Eco-Chic Home: Rethink, Reuse and Remake Your Way to Sustainable Style

by DIY Maven

Eco-Chic Home: Rethink, Reuse and Remake Your Way to Sustainable Style

Designer and author Emily Anderson of Eco-Chic Weddings fame turns her attention to interiors with her new book Eco-Chic Home. In its pages, Emily tells us how to embrace sustainability stylishly. It starts with imagining all those cast-offs as something else, something useful and--yes--even pretty. 

created at: 2010/02/09

Room by room, the Emily tackles fun and easy projects that re-use hand-me-downs, thrift store and garage sale finds and everything in between...

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10 Ways to Go Green Through Design

by DIY Maven

10 Ways to Go Green Through Design

Communications design agency Thomas Matthews designs sustainably, which they define via their manifesto. Here it is in ‘rule’ form.

  1. Re-think
  2. Re-use
  3. Use friendly materials
  4. Save energy
  5. Share new ideas (through Curbly!)
  6. Design to last
  7. Stay local, buy ethical
  8. Support what you believe
  9. Inspire, have fun (on Curbly!)
  10. Save money

For further information regarding Thomas Matthews’ manifesto, visit their website.

Image from 'Do All The Good You Can' at Allposters.

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Is the Bag-E-Wash a good idea?

by DIY Maven

Is the Bag-E-Wash a good idea?

At first glance, the Bag-E-Wash seems like a great idea. Basically, it’s a nylon dishwasher accessory that holds open used plastic bags as a means to wash, dry and, of course, reuse them. The Bag-E-Wash website says that if you reuse one box of 30 gallon-sized bags 50 times each, you’ll save $150 bucks and keep 1,500 bags out of landfills. Sounds good, huh? However, the apparatus looks like it takes up a lot of room in the dishwasher, which would...

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How to Spin Yarn Out Of Plastic Bags

by DIY Maven

How to Spin Yarn Out Of Plastic Bags

Pluralmolecule over on Instructables has posted a very easy and clever method of spinning yarn out of plastic bags. The supplies are minimal; they include:

  1. A bunch of plastic bags
  2. A scissors
  3. A simple spindle

This how-to does not include an accompanying video, but I found step-by-step videos on joyofhandspinning.com. In them, they are spinning wool, but the technique appears to be the same as in the Instructable post. The website also includes...

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35+ Uses for Used Plastic Milk Jugs

by DIY Maven

35+ Uses for Used Plastic Milk Jugs

Marion Owen has amassed a list of clever uses for used plastic milk jugs in an effort to keep them out of landfills. Here are some of her suggestions:

  • Bird Feeders
  • Scoops (½ gallon jugs work particularly well for these)
  • Swimming Floaters
  • Weights
  • Potted Plant Bases
  • Luminaries
  • Organizers
  • Funnels
  • Poor Man’s Blenders
  • Toilet Brush Holders
  • Jack-o-Lanterns
  • Piggy Banks

For detailed instructions on making these and other projects, check out this page.

'Mooving' by...

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Why Everyone Should Learn How to Crochet (It’s all about recycling, baby!)

by DIY Maven

Why Everyone Should Learn How to Crochet (It’s all about recycling, baby!)

If the ideas on MyRecycledBags.com don’t inspire you to learn how to crochet, nothing will! Basically, the site features things made from plastic bags, cassette and VHS tapes. From totes to handbags, baby bibs to Barbie Doll clothes, MRB offers up a great collection of free patterns to reuse all that stuff we try to get rid of.

To learn how to convert plastic bags into yarn, check out this post, via Craftzine. And to help you learn how to crochet...

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Kids Go Green–With The Green Family

by DIY Maven

Kids Go Green–With The Green Family

WGBH, those guys who bring us Masterpiece Theater, Antiques Roadshow, Arthur, and Curious George, among many others, have a new project in the works. It’s an ‘upbeat and optimistic’ website named Meet The Greens, and it’s all about getting kids to think ‘about the world and their place in it’. The makers hope to encourage kids ‘to make informed choices and meaningful changes’ as they pertain to the environment.

The Green family consists of Izz...

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Flush your toilet with your sink water!

by DIY Maven

Flush your toilet with your sink water!

Gray water is another term for the used water that goes down our sinks, tubs and shower drains. Black water is another term for the water ‘and stuff’ that goes down our toilets. Now, with the Aqus Toilet System, available through Vivavi, we can accumulate the grey water from our bathroom sinks and use it to flush our toilets–thereby turning grey into black. According to the website, using the recycling system ‘can reduce water usage in a...

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How to take a Navy Shower

by DIY Maven

How to take a Navy Shower

According to Wikipedia, a standard 10 minute shower uses 60 gallons (230 liters) of water, whereas a Navy shower uses 3 gallons (11 liters) of water.

Although never in the Navy, I have had to take my share of Navy showers. Anyone who has spent time in the woods, in an RV or on a boat are most likely familiar with the concept. For the rest of you who haven’t experienced this ultimate water-conserving method of personal hygiene, here’s a helpful...

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Eco-Tote Bags

by DIY Maven

Fellow Curblier bsgilf posted a question yesterday that was of concern to me a couple of months ago. It all started with IKEA charging for their shopping bags and San Francisco passing an ordinance requiring retailers to use eco-friendly bags. Always answering ‘paper’ when the paper/plastic question arose, I was looking for sturdy shopping bags of the same size as a quality paper grocery bag. In my search, I found ECOBAGS, which has a perpetual...

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How to green your sex life.

by DIY Maven

How to green your sex life.

Oh, Treehugger, oh Treehugger, how lovely are thy how-to tips. Yup, it’s Christmas in June as Treehugger offers a little go-green cheer to aspiring environmentalists everywhere. Some of their more intriguing titles include this gem of a trifecta: ‘How to Green Your Wedding,’ ‘How to Green Your Sex Life,’ and ‘How to Green Your Baby.’

(Graphic from Tree Hugger T-shirt, which is available through Ban T-shirts for $15.95.)

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An argument for making cloth napkins. (How to included.)

by DIY Maven

An argument for making cloth napkins. (How to included.)

According to Seventh Generation’s website "If every household in the U.S. replaced just one 250 count package of virgin fiber napkins with 100% recycled ones, we could save:

*1 million trees

*2.7 million cubic feet of landfill space equal to over 4,000 full garbage trucks

*380 million gallons of water, a year’s supply for 2,900 families of four

*and avoid 64,000 pounds of pollution!"

Of course Seventh Generation wants you to buy their 100% recycled...

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How To Make a Plastic Bag Keeper

by DIY Maven

How To Make a Plastic Bag Keeper

In an effort to reduce and reuse plastic bags, how about making a plastic bag keeper? Chances are you already have everything you need to make one for free. Or you can buy one at The Container Store for 4.99 plus 6.50 s & h. Your choice.

The Props

  • A 2 quart plastic bottle (I used a Juicy Juice bottle, which worked particularly well.)
  • Box cutter and/or scissors
  • Sharpie
  • Durable tape
  • Excess plastic bags

The Procedure

Mark...

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How to Make a To-go Coffee Cup Tissue Pop-up

by DIY Maven

How to Make a To-go Coffee Cup Tissue Pop-up

There’s a company out there called WeGo, that sells facial tissues in a take-away coffee cup. In the interest of DIY-ism, I bought one of these cups of 50 sand-paper-rough tissues for 3 bucks so I could pop off the top, rip the guts out and figure out how to make them. Here’s my easy, no-cost version.

What You Need

A cleaned, small to-go coffee cup and appropriately-sized lid to fit (the cup in the example is 4 ½" high with a 3 ½" top diameter)

A...

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How to Make a Folded-Paper CD Case

by DIY Maven

How to Make a Folded-Paper CD Case

Instead of paying good cash for cd cases, which eventually break and end up in a landfill, how about creating your own, unique folded-paper cd cases that are biodegradable and take up a fraction of the space?

Related Video:

The Props:

8 ½" by 11" paper

a cd

a computer (optional)

labels (optional)

The Procedure:

1. Center a cd, which you’ll be using as a guide, at the top of a sheet of paper, as shown.

2. Fold in sides of paper to...

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