Spring Cleaning: Simple Ideas to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle

When the winter snow melts to show off the green of spring, it gives us one more thing to appreciate about Mother Nature. To show our appreciation, we’re always coming up with ways to preserve and protect our environment. This year, as we do our spring cleaning, we’re sharing with you a few simple ideas to reduce, reuse and recycle to make Mother Nature proud.

Every Day

water bottles isolated on white1. Just because an old water bottle can’t hold water anymore doesn’t mean it can’t hold something.With clever cutouts it turns into a gadget you didn’t know you need – a wall mount for your cell phone while it charges. It’s a brilliant way to repurpose the used, but not used up bottle.

Crafting

2. Save your cans. They’re the crafter’s dream material. Soup cans, coffee cans, paints cans: save ALL your cans. From lamp shades to biscuit cutters, there isn’t much you can’t do with a can.

3. Got something to stuff? That leftover pill bottle cotton can fill a sock doll. All of that dryer lint you toss in the garbage? You can stuff a pillow with it. No need to fill a landfill when you need to fill a toy.

Gardening

4. A milk jug is the gardener’s little helper. Jugs have many uses, but for the tomato gardener, it is heaven sent as a DIY trench watering system. Poke a few holes in the bottom and sides, dig a small trench near the plants and bury the jug about half-way. Fill the jug with water and it will slowly release water into the soil to keep it moist.

empty pallet on green grass5. How many times have you seen a discarded wooden pallet and thought “I know I could do something with that”? Well, a garden walkway is about the easiest thing you can do with a wooden pallet. It requires little more than pulling it apart and arranging the pieces along a dirt path. It’s so easy you’ll be kicking yourself for not having thought of it yourself.

Cooking

6. Cereal or cracker box lining can be used anywhere you might use wax paper or parchment paper. Cutting the ends and along one side you have good sized sheet. In baking, you can use it to roll out ice box cookie dough or to line cake pans. It saves money, time and waste.

tiered-server7. For the mismatched dishes you just can’t seem to get rid of, a clever way to make use of them is by making them into a tiered server. The project does require some tools and materials, but it will be worth it to see your plates in play again.

At The Lakeside Collection, we have all sorts of products and ideas to celebrate every season! Whether you need tips on making your spring garden more environmentally friendly or you’re looking for BBQ gadgets for your 4th of July cookout, shop Lakeside for inspiring products at reasonable prices.

The History of April Fool’s Day

 

April-Fools-Calendar

It is not a national holiday, but April Fool’s Day is observed, revered and feared all over the world. It comes with tricks and no treats at the same time every year, so why do we keep up with the tradition? There is no clear evidence on the origin of the holiday, but there are a couple of ideas surrounding the history of April Fool’s Day pranks came about.

Calendar Confusion

Some believe April Fool’s Day started when it Pope Gregory XIII’s calendar – now referred to as  Gregorian Calendar — went into effect. In 1582, Pope Gregory decided to reform the Julian Calendar moving April 1 back to January 1. Most people followed the new calendar, but the news of the calendar change moved slowly so some people continued to celebrate New Year’s Day in April. Considered fools for missing the holiday celebrated four months before that, they became targets of pranks and tricks.

Gullible Guppies

poisson-davril

Image credit: http://www.francetravelguide.com

In France, fish hatched in early April – a bait and hook were an easy lure for the young fish who were easily caught. To mark this time of year, people play pranks on other people – the ones who are tricked are referred to as poisson d’avril (April Fish) – a fish that’s easily caught or a gullible human being. So if you ever see someone in France on April first with a fish taped to their back, they have been marked for the whole world to see that someone fooled them.

Citizen Con

In 13th century England, a road was declared public property when a king stepped on it. When word spread to a small town that the king was coming, the town refused to let him in in order to maintain control of the main road. The king’s minions were sent to the town to sort the visit, and when they arrived, the townspeople pretended to be insane so the king would not drop by. The king fell for it, but was alerted to the trick and declared the town too foolish to punish, hence April Fool’s Day.

Chaucer Chicanery

cantebury-tales

Image credit: http://www.pagepulp.com/1223/geoffrey-chaucer-and-william-blake/

Another theory goes back to the 14th century and links it to a book — Chaucer’s Cantebury Tales. In Nun’s Priest Tale is set on the date March 32 – March having only 31 days, the text would translate to April 1. The main character is tricked by a fox and so April Fool’s Day was born.

Or not.

Weather Wiles

Another believable theory is related to spring. Because it’s so close to the vernal equinox, the thought is people are fooled by Mother Nature’s unpredictable weather. And she has certainly made fools of us this year.

While it’s unclear where and when the idea of April Fool’s Day originated, it is celebrated by many cultures all over the world. In India, jokes and pranks are played during the festival of Holi. Sizdahbedar is observed by Iranians with gags and high jinks.

Fool or be fooled on April 1st, while we don’t know exactly why we do it, it makes for a fun way to welcome spring – even if Mother Nature keeps tricking us with the occasional snowfall.