Author Archives: Carin Lynn

DIY – Lamp Made From Soda Pop Can Tabs

Soda Pop Tab LampI just love this super funky lamp made out of recycled soda pop can tabs by Tasha Duckman over at Craftster.

Tasha created this tree lamp for a class project. She started by weaving her tabs together with ribbon first, then she used wire to mold and keep the desired tree shape. She then finished it up with wiring and a CFL bulb.

Tasha’s whimsical tree is just so creative and really demonstrates that one person’s trash is really another person’s treasure.

Tip of the Week – Beware of Styrofoam

Styrofoam ContainersTry to avoid polystyrene (aka Styrofoam) for cups, plates, carry-out containers, meat trays, egg cartons and anything else that might touch your food. Not only is the material bad for the environment, but what you might not know is that it is also bad for you.

Polystyrene require petroleum to make, take eons to break down in a landfill, and can leach toxic chemicals into your food, specially when heated.

Polystyrene is marked with the plastic recycling code 6, however only some curbside pick-ups actually take it.

Choose a better food container for your health & the planet’s…like ceramic, recycled glass, paper or even safer plastics like numbers 1, 2 or 5.

Product of the Week – You Don’t Have to Wear Hemp Underwear by Robin Pharo

Product of the Week - You Don't Have to Wear Hemp Underwear by Robin PharoGoing green can be super easy with books like Robin Pharo’s ‘You Don’t Have to Wear Hemp Underwear: Changing the World Without Changing Your Life‘.

In Robin’s book she develops an approach that allows all of us to participate in living a more eco-friendly life. She offers a unique way to decide what each of us can do without forcing painful changes in our lives. In her book, she puts a new spin on things by describing seven personality types and how each can contribute in unique ways to an environmentally healthier world for all of us.

Buy Robin’s book now!

Chicago’s Top 3 Eco-Fashion Boutiques

Looking for hot fashion without all the guilt? Look no further Chicago, as we’re quickly catching up to the LA & New York eco-fashion senses for men, woman & even baby.

Here are the Top 3 Eco-Fashion Boutiques in Chicago:
Pivot Boutique

  • Pivot Boutique – Founded by Jessa Brinkmeyer in 2007 as the first eco-fashion shop in Chicago. Located in the warehouse district.
    1101 W. Fulton Market
    Chicago, IL 60607

Connect Chicago

  • Connect Chicago – Founded by Mitch Lindsay & Jonathan Shaun in 2008 committed to sustainability and social responsibility. Located in the Wicker Park / Bucktown neighborhood.
    1330 North Milwaukee Ave.
    Chicago, IL 60642

Nat & Helens

  • Nat and Helens – Founded by Mandi Altepeter, named after her maternal great-grandma & paternal grandma and where you can find all things baby. Located in the Lakeview neighborhood.
    3125 N. Broadway
    Chicago IL 60657

DIY Soda Can Brooch / Pin

On a soda can DIY up-cycling kick…Check out these stunning brooches created from recycled soda cans.


Supplies Needed:

  • Soda Cans
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Marker
  • Clear Tape
  • Pin
  • Game Card or Other Image

Step 1 –
Cut empty soda can with scissors into a rectangle shape.
Step 2 –
Mark with lines to fold and cut.

Step 3 –
Cut away what is not needed.

Step 4 –
sodacanpins4 sodacanpins5
Step 5 –
Cut out a part of a game card or use another image.
Step 6 –
Put image into frame and add your pin to the back.
Step 7 –
Fold the whole thing together.
Step 8 –
Secure edges with clear tape.
Step 9 –
Done. Now you have a super cool new pin to sport with any fun image or slogan in it.
Each brooch is 3x3cm.

Special thanks to cocinero for sharing your super fun eco-crafts with us.

Product of the Week – Rain Barrels

The Minnesotan girls behind Barrel Depot are also offering a simple pre-order & pick up at your local farmer’s market.

Next stop…Chicago’s Logan Square Farmers Market on July 18th, 2010.

They’re featuring 2 different rain barrels for pre-order & pick up, plus they will have tons of other amazing products on sale at the market that you can use to accessorize your new rain barrel with.

Recycled Oak Rain Barrel:Barrel Pic Mag

  • $179.00 with pre-order & pick up
  • 55 Gallons
  • Solid Oak
  • Recycled wine barrel
  • Brass Spigot
  • 3/4″ brass overflow
  • 5′ overflow hose
  • Option linking
  • 6″ filter basket
  • Bung Plug
  • 110 lb barrels
  • Do not fit in standard car, must have hatch back or larger vehicle

Plastic Rain Barrel:New Barrel

  • $65.00 with pre-order & pick up
  • 55 Gallons
  • Made in the USA
  • Recycled Content
  • Brass Spigot
  • 1 1/2″ overflow hose
  • Port for optional linking
  • 16″ screened lid
  • Locking lid
  • Port for optional spigot
  • Barrel aesthetic

For more information & to pre-order for the Logan Square Farmers Market on July 18th check out their site.

Tip of the Week – Just Say No To Bug Zappers

Just say no to those electric mosquito zappers. Several studies have shown that they are inefficient at killing the pesky biting insects, but great at turning beneficial ecologically important bugs into charred insects.

Part of the problem is that traditional zappers merely emit UV light as an attractant, however mosquitoes could care less about the light. Newer models, such as the Mosquito Magnet, release CO2, which does excite the biting bugs. All and all they work better, but do cost a bundle.

I still recommend just using a good old eco-friendly spray to keep those mosquitoes at bay.

DIY – Soda Can Purse

I love this purse made from recycled soda cans. It is so cute and of course eco-friendly.
Soda Can Purse

Supplies Needed:

  • Soda Cans
  • Stapler & Staples
  • Purse Template
  • Knife & Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Copier
  • Naugahyde or Similar Fabric
  • Glue
  • Wire
  • Nail or Hole Punch

Step 1 –
Trace out a purse shape (including the handles) onto paper, you just need the two large sides. Then, on the template draw squares & rectangles within the purse outline using your ruler.

Step 2 –
Next, number each square & rectangle shape and make a copy of the paper. Cut one of the drawings up, so now you have a bunch of numbered shapes. The other sheet will serve  as a master copy of how the shapes went together.

Step 3 –
Then, take a bunch of soda cans, clean them and cut the tops & bottoms out of them with a knife and then regular scissors. When complete you will end up with sheets of the aluminum can.

Step 4 –
Trace the cut out shapes onto the cans. Then cut out the shapes leaving about quarter on an inch (maybe 5-7 millimeters) edge. To make it easy, write the corresponding number on each piece. If you are using a variety of sodas, make sure to think about the color combination and layout when you are cutting out pieces. Then folded the edges under, to hide the sharp edge of the can. You can use a ruler to help you.

Step 5 –
Next, arrange the shapes back into the purse template and use a stapler with regular staples to join the can pieces. You want to make sure the stapler can reach each piece to connect it, so be sure to begin joining the cans together from the middle and work your way out. Remember, the can pieces are not overlapped but side by side.
soda can purse side view
Step 6 –
For the bottom and sides of the purse, created one long strip of soda can pieces.

Step 7 –
After you have all three pieces of your purse, trace out the purse shapes onto naugahyde, or some sort of vinyl or pleather would probably work fine, just as long as its durable. Then, glue the material onto the soda can purse shapes.
soda  can purse close up
Step 8 –
Then take a small nail and punch holes at regular intervals around the edges of the purse forms. Then take wire and lace all three pieces together.

Now, you’re ready for a night out on the town!

Thanks, RaraAvis for sharing your up-cycling eco-crafts with us.

Product of the Week – peliCAN Tee From Threadless

peliCAN is a super fun popular t-shirt design community that recently lunched their peliCAN tee designed by community members Frederik Wepener and Ross Zietz for only $10.

What makes the peliCAN tee “Green”?
With every purchase you make, you are helping the clean up effort in the Gulf. That’s right, 100% of the proceeds from the peliCAN tee will be donated to the Gulf Restoration Network, which is a 15 year old environmental non-profit organization committed to uniting and empowering people to protect and restore the natural resources of the Gulf Region for future generations.

Plus on top of all that, Threadless used an eco-friendly water-based ink to print these new tees.

Help the clean up in the gulf by buying this fun new tee from Threadless. It’s only $10!

The Bosom Buddy Program – Recycle Your Bra

Hey Ladies….You know that bra that never quite fit right or the nursing bras you never plan to use again. Instead of letting them take up room in the back of the drawer, recycle them for a good cause!

The Bra Recyclers is a textile recycling company in Arizona, that started the The Bosom Buddy Program. This program gives donated bras to women who need them, whether through shelters or other programs that help women gain self-sufficiency.

TBRIt’s really easy, just follow these 4 simple steps:

  1. Wash It. All bras must be washed.
  2. Tag It. Fill out Bra Recycling Form.
  3. Box It. Place your bras in a box or large envelope.
  4. Drop It Off or Mail It. Mail your bra(s) to:

The Bra Recyclers
Attention: Elaine Birks-Mitchell
3317 S. HIgley Rd, Ste 114-441
Gilbert, AZ 85297