Thursday, April 28, 2011

42 Ways to Not Make Trash — by No Impact Man Colin Beavan

42 Ways to Not Make Trash — by No Impact Man Colin Beavan

(A Timely Re-Post)

Together with his family, Colin Beavan—aka No Impact Man—spent a year trying to live in the middle of New York City without having a negative impact on the environment. One of his first challenges: getting through everyday life without producing trash. Below are some of his favorite tips and tricks.

No soda in cans (which means we’re probably less likely to get cancer from aspartame).
No water in plastic bottles (which means we get to keep our endocrines undisrupted).
No coffee in disposable cups (which means we don’t suffer from the morning sluggishness that comes from overnight caffeine withdrawal).
No throwaway plastic razors and blade cartridges (I’m staging the straightedge razor comeback).
Using non-disposable feminine-hygiene products that aren’t bad for women and are good for the planet.
No Indian food in throwaway takeout tubs.
No Italian food in plastic throwaway tubs.
No Chinese food in plastic throwaway tubs.
Taking our own reusable containers to takeout joints (except that now we’re eating local so this tip is out for us).

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Got Sole??

No, not the fish, although that could be tasty.  What I'm talking about here are the soles on shoes.  How many shoes do you have?  How many do you need?  Arguably, most of us probably have way too many shoes in our closets.   Some we wear now and then, a few pairs of these, a couple of pairs of those in various colors, heel types, out-of-date styles, etc.  Although I did a post last year entitled Surrender your Soles about donating shoes to those who are in need, a recent stop at my local Good Will drop off location reminded me that it was probably time to take another inventory.  The receiving attendant commented that Americans have way too many shoes (based on the fact that the previous donation was over 50 pairs-- from one woman!).  Kudos to her for donating her shoes.

Here's an interesting thought:  Every year, between 100 and 300 million pairs of shoes end up in landfills.  What's worse is that these shoes take anywhere from 40 to 1000 years to break down, depending on what they're made from. 

Adding insult to injury, a quick Internet search indicates that nearly 300 million people are without shoes.  No shoes.  Period.  Think about how your daily life would be different if you didn't have any shoes to wear, or anything to protect your feet.

With Earth Day celebrating its 41st birthday on April 22nd, donating your gently used and rarely worn shoes to those in need is a great way to eco-step your way to a greener tomorrow and to help your fellow humans. What a great way to show your Earth Day spirit!

From personal experience, I can tell you that donating your shoes and spreading the word is not hard at all.  Last  year, I collected 57 pairs of shoes (from just my immediate family) and sent them to Soles 4 Souls

You can find the nearest Souls 4 Soles Drop off location here:
Below are some other excellent places to donate your shoes:
Salvation Army
Volunteers of America
I am sure there are others.  If you know of another place to donate shoes, please share.
Happy Eco-Stepping and Happy Earth Day!