Saturday, January 30, 2010

Day #29: efficiency

"While a top-loading machine requires enough water to cover all the clothes in its drum, a front-loading washer needs only a third of that amount because its drum is set horizontally in the machine. As the drum turns, it uses gravity to drop the clothes back into the water. And while a top-loading machine will empty the soapy water and refill for a rinse agitation cycle, a front-loading machine just sprays clean water on the load as the drum continues to turn, saving gallons. Since there's no agitator in a front-loading machine, there's a lot more room for dirty clothes - and larger loads means fewer loads.

Finally, the front-loading machine's spin mechanism can reach up to 1,000 rpm, as opposed to the standard top-loader's average 650 rpm. That means less water left in the laundry, which in turn gives you a shorter drying time, saving energy there, too." - excerpt from an article by Kris Jensen-Van Heste

Friday, January 29, 2010

Day #28: making it happen

this 365 project has been making an impact on many levels. my team member at work, jenny, told me how she appreciates the efforts of the project and how she's learning from it. that same evening she tells me how she went ahead and set up a recycling box at one of our store locations. r3 props to jenny for taking the initiative to start a recycling program for our workplace!

the next day, i made a detailed sign for the box and the two of us will be taking turns bringing the box home to our own recycling bins.

to all the the silent viewers out there, we thank you for participating in any way you can.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Day #27: the rap on gift wrap

these are goodies i collected from my recent life anniversary celebration. they will be reused for wrapping up future life anniversary surpresents for friends and family. some of the tissue paper have fun designs and could also be reused for possible craft projects!

i plan on not having to buy any more gift wrapping/tissue paper this year and be creatively resourceful.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Day #26: paper or plastic

the hubby and i had a telepathic bonding moment of sorts when we were at market fresh. the cashier asked, "paper or plastic?" and at the same time we replied, "paper!" (jinx!)

we both like paper.


reduce the amount of plastic bags that may end up in the landfill by using paper bags or the reusable bags.

Day #25: slay energy vampires

unplug cell phone chargers once your cell phone is charged to reduce energy waste. it's that simple.

read more ==> HERE

Monday, January 25, 2010

Day #24: meet PETE

i bought some dark chocolate edamame from trader joe's. it was the best decision to grab a container. not only was i impressed by the taste and healthiness of the treats but the SPI resin code was printed on the lid of the container. i could read it right on top versus having to look at the bottom. it made it so much easier to figure out it was recyclable.

Society of the Plastics Industry coding helps identify the different polymers used for recycling. Read more HERE.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Day #23: e-cycle

i went to an e-cycling event at the Virginia Aquarium. it was a drive-thru service of sorts. there were two lanes of cars and volunteers came to each vehicle to take all the unwanted recyclable electronic goodies. Nay and I met Victoria McDermed, a volunteer at the event.

thanks Victoria for your efforts! we give you R3 props!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Day #22: re-stuff it!

adobi and pixel love the new squeaky toy auntie anne got them. they love mr. squeaky so much that they took his insides out. normally, we would end up throwing the doggies damaged toys in the trash but this time we wised up and have kept re-stuffing mr. squeaky.

...and now for the mandatory cute doggy photo:

Friday, January 22, 2010

Day #21: kill the lights

usually when i'm up late at night, the only light sources i have are the monitor of my macbook and my cellphone. this simple method helps reduce energy usage.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Day #20: rescue and reuse/ recycle

my coworker was about to throw out this empty paper towel roll from our store. i immediately grabbed it and said, "OOoOo, i'll take that! i can recycle it." unfortunately, my workplace doesn't have a recycling bin and recently, i've been trying to bring home any recyclable items that i encounter when i'm working. i keep in mind that every little bit helps.

what's cool is asa's in the process of building a play fort and needs all the empty paper and toilet tissue rolls he can get. the fort can be recycled once it's destroyed!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Day #19: reuse plastic bags

having three kittehs means having a full litter box. so we reuse our plastic shopping bags to help empty it out. upstairs, we have this cool plastic bag holder from ikea. if the day ever comes when we stop using plastic bags, the holder can be reused to store toilet paper rolls.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Day #18: reusing newspaper

i will be embarking on a huge paper mache project in the near future. until then, i've found other creative reuses for newspaper ==> HERE<==

kitty pr0n series: the mao mao

mao mao, which rhymes with cow cow, is one punk ass kitteh that gets on my nerves daily but i love her lots. i like how her tail looks like a fashion accessory when she sits up.

edit: her government name was sadie.

Day #17: 100% compostable corn cups

anne, a good lady friend of mine, contributed large plastic cups for my life anniversary potluck this past weekend. she surprised me with corn cups! corn cups?!? right? corn cups are made from polylactic acid (PLA) and which makes them 100% compostable.

"Polylactic acid (PLA), a plastic substitute made from fermented plant starch (usually corn) is quickly becoming a popular alternative to traditional petroleum-based plastics. As more and more countries and states follow the lead of China, Ireland, South Africa, Uganda and San Francisco in banning plastic grocery bags responsible for so much so-called “white pollution” around the world, PLA is poised to play a big role as a viable, biodegradable replacement." - excerpt from article, "Pros and Cons of the Corn-based Plastic PLA" written by Larry West

In West's article, he points out that there are some problematic issues with using PLA, but it's still a bit better than using regular plastic.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Day #16: stainless steel hydration containers

for my 32nd life anniversary, my hubby got me a klean kanteen. yay! for many moons i've seen these and similar stainless steel water bottles popping up and i really didn't know what the hype was about. there was resistance in wanting to know why more and more of my friends and colleagues were investing in them. then one day after almost poking my eye out from removing a plastic water bottle cap ring and seeing the overflowing recycle bin in my kitchen, the light bulb finally came on as to why it makes sense for me to use one. reduce by reusing and save an eye!

"Stainless steel is 100% recyclable. More than 50% of stainless steel products comes from old remelted stainless steel scrap.

It is years before products made from stainless steel require replacing, so when you consider the total life cost, it is in most cases less costly than many other products."

"Stainless steel is attractive, timeless and safe, and its production process leaves a very low carbon footprint. It just makes
- article excerpts by Kathleen Bona in "Eco-Friendly Stainless Steel"

Day #15: programmable thermostat

having a programmable thermostat helps reduce your energy consumption. it's brilliant! you can program the time to adjust the temperature for when no one is home or when it's time to go to bed so you can "set it and forget it".

"Move your thermostat down 2° in winter and up 2° in summer. Almost half of the energy we use in our homes goes to heating and cooling. You could save about 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide a year with this simple adjustment." - from How to Stop Global Warming

Friday, January 15, 2010

Day #14: reusing flatware

some of my favorite pieces of jewelry are made from old flatware. i didn't make them but i give mad props to the artists that did! i have two spoon bracelets, a fork bracelet and a fork pendant. they totally exude creativity and cleverness.

since the start of this photo project i've been expanding my knowledge of concepts and terms relating to sustainability. recently, i've been introduced to the term "upcycling". the term had me think about my flatware jewelry but after some online research, i'm confused with its usage. it reminds of how people argue about the definition of hip hop. i will do more research and get back to this concept of upcycling another day.

for now, just know that if you had a spoon bracelet it would be a cool tool to have if you ever got stranded on an island.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Day #13: resourceful reusing

during a phone call at work, i had to take some notes down. i didn't have any paper in front of me but i was holding small unopened box of office supplies so i started writing on the top side of it. a coworker was watching me do this with a raised eyebrow. when i ran out of writing space on the top i flipped the box over and started writing again. she laughed and her expression of amazement was priceless. there was no point in running to the printer to get a clean piece of paper when i had cardboard to reuse.

after the call, i opened up the box and emptied its contents. i thought it was cool when another coworker came up to me and offered to cut my notes out from the rest of the box with some scissors. jokingly, she points out the packing tape that was stuck on my piece of cardboard and says, "be sure you take that off before you recycle it because it's not recyclable and it'll slow down the workers at the recycling place when they have to stop to take it off." she followed her remark with, "i really didn't know about the plastic bottle cap thing until you told me about it."


Day #12: curiously strong recyclable bags

i started using a recyclable bag for work. those things are tough. today i weighed the bag on our bathroom scale and discovered i had been toting around 16 pounds of paper work and other work supplies. geez.

the good news is 50% of the bag's contents are recyclable.

"Our 100% recyclable and reusable non-woven bags also contain 20% post-industrial content and offer an excellent extended-life characteristic. Yet our efforts do not end there. We continue to explore new eco-friendly product options to help protect our environment." -

pretty cool.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Day #11: newspaper gift wrap

i believe it was last year that my buddy, justin, wrapped my birthday gift in newspaper and i remember how creative and genius that was. so this year, i followed suit with his birthday treats. i even reused an empty yogi tea box to put one of the gifts in.

it's was pretty cool finding patterns and colors to use. the sunday comics section is perfect for this idea!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Day #10: books for the university of life

i started going through my bookshelves and decided to donate my old college text books the salvation army. knowledge is reusable.

Day #9: eco friendly binoculars

binoculars, periscope, elephant nose, didgeridoo... "alex, what are things you can make with paper towel and toilet paper rolls?"

ok, maybe not a didgeridoo but i do get a bit excited these days being the chosen one that hits the last sheet on a roll of paper towels or TP. why? because recycling makes me happy. duh!

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Day #8: bee a conscious consumer

i started using a burt's bees lip balm this winter season. not only is it 100% natural but the packaging is eco friendly. what a bonus! i didn't discover this til a few days ago while putting it on my lips and trying to read the label lookin' all cross-eyed. so i looked it up and shared an excerpt from the site below:

"We don't want to create any additional garbage on the planet, and work hard to reduce, reuse and recycle. For example, before we would launch our world famous lip balm in a plastic tube, it took us years to convince a plastic company to make recycled plastic for us. Now, that very same company is one of the leading manufacturers of recycled plastic." - burt's bees

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Day #7: recycle printer cartridges

one of the reasons i dig using my hp printer is because when i buy ink i get a postage-paid envelope to send off the empty cartridge to be recycled.

"For decades HP has worked to manage its environmental impact by adopting environmentally responsible practices in product development, operations and supply chain. The company strives to be a global leader in reducing its carbon footprint, limiting waste and recycling responsibly. In 2008, HP's became the first major technology company to announce emissions data associated with its largest suppliers, in an effort to improve the environmental footprint of the IT industry. More information about the company’s work in relation to the environment is available at"

Day #6: dual flush toilets

we reduce our water waste at home by using dual flush toilets.

an article posted in gives an awesome explanation:

"Dual flush toilets employ a larger trapway (the hole at the bottom of the bowl) and a wash-down flushing design that pushes waste down the drain. Because there's no siphoning action involved, the system needs less water per flush, and the larger diameter trapway makes it easy for waste to exit the bowl. Combined with the savings from using only half-flushes for liquid waste, the dual flush toilet design can save up to 68 percent more water than a conventional low flow toilet [source: Green Building]."

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Day #5: compact fluorescent light bulbs

when we first started using CFLs, the lag time of the bulb reaching its full brightness would throw me off. it made me feel like my vision was going bad because i knew i turned on the light switch but it would be so dim. hehehe.

Read ===>HERE for detailed info posted by Energy Star about CFLs.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Day #4: recycling plastic water bottles

before throwing your plastic water bottle into the recycling bin, remember to discard the cap and cap ring. most curbside recycling services do not keep the caps. Click ===> HERE <=== to find out why.

also, check out this podcast by the virginia trekkers ==> HERE
they visited the TFC Recycling Center in Chester, VA.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

planet zitron: and the winner is....

Yay! This is the winning image the Zitrons chose to use for their holiday greeting postcard. 'Elle did an awesome job of tying everything together using shutterfly

:: high five :: for the creative collaboration!

Day #3: reuse old magazines and newspapers

before tossing old magazines and newspapers into the recycle bin, go through them one last time. they're treasure trove of images waiting to be cut out and used for all sorts of artsy projects. one project i have in mind is decoupaging. i have some journals and storage boxes that i would like to personalize with some cool images i've collected. stay tuned for a follow up post...

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Day #2: Cell Phones for Soldiers

if you don't know what to do with your old, non-usable cell phones, you can donate them to Cell Phones for Soldiers. the phones are sent to ReCellular, a cell phone recycler, and then money that CPFS receives goes towards purchasing calling cards for troops overseas to call loved ones back home. you can print off shipping labels from their website and it's free of charge. also, i have bunches of bags if anyone needs any. just let me know.

visit for more details.

Friday, January 01, 2010

365 Days: Reduce, Reuse & Recycle

hellooooooOooOoo 2010!

today kicks off a photo project that me and a few other bright idea farmers decided to create. it's a challenge to document our efforts reducing, reusing and recycling to help sustain our planet. it's one photo every day for 365 days. we started a group on facebook for others to participate. check it out ===> HERE

DAY #1 - i officially inaugurated an old trash can with recycling logos to be the designated recycling receptacle for the upstairs of our house. There are little things we forget to recycle like empty toilet tissue paper rolls because we didn't think to bring it to the receptacle downstairs. Problem solved!