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Recycling Old Toys, Games and Puzzles

You're torn.  You're trying to declutter your home, but you don't know what to do with all those puzzles, toys, and games missing crucial pieces.  You don't want to toss them in the trash to take up precious landfill space for the next few centuries, but who will want them?

You will, that's who!

Remember those popsicle stick picture frames you used to make in Girl Scouts/Boy Scouts/elementary school?  You glued four sticks together, taped a picture on the back, and proudly presented it to a parent or grandparent who smiled kindly and put it away with all the other "special crafts" so it wouldn't get damaged. You can take the same concept and make a frame with the kids that you'll actually want to display.

I've made a few different versions of the popsicle stick frames with the kids I work with.  In one, we've covered the sticks with puzzle pieces.   I recommend doing two layers of puzzle pieces, just so there's more dimension to the frame.  Recycle Old Puzzles, Ideas to Recylce Old Puzzles

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Take the Toilet Paper Challenge: “Can You Spare a Square?”

Take the Toilet Paper Challenge: “Can You Spare a Square?”

In the 1990’s sitcom, Seinfeld, character Elaine Benes asks this question to her neighbor in a public restroom, and is outraged when her neighbor refuses to share. I was similarly stunned when I recently learned that in the year 2008, the US consumed approximately 7,170,261,504 rolls of toilet paper! That’s approximately 7,026,856 trees used to manufacture toilet paper alone and is significantly more than any other country in the world. Further more, Americans are demanding the crème-de-la-crème, softer-than-soft varieties which cannot be made from recycled paper. The negative impact this is having on our environment is clear, and for this reason, I beg of you, Can you spare a square??... read more

Cigarettes and the Environment: Harmful Effects

Cigarettes and the EnvironmentEveryone knows how bad smoking cigarettes are for one's health, but what about their effect on the environment? 

Let's take a look at some facts:  ... read more

Does Lil Green Patch Actually Save the Rainforest?

Lil' Green PatchOne of the most popular Facebook applications is called (Lil) Green Patch.  As of April, it was the 6th most popular application on Facebook.  The application is a little game, where you have a pretend "garden" that you tend to.  You can send your friends things to plant in their garden, such as an apple tree or flowers.... read more

Shut down the computer or leave it on?

Shut down the computer or leave it onYears ago, I heard that shutting down your computer and then booting it up again takes up so much energy that it made more sense, from a green standpoint, to leave it running.  People also claimed that shutting down and rebooting  wears out the power switch, drive motors, and other computer components at a quicker rate.... read more

Is McDonald's Going Green?

Many of you probably read Newsweek's story about the greenest big companies in America.   Some of the listings on there really surprised me.  The biggest one that surprised me was McDonald's and its ranking of #22.  In the magazine's green rankings, they don't go into great detail about what the companies are doing to go green, but I was in such shock to see McDonald's have such a high ranking that I had to look into this for myself.

As it turns out, McDonald's is making some solid efforts to go green. ... read more

Disposing of Batteries

Disposing of BatteriesHow do you dispose of single-use batteries?  Do you recycle them?  Throw them in the trash? ... read more

Eat AND Drink Local: Finding Local Beer

Apparently I have imbibement on the brain, between my earlier post about wine and this one.  

If you're a beer lover trying to lower your carbon footprint, one way you can do so is by supporting your local breweries.  I know that Chimay is sooo good, but obviously beer brewed in your locale has a far lower carbon footprint than your favs shipped over from Belgium.

Here is a fantastic resource for finding breweries or learning which beers you see on menus and at the stores are actually brewed in your area:  The Brewer's Association National Directory.    Some breweries may also be pubs, others might give tours where you can taste beer.  (Yum!)... read more

Keen for Green Halloween Guide

green halloween

With Halloween around the corner, I just wanted to recap some of our older and newer green Halloween posts.  

First, don't forget that this Saturday is National Costume Swap Day!  It's not too late to find a swap near you.  Don't bother buying a new costume when you can find a cool one at a swap.... read more

Hybrid Myths and Facts

"As far as I can tell, the 'hybrids ain't so great' rumors are patently untrue," says Umbra at Grist.  With Cher making headlines by proclaiming that hybrids are BS, I wanted to share some information that I found before buying my hybrid, as well as some newer research and information.  It's time to debunk the hybrid myths.

Myth #1:  Hybrids are overall worse for the environment than Hummers.

This bit of "bad science" was circulating around and some anti-environmentalists are still clinging to it.  In 2007, the Pacific Institute issued a paper debunking this myth.  Read the PDF here.

Myth #2:  The manufacturing process for hybrids is so environmentally unfriendly that it cancels out the gas you're saving.

Research from the Argonne National Laboratory and the Rocky Mountain Institute has proven that the fuel savings you get in a hybrid MORE than make up for the eco-unfriendliness of the manufacturing process.  

Myth #3:  You have to be wealthy to buy a hybrid.  

A brand new Toyota Prius starts at $22,800, just about $3,000 more than a non-hybrid Camry.   The Honda Civic hybrid is similarly priced.  These aren't expensive cars.   The wealthy can get a BMW ActiveHybrid for over $100,000.  (Yikes!)... read more