Saturday, December 29, 2012

Happy New Year!!!!!

We hope you had a wonderful Christmas, or another holiday you may have celebrated this season! We've had sicknesses, birthdays and lots of family time this week and still working hard to start the new year off right for Good Garbage. Good Garbage Gab will continue next week! 

Remember to continue saving things like bottle caps, corks, plastic containers, tp and paper towel rolls, and other items on our list found HERE

Wishing you a happy and safe New Year from our families to yours!

Like us? Well be sure to share our page with all your friends and family! We will have so much going on in 2013, everyone will want to continue watching us grow!! 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Good Garbage Gab - Creative Wrapping

One week until Christmas!!!!! I'm so excited!!!! How about you? Are you ready? This coming week I will be busy finishing up some handmade gifts, picking up the last few stocking stuffers, baking and  wrapping gifts!

There is nothing more fun to me than watching kids and adults ripping into a beautifully wrapped present. That is a big part of the fun for me! I really hate buying Christmas paper. Spend a fortune for it to last all of a minute before it's tossed in the trash. So, what alternatives are there? Just look around! You can use newspaper, comics, brown paper bags, and book and magazine pages. Add special touches by making your own bows from the same papers or scrap fabric. And if you are just dead set on bags... Then make your own from newspaper!!!

If you are making goodies like muffins, cookies, or candy, use some of these fun containers: aluminum box wrapped for muffins, Pringles cans wrapped for cookies and a toilet paper roll for candy! 

For instructions and more ideas, check out our Pinterest page. There you will find some great ideas for all kinds of repurposing! 

Please send us pictures of all your wonderful repurposed holiday crafts! We would love to share them on our blog and Facebook page! And if you use store bought wrapping paper (and don't fret, I am too, as I have paper I have purchased over the last 10 years I'm trying to use up), be sure to save the cardboard tubes. We will be using these for some wonderful gardening ideas and future crafts after the first of the year!

Anne and I want to wish you and yours a very, very Merry Christmas!!!! 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Good Garbage Gab - From Trash to Gifts 12/5/12

Today I'm hoping to inspire you to not only handcraft some wonderful Christmas gifts, but repurpose things you my have around your house to do so. Saving you money and of course, stuff from the landfill!!! 

Crayon Initial artwork
Do your kids or you have a lot of crayons that are broken? No, I'm not going to tell you to melt them into new mixed colored crayons... Take a piece of poster board, cardboard or construction paper, just as long as it is strong enough to hold the glued on crayons, an old frame (don't need a shadow box, just remove the glass from the frame), the broken crayons and some glue and make the initial of the gift recipient. You can write the name like here in the picture, or decorate any way you would like. These are great gifts for babies, families and babysitters.  
T-Shirt Scarves

Oh man... Did I ever get into a frenzy making all kinds of these last winter. I have so many different ones!!! They are awesome gifts this time of year and can be sewn or not. The one pictured here is actually unsewn and embellished with odd buttons and such that can be glued on. How? Just lay your t-shirt on a flat surface and cut a strip from the bottom (after you cut the hem off),  that is 4-6" wide. I usually do 4" just because that is the width of my straight edge. Take the circle piece and cut along one of the seams to make a long rectangle piece.  Cut the fringe and add the embellishments if you wish. Voila! Done!  

Jean Slippers
Who couldn't use a new pair of funky slippers???? This one I haven't done yet, but it is on my to do list for someone this Christmas!!! To see how to make these, come on over to our Repurposed Gift Pinterest page. Recycled Lovelies has a great tutorial. The blog is filled with wonderful ideas, but unfortunately she no longer updates it. Hopefully it will stay up for a good while! 

Come follow our Pinterest page and find lots of wonderful repurpose/recycle/reuse gifts as well as other great ideas. You can also find us on Facebook and Twitter.

Monday, December 3, 2012

From Cards to Boxes...

Over the weekend, Barbara, a Facebook friend, asked for instructions on using a Christmas Card to make a box. I found these instructions from Margie's Mark...   Greeting Card Boxes  

Be sure to checkout our Pinterest page for this and many more creative reuse ideas! 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Holidays . . . A Time for Giving!

While you are trimming your tree, entertaining your guests, shopping for and wrapping all those wonderful gifts and before you throw things away, stop and take a look at what you are tossing and see if it could be re-purposed. Check out our list Good Garbage Accepted Materials and see if it is on here. You will also find the link on the right side of this page at all times. It is updated often and always current. At times you will even find a wish list attached to it.

Set aside a box and fill it with these items instead of throwing them away... Bottle caps, can tabs, corks, wine bottles, excess wrapping paper, toilet paper and paper towel rolls, decks of cards with missing cards, game pieces to old games and left over scrap from all your handmade gifts... there's a multitude of items we could use for art projects. 

If you own a business (and even if you don't) and you want to reduce your waste, take this list to work with you and see if there is anything you can donate. Maybe it isn't on this list but you think it could be re-purposed... Email us! We will be glad to talk to you about it. 

After the first of the year, we will have some days we will be setting appointments for drop offs! Thank you for your wonderful support!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Good Garbage Gab-Reusing Christmas Cards, 11/27/12

Good morning everyone! We sure hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving weekend!!! We both had weekends full of wonderful family time!

Now that we have marked one more holiday off the list for 2012, we are moving ever closer to the winter holidays which are full of gift giving. We celebrate Christmas! Today I'm going to give you suggestions for reusing Christmas cards. If you saved your stash from last year, awesome!!! If not, no reason you can't use the ones you receive this year as they come in!

The first idea is to cut tags out of the pictures and use them as name tags on packages. You can cut many shapes, circles, triangles and rectangles then punch a hole in the top and add a ribbon or piece of yarn, Voila!

You can also use them to make placemats. By using a sheet of 11x17" construction paper (or other things like news paper, poster board, etc, cut to size and doesn't have to be 11x17"). Cut the front part of the cards off at the fold. Arrange them on the paper over lapping as necessary. I used double sided sticky tape, but you can use glue, etc. Once arranged like you want an secured to the paper, you can use clear vinyl contact paper or a laminating machine to cover and make water proof. I'm not a big proponent of using the plastic so I am still looking for an alternative way to preserve and use these with out that part of it. But they are very cute!

There are many, many other ideas for using your Christmas cards... I thought pictures might be better than instructions. These seem pretty self explanatory. For even more ideas, check us out on Pinterest (Good Garbage).

Happy Crafting!
-Lynn & Anne

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Our First Showing of Support!

We have our first showing of support!  Along with two more commitments of $50 each! I will keep updating as we continue to grow!  No amount is too small! - Thank you! Thank you!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Securing Our Spot in the Louisville Sustainability Movement - We Need the Community's Help!

Imagine if you will... A retail shop whose shelves are filled with a colorful array of left over, unused and recycled crafting material donated by artists, crafters and corporations from over-runs and collection drives. Glass - tiles - marbles - fabric - paper - buttons. On the far wall sits a grandiose display of artwork made from materials you see on the shelves—created by everyone from preschool kids to adults—being showcased for everyone to see; some even for sale. Then,  tucked away in a corner you can hear children and adults laughing while learning how to re-purpose a plastic bottle into a spider for a Halloween decoration or learning how to take wire from an electrical cord and make a pair of earrings. THIS IS OUR PASSION... 

Our mission...To provide a sustainable means for collecting scrap material before it enters the waste stream and making it available to the community for creative reuse.

You've been watching us over the last couple months here as we work on building shelves, sharing ideas and talking to just about everyone we come within 20 feet of. The behind the scenes meetings, hashing out ideas, brainstorming, researching and making educated decisions have been continuing beyond what we have been posting here.

After researching many options and existing reuse centers across the country and meeting with various people around town—from the Center for Non-Profit Excellence to civic leaders, to artists, teachers and environmentalists—we have decided to pursue a fiscal sponsorship with SCRAP USA (SCRAPpdx) in Portland, Oregon. Our mission and vision are closely aligned, and they have a sound business model, proven track record, and many projects all over the country. They will give us ongoing administrative help, access to grants, and the ability to begin functioning as a 501(c)3, tax-exempt charity, as soon as they approve our application, which could be as early as January 1, 2013.

In addition to our application, SCRAP has asked us to show proof that our Creative Reuse Center will have community support. A key part of that is to raise $1,000 in start-up money. This does not go to the sponsor, but serves as seed money to help us take our message to the streets through classroom demonstrations and workshops, environmental and arts & craft events all over Louisville, and to help us open our Creative Reuse Retail Store. Any money we receive in this campaign is not tax-deductible, nor does it give any ownership or provide any return on investment. It is an investment in OUR community to serve under-funded groups and support another part of Louisville’s sustainability initiatives.

We have started an email campaign and are now asking you, as our followers and those who would support the store either by donations or as patrons, please consider supporting us in this initial $1,000 campaign. Our goal is to send our application for fiscal sponsorship to SCRAP by December 1, 2012, so any amount you contribute before that would be greatly appreciated. We would like nothing more than to meet with you personally, discuss our vision further and to pick up your contribution. No amount is too little.
We are also always on the lookout for a building where we will be able to set up a retail shop, workrooms, etc. Have or know someone who has space that could be donated to us for a year? Or dirt (and I mean DIRT) cheap? Let us know.

Thanks for your time and thanks for your continued support by following us on here and on Facebook! Please be sure to share us with all your friends!

Anne Walker & Lynn Burgan

We accept checks or you can contribute using PayPal (

We can begin by doing small things at the local level, like planting community gardens or looking out for our neighbors. That is how change takes place in living systems, not from above but from within, from many local actions occurring simultaneously. 

Grace Lee Boggs

Monday, November 12, 2012

Good Garbage Gab November 12, 2012

Everyone has a lot of old t-shirts. Some are favorite teams you just can't get rid of; Some are your old cleaning, painting, crafting shirts that no one else would want; Some are just plain ugly ones that someone got you as a gift and you can't get rid of them because Aunt Mae might just ask you to show off that t-shirt she brought you back from Looneyville, Texas (it's real, look it up). Well I have a couple great ideas to share with you for ALL those t-shirts.

I'm sure first thing that comes to mind is a rag... good use, but there are lots more. I mean, if the shirt is so badly gooped up then not even sure it would work for a rag. And then there's the t-shirt quilt which is a great thing and I am planning out one now, is pretty labor intensive. Good Garbage Gab is all about getting you thinking and giving you easy ways you can start reusing things around your house. So, no t-shirt quilt instructions here today.

The first thing I ever did with an old t-shirt was make a grocery bag. This is so simple. All you need is a sharp pair of scissors and the simplest of sewing machines. You can sew them by hand, it just takes a bit longer.

Turn the t-shirt inside out and lay it flat. Pin the bottom. Sew with a good tight stitch all the way across to close the bottom of the t-shirt. I generally line up and sew just at the seam for the original hem. 

Then cut the sleeves off at the seam. Then you can just eye the next part, or you can use a round plate or bowl to mark the rounded cut you will make at the neck. The part of the shoulder that is left are your handles.

Turn it right side out and there you have it. A reusable bag. I take these to the grocery, carry my lunch in them, and have even used one as a purse (vintage, way too small, I'm A Pepper t-shirt). I even took the sleeves and made little drawstring bags to store them in. 

I also made some scarves, even a no-sew one. But I have to find those pictures lost on another computer that is currently down. I will try to find the right thumb drive I have them backed up on and will post another time. Maybe as we get closer to Christmas and you are looking for a last minute gift for someone! 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

TerraCycle - Outsmart Waste -Good Garbage has brigades

We are a TerraCycle supporter! TerraCycle's purpose is to eliminate the idea of waste. We do this by creating national recycling systems for previously non-recyclable or hard-to-recycle waste.  Once we are completely set up as a non-profit, we will benefit from the brigades by turning our points into money donations for Good Garbage. Check out for more information on how this works.
Set up an additional recycling container in your home and start collecting the following. Let us know if you do and we will work with you to get your items picked up when your container gets full!
Good Garbage will be a collector for the following brigades:
  • Cell phones - Standard cell phones, smart phones, iPhones
  • Cleaner Packaging - Pumps, triggers, pouches, and flexible cleaner product packaging (no bottles)
  • Colgate Oral Care - Toothpaste tubes, toothpaste caps, tooth brushes, floss containers
  • Dairy Tub - all cream cheese tubs/lids, sour cream tubs/lids, cheese tubs/lids, yogurt tubs/lids, butter tubs/lids, margarine tubs/lids, any other dairy product tub, foil tops, plastic tub tops, and other type of packaging on all dairy tubs.
  • Inkjet - Any inkjet cartridge accepted
  • Personal Care & Beauty - lipstick cases, mascara tubes, eye shadow cases and tubes, shampoo and conditioner bottles, bronzer cases, foundation packaging, body wash containers, soap tubes, soap dispensers, lotion dispensers/bottles/tubes, shaving foam tubes (no cans), powder cases, chap stick tubes, lotion tubes, face soap dispensers, face soap tubes, face lotion bottles and jars, eyeliner cases, eyeliner and lip liner pencils,  concealer tubes and sticks, hair gel tubes, hair paste jars.
  • Toner Cartridge - See this link for types
TerraCycle then converts the collected waste into a wide variety of products and materials. With more than 20 million people collecting waste in over 20 countries TerraCycle has diverted billions of units of waste and used them to create over 1,500 different products available at major retailers ranging from Walmart to Whole Foods Market.
Our goal is to eliminate the idea of waste by creating collection and solution systems for anything that today must be sent to a landfill.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

What we did this weekend...

Anne worked this weekend on finding ways to reuse these plastic red discs that we received from the Printing House for the Blind, looking for a fun and creative craft project for our up coming booths at local arts and craft fairs. Aren't they just AWESOME?!?!?!?!

I went picking Friday near Waddy, Kentucky. A wonderful lady let me go through a vast collection of office, Christmas and crafting supplies that were her Mother's. After I chatted with her more about what it is we are doing exactly, she showed me some place mats and a gorgeous bowl her Mom made out of Christmas cards. She ended up giving me the bowl, which we will have on display at our booths.

As we secure spots for our booths, we will be sure to update everyone so you can mark it on your calendar! 

Be sure to like us on Facebook and watch us grow!!!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Good Garbage Gab, October 30, 2012

It's starting to get here in Louisville and I thought this would be a great re-purposed idea for today.  And with Halloween tomorrow I thought I'd include a link to instructions on using two-gallon milk cartons to make a Storm Trooper mask for those who have waited until the last minute. (Note: You can use pool noodles cut down and the bottom wrapped in foil or masking tape as light sabers.)

Ever wondered what you could do with that dryer lint that you so quickly throw in the garbage? How about making fire starters? Fill an empty toilet paper roll with the dryer lint. Use it at camp or in your fire place in place of kindling. It's that easy! 

Here's the link for the Storm Trooper mask... This is on my to do list for sure, just so I can say I have one. I love Star Wars!!! 

And for good measure a picture of the light saber idea. I really wish I could say I came up with these two ideas...  

Another "WOW! Now why didn't I think of that," moment has hit you! Yay! That is the purpose of these posts. To get you thinking beyond the norm. Making you look at everything you toss in the trash a second time to see if there is somewhere else the item could be of value if re-purposed. We encourage you to seek proper recycling if you can't figure out another way to use the item. If you are unsure, email us. We will help you find the best place for it!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Good Garbage Gab, October 19, 2012

Welcome to the first edition of Good Garbage Gab, where we offer useful tips and crafts for re-purposing items that you may normally just throw away (or hopefully recycle), or save not knowing what you can do with them. We may  also showcase local reuse artists and give you links to articles we think you might find interesting. We are doing this to get your motor running and thinking about the various ways you can reuse everyday items to keep them out of our waste streams.
     In order to keep from scaring off those new to repurposing, I thought it would be nice to start slow and easy. So I'm offering up a simple tip and a simple craft.
 2-Liter Bottle Canisters

You can use these for tons of items: Coffee, tea bags, sugar, crayons, markers, cotton balls, q-tips, change, and a host of other things. I like them because you can see what is in them so easily and when something is on the top shelf, with me being so short, that comes in quite handy. No guessing...

    What you need: Two 2-liter Bottles, washed, dried and any labels removed, Sharp knife such as an X-acto knife and a sharp pair of scissors.  
    Using the knife, cut the two bottles to look like the pictures here. Using the scissors, trim the bottles neatly.

Place the shorter one on top of the taller one and there you have it... a lidded, clear canister.

Another option is to paint them like these and use them as piggy banks, or whatever you can dream up! Both designs were painted with Rust-Oleum 2X satin spray paint and then details added with acrylic craft paint. 
Be sure to recycle the left over plastic!

And if you thought that was easy... Here's something even easier. No craft skills involved.......Button Earring Holder

You know all those extra buttons you get on a new shirt? Or the ones you take off a shirt before you reuse it as a rag or for other re-purposed items? Use them to keep your matched earrings together in your jewelry box or when taking  a trip in your jewelry bag. 

Did you go DUH?!?! Why didn't I think of that? Yeah, me too. 

Hope you enjoyed this new feature of our blog and can put to use the ideas we share. If you have something you've done and would like to share, please let us know by emailing or commenting here. Share our blog and Facebook page with all your friends and let's all work towards a better Community! 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Yarn, Yarn, Yarn...and Ideas

Yarn, Yarn and more Yarn!!! Oh my goodness the yarn! Received two, well stuffed black garbage bags full of all types of....yep, you guessed it YARN! We are quickly filling the shelves we built last week. We have to build more ASAP!!!! We are in need of scrap plywood, 2x4's and anything else that can be used as shelving, or stackable bins, plastic shelves, bookcases, etc.

Besides collecting stuff, we have been busy working on our plan and talking with everyone we possibly can about the creative reuse center. Passing out cards to anyone who will give us a minute. We have received a very warm response to our idea and hope we are building a great team of future volunteers as well!

We are starting a new feature this week simply called Good Garbage Gab. At least once a week (possibly more) we will be featuring ideas on repurposing items in your house, showcasing reuse artists and sharing thought provoking articles and such. We hope this inspires you to find ways to repurpose other things you might throw away and to keep as much out of the waste streams as possible.  Please feel free to post or email us with your own ideas. You are welcome to send us pictures of your finish products too. If you know a reuse artist, we'd also love to hear all about them. Be on the look out for the first post coming soon!

Thank you for following along, supporting and sharing our adventure in building Louisville's Creative Reuse Center. Keep watch for some exciting news over the next few weeks!

-Lynn & Anne

Monday, October 8, 2012

Hard at work...

We had a fairly productive week... Got some shelving built, had some great meetings, made some great decisions. We are moving forward!!! Each day Good Garbage is coming closer to reality!

Here are some pictures of the storage unit and one volunteer, who also donated the lumber, building shelves.

Friday, October 5, 2012

We have a home...

... at least for storage. This past Sunday we made it feel like home. Sort of anyway. We worked our butts clearing and cleaning up (as best you can a dusty, old buildings basement) our storage area.

Fortunate to get a jump start, we also couldn't do as much as we hoped because the old tenant hasn't moved out of it completely yet. Though we were very lucky to get a great start on collecting "junk" left behind by old tenants in the Hope Worsted Mills building. Lots of wood for shelves, the old plexiglass from the original windows that are being replaced, various types of paper, old computer keyboards, windows and lots of other stuff. With it being such an old building, we also felt very lucky we didn't run into any other furry 'tenants.' We left dirty but truly energized.

Today and over the next couple weeks we will build shelves, and continue looking for bins, storage containers, tables, and of course donated items we will be able to sell in the reuse center. The behind the scenes work for the center is keeping us extremely busy as well. We hope in the next few weeks to be sharing some very exciting news. Be sure to keep checking back on our progress...

Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Frantic, Idea Flying, Farcical, First Few Weeks...

Wow! What a wild and crazy first few weeks for Good Garbage!

Since we met, we have been haphazardly exchanging ideas and thoughts about what we want to do, our vision, mission, setting goals, and taking deep looks into ourselves to assure this is what we want, and how we want to go about it.

There is so much excitement as we begin this journey, but there is still a lot of work ahead of us. Though in the end, to be able to teach about reuse, make items available to artists, crafters and teachers and keep the "junk" out of the waste stream will be the most fulfilling experience we have ever had. We hope you too will begin to think about what you are throwing away and see there could be a new use for it instead. If not, ask us...we may have an idea or you can donate to us to help further our cause! 

We have talked with many movers and shakers around Louisville and Kentucky getting some great advice and gaining supporters for the Good Garbage concept.

We are slowly getting a little more organized and making sense of the thoughts and ideas we've had. We are becoming a little more concrete in our efforts as well, we signed a six month lease starting October 1 in the Hope Worsted Mill's building basement for storage. This will allow us to start gathering things we will need such as bins, shelving, and racks as well as actual products you will be able to buy once the store opens. We have looked at possible store sites and as soon as we find one that is just perfect, we will be sure to share.

While we begin the brick and mortar part of the reuse center, we are busy also with all the behind the scenes things. Deciding if we will go this alone or find a fiscal sponsor, getting all the legal paperwork filed, and creating an advisory committee to help us along. We will be looking for a few volunteers soon as well to help with gathering and sorting in our storage space.

What IS Creative ReUse?

Have you ever thought about the many things that can be done with that jar you are throwing away? That chipped tea cup? Plexiglass from an old building's windows? 
Anne and I seem to think about that with everything. The jar? It becomes a vacation time capsule, holding small memories of places visited. The chipped tea cup becomes a faux fireplace mosaic, complete with a mantle. And the plexiglass becomes a cute magnetic dry erase board or a cloth & ribbon memo board.
We get excited about stylish, functional, and innovative creative reuse ideas. From a grocery bag made from an old stained, ripped t-shirt to a gallery installation, from home-made costume to classroom educational materials, creative reuse includes all projects that incorporate materials that would otherwise be thrown away. Teachers, artists, crafters, and designers who transform what could have been thrown in the landfill into something with new value will find materials at Good Garbage.
As much arts-related as it is environmental, creative reuse demonstrates that artistic creativity and learning can take place anywhere and everywhere - and with all manner of materials - and that "junk" has value for those who can see meaning beyond the discarding of things.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Two Women... One Vision... Chance Meeting... Dreams Coming True

Welcome to our Good Garbage journey... The vision of two women, meeting by chance, turning their dreams to reality!

What is Good Garbage you ask? Though we are still in the beginning stages, our mission is to divert usable materials from landfills to underfunded teachers and artists while promoting creative reuse through educational programs and workshops for children and adults in order to continue to protect the environment within our community.

Our vision is to have a brick and mortar creative reuse retail store, workshop space and eventually a gallery full of artwork created by the many talented artists in the Louisville area.

The purpose of this blog so early on in our journey has multiple purposes, but mainly is to familiarization the Louisville community with the concept of creative reuse and the Good Garbage name, introduce the gals who are spearheading this vision, Anne & Lynn, and to share our successes and failures and hold us accountable, as we pour our blood, sweat and tears into making our dreams come true.

So you are welcome and encouraged to sit down, enjoy your favorite beverage, and join us in our humorous, sweaty, frustrating journey of two women... one vision... a chance meeting... determined to make our dreams a reality!