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.
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.
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 apack 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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
“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!
“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.
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.
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 🙁
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.
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.
“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 needmore 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)*
No wonder every other commercial advertises a feminine hygiene product!
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🙂
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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”.
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 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.
“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
First, 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.
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.
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 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!
Around 90% of solar panels are made from silicon and come in two forms.
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!
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:
Warm light low
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.
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:
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!
Going “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.
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.
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.
These 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.
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.
“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.
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 calledbiomagnification.
I have included the two photos below to help illustrate how biomagnification and bioaccumulation occurs:
Bioaccumulation and Biomagnification photo credit BlueGrowth.org
“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.
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.
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 🙂
“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.
Hello, My fellow Yogis ॐ ! 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 Patchto 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 ॐ Yoga ॐ 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“.
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.
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.
***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!
One gallon of water is equal to 128 oz. Say for math sake, you fill the bag up to the smallest level of water savings (80 oz). You then take the average household of 4 people that flush around 4,000 times per year and multiply it by the amount of water saved per flush 80 x 4,000 = 320,000 oz of water. Now we divide that number by 128 oz to get the amount in gallons.
The average household can save up to 2,500 gallons of water per year!
This is a much cheaper option than purchasing a brand new low flow toilet. Remember, remodeling and construction are one of the most wasteful industries. If your toilet works just fine, then save water and money by converting your current toilet into a low flow toilet using this water displacement bag.
By reducing the faucet flow rate, you can save a ton of clean water. Faucets are the third largest consumer of water in your household, and there are many of them throughout your house.
The good news is that these faucet conversion attachments are super cheap!!! Unless you have a very special faucet head, this conversion kit will easily screw on to most bathroom and kitchen faucet nozzles.
When hand-washing dishes, don’t run the water continuously.
Try washing dishes in a partially filled sink and then rinse them using the spray attachment on your tap.
If you have a dishwasher, make sure you wash full loads. You use the same amount of water whether you are washing a partial or full load of dishes. Check to see if your dishwasher has a conserver/water-miser cycle!
When brushing your teeth, turn the water off while you are actually brushing. Use short bursts of water for cleaning your toothbrush. (This saves about 80% of the water normally used.) This also goes for shaving.
If you have to wait a period of time for the hot water to reach the shower, try collecting the normally discarded cold water in a bucket for watering plants.
Wash full loads in your washing machine, and check to see it has a “suds-saver” feature cycle.
Look for “environmentally friendly” products while shopping.
How You Can Save Water Outdoors:
Lawns and gardens require only 5 millimeters of water per day during warm weather. Less is needed during spring, fall, or cool weather.
Consider decorating your garden with plants that grow locally!
Water lawns every three to five days, rather than for a short period every day. Water in the evenings to prevent it from quickly evaporating. Plants will have all night to soak it all in!
Soil cannot store extra water, so over-watering in an anticipation of a shortage doesn’t pencil out.
Use sprinkler timers to manage how much water is being used.
Be the change you want to see in the world. As Michael Jackson would say, ‘If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself, and make a change”.
Become a Water Saving Hero Today!
It’s easy and convenient. If you have Amazon Prime and purchase all of these items together you will get them in 2 days and it will ship for free to your door!!!
If you have enjoyed this article or have any questions, please leave them in the comment section below!
The diversification of your finances is one of the most important tasks you can work (or get started) on today. We often hear that the best time to start is now.
The good news is that Millennials and the Z Generation still have a long life ahead of them. Saving and investing for the future works best when you have longevity on your side! This is because of the compounding nature of interest.
Compounding occurs when a bank or an account pays interest on both the principal (the original amount of money) and the interest an account has already earned.
To calculate compounding interest you can visit Investor.gov.
Types of Accounts that Pay Compounding Interest:
Most savings accounts
money market accounts
certificates of deposit (CDs)
Retirement accounts (IRA’s and 401k’s)
Interest Rates: A Current and Historical View
Over the past several years, the federal funds rate (the interest rate at which the federal reserve lends money to other banking institutions) has been ridiculously low! The Federal Reserve has been trying to stimulate the economy by lowering the interest rate.
This means that the public is penalized for keeping their money in the bank and incentivized to invest in the stock market or take out loans to purchase larger items.
Currently, at the time of this writing, you are lucky to get even close to a 1% return on your investment for putting cash in the bank.
The world of finance is part of a natural business cycle. What goes up, must come down. This means that although we have experienced nearly 8 years of fairly low interest rates, the federal reserve will someday have to increase it in order to prevent a runaway (overheated) economy.
Over the last 200 years we can see that interest rates have increased and decreased over time:
You might be saying, why would I put my money in the bank and only earn 1%? Especially since inflation is nearly 2% to 3% per year! Wouldn’t I be losing money? The short answer is yes.
This is why I recommend a diversified portfolio. In financial terms, diversification means spreading out your risk. In more simple terms, it means not putting all of your eggs in one basket. You should allocate a percentage of your income each month towards saving, investing, and retirement.
You may be wondering why I am advocating that a portion of your investment portfolio should be held in cash. This is because cash is king! Currently, we have been experiencing an 8-year bull market. While it might be tempting to invest all of your money into the skyrocketing stock market, at some point the market will take a turn.
When it does, the cash that you have been saving will give you the opportunity to purchase heavily discounted assets (foreclosed homes, stocks that took a beating, etc).
There are two kinds of buyers. Momentum buyers and contrarians.
Momentum buyers purchase when the stock market is rallying (headed in an upwards direction) and believe that the stock will continue to rise. This is also called purchasing with the crowd or crowd consensus.
On the other hand, contrarians love discount shopping! Contrarians know that the business cycle has natural ups and downs. They are the ones waiting for the inevitable “coming of winter” (Game of Thrones reference there). Contrarian investors were the ones purchasing all of the foreclosed homes in the middle of the Great Recession (in 2010) with CASH!
The financial world can be difficult to navigate, which is why it is so important to prioritize and automate many of the functions. Automation is the best thing that can happen to your financial life! The specific steps are included in this blog.
The Current Financial Situation for the Millennial and Z Generation
Millennial’s, people who are born from 1981 to 1996 and are now between the ages of 22 to 37. We are entering a stage where many of us are getting married, having children, and really getting into our careers. The difficulty is that our finances are being pulled from many opposing directions.
For the Z Generation (1995 to 2010 or ages 8-22) the oldest of you are just starting college, landing your first job, learning how to build credit, possibly navigating taking on student debt, and living on your own.
You are at the perfect point where building the right habits can really make a difference in the trajectory of your life! You haven’t had time to make bad and severely impactful financial decisions yet. What you do NOW will affect the rest of your life.
One of the biggest takeaway points that I learned from a finance professor in college was to start a Roth IRA and max it out ($5,500) every year for 40 years. If you do this, financial calculators online will show you that you can save over $1 million for your retirement.
Growing up with FOMO (fear of missing out) has led to a situation where many Millenials have not started to save for retirement or plan for the future. Generation Z, don’t let this be your story too. Prioritizing and planning through a set of predetermined percentages will help you set aside the right amount of money each month.
Steps to Get your Finances on Track:
1) Track your income and expenses
2) Go through your monthly expenses and see where you can cut back on spending
3) Set a dollar amount or percentage of income that you want to save per month
4) Look at your expenses and see what else needs to be eliminated so that you can meet that goal (step 3)
5) Set up overdraft protection on your bank accounts (and credit cards)
6) Set up an auto deduction of the dollar amount you chose to save (step 3) to be diverted to a “rainy day” fund account (your bank will be able to help you do this. Most banks allow you to set this up online as well).
swap yoga and calisthenics on Youtube for a gym membership
Opt for Netflix and your cancel cable subscription
Live in a smaller apartment
Most outdoor activities only require that you buy the equipment once (there is no membership cost)
Just remember, every dollar and activity comes with an opportunity cost. There is always a cheaper alternative! On that note, let’s talk about the opportunity cost (the loss of an alternative option) of the earth’s natural resources vs exponential economic growth!
Balancing Economic Growth with Environmental Sustainability:
The difficulty is that we live in an economy of ever-increasing exponential economic growth. The government and financial institutions would like to see a 2% to 3% growth in GDP every year for the indefinite future. In order for this to happen, we constantly need to go through boom and bust debt cycles. According to Investopia’s article called “Is Infinite Economic Growth on a Finite Planet Possible?”
Economic growth has been defended for its contributions to human well-being and increasing standards of living. Yet, it is becoming more evident that the degree to which economic growth has depended upon increasing use of the Earth’s natural resources is unsustainable. It is clear that we cannot continue to consume more water, burn more fuel and spew out more and more carbon dioxide at ever increasing rates. While theoretically possible, we are at a point in history where separating economic growth from physical growth has to become a reality or economic growth will begin to reduce human well-being.
Natural resource depletion and degradation have left us with phrases such as peak oil, global warming, and climate change.
I am sure we remember our parents telling us that relationships work best when we “give and take”. The relationship between humans and mother nature has been unequal for a long time. I urge you to read the children’s book “The Giving Tree”.
Not only is budgeting and saving money good for your bottom line, but it is also good for the planet. We need to learn to live in harmony because it is our future that is at stake. This blog is all about education and promoting intellectual conversations. What kinds of activates do you do that are low cost and have a low environmental impact? Comment below!