Thursday, December 30, 2010

No waste holiday!

Christmas is about celebrating the birth of Christ. It's a time when friends and family get together. I've noticed during this time the trashcans get fuller on my street as well. People have bought gifts and the cans are filled with boxes, colored paper and packing supplies. Also, the old broken items are disposed of and new items are put in their place. I had to think about, what I would do differently this year to cut back on the waste! How can I reuse and recycle during this holiday season?


Cans: We opened a lot of cans this season: condensed milk, beans, pie filling, etc. All of the cans went into the recycle pile for pickup. I also reused a can; we needed a new drip can for the BBQ and the beans can fit just right!

Wrap your gifts in recyclable and biodegradable wrapping:
Use brown packing paper and raffia ribbons made of recycles plastic bags for a country look. Use cloth for an elegant look!

Boxes: I was able to reuse many boxes for packing an sending gifts.
Other boxes I wrapped and used as decor around the house and others for gifts that were hard to wrap like clothing.

Tins: What to do with tins that hold Christmas cookies? Save them for next year and fill them with homemade goodies or use contact paper and recover them. They make great storage cans!

Biodegradable gifts

Food is always a great gift! Here is a great idea to use up some of that leftover candy!

Chocolate popcorn:
It's easy! Take 2 cups brown sugar, 1 c. butter and 1/2 c. corn or maple syrup. Let is slow boil for 5 min. Take it off the heat and add 1/2 tp baking soda, 1/2 tp salt, and 1 tp vanilla. Then spread on a greased cookie sheet and bake at 250 for 1 hour.
Remove from oven and cool for 10 min. Then dump it on wax paper. Melt some leftover Halloween and Christmas candies, chocolate and mix in your favorite nuts, raisins, mini marshmallows, etc and pour over the caramel popcorn. When the chocolate hardens break the clumps apart and store in tin containers or plastic ziplocks. :)

Iced tea:
Something as simple as this can cause a lot of waste. Instead of buying your iced tea in a can or buying powdered mix. Just boil your water on the stove and brew a big pot of tea. Then add sugar and a fresh lemon to taste. The tea tastes much fresher and you can add flavors like lemon, mint or toss in a candy cane!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

A UGOGRN Holiday Decorations


These great ornaments were made out of paper bags!
You will need 6-8 paper bags. The size of the flower depends on the size of the bag.

First cut out the bottom of the bag.
Next lay the bag flat with the top of the bag facing up; cut the top edges of your bag to form a "bullet" shape.
Do this to all of your bags.

Next punch a whole in the bottom of the bag and attach a string. Tie the string loosely to allow the bags to move.

Carefully glue the bottom quarter of the bags together and allow to dry.

Then take the tip of the top bag and pull it around to the tip of the bottom bag; opening the flower. Tape or staple the "petals" together and hang!


You can never go wrong with flowers as a gift. Poinsettias are great for the season. Watch for sales at your home and garden store or grow your own!
Find fun holiday pots at thrift store or decorate your own pot to your liking.
Friends and family can transplant these plants into their yards after the holidays or put them in a larger pot to continue to grow!


Here is a fun and easy decoration to spruce up your presents. Cut out a gingerbread man out of an old cardboard box. You can then draw a face, add clothes, etc. They make great gift tags or embellishments to your packages. Plus you can rip it up when you are done and compost it!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Gardening galore

I'm very excited. I have a composting bin!

Yes, I finally got the bin I have wanted to get since I moved to a house with a good size yard.

I'm very excited about this particular composter because it's made completely of recycled plastic. I actually found it on sale at Lowes. It's a very simple one, and is really just a place to store your clippings and garbage in a way the wildlife cannot get to it.

So far I have thrown in my garden clippings and some garbage. Next I will start putting my shredded paper in there instead of taking to the recycling center. I am looking forward to creating some great soil that I can put around my plants and bushes this winter!

Composting is not pretty so I'm including some shots of my small garden. The eggplants, basil and hot peppers took off and have been amazing! However the rain has been heavy so the tomatoes didn't turn out so well. Enjoy!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Distracted by the Gulf Coast


Well, my house projects have been put on hold. I knew whatever I didn't do before moving in would not get done till months down the road. People burn out .... you know!
So, I still need to paint the trim in the kitchen with my low VOC paint from LOWES :), but instead I have been enjoying the rivers and the gulf around southern Mississippi.


My latest adventure was to Horn Island. It is about 20 min out in the Gulf of Mexico from Ocean Springs, MS. I am pleased to report that the oil has not taken a toll out there yet. I think what is saving us is the Mississippi River! The heavy rains in the mid-west is pushing down the Mississippi and spewing out into the gulf. That is keeping the oil from reaching our coastline.

Here are some pictures from our day at Horn Island.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Marine Life in the Gulf of Mexico


Ted and I took a weekend getaway to New Orleans! The city still has a long way to go to rebuild from Hurricane Katrina, but the downtown area is certainly coming back to life. The purpose of this trip was to relax for the weekend and to see the Audubon Aquarium located by the river in New Orleans.

My favorite exhibit was the jelly fish. They are amazing creatures. The one exhibit that stood out the most to me was the one paid for by the oil companies. As you can see it is set up like you are under an oil rig. With the spill going on out here, it may be a generation before the gulf looks like this again. Thank you Audubon Institute for educating us on our world under the sea!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Short-sighted oil

I got a lot of my projects done before moving in the house, and still need to post the fancy photos, but I got a little burnt out from the move.

One of the things I have put off lately is getting the oil changed in my car. If you remember I have a Hybrid Lexus RX-400, which may be the last car I own, it can do anything. I took it to a new place to me called American Lube Fast. They were awesome and took good care of me. While waiting for my oil change I noticed an add display they had for ECO POWER synthetic oil. I had to check it out and this is what I found:
Please check it out and ask for it where you get motor oil!

I was so excited by this find and it dawned on me on Sunday that what I needed to blog about was not this ECO groovy find, but about what we are facing right now with the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Our country is so dependent on oil that we risk our own environment to get it. What we need is to continue to find better ways to use what we have, like the recycled and refined oil and to continue to change to renewable resources.

My first thought when I heard about the oil rig explosion was of the oil spills off the coast of California. Then my mind raced to the Exxon Valdez accident. Here is a good site to refresh you on the facts of that spill. It will still be decades before the oil will dissipate from that area.

Now read up on the amount of oil being released in the Gulf today.:
It will take several generations before this part of the world will regain it's marine life.

So, please think twice before you buy and look for things made of and by renewable resources. It is the only way we will change. Let's stop polluting and start repairing our environment.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Color Pallette

Along with flooring, I want to put on a fresh coat of paint in several of the rooms of this new home! I looked for eco-friendly paint with no-VOC (volatile organic compounds). LOWES has no-VOC Olympic premium paint. OCs are unstable, carbon-containing compounds that readily vaporize into the air. When they enter the air, they react with other elements to produce ozone, which causes air pollution and a host of health issues including breathing problems, headache, burning, watery eyes and nausea.

The first photo is my mom's room. She wants just an off white wall, but I think I'll dress it up with a colored trim.

The hallway is currently a mint green. That has got to go, along with the curtains. This will become a warm dark cream called Vanilla Brandy trimmed in Crumb Cookie.

The office will get a pop of color called Mexican Moonlite trimmed in Crumb Cookie.

The master bedroom with have a happy creamy yellow color called Belgian Waffle with a brighter white trim.

Am I leaving the wood paneling in the living room you ask? No, that will get a makeover as well. More to follow!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Making my new home green!

I'm buying a new home in beautiful Ocean Springs, Mississippi.
I'm determined to make green choices as I make changes the home. I'll keep you posted on the progress.

First thing I'm going to do is replace the carpet in the bedroom and living room and cover the vinyl with bamboo flooring. The previous owners were smokers so there are burn holes here and there and the smell is in the carpeting.

The picture above is my dream flooring that will cost way too much to install.

More to come!...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

There really are gaters here...

This place is a little closer to home. It's the Davis Bayou in Ocean Springs, Mississippi. This is a nice spot with a bike loop and walking paths.

Yes, that is a gater! We came upon that driving up to the walking trail. The trail was on the opposite side of the road, thank goodness. There was also a turtle nearby sunning himself.

This is a great place for bird watching as well. I think this is an egret. It could be a heron, I'm not sure. There was a heron with it earlier but it flew away.

What really caught my eye were the blankets of grasses. I can just imagine all of the marine life that lives in there. This is a place that I want to visit again.

Gulf Coast Beauty

Sorry for the long delay in writing. A lot has been going on this year, moving to the Gulf Coast was just part of it!

What a beautiful part of the country. The coast is made up of a web of rivers, marshes and wetlands. Not to mention the fantastic beaches, peninsulas and barrier islands.

My first exploration was this past August was to Santa Rosa Island just south of Pensacola, Florida. There you will find Gulf Islands National Seashore, an amazing stretch of beach ending with Fort Pickens.

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