Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Gift of Environmental Life

Everyday this planet provides us with water, energy, and countless other resources that we greedily use up;sometimes, without a second thought to its reprecussions. But now, we have little 'gifts' of our own for the environment. We can plant a tree; with all the paper we use on a daily basis, it's probably the least we can do-other than recycling. Even better, if planting a tree seems too daunting a task, you can always contact local organizations and donate the money to them, and they'll plant the tree for you.

Another possible present we can give to our Earth is the gift of a clean planet. If we all work together, we can help keep this planet clean. The first step is simple: Don't litter. The second step, however, may be a bit more challenging: Pick up any trash you see lying around. But don't worry, you'll have help. (:

These are only two examples of presents, but don't be afraid to share your own 'gifts' below!

-greengirl (:

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Reusing Your Plastic Bags

Hey guys, so I've already talked to all of you people about how many plastic bags we use everyday, so i won't bore you by reiterating the same facts over again-but, I did find some new ideas for how you can reuse your old plastic bags. Here are 16 ways utilize the same bags once again.

1. Carry Dirty Clothes – Use your plastic bags to bring home the dirty clothes from your trip. No one likes keeping dirty & clean clothes together, and this gives you an easy way to keep everyone happy.

2. Scoop the Litter Box – Flushing cat litter is a bit controversial, since cat waste contains toxins that’s harmful to aquatic life, and unfortunately, scooping is a fact of life for cat owners. You’ve got to put that smelly litter somewhere.
You’re probably using a plastic bag already, so you may as well RE-use one instead.

3. Stash One In the Glove Box – If someone in your family is prone to carsickness, keep a plastic bag in your glove box in case you don't have time to pull over.

4. Take to Concerts – Amphitheater shows and multi-day music festivals come with a lot of waste, and the trash and recycle bins seem to always overflow by the end. Instead of piling your empties on top of an overflowing bin, use a plastic grocery bag to take your recyclables home at the end of the show.

5. Remove Dog Waste – It’s only polite to pick up after your pet, and many areas even provide disposal areas for dog waste. Rather than grabbing the plastic bag provided, you can re-use a plastic bag that made its way into your house.

6. Use Them Again – It may not be as fancy as pulling out a canvas grocery tote, but if you’ve got a bunch of those plastic bags around the house, bring them to the store to tote another load of groceries home.

7. Line a Paint Tray – Next time you’re painting a room, use
a plastic bag to line the paint pan, rather than a disposable plastic pan liner. It takes less plastic, and it’s reuse to boot!

8. Cushion Valuables – Whether you’re packing to move or storing breakables in the attic, you can wrap them up in plastic bags to cushion them against damage.

9. Protect Paint Brushes – If you’re taking a break from painting, you can wrap the brush in a plastic bag to keep it from getting dry and hard. Just stick the wrapped up brushes into the fridge until you’re ready to get back to it.

10. Line Small Trash Cans – Reuse a plastic bag to line small trash cans, like in the bathroom, instead of buying new plastic can liners.

11. Save Energy – Instead of sand, you can stuff a draft dodger with plastic bags.

12. Donate Them – Places like libraries and food banks often need bags.

13. Protect Plants From Frost – Protect your plants from a freeze by wrapping them securely in a plastic bag overnight and removing the bag in the morning.

14. Save Shoes in Your Suitcase – When you’re packing for a trip, stash your shoes in a plastic bag, so they don’t dirty up your clothing.

15. Ship It – If you’re mailing something fragile, wrap it in plastic bags instead of new bubble wrap.

16. Protect Your Knees – Tie a couple of plastic bags around your knees to add some padding while you’re working in the garden.

Hopefully these tips have given you some more ideas on how to reuse those plastic bags that keep showing up everywhere. I'm sure you all have ideas of your own and let's keep them going in the comments!

-greengirl (:

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Organic Clothing

Organic clothing. It may be a foreign concept to most people, but it's something of importance. Normal clothing is manufactured using certain processes that are detrimental not only to us, but to the environment as well. The fibers in your clothes are bleached using cholrine. When the chlorine is released into local waterways, the chlorine combines with organic matter to form dioxins, a class of carcinogenic compounds that is incredibly dangerous to humans and wildlife alike. Once the textiles have mixed with the chlorine, chemical dyes are used on them. The conventional dyes are often made in a lab using heavy metals and other harmful chemicals that are dangerous for those creating the fabrics, as well as dangerous for the environment when it leaves the plant. Of particular concern are Azo dyes, used to give some garments their vibrant yellow, reds, and orange colors, which have been linked to cancer. Going by names such as “D&C Red 33” or “Sunset Yellow FCF,” these potential carcinogenic dyes can also be found in foods.

Just like these few problems above, there are many other details that I won't bore you with. Organic clothing however, gives people a solution to the various issues presented with normal clothing.

• Fabrics would be whitened using hydrogen peroxide, an extremely benign oxidant as compared to chlorine

• Natural dyes are used, created from earth born sources such as earthen clays and, plants extracts

• Only low-impact and fiber-reactive dyes, water soluble dyes are allowed

• Heavy metal-free dyes

So next time you're about to buy clothing, look at the tag and see if they're made out of these materials:

• Organic Cotton
• Bamboo
• Hemp
• Silk
• Wool
• Cashmere
• Linen

-greengirl (:

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Waste Not, Want Not

While on my hunt for possible green topics to write about, I came across an extremely interesting article called, "Waste Not, Want Not." The article talked about how 'waste not, want not' is a saying that everyone has grown up listening to, and it applies to our lives now, more than ever. With our natural resources slowly diminishing, we should be conscious of how much we're using and how much we're throwing away. The article listed some good tips on conserving generally everything, and I found a few tips of my own as well, so here are some possible ways to improve.

The toothpaste in the tube might seem like it's completely empty but it's not. Many times, I've been on the verge of just throwing away a tube thinking it's done, only to have my mom come & show me exactly how much is left. One way to really use all your toothpaste is to not only roll up the tube, but to use your thumb to firmly press down on that area right underneath the cap.

We all have plastic bags, those bags you get when you go to the grocery store & they pack all your thing inside of it? No matter how hard you try shaking them off, they always end up lying around inside your house until you end up throwing them away-at least that's the way it is in my house. Now, it's not really necessary to use a plastic bag in your trashes, but, if you're one of those people that needs a trash bag, why not use your old grocery bags? My sister insists on using a bag for all her trashes, so now we've made her in charge of all plastic bags entering our house. This way, there won't be two bags thrown away with your trash, you can bring it down to just one.

With all the different kinds of sauces & pastes out there, we end up using at least something in everything we cook. Pizza, pasta you name it, we've got a sauce for it. But with all these different kinds of pastes & sauces we use, we've got a universal problem throughout: that little bit of sauce left in the bottom or the side of the container that isn't enough to use & the bits and pieces stuck on the sides end up being thrown away. Well, I came across and noticed my mom using an excellent technique to keep the sauce from being wasted. What you can do to save that bit of sauce is to put a bit of oregano into the jar, then pour small amount of hot water in, and shake. Soon you'll end up with just enough of sauce for your next creation.

Well hopefully these few tips gave you some ideas for your house and you can use them in the near future.
Until next time,
- greengirl (: