Don’t Toss Those Butter Wrappers!

butter-wrapperI know it sounds silly to worry about butter wrappers but they can’t be recycled because of the oil so what, if anything, can you do with them? Well, there are actually quite a few things you can do with them and if you find yourself with more than you need at the moment, you can always freeze them by folding them in half with the dry side on the outside.

Grease Pans: So easy, and just the right amount of grease!

Corn on the Cob: Buttering corn on the cob without getting the whole butter stick all corny and your corn all greasy.

Perfectly Cut Cakes: Grease your knife with a butter wrapper before slicing up a cake for perfect, professional-looking slices.

Stop Using Non-Stick Spray: Who needs a chemical-laden spray when you’ve got a butter wrapper? You won’t be drowning your dinner or baked goods in butter, but you’ll get just the right amount of grease.

Lightly-Buttered Toast: Grease your toast with a wrapper for a light coating of butter.

Wrap Homemade Candies: Making caramel for the holidays? Wrap cut pieces with butter wrappers instead of parchment or wax paper.

Separating Hamburger Patties: Patty up your meat and between each one place a butter wrapper. They won’t stick to each other or themselves and can help keep things stacked together and taking up less space in your fridge or freezer.

Make Rice Krispie Treats Easier: Pressing Rice Krispie Treats into the pan can be super messy and sticky. Use a butter wrapper to push your treats into place and keep your hands clean!

Source: care2.com and thekitchn.com

If you have any good ideas for reusing butter wrappers, please share them in the comments :)


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Make a No-Sew Fringed Scarf

fringe-scarfWhile a scarf is often a winter necessity for those of you above the Mason-Dixon, I’m more into scarves as a fashion accessory since it doesn’t get all that cold here in Florida. This simple tutorial is for a super stylish scarf that, weather notwithstanding, you can wear all year long.

Not only is this no-sew fringed scarf  really easy to make and very fashionable (fringe is EVERYWHERE right now), it’s also a great way to upcycle some of those unwanted t-shirts we all have clogging up our drawers!

And? They make great (read: inexpensive) holiday gifts!

You’ll Need:

•  One old T-Shirt – Bigger, wider  shirts will make allow you to make a longer scarf. Smaller,  more narrow shirts will make your scarf shorter.

•  Cloth Scissors – These will make cutting your fringe a lot easier.

Step 1:  Find a t-shirt that you won’t mind cutting up. If you don’t have one at home, you can pick up tons of them at the thrift store for almost nothing.

Step 2:  Cut horizontally across the shirt  just below the armholes, to create a rectangular tube. Then do the same just above the hem.

Step 3:  Start making vertical cuts all the way around the tube that extend from the raw edge upward. The longer the cut, the longer the fringe will be.  This is optional but if you want more fringe, you can cut strips on the opposite side as well.

Step 4:  Tug down on each strand to elongate it and curl the edges. You can also knot the ends of each strand for some extra detail.


You can find more t-shirt scarf ideas on here on Pinterest.

Photo Credit: Bestfan.com


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Greener Entertaining

Parties are notorious for consumption and waste but there are things you can do to green your party and be kinder to the environment. Remember, going green is not an all or nothing proposition—do what you can and it’ll help in the long run.

Recycle: Don’t let a party keep you from recycling. Provide plenty of refuse containers for garbage and recyclables and label them so that it is clear what kind of waste goes in it. The best containers are those that require some action or thought on the part of the user, like lifting a lid, stepping on a pedal or opening a cabinet (trust me, I got a masters degree in this stuff).

This simple act forces your guests to think and notice your recycling sign. If you have these types of containers and label them correctly, you’ll limit misplaced items. If you don’t, just use any containers and label the heck out of it. You’ll still get misplaced items but it’s better than nothing. Read the rest of this entry »

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NextWorth at Target

What: NextWorth electronics trade-in program

Features: NextWorth is a program based out of Target retail stores where you can trade-in your old electronics & media (cell phones, iPods, game consoles, cameras & more) for a Target gift card. There are currently over 165 stores offering the program with more stores being added each week. Find a Store

Green Factor: NextWorth resells the devices and media  it buys from consumers, which helps to keep toxic electronics out of the wastestream and protects our air and groundwater.

Bonus: Get a quote for your item(s) right now

Find It Here: NextWorth

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REMAKE IT! Magazine Envelopes

What: Envelope making kit

Features: This nifty kit contains everything you need to remake scrap paper such as magazine pages, sheet music, maps, posters, comic books and more into mailable works of art in the form of envelopes.

Green Factor: You recycle paper you already have into fun, creative envelopes instead of using brand new ones!

Bonus: Kit comes with 2 envelope templates, a greeting card template, stickers and mailing labels.

Find It Here: Karma Kiss

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tietote.jpgWhat: Tie Tote from Rebagz

Features: Rebagz produces one-of-a-kind handbags, totes, backpacks, wrist wallets and more that range from fun and funky to sleek and glamorous.

Green Factor: Each bag is hand-woven using recycled juice packs and rice sacks, which means they’re all completely unique.

Bonus:  All of Rebagz’s products are made using recycled materials, under fair labor conditions. As well as donating proceeds from their Statement Makers line to various organizations, they also give $1 from every order to Global Exchange.

Find It Here: Rebagz

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Reduce, Reuse, Renew

recycle.jpgWhat: Baby Earth’s Renew program

Features: Want to dispose of bulky baby gear without having it go to a landfill? Baby Earth’s Renew program is a great way to do just that! It’s simple: send them your unwanted strollers, car seats, high chairs and other big baby gear. You cover the shipping, and they take care of the rest!

Green Factor: Upon arrival, items are taken apart for recycling — fabric is sent to developing countries while metal, plastic and foam are put to good use via construction projects. If the item’s in really good shape, it’s donated to a family in need

Bonus: Use the Renew program and receive $5 off your next purchase; folks living in the Austin, TX area can drop items off at Baby Earth’s flagship store in Round Rock. Check their web site for more details!

Find It Here: Baby Earth

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Electronics Recycling Made Super Simple

recycle_electron.jpgThe holidays are upon us and you know what that means…tons of new electronics for the masses. But what about all the old, unwanted electronics that have been stuffed away in America’s closets, junk drawers, garages, attics and basements? Forgive me while I switch into annoying, lecture-y Green Mom mode for a moment—I strongly recommend you don’t just throw that stuff in the trash because, believe it or not, electronics are loaded with heavy metals and toxins that will eventually end up being incinerated and polluting our air or leaching into our groundwater. And? It’s illegal is some locales. But you DO have options—if your city has an electronics recycling program, use it because it’s probably the easiest option of all. But if you’re not that lucky don’t despair because there are several companies that have finally decided to step up  help consumers responsibly recycle their e-waste.



Costco – Costco will accept all computers, LCD monitors, digital cameras, camcorders, game systems & MP3 players and recycle them for FREE—plus, your item(s) may have potential trade-in value, remitted to you in the form of a Costco Cash card. Sounds like a win-win to us! Check here for more info.

Staples –  Staples accepts used computers, monitors, laptops, and desktop printers, faxes and all–in–ones to any U.S. Staples store. All brands are accepted with a nominal recycling fee of $10 per piece of large equipment used to cover handling, transport, product disassembly and recycling. Smaller computer peripherals such as keyboards, mice, and speakers are accepted at no charge. Staples also offers $3 in Staples Rewards toward a future purchase of ink or toner when HP, Lexmark™ or Dell cartridges are returned to our retail stores for recycling. Get all the details here.

DellDell will recycle your unwanted Dell-branded Product for free plus, if you buy a new Dell desktop or notebook and select the free recycling option at the time of purchase, they will recycle your old PC and monitor at no cost to you. Get all the details here.

Sony – Sony will take back any Sony product for recycling. Just find your local drop-off location and hand it over. Sony also offers a trade in program for Sony laptops and camcorders that will net you a credit towards the purchase of a new Sony laptop or camcorder (some restrictions apply). See Sony’s recycling page for details on these and other programs.

Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation – This company works with tons of stores to accept cell phones and rechargeable batteries (Ni-Cd, NiMH, lithium-ion, lithium-ion-polymer batteries and lead-acid batteries up to 2 lbs. per battery). They do not recycle primary batteries, rechargeable alkalines or lead-acid batteries weighing more than 2 lbs. each. To find more info on battery and cell phone recycling or to find a conveniently located recycling center near you, just go here.

(If you think this info would be useful to others, please use the Share This link below to add it to your favorite social bookmarking sites. Thanks :)

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bb1602-2t.jpgAccording to my son, bathtime is waaaay more fun when bubbles are involved. Unfortunately, I banned the bubbles for a long time because I was having a hard time finding a bubble bath that didn’t contain toxic ingredients. Then I stumbled upon Little Twig. Little Twig is this really fun line of children’s bath products that includes a bubble bath line without synthetic fragrances and artificial colors, which by the way, is totally hard to believe when you smell their Tangerine Bubble Bath. The scent is so yummy and fruity that is just doesn’t seem possible that it could not contain phthalates. But no! As confirmed with the company, none of their bubble bath products contain phthalates, parabens or sulfates. And for those with allergies, the Little Twig Extra Mild Unscented formula is also wheat, soy and nut free. And before you worry too much about the plastic bottle it comes in, Little Twig bottles are totally recyclable. They also donate a portion of their proceeds to the Everychild Foundation. But the best news for my kids is that bathtime is fun again thanks to Little Twig!

Find It Here: Cocotier Kids

Win It! We’re giving away a Little Twig Gentle Care Gift Pack worth $40! The pack includes unscented bubble bath, body milk, body wash and a ladybug washcloth. Click here to fill out our simple entry form. Just enter “CK21” as the giveaway name and provide the answer to this question: What is your favorite Little Twig product available from Cocotier Kids? U.S. and Canadian residents eligible. Enter by 8/14/08. Contest closed. Congrats, Lily K!

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Hip, Functional and Totally Recycled

sm_ella.jpgWhile we’re not normally fans of vinyl for new products, we are in favor of re-using the vinyl that already exists because it does not break down in landfills and thus, it might as well be used again for things that need to be tough and waterproof (obviously not baby/kids products!). What better way to display your fabulous “reduce, re-use and recycle” lifestyle than with a purse, tote or bag made from recycled vinyl billboards? In 2002, the Vy&Elle company (a play on word on ‘vinyl’) started designing and creating women and men’s accessories that were practical works of art. To date, Vy&Elle have reused over 100 tons of billboard vinyl and their manufacturing process includes 100% recycling of all scrap and waste materials, which are turned into garden hoses and flooring by other manufacturers so every bit of those billboards is reused and lives another life as something else — which means LESS NEW VINYL being produced! Of course, we look forward to the day that vinyl is no longer made at all but until then, we think Vy&Elle products are not only good-looking but also gorgeously green!

Find It Here: Vy&Elle

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triple_side.jpgReplacing blades for my husband’s razor was as expensive as filling the tank — well, until *that* started costing as much as our monthly grocery bill. I decided to nip it in the bud the other day when I discovered this super new recycled-materials razor by Preserve (they also make those awesome recycled toothbrushes). It’s far less expensive for the replacement blades, and you can use the packaging to return the razor handle for recycling (postage prepaid!) when it’s time to send it to razor handle heaven. The husband is pretty pleased — he’s loving it en tandem with this shaving oil — and I’m pretty pleased because hair removal and eco-cool and wallet-friendly all in one shot? What’s not to love?

Find It Here: Preserve Everyday

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Toilet Paper Rolls? Yes, Toilet Paper Rolls

reduce.jpgYou’re probably thinking we’ve lost our marbles over here at Green Mom Finds. Why on Earth would we be posting about empty toilet paper rolls?? Well, before you have us committed, let me explain. We believe that some of our greatest green finds are right under our noses – they’re things that are lying around the house, and are just screaming to be re-used before heading to the trash or the recycle bin. And what’s greener than finding new uses for old things? So, every now and then, we’re going to feature a find that you already have, but didn’t even know it!

Now, back to the toilet paper rolls. Did you know that there are 101 things you can do with a toilet paper roll before you toss it or recycle it? It’s true! Example – did you know that empty toilet paper rolls are pirates’ telescopes? Yeah, my kid totally played “pirate” with one for 30 minutes yesterday, which is approximately 20 minutes longer (and $20 cheaper) than the last plastic toy we begrudgingly bought him. Toilet paper rolls are also bolling pins, safari binoculars, and whatever else you and your child can think up. All your child needs is his or her imagination and a couple empty rolls. And if you’re lucky, it might be so fun that you even get left alone for a whole half and hour! What could be better than that?!

Find It Here: Your bathroom

[Image source: Inria]

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