Brown Girl Goes Green

Healthy living, Green lifestyle, Beauty, Natural products

Give that “Trash” a New Life March 27, 2012

Filed under: Green — backpackready @ 11:26 pm
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I surfed the web far and wide to find ways to reuse items I would normally throw away.  Many of the sites list over 20 uses.  I am only addressing things I would realistically do (jus keepin’ it real).  Using a cereal box to start a fire may be possible, but I’m more likely to use it to mail something I sold on Ebay. The links are listed below if you want more ideas. Enjoy!

Cereal Boxes

  1. Cheap way to mail stuff.
  2. Cut it up and make a Bookmarks


Plastic Grocery Bags

  1. Trash bags (who hasn’t done this one?)
  2. Mailing fillers
  3. Keep several in your car: Trash, dirty shoes, car sickness
  4. Place a plastic bag inside or next to the sink when you peel fruits or vegetables. Easy cleanup.

Peanut butter jars

  1. Snack container on trips
  2. *See glass jars*

Glass Jars

  1. Picture frames (I ♥ this)
  2. Candle holder
  3. Storage: toothbrushes, candy, spices, hairpins.
  4. Desk organizer
  5. Store items you purchase in bulk such as spices, cereal, flour or grains.
  6. Utensil holder for forks, knives or spoons
  7. Give gifts such as chocolate, cookies, homemade jelly, trail mix, bath salts, etc. Add a special homemade touch by decorating the outside.
  8. Flower vase
  9. Organize sewing supplies
  10. Organize hair accessories (I already do this).
  11. Organize Laundry Supplies:  Perfect for storing your homemade “green” detergent.


***How to remove a jar label***

(1)     Remove as much of the label as you can with your fingers. 

(2)     Under hot running water rub remaining label off with a fork or spoon.

(3)     Remove any remaining adhesive with rubbing alcohol.

Wine bottles: I may have a few of these….

  1. Candle holders
  2. Fill empty wine bottles with olive oil, herbs, rice, vinegar, and other kitchen staples.
  3. Water plants while you are away: If the plant and pot are large enough to accommodate the bottle, simply fill with water and insert the neck into the soil.
  4. If you have a glass cutting kit:  homemade drinking glasses, candle displays, vase


  1. Gift wrapping. Use the comic section and they will see you as unique instead of cheap.  Use Magazine pages for smaller items.
  2. Mailing fillers
  3. Great for cleaning mirrors and windows
  4. Make your own seeding pots
  5. Burn it up. Instead of a starter log in the fireplace or at a bonfire, use tightly rolled pieces of newsprint instead.

Zip lock bags…  Not the ones you bought in the cute little boxes, the ones your pita bread, frozen veges, and almonds came in.   A zip lock bag is a zip lock bag.  Put a sandwich in it.  Nuff said.

 chopped onions inside an almond bag.

Shoe boxes: You can always paint or decorate the outside of the box. If you mess it up, it’s just a shoe box. Get another one and try again.

  1. Drawer organizers
  2. Organize manuals & warranties: You know the papers & little booklets that come with washer machines, computers, and food dehydrators.
  3. Organize cords: extension cords, power cords, camera cords  (make sure you put a label on the outside)
  4. Old photos
  5. Daily mail container
  6. Moving boxes for the small things ( silverware, jewelry, hair stuff)
  7. Organize spice jars in your cabinet
  8. Cover it with fabric & use to store CD/ DVDs.
  9. Taxes ewww: Put your receipts in them & mark the month /year on the end and store in closet for returns or taxes, etc.
  10. Small emergency kits to carry in your car.




Start Recycling…..I’ll tell you how.

Filed under: Green — backpackready @ 5:01 am
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Learning how to RECYCLE.  Yes, I said LEARN. If you did not grow up in an environment where recycling is common place, it’s difficult to know where to start.  Thank God for the internet!  I want to recycle not because it is the trendy thing to do, but because it is the right thing to do.  It is important to understand that recycling does not stand alone.  It is a component of a 3 part system: Reduce (don’t use or buy what you don’t need), Reuse (I’m sure that glass jar can be used for something else after a good rinse), Recycle the rest.

Source: Homemade Simple

  1. Know what can be recycled. This is just basic info, so check with your local recycling center for specifics on what they will and will not accept.  Source:
    1. Glass drinking bottles (no lid)
    2. Milk & other cartons
    3. Paper (duh).  This includes magazines, newspapers, waste office paper & greeting cards and cereal boxes.
    4. Aluminum drink cans. Some places don’t accept foil wrap so check first.
    5. Tin cans, paint tins, aerosol containers (not all places accept), coffee tins, jar lids, and bottle tops
    6. Plastics (look for the recycle symbol), leave the lid off.
    7. Glass drinking bottles (leave the lids off)

2.     Don’t be gross. Rinse the food or drink residues off before tossing it.  You may even think a new use for it after it clean. Ragu container with gunky tomato stuff=trash.  Clean glass bottle formerly known as Ragu= tooth brush holder, bobby pin container, or homemade jelly container.

 3.     Where do I put this stuff while I’m collecting it? Unfortunately Recycling takes up space, so you need to create a system that minimizes the clutter and doesn’t interfere with daily life.

A few ideas

  1. Tubs or small trash bins under the sink
  2. Containers outside the kitchen
  3. Separate material types into bags and keep them in a large tub
  4. If you have things that need to be taken to a processing center, you’ll need somewhere (back porch, back yard, secret closet, bat cave, where ever) to allow these things to accumulate.

 4.      Okay, now where do I take this stuff? Here is a site I found helpful.  It’s easy to navigate and all you have to put in is your zip code.

Or…you can just type in your location and “recycling” into yahoo or google and see what happens.


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