Thursday, May 29, 2008

Happy Anniversary!

I ran an eco "Pop" workshop yesterday with Sustainable NYC and showed a few crafty New Yorkers how to convert old soda bottles into soap dishes, photocuffs and more.

One person even made a soap dish and is giving it to her husband for their 25th wedding anniversary. Wrapped in paper we found in the recycling bin. Now that's true handcrafted love.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

June recycling projects in New York City!

You can catch us this weekend at the Gowanus Goes Green Festival in Brooklyn. The event is on Sunday, June 1 from 11am - 6pm.

We'll be at the mini Maker Faire in NYC on June 6th from 6:30pm - 9pm.

And on June 14 we'll be at Children's Day at the South Street Seaport from noon - 5pm.

We'll have free recycling projects at all of these events. What a great way to start out your summer!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

tie transformation

Need a good eco-friendly way to hold your cell phone or ipod? Here's my latest project - gadget cases made from old neckties.

Visit our Etsy Shop for more colors and patterns. Some of them were even made from my dad's old ties. I wonder if I gave him any of these ties for gifts as a kid. It might make a great regifted Father's Day present.

And if you have old ties or large-ish buttons you want to send my way, please do. I'll put them to good reuse! Here's where to send 'em.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

the trivets are coming! the trivets are coming!

Hey folks - our ReMake It kits will be in stock on our website and in stores soon!

If you're really jonesing for one of the kits, send us an email and we'll let you know as soon as they're here.

For the wine cork trivets send an email to iwantatrivet [at] replayground [dot] com
For bottle lamps email iwantalamp [at] replayground [dot] com
For magazine stationery email iwantenvelopes [at] replayground [dot] com
For bottle cap magnets email iwantmagnets [at] replayground [dot] com
And for all of the ReMake It kits email iwantthemall [at] replayground [dot] com

Plus even more ReMake It kit ideas are in the works. We'll let you know what's coming soon.

Happy recycling!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

embrace convenience or change our habits?

I sat in on a final design class at Parson's yesterday and the class project was to design something for the public good. There were lots of great ideas presented. A recurring theme was creating packaging that was convenient and biodegradable. It got me thinking - should we embrace convenience and work on making items compostable and more easily recyclable... or should we work more on changing people's habits?

One student compared convenience to cell phones. 10 years ago cell phones barely existed, but now we can't live without them. How else would we let our parents know when we're running 10 minutes late or ask our friends to pick up some wine on their way over? We've entered an age of convenience where snacks and drinks come packaged in individual serving sizes. Should we embrace this convenience and work on creating better ways to discard all of our garbage?

It took me about a year to change my own habits and give up plastic water bottles and plastic bags. I try to always carry a cloth tote around with me. The one I usually carry is the baggu bag because it folds up so small. I also love my Repsect your Mother tote from Sustainable NYC. My water bottle is this stainless steel one from Gaiam. Once I changed my habits I stopped creating more waste and now simply reuse the same items over and over. Plus I've become very attached to my tote bags and water bottle. I'm happy to be an eco-fanatic and enjoy carrying around totes that have clever sayings and come in pretty colors.

I do appreciate when food and products are convenient. But I'm not convinced that creating more packaging is the answer - even if it is biodegradable or recyclable. A huge part of landfill waste is packaging. Sure we could do better at recycling that packaging, but what about creating less to begin with?

We're all clever people. Let's design more solutions that are both convenient AND less wasteful. Like making pretty tote bags and making it cool to carry them around. Maybe we'd get more respect.

Friday, May 9, 2008

sunny California

I had the pleasure of visiting California this past week. My trip started with the super-fabulous Maker Faire. And what a great start! Motorized armchairs, life-sized cupcakes on wheels, a Lego room, DIY sewing stations... I just wish Maker Faire closer to home and more than once a year. I had my very own booth and my own recycled Maker projects.

The rest of California was vacation. A friend and I drove down the West Coast from San Francisco to LA. We took a short detour to get a meal of local, seasonal ingredients at Chez Panisse in Berkeley and visit some breathtaking (and tasty) vineyards in Sonoma. It reminded me how different the landscape is from coast to coast. It was so beautiful and instead of seeing strip malls I got to see elephant seals, an ocean view, and tons of pretty roadside flowers.

Granted flying and driving aren't the most eco-friendly alternatives, but in small doses it is sometimes the most efficient way to travel. Plus I bought carbon offsets for my trip at TerraPass. It's nice to be back home in Brooklyn, but getting a good dose of California sunshine did some good for my soul.