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5 Easy Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint in 2013

By Green Diva Meg thegreendivas.com
January 3, 2013
File under: Eco-Friendly Activities, Environmental Concerns, Family, Holidays, Home, Lifestyle, Products, Recycling, Sustainable Practices, Waste Reduction

I had a an exceptionally fun morning Christmas Day on the set of Good Day NY on FOX 5. I talked with Dave Price and Anna about keeping it green in 2013 . . .

Watch GD Meg on FOX Good Day NY

1. Remember those reusable bags . . . because . . .

  • Plastic bags and other plastic garbage thrown into the ocean kill as many as 1 million sea creatures a year
  • The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is twice the size of Texas and it’s floating somewhere between San Francisco and Hawaii. It weighs 3.5 million tons and is 80% plastic
  • If everyone in the United States tied their annual consumption of plastic bags together in a giant chain, the chain would reach around the Earth’s equator 776 times!

2. Get rid of vampires and phantoms . . . no, not Edward the dreamy teenage vampire . . .

An energy vampire or phantom load is the electricity consumed by an electronic appliance when it is turned off or on standby

  • According to the Environmental Defense Fund, 65% of pollution attributed to global warming (or climate change) comes from generation of energy and its use
  • 5 – 20% of our home electric bill comes from vampire or phantom energy use

Shed light on those vampires and expel them!

3. Just say NO to bottled water

  • National Geographic estimates that 17 million gallons of crude oil is used on an annual basis to produce plastic bottles.
  • If you fill a water bottle ¼ of the way with oil, this is about how much oil is used to manufacture that one bottle!
  • It is estimated by the Container Recycling Institute and ReusableBags.com that 22 billion water bottles end up in landfills every year.
  • Although many plastic bottles are being recycled for good re-use as a variety of materials, National Geographic Kids states that only 1 in 6 plastic bottles makes it to the recycling bin!
  • According to Environmental Working Group’s scientific study on bottled water vs. tap water, bottled water contains distinfection byproducts, fertilizer residue and pain medication

Check out Green Diva Mizar’s water purification systems, Pur2o!

4. Buy less, Recycle more

In general, I really want to just be more mindful about buying ‘stuff’ I may not really need – I’ve been on this kick for a couple of years and it saves money and reduces the amount of junk I need to throw out from packaging, etc. I always ask myself now, do I really need this or do I just want it . . . or, do I have something at home I can use instead.

  • About 80% of what Americans throw away is recyclable, yet our recycling rate is only 28%!
  • Recycle as much as you can
  • Avoid buying things are excessively packaged
  • Buy in bulk (food, cleaning products)

5. Get local/Eat Local

  • Reduce carbon footprint by reducing “food miles”
    • A typical carrot has to travel 1,838 miles to reach your dinner table
  • Support local farmers – enjoy farmer’s markets
  • Join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) – find a CSA, farmer’s market or food coop near you - LocalHarvest.org
  • Stimulate local economy
  • patronize restaurants that buy from local farmers
 
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6 Simple Tips for Greening Your Kitchen

By Green Diva Meg thegreendivas.com
November 21, 2012
File under: Cleaning, Composting, Entertaining, Family, Food, Health, Home, Lifestyle, Recycling, Saving Money, Waste Reduction


Morning shows are fun, but they are kind of rough on a Monday morning! I have a new respect for all those morning show professionals who do it 5 days a week!

We had a great time with Ebru Today talking about getting greener in the kitchen. I kept my tips to things that were relatively easy, low or no-cost or in fact saved money. My philosophy on having a Green Diva kitchen is pretty simple and involves for basic ideas: a Green Diva Kitchen should . . .

  • produce yummy food
  • be healthy
  • be earth-friendly
  • low-stress!
Watch me having fun on Ebru TV and learn some simple tips for having a greener kitchen:


6 Easy Ways to Have a Green Diva Kitchen

1. Use Cloth Napkins

  • Paper products currently account for one-third of the municipal waste in the U.S. – great case for using cloth napkins and dishtowels
  • Paper products: paper v. cloth napkins – manufacturing cloth napkins takes a little more energy, however to wash and reuse them multiple times makes up for it and saves a LOT of trees
  • you can also easily make your own from remnants

2. Buy More in Bulk

  • Buying bulk for dry goods can save on packaging AND money! Example: Organic dried cranberries on average are 98% less expensive than their packaged counterpart
  • Between a quarter and a third of all domestic waste is packaging: much of it food packaging
  • To buy bulk goods, find a food coop or buying club near you at LocalHarvest.org

3. Recycle Even More

  • About 80% of what Americans throw away is recyclable, yet our recycling rate is only 28%
  • Recycle as much as you can
  • Try avoiding buying food and products with lots of packaging
  • Buy food and drinks in recyclable packaging such as glass jars or tin cans
  • Buy bulk

4. Use Only Eco-Friendly Sponges and Dish Towels

  • Most sponges are plastic and contain dyes, and synthetic disinfectants like triclosan, which has been determined to be a health hazard to humans and ecosystems by the EPA
  • Use a sponge made from natural and sustainable materials
    • Cellulose sponges – made from wood fibers – they biodegrade in landfills and go through a far less toxic manufacturing process
  • Landfills are filled with paper towels and there no way to recycle or reuse them
  • It takes about one year for the paper to biodegrade, the thicker the towel the longer
  • It’s cheaper to skip the paper towels

5. Remember to Use Reusable Shopping Bags

  • Plastic bags and other plastic garbage thrown into the ocean kill as many as 1 million sea creatures a year
  • The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is twice the size of Texas and it’s floating somewhere between San Francisco and Hawaii. It weighs 3.5 million tons and is 80% plastic
  • If everyone in the United States tied their annual consumption of plastic bags together in a giant chain, the chain would reach around the Earth’s equator 776 times!

6. Composting is Easy

  • Compost is excellent for garden soil
  • If you don’t have a garden, look for community compost program
  • Fruits and veggies, coffee grounds, tea bags, egg shells (rinsed and crushed), rice and pasta
  • Reduces your garbage output significantly
remember . . .
eat. blog. be merry!

 

 
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Give Up the Fluff: Buy Recycled Toilet Paper

By Green Diva Meg thegreendivas.com
March 21, 2012
File under: Eco-Friendly Activities, Environmental Concerns, Home, Lifestyle, Recycling, Sustainable Practices, Waste Reduction

Why Should We Care? by Green Diva Meg
These posts explore a myriad of topics relating to green, sustainable and healthy living and offer simple and clear information from the fun and quirky point of view of the Green Divas. Each post provides practical, no nonsense information on What Can We Do to make a difference.


Why Should We Care About Recycled Toilet Paper & Paper Towels?

Hate to burst your bubble about the cardboard-tubeless toilet paper rolls, which is an innovative step in the right direction, but that fluffy, bleached toilet paper is still killing trees. I was NOT a happy camper when I learned that to manufacture the soft, cushy TP that I’ve gotten kind of attached to, requires trees. But, you can get recycled toilet paper that doesn’t require any fresh tree pulp, but is made entirely from recycled paper (don’t get nuts people, NOT recycled toilet paper!). The slight bummer, that my husband likes to point out, is that recycled paper just doesn’t have that fluffy feel. Oh well!

For a recent Sleeping Naked is Green segment, I did a little homework on why we should get recycled toilet paper and paper towels. Here’s what I discovered:

…read more of Give Up the Fluff: Buy Recycled Toilet Paper here

 
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7 Really Good Reasons to Give Up Bottled Water

By Green Diva Meg thegreendivas.com
March 15, 2012
File under: Diet, Eco-Friendly Activities, Environmental Concerns, Health, Home, Lifestyle, Public Safety, Recycling, Sustainable Practices, Waste Reduction

Why Should We Care? by Green Diva Meg
These posts explore a myriad of topics relating to green, sustainable and healthy living and offer simple and clear information from the fun and quirky point of view of the Green Divas. Each post provides practical, no nonsense information on What Can We Do to make a difference.


Why Should We Care About Plastic Water Bottles?

Other than my beloved tea, there is really only one other fluid I drink on a daily basis and that’s water. Embarrassingly, I succumbed to the marketing hype about bottled water years ago and became afraid to drink tap water – perhaps for good reasons in many cases. But, a few years back, I realized I was amassing these crazy piles of plastic bottles for recycling every week. Well, at least I was recycling them . . . So, I got busy and found a good water filter and bought myself and everyone in the family a healthy stainless steel re-usable water bottle. It really wasn’t so difficult, and I feel so much better about not having to recycle so many plastic bottles!

7 Good Reasons to Quit Drinking Bottled Water

…read more of 7 Really Good Reasons to Give Up Bottled Water here

 
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Recycle Those Stinky Old Sneakers

By Green Diva Meg thegreendivas.com
March 6, 2012
File under: Eco-Friendly Activities, Environmental Concerns, Fashion, Fitness, Lifestyle, Recycling, Sustainable Practices, Waste Reduction

Why Should We Care? by Green Diva Meg
These posts explore a myriad of topics relating to green, sustainable and healthy living and offer simple and clear information from the fun and quirky point of view of the Green Divas. Each post provides practical, no nonsense information on What Can We Do to make a difference.

Why Should We Care About Recycling Sneakers?

I recently climbed into my closet and unearthed a PILE of sneakers – tennis shoes, 2 pairs of running shoes, those weird calf-building things, cross-trainers. Seriously? All three of my daughters wear the same size shoe and none of them were interested in any of them. huh. I usually put shoes that aren’t too badly beat up in the nearby Goodwill depository, but I had heard about some interesting sneaker recycling programs. So, I did some homework. Here’s what I learned . . .

Most sneakers are made from natural and synthetic rubbers and synthetic foam, which is primarily composed of polyurethane and ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA). The upper portion is usually mesh or natural or synthetic leather. [ from earth911.com article]

In 2008, Runner’s World Magazine did a fairly in-depth study on the carbon impact of running. The Bonneville Environmental Foundation supported their research. They found that the average serious runner (of which I am NOT), burns through 3 pairs of running shoes a year and this represents 430 pounds of CO2. Not exactly sure what that means, but it was quadruple any other running gear, and the CO2 output is more than driving 400 miles. I’m also not sure this takes into consideration the issue of landfills being loaded w/ nasty old sneakers that mostly don’t biodegrade very well either.

So, What Can We Do?

…read more of Recycle Those Stinky Old Sneakers here

 
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