Most items people purchase are used once, then tossed into the garbage or recycling bin, ultimately wasting materials and money. But if you want to make your household more green, seek out innovative products that can be reused over and over again. The biggest hurdle in going green is usually not knowing what simple steps can be taken to become more eco-friendly. Here, we feature 5 reusable products that will allow you to ditch the disposable versions, allowing you to go green and save some green in the process!
Hummingbirds, which were named for the sound their wings make as they flap, are a welcome addition to any garden. Ranking among the smallest bird species, hummingbirds in flight have the highest metabolisms found in the animal kingdom, with the exception of insects. They are also important pollinators for your garden, and to attract hummingbirds is surprisingly easy. just follow these simple steps:
Father’s Day is this Sunday, June 17th, so now’s the time to start thinking about ways to celebrate with dad. Fortunately, there are numerous gift ideas that won’t compromise your ambitions to go green!
SEND AN E-CARD
Thanks to the Internet, these days you no longer have to use paper to send your dad a card and let him know how much he means to you. Go paperless, save a tree, and send him an e-card he’ll get in his email box on June 17th. Some are even free! I enjoy using www.egreetings.com or www.hallmark.com, but there are tons of other great options as well.
MAKE YOUR OWN PRESENT
A great way to go green is to get creative, using what you already have around the house (a.k.a. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) instead of running out and buying something new. Dust off your sewing machine and make a “Greatest Griller” apron out of scrap fabric, or make a photo collage of you and your dad that he can display at home or in his office. Not only will it be a truly one-of-a-kind gift, but Dad will love that it came from you.
Go retro (and sustainable) by visiting your local thrift store or yard sale for some great vintage finds. Reusing what’s already here means conserving energy that would’ve been used to produce a brand new product, not to mention cutting down on the waste of packaging. With a little searching, you can usually find great gifts such as old records, barely worn ties, or maybe some antique collectables your dad would really love.
SPEND TIME OUTDOORS WITH DAD
Rekindling an appreciation for nature serves as a critical reminder of why being green is so important in the first place. Whether your dad enjoys gardening, hiking, playing catch or fishing, get outside with him and enjoy the day! Depending on where you live, he might even receive discounted rates at outdoor attractions such as zoos, parks or horse ranches. Regardless of how you spend your time outside, he’ll enjoy spending that special time with you.
GET A GREEN GADGET
If your Dad is more tech-savvy, there are plenty of eco-friendly gadgets on the market. Minimize harm to the environment by looking for gadgets that last, are biodegradable, and/or can be recycled. Consider products that use alternative power sources, such as a laptop case with a built-in solar panel, or a green surge protector that detects when electronics aren’t in use and cuts off the power (saving dad money on his energy bills!). Even electric razors can be considered green compared to disposable ones, because they last longer and in the long run generate less waste. –Sarah Vied
Whether you call it ecotourism, green travel, responsible travel, nature travel or ethical travel, the ethos of traveling more sustainably is becoming an increasingly hot topic in the tourism industry. But if people seem to have a difficult time figuring out which name to call the “take only pictures, leave only footprints” approach, they seem to have an even harder time figuring out practical ways to do it.
The truth is, you don’t need to spend a lot of money to become a more eco-friendly traveler. In fact, becoming more conscious about HOW you travel can actually save you money. Better still, when responsibly applied, the principle ideals of ecotourism can stimulate financial growth in developing nations, strengthening the global economy.
Individually, one person taking these baby steps to going green might not seem to make much of an impact. But if we all take simple strides towards being more conscious of our impact in the planet, collectively we can make a world of difference. Here are 10 easy ecotourism tips so you can travel more responsibly and sustainably, not just for Earth Day but for every day!
1. PACK LIGHT- Lightening up your load saves money on baggage fees and increases plane fuel-efficiency. Pack items that can be washed in the sink and are quick drying so they can be worn multiple times during your trip. We recommend (but do not receive compensation from) the ExOfficio brand, and wear it everywhere we travel.
2. SAVE WATER- Take shorter showers, turn off the faucet while shaving and brushing your teeth, and re-use towels for multiple days. And NEVER use the hotel laundry, as they typically wash each guest’s clothes separately, even if there are only a few items.
3. SAVE ENERGY- When you leave your hotel room, turn off the lights, heat/AC and TV. Consider leaving the “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door so that the housekeeping staff won’t clean your room every day, which will save on harsh chemical cleaning supplies and the electricity of vacuuming and washing bed linens.
4. REDUCE/REUSE/RECYCLE- Take a BPA-free water bottle you can refill, use just one bar of soap for both sink and shower, return brochures and maps once you’re finished using them, and hold on to your trash until you find a place to recycle it.
5. BUY LOCAL- Seek out indigenous artisans and learn about their craft. When we were in the Riviera Maya near Coba, we saw tons of assembly line art, but wound up buying from a man who taught local children and tourists the ancient craft of Mayan pottery and distributed profits equally among families in his village.
6. LEAVE ONLY FOOTPRINTS- Stick to marked trails to avoid harming native flora, and consider taking a bag to pick up trash along your journey. Not only is it a great way to help keep the outdoors beautiful, but it also protects wildlife that might eat or get tangled in the garbage.
7. BE A TRAVELER, NOT A TOURIST- Take time to immerse yourself in the local music, art and cuisine. Embrace the cultural differences that make it unique. Get to know the locals and how they view life. You might be surprised at the things you learn when you open your mind to new ideas!
8. HONOR LOCAL TRADITIONS- Some cultures have very different traditions from yours. Women are forbidden to show skin in some Muslim countries. For some, being photographed in like having your soul stolen. Understand and respect these traditions, or risk offending the people whose culture you’re there to experience.
9. GIVE BACK- Developing nations are badly in need of basic necessities most people take for granted. Traveling gives you a unique experience that stays with you for the rest of your life. In return, consider giving something back, such as bringing school supplies on tours in which you know you’ll interact with locals.
10. SHOP SMARTER- Read labels, and ask questions like “What is this item made from?” All over the planet people sell items made from non-sustainable hardwoods, endangered species, and ancient artifacts. It may be alright in their country to sell them, but you can still vote with your wallet by refusing to buy them. –Bret Love
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Now that you’ve prepared your spring beds there are some easy, economical ways to attract birds to your garden. Food, water and shelter is all you’ll need to provide to make our fine feathered friends feel welcome and safe so they’ll keep coming back. In addition to seed-filled feeders, you can also provide fresh, environmentally-friendly meals by recycling kitchen scraps into tasty treats. Here are some of our favorite avian snacks and ways to prepare them:
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