Luv My Planet


Don’t Trash that Old Credit Card…

Posted in Reduce, Reuse, Recycle by luvmyplanet on 12/02/2011

…because you can use it in the kitchen.

Intrigued? Check out this brief post at Mother Earth News.

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A New Use for Dryer Lint

Posted in Reduce, Reuse, Recycle by luvmyplanet on 27/01/2011

I’m sure we all know that, if we must use a dryer, that we should clean out the filter after each use, but what do we do with the lint? Well, if you have a compost heap, you can add the lint to it.

But what if you don’t have that compost heap? Laura Bell of Michigan has a possible answer to that question, using her lint as media for her artworks. It just goes to show that everything has a re-use, if you are willing to put the cerebral energy into it. Way to go, Laura!

Fun with Plarn

Posted in Reduce, Reuse, Recycle by luvmyplanet on 01/01/2011

As you may know by now, I never throw something in the regular trash if it can be repurposed or recycled. Therefore, for longer than I care to admit, I have been adrift in a sea of plastic bags from loaves of bread, packaging, etc. A few months ago, I discovered the phenomenon of plarn – that is, yarn made out of strands cut from plastic bags. (For a tutorial, visit MyRecycledBags.com.)

For a while, I was using plarn as a kind of thread to stitch together the chains I had made from granola bar wrappers to make purses, place mats, and tablecloths. Then, I came across a back issue of an old knitting magazine that included step-by-step instructions for the novice knitter. Before I knew it, I had mastered casting on, basic knitting, and purling – all with plarn. (Still mustering the courage to attempt binding off.)

I have no idea what my creation-in-progress is going to be. Because my plarn is a mix of old bread bags, produce bags, Christmas candy bags, and plastic pillows randomly linked together, the end result is going to lack any of the five design principles we learn about in art class. However, on a positive note, its media will not be breaking down in a landfill or waterway, poisoning wildlife and ground water.

Bubble Wrap Window Insulation

Posted in Reduce, Reuse, Recycle by luvmyplanet on 12/12/2010

Those who know me know that, if I can’t compost it, take it to the recycling bin, or give it to charity, I usually stash it somewhere and wait until I learn about a new purpose for it or have that Eureka moment.

This particular instance was not a Eureka moment, so I must give credit where credit is due. After seeing eco-designer Danny Seo on a couple episodes of “She’s Crafty,” I looked up his website for crafting and general repurposing ideas. Lo and behold, as I was reading his blog, there it was — a post on repurposing plastic bubble wrap. While his example involves the large-bubble variety, all I had on hand was the smaller variety. However, I still followed the directions he lays out and, four hours later, the plastic is still in place, and the draft has diminished. So, Danny, if you should stumble on to my little corner of the Internet, I am forever grateful for this little gem. Thank you!

Side note: If you live Stateside, you can watch “She’s Crafty” on IonLife two to three times a day. Wendy Russell, the host, is another brain when it comes to repurposing. Check it out!

“Crumb”-y Waste Reduction

Posted in Food, Gardening, & Agriculture,Recipes,Reduce, Reuse, Recycle by luvmyplanet on 26/11/2010

How many times have you finished that box of shredded wheat biscuits only to find a pile of crumbs at the bottom? Have you ever wondered if they could be put to good use? Well, why not use them in your baking?

Recently, I made a batch of vegan sin bars whose recipe calls for graham crackers in the crust. Not having access to certifiably vegan or organic graham crackers, I glanced over to that aforementioned collection of cereal crumbs (from Kashi Cinnamon Harvest, if you’re curious) and made a simple substitution. The final product came out just as delicious as I expected — and the crust held together perfectly!

Frugal, vegan, and waste-free!

America Recycles Day

Posted in Activism,Reduce, Reuse, Recycle by luvmyplanet on 14/11/2010


Just as I believe that Earth Day should be everyday, I believe that America Recycles Day should be everyday. That said, I did sign the pledge stating that I would honor the day tomorrow, November 15. Although I do not have enough cardboard and plastic to take to a community recycling bin yet, I do plan to take a large bag of shredded paper to the office bin in the morning.

However, regarding plastic, I believe that Van Jones has an even better idea: REFUSE! Just say no to single-use plastics. Bring your own cloth bags to the grocery store. Buy in bulk (using your own containers) to avoid excess packaging. Why should we refuse plastic? Well, for starters, the stuff is made of petrochemicals (i.e., oil-based). Even if you do not drive or use gas-powered tools, your use of plastic makes you dependent on oil. Second, until better technology is developed, plastic can only be recycled once. Then what? Back into the landfill or ocean? Third, the recycling process of plastic is carbon-intensive and releases pollutants into the atmosphere. If we worry about BPA in our food containers and avoid microwaving certain plastics, we should also be concerned about breathing the garbage in our day-to-day lives.

But still, America Recycles Day is a baby step. Alone, it will not save the world, but it should be honored. Even if you have to walk a few extra blocks to find a recycling bin, think twice before you throw that recyclable material in the regular trash. Take the time to ponder exactly where “away” is.

My First Step into Small-Scale Gardening

Posted in Food, Gardening, & Agriculture,Reduce, Reuse, Recycle by luvmyplanet on 24/09/2010

Today, I planted my first clove of garlic and thus took my first step into urban agriculture. We’ll see how it turns out from here.

The reason that I am beginning with garlic is its status as an easy edible plant to grow — even for brown thumbs like me. I was careful to conduct research and follow advice from gardeners and farmers in my area. (Different plant hardiness zones call for different planting times.)

It is important to soak each garlic clove in a water and baking soda mixture over night to kill any fungus. The general rule of thumb is 2TB of baking soda to 1 gallon of water. After removing the clove from the mixture, soak it in 100 proof vodka or rubbing alcohol for three to four minutes. Then, remove the skin so that all energy is spent on actually growing (as opposed to shedding the skin). Now, it is time to plant the clove. Make sure the clove is rough side down. How deeply you plant the clove depends on your hardiness zone.

Because I have limited outdoor space, I am growing my garlic in half-gallon almond milk containers. Before adding anything to the containers, I punctured a hole in the bottom for drainage. To weigh the containers down, I placed glass “rocks” in the bottom. Luckily, I already had some nutrient-rich soil on hand, and I am using corn husks and dried leaves for mulch. To keep the critters away, I have taped an old CD to an old umbrella rib. When the sun rays (or security lights during the nighttime hours) hit the CD, it creates a glare that deters birds, squirrels, and raccoons. As a further measure, I have stapled an old fruit net bag to the top. (This, of course, will be removed once sprouting becomes noticeable.)


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