Thursday, July 31, 2014

N.C. Energy Policy Council Long Range Energy Generation and Renewable Energy Committee to meet July 31 in Raleigh

RALEIGH –The North Carolina Energy Policy Council’s Long Range Energy Generation and Renewable Energy Committee will meet via conference call at 9 a.m. July 31.
Members of the public may listen to the meeting via audio in Room 4001 of the Green Square Building, 121 W. Jones St., Raleigh, N.C., or by calling 605-477-2100 and entering 197212# as the access code. All call-in listeners are asked to put their phones on mute.
The three members of the committee are:
· Carl Wilkins, director of Sustainability, Quanta Technology
· Marshall Cohen, vice president of Government Affairs and Communications, Babcock & Wilcox
· Scott Tew, executive director, Center for Energy Efficiency & Sustainability, Ingersoll Rand
The Long Range Energy Generation and Renewable Energy Committee has been tasked with developing a comprehensive North Carolina Long Range Energy Generation Policy for the short term (10 years), midterm (25 years), and long term (50 years).
The policy should be one which best ensures public health and safety, protects the environment of North Carolina and surrounding states, considers the regulatory implications of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency establishment of a social cost of carbon, maximizes North Carolina’s economy, promotes energy diversity through the effective management and use of all energy resources, including coal, hydroelectric, natural gas, and nuclear energy; renewable energy such as biomass, solar, and wind; and alternative energy sources. The policy should also establish adequate energy infrastructure, effectively utilize domestic energy resources, promote energy efficiency, and minimize impacts from energy shortages/curtailments

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Ten Quirky Ways to Repurpose Wine Corks

By Falesha Wojitysiak

Save those corks and unleash your creativity with these fun DIY recycled décor ideas.
In the repurposing and upcycling world, using wine corks takes your project up a notch on the creative ladder. Maybe that’s because corks tend to make you appear more worldly and sophisticated, or perhaps it’s the effort involved in saving up all those corks. If you have been saving for a while, here are some projects that are worth dipping into your cork stash.

1. Bulletin board
corks-1.png Regardless of the size, wine-cork bulletin boards are very useful. While the above example utilizes a small picture frame, you could choose to go with a rustic look and use no frame at all, or for a larger area, try an old window frame.
Just think, at the end of the week you can leave yourself a note to pick up more wine! After all, you’ll need to replenish your cork stash for the other great craft ideas below.

2. Garland
corks-2.png Using twine, beads and corks, you can create a classy garland that would not have to be relegated for the Christmas season alone. String it up across entryways for parties, or artfully drape it around your kitchen. You can make garlands of any length and you only need 35 to 40 corks for an 8-foot garland. So, have a fun gathering with some wine and invite some friends over for a crafting party!
3. Necklace
corks-3.png This project stands out because while there are a lot of wine-cork crafts, there are not many of the jewelry variety. The simple design could also make a great bracelet, and could even be made from a single cork.
Why not make this as a gift for a wine-loving friend? Nothing says “I love you” better than drinking a bottle in one’s honor. You may want to leave some time in between finishing the bottle and when you cut the cork — sharp objects and wine sometimes are not the best of combinations.

4. Cork-topped dresser
corks-4.png Looking to add a bar to your game room or den? Why not use wine corks to help accent an old dresser to fit in with the motif? This will create plenty of space for bar towels, glasses, your favorite drinks and all the tools needed to be a master mixologist. This is a great way to not only repurpose your corks, but to also use that piece of furniture that has been gathering dust.
5. Napkin rings
corks-5.png You’ve been planning the dinner party for weeks. You know that the wines you have picked out for the appetizer, the entrée and the dessert all complement one another perfectly. Afterwards, instead of tossing the corks, use them for some unique napkin rings for your next soirée.
Another idea: You can try colored beads and dye some of your corks to make a pattern or to match your décor. Either way, this is a simple and fun DIY project.

6. Bathmat
Image: Crafty Nest
After a long day and a soak in the tub, imagine how good your feet will feel when getting a massage from your cork bathmat while drying off. Made with shelf liner, hot glue and 175 corks, this mat can be customized to fit any sized bathroom. Its neutral nature allows it to blend with practically any color scheme. Besides, isn’t it almost decadent to relax with a good glass of wine in a bubble bath? Your mat agrees, too.
7. Cork wreath
Image: Living Savvy
There are aisles dedicated to front-door decorations alone at your local craft store, but many can cost a pretty penny. This wreath was made from a foam wreath form, toothpicks and saved corks. Other than the recycled corks, the actual cost of the wreath comes in at under $10. Around Christmas it can be decorated with a removable seasonal bow. You’ll possibly elect to let it stand as a testament to your neighbors that you have no need for glittered tulle on your door; that money is better spent on a wonderful bottle of wine.
8. Bottle lantern with cork base
Image: Wine & Cork
These lanterns take wine cork crafts to the next level. Embrace your inner Martha Stewart and not only repurpose the corks, but also the bottles. As you can see, having two or three on your table makes for an elegant centerpiece. It will certainly become a talking point among guests in your home.
9. Dartboard cabinet
corks-9.png This is one of the most stylish and useful repurposings of wine corks I have seen yet. Aside from being practical, your walls will thank you, as it just looks cool. It would make an excellent addition to your game room or man cave, even matching the dresser you turned into a bar perfectly.
The corks can be dyed or left their natural color. You can have fun with this by playing around with patterns and colors. This is an heirloom piece that you pass on to prove to your grandchildren that you were, believe it or not, once very cool.

10. Magnets
corks-10.png Are you tired of having the front of your refrigerator congested with magnets that advertise services that you don’t ever plan to use? Do you want something a bit more elegant to hold up your collection of notes and menus? Here is your solution!
Take cut pieces of cork, hot glue them to magnets and go crazy stamping! Use pictures, your initials or the entire alphabet to spell out things on your refrigerator. Start a game of scrabble after a few glasses, and see how much fun you can have!
- See more at:

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

N.C. Coastal Resources Commission will meet July 30-31 in Beaufort


RALEIGH – Next week’s meeting in Beaufort of the N.C. Coastal Resources Commission, or CRC, will include discussions of ocean inlet management, a sea level rise study update and land use planning.
The CRC will meet July 30-31 at the NOAA/NCNERR Auditorium, 101 Pivers Island Road, Beaufort, N.C. The meeting will begin at 3 p.m. July 30 and 9 a.m. July 31. The meeting is open to the public.
The following are some of the items on the CRC’s agenda:
· CRC Science Panel Sea Level Rise Study Update– Science panel chair Margery Overton will summarize the panel’s initial meeting to begin updating its sea level rise study, as required by Session Law 2012-202.
· Inlet Management Study– The commission will discuss inlet management study priorities and implementation.
· Variances –The CRC will hear one request for a variance from its rules.
· Land Use Planning Rules Overview –N.C. Division of Coastal Management staff will provide an overview of the land use planning program and discuss potential revisions to the program.
· Rule DevelopmentThe CRC will vote onproposed rule amendments to15A NCAC 7H .2600 General Permit for Mitigation and In Lieu Fee Projects, and begin discussion of repealing the High Hazard Flood Area of Environmental Concern.
· Public Input and Comment –Members of the public may comment on CRC issues at 11:30 a.m. July 31.
The Coastal Resources Advisory Council, a group that provides the CRC with local government perspectives and technical advice, will meet at 1 p.m. July 30 at the NOAA/NCNERR Auditorium.
A full meeting agenda is posted on the N.C. Division of Coastal Management’s website at
The Coastal Resources Commission establishes policies for the N.C. Coastal Management program and adopts rules and policies regarding coastal development within areas of environmental concern.

Monday, July 28, 2014

How to Recycle Vinyl Records

By Sophia Bennett .

Vinyl records used to be the best (and pretty much only) way to listen to your favorite music at home. While purists argue that it is still the best audio quality to hear the musicians you like, it certainly is not the only option anymore. Cassette tapes, then CDs and now digital music have made vinyl records obsolete in most households.

That left millions of people with piles of old records sitting in basements and storage closets. And, what most of those millions of people discovered is that there is no good way to recycle records. There are, however, myriad ways to reuse them at home or by passing them on to crafters.

How to recycle records

The problem with vinyl records (also known as 33s or LPs) is that they are made of polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, which is extremely difficult to recycle. PVC is chock full of poisonous chlorine gas and heavy metals such as silver and nickel, and few recyclers are willing to handle it or take a chance on melting it and turning it into something else. Companies that do recycle PVC are mostly focused on things like old construction materials (which can be turned into a powder and used to make new materials), banners (which can be used to make new banners or lots of creative craft projects), and gift cards (which can also be reused or recycled). Up to this point, I have never been able to locate a company that recycles records.
The harmful chemicals that make vinyl records so difficult to recycle can be released into the ground and air over time, so it is important to keep records out of the waste stream. Records can be reused as is or crafted into new products.

It is worth noting that records manufactured before the 1950s were made out of shellac, not vinyl. Shellac is a substance secreted by female lac bugs in India and Thailand. It is scraped off the bark of trees and processed to remove trace amounts of wax. There are no good sources for recycling shellac either, although an Internet search will yield ways to dissolve it and return it to a liquid form so it can be used for finishing furniture or for other purposes.

The one part of a record that is easy to recycle is the holder, or its sleeve, which is typically made of lightweight cardboard and can be tossed in your recycling bin along with the rest of your paper. Those covers are also fun for craft projects such as boxes and journals.

Sell old records

LPs have made a huge comeback. For many years, you would only find older bands like The Beatles or The Rolling Stones on records. Now, a new generation of artists is releasing its albums on vinyl, according to a 2013 article in The Boston Globe. Even major manufacturers like Sony are making record players again.
This means it may be possible to sell your old records. Many cities have stores that specialize in LP sales, such as Boston’s In Your Ear or Recycled Records in Reno, NV. You can also sell records online through shops like Hard to Find Records. Rare albums will fetch a high price from collectors, but if your albums are more of the run-of-the-mill variety, it is probably best not to expect to make a fortune from them.

If your records are not saleable, you may be able to donate them to a thrift shop. If you call ahead to see what stores want them, you can be reasonably certain your LPs will end up on store shelves and not in the dumpster.

Use records for arts and crafts projects

Given that there are few end markets for vinyl records, plenty of creative types have found ways to give them new life. The shiny black material makes eye-catching art and jewelry, and leaving the labels affixed to records adds interest and color.
We cataloged several uses for old vinyl records in an article in 2010. Ideas include wall art and clocks.

For years, one of the most popular uses for old records has been wavy bowls. They are easy to make by putting an old record on top of a mug in the oven and letting it soften. One caution when doing this: Records become pliable at 150º F, so you should be very careful when you handle your bowl or you could seriously burn your fingers.

St. Vincent de Paul in Eugene, OR, makes jewelry from old records. Designs such as wolves, houses and recycling symbols are punched out of some of the thousands of unusable records the charity receives every year. The product, called Re-Play, is sold through St. Vincent de Paul thrift stores.

Other ideas for putting old records to use include tiered plates for holding baked goods, placemats, end tables and even using them for as floor coverings. One Pinterest user posted a photo of a vinyl record she used as a guest book at a special event. Signed with gold and silver ink and framed, it looks a bit like something a rock star might hang on the wall.
- See more at:

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Summer Project: Repurposing Your Old Carpet

By Maggie Wehri 

Summer has returned, and many of us are thinking about home improvement projects to spruce up our homes. While these activities may be fun and exciting to plan, the not-so-fun byproduct is one that we most often ignore: where the discarded waste will end up.

A common household renovation that many of us do every so often is changing out our carpets when they begin to look a little too dingy. If you are considering a carpet change this summer, there is good news on the waste front: There are a multiple ways to repurpose leftover carpet without sending it straight to the dumpster.

Disposable beds for pets

We sure do love them, but those furry friends at home can make quite a mess in their living space. While buying new beds and mats can become pricey over time, a quick and easy, money-saving solution is to cut up a few squares of your old carpet to change in and out of their pens or bedding.

Carpet for your car

No matter what kind of vehicle you are driving these days, consider cutting up your floor covering to use as mats inside your car. Help protect your existing mat by placing a freshly cut square on top. Plus, during the worst of weather seasons, which are always just around the corner, your old carpet will take the beating, leaving your car flooring unscathed.

Flooring for the clubhouse

As the weather warms up, everyone is heading out for some time in the sun. For the kids in the family, clubhouses are going to be a popular hangout spot over the course of the next few months. To give your tree house a homey feel, think about lining the space with your old carpet. As the kids venture outside for their next clubhouse retreat, they will definitely thank you for providing added comfort to their special hideaway.

Lining the cubbies and crannies

We all have a certain area in our house that could use a little extra cushion. From the welcome mat at the front door, to the concrete flooring in the backyard shed, cutting up carpet for these spaces can make a huge difference. Repurposing your old carpet is a small green task that you can do instead of tracking in excess or suffering the cold floor.
Instead of paying for haul-away cost and letting your old carpet hit the nearest landfill, think about the many ways you can repurpose your carpet without it ever leaving your home. Perhaps this resourceful thinking may even jump-start a new idea that fits your everyday needs. When thinking about small renovations such as replacing carpet, remember that there are ways you can repurpose the leftovers.
- See more at:

Saturday, July 26, 2014

How to Recycle Gift Cards

By Sophia Bennett

Gift cards seem to get more popular every year. A survey conducted by the National Retail Federation in advance of the 2013 holiday season discovered that 80% of Americans planned to purchase at least one gift card for someone on their shopping list. On average, they planned to spend $163 on gift cards. Those numbers were the highest since the trade group started the survey 11 years ago.

Gift cards are great because they let your friends and loved ones purchase whatever they want. However, they are not the greatest gift for the environment. They are made with one of the most toxic plastics out there and cannot go in your recycling bin. Fight the instinct to take the easy route and throw them in the trash. There are definitely ways to recycle them — or maybe even reuse them.

What are gift cards made of?

Gift cards are made of polyvinyl chloride, also known as PVC or by the recycling #3. Credit cards and hotel key cards are made of PVC, as are items like pipes, vinyl siding for your house, records, shower curtains and mattress covers.
PVC was first discovered in the 19th century, but it wasn’t until the 20th century that anyone figured out how to make a marketable product out of it. Waldo Semon, an industrial scientist, first used it as a waterproof coating on fabric.

Made with chlorine and heavy metals, PVC is a known human carcinogen. It is also one of the most difficult plastics to recycle. Many curbside programs will not take it, and beyond that, there are a limited number of facilities that process it.

You should still try to send your leftover gift cards to a recycler, however. Like other products made of PVC, gift cards will eventually leak harmful chemicals into the soil (or the air if your trash is incinerated). Since gifts cards are less bulky than, say, the siding on your house, you can easily get those unwanted pieces of plastic to someone who will do something useful with them.

How to recycle gift cards

Macy’s will take gift cards at the register and put them in a special bin for recycling. It stands to reason that other companies will do this, too, so when you buy a gift card for someone, ask the clerk if that particular retailer has a recycling program.
If you have a gift card from a company that does not offer a recycling program, there are a couple places you can take them. Best Buy has recycling kiosks inside each of its retail store locations. You can drop off gift cards at no charge.

Earthworks Systems, which manufactures gift cards from 100% recycled PVC, will also accept old cards for recycling. To get instructions about recycling your cards, fill out the registration form on the company’s website and a representative will email all the necessary information. You have to pay the cost of mailing your cards to Earthworks’ facility, but otherwise the program is free.

The Gap is one example of a retailer that uses Earthworks’s recycled PVC for its gift cards. Company owner Rodd Gilbert suggests asking your favorite local retailers to consider buying cards from Earthworks. If they buy recycled, it will cut down on the amount of new PVC being produced.

Your gift card may come inside a small decorative holder. Those are almost always made of cardboard or scrap paper and can be recycled along with the rest of your paper.

Alternative types of gift cards

Major retailers like Target and REI have started using gift cards made of biodegradable materials. The cards, which come from a company called NatureWorks LLC, are corn based and will eventually break down in some composting systems.
Cut down on your gift card’s carbon footprint by giving an electronic certificate rather than a plastic one. Sephora, iTunes and Amazon are just a few examples of retailers that issue e-gift certificates. The added advantage of doing this: You can buy one at the last minute if you forget about Father’s Day, an anniversary or a friend’s birthday.

If the store where you are shopping offers paper gift certificates instead of plastic ones, opt for those instead. The paper certificate will be easy to recycle once it has been spent.

How to reuse gift cards

Another idea is to purchase rechargeable gift cards for friends and family. That way they do not have to throw them away once they have used up your gift; they can simply put more money on the card and use it over and over again. Walmart and Starbucks are examples of national chains that allow you to recharge gift cards.
The durable plastic and interesting designs on gift cards make them a great material for craft projects. Check out this post on the website Totally Green Crafts, which has 20 ways to make jewelry, home décor and even luggage tags from old gift cards.
- See more at:

Friday, July 25, 2014

Compost is the Solution for Your Dingy Dryer Lint

By Maggie Wehri

Believe it or not, there are many waste materials that can be added to your personal compost. From apple cores to yard clippings, many organic items are beneficial to your heap, offering a great way to further utilize them instead of opting for the trash. Most consumers, however, are unaware of more uncommon items that can be added to mix, such as dryer lint.

While some of us may be skeptical to try composting dryer lint, examine it a little closer. Dryer lint contains carbon and fiber, but only decomposes well with an even mix of both green and brown materials. Brown materials, like dry leaves, wood chips, straw, sawdust, corn stalks and newspaper, are usually abundant in the yard or around the home. On other hand, green materials, including items like food scraps, grass clippings, coffee grounds, manure and weeds, which are full of nitrogen, supply your compost with the most amount nutrients. Dryer lint is considered a brown material, as it is a source of carbon that helps add bulk and allows air to flow through the compost.

To get started composting with dryer lint, designate a container in your laundry space for saving lint. Every few dryer loads, clean the lint trap. Unattended lint traps are a potential fire hazard and can become dangerous when left unattended over long periods of time. Disperse of the lint with no more than an inch depth of each layer. Sprinkle some water on top and rake this into the compost. This practice will help you from being overzealous with the portions and will ensure that you maintain a balanced pile.

Adding dryer lint to the compost is a simple enough task, but it should not be overdone in the compost. Having the balance of both green and brown materials with sufficient moisture is crucial to a great composting system. While green materials are the “powerhouses” of the compost, do not forget to add in the brown materials, which add stability in the equation.

Next time you are doing laundry, before tossing out your next bunch of dryer lint, consider adding it to the compost pile out back. Small actions like these can make a big difference in your compost’s stability, but they are also beneficial to reducing consumer waste and promoting a sustainable lifestyle.
- See more at:

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Reusable to-go containers

Reusable to-go container service aims to do away with throw away containers in downtown Portland. GO Box, a Portland-based service providing reusable containers to people receiving to-go food in Downtown Portland, has reached its three-year anniversary and is simultaneously celebrating its achievement of eliminating the use of over 50,000 disposable to-go food containers. GO Box is the first company of its kind anywhere in the United States that aims to do away with the problem of single-use, disposable to-go food containers by offering a convenient system providing durable take out containers. There are nearly 2,000 subscribers and 75 food vendors participating in downtown Portland. To coincide with its anniversary, GO Box is also announcing the launch of a new, updated website making it easier for customers to find their favorite food vendors and drop sites for their boxes. "As of this month, GO Box-ers have eliminated the use of over 50,000 disposable take out containers!" said Laura Weiss, GO Box owner and founder. "If you stacked 50,000 GO Boxes one on top of the other they would reach 11,458 ft -- higher than the height of Mt Hood!" Customers can sign up on the new website, or at any participating vendor where they receive their first meal in a GO Box. After their meal, customers return their used container to a drop site and receive a token they use to exchange for another meal in a GO Box repeating the process. All boxes are picked up by GO Box staff and brought to a commercial kitchen for cleaning and then redistributed to food carts and other food vendors. In order to remain true to its low-impact mission, all pickups and deliveries are done by bicycle. Weiss recognized a need for this type of service after learning that you could not bring your own container to receive to-go food from food carts due to health regulations. It is estimated that over 60,000 disposable containers are used by the downtown Portland food carts each month. Since its inception, GO Box has gone on to receive national recognition and in 2012 received the Award for Best Sustainable Product or Service from the Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability. In addition, Weiss has licensed out the GO Box concept to Sacramento, and San Francisco has plans to launch this year. GO Box also offers companies and buildings a way to get involved by becoming a Corporate Partner. The Corporate Program allows companies to host a private drop box exclusively for the use of their employees and/or tenants. There are currently 30 Corporate Partners participating in downtown Portland. To learn more about GO Box, visit GO Box - See more at:

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Twelve Unique Ways to Reuse Old Windows

By Falesha Wojitysiak

You'll be amazed how old windows are repurposed into stunning new uses.
There is something about old windows that inspires nostalgia. Nowadays, there has been an increase in the popularity of salvaging them for other purposes. Here is a list to spark your own inspiration.

1. Bulletin board

Image: Mom 4 Real
Blogger/DIYer Jessica Kielman combined buttons, tacks, wine corks, an old window and hot glue to create this charming addition to her home office. Having found a salvaged window at her local Habitat for Humanity ReStore, she was able to get the help of friends to save up the corks she needed to complete her project. Upon finishing, she used an estimated 324 corks for the project.
In all, the cost of this project came in at under $15. This is not only an excellent way to upcycle materials, but it is also an awesome way to help keep anyone organized.

2. Chalkboard calendar

2-chalkboard-calendar.png Chalkboards for home use are becoming more and more popular, but this one is especially stylish and functional. This board creates a central place for everyone in the family to see and add to the schedule. Plus, there is room to jot down needed groceries, and keep a running to-do list. The addition of the coat hooks to hang a child’s clothes for the next day is wonderful bonus idea.

3. Bulletin board

3-bulletin-board.png This is an adorable double-window corkboard that is glued on the original panes. Best of all, it’s definitely not a strain on the pocket book. By keeping as much of the original window hardware intact as possible, it retains its rustic look. The windows would also serve purposeful by painting some of the panes with chalkboard paint. Simply put, the possibilities are endless.

4. Farmhouse cupboard

4-farmhouse-cupboard.png There’s repurposing, and then there’s repurposing. This beautiful cupboard definitely falls into the latter category. Other than the paint, the hardware on the drawers and the bead board backing, all of the materials used here are upcycled. The door hardware is original to the windows themselves, and you would never know by looking where the lumber came from. It is actually wood from an old waterbed. What a wonderful way to create what is sure to be a family heirloom with materials already in the home.

5. Dry-erase menu board

5-dry-erase-menu.png Chances are, you’ve probably been asked, “Hey, what’s for dinner?” a few more times than you’d like. Well, someone found a way to answer that once and for all with this lovely dry-erase menu board. This was created by using an old window, an eye-catching graphic and frosted glass spray-paint. This is a useful board that would not only look great hanging in the kitchen, but could also easily be used outside for a backyard party this summer.

6. Vinyl signage

6-vinyl-signage.png Lindsey at Diary of a Crafty Lady immediately saw the potential in this large 25-inch x 19-inch window when she spotted it on the curb for trash pick-up in her New England neighborhood. By using vinyl lettering, she not only created something visually stunning, but also changeable if she ever decided to repurpose this piece into something else. Something tells us that will not be happening anytime soon.

7. Framed prints

Image: Crafty Nest
There are prints available on any subject that can be found online, whether your personal tastes lie in botanicals, music, art, sports or something else entirely. This one-of-a-kind piece is a great example of how to make a work of art that reflects who you are at a great price.

8. Quilt holder

8-quilt-holder.png Nothing quite says “Americana” like using an old window to display a handmade quilt. Jaime at That’s My Letter has found a way to create a piece of art that does just that. She made her quilted sections individually. If, for example, you are keeping a damaged quilt for sentimental value it is possible to use this method to preserve your memories. You can also try using alternating color schemes in each pane to shake things up.

9. French shelf

9-french-shelf.png This French shelf would look great in any number of settings. It would fit well in a bedroom with a coastal theme, a living room with a shabby-chic motif, a large bathroom or even a dressing room, just to name a few. The glass is frosted and it contains wire mesh because this piece was made with old windows from a school. It was then combined with other repurposed wood to make the finished product you see here.

10. Jewelry organizer

10-jewelry-organizer.png Unlike most window frame jewelry displays found online, this one uses burlap instead of wire mesh for the panel areas. The addition of small hooks at the top for bracelets and clear casing on the bottom for earring studs or rings is a great touch. If you do not have the counter or drawer space for a good jewelry box, this is a wonderful alternative!

11. Wedding decorations

11-wedding-decorations.png When Dawn E Roscoe Photography took pictures of Aly and Chico’s wedding, there was something unique and unusual about the reception décor. The couple used old window frames hung from the ceiling over the dance floor to add another dimension to the room. While most would consider using window frames to be rustic, the way they are hung carefully spaced and in alternating directions gave this celebration a fresh, modern art theme.

12. Headboard

Image: Modernette
Aly loved the window panes that were used in her wedding reception so much that she wanted to keep a couple for sentimental value. She chose two that matched in size, painted them, and currently uses them as a headboard. Using window frames as a headboard is a great idea. They can be decorated in a multitude of ways. You could put fabric in the panes, or raise them a bit overhead and add artwork.
I hope with all the different inspirations above, you can find your own creative way to reuse old windows. The resulting product is only limited by your imagination.
- See more at:

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

SolarBee deployment in Jordan Lake to begin today

SolarBee deployment in Jordan Lake to begin today

RALEIGH – State officials said that solar-powered water circulators are being installed today in Jordan Lake with the goal of reducing chlorophyll-a concentrations associated with algae in the lake.
Thirty-six of the water circulators, known as SolarBee machines, will be placed at two locations in Jordan Lake to circulate the water in an effort to prevent algae from forming in the stagnant, warm water where it tends to thrive. The Environmental Protection Agency has designated Jordan Lake as “impaired” under the federal Clean Water Act because excessive amounts of algae that formed in the lake due to the gradual buildup of nutrients from stormwater runoff, wastewater and other sources.
Twelve SolarBees will be spaced 1,300 feet apart in the Haw River arm in the southern part of Jordan Lake and 24 other machines will be similarly spaced in the Morgan Creek arm at the northern end of the lake. These arms have demonstrated high levels of chlorophyll-a due to the amount of nutrients coming into the lake from these watersheds and the long retention time. Deploying all the SolarBees is estimated to take about two weeks.
In 2013, the North Carolina General Assembly enacted Session Law 2013-360, which required the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources to establish a 24-month demonstration project for the management of nutrients in Jordan Lake.
The Division of Water Resources performed baseline sampling in the lake before the SolarBee machines were installed. With the machines in place, water quality monitoring will be conducted once a month for 18 months, according to the Division of Water Resources Demonstration Project Monitoring Plan. The state agency will collect water samples to determine the type and amount of any algae that is present and to test for nitrogen, phosphorus, turbidity, and chlorophyll-a, which is an indicator of algal activity.
The division also will collect physical data for temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH and conductivity. Water quality monitoring information will be available online at The division will report its findings to the General Assembly by Oct. 1, 2015.
SolarBees, which are manufactured by the Medora Corporation, are designed to reduce taste and odor problems that may affect drinking water, and improve dissolved oxygen levels, pH levels and aesthetics in the lake. They are designed to complement other nutrient- and pollution-reduction measures advocated by the EPA.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Feed the Birds - Waterbottle Bird Feeder

Feed the Birds - Waterbottle Bird Feeder

My requirements were easy, cheap, and it can't look like a soda bottle.

Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Parts

Parts List:
clear plastic bottle,
plastic container slightly larger then bottle,
wire, or string, etc.,
utility knife,

Warning! Knives are sharp, cutting plastic can be tricky!  You may need a few plastic bottles to practice on.

Step 2: Mark Top

Fill or drain the liquid (water) until it reaches the narrowing of the bottle top.  Mark level with marker.

Step 3: Remove Label

Peel off the label, I used Goo Gone to remove the glue from the bottle after removing the label.

Step 4: Score the Top

Score where you marked the top.  Scoring the plastic helps when it comes time to cut.

Step 5: Cut the Top Off

Cut along your scoring, save the top, we'll use it in the next step.

Step 6: Mark Holes

How you cut your holes can depend on the bird and the feed.  Finch's apparently like to eat upside-down, slots are cut so they can get to the feed.

I'm not feeding finches, so I cut holes.  Use the curve of the top we cut off to mark the holes for the birds to feed from.  Center the top along the side of the bottle, start marking at the center top to the left then the right.  As you mark along the edge you want to rotate the top, so it is flush with the side of the bottle where you are marking.  Keep marking until the "curve" has "straightened out" running straight up and down the bottle.  You don't want to force the top down around the curve of the bottle causing it to bend.  Next to cutting this is the trickiest part.  Mark a horizontal line from the bottom of the left and right legs of our curve.  Now repeat on the other side of the bottle.  Add more paired holes as you have room for, you'll probably want to stagger them 90 degrees as you go up the bottle to give the birds more room to feed.  The intro picture illustrates the placement of the holes.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Lego My Lamp

By Falesha Wojitysia

Sometimes, to find a lamp that best suits your style, you have to get creative.
Lighting is one of the most noticeable things in your home. In fact, it is a necessity. Although any light fixture will do, it is good to have something that reflects your personal style. Here are some examples of some creatively crafted lamps.

1. Paint roller
1.png In the U.K., Natalie Sampson has created a name for herself by creating original lamps and tables out of upcycled or reclaimed objects. This paint roller lamp uses LED lighting and what appears to be vinyl to create something extremely eye catching. This lamp would look great in a teenager’s bedroom, a modern living area or a trendy office.
2. Book lantern
2.png The ladies at Zipper8Lighting have made the perfect lamp for bibliophiles everywhere. This lamp is made from a round paper shade and three different colors of pages from aged, upcycled books. It would look good nearly anywhere in the house, but especially in a public or home library. This effect can be created using other colors as well. It can be made from the pages of children’s books, old maps or even botanical pictures. The design is only limited to the books that have been printed.
3. Book chandelier
Image: Lula Dot
Used paperback books are some of the hardest things to recycle. The paper is low grade, and the glue has to be removed from the spine beforehand. London-based Lula Dot has come up with a beautiful way to recycle these books and to show off their beauty in the process. According to Lula Dot, each page is folded in half, which causes a wonderful density, and full effect, on the cylinders.
4. Skateboard light
4.png This overhead or sconce fixture is a great way to use something you have laying around to create something stunning and useful. This is a wonderful way to preserve an old board that has sentimental value. This would not only look great in a teen’s bedroom, an industrial apartment or a game room, but also in a funky office setting.
5. Clothespin lamp
Image: CreaRe
Used clothespins can be found at most thrift stores or raided from your grandmother’s laundry room. Here they take metal lampshade forms and clothespins to fashion them into a lamp that would go well with nearly any internal décor. Once lit, the light seeps gently between the pins and creates a warm glow, similar to a fireplace. This one definitely earns creativity, repurposing and ambiance points.
6. Coke bottle lamp
Image: Home-Dzine
One look at this lamp and you would have never guessed that the main components were used soda bottles. Old cardboard tubing and PVC pipe were also used when forming this functional artwork. The team at Home-Dzine have put together a wonderful tutorial on how to assemble this elegant lamp in your home or office. Thinking further outside the box, you could use colored bottles or even paint them for effect. Maybe make it shorter for a table lamp or play around with the base design on the bottom. It is a unique and versatile idea to play with.
7. Book lamp
7.png The team at Typewriter Boneyard specializes in taking older books and turning them into not just lamps, but works of art. This would look great in an office setting, a modern living room or in the flat of any hipster. With the different colors of hardback books, test out different types and different bulbs — it will not be hard to find something to work into your current décor.
8. Lego lamp
Image: RecyclArt
If ever there was a lamp that spoke to your inner 5-year-old, this would be it. A large Lego board acts as the base, and then the blocks were assembled at the builder’s discretion. The way the light flows through the bricks is unique, but the real conversation starter is what it is made out of. This would be a great family project to try out on a rainy day as well.
9. Pipe fixture lamp
Image: Curbly
Using pipefittings, this industrially designed pipe fixture lamp is simple yet striking. While this would look great on a desktop, it could easily be modified as a floor lamp as well. The pipes could also be painted in both the same or contrasting colors, and a number of coordinating lampshades could be used for a floor lamp option.
10. Sleeping under the stars
10.png When Donna at Funky Junk Interiors completed an overhaul of her son’s bedroom, she wanted him to have the illusion of being outside. By taking a scrap of wall paneling, painting clouds on the backside as a valance and then using some upcycled party lights, she achieved just that. The entire process of creating the valance took under 30 minutes. Since it was made from materials she had left over from other projects, the cost for the valance was free. Further proof that great ideas do not have to be expensive.
11. Junky upgrade
11.png By taking strips of cotton fabric and draping them over the shade, the lamp now gives off a soft glow at night. This lamp is beautiful and adds a wonderful ambience to any room. This lamp was completed by adding some necklaces to the lamp itself and some scrap metal for the base.
These are fine examples of how you can take any old object, sprinkle in some creativity, and come up with something extraordinary.

All images used are copyrighted and used with permission of the photographers/artists.
- See more at:

Home Electronics Disposal