18 Jun 2015

Reusable containers

Often, products we buy come in pretty or practical containers.  With a little thought, once the product is used up, these containers can be given another purpose.  This will save money by not having to buy a new container and it reduces waste.
reuse, repurpose, tj's green adventure
reusable containers
  The green container was for body butter.  Now it is in the office and holds paper clips.  If you want, you can cover the words around the lid with washi tape for a fun look.  Check out your local craft store, like Michaels, for washi tape.  There was a big sticker label on the lid, but it peeled off perfectly without using water or anything.

The container with the pink lid had cake sprinkles in it.  Now it is used for beads.  The sticker label on the front of this container did not come off so well.  I used a drop of Goo Gone to get off the sticky residue.

These containers could have been recycled in the blue box, but why throw them out when they can be used for something else?

Green Highlights:
  • reusing containers
  • reducing waste
  • saving money
What containers have you re-purposed once the product was used up?

13 Jun 2015

Free water, free grass

Now that the warmer weather is here, the dehumidifier runs in the basement every day to keep away the dampness and keep it from smelling musty.  Why waste that water by pouring it down the drain?  I pour it on the lawn.
dehumidifier, water, tj's green adventure
free water

There is a strip of grass between my driveway and the driveway beside my house.  The end by the curb goes brown and dies very easily.  A few years ago, I edged the lawn and used the grass that was cut away to fill bare spots in my lawn, including that spot.  It has come back nicely, but still goes brown if I don't keep on top of it.  So, every couple of days I water it with the water from the dehumidifier.  The grass doesn't die off and the water is free.  I'm not the only one that uses the dehumidifier water for watering outside.  I saw a neighbour doing the same thing.  She was pouring water out of the dehumidifier bucket and watering a young tree.
sod, lawn, gardening, tj's green adventure
free grass - this spot used to be dirt
I often transplant grass that has grown where I don't want it.  There was a large patch on my front lawn that had a lot of bare spots.  I kept adding grass that I had trimmed from other areas of the yard and it has filled in and looks great - no more dirt patches.

Green Highlights:
  • reducing water consumption
  • reducing yard waste 
Do you use your dehumidifier water on your lawn?


6 Jun 2015

Out with the old, in with the new

My new washer and dryer

It's been almost 2 months now since my washing machine finished its useful life.  I had to educate myself on the new technology for washers and dryers because it has changed so much since I bought mine almost 30 years ago.

My old washer was a sud-saver, which meant the water could be reused.  You wash the least dirty/whites first then the water gets sucked back in the machine to use for the next load.  I saved a lot of water over the years, but that is a thing of the past.  My new washer uses 70% less water per load.  It will be interesting to see the affect it has on my water bill.  I have more freedom now that I don't have to plan my loads in order to use the sud-saver.  If I just want to do one load I can.  I also think the wash comes out cleaner.
maytag, washer, dryer, tj's green adventure
out with the old
I chose a Samsung laundry pair and I love them.  I was surprised at how quiet and how musical they are.  They play tunes when the cycle is starting and finishing.  In London, Ontario, our hydro rates change depending on the time of day which is referred to as "time of use."  The washer has a delay end cycle that allows you to program when the cycle finishes. I have taken advantage of the low rate during the week by programming a load to finish before the end of the lowest rate.  When I get up in the morning, I throw it in the dryer for a few minutes then hang it up to dry.  I also use the delay end when I have a load that takes a lot longer to wash, like towels and blankets.  Instead of taking half the morning to get the load washed, I can program it to be done when I get up.  The downside to using delay end is that the machine panel is lit all night long, using power, but I think the benefits of using hydro when it costs less and time management out way the extra bit of power used.

Samsung, front load washer, steam dryer, tj's green adventure
in with the new
I am very pleased with my new washer and dryer and I actually look forward to doing the wash.  Technology has come a long way in improving energy efficiency since I bought my first washer and dryer.  Now that I have an updated laundry pair I am dreaming about updating the laundry room.  The wall behind the machines was not insulated before it was drywalled and my hookups are for dryer on the left and washer on the right.  The way the doors open on the new set, the dryer needs to be on the right.  This mini reno dream would include insulating the wall and reversing the hookups as well as a counter that can be used for folding.

Green Highlights:
  • use less water
  • use less hydro
  • can take advantage of time of use