How To Make Bathroom Recycling Easy

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Many families recycle bottles, cans and paper products in the kitchen but it’s harder to do throughout the rest of the house. One place we use a lot of plastic bottles is in the bathroom and they tend to end up in the trashcan along with other things that can be reused, like toilet paper rolls. Turns out we aren’t alone. A 2016 consumer survey on in-home recycling habits, conducted in partnership with Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc., shows that one-third of regular recyclers admit that it never even occurred to them to recycle in the bathroom and only one in five recyclers have a recycling bin in their bathroom.

I wanted to make bathroom recycling much easier for our family so I decorated a small trash can for the boy’s bathroom that we could put all the empty bottles and other items in until we needed them for other things around the house. I explained to my boys the importance of recycling and shared with them what types of things we could recycle in the bathroom which is everything from shampoo and mouthwash bottles to soap and bandage boxes.

To make the recycling can I used a 3 gallon garbage can and attached stickers that said “recycle”. (Note: I suggest putting a layer of mod-podge over the stickers to handle the moisture.) You could also have the kids write and color on the can. I was going to do this but the boys bathroom is also the bathroom that guests use so I decided against it because I wanted the recycling bin to blend in with the bathroom decor.

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Not sure how to reuse empty toiletry bottles? Here are some of my favorite ways:

  • Create ISpy bottles for kids- fill the bottle with rice and small items and secure the lid with strong tape
  • Storage for small craft items like sequins and pom poms
  • Bath tub or water table dumping containers
  • Storage for tiny toys like Shopkins
  • Split large paint jugs into smaller empty toiletry bottles for easy access and use

For extra fun, when a bottle is close to being empty I add some washable kid’s paint in it and I mix it up. Then I let the kids paint a clear art mat in the bathtub. It’s easy to clean up because it’s mixed with the soap and it’s already in the tub so the mess is contained.

If the bin gets too full we can always recycle the items in it but our family tends to reuse things as many times as possible. I think it’s the preschool teacher in me that wants to find new ways to use everything before I get rid of it (see my recent post on 100 kids crafts that reuse household materials for proof).

Want to learn more about recycling personal care products used in your bathroom? Check out the Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. Care To Recycle® website. Care To Recycle®, a program of Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc., provides creative new ways for parents to reimagine their recycling habits beyond the kitchen and into the bathroom, while engaging their children. The Care To Recycle® program aims to raise awareness of the importance of recycling personal care products in the bathroom, including preventing valuable materials from entering landfills unnecessarily. Together, we can help create a healthy planet for our kids today, and for future generations.

What ideas do you have for recycling products in the bathroom?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Kid Friendly Snacks For Earth Day

PicMonkey Collage

One of my favorite things to do on special holidays is find themed snacks for the kids. With Earth Day coming up in a few days I thought I’d share some fun ideas for Earth Day snacks that are kid-friendly.

Earth Day Popcorn & Cute Treat Cups from Simple as That

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Earth Day Yogurt Parfaits from Creative Food

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Grape & Pretzel Tree Snack from Fantastic Fun and Learning

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Dirt Cups from Eat At Allie’s

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Earth Day Cookies from Munchkin Munchies

Want more ideas? Here are 8 more kid friendly Earth Day treats!

Party For The Planet At Brookfield Zoo

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Every day is Earth Day at Brookfield Zoo, but on April 24th they will be showcasing some of the steps you can commit to that will truly make a difference for animals across the globe at their Party for the Planet! Visit the Eco Expo featuring over 40 Earth friendly vendors, drop off recycling, enjoy live entertainment, plant a tree, and enjoy green activities and crafts. Party for the Planet will be filled with educational, engaging, and fun activities for the entire family and I’m excited to be attending with my family courtesy of Brookfield Zoo.

During the event, Nature Cat will be in the Discovery Center to greet all of his fans and Chicago’s own WTTW will be engaging kids in an eco-friendly activity. NATURE CAT is the hit new PBS KIDS series that was recently nominated for a Daytime Emmy® Award for Outstanding Writing in an Animated Program.  NATURE CAT follows Fred, a house cat who dreams of exploring the great outdoors. In each episode, once his family leaves for the day, Fred transforms into Nature Cat, “backyard explorer extraordinaire.” Nature Cat can’t wait to get outside for a day of backyard nature excursions and bravery, but there’s one problem: He’s still a house cat with no instincts for nature. With the help of his animal friends, Nature Cat embarks on action-packed adventures that include exciting missions full of nature investigation, “aha” discovery moments and humor, all while inspiring children to go outside and “play the show.”

List of special events during Party For The Planet:

9:30am – 3:30pm – FREE PARKING in the North Parking Lot if you donate recyclables (see website for items they accept)
10am – 4pm – Eco Expo – Pavilions
10am – 3pm – Meet Nature Cat from WTTW’s new public television series.
11am – Tree Planting – Butterflies!
11:30am, 3pm – Giraffe Zoo Chat
12:00pm, 1:30pm – Green Thirteen Performance – Bison Pavilion
1:15pm – Bilingual Zoo Chat – Bison Pavilion

*Update 4/25: It was such a fun event! The boys liked meeting Nature Cat and our family enjoyed the beautiful day at the zoo!

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Small Changes You Can Make This Earth Day

image courtesy of Pure Cleaning Agency

Kate Harrison, CEO of the Green Life Guides and GreenBrideGuide.com offers tips for kick-starting a green lifestyle this Earth Day 2013. You can easily conserve resources in your everyday life just by making a few small changes in and around your home.

Here are some other ways to green your day-to-day duties:

Grocery Shopping- Green your trash bags: It is so easy and inexpensive to get trash bags made from recycled or biodegradable material these days that there is little excuse not to use them. You can buy a roll at most supermarkets or online. Bring your own reusable tote to the grocery store with you. Leave a few totes in the trunk of your car or stash them away in your purse for unexpected trips.

Skip the Suds- Try a green detergent such as 7th Generation which comes in a recycled cardboard bottle. You can also use a detergent designed for cold water; using cold water for each wash load saves energy, which is good for the earth, and also saves money, which is great for your wallet. Cold water detergents are formulated to fight dirt and stains just as well as their warm water counterparts.

Use a dishwasher instead of washing plates by hand- Buy an Energy Star Rated washer, only run it when it is full and skip the pre-rinse cycle.

image courtesy of Pure Cleaning Agency

Choose Non-Toxic Cleaning Products- For every commercial and chemical based product on the market, there is probably a greener alternative…or even a homemade substitution!

  • Baking Soda: This is great for cleaning, deodorizing, softening water and scouring dishes.
  • Soap: Unscented soap in liquid, flake or powder form is biodegradable and will clean just about anything.
  • Lemon: A strong food acid effective against most household bacteria.
  • Borax: Cleans, deodorizes, disinfects, softens water, cleans wallpaper, painted walls and floors
  • White Vinegar: Cuts grease, removes mildew, odors, some stains and wax build-up.
  • Washing Soda: Cuts grease, removes stains, softens water, cleans walls, tiles, sinks and tubs.
  • Cornstarch: Can be used to clean windows, polish furniture, shampoo carpets and rugs.
  • Citrus Solvent: Cleans paintbrushes, oil and grease and some stains.

Green Your Pet- The carbon emissions emitted from the production and transportation of your pet’s food can be quite high; to offset this, look for healthy food alternatives. While organic pet food may cost a bit more, it is made with renewable resources and no pesticides or environmentally unfriendly fertilizers. Whether it comes in bottles, bags or cans, chances are that your pet’s food containers can be recycled. Also, scooping poop is no fun for anyone but you can make it more environmentally friendly by using biodegradable bags, which are available at most pet stores. This is an excellent alternative to using plastic bags which are nearly impossible to decompose.

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About GreenBrideGuide.com

GBG is one of the top sites for Green Wedding and they are launchingGreenHomeGuide.com this spring, which will be all about ecofriendly home décor. GBG’s CEO, Kate L. Harrison, has a JD in Environmental Law and a Master’s from Yale in Environmental Policy. She planned her own green wedding in 2007 and wrote the best selling green wedding book The Green Bride Guide: How to Plan an Earth-Friendly Wedding on Any Budget (Sourcebooks, 2008). In 2009, she founded www.greenbrideguide.com to help couples use their weddings to promote social and environmental change and support the local green economy. The site also has a green gift registry and wedding shop.

(Disclosure: This is not a compensated post. Just wanted to pass along the tips.)

 

10 Earth Day Activities & Crafts

Tissue Paper Tree from Projects For Preschoolers

Earth Day is this Sunday. Here are 10 fun earth related activities and crafts your children can enjoy doing this weekend {click pictures to be taken to the sites they come from}. For even more fun ideas see my list of 100 recycled crafts for kids, all of which can be made by upcycling 25 common household materials or these kid friendly Earth Day snack ideas.

Earth Day Printable from Share & Remember

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Plant Pals from Family Fun

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Tissue Paper Tree from Projects For Preschoolers

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Nature Shadow Boxes from Teach Preschool

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Mosaic Earth {with printable} from Make and Takes

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Earth Day Coffee Filter Craft from Preschool Crafts For Kids

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Free Earth Day Preschool Activities Pack from Itsy Bitsy Learners

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Earth Day Letter “E” Activity from Carrots Are Orange

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Puffy Paint Earth from No Time For Flashcards

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Nature Collage from East Coast Mommy

8 Earth Day Treats

Food is always an important part of celebrations so why should Earth Day be any different? Check out some wonderful Earth Day themed treats and desserts below {click on the pictures to be taken to the sites they come from}. Want more ideas? Here are 5 more Earth Day kid friendly snacks.

Earth Day Cake Pops from Vanilla And Lace

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Earth Day Cookies from Tidy Mom

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Dirt & Worm Cups from Meet The Dubiens

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Earth Cupcakes from Under The Table And Dreaming by Stephanie Lynn

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Fruit Tree Cupcakes from Dollhouse Bake Shoppe

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Ocean Treat {and an Earth Day dinner!} from Secrets of a Super Mommy

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Earth Day Chocolate Cupcakes from Dessarts

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Earth Cookie Pops from The Decorated Cookie