Posts Tagged ‘going green does not cost more’
Summer time is over and now we need to get back to the daily schedule of a family with school age children. These simple steps will help assist you in saving money and also benefit the environment. Try implementing some of these items in your own work lives.
First of all, what does a Zero Waste Lunch mean? Basically, trying to create a lunch that generates no (or very little trash). In a zero waste lunch we want to make sure that every item can be eaten or reused. Our last alternative is that whatever waste is created, it can be recycled. Here are four simple steps for creating a zero waste lunch.
1. Re-usable lunch pail or lunch sack. – Why create the waste of sending a brown paper lunch sack to school? A reusable lunch pail can be used throughout the whole year, and depending upon the child a few years after. You have the availability to hand it down to a sibling if the style outgrows another child. One may also consider a reusable ice pack to keep their perishable foods cold.
2. reusable snack and sandwich bags– Many of your know that the Snack Taxi is one of my favorite products on the market. We puts a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in my daughter’s reusable sandwich bag every day. We easily wash it out, let it dry on the plastic bag dryer and then pull it off in the morning for that days lunch. Products like the Snack Taxi or the Wrap-N-Mat are so easy to use and NO MORE EXPENSIVE ZIP LOCK BAGS. You may also consider using a reusable plastic container that you already have at home.
3. Re-usable water bottles– They are easy and pay for themselves in a short amount of time. By refilling their reusable water bottle in their lunch, you can save $0.50 to $1.00 a day because you don’t have to buy pouch drinks or water bottles! That savings can be HUGE!
4. Buy in bulk – Now that you have these great products to help store your child’s lunch items during the day, you can buy bulk products to reduce your packaging and expenses. No need for the individually packaged items that create a large amount of waste and are usually much more expensive.
So … it is that easy. Teach your children about why they are using the items that they have and the Environmental Benefits. Usually it becomes a conversation piece at the lunch table and other children become inspired.The more we educate the children, the more we have made a difference. It is in their hands that we leave this planet we are trying so hard to preserve.
When people are trying to live green, there are a few things we should try never to do. Here are 10 things you should never buy when you are living green. There are great alternatives to everything.
1. Styrofoam cups – Styrofoam last forever and does not biodegrade.
Alternative: Buy recyclable and compostable paper cups. Even better, start buying reusable mugs or water bottles that you can take with you. Great option is the Klean Kanteen.
2. Paper towels – Paper towels waste forest resources, landfill space, and your money.
Alternative: When you do buy paper towels, look for recycled, non-bleached products. Sponges made from cellulose is another option (Here is a quick look) Even better, buy organic dishtowels to wash and reuse.
3. Bleached coffee filters – Dioxins, chemicals formed during the chlorine bleaching process, contaminate groundwater and air and are linked to cancer in humans and animals.
Alternative: Look for unbleached paper filters. Even better, use reusable filters.
4. Overpackaged foods and other products – Excess packaging wastes resources and costs you much more money. Around thirty three percent of trash in the average American household comes from packaging.
Alternative: Buy products with minimal or reusable packaging. Even better, buy in bulk and use your own containers when shopping.
5. Teak and mahogany – Every year, 27 million acres of tropical rainforest are destroyed. Rainforests cover 6% of Earth’s surface and are home to over half of the world’s wild plant, animal, and insect species. The Amazon rainforest produces 40 percent of the world’s oxygen.
Alternative: Look for Forest Stewardship Council certified wood. Even Better, reuse wood, and buy furniture and other products made from used or salvaged wood. At the Secondhand or antique stores you can find old pieces of furniture that you can prevent from entering the landfills.
6.Chemical pesticides and herbicides – American households use 80 million pounds of pesticides each year. The EPA found at least one pesticide in almost every water and fish sample from streams and in more than one-half of shallow wells sampled in agricultural and urban areas. These chemicals pose threats to animals and people, especially children. They contaminate our food supply.
Alternatives: Buy organic pest controllers. Even better, plant flowers and herbs that act as natural pesticides.
7. Conventional household cleaners – Household products can contain hazardous ingredients such as organic solvents and petroleum-based chemicals that can release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into your indoor environment, posting a particular danger for children. The average American household has three to ten of hazardous matter in the home.
Alternative: Look for nontoxic, vegetable-based, biodegradeable cleaners. (See recommendations) Even better, try making your own green cleaner using vinegar, water, and castile soap.
8. Higher octane gas than you need – Only one car in ten manufactured since 1982 requires high-octane gasoline. High-octane gas releases more hazardous pollutants into the air, and may be bad for your car.
Alternative: Buy the lowest-octane gas your car requires as listed in your owner’s manual. Even better, take public transportation, ride a bike, or walk.
9. Toys made with PVC plastic – 70% of PVC is used in construction, but it is also found in everyday plastics, including some children’s toys. Vinyl chloride, the chemical used to make PVC, is a known human carcinogen. Also, additives, such as lead and cadmium, are sometimes added to PVC to keep it from breaking down; these additives can be particularly dangerous in children’s toys. PVC is also the least recycled plastic.
Alternative: Avoid plastics that are labeled as “PVC” or “#3.” Look for toys that are labeled PVC free such as the Green Toys. Better yet, purchase toys like Plan Toys that are made from recycled rubberwood trees, have formadehyde free adhesives, use soy and water based ink, and packaged in recycled materials.
10. Plastic forks and spoons - Disposable plastic utensils are not biodegradeable and not recyclable in most areas.
Alternative: Use compostable food service items.