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How To: Make a Pillow from an Old Tee
I stopped purchasing souvenir shirts years ago because they never fit quite right.
Jun 10, 2009
50 Ways to Reuse Your Yoga Mat
We hate to throw stuff out. We prefer to recycle it, give it away, or find another use for it. And then we had to replace our yoga mat. We couldn’t give our old one away; the reason we were giving it up in the first place was that it was too worn and thin to use. We couldn’t recycle it; we tried but the guy at the tire place wouldn’t budge. What were we going to do with it?
Jun 8, 2009
How To: DIY Teacup Wineglasses
We love the old-world-meets-new-world look of these, and the fact that our cracked wine glass will go to good use. The best part? They’re a fairly simple DIY project. Here’s the how-to…We spotted this excellent project in Country Living. Here’s how:1. Using a glass cutter, score the stem of a wine glass. 2. Carefully snap the stem off by taping the wine glass against a sink.3. Use Super Glue’s glass adhesive to bond the stem to the bottom of a teacup.
Jun 2, 2009
Fruit Fly Death Trap
All the fruit we had gave us not only delicious fruit conserves, but also a bumper crop of fruit flies. We were humane to the spiders, but we had something else in mind for these fast-reproducing pests…It’s easy to make your own: just roll a piece of paper into a cone, pour some apple cider vinegar or put a piece of ripe banana in the bottom of a glass or jar, insert the paper cone, and wait.(Oh yeah, and get rid of the ripe or rotten fruit that’s attracting the fruit flies.
May 27, 2009
Test Lab: Trader Joe’s Pop-Up Sponges
We know that the Pop-Up Sponges from Trader Joe’s aren’t exactly a new discovery (in fact, the Kitchn and AT:NY blogged them long ago); however, they’re relatively new to us, and they’re our favorite sponges yet …First off, they’re made from natural vegetable cellulose, which is much greener than the synthetic-y scrubby sponges (also from Trader Joe’s) that we’d been using for the last year or so.
May 14, 2009
Hot Tip: Baking Soda Remedies In the Garden
It’s “container garden” this and “grow your own vegetables” that here at Re-Nest, and we have to say that all the tips are definitely helping our miniature front-patio farm, where we saw our first green beans just yesterday!So this weekend, when we noticed an ailment affecting the foliage on some of our plants, we thought we’d investigate and share the results with you. Some of the leaves on our bean, pepper, and basil plants began yellowing.
May 4, 2009
27 Household Uses For Citrus Fruit
A staple in most homes, citrus fruit, including oranges, lemons and limes, makes a beautiful, fragrant display that can piled in a bowl. We also like to use them in a flower arrangement. Peeking out from the bottom of a clear glass container, they serve a dual purpose: beauty and as an anchor to an arrangement.
Apr 27, 2009
Top Six: Tips for Taking a Shorter Shower
This is something we really need help with. Well, actually, we’ve gotten pretty good about the weekday morning shower — it’s the Saturday one that really kills us. So, we’ll start the list of tips with a few we’ve employed or have heard suggested. Please add your own. We can use all the help we can get!
Apr 23, 2009
Green Building: What Are the Downsides to Adobe?
While munching on pizza the other night, conversation drifted to the topic of adobe homes. Living in our hot, dry Texas climate lends itself to homes built from mud. We went over the pros: the bricks can be made on-site with little training, they’re “cheap as dirt,” they offer natural insulation, and the nature of the building material allows much room for creativity. And that’s just what we could think of on the spot.
Apr 14, 2009
How to Grow 100 Pounds of Potatoes in 4 Square Feet
On many occasions, we’ve been tempted to grow our own potatoes. They’re fairly low maintenance, can be grown in a pot or in the ground, last a fairly long time if stored properly, and can be very nutritious (high in potassium and vitamin C). Here’s more incentive: according to this article, you can grow 100 pounds of potatoes in 4 sq. feet.
Apr 13, 2009
How To: Make Earth-friendly Cascarones
The egg is a symbol that dates back to medieval times, representing Easter and Passover. In some traditions, the dyed hard-boiled egg morphed into the painted or dyed confetti-filled eggshell. And so, in our family, we take great joy in cracking homemade cascarones over (or directly onto) each others’ noggins. Granted, this may be a southern thing, but it’s an entertaining tradition to start anywhere.
Apr 9, 2009
How To: Make a Solar-Powered Garden Fountain
As spring and summer get closer, we’re dreaming up our ideal patio and garden. There are of course eco-friendly lanterns, lots of edible vegetation growing from our containers, and the sweet sound of a tiny babbling brook coming from a D-I-Y fountain. Installing a solar-powered pump for a backyard pond or fountain not only saves energy, but also omits the need for an electrician’s help to bury a line…saving you money on all fronts. Jump below for resources and fountain ideas!
Apr 3, 2009
How To: Get Every Last Drop from a Tube or Bottle
We want to save and conserve as much as possible, so isn’t it really annoying when you can’t reach that last little bit? It just feels like we’re throwing away money when we know there’s something left inside the container, however small it may be.
Mar 31, 2009
Monte-Silo House made from Two Corrugated Grain Silos
This unique home was designed by Gigaplex Architects for a single person living in Woodland, Utah. The home is constructed of two linked corrugated-metal grain silos making for some great circular interior space.Measuring in at 1,800 square feet for one person, the Silo House doesn’t exactly start green.
Mar 17, 2009
How to Keep the Fridge Clean
Since most of us probably aren’t going to go as far as to live without a fridge, we should know how to keep up with ours to make the most of its energy use and to simply live healthier. We’re guilty of letting leftovers become science experiments, but with spring cleaning just around the corner we’re going to try to start anew. Jump below for tips on how to clean out the fridge–and keep it that way.
Feb 27, 2009
How To: Quick and Easy DIY Humidifier
We’ve been running outside all winter, and our skin is starting to show the effects of winter weather. We thought about buying a humidifier—but then we’d have to plug it in, listen to its humming noise all night, not to mention, have one more thing to clean. Then we heard about this DIY version—which doesn’t waste water or electricity… Hang your shower towel to dry in your bedroom!
Feb 27, 2009
10 Uses for Carpet Scraps
There’s been a few discussions on Re-Nest about what to do with carpet scraps, whether it’s where to donate them, how to dispose of them, or how to reuse them. This Old House has a great section on their website of ’10 Uses’ and this months’ list is new uses for old carpet scraps. There’s a lot we’ve never thought of such as using scraps to make moving furniture easier, insulating your compost pile, muffling laundry machines and washing window screens.
Feb 24, 2009
DIY: Insulate Water Pipes
Cost: $1.50 – $7.50 / 6ft section of insulation Time: 1-2 hours, depending on amount of pipes Uninsulated hot water pipes are like radiators, transferring the heat to the air – which is not a good thing. This makes your pipes work less efficiently, makes your hot water heater work harder, and ultimately results in an increase of energy bills.
Feb 10, 2009
Good Questions: How to Kill Soap Bubbles?
I have a random questions and I’m hoping you can save the day. The kitchen floor of my rental apt is tile with very wide rough grout. Because the grout is somewhat porous, it seems, spills seem to soak in fast and leave stubborn stains. After trying a few home-made recipes for floor cleaner (and none with great success) I caved in and bought a green household cleaner to try.While the cleaner, Green Works Natural Dilutable Cleaner (the only one available in my local store!
Feb 9, 2009
Greener Carpet Made from Corn by Mohawk
There are a couple new lines of carpet from Mohawk are easier to clean (with just water and no harsh chemicals), require 30 percent less energy to make and last just as long. One is made from recycled bottles and the other from corn!Carpet made from recycled plastic bottles seems like a logical step (see these rugs made from recycled plastic bottles) in recycled materials but carpet made from corn?
Jan 27, 2009
Six Ways to Dress Up A Bulletin Board
Since we spent time reorganizing at home, we took things to the streets and spent a couple of hours up at our office rearranging our workspace. And now, we’re on the quest for a bulletin board for important messages, photos, etc., for both our home and work offices. But the thing is, we’re really working on minimizing, so we’re hoping the board can shine on its own should we decide not to put anything on it.
Jan 15, 2009
Tips: Bay Leaves in the Pantry
Why is there a bay leaf in our flour canister? green transfered posted originally from: TheKitchnYears ago, in the midst of a moth infestation, we read that bay leaves repel pantry insects. Everyone from beetles to weevils, moths, cockroaches, ants, and flies is said to hate the herb’s fragrance. The leaves can be placed in containers of flour, rice, and other dry goods, or taped inside cupboards and shelves.
Nov 18, 2008
Good Question: Maggots in My Compost … Help!
(Note: Include a pic of your problem and your question gets posted first. Email questions and pics with QUESTIONS in subject line to: green(at)apartmenttherapy(dot)com) This question comes from Emily:So I’ve got the really cute counter-top composter from greenfeet and because we don’t have so much as a balcony, we take it to my mom’s backyard compost bin roughly once a week.
Oct 29, 2008
Is DIY Spray Foam Insulation a Bad Idea?
While I’d love to stick denim insulation in my walls, it’s just not possible without ripping off all the sheet rock. So while the debate goes on for petroleum based insulation products that claim zero VOCs, R-values up to 7.4 per inch, and CFCs and Formaldehyde free, I’d argue that the one-time environmental cost would provide years of environmental savings.
Oct 24, 2008
Recycle Your Plastic Bags at All Whole Foods Markets!
Clearly, consumers are being encouraged to reduce their reliance on plastic shopping bags, but it’s going to be a while before they’re completely obsolete. In the meantime, perhaps you’re stockpiling a huge supply of plastic bags and the clutter is driving you crazy?….
Oct 16, 2008
Creative Reuse 2008: Milk Jug as Kitchen Compost Holder
Alice from West Orange, NJ recently sent us this great idea: She uses two empty milk jugs to craft compost pails for her kitchen (remember … some fancy compost pails can set you back more than $40).Get her instructions after the jump.Object(s): 2 plastic gallon milk jugsProject: Kitchen compost containerInstructions: To make one of these, use two rinsed-out gallon milk jugs.
Oct 2, 2008
How To: Reuse Tin Cans as a Container Garden
Growing up, we were taught that everything can have more than one purpose. One man’s trash is another’s treasure, some would say; we like to think we just concentrated on the “reuse” part of reduce-reuse-recycle. So when we went home earlier in the week, we snapped this photo of one of our mom’s trash-to-treasure successes. Here’s one small, simple project that you can do at home, whether you’ve got a green thumb or not.
Sep 18, 2008
How To Repel Fleas with Regular Household Items (Using Smells Fleas Hate!)
There’s a lot to love about having pets, but one of the downsides is the fleas that can sometimes come with them — especially if your pet goes outdoors. Fleas can be a pain to get out of your house, but there are a number of regular household items that can be used to repel and kill them without harming your beloved furry friend (no, not you, Windex). Learn more about these below.
Sep 15, 2008
Green Tip: Ditch the Antibacterial Hand Soap
You’ve probably heard this already, but that antibacterial hand soap in your bathroom (not to mention the hand sanitizer you carry around in your purse) might not be that good for you after all.As it turns out, it might be better for us to just live with a few germs than douse our hands in triclosan, the chemical that kills all that bacteria.We just got a little reminder from Plenty magazine: As for triclosan, The American Medical Association, U.S.
Sep 12, 2008
Salvation Army Pick Up
We may have sold a lot of things at our stoop sale, but at the end of the day there were still two end tables, one bag of clothes, and two boxes of kitchen stuff. We wanted to donate it, but we don’t have a car, and we weren’t too thrilled about spending $10 dollars on a taxi. So we dialed up the Salvation Army—which picked it up for us!It turns out that theSalvation Army, schedules pick ups if you have two large pieces of furniture or three bags of clothes.
Sep 11, 2008
An Unlikely Cat Treat: Organic Salad Greens
This is going to sound a little odd, but hopefully some readers can relate: Our cat loves. craves. needs. must have… salad.Some cats flip for tuna fish or chicken — ours might just rip your fingers off in excitement if you so much as bring a piece of romaine into our apartment.When we first noticed his odd obsession with leafy greens, we did a little research.
Sep 3, 2008
How To: Start a No-Dig Garden … Step by Step
A few weeks ago we blogged an article in the LA Times about No-Dig Gardens. They require less water than traditional gardens and they’re an easy way to start a raised bed. You can even start one right over a patch of grass you want to get rid of. Another easy gardening option is bringing the garden inside with grass you can grow indoors. Our friend and coworker, Hulda Nelson, tipped us off to the article.
Jul 17, 2008
SMEG’s Energy-Efficient Refrigerator
The words “retro” and “green” don’t usually belong in the same sentence, especially if you’re talking about refrigerators. Generally, the older a fridge looks, the more energy it’s sucking. But, we love to be proven wrong.These retro, energy-efficient refrigerators from SMEG are slick and green. They wouldn’t exactly work in our current kitchen, but we’re daydreaming about a 1930s bungalow complete with the red version!
Jun 16, 2008
Review: Freshaire Choice Paint from The Home Depot
As we mentioned yesterday, we’re in the middle of a painting project using Freshaire Choice paint. (That’s Home Depot’s new zero-VOC paint.) So, what do we think?The bottom line is that it’s good, but there are better zero-VOC options. The biggest problem is the consistency of the paint: in some ways, it’s similar to silly putty. In the can, it seems thick.
May 28, 2008
How to: Clean Your Microwave
Microwaves are an efficient (and therefore green!) way of cooking, but they can be really unpleasant to clean. We’ve got a green method that works well, and all you need is water and a little bit of baking soda (which you can also use to soften sheets and scrub the tub.) Put one or two cups of water in a large, heat-proof glass or ceramic bowl. and add one tablespoon of white vinegar. Microwave until about half the water has evaporated. Wait about 10 minutes and don’t open the door.
May 19, 2008
Green Tour: Michelle Kaufmann’s Very Own Glidehouse
Name: Michelle Kaufmann Location: Novato, CaSize: 1560 sq/ftYears lived in: 4Average gas/electric bill: $0 >> We remember where we were when it happened: It was a windy fall day in San Francisco — we got off BART and took the escalator up to the Civic Center. We walked across the lawn towards City Hall and there was the mkLotus. That was the moment we fell in love with Michelle Kaufmann’s green prefab homes.We’d never been inside of one before; we’d only seen pictures.
May 1, 2008
Good Question: Green Alternative to Febreze?
(Note: Include a pic of your problem and your question gets posted first. Email questions and pics with QUESTIONS in subject line to: green(at)apartmenttherapy(dot)com)Sam writes:I love Febreze fabric refreshers, but I’d like something a little more earth friendly. Can anyone recommend an eco-friendly alternative, or a good home recipe for one. Something antibacterial would be great. Thanks!Sam, this is a good question.
Apr 28, 2008
A Sustainable Trash Can
There’s something just plain wrong about buying a bin for recycling that’s not made out of recycled material. Isn’t there?Don’t get us wrong — we’re totally guilty. Our recycle bin is a white plastic trash can from Target. Wouldn’t it have been smarter (and made more sense) if we’d bought something that was recycled in the first place?
Apr 25, 2008
“Healthy Shelf” Towel Dispensers at Costco
Danger, danger! We’ve already come clean about our paper towel addiction. From the name of this new gizmo, which seems designed to increase the consumption of paper towels using the specter of disease, we’re guessing that someone in the Costco marketing department might have read about inverted quarantine…As a culture, we’re ambivalent about throwing things away.
Mar 13, 2008
Cork Countertops
Cork, our favorite material for floors, is now made in thick slabs — perfect for countertops. We’re eyeing these for our own kitchen and think they’d be the perfect compliment to the honey-colored pecan cabinets.Cork is heat and moisture resistant, lightweight, and easy to handle and refinish.The countertops retail for around $25 a square foot plus installation. They’re available at Ecohome Improvement in the Bay Area.
Feb 19, 2008
Best Product: Squeegee, Not Shower Spray
We just don’t feel comfortable spraying mysterious combinations of chemicals just to keep our shower clean. And, if you think about it, buying something that’s mostly water and which is intended to go directly down the drain just doesn’t make sense. Instead, we’ve adopted a slightly more labor-intensive technology that seems to work just as well: squeegee! Plus, it’s a lot more fun to say.
Nov 1, 2007
Top 10: Well-Designed Ceiling Fans
Finding an attractive ceiling fan is not easy. (This does not apply if your idea of attractive includes “Plantation Faux Leather with Brushed Antique Brass Trim” or “Tiffany Charmaigne Craftsman Oil Rubbed Bronze”; in that case, you’re in luck.)Here are ten of the most attractive (or should that be least offensive?) ceiling fans we’ve found in our travels.
Aug 29, 2007
How To Get Rid of Ants?
(Note: Include a pic of your problem and your question gets posted first. Email questions and pics with QUESTIONS in subject line to: green(at)apartmenttherapy(dot)com) I occasionally have ants in my kitchen. I can’t figure out where they get in and am careful to keep the floors clean and not leave food laying around. I can’t use the traps because my dog WILL find them and try to eat them.
Aug 20, 2007
Good Question: Greener Swiffer?
Just this morning, AT:Green Home reader Shanalee wrote in:I have 2 cats and a dog. I Swiffer probably 3 or 4 times a week… that’s a LOT of Swiffer refills! Any green alternatives?-shanaleeDear Shanalee,By our calculations, you are spending about $1 per week, or $52 per year, on Swiffer refills, which means that over the next 5 years, you’ll spend upwards of $250 on something you’ll throw away.
Aug 9, 2007