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Earth Day 2014

Posted on April 22, 2014 at 7:15 AM Comments comments (0)

Good advice from Dr. Seuss as today is Earth Day. If you are wondering what it's all about here are a few resources you can visit to find out what you can do.

Earth Day Canada

Earth Day Organization

UN Earth Day Activities

You can also check with your local city hall/council to find out what your town or city is doing to fight pollution. Get involved, start an initiative in your own home or neighbourhood. I'm trying to get our city council to put umbrella-style covers over street lamps to cut down on the amount of light that is wasted lighting up the sky instead of streets. Putting these covers on street lamps helps migrating birds (who get disoriented by a brightly lite night sky, often crashing into buildings) by decreasing brightly lite night skies while at the same time increasing illumination on streets, making it possible to remove every other lamp post and saving money. So far no luck, although they are changing over to LED lights.  I'm also trying very hard to lighten my load and promising myself not to buy anything unless it can be recycled, reused, repurposed - not just for today but everyday. 

Off again

Posted on April 17, 2014 at 9:20 AM Comments comments (0)

Family circumstances and my own preparations for taking off to the UK make it difficult for me to post anything new for awhile. But here's a final Easter idea that I spotted at Ikea's Livet Hemma blog: an Easter egg tree! Once I've got myself together, I'll be searching out new and interesting items to post. Meanwhile, here's my own take on this idea using just what you've got handy instead of running to the dollar stores.

Head out for your backyard or a neighbour's or fallen branches at the park (shhhh - don't tell anyone) to find the right kind of branch. Once at home, plunk the branch into a suitable container and anchor the branch with small stones or soil and then decorate with the eggs. Have the kids cut out pictures from magazines (the pictures can be anything - not only birds or butterflies). Once trimmed, glue the pictures on emptied eggshells. Before gluing the pictues on, you can dye the eggshells quickly with small amounts of food colouring. Add a string or ribbon for haning and you're done.

Note: If you can't find a branch, hang these up in the window or simply pile them into a pretty bowl or into the egg carton to use as a centrepiece as shown in the photo above. Also, if you have them, use paper stickers and reuse plastic eggshells from previous Easters. Remember - use what you have on hand and save a little green for the chocolates!

Happy Easter.

DIY Milk & Juice Carton Recycling - Part 1

Posted on April 5, 2014 at 10:00 AM Comments comments (0)

I know that I promised you a bunch of Easter recycling ideas but I thought I'd take a little break and focus on the real intent of this blog: i.e., recycling stuff. A few days ago, a friend brought over a few milk cartons (the kind with cap and spout) and asked me how she could go about these as she has several kids and ends up with dozens of these cartons from both milk and juice in her recycling bin. 'Are there any ways', she asked, 'I can recycle these?'  'Well, yeah', says I, 'maybe, perhaps - let me think about it.'

So here goes. Let's start with the cap and spout first. You know those pesky packages that stuff like salt, sugar breadcrumbs, or baking soda come in? Whenever I poured anything out of them, they either would just dribble and stop pouring or pour out too quickly. So I decided that if I reused the cap and spout part of a milk or juice carton, I could solve that pesky problem. Here's what I did.



Now I know this is something others have thought of, so I'm not claiming it as my own idea, but if it works, it works. To start, of course, you will need canning jars - new or vintage - for this to work. You can pick up vintage canning jars at any charity shop or church bazaars - I collected a zillion of them at the Sally Ann over the years. Or you can buy new ones at hardware or kitchen supply stores. To replace the canning jar lids, just cut out the cap and spout part of the milk or juice carton and then, using the metal ring of the jar as a guide, trim to fit the jar.

Lastly, pour whatever contents you want into the jar, top with the new lid, and replace the metal ring.

You do know the jar should be clean and dry first, right?  

Easter Recycled - Eggshell Easter Wreath

Posted on March 30, 2014 at 1:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Isn't this a sensational Easter wreath - made mostly of broken eggshells? I'm showing it as I did promise you a few ideas for Easter. I've wandered over to European sites as they still celebrate Easter moreso than we do over here. I found this at, a Czech website that appears to be similar to Etsy as everything has a price tag - I'm just guessing as my Czech isn't great (i.e., no-existent) and Google Translate is about the same level as me (well, maybe a mite better).

So don't toss out your broken eggshells - this wreath is a great way to recycle these shells and looks so pretty. The idea here is not to copy exactly what you see but to put your own spin on it. Personally, I wouldn't add the little bows or the dried stuff. A few springs of pussywillow branches could also replace the feathers. Let your creativity loose. 

By the way, you can freeze eggs so you can happily break up a dozen or so for this wreath without any waste. 

Anyway. for more similar wreaths, click here.  


Heel and Toe - Recycling Shoe Trees &High Heels

Posted on March 21, 2014 at 12:50 AM Comments comments (0)

Need somewhere to hang up your keys, coat, scarf, or hat? Why, just put up a few of shoe trees (or lasts as they are also called) and you're in business. They'll add a bit of flair wherever you put them. This idea is yet another one from my friend, Sean. 

To find more inspiration for recycling, reusing and repurposing shoe trees/lasts, head over to Susan and Jimmy Gaston's website where they do a lot with wooden shoe trees.

Here's my own take on recycling anything shoe-related. Some time ago (it was a Mother's Day idea), I stumbled across a bunch of derelict high heels in a tip outside a shoe store on Queen Street. I politely asked the shop owner if I could help myself to a few (why - I wasn't sure at the time - it just seemed like a good idea!). Anyway, I hauled a few home and this is what I created. 

These do take a little more work than just hanging them up on the wall but I have how to instructions here.

By the way, Easter is not too far away and because I am getting ready for my annual sojourn to Scotland and won't have time to make stuff, I will be posting some finds that I love soon. 

Searching for that Pot of Gold - Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Posted on March 17, 2014 at 10:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Seems everyone has gone green today - ecologically (I hope) and because it's St. Patrick's Day. Even if you're not Irish, you can enjoy all the festivitites associated with this day. Too bad about the curfuffle in New York City but don't let that stop you from enjoying the day. Have a Guinness on me, too! And keep looking for that pot of gold.