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Earth Day, In Denver

Today is April 22nd, also known as Earth Day. Today is a day that everyone is supposed to go the extra mile to do something positive for the environment. All across the country, many major cities have several Earth Day events which the public can attend. Denver, happens to be one of those cities. In fact, this article from FOX31 Denver, lists several of the events being held in and around the city.

DENVER — Wednesday is Earth Day and there will be events throughout the metro area.


More than 50 sustainable businesses, organizations and city agencies will be at the annual Earth Day Fair at Civic Center Park. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with Mayor Michael Hancock touring the event from 11:45 a.m .to 12:45 p.m.

Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel

A Project C.U.R.E. Earth Day plant sale will be held at the hotel (1550 Court Place) from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Downtown Aquarium

The Downtown Aquarium (700 Water St.) will have a Party for the Planet from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. There will be a nature-themed scavenger hunt, conservation crafts and activities, animal feedings and an interactive dive show.

The Alliance Center, Denver

The Alliance for Sustainable Colorado will host a recycle and reuse drive at The Alliance Center. The public can bring items to be recycled or reused from noon to 7 p.m. at the center’s parking lot (1536 Wynkoop St.)..

Foundations Academy, Brighton

Students from Foundations Academy in Brighton will plant flowers outside the school from 10:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Students will also hang signs around the school about recycling and help students learn more about how to help Earth.

Merryhill Preschool, Highlands Ranch

Preschoolers at Merryhill Preschool in Highlands Ranch (9345 S. Colorado Blvd.) will release thousands of ladybugs back into the environment from 3 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Colorado State University, Fort Collins

Colorado State will host a volunteer tree planting as part of its designation as a Tree Campus USA. The trees will be planted at 2 p.m. near Danforth Chapel.

Tips for Celebrating Earth Day

Since 1970, April 22nd has been “Earth Day”, a day when everyone should be mindful of blog-earththe environment and do what they can (at least for a day) to reduce their carbon footprint. Today is a day to do our part in taking care of our home, our planet, Earth. Here are a few simple tips on how to participate and celebrate this Earth Day.

“Leave the Car at Home”- I think it’s safe to say that one of the biggest causes of pollution on a daily basis are cars. Instead of driving to work, try walking or riding a bike. If you happen to live to far from your job to either walk or ride a bike, try using public transportation or at least carpool.

“Plant a Tree”- Nothing symbolizes Earth Day, quite like the planting of a tree. Planting anything, really, is a positive thing for the environment. Think of it as your way of helping to offset the destruction of the world’s rainforests.

“Switch Out Your Lightbulbs”- It sounds simple, and it is, but switching from incandescent to fluorescent lightbulbs can actually have a real positive effect on how much energy you use to light your home.

“Brown Bag-It”- If you usually purchase your lunch, try bringing one from home. Instead of buying a drink which you throw away when your done, try bringing water, juice or coffee from home in a reusable bottle or thermos.

“Make Everyday Earth Day”- The absolute best way to celebrate Earth Day, is to make a commitment to doing your part to help the environment everyday. Little changes in our lives can have a big impact on the environment.

These are just a few ways we can all celebrate this Earth Day. There are many more ways you can help the environment, most are so simple you’d never know you were making a difference…..but you are!

Green Gadgets

Remember beepers? Flip phones? AOL? There was a time when those were groundbreaking advancements in technology. Now, you can listen to an entire library of music, watch a movie, or just browse the internet while waiting at the bus stop all from your phone. It’s pretty crazy how much technology has changed in just the last decade. Well, the “green” community is advancing as well. In fact, some of the newest green gadgets were on display at the International Consumer Electronics Show, in Las Vegas. Here is an article from Enviro Maids, which highlights some of these new advancements in green technology. Pretty cool stuff.

Latest Green Gadgets at the International Consumer Electronics Show

blog-CESEach January, thousand flock to the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) to catch a glimpse of the latest and greatest technologies and innovations in consumer products. This year’s show took place January 5-10 in Las Vegas and showcased an impressive array of state-of-the-art products. Our favorite products come from the “green” category, of course! Here are some of the standout green products for the home and why we love them.

EverSense Thermostat by Allure Energy, Inc.

This “smart” thermostat features a Wi-Fi touchscreen and Proximity Control Technology to make your home greener and more energy efficient. Proximity Control is a patented technology that controls and adjusts your home’s temperature while you’re away based on how near or far you’re from your house. While you’re at work or away on vacation, you probably adjust the setting on your thermostat to save energy while your home is empty. When you return home, you adjust the temperature back to your ideal setting. With EverSense’s Proximity Control, the thermostat works like a GPS system, sensing your proximity to your home and adjusts the temperature automatically before you arrive home. You’ll always come home to the perfect temperature. The EverSense thermostat works using the Eversense mobile app for iPhone or Android.

RZT S Zero Lawn Mower by Cub Cadet

Move over electric cars, now there’s an electric lawn mower! Manufactured by Cub Cadet, the RZT S Zero ride mower is chock-full of environmentally-friendly features. According to the company website, features include:

  • Zero engine noise
  • Zero gasoline
  • Zero filters to change
  • Zero belts to change
  • Zero engine heat
  • Zero oil
  • Zero oil disposal
  • Zero gasoline emissions

LG Front Load Mega Capacity TurboWash Washer

This large capacity washer is huge in size and huge in savings. This 5.2-cubic-foot capacity washer features TurboWash Technology that gets through even large loads 20 minutes faster than traditional washers. LG’s ColdWash setting makes this washer even more energy efficient. According to the LG website, the ColdWash setting cleans as well as warmer settings yet saves you 60 to 91 percent more energy per load.

LG Electric Double Oven Range with EasyClean

This kitchen workhorse is perfect for entertaining. Featuring an infrared heating element, broiling time takes 20 percent less time than conventional ovens. According to the LG website, this electric, double-oven range is a breeze to clean thanks to the EasyClean technology. Unlike other self-cleaning ovens, this LG oven takes only 20 minutes to thoroughly clean and only requires water. No harmful chemicals! The secret is the enamel lining. Simply spray the surfaces inside the oven with water and press the EasyClean button. Twenty minutes later, wipe any bits of loosened dirt and you’re done!

Samsung DV457 Front-Load Dryer

Large household appliances such as dryers are notorious energy sappers. When it comes to energy efficiency, Samsung wins top prize. The Samsung DV457 Dryer is the first dryer to ever receive the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star Emerging Technology Award. According to, an ENERGY STAR Emerging Technology Award winning clothes dryer could:

  • Save enough energy in a year to run an ENERGY STAR certified clothes washer for 11 months.
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 6,000 pounds.

Another useful feature on this energy-saving dryer is the VentSensor feature that notifies you if there’s lint blocking in the vent filter. Cleaning your vents regularly improves dryer performance.

Belkin LED Lighting Starter Set and Smart LED bulbs

Belkin’s lighting system allows you control, dim and schedule your lighting from anywhere via the WeMo app and Wi-Fi. Gone are the days of leaving forgotten lights on while you’re away from home. The long-lasting bulbs provide a warm, white light equivalent to a 60-watt bulb and can last up to a remarkable 23 years. Other features include:

  • Switch lights on or off or adjust time schedule from anywhere
  • Fully dimmable
  • Vacation mode turns lights on and off so it looks like your home is occupied
  • Dim to sleep — gradually dim lights to fall asleep more naturally

Even Pets Can Go Green

As humans, we are making strides to be more aware of how we treat the environment, and are trying to reduce our carbon footprints. If you happen to be a pet owner, there are steps you can take to reduce your pets carbon footprint (or paw-print) as well. Here are a few tips from our friends at Seventh Generation, on how to “green” your pet.

Green Your Pet’s Routine


Let’s face it, pets are family. And as responsible pet parents, it only makes sense that we do everything we can to help reduce their carbon “paw” print. The next time you’re faced with choices for your pet, rely on these tips to help you make the sustainable one:

1. Chow Down Just like mass-market human food, much pet food is highly processed and less than nutritionally ideal. Make your own pet food or opt for certified-organic pet foods with all the nutrition information on the label. These products should meet FDA standards for meat grading and strict USDA standards (look for the green seal) that ensure no antibiotics, pesticides, hormones, or artificial preservatives are part of what’s being served up at meal time.

2. Pick It Up Depending on what they eat, your pet’s waste isn’t necessarily terrible for the Earth. But the way you choose to dispose of it can be. Grab a bunch of biodegradable waste-disposal bags for your dog so their poo bag isn’t sitting in a landfill for a century. For cats, stay away from clay clumping litters, as the clay is strip-mined and can contain potentially carcinogenic silica dust. Instead, go for biodegradable litters made from pine pellets or recycled newspaper.

3. Find Friendly Fibers The fibers in collars, scratching posts, toys, leashes and bedding are all areas to check twice when greening your pet’s lifestyle. Choose fibers like organic cotton and biodegradable hemp for collars, leashes and bedding. It’s worth doing the same for toys: many plastic ones can contain lead. You can even find habitats and scratching posts made from bamboo or recycled cardboard (

4. Wash It Out How many times have you picked up a product at the store or vet only to find that you had to use gloves to apply it? Shampoo and flea treatments are often packed full of chemicals of concern. If it can’t touch our skin, it probably shouldn’t touch theirs. For a simple way to determine what you don’t want in your pet’s shampoo, consider what you wouldn’t want in yours. If you avoid 1,4-dioxane contamination, your pet should too. If you would never consider lathering up with phthalates and parabens, don’t do it to your pet either!

Flea treatment, though traditionally as chemically harsh as possible, can also be natural and sustainable. In fact, prevention can be the best solution. Bathe your pet regularly with natural cleaners. Vacuum your home at least once a week and dispose of the bag or its contents. Wash pet bedding in hot, soapy water at least once a week and use a fine-toothed comb on your pet.

5. Adopt In the United States, approximately 70,000 kittens and puppies are born every day. By adopting an animal from a rescue shelter, you can give a home to one of the 6 – 8 million dogs or cats that enter a shelter every year. Aside from the obvious benefits, adopting an animal can save shelters precious resources. What’s more, you can help control the pet population explosion by having your pet spayed or neutered.

Some “Green” New Years Resolutions

New Years is just a few days away, and with that in mind, maybe it’s time to start thinking of some New Years resolutions. Now, I’m sure most people (like myself) already have a few of the more common New Years resolutions in mind, such as, eating less and exercising more, volunteering, and maybe giving up a favorite treat like chocolate or alcohol. While these are all very good changes to try to make for this coming new year, there are also some changes you can make that will not only help you out but the environment as well. Here are a few New Years resolution ideas from Mother Nature Network, that will help cut your carbon footprint as well as save you some bucks in 2014.

10 easy, green New Year’s resolutions for the eco-slacker

It’s easy to think about all the big changes you’re going to make in the New Year as the old year comes to an end — but by the second week of January, most of us are already finding reasons to skip the gym or break the spending freeze. That’s why we’ve come up with ten green New Year’s resolutions so easy you’ll have no excuse not to keep them — and as they help you save money, cut your carbon footprint, decrease your home’s waste stream, and improve the quality of the Earth, you’ll be glad you did.
1. Never buy bottled water again
Trade your bottled water habit for an at-home filtering pitcher and you can help make a dent in the 1.5 million barrels of oil used to make plastic water bottles each year; pair it with a reusable bottle (like one made of glass, aluminum, or recycled plastic), and you’ll always be prepared to tackle your thirst. Bonus: With bottled water no longer on your shopping list, you could save as much as $1,400 this year.
2. Brew your own Fair Trade coffee
Carrying your own coffee in an insulated travel mug helps you reduce waste from cardboard cups and carrying sleeves — which are thrown away at a staggering rate of58 billion each year. For greener at-home brewing, choose a Fair Trade blend that supports farmers; add organic milk instead of artificial creamers; and try a French press(instead of a traditional brewer) to save electricity.
3. Remember your reusable bags
With more than 1 million plastic bags ending up in the trash every minute, takingreusable bags to the store is one of the easiest and most effective ways to reduce your carbon footprint — but the hardest part about using them is simply remembering to take them with you. A set like this one from Blue Avocado is almost impossible to forget: It comes with six different bags, sized for everything from frozen goods to fresh fruit, and the entire collection folds down into a slim packet for easy transport.
4. Cut back on paper towels
If you’re grabbing a paper towel for everything from wiping up spills and cleaning your counter to scrubbing the bathroom and keeping your hands clean at dinner, it’s time tomake a change. Instead, invest in a few cotton cloths and some fabric napkins; then drop them in the wash when you run a load of laundry. Using the cloth alternatives is just as easy as using the paper versions, and you only need to buy them once — plus you can help eliminate the 3,000 tons of paper towels that end up landfills every day.
5. Use a bike for short trips
It takes a certain amount of dedication to permanently give up a car in favor of a bike, but even an eco-slacker can make it work for short trips that don’t require hauling a lot of stuff: picking up milk at the local grocery store, after-dinner ice cream at your favorite dessert spot, your morning yoga class, brunch with friends at the coffee shop. Ride your bike for trips shorter than 2 miles and you could cut your carbon footprint significantly, save money on gasoline and car maintenance, and increase your fitness level — all at the same time.
6. Order from your local CSA
Going to the farmer’s market always sounds like such a great idea — until Saturday morning rolls around and you realize you have to get up early, have enough cash, and fight other customers for the best strawberries. Instead, have your local CSA programdo the hard part for you by putting together a box of their best produce each week — and, if you’re really feeling lazy, have it delivered right to your door so you get fresh, local fruits and vegetables without giving up your lazy coffee-and-crossword mornings.
7. Become a weekend vegetarian
Cutting meat out of your diet just two days a week can decrease your carbon footprint by about 1/3 of a ton — and coming up with meat-free meals for Saturday and Sunday isn’t as hard as it sounds. Try pancakes and fruit for breakfast; fresh salads or roasted vegetable sandwiches for lunch; and veggie pizza, bean soups, and creamy risottos for dinner. And since doubling a recipe rarely adds any time to your prep work, you can make extras to eat throughout the week (and trim your carbon footprint even more).
8. Eliminate phantom power
It takes approximately one second to unplug the charger for your cell phone, mp3 player, e-reader, or iPad — but if you really can’t be bothered, then let nifty, energy-efficient gadgets do the work for you. Use power strips to turn off all your appliances at once; put your television, DVD player, game system, and stereo on a timer so they automatically shut off overnight; and invest in chargers that stop drawing current when the device’s battery is full. You could cut your energy bill by as much as 10 percent annually — without lifting a finger.
9. Switch to green power
Switching your home to run on green power sounds like a big job — installing solar panels, geothermal energy, or a tankless hot water heater is not a job for the construction-impaired. But you can also make this happen without getting out of your chair: Call your local energy company and see if they offer renewable options (most do). You might see a small jump in your bill, but it’s an easy way to make a big change.
10. Replace your lightbulbs
Replacing your lightbulbs with compact fluorescent lights may be the ultimate change for the eco-slacker. Despite all the jokes, it takes only one person to change a lightbulb — and since CFLs last longer than traditional bulbs, you’ll be saving time for years down the road while cutting your energy use by as much as 80 percent. Can’t even face the hardware store? Order your bulbs online and have them come straight to your door.

Green Product Declaration Myths

In this interesting and informative article from, they discuss the importance of transparency and debunk a few product declaration myths.

4 myths about green product declarations

By Heather Gadonniex

4 myths about green product declarations

In December 2011, I wrote an article called “Clearing Up Transparency.” At the time, transparency tools and product declarations were starting to gain traction in North America. LEED v4, formerly known as LEED 2012, just published the first draft of the updated rating system, and the built environment community was abuzz with acronyms: EPDs, PCRs and LCAs, to name a few.


Fast forward to now. Transparency is no longer a fleeting trend. All major green building rating systems globally and in North America have incorporated some form of life cycle-based product disclosure into their materials and resources sections. This includes LEED, BREEAM, ESTIDMA, GreenStar and Living Building Challenge.


There is no doubt that transparency is becoming a requirement for doing business. Some would argue it already is a requirement. Yet confusion still surrounds transparency tools and product declarations. Keep reading to explore four common myths and mysteries surrounding product declarations.


Before we dig in, let’s first focus on defining today’s most talked about transparency tools and product declarations.


Four of today's most talked about transparency tools and product declarations. Source: ED+C.


• Life cycle assessment (LCA): LCA is a technique used to measure product or building environmental impacts, such as carbon footprint, throughout its life cycle. Typically, an LCA measures impacts from raw material extraction, transportation, manufacturing, use and end of life. The LCA is the backbone of an environmental product declaration (EPD). LCAs are based on guidelines published by the International Organization of Standards. They are used globally.

• Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs): EPDs are a comprehensive disclosure of a product’s impacts throughout its life cycle. EPDs are also known as Type 3 Eco Labels. Like LCAs and PCRs, EPDs follow the International Organization of Standards guidelines. They are used globally.

• Product Category Rules (PCR): PCRs are like a recipe for producing an LCA and EPD. They establish the methodology that all product manufacturers in a category must follow when creating an EPD. PCRs follow the International Organization of Standards guidelines. They are used globally.

• Declare: The Declare label was created by the International Living Future Institute in support of the stringent materials requirements of the Living Building Challenge. Declare is a simple ingredients label that facilitates communication of transparent material information between suppliers and consumers. Declare is used globally.

• Health Product Declarations (HPDs): HPDs are a standard format for transparent disclosure of building product ingredients and associated hazards. HPDs were created by the Health Product Declaration Collaborative and are mainly used in North America.


Myths and mysteries


Now that we all have a common understanding of the types of transparency tools and product declarations commonly discussed, let’s focus on four common myths and mysteries.


1. All product declarations follow the same standard


It’s a common misconception that LCA, EPDs and HPDs are all created following globally recognized ISO standards and are based on PCRs. Only LCAs and EPDs are created following ISO guidelines, and therefore only LCAs and EPDs are based on PCRs.


HPDs, on the other hand, are created following an open standard format developed by a U.S based-nonprofit organization called the Healthy Product Declaration Collaborative.


As mentioned above, Declare was created by the International Living Future Institute and is based on publicly available criteria.


2. All product declarations address the same issues


The primary function of EPDs is to disclose information about the environmental impact of a product. This includes things such as carbon footprint, embodied energy and ozone depletion potential, among others. EPDs also can disclose product performance information such as indoor air quality test results and recycled content, limited ingredient information and facts about a company’s sustainability commitments.


Health and ingredient disclosure tools such as HPDs and Declare focus on building product content and ingredient disclosure. They also sometimes disclose hazards associated with content and ingredients.


With an HPD, manufacturers can choose to fully disclose all ingredients or only disclose a portion of ingredients. If one does not fully disclose all ingredients in the HPD, they must identify health hazards of remaining portions of product. Declare requires manufacturers to provide their full ingredients list, in addition to basic information about the product such as product source location and lifespan. The Living Futures Institute then assesses the ingredients to determine if any of those ingredients are on the Living Building Challenge red list, a list of 13 of the worst-in-class toxic chemicals and materials commonly found in building materials today. Manufacturers have to publicly disclose at least 99 percent of their ingredients and confirm any remaining ingredients less than 1 percent are not on the Living Building Challenge red list to participate in the program.


3. All product declarations define a product’s greenness


I’ve said it before and I’m sure I will say it again: Product declarations are one tool in the specification toolbox and they don’t tell you if products are green. Product declarations are disclosure tools that allow you to gain the information you need to make more informed, smarter purchasing decisions. They complement other environmental and sustainability performance labels and certifications, and encourage overall improvement in sustainability performance.


4. Product declarations are only marketing tools


This is possibly the most important myth to debunk. Sure, product declarations are a major component of any leading manufacturers marketing mix. However, this is not their most important use. Product declarations are most powerful when they are used as an internal management tool for measuring, monitoring and improving impact reduction. Companies with leading sustainability agendas adopt product declarations to help them understand where to find and reduce the greatest impacts in their product development, production and distribution processes. The information gathered during the product declaration creation process also informs future strategy and R&D decisions. Overall, product declarations are a footprint reduction, cost reduction and risk mitigation tool, just as much as they are a marketing tool.


Final thoughts


Ensuring a project meets its goals means using the best products that align with project requirements. Because of the emphasis on transparency from green building rating systems, understanding the differences among the various product disclosure types will help building teams avoid confusion — and possibly something even worse — down the road.

A Little Earth Day Quiz

Yesterday was Earth Day, a day when everyone is supposed to try to do something which benefits the planet. Of course, people should try to do what’s best for the planet everyday, but unfortunately that isn’t always the case. Here is an article and quiz from CNN, to test your knowledge of the Earth and pollution. Some of the answers may surprise you.

Hey Earthling, it’s Earth Day; time for a quiz

By Ben Brumfield, CNN

(CNN) — There’s a popular saying about our planet and humankind’s negative effects on its ecology:

“We treat this world of ours as though we have a spare in the trunk.”

Since the nearest planets that could possibly sustain life appear to be more than 1,200 light years away, it may be wise for Earthlings to do what we can to preserve the nice place we already have.

Since 1970, every April 22, Earth Day reminds us to do just that.

If you think we have more pressing matters to deal with than keeping Mother Earth in shape, consider the people of Afghanistan.

Earth Day: Beautiful places for wildlife Earth Day: Beautiful places for wildlife

Climate change impacts the world

In 2011, the Green Club of Afghanistan planted more than 28 million trees. That’s nearly one tree per person in one of the world’s most war-torn nations.

Or, turn your sights to the beaches of California where a group of volunteers collected more than 3 million pounds of trash that could be recycled, and that was just a day’s haul.

The best intentions and actions are driven by knowledge, so here’s a little quiz to help you bone up on ecology:

The Quiz

1. How many pounds of trash did the United States create, per person, every day in 2010?

A. 1.23 lbs.

B. 3.46 lbs.

C. 4.43 lbs.

Answer: C — Less than 5 pounds may not seem like much, but if you multiply it by 365 days, that’s 1,617 pounds of garbage per person over a year.

2. The seven worst metropolitan areas for ozone pollution are all in California. No. 8 is in another state. Which is it?

A. Phoenix

B. New York

C. Houston

Answer: C — Houston, but some metro areas that may surprise you are not far behind, like Charlotte, North Carolina.

3. What percentage of hybrid car owners replace it with another hybrid when it’s time to get a new car?

A. 79%

B. 45.2%

C. 35%

Answer: C — Only 35% of people who buy a hybrid once buy one again. With all the praise they receive, isn’t it surprising so few drivers buy a second one?

4. About 70% of the Earth is covered with water. Only a relatively small amount of it is potentially potable fresh water. How much?

A. 1%

B. 2.5%

C. 7.3%

Answer: B — Only 2.5% of water on Earth is fresh water. And 70% of that is locked up in polar ice.

5. Though fresh water would seem somewhat precious, Americans use a lot of it every day. On average, what is the approximate daily water use of each household?

A. 25 gallons

B. 50 gallons

C. 300 gallons

Answer: C — 300 gallons. That’s what the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says. Meanwhile, more than 750 million people (more than 10% of the world’s population) still don’t have adequate access to drinking water, according to the United Nations.

6. A lot of the water Americans consume lands on their lawns. What percentage, on average, is used for outdoor purposes?

A. About 10%

B. About 30%

C. About 60%

Answer: B — About 30% of U.S. residential and commercial water goes for outdoor use. And up to 50% of that evaporates if you water in the heat of the day, the EPA estimates.

7. Which of the following takes the longest time to break down?

A. Plastic six-pack holder

B. Hard plastic container

C. Disposable diaper

Answer: A — A plastic six-pack holder takes 450 years to disintegrate. Consider the impact of plastic water bottles, which take as long to biodegrade. The International Bottled Water Association says that in the top 10 global markets alone, people consumed more than 61 billion gallons of bottled water in 2011.

8. Which of the following accounts for the greatest percentage of total waste in the United States?

A. Paper

C. Plastics

D. Glass

Answer: A — Paper is by far the No. 1 item Americans dispose of. But it is also the most recycled material.

9. How much solid waste does the United States produce in one year?

A. 50 million tons

B. 150 million tons

C. 250 million tons

Answer: C — 250 million tons, says the EPA. That’s more than 1,000 times greater than one of the largest cruise ships in the world.

10. Which of the following countries had higher emissions of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, per capita, in 2008 than the other two?

A. United States

B. Russia

C. Australia

C — Australia emitted 26.08 tons of carbon dioxide per person in 2008. For comparison’s sake, a full tanker truck can weigh between 12 and 25 tons. U.S. and Russian per-person emissions that year were 22 and 15 tons, respectively.

Eco-Friendly Trash Bags

I recently saw a commercial for a certain trash bag company, in which they claim that by purchasing their new stretchy trash bag you would need to use less bags over the course of the year. In fact, I believe they made a claim that if everyone used their stretchier brand of bags, the left unused regular bags could cover the top of a mountain. Now, who knows how accurate their claims may be, but it got me thinking none the less. BLOG-GARBAGEBAGS

Properly disposing of trash is something that everyone must do. In order to do this, we all must use trash bags. What we do have a choice about, is what kind of bags to use. There are tons of environmentally friendly trash bags out there, all you have to do is look. We all ready have one example of how a more flexible bag can reduce the overall number of plastic trash bags you use per year, therefore decreasing the number of bags that end up in landfills.

Recycled bags are also an option. One company, Seventh Generation, claims that if every home in the U.S. replaced a 30 count package of kitchen trash bags made from virgin plastic with ones made from 55% recycled plastic, the U.S. could save over 50,000 barrels of oil. Another choice may be trash bags that are made from a corn based material. One company, BioBag, is making trash bags out of vegetable oils and Mater-Bi (corn based material), and claims its product is 100% biodegradable.

So, if these eco-friendly trash bags can do the same job as a regular plastic bag, while helping the environment, why wouldn’t you switch?


Colleges Going Green

With the new school year upon us, and new football season (GO IRISH!), I thought it would be interesting to take a look at how colleges are doing their part to keep the environment clean. Considering that colleges were some of the first places to widely adopt recycling, and even today many institutions take back used paper, electronics, and batteries, it should come as no surprise that the sustainability movement is front and center on many campuses.

On some college campuses they even have “free stores”, where students can swap gently used items, which promote reuse. Green building is also proving quite popular on many major campuses nationwide. Green building is allowing new or modified structures to lower energy and water bills. There are many colleges which are using local organic foods in their cafeterias, while promoting biking and walkability, while using non-toxic materials, reducing waste and much much more.

Taking care of the environment has become such an important issue, that most colleges provide information on their environmental initiatives page on their websites. With the nations colleges and universities taking initiatives to better the environment now, we can only hope that it will continue and improve for a healthier, better tomorrow.


Easy Tips For Turning Your Home Into A “Green” Home

Many people would like to have a more environmentally friendly or “green” home but feel they would have to make drastic changes in their lives to do it. Luckily, this isn’t the case. There are little changes you can make around your home or in your lifestyle which won’t have a huge impact on your everyday life but will have an impact on the environment.

Let’s start with changing from harsh chemical cleaners, to plant-based cleaners. Not only will this be better for the environment but it will also help with the quality of the air inside your home. Making sure your home is properly insulated is also very important. If properly insulated, it can improve your home’s energy draw by up to 30%. Thermal shades can also help with insulation, by blocking the sun during hot summer days, and keeping in heat during the winter.

You can also help others while helping the environment by donating your old clothes instead of throwing them out. This cuts down on carbon emissions by not having to produce another item while one is being tossed in a landfill. Even just keeping your kitchen clean will help. By keeping your kitchen crumb-free, it will keep it bug-free and therefore you won’t have to use harsh bug sprays or pesticides.

And of course there are just the basics which we’ve all heard for years; recycle, turn off the lights when you leave a room, don’t just stand there with the refrigerator door open, etc… These are just a few simple ways to help improve the environment, and if we all make these little changes, the positive impact can be huge.