It’s Good to be Green

Repurposed pieces, Retro Revival Furniture

Theodore Roosevelt, often called our first environmental president, said:

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.

Some very creative people have taken those words to heart. They show that while it’s good to be green and use what you have, it can be fun, too, to think of the advice to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle in clever and unique ways.


Saving just one paper towel per person per day, says Joe Smith in his amusing TEDxTalk, will help reduce the 571, 230,000 pounds of paper towels used by Americans every year.


Reusing items that would otherwise end up in the landfill is an earnest endeavor but there is nothing serious about the refurbished pieces from Retro Revival Furniture (shown above). The furniture is bright and fun and charming.

If weathered wood and pastel tones are more to your taste, check out a remade dresser from Design Sponge.


Recycling items to give them a new and sometimes upscale purpose, or upcycling, is a way to help save the planet.

Repurposed knitting needles, Unconsumption

Lynda Slade has upcycled vintage plastic knitting needles, some with Bakelite tops, into bracelets, as shown on the site Unconsumption.

TreeSmart has created pencils from recycled newspaper.

Glass bottle house, photo cc by Flickr user Tech109

And using recycled items for a new purpose is not a recent idea as Good Design shows us. This old house in the ghost town of Calico, California, was made entirely of glass bottles reportedly scavenged from local bars.

Ingenious, creative, helpful, yes, and each of these creators has made a bold statement. Who inspires you to reduce, reuse, and recycle?

Linda Hetzer is an editor and author of books on home design, crafts, and foodand coauthor of Moving On: A Practical Guide to Downsizing the Family Home


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