reusable shopping bags http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/10530/all en-US 10 Resolutions for the Green Revolution http://www.wisebread.com/10-resolutions-for-the-green-revolution <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-resolutions-for-the-green-revolution" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/lettuce_0.jpg" alt="Farmers market lettuce" title="Farmers market lettuce" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="240" height="160" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Environmental awareness is enjoying an all-time high, which means that more and more people are making choices aimed at helping rather than hurting the planet. If you&rsquo;re reading this, you&rsquo;re probably also interested in this quest for sustainability &mdash; how to provide the best for people and the environment, both now and in the future. The good news is that 2011 can be a GREAT year to live a greener life, but you have to make it that way. We&rsquo;ve been talking the talk. These 10 activities will enable us to walk the walk:</p> <h3>1. Join Up</h3> <p>Going green shouldn&rsquo;t be a solo activity. To amplify your impact on the green revolution, it&rsquo;s important to support local, regional, and national initiatives that promote sustainability. There&rsquo;s plenty of opportunity for creativity here because green advocacy is needed in many organizations: the local chamber of commerce, state or regional historic preservation organizations, scouting or 4H clubs, planning and zoning committees, and so on. Make this the year you make your voice count by getting more involved.</p> <h3>2. Bring Your Own Bag</h3> <p>They may look harmless, but plastic bags are clogging our oceans and killing tens of thousands of marine animals every year because the bags are mistaken for food. Between 60 and 100 million barrels of oil are required to make a year&rsquo;s worth of plastic bags, and once they enter the waste stream, the bags persist for hundreds of years. It won&rsquo;t be easy to break our plastic-bag addiction, but we need to get serious about it. The simple solution is to bring along your own reusable bag whenever you go shopping. You can also lobby for a limited ban on plastic bags in your community, as some citizens have already done successfully.</p> <h3>3. Make Your Representatives See Green</h3> <p>The representatives who (are supposed to) look after your interests in state and national governments need to know specifically what those interests are. You can communicate green concerns by email or phone, but old-fashioned letters actually have the greatest impact. Contact info is available on the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.house.gov">U.S. House of Representatives</a> and <a href="http://www.senate.gov">U.S. Senate</a> websites.</p> <h3>4. Support the Local Economy</h3> <p>Many experts believe that local economies will recover (or reinvent themselves) faster than the national economy can. That&rsquo;s because you and your neighbors get to vote with your wallets every day. It&rsquo;s surprising how often you get to choose between a local business and a national chain &mdash; restaurants, lumber yards, opticians, jewelry stores, etc. In your day-to-day activities, you can help the mom-and-pop businesses stay in business. Whether you&rsquo;re getting vegetables at the farmers market or patronizing the corner coffee shop, it&rsquo;s usually worth paying a little extra to support the local economy.&nbsp;</p> <h3>5. Improve Home Energy Performance</h3> <p>Residences consume nearly a quarter of the all the energy used in the U.S. every year, and most houses are extremely inefficient in terms of energy performance. When a homeowner adds insulation, replaces inefficient HVAC equipment, installs new windows, or completes any of numerous energy-saving upgrades, the impact of these improvements goes way beyond increasing green value. The house becomes more affordable to own and more valuable for resale. Energy-saving upgrades also lessen our dependence on fossil fuels and the foreign countries that supply most of what we use.</p> <h3>6. Grow (More of) Your Own</h3> <p>It&rsquo;s greener and much more satisfying to eat a salad harvested in your own backyard than to buy vegetables that have traveled across the country in a refrigerated truck. In the year ahead, you can take an existing garden to the next level or take the first steps toward growing your own food. Thanks to the effectiveness of container gardening, even a back porch or balcony can serve as a garden site.</p> <h3>7. Lighten Your Landfill Load</h3> <p>There are a number of ways to reduce the amount of garbage we ship to landfills. Since we currently throw away about half the food we buy, it makes sense to take more care when shopping for food and planning meals. Composting organic waste helps gardens as well as landfills (see point six above). Practice more rigorous recycling to prevent cans, cardboard, newspapers, and plastic from entering the waste stream. Have your name removed from mailing lists that send you flyers, catalogs, and other junk mail. Finally, you can make an effort to select products that aren&rsquo;t enshrouded with excess packaging material. Express your green-packaging preferences where you shop.</p> <h3>8. Aim for More Companionship and Less Gas</h3> <p>In other words: carpool. It may take some initiative to discover who&rsquo;s duplicating your journey to work, but once you make contact and establish a routine, the rewards are significant. In addition to cutting your carbon footprint and saving on gas, you&rsquo;ll be able to ease your way into and out of the work day with some good conversation.</p> <h3>9. Up Your Miles Per Gallon</h3> <p>There&rsquo;s never been a better time to buy a greener ride. There are plenty of super-efficient vehicles available, from Toyota&rsquo;s proven Prius and Honda&rsquo;s new Insight to the hybrid Chevy Volt and the all-electric Nissan Leaf. The diesel-powered sedans and wagons from VW also belong in this high-mileage category. With such variety, there&rsquo;s bound to be a high-mpg vehicle that suits your needs.</p> <h3>10. Sell, Sell, Sell (or Give It Away)</h3> <p>How about recycling some of the forgotten, unused items that have been gathering dust in the basement, garage, or attic? It takes a bit of work, but organizing a tag sale brings some major benefits. You&rsquo;re sure to meet neighbors you didn&rsquo;t know you had, and some of these folks will pay to prove that your trash is their treasure. What you don&rsquo;t sell can go to your local Salvation Army or Goodwill store, earning you a tax deduction.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>This is a guest post by Tim Snyder. A journalist specializing in sustainability, energy efficiency, and home building topics, Tim writes frequently for <a href="http://www.drenergysaver.com/">Dr. Energy Saver</a>, a nationwide network of energy improvement contractors. Read more about saving energy on Dr. Energy Saver:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.drenergysaver.com/blog/2010/10/how-good-is-burning-wood/">How Good Is Burning Wood?</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.drenergysaver.com/blog/2010/09/lessons-from-count-rumford/">Lessons from Count Rumford</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.drenergysaver.com/blog/2010/08/the-greenest-insulation/">The Greenest Insulation</a></li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-snyder">Tim Snyder</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-resolutions-for-the-green-revolution">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-baking-soda-took-my-bathroom-from-yuck-to-yes">How Baking Soda Took My Bathroom from “Yuck” to Yes!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-wonderful-uses-for-witch-hazel">15 Wonderful Uses for Witch Hazel</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-ways-to-use-old-newspaper">17 Ways to Use Old Newspaper</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-you-spare-a-square-5-quick-tips-on-toilet-paper-usage">&quot;Can you spare a square?&quot; 5 quick tips on toilet paper usage.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/original-ways-to-use-original-dawn">Original Ways to Use Original Dawn</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips Green Living cheap and green eat local new year's resolutions reusable shopping bags Thu, 06 Jan 2011 13:00:12 +0000 Tim Snyder 438315 at http://www.wisebread.com Three Products That Rock My World http://www.wisebread.com/three-products-that-rock-my-world <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/three-products-that-rock-my-world" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/thumb.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="249" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In a consumer world, I am among the least savvy of consumers. I buy stuff on a whim, often without doing my research, and am frequently disappointed in what I end up buying. But every now and again, I find a product or service that is so incredibly awesome, so life-changingly helpful, that I can't stop telling people about it. Here are three of my awesome finds of the past year. Have you found a product that you think is the bomb? Tell us about it in the comments before Sunday, February&nbsp;21 at 12:00PM Pacific Time,&nbsp;and you'll be entered into a drawing for an Amazon gift certificate for $25!</p> <h3>The ChicoBag - $5 each</h3> <p>The world is full of reusable shopping bags. Heck, my <strong>car</strong> is full of reusable shopping bags, which ironically, I never use, much less re-use. While I care about the environment, I suffer from a medical condition known as hyperpneumo craniosis (air headedness), which means that I will end up at the front of the grocery line, only to realize that all of my reusable shopping bags are still in the trunk of my car, or in the front seat, where I put them so that I wouldn't forget them in the trunk when I went inside the store.</p> <p><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_zq_F0xAqSJ8/SaWj_9qGHFI/AAAAAAAAAqk/J2z9YSG8tJA/s400/chicobag.jpg"><img alt="" style="width: 226px; height: 219px" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_zq_F0xAqSJ8/SaWj_9qGHFI/AAAAAAAAAqk/J2z9YSG8tJA/s400/chicobag.jpg" /></a></p> <p>This is why I love the <a href="http://www.chicobag.com/p-16-chicobag-original.aspx">ChicoBag</a>: it's a sturdy nylon shopping bag that can hold lots of groceries (or anything else you need to buy), but that folds away into its attached pouch. When all closed up, the ChicoBag is no larger than a Yukon potato, which is small enough for me to fit three of them into the front pocket of my purse. Thus, I am never forced to run out to my car to fetch a mess of folded shopping bags. I just whip the ChicoBag out of my purse and unfold it, impressing cashiers and baggers with my organizational skills.</p> <p>I bought my ChicoBags at Whole Foods, and thus, my bags are emblazoned with the Whole Foods logo, but the upside was that I spent approximately $3 for each of them, since Whole Foods orders them in bulk and resells them. I can't stress just how much plastic I have avoided using since I bought my ChicoBags (and yes, I know that nylon is a synthetic polymer).</p> <h3>Goo Gone - $5 for 8 oz</h3> <p>I recently had a near-mental breakdown over the state of my toaster oven. Covered in crumbs and melted cheese, and displaying prominent smoke stains, its very existence filled me with anxiety. It just sat there on my kitchen counter, flaunting its filthiness. Latent OCD gripped me and shook me to the core, and I attacked the toaster with a bottle of Windex, some scouring pads, rubber gloves, the Dyson, and a look of utter madness. My boyfriend and dogs cowered in the next room, wondering from whence this crazed cleaning beast had appeared.</p> <p><img alt="" src="http://pics.drugstore.com/prodimg/81908/200.jpg" /></p> <p>After approximately a half hour of scrubbing, vacuuming, and sweating, the toaster looked only marginally better, still displaying signs of smoke stains and fingerprints. Desperate to remove a sticky droplet of some disgusting substance on the front door of the toaster, I broke out my bottle of <a href="http://lifehacker.com/249592/stuff-we-like-goo-gone">Goo Gone</a> and applied a few drops. Presto, the blob of mystery goo disappeared. Emboldened, I began drenching paper towels with Goo Gone, polishing the toaster to a brilliant sheen. Cheese smoke, grease, oil &mdash; all were smote by the power of Goo Gone, which left behind nothing. No streaks, no marks, just a citrusy scent lingering in the air.</p> <p>In a full-fledged cleaning frenzy, I cleaned the stove top, the oven, the microwave, the counters &mdash; everything was left shiny and beautiful, with minimal elbow grease involved. My kitchen was sparkling and brand-new (for approximately 24 hours, anyway), and I was newly converted to the citrus cleansing power of Goo Gone.</p> <h3>Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Nail Polish - $4.99 at Walgreen's</h3> <p>I love a good manicure, but I don't think I've ever had one in which I didn't almost immediately ruin the job by slamming my newly-painted fingernails into the closest table, car door, or wallet. As someone who doesn't like spending $20 to get my nails done, anyway, I've tried time and time again to DIY my nails at home. Usually, this involves meticulous painting of several coats of O.P.I. nail polish right before bedtime, with some frantic hand-waving and blowing to attempt to dry the polish before falling asleep. It's never fully dry by the time my eyelids finally droop closed, and I inevitably wake up to find that at least one of the nail's coat is smooshed into my pillowcase.</p> <p><img alt="" width="315" height="307" src="http://img2.timeinc.net/instyle/images/2009/GALLERY/sally-hansen-polish-400.jpg" /></p> <p>Honestly, who has time to do their nails?</p> <p>Enter Sally Hansen's Insta-Dri Nail Color. It goes on thick, dries fast, and I never need more than two coats (unlike the O.P.I. colors). Pre-bedtime manicures take 10 minutes from start to finish, and by the time I've finally given into the Sandman, my nails look awesome.</p> <p>It's true that the color choices are fairly limited compared to some other brands (you can see the available colors on the <a href="http://www.sallyhansen.com/product.cfm?product=375">product home page</a>), but the palette is enough to satisfy my needs. Pronto Purple is exceptionally pretty, actually.</p> <p>-----------------------------------------</p> <p>Because somebody always asks, I will state for the record that <em>I have received no compensation</em> from the producers of any of the products mentioned here. They're just products that I like and recommend. Similarly, please don't plug your own products in the comments. Of course, I'll have no way of double-checking this, so it'll just be an honor code thing.</p> <p><em>So, what products totally rock your world? Make sure to include your email in the email field when you leave a comment! The drawing will take place on <strong>Sunday, February 21 at 12:00PM</strong>, so let us know your product(s) before then!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/three-products-that-rock-my-world">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-11"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-gel-nail-polishes">The 5 Best Gel Nail Polishes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cleaning-house-with-dr-bronner">Cleaning House With Dr. Bronner</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-give-yourself-a-manicure-at-home">How to Give Yourself a Manicure at Home</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-to-remember-when-choosing-natural-products">5 Things to Remember When Choosing Natural Products</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-makeup-brush-sets">The 5 Best Makeup Brush Sets</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living Health and Beauty Shopping cleaning giveaway Goo Gone green products housework manicure nail polish reusable shopping bags Thu, 18 Feb 2010 18:00:02 +0000 Andrea Karim 4922 at http://www.wisebread.com