Monday, October 31, 2011

5 Tips to be Green this All Saints and All Souls Day

I've been to 2 cemeteries already and I'm glad to just rest tomorrow. There isn't, however, a rest for being green, especially now that it's a long weekend here in the Philippines. Long holidays mean vacations or spending a lot of money on food and drinks because of cemetery hopping. The All Saints Day Holiday means family reunions and get-togethers in the cemetery. So how do you continue being green?

Tip # 1:
Carpool to the cemetery.
If you have space in your car, let your other relatives ride with you, or ride with them. It doesn't make sense to bring one car each if you can squeeze into one car. If you live far from your relatives, you can leave your car at their place or vice versa, then carpool to the cemetery. Not only are you saving on parking space, you're one less car on the road, and of course, you have a smaller carbon footprint

Tip # 2:
Bring your own food
Bringing your own food means food will definitely be cheaper. It's funny how food prices inflate inside the cemetery. When you buy food in the cemetery or outside the cemetery, you'll be using plastic spoons and forks, plastic/paper/styro plates and bowls, plastic/paper/styro cups and not to mention, using a plastic or paper bag to carry everything you bought

Tip # 3:
Bring your own drink
Reduce the use of plastic bottles. It's just so wrong in many ways. Nufsed.

Tip # 4:
Use washable utensils
Don't be too lazy and buy paper plates and plastic cups. Bring the sturdy plastic ones. You can bring water for washing the plates. Just rinse the flat- and silverware with water and wash them properly at home

Tip # 5:
Instead of using your gadgets while passing the time in the cemetery, mingle with your family or go spelunking with your cousins. We once played hide and seek in the cemetery. It was so fun :)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Think Before You Print Email Signatures

UPDATE 11.8.2011 : Fixed he broken link for the Mozilla Thunderbird Tutorial, added borders for the tutorial list and fixed a few grammatical errors in the post, added a link to the Badges and Signatures page

There's no doubt that we use a lot of paper in the office. Whether it be for printing memos, documentations, notices, and even *gasp* emails.

It's one thing to be conscious about printing and saving paper, it's another to encourage others to do so too. At times though we may come on as a nag if we keep on badgering colleagues to think before they print.

So instead of verbally reminding them, we could add the nifty pictures (found below) to our email signatures to make our email recipients "think before they print". The images are in a .png format with transparent backgrounds. There are versions with white-colored backgrounds on the Badges and Signatures page.

These pictures will make them stop and think before hitting the print button.

For instructions on how to add any of the images to your email signatures click on any of the links below:

For: Link
Mozilla Thunderbird

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Joan of Arc Armor Set Cosplay

I attended a costume party which aimed to deviate from the usual Halloween Parties. Instead of coming as something scary or fantasy-like, you should come in as a saint. This was in commemoration of All Saints Day.

Being the out-of-the-ordinary person that I am, I didn't want to come to the party wearing drab that looks normal. I want to stand out, of course, without spending much.

So all I bought was garter, 2 bottles of glue and 3 pieces cardboard and 2 cans of spray paint. Boyfie and I created 2 sets of armor. One for him and one for me. We only used up 2 1/4 of the cardboard, we could have used just 2 if we planned out the cutting of the board better.

  1. Cardboard
  2. Used Bond/Office paper or old newspapers (I prefer used bond paper since it's stronger) cut into strips
  3. Garter
  4. Silver spray paint
  5. Thinner (optional, for cleaning the paint out of your hands or other surfaces)
  6. Glue+Water (2:1 ratio)
  7. Stape Wires
  8. 1.5L or 2.0L PET Bottle (We used Sprite and Coke)
  9. Paper tape (preferred) or masking tape. You can also use glue but it needs to dry before you can proceed
  1. A pair of scissors
  2. Half gallon icecream tub or similar
  3. Stapler
  4. Measuring Tape
  5. Rule (Metal kind preferred)
  6. Pencil / Pen
I wasn't able to document the whole process of creating the armor. We were so busy making the armor that we forgot to take pictures.

1. To make the plate:

1.1. Measure your chest, bust (if your a girl), waist, underarm-to-waist and torso length.

1.2. Cut out strips  with the same length as your measurements

  • 1 strip for the chest
  • 1 strip for the bust
  • 1 strip for the waist
  • 2 strips for the underarm-to-waist
  • 2 strips for the torso length

1.3. Measure the length from your front shoulder to your back shoulder

1.4. Cut out 2 strips with the same length as your measurements or depending on how long you want the plate to be from your shoulders

1.5. Join the ends of the chest strip to form a ring using  paper tape

1.6. Attach the torso strips to the north and south part chest ring using paper tape

These strips will serve as the guide for the front and back of your body

1.7. Attach the shoulder strips using paper tape and then remove the mold

Wear the chest strip and estimate where the shoulder strips should go

1.8. Join the ends of the bust strip to make a ring using paper tape

1.9. Attach the bust ring to the torso strips using paper tape

1.10. Join the ends of the waist strip to make a ring using paper tape

1.11. Attach the waist ring to the torso strips using paper tape

1.12. Cut out squares and rectangles to fit the holes in your plate mold

1.13. Attach the squares and triangles to patch the holes using paper tape

1.14. Fortify your mold by adding paper tapes to areas that aren't taped yet

1.15. Put the glue-water concoction into the icecream tub and dip the paper strips in the tub

1.16. Place the paper strips dipped in glue on the mold

1.17. Cover the entire mold with 2 layers of paper strips

1.18. Dry the mold

1.19. Paint

2. To make the shoulder and upper arm braces 


2.1. Measure your upper length

Edge of shoulder to 1-2 inches above the middle of the arm

2.2. Grab a 1.5 or 2.0 L of PET bottle

The size of the bottle depends on your arm width and length.

2.3. Cut the bottom of the bottle

2.4. Cut the top of the bottle

Make sure that the bottom-cut part of the bottle up to the new cut that you'll make is equal to measurement you did for your upper arm

2.5. Cut the bottle lengthwise, making 2 equal pieces. Each piece will go to each arm

2.6. Staple garter

2.7. Put strips of paper with glue

2.8. Let dry

2.9. Paint

3. To make the vambraces

3.1 Measure your lower arm (1 inch from your wrist and 1 inch from your elbow

3.2 Draw a pear-shape on the cardboard with the length of your lower arm

3.3. Cut out the pear shape

3.4 Staple garters half an inch from the ends

3.5 Cover with glued down paper strips

3.6 Dry

3.7. Paint 


4. To Make Hip and Pelvic Armor

4.1. Measure your hip

4.2. Cut out a strip with the length of your hip

4.3. Attach both ends of the hip strip with paper tape to form a ring

4.4. Cover with glued down paper strips

4.5. Cover with glued down paper strips

4.6. Cut out 5 squares/rectangles with each square larger than the previous. Smallest square should be able to cover atleast 3/4 of your thigh's width.

4.7. Repeat previous step

4.8. Cover all parts with glued down paper strips

4.9. Cover all parts with glued down paper strips

4.10. Assemble the squares smallest square first then put the next square on top of the edge (about 1 cm) of the smallest square. Continue until you use all 5 squares

4.11. Attach the squares together by stapling small strips of garter

4.12. Repeat previous step

4.13. Attach both guards on the left and right side of of the hip

4.14. Paint

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Global Warming Confirmed by Doubters

A lot of non-believers and doubters of Global Warming have been raising that the information provided by the United State's NASA and NOAA are not accurate. Several claims have been raised such as that the data might have been manipulated since the data isn't open, that several instruments for measuring temperature are either very old or are using an old technology, and that the measurements may be an effect of urban heat island effect (urban areas are hotter because of the concrete and other factors).

The doubts and arguments of the non-believers have paved way for a new research to ensue, this time assuring that a more reliable data gathering and data evaluation methods and algorithms are used, and that the data remain open. This new initiative is called BEST or Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project ( or more known as Berkeley Earth. The group's goal, as stated in their website, and I quote:

Our aim is to resolve current criticism of the former temperature analyses, and to prepare an open record that will allow rapid response to further criticism or suggestions. Our results will include not only our best estimate for the global temperature change, but estimates of the uncertainties in the record.

 The result of Berkeley Earth's research didn't seem to be far away from the results that NASA and NOAA published. In fact, it even strengthened the claim of many that the world is indeed warming. The urban heat island effect didn't really have that large an effect on global warming, since all the urban areas combined only makes up a small percentage of the rural and undeveloped areas.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

How To Think Green

In order to live a green life, you need to change how you think. We have grown accustomed to having new stuff and making life easier. We have learned that there are shortcuts that we can take to speed anything that we want to do, and this demand for shortcuts have endangered our plant, our lives.

The "New is Better" Mindset

I must say, the marketing campaigns of the 70s have successfully transformed our minds into thinking newer things means better things. Quantity over quality. A lot of people would rather buy 10 of the same cheap shoes than buy one quality shoe that would last year. "At least I have shoes that are 10 times new".

Imagine how much energy is spent in making just one shoe? Most shoes use virgin materials, meaning materials that are made out of the earth's resources. Imagine how many trees need to be cut and animals slaughtered to procure raw materials; imagine how much smoke was released in the atmosphere to turn the raw materials to virgin, workable materials. Imagine how much gas was used to ship raw materials, virgin materials and finished products from material warehouses to manufacturing warehouses. How much CO2 was emitted by airplanes and trucks for shipping? How much oil seeped in the oceans.

To think green we should have the:

Quality over Quantity Mindset

To live green, we need to change our mindset to quality over quantity. Buying lesser shoes would mean a lower demand for shoe manufacturing. Maybe you're thinking that you're just one person, and purchasing less wouldn't move the demand for shoes? Well, that's where you're blinded. Sure one person wouldn't make much of a difference, but if you count how much shoes you buy in a lifetime, you'll believe me in saying that it's enough to make an impact in the demand for sure. Now imagine that if 100 people all over the world changed their mindset, that would make a drastic impact in the demand.

"Good For the Planet, Bad for Me" Way of Thinking

I am surprised to find that a lot of people would rather put first their own comforts versus the sustainability of the world. Take straws for instance, people would rather use a drinking straw cause ice-cold beverages can damage teeth and their roots (or so they say), or that the drinking glasses weren't cleaned properly and they might get diseases from drinking on the rim (this excuse really had me wondering if the person who said it really understood what he's saying).

I'm still waiting for my front teeth to fall off, or something else, for not using straws. So far, I haven't had toothaches my teeth aren't that stained. And as for dirty drinking glasses, whatever's in the rim of that glass might as well be in the glass, since when the glasses are washed, they put everything in a tub of water, so the germs are pretty much all over.

 To think green we should have the:

"Right for the Environment, Right for Everyone" Way of Thinking

It's the age old saying, "Good doesn't mean it's right". It's time we stop fumbling with good and bad, and start working with right and wrong. Using a straw may be good for you but, it's not right for you simply because it's wrong for the environment. Whatever the earth is suffering now, we will suffer it back, twice- or maybe thrice-fold.

Monday, October 24, 2011

DIY Cosplay Costumes for a Halloween Party Introduction

Halloween is just around the corner, and you know what that means! Halloween Costume Parties!

Though it is quite easy to rent and buy (though I would suggest the former since it's more earth-friendly), there's nothing like making your own costume. More often than not, it costs less, plus you get that extra satisfaction when you win best costume! Besides, who wants to see someone else in the party dressed the same way as you are?

Though this entry won't contain step-by step instructions on how you can make cosplay costumes (that would be on another entry), it would give you ideas on the materials and tools that you'll need.

Currently, I'm making an armor set (plate, arm guards, leg vambraces, shoulder guards). I'll be using that costume for an All Saints Day Cosplay. I'll go as Joan of Arc. I'll post the how to as soon as I finish it.

I'm also planning to make knife that goes on top of my head to give an illusion that my head was butchered.

So what are the basic materials that you'll need?
  • Lots of paper. Strips or pulp for making paper mache
  • Lots and lots of glue
  • Cardboard to make your costume a little strong
  • Plastic PET bottles
  • Old clothes or cloths
  • Paint
  • Varnish (if using poster paint or to make it water proof)
  • Water
  • Masking or paper tape (paper tape is sturdier and sticks better)

And let's not forget the basic tools:
  • A pair Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Measuring tape
  • Paintbrush
  • A helping hand (to speed things up and to make some tasks easier)
  • Stapler
  • Puncher
  • Glue gun

There are some basic steps that you'll do everytime you'll be making a costume
  1. Draft how the final costume will look like
  2. Measure the body part where the costume will go. It's always good to have at least 2-inches allowance so you can move and air can flow. Write down the measurements
  3. Make paper strips or paper pulp for paper mache (strips is probably the best option)

Watch out  for my costume how tos this week . I'll post them as soon as I finish so you can start making your own too.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Today I joined Greenpeace Philippines. You Should Too!

I've been looking for an environmental group in the Philippines that will let me do more in helping the environment, it turns out, I've been using the wrong keywords in Google to look.

Anyway, I found Greenpeace Philippines which I did not hesitate to join. I've known Greenpeace to have such a strong enforcement on environment protection, the first time I read about them, I told myself that I'd join if they have a chapter here in the Philippines.

Greenpeace is a non-profit organization aimed at protecting and conserving the environment. Mostly, Greenpeace launch campaigns against environment criminals, governments and companies who forget and/or fail to protect our environment, our future.

There are different ways to get involved with Greenpeace and saving the environment. You can be a cyberactivist who are people who make a claim, make a stand, by just a click of a button. You can also be an office-volunteer or an intern where you volunteer to help in the Greenpeace office. You can opt to be a volunteer which are more hands on, physical activities on helping a campaign follow through.

Visit their site for more information:

Earlier today I sent my volunteer application form to the volunteer coordinator, and he told me to give him a time for when I want my orientation. I'm excited! I have to balance my new volunteer work with my current work load and my Church work, not to mention finding time to blog, for upcycling crafts, for my family and for boyfie. Whew! I seem to have a lot in my plate lately and It'll take a lot of time management skills to be able to do everything I am passionate about!

If you want to join too, I can give you the email address of where to send the application form to. Hit the comment box below I'll get back to you as soon as I could

God bless me to fulfill this new endeavor!

Infographic on Water Conservation

I came across this infographic about water conservation and I just thought that I'd share it with all of you:

Monday, October 17, 2011

Recycled, Personalized, Adjusting Calendar

I woke up at the wrong side of the bed today and I feel tired, sleepy and worse, uninspired. I kept myself busy with work while thinking about what to blog about today. I was so uninspired that it was making me sad. I kept glancing at my calendar, waiting for Thursday to come and get that well deserved vacation. Then it hit me, the calendar I have at my cube! That's it!

My calendar was made from mostly recycled paper. Recycled bond papers and craft papers. It's also magnetic.

The concept behind my calendar is, instead of having a calendar that uses  lot of pages of paper, I just have a calendar where I move the numbers around every month.

The idea started back in my first job. They gave me a small space in the cork board and I decided that I want a calendar in that small space where I can post my schedule for the month. I bought push pins that can be written on for the numbers.

I don't have step by step pictures for creating the calendar, but I can just show you pieces of my calendar.

My current calendar is magnetic, because our office cubes are magnetic. The magnets I used are craft magnets which are pliable and can be cut by regular scissors. I think you can buy some at craft stores, but for me, I bought it in Daiso Japanese store here in Ortigas, Philippines.

Step 1 - Create the calendar box borders

I made mine by  cutting boxes from an orange construction paper. You need 7 boxes across and 5 boxes down. Measurement of mine is:
Entire calendar boxes: 280 cm wide, 170.5 cm long
Size of one box (measurements are the inside of the box, not the border): 30.2 cm wide, 20.6 cm long

Step 2 - Glue the calendar box in a sheet of colored/decorative paper

I used an old orange parchment paper for mine. (Take note that mine already has a decorative paper at the back cause I already made it before). This step is not required if you're using push pins/cork board.

Step 3 - Create the months of the year for your calendar using old bond papers

I didn't create any for mine cause I thought it was a waste of paper.

Step 4 - Write down the days of the week on old bond papers. Decorate and cut out

Step 5 - Cut a magnetic strip and attach at the back of the day of the week you created, using double sided tape


Step 5 - Just stick it to your calendar using glue or double-sided tape

Step 6 -  Write down the dates of the month on old bond papers or used cardstock.

Decorate and cut out. I chose cats a design for mine


Step 6 - Write the dates of the months on the space provided on the pushpin heads. Decorate if you want.

Step 7 - Cut a small magnetic strip, small enough to fit in the date you created and attach it at the back of it, using double sided tape (skip if using push pins)

Step 8 - Assemble your calendar


Step 9 - Using old bond papers cut out small squares (smaller than the size of the calendar box). These will serve as the event tags in your calendar. Put it in a small box.

So my finished calendar looks like this

You can make this calendar for office for school, or even at home! It's a great way to be organized!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Toilet Roll Flower Notebook Decoration

I'm in a frenzy with toilet rolls lately, and thanks to my office mates, I have an abundant supply of toilet roll cores. YAY!

I decided to make a flower out of the toilet rolls to "pimp" my rather plain notebook. I must say it turned out pretty good

Materials needed to create a toilet roll flower

  • 1 Toilet roll core
  • ruler
  • pen
  • poster paint
  • glue
  • water
  • mixing bowl/cup
  • scissors or a cutter
  • something that needs to be decorated (mine was a notebook)

Step 1 - Measure 1cm across your toilet roll

Fold the roll in half and just measure one side. Just cut following the line on the side that you marked

Step 2 - Cut the toilet roll into 1cm-thick circles

Step 3 - Paint the inner side of your circles. Wait to dry.

Step 4 - Paint the outer side of your circles. Wait to dry

Step 5 - Prepare a glue-water mixture. 2 parts glue and 1 part water

Step 6 - Paint or decorate the surface that you'll stick the flower to [optional]

Step 7 - Paint the inner side of your circles with the glue-water. Wait to dry. Paint the outsides. Wait to dry

Step 8 - Fold the ends of the circles to make a leaf/petal shape

Step 9 - Stick one end of the petal to another using glue or the glue water. Press or firmly stick the petals togeter

Step 10 - Make 2 bunches of 3 petals each by doing step 11 repeatedly

Step 11 - Stick the 2 bunches together to make a flower, by adding glue to one of the bunches. Press firmly to stick the bunches together

Step 12 - Paint the surface that you'll stick the flower to with the glue-water

Step 13 - Place the flower on the surface. Trace glue water on the outer and inner edges of the flower

Step 14 - Press the flower to make it stick firmly

Step 15 -Dry the entire thing


So there you have it. A flower out of a toilet roll. You'll have an excess of 2 circles, you can opt to keep them for future projects or use them to make more flowers.

Hope you enjoyed this week's craft.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

EcoATM: Sell your old, broken, useless cellphone

Do you have an old cellphone that's not working? Do you want to dispose of this cellphone already but yo're having reservations because it might still have value, OR just throwing it out would pollute the earth more?

Well, you'll be glad to know that there's a machine that would gladly take your old phone and dispose if it properly, and best of all, it pays you what your old cellphone is worth. Yes, even if it's not working anymore. Too good to be true? Oh yeah!

Since I did my thesis in college, I've been thinking of different types of reverse vending machines, how I can implement the machines, and how I can market it to gain more popularity.My thesis in college was a Reverse Vending Machine wherein used aluminum cans will be collected and compacted, then the person who recycled it will get electronic load as compensation. (For more details about this, visit VenChinX: A Reverse Vending Machine)

While wondering about what kind of reverse vending machine is available out there, I came across this video from Techcrunch. After hearing about the concept of this reverse vending machine, I was like "COOL!". The machine is called "EcoATM" (EcoATM Demonstration at Tech Crunch). You can also check out their website at

How it works
So here's how it works, you put in a mobile phone that you want to sell in the machine. I just have to reiterate it (cause the idea of this feature makes me really happy), it doesn't matter if it's working or not. The machine will buy your phone and the company that maintains the machines recycles the cellphones that were sold in the machine.After putting in your phone, the machine will detect what kind of phone it is and appraise it depending on what the phone is and any damages that the phone have sustained. It performs it widgety magic to detect phone errors and other damages. COOL!

If you can't believe what you're reading, then check this video out:

Can't wait for this machine to arrive in the Philippines, or for someone to think of creating one. Maybe I should suggest this to management?

Friday, October 14, 2011

What the Number Inside the Recycle Symbol Means

Have you ever wondered what the numbers inside the recycling symbol means? As a kid, I used to think that it meant the number of times the item was recycled, but how very wrong I was. It turns out the number inside the recycling symbol is the type of resin or plastic that was used in making the material.

It's important for us to know what these symbols mean so that we can properly recycle items and avoid items that are difficult to recycle. So when buying something, check the code and make sure that it's easily and readily recyclable

Number 1 Plastic

Chemical Compound: Polyethylene Terephthalate
Found In: Plastic drinking bottles and common food packaging
Characteristics: Lightweight, usually squeezable, thin
Readily Recycled: Yes
Recycled Into: Bottles, polyester fibers (used in carpets and other fabrics), furniture, bags
Health Risk: Low

Number 2 Plastic

Chemical Compound: High Density Polyethylene
Found In: Detergent bottles, bleach bottles, shampoo bottles, condiment bottles
Characteristics: Moderate weigh, rarely squeezable, thick
Readily Recycled: Yes
Recycled Into: Bottles, bags, pens, fence
Health Risk: Low

Number 3 Plastic

Chemical Compound: Polyvinyl Chloride or Vinyl
Found In: Electronic cables, pipes, toys, furniture, almost in everything
Characteristics: Elastic when thin, very tough when hard. Tough. Not easily weathered. Water- and flame resistant
Readily Recycled: No, very difficult to recycle because it contains heavy metals like lead and cadmium. Very few accept PVC in recycling because of it's environmental and health threats.
Recycled Into: Cables, paneling
Health Risk: Moderate. Do not put near food, especially when flamed.. Do not burn or incinerate. PVC contains Dioxine which is a man-made poison that can kill. It stays in the body for a long time and weakens the body.

Number 4 Plastic

Chemical Compound: Low Density Polyethylene
Found In: Wrappers, grocery bags, sandwich bags, sqeezable wrappers
Characteristics: Very thin, very lightweight. can be crumpled
Readily Recycled: No, very few recycling programs accept it as a recyclable. Probably due to its weak and lightweight characteristic
Recycled Into: Same items as it is found in
Health Risk: Low

Number 5 Plastics

Chemical Compound: Polypropylene
Found In: Condiment bottles, medicine bottles, yogurt tubs, rope, straws
Characteristics: mostly squeezable, heat intolerant
Readily Recycled: No but are slowly gaining acceptance in recycling programs
Recycled Into: Fibers, brooms, brushes, trays
Health Risk: Low

Number 6 Plastic

Chemical Compound: Polystyrene
Found In: Disposable plastic spoons, forks and cups, CD cases, egg cartons, foam food trays
Characteristics: Very lightweight, bulky. Also known as Styrofoam
Readily Recycled: No. Very difficult to decompose. Very few programs accept it
Recycled Into: Egg cartons, foam packin
Health Risk: Moderate to high. When ingested, can block the digestive system. Production is petroleum based and uses a carcinogenic called benzene

Number 7 Plastic

Chemical Compound: Combination of any or all of the above plastics/resins or other resins that don't fit into the above items.
Found In: bullet-proof materials, 5-gallon water bottles,
Characteristics: Very thick, heavy duty
Readily Recycled: No. Very difficult to recycle because of the diversity of plastics in it
Recycled Into:  plastic lumber,
Health Risk: Low to moderate. Depends on the type of plastic

DISCLAIMER: I do not own the recycle symbol and any of its variants. A watermark is placed in the images to protect my intellectual property right of making the image based on the symbol and it's variants. The watermark is not intended to own the symbol or imply any meeting related to owning the recycle symbol.