Entries Tagged as 'Environment'

Tips for Guilt Free Shopping

Shopping is an enjoyable pass-time; the person that named it retail therapy wasn’t far wrong. Shopping and window shopping are leisure activities for me; great ways for me to relax and have a good time. However sometimes the self indulgence can make you feel guilty as well. Is it possible to shop and feel good about it? Well here are some ways to enjoy guilt free shopping:

Cruelty free products

Pick products that are made without harming any animals; products that have no animal hides, skins, or any animal products at all. Pay particular attention to this when you buy shoes, bags, jackets and so on. Eschew all products that use fur, leather, animal skins, silk, honey or other animal products if at all possible.

Ethical products

How much do you know about any product that you’re using? Do you know where it was made, the conditions under which the workers made it, their age, how much they were paid and so on? Ethical products are made without using sweat shop labor or child labor and by giving fair remuneration to the workers who made it.

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Farmers Markets – Always a Good Idea!

Farmers marketI try to do my little bit for the environment by minimizing my carbon footprint to the extent possible. When environment friendly also means pocket friendly, I think of that as a double benefit scheme. The farmer’s market concept is one such concept that I hope to embrace wholeheartedly – it is something that makes sense in terms of ecological impact and also personal health and economy.

What are farmer’s markets?

These are a collection of stalls, booths and temporary shops set up by individual farmers who grow and produce food items including vegetables, fruit and meat; sometimes preserves and prepared food as well.

They sell directly to the customer rather than go through a middle man such as a grocery shop or wholesaler or supermarket chain.  Farmer’s markets are an old fashioned and enjoyable way to shop for fresh produce.  The idea is to bring fresh produce to people within driving distance of the farmer.

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The Wisdom of Bulk Buying

In recent times I have been finding out how much sense it makes to buy things in bulk. Food items, toiletries, cleaning material, stationery and many other things can make a lot of sense if bought in larger quantities. Some of the reasons for this are obvious – it can make a lot of economic sense by helping to save money and there are other less obvious reasons for this as well.

Bulk buying to save money

Stores can offer you better discounts when you buy larger quantities, because they can afford to reduce their profit margin significantly when you buy in bulk. For instance if you buy a pound of rice, you may end up paying significantly more per pound of rice than if you had bought 25 pounds of the same rice.

Retailers employ less staff and have a no frills warehouse kind of store that helps save money. Manufacturers are able to reduce costs in that there is less packaging used for bulk products and these savings can be passed on to the consumer.

There is so much that you can buy in bulk and store: food items such as grains, frozen cuts of meat, pastas, cereals, dried fruits, spices, sugar, nuts, flour, chocolate and so on. Then there are toiletries such as large size packages of shampoo, conditioners, bath gel, toilet rolls and so on that can be cheaper. Cleaning material like detergents, cleaning liquids and so on don’t spoil and you can save significant amounts by buying in bulk. Stationery is something else that you can buy in bulk if you use a lot of it.

Bulk buying to save multiple trips to the store

Once you’ve stocked up on food and other items in bulk you can rest assured that you don’t have to keep rushing to the store because you’re good for a longer time. You save yourself a lot of time in terms of trips to the shops and you save yourself money and in terms of fuel as well.

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Amazing Eco Friendly Gadgets to Save You Money

Seems to me that there is no end to man’s ingenuity (by that of course I mean woman’s ingenuity as well of course) and the eco friendly gadgets that you and I can buy today are truly remarkable. They are amazing not only in that they are made in a responsible manner, but they use fewer resources to run and are easy to dispose of as well.

Here are some eco friendly gadgets that recently caught my eye:

Solar flashlight and radioI liked this solar power flashlight cum radio that has a list price of $40 but is down to $22 99 after a 43% discount. A flash light is always a useful thing to have around. If you charge the device using solar light for about 3 hours, you get about 3 hours of light from the LED light bulbs or about 2 hours of radio play, if you want to use both at once, you can use it for about an hour. And just in case there’s no sun, you can still recharge it from a wall outlet.

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Sustainable Shopping Tips

Like a lot of people, you’re probably gearing up for some major shopping now in the coming festive season. And why not! But give a thought to minimizing your environmental impact as you shop this year by making use of these tips for sustainable shopping.

Shop Local – This is a good idea for several reasons: it gives a boost to the local economy and helps and encourages local craftsmen. Secondly, if you purchase stuff that is grown or made locally there is less resource expenditure on transportation, preservation, packaging and so on. And local handicrafts and artifacts may be greatly appreciated by the receiver as well.

Shop Seasonal – If its flowers or fruit that you want to gift, pick seasonal produce rather than exotic stuff that is either flown in from distant locales or is artificially grown and artificially ripened.

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Green Décor Ideas for your Dining Space

You are careful and ecologically responsible about most things in life; your home décor need not be any different. With some conscious care and planning, you can be sure that your dining furniture as well as other aspects of your dining area is as much in consonance with a greener way of life as everything else.

Here are some green décor ideas for your dining space-

  • Opt for a dining room table as well as dining room chairs that is made from sustainable raw materials that are responsibly grown and sourced leaving as little a negative environmental impact as possible.
  • Make sure there is plenty of natural light in the room. This is not just so that the room looks airy, light and attractive, it is also an energy saving device. Having natural light in the room means that you don’t need to switch on the lights during the day. So try and have plenty of glass pane windows, if possible install a sky light and make sure that your dining area has plenty of natural light. This will mean plenty of savings in terms of energy used and a smaller carbon footprint for you and you needs. [Read more →]

Green Shopping Tips

As the evidence of the way in which humans are exploiting the planted become more and more evident, concerned and responsible citizens have to try and make that little effort to go green – to make sustainable choices when shopping and making the effort to consume in a manner that minimally impacts the Earth.

The EPA website offers these general guidelines for conserving resources, saving energy and preventing waste by choosing the following products when you go shopping –

  • Energy efficient products so it consumes fewer resources to use or run
  • Used or reusable items so that you are maximizing the use of an item before you consign it to the rubbish heap
  • Products made with recycled materials or at least products that are possible to recycle.
  • Products that use little of no packaging. As soon as you remove the packaging of a product you create waste, because it is that part of the product that is consigned immediately to the garbage bin.

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Economic Impact of the Japan Earthquake/Tsunami

We have all seen the harrowing images on TV that looked like something out of a Hollywood disaster movie so we know the incalculable and incredibly tragic human loss and suffering that has been caused by the 11 March 2011, Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

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Going Green this Valentine’s Day

Clearly I am in the Valentine mood and am thinking all things Valentine, and thought to myself what the best kinds of gifts are that make the least environmental impact? And hence this post about green Valentine Day Gifts, with ideas from here and there and a few of my own –

  • Organic anything – fruit, chocolates and even wine can be organic, if the raw materials are grown responsibly using no chemical fertilizer, pesticide and so on. Organic is healthier to consume and minimizes environmental impact; if it costs more, it may well be worth it!
  • Recycled products – The Valentine day card you buy could be printed on recycled paper or you may want not to use any paper at all- use your creativity to fashion something unusual from waste material at home! Or you can send an e card; zero environmental impact!
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Electric Vehicles to Save Money

Regular readers are probably aware that I like electric vehicles and that I have spoken about them before as viable alternative to gas guzzlers. And really apart from their benefit to the environment, there are several economic considerations that make electric vehicles a good choice if one is looking to buy a vehicle. The reasons that I think electric vehicles save money are:

  • They don’t use any gas. They use electricity and rather than fill up at a pump, you recharge at home; much like your cell phone.
  • You don’t notice any particular increase in your electricity bill even with regular recharging. So basically it feels as though you are running your vehicle free, without any payment made for fuel. These total up to substantial savings. I have owned an electric vehicle for a couple of years now so I know how nice it felt to sail right past the gas pump; particularly when the fuel prices were so prohibitively high just a while back.
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