Condo Blues: recycle




Showing posts with label recycle. Show all posts
Showing posts with label recycle. Show all posts

Sunday, September 29, 2019

How to Dye Suede Shoes

I bought a pair of cream suede oxford shoes similar to these thinking they would look cute with jeans but didn’t wear them very often because of the color. Changing the color is easy as dying the shoe. Since these are basically an extra I have and don’t’ wear I decided to go with something fun and dye my suede shoes blue with this exact suede shoe dye. *Cue Elvis joke here* (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links in this post for your convenience)

I was very nervous about messing up this project and put it aside for quite awhile after I bought the dye. Once I got up the nerve to do it I learned dying shoes a new color isn’t hard, just a little messy so make sure you protect your work surface and you’ll be fine.

how to redye suede shoes a new color
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How to Dye Shoes a New Color

Sunday, June 30, 2019

DIY Beer Bottle Soap Dispenser

My husband and I often celebrate the end of the workweek with a little TGIF craft beer tasting. Like the full on nerdy thing about recognizing, talking about, and even recording tasting notes of the new beers and types we've tried.

After sampling an Innis & Gunn bottle, my husband commented on the unique look of the bottle and suggested/challenged me to do something cool with it.

Fortunately, I started dabbling in making liquid Castile soap in the slow cooker and I'm in need for a new liquid soap dispenser. (If you want to try it I suggest reading the books Making Natural Liquid Soaps and  Liquid Soapmaking because I'm still learning and it will be quite awhile before I feel confident in writing a tutorial for Condo Blues.) (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links to the supplies I used for your convenience.) 

It practilally a no brainer to to make a soap dispenser from a glass bottle that has a threaded screw cap like my DIY Chamboard bottle soap dispenser because you just screw a replacement liquid soap pump like this one onto the bottle and Bob's your uncle.

But can you make a soap dispenser from a recycled glass beverage bottle that does not have a screw thread top? Yes you can! Here's how!

How to Recycle a Glass Beverage Bottle into a Soap Dispenser


how to make a liquid soap dispenser from an upcycled glass bottle 
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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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Tuesday, April 23, 2019

6 Ways Plastic Helps Me Live Zero Waste

Almost every blog post I read that offers tips and tricks how to live Zero Waste they almost always use plastic free as a synonym. They say something like, “We got rid of all of our plastic stuff and bought the same exact thing in wood/bamboo/natural fiber to replace it and wow how cool we are living zero waste now!”

It. Drives. Me. Crazy.

Throwing away usable items to buy a cool looking replacement is the exact opposite of zero waste living folks!

Zero waste living means giving up using disposable single use plastic and items as much as possible, not no plastic at all.

Plastic free is great but that is a different goal.


6 Easy Ways to Live Zero Waste (ish) and Save Money Doing It!

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Photo used with permission  by Sophia Marston on Unsplash


Sunday, February 3, 2019

DIY Chambord Liquor Bottle Soap Dispenser

A soap maker friend got me hooked and I love, love, love using her handmade soap! Learning how to make soap is something I’ve been interested in for a long time but the idea of making soap from scratch with lye seemed scary, easy to mess up, and wouldn’t allow me to use the variety of types and scents I like when I buy it from my friend’s shop because one batch of soap makes enough bars to last six months.

At her encouragement I dabbled in making super easy soap with melt and pour soap base like this kind a few bars at a time in the microwave oven. I got a feel for how add ins and scents work and was itching to do more. (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links in this post for your convenience.)

It wasn’t until my friend closed her brick and mortar store that I started looking into making real deal hot process soap in our spare slow cooker. (My Instant Pot has taken the big slow cooker’s place and can now be dedicated to soap making using this liquid soap making book. It’s the best!) 


 Getting my mad scientist on!

I made unscented liquid Castile soap because it is more versatile and requires less equipment than bar soap. My first batch turned out OK for a first timer. I like that I can add a little variety by scenting (or not) each dispenser full of soap with this Organic Aromas essential oil sampler I got last year for review that otherwise will sit largely unused. I love the oils and blends, it's just that I err on the super duper side of caution when it comes to diffusing essential oils around Lacey.


The only downside to eventually replacing all of my bar soap when it ran out with liquid soap is realizing  I don’t have enough liquid soap pump dispensers for every sink in the house. I need to fix that.

How to Recycle a Glass Bottle into a Soap Dispenser

Sunday, April 22, 2018

7 Recycling Solutions for Small Houses, Condos, and Apartments

When we first moved into our condo my husband and I were looking forward to having room for a recycling center in the kitchen. I had my eye on this double pullout trash and recycling bins for under the kitchen sink but as luck would have it, it was too big for my condo sink cabinet.

I installed a smaller single pullout garbage can similar to this one (mine is discontinued) and I’m glad I did. (I can’t live without the products I mention in this post and believe in them so strongly I’m willing to use my affiliate links to do it!)

Little did I know that using a kitchen trash can smaller than our household recycling bin would be the incentive for my family to eventually start recycling and reducing waste in almost every way we can. In addition to reusing, and refusing, we starting recycling to the max using local businesses and organizations that recycle the items our curbside city recycling program does not.

How do I recycle in a small space while keeping the collection bins accessible and from cluttering up the house? Keep reading and I’ll show you how!
 
 

7 Small Space Recycling Solutions


Let’s take a tour of my small space recycling centers!

Sunday, April 15, 2018

How To Make A Super Cute PopSocket

I lucked out at one of those spin the prize wheel for swag booths at the state fair and won a PopSocket for my phone. I don’t want to sound ungrateful, but I haven’t put it on my phone because don’t want to be a walking advertisement.

It has been staring at me from the clutter highly organized pile of papers on my desk since this summer, just begging for a makeover.


Let’s do it!

Easy Custom DIY PopSocket for Your Phone!


Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Quick and Easy Reuse for a Crown Royal Bag

I recently bought an woodwind floor stand for my flute (learn more about it here)  to keep it from rolling off my chair when I set it down during band rehearsal and concert intermission. (Disclosure: I like the price and depend upon it so much I am confident in recommending it to you and using my big bold affiliate links to do it!)

Unlike this table top music stand my husband gave me for Christmas, the flute stand didn’t come with a carrying pouch. Which is odd, because I need to take my instrument stand to concert band practice while my music stand stays home and does duty as an iPad stand in my craft room. (I like to stream movies and shows on Amazon Channels (get the deets here while I work.)

I mentally put Sew Instrument Stand Carrying Bag on my growing To Do List while I was working on another To Do List task: Wipe Down the Pantry Shelves. What can I say? I’m a multitasker.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

6 Ways to Use Less Plastic without Going Crazy

Many folks in the United Kingdom are looking for ways to live plastic free or with less single use plastic for the 40 days of Lent. This is as part of a national Plastic Free (Less) Lent Challenge influenced by the BBC TV program Blue Planet 2: Seas of Life (this show has such gorgeous nature photography and information that I have no problem recommending it to you and using my affiliate links to do it!)

So far, the folks I’m working with are excited when they find a plastic free bamboo toothbrush (read more about it here) or their grocery store allows them to use reusable cloth produce bags and that's fantastic! 

But as they have been living awhile with the low plastic challenge, there are many people who are becoming overwhelmed, or are too time poor to DIY plastic free everything, or worse, being shamed when they admit that they can’t afford the perfect plastic free option. That’s not cool.


6 Ways to Go Plastic Free without Going Broke or Crazy
Pin this list of ideas for later and share it with your friends!


I feel for ya, because I think I am the only person in the world who lives in an area where my farmer’s market, bulk food bins, and fresh vegetable summer CSA subscriptions are typically more expensive than a conventional grocery store. I want to do my bit but I don’t always have the time to regularly grocery shop at three or more markets every other week when one conventional grocery store has everything I need.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

How to Refill a Car Vent Clip Air Freshener

It is not very green or eco friendly, but I use a Fabreeze type vent clip air freshener in the car.

Yes, I know, I know. I’m fully aware of the questionable synthetic ingredients in plug in air fresheners like Glade, Air Wick, Yankee Candle, and the like but I was driving around in a car that smelled like wet dog and gym socks and it was too cold to clean out the car.

Feel free to yell at me and tell me what a horrible person I am in the comments below if you must.

DIY Car Air Freshener How to Refill a Vent Clip with Essential Oil


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Tuesday, January 2, 2018

The 15 Best DIY and Green Living Ideas You Need to Try Right Now!

We’re celebrating the New Year by taking a look back at some of our favorite Condo Blues DIY projects for 2017.

From the looks of it, there are a bunch of you who like to garden but hating watering plant and  like to decorate and make things with recycled materials and add green home improvements to our homes, myself included!


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Monday, September 11, 2017

20 New Ways to Use and Repurpose Old Towels

I swear the amount of towels in my linen closet magically doubles or triples on its own. I bet it is some relic from a science fiction universe (or that I live in a small house with a small linen closet but I’m still blaming aliens because it is more fun.)

If I don’t clean it out my linen regularly the towel population grows to the point it is so large I can’t close the closet door. Which given the size of the linen closet, it doesn’t take a huge towel population to achieve this.

But it also means that I regularly have old towels with a worn spot or edge but overall fairly usable and as such, something I don’t want to send to landfill hell if I can get another reuse out of it.

Luckily, old and worn towels are one of the easiest things to reuse and upcycle to save a little money, the environment, or better yet – time.

Pin these creative reuse ideas for later!

20 Genius Ideas to Reuse Old Towels You Have to Try!



Tuesday, June 27, 2017

How to a Make Tomato Cage Plant Stand

This year’s Tabasco and Habanero pepper plants aren’t doing as well as they could planted discretely in our front flower bed as they could on the sunny backyard patio. They only way to do that is to eek out space for two more plants on my small patio container garden with  four plant stands.

Which was a fantastic excuse to check out our new IKEA store! I saw a self watering planter and stand on the IKEA website that would do the job nicely.


Until I got to the store and an associate told me they were discontinued. *sad face*

No worries! I swung by Home Depot on my way home to buy tomatoes cages to make into a quick and easy modern plant stand.

Quick and Easy DIY Modern Plant Stands


Pin this idea for later and to share with your friends!

You will need:

Monday, May 8, 2017

How to make an Embroidered Dog Poop Bag Dispenser

When you have a dog, poop happens.

Being responsible pet parents means we need to carry potty bags to clean up after Lacey when she does her her business outside and on walks.

Being the green minded people that we are, I keep and fill two grocery bag holder for the stray plastic bags that cross my path.  I keep the empty grocery bag holder hanging in the kitchen to fill with random bread, frozen vegetable, and the occasional plastic grocery bag when I forget my canvas grocery bags when running a quick errand. When it is full I swap it out with the grocery bag holder I have hanging in the closet by the front door so we can reuse the bags for doggie duty. It isn’t perfect green solution but it works for us.

The big grocery bag dispenser in the closet is too big to take with us on walks. I sewed a small plastic grocery bag holder that attaches to Lacey’s leash to fill with repurposed bags from hall closet holder.


How to Sew a Clip on Dog Waste Bag Holder

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

What’s in Your Trash and How Do You Reduce it (or Not?)

I’ve been thinking a lot about trash lately. The stuff in the bin outside your house, not about tawdry things. Lacey is a genteel lady who not tolerate dirty things in her home (unless it is something muddy or smelly to roll in.)

 I love mud!

I’ve been mulling over ideas to share how to reduce your household trash since the New Year.  I’m coming up short because every draft I write sounds like some big green guru sitting on a mountain top looking down  her nose at the world thinking that my Swiss Army knife of low waste options are the Pinnacle of One Size Fits All Solution to reducing household waste.

Or at least it feels that way and that is not my intent at all.

I want to offer options not absolutes because, honestly, there aren’t any one size fits all eco friendly low waste living solutions. It all depends on where you live, how you like to live, family size, etc.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Chinese Takout Container Drawer Organizers and Friday Favorites Linky Party Week 360

I'm embarrassed to say that not only do I have a kitchen junk drawer, I actually have two. They are full of flotsam and jetsam and who knows what else because I can't buy a set of drawer organizers that fit what I need to store inside such a large drawer. Please tell me I am not the only one!


How did you cram all of this stuff in a drawer and actually shut it, Lisa?!


Turns out I already had the perfect size junk drawer organizers on deck in my craft room - plastic takout meal prep containers! (affiliate link for your convenience if you end up running out of containers in the middle of the project like I did.)

I emptied each junk drawer, sorted what should stay and what surprising things should go (like the owner's manual to a car we got rid of three cars ago!), and organized like with like in the containers. Once I finished with one junk drawer I moved onto the next messy drawer.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

3 Year Old Boy Starts a Recycling Company to Save the Ocean (and for College)

At three years old my only ambition was, um, not much beyond what any other three year old was into: toys, meals, and playtime.

Because 3 year olds.

Not Ryan. When he was three, actually three and a half as he always emphasizes in interviews, he started a recycling company called Ryan’s Recycling. Ryan was fascinated a trip to a recycling center and asked his parents if he could give bags to his neighbors so maybe they could give their recyclables to him.


 Pin this post to share Ryan's fantastic story!
 Photo courtesy of Ryan's Recycling.

Four years later Ryan is now seven years old and estimates he has recycled over 200, 000 glass and plastic drink bottles and aluminum cans. He’s saved 10 thousand dollars from his recycling buisness and wants to to put it toward new business equipment – a garbage truck!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Tiny Recycled Glass Bottle House

Recycling glass bottles into walls isn’t a new idea, glass bottle walls have been around since ancient Rome but seeing a glass bottle house in person rarely happens unless you know where to look. This tiny house made from recycled glass bottles is in Ohio practically under my nose until I stopped while walking past it (for a zillionth time in my life,) really looked at it, and realize it is a tiny store with wine glass bottle walls.



 Pin this idea for later!


Isn’t it cute?

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

8 DIY Gift Bow Tutorials

I obsolete love topping a hand wrapped present with a big fluffy bow.

Which I never seem to have on hand because all too often I end up wrapping gifts at Zero Hour.

Fortunately, the person receiving my pretty present is none the wiser because I now tie my own big, fluffy, and I dare say fabulous gift bows from real ribbon or paper - yes paper! – I have on hand in my gift wrapping box.

 Pin this post for easy ideas on how to recycle scraps into decedent gift wrap!

 

How To Tie 8 Easy Gift Wrap Bows

Monday, December 19, 2016

DIY Giant Peppermint Candy Gift Wrap Tutorial

My husband is a dedicated runner. He runs in even the worst weather conditions, cross trains to prevent injuries, checks in with his doctor about his nutritional needs, and as a result often drinks a protein shake after a workout.

I have so many empty protein powder containers it isn’t even funny. However considering how it contributed to Husband coming in first in his age group and 19th overall out of 800+ runners during his last race, I’m OK with it for the most part.

I repurpose the containers as often as I can for storage before settling on the recycling bin solution. Originally, I was going to upcycle the protein powder containers into GIANT peppermint stick candy decorations and use them to decorate  our front porch for Christmas.

Pin this idea for later!


After Lacey and I finished the project,  I decided to use them as peppermint candy Christmas gift boxes instead.  I ran out of cardboard gift boxes and in all honesty, I don’t want to deal with the folks who make fun of my DIY fabric gift bags this year.