How to Have a Recycled Christmas

921337_28199975

It seems that we tend to get a bit overly excited and throw a lot of stuff away when we could be saving or recycling. Christmas doesn’t have to be a wasteful time of year, lets keep the recycling going all year round. Teach your kids how to recycle too. Here are some tips to make this Christmas a recycled one.

Zero waste wrapping paper – Why not take a deep breath and open your gifts nicely so you can save your wrapping paper for next year? Fold your bags, tissue and paper so you can have an assortment to use all year long.

Save or Recycle – When a gift is open, either recycle the box it came in and wrapping paper(if your not saving it) or save the box for a few months in case you need to return the item and then recycle.

Christmas Cards – You can always keep save your Christmas cards for crafts/cards  next year or put into your recycle bin right away.

Christmas Dinner – You can even recycle your Christmas dinner. Don’t waste your leftovers, save up your turkey for curry or stew, treat your pets to a Christmas meal or compost your vegetable trimmings and left over vegetables.

Green Clean with a Twist

Are you a paper towel freak? Do you use paper towels for cleaning and cooking and instead of cloth napkins? Well let me tell you something, using paper towels is not green my friend. Here are some great alternatives to you using paper towels – a company called Twist Clean has sponges for every occasion out there. From cleaning the kitchen to cleaning your unmentionables. Check out their selection here.

Why You Should Stop Using Styrofoam

262931_8214The common consensus, that I can find, is that it takes Styrofoam 50 years to decompose. 50 Years! Yeah that’s too long for something you use once and toss into the garbage. I was thinking about Styrofoam the other day when my husband and I were out to eat and the little diner only had Styrofoam cups for water. He looked at me and said ‘only get one, we can share a cup’.

So why is Styrofoam so bad? Here are a few facts that you may not know about Styrofoam from greenliving.lovetoknow.com:

~Non-Biodegradable – Styrofoam appears to last forever, as it is resistant to photolysis or the breaking down of materials by protons originating from a light source. This fact, combined with the fact that Styrofoam is lightweight and floats, means that over time a great deal of Styrofoam has accumulated along coasts and waterways around the world. It is now considered the main component of marine debris.
~Not-Usually Recycled – Many municipal recycling programs do not recycle Styrofoam because it is virtually weightless which makes it worthless as scrap. The same lightweight property of the material makes collecting it difficult, because even light winds can send it blowing great distances.
~HFCs – Styrofoam is manufactured by using HFCs, or hydrofluorocarbons, which have negative impacts on the ozone layer and global warming. HFCs are less detrimental to the ozone than CFCs, which they replaced in the manufacturing of Styrofoam, but it is thought that the impact of HFCs on global warming is much more serious.
~Flame Retardants – The brominated flame retardants that are used on Styrofoam are also causing concern, and some research suggests that these chemicals might have negative environmental and health effects.

What can you do? Are their alternatives out there? Check out Ecovative Design for greensulate, which is insulation that helps you reduce the amount of energy used to build your home, and  ecocradle, which is to replace Styrofoam in packaging.

Its become more apparent to me lately that we as a society throw a lot into the trash that can be recycled and isn’t, that cannot be recycled or that takes many many years to decompose. None of these are good options. Before you consume, please think about what you are throwing into the trash.

Organic Bikes

dylan-frame-08

Everyone knows that riding a bicycle instead of driving your car is an extremely eco-friendly and green way to go and then add in organic to that mix and you have it all! So you can imagine how excited I was when I got this link to Organic Bikes from Paul over at pacificpedaling. Organic Bikes is owned and operated by Wheel and Sprocket- a family owned bicycle shop since 1973.

These Organic bikes are made from sustainable bamboo, the alloys are 100% recycled materials and the paint is a non-VOC powder process. Even the fenders are 100% bamboo.

They have complete bikes, frames, clothing, bike parts, accessories and more. Their water bottles are 100% biodegradable, when your finished with it you can toss it and it will totally be absorbed by nature, taking 1-5 years to disintegrate.

Bamboo Bicycles, Biodegradable Water Bottles, Organic Clothing, and Recycled Messenger Bags are part of our initial offerings in our product line, but expect more on the horizon and expect great things from Organic Bikes!

Organic Bikes doesn’t claim to be fully “green” but they definitely have some great ideas and products to offer.

Biodegradable Basics

cocoa-bowlsGo green in some unlikely places with these earth-friendly housewares.

TablewareGrenware ecology & design: Dinner plates and bowls made renewable plant fiber from bamboo and rice hulls. In proper conditions it will biodegrade in as little as 4 months.

LinensLoolo Textiles: Every pillow or blanket we make uses our own hand and machine knit biodegradable textiles available in a full range of colors. Yes, you can throw them in your composter at the end of their useful life and they will biodegrade within 1 year.

Trash CansUmbra: The colorful Artala cans are made of Virgin polypropylene a plastic that is engineered to break down 10 times faster than that of standard plastic cans.

PensGrassroots: Biodegradable corn pen made from Mater-Bi, a revolutionary new material derived from cornstarch. This means that unlike conventional plastics that never breakdown, this green pen will disintegrate in about 12 months after being discarded.

PlantersCoir: This unique product, which is exclusive to ecosource Home & Garden, is made from coconut fiber and natural rubber. Biodegrades easily.