In the House

Vision and Eyewear

Contact Lenses Since about 45 million Americans wear contact lenses and most people opt for daily contact lenses (which get tossed after one day), the impact of this pollution on our oceans and landfills is pretty immense. A recent study by Arizona State University found that 15-20% of contact lens users flush their used contacts… Continue reading Vision and Eyewear

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How to Avoid Single-Use Plastics

Single-use plastics are items that are used only once before being thrown away or recycled, such as plastic water bottles, plastic bags, food packaging, coffee stirrers, and straws. Global production of plastic has more than tripled since 1989 to 335 million tons per year. Fossil fuels are used to produce plastic and the manufacturing process… Continue reading How to Avoid Single-Use Plastics

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Populations Most at Risk

Contrary to the belief that 'global warming' is synonymous with 'more warm, beautiful, and sunny days,' climate change brings with it a whole host of diverse, extreme weather patterns. As you can imagine, those who are most susceptible to feel these changes are those who have least sociological and economic defenses, and climate change is… Continue reading Populations Most at Risk

In the House

Furniture and Decor

One of the best ways to put a new twist on your home or the final touch on a newly-improved room is to decorate! Start by shopping your garage for old favorites that you maybe haven't seen for a while. Or, you can loan and swap items from family or friends. Next, browse garage sales,… Continue reading Furniture and Decor

In the House

Favorite Zero Waste Swaps

A record number of Americans are starting to get very concerned about climate change and want to know what they can do. The 'zero waste' movement is focused on decreasing waste and lessening one's personal environmental impact. The best, most environmentally-friendly approach is to use what you already have. However, if you are looking to buy… Continue reading Favorite Zero Waste Swaps

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New Year’s Resolutions

Happy New Year! Sadly, global carbon emissions reached an all-time in 2018, but there are lots of ways to help the planet. The good news is that Americans are becoming very aware and concerned about climate change. If you love lists as much as we do, we've compiled a few ideas on how you can… Continue reading New Year’s Resolutions

In the House

Please Don’t Throw Away Your Christmas Tree

Christmas trees are supposed to be the bringers of good tidings and Christmas cheer, right? So why dispose of them in the landfill where they will emit nasty greenhouse gases like methane, which is a 30 times more potent heat-trapping gas than carbon? Luckily, there are lots of other more environmentally-friendly fates for your tree!… Continue reading Please Don’t Throw Away Your Christmas Tree

In the House

Medications

We believe health should always be the first priority, and medications can be an important tool to help you stay healthy. However, pharmaceutical pollution is a growing environmental problem. Drugs can enter the waterways from landfill runoff, being incorrectly disposed of (even by hospitals), or through urine. Medicines like those used to treat diabetes, depression,… Continue reading Medications

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Party Planning

Parties are a wonderful way to celebrate life's happy occasions with the people you love! Here are some suggestions on how to plan a special event with minimal environmental impact: Invitations Invitations are a source of wasted paper and carbon emissions from transport from sender to recipient. The best option is to go paperless by… Continue reading Party Planning

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Cosmetics

Since health and safety always have to come first, our favorite place to start when shopping for cosmetics is the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep cosmetics database. The EWG also has a great app which allows scanning of barcodes of products to see the level of toxicity of the ingredients. Any chemicals that are bad for your body… Continue reading Cosmetics

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Time of the Month

The average woman uses 11,000 disposable menstrual pads and/or tampons in her lifetime. Most pads and tampon applicators are made, at least in part, of plastic. The plastic covering each tampon and pad is individually wrapped in are also a source of waste. The cotton portions used are often not organic, meaning they are made using… Continue reading Time of the Month

In the House

Pets

Carbon Footprint  Having pets can cause a lot of waste, especially when it comes to food production. Although I found conflicting information regarding the exact carbon footprint of our furry friends, an estimate cited by Jeff McMahon from Forbes magazine says cats and dogs alone could be responsible for up to 64 million tons of carbon… Continue reading Pets

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Carbon Offset Credits

As estimated by MIT in 2008, the average American's carbon footprint is 20 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year. The lowest than any American's carbon footprint can get is 8.5 metric tons of CO2, no matter how minimally they live. This is more than double the global average of 4 metric tons. This… Continue reading Carbon Offset Credits

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#ClimateFriday

While Americans geared up for record Black Friday sales today, the federal government released the second part of the fourth US National Climate Assessment (view NCA4 Vol. 1 here). We get excited about deals just like any good American, but try to keep the planet in mind when you make your Black Friday purchases. Choose items made… Continue reading #ClimateFriday

In the House

Shower

The shower may not seem like a big source of waste, but think about shaving cream aerosols, disposable razors, and how convenient it is to toss empty shampoo bottles in the bathroom trash instead of rinsing and recycling them - the list goes on and on! Shaving Because we've had some mixed results shaving with safety… Continue reading Shower

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Clothing

Let's talk about CLOTHING! (A personal favorite of mine!) Fast Fashion First of all, we have to discuss "fast fashion". As a former self-proclaimed shopaholic, giving up "fast fashion" was a difficult decision to make. Fast fashion is found in big stores that sell thousands of styles all at once at very cheap prices -… Continue reading Clothing

In the House

Bathroom

For such a small room, the bathroom plays a huge role in any zero-waster's home. Toothbrushes and Toothpaste If you're unable to switch to toothpaste tabs (with fluoride or without fluoride), luckily, Colgate has a free recycling program that accepts empty toothpaste tubes, floss containers, and toothbrushes. Emma is a fan of Bite, an LA-based company. They… Continue reading Bathroom

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Gift Giving

Gifts are a wonderful way to show the people you love how you feel. We dare you to try a slightly different approach to gift giving this holiday season, one that shows how much you care about your friends, family, and the environment. Homemade Gifts Making gifts at home isn't just for kiddies. Try your… Continue reading Gift Giving

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Pack a Lunch

Buying lunch is one of the most notorious culprits for single-use plastic waste, like straws, disposable silverware, and to-go containers. With just a teensy bit of planning, one can sidestep this whole issue by packing a lunch! Sophie: Because I'm a busy student with some dietary restrictions, I always bring a lunch to school. I pack… Continue reading Pack a Lunch

In the House

Kitchen

A zero waste kitchen is actually a very healthy (and we think aesthetic) kitchen.  Basically everything is kitchen glass/ceramic, untreated wood, or stainless steel. For example, we like these organic bamboo cooking utensils, organic bamboo cutting boards, or these recycled plastic and flax husk cutting boards (nice for meat because they can tossed into the dishwasher), marble rolling pin, glass… Continue reading Kitchen

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Transportation

Considering that the average car emits 4.6 tons of carbon dioxide every year, transportation (that's 21.3% of the total 21.6 tons of carbon dioxide emitted annually by a daily commuter) it's a big part of the American carbon footprint. Global greenhouse gas emissions from travel increased 3.4% in 2018. Let's chat about some alternatives: Electric Cars… Continue reading Transportation

In the House

Electricity

Although wind turbines and hydroelectric power from dams have been used for generations, most electricity is currently produced from coal, oil, and natural gas. Saving energy means conserving these limited natural resources and reducing the amount of environmental destruction that is needed to procure them. Along with the classic energy-saving tips like turning off the… Continue reading Electricity

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Food

Grocery shopping is something so routine and simple--it's easy to just grab little plastic yogurt cups and microwave dinners. Creative thinking is needed to break out of your habits to shop in a more environmentally conscious way. The first step is to think about reducing the amount of wasteful packaging in the items you buy.… Continue reading Food

In the House

Laundry

The big zero waste three are reduce, reuse, recycle, and the key to re-use is often in the laundry room. You can wash all your cloth items (including the shower curtain, unpaper towels, even cloth kitchen sponges) with organic, compostable soap nuts to keep them fresh and ready for reuse. Soap nuts are completely natural, toxin-free, and come… Continue reading Laundry

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Office and School Supplies

We love a new notebook and a fresh set of pens as much as the next nerds, but we found some great substitutions to make studying more eco-friendly. We use 100% recycled notebooks, compostable highlighter pencils, and this binder with divider tabs. If you need post-it notes (Emma uses a lot as she works in a school!), here… Continue reading Office and School Supplies

In the House

Cleaning

We closely follow the recommendations of the Environmental Working Group's Guide to Healthy Cleaning, since health always has to come first. Here are some of our favorite products from their website: dish soap, hand soap, and organic multi-surface bathroom cleaner. Ecover is a great brand because their plastic containers are made from plants and most score A's on the… Continue reading Cleaning