How to Recycle

To start recycling you need to have some plastic bins.

After you collect some plastic bins, find out what you can recycle. To find out you can contact your local Department of Public Works (or go to their site) to find out what materials they process. These items can include: glass bottles, newspapers and certain plastics are common, but each city has different capabilities and policies. It is important to adhere to local regulations.

After finding out what you can recycle, you’ll need to locate a nearby recycling center. Though curbside recycling services are available in many areas; however, depending on where you live you may need to transport your own recycling to a service center.

Purchase your recycling bins (if you haven’t already). Some areas require you to sort your materials by category (plastics, paper, cans, etc), while others allow you to mix everything together. Check your local regulations and purchase bins accordingly. Bins with lids are ideal because they prevent spills and mask odors. Note that some areas allow recycling to be kept in plastic bags while others do not.

Set up your system. Once you have your bins, it’s time to set up your in-house recycling center. Recycled materials can add up, so choose an accessible spot that has a decent amount of space.

Check your glasses and plastics. Plastic and glass items usually have a “chasing arrow” logo encircling a number that indicates their type. This does not automatically make them recyclable. Check your local regulations to see which types are accepted and whether or not they need to be separated from each other.

Clean items before recycling them. Rinse off food or drink residue before placing them in a bin. Clean materials are worth more to recycling facilities and they won’t generate nasty smells in your bins. You don’t need to clean your recyclables as thoroughly as a plate you’re about to eat from, but give them a decent rinse.

Now take your recycling into your local recycling center or to the curb weekly and continue to sort and recycle.


Good luck!


Spring Cleaning To-Dos

Don’t know what to do for spring cleaning?

Here is a simple yet thorough list of to-dos for spring cleaning:

Wash windows – 1/4 cup white vinegar and 1/2 cup warm water or you can go 50/50 with the solution; pour into a spray bottle; spray and wipe with a paper towel

Clean sliding door tracks and window tracks – probably not the first place you would think to clean, but it is fairly simple. Use a dry toothbrush to loosen debris, then using your vacuum hose to remove the loose debris and finish with a wet sponge.

Baseboards, Door Frames, and Walls – Wash them with a sponge and a squirt of dishwashing liquid mixed in a bucket of warm water.

Deep Clean Carpets – The best time to do this is on a clear, warm day. Either rent/buy a deep carpet cleaner or hire a professional to deep clean your carpets.

Clean Under Furniture & Appliances – Grab a partner and move the sofa so that you can vacuum the carpet.  Move chairs, kitchen appliances, etc. to clean underneath them.

Get Organized – Pick up and eliminate clutter in each room before you start cleaning. Equip yourself with a few designated containers when you are picking up in each room: a box for garage sale items, another for items to donate, and a garbage bag for items to toss. Put away the things you are keeping in their rightful places and rooms.

Make a Wardrobe Transition – Now that it is warm outside, have your winter clothes cleaned. Consider storing clothes at a dry cleaner if you don’t have enough space in your home. Put away gloves, winter clothing items, and boots so you’ll have plenty of space for spring clothing.

Freshen Bedrooms – Rotate and flip mattresses. Wash blankets and comforters, or take them to be cleaned. Wash mattress pads and bed skirts. Have pillows professionally cleaned, hang them outside in the fresh air, or freshen them with the air (no heat) cycle of your clothes dryer. Wash or dry-clean rugs.
Especially the closet.

Clean Your Bathrooms – You may scrub your bathroom every week, but now it is time to battle clutter and refresh old products. Go through your medicine cabinet(s) and safely discard any outdated products. Replace worn bath mats, shower curtains, and liners, or wash and dry shower curtains and liners.

Clear Your Kitchen – Take time to clear out your pantry, kitchen cabinets and drawers. Wipe them out and install fresh shelf paper. Store or donate equipment you don’t use, such as small appliances or cookware. Discard stale spices or dated items such as baking powder. Clean the fridge and the freezer. Vacuum the cooling coils under or behind the fridge.

Free eBooks

If you are a Kindle fan, then I have wonderful news for you!

And if you don’t have a Kindle don’t panic or tune this deal out just yet – Amazon offers a FREE reading app for a variety of devices, such as Kindle Cloud Reader, Kindle for iPad, iPhone, PC, Mac, Android, BlackBerry, and Windows Phone 7!  Click here for more info and to download the app for your particular device!

Now as I was saying… Amazon has a TON of great books to download for you Kindle (or app) for FREE! They are not completely easy to find but others have made it easy to download FREE and/or CHEAP by providing links to Amazon.

My favorite is Pixel of Ink! But it is ultimately up to you which one to use. 😉

*Please note:  Prices are subject to change without notice. Please verify that the “Kindle Price” is $0.00. If you see a price for “Prime Members” then the book is no longer free.

Surprising, Thrifty and Green Household Hints

  1. Pour hot salt water down your sink and tub drains once or twice a week to keep them free of grease and odors.
  2. Sharpen scissors by cutting a piece of sandpaper once or twice with them.
  3. Chill candles in the fridge for 24-hours before using them so they will burn evenly and not drip.
  4. Clean varnished surfaces with a cloth dipped in cool, weak tea or coffee.
  5. Pour a cup of vinegar into the tank of the toilet to keep the bowl fresh.
  6. In a spray bottle mix one part vinegar with two parts water and use to clean windows, countertops, mirrors, etc. Add a drop or two of lemon juice to add a touch of scent.
  7. Use the shredded paper from the paper shredder ask stuffing and/or packing material.
  8. As lightbulbs burn out switch your lightbulbs to CFLs (or switch them all at once).
  9. Wash laundry in cold water instead of hot.
  10. Turn off lights when you leave the room.
  11. Support you local economy and shop at your farmer’s market.
  12. Completely shut down your computer at night.
  13. Pay your bills online. Not only is it greener, it’s a sanity saver.
  14. Reuse scrap paper. Print on two sides, or let your kids color on the back side of used paper.
  15. Before buying anything new, first check your local Craigslist, Freecycle, Thrift Store, or my favorite Half Price Books.
  16. Fix leaky faucets.
  17. Use household cleaners. I have a few up my sleeves.
  18. Collect rainwater, and use it to water your houseplants and garden.
  19. Unplug unused chargers and appliances.
  20. Switch to cloth diapers – or at least do a combination with disposables. Even one cloth diaper per day means 365 few disposables in the landfill each year.
  21. Repurpose glass jars as leftover containers and bulk storage, especially in the kitchen. I use mine to keep trinkets and collect change.
  22. Donate to – and shop at – thrift stores. You’ll be recycling perfectly usable items. you’ll be supporting your local economy (or a good cause), and you’ll be saving money.