environmentally friendly http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/4112/all en-US 5 Best Cities for Going Car-Free http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cities-for-going-car-free <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-best-cities-for-going-car-free" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_72593117_LARGE.jpg" alt="going car free is easy in these cities" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There's ample evidence that walkable neighborhoods breed <a href="http://www.citylab.com/design/2014/12/growing-evidence-shows-walkability-is-good-for-you-and-for-cities/383612/">safer, healthier, and more democratic constituencies</a>. And even in cities with high levels of smog &mdash; here's looking at you, Los Angeles &mdash; studies show that the <a href="http://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/walking-and-cycling-good-for-health-even-in-cities-with-higher-levels-of-air-pollution">health benefits of walking</a> or cycling or recreation or as a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-make-the-most-of-your-morning-commute">means of commuting</a> far outweigh the negative health risks associated with breathing in air pollution. What's more, when city dwellers opt to walk or cycle instead of relying on gas guzzlers, overall air pollution levels can be reduced. It's a win-win-win. You don't need a car to get around these U.S. cities.</p> <h2>1. Boston</h2> <p>Nicknamed America's Walking City, Boston's relatively small footprint is dense with small neighborhoods, each with a unique character and a smattering of restaurants, shops, and convenience stores. That is to say that most Bostonians can complete their daily errands without ever putting the key in the ignition. Boston is also a city where owning a car, in many cases, costs more than it's worth. Take, for example, these<a href="https://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2016/06/30/got-these-back-bay-parking-spots-could-yours/BOvFjiiID0xWUJtQZxjdNM/story.html"> tandem, uncovered parking spaces</a> in the high-end Beacon Hill neighborhood. For about a half million dollars, they can be yours. No, this isn't a one-time fluke in pricing. That's actually the going rate. A pair of parking spots on the same street <a href="https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2015/11/03/look-back-some-priciest-parking-spots-boston/tIPhO225Vv5Mrdxy8aVYjJ/story.html?p1=Article_Related_Box_Article">sold for $560,000</a> at an auction in 2013.</p> <h2>2. New York</h2> <p>The city that never sleeps &mdash; Manhattan, in particular &mdash; is as pedestrian-friendly as they come. With sidewalks, bike lanes, buses, and subway routes galore, New York brings amenities such as markets, shops, workplaces, medical centers, and gyms in close proximity to the apartments and condos where people live. The city also has easy street crossings and long block lengths, making for more pleasurable pedestrian routes. There is, however, <a href="http://www1.nyc.gov/assets/planning/download/pdf/plans-studies/sustainable-communities/bmn/bronx_metro_report/walkability.pdf">room for improvement</a>. Manhattan is by far the most walkable of New York's boroughs, but it accounts for just 8% of the city's population. Other boroughs aren't actually all that walkable. In the Bronx, neighborhood decline and disinvestment in public transit has made walking around some neighborhoods difficult and less enticing. In truth, the real walkability winner here is Manhattan, and not all of New York City.</p> <h2>3. Washington, D.C.</h2> <p>Much of the nation's capital has walkable zones where residential and retail spaces are in close proximity. And, unlike New York, these zones are evenly distributed between downtown areas and the suburbs. That means it's not just the <a href="http://www.archdaily.com/521438/washington-d-c-the-most-walkable-city-in-the-us">heart of the city that's walkable</a>, but the outskirts, as well.</p> <h2>4. San Francisco</h2> <p>The Golden Gate City was built on 42 hills &mdash; terrain that can make for treacherous gear shifting. And while all those hills will do a number on your calf muscles, there's truly no better way to get around San Francisco's densely populated districts. That's because a quarter of the 49 square-mile city's office, retail, and multi-family rental space is located within the bounds of <a href="http://www.smartgrowthamerica.org/foot-traffic-ahead-2016/">walkable neighborhoods</a>. And while it's possible to break out of these neighborhood walkability zones and <a href="http://www.sfwalkingman.com/">trek the entire city by foot</a>, it's not exactly the fastest or most practical method of getting around. Alas, every city has its walkability limits.</p> <h2>5. Detroit</h2> <p>Oddly enough, you can get around Motor City just fine by foot &mdash; no motor required. In fact, these days <a href="http://wdet.org/posts/2016/06/20/83328-going-motorless-in-the-motor-city/">pedestrian-friendly projects</a> are sprouting up all over Detroit. And it's not just for the sake of recreation. About a quarter of all households citywide lack access to a motor vehicle. New walking path projects can help many in this demographic commute to and from the places they need to go, such as work, the grocery store, and school. And since you can't walk everywhere, new bike paths are surfacing, as well. Whereas Detroit had no bike lanes a decade ago, there are now nearly 200 of them.</p> <p><em>What other cities are good for going car-free? Share with us!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cities-for-going-car-free">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-1"> <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/9-ways-life-is-wonderful-when-you-swap-your-car-for-a-bike">9 Ways Life Is Wonderful When You Swap Your Car for a Bike</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/the-good-life-on-less-energy-even-in-the-us">The good life on less energy--even in the US</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/7-hidden-advantages-to-getting-rid-of-your-car">7 Hidden Advantages to Getting Rid of Your Car</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/it-bear-repeating-driving-slower-saves-you-money">It Bears Repeating - Driving Slower Saves Money</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-bicycle-lights">The 5 Best Bicycle Lights</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Cars and Transportation bike car car-free city environmentally friendly public transportation transportation u.s. cities walking Wed, 20 Jul 2016 09:30:37 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1755541 at http://www.wisebread.com Should Your Next Car Be Electric? http://www.wisebread.com/should-your-next-car-be-electric <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/should-your-next-car-be-electric" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/car-electric-3754923-small.jpg" alt="electric car" title="electric car" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="191" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>With the national average cost of a gallon of gasoline currently hovering around $3.58 (or even $4+ in some areas), filling up your car may seem like a nightmare. Car fuel is one of the most volatile categories under most families' budgets, because prices fluctuate due to a variety of factors, from Middle East tensions to oil spills or refinery fires. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-simple-ways-to-cut-your-car-expenses" target="_blank">5 Simple Ways to Cut Your Car Expenses</a>)</p> <p>Luckily, there is an increasingly popular alternative to driving environmentally unfriendly, gas-powered cars&nbsp;&mdash; electric cars. Forbes reports that at least <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/toddwoody/2012/12/06/electric-car-sales-hit-another-record/" target="_blank">47,500 electric cars were sold in 2012</a> and, although these sales only account for 0.4% of overall car sales in the U.S., electric cars are gaining popularity among American consumers. Whereas a few years ago, SUVs were all the rage, we are seeing a societal shift towards smaller, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-acetone-dramatically-increase-your-gas-mileage" target="_blank">more fuel-efficient cars</a>, and those vehicles powered by electricity are leading the way.</p> <p>But are electric cars right for everyone?</p> <h2>Cost</h2> <p>One of the biggest factors people take into consideration when shopping for a new car is the cost. With electric cars, you're saving money right off the bat, thanks to <a href="http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/taxevb.shtml" target="_blank">federal electric car tax credits</a>, which can reduce the initial cost of the car by $7,500. You also get to eliminate the cost of gas from your budget (unless you drive a gas/electric hybrid), which leads to long-term energy savings.</p> <p>There are some downsides to the electric car, however. The purchase prices for these vehicles are much higher than similar model, gas-powered cars. For example, the hybrid <a href="http://www.chevrolet.com/volt-electric-car.html" target="_blank">2013 Chevy Volt</a> starts around $31,000, the <a href="http://www.nissanusa.com/electric-cars/leaf/" target="_blank">100% electric Nissan Leaf</a> is &quot;as low as $21,300&quot; (<em>after</em> federal tax savings and without all the fancy add-ons), and the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ford.com/cars/focus/trim/electric/" target="_blank">2013 electric Ford Focus</a> starts at $39,200. Even with the fuel savings, it might take <a href="http://driveelectricillinois.org/calculator.cfm" target="_blank">several years to break even</a>.</p> <p>These high costs make electric cars unaffordable for many low and middle-income households, and even though they're electricity based, there are still more costs involved. For instance, you will probably need to install a charging station in your garage (factor in $1,000 to $5,000), and don't forget regular battery maintenance or replacement costs. All of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-cut-car-ownership-costs" target="_blank">these costs start to add up</a>, and even without the added car accessories, the final price tag for an electric car is too high for many drivers.</p> <h2>Efficiency</h2> <p>One of the greatest advantages of electric cars is their energy efficiency. A new term was created for electric cars to determine their fuel efficiency&nbsp;&mdash; miles per gallon of gasoline equivalent (MPGe). <a href="http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/evsbs.shtml" target="_blank">Most electric cars get over 100 MPGe</a>, even larger vehicles like SUVs and station wagons.</p> <p>The downside here is that electric cars can generally go only 250 miles on a fully charged battery. The infrastructure for public charging stations is scarce in the U.S., so long road trips are out of the question, and if you run out of electricity while on the road, you can't simply go to the nearest gas station and fuel up. This makes electric cars more of an inconvenience for their drivers, but they can still be valuable investments if driven locally and charged regularly.</p> <h2>Environmental Factors</h2> <p>There are few, if any, comparative disadvantages to electric cars where the environment is concerned. Whereas the EPA estimates that <a href="http://www.epa.gov/otaq/climate/documents/420f11041.pdf" target="_blank">gasoline emits 8,887 grams of CO2 per gallon</a> (PDF), electric cars have close to zero emissions. Regardless of your views on what causes global warming and how serious a problem it is, the fact remains that electric cars pollute the air much less than their gas-powered counterparts, and, as the driver of an electric car, you can vastly <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-easy-ways-to-be-nicer-to-the-environment-and-your-wallet" target="_blank">reduce your impact</a> on the environment.</p> <h2>Final Word</h2> <p>Multiple factors ought to be taken into consideration when buying a car, particularly when you're deciding between a gas or electric car. Although electric cars are more costly upfront, the long-term fuel savings could make it worth your while. And, as technology continues to develop and more car companies produce electric cars to meet the steadily growing demand for them, the cost will likely drop in the coming years.</p> <p><em>Have you bought or are you planning to buy an electric car? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments below!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kelly-kehoe">Kelly Kehoe</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-your-next-car-be-electric">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-1"> <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/6-ways-to-drive-a-hybrid-or-electric-car-on-the-cheap">6 Ways to Drive a Hybrid or Electric Car on the Cheap</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/how-long-does-it-take-break-even-with-an-electric-car">How Long Does It Take to Break Even With an Electric Car</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/gas-prices-begin-a-rebound-5-things-to-know-now-before-you-buy-your-next-car">Gas Prices Begin a Rebound: 5 Things to Know Now Before You Buy Your Next Car</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/is-this-the-best-search-engine-ever-for-new-used-cars">Is This the Best Search Engine Ever for New &amp; Used Cars?</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-11-best-parking-apps-for-your-city">The 11 Best Parking Apps for Your City</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation Green Living Technology car buying electric cars environmentally friendly gas prices Mon, 20 May 2013 09:48:32 +0000 Kelly Kehoe 974060 at http://www.wisebread.com The many uses for empty plastic bottles http://www.wisebread.com/the-many-uses-for-empty-plastic-bottles <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-many-uses-for-empty-plastic-bottles" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/851787_water_bottle.jpg" alt="Bottle" title="Bottle" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It&#39;s been a while since I did one of these video compilation posts, and the subject at hand is more than worthwhile. I thought I&#39;d look around for innovative and inventive ways to recycle water bottles, soda bottles, milk bottles, and basically anything else that comes in plastic bottles. I was amazed by the versatility of the humble, but ultimately costly, plastic bottle. </p> <p> With oil seemingly in short supply (let&#39;s not get into that one) and bottled water costing so much to both us and the environment, it seems prudent for a frugal living blog to cover recycling. But not in the usual way. If you already do plastic recycling at home, that&#39;s great. We love you for it, thanks for helping the environment. </p> <p>But there&#39;s no reason you can&#39;t steal a few of these away from the recycling tub to save yourself a few bucks on some surprising items. Everything from fishing traps to lighting fixtures is covered here. And as always, my man over at Metacafe Mr. KipKay starts us off... </p> <p><strong>8 great uses for a 2-liter plastic bottle.</strong> </p> </p> <p><embed src="http://www.metacafe.com/fplayer/1262186/2_liter_recycling.swf" wmode="" quality="high" menu="false" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="400" height="345"></embed><br /> <a href="http://www.metacafe.com/watch/1262186/2_liter_recycling/">2 Liter Recycling</a> - <a href="http://www.metacafe.com/">Funny videos are here</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>A plastic jug from a plastic bottle.</strong> </p> </p> <p><embed src="http://www.metacafe.com/fplayer/1050308/make_a_jug_from_plastic_bottle.swf" wmode="" quality="high" menu="false" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="400" height="345"></embed><br /><a href="http://www.metacafe.com/watch/1050308/make_a_jug_from_plastic_bottle/">Make A JUG From Plastic Bottle</a> - <a href="http://www.metacafe.com/">The funniest videos are a click away</a> </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Camping essential - Boil water, tea or coffee. It won&#39;t melt!</strong> </p> </p> <p><embed src="http://www.metacafe.com/fplayer/864906/boiling_water_plastic_bottle.swf" wmode="" quality="high" menu="false" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="400" height="345"></embed><br /><a href="http://www.metacafe.com/watch/864906/boiling_water_plastic_bottle/">Boiling Water Plastic Bottle</a> - <a href="http://www.metacafe.com/">Click here for more free videos</a> </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Plastic sea creatures: Make a mobile; entertain the older kids. </strong> </p> </p> <p><embed src="http://www.metacafe.com/fplayer/748987/how_to_make_pet_bottle_sea_creatures.swf" wmode="" quality="high" menu="false" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="400" height="345"></embed><br /><a href="http://www.metacafe.com/watch/748987/how_to_make_pet_bottle_sea_creatures/">How To Make Pet Bottle Sea Creatures!</a> - <a href="http://www.metacafe.com/">Watch more amazing videos here</a> </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Stun your more easily fooled friends at parties. </strong> </p> </p> <p><embed src="http://www.metacafe.com/fplayer/479552/ketchup_in_a_bottle_trick.swf" wmode="" quality="high" menu="false" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="400" height="345"></embed><br /><a href="http://www.metacafe.com/watch/479552/ketchup_in_a_bottle_trick/">Ketchup In A Bottle Trick !!</a> - <a href="http://www.metacafe.com/">Click here for the funniest movie of the week</a> </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Make a simple fishing trap; who need&#39;s a rod?</strong></p> </p> <p><embed src="http://www.metacafe.com/fplayer/753975/make_a_fish_trap.swf" wmode="" quality="high" menu="false" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="400" height="345"></embed><br /><a href="http://www.metacafe.com/watch/753975/make_a_fish_trap/">Make A Fish Trap</a> - <a href="http://www.metacafe.com/">Watch the top videos of the week here</a> </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>The milk bottle candelabra - just add hula hoop and bulbs.</strong> </p> </p> <p><embed src="http://www.metacafe.com/fplayer/1122820/extreme_recycling.swf" wmode="" quality="high" menu="false" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="400" height="345"></embed><br /><a href="http://www.metacafe.com/watch/1122820/extreme_recycling/">Extreme Recycling</a> - <a href="http://www.metacafe.com/">The most popular videos are a click away</a></p> <p>If you have any other uses for those plastic bottles, let us all know in the comments box. I&#39;m sure there are many more ingenius uses out there, and being the greedy frugal shopper that I am, I want to know them all. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-many-uses-for-empty-plastic-bottles">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-2"> <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-to-make-your-own-soda-tidy-a-room-in-three-minutes-cure-a-hangover-and-become-a-movie-extra-phew">How To Make Your Own Soda, Tidy A Room In Three Minutes, Cure A Hangover And Become A Movie Extra. Phew!</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/8-spectacular-uses-for-that-lone-can-of-fruit">8 Spectacular Uses for that Lone Can of Fruit</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/emergency-preparedness-for-your-freezer">Emergency Preparedness For Your Freezer</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/ugggh-hic-i-justss-gotta-eat-somehicthing-my-top-10-homemade-drunk-snacks">Ugggh, (hic) I justss gotta eat some(hic)thing; my top 10 homemade drunk snacks.</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/flashback-friday-the-107-best-breakfast-hacks-to-start-your-day-off-right">Flashback Friday: The 107 Best Breakfast Hacks to Start Your Day Off Right</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Life Hacks Food and Drink environmentally friendly plastic bottles re-use recycling water bottles Tue, 22 Apr 2008 19:35:54 +0000 Paul Michael 2033 at http://www.wisebread.com A year without toilet paper - The Interview http://www.wisebread.com/a-year-without-toilet-paper-the-interview <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/a-year-without-toilet-paper-the-interview" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/noimpact.jpg" alt="no impact " title="no impact" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="200" height="135" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You wouldn&#39;t necessarily know it from watching him on his appearance on <a href="http://blogs.wsj.com/energy/2007/04/10/stephen-colbert-vs-no-impact-man/">The Colbert Report</a>. He comes across as a soft-spoken, good-natured guy, for sure. But he must have a very impenetrable hide to still be blogging after being on the receiving end of the recent <a href="http://gawker.com/news/green-freaks/no-impact-man-is-amazingly-still-married-284524.php">Gawker snarkfest</a> about his family&#39;s infamous experiment, a year of extremely low-impact living in Manhattan. </p> <p>This enviro-aesetic lifefstyle includes giving up toilet paper, consuming only food that has been grown within a 250-mile radius, avoiding all carbon-producing forms of transportation, no air conditioning (in New York! in the summer!), and buying nothing new.</p> <p>I wrote a rather <a href="/life-without-toiletpaper-bum-deal">critical blog post</a> about Beavan&#39;s adventure last March, after reading about his family&#39;s exploits (can you use that term when talking about someone who DOESN&#39;T exploit stuff?) in the <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/22/garden/22impact.html?pagewanted=1&amp;ei=5088&amp;en=e775250d1fe1ae13&amp;ex=1332216000">New York Times</a>. If you had asked me then, I would have said that Beavan&#39;s experiment was all a publicity stunt, and that the extreme conditions that he and his family were subjecting themselves to were really overkill. In fact, I did say something along those lines, but with more sarcasm. Many other people responded in a similar fashion.</p> <p>Months later, after having written a few blog posts of my own that caused people to freak out (&quot;How DARE you criticize <a href="/baby-carrots-the-frugal-idea-that-isnt">baby carrots</a>?! Do you want us ALL to be obese?&quot;) because their lifestyle choices were being challenged, and nobody likes that. In addition, I&#39;ve learned about the dangers of plastics, both to our <a href="/is-plastic-killing-us-the-true-cost-of-convenience">bodily health</a> and to the environment at large. My stance towards Beavan&#39;s experiment softened considerably. </p> <p>For one thing, it&#39;s really hard to pick on someone who is just trying something, while sharing the experience with the world. Anyone who talks to Beavan, or reads his blog, <a href="http://noimpactman.typepad.com/blog/">No Impact Man</a>, can tell that he&#39;s not the type of guy to foist his ideas on anyone. He&#39;s just an environmentally-conscious guy who got sick of talking the talk, and decided to walk the walk. Plus, he&#39;s got a sense of humor about the whole thing.</p> <p>I recently asked Beavan, whose blog is also a part of the <a href="http://liferemix.net/">Life Remix Network</a>, to answer a few questions about how is experiment is progressing, and how he feels about the furor surrounding his attempt to decrease his impact on our planet.</p> <p>--------------</p> <p><strong>What has been the overall response been to your experiment? The internet can be a vicious place, and I&#39;m sure you&#39;ve received a fair share of malicious criticism. But your own site seems to have many supportive readers. Do you find that the reaction is about 50/50?</strong></p> <p>What you can&#39;t see is the emails I get. I&#39;ve become so used to getting supportive email that it is quite a shock when something critical comes in. People come to the blog, I think, because they sense for themselves that there may be a way to live that is not so frantic and consumption-based that can both be kinder to the planet and make us happier.</p> <p><strong>How do you deal with some of the attacks leveled at your family? Is it difficult to balance sharing your life and protecting your own emotions?</strong></p> <p>By concentrating on the huge level of support and on my mission with this project, which is to allow people to examine the lessons I&#39;m learning this year as one method to make more positive choices for themselves. My style is not for everyone, though, and that&#39;s okay.</p> <p><strong>I imagine it&#39;s nice to avoid having to buy lead-painted toys from China for a while. Do you find it easier to raise a child in your apartment now than it was before? Are there challenges with the experiment specifically related to child-rearing?</strong></p> <p>With no TV or electricity or video games, this experiment has meant that Isabella gets so much more of our attention than she might have otherwise. We play, we ride around on our bikes, we go to the park, we splash in the fountain. This is the biggest gift of the project.</p> <p><strong>Has this endeavour helped you to save money, or is it more costly in the end? Fluorescent light bulbs, for instance, are quite expensive.</strong></p> <p>CFLs, over their lifetime, work out cheaper, thanks to electricity savings (though of course we don&#39;t use electricity right now). Our grocery bill is higher, but our restaurant bill is lower. We don&#39;t fly or drive. We&#39;re saving money and eating better and getting more exercise and feeling healthier and sleeping more.</p> <p><strong>When your year is up, do you think that you will continue to practice any parts of this experiment? Are there any aspects of this lifestyle that are more difficult than others?</strong></p> <p>Which bit shall I give up? Spending time with Isabella or eating better? Just joking, but honestly, much of what we&#39;ve changed we&#39;ll keep. But probably not all. Still, that&#39;s all hypothetical. We&#39;re not there yet.</p> <p><strong>Do you feel like this lifestyle is made easier due to your work-at-home status? Could a family with two parents who work outside the home, making a net income of $60K, engage in the same kind of practices?</strong></p> <p>I&#39;m not hoping to make everyone live like me. I&#39;m just hoping people might feel encouraged about the possibility of finding their own suitable options that might both be better for the planet and make them happier.</p> <p><strong>Many people have questioned your motives in this experiment, suggesting that you&#39;re only doing it to sell books. Also, there&#39;s been a bit of snarking in the blogosphere that your book is going to &quot;kill millions of trees&quot;. How to you respond to those attacks? Is there any validity in them?</strong></p> <p>There might be easier ways to sell books! The good news, for me, is that <a href="http://www.fsgbooks.com/">FSG</a> plans to publish my book by the most sustainable method they can find. I&#39;m happy about that. Every time a book like mine gets published in a sustainable way helps smooth the way for the publishing industry to eventually publish all books sustainably.</p> <p><strong>How do you apply the no-impact lifestyle to your dog? What do you feed her, and how difficult is it to clean up after her without using SOMETHING plastic?</strong></p> <p>I pick up her poop with found plastic bags. </p> <p><strong>Overall, are you enjoying your new lifestyle? Are there some aspects to it that you just can&#39;t WAIT to finish up? </strong></p> <p>Although the experiment will be officially over in November, the investigation may never end. It&#39;s fascinating and satisfying to take the life you&#39;ve inherited from your past and your culture, to question the underlying assumptions, and see how you put it back together when you choose deliberately.</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/a-year-without-toilet-paper-the-interview">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-6"> <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/10-frugal-reasons-to-compost">10 Frugal Reasons to Compost</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/urban-composting-it-can-be-done">Urban Composting - It CAN be done!</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-make-your-own-mulch-a-beginners-guide-for-the-lazy-composter">How to Make Your Own Mulch: A Beginner&#039;s Guide for the Lazy Composter</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/life-without-toiletpaper-bum-deal">Life Without Toiletpaper - Bum Deal?</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/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> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living carbon footprint CFL Colin Beaven compost environmentally friendly Gawker low impact no impact man pets toilet paper Thu, 16 Aug 2007 23:16:09 +0000 Andrea Karim 1011 at http://www.wisebread.com Cleaning House With Dr. Bronner http://www.wisebread.com/cleaning-house-with-dr-bronner <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/cleaning-house-with-dr-bronner" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/cleaning-bottles.jpg" alt="cleaning bottles" title="cleaning bottles" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A few years ago, I noticed that, not only did I seem to spend a little more cash than I was comfortable with on cleaning products for my house, but I was having a sort of reaction to them: headaches, sudden fatigue and a weird taste in my mouth. At first, I wasn’t sure what it was; but I eventually made the connection between the various chemicals I was using around the house and these symptoms.</p> </p> <p>I started reading about some of the <a href="http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_279.cfm" target="_blank">products</a> and cases of compromised immune systems, skin irritation and respiratory problems in some people. Of course, I knew that furniture polish may smell “lemony” (or, to paraphrase George Carlin, doesn’t contain any actual lemons) but probably doesn’t make good mouthwash, and that bathroom cleaners will release a bunch of talking, mustachioed suds that will leave the room sparkling – but probably shouldn’t be added to my overpriced latté.</p> <p>You get the idea.</p> <p>I had 2 cats and lived near a busy street. I’m no Felix Unger, but I don’t like dust, grit, etc. </p> <p>Cats + street = dust x (grit + dander). </p> <p>So I typically purchased, on a semi-regular basis, disposable dusters, the aforementioned citrus-scented furniture polish, glass cleaner (why is it always blue?), bathroom cleaner, an “all-purpose” cleaner (for… well, I don’t know, actually. It just sounded good to have) and a few other things like air freshener spray and various laundry items. Sometimes I really went crazy and bought something to turn the water in the toilet blue for a month. </p> <p>Wild times, I know.</p> <p>I noticed that it added up to a lot, over time, so I started looking at the alternatives. A Whole Foods opened near me and I started shopping there, out of curiosity. Before anyone jumps on me about how expensive a lot of their stock is, I’ll say this: I know, I know.</p> <p>One day, I picked up a bottle of Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds. The bottle says that Sal Suds will clean everything in your house – wood floors, laundry, dishes, and cars. Sounded like a good alternative to the stuff I was using; but, really, it caught my eye because –surrounding the list of natural ingredients (each defined for clarity), various uses and pledge that it was not tested on animals – was written an entire philosophy of life. </p> <p>Granted, the bottle seemed a little pricy for just one cleaning product, but I found that it would last me for, literally, months. Just a little bit mixed in water, applied using a spray bottle, will tackle just about any job. And, as promised, it did a great job on both my laundry and my car (even the inside).</p> <p>I also checked out liquid soap for the shower and found that, not only did they smell great, but worked out, in the long run, to save me some dough that I’d have spent on whatever was available at the supermarket.</p> <p>So, the symptoms I’d experienced were gone, I felt better about using products produced by a company that seemed to actually care about both the quality of its soaps as well as the well-being of its customers and, admittedly, reading the words on the bottles is actually very thought-provoking.</p> <p>For both the uninitiated as well as existing fans of Dr. Bronner, hopefully you can catch <a href="http://www.magicsoapbox.com/doc/" target="_blank">the documentary</a> that’s now being screened. Also, check out the <a href="http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=11813678" target="_blank">NPR interview</a> with the film’s director, Sara Lamm.<br /><a href="http://www.drbronner.com/" target="_blank"><br />http://www.drbronner.com/</a> <br /><a href="http://www.seventhgeneration.com/" target="_blank"><br /></a></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ed-oreilly">Ed O&#039;Reilly</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cleaning-house-with-dr-bronner">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-6"> <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/5-hair-conditioners-you-can-make-at-home">5 Hair Conditioners You Can Make at Home</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/alternative-uses-for-everything-in-your-bathroom">Alternative Uses for Everything in Your Bathroom</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/the-avocado-face-mask-and-other-natural-beauty-experiments">The Avocado Face Mask and Other Natural Beauty Experiments</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/three-products-that-rock-my-world">Three Products That Rock My World</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/5-things-to-remember-when-choosing-natural-products">5 Things to Remember When Choosing Natural Products</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living Health and Beauty Shopping animal safety Dr. Bronner environmentally friendly green shopping natural beauty soap Wed, 18 Jul 2007 08:26:01 +0000 Ed O'Reilly 858 at http://www.wisebread.com Germ Killin' Machine http://www.wisebread.com/germ-killin-machine <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/sinksponge.jpg" alt=" " width="325" height="185" /></p> <p>Guarding against germs doesn&#39;t have to be a chemical-filled experience. To get rid of <a href="http://news.ufl.edu/2007/01/24/microwave-sponges-2/">germs in your kitchen sponge</a> (and there ARE germs in you kitchen sponge), do the following:</p> <ol> <li>Soak the sponge with water (this is <strong>key</strong> - not doing so poses a <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory?id=2822160http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory?id=2822160">significant fire risk</a>).</li> <li>Place the sponge on a microwave-safe plate.</li> <li>Stick it in the microwave on HIGH for 2 minutes.</li> <li>Don&#39;t even TRY to pick it up with your fingers. Use a pair of tongs to remove it from the microwave and leave it to cool or soak it in cold water before using.</li> </ol> <p>*Make sure the sponge doesn&#39;t contain metal, even though lots of modern microwaves don&#39;t mind metal.*</p> <p>If nuking the sponge kind of creeps you out or creates so nasty smells (if it does, stop the heating immediately), try boiling it in a little clean water instead. I don&#39;t keep a sponge for more than three weeks anyway, but I boil it at least twice a week to kill germs. </p> <p>AND I use a different sponge for my dogs&#39; dishes. </p> <p>(Photo by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/people/dalasie/">dalasie</a>)</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/germ-killin-machine">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-12"> <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-dirty-is-your-money-really">Do You Know How Dirty Your Money Is?</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/we-do-the-math-when-is-it-worth-hiring-household-help">We Do the Math: When Is It Worth Hiring Household Help?</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/germs-dirt-bacteria-infection-immune-system-antibiotics-disease">Are we too clean for our own good?</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/shoveling-snow-and-5-other-things-robots-can-do-for-you">Shoveling Snow and 5 Other Things Robots Can Do for You</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-many-uses-for-empty-plastic-bottles">The many uses for empty plastic bottles</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks bacteria chores disinfect environmentally friendly germs housework microwave nuke sponge Tue, 17 Apr 2007 22:33:11 +0000 Andrea Karim 522 at http://www.wisebread.com