As part of
“Green Tips’ initiative, we have gathered the top 3 green tips for the month of August. We have reached out to numerous candidates in the green energy field and have selected what we considered the best green suggestions. Through our initiative we hope to raise awareness of the importance of having a “green lifestyle” which in the process, improves our communities and environments.
Pachamama Alliance is a global community that offers people the chance to learn, connect, engage, travel and cherish life for the purpose of creating a sustainable future that works for all.
To empower indigenous people of the Amazon rainforest to preserve their lands and culture and, using insights gained from that work, to educate and inspire individuals everywhere to bring forth a thriving, just and sustainable world.
The vision that informs the Pachamama Alliance’s work is of a world that works for everyone: an environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling, socially just human presence on this planet—a New Dream for humanity.
Helping the environment by leading a more eco-conscious lifestyle.
In our office, it starts with using 100% recycled paper with doubled-sided copying on a server used by all. We have transitioned all our accounting, payments, invoices and office communications to digital. We have a local cafe that serves us on real plates so that they can be returned and washed instead of take-away containers that must be discarded. Our use of throw-away bottles and cans and cutlery and paperware is minimal. We purchase carbon-offsets for our large events and do all we can to use sustainable products at them. We are certified by the San Francisco Dept of the Environment as a Green Business for these and many other practices. I would say that the most important principles to remember are the “R”’s; “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” as promoted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), but I would also add “Repair and Restore” to that list.
We are lucky to be in the San Francisco Bay Area, as possibly the most environmentally conscious urban area in the U.S. We have recycling and composting by the cities we live in. Unfortunately, we are still doing a lot of driving, but make the most of potential carpools with co-workers, and we have some office Team members who are able to commute within the city with bikes and public transport. Our office is a sanctuary of plants and natural light and open work areas (see attached photo). We are privileged to work in a center that affords us this environment.
A greater number of people are becoming more eco-conscious in terms of acknowledging the impact their daily activities inflict on the environment. Still, just a few have the will and determination to commit themselves to measures and initiatives that are aimed at reducing the often negative consequences resulting from our actions. One of these, whom we can rightfully credit the role of a pioneer in the field of waste management, is Lauren Singer – a recent graduate from New York University, with a degree in Environmental Studies.
Lauren has come up with a simple yet a far reaching idea of living without producing trash, by finding ways to replace the usual household chemicals with natural cleaning products, avoiding the use of plastic packages for storing purposes and opting instead for glass jars, reusable bags, and organic cotton drawstring bags. She was able to keep up with the “trash-free” lifestyle for two years and during this time managed to produce so little waste that it fitted into a small glass jar.
In addition to just embracing a garbage-free lifestyle and living up to its commitments, Lauren decided to document her endeavors into the trash-free world, by starting a blog that she labeled as “trash is for tossers”. In so doing, she was not only keeping records of what she was going through at a particular moment, but tried to spread the word of sustainable recycling and promote the cause for a waste free lifestyle, inspiring others to do the same.
2 Steps to Zero Waste: Evaluate & Transition.
Evaluate: the first step is to take a look at your daily life and ask yourself the following questions …
- How much garbage am I currently producing and what types? Ex: food packaging- this can help you determine the places you can start reducing and looking for alternatives.
- Why am I even interested in decreasing my impact? Is it for the environment, is it to decrease toxins in my life, is it to decrease clutter, is it because i’m totally broke and want to save money? Really understand your motivators and use them as a starting point.
- What do I actually use on a daily basis (what iUntitleds in my daily routine) and what do I not use/need? This can help you determine the things that you can donate and reduce.
- What products do I use that I can get more sustainable alternatives to? Ex: exchanging plastic Tupperware for glass or mason jars.
- The most important one straight from Yoda’s lips: How much and what do I really need to be happy? Really assess why you own and hold on to certain things, and determine if you really need that giant foam finger in the back of your closet to be happy.
Transition: start to downsize and properly dispose of the unnecesary things …
- Bring a reusable bag and water bottle with you everywhere!
- Get rid of the plastic. From Tupperware to take away bags plastic is toxic. For items that are lightly used, donate to your local Goodwill or Salvation Army. For products that are recyclable, like plastic, do so.
- Replace these products with sustainable, long-lasting alternatives. Such as Organic cotton, stainless steel, wood, and glass. Donate your crappy college plastic kitchenware for some nice glass, stainless steel, or cast iron. It is sexy.
- Be creative. Figure out what you can use in different ways. Organic cotton napkins can also be used as a drying rack, to store leafy greens in the fridge, or to bring lunch to work. Mason jars can be used for coffee, takeout, leftovers, toothbrush…
- Make your home your sanctuary. For me that means having a few things that are really important to me. Most of mine were either handed down to me or obtained on craigslist. Secondhand!
- Minimize. Ask yourself, what do I not need? What do I wear every day? What did I buy last year that still has tags on it? Whatever it is, it most likely has a value of some sort. Whether it is donating or selling your products at a consignment store, you can always get a return.
- Think Organic, think Local, think Sustainable and BUY IN BULK.
Extracted from “2 Steps to Zero Waste” post on Trash is for Tossers.
TreeHugger is a leading media outlet dedicated to driving sustainability mainstream. Partial to a modern aesthetic, they strive to be a one-stop shop for green news, solutions, and product information. TreeHugger publishes an up to the minute blog, weekly and daily newsletters, and regularly updates Twitter and Facebook pages.
Staying green or be more eco-conscious on a family getaway during the summer holidays.
: Find local activities with low environmental impacts like a trip to the local park, woods, zoo, ballgame, or beach with friends to relax. Time spent with friends and family can be a great way to catch up and have fun. Picking up that new book you’ve been meaning to read while lounging on the deck is another great way to pass the time and leave a smaller footprint behind.
Cool and easy
: Air conditioning can offer much-needed respite from the heat and can make sweaty nights bearable, but be sensitive to overuse. Turning up the thermostat a few degrees on your AC is a great way to save tons of cash while making the planet a cooler place at the same time.
Up in your grill
: Love to BBQ? Propane burns much cleaner than either wood or charcoal briquettes. If you can’t resist charcoal, try a natural product that is much cleaner than your traditional briquettes. Of course, when you’re done grilling, use natural cleaning products to keep your summer as chemical-free as possible.
The local roundup
: Buy food locally. Farmers markets are great places to shop, and ensure that the veggies you’re eating hot off the grill or mixed in a salad haven’t traveled thousands of miles just to reach your plate. That cuts down on the use of fossil fuels, which leads to significantly reduced levels of pollution and resource depletion over your typical tomato bought at the local supermarket.
The green plate special
: Use reusable dishes rather than plastics or Styrofoam. If you absolutely must use disposables, make sure to pick up compostable varieties beforehand to put in the compost bin when you’re through.
: You don’t have to go so far as wearing a biodegradable or solar bikini to make your summer accoutrements more sustainable. Look for eco-friendly products like clothing, swimsuits, sandals, towels, and skin care. Each of them is a step in the right direction, and you might just fall in love with a product or style you never knew existed.
: Pick up a solar backpack or a similar solar cells device to take with you on day trips. That way, whether you’re at the beach or on the go you’ll be able to run and recharge a wide range of portable devices on solar energy. Save a buck by cutting out the electric company and giving your rechargeables the solar power they deserve.
Extracted from “How To Go Green: Summer” post on TreeHugger.
This is is a syndicated post. Read the original at www.greenmatch.co.uk