Magazines not only for Kitty Litter …earn a dime too.

International Recycle Symbol

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12 Fun and Creative Tips for Recycling Your Magazines



I love magazines for many reasons, I love the way they smell, I am mesmerized by high glossy photos, love the recipes, the self help and work out tips and am completely fascinated by the quirky scientific articles that I can rip out and post on the cork board in my office.

Unfortunately, it requires tons of paper to create one magazine and let’s not get into the negative emissions in the atmosphere from the production of magazines. According to Magazine Publishers of America only 20% of magazines are recycled at home.  However there is a light at the end of the tunnel. According to Green America, “Even during a down economy, magazines printed on recycled paper have increased their newsstand sales up to 114%, grown their store count, added advertising revenue, and built greater affinity with their readers. How is this possible? For dozens of publishers, going green has proved to be an easy and cost effective method for brand building and attracting new readers.” Read more on this here. It’s good to know that Magazine Publishers are trying to pick up some of the slack of their readers but even with this being said I can’t shake the guilty feeling of magazine waste piling up in a corners of my house and office. So I decided I had to think of some cool ways to recycle all these magazines.

Here are 12 fun and creative ways to recycle your magazines.

  • Dump your magazines into a basket or a cloth bag near your door so you can take a stack with you whenever you’re heading out for the day.
  • Live in the city take your magazines to the laundromat or I give them away to friends (my request is that they pass it along). Some really good friends of ours regularly drop off their stack of magazines to our house so that we can also enjoy their subscriptions too.
  • You can also donate your old magazines to the local library, school, senior center or day care near you.
  • Magazines are great material for kid’s art projects, decoupage, paper mache. I have even made great mixed media wall art for the house out of our old magazines.
  • Use your magazines as filler for shipping or use it as packing material. Shred or crumple it up and you are good to go.
  • Use scented magazine inserts (perfume or cologne ads) to line your clothes drawers and non scented to line your kitchen cabinets.
  • Use your magazines as wrapping paper for small gifts like for Valentines Day or other holidays! Don’t let all those beautiful glossy photos go to waste.
  • Use an old magazine as a floor mat cover for your snow boots.
  • Send magazines to the troops, to find out go to You could go to but they prefer you donate by sending a care package but if you send a care package include some of your magazines. I’m sure soldiers would love to be able to keep up date on things going on at home.
  • Do you have any antique, vintage, hobby or car enthusiast magazines then sell them online via a classified ads or craigslist. There are all kinds of magazine collectors out there who maybe looking for some your magazines.
  • Use your magazines as kindling for your camp fire or fireplace.
  • If you have a ton of magazines use them like Oktavilla did, recently featured by Style Frizz: build a wall in your house or office.

With all these great magazine recycling options you will never want to throw away another magazine again! Have any great suggestions that we didn’t mention? Please share them with us.


Have we completely lost our minds?!

Over the next few months ShoptobeGreen will feature family friend and contributor Erin D. Erin will share with us her experience in going from a 200 year old farmhouse in the rural North East to a more eco-friendly and energy efficient 3 season cabin. We have all dreamed about living off the grid but Erin and her husband are trying to make that dream a reality. ShoptobeGreen has talked Erin into sharing their experience with our readers. We have even talked her into sharing their videos and hand draw design concepts. Please leave your comments and any advise you might have and we will be happy to share it with Erin. Erin and her husband have sold their farmhouse and have begun the process for their new cabin.


Present-day September 2011, cue the crickets… I like to title this new chapter of our lives:

“Have we completely lost our minds?!”

Month 1:

The land is virgin and untamed (well, recently untamed it was farmland once upon a time)… The days are long and hard on this virgin-ish land, the nights are lulled (maybe not lulled more like screeched) with the song of coyote and bullfrogs. Woods, streams, bogs and bugs… A lot of bugs.. Did I mention the bugs? Alright fine, I don’t really have a problem with bugs in general. But mosquitoes, are the bane of human existence! I really don’t like mosquitoes, who does? What is the purpose of mosquitoes? Ok ok, yes they do feed frogs, birds, spiders, etc., which is a good thing! Hakuna Matata , yada yada… But really, do we need to have so many? And why do they love me so?!

But seriously, here’s the plan. We want to build, as mentioned earlier, a small (450 to 500 sq ft) three season cabin/cottage. We want a place to get away, one we don’t have to worry about when back in the city. We will build as local, environmentally friendly and self sustaining, as possible on a $30k budget. The wood to build will come from local pine and cedar, as well as reclaimed wood if possible. To be energy efficient we will heat primarily with a wood burning stove, wood cut by my husband from hardwood trees already dead or limbs fallen. We discussed solar panels; but the winters are so long, snowy, and gray, that unfortunately we think they’d only be a vanity endeavor (if we were in the southern regions we would use solar). The structure will be facing southwest to capture as much sunlight throughout the day, the back northeast end protected by a hill, both helping to warm and protect the cabin in the cold northern winter, as well as not needing to turn on lights until dusk. A compost toilet is a must, as well as a rain harvesting system for gray water. That’s the required list as of today. I’m sure there will be more, but we are on a budget. I have to keep reminding myself this, budget budget budget.

So, what’s been done (since the sale) in the past month? A road… Not a very well done road I might add. See, getting things done well and in a timely manner is always difficult when building and/or renovating, and when it’s in a rural area it’s even more difficult. There are only so many local contractors (3), and they are always busy. We’ve previously hired the gentleman who bulldozed this road, and he did a fantastic job in the past. This time around he looked at our virgin-ish land with it’s many mosquitoes, and didn’t seem so thrilled.. We had to pay and beg him for what ended up only a single pass with the bulldozer. He had a month to do the job properly, and yes we now have a road, but it’s a very uneven potholed dirt road that needs to be smoothed out and graveled before we can start construction.

That’s it. This is how far we’ve gotten in a month. I’m hoping (wishful thinking?) that this will all be done by Autumn 2012.

Too optimistic?

cabin concept drawing
Cabin concept drawing
cabin concept drawing side view
cabin concept drawing side view

Out with the old, in with the new..

Nature trail, upstate NY

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Over the next few months ShoptobeGreen will feature family friend and contributor Erin D. Erin will share with us her experience in going from a 200 year old farmhouse in the rural North East to a more eco-friendly and energy efficient 3 season cabin. We have all dreamed about living off the grid but Erin and her husband are trying to make that dream a reality. ShoptobeGreen has talked Erin into sharing their experience with our readers. We have even talked her into sharing their videos and hand draw design concepts. Please leave your comments and any advise you might have and we will be happy to share it with Erin. I’m sure we all learn a lot! Enjoy:

Out with the old, in with the new…Or should I say, out with a 200 year old house and in with a raw piece of wooded land. Why? Because old farm houses are beautiful, but were built without any concern for energy efficiency.  Let me start from the beginning.. In 2000 my husband and I were living in The Big City and decided to start looking for a house in a rural area, an area he knew well from his youth. Surprisingly, the perfect house found us within two weeks of looking. So we purchased, without really thinking what it meant to live full time in the country. Don’t get me wrong, we love the country and all it’s bucolic charms! But coming from the city. Well, let’s say the theme music from the early 1960’s show Green Acres was banging around in our heads for a while. We bought the house and it’s 6 acres, as well as an adjacent but separate wooded lot of 40 acres. Nice and private, no noise from the neighbor in the apartment next door- a city dwellers paradise! But, here it is- the but…Old houses need a lot of attention. Roof repair, pointing the brick, flooding in the cellar, vacuuming up flies in the spring (yes, in the country this is a huge problem), heating a drafty paradise, etc. The upkeep goes on and on, but we happily lived the country life- for 5 years. Then, we decided that while we loved our home, we love the city more… So we moved back to the bright lights and constant noise of city dwelling, but kept the house and land. It was wonderful! The best of both worlds! Right? Well…

The drive from NYC to the  house takes 6 hours, which we knew, but had to go more often than we really wanted because:
1. We constantly worried about the house in winter with power outages.
2. Worried about the basement flooding in Spring and Autumn..
3.Worried in the summer when the lawn would get too high and it would take two days to cut…
4. Just worried about the house in general….

In the end it took us 5 years to figure out that it wasn’t realistic to have an old house and not live in it. Old houses are meant to be lived in, it was time to cut the cord. We decided to sell.

And as quickly as we found and bought the house in 2000, within weeks our house didn’t disappoint in attracting a very nice couple. As of last month; Michael and Scott have made our home, theirs. It’s important that we like the couple who bought our home, since we kept the 40 acres next door to build a three season cabin/cottage. Despite what some may think of city folk, we actually like to know and get along with our neighbors :-D.. Just not hear them through the walls.

What’s a MAGNAblade?

A unused razor blade. Gilette Mach 3. Composed...

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New Discovery for all you regular shavers: MAGNAblade. It’s a new product on the market that extends the life of your razor blade. How? Well according to the MAGNAblade website by using their patented method of magnetic energy. MAGNAblade has a built-in magnetic force field that prevents the separation of the molecules on the edge of the blade. This prolongs the edge quality making it so your razor lasts longer. Why is this eco-friendly?

  • Not only does this save you money it also lowers the amount of landfill waste.
  • There no moving parts and no batteries.

According to Recycling; “The US population discards each year…2,000,000,000 razor blades.” Wow! That’s a LOT of razor blades for America alone! Go to the MAGNAblade website to view a product demo video. I plan to try MAGNAblade out for the next few months. I typically go through one razor per month so I’ll check back-in to let all of you know how well it works.

Vegetable Fuel for Diesel Engines – Go Green Racers!


Daryl Hannah Bio Diesel

Vegetable Fuel is not a new concept – Darryl Hannah made Bio Diesel famous over five years ago but it seems like Greasecar Vegetable Fuel Systems is right on track. They buy their vegatable oil from Smarter Fuel that collects vegetable oil from thousands of restaurants in the area.

How cool is that?

Mobile Waste – What should I do with my old cell phone?

by Katy Green

You may already know where to send your cell phone instead of dumping into a landfill.

Follow these simple steps and you will make a positive difference in the planet and help someone in need.

Note: Be careful of the cell phone for cash websites. Check for their affliliations, BBB or the Green Label. Don’t recycle your identity. Get rid of all personal information before donating or cashing in your mobile.

Cell Phone Fact: Cell phones make up 65,000 tons of toxic waste each year!

  1. Phone 4 cash – . Enter in the manufacturer number on the back of your phone and they will give you a cash estimate and a free shipping label to print out. They support NACDV.
  2. Cycle  Cell  –  Call2Recycle to recycle your cell phone and batteries. Use their search for drop off locations.
  3. Retailers Recycle Cells! – Best Buy,  Office Depot  and Staples (requires more searching) offer a free recycling cell service. Use their drop off locater.
  4. Check with your cell phone provider AT&T, Verizon, Sprint , etc. all offer recycling programs. Most will direct you to go to their store or download their postage paid mailing label. Also check with your cell phone manufacturer.
  5. Cell Phones for Troops Cell Phones for Soldiers they claim their a 501c3 and they have a ton of sponsors but read their FAQ’s.  They offer an online search box for drop off centers  in your area and you can send your cell phone free of charge.
  6. Senior Citizen Rescue – seniors use recycled cell phones to call 911 for emergencies.  Cell Phones for Life  is a great resource.  Phones 4 Life is no longer valid. You will have to pay for shipping but if you live in DC you can drop it off in person.
  7. Disabled AssistancePhones 4 Charity is another resource. They offer a list of drop of centers and affiliated charities  in every state via search.
  8. Donate a Phone – make a difference for someone in need. NACDV – National Coalition Against Domestic Violence . They make it easy to donate your phone and they offer free shipping!

If you are still undecided about recycling your cell phone you may be swayed if you support wild life preservation because you could help save life of a gorilla in the congo by recycling your mobile.

Yes, it’s true! I am not crazy. Check out  the one minute YouTube video from the Wild Life Society.