Posts Tagged ‘Green Living’

Reboot Your New Year’s Resolutions!

Lately, I’ve been hearing about rebooting our abandoned New Year’s resolutions.  It’s only February after all, and way too soon to let those good intentions fall by the way side.  Hopefully your resolutions included adopting new green living habits, but if not, it’s never too late to add them.

What is the most important green thing you can do?  Think.      

  • Think about unnecessary packaging when you buy something.  Packaging represents about 65% of household trash.
  • Think about where that product came from and under what conditions it was produced.
  • Think about refusing those ubiquitous, non-biodegradable, petroleum-based plastic bags at the grocery store and bringing your own reusable ones instead.  (Plastic bags are banned in some areas of the USA and in some countries.)
  • Think about bringing your own bags on all errands.
  • Before you throw something away, think about whether it can be reused or given away.
  • If not, think about our jam-packed landfills and the importance of recycling.  According to Recycling Revolution, “The U.S. is the #1 trash-producing country in the world at 1609 pounds per person.  This means that 5% of the world’s people generate 40% of the world’s waste.” There is good news however. Efforts to reduce, reuse and recycle are paying off and landfill demand is diminishing.
  • Think about the seriousness of the record-breaking drought in parts of the country and what you can do to conserve water – turn off the water when you brush your teeth, shorten your showers and run your dishwasher only when full.
  • Think about consolidating your errands, walking or taking public transportation in an effort to conserve energy.
  • Think about turning off lights when you leave a room to save electricity.

In our busy, fast-paced lives we usually don’t take the time to think through our daily habits.  They become rote.  It takes about three weeks to develop a new habit.  Make these simple green tips your new routine.  Then, take the time to think and learn about why the time is now to start living a greener life.

For more green living tips, visit greenwithbetsy.com.

Some information compiled from http://www.usi.edu/recycle/solid-waste-landfill-facts; http://postcom.org/eco/facts.about.landfills.htm.

Earth Month Quote

The Earth seen from Apollo 17.

The Earth seen from Apollo 17. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The earth is what we all have in common.

Wendell Berry – novelist, poet, farmer and social activist

Whatever your race, religion, nationality, background, political affiliation or sexual orientation, we all inhabit the same earth and we must all take care of it. It’s simple really – what’s good for the earth is good for you and what’s good for you is good for the earth.

April is Earth Month and April 22 is Earth Day – think about the green things you do everyday and add one more.  Read through my blog for ideas:

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Simple steps make a difference………….

SURPRISING GREEN THINGS

English: icon for smartphone (smart phone) rel...

 Without even trying, you’ll surprise yourself with the green things you are already doing.   For instance, do you have a smart phone?  Instead of buying a camera, a phone, a GPS, a tablet computer, a music player, and even a pedometer, your Smartphone is all of those things.  With a Smartphone you only have to buy one device, eliminating the manufacturing waste and e-waste disposal for several different devices.  With all the apps you can now download, your phone can do just about anything you want it to!  And, if you charge your phone with a solar charger, which are getting better all the time, you will really be going green with your phone!

If you have switched your light bulbs to energy-efficient CFLs, you are probably seeing considerable savings on your electric bill.  If you have added extra insulation to your home, you have probably noticed a drop in your heating bill.  This is a form of “green investing” – the return is immediate and probably greater than investing in a utility company.  Of course I’m also all for investing in companies that are doing the right thing for the earth and people, or socially responsible investing, but start your green investing at home first.   (Check out slowmoney.org for investment opportunities within 50 miles where you live that aim to fix the economy from the ground up starting with food entrepreneurs.)

Do you realize the houseplants you decorate your house with not only give off oxygen and filter carbon dioxide, but some plants also actually absorb indoor toxins?  Houseplants are nature’s air purifier. Click here for a list of the plants that best absorb toxins.

Every time you take the stairs instead of an elevator or an escalator, every time you air dry your clothes or turn off the lights when you leave a room, you conserve energy.  When you turn the water off brushing your teeth or run the dishwasher only when full, you save water.

These simple acts all make a difference.  Keep going – add new “green” things daily to your life.

Some information compiled from Green Living, editors of The Environmental Magazine and  green.life@sierraclub.org.

 

GREEN BEDDING FOR AN UNUSUAL HOLIDAY GIFT

English: Picture of Pure wool blankets

Image via Wikipedia

Need an unusual and green holiday gift idea?  Consider giving organic or natural fiber sheets and blankets.  We spend one third of our life sleeping, so go for the healthier option.  Permanent press, easy care, no iron, and cotton/polyester blends have usually been treated with formaldehyde, which has been linked to cancer, asthma and other ailments. Some sheets are labeled formaldehyde-free, but most do not indicate whether or not they contain formaldehyde.  Conventional cotton is often bleached and treated with dyes, and is one of the most heavily sprayed products, accounting for up to 25% of insecticides used worldwide.

Organic cotton, linen, hemp or bamboo bedding are all natural alternatives free of toxic chemicals, minimizing environmental pollution in the growing and manufacturing process. They usually use low impact dyes as well.  Bamboo sheets actually wick away moisture and are naturally anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. They are perfect for people with skin allergies.  A great eco-choice, bamboo is naturally pest free, fast growing and sustainable. When purchasing bamboo sheets (or clothes), look for 100% Viscose from Bamboo.   Some bamboo textiles are actually rayon, which is made using toxic chemicals.

A beautiful natural wool, organic cotton, flannel or for a real splurge, cashmere blanket or throw also makes a lovely holiday gift that can be passed down for generations.  A warm bed with natural fiber bedding allows you to turn down the thermostat, increasing the eco-benefits since you’ll save money and energy!  A cooler bedroom is better for sleeping anyway.

Natural fiber and organic cotton bedding will wrinkle and costs a little more, but they are more breathable, comfortable and last longer. You can find natural and organic bedding online at Gaiam.com and GreenEarth Bamboo, as well as other online stores.  Bed, Bath and Beyond, Pottery Barn, Target and other major department stores also have a selection.

Introduce your family and friends to a healthier, cozier night’s sleep with natural fiber sheets and blankets.  While you are at it, get some for yourself – you won’t believe the difference!

Click here for more information about “Greening your Bedroom”.

Information compiled from green.life@sierraclub.org, treehugger.com and Green Living by the editors of The Environmental Magazine.