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Thursday, February 24, 2011

I Want You All To Know About Freecycle

Hello there,
A lot of you might know this already, but I still see many people raise their eyebrows in surprise when they hear about freecycle, so I thought I dedicate a post to this eco-friendly movement.
Here's the introduction from Freecycle's start page on their website:

"Welcome! The Freecycle Network™ is made up of 4,918 groups with 8,175,361 members around the world. It's a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns. It's all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills. Each local group is moderated by local volunteers (them's good people). Membership is free. To sign up, find your community by entering it into the search box above or by clicking on 'Browse Groups' above the search box. Have fun!" 

A lot of my youngest outgrown clothes and toys found new homes, as well as lots of furniture pieces and tons of nic-nacs, such as candles that I didn't use, a jogger radio, clothes that didn't fit and were too good to just use for crafts, etc. etc.

If you have something that you don't need/want anymore, you post to your local group and then pick somebody that you want to give it to.
If you need anything you also post to your local group, and if you get lucky you'll receive the item you're looking for. I received an awesome, working Singer sewing machine this way!

You can subscribe to the group and receive a daily digest, which you can browse and see whether somebody nearby offers something you want. Because sometimes you don't even know what you want until you see it being offered :-)

This is such a great way to reuse things, keep items out off the landfills and help live a budget AND eco-friendly life. Check it out at and become a member!

Happy Freecycling!!!

Friday, February 11, 2011

What Do Elephants Have To Do With Greeting Cards and How To Repurpose Teabag Strings

I love greeting cards. A few days ago I got a sweet note from a dear friend in Malaysia.
She knows how important environmental issues are to me, so she picked a very special card, made of - GET READY! - elephant dung.

Imagine?! Elephant dung, yes! And no, it doesn't smell and yes, it looks absolutely beautiful, illustrated by an artist.
On the left you see some products offered by the company, beautiful cards I find.

Of course I had to check this out in more detail (click here for their website), and here's what they have to say about elephant dung:

  • On average an elephant will eat 200-250 kg of food a day... from that we get 50 kg of dung
  • One elephant provides enough dung to make 115 sheets of paper
  • Elephant dung does not smell that bad
  • An elephant's dung is just fiber. The elephants are kindly doing the first stage of any paper making process - getting the fibers
  • Elephant dung paper does not smell at all
  • Elephant dung paper is 100% chlorine-free and 100% bacteria-free
  • Dung is a waste product and if not made into paper will contribute to pollution
Here's a collection of their greeting cards (I got "The paiter").

I just think this is such an interesting concept. I love it, and I love the card and learning about this. How innovative!

In the meantime, while we figure out how we can (or can't :-) make our own paper, here's an idea how to upgrade a simple blank card (I stock up on thrift stores!):
Do you drink tea? Ever thought about what to do with those teabag strings? Nay? Thought so. This is something only somebody like me can come up with :-)
This is what one of my creations looks like. Not quite as fancy as the elephant dung cards though :)

Well, I separate them from the actual bag, take letters (cut out from magazines, for example) and glue them to the string. Then I take a sticker (whatever you have will do) and attach the string to the upper corners of the open card. You can do anything from birthday cards to Thank You notes and it makes the card somewhat special.

Always good to come up with ideas how to re-purpose things from our daily life that would otherwise go to the trash, right?

Please feel free to share your ideas here.