Pleasant (reuse) surprises

Since March, I’ve been sewing face masks. It’s a way I can be helpful during the pandemic and put my skills to use. Mask making and online sewing research had me circling around quilting. Finally, I took the plunge and tried it for myself.

Quilting has been a positive mental break for me. I’m learning new techniques and thinking of ways I can be more sustainable with my fabric choices. After sewing a fun rainbow quilt, I ended up with scraps that I usually would have thrown away, except this morning, I thought of sewing them together to make face masks.

Turns out, they’re my favorite masks I’ve made to date! I’m glad I saved my scraps and landed on the perfect use for them.

In honor of National Reuse Day on October 20, I challenge you to reuse something you’d normally discard. Get creative and have fun!


Green choices for your home office

Working from home has a unique set of perks and challenges. You aren’t surrounded by coworkers, but you also don’t have your typical office tools close at hand. I’ve had to get creative in my space but I’ve been able to do it with a few things repurposed from around my home.

Monitor riser
Oh, wow, have I Googled this one. There are beautiful wooden rises and clear acrylic risers for the minimalist. The best riser I’ve found so far was borrowed from my bookshelf. (And to think I was told I’d never use those yearbooks ever again.) When I need to adjust the height, I can easily add or remove a book.

Recycle bin
This is one office item that you can take for granted but easy to remedy. You’re more likely to recycle if the bin is available so start using one today! Instead of buying a new recycle bin, grab the trash can from a little-used guest bath or simply turn your trash can into a recycle bin. If you have to trash something, you’ll be forced to stand up and move. Bonus points if you can think of a more sustainable product swap on the way back to your desk.

Stand-up desk
I’m not one of those that needs a standing desk, but I do like the option to stretch my legs and spine. One of the items that has made it easier to work while standing is an angled lap desk, the kind that are designed to let you work from the sofa or bed. It gives me the perfect amount of extra height to work from my laptop while standing at the kitchen island or even on top of the dryer. Don’t knock it until you try it! Front loading dryers are really tall and I bet no one bothers you in the laundry room!