Which types of #cardboard packaging are #recyclable?

Merry Christmas and happy holidays! The presents have been ripped open, plastic ties undone and the toys have been removed from their plastic and cardboard packaging.

In all that crazy mess of wrapping and packaging which cardboard boxes and paperboard are recyclable and which are not?

If you look at the inside of the cardboard and paperboard packaging, you’ll see there is a difference in color as well as texture of the paperboard.

Here’s a simple way to remember what type of cardboard is recyclable.

Brown and rough like the ground – yes, it’s recyclable. Whether it’s heavy cardboard like those you get from Amazon.com or grandma’s care box, it can be recycled. Be sure to check your city’s recycling program; otherwise, many large grocery store chains will allow you to drop it off with their boxes to be recycled.

White and waxy won’t rub off – no, not recyclable. Unfortunately the wax coating on paperboard packaging cannot be recycled. Flatten these boxes and throw them in with your regular trash pickup.

Also, other things to remember when recycling cardboard and paperboard: flatten all boxes, remove any tape (staples are okay), any boxes with food stains are also not recyclable.

Remember to reduce, reuse and recycle all your cardboard boxes and paperboard packaging from the holidays!

Repurpose Old Household Items Into Usable Ones

Stop! Don’t throw out all those paper towel rolls, popsicle sticks, old broken crayons, unwanted towels, holey jeans and t-shirts and plastic shopping bags and household trash…did you know that they can be reused to make other fun things?

There’s been a very popular movement the last few years to reuse and repurpose items rather than just toss them in the trash. It’s gaining in popularity because crafters have embraced using household items in green crafts.

The idea behind reusing household items in craft projects is to reduce the amount of trash going to our landfills. I think it also encourages us to THINK how much we consume and the results of that consumption–more trash!

How Can You Reuse Or Repurpose Unwanted Household Items?

I came up with a plastic storage bin of worn towels, unused sheets (don’t fit my bed), old t-shirts and blue jeans that didn’t fit that I felt I couldn’t quite part with.

I’m finding all sorts of fun ways to reuse & repurpose lots of things! Just knowing I’ve kept something out of the landfill is rewarding, but I love seeing an item have new life as something else!

Old Towels: lining for potholders, re-hemmed to wash cloths, reusable Swiffer cloths, doggie pillows. You can also donate your old towels to animal shelters.

Old or unused sheets: curtains, pillows, clothing.

Old jeans: tote bags, purses, aprons, and tablecloths. I’m dying to make a gardening apron when my husband tosses some worn out jeans!

Ideas are from Green Crafts, check out more ideas to live a greener life.

A Simple Hot Cocoa Recipe to Keep you Warm

It’s snowing and cold in the Northeast, and one of my favorite drinks during winter is Hot Chocolate. Every time I return from walking the dog, I like to warm up with a cup of a delightful cup of creamy cocoa. However those envelopes you buy in the store are just too sweet and fattening for my diet.

I also delight in receiving a jar of homemade hot cocoa from a faraway friend or neighbor during the holidays, which always makes me think of how easy this would be to make for myself. But I never did.

I made my first cup of homemade hot cocoa this year after watching my mom experiment with a cup of her own during Thanksgiving. I’ve been making a small experimental batch everyday since, and let me tell you…those steaming mugs of hot chocolate have been the best tasting hot drink I’ve had since the snow started falling a week ago!

Here’s my recipe for 1 cup of homemade hot cocoa (adjust as needed):

1-2 teaspoons of cocoa (the kind without the sugar) I buy mine in bulk from a Mennonite store or you can find this in a bulk foods store too.

1-2 teaspoons of sugar – I think powdered sugar works best, but white or raw sugar will work just as well too.

Powdered milk or powdered creamer – adjust the amount as needed to your taste. I eye-ball the amount so that I have about 1/4 cup of the entire mix in my cup.

Heat a cup of water or milk and then add your