Usually, by this point in November, I am happily singing along to just about any Christmas song I can get my ears in the vicinity of. This year, I haven’t been able to get into it yet though. Maybe it’s … Continue reading
I’ve been in quite the transition over the past month or so as I moved from Worcester, Mass., to Denver. As you can imagine, there’s a lot to take in (I really just moved across the country to Colorado? Those … Continue reading
Every April, I am so excited to see the thousands of people who care about their communities enough to get out and help pick up the litter thrown all around it. But Earth Day ends, the bags of trash get … Continue reading
Do you spend a lot of time on Facebook? (Maybe unfortunately) So do I. But I’m always finding cool, informative stories, blogs photos and other fun stuff around the Web and in life that I’m eager to share with the … Continue reading
It’s taken me a few years and bouncing between a handful of types of face wash to revisit the more natural, chemical-free, baking soda face washing. I’ve written about this twice before and the initial post about the wonders of … Continue reading
I have never understood why so many people get into a relationship and get out of shape. If you exercised before, why stop? Don’t you value yourself enough to want to be healthy and look good for yourself even after … Continue reading
Last weekend, I participated for the second year in a row in my city’s Earth Day cleanup. I had honestly been looking forward to it for months. My assignment for this year was cleaning up a baseball field and the … Continue reading
I get nervous about playing host. I love the idea of it, then get super nervous when the time comes to play the part. But I’m always pushing myself to get over things like that and put myself out there. And when a co-worker told me she did a clothes swap at her house one weekend, I knew I had to do it too. A chance to get “new” clothes from stylish friends for no cost? A (different than usual) reason to get together? Motivation for all of us to clean out our closets? How could I not?
A couple months ago, I polled a few friends to gauge interest. I didn’t want this to be a thing that two people would show up for. The interest was there, so I set a date and was really excited to see how quickly people got on board.
I opened the swap beyond clothes so everyone would feel welcome and be more encouraged to attend. I wanted it to be a fun girls afternoon with the swap being sort of a bonus. So I encouraged everyone to bring clothes, accessories, shoes, books and DVDs with the promise that whatever people didn’t take, I would donate to a local women’s shelter.
So the big day came on Saturday. And it went SO WELL! There were eight of us and we had mimosas and appetizers, and it was awesome to see people coming with garbage bags full of things.
After about an hour of chatting, eating and drinking, everyone laid out what they brought. It started sort of ordered by type of clothing (sweaters, tank tops, etc.), but ended up just heaps of clothes all over the bed, couch and floor for everyone to go through.
I have a massive amount of things to donate, but was so excited that everyone who showed up that day left with new things. I was also excited because Saturday, the first time I tried to really get together with a group of girlfriends here, was a success. That was huge for me. They showed up. We had fun. I can’t wait to do it again.
Continuing efforts to waste less paper at work, I decided to commit to cutting out using paper towels for drying the dishes when I wash them out after lunch. We have folding paper towels at work that fill a drawer at it takes a few to effectively dry a bowl, or say, the cup from my NutriBullet.
Paper towel, like the office paper, was another thing I noticed I was using probably three to five a day of. I’d often only use a little bit of one and save it, but I could do better.
Paper towels can’t be recycled. They are made of thin fibers that make recycling difficult and, of course, are likely to have whatever mess you used them for soaked in. They are, however, very compostable. But if, like me, you don’t don’t (yet) compost, paper towel can just be wasteful.
The recycling and waste manager at Harvard University told the New York Times that it’s estimated that, in many cases, paper towels make up 20 to 40 percent of waste, by volume, that an office building produces.
According to 1800Recycling.com, paper towel waste accounts for 254 million tons of trash per year and up to 51,000 trees per day are needed to replace the number of paper towels thrown out each day.
So in effort to produce a little less trash, I’ve started keeping a cloth kitchen towel at work and bringing it home as needed to wash. On Monday, I’ll bring a second one for use as a napkin to cut out the last few paper towels I use. No more near-clean paper towels in the office trash from me!
But I still have more work to do. The next paper towel task: cutting back on use at home.
The office where I work wastes a lot of paper. I think this is a byproduct of being a newspaper. Sure, we have big recycle bins in the hallway where we dump all the printoffs we no longer need. But we print several pages a day to edit stories we could just as easily mark up in Word. In fact, for certain stories, that’s how we edit. But not nearly enough. There is certainly something to be said for marking up some type of writing by hand and keeping hard copies of certain documents, but there’s also so much time when we print more out of habit than necessity. I know my office is not alone in this.
I’ll keep trying to push for less paper use and more conscious printing. But in the mean time, I’m trying to figure out what to do with all that paper that gets printed and is barely needed past the ink drying. People often suggest using this paper as scrap, but that just clutters my desk and then I end up shuffling through papers looking for the one sheet I wrote a some phone number on the back of. But building off that, I just decided to try to get a little more organized. I took a stack of more than 40 papers with print on one side, divided them into three (because that’s about all my stapler could take) and made packets of paper out of them. One is my to-do list (I fit about one work week on each sheet.), another is my list of things I’ve done each day (marked by the time of day. I’m working on my time-management skills.) and the third is the scrap.
By making these packets, I’ve been able to eliminate one legal pad and another, smaller reporter’s notebook. It feels great!
However, the once-used paper keeps coming faster than I can get through what I already have. I’m starting a collection for my next packet. I’d love to hear suggestions of what else to do with all this paper to give it a second (third? fourth?) use!