5 Plastic-Free Swaps for a  Sustainable Bathroom

5 Plastic-Free Swaps for a Sustainable Bathroom

Did you know that there are more than 5 trillion pieces of plastic floating in our oceans? Moreover, this doesn’t take into account for the plastic that is released by synthetic fibers. In the wash, synthetic clothing can release more than 1,900 microfibers per garment in each wash cycle! Today, I am going introduce 5 Eco-friendly products for a sustainable bathroom.

 

Plastic free sustainable bathroom

 

Microfibers Polluting Our Water Resources: 

 

Synthetic microfibers like polyester and nylon are made from petroleum. During the use and washing of these materials, microfibers get washed down the drain and pollute our water resources.

Moreover, our water remediation facilities do not have the systems in place to strain out these microfibers.

Scientists are beginning to find tiny shreds of synthetic fabrics in our oceans and lakes all over the world. What’s more is that these scientists have traced the microfiber pollutants back to our washing machines.

The Scientific American published an article stating that,

“The Hudson River dumps 300 million clothing fibers into the Atlantic Ocean each day“.

This article was supported by research completed by the Marine Pollution Bulletin.

In another blog, I talk about how plastic pieces can bioaccumulate and biomagnify up the food chain. Meaning that you and I end up eating these tiny particles through salmon and other forms of seafood.

Click here to find out how you can save 12,000 gallons of water per year (for a household of 4). Our planet is running out of clean water, and water conservation is critical to our survival. 

Read on to learn about how to transition away from one-time use paper and microfiber kitchen towels.

 

Plastic is Taking Over Our Planet: 

 

According to an article written by Medium.com, the equivalent of one garbage truck of plastic is dumped into the ocean every minute.

What is more outrageous is fact that the article expects that by 2030 that number will increase to two garbage trucks per minute, and four per minute by 2050.

By 2050, scientists believe that there will be more plastic than fish in our oceans. Moreover, the human population will reach a whopping 9.7 billion individuals.

When we purchase plastic products, it signals to the market that there is an increase in demand for plastic materials.

Manufacturers are thus incentivized to produce more of these products, which results in greater investment in plastic producing equipment. This process further entrenches our society into one that is plastic dependent.

Unfortunately, this plastic ends up in one of two places. Either in landfills or in our oceans and basically never breaks down :(.

 

How to Create a Sustainable Bathroom: 

 

There are so many ways to find eco-friendly and sustainable substitutes for the products that we use on a daily basis.

Making the switch may take a bit of research up front. But once you find an eco-friendly product that you like and know where to get it, purchasing will become automatic.

Similarly, you have probably memorized the layout of your favorite grocery store. You know exactly where to find the items that you need for the week, without having to think too much about it.

I have listed 5 sustainable bathroom substitutes that can make a huge difference in the impact you are making on the environment.

What you do today and the actions you take have an enormous effect on global warming, climate change, and resource depletion.

Did you know that nearly 99% of toothbrushes are made from plastic?

One of the simplest ways to contribute to fixing this problem is to swear-off of plastic toothbrushes and switch to a bamboo one.

 

Bamboo Charcoal Toothbrushes:

 

Bamboo Charcoal Toothbrushes have two benefits. Not only are you contributing to the reduction of 4.9 billion plastic toothbrushes used each year, but charcoal naturally whitens your teeth!

How does activated charcoal work? The charcoal’s pores bind with the rough parts on your teeth, which is where surface stains and plaque reside.

Once the charcoal has enough time to stick to your teeth, it can be removed. When you rinse your mouth out with water, the charcoal takes the plaque, food particles, and surface stains with it.

This vegan 4-pack of toothbrushes are made with 100% recycled natural bamboo material. This material is biodegradable, organic, and all natural!

Moreover, these toothbrushes cost about the same as the ones you are probably currently buying.

The American Dental Association recommends that you change your toothbrush every 3 months to avoid bacteria build up.

After all, you are going to have to replace your toothbrush at some point in the future, so why not order these today!

 Click here to update your bathroom with a sustainable Isshah toothbrush!

 

Shampoo Bar’s:

 

sustainable shampoo bar

J.R. Liggett’s Shampoo bar is made from an old-fashion vegetable oil formula. Each bar is 3.5 ounces and comes in a pack of 3.

This shampoo bar does not contain any detergents, so it will not strip the natural oils from your hair.

For this reason, most people do not need to pair this shampoo bar with a conditioner. Money saved! Just think about all of the money you have spent on conditioners, and how much you can save in the future.

Additionally, J.R. Liggett’s shampoo bars work well for people with allergies those with sensitive skin.

Why are shampoo bars more sustainable? Because they lack harmful plastic packaging.

Plastic bottles can take up to 400+ years to degrade, so purchasing products with the least amount of packaging is crucial to reducing the massive amounts of waste that go to landfills each day.

The wrappers on these shampoo bars are made from 100% recycled paper. What’s more is that the shampoo bars themselves are recyclable and 100% bio-degradable.

Moreover, J.R. Liggett does not test any of their products on animals, and their products are made in the USA.

Click here for more details on J.R. Liggett’s Shampoo Bars.

 

Seventh Generation Toilet Paper:

 

Sustainable Toilet PaperSo how did this company come up with its name “Seventh Generation”?

The idea came from one of the company’s core principles. When the company makes decisions, they consider the impact that they will have on the seventh generation to come.

What a fantastic way to think!

Seventh Generation focuses its marketing and product development on sustainability and the conservation of natural resources. 

The company uses recycled and post-consumer materials in its packaging, as well as, what is in its products. They focus on creating biodegradable and plant-based products.

In another blog, I talk about the importance of supporting companies that exhibit corporate social responsibility.

As consumers, we should reward companies that put its people and the planet first.

This toilet paper is made from 100% recycled paper. Moreover, there are no dyes, inks, or fragrances.

Amazon.com has a new feature where you can save money on products that you use on a daily basis. By subscribing, you can save 5%-15% on products like toilet paper, that you need to buy every month anyway. 

Click here for more details on Seventh Generation Toilet Paper!

 

Seventh Generation Laundry Detergent: 

 

laundry detergent cardboard box Seventh Generation is a B Corp or a “Public Benefit Corporation”.

According to Investopia, a B Corp has “a legal framework that holds the firm to a higher standard than just the pure pursuit of profit.”

Seventh Generation is committed to their employees, the community, and their environment.

Hence, the scents are made from real essential oils and botanical extracts. Consequently, their products do not contain synthetic fragrances or dyes.

Seventh Generation’s laundry detergent is a USDA Certified Biobased Product. This means that 96% of the detergent is made with plant-based ingredients

According to their website,

“Biobased products are those derived from plants and other renewable agricultural, marine, and forestry materials, as opposed to non-renewable materials, such as petroleum.”

 

The Seventh Generation laundry detergent uses a powerful triple-enzyme formula that fights tough stains. Since the ingredients are plant-based, the detergent is hypoallergenic and made for sensitive skin.

The case of the bottle is made from biodegradable cardboard (plastic use is minimal for pour spout).

Why not post a powder laundry detergent that comes in a 100% recyclable box? Because I have found that powders leave a white film residue behind. I want to offer a balance between the best customer experience and eco-friendliness.

Additionally, this product is “EPA Safer Choice Certified”.

Click here to check out Seventh Generation’s laundry detergent!

 

A Biodegradable Cellulose All-Purpose Cleaning Towel:

 

Swedish Dishcloths

Swedish Dishcloths are super absorbing, reusable, eco-friendly, biodegradable, and made of plant cellulose.

They come in a pack of 10, and can be used in the kitchen, around the house, and even on your car. Love them or get your money back with a 100% money back guarantee!

What’s crazy, is that they can absorb 20x their weight in liquids! They are soft to the touch when wet, yet gritty enough for scrubbing when dry.

Swedish Dishcloths

Swedish dishcloths are dishwasher and washing machine safe, which make them easy to clean.

They are made from biodegradable cellulose and all natural cotton (80% cellulose / 20% cotton).

The Swedish Dishcloth is naturally odor resistant and a vegan product.

If you are currently using a microfiber cleaning towel, click here to check out the all natural eco-friendly Swedish Dishcloth.

 

 

The 10,000 Foot Overview: 

 

You can take make a difference right now by deciding to start small.

Discontinue using microfibers and plastic. We all have to work together to prevent global warming, climate change, and resource depletion.

Remember, by purchasing eco-friendly products you signal to the market that there is a demand for these items.

Manufacturers follow the money, so vote with your dollars and only reward companies who look out for its community and the planet.

 

Related Resources: 

 

 

If you have enjoyed this content, please remember to share so that we can spread-the-word and create a large scale impact.

Have any questions, comment below!

4 Solar Powered Eco-Friendly Gadgets for Campers

4 Solar Powered Eco-Friendly Gadgets for Campers

These 4 solar powered Eco-friendly gadgets are for campers who want to leave no trace, reduce their carbon footprint, and enjoy the outdoors!

solar powered Eco-friendly gadgets are for campers

Solar power is abundant, clean, renewable, and effective. Get this, each hour, enough sunlight reaches the earth’s surface to meet the world’s energy demand for a year! All we need to do is harness that power!

The best thing about solar energy is that the only cost is to install and maintain the solar panels.

Unlike renewable energy, we regularly need to explore for coal and oil. There is a constant need to drill, refine, and distribute the energy.

Coal creates acid rain, and “clean coal” creates coal ash, which is a sludge of toxic material. To link how this affects us in real life, ill point to a Washington Post article covering the recent Hurricane Florence disaster. 

“A second breach has occurred in a coal ash landfill at a Duke Energy facility. Flooding had damaged a containment wall this weekend and led to an estimated 2,000 cubic yards of coal ash flowing into a ditch not far from the Cape Fear River…The company said the coal ash, which the EPA considers toxic, poses no hazard to the public or the environment. “

 

I am floored by the fact that coal and oil companies refuse to take responsibility for all the harm that they are causing. So what can we do about it?? Support clean energy industries!!!

 

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The Product Life Cycle of Solar Energy 

 

 

Product-Life-Cycle-ManagementFirst, let’s chat about the solar industry. Currently, solar power is still in its infant stages.

This means that the support through the purchase of its products is critical to the survival of the industry.

Every product goes through a growth cycle. Let’s take a look at this graph to the left, provided by cleverism.com.

In the introduction phase, the cost to produce products are rather expensive, but as sales grow it becomes cheaper to produce.

The reduction in cost is caused by economies of scale. 

Economies of scale occur when it becomes cheaper to build a product because you are producing so much of it. You can think of it like buying in bulk, which typically means that you get the product at a cheaper price per unit.

As more solar power products are bought, it spurs new investment into creating more efficient solar energy designs.

In physics, the Shockley–Queisser limit, is the maximum theoretical efficiency of a solar cellWilliam Shockley and Hans-Joachim Queisser were the first to calculate this limit back in 1961. These two scientists theorized that solar panels would have a maximum efficiency of 30%.

Today, scientists have developed a solar cell that is capable of converting direct sunlight into electricity with 44.5% efficiency

With a bit of time and dedicated research, we are able to blow past previous limitations.

Current most solar technology only converts electricity with a maximum efficiency of about 25 percent. As cutting-edge technologies spread, more manufacturers will be able to integrate increased solar energy capacity into their products.

So how can we get the free-market and companies to invest more in solar?? Read on!

 

How You Can Make a Difference: 

 

Here is another way to look at the situation. By purchasing solar products, you are essentially providing investment to solar energy companies to create more efficient products :).

We are just starting to invest in solar energy. As with all new innovations, products need to go through beta testing (several trial phases).

We the people are a part of this growth cycle, and help solar energy manufacturers by giving them feedback. This, in turn, helps them make a better product which results in more utility for us.

The more time and money our society invests in any field, the more technological advances will occur.

If we do not support solar companies through the purchases of their products, it will signal to the market that there is not enough demand in this area to warrant investment in new technologies.

This will result in companies choosing to spend their R&D (research and development) budgets elsewhere.

Moreover, we will not reach the learning curve benefits or economies of scale which lead to the cheaper production of solar products.

You CAN make a difference. The mentality that your actions don’t matter needs to go away. Remember, 500 million straws are used every day!

 

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With that said, here are 4 awesome, super useful camping gadgets that use solar energy!

 

 

1. Solar Powered Hiking Backpack

 

This lightweight (less than 3 lb.) hydration backpack comes with a 7 wall solar panel! A 5 volt USB port attachment can be used to charge smartphones, tablets, Bluetooth speakers, GoPro Cameras, and more!  

Solar power camping backpackAround 90% of solar panels are made from silicon and come in two forms.

  1. Monocrystalline Silicon Solar Cells (more efficient and more expensive)
  2. Polycrystalline Silicon Solar Cells (less efficient, shorter lifespan, and less expensive)

This backpack has one of the most efficient monocrystalline solar panels commercially available on the market. It has an efficiency rating as high as 22.5%.

Furthermore, it also comes with a 1.8L water bladder and has several pockets and compartments for storage.

The ECEEN backpack is weather-proof, made from reliable materials, and is a necessary eco-friendly addition to your collection of hiking gear!

 

 

2. The Ultimate Solar Charger: 

 

The Ayyie 25,000mAh (milli-ampere hour) Solar Power Bank has a 3-port output and 36 LED light!!!

I recently bought one of these puppies, and boy does it have a long battery life! The battery can charge your phone up to 7+ times. 

Portable solar charger

If you are thinking about doing a summer travel living the “van life”, this would be the perfect solution for keeping all of your gadgets charged!

You should charge the battery to full by a USB cable, and then regularly top it off by leaving it in the sun.

This solar power battery pack works great in conjunction with the solar hydration backpack (listed above)!

The backpack is a passive solar charger, meaning that it does not store energy. It can only charge things that are connected to the USB cord during the day.

But with this battery pack, you can save the electricity and power your gadgets at night too.

To speed up the charging, you can plug the battery pack into the USB cord that is connected to the hydration pack and leave both out in the sun for maximum charging capacity.

Moreover, this battery pack is relatively small for the serious power punch it packs. It’s great for camping, hiking, and other outdoor activities!

What’s more is that the manufacturer offers a 12-month warranty!!!

Check out the Ayyie Solar Power Bank here!

 

3. The 3-in-1 Solar Shower, Hydration Pack, and Airtight Dry Bag:

 

sustainable comping shower

The Green Elephant 3-in-1 bag really does it all! Portable solar shower, drinkable water carrier, and dry bag.

This bag is awesome for kayakers and whitewater rafters. Its multifunctional use makes it well worth carrying on backpacking trips!

When you are hiking around in the outdoors every inch counts, so don’t waste space with single-function supplies! This bag heats water for a warm solar shower (or can be used to rinse off your gear).

It is made of an Eco-friendly material called TPU, which is biodegradable (4 years if left in soil).

TPU is a trusted material that is widely used in the healthcare industry. Furthermore, TPU is solvent-free and non-toxic. What this really means is that you can drink from the bag and use it as a hydration pack!

Moreover, most portable camping showers are made from toxic PVC. To read more about how terrible PVC is for your health you click “Top 5 Eco-Friendly Sustainable Yoga Mats.

The Green Elephant bag is super durable (abrasion AND puncture resistant), and it never cracks under cold conditions.

Even when full, the Green Elephant bag stands upright on a wide structured base. This bag is easily collapsible and can be rolled up for convenient storage!

What’s more, is it include a FREE bonus 5m rope that allows you to hang your solar shower bag anywhere!

Check out this nifty solar shower bag that comes in 2 sizes (Demi and a Double) by clicking here.

 

4. ECEEN’s Collapsible Solar Camping Lights 

Solar camping light

 

ECEEN’s Collapsible Solar Camping Lights are rainproof and can be charged with a USB cord or with the sun’s light.

This flashlight comes with a convenient hanging handle and is a pocket-sized portable LED tent light.

Of course, this camping lamp offers sufficient light with four different modes including:

  • White light
  • Warm light
  • Warm light low
  • Candlelight

 

It is super convenient because it can be completely folded down. Space and storage are critical to all backpackers and campers. The silicone lampshade of the lantern is water resistant and can be used in the rain. 

To check out the full details and measurements of the Collapsible Solar Camping Light, click here!

 

 

The 10,000 Foot Overview:

 

 

Help prevent climate change and global warming by supporting solar power products today!

Remember, by purchasing renewable energy products you are helping our society move toward a more sustainable future!

Don’t forget that half the battle is about conserving the resources that we currently have.

Water is one of the most important resources we have on this planet, and we are only able to use 1% of it! Click here to read about how you can save 10,000+ gallons of water every year in your home! What a 2-in-1 deal (save money and the Earth)!

Moreover, our actions toward a sustainable future have to be manifold. We need to increase our support of renewable energy, while simultaneously decreasing the demand for fossil fuels and plastic.

Moore’s Law is a computing term which originated around 1970, and it states that processing power for computers will double every two years! If we continue focusing our society’s attention on renewable energy, we will be able to achieve a future without fossil fuels.

 

For those who think that their actions don’t matter, I want to reference this quote:

 

Solar sustainability its only 1 straw

 

Sharing is caring! If you have enjoyed this content, don’t forget to share this post!! Let’s spread the word and news about sustainability!

Please feel free to share your experiences. Do you produce any eco-friendly products that I need to know about and should share with the world? If so comment below!

 

 

Eco Friendly Alternatives for a Sustainable Kitchen

Eco Friendly Alternatives for a Sustainable Kitchen

SustainabilityGoing “zero waste” is a topic that is taking over the internet.  If you are wanting to “green your life” and become part of this cultural shift, then I have found 5 Eco-friendly alternatives for a sustainable kitchen that will help you move toward that zero waste goal!!

I am excited to see that this subject is gaining in popularity. If you are reading this post, then you are, at the very least, interested in climate change and have decided to join the sustainability tribe!!!

There are so many little things that we all use each day that can be done a little differently to reduce or eliminate our waste output.

It really comes down to a matter of re-framing the way you view consumption. Moreover, it is about making little tweaks in your daily habits that can make a lasting and meaningful impact. 

 

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Reasons to Take on the Sustainable Kitchen Challenge:

 

According to DoSomething.org, Americans make more than 200 million tons of garbage each year. To put this into perspective, that is enough to fill the Busch Stadium from top to bottom twice a day!

Moreover, the EPA estimates that 75% of the American waste stream is recyclable. Sadly, we only recycle about 30% of it. This means that somewhere along the way, someone throws that piece of recyclable material into the trash.

This is where you can make a difference. As a society, we need to request more recycling bins from our landlords, companies that we work for, restaurants that we eat in, and in our cities.

As a whole, America generates approximately 21.5 million tons of food waste each year. If we were to compost that food, we would be able to reduce the same amount of greenhouse gases as taking 2 million cars off the road!!!

 

How You Can Make a Difference:

 

If you’re just starting out on your path to waste reduction, you might feel like the extra steps are burdensome or more trouble than they are worth.

But seriously, look at the statistics above… There is so much room for improvement that even the slightest changes will have massive ripple effects.

The best news is that once you have implemented new systems that replace old bad habits, your new routine will get set on autopilot!

Your new system will become routine, and over time these new daily habits will get easier the more you practice them. Until one day, they become second nature!

The Right Mind Set: 

 

Don’t become discouraged if it doesn’t come together all at once. We are all imperfect beings striving for perfection.

The point is that you are striving. When you set your focus on a goal, your brain will think of ways to accomplish this goal as you go about your day.

 

5 Eco-Friendly Alternatives for a Sustainable Kitchen:

 

 

1. UNNI Compostable Trash Bags 

 

Sustainable compost trash bagsDoes it strike you as odd that we purchase brand new plastic bags that immediately becomes trash the second it comes out of the box?

If you have to buy trash bags anyway, why not purchase something that easily breaks down and goes back to the earth? As Mufasa from the Lion King would say, “It’s the circle of life”.

UNNI Compostable Bags are made from plant starches and do not contain polyethylene. These bags are certified by the Biodegradable Products Institute and meet all of the U.S. standards.

The one thing to keep in mind with most biodegradable products is you should only purchase what you need for the next few months.

Due to the fact that they have a shorter shelf life, you should avoid purchasing more than 1 year’s worth of trash bags. These bags should be stored in a cool and dry place while avoiding excessive heat.

One used compostable bag means one less plastic bag. According to The Balance Small Business, the plastic bags we use take 10-1000 years to decompose, while plastic bottles can take 450 years or more.

Click here to check out the UNNI Compostable Trash Bags on Amazon.com!

 

2. Glass Food Storage Containers

 

Sustainable glass tupperware

 

These long lasting and very durable Tupperware containers are made from high-quality temperature resistant borosilicate glass.

The lovely thing about these containers is that they are all-purpose!

The glass portion is safe to use in the microwave, freezer, dishwasher, refrigerator, and oven (up to 450°F).

Moreover, the snap locking lids with silicone gasket seals are airtight and leakproof!

The silicone sealing ring is designed to be removable and easy to clean. Additionally, the lids have an air vent for microwave use.Sustainable Tupperware overview

The Tupperware containers come in multiple sizes/colors and are great for meal prep and leftover food storage.

SAVE TIME AND MONEY! By preparing food ahead of time, you can enjoy a healthy home-cooked meal anywhere.

In another blog, I explain in detail how you can fully fund a Roth IRA by meal prepping instead of eating out.

To read about how you can save a ton of time by meal prepping, check out my article on how to aggregate time to be more effective. 

 

3. Reusable Silicone Food Storage Bag

 

Sustainable Reusable silicone bags

 

As I browse through the internet I am excited to see how many alternatives there are for single use zip-lock bags.

The biggest differentiator of why this particular brand of Eco-friendly reusable bag is so special is that they are made of pure silicone.

Unlike plastic, silicon is non-allergenic, non-reactive, and hygienic.

Moreover, silicon does not contain BPA, PVC, or petroleum, and it is Latex-Free.

During the research process, I found that other reusable bags were not dishwasher safe. On the other hand, these bags can basically handle it all!!!

They can be safely used in the microwave, refrigerator, toaster, freezer, and dishwasher!

These reusable bags can handle a wide range of temperatures from -58℉~482℉ and can hold 30 fl oz (4 cups) of food or liquid.

Additionally, they are hermetically sealed (a fancy word for saying that they are airtight), AND come with a lifetime warranty!!

Single-use plastic is the worst! Click here to quit using single-use plastic bags.

 

4. Eco-friendly Bento Box

 

sustainable Eco friendly bento box

This Eco-friendly bento box is the perfect all in one lunchbox. Unlike the metal versions, this bento box has a compartment for your utensils and is microwave, freezer, and dishwasher safe.

Of course, it is BPA-free and comes with an anti-leak silicone lid.Sustainable bento box 2

This is a super nifty gift and can help you save money. Instead of eating out every day, you can eat healthier by cooking your own food and storing it in this meal prep portion bento box container.

Moreover, this anti-leak bento box comes with an extended 60-day money-back guarantee!

Change how your lunchbox impacts the planet by grabbing this super nifty Bento box!

5. Metal Straws

 

I know what you are thinking,

“Its just ONE straw…” -Said  7.5 billion people

According to the US National Park service, Americans use 500 million drinking straws every day!

To a better understand just how many straws that is, just imagine that you could fill over 125 school buses with straws every day. That’s 46,400 school buses every year!

The Solution to This Growing Issue: 

If you dislike drinking straight from a cup, these reusable metal straws are the answers to your prayers! For some reason, my teeth are super sensitive to cold temperatures. This means that drinking anything with ice is very difficult.

sustainable reusable strawsThese metal straws come in a pack of 8. Additionally, they are accompanied by silicone silencers and comfort tip covers.

The nice thing about the silicone tip covers is that they protect your teeth.

There are many brands of metal straws out there, but I have a bad habit of chewing on my straws. If you are like me, you will be glad that you won’t have to worry about these straws damaging your front teeth.

Another added benefit is that you won’t have to worry about the metal getting too hot or cold because the silicon tips add a buffer.

The straws are made from food grade stainless steel and are FDA-Approved. Furthermore, these straws are healthier to drink from because they are non-toxic, BPA, and lead-free.

Dimensions:
  • 4 straight(2*10.5inch+2*8.5inch)
  • 4 bent(2*9.9inch+2*7.9inch)
  • fit all 20 or 30-ounce cups and tumblers (including Yeti, RTIC, SIC, and Ozark Trail)

 

The manufacturer even goes on to say that the straws are unbreakable. They will not rust, crack, or get scratched.

How many things do you currently own that save the environment, is healthy for you, has a shelf life that will outlast you, and won’t break?

I wish more products out there could boast about these attributes. 

Reduce your single-use plastic waste by grabbing these super inexpensive reusable metal straws.

Start small and be apart of the solution. Help cut down the 500 million straws used every day.

 

 

The 10,000 Foot Overview: 

 

 

Together, we can make our Mother Earth a more sustainable place to live in by changing our daily actions.

By using reusable and biodegradable products we can cut down on the billions of pieces of plastic floating out in our oceans.

While we are on the topic of water…

Remember that only 1% of all the water resources on earth are available for human use. According to the Water Research Foundation, toilets, showers, and faucets are the biggest consumers of our clean water resources.

Click here to read about how you can easily save money on your utility bill and over 13,000 gallons of water per year! 

If you are thinking about changing out any appliances, be sure to look for products that have the WaterSense and EnergyStar logos.

Sustainable Kitchen Energy Stat sustainability clean water watersense

If you have enjoyed this content or have any questions, please comment below!

Photo credits:

Please leave your footprints

EPA WaterSense logo

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A New Kind of Plastic that is Toxin-free and Biodegradable!

A New Kind of Plastic that is Toxin-free and Biodegradable!

A new kind of plastic that is toxin-free and biodegradable? Crazy right! TPU (Thermoplastic Polyurethane) is a GREEN product and does not cause air pollution, even when its burned (or recycled).

Why PVC Plastic is Toxic

Get this, TPU is biodegradable after leaving it in the soil for 3-5 years. This material is best used to replace PVC or vinyl, and it is certified by the FDA and meets the National Science Foundation’s strict standards. Furthermore, TPU is in wide use across the medical field.

TPU is tough like PVC, but does not contain lead or other toxins.  So why should I replace all of the PVC products in my house you ask? Read on 🙂

 

A Bit About PVC:

 

Polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, is a major source of phthalates. In 2008, the state of New Jersey passed a law banning phthalates from children’s toys. According to the State’s Department of Human Services Office for Prevention of Developmental Disabilities,

“Phthalates harm children’s health and development by interfering with natural hormone functioning and have been linked to birth defects in baby boys, testicular cancer, liver problems, and early onset of puberty in girls – which is a  risk factor for later-life breast cancer.

Moreover, they go on to discuss how PVC plastic contains dangerous chemical additives including lead, cadmium, and organotins. These toxic additives can leach out or evaporate into the air over time.

Many mundane household items are made with PVC such as lunchboxes, backpacks, bags,  binders, bottles, toys, televisions, flooring, art, and sports equipment.

PVC plastic products are often labeled with the words “vinyl” on the packaging.

Are you interested in making your home more energy efficient? Download this Free Home Energy Audit Guide to save money on your next utility bill and reduce your carbon footprint. Remember 60% of our electricity comes from burning coal and oil.

 

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PVC Plastic Releases Toxic Fumes When it is Recycled:

 

PVC can also be identified by looking for the number “3”  inside of the universal recycle symbol (or the letters “V” or “PVC”).

Toxic PVC Although products that are made of PVC are labeled with a recycling sign, it is actually very difficult to recycle. 

The process of recycling PVC includes heating the plastic to high temperatures so that it can be reshaped.

During the recycling process, PVC releases toxic fumes that waft out into the atmosphere. This increases air pollution and later infiltrates the soil through acid rain.

These chemicals also leak out during the PVC product’s lifespan

Be sure to keep reading to learn about how shower curtains release 108 toxic chemicals.

Moreover, The EPA considers acid rain to be highly toxic to humans. Not only do we breathe air pollution, but we also consume it through our water and the food web.

Much of our food stock eats pounds of grain that have soaked up acid rain through the soil. This is called bioaccumulation. When we consume chicken that eats lots of polluted corn meal or grain, the pollutants travel up the food chain, and this is called biomagnification.

I have included the two photos below to help illustrate how biomagnification and bioaccumulation occurs:

 

bioaccumulation-Plastic chemicals (1)

Bioaccumulation and Biomagnification photo credit BlueGrowth.org

 

bioaccumulation of plastic

Bioaccumulation photo credit IQuitPlastics.com

 

 

PVC Plastic Releasing Toxic Fumes in Your Home:

 

Back in 2008, Occupational Health and Safty (ohsonline.com) wrote an article reporting how dangerous PVC shower curtains are.

“Results from a two-phase study released by the Center for Health, Environment & Justice (CHEJ), and a non-profit organization dedicated to preventing environmental health harms caused by chemical threats, show that shower curtains made with polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic contain many harmful chemicals including volatile organic compounds (VOCs), phthalates and organotins…

The article goes on to state that one PVC shower curtain can release as many as 108 volatile chemicals. These chemicals can cause developmental damage as well as damage to the liver and central nervous, respiratory, and reproductive systems.

Furthermore, this study found that PVC shower curtains release high levels of toxic chemicals into the air and contribute significantly to indoor air pollution.

Of the chemicals that are released, seven are classified as hazardous air pollutants by the EPA under the Clean Air Act.

PVC is the second largest commodity plastic in production by global standards. Even though this study was released more than a decade ago, production of PVC has not declined significantly. Sadly, nearly 15 billion pounds are being produced annually in the U.S.

This is why it is so important for the consumer to educate themselves about the products they purchase and the companies that they support.

Think about all of the PVC or plastic products that are in your household today!

Scary to think about.

 

 

TPU-The Sustainable Eco-Friendly Alternative: 

 

TPU is abrasion resistant, flexible, has excellent strength, and functions well in low temperatures.

A quick search of the internet will reveal that TPU is a very under-utilized material, while PVC is still the dominant plastic product offered.

So how do we get manufacturers to boost product lines that include TPU over PVC?

Manufacturers respond to signals from the market. When customers buy more of a product, it signals to the manufacturer to produce more of that item.

We, the conscious consumer, must send the right signals to the market about which products we want companies to offer.

By purchasing healthy, non-toxic, environmentally friendly products, we signal to the market that there is a demand for these kinds of items.

So on that note, I want to introduce two products that are made from TPU.

Curious, when is the last time you replaced your cutting board?

Over time, cutting boards become scratched which makes them harder to clean. The scratches provide places for bacteria and germs to hide. This is especially dangerous when you cut raw chicken or other meats because bacteria like semolina can get into those scratches.

The FDA’s official opinion is that [cutting boards] should be cleaned well and replaced often. Especially when boards “become excessively worn or develop hard-to-clean grooves.”

 

The Gabo TPU Antimicrobial Cutting Board: 

 

Sustainable TPU Cutting board

The Gabo TPU Antimicrobial Cutting Board is eco-friendly, scratch resistant, non-slip, and dishwasher safe!  

This cutting board is BPA free, non-toxic, FDA approved, Europe SGS compliant, odor resistant, anti-bacterial, and anti-microbial 🙂 

Can you say that your cutting board has all of these features??

TPU is strong and holds up well against scratches. What’s more is that it will not dull your knives. 

Dimensions: 15.6” x 10.7” x 0.09”  and weighs 10.75oz.

Unlike TPU, wooden cutting boards are hard to sanitize. Additionally, they cannot be placed in the dishwasher because it causes the different layers of wood to separate.

The more grooves your cutting board has (and the bigger they are), the more area is available for trapping moisture and giving bacteria a place to proliferate.

Click here to read a more detailed description of the Gabo TPU Antimicrobial Cutting Board.

 

 

The Floatable Vansky Waterproof Phone Pouch: 

 

Sustainable TPU active phone protector (1)

Do you love the outdoors?

Protect your phone from water, snow, and dust. This waterproof phone case is a dry bag that comes with an armband and an audio jack.

It is the perfect piece of gear for swimming, fishing, rowing, boating, and snorkeling.

The Vansky dry bag is fully submersible (IPX8 certified) to 100ft or 30 meters!

Plus, you can take pictures underwater with your phone or use it as a floating bag to protect your keys, credit cards, ID’s, cash, and more.

If you put your phone in this case and happen to drop it overboard while on a boat, your phone will float on the water’s surface. You won’t have to worry about dropping your phone and having it sink to the bottom of the ocean anymore.

Moreover, a regular waterproof case won’t do this. For example, the Otterbox just waterproofs the phone, but will not prevent it from sinking.

I live near the Lake Tahoe area, so I love playing in the mountains and tubing in the rivers.

If you are like me and want to have sound peace-of-mind, I double up by putting my phone in a waterproof case and then put that in a waterproof floatable device with my car keys.

Most smartphones are mini computers and cost about the same as some laptops. To me, it is totally worth the extra mile to make sure that my phone and keys are safe and dry.

Protect your phone from the environment while also being friendly to it 🙂

To read more about the Vansky Waterproof Phone Case click here.

 

How You Can Make a Difference: 

 

To quote a recent Guardian article:

Fewer than half of the bottles bought in 2016 were collected for recycling, and just 7% of those collected were turned into new bottles. Instead most plastic bottles produced end up in landfill or in the ocean... [The article continues by stating that] a million plastic bottles are bought around the world every minute.” 

What’s even more outrageous is that the United States National Park system estimates that 500 million straws are used by Americans every day!

We must pull together as a society and change our ways for our and our children’s futures.

Lets quit using PVC plastic products and support companies that use their best efforts to provide products that have the least amount of environmental impact.

Remember, if we do not support companies that produce healthy and eco-friendly products, it will signal to the market that there is no demand for these kinds of items.

If there is no demand, the market will discontinue the production of these eco-friendly products. Moreover, new investment capital will fund other technologies instead of going toward creating more efficient, toxin-free, or environmentally safe products.

Take this opportunity to check out the Gabo TPU Antimicrobial Cutting Board and the Vansky Waterproof Phone Case today!

 

Related Resources: 

 

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Top 5 Eco-Friendly Sustainable Yoga Mats!

Top 5 Eco-Friendly Sustainable Yoga Mats!

Top 5 Eco-Friendly Sustainable Yoga Mats!

Hello, My fellow Yogis ! Fantastic news. I have found 5 Eco-Friendly sustainable or biodegradable yoga mats to help you center your prana!

There are so many ways to center yourself and live in harmony with Mother Earth. Why not bring your yoga practice to the next level by raising the quality of your mat?

I am sure you already know how harmful plastic and PVC products are for this plant. If not, please read up on the Pacific Garbage Patch to get up to speed. Yes, there are more than 5 trillion pieces of plastic floating around in the Pacific that basically makes up its own island.

So, if you are on board with reducing the amount of plastic you use, then this post is written just for you!

So many of the products that we buy and use throughout our lives end up landfills or worse yet in the ocean. It is critically important that we consciously think about the products we purchase. Eco Economics is all about promoting sustainable conscious consumerism. The goal is to incentivize businesses to expand their Eco-Friendly product lines. We want to reward those companies that provide plastic-free and earth conscious products.

 

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Plastic and other unrecyclable or uncompostable products have lifespans that far exceed our own lives. This means that the single-use solo cup, which we used for that one game of beer pong, will be around when our grandchildren inhabit the earth!! That is so crazy to think about, right?!?

 

The True Meaning of Yoga  Practice:

As you perform your sun salutation, realize that you are praying to the sun. When you let out an audible Om, know that you are making the origination vibration of the universe and of Mother Earth.

Throughout history, the concept of primordial energy has had many names. In India and Sanskrit, it is known as “Prana“. In the Chinese culture, it is called Chi, and in Ancient Egypt, it is called Ka.

If I may be so brave, I would like to link our current society’s intellectual era of science. Today, scientists believe that the lowest level common denominator in quantum physics is “String Theory”.

Without getting into it, the basic principle of string theory is that every subatomic particle is made up of vibrating strings of energy. While I am not a theoretical physicist, I do enjoy reading the works of Steven Hawking and Michio Kaku (who are, in fact, physicists).

What I am trying to say is that there must be some validity to the idea that Mother Earth does have a vibration, and her spirit must exist.

The ancient indigenous people of the Andes (most notably the Incas), called this spirit “Pachamama“.

Yoga is about self-realization and connection. Connection to yourself and the Earth. 

As you practice yoga, the intention is to focus on the integrity of the mind, body, and soul. You are a part of Mother Earth, and thus integrity must also be with her as well.

Somehow, during the industrial age, we forgot about the ancestral teachings and began to take more than we gave to our Mother Earth. We have lived in this way for over 100 years, and we are truly starting to see the effects of our actions.

The good news is that we are beginning to realize the errors of our ways.

It is up to you to make a change! 

 

The Truth About Plastic Yoga Mats: 

Today, many yoga mats are made of PVC or polyvinyl type materials that fall apart easily.

Thankfully, an increasing number of companies are producing sustainable, plastic and chemical-free yoga mats. Most of these yoga mats are made from all-natural rubber, so you don’t have to sacrifice grip quality for a sustainable mat.

If going sustainable is not enough of a reason to transition to a “green” mat, think about this…

The CDC (Center for Disease Controle and Prevention) clearly states on its website that:

The use of lead in plastics has not been banned. Lead softens the plastic and makes it more flexible so that it can go back to its original shape.

Unfortunately, yoga mats usually fall into the category of plastic, unrecyclable, and uncompostable products.

Now think about this… When you sweat, your pores open up… and you are now laying on a plastic mat that could have been made with lead…

Without further ado, here are 5 Eco-Friendly yoga mats that can help you and our planet live in greater harmony!

 

5 Eco-Friendly Yoga Mats:

 

1. The Vegan Ajana Yoga Mat

 

Sustainable vegan yoga matIf you subscribe to the Vegan lifestyle, this Ajana Jute Yoga Mat is for you! Naturally, this mat is eco-friendly, recyclable, vegan, and made from organic jute fiber. 

Jute fiber is 100% biodegradable and recyclable. The Jute stem has a high volume of cellulose and can be harvested within 4-6 months (which is extremely quick!).

In comparison, the only useful part of a cotton plant is the flowering portion. Whereas the majority of the jute plant is usable material. 

Comparatively, trees take many years to grow and hence jute can save the forest! Due to how fast it can grow, jute can meet the cellulose and wood demand of the world.  The wonderful thing about jute is that it is one of nature’s most sustainable forms of fiber.

Additionally, this mat is free from harmful toxic chemicals (including BPA, PVC, and heavy metals).

Furthermore, Ajana is a CSR company! The best part is that for every mat that is purchased, Ajana donates $1 to One Tree Planted.

One Tree Planted is a 501c3 non-profit organization that’s mission is to reforest in 4 regions: North AmericaLatin AmericaAfrica, and Asia

If you are a Vegan, check out the Ajana Jute Yoga Mat that was created with you in mind!

 

 

2. The Mindful Mat

 

The Mindful Mat is made of a 100% biodegradable and recyclable plastic!! Don’t worry, you read right. That is because it is made with TPE (Thermoplastic elastomers)

Due to uncured molecular chains, it is possible to melt down the TPE again and again. Sustainable yoga mat 2

I love thick yoga mats, and The Mindful Mat is 6 mm (approx. 1/4 inch) in thickness, which is one of the more plush options of this list.

This mat uses a closed cell technology that is eco-friendly. Moreover, it is PVC, latex, and lead-free.

Additionally, this mat boasts a double layer design with a super grip bottom texture for an anti-slip experience.

Of course, this super sustainable mat comes with a lightweight durable carrying strap for easy transportation and storage.

Click here to check out the full details about the Mindful Mat here (affiliate link).

 

 

3.  Yoloha Cork Yoga Mat

 

Sustainable yoga mat corkThe Yoloha Cork Yoga Mat is super lightweight and portable (weighing in at just 2.5 lbs).

This mat offers antimicrobial properties and is made of a highly sustainable material.

Sustainable yoga mat cork tree

 

Moreover, the manufacturer stands by the quality of its products and offers a full refund or exchange within 30 days. No questions asked!

One thing to keep in mind is that due to the nature of how porous cork is, this yoga mat is probably not the one to go with if you are really into hot yoga.

On the other hand, the best thing about using cork is that you don’t have to cut the tree down or kill it to harvest its bounty!!!

You can strip the outer rings of the tree, and harvest it again in 9 years!!! 

Get this, the average cork tree can produce around 100 pounds of cork per stripping!! Ill open a bottle of wine to that :).

Click here to read the exact specs of the Yoloha Cork Yoga Mat! 

 

4Athoon Yoga Mat

Sustaibale yoga mat

The Athoon yoga mat is one of the more cost effective mats on this list. The Athoon mat is also made of TPE, which is a mix of rubber and plastic. As described above,TPE can be recycled and reused.

If your goal is to make the switch to a non-plastic mat, then the other mats on this list are going to be a better fit.

If your budget is a bit tight, then this could be a great happy medium! 

That being said, it is, of course, biodegradable and non-toxic.

Truthfully, I have not personally used this mat, but from the reviews, it seems to be a “great bang for your buck” deal.

Furthermore, this mat comes with a yoga strap, carrying bag, and a carry strap!

Another great feature is that the Athoon yoga mat is very thick at 6mm for that extra soft feel.

Interested in learning more about the Athoon Eco-friendly yoga mat? Click here!

 

 

5. Manduka EKO Lite Yoga Pilates Mat

 

 

sustainable yoga mat natural rubberThe Manduka EKO Lite Yoga Pilates Mat is Latex-free and made of Non-Amazon (sustainably harvested) rubber. Moreover, this zero waste yoga mat is made from biodegradable materials

The Manduka Mat does not contain PVC or toxic plasticizers and is safe for latex sensitivities people

A Tri-Layer Technology is used for an optimal combination of grip, durability, and slip-resistance.

Additionally, instead of using a synthetic polyester for reinforcement, the manufacturers use a blend of polyester and natural cotton.

My boyfriend has this mat, and he absolutely loves it (because of how grippy it is)! Yes, it is a bit on the pricey side, but it is 100% worth it! 

For more information on the Manduka EKO Lite Yoga Pilates Mat click here! 

***Quick note: There is a 1.5mm version that is cheaper, but you do get what you pay for. I really like my yoga mats to have that soft padded feeling, otherwise, you might as well practice on the hard floor. Trust me, sit-ups done straight on the floor suck. But that is because I do more than just yoga on my mat.

 

The 10,000 Foot Overview:

 

Typically, when it comes to your yoga practice, you are rolling around on your mat for at least an hour. You want to make sure that you are practicing on a chemical free surface.

Remember your skin is porous, and you do not want to absorb plastic toxins while centering yourself during practice.

Again, most plastics are made with BPA and lead! Eeeek!!!

Invest in a high-quality yoga mat is both good for your health and the environment!

The biggest benefit that I have found with a high-quality mat is its grip factor. Making the switch to a high-performance mat completely changed my practice!

Remember, you get what you pay for. With the right care, these mats can last years.

A yoga mat isn’t an item that you buy on a regular basis, so get one that will accelerate your practice, is free of toxins, and is good for the planet!!!

If you enjoyed reading this article or would like me to write a comparison article about another kind of sustainable product out there. Let me know by commenting below!

 

 

 

Photo Credit:

Cork Tree