Wednesday, March 27, 2013

No Waste Wednesdays #13–Prescriptions

Reference:  Resolution posted 12/31/12

Whether you purchase prescriptions at the local pharmacy or through a mail-order pharmacy, they all come with plastic bottles and reams of paper.  (And the worst is blister packs.  Ugh.)  No progress here.  The best I can do is write to the corporate offices of the pharmacy to find alternatives (like the option to receive warnings via e-mail and re-order forms on the internet).  Right now I am washing the bottles, removing the labels and using for individual paint colors for artwork.  There are probably other up-cycling uses for the bottles, too.  Nothing we can do about the blister packs.

chiminea pizza ovenThe paperwork (drug side effect warnings, re-order forms, and envelopes) is shredded and we use the paper to start our little outdoor chiminea.  There may be a bit of a bite in the air this time of year, but often the sun is shining.  It is nice to have a fire near the patio to take the edge off. 

The chiminea shown is not ours, but what a neat concept.  The Aztec Allure offers an outdoor fireplace as well as accessible grill capabilities. This way, you can enjoy an outdoor fire and cook your dinner at the same time; it features a stainless steel barbecue grill hidden behind the sunburst, where you can grill brats, burgers, and PIZZA!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

No Waste Wednesday #12–Say No to Bottled Water

bottled-water1Just watched an episode in the Doc Martin series (truly love PBS) where the whole village became ill.  Turned out the local plumber was promoting and selling bottled water using the water from his personal well—which was downstream from the sheep pasture.

With the exception of a few places in the U.S., the tap water is quite tasty and really there is no need to buy bottled water.  All potable water must meet federal regulations making it safe to drink, but I admit in some areas the water has some interesting minerals leaving an after taste.  In those situations, we use our Britta pitcher filtering the water and the funny taste. 

Why do so many pay exorbitant amounts for bottled water and fill the landfill with plastic?  Convenience.  Forgetfulness.  The last one, forgetful, occasionally we fall into that category.

We do not buy bottled water.  Instead, we carry along a stainless steel canister for trips and hikes—filled with fresh tap water.  Works just fine.  If you need it flavored, squeeze in a little fresh lemon; or surprisingly, a little jam.  I am not kidding; tastes great!

Again, another valuable lesson we learned living in tight quarters in the RV. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

No Waste Wednesday #11–Refillable Printer Cartridges

IMG_2755Although we try to avoid printing, there are times when we do a lot of printing on our HP printer and the ink cartridge runs dry.  Just recently updated and printed 30 copies of the golf club manual and 2013 calendar (+numerous drafts for proofing) for our Lady Niner golf organization.  A year ago would have me running for new cartridges costing $50-80.

I can't afford to replenish my printer with original cartridges on a regular basis and I certainly do not want to add to my trash with plastic cartridges.  Costco has an onsite refilling service saving me more than half the cost with little effort and decent results.  The recent refill for the large black cartridge cost $9.99.

For you naysayers, claiming a loss of quality…the quality is no less than a new cartridge.  Less cost.  No trash.  I call that a win-win.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

No Waste Wednesday #10–That Darn Sock


Reference:  2013 Resolution posted 12/31/2012.

Darning socks.  You are probably having the same reaction as the owner of our local sewing shop.  “Honey, nobody darns socks any more!”  And you are right, I would not bother with a $1.99 everyday sock, but I like wearing Smartwool socks with my winter boots, for hiking (all year round), for golfing and as slippers.  But, they cost between $16 to $20 for a pair.  What is special about them is they are made of merino wool—incredibly soft, washable, wicks away sweat, anti-bacteria. 

I have worn out the ball of the foot and heel in a couple pairs.  At that price, it was worth it to darn them.  After researching on the internet and reading a few tutorials, I bought embroidery floss for 65 cents and already had a large needle in my sewing kit. Normally, you use a light bulb or round object to hold the sock in place; but, years ago the Hubby made an acrylic “lightbulb” as a car shift knob (never became one) which now works perfectly for the darning project.

Darning is so easy and worked like a charm!  Only used half  of the floss on two pairs of socks.  I was able to keep my favorite socks, avoided paying $40 for two new pairs, and no socks in the trash.

Instead of knitting a sweater you do not need or crocheting another afghan, try darning.  Easy to do while watching your favorite television show!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Driftwood Sculpture

IMG_2754For six weeks the hubby has been attending a weekly class on driftwood sculpture taught by Tuttie Peetz at her studio near Sequim, Washington.  Tuttie is a member of the Olympic Driftwood Sculptors organization established in October 2008, to share and promote the art of driftwood sculpture on the Olympic Peninsula.  She teaches an art form based on the LuRon® method, developed by Lucile Worlund of Seattle almost fifty years ago. This method is unique to the Pacific Northwest and forms the basis of driftwood sculpture techniques utilized in creating exquisite sculptures. The goal is to reveal the inner beauty of the wood. The driftwood artist sees, develops, and refines the natural shapes and designs of found wood into a work of art.

What a great hobby this has turned out to be!  There is an abundance of interesting wood shapes to be found around here, the tools are relatively inexpensive and it produces some beautiful pieces to display.  The photo shown above is Mike’s first work.  It is incredibly smooth and shiny.  The picture really does not do it justice.

Below is a before and after of Tuttie’s work, entitled “Nebula”. 


Easily transported (the tools are small), we can pick up interesting wood pieces any where we travel.  Pinion.  Mesquite.  Rosewood.   Different parts of the country have unique and beautiful trees.  The possibilities are endless. 

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