Gardening Tips and Tricks to Prevent Global Warming

Gardening Tips and Tricks to Prevent Global Warming

Growing your own garden has many health benefits, not to mention it reduces your carbon footprint.  I have created this handy Gardening Tips and Tricks to Prevent Global Warming Starter Guide to encourage you to consider the benefits of growing your own organic fruits and vegetables. The goal of this article is to point out the main benefits of starting an organic garden, and how to plant a diverse vegetable mixture to give you a healthy and well-balanced diet.

 

Gardening Tips and Tricks to prevent global warming

 

Benefits of Planting Your Own Organic Garden:

 

Here is a list of benefits that gardening can bring to your life:

  1. Reduces the amount that you spend at the grocery store each week. Consequently, the money you save can be used to fund your Roth IRA (Roth IRA: How to Become a Millionaire by the Time You Retire!)
  2. Reduces the transportation fuel (carbon output) used to ship vegetables across oceans and highways to get to your local store.
  3. UN scientists have released a warning stating that the world has less than 15 years to reduce the carbon output to nearly 0 or else face serious climate change consequences. Planting a garden is a way you can make a difference by helping sequester carbon from the atmosphere! 
  4. Organic food tastes better because it is fresher and is able to ripen on the vine (instead of a gas chamber).
  5. It is an outdoor activity. Certainly, you can replace one of your indoor electricity using (TV, video games, social media time) hobbies with gardening. Keep in mind, Fossil fuels and coal make up nearly 62% of how we generate electricity in the U.S
  6. Many people live in cities, which are cement jungles surrounded by black asphalt (roads and parking lots). That being said, dark materials absorb heat which is why cities tend to be hotter than their surrounding areas. Adding vegetation provides shade and breaks up all off of that dark material.
  7. Grow fresh vegetables forever! Fruits and vegetables have seeds that you can harvest at the end of the year. Meaning that you can use the seeds to start your garden next year!!!
  8. A fun and family-friendly activity that can inspire you to take an interest in the origins of your food and make better choices about what you put on your plate.

 

 

Health Benefits of Gardening:

 

  1. Eliminates the addition of chemical pesticides that you are currently putting into your body.
  2. No chemical fertilizers. In short, worm casting is nature’s Miracle Grow and is an all natural organic fertilizer! Read on to learn about worm casting.
  3. It helps you eat more fresh fruits and vegetables.
  4. Adds a bit of exercise to your life.
  5. Breath fresher air by being outside. People are often stuck inside an office all day. Taking the time to tend to your garden will give you an opportunity to enjoy the outdoors.
  6. Plants increase oxygen production. The air around your home will be fresher (less carbon dioxide).

 

 

Help Prevent Global Warming by Starting an Organic Garden:

 

 

Now that I have your attention with this serious list of benefits. Let’s get you started on your money saving, healthy, better for the environment path to an organic garden!

I have put together a gardening kit that will get you started on your journey. For additional resources, visit the Sustainability Shop 🙂

 

 

 

The Survival Garden Seed Kit by Open Seed Vault:

 

 

Inside the Survival Garden Seed Pack are carefully selected vegetables to provide a well balanced and healthy diet.

This seed pack comes with 32 varieties of all-natural vegetable seeds that are non-hybrid, non-GMO, 100% naturally grown, and open pollinated. Plus, a 14-page growing and seed saving guide.

 

Each pack contains the following 32 seed packets:  Seeds

  1. Kale Vates Blue Scotch
  2. Eggplant Black Beauty
  3. Green Bean Tendergreen Improved
  4. Zucchini Dark Green
  5.  Lettuce Buttercrunch Butterhead
  6. Brussels Sprouts Long Island
  7. Lettuce Ruby Leaf
  8. Lettuce Black Seeded Simpson
  9. Bell Pepper California Wonder
  10.  Radish Cherry Belle
  11. Okra Clemson Spineless
  12. Beet Detroit Dark Red
  13. Onion Evergreen Bunching
  14. Cabbage Golden Acre
  15. Corn Golden Bantam
  16. Cantaloupe Hales Best Jumbo
  17. Winter Squash Jumbo Pink Banana
  18. Tomato Beef Steak
  19. Lima Henderson
  20. Swiss Chard Giant Fordhook
  21. Cucumber Marketmore
  22. Spinach Bloomsdale
  23. Carrot Scarlet Nantes
  24. Turnip Purple Top
  25. Pumpkin Sugar Pie
  26. Cauliflower Snowball
  27. Pea Sugar Daddy
  28. Broccoli Waltham
  29. Winter Squash Waltham Butternut
  30. Sunflower Mammoth
  31. Parsnips Harris Model
  32. Celery Tall Utah Improved

 

The packets are USA Seed Stored in an airtight and moisture proof resealable bag for safer, long-term storage. Plus, the seeds have been tested for maximum germination and vegetable yield.

The Survival Garden Seed Pack is the perfect seed starter kit to bringing fresh vegetables to your kitchen table!

 

 

 

Epica’s Stainless Steel Compost Bin:

 

You can reduce the amount of waste that is headed to a landfill by composting your food scraps.

Another benefit is that composting recycles nutrients, which can be used to start your own organic vegetable garden.

Nutrients from a compost pile is better for your health and cheaper than purchasing chemical fertilizers.

This stainless steel bin controls odors naturally with an airtight lid and a replaceable activated-charcoal filter.

It holds 1.3-gallons of compost. It is big enough to hold several days’ worth of kitchen waste like vegetable peels, fruits, and coffee grounds, yet still small enough to fit on your countertop. 

Dimensions: 7.16” in diameter x 11” high.

The compost bin is molded from one piece of metal, so it resists rust and leaks. Moreover, it does not leak toxic chemicals into your compost pile.

 

 

 

Benefits of Worm Casting:

 

 

I am sure you are aware of how healthy bacteria (probiotics) help us digest food. Well, worm poop (worm casting) combines enzymes and positive bacteria to provide plants with optimal nutrition content.

Many of the nutrients that plants need to thrive can be found in large quantities within earthworm castings. Nutrients include magnesium, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, copper, zinc, iron, cobalt, borax, manganese, nitrogen, and carbon.

High levels of microbial activity have the following benefits:

  1. Helps plants grow faster.
  2. Increases soil aeration, which helps plants absorb nutrients and allows their roots to breath properly.
  3. Increases water retention, which makes it possible to use 50-75% less water in some situations. Money Saved! 
  4. Is all-natural! The consumption of fewer chemicals is vital to a healthier lifestyle. Worm casting allows you to grow “organic” vegetables!
  5. No heavy metals. Worms actually have the ability to absorb heavy metals like copper, lead, and cadmium from the soil. This means that the castings are heavy metal-free. This reduces the likelihood that those metals will end up in your vegetables and on your plate! 
  6. Burn-proof. Often times fertilizers are too high in nitrogen, which burns your plants. Casting will never burn the roots of your plants 🙂
  7. It is a natural pesticide! Save money on pesticides while avoiding the need to spray chemicals.
  8. Increases your crop yield :). In 2014, Nature Research published a study that showed that crops grown in worm castings produce 25% more yield.

 

 

Worm Casting Kit:

 

 

The nice thing about producing your own casting is that you will continuously produce natural fertilizer for your garden every month.

Producing your own casting will save you money over time, as opposed to purchasing casting from the store (which is typically packaged in a plastic bag).  

I have included a video to shows how the worm factory produces approximately 6 quarts of worm casting per month.

What’s more, the cost of worm casting bought from a store can be as much as $25 for 8 quarts.

In sum, if you are serious about wanting to grow organic vegetables, making the investment in a worm casting kit is totally worth it!

Moreover, you get to collect worm casting tea (to be clear, this is not the kind of tea you drink) that your plants love!! You should mix the tea with water and water your plants for an extra boost. worm casting

The Worm Factory comes with a bonus “What Can Red Wigglers Eat?” infographic refrigerator magnet.

This allows you to quickly determine which foods are perfect for your worms, and which you should avoid. 

Plus, the Worm Factory is odor free and included a 38-page instruction manual that is a step-by-step guide to managing your Worm Factory.

This worm casting kit has a built-in “worm tea” collector tray and spigot for easy draining.

I have included this instructional video to help you set up your worm casting kit by Growyourgreens.com.

 

 

 

Red Worms:

 

To get your organic garden rocking-and-rolling with the worm casting kit, grab 300 hundred live Red Worms and you will be all set!Red worms

These red worms turn organic waste into nutrient-rich soil!

The manufacturer even guarantees live delivery!

 

 

 

The 10,000 Foot Overview:

 

Often times we feel helpless because global warming can feel like such a big problem to tackle.

But, know that you can make a difference by making small changes to your daily actions. We all got ourselves into this climate change dilemma, and we all have to pitch in together to get ourselves out.

Let’s look to ourselves before we look to judge how others act. We can make a paradigm shift towards a sustainable planet if we make it the new “cool thing to do”.

Followers will always follow the trend, so be a leader and make sustainability the “new trend”.

Planting a garden is a way you can make a difference and help sequester carbon from the atmosphere!

I have listed a few of the benefits of planting your own organic garden. With some creativity, you can think of many other reasons how gardening can benefit your health and the planet.

Of course, I encourage you to add additional gardening benefits or tips to growing a successful garden by commenting at the bottom of this article.

If global warming, climate change, and resource depletion are important to you, then pre-enroll for a free mini-course to learn about other money-saving sustainability swaps and actions that you can take to save the world!

Moreover, becoming a Sustainability Hero has health, environment, and budget benefits.

Click here to visit the Sustainability Shop to start using zero-waste, plastic alternative, and biodegradable products today.

The shop includes energy efficiency and water conservation conversion kits, solar products, zero-waste, and minimally packaged home goods.

 

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If you have enjoyed this content, please remember to spread the word by sharing so that we can help others become Sustainability Heros too!

I encourage interaction, so please feel free to comment below!

 

8 ways to Reduce Global Warming by Increasing Energy Efficiency

8 ways to Reduce Global Warming by Increasing Energy Efficiency

Making your home more energy efficient reduces the use of the Earth’s non-renewable resources, helps curb pollution, allows us to breath cleaner air, and offers thousands of dollars in savings. Here are 8 ways to reduce global warming by increasing your energy efficiency.

 

8 Ways to Increasing Energy Efficiency to Prevent Climate Change

 

 

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8 Ways to Reduce Global Warming by Increasing Your Energy Efficiency:

Insulation Socket Sealer

1. Electrical Outlet Insulation:

Your home is like a block of swiss cheese, and the goal of insulating your home is to plug as many holes (in your home’s envelope) up as possible.

There are many places that these holes exist. Start with easy and cheap insulation fixes, like electrical outlets.

 

2. Air Filters: 

Regularly replace the filters on your furnaces and air conditioners. It requires more energy to suck air through dirty air filters because particles prevent the air from easily flowing through the filters.

 

3. Thermostat: 

Turn your thermostat down at night and when you leave the house. Wear a jacket and socks indoors to save money on your heating bill.

 

4. Tankless Water Heaters:

Install an on-demand (or tankless) hot water heater. These types of hot water heaters only heat water when you need it. Click here to read an article that will show you how to find rebates on appliance and energy efficiency updates to your home.

The search is based on your zip code and the rebates will be tailored to the specific area that you live in.

 

100 watt lights

 

5. LED Light Bulbs: 

Replace light bulbs with LED lights. Learn how you can save over $5,000 by switching to LED lights. According to EnergyStar.gov, the average home has approximately 40 lightbulbs.

 

Energy star rated light bulbs

 

You can save $128 per 100 watt light bulb equivalent over the life of the LED light by making the switch.

That’s 40 lights x $128= $5,120 saved! 

This photo, provided by USA Today, shows the amount you will save per light bulb for each a 60-watt bulb that you replace.

USA today LED

 

6. Low Flow Water Conservation Kit: 

Install a water conservation kit, which can be found at the Sustainability Shop. The water conservation kit is very inexpensive and includes low flow shower showerheads and faucet converters. This kit can save you up to 12,000 gallons of water per year (household of 4).Insulation Window Kit

 

7. Window Insulation:

 

The Duck Brand is a winner in the do-it-yourself insulation industry. The kit allows you to cover five 3′ x 5′ windows.

How does it work? You adhere a clear film to your window and simply use a hair dryer to shrink-wrap it to the glass’ surface.

Don’t worry, the film is completely see-through. This film helps prevent drafts and heat loss which provides a drastic increase in your home’s energy efficiency and can reduce your utility bill by hundreds of dollars per year. 

For additional energy efficiency, you can apply the film twice which will create an airtight lining over your window. 

The film is crystal clear so you can see outside, even with two layers.

The kit contains a 62″ x 210″ crystal clear film and a 1/2-inch by 84-feet (1080″) roll of double-sided tape. 

If you are not into the DIY scene, you can always go the easy route and grab these Blackout Insulation Curtains that are Insulating Black out curtains specifically manufactured to insulate your home.

These curtains block out sunlight to keep the heat out during the summer. They are thick and made from 100% polyester (Faux silk), which provides thermal insulation during the winter.

Moreover,  these curtains block out light (better sleep benefits) protect your furniture from color fading, and provide privacy. 

They are waterproof and you can either dry clean or machine wash them.

Each package comes with 1 panel, and the dimensions are 42″ W x 63″ L.

 

8. Use a Fan Instead of the A/C: 

Use a fan to circulate air in your home on hot days.  Fans are much more energy efficient than air conditioners.

Remember, fossil fuels and coal make up nearly 62%  of how we generate electricity in the U.S.

 

 

The 10,000 Foot Overview:

 

The federal/state governments and even some local utility companies offer tax breaks and incentives when you upgrade your home to be more energy efficient.

To learn more about these tax credits and rebates, read my article called: Renewable Energy Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates

The article will link you to the EnergyStar website where you can look up specific rebates and energy saving programs that your utility company may offer.

Becoming a Sustainability Hero has health, environment, and budget benefits.

If global warming, resource depletion, and climate change are important to you, then pre-enroll for the free Sustainability mini-course to learn about other money-saving green swaps and actions that you can take to save the world!

By visiting the Sustainability Shop you can check out energy efficiency and water conservation conversion kits, solar products, zero-waste, and minimally packaged home goods.

 

Articles that may interest you:

 

If you have enjoyed this content, please remember to spread the word by sharing. That way we can help others become Sustainability Heros too!

Renewable Energy Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates

Renewable Energy Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates

Navigating the federal, state, and local government renewable energy tax breaks (credits, deductions, and incentive) can be quite confusing. Not to mention, the added utility company’s rebates and programs. As a result, I decided to put together a roadmap, to help you navigate this rather complicated process. 

 

Renewable energy Tax breaks

 

 

If global warming, climate change, and resource depletion are important to you, then pre-enroll for a free mini-course to learn about money-saving sustainability swaps and actions that you can take to save the world!

 

 

The Federal Renewable Energy Tax Credit:

 

You better act quickly if you are interested in taking advantage of the biggest renewable energy tax credit. At the end of next year (2019), it will slowly start decreasing and until 2022. 

In other words, Congress could decide to extend the Renewable Energy tax credit… But, there is no guarantee that they will.

The federal renewable energy tax credit allows you to deduct 30% of the cost of installing a solar or wind turbine system from your federal taxes.

The average price of a home solar system in the United States is around $15,800 for a 5kW system. A 30% tax credit on that amount saves homeowners just over $4,720.

As you can see, in the photo below provided by Energysage.com, the tax credit will slowly start decreasing over time and eventually disappear. However, the exception is that there will be a permanent 10% tax credit for commercial use of renewable energy systems. 

 

Federal solar tax credit

 

As of the date of this writing, you only have around 1 year to get your butt in gear If you want to take advantage of these serious savings.

Meanwhile, if a $15,000 solar system installation sounds like its way over your budget… You aren’t alone.

This is why I wrote an article about how you can DIY (Do It Yourself) solar panels.

The DIY solar panel system is a step-by-step video instruction guide that will teach you how to build your own solar energy system for around 25% of the cost that you would have paid a professional installer. 

In other words, that’s nearly a 75% savings! 

Surprisingly, you can actually build a solar energy system in your spare time for a very reasonable price. This guide will help you build each solar panel in approximately 1 hour and for around $100!

 

 

State Tax Credits:

 

Most states and some city governments have tax breaks (incentives, deductions, or credits) that can be used in addition to the federal tax credit for renewable energy or energy efficiency updates to your home!

First, take a look at the U.S. Department of Energy’s website called DSIRE (Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Energy).

It is a super handy tool for understanding federal, state, and local tax incentives. The site also includes utility company incentives for each state.

Just visit the web page and click the state that you live in 🙂

 

There are two solutions to the current energy dilemma:

  1. Energy efficiencyuse less energy by insulating your home, and installing WaterSense and Energy Star rated appliances or conversion kits.
  2. Renewable energy install solar panels, wind turbines, etc.

 

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State programs are very specific and vary widely, so make sure to research your state’s energy tax policy. Of course, a simple online search should produce very helpful results.

 

State tax breaks can be broken down into three main categories:

 

  1. Sales tax exemptions (many states exempt purchases of energy-efficient products or renewable energy equipment)
  2. Income tax credits or deductions (available in 22 states)
  3. Property tax rebates or exemptions (available 32 states)
Similarly, this list is broken down by state and is very easy to navigate.

 

 

 

Appliance Rebates:

 

 

EnergyStar has a rebate finder that is super easy to use! Simply, type in your zip code and it will give you a list of the current rebates that your utility companies are offering!

Santa Monica, California is offering 10 mail in rebates. I couldn’t get a screenshot off all 10, but here is an example of what three of them look like:

 

 

rebate offers

 

 

 

Utility Company Rebates:

 

 

Check with your utility company to see whether they have any of the following programs:

 

1. LED lightbulb replacements

According to EnergyStar.gov, the average home has approximately 40 lightbulbs.

You can save $128 per 100-watt light bulb equivalent over the life of the LED light by making the switch.

That’s 40 lights x $128= $5,120 saved! 

If you are ready to save money by making the switch, you can find 100-watt equivalent lightbulbs at the Sustainability Shop.

 

Energy star rated light bulbs

 

In short, I would highly recommend switching to LEDs over CFL lights. Unfortunately, CFL lights are made with mercury, which can become hazardous to the environment if they are not disposed of properly. 

 

 

AmazonBasics LED (100-watt incandescent light bulb replacement)

 

 

2. Programmable thermostats

Some utility companies offer rebates or incentives if you install a programmable thermostat.

Most importantly, a programmable thermostat helps you have more control over the temperature in your home and save you money by doing so. You can read about the 8 Benefits of Programmable Thermostats here. 

 

3. Recycle old appliances

There are some utility companies that will pick up your old appliances and then give you a rebate on purchasing a new EnergyStar rated one! Double dip savings! 

Moreover, often times when you purchase a new appliance from a store they will charge you to remove your old appliance.

Calling your utility company before shopping for a new appliance can help you by:

First, save money by getting advice on which appliances are the most energy efficient.

Second, they may remove your old appliance and recycle it for free.

Third, they may offer rebates for approved EnergyStar and WaterSense appliances and fixtures.

 

4.  Upgrading to EnergyStar rated appliances

Use the EnergyStar rebate finder to see what kinds of incentive programs your utility company offers for washers, dryers, dishwashers, tankless water heaters, etc.

5. Tune up your furnace

Your utility company may offer a forced air furnace diagnostic tune-up rebate.

6. Winterization and insulation upgrades

Ask your utility company what kinds of rebates they offer for upgrading your home to become more energy efficient. The Sustainability Shop has DIY window and electrical outlet insulation kits.

 

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In sum, by implementing these energy efficiency and renewable technology suggestions you can attain large savings. Moreover, it would seem that you can obtain savings from many different avenues.

 

 

The 10,000 Foot Overview:

 

Start by changing simple habits and using products that are sustainable/reusable.

Moreover, make sure to talk to your family, friends, and community about sustainability. Knowledge helps people become aware of their actions which will help everyone make a larger impact together.

We got into this resource depletion and global warming issue together, which means that the only way out is to solve the issue as a community 🙂

Recently, scientists have released a warning that the world has less than 15 years to reduce the carbon output to nearly 0 or else face serious climate change consequences.

Insulation can increase your energy efficiency, and save you tons of money on your next utility bill. You can find several insulation solutions on Eco Economic’s Sustainability Shop page.

The shop includes energy efficiency and water conservation conversion kits, solar products, zero-waste, and minimally packaged home goods.

Becoming a Sustainability Hero has health, environment, and budget benefits.

Interested in learning more about how to create wealth with the money you save by going green? Pre-enroll for a Free mini-course on Tax Tips, Business Tricks, and Real Estate Knowledge!

 

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Articles that may interest you:

 

 

If you have enjoyed this content, please remember to pin and share!

By sharing we can help others become Sustainability Heros too! Remember, it is our own lives and futures at stake.

Interested in a particular topic? Comment below!

 

 

 

Renewable Energy Tax Credit: How to Install DIY Solar Panels

Renewable Energy Tax Credit: How to Install DIY Solar Panels

If you are interested in taking advantage of the biggest federal renewable energy tax credit, you will need to take action by 2019. The federal solar tax credit, also known as the investment tax credit (ITC), allows you to deduct 30% of the cost of installing a solar energy system from your federal taxes.

 

Renewable Energy Tax Credits (1)

 

As you can see in the photo below provided by Energysage.com, the tax credit will slowly start decreasing over time.

As of the date of this writing, you only have around 1 year to get your butt in gear!

 

Federal solar tax credit

 

The federal solar tax credit applies to both residential and commercial systems. What’s more is that there is no cap on its value!

 

The cost to install solar panels can vary greatly, based on the state and solar installation company you use.

A professionally installed solar energy system can cost upward of $20k, but there are two ways to minimize this cost.

Don’t want to spend $20k on a solar energy system? That’s ok. Read on 🙂

 

 

Lease vs. Build it Yourself

 

 

1. You can opt for a solar lease agreement– A company like Solar City will install solar panels for free. Then you purchase the power from the solar power company at a lower rate than you are currently paying your utility company. 

This means that you still have to purchase electricity from a company. Instead of purchasing your energy from your utility company (that probably gets its electricity from coal and other fossil fuels), you will be getting electricity from a renewable source (the sun).

2. DIY solar panel systems-You can purchase a step-by-step video instruction guide, along with the materials, and build your own solar energy system for around 25% of the cost that you would have paid a professional installer.

One of the main differences here is that you will own your solar panels, and any energy produced after your breakeven point is “free electricity”. 

 

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Benefits of the DIY Solar Panel System Guide:

 

 

Surprisingly, you can actually build a solar energy system in your spare time for a very reasonable price.

This may sound impossible since you probably don’t have an engineering background. Fortunately, the DYI Home Energy System Guide breaks down every step along the way so that there is no confusion.

Shockingly, professional installation companies can charge over $20k to install a solar energy system. 

Jeff, the creator of DYI Home Energy System Guide, helps you build each solar panel for around $100.

In the video guide, Jeff walks you through how to assemble a solar energy system. He films each step of the installation process and explains in it detail. 

 

 

 

Deciding Whether a DIY Solar Energy System is the Best Solution for You: 

 

 

If you have an hour here and there to build your own renewable energy system, this guide is the perfect tool to help you achieve big-time savings and energy independence.

Jeff estimates that it takes around 1 hour to build each solar panel. Additionally, all you need are simple hand tools that you probably already own (like a screwdriver). 

Moreover, the DYI Home Energy System Guide tells you which professional grade parts you will need to order.

To be honest, the sales video is a little cheesy. That being said, Jeff’s story really tells you why he spent so much time on his quest to build the best solar energy system for his family.

He explains how the electricity grid, in many parts of the country, is over 100 years old. The age of the electricity infrastructure is the main cause the many rolling blackouts in his area.

Moreover, Jeff wanted to achieve energy independence so that he was no longer subject to the utility company’s rate increases. 

 

Try, then Decide:

 

As of the time of this writing over 42,000 people have bought the DYI Home Energy System Guide.

If that doesn’t settle your mind from worry, know that the DYI Home Energy System Guide comes with a 60-day money back guarantee.

You can always watch the video and return it if you think that you won’t be able to complete the project. This way you can see what you are getting into before making for a final decision (worry-free).

 

 

Jeff really emphasizes that you will be purchasing professional grade building materials to construct your solar power system.

He explains that the reason why there is such a large cost difference between having a professional installer build your unit and building it on your own is that you are paying for the labor, know-how, and additional mark up.

Companies need to generate a profit, and as you probably know the standard mark up for retailers (from a wholesale distributor to a retail store) is 50% of the cost of the product. 

 

 

 

DIY Solar Energy System Vs. A Solar Lease:

 

 

As you know, I am a huge advocate of renewable energy. Up till this article, I always thought that the cost to install a solar energy system was way too expensive to make financial sense.

Typically, a standard solar energy system lasts around 25 years, and the average payback period is 15-20 years.

So purchasing your own system doesn’t really make sense, unless you plan on living in your home for 25 years. Most people end up moving within that time and won’t have the opportunity to recover that investment cost.

This is why I had opted to go with the solar lease option (for my home in Las Vegas).

Now that I have found this solution, I really do believe that I could have bribed a few friends with a home cooked meal to help me build a solar energy system for cheaper than the cost of purchasing electricity through my solar lease. 

Because the DYI Home Energy System is so much cheaper to build, you will hit the breakeven point on the cost of the unit much quicker.

 

 

 

Some of the Benefits of a DIY Solar Project:

 

1. Energy independence. Who cares if the utility companies decide to raise electricity costs? Not you!

What’s more is that you can sell your excess electricity to the utility company.

Earn a bit of cash from selling any energy that you aren’t using and fund your retirement account! Read (Roth IRA: How to Become a Millionaire by the Time You Retire!)

2. Low to no maintenance. Once you build your renewable energy solar system, there is little to no maintenance required.

Build a solar energy system for a fraction of the cost you would have otherwise had to pay a professional installer.

 

 

 

A Few Minor Drawbacks:

 

 

1.City Inspector:

 

Just like with any major remodel, you will need to have your solar energy system inspected by an official city inspector.

The inspector will probably have you fix a thing or two, which will require him to come back and re-inspect another day… Don’t take it personally, stay strong, and make any required corrections to pass that inspection. Just think of this step as part of the process.

If you include this step in your mental accounting process, you won’t think of it as a pain in the butt. Instead, think of it as just part of what needs to happen to make sure you have a safe solar energy system.

You really do want a city inspector to come by to make sure that you installed your system correctly... After all, you are playing with electricity.

The only negative review I have seen thus far is by Solarreviews.com. Upon further research, I found that the website is owned by a solar installation company. Of course, It is in their best interest to have you pay them to install solar panels for you.

 

2. Time:

 

Every DIY project is going to some take time and require a little perseverance. The instructional videos are very thorough, and you will have to set aside time to watch them. Of course, building a solar energy system yourself will also take time.

If you can find 2-3 weekends to devote to building your own energy system, you can save a ton of money with the DYI Home Energy System guide.

Remember, by building your own solar unit you are able to save money because you are the labor (instead of paying someone else to put in the labor).

 

 

 

The 10,000 Foot Overview:

 

 

Renewable energy is the way of the future. As a society, we need to make the switch away from fossil fuels.

Take the pledge to become a Sustainability Hero.  Living in harmony with the planet has health, environment, and budget benefits.

Remember to visit the sustainability shop, which includes energy efficiency and water conservation conversion kits, solar products, zero-waste, and minimally packaged home goods.

If global warming, resource depletion, and climate change are important to you, then pre-enroll for the free Sustainability mini-course. 

This course is designed to teach you about many money-saving green swaps and actions that you can take to save the world!

 

Articles that may interest you:

 

If you have enjoyed this content, please remember to spread the word by sharing. That way we can help others become Sustainability Heros too!

The Ultimate Guide to Preventing Global Warming

The Ultimate Guide to Preventing Global Warming

It seems like the topic of climate change and resource depletion is on the tip of everyone’s tongue, but no one really knows what to do about it. I have compiled the UN’s most important blueprint actions for achieving a happier and healthier world while adding a few of my own tips to create the Ultimate Guide to Prevent Global Warming.

 

Steps You Can Take To Prevent Global Warming

 

By implementing these simple actions we can manifest a change for a better future. The UN has created a campaign called the “Be the Change Initiative” that provides an opportunity for all of us to better “walk the talk”.

I have created a Sustainability Shop” and have done the work of reading the labels and reviews to offer you the best sustainable products on the market.

This collection of sustainable living products have been amassed in one place for your convenience. The shop includes energy efficiency and water conservation conversion kits, solar products, zero-waste, and minimally packaged home goods. 

I want to encourage you to reuse your current belongings until they are either broken or no longer useful (and you need to replace them).

The exception to this is if what you are currently using produces lots of one-time use waste or is harmful to your health. 

Of course, if you are using something that is not good for your health (like cooking with Teflon that was manufactured prior to 2013), then purchasing a replacement makes sense.

Take the Sustainability Pledge today and incorporate as many biodegradable, reusable, and alternative energy products into your daily routine as possible.

To have the greatest impact we must change our daily habits and consumption patterns at work and at home.

Many of the recommendations in this guild have budget saving benefits, is healthier for your body, and greatly reduces your carbon output 🙂

 

 

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5 Steps That You Can Take To Prevent Global Warming

 

 

Step 1: At Home

 

 

Fossil fuels and coal make up nearly 62%  of how we generate electricity in the U.S.

By increasing your home’s energy efficiency you can save the environment, money on your next electricity bill, and breath cleaner air.

Start by plugging the air leaks in the windows and doors. Adjust your thermostat (lower in the winter and higher in the summer). Replace old appliances and light bulbs with energy efficient models.

Visit the Sustainability Shop to check out Energy Star rated LED light bulbs, electrical outlet sealers, window insulators, and other energy-saving insulation tools.

Download a full list of energy efficiency tips here with the Free Home Energy Audit Guide.

If you use a dishwasher, stop rinsing your plates before you run the machine. Yes, you should still scrape all of the food off before putting the dishes in the dishwasher. Dishwashers today use high heat to take off any food residue left on dishes.

Install solar panels on the roof of your home. You can lease solar panels (learn more by reading “How to Install Free Solar Panels on your Home”)  from a company like Solar City. It’s cheaper to get electricity through a solar lease than it is to purchase electricity directly from the utility company 🙂

Reuse your holiday decorations. Unfortunately, the holidays are the most wasteful time of the year. Just think of all the one-time-use cups, plates, utensils, decorations, gift wrapping, etc. Look for ways to plan eco-friendly parties and events. 

I love the holidays and the idea of spending time with friends and family just as much as you do. Let’s be responsible about how we plan our events so that Mother Nature can have a happy holiday too!

 

Tile Floors in High Traffic Areas:

 

This flooring option has many benefits.

First, tile floors basically last forever (unless you drop a sledgehammer on it and crack the tile itself).

Second (real estate investment tip), due to its durability tile is great for rental properties.

Third, you won’t need to keep replacing the flooring like you would with carpet. This will save you money in the long run and reduces the amount of trash going to our landfills.

Fourth, tile is great for easy cleanup. Liquids can be easily mopped up and won’t stain the floor.

Fifth, tile keeps your home cool in the summer. Add rugs in the winter for a cozy warmer feel. Carpets in the bedroom and rugs in the living areas keep your home warm, your thermostat low, and will save you a chunk of change.

 

 

 

Step 2: Your Daily Routine

 

 

Request that vendors stop sending paper statements. Pay your bills online or via mobile. Remember, every sheet of paper leads to more forest destruction.

Use cardboard matches. Unlike plastic gas-filled lighters, they don’t require any petroleum.

Recycling paper, plastic, glass, and aluminum keeps landfills from growing.

Buy minimally packaged goodsgoods that are packaged in eco-friendly materials, and packaging and products made from recycled materials.

Many of the products found in the Sustainability Shop are packaged in cardboard, recycled paper, or do not have packaging at all.

Bike, walk or take public transportation. Save the car trips for when you can carpool or need to go long distances.

Use a refillable water bottle and coffee cup. Cut down on waste and maybe even save money at the coffee shop. Read how you can save $1,200 per year by not purchasing that $5 cup of coffee before work. 

Bring your own bag when you shop. Some stores even give you a $0.06 savings for bringing your own shopping bags.

Take fewer napkins, and just use what you need.

Shop vintage and see what you can repurpose from second-hand stores.

Donate what you don’t use to local charities to give your beloved belonging a new life with someone who will appreciate them.

 

 

 

Step 3: Water Conservation

 

 

Take short showers. Bathtubs require gallons more water than a 5-10 minute shower. Use a WaterSense rated shower head and faucets. WaterSense conversion kits can be found in the Sustainability Shop and can save up to 12,000 gallons of water per year.

Moreover, the conversion kits pay for themselves and take 2 minutes to install. Its small actions like these that make the biggest differences.

Let your hair and clothes dry naturally instead of running a machine.

If you do wash your clothes, make sure the load is full.

When you finish drinking a cup of cold water/juice, water a plant with your leftover ice cubes. 🙂

Here are a few surprising facts about water by The Infographics Show that I bet you didn’t know.

 

 

 

Did you know that a leaky faucet can waste up to 11,000 liters of water per year?

Fixing leaky faucets can save water, energy to filter/transport the water to your home, chemicals to remediate the water after it has been used, and reduce your utility bill 🙂

Lastly, remember to turn off the tap water while brushing your teeth.

 

 

 

Step 4: The Kitchen

 

 

Shopping for food locally supports neighborhood businesses and keeps people employed. Moreover, it helps prevent trucks from driving far distances to transport food.

Food that is sourced locally tastes better because it is fresher and was able to ripen on the vine (instead of a gas chamber).

Shop Smart, plan meals, and use shopping lists to avoid impulse buys.

 

spinner

Remember these? What exactly are they for? How many of these will end up in a landfill 3 years from now?

 

Don’t succumb to marketing tricks that lead you to buy more food than you need.  Although you may save money by purchasing perishable items in bulk, it does you no good if you end up not eating them because they have over ripened or grown mold.

Buy Funny Fruit 🙂 Many fruits and vegetables are thrown out because their size, shape, or color are not “right”. Buying these perfectly good funny fruit, at the farmer’s market or elsewhere, utilizes food that might otherwise go to waste.

Remember, it takes water, transportation, fertilizer, and labor to grow these funny fruits. They need love too!

Read about how you can use meal prepping to fund your retirement account here.

You can find bento lunchboxes, reusable glass containers, biodegradable lunch bags, and reusable silicon bags for food storage in the Sustainability Shop.

Don’t forget to freeze fresh produce and leftovers, if you don’t have the chance to eat them before they go bad.

Eat less meat, poultry, and fish. More resources are used to produce meat than plants. You can learn more about the Reducetarian Diet and how the meat industry produces more carbon than the transportation industry in the library section of the Sustainability Shop.

 

 

Step 5: Grow Your Own Food and Compost

 

Composting food scraps can reduce waste that would otherwise need to be transported to a landfill.

Another benefit is that composting recycles nutrients, which can be used to start your own organic vegetable garden.

Nutrients from a compost pile is healthier for you and cheaper than purchasing chemical fertilizers.

 

 

The 10,000 Foot Overview: 

 

Save money today by becoming a Sustainability Hero.

Remember, it is our own lives and futures at stake.

UN scientists have released a warning stating that the world has less than 15 years to reduce the carbon output to nearly 0 or else face serious climate change consequences.

This means that we need to drastically cut back on our carbon output and even start carbon sequestering campaigns to meet this goal.

Take action today, and remember to visit the sustainability shop to start using zero-waste, plastic alternative, and biodegradable products today.

Reduce your single-use waste output and take the Sustainability Pledge.

Becoming a Sustainability Hero has health, environment, and budget benefits🙂

If global warming, climate change, and resource depletion are important to you, then pre-enroll for a free mini-course to learn about other money-saving sustainability swaps and actions that you can take to save the world!

Start by changing simple habits and using products that are sustainable/reusable.

 

Related Resources:

 

Make global warming a hot topic and talk about these issues to your family, friends, and community. Letting them know about these simple actions can help us all make a larger impact.

The more you spread the word, the more a topic “catches fire” and more people become aware of the issue.

If you have enjoyed this content, please remember to spread the word by sharing so that we can help others join us in our efforts to prevent global warming too!

Interested in a particular topic or want to give your two cents? Comment below!

 

5 Ways to Save Money by Going Green

5 Ways to Save Money by Going Green

Today I am going to talk about how you can save money by going green! There are so many reasons why going green is so important. Earlier this month, NASA published an article stating that 97% of actively publishing climate scientists agree that “climate-warming trends over the past century are extremely likely due to human activities”.

5 ways to save money by going green

 

We are past the stage of denial and must take a stance to change our current course of carbon output. Climate change, global warming, and resource depletion is a serious challenge that is going to take effort on the part of every person on this planet.

In fact, the world has just over a decade to get climate change under control.

In 2016, the Paris Agreement was signed by the majority of the world’s leaders and put into effect. Unfortunately, in August of 2017, the Trump Administration withdrew the United States from the agreement.

A recent UN report found the world’s annual carbon dioxide emission would have to be on a steep decline by 2030 to hold the world below a 1.5° Celsius increase.

Shockingly, the current carbon emission output amounts to more than 40 billion tons per year, and that amount is increasing not decreasing.

What is the difference between 1.5° and 2° Celsius?

Globalnews.ca provides a quick overview of what the .5° means for us and the planet.

 

 

 

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The Little Things: Eco-friendly Alternatives

 

Are you interested in reducing your environmental footprint, but don’t know where to start?

Eco Economics is committed to providing the knowledge and products to help you get on your path to becoming a Sustainability Hero.

Going green is imperative to you and your family’s health and survival. Making changes to your daily habits may be challenging at first, but don’t worry soon they will become a part of your routine.

Below I have listed 5 ways for you to go green and save money by doing so!

 

 

Rechargeable Batteries:

 

Americans purchase approximately 3 billion batteries a year.

Around two-thirds of these batteries wind up in the trash. Unfortunately, cadmium, nickel, and lead can leach from the landfills and end up contaminating our groundwater resources.

Amazon Rechargeable battery chargerAccording to Battery University, battery-powered energy costs between $68 to more than $400 per kilowatt-hour.

In contrast, depending on where you live, electricity costs between 7 to 19 cents per kilowatt-hour (according to the Energy Information Administration).

Meaning that batteries are extremely inefficient and costly for their energy output.

Batteries are an easy to replace single-use item. Just imagine all of the packaging, transportation, and resource waste we can prevent by using rechargeable batteries.

A popular blog called the Simple Dollar shows how you can save $77.44 annually by switching over to rechargeable batteries.AAA Rechargeable Batteries (12-Pack)

The blog mentions that there is a start-up cost for purchasing the rechargeable batteries and the wall charger.

The big picture overview is that the savings over the life of the batteries more than make up the cost of throwing away one-time use batteries.

Not to mention the overall benefit to the environment, your health, and the additional trips saved to the store!

AA Rechargeable Batteries (8-Pack)Rechargeable batteries are like LED light bulbs. They cost a lot more upfront than their conventional counterparts, but their extended lifespan makes them far more cost efficient in the long run.

This charger is able to recharge both AAA and AA batteries. Click here to view the charger details and here to purchase additional AA and AAA batteries.

 

 

 

 

Paperless Napkins:

 

Did you know that 13 billion pounds of paper towels are used EVERY year in the U.S.?

If each U.S. household uses one less 70-sheet roll, 554,000 trees could be saved annually!Paperless towel

**Click here to read why microfibers are so awful for the environment (hint:1,900+ tiny plastic fibers are released per wash cycle into our water resources which we eventually eat).

These paperless kitchen napkins are handmade from natural unbleached cotton birdseye fabric.

They come in a set of 10 and can be thrown in the laundry for easy cleaning.

Dimensions: 11×12 inches (28×30.5 cm)

Say on average you purchase one pack of paper towels (8 rolls) each month for $8, these paperless napkins pay for themselves after 2.5 months! 

That means that you save $76 for the rest of the year in which you purchase the paperless towels. The next year and each year after that, you will save $8 x 12months = $96 per year! 

Moreover, these paperless napkins are unbleached. Just imagine how much bleach is put into our environment to produce white paper towels.

Click here to start saving money and quit using single-use paper towels.

 

 

Reusable Silicone Bags: 

 

Another shocking statistic that will blow your mind is the fact that Ziploc® bags and their off-brand counterparts have become so prevalent that the average United States family uses 500 Ziploc bags each year!

The United States has an estimated population of 326 million people. With an average family size of 2.8 people (U.S. Census Data), that means that the United States alone uses an average of 58 million Ziploc® bags per year!

Single-use plastic is the worst 🙁

If each family uses 500 Ziploc® bags per year (1-quart bags come in a box of 50 and each box costs $5), then an average family spends $50 in Ziploc® bags per year.

Save money by switching over to these re-sealable silicone bags today.

What’s more is that for the same $50 you are spending a year on Ziploc® bags, you can purchase 2.5 sets of these silicon bags.

The silicone bags are heavy duty and will last you for many years to come, so this plastic-free swap will keep saving you money year after year!

Moreover, they are non-allergenic, non-reactive, and hygienic. They do not contain BPA, PVC, petroleum, estrogen-mimicking compounds, and are latex-free.

These bags can basically handle it all!!!

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

The silicon bags can handle a temperature range from -58℉  to 482℉ and can hold 30 fl oz (4 cups or 1 quart) of food or liquid.

They are airtight and come with a lifetime warranty!!

 

 

 

EcoFriendly Coffee Maker:

 

To truly embrace a sustainable lifestyle you need to quit as many single-use products as possible. 

This Bodum Pour Over Coffee Maker comes with a stainless steel mesh filter that helps extract your coffee’s aromatic oils and subtle flavors. Typically, paper filters absorb these flavors and essential oils.

The coffee carafe is made of durable, heat-resistant borosilicate glass with a cork band that is both functional and elegant.

It comes in various sizes: 17oz, 34oz, 51oz, and 68 oz.

To get a hold of your dishwasher-safe coffee maker today click here.  

 

 

 

LED Light Bulbs:

 

Sustainable LED lights

Did you know that space heating is the largest consumer of electricity in the U.S. (41%), followed by appliances, electronics, and lighting (35%)?

If you are interested in saving money on your next electricity bill, be sure to download my FREE Home Energy Audit Guide!

 

Save Thousands by Going Green!

A FREE Checklist on How to Fund Your Retirement Account by Going Green.

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Remember, fossil fuels and coal make up nearly 62%  of how we generate electricity in the U.S.

Save up to 86% on your electric bill that is devoted to lighting with Sunco LED light bulbs.

They have a whopping 35,000-hour lifespan and you can use them both in and outdoors.

The Sunco LED light bulbs are Energy Star rated, which means that they meet strict efficiency, quality and product lifetime criteria.

Moreover, the manufacturer offers a 3-year warranty!

 

 

The 10,000 Foot Overview:

 

Save money today by becoming a Sustainability Hero. Click here to visit the Sustainability Shop today.

Reduce your single-use waste output and pledge to go plastic free!

Becoming a Sustainability Hero has health, environment, and budget benefits🙂

Sustainability is an important topic that we need to address.

If global warming, climate change, and resource depletion are important to you then take the pledge to become a conscious consumer today!

Start by changing simple habits and using products that are sustainable/reusable.

 

Related Resources:

 

 

If you have enjoyed this content, please remember to spread the word by sharing so that we can help others become Sustainability Heros too!

Interested in a particular topic? Comment below!

 

How Silicone Can Save the World From Plastic

How Silicone Can Save the World From Plastic

Why is silicone better than plastic you ask? Silicone is made from naturally occurring materials like silicon, oxygen, carbon, and hydrogen. Moreover, it resists oxidative deterioration (i.e. normal aging) for decades and studies have shown that it actually thrives on challenges.

 

Sustainable Living Gift Ideas_

 

Silicon is able to experience a wide range of temperatures from extreme heat and cold, to exposure to harsh chemicals, sterilization, rain, snow, salt spray, ultraviolet radiation, ozone, and even acid rain.

Silicone is more environmentally friendly and is also more inert than plastic. This means that silicone does not leach chemicals into your food when used for food storage or during the cooking process.

In recent years, silicone bakeware has received a lot of attention. Its ability to go from the oven to the fridge to the freezer without any breaks in between has increased its popularity. 

What’s more is that silicone products are microwave, oven, dishwasher, refrigerator, and freezer safe! It can handle a wide range of temperatures and offers non-stick properties.

In fact, experts even recommend you skip greasing silicon baking dishes because oil is not necessary and makes for an easier cleanup.

Another reason why silicone beats plastic is that plastic has a rigid form and often cracks under pressure or melts at medium to high temperatures.

Moreover, when plastics are recycled, most plastic give off noxious and toxic fumes that add to the creation of acid rain.

This article is going to cover how you can save money, reduce your use of single use-products, eat healthier, and be more environmentally friendly by adding silicone to your daily routine 🙂

 

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The Healthier Option:

 

Silicone is the undisputed champion when it comes to offering a highly durable and reusable material. Unlike plastic, silicon does not leak or contain estrogen-mimicking chemicals. 

Doctors, scientists, and regulators have published a wide array of studies linking health problems to the use of BPA and other environmental toxins that leach into our system through the use of plastic.

Clearly, silicon is the more healthy and environmentally friendly option.

Here are a few helpful silicone swaps!

 

Silicone Cooking Utensils:

 

The MIBOTE 11-pieces wooden cooking utensil set is made with 100% non-corrosive materials. Moreover, the food grade silicone does not react with foods/beverages or produce any hazardous fumes. 

Silicon Cooking utensils

Of course, the silicone tips are ultra heat resistant and can withstand a temperature range between -40°F and 446°F.

Silicon is naturally non-stick and stain-resistant which makes for a hassle-free cleanup!

MIBOTE uses wooden handles that are environmentally friendly and won’t rust like some metal utensils might.

Quit scratching your pots and pans with metal utensils or accidentally melting your plastic ones.

Click here to check out more details on this utensil set.

 

 

Magic Brush Scrubber Gloves:

 

The Magic Saksak reusable brush scrubber gloves make cleaning super fast and easy! They can be used to wash the dishes, clean the tub/shower, or even for pet care. 

This soft glove is made of high-quality food grade silicone that  Silicon Gloves can be sterilized in boiled water, the microwave, or in a dishwasher.

Tired of replacing your kitchen sponge?

The Magic Saksak glove is long lasting and very durable.

Additionally, they keep your skin safe from getting dish-pan-hands (a condition of dryness, redness, and scaling of the hands that results from repeated exposure to cleaning materials).

Get a hold of your Magic Saksak gloves today and save money and the environment by not having to purchase replacement sponges every month.

 

 

Silicone Ice Cube or Candy/Cake Molds:


silicon ice cube trays

The OZERA silicone ice cube molds are made of food grade silicone and are of course BPA, PVC, and phthalate free. 

The molds come in a pack of 2 and each tray contains 15 squares. 

Dimensions: 1.25-inch square ice cubes.

Its perfect for freezing 1-ounce servings of homemade or pureed baby food, sauces, whiskey ice cubes, or as a mold for perfectly cubed fudge or candy. 

The OZERA mold makes a great gift for the upcoming holidays!

Moreover, the manufacturer offers a 100% money back guarantee and comes with a lifetime warranty. This is a totally risk-free purchase. Click here to grab one today 🙂

 

 

Hiware Drinking Straws:

 

silicone strawsThe United States National Park Service estimates that Americans use 500 million straws per day.

Technomic (a firm that focuses on the foodservice market), recently estimated that nearly 63 billion straws were used last year.

Companies across the world are starting to take notice and beginning to change how they offer their products.  A National Geographic article notes that,

“Starbucks plans to phase out plastic straws by 2020McDonald’s recently announced it will ban plastic straws at its U.K. and Ireland restaurants. Bon Appétit Management, a food service company with 1,000 U.S. locations, announced last May it will [also] phase out plastic straws.”

I am excited to see that the world is beginning to take notice of the impact that humans are having on Mother Nature.

The switch to a sustainable world does not mean that we have to give up all luxuries and live in the stone age. We just need to use products that are easy to reuse, recycle, and are biodegradable.

Each one of us gets to choose which luxuries we want to keep in our lives. If you love drinking from a straw, then do it responsibly 🙂

The Hiware silicone drinking straws come in a pack of 8 assorted colors and are accompanied by 2 cleaning brushes.

Due to their slightly thicker diameter, they are great for drinking smoothies, milkshakes, and yogurts.

These straws fit most large tumblers including Yeti and RTIC. The straws are slightly larger than your average straw, but that’s ok because they are flexible and can be squeezed into smaller openings without out issue.

Dimensions: Approximately 10 inch in length and 0.45 inches in exterior diameter.

The best part is that the manufacturer offers a lifetime guarantee! 

Click here to grab your straws today.

 

 

AmazonBasics Reusable Silicone Baking Cups:

 

silicon baking cups

These AmazonBasics Reusable Baking Cups come in a pack of 12 value and makes an excellent gift for any occasion.

Save the environment by grabbing these cost-saving alternative baking cups to one-time use paper cups.

Effortless food release means that no greasing or cooking spray is needed.

Of course, these cups are freezer, microwave, oven (up to 500 degrees F), and dishwasher safe. Not to mention, they are also stain and odor resistant. 

Get ready for the holidays and give a gift that will keep giving.

Silicon is healthier, more environmentally friendly, and will save you money because you can reuse these baking cups over and over again.

You can’t beat a one and done deal!

 

The 10,000 Foot Overview: 

 

Silicon is so reliable and durable that many of the manufacturers of the products that I have mentioned in this post offer lifetime guarantees!

It’s hard to find another material that is so versatile.

Silicon is sustainable, healthier, and clearly beats plastic every time!

The holidays are just around the corner. Give the gift of sustainability.

This gift set is the perfect gift because it also gives you the opportunity to talk about sustainability with your friends and family.

 

 

Related Resources:

 

 

 

If you have enjoyed this content, please remember to pin and share! Comments are always welcome.

 

 

The Ultimate Guide for Sustainable Cookware

The Ultimate Guide for Sustainable Cookware

Creating a healthy meal starts with the pots and pans you use to cook with. I have created the ultimate guide for sustainable cookware so that you can see the benefits and pitfalls of each variety. 

 

The Ultimate guide for sustainable cooking (1)

 

Today’s industries patent new materials and synthetic chemicals on a daily basis. Their hope is to create stronger longer-lasting products.

While it is important to continuously create new technologies that push us into the future, the long-term effects of these products are not known until many decades later.

One revolutionary creation that helps chefs and people across the world is the invention of the non-stick pan.

 

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Cookware: Stainless Steel vs.Teflon vs. Ceramic  

 

Today, cookware typically come in three varieties: stainless steel, Teflon and ceramic.

Stainless Steel: 

 

The stainless steel option tends to be on the more expensive side. Although the stainless steel coating that comes into contact with your food does not leach toxins, other metals within the interior of the pan may.

Typically stainless steel cookware is a composite of materials. These include iron, carbon, and chromium along with small percentages of nickel, titanium, vanadium, and copper.

Unfortunately, chromium and nickel are toxic for your health. You should avoid using damaged stainless steel cookware due to their possible health risks. 

Another downside of using stainless steel cookware is that food tends to get stuck unless you use lots of cooking oil. Even then, I often find that soaking the stainless steel cookware for at least 10 minutes helps enormously before cleaning.

Teflon: 

 

If you are looking for an easy to clean, non-stick variety of cookware, Teflon is a popular design. One concern with Teflon is that the nonstick coating can flake off and be ingested. Typically this is more likely to happen with cheaper or poor-quality pans.

Metal utensils can scratch even high-quality nonstick surfaces, which can lead to flaking. One method of adding shelf-life to your cookware is to never use metal utensils while cooking.

Instead, use silicon cooking utensils which are freezer, microwave, oven, and dishwasher safe 🙂

If your Teflon cookware was produced prior to 2013, then it’s likely produced with a toxic chemical called PFOA. More on this topic in the next section.

 

Ceramic: 

 

Ceramic cookware is the newest material in the world of nonstick pots and pans. While ceramics have been around for several millennia, it’s becoming more popular in the use of modern kitchens.

Ceramics are widely considered to be the safest and most environmentally friendly option of the three cookware materials.

Furthermore, it has a higher heat resistance and is more scratch resistant than Teflon.

More importantly, ceramic cookware is non-reactive and doesn’t leach chemicals into your food.

Despite the energy it takes to fire a kiln, there are few materials around as durable and eco-friendly as ceramics.

 

Non-Stick Pots and Pans Produced Prior to 2013:

 

Unfortunately, when the non-stick pan was first created it was produced with a chemical called perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA).

PFOA has been linked to a number of negative health side effects. To name a few: thyroid disorders, chronic kidney disease, liver disease, testicular cancer, infertility, and low birth weight (123456).

Sadly, the PFOA chemical was in wide use in the production of Teflon until 2013.

The PFOA Stewardship Program, launched in 2006 by the EPA, spearheaded the elimination of PFOA from Teflon products.

In 2007, an article published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine- National Institute of Health found that PFOA was in the blood of more than 98% of people who took part in the study (1999–2000 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey).

Luckily, the use of PFOA has been banned in the production of cookware. 

So one question to ask yourself is… Are you still cooking with non-stick pots and pans that were manufactured before 2013?

If you are using Teflon pots and pans that were manufactured before 2013, it’s time to make the investment and update your cookware.

Take this opportunity to exercise your ability to be a sustainable conscious consumer and purchase a set that is good for your health and the environment.

I have found two ceramic cookware sets at different price ranges so that you can decide which one fits your needs best.

 

Cook N Home’s Ceramic 10-Piece Set:

non stick ceramic 10 set

 

The Cook N Home 10-piece set is the more economical option of the two sets. It includes 1 and 2-quart saucepans, a 3-quart casserole pot with a lid, a 5-quart dutch oven with a lid, and an 8-inch and 9.5-inch fry pan.

The Cook N Home set is made of thick gauge aluminum that is coated with a nonstick ceramic layer. This layer makes for quick food release and easy cleaning.

The lids are made from tempered glass, allowing you to view the food without having to remove the lid.

Moreover, the lids are versatile and fit on both the pots and the frying pans.

The drawback is that these pots are not induction (electric stovetop), oven, or dishwasher compatible.

If you have an induction stovetop or want the ability to throw your pans in the dishwasher, this next option is the way to go.

 

Vremi’s 8-Piece Ceramic Cookware Set:

Ceramic Nonstick Cookware Set (2)

 

Vremi makes an awesome 8-piece cookware set that is induction stovetop compatible and dishwasher safe.

This set comes with 2 dutch oven pots with lids, 1 casserole pot with a lid, and 2 angled fry pans.

Expect this cookware set to be heavy. One of the differences between a more economical cookware set and one that is more expensive is the amount of material used.

Heavier pots and pans do a better job of heat-retention and even heat-dispersion. This is one of the reasons why the cast iron pan is so heavy.

These pots and pans double as serveware. Meaning that they can go directly from the stovetop to the dinner table. The end result being fewer dishes to clean after a meal!

What’s more, the Vremi pans have a unique fry pan design that allows for easy flipping of stir-fry, omelets, pancakes, etc. The edge across the handle is slightly longer and curves up and inward to facilitate the flipping process.

Each lid includes a small gap between the lid and body of the pan to release steam without a mess.

The cookware kit features an induction-compatible spiral bottom that works on gas, electric, and halogen stovetops.

Click here to update your kitchen with this extremely versatile and eco-friendly cookware set 🙂

 

The 10,000 Foot Overview:

 

Ceramic cookware is the clear winner when it comes to which pots and pans are the most healthy, eco-friendly, and non-toxic option.

A few last words on ceramic cookware care: It is a good idea to clean your ceramic pans with a soft cloth immediately after use.  This will prevent you from having to scrub the pan later, which will accelerate the wear on the ceramic coating and shorten the life of your pan.

Due to the non-stick nature of ceramic cookware, you will be able to cook with less oil. In fact, it is best for your health and the longevity of your ceramic cookware to avoid cooking with too much oil in general.

Sustainability is an important topic that needs to address.

If global warming, climate change, and resource depletion are important to you then take the pledge to become a conscious consumer.

Start by changing simple habits. When you do need to purchase an item make sure that you really need it.

If you decide that you do need this item, try to purchase a version that is reusable (not single-use).

 

Related Resources:

 

If you have enjoyed this content, please remember to pin and share! Comments are always welcome.

Sustainable Living: Zero Waste Menstruation

Sustainable Living: Zero Waste Menstruation

How much does your period cost over a lifetime? Today’s sustainable living tip is going to cover how you can save $1,773 and the environment from 9,120 tampons over your lifetime.

Sustainable living Period Hack

According to a Huffington Post article:

“On average, a woman has her period from three to seven days and the average woman menstruates from age 13 until age 51. That means the average woman endures some 456 total periods over 38 years, or roughly 2,280 days (6.25 years of her life).”

The average life expectancy for a woman is 81 years. This means that she will spend approximately 7.7% of her life menstruating.

Women are instructed to change their tampon every 4 to 8 hours. For easy math sake, we’ll use 6 hours as an average, and assume that a box contains 36 tampons (costing approximately $7).

1 tampon every 6 hours = 4 tampons per day x 5 days of a period = 20 tampons per cycle x 456 periods = 9,120 tampons over a lifetime.

At 36 tampons per box, that’s 253.3 boxes x $7 = $1,773.33!

The Pink Tax: In 2015, the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs published a study comparing nearly 800 products from more than 90 brands. The study found that on average, products for women or girls cost 7% more than comparable products for men and boys.

Paying for Tampons is part of this Pink Tax. It’s pretty expensive to be a female in the 21’s century, but it doesn’t have to be!

I will address the Pink Tax in further detail later on in this article.

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The Negative Impact of Tampons on your Health: 

Unfortunately, most tampons and pads contain surfactants (a compound that reduces surface tension in liquids), adhesives (glue to hold the tampon together), and other chemical additives.

Moreover, most pads contain polyethylene plastic whose production releases harmful pollutants.

What’s more, is that over 90% of cotton produced in the United States has been genetically modified to be resistant to Round-up (the active ingredient being glyphosate).

Round-up is a powerful herbicide that kills weeds, but the biggest issue is that glyphosate is a known cancer-causing agent.

According to goop.com, the main concern is that,

“Chronic exposure [to toxins] increases our risk of cancer, causes oxidative stress, metabolic changes, and disrupts our endocrine system. This can contribute to adverse developmental, reproductive, neurological, and immunological effects.”

In recent decades, infertility, endometriosis, and thyroid disorder rates have been on the rise. One explanation is the constant exposure to chemicals and toxins in our environment.

Furthermore, traces of dioxin (a known carcinogen), and a synthetic fiber called rayon are also found in tampons.

Dioxin: A Carcinogen and Cancer-causing Chemical

The vagina is a highly permeable space, meaning that toxins can be absorbed through the mucous membrane and enter into our bloodstream.

Dioxin is a by-product of the bleaching process and can leave a residue in the vaginal wall.

In another blog, I discuss the toxic nature of PVC plastic. One of the reasons why PVC is so toxic is that it releases dioxin during the production and recycling processes.

In fact, in 2008 the State of New Jersey banned the use of PVC in children’s toys. Their reasoning was due to its link to testicular cancer, liver problems, and the early onset of puberty in girls – which is a  risk factor for later-life breast cancer.

Synthetic Fibers: 

In my article titled, “5 Plastic-Free Swaps for a Sustainable Bathroom” I discuss how synthetic materials (like rayon) can release more than 1,900 microfibers per garment in each wash cycle. 

Even though we know that tampons clog up building pipes, some people still flush their tampons which are made of rayon. The longer synthetic materials are left in water, the more time they have to break apart.

Why are microfibers so harmful? Because tiny plastic pieces can bioaccumulate and biomagnify up the food chain which we ingest in the form of yummy seafood.

The Environmental Impact: Why is Zero Waste so Important?

While there are tampons that are sold without applicators, the majority of the tampons are the kind that comes in an applicator.

Just think, each of the 9,120 tampons comes in an applicator, a protective sleeve, and a box (with a set of instructions).

The worst part is that they are all one-time items 🙁

This is just the impact that you make. Now, let’s look at the situation from a macro scale.

According to the US census report, the population of America stands at approximately 326 million people. Of that, 51% of those people are female, so we can safely say that there are around 163 million women.

According to the site, approximately 50% of those women are between the ages of 13-51. Meaning that there are 81 million women of menstruation age.

US census report

If every woman of menstruating age uses an average of 20 tampons per cycle x 12 cycles per year… that’s 19,440,000,000 feminine products going to our landfills each year 🙁

I did a quick double check on my math, and the University of Utah confirms that approximately 20 billion tampons are used every year! 

Insane, right?

Although cotton does biodegrade, it can take between 1-5 months to do so. The more chemical additives that are blended with the cotton, the longer it takes to biodegrade.

Not to mention, that when it does degrade, the chemicals seep into our water and soil resources.

The main issue is that we are producing waste faster than Mother Nature can get rid of it.

The Solution: The Diva Cup

Sustainable Diva cup 1

Although you may not be able to afford to purchase an all-electric car, you can stop your contribution of sanitary pads/tampons that get thrown into our landfills each year.

Small changes can make a huge impact. Plus, making the switch will save you money, is good for the environment, and is the healthier option.

My Personal Experience with the Diva Cup: 

I have personally used the Diva Cup for over 2 years now and absolutely love it!

It did take me 2 cycles to get used to, but now its just part of my routine.

No, you can’t feel it when it’s in (it just like a tampon). The only thing I had to get used to was learning how to take it out.

I find it easiest to clean the Diva Cup in the shower, and I don’t need to take an entire shower to clean it out. Just squat in the tub.

**Remember, we are trying to save water because the world is running out of potable water.  Click here to learn how you can save 12,000+ gallons of water per year.

I can get away with cleaning my Diva Cup 3 times a day. Once in the morning, once around 5 pm, and before bed.

I hope I have made a strong enough case for you to seriously consider making the switch.

For women who have not had children, Model 1 is recommended.  If you have given birth, then Model 2 is recommended.

Details About the Diva Cup: 

The Diva Cup is made from 100% healthcare grade silicone. It is a reusable menstrual cup that collects (rather than absorbs) menstrual flow.

Just like with a tampon, you can be active with your Diva Cup. I am able to swim and lift weights at the gym.

The Diva Cup is manufactured in Canada and free of BPA, plastics, and dyes.

Of course, the manufacturer wants you to replace your Diva Cup once a year (most likely so that they can sell more of them). But according to Healthline.com, 100% health grade silicone can last 10-20 years.

I have had mine for 2+ years, and its still working without a hitch!

Be a part of the solution and stop contributing to the nearly 20 billion tampons/pads that end up in our landfills each year.

Click here to join the movement, and get your Diva Cup today!

The Pink Tax:

 

I am sure that many of you are aware of the gender inequality of pay gap. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has come out with a report that states that in the decade (between 2004 and 2014), women earned 80% to 83% as much as men.

But are you aware of what many are calling the “Pink Tax”?  According to listenmoneymatters.com,

“The pink tax refers to the extra amount women are charged for certain products or services. Things like dry cleaning, personal care products, and vehicle maintenance. So not only do women make less but they pay more. Women also live longer so they actually need more money for retirement.”

Paying for tampons is part of this Pink Tax!

As you can see from the graph below (provided by statista.com), the tampon/pad industry generates nearly $925 million per year.

 

Dollar sales of the leading tampon brands in the United States in 2016 (in million U.S. dollars)*

Tampon profits

No wonder every other commercial advertises a feminine hygiene product!

Make the switch today.

The 10,000 Foot Overview: 

Tampons were first invented in the 1930’s and have increased in popularity over time.

Please join me in preventing the contribution of 20 billion pads/tampons/applicators from being sent to our landfills annually!

I am not an alarmist, just someone who wants to shed light on the reality of the situation.

Be a part of the solution and not the problem. Help prevent global warming, climate change, and resource degradation today.

I sincerely hope to provide you with the best information possible, which is why I site as many government websites, medical journals, and credible sources as possible.

Fund your Roth IRA retirement account with your tampon savings!

If you have learned even one piece of information that you did not know before reading this article, please share or re-pin so that we can spearhead this paradigm shift toward a more sustainable future together🙂

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!