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.
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I was cleaning out our bathroom cabinets the other day, looking for materials to take to our local county special trash collection. While I was cleaning everything out, I came across our medicine box. I opened it up and found that about half of the over-the-counter medicine we had was expired. I threw it all into a box, figuring that I could take it to the special trash collection that was happening in a few days. However, after thinking about the types of trash that I had taken to previous special collections, I started to wonder if they would accept expired medicine or not, so I gave them a call.
It turned out that they do not accept medicine of any type, expired or not. I looked at my box of medicine and started wondering what I should do with it. So, I started researching how to properly dispose of medicine. Here is what I found out.
Like many people, we have cats. Despite the fact that their litter smells sometimes and that they throw-up hairballs on the carpet and shed all over our couches, we really do love them and try to do our best by them.
In truth, they are really my cats, as I am the one that takes care of them, gives them food and water and cleans out their litter boxes. The other day, I was cleaning out the litter and started to wonder what the litter was made of and if it was safe for them to use. I mean, every time I poured new litter into the litter pans, I would hold turn my head and hold my breath to keep from breathing the dust in. I knew litter was primarily made out of clay, but I did not know what else was in it or what kind of environmental impact it had.
I also wondered if there was a better way to deal with the dirty litter. My existing method was to scoop the dirty litter into a plastic bag and then throw that plastic bag in the trash, which is not green at all. But, as far as I knew, there was no other way to dispose of dirty cat litter.
So, I finished cleaning out the cat litter, filling up their food and water bowls and set out researching my questions. I soon found out that traditional clumping cat litter is not very good for cats, people or the environment and that there are much better options out there that also help with the problem of disposal of dirty cat litter.
If you think about it, and take a look at your trash and recycling when you are taking it to the curb every week, we use a lot of stuff in a modern lifestyle. Almost everything we buy now is wrapped in some plastic or packaged in a container. While we feel good that we recycle and try to buy items that are packaged in recyclable containers, we still end up with a lot of stuff to recycle.
While we are working on reducing the amount of stuff we have to recycle by buying items that are not packaged, in today’s modern world, that is pretty hard to do. So, we decided to see what we could do on the other end of things, to reuse what we would normally end up throwing into the recycling bin. We started keeping some of the items that we would normally recycle (like cereal boxes, shoe boxes and some plastic containers) to see what we could do with them.
I started looking around and found that there are a bunch of great ideas out there to reuse stuff that is just lying around the house or destined for the recycling bin.
It’s that time of year again. The Holiday season is winding down, which means that it is time to ring in the New Year. However, traditional New Year’s Eve parties can be pretty damaging to the environment. From glitter and noisemakers to disposable plates, cups and silverware, to plastic tablecloths, most New Year’s parties generate a lot of trash.
In fact, in 2009, the New York City New Year’s Eve party generated about 40 tons of trash. When you stop to think about how many cities and towns hold New Year’s Eve parties, and then include all of the corporate parties and the smaller friends and family parties, you can start to see how huge of an impact New Years parties can have on the environment.
However, it does not have to be that way. There are many easy ways to reduce the environmental impact of your New Years Eve party so that you can have a green New Years. Read more on Green New Years Eve Party – 5 Tips…
Christmas is a great time of year, filled with joy, friends, family, fun and, of course, shopping and gifts.
All of that shopping, wrapping, driving and mailing takes quite a toll on the environment. Each Christmas season, more than 1.9 billion Christmas cards are sent. Those cards require almost 300,000 trees to be cut down. If you laid the cards end to end, they would stretch around the Earth five times. We use over 8,000 tons of wrapping paper, the equivalent of 50,000 trees. Add in 125,000 tons of plastic packaging too. And all of the toys we buy for the kids? Within three months, 41% of them will be broken and thrown away.
The above statistics do not even take into account all of the oil used to create, package and deliver all of the products. If you start to think about it, it becomes pretty easy to see how huge the environmental impact of Christmas can be.
Your personal environmental impact does not have to be that huge though. Luckily there are many ways to have a green Christmas. Here are our top ten tips for a Green Christmas.
It’s that time of year again. Thanksgiving is right around the corner and most of us are busy making preparations. Although Thanksgiving can be a great time for most of us, as we get to see our families, relax and eat some good food, like most holidays, Thanksgiving can be a nightmare for the Earth.
Carbon emissions grow tremendously as millions of people travel home to see their family and other loved ones. There is also a huge uptick in the amount of local travel people do as the major holiday shopping season kicks into full gear. Most of us also cook huge meals made from ingredients that come from all corners of the earth, which takes extra energy to ship. Finally, we usually overcook and end up throwing a lot of the leftovers out, so our landfills fill up faster.
Luckily, there are some easy ways to make Thanksgiving more green with less impact on the environment. Here are our top 5 easy tips to make your Thanksgiving more green.
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We recently got a new cell phone for Steph. When the package arrived in the mail, we tore into it to set up the cell phone and see what it could do. After all of the excitement passed though, we were left staring at her old cell phone, wondering what to do with it.
Chances are that you have had this experience as well. The United States has over 200 million cell phone subscribers and 80% of them upgrade their devices every eighteen months. 80% of those 200 million also do not know what to do with their old cell phones. Seth Heine, founder and CEO of CollectiveGood/RipMobile (now FlipSwap), estimates there are 750 million used cell phones floating around the United States, most of which end up in a drawer or a landfill. In fact, Californians throw away 44,000 cell phones every day.
Throwing an old cell phone in the trash is the worst possible way to dispose of it, as cell phones contain several toxic chemicals that leach into the soil when they are put into a landfill. Also, today’s modern cell phones store a lot of data about you. Unless you explicitly wipe all of the data off of your old cell phone, anyone who gets their hands on it has access to all of your personal data.
So, when you upgrade a cell phone, what is the best thing to do with your old one to both help yourself and the environment? Luckily, there are several good options available to you.
Read more on What to do with an Old Cell Phone…
Halloween is becoming a huge holiday. Once the stuff of folklore, witches and Wicca, Halloween has grown in popularity and size every single year and is now a big holiday. If you add up all of the candy sales, costume shopping, and decorations, the industry around the holiday is worth almost $6 billion a year, which equates to about $68 per person in the United States.
Unfortunately, Halloween is also downright scary to the environment. Most of what is bought for Halloween is either cheap plastics, like costumes and decorations, that use massive amounts of oil to be produced and shipped around the world, or individually wrapped candy, which fills our landfills with billions of wrappers each year. Not only that, but the holiday surrounds itself with pumping kids full of candy full of artificial ingredients and sugar.
But, Halloween is fun and there are ways to make your celebration more green. Here are our top five ways to green Halloween.
Hurricanes impact millions of people world wide every single year. They bring strong winds, rain and flooding with them that can take lives and destroy property. However, even if a hurricane does not destroy your home, car or other property, it can still make your life miserable by cutting off your electricity or making your water unsafe to use for bathing or drinking. Many families keep themselves safe and comfortable during and after the storm by preparing a hurricane kit.
Hurricane kits consist of items like:
- A Radio
However, many of the items in a hurricane kit can end up being bad for the environment. So, how can you prepare for a hurricane and still do your best to protect the environment? Put together a green hurricane kit! Read more on Hurricane Kit with a Green Slant…