Health & Wellness Blog

    

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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Low Carb Snacks for Reusable Snack Bags

Reusable Snack BagsLow carbohydrate diets are quickly growing in popularity, and for good reason. Cutting back on your carbohydrate intake is an excellent way to improve your health and lose weight. Though the benefits of a low carb diet may be easy to find, portable low carb snack options are decidedly more difficult. The key to sticking to your low carb diet is to take healthy snacks with you so that you are not tempted to buy an unhealthy snack alternative when hunger strikes. Invest in a few reusable snack bags and get ready to eat on the go.

Vegetables

Vegetables are low in carbs but high in fiber and nutrients. Celery with peanut butter, pepper slices, carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower all make tasty and low carb snacks on the go. These foods also fit perfectly in ecofriendly snack bags so you can place them in your lunch bag or reusable snack bag with a cold pack without a worry.

Cheese and Meat

Cheese and meat are a great source of healthy fats and protein. As such, they make a great choice when it comes to choosing low carbohydrate snacks for resuable snack bags. Pepperoni slices, cheese cubes, cheese sticks, jerky, and lunchmeat can all be stored in a portable lunch bag and eaten throughout the day when you get hungry.

Nuts and Seeds

If you are looking for a crunchy, satisfying snack, but want to avoid the carbohydrate overload of crackers and chips, nuts and seeds are the way to go. Sunflower seeds are a popular option. Nuts, such as cashews, almonds, and peanuts also provide a high protein and low carbohydrate snack that is easy to include as part of a healthy lunch or snack and are easy to carry in a small reusable snack bag.

Eggs

Eggs are full of healthy protein. Though raw eggs are not portable in resuable snack bags, you can prepare eggs in a couple of different ways and pack them for lunch or snack. The two most popular options are deviled eggs and hardboiled eggs.

Something Sweet

A low carbohydrate diet does not need to be void of all sweets. Rather, there are ways that you can modify your low carbohydrate snacks and satisfy your sweet tooth at the same time. Sugar free Jello is a versatile sweet snack option. You can add nuts and cottage cheese, or combine it with coconut milk in order to add a bit of sweetness without adding to the carbohydrate count. Retailers also provide a number of low carbohydrate snack bar options to choose from.

Now that you have a lot of great new ideas for your low carbohydrate snacks. Grab your eco-friendly reusable snack bags and pack them with nutritious snacks for you and your family.

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Feng Shui Tips for a Clean, Eco-friendly Living Environment

Feng ShuiThe Ancient Chinese Feng Shui is a philosophy which promotes health and prosperity in persons who follow its principles by creating equilibrium between the natural environment and a person’s home or general household. Among some of the important tips to be followed for a clean eco-friendly household (based on the Feng Shui philosophy) are noted below.

1. Avoid Chemicals

Most cleaning products are manufactured using toxic chemicals for their bleaching effect. Replace these toxic cleaning products with environmentally friendly and healthy cleaning products. It is advisable to purchase eco-friendly detergents for dish-washing and cleaning. Some of the best alternatives include white vinegar which can be used for toilet cleaning and baking soda for laundry cleaning.

2. Open your doors and windows and remove barriers

Opening of windows and doors will let in fresh air into your house while getting rid of pollutants. This creates a cool atmosphere and provides your home with clean air for breathing. Breathing of clean air will immensely benefit your lungs and promote good breathing to you and your family.

3. Lighten your household

Lighten your house and shed light in the dark places. Encourage maximum penetration of light into your house and also by use of artificial lighting to brighten up your household. Natural day light promotes good health to you and your pets. This will help you avoid the health problems and depression which may arise from living in poorly lit environments. It is also advisable to plant healthy flowers and plants in corners to make them lively.

4. Avoid using air fresheners and fragrance laundry products

Air fresheners and laundry products have chemical compounds which activate air pollution when used and thus are not environmentally friendly. Avoid using them and make use of eco-friendly products. Healthier garments and laundered items are free from smell. Air-dry your sheets after laundry too.

5. Use fabrics made from 100% certified organic cotton

100% ccertified organic cotton is far superior to polyester. Therefore use cotton products and clothing whenever possible. From basic clothing items to more unique products like Eco Lunch Gear's eco-friendly snack bags, cotton fabric is long-lasting and soft on skin. Try to use only 100% certified organic cotton products as most cotton is contaminated by the pesticides, fungicides and herbicides that they are exposed to during growth.

6. Avoid using colored towels and toilet papers

The brightly colored toilet papers and towels are composed of chemical dyes such as aniline. These chemical dyes are chemical toxins which are usually partially absorbed by your skin when they fade. Find better alternatives like eco-friendly reusable napkins and recycled toilet paper for use by your households. Use toilet paper which is not bleached using chlorine and is unscented. Use products with no dyes too.

7. Use recycled & reusable products

It is a kind choice to use household products made from recycled materials. These products are eco-friendly and will not harm the environment when produced, used or when disposed. Use recycled products helps in the conservation of the environment by reducing pollution and emission of the harmful greenhouse gases which are also harmful to the planet. Feng Shui principals, when applied to your home space will create a desired and eco-friendly atmosphere.

Do you have any Feng Shui tips to create a more clean, eco-friendly living environment? Please share your ideas in the comments below.

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