Showing posts with label Recycling. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Recycling. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Cultivating Green



Window Farm Photo by Josh Kalish
In a world of constant change, there are some things that remain with us over the course of our lives.  In my case, two of those enduring things, which aren’t really things at all, are a love for words and farming.  Since I was a young girl, I have had an abiding need for planting words and seeds.

Though I live in the country now, that wasn’t always the case.  For much of my life I lived in some of the largest urban centers in our country (Chicago, Houston, and San Antonio).  I never imagined living or thriving while surrounded by vast acres of concrete.  It seems one does adapt when necessary.

As Squidoo’s Green Living Contributor, I often receive comments on my articles from those who yearn to live as I do—off the grid, in the country, surrounded by wide, open spaces.  I often hear it said that it isn’t possible to live green at the moment.  Sometimes it is a matter of needing to be near family or work.  These green yearning souls have set their own longings aside, having deferred their dreams (perhaps indefinitely).

What I have learned, though, is that urban farming is not only entirely possible, it is a hugely popular phenomenon that could ultimately be one of the most important movements of our generation.  Without much more than eight square feet of light, these city dwellers, known as “window farmers,” have found a way to cultivate their green (both an inner and outer greening).

This week, as I read Paradise Lot, a book about two plant geeks who converted a desolate city space into an abundantly thriving garden of Eden, I thought of others who have created their own means of cultivating green wherever they happen to dwell.

My friend Dawn Rae shows you can take the girl out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the girl.  She gardens in a big city apartment. LindaJM presents the possibilities of Window Farming 101.  Kari Spencer, of the Micro Farm Project, demonstrates how she turned her small urban yard into a true showcase.

As I sit here by the window tapping away on my laptop, nurturing little wordlings, still just tiny sprouts, I am cultivating the kind of green that makes my life a garden paradise.  How will you cultivate your green today? 



Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


FOLLOW US ON:

Saturday, March 15, 2014

A Day in the Life of a Recycler

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


Hello!

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!

Coletta



Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


FOLLOW US ON:

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,

Coletta




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


FOLLOW US ON:

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.

Coletta



Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


FOLLOW US ON:

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

10,000 Shades of Green


As Squidoo’s new “Green Living” Contributor, I have a dream of pioneering an entirely new kind of online ecovillage.  Together, you and I, along with other kindred spirits, can build something uniquely vibrant that has the capacity to make a real difference.

We hear a great deal these days about living green, but what does that really mean?  It means something different to each one of us.  I like to say there are 10,000 shades of green.  Though my shade of green is off grid green, not everyone has the desire or immediate capacity to take that leap.  And that is okay.  Be your own shade of green.

When I first made the decision to live more sustainably, I had a lot to learn.  Come to think of it, I still have a lot to learn.  That is the best part of finding my inner green… growing every day.  The thing is, it is much more rewarding to grow together.

What if we thought of our online interactions as a form of human photosynthesis?  Being bathed in the light and energy of those who care about leaving the world a better place is one way we increase our own green.  One hour of sunlight makes a huge difference to a plant.  Just imagine the power of one when it comes to shining your light in a way that greens up the planet.

I invite you to bring your green.  Be the photosynthesis you wish to see in the world.  Tell us your story.  Review the green products you use and love.  Share a tutorial that shows us how you do green.  You can start by taking a moment to visit our new village green.  While there, if you haven’t yet become a Squidoo member, please take a few seconds to join.  It’s one more way of increasing your green.

As Tom Bodett always says, “We’ll keep the light on for you.”  In this case, it will be the light of your new Squidoo friends.  Welcome home.



Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


FOLLOW US ON:

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.

Coletta



Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


FOLLOW US ON:

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!

Coletta



Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


FOLLOW US ON:

Saturday, January 25, 2014

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

Hello!

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 Squidoo 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 (www.thegrocerygarden.blogspot.com/2014/12/product-review-envirocycle-composter.html) 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.


Coletta



Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


FOLLOW US ON: