Nester's Needs looks for innovative kitchen and home gadgets that are worth buying. I try to follow the Earth-friendly rules of reducing, reusing and recycling. But, I'll admit I don't always keep with it like I should.
My newspapers often end up in the trash can instead of the recycling bin and my Diet Coke cans tend to be discarded without much thought. Sometimes I leave the kitchen lights on when I'm not in the room. And more than once, I have thrown out items that probably should have been donated to Goodwill.
Seeing as Sunday marks the 36th anniversary of Earth Day, though, it seems like an ideal time to examine my waste-basket ways and make new strides to reduce, reuse and recycle.
Making a simple switch from standard incandescent light bulbs to the GE Energy Smart Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs is a win-win situation. As CFLs last 10 times longer and use two-thirds less energy than standard light bulbs, the bulbs help the planet. Equally important, since the bulbs cut energy usage, they cut the power bill and help my bank account. Replacing a 60-watt incandescent with a 13-watt CFL can save at least $30 in energy costs over the life of the bulb, according to GE. Retailing for about $3, GE bulbs are available at most home improvement, grocery and office supply stores.
Aiming to reuse, the folks at Re-Modern are literally turning one man's trash into another man's treasure. In their Transglass collection, designers Emma Woffenden and Tord Boontje transform old beer and wine bottles into artistic vases. With sharp, clean lines, the vases exude a modern feel. Three colors, bright green, clear and muted brown, make them an easy fit into any room. The collection also includes jugs, carafes and drinking glasses. Available in either a satin or polished finish, the vases retail for $38
Equal parts stylish and eco-savvy, the Butterfly Recycler by Simplehuman makes recycling a breeze. The sleek, slim and narrow cans can be stacked side by side - one for trash, one for recyclables. The real gem with the stainless steel bin is the lid, which is split in two, opens when you step on the foot petal and closes automatically with a slow return. It can also be locked into the open position. The lid closes airtight, sealing in odors and compacting the trash. With a removable plastic liner, the to-be recycled goodies are easy to remove. Retailing for $179, the 10-gallon recycler is sold at Williams-Sonoma.
Staff writer Anna Ferguson can be reached at 770-963-9205, ext. 1308 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.