Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Green Tip of the Day 1 Year Anniversary on Twitter!

It's hard to believe it's been a year, but 365 green tips have been tweeted in the past 365 days! I started tweeting the green tip of the day on December 30, 2008, with the simple goal in mind to make sure I provided just one tip every day. It's been a huge success, and I have over 600 followers to date. In honor of 1 year of green tips, I've decided to make a special retweet of my initial tweet, which was simply this:

"Green Tip of the Day: Invest in a reusable bamboo utensil travel set & eliminate the use of plasticware when at work, on the road or traveling."

What I was referring to was the bamboo utensil set, a reusable set of wooden utensils contained in a locally sewn cloth wrap. As the year has gone on, I've continued to not only tweet the green tip of the day, but retweet other resourceful green Twitter users interesting comments and tips.

In the upcoming year, my goal for green tip of the day is to reach out to as many people as possible and spread the word about going green. With just 140 characters per tip, I think it will be doable for most people.

May everyone have a great New Year, we'll see you in 2010 for the first new green tip of the day and post here on the green living tips blog!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Earth Friendly Baby Cribs

While I was researching to buy a new baby crib, I noticed that there are plenty of earth friendly baby cribs on the market today. Some are made with wood grown from sustainable forests, while many others have non-toxic finish applied, and are phthalate free.

While no crib will have everything you could possibly want, I picked a half dozen convertible cribs to feature that were the best that I could find. Perhaps more important than being earth friendly, these convertible cribs all have been JPMA certified. They also aren't featured on the latest crib recall, and don't have the drop-front style. If you're in the market for a new crib, these all have excellent reviews from consumers and can be shipped right to your door.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Our Top Ten Most Popular Green Living Tips Posts of 2009

With just four days left of 2009, we've rounded up ten most popular green living tips posts of 2009, and have decided to share those with you here.

soap nuts10. Environmentally Friendly Soap Nuts. The number ten most popular green living post of the year was on the eco friendly soap berry known as saponin, or soap nuts. These little berries effectively wash clothing, and don't have the damaging effects laundry detergent has on your clothes (rips, tears, scents, fading). If you're curious about this product, they are available in trial sizes (click shop for products on the right side of the page).

green valentines day9. Have a Green Valentine's Day. Cards, candy, flowers, they all have their impact on the environment. If you're looking to have a greener alternative to traditional Valentine's Day items this year, try out these recommended replacements that will be just as romantic, while being kinder to the environment.

8. Top Ten Things to do During Earth Hour. Cellphones, computers, television, lights, video games... sometimes we just miss the world around us because of the constant stimulation from modern day gadgets and inventions. Earth Hour is just one simple hour of time when things get much less complicated, and we take a moment to enjoy our natural surroundings. It's also a great way to realize our own carbon footprint, and just how much we depend on electricity and modern conveniences. Earth Hour might not be the solution to ending climate change, but it could help change people's minds about climate change.

7. organic shower gelTop 10 Green Eco Friendly Christmas Gift Ideas from Chartreuse Products. The holiday season brought not one, but ten easy gift ideas from Chartreuse, all with an eco friendly twist. For instance, the shower gel is not only organic, but refillable. Purchase the refill pouches and save the bottle to save more plastic from being thrown away. The foaming hand soap is also refillable, and smells much better than the traditional harsh cleanser.

6. I am not a paper cupTop 10 Reasons to Use Not a Paper Cup vs. a Disposable Paper or Styrofoam Coffee Cup. It's the refillable coffee cup that took the green world by storm! I Am Not a Paper Cup is a cool way to reduce the amount of plastic and paper that you throw away, while keeping your drink hotter longer. The ceramic base keeps the drink hot, while the silicone top makes for an easily cleaned sip-top to enjoy your hot chocolate, latte, or coffee any time of day. You also might just get a small discount at the local cafe for bringing your own cup.

reuse5. Reuse Things In Your Life and Be Greener. Recycling is a great way to give your disposables a second life. However, what if your toilet paper rolls, kiddie pool water, floor tiles, and greeting cards could all be turned into something else useful - by you? Be creative, have fun, and start reusing with these 50 ideas today!

eco friendly products4. Reusable Products, Safe Organic Household Cleaners, and Natural Beauty Products: 50 Reasons to Buy from Chartreuse. It's hard to find a truly green company that isn't full of greenwashing techniques. You have every right to be skeptical of someone who claims that something is "eco friendly." We've outlined 50 reasons to buy from Chartreuse, from their dedication to keeping products truly all natural (and organic whenever possible), to keeping the shipment of products green through refill pouches. Need more reasons? There's 48 more left to read.

vegetables3. Growing Your Own Spices and Herbs Indoors. When late fall hits, it's sad to see the fresh vegetables and fruits go, as well as the tasty garden fresh spices. There are a few products on the market today that will help you make it through the fruitless (and often canned and frozen veggie filled) winter months! Stop on by to see some of the latest products available to help you grow your own indoor spices and vegetables, and enjoy summer fresh garden veggies any time of year.

2. A Reasonable Replacements for Paper Towels. It's no wonder this was the #2 most popular post of the year! Americans alone send 3,000 tons of paper towels to landfills yearly. When you take out your trash and it's filled with paper towels, it seems pretty wasteful, doesn't it? Throwing away a paper towel every time you need to wipe up the counter just doesn't make sense. Luckily there are replacements for paper towels out there - reusable ones! It takes some getting used to not throwing your towels in the trash, but once you've got the hang of it, you'll be lightening your trash, your bills, and preventing trees from being cut down. It's as simple as that.

1. The Benefits of Eco Friendly Road Salt. Our most popular post of the year was our post on the benefits of eco friendly road salt. While most towns and cities haven't made the switch yet, we can all use it on our walkways and driveways to help alleviate some of the stress on the environment. When the snow melts and the roads clear in the spring, the damage from salt is evident. Our cars are filthy, sometimes rusted, the roads are covered in grime, potholes and bumps have been eaten into the road, and our yards are littered with sandy salt. The cleanup process takes weeks, and we can still feel the effects months later in our water supply, our burned up lawns, and our bumpy roads. The biggest dilemma facing lawmakers and locals in making the switch is the price. The chemical road salt is cheaper, while the eco friendly alternative is much more expensive. Over time, maybe a more affordable solution will be invented, but for now, it's a matter of cost.

Thanks to everyone for a great 2009! We've seen a big increase in readership, and would like to continue our move forward in 2010 to providing green tips, facts, links, recommended products, and simple ways to green your life. Enjoy the rest of the holiday season!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Green Living Tips Blog Retrospective - Part 4

We've come to the final installment of our retrospective of our past posts here on the green living tips blog. On this post, we'll be reviewing posts 76-100 with a brief sentence or two description along with a link to that previous post. In this post, you'll read about the new product, I Am Not a Paper Cup, find some of our latest reusable bags, SIGG bottles, and more eco friendly products, as well as other green tips from the past few months. Here's a countdown:

76. If you haven't tried out the I Am Not a Paper Cup product yet, it's a great replacement for your disposable coffee cup that really keeps it piping hot. And, it's reusable!

77. In the summer, there are so many options on where to get your produce. I think we can all agree that local is better tasting and better for the environment, but if it came down to it, would you choose the farmer's market or farm stand?

78. In September, we rolled out 4 brand new reusable shopping tote bags, like our save the turtles bag. Have a look!

79. We welcomed autumn in with these 10 eco friendly tips for the fall season, from back to school tips to energy saving maintenance.

80. Our reusable bag contest for September was announced on September 28th, and it was a big hit with our readers. When will the next contest be announced? You'll just have to keep reading this blog to find out!

81. Adding to our lineup of green products, we've added our reusable SIGG bottles, which you can find here. Custom images with green recycling themes and environmental themes are what you'll see!
sigg bottles

82. Boosting your veggie intake isn't just good for you, it's good for the environment. That's why many environmentalists are vegan. Even if you eat meat, reducing meat consumption and increasing vegetable consumption will make you healthier, and reduce the toll on our environment.

83. The winter is upon us, did you winterize your home before the cold weather hit? It saves money, and prevents valuable energy from escaping from your home.

84. Next Halloween, take the environment into consideration with these green tips for Halloween.

reusable bag85. We announced the winner of the September reusable bag contest on this post! Congratulations!

86. The November reusable bag contest featured our reusable gift bags. These were a big hit this holiday season, and prevented plenty of wrapping paper from being thrown in the landfill!

87. We came up with twelve ways to go green for Thanksgiving, from the food to the shopping and leftovers on this Turkey Day post. Gobble!

88. Avoid mercury in fish by reading which fish are on the safe list, and which ones you should avoid on this post. We can still eat fish, but you should be aware of which fish!

89. There's snow on the ground, it's freezing cold, and we're moving around less. It's winter! We check our cars, our houses... but did you prepare your body for winter this season?

90. Want a quick fix to reduce your energy bill? This one easy step will do just that!

91. Who wants an extra serving of BPA? Not me! Exclude it from your lunch by making the switch to eco friendly BPA free sandwich bags. They aren't disposal either, so you'll be doing the environment a favor!

92. For the holidays, we introduced our polar bear, penguin, Frosty and holiday reusable gift bags! These also make great gifts, or if you'd like to have your own special holiday bag to carry around with you, for groceries, the office, shopping and more.

93. Every contest has a winner, and this one received not one bags, but two bags for the holidays! Stop by and wish your congratulations to the winner.

94. The holiday season is a great time to go green, and Chartreuse has a number of ways that can help you do just that! These affordable green gifts will make great stocking stuffers, housewarming gifts, gifts for a Yankee swap, Secret Santa, or for your anyone that appreciates the environment!

95. It's harder to stay healthy during the cold winter months, when produce prices rise, and fresh vegetables get harder and harder to come by. Luckily, there are a few ways that you can still introduce vegetables into your winter diet this year.

96. We celebrated our 101st post by starting this retrospective on this post.

97. In the next 25 posts, we aggregated them into 25 easy green tips.

98. And finally, we offered 25 ways to be more eco friendly on our last post through offering more information from past blogs.

99. Today, we created this post, our final retrospective, part 4. Yes, the next post will be a regular post, we promise!

100. And as our final link that we might suggest to you, why not become a follower of our blog? You can find the follow button on the right hand sidebar. You can also follow me on Twitter for the green tip of the day, posted daily!

Thank you to all of our readers for the past 100+ posts, it's been wonderful, and we look forward to our next 100 posts where we can offer more green living tips, information, contests, and other eco friendly fun ideas!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

25 Ways to Be More Eco Friendly

Being more eco friendly, reducing your carbon footprint, and recycling more isn't something that is accomplished overnight. If you're looking for some small, easy steps that you can take right now, try out one of these suggestions. Part 3 of our look back on our green living tips blog, we're reviewing posts 51-75 as we look for more ways to be eco friendly.

Posts 51-75: Go Green with these Eco Friendly Tips!

51. Find a more eco friendly gift wrap for your holiday gift giving this year with this eco wrap!

52. The New Year is fast approaching. What's your green New Year's resolution?

53. If you're looking for tips on going green for the New Year, look no further than these 29 ideas.

54. Go green on Valentine's Day and avoid the disposable gift giving we're so used to!

55. Stop recycling and start reusing with this post that will give you 50 ideas to reduce your waste!

56. We've held plenty of contests, but this was one of the first in January, the backyard bird contest.

57. Traditional plastic trash bags don't break down into the environment, but biodegradable trash bags do.

58. Nothing tastes better on Valentine's Day than fair trade organic chocolate. It's better for you, and better for the environment.

59. In late January, we compiled 30 easy green tips, much like this post right here!

60. Still on the fence about buying a hybrid vehicle? Here are 7 reasons why you should invest in a hybrid car, from new gas saving technology to steep consumer discounts.

61. Eco friendly road salt may have less of a toll on our environment. Have you ever noticed the condition of the roads and damage road salt causes?

62. Clean up your finances with these ways to green your finances and budget. It turns out that greening your wallet can also make your life greener - and healthier.

63. Every year, Earth Hour gets a little bit bigger. Just a few years ago, it didn't exist. Take a look back at Earth Hour 2009 and prepare for the next big event!

64. Come February, you might be longing for the days of summer and fresh spices. Grow your own spices and herbs indoors with one of these convenient growers and you can enjoy garden fresh taste all year.

65. Wondering what you can do during Earth Hour this year? We've come up with ten things you can do during Earth Hour to enjoy the time away from electricity!

66. If you know someone that isn't all that into green living but might want to give it a try, this video is an excellent introduction to going green.

67. In April of 2009, we held the earth day contest. We had a lot of interest and will probably be holding another one in 2010, keep reading this blog for details!

68. We gave bloggers a special place to enter the earth day contest on this page, which was a smash hit for both readers and us.

69. Traditional laundry detergent can contain harmful chemicals and wear through clothing, proving to be bad for both you and the environment. Soap nuts are an eco friendly, natural solution!

70. What can you recycle and can't you recycle? This list of 50 things you can recycle will give you some excellent ideas on what else you can stop throwing away.

71. What are you putting on your face in the morning? An organic facial care regiment can benefit your skin and complexion, while supporting organic farming techniques and all natural, pesticide free products.

72. Sick of wasting paper towels? Paperless towels are a great replacement for paper towels that will use far less than the ordinary roll.

73. Here's a list of ten things you should be buying green from cars to homes.

74. Chartreuse is a great green company for your household cleaning, facial care, and gift giving. Find 50 ways you can go green with chartreuse on this post and see if they win you over!

75. Freshen up your home without the chemicals with these chemical free aromatherapy air fresheners! They come in two amazing scents of energizing peppermint and refreshing citrus.

You can find our other posts on our 101st green living post, and part two on our 25 easy green tips post. On our next post, we'll be covering part 4, keep reading, and have a happy holiday season!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

25 Easy Green Tips

On our last post, we briefly reviewed our first 25 green living posts, which were on topics ranging from paint disposal to balloons. Today, we're continuing on with 25 more easy green tips from our own blog, done Twitter style in an easy-to-read 140 characters or so (or as short as possible!). Let's dive right in and review some of our past green blog posts! We'll start at #26, since this is part 2 of 4.

25 Easy Green Tips (part 2 - posts 26-50)

26. Sarah Palin was new on the political scene in September of 2008 - brand new. No one was sure of her viewpoint on green issues, but this post helps set the record straight on Palin's stance on climate change, among other issues.

27. Concerned voters weren't getting the facts they need before the 2008 election, so this easy comparison laid out everything on the table for Obama and McCain.

28. September 2008 was the month we chose the fall foliage tote as our bag of the month. A beautiful fall foliage themed bag!

29. Have extra pens, pencils, and art supplies? Schools could use them! See how you can donate your old school supplies on this post.

30. Read how garbage disposals are wasting water, energy and resources on this post.

31. Curious about those plastic bottle numbers, and what they mean? Decode and demystify!

32. Some fruits and veggies are more important to buy organic than others, for how they're farmed, how penetrable the skin is to pesticide, and and what pesticides are used on them. Read up on what fruits to buy organic here on post #32.

33. We get free mousepads from time to time from computers, and sometimes they just plain old fall apart. Reuse your old mousepads with these quick tips!

34. Put those old Duracells aside and find out how to recycle old batteries on this post.

35. Yes, you can recycle your old pizza boxes! It's possible, yes (most of the time).

36. Composting with coffee grinds keeps your soil rich, and really helps in new plant growth. Give it a try!

37. In October '08, we rolled out our popular reusable trick or treat bags just in time for Halloween. Washable, durable, and they store away nicely.

38. 2009 had some great green tax breaks. What will 2010 hold for green tax advantages?

39. The Amazon Kindle was not only an innovation in publishing, but also a milestone in green living. Someday, we might all be reading these on Sunday morning instead of our throw-away newspapers!

40. Cellphones have many toxic parts to them, so you should consider recycling your old cellphones.

41. Looking for a unique, all-in-one green shopping experience? Find great green gift ideas and eco friendly products on this post.

42. This unique company has found ways to recycle flip flops into creative pieces of artwork that will really impress you, like their colorful animal sculptures.

43. Think you're a recycling pro? Well, you might not have thought of these ten ideas on recycling here.

44. Feel that cold blast coming in through the front door? You might need to install weatherstripping in your home. It's fast, easy, cheap, and will save you money, while keeping your house warmer.

45. Real trees, fake trees? How about potted Christmas trees instead?

46. The debate between real vs. fake Christmas trees really heated up on this debate page. Swing in and state your side!

47. Can vegetables make your life greener? Yes! Even if you introduce more veggies into your diet (not all people can go vegan!).

48. Haven't made the switch to tap water? This debate might make you rethink your drinking habits, based on the effects of bottled water on the environment. Another interactive debate!

49. Travelling is one of the most resource-consuming activities we all take part in. To lighten your carbon footprint, these green travel tips will help!

50. It's the perfect time of year to make your own bird feeder ornament! This is fun for kids especially, and the birds will love it in these cold months.

On our next post, we'll be reviewing posts 51-75. Continue on to the eco friendly tips post here! Until then, follow me on Twitter for the green tip of the day, posted daily!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Our 101st Post! The Past 100 Green Living Tips from our Blog...

green living

Over the past 100 posts, we've learned quite a bit about green living and blogging itself. In this post, our 101st post, we'll review our past 101 posts with a brief one sentence review of what you can find on that post. It's our way of looking back at our accomplishments of each post, and a great way for you to find some of our best green tips. So here they are, listed from earliest to the most recent! We'll be breaking this post down into 4 parts. Enjoy, and thank you everyone for reading the green tips blog over the past 100 posts!

Our First 25 Green Living Tips Posts

1. In our first post, we simply introduced ourselves and gave a link to read our "why use reusable bags" page. A simple welcome to our blog introduction.

2. Try out some indoor plants for fresher air all year long, especially in those winter months.

3. Find out some of the benefits of switching to CFL bulbs in this post on greening your budget.

4. Experience local farm fresh taste all year with a CSA near you!

5. Make the switch to tap water from bottled water and save some cash, and spare yourself the BPA.

6. Maintain your car and save money on fuel expenses, tires, engine repairs, and not to mention keep the environment and our air less polluted.

7. Properly dispose of paint to avoid these potentially hazardous chemicals and ingredients from leeching into our environment.

8. VOC, aka volatile organic compounds, can be found in many plastics and man-made items. Avoid them whenever possible, if possible!

9. Save cash on packaging supplies by reusing and looking for green and often free alternatives whether you're an Ebay seller, shipper, or small business owner.

10. Turn down the fridge temperature and save a boatload of money on your electric bill every month.

11. Find the reusable bag of the month for August 2008 on this post dedicated to our special bird bag!

12. Reduce pesticide exposure on produce by following some simple steps.

13. Considering a hybrid car? Learn which hybrids were good, bad, and the best on this post.

14. All cities were not created equal. Find out if your city is walkable or more car-friendly on this useful post.

15. Turns out that VOC can be found in many more things than originally thought!

16. In August '08, we reviewed some of the greenest hybrids to come out at the time, some of which are still on the top list.

17. Chevrolet announced an innovation in green technology in the Chevy Volt, a largely electric car that can potentially burn zero fuel!

18. Pepsi had a great campaign in 2008 to encourage more Pepsi drinkers to recycle their aluminum cans.

19. Find the nearest recycling center to you with these fast and easy websites at your disposal.

20. Despite having many benefits, CFL bulbs do have some downsides that you should be aware of.

21. Recycle those strange, odd, and unusable-to-you items here.

22. Clothing can always be recycled, as you'll find out here, no matter what.

23. Don't let go of balloons, they do have some negative consequences on our local wildlife.

24. Cut down on back to school waste by reusing, cutting back, and recycling every September.

25. This is one of our reader's favorite posts. Ever wonder what world without recycling would be like? What if no one recycled? We've imagined the possibilities on this post, What Not Recycling Will Do to You.

Continue on to part two here!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

5 Easy Ways to Eat More Vegetables During the Winter

Veggies are good for the environment! Now that the farm stands have long closed and winter is upon us gone are the days of fresh vegetables from the garden or your local farm stand. So how do you maintain your vegetable intake to ensure you are getting everything you need? Here are some tips on where you can find vegetables and incorporate them into any recipe!

1. Frozen vegetables! You can find frozen vegetables in any grocery store at any time of the year. These can easily be added to any dish you like or eaten alone. My personal favorite is to steam them and have them as a side. Veggie Panini's are a huge favorite in my house, and in the winter we switch over to frozen vegetables!

2. Grow your own! If you have some extra room in your kitchen or another part of the house, there are a lot of kits now sold to help you grow your own vegetables inside of the house. While it may not be ideal in the summer, in the winter this is perfect if you are looking for fresh vegetables! There are also many miniature herb gardens which are also sold, allowing you to grow your own basil, rosemary and whatever your favorite spices may be. For some all you need is a sunny window, others will come with a heat light to help them grow!

3. Jarred vegetables! The one item I would caution you on is that a lot of vegetables sold in jars have been pickled or soaked in brine. A favorite, artichokes, are usually stored in brine. To get read of that brine-y salty taste, drain the artichokes or vegetable of your choice and let them soak in water. This will allow the brine to come out of the vegetable, leaving behind the true taste of the artichoke.

4. Grocery store vegetables (from the produce section)! Keep in mind what vegetables are currently in season. Right now that would include a lot of the root vegetables. Root vegetables are great to bake and make for an easy meal. Keep in mind which veggies are in season when buying vegetables in the grocery store. The vegetables that are in season will taste the best and most likely had the shortest trip to the store!

5. Canned vegetables! Last but by no means least is canned vegetables. Now while these may be the easiest ones to use, use caution. Recent studies have shown that these veggies could potentially contain BPA which is coming from the cans. I would use this as a last alternative, and definitely not something to be used on a regular basis.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Top 10 Green Eco Friendly Christmas Gift Ideas from Chartreuse Products!

So the crunch is upon us! Less than 20 days til Christmas and most of us still have a lot of shopping ahead of us. This year it was my goal to educate my family and friends about what it means to be earth friendly and more conscious of the products that they are using on a regular basis. After fighting through a lot of green washing and false advertising, I have decided to talk about my top ten products from Chartreuse Products that my family will be enjoying this year.

shower gel

1. Peppermint Shower Gel. Nothing says the holidays like the scents of peppermint and cinnamon in the air. Whether through baking or soy candles this is a definite favorite among many. Some of my family will be discovering the Chartreuse Products Peppermint Shower Gel in their stockings. Not only is this my personal favorite scent, but is free from Sodium lauryl sulfate, diethanolamine, and butylene glycol. Of course this has never been tested on animals, no animal byproducts contained in the shower gel and contains no artificial coloring. preservatives or any of the extra bonus items you get when picking up a body wash at your local store. The essential oil peppermint is also a pleasing scent year round not only at the holiday season.

soap nuts

2. Soap Nuts. The most unique gift I am giving this year has to be Soap Nuts. Some of my friends are just not ready to try them and others while they may be intrigued haven't taken the plunge yet. These magical little berries contain saponin, a naturally occurring soap and fabric softener. Not only do these little guys take much better care of my clothes since I started using them, but some of my husband's favorite shirts have been lasting much longer! If you are allergic to nuts, well you are in luck because even though they are called soap nuts they are truly a berry. With cold washes I have been getting 5-7 washes out of each pouch of 3-5 berries. The best part is that they are cheaper than regular laundry detergent, and you will no longer need fabric softener-double bonus!! For those less adventurous there is also an easier version-liquid soap nuts.

reusable dryer sheets

3. Reusable Dryer Sheets. To compliment the soap nuts, are the reusable dryer sheets. Each dryer sheet lasts at least 500 loads of laundry, and contains no chemicals! Your regular dryer sheets contain items which are contained on the EPA's Hazardous Waste list including the two well know chemicals chloroform and benzyl acetate. As you use the dryer sheets these chemicals transfer from the sheets to your clothes. Rumor has it that in Canada women who are fighting breast cancer and recovering from breast cancer are urged to stay away from dryer sheets due to the potential effects it could have. Again, there is also huge cost savings here with the reusable sheets. On average each use of the reusable dryer sheet will be about $.03!

4. Facial Cream. The facial cream is a product I personally use every day. This is actually one of the most popular products for me! It has a light scent and actually contains avocado! A perfect gift for all of my California friends :)A little tub will last them 3 months or so and is made with all natural ingredients-which means no ingredients that they can't pronounce.

produce bags6. Reusable Produce Bags. I have a few sets already picked out for my grandmother. Typical Italian grandmother always spending her time in the kitchen cooking and baking. I have transitioned her from paper and plastic bags to reusable bags, now onto the produce bags! She buys enough produce each week to feed a small army. With the reusable produce bags she will be able to reduce all of the plastic bags she is using and throwing away on a weekly basis and it comes in a small carrier which is stylish enough for her to clip onto her current reusable bags so she always remembers them. The mesh bags are easy to use and if they get dirty they can go right into the wash-to be washed with her new soap nuts! Small steps but I am slowly showing her the green way. Now the only decision is what color to buy for her?

7. Not a Paper Cup. Regular readers of the blog will know that the Not a Paper Cup is one of my new favorite cups! Not only is the size perfect for carrying and fitting into my cars cup holder, it is definitely eye catching as well. People don't realize that it is actually a ceramic cup! For all of my coffee drinking friends and family one of these will be making an appearance in their stocking. This eliminates the waste of a paper cup-or even worse a Styrofoam cup, along with a plastic lid which is likely leaking at least BPA and possibly other chemicals into your delicious morning coffee. Since they are easy to wash and come with a silicon top I figure this will be an easy transition for most. Plus once they see how hot the drink will stay, they will LOVE it! Chartreuse Products also introduced a different version call the Eco Cup. This cup is the same design-ceramic base with a silicon top, except it is not insulated. So this is great for the people on your list that like their morning coffee but like it to cool off a bit on the ride to work before drinking it.

8. Foaming Hand Soap. Ok, ok, so everyone loves that soap is foamy. And the more it foams the more it is cleaning your hands right? Wrong! The foam in soap is actually a chemical reaction occurring on your hands that has nothing to do with getting clean. In fact it could be causing more damage as your skin absorbs these wonderful chemicals right into your skin. Chartreuse foaming hand soap is an all natural soap which is forced through a few screens adding air to the product before it is delivered on your hand through the pump. No chemicals included here, just all natural soap with a little air! These great soaps are scented with essential oils and never tested on animals, and also contain no animal byproducts or artificial colors or preservatives.

organic all purpose cleaner

9. All Purpose Cleaner/Bathroom Cleaner set. The cleaning set will work perfectly for almost anyone on my Christmas list. As I work to get my friends and family to understand the dangers of using Bleach and other chemical laden cleaners, this provides the perfect alternative. All of the cleaners are made from all natural ingredients and scented with essential oils. The All Purpose Cleaner is ok to use on any water safe surface including wood, porcelain, plastic, stone, leather, stainless steel and fabric, removing stubborn stains, household germs and odors and yet it is safe enough to wash baby’s toys and pet toys. You can also use 1/2 of the pouch of cleaner and mix that with water as it is highly concentrated. With the bathroom cleaner, it is safe to use on your tub, tile, toilets and floors, and for those things needing extra help, sprinkle a little baking soda on the surface and scrub away.

10. Organic Baby Bath Sets. So this year there have been a few new additions that have arrived and a few more coming after Christmas! This makes the perfect gift for the baby or coming baby. An organic towel to wrap the little one in after a nice warm bath, along with baby / kids body wash in a soothing citrus essential oil scent. There are also some complimenting products of Organic Body Lotion, a soothing bath soak, and the best item of all! Dry baby wipes, instead of using the chemical filled wipes that come from the store, you spray a mixture of soothing bath soak mixed with water and use a dry disposable wipe. They are chemical free and can but cut in half or smaller to make for more efficient use of each wipe.

I hope this list provides you with some great ideas for your own Christmas shopping! Any of the above can be found at . I would love to hear about your green gift ideas so feel free to share them here.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

November Reusable Bag Contest Winner!

yuletide greetings tote bagCongratulations to our winner of the November reusable bag contest, Small Footprints! They will be winning two of our reusable gift bags:

* The Yuletide Greetings Reusable Tote Bag

* The Holiday Presents Reusable Tote Bag

We've also just added some brand new reusable gift bags to our store this week (we just posted about them yesterday here).

Want to enter our next contest? We've made some people pretty happy with their free contest giveaways, as you can see here, here and here. To be the first in line for our next contest, follow TheGreenerMe on Twitter for contest updates, our fan me on Facebook.

Happy Holiday shopping!

reusable water bottles

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Introducing the New Penguin, Polar Bear, and Frosty Reusable Gift Tote Bags!

EcoGreenBags has introduced four new reusable gift tote bags to our collection just in time for the holidays! Let's take a look at these festive new holiday bags...

penguin chick bag1. Emperor Penguin Chick Tote Bag

A cute baby Emperor Penguin chick surrounded by a giant icy heart. Great gift for the cold weather! Perfect to reuse again and again.

Frosty the Snowman2. Frosty the Snowman Bag

He's all natural you know! Made from a repurposed top hat, some old sticks, and all natural snow, Frosty made going green "cool." Get this icy cold tote bag for the holiday season as a shopping tote, reusable gift bag, or to carry all of your daily essentials! Great for school, too.

seasons greetings bag3. Season's Greetings Tote Bag

With a multitude of holiday symbols, this bag covers all of the bases for the Christmas season. Stockings, winter snowflakes, doves, Christmas trees, bowties, ribbons, swirls, presents, stars and candy canes abound make this an ultra festive bag to give your presents in, or to take with your while doing your shopping!

polar bear bag4. Polar Bear Tote Bag

One of the most popular new holiday additions has been our Polar bear reusable tote bag. A cute Polar Bear cub on a piece of floating ice is a cute reminder to make that extra step to go green for the holiday season! Slow global warming by cooking up some of your own meals instead of getting take-out, using less heat during the winter by bundling up, and by switching to reusable bags to help curb the production of disposable plastic bags.

To view our entire selection of reusable bags, reusable SIGG bottles, and organic t-shirts, visit our store today and buy an eco friendly gift for someone you love!

Avoiding BPA in Your Lunch

sandwich bagWhen it comes to your food, BPA has been popping up all over the news for the harmful effects it can have on your body. Forbes Magazine writes: "Some studies have linked it to cancer, diabetes, heart disease and developmental problems in children. Health advocates say exposure to the chemical could present a particular problem to developing fetuses."

Going BPA free with food can seem tough, especially if you're relying on disposal plastic items like ziploc bags and baby bottles. Fortunately, one such item that can help that toxic dose of BPA is reusable sandwich bags. These ones in particular are BPA free, and are easily hand washable.

Some other suggestions for avoiding a heaping helping of BPA:

* Limit consumption of canned goods. Canned products have been shown to contain amounts of BPA, especially harmful to children and pregnant women.

* Go BPA free with your baby bottles. Search the net for truly BPA free bottles.

* Opt for glass jars instead of plastic. Plastics, especially some #7 plastics, have been known to contain trace amounts of BPA. Glass is a good alternative.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

An Easy Quick Fix to Substantially Reduce Your Energy Bill

When it comes to saving energy on your electric bill, there are hundreds of tiny things you can do... or there's one giant thing you can do. That one thing is to unplug things after you're done using them. Don't leave the toaster plugged in, or the smoothie machine, your pencil sharpener, and buy an energy saving power strip for your computer. This one act alone can cut your electric use by 10% or more. Known as the "phantom load," energy sucked gets sucked from your appliances and gadgets just by being plugged in. Nevermind if you're computer is off, if the toaster isn't being used, or if the TV is off. It all drains power. Surge protector power strips cost under ten bucks from most stores, and can pay themselves off in just a month (especially if you have a computer).

Sunday, November 15, 2009

5 Things to Do to Prepare Your Body for Winter

When winter rolls around, it's only natural people are going to get more lethargic with the lessening sunlight, stay inside because of the colder temperatures, and eat more because of the holidays and cold. Come spring, we might have a little bit of regret and extra work to do to shed those extra pounds of the winter... but there are a few small things you can do to prepare your body for winter and be in good shape come springtime. Read on for some suggestions!

1. Take a walk daily, even if only for ten minutes. If it's raining, walk ten minutes on the treadmill, or use weight bands while watching TV. The extra exercise will keep your metabolism up, and keep your waistline from growing.

2. Use the supermarket to your advantage Park your car far away, and lap the entire store before starting your grocery shopping. Keep a brisk pace throughout the store and you'll also have grocery shopping done sooner.

3. On Thanksgiving, plan on going for a walk. A long walk or a ride to the beach with family is just the thing to get you away from the food, and spend some quality time with the family!

4. Use Root Vegetables in Your Recipes. Just because winter is here doesn't mean that fresh produce has gone away. In the fall and winter, root vegetables are at their peak, and will start to arrive at grocery stores. This guide gives you some great ideas on how to cook root vegetables.

5. Stock up on Frozen Fruits. When winter arrives, we often deprive ourselves of fruit and vegetables since they cost more and are not as fresh. Fresh frozen fruits have a lot of taste and work well in fruit smoothies. If you can find organic fruit, that might be an even better choice.

These small steps might help you prevent getting sick during the winter by keeping your immune system stronger, not to mention improve your cardiovascular health.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Avoiding Mercury in Fish - Which Fish to Eat, and What to Avoid

fish market
You've probably heard all of the bad stuff about fish and mercury, and the contradictory statements about the benefits of eating fish. With all of this information, it can be confusing-- should we eat fish or not? And what kinds of fish should we even eat, if any?

First, you should know why we can't eat fish with mercury. Mercury exposure and poisoning can lead to damage to the lungs, brain, and kidney, as well as several different types of diseases. While mercury can be found in other foods and even in the air, fish consumption has been found to be the likely culprit in many cases of mercury poisoning.

How to Avoid Mercury Poisoning

Avoid eating fish that are the highest in mercury, which are, according to the NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council):

Mackerel (King)
Orange Roughy
Tuna (Bigeye, Ahi)

There are many more fish that you could possibly be eating, so check the full list of fish containing high amounts of mercury here. Not to worry though, because the article also lists many more safe fish to eat that outnumber by far the mercury contaminated species, like varieties of shrimp, clams, scallops, haddock, salmon, flounder, and tilapia.

Don't Stop Eating Fish!

There are far too many benefits of eating fish to stop eating them. Instead, just have this list handy and make educated decision when buying your fish. The essential Omega 3 fatty acid can be found in many fish, which aids in cardiovascular health, the development of the fetus in pregnant women, and may be linked to slower decline in brain loss and memory in older people.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Twelve Tips To Go Green for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving turkey
Scary news I know, but yes Thanksgiving is only a few weeks away. Where did the summer go? And how is Thanksgiving, and dare I say Christmas, right around the corner. With holidays coming up there are several ways you can have a greener holiday. These tips are easy enough for anyone to use-no excuses allowed for not being able to follow at least one or two of these eco friendly Thanksgiving tips!

1. Turkey. Consider purchasing a locally farmed turkey which was free range and organically raised. This will bring to your table a fresh turkey with substantially less chemicals than a store bought turkey.

2. Vegetables. When making veggies to go with the turkey, search for vegetables that are in season and perhaps local to your area. If local veggies are not available look for organic veggies in your local supermarket as they are grown with less chemicals.

3. Gravy. Make your own gravy vs. the kind you can buy in a can. Not only will this save you a serving of BPA (which has been discovered to be present in canned foods, as it leaches from the can) but it also tastes so much better!

4. Stuffing. Consider using an all natural bread for your stuffing, either made from scratch or picked up from a local all natural bakery.

5. Coffee. Serve a fair trade, shade grown organic coffee after dinner as people are relaxing after the filling meal.
pumpkin pies
6. Pumpkin Pie. When making your pumpkin pie, search for a pumpkin or two that has been responsibly grown. Again if locally grown pumpkins are no longer available, search for an organic pumpkin as the growing process for organic vegetables uses a lot less chemicals and pesticides.

7. Drinkware/Dishes. ALWAYS use reusable plates, cups and utensils for all appetizers, meal and dessert, along with any drinks.

8. Football Games. When going to a football game of your old home team or your current home team, always bring with you a thermos and a Not a Paper Cup (or a BPA free SIGG bottle for cold drinks) . This will save you from spending money at the local coffee shop and buying a coffee in a paper or Styrofoam cup which will only be thrown away.

9. Carpooling. Are you traveling for Thanksgiving? Consider the other guests going and see if it makes sense to set up a carpool. This will consume less gas, less wear and tear on cars and on the road, and you will have great company to chat with along your route to dinner.

10. Leftovers. Does Noni (Italian grandmother) always send you home with leftovers? Plan ahead this year and bring your own containers for the leftovers. This eliminates having containers which will need to be recycled after you are done with them , or possibly even thrown away if they aren't able to be recycled.

11. Extra Hot Air. If you have no little ones around this holiday dinner, keep the oven open for a little bit after the turkey is done cooking. This will add a bit of warmth to the house and may help cut down on your heating expense for the day :)

12. Grocery Shopping. When grocery shopping for your produce, be sure to use reusable produce bags instead of the plastic bags provided by the grocery store. Don't worry if your bags get a little dirty, they can washed in the washing machine after you are done with them! The less plastic consumed the better the Earth will be!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

November Reusable Bag Contest: Reusable Gift Bags!

We've held a slew of reusable bag contests over the past year, and we're starting November off with another one! This month, we're upping the stakes. How? Win two reusable bags from our cool reusable gift bags section! Each bag is valued at $18.50, and the bags will be shipped anywhere in the USA at no cost to you.

What You Can Do With These 100% Canvas Cotton Reusable Gift Bags

Not only are these great to give as gifts, but they're perfect to use instead of a stocking, or to tote around your holiday baking items (fresh cookies, bread, and treats!). Bring them to the grocery store as your holiday reusable bag, or give them as a unique green gift.

reusable gingerbread man bagTo help spread the word about going reusable this holiday season, we'll be giving away two of our reusable holiday tote bags. First, our Yuletide Greetings tote bag, which features a vintage style gingerbread man, along with some festive colored lights surrounding him. It's double-sided with the same image, so no one will miss this striking holiday design from any angle! Second, our classic wrapped presents reusable gift bag. A large pile of presents will remind you of all of the packaging you'll be saving from going reusable!

How to Enter the Contest

Entering the contest couldn't be easier.

Reusable presents gift bag1. Simply visit our store,,
and tell us your favorite tote bag in the store. Find one of our reusable gift bags, browse our large selection of grocery bags, or if you'd prefer, name off your favorite organic t-shirt or SIGG bottle!

2. Then, come back to this post and tell us what your favorite bag is. Leave the name of the bag in the comments, and make sure we have a way to get in touch with you (that means link to your Twitter account, your personal website, etc., just make sure we can get in touch with you!).

3. The winner will be drawn at random on November 30. Contest ends November 29, 2009 (that's a Sunday night), at 7PM EST. Look for an announcement here for the winner, but don't worry, if you're the winner, you'll be contacted asap. Contest is open to U.S. residents only. We will contact the winner to arrange shipping (which we will pay for).

So the question is, what's your favorite bag from our store?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Reusable Bag Contest Winner!

reusable bagCongratulations to Heather for winning the free reusable tote bag contest! Heather is the lucky winner, having our go green California tote bag shipped to her home, which will take the place of several plastic bags. Curious about our contest? You can read more about the free reusable bag contest on this post.

Don't worry if you weren't a winner, we'll be giving away another bag very shortly! Look for us to announce our next contest on Sunday, November 1st, right here on this blog, or at EcoGreenBags itself! Which bag will be up for a giveaway? Or should we say which (plural) bags?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Grinch of Halloween

Halloween is upon us! Next week all of the neighborhood children will be dressing up and going out to Trick or Treat or to attend Halloween parties. Costumes will be worn and the candy will be handed out until late into the night.

But I think its important to just stop and think for a second how we could lessen our environmental impact this Halloween. The more you think about the "holiday" of Halloween you realize how large the environmental impact can actually be.

Costumes. Imagine each child (and adult for those of us out attending Halloween parties) that is buying a new costume every year. After that one night of fun is over, where does the costume end up? Passed along to a friend for next year? Maybe? Packed away for next year? Possibly, but who wants to wear the same costume two years in a row? Thrown away to make room for other more important things you need to store? Very likely. Instead of going out every year to buy a new costume, consider what items you may already have in your house to create a costume for you and the kids. After Halloween is over you can return these items to their normal use within your house. For example, check out these creative recycled Halloween costumes.

Face paint. Now just about every child coming to my house has this face paint smeared all over their face. First we have the issue of the packaging and extra face paint which comes in the containers. Due to the fact that the paint will dry up before next year, most face paint is thrown away.The next issue is removing the face paint and either washing the toxic paint down the drain or throwing it into your trash, which by default could potentially end up in a water source. The last danger is that toxins included in the face paint will be absorbed into your child's skin while your child is wearing it. Consider looking for organic, non toxic face paint or perhaps make your own!


Lastly, we have the candy. Bags and bags and bags of candy. Creating waste not only from the packaging for all of the large bags containing the pieces to hand out but also the individual wrappers on the candy pieces. Then there is always candy that the kids receive which no one in the house likes-so the solution, just throw it away. Of course, all pieces which look potentially tampered with should and are immediately thrown away. Then, as I have heard from people, sometimes after the kids are in bed some more of the candy will be thrown away just so the kids aren't consuming mass amounts of sugar. More waste is created when the kids receive the fresh baked goods packed in individual baggies, which again for safety reasons are thrown away instead of being consumed. Instead of creating all this additional waste consider saving the candy your kids don't like for a local food pantry, and also having them include some of the candy they do like as a life lesson.

To help have a greener Halloween consider hosting a green Halloween party at your house for your friends and your kids friends. Make it a requirement that all costumes must be designed from items which they already own and are repurposing for the night. Have fresh baked goods instead of individually wrapped candy bars. Play some fun games, such a who can eat a donut the fastest when it is hanging from a string from the ceiling. Or you could have a pumpkin decorating contest and see who comes up with the most creative design.

Anything to lessen our impact will make a difference! As you can see from above, even a slight "holiday" such as Halloween creates a large amount of waste, creating only a larger problem for future generations...

Remember, "Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children." (Ancient Indian Proverb)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Getting Your House Greener This Winter

Green Up Your Home Before the Winter Season Arrives to Save Time, Energy and Money!

The end of fall is here, and the leaves have changed and are falling from the trees. And dare I say here in Massachusetts some of us have seen SNOW! In mid-October... So we are in for a fun winter. In getting ready for winter there are a bunch of things to do around the house to "green" your home. What better time than now to start these small projects? Of course after the leaves have been raked and placed in your compost pile...

1. Find the drafts in your house. Not only does cold air come in, but that expensive heat you are paying for will go sailing out! This can easily be done by checking the weatherstripping around your doors, checking the cases around your windows and perhaps even investing in a door snake or two for the doors in your house leading to the outside. Also consider adding on a screen door. Not only will that keep the heat inside in the winter but allow the sun to shine in during the warmer months.

2. Recycle the Warm Air From Your Oven. Have baking to do? Consider doing it later on in the day when the sun has gone down. This will temporarily heat your house as its baking and since the sun is no longer shining it will make up for that loss of solar heat. After your done baking, crack the oven open a little bit to release the warm air into your home (but be careful if you have children!)

3. Think about adding a plant or two to your family. Not only are house plants great for cleaning the air, but they will also add some color into your home.

4. Turn the thermostat down a few degrees at night. Not only will you sleep more comfortably, but you will be saving some cash and reducing your energy consumption. During the day keep the temperature down a few degrees and put on your sweatshirt to keep you warm. The heat can be very drying and sometimes by keeping the temperature down a few degrees your skin will retain a bit more moisture.

5. Last but by no means least, get your spices started growing in pots inside! Once the weather warms up after winter you can move them outside. By growing these fresh spices inside you will save money on buying dried spices, the spices you use will be fresher and they will add a bit of greenery to your house!

We'd love to hear your ideas on how you are planning on going green for the winter! Please share them with the other readers in our comments section!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Boost Your Veggie Intake: Easy Vegetarian Meals

Making a full-fledged switch to becoming vegetarian isn't a change that most people are willing to make with their lives. But reducing the amount of meat that you eat, that might be more realistic. Throughout most of the world, meals revolve around some sort of meat dish for 2 out of 3 meals of the day. Squeezing in even one all veggie meal once or twice a week is a small change that can lead to big benefits for you, and for the environment!

Not only is it better for the environment, but it's better for you. Hormones, antibiotics, pesticides.. these are all some issues to think about when consuming meat. Consuming a little bit less of it probably won't hurt, and consuming more local vegetables definitely won't hurt.

Now how can you realistically replace one meal a week with just vegetables? Salads are boring. Soy is gross (to a lot of people), and tofu is nearly inedible to a meat eater. But these vegetarian recipes are more realistic. Most of these recipes are things you already eat that can be slightly altered to exclude the meat.

Looking for more easy meat replacements? Here are a few more ideas:

Friday, October 2, 2009

Reusable Eco Friendly Sigg Water Bottles

reusable Sigg bottleSigg Bottles are BPA Free, Eco Friendly, and Reusable! Plus, the Dangers of Using Other Plastics...

Are you thinking of switching over to a reusable water bottle? There are a lot of benefits for both you and the environment. For one, traditional disposable water bottles contain chemicals. The plastic can leach into your water, entering your body. Specifically, #7 plastics, and even Nalgene brand water bottles have been tested to find trace amounts of BPA (Bisphenol A ). This chemical isn't just a strange name, it can potentially, even in trace amounts, reduce testosterone levels, cause miscarriage, and has even been linked to breast cancer.

Even clear #1 plastics have been found to contain hazardous chemicals, leaching DEHP. Other plastics, like #6, have been found to contain hormone disrupting chemicals. The answer seems clear: don't use plastic! Not just for the environment, but for your own personal health.

SIGG has one of the best known and highest quality water bottles available today. Each bottle comes with a durable interior lining, and contains no BPA free or leaching. They also come with a lifetime warranty, and can be recycled at their end of their long use. These bottles are made of aluminum, with a durable EcoCare (BPA free) inner lining. They're also really lightweight.

One cool thing about SIGG is their line of customized reusable water bottles. The ones below spread an eco friendly message, while you help reduce plastic use (and keep yourself healthy!).