Posts Tagged ‘green’

Party on St. Patrick’s Without Blowing Your Pot of Gold

photo: “Rainbow Over Knocknara” Ireland

You know spring is right around the corner when St. Patrick’s Day arrives. Green is springing up everywhere, and that alone is enough reason to celebrate! Here are seven videos with tips on meals, recipes, decorations, games, and crafts to bring some festive green and great luck to any St. Patrick’s Day party… with these budget-friendly ideas, you won’t need to tap into your pot of gold to enjoy a great time!

St. Patrick’s Corned Beef & Cabbage – Irish Chef Bobby Flay shows how to cook an affordable enhanced version of corned beef & cabbage, a perfect recipe for an impressive traditional St. Patrick’s Day feast.

St. Patricks Day Dinner, Under $35 – Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with Chef Gerard Reidy’s classic recipes with a twist from Ireland’s Delphi Mountain Resort: mussels, a traditional lamb and vegetable stew, soda bread, and  banana bread dessert.

St. Patrick’s Day Party Ideas – Leanne Mumm Pardo and Christopher Hughes, founders of One Hour Parties, share St. Patrick’s Day party ideas that are perfect quick, casual and affordable fun for any budget. Included: green beer, rainbow cupcakes, Leprechaun bottle covers, rainbow crunch mix, kids puppet activity and more.

Marble Green Fingernails for St. Patrick’s Day – When will it be a better time to wear green marble nail polish than on St. Patrick’s Day? What a budget friendly holiday idea! Here’s an easy tutorial on how to do it!  (cup is filled with filtered water).

Make a Bowler Hat from Newspaper – Crafting expert, Ginny Larson shows how to make a DIY St. Patrick’s Day bowler hat from newspaper – easy!

Kids Crafts for St. Patrick’s Day – Crafty Creations, the Abilene PublicLibrary librarian duo, Tremain Jackson and Alyssa Crow, show two DIY craft projects, a potato shamrock stamp & a tissue paper rainbow. They also suggest two children’s books relating to St. Patrick’s Day.

The History of St. Patrick’s Day – Is St. Patrick’s Day just about green, shamrocks, leprechauns, gold and beer? What is the origin of St. Patrick’s Day? And who was St. Patrick? Find the answer here & impress with your St. Patrick’s knowledge!

More ideas to enjoy St. Patrick’s without breaking your budget in our previous post:

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Make Every Day Arbor Day, Tips to Save Trees and Money

U.S. National Arbor Day:  The Last Friday in April 

The beauty of trees alone is enough reason for us to want to surround ourselves with as many trees as possible, but it’s not the only reason.

Here are a few more reasons why surrounding yourself with trees is a good idea. From The article, Benefits of Trees in Urban Areas:

  • Trees remove carbon dioxide from the air and give out oxygen. A healthy tree stores about 13 pounds of carbon annually. An acre of trees absorbs enough CO2 over one year to equal the amount produced by driving a car 26,000 miles.
  • Trees also filter other gaseous pollutants from the air. There is up to a 60% reduction in street level particulates when trees are present.
  • Trees prevent soil erosion and water run off.
  • They prevent harmful land pollutants contained in the soil from getting into our waterways.
  • They act as buffers to noise pollution.
  • They cool the earth with their shade. Studies have shown that parts of cities without cooling shade from trees can have temperatures as much as 12 degrees Fahrenheit higher than surrounding areas.
  • They function as wind breaks for farms and our homes.
  • Trees enhance traffic safety; drivers tend to drive slower on tree-lined streets.
  • Trees increase property values.
  • They help reduce home energy use, which saves you money.

And, if all this isn’t enough to consider making tree preservation and planting a priority in our everyday lives, consider this: Trees reduce crime. In the April 1, 2011 edition of Bottomline Personal Newsletter we read:

  • Neighborhoods with large trees tend to have less crime than areas with smaller trees says Geoffrey H. Donovan, PhD, research forester, Portland Forestry Sciences Labratory, Oregon, and coauthor of a study of 431 crimes, published in Environment and Behavior.

You can easily help improve your town, neighborhood and home while also preventing the over harvesting of trees and destruction of forests. Here are some simple tips that you can use in your everyday life that will make a considerable difference. And… we happen to know that these tips will save you money, too!


Consider joining the The Arbor Day Foundation. The Arbor Day Foundation’s purpose is to inspire people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees. Founded in 1972, the centennial of the first Arbor Day observance in the 19th century, the non-profit Foundation has grown to become the largest nonprofit membership organization dedicated to planting trees. Their Web site features many helpful gardening and planting resources; one of our favorites pages is the one giving Free Landscape Design Plans. They also give more wonderful free material when you sign up for membership. Sign up starts at just $10. For that, you will receive discounts on purchases of trees and shrubs of up to 56%, a bi-monthly color newsletter, The Tree Book treasury on planting and caring for trees, AND IN ADDITION: Your choice of either – receiving TEN FREE TREES, or making a donation of ten trees in your name to a national forest in need.

Participate in or start a community tree planting program. Check with your local town or city government to find out if there is a tree planting program in your city and join in. Some towns will plant a tree for free at your curbside if you volunteer to water it. If there isn’t a program in your city, consider starting one. Find info. in this aritcle: Create a Community Tree Planting Project.

About books: Go for used books or textbooks, check out books from your local library, or going digital with an e-book reader or program for your computer.

Go digital for subscriptions. Take online subscriptions for your news or magazines. Switch to online bill pay and banking.

Send a FAX directly from your computer.

Check for post-consumer recycled household paper goods like bath tissue, paper towels and printer paper.

Cut back on paper towels.Use rags instead of paper towels. You can use worn out sheets, t-shirts, sweatshirts and pants, pajamas, receiving and baby blankets, frayed bath towels can be cut down to make smaller towels.

Wrapping paper: Consider alternatives that can be reused: Fabric. Cloth drawstring bags. Dishtowels. Re-use existing wrapping paper, paper bags or newspaper. Look for post-consumer recycled wrapping paper.

Consider your wood furniture: You can save trees by refinishing furniture. When shopping for new furniture look for those made with recycled or reclaimed wood.  There are excellent tips in this article form, Learn How to Find Eco-Friendly Wood Furniture.

Related videos:

  • Trees Cut Home Energy Costs – Home improvement expert Danny Lipford shows how trees cut 25% on your energy bill as well as beautify your home.
  • Reduce Home Heat & AC Bills – Tips to reduce your home heating and air conditioning bills, from planting trees to using eco friendly light bulbs and more from EnStar’s Bill Stack and Growing Wisdom’s Dave Epstein.
  • Eco Chic Gift Wrap & Packaging Ideas – Go creative & go eco when wrapping presents & getting packages ready for shipping. Creative, inexpensive, & practical green from eco expert, Rachel Avalon.

Related articles:

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8 Earth Saving and Money Saving Household Tips

Earth Day: April 22

We’ve been eco-conscious for decades (more decades than we care to mention.) We consider ourselves to be fairly eco-friendly, and are happy to do our bit in terms of recycling, reusing, repurposing, shopping eco-friendly whenever possible, planting trees over and above our carbon footprint; and we do know that being green also adds up to some real decent money savings, which makes us even happier… and even still, while grocery shopping recently, we came across one astonishing little fact that really took us back. Printed on the front of a plastic bag of brown rice was the following fact:

Removing the plastic re-sealable zipper on our packages saves over 30,000 tons of waste in landfills per month.

Woa! Thirty-thousand tons of garbage per month saved by eliminating one little zipper on a package of rice. This is astonishing proof positive that doing one little thing does really add up to make a big difference.

Here are some ultra-easy ideas that you can use inside and outside your home every day that will add up to a substantial benefit for the earth, the environment and your health, and in addition, will quickly add up to some solid savings in your wallet:

Ceiling Fans: You can use ceiling fans to help save on both cooling and heating.   According to Progress-Energy, an energy provider in the U.S. Carolinas and Florida, a 48″, 75-watt fan used 10 hours a day at half speed or less would cost $.50 to $.90 a month to operate. For a 1,500-square-foot house with air conditioning using two ceiling fans and raising the thermostat setting could save about $140 to $400 a year, and possibly even more in areas where energy rates are higher.

  • More keeping cool tips in this video: Beat the Heat Green Tips – Tips to beat the heat with fans and AC while saving money and the planet from green advocate, Umbra.

Cutting back on eating meat from every day to every other day would save you approximately $37 a month. Going completely vegetarian could add up to about $600 a year according to the Frugally Green blog.  And this figure does not include the added money savings you could receive from eating a healthier diet, by saving on possible reduced hospital, surgery, and medication expenses.

  • This clip gives a simple, budget-friendly vegetarian recipe: Spice Crusted Tofu Sandwiches – A money saving, healthy sandwich idea from Mollie Katzen, author ofGet Cooking cookbook.

Simple household changes can make our homes more eco-efficient, even older homes. We’ve all heard this thousands of times. But sometimes it comes down to real dollar savings to make us finally take action.  One example:  according to the host of Renovation Nation TV show, Steve Thomas, sealing and insulating your home could save you 30% of your heating and cooling bills.  If everyone did this, it would be equal to shutting down 90 power plants!

  • In this video, Easy Green Money Saving, Steve Thomas shows more easy everyday eco-ideas, and how much money savings they add up to.

Not everyone can line-dry their laundry. Energy Miser 101 blog figures that using a gas clothes dryer for 40 min. a day equals close to $100 a year. Using dryer balls can save 25 to 40% on your clothes dryer energy use and they are a great alternative to chemical fabric softeners. Dryer balls are easy to use; you simply place them right along with your wet clothes into the clothes dryer.

  • There are many types of dryer balls available, but here in this video, Save Energy & Money on Clothes Drying, Steffany Boldrini of shows these made of wool, the only natural ones we’ve found.

Choosing to plant native perennials and evergreens can be a real money-saver. Not only are they more pest-resistant, but they also have adapted to the local climate range and conditions, which could lead to a savings in your water bill alone of up to 50%.

  • Enjoy a healthier enviornment right in your own backyard with the tips in this video: Backyard Eco Tips – Here are simple tips you can use to make your yard more user & eco-friendly.

Petroleum and synthetic chemical based pesticides can be quite costly.  And hiring a service to come spray and treat your yard and garden can also be expensive. Try using your own simple, more natural spray first, you could save thousands of dollars. Well worth a try.

  • Easy inexpensive  DIY natural insecticide for garden pests in this video: Homemade Natural Insecticide from’s Kaylee Thurman.

Reuse what you already have on hand as pet care items. Pet toys and cleaning products can be expensive. You can save some money while keeping some of your trash out of the landfill for a little longer by reusing worn items like cotton towels and rubber gloves to make toys and cleaning products for your pets.

  • Reuse some common household items to create easy pet toys and cleaning products. Jane Monzures gives tips in this video: DIY Recycled Pet Care Products.

Your Entertainment can take its toll on the environment and your wallet. Consumer advocate, Stacy Johnson, reports that over 100,000 DVDs are thrown away each month at an average cost of $16 each! That’s a lot for a landfill and for your wallet. There are alternatives to keep you entertained and cost you less.

  • Save money on entertainment and also be eco-friendly.  This clip, Green Saving: Entertainment gives tips from Stacy Johnson of Money Talks News.

More Eco and Money Saving Tips in our Previous Posts:

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Garden, Home & Fun In The Sun DIY Wallet-Friendly Ideas

If you’ve got the heat… and the rain… you might as well make them work for you – they’re both free energy resources! And, while were outside taking advantage of the warm, why not start a vegetable or herb garden? And… have some fun in the sun while we’re at it!  Here are videos with tips to build a cool DIY garden greenhouse, make an easy composter, make and use rain barrels to collect rain water for your garden, design a solar oven to cook using solar heat, play in the yard with a DIY sprinkler, and more… all while keeping yourself and your wallet cool and happy!

  • Make a Garden Greenhouse for Cheap – Growing herbs and vegetables saves you money, gives you healthier foods, is a fun activity to share with the kids. Here’s how to make a quick, easy and inexpensive “greenhouse hoop” to get started and get a longer growing season.
  • DIY Herb Gardening – Think you have no space or can’t afford an herb garden? Not so! The Working Class Foodies share some simple, easy tips for how to build your own window box garden for only $10.
  • Build a Rolling Composter for Your Garden – Growing vegetables is fun, healthy, and eco-friendly. Here’s how to take your kitchen scraps, lawn clippings and leaves and make an quick and easy to use inexpensive rolling composter for your garden.
  • DIY Rain Barrel for Cheap – Collecting rain water to use in your garden saves you money and is eco-friendly. Here’s an easy DIY on how to make your own rain barrel.
  • All About Rain Barrels – Take advantage of rain – a free natural resource, by using rain barrels to collect run off form your roof gutters for later use watering your garden. Here’s how to set up a rain barrel system.
  • Easy Soda Pop Bottle Sprinkler – Keep your cool and have fun in the sun, for practically nothing! How to take an old soda pop bottle and turn it into a quick and easy DIY sprinkler.
  • Cook for Free DIY Solar Oven – Save money, save electricity, & keep your kitchen cooler while you cook outdoors with this simple ecological solar oven you can make for pennies! Chris Buyers from The Valley Permaculture Alliance shows how.

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More related natural garden and outdoor topics in these posts:


9 Lucky Links to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Style and On Budget

4 Leaf Clovers - 9 Lucky Links to Celebrate St. Patrick's in Style and On Budget

4-Leaf Clovers found in Jamie’s yard in 2002.

Looking for fun and festive to enjoy St. Patrick’s day? You’re in luck – we’ve found a pot of gold in the videos featured below; they’re full of tips to have you celebrating in style while keeping your pot of gold growing, so go ahead – go (and save) green!

St. Patrick’s Inspired Eye Makeup – Tutorial for green green green green St. Pat’s party eyes.

St. Patrick’s Day, Host a Party – Tips to make your budget bash a success from

St. Patrick’s Day Last Minute Party Marley Majcher, author and founder of gives elegant and affordable tips.

How to Throw a St. Patrick’s Day Party – The title says it all!

St. Patrick’s Day Dinner, 3-Course, Under $40 – Chef Dundon from Ireland’s famous Dunbrody Country House Hotel & Restaurant shows recipes! Mushroom Chowder, Sheperd’s Pie, Bailey’s Creme Brulee.

St. Patrick’s Irish Bread Recipe – Easy, easy YUM from

St. Patrick’s Day Four Leaf Clover – Decorate in one minute! Easy clovers from

St. Patrick’s Day Music: Stephane Grappelli, Frankie Gavin – Oh The Days Of The Kerry Dances – The legendary Stephane Grapelli on violin with Frankie Gavin and group in a stunning performance filmed in 2008.

John Mayer – “St. Patrick’s Day” – Nice live performance from John Mayer singing his piece titled, “St. Patrick’s Day,” filmed in 2006

And… we turn now to: St. Patrick’s Day — Trivia:

  • St. Patrick is supposed to have removed what from Ireland?
  • Why does a leprechaun wear green?
  • What is a leprechaun’s profession?
  • The first St. Patrick’s Day celebration in the U.S. was held in which city?
  • Click here for St. Patrick’s Day trivia answers.

More St. Patrick’s Day budget tips in our post:

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9 DIY Gift Ideas – Home Accessories from Recycled Items

Spruce up your space, (or create a great gift) with a little do-it-yourself. Here are easy-to-do eco-friendly projects that will turn those tired household objects you’re thinking of tossing out into beautiful and useful home accessories. They make great gift ideas, too!

Make a Vase from Magazine Pages – Recycle your old magazines by creating a vase, bowl or vessel using nothing more than glue and pages from a magazine. This video gives an easy DIY tutorial.

Home Decor Recycle DIY – Easily repurpose thrift store purchases or items from around your home… sometimes all you need is a little spray paint! Decorator Susan Phillips shows DIY home decor transformation ideas in this clip.

Repurpose Home Decor Items – This video from designer Soshana Gosselin gives easy ways to freshen up your home decor by repurposing, recycling and re-inventing items you already have.

DIY Cans to Votive Holders – This segment shows a simple DIY craft recycling project to transform an empty aluminum can into a votive holder. All you need is an empty can and scissors!

A Basket from Magazine Paper – Recycle your old magazines with this easy DIY craft project to create a cool and stylish multi-use basket out of nothing more than magazine pages and glue! Easy how-to directions in this clip.

Chinese Takeout Lantern DIY – Crafter Shiho Masuda transforms Chinese takeout containers into mini tabletop lanterns. Beautiful video shows DIY recycling craft directions to brighten your dining or coffee table.

Make a Book Safe – Take an old book and recycle it into a secret place to store precious or favorite items. A clever gift idea, or double a gift’s goodness by using this as an eco-friendly gift box! Video shows how you can do it.

Make a Vase from A Plastic Soda Bottle – Eco-friendly DIY: Create a vase from a plastic soda bottle. Simple DIY in this clip provides instructions. All you need is a bottle, scissors and rocks. Consider displaying several together in various sizes and colors. Add flowers and it’s complete! Makes nice gift!

Soda Can Lantern DIY – This clip shows how to make a recycled DIY lantern/candle holder out of a soda can. Extremely simple to do. (Be careful of sharp edges when pulling out the strips).

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6 Fabulous Fashion Accessories – DIY Gifts Your Friends & Family Will Love

Turn your clutter into fabulous! These easy do-it-yourself craft projects use items you may already have or can easily collect or find and transforms them into attractive fashionable accessories. These make unique, eco-friendly and virtually free gift ideas, too!

Turn a Book into a Handbag – shows how to create a DIY custom, colorful purse by recycling a vintage hard-covered book cover and fabric. This takes a little sewing savvy, but the results are cool.

Make Your Own Beads from Paper – Easy recycling DIY from shows how to create beads for necklaces, bracelets, and more using old magazines, newspapers, or wrapping paper.

Necklace from Magazine Pages – Makeup artist, crafter and vlogger from shows how to create a necklace from old magazines. A fun super simple family-friendly project  that costs almost nothing to make!

DIY Necklace from Pantyhose – Inspired by the book, P.S. I Made This by Erica Domesek,’s Jennifer Berry shows how to create a fashionable elegant or campy necklace with this easy DIY project using recycled  hosiery, scissors & found items from around your house.

Use Plastic Bags to Make Cool Things – Etsy Labs Technician Anda Lewis shows us how to fuse plastic shopping bags together to create a material you can sew together and use as you would a sturdy water-resistant fabric. Make a reusable shopping bag, messenger bag, cosmetic bag, guitar straps, belts… you name it!

DIY Bracelets and More from Pop Tabs – A creative bracelet is just one of many items you can make out of soda pop tabs! A creative eco-friendly and versatile project that you can use to make belts, earrings, we’ve even seen purses and tote-bags out of pop tabs as well! A fun gift idea great for guys or gals!

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Itch-Stopping, Eco-Friendly, Money-Saving, DIY Natural Insect Repellents & Soothing Remedies

Ah.. warm weather! It’s nice to be outdoors, working in the garden, enjoying the breeze, and dining alfresco… but, not so good when the bugs come around! With the warmer weather comes more pests that bite, sting and make you itch, and more outdoor situations that can also make you burn and itch… all of which can make life for you and your pets miserable both outdoors and indoors.

A relative who lives in the Seattle, Washington area recently put out a query for mosquito bite itch relief remedies. She wasn’t used to having mosquitoes around, and she was miserable, unable to receive itch relief after using traditional methods of applying antihistamine and cortisone creams and even taking oral antihistamines. So, I responded with my all-time favorite, never-fail bug bite itch remedy, and was very pleased when she replied within 10 minutes telling me it was an instant success, and later related that it ended up providing lasting relief for hours.  It was her happiness at being itch-free that served to inspire this post on DIY eco-friendly natural pest repellents, treatments and itch relief… all the better to bring you, your pets, your home, and your wallet immediate and natural relief!


In the videos here about natural insect repellents for you, your home and your pets, the most commonly mentioned ingredients among many are eucalyptus oil, citronella oil, lemon or orange citrus oils, tea tree oil, and mint. A word of caution in treating cats and dogs with essential oils: Whether you are creating your own treatments or purchasing natural pre-made treatments,  please note that many oils which are considered safe for humans are potentially hazardous to cats and dogs, so please check with your veterinarian first. Here is one article on essential oils and cats from, and one on dogs from

Related videos with even more tips on natural insect repellents:

Orange Flea Killer Powder for Pets – An easy recipe for a DIY non-toxic flea killer, perfect for your pets and budget from Jennifer Taggart, creator of and Educational Program Specialist for Healthy Child Healthy World.

DIY Flea Repellent Spray for Pets – Author of the “Gorgeously Green” books, Sophie Uliano, shares a natural, effective and quick recipe for a flea repellent spritz you and your pets will love.

Salt to Kill Fleas in the House – How to use simple table salt to help eradicate and control fleas in your home. Easy DIY natural tip from Mark Govan, a certified exterminator & arborist with ABC Pest Control in Largo, Florida.

Natural Mosquito Repellents & Yard Treatments – John Dromgooles, The Natural Gardner, shows organic products, how to make your own topical mosquito repellent, and suggests repellent plants that also ornament the garden or patio.

DIY Mosquito Repellent Spray – Enjoy the outdoors with this DIY natural, effective and safe mosquito repellent spray recipe from the folks at

How to Repel Ticks Naturally – These 5 simple, easy, natural steps will go a long way toward keeping ticks away and preventing all the worry that goes with them.

Itches, Stings, Sunburn:

There are many natural ways to treat insect bites, stings, burns and itching. We’ve learned of many that require nothing more than items you may already have right in your kitchen pantry. These include everything from making a paste out of baking soda or salt, to putting a piece of papaya or a tea bag on the bite, to applying witch hazel, vinegar or toothpaste, and believe it or not we’ve even heard about putting deodorant on a bite! But for itch relief: Our All-Time Favorite Number One Tried-and-True Absolute Best Never Fails To Give 8 – 12 Hours of Itch-Free Relief Remedy is:Hit it with a blast from a hot hair dryer, on and off a few times. We’ve been using a hot hairdryer to combat itch since last summer and it’s been nothing short of miraculous! We keep a tiny travel hairdryer next to the back door to zap those pesky bites immediately. While the heat is being applied, you may feel an intense itching for a minute, but continue applying heat until that itchy sensation stops. You may have to repeat the heat sessions once or twice within a 12-hour period for a couple of days, but it’s well worth it for an itch-free good night’s sleep! Just this week, we found out the hard way =(  that this also works for poison ivy! =). Another method of applying heat is by using a very warm-to-hot damp washcloth applied to the bite. Please use extreme caution when applying any heat.

Related Videos with more natural remedy relief information:

Use Heat to Treat Itching – Stop bug bite itch with a non-toxic natural DIY technique using heat for itch relief. Susan Jewell, MD explains.

Natural Bug Bite Itch Relief –  Stop bug bite itching, prevent and soothe bug bites without having to take a trip to your local pharmacy. Director, blogger, and video contributor to, Danielle Lessovitz gives DIY remedies found in your kitchen cabinets.

Natural Treatments for Stings, Bites and Sunburn –  Natural DIY remedies for bug bites, stings, swimmer’s ear, and sunburn in this interview with Jennifer Crain, founder of

Natural Sunburn Treatments – Easing the pain of a sunburn means reducing inflammation and itching while healing. Natural tips to treat a painful sunburn from TV and radio beauty editor and author of “Aging Backwards, Secrets to Staying Young,” Jackie Silver.

Sunburn Natural Treatments – Natural at-home DIY solutions to ease sunburn pain from Kelly Machbitz, image consultant and author of “Wear This Not That, Stylish Solutions to Flatter Your Figure”.

Treat Poison Ivy with Jewelweed – Poison Ivy has a natural antidote, growing as wild as the poison ivy itself. See how to use jewlweed to treat poison ivy from Bush Craft On Fire preparedness training teacher Dave. An SLTV Personal Note: after having a poison ivy rash for over a week, I applied jewelweed and within one hour noticed considerable improvement in the rash, no exaggeration!

Using Sweet Fern for Rashes – Michael Douglas, Teacher of wilderness survival, bushcraft, &  primitive skills, shares survival uses of Comptonia peregrina or Sweet fern, which includes  boiling leaves to make a tea to use as a treatment for itching and clearing up poison ivy rash.  SLTV Personal Note: We have not been able to try sweet fern, but have read statements attesting to it’s success at stopping itch and clearing up poison ivy rash in as little as 48 hours.

The material presented here is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional  health or medical advice.

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Profit from Reselling Books

If you’ve suddenly become inspired and find yourself sweeping out the cobwebs and clearing out that overgrown collection of books (like we were after reading’s article on “Making Money from Spring Cleaning”) we’ve got some ideas to help you free up your shelves in no time with tips on how to resell those dusty books and make a few extra dollars, or donate them; either way you’ll benefit!

Consider a tag sale, yard sale or garage sale. Price specific unique or in-demand books individually. For the others, you can move them quicker if you have a flat rate, ie: All books on this table, $2 each. Or move them even quicker with a bundle flat rate which would be something like, $4 to fill a bag or box full of books from a designated table or pile.

What doesn’t sell you can donate to a local library, school, literacy program or Goodwill. There are also online options for donation (see links below). Either way, be sure to get a receipt of your donation to use for a tax deduction.

If you simply want to get rid of them as quickly and as easily as possible, put them in a box on the curb with a sign that says “Free Books.”

One of the biggest book expenses are College textbooks. These are particularly expensive, and most likely only used once. Here are some options to save money on college textbooks:

  • Rent them.
  • Purchase used college textbooks.
  • Resell textbooks when you have finished with them which allows you to recoup some of your initial expense.

But reselling textbooks isn’t always as easy as one would think. Most colleges do offer buy-back programs, but they are often cumbersome to navigate, and many are only in operation during specific times. Online is a great option for all types of book reselling, but particularly for college textbooks; it’s available 365-days a year and 24-hours a day.

There are many websites that buy used booksof all types, from college textbooks to fiction and non-fiction to  journals, magazines and brochures to comics. Some sites will buy directly from you. On other websites you are listing your books to sell directly to a specific buyer, more like listing your products “For Sale by Owner.”

Whether you are selling directly to a company, or listing them for sale by owner you’ll want to pay attention to these tips:

  • Of course, knowing the best time to sell your textbooks online will give you an edge for the highest prices. Have your books ready to go and get them listed during peak buying times – August, September, January and February.
  • Try to resell your textbook as soon as possible or you risk the professor of the course changing their course structure and replacing the textbook with another.
  • Feature a picture
  • List the SKU number and/or ISBN number
  • Site unique aspects, like if it’s a rare or a signed edition.
  • Describe which edition it is, what language it is in, and if it is a U.S. version or another country’s.
  • If you are responsible for paying shipping costs, find out what that will cost you ahead of time.

Be prepared to rate the condition. Here are’s book condition descriptions:

  • Brand New, Excellent – The book looks brand-new with no wear and tear. You have all the original packaging, documentation and software.
  • Almost New, Like New– The book looks new, with no wear and tear, but you may not have the original packaging.  All documentation and software are available.
  • Very Good – The book is slightly used but there is no wear and tear or damage. All documentation and software are available.
  • Good-The book is visibly used but still in presentable condition without tears or damage. Some of the documentation and software may be included.
  • Fair, Acceptable – The book shows signs of being used. Some pages are bent, cover may be damaged, there is some underlining or notes. Some manuals, documentation, and software may be included.
  • Poor– The book can be read but it is worn or torn. Some pages may be heavily highlighted, cover may be damaged, pages may be missing. A book like this is better donated than sold.

Sites where you can list your books for sale by owner: These charge a small fee to the seller: ebay,, These are free to the seller:

What you don’t sell, donate. What you don’t donate, recycle. You can recycle paperbacks just as they are.  For hardcover books you must first rip off the hardcovers and throw the covers away; you can recycle the text block (the book that remains after you’ve taken off the covers and spine). For spiral-bound books, the spiral bind must be removed and properly discarded or recycled; any plastic cover should be tossed or recycled appropriately; remaining paper pages can be recycled along with your other paper goods.

Here are some great sites for reselling, renting , buying , or donating yourbooks:

BIGWORDS – is a search comparison site which compares the best book stores all at once to find the cheapest books on the planet to buy, rent, sell or donate. They feature searches for textbooks as well as regular books (They also search for loans, DVD’s, music and games.) Instead of finding one price for one item at a time, BIGWORDS takes all of your items, runs every combination of those items at every store, automatically calculates coupons, promotions, and shipping, and shows you the best possible combination of stores to save you the most money. They also partner with BetterWorld Books to accept donations to benefit literacy programs.

BetterWorldBooks.comYou can sell or donate your books to They cover shipping costs. You can purchase books from them too. They are headquartered in Indiana, where they maintain a retail store and an outlet store. They also offer online shopping at online. A portion of the proceeds from their resales is donated to literacy programs & libraries throughout the world. –  They buy used college textbooks. They cover shipping costs. They issue payment to you within two days of their receipt of books either through Paypal or by a check via conventional mail. They resell books via sister sites: and – Sell them your textbooks, and other books like best-sellers, trade paper, cookbooks, reference, technical, mass market paperbacks, arts & crafts, and much more! They cover shipping costs. You receive payment through Paypal within 3 days of their receipt of books, or by check via regular mail in 7 days.

This tip came from writer Yazmin Cruz in her article “Making Money from Spring Cleaning” “There are a lot of sites to sell textbooks, but also buys fiction and nonfiction books. They pay for the shipping and later send you a check. Cha-ching!”

More tips in these videos:

More in these related articles:

And more in the Garage/Yard Sale section of the SLTV House & Home Channel.

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Clear Out & Cash In on Old Electronic Devices

We are constantly upgrading and updating our electronics. Every month there is a new model or even an entirely new gadget. Some frugal folks keep every device as long as possible until there’s absolutely no hope of it ever working again. Others need to be connected via the newest mode. Either way, no one wants to throw money away. By clearing out your old electronics to make way for more room on your shelves or to get the newest gadget, you just might be able to bring in a little extra money, receive a tax donation credit and help the planet all at once. Here’s how:

Toss ‘Em – NOT: If you are not interested in bringing in a little extra cash, receiving credit, or donating your electronics to charity, please please please don’t just toss ’em. Electronics contain very toxic elements. It may be easy to think that our one little electronic device, like a cell phone for example, won’t matter if we simply toss it in the trash, but we’d be wrong.  In MSN reporter Liz Weston’s article on cell phones she writes: “The average user gets a new phone about every 18 months,” said James Mosieur, CEO of, “and they end up retiring the old one.” … It’s estimated there are over 200-million cell phone subscribers in the United States alone. “Californians, for example, throw away 44,000 cell phones every day.” (that’s a lot of cell phones!) With figures like that, it’s clear that properly disposing of electronic equipment loaded with metals and other hazardous materials is critical to our health and the health of our planet. By taking just a few moments you can either properly dispose of your electronics or recycle them.

  • Check with your local city government on how to properly dispose of your equipment (see more tips in section below: batteries).
  • All major wireless carriers have recycling programs for cell phones.
  • Staples offers recycling for computers and office technology in their U.S. stores. Staples offers this service free of charge except for large equipment which carries a $10 fee, however you receive a $10 Staples gift card to compensate for the charge. Staples Easy Tech(sm) service is on site in all stores to transfer data from an old computer to a new one for a fee.
  • Best Buy’s U.S. stores have free kiosks, just inside the Best Buy door, for you to drop off ink and toner cartridges, rechargeable batteries, and wires, cords and cables.

Take it in or Trade in: This is a common option for cell phones and is starting to show up as an option for computers as well. These differ somewhat from buy-back programs in that you don’t have to enroll or pay a fee to be able to trade in. Ask your carrier or manufacturer, you may be able to trade in your mobile phone or computer for a credit toward an upgrade. A program called ecoNEW offers consumers the ability to trade in a gadget for credit at a partnering retailer, such as Sam’s Club. The folks at Coinstar (the ones who have the coin machines and Redbox DVD machines) have a new machine called ecoATM where you drop off old electronics at one of the machines; it calculates their value, then pays you on the spot, in cash or coupons.

Buy-Back Programs: To cash-in on the growing market for refurbished electronics and consumers desiring to continuously upgrade their electronics, some retailers like Best Buy offer buy-back programs at the time of initial purchase or shortly after. Radio Shack and CompUSA also offer these through partnership with TechForward. Consumers can purchase plans directly through TechForward’s website as well. These buy-back programs may sound appealing at first glance, but read the fine print and the ultra-fine print carefully to determine if this program really is worth the possible $70 or so it may cost you.

Be Advised: Before you discard or turn over any computerized electronic equipment, be sure to do a “hard wipe” of the memory on computers, and a “hard reset” on cell phones, and be certain all personal information has been purged. This goes beyond a simple reset or what you have simply dragged to the Trash. If you need assistance with this, call the company for directions; or for computers, consider using a professional data-recovery firm. If you’re thinking of including any software with your sale you’ll need to find out if there are any possible copyright restrictions that would prevent a resale.

Sell it yourself: You can try to sell your electronics yourself directly to an individual through websites. Sites like and charge sellers a small fee. There are free-to-use sites like,, and Be sure to have all the details about the model number, hard drive, video card, CD/DVD reader, motherboard, etc. Include photos. Describe the condition it’s in.  Include any extras like power cords, charging cords, batteries, headphones, bluetooth accessories, installation software. etc. Include instruction manuals and original packaging if you can.

Prepare your device: You’ll find just about everything you need to know about preparing to recycle or resell your old computers and devices from clearing memory to finding hard drive capacity to proper packaging for shipping in these articles from and

Sell directly to a Web site. They usually cover shipping costs. You receive payment within a couple of days after their receipt of your equipment either through PayPal or a check by conventional mail. Many sites will also accept your device as a charitable donation. If you donate, remember to retain your receipt to use for a deduction at tax time. All sites claim to properly recycle any products that can no longer be used.

Batteries: Just like electronics, batteries also rank high on the hazardous waste meter. Parts of batteries may be recyclable, other parts are toxic. In an ABC News article Mark Murray, Executive Director of Californians Against Waste says, “It is a big problem. We’ve got over 34,000 tons of household batteries getting disposed in California’s trash every year. That’s a lot of hazardous material.”

The longer you can extend the life of your batteries, the more money you’ll save and the more you’ll keep out of the recycling and trash stream. One way to do this is to use rechargeables.  Two AA Ni-Cad rechargeable batteries can replace up to 600 single-use batteries. Rechargeables still need to be properly recycled and disposed of when they have been completely used up, but you’ll use fewer altogether.

For more on where to dispose of batteries: Environment, Health and Safety Online provides a wealth of information, and Earth 911 allows you to search by zip code or city for recycling centers near you. You can also contact your local city or town government to find out where and how to safely dispose of batteries. Best Buy and  Staples offer free recycling of rechargeable batteries in all of their U.S. stores.

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