Wednesday, December 12, 2007


Like I said in my most recent post - you don't need to go overboard giving gifts, but when the gifts are really special, they can make the gift giver happy, too.

I have so many wonderful friends who create their own fantastic items, often for sale, I thought I'd talk 'em up a bit here. My friends are so talented!

Urban Fairies - I just got my niece a copy of Jonathan's latest book. (I hope my 6 year old niece isn't reading my blog). This book is so magical! Jonathan, the certified fairyologist, has documented the arrival of fairies in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He took drawings that children did of the fairies and drew his interpretation of them. And both the children's drawings and Jonathan's drawings are so fantastic! He's such a talented guy. Sure, he can be a little disgusting sometimes, but talented he is, too.

Garbage of Eden Design - pick up a pair of green earrings, not only green in color, but green because they're upcycled, too. Stephanie makes lots of stuff out of recycled bags, but the earrings are a classic... in a new green movement type of way.

Pink Graffiti - everything that Lesley makes is cool. Especially check out the handmade, appliqued clothing. Oh, and the puzzle earrings. And the plastic action figure earrings. Ok. Like I said, everything this girl makes is cool.

AuH2O - Kate Goldwater makes affordable handmade items out of vintage and recycled clothes. Affordable and recycled? No one can beat that. If you're in NYC, stopping by her store in the East Village is a must. It's super cute.

Challengher NYC - Christine's shop is super cute, too. And she not only has tons of great screenprinted items, like on her website, she has unique clothing and accessories that ooze both sophistication and stylishness. And those are hard things to ooze at the same time.

Wonderthreads - Diana is a wonder with thread, that's for sure. Her baby clothes are definitely cute, but for those of us that are a little too big for toddler size 4, she makes big kid clothes, too. Like the big kid giraffe t-shirt and a big kid Big Wheel t-shirt. Because some of us may look grown up, but we still like to play, too.


Going holiday shopping can be discouraging for even the mild environmentalist. I mean really - just how many $1.99 plastic Santas can a person really use? Ok, so they are only $1.99, but will they serve any purpose a month from now? Do they really serve any purpose now? I'm all about recycling scrap into something new, but it's better to start with less in the first place.

Being a part of the Bust Craftacular this weekend reminded me of why we give things in the first place. Most items there were created with lots of handmade love. It was fanstastic to see so many people shopping for handmade and one-of-a-kind items. It reminded me that people really do care about what they buy.

I had a conversation recently with a store owner and friend here in Brooklyn. She excitedly told me how she was making all of her Christmas gifts this year. Even though it was taking up all of her spare time, she was really pleased with what she was making. And as she described the gifts she got really excited just thinking about how happy the recipients will be when they open them. That reminded me what gift giving is all about. It shouldn't be "ah crap, what do I get my dad who doesn't need a single thing?" It should be "boy, I hope I can make my brother fall off of his chair with laughter when he sees the photoshop job I did on our mom and dad's heads."

Christmas doesn't need to be about the dollar amount we spend, but about the love we give the gift with. Ok, so maybe that last statement is a little cheesy, but it's way better than, "here are 10 plastic Santas that I got on a great deal on the day before Christmas." And if those gifts are wrapped in recycled wrapping paper, then all the better.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

the Craftacular is this Saturday!

Don't know what to get your family and friends for Christmas this year? Then be sure to stop by the Bust Craftacular! RePlayGround will be there along with about 200 other crafty folks. And there will be oodles of cute gifts created with lots of handmade love.

Where: Metropolitan Pavilion - 125 West 18th St., NYC
When: Saturday, December 8th from 10am - 8pm
Why: because it's not your ordinary craft fair - there'll be a DJ, drinking, plus cool gift stuff

We'll have some new recycled holiday items - like Christmas light earrings, and the snot bulb Christmas tree ornaments pictured above (don't worry, they weren't used, they were factory rejects). And our newest clothing project - Clothing Swap pictured below. They're reconstructed t-shirts made from old ones. Plus they've been silk screened with our fancy Clothing Swap logo.

Get your craft on. This Saturday!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Join the Recycling Justice League!

Remember the Justice League from your cartoon days? Well, my good friend Kellie and I decided we're going to start the Recycling Justice League! And there's certainly enough garbage out there to attack, so we're inviting you to join us. In the comments section of this post, just write about who you wanna be. It can be an exisiting character or your own made up one.

Kellie wants to be Flash, but have the "F" stand for felting since she felts cool stuff from recycled sweaters. Don't know what felting is? Well, check out her website. I either want to be the green guy (I'd be the Green Tomato?) or the yellow and black lady. She's already in good shape, so she must be able to kick recycling butt.

Where are we going with this? Geez, I dunno. But isn't it fun to pretend you're a superhero once in a while?

Watch out garbage - here we come!!!!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Good friends, good food... and a dwarf turkey?

If you've been following my blog you know that some friends and I had a 100 mile Thanksgiving.
Some of you asked for recipes so here they are.

Vegetable stock (for the stuffing and butternut squash soup)
1 large yellow onion, peeled and quartered
1 large leek, washed, trimmed and coarsely chopped
2 carrots, trimmed and quartered
1 turnip, trimmed and quartered
2 tomatoes, cored and coarsely chopped
6 parsley sprigs
6 peppercorns
2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 quarts water
(all the veggies were from the Saturday Green Market at McCarren Park or Union Square Green Market)
In a large stockpot, combine all ingredients and bring to a boil. Partially cover pot, reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours. Add additional water if necessary. Cool stock and strain. Discard solids (or puree them like I did and search for a new recipe. you know I can't discard anything). Refrigerate or freeze until ready to use.

Use extra leeks as pom poms like Josette did here - cheering on the meal

Apple and herb stuffing
8 cups 1-inch bread cubes, sourdough bread
3 tablespoons butter (1/2 stick)
1 cups medium-diced yellow onion (2 large)
2 small apples, unpeeled, cored and large diced
1 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary leaves
1 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cup vegetable stock
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
Put the bread cubes on a 13 by 18 by 1-inch baking sheet and bake them in the oven for 7 minutes.

In a large saute pan, melt the butter and add the onion, apples, parsley, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Saute for 10 minutes, until the mixture is soft.

Combine the bread cubes and cooked vegetables in a large bowl and add the chicken stock, and almonds, if desired.

Place the stuffing into the main cavity of the turkey (or chicken?).. Cook poultry with a meat thermometer at 350 degrees F until it reaches 180 degrees F.

Now here's a funny story. Or at least I laughed. So I went to the Greenmarket first thing on Wednesday morning. I had intended to make turkey breasts. When I got there, they had no turkey breasts. But they had small turkeys (or at least turkey looking things) sitting up front. So I had a whole conversation with the farm guy about how to cook a small turkey. He said a clay pot would work just as well as a roasting pan. And I'm certain I used the word turkey at least once in conversation. When I arrived home I looked up online how to cook a turkey. The one that I bought was 4 pounds. There was nothing listed for a 4 pound turkey. The smallest one was a 6 pound turkey and supposedly that was small. It dawned on me that it could be a chicken. Well, at least it was local, organic, and well cared for. So when my friends arrived I told them the story and they all thought I was a little goofy, and we all studied what we were now referring to as "churkey" and no one knew definitively what type of bird it was. We figured when we tried it, we'd be able to tell, but not so. It tasted like turkey. I called my dad to see if he'd ever heard of a dwarf turkey variety and he said "well, honey, anything is possible." So I considered calling the farm, but in some ways it might be better not to know.
I stuffed a mixture of chopped onion, parsley and sage under the skin and basted with butter. Then baked until the churkey reached 180 degrees.

Up next is our unexpected churkey apple gravy.

Apple Gravy
This gravy was, we'll call it unique. I think the recipe I found on Food TV miswrote the amount of apple cider to add. It called for 2 to 3 cups. I think it meant 2 to 3 tablespoons. Unless they intended for it to be served as a beverage. I added a cup of apple cider to our pan drippings and we tasted it and decided that was more than enough. I've adjusted to recipe below for what I think would be the correct amount.
Pan drippings from the turkey... or chicken
3 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup apple or pear brandy
2 to 3 tablespoons apple cider (from Red Jacket Orchards)
Salt and pepper
Pour the pan drippings in a pan on and cook on medium heat. Sprinkle the flour over the pan juices, and cook, stirring, for a few minutes. Add the apple brandy, and scrape the pan to lift the bits that are stuck to the bottom. Cook for a minute to burn off the alcohol, then, while stirring, pour in the apple cider. Bring to a simmer, and stir until thickened. Season with salt and pepper.

So now we have herb stuffed churkey and apple gravy. Mmm mmm good so far...

Cranberry sauce
This was my favorite dish. Keeping it local and using honey instead of sugar made a huge difference in flavor. It was sweet, but a different kind of sweet. Just try it for yourself.
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup honey
1 (12-ounce) container fresh cranberries (ours were from New Jersey)
1 chopped apple
Combine the sugar and water in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the cranberries and return to a boil, then lower the heat so that the liquid simmers. Add the apples and cook for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let the sauce cool.

Butternut squash soup with roasted garlic
1 heads of garlic, halved crosswise
1/3 cup butter (1/4 stick)
1 cups chopped onions
1/3 cups chopped carrots
2 lbs. Butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1 inch pieces
3 cups vegetable stock
1 TBS chopped fresh sage
1/2 cup whipping cream
a generous dollop of creme fraiche (butter, cream, and creme fraiche from Ronnybrook Farms)

Preheat oven to 350. Rub cut surfaces of garlic with butter. Put halves back together to reassemble heads. Wrap each tightly in foil; bake until tender, about 40 minutes. Cool garlic in foil.

Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onions and carrots; saute until onions are beginning to soften, about five minutes. Add squash, broth and sage. Bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered until squash is tender, about 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, unwrap garlic. Squeeze from skin into small bowl. Discard skin. Mash garlic with fork until smooth.

Stir garlic into soup. Working in batches, puree soup in blender until smooth. (can be made one day ahead. Refrigerate uncovered until cold. Cover and keep refrigerated. Bring to simmer before continuing.) Stir in ½ cup cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Put in bowls and drizzle with creme fraiche.

We also had super tasty mashed potatoes with a healthy portion of butter, milk, and roasted garlic; a good side of steamed broccoli with grated manchego cheese; some cherry tomatoes and green peppers also topped with cheese; and some really good sweet but dry white wine from long island.

For the grand finale:

Pear Clafouti
1 tablespoon butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup honey
3 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
6 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons apple or pear brandy
3 firm but ripe pears
Creme fraiche

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Butter a 10 inch round baking dish
Beat the eggs and thehoney in a bowl with a whisk or an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Then, mix in the flour, cream, salt, and brandy. Set aside for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, peel, quarter, core, and slice the pears. Arrange the slices in a single layer, slightly fanned out, in the baking dish. Pour the batter over the pears and bake until the top is golden brown and the custard is firm, 35 to 40 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature, and put a great big dollop of creme fraiche on top. Tasty!

All in all the meal was delicious. Local food, good friends, and a few chicken/turkey/apple surprises along the way. It wouldn't have been fun otherwise! Happy churkey day!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

happy 100 mile Thanksgiving!

I've been blogging a lot about local food and the 100 mile diet lately, so what better way to celebrate Thanksgiving than surrounded with good local food and good friends? I'm making dinner, so stay tuned to see how it turns out. This morning I picked up the turkey at the Green Market from Tamarack Hollow Farm. They're techically a little more than 100 miles away, but they told me all about their turkeys and how happy they were and how much room they had to play. Which is probably more space than I have in my Brooklyn, NY apartment. And even though the bird is from a little more than 100 miles away I'm not going to split hairs, or in this case, feathers over it. Local is local and this bird was driven from the farm directly to the market.

Happy Thanksgiving you all!


I visited the Canstruction site in NYC yesterday. There were some amazing structures and canned balancing acts going on. Apparently there are locations all over, so check out the one near you. To visit the one in NYC all you need to do is donate a can of food. All donations and all canned structures are going to soup kitchens for Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

tomorrow is America Recycles Day!

Happy (almost) America Recycles Day!
We just may have to make recycled party hats for our glass and plastic bottles just for the occasion.

Saturday, November 10, 2007


I've been thinking a lot about this word recently.

Persistence is a common trait between a lot of my favorite artists, musicians, authors. And I've had the honor of hearing 2 of them speak in person this week in New York.

Chuck Close is an artist that paints 9 foot tall portraits. The amazing part is he breaks the canvas up into a grid and paints each small square individually. When viewers are in close proximity to the canvas they see only squares of patterns, but once viewers stand back, an image of a person's face appears. He said it takes about 4 months to do a black and white painting and over a year to do a color one. It was pretty darn inspirational to hear him speak in person about his technique and how he sometimes goes over and over the same square 100's of times. His art work has always impressed me in museums and he was equally impressive speaking about his art in person and hearing how involved he gets in each portrait.

I also has the pleasure of hearing Alisa Smith and James MacKinnon speak on the 100 mile diet that they started and the book named Plenty which details this local eating adventure. I've blogged about them before. They chose to eat within a 100 mile radius of their home in Vancouver, Canada for 1 year. Which sounds cool, but involves a lot of potatoes and a lot of time and effort in preparing and gathering their food. They've been touring and promoting their book across the continent and along the way they've stopped at supermarkets and noticed that the food is almost the same from store to store. You can find similar foods on the shelf at a supermarket in San Diego, California and in Toronto, Canada. They've also stopped at many Farmers' Markets along the way and they said that's where they see the big difference. The regional markets sell what grows best in that area and each market is abundant in different things. I, personally, have visited Farmer's Markets this past year in Michigan, Tennessee, and New York and they're quite right. There was a frost that killed all the apples in Tennessee, but beans were bountiful. Michigan has loads of asparagus in the spring, and New York City is often overflowing with interesting varieties of things like purple potatoes and baby sunflower greens. Another observation they made was that before starting this diet, Alisa didn't like carrots. Now she knows she doesn't like 90% of carrots, but there are actually several varieties of carrots out there that she enjoys quite a bit.

It's really impressive to hear how these successful people have decided what's important to them and they devote their time and energy to that cause. They come out with a very simple and clear message, allowing people to see something in a different way.

I can't talk about persistence without mentioning another favorite of mine which is Johnny Cash and his song One Piece at a Time. The song is about a worker on an auto assembly line who decides to make an entire car by taking pieces off the line one at a time. He takes the pieces home in his lunchbox. Over the course of 20+ years he finally has enough to build his dream car. It doesn't exactly go together as he planned, but with some modification he has a drivable car - all for free (or sort of anyway).

I think persistence is about deciding what's important to you and working for that, diving into it, no matter who you are or what you do - artist, author, songwriter, mother, father, friend, designer, garbage collector... auto worker.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

de-catalog your mailbox

Catalog Choice just came across my inbox. It's an easy, free service that allows you to decline unsolicited catalogs, reducing the number of catalogs in your mailbox and the number of trees that get sent to the paper mill. I've already signed up to decline the mega-catalogs that I get in the mail. In a lot of cases, I'd rather just look up the info online, anyway.

Let's hear it for being paperless! Yay no paper!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

It will be Craftacular!

The Bust Craftacular is coming Saturday Dec. 8 at the Metropolitan Pavilion in NYC. RePlayGround will have a booth there along with a few hundred other super-crafty people. We'll be selling our recycled wares. If you're in the area be sure to stop by. And pick up some handmade crafty gifts for the holidays, while you're at it.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Dancing Rabbits

I had lunch recently with a few people who lived at the Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage in Northern Missouri. And the way they explained it to me is the Ecovillage is set up so that everyone plays a part in the community and they all live sustainably. They grow their own food, they fix their own houses, and they share 2 cars between everyone in the village, Part of the reason they created this was was to demonstrate that small communities can work together to create and produce and make most everything you need. It sounds like a lot of fun to me! What I wanna know is who gets to teach the dancing classes to the rabbits?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Make your own Mac-O-Lantern!

Happy Halloween! Here's a great project from the supa-sweet site - Instructables. Make an old Mac into a Mac-o-lantern. And no candle necessary when your old Mac can still be plugged in.

it's almost "time"

Don't forget to get your clock entry in for the Make Time for a Green Cause clock design competition. Entries are due November 5 and the event is November 16-18 at Spring in Brooklyn.

going organic made easy

The New York Times had a recent article about what to buy to make the biggest organic impact on your diet. Buying organic produce is usually more expensive, so when price is an issue the following five items are a good rule of thumb to buy organic:
1. Milk
2. Potatoes
3. Peanut butter
4. Ketchup
5. Apples

The potatoes are what surprised me the most. As a kid, my dad planted a lot of these and I saw them grow in our backyard. While they sometimes did get potato beetles, he didn't use pesticide on them because the potatoes underground weren't harmed unless the plant was majorly under potato beetle attack.
Apples, on the other hand, make a lot of sense. My usual rule of thumb is to buy organic fruit when you're eating the peel or it doesn't have a peel - like apples, peaches, blueberries, etc. You can peel the outer layer away on bananas and oranges.
The Times article was based on Dr Greene's (isn't that an appropriate name?) book called Raising Baby Green and he dives deeper into organic food and what to purchase. My favorite item on the list? Bonus item - organic wine. Who says buying organic can't be fun?

Thursday, October 25, 2007

One of the many reasons I love NYC

I've recently been reading the book Plenty by Alisa Smith and James MacKinnon (and it's not just because it has a big tomato on the cover). It's all about how they spent a year in Vancouver eating within 100 miles of their home - now known as the 100 mile diet. I happened to be reading one of my email event lists and saw that James MacKinnon will be lecturing on this subject in early November in New York City. It's like my own personal book club with the author... except it's not really personal since this is NY and it's open to the public. But I'm excited to hear first-hand about his challenges of eating locally.

I've blogged about this subject before with a local lunch made from fresh tomatoes, basil, mozzarella, and a baguette. But after reading part of the book, I've now realized it's not as easy as I blogged. The first 2 ingredients on my list - tomato and basil are definitely local. However, I'm unsure where the milk came from to make to make the cheese, and am also unsure of the source of flour and other ingredients for the baguette. Flour was a big topic in the book because you need it to make a lot of things, but the authors had a really hard time finding anything created within 100 miles. Ah well, at least locally-made bread is way better than that nutrient-lacking spongy stuff that you buy at the grocery store that lasts for several weeks. And reading the book has made me think more about the origins of the ingredients in prepared food - not just where it was all mixed together.

One of the conclusions from the book is that eating local is a lot of hard work... and also includes a diet with a whole lot of potatoes. Sounds like the food I ate in the cafeteria as a college freshman. At least Alisa and James have proven that not all potatoes have to be deep fried to taste good.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

as if I needed an excuse not to throw things away

I've had a pair of jeans for the past 9 years (and they still fit!). And I'm happy to say that they've already gone out of style and are now back in style.

There have been a few times where I've cleaned my closet and donated my clothes and have considered adding this particular pair of jeans to the pile. But it's so hard to find good, comfy pair of jeans that when I do you have to pry them away from me with a crowbar. And now that I'm living in hipster Williamsburg, Brooklyn, I see all the hipster kids with the tight ankle jeans again. I can tell that my almost decade old Calvin Kleins are happy that I still have have them and that they've made their comeback. Now, what to do with all my flaired jeans?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

a whole row of beef jerky?

My recent trip to Nashville reminded me what an oversized and disposable society we live in. I spent most of last week visiting some good friends who recently had their first child. And boy do babies create a lot of waste! We're talking 10 plus diapers a day! I'm well-aware that cloth diapers aren't for everyone. And for such little people, babies sure go through a lot of laundry, paper towels, and wet wipes.

While there I also took a trip to Costco and Sam's Club. I live in Brooklyn, NY where space is expensive and buying in bulk really isn't an option for most items. But in Middle America, where most houses have loads of space, supersizing is the name of the game. I found strange humor in a row at one of the stores partially dedicated to Beef Jerky. And when I took my own shopping bags to the grocery store I got an odd look from the sales clerk. The good news is when I stopped by their local farmer's market, one chatty farmer told me how business has been picking up and there's more interest in knowing what you're growing.

In the meantime I'm happy to be back in NY with my local greenmarket nearby. All-in-all I think I'll stick to my own cloth hankys and reusable tote bags. But you do have to admit that kid sure is cute.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Kids + old CDs = EcoFest Fun

Thanks to everyone who came out to EcoFest! It was a great day and we were right between the Recycling Olympics and the biodegradable soap people.

Above are some pictures of the kids decorating old CDs and turning them into suncatchers.
There's going to be lots of sparkly windows out there.

Hurray for recycling!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Reminder - Eco Fest is this Sunday!

Hey everyone in the New York City area - stop by Eco Fest this Sunday, Sept. 30 between 11am and 6pm. We'll be in the Lincoln Center plaza and we'll be the ones with the kids turning scrap into art.

And if you have any old CDs, bring them to us at the event. One of our scrap projects is making CD suncatchers and we could always use extras. Plus it's a great way to recycle them.

Happy recycling!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

free stuff!

People can't pass up free stuff (myself included). That's why, as I've been cleaning out stuff an old roommate left behind, I decided to give people passing by the first go at it.

Now I've never met this roommate, but I keep finding her belongings in every hard to reach corner in this place. Why she thought it was ok to leave this behind I'll never know. Perhaps she knew I wouldn't throw everything out, rather I'd have a moral conscious about getting rid of it and I'd take the time to sort through it and donate it to the appropriate places. So yesterday was my first attempt at getting rid of a pile. Here are photos from that attempt:

10 am
2 boxes + 2 bags of random stuff are set out on the street and marked with the words "WOW! FREE STUFF!"

view from above

11 am
Everything gone except some stuff in 1 box! Within an hour someone even took the Furby (it still worked because once I put it in the box it kept talking. I'm certain he's happy in his new home)

What??? More stuff??? Apparently we inspired a neighbor to also get rid of things. 2 odd tables and a wobbly vanity appeared next to the last of our items.

I guess that's the story of my life. I try to get rid of things, but I just end up with more than I started with. "I'm sure I need this mannequin leg! What a great lamp it will make someday! Ooh and this vaccum cleaner, too!"

Note: All the remaining items at the end of this day will be donated to Salvation Army. I have enough projects waiting to be remade in my design studio as it is. Although, those old pots and pans might make an interesting clock...

Monday, September 24, 2007

I heart Etsy Labs!

Have I told you how cool Etsy Labs is?

On Monday nights in Brooklyn, Etsy Labs has craft night and invites people into their lab with open (and FREE) arms. And regular people like me can come and use their equipment.

See, I've been considering buying a serger. (a serger is a supa-fancy sewing machine that makes nice edges on things.) But I've only used it once before and it's like a crazy maze to get 4 different strands of thread to go through at the right place. So it's much nicer when you can go somewhere and someone helps you to figure out the maze. Otherwise, I'd still be lost in a big pile of pink and black thread.

Or do you live outside the NYC area and hate it when I tell you about all the cool things going on around this town? Well, come visit then. This is a nice place.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

it's a plastic bag curtain!

What do we do with all those plastic bags in this world? After we take them back to the grocery store and reuse them, use them a second time as garbage bags, knit with them, and turn them into earrings, there's still a pile of them in this world. In fact we supposedly use about 1,000,000 bags a minute!!! At least that's from this website.

Well, a few months ago I sat in on Joel's product design class at Pratt. In this class students were challenged to redesign items you'd normally discard into something you'd want to keep around. Brilliant concept, eh?

Kudos to Su Ng who came up with the idea of reusing plastic bags as curtains. She even wove them together with plastic bag strips! We needed some new curtains here at RePlayGround so we adapted her idea with our surplus stash of plastic bags. Shown above is our newest member of the recycled RePlayGround family. Thanks for inspiring us, Su!

Next time we might want to use more colorful ones, like of the pink and red Chinatown variety. If you have a bunch of colorful ones on-hand let us know and we might put them to a new, good use like this... or be inspired to think up something entirely new.

Have a nice day!

it's a plastic bag bag!

I met Hello Knitty on Monday night at Etsy Lab's craft night. Hello Knitty cuts up old plastic bags, spins the plastic like it's yarn, and knits it into new, longer-lasting and stronger bags. I saw a few of these bags up close and I think the spinning is what gives these bags the extra twist.

Now, if that's not a good lookin' plastic bag bag, I don't know what is. This is definitely a great example of upcycling.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

eco-fest here we come!

If you're in NYC on September 30, be sure to stop by Eco-Fest at Lincoln Center and show us some recycling love. We'll have our cute little table with all of our recycled wares, and we'll even have some FREE kids projects, that adults can do, too! That's right, we said FREE.

One of our projects involves old CDs, so if you have a surplus of old CDs please drop them off at the event. Both data and music CDs are ok. One of our projects will be making CD suncatchers. If you're not in the area, you can follow along by making a CD suncatcher at home. We're not cool enough to have a webcam or anything, but if you concentrate real hard I'm sure you can picture us there coloring in a CD right there with you. Isn't imagination way better than a webcam?

Happy recycling!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Make Time for a Green Cause

Our friends over at Thwart Design are organizing a very timely competition.

Here's the scoop:
Make Time for a Green Cause - Be a part of a competition to raise money for local green and sustainable causes.

The challenge is to create a clock that incorporates one element of sustainability within the design. Fifty of the submitted designs will be showcased in our NYC fundraising event in which all clocks will have an opportunity to be purchased.

The first half of the proceeds will go to the winning artist, and the other half goes towards select green and sustainable non-profit organizations. During the event our distinguished panel of judges will award 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place designs.

All submissions due Nov. 5th, 2007.

If you have any questions or you need a clock mechanism, please email robprice at thwartdesign dot com.

Salvage Fest 2007!

I stopped by the Salvage Fest this weekend and found wonderful piles of doorknobs, tin ceiling panels, faucets and more. Ooh ooh - plenty of potential to becoming a coat rack, a picture frame, a candle holder, or other transformed creations. What a lovely vision of reclaimed scrap on a sunny Saturday in Brooklyn.

The good people over at Brownstoner organized it and it included NYC scrap favorites like the Demolition Depot, Build It Green, and Reclaimed Home. Stay tuned - possibly more scrap events in the works.

Hurray for salvage!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Salvage Fest - this Saturday 9/8/07 in Brooklyn, NY

Just reading the words Salvage Fest in my inbox made my eyebrows raise and a smile appear on my face. A celebration of junk? Why that sounds like my kind of party.
After further reading it appears to be exactly what the title suggests - a big pile of salvage for design junkies like me to pick through. It mentions items like doorknobs, lighting, flooring, doors, and other stuff will be there. If you're in the New York City area this weekend, check it out.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

the 11th hour - consume less, live more

After reading numerous reviews and viewing the trailer for the 11th Hour, I think this movie makes a pretty darn good point - Consume Less Live More.

It's been ages since I've been to the movies, but I have a feeling this one will be well worth the trip... on my low-impact subway ride to the theater of course.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

tap water is making a comeback

Who would've thought tap water would've ever been on it's way out? With bottled water sales at about $15 billion last year we're either thirstier than usual or we just like the convenience and coolness of carrying around our plastic water bottles.

Studies have shown that in taste tests tap water rates the same, if not better than bottled water. So what's all the fuss about? Maybe it's just the bottle. Aquafina even admitted to simply bottling tap water.

Drinking tap water not only eliminates that extra plastic waste from the bottle, it also eliminates the energy needed to ship it. So turn on your tap and drink up. And save that money usually spent on bottled water for a rainy day.