green

Happy Earth Day!

April 22, 2011 at 8:52 am , by

86898565_563dab2319_m-1If you want to do more than hug your favorite tree in honor of Earth Day, try at least one of these 10 tips from public health and safety organization NSF International, and turn your Earth Day celebration into an everyday fete.

1. Pack Lighter: An extra 10 pounds of baggage per air traveler requires 350 million more gallons of jet fuel per year.

2. Change colors: Paint your home a light color if you live in a warm climate or a dark color if you live in a cold climate to reduce energy consumption.

3. Air-dry: Dry your clothes outdoors. They’ll smell great, and your utility bills will be significantly reduced.

4. Use reusables: Replace disposable home products with reusable ones like rechargeable batteries, washable food storage containers and cloth towels.

5. Buy used, borrow, or rent: Purchase used or recycled products when you can, and if you only need something temporarily, check with friends or neighbors to see if you can borrow or rent it.

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How to Cut Back on Catalogs

April 22, 2010 at 5:44 pm , by

Last night, I opened my mailbox and was attacked by an avalanche of catalogs. I’ve noticed a big upswing in the number I’ve been receiving lately, but this was just ridiculous. And while I do recycle, I’d rather not get them in the first place—it’s better for the environment and it cuts down on the amount of paper clutter that makes its way into my apartment. So, in honor of Earth Day, I took a few minutes to head over to catalogchoice.org, a site that helps you opt out of many catalogs’ mailing lists without having to—gasp!—pick up the phone. I first used Catalog Choice about a year and a half ago, entering the names of catalogs that I received almost every week (here’s looking at you, Victoria’s Secret). Catalog Choice then submits the opt-out requests to the individual catalogs. After about a month, I noticed a big improvement, and I never missed out on sales because I was already getting email newsletters from the companies I actually bought from. Unfortunately, due to my nasty online shopping habit, I’ve got a whole new crop of catalogs showing up. It only took about 15 minutes to update my preferences, well worth the effort to save me from future mail avalanches. If you want to save even more trees, you can sign up with 41pounds.org (named after the amount of unwanted mail the average person receives in a year. Scary!) or dmachoice.org. Both help reduce all kinds of junk mail, not just catalogs.

Photo via Gravityx9


Greening Your Beauty Routine

April 15, 2010 at 4:36 pm , by

My beauty routine could use a little green overhaul. So, in honor of Earth Day next week (April 22nd) I decided to clean up my act. Here are my top picks for a green makeover.

Pure and Natural Liquid Hand SoapI’m surprisingly picky about hand soap (I’ve found natural formulas can be awkwardly sudsy or non-lathering) but I love this just-right formula from Pure & Natural Liquid Hand Soap, $4.50. The rosemary and mint scent is great, too.

Group Bottle Shot2[1]Lately I’ve become a face mist junkie. It adds moisture into my eternally dry skin and makes my thick moisturizers spread like butter. Kiehl’s Acai Damage Protecting Toning Mist, $27, also adds antioxidant protection. Bonus points for it’s Cradle to Cradle certification, meaning that it’s made with the least amount of waste from start to finish.

Lush Bubblegum Lip Scrub

The transitional weather of spring really does a number on my lips and I’m forever bouncing between a lip balm and lip scrub. Because I end up nearly eating the granules, I wanted to find something ingestible. Lush’s Buble Gum Lip Scrub, $9, is vegan!

EcoTools EcoPouf 2

I love the way a bath pouf really makes a soap nice and bubbly, but am forever replacing them. EcoTools EcoPouf, $2, uses recycled plastic and is cheap enough to toss (into the recycling bin) when it gets grimy.

Aveda Light the Way Candle 2

Aveda’s Light The Way candle, $12, is my new favorite house accessory. I not only get to enjoy the French-y lavender and clary sage scent (all organic) but once it’s done, I can use the glass vessel to drink from. These reclaimed holders started as a wine cooler bottles. So cool!