Wednesday, April 27, 2011

30 Day Eco-Challenge, Part 1

So, this Eco-Challenge has been just that- challenging! I think the key to being successful is careful planning and putting in the extra effort to bring what I need with me. I packed a reusable shopping bag with a reusable plate, cup, empty glass jar, cutlery, and cloth napkins and put it in my car, so that if I ever go somewhere where I am eating, I can whip out my reusables. I also put my collapsible shopping bag (Chico Bag) in my purse, so I can get to it easily.
The first day of the 30 Eco-Challenging went pretty well. I had a cleaning job at someone's house and used my all natural cleaning supplied that I made for them, (diluted Dr. Bronner's soap for a cleaning spray, borax as a scouring powder and hot vinegar water for washing floors) so that worked out well. To wipe up counters and sinks I used a cloth rag they had, instead of using a ton of paper towels like I usually do. The one thing I forgot was that they only have disposable latex gloves, instead of reusable gloves, so I used a pair and threw them out afterwards (not so great). But I am happy to say that after all the cleaning of the kitchen, washing floors and bathroom, I did not use a single paper towel! I think this is a big improvement, because I normally would have used 1/3 of a roll or something. Also, I took their plastic bottles homes so I could recycled them, so maybe that makes up for the gloves?

So, if one roll of paper towels equals about 1 tree (according to online sources), then I saved 1/3 of a tree on Wednesday!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

I'm Taking On A 30 Day Eco-Challenge!

My sister and I were recently talking about how wasteful using disposable products are, and how easy it is to be mindless when it comes to something so quick and easy. When she lived in Ukraine, she was responsible for taking her own trash to a dumpster in another city because there was no trash pickup service. When you have to lug around your own heavy, smelly, dirty trash, you become very aware about how much you are throwing away and you think about minimizing how much trash you create.

From this conversation, I realized how wasteful I have been in the last 2 years. Between traveling, moving, and eating at restaurants and other people's homes, I have become lax when it comes to using disposables. So, my sister and I decided that it's time for us to do something about it! We decided to take on our own 30 Day Eco-Challenge!!!

We are minimizing our own production of waste by making up some guidelines.

For 30 days, we are NOT USING:

  • Paper napkins
  • Paper towels
  • Disposable plates, cups, cutlery, straws
  • Plastic sandwich bags
  • Pretty much anything that can be used once and thrown away
  • Disposable plastic or paper bags when we go grocery shopping
  • Excess electricity- we must turn off lights when we don't absolutely need them

  • Toilet paper - but if we run out we can only buy the recycled kind
  • Tissues to blow our noses - but if we run out we can only buy the recycled kind
  • Feminine care products - but if we run out, we must buy the all natural biodegradable kind, or use reusable
Wish us luck! I will be posting my experiences soon.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Wear Your Veggies!

I have been looking for some cute and comfy tees to wear now that the weather is warmer- so discovering this clothing company made my day! These tees are fashion for the food revolution and are basically for anyone who loves veggies, comfort and green businesses (ME!).

These tees are made out of a blend of organic cotton and bamboo, making them very soft, breathable, lightweight and produced in a sustainable way. Here are some cool facts.


  • is the fastest growing plant on Earth
  • produces more oxygen than trees
  • grows in most climates
  • needs very little water to grow

Organic Cotton:

  • grows on fields that have been chemical free for at least 3 years
  • by buying it you support clean air AND avoid supporting conventionally farmed cotton - which consumes 25% of the world's pesticide (2 BILLION pounds)

This company uses third party monitoring to make sure the shirts are made ethically and uses non-toxic inks for printing the designs. Seriously, I am obsessed! These tees remind me of working in a lush organic vegetable garden in Vermont. They also prove to be a good way to stay healthy - just looking down at your shirt will remind you to eat your veggies!

I got myself two of these tees on sale at the San Francisco Green Festival. If you prefer shopping in person for clothing, don't worry. Green Festival will happen this year in Chicago, Seattle, New York, Los Angeles, and again to San Francisco in November (this one will be even bigger!) Each Green Festival has it's own eco-fashion section, so you are sure to find great things wherever you go.

Check their website to browse their collection. They also have baby clothing!
Wear Your Veggies Website

Sunday, April 17, 2011

From War to Peace

What a pleasure it is to take a quick trip somewhere new and interesting! There is nothing like travelling and exploring to bring a fresh perspective into your life. I recently took a quick trip to Palo Alto, California and had the pleasure of heading to San Francisco for a day to go to my all-time favorite eco-event, Green Festival!!!

There is so much green-ness in California, I have a lot to share with you about all the cool things and people I saw there. Not only was it inspiring to meet amazing people who change the world everyday by doing good, caring about the environment and about people, but I got to see my sister-in-law and my brother build their own eco-home, piece by piece, (more about that later).

The first thing that I am most excited about is From War to Peace. They create affordable, beautiful and artful jewelry by recycling copper from disarmed nuclear missile systems. They truly take something that is totally destructive and harmful and make something amazing, inspiring and usable. They are a green company and also donate 20% of their proceeds to peace and social justice organizations. How awesome is that?? When I met them at the San Francisco Green Festival I was so amazed at all of the incredible good that they do, I almost cried!

I bought myself this cute blue heart pendant. I love it!

On the website they only currently sell pendants with the chains as well, and that can be a bit pricey. I bought just the pendant, since I already had a chain. They should be adding the ability to buy just a pendant to their online store soon. If you want one right away, just email them and they will sell it to you!

They also make mezuzahs. Here are some they had at the Green Festival table. They are so cute!

Here is a short video of them explaining what they do:
From War to Peace Video

Check out their website:
From War to Peace Website