Before you settle in to watch the 4 minute video, filled with simple tips to make your kitchen a bit greener, here’s a bit of background. I was asked, as Manilla’sGreen Living Expert, to give a green makeover to a college student’s apartment that was a complete ‘green’ disaster.
Annie goes to college in New York City and desperately wanted to make green changes to her apartment, but wasn’t sure where to begin. I was called in to help with some simple changes in Annie’s kitchen that would have a long-term positive environmental impact.
Believe it or not, the kitchen produces the most waste out of any room in your home. On average, American families throw out between 14 and 25 percent of the food and beverages they buy. On top of that, there’s the packing food comes in and the excessive amounts of paper we toss thanks to paper towels and napkins. Thankfully, there are tons of easy ways to reduce your environmental impact and save you some money in the process.
The kitchen is the central location in the home. Families meet there to eat, chat, and hang out. But it’s also the room that produces the largest amount of waste. Green your kitchen by following these easy steps.
1. Replace kitchen cooking utensils with eco-friendly alternatives
As your utensils get old and warn out, choose greener options, like stainless steel and wood to replace them. But before you go tossing out your silverware drawer, remember that the greenest thing you can do is to use what you already have and replace the old only when needed.
2. Choose healthy pots and pans
Non-stick pots and pans are coated with Teflon. When used at high temperatures, Teflon can emit toxic fumes that can kill pet birds and cause people to develop flu-like symptoms. To avoid this—and other potential health risks—choose cast iron or stainless steel options.
3. Use reusable napkins
Think of all the paper you are tossing out after each meal. If a five-person family eats just one meal a day at home using paper or disposable napkins, they are using 1,825 paper napkins per year. Switching to reusable napkins is a simple change that will have a big impact.
Going green doesn’t have to be a selfless act – you can also save money in the process. Here are a few ways you can go green, save money, and the environment.
1. Cut down on gas
It’s not possible for everyone to stop driving, but consider driving less by carpooling, taking public transit, or walking or biking when you can. At today’s gas prices, you can save up to $1,300 a year by carpooling with a co-worker.
2. Buy energy-efficient appliances
Energy star rated appliances not only save you money on your electric bill, you can also get a rebate on many products so that they are not much more expensive than the non-energy efficient alternative.
3. User power strips
Plugging your electronics into a main power strip not only protects you from energy surges, it also lets you easily turn everything off when you’re not using them so that you can save on your electric bill.
4. Paperless billing
According to Pay It Green, a coalition of businesses encouraging paperless billing, customers who pay their bills electronically will save six pounds of paper, 23 pounds of wood and prevent the production of 29 pounds of greenhouse gases a year. On top of that, you will save money on stamps and envelopes.
5. Limit water waste
There are lots of ways to cut back on the amount of water use in your home that doesn’t significantly impact your way of life. Look around your house for leaky faucets and fix them. A leaky faucet dripping 30 drops per minute wastes 3 gallons of water per day, costing you about $20 a year. Another way to significantly limit your water waste and save money is to use low-flow showerheads. You’ll enjoy your shower just as much and enjoy the savings even more.
What are your favorite ways to go green to save a little green?
It’s time for my newest video, Eco-Friendly Cleaning Tips! This is the second in a series of 5 videos filmed during my recent trip to New York City and produced by the amazing team over at Manilla. Each video covers some of the many ways we can all lead a greener life. If you missed my first video, 5 Simple Steps to a Greener Life, you can find it HERE.
Hope you enjoy!
4 Eco-Friendly Cleaning Tips
Conventional cleaning products are expensive and can be hazardous to your health. Not to mention the amount of paper we waste using paper towels. Green your cleaning process by following these easy eco-friendly cleaning tips.
1. Ditch your Swiffer
Single-use mop pads are expensive and wasteful. Invest in a reuseable mop with a detachable head that can be tossed in the washing machine, hung dry and used again and again.
2. Make your own cleaning products
Making your own cleaning products is simpler than it seems and requires few ingredients. The four basic staples are baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice, and water. If making your own products still seems like too much work, consider swapping out your current cleaning supplies with non-toxic alternatives found at health food stores as you run out.
3. Hang dry your laundry
line drying your clothing may seem antiquated, but it actually preserves the integrity of your clothing, saves you money, and uses less chemicals.
4. Stop using paper towels
For most of us, using paper towels is a habit—and habits can be hard to break. But, using reusable cloth and old linens as rags can dramatically reduce your household waste and save you up to $1,500 a year.
I don’t watch the news that often. I find most of the stories depressing and a sad commentary on the state of the world-something that I’m already well aware of. This week was a different story: on Wednesday night I watched the news from start to finish.
Let me back up for a minute before I get to why I watched the news. As many of you know I started a petition over at Change.org demanding that Procter & Gamble (makers of Tide) strip a harmful cancer-causing chemical out of Tide Free & Gentle®. The petition went viral. Over 78,000 people signed, demanding that Procter & Gamble change the formulation of their Tide laundry detergent. After almost a year Procter & Gamble realized they could no longer ignore our concerns. Victory! Procter & Gamble agreed in a California court to reformulate its detergents to reduce levels of 1,4 dioxane by September of 2013!
Now I can tell you why I watched the news.
I received an email on Wednesday from Amalia Barreda, (a local Boston reporter shown with me in the photo above) asking if she could interview me about the Tide victory.
I remember from my last two television interviews that the turn around time was very quick. This was no different. They showed up at my doorstep in an hour an a half. Somehow I managed to pull it together by shoving a lot of stuff in cabinets and closets. My house had the outward appearance of being somewhat clean .
They came in and we began casually discussing the Tide petition. I barely noticed when the cameras started rolling.
What I loved most about this interview was the casual tone that Amalia set. It was as though we were having a friendly conversation. Her questions were insightful and clear. We spoke for a bit and then they filmed some footage of me doing my bloggy thing-working on my laptop!
Here’s the clip if you missed it. The quality isn’t fabulous for now, but hopefully you can hear most of it!
I have been shooting videos a lot over the past year. You haven’t seen any of them because I shoot the video and that’s where it ends. The editing piece just doesn’t happen. Until now.
Finally, (with the help of many) I have my first Groovy Green Livin video production! I was inspired to create a video for the Go Green Get Fit Challenge as a way to motivate all of us to get fit and stay fit. I signed on to the challenge with a group of 25+ remarkable green bloggers. Throughout the summer I’ve shared with you my trials and tribulations with barefoot running and I am working hard to reach my fitness goals before my triathlon on September 16, 2012.
I’m Lori Popkewitz Alper, a recovering attorney, mom of three and the Founder of Groovy Green Livin. I hope you'll join me as I continue on my journey to live a healthy life. Along the way I just might stop to make some noise about issues that affect the health and safety of our families. Come along with me as I fight for a safer world for all of us. Together we'll discover that simple, small changes in your life can lead to a non-toxic, healthier lifestyle and a greener planet.