Shopping for Recycled/Reused items

Do you like to buy things made from recycled things?

Etsy is full of artisans selling wonderful items made from recycled items. Not everything on Etsy is recycled, but a lot of it is. From necklaces and notebooks to teddy bears and tote bags, so much on Etsy has been repurposed, recycled, upcycled and remade into delightful new stuff.

Where do you shop for recycled goodies?

Recycle This - Great Web Site!

I recently came across the Recycle This Web site. Have you ever wondered what you should do with old VHS tapes, egg shells, floppy disks, cell phones, tires, keys, flip-flops, sunglasses? Recycle This can tell you exactly what can be done with all those things and much, much more.

The couple who produce the site live in England, so some of the posts might pertain to directly to the UK, such as the post "How can we make doorstep recycling better in the UK?" But, most of the Web site is applicable no matter where you live. You don't have to be British to turn an old suitcase into a pet bed or to use it for storing out-of-season clothing.

With hundreds of posts on dozens of topics, it's easy to spend a lot of time reading all of the great recycling and reusing ideas on Recycle This!

More Christmas recycling ideas

 Aimee Wood at BellaOnline has some great Christmas recycling ideas!

Check out her article

Recylcing and Reusing at Christmas

Does it seem like there is a lot of waste in your Christmas celebrations? The gift wrap is wadded up and thrown away. Maybe you save the cards after Christmas, but then what do you do with them? The envelopes, the gift tags, the much trash.

This Christmas, before you rush out and buy new wrapping paper, check to see what you already have stored in the back of the closet. If you've used all of that up, try making your own wrapping paper with newspaper pages or paper grocery sacks. Use paint or ink to add holiday decorations, such as Christmas trees, stars, etc.

Do you need holiday gift tags? Instead of buying a new package, look through last year's Christmas cards that you saved  because they were too pretty to throw away. Cut them into gift tags, using the back side for the "To and From."

Having a holiday party? Make name tags for everyone decorated with vintage Christmas seals or images cut from leftover wrapping paper.

Other uses for old Christmas cards or vintage Christmas seals/stickers? Frame for holiday art to decorate your home or to give as gifts. Or, arrange artfully and laminate for use as place mats.

Etsy finds!

Etsy is such a fun place for finding recycled, reused and repurposed items!

Take a look at these:

Glamorous Recycled Vintage Negatives Earrings made from vintage 8mm film strips at Tomate d'├ępingles etsy shop.

Steampunk Vintage Button Necklace made from vintage clock parts, buttons and an antique chain at Callooh Callay's shop.

Pencil Box for School or Office made from fused plastic bags at ECO by Limitz on Etsy.

Everything about these Individual Woodgrain Cards is reused...the paint, the paper, the envelopes! Find them at the Reuse First shop on Etsy.

These Magazine Coasters put to great use something that normally would be tossed out with the trash! Rubbish Remade on Etsy has lots of nice things made out of paper.

At Debby Arem Design's shop on Etsy, these Recycled Computer Circuit Board Mini Magnetic Clipboards are great!

If you're looking for some great items that are eco-friendly, recycled, repurposed, reused, etc., head over to Etsy and take a look around!

Reusing everyday items

My 9-year-old daughter is one of the reusing-est people I know. She can find a use for just about any piece of what-looks-like-trash.

This weekend, she picked up a subscription card that had fallen out of a magazine I was reading. She rolled it into a cone and immediately hit on the idea of turning it into a flower artificial flower holder, holding flowers she planned to make from a variety of items around the house.

So, with a little glue and some paint, she had the card looking like a vase. Then, she used some coffee filters and I don't know what else to create some flowers.

If you're looking for some ideas on what to do with the everyday stuff that might be trash, try Earth911.
The Web site's "Reuse Everything You Can" section has an article called "Get Those Reuse Ideas Flowing," with ideas such as using egg cartons to store miscellaneous items like ping pong balls and hair ties. If you have more ideas for that article, click on "Contact Us" and send them a suggestion.

The Web site also has a search engine for finding a recycling place near you. Look around the Web site; maybe there's some information there you can use.

Cute items!

Recently, I'v been finding New Leaf Paper products at an area thrift store.

This little "Found Space" journal is's printed on 100% post-consumer, recycled paper. The "packaging" is recycled product packaging. In this case, it looks like a box of Annie's organic white cheddar and pasta shells. The New Leaf Paper info is printed on the "inside" of the Annie's box. It's all held together with a couple of loose leaf rings.

A few weeks ago, I featured some New Leaf Paper Karma Cards on my 365Letters blog. You can read about them here.

I've been to the New Leaf Paper Web site, but I don't see anything like this on there. But, I do find the products listed online at a variety of stores. I'm sending an e-mail to New Leaf Paper and will update to let you know if they're still making these products.

I just love this kind of stuff!

UPDATE: See the first comment below for information from New Leaf Paper! The place to go is Lots of wonderful things there!

Favorite magazine closings

If you count my work on the "Bulldog Barker," the student newspaper at Plainview (Texas) High School, I've been involved with newspapers and print-media in general for 28 years, about two-thirds (⅔) of my life.

I've worked on newspaper staffs (still do), owned a regional magazine and freelanced for a variety of newspapers and magazines.... That's what makes all of the recent magazine (and newspaper) closings so poignant for me, especially when it's my favorite magazines. I just cringe with each announcement....Craft Magazine, Hallmark Magazine, Country Home, Cottage Living, Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion...

Maybe it's anachronistic or archaic to still appreciate paper products in 2009, but I do. I like the portability, the salvability, the share-ability of a "real" magazine.

Don't misunderstand...I'm not anti-electronic age. I've been using computers for almost as long as I've been working for the print media. I started out taking "computer math" in high school, wrote newspaper articles on VDTs (video display terminals) in college and used computers at every newspaper job I've ever had. My husband had one of the first Compuserve e-mail accounts, and he signed me up as soon as he could. We were linking up with others around the world on Compuserve's Forums before "the Internet" and "World Wide Web" were household words.

Yet, we've maintained our love of paper...magazines, newspapers, books. I understand how cool the Kindle 2 is. I know it's portable. I know I can save electronic magazine articles and pages in my computer. I know I can send links and even electronic clips to other people via e-mail.

But, still, I like paper. And, I'm going to miss magazines.

Greening up lunch

My daughter takes her lunch to school every day. This makes for a healthier lunch for her, but it also creates a lot of trash, from juice pouches to plastic sandwich bags.

In past years, she's taken juice in a plastic, reusable juice box that she brought home and we washed. But, apparently that's not the cool thing to do in the third grade, at least not where we live. So, she begged to take another type of drink. I'm sure her first choice was a soft drink, but we vetoed that. Juice boxes and pouches are acceptable from her point of view, but I cringed at the amount of trash we were producing.

Recently, I found Honest Kids Drinks with information on the box about earning money for schools by recycling the pouches. When I went to the TerraCycle Web site, I found out they also donate money to schools for CapriSun pouches, too. And, CapriSun has 100% juice drinks, so that's good, too.

TerraCycle not only donates 2 cents for every pouch collected, but the company takes the empty juice pouches and make purses, backpacks, messenger bags, etc., which they sell on their Web site. I like supporting a company like that.

Now, if I could just get my little girl to remember to bring home her juice pouches!

If you'd rather make the purse yourself, try these directions at Henrietta's Handbags and Purse Patterns. I mentioned the Web site last year in a blog entry about making a purse from magazine pages.

Recycling Plastic Bottles

I'm always on the lookout for ways to recycle all the trash we generate. More specifically, I'm looking for ways to re-use what normally is thought of as trash.

The recycling part is fairly the trash and then take it to the recycling center, although since we don't have one in our town, we have to drive about 70 miles.

And, some re-using is easy...sturdy plastic containers, such as coffee "cans" and chocolate milk mix boxes are immediately put to good use storing other things, such as packets of garden seeds, candy, foods we buy in the bulk bins, etc. My 8-year-old daughter always has a good use for empty paper towel tubes, and if she doesn't grab them, my husband cuts and folds them into seedling planting pots.

One thing that is difficult for us to figure out how to recycle is plastic bottles, the ones that laundry detergent, milk, shampoo, etc., come in. But, I kept searching until I found a solution — make beads from the plastic. The Threadbanger Web site has a great tutorial on "How to Make Beads From Old Plastic Bottles." I haven't tried it yet, but I have the bottles, and I have a heat gun, so it won't be long!

The way I figure it, one less plastic bottle in the landfill will help Mother Earth.

Lots of recycling ideas!

Over at, Mary Ann Romans has a blog on frugality that has many ideas for reusing everyday items that normally end up in the trash. Many of her suggestions are rather artistic.

For example, she gives directions for turning cans into candle holders, earrings into lampshade decorations, worn-out clothing into rugs and many other interesting projects.

Pay her a visit and see what you can do with your trash!


On another note, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that my newly listed Vintage Red Purse has been listed on the Vintage Bulletin blog in a collection of vintage Etsy picks. Look for the Etsy mini on the left side of the screen.

Thanks to the Vintage Bulletin group for including me!

Funny Valentines!

I just listed these funny, vintage sticker sheets in my Etsy shop. They are from a teen/kid magazine from the 1970s and '80s called "Dynamite."

From what I can find online, they came with or through the book order forms we got at school. I didn't recognize the stickers right off the bat, but once I saw pictures of the magazine online, I remembered them. I'm sure I had the covers of some of those magazines taped to my wall!

I also listed a set of tiny hearts made from handmade paper. And, the "With Love" stickers are still listed. Maybe they'll be just what someone is looking for to make their Valentine complete!

More trash news

Now that Dave Chameides' 365 Days of Trash are behind him, he's started up a new web site/blog called Sustainable Dave. Have you seen it? Lots of great information there!

Check it out!

My new blog

I just wanted to let you know about my new blog, 365Letters. It's all about my new project to write a letter a day every day in 2009. I hope you'll visit the new blog!

I'll update this blog tomorrow!
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