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 🙂

 

Take the Sustainability Quiz

Find out how much you really know about sustainability and possibly learn something new!

Don't worry, you can unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit

 

 

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.

 

Take the Sustainability Quiz

Find out how much you really know about sustainability and possibly learn something new!

Don't worry, you can unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit

 

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.

Take the Sustainability Quiz

Find out how much you really know about sustainability and possibly learn something new!

Don't worry, you can unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit

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!

4 Solar Powered Eco-Friendly Gadgets for Campers

4 Solar Powered Eco-Friendly Gadgets for Campers

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

solar powered Eco-friendly gadgets are for campers

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

Save Thousands by Going Green!

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

Spam is gross. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit

 

 

The Product Life Cycle of Solar Energy 

 

 

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

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

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

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

The reduction in cost is caused by economies of scale. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

How You Can Make a Difference: 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Save Thousands by Going Green!

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

Spam is gross. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit

 

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

 

 

1. Solar Powered Hiking Backpack

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

2. The Ultimate Solar Charger: 

 

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

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

Portable solar charger

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Check out the Ayyie Solar Power Bank here!

 

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

 

sustainable comping shower

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

4. ECEEN’s Collapsible Solar Camping Lights 

Solar camping light

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

 

The 10,000 Foot Overview:

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

Solar sustainability its only 1 straw

 

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

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

 

 

Eco Friendly Alternatives for a Sustainable Kitchen

Eco Friendly Alternatives for a Sustainable Kitchen

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

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

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

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

 

Save Thousands by Going Green!

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

Spam is gross. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit

 

Reasons to Take on the Sustainable Kitchen Challenge:

 

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

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

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

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

 

How You Can Make a Difference:

 

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

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

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

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

The Right Mind Set: 

 

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

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

 

5 Eco-Friendly Alternatives for a Sustainable Kitchen:

 

 

1. UNNI Compostable Trash Bags 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

2. Glass Food Storage Containers

 

Sustainable glass tupperware

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

3. Reusable Silicone Food Storage Bag

 

Sustainable Reusable silicone bags

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

4. Eco-friendly Bento Box

 

sustainable Eco friendly bento box

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

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

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

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

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

5. Metal Straws

 

I know what you are thinking,

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

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

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

The Solution to This Growing Issue: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

The 10,000 Foot Overview: 

 

 

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

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

While we are on the topic of water…

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

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

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

Sustainable Kitchen Energy Stat sustainability clean water watersense

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

Photo credits:

Please leave your footprints

EPA WaterSense logo

EnergyStar Logo

 

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

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

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

Why PVC Plastic is Toxic

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

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

 

A Bit About PVC:

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Save Thousands by Going Green!

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

Spam is gross. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit

 

 

PVC Plastic Releases Toxic Fumes When it is Recycled:

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

bioaccumulation-Plastic chemicals (1)

Bioaccumulation and Biomagnification photo credit BlueGrowth.org

 

bioaccumulation of plastic

Bioaccumulation photo credit IQuitPlastics.com

 

 

PVC Plastic Releasing Toxic Fumes in Your Home:

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Scary to think about.

 

 

TPU-The Sustainable Eco-Friendly Alternative: 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

The Gabo TPU Antimicrobial Cutting Board: 

 

Sustainable TPU Cutting board

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

The Floatable Vansky Waterproof Phone Pouch: 

 

Sustainable TPU active phone protector (1)

Do you love the outdoors?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

How You Can Make a Difference: 

 

To quote a recent Guardian article:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Related Resources: 

 

If you have enjoyed this content, please remember to pin and share! Comments are always welcome. Please feel free to share your thoughts.


 

 

 

 

 

 

Top 5 Eco-Friendly Sustainable Yoga Mats!

Top 5 Eco-Friendly Sustainable Yoga Mats!

Top 5 Eco-Friendly Sustainable Yoga Mats!

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

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

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

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

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

 

Save Thousands by Going Green!

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

Spam is gross. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit

 

 

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

 

The True Meaning of Yoga  Practice:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It is up to you to make a change! 

 

The Truth About Plastic Yoga Mats: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

5 Eco-Friendly Yoga Mats:

 

1. The Vegan Ajana Yoga Mat

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

2. The Mindful Mat

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

3.  Yoloha Cork Yoga Mat

 

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

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

Sustainable yoga mat cork tree

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

4Athoon Yoga Mat

Sustaibale yoga mat

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

5. Manduka EKO Lite Yoga Pilates Mat

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

The 10,000 Foot Overview:

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

Photo Credit:

Cork Tree

Why the World is Running Out of Clean Water

Why the World is Running Out of Clean Water

Clean Water Facts:

 

The world is running out of clean water because there isn’t much potable (drinkable) water to start with. I bet that you have heard that 70% of the world’s surface is covered by water. But did you know that 97.5% of it is salt water?  This means that only 2.5% of all the water on earth is drinkable. Of that, almost 68.7% of the freshwater is frozen in ice caps and glaciers. 

So in total, only 1% of all the water resources on earth are available for human use!

Water is the foundation of life, yet 783 million people do not have access to clean and safe water worldwide.

While the population and demand on freshwater resources are increasing, the supply will always remain constant. The EPA website states that the U.S. population has doubled over the past 50 years, while our thirst for water has tripled!!!

The EPA estimates that at least 40 states anticipate having water shortages by 2024, and the need to conserve water is critical.

Although it’s true that the water cycle continuously returns water to Earth, it is not always returned to the same place, or in the same quantity and quality. Humans have a tendency to add chemicals, waste, and hormones that pollute the water system.

The USGS (United States Geological Survey) estimates that each person uses around 80-100 gallons of water per day!

The Average American Water Utility Bill 

sustainability Water usage

According to the Water Research Foundation, toilets, showers, and faucets are the biggest consumers of our clean water resources (within a household). Luckily I have found 3 great and super cheap ways to help you become a clean water saving hero!

The best thing of all is that these water saving gadgets will more than pay for themselves in 1-2 years!

Then it’s extra saving into the bank for next 5-8 years (or the lifespan of their useful lives)!!! 

By curtailing our water use and pollution we can reduce the impact of climate change and hopefully slow down global warming!

Woo hoo! This means healthier lives, more savings, and a happier Mother Earth!!!

 

What You Can Do Today to Help Save Our Clean Water Resources

I wish the products for sustainability were sexier. I mean, come on… Selling a Lamborghini with a bikini-clad model is way easier to market than a water-conserving toilet tank bag!!!

But my hope is to make sustainability “cool”. Because after all, living in a wasteland is NOT sexy…

So here is my bikini-clad model showcasing this very “cool” and sustainable toilet tank bag! 

sustainability. clean water bikini

A Water Conserving Toilet Tank Bag:

Sustainability. Clean water

This super cheap water displacement pouch conserves 80 -160 oz. of water per flush!

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.

If your current toilet is broken or needs to be replaced, you can visit this toilet cost calculation website to find out how much it will cost to replace your current throne with a low flow version. A standard toilet install should take between one and two hours to complete and cost an average of $348 or less to install. Plus the cost of a low flow toilet.

Don’t have $400-$800 for material, labor, supplies, and tools to install a low flow toilet? Opt for this inexpensive fix!!!

Click here to learn more about  the Toilet Tank Bank

Low Water Flow Showerhead:

 

sustainability clean water showerheadIn an average home, showers typically consume 20% of the utility bill. The average American shower uses 17 gallons and lasts for 8 minutes (or 2.1 gallons per minute). 

This showerhead has a low flow rate of 1.2 gallons per minute. Meaning that by making the switch you could be saving 7.4 gallons of water per shower.

If we take the average household of 4 people who shower once per day, that equals 10,804 gallons of clean water saved per year!!!

The Math:

  • If the average shower lasts 8 minutes, and this showerhead has a water flow rate of 1.2 x 8 minutes= 9.2 gallons.
  • 17 gallons-9.6 gallons used=7.4 gallons saved!
  • If the average household contains 4 people, then 7.4 gallons x 4 people x 365 days per year=10,804 gallons of water saved per year per house!!

 

According to the US Census Bureau, the population of America is 325 million as of 2017. Imagine how many millions of gallons of clean water we could save?!?

This super awesome showerhead comes with 5 spray pattern functions (Saturating, Massage, Dot Massage, Saturating & Massage, Saturating & Dot Massage), and has a 1-year limited warranty!

If you wanted to turn up the shower pressure, it has a maximum 2 GPM water flow rate at 80 PSI (meaning that you could get a mini back massage out of the deal)!

By switching over to this low flow WaterSense showerhead you get the same benefits of a squeaky clean body, but with the satisfaction that you are saving money and the environment!

Click here for more details Kingston Brass WaterSense showerhead

 

Low Flow Faucet Conversion Attachment:

sustainability clean water Sense water faucet

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.

Click here for more details Low Flow Faucet conversion

How to Save Water at Home: 

 

  1. Shut off faucets whenever possible 🙂
  2. Make sure your faucets don’t drip or leak. Tighten those babies up!
  3. Use a water flow-reducer on your tap, shower, and toilet.
  4. When hand-washing dishes, don’t run the water continuously.
  5. Try washing dishes in a partially filled sink and then rinse them using the spray attachment on your tap.
  6. 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!
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Wash full loads in your washing machine, and check to see it has a “suds-saver” feature cycle.
  10. Look for “environmentally friendly” products while shopping.

How You Can Save Water Outdoors: 

  1. Lawns and gardens require only 5 millimeters of water per day during warm weather. Less is needed during spring, fall, or cool weather.
  2. Consider decorating your garden with plants that grow locally!
  3. 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!
  4. Soil cannot store extra water, so over-watering in an anticipation of a shortage doesn’t pencil out.
  5. 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!

 

 

Photo Credits below:

Average utility bill EPA

Domestic water use EPA 

EPA WaterSense logo

 

How to Diversify and Allocate your Finances

How to Diversify and Allocate your Finances

How to diversify and allocate your finances

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:

Finance.-Average-interest-rate-over-200-years

Photo credit average interest rate over the last 200 years

Why Cash is King

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!

Roth IRA’s

In a prior blog ” Roth IRA: How to Become a Millionaire by the Time You Retire! “, I explain how over any 40 year period the average return rate of the stock market is about 7% a year. This includes all of the ups and downs (booms and busts). An awesome blog called, “Dollar after Dollar” created a Pinterest post showing how compounded interest works (he used an 8% yearly return on investment).

Most of the Millennial and Z Generation realize that Social Security will probably be a thing of the past (when we come of age to collect).

This means that more than ever we need to save for our retirement, have a rainy day fund, plan for our children’s college savings(through a tax-advantaged 529 plan), and have enough money to enjoy our lives today.

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).

7) Set up an auto deduction of $458 ($5,500/year) each month to be diverted to a Roth IRA. Read about how to dollar cost average and purchase ETFs.

8) Set your credit cards, rent/mortgage, and utilities on auto pay.

9)Perform a monthly audit of your credit card statements. I have personally caught at least one fraudulent financial transaction every 6-8 months on one of my credit cards.

10) Check your credit history and score often!

** A rainy day fund: should cover 3-6 months of expenses without any income coming in.

Taking these steps will ensure that you are automatically saving each month. It means that you have made saving a priority!

Do not save what is left over after spending, spend what is left over after saving!

Warren Buffet

If you are maxing out your credit cards, read “How to Increase your Credit Score Now”.

 

Ways to Cut Expenses (Costs):

  • Go on a hike instead of going to the movies- This doubles as exercise and a great way to chat with family or catch up with a friend!
  • Cook at home and meal prep instead of going out to eat- Read the article How to Aggregate Time to Become More Efficient
  • 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!