Wednesday, November 30, 2016


You use it once... then what?
Awareness is step one

Here is the reality

BUT 
We can change this
Adidas did it! 
Adidas turns profit by turning plastic waste into sneakers!

The Esty artist TheOrigianlMustach Does it

Landfill decomposition rates:

Milk carton: 5 years

Plastic milk jug: 500 years


Aluminum can: 80 to 200 years

Plastic drinking bottles: hundreds of years

 Plastic bags: hundreds of years


Cigarette butt: up to five years & leaches toxins into the ground

Newspaper: 2 to 4 weeks or longer

Glass bottles: tens of thousands of years

Styrofoam: no sign of ever breaking down 

(figures from ecocomic.com)


What can you do.. LITERALLY anything!
just google it
there was so much that you can make I couldn't choose what to show you
the world is yours for the taking. 
take it and make it as fun as possible
<3

Upcycling Safety: Preparing a Wood Pallet

Upcycling is an awesome hobby that can be designed for all ages, and extend the lifespan of some of your own personal treasures. We want to make sure that your work lasts a long time, and most importantly is safe to use. While some projects are simple that a child could make it others may be more involved with materials one may not be familiar with. A hot item to upcycle is the wood pallet, and can be turned into a number of things such as chairs, tables, bookshelves, etc. It can also be broken down to be used for smaller projects as well! Pallets though come with their own dangers that one should be aware of before working with.

Pallets come in many shapes and sizes

Pallets are one of the first lines of defense against spills and mishaps during transportation. When selecting a pallet its important to check for any stains on the wood, for the wood can soak up any chemicals that may have spilled during transportation. Once you've found a spill free pallet then you'll need to check the side for stamps and seals. Just because there are no stains does not mean that the pallet wasn't treated with chemicals before traveling. Checking for stamps and seals can tell you where the pallet may have come from, or what it was shipping.

The two main stamps to look for are the IPPC logo and the treatment code. The IPPC logo means this pallet has been approved for safety even if it came from abroad. Without this logo this Pallet could have come form anywhere with anything, and is most likely not safe. The treatment code is next to the IPPC logo, and is extremely important when picking out a pallet. These codes tell you exactly what chemicals the wood has been treated with if any. Codes like MB or Methyl Bromide means the pallet has been soaked in a fungicide which could make you extremely ill when handling.

 So where are some good places to find pallets then without too much hassle at sorting through them? Pet supplies stores are often a safe bet since they primarily use soft wood pallets with pet food. Newspaper or distribution centers are also pretty safe since they do not need chemical soaked pallets for transporting of newspapers or other reading materials. Construction sites or landscaping companies can be good, but be sure to check the pallets for a treatment code. Don't forget to ask for permission to take the pallets! Just because they are lying around outside doesn't mean they are free to use always ask first.

And finally here are some tips for prepping a pallet after picking them up!
  • A hammer or a pry bar are great ways to separate a pallet without damaging the wood.
  • Using a drill to remove screws and nails from a pallet is the most efficient way to do so.
    •  A nail punch is an even better way to get out those pesky nails, but it is not a common item in most households. 
  • Make sure to sand your work before painting. Even if you like the natural finish of the wood be sure to sad a little, or you can have large splinters sticking out. 
  • When cutting the wood try not to cut near nail holes over time the wood shrinks, and can create splitting when pressure is applied or released. 
Here you can read more into pallets, and the best ways to prep, identify, and find them.
https://www.fix.com/blog/preparing-wood-pallets-for-upcycling/

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Using Oyster Shell "Waste" to Scrub Our Earth Clean


by DAVID PLECHL

Ever since I first drove past the small mountains of oyster shells one sees on the way through Nahcotta Bay at the north end of Southwest Washington's wet and wild Long Beach Peninsula, I have wondered what these spent houses for gloppy little morsels could be used for. Well, the first thing I found out was that they are used to "seed" more oysters. They are literally the medium from which new oysters sprout, (after the baby oysters are implanted on them), and so they are recycled to a degree. But because Willapa Bay is one of the leading producers of oysters in the world, boy do they pile up. 

As I dug more into the potential uses and reuses of these shells, I found that in Korea, a nation that produces 270,000 tons of the waste a year, the accumulation of shells has created real problems. The cost of securing landfill sites for the shells means dis-incentivized fishermen have allowed them to pile up in ports where they have polluted local fisheries, created management problems of public water sources, and created health and sanitation issues.

A 2012 joint study performed by three Korean universities and one research development center, examined ways in which these "waste shells," which are composed almost entirely of calcium carbonate, might be utilized for water and air filter mediums, eutrophication control, and even cleaning up toxic waste. The study was a combination of fresh research and an examination of existing literature on the topic. 

                                                                          Oyster shells at Nahcotta, Washington


Some high points—The study found that the shell medium more efficient and less expensive than limestone at the "desulfurization" of exhaust gases from power plants. When used as a soil conditioner, the shell medium showed higher adsorption and desorption of heavy metals than general soil. Amazingly, the study noted "the oyster shell can neutralize acidic waste water from mines very fast and remove 99% of heavy metals."

Somewhat encouraging for the Northwest, was the potential the shells (in the form of a powder) have shown to "remove red tide organism." These are the organisms that have created recurring dead zones off of the Oregon and Washington coastlines. The toxic algae blooms are fed by warmer than usual ocean temperatures and excessive amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus going into the environment from livestock and agricultural run off. The shells could present a viable option in combating what has become an annual menace that is killing fish, denuding maritime environments and affecting the livelihood of those that depend on healthy fisheries. 

I spoke with an official at the local port where I first became fascinated with the mini mountains of shells, and he assured me that they are "highly valuable," but that the value (beyond reseeding) is only recently becoming apparent. He said the port has looked at grinding up the shells and using them to absorb contaminant that have built up in the port due to various industries or also looked to sell them to various groups in an effort to "blunt ocean acidification."

As I was researching material for this post I was delighted to see that here in Astoria, oyster shells were implanted into the tail end of a revamped water treatment process. Now, wastewater and run off from the streets will go through a filter comprised almost entirely of crushed oyster shells. Whether you find them delicious or disgusting, it seems oysters shells are finding second lives making our lives better. 

References:

Jong-Hyeon Jung, Jae-Jeong Lee, Gang-Woo Lee, Kyung-Seun Yoo and Byung-Hyun Shon (2012). Reuse of Waste Shells as a SO2/NOx Removal Sorbent, Material Recycling - Trends and Perspectives, Dr. Dimitris; Available at: http://www.intechopen.com/books/material-recycling-trends-and-perspectives/reuse-of-waste-shells-as-a-so2-nox-removal-sorbent

The Daily Astorian - http://www.dailyastorian.com/Local_News/20161012/port-closes-in-on-new-stormwater-treatment-system

The Port of Peninsula - Interview 



UPCYCLE: GIFT WRAPPING

Now that Thanksgiving weekend is over, there's no time to relax. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Hopefully you all found some good gifts on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but if not don't fret because there will still be plenty of sales and bargains to shop for until the big day arrives on December 25th. There's always the option of upcycling an item to make a new present out of as well! If that's not the route you want to take with your loved ones, you can still always upcycle old items to use as gift wrap. Here are three nifty options to use this holiday season!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Upcycling is Global

Upcycling is Universal!

People around the world get ready for school by upcycling.

Some of the sites and videos will not have translations. I want you to know that there doesn't need to be any in order to follow the simple instructions. I want to create an understanding that our trash and items we can make from that trash is universal. Each image has a link to the website instructions.

Check out how this is done (click here)
                                                                         English

Check out how these booklets are done (click here)

                                                                                 
                                                                             Turkish

                                                Make your own a pencil holder from paper rolls                   


                                                                            Hispanic




Check out how food containers are made (click here)


Danish




Make textbook covers from old wrapping paper




Upcycling! One Product at a Time!

Do you have any unwanted doors or cabinet doors? If you do and would like to upcycle them, here are some cool ideas you could do with them.


For unwanted doors, you could make tables out of them!

(Below is the link to access the tutorial on how to make a table of your choice.)


I even have some friends who have done this. They were given a few bar stools for free and found a decent height table at a garage sale. Instead of buying a bar table for their dining room for a few hundred dollars, they created a style they liked and only paid $40 in total to upcycle it. They even stripped the old bar stools down, re-padded them and styled them with fabric they liked and now have a new table for their own dining room.

  (Here is what they made.)

You can even turn some cabinets into benches with shelving storage. If you like what you see, the link below is how to recreate this master piece. 



While hunting around for other ideas to spice up one’s own home, I discovered someone who upcycled their child’s old crib into a dog kennel. The link below is how you can create it.



All of these ideas, are ways that people can help save their environment as well as save money. For example, look at what my friends were capable of! They refurnished free bar stools and found a cheap table from a garage sale that saved them a bunch of money. If they had not refurnished the table and bar stools, where would the products have gone? 

.....To the landfill.... 



Does anyone realize we are running out of space for landfills and that all the landfills are leaking into the Earth and polluting the environment? Unfortunately people now days are still not as educated on this problem. Or if they are, they feel they don’t have the ability to help out in their own homes. But by upcycling products that are within your own home. instead of tossing them out, is helping to save the environment one product at a time!



Upcycling, the Ocean, and Artificial Reefs


    The importance of reefs cannot be overstated. They protect our coastlines, harbor wildlife, and promote tourism, but reefs are in danger, and though regulation and preventative measures are being implemented to reduce risk and harm there must be something done to restore already damaged habitats. This is the role of the artificial reef.

From Toilet Bowl to Table?

The Politics and Pitfalls of Upcycling Human Waste


by DAVID PLECHL
Every time you flush, you may be doing a bit of farming. More than half of the solid waste produced by Oregon and Washington wastewater treatment plants ends up in Northwest fields and forests as fertilizer for animal and human crops. But fear not, this is a tightly regulated process that aims to protect rivers and streams from contamination and people from potentially harmful bugs and bacteria. But upcycling 'biosolids' is not a practice immune from controversy or concern.
While working for a small local newspaper I learned a lot more about how coastal towns handle these land applications of treated human waste in rainy wet environments. Two local towns, the last in Washington state to land apply during wet winter months, were recently called out by the state's Department of Ecology for their disposal techniques. Now they'll have to invest millions to upgrade their biosolid treatment process or be forced to ship their sludge hundreds of miles to proper facilities in other cities. 
It all started when Washington State Department of Ecology said it was "protecting against groundwater contamination caused by surface runoff" when it told the cities of Long Beach and Ilwaco that they would no longer be allowed to apply treated sewage sludge to local forest and pasture lands during winter months.
Officials at both cities said they were caught of guard when notified of the new limitation earlier this year, and both fear a major increase in sewer bills to address the issue.
                                                                 Applying biosolids to agricultural lands. Photo: WA DEQ
“We’ve been doing that for forever and a day,” Long Beach Mayor Jerry Phillips said in early October of the current sewage-disposal procedure.
DOE officials said most treatment plants across the state dispose of ‘Class B’ sludge — a mix of partially treated sewer waste that includes human waste — by applying the processed biosolids to forest and agricultural lands. Natural environmental processes then degrade remaining pathogens. Nitrogen from the applications feed crops and trees on public and private lands. However, Pacific County’s high rainfall makes winter disposal inappropriate here, DOE said.

Treat it or ship it

The cities will now have to build dedicated storage facilities, ship the waste to a capable plant or build a local facility to refine the waste to a ‘Class A,’ or ‘Exceptional Quality’ standard. The ‘EQ’ certification gives municipal waste processors a green light to sell or give their biosolid compost to nurseries, landscapers and farmers. EQ may contain just as many pollutants as the Class B biosolids — including metals from pipes or chemicals from household and industrial waste that get flushed into the municipal water system. The difference in certification level, officials say, lies in the level of biological sterility. Further drying and processing decreases the pathogen load and thus makes EQ safer for human and environmental contact.
“One is not really better or worse,” said Kelsey Dunne, a regional biosolids coordinator with DOE. Dunne said further processing reduces the bio-availability of nutrients available for plants. “If you’re a farmer, you really want those nutrients.”
                                                                      Preparing a land application.     Photo: WA DEQ
The problem is that dormant wintertime plants don’t readily absorb those nutrients; if the nitrogen is then washed into waterways, algae blooms may create toxic conditions for fish. The permit prohibits the application of biosolids to areas of surface flow or standing water in order to prevent the spread of nutrients and bioactive pathogens before they properly degrade.
Peter Lyon, a water resources supervisor at DOE, said South Bend and Raymond built a single shared treatment plant and now produce a high-quality EQ biosolid. He put that transition into perspective in both financial and environmental terms.
“Their product is so popular that they have a year-long waiting list from the community,” Lyon said. “The challenge is, those systems often come with significant costs.”

Costs in the millions

The costs, likely to run into the millions, are what have Long Beach and Ilwaco city officials up in arms as a 2020 deadline inches closer.
The treatment plant for Raymond and South Bend cost $37 million by the time it was finished in 2013-14. Ratepayers are repaying a long-term low-interest loan for about $21 million. Another $16 million was funded by grants. As the project neared completion in August 2013, Raymond’s sewer bills had increased 67 percent and South Bend’s about 63 percent over a four-year period. In south county, sewer rate increases would impact Ilwaco, Seaview and Long Beach, but not areas like Ocean Park and Chinook, which are served by private septic systems.
Lyon said neither Long Beach or Ilwaco has violated the terms of the “Statewide General Permit for Biosolids Management and Site Specific Land Application Plan,” under which they are authorized to dispose of their Class B biosolids. But wintertime applications, said Lyon, are forbidden under the intention, if not the letter, of the permit. He said the new ban will be more specifically included in the next permit, due in 2020.
“It’s just not the way the program was intended to be run,” Lyon said.

Complaint received

Long Beach and Ilwaco are the only cities in Washington that dispose in the winter months, he said. Both cities’ practices were reviewed after DOE received a complaint early this year that biosolid waste was being spread during “a large rain event.”
Lyon said because the complaint came in at the same time the cities were renewing their applications, the practice would have been reviewed and halted anyway. Neither city currently has the storage space to stow their Class B waste through winter.
“They were outliers, for lack of a better term,” Lyon said, explaining why the decision was made to prevent the cities from spreading biosolids in the winter. “It’s not ideal anywhere in the state of Washington. It’s particularly not ideal in a community where it rains so much.”
Lyon said lots of rain, high water tables and sloped disposal sites used by the cities present contamination threats to waterways. Decreased absorption by plants in winter presents further problems, Lyon said.
Ilwaco and Long Beach don’t need to go to EQ, but they need to find a solution; all of which will be more expensive than what the cities have been doing. DOE said its deadline is reasonable.
“I’m trying to give both cities time to come up with a good approach,” Lyon said, offering encouragement that the cities ally toward a solution. “There’s some economies of scale for working together.”

Not enough time

But officials from both cities say four years is not enough time to come up with the plans and funding necessary to successfully meet the deadline. Ilwaco Councilman Gary Forner said not only was he floored by the DOE decision, but also wary the deadline can be met without a lot of financial hurt.
“I mean, two small municipalities, that can be a major drain on them financially,” Forner said. “Four years notice is kind of short.”
Forner said if the cities were to build a plant, it would take considerable time to coordinate plans, find an appropriate property, obtain the necessary permits, finish the engineering and environmental studies and complete construction.
Both city governments said the newly introduced limitation will cost millions in either increased shipping costs to move biosolids to a distant location, or the considerable costs of building a Class A, EQ-quality plant.
Forner said Ilwaco would likely have to raise sewer rates to offset the costs associated with building a new biosolid plant, “unless we get a huge federal grant, and those aren’t free.”
Because no rules were broken and no contamination was identified in DOE’s review of their current practices, Forner would like to see the government either come up with some funding help or reconsider the impending ban altogether.
“I hope they kind of back away from this and let us proceed in the way we’ve been doing it,” Forner said.
                                                                        Dewatered biosolids.   Photo: WA DEQ
Ilwaco Mayor Mike Cassinelli, Mayor Phillips and other city officials recently toured Class A certified plants in Raymond and Westport. Phillips said those tours were educational and Long Beach is now initiating a study to look more closely at the costs of building a plant with Ilwaco as well as any financial gain associated with selling the EQ ‘compost.’ Despite moving forward, Phillips expressed his frustration with how the DOE decision was made, and he said the requirement puts an undue burden on small coastal communities.
“Every year DOE changes their rules and stuff,” Phillips said. “It would have been nice to do it on our time instead of DOE’s time”

County position

In 2011, Wahkiakum County banned all spreading of biosolids on its public and private lands. The DOE then sued the county. In 2014, the state’s Court of Appeals ruled that Wahkiakum’s ban violated the state’s constitution. In 2015, the Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal from the county. Pacific County commissioners Steve Rogers, Frank Wolfe and Lisa Ayers wrote a letter to the governor in defense of Wahkiakum’s ban, saying DOE had previously “failed to adequately supervise the application of biosolids to many sites in Lewis County…” and that resulted in “contamination” and threats to public health, and damage to fish and wildlife.
“Both Pacific and Wahkiakum counties play a major role in salmon recovery, and cannot allow live microrgaisms to enter our rivers and streams,” the county commissioners said.
According to DOE, 99 percent of pathogens must be removed during wastewater treatment for biosolids to be declared Class B.
Phillips said he was disappointed by the commissioners’ letter.

- A version of this story was originally published in the Chinook Observer

Squeezing more from a fish carcass just makes "cents"

Making high end fertilizers and other products from seafood waste in Oregon


by DAVID PLECHL

After the fish filleters and crab shakers in Pacific Seafood's processing plants across Oregon and Washington have successfully separated the delicate and delicious meat from the 'wasted' bony carcasses of myriad commercial sea creatures, its BioOregon plant turns the waste into a highly sought after fertilizer. 

"Basically they've been rendering carcasses and fish waste since the 1940's," said Jerry Boisvert, a salesperson for BioOregon, the processing plant in Warrenton, Oregon, that turns seafood waste directly into fertilizer as well as other nutrients and oils that end up in everything from pet foods to cosmetics. 

The most popular product is a fish meal fertilizer rendered from the most "premium waste," meat and bone that contains 75% protein by weight. The demand, said Boisvert, has grown due to the rise in organic farming, and so has the price, from under a dollar per pound just a few years ago, to $1.78 a pound today. 

"That's our money maker. That's where we make hay," Boisvert said. Plus, he says, "It was just a great opportunity for some of these by products to go into the soil."

The 'upcycling' processes are strictly regulated by both the EPA and DEQ. Some processors use acids to sterilize the waste and stop it from stinking, but BioOregon has invested in drying the material to achieve the same results and keeps the product organic. That can be pretty expensive though, so BioOregon starts by pressing the waste to first remove as much water as possible. 

The regulations create a clean, safe and stable product; and even the discharge air goes through scrubbers, said Boisvert. A lot of the shell proteins end up in pet food, and because pets eat the same food over and over, the standard for purity is high (even though the products are not suitable for human consumption).

"You better take care of little Foo-Foo just as you take care of little Sally or Joe," Boisvert explained, adding that the major pet food suppliers are always looking for source ingredients.

BioOregon has consistently increased the amount of waste it turns into useable and profitable products over the years. A new dryer was added five years ago, and the company is now looking at ways to reclaim soluble protein from "stick water" that gets discharged into the Columbia River. 

"Very little product gets wasted anymore or goes to landfills," Boisvert said. "If you're paying to get rid of them as opposed to turning them into money, it can make or break you. You can pay to get rid of them, or turn them into money."

Before BioOregon had the equipment to dry the shrimp shells (a million dollar investment) they had to pay to ship them to Chehalis and Boardman, and lyme had to be dumped on the truck loads to keep the odor down. It got expensive and the product really was wasted. No more.

Today, the amount of reclaimed and upcycled product that BioOregon produces each year is staggering. Around 41 million pounds of waste material will pass through the plant each year. Approximately 20 million pounds of that comes from whiting, a bottom fish used to produce a variety of seafood products like sirimi, or "imitation crab" as it is sometimes known. 

Two million pounds of high quality fish meal will be produced. Forty to 60 thousand pounds of reclaimed fish oil will go to farmer's fields and into animal diets. High end fertilizer companies like Down to Earth buy processed products from BioOregon for their own formulations. Nestle buys 500,000 pounds of processed crab and shrimp products for pet foods. 

One of the best customers, said Boisvert, was a pharmaceutical company that used nutrients produced at BioOregon to feed bacteria. He said they were "growing bugs to recover something that was needed in medicines."

But the premium product, said Boisvert, remains to be the high quality fish meal that fetches a price twice that of equivalent chemical fertilizers. Even the price of lower quality crab and shrimp meal has grown due to the demands of the growing organic food industry. Eight years ago, crab meal was fetching 8 cents a pound, now it's at 40 cents a pound.

And even though BioOregon is an industry leader when it comes to reclaiming and upcycling seafood byproduct waste, Boivert said more can be done.

"There's countries that do a better job than we do in the States," Boisvert said. One example is Iceland, where, "in terms of utilizing more creatively their waste products to the point where there are no waste products at all."

That would certainly please Boisvert's boss, plant manager Dan Humphrey's.

"You cant say the word waste in front of him, his whole approach is to change people's attitude about it," Boisvert said. "It's a feather in your cap to say that everything you harvest is one —sustainable, but also utilized."

- Information courtesy of Jerry Boisvert and BioOregon; Interview and article by David Plechl


Friday, November 25, 2016

The Science of Upcycling: Help the Earth Fight Plastic Waste


Nearly every piece of  plastic that was created still exists today. 



As many of us know, the environmental degradation caused by plastic production, consumption and disposal cases irreversible damage to the environment. As shown below, plastic is a major player in global waste. Not only is it produced in massive amounts annually, but it is notoriously difficult to dispose of as.  

As consumers, we are sometimes unaware of how far reaching the effect of plastic production and consumption can be.





What can we do about it?




The common Narrative 


"We need to stop creating so much plastic as a world, until then we can't really do anything."

I challenge this idea.  While local and global leaders must continue to regulate how much plastic is available for commercial use, the question must be asked:

What can we individually do to reduce our impact of the environmental degradation caused by plastic?


Once again we can turn to innovations in upcycling as an alternative.  Innovative entrepreneurs at Precious Plastic are inspiring individual households to begin to breakdown their own plastic.



The Plastic Shredder Prototype


By taking what we would normally recycle, we can begin to immediately recirculate plastic use by upcycling shredded plastic!

New technologies such as Ultimaker 3D Printing use plastic in 3D printing.  As these new technologies progress, they are becoming increasingly cheaper.

Through these printers, we at home can create amazing works of art and useful tools out of plastics that would otherwise circulate back into the natural environment.   




Just a few things artists have created using plastic 3D printing

Image result for 3d printed plastic





Related image













As you can see it is a myth to think that we as individuals are not capable of shaping the future and preventing future environmental degradation.


Projects, such as ProtoPrint are coordinating wide scale plastic clean up projects aimed at recirculating the use of plastic back into production.


Get involved and seek out resources for 3D printing and plastic shredding to help create high quality pieces, while prevent further global environmental degradation ...




Thursday, November 24, 2016

Innovative Ways for the old Mason Jars

     What comes to mind when I say Mason Jars? Does it take you back to hanging out at your grandmothers’ and watching her can food? 



                                                   That’s exactly where my mind goes too! 

     However due to a term called “upcycling” people are finding more creative and innovative ways to reuse mason jars besides just for food products. Some people have turned them into candle holders, coin jars and even decorations in their houses. 






     Have you ever heard of the word "upcycling"? Well if you are unfamiliar with the term “upcycling”, it is just a new way to improve and recycle old items. Instead of trashing the item, people are finding new and inventive ways to reuse and improve the value of the item. It has become trendy on some websites like Pinterest and Etsy. People are posting how one can create cost effective ways to remodel homes, redecorate rooms and even upgrade items without breaking people’s bank accounts as well as make their home unique with style.

      Here are some ideas of what mason jars can be used as besides hording grandma’s delicious peaches and pears!








You can find these pictures and ideas off Pinterest if you are interested in doing any of them. They should have the step by step instructions on how to do them as well! 

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Upcycling in the Garden

There are many reasons why people want a garden. First, it’s very visual appealing. All around, it makes your house look nicer, feel happier, and even smell better. Second, it’s convenient and useful. You can grow produce and herbs which saves you trips to the grocery store, and keeps your food organic. Third, it’s cost effective. Gardens increase the worth of your house, and can save money are groceries in the long run. Forth, it’s seen as socially important and impressive. Everyone who passes by can see your house, they can see the time and work you put into it. Lastly, it makes you feel and look good.
Many people enjoy having a garden, they love the way it looks; they enjoy being able to grow their own food; and they get social bragging points. So what gets in the way? For me, its cost. All the products needed to create and maintain a garden can be expensive. BUT WAIT; what if you can use items you already have to replace the expensive ones?
This post serves as a source of starting points towards your dream garden. Save money by using materials you were going to throw away or recycle. With these few tips and tricks, your garden may look better than if you had spent hundreds on it.

Why waste money on fancy planters and pots? Perhaps you can try using an old tool tote, metal tool box, bed frames, outgrown toys, used/damaged pots, teakettles, cups, bowls, etc. An old wheelbarrow, old rowboat, old gutters, garbage cans, wood crates, boots, pianos, bikes, old dressers,  the possibilities are endless.



What about patio furniture? Have you ever wanted a patio swing? Maybe some nice lounge chairs? Could you use an outdoor shelf for all your gardening tools? Pallets are great for creating rustic outdoor furniture. You can take an old and paint it up, placing it on its side, to make a unique and rustic shelf. Take a wood pallet, attach some rope, and add pillows and you have a beautiful patio swing. Maybe make a table or chairs out of pallets too, and add a fresh coat of paint to add to the appeal.





For more great Garden Upcycles, Check out the following links:

Link 1:

Link 2:

Link 3:


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Portland Demographic

Creating businesses in portland that sells upcycled furniture would be popular to its demographic while also providing jobs to the people. Portland's demographic is environmentally friendly and is also popular for independent businesses; for example, as PSU students we are very familiar with the popularity of food carts on our campus. So having an independent business with upcycling furniture will add an environmentally friendly aspect to the demographic while also providing modern looking furniture for homes. It might also inspire others to create their own furniture and expand the idea of upcycling.


Some ideas for upcycled furniture can include making chairs or couches by the use of pallets. This seems to be a useful source for a product that is often just left to rot outside. With businesses, they can take this idea, and polish it up a bit, by staining it and creating protective layer so the stain can progress while also looking shiny. They can also make it more comfortable by making cushion for the back and seating part of the chair. This is an example of the pallet chairs, but the businesses can take it a step further by adding more feature to it; maybe by having different colored options or cushions.


Another way to use pallets can be for bed frames, although it may sound odd it looks perfect for a vintage or modern style home. Pallets are a popular use of furniture because they are made to take on a lot of weight, and it doesn't require reconstruction of the wood inorder to let it hold.



Regarding decorations, old t shirts or towels can be used to make rugs or shower mats. By cutting them into long think pieces and weaving them or crocheting them into a beautiful design. And again businesses can find ways to polish these everyday at home designs and make them more intricate or colorful.
To this!

Businesses can take simple homemade ideas from this
     
                       
Not only is creating the upcycled furniture and decorations buisness a good way to help the environment, but creating this buisness in portland will mean that it will get a large amount of support from the consumers because we are a generally green state. 

Incorporating Upcycling in Decorations

What does Upcycling mean? Upcycling is another way of recycling products to benefit the economy by making high quality products. Many of us already know this can be done in our society in a DIY sort of way, but in other countries this line of work is used to actually make money because there are no other jobs to help families make an income. With the increase in unemployment rates, there could be lines of work that can help provide jobs for people.


Personally, I was thinking of creative ways people can use upcycling. The first thing that is already using upcycling is wedding or party planners; many of us have seen those pintrest posts about making flower boards or center pieces without spending much money. Personally, I know a wedding planner that used wine bottles for center pieces. How did she make something like this work for a wedding? She gathered a bunch of used wine bottles, and spray painted them with gold and gold sparkles. She easily had a bunch of beautiful center pieces, without spending money. Weddings are one of those things people just spend way too much money on, so upcycling even for the smallest things can benefit both the environment and your wallet.



Decorations in both parties or at home can be a creative way to incorporate upcycling that provides a sustainable and economically friendly solution for everyone. Let's say you want to put some fresh flowers at home--don't throw out those dead light bulbs, empty them out and hang them up with the flowers coming out of it. There's always a way to use everyday products without being wasteful; you can help both the environment and yourself.