Go Green News

DIY Water Marbled Tile Coasters

Tiles aren’t just for backsplashes or flooring, they can be used for a fun DIY upcycle project! Using this website as inspiration, we made water marbled tile coasters using nail polish. You can use any colors of nail polish you want, but we chose neutral colors. Water marbling can also be used on other surfaces, but using salvaged tile coasters from EcoBuilding Bargains meant an affordable and fun craft. It took us several tries to get it, but the results are great!

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EcoFellows (try to) Live Zero Waste for a Week

When thinking of living a zero waste lifestyle, mainstream media pictures a mason jar with years of trash stuffed inside. This is a popular approach for bloggers who, after maximizing recycling, donation, compost, and purchasing reduction opportunities, provide a visualization of their impact by fitting the leftover waste in a jar. We wrote a blog on how this extreme zero waste lifestyle might not be the most accessible way to reduce waste as individuals. The associated cost, time, local infrastructure, and location are some of the most notable barriers. Taking this information into account, our EcoFellows – Becky (BK), Morgan (ML), Olivia (OH), Jonathan (JR), and Natasha (NN) – challenged themselves to live zero waste for a week to see what it was like! The goals were to test the feasibility of living the stereotypical zero waste mason jar lifestyle as young professionals in Western Massachusetts, as well as understand the challenges and successes for each person.

For seven days, each EcoFellow kept a list of all of the waste they produced, making note of what could theoretically be composted and recycled in our area. Throughout the challenge, they actively thought about reducing waste and made changes accordingly. Some of the areas of waste tracked included food and associated packaging, hygiene products, receipts, and cleaning materials.

The responses below to speak to each fellow’s experience. All five live in Northampton, so the physical infrastructure and location are relatively standardized. This area has multiple stores with bulk sections, a plastic bag ban, and a progressive mindset towards sustainability and environmental issues in general, which many of them found to be beneficial during their zero waste week.

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Last Minute, Sustainable Valentine Gift Ideas!

There are so many ways to reduce waste on Valentine’s Day, especially when it comes to gifts. Although it may not be traditional, it doesn’t mean the gift or experience will be worth any less! Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, so if you haven’t figured out what to gift your loved one(s), here are some last minute sustainable and thoughtful gift ideas.

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Kitchen Remodel Using Salvaged Cabinets

Using salvaged cabinets to remodel your kitchen can sound like an impossible task, but is actually really doable. One solution is to visit EcoBuilding Bargains, where there are always a variety of high-quality cabinets that need homes, but it can make you wonder how to integrate them into the spaces in your home. The Gaylords, who live in Easthampton, have integrated a beautiful salvaged cabinet set with the help of their contractor.

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DIY Gift Ideas for Valentine’s Day

For some people, February is a month full of dreary winter days and anguish over never-ending slush on the ground. For others, it’s excitement over the days beginning to get longer and the anticipation of spring. For yet others, it’s a month of looking forward to Valentine’s Day. This holiday is often full of loving surprises, beautiful flower bouquets, and an assortment of candies. Yet, like many other holidays, this day is also dominated by industries who sell products that are bound to end up in the trash. Valentine’s Day, however, does not need to be a drain on the environment. Read on to hear some creative DIY gift ideas and get your eco-friendly crafting juices flowing!

Cardboard Heart Cards

Instead of buying cards at a store, why not create some of your own from materials at home? Pictured below is a cardboard heart cutout design, and makes for a pretty card to give someone. This is just one of many ways to reuse household products for cards—you could also use old magazines or newspapers, among other things!

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