Posts filed under ‘reduce’

tiny step #15 – uses for dryer lint


• reuse lint to start fires. stuff an empty paper egg cartons with lint. stuff it full and close the lid. make a hole in each “egg” at the bottom of the carton. pour melted candle wax in each hole. let this dry until the wax is hard (2-3 hours).


Continue Reading July 25, 2009 at 12:52 am Leave a comment

tiny step #14 – reusing soap chips


• put all the soap chips in the foot of an old stocking, hang it near a faucet outside to wash  hands

• break up the last remains of the soap bar, put in a pump bottle, add some water, shake and you have liquid soap

• make a soapy scrubber. place small bits of leftover soap into a square of nylon netting, fold the netting so there are several layers around the soap, then tuck in all the edges with heavy thread. use for scrubbing collar stains or cleaning hands after gardening or painting.

• make soap on a rope, sew up a drawstring bag, say, out of an old washcloth, and deposit your soap bits inside. next, throw in a couple of tablespoons of dried herbs, like chamomile and lavender plus a couple of tablespoons of medium ground oatmeal to act as a skin softener.
• to recycle your soap scraps into new bar soap, place 2 cups of grated soap scraps in a saucepan and cover them with water. let them soak for 24 hours, giving them a stir every now and then. next, bring the pan to a boil, remove it from heat and add a tablespoon of vegetable oil for each cupful of soap soup. pour the mixture into molds–milk cartons work great. after they’ve hardened, you can cut them into smaller bars, but let them cure for two weeks before you use them.

• to make a cleaning gel, place 2 cups of grated soap bits in a saucepan, covering them with water. wait 24 hours, stirring the soap soup now and then. after 24 hours, bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally. reduce to a simmer and then whisk or mash the mixture to completely dissolve the soap. remove from heat and allow to cool. for each cup of soap gel in the pan, add two cups of talcum powder and two tablespoons of mineral turpentine. mix the concoction well and store in a wide-mouth container with a tight-fitting lid. this super-soap can be used as a general purpose household cleaner as well as a laundry aid.

for ways to turn soap chips and slivers into new soap visit:

oatmeal soap

turn soap scraps into soap bars

nylon soap balls

making handmilled soap

for products to help you save soap visit:

sponge soap saver

soap saver bags

owl wash cloth & soap sack

July 20, 2009 at 12:50 am Leave a comment

tiny step #13 – opt-out to stop receiving phone book

remove your home or office from receiving the telephone directories if you are not in need of one.

visit to remove your name from the list.

July 11, 2009 at 1:52 pm Leave a comment

tiny step #12 – conserving water


according to the epa (environmental protection agency), americans use up to 100 gallons of water per day. nearly 450 million people in 29 countries face severe water shortages. predictions indicate that within 5 years, at least 36 u.s. states will face water shortages due to a combination of rising temperatures, drought, population growth, and waste.

research has shown that residential water use could be reduced by as much as 50 percent through efficiency. here are a few simple suggestions for reducing your water consumption. test your water sense with this quiz from the epa.

Continue Reading July 8, 2009 at 1:25 pm Leave a comment

how green is your summer?

take this national geographic quiz to see how eco-friendly your outdoor summer activity really is, and learn about the small things you can do to make it even greener.

click here to take quiz

July 6, 2009 at 2:28 pm Leave a comment

recycling pool noodles


summertime means fun in the pool. we all love those colorful foam noodles we use in the pool. you can blow water through it’s inner tube, fold it and sit on it. pool noodles are a blast of summer fun. at the end of the swimming season though you’ll find yards littered with broken, forgotten noodles. this year don’t toss that broken toy away. here are some ways to recycle pool noodles and keep summer fun living on throughout the year.

bicycle accessories

little boys and little girls can think about summer all year long with this recycling idea. cut your noodle, mom and dad, into varying lengths. with the noodle pieces cover bare bicycle frames. just make a slice on one side and slip it over the frame. secure the noodle pieces with colored duct tape. this would keep noodles from getting caught up in spokes or chains. also, don’t noodle areas that would make cycling dangerous. the hollow inner tube of the noodle comes in varying sizes so be sure and pick the size that’s right for your child’s frame.

noodle animals

this is a fun craft for kids and grown ups. make an animal using wooden dowels. you could make a horse, dog or whatever animal you like. after you create your animal with the wood, add the foam noodle pieces to give your animal ‘bones’ some flesh. use buttons to glue on eyes and other features. the possibilities are endless with your noodle animals.

paint stamps

cut the noodle into three inch sections. put a little craft paint on a plastic plate. put a stamp cut side down. dab the paint stamp on your desired surface. it will give you a kind of apple shape. for more detailed paint stamps, use an exacto knife, carefully, and carve some grooves or designs in the stamp surface.

packing material

making a move soon? use your broken pool noodles as packing material. use sharp scissors or a knife to cut the noodle into tiny pieces. pour the noodles pieces into your packing box. the foam makes a great cushion to protect breakables.

fishing floats

are you a fisherman? cut up broken noodles and use them as float locators for your equipment. run some float pieces over some fishing line and tie the pieces to various items on your boat. this would be great if a renegade wave decides to toss your equipment over board. also you the noodle pieces as corks. you’ll know when the big one comes along with a noodle cork. however, let us suggest that if you are thinking about using a noodle as a life saving device think again. the coast guard requires fishermen to have bright sufficient floatation devices. don’t chintz on the lifesaving equipment!

July 5, 2009 at 2:19 pm 1 comment

tiny step #12 – green up the garage and workshop


while you’re cleaning out your garage this summer, consider greening it as well.

unplug your power tools
figure out which cordless tools get the most use, then unplug the chargers on all the rest. most cordless tools have nickel cadmium (nicad) batteries, which will hold some charge for up to a year. they lose 15 to 20 percent of their juice each month, but only take a couple of hours to power up again. newer tools with lithium ion batteries lose just 2 to 5 percent of their charge each month, so they’ll be ready to go even if you haven’t charged them in ages.

spread sawdust on your floor
take the superfine shavings captured by your dust collection system, wet them down, then push them around with a stiff broom to sweep your concrete garage or workshop floor. the mix is as good as a power-guzzling shop vac at picking up dust but doesn’t swirl it into the air.

seal your doorway
making your garage more eco-friendly also means protecting your home from the fumes that might leak in. it’s important to make sure that the doorway from the garage into your main living area is properly sealed. add weatherstripping if there is not any already, and make sure that cracks are sealed with caulk or expanding foam.

Continue Reading June 22, 2009 at 4:46 pm Leave a comment

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