sustainablespu

Sustainability is about ecology, economy and equity.- Ralph Bicknese


Spring has sprung! –Some spring cleaning ideas and ways to brighten the days with Seattle showers


The first step to enjoying spring (if you aren’t already) is to prepare for all the fun you’ll be having and carve out some space to enjoy the wonderful things that come with spring. Hopefully you’re already doing a few of these!

1) Spruce up your closet – (Donate, Shuffle, or Re-purpose)

Spring cleaning is not complete without going through your wardrobe. I know it’s time to do some rearranging when I have to dig past sweaters to get to t-shirts and tank tops. It’s helpful to go through clothing when the seasons change to see what you will continue to use as is, what you want to donate, and what you might want to give a face lift.donation-pick-up

A few ways I adjust my clothes for the new season is through creating cuffs on my jeans, or roll the sleeves on a t-shirt into a tank top. That way you don’t damage the clothes, and can still use them during the colder months.

Re-purposing clothes that have lived a long life in their current state, but still have integrity is another great way to adjust to the changing seasons. If you want to get a bit crafty you can cut up some tattered pieces and create interesting patches on a pair of old jeans or a new pocket on a t-shirt for a face lift. There are many other blogs and the infamous Pinterest for ideas and tutorials, so if you want to know more there are lots of options! Continue reading


Tis the Season to be Resourceful- Reducing Holiday Waste


As the season of giving and wrapping gifts is upon us, here are some ways to prevent waste in the midst of the chaos. If you want to avoid wrapping all together, you can give experiences like going ice skating or making time to spend a day baking cookies. Making homemade gifts can also be really fun and give your wallet some relief. Decided to go with boxes and bows? Look at these tips below.

1) Wrap gifts with recyclable or reused materials: Using newspaper, fabric scraps, and parts of the gift itself (like a towel or tie) to wrap a gift can not only show off your creativity, but also help reduce how much of your hard work gets tossed in the trash. If you want to go for a greener feel, using pine needles or holly (and other compostable flora) are other ways to brighten up your packages without subjecting to the plastic coated paper and polyester bows. 2) Pack with precision: Finding packaging that is the right size for your gift reduces filler needed for the inside of the package. If you still find yourself needing to add a little cushion to your gifts, using paper, or paper based stuffers instead of plastic or Styrofoam will help the people you are giving gifts to dispose of their packaging easily, because it will all be recyclable.

Continue reading


California and Plastic Bag Use


plastic-bag-in-tree-600x400Lawmakers in California are currently trying to pass a statewide ban on plastic bags-you know, those things that you see drifting through the streets from time to time on the whim of the wind, kind of like urban tumbleweeds? Thin plastic bags have been banned in Seattle since July 1st, 2012, yet they still seem to exist here and there, and thicker, more durable versions are available in grocery stores. The argument against plastic bags is a strong one given their tendency to end up in landfills or amongst the feet of sidewalk travelers after a singe use, and of course, it would be nice if we could cut down on the very production of plastic.. Those who protest the movement against plastic bags cite their potential to be reused on the next trip to the store or reused as trash bags, saving the consumer from needing to purchase the latter. Continue reading


Surprisingly Recyclable Items


green craWhen we aren’t sure about an item’s ability to be recycled, it might be a good idea for us to investigate first before tossing it into the trash. Just check out the following four things that can actually be recycled despite what your instincts might tell you: Continue reading


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Shopping Alternatives


sleeveA little while back I wrote about the plagues of consumerism and how to better navigate the temptations of holiday shopping. Valentines Day, marking another shop-heavy time of year, may be another time in which our inclination to buy new items rises higher than usual, whether or not those items are romantically charged. Amped up sales and ads target us from all angles, all of them promoting with the word new, new, new. But does new have to be included in the rush we feel when we shop? I find that I get just as psyched, if not more so, when I discover something through an alternate, second-hand route. After all, isn’t a second-hand item still just as new to you and your life as that shirt hanging in the department store? Continue reading


The Reusable Spaghetti Jar


SDC13804No, the title of this post is not just an awesome idea for a band name. It’s also something I’ve been pondering a lot lately as my empty jars of spaghetti sauce continue to pile up. So for me and my fellow pasta addicts, I decided to compile a list of ways we can reuse spaghetti sauce jars when they’re empty, after we get back from running to the store for more, of course. Continue reading


Easy Summer Projects


2622523It’s become the big thing on sites like Pinterest to make bun holders out of socks and glitter lamps out of glowsticks. We thought we would take this up a notch and find some creative ways to reuse common trash items. You don’t even need a trip to the craft store!

  • Start seeds inside of a hollowed-out grapefruit half, or in eggshells for smaller seeds. The containers give the seedlings nutrients, and can be planted directly in the earth when the sprouts are strong enough.
  • Turn old magazines into envelopes. All it takes are your old issues, a pair of scissors, and some tape.
  • Punch patterned holes in old (and clean!) tin cans, tie strings at the top, and place candles inside for your own lantern.
  • Turn old shirts into scarves, headbands, pet beds, oven mitts — the list goes on and on.
  • Use old baking soda and vinegar to clean the house instead of chemical products keep socks with their mates.
  • Use bread tags to separate electronic cords, label keys, and tag stemmed glasses.