Sunday, January 25, 2009

Bloggy Giveaway: Recycled Stamp Jewelry

It's Bloggy Giveaway time again! You don't want to miss this one! This stained glass necklace is made with an authentic vintage stamp, reusing in style! The artist, Lindsay Troutman, has a love for taking old and vintage pieces, and creating a true work of art. An EXCLUSIVE for Mama Goes Green, you won't find this anywhere else! Pictures are a good representation of what you will receive, although exact colors and stamps will vary due to the one of a kind nature to these necklaces.

All creations are made with silver plate chains, and lead free solder.

There are 4 ways to enter, choose on or all 4 for more chances to win:

  • Comment with the next step you want to take to "go green"

  • Tweet about this giveaway

  • Subscribe to the Mama Goes Green Blog

  • Join the Mama Goes Green Facebook Group

All jewelry is now 20% off on Mama Goes Green! Make a wishlist, and send it to your Valentine. The power of suggestion always works ;) Good luck! Winner will be announced on Feb 1st.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Recycling Made Simple-Tips & Facts to Green Your Routine

Before "going green" was coined as the latest rage, envionmentalists worked hard to spread the message about the 3 R's. It's a mantra well known by even the least green out there: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. The first two Rs are straight forward-use less, and reuse what you've got already. Recycling is where many of us throw up our hands in protest, and for a myriad of reasons. I was always too busy, or it was too inconvenient.

photo taken by: Locator

When I finally decided to go for it and give recycling a try, I stood by the sink with a yogurt container and a steel can, wondering if either of them could be recycled. The whats, and hows of recycling can be daunting, but implementing a recycling routine in your family is an important step in the greening process. Here are some basic tips to help you succeed:

What to Recycle

Start with the items that have the fewest "rules":

  • Aluminum: just a simple rinse will do

  • Steel Cans: no need to remove labels, rinse

  • Newspaper: keep it dry

  • Magazines & Glossy Inserts: seperate and keep dry

These are all items that are almost all universally recyclable in any community. The next items will vary in recyclability by your locale's services.

  • Plastics: PETE 1 & 2 are the most recycled plastics & include milk jugs, shampoo bottles, soda bottles, etc. Look for the symbol. Take off caps, unless coded 1 or 2.

  • Glass: You may have to seperate by color, but never include light bulbs, Pyrex, or windows in this mix. Also take off lids and caps. This would include: beer, soda and wine bottles, as well as glass jars. (Oh, and don't worry about getting the lime out of the beer bottle, it won't ruin the mix!)

  • Paper & Paperboard: office paper, cereal boxes, etc. Be careful of wax & paper lined milk cartons and food boxes. These are not recyclable.

  • Corrugated Cardboard: keep dry & clean

  • Plastic Bags: Keep these dry and clean, and turn them in at your grocery store. Hopefully you don't collect many of these because you have switched to reusable bags.

Where to Recycle

Check with your local waste services for common options:

  • Curbside Recycling: generally involves a small fee, however you are provided with bins and it can't get more convenient.

  • Recycling Center Drop-off: This is the more common option, and does require a new routine. We were suprised at how close our drop-off really was, and connected our trips with a weekly trip to the library that was close by. Many grocery stores and schools also have these in their parking lots.

How to Collect Your Recycling

It is important to set up your recycling station at home to be convenient and easy to use. Paper bags & makeshift containers will get frustrating very quickly.

  • Post a Quick Reference Guide: This helps other members of your family know what to throw in the garbage can, and what things are eligible for recycling. Great cheat sheet here.

  • Invest in some Plastic Bins: We use 5 that stack together from our local home improvement store. One of them stays in the kitchen to collect recyclables and is taken to be sorted into the others at the end of the day.

  • Assign Recycling duties: Rotate this chore like you do any others in your home. My kids love doing the sorting at the end of the day, and it takes the stress off me!

Important to Remember:

  • This is a process! Don't sabotage yourself by demanding perfection, every little bit counts. Your little bit does make a difference, and shouldn't be taken lightly!

  • Precycle: Before you buy in the store, take a look at the packaging. Can it be recycled? Could you buy it in a larger container, instead of individual packagings? This is a helpful way to combine reducing and recycling into one step.

Links for the advanced recycler:

With our current economic situation, there are some concerns over recycling. Definately precycle and reuse as much as you can. But I still feel more comfortable recycling my waste when I can, than throwing in the landfill. Working to make recyclables in demand will go a long way into making recycling a great option for the economy and our planet!

Friday, January 2, 2009

A Greener Better Life for 2009

Happy New Year! We are fully entrenched now in 2009, and many of us are reflecting on 2008. Our 2008 was full of "new" things. We planted our first garden, started a new business, and changed our routines to make them green. Looking back at my handwritten goals for 2008, I am happy to report we accomplished most of what we set out to do.
photo by Fred_711
This year, my husband and I are sitting down together to write out our personal and family goals. I prefer the word goal to resolution, because it keeps me focused on the process it takes to get to my goal. I'd love to hear from you: Do you make resolutions, or goals in the New Year? Care to share any? Here are some of mine for this year:

  • Continue with the green/healthy habits started in 2008

  • Establish morning routine

  • Read 1 book a month

  • Eat more raw, local foods, less processed and take out

  • Finish our Debt Snowball

  • Go to our town hall meetings, start to share my voice in my community

  • Expand the garden, plant more from seed

  • Be a better friend

  • Continue to simplify

  • Continue to grow

Thanks for all the love and comments you guys send my way! Here's to many more!