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[ Green Thanksgiving Tips ]

Thanksgiving is a time for many of us to gather with family and friends. Your Thanksgiving meal and the activities that go along with it present many opportunities to be sustainable and eco-friendly:

  • When shopping for your Thanksgiving meal, keep two words in mind: organic and local. These keywords will guarantee a fresher, more nutritious meal.
  • Set the table with cloth napkins and reusable dishes, glasses, and silverware. Consider renting more formal tableware that you might not use very often. Also save and reuse decorations.
  • After holiday festivities, put leftovers in recyclable containers, and share them with family, friends, or others.
  • Where possible, compost leftover food scraps, leaves, and grass clippings.
  • After the meal, fill your dishwasher to capacity before running it. You will run fewer cycles, which saves energy.
  • Wash and reuse empty glass and plastic jars, milk jugs, coffee cans, dairy tubs, and other similar containers that would otherwise get thrown away. These containers can be used to store leftovers.
  • Show your guests where to put recyclables such as aluminum, glass, and plastic beverage containers.
  • Avoid placing hard, thick, or waxy food scraps down the drain. These materials can clog the pipes or damage garbage disposal blades and send parts of your sink to the landfill before their time.
  • Buy products in concentrate, bulk, or in refillable containers. Many items are available in these sizes. They reduce packaging waste and can save you money! Combine waste reducing practices, such as buying coffee in bulk and storing it in your leftover empty coffee cans.
  • Instead of firmly planting yourself in front of the TV for the day, consider getting some fresh air or playing a board game. Take advantage of the time together with friends and family while decreasing your energy usage.
  • If you going away from home for the holidays, to save energy, turn down your thermostat and put lights on timers.
  • November is an excellent time of year to conduct neighborhood food or clothing drives to help those in need.
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[ Retail Getting Into Clothing Donation Programs ]

clothingdonations 775x515Things are starting to change when it comes to Fashion and Donating Clothing. From Eco- friendly designers and fashion lines, to retail stores having a clothing donation program to help stop filling the landfills up. The Fashion minded are starting to move into a ‘Green Way of Thinking’. Thanks to many shoppers who are voicing their concerns of what do to w/ their clothing when they are cleaning out their closests. With more & more retail businesses making an effort to do their part, it really will help Mama Earth. #1Thing

  • Here’s a #1Thing that Nordstrom is doing by launching a clothing donation program encouraging customers to keep their stuff out of landfills. Nordstrom has partnered with Give Back Box® , a company that sends donations to local charities like Goodwill. The process is pretty easy: You take a box, put your gently used clothing, shoes, and accessories in it, slap on a prepaid label, and drop it off at a UPS or USPS. At the same time, Nordstrom is piloting an in-store donation program at six locations in Washington state where shoppers can just drop their unwanted clothing in Goodwill bins. Way to Go Nordstrom! 

Following in the footsteps of other retailers who have been doing their part doing 1Things:

  • H&M  – In 2013 they launched their garmet collecting initiative worldwide. Shoppers can drop off their unwanted garments, no matter the brand or the condition in all H&M stores across the globe.  They make sure the clothing gets reused or recycled and not end up in landfills. Around 95% of clothing thrown away could have been reused or recycled.  H&M nearest you. Click here!
  • Madewell- Blue Jeans go Green.  1.) Bring your old jeans into any of their stores anytime of the year. 2.) They will be sent to ‘Blue Jeans Go Green’ to recycle into housing insulaion 3.) You’ll get $20 off a new pair of jeans! Click here.
  • REI COOP –  Keeping used gear and clothing out of landfills is important to us. REI makes it easy to donate your gear with Give Back Box® . Click here
  • Amazon works w/ Give Back Box® making it easy to donate items you no longer need to charity with ease and bring new life to your empty Amazon box. Donations go directly to your nearest participating charitable organization using a free shipping label and Amazon (or other) box. Click here.
  • Loft have partned w/ charities so you can donate gently used clothing and accessories thru Give Back Box® . Click here
  • Levis will give your clothes a second life when you donate the clothing you no longer need through the partnershiup with Give Back Box® Click here

More here

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[ Ways to Improve Indoor Air Quality During Healthy Lung Month ]

Emily Walsh, Community Outreach Director for the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance, recently contacted us here at [1THING] and was kind enough to guest write a great feature article for Healthy Lung Month. She has some interesting information about indoor air pollution and offers ways to improve the air quality in your home and office, which can also improve your health.  Check out what she recommends:

 

Though it’s what most are aware of, outdoor land and air pollution like that from exhaust and industrial waste are not the only factors impacting the health of the environment, which in turn affects the health of our bodies. Indoor air quality is composed of the number, or lack-thereof, of pollutants, both natural and man-made, that contaminate the air of homes, workplaces, and other enclosed buildings. Americans spend on average 20 hours per day indoors where they are inhaling oftentimes stale, unfiltered air, so it is essential that those spaces are just as clean and pure as we hope and expect our outside air to be.

Indoor air pollution can lead to multiple health issues from simple eye, nose, and throat irritation, to pneumonia, cancer, and even death, dependent on what one is exposed to. Mold growth, for instance, can cause respiratory issues and enhance the effects of asthma or COPD for those who already suffer through those afflictions. Meanwhile something seemingly minor like cooking and heating the home with solid fuels (wood, charcoal, peat, pellets, etc.) is attributed to 4.3 millions premature deaths each year. Identifying recurring symptoms like dizziness or headaches while in your home or place of work is the first step to combating and preventing a serious health hazard. However, some illnesses like mesothelioma, caused by asbestos exposure, don’t develop noticeable symptoms for years, so taking steps to improve air quality is recommended no matter the current state of your health.

 

Often produced from what is brought into the home, pollutants come in the form of particulate matter, toxins and chemicals. Ultimately, improving indoor air quality comes down to source control, and improving or installing a ventilation system. Sources like dust collecting in a long pile carpet, pollen from flowering indoor plants, second-hand smoke, or an unnatural ingredient in an air freshener have simple fixes of cleaning more often or removing certain products from the building. Other sources, however, are more complicated and may require renovation. Mold is usually caused by water damage or a leak; asbestos is found in old homes where products containing the mineral are deteriorating; and radon is most often a result of a leak in the basement and requires a pipe to reroute the gas away from the home. If symptoms persist even after finding what you believe is the source, natural ventilation like opening windows, or a more costly approach like an HVAC system may be necessary.

 

We only have one body and one life, so take notice of any changes to your health when you move into a new home or office, or start frequenting a new building. Indoor environment is equally as important as outdoor when it comes to health.

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[ Earthjustice ]

EJ_BANNER

True and lasting change happens when the power of the law is on your side. That’s why the earth needs a good lawyer.

Today’s environmental challenges are greater than ever. But we live in a country of strong environmental laws—and Earthjustice holds those who break our nation’s laws accountable for their actions. We’ve been the legal backbone for more than a thousand organizations across the country, large and small. And we represent every one of our clients free of charge.

Behind nearly every major environmental court battle—from protecting gray wolves from slaughter to representing the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in their fight against the Dakota Access pipeline- you’ll find an Earthjustice attorney.

As the nation’s largest nonprofit environmental law organization, we’re committed to the vision of a just and sustainable future. Join us.

www.earthjustice.org

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[ The 4 accounting tricks Pruitt used to justify EPA’s Clean Power Plan repeal ]

The EPA chief is turning benefits and costs upside down with the help of discredited methodologies and accounting gimmicks.

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[ Tricks to Make Your Halloween a Treat for Mother Nature! ]

1.) Instead of buying a costume that will be worn once & thrown away, make costumes from old clothes & other items you have around the house. You can also get inexpensive costume materials from thrift stores or yard sales, or trade costumes with friends to get something “new” & different to wear. After Halloween, wash & store your costumes for use in subsequent years, trade with friends, or donate the clothing from which they were made to day care centers, homeless shelters, or charities.

2.) Use recycled & recyclable materials to create your Halloween decorations. Bed sheets hung from the ceiling or tree branches make great ghosts & can be taken down, laundered, & returned to the linen closet when Halloween is over. Turn off or unplug holiday lights during the day. Doing so will not only save energy, but will also help your lights last longer. Instead of throwing away your Halloween decorations each year, store & reuse them year after year, just as you do decorations for many other holidays.

3.) Host a Halloween party that features organic, locally grown pumpkins for carving, apples for bobbing, & other pesticide-free, locally grown foods appropriate to the holiday & the harvest season. Set the table with cloth napkins & reusable dishes, glasses, & silverware. Consider renting more formal tableware that you might not use very often.

4.) Once the jack-o-lanterns have been carved & the games have ended, apples & pumpkins can be used in pies, muffins, soups, or other dishes. You can also roast pumpkin seeds & serve them to your guests.

5.) If you don’t already compost, Halloween is a great time to start. You can add post-Halloween jack-o-lanterns to your compost bin, along with fallen leaves, food scraps, & other organic, biodegradable yard & household waste.

6.) When your little ghosts & goblins go trick-or-treating, make sure they carry reusable bags or containers that don’t need to be discarded after they are used. Cloth or canvas shopping bags, or even pillowcases, make terrific eco-friendly alternatives to paper or plastic bags, or to the molded plastic jack-o-lanterns many kids use to collect candy.

7.) When the neighborhood ghouls show up, give them treats that also treat the environment gently. There is a growing variety of eco-friendly candy—from organic chocolate to organic lollipops—available online and from local organic groceries, health food stores, or consumer cooperatives. Choose treats that use little or no packaging. Whenever possible, buy locally produced treats from local merchants.

8.) Rather than drive to other neighborhoods, stick close to home this Halloween & walk from house to house to reduce fuel consumption and air pollution. If you are attending a party, use public transportation or ride your bicycle. If traveling by car is really the only way to join in Halloween fun, try carpooling.

9.) Teach your children to keep candy wrappers in their bags until they return home, or to dispose of them in trash cans along their route. Preventing candy wrappers from becoming Halloween litter on the street is the right way to treat the environment. Take along an extra bag when you take the kids out treat-or-treating, and pick up litter along the way to help clean up the neighborhood.

10.) HAVE A HAPPY AND SAFE GREEN HALLOWEEN!

More Green Halloween tips/ideas:

*Halloween Candy/treat ideas click here!

*More ways to celebrate a Green Halloween here

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[ How to Make the Most of Your Autumn ]

The leaves outside may be red and gold, but autumn is a great time to be green.  The Sierra Club’s Green Your Autumn page has plenty of tips, recipes, and a nature slideshow to help inspire you to make the most of the season!

Here are a few fall activities to add to your list:

1.) Visit a farm. Take your family to the nearest organic farm to stock up on pumpkins and apples for Halloween. (Preserve biological diversity by supporting rare-fruit orchards whenever possible.)

2.) Enjoy seasonal recipes. It’s time to eat pumpkins, squashes, sweet potatoes, carrots, leeks, cranberries, apples, and pears. Start with roasted pumpkin seeds and work your way to butternut squash enchiladas and homemade cranberry sauce.  If possible, shop your local farmer’s market.

3.) Make decorations. Autumn holidays offer a chance to entertain guests and show off your eco-friendly DIY style. Opt for crafts that utilize items you already have on hand or that serve a dual purpose, such as edible table displays.

4.) Take a hike. Gaze upon the brilliant fall foliage as you inhale the crisp, cool air. Or, if your region has more palm trees than poplars, get out there and enjoy the unique sights and smells of your corner of the world.

5.) Winterize the home. OK, this task might not sound as fun as eating a pumpkin pie, but saving money on heating bills during the colder months sure feels good.

6.)  Put on a sweater instead of turning up your heat.  Fall is the perfect season to feel comfortable in a sweater.  So, wait until winter to turn on the heat.  Be extra green and purchase a sweater from a thrift or vintage store instead of buying a new one. Recycling and reusing clothes save resources and cuts down on pollution.

7.) Buy Organic Candy and Avoid Palm Oil.   Since Halloween & Thanksgiving both occur in fall, this is the season of sweet treats.   We all know kids want candy come October 31st so read the labels on the candy you purchase. If possible and affordable, stick with organic candy that doesn’t contain palm oil or at least uses sustainably grown palm oil. For more information on palm oil, visit The Rainforest Action Network’s website.

Source:  The Sierra Club

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[ October is Vegetarian Awareness Month ]

Happy Vegetarian Awareness Month!  If you’ve been toying with the idea of going meat-free, this month is the perfect time to start.  Vegetarian diets have proven health benefits, save animals’ lives and help to preserve the Earth.

VEGETARIAN DIETS:

  • Reduce the risk of major killers such as heart disease, stroke and cancer while cutting exposure to foodborne pathogens
  • Provide a viable answer to feeding the world’s hungry through more efficient use of grains and other crops
  • Save animals from suffering in factory-farm conditions and from the pain and terror of slaughter
  • Conserve vital but limited freshwater, fertile topsoil and other precious resources
  • Preserve irreplaceable ecosystems such as rainforests and other wildlife habitats
  • Decrease greenhouse gases that are accelerating global warming
  • Mitigate the ever-expanding environmental pollution of animal agriculture

If you are a vegetarian and want to educate those around you, Vegetarian Awareness Month is a great time to raise awareness and encourage friends and family to join you in adopting a vegetarian diet.  Here are some easy ways to do that:

  • Make a list of your favorite vegetarian restaurants, or those that serve favorite dishes, for your friends and family—or take them to one of them to see (and taste) for themselves.
  • Share some of your favorite vegetarian recipes with your friends and family members.  Give them a recipe list, or make them one of your favorites and attach the recipe to it.
  • Are you a gardener? Need to get rid of the last of your summer produce to make room for your cool season crops? If so, give those you love a basketful along with recipe and meal planning ideas. Not a gardener? Then shop at your local farmers’ market and give them a basketful from there.
  • You can also organize a produce swap. This can be with friends and family or with other gardeners, to increase their awareness about the number of produce varieties to choose from.

If you are not a vegetarian, here are some tips for you:

  • Observe Meatless Monday. This is a growing trend, and is a perfect way to kick off the month by eating meat-free for Vegetarian Awareness Day. You can also try to do this throughout the month and have a variety of vegetables to keep your diet interesting.
  • Educate yourself about the nutritional benefits of a vegetarian diet and find out the other ways that it can benefit you.
  • Go for one whole day as a vegetarian and tell friends and family you are doing this.
  • Host a meatless meal or potluck with your friends. This will help all of you get more tasty recipe ideas and become familiar with different veggies.
  • When you dine out, try the meatless options and encourage your friends to do the same.

The North American Vegetarian Society is giving non-vegetarians an added incentive to go meat-free.  Pledge to go meat-free during Vegetarian Awareness Month and you’ll have the chance to win up to $1,000.  Even just one day will make you eligible for the drawing.

Non-vegetarians who pledge to abstain from all meat, fish and fowl will be entered in a random drawing for cash prizes.  Click here to find out all the details.

Source:  care2.com

 

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[ Green Your Dental Routine During National Dental Hygiene Month ]

October is National Dental Hygiene Month!  It’s the perfect time to make a few eco-friendly changes to your dental routine that will help keep your teeth clean and healthy while helping to save the environment:

Turn Off the Faucet – By turning off the faucet while you are brushing your teeth, you can save up to 8 gallons of water per day, that’s over 200 gallons a month! Conserving natural resources helps to improve the environment around us.

Do Not Flush Floss – It is important to properly dispose of floss. Non-biodegradable nylon floss cannot dissolve in water and will not break down like other disposable products. When floss is flushed down the toilet, it works its way through the water system and out into the ocean, polluting the water and potentially killing birds, animals and sea-life through accidental ingestion. This is avoidable by simply throwing floss into the garbage. You can also purchase floss packaged in cardboard containers, which helps to reduce plastic waste in our landfills.

Try Silk Floss – Floss creates waste if you’re using a brand that is primarily made of out plastic. A great floss to check out is made by Radius and is made out of 100% natural silk. According to their website the silk is organic and biodegradable. So, floss and then toss (it on the compost pile).

Green Your Toothbrush – This is an incredibly easy change to make because more and more grocery stores are carrying options. Check out this post dedicated to this topic called “Green Your Toothbrush! (And Look Good Doing It)” where you can find some really great info!

Recycle/Reuse Toothbrushes, Packaging, Toothpaste Tubes, Mouthwash Bottles and Floss Containers – It is estimated that 50 million pounds of toothbrushes are thrown into U.S landfills each year. Help clean up the environment by purchasing recyclable toothbrushes. Terracycle and Preserve are two companies that offer eco-friendly options to recycle toothbrushes, packaging, toothpaste tubes, and floss containers. You can also reuse toothbrushes around the house for cleaning appliances, jewelry and even your shoes. Before you toss your toothbrush, try and find a creative way you can use it instead.

Unplug Your Electric Toothbrush Charger –  It isn’t necessary to charge your electric toothbrush every day, all day. The average brush lasts several weeks between charges and it is usually easier on the battery to not be charged constantly. Maybe you don’t put your toothbrush back on the charger but leave the charger plugged in?  When an electrical item is left plugged in even though it’s turned off, it is still very likely consuming some electricity. So to better safe then sorry, unplug that charger!

Turn Off the Lights – When possible, use natural lighting when brushing your teeth. If this is not an option, you can replace old bulbs with CFL or LED lights to help conserve energy.

Slow Down – Don’t brush so hard and be gentle on your gums. It will make your toothbrush last longer, saving you money and reducing waste.

Leave the Car at Home – If possible, walk or ride your bicycle to your dental appointment.

These small changes to your dental routine can make all the difference in helping to conserve energy and natural resources and help clean up the environment.

Sources:  White Dental StudioGentle Dental

 

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[ The Surfrider Foundation ]

1THING-Surfrider-banner-930x218

The Surfrider Foundation is dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the world’s ocean, waves and beaches through a powerful activist network.

Our ocean faces growing challenges from pollution, offshore development and climate change. At the same time, expanding industries, such as offshore oil drilling, threaten to crowd our ocean and degrade its health (and those who call it home!).

Every day poses new threats to our oceans and beaches. Our ocean and special places must be proactively protected before they are threatened and stem the tide before further damage is done to the ocean’s health.

This is precisely why Surfrider has built a network of passion-driven people who are on the ground and are the voice for our ocean and beaches. With one foot in the sand and the other in the water, Surfrider is the only non-profit organization who is 100% focused on our coasts.

Visit Surfrider.org to find out more and to donate now!

http://www.surfrider.org/

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