Tag Archives: reuse

single use hand towels…kleenex blows!

my friend marie told me about this ad she saw on tv (may take a moment to load). in it, there is a side by side comparison of a teeny, tiny washcloth and the shiny box of kleenex single use disposable hand towels.

up ahead, more trees will die so you can dry your hands! because as kleenex says, “your hands are only as clean as the towel used to dry them.” all you dirty piggies, exit right…

i love that there is a sound of coughing in the background (ooh, germs!) and that a big drooly dog takes down the tiny washcloth (because that happens all the time…). isn’t the point of washing your hands with this invention called “soap” supposed to kill germs? but wait! you can use the paper towel to wipe off the sink and counter when you’re finished…who are these people? and what are they doing in the bathroom? maybe the beautiful designer dispenser will sway you…

no? not convinced yet? well what about hanging it from the towel rack you no longer need?

now, that is gas station chic!

seriously, if you’re so paranoid about the germs being spread by your own family, maybe you could have your own individual  hand towels…we let ours dry outside – i’ve never had a funky towel in all my life – i swear, this whole thing makes me so angry. and what is that stupid dispenser made of? plastic? dyed paper? good job, kleenex! and at $2.99 for 60 towels…that is a pretty expensive investment for a family of four.

oh and i almost forgot, their “cottony-soft sheets are free of inks, dyes, and fragrances” – no post-consumer, recycled product here folks, – this is about “a clean, fresh towel every time” – trees be damned!

ugh.

would love to hear your thoughts on this one!

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happy earth day!

today is the 40th anniversary of earth day and before i post photos from our earth day LA event last weekend, i want to go way back to the beginning of this blog and my post about what “living in a modern world” means to me. the whole philosophy of this blog and of our company is to do the best you can with every choice you make. despite my best efforts, as a lover of modern design, i have purchased items made of plastic. but the biggest culprit endangering our planet is single use plastic:  shopping bags, bottled water, straws, packaging, etc. i’m not trying to guilt you into a plastic free life (although i truly admire those who are able to do so), i’m just saying to weigh those purchases in terms of how much you need it, how long you’ll use it and how much you love it. i believe it is the small, collective things we can do as citizens that will make a big difference and inspire corporations to follow suit.

meatless mondays is a perfect example. more and more companies are now offering meatless options and even going completely meatfree on mondays! the positive impact of this tasty action can be potentially huge! across the nation, many cities are now banning plastic bags.  from the small things we all can do,  these changes will ripple outward into true and lasting benefits for our planet.

it may not make sense to celebrate earth day from the blog of a consumer goods company and i know there is a lot of greenwashing out there – everybody is trying to jump on the wagon! but despite some of these claims, i am happy that we are all thinking about the 3Rs of reduce, reuse and recycle and that corporations (while motivated by profits) realize that they, too, must start thinking about their impact upon the earth.

we live in a world of plastic and that plastic is killing our world. as you may know, a portion of our profits will be donated to 5 gyres and the surfrider foundation. all we want is to do our part to make a tiny difference for this beautiful, fragile place we call home. we hope our bags will be a stylish replacement for all those plastic and polypropylene bags – when properly cared for, our bags will last more than 10 years! i don’t want this to sound like an advertisement, it’s just that this blog has been up for about six months now and some of you may not know what modernest is all about.

so, onto the photos!

thank you to all our friends who have been so supportive and to all our new friends and clients we have met along the way!

happy earth day 2010!

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more tips from the recyclist…

if you’re like me, you’re not 100% sure about all that can go into the recycle bin. well, LA residents, take heart! in this morning’s home section of the LA times, rene lynch (a.k.a. the recyclist) has opened the forum for all those questions you may have about the 3 R’s of reduce, reuse, recycle.

oddly enough, the online version of the recyclist didn’t have all the links that today’s paper did. you can also ask rene questions and send her topic ideas at latimes.com/home  > “recyclist”.

anyway, here is what was in the actual paper this morning that i couldn’t find online:

  • what can go in the recycle bin? for LA, visit:  http://www.lacitysan.org > recycling > what you can recycle at the curb
  • long beach now takes styrofoam (but not peanuts), recycle your clean peanuts (there’s a joke in there somewhere) at ups, fedex, or mail boxes, inc.
  • give your recyclables a quick wash and rinse (warm soapy water) to ensure that they will actually be recycled once they are in the bin
  • have hazardous waste (i.e., paint thinner, motor oil, batteries, computers)? find your nearest drop-off point at http://www.longbeach-recycles.org > hazardous waste or for a calendar of curbside pickups go to http://www.ladpw.org/general/enotify/Calendar_Template/Calendar.aspx
  • what about all that miscellaneous plastic stuff you are just not sure of? those bottle tops cannot be recycled. long beach recycles ziploc bags, but i don’t think LA does. take your dry cleaning bags back to the dry cleaners. baggies in LA? yes. cereal packaging? yes. pizza box? not the greasy bottom, yes to the clean top.

rene seems pretty serious about answering our questions – so let’s take her up on her offer and then share the information!


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extra! extra! read all about it! new wallpaper breathes life into yesterday’s headlines…


it’s been a crazy week and i am pretty behind in my reading, but this post on the LA times home section blog was too good not to share!

on first glance, lori weitzner’s “newsworthy” wallpaper looks like grass cloth…but wait! look closer! it is actually strips of recycled newspaper that have been hand woven on a loom…brilliant! i find it to be texturally inviting, comforting and pretty crafty in an über chic reduce, reuse and recycle kind of a way!

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an eco-friendly easter idea – fill up a modernest egg tote bag!

image from modernest

it’s hard to believe, but easter is right around the corner!

instead of all that plastic, why not fill up one of our egg tote bags with all those treats and peeps? it would be a terrific way to teach kids about the 3 r’s of: reduce, reuse, recycle. and once the festivities have ended, you (or your child) will have a bag to carry for years to come! you could use recycled shredded paper at the bottom, instead of that crazy plastic “grass”. and even better if you fill the bag with homemade/locally sourced sweets and treats! it could be a cool way of modernizing an easter tradition.

i don’t eat them, but i gotta throw in a photo of a peep!

it’s funny, but when i look at it, it kind of looks like a yellow poopy with an eye drawn on it…not to ruin your candy-coated mood or anything!

happy easter!


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your old van halen t-shirt gets a new life and gives new hope to women…

image from hello rewind

if you are like my boyfriend, you have a ton of t-shirts that you just can’t bear to part with. what are you going to do with that favorite concert t-shirt? well now, thanks to hello rewind, you can make that treasured cotton memory into a laptop sleeve! i know i just posted about looptworks, but the folks at hello rewind became followers of modernest yesterday on twitter, so i went to see what they were all about…and am i ever glad i did!

here’s how it works:  you place your order (13″, 15″ or 17″). they send you a prepaid envelope. you send hello rewind your shirt. they cut out the design and material; sew it all together with batting, felt and velcro. and in 4-8 weeks, your dear old friend now has a new purpose in life – protecting your laptop – and you get a customized laptop sleeve for $49!

and if that weren’t enough, the true purpose of hello rewind goes beyond giving you a super cool one of a kind product. working with restore nyc,  their mission is to retrain sex slave workers in the u.s.:

We want to show sex trafficking survivors that rescue is not the end and that there is hope for something better in their lives. We train and teach them in fundamental skills — sewing, English, business skills. Many of the laptop sleeves made through Hello Rewind are hand-crafted by sex trafficking survivors, and we hope that they become an integral part of our business operations. After supporting the sex trafficking suvivors involved with Hello Rewind, the remaining profits are recycled back into the company so that we can grow the business to support even more women.

pretty phenomenal. time to start digging through those bins…

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star light, star bright, our xmas decorations use no light…

following up on my post yesterday, here is a perfect example of what i mean by living in a modern world…i found these plastic ornaments at the goodwill 3 years ago. they were in a box marked $2.50 – score! the shiny ornaments bring color and sparkle to our house and a smile to the faces of all passersby in the daytime. but best of all, we are using zero energy (no lights!).

i placed them under our awnings and roof lines to protect them from the elements (which, in southern california really only means wind and rain). the front of the house is themed in silver and the back patio in gold.

we’ve already received many compliments from our neighbors. and while i understand the tradition of lights and lawn decor (please buy LED lights!), i like the minimal, yet whimisical and modern vibe it brings to our 50s house.

i was unable to get a wide shot of the house, but i hope you can get a sense of what i’m trying to achieve…

i hope by using and reusing these decorations (and not using energy), i will offset the fact that they are plastic. and obviously, buying them at the thrift store already saved them from their fate in the landfill! and that is living in a modern world:  doing the best you can whenever you can to save energy and reduce waste.

happy holidays!

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