Paper or plastic shopping bags?

Paper, plastic and reusable shopping bagsWhen shopping, which bags should you choose when the cashier asks the proverbial question: PAPER OR PLASTIC? The best answer is neither. The Huffington Post reports:

The Seattle City Council voted Monday (12/19/11) to ban single-use plastic bags from groceries and other retail stores, joining a growing trend among cities that embrace green values. The ordinance, which was approved unanimously following months of discussion and debate, takes effect in July 2012. It includes a provision to charge a nickel fee for the use of paper bags, to encourage people to bring their own bags when they go shopping.

Hopefully, plastic bags will soon be outlawed all across the U.S., as in other countries They are made with petroleum and wreak havoc on the environment…and paper bags are typically manufactured from virgin wood after a deforestation.  Try using baskets, reusable canvas or cloth bags that can be washed and used time and time again.

Check out these related posts:

Verde Mom’s article on plastic bags…an unnecessary evil!

Plastic in our oceans

Plastic bags are a blowing problem

Recycle plastic bags

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Outdoor Gear Needed for At-Risk Children


A Wisconsin-based nonprofit organization, Blue Lotus Farm is providing a safe and healing place for at-risk special needs children and adults. They accept donations of wheelbarrows, fishing poles, life jackets, water floatation supplies and more. Visit their website for specific instructions on making a donation and what they currently need.

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Donate a Prom Dress to Help Someone

Share the happiness, donate your prom dressCATHERINE’S CLOSET

Since 2002, Catherine’s Closet has provided over 6,000 gowns for special occasions and over $20,000 in scholarships.  They need your help with gown donations to keep their dream alive and continue the good work they do in New Jersey.  Their story and success is very inspirational, and you can form a group to join in the cause:

Catherine was an honor student and valedictorian of her class at Clifford Scott High School in East Orange, New Jersey. She was aspiring to be a doctor. A 14 year old in a stolen vehicle rammed into the car driven by Courtney, Catherine’s twin sister, killing Catherine . She was buried in her prom dress. In an essay she once wrote Catherine said,“People will know my name not for fame or fortune or out of Vanity, but they will know me because I have helped someone.”

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Furniture Banks in Need of Donations

Antique Furniture

Furniture banks are not-for-profit 501(c)(3)  organizations whose mission is to provide free furniture to families struggling with poverty and other severe life challenges. They collect donations of gently used furniture, and provide it for free to families in need via referrals from other social service agencies, churches, schools, employers, etc.

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Sell Comic Books Online

Comic books

Image compliments of

When you are ready to get rid of your childhood comic books, “Think Outside The Bin” and consider selling them online. Here are several solutions for selling individual comic books, comic artwork or entire collections.

The mission at Comic Link is to help sellers maximize their return when selling a collection, individual comic book or comic art.

At Showcase New England, they mainly buy large collections and pre-1980 collections.

Whether it is just one, or a whole collection, they are interested in paying you for old comic books, hence the name, “Comics for Cash.”  They ‘won’t turn you away’ regardless of the condition or type of comic books you have.

Bid, buy and sell old comic books with just a few clicks at Fantasy Comics.


Heritage Auction will provide a confidential evaluation of your entire collection or just a single piece.  They are looking to buy directly or accept consignments for upcoming auctions.

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Recycle Christmas Wrapping Paper

Wrapped gifts under the treeWith Christmas rapidly approaching, we hope you’re planning for holiday recycling. In America, we throw away 25% more trash from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day than at any other time of year. This extra garbage amounts to 25 million tons of trash.* Enough ribbon is thrown away each year – 38,000 miles of ribbon – to tie a bow around the earth.

Many common holiday items can go in curbside recycling:

  • Wrapping paper (non-metallic only)
  • Gift boxes
  • Shopping bags
  • Catalogs
  • Newspapers filled with advertising inserts
  • Greeting cards and envelopes (non-metallic only)
  • Corrugated cardboard boxes, flattened

Reminder:  No metallic wrapping paper, ribbons, bows, ornaments, tissue paper, fluorescent or dark paper, paper covered with tape or Styrofoam.

Ever wondered how the tradition of wrapping gifts in pretty papers got started? Read all about it at Earth 911:


Posted in Boxes, Cardboard boxes, Envelopes, Greeting Cards, Magazines, Newspapers, Packing materials, Paper, Think Outside The Bin, Wrapping paper | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Reduce, Reuse, and Rejoice

Make Christmas crafts from common household itemsCute Christmas crafts can be made with the kids in 30 minutes or less using items you have around the house like light bulbs, CDs, and last years greeting cards.

Penguin ornament:

CD photo ornament:

Gift tags:

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Creative Reuse for Trampoline

Trampoline for a tarpRecycling a trampoline doesn’t have to be difficult. The frame and springs can be recycled for steel scrap at a local metal scrap yard and the bounce mat can be reused. Kudos to this person we spotted using the bounce mat as a tarp for their truck trailer.

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Compostable Plates Made from Sugar Cane

Single-use plates made from sugar caneCOMPOSTABLE BIO-PLASTICS

Some plastic items like these single-use plates by Solo are bio-degradable in community composting facilities. Find a Composter offers a searchable database to locate a composting facility in your area. Explore the Resources Page, as well as links to international, federal, state and local composting and organics diversion Bio-plastics are compostableinitiatives.

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Recycle Christmas Lights when Upgrading to LED lights

LED WAREHOUSELED lights on Christmas Tree

LED lights are the most earth-friendly lighting option, so when you are ready to replace your old energy-draining Holiday lights, consider the impact of your decision.   The change to LEDs could have an enormous, immediate benefit to our planet, the amount of energy we burn and certainly our pocketbooks.  When you are ready to make the switch, disposing of older lights, working or not, can be a challenge.

LED Warehouse will accept old, burned out Christmas lights and other holiday lights.  They recycle all of the individual parts, since they usually contain copper, glass and PVC plastic.  Just box up your old lights, ship them in a cardboard box (without any packing material, ties, reels, etc) and send your name and email address.  They will send you a 10% off coupon toward the purchase of LED lights, which come with a life expectancy of 50,000 hours!  It would take the purchase of approximately 50 incandescent bulbs to last that long.

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