Category Archives: Be Green

6 Easy Ways to Reduce Waste

1. Bring reusable shopping bags with you to the grocery store. Who needs all of those plastic bags scattered around the house anyways?

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2. Invest in a couple reusable cups. One for hot drinks and one for cold drinks.

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large Starbuck’s tumbler, $14.95
Copco travel mug, $7.99

You can use a tumbler to fill up drinks at fast food restaurants, opting to save a plastic cup which will only go to waste. I take my Starbuck’s tumbler with me everywhere I go. Starbuck’s will even knock off 10 cents if you bring in a reusable cup for them to pour your drink into.

3. Use washable napkins instead of paper towels.

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These can help add flair to your kitchen as well. Find fun, decorative napkins at places like World Market, Pier 1, and Target.

4. Buy vintage.

If you take the time to look, you can really find some treasured pieces when shopping vintage. I recently found a vintage Dooney & Bourke purse for a steal. It’s much cheaper and eco-friendly to go old rather than new.

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5. Donate old clothing.

Prevent old clothes and accessories from sitting in a landfill by donating them to Goodwill or Salvation Army. Trust me, there’s someone out there who would make good use out of what you might consider trash.

6. Just say “no” to plastic bags when they aren’t necessary. For example, I went to Barnes & Noble yesterday and ended up with a book and 2 magazines. I am completely capable of carrying these on my own, without the help of a bag. Don’t take plastic bags when you really don’t need them.

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Book Review: the Green Book

The Green Book by Elizabeth Rogers and Thomas M. Kostigen

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We have this book at the Outdoor Recreation office, so I picked it up and started reading it today. This book is the perfect guide to living the most sustainable life possible in all aspects of your daily routine. I did not create a blog post on Earth Day (shame on me), so this will serve as my delayed ode to the Earth.

While some of Rogers and Kostigen’s words of advice seem like common sense, others are really not so obvious. For example, Rogers and Kostigen state that if all answering machines were swapped for voicemail services, the air pollution would decrease to the equivalency of 250,000 less cars on the road per year. Who woulda thunk?

There were a few things specifically which really sparked my interest and made me think about how my daily routine affects the environment. Running outside as opposed to running on a treadmill saves an immense amount of energy, and as a pretty regular treadmill runner (especially in the winter months) this really stuck in my mind. Here on out, I will never rely on a treadmill for my sweat-session if the weather permits me to run outside.

This step-by-step guide consists of 12 chapters, each dedicated to an area of people’s everyday lives. They include:

    • Home
    • Entertainment
    • Travel
    • Communication/ Technology
    • School
    • Work
    • Shopping
    • Health & Beauty
    • Sports
    • Money & Finance
    • Building
    • Going Carbon Neutral

The last chapter provides formulas allowing you to calculate your carbon footprint, as well as advice on what you can do to offset that number. I think that every household should own a copy of The Green Book. It shows how easy it really is to practice a sustainable lifestyle, how simple changes can make such a huge impact on our planet, and why it is so important to start caring about the Earth.

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Pretty in “Green”

The fashion industry seems to have officially jumped on the “green” bandwagon. It’s about time. Major retailers such as H&M and top designers like Stella McCartney have come out with eco-friendly lines of clothing and accessories. Designers with entirely sustainable fashion companies are sprouting up everywhere. Emily Katz, Linda Loudermilk, and Samantha Pleet are just a few to name.

H&M’s latest “Garden Collection”  uses organic cotton, organic linen, recycled polyester, and a renewable, eco-friendly material called “Tencel” which is silky in texture. The collection is soft and feminine, with lots of whites, neutrals, and florals. H&M has announced the planet to be part of its corporate responsibility. Its “sustainability strategy” can be accessed here, with detailed information on the company’s vision and long-term goals for reducing its impact on the planet.

Urban Expressions is a fashion company that creates sustainable, vegan handbags. Their bags can be found at Urban Outfitters as well as countless other small boutiques. I purchased a small, grey clutch by this company at a boutique called Handpicked which has several locations throughout the Carolinas and Georgia.

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Dress: HM Garden Collection, €29.99

Purse: Urban Expressions

Sandals: Naya, $145

Necklace, kylerdesigns.com

As someone that has felt a deep concern for the Earth since a very young age, it’s encouraging to know that sustainability is becoming a standard for the fashion industry, rather than just a trend. I encourage everyone to become more conscious of where their clothing is made, how it is made, and what values their favorite fashion retailers employ. Dressing fashionably and expressing oneself creatively without the expense of the planet has never been more do-able.

Here are some sustainable fashion sites worth checking out:

Eco Fashion World an in-depth guide to sustainable brands and stores, as well as the latest news & updates as to what’s going on in the “green” fashion world

Happy Hippie a comprehensive directory of eco-friendly and fair labor businesses of all categories, including home decoration, jewelry, apparel, art, gifts, and toys

Whole Living Whole Living’s section on Fashion & Style has some noteworthy articles on how to develop a stylish “green” wardrobe and home

Pure Citizen This is the eco-friendly version of websites like Rue-La-La. The site offers 72 hour discounted sales from sustainable and ethical companies. Part of the proceeds go to benefit a non-profit organization of the company’s choice… Sustainable shopping never felt so rewarding!

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