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Showing posts from September, 2020

How to Build a Perfect Cardboard Shoe Rack on the Cheap

L iving during a pandemic means suddenly acquiring more boxes than you used to. Rather than going out to a physical store, you simply order what you want or need. Now add an infant into the picture.  Big boxes.  Little boxes.  Boxes on the floor, under the table, even on an exercise bike. The apartment is clogged with boxes, and the apartment community's recycling containers are always full, because everyone else has a cardboard clogged apartment, as well. So what in the heck do you do?! You build an architectural masterpiece... or, at least a much-needed shoe rack.

Can You Believe What California Just Did for the World?

Photo by  Magda Ehlers  from  Pexels   "Hey, check this out." My boyfriend began reading to me from across the room. "California passes first in nation plastic recyc-" "And?" I rolled my eyes. I was still disgusted, because plastic recycling isn't nearly as helpful as we've all been led to believe. "Unless we force companies to use recycled plastic at a decent rate, it won't really matter how much we throw into the recycling bin." "'...requiring plastic beverage containers to contain an increasing amount of recycled material.'" He plodded on, ever patient. "Wait, what?!" It turns out that he was reading about recycling legislation that truly is first-in-the-nation.  On September 24, 2020 Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill No. 793 into law. It states that beverages sold in plastic containers must contain a specified amount of post-consumer material, effective January 1, 2022. What are those specif

How to Stop Wasting So Much Energy + Save Time and Money

Photo by  cottonbro  from  Pexels Whether anybody likes to admit it or not, we Americans are energy hogs. As a maintenance tech, it seemed like every apartment I walked into had every electrical outlet in use, complete with surge protectors.  I've lost count of how many times I had to explain that there was nothing wrong with a person's electrical lines. They were simply drawing more power from a single circuit than it could handle. When that happens- Zzzt! The power goes out. Quit overloading the circuits! Obviously, the above situation costs a great deal when energy bills come around, but that's not where you find a home's worst energy consumption. And don't worry, I'm not going to tell you to wrap up your water heater, or buy a new one, either... even though it would help. Instead, let's talk about the kitchen. In particular, I want to talk about how we prepare food. Since gas stoves/ovens use natural gas to heat, I'm not going to talk about them... i

Save Money and the Environment by Spicing Up Your Garden

  "A sk your uncle if you need any oregano. I've got too much over here." I smiled at the neighbor's nephew and waved while holding a few sprigs of the aforementioned herb. "Ok, I will. It's like you have a whole big garden over there, or something!" He responded with amazement. As I looked back at all my plants, I understood what he meant. He didn't actually mean a garden. It doesn't take many plants to call something a garden. What he meant was that it was like I have a whole farm on my balcony. And he's not wrong. My apartment balcony is home to 25 different plants. All of them are edible, with the exception of one. Don't worry - nobody wants to eat my tiny azalea bush. Fruits, vegetables, and herbs transform my balcony into a mini forest, complete with its own pint-sized eco-system. What we're focusing on today, though, is the herbs. At first, gardening doesn't seem like a process that would save you money. Seeds sometimes co

How Broken Glass Made Me More Eco-Friendly

Image via Pixabay In less than 24 hours, everything was moved out of my old apartment and into the new. The move was exhausting, and we didn't get much sleep, but it was done. In fact, I was proud of myself this time. You see, I managed to get every box labeled by room, even though I wasn't the only one packing. It was the move to end all moves. Fast. Organized. Perfect. But then I opened that  box. When I lifted the box labeled " KITCHEN: glasses and bowls ", I heard an ominous      Clink              Clink                     Clunk and I knew I was in trouble. I opened a box and lifted a towel to find glass fragments twinkling up at me. Half of my drinking glasses were broken. Well, so much for a perfect move! At the time, I was having some money issues, so buying a brand new set of drinking glasses wasn't an option. I stared at the bottle of coffee on the counter. You know the type of bottle I'm talking about: the prepackaged, pre-mixed coffee sold by compa