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!
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