Did you know that during the holidays the average American household produces up to three times the amount of waste that it does throughout the rest of the year? Most of this waste consists of packaging refuse, leftover food and wrapping paper. This year, reduce your carbon footprint by taking a few simple steps to wrap your gifts eco-consciously. Here are a few ideas for streamlining your use of wasteful dyed paper while maintaining the creativity and beauty associated with a traditional Christmas tree, complete with beautiful packages.
Over the years, Christmas time as become synonymous with excess. Our electricity bills go through the roof with all the extra lights, our waistlines become unmanageable with all the extra food and our wallets become sad and lonely because of all the present we are expected to buy. All of this excess add up, not only in our daily lives but in our landfills as well. So this year, rather than indulging in the abundance of “stuff,” try a more sustainable Christmas. Here are some ideas for decorating your home in a fun and festive, yet eco-friendly style.
Over the years, we have suggested, explained and incorporated strategies and practices for leading a sustainable lifestyle. We have gone over the many reasons to go green, including saving money and being environmentally responsible. But are you REALLY making a difference? I have personally gone on a quest to be more eco-conscious by recycling, being “that friend” that annoys my friends into recycling and reusing or unplugging everything I can get my hands on. However, one has to wonder if those things matter when you drive hundreds of miles a week, far offsetting any carbon emissions you may have saved by conserving.
Bamboo has come a long way since it was introduced primarily as the backdrop of tiki bars and the symbol of all things tropical. With modern technological advances, inventors have been able to construct anything and everything from bamboo cane or bamboo fiber. Not just for fencing and tropical décor anymore, bamboo is now being considered as the primary frame material for electric cars.
Currently, electric cars utilize a heavy electric battery that will propel the car an average of 100 miles. The approximately 200 pound battery, coupled with a fiberglass or steel frame makes for a heavy car without much room for battery mileage improvement. However, a bamboo frame would reduce the overall weight, compensating for the battery and increasing its potency.
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a giant mass of floating debris and trash located between Hawaii and San Francisco. The Garbage Patch is about twice the size of Texas and a result of swirling currents and tides that bring trash from all over the world to one remote and often overlooked location. However, for some “collection beaches” on the islands of Hawaii, the reality of the patch is all too apparent. Garbage from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch washes up on the shores constantly, creating a shoreline of colorful plastic garbage rather than the white sandy beaches traditionally associated with the island state. This sad sight was enough to spawn Adam Lowry’s idea for a plastic made not from virgin plastic but from materials recovered from the Pacific Ocean.
Individuals and businesses everywhere seem to be throwing the words “going green” around. Policy, economy, society and reality all demand that we use whatever renewable resources we can to turn our lifestyles around in order to live more environmentally responsibly. However, when companies built on the values of consumption and excess start to publicize their green efforts, one has to wonder if they are truly attempting to save the planet or if they are merely cashing in on the popularity of the Green Revolution.
As our world becomes increasingly more “eco-conscious”, you are bound to come across some terms or phrases you either are not familiar with or don’t completely understand. Here are a few terms whose definition may help as you wade through all things green:
BIODEGRADEABLE – the ability of a material to naturally break down when left completely alone for a period of time. Biodegradable substances will absorb naturally and safely back into the eco-system with the help of microorganisms.
CARBON OFFSETS – units purchased to make up for carbon units emitted by a particular function such as travel. Funds raised by the purchase of carbon offsets are used towards planting carbon absorbing trees, for green research and other green activities to be determined by the purchaser.
Staying true to your new found “green” philosophy can sometimes seem expensive, daunting and, at times, impossible. However, the key is to remember that little changes can have a big overall effect. Sometimes, small one-time purchases can be just the thing to keep your green lifestyle on track. Here are some examples of green products that will last you for the long run while simultaneously protecting the environment.
Reclaimed Leather Purses
Bamboo and Tikis is proud to introduce a new line of eco-friendly products: Viro Thatch. Viro Thatch products are the only non-toxic and 100% recyclable thatch products on the market today. Made from the greenest plastic on earth, HDPE, they have a built in fire retardant, are completely water resistant and will not fade, rot or shed. When you’re done with the thatch, simply toss it in a recycling bin and the entire product can be reused. Not the only synthetic thatch on the market, ViroThatch is the first and only synthetic thatch created with an entirely sustainable and non-toxic production process
Every year, thousands of people abandon their dry habitats in search of a more refreshing marine landscape; thousands of dollars are spent on beach vacations, snorkeling adventures and ocean tours and thousands of gallons of sunscreen are spread lavishly on the shoulders of adults and children alike. While it is important to protect ourselves from the sun’s harmful rays, another factor when considering sun protection is the effect it may have on the very ecosystem we look forward to enjoying.