For March 2023
It is no secret that energy costs are going up.
If approved PP & G will will get a 5.6 percent increase for rates effective in 2023 - claiming this as primarily due to inflationary pressures related to increases in wholesale electricity and natural gas commodity prices.
Here Are 31 Things You Can Do About It:
Swap in some LED bulbs. It's tempting to spring for the dinky incandescents at the corner store, but that $17 six-pack of LEDs will last 13 years each.
Use more rags, fewer paper towels. We're not saying no paper towels—that move takes serious commitment—we're saying fewer. Cut up old shirts to make rags (just like grandma did!) and launder them in a batch whenever you run out. Or buy cute rags if you must (we don't judge!).
Clean the fridge coils. Get a long, skinny brush like this one and use it to gently scrub loose any lint and scuzz from the coils under your fridge. This will help it use less energy to keep your food cold.
And the filter on your dryer. Bonus: That tool also doubles as a cleaner for the lint slot in your dryer. You'll be amazed at what comes out of it! And again, now that appliance is running more efficiently.
Line-dry whenever possible. Honestly, your bras and undies and crop tops will last longer if you let them air-dry anyway. Helps to have a good-looking drying rack, but a plain old clothesline works, too.
Get a set of dryer balls. Say what? Think about all the dryer sheets you go through doing laundry—did you know one set of wool dryer balls can do the same work (speed up dry time and fluff out wrinkles) without chemicals? And they last basically forever.
Shop vintage. Next time you decide to upgrade a piece of furniture, peruse sites like Chairish or your local thrift store to see if you can find something used that works. On less item heading to the landfill.
Get window treatments. Bare windows aren't just a little bit naked-looking, they also let in heat and cool air from the outside even if sealed shut. Curtains and blinds can help with that.
Use cold water when washing your clothes. (You can even specify that your wash-and-fold place do this!) Hot water will actually set stains, and cold water will get your clothes just as clean.
Get power strips. Don't just get and use them—flip them off whenever you're done using the things that are plugged in. Everything from TVs to phone chargers can act as "vampire appliances," leeching energy while not in use.
Time for a houseplant. Turn some of that CO2 into O2 just by potting a Ficus or Dracaena (and actually caring for it.
Water it using used water. As in, the water you wash your vegetables in, or the water that collects in a bucket by the door during a thunderstorm. No need to break out the Brita for your fern!
Speaking of which, it is time to get a nice water filter. Here's one! A good reusable water bottle is also going to help. You will very quickly recoup those costs when you quit buying a 24-pack of water bottles every time you go to the grocery store.
Use your totes. That pile of free totes you've compiled over the years and always forget about? Toss one in your trunk and one in your work bag so you're never at the grocery without it.
Get a recycling bin. We don't have official statistics on this one, but it seems safe to say that you'll be 100 percent more likely to recycle your beer bottles and salsa jars if you actually have a designated place to put them.
And a compost bin. Erase the picture that has formed in your mind—composting can be neat and tidy and even smell-free. Stash scraps in a bag in your freezer, or in a sleek countertop bin designed for the purpose, and watch your trash loads get way smaller. Plus, free fertilizer!
Bypass the elevator. If you live in an apartment building, take the stairs. (Occasionally, at least—it's good for those glutes, too.)
Clean out and give away. All those great treasures in your secondhand shop down the street? They came from somebody finally doing a spring cleaning, and then taking the stuff to be repurchased.
Fill your dishwasher all the way before running it. And if you really can't wait, run it on that "top rack only" setting that so many of them have these days, instead of doing a full cycle just for four wine glasses.
Or run it in the middle of the night. Say what? Ever noticed that "delay" button on your dishwasher and wondered why you'd ever want to use it? If you set it to start during your electric company's "off-peak hours" (usually the middle of the night), you'll be reducing peak energy demand on the grid. And possibly getting charged less.
Upgrade to a a smart thermostat. Sure, your rickety manual one works just fine, but a smart thermostat (like Nest's will have a setting like Eco-Mode that automatically drops the temperature when you're not home.
Get a low-flow showerhead. Just look for one with good reviews—that specify a powerful spray despite the restricted water use—and screw it on.
Switch to online bill pay. You know what, why don't you do this before reading the rest of the article. We'll wait.
Embrace e-readers. Or, for anyone who just can't stomach the thought of "turning the page" by swiping a screen, support your neighborhood used bookshop on the regular.
Use cloth napkins. Pro tip: Dark colors are easier to keep clean, and the bigger the napkin the happier you'll be with it on your lap. (You'll also feel pretty damn fancy even if you're just eating a PB&J.)
Fix any drippy taps. You know why this is wasteful!
Plant herbs this spring. No need to buy parsley that had to be transported from a farm to your grocery when you can snip a few sprigs on the back deck. (On the kitchen counter by a sunny window would work, too.)
Turn down your water heater. The standard setting for a residential water heater is 140º F, but that's extremely hot. To test: Turn on the hot tap but not the cold tap in your shower. Is it scalding? Too hot to touch? Try turning the heater down to 120º F so that the hottest it gets is your ideal shower temp.
Get a decent coffee maker. If the stuff you make at home is actually delicious, you won't be as tempted to pick it up at the coffee shop (paper cup and plastic lid included) instead. No, you don't need to spend hundreds of dollars on one—a basic French press will do the trick.
Switch out ONE single use plastic item in your home (laundry detergent, plastic wrap, purchased water bottle).
Look back on all the simple ways you can be more eco-friendly!
For February 2023
Cleaner Ways To Clean
Did you know?
Earth Breeze Detergent Sheets are manufactured right here in Medford Oregon? They are an eco-responsible laundry detergent, delivered to your home. Check out their website here.
Eighty percent of dry cleaners in the US use perchloroethylene, a solvent that has been linked to cancer, nervous system damage, and hormonal disruption? Seek out a non-toxic professional dry cleaning alternative, or “green cleaner” in your area.
Using cold water can save up to 80% of the the energy required to wash clothes. If your washing machine has a setting for the amount of clothing you’re washing, choose a low setting—you’ll use less water and your clothes will get just as clean.
Washing your clothes in cold or warm water, instead of hot water, can save as much as 500 pounds of carbon dioxide per year. Use less hot water.
The average washing machine uses about 41 gallons of water per load, whereas newer, high-efficiency models use less than 28 gallons per load.
Bright Ideas For Everyone
Did you know?
Only 10% of the energy used by an incandescent bulb produces light; the rest is given off as heat. Compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs) are up to four times as efficient as incandescent bulbs.
Replacing one incandescent lightbulb with a compact fluorescent light can save 150 pounds of carbon dioxide per year. CFLs produce the same amount of light, use one-third of the electricity, and last up to 10 time s as long.
Artificial lighting counts for 44% of electricity use in office buildings. Make a habit of turning off the lights when you’re leaving any room for 15 minutes or more, and utilize natural light whenever you can.
A Home (Well) Run
Did you know?
A leaky faucet that fills a coffee cup in 10 minutes will waste 3,000 gallons of water per year.
Improperly sealed or caused windows can account for up to 25% of the total heat loss from a house
Choose low-toxic paints that are low in volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, which can irritate the lungs and cause allergic reactions. Zero-VOC paints are also available.
If using solid wood for a project, select products with the Forest Stewardship Council label, certifying the wood was responsibly grown and harvested. Or find salvaged wood products at local used-building materials retailers.
Now You’re Cooking
Did you know?
Generating enough energy to cook for an hour in a standard electric oven creates 2,.7 pounds of CO2. A taste oven creates 1.3 pounds over 50 minutes; a microwave creates 0.5 pounds over 15 minutes.
Microwave ovens use around 50% less energy than conventional ovens do. Use a microwave to save energy.
The average dishwasher in US homes today uses 8.7 gallons of water per load. Washing by hand for 10 minutes with water running can use 20 gallons.
Today’s dishwashers are about 95% more energy-efficient than those bought in 1972. Your old dishwasher may be costing you more in energy bills than it would take to buy a new one.
For January 2023
What is Project Drawdown?
Project Drawdown is a nonprofit organization that seeks to help the world reach "drawdown"—as quickly, safely, and equitably as possible.
What is meant by draw down?
Climate drawdown refers to the future point in time when levels of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere stop climbing and start to steadily decline.
Drawdown is a milestone in reversing climate change and eventually reducing global average temperatures.
Project Drawdown refers to the nonprofit organization with the mission to help the world reach drawdown and stop catastrophic climate change quickly, safely, and equitably. In 2017, a publication titled "Drawdown" became a New York Times bestseller, where it highlighted and described different solutions and efforts available to help reach this important goal.
What are the main goals or principles of Project Drawdown?
Reduce sources by bringing emissions to zero and stopping pollution.
Support sinks and uplift nature's carbon cycle.
Improve society by fostering equality for all.
For your own dose of climate hope, check out some of the gains Drawdown Labs, Drawdown Lift, and Drawdown Stories have made over the past year. And sign up now to receive their newsletter you can be among the first to know when we release their much-awaited Drawdown Roadmap this spring—a guide to how we can best apply drawdown solutions to halt climate change now.
For December 2022
The Eco 12 days of Christmas
On the first day of Christmas, my eco-friend gave to me
a redwood seed so that I could plant a tree
On the second day of Christmas, my eco-friend gave to me
two made from bamboo socks
On the third day of Christmas, my eco-friend gave to me
three eggs from a free-range hen
On the fourth day of Christmas, my eco-friend gave to me
for woolen dryer balls
On the fifth day of Christmas, my eco-friend gave to me
five hand-woven things!
On the 6th day of Christmas, my eco-friend gave to me
Six wooden toys for playing
On the 7th day of Christmas, my eco-friend gave to me
Seven soaps a sudsing
On the 8th day of Christmas, my eco-friend gave to me
Eight goats milk mani's
On the 9th day of Christmas, my eco-friend gave to me
Nine reusable rucksacks
On the 10th day of Christmas, my eco-friend gave to me
Ten Lambswool leggings
On the 11th day of Christmas, my eco-friend gave to me
Eleven rattling rain sticks
On the 12th day of Christmas, my eco-friend gave to me
Twelve drum circle drummers
This christmas, think outside the box (or don't use a box at all)! In the coming weeks look for eco-friendly gift ideas.
Eco Christmas Gift Deals
Try these websites for gifts that not only are good for the earth but give back too!
Tentree clothing and accessories at: www.tentree.com
10% of proceeds go to Monarch Butterfly Joint Venture.
Holiday supplies from Repurpose at: www.repurpose.com
More plants, less plastic! Plant based products – women led.
Green Kids Crafts at: www.greenkidscrafts
STEAM & STEM projects and a magazine — Creative, nature-basedscience and art projects for kids of a variety of age groups.All kits are in recyclable boxes and are environmentally friendly. 50% off deals!
8 Last-Minute Eco Gift iIdeas Under $25.00
4Ocean Bracelet – every bracelet purchased can remove one pound of waste from the ocean!)
Ethique Eco Friendly Hair Samlpler (bottleless shampoo)
Seeded Gift Wrap – zero waste wrapping paper (recycled paper with embedded wildflower seeds)
Bee’s Wrap Food Wrappers (like waxed paper only better!)
Reusable Food Storage Bags (convenience of Ziploc bags, but reusable!)
Coconut Shell Salad Bowls
Bamboo Cutlery set (great for lunches – comes in its own cloth wrap container)
Stainless Steel Resuable Drinking Straws
For October 2022
What is Fair Trade?
Fair trade is an arrangement designed to help producers in growing countries achieve sustainable and equitable trade relationships. The fair trade movement combines the payment of higher prices to exporters with improved social and environmental standards. The movement focuses in particular on commodities, or products that are typically exported from developing countries to developed countries, but is also used in domestic markets.
What Are the Pros of Fair Trade?
1. There is an excellent wage system in place.
Living wages are more than just a few cents per hour when involved with the Fair Trade model. Many cooperatives offer remarkably higher wages for workers than what the general market supports on a local basis. Many cooperatives also make investments within local communities to support their workers, including modern medical care, schooling options, and the teaching of sustainable food growing practices.
2. Community benefits extend to more than just basic needs.
Comforts are also provided by the Fair Trade model by cooperatives and providers. Many workers are able to work in conditions that exceed local standards and worker safety is often a top priority. Dangerous chemicals and other substances are not allowed by the production model, which helps to protect families as they work and grow up.
3. Discrimination is not allowed.
Workers in a Fair Trade cooperative are free from discrimination. This allows for equal job opportunities that may not always be available to local workers. The two points of emphasis are gender and religious discrimination. That’s why many workers in cooperatives tend to be women as they can earn triple the wages through Fair Trade [or more] when compared to wages earned through a more conventional means.
4. Child labor can be reduced.
Children are very much a commodity in the undeveloped world. Many children work long hours without any form of payment – or if they do earn money, it is a fraction of what is actually deserved. Fair Trade practices help to eliminate the need for child labor because workers earn fair wages and that lessens the need of families to make their children work to help support the household. This means children can receive an actual education instead.
5. Social conditions can dramatically improve.
With over 20 years of Fair Trade cooperatives operating in some areas, there has been a dramatic improvement in the social conditions that small villages and communities have experienced. Better business education has led to higher levels of profitability while safety and health improvements have been made simultaneously. Farming practices have become more efficient, creating higher yields with less effort. In return, a higher standard of living has been achieved.
6. It allows small business owners to become internationally competitive.
Small cooperatives and business owners who become certified as Fair Trade can become instantly competitive with large businesses on the international stage. This means large scale buyers are unable to exploit workers or force competitive cooperatives out of business because pricing and distribution is handled equally when products are imported.
7. Organic techniques are often used to create Fair Trade products.
In the developed world, the conversation has evolved into the pros and cons of eating GMO foods. In the Fair Trade world, there is no debate. Organic techniques are used almost 100% of the time, creating a sustainable growing pattern that the environment is able to support year after year.
8. Producers are assured a minimum price no matter what happens.
Once Fair Trade certification has happened, the cooperatives and producers are guaranteed a specific return for the goods that they are producing. The minimum price can never fall before market level, which is why so many invest into local communities. Community investments drive up market prices, ensuring that a better margin can be achieved on the goods being produced.
9. Multiple products are available.
From fresh water prawns to precious metals, the Fair Trade model is growing to encompass most goods that are produced in the world today.
So...What can I do to start practicing fair trade?
Purchase fair trade coffee right here at church! Purchase fair trade goods elsewhere, wherever you can find them. Look for these labels:
There are several recognized fair trade certifiers, including Fairtrade International (formerly called FLO, Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International), IMO, Make Trade Fair, and Eco-Social. Additionally, Fair Trade USA, formerly a licensing agency for the Fairtrade International label, broke from the system and implemented its own fair trade labelling scheme, which expanded the scope of fair trade to include independent smallholders and estates for all crops. In 2008, Fairtrade International certified approximately $3.29B of products.
For August 2022
Clothing and Textile Sustainability for August
Here are 10 actions you can take
1. Reduce — buy less clothing!
2. Reuse — look on Freecycle, Craigslist, Facebook Maketplace or your favorite thrift store.
3. Recycle — donate them, swap them; did you know some animal shelters take old .blankets, towels, etc.?
4. Repair — sew on buttons, mend tears, patch jeans – don’t know how? Find a tailor, seamstress or cobbler to help you.
5. Repurpose — turn old jeans into a quilt, a sweater into a purse or pocket into a tote. See Pinterest or YouTube for ideas.
6. Rethink — Consume with a conscience , future care, quality and classic style in mind.
7. Research — Ethical practices? Truly sustainable brands?
8. Replace — as things wear out, be mindful of items with natural materials, are longer lasting, mendable, etc.
9. Rent — for special occasions, consider renting instead of buying and wearing only once or twice.
10. Rebuild — shop local: garage sales, church sales, town markets, local businesses, minority owned businesses, home business entrepreneurs.
You don't have to rebuild your entire closet from scratch. Just change your behavior for the better with small steps. You can build a sustainable wardrobe over time by taking action every day and living more sustainably. Even the smallest things contribute to the transformation of the current wasteful fashion system into a more inclusive, circular, and regenerative one that benefits everybody.
For July 2022
Protect our Oceans!
Here are 10 ways to protect our oceans
1. Conserve Water — Use less water so run off waste water will not flow into the oceans
2. Reduce Pollutants — Choose nontoxic chemicals and if you do use chemicals dispose of them properly
3. Reduce Waste — Cut down on what is thrown away
4. Shop Wisely — Choose sustainable seafoods, buy less plastics (especially single use!), and bring a reusable bag
5. Reduce Vehicle Pollution — Drive fuel efficient vehicles, carpool, bike
6. Use Less Energy — Choose energy efficient light bulbs and don’t overset the thermostat
7. Fish Responsibly — Follow catch and release
8. Practice Safe Boating — Anchor in sandy areas far from coral and sea grasses; adhere to “no wake” zones, clean boat to avoid non indigenous invasive species
9. Respect Habitat — Obey trails, warnings, and respect the habitat. Treat is with care!
10. VOLUNTEER! — Sign up for clean ups at the beach, your community, watershed protections etc.
For June 2022
June 8th is World Ocean Day
7 Ways to Take Care of the Ocean
1. Simple steps to reduce your plastic consumption:
Eliminate single-use plastics
Explore alternate materials
2. Simple steps to reduce your carbon footprint:
Reduce consumption of animal products
Bike, walk or use public transportation
Insulate or use renewable energies in your home
3. Shop local:
Avoid waste, particularly food waste
4. Simple steps for choosing responsible seafood:
Choose local & seasonal seafood
Opt for smaller fish on the food chain
Choose invasive species like lionfish
5. Simple steps to raise your voice:
Vote for a candidate that supports climate change issues
Let elected officials know your concern
6. Simple steps to reconnect with nature and the ocean:
Spend time outside
Observe nature around you
7. Simple steps to inspire others:
Lead by example!
For May 2022
Friday, April 29 was Arbor Day. Planting trees has never been more important. Continuing with the elements we look at the impact of Fire on our environment
The extent of area burned by wildfires each year appears to have increased since the 1980s. According to National Interagency Fire Center data, of the 10 years with the largest acreage burned, all have occurred since 2004, including the peak year in 2015 (see Figure 2). This period coincides with many of the warmest years on record nationwide (see the U.S. and Global Temperature indicator). The largest increases have occurred during the spring and summer months (source https://www.epa.gov/climate-indicators/climate-change-indicators-wildfires#)
Wildfires cannot always be prevented, but there are ways we can keep them contained or with minimum impact
Avoid any activities that involve fire or sparks when it’s hot, dry and windy. If the conditions aren’t right, choose non-flammable options. Remember, conditions and local restrictions should guide your decision for any fire-related activity such as building a campfire, operating equipment, off-roading on dry grass, or burning debris.
Build a safe campfire & douse it before you leave
✔︎ Select a flat, open location away from flammable materials such as logs, brush or decaying leaves and needles.
✔︎ Scrape away grass, leaves and needles down to the mineral soil.
✔︎ Cut wood in short lengths, pile it within the cleared area and then light the fire.
✔︎ Stay with your fire.
✔︎ Extinguish it completely before leaving.
Avoid driving vehicles on dry grassy areas & regularly maintenance them
Don’t operate equipment (chain saws, gas powered lawn mowers, etc.) near dry vegetation or on dry, windy, arid days
IF you use fireworks, consider safe alternatives such as silly string or glow sticks
Cautiously burn debris and never when it is windy or restricted
More tips For May: Make Natural Garden Pesticides That Work
Make sure you know which type of pest you’re dealing with and the right way to use each pesticide so you’re doing the least amount of harm to yourself and your garden. It’s also very important to note that just because the following homemade pesticides are natural, that doesn’t mean they can’t harm you, your garden, or other beneficial insects.
1. Natural Insecticide Soap Spray
This natural pesticide soap spray is easy to make and good to have on hand, since it can take care of a variety of common garden pests, such as mites, aphids, white flies, thrips, and mealy bugs. In a spray bottle, combine:
1 quart of water
1.5 tablespoons of biodegradable liquid soap
Shake well to combine the mixture. Spray your plant thoroughly, making sure you get the underside of the leaves as well. Although you can apply this soap spray as necessary, you should NOT apply it during the hottest and sunniest part of the day since it can burn the leaves of your plant. Instead, apply it in the early morning or evening.
2. Homemade Vegetable Oil Spray
This homemade vegetable oil insecticide works very similar to the soap spray, which means it’s also good for controlling aphids, mites, and thrips. To make the vegetable oil spray insecticide, combine the following ingredients in a jar:
Cover the jar and shake the ingredients thoroughly to combine. When you’re ready to apply, add two teaspoons of the oil mixture to one quart of water in a spray bottle. Shake thoroughly, and spray directly on the leaves of the affected plants.
3. Homemade Neem Oil Spray
Neem oil is an amazingly powerful natural insecticide that’s extracted from the seeds of the neem tree. It acts as a hormone disruptor to insects that feed on leaves and other plant parts, and it can disrupt the entire life cycle of insects at all stages (egg, larvae, and adult).
Although neem oil is biodegradable and non-toxic to pets, birds, fish, and other wildlife, it’s highly effective against a variety of common garden insect pests, including aphids, whiteflies, spider mites, powdery mildew, black spot, and more.
Warning: It’s VERY IMPORTANT to note that neem oil is toxic to bees if they’re directly exposed to it. Therefore, you need to spray it when bees are not active, such as at dusk, and give the oil time to dry.
To use neem oil as an insecticide, you can either buy a bottle that’s already premixed and ready to go, or you can purchase a concentrate and follow the directions on the back to make the mixture yourself. When you’re ready to use it, simply spray it on the leaves of the affected plant. You can also use neem oil preventatively by spraying the leaves of plants that are often ruined by insects before they’re actually infested.
4. DIY Garlic and Chili Pesticide Spray
Garlic and chili peppers are both known for their strong aroma, which means they can often act as more of a natural insect repellent than an actual insecticide. No matter how they work, they’re good at keeping away smaller pests, like Japanese beetles, borers, leafhoppers, and slugs, as well as larger nuisances, such as rabbits and deer. In a bowl that has a spout, combine:
1 quart of water
1.5 tablespoons of biodegradable liquid soap
1 tablespoon of chili powder (you can also ground up fresh or dried peppers)
5 cloves of cut and crushed garlic
Let the ingredients steep overnight, then strain and pour into a spray bottle. This mixture will keep for about 2 weeks. When you’re ready to use, spray it liberally on infested plants.
Warning: Chili peppers are also extremely potent to humans! Make sure you wear gloves when you’re making this mixture, and keep the spray away from your eyes, nose, and mouth when you’re using it in the garden.
5. Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous earth is an abundant natural substance that’s made from a sedimentary rock created by fossilized algae. You can use it around your home in a number of ways, including a natural ant repellent and a natural insecticide in the garden. Diatomaceous earth doesn’t poison insects like traditional pesticides. Instead, the powdery substance gets stuck on the insects’ body and dehydrates them. To apply diatomaceous earth, simply use it to dust the ground around your plants to help control snails, slugs, and other crawling insects. Keep in mind that since it’s a powder, you’ll need to reapply after every rain.
6. Natural Antifungal Spray
Fungal diseases, such as powdery mildew, are an especially frustrating garden nuisance to deal with because they can quickly overwhelm your entire plant. What was once a healthy and thriving plant now has leaves covered in patches of white blotches. Fortunately, this natural antifungal spray can help. To make it, you will need:
Add the baking soda and vegetable oil to one cup of warm water and stir until the powder completely dissolves. Combine this mixture in a spray bottle with the rest of the water.
Before applying the spray, first remove the leaves with the most damage. Then spray the solution on the leaves every few days until the fungus disappears. This mixture works best when it’s made and used immediately.
For April 2022
10 Green Ideas For April
1. Ditch the paper towels.
Switch to reusable towels. Grab some inexpensive ones, or cut up some old towels or T-shirts that are just lying around and use those as cleaning rags. Either way, you are keeping waste out of the landfill.
2. Switch to non-toxic, biodegradable (or home-made).
Check labels to ensure that none of the cleaners you’re purchasing contain toxic chemicals. Search for products that are made from all natural ingredients and are third-party certified as “green.”
3. Hang dry your laundry.
Save electricity by taking advantage of the nicer weather and drying all of your bedding, clothing, and towels outside instead of in the dryer. Air-drying clothes can reduce the average household’s carbon footprint by 2,400 pounds a year
4. Go Paperless.
If part of your spring-cleaning plan includes organizing your accounts, use it as an opportunity to eliminate some paper waste by opting for electronic communication
5. Reuse and repurpose items around the house.
Switch to reusable towels. Grab some inexpensive ones, or cut up some old towels or T-shirts that are just lying around and use those as cleaning rags. Either way, you are keeping waste out of the landfill.
6. Organize by making your own storage boxes.
7. Use less water.
Try not to leave the water running unless you are using it or catching it in a bucket. Sweep instead of mop when you can. You can also place a tracking mat by the front door so that, in the future, you will have less mopping to do.
8. Use energy efficiently.
As you clean, check that nothing is plugged into an outlet unnecessarily, or plug electronics into power strips that can easily be turned off when not in use. Clean your refrigerator coils to increase energy efficiency. Replace incandescent light bulbs with CFLs or LEDS. Clean air ducts.
9. Compost expired food and/or donate the rest.
When you clean out and organize your pantry, check the expiration dates. Compost any food that is too old to eat and donate any unopened, unexpired shelf-stable goods to a local shelter. This way, nothing goes to the landfill and you help others in the process.
10. Don’t throw away unwanted textiles.
Recycle instead! As you declutter your home, you’re bound to run into textiles that you don’t want anymore. Donate to Goodwill, make into rags, donate old towels to Dogs for A Better Life (formerly Dogs for the Deaf), sent to consignment
For March 2022
1. Save on water and energy.
Go green in more ways than one by saving on water and energy, and thus some money in your wallet too. Unplugging your appliances when not in use is an easy, no-brainer way to save energy. Yet, it is a common habit to leave things not only plugged in at all times, but sometimes even turned on. If this habit is too hard to break, try appliances that turn off automatically after an hour, or a smart power strip that cuts “phantom use”. Also, try washing your clothes in cold water as much as possible. The washer machine uses a significant amount of energy to just heat the water. Lastly, saving on water will do your utilities bill wonders. Taking shorter showers will lower your water and heating bill, and installing faucet aerators throughout your home can help conserve heat and water, without compromising water pressure.
2. Introduce some greens at least once a day.
We have found that starting your day with something like a smoothie packed with greens and fruits is refreshing and boosts energy. And by starting the day off that way, you can scratch one goal off your list of to-do’s right away. While you’re at it, try adding one meatless meal a week to your diet. We know what you’re thinking–maybe going vegan is just not your cup of joe. However, you do not have to go all out; you can still enjoy the foods that you love 6 days out of the week. But keep in mind, as you cut out meat more and more, you are saving up on a big chunk of your grocery store bill. We are not here to advise a diet plan for you, but going meatless can be the change that encourages you to introduce new vegetables, fruits, beans, etc. that you may have never tried before.
3. Walk or bike to work or school!
We know, it’s been a bit of a longer winter. But March 20th marks the first day of spring and we are looking forward to better and brighter days ahead. It could be time to take the bike out of the shed and wipe away the dust. Get your exercise, save money off gas, and help out the environment. Every small effort counts.
4. Start spring cleaning.
Along with the upcoming warmer spring days, also means spring cleaning. Online shopping has taken off, enabling those bad habits of getting lost on our phones and laptops through hours of scrolling, while in the comfort of our beds. Does anyone even go to the mall anymore? Regardless, while online shopping is freely and easily accessible by the mere clicks of a few buttons on your “always-handy” cell phone, so are new apps that can make you some money instead. That’s right, we mean by selling your belongings. Clean out the closet and rid yourself of clutter for the new season. Try the apps: Let Go, Depop, Poshmark, etc., and have fun!
5. Borrow before buying.
Next time you find yourself in need of a particular power tool or appliance, or even a book or movie, try to borrow from someone before heading to Target. Ask your family and friends, get to know your neighbors, and while you’re at it, tell everyone about going green this month!
“In the spring, at the end of the day,
you should smell like dirt.”
― Margaret Atwood, Bluebeard's Egg
Spring, when our hearts turn to...gardening!
Here are 10 tips for sustainable gardening
Practice organic gardening
Mulch your landscape
Plant natives to your area
Lose your lawn or at least some of it
Grow your own food
Mow with and electric or manual mower
Tips taken from Better Homes and Gardens
For February 2022
14 ECO Ideas For Your Valentine's Day.
Before you buy, consider the following ideas.
Plan a staycation
Eliminate or reuse wrapping paper
Cards - recycle or skip altogether
Build a skill together (cooking, Tai Kwon Do)
If you go out to eat, support local
Book a couple's spa session
Support local artists
Stay in (streaming a movie with popcorn, or playing a game)
Have a picnic
Get crafty (upcycle!)
For December 2021
Tis the Season for spending, shopping, seasonal decorations, snacks, and other supplies.
Before you buy, consider the following ideas.
Create a list and a budget and stick to it.
Make items, upcycle or give consumables with a purpose.
When decorating, try to incorporate items from nature - pine, pinecones, berries and other items that can be composted.
Don't overdue on the snacks and dinners. If you have leftovers, plan ahead on how you can resuse them and not create food waste.
I bring you more tidings of Good Eco News
The most northern First Nation in Ontario, Canada, wanted to save their arctic home in Fort Severn by reducing their consumption of diesel fuel for electricity for their community. Since the First Nation is directly affected by our rapidly changing climate, Chief Paul Burke says they wanted to do their part to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
That's why they recently finished installing a 300 kilowatt solar power station that not only gives power to the 550 people who live in the community, but also generates income and has created jobs.
Chief Burke points out that if they can make solar power work in the farthest community north in Ontario, we can make it work anywhere in the world.
And the Chief isn't done yet. Since cloud patterns in the Arctic zone are just as unpredictable as they are in the temperate zone, the community is also looking to install wind power! https://earthfriendlytips.com
Listed are some links from Kristen's
Earth Friendly Tips for an Eco Holiday Season:
May Your Christmas be Merry and Green!
For November 2021
Be Thankful – Good Eco News!
Going Plastic Free Is Getting Easier!
If you are recycling plastics, good for you! However, there are now even better choice is to eliminate plastic from our homes. Are you aware there are several products on the market the reduce waste, are better for the environment and save the planet?
Laundry: EarthBreeze and Tru detergents are use earth friendly ingredients. The packaging uses 100% biodegradable cardboard and ink, so you can compost it! The detergent is on sheets, like dryer sheets. Vegan, cruelty free and money back guarantee! Earth Breeze will donate to Trees for the Future trees to plant
Shampoo: Bars (no plastic!) - there are several on the market but one of the best is Ethnique; cruelty free, vegan,palm oIl free, minimal & biodegradable packaging- a climate neutral company and 20% of their profits go to charity
Dishwasher: Cleancult Dishwasher Tablets and Dropps Dishwasher Detergent tablets are shipped in paper mailers, 100% biodegradable, non toxic ingredients. The are wrapped in a water soluble film.
Companies Doing Good!
Ocean Clean up: Just completed, the largest ocean cleanup in history in the pacific Great Garbage Patch. Some of the plastics are being recycled into resale sunglasses! To read more go to their website https://theoceancleanup.com/ oceancleanup.com
Goats Munch Invasive Species: NYC Parks hosted their second annual "Running of the Goats" which is an event where animals are brought in to remove invasive species by grazing. Organizations that took part in the event have been focusing on the removal of invasive species like porcelain berry, English ivy, mugwort, multiflora rose and poison ivy. We know what you're thinking, "Isn't eating poison ivy bad for the goats?!". Nope! Goats are actually immune to the allergens in poison ivy. Their passion for eating and speedy grazing pace makes goats super invasive species removers!
Trees Planted: 1.2 Million Trees Planted in California for forest fire restoration in 2021https://onetreeplanted.org/blogs/stories/good-news Nov-2021
Source material from <https://onetreeplanted.org/blogs/stories/good-news-july-2021>
For October 2021
The Scary Truth about Disposable Masks
When single-use masks are not disposed of properly, they pose an environmental risk, said Teale Phelps Bondaroff, director of research for OceansAsia. Single-use face masks — both the disposable kind the general public wears and medical-grade surgical masks — are often made with polypropylene plastic. When that plastic breaks up into smaller pieces, it can take as long as 450 years to decompose, Phelps Bondaroff said. And while reusable cloth face masks are a more eco-friendly option, disposable masks are both an acceptable face covering, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and CDC-recommended for double masking.
It’s crucial to learn how to properly discard face masks in order to ensure they don’t end up in oceans, lakes and rivers, said Erin Simon, head of plastic waste and business at the World Wildlife Fund. The goal is not to change the disposable mask space as it is a key part of medical safety protocols, Simon highlighted, noting environmental experts more specifically advocate for the proper management of disposable face masks after they’re used.
Phelps Bondaroff said the best way to mitigate the impacts of (and help prevent) face mask pollution is disposing of them correctly and ensuring they do not enter the Earth’s ecosystem. He said it’s important to throw away face masks in garbage cans that have a lid and a garbage bag that will be tied together when it’s removed to keep them from falling out or blowing away.While some suggest cutting strings to protect wildlife, it is better to be sure it gets into covered trash where it can’t blow away, get into sewers or other waste streams.
The face masks listed below meet the CDC’s guidance in regards to reusable face coverings and are made with the environment in mind, according to the brands behind them.
TenTree The Protect Mask (made from cotton, hemp with a pocket filter) https://www.tentree.com/
United by Blue Salvaged Hemp Face Mask (fabric blend of hemp, cotton, recycled polyester, and rayon fabric) https://unitedbyblue.com/
Avocado Organic Face Mask (two layers of cotton) https://www.avocadogreenmattress.com/
Rothy’s The Masks (rPet thread made from recycled plastic water bottles & microfiber) https://rothys.com/
Vida 3_play Face Mask (allows you to return for recycle) https://ecomask.co
Source material from NBCnews select How to reduce face mask pollution, according to experts – April 21, 2021