You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘paper’ tag.

I haven’t had that much inspiration lately, so I was really glad when I came up with today’s entry. It is a challenge I issue to myself and anyone else reading this. The challenge is to use cloth napkins instead of paper. According to Seventh Generation’s website “If every household in the U.S. replaced just one 250 count package of virgin fiber napkins with 100% recycled ones, we could save:

  • 1 million trees
  • 2.7 million cubic feet of landfill space equal to over 4,000 full garbage trucks
  • 380 million gallons of water, a year’s supply for 2,900 families of four
  • and avoid 64,000 pounds of pollution!”

What do you really need? Enough napkins for a week for two people (14) and additional ones for company and in case you may need two in one day (9), a total of twenty-three (23).

Here is a super simple way to make some napkins. You’ll need:

  • fabric (people recommend quilting cottons) cut into squares around 12–18 inches wide
  • a sewing machine
  • scissors
  • thread

Here are the steps to make these napkins:

  • First, press in double 1/4-inch hems (fabric folded over 1/4-inch is a hem) on two opposite sides, and sew them with a straight stitch.
  • Press in the remaining two sides 1/4-inch and sew.

That is it! Seems super easy. I will update this entry with pictures once I find some cute fabric.

Cool.

-Cara

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Rainforest Action Network has 25,000 stickers, a database of household products containing the not-so-awesome palm oil (which they compiled with the help of people who love the rainforest) and a date: August 13.

Bring all three together by signing up for RAN’s August 13th Stick it to Palm Oil Day of Action.

Sign up online and you’ll get a Day of Action packet including “Warning: Product May Contain Rainforest Destruction” stickers and a step by step guide to taking part in the action. I hope the stickers are made from recycled stickers and not new paper, which comes from trees…I’m just saying.

Rainforest Action Network is also sending letters to every company that uses palm oil encouraging them to be responsible by joining forces with RAN to put pressure on agribusiness giants ADM, Bunge and Cargill to stop destroying rainforests for palm oil. They should send emails instead of letters, every piece of paper we can save is fresh…that’s right I said that too.

Help stop global warming, and support the rights of frontline communities across the world, by going here and doing what you can.

Stick it to ’em.

-Cara

That’s right…negative! I don’t know why but I am super not into Earth Day. It puts me in a bad mood. I get that rhetoric that people say…it is a time where non-“green” people get into it, but I feel like it is a way for people to make up for sucking all year long. Like confession, but only annually.

For example, places like GE/NBC having a “star-studded” tree planting party on Earth Day. A tree planting day will not make up for the tons and tons of paper they print a day in visitor passes, millions of pieces of paper for a 30 minutes meeting, instead of just have people bring in their laptops to review the documents,  or the zillions of pieces of paper they use on new hire brainwashing propaganda.

If people related to how they are a part of the problem when they did these types of things, that would be awesome, but most don’t. They pat themselves on the back, which then gets them through another year of printing pages of documents they don’t really need to print.

I was negative today, but now I’m done.

-Cara
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Reason 68 from, 101 Reasons Why I Am Vegetarian:
To choose industrial meat is to support a system that has long ago put family farmers out of business. Essentially, it is only the big players–those who bought into factory systems–who are feeding America. We do have lower prices at the retail level. But ultimately, what is the real cost of cheap meat? You need to factor in the $20 billion per year in government subsidies to commodity farmers, higher medical costs attributable to excessive diets, antibiotic resistance in common bacterial strains, a dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico, the inordinate need for oil for petrochemical fertilizers, and dwindling aquifers–the list goes on.

I am always figuring out ways to turn garbage into something. Soon I will start to give away my projects, as there is a lot of garbage in my world and only so much room in my NYC apartment!

Here is a cool project I tried today. I took a million different versions I found online on how to do it, altered them and created my own style…so far it looks cool, once it dries, maybe I will coat the beads with clear nail polish as well for a shinier look. I will let you know and provide photos!

Paper Beads

What tools you’ll need

Scissors
Different types of paper such as pages from old magazines, used wrapping paper or store catalogs
Glue Stick
Toothpicks and/or straws

What to Do

From your paper collection, select one piece that is about the size of a greeting card or larger, no more than 11 inches I would say.

Now cut long, slender triangles from the paper. The longer the strip, the thicker the bead. The base, or large end of the triangle, can range in size from 1/2 to 1 inch. The entire strip should be no longer than 11 inches. [Make beads of different shapes. Rectangular paper makes cylindrical beads. Triangular paper makes rounded beads. If you use a rectangular strip of paper with a triangle cut out of the middle, your bead will be spool-shaped.]

Spread a thin coat of glue over side of the triangle you don’t want to show. Be sure to leave a small area (at the tip of the triangle) without glue.

Place a toothpick or straw on the base of the triangle with the decorated side facing down.

Carefully roll the paper around the toothpick/straw. Keep the paper tight and the edges even.

Just before you finish rolling the paper, place a dab of glue on the triangle’s tip and seal the end in place.

I spin then every once in awhile just to check that they are not stuck to the straw or toothpicks.

When the glue has dried, remove the toothpick from the tightly rolled paper. You have now made your first bead. You can decorate it with paint or apply clear fingernail polish to give it a shiny finish. The ones I did today I dipped in diluted white Elmer’s glue. I just put enough glue in water to look milky.

I will put pictures up of them once dry. I think I made a few mistakes, like not keeping them perfectly even, but we will see.

Watch out friends and family there might be some jewelry coming in your future.

-Cara

UPDATE

I have since painted my first attempt of paper beads with shiny, clear nail polish and it makes a difference for sure. They are still too big for my taste, but shiny = pretty. Some issues I had were, I didn’t spin the beads enough on the straws, so they were stuck to the straw. I just cut them with the straw inside, which turned out fine and made them stronger. I also had to figure out a way to paint them and a place for them to dry, so I just did this…

and here is the end result.

It was a fun experience and I will make more to show different designs going forward. Exciting stuff. :P

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Reason 53 from, 101 Reasons Why I Am Vegetarian:
Male chicks are a bothersome expense to the egg producer. Sexers must be hired to pick them out for diversion to expedient deaths. No law protects them as they are dumped in trash bins to die by crushing, suffocation, starvation, and exposure.

Today is about another easy solution to a huge problem. Using non-recycled paper products is a huge waste for nothing. Pretty much any paper product you can buy, you can buy recycled, which makes the world a better place. Maybe you just need to know why you should do it.  No problem, let me help you out with that…

Choose Tree-Free Paper

Making paper from paper, instead of trees, saves wood, water, energy and greenhouse gases. Chlorine-free paper also reduces the production of dioxins — cancer-causing pollutants that poison our rivers, pollute our air and often end up in our bodies. Use recycled paper at home and bring this initiative to the institutions that you work with.

Environmental Benefits of Recycled Paper

Switching from virgin to recycled content paper results in many benefits. Research by the Alliance for Environmental Innovation has shown that each ton of recycled fiber that displaces a ton of virgin fiber used in coated groundwood paper (stock used in magazines):

  • Reduces total energy consumption by 27%
  • Reduces net greenhouse gas emission by 47% and reduces particulate emissions by 28%
  • Reduces wastewater by 33%, reduces solid waste by 54%, and reduces wood use by 100%

30% Post-consumer Copy Paper

One ton (40 cases) saves the equivalent of:

  • 7.2 trees [forty feet in height and 6-8 inches in diameter] (Conservatree, www.conservatree.org)
  • 2,100 gallons of water, 1,230 kw hours of electricity, and 18 pounds of air pollution  (Californians Against Waste, www.cawrecycles.org)

100% Post-consumer Copy Paper

One ton (40 cases) saves the equivalent of:

  • 24 trees (forty feet in height and 6-8 inches in diameter) (Conservatree)
  • 7,000 gallons of water, 4,100 kilowatt hours of electricity, and 60 pounds of air pollution (Californians Against Waste)

Last, but not least I will include this link to a PDF by Environmental Defense of all the reasons why you should use recycled paper.  I am going to buy recycled printer paper for sure…if I ever print again…lol.

Hug a tree.

-Cara

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