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Two eco-green-super fresh shopping entries in one week, stop it. It’s your lucky week. Well not really. I didn’t think it would be responsible of me to promote more consumption, so instead I will put together some tips on how to be more environmentally conscious when you do shop. Even better. :)

According to Earth 911,

A family of four [I wonder if this is a family of four people or two people and two cats or one person and three dogs…] can save $2,000 a year in the supermarket by choosing large sizes instead of individual serving sizes. Small sizes use more packaging for each ounce of product than larger sizes. So, if you buy large sizes, you save money, reduce waste, and help the environment.

Here’s some Earth 911 tips:

  • Buy cereal in a large box instead of in individual serving sizes.
  • Buy large packages of sugar and flour.

I think the best thing would be to buy local products, like at your Farmer’s Market. That way you may avoid any packaging and you’ll be supporting your local region and a small business. That’s a lot of good.

Another thing you can do to help out is make sure whatever it is you are buying, that the packaging is recyclable through your local recycling program. If you go to this link on Earth 911 you can find that information.

Do not buy disposable products. We do not live in a world that can survive all this junk filling landfills and polluting the earth. In fact take all the disposable products you have and invent something new. There’s a cool project. Then if you want you can sell it on Etsy, make tons of money, quit your job and work for yourself, protect the world, and enjoy your life…easy.

Here are some ways to do your part,

  • Use rechargeable batteries in everything that needs batteries [May I suggest purchasing solar powered products, or water powered or kinetic instead…]
  • Do not use disposable cameras [Unless you are at someone’s wedding and they give you one. I mean at that point it’s too late.].
  • Use cloth napkins, sponges, and cloth towels or wipes to clean up. [I’m working on that one right now.]
  • Use washable plates, cups, and silverware for parties and picnics instead of disposable products [Come on really who is still buying paper or plastic plates???].
  • Use an electric razor or hand razor with replaceable blades instead of disposable razors. [Whoops.]
  • Use a washable commuter mug for your morning coffee and eliminate a Styrofoam or plastic cup every day [Funny, I was walking around just the other day with my Starbucks’ disposable coffee cup in my hand, thinking just that. I’m embarrassed….tell no one.].

I hope you have enjoyed this Friday’s shopping tips.

Enjoy your weekend.

-Cara

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Reason 77 from, 101 Reasons Why I Am Vegetarian:
The population explosion should not be thought of exclusively in terms of people–not when one considers the ecological footprint represented by the world’s 3.2 billion cattle, sheep, goats, and domesticated bison across the globe. About 20 percent of the world’s pastures and rangelands, with 73 percent of rangelands in dry areas, have been degraded to some extent, mostly through overgrazing, compaction, and erosion caused by livestock.

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The last few Fridays I’ve given people some cool, eco, usually recycled ideas to buy, but for this Friday I thought we would slow it down a bit and MAKE something new out of stuff we already [most probably ] have.

The first of the three entries is a video from Make Magazine’s [MAKE brings the do-it-yourself mindset to all the technology in your life. MAKE is loaded with exciting projects that help you make the most of your technology at home and away from home. This is a magazine that celebrates your right to tweak, hack, and bend any technology to your own will.] YouTube channel. The video is of this girl, Cristen Andrews, who shares with us her super fantastical plastic bag crafting skills by showing us how to get started with are own crocheting of said plastic bags.

Enjoy…

The next one is hot. I found it on ecobites.com. It is a solar powered food dehydrator made from two cardboard boxes, some clear plastic wrap, and a little tape and voilà, you to can build an inexpensive solar dehydrator. Click the picture below for all the exciting instructions on how to build it and know when your goods are dry.

Dry

I can build it and put it on my fire escape to dry all the fruits and vegetables I want, seeing as I am in the penthouse apartment. I knew there was a reason I lived on the 5th floor of a walk-up, my unlimited access to the sun…or at least for a few hours. Good times.

My Very Own Super Fresh Recycled Idea!

What you need…

A used can depending on if it will be a pen/paint brush holder, a lamp base, a vase, a container to gift a gift in or whatever it may be, you choose the size.

Craft Paint [if you so decide you want to paint it]

Glue

Cool Pictures, Greeting Cards, Magazine Pictures, Drawings

Colored Sharpies [optional]

What you need to do…

Paint can with craft paint and allow to dry if you so choose.

Cut pictures from a magazine, greeting card, drawings, photos etc. to adorn the can or use colored sharpies to draw your own craziness on said can.

It is now an original piece of art.

I have discussed many ideas and a variety of products within my posts.  I have stated once I tried a project or product I would give you all the 411. I recently decided the best way to get that information back to you is by creating a page(s) of all my reviews of projects, products, petitions, protests, experiments and the like. That way they are separate from my daily blog entries. I think it will just be more organized.

We’ll see.

-Cara

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When faced with a flock of spent hens, an egg farmer may choose to induce production again by way of a forced molt–accomplished with starvation and water deprivation for periods of up to two weeks. No U.S. law prevents this heinous practice. Some major U.S. producers have phased it out but then need to bring twice the number of hens into production for the same number of eggs.

Today’s thing to do…already, it was hard for me to figure out what I  wanted to write about. What I came up with is a simple solution to a big problem, B.Y.O.B., bring-your-own-bag to the store when shopping. I have had the nerve to tell people they should use their own bags shopping and honestly, I don’ t think I ever have, but I know I have always wanted to and people just should. :P I do use my huge blue Ikea bag [I was forced to buy so I could drag my disposable, stylishly cheap housewares home on the free bus.] to bring my dirty clothes to the laundry.  This is my journey too you know…

Ok, so started my research and on a site I love Care2, I found a piece called, Easy Greening: Shopping Bags, written by, Melissa Breyer, Editor, Care2 Green Living. It has a fafillion reasons why you should bring your own bag, where to recycle them, what stores give credit to you when you bring your own bag, where to get cute bags, the impact on the world, etc. It was everything I needed to know to inspire me to B.Y.O.B. next time I pick up some groceries and whatnot. I know I will forget the first few times, so I will make the commitment now, every time I go shopping and forget my bags I will carry my stuff with no bag at all. After the first few times, I’ll never forget a bag again. Update to follow.

Good Times!

xoxo.

Cara

Here is the article I was talking about:

As far as shopping bags go, the plastic versus paper dilemma is as puzzling as the one about the chicken or the egg. The truth is, the statistics on both types of bags are deeply disturbing. At first glance the alternatives seem less than convenient—-but after learning the facts and finding some easy solutions, we’re saying “neither thanks” to “paper or plastic?”

SIMPLE SOLUTION: In South Africa plastic bags have been dubbed the “national flower” because so many are seen fluttering from fences and dangling in bushes—-some report that at times it looks like a snow storm. According to the National Geographic News, between 500 billion and one trillion plastic grocery bags are consumed worldwide each year. That 100,000 birds die annually from encounters with plastic bags actually seems like a relatively small number—-ditto the estimated 100,000 whales, turtles, and other marine animals.In the United State alone, 12 million barrels of oil are required to produce enough plastic bags to appease our needs. And then there’s that little decomposition problem: 500 years in the landfill.OK, paper then, right? Well, actually. . .producing paper bags requires more energy and creates more air and water pollution than producing plastic bags. Recycling paper is much more energy-intensive than recycling plastic—-and then there’s the issue of all those trees. In 1999, 14 million of them were knocked out to create the 10 billion paper grocery bags we used that year.Armed with this knowledge, here’s what we’ve decided: reusable shopping bags aren’t such a hassle after all. Here are some tips:1. Pack some ultra compact nylon bags (that fold up into tiny packets) in your purse so that you are always prepared for unexpected errands.2. Stow fabric (hemp, jute, canvas, cotton, recycled plastic textile, etc) bags in your trunk for big shopping trips-—just get in the habit of returning them to the trunk after unpacking groceries.3. Reusing plastic and paper bags helps; keep a supply of them in your trunk for groceries and use them until they are too worn, then recycle. (Some stores, like Whole Foods, offer a rebate when you BYOB.)

4. Look French and use baskets when you go to the farmers’ market. Salad doesn’t get as squashed when you put it in a round-bottomed basket.

5. If you get stuck with groceries but without your totes, pick plastic: when statistics are compared, it is the lesser of the two evils. Try to reuse it again and when it comes time to recycle it, tie it in a knot to keep it from blowing away from the trash and landfill and into the trees and ocean. Some chain supermarkets, like Stop N’Shop, actually have a barrel in front for recycling plastic bags.

The best advice is to simply get into the mind-set: once it becomes habit the inconvenience disappears and it seems there was never another way. In fact, in 2002 Irish supermarkets began charging a mandatory 15-cent tax on each new plastic bag. According to one of the largest grocery chains the consumption of new plastic bags has dropped by 97.5 percent—-how’s that for inspiring? Clearly, the plastic bag will not be replacing the shamrock, so let’s follow that example. Here are some good places to start:

For cute and peppy totes: b.happybags

For a great selection of super-practical (including ultra compact): Reusablebags.com

For stylish bags and a 10 percent donation to protect sea turtles: Blue Lotus

One of our favorites—-packs of five wonderfully designed bags that fit in a pouch for your glove compartment or medium-size purse: Envirosax

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