How to Rescue Water Logged or Muddy Photos or Video, Lesson From the Colorado Floods

- ORGANIZING TIPS AND TOOLS, Disaster and Preparation, Environment: Green, Sustainable, Recycle, Reuse, Memorabilia, Sorting No Comments »

flood - memory rescue

The Colorado epic flood of September 2013 has taken away homes, roads, bridges, lives and memories. But, day by day new rescue efforts show up to help people save what they can.

As people begin sifting through their flooded homes, most will inevitably come across precious memories—photos, slides, videos and other memorabilia—that are waterlogged, buried in mud or have otherwise been damaged in the disaster.

“The most important thing right now is to get the word out that wet or muddy memories are not necessarily lost and that people should not throw them away,” said Gwen Scherer, owner of the Boulder County company, Memories to Digital, and co-founder of The Memory Preservation Coalition. “Many of these priceless items can be saved, and we’re here to help.”

Don’t throw away priceless memories, even if they appear ruined. Wet and dirty photos and videos can often be salvaged, and the recently opened Memory Rescue Centers across the greater Denver area and in Fort Collins will do just that—at no cost to flood victims from Colorado Springs to the Wyoming border.

The centers will have free on-site wash-and-dry stations, free information on how to salvage photos and home movies, Flip-Pal mobile scanners free for use, as well as extensive services to digitize photos, slides, videos, film and other memorabilia at a discount.

THIS ARTICLE IS PACKED WITH GREAT INFORMATON: http://www.flip-pal.com/memory-rescue-centers/

 

 

 

9 Plus Ways to Stop Wasting Food — Get Organized!

- ORGANIZING TIPS AND TOOLS, Environment: Green, Sustainable, Recycle, Reuse, Kitchen No Comments »

food-milk-products.gif

  • Americans throw out about 14% of the groceries we buy.
  • In the UK, it’s estimated that 8 billion pounds worth of food goes to waste, which equates to a third of total purchases.

And in your household? Those are scary stats that are echoed in many other countries around the world.

People complain about rising food costs, yet waste food daily. Does that make sense?

And, did you know that, unless you are feeding your food waste directly to animals or composting it, all trashed food typically ends up on landfills thus producing the greenhouse gas methane, on top of all the damage and landfill that the excess packaging and transporting causes?

I’ll add another problem here — we’re teaching another generation to waste, to not be efficient and to care be oblivious about how their daily patterns and habits affect themselves and others. We can change, and we can be better teachers and stewards starting today.

Here are keys to become more conscious and more organized for ourselves, and a better steward to our very cool planet, while saving money! How great is that?!

9 Plus Ways to Stop Wasting Food

1. Inventory, Declutter and Organize What You Have — What’s in your cupboards? Fridge? Freezer? Pantry? We tend to buy more and waste food because we don’t know what we have to begin with. Get a notepad and take stock of what you have. Categories will include: meats, veggies, fruit, dairy, prepared meals, canned foods, etc.  While you’re taking your inventory you may of course be tossing some things as you’ll find you forgot something in the back and it’s rotten, rancid or growing parts unintended!

TIP:  From your inventory, don’t buy another thing until you plan meals from what you already have that needs to be used up, especially opened products and fresh fruit/veggies.

2. Use Grocery Stocker Techniques — Move perishable foods, like dairy products with the nearest expiration date and leftovers to the front of the fridge and cabinets, store the newer items behind the older ones. Use labeling to mark containers for all to see when it was cooked, when it should be used by, etc. to help out too. (No, you don’t need a fancy labeler for this! Just a piece of scratch paper taped to the side or top of the container is fine!)

TIP:  Perishables can be repurposed! If you have strawberries, bananas, etc. that are just not going to get eaten soon enough, including bread, rolls and leftovers, put into zipper bags and freezer suitable containers and freeze. Use fruit and veggies in smoothies later! Breads can be used anytime for anything again.

3. Use Your Inventory for Your Shopping List — Place your inventory notepad on the fridge with a list of the basics in your categories. Scratch off items as you use them (keeping you from overbuying).

4. Buy Realistic Quantities — Don’t bulk buy when there’s no way you and your family, which may have dwindled over the past year or more, can possibly eat. You are NOT saving money!

5. Cook Realistic Quantities — Don’t cook for eight when there’s only two or three of you. You don’t need the leftovers or calories. Or, if you’re really into leftovers, great! (I like leftovers!) But then make sure to a) plan to eat them soon and, or b) freeze them – with a label!

6. Plan Ahead — Not only on your food list, but meal plan as well. With a meal plan you know exactly what you need and are not buying haphazardly.

7. Food Shopping Tips

a) Don’t shop on an empty stomach – you’ll tend to buy more and items you normally wouldn’t “crave” or impulse buy.

b) Shop more often and buy less – you’ll buy and eat the food more quickly and consciously in a plan, leaving less opportunity to find that later in the week you don’t want that great selection anymore and it’s decaying every second.

c) Buy only what you will definitely eat – you know what your eating habits are, you know what you really like and don’t like, buy accordingly. If yours is not a great diet then make only one change a week and eat it right away before you fall back into your old patterns and it rots one more time.

d) Set a budget – a budget in any area of our spending life limits our unconscious spending. Thinking through your purchases is not a sign of poverty or confusion, it’s a sign of discernment and healthy decision making for what you really want and need.

8.  Use Your Freezer — There are very few foods that can’t be frozen for future thaw and use. Buy extra meat (getting a better price), split it up and freeze it right away for future use. Break apart loaves of sliced bread and freeze 3-4 pieces in a baggy to use when you’re ready. Be sure to regularly review your freezer contents and LABEL them so as not to risk freezer burn creating more wasted food!

9.  Eating Out Tips — When you know you’re going to eat out, carry a “doggy bag” with you. I do! I keep some in my car all the time “just in case” too. Why waste more containers and bags to the landfill for a small leftover when you can take in your own zipper bag, plastic or glass container in which to haul it back home for another great meal? Restaurants overfeed us, but we can make a meal or two more out of it saving money and enjoying it again, while keeping food and packaging trash from the landfill. You can also NOT biggie-size your orders and ask for 1/2 orders.

Bottom line? Food is a wonderful thing and how nice to have so many choices! Enjoy it while being organized and efficient with it.

Bon appetit!

book cover - It's in the Bag - Food Storage
Find some good answers here too:

It’s in the Bag a New Approach to Food Storage 

Teach Your Kids the Meaning of Giving this Holiday Season

Children: Bedrooms, Toys, Stuff and School Papers, Environment: Green, Sustainable, Recycle, Reuse, Holiday Organizing All Year Round No Comments »

Christmas makes kids wide-eyed, with thoughts of a ton of presents under the Christmas tree. Some kids even like to count their presents under the tree. This holiday season, teach your kids the true meaning of Christmas — giving to others.

GIVE TO OTHERS – TEACH BY EXAMPLE

DONATE TO LOCAL SHELTER: One simple way to teach your children the value of giving is to have them donate to a local shelter. Have your children go through their toys and clothes. Make sure they give away one really nice thing that they don’t really need or play with. Place an emphasis on the fact that there are many children who have no home or parents.

GIVE TO LOCAL FOOD DRIVE: Another way your children can learn about the gift of giving is to donate canned goods to a local food drive service. These services provide food to families in need. The holidays are often a difficult time for those in need. Take your children to the grocery store and have them choose a nice variety of canned foods to donate.

BUY GIFTS FOR NEEDY FAMILY: One more way your children can learn a lesson in giving is to buy gifts for others. Choose a needy family in your church or community. If you don’t know of anyone in need, ask around. Officials at your city’s municipal building, or local pastors will be able to make recommendations to you.

Take your children shopping and help them pick out age-appropriate toys and gifts. Let them wrap the gifts, too. Finally, drive your family to your “adopted” family’s home and let your kids hand out their gifts. You can also give a gift to a local gift drive for children in need, most of these will advertise in stores and the local community during the holidays.

These kinds of life experiences and teachings give children a work and life ethic for a lifetime.

Holiday Clutter Prevention: Stop Donation Clutter from Coming into Your Life

- ORGANIZING TIPS AND TOOLS, Environment: Green, Sustainable, Recycle, Reuse, Holiday Organizing All Year Round, Office, Paper, Time and Money Management No Comments »

Do charities and causes reaching out to your mind and pocket during the holidays wear you down?

During the upcoming weeks you may be bombarded with “opportunities to donate” in the form of pamphlets, flyers and whatever else comes handed to you at the doors of your grocery store (feed the poor); at work (give); on your door (donate); at your place of worship or community (upcoming events), in your mail box (we need your support again this year) and more.

Flyers. Pieces of colored paper promoting something important. Are they really?

STOP PAPER OVERWHELM

Yes, well… some of these things ARE important and you may even want to be a part of them, donate or whatever. However, you don’t have to take the flyer to do it. The plan here is to stop more unwanted, unsolicited pieces of paper from cluttering up your car, purse, briefcase, pockets and house.

KEEP YOUR HANDS TO YOUR SELF!

I’ve learned that the easiest way for me to do this is to keep my hands in my pockets or behind my back. I “used to” be one of those people who just automatically accepted stuff that was put in front of me. The first couple of times I didn’t accept those pieces of paper I felt odd, kind of wrong, like something was missing. I got over it!

HOLIDAY DONATION CLUTTER PREVENTION PLAN

It’s okay not to accept pieces of paper, including business cards! It’s okay to listen to the pitch. It’s great to give and participate. But, be selective.

1. Plan your giving. You literally can not give to all charities or causes. It’s not possible.

2. Do all accepting and giving from an open and loving heart, not begrudgingly or from duty.

3. Feel free to contact the cause organization and get off their mailing list.

Happy Holidays. Give from your heart and have a wonderful (less cluttered) holiday season!

Kim

 

Declutter Old Satellite Dishes – They Can Be Recycled

Environment: Green, Sustainable, Recycle, Reuse No Comments »

Old, dead satellite dishes are not enjoyable to look at. Well, even new running ones aren’t the happiest vision! But, thank goodness, at least we can recycle them when they are unplugged.

Please, don’t throw dishes into the garbage or landsfill. Check with your local recycle or waste center and see if they’ll take them.

Here in Boulder County, CO  they can be taken to the Longmont Waste Diversion Center at 140 Martin St., or to the Center for Hard to Recycle Materials, at 5030 Old Pearl St, in Boulder.

And, best yet, there’s no charge!

Here’s the article from yesterday’s paper. Thanks for the heads up Johnnie St. Vrain!

 

Enjoy The Blue Moon And Blue Moon Tunes Tonight!

Books, Music and Movies, Environment: Green, Sustainable, Recycle, Reuse No Comments »

Enjoying the blue moon isn’t hard for me. I love the moon. I can stare at it for hours in any phase.

How about you?

Where does the phrase “blue moon” come from? I looked it up. You can read a very good history of it here.

Since blue moons – the second full moon in a calendar month – don’t come along very often, I’ve collected some blue moon songs for you to enjoy while basking in the light of this awesome, lovely orb tonight. (Though “just” reflected light as it is.)

Oh, and if you want to view lots of blue moon images while listening to the tunes, click here and just sit back and enjoy.

The song “Blue Moon” was first recorded by The Boswell Sisters on January 15, 1935.  

Since then, it has been recorded by many artist including Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra, Mel Torme, Vaughn Monroe, Dean Maritn, Frankie Laine & Michel Legrand, Tony Bennet with Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, Elvis Presley, Bob Dillan, Jeff Funk (the song performed in Grease), Rod Stewart, Cybill Shephard, and Django Reinhardt… to name a few! 

But, “Blue Moon” wasn’t always the same song, with the now familiar lyrics, that we know so well. Watch this short clip from MGM movies and read the information below it to find out its interesting history.

 Julie London does an awesome job too.  She has some great music.

The Marcels, 1961 version with fun retro images. 

My other favorite was written by my favorite folk singer, Nanci Griffith, “Once In a Very Blue Moon.”  Check out her “Once In a Very Blue Moon” album , it’s so great too.

 Photo: Someone created for Facebook. Thanks!

Repurpose A Jewelry Brooch Into A Cool Refrigerator Magnet

Cool Ideas, Environment: Green, Sustainable, Recycle, Reuse No Comments »

I believe in using things as long as I can before recycling or trashing (my mom’s most used sentence is, “Don’t waste anything!”). And, I also love to repurpose items and use them even longer before they head out the door.

I’m a very visual person so I like displaying things. Sometimes I find cool things like this retro one to repurpose and display to enjoy on an ongoing basis.

This piece of jewelry is clear acrylic with a flower inside. It’s a little scratched and I don’t wear brooches, but I really love it and figured it would make a great refrigerator magnet.

First, I flipped it over and took needle nose plyers and pulled out the pin.

 

 

 

 I then adhered a round magnet to the back. 

 

You can get magnets of all sizes at craft supply stores very inexpensively. Here’s a great buy on lots of them for fun projects with your kids or group too.

 

 

All done! Vwalla!

How lovely to see this retro piece of “art” on my wall (frig!) every day! It makes me very happy.  

 

 

How to Make a Firestarter for Your Stove

Cool Ideas, Environment: Green, Sustainable, Recycle, Reuse 1 Comment »

A friend Kim makes these EZPZ fire starters, so I decided to make them for her too!

This is Kim and her daughter, Anya. What beauties!

Anya is a vaulter. Here she is!

The horse rink they use for practice is very cold in the winter, but they have a wood stove there. So, Kim started making these fire starters to help along the process when they get there to get the chill out, even in the smallest area where she can sit and watch her daughter practice.

These firestarters are not only cheap to make, but you’re recycling and repurposing in a very cool way.

Take a cardboard (not plastic) egg carton and stuff each egg cup with dryer lint. Yup, lint from your dryer! How easy is that! Then, you can just crack off an egg cup filled with lint and light it on fire in the stove.. How fun, easy and safe is that!

I love being able to help out with little things like this. Thanks for the great post idea Kimski!

Oh, PS! – Anya competed and WON three first place ribbons in Albuquerque last week! Next up is Nationals in Kentucky in August. WHOO HOO! Go Anya!

.. 

Use Chopsticks to Help Empty Lotion Bottles

Cool Ideas, Environment: Green, Sustainable, Recycle, Reuse, Time and Money Management No Comments »

 

I don’t like to waste anything, especially that last couple of tablespoons to a 1/2 or more cup of lotion in a bottle that won’t come up the pump dispenser any more.

SAVE TIME

Emptying lotion, mustard and other creamy ingredients from bottles that might otherwise take a little time can waste yours if you stand and hold the bottle.

Save time with chopsticks! Find a couple flat chopsticks in the your kitchen, craft or junk drawer and let them help you out. Balance the bottle between them over a glass container, I have lots of Pyrex and Anchor Hocking bowls with plastic lids for this and other little projects.

Leave it for a while and vwalla! All done for you! 🙂  Then, just use up the last bit of lotion from the glass covered bowl.

Diesel Fumes Cause Cancer

Environment: Green, Sustainable, Recycle, Reuse, Health and Medical, Safety and Security, Stress Management No Comments »

Boy, it’s always something!

I know I certainly hate smelling any gas or chemical fumes, and diesel is right up there.

But, Tuesday the World Health Organization‘s cancer agency declared a ruling that said it could make exhaust as important a public health threat as secondhand smoke.

“The risk of getting cancer from diesel fumes is small, but since so many people breathe in the fumes in some way, the science panel said raising the status of diesel exhaust to carcinogen from “probable carcinogen” was an important shift.”

Here’s the full article. CLICK.

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