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5 Simple Ways to Be More Eco-friendly Around the Home

Eco Friendly HomeNothing is more pleasing than relaxing all year round in a home that embraces nature. A home that keeps you cool in summer, warm in winter and everything you need in between. A truly eco-friendly home is one that blends both the indoor and outdoor living, it not only has the ability to feed your family, but also sustains the environment.

An eco-friendly home not only helps you save the planet, you'll also be saving money. So if you love saving money and you want more options to help pinch the pennies, there are plenty of ways around the house to start practicing eco-friendly alternatives and cut back your carbon footprint.

1. Create a compost pile

Food and yard waste can be put into a compost pile, rather than going to the landfill in a plastic bag. Composting not only produces amazing soil for future gardens, but placing food scraps in a compost pile eliminates the need to toss them in the garbage (minimizing nasty garbage odors and having to take out the trash).

The soil produced through the composts is rich in nutrients and can used for you lawn, garden or flower beds. It is also much cheaper to make your own compost rather than going to the garden store to buy one.

2. Use a non-polluting power

From solar hot water to photo-voltaic electricity to wind turbines and energy efficient lighting, your home is designed for a sustainable and eco-friendly power use. Find out which organizations offer green power in your state. The results will include utility green pricing programs, renewable energy certificate (REC) products, and retail green power products offered in competitive electricity markets.

3. Start recycling

Many households already embrace an environmentally friendly lifestyle. Whether you invest in bins from your local waste management company or you opt to use your own bins to take to a local recycling center, recycling will help you minimize reusable materials that goes into the garbage and land fill.

It is probably realistic to argue that one person turning down his thermostat or recycling a magazine isn't going to save the planet, but if we all make our own contributions, we can have a positive impact on our immediate and wider environment. Recycling can be as simple as using a used tin as a plant pot for herbs or as complex as recovering an old chair. However, the good thing is that what might be seen as a waste can be given a new lease of life.

4. Use inexpensive reusable water bottles

Avoid disposable plastic bottles. Most people usually claim that the reason why they do buy bottled water is because of convenience, supposed health benefits and better taste. Yet, majority of these people cannot identify any valid reason why they choose bottled water over reusable bottles. Drinking bottled water increases waste.

It's estimated that American's throw away over 2 million water bottles every single hour, and even though some people recycle, the recycling rate is estimated to be around 27% meaning that still, majority of plastic bottles that are produced end up in water systems and landfills. So what are your options? Start using reusable and environmentally friendly reusable water bottles, it is not only beneficial for our wallets, but for our health too.

5. Invest in reusable snack bags and lunch gear

Stop using disposable bags. Order some reusable snack bags for lunches, picnics and travelling or you can make your own which is insanely easy. By investing in reusable snack bags and lunch gear, you can minimize the expense and effectively manage the waste produced by plastic bags. One reusable bag can replace hundreds or even thousands of single-use plastic bags over the course of its lifetime.

Earth-wise bags are great for carrying about anything and using them is an environmentally responsible thing to do- they offer durability, convenience, multiple uses, safety and protection.

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Easy Ways to Minimize Waste Around the Home

The average household waste for a family of four is estimated by the U.S. EPA to be around 16 pounds per day.  Of this waste, 75%-85% goes to the landfill or is incinerated and only a small portion is recycled and composted.

While you may not have the time or ability to compost and recycle everything around the house, you can make a positive impact simply by reducing the amount of waste which you generate every day. Over time small changes can make a big difference.

Tips on Reducing Your Home's Waste

Plastic

Plastic, while very useful, plastic has its drawbacks. One of the biggest is its lack of bio-degradability. Considering that plastic forms the majority of landfill waste, reducing it is very important. Using the following items can help you easily reduce your plastic waste.

  • Reusable Water Bottles: Instead of purchasing disposable water bottles, buy a reusable water bottle with a built in filter. This option is environment friendly since most filters can be used around 300 times before being replaced.
  • Eco-Friendly Reusable Bags: Use reusable bags made of materials such as jute, organic cotton or paper. These reusable bags are stronger than plastic bags, and can be recycled easily when necessary. These are great for groceries, clothing and other items. Even if you just switch to reusable grocery bags vs. plastic you will make a significant impact over the year.
  • Reusable Utensils: It’s tough to risk taking your good silverware on a picnic, sending it to work or worse yet to school possibly never to be seen again. Plastic utensils have become the travel replacement in an effort to preserve our nice silverware collections, but now there are better options. You can invest in a few sets of bamboo utensils. They are hand crafted, certified organic, light, stronger than wood, stain resistant and anti-microbial.  Hands down they are cooler than plastic and if you loose a spoon it won’t break the bank to replace it.
  • Eco-Friendly Reusable Snack Bags:  Switching to reusable grocery bags may be obvious but the small plastic bags and containers you use for lunches and snacks every day add up too.  The perfect example is your child’s school lunch. Typically it may include a plastic sandwich bag, a plastic snack bag, a disposable juice container, a plastic yogurt cup and plastic spoon. Lets give this eco-friendly snack or lunch box an environmental makeover: add a reusable eco-friendly bamboo spoon, reusable metal drink bottle, reusable yogurt container and eco friendly reusable snack bags.

Paper

The amount of useful paper that is thrown out is astounding. By reducing the amount of paper that you use, not only will you lower landfill waste, you help to preserve forests and reduce pollution created during the manufacturing process. A few easy tips to reduce your paper waste:

Food

Around 30 million pounds of good food is thrown out in the United Sates each year. Take these steps to waste less food.

Hazardous Wastes

While most hazardous materials have to be discarded, you can reduce the amount of dangerous waste by taking the following steps:

A large part of landfill waste is unnecessary. By following these easy tips you can reduce the waste your family creates.  Over time the small changes that you make will create a significant difference in the world that future generations inherit. 

  • Cloth Napkins: Instead of paper napkins that you simply use and throw, switch to cloth napkins.  They are classy, have beautiful designs and will last for years. Look for organic cotton napkins to protect people and the environment from unnecessary synthetic pesticides.
  • Cloth Towels:  Much like cloth napkins, cloth towels are often a better value, do a better job at cleaning up the mess and are far more attractive. Purchase organic cotton towels whenever possible.
  • Reuse and Reduce Printing Paper: Read documents on a screen, and send them via e-mail whenever possible. When you do need to print use both sides if you can.  If you have one-sided pages, use the back as scrap paper, then shred and use in packaging or recycle.
  • Recycle Newspaper: Consider reading the newspaper online and unsubscribe to unnecessary paper mailings.  Recycle the old newspapers you receive or ask a local animal shelter if they could use them.
  • Reusable Plates: Invest in reusable plates in your picnics or outside parties instead of disposable.  Sturdy plastic or bamboo plates are great durable long lasting options.
  • Reuse Leftovers: Reuse the leftovers from dinner one night to invent a new meal for the next day. There are lots of cookbooks that specialize in showing you how to make delicious easy meals this way.
  • Buying what you need: Grocery shop with a list.  It will prevent you from buying perishable items that you already have at home and help to ensure that all of the items you buy can be used together to make great meals.
  • Composting: Since food is biodegradable, consider the use of a compost bin to create rich fertilizer to use in your garden and backyard.
  • Purchase Reusable Batteries: One single pair of rechargeable batteries can prevent you from purchasing countless new ones.
  • Give Away & Donate: Working electronic items including a used cell phone, iPad, computer, iPod, Game Boy and GPS navigation device is always appreciated at Goodwill and other non-profit organizations.  Even if your electronic device is broken you may be able to sell it online or donate it to be refurbished.
  • Recycle: If you have batteries, chemicals, ink cartridges or electronic items that cannot be reused or refurbished then please recycle them properly.

This article was contributed by the cleanly, eco-friendly house sitters at SanFranciscoHouseSitters.org. Personally known as Tyler & Paloma, these individuals provide no-trace, eco-friendly house sitting services in San Francisco.

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How Simple Reusable Snack Bags Can Help Keep Your New Year's Resolution

New YearsMost people ring in the New Year with a party. We stay up late, drink champagne, and kiss our honeys as soon as the ball drops. We reminisce about the year that has past and vow to do things better in the coming year. Over forty percent of American's also make at least one New Year's Resolution.

Do you know what the most common New Year's Resolutions are? They include losing weight, eating better, saving money, and recycling. It's true! Most people focus on improving their health, finances, and environment in the year to come. So what does all of this have to do with reusable snack bags? Well, we are here to tell you that something as small and simple as a reusable snack bag can help you keep with all three of these New Year's Resolutions.

Eating Healthy

Reusable snack bags are a great tool to help you improve your diet. With reusable snack bags, you are no longer trapped by prepackaged, processed, junk food snacks. Add a reusable snack bag to your purse or lunch bag and fill it up with the healthy foods that you want to eat. Nuts, trail mix, fresh fruits, whole-wheat crackers, and even small pre-portioned treats are the perfect candidates for your new reusable snack bags. Avoid the temptation of binging on junk food and stick to the healthy foods that you have packed up at home.

Saving Money

Every year the average family spends almost $100 on disposable bags. That is not even taking into account all of the plastic ware, paper napkins, and paper bags that you toss out each week. Reusable snack bags are affordable. They cost a few dollars up front however, every time that you use your snack bag, you will be saving money, since they last for years they pay you back.

Protecting the Environment

Each year elementary schools throw out nearly 20,000 bags at lunchtime. A huge portion of that garbage is zip-lock bags, snack bags, and paper waste. By purchasing eco-friendly reusable snack bag products, you do your part to protect our fragile environment. Use your own reusable snack bags and buy a matching set for your kids. Make it a habit to wash and pack your reusable snack bags together at the end of each day. You can make a fun family tradition and keep trash out of our landfills.

This year set yourself up for success by making just a small change and use several organic, easy to clean reusable snack and sandwich bags and be one of the few that hasn't given up on your new years resolutions by valentines day.

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How to Create a More Eco-friendly Household in 5 Easy Steps

Creating an eco-friendly home offers many advantages. Not only does an eco-friendly home environment play a role in living healthier and more cost-efficiently, but it also transpires to community sustainability.

Establishing an eco-friendly household is not as hard as most people think, but you must be ready to embrace change and new ideas. Here are five tips on how you can make your home eco-friendly:

1. Use reusable eco-friendly products

Reusable Sandwich WrapIt is high time that you get to know environment- friendly products such as reusable snack bags, DIY paper towels, bamboo reusable towels and even compostable waste bags. These products in addition to cutting down on waste considerably, ensures that you live an eco-friendly lifestyle both at home and away.

For instance, eco-friendly reusable snack bags are the most common today in lunch packing. They have eliminated the use of plastic bags which are the worst pollutants as they are thrown away after every use and that they do not decompose. Reusable snack bags also reflect eco-friendly lifestyle away from home whether at school or at work. It is always good to be take care of the surrounding and these reusable eco-friendly snack bags will help you achieve that.

You may consider getting a couple eco-friendly snack bags: one for yourself to use at work or on the go, and one for your kid! Creative reusable snack bags, such as those produced by Eco Lunch Gear can not only inspire creative ways of making your kids eat healthy but it also make them have an enjoyable and fun experience while taking lunch. At the very least, these eco-friendly reusable snack bags are highly practical and effective at saving money in the long run.

2. Invest in solar panels

Solar panels have become the cheapest, most reliable and environmental friendly source of energy. If you are thinking of getting one now, then you have a brilliant idea. Go ahead! Solar energy is pure and can heat water pretty much easier. As an added advantage, energy can be transferred to a battery so that it will be used in the future.

Similarly, you can use eco-friendly light bulbs that help in saving energy. Are you afraid of using these light bulbs because of brightness issue? Most people fear or rather are reluctant to use these bulbs due to claims that they are not that bright. Far from it though. The reality is that these bulbs light brightly without necessarily consuming a lot of energy. It is high time you try out and be ready to be surprised.

3. Create a compost pile

Creating a compost pile is one of the ways of creating an eco-friendly household. It is actually an easy way of reusing goods and includes composting organic substances provided that they do not reduce the oxygen content. Examples of organic materials include grass, leaves, hay and some food products. When these products are decayed, the end product is fertile and can be used in gardens.

While composting, you need to be careful not to compost bones or meat, diseased plants and perennial seeds as they attract pests. Also note that sawdust can be put on the compost once it has been proved to be clean and that it is fit for the purpose.

4. Start recycling

Recycling is yet another popular technique of creating an eco-friendly household. It is the process whereby waste management facilities collect items such as bottles, tin cans, paper and cardboards. You definitely need an all-time healthy environment. It is high time you act by contacting your nearest waste management facility to be briefed on what to do with these recyclable items. In some instances, though rare, waste materials can be converted into their original form. It is expensive though.

What matters however, is for you to understand the importance of recycling and work hand in hand with waste management facilities in creating a healthy environment. Give them those materials that can be recycled so that they recycle them.

5. Install Skylights

As a way of conserving energy, installing skylights on roofs is recommended. There is solar energy at day time and so why not put it into use? Besides, it is absolutely free! It will allow natural light into the room making the almost impossible possible. I mean lighting even the darkest rooms. It is high time you take a step to install skylights and experience the difference. You will actually save a lot of money.

Creating an eco-friendly household all begin from you. Provided you are willing or rather you understand its importance, it is possible to achieve this. If only you get to know these five tips, then you are good to go. Always have in mind that where there is a will, there is a way. It all starts from you!

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