Wednesday, November 25, 2009

It's a Wrap!

It is no secret that we generate a lot of garbage.  In fact, the EPA estimates that the average American throws away 4.5 lbs of garbage per day.  And, it gets even worse during the holidays.  It is estimated that 25 million tons more waste is created during the holidays than over a typical 10-week period.  That's roughly 1 million extra tons of waste per week!  EEK!

In the spirit of taking small, eco-steps to help the environment, here are a few things you can do to help reduce that very large and ugly figure, get creative, and save yourself some time and money in the process.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Environmental Vegetarianism?

This may be the worst possible time of year to be writing about what people should or shouldn't eat.  But, it may also be the best since we are presented with many food choices at Thanksgiving, Christmas and holiday parties galore.  It is becoming mainstream knowledge (although perhaps not very popular) that what we eat affects the environment. Recently, my father-in-law passed on an article from the Washington Post that addresses just that.
 (Warning: It may not be for squeamish readers, and should probably carry a PG-13 rating due to its graphic descriptions).

Monday, November 16, 2009

Food for...Thought?

20,000 -- The number of steel cans recycled in the US every minute.

100 Milllion -- The number of cell phones Americans threw out in 2006.  Recycling them would have saved enough energy to power 194,000 homes for a year!

250,000 -- The number of gallons of water that can be polluted by a single quart of motor oil that seeps into the ground.  Definitely a reason to handle motor oil with care and dispose of it properly.

2.5 -- The number of cans of soda the average employee consumes at work per day.  Switching to filtered water via a reusable water bottle is definitely much healthier for you, your wallet and the planet!

4 pounds, 6 ounces: the amount of cosmetics that can be absorbed through the skin of a woman who wears makeup every day, over the period of one year. Your skin is eating your makeup! 

Learn more about what is in your makeup and how to make safer cosmetics choices at the Environmental Working Group's Cosmetics Database.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Slow Your Roll

Have you started your Christmas shopping yet?  I haven't.  Mentally, I am still on Halloween since I am enjoying a piece or two (or three, let's be honest here) of my kids' trick-or-treating candy haul.  And really, it's not even Thanksgiving.  Shouldn't the question be, "How are you celebrating Thanksgiving this year?"

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Let There Be Light-- Compact Fluorescent (CFL) Light, That Is!

Believe it or not, the light bulb is 131 years old!  In those 131 years, we have gone from horse and buggy to rocket trips to space and back.  The world's population has grown from less than 2 billion people to just under 7 billion-- and is still growing!  That's a lot of households, a lot of light bulbs (for those with electricity) and a lot of energy to power those light bulbs! 

Since the US consumes a large majority of the world's energy, it seems only fitting and fair that we should also be a leader in conservation and environmental stewardship.  How to do your part?  You can start by changing your light bulbs.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Pet Dander, Dust Mites and Mold, Oh My!

Sure, wall-to-wall shag carpet sounds all nice and cozy.  Who doesn't like walking barefoot across a plush and cushy rug?  They're warm, they're fuzzy and can pull a room together for that certain "look."  But... you may change your mind after learning about what hangs out on those carpet fibers.
In addition to the bits of popcorn from last night's movie fest and other food particles that get dropped on them, carpets can harbor things like pet dander, dust mites, mold spores, pollen, pesticides and dead skin cells.  Ewww! 
How to get rid of these things?