Photo of the Week: Enjoy Nature

This photo is from the gardens at Kórnik Castle in Kórnik, Poland.  It was taken in late spring 2014.  I felt like my blog needed some beautiful late spring foliage before we move into the true heat of summer.  Enjoy!

How to Make Your Picnic Environmentally Friendly

Happy (almost) summer! Man, have we had some beautiful days here in NC. It makes you just want to head outside with a picnic, sprawl out in the grass and enjoy the sunshine. There’s warm sun on your face, cool grass under your feet, and a light breeze in the air. You pull out your picnic basket, and it’s full of…trash? Plastic straws, cups, and forks. Paper napkins and plates. Sandwiches, wrapped up in plastic wrap or single-use zip-top bags. But what are you going to do? You can’t exactly bring fine china to the park. Are disposable paper products your only option? Should you just stay at home?

Fear not, my environmentally-conscious friends, someone else has been there before you! There are many options out there so that you can have an easy clean-up, and eco-friendly picnics all summer long.

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1. There has been a huge movement this year to reduce straw usage. Of course, you may choose to simply go without, but I personally love straws. This reusable straw is the perfect solution! It even comes with 2 cleaning brushes.

2. A reusable water bottle is a great thing to have for your day-to-day life. But for your picnic, you might want to consider this one, because in addition to being a great option for H20, it can also hold an entire (750mL) bottle of wine.

3. Stainless steel wine glasses are the perfect balance of reusable and durable. You’ll love these sets of dishwasher safe, stemless wine glasses.

4. Reusable, collapsible cups are better than boring old solo cups. They’re reusable AND pack down nice and small, making them perfect for your picnic, camping, or traveling.

5. If you don’t want to take your metal utensils but are trying to avoid disposable items, these camping reusable utensils are for you. They are a 3-in-1 fork, knife, and spoon so they’ll work for all of your needs without taking up much space. Bonus!

6. Cloth napkins are not just for grandma’s fancy Christmas dinner. These “paperless towels”are durable, washable, and quick drying. You won’t miss paper napkins or paper towels.

7. Of course you can use normal reusable plastic plates for your eco-friendly picnic. But if you’re looking for an alternative, compostable plates are super cool. These are microwave and hot/cold food safe.  They may be a one-time use item, but you can put them into the compost instead of the landfill. Win!

8. Plastic wrap and baggies are such a waste. Try out this hand-washable, beeswax cloth instead. It comes with 3 different sized wraps for sealing up your fruits, veggies, or sandwiches and can also be used to cover a bowl of your favorite snacks. Once you’re done with it for good (and remember, you can wash it again and again) it’s even compostable.

9. If you have any liquid-y dishes to bring on your picnic, these mason jars are a trendy and eco-friendly vessel. Fill them up with soups, sauces, or any other messy dishes for your picnic, then wash and use them again and again.

I hope these ideas have inspired you to reduce your waste and invest in some nifty products for this summer’s outdoor activities such as picnics or camping. Do you have any ideas for having an eco-friendly picnic? How do you reduce waste? Let me know in the comments below! Did you like this post? Share via Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest and, as always, follow me here on WordPress for more GREAT content like this!

Let’s Get Organized!

2018 is ticking by so much faster than I thought it would!  January dragged on; we had after vacation blahs, my car broke down, I started back to work and school, just snowball after snowball hit me in the face.  February was better, I was a little more used to the schedule, I got a new car, but I was still playing catch up from January. Now we’re halfway through March and it’s time to get my shit together at home!  Who’s ready for spring cleaning 2018?

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Here are some cool things to get you organized for Spring Cleaning 2018

  1. A desktop organizer is perfect for your desk or bathroom counter. I have one to organize some of my makeup and jewelry and keep it from cluttering up the counter.

    Average rating on Amazon: 4.1 stars
    Price: $14.99
    5 star review from Tee:
    “On my desk at work, excellent”
  2. Wire shower caddy cabinet organization. Great for organizing your shower (obviously) and can also be hung inside a cabinet for organizing cleaning supplies, makeup, skincare products, or extra shampoo, conditioner, and body wash.

    Average rating on Amazon: 4.4 stars
    Price: $26.92
    5 star review from E Sanchez:
    “The hooks that hang over the top are about 2 inches wide so they will fit most doors or walls of your shower. I’m relieved to see that the caddy is large enough to hold big shampoo bottles and also a variety of bottles on both holders.”
  3. File folders are great for everything. You can obviously use them to sort files, but you can also use them to sort stuff in your kitchen. They’re a great size for holding fruit, sorting boxes of baggies or foil, and can even be placed in the fridge for additional short shelf space!

    Average rating on Amazon: 4.8 stars
    Price: $15.87
    5 star review from Katie:
    “I bought these to organize our kiddos library! Very sturdy! I love them!”
  4. Ah, a lazy Susan. Put it in your kitchen cabinet, put it in your bathroom cabinet, stick the thing in your fridge: this is a must-have for any organized home.

    Average rating on Amazon: 4.6 stars
    Price: $12.99
    5 star review from LMT1022:
    “I have been on a major organizing kick and bought this to store all of my spices in the pantry. My shelves are 16″ depth with a 17″ height…
    “Very happy with the quality – seems very durable and stable. Many of the spices are glass and have extra weight, but no issues with the turntable supporting the heavier items.
    “The underside of the turntable has a solid round piece, so no worries about using this on an open wire shelf.”
  5. Cloth cube storage. These are fantastic! Great for storing T-shirts, shoes, craft supplies, office supplies, the possibilities are endless. I have a few that fit neatly onto a wire shelf, making it into a cheap chest of drawers.

    Average rating on Amazon: 4.7 stars
    Price: $17.99
    5 star review from Jersey Girl:
    “I purchased this cubes to organize my classroom. They look great on a shelf and are the perfect size! The fabric is pretty good quality and I believe they will last!! Good price for a pack of six, compared to a $5 each in a retail store. Love the assortment of colors available.”
  6. Over-the-door shoe organizer. Not only is this great for shoes (obviously) but it can also be used to store other items. It’s the perfect size for Barbie or Bratz dolls, and great for any other plastic toy organization.

    Average rating on Amazon: 4.4 stars
    Price: $9.99
    5 star review from Dave:
    “We have added this to our hall closet to help us organize all of our bottles of sunscreen bottles, lotions, wipes, etc for storage. Helps us clear up shelf space for sheets and towels etc.”
  7. This under-the-sink shelf is expandable so you can reach the stuff in the back of the cabinet and adjustable so that you can make it fit to the height of your cabinet.

    Average rating on Amazon: 4.6 stars
    Price: $19.87
    5 star review from Susan Rupe:
    “As a professional organizer, I have purchased this item several times to solve the problem of many clients’ under-the-sink organizing dilemmas. … It’s easy to assemble, made of sturdy material, and shelves can be adjusted to clear the plumbing. It solves 95% of the situations people face when trying to better organize the space under their sink. It works the best for bathrooms where clients can add plastic bins or baskets to corral their many personal hygiene products when bathroom vanity drawers are not an option.”
  8. These interlocking bins will reorganize your junk drawer and you’ll have to give it a new name. This comes with a set of 8 various sized small bins to fit your weirdly shaped items from pencils to push pins.

    Average rating on Amazon: 4.5 stars
    Price: $10.60
    5 star review from ccc_wood:
    “This set has been perfect for my desk at work. The clutter in my drawer was so annoying to sift through before I found the right pen or paperclip. Now everything is easy to find and well organized. Nice to be able to customize arrangement as well. I may purchase more of these for cluttered drawers at home.”

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What are your favorite ways to get organized? Do you have any tips for re-purposing organizational items like shower caddies or lazy susans? Share with me in the comments below! Share this post via Facebook or Twitter and, as always, follow me here on WordPress for more GREAT content like this!

Reviews were edited for length/clarity.  If you follow the links in the body of the text, I may receive a compensation from Amazon.  This compensation comes from Amazon, not from you, and the price you see through my links is the same as the price you would see otherwise.