Sunday, August 30, 2009

Rethink | Refuse | Reuse: Glass Jars, Take 2

Some of the ways I like to reuse things are so dead simple that it doesn't even occur to me to talk about it. But our new Rethink - Refuse - Reuse series reminded me to pass on a very easy, and very functional, way of keeping your glass out of a landfill.

(Yes, glass is recyclable, but people often overlook the fact that recycling something takes a pretty substantial amount of energy. It's almost always better to find a new use for existing items when we can. Reduce and Reuse should be the headliners in the way we deal with waste, with Recycle playing a small part when necessary.)

I store just about everything in my kitchen in glass jars leftover from groceries I've bought. (The process is pretty easy: soak the label off in some hot soapy water, and eliminate any lingering smells from, say, pasta sauce, by letting some white vinegar sit in it for a few hours.) Glass is easy to clean and doesn't pick up smells the way plastic does. It's great at preserving dry goods, pasta, spices, and snacks, and looks beautiful besides. And I've never understood the allure of buying an expensive set of matching glass containers when I get lovely ones for free pretty much every time I go to the store. (Personally, I think the mismatched jars can look charming, and if you're like me and buy the same brand of peanut butter all the time, you'll probably have a matching set sooner than you think!)

Of course you can't save every single glass jar that comes your way. But a little goes a long way, and keeping even 5% of your waste out of that fossil-fuel-using recycling truck is a big move. You might be surprised at how much use you get out of that old olive jar!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Low tech - and recycled! - houseplant watering system

I was cutting up some soda bottles for another Replayground project and wondering what to do with the top half I was about to discard, when I remembered that it would make a great drip irrigation system for my thirsty houseplants.

I've been using this technique ever since I first read about it on You Grow Girl a few years ago. Cut the bottom off your soda bottle and drill a couple of very small holes in the cap. After the bottle's wedged into the soil and filled with water, these small holes will allow water to drip slowly down to the plant's roots.

It's a gentle watering system for more delicate plants or seedlings, and does a great job of getting water down to roots where it's needed (especially in summer when water just evaporates off the top of the soil).

It felt great to avoid throwing more plastic in the trash and give my plants a little TLC at the same time!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Sustainable NYC Craft workshops are BACK with a twist

Great news, RePlayGround bloggers!

Not only are the Recycled Craft Workshops at Sustainable NYC back by popular demand - but they are now FREE! That's right! We believe that re-purposing can be universal, a tool that everyone has access to, and our workshops are about inspiring you transform your waste into art.

So join me at Sustainable NYC on Wednesday, September 9th for Bottle Cap Jewelry. The cap makes a perfect frame to highlight small treasures and memories - small photos, poems, buttons, etc. Then you can turn them into functional art to see everyday!

Keychains, magnets, and necklaces...oh my!
What: Recycled Craft Event: Bottle Cap Jewelry
When: Wednesday, September 9th (all dates) 6pm-7:30pm - Bottle Cap Jewelry.
October 14th - Pop Art! Soda bottle soap dish, picture frame, vase, and more.
November 11th - Crafty Cardboard: Pencil cases, wallets, postcards and more.
December 9th - Upcycled Ornaments - holiday special.
Where: SustainableNYC
Who: Carly, Garbage Outreach Coordinator at RePlayGround

You bring: your favorite bottle caps and photos (optional, materials will be provided), your creative genuis!
We bring: lots of materials, instruction, a great space, our fabulous company.

RSVP is a must, 10 person limit per workshop: please email or
can't wait to see you there !

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Rethink | Refuse | Reuse - glass jars

In need of a vase? There's no reason to buy one when you have a perfectly good FREE one hangin' out in your recycling bin.

This is the latest edition of the Rethink | Refuse | Reuse photo series. We're talking straight reuse here! No artsy craftyness necessary.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

vote for me at Nau... now!

Hi there lovely RePlayGround blog readers! I've been nominated for a Grant 4 Change award which supports those who "instigate lasting, positive change in their communities." I'm thrilled to fall into this positive-instigating category and to be surrounded with other like-minded people!

Please help to support me by going to At the top of the page click register. Don't worry, there's no email list, it's just preventative double-voting measures. Under nominations find me - Tiffany Threadgould and click. Then click rate. Note: 5 stars is highest.

This year's winning prize is 10,000 buckaroos. Do you know how much of an eco-change I could make with a wad of cash like that?
Thanks in advance for your support!

And while you're at Nau's Grant 4 Change website, you can rate more than 1 nominee so be sure to give a shout out to our friends Alexander and Arthur Gillett over at Scryve, and to Wendy Tremayne of Swap-O-Rama-Rama fame. Hurray for supporting positive change in our communities!