ReadyMade Magazine; ReadyMade book; the reduce, reuse, recycle lifestyle; and how to make your own indispensable kitchen tool

The thing about going the almost vegetarian route is that the almost vegetarian mindset permeates your whole life.

I read labels on boxes; I read labels in clothing. I look for food that is healthy to eat; I look for a lifestyle that is healthy to live. And I search for ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle.

And that's where ReadyMade comes in.

I adore ReadyMade magazine for two reasons. First, it is amusing. And, second, it is creative. (This month's edition has a brief history of Tupperware, of all things, and instructions on how to make your own hard apple cider which can come in handy if you have too many apple trees and not enough pie crust!)

Sure, more often than not, the reuse/recycle DIY ideas are barely one step up from university-student-bricks-and-boards-bookshelves. But sprinkled throughout the dorm room ideas are enough truly inventive ideas to prompt me to flip, flip, flip those magazine pages monthly.

Besides, I like the joie de vivre that dances through the magazine.

But if you really want to gorge on their fun ideas, then you have to head straight for their new book. Loaded with their silly, smart, pointless, brilliant, sophomoric, clever, horribly complicated, wonderfully simple ideas, ReadyMade: How to Make (Almost) Everything (Shoshana Berger and Grace Hawthorne, $25) is a delightfully amusing read loaded with more than 60 DIY projects.

Don’t believe me? Then here's one of the easiest and cleverest DIY ideas I found in the book (this one's perfect for us almost vegetarian types, me'thinks).
Measuring jar
I have two measuring cups in the house. And, when I am really cooking, sometimes that is just not enough. Do I stop and wash those dirty measuring cups? Or do I use this oh-so-clever and incredibly easy idea from ReadyMade? I’ll chose door number two, Alex.

You’ll need:
Empty jar
Sharpie
Rubber band
Measuring cup

Clean and dry your jar.

Measure and pour increments of 1/4 cup water into your jar with your measuring cup.

Wrap the rubber band around the jar. This is your guide for drawing straight lines round your jar’s perimeter.

With each pour, move your rubber band just under the height of the water and mark with your Sharpie. Do this until your jar spills over. (For permanent and dishwasher-safe markings, use Pebeo Vitrea 160 paint markers found at www.dickblick.com.)

Use your new measuring jar to bake a cake.

See? Sorta silly, but kinda clever. So, what clever ideas do you have?