Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Maintaining your Car to Save on Gas

Rising gas prices have made everyone pay attention to different ways to save money on gas. One of the biggest things you can do is properly maintain your car so that it's running at its highest efficiency possible. Here are a few easy tips that you can do right now to improve your mileage:

  • Constant braking and accelerating is one of the biggest gas eaters..it can reduce your highway mileage by as much as 1/3

  • Properly inflated tires can be 3-5% more efficient than those that aren't inflated to the right pressure

  • Heavy items in your car can soak up extra mileage. Take them out if you don't use them or need them.

  • Clean air filters can increase fuel economy by as much as 10%.


For more gas effiency tips, visit fueleconomy.gov. Also, to find the cheapest gas in your area before you head out, try out GasBuddy.com

Friday, May 16, 2008

Switching from Bottled Water Back to Tap

Photo of Bottled Water by Brett Weinstein


Tap water has a bad wrap. The truth of the matter is that tap water is much more regulated than bottled water in the United States. Bottled water companies often do have more contaminants and less minerals than tap. Other bottled water companies, like Aquafina and Dasani, are not even spring water. These two brands are filtered tap water, but still do not face the strict regulations of tap water.

Little known fact: plastic bottles eventually leak chemicals into your bottled water!

The other sad fact about bottled water is that 80% of all water bottles in the United States, despite being recyclable, end up in a landfill. With the recent popularity of bottled water, it should be no surprise that 20 billion bottles will end up in a landfill every year! Bottled water bottles can be recycled at local recycling centers and are very easy to transport.

Water filters are an excellent alternative to bottled water. The taste is usually parallel (and sometimes superior) to the taste of bottled water. It also saves an enormous amount of plastic. Filters like PUR and Brita offer excellent filtration, and are easily found in the supermarket or online. These companies offer pitchers, large and small, individual filtration bottles, and quickly replaced filters. This method will also lead to a large financial savings in a short period of time.

More bottled water facts and tips can be found here: Bottled Water FAQ

These are a couple of the highest rated PUR water filters on Amazon.com, all over 4 star ratings:
Pur 2 Stage Water Dispenser #DS-1800Z
Pur 2 Stage Faucet Mount Filter #RF-3375

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Supporting Local Farmers is Green and Tasty

Bell Peppers by Luc ViatourIf the organic produce in your local grocery store is a bit too pricey, look for a local farm stand. The produce is usually very reasonably priced and freshly picked--much more so than the stores. Local Harvest is a great resource to find the farm closest to you, and they also have an area dedicated to an online store if you would like to get your fresh produce shipped directly to you. Be sure to check out CSA's (Community Supported Agriculture) around you, where you can buy shares in a farm. In exchange for your upfront fee (though some farmers are willing to work out payment plans) you will receive fresh produce, and sometimes fresh eggs or meat, once a week (this may vary too, based on the agreement that you buy into). When you buy a share, you are essentially becoming part owner of that crop for the season. Your fee will go towards seeds, fertilizer and everything else the crops will need to grow. Read carefully as some farms will require you to put in some time working the crops. Keep in mind when you contribute your time to helping to grow the crops it helps keeps the cost of buy-in shares down. Buying local is a great way to be green! Not only are you cutting down on the carbon footprint of bringing produce into your home, but you are supporting your local economy!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Being Green Without Spending A Lot Of Green

In today's current economy-people are wondering how can I be green without spending a lot of money converting to be greener. The answer is in fact very simple. Being green does not mean changing everything you currently use day to day, everything in your house and everything around you to be more eco-friendly. It does not mean ripping out your perfectly fine wood floors and replacing them with bamboo-and throwing away the floors you ripped out, or replacing every single light bulb in your house with a compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL)-and throwing away perfectly good light bulbs. Not only are you spending money to become green, but you are also replacing perfectly good items and throwing them away to build up in a landfill somewhere.

A smart green thinker is someone who, when it is time to replace a light bulb will use a CFL bulb, which can be found in almost any supermarket-even Walmart has started carrying them! These bulbs last 5-10 years, and will save you a substantial amount of money off your electric bill. Keep in mind, when using CFL bulbs, they must be disposed of at a recycling center as they do contain small traces of mercury. If you would rather recycle them through the mail, a mere $15 can get you a recycling kit for 12 bulbs (CFL Recycling), keep in mind the bulbs will last 5-10 years!

Adding Some Green to your Living Space

Photo courtesy of Arch. Mileto Attilio


Recently a lot of attention has been given to indoor house plants and their ability to filter the air around us. Whether you are in an office or home environment, the postive effects from having plant life present can only lead to good things. According to treehugger.com, "plants that top the clean-air list include peace lily, bamboo palm, English ivy, mums, and gerbera daisies." These plants suck in more harmful chemicals and pollutants than the average plant. One plant in particular that makes a big difference in air quality are spider plants. These easy-to-grow plants require little work, and filter plenty of air.



Don't discount other plant species! larger plants that are at least 6" in diameter will have a great effect on the air quality. It's also been speculated that smaller plants like cactus may play a role in reducing our exposure to solar radiation.

aloe vera house plant

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Our First Post!

Since this is our first post, let us introduce ourselves. We are EcoGreenBags, and we sell reusable bags for groceries, work, school, you name it. Reusable grocery bags can help reduce the amount of harmful, unnecessary plastic bags are consumed. You may have heard some of the hype around reusable bags as of late. Companies like Whole Foods have completely ended their plastic bag use, while cities like San Francisco have implemented plastic bag bans and taxes. Confused as to why plastic bags are so harmful? Read our page, Why Use Reusable Bags? for more information.

Go Green Reusable Bags