Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Stubble Free Sustainability

Legs, armpits, beards, "other" places... Most adults in modern Western society shave something on our bodies to remove unwanted hair.  And according to Wikipedia, we've been shaving in some way, shape, or form for a long time-- since the Bronze Age.
In 1895, the concept of the safety razor was conceived by King C. Gillette and the arduous (or artful) task of shaving was revolutionized.  Then came along Schick, Bic, and then the electric shavers all to add to the list of modern conveniences.  And, well, you know the rest.  Or do you?  What about all of those single-use plastic disposable razors that we use once or twice, then pitch into the garbage and landfills to remain in perpetuity?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Behold the Power of Borax!

Being the eco-stepper that I am, I am always looking for all natural, non-toxic and inexpensive ways to clean my house, do laundry, freshen the air and all that goes with housework.  Since I have tried Borax in my homemade laundry soap and dishwasher powder, I am learning that it's actually quite the handy product to have on hand.  Wikipedia explains the many uses of Borax, far beyond those most would consider for every day household chores.  To pare it down a bit, here are some interesting uses for Borax:

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Voluntary Simplicity: Outwardly Simple, Inwardly Rich

Lately, it seems that there are several recurring themes in the quest to live a fuller, more purpose-driven life AND be kind to Mother Earth at the same time by being less materialistic and less "stuff-focused."  One of these themes is Voluntary Simplicity.  It can be described many ways-- frugal, authentic, minimalist, and a whole host of other adjectives that fall under the umbrella of taking "eco-steps" to living better, being happier and helping the environment.  And while many may think that choosing to live a simpler, less complicated life means "giving up" or "going without," there is plenty of evidence out there to support the exact opposite.  

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Small Actions, Big Results

In the spirit of eco-steps, there are many seemingly small, easy things we can all do that can add up to have a collectively large impact on our health, our lives and our environment.  But maybe there aren't enough of us doing them.  And maybe we could all do a little bit more.  I think both statements are true.  With June of 2010 being the hottest on record, and terrible things like the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, flooding in Pakistan, and drought and wild fires in Russia, I think it's time that everyone start paying a little closer attention.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Creative Uses for Yogurt Cups and Lids

As I finished my yogurt this morning, I cringed as I put it in the garbage can.  I have always been somewhat annoyed that the plastic used for most yogurt cups and containers is not readily recyclable.  I guess there probably is a good reason for it, but most containers I have seen have either #5 or a #7 symbol on the bottom and most recyclers, at least in my area, accept only #1 (PETE) and #2 (HDPE) for recycling.  So what can we do with these things to extend their life and usage before they eventually and unfortunately find their way to the landfill? 

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Learning From Our Neighbors: Part I

This past weekend I had the opportunity and pleasure of traveling to visit family in Ontario, Canada.  It was a beautiful day, eh?  There were good times, excellent food and it was great to reconnect with cousins and meet brand new ones.  Throughout the course of the afternoon, many discussions were had about the differences between Canada and the U.S. when it comes to health care, recycling, and regulations surrounding food supply. And you know what?  Canadians do a lot of things right when it comes to all of those things.