Paper or Plastic? Plastic, please!

The impossible question, paper or plastic?  For once I think there is a possibility that saying plastic isn’t such a bad idea.  We all know now that we have the option to recycle our used plastic bags.  Supermarkets are making it very easy by placing bins near doors allowing you to dispose of the bags you have been saving in your basement stairwell for months.  Although this is a great idea but can seem like an overwhelming and time consuming task, we all should be doing it.

Some wonderful person out there has finally come up with a better idea.  After a visit to Ace Hardware and again forgetting my reusable bags, I walked out with yet another plastic bag, dreading the overwhelming container in my hallway of plastic bags.  After unloading my bag and about to scrunch it up into a ball I read the words 100% Degradable.

Epi has done it, made me not feel so guilty about using this bag and even less guilty about filling it with trash and throwing it away.  The plastic bags contain TDPA (Totally Degradable Plastic Additives™). It is added in small quantities, it first works by breaking down the plastic into smaller particles and then with the mix of carbon dioxide, water and biomass it tunes into soil!  Now if everything could have a little TDPA in it!

The plastic bag that I received from Ace Hardware along with many of Epi’s other plastic bags still follow the three R’s, Reduce Reuse Recycle.  The bag’s that contain TDPA are still as strong in quality as their non degradable counterpart.  They also are completely recyclable so it’s okay to add them to the container headed to the grocery store to recycle.  The best part is the knowledge that this bag has the capability to become part of nature, what a great thing!

Posted by Kate Kiselka, follow me on Twitter

The Eco Chick Guide to Life: How to Be Fabulously Green

The Eco Chick Guide to Life: How to be fabulously Green is a great read for anyone looking to green up there life!   It is available on the Kindle and also printed on recycled paper for those of us who like to read old school style.  And to be more eco-fabulous you can order a used copy off Amazon! 

The author Starre Vartan does a great job making looking like an eco chick, easy!  She gives tons of ideas on how to eco friendly and still stay stylish.  Vartan shows us where to shop for vintage and recycled jewelry, where to find shoes made from recycled materials, and how important it is to wear organic and vintage clothing. 

Another great find in this book for those of us who like to have a good time is being able to throw and eco chic party.  Buying organic drinks and shopping the farmers market for food and flowers!

This book is insightful as well as fun to read.  Vartan shares with her readers some great recipes, she even tries to convince you to switch back to your grandmothers cast iron pans for their health benefits.  Making your own cleaners out of baking soda and other products already in your cupboards, she even tells you how to make your own toothpaste! 

Posted by Kate Kiselka, follow me on twitter

Craigslist and Freecycle offer a chance to find a bargain.

Craigslist and Freecycle are two great websites for people on a budget or with zero spending money to find some great stuff.  As a new homeowner with a limited budget these sites have offered some great bargains as well as ideas.  It is a great way to reduce, reuse and recycle.

Craigslist offers a plethora of different areas on which to find things, from vacation rentals and cars to household items or when a local garage sale is happening.  It is a great and useful website to use when looking for something in particular or if you just want to look around.

Freecycle believes that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.  Freecycle allows you to post anything you may want or need to get rid of, from a hand me down bed frame to flagstone you ripped up off your front lawn.   If you don’t want it but think someone else might need it post it on this website.  You can also go on and post a want-ad for things that you are looking for in hopes someone is getting rid of it. 

Posted by: Kate Kiselka: follow me on Twitter

Coffee, more than a pick me up

Coffee is a part of 1.4 billion people’s morning rituals.  Little do all these people know that the coffee grounds used to make their coffee have many more uses!   You can use the coffee grounds in your garden around your house and even on your skin. 

You can use the coffee grinds around your house, by using them to clean soap scum in your bathroom shower as well as to get caked on food off your pots and pans.  They are also a great use in getting that awful smell of garlic or onions off your hands.  Just like baking soda, coffee grinds also have the capability to take out the lingering smells from your fridge and freezer, just put them in an old nylon or sock and place it in the back.  Why spend money on baking soda when you have used coffee grinds?

Using them in the garden is also very easy.  By sprinkling them on your vegetable garden and flower bed’s it acts as a natural fertilizer and also repels unwanted pests.  If you have a compost pile you can use coffee grinds to restore nitrogen levels.  Coffee grinds are also food for worm’s which helps out your compost pile as well as your garden. 

Lastly coffee grinds can be used as a natural exfoliate for your skin.  The best way is by adding an egg white to ¼ cup coffee grounds for a facial mask.  You can also take it right in the shower and use it on dry skin.  Why you are in there, remember that it can be used to wash away soap scum.

Who thought a simple must have every morning had so many other useful jobs!  It wakes you up and cleans the house, now only if you could sit there and let it do the work without you!  Remember making your own cup of Joe in the morning saves you money as well as saving many unwanted disposable cups from the local landfill! 

Posted by Kate Kiselka, follow me on Twitter

Kids be Green!

Kids be green is a great website that I really enjoy using and learning about all the different ways, to reduce, reuse and recycle.  Kids green has a coloring book that tells a story with each page.  My nanny Kayla can print the pages out for my brother Max and I to color.  It shows us what dangerous things are in our house and to stay away from them.  Like cleaning materials as well as stuff that dad might use in the garage.  It also helps to tell you what types of things can be recycled.  Even though I am the one who loves to color the pages, Mom and Dad can learn from the pictures too!

This fun website also has games to play like Yucky Worm World; this game helps you learn how worms help the environment.  Another game I like is Recycle City which gives me ideas on how to recycle and different ways my whole town can!  Even though I would never even dream of eating one, there is a fun game that teaches you which fish are safe to eat, thank goodness scallops are safe! FEW! 

There are so many more fun things on this site, so I am going to go play.  Make sure you check out this site with your kids or even if you don’t I think even adults would find it fun and interesting..

Posted by Abby, Age 5

Credit Card Applications a bit too much.

During this recession we have all been advised to not use our credit cards, we have been told many times how things will be changing and credit cards will be increasing percentage rates.  So we are all on alert, our radar is on and our shield is up high.  The idea of no interest no payments are part of history and replaced with minimum payments.  It makes sense we should be paying the minimum or we really shouldn’t have the card.  Paying no minimum is what has helped destroy this economy, thank you credit card companies for your thoughtless actions and disgusting tactics!

The temptation of Zero interest is appealing, especially when it is on transfers or if you are REALLY in need of a new pair of shoes.  However like I mentioned before we are all shying away, it’s a no can do so please stop sending me those incredibly nicely packaged credit card applications that fill up my already overflowing mail box.

If this sounds like your house, there is a way to opt out and I suggest everyone do it unless you reuse the large abundance of paper in these envelops as wrapping paper or of some other useful action.  We all need to end unsolicited mail; all you need to do to opt out of pre screened credit card offers is visit this site .  And just to make your life easier and the ringing of your house phone less frequent get on the “do not call list”.

The amount of energy wasted, time spent and paper used improperly is outrageous when many of us toss it right into the recycling bins without even opening them up.  Help put an end to killing trees for such a ridicules purpose.  If we need a credit card, don’t worry most of us apply on-line anyway!

Posted by: Kate Kiselka, follow me on Twitter

Wallpaper is made from paper?

Wallpaper is slowly creeping its way back into the design word.   Although wallpaper is every new home buyer’s nightmare it can be a great fix to cover some poorly plastered walls.  Many designers are looking at Wallpaper to make a statement not just as wall covering, many are using it just on one wall, as an intense and huge piece of wall art.  What was once a bad decision made by our mothers is now becoming a well recognized way of making a statement in any room of your house.

Luckily now we are left with many more options than what our mothers lived with for so long.  Say goodbye to stripes, flowers and borders and hello to texture and vibrant colors.  Patterns with a modern twist, as well as wallpaper made out of paper!  Confused? Well most wallpaper is made from vinyl which we all know isn’t paper at all so why didn’t the manufacturers call is Wall-vinyl?  Vinyl takes up a lot of space in your local landfill where now we have the option to buy eco-friendly wall paper made out of, you guessed it, paper!  This makes the disposing of the paper recyclable friendly and if tossed in the trash has a shorter life in the landfill than its harmful vinyl counterpart.

With green becoming the new black, eco-wallpaper is a lot easier to find as well as less expensive than it used to be.  Eco-friendly wallpaper is better for the environment, but it also carries with it many health benefits opposed to using vinyl wallpaper.  The eco-friendly wallpaper breathes easier than vinyl.  This will help with the paper from trapping moisture, especially if used in bathrooms.  This will hopefully eliminate or if not reduce the ability of mold to growing behind your walls.

Posted by: Kate Kiselka, follow me on Twitter