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Simple ways to reduce your family carbon-footprint

family footprint

1. Plan your meals

Planning meals ahead of time not only helps you save money on groceries, but it will prevent leftovers from going bad. Plan for a week or for as far out as a month.

2. Shower less frequently

Don’t wrinkle your nose. Often, people shower (or bathe their kids) every day whether they need to or not. Before hopping in out of habit, think about whether it’s really necessary.

3. Wear clothes more than once

This goes along with the showering thing. Just like your jeans see days of wear before they hit the washer. (When they’re clean of course.) Wash clothes only when they’re dirty to lower water and electricity usage.

4. Hang your clothes to dry

Try to avoid drying clothes in the dryer, rather hang them in balcony or veranda, it helps reduce electricity consumption and save you money. And it also helps clothes last longer.

5. Bring home less waste

Avoid food and other products with lots of packaging. Buying in bulk helps a lot since you won’t have individually wrapped things coming into your home (It’s great for your budget, too!) If eating out, take along a reusable container for leftovers so you don’t have to bring home a wasteful container from the restaurant.

6. Grow your own veggies

Many veggies are shipped long distances, using lots of fuel just to get to your grocery store. Start a simple garden to reduce dependency on grocery-store produce.

7. Make a windowsill herb garden

Most of the herbs for sale in our area come packaged in plastic boxes. Grow some of your favorite herbs in a sunny windowsill so you can add flavor to your food without extra waste.

8. Give it away to Recycler/s

You know how when you’re done de-cluttering, you have a ton of stuff lying around your house that you need to get rid of? Rather than throwing it away (some people do that!), give it away to recycler/s to spare a landfill and make some money from your excess stuff.

9. Use your car less

Make an effort to stay at home more and drive less. Walk, bike or use public transit if possible to reduce your contribution to air pollution.

10. Invest in reusable bags

Or make them from scrap fabric. Countless plastic bags end up in landfills each year and don’t need to be there. Either buy or make bags in different sizes and take them with you to the grocery store or farmer’s market. Make small ones to use with bulk bins and produce. (Find shopping bags online here or produce bags online here.)

Top 5: Eco Bras. Smart & Strange.

Eco-Bras

Ladies have you ever heard of it before… checkout the Smart and Strange Eco-Bras, don’t forget to add them to your list…

Since they’re usually worn under clothes, bras may not serve as the best billboard for your eco-message. Nonetheless, the bra’s inspired many inspiring and wacky eco-ideas over the years.

.1. Chopsticks Bra. Dubbed My Chopsticks Bra, this concept bra from Japan encourages people to reuse their chopsticks by carrying reusable ones in a Japanese meal-themed bra. Each bra cup each depict a bowl — rice in the right, miso in the left — and collapsible chopsticks tuck into a small pocket on the side.

chopstickbra

.2. BYOBag Bra. Conceived by the same company as the chopsticks bra, this recycled-polyester bra — calledNo! Shopping Bag Bra — unfolds into a handy shopping bag. You’ll have to do some tricky maneuvering to actually take advantage of the bra’s multifunctionality though.

noshoppingbagbra

.3. Solar-powered Bra. Wanna charge up while laying out at the beach? This iPod-charging, beer-cooling bra also comes with a bottom to complete the electrifying solar bikini set. Part of designer Andrew Schneider’s iDrink swimwear project, this bikini boasts (1″ x 4″) photovoltaic film strips sewn together in series with conductive thread” plus a USB connection.

solar powered bra

.4. Trashy Bra. The toughest-looking eco-bra of the bunch is the Pink Tab Bikini Top, made of upcycled soda tabs, gutter guard, dryer vents, and rivets by artist Ingrid Goldbloom Bloch. Wearable? Probably not, but pretty cool-looking!

trashy bra

.5. DIY plastic bag Bra. Ready to make your own smart and strange eco-bra? The BBC’s got detailed instructions on how to upcycle a supermarket plastic bag into a bra. Unfortunately, this bra’s more decorative than functional, though perhaps useful as part of a Halloween getup.

DIY plastic bag bra

Soap Nuts – it’s time for an eco-friendly laundry wash..!!

What are Soap Nuts ?

Soap Nuts are a berry that grows in the Himalayas that naturally produces a soap.  The soap is called saponin, a natural cleaner that works as a surfactant, breaking the surface tension of the water to penetrate the fibers of your clothing, lifting stains from the fabric and leaving dirt suspended in the water that is rinsed away.

Soap Nuts also sometimes referred to as Washing Nuts or Ritha / Reetha /Aritha (in Hindi) or Anthwaal (Kannada). They are actually the fruits of the soap nut tree and contain Saponin, which is a 100% natural alternative to chemical laundry detergent and cleansers. When in contact with water, it creates mild suds, which is similar to soap.

Soap Nuts are gentle on both clothes and skin, making them ideal for those with sensitive skin, eczema, allergies and psoriasis. Because they are so mild, they are perfect for baby clothes and cloth diapers. All-Natural Soap Nuts are also great for septic and grey water systems. But don’t expect these shells to foam up like commercial soaps, which have artificial foaming agents. Foam simply does not represent cleaning power.

Soap Nuts are wild-harvested, meaning they are gathered from wild trees grown without any kind of chemicals, fertilizers, or pesticides. The saponin actually tastes bad to insects so no pesticides are needed, and the trees naturally love poor uncultivated soil. They are organically grown by mother earth.

Soap nuts are both Ecological and Economical when compared to other forms of detergents.