Archive for January, 2013

Help! I'm a stay-at-home mum

buy nothing newSo what is this all about then?

It’s a one month challenge to buy nothing new with the exception of essentials like food, toiletries and medicines. Buy Nothing New Month isn’t buy nothing new ever again nor is it about going without. It’s about taking one month off to think, “Do I really need it?” If I do, “Can I get it from a second-hand shop, borrow it or rent it?”

I visited one of my ‘blog friends’ website a few months ago (Thanks where I first heard all about the Buy Nothing New Month which is meant to be in October. But I found out too late to participate so thought I would give it a go in February. I would love to encourage readers to do likewise – let me know if you are in! You have a few days to think about it. I have…

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Perspectives from a Hard Boiled Egg

I recently had the opportunity to work with my boss to make book lamps from discarded law books to donate to a student auction. This was so much fun, and I love how they turned out!

We used this HGTV tutorial (don’t you love the lamp shade they used?) as our guide and got started by making a trip to Home Depot to buy this Make-A-Lamp kit and these lamp pipes. One of our facilities staff members was kind enough to drill the holes in the books for us. The base books were drilled only halfway through so we could hand cut the space for the cord.

20130129-150019.jpgThe picture above is all the potential tools you will need for this project. You might decide to glue pages or books together. We tried to glue the top two books together to add stability but weren’t successful. The stack of books is…

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Programmatic Ponderings

Like thousands of technology-driven consumers, our family recently upgraded an older laptop. As a Christmas gift, my daughter received an Intel Core i3 Windows laptop. The new laptop replaced her well-worn Intel Core 2 laptop. That old Core 2 was my previous development laptop. It had been upgraded from Windows XP to Windows 7 Pro. It also had its RAM increased and a bigger hard drive installed. But after a few years of heavy use, it seemed painfully slow, bloated with endless software installs and Windows updates. It was certainly too under-powered to support an upgrade to Windows 8.

With four family members usually upgrading their laptops every 3-4 years, my daughter’s old laptop was destined to join a growing stack of ‘retired’ electronics in our basement — until today. In just a few hours, I transformed that laptop into ‘mean, lean, open-source-breathing, Ubuntu-powered machine’. Okay, well maybe not that dramatic, but…

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I found this really cool recycled desk made by Manoteca. It’s handmade and consist of a desk, 3 recycled rawhide pockets and a wood drawer.


“Manoteca is a little house in a park, a lab where old and abandoned things are hosted among with recycled materials, reinvented and reassembled.”


If closed, It can function as a table. If open, It’s a desk with holders. Reinventing furniture so it finds a new function is a great idea! For more reinvented furnitures look at Manoteca‘s homepage!

“I hope that who is going to possess an object will think about that and take good care of it.”

Source: Manoteca

Maggie ❤

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Roland Kielbasiewicz | Blog

One would think that in this day and age recycling was something that everyone just did.  Clearly filling landfills with product we could recycle is obviously not the best option, but still this isn’t as common a line of thinking as you would imagine.  Many companies all over North America do not have recycling program at their facilities.  This blog is about one of those copies whose employees decided to make a difference on their own, regardless of company policy.

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akitchenshelvesThe previous week’s challenge got extended. I attacked my kitchen shelves as well.

You’ll notice on the second top shelf all my herbs, etc are in recycled olive jars; and on the next shelf down, stocks are in a used margarine container. On the top shelf there are chillies in olive oil in a recycled olive oil bottle, not easily recognisable but they are there, and boy are they hot (they’ve been in the oil for two years).

The list is no further ahead (last week’s challenge). I can’t think of anything to add.

My new fridge was supposed to arrive today after two more aborted attempts, but arrangements failed… again. The gods don’t like me!

My neighbour had to work late, so the pick-up wasn’t available. We have set Thursday as the day.

I hate depending on other people, it’s no wonder I need so much coffee.

On with…

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Houston's MIX 96-5

Did you know that with a few simple steps and changes at your workplace you can help your environment? “Going green” in the workplace can be effortless and even fun with a few simple changes to your daily routine.

“Going green” and helping the environment at your workplace can be done and the best part about helping out our environment at work is that there is very little work involved! Check out a few and simple ways you can help us all live better in and out of the office.

Turning Lights Off One of the biggest ways companies waste electricity and drain resources is by leaving lights on in meeting rooms and areas where there is no one there. While your workplace should be warm and inviting to guests, it may serve your company to implement a policy that certain rooms and gathering areas should remain dark if the…

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Trash Backwards Blog

By Liesl Clark

Our nearest store is less than a mile away. Occasionally, my kids and I take a walk there so they can have an ice cream. We run down a long hill which is our road and always bring a bag to collect the roadside trash. Each time we do this, we pick up more than 100 beverage containers. What kind, you might ask?

We find glass bottles including large and mini wine bottles, aluminum cans, box wine, plastic water and soda bottles, plastic cups with lids and straws, and single-use coffee cups. Why do we Americans toss our drink containers out of our cars, onto our roadsides? More importantly, why the need to have a drink while driving? If you’re on a long road trip, I can understand why you’d have a beverage by your side. But we live on an island 2 miles wide by 6…

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