Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Green Home items

Here are some things you can do around the house to "green up" the place.

1. Switch from your plastic food storage containers to glass (as the plastic wears out of course - don't just throw perfectly good Tupperware in the garbage - creating unneeded waste - b/c you want to replace it.) Here are some resources for glass food storage containers: Crate and Barrel,, Kitchen Etc., and Wisementrading.

BECAUSE: Not only does glass not leach harmful toxins into your food it is made with out the use of petroleum and can be recycled easily into more glass again and again and again.

2. Use cast iron (the original non-stick) instead of non-stick coated pots and pans. You can get cast iron pots and pans at any good retailer. Check out Williams Sonoma or Crate and Barrel. And for those of us that are a bit more thrifty - JC Penney also carries some really nice looking cast iron. The good news is that when cast iron is cared for properly it lasts forever. My mom has plenty of cast iron that is much older than I!

BECAUSE: The use of non stick coated pots and pans has not yet been proven to cause problems for humans, but the development and application of these coatings does create perfluoroocrtanoic acid which has been shown to cause developmental problems in lab animals. Cooking in cast iron can increase the amount of iron in a food by around 80% - good news for all of us veggies out there. Plus it cooks things very evenly and can go from stove top to oven.

3. Purchase some reusable bags. Karen and I have used the following bags and REALLY like them: Envirosax, good size w/ nice handles that fit over your shoulder. They come in awesome prints (b/c you want to look good carrying your bags) and roll up nice and small. And the lady that developed them is SUPER COOL. Chico Bags, almost exactly the size of a shopping bag, hold about 20lbs, come in fun colors, stuff (I'm better at stuffing than folding) into an attached little bag for easy storage and have a hook to hook them on about anything. Cafe Press, you can get one w/ your Green Girl splashed all over it! This one is large w/ long handles that will go over your shoulder as well. It doesn't fold up as small, but it says GREEN GIRL on it! Come on! :)

BECAUSE: Decrease the amount of bags hitting the land fill by using yours over and over again!

4. Switch to non-toxic dish washing detergents such as Shaklee or Seventh Generation.

BECAUSE: Conventional detergents pollute the water supply with chlorine and phosphates.

5. As your incandescent bulbs burn out replace them with compact fluorescents - CFLs.

BECAUSE: They last longer - about 10x longer - and will cost about $30 less over the life of the bulb. Yeah, less energy therefore less money leaving your pocket! One CFL can save 450 pounds of emissions from a power plant over its lifetime.

6. Use recycled toilet paper!

BECAUSE: According to the Natural Resource Defense Council we are destroying valuable habitat to make our disposable paper products - "But if every household in the United States replaced just one roll of 70-sheet virgin-fiber paper towels with 100 percent recycled towels, 544,000 trees could be saved."

7. Change all of your household cleansers from conventional cleaners to either natural "around the house" cleaners (see below) or to a non-toxic environmental variety like Shaklee (have I beat that horse enough yet? Can't help it ... it's what I use and I believe in their products.) Some natural cleaners you could use around the house include vinegar, baking soda and good old fashioned elbow grease.

BECAUSE: Conventional cleaners contain many harmful chemicals that are not only introduced to our water system, but are released into the air in YOUR HOME while you use them.

8. Install a rain barrel to collect run off water. Here are some options: The Rain Saver: Quite a pretty option as rain barrels are concerned. Clean Air Gardening: This site has ALL KINDS of barrels.

BECAUSE: m The more water you can conserve from rain water the less fresh water you use on your lawn and the less water that has to be processed in a water treatment plant!


Laura said...

I just learned about soapstone cookware. Long lasting like cast iron and made of natural soapstone. Expensive, but properly cared for it will last many generations. Teflon is a known carcinogen, and is found in the blood of 95% of the population. Yikes!

Todd said...

Also remember to take your worn out compact fluorescent bulbs to a recycling center (IKEA has a drop off) b/c they contain trace amounts of mercury.