Condo Blues: green living




Showing posts with label green living. Show all posts
Showing posts with label green living. Show all posts

Sunday, April 18, 2021

10 Zero Waste Craft Projects that also Save Money

I recently read an article claiming that zero waste living doesn’t have to be expensive.

That almost immediately said to an interviewed college student who said that they couldn’t afford a $20 zero waste made from adopted unicorn tears deodorant that the student just needs to change their attitude because they are buying better stuff. Because the superior feeling of spending more money on low waste deodorant outweighs the reality of then not having enough money for school books, I guess?

The author also said that no one who wants to go low waste (which is a more accurate description than the search engine friendly term zero waste) does it to save money.  It really burns my cookies when confronted with the reality of price, a zero waste experts ignore it and tells you to buy it anyway. That's how zero and low waste living gets the (wrong) perception that its only for the privileged!

10 ways to make zero waste save money

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My family is practically debt free because we don’t waste things. As I started switching from disposables to reusables the amount of trash we make plummeted and extra dollars accumulated in the bank. For example it cost zero dollars to stop using plastic zipper baggies and plastic wrap for sandwiches and leftovers and start using the containers with lids (many repurposed) I already had. I had no idea how much money we wasted on that stuff until we didn’t need to buy it anymore.  

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Decorative Rain Barrel and Friday Favorites Week 576

As I type this it is raining. It is pouring. I'm dancing instead of snoring because it is warm enough to  hook up our rain barrel! Right now it is filling with sweet, sweet, organic and free rain water! We use rain water  I use to our container garden and make compost tea. It also keeps a poor drainage spot in our side yard from turning into a mud pit. 

Oh and it is pretty too. I looks like a giant boulder!


how to install a rain barrel
You can find pretty rain barrels similar to my Water Stone here (affiliate link for your convenience.)


I showed you my project, now you show my yours! Time to link up your favorite projects, recipes, and posts! 

Monday, March 22, 2021

DIY Compost Station

When someone asks why we started composting, my husband and I say it’s because we had to because all we had for garden was clay and zero topsoil. We sang the condo blues over how very little would grow in that pretending to be soil, researched how to amend it, and experimented with composting in a DIY compost bin.

I made our first compost bin by drilling a bazillion holes in a black plastic trash can. We loaded it up with food scraps and paper from our paper shredder and in about a year we had compost! We added the homemade compost to our soil and after awhile our tan clay soil started to turn black with nutrients. I practically dance the first time I dug a hole and found an earthworm – it is another indicator that the soil is improving!

 

We take our composting very seriously. Why do you ask?

 

And we’ve been composting ever since.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

12 Real World Ways I Went Zero Waste This Week

Some of the things they don’t tell you about trying to reduce your household trash with zero waste living is that it depends a lot on where and how you want to live. Most of the year’s worth of garbage in jar folks have access to big fill your own container stores, year round farm markets, or huge gardens where they can grow almost everything  they need. Not all of us are that lucky,  would rather not drive all over the place, or crunched the numbers and found some the prices in those shops sky high. *raises hand*


But’s not to say that zero waste is impossible!  Instead try the more realistic goal of concentrating on reducing your household waste than making it absolute zero. By focusing on reusing, the Rule of Half, recycling, reducing, and composting (when the bin isn’t frozen shut) my family has reduced our weekly household waste to approximately one grocery store size shopping bag (ish. We reuse any packaging, dog food, etc.  bags for garbage which means the size varies) a week. We average a 3/4 full recycling bin every two weeks. We also give ourselves a break if our output is more than that because we have seasons and that can determine what we can do and how we do it.


To give you some realistic ways to reduce your household waste (and possibly save some money doing it) I made a list of the zero waste practices, tips, and tricks I do in a normal week to give you some ideas and jump start your thinking machines to find a zero waste solution that works for you!

 

12 real world zero waste tips
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Sunday, June 14, 2020

How to Make an Insulated Growler Caddy

My husband and I have a couple of glass growlers for those times we want to bring home a local craft beer from a brewpub that doesn’t put it in cans or bottles. We only tend to use them when there is a BBQ or party where a group of friends will be there to help us drink a little under 2 liters of beer (an open growler goes flat more quickly than a 2 liter of pop) over the course of a long afternoon into the evening with a bonfire. In other words, not very often.

No to mention in Ohio to go growlers have to be made of glass, which are hard to keep cold and carry if you are also juggling pot luck food as you walk from your car to the party spot. There are a lot of wood growler caddies out there but I really want something insulated. That way I can also use the growler as a water jug to refill our sports bottles  from the car when we are out and about.

When I can’t buy, I DIY! I dove into my fabric stash, grabbed some leftover corsetry fabric,  and sewed an insulated growler caddy. If you are looking for a handmade gift idea for men, based on my husband's reaction, this is a good one.  He liked the idea so much that he encouraged me to make a second insulated tote bag for the other growler.

Let’s sew!

how to make a craft beer growler caddy


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How to Make an Insulated Beer Growler Tote

Sunday, June 7, 2020

How to Strip Paint the Non Toxic Way

I have a love – hate relationship with spray paint. I love that spray paint will cover almost every surface (if you use the right formula) and easily paint hard to paint areas like indentations and intricate moulding. I hate that many of my spray paint projects en up with paint bubbles and drips.

how to strip paint from wood
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The best way to avoid spray paint bubbles and dripping paint is to hold the can further away from object you are painting and use several light and even coats of spray paint rather than blasting a thick coat of spray paint from close up. Using a spray paint handle (you can find several types of spray paint trigger handles here) will help you paint with even coats of paint and not kill your fingers from pressing the can’s spray nozzle. 

Spray paint bubbles are also caused by painting a second coat of paint on an object when the first coat is not completely dry. I know this because 9 times out of 10 I get spray paint bubbles because I thought my last coat of paint was dry after 24 hours and it was not. The joys of living in a humid area!

 

2 Ways to Repair Spray Paint Bubbles and Drips

 

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Easy DIY Small Space Under Sink Water Filter Friday Favorites Linky Party 532

My mini DIY project for the week was decided for me by my old water filtration system because it started to leak after I changed the filter. After some tinkering, some Googling, and tinkering some more, the only solution was to replace the whole thing. Which lead to more Googling and researching for the best under sink water filter for small spaces like our condo. 

Since our water tests at a good quality, we don't need a super duper reverse osmosis water filter system. Good thing because there isn't room under the kitchen sink for one. I didn't look at whole house water filter systems because I have even less room to install one of those on the water main and frankly all of our drinking and cooking water comes from the kitchen sink.


easy DIY undersink water filter installation
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Sunday, March 8, 2020

How to Install a Bidet Attachment

Disclosure: Tushy supplied product to facilitate this tutorial and review. It had no influence on my opinion because all opinions are my own. This post contains an affiliate links for your convenience.

I’m working on the details of the guest bathroom renovation while looking forward to the master bathroom renovation. Well planning actually. I’m not looking forward to this even more involved project where are water leak began.

Anyway.

I would have liked to add a bidet in the bathroom to save on toilet paper because according to Tushy it takes 37 gallons of water to make a roll of toilet paper and most people use 1.5 toilet rolls a week! That is a lot of water to flush down the drain, which doesn't include the amount of water it takes to flush it all down the drain.

But more importantly, with a bidet, even if you run out of toilet paper at the time you need it most, you have an option.

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Unfortunately all of our condo bathrooms are too small to add a free standing bidet. I didn’t think much more of it until friends raved about just installing a bidet toilet seat. I was  intrigued. A bidet toilet seat attachment I can do. Then I promptly forgot about it because I'm awesome like that.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

12 Ways to Reuse Old Pillows

When our bed pillows flatten I fluff them up after washing them by popping a couple of dryer balls like these into the dryer along with my pillows. (I am including affiliate links in this post for your convenience.) That usually does the trick but after many years, there isn’t much left to fluff in our current set of bed pillows. It is time to replace them.

12 of the best ways to reuse old pillows
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Monday, January 21, 2019

10 Ways to Lower Your Electric Bill When There is Nothing Left to Cut

Over 10 years ago, I took on a year long project to reduce my home’s electricity use and bill by 20% using my brand new non-Energy Star rated appliances, new habits, and under $100 worth of DIYs and cheap home improvements.

I didn’t meet my goal.

I beat it.

I reduced my yearly electric use by 32%.

Over 10 years later my home still uses less electricity than comparable homes and families in my area – including energy efficient rated homes, which mine is not.

How do I reduce my electrify use? There wasn’t one big expense or home upgrade that made my electric bill go down. I knew we used more electricity in the hot and humid summer running the central air conditioning and less during the winter because we have a gas furnace and water heater. The only constant is our all electric kitchen. Turns out the biggest money suckers are a thousand little intermittent habits that felt like picky anal retentive things at first, until the energy use and savings started falling as low as it can go and still allow my family to comfortably live in the modern world.

How I Reduced My Electricity Use Without Sitting in the Dark


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