We’ve got a deal for you…
Nowadays, it’s no longer the homeless that stay in humble abodes made of recycled materials. In fact, buildings made out of recycled material are very hippie chic, like the first bottle school in San Pablo, Philippines completed this spring.
It’s the 40th anniversary of Earth Day! So go out there and resolve to do your part — however little — to make our Earth a better place to be.
RECYCLE & REUSE:
We all know that we have to recycle, recycle, recycle — your bottles, cans, paper. But it’s even better to reuse. Stash a few reusable grocery bags in your car so you won’t forget the next time you go shopping. Hold a clothes swap party with friends. Donate to Goodwill and the Salvation Army.
Or even better, stick your unwanted clothes and shoes in a yellow Planet Aid bin. Planet Aid’s been collecting thousands of tons of clothing, textiles, shoes and books — items that would otherwise have gone to landfills — and reselling them as low-priced clothing in developing countries. There is no remanufacturing involved, just handling and transportation. This lessens production of new cotton and other textile fibers, decreasing the overall strain on our ecosystem. The funds are then used for health, education, child welfare and other development programs in some of the poorest countries in the world. Find a Planet Aid bin (or host one yourself!) near you here.
If you can’t reuse it, recycle. Now you can even recycle your yoga mat. Recycle Your Mat is a national yoga mat recycling organization that not only takes your old mats off your hands, they upcycle, which means they turn an old yoga mat into another useful item, saving nearly 90 percent of CO2 emitted during new mat manufacture. Even better? Recycle your mat with them and get 20% off a new mat at Manduka.com, a yoga supply retailer.
If you really want to make a drastic change, consider a bicycle. Switching out that gas guzzler for a bike just once a week will save loads on emissions and gas money. (Not to mention the wonders it’ll do for your waistline.) And now that the weather is warming up, you don’t have an excuse.
If you really wanna do it in high style, try an Electra Bicycle. They’re colorful, chic and with a patent pending “Flat Foot” pedaling position, made for leisurely making your way through the city.
This one’s an updated version of the traditional Dutch city bicycle, perfect for commuting. With fenders, fully enclosed chaincase and coat guard, this bike lets you don your favorite work outfit with no mess. And how retro is that seat print!
Web boutique Freshop offers all sorts of eco-goodies for the little ones (like blankets, toys, and for the really hardcore, reusable diapers — yikes!). My favorite item is the Idbids plush toys that help teach kids all about conserving our world in a kid-friendly, fun, understandable package.
If it’s a bit early for your little one to grasp the complexities of conservation, set a good example with eco-friendly baby products. Freshop founder Sharon Kim really likes the Apple Park Blankie collection (especially the lamb blankie).
Put your money where your mouth is. Show that we care about the environment by supporting those who do, too.
The entire month of April, not only is everything on jewelry designer Hovey Lee’s online shopping site 25% off, but she will be donating $5 of every purchase to a local green charity.
You’ll be doing double duty because not only does Hovey source her gems from suppliers adhering to fair trade standards, but she uses 100 percent recycled metals from reputable reclaimed metal companies certified by the Scientific Certification Systems (SCS). She also uses vintage and old jewelry to recreate new designs with the recycled findings and metals.
AND FINALLY, MAKE LITTLE, EVERYDAY CHANGES:
Sometimes it feels a bit overwhelming; after all, what impact can one person have? But in this case, it’s the little things that count because, taken together, we can all make a big difference. Here, little things you can change in your everyday routine to help make our Earth a little better.
La Fresh Group uses biodegradable wipes, natural ingredients and “lean” manufacturing for their handy dandy towelettes that address practically every hygiene issue from sunscreen to teeth cleaner, deodorant to eyeglass care. They’re a must-have for any frequent traveler, and perfect for stashing in your bag, desk, car.
As for ecoSTORE USA, they’re planning on cleaning up the planet “one wash load at a time.” This whole week is their “Eco-Week-Oh! Do a Load on Us!” campaign. Their “ecovisors” are handing out 200,000 laundry detergent samples at New York City Duane Reade stores to educate consumers “how easy and affordable it is to do their part in greening up our planet,” said Lyne Appel Downing, vice president of operations.
And it’s not just laundry detergent. ecoSTORE USA offers other household cleaners, personal care and baby care products. Check out their non-toxic products, all made with sustainable ingredients derived from plants and minerals. Available at Duane Reade stores and at ecoSTORE USA.
Because when it comes to saving our Earth, it’s these little things, taken together, that make a huge difference. So do your part!
There’s been a lot of talk about the upcoming 40th anniversary of Earth Day (it’s next week, April 22). And I realize that the whole point of Earth Day is not to consume but to conserve. Alas, there is no denying the greedy, consumption hungry nation that we are. (Some would argue that our economy could use the jump start.)
So recycle those cans, bike to work, keep doing all those little things it takes to help our Earth. And if you have to buy a baby shower gift, something for mother’s day, or even another little trinket for yourself, try to shop green. It’s the least we can do.
One of my new-found favorite sites to shop for gifts is Bundlelove. It seems I’ve reached an age where everyone and their mother (no, sometimes literally!) are having babies. Bundlelove, co-founded by Asian Americans Sandy Lee Carpenter and Kailyn Tan McCracken, makes it so easy to give a cute, smart, “personalized” gift without having to go through the torture of visiting your local Babies R’ Us. I really dig their “Tree Hugger” bundle set, perfect for getting your friends’ little one off on the right foot.
The prepackaged gift bundle includes a hooded towel, cotton kimono, diaper shell, bottle, tote and rattle, all organic, all chemical-free. Get it at Bundlelove.