Tag Archives: reusable

Giveaway winners announced!!!!

Thanks to those of you who participated in the giveaway by posting on facebook, sending me emails, tweeting at me and leaving a comment. It was so much fun to read all the green you’ll be up to this month!

I truly loved each goal but picked two winners that will benefit specifically from having PeopleTowels. I also picked these two because their September green is easy to turn into long-term green.

The first winner is Pupfiction who is committing to kick her paper towel habit! With a toddler at home, I’m sure paper towels seem crucial and hope PTs are just the thing to help! Our second winner is Kristin, who will find PTs useful at work. Her office has tons of paper towel and napkin waste (living in San Fran I forget that not every city has office composting!) and these reusable gems will help keep her hands clean and dry and her garbage can empty. Ladies, please let us know if these PTs come in handy!

Honorable mention goes out to Dave who is only going to eat only organic veggies – love that you’ll be pesticide free! Thanks again to everyone who entered, next month I’ll be giving a way a Bioserie compostable iPhone cover (in PINK!)!

Starting the Week Off Right- GGG 1st Giveaway!

In addition to sharing green tips, I’m now in a fun place where I can share some of my favorite green items! We’re starting off small, but have even more great green gifts coming down the line this fall.

For our first giveaway we have two sets (2 in each set) of awesome on-the-go alternatives to paper towels, PeopleTowels.

I use mine ALL the time, as a place to dry my hands in the kitchen, bathroom at work, and as a napkin/spill remedy (I spill a lot…).

PeopleTowels are not only absorbant, convenient, and colorful, they are also 100% Organic cotton (thus compostable) and Fair Trade Certified (my favorite certification!). I am giving away two of these PeopleTowels 2 Packs (in Sustain, Not a Tree, Blue, and Celebrate Earth Day Everyday prints).

To enter: tweet this article and let me know the one simple step you are going to take this September to be green. Make sure to cc @Gudergoesgreen! No Twitter? Then post a comment with your simple green step below.  I’ll announce a winner by Sept. 1!

Paper Products Revolution

The magic of Sundays; a cup of homeheated chai and almond milk, a wide open blue sky, sun blasting through our windows, and our upstairs neighbor serenading me with ‘We are Young’. An inspiring morning indeed.

On to personal paper products (PPPs include tissues, TP, napkins & paper towels)! Paper products are pretty serious bad news for our forests and environment. Numbers: Each American uses 50 pounds of PPPs each year, and 1 tree produces 100 pounds of paper (EPA). So we’re each using ½ a tree/year (x 312 million = 156 million trees in the US alone!) Globally we use 270,000 trees a DAY to flush, blow, or wipe up, wasting water, reducing animal habitat, emitting CO2, and of course using bleaching chemicals (WWF). The majority of big labels use virgin pulp, but there are two simple things YOU can do.

1- Switch to 100% recycled and high post-consumer recycled brands. Post-consumer is important because this paper was once an office report, newspaper, or magazine and while it’spassed it’s ability to be turned back into that, it can find new life as your tissue! There is no reason to not use recycled – it’s just as comfortable and absorbent (we use 365, Seventh Gen, & Green Forest and I love them all) and it really helps: a ton of paper made from recycled fibers instead of virgin fibers conserves 7,000 gallons of water, 17-31 trees, 4,000 kWh of electricity, and 60 pounds of air pollutants (US DOE). What’s that, you want white toilet paper? Weird because have you seen a white tree (ok white birch maybe, but they don’t make tp!). Well hopefully this will help: You are rubbing your private areas with bleach. Gross.

Choose brown over white!

Good* Tissues: (*Good = 100% recycled + 80% or above post-consumer): 365 Whole Foods, Green Forest, Natural Value, Seventh Generation, and Marcal has a new line. AVOID: Kleenex & Puffs.

Good TP: 365, CVS Earth Essentials, Fiesta, Green Forest, Natural Value, Seventh Gen, Trader Joe’s, Earth Friendly and April Soft. Avoid Charmin, Cottonelle, Angel Soft, Quilted Northern, Target Brand!

Good Napkins/PTs: 365, CVS Earth, Earth Friendly, Fiesta, Green Forest, Natural Value, 7th Gen, Small Steps, and TJ’s. Avoid Bounty, Scott, Target and Viva. Read the label! Carefully! You are looking for recycled fiber content and post-consumer levels.

My favorite People Towel

2- Try Resuable Options. I don’t think I’ll ever really do any sort of reusable tp, and handkerchiefs kind of gross me out on the tissue side (but I promise to try!), BUT the easiest switch has been in napkins/paper towels. So far I’ve checked out People Towels as a reusable paper towel/napkin option for personal use. They are designed to bring with you to dry your hands after going to the bathroom (mainly in a public place/work), but I also use them after washing dishes. They are SUPER absorbent and soft (it’s a cross between a washcloth and a sports towel) and I stashed a few around the house/at work. They are also adorable so that’s a bonus. They are machine washable and because they’re made from organic cotton and soy-based ink they are biodegradable at the end of the lifecycle- yes!

I also tried UnPaper Towels which are billed more for use as a napkin or to replace pts in cleaning. I definitely use the most paper towels when cleaning. The good news- they are awesome as a napkin. They are strong but still soft (it feels different from almost every time of towel I can think of! Thin, cross stitched). They also get better as you wet them. In a water spill test they first moved the water around and picked up maybe 30% of it. Bummer. However, once it was wet it really kept sucking the water in. I used it to wipe up the rest of the water and some tea and it got it all! I then used it to wipe the counter with a cleaning spray and that also worked great. I rinsed it out and then tackled the bathroom and again it performed really well. The only thing I will say is that in our uberwhite bathroom, I need all of the hair/dust to vanish and it’s hard to make that happen with these. They clean and remove about 90% of grossness but I still had to use 1 paper towel to finish things off. This is definitely MUCH better than the entire garbage pail I am used to. When they are soiled just throw them in the laundry.

Medium results on the initial water test, definitely captures and holds A LOT of dirt, also surprisingly useful as bike grease cleaner, keep a stack in the place where your paper towel rack used to be!

Hopefully these two easy steps will help you reduce your impact and go green!

Update- Thanks Em for the great text, here’s where to buy these if you don’t live near a Whole Foods, Trader Joes, or SF hippie store: Wal-Mart now sells Seventh Generation (my personal favorite re: comfort), CVS and Walgreens both sell one version of recycled paper towels and toilet paper (not tissues yet), and if you have a computer you can find them at Amazon 🙂

Side note, what haters will say about the need to switch to recycled or reusable PPPs: They’re compostable. Yep, if you’re lucky enough to live in San Francisco, you have municipal composting and paper towels/tissues/TP can be composted. While this helps reduce the impact, a biodegradable reusable option cuts down on deforestation, water use, packaging, transport, and the energy costs of municipal composting. And we discussed recycled benefits above. It’s renewable. Yep, wood is a renewable resource, however we are cutting down acres at alarming rates and new trees can’t grow back fast enough. If you look at the southern US, longleaf pine forest covered 60-90 million acres just 100 years ago and now only 5% of that remains (EPA). Canada is also suffering as 500,000 acres of boreal forest are lost each year!

Living Social deal makes reusable bags sustainable & cheap!

If you haven’t had time yet to purchase your reusable sandwich & snack bags – you’re now in luck! Living Social has a great deal where for $10 you can get a $22 credit to Re-Pac Bags (they retail for $6-$10 ea). I haven’t used one yet (just bought the deal) but it seems like a cool company- a woman started it after feeling awful that she was making so many lunches a year in plastic bags. She uses polyester/nylon so that mold can’t grow, they’re machine washable, (I’m excited to try out the zipper vs. velcro), and have a lifetime warranty. This would be a really easy way to cut down on waste, save you money & it’s a good deal (I just love a good deal)!

Thanks @jen__hunt for sending this over!!

For some other eco-coupons: http://www.retailmenot.com/coupons/sustainability. There are some great online deals for companies like Mrs. Meyer’s, Klean Kanteen bottles, and more! Happy sustainable shopping!

Meet my reusable salad bowl

I’m borderline in love with my reusable salad bowl. This thing comes in handy daily and allows me to get takeout without the paper/plastic waste that normally comes with it. When I worked in NYC and had salad almost every day for lunch (Just Salad..yum), I’d leave my bowl at work and grab it before I headed down to the shop. In addition to it only being $1 at Just Salad, I got 2 free items every time I used it!

There isn’t quite the same lunchtime salad craze in SF, but I’ve been using my bowl for all things lunch. I’ll put a wrap in it instead of getting a bag, and I put pad thai in it the other day, which worked out great. It is definitely easiest when you go to a deli/counter and order, because you can hand it to them before they make your meal. Continue reading

Enough with the plastic bags. Quick fix: Reusable snack bags.

You want to make your lunch for work to save money or bring in a few snacks- I get it, I do it.

At first I tried to reuse the ziplock but then washing it was a pain. Then I found awesome handmade reusable snack and sandwich bags for $7 or even less on Etsy. Check out BagItConscious for some fun prints and patterns. These bags are awesome for Moms on the go with little ones needing lots of snacks AND for those of us that just like to have a snack close by..just in case..

Making flying a little less damaging

SFO reusable water filling station

For the past year, I lived in New York while I finished up grad school and my boyfriend lived in San Francisco. I like my boyfriend and he’s pretty fun to hang out with so we saw each other about every other week. In October & November due to missing him and visiting with friends, I flew across the country and back 5 times. I tried to release my carbon emissions-guilt by reminding myself that we don’t have a car or use fuel in any other way (we walk or bike) so my total emissions footprint isn’t completely disgusting. There are a few other things I’d do, to help ease my conscience and the stress I was putting on the planet.

Garbage & waste: Airlines LOVE to give you 10 little plastic or styrofoam cups of water/juice/soda/tea. Each of those snackboxes or premade meals (in addition to being just super gross) comes in enough cellophane to wrap 30 christmas presents. To keep things from going bad they basically wrap each cube of cheese or lettuce leaf. So, I bring my own food in my reusable snack bag or reusable containers. In addition to saving me the cash I’d spend on lousy airport food, I know my waste is minimized. I also ALWAYS bring a reusable water bottle (empty of course through the security line!) and fill it at the water fountain before boarding. You can also ask the crew to refill this. SFO and BOS have also recently set up refillable water stations to make this even easier for passengers! Sustainable planet, here we come!

1700 plastic bottles saved!

I also bring a reusable lightweight mug (try this) to keep my nemesis (Styrofoam) out of the ocean and landfills. If you are desperate for a soda ask for the whole can and bring it home with you to recycle or ask the stewardess if they have onboard recycling. You definitely don’t need that dinky logo-ed out napkin either so safe a tree limb and say no to that one.

Remember, every little action counts!

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