I recently hosted a One Bag March Madness party. The goal was to invite friends over for a dinner party, use as many reusable products as possible and try to reduce our waste so that only one bag of trash went into the garbage at the end of the night. For those of you who entertain, you know that this isn’t an easy task. Many times when entertaining takes place eco-friendly habits fall by the wayside and disposable, single-use products come out in full force.
Through our efforts to compost, recycle and use reusable products rather than single-use items we did it. Only one small bag of trash ended up in the garbage can.
Now it’s your turn! One Groovy Green Livin reader will receive a One Bag Party Kit VALUED AT $500 to help you pull off your own One Bag event and send just ‘One Bag’ of waste to the landfill, with the rest being diverted to recycling and compost. Give it a try at your next event, and learn how to waste less every day. It’s the small changes that can make a big difference.
Now for the good stuff! Here’s what’s included in the One Bag Party Kit (value $500):
$300 Whole Foods Gift Card
12 Reusable napkins
1 Simple Human compost pail for under the sink (look HERE for photo)
10 Stainless steel reusable water bottles to be used as party favors for guests
By entering your name and other information you acknowledge that you have read and are agreeing to ourOfficial Rules. Good luck! You can also enter for a chance to win $10,000 toward your own personal One Bag party through March 31, 2013 HERE.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclosure: I did receive compensation in exchange for having a one bag party and sharing my experience. I also received a complementary One Bag Party Kit. The content and opinions are 100% my own and always will be. Promise.
I adore the Patagonia brand. The company is about as groovy green as they come. Patagonia has in place a program called Common Threads where they take back old outdoor garments for recycling into new fibers. They have partnered with eBay, the world biggest online second-hand marketplace, to encourage their customers to “reduce, reuse and recycle” by buying their gear second-hand rather than new.
Let me add some perspective to this ingenious, eco-friendly initiative: Patagonia is encouraging their customers to buy consumer goods second hand instead of turning to their store for a new product. Really? Really! Their strategy is simple: teach people to fix things that are fixable and reuse what you can. Once all of those options have been exhausted you can think about buying new. How brilliant and green.
When PlanetShoes.com asked if I’d like to review a pair of Patagonia shoes I jumped. A few months back I reviewed a pair of Jambu™ vegan boots from PlanetShoes.com. Being the kind and considerate wife that I am, I decided to share the review love with my husband and give him the opportunity to check out one of my favorite brands.
He went with the Patagonia Cragmaster. According to my hubby the shoes are super comfy. I personally love the red!
He’s been wearing them a lot. I noticed that they are going to be traveling with us very soon.
They even look great in a pigeon toed stance.
The Cragmaster is available for men and women. Technically, we could have matching shoes. The women’s shoe comes in a lovely Cardemom or Olive/Endive color.
But wait-there’s more…..Patagonia will be donating $10 for every pair of Patagonia shoes sold on PlanetShoes.com to The Appalachian Mountain Club (shoes must be purchased from March 19, 2012 -April 2, 2012 from PlanetShoes.com). The Appalachian Mountain Club promotes the protection, enjoyment, and understanding of the mountains, forests, waters, and trails of the Appalachian region.
PlanetShoes.com has graciously offered to give one Groovy Green Livin reader a pair of Patagonia Cragmaster shoes (value $155.00!). They are available for either men or women.
The giveaway is now over and the winner, Kirsten K., has been notified. Thanks to all who entered.
“UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not. “DR. SEUSS’ THE LORAX
When my oldest son (who’s now 11) was born my mother-in-law generously gave us a stack of children’s books she had been saving from when my husband was a child. The books were in immaculate condition and included classic titles that I had also treasured during my own childhood. The Lorax was one of the books passed on to us, ready for sharing with our own children. And that it was-over and over again. I was determined to keep on reading it to them, with the hope that someday they would understand the important (and somewhat complex) messages in the book.
When my kids got wind that The Lorax was going to be released as a movie on March 2 (Dr. Seuss’ birthday) they were beyond excited. We wondered and discussed how Hollywood would spin an animated version of our beloved book. I was thrilled when I was contacted by Universal Studios and asked to participate in a Blog Tour (see below for the full blog tour schedule) in support of Universal Pictures ‘Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax’.
Most of us are familiar with the general story-line of The Lorax. If you need a refresher, Beth from My Plastic-Free Life shared a great summary as part of this blog tour.
With the release of The Lorax there’s no better time to talk with children about one of the many messages of The Lorax: Ways our families can help protect the earth. The good news is there are so many options for change and each will have a big environmental impact on our precious planet. As a family I’ve found it’s important to create routine and habit around these simple changes so they become second nature.
Here are a few ideas to get your family started protecting the earth:
2. Celebrate Meatless Monday (or meatless any day)
Meatless Monday is a movement encouraging people to improve their health and improve the health of the planet by lowering their meat consumption. Each year the average American eats 200 pounds of meat. There are a lot of health reasons to not eat as much meat, but there are also quite a few environmental reasons to cut back on meat eating. The UN estimates the meat industry generates nearly one-fifth of the man-made greenhouse gas emissions that accelerate climate change. An estimated 1,800 to 2,500 gallons of water go into a single pound of beef. There are many ways to green your Meatless Monday (or any day of the week) and all will have a positive environmental impact on the earth.
Reusing can go well beyond the items in your lunch box. The saying goes: “One person’s trash may be another person’s treasure.” Encourage your children to give trash a second chance by reusing some of the garbage to make crafts out of recyclables. We live in a use-and-toss society where most of the time we don’t give a second thought to using an item once and then tossing it. If we changed that mentality and considered whether or not a product could be reused before recycling we would keep new resources from being needed and old resources from entering our overflowing landfills.
As The Lorax says:“UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not. “
Don’t forget to visit Mindful Momma on February 29 for the next post in our LESSONS FROM THE LORAX Blog Tour!
Are you planning to see The Lorax? Do you have any hopes for the film?
This past week was school vacation week for many families on the east coast. We are big alpine skiers and try to spend our vacations out on the slopes. Although there hasn’t been much snow this season, we still managed to get some skiing in. Most of the days were spent gearing up three children in snow pants, ski boots and helmets so we could spend the majority of the day outside on the mountain.
For those of you who are non-skiers, skiing generally entails being outside, in a remote area, for hours at a time. When you need a bathroom break there’s not always a bathroom in close range. Finding one can take a while and then using it can be a big production. The skis need to come off, the multiple layers of ski gear needs to be shed and somehow you need to get to the bathroom in those big, clunky ski boots. Not a small effort. Add changing a tampon or pad to the mix and there’s no question I would have been sitting in the lodge with a cup of hot cocoa (for those of you not interested in hearing about tampons, pads and reusable menstrual cups now’s your chance to opt out of the discussion).
As some of you know, I started using a reusable Softcup a few months ago. I’ve been reporting to you on my progress and it’s been slow and steady. This month I’m feeling a bit more comfortable with it and can finally say that I have successfully greened my period.
What does “greening” your period mean?
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.
Using organic tampons and pads reduces the amount of waste on the production end, but doesn’t solve the actual waste of the product and packaging.
Reusable Softcup is a menstrual cup that can be worn for up to 12 hours and reused throughout one menstrual cycle. The cup is worn internally, around your cervix, and it collects rather than absorbs menstrual flow. It’s non-toxic, hypo-allergenic, latex-free and completely safe when used as directed.
Softcup is affordable and an eco-friendly alternative to conventional tampons and pads. Think of all the waste that’s avoided by using a resuable menstrual cup.
Back to skiing
I still have to make the occasional trip into the bathroom with one of my boys, but I don’t have to carry extra, bulky tampons or pads in my ski jacket. The best part-I can stay out for hours and there’s no worry about leaking.
Ready to give it a try? Let me know how you do.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I have been hired by Evofem, the parent company for Softcup, in their Softcup Brand Ambassador Program. This is a “sponsored post.” Evofem 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 used under Creative Commons from Laffertyryan/Flickr]
It’s been a long haul, but after 8 plus years our kids are finally on semi auto-pilot in the morning. There are still a few pieces of our morning routine where guidance is needed, but our three boys make a good effort to independently get their “jobs” done.
One of those morning jobs is packing their own lunch for school. This is by far the most time consuming task in the morning. I’ve tried coaxing them into packing it at night, but it just doesn’t work. So morning it is.
It’s not pretty in our kitchen when the lunch packing begins. It truly looks like a tornado came through and tossed food all over the counters and floor. But it’s worth it. Through making their own lunch they are beginning to understand what a green and healthy lunch looks like.
What is a green lunch?
Children’s lunches create more than 3.5 billion pounds of garbage each year, which amounts to a crazy 18,760 pounds of trash annually from an average sized elementary school. That’s a lot of waste.
Every since my kids have been in school we have focused on making their lunches as waste free as possible.We have a few reusable lunch bags -each child has their own assigned color. When buying their lunch bags I wanted to be sure that their food wouldn’t come in contact with any unsafe materials or chemicals. Their reusable lunch bagsare:
If you pull apart a typical lunch box you will find a sandwich in a plastic baggie, all sorts of individually wrapped snacks, possibly some fruit and a drink container. Once lunch is over the wrappers from each of these items makes its way into the garbage can.
Making a lunch box zero-waste through the use of reusable products will minimize the amount of garbage kids create through their school lunch.
Here are some of my favorite eco-friendly reusable lunch box products. I also make sure to pack a reusable napkin, which occasionally gets tossed and doesn’t make it home.
What’s in our green and healthy lunch bag?
I wish I could say our lunches are creative and exciting, but they’re really not. My kids tend to be creatures of habit and really don’t like to mix it up much. There are a few staples that end up in their lunches on a daily basis.
Fresh, organic fruit. My oldest likes watermelon and my youngest likes oranges, bananas and clementines.
Don’t buy individually packaged snacks i.e. fruit cups, single serving cookies, chips and crackers. There is a lot of wasted packaging and the cost per item is much more expensive than buying in bulk.
We try to buy organic when we can. Remember Organic doesn’t always mean healthy. There are organic foods out there that that are processed, contain lots of sugar and are unhealthy. Reading food labels is a must. Also, be wary of long lists of ingredients that you don’t recognize.
Be prepared to lose a few items. I try to label everything with a sharpie. Until your children are used to their new green lunch box, there will be a few reusables that don’t make it home.
What goes in your green and healthy lunch bag?
There are a few affiliate links in this post. If you use them a few pennies will go in my pocket. Thanks!
[Photo used under Creative Commons from avilasal/Flickr]
At any moment my kids are going to come running through the door ready for the weekend to begin (I’m ready too!). I thought I would share a few of this week’s green happenings before bedlam sets in.
Tristin & Tyler launch a new site
Two of my favorite eco boys, Tristin and Tyler (along with their mommy), have launched a new site called: Tristin & Tyler’s Tales from the City! City Kids. Saving the Earth. In the past I have highlighted a few of their episodes, but now you can watch all of them in one spot. Each video /episode touches upon a different green and eco-friendly topics usually covering reducing, reusing and recycling. The general theme of each episode is family togetherness-different things you can do as a family to make a difference. The production of the show is a family affair: Tiffany (their behind the scenes mom) produces the series on her own (with the occasional help from her hubby). The boys are always up to something groovy and green (that’s why we love them so).
Why reusables are so important
Did you know that an estimated 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are used, and discarded, annually worldwide? This week I shared a guest post over at Almost All the Truth about 7 Reasons to Use Reusables discussing how plastic bags pose a tremendous threat to our environment. You have to at least check out the photo of the dogs.
The clock is ticking and time is almost up. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway for full size Earth Mama Angel Baby products from Lullaby Organics. The giveaway will close on December 11, 2011 at midnight EST.
Teens Turning Green is a student led movement that educates and advocates for environmentally and socially responsible choices. About a year ago this amazing group of teenagers went head to head with the giant retailer, Abercrombie & Fitch. They were outraged that A & F was mandating their teen employees wear a fragrance containing phthalates, linked to asthma, allergies and hormone disruption.
Teens Turning Green are back in the spotlight again. This month, from October 1- October 30, they are working to inspire the next generation to change “from conventional to conscious” via a 30-day green lifestyle challenge. Every day during the month of October a new green challenge is posted on the Project Green Challenge site. There are all sorts of incentives ranging from a Green Diploma to becoming a Challenge Champion. It’s their hope that the participants will discover how fun, easy and effective eco living can be.
TAKE THE CHALLENGE- Day 9: Going from disposables to reusables
This challenge is about defining what a disposable is and then finding out the impact of disposables on our world. Each challenge has a green, greener, greenest and extra credit option. Since this was my first challenge I decided to stick with the “basic” green challenge. The challenges change every day…and there’s no going back.
What is Your definition of disposable?
Something is disposable when it’s created solely for convenience and can easily be tossed after one use.
5 ways that single use products impact our health and our planet.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average American produces about 4.4 pounds (2 kg) of garbage a day, or a total of 29 pounds (13 kg) per week and 1,600 pounds (726 kg) a year.
Along with single-use plastic bags, plastic bottles are among the most prevalent sources of pollution found on our beaches. (Ocean Conservancy).
The extremely slow decomposition rate of single-use plastic bottles leaves them to drift on the ocean for untold years.
Recycling single use products won’t fix the problem. The bottom line is recycling rates are low. Before we recycle there are two things that need to happen:We need to reduce the amount of disposables that we use and we need to find a way to reuse or repurpose the disposables that we have.
Then I was asked to take a short survey:
Will you commit to 24 hours of no single use items starting when you wake up tomorrow morning? YES
Will you commit to carrying out this change of practice for the next 30 days? YES
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.