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The treasure troves of home decorating have long existed inside of stores such as Home Depot, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Costco. If one was looking to be cost efficient, the online world of Amazon & EBay changed the frontier of home goods shopping. But this isn’t where it ends anymore.

With the trend of being green/eco-friendly exploding in every aspect of living, including the way we shape our homes, folks around the country are implementing ideas, stores, and websites who cater to that trend in their home revamping plans.

But how far do they really go? Well, Diggerslist.com offers home shoppers a chance to not only recycle their own goods, but to indulge in the old adage “one person’s junk is another person’s treasure”. But why should one, with all of the brand-new, perfectly packaged items sitting on shelves, partake in sprucing up their home with reused and recycled items?

One Person’s Junk is Another Person’s Treasure

1. It Cuts Down on the Waste

a. The EPA estimated that 160 million tons of construction and building material ends up in landfills each year; it wouldn’t hurt to take some of that off their hands for a smaller price than the store and save some space in the Earth

b. It lessens the amount of materials sitting in storage, in one’s garage, or cluttering up the basement just wasting space and money

c. The amount of packaging materials used with new products compared to used ones is almost diminished. Since less new products need to be produced, packaged and shipped, there’s an enormous opportunity for a substantial reduction in the overall environmental footprint that is left from home improvement projects

2. Saves YOU Money

a. You can purchase reusable materials for more than ½ what you’d pay for in a store

b. You don’t spend time or gas driving from store to store, comparing prices and products; you look online in the comfort of your house and get the product

c. You have the chance to re-do an entire room, or even house, on the same budget you’d only get a handful of things from a store

3. Opens Opportunity

a. Think of the things you see in your friends storage spaces; the kooky, off-the-wall décor you think you’d only find digging through piles at vintage stores or getting lucky at a yard sale. Now think of the opportunity that lies in a world where people are selling those eccentric and original objects- that’s an opportunity to spice up your space with things that you couldn’t track down at your everyday decoration outlet.

*Article provided by Diggerslist.com for Tiny Green Mom. Image found on Earth911.com*

Although recycling is one of the best ways to keep garbage from building up in landfills, saving our environment, it should actually only be used as a last resort once you’ve already reused old containers and products until they’ve worn out. But one of the biggest amounts of waste that we generate through our daily lives is paper. From bags to toilet paper rolls to egg cartons, we recycle a lot of paper that could be used for other purposes before we throw it in the recycle bin. Here are a few ideas to help you reuse old paper products before you recycle.

How to Reuse Old Paper Products to Save Money and the Environment

Toilet Paper, Paper Towel, and Wrapping Paper Rolls

These little rolls of cardboard may seem pretty useless, but they can actually come in handy—and not just as pretend swords for your kids to play with.

  • Cord keeper: Fold up electrical and appliance cords and stuff them into a toilet paper roll, keeping your cords out of the way.
  • String/yarn winder: Use old paper rolls for wrapping string and yarn around. The next time you’re looking for the end of the string, you won’t have to dig through a bundle of loose knots; it will be organized and clean.
  • Document roll: If you have important documents you want to keep crease-free and safe, roll them up and put them inside a roll. Then you can label the outside of the roll so you know what’s in each one.
  • Kazoo: You can teach your kids to reuse and have fun at the same time by making kazoos. All you need is a toilet paper roll, some wax paper, and a rubber band. Check out this tutorial video to learn more.

Paper Bags

You may think that getting paper instead of plastic at the grocery store is being environmentally friendly because you can recycle the paper, right? But, actually, the process of making paper bags releases more toxins into the environment than does making plastic bags. But don’t feel bad, here are some ways you can put those bags to use for good.

  • Book covers: Whether you want to cover your kids’ textbooks or simply protect your own hard covers from damage, use your old grocery store paper bags to create covers you and your kids can decorate together. Here’s a wonderful tutorial.
  • Remove wax from carpet: Did you accidentally drip candle wax on the family room carpet? Place a non-dyed piece of paper bag over the wax and lightly apply heat with an iron. Keep moving the paper around to absorb the wax as it heats up, as shown in this tutorial.
  • Keep bread fresh: Did you know that your bread will stay fresher stored inside a paper bag than inside a plastic one? Putting your bread in a paper bag lets the bread “breathe,” allowing the crust to stay crisp and the center to stay moist.
  • Carry and store items: It’s a bag, why not just use it as it was meant to be used—to carry and store items.

Egg Cartons

These oddly shaped containers come in handy for a number of different uses.

  • Trash bag reinforcement: Placing an open egg carton at the bottom of your trash bag will help keep it from getting punctured or breaking.
  • Organizer: Those little egg compartments are great for organizing and storing small items from paper clips to screws and nuts to jewelry, doll accessories, and more.
  • Packaging: Although shipping your niece’s Christmas presents off in an egg carton might seem odd, old egg cartons actually make a great substitute for packing peanuts. And because they are lightweight, they’ll add little, if any, charge to your shipping costs.

Remember, it’s better to reuse than to recycle. And now, with these tips, you can reuse your paper products until they really need to head to the recycle bin.

*Gunter Jameson writes about several topics including travel, minimalism and Online Schools.*

The Green Garmento is essential for anyone with dry clean only accessories and clothing. The company states that 1.4 billion pieces of clothing are professionally cleaned and 300+ million pounds of single-use plastic dry cleaning bags fill our landfills and waterways. By functioning as a reusable garment and laundry bag, hamper and duffel, The Green Garmento reduces waste and hassle!

The Green Garmento’s 4-in-1 process is simple: as a laundry bag or hamper, the bag is easily stored in a laundry room or closet. As the bag fills, it can be transformed into a duffel bag for easy transport to the dry cleaners. The dry cleaner then returns the cleaned clothing using the garment bag function, eliminating wasteful plastic. The bags are available in a variety of colors and sizes to fit all clothing sizes.

Retailing at just $9.99, The Green Garmento is wallet-friendly too. Check them out at thegreengarmento.com.

*Company generously provided images and samples for this review.*

This review was written by Kirstin Robison, who has a passion for everything beauty and travel related. Often found scouring articles and store shelves for the latest must-haves, Kirstin prefers to stay on top of trends. Nothing inspires her more than to find extraordinary products that really work and make life easier. Having traveled to many exotic locations, Kirstin understands the value of products that offer practical benefits. Writing for “Tiny Green Mom” gives her the opportunity to discover new products that make a difference for the user and the planet.

Mom” had the distinct opportunity to interview Peggy Cross, the entrepreneur behind EcoTensil, a company on a mission to reduce the amount of “one-taste waste.” Peggy is an inspiration to us all to think about each action we make, even the seemingly small ones, and how they do add up to the bigger picture.

Tell us about your eco-inspired company.

Our new Ultra-green tasting spoon, EcoTaster Mini, is made from a silky smooth paperboard (feels like a milk carton). One easy fold creates a sturdy and fun spoon. It’s 100% biodegradable, renewable, recyclable, and composts in just a few weeks (while we love all biodegradable utensils, others can take over 6 months to biodegrade). EcoTasters are great at in-store samplings, events, trade shows, etc. Our full-sized EcoTensil is great for serving up anything from a big bowl of yogurt or frozen yogurt to a hot cup of chili. SpoonLidz comes attached to the top of single-serve cups, like yogurt. Great for lunch packing!


How do you choose to go green in your own life?

Since my business has become a huge part of my family’s life, we hope to replace the tons of plastic used for one bite, then lives for centuries in our oceans and landfills.

Besides this, we’re avid recycler/composters. At events I am the recycling maniac who puts the big “Recycle please” sign on the paper bag to try to get everyone to put their cups and forks in it!

Guilty green pleasure?

How can something green be guilty?!

Can you offer any encouraging words for those with a small sustainable business?

Stick to your green guns. Persevere. We are trailblazing and frequently we are pushing against the current, but the currents are shifting our way, and we are helping make that happen!

*Image courtesy of EcoTensil.*

Go green this Halloween with Repax Reusable Bags! During the month of October, the company is offering $5.00 off their Mango set of reusable bags! These are great for trick-or-treating, or shopping at the local Farmer’s market for Fall favorites such as pumpkins, squash, and apples. To redeem, use the code pumpkin at checkout on their website.

*This is not a paid advertorial. Please see disclosure.*

Babies and small children bring so much joy into the world, but they also bring mashed vegetables, snotty noses, melting chocolate, and cracker crumbs with them. What is a young mom to do when she is trying desperately to maintain a comfortable home, but every new piece of furniture is stained with an unknown substance or scarred by teeth marks before it has even had time to become outdated? How can moms make their homes nice on a limited budget and still stick to their green principles? The answer may be easier than you can imagine.

Home Decorating Tips for Green & Frugal Moms

By Caroline Smith

Use Slipcovers

Modern slipcovers for sofas are not like the old sheet-like throws that your grandmother unsuccessfully tried to keep from sliding off the couch. The slipcovers available today have the following qualities to help any mother perform a makeover on the interior of her home:

• They are eco-friendly.

• They are easy to wash in a machine.

• They come in trendy styles and fabric patterns.

• They can be made to fit most furniture.

• They hide stains and torn upholstery.

• They are cost-effective compared to buying new furnishings.

Have a Swap Meet

Stretch Slipcovers will make a radical change in the way a room looks, but the finishing touches are also important when you are working on a home makeover. A swap meet with friends is a great way to obtain some free accessories. First, invite friends and neighbors to bring all of their unwanted decorating items to your home, then clear out your own clutter and find items you no longer have a use for that your friends might like. These items might include some of the following:

• Pictures or frames

• Cushions

• Comforters

• Curtains

• Mirrors

• Vases

• Placemats

• Candles

Once everyone has arrived with the items from their attics or cupboards, explain that they can take one item for every item they have brought to exchange. This is not only a great way to save items from eventually going to a landfill, but it is also a wonderful way for everyone to get free items to brighten their own homes. As a bonus, everyone gets spring cleaning done at the same time.

Go Secondhand Shopping

If the swap meet does not result in all of the accessories needed to finish your home decorating projects, it is time to take the search further afield. Visits to thrift shops and yard sales usually result in some special finds which will cost less than half the price you would pay in a retail store. Although these sometimes require a little repair, painting, or polishing, they can make a great difference in finishing out a room and it can be very satisfying to give new life to old furniture.

Make Your Own Artwork

Another valuable idea is to use family pictures as free artwork for the walls. They can be blown up to any size and placed in unusual arrangements to provide great conversation pieces or they can be placed in unique frames and scattered around on table tops. Even old black and white photos of family members can add a personal touch to the new décor.

Frugal and green decorating is certainly a challenge, but it is not impossible when you are really determined. With some creativity, a little money, and several hours of time, you will achieve more than you ever dreamed.

*Caroline Smith, Professional Writer, has generously offered her home decorating tips to Tiny Green Mom readers.*

Mom” at Tiny Green Mom is loving these link picks!

Make your own natural baby bum balm to soothe diaper rash on Baboo Baby!

Fresh Basil Aromatherapy on Earth Mama Angel Baby.

Top 55 Eco-friendly Tips You Need to Know – Save Energy, Money, and Sustain Our Planet on PlanetWell.com.

Repurpose or Reuse Common Household Items in Your Home Decor on Eco-Chick.

Each of us wishes to find better ways to be kinder to the environment for the balance of Mother Earth. Whether you are looking to purchase a vehicle that runs on alternate fuel or wanting to save resources by making your own clothes, you will find a multitude of suggestions on these blogs. Preserving the earth’s fragile resources is an intelligent way to be certain our children still have a place to call home. You’ll be given recommendations from crafting to planting a garden to finding more economical and responsible activities for your children on this vast array of blogs. Make good on your resolve to learn methods to make your life and diminish your impact on the earth.

20 Wonderful Places For Green DIY Projects And Upcycling Crafts

By Colleen O. Ridgely

Mother Nature Network – Do you have questions about going green? This useful site is almost guaranteed to have the answer. Find out about earth-friendly vehicles, many ways to green up your business place, and so much more.

Crafts at Kaboose – Realize just how many super simple crafting projects you and your family can do with items you have around the house on this enjoyable site.

Make and Takes – This site is filled with doable projects that you can save for your next rainy day activity.

Blog Craftzine – It won’t take you long to see that you’ll find nearly anything here. You just might not believe the variety here – from leather crafting to jewelry making to regional craft fairs. This spot will guarantee that you’re up to date with all that is going on in the crafting world.

Dollar Store Crafts – When money is tight, but you still need craft and gift ideas, turn to this site for creative notions.

Creative Jewish Mom – Journey along with Sara while she helps you to celebrate every day of living.

Fab Mums – This goldmine of a site offers a “Learn Through Play” section where you’ll find all kinds of methods to help your child with fun games that assist learning. You will also discover pointers to bargains on etsy sites and doable projects for you to make at home.

Hostess with the Mostess – will provide you with a made to order list of suggestions for your seasonal festivities and for hosting the perfect party. Glean ideas for your invitations, fun party favors and memorable centerpieces, theme and more. Learn how to be the hostess with the very best get-togethers anywhere.

Yarn Storm – Find loads of crochet guidelines on this blog by Jane. You may also enjoy being introduced to her world, learning more about stitching, brushing up on your quilting, and trying new recipes as well.

Do It Yourself Mama – Accompany this caring SAHM on her voyage to become as self sufficient, healthy, frugal and natural as possible, but continue to live her life with gusto.

Gingerbread and Snowflakes – is a darling crafter’s blog where you will learn all kinds of new approaches. Allow Pam to instruct you about her yummy food and how weave on your own loom, give your garden more pizzazz and celebrate little known holidays. Your happiness factor will increase when you stop by this engaging space.

Crafty Stylish – Is for your inner seamstress. Learn to sew almost any article of clothing with the tips and tricks on this beautiful blog.

Desire to Inspire – Find interior design tips and samples on this site. It is sure to make you say wow – I wish my home looked like that…

Cuteable – You will be directed to fun and helpful sites on the web to purchase items or inspiration to dream up your own perfect craft.

One Pretty Thing – Presents you with a pleasing array of craft ideas. You’ll find more kid’s crafts, sewing projects, crafts for you, decorating ideas and party helps than you would likely use up in a single lifetime. You’ll have so much fun!

Purl Bee – Catering to the knitters, if you are able to imagine it, you’ll likely find the pattern, instructions or pictures for it here. You’ll be overjoyed with the amount of first rate projects pictured for you.

Sarah London – Crochet ideas abound through this bright blog. Get ideas for pillow covers, sweaters, blankets, gifts and so much more here. Simply grab your hook and get started!

Not Martha – In the event you have not unearthed this website in your surfing, you’re definitely bound to fall in love at your first sight of this blog. Despite its humorous and catchy name, it is absolutely crafty, with a bit of foodie talent also. For all of us who do not feel like up and coming Betty Crockers or Martha Stewarts, find manageable craft and recipe inspiration on this memorable site.

Paper N Stitch – Looking for paper crafts to make or buy? You’ll realize you’ve run into on the mother lode when you go to this site.

Elsita – will widen your eyes to the wonders of making dolls. Revel in her winning creations – you might just even purchase a doll when she has finished it!

Craft Fail – Now for a tremendously entertaining bonus site. Here you can revel in the knowledge that it isn’t only you who makes crafting mistakes once in a while as you finish a DIY project

Fail Cycle – And just one more freebie for you as a reward for making it through this whole list! Note: this is particularly for anyone who participates in the Free Cycle program. This humorous look at some Free Cycle requests that were not exactly up to speed will have you laughing out loud.

Now that brings your list of recommended blogs to bookmark up to 22 more and counting! Get a kick out of going green with the hints given here, and laugh along with the 2 bonus finds.

About the Author

Colleen O. Ridgely writes and writes and writes. Her zest for life finds its greatest outlet in writing. She is interested in classes online and any other way to learn she can discover the world over.

CoverMate® Food Covers are an ingenious new solution for those seeking to cover their food, but feel guilty every time they reach for the plastic wrap, which is next to impossible to recycle and may possibly seep harmful chemicals into the food, especially when heated! These stretch-to-fit food covers are BPA-free and PVC-free, and come conveniently packaged with 4 different sizes to suit your needs. From the tiny dessert plate holding a coveted piece of flourless chocolate cake to the larger dinner plate only half eaten, CoverMate® has you covered – no pun intended!

Made in the USA of FDA compliant food safe materials, CoverMate® Food Covers are reusable, and can be cleaned by hand or placed in the dishwasher. The stretchy material allows them to fit any dish, plate or bowl, and makes it super simple to cover or uncover with ease.

CoverMate® Food Covers cost $3.95, and can be found at national or local retailers, such as Target, or purchased online at www.trycovermate.com.

*Company generously provided samples and images for this review.*

On the heels of the citizen bag monsters comes fabulous ideas for reducing and reusing your plastic bag trash! Before you toss that plastic bottle or cd case into the recycling bin, you may want to hold onto it for a rainy day activity with the kids. FaveCrafts.com offers “8 Ways to Craft with Plastic Trash,” a resource filled with 8 fun and functional ideas that everyone can enjoy making! Click here to learn how to turn your plastic water bottles into bird feeders or how to make jewelry from bread tags (who knew?!).

Mom” likes to turn plastic yogurt cups into tiny flower pots. Decorated decoupage style using old magazines, glue, and non-toxic paint, you can have a miniature flower or herb garden blooming on your window sill!

What other ideas do you have for turning ordinary items that may go out with the trash into new items for the home or for play?