Reusing & Recycling at Christmas Time

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  • Reuse wrapping paper when at all possible from previous holidays and birthdays.
  • Recycle the wrapping paper that can be recycled, by folding and putting into your recycle bin. Some wrapping paper cannot be recycled, be aware of what to look for.
  • Buy wrapping paper that has been made specifically from recycled content, that way it will be recyclable or compostable.
  • Buy wrapping paper from your local thrift store.
  • Make your own wrapping paper.

Christmas Cards:

  • Go paperless. Send a Christmas email and save some trees. You can even explain in the email why you are going paperless this year.
  • Recycle cards from last year to use on your cards this year.
  • When the holiday season is over, put the Christmas cards that can be recycled in the recycle bin or save for next year.
  • You can also have the kids make crafts out of the old cards, such as place mats, or art for the wall, just add a frame.
  • You can also recycle calendars or children’s artwork to use as Christmas cards.

Gifts:

  • Buy items that have been recycled or re-purposed into something different.
  • Make your own gifts from old clothes, or items around the house that you don’t use.
  • Re-gifting is OK. “There is much discussion about etiquette behind the trend to re-gift, that is, to pass on a gift you received but do not need. What’s to discuss? Re-gifting makes perfect sense. If you receive something you really don’t need, look for ways you can reuse this gift by passing it on to someone who can use it. Of course, re-gifting needs to be done with care so as not to offend the original giver, but keeping a gift you don’t need is wasteful.” From eartheasy.com

The Greenest Christmas Tree

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In the 20th century, around 98 percent of Christmas trees came from the forest. Today, most Christmas trees are grown on tree farms, which can benefit and harm the environment.

In an article from care2 I found what the Eco-benefits of tree recycling is, why buying a live Christmas tree is best for the environment and how Christmas tree farms benefit the environment.

Christmas trees

If you do go out and cut down your tree or buy from the lot, remember to recycle your tree. This will help reduce waste and avoid consuming much needed space in landfills.

  • Christmas trees can be ground up and used as mulch in gardens.
  • They can be used as sand and erosion barriers on beaches or lakes.
  • They can be sunk in lakes and ponds to provide refuge for fish.

Living Christmas trees

How awesome to be able to plant your Christmas tree in your yard year after year. A reminder of Christmases past.

  • Trees clean the air and provide oxygen- planting 30 trees can offset your home and car’s annual contribution to global warming.
  • Tree root systems hold in place soil that, if washed away by heavy rains, flow into streams and rivers, making them shallower and causing flooding.
  • The EPA claims that planting trees is the best way to reverse the global warming effect.

Christmas Tree farms

  • While trees grow they replenish the air with oxygen; just one acre of Christmas trees produces enough oxygen to support eighteen people.
  • Tree farms provide habitat for birds and other wildlife.
  • Christmas trees can be planted where few other plants grow, increasing soil stability.
  • For each tree cut on tree farms, 2 or 3 new seedlings are planted.

For the complete article click here.

Reduce Waste this Holiday Season

693364_97735298U.S. residents throw away more waste per person than those in any other nation. Between Thanksgiving and New years Day alone, Americans produce an extra one million tons of trash per week compared to any other time of the year.

  1. Be creative when it comes to sending out Christmas cards. Emailing is much more Eco-friendly but giving a card is so much more festive to . If you are going to send out card, try reusing old cards and cutting them apart to make your own. You can make your own envelopes out of old paper, maps and the like. Have fun and let the kids join in.
  2. When wrapping gifts, use left over wrapping paper from last year (I save wrapping paper from holidays and birthdays if they are in good shape so I can reuse it). You can make your own bows from newspaper or magazines, also you can use cut up old clothes to wrap gifts also.
  3. As far as gifts go – stop generating waste by giving concert tickets, museum tickets, movie tickets or gift cards for things you need like grocery stores. The gift of time is a great one too. Offer to babysit for families with kids or offer to help with yard work for the older recipients.
  4. Forget about using disposable party-ware. If you are having a potluck and don’t have enough dishes for each person then have each family bring their own along with their own silverware.
  5. Ornaments and Decorations. If you need new ornaments, try your hand at making your own, the Internet is full of easy-to-make, DIY ideas. Using what you already have is the best way to generate less waste. If you must buy more, check your local thrift stores, they usually have a bunch of Christmas decor and ornaments that people have just got rid of.

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.

Environmentally Friendly Roof & Gutter Cleaning

634525_21421236Living in the wet Northwest climate makes for some daunting tasks when it comes to keeping your houses in tip top shape. Constant roof and gutter care are needed, to take care of things such as moss on your roof and weeds growing out of your gutters.

There is a company, JNR Industries, in Milwaukie, Oregon that has implemented a green policy.

First of all, we have put in an extreme effort to choose the right chemicals for roof moss removal in Portland, Oregon, that kill moss only and are friendly to the environment. There are many chemicals that have a detrimental effect, but we’ve taken the time to select the right products for Portland roof cleaning that don’t negatively affect the environment. Zinc application has been proven to be the best moss killing method, while still protecting nature. Our Zinc blend has been further enhanced and tested to be even more effective, but still safe.

Second, building a new roof uses a tremendous amount of our Earth’s natural resources. Proper roof maintenance, our primary service, saves materials, debris, garbage and potentially a heavy use of chemicals at a later date. We feel good about our decision to go green, and our most conscientious clients agree wholeheartedly.

Don’t leave all this work to the Roof & Gutter cleaners, there is stuff that you can do too – maintain your roof properly to prevent a large outlay of dollars and natural resource consumption for a new roof.

If you need some roofing help and don’t live in Oregon, click here for a list of Eco-friendly roofing companies around the country.


The Greenest Pink Ribbon Purchases

1121367_26475286October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Ecofabulous has a list of the Greenest Pink Ribbon Purchases online.

Use your pink ribbon buying power to choose the greenest pink ribbons, ensuring that your dollars still make a contribution to the cure, while supporting companies that are taking matters into their own hands and eliminating any chance of known carcinogens. We’ve rounded up our top ecofabulous picks for making the greenest pink ribbon purchases –  stock up now for the holidays!

Buy any of these great gifts in this list and a percentage of your purchase price will be dontated to the Breast Cancer Fund.

Homemade Halloween Costumes Using Recycled Materials

Instead of filling up landfills with once-used plastics and fabrics, get creative, and come up with your own unique look with reused and recycled materials. You’ll save money, as well as reduce impact on the planet. Besides what better way to stand out in the crowd than to make your own Halloween costume. You will for sure be unique.

Click here to see thedailygreen.com‘s 19 frightfully fun homemade costumes made from recycled materials. Below are a couple of examples.

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Cupcake and Cotton candy made from old tights, and laundry basket.
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Crocodille costume made from butcher paper and cardboard.

All these costumes are made with items you have around your house. Butcher paper, old tights, cardboard, garbage cans, old umbrellas, and plain old trash.

Be creative and think about what you can use and enjoy your eco-friendly Halloween!

Green Kitchen Tools

Complete_SetIf you are anything like me, you probably love to cook and you care about the environment. Combining the two can be difficult sometimes. The other day I was reading Joy the Bakers blog and she mentioned Green Kitchen Tools and so I decided to check them out and see what they are all about.

Green Kitchen Tools:

  • Heat and stain resistant
  • Safe to use on all non-stick surfaces
  • Will not absorb flavors or odors
  • Lightweight and strong

All Green Kitchen Tools are made to be sustainable and practical. We craft our tools utilizing the best materials – scratch resistant nylon, stainless steel and exquisite 100% bamboo handles – all provide strength, durability and functionality.

Tough, durable and lightweight – bamboo is a natural in the kitchen. It’s also one of nature’s most sustainable resources; reaching maturity in just four years without pesticides or chemicals.

Bamboo’s density makes it naturally water-resistant, which inhibits germ and bacteria growth.

Green Kitchen Tools offers a variety of tools for your kitchen and bbq. Selling them individually and in sets. If you are in need of new kitchen tools, check them out!

Living Green During Pregnancy

969794_66501285Even during pregnancy you need to continue making eco-friendly choices. Here are some helpful hints to keep you on the green path of decision making during your nine months of pregnancy.

1. Beauty & Skin Products: Try to stay from beauty products full of chemicals linked to birth defects, carcinogens, and ingredients derived from nonrenewable petroleum. There are plenty of organic/natural beauty products available. You can also try your hand at making your own beauty problems.

2. Drinking Water: Drinking plenty of water is important during pregnancy but what you drink out of is just as important. Some types of plastic water bottles contain phthalates. Make sure and choose smart plastic, check the bottom of bottles for #1, #2, #4, #5 and avoid #3, #6, #7.

3. Organic Food: Organic food is your best choice for both mother and baby when buying groceries. Keeping your body clear of any pesticides is always the best choice. The top 12 fruits and vegetables you should buy organic.

4. Household Cleaning Products: Look through all your cleaning products and examine the labels. Throw out anything that has flammable, hazardous or fatal. Try making your own non-toxic cleaners to keep the air clean in your home while your cleaning.

5. Paints: You will most likely want to paint the nursery for the new little one but be careful when choosing your paint. The chimicals and fumes in paint are volatile organic compounds and shouldn’t be near you or young children. Look for No or Low VOC paint, stains and varnishes. But even when these safer paint products are used, pregnant women should stay away during renovations.

E.C.O. Earth Conscious Optics

Over at Dragon Alliance you will find E.C.O. (Earth Conscious Optics), the first ever sunglasses with material made from 100% renewable origin. This means that Mother Nature replenishes the material used for the sunglass at the same rate that it is consumed. Includes FSC certified packaging and comes with 100% organic cotton bags, printed with water-based ink.

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And coming soon to MODO Eyewear are E.C.O., another great eyewear collection made of recycled acetate and stainless steel. The collection achieves an innovative, environmentally-sound product with no compromise in the quality, style or durability of the frame.

E.C.O. is a new collection of Earth-Conscious-Optics for men and women certified by the UL created by luxury eyewear designer MODO. Together with non-profit organizations MODO will plant one tree for every frame sold.