Showing posts with label going green. Show all posts
Showing posts with label going green. Show all posts

Four Simple Ways to Go Green at Home

Monday, July 30, 2012

I have a love, hate relationship with going green. I like knowing that we're using less resources and putting less chemicals into our bodies and the earth. It feels good to be less wasteful. But, let's face it being more responsible is often a choice between convenience, price and effort.

I started feeling so guilty about so many of the things we were buying, I knew we'd need to make changes. We are not the greenest household out there, but we're making progress and steadily adopting new habits with results I can actually measure. Here are a four environmentally products we've been using that have a made a difference in our house.

Vapur water bottles
I can't remember when I first saw someone using these bottles. They stuck with me and I bought two about mid way through the last school year. Since I bought them, I've almost completely cut out juice boxes and pouches. I fill these the night before school and add single serve flavored drink powder. In the morning, I put them in the freezer while we get ready for school.

Vapur water bottle eco friendly
They hold more liquid than a juice pouch so I know our son is staying hydrated and they double as an ice pack. This school year, I'm going to try cutting back even more. My plan is to not buy as many drink powder sticks and instead make pitchers of juice and refill. The Vapur bottles aren't super expensive but you will get mad if one doesn't make it home from school. I'm spending less on lunchbox items and drastically reducing our waste. We took them on our last trip Disney World and it was so nice to be able to refill cold water all day.

Reusable hemp coffee filters
We drink a lot of coffee. No really, a lot. Even though I was buying the brown, non-bleached filters, I felt bad about how many we go through. We were throwing away two filters a day at least six days a week. I looked for another solution and settled on a hemp filter. I bought one to start with to make sure we like it and will use it.
Re-usable hemp coffee filter
I was worried about mildew since it's cloth but buying additional filters and caring for them according to the directions should keep them mildew free. With more than one filter, we'll always have one clean, dry and ready to use. For heavy coffee drinking households like ours, I think 5-6 filters would be perfect. The coffee tastes the same as a paper filter. I bought ours from BonaFide Green Goods.

Copco reusable travel drink cups
I've talked about these before, but since I love them so, so much I'll talk about them again. I adore my Copco cups. They're permanent fixtures in my car. My husband uses one hot cup every day and we each have them when we know we're going to be at the ice rink for more than an hour. Last week, our family was in town camping at the beach. I took an iced coffee with me every day.

Copco re-usable cups eco friendly
These cups last forever, they save at the coffee shop since sometimes they're considered a refill, they maintain the temperature better than the disposable cups, they make an affordable gift and since I always have Starbucks Via in my purse, I can make a drink whenever I want to.
Reusable produce bags
I had some credit on a daily deal site and bought these Essie produce bags about a year ago. They were another purchase born out of guilt. I hated bringing home the plastic bags since there's nothing else they can be used for. These bags are great. People stop me to ask where I got them.

An added bonus is buying more produce. I like using them so much I bring home more fruit and vegetables than I ever have before.

Those are just a few of the ways we've been greening up our lives. I'm always on the lookout for more small changes we can make. Being green is definitely a lifestyle choice and takes commitment. But, it's something we all need to do and sets a great example for our kids.

What are your favorite green products? 

This is post five in a series of sponsored posts and sweepstakes for the San Diego Honda Dealers Association. Visit and comment weekly for a chance to win Amazon gift cards! Some affiliate links used.

Earth Day 2010: International Housewares Show Finds

Thursday, April 22, 2010

"The Earth is what we all have in common" - Wendell Berry

I've got a long way to go towards living a truly green lifestyle. I may not ever get there since there are things I can't see myself giving up (public transportation in my area stinks), and some things I can't see doing (composting) but I'm being more aware. I read labels more than I have before. I combine errands. I've added a few organics to our diet. I'm sure my next car will be even more fuel efficient than my current one. Baby steps, but steps nonetheless. 

I saw several things at the International Housewares Show that have stuck with me because I know they would be easy for me to work into my family and our lifestyle.

I like this because I dryclean a lot of my dresses, shirts and my nice jeans. We also take Phil's uniforms in once a month for reserves. I try to remember to take the hangers and plastic bags back but more often than not they end up in the trash. I think it's great that their site offers carbon offsetting from the shipping of their products.

They had the cutest booth. I think that's what really caught my attention. That and the woman doing the demos in a bathrobe and slippers. Sign me up for that job, please! I've seen Nellie's products at my Crate and Barrel outlet. The dryer ball interested me the most. I've heard they do a good job in speeding up drying time.

Sometimes I have to run the dryer twice and I don't know if it's better to divide one washed load into two smaller ones and dry them; or run the dryer once, take out the items that dry the fastest and then finish the cycle. I'm not sure I'd switch to their laundry powder because of the eczema in our house and the limited availability, but I'd be curious to know if it's more cost effective than liquid laundry soap. Have you used Nellie's?

I already use Simple Green, especially after we make bacon or use the George Foreman. It's awesome for breaking down all that fat. I think the Naturals are a good addition to the product line. They smelled good, which is key for me (I tried Simple Green Green Apple. Bad. Really bad.). One change I hope they make is to offer those little concentrated refill canisters across all their product lines so we don't have to buy the big plastic bottle each time.

Pic from the site, I forgot to take one at the show
I'd also glanced at these in Crate and Barrel before the trip to Chicago. I'm a bit skeptical about their effectiveness. Most of their line is made with peach pits, walnut shells, pumice stone and corn cobs. They're designed to replace cleaning agents but can be used with a small amount of product. I see myself using one for my cast iron pan since they're not supposed to be washed, only rinsed with hot water, but sometimes stuff gets stuck and I end up scrubbing. If the Spaghetti Scrub won't ruin my cookware I'd give them a try. Sponges are definitely on my 'things I feel guilty while using them' list.

I'd seen the hot drink cups at Bed, Bath and Beyond before the show. I was going to buy one of hot cups but the people at the booth were giving them out. Yay! I've used it almost every day since I got back. It holds a Grande at Starbucks or the 20 ounce from 7-11 (my new recessionista obsession). It's dishwasher safe but ours is broken so I can't vouch for how it holds up in there. I have re-heated coffee in the microwave though. Once I get the cold cup (above) for smoothies I'll be all set. Copco is a division of Wilton, the bakeware company. I didn't know that before the show.

These last two aren't from Housewares, the companies are local to me.
Samples for Mom's Nite Out swag bags
Also on my guilt list are paper towels. I make a conscious decision to buy recycled but if I don't have a coupon I buy whatever is priced best. I really like these because they come from a local, mom owned company. Michelle and Karen live just a few minutes from me! These cloths are biodegradable and can be sanitized in the dishwasher or microwave. I didn't see these at the Housewares Show. I got a cloth in the swag bag at women's expo I went to last weekend. I wrote to them, asked if they'd be willing to donate to my Mom's Nite Out party and they said yes!

Pic from the site
Another local business and Mom's Nite Out supporter. I met Julie at another women's networking event. I was looking for her business card to ask about Mom's Nite Out and then I got an email from her. It was meant to be! If the back of your car looks like mine, this is will definitely help. The Tote Buddy holds up to 10 reusable bags. It helps with 'forgetting them in the car' and fits well under the shopping cart. Julie has offered code 'earthday' until 4/30 for a $2 discount.

In some ways I think we, as a society, will never completely be able to undo the damage we've done to the planet. Cell phones, computers and cars are here to stay. I do think there's a lot more we could and should be doing to protect the ocean and other precious habitats. I don't think global warming is a made-up phenomenon.

Watching shows like Discovery's Planet Earth and Life have started great discussions in our house. I may not be able to make big changes but I can make the effort and pass those habits on to Tyler. I guess that's the best way we can all start healing the planet, by educating our kids and having them learn from our mistakes.

What changes have you made since last Earth Day? Do you think the 'green movement' is overblown?

*This is not a sponsored post. None of these companies asked me to post about them and I didn't tell them I was going to. Other than the product donations for Mom's Nite Out, I'm not benefiting from posting. These are things I'm genuinely interested in and feel comfortable supporting, especially the mom owned businesses.

Earth Day Giveaway: One Year Supply of Dropps

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

**Comments Closed**
***Update- Because apparently I have no idea how to read a calendar, Dropps gave me the OK to extend the entry date of my contest. Thanks to the two readers who read all the rules and pointed out my mistakes with the dates.**

More and more people, companies and businesses are realizing
that going green is not just a trend. Coming up with ideas and products that will help us as consumers make good choices that benefit our families and the planet is no longer solely about good marketing, it's about a change in attitude and lifestyle. We have more opportunities and information available about ways to be healthier and smarter consumers than ever before, and to pass this information and attitude to our kids.

For Earth Day, I'm so happy to have one of my first sponsors back with a really great giveaway. Dropps are pre-measured liquid gel pods for laundry. They dissolve immediately, are biodegradable and are phosphate, chlorine and NPE free (that's bad stuff!).

Dropps are a better choice than plastic jugs because they take less material to produce which means less waste. I like the fact that they are six-times concentrated (instead of two-times like other detergents). Dropps has taken all the water out of the formula, saving millions of gallons per year, which is good for me because California is approaching a crisis situation with water rationing on the horizon. My favorite thing about Dropps is that they aren't tested on animals.

They come in three sizes: 2,20 and 26 load pouches. I asked if a larger size is available through Costco or Sam's. Dropps come in Fresh Scent or dye-free, non-scented and their brand new baby line. Dropps Baby are dye, scent and enzyme free. Dropps are sold online through their site, Amazon and; and in Target, Wal Mart, Lowes, some Costco's and Whole Foods.

Now for the prize: One winner will receive a one-year supply of Dropps! That's 240 washloads (twelve 20 load pouches)! AND, the winner will be able to choose which Dropps formula they'd like. You can have all one style or mix and match between the three.

To enter:

1. Go to the Dropps site to read more about their conservation efforts.
2. Come back here and leave a comment on this post and tell me your impressions of Dropps or what you're doing to be more green - required.
3. I MUST have a way to get in touch with you! NoReply@Blogger will not send you a response. I will have to delete comments with no contact info.
4. Comments will close on Thursday, April 30th at 11:59pm CA time.
5. I will use to draw the winner and post the results/notify winner via email and in a "Winners" post on Friday, May 1.
6. You don't need a blog to win, but I MUST have a way to contact you. US residents only (sorry!)

7. For two extra entries:
(not required) Tweet, and/or blog about this contest and leave each of your links in a separate comment (three entries total). You will need a free Twitter account. You do not have to follow me or subscribe to this blog as a method of entry (but you're more than welcome to!). Here's the URL to this post:

Thanks so much to Dropps for sponsoring this give away! Happy Earth Day!
(Earth photo from here)

Wordless Wednesday: Doing My Part, Stimulting the Economy the Green Way

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

For more Wordless Wednesday visit 5 Minutes for Mom, Mom Dot, What's That Smell

October Bloggy Carnival Winners!!!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Sorry this is so late. We went to a birthday/Halloween party last night and had the first of two birthday parties for my son today.The carnival is fun but I'm glad it's over! Though I'm sure in January we'll all be saying, "Already? It seems like we just had a carnival!"

Thank you to everyone who entered. I really wanted this carnival to be at least as good as my last one and it ended up being better! Thank you too to my sponsors, EarthExpressions and Dropps for offering such great prizes.
Congratulations everyone!

The winners:

The Target card goes to Chantelle

The grand prize winner of a three-month supply of Dropps is Grace. Betsy and Emily (no blog) are the runners up and will receive samples.

The book lover's prize goes to Suz.

The handmade pendant from EarthExpressions goes to ahiltz.

The three boxes of Jer's Handmade chocolates goes to Rebecca (no blog).

Go back to the Bloggy Carnival Giveaway to see a list of all the winners.

Bloggy Giveaway Day 4- Enviro Friendly Laundry Soap

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Going green and changing the impact my family has on the environment can often seem daunting. Sometimes it's hard for me to know where to start, what changes to make, what we can afford to do and what changes will have the most impact.

I believe we all need to be more conscious of what is happening to our planet, but I also believe in doing what is practical for you and your family. I'd love to stop using paper towels, but know I'd never be able to keep up with the laundry so I try to buy recycled ones and I use cloth towels for dusting and light cleaning.

One change I have been able to stick with is using environmentally friendly laundry soap. When I saw an ad for today's sponsor, I emailed and they responded right away with a really great offer for THREE winners!

Dropps are concentrated liquid gel pods just like ones for the dishwasher. They dissolve immediately, are biodegradable and are phosphate, chlorine and NPE free (I had to look up the last one, it's nonylphenol ethoxylate). Dropps are sold online through their site, Amazon and Drugstore; and in Target, Wal Mart and Whole Foods.

They come in three sizes: 2,20 and 26 load pouches. I asked if a larger size is available through Costco or Sam's. A 42 load size will be available in December but only at the current locations. They come in a Fresh scent or dye-free non-scented which would be good for hubby's eczema.

One winner will receive a three-month supply of Dropps! That's 60 washloads (three 20 load pouches)! And two runners up will receive sample packages.

**Update: The literal second I hit publish, the doorbell rang with my samples! I'm not being dramatic either. I swear! Funny how things like that happen. Like when you think of a song and it comes on the radio. Anyway, I gathered up some of the mountains of my laundry and used one of the 2-load packs for a large load. The packs float and look like dying jellyfish while they're dissolving.

To enter:

1. Go to the Dropps site to read more about their environmental benefits.

2. Come back here and leave a comment on this post and tell me your impressions or what you're doing to be more green - required.
3. I MUST have a way to get in touch with you! NoReply@Blogger will not send you a response. I will have to delete comments with no contact info.
4. Comments will close on Friday, October 31st at 11:59pm CA time.

5. I will use to draw the winners and post the results/notify winner via email and in a "Winners" post on Saturday 11/1. The lowest number will be grand prize winner.

6. You don't need a blog to win, but I MUST have a way to contact you. US residents only (sorry!)
***Enter the day 1 chocolate giveaway here, day 2 handmade pendant here and day 3 book lover's prize here. Tomorrow: Target
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