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  • One of my favorite aspects of autumn is the return of panini-pressed sandwiches. Made this turkey, Jarlsberg, Mojito slaw (cabbage & mint), and quince chutney (with fruits from my mom's quince bush) number today. Best enjoyed on the patio as autumn foliage drifts down from above.
  • So excited for @cbnavl and his lovely book
  • #tbt There is a part of my being that will always want to be where ferries are present. #writedoebay
  • One of the best aspects of all of these picnic photo shoots has been spending time with people I love. I sure do have some wonderful people in my life. Love you, buddies! Shown here: Meg Carswell Reilley (an exquisitely gifted photographer), Alisa Carswell Reilley (an incredibly talent graphic designer), @fernworks (a jewelry designer of abundant creativity), and @killaspro (a coffee connoisseur and all around funny guy).
  • Up on the roof! ?
  • I love what I do. That includes staging a
  • He may be a newly minted 4 year-old, but he still has a round baby nose and says things like
  • Hot dogs for the birthday boy at Montreat Park (from Foothills Meat), as requested.
  • Montreat. Amazing every day of the year, especially today, on Huxley's birthday.
  • On the eve of his 4th birthday, being the wild gnome that he is. My one and only.
  • Out on the patio. Definitely looking, and feeling, like autumn today!
  • One week ago today, Huxley, @glennbenglish, and I boarded a ferry and left our
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Branching Out Woodworks (+ Giveaway!!!)

Not that long ago, I wrote about my feelings of waste here. In short, I loathe it. I’d rather rip up an old flannel sheet and re-purpose it into cleaning cloths, or move the stained rug (thank you cats, again…) onto the porch, or give a beat-up dresser a fresh coat of paint than to ever throw things out.

Plastic bags reserve a special place in my waste abhorrence litany. They provoke my ire possibly more than anything else. And so, I try to use them, and reuse them, and then use them again as much as possible when I find myself in possession of them.

The handy dandy tool pictured above makes getting them clean in between uses so very easy (you know you can click on the photos to make them larger, right?). Locally made by Branching Out Woodworks, this bag dryer is positioned either horizontally or vertically once assembled. You then simply place your wet (but clean!) plastic bag onto it, wait for it to dry out and then, BOOM! POW! It’s ready to be used again.

I love this device. It’s so simple and yet so genius, all at the same time. To spread the love around, today I’m offering one small measure reader a bag dryer to use, use, and then use some more! To enter, simply leave a comment below telling me some small measure of your own that you take towards reducing waste.

Please, please leave means of finding you, should you be the winner, via either a link back to your blog or website, or by leaving your email address in the comments (if you’d rather not leave your email address there, just leave an anonymous comment, and then send me a private email with your information; I’ve yet to figure out another way of doing this). I’ll run the giveaway through next Wednesday May 30th, midnight EST.

Together, let’s lay to waste plastic bag wastefulness!!! 

UPDATE: The winner of the Branching Out Woodworks bag dryer is Woolies! Congratulations!!! Thank you everyone for your entries. I loved reading about all of the small measures you’re taking towards reducing waste!

67 Responses to Branching Out Woodworks (+ Giveaway!!!)

  • Thank you for this giveaway! I've been asking my NC friends if they can take a trip to buy me one, since seeing it on your blog!
    To cut back on waste, we have stopped using paper towels in our house, using cloth instead.

    carlinknits@gmail.com

  • Rebecca says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Rebecca says:

    What a clever tool! I try to reduce waste by buying less in the first place.

    rebecca.fields.2011@gmail.com

  • That is awesome. I haven't yet made it to washing out my plastic bags.

    We do our best to cut back on waste by buying things that do not have packaging or purchasing things with packaging that can be reused, using cloth napkins and diapers.

    I dream of canceling garbage service because we have no waste!

  • Melanie J. says:

    Such a nifty invention! We switched to glass leftover containers finally, recently, and we recycle, which we love doing. Thanks for the opportunity, Ashley!

    celticautumn69atyahoodotcom

  • Sue O says:

    We use glass for storage whenever possible and any cardboard from cereal boxes, etc. gets broken down and saved to light our wood furnace. We have not used a drop of oil in almost 8 years! Love the bag dryer, sure beats my present method of using old wine bottles LOL

  • Anonymous says:

    My plastic bags dry while hanging out around the kitchen on my knives, wine bottles, wooden spoons… this drier sounds like a big improvement.
    Jen
    jalley22@hotmail.com

  • Anonymous says:

    groovy gadget! i have something similar but i know a load of peeps that could use this! thx for the chance :)

  • Meg says:

    We are working on being more mindful and less wasteful. We use canvas shopping bags to avoid plastic ones, I carpool to work with a colleague and we reuse all the glass jars and bottles that make their way into our home. This bag drier looks wonderful!

  • I definitely wash baggies, as well as use cloths for cleaning instead of paper towels. My most extreme “small measure” is probably that I have been known to wash aluminum foil (as long as it's not too crusty). That one got a look from the hubs. ;-)

  • vanda says:

    I wash my plastic bags and they end up all over the counter- irritating. I'd love the bag dryer, such a great idea!

  • Anonymous says:

    Rachelnafis@gmail.com
    I've been begging my husband to make me one ever since you posted a picture of yours!!! Clearly it hasn't happened yet or else I wouldn't be entering this :).

  • Grace says:

    Love the giveaway!

    I'm getting very, very picky about packaging. I don't care what it is, if it has too many layers of plastic or paper it stays at the store.

    gracesnature@yahoo.com

  • Alison says:

    I wash and re-use ziplock bags and would love a tool like this. I'd probably still catch a lot of grief for having some that are several years old still in the rotation, but at least I could stop hanging them on the whisk to dry.

  • Looks awesome! Our family could totally put that to use. One small way we reduce waste is something we do a LOT of especially in the summer–picnics with cloth napkins, reusable bags, and our own water bottles. We bring it, we take it home, we use it again!
    Sarah m
    sslamast@gmail.com

  • Ann says:

    Oh, I would love to win this, as I, too, re-use baggies.

    One thing I've done this year to reduce waste is purchase a soda stream. I absolutely love seltzer, but hated seeing all the plastic bottles in the recycling bin from my seltzer habit. I now re-use the bottles, which are filled with water from my tap.

    Best regards,
    Ann

  • Amber says:

    I'd love this tool, which would beat draping the bags all over random kitchen objects! To cut back on waste we switched to cloth napkins a long while back and take regular dishes and flatware on picnics. Our chickens consume almost any food scraps we generate and the blueberries are loving the coffee grounds the hens won't eat.

  • What a great idea. Anything that helps keep plastic out of landfill has my tick of approval! Its great of you to be giving 1 away to help spread the word :)

  • KC Pagano says:

    I would love to have this. I try my best not use plastic, but I find that when preserving time comes in the summer that I can't find enough room in my freezer to store everything using jars. So I use plastic freezer bags. This will help me to really re-use them!

    kc.pagano@gmail.com

  • Ooooh, I remember admiring yours when you originally posted it. I'd love to have one of my own.

  • tbos says:

    Yes! I would love this, as I am also an avid washer of ridiculous plastic bags! supercedars@hotmail.com

  • Tracey says:

    Now that is a fantastic idea and this is a wonderful giveaway, thank you so much Ashley.

  • Bethany says:

    Wow, what a great device! my husband and i recycle, compost and buy our milk in return & refill glass bottles. I believe it tastes better that way :) Thanks for the chance!

    bethanyhuckins@gmail.com

  • Anonymous says:

    We shop at our local coop and bring our own containers for anything we can. Our trash and recycling shrink more from doing this one thing than any other measures we take combined! Food packaging can be ridiculous.

  • Anonymous says:

    I wash and reuse plastic bags and they take forever to dry propped awkwardly on my pile of drying dishes :) This would be great! What an awesome giveaway.
    julie_lance@yahoo.com

  • Jake n Kait says:

    This IS awesome! jakenkait28 (at) gmail (dot) com

  • Anonymous says:

    My husband made one for me out of drift wood we collected on a beach vacation. He sanded and varnished it—basically it is five prongs of driftwood in a large, stable driftwood base. I love that each time I use it, I remember it is free, it is from a trip I like remembering, and it saves the environment and me when I use it to recycle not only freezer bags but milk bottles.

  • Meg says:

    I'm in – thanks!

  • Emma says:

    So clever – it would be a welcome tool! we are currently making lots of adventure bags made of old jeans (four kids, means lots of jeans past repair and lots of bday parties) for gifts.
    Thanks for the chance!
    Emma
    shelbear@live.ca

  • AppleGreen says:

    Ahh the irony of this handy tool's packaging. But quite handy and would leave our sink sprayer to be used for its intended purpose.

  • woolies says:

    So, once in a while, at the supermarket, I check out using plastic bags – furtively looking around to make sure nobody notices. I bring them home. I use them for the dog poop. We have 4 dogs, so there is a lot of poop. I've thought about digging holes and burying the poop. Or buying biodegradable bags for the poop. But those are expensive. And if we bury the poop, then I worry that it would attract predators. So i live in a quandry about plastic bags. And the dryer thingy looks awesome. So I hope I win!
    You can find me here:
    buster.sugar@yahoo.com
    Thanks!

  • annie b. says:

    oooo! i have always wanted one of those!

  • Angela says:

    I go through phases of refusing to buy plastic baggies and then realizing that sometimes you just need one…it would be great to have this drier to motivate me to wash and reuse more often. Perhaps I'll have to construct my own!
    Hugs,
    Angela
    heyzillah@yahoo.com

  • Cindy says:

    We wash out so many Ziplog bags, I would love this! Since we began composting and growing more of our own food, we've both our organic waste and our packaging waste considerably.

  • Missy says:

    I've been wanting a bag dryer for ages. Right now I hang a wet bag from my cupboard nob, but that just doesn't work so well.

  • The Good Wife has actually converted me into a plastic bag reuser, particularly Zip-loc style bags. She usually washes them and then hangs them on other dishes in the sink drying or over the sprayer, or over the paper towel holder, or over the faucet, or over…. you get the point. This would be so convenient and much more organized around the sink during that drying period.

  • Meaghan says:

    I never buy plastic water bottels, i have a few metal ones that i use and wash. I use old ripped up sheets for cleaning cloths. I am re-using mason jars for candle holders at my wedding next weekend, which will then be washed and re-used again for more canning.

    love your blog! and the keeeping chickens book….planning for a coop after next weekend :)

    zmeaghan@gmail.com

  • PatsyAnne says:

    This is EXACTLY what I need – I also hate to toss out plastic bags, ie, bread bags, fruit & veggie market bags, used zip loc bags, this will come in so handy on reusing them all.

  • Heather says:

    That bag dryer is so much better than the system we have now.

    We bought our house and there was a shed that we planned to tear down. After reading your Keeping Chickens book we were motivated to convert it into a chicken coop.

    http://www.garrettgetsgreener.blogspot.com/

    It's still a work in progress but it's better than tearing it completely down and buying a new one!

  • Eliza Brown says:

    this year, i used egg cartons to start my seedlings. love your blog!

    ~eliza

  • cristin says:

    waste makes me crazy. especially food waste. you would not believe what stores throw out. i am a regular dumpster diver. i have found so many things, from 30 pounds of butter (put it in my freezer!:)) to dozens of cases of BOTTLED WATER (still drinking it) to live trees! we eat and use what we can, distribute any excess to friends and family and then usually donate the rest to food not bombs. we tend to find things in large quanities. like 3 cases of bananas or 50lbs. of onions. it's awesome….. :) p.s. for awhile i was finding unopened boxes of plastic garbage bags and sandwich bags, etc. this just made me sad and confused. my email: polaroidluv@yahoo.com

  • redhott says:

    Less waste issue thing we're always working on. We started a compost pile last year and try to get our neighbor to dump some of his grass in it! Otherwise it takes too long to accumulate enough material. We are also bag washers so hazzah to an awesome rack.

  • Jessica says:

    Nifty! I would love to win one =)

    jwalty@hotmail.com

  • Jessica says:

    Nifty! I would love to win one =)
    jwalty@hotmail.com

  • Donna says:

    Along with re-using plastic bags I have made several cloth baggies that we use for packing school lunches daily! This dryer would work much better than the system I currently use – which is to hang them over anything that allows them to dry!! donahalle@hotmail.com

  • Bee Girl says:

    I love this tool! Right now I just rinse out the bags and hang them to dry in the pantry using chip clips! This tool would be amazing to have! Thanks for the opportunity :-)

  • MGirard says:

    Wow that's wonderful new tool! My husband hates it when I hang to wet/clean plastic bags everywhere on the kitchen counter. That thing would keep them all at the same place, and would probably dry faster.

  • DK says:

    We cut back on waste at my house by using microfiber clothes for cleaning and cloth napkins instead of paper napkins. Have tried washing plastic bags in the past, but hated trying to dry them.

  • SimpleSam says:

    I haven't had garbage service for 10 years now but still don't have one of these bag dryers! Here's a link to my blog:
    http://tennesseetransitions.wordpress.com/

  • spike says:

    We repurpose boxes into toys/storage around here. For instance… a kleenex box is now the match car garage, an old egg carton is now a School Bus, Highland Gaelic Ale box is the block corral. Jasper is the best repurpose inspiration we have ever had (on many levels). He loves recycling.

    sarahpik@gmail.com

  • Anonymous says:

    What at great giveaway! I love to recycle everything if I can, thanks, Peggy

  • I've given up “fast food” – the packaging is horrible – not to mention all the carbon used to make the “food” going into the packaging.

    psmflowerlady@yahoo.com

  • I've given up “fast food” – the packaging is horrible – not to mention all the carbon used to make the “food” going into the packaging.

    psmflowerlady@yahoo.com

  • What an awesome giveaway! I'd love a bag drier like that… maybe i'll get one anyway even if I don't win. I always wash my ziplock bags until they fall apart, and drying then is the worst. usually i balance them on top of the washed glasses. This would be much handier!
    My small measure for reducing waste is a tie between cloth diapering and composting! Both are so easy and so rewarding :)
    Thanks again!
    meg
    meganjeanmiller@gmail.com

  • What an awesome giveaway! I'd love a bag drier like that… maybe i'll get one anyway even if I don't win. I always wash my ziplock bags until they fall apart, and drying then is the worst. usually i balance them on top of the washed glasses. This would be much handier!
    My small measure for reducing waste is a tie between cloth diapering and composting! Both are so easy and so rewarding :)
    Thanks again!
    meg
    meganjeanmiller@gmail.com

  • Sherrie says:

    What a simple, clever idea! We reduce waste a lot on the purchasing end – buying second hand clothing and household items rather than new, and giving them away or donating them when they're no longer useful. :)

  • Diane says:

    We don't use paper anything unless its toilet paper. Cloth all the way. I wash my plastic bags too, and hang them to dry over my cooking utensil bucket on the counter.

  • Cynthia says:

    I compost, I recycle and I buy most of my clothes second hand. I also try to make as much from scratch so I can avoid packaging.

    I also save the Sunday comics to wrap birthday presents in

  • Alison says:

    To keep our waste to a minimum, we use cloth napkins and paper towels. Thanks for hosting this giveaway!

  • Jennifer says:

    We recently, finally gave up paper towels. It was one thing that we just hadn't been able to give up. I bought a bunch of flour sack towels to use instead. :-)

  • lacy says:

    i've always wanted one of these! it's a lot classier than the mini clothesline above my sink. :)

  • Laura says:

    I use cloth diapers, cloth napkins. Everything in my son's lunch box is reusable. Even though we don't have recycling pick up, I collect and take it too a center. Would love to try out the bag dryer if I won.

    lemsullivan(at)yahoo(d0t)com

  • Beth says:

    Plastic bags make me bangy, too! I reuse them like CRAZY… I would love this little gadget…

    We also use cloth diapers to reduce (even if only by a humble number)the amount of diaper waste that America produces – enough to fill a pro-football stadium 3 miles high!

  • HikerGurl says:

    I compost, recycle, buy used clothes, re-use alum foil if it isn't too bad.. Wrap all my lunches in re-usable containers. I would love to re-use bags and I do when they aren't too soiled. This gadget would be great instead of all the ways I try to dry my bags now.
    contact me at – hippycas at yahoo dot com or at casmahl66 at gmail dot com.

  • Kathy M says:

    Thanks for the give-a-way. Love to have this, I have recently started washing bags and it seems finding something to dry them open is a challenge.

    I do love your blog and appreciate your lifestyle. What an inspiration you are!

    savdreamin@aol.com

  • Anonymous says:

    How neat is this..u should see how i dry thm now :)
    dgringe@gmail.com

    Diane Gringeri

  • gisele says:

    ooooo… I remember your first post about this thing and thought how I needed to get my own hubs to come up with something like this. Only his would have to be welded together, so needless to say we haven't gotten around to that yet…