Happier Is a Great App. Here’s Why I’m Happier Without It.

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The journalist in me has always loved the chase of a news story, whether good or bad news. But as a journalist who’s mostly been out of the game of reporting bad news for more than two years, and a … Continue reading

Home Depot Offers Incentive to Switch to LED Christmas Lights (& Why You Should Do it Anyway)

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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

Clothes Swap!

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.

Going through the goods.

Going through the goods.

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.

Donations to be made.

Donations to be made.

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.

Putting Off Paper Towels

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.

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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.