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Think about this: Every white t-shirt made with conventional cotton requires ¼ pound of harmful chemicals. You can do your part to cut back by purchasing clothes made out of organic cotton. H&M has a line, as well as several other retailers.
When buying jewelry, especially diamonds, make sure your jeweler guarantees that they're conflict free -- meaning that they're not linked to human rights abuses in Africa. It's doing good by looking good. You can learn more about the issue here:
If you're going to be rubbing on tanners and sunscreens all summer, you owe it to yourself to invest in the non-toxic variety to keep harmful chemicals from seeping into your body. Check out some options here:
Wedding season ::sigh:: is around the corner. Whether you're throwing one or attending, consider going green for the big day. You can find some great ideas on how to do that here:
Dying for that sweater your friend wore the other day? Well, maybe she'll trade for that old t-shirt you have. Here's a website that helps you organize a swap party (www.swapstyle.com), or just plan your own!
Vintage clothes shopping is back in style. Go to your local vintage clothes shop or Salvation Army and raid the racks. You might find some gems and more than that, you'll help your wardrobe to be more sustainable.
Applying unnatural products directly on your skin wasn't exactly what nature intended. Try switching to a line of organic make-up and cosmetics for a different way to bring out your natural beauty.
It's no secret that many of the products we use have been tested on animals. Consider switching to cruelty-free products. You can find a list of them here: http://search.caringconsumer.com/search.aspx
Hard week at work? Need some pampering? Try out these do-it-yourself recipes for organic spa treatments: www.organicauthority.com
Ahhh... natural bliss...
Organic beer and wines are pesticide free and tend to be locally grown. So while you're enjoying the fruit of the vine and wheat of the field, try to make sure the Earth does as well.
With beach season coming up soon, many of us are thinking about our waistlines. While you're losing weight and getting healthy, try incorporating some green practices into your routines. You'll be doing good for yourself and the planet. You can find tips at these websites:
Everyone talks about going green and buying organic, but with all the different labels in the supermarket, it's hard to get it all straight. Fear not! iVillage has a great primer on going green at the grocery. Check it out:
Now your pets can get in on the planet-saving action. The market for green pet supplies is booming and consumers have more choices than ever. Man's best friend is now the Earth's too! Checkout this list to get started:
Going organic doesn't mean you have to stop indulging. Next time you want to satisfy your sweet tooth, think about buying organic chocolate. You can support fair trade in South America, encourage biodiversity, and avoid toxic chemicals all by popping an organic bonbon in your mouth. Doesn't get much simpler than that! Check this page out for more info:
Organic food can be expensive. To save a few pennies while eating more healthily, try prioritizing your shopping list by going organic with foods mostly likely to be treated with heavy pesticides, like lettuce, tomatoes and strawberries.
Most produce in the U.S. travels at least 1500 miles to get to your supermarket. When you buy from a local farmer or producer, you help cut the environmental cost of transportation and invest in your community at the same time.
Sometimes the only way to know what's really in your food is to grow it yourself. In addition to planting tomato and cucumber in your backyard, try creating an herb garden in your kitchen. Basil, rosemary, and mint make for great indoor plants.
You can help cut down on waste at your local watering hole by drinking draught beer instead of bottled.
If you're like most people, you probably have a collection of plastic grocery bags somewhere in your kitchen. Cut down on your clutter by bringing a reusable canvas bag on your next shopping trip.
DIY cleaning products are cheap and non-toxic. Here's a place for some recipes:
Did you know that you can save up to 10% on your heating and cooling by optimizing your house's temperature while you're away or asleep? You can find more info at the U.S. Department of Energy:
Ultra-low-flow showerheads are efficient and eco-friendly. They can save you water at a rate of 0.5 to 2 gallons per minute, helping to cut down on your water bill. Here are some product reviews to get you started:
Using a lemon to kill a weed is an eco-friendly way to get rid of those pesky plants. Simply squeezing lemon juice directly at the base of the offender will do the trick. And you can compost the rest! A great solution taking care of the weeds that grow in sidewalk cracks.
Save money on gardening supplies by making your own compost bin. Here's how to do it in three easy steps.
According to the EPA, flushing makes up 30 percent of a household's water use (about three to six gallons per flush). By placing a brick in your toilet tank, you can help to conserve the amount of water used during each flush.
This is a no-brainer. Turning down your heat in the winter just two degrees saves you money and energy – you can cut your energy bill by about 10 percent.
Just because your TV isn't on doesn't mean it isn't sapping energy. Americans waste over $1 billion a year powering electronics and appliances that have been switched "off." Try plugging multiple devices into one power strip so you can cut the power to all of them at once.
90 percent of the energy used in washing clothes is to heat the water. You can reduce your energy bill by washing in cold water and hanging items to dry.
These are all the rage right now. And no wonder! Using compact fluorescent light bulbs is an easy way to save money on your energy bill. CFLs use about one-fifth as much energy as regular bulbs, and last about 12 times longer.
Carbon offsetting has become a popular practice for many businesses. There are plenty of companies out there that can help shrink your carbon footprint. You can learn more about what offsetting is and how to implement it on these websites:
Employee volunteer days are great ways to strengthen company morale. Talk to your HR department about organizing a community service day or start one yourself! Learn more here:
Do you have boxes of unused business cards from your last job or last promotion? Don't just throw them away! Put them to work! Make use of them as bookmarks, scribble shopping lists on them, or glue a couple together and reuse them as place cards for seating arrangements.
The greenest commute is the one where you don't go anywhere. The EPA estimates that 1.35 billion gallons of gas could be saved annually if U.S. workers telecommuted 1.6 days a week. If that's a possibility for you, talk to your boss and see what you can do to work it out.
Want to help build the green movement? Get your coworkers to go green with you! Check out this article for great tips on how to convince people to take action for the environment.
There are many ways to make your coffee break eco-friendly. For example, putting sugar in your cup before you pour your coffee will eliminate the need for a stirrer. Also, use a ceramic mug instead of a Styrofoam or paper cup.
Printing and copying can be one of the most costly operations in any office. To save on ink and paper costs, print double-sided and try to fit more than one page on a sheet. More printing tips can be found here: lifehacker.com
Do you leave your computer on overnight? If so, you're using up a good amount of electricity. When you can, try turning off your computer and the power strip it's connected to. If you can't, at least shut off your monitor. Remember, screen savers don't save energy.
It seems easy enough, but if your office doesn't do it already, suggest putting recycling bins in your kitchen and copy rooms. You'll feel less guilty about throwing away all that paper.
Replace those plastic knives and forks in the break room with silverware or biodegradable utensils. If you have the space, try to get everyone in the office to bring their own mugs and plates from home.
The airline industry has a huge carbon footprint. If you're flying this summer, consider choosing an airline that is taking steps to become more sustainable. Go here for more info:
Here's a reason to not drink and drive. Save that old bottle of wine until it turns to vinegar. You can use it for a whole range of car-related clean-ups like removing bumper stickers, polishing chrome, and cleaning-up after birds. Yuck.
If you're in the market for a car, you'll probably want to know which ones out there give you the best fuel economy. The EPA released their list of the most fuel-efficient cars on the market, so check it out before you start your search.
This is a no-brainer, but worth pointing out. Checking your route conditions before you leave your house will save you time, hassle, and gas. Idle cars do more damage to the environment than moving ones, so take the scenic route, avoid congestion, and do a little something for the environment.
The '90s are coming back (already?) To get ahead of the trends and be an eco-friendly commuter at the same time, strap on a pair of rollerblades instead of driving! They're perfect for those short trips in your neighborhood or for a fun weekend activity with friends.
There are many benefits to carpooling. You save on gas, reduce wear and tear on your car, and you get to ride in the HOV lanes. Get connected with your neighbors and co-workers to start sharing rides and check out this website for more tips:
With gas prices as high as they are, public transportation has never been more popular. Hop on your local bus or rail system to save yourself gas and the hassle of sitting in traffic.
Having the right amount of air in your tires not only keeps you safe, it helps improve your gas mileage by about four percent.
A clean air filter can improve your gas mileage by about 10 percent. Get it checked while getting your oil changed.
If you live close to where you work, try taking a bike instead of driving. You'll keep in shape and save on gas!