Monday, January 31, 2011
Congrats to Jenna and Alyson for winning a hand made coozie from Julie at The Peaceful Peacock! And thank you to everyone for participating! If you would like a chance to win a Bamboo Utensil Set, start thinking of your Feb change! Check back tomorrow and let us know what your Feb change is!
Thursday, January 27, 2011
We are so excited to be offering you these handmade eco friendly coozies for our very first giveaway of 2011. Julie of The Peaceful Peacock has created 2 custom made coozies specifically for this giveaway and we are thrilled to have partnered with her. She hand makes each of her coozies with creativity, love, and a whole lot of awesomeness. She uses eco friendly materials such as thrift store sweaters and fabric made from recycle plastic bottles. Julie embroidered the words "Be the Change" on the 2 coozies with the green one fitting a bottle or can and the burgundy one made to fit bottles only. Julie custom makes coozies, so if you have something in mind, be sure to contact her to get fitted with your own personalized coozie!
Today we will have 2 lucky winners! To enter, simply leave a comment here and let us know what you January change was. This giveaway is for participants only. We will announce the winner on Monday January 31st. Good luck!
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Monday, January 24, 2011
2. Snow shoeing
4. Winter nature walk…be sure to search for animal tracks
5. Building a snow fort or snow man/woman
6. Have the kids help you shovel the snow
7. Have a scavenger hunt for winter nature items
8. Ice skating
9. Just let the kids play
2. Mittens, hats, snow pants, winter coat and good snow boots are a must
3. Make sure to stay hydrated..drink lots of water
4. Have children go to the bathroom before getting them bundled up!
5. Don’t forget about the sunscreen on exposed skin
6. Don’t stay out too long on frigid days and when kids get cold, head on in for some organic hot chocolate!
Friday, January 21, 2011
- Install Low Flow Shower Heads
- Take shorter showers or commit to skipping one shower per week.
- Only do full loads of laundry or dishes if using a dishwasher
- Replace grass yards with native plants
- Place a plastic container with pebbles in your toilet tank to displace water to reduce the amount of water in each flush.
- Turn the water off when you brush your teeth
- Collect rain water for watering your garden
There are so many more ways to make a difference. Add your ideas in the comments.
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
First I did the math. I was spending $1.99 on a bag of 100 straws. We used 3 straws a day, so that bag was lasting us approximately 1 month...so at this rate we were spending around $25.00 on straws a year. And it was leaving 12 plastic bags and about 1,100 straws in the landfill each year. Wow...it really adds up and we sure were doing our part to feed the problem. The glass straws that we wanted to switch to were $12.95 each, so $38.85 total. It will take us approximately 1.5 years to make our money back on not purchasing plastic straws and 0 waste left in the landfill!
With this in mind, we were switching for sure! The glass straws we found ranged in price from $7.00-$13.00...we opted for the pricier ones so we could get a cool design on them. We all have our own design on our own straw and we absolutely love it! Drinking out of a glass straw is just more fun!
We loved these straws and the idea of using glass in place of plastic so much that we brought them into our shop. If everyone used reusable straws, think of the impact this would have! Our 1,000 straws per year could turn into 100,000+...and we could seriously help to slow down the production of these little guys!
If you would like to share your One Small Change on our blog, email me Suzy@hipmountainmama.com
Saturday, January 15, 2011
Here was my response..
"You are so right on, that it is important to know why we are doing things! As for the plastic, I think if you are switching for health reasons, that is a very serious concern and you should definitely switch out your ! Using stainless steel cups or is an excellent choice and something that will last. You won't find yourself throwing your stainless steel bottles away...when you are done with them, you will either pass them on to a friend or hang on to them for later use. When I was a kid I had 1 cup that I used...it was a cute little glass cup and it was the only cup I ever used. Today my kids use this very same cup..so as you can see these things will get passed on. Also...if you decide you don't want to giveaway or hang on to these items you can recycle them...Stainless steel can be recycled 100%. That is all stainless steel can be re-melted to made a new stainless steel. The typical amount of recycled stainless steel "scrap" that is used to make new stainless steel is between 65 & 80%."
I am hoping to eventually get a forum started up so we can all ask and answer questions to a larger audience. For now I thought I would get this blog post up and allow folks to comment with their thoughts on this matter. If you have a question and want me to post it on the blog, just shoot me an email email@example.com.
Friday, January 14, 2011
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Friday, January 7, 2011
Supporting local businesses has many karmic benefits including stimulating your neighborhood's economy and providing employment opportunities for your community. Additionally, independent stores often carry products from family-run companies close by. We benefit from enjoying food that traveled down the street from a local farm to shelf. By frequenting these businesses, we're directly supporting farmers, growers, bakers, and makers. Our business tells our local grocers that we appreciate their livelihood and their mission which enables them to continue making ethical business decisions.
2. Walk, Bus, Carpool
Walking to the grocery store has the lowest impact on the environment. Pushing a handcart the few blocks to our local grocer adds green benefits as well as health benefits. The empty cart serves as a warm up on the way to and exercise on the way home! Secondly, taking the bus or train eliminates the need for fuel (more eco-harm as well as money) and forces us to only purchase what we can carry. Carpooling has the added bonus of allowing us to stock up on more items and share commuting costs.
If driving is the only option, plan ahead, make a list, and buy as much in bulk as necessary to eliminate future trips. I follow the "Buy Two" rule of thumb: When I buy toiletries or cleaning products, I always buy two shampoos, toothpastes, cases of toilet paper, etc. to cancel out every second trip to the store. It also prevents you from making an emergency dash to Target to grab a single bottle of conditioner when you're left with an empty in the shower!
3. Buy items without packaging
There is seldom a bigger waste than the plastic bags used to weigh produce. Every type of produce gets its own bag and they're rarely sturdy enough to reuse (save for walking your pup). Mesh bags allow the transparency of their plastic counterparts and hold up to frequent use. I often stash a large mesh bag in the seat of my cart for all my loose produce, handing individuals to the cashier to weigh by type.
Filling up those plastic bags can also cause you to buy more than necessary to hit the quota "1/2 lb for $1.99." In reality, I don't need a half pound of mushrooms or an entire bag of potatoes. Using my own bag allows me to buy just what I will use.
Additionally, I will never buy a product that is packaged into servings inside of a larger package. Large containers of oatmeal yield less paper than boxes of individual servings as well as a case of toilet paper that's not internally separated into packages of four.
5. Buy in bulk
Buying in bulk is a great way to reduce packaging and the need for multiple trips to the grocery store. Rice, grains, spices, cereals, dry foods, and paper products do not perish quickly and allow you to cash in on bulk savings given you have the room to keep a back stock (like a pantry).
6. Use Cloth Bags
Using cloth bags is a no-brainer. Keep a stash at the house and in the car. Stores have become extremely accommodating to cloth baggers and if there is any worry, use the self-checkout lanes. Plastic bags require oil to produce, cost retailers $4 billion annually, and account for 8 billion pounds of waste in our landfills per year (source). Cloth bags are stronger, more durable, and can be used for years. They can be constructed from reclaimed materials in furthering our commitment to reusing.
For a few months, I made myself buy new cloth bags at the grocery store every time I forgot to bring them or left them in the car. The result is that I rarely forgot them at home and we have a stash large enough to bag even our most fruitful shopping extravaganzas.
7. Buy items with the fewest ingredients
It's no secret our food travels hundreds of miles to get to our plates in the United States. What's more, each ingredient initially traveled to be processed into the food we eat before it arrived at the grocery store. With the majority of our food comprised of water, we're paying to ship liquid cross country. When you're perusing the aisles of your local grocer, look for items in their purest state. Buy honey that only contains honey. Buy granola made from oats, nuts, and raisins. It is unlikely that we need any ingredient we can't pronounce and by eliminating them, we're lowering the fuel cost of our food.
Additionally, fresh local food is a smart buy, especially if it is organic, as its not pumped with preservatives to account for days of travel.
8. Buy everything in one place
Our local grocery store is three blocks away, independently run, and carries an amazing variety of fresh, organic, and local products at competitive prices. Unfortunately their Stoneyfield yogurt is $2 more than the Trader Joe's across town and my favorite Organix Tea Tree mint shampoo runs $1+ than the closest Target. While I grimace at such a blatant "loss of money," it's quickly realized that the same $3 would be spent in gas to drive 2 miles west to Target and then 8 miles back east to Trader Joe's. I also want to support our grocery store and show the importance of carrying organic products for conscious consumers.
To buy what we'll eat takes getting to know our families, eating habits, and schedules. There have been many times that I'll load up on fresh fruits and veggies to remember we have dinner dates scheduled and plan to be out of town for the weekend. We waste food by not planning ahead. Plan out your meals, consult your family, and write out a shopping list. Smart shopping equals less food for the compost and more money in our wallets.
It's said that 80-90% of money spent in the community stays in the community especially when that money is cash. Credit card fees crush small businesses. Our grocery money is used to buy products from local farmers and employ our neighbors who turn around and spend their paychecks at our auto garage, florist, or dog-walking service. It strengthens our economies and real estate markets. It keeps jobs in our communities and provides a future for our neighborhoods and children.
*Kelli is creator, owner, and operator of Greenie Bean Recycle. In Kelli's words:
"Being fascinated with all things “old”, greenie bean recycle began in July 2007 and soon became Kelli’s mark, her political statement, and her attempt to further the beauty of recycling and reusing. Her craft is her activism, an opportunity to educate others about all things political, beautiful, and life affirming.
Aside from being a crafter, Kelli is a Social Justice and Community Development graduate student at Loyola University and is a co-founder of the Urban Folk Circuit. She enjoys exploring every neighborhood of Chicago, cooking without recipes, frequenting local theater, and cuddling with her kittens, Killer Queen and Jubilee. Her obsessions include peppermint mochas, vintage housewares, avocado green, and protest music. Her life goals include learning to can vegetables from her frontyard homestead and running a brick and mortar arts and craft shop."
**if you wish to guest post on One Small Change, please email me firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday, January 6, 2011
Sustainable Baby Steps Sustainable Baby Steps is an informational website that helps you on your journey to becoming green. Tara offers suggestions, tips, ideas, and easy ways to get started on making changes. Sustainable Baby Steps is a wonderful compliment to our One Small Change Project and I encourage you to check out the website and sign up for the newsletter.
Inside Out Inside Out is an E Course that helps you to live the life that truly makes you happy. It is a creative journey to self discovery that can really help you to realizing and fulfilling your dreams. I have taken this course twice and am taking it again in January. (there is still time to sign up for the Jan course if you are interested in joining me!)
The Waldorf Connection The Waldorf Connection offers support and guidance in teaching your child using the Waldorf philosophy.
Gypsy Rose Stephanie blogs at Gypsy Rose where she writes about family, simple & creative living, organic food & dreams of a someday homestead. She also has an Etsy Shop where she sells her handmade goodness!
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
1. Set of 4 General Purpose Cloths and 2 Dusting Cloths
Its_Lily " January will find me giving up store bought laundry detergent and making my own. I've seen rave reviews on the blogs so it's time to try it on my own. Thanks for hosting this fabulous idea again. It was so much fun last year and was really quite easy to make changes."
2. Set of 4 General Purpose Cloths and 2 Dusting Cloths
Raising a Sensitive Child "For January, I'm switching to cloth menstrual pads!"
3. Set of 2 General Purpose Cloths and 1 Glass and Polishing Cloth
Riotus Living "My January change is to not buy any paper towels at all - we JUST ran out in my household and have been using our cloth rags in the kitchen and at meal time and it's been ok for these few days. I'll need to get ahold of some more kitchen towels but if I don't need to buy paper towels in January I might never need them again!!"