Water Bottles But Not the Plastic Ones!

Get a Sigg water bottle or other aluminium water bottle or a glass water bottle and fill it with tap water. I purchased a Sigg water bottle a few years ago to carry water for my walk to and from the train everyday (it is getting warmer now so I get pretty thirsty). These water-bottles are generally more expensive than a plastic water bottle but for your health you should not drink out a plastic water bottle. I also just purchased a glass water bottle at Starbucks that I LOVE! I can actually see how much water I have left in the bottle.

Sigg (http://www.mysigg.com/) is the  hip water bottle and the prices range from $15 to $30. They used to be hard to find but now you can get them at Target, Whole Foods, Walmart…etc.!

Make sure you fill it will tap water. If you are worried about what is in your tap water you can get it tested. You can get the Silverlake Research’s Watersafe All-in-One Kit  at watersafetestkits.com. It measures levels of bacteria, chlorine, lead, nitrates, and pesticides (all calibrated to EPA standards). The home test kit starts at $19.95 but you could go all out and mail them a water sample for $149.95. To be honest you probably spend more on bottled water in a year anyway so if you really are worried it is worth it.

If you do not want to test you water but you are concerned about it you could get a Brita water filter to further ‘clean’ your water. Remember Dasani and Aquafina are only filtered tap water from the bottling plant but they happen to be in plastic bottles!

So grab a water bottle, fill it up with tap water… save the environment and your wallet!

Reminder on why plastic is bad for you read my post here.


Old T-shirt and Old Towels = Best Rags!

Americans produce 195 tons of garbage a year. Paper towels are one of the many things that end up in that pile. A way to help reduce the amount of garbage created is to use less paper towels.

Save your old towels and t-shirts and use them as rags. Use these rags instead of paper towels as much as you can.

My parents were ahead of their time (or behind the times) because they always did this. We had a an entire cabinet in our basements of old towels and t-shirts. We used them to dust, wash the cars, clean up messes…etc. pretty much anything you can think of.  My Mom had a separate laundry basket right next the cabinet to put the dirty ones in.  She would wash them separately (sometimes with bleach if it had alot of stains on them).

Challenge: Put one roll of paper towels out in your kitchen and see how long you can make that last. As you use it think of all the things you are using them for and think about whether you could have done this with a rag.

Economic impact: Probably not alot of impact on the business world with this switch, maybe more companies will make unbleached paper towels.

Environmental impact: No creation of paper towels to waste natural resources, no pollution from the bleaching of the pulp to make it nice and white, no emissions from the transportation to your store from the factory, and reduces the use of landfill space when you throw them out.

Personal Financial Impact: Save money because you are using what you already have so there is no up-front cost to do this and you will buy much less paper towels.

Holiday Gift Wish List: 2010 Edition

There are lots of gift guides out there but there are three holiday wish/ recommendation lists out today that you have to check out Cupcakes and Cutlery, Hank and Hunt, and of course this one.

Our lists are different they blog about how to have awesome parties and fun crafts. This list will give you some green gift ideas… some are for the beginner greenie and other are for those who have been on the green path for a long time, some are things I have while other items are things I want… really want!

The perfect gift for kids: A modern and green Dollhouse. I want to get this dollhouse for my daughter mostly because I love it. This is the Brinca Dada Bennett townhouse. First it is not plastic, that is always great but this is like a LEED certified type of dollhouse The townhouse features a two-story living room, elevator, roof top pool and glass rail balconies in both the master bedroom and children’s bedroom. Solar-powered LED lights make for play by sun or moon. And Bennett House is made of CARB-certified woods and non-toxic, lead-free paints and stains, so it is easy on the environment.

For cooks: the best gift is a gift pack of grass feed beef from LaCense beef and some great barbecue tools. I love LaCense beef, it tastes great and more natural than anything you have ever had before… A true foodie would appreciate it. If you really want to turn up the green meter for a gift for a cook get them a solar oven! I have told my husband that I really want to get one and he laughs at me EVERY time. But think about it in the heat of the summer the last thing you want to do is turn the oven on in your house.

energy-wise landscape design
For the Gardener or New Homeowner: the book Energywise Landscape by Sue Reed is perfect for the experienced gardener and the beginner. It is amazing how many things you can do to make your landscape energy efficient. The book is laid out in a way that explains how things work. The book also offers you many different options to achieve the same thing.
Complimentary gifts: gardening tools, gift certificate to the local nursery, rain barrel (so they can collect the rain water to water their new landscape), or even better some of your time in the early Spring to help them do the work!

For EVERYONE: an iPad. I wrote an entire post on how green the iPad is and I stand by it. Oprah just gave them to everyone too. I have used signficantly less paper by canceling my newspaper subscription, renewing my magazine subscriptions as digital subscriptions, and purchasing my books through the countless e-reader apps you can download including Amazon Kindle, Barnes and Noble Nook, and Apple’s iBook (still not sure which one I like the best).
Complementary gifts: an iTunes gift card for apps, a cover (everyone makes them you can find them anywhere but I prefer the Apple cover for mine)

And for my final WISH LIST item… the Chevy Volt!

Really I mean what want to be environmentalist would not want this car. It is cooler looking than the Prius for one and it is the Motor Trend Car of the year (ok, that is not really a reason for me but….) and it completely electric. To be honest I have no idea how I would plug it in, my 120 plus year old house hardly has enough plugs for my computer, blackberry and iPad forget about a CAR but I want one… I really do. They start at $41,000 so I think I will have to be a really good girl for Santa, my husband and everyone I ever met for them to chip in to buy this for me. I wish I had a million readers and Chevy gave me one to drive and blog about my experince. Anyone out there at Chevy reading this contact me.  Complimentary gifts: extension cord and cool bumper stickers.

Bonus: I also created a whole list of awesome Chronicle Book, check out the list and leave a comment for a chance to win every book on the list as part of the Happy Haulidays giveaway.

Hope everyone has a great holiday and that shopping for your gifts are fun… try not to wrap your gifts, put your gifts in a canvas bag your family and friends can re-use… The Volt won’t fit in a bag though?! Hmmm?

Want to follow some cool people on Twitter and Facebook… here are the details on my fellow bloggers:

Cupcakes and Cutlery: @cupcakescutlery and facebook like Cupcakes and Cutlery

Hank and Hunt: @hankandhunt

Green4u: @greenforu and Facebook like me Green4u

Photo credits: Town House from Brinca Dada, Energy Wise Landscaping from Sue Reed, iPad from Apple, Chevy Volt from keesta.com and Chevy