May 19, 2009

What A Lovely Place

I received some of the best eco-tips ever from some of the best readers ever!

Jessica was lucky enough to win the recent contest but she also gave back with this awesome piece of advice:

“My eco tip: pour a handful of brown sugar into your palm, add just enough honey to mix well and use as a face scrub- way less chemical involvement than store bought and no extra packaging!”

She wasn’t the only one dishing though. In no particular order, here were some of my faves …

“My best eco-tip is to use reusable menstrual products. I love, love, love my diva cup and pretty soft cloth pads. Not only am I helping the earth by not tossing several blood-soaked piles of bleached cotton and plastic in the trash, but I am so much more in touch with myself as a woman. I am not gross or disgusting and my menstrual cycle is not gross or disgusting. It is part of who I am as a woman!

Cloth diapers are also a great idea for those with babies. Disposables are absolutely awful for the environment, and cloth (which has really been updated - there are dipes that look and function like disposables these days, you just don't throw them away!) is a great and frugal alternative!!”

“I have banned harsh chemicals from my house. I only use biodegradable safe products. The harshest thing in my house is melaleuca oil, which I use with vinegar to clean my floors. I use either Melaleuca brand products or orange cleaner. My motto is if it has a warning label on it I don't buy it. I also go through a lot of baking soda and vinegar. It works great for cleaning as well as orange extract cleaner which I buy in bulk and refill my bottles.”

And the following reader went above and beyond with her amazing list. I’m only going to post snippets at the moment but another day will definitely share all FIFTY-ONE tips with you!

• Lower your thermostat. Buy a programmable thermostat.

• Reuse your water bottle. Avoid buying bottled water. In fact, reuse everything at least once, especially plastics.

• Check out your bathroom. Use low-flow faucets, showerheads, and toilets.

• Start a compost in your back yard or on your rooftop.

• Buy foods locally. Check out Eat Local Challenge and FoodRoutes to get started. Buy locally made products and locally produced services.

• Buy in season.

• Recycle your newspapers.

• Consider a car sharing service like Zipcar.

• Go to your local library instead of buying new books.

• Get off junk mail lists.

• Buy products that use recyclable materials whenever possible.

• Landscape with native plants.

• Take your batteries to a recycling center.

• Do full loads of laundry and set the rinse cycle to “cold.”

• Recycle. If you’re not at home, take the extra steps, (literally), to find that recycling can.

• Reuse. Plastic food containers make good crayon and marker holders. Use padded envelops more than once. Buy your toddler or preschooler’s clothes from a thrift shop and give away those that don’t fit to friends. Goodwill or the Salvation Army can help.

• Limit the length of your showers. Even better, take a “navy shower,” shutting off the water while soaping up and shampooing.

• Recycle your technology. Dell, Hewlett Packard, Apple, and IBM, among others, offer recycling programs.

• Good to the last drop. Switch to fair trade coffee.

Thank you so much for contributing to this everyone ... I really am quite humbled at how everyone came together!

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