The Holidays are upon us once again. As green-focused people, the Holidays can present somewhat of a challenge. You want to take part and celebrate with your friends and family, but you also want to make sure that you do not waste or increase your impact on the Earth too much. Some people choose to make their own gifts or buy only used items, which are both great ideas, if you have the time to do so. However, not all of us do.
Luckily, the number of eco friendly gift choices keeps expanding each year. So, if you do not have the time to make something yourself or spend hours hunting for the perfect used item in thrift or antique stores, you can still buy something and feel good that it does not harm the environment too much.
Here are our Green Gift Guide for 2012.
Read more on Green Gift Guide for 2012…
As you may or may not know, traditional deodorants and antiperspirants contain some pretty nasty ingredients. Ingredients such as aluminum, parabens, propylene glycol and triclosan have been linked to various conditions, including: cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, endocrine disruption, and kidney and liver function disruption (to learn more, read our post about aluminum in deodorant). Once we learned about how bad traditional deodorant can be for your body, we started looking for some natural alternatives and wrote a review on 4 natural deodorants that we tried.
However, none of the 4 that we tried were perfect. They all had their own flaws, from not working, to bad odor, to high cost. So, we kept looking for more of them to try out. We eventually found 3 more that we thought were worth trying and put them to the test. Here is how they performed and stacked up against the others.
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I received a Keurig brewer for my birthday and I absolutely love it. However, after using it for about a week, I started to get worried about how many single serve K cups I was throwing away everyday. I also noticed that I was using less electricity and water than I was before with my traditional coffee pot though.
I began to wonder if it the Keurig brewer was a greener solution than just using a normal coffee pot and started looking into it. Read more on Keurig Brewer – Green or Not?…
We love eating out as much as any other family. However, eating out while still trying to be green and eat local foods can be very challenging. Most restaurants depend on the modern food industrial system, where they buy their ingredients from several different suppliers, who buy their ingredients from other suppliers, which are often located all over the United States, if not all over the world. So, when you eat a hamburger with french fries at a fast food restaurant or a regional or national chain restaurant, you are probably eating bread made from wheat that was grown in the middle part of the United States, beef from cows that were fed by corn that was grown in the middle of the United States and that were raised in the Western part of the United States and potatoes that were grown in the Western part of the United States. But that is not all. All of the wheat, corn, and potatoes had to be planted, fertilized and harvested using machines that use oil and gas or coal and the cow from which the beef came from had to be transported and slaughtered by machines that use oil and gas as well. Finally, all of it had to be processed as well, so it is all shipped from point to point around the country until it eventually ends up on your plate at the restaurant.
This process of creating, processing and shipping food emits HUGE amounts of carbon dioxide into the environment, so your simple hamburger and fries ends up having a pretty hefty carbon footprint. A 2000 report from Stockholm University and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, called Energy Use in the Food Sector (PDF), calculated the carbon footprint of the average cheeseburger and found that it is between 3.6-6.1 kg of CO2-equivalent emissions per burger (the difference mainly depends on how much oil and gas was used versus coal in the production of all of the component parts of the burger). If you calculate that the average American eats 3 cheeseburgers per week, the total amount of carbon emissions generated just by the cheeseburgers Americans eat in one year is the same amount emitted by 19.6 million SUVs in one year. Wow.
So, if you want to go out to eat, but you don’t want to generate a huge carbon footprint when you do so, what can you do?
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I was running the other day and noticed that my shoes were starting to feel a little squishy. I thought about it and realized that I had put way more than the 300+ recommended miles on my running shoes, and my feet were telling me that it was time to get new ones.
I have worn Brooks Adrenaline for a few years now. So, my natural reaction was to head out to my local shoe store and buy a new pair. However, as I was standing in the shoe store holding a new pair of my trusty Brooks Adrenaline, I started to wonder what the environmental cost was to produce and dispose of my shoes. So, I decided to do a little research to see if there was a green running shoe out there, or at least a company that makes running shoes that was trying to be more green. Read more on Green Silence Running Shoes…
There are many ways to help fight climate change. Some of the most common ways are to use compact florescent light bulbs, reduce energy use, buy a hybrid or electric car or make other personal lifestyle changes that cut your carbon emissions. Making those personal lifestyle changes can make a big difference and also save you money. However, there is another change that you can make that not as many people talk about, and that is supporting environmentally responsible companies. Read more on Support Environmentally Responsible Companies…