Sound Earth – All Natural, Cruetly Free, Products

SElogoSound Earth is a company that offers all natural, cruelty free household cleaning products along with baby products and scented sprays. Sound Earth believes in the “ripple effect”, What we do as individuals effects those around us and those around them and so on.

The great thing about their products is that they dont compromise on quality.

We manufacture environmentally friendly cleaning products with superior cleaning ability by carefully considering every aspect of production, including:

  • using our products in our homes before we sell them to you for use in yours.
  • refusing to engage in the abhorrent practice of animal testing in any stage of production.
  • packaging and shipping in easily recycled materials.

Sound Earth has been around since 2003 and still running strong. They donate 10% of their profits to organizations who share their philosophy and belief system.

To see all the products they offer click here.

Being Charged for Plastic Bags – Good or Bad??

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Some stores have already begun to charge for their plastic shopping bags, and others are wanting to but there has been much controversy over whether these charges are acceptable or not. What are your thoughts?

I think we are the only country that doesn’t charge for shopping bags. In fact when I lived in Africa I thought it was strange that they charged for bags, people over there are way less fortunate than us and they still charge. But after I figured out the reasons behind it, I realized that its a great idea and with a little planning and getting used to taking bags with us to the grocery store, we would get used to it and we could be on our way to saving the planet and producing less toxic waste and that my friends is a very good thing!

abclocal.com has an article on California bill proposes charge for bags. Ikea charges 10 cents per bag and has charged for bags for many years. You can check out Ikeas FAQ section about Plastic bags cost the earth.

Some other articles to read:

New York Mayor proposes charge on plastic bags. Recently New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg proposed that NYC begin charging shoppers 6 cents for each plastic bag issued at the register.

IKEA bans plastic bags.

Plastic Bag charging works.Charging for plastic bags at the supermarket works – people really do bring their own.

Kill Plastic Bags with Taxes: Look to Ireland. Ireland plastic bag usage drops dramatically after plastic bag taxes are instated.

So what do you think? Should all retailers start charging you for each plastic bag you use?

The Story of Cap & Trade

The Story of Cap & Trade is a fast-paced, fact-filled look at the leading climate solution being discussed at Copenhagen and on Capitol Hill. Host Annie Leonard introduces the energy traders and Wall Street financiers at the heart of this scheme and reveals the “devils in the details” in current cap and trade proposals: free permits to big polluters, fake offsets and distraction from what’s really required to tackle the climate crisis.

Smart Travel for the Holidays

downloadedfile(suitecase)Holidays are the most traveled days of the year. Families going home to see loved ones, traveling distances they wouldn’t normally travel so they can be home for the holidays with the ones they love. But before you travel there are some things you need to consider.

Consider your carbon footprint – You can calculate your air and vehicle travels CO2 emissions and find out ways to reduce them by clicking here.

Travel by Car – If you don’t already own a hybrid, rent one if you have to drive. They will be more expensive to rent than a standard car but they save on fuel and have decreased emissions.

Air Travel – Airplanes are major contributors to the global carbon emissions equation, so its greenest to try and reduce your air travel. But if you must travel by air try these three tips. 1. Bring your own stuff, instead of using the disposables offered by the airlines, 2. Travel in a new plane, 3. Buy carbon credits to offset your air travel.

Train Travel – Train travel is much faster, more comfortable and gives off fewer emissions than airplanes and buses, making train travel the preferred way to travel when thinking green.

How Green Do You Want to Be?

I was looking through thedailygreen.com to see what interesting new green news I could find and found this little fun quiz. “How Green Do You Want To Be?”. I took the quiz and it came out fairly decent but I would like to do a better job at being green. I am concerned about the environment and have gone out of my way to stop people from throwing away things that could be recycled and taking things home from places to recycle them in my bin so they wouldnt be thrown out. Our landfills can’t handle anymore waste.

Take this quiz and lets see just how green you really are.

How Green Do You Want to Be?

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5 Ways to be Green and Save Money

909780_59550139Sometimes I feel being green is a bit more expensive than being careless and not caring about this environment. Buying organic food, buying green, biodegradable cleaning products, organic beauty products all have high price tags but they are good for the environment and not to mention our bodies, but how do you get around this? Below are some helpful ways you can be green and save money.

  1. Give up paper towels, plastic wrap and ziplock bags: Don’t spend your money on things to wrap your food in or paper towels to clean with. Start using your tupperware or save butter containers to store your food in. For cleaning windows use newspaper and for wiping hands use cloth napkins – not only is it green but it makes your table look nicer. You can also use old rags for cleaning with.
  2. Stop buying bottled water: The water from your faucet is just as good, and bottled water produces garbage because most people (over 80%) throw the bottles away instead of recycle them. Check out the facts on the lighterfootstep.com.
  3. Shop at thrift stores: Whatever items you are comfortable buying at thrift stores/second hand keeps that item from going to the garbage dump.
  4. Cut your grocery bill: Use coupons on items you use only, just cause you have a coupon or its a good deal doesn’t mean you need to buy it. Shop for groceries once every two weeks, shopping more than that and you will end up with stuff that you don’t need which in turn will cause you to waste food.
  5. Conserve water: Think about the water you use, take quicker showers, use a timer if you need help, turn off the water when you are brushing your teeth and use less hot water.

There are many more ways to be green while saving money or not spending so keep your eyes peeled for helpful hints and when you come across ways that you have saved please share them.

Recycle Your Used Cooking Oil

1211548_68090598Did you know you could recycle your used cooking oil? I was reading the newspaper and came across an ad from the Public Works Environmental Services about recycling your used cooking oil and was so excited. I always felt so guilty throwing the oil down the drain or in the garbage.

Here is what the ad says –

Recycle Curbside:

Place cooled, used vegetable cooking oil into same labeled container & cap originally purchased, or place into CLEAN see-thru plastic jug with tight fitting cap. 2-gallons per week maximum. Place in small recycle basket.

Now you will have to check with your local Recycling Center to find out if they are offering this. For help finding a Recycling Center near you try Earth911.com.

If your city is not participating in any kind of recycling of used cooking oil here are some other ways to recycle your used cooking oil.

  • Some towns only offer used oil recycling for businesses, but may be able to put you in touch with a local restaurant that can add your oil to theirs for recycling.
  • If you’re cooking meat, use the leftover grease to make suet-based bird food.
  • Mix small amounts of oil with paper or cardboard and add them to your compost bin.

September Bike Commute Challenge

bcc09_home_gfxWe all know its better to ride your bike to work than to drive your car as far as helping lessen your carbon footprint, but not always is it convenient. This month I am going to challenge you to Take The Challenge! and get on your bike and commute to work.

Brought to you by BTA, Bicycle Transportation Alliance, a non-profit membership organization working to promote bicycling and improve bicycling conditions in Oregon and SW Washington.

Join the friendly competition – workplace against workplace – to see who can bike to work more during the month of September. The workplaces with the highest percentage of commutes by bicycle during the month win!

Whether you’re a rider or an employer, whether you’re thinking about trying bike commuting for the first time, or you’re an experienced rider, the Challenge is for you.

Here are some benefits of riding your bike to work:

  • Reduce air pollution
  • Saves money
  • Reduce harmful gases such as, Carbon Dioxide, Carbon Monoxide, Methane, NitrousOxide
  • Reduce noise pollution

And lets not forget about the health benefits of riding your bike:

  • Increased fitness
  • Weight loss
  • Stress reduction
  • Heart benefits

To calculate how much impact your commute is having on the environment, check out the environmental impact calculator here.

Eco-Friendly Paint

693779_75065407Are you getting ready to paint your house? Inside or out, its important to use paint that is easy on the environment and on the family living in the house, that breaths in the fumes. Green Living Ideas has an article on the potential hazards of paints and what to look for in paint.  Here are a few companies to look at when you are ready to paint.

Devine Color – Interior Paint that goes on like yogurt. Low odor, low VOC, Eco-friendly, luxury paint and sheens. All of Devine Colors paints meet or exceed the strictest requirements of the South Coast Air Quality Management District. They offer a full range of colors to meet all your painting needs.

The Real Milk Paint Co. – Milk paint is an environmentally friendly paint that is ideal for antique furniture, decks, floors and walls. You can mix milk paint with pigment powders to create just about any color. Real Milk Paint is completely safe, eco-friendly, non-toxic, lead free and not radioactive.

Benjamin Moore Paints, Aura Interior – Environmentally friendly coatings not only meet, but often exceed the strictest industry standards, while also delivering the premium levels of performance you expect from Benjamin Moore.

Olympic Premium Interior Paints – Combining an outstanding quality zero VOC formula that is better for the environment and dries with no lingering odor. Have a green home in any color you want.

PDX (Portland) – The Greenest City in The States

portlandLast night I was was enjoying a dinner on Alberta St in NE Portland with my family, sitting outside watching all the people walking and riding their bikes by us and enjoying the fact that I live near the greenest city in the USA.

Portland, Oregon has 92,000 acres of green space and more than 74 miles of hiking, running, and biking trails.

Portland bike trails – Five Great Rides

Portland hiking trails –  Best Easy Day Hikes

The City of Portland is committed to clean air and water, livable neighborhoods, parks and open spaces for all, economic development that is sustainable for our environment, transportation that makes sense and much more. Learn more here about how you can be involved. Make Portland your sustainable city.

On the City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability website they have a Sustainable Food Resource section to help you find the local farms, how to grow food, opportunities for donation, composting and so much more.

Portland has a ton of solutions for reducing water usage, for greening your yard and home, using energy more efficiently, reducing and recycling and finding alternative transportation options.

So if you live in Portland, take pride in your city and see what you can do to help make Portland your sustainable city.