Green Living Guide
When is Earth Day 2011? It's Friday April 22nd, 2011! And as it is a Friday, it's the perfect time to really have fun with Earth Day. We here at Become UK recognize the importance of living a sustainable, eco-friendly life and have complied a plethora of useful green tips that will help you take better care of our planet Earth and your wallet. You don't necessarily need to make radical changes in your life, but hopefully you should at least strive to be more conscious of your everyday actions and their respective impacts on the environment.
In our green guide, you will find loads of excellent tips and practical advice on how to best reduce your carbon footprint and in addition, you will also discover new eco-friendly products that will help you save both energy and money.
You’ll find useful tips that are simple, yet effective ways to improve the energy efficiency for both your home and office, how to make a few small but meaningful changes in your daily routine and how using mild organic cleaning and beauty products is not only good for the environment, but also for your skin. Become green today!
Green Living Guide:
Climate change is even a concern at the work place. If you think about it, industry is producing even more emissions than all the single households put together. We can’t stop all the carbon intensive operations, but we can do our little part at the work place to reduce our carbon footprints. I mean, all the green efforts we apply at home should be also applicable at the office. Let’s see what we can do in the office. Firstly, if the green approach is not supported by management it is going to be very hard. You can try to elect a so called ‘environmental rep’ who can keep an eye on all the environmental policies in your office, starting from little individual efforts to company- wide changes. This person would be the ambassador for ‘green living’. It might be important for the rep to find new and improved products and ideas which contribute to the ‘green’ style in the office. Modern products often have a green agenda and new features have been added that support the environment in positive ways.
Integrating a healthy, sustainable and green lifestyle with our current way of living can be difficult for some. It is quite normal and understandable to be set in one’s ways once one reaches adulthood and for many. Making a change and going green requires a lot of habit breaking. Reducing our carbon foot print and practicing eco-friendly habits should start early and there are many incentives for doing so. For one, starting off on the right foot means never having to go through the difficulty of breaking bad habits. Green, eco-friendly products and habits tend to save money and resources so going green can definitely be beneficial financially. In addition, going green leads to heaps of positive outcomes for the environment and the world around us.
Teaching children and young adults to be responsible global citizens has never had as much popularity as it does today. Besides the fact that it is financially and environmentally beneficial, being conscientious of one’s actions and consumption and its effects on those around us builds character. For those who are currently going to school or have children who are going to school, consider buying recycled school supplies. Every year, the average UK student consumes pounds of paper. Buying 100% recycled notebooks, paper, binders and pens helps combat carbon emissions and deforestation. Recycled notebooks are made from 100% recycled paper and materials and tend to be high quality. As much as supporting eco-friendly, recycled products is important, slowing total consumption by having healthy, green habits is equally as essential.
Doodling less and using as much of each sheet of paper as possible is a great example of a healthy habit that saves money and is good for the environment. Instead of writing on a fresh sheet of paper every time one side of the paper is filled, flip it over and write on the back. It will double the lifetime of a notebook. Another great money saving and environmentally friendly tip is to buy a small recyclable binder and fill it with recycled paper. Once every single sheet of paper is used, one can simply remove them and replace them with new sheets of recycled paper. Buying recycled paper instead of multiple notebooks is much more affordable in the long run. Also, it’s beneficial to make sure to recycle paper products instead of throwing them into the rubbish bin.
Another incredibly effective eco-friendly habit is drinking from a reusable water bottle. Every year billions of plastic water bottles fill landfills around the world. Since the plastic isn’t biodegradable, they stay there and aren’t going anywhere any time soon. The result is expanding landfills around the world that do substantial harm to the environment around them. Buying a reusable water bottle instead of buying disposable plastic water bottles can save hundreds and can keep hundreds, and possibly thousands, of water bottles out of the landfill each year. In fact, a reusable steel water bottle is an extremely trendy accessory lately. Stainless steel water bottles come in lovely shapes and sizes making it easy to choose one that fits one’s personality and lifestyle. Stainless steel looks beautiful and is extremely easy to clean so that there isn’t much to worry about in terms of maintenance. Stainless steel also lasts a really long time and is very durable. There isn’t much that can damage stainless steel so there isn’t a need to worry if it’s dropped or handled roughly.
And lastly, one more tip that can save money and the environment is bringing a reusable lunch bag to school. This is a tip that can be used at work as well. While lunch bags may seem like a thing of childhood, think about the money that could be saved by investing in a lunch bag rather than buying disposable paper bags every single week. The savings would pay for the lunch bag itself in a short amount of time. Like steel water bottles, lunch bags come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. There are designer lunch bags that look like hand bags, there are lunch bags supporting football teams, there are lunch bags that look discreet and professional like laptop bags and much more. An added benefit is that most reusable lunch bags provide better insulation than just a brown paper bag. An insulated lunch keeps food warmer for a longer time. Alternatively, it keeps drinks cold and everything fresh.
Teaching children eco-friendly habits at a young age will positively affect them as adults. It does more than just save money. It teaches the importance of being a responsible, conscientious member of society. The benefits of going green at school are manifold— it saves money, builds character and helps stop the effects of climate change. Buying recycled school supplies, slowing our paper consumption, recycling and buying reusable water bottles and lunch bags can save money and will do wonders for the environment in a way that you, your children and your children’s children will feel.
At the Supermarket
Going green is not just limited to what you can do at home and at your workplace. As you probably spend a lot of time shopping, why not find ways to shop greener? By revising your shopping habits you can make an effective contribution to an eco-friendlier way of living.
The most profound way of doing that is by buying organic products. Nowadays, many supermarkets offer food with an organic label. But what qualifies food as organic? First of all, organic food is traceable. At every stage of its way to you, it is inspected and certified. The certification standards are based on official definitive legal standards within the European Union. Everyone who produces or modifies a good and wants to label it as organic must obtain a certificate: processors, traders, producers and importers alike must receive certification.
You've surely noticed all those different kinds of organic products in your local supermarket: from produce to alcoholic beverages to diapers. One of these products is special: organic wine . Legally, there is no such thing as organic wine because current EU law has simply no definition for it. However, if a wine is called organic, it is most likely made from organically grown grapes. In Southern England, there are small vineyards that produce wine from organic grapes. These vineyards are definitely worth visiting to get a taste of their marvelous wines.
Apart from supermarkets, local farmers markets are another good source for organic products. There are over 500 farmers markets in the country. Buying locally grown produce from a farmers market is probably the greenest way of shopping. The variety of products changes according to the seasons. You can discover different kinds of produce and try new vegetables. Buying from local farmers also helps the economy. And the best thing is that you know it is organic.
Going green is not just about what to buy and where to buy it. The way of buying is also an important factor. Consider buying in bulk. You reduce trips to the supermarket and save money. Besides that, bring your own tote bag instead of using plastic bags. They are reusable and look good. If your favourite grocery store is in convenient proximity, you can also walk there or go by bike. You'll decrease your visits to the supermarket and you’ll put in some extra exercise which is good for you and the environment.
Recycling is also possible while shopping. Many supermarkets have recycling banks. Don’t ignore them and make it a routine to bring empty bottles and other recyclable items with you. You can even get rid of useless wrapping paper and boxes there. Doing this can reduce weight and rubbish in an efficient way.
All these actions are just small ways of doing the right thing. If you are also interested in supporting the producers especially in the developing world, you might consider Fairtrade products. The whole concept of Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers. Companies are required to pay sustainable prices so that producers are enabled to improve their quality of living. This is a more long-term approach for going green but definitely an important step in the right direction. Next time, take a closer look at Fairtrade chocolate and Fairtrade coffee and help to reduce injustice around the world. There are many things you can do to make your everyday life greener: from buying organic food at a farmers market to riding your bike to the supermarket to recycling paper products. Some things are simple and can have a strong impact. Don’t hesitate to change your shopping habits because it’s never too late to go green.
Travelling is the best way to relax and enjoy Mother Nature. It doesn’t matter if it is a short getaway just for the weekend or a long distance vacation--there will always be new things to see and many beautiful impressions to take in. Travelling in a green way does not have to be complicated. A nice alternative to taking the car is riding a bike. There is a big variety of bikes to choose from when it comes to buying a new one. A 2010 hybrid bike is a great choice for recreation, exploration and fitness. Most casual riders buy a hybrid bike because they want versatility and ride it both on the streets and off-road. If you want a brand that stands for quality and is reliable, take a look at a Carrera bike. They have a great reputation for strong frames and good suspension and the prices are reasonable.
No matter what bike you purchase it is most important that you take it out for a test ride and see if it is comfortable and is the right fit for you. Once you've found the perfect bike, plan a nice route with some breaks in between and make time for a picnic. All you need are some sandwiches, fresh fruit and vegetables. The easiest way to carry all this, is putting it in a nice bicycle basket. It is a great feature on a bike, especially when it comes to grocery shopping and taking trips to the local farmers market.
If riding a bike is not an option and a car is a necessity, here are some tips to save petrol, money and the environment. You can improve your petrol consumption by up to 3.3 percent by making sure your tyres have a proper amount of air in them. Check your tyres regularly to make sure they're at their proper pressure. Doing this regularly ensures more safety on the road and the tyres will last longer as well. Replace clogged air filters and get regular engine tune-ups. Consider buying a highly fuel-efficient car, a hybrid vehicle or an alternative fuel vehicle that will save you money on petrol and help the environment.
Last but not least, consider alternatives like public transportation, carpooling and video conferences. Green travelling doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice fun or convenience. Just a few little steps can change your habits and save you money.
There are many influences our skin has to resist every day. Skin can react very sensitively to skin care products with petroleum and other synthetic ingredients. It is very easy to switch to organic skin-care products. Over the years, many companies have dedicated their efforts to healthy skin with organic products. The benefits from natural ingredients, especially for people with sensitive skin, are numerous. Be aware that there could still be natural minerals that you could still be allergic to in organic skin care products. The next step would be to throw away your make-up and buy organic alternatives. Organic makeup has the same advantages as organic skin care. The lack of alcohol in organic skin toners, for example, avoids drying out your skin, so your face feels fresh and doesn't feel dry, uncomfortable or tight. It also saves you money because it allows you to use less moisturizer daily. Organic-based mascara includes products like jojoba oil and Shea butter that nourishes your lashes. If it contains beeswax it can even strengthen your lashes. Many organic beauty products are made with fruits and nut oils so your skin gets an extra healthy treatment.
After a long day, you come home and you want to get comfortable and relax. So take off your make up and give your skin a rest. An organic make up remover treats your skin gently and removes your make up effectively without irritation.
Eye make up remover with organic ingredients has an especially great effect on your eyes. Keeping this area properly moisturized is also important as it can prevent wrinkles around the eye, which is a very common area that shows aging prematurely. The natural oils in organic make-up removers leave your skin soothed and refreshed with no oily residue.
Sometimes the term organic can confuse you as a customer. When it comes to shampoo, you find organic shampoos and biodegradable shampoos in the same aisle and it's understandable to have some confusion about it. Organic means it was made with organic ingredients. Biodegradable means it can be broken down easily by the environment without polluting the earth. Not only is it environmentally friendly, your hair benefits as well. It cleanses it gently without chemical build-up and without stripping it natural oils and it revitalises your scalp.
At the end of the day, it is important to change your habits one by one. Small steps can make a difference. With your skin, you especially want to choose products that are organic and won't affect you in an unhealthy way. Rethink your every day rituals and where you can make a green change.
There are three easy ways to wear eco-friendly fashions. First is caring about the kind of clothes you are wearing, second is finding out which materials are used in your clothing and third is knowing how to treat clothes gently in a way that will make them last longer.
One form of eco-friendly fashion is vintage clothing. Buying clothes out of a second-hand shop or customising and reusing old clothing is an exceptionally effective form of being eco-friendly with what you wear. Have you ever thought about exchanging clothes with a good friend? Why not go through all your clothes during spring and get together with some friends to swap clothes for the summer?
If you need a dress for a special occasion, think about renting an expensive dress instead of buying one. There are beautiful custom-made dresses that can be rented for special occasions. How many times will you wear the same dress anyway? In the end, it is usually bought just for one night and it takes up space in a wardrobe.
The easiest way to be eco-friendly with your fashion is to buy high quality clothes. Expensive clothes are more likely to be of good quality but it is not always the case. Check the tag to see what material the clothing is made of. Good materials are made of cotton, wool, cashmere or linen instead of a large percentage of spandex. If you buy online, there is often a description of the material, for example, a jumper dress from Laura Ashley shows a high percentage of cotton.
There are even clothes made of eco-friendly materials such as organic cotton and hemp clothing. If you want to take the next step, collect information on brands. You can check if clothing is manufactured in a socially responsible factory. Find out whether it uses organic materials and also fairtrade cotton. Companies are starting to use fairtrade cotton for t-shirts and towels. It is worth it to support the green movement and buy these products.
Did you know that you should wash new clothing at least once before wearing it? This is important particularly for black clothes as there are strong chemical colours used to dye it. It is especially important for babies to wash new clothing a couple of times. An additional option is to buy used clothes for your baby which has been already been washed a lot of times.
Be gentle with the environment and your clothes and avoid washing too often. Try to wear a sweater or trousers more than once before washing. Using soap nuts as a natural laundry detergent is a good option. It makes your laundry just as clean and soft as other detergents. It is environmentally friendly and even has a better value than conventional detergents. By using soap nuts from India, you will take care of the environment, your skin and laundry. Moreover you will be doing something good by giving people in India job opportunities and work collecting and opening soap nuts.
It is easy to wear eco-friendly fashion just by trying out something new or slightly changing old habits.