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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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Leave No Trace with Eco Friendly Luggage Sets

Eco Friendly LuggageEco friendly luggage can be beneficial for shoppers, but also for luggage manufacturers. Consumers can benefit by using luggage that has been created using environment friendly practices, in addition to luggage manufacturers that want to contribute to green causes and eco friendly processes.

The manufacturing process of traditional luggage can produce a lot of chemicals that can have an impact on the air we breathe and the marine life. To learn more and see options of quality eco friendly luggage sets, read on!

Materials Used in Eco Friendly Luggage

In essence, the materials used in eco friendly luggage sets are those that do not harm the environment when the bags are disposed. This means that the possible waste resulted from creating eco friendly luggage is reduced to a minimum. Often times, reusable materials can be the best to use. Safe materials for people and the environment can be the ones that are non-corrosive, non-toxic and non-allergenic.

For example, the use of plastic is not recommended, because the quantity of waste that is generated by them is huge. Plastic bags are usually of a lower quality and can easily become damaged. Eco friendly luggage can be great for travel, but also for shopping.

Eco friendly luggage can be made of non-woven polypropylene, which is a one hundred percent recyclable material, but the products can also be made from different recycled materials. If you have to transport food and drinks in the bags, you can do it safely, as they can store them quite well. The temperature of the drinks can be maintained because of the insulation.

Eco Friendly Features

Even if the materials used are different than the ones of regular luggage, they can be durable and very strong. An eco friendly bag can be used many times before disposal. According to studies, a green bag can be used more the 350 times before it has to be disposed. The products can be quite stylish and suit any preference and they can be more affordable. You can find large versions that are more than enough for your needs, as they can have much space for anything you may want to carry inside them. The products are multifaceted and they can have different sizes, shapes and forms.

Examples of Eco Friendly Luggage Brands

One of the best brands in the industry for eco friendly luggage is Patagonia. Patagonia, which offers an array of awesome solutions for travelers, has the Freewheeler and the MLC Wheelie. The Freewheeler is not very cheap though. Plus Packaging Inc. is another manufacturer. It produces eco friendly products, bags and packaging. Jay Peak 32" Wheeled Duffle from the company called Timberland is a durable product, made from polyester, which can resist to rough weather conditions.

The normal durability of the typical eco friendly luggage set is typically just a few years, but it depends on how much it is used. Because the impact of regular bags on the environment, which means one trillion plastic bags are disposed yearly, eco friendly products can be very helpful for lowering the damage to the environment.

The demand for eco friendly luggage is increasing today. Discount luggage stores can benefit from providing these environment friendly products to their customers, as they are cheap and people can consider them great alternatives to regular products. Eco friendly luggage can be cheap, useful and stylish. Companies in the industry can use their logos on the products and be proud of them, because they represent and promote a better environment.

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Ways in Which Future Oil Spill Can Be Prevented

Oil SpillIt is rather unfortunate that oil spills have become a common occurrence in many parts of the planet. The majority of oil spills are accidental, and no one can thus predict precisely how, when, and where they will occur.

Oil spills are just as likely to happen on land or in water, in any kind of weather, and at any time of the day or night. The best strategy to avoid the potential damage to our health and the environment is to develop realistic strategies defining various practical ways in which future oil spills can be prevented.

Having well-defined strategies beforehand is also the only way we can ensure we adopt the best approach to contain and control oil spills after they occur, and be able to mount a rapid response that is well-organized. You will always be able to respond in a quick and coordinated manner if you have prepared adequate response measures well ahead of time.

Oil Spill Prevention and Containment Elements

Although oil spill prevention and containment measures may be implemented differently in many geographical areas and respects, the following 4 major elements should constitute any steps taken to prevent and deal with oil spills:

  • Develop an Effective Contingency Plan: Begin by identifying all possible hazards, analyzing all vulnerabilities thoroughly, and assessing every risk carefully, to come up with pragmatic response methodologies that you can turn to in case of emergency.
     
  • Devise Ways to Enhance the Severity of Punishment and the Likelihood of Detection: The deterrence of those flouting the rules may be enhanced by increasing monitoring actions to make it more likely that offenders will be caught, raising penalties imposed, and passing stringent legislation to assure the probability of obtaining guilty verdicts.
     
  • Revise the Role Insurance Plays: As things currently stand, most of the costs pertaining to oil spills are covered by insurers, thereby reducing the incentive for offenders to be more responsible in preventing spills. This situation can be vastly improved if, for example, insurance policies containing exclusions for rule violations or negligence provide incentives to firms that take extra precautions, hypothetically by shifting only risks that are either due to natural causes or purely accidental to insurers.
     
  • Implement Strict Negligence and Liability Standards: Oil pollution laws are for the most part viewed as liability offenses, meaning there is generally is no use in determining what caused an oil spill to ascertain whether any damages will be awarded. From an economic perspective, making whoever’s responsible strictly liable for all damages and cleanup costs can be efficient for many reasons. Stringent liability standards will provide the impetus for firms to implement better oil spill prevention technologies. On the other hand, negligence standards require that considerable resources be applied in investigating the causes of oil spills, and to provide sufficient proof in court that sufficient care was not undertaken to avoid them.

Whether for oil spill containtment in New Orlreans or oil clean up in Philadelphia, a contingency plan may at first glance appear complicated due to the many details it provides regarding the many necessary steps needed to prevent and counter such disasters.

The steps highlighted above adequately cover many different oil spill scenarios while addressing the various distinct situations that may inevitably arise during or after such an unfortunate event. Regardless of its complexity, the actions stipulated above should be quite easy to implement and follow.

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