Brainstorming holiday presents? Here are a few gift options, all of which are kind to you, your budget, & the planet.
Each idea also reduces clutter, either directly—like giving your used clothing to seasonal drives—or indirectly: e.g., event tickets don’t take up space or require gift wrapping.
The DC Department of Public Works has a brief, informative video on which take-out food containers are recyclable.
[Note: Unfortunately, this video lacks captioning for d/Deaf and hard of hearing viewers. If you’d like a transcript, I’m happy to prepare one (at no charge, of course): please contact me.]
Organizing your trash and recyclables may seem daunting, but it’s worth it: for the planet, for future generations, and for your own health!
Recycling electronics (vs. throwing them in a landfill) helps prevent toxic chemicals from leaching into our water and food.
If you’d like help designing a functional, unobtrusive, even stylish (!) recycling system, please get in touch!
Binder pencil cases are inexpensive all year round, but especially now, when back-to-school supplies are on clearance.
It’s a great time of year to stock up on cases for your home, office, car, gym bag... you name it!
The cases are perfectly sized for your:
Long time, no post, for the best of reasons: I've been busy with a fun and fascinating range of client projects!
So, if you're like many people, you have a Post-it/sticky note habit... which makes sense because they're just so handy. This is not judgment, but rather offering information so you can make the decisions that feel right for you.
If you want to save money, trees, and time spent on the floor searching for Post-its... you've come to the right place!
Here are a few suggestions to reduce the eco-impact of sticky notes. These are roughly in order of increasing eco-friendliness:
I can install your home security technology.
Washington, DC residents: did you know that the DC government offers a big $$$ rebate for security cameras? You can get up to $500 back for cameras installed at your home, and $750 for cameras installed elsewhere.
In order to get the rebate, however, you need to be able to prove that the cameras are installed. Please contact me, and I'll help you get your rebate!
Official rebate program info is here.
Use the cameras for kindness! Monitor a pet who's outside during the day, check for delivery of medication and other important packages, ensure your child has arrived home from school safely, and more!
Don't worry about a minor bump to your bag resulting in a broken mouse.
Instead, protect your tech on the go with this sturdy, transparent case... that you may already have in your pantry!
NOTE: Before you empty a folder, remember to double-check inside for any individual files you still want!
1) Empty your computer’s Recycle Bin (Windows) or Trash (Mac)
2) Delete old bookmarks from your browser
3) Empty your browser’s Downloads folder
4) Close old browser tabs
5) Bonus Tip: Create a “Spare Time Reading” filter/folder in your email inbox for non-urgent items
Overwhelmed by tech peripherals?
Zero Waste DC is a wonderful resource. Type in any unwanted items--e.g., hangers, old clothes, outdated electronics--and the site tells you how to dispose of them in a safe, eco-friendly way. The site even includes links to local charities that will accept your item(s)!
Zero Waste DC also provides a massive Google Docs spreadsheet, listing stores and nonprofits where you can shop for used items, donate them, or get items repaired.
Finally--and my personal favorite--you can even play a DC-specific, online computer game (no downloads or special gaming system required!) to learn more about disposing of unwanted items. This is a fun way to teach your children about recycling and being kind to the earth. Check out the screen capture below!
#CarbonDatingYourCarryon #DidYouKnow #OrganizationObservation
You can often make a pretty good guess about when a work/school bag was manufactured, based on what technology it was designed to hold.
Does your bag have a pocket for a portable CD-ROM player ("Discman")? An iPod pocket? A laptop sleeve, tablet sleeve, both? A zip-up case for wireless headphones?
None of the above, because none of those technologies had been invented yet?
Older bags can still be useful: those padded Discman pockets are just right to prevent a sandwich from getting squished! :)
Ensure that every bag, regardless of its age, is meeting your or your child's current needs.
A site like ebags.com or backpacks.com can help you get a sense of your options and filter bags by your exact preferences: everything from whether the bag includes a water bottle pocket to if it can fit your 17" laptop.*
Can you find what you need in your bag, quickly and easily? Is your bag supporting you in staying organized?
If not, consider #donating the bag and re-evaluating what you actually carry.
I can help you think critically about both your possessions and options for transporting them.
[Your donated bag likely has the perfect number, size, and arrangement of compartments... for somebody else!]
*No endorsement of either site is implied.
Steven Cohen is the owner of Streamlined by Steven, a professional organizing company serving Washington, D.C. and parts of Maryland.