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Remembering those reusable shopping bags

reusable shopping bags

We all know how important it is to bring reusable bags to the grocery store, but even those of us with the greenest possible intentions forget them sometimes.  

Here are some tips to help you remember...

- For women who carry purses, keep a few in your purse.  Some (not all) scrunch up pretty well.   ChicoBags are perfect for this.  They fold up easily and they don't take up too much space.   They also can hook up to a keychain!

- Keep them by your jackets and shoes so you remember to grab them on the way out.... read more

10 Ways to Reduce Plastic Use

plastic bottlePlastic is a HUGE problem for the environment.  Yes, some of it is recycled, but they’re technically downcycled. Instead of a milk jug being recycled into another milk jug, it gets turned into lower quality plastic which is not recyclable.  Not all plastic is readily recycled, and it ends up just sitting up in a landfill.  And another enviornmental problem with plastic is that it’s made from oil.  

We can reduce our plastic usage easily.  You may not realize how much plastic you use on a daily basis, but here are 10 tips to reduce how much plastic you use:... read more

Take a Moment for Mesothelioma

asbestosI'm sure you've heard of mesothelioma, but there's still probably a lot that you don't know about how someone might get mesothelioma or how serious it is.  Today, I am asking you to take a moment to learn about mesothelioma and spread awareness.... read more

Green Cooling: How to Make Your AC System more Eco-Friendly

green coolingWhen it comes to owning an air conditioner, they are usually a luxury for most people. Air conditioners can keep either one room or an entire house cool depending on what type you use. If you use a window unit, it will keep just the one room it is in cool. However, if you are lucky enough to have a central air system, they can keep the whole house cool. The only problem is with either one is that they take up a lot of energy. There are things you can do to ensure your AC is as eco-friendly as it can get.

Use Fans

You can use fans along with an air conditioner. Place them in front of the air conditioner to circulate the air in the room. Using them alone may not be a good way to beat the summer heat but using them with the AC on 85 degrees can. This is a great way to use less energy and to keep every room in the house cool.

Increase the Temperature

Many people will not be cool if the temperature is set to only 80 degrees. However, if you increase the temperature a little at a time, each degree cooler will use 3% to 5% less energy. Also, when you are not home, either turn the AC off or turn it up. The only problem with turning it off is that it can be really hot once you walk in your door. Another way to go green with your AC is to invest in a programmable thermostat. This allows you set the temperature based on particular dates and timings. If you are, for example, coming back to an empty home at 7 in the evening, you can set the programmable thermostat to keep the room at a particular temperature when you arrive.... read more

Earth-Friendly Abode: Four Ways to Build a Greener Home

Whether it’s used to describe an action — such as swapping plastic bags for reusable ones when you shop — or a product that’s been mindfully harvested or created, the term “green” is everywhere these days. One place that might not get the green seal of approval, though, is your home. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to turn that around. Below are four ways to build a greener home, whether you’re doing so from the ground-up or transforming an older dwelling into an earth-friendly one.... read more

Eco-Friendly Barbecuing!

One of my favorite summertime activities:  BARBECUES!  Who doesn't love sitting in the backyard with their friends and family, sipping some cold lemonade, and chowing down on corn on the cob grilled just so?  

It's actually really easy to throw a green barbecue!  If you want to make your barbecue a little more eco-friendly, here are some tips:... read more

Greener Bathroom Habits

greener bathroomLet's face it -- the bathroom is not always the greenest room in the house.   There can be a lot of water consumption, harsh cleaners, and less-than eco-friendly personal care products.   Here are some tips for making the john a little greener:

Reducing Water Consumption:... read more

  • While the shower water is warming up, put a bucket under the shower head.  You can reuse that water in your garden or to flush the toilet with.

  • When it comes time to install a new toilet, consider dual flush.  It has two flushing mechanisms:  the one for pee uses less water than the one for solid waste.   

  • If your toilet isn't low-flow, put a brick in the tank to reduce how much water it uses.  

  • Make your showers short and sweet and turn off your sink while you're brushing your teeth.

  • When it's yellow, let it mellow.  Really! 

  • Look for low-flow shower heads.  

  • Opt for showers instead of baths.  A quick shower will use a lot less water than a soak in the tub.   

Green Mother's Day Gift Ideas

Mother's Day is just a few weeks away!  I wanted to give some green gift ideas to our readers from a fellow eco-minded mom.  (Me!)  I would also love to hear your suggestions!

For the coffee-drinking mom:

Buy a membership to a coffee CSA through CoffeeCSA.org.   Coffee CSA is 100% owned and controlled by the farmers that they feature! Additionally, it gives you the opportunity to get involved with the farms.  You can even pay to plant a tree on a small coffee farm as an extra gift!  The coffee is organic, fair trade certified, and all proceeds go directly to the farmer! The best part?  The coffee will arrive at mom's doorstep via UPS.

For the soda-drinking mom:

Help her green her soda drinking habits with a SodaStream!  You can pick up the machine and the syrups at Bed Bath and Beyond.... read more

11 Ways to Go Green at Home

Doing our part to reduce landfill waste, create cleaner air and protect Mother Nature isn't as hard (or expensive) as it seems. As Earth Day (April 22) approaches, boost your eco-friendly lifestyle with these easy tips and tricks for going green.

Plant a Garden

Not only will a garden serve as a subtle reminder of where food originates, but you'll reap the benefits of having fresh produce at your fingertips. Start with seeds or even try re-growing vegetables from store-bought leftovers. For example, Mother Nature Network instructs how to re-grow celery from the base of a used stalk. Using a similar technique, you can do the same with the onion bulbs.

Change Light Bulbs

Slowly phase out your incandescent bulbs for LED bulbs. These use up to 80 percent less energy than incandescents and can last up to 25 times longer, according to Earth911.com.... read more

Frugal gardening tips for a small backyard


small backyard gardeningIf you enjoy gardening but have only a small backyard, do not despair for you can still come up with some great ways of making it bountiful. You can make your backyard come alive with a neat lawn, plants, vegetables and flowers. Apart from the beauty of the garden you will also benefit from growing your own vegetables for the kitchen. This will save you a lot of money in the long run, although the initial cost may strain your pocket a bit. Here are some frugal gardening tips which will help you to maintain a small backyard garden throughout the year.

Make your own compost

Start collecting all your kitchen waste items like coffee grounds, vegetable peelings, tea leaves and eggshells to make your own compost. If you have no space in the corner of your garden to make compost pile then bury the waste right inside the soil. This organic compost will enrich your soil and will save you a lot of money on readymade compost.

Trade with a neighbor

If you have excess seeds and seedlings, trade seeds and cuttings with neighbor. It takes a little longer to start a plant from seeds but works out cheaper in the process. Look out for seed sales and stock them up and grow them indoors before the gardening season. You need not buy expensive containers for the seeds as you can use recycled containers which you might have at home. If you are starting from scratch, then invest in heirloom seeds for the first year so you can harvest and keep your own seed supplies for the next season.... read more

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