Your Eco-Friendly Day

Drinking Coffee Takahiro Sakamoto

On a typical day, how eco-friendly are you? Few of us wake up with saving the planet on our minds … and the truth is, we’ve often got so much going on in life that it’s easy to let our eco-friendly habits slip. Maybe we manage to keep a few green habits going when we’re at home, but we struggle in the office – or vice versa. Perhaps we’re good at remembering to switch off electrical appliances before work, but we often forget before bed.

So here’s how to have a great eco-friendly day, from morning till night: Continue reading “Your Eco-Friendly Day”

Are Your Eco-Friendly Resolutions Doomed to Fail?

Cans in Recycling Bin
Cans in Recycling Bin

Like many people, you might have a personal list of shalts and shalt nots for 2010. Alongside resolving to lose weight (after the excesses of holiday fare) and to save money (after the horror of your credit card statement), you may well have some eco-friendly resolutions (perhaps made when faced with that mountain of wrapping paper…)

As we all know from bitter experience, New Year’s Resolutions often don’t last beyond January. In fact, a recent study confirmed this: most resolutions fail, with 78% of us giving up. So if you’re making a whole host of great green promises to yourself – that you’ll never leave a light switched on unnecessarily, you’ll always buy organic meat, you’ll avoid excess packaging – then you may find that you’ve given up before long.
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Green Party Tips

Pine cone table decoration
Pine cone table decoration

It’s holiday season, and that means … parties! When you’re hosting a gathering, it can be easy for the costs to mount up – to your wallet, to the planet, and even to your sanity. Here are some ways to have a great time, without busting your budget, without suffering green guilt, and without getting stressed out. Sounds good? Read on (and don’t forget to add your own tips in the comments at the bottom).

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Enjoying Christmas – Without Destroying the Planet

christmastreesDuring the busy holiday season, sticking to eco-friendly principles might be the last thing on your mind. You may well have developed great green habits in the office and during your daily routine at home – but Christmas often brings up challenges that you may not have thought through. Of course, you won’t want to spend hours dithering over the environmental pros and cons of every choice, and you don’t want to be the Christmas kill-joy who refuses to send cards or wrap presents – so here’s how to make sure that you and the planet both have a fantastic Christmas.

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Dealing With Environmental Indifference

Indifferent ManDoes being eco-friendly sometimes feel like yet another “should do” on your long to-do list? Do you find yourself struggling to make consistent efforts to recycle, to conserve water and to be mindful of the environment? And do you sometimes feel like it’s just too much effort?

This isn’t a guilt-tripping blog. It’s okay to be honest with yourself and admit your eco-hating guilty secrets. None of us are perfect and, with so many causes and agendas to care about in the world (along with the day-to-day running of our own lives), it’s easy to struggle with environmental indifference.

Even when you’re feeling fired up about your green efforts, you might find yourself coming up against other people’s indifference. Maybe you’ve implemented an office recycling scheme, but people are still chucking paper in the trash. Perhaps you wish your partner would stop scoffing at your efforts to buy eco-friendly projects.

Here’s how to tackle environmental indifference — both yours and other people’s.

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Growing Green Kids

Child Holding a Luna Moth
Child Holding a Luna Moth

If you’ve recently woken up to green issues, you might be struggling to get your family to take an interest. Perhaps you’ve come home from work to find all the lights on again, and paper and cardboard is still getting thrown in the trash. Maybe your teens can’t see the point of turning computers and televisions off, instead of leaving them lazily on standby. You know that constant nagging isn’t going to help … so how can you get your kids switched on (and your lights switched off)?

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Good Green Gifts

Tiny Christmas Presents
Tiny Christmas Presents

Does Christmas creep up on you every year? Do you find yourself struggling through the mall with an ever-increasing armful of gifts, trying desperately to find the right thing for everyone? In the midst of a present-buying frenzy, most of us don’t stop to think about green issues. You could save yourself some time and hassle, though, by some savvy planet-saving shopping. Plus, even grumpiest relatives will struggle to find fault with gifts are designed to bring a little extra good into the world. So this Christmas, make sure it’s not just your tree that’s green…

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Avoiding Disposable Products –- What Are the Alternatives?

Image by by walknboston
Image by by walknboston
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When was the last time you used — and threw away — something disposable?

Even if you’re trying to be eco-friendly, I’d bet that you’ve used something disposable in the last day. It could be:

  • Contact lenses
  • Tissues
  • A razor
  • Batteries
  • A coffee cup
  • A ballpoint pen

Don’t feel guilty about this. It’s not just you: we’ve become a throwaway culture. Big business likes it that way, because disposable products mean repeat buyers:

In the late 1800s, with the advent of packaged biscuits (with brand names Uneeda and Iwanna) and paper shirtfronts (developed to satisfy demand for spotless whites from men without access to laundry), manufacturers began to realize the seemingly endless commercial potential of short-lived products. Freshness and brand name would be linked to lure repeat customers.

(Terry Tamminen, Made to Break reveals the roots of our throwaway culture, Grist)

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Having a Green Halloween

Green Halloween[sniplet tweetright]

There’s a good chance that you’ll see some green faces on October 31st — whether due to ghoulish masks, painted cheeks, or just candy-induced sickness! But have you thought about having a properly green Halloween? Holiday times are often occasions where we end up wasting resources or taking cheap or popular options because it’s easier. And no-one wants to be the party-pooper who insists on organic carrot sticks instead of candy.

But you and your kids can still have fun while being eco-friendly. Here are three big Halloween focus areas — candy, costumes and parties – and how to turn them all just that bit greener.

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5 Simple Ways to Reduce Your Water Use at Home – And Save Money

Image by Joe Shlabotnik
Image by Joe Shlabotnik
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On average, we each use 50 – 70 gallons of water per day in the home — that’s around 70,000 – 100,000 gallons per year for a family of four. Cutting down on your water use at home isn’t just a great way to do your bit for the environment … it’ll also save you a significant chunk of cash on your water bill. If you follow all five tips below, you could easily save $100 a year on your bill. (Based on an estimate of $1.50 per 1,000 gallons.)

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