Infographic: Top Green Behaviors To Reduce CO2 Emissions

October 6, 2020 by  
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Infographic: Top Green Behaviors To Reduce CO2 Emissions

We Earthlings: Skip These Foods & Reduce Your Carbon Impact

September 22, 2020 by  
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The average American life produces 34,162 pounds of carbon dioxide … The post We Earthlings: Skip These Foods & Reduce Your Carbon Impact appeared first on Earth 911.

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We Earthlings: Laundry Tips To Reduce Microplastic Pollution

June 30, 2020 by  
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Sustainable Backyard Chickens: Repurpose Litter & Reduce Waste

June 11, 2020 by  
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We Earthlings: Reduce Your Home’s Carbon Footprint

June 9, 2020 by  
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What’s an easy way to reduce your home’s carbon footprint? … The post We Earthlings: Reduce Your Home’s Carbon Footprint appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Top Green Gadgets for Summer

June 3, 2020 by  
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6 ways to save energy while sheltering in place

April 21, 2020 by  
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Now that millions of Americans are isolated in their homes, everyone is using more energy during off-peak hours. Americans are getting more concerned with paying their growing electricity bills. Combined with the obvious environmental tolls of changing and increased at-home energy usage, paying a larger bill during times of economic uncertainty is enough to weigh on anyone’s heightened nerves. Inhabitat has rounded up some tips and tricks to help readers save energy (and money) at home during this time. The good news is that energy usage outside the home is at a 16-year low in the United States. The novel coronavirus has caused a huge drop in energy consumption throughout the country since stay-at-home measures have been implemented. Entire businesses have shut down, and most industrial activity has come to a grinding halt. According to the World Economic Forum , the demand for electricity fell by 5.7% from the week of April 14, 2020 compared to the same week in 2019 — the lowest since 2004. The U.S. Energy Information Administration projected that the combination of this economic slowdown and ongoing stay-at-home orders would help further reduce electricity and natural gas consumption in the coming months as well. The administration expects power consumption in the country to decline by 3% in 2020 before rising 1% in 2021. Related: How to volunteer during COVID-19 Still, while you are at home, you can further reduce energy consumption and minimize your energy bill by following these simple tips. Utilize natural light and open windows This pandemic is coming at a time of unpredictable spring weather. Some places around the country are beginning to warm up, but others are still feeling the effects of a longer winter with cold, rain and even snow. Something as simple as letting the light in during sunny days can not only raise your spirits but also lower your energy bill. If it is warm enough, open the windows to bring in fresh air. Even simply opening the blinds or curtains provides natural light, which is essential for working and your mental health. Daylighting also negates the need for artificial energy-using overhead lights or desk lamps. Swap electronics for creative activities It is easy to spend hours binging a new TV series or get sucked into playing video games when you’re stuck at home all day. Give your eyes a rest by swapping your nightly TV marathon for non-electrical activities such as reading, drawing or solving puzzles. It is no secret that our phones and computers are most people’s only link to the outside world right now, so start small with a couple of hours a day without electronics, adopt no-tech days or practice phone-free Sundays. Check in with your thermostat With more people staying at home 24/7, thermostats that are usually lowered or even switched off while everyone is normally at work or school are now running at higher capacities for longer amounts of time. Don’t forget to check in with yourself and adjust the thermostat accordingly. Fluctuations in temperature during this season mean that a smart thermostat could particularly come in handy, as it can learn your home’s heating and cooling patterns. Smart thermostats have the ability to adjust the temperature automatically instead of manually, so you will have a more optimal at-home climate as well as a reduced electricity bill. Only plug in devices when needed According to the U.S. Department of Energy, standby power from electronic devices accounts for about $100 of the average American’s electricity bill each year. If you’re working from home, chances are you’ve borrowed computers, printers, scanners or phones from your work office to make the transition to remote employment a bit easier. If you’ve become unemployed, you may be spending more time catching up on your favorite shows or surfing the internet, or maybe school closures have led to full-time homeschooling. Regardless, that means there are more devices plugged into your home’s outlets than there were a few months ago, and they are all consuming power even when they are not being used or are on standby. Be mindful of unplugging as much as you can at the end of your remote work or school day. You might consider investing in a smart power strip or two around the house, which can help you pick and choose which items to keep on or make it easier to turn everything off when not in use. Turn off the lights in unused rooms This may seem obvious, but the simple act of turning off lights in empty rooms does wonders for your electricity bill. Switching off the lights whenever possible will extend the life of your lightbulbs , too. If you’re not used to hitting the light switch whenever you leave the room, take this time to be more mindful of it. It is good practice for the future! Practice an energy-efficient laundry routine Household appliances make up a massive portion of energy use in American households. Remember to wait until your washing machine or dishwasher is full before running it — your washer will use almost the same amount of energy no matter the size of the load. Wool dryer balls help separate clothes, absorb moisture cut drying time and reduce static (no need for dryer sheets). While using cold water in your washing machine saves the largest amount of energy, even using warm water instead of hot water can cut energy use in half. Plus, you will not only save energy, but also detergent, dish washing soap and time! If the weather is nice, consider hanging laundry on a line outside to dry. Via Consumer Energy Alliance and Energy.gov Images via Pixabay and Unsplash

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5 Ways Your Business Can Reduce Waste

February 6, 2020 by  
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Can Growth in Sustainable Energy Reduce Natural Resources Overspend?

September 30, 2019 by  
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The ultimate guide to eco-friendly period products

July 31, 2019 by  
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If you’re a person who is serious about protecting the environment, you’re probably conscious of how much trash you generate every time you have a period. In addition to being chock-full of plastics sent straight to landfills, pads and tampons also contain harsh chemicals that are toxic . Yet most people continue exposing their bodies to these products month after month. Luckily, there are better options out there for both you and the planet — here’s a guide to help you find what might work best for you. “Anything coming in constant contact with your skin will land in your bloodstream for distribution throughout your body,” Dr. Joseph Mercola wrote in an alarming Huffington Post article about the dangers of menstrual products. Despite the potential dangers, the chemical ingredients in tampons and pads are an industry secret, protected by nondisclosure policies that favor corporations, manufacturers and innovators but put consumers at serious risk. So if you want to cut down on polluting nature and your body, consider this comprehensive guide on more sustainable product options available right now. As always, be sure to consult with your healthcare provider to help determine the best options for you. Menstrual cups Menstrual cups are one of the most eco-friendly options out there. If you can get over the initial learning curve, they are easy and convenient to use. Why we love them Although the up-front sticker price is higher, when you calculate how much you spend every month on tampons or pads, the savings are obvious. The cups are comfortable and barely noticeable once they have been inserted — the same way you might get used to a tampon and hardly realize it is there. They are especially easy for travelers who want to save precious space in their luggage and say goodbye to last-minute, emergency trips to the convenience store. Most cup brands come in multiple sizes and some even come in varying levels of firmness, depending on your preference, flow, age and whether or not you have had a vaginal birth. The cups are capable of handling even heavy flow days, with most users reporting minimal — if any — leaks. Below is a brief review of a few popular brands. Diva Cup ($35) The Diva Cup is the most recognized and popular brand. It has three sizes (including one for teens), lasts up to 12 hours and is made from medical-grade silicone. Sustain Natural Period Cup ($39) These cups are flexible, compact and made entirely of medical-grade silicone . They claim to hold three tampons-worth of liquid and are available in two sizes. This is also the only brand that currently offers a microwave case for cleaning the cup. Peachlife Menstrual Cup ($22) Also made of medical-grade silicone, this cup uniquely comes in a variety of firmness levels (soft, medium-firm and extra-firm). Unlike other brands that come to a point, the Peachlife cup has a silicone ring at the bottom for easy removal (but remember, you still have to break the suction of the cup; you cannot just tug on the ring!). Cups are not without challenges Menstrual cups cannot be recycled at the end of their lifecycles, but when you calculate how many pads and tampons you averted from landfills, this product is worth it. The cups can also be difficult to maneuver at first. Once you have practiced and get the hang of folding the cup, inserting it and then breaking the seal to remove, it’s just as easy as any other option. It typically takes about three periods to fully adapt to using a menstrual cup. Because of cultural and religious beliefs, some people do have objections or hesitations to using a cup. Related: Study shows menstrual cups are safe and just as effective as tampons, pads A new spin on ‘period underwear’ Absorbent underwear brands like THINX and Lunapads are increasing in popularity and market share. They are simply underwear that you wear during your period that are specially manufactured to absorb menstrual blood. Why they’re so easy If you know how to put on your undies, then you know how to use these — they have all other products beat in terms of ease of use. They are also eco-friendly, because you wash and reuse them each time you have your period. That means they do not produce landfill trash every month. The downside of absorbent underwear Period underwear is more expensive than your typical pair of underwear because of their patented absorption technology . You will also need a few pairs depending on the length and flow of your period and how often you’re able to wash and dry them. Like the cups though, when you tally the cost of underwear against lifetime tampon expenses, they’re a smart economic choice. The horrors of tampons and better options “The average American woman uses 16,800 tampons in her lifetime — or up to 24,360 if she’s on estrogen replacement therapy,” said Dr. Mercola. That’s a lot of trash , but it is also a lot of time that your body is exposed to toxic chemicals. Cotton is better; organic cotton is best You may have heard health experts say that cotton underwear is best for promoting vaginal health — the same goes for tampons. Look for brands that specifically say they are made from organic cotton, but assume that most conventional brands are now made from plastics and synthetic materials. These materials are not breathable, can get fragmented and left behind and might encourage health problems like yeast and bacterial growth. Most tampons are also bleached with substances linked to abnormal tissue growth, abnormal cell growth and immune system suppression. Americans use 7 billion tampon applicators every year; the chemicals in the applicator, phthalates, have been generally linked to organ damage, lower I.Q. and asthma. What to try instead Using tampons without applicators will significantly cut down the plastic waste you generate. Brands like o.b. offer tampons that can be inserted with just your finger. Seventh Generation offers a chlorine-free, organic cotton tampon that reduces your exposure to chemicals. Organyc also offers a 100 percent organic cotton tampon. What about pads? Many people prefer pads for comfort or cultural reasons; however, the average sanitary pad contains “the equivalent of about four plastic bags, and this doesn’t include the other chemicals like BPA , BPS, phthalates and toxic dioxin created by the bleaching process.” Even though they have plastic in them, pads are never recyclable because they have been contaminated with bodily fluid. Because pads have a bigger volume than tampons, they produce even more waste. The average person throws away between 250 and 300 pounds of pads or tampons in their lifetime. What to use if you prefer pads There are reusable sanitary pads online that significantly reduce the amount of trash produced. Simply place the pad in your underwear; when it is dirty, rinse it with cold water and then add it to the laundry. You can buy reusable pads from Gladrags or find cute designs via Etsy. You can also try your hand at sewing your own . Disposable tampons and pads dominate the menstrual care market, but it doesn’t have to be that way. With small personal changes, you can protect your health, wallet and the planet. Images via Shutterstock

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