PaperBackSwap Blog


Go Green Earth Day Contest

Go Green Earth Day Contest

What we all know and love about PBS is that it allows us to recycle and reuse our favorite things…books! We’re here to keep well-loved books out of landfills and in the hands of avid readers. Increasing our positive impact on the environment is an important goal of the club, so we look forward to Earth Day each year as a special time to celebrate and to further our commitment to protecting the planet.

This year, we want you to celebrate with us! In the spirit of Earth Day on April 22, 2011, we’d love to hear your great ideas for Going Green.

Share with us a practical, creative, helpful, and fun idea on how to REDUCE, REUSE and RECYCLE household items.  Remember, when it comes to going green, even a little goes a long way. Submit just one, excellent idea that each of our members can implement into their lives to live a more verdant lifestyle.

Submit your greening idea by April 14th in a comment to this post. We will choose 5 ideas and members can vote on their absolute favorite Going Green Idea starting April 18th.  The winner will be announced in the PBS Blog on April 22nd. The grand prize winner will win 10 credits & $5.00 PBS Money, and the second, third, fourth, and fifth place ideas selected will win 3 credits each.

We look forward to hearing all your ideas and pooling everyone’s suggestions to make PBS members the greenest readers in the country!

Go green and good luck!

“The earth is what we all have in common.” – Wendell Berry


For Your Greading (Green Reading) Pleasure

Click the cover images to view the details page for each book on the site. These books are ready to be reused; they’re available to order from your fellow PBS members!

The Green Book by Elizabeth Rogers, Thomas Kostigen

It's Easy Being Green by Crissy Trask

Wake Up and Smell the Planet by Grist Magazine

Squeaky Green by Eric Ryan, Adam Lowry

Tags: , , ,

244 Responses to “Go Green Earth Day Contest”

  1. Christina T. says:

    Use your old blankets, comforters and sheets to make a “new” comforter. Use an old blanket or comforter as the middle layer and just sew your 2 outside pieces to it around the edges. The outside pieces could be an old sheet & or large piece of material, pieces of material (either sprap material or even your old clothes) sewn together in a quilt type fashion or even second hand or clearance sheets or material. You can use your imagination and make it just the way you want it. After it is sewn together around edges, you then can tie it as you would a quilt to help hold the 3 layers together. Believe me, you can make some very nice “new” comforters out of your old stuff. Not only are new ones very expensive, (even the cheap ones) but these are better made a look fabulous! They even make great gifts! Something to think about anyway.

  2. Donna S. says:

    We use cloth napkins when possible, but I save any lightly-used paper ones in a large covered tin in the laundry room. When it’s time to clean the toilet rim or swab up a broken jar of food or other dirty job, I use the napkins from the tin.

    We avoid bringing home purchases in plastic bags when possible, but save the ones we do get in a bag; once it’s full, I take them to the thrift store or a local produce merchant who use them instead of new bags.

    I save outdated road maps and Sunday comics to wrap gifts. Maps especially work well for larger gifts.

    Within my immediate family, we’ve been carefully saving and reusing certain Christmas boxes and bags for years. The gingerbread box and the Santa bag are almost as special as our Christmas ornaments.

    I save the waxed-paper cups from take-out soft drinks, to start seeds or cuttings in. When the seedling is ready, plant cup and all in the soil; the cup soon decomposes. Punch several holes in the bottom of each cup before use and write the date planted on the cup rim with a permanent marker.

    Instead of plastic wrap, I use waxed paper, which composts, or foil, which can be recycled. Before refrigerating or transporting a casserole or bowl of food, I slip it into a plastic produce bag and clip it closed with a clothespin–much faster and easier than tussling with plastic wrap!

    I put all my shredded paper into the compost pile (make a hole big enough for the paper and cover over with soil/leaves to keep the paper from blowing away). I compost all peelings, eggshells, tea bags, coffee grounds, pulled weeds, etc. Even if you’re not up for turning and tending a compost pile by the book, just have a pile where you throw these things, and they will still compost. It will just take a little longer.

  3. Michelle V. (MickeyVilla) , says:

    Go green and save your green. Going green can save you money. It is not necessarily a vegetarian/vegan, hippy, living off the grid thing, which isn’t for everyone. Instead think 1930-1940s. Simplifying you life. What some think of as green today could be argued as Depression Era thinking. People can go green in a rural area as much as you can in a big city. Better yet, I would argue that it is easier in the big city.
    •Be like Grandma. Darn your socks, sew up a hole, put on a patch, make a quilt…
    •Go to the library. Free books and movies. I’ll check out a book before I get it on PBS just to make sure I want to read it!
    •I’m a huge fan of cloth reusable bags. I have some from the mid 1980s that are still in great shape.
    •Public transportation, bicycling and/or walking is better for you and your health.
    •Plan your shopping trips to save gas.
    •Use smartphones for grocery shopping list
    •Take your lunch to work/school. You don’t need fancy containers, just use what you have!
    •Reusable coffee cup/water bottle. You can even take it to the airport.
    •Buy in bulk. Buy at any place that has items that reduces packaging
    •Recycle anything and everything you can think of.
    •Reduce junk mail and get your bills online
    •Have a simple wardrobe or if you get a new shirt, give away a shirt or two to the thrift store.

  4. Sharon says:

    1. I cut up old envelopes and use them for scratch paper which I keep on the desk and on the nightstand.

    2. For birthdays during growing season, we grow annual edible flowers: nasturtium, violas, pansy & use them on cake decorations. Never use pesticides of any kind on flowers to be used as decorations – don’t even use organic pesticides.

    3. We use old newspaper as mulch and weed blocker in the vegetable garden.

  5. Samina C. (aminasay) says:

    Instead of buying steel wool to scrub pots and pans I use coffee grounds from my morning coffee pot.

    My family plans and shops for a combined dinner with another family in our neighborhood at least once a week. We split the cost and no food goes to waste.

    Use glass soda bottles as flower vases.

  6. Hans R. (nonprofit) says:

    With three little ones in the house, my wife and I do a lot of laundry. Nothing beats the economy of a clothes line (or drying rack) but taking the time to hang up each and every piece of clothing is a luxury we simply don’t have. (Also everything hung on a line feels like it’s been given the heavy starch treatment.) So, next time you’re moving your clothes washer to dryer, only hang up the items of heaviest fabric (in our house, that’s jeans and bath towels). By drying only the thin fabric, your clothes will not only dry faster but it will take less energy to do so. The next time you’re doing laundry, repeat the process, this time, placing the now stiff-as-a-board items in the dryer with the recently washed lightweights. The towels will actually absorb a tiny bit of the moisture and shorten the dry time/energy use even more. Best of all everything emerges soft and fluffy.

  7. Brent R. (twomonkeys) says:

    I use brown paper bags from grocery shopping, to wrap my books in and send them to people. I use a plastic bag fiirst to protect the book from moisture and then the brown paper bag on the outside to write on. It helps me reuse the bags from the grocery store and saves me money from buying packing. 🙂

  8. Natalie S. (talie32) says:

    I reuse old containers to sort and store smaller items. Any placstic container with a lid will do or an old jar with a lid. Then you save money and can reuse those items. My favorite containers are country time lemonaide, baby puffs containers, baby wipes containers, pasta sauce jars. These all have sturdy lids and can be used for just about anything from food storage, to crafts storage, to sorting your junk drawer.

  9. Jessica C. says:

    I take my leftover plastic grocery store bags to the daycare and they use them when sending home children’s sheets and blankets at the end of the week. Much better than just throwing them away!

  10. Connie B. (angelwithoutwords) says:

    I have an awesome recycling project for you, this project not only has to do with books! which is our top priority here am I right? If you ever have an old book that you dont need anymore, aside from putting it on paperbackswap, you can make it into a cute project! You can make hiding places for special objects by cutting out a square in the pages, make a cute scrapbook out of an old book, or simply make an intricate mantle piece to present. You can do all these things by using paper-mâché to attach the pages together. All three of these projects are fun to do with your kids, they’ll surely enjoy using paper-mâché, and the best part is, it’s easy to clean up. (Note: a hardcover book is the best for all three projects)

    For a cute hiding place: Open your book to a middle page, and use an Exacto Knife to cut out your opening for your secret compartment. Be sure not to cut every page, only cut a hole deep enough for your object, if you cut too many it wont look like a real book anymore. Once your book is cut just paper-mâché each page together from the back forward. Making a hard casing for your object! Be sure to let your paper-mâché fully dry.

    Making a mini Scrapbook: Instead of paper-mâchéing all pages together, simply bunch 20 pages or so at a time and paper-mâché together only those 20 pages, after drying your individual 20 page clumps you can then decorate them just as a scrapbooking page!

    Mantle piece: This project is just about the easiest, simply open your book to the center, and paper-mâché the pages starting from the back forward. When doing this project, i actually painted my pages gold to create the look of a golden book, it sits proudly on my bookshelf open and inviting, I have received a lot of comments for this particular project.

  11. Stephanie B. says:

    My family loves ice cream so I usually buy it by it in the plastic buckets. Once the ice cream is gone, I use the buckets for cleaning. I can mix up cleaning solution in them and carry it where it from room to room. They actually make great “throw up” buckets and are very easy to clean up. And where we use them for cleaning buckets also,(we do lysol them first) they are always clean, fresh, and good smelling for when the next person is sick. My husband uses the buckets for sorting nails and screws in the garage. And my kids LOVE to use the buckets in the sandpile and to make creative potions in.

  12. Sue W. (RI-Sue) says:

    When you need to make a big furniture purchase avoid the furniture store chains. Go to a consignment shop or antiques store. Ask about 1920’s vintage. In most parts of the country it runs the same price as new furniture!
    For example, if you buy a new bedroom set you will, in most cases, get particle board in a “cherry finish” Think glued sawdust, stained red. The drawers will be stapled together. When you pull a jammed drawer it will separate and you will be holding just the drawer front. The drawer bottom will be a heavy cardboard. In about ten years it will or will be ready to go to the central landfill.
    Buy the pre 1950’s (“recycled”) furniture and you will get real wood, dovetailed or pegged drawer sides they stay together with a forceful opening, a wooden back and wooden sides. After ten years in a KIDs room, it will be scuffed and may need to be refinished. In 50 years hand it off to your grand-kids.
    So my tip, to save the big bucks, is buy “recycled” furniture, but for durablility go pre-1950.
    FYI- new ‘veneer’ is a laminate on particle board. Old ‘veneer’ is real wood, cut 1/32nd of an inch thick, glued to solid wood underneath. It was used to give a fancier matching graining to several items, versus just one.

  13. Jeannie W. (jmwoodtx) says:

    Use the tops of plastic water or coke bottles to keep food fresh in plastic baggies! Cut the top off the top of a used water bottle and include the neck of the bottle. Save the cap! Then, if you have food in a plastic baggie, pull as much of the baggie up through the neck and through the opening (where you put the lid) and then back down around the lid. Kinda like how you put a trash bag in a trash can and fold the excess bag down around the side of the trash can. Then put the lid on! It’ll reduce the amount of plastic going in the landfill from the water/coke bottle, and will help keep things fresh that are in baggies! I hope I explained that well enough for you to understand it! 🙂

  14. Vanessa V. (vanessav) says:

    At least try cloth diapers! They are not as gross as people think and save so much waste and money!!

  15. Rose Ann M. (moonspinners) says:

    I freeze all of my vegetable, beef, and chicken leftovers, including the juice or stock. After I have several baggies or containers, I use it to make soup. The broth for the soup comes from the leftover veggie juices so I never add water. It’s always a little different, and so far, always yummy!

    I recycle my envelopes I get books in on PBS to send out books here on PBS! I reuse the bubble wrap if any or use the liners from my Sunday only newspaper delivery to wrap books. I’ve also learned how to print two Delivery Confirmation labels on one sheet of copy paper by turning it upside down to print the second one. That idea has been a real paper saver!!

    I also love to shop second hand stores and garage sales for household items, toys for grandkids, etc.

    I have to plug using your local library. It will NOT take away from your using PBS; it will likely increase your use because you will find more authors to try and books to put on your Wish List.

  16. Kara A. (karasue10) says:

    As I read through the other comments, I find that I do many of the same things. I focus on reducing as much as recycling. I look for products that come in recyclable containers, I wash out plastic baggies and hang them on the utensil rack to air dry, I use cloth napkins and dish cloths rather than paper napkins and paper towels, I use reuse envelopes to use as shopping lists and stash the coupons I plan to use inside the envelope. I also hate to throw anything away that maybe someone could possibly use so I participate in my local freecycle group to get rid of unwanted items.

    I organize my daughter’s birthday parties using real silverware and plates rather that plastic utensils and paper (or worse, styrofoam) plates. I make a homemade pinata for her every year using newspapers and flour/water paste. Games and activities are centered around crafts out of “trash” using unrecyclabe plastic containers and packing peanuts and bubble wrap.

    Extra packing peanuts and bubble wrap is donated to a local shipping store. I have a pellet stove and the plastic pellet bags drive me crazy because I have to throw them away so I use them to line my kitchen trash can instead of buying kitchen trash bags. I have a compost tumbler in my backyard, but I also have a 1 gallon ceramic composter canister on my counter to collect all of my food scraps so I’m not contantly in and out to the composter. I use canvas bags to do all of my shopping and keep the bags right in the car. I carry a BPA free water bottle with me everywhere so I don’t have to buy a water when I’m out and about. I bought an energy efficient washing machine and line dry all of my clothes in the Spring, Summer and Fall. I have a lot of CFL’s in my house and one new LED lightbulb. I’m always looking for more ways to become more green, but I think I am doing my part!

  17. Jennifer (twineball) says:

    I do a lot of these things as well, but 2 that have not been mentioned are:

    -At the end of the year, I use our wall calendars to make cute and unique envelopes. You can do the same thing with old roadmaps. People love receiving them, and I feel much better about not throwing away an entire calendar (I actually collect them from others as well as the end of the year).

    -I’m a vegetarian and hate buying vegetable stock, so I make my own. Any time I have some leftover pieces of vegetables (not rotten), I freeze them in a large bag. I toss in clean carrot peelings, leftover fresh herbs, clean onion skin, garlic peels… anything that is clean, but that I don’t want to eat. When the bag is full, I dump it in a large pot with a little over a gallon of water and boil for an hour or so. I end up with a gallon of fresh vegetable stock which I either freeze or can, and then the scraps go to the compost pile (and are already on their way to breaking down and making beautiful compost)!

  18. Cheryl K. (cherylannpamela) says:

    We buy are clothes at our local Goodwill (thrift store that helps employ people with special needs). My kids love shopping there for books, shoes, and dresses. I buy my Levi’s for $6.99 a pair and the girls clothes are $1.99 each. They have 25 and 50% of days through out the month.

    Second, we save all soup/veg cans, plastic bottles, magazines, glass jars, glass bottles, newspapers and recycle at the local MET recycling. We recycle the aluminium can and sale them to pay for homeschool events and vacations. We recycle our printer cartridges (and we use alot) and sale them to PLANET GREEN and keep them out of the landfills and save that money as well.

    Third, we buy 50 gallon plastic drums for $10 that were once use for pop syrups and wash them and use them for camping. Holds alot of water and we don’t have to buy the commercial water bottles. We also use those same type drums for rain barrels for collectioning water from our roofs to water our garden and flowers in the summer.

    Thanks.

    Cheryl Kenney
    Glenpool. OKlahoma

  19. Kara P. (crunchylitemama) says:

    Reuse & refill empty foaming hand wash dispensers by adding 1/4 to a 1/2 inch of liquid castile soap, and filling the rest with water. Chemical-free soap is great for you and the environment, and it lasts forever this way so it’s incredibly economical and easy.

  20. Kara P. (crunchylitemama) says:

    Oh—and also I use freecycle! You can find your local group at freecycle.com, and get rid of all kinds of items you’d otherwise throw away, and get “new” things that you need…. Great way to keep things out of the landfill, save money, and reduce adding new “stuff” into circulation.

  21. Kelly T. (kt049la) says:

    I make my own laundry detergent from Washing Soda, Borax and a grated up bar of soap. I can make it any color & smell I want and reuse the same container for each batch – less to recycle, less to spend, squeaky clean clothes.

  22. HollyAnn N. says:

    I tend to pack the same things for my lunches most days. So, instead of throwing away my plastic baggies, I re-use them. I label them “grapes”, “crackers”, “peanuts”, etc. When I go to re-use them, I know what I had in those baggies before and put the same thing in them for my next lunch….that way my crackers don’t end up tasting like peanuts! : )

  23. Elsie S. says:

    I have gone back to my youth again. I taught my 7th graders how to make book covers from brown paper bags. They were amazed. King Kullen donated 200 bags for the cause. We discussed how book sock just fill up the land fills. They enjoyed drawing their own pictures on the cover.

  24. Melissamarie N. (melissamarie) says:

    I have four kids. This means that there are a LOT of clothes. I love consigning both their and my clothes. The consignment shops in our area are great and reasonably priced. We get to trade in gently used clothes for store credit to some of the nicest used clothing I’ve seen (think smocked dresses for $20!)

    As someone else mentioned we reuse plastic grocery bags. We use them as trash bags in the vehicles and send them to the daycare center to send home soiled clothes in. These also become packing material for shipping things to my brother in Afghanistan… NOT those that soiled clothes came home in.

    Our paper grocery bags become art projects as do other various and sundry items around the house. They are also used to wrap things in for shipping.

    We use lint from the dryer and newspaper as kindling for fires in the fireplace and the fire pit outside.

    We use scrap food and leaves in a compost heap outside. This works wonders on our roses and the new trees we planted!

    Old shirts that are beyond repair become clothes covers for painting with the kids. They are also cut up to use as cleaning rags both in the home for nasty jobs and out in the shed.

    We use and reuse wood in my dad’s workshop and at the theatre at school.

    Books can be donated to the local children’s home and the library used book project.

    Instead of getting rid of the crayon ends, you can melt them down and marble them together to create crazy crayons.

    Magazines can be donated to your local physicians office to be read there. Or, even better in my opinion, you can donate them to your child’s art teacher to be used in projects at school.

    Another thing that my family uses are reusable plastic containers for lunches. We just take them home and wash them. And for traveling we use an old drycleaning bag (you know, the drawstring bags?) to bring home dirty laundry instead of the plastic ones you get in the hotel.

    An easy way to help the environment is also to carpool as much as possible. We do this a lot.

    We know that our church needs things every year for VBS. So we save, and get others to save, things like 2 liter and 20oz coke bottles, toilet paper and paper towel rolls, baby food jars and wipes containers, old t-shirts, mens socks, and other such items.

    I know that there are other things that we do, but right now this is all I can think of.

  25. OlieAnn S. (olieann) says:

    I know this is my second reply but now that I think of it, this is maybe the most important thing to me…..
    I have a 5 yr old Great Nephew I am raising. I have had him since he was 2 weeks old. I am 53 now but this child is the sunshine of our lives…
    Like any other kid he loves toys. Well sometimes these toys are to expensive for us to buy. So I have gotten into the habit of looking at something he really wants and trying to make it. Well it may not have the flashing lights and whistles and bangs but that is where his imagination comes in.
    I just made him this watch from a “”Ben-10″‘ cartoon he wanted. I printed out the alien characters and attached them to a circle thing I made out of cardboard and decorated with markers and card-stock. Now he can flip up the Alien he wants to turn into, slap it down like “”Ben-10″” and turn into this monster alien. It is just indescribable how much fun this kid has with these things I make for him and especially this watch. he plays with it daily and takes it to bed with him. In the store this would have cost me 40.00 bucks and all this plastic stuff and batteries to replace and parts to loose. But for a little paper and tapeand my time, he is much happier with this hand made item.
    I do believe we need to get back to basics with our kids and not buy all this electronic stuff that takes away from the imagination. I have a very smart, very intelligent 5 yr old and I do think he is this smart because we have pushed him to use that imagination of his, and let me tell you, This child can take you on some of the most fascinating journeys I have ever been on…..
    So the next time your little one wants that big expensive electronic toy, if possible try your hand at making it or something similar to it. You just might be surprised…..

  26. Sarah M. (Bookish2021) says:

    Turn out of date, stained, or generally unwanted books into works of art!
    You can do this by folding pages, cutting shapes, or coloring and collage the inside. There are three links below- the first shows how to fold pages to make a centerpiece or wall decoration, the next two show some of the things people have done to alter their old books into works of art!

    http://www.suite101.com/content/recycling-books-into-folded-sculptures-a213414
    http://www.jeanniejeannie.com/2011/01/18/book-origami-the-art-of-folding-in/
    http://www.art-e-zine.co.uk/alteredbook.html

  27. Destiny B. (destinybarber) says:

    Since we all love books so much, here’s an idea for someone who has some books they love too much to swap, but not enough to read again… book wallpaper! Take an old book, tear out the pages in clean sheets, coat one side with glue, and stick it to the wall. You can overlap them for a super cool effect. 🙂

  28. Michelle L. (glorifythelord) says:

    My husband and I use wooden shipping pallets to construct the buildings on our farm. So far we have built a chicken coop, a garden shed, a 10 x 10 storage barn with a loft, and a 10 x 20 goat barn. We even break down the pallets and use the wood for clap board siding. Then we paint them red and white. People are really surprised when they find out they are made of pallets. And we have been inside of those building during some really wild storms and not one sound.

  29. Connie C. (connieccrn) says:

    I reuse the envelopes my bills come in – they hold my coupons for shopping, the list is written on the outside, and the receipts go inside. Everything is together and not scattered – makes it much easier to enter into my electronic checkbook.

  30. Deborah E. says:

    i do not use the plastic bags you get from stores. I use cloth bags. BUT from those who do not use cloth bags, I collect their bags cut them into strips and crochet very light, but heavy duty market/shopping bags. They are great for shopping, going to the beach, crafts, gardening or whatever you would use a larger market bag for. The real plus is that they are completely washable. Just wash in your sink or hose off outside. These are just the best bags ever! And from completely recycled grocery store bags! I am looking for more projects using this technique.

  31. Leslie R. (darcy0207) says:

    I ALWAYS reuse packing materials: envelopes, inside materials, boxes, even gift wrap.
    I use any bags that cat food came it to refill with used cat litter – they’re sturdier than anything else.
    I use the plastic “knives” that come with take-out food to scrape out any wet cat food that’s left in the can.
    When I had a dog, he was excellent at cleaning cans for me – no matter what they had inside originally – he liked it all.
    When I set out my recyclables, I try to fit the cans inside each other like the Russian stacking dolls. They take up much less space that way.

  32. Krystal D. (southpawartistry) says:

    I take a cereal box, open it flat so the plain brown is showing and wrap my books and other packages that I mail out.

  33. Rebecca R. (abeccapug) says:

    I reuse items from around the house to make toys and do art activities with my two year old daughter. The following are some examples. We reused a pringles can to make a kalidoscope. Another example would be we reused a juice bottle and colored clothes pins for a sorting activity and to increase her fine motor skills by challenging her to drop the clothes pins into the juice bottle’s hole. We also reused milk jugs and cut them into scoops and used a ball we already had to play a tossing and catching game. We reused liter coke bottles as bowling pins and a ball we already own to play a bowling game. We cleaned and reused a shower curtain as a game board…checkers and tic tac toe. Not only are am I going green, but I’m teaching my child to find the value in the things we already own or have used. I’m encouraging her to problem solve…to think outside the box…to discover ways to reuse items in our home.

  34. Rhonda D. (superdupar) says:

    I love so many of these ideas and will use them!
    Things I have started to do in an effort to be green:
    1. Use cloth diapers. They are not your mama’s/grandma’s diaper. When I had my baby in July, I was thrilled with the number of cloth options.
    2. Eating locally from the farmers market or a local farm as much as possible. Much of our fossil fuel is used in moving our food thousands of miles. Can’t buy locally? Buy seasonally. Those peaches in January are probably from South America.
    3. Bike. Walk. Use public transportation. I challenged myself to bike to work one or two days a week. It isn’t faster or safer, but it is healthier for me and better for the planet.
    4. Use the thrift store, consignment store, used book store and public library. The more I look at what I have, the more I realize I have to much stuff, so purging to these places is part of the circle of life.
    5. Do intelligent errands. Make a list of where you need to go and think through the best route to get there.

  35. Mary R. (nerdgirl) says:

    1) I buy used books at the library and swap them or pass them on to friends and family. My parents give the books back to their library after they’ve read them for resale.

    2) Although I love books and wouldn’t give up the library in my house for anything, I’ve found that I love my Kindle too. It’s a great way to read a book, newspaper or magazine without the waste of printing.

  36. Janet M. says:

    Every year around Earth Day take the time to clean out and delete some stuff from your Facebook page. This will free up some space on their servers, which use a HUGE amount of energy. I think this is often forgotten about where all of this is stored and how it is powered!

  37. Myra G. (myraschell) says:

    Of all the things I do to REDUCE, REUSE and RECYCLE household items, the one thing that I added this spring is reusing a variety of containers to grow and transplant my seedlings into. By doing this I have had unlimited teaching opportunities to share my green efforts with friends and co-workers, who are collecting their containers for me as well. This way they see exactly how much garbage they are producing on a daily basis as well as how easy it is to save and reuse. When it is time to plant the seedlings I will give everyone a plant for their efforts and maybe even awaken their “green thumb” in the process.

  38. Sheryl S. (bibliocat) says:

    I love to knit but can’t afford the better yarn …. like cashmere, merino….
    I go to several thrift shops and look for high quality sweaters that are made from real good yarn. I take them apart and then unravel them. I gently wash the hank and dry it with weights hanging off it to help take out the waves.
    I make shawls, scarves, hats, and mittens out of beautiful soft yarn for my family and myself.

    I save money and recycle — reuse sweaters that sometimes are very ugly but produce beautiful yarn.
    Sometimes I combine yarns to make even more beautiful yarn.

  39. Eric M. (emac1) says:

    Don’t forget about composting, anything that is a fruit or vegie can be throw into your composter. Yard scraps and leaves works too. Makes great compost for next years garden. Also plant heirloom fruits and vegies, save the seeds from your best looking plants for next year. It saves you lots of money. Stay away from the hybrid and gmo seeds if possible.

    I use any plastic bottles I can get my hands on to use as seed starters. Cut the tops off, and you’re good to go. Stakes for my tomatoes come straight from the woods. Find some branches about 4 ft long and straight, sharpen a point on one end, and there you go. Free and easy.

    Collecting rain water for your garden is another great way to save money on your water bill and water as well.

    Get atleast 10 minutes of sun a day also, great for vit. d, and you’ll feel healthier, with less trips to the doctor.

    Conserving energy, recycle, driving fuel efficent cars, unplugging electronics when not inuse, dressing warmer instead of turning up the heat. All things everyone should be doing.

  40. HELEN VOSE neleh , says:

    My daily newspaper is delivered encased in a plastic bag, sometimes two bags. I reuse these bags as the initial wrap for my paperbacks – it’s just the right size. Any extra bags, I drop off at my local supermarket where they maintain a recepticle for recycling plastic bags.

  41. Meg D. (mtdoran) says:

    Use Ball canning jars to replace plastic tupperware and plastic ziplock bags. Canning jars are easy to come by at thrift stores if you don’t already have a few lying around. I use them for storing dry goods, teas, spices, leftovers, etc. You can throw them in the freezer and use them in the microwave. The best part… you don’t have to worry about harmful plactis BPAs.

  42. Anne S. (shermtheworm) says:

    The greenest thing I think I do is to be an example to others who are trying to do the right thing also. I try to be an example in several ways, but my favorite way is to “freecycle” my old stuff.

    http://www.freecycle.org

    When I use freecycle, I not only give away valuable and usable items to my fellow neighbors and community members, I save them from having to go out and buy products made of virgin materials. The same goes for when I need something. Often times people pick things up on their way back from work, or on their way to the grocery stores or picking up the kids, which means they are not going out of their way to pick up the items.

    Additionally, by giving away things to people, I am avoiding using the trash bin/landfill and even if it is recyclable, it gives the product a longer life.

    Things I have freecycled:

    1. phones
    2. cables
    3. shelves
    4. t.v.s
    5. remotes
    6. all-in-one printer
    7. printer
    8. digital recorder
    9. mp3 player
    10. cans & bottles
    11. moving boxes
    12. bed + mattress
    13. chair
    14. boombox
    15. speakers
    16. books
    17. clothes
    18. headboard
    19. shoes
    20. cookiejar
    21. extra pens/pencils
    22. food
    23. bicycle
    24. computer
    25. sheets
    26. tons of other stuff!

    Things I have gotten from freecycle:

    1. cast iron pans/dutch oven
    2. moving boxes
    3. waffle maker
    4. breadmaker
    5. shelves
    6. silverware
    7. tons of other stuff!

    not to mention on two occasions some friendly freecyclers gave me pumpkin bread and apple cider to in honor of my gifts to them:)

    Anyway, sign up for a freecycle group near you! My suggestion is to create an email just for freecycle – that is the only way it works for me. My freecycle email is freee_4all@yahoo.com That way, I know when I log in to that account, that is just for freecycle:)

    Take care, and happy 41st earth day!!!

  43. Elissa B. says:

    I like to save up old newspapers and old fruits and veggies to make compost or use chicken carcus to make your favorite soups like ckicken noodle soup,I drop off my plastic bags at a supermarket and speaking of supermarket I use reusable bags for my shopping, I unplug my cellphone when it beeps the first time to say its charged, and I do the same thing with my laptop [but it doesn’t really beep], I only watch TV on the weekends to save energy, and i recycle at the recycleing place. This is how I save money and live wiser.

  44. Lisa M. says:

    For you Moms out there with babies try to make your own food fresh and freeze it up.

    Buy fresh vegetables and fruits cook them up, smash them with your blender or food processor. Store them in icecube trays and freeze them in large zip lock bags. When the little one is hungry take out one or two cubes of what ever you made. You know its fresh and no additives. The savings is incredible and you are not throwing away all those jars.

  45. Joe S. (traderjoe) says:

    The most obvious; avoid procreation and long term respiration.

  46. Rachel W. (starkissed2012) says:

    10 THINGS TO DO WITH THE SPARE LEFTOVER SOCK AFTER YOUR WASHER EATS THE OTHER ONE:

    DOG PULL TOYS dogs like tug of war, tie and knot them together for a tug-of war with your dog.
    CATNIP TOY fill the end of a sock with catnip and tie off the top cat will love it.
    BLACKBOARD ERASER works great!
    CAR WASH GLOVE OR CAR WAX BUFFER..slip over your hand and go to work!
    CHRISTMAS ORNAMENT HOLDER wraps your delicate ornaments up to protect them.
    SOCK PUPPET sew on buttons, felt, etc. to make a puppet.
    CD MAILER protect your cd’s and dvds from getting damaged when you mail them out with a sock cozy!
    MUSCLE WARMER fill with dry rice, heat up in microwave for a couple minutes and apply to aches and pains
    DRINK COZY …keeping cold drinks colder and hot drinks hotter longer .
    PIPE WARMER.. In winter tie them around pipes that have a tendency to freeze during winter to insulate the pipe.

  47. Ariadna C. says:

    I reuse garlic plastic bags/ sleeves for catching lint from my washer to the sink.

    Any ties from the produce section is being reused in the kitchen and garden- especially for small plants.

    Past travels I had accumulated imported wine and champagne and instead of throwing corks instead I have made circular trivets for my kitchen and for my plants. Using a drill and clear fish net and creativeness one can make interesting patterns with past memories.

    I reuse styrofoam tubs to start seedlings for my garden.

  48. Catherine B. says:

    A Double Whammy Earth Day Tip!
    Grandma taught us to save the mesh-like bags that onions, garlic, oranges, etc. come in and then to save our dryer lint. She would stuff the lint in the mesh bags and then hang it out near her bird feeders for the birds to collect to use in building their nests – so we recycled 2 different things and gave the birds a little help in making homes for their babies!

  49. Catherine B. says:

    One more for Earth Day – Recycle friendly drinking water insulators!
    It seems that the latest trend is drinking from stainless steel bottles or glass jars instead of plastic – works great, but often sweats and most bottles are not insulated – so we came up with a way to keep our chilled water cold and prevent the sweating – we started collecting old wool sweaters or old diving suits/wet suits (neoprene material), cutting off the sleeves and/or the legs and viola’! – with a little hand stitching to put a bottom in the sleeve, had great bottle insulators which also served as great dent or breakage sleeves (especially for the glass). We have made sleeves/protectors for stainless water bottles, recycled wine type bottles 1 gallon water jugs, right on up to our 5 gallon water jug for when we need to take along extra water – works great, saves on buying plastic bottled water, our drinking water tastes better out of glass and stainless and we reuse old clothes and dive suits!

  50. Kathryn H. (kathunter09) says:

    It’s little things that we do in our house. Though we could be doing more, every step is a start.

    *Reuse plastic shopping bags for trash bags in the car, dirty diapers when we are out and about.
    *Reuse Ziploc and other plastic bags when able to. Bread bags from store bought bread to wrap homemade bread and sweets at home, ziploc baggies to store veggies in the fridge.
    *Reuse packaging that I receive books in the mail to mail out other books from Paperbackswap.com
    *Keep the 50 lb bags from our dog food to use as trash bags for our shop.
    *Recycle coffee grinds to use around plants in my little garden.
    * Keep and reuse plastic containers from butter, sour cream etc products that I buy for the household.
    *Reuse old tshirts and socks and rags to clean furniture and fans and baseboards when they are too raggedy to wear

Leave a Reply