Video: Burkina Faso Plastic Bag Recycling

Burkina Faso Plastic Bag Recycling” from Corentin Banzet on Vimeo.

In Burkina Faso, hope doesn’t seem to always come easily. With one of the lowest GDP per capita figures in the world ($1,200) and a tumultuous political past that has led to widespread unrest, it’s no wonder so many people that make up the country’s near 16 million population count are struggling. But in this video, Vimeo user Corentin Banzet documents some of the women in Burkina Faso who are using the country’s garbage as a resource for moneymaking. With the hook method, 150 women in the town of Tiébélé Burkina managed to produce 1,000 bags and 500 pouches over the span of eight months. And they did it all by recycling used plastic bags.

Independent Women Projects in Burkina Faso

Five Things You Can Do On Earth Day To Save Natural Resources

earthEarth Day is upon us, and even if you’re not planning to celebrate our planet’s making it through another year (what global warming?), there are still some simple measures you can take to show your gratitude. Love your Mother, you know?

Whether you’re on the road or at home, the following are smart rules to implement every day of the year:

  • Do laundry at night, after peak electricity usage hours and only wash full loads.
  • Use a travel mug when you purchase your morning coffee and carry a reusble water bottle.
  • Stash reusable shopping bags in your car, purse or backpack and desk.
  • Turn the tap off while brushing your teeth, washing your face, doing dishes or shaving.
  • Switch to e-tickets, e-pay, and other paperless forms of commerce; add your name to no junk mail and catalog lists.

[Photo credit: Flickr user kevin dooley]

How to Save Water and Save Money

SkyMall Monday: Baggy Rack

Living alone has its perks. You get to be as messy as you’d like, you always get to decide what to watch on television and pants pretty much become optional at all times. There are, however, downsides. It can get lonely. There’s no one around to help you when you realize just a little too late that there’s no more toilet paper. And cooking for one is a real pain in the buttocks. Thankfully, here at SkyMall Monday headquarters, I live with my girlfriend and two dog butlers. We can cook proper meals, go into the bathroom with confidence and always have someone with whom to play UNO. What should the lonely among us do when they need an extra set of hands? Mail order brides are expensive, Craiglist roommates usually end up being psychos who clip their toenails in your bed and training your dogs to be butlers takes ages (believe me, I know). Thankfully, SkyMall knows that solo dwellers could use some help. They know that there’s nothing wrong with living alone. They don’t judge. They know that you live alone by choice. They understand that it’s not because no one could possibly love you. They think it’s totally cool that you have six cats who vote for their feline president every fours years. Heck, they even appreciate all that President Jinglebottoms H. Furrykins IV has done in his first term in office. But they want to help, as well. That’s why they carry the Baggy Rack.There’s nothing worse than bagging up leftovers (except for genocide, child molestation, dropping your ice cream cone and several trillion other things). The bags don’t stay open, you get sauce all over your hands and inevitably, you just give up and throw the food against the wall in a fit of anger. Several hours later, after writing about the incident in your diary, you return to the kitchen to tackle quite a mess. Who has time for that? That’s why you need to have a device that will hold those bags open for you.

Think that it’s easy to hold those tiny bags open all by yourself? Never have leftovers because you can down an entire DiGiorno‘s by yourself? Well, maybe you should pop a Gas-X and read the product description:

Every kitchen should have this practical rack that keeps plastic bags upright so they’re easy to fill. No more spilling food all over the counter! Great for sauce, soup, cereal, berries, leftovers...Doubles as a bag dryer.

Sauce is a food product. Soup is a food product. Cereal and berries are food products (that, coincidentally, go great together). Leftovers is a generic category that could encompass anything. From steak to jelly bean gravy, anything can be a leftover. That means that the Baggy Rack is great for everything. Including being a bag dryer. Because we all should be rinsing and reusing our bags once we’re done with all that jelly bean gravy.

Living alone doesn’t have to be difficult. All you need are some dolls, some peanut butter and the Baggy Rack. You’ll never feel lonely again.

Check out all of the previous SkyMall Monday posts HERE.

Prevent your liquids from spilling – Packing tip

Packing liquids in Ziploc bags doesn’t always cut it. It might protect everything else you packed from getting soaked if your shampoo leaks, but it won’t fix another problem: you need whatever might spill.

To stop leakiness in the first place, rip off small pieces from plastic shopping bags (the thinner supermarket kind work better than those from the mall) and stick them on top of each bottle before screwing the cap back on.

Your clothes and your liquid necessities are safe!

[Photo: Flickr | taberandrew]

Try the ‘traveler’s washing machine’ – Packing tip

Here’s how to make a “traveler’s washing machine” —

  1. Pack a large, thick plastic bag and a small bottle of laundry soap.
  2. When it’s time for laundry, fill the bag with about a gallon of water and add a scoop of detergent.
  3. A few sloshes of the bag renders the water soapy.
  4. Drop in the clothes, and shake the bag some more.
  5. Leave the clothes to soak for at least 5 minutes.
  6. Dump the water out and fill with fresh water to rinse.
  7. Shake.
  8. Dump out this water and squeeze any excess water from the clothes.
  9. Hang the clothes on anything convenient to dry.

This saves a trip to the laundromat — and money.

[Photo: Flickr | Alexik]