Earth Day. Little Things That Make a Big Difference
I write a lot about companies that do good things for our earth. I’m always thrilled to find a new one and am comforted by the idea of “good” companies, big and small, actively engaged in making Earth a better, safer, greener place. As individuals we can also make small changes for the good of our planet. Here are a few ideas…
One of the easiest things is that I change my font style on the computer when I need to print a document. I have switched my font from Arial to Century Gothic and my ink cartridges now last 30% longer. Here‘s a story on that. Garamond is another True Type font that does well as saving on ink.
I recently discovered that Fuji has a line of environmentally respectful batteries. They are cadmium-free, mercury-free and PVC-free meaning that there is nothing inside the Fuji Enviromax batteries that will harm the environment if it is disposed with other household garbage. The power and longevity is not compromised and they cost about the same as other batteries. This one is really a no-brainer. They can be bought online on Amazon.com for $11.37 for a 4 pack.
I see almost everyone these days bring their own bags to the grocery store. It is great how we have all embraced this pratice. However, I still had an issue with produce bags. I seldom use them for apples, tomatoes or oranges but when I buy grapes or beans, well, I need to use one. I’ve recently discovered two products that remedied the issue.
First is the Veggie Bed from EarthWise Bag Company. I saw these at a show and learned that this bag system is designed by a mom. It will easily go from the store to your kitchen. The individual Veggie Beds are great for all your produce. They are made of sturdy canvas with mesh windows. Each has a special bar code that subtracts the weight of the bag during checkout. They are easily cleaned by hand or the dishwasher and are extremely durable. They are not yet available (coming soon!) but continue checking their website to find out when the Veggie Bed will be available.
For the farmers market I use reusable mesh bags from3BBags. These were created by 3 mom-friends who wanted to make a difference. I love the bags because they are virtually weightless, machine washable and see-through. People are always stopping me at the market and asking me where I got them. They can be purchased right from the 3BBags website where a 3-pack can be purchased for $7.50 or order 3 of the 3-packs and get a 4th one free.
My other pet peeve was all the plastic sandwich bags that I was using when preparing the kids lunches. I tried to reuse them as many times as I could but usually the girls would just through them out. I then started using Tupperware- style containers but found their lunches were just too bulky. Solution: Ecoditty, another product inspired by a mom who created these fun & cute reusable sandwich and snack bags made from 100% organic cotton. At first I was not too sure about the cleanliness factor but they actually clean up very well; either hand wash, dishwasher or machine wash. My girls loved to choose from the fun patterns. Plus, now they enjoy helping me pack their lunches for school. Go to their website to see the list of online stores that carry their products. And, if waste-free lunch packing is your thing, you’ll also want to check out our enviro-friendly lunch supply guide.
Having two dogs and seeing all the plastic bags that I go through to pick up their doodoo, I often wondered if leaving “it” there wouldn’t be more eco-friendly! Of course I would NOT EVER do this (since I am a conscientious dog owner) – because of obvious health issues, among other things. The traditional plastic bags fill up our landfill sites and, as we all know, take thousands of years to disintegrate (see all the dirty facts here) . I discovered Flush Puppies on Amazon. First of all, I love the name! Secondly, Flush Puppies are water soluble, biodegradable pet waste baggies that I can be flush down the toilet. How easy is that! I am always walking to and from a park or down at the beach, so a public bathroom is always near. If not, the bags are sturdy enough for the ride home in your car to dispose of there.
I remember the days, not so so long ago, when I had to beg my son to take a shower. Ahhh, those were the days. Now my teenage son has discovered the simple joys of taking a shower. A loooong shower. Up to 3 times a day! Now granted, he is an athlete and he has a girlfriend, but 3 times in one day? I needed something better than me yelling at him that his showers were way too long. I found this great shower timer that has worked like a charm. In fairness to him he had no idea how long his showers were, so this waterproof timer made it very easy for him. No more mom yelling that he needs to get out! You can buy them on Amazon for $13.25.
With these simple, small simple changes, I feel like I am contributing and participating in “doing my part”. I would love to hear how you are also making a difference.
BTW, for other ideas on the subject, search under our ECO tags & Going Green category to find out about other great green companies, products and other resources.