Showing posts with label Recycler Contributor on Squidoo. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Recycler Contributor on Squidoo. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Stop For A Moment And Think Green

There is so much that each of us can do to save our planet and make this world a better place for each and every one of us. All it takes is to stop for a moment and Think Green.


Before you toss that garbage into the trash, stop for a moment and think green. Could that useless piece of garbage be turned into a priceless treasure? Our Sesame Street friends at Oscar's Junk Band have a lot of fun creating music from items others have thrown in the trash. Stop for a few minutes and listen to their tune. What Bob thinks is a broken broom handle, Oscar turns into a rotten, terrible, junky song. It's all about recycling and recycling is good!

Oscar isn't the only one that thinks creatively. In Paraguay, kids living next to a garbage dump are Making Musical Instruments from Trash. They triumph over the tragedy of poverty by finding the good buried beneath the waste.

Turning trash into treasure isn't the only way to protect our fragile environment and protect Mother Earth. It's easy to reduce our impact on the environment with these 8 Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint. It's as simple as using cold water to wash clothes, turning down the temperature on the heater, and turning off the lights when no one is in a room.

Next time you're about to throw something in the trash, stop for a moment and Think Green. Could that piece of garbage be put in the recycle bin instead? Could that old CD be turned into a crafting project? Is that old sweater in good enough shape to donate to a thrift store? Think green and turn an old broom handle into a musical instrument. Oscar did!

Please help save our Mother Earth. She's fragile and she needs our help.

Until next time, Think Green!


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Getting Ready for an Upcycled, Recycled, and Earth-Friendly Halloween

Halloween is in full swing on the Web and writers are busy telling tales of their favorite Halloween costumes, crafts, decorations, movies, and books.

I have been having so much fun getting ready for Halloween, too! Boxes of scrap fabrics, bags of odds and ends, and baskets of ribbons are scattered all over my crafting room floor in anticipation of haunting crafts to come.

As you can see, it's not a spooky kind of Halloween for me. Oh no, it will be A Low Key, Fun and Not So Scary Halloween Party here at the Recycler crypt. Setting the tone for this year's festivities, these Big Bows for Steampunk Halloween Decorations will be seen hanging from vintage family portraits and sitting next to our spooky sculptures.

There are more upcycled and recycled Halloween crafts sitting on my crafting table. I can hardly wait to show off my Steampunked fashions.

I've sent Halloween Party Invitations to a cast of characters and I'll need treats for kids young and old.

My sweet-toothed little goblins are sure to gobble up these Organic and Fair Trade Halloween Candy selected by GraceOnline. She's put together a list of gummy candies, jelly beans, lollipops, and bite-sized chocolates that are earth-friendly and contain organic ingredients.

The sophisticated ghouls are a bit of a puzzle. Maybe I'll take a lesson from Poetvix and learn How to Make an Apothecary Bottle of Unicorn Tears and fill it with homemade bath salts for the hairy monsters, herb-infused vinegar for the sourpusses, and vanilla sugar for the fairy princesses.

And, if anyone wants to slip a little treat into my trick-or-treat bag, my favorite candy bar is Endangered Species Panther, Extreme Dark Chocolate (88%).

That's all for today folks! Thank you for spending time with us today and we hope you've found some inspiration to recycle your way to a Happy Halloween.

Best wishes,


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Getting Organized and Going Back to Work

Just the other day, a friend reminded me that it's only 24 weeks until Christmas. Do you wonder where the time has gone this year? Does time fly while you're having fun? Or, have you been too busy to notice?

It's been too busy around the Recycler household. The year started with the hunt for the perfect home. It took us a month of sorting through the list of foreclosures and estates sales in our town until we found a home, that, if we didn't look too closely, looked like the home of our dreams.

After the papers were signed, we had a short party and then spent the next three months getting the place in shipshape condition with An Environmentally Friendly Spring Cleaning Solution and a lot of pruning to recover from what was definitely not an example of how to Plant the Right Tree the Right Way.

Now that the hard work is done, it's time for us to get organized and go back to work. It's important that our home be organized and work-ready. Our dream home is not just the place where we eat, drink, and be merry. It is also our home office, art studio, and crafting room.

One corner of the house has been set up as a combination office and crafting room. In the middle of the room is a very large, pub-height table that we use as a computer workstation and a crafting table. I wanted a tall desk so that I could stand while working. I had experimented with standing at the kitchen counter at our old home and I loved it. I felt more productive and stronger by just standing for a few hours each day.

Finding the perfect standing height desk setup wasn't as easy as I had thought. There's a lot to consider before standing while working. How the standing height workstation will be used and personal health issues should be considered, along with preferences about the size of the desktop and the storage features.

Standing and working isn't a full-time gig for us. We keep a couple of comfortable stools next to the bar, excuse me, desk, so we can saddle up for some serious sitting time. It doesn't take a permanent standing height workstation to get the benefits. There are several Stand Up Workstation And Adjustable Desk Options that convert a standard desk into a temporary stand up workstation. Sometimes it just feels good to mix up the work routine.

With the crafting workstation in place, the place needed some organization. There must be a thousand and one Craft Room Ideas, Designs and Organization tips on the Web. Our workroom has plenty of bookshelves and cubby holes to fit art supplies, upcycle materials, and books. As we grow accustomed to our new workspace, we're learning what organization methods work best for our working style. Our organization style... Implement the best and toss the rest in the recycle bin.

Now that the neglected house we purchased has been turned into a clean, well-lighted home with an awesome workspace, it's time to give the old resume an update and a good polish. This girl needs to get back into the work-at-home workforce. And, create a few more Steampunk fashions on mom's vintage Singer sewing machine.

As we slide on into the last half of this exciting, changing, and busy year... reduce the stress, reuse the best, and recycle the rest.

Here's to your health and happiness!


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Building Teams and Growing Friendships

Online communities are everywhere. An overwhelming number of websites offers surfers a place to play, share, write, create, read, and participate any which way they choose. How do you choose the right place to spend your time? Join me on a tour of Squidoo. A great place to learn new things, to write about the things you know, and to make new best friends.

NOTE:  On August 15, 2014, Squidoo announced that it was being acquired by HubPages. I will forever appreciate what I learned during my time at Squidoo. So long, Squidoo. It's been good to know you! 

Thirty something years ago, I became a writer. For the first 25 years, I worked as part of a team. Accomplishing projects with the input of my co-workers and supervisors.

Then came the Internet and a concept called telecommuting.

For the first time in my writing career, I found myself an Independent Writer With No Team Of My Own. No team to brainstorm ideas, no team to keep the project on schedule, and no team cheer leading sessions.

Then I found Squidoo. And my whole world changed.

From the very beginning, Squidoo has offered me the opportunity to join a team. To become a part of something bigger. To contribute to making life better in all kinds of ways. I have enjoyed A Year of Storytelling on Squidoo and I hope to enjoy many, many more.

Squidoo's RocketSquid web writing workshop was my first opportunity to join a Squidoo team. Through RocketSquids, I met a lot of people and, unknowingly, the seeds of friendship were planted. During my first year, I joined more teams, met more people, and grew friendships that make my world a better place.

These friends have become my team members. We check on each other from time to time. We offer ideas when one of us can't nail down a story. We share our joys. And, we share each other's stories.

Squidoo was my online garden. A place with Plants and Flowers Where Friendship Grows.

Until next time, be happy and be well!


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Handmade Dolls from Upcycled Materials

Dolls create special magic for children and adults, especially when those dolls are lovingly made by hand. The writers on Squidoo share their secrets to doll-making success with projects for a Tin Can Man, a Lalaloopsy Rag Doll, a Japanese bottle doll and doll clothes made from a sock.

Dolls were a memorable part of my childhood. My Dad Was an International Traveler when I was a kid and he brought me a doll from every country he visited. My mom taught me to sew and one of our favorite mother-daughter sewing projects was a set of Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy rag dolls.

When I was selected as the Recycler Contributor on Squidoo, I wasn't too sure what to do about a logo for The Recycler Network's social media channels. I grabbed an assortment of recycled and upcycled items found around my home, arranged those items artfully on the kitchen counter and started shooting pictures.

One of the items I grabbed was a doll that my aunt had made for me many years ago. She's only 6 inches tall but she's 100% recycled. From her button arms and legs to her hand-me-down dress, her sock stuffed body and her yarn scrap hair. She begged to be the mascot for The Recycler Network.

If the traditional rag doll is more to your liking, chibikitty shows us How to make a Lalaloopsy Rag Doll and even supplies a free pattern to make it even easier to create your own rag doll.

Until next time, share the love and give the gift of a handmade doll!


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Reduce, Reuse and Recycle the Small Stuff

Recycling is a way of life at my house. My grandparents were born into simple farming families at the turn of the 20th Century, my parents grew up during the Great Depression of the 1930s and I am a starving artist that must make every cent count. Reducing, reusing and recycling are just one way that generations of my family have saved money and made the most of every dollar spent.

It doesn't take a big effort to make a big difference. When it comes to recycling, small steps can go a long way. Just look in your recycle bin for inspiration. What items do you find in the trash? Is there some way of using it instead of tossing it? You may be surprised at what you can do!

One of my favorite trash to treasure projects is to Recycle Egg Shells and Make Sidewalk Chalk. We eat a lot of eggs at our house and usually the egg shells end up in the worm composting bin or in flower pots. Except when the grandkids come to visit. That's when I grind up those shells, add a little flour and mix in some water. In a few days, the kids and I draw up a storm. You see, recycling is fun!

BritFlorida finds creative ways to save space through recycling. After reading her story, you may be motivated to Create Mini-Storage in Your Home With Cardboard Tubes. BritFlorida uses the cardboard tubes from rolls of toilet paper and paper towels to store small clothing items, hide cords from electronic devices, keep jewelry from getting tangled, separate the knives from the forks and organize the medicine cabinet.

Got a bunch of glass jars? Need extra storage space?  Lyndamakaracreations has some Simple Glass Painting Ideas for Recycled Jars. All you need to do is save a few jars from the recycle bin and buy some enamel craft paint.

My new home is covered in wood floors and I need a few rugs to soften the load on my feet while working at my new standing height desk. JaneNew uses old sheets to Crochet Rag Rugs.This sounds like a fun activity to do while watching TV at night.

And, because I'm such a book worm and have so many books piled up in bookshelves and corners, LBrummer came to my rescue with a list of Book Page Crafts to create handmade cards and altered art using book pages. I see some new pictures hanging on the walls of my new home very soon.

I hope you enjoyed our simple steps to recycling. Do you have a favorite every day item that you recycle? I'd love to hear about your adventures in the Fast & Easy Recycling Lane. Leave a note in the Comments section below and, if you've written a story about your recycled project, share the link to your story.

Until next time, recycle the small stuff and make a big difference!


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Recipe Recyclers: Keeping Food Fun and Healthy

The man in my life is a true Southern Gentleman who loves his granny's buttermilk biscuits. I'm a latte loving, health nut kinda Seattle girl. When my guy insisted on Biscuits Like Granny Used to Make, my whole grain spine shuddered at the thought of all that butter.

I wanted to please my man but I didn't want to clog our arteries. It was time to put on my apron for a session of Recipe Recycling. After a few experiments, my Old Fashioned Southern Buttermilk Biscuits Done Seattle Style successfully fooled my Southern Gentleman's taste buds.

Some people spend hours flipping through cookbooks looking for the perfect recipe. Others are content to follow a single cookbook and only venture into the suggested variations. Then, there are the Recipe Recyclers, like me, who are always testing new taste combinations, questing for new variations on an old theme, searching for the perfect taste treat.

When I need a basic recipe, I turn to my Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook. It contains over a thousand recipes and is my best source of cooking inspiration. Recipes are just guidelines and ingredients can be changed to satisfy taste buds, to meet dietary restrictions or to substitute healthier ingredients. Sometimes these recipe experiments turn into a new family favorite. Sometimes a flopped dessert can be salvaged.

A few of my friends are also Recipe Recyclers and put an international twist on the recycled and personalized recipe. I'm always surprised at what new culinary delights can be found in the Cyber Kitchen.

Marathon Running comes from Croatia and she specializes in dainty morsels that pack a powerful taste. Along with some great recipes, she uses step-by-step instructions and photographs to make sure your recipes turn out exactly right.

Smine27 lives in Japan and has family in Hawaii. He is always looking for great foods and ways to reduce the sugar and gluten from his diet. He knows that he needs to eat right to maintain a happy body weight. Yes, diet food can taste good. Try these delicacies:
Recipe Recyclers aren't just about creating new and improved food sensations. Recipe Recyclers are also on the lookout ways to reduce food waste by reusing leftovers. My neighbor to the north of me, Ruthi, has been known to make a Not Quite Paella Surprise when she has leftover vegetables in the refrigerator. Around our house, those wilted vegetables are turned into a Chicken Stew.

I hope you enjoyed our gastronomic journey into the world of the Recipe Recyclers. Do you try your hand at recipe recycling? I'd love to hear about your food experiments. Leave a note in the Comments section below and, if you've written a story about your recycled recipe, share the link to your recipe.

Until next time, be safe, buy real food and eat well!


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Handmade Mother's Day Gifts

Happy Mother's Day!

Moms never get too old to enjoy those Made by Hand and Handcrafted with Love gifts from their children. And, children should never get too old to create those one of a kind presents that have so much meaning to their parents.

For our mom's birthday and for Mother's Day, my brother and I crafted together to create a unique and upcycled present for mom. We found ourselves Recycling Memories of Love and Flowers. My brother pressed and dried a bouquet of flowers. I learned how to Recycle a Rusted Metal Picture Frame and Watch It Shine.

This turned out to be an easy project and mom spent hours deciding where to hang her framed work of childhood art. My brother's pressed flowers turned out really well for his first time. Here's how he did it:
  • Place a piece of parchment paper on a hard and flat surface. Select a spot that is cool and shaded.
  • Arrange the cut flowers on the parchment paper. Lay the leaves flat and bend flower stems to "pose" the flowers.
  • Place another piece of parchment paper over the flowers.
  • Cover with a flat board.
  • Evenly stack books or bricks on the board. Start with just a few bricks so that the flowers are not crushed.
  • Check on the flowers every day. Add more bricks to slowly press the flowers.

Recycled flowers and upcycled picture frames aren't the only ways to impress a mom. Most moms love jewelry, too. Here's some crafting talent that is waiting to help you create something special for your mom.
Show your mom some love. Give a present that is handmade from the heart.

Until next time, be safe, be well and Happy Mother's Day!


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Saturday, April 19, 2014

Going Green for Earth Month

Hello Friends of the Earth!

I hope you have been enjoying Earth Month and finding fun activities that keep our planet clean and green. 

This month we're celebrating our Mother Earth, sharing ways to ensure the future of her health and promoting Nature Literacy. We've been having a great time!

And, we aren't the only ones having fun! Today, I'd like to introduce you to some friends that are committed to growing a healthy and green planet.

Let's start with healthy food for a healthy planet. Healthy food makes healthy bodies and we need healthy bodies to be good stewards of the earth. Graceonline starts her healthy journey by buying fresh foods and foods in bulk. She's not only reduced the paper and plastic garbage from her lifestyle, she's reduced packaged foods from her meals. Eating healthy isn't time-consuming, Graceonline has a great idea for a quick and easy meal.

One way to eat a healthier diet is to grow our own food. Grammieo knows that we don't have to spend a lot of time or have a lot of space to grow a garden. If you don't know much about gardening, Grammieo will get you started with her Basic Information for Newbie Gardeners.

It's easy being green, as RenaissanceWoman2010 shows us. Being green is a part of her everyday life. She's all about living off the grid and being self-sufficient. She shows us that we can stretch our garden growing season with her recommendations of Greenhouses To Build that are inexpensive and efficient.

Being green is also fun. MissMerFaery finds all kinds of ways to recycle everyday items into fun crafting projects for her and her children. Kids and adults will love to set sail on a sea of dreams with her tutorial on How to Make a Bottle Boat.

April 25th is Arbor Day, a day that celebrates Mother Earth's greatest recyclers, the trees. Trees recycle the air and the water. I love trees and being in the forest. But, I love living in the city. My town allows me to have my city living and enjoy my trees, too! The photo above is the street view from my new home. We are blocks from downtown and we are surrounded by trees. Urban forestry works in our town because homeowners take care to Plant the Right Tree the Right Way.

How are you spending your Earth Month?

Until next time, be safe and be well.


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Saturday, April 12, 2014

A Year of Storytelling on Squidoo

Squidoo is a really cool place to write. Squidoo promotes quality and community. Squidoo provides opportunity and training. Squidoo sparks ideas and creativity. Squidoo Rocks! This is the path the Recycle Contributor on Squidoo followed to go from an unknown writer to a member of Squidoo's contributor community in just one short year. 

Hello Storytellers!

In a few days, I will celebrate my first anniversary on Squidoo and I never imagined that this journey would be wild, wacky and wonderful. Squidoo has helped me come out of my timid shell, develop a storytelling writing style and promote my writing in a way that I never imagined.

Squidoo has been a great fit for me and it might be a great fit for you. Do you have a skill or a craft you'd like to teach to others? Do you like to recommend books, movies and products? Do you like to share your favorite recipes? Join me on Squidoo and you can write about all these things and more!

I'd like to share with you the programs offered by Squidoo that have helped me grow my writing craft, build a social media following and gain credibility in the online world. These avenues are available to anyone with the drive and desire to become a successful web writer.

NOTE:  On August 15, 2014, Squidoo announced that it was being acquired by HubPages. These programs are no longer available.

When I joined Squidoo, I wanted to improve my writing portfolio. I searched for an upstanding writing platform and a place that allowed me the freedom to express myself. I selected Squidoo because of their commitment to content that is Unique, Useful and Updated.

Squidoo looked impressive from the outside. I didn't have any idea that it was even more impressive from the inside.

A week after I joined Squidoo, I started my first lens. This new writing platform was a bit intimidating, so I took my time. After another week of writing and learning, I was ready to press the Publish button.

Not only did my first lens go live, I received a notice from Squidoo that I was eligible for their RocketSquid program. The name was intriguing, so I checked out Squidoo's web writing bootcamp exclusively for their members. I'm glad I joined.

The program helped me search my brain for writing ideas and maintain a consistent flow of writing. The people in charge of the program were always sending encouraging messages. And, the best writing was awarded with Purple Stars and spotlights on the Squidoo homepage. The recognition and promotion did wonders for my confidence. I felt rewarded for my hard work and a job well done.

Five months and 25 lenses later, it was time for my RocketSquid graduation. I was sad to leave the group. I would miss the mentoring from the RocketSquid Greeters, the weekly writing challenges and the daily inspiration from Squidoo headquarters. I was beginning to find a direction in the online world and I didn't want to lose sight while traveling the rocky road ahead.

I really had nothing to fear. The support and motivation from Squidoo didn't stop there. With 25 quality lenses to my credit, it was time to go to the next level and apply to the Squidoo Giant program. I became a Giant Squid just in time for the launch of Squidoo's new lens formats and a list of other improvements to the platform.

It took me a while to warm up to the new and shorter formats. Adapting to change is not always easy. After several weeks and the incentive of a cash award, I took the plunge and wrote my first movie review. My review was selected for one of the prizes and I loved writing it. These new formats make it fast and easy to write informative how-to articles, insightful product reviews and delicious recipes.

In January, Squidoo announced their Contributor program and offered 100 Giant Squids the opportunity to build a niche for themselves and to help promote Squidoo as a fun place to write. After reading about the program, I felt this was the perfect way for me to narrow my favorite topics of home and gardening into a niche that would fit the expectations of the Web. And, I was totally head over heels in love with Squidoo. When I saw that a contributor role for recycling was available, I gave it my best pitch.

I loved being the Recycler Contributor. The support from Squidoo was incredible and I made many new online friends. Recycling has always been a part of my frugal lifestyle and it makes me feel good to know that I am contributing to making the world a better place for all of us.

Until next time, be safe and be well.


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Saturday, April 5, 2014

Celebrate Earth Month

It's springtime in April, the Earth's having a birthday. Clean up our environment, plant a tree. Make this world a better place for everybody.

Hello Friends of the Earth!

Welcome to April and the warming rays of the springtime season. Springtime is my favorite time of the year. The air is fresh, the birds are singing and the plants are sprouting new blossoms. As I finish the Spring Cleaning Challenge of the Century, I look forward to the clean and environmentally friendly events yet to come this month.

Showcase Your Best Upcycled and Recycled Easter Crafts

Easter brings a wealth of opportunities to celebrate the rejuvenation of the earth by reusing what we have to celebrate the holiday. The Recycler Network is hosting an Easter Crafters hashtag event. Do you have an upcycled and recycled Easter craft that you'd like to share with the world? It's easy to be seen.

To enter, you'll need a Twitter account (or a friend who Tweets). Just tweet your Easter craft along with the  hashtag, #EasterCrafts between 12 am Eastern time on Monday, April 14, and 11 pm on Friday, April 18. You'll find more information about the event at The Recycler Network News.

Find Creative Ways to Recycle Everyday Items

Springtime holidays and spring cleaning bring opportunities to reduce the clutter around the house. Before you throw your unwanted stuff into the garbage, Find Inspiration to Turn Trash into Treasure. I put together a list of books that will spark idea after idea to make something new out of something old. If you read one of the books on this list, I'd love to share your review.

BritFlorida was the first to tell us about her favorite recycled crafting book. She finds inspiration while browing the pages of Eco Craft. A book to inspire you to make recycled home decor items. This crafting book has some unique projects that you won't find any place else.

I hope you enjoyed today's recycling stories and found some inspiration to recycle more in your own every day life.

Until next time, be happy and be well!

The Recycler

The Recycler likes to have fun and wants you to have fun, too!
Let's get together and turn trash into treasure.
Join The Recycler Network
Ask questions. Share stories. Get inspired.


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Saturday, March 15, 2014

A Day in the Life of a Recycler

There's a little bit of recycling in everything we do!


Whirlwinds of activity have been happening around my home office this week. On top of everyday work and living, my family is buying a house. It's keeping us busy and keeping me distracted. But, my writing and my friends at Squidoo have been keeping me on course. Moving has provided an influx of ideas and my friends are filling my inbox with projects that will help us turn that house into a home.

I'd like to share some of the recycling inspiration that has come my way this week.

One of our biggest chores will be moving a yard full of potted plants and vegetables. While cleaning up the plants, I was reminded that even nature recycles. Some of our plants die back only to reappear magically in the spring. We've never had a failure when we Grow New Zealand Spinach in Containers and Recycle the Seeds. New Zealand spinach almost grows itself and the plants provide enough seed to share with our friends.

After packing up my mother's 1958 sewing machine and yards of fabric scraps from her past quilting projects, I told myself it was time to get serious about sewing again. But fabric is so expensive. Valerie Proctor Davis comes to the rescue with tips on How to Save Money By Sewing Your Own Clothes. She has some great ideas for turning old clothes into new clothes and how to reuse clothing patterns.

Nothing is perfect when moving into a new home and there are always unexpected expenses. When a new bill pops up, another planned purchase must be delayed. Furniture is one of those items that can be worked around when money is getting tight. Eva shares a great idea for saving a few dollars on furniture in her story of How to Decoupage an Old Desk.

Paigsr reminded me that moving creates a lot of unwanted trash. Moving is the perfect time to de-clutter and find a new home for the stuff that is no longer needed. As we pack our belongings, we'll be thinking of ways to reuse and recycle every little thing because even small recycling gestures like Returning Bottles "Can" Make a Difference!

I'm getting excited about moving into our new home and all of the recycling opportunities this new venture will bring. And, I'm looking forward to finding even more exciting and creative ways to recycle in our every day lives.

I  hope you enjoyed today's recycling stories and found some inspiration to recycle more in your own every day life. It's cool to recycle, even nature does it!

Until next time, be happy and be well!


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Saturday, March 8, 2014

Recycle Words to Create a Compelling Story

Reduce Vague Introductions and Reuse Powerful Statements

Words are the foundation of communication. How words are used and arranged in sentences and paragraphs determines the effectiveness of our communication. All it takes is just a few simple tricks to reduce a string of words into a powerful message. It's all about how you tell your story.

Hello Writing Friends!

Words are more than just a combination of letters. Words make the world go round. Words entertain. Words spread information. Words build relationships. You don't need a college education to use words effectively. It's all in the way you tell your story. 

Here are six simple strategies to craft compelling, clear and concise reviews, recipes and how-to articles.

Get Right to the Point

Capture your reader's attention in the first sentence. Starting a story with a quick and striking statement of fact can be very effective. Make this first sentence simple, direct and brief. Readers will stick around to read your story when you tell them the central and vital fact of your story at the very beginning.

Put Your Best Foot Forward

Phrases and word choices can lure a reader in or turn a reader away from a story. Statements that distract a reader, phrases that are trite and word meanings that are unclear are sure-fire ways to keep an audience from reading a story to the ending.

Here are a few tricks for writing a strong story introduction:
  • Avoid beginning a story by asking your readers an "If" statement. When a reader is asked, "If you were...?" or "How would you like it if...?" the reader's mind will want to answer the question and will forget to finish the story.
  • Find creative ways to begin stories and paragraphs. Using "a," "an" or "the" as the first word in a story or paragraph isn't very creative. Choose a word that is virile, a word that shows action.
  • Don't start with a time or date. Whether something occurred today or yesterday doesn't really matter. There are other things to be said which are more important.

Keep It Simple

Fancy words and phrases that require a dictionary can be a turn-off for some readers. Use common words and short sentences. Remember, you are writing for your readers and for your reader's enjoyment.

Be Honest

Always tell the truth in the stories you write. Don't exaggerate. Don't distort the facts. Just tell the truth, the plain truth.

Interview Interesting People

Adding another person's point of view, telling another person's tale or validating your story with an expert quote creates interest. Using quotes from others brightens up a story and gives it life.

Reveal Your  Sources

Anonymous interviews, general statements, inferences and implied accusations weaken a story and cause a writer to lose credibility. Every fact and every expert statement must be cited. Tell readers where you found your expert quotes, statistics and factual information.

I hope these tips have helped you recycle your inner editor so that you can create compelling stories that readers will want to share with their friends.

Until next week,


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Saturday, February 22, 2014

Reduce Your Online Risk

Reuse and Recycle Your Web Presence

The Web is the two-edged sword of the 21st century. It's the good, the bad, the pretty and the ugly. It's a wonderful world where helpful information and useful products are shared freely. But, on its dark side, predators lurk in the corners, waiting for an opportunity to rob us. Avoid the bad guys. Be safe, surf smart!

Hello Friends!

Today let's take a different route to recycling and talk about reducing, reusing and recycling our online personalities to make our Web travels as safe and pleasant as possible. I've been on the Internet since 1984 and, over the years, I've noticed some changes that have me concerned. I'd like to share these concerns with you so that we may change the tide and keep the Web a clean, healthy and positive place to gather together.

The Mystery of the Unknown Relative

As my mom found out recently, even an innocent post can wreak havoc on a person. Mom's name and the city in which she lived were listed in an online obituary. Mom wasn't alone in the list, there was a long  list of relatives. That announcement, meant for family members, 
almost cost my mom several thousand dollars. 

Mom received a phone call from a man claiming to be her nephew, he was in trouble and needed money. She was ready to open her checkbook but decided she needed to be certain of this man's identity. She did the smart thing. The man was an impostor. What if she had given in to her emotions to help someone she had not seen in decades?

How do we protect ourselves from online predators?

The Case for Privacy

Do you have friends that post pictures of their every waking moment? There are people on the Web that I've never met, but yet I've seen every day of their child's life. It's been a virtual tour of the child's first ultrasound, first breath, first time at church, first solid food, first birthday and first Christmas.

How do we protect our right to privacy?

When TMI is Too Much Information

The search engines encourage people to tell their personal stories. Maybe personal isn't the right word. Some writers take this encouragement to a level that is uncomfortable for many readers. I love reading stories about how people overcome challenges and adversities. I feel uncomfortable when these stories shed a bad light on another person. I quit reading stories that only talk about the negative side of the story without showing how the problem was overcome. This negativity is not productive.

How do we protect our integrity?

What Can You Do?

Avoiding predators, safeguarding privacy and promoting integrity are big jobs and these are essential jobs if the Web is to remain a safe, clean and healthy place to play and work. Here's how you can make a difference.

Reduce the Information You Share
Reduce references to your residence, place of work, birthdays and other personal details. Share only details that are essential and necessary. Make it hard for thieves to find you.

Reuse Photographs and Profiles
It's not necessary to flood the Internet with photos of every moment. Sometimes it is much more effective to reuse a few select profile pictures, pictures of family members and other recognizable images. 

Recycle Unproductive Information
Recycle any negative comments or feelings to the trash bin. Nothing is gained from an online rant or complaining session. On the Web, when you say something bad about a person or product, your comment cannot be erased or forgotten.

As a Web writer who shares personal stories in how-to articles, recipes and family tales, I always ask myself a few questions before I click the Publish button.
  • Would I share this with an absolute and total stranger? 
  • How much of my personal life do I want exposed to the entire world?
  • What impact will my story have on the lives of others?
  • Does my story share a useful skill or give the reader a positive feeling?
Giving a story or blog post time to sit before I publish has always been my best protector. Before I make a story public, I read every word, sentence and paragraph with a critical eye. Anything that I feel will put me in harm, violate my privacy or tarnish my reputation is tossed in the trash bin.

Until next week, be safe.


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Saturday, February 15, 2014

Valentine Upcycle Events and Celebrations

Recycle the Valentine Happiness All Year Long

Valentine's Day is a day to share love, happiness and appreciation. It's a day for which many crafters spend weeks in preparation. Homemade cards, hand crafted gifts and upcycled decorations are all created for this one special moment. Share your love and happiness all year long by recycling the sentiment of Valentine's Day.

Hello Recycling Sweethearts!

I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine's Day and that you were able to spend the day with those people that are special to you. 

Last week, Valentine crafters around the Web were busy preparing for this romantic and caring event. To celebrate their handmade creations, the Recycler hosted an impromptu Hashtag Event. Crafters were invited to share their Valentine creations by Tweeting their stories and pictures using the hashtag #ValentineCrafters.

Almost 200 crafters were seen at the Valentine Crafters 2014 #ValentineCrafts Hashtag Event. Some showed up with just a photo of their hand crafted Valentine present. Others came dressed to the nines with detailed step-by-step instructions to duplicate their sentimental creations.

Vallain was seen Making Homemade Valentines. She saves scraps of paper and greeting cards so that she has a supply of recycled materials from which to choose according to her muse. Her Valentine card ideas can easily be reused to make greeting cards for any holiday.

MSchindel made a splash wearing the jewels she designed during her Romantic "Queen of Hearts" Earrings Project. I love these earrings, I love this earring style and I'd love to make several pairs, all with different beads to complement the different seasons.

It was a ton of fun to host the Valentine Crafters 2014 #ValentineCrafts Hashtag Event. It was so much fun that plans are being made for the Easter Crafters 2014 Hashtag Event. So, get your upcycled, recycled and reused Easter crafts ready. Write a how-to or recipe to show us your creative magic. We'll be announcing the date and sending out invitations in a few weeks.

Until next week, be clean and be green.


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Saturday, February 8, 2014

Recycle in the Garden and Grow Gorgeous Plants

Keep Your Garden Growing with Homemade Compost

If you have a yard, it's free and easy to make compost from the yard waste left behind after you've mowed the grass, pruned the shrubs and raked the leaves.

Hello Recycling Fans!

It may still be winter, but it's time to start planning a spring garden. While you're busy thumbing through seed catalogs and polishing the rust off your garden hoe, remember to make space for a compost pile.

There are many ways to approach composting. A couple of weeks ago, I challenged my friends to Review Your Favorite Composting System. There were a variety of tips, tricks and product reviews that came from this challenge.

Here is some of the composting fun that these friends shared. They all approach composting from a different perspective but all of them love having a never-ending supply of home-brewed fertilizer for their garden plants.

Paperfacets is thrilled with her witch's brew pot in the corner of her backyard. She tells us that there are 10 Exciting Reasons Why I Love to Compost. I really enjoyed her excitement over the little critters that grow in her compost pile.

LadyMermaid asks us to reduce our impact on the environment. Her motto is Compost - Go Green. She has some great tips on the kinds of trash to compost and some ideas to help you get started if you've never composted before.

The fun part of composting is that there's no real right way to compost and no real wrong way to compost. As long as you add the right materials and give the pile some air, you can create compost almost anywhere.

If you live in a suburban neighborhood, you may not be able to have an open compost pile. I lived in one of these Deed Restricted communities for a few years. The fashion police were constantly on the lookout for any yard that looked a mess. I hid my unsightly compost pile by Making Beautiful Compost with the Envirocycle Original Composter. If you look in the background of the garden picture above, you'll see just how attractive this closed, barrel-system composter looks.

I hope you've been inspired to recycle in your garden to grow gorgeous plants and that you've learned something new about composting. Don't throw your yard waste away. Use it to fertilize your garden the natural way.

Until next week, may your days be blessed and may your compost pile grow beautiful blooms.


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Saturday, February 1, 2014

Take the Upcycle It Challenge

Happy Saturday, Recycling Fans!

I hope you all had a good week and found one new opportunity to reduce, reuse and recycle. Today, I'd like to introduce you to a few of the RocketSquids on Squidoo.

NOTE:  On August 15, 2014, Squidoo announced that it had been acquired by HubPages. This program is no longer available on Squidoo.

The RocketSquid program was Squidoo's web writing bootcamp for new Squidoo members. Each week, RocketSquids were presented with a writing challenge and reading material to help them become successful on the Web. Their completed assignments were reviewed by experienced Squidoo writers who provided RocketSquids with encouraging critiques and helpful tips.

Last week, Squidoo's RocketSquids took the Upcycle It challenge and wrote stories about their adventures in recycling. Their assignment was to spotlight something that they upcycled, recycled or transformed into a new object.

The challenge motivated me to start a project involving pressed flowers from a floral arrangement that has special meaning for my family. My creativity sparkled with an idea to Recycle Memories of Love and Flowers. I gathered the assortment of pressed flowers, then searched for a picture frame and fabric to complement the flowers. Adding a bottle of glue, a precious memory will be forever enjoyed.

As a kid, growing up in the 1960s, we used all kinds of trash to make art. Magazines, Popsicle sticks, tin cans, fabric scraps. Anything with color and anything that would stick to glue. My favorite was to cut up magazines and make collages.

My mom is always recycling old blankets and scraps of fabric. With the best pieces, she makes baby blankets and donates the blankets to a pregnancy aid center for low-income families. These Homemade Organic Baby Wipes are much gentler to a baby's skin than the disposable baby wipes. And, you can use a soap that does not irritate baby's skin.

What do you do with old mattresses? When I bought a new mattress, I wasn't sure how to dispose of the old mattress. A scrapper, making his run through the neighborhood alleys, offered to take the mattress off my hands. It went in the back of his truck, on top of his collection of scrap metal. Away to the recycling center he went.

I hope you enjoyed these Upcycle It stories and found some inspiration to create an upcycled project with stuff you find tucked in a corner of your basement.

Until next week, keep on recycling!


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Saturday, January 25, 2014

It's Fun to Recycle, Let's Turn Our Trash into Treasure!


I'm Coletta and I was the Recycler Contributor on Squidoo

NOTE:  On August 15, 2014, Squidoo announced that it had been acquired by HubPages. With this acquisition, the Squidoo Contributor program was cancelled.

It's an honor to be here with such a terrific group of talented Squidoo writers and I'm extremely excited about Squidoo's new Contributor Program.

The Squidoo Contributor Program is a tremendous opportunity for us here at Review This! and for our fellow Contributors to share stories, reviews, recipes and how-tos that answer your questions and spark your creativity. Stories that are unique, useful and updated.

The Recycler will be searching for informational stories, descriptive product reviews, delicious recipes and entertaining how-to articles to help you to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle in every aspect of your everyday life. Stories that will help you 
spend less of your hard-earned money while saving the environment.

Through The Recycler Network, the Recycler will bring you tips and tricks to reduce waste in your kitchen and garden. You'll also find creative craft projects using items that we often see in the garbage can or recycling bin.

Here are some highlights from The Recycler Network this past week:

  • We're saving money on our food budget and reducing food waste. It's easy when you Recycle Your Vegetable Scraps and Make Soup Stock.
  • The kids in the craft room really know how to recycle old crayons and it's is a great way to let kids get colorful and creative.
  • If you like plants, rotting your yard debris and making compost will grow a healthy garden. The Envirocycle Original Composter ( is an inexpensive way to grow a healthy garden.
  • New to composting? Here are some Fast Composting Tips - Composting Made Easy for every gardener.
The Recycler is anxiously waiting for next Saturday. Squidoo's RocketSquids are, right this very minute, putting their creative juices to the test and writing stories about their adventures in recycling. Next week the Recycler will share with you the best "Upcycle It" stories these RocketSquids create. I've taken a sneak peak and I'm excited by what I see.

I hope you'll join the Recycler and start reducing the garbage from your life. I'm looking forward to this new adventure in reducing waste, increasing savings and making recycling fun.


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

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