Monday, June 20, 2011

My Journey at The RE Store is Slowly Coming To an End

I have had such an amazing experience working with The RE Store for my spring quarter internship. I worked with some pretty awesome people over the last few months.  There was so much I learned and got to work with; I don’t even know where to begin! There are a few things that do stick out in my head that are worth talking about though.

The Trash Fashion Show made my jaw drop! I had never worked with one before, let alone seen one before. A lot had to be done to get ready for the event, like putting up posters and promoting our sponsors on our social media sites. I had a blast working at the event! It made me realize how much you can do with materials that are and aren’t recyclable. Even being at the store it made me realize this, especially with the REvision Division and Eberhard Eichner. I learned a lot from gathering information for a press release to promote the REvision Division. Old salvaged materials are brought together to create pieces with functional design, like chests, side tables, and benches.

I came to this internship only knowing what I learned from a sustainability marketing class and knowing less of how The RE Store actually helps the sustainability movement. Coming out the internship I have learned so much more about what they do and what a great organization they are. They help the community members learn how to reuse salvaged materials from demolished buildings and make them into something that can be used in a new way.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Old Food Posters Are Coming Back in Style

Here are some of the old time posters that are coming back to help us not waste food and buy locally. There are more at TreeHugger.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Locust Beach Clean Up

Last Saturday I volunteered with The RE Store and ReSources to do a beach clean up at Locust Beach in Bellingham. Not only did I help clean up, but I got to be at the beach and enjoy the sun! By that's beside the point right now. The point was to clean up the beach and then make some art out of it afterwards.

It was awesome cleaning up he beach. We found so much garbage! We also found a ton of Styrofoam, in tiny tiny pieces. One of the pictures is what we think may be from a washer off of a boat. We also found several huge pieces of fiberglass that may have been from a boat.

One other piece we found was huge mass of fishing net. The artist, Kuros Zahedi, that was going to make art out of the garbage, was able to cut most of the mass out from being buried in the sand. It was a good few feet long.

Sadly I couldn't stay long enough to see what the art looked like, but I'm sure if you go to they will have more info and pictures for you.
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Monday, April 25, 2011

Green Cartoons

So I just realized I did not do a post last Friday, which happened to be the 40th Earth Day. I was a little busy last week with looking for apartments, but I found some funny stuff for you today. I found these at Today's Cartoon by Randy Glasbergen.

This fits right up my alley. Here's another great one:

I found these at other sites.

This one is by Natalie Dee. She has some pretty funny cartoons.

Friday, April 22, 2011


One of my awesome roommates gave me this idea for today, involving both our favorite shoes, Converse and their ReUSE A SHOE program.

Converse and Nike are coming together on this one and having people recycle their old athletic shoes to help make new basketball courts, playgrounds, and tracks. You can recycle your shoes at Converse stores, but they can only be athletic shoes, everything else can't be recycled into the new courts and playgrounds.

I think this is a great idea and way to lessen the amount of stuff in landfills.

This is how it works:

After shoes are dropped off, they are transported to facilities, where each shoe is cut into three slices – rubber outsole, foam midsole and fiber upper. These slices are then fed through grinders and purified. The result is three high-quality Nike Grind materials ready to be put back in the game:
  • Nike Grind Rubber – made from the shoe’s outsole and used in track surfaces, interlocking gym flooring tiles and playground surfaces.
  • Nike Grind Foam – made from the shoe’s midsole and used as cushion for outdoor basketball and tennis courts, as well as futsal fields.
  • Nike Grind Fiber – made from the shoe’s fabric upper and used in the creation of cushioning pads for facilities like indoor synthetic courts and wood courts.
To create these surfaces, Converse partners with Nike and top-quality surfacing companies, providing them with Nike Grind material and working together to develop innovative sports surfaces.

What do you think about that? Wouldn't it be awesome to know that your shoes could be a part of the surface of the next playground in your neighborhood? Talk about a way to be a part of a cause!

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Trash Fashion Show!!

It finally came...the Trash Fashion Show in Seattle by The RE Store. I waited so long for it to come and now, it's already over. I had blast though! It was my first ever fashion show and I want to go back next year.

The theme for the fashion show was "Plastic Pollution." All the designers made their garments out of plastic materials that can't be recycled. Sadly I don't have my pictures uploaded on my computer yet, but you can check out one of the photographer's website and see all the amazing pieces. Go here: (If after you are done with those pictures and you click on the "More Photos!!!!" link, you can check out some of the behind the scenes stuff and just might see a picture of me on there! And if you are counting, I'm picture #25. You will also see some amazing people that I worked with to make this show happen from The RE Store in Seattle.)

What I want to do is show you my top 5 favorite dresses though from And here they are:

1. Don't Flip Your Lid by Diane Kurzyna (aka Ruby Reusable)

 *This dress is made out the lids from the Red Robin kids cups

2. Mail Order Bride by Cindi Brooks and modeled herself

*This is made out of packaging materials. I talked to the designer's friend and she said that it only took Cindi 2 weeks to make this dress!

3. Marriage of Inconvenience by Rebecca Maxim

* This dress is made out the wrappers from the HIV medications. She was also helping with the awareness of HIV and what an inconvenient marriage it is with the medication.

4. Royal Mail by Mary Welch

*This dress is also made of packaging materials. They also have a cute pair of "underwear" (if you want to call them that) to match.

5. Cat on a Hot Red Carpet  by Tamara Adlin

* This dress was made entirely out of cat treat bags, head piece included! There is just unbelievable detail with this dress and being made out of cat treat bags.

 6. Haute Cature by "Kitty Liture" and "Juene K Reuse"

*Alright, so you get a bonus picture! This dress also has unbelievable detail since it is also made out of cat food bags.

Like I said before, go to to check out the rest of the pictures from the show! Let me know what your favorites are!

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Budweiser House & other Recycled Homes

So you have to watch this video. This guy, Dan Phillips, makes houses out of recycled materials. One house in particular, he was inspired by the Budweiser can. In the bathroom, the tub resembles a  glass of beer with bubbles going up the tile side. The faucet for this tub, is an actual beer tap!

He goes on to talk about why he does what he does. He is motivated by the fact that things don't need to be perfect and that people need to stop wasting what doesn't fit in an expectation. In all of his houses, he features all of the broken, warped and imperfect pieces that no longer fit in some people's "perfect" world.

One thing he talks about is how we are pretty much never satisfied with what we have because there are always products made that have one little thing that is different from what we have. Our satisfaction is creating more of a need for satisfaction. Take for example, cell phones. People buy them every two years because they aren't what we currently have. The main purpose of a phone is to make phone calls, not to have all these other gadgets, but that's what we have and what we are trained to want.

What do you think about this video?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Smallest Homes

Well what I'm talking about here is the smallest apartment, but is the most function too for its space. This apartment is in Hong Kong, China. (Go here to watch the video and others. I couldn't get the video to show up in my blog.)

Anyway, Gary Chang designed his apartment to be the most efficient in its small state. Everything in his apartment is collapsible or slides out from the walls. He said "Everything moves for me," which it does. His kitchen is behind his TV, which behind that is his washer and dryer; his couch is underneath his bed; and his bathtub is behind his dresser, which is behind the CD/DVD case. Everything is on tracks on the ceiling and wheels on the floor. He even has enough room for a projector screen the size of his living room window to watch movies on while relaxing in a hammock.

Here are the different variations he can have his apartment in. There is a total of 24 ways of how he can utilize his apartment.

How would you like to live like Gary Chang?

Monday, April 11, 2011

My Experience With Green Beer... Or I Should Say Hard Cider

Didn't realize but the other night I picked this up. It's a Pear Cider beer, which was not too bad. It could have been a little more pear tasting though. It's a good drink if you want something that is sweet, but has a little kick to it.

Spire is made in Olympia, Wa by Fish Brewing Company. They rekindled the love of hard cider in 1985, after the fall out from the Prohibition times. They don't just do Pear Cider, they also have an Apple Cider and a Dry & Dark Apple Cider.

They also have a Fish Tale Brew Pub in Leavenworth, which serves Fish Tale Organic Ales, Leavenworth Biers, and Spire Mountain Cider.

To find out more go to
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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Raising Hope

Well by this title you might think that this blog post would be about raising the hope of a greener life...well it's actually the title of my new favorite TV show. But they are even on board for this year's Earth Day (4/22). Watch  this video for some quick tips. Each actor/actress talks about ways to have a greener home or life. Actress Martha Plimpton actually talks about the Pacific Garbage Patch, which I just did a blog post on it last week. Go there if you haven't already checked it out.

Green Beer, Not Just For St. Patty's Day

Here are some quick tips for green beer drinking from treehugger:

  1. Drink organic brews
    • if there's an organic label, it's certified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which means there are strict regulations for farming the barely and hops
  2. Support green beer companies
    • some breweries are now solar powered and are moving towards sustainability, like Pale Ale, Sierra Nevada and Anderson Brewery in Chico
  3. Drink beer from draught instead of from bottles
    • hundreds of beers are held in a keg, so go for the keg and save those bottles and cans
  4. Recycle your bottles, cans, and other packaging
    • aluminum cans are usually back on the shelf within 60 days and with the bottles they will save 1,300 lbs of sand
  5. Reuse the bottle caps
    • they are usually thrown aside in the recycling process, so make them have a better use, like a decorative feature or a belt or magnets
  6. Try vegan beers
    • some beers have gelatin or isinglass (fish bladder!) to clarify beers without having to put them in the filtration process, which potentially lessens the flavor
  7. Drink local, and  use a growler
    • save a little gas and go downtown and save a little more by cutting emissions from shipping imported beers
  8. Opt for paper free bottles
    • look for the ones with the label printed on the bottle. (These bottles look cooler anyway.)
  9. Don't use disposable cups when serving beer
    • go with reusable instead; the disposable end up in the landfill!
  10. Avoid Big Beer
    • like Anheuser Busch or Coors, they have mass demand to supply

Here are some interesting numbers:

- 85% of alcohol consumed in the U.S. by the gallon is beer
- 2 organic beers are made by Anheuser Busch (biggest beer company in U.S.)
- 95% of ingredients that are needed to earn beer an organic certification are certified by USDA
- U.S. is ranked 13 in annual per capita consumption in the world (Czech Republic is #1, Ireland #2, and Finland bet us at #9)
- $25,000,000 organic beer sales in U.S. in 2007
- 4 solar powered breweries in U.S.

Monday, April 4, 2011

A Tree house Hotel?

This is pretty awesome. I was curious if there were any tree house hotels around the world...and what do you know, I found one in Washington state. It's called Cedar Creek Treehouse and it's not too far from Mount Rainer.

There's only one tree house with a solar power system and no shower, so you better be happy with the person you bring. The tree house is built 50 feet up in a 200 year old Western Red Cedar. This tree house was created by Bill Compher in 1981-1982 and is one of the world's top 5 tree houses.

In 2000-2002, they added onto the tree house with the octagonal Cedar Creek Treehouse Observatory that is 100 feet high. There is the spiral "Stairway to Heaven" staircase is 82 feet high and connects to the "Rainbow Bridge" to the Observatory.

Just in 2010, they added yet another aspect to the treehouse. During the summer, they added the "Sun Bridge," that is 68 feet long and connects to a floating web platform. This platform is to support another treehouse they plan to build this summer.

Guests are able to enjoy the view of Mount Rainer and Mount Wow.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Eating the Plastics We Produce

As I was wandering around, I found an interesting article about The Pacific Garbage Patch. I love going to the beach during Spring and Summer (and Fall, if it's warm enough.) So this article really hit home to me. I've seen other pictures and small articles about this issue, but I never pursued it until now.

I knew that there are lots of our "recycled" plastics have ended up in the oceans and beaches, but I didn't realize how much was actually there. After reading this, I then thought how much is actually there? How far does it go? In the article for the "Pacific Trash Vortex," they said that it is impossible to come up with a number of how much plastic is ending up in our oceans. Here is the map that Planet Green uses:

 " Researchers peg the trash gyre to be as large as the continental United States, and according to, every square mile of ocean hosts 46,000 pieces of floating plastic and plastic constitutes 90 percent of all trash floating in the world's oceans.." Just trying to imagine what that looks like is unbelievable. With all this plastic in the water this means that small sea creatures are eating the plastics thinking it's food, then the big fish eat them, and well...we eat those fish, which we end up eating the plastics we made in the first place. Way to go Karma! Hope this makes us learn a lesson or two.

A couple days ago, I was looking at pictures of sea birds that had died because of ingesting plastics and thinking they were food. I didn't know this problem was that bad.

We have to start caring for our beaches and recycle and throw away garbage so it doesn't end up like this. I would like to go to the beach and have it be clean and with healthy marine life. Because...

I don't want my beach to end up as...
Or my favorite sea creature to be eating this...

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Who Doesn't Like Taking Quizzes?

Here is just some fun stuff for you to do. I went to and found some pretty interesting quizzes.

I took the "Are you a green beauty?" quiz and didn't do too well on it. My score was 2/10. I did it just for fun to see what I got, but apparently I know a lot less than I thought I did about the chemicals in make up.

I did learn a lot though from my wrong answers. If you get an answer wrong, they explain what the right answer is and the harmful side effects. As you answer correctly, they add in more little facts about that answer.

To take up some more time before my next class, I took the "What's Your Clothing Footprint?" With this one, I got 4/10. I was a little more knowledgeable, but still didn't know what I thought I did.

There are others, so check them out and let me know what quiz you took and your score!

iPod Powered by Our Heart?

While I was checking out Treehugger today, I came across an interesting article about iPods and our heartbeats.

According to some scientists at the American Chemistry Society, we might see this type of technology in the next five years. How cool would that be to power our iPods with our own hear beat? I think we would save a lot of energy then.

Lead scientist, Zhong Lin Wang, Ph.D of Georgia Institute of Technology, and other researchers have made a break through after working on creating this technology for six years now. They have created a small flexible chip that generates electricity when squeezed between two fingers. Soon this will change to generate electricity from our pulse.

"This development represents a milestone toward producing portable electronics that can be powered by body movements without the use of batteries or electrical outlets," said lead scientist Zhong Lin Wang, Ph.D. "Our nanogenerators are poised to change lives in the future. Their potential is only limited by one's imagination." Zhong also said that the faster this comes out into the market, the better our lives will be without all the batteries and chargers.

nanogenerators chip image

The way this works is by zinc oxide (ZnO) nanowires. These wires are piezoelectrixc, which means that they create electricity through any body movement, inlcuding blood flow through the body. Nanowires can also generate electricity by wind and even rolling tires.
What do you think about this? Would you want and iPod that is powered by your heart beat?

Do you use reusable bags when you go grocery shopping?