The Weekly Savor- Little changes you can make to be more eco saavy

Since coming to the blog, I am finding that I am even more in tune to things I could be doing to help minimize my negative touch on the environment. Here are a couple things I have come up with over the week that we all can improve on!

Plastic Lids and Straws– If you are at a restaurant and order a drink, don’t use a straw or lid. You would be surprised how much plastic we could save if everyone did this! Need more of a reason than to just save plastic? Straws are one of the reasons people develop wrinkles around the mouth… not fun

Plastic Bags for Dog Poop–  I have always tried to convince my parents not to clean up dog poop with plastic bags by  making the joke that someday in the future their grandkids will be playing in fields full of poop-filled plastic bags. Props to them for making sure they reuse their plastic but that doesn’t get rid of the bag…it just turns them into modern tumbleweeds filled with yucky-ness!  There are two solutions to this problem, biodegradable bags and reusable bags. Grossed out by reusable bags? Just dump their contents into the toilet!

Buying produce at the grocery store– As I was at the grocery store this week, it occurred to me how much plastic bags are used to carry around produce. My sister-in-law shared these with me and I’ve been sold ever since! (look around the site, they have some really awesome products!)

This next one may cross some comfort zones but an interesting thought…

Pads and Tampons- I know, I know ew.. especially if you’re a guy, but has anyone ever considered how much waste comes with using them? Here is a solution I found after doing some research. Still not accustomed to the idea but I’d be willing to try if meant less waste!

Just some ideas, I’ll share more with you as they come 🙂

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Valentines Day Green Gifts

With Valentines Day quickly approaching, I wanted to take a second to share with you some great green alternatives to give your sweetie this year!

  • Organic Flowers
  • Vegan/Organic Cotton lingerie- This can be found online.  Some suggestions are urban fox and purrfect pineapples
  • Fair Trade Gifts- If you are in the Akron Area I suggest the Market Path, or you can look online
  • Adopt a pet- If you want one for keeps, I suggest visiting a local animal shelter or if you’re in the Akron area, One of a Kind Pets. If you have a specific breed in mind or want to see your options check out PetFinder.com. This website allows you to specify breed, size, age, etc but only pulls from local animal shelters and rescues. You can also specify how many miles you are willing to look within!
  • If you are not ready to adopt a pet with your honey or already have a pet, you can still adopt an animal! There are many animal rescues that allow you to adopt an animal to help keep them feed and healthy. Some great examples include farm sanctuary where you can adopt a rescued farm animal, you can help keep orangutans safe from the destruction of rainforests (their home and source of food), or choose from a variety of endangered species through the World Wildlife Fund.. you can even adopt a pair of meerkats in spirit of the day of couples!
  • Donate to a worthy cause! You can donate to your favorite charity- some of my favorites include The Somaly Mam Foundation which helps stop sex trafficking around the world (you can even “donate” by purchasing products that are handmade by the rescued victims) and  LifeStraws,which is a foundation that produces straws which have built in filters that are worn around the neck of inhabitants of third world countries so that they can have easy access to clean drinking water. They only run at about $6.50 a straw and can be used for one year!
  • Buy them something really unique- Some fun examples could be to adopt a word for them. Save the Words is a website dedicated to keeping underused words in the English Dictionary. Another idea would be to buy them a star through the International Star Registry.

Even if you have already gotten a present, you still have the opportunity to finish it off with an eco touch! Here are some nice, green ideas on how to wrap your present

  • Recycle your brown bags from the grocery store by wrapping your presents with them
  • Whole Living magazine published a fabulous article on making your own bows using pages out of magazines. To see how click here.
  • Instead of buying a gift bag, put your present in a a reuseable tote. That way, the bag can be used again and has potential to encourage your special someone to cut down on their use of plastic bags.
  • If you are thinking about getting flowers, use a waterbottle as a vase (keep the lid so it can be recycled once the flowers are out of it!)

Naturally beautiful.. and moisturized too!

Along with buy nothing new, one of my new years resolutions ( yes I know I am a month late in sharing this with you) is to only use beauty products (make up, lotions, hair products, etc ) that are natural and not tested on animals. although it may be hard to see the benefits in only using natural products, believe it or not you can really tell a difference… not to mention you’re not hurting any critters in the process. Whats better than that? 🙂

Believe it or not, this is not a hard goal to fulfill and you will be shocked to find out that products like these can even be found in your own grocery store! There are plenty of places where you can shop but I am going to share with you a couple of my favorites!

The Body Shop: This is a company that I cannot say enough about. Not only are all the products in the store vegan and natural, they are also fair trade! I know many people are reluctant to buy products like these because they might think they are more expensive but you will be shocked to find out how comparable the prices are to other specialty stores. Their body butter, what they are most known for, only runs at about $16.00 and lasts so long.. not to mention the container can serve many purposes once emptied. I like to use it to carry food in my lunch box since it is small and compact, I have also used it as a portable water dish for my dogs when I take them to the park in the summer. Way cool! If you do not want to reuse the containers, some of the stores will even recycle them for you if you return them when they are empty.

Besides the awesome products they also are doing a fabulous job at staying green. All of their plastic bags are biodegradable and the bottles that the products come in are 100% post consumer recycled plastic! Not to mention, as of 2010 they are a carbon neutral retailer!

Currently, they are partnering  a campaign with the Somaly Mam Foundation that helps stop sex trafficking! ( something I am über passionate about)

PS the palm oil in their soaps comes from only sustainable sources so that no rainforests are being cut down! YAY for orangutans!

Garden Botanika: Another one of my favorites! It can be compared to the body shop in price. I get my perfume from there and have gotten some lipsticks! The lipsticks come in a really neat miniature tube, you get the same amount as you would anywhere else, they are just being sure to use less packaging!

Lush:  Lush carries soaps, shampoos, lotions, and make up! All of their products are natural and produced in sustainable ways with fair trade ingredients… and for those of you who do not use palm oil, their soaps do not contain any of it!  Also, 70% of their products are totally unpreserved.When it comes to their packaging, they give customers the option to take their products home naked, aka without packaging! For those that prefer  packaging the bottles used are made out of 100% recycled plastic and their plastic bags are compostable. For more information on their green policies click here.

Here are some ideas if you are looking for something cheaper and still want to make a difference:

St. Ives: All of their products are natural and are not tested on animals. Their packaging is made from 20% PCR which means that their bottles can be recycled after they are used. I adore their apricot face scrub and, for those of us who are still using soap, I recommend their oatmeal and shea body soap and lotion! It smells amazing!

They also have some great facial skin care products. Their anti-aging moisturizer runs just over $3.00 and its huge!

Hard Candy: This company is a make up company that does not test on animals and quite a few of their products are completely vegan. The reason I think it is important to share this brand with you is for the fact that it is now carried at Walmart and can be a real steal for what you are getting out of the product and can be found right around the corner!

Remember: There are many other brands out there that meet my qualifications, these are just a couple of my favorites.

See how easy it is to shop green, kindly, and feel pretty too 🙂

PS- If you are currently using other products and decide to try this with me, please be sure to finish your current supply first so that nothing goes to waste!