Wednesday, April 22

Earth Day, Earth Life, Earth Love

It's Earth Day, so I thought I'd share a few of my favorite resources and practices that have helped me to "green" my life.  We all know plastics are a major culprit to landfill contribution, oceanic pollution, and toxins in our environment - including our own bodies.  A few ways I've reduced my plastic usage include:

  •  I no longer using plastic bags when shopping.  My absolute favorite shopping bags are the EnviroSax. They come 5 bags in a little pouch, have fun designs, are light weight, super strong, and very roomy.  They have an Earth Day special going on today, if you buy a set from a couple designs, you get a single bag for free.  A single bag folds up tiny, so I keep one in my purse at all times.  (I found them on sale at another site here for 10% off.)
  •  I use only compostable garbage bags.  They biodegrade in a couple months, faster if exposed to light.  This I can vouch for as we had a bag of small ones out of it's box sitting on a counter in our mud room which we use for picking up dog waste.  The bags left out exposed to sunlight began to fall apart - just crumbled into dust!  They are stronger than the bags we used to get from Seventh Generation, made from recycled plastic - and they have no plastic in them.  I get them from Lets Go Green Biz which has a number of other eco products to choose from, including biodegradable *plastic* silverware, cups and plates for your next picnic!

  •  Believe it or not, tooth brushes are a major contributor to landfill/ocean trash.  You can help reduce that by using Preserve toothbrushes.  They are made from recycled plastic and you are provided with prepaid envelopes so that you can return your used toothbrushes for recycling.  They can be ordered online, or found at places like  Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, and many other stores.  The Ultra Soft are truly gentle on the gums :)

  •  We have replaced all of our water bottles with stainless steel.  There are so many styles to choose from now, but my favorite has a stainless steel lid, as well.  I got them on Amazon but I did have to order the cap separately - at the time they were offering a deal if you bought them together.  Typically the bottles all come with plastic lids, which seems to somewhat defeat the purpose of avoiding plastic exposure for health concerns, but I did find one that comes with it, here.  
  •  I love this inovative use of water bottles turned into inexpensive building materials, at Earth Architecture.
  •  As an artist, I reuse all take out, margarine, soy yogurt, and other plastic containers for my paint mixing and other processes, along with styrofoam trays, jars, etc.  However, I try to buy products that utilize as little packaging as possible.

     Plastic is but one facet of the waste problems we have, of course.  Other ways I try to reduce my carbon foot print include driving a hybrid; recycling compulsively; reducing water waste (by filling containers as water warms up, to water plants with, use for paintbrush cleaning, etc, instead of just letting it go down the drain); guiding water run off from our home to areas of our yard for watering; rain censor to watering system automatically keeps watering turned off if it is or has rained; replacing light bulbs with LED and compact fluorescent - but slowly switching mainly to LED which are lower consumption, last longer, and have no mercury in them (but are more expensive still); replaced shower heads with eco friendly Evolve shower heads which is low flow and lets you know when the shower has warmed up and is ready for you to hop in; buy locally as much as possible; turn off lights constantly, annoying my husband endlessly; unplug the unnecessary; eat vegan which has much less impact on the environment (the amount of land used to grow crops to feed livestock is 10 times that needed to grow crops for human consumption, not to mention runoff, methane, deforestation, water use, etc.)

     Interested in figuring out your own household's Carbon Footprint?  You can calculate it here!  There are so many ways to be more conscious of your purchasing power and how each choice we make impacts our world.  These are just a few of my attempts at making my ripple slightly less impacting.  What are yours?


  1. Karin you are a mentor. Seeing this I can see so much that is possible to do to help the earth.

    p.s. I love you too.

    Renee xoxo

  2. It is so avant garde to be green now. The irony is the people who make policies and pass laws to make control our lives were the very same people who had no regard for conservation until it became a hot political topic. A bunch of hypocrites out there who want to tax even the cow's farts! In the meanwhile, you and I and our friends and neighbors have always tried to practice conservation and prudent a conscientious life not because it is cool but because it is the right thing to do.

  3. You're my kind of girl Karin!
    I like the EnviroSax your using.... I'll look them up! It's great that you can throw them in your purse. I keep my Whole Foods and Trader Joe's bags in my car But I'd like something in my purse for other places.
    We've also replaced our bottles with the Sigg. I like to give them to my friends as gifts.
    Our community gave us these big recycling containers on wheels....... we recycle as much as we possibly can....ours is usually busting out!!
    Thanks for the post!!

  4. Update! It's 7:53AM and I just purchased a bunch of EnviroSax bags!!I think they'd make great gifts! Thanks Karin!

  5. Great advice and resources in this post. I've lived like this for quite a while myself and hope more people finally come around to a less wasteful way of life.

    Your art is so hauntingly beautiful!

  6. Thank You Renee, xox

    Hey Ces, yeah, it's true that many in *power* had to come to all this through public pressure, but I'll take the changes any way they come :) Corporate and big business changes seem to need financial motivations for those changes...

    yeah! you're going to love the bags Manon. They do make great gifts - I've given a few sets myself :) that's great that your community has given containers out - ours has started to restrict what size we have to use and fine us if we put out the wrong size container, and won't take the recyclables, making it harder for some. One step forward, 2 back - ridiculous...

    Thanks Angela, I hope so, too!

  7. Hi Karin - Thanks for commenting on my blog so that I could discover YOUR site! Great ideas and I definitely will check out some of the products you mention! I've also forwarded it to my school's "Green Queen," who leads a committee to go green schoolwide as well as advocating for going green at other schools. She'll love it!
    :D lulu

  8. Hey K
    Great post. I've had the envirosax for two years now and love love love that they roll up so tiny and fit in pocket or purse...we are fully trained to use nothing but.

    Since 1975 I've composted every last bit of kitchen refuse...peels, cores, tea bags, coffee grounds, feels so good to know that what may not make it to the plate for whatever reason makes it into the soil factory in the back yard...of course all lawn and garden refuse goes in too...composting and earth worms are one of my passions. We have two large rainbarrels catching roof rain water runoff...amazing how quickly they fill.

    Also...our community provides each household with a big blue covered rolling 55 gallon container and we have an alternate week pick up of recyclables...I even recycle the aluminum tea candle holders along with everything that I don't take down to the art center for the kids to turn into sculpture.

    We unplug all small appliances, use energy saving bulbs, turn the lights out when we leave a room and grow native plants, vegetables and edible flowers in our wonderful gardens....we leave our landscape as grass free as possible...our 1 acre is a National Wildlife Certified back yard refuge...lots of happy critters.
    Thanks for the post!

  9. Thanks for sharing all the tips. I want to get some rain barrels and paint them for yard art; of course, they'd probably only draw mosquitos! There has to be a way to to that though...
    I reuse envelopes and packaging materials/cartons too - I want to do a paper bag book and make some substrates from old cereal boxes... not sure how that'll work either!

  10. Thank you for great tips.

    I checked on the toothbrushes, but I can't find them in Sweden. Maybe they are under a different brand. But we do have toothbrushes were you only switch the heads.

    I saw an artist who made art of old toothbrushes. She took the head of and melted them in the oven so the plastic became soft and then she shaped them. I wouldn't dare to melt plastic in my oven due to gases, but the idea is interesting.

  11. The toothbrush idea is great, I never thought about before but if you're replacing your toothbrush every three months, that can really add up.


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