Great gallery of ideas from Better Homes & Gardens: “Making something new from something old”. My favorite are the ideas for the old mantles~ the headboard looks amazing!

It makes me so happy to receive a recycling envelope in my box of new printer ink cartridges.

Dell makes it so easy to recycle! Not to be outdone, HP is also offering free recycling envelopes for their ink cartridges too. Over 70% of Americans do not know they can recycle their used ink cartridge, and only 5% actually mail it back. So spread the word and SEND IT BACK!
$5 Billion worth of gift wrap is trashed each year.

Cut down on the waste and offer your presents in reusable boxes and bags.
Decorate your own box, or use a reusable bag as gift wrap.

Check out for ideas.

Think beyond rolls of wrapping paper when you are wrapping.
You can use leftover pieces of wallpaper, comics, or old magazines.
Or purchase basic craft paper and decorate with berries, pinecones or small boughs from your Christmas tree. Have some yarn you won’t be using? Wrap it around a plain package for an easy update.
When you need to run out and buy more gift wrap, don’t splurge on the fancy foil lined paper. It can’t be recycled. But all the other wrapping paper and gift bags can be recycled!

Do you have a new pair of jeans on your holiday wish list? I just learned about a program to recycle denim jeans into insulation. Not only would you be helping the environment by reducing waste, but also helping families benefiting from Habitat for Humanity. Cotton. From Blue to Green has partnered with Habitat for Humanity to provide the insulation needed for new homes.

Everyone is asking which is more eco-friendly, Real or Fake Christmas trees.

Here are some interesting points regarding real Christmas trees…
courtesy of

* Around 98% of Real Christmas Trees are grown on farms throughout all 50 states and Canada.
These trees are planted to be harvested, just as corn is cultivated for harvest.
* The Christmas Tree industry in the United States employs more than 100,000 Americans
(part- and full-time). Meanwhile, 85% of fake trees are made by factory workers in China.
* Every acre of Christmas Trees grown produces the daily oxygen requirement for 18 people.
With approximately 500,000 million acres of trees, 9 million people a day are supplied with
oxygen thanks to these trees.
* Real Christmas Trees support life by absorbing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse
gases; they also stabilize soil, protect water supplies and provide a refuge for wildlife.
* For each Real Christmas Tree harvested, up to three new seedlings are planted in its place.
The debate lives on…but this makes me feel better about having a real tree in my house. I just can’t give up the real smell of the Christmas tree! Just remember to recycle your tree, most local communities have drop off locations to repurpose the trees as mulch and more.

Are you unpacking your holiday lights only to find out they don’t work? You can now send your lights to to have them recycled, and also get a coupon for 15% off your purchase of LED lights that use less energy and have a lifetime guarantee.

Here is the mailing info:
Attn: Recycling Program
118 Rosehill Dr. Suite 1
Jackson, MI 49202

Get more details at

I really never paid much attention to the plastic wrappers and bags that fill my shelves. As I finished a package of Thomas’s English Muffins, I decided to ask them if their bags are recyclable. The good folks at Thomas’s replied back quickly, noting their outer bags are #4 Plastic and the inner bags are #5 Plastic. Maybe your bread bags are recyclable too.

While I love cheese, I do not love plastic wrapped singles. However, my husband loves them in his grilled cheese sandwiches. All those wrappers…I wondered if these too could be recycled. Land o’Lakes answered me, and unfortunately the answer is no. So the eco-friendly choice is to buy sliced cheese from the deli counter, and buy only what you need for the week as the cheese won’t last nearly as long as the individually wrapped slices.

I made two pies today, apple and pumpkin. My counter was littered with waste…and lots of bowls!

I was able to recycle the following items: pumpkin can, evaporated milk can, empty flour bag, apple peels into my compost, and the aluminum foil used to tent the pies.

I’ve asked the question whether plastic wrap is recyclable, when I find out I’ll let you know!

Thanksgiving is a time to gather with family and cook wonderful dishes. It’s also a time that many cans are tossed in the garbage. Remember to recycle those cans of cranberry sauce, peas, and pumpkin pie mix…

I just learned that you can recycle aluminum foil. I had no idea all this time. You can even recycle your foil turkey and pie pans in your local aluminum or commingle bins.
Happy Thanksgiving to all.