Helpful Apps

     Technology can be a very useful tool when trying to reduce waste. It can be difficult to find your local stores that carry bulk items, or how to get the junk mail to stop piling up in your mailbox, and subsequently your recycling bin/trash can, however I have run across some really helpful apps that can assist you in navigating all of these issues. 

https://www.paperkarma.com/ –Stop unwanted mail with your phone

http://talkto.com/ – Talk to stores via text to find out what they have

https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=Zero+Waste+Home – Find which stores carry bulk items in your area (also available for iphone)

http://www.greeneggshopper.com/ – Manage your shopping and helps you save food from going to waste. 

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Do you Reddit?

Reddit Alien

 Over the last year or so I have found Reddit to be a great resource for ideas and help. This subreddits are not necessarily trash-free but they definitely have good tips, and plenty of people on there who can help with with whatever.

 

 

What websites do you find helpful?

Plastic Bag Ban – Poll

reusable bag

Reviving Old or Broken Crayons

Still not sure what to do with the
Crayon paper. Ideas?

I stumbled upon this while browsing the Internet and I thought it was a great idea that combined the idea of the Crayon Rocks I talked about a while back with repurposing old, broken crayons. So I decided to do this with my son’s old crayons which were stored in a jar and actually pose a choking hazard to my 11 month old daughter so he doesn’t get to play with them very often.

place crayons of complimenting colors
together in the muffin tin.

 

     First I had to remove all the paper off the little stumps of crayons which wasn’t fun and I am still trying to figure out what I can do with the little bits of shredded crayon paper. If anyone knows if it is compostable or recyclable please let me know!

Anyway, after all the paper was removed, I took out a muffin tin and put the crayon bits in the compartments of the tin by complimenting colors. The last compartment was just whatever was left over. Then, I put the muffin tin in the oven at 250 degrees F for 15-20 minutes.

Right out of the oven. This color I did not swirl together.
I thought it looked good like this.

When I took them out of the oven, I swirled some of them with the end of a fork and some I just left the way they were for variety’s sake. Then I put it in the freezer, muffin tin and all until the was was solid again and I popped them out and Ta-Da! I call themcrayon circles! (for the sake of my son needing a label because he insisted they weren’t just “Crayons”)

The finished product!
So easy and we saved a bunch of old crayon chunks
that would have otherwise gone in the garbage.

Making Orange Peels Useful

My kids love Clementines, a lot. I have always thought the peels smell delicious and it was a shame there wasn’t something I could do with them. Thanks to a Facebook post floating around I now have the perfect solution which also solves my other problem of my vinegar + water + essential oils cleaning solution not smelling so good.

Orange Scented Household Cleaner

 

  • Put your orange peels (or clementine peels like I did) in a mason jar
  • Fill the mason jar with vinegar
  • Put the lid of the jar on tightly
  • Wait 2 weeks
  • Strain the vinegar and put in your spray bottle

Tah dah! Nice smelling, Green cleaner.

I am thinking of doing a post on all the ways I use my mason jars. How do you use your mason jars?

Powdered Laundry Detergent – Recipe

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I didn’t have any Fels Naptha on hand so the soap in this picture is Ivory.

I think of all the things I make at home this is my favorite. It saves me a bundle and it works great.

Powdered Laundry Detergent

2 parts finely grated Fels-Naptha soap bar ( you can also use Ivory or Zote)
1 part Borax
1 part Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda

Of course there are many variations of this recipe. This is just the most basic. Other things you can include are:

  • Baking Soda (different from washing soda, I get it in bulk from my local co-op)
  • Oxiclean (recycle the container or use it to store your detergent)

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To Use

Simply add 1 Tablespoon to your laundry. If it is a really big load or heavily soiled, use 2 Tablespoons but since this is concentrated detergent you do not need more than that.

 

*Tip*: Before grating the soap bar, unwrap it and let it sit out until it has dried out some. This will make the grating process much easier. If you don’t do this it will be sticky and difficult to grate.