1.22.2013

Ways I have GONE GREEN

I wanted to do a post that included all the things I have changed in my life to better the environment. I thought it would be a good way to give others ideas and hopefully you can leave me some MORE ideas in your comments below. I know there is room for improvement in my life. Let's see my list...

Being Green

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We would like to use less plastic packing, everything seems to come in plastic. Rice bags, bread bags, pizza crust, etc.. Why do I HATE plastic so much you may ask??? Because I find it so very wasteful. It's made from crude oil and takes over 100 years to biodegrade. So much plastic ends up blowing around in our trees, gets in our rivers and lakes and ends up in the ocean. This is one of those "REDUCE" things. When recycling isn't good enough in my opinion.

We finally found organic pasta that comes in a cardboard box! I won't buy strawberries that come in the little plastic container anymore. We buy our mushrooms out of the bins at the grocery store. I also buy celery now that doesn't come in a plastic bag. If there is a "better" package option, I buy it. We will probably start going to Whole Foods to buy more things in bulk and make our own bread more often to help cut down on plastic.

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This is one of those super easy things that we can all do. It makes me sad when I see people at the grocery store getting 10 plastic bags and thinking to myself, "Those are probably going to go straight into the trash can." We have three really nice grocery bags that seem to always be enough for us every trip to the store. I have the foldable one I use and keep in my purse for all our other shopping.

We still get looked at like we are crazy sometimes. Lots of cashiers are caught off guard when you pull out your own bag. I even do it for tiny items because I want everyone around me to see me with my bag. People NEED to see them and get used to the idea. We also are currently reusing our plastic produce bags week after week. I plan to buy the cloth bags eventually, but the plastic ones are working out fine. It's the same thing as getting a new one every time. They do just as good as a job the second time around. Less plastic, less waste, less need to recycle them and less wasted crude oil. YAY!

:)
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This one is more Cody then me. He only uses bar soap now. No more bodywash. I however tried the bar soap thing and hated it. I missed all my suds from my bodywash. I currently have been using the same huge gigantic bottle of bodywash for months. When it is close to running out I plan to start making my own bodywash from bar soap and reusing my big plastic bottle. What to do about all those plastic shampoo bottles though? I've seen shampoo that is actually a bar of soap but haven't tried it yet. My hair is bleached so I need stuff for damaged hair. Any suggestions?

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Cody got a straight razor for Christmas. He hasn't actually started using it yet because it has to be sharpened. It's so funny when will tell people about it because they seemed scared for Cody. Like he is going to cut his throat open. This decision was all his. No more plastic razors!!!

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We are now using our own homemade laundry detergent. We have been using it for almost 2 months now. Everything seems clean to me. :) It doesn't have a strong scent to it but I suppose we could add more scented oil. We also switched to biodegradable dryer sheets. You can view my blog post about us making our laundry detergent HERE.

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Instead of recycling all our glass jars, we reuse them to store our rice, peanuts, spices and other food in. It's way cheaper then going out and buying a bunch of glass jars or canisters. We already paid for them so why not use them?

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I am a firm believer that buying bottled water is a joke and a waste of money. We used to do it though. Week after week. We liked that "filtered" water taste just like everyone else. We purchased a PUR water filter for $25 and hooked it up to our faucet. Now we have filtered water when ever we want it and use reusable plastic bottles. Paying for water is silly and wasteful. There are countries that don't even have clean drinking water! :(

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We used to go to Starbucks a lot, so it made sense to me to just buy a glass reusable mug from them. I use it everyday when I go to work also. They give you a discount on your coffee if you bring your own mug. All the plastic cups that us coffee addicts drinkers waste everyday is mind boggling! When all we have to do it take our own! You can read my blog post about the coffee mugs HERE.

Starbucks glass mugs
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We recycle tons. Almost everything we use is recyclable. We use so many less trash bags. One bag a week and it's never stuffed full. It's mostly all food waste so in the spring we plan to start composting what we can. We are also switching to biodegradable bags. We don't mind spending more on them because we don't even use that many anyways. :)

Better :)

One of my things on my 32 Things Before 32 List was to recycle, reuse and reduce MORE.
In a perfect world I would bike everywhere everyday. That may be in my future eventually.
Also buy a Prius. My dream car, complete with bike rack...

My Dream Car
Okay, now give me some more ideas please...

This post is part of my MAKE A DIFFERENCE series. View more posts like this one HERE.
All the images are mine taken using Instagram.

27 comments:

  1. You are so very inspiring! It does seem like a hard task to achieve, but if everyone decided to switch, then the market would have to switch with us. You are awesome!

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    1. Thanks Violet. I am so glad you found my post inspiring. That means a lot to me. ;)

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  2. This post made me realize that we need to be more eco-friendly. I mean to a point we are in a way, but we need to buy more reusable bags and to make our own laundry soap (one thing I've been talking about for months since we figured out how much we are getting back with our taxes). I know that we'll also go dumpster diving and start recycling our waste since we JUST now got the car fixed (not fun bicycling everywhere for the past six months - makes us tired after working all day!).

    Since you asked about recommendations, I say..use Dawn dish soap on your hair. My hair is really thick and dry most times, but after I used it twice on my hair..my hair started to get more silky to the touch. The key is to condition your hair normally after every use and to deep condition every other week.

    Also, go dumpster diving. It'll save on the money you make and the mere fact that it will slightly reduce the number of products being thrown away that are actually eatable. Watch Dive! The Film - Living Off America's Waste!

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    1. Dive! is a great film. I was a little bummed that most of what they were finding to eat were animal products (from my memory). Being a plant-lover myself that would be a problem for me but I think dumpster diving in other non-food areas is also a great idea!

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    2. I will have to look for that film. I am sure I would enjoy it. :) When I worked at the animal shelter they threw away everything! No recycling at all, it killed me. I can imagine you can find all kinds of treasures in the trash. I know that Dawn does great things. It's also amazing how many "home made" cleaners you can make using it. BUT, if it's animal tested at all, I can not bring myself to buy it. :( That's the whole vegan thing. :)

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  3. ...the reason why I say use Dawn Dish Soap, is because the company uses the proceeds from each soap bottle toward helping animals.

    More information here: http://www.dawn-dish.com/us/dawn/savingwildlife

    The best thing is that you don't have to use as much since it suds up really good by just one drop!

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    1. The problem I have with Dawn is that they use it to help some animals but, last I checked, they test their product on others. So I, personally, am not a fan.

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  4. Love the Idea of using the glass jars. What do you use to clean out any pre existing smells from products before you put your nuts ect in?

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    1. We pretty much only use the ones that don't have a lot of smell in them I guess. It hasn't been a problem. Most our jars are from salsa, peanut butter and pickles. We just soak them in dish soap. I use Method dish soap and it's orange scented. Love it.

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  5. You KNOW I love this post! ♥ ♥ ♥

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    1. YES! :) Thanks for reading it Shai.

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  6. Great post Jessie! We try to do our best with this too. My main problem is I am forgetful! So I often forget the reusable bags, even though I have plenty of them! It's pretty common here for people to bring their own bags now but I remember when it wasn't. There's even a whole town here in Tasmania that is plastic bag free. It's so nice! I think there are many more now but this place was the first and so got lots of press.

    We also bought Keep Cups from our favourite cafe - as a fellow coffee addict I know how much that saves!!

    Thanks for the inspiration to keep working on this stuff! x

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    1. Thanks Jennifer. It is easy to forget your bag! I get that! I love hearing about bag free cities. It's so inspiring. It is catching on!!!

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  7. I'm right there with ya Jessie!! I have really working (some might say "hardcore")on being on as environmentally friendly as I can since I became interested back in 2005. Like you I use glass jars, avoid items purchased in plastic as much as I can, use reusable bags, use bar soap, don't buy bottles of water (because what a waste), reduce, then reuse, then recycle. I have plans to talk more on my blog on the things I do (or the ones I recommend doing) to have less of such an impact on this planet, so that I have room to make a more positive one. Great post Jessie! :)

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    1. Thanks Aubrey! I can't wait to read more posts from you. You inspire me. :)

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  8. Hi Jess, this is going to sound weird, but I've been meaning to ask you for a long time. How do you dispose of your cat and dog poop? I am thinking of getting a puppy and poop and pee is currently freaking me out. When I have house sat my brother and sister-in-law's cats, I had an allergic reaction to the chemicals in the cat liter.

    Also, none of these ideas are really new. I've been doing many of them for over 20 years. You cannot believe how people first treated me when I brought my own bag to the grocery store. Now I rarely see people without their own bag. Believe it or not, we have really come a long way. That doesn't mean, however, that there isn't a lot of work left to do.

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    1. Good question Peggy! You can get biodegrade poop bags for your dog. I actually haven't switched to any of the more fancy cat litters. I don't know what to buy. I do want to change to all biodegrade trash bags, even for cleaning up the cat waste. I personally would get a cat if I were you. Way easier to take care of. No housebreaking either!!! The puppy is going to pee and poop everywhere. LOL

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  9. I do lots of these things already as well! For the shampoo, you should really try out lush. Most of the things are vegan (you can check) and it is expensive but you go a long time with it! xo

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    1. Thanks Dorien. I will check it out.

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  10. I stumbled upon your blog on accident, but I'm glad I did. You have some very inspirational posts! I'm going to make a conscious effort to do these things, and maybe I can pass it on and convince others to do so as well.

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    1. Thank you very much. I blog to inspire people. It all makes it worth it. :)

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  11. Great post...but I hope you do some more research/wait a few more years before buying a new car or...Prius. Hybrids, while great for air pollution and saving gasoline...the batteries needed for these cars are not environmentally friendly at all.

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    1. Yes, we are waiting. We don't NEED a car. Hell, I want to just move somewhere I don't need a car and I can just ride my bike. That would be more ideal for us. So what car would you suggest??? I am curious. :) Thanks for stopping again.

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  12. There are so many ways to go green that most people wouldn't even think of.

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    1. I know! Lots of easy things. I thought of more things I do after writing this. I need to get better though. I think it's fun and rewarding.

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  13. Have a look at lush shampoo bars - they have a selection so may do one for bleached hair. They're so handy as well! I keep mine in a little tin and it doubles up as body wash when I travel. Most lush products are vegan too!

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    1. Thanks! I am going to look their stuff up. Sounds like I need to! :)

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