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April 14th, 2015

Shop for the Planet This Earth Day at ClimateStore

Shop for the Planet This Earth Day at ClimateStore Groovy Green Livin

Earth Day is quickly approaching and it’s time to kick off the celebration. April 22nd is the big day. There are fun events planned everywhere. Here in Boston there’s truly something for everyone. 

Although there’s a designated “Earth Day”, I think we can all agree that the earth needs more than one day to heal. Let this one day serve as a catalyst to get the do-gooder in each of us up and running for the remaining 364 days of the year. Remember:

We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. ~Anonymous

Earth Day at ClimateStore

As you know, I’m one of 8 bloggers working with ClimateStore as part of their newly launched Ambassador Program. You can check us all out HERE. This program was created by ClimateStore to help get the message out about climate change, and more importantly, to increase the awareness surrounding our own ability to lower our carbon footprint. ClimateStore was founded in 2013 and is building a national brand where consumers can learn about climate change, make an action plan, and find products to reduce their carbon impact.

What a perfect fit for Earth Day.

Happy anniversary to ClimateStore.com! Their online shop opened for business one year ago.

In honor of Earth Day and their exciting anniversary, ClimateStore has teamed up with Solar Electric Light Fund (SELF).

While living in the US it’s  easy to forget that there are millions of people in other parts of the world that have no access to power. SELF, based in Washington D.C., is a nonprofit whose mission is to implement solar energy solutions to assist the 1.5 billion people living in energy poverty with their economic, educational, health care and agricultural development. SELF does this by conducting small solar installations in places with a specific need. For example, after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, SELF solar installations helped power eight health centers.

Shop for the Planet This Earth Day at ClimateStore Groovy Green Livin

In honor of Earth Day ClimateStore will be donating 10% of proceeds from all purchases made during Earth Week (April 20 – 27) to the Solar Electric Lighting Fund. Your Earth Week purchases through ClimateStore.com help support SELF projects in more than 6 countries.

This Earth Day initiative, which ClimateStore has dubbed #10forSolar, gives consumers an opportunity to shop for themselves while donating to an amazing cause at no extra cost. 10% of the proceeds for every purchase will provide solar power!

Use #10forSolar on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to show your support.

Head on over to ClimateStore  and take a look at some of their new products. They’re constantly adding more to their site. I just ordered these small, round pots for my son to start seeds for our garden. Shhhh it’s a surprise.

How are you celebrating Earth Day this year?

 


P.S. If you liked this post you might enjoy our Groovy Green Livin NewsletterReceive new posts and special opportunities delivered right to your inbox! Sign up HERE.


Disclaimer: I work in partnership with ClimateStore as a blogger ambassador and I am compensated for my work . The opinions and thoughts contained in this post are 100% mine. I only work with companies I support and think you, my readers, will like. 

 

 

 

 

March 27th, 2015

10 Things I Love About the ClimateStore

 

What I Love About climatestore Groovy Green Livin

I have some really exciting partnerships lined up for 2015. Stay tuned-I’ll be sharing the full list with you shortly. What I’ve really been noticing this year is the number of brands who are truly committed to protecting our families and the planet. They get it. No greenwashing, no gimmicks, just the real deal. They want to educate, encourage discussion, and find solutions, while selling a product or products in the process. I’m OK with that. A winning combination in my eyes.

ClimateStore Background

ClimatStore has stepped up to the plate in this category.

They are the real deal-working hard to make it fun and easy for families to learn about climate change and to find energy efficient and sustainably made products that will help them reduce their carbon footprint.

Check out the 10 things I love about ClimateStore

  1. I’m one of 8 bloggers in their newly launched Ambassador Program. There are plenty of familiar faces (some of my fave green bloggers!). You can check us all out HERE. I’m incredibly honored to be a part of such a remarkable team. This program was created by ClimateStore to help get the message out about climate change, and more importantly, to increase awareness surrounding our own ability to lower our carbon footprint. How amazing is that?!
  2. The company launched with about 250 carbon lowering products. These include energy efficient lighting, water saving devices, smart home technology, home décor, laundry items, travel gear, educational materials, and accessories. Each product is evaluated to identify exactly how it reduces carbon emissions, including the production, use, and disposal phases of the product’s lifecycle.
  3. ClimateStore uses a simple carbon footprint icon system. They review all their products for carbon impact and award icons to those that produce fewer greenhouse gases (GHGs) in either the production, use and/or disposal phases of their lifecycle. For example this Stainless Steel Compost Kitchen Caddy.
  4. The site isn’t only about selling products. There’s a large educational component. There are summaries of the latest climate science and impacts, the importance of acting now, content and activities for children, and frequently asked questions.
  5. You can set up your very own personal action plan. They start with easy achievable actions, such as taking shorter showers, and then move on to steps that lead to larger reductions that will be even more rewarding.
  6. ClimateStore is local! They’re practically in my backyard, based in Massachusetts. When given the opportunity, I try to support local businesses rather than the big box stores.
  7. They offer carbon neutral shipping on all orders. ClimateStore purchases verified carbon offsets cover its entire operational carbon footprint.
  8. They have sustainability partnerships. ClimateStore supports environmental non-profits as a 1% for the Planet Partner. They donate 1% of their revenues to support non-profits with missions to mitigate climate change.
  9. The ClimateStore website is powered by renewable energy. Their website is hosted by GreenGeeks, a web hosting service that is 100% powered by renewable wind power.
  10. Office recycling. Currently, the ClimateStore office recycles more than half of their office waste.

Check out the ClimateStore site. There are plenty of great products and a lot of important climate change information. I’d love to know what you think.

 


P.S. If you liked this post you might enjoy our Groovy Green Livin NewsletterReceive new posts and special opportunities delivered right to your inbox! Sign up HERE.


Disclaimer: I work in partnership with ClimateStore as a blogger ambassador and I am compensated for my work . The opinions and thoughts contained in this post are 100% mine. I only work with companies I support and think you, my readers, will like. 

Polar bear photo credit Hugh Rose of Hugh Rose Photography.

January 8th, 2015

How to Keep Your Car in Tip Top Shape During the Winter

How to Keep Your Car in Tip Top Shape During the Winter Groovy Green Livin

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post and I am receiving compensation. As always, all opinions are my own.

It’s official. Winter has arrived in Boston. Today I’m in my office with a fire blazing, a hot cup of tea and multiple layers of clothing. You would think having grown up in Wisconsin the cold would be no big deal, but I can’t shake the chill.

This morning the cold almost got the best of my car. When I tried to start it the ignition didn’t turn over immediately. After a few “coughs” it finally started.

Thankfully there are a few simple tips to make sure your car is ready for the winter months ahead.

  1. A clean car is your first line of defense against winter.  While the winter season typically takes a toll on your car, proper maintenance can go a long way to preserving your investment.   Getting a new wash and a fresh coat of wax before the temperature starts to fluctuate can be your first line of defense against winter elements like ice, salt, sand and slush. Vehicular corrosion also occurs most quickly when temperatures rise and then fall below freezing.  Try to find a WaterSavers® Car Wash in your area. These car washes typically use only 40 gallons (151.5 liters) or less of fresh water per car wash.
  1. Rotate your tires. Most people know they should get their oil changed every 3,000 miles, but many forget their tires need maintenance as well. Tires should be rotated before winter and then again every 6,000 miles.
  1. Add some winter weight to your oil. Changing your oil and filter is especially important during the winter. Drivers who live in a colder climate should consider changing to heavier, winter-weight oil during the winter months. 
  1. Take care of your wiper blades. Your windshield wiper blades are your first line of defense when the snow starts to fly. Make sure your wiper blades are in good, working order and replace them if you have doubts. It’s better to make this change now instead of finding out your blades aren’t working when you really need them. 
  1. Take your car in for a tune-up. Any noises, pings or sluggish starts you currently notice will only intensify as the temperature drops. It’s best to get your vehicle in for a tune-up as soon as possible to get any issues addressed. 
  1. Give your steering some power. Check your powering steering fluid each month, and make sure the car is warmed up before you do so. If you find the level is low, look for leaks in the hoses or pump. Low power steering fluid will make your car more difficult to steer, which is something you’ll want to avoid as the roads get slick. 
  1. Protect yourself from carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide leaks are dangerous at any time, but they are especially deadly during the winter when you will be driving your vehicle with the windows closed. Have your exhaust system checked to make sure no leak exists. 
  1. Apply the brakes. Besides the seatbelt, your car’s brakes are its most important safety feature. This is especially true in the winter when slippery conditions can make stopping difficult. Before the first snow fall, bring your car to an experienced mechanic to verify that your brakes are ready for the season.

How do prepare your car for the winter?

photo credit: PommeGranny via photopin cc

Disclosure: This post is brought to you by  International Car Wash Association (ICA). All opinions are my own. For more information on sponsored posts, read here.

November 5th, 2014

Softcup Menstrual Cup Review

 

Groovy Green Livin Softcup

Disclaimer: This post was created in partnership with Softcup. I did receive compensation. All opinions are my own.

Softcup has come in and out  of my life over the past few years and I have to admit that I’m glad it’s back again.

Softcup is a menstrual cup. Never heard of a menstrual cup? Softcup is a flexible cup, worn internally around your cervix (do you know where your cervix is?), that collects rather than absorbs menstrual flow. It replaces the need for tampons and pads if used properly.

I can feel all the cringing as you’re reading this. Stick with me-this is important on so many levels.

There are actually two Softcup options:

  1. Disposable which can be worn for up to 12 hours and is then discarded, and
  2. Reusable which can be worn for up to 12 hours and reused throughout one menstrual cycle.

I’m a fan of the reusable option.

Personal Benefits of SoftCup

Groovy Green Livin Softcup

I’ve put Softcup to the test during a workout and while downhill skiing. It can be worn during any activity including sports, swimming and while sleeping.

I started using a reusable Softcup a few years ago and the journey has been interesting. There were times when I went back to my organic tampons for no reason other than they were close by. But I keep returning to my reusable Softcup. It took a few cycles to get it right, but it’s so worth it. This month I’m feeling completely comfortable and can finally say that I have successfully greened my period.

Once Softcup is inserted properly you really can’t feel it. This isn’t the case with tampons-we always know when they’re around. Also, Softcup isn’t linked to Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) and does not cause dryness or irritation.

Softcup doesn’t contain latex, silicone, phthalates, BPA, PVC or dioxins.

Environmental Benefits of Softcup

Fifty to 70 percent of American women use tampons. A typical woman can use anywhere between 8,000 to 17,000 tampons in her lifetime. The number varies quite a bit since every woman is unique and her cycle is different. The average woman throws away up to 300 pounds of feminine hygiene related products in a lifetime. That’s a tremendous amount of waste. Then there’s the plastic wrapper around the tampon box or pads and the paper or plastic packaging around every box and individual tampon or pad. I haven’t even mentioned the cardboard or plastic applicator. So much waste.

The process to make each and every tampon and pad also involves a lot of waste. The cotton alone is resource intensive as the farming of cotton requires large amounts of water, pesticides and fertilizer.

A final added Softcup bonus: For every box of Softcup you buy, Softcup will donate a reusable cup to a woman or girl in Africa. You can find out more about Project Dignity HERE.

Phew. You made it! Are you hooked or at least open to giving Softcup a try (or passing the info on to any women in your life)?

 


P.S. If you liked this post you might enjoy our Groovy Green Livin NewsletterReceive new posts and special opportunities delivered right to your inbox! Sign up HERE.


 Disclosure: I received product and compensation from SoftCup for this post, but the opinions are my own. 

July 28th, 2014

Calling All College Students! Head Back to School with Zipcar

Groovy Green Livin College Zipcar

 This post was created in partnership with Zipcar. I did receive compensation. All opinions are my own.

Whether you have kids in college or not, the back-to-school college buzz is hard to miss. It’s happening right now. Walk into any big box store over the next few months and I can promise you that you’ll be bombarded with all the “necessities” for dorm living coming at you in every color imaginable.

Thankfully my kids are a few years away from college. I don’t think I could handle an empty nest anytime soon. Right now I’m having enough trouble dealing with a few weeks of overnight camp.

When I was in college having a car on campus wasn’t an option. The university I went to was car friendly, but parking spots were hard to come by.

At that time college transportation options were few-buy a car, use a bike, a scooter, public transportation (which didn’t get you most places) or walk.

I ended up getting a scooter, something like the one pictured below. I hope I didn’t look like this guy when I was riding.

Groovy Green Livin College Zipcar

Having a scooter was such a cool ride. Parking was a breeze. Pull up and park at any bike rack.

Times have changed and now even scooter parking spots are hard to come by. Plus the cost of the scooter and insurance isn’t cheap.

Thankfully if you’re headed to college today there are many more sustainable options for transportation.

What is Zipcar?

Have you noticed the Zipcar symbol on cars zipping around town? Groovy Green Livin Zipcar For those of you aren’t familiar with Zipcar, it’s a car sharing service.

Car sharing programs like Zipcar are an important component of a sustainable transportation network on university campuses where parking is often in high demand.  

Each Zipcar can meet the needs of between 40 and 60 students, faculty and staff,  helping to make parking on campus a little more manageable. And at a time when campuses have been forced to ration parking spots, offering Zipcar is a great way to give people an option.

Zipping around College Campus: What is Zipcar for Universities?

This is where mom and dad with a kid or two headed off to college should really tune in.

Zipcar for Universities is all about the convenience of having a car without the hassles of having a car on campus. Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?

Zipcar pioneered the use of car sharing on college campuses.  They first partnered with MIT and then Harvard.  Now Zipcar is on over 350 colleges and university campuses across North America.  It’s easy to check if your school is on the list

Discount for You Through Zipcar’s Alliance with Ford University

Zipcar has an alliance with Ford Motor Company that enables them to offer $10 off the $35 annual membership fee for the first 100,000 new university members who sign up, plus $1 off the Zipcar hourly rate for the first 1 million hours of use on any of the new Ford vehicles at participating colleges and universities.  

Here’s How Zipcar works

After paying the annual fee of $25 you’re ready to roll. Zipcar charges by the hour for use of a Zipcar. No car ownership required! No car payments, no gas payments and no costly car insurance.

Zipcar for Sustainability

Traffic on campus creates significant pollution and emissions. Many schools have programs like transit passes, bike lockers, ride sharing and others that get people to campus without a car. Zipcar gives these people access to a car on campus without needing to drive one to campus. This helps reduce the carbon footprint and increase air quality.

This combination of benefits – cost savings, convenience and fun for students along with practical and cost saving options for universities is what is driving the expansion of Zipcar on campuses across the country.

Using Zipcar while at school is an eco-friendly and financially sound option.  

Using a Zipcar is simple: Grab a Zipcar near campus and use it for an hour or day. Gas and insurance included. Join Zipcar and get $10 off the first-year membership.

TO JOIN: First check if your school has a Zipcar program HERE then click HERE  to join.

Have you tried Zipcar? I’d love to hear what you think.

Groovy Green Livin ZipcarDisclosure: I’ve been chosen as an official Zipcar influencer. I’m incredibly honored to be given this opportunity since I believe in what Zipcar is doing.  This post was created in partnership with Zipcar. I did receive compensation and there are affiliate links which help support this blog. All opinions are my own.

photo credit: James Alby via photopin cc

May 19th, 2014

Help a Sister Out With a Free Sample Softcup

Groovy Green Livin Softcup

Softcup and I are friends again.

A while back I introduced you to the reusable Softcup. Let me be clear-we were never not friends, but I took a break.

What is Softcup? Bye bye tampons and pads

Never heard of a menstrual cup? Softcup is a flexible cup, worn internally around your cervix (do you know where your cervix is?), that collects rather than absorbs menstrual flow. It replaces the need for tampons and pads if used properly.

There are two Softcup options:

Groovy Green Livin Softcup

  1. Disposable which can be worn for up to 12 hours and is then discarded, and
  2. Reusable which can be worn for up to 12 hours and reused throughout one menstrual cycle.

I tried SoftCup a few times over the past few years and actually liked it.

But then I became lazy and went back to my trusty organic tampons.

Well, I’m back again Softcup and this time I think I’m here to stay.

Time to “green” your period

Fifty to 70 percent of American women use tampons. A typical woman can use anywhere between 8,000 and 17,000 tampons in her lifetime. The number varies quite a bit since every woman is unique and her cycle is different. The average woman throws away up to 300 pounds of feminine hygiene related products in a lifetime. Then there’s the plastic wrapper around the tampon box, tampon or pads and the paper or plastic packaging around every box and individual tampon or pad. I haven’t even mentioned the cardboard or plastic applicator. So much waste.

The process to make each and every tampon and pad also involves a lot of waste. The cotton alone is resource intensive as the farming of cotton requires large amounts of water, pesticides and fertilizer.

My Softcup experience 

When I was asked to try out Softcup again I have to admit I was a bit apprehensive. My box of organic tampons was working just fine and I wasn’t sure I wanted to change it up again. But then I thought about all that waste……

Picking up right where I left off I still have a bit of a Softcup learning curve to work through. I’ve been using Softcup for the past month and I’m still not perfect at placement (I’m at best awkward), but I’m certainly more comfortable. It’s not easy, but I know from past experience that practice will payoff.

One of my favorite Softcup features is that you can wear it for up to 12 hours during any activity. I’m pretty active and there are times when I’m out and about for hours at a time. Finding a spot to change a tampon is always challenging. Here are a few more reasons to steer clear of conventional tampons:

  • Conventional tampons are chlorine-bleached and made with synthetic fibers.
  • Conventional tampons may contain residues of dioxin, as well as chemicals to aid in absorbency. Think about where you are placing those toxins.
  • One of the biggest risks is tampon-induced Toxic-Shock Syndrome (TSS) which is a rare, and potentially fatal, disease.  These risks arise from the synthetic fibers that make tampons and the chemicals used to bleach them.

Send a Free Softcup to a Friend: Help a Sister Out Campaign

If you’re interested in trying out your own Softcup I have good news! On Tuesday May 20th at 1pm EST, Softcup will be hosting a Sampler event which will run until Tuesday June 3rd at 1 pm EST or until supplies run out.

During this time 15,000 free Softcup samples will be sent out!

It’s simple: 

Anytime between May 20th at 1 pm EST and June 3rd at 1 pm EST click HERE to Help a Sister Out by sending a free sample of a reusable Softcup (provided supplies don’t run out)! 

 

Have you tried Softcup or a reusable menstrual cup? Tell me about it! 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have been hired by The Sampler App to write this post.  This is a “sponsored post.”  Softcup sent me a sample of Softcup and compensated me via a cash payment for this post. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers and only share my honest opinion. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

photo credit: Lieven SOETE via photopin cc

November 15th, 2013

3 Tips to Make Recycling Easy (Sponsored)

Groovy Green Livin Recycling

The national recycling rate has increased every year for the past 30 years.  The current recycling rate is 34.7%. That sounds a bit low to me. It’s time we step it up a notch!

There are many creative ways to improve an existing in-home recycling system or to create a new recycling system from scratch. The folks at Rubbermaid and The Home Depot have teamed up to make it simple for each of us to find a recycling system that works!

American Recycles Day is November 15th

America Recycles Day, a program of Keep America Beautiful, is a nationally recognized day dedicated to promoting and celebrating recycling in the United States. Since it began in 1997, communities across the country have participated in America Recycles Day on November 15 to educate, promote environmental citizenship, and encourage action.

Recycling Makes Sense

Recycling allows us to reuse materials, which in turn conserves natural resources. It also saves water and energy, improves air and water quality, lowers pollution and greenhouse gas emissions and preserves landfill space.  After we’ve worked hard to reduce our consumption the need for recycling becomes important.

Recycling is Easy

1.    Make recycling a habit

Create an indoor spot where recyclables are collected before they make their way to the outdoor bins. Place a recycle bin in your kitchen to hold all your recyclables before you take them outside. This will make it easier to remember to recycle, you won’t have recyclables cluttering your counter space, and you’ll make fewer trips outside.

2.    Make recycling convenient

Recycling systems are actually very personal. They are created based upon the layout of your home and they need to work for you and your family. If it’s not a convenient system it’s not going to work.

Different recycling requirements are in place depending upon where you live. If you live in an area where you need to sort your recycling you’ll need to set up a bin system that accommodates this.

If you live an area with a single stream recycling program you can place all of your recyclables together in one bin.

Find a system that is convenient and works well for your family. Making recycling and access to your recycling bins convenient is the only way recyclables will end up where they should.

3.    Find Bins That Work Within Your Space

Keep Recyclables Out of Sight

Do you cringe when you see recyclables piling up on the counter or a trash bin sitting out in plain view? Do you like clean counters and closed doors? If you answered yes to both then you are most likely an Out of Sight (but not Out of Mind Recycler). Check out The Hidden Recycler from Home Depot. It attaches to the inside of a cabinet door to collect recyclables out of sight and keeps your counters clear. The bag is durable, machine washable, and is made of recycled material. Collect your recyclables and simply take them out to your recycle bin. This is a great product for single stream recyclers.

Combine Trash and Recyclables

The 2-in-1 Recycler contains trash and recyclables all in one location. The top bin is perfect for collecting recyclables the lower bin tilts out to hold your trash. The 2-in-1 Recycler could also be used to sort two different types of recyclables.

Keep Recyclables Outside

If you don’t have the space to sort your recyclables inside then check out The Stackable Recyclers from Home Depot. They’re the perfect solution for storing recyclables outside or in the garage. Three sizes can be stacked and interchanged to suit your sorting needs.

The Home Depot has a great assortment of Rubbermaid® Recycling bins available in their stores. There is an even bigger assortment of Rubbermaid® Recycling bins available on homedepot.com with 44 different products to choose from.

 (This post is brought to you by  Home Depot and Rubbermaid. All opinions are my own. For more information on sponsored posts, read here.)

photo credit: Rubbermaid Products via photopin cc

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About Lori

I’m Lori Popkewitz Alper, a recovering attorney, mom of three and the Founder of Groovy Green Livin. Come along with me as I work hard to make the world a little safer for each of us.

Click HERE to contact Lori

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