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6 posts from July 2010

July 28, 2010

reuseit.com is live - tell us what you think & win $100!

As we mentioned last week, we've been working hard the past several months to make our new site, reuseit.com, live. Our official launch is still a few weeks out, but the feedback from our friends, customers and fans has been invaluable in helping us to make improvements to the look and feel of the site, as well as to our product line.

Here's a peek at the actual moment we went live last week:


Now that you can get into the site and have a look around, we'd like to ask you for your feedback once more. Please spend a few minutes in our store, and looking around at the pages in Learn, Take Action and our other informational sections. Leave us a comment on this post stating the new site's pros, cons and your over all impression of the site. We'll choose one commenter to receive a $100 gift certificate to our store.

To be eligible for the giveaway, please be sure to leave your feedback as follows:

Pros:

Cons:

Over all impression:

We'll choose a winner on 8.20.10! Thanks for all the feedback so far - we could not have done it without you!

P.S. Don't worry, ReusableBags.com will be on vacation for a little while now that reuseit is live, but it will be back soon in the form of an informational hub and activist resource center. More about that later!

July 22, 2010

The Story of Cosmetics


It's the one we've been waiting for from Annie Leonard: The Story of Cosmetics! Here's a quote from Free Range Studios:

"How do you make safe personal care products from poisonous ingredients like lead, mercury and carcinogens? Duh, you can't! It's the simple rule "toxics in, toxics out." But the companies who make everything from shampoo to lipstick to deodorant still don't seem to get it. And that means we're all at risk.

With a new bill in Congress that would make personal care products safe, it's critical that we spread this message far and wide and speak up for change."

Check out the film and join the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics here!

Farewell to Rob

Rob Getting reuseit.com live this week has us amped - we really can't wait to see what you guys think of all the reorganization and redesign we've been working on for months now. Despite our excitement, though, this week is bittersweet because we're saying goodbye to someone who has been with us from just about the very beginning - our CTO Rob Vogelbacher.

Our company's founder Vincent Cobb knew he wanted Rob as a part of our team right away - but e commerce was a far cry from Rob's scientific background. It took some persuasion, but he was finally convinced to join us around 2007.

Wrapping up the biggest project he's had since he started with us nearly four years ago, Rob has accepted a new position at IBM. We're so proud of Rob and this awesome opportunity he has to pursue his interest in science.

You know how there are people who know a lot about specific things, and other who know a little bit about everything? Well, around here, Rob is known as the guy who knows a lot about everything. Whether it's music, biology, home brewing, personal fitness, religious philosophy or even funny t-shirts, Rob has a fascinating, thoughtful perspective on almost everything. We're going to miss having someone so knowledgeable about so many things around to turn to with questions about... everything. Sadly, Wikipedia is not as friendly or as fun to talk to as Rob. 

For years, we've all appreciated his patience with those of us who are not-so-talented with html or really, with computers in general - and we love his polite way of reminding us when we've already asked him how to do something 13 times. Rob's willingness to take the extra time to teach us how to do things behind the scenes on our site has made us all more self-sufficient, although we still bother him at least 25 times a day for the things we forget how to do.

Each of us can look back at the time we've spent with this company and list off things we've learned, things we are now capable of, and skills we've added to our resumes thanks to Rob. A few of us even have a repertoire of html jokes we would not have had without knowing him. Coffee <br />, anyone?

Although some of us will be glad to have all of the high protein bars on the snack shelf for ourselves when Rob says good bye this Friday, we'll all miss seeing his bike locked up downstairs each morning (even in the winter!) and being able to stop by his desk for a friendly chat. 

From all of us at reuseit, we thank Rob for everything he's done to get us to where we are - and we wish him all the best in his new endeavors. We will miss you!

July 16, 2010

Sneak Peek at reuseit.com - win $50 to check it out

For months now we've been telling you "ReusableBags.com is becoming reuseit," and we're thrilled to say that the day is nearly here.

Since its launch in 2003, ReusableBags.com has been known as the site that spawned the reusable shopping bag movement and raised awareness of the plastic bag problem.

In the years since, we've expanded our line to bring you the "best of the best" reusables available in many categories to help you eliminate disposables from every part of your life -- from bags and bottles to lunch, household items and beyond. Practical, innovative and high-quality, our offerings give consumers smart alternatives to use and toss items and the false promise of cheap reusables flooding the marketplace.

To embody what we're all about, our store and proprietary line of innovative products are now named reuseit.com (reuse it). And this Thursday, July 22 we're flipping the switch - ReusableBags.com will appear as reuseit.com.

We're still sweeping the floors and tidying up the shelves, so we aren't ready to let you in yet, but here's a sneak peek because we're dying to hear what you think!

Reuseitpreview

Once the site goes live on the 22nd we'll still be hard at work making more improvements, adding more new products, fleshing out some new sections and more. Come August, we'll be inviting the whole world into our new site to check out a reusables site like no other.

This has been years in the making, thousands of hours of work, and who knows how many pots of coffee - but looking at what reuseit.com has become, we think it's worth it.

So what do you think? Leave us a comment about your impression so far and we'll choose a random commenter to receive a $50 gift certificate to our new store!* We look forward to inviting you in! 

P.S. Don't worry, ReusableBags.com will be on vacation for a little while once reuseit.com launches, but it will be back in the form of an informational hub and activist resource center. More about that later!

*The giveaway has ended. Thanks to our winner Shawn Knapp!

July 09, 2010

Post-Soap Nuts Upcyling: Laundry Detergent Lamp

So you've made the switch from wastefully-packaged, chemical-laden detergents and you're gleefully washing your laundry with the fruit of the Chinese soapberry tree (Soap Nuts) but what to do with that last bottle of detergent?

Sure, you could rinse and recycle it? But why not keep it around as a reminder of what laundry was like before you found a better way? This laundry detergent lamp is a kitchy-cool project that makes good use of that last bulky bottle. And the video is fun to watch, too!


July 02, 2010

Cold Brewed Coffee: A Delicious Oxymoron

by Umair Mohsin We have been up to something big lately. Really. It's huge. You might want to say good bye to your socks, as a matter of fact, because in a few weeks we plan on knocking them clean off. See that Reuseit logo to the left over there? Well, it's coming... and it's awesome. We can't wait to show you.

That being said, yesterday we figured out we've been averaging about three pots of coffee per day in the office - sometimes a few more, depending on the task at hand. And try as we might, it is hard to resist the siren's song of Starbucks just a block away from our office! Of course we have Natalie's Starbucks Survival Kit to keep our visits waste-free, but c'mon - $5 for a venti iced latte? What's in that thing, unicorn dust?

Then Natalie, one of several coffee fiends here at soon-to-be Reuseit.com, suggested we try cold brewing our cup of joe. It costs a lot less than Starbucks, we can do it right here in the office (which means we can spend more time getting ready to launch this new site) and with more than 60% less acid than conventional coffee it tastes a lot better too.

One of the features of our new site we're most excited about is our DIY section. So, in the spirit of coffee and Reuseit and all things waste-free and wonderful, here's a quick tutorial on DIY cold brewed coffee:

 Ingredients and Items You’ll Need:

  • A storage container for the final brew – a pitcher or a tall jar with a lid will work
  • A tall glass or mason jar with a lid for brewing
  • A second tall glass or jar to pour the steeped coffee mixture into
  • A stainless steel kitchen strainer with a fine mesh (if you don’t have fine mesh, you can use cheesecloth in addition to the strainer)
  • Coffee

 

Instructions:
  1. Measure 5-6 tablespoons of medium-course ground coffee into the brewing glass. Add about 1.5 cups room temperature water and stir until there are no lumps. If you’re increasing volumeby Jim Ray, a 4:1 ratio of water to coffee will work best. 
  2. Put a lid on the container and let it brew for a minimum of 3 hours – it can sit up to 12 hours, depending on how strong you like your brew. 
  3. Strain the brewed coffee through the stainless steel strainer into the second container. Clean out the first glass, and strain the mixture back into the original container. If the filter clogs at any point stop pouring and clean it out before resuming. 
  4. Pour the final mixture in your storage container or pitcher and put it in the fridge. 

The mixture is 2-3 times stronger than drip coffee, so dilute it with an equal amount of water to start – adjust to taste. For hot coffee, just add hot water to the concentrate. For iced coffee, add cold water and ice! You can also dilute in milk or non-dairy milk for a latte-like drink.

Back to work!