Author Archives: Carin Lynn

Thrift Stores – Reduce, Reuse & Recycle

Thrift store shoppingThrift store shopping is a great way to practice your 3 R’s – reduce, reuse, and recycle.

  • Reduce – Purchasing a used item rather than a new one reduces the amount of new inputs to the environment. It also keeps all of those items that were in thrift store out of landfills.
  • Reuse – Most items at thrift stores are in good condition and can be reused. Children’s clothing and toys are especially good examples of this most children only wear their clothes for a limited amount of time before they are outgrown. In addition, some stores such as Plato’s Closet specialize in gently-used high-end clothing.
  • Recycle – Thrift-store items can be recycled, or should I say up-cycled! Thrift-store goods can be given a second life by being turning into something new. Like home furnishings (pillow covers, curtains, etc.), kid’s dress-up outfits, Halloween costumes, and outdoor work clothes.

100+ Sites For Eco-Friendly Living

Want to know just about everything & anything Green? Well, now you can with this incredible list by Mashable.

The list includes 100+ sites that give information on everything green. Things like how to lower your carbon footprint, places to find eco-friendly shopping, communities to meet others & discuss the current topics and even dating sites where you can find other tree-huggers that are looking to mingle.

This list is pretty awesome & a great resource for anyone looking for a little Green knowledge. Check it out:  100+ Sites for Green Living

Tip of the Week – Make Your Own Shampoo & Conditioner

ShampooThere are a lot of shampoo companies out there promising to make your hair lush & beautiful. But do they really? And to what cost? They are full of toxins & chemicals and often just turn your hair into a dry & brittle mess.

Try making your own eco-friendly shampoo & conditioner. It is a gentle way to cleanse your hair without drying it out.

Shampoo Recipe: A tablespoon of baking soda mixed with a cup of water.
Conditioner Recipe: Two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar mixed with a cup of water.

5 Ways To Reuse Household Items & Turn Them Into Cat Toys

Kitty CatNot sure how to reuse those odds & ends around the house? How about turning them into fun toys for your feline friend.

Here are 5 ways to reuse everyday household items and turn them into cat toys.

1- Turn an old sock & some string into a mouse. Simply cut the sock in half, sew it up in a mouse shape, and leave a small opening. Stuff the half of sock you cut off into the other half that has been sewn, and attach the string tail with a few more stitches, and voila…you got a sock mouse.

2- Old shoelaces – especially the rawhide ones – make for hours of kitty fun. You can also tie them to a plastic wiffle ball and tie the other end to a doorknob, if you’re lazy.

3- If you buy milk with a plastic cap, remove the circle of plastic that attaches the cap to the bottle, toss it onto the floor, and watch your cats explode with happiness. (It’s the cheapest toys that provide the most entertainment value…)

4- If that throw rug gets old and ratty, or you get your carpets replaced, cut up some scraps and staple them with a staple gun to an old wooden board & Bingo you got an instant scratching post.

5- An old box or paper bag can be a great hideout for all kitty cats.

Product of the Week – 1000 Ideas for Creative Reuse Paperback Book

1000 Ideas for Creative Reuse PaperbackArtists and crafters have always been recyclers, but for many, it has not only become a thrifty choice, it has become a moral imperative. 1000 Ideas for Creative Reuse contains a cutting edge collection of the most inventive work being made with re-used, upcycled, and already existing materials. The work in this book ranges from clever and humble personal accessories to unique and important large-scale works of art, including paper art, fashion, jewelry, housewares, interiors, and installations.

Buy Now for only $16.50!

About the Author
Garth Johnson is a studio artist, writer and educator who lives in Eureka, California. In addition to maintaining the website “Exteme Craft” ( Garth writes for CRAFT magazine and his writing has been featured in museum catalogs, magazines, and books worldwide, including a contribution to the upcoming book Handmade Nation from Princeton Architectural Press. His first DVD, ReVision: Recycled Crafts for Earth-Friendly Living will be released by Eyekiss Films later this year. His artwork was featured in a solo show at Gallerie Maxim in Cologne, Germany in August, 2008. Garth received a BFA from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and an MFA from Alfred University. He has taught at Georgia State University, Columbus State University and is currently a full-time instructor at College of the Redwoods in Eureka, CA. In addition to teaching, he is a sought-after lecturer and visiting artist, with recent lectures at Ohio State University, Illinois State University, and the Kansas City Art Institute.

Tip of the Week – Matches Instead Of Lighters

matches and lightersHey all you smokers out there…please choose to light your cancer sticks with the most eco-friendly option out there. Matches!

Matches may not be the most convenient but they sure are more green than lighters. That’s because the majority of  lighters are made of plastic and considered disposable, so they will most likely end up gathering in a landfill somewhere when you’re done with them. While most match packs, on the other hand, are made of cardboard which is a recyclable material and can go on to a second life of some sort.

Top 5 Things To Donate In 2010

Need to make some room for all the new stuff you got on Christmas? Then do a little “spring cleaning” and donate your gently used things to homeless shelters, animal shelters or local businesses asking for donations.

Here is my list of the top 5 things to clean out of your closets & give them a second life with someone else.

Top 5 Things To Donate In The New Year:Gently used blanket

1- Gently used clothing to a homeless shelter or Good Will
2- Old blankets, comforters, towels & rugs to an animal shelter
3- Egg cartons to a local Egg Farmer
4- Eyewear to New Eyes For The Needy
5- Broken umbrellas to Local Labels & Himane

Happy New Year!

New Year’s Eve DIY Water Bottle Noise Maker

Water Bottle Noise MakerNew Year’s Eve is all about making the most noise at midnight. This year do it in Eco-Style with these DIY recycled water bottle noise makers. They are really easy & a fun project to do with the kids.

What you’ll need:

  • Empty plastic water bottle
  • Beans, coins, or other items to place inside
  • 1 sheet white tissue paper
  • Scraps of tissue paper in various colors, cut into small squares
  • 24″ long strip of light blue crepe paper streamer
  • 24″ long strip of pink crepe paper streamer
  • White craft glue
  • Water
  • Scissors

How to make it:

  • Place a handful of beads or coins inside the clean, dry water bottle. Run some glue around the mouth of the bottle and replace the cap.
  • Make a mixture of 1/2 white craft glue and 1/2 water that will be enough to cover the bottle a few times over.
  • Tear white tissue paper into large chunks, approximately 4″x2″.
  • Paint a small section of the outside of the water bottle with the glue mixture. Place a torn piece of white tissue paper onto the glue mixture and paint over it with the glue mixture. Repeat this process, covering the entire bottle with 2-3 coats of white.
  • Apply small colorful squares of tissue paper randomly over the white tissue paper to resemble confetti.
  • Cut each strip of crepe paper streamer in half. Carefully tie one of the pieces around the neck of the bottle. Repeat with other lengths of crepe paper. Use scissors to cut each length to about 4″ hanging length, and then cut upwards into thin strips. Use a couple pieces of the excess crepe paper you just cut off to twist around the neck of the bottle and glue in place. Allow to dry for several hours.

Green Tip:

  • Save tissue paper & crepe paper from birthday parties to use in projects such as these.