Simple, realistic steps towards a paperless kitchen

The thought of creating a paperless kitchen may seem like a daunting task, but with the help of the right organizational pieces it can be easily done. Any home – small or large, contemporary or traditional – can be reorganized to limit paper products.

instagram_paperlessFirst, it is important to consider your household, the people around you and what level of change is appropriate for your lifestyle. Going paperless doesn’t have to be a black and white choice – any move in the right direction has its impact. It is important to communicate with your family and agree on a plan of action before implementing any large changes in your home.

Before you begin

There are lots of easy ways to make your own kitchen towels on the cheap. For specifics, check our Pinterest board on the same subject. If you’re not the hands-on type, start stocking up on towels when you find them on sale. It’s important to start loading up on towels before riding your home of paper products. You want to be ready to tackle life’s messes sans-paper before you run out of paper towels, napkins, etc. This way you can seamlessly transition from one lifestyle to the next.

Storage

Once you have stocked up on dish and hand towels as well as fabric napkins, it is time to find a storage solution that works for you. A lot of organizers love utilizing glass candy jars to keep clean towels at the ready. This allows you to keep towels near the sink or on the counter top without compromising neatness or décor. paperless_rags

For dish towels or other rags that may not be as pretty to display, consider re-purposing a plastic bag recycler. These handy bins are hidden under kitchen counters to create out-of-sight storage. Fill them with clean kitchen rags and easily access a towel whenever you need it.

Use and cleaning

Once it is time to throw towels in the dirty laundry, it’s necessary to have a receptacle in the kitchen. Utilize an over the cabinet waste bin to collect dirty towels. This small, stylish trash bin hangs over cabinet doors; you can hang them to sit either inside or outside the door. Doing this limits the need to do laundry more frequently, and keeping it tucked under the counter keeps any odors or stains out of sight.

Not all towels are ready to toss in the laundry after one use though. To allow them to dry properly and keep them at hand for another use, add extra areas to hang them. Over the door towel racks are the perfect way to create more storage without compromising wall space or creating permanent structures. These handy rods simply slid over kitchen cabinet doors without hardware or tools – plus, they’re padded to protect wood from scratches and signs of wear. These racks are also perfect for the bathroom!

Once you have these simple organizational hacks conquered, a paperless kitchen will be just another aspect of your everyday life. And then you can work to utilize it throughout the rest of the house!

Find these products and more like them at StacksandStacks.com.

Go back to school with healthy packed lunches

Ready or not, here comes another school year. As the homework piles up, it’s important to keep your attention to detail. There’s no denying it, some days it is just easier to have the kids grab lunch in the cafeteria, but today’s lunchrooms are chock full of sugary drinks and salty snacks that begin a lifetime of unhealthy habits.

Utilize these handy pieces to create quick, easy and healthy lunches every day:

lunch1Japanese style lunch box

Let lunch get creative with this Bento Box style lunch box. Bento Boxes are a traditional boxed meal in Japanese culture. They typically have separate containers for rice, protein and veggies. Modern twists on this style create an easy way to pack a well-balanced, healthy lunch for work or school. This specific design features a nesting container with three cubbies and a lid – perfect for packing and separating items without using disposable plastic bags.

Reusable lunch wrap

lunch2If you or your kids or more of just the plain ol’ sandwich type, this reusable wrap is for you. You can pack any kind of sandwich without using plastic wrap.

Snack dipperlunch4lunch3

Snacking doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Packing healthy snacks is super easy thanks to this cool double compartment container. This piece is designed to accommodate your favorite dips and sides, like hummus with carrots, celery with peanut butter and more. This case is awesome for lunches but is great for a quick study break snack you can throw in your purse, backpack, briefcase and more.

Salad container with dressing holder

The ultimate in healthy lunches: a simple salad. Not so simple to pack though.  Well that has changed. This handy container is made to pack your favorite salad, complete with a side of salad dressing. The leak proof container is also ideal for stir-f
ry, pasta and other dishes. It comes with a detachable ice pack so it’s super easy to keep foods cool during the day – this container can sit in your locker before lunch and stay fresh.

Feeling inspired? Check us out on Pinterest for lunch ideas. 
Find these products and more like them at StacksandStacks.com.

Spruce Up Your Garden!

Happy Spring! Preparation for your garden should begin with cleaning up the space, eliminating old leaves and and debris, and checking the soil, then let the planting begin! Once your gardening has begun, here are some ideas to make the rest of this season a little bit easier on you and to make your garden space a little more fun!

 

Read more

Countdown to Fall…Tools to Make Yardwork A Breeze

Let's Get Serious about Fall! Just 11 days away and one of our favorite seasons, there's just something about fall. And there are leaves. Lots and lots of leaves. And other yardwork to do during this transition to winter. Here are some of the best fall yardwork tools to help you make the most of your work time spent out in the yard this season:

GutterBrush Rain Gutter Guard
Prevention is key when dealing with gutters. Not only does the GutterBrush Rain Gutter Guard save you time spent cleaning out those gutters down the road, it keeps your rain gutters in better condition, reducing rust issues for longer use. Like other gutter guards, this one keeps leaves and pine needles out but allows water to pass through. It remains hidden, however, fully inside the gutter for a neat and tidy look. Read more

New Year Resolution for a Better Planet

Recycle DudeSo another New Year has come and gone and yet again you are grasping for a good resolution. But maybe you are like my wife and your problem is not sticking with your resolution, it is finding an issue that you can work at all year. My wife does not smoke nor does she drink all that much, she spends tons of time with her family and she works out just about the appropriate amount. That covers some of the big ones – quit smoking, lose weight, cut down on drinking, spend more time with the family.

This year we wanted to do a joint resolution and do something that we had never done before. Read more

Steam Cleaners: Wonder Machines!

steam-cleaner.jpgMy wife and I recently found ourselves in a situation in which we needed to purchase a steam cleaner for our home. It was a purchase made out of necessity but after we used the steam cleaner a couple of times, we realized just how useful a tool this little portable machine could really be.

One of the biggest reasons my wife and I fell in love with using the steam cleaner was that it used no harsh chemicals that end up staining your clothes or making you feel light-headed and nauseous after a few hours of cleaning. Another huge plus is that your hands do not get really dried out like they do when you use bleach or other chemicals. The ability to just clean with just the pressure and heat of H2O without worrying about our dog coming through later and ingesting the harmful agents is quite liberating! Read more

Incorporating Fitness Into Everyday Life

walkingWhen my wife and I moved to Southern California, we decided we would do everything we could to ensure we lived in a neighborhood where it was easy and convenient to do most errands and chores on foot. We had previously lived in Boston, Massachusetts for a couple of years while she finished graduate school, and as the city is famously known, is “America’s Walking City”. We actually lived completely carless for the time we lived out there, which most definitely had its inconveniences, but overall it was a very rewarding experience. Read more

Why I Just Can’t Let Go of my Vegetable Garden

winter vegetablesFor me, gardening feeds my soul. Of course it’s fun if it feeds my belly too, but getting my hands in the dirt, daily watering and fertilizing make up one of the pleasures in life that make my heart sing. So why should I give this up during fall and winter, a time when, frankly, my soul needs all the calories it can get?

Luckily, I don’t have to stop gardening during the winter, and neither do you. Read more

Tuesday Tip: Natural Weed Removal

blackberry bushI found another use for one of my favorite "green" household cleaning substances – vinegar!

I have a very small back yard with an apple tree and some pretty flowering vines on the fence. And no room for the stubborn blackberry vines that keep popping up!

For those of you unfamiliar with this Northern California nuisance, they have the most amazing berries to eat but they grow faster than weeds and are un-killable even with weed killer. Read more

Composting in a Plastic Bin: Eco-Friendly DIY Project

compost binI promise, this is an easy one, folks! That’s right – easy, inexpensive, and one DIY weekend project that goes a long way toward helping out the planet – everybody wins!

With just a few items, you can be well on your way to composting in no time at all!

The benefits of home composting to the environment are infinite. But the one that really resonated with me, causing me to take the compost-plunge, was the fact that the food that ends up in landfills actually causes many problems because the lack of oxygen means it doesn’t break down. Read more

Beware of Vampires!

vampire-powerEven when household appliances are turned off, most are still using some electricity. Beware of vampire energy in your home, sucking the money right out of your wallet and producing over 50 million tons of CO2 emissions in the U.S., equal to 11 million cars.

My friends over at Big Green Head have put together a cute interactive post to show potential energy vampires in your home and how to eliminate them. Check it out

But What Do I Do With All The Caps?

recycle binI'm learning more about recycling everyday (thanks to my friends at BigGreenHead.com!).

Like many households, we have a giant blue recycling bin that we throw all our recyclables into. Like many people, I had some questions in my mind as I was tossing a plastic container or a pizza box; Can the lid be recycled? Is it OK if there is a little grease on the pizza box? Should I rinse out containers before recycling them? But when I'm in the kitchen, I'm usually doing five other things and I don't have time to find the answer.

I kinda just figure the guys at the recycle place will figure it out. Read more