Earth Day Tips and Resources
Become green! Earth Day was born out of the idea that every person, man or woman, rich or poor, has a moral obligation to upholding the health and sustainability of our planet. What started a small grassroots movement in the early 1970’s quickly boomed into world-wide concern for our environment. And as April 22, 2009 is fast approaching, we at Become are dedicated to helping you find ways to help save our little blue planet.
Check out our Be Green blog with eco friendly products and tips or shop for eco friendly products at Become.com!
Keep it Au Naturale
One of the largest contributors to pollution and overflowing landfills is industrial waste from manufacturing plants. Factories producing common household items such as soap, cosmetics, and even food can heavily pollute the environment via carbon emissions and toxic waste dumping. Because many of these man made products are notoriously resistant to natural decomposition (does Twinkie ring a bell?), consumers are also at fault for contributing to the surmounting landfill problem. One solution is to buy natural! They’re not only good for the environment, but also good for you and your health!
Lye is an extremely caustic chemical that can strip away layers of your skin. Is that something you want in your soap? Try an all natural soap bar or all natural body wash. And because they are formulated with natural ingredients such as milk and honey, it will decompose naturally in landfills.
Eco Friendly Cosmetics
If you are hyper sensitive to traditional cosmetics, you may want to try an all natural alternative such as mineral makeup or organic makeup. These cosmetic products come in sustainable packaging and contain ingredients found in the earth so it is less likely that they could irritate your skin. Of course, you should always spot test new cosmetics to confirm.
Ever hear the myth that there are no natural ingredients in a Twinkie so they have an impossibly long shelf life? Well, it may be untrue, but that doesn’t make foods that are chock full of preservatives, like Twinkies, any better for you or the landfills they end up. Although they may have a shorter shelf life, preservative-free foods are better for you and the environment in the long run.
ECO TIP: I recently learned from a cosmetics insider that makeup companies must replace the drums in which they mix their makeup remover due to persistent erosion. Yikes! A healthy alternative is to use extra virgin olive oil. Soak a cotton ball, swipe it across your face and you’re good to go!
Be Nice to the Earth
Over population has strained our natural resources. Over logging has decimated our precious forests and displaced many indigenous people. Conservation is a huge part of the eco friendly movement as limiting our consumption of unsustainable products, such as fossil fuel, contributes to a higher environmental awareness.
Items bearing the seal of “fair trade” mean that indigenous workers get a fair wage for their work. Too often are third-world country citizens exploited by big businesses; forced to work many hours under sub-human conditions for pennies a day. Fair trade products are a great way to support the Earth and boost the world economy.
Buying home fixtures, lighting, or furniture crafted from farmed wood helps keep our forests safe from logging.
Bamboo is a highly sustainable product. Bamboo is part of the grass family and can grow up to 4 feet each day! Talk about hitting the jackpot! The woodsy stalk can be dried and crafted into bamboo furniture, bamboo kitchenware, and even bamboo jewelry!
Be Energy Efficient!
In addition to saving energy and water, energy-efficient home appliances can also save you money on your utility bill. So next time an appliance breaks check to see if there’s a more energy-efficient product to replace it with. While some energy-efficient appliances cost more they often end up saving you more money in the long run.
When it comes to Eco-Friendly home appliances just look for the yellow Energy Star label. Products with the Energy Star meet energy-efficient guidelines set by EPA and the U.S. Department of Energy. Not only will you be saving energy but you’ll also be saving yourself money. For more information of the Energy Star program and whether or not your appliance meets the requirements check out www.energystar.gov. Here are some popular home appliances that Become offers that have the Energy Star seal of approval.
Energy Star qualified dishwashers use at least 41% less energy than Federal Standards in addition to using less water. Dishwashers with booster heaters tend to be more energy efficient. To be even more energy efficient consider using the Air-Dry option on your dishwasher instead of the regular heat-dry and only running your dishwasher when it is completely full. Here are some quick recommendations for those of you in the market for dishwashers. Product Lines to consider: Bosch Evolution 500 Series as well as GE’s line of Energy Star dishwashers.
In addition to dishwashers, clothes washers are also becoming more energy efficient by cutting energy and water consumption by over 40%. By updating your washer to an Energy Star labeled clothes washer not only will you be conserving energy but you’ll also be saving yourself money in the long run on your utility bills. Typically front-loading washers use less water and are therefore more energy-efficient than top loading machines (although there are some redesigned top loading models also fitting the Energy Star seal of approval). One thing to keep in mind when shopping for a washer: smaller capacity washers tend to have a higher Energy Star rating, however you may find yourself doing more loads than if you were to have a larger capacity washer that uses more energy. Some products to consider: Whirlpool Duet Sport and Fisher & Paykel EcoSmart Washer.
According to the Energy Star website, the refrigerator is the single biggest energy consuming kitchen appliance in most households. It also goes on to say “Replacing a refrigerator bought in 1990 with a new ENERGY STAR qualified model would save enough energy to light the average household for nearly four months.” Energy efficient refrigerators and freezers use at least 20% less energy than regular refrigerators. Stand alone freezers are able to use 10% less energy. To truly save energy, consider a Top/Bottom Freezer refrigerator model, these models use 10-25% less electricity than side-by-side models. After purchasing a new refrigerator/freezer make sure to recycle your old fridge properly. Products to consider: KitchenAid Bottom-Freezer Refrigerator and Frigidaire’s line of Top Freezer Refrigerators.
Electric Water Heaters
The latest breakthrough in water heaters, elecrtric water heaters heats up water without the use of a water tank. By heating only the water you use, instead of a whole tank of water, you’re able to be more efficient in both your water use and energy use. Tankless Water Heaters also have a longer life expectancy than regular water heaters with tanks. Makers of tankless water heaters include Bosch, Paloma, & Rheem.
Water Conserving Showerheads
Your kitchen isn’t the only place where you can conserve water. If you’re looking to conserve water in your bathroom consider intalling a water conserving showerhead. Waterpik’s EcoFlow allows you to conserve water without having to sacrifice shower time or water pressure. It allows you to reduce your water consumption up to 28% and saving up to one gallon of water a minute. American Standard also has a line of water saving shower heads.
ECO TIP: Perhaps you’re not in the market to purchase a large appliance for your home, that doesn’t mean there aren’t minor changes you can make to make your house more energy efficient. Next time your light bulb burns out consider replacing it with a compact fluorescent light bulb. Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs use 75% less energy than the regular incandescent bulb and it has a much longer lifespan, meaning you don’t have to change it as often. Not only do you save the cost of replacing light bulbs more frequently, by using a more energy efficient light bulb you’re able to save more energy in addition to saving money on your electric bill. Compact Fluorescent light bulbs are available in all sizes and for all uses, both indoor and out. So next time your light burns out consider a compact fluorescent bulb to replace it. With summertime coming up, consider installing an energy-efficient ceiling fan. Ceiling fans with lights & regular ceiling fans that fit the Energy Star requirements are 50% more efficient than conventional fans. Ceiling fan manufacturers have optimized blade design and fan motors to create a more energy efficient way to keep your room cool and lit. Some products to consider: Minka Aire Ceiling Fans, Emerson as well as the Hunter Fan Company also have Energy Star ceiling fans.
Keep Our Planet Clean
Even though littering is pretty bad, it doesn’t compare to the tons and tons of trash we throw out each day. We can reduce our carbon footprint by simple recycling and reusing.
Reusable shopping totes
You’ve seen them everywhere, I’m sure. It’s those non-dyed organic cotton canvas totes you see people bring with them when they’re shopping. Pretentious? Maybe. Useful? Of course. If you want to cut down on the tons of plastic and paper bags that go into landfills everyday, consider a buying a reusable tote to use for all your shopping endeavors!
If you’ve ever doubted whether or not anything good has come out of this eco friendly trend, then vegetable plastic is your answer. It looks, feels, and acts like plastic, but is made completely from either corn or potato. Nifty, huh? So next time you’re hosting a social function and absolutely need to have disposable plates and cups, choose the biodegradable variety! Find great biodegradable products here!
Recycling & reusing
What’s a great way to reduce waste? Recycle, buy recycled, and reuse what you already have! Repurpose that old cheese grater into a lamp or cut up those old jeans to use as patches. Check out www.become.com to find a great DIY project today!
Get Involved! Earth Day is April 22, but you don’t have to wait until then to make a green difference in your community! Here are some tips and resources to help you help your community help the planet:
- - Earth Day Network: Learn more about Earth Day at their official site!
- - Volunteer Match: This website teams up with thousands of organizations nationwide so you can find an Earth Day appropriate event you can volunteer at!
Earth Day is almost here again. I love Earth Day. It is a lonely reminder of the gentle and delicate balance that our planet and everything we know rests upon. We are so caught up in our work and our busy lives that we end up forgetting about the very planet we live on. Earth is a fragile planet… the only one we know that can support life. It is a beautiful planet and we must do what we can to protect it. All of us know about Global Warming and pollution. Yet, we find ourselves bound by our routine lives which prevent us from doing something for the environment. Well I have an idea to help you contribute your part towards helping our planet this Earth Day. I know how we all are too busy to go out there and plant trees and stuff. But I also know that we always have plenty of time when we want to buy stuff for our homes. So this Earth Day, do your bit by avoiding any products that are harmful for the environment. This year, fill your homes with Eco Friendly Home Décor.
For instance, instead of picking up a non recyclable floor rug for your home, pick up an eco friendly rug. They are made from materials that are safe for your health as well as the health of the planet. They are very stylish and trendy. They come in various colors and shapes and they are a great addition to the living room. Pick up one of these and liven up your living room while doing your part for the environment! There are many different types of eco friendly home décor items such as eco friendly bar stools or eco friendly arm chairs which are made from fully recyclable materials and they are stylish and go well with many different interior themes. So this Earth Day, make sure you do your bit for the planet!
Easy ways to incorporate eco-friendly products in your life
Most of us have heard or read about global warming somewhere or the other. The media tried its best to raise awareness about it. We all know what global warming and pollution are doing to our planet. We know what will happen once they go out of control. Yet, we find ourselves unable to do anything about it. We hold up our hands helplessly and wait for someone else to fix things for our planet. We are too busy with our daily routines… our work… we are too busy to fix the very planet we live on. You might argue that there is very little that you can do to help. Well I would like to contradict that. You can do a lot more than you know. Saving our planet from pollution and global warming is not just about planting trees and all. There is a lot more you can do to help. For example, you can make small changes in our daily life to prevent more pollution and encouraging eco friendly products. There are many easy ways to incorporate eco friendly products in your life.
You can switch to wearing eco friendly jackets instead of the regular non recyclable jackets. The eco friendly jackets are made of materials that are bio degradable. They are as stylish as they are eco friendly. Another good option is to pick up an eco friendly yoga mat. Many of us go to yoga classes and it is a good opportunity to do something for your planet. Instead of using non degradable mats, pick up an eco friendly yoga mat made of materials like jute or bamboo. They are eye catching and stylish. And most of all, they will not pollute the planet once you are done with yoga classes. And if you are always carrying a laptop around, why don’t you pick up an eco friendly laptop sleeve? They are made of recyclable materials and they keep your laptop safe from scratches. So as you can see, there are plenty of easy ways to incorporate eco friendly products in your life. Happy Earth Day everyone!
How to travel green with your pet
Are you planning a vacation this summer? Thinking about taking your pet with you? With Earth Day coming up, think green this year! If you are planning to go on a vacation this year, make sure you travel green. We don’t have the time to worry about our planet when we are so busy caught up with work and making money. But perhaps we can do something when we are on vacation? This summer, when you are travelling with your pet, spare a little time to ensure that you travel green. For instance, since you will be travelling with your pet, you will most probably carry some dog toys with you. This time consider purchasing eco friendly dog toys. They are made of materials that are safe and non toxic for your canine friend. They are tough and durable and you can be assured your dog won’t be through with the toys in one bite. They come in many different sizes and shapes and they are sure to keep your dog curious for more.
When you are travelling, you might also want to consider some eco friendly luggage. For instance, eco friendly backpacks are some of the most popular eco friendly luggage options. These bags are made from recycled soda bottles. You will be doing your part in reducing the amount of non bio degradable waste that gets dumped into our planet. If we keep reusing the non degradable substances like this, we won’t have to worry about soil pollution anymore. The bags are made of materials that are waterproof. They help protect the contents from water splashes without using dangerous PVC coatings on the bag. PVC is a dangerous pollutant on our planet. So this Earth Day, plan your trip and travel green! Have a happy and green vacation with your pet!