.
When PlanetShoes.com asked if I’d like to review a pair of Patagonia shoes I jumped. A few months back I reviewed a pair of Jambu™ vegan boots from PlanetShoes.com. Being the kind and considerate wife that I am, I decided to share the review love with my husband and give him the opportunity to check out one of my favorite brands.
He went with the Patagonia Cragmaster. According to my hubby the shoes are super comfy. I personally love the red!
He’s been wearing them a lot. I noticed that they are going to be traveling with us very soon.
They even look great in a pigeon toed stance.
The Cragmaster is available for men and women. Technically, we could have matching shoes. The women’s shoe comes in a lovely Cardemom or Olive/Endive color.
But wait-there’s more…..Patagonia will be donating $10 for every pair of Patagonia shoes sold on PlanetShoes.com to The Appalachian Mountain Club (shoes must be purchased from March 19, 2012 -April 2, 2012 from PlanetShoes.com). The Appalachian Mountain Club promotes the protection, enjoyment, and understanding of the mountains, forests, waters, and trails of the Appalachian region.
PlanetShoes.com has graciously offered to give one Groovy Green Livin reader a pair of Patagonia Cragmaster shoes (value $155.00!). They are available for either men or women.
The giveaway is now over and the winner, Kirsten K., has been notified. Thanks to all who entered.
“UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not. “DR. SEUSS’ THE LORAX
When my oldest son (who’s now 11) was born my mother-in-law generously gave us a stack of children’s books she had been saving from when my husband was a child. The books were in immaculate condition and included classic titles that I had also treasured during my own childhood. The Lorax was one of the books passed on to us, ready for sharing with our own children. And that it was-over and over again. I was determined to keep on reading it to them, with the hope that someday they would understand the important (and somewhat complex) messages in the book.
When my kids got wind that The Lorax was going to be released as a movie on March 2 (Dr. Seuss’ birthday) they were beyond excited. We wondered and discussed how Hollywood would spin an animated version of our beloved book. I was thrilled when I was contacted by Universal Studios and asked to participate in a Blog Tour (see below for the full blog tour schedule) in support of Universal Pictures ‘Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax’.
Most of us are familiar with the general story-line of The Lorax. If you need a refresher, Beth from My Plastic-Free Life shared a great summary as part of this blog tour.
With the release of The Lorax there’s no better time to talk with children about one of the many messages of The Lorax: Ways our families can help protect the earth. The good news is there are so many options for change and each will have a big environmental impact on our precious planet. As a family I’ve found it’s important to create routine and habit around these simple changes so they become second nature.
Here are a few ideas to get your family started protecting the earth:
2. Celebrate Meatless Monday (or meatless any day)
Meatless Monday is a movement encouraging people to improve their health and improve the health of the planet by lowering their meat consumption. Each year the average American eats 200 pounds of meat. There are a lot of health reasons to not eat as much meat, but there are also quite a few environmental reasons to cut back on meat eating. The UN estimates the meat industry generates nearly one-fifth of the man-made greenhouse gas emissions that accelerate climate change. An estimated 1,800 to 2,500 gallons of water go into a single pound of beef. There are many ways to green your Meatless Monday (or any day of the week) and all will have a positive environmental impact on the earth.
Reusing can go well beyond the items in your lunch box. The saying goes: “One person’s trash may be another person’s treasure.” Encourage your children to give trash a second chance by reusing some of the garbage to make crafts out of recyclables. We live in a use-and-toss society where most of the time we don’t give a second thought to using an item once and then tossing it. If we changed that mentality and considered whether or not a product could be reused before recycling we would keep new resources from being needed and old resources from entering our overflowing landfills.
As The Lorax says:“UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not. “
Don’t forget to visit Mindful Momma on February 29 for the next post in our LESSONS FROM THE LORAX Blog Tour!
Are you planning to see The Lorax? Do you have any hopes for the film?
I’m Lori Popkewitz Alper, a recovering attorney, mom of three and the Founder of Groovy Green Livin. I hope you'll join me as I continue on my journey to live a healthy life. Along the way I just might stop to make some noise about issues that affect the health and safety of our families. Come along with me as I fight for a safer world for all of us. Together we'll discover that simple, small changes in your life can lead to a non-toxic, healthier lifestyle and a greener planet.