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5 Ways to Use More Glass and Less Plastic

glass

When looking around your home it’s hard not to notice all the plastic. From food wrappers to your beauty cabinet, plastic is everywhere. Americans discard more than 30 million tons of plastic every year, and only 8 percent gets recycled. The rest piles up in landfills, is incinerated or becomes litter.

Replacing less-durable and potentially toxic plastic with glass or stainless steel is not only good for the environment, but also good for your wallet and your health. With a little organizing and creativity, it’s easy to incorporate glass or stainless steel into your everyday routine.

Transition Your Beauty Cabinet

Plastic containers commonly house everyday toiletries and fill your bathroom. Instead, choose to fill your makeup cabinet with these plastic-free alternatives:

  • Visit a shop that will refill shampoo, conditioner, lotion and other products in your reusable glass jars.
  • Make your own beauty products and keep them in small glass jars or our mini containers.
  • Use bar soap free of questionable ingredients at every sink (even the kitchen!) instead of buying plastic soap dispensers.

Freeze Leftover Food in Glass or Stainless Steel

Skip the single-use plastic bags and containers and opt to freeze food in glass canning jars, glass containers or stainless steel containers. When freezing, always leave space at the top for expansion. Our glass containers double as bakeware and can go from freezer to fridge, to oven/microwave, to table, to dishwasher. Click here for more plastic-free freezer tips from Treehugger.

Infuse Water and Teas in Glass

If you’re looking to add a little flavor to your beverages, skip the pre-made drinks in plastic containers and opt for making your own. Brew your favorite flavors of tea in a large glass jar or carafe and enjoy hot or iced. Also, try these ideas for infused water to enjoy.

Shop Plastic-Free

More and more grocery stores are offering bulk food sections for everyday items like flour, beans, nuts and coffee. Our friend Lauren Singer at Trash Is for Tossers has an informative article on cutting the plastic out of your grocery shopping by using glass jars and reusable bags.

Decorate Your House

You can find beautiful and unique used jars and containers at second-hand stores and by looking in recycling bins. Get creative and utilize them around the house:

Glass is 100% recyclable and can be recycled endlessly without loss in quality or purity. Use these tips around the house and start your plastic-free journey!

 

 

Eco-Friendly Fall Decorations For Your Home

ECO-FRIENDLY

It seems as though every day in October is a countdown to Halloween. As you’re preparing to decorate this year, skip the store-bought items and choose a more eco-friendly option. Not only will you save money, but you’ll end up with unique, one-of-a-kind ideas that are gentle on the earth!

Most of our favorite ideas involve items you probably already have around the house including colored paper, scissors, string and glue or tape. Get creative and try to find items you can reuse to make decorations.

Themed Garland

Making a paper garland is an easy and fun project for the whole family. Ghosts, skulls and bats are easy to stencil and trace on construction paper, old magazines or newspaper. These ideas from HomeDIT cover Fall garlands and Halloween-themed garlands. Make the garland as easy as you like by choosing simple shapes and decorations. Kids can decorate with crayons, paint and buttons to personalize.

Alternatives to Pumpkin Carving

If you’re hosting any type of fall gathering, we love this idea where you cut the top off the pumpkin and scoop out the insides to make a cooler for all types of beverages. Utilize the same idea for smaller pumpkins and line with smaller glass bowls to use for snacks or candy.

If you’re looking for a new kind of pumpkin carving, these updates on the classic jack-o-lantern light us up. Simply hollow out the pumpkin, trace a shape on the outside and create holes along the pattern.

Paper Punch Leaves

Make a day out of raking the yard and collecting leaves. While outside, ask your kids to collect a handful of their favorite leaves. Take them inside and punch them into beautiful shapes and press them in a book. If you don’t own paper punches, create a small stencil of a circle or square and have them cut out their favorite part of the leaf. Once the leaves have dried, use them as DIY confetti on your Halloween or Thanksgiving table.

Looking for more ideas? Check out our Pinterest board full of ways to reuse what you have around the house and repurpose into the perfect eco-friendly Fall and Halloween decorations!

10 Upcycling Ideas for Kids

upcycling

Upcycling is simply recycling with a twist…the term is used to describe the growing trend of reusing, restoring or repurposing old furniture, clothing or goods from around the house. The goal is to lower your footprint and save items from landfill by turning them into something useful.

  • Cork Stamps

Wine corks can easily be repurposed into stamps for DIY crafts and projects for kids. We love this alternative to rubber stamps, especially the ideas in this tutorial. Minimal tools are needed to make these stamps, but adult supervision is recommended.

  • Glass Jar Planters

This idea is fun and easy for kids and adults alike. Collect empty glass jars that you’ve used (salsa, pickle or empty candles are our favorite) and get planting! All you need is some potting soil, seedlings or cuttings, and small rocks for drainage on the bottom.

  • Shirt Pillows

Love that gently worn shirt, but not ready to get rid of it? Repurpose it by making it into a pillow. Use upcylced throw pillows as decorations on beds or couches. Here is an easy step-by-step guide.

  • Vintage Fabric Bowl Covers

Try this simple sewing project with kids to create homemade bowl covers from vintage fabrics. Save on plastic wrap with this waste-free idea, perfect for outdoor parties or picnics. They also keep the bugs away and keep food fresh.

  • Map Gift Tag or Bookmark

With the holidays coming up, making your own gift tags is a simple way to upcycle old items and save money. Find old maps in the car or at a second-hand bookstore and turn them into gift tags or bookmarks. Cut to size and finish by hole punching the top and adding your favorite string or twine.

  • Coffee Can Planters

If you buy coffee in bulk, then this is a great idea for you to repurpose those old cans. You can add more house plants inside or out with these few simple steps.

  • Cuff Coin Purse

Here is another upcycling project involving another part of your outgrown shirt. Follow this guide to make cute purses for money, cards, chapstick or keys. It’s an easy first-time sewing project for kids that makes a great holiday gift.

  • Magazine or Newspaper Garland

If you have a stack of old magazines or newspapers lying around, this project is a perfect way to reuse them. This idea is a creative way to decorate for any occasion.

  • Cereal Box Notebooks

Make your own adorable notebooks in eight simple steps using cereal boxes, buttons, string and optional accent paper. These sturdy notebooks are the perfect rainy-day crafts for kids, and make thoughtful homemade presents. Follow this step-by-step process and have fun with this creative  upcycling project.

  • Paper Bag Baskets

Have a stack of leftover paper shopping bags? Here is a great way to reuse them with a purpose. These will keep kids busy, and make great baskets for fruit or planted herbs.

All it takes to upcycle is your creative imagination and an eye for what can be used around the house. Check out our Pinterest board full of our favorite suggestions!