Wednesday, December 31, 2008

What's your Green New Year's Resolution?

There are some simple things you can do to be more green this upcoming year. There are big ones like composting, but small things like switching to reusable bags and buying local produce will make a big impact. Here are some ideas...

* Switch to reusable bags. Plastic bags consume oil and water during production, and don't break down. You'll also get some money back every time you shop (most stores give you a credit for every bag you use of your own!).

* Conserve water. This is an easy one that will also save you some money. Using low flow toilets, showerheads, and your own filtered tap water will conserve huge amounts.

* Eat more Veggies. Now how is this going to help out the planet? Veggies use less energy and resources to farm than meat, and don't have huge emissions like cattle and other animals. Reducing the amount of meat you eat(or going vegetarian or vegan if you're really dedicated!) is a huge step in being greener.

* Check your home for leaks. Air leaks. Energy escapes through small gaps and crevices in your home, and you can plug them up. They cost you money, and they waste energy. All it might take is a little weatherstripping.

Have some Green New Year's resolutions of your own? Be sure to tell us about it in the comments section!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Green Gift Wrap

It's virtually impossible to find green gift wrap in the stores, but the Daily Green has found one that might work for you. With 4 nature inspired patterns, these look great and won't be using as much energy to produce the paper in the first place.

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Create your Own Bird Feeder Christmas Tree Ornaments

Christmas is for the birds, well the week after Christmas anyways!

The holiday parties have started and the family celebrations are only a days away. The house is decorated, the tree has been up for a week or two and is beautifully decorated and the scent of pine fills the house. A lucky member of the family has tree duty, making sure the tree doesn't get too thirsty and dry out before Christmas.

But after Christmas, who will care for the tree? Some people will recycle the tree through local organizations that do tree pickups and turn the trees into mulch, others will add the tree to their compost pile, and a small group of us will carefully place our now naked tree in the backyard for the birds to celebrate their holidays. This year instead of throwing away your tree, consider throwing the tree in your backyard for your bird friends to enjoy. If you have a place to prop up your tree that is best! It will give them shelter from those strong winter winds and storms we get, especially in the Northeast, and you can decorate your tree the second time around. In a great project for young and young and young at heart, the perfect project for a chilly winter day is designing "green" Christmas ornaments for your tree outside that your feathered friends are enjoying.

These ornaments are very easy to create-all you need is some pinecones, which you can collect from outside your house (be careful not to use the scented ones as some of these have been treated with chemicals), smooth peanut butter, a butter knife or popsicle stick, a plate, some birdseed and some string made from non-plastic (and hopefully biodegradable) materials. Spread the peanut butter onto the pinecone with the butter knife or popsicle stick. Then pour some birdseed onto the plate and roll the pinecone around so that the seed sticks to the pinecone. Repeat this until you have several pinecones all decorated and ready to go. After your creation is complete take a piece of string and attach it to the end of your pinecone and head out to your old Christmas tree. Tie the pinecones to the tree and then return inside to watch your new friends explore their ornaments. When hanging the ornaments, keep in mind that the higher up you hang the ornaments the safer your friends will be when they go to grab a snack.

The best part, when the ornaments become bare, collect the pinecones and "refill" them!

Have a Green Holiday Season!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Green Travel Tips

The recent gas price reduction is a huge relief for most everyone across the country. It also pushes the idea of being more fuel efficient to the back of everyone's head! It's still as important as ever to reduce the amount of gas we consume, as well as emissions. If you're traveling this holiday season, there are a few things you can do to be a little greener while at hotels, on the road, or flying. Read up on more green travel tips here.

Friday, December 5, 2008

The Great Debate Rages on between the benefits of bottled water vs. plastic water

There has long been a debate on the benefits of bottled water vs. filtered water which you can filter on your own, either through a Brita Filter, a PUR filter or some other system. For those of us who have made the switch away from bottled water to a filter were still left with the problem of what to do with the filter once it has lived out its useful life. Yes we have reduced our plastic use from all of the bottles we have saved by using a filter, but the filter itself is made of plastic.

Well the exciting news is that Recycline ( now accepts No. 5 plastics along with Brita filters to recycle and make into new household products. They will also be partnering with Whole Foods to have drop off bins at some of their stores. If you don’t live near a Whole Foods that is participating you can also go directly to their webpage and print off a postage paid mailer to mail you No. 5 plastics and your Brita filters in to them.

Thanks to recycline for making green living a little bit easier!