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Five Ways to Go Green—And Get It—For Earth Day

Written on April 22, 2014 at 9:44 am , by

Written by Jordan Clifford, editorial intern

Let’s face it, green is the way to go. Conserving natural resources and living an eco-friendly lifestyle is something we can all get behind. I’m not saying you have to commit to composting or using biodegradable underwear (unless that’s totally your thing!) It could be just a few simple changes. Since the earth is getting a little extra love this month, here are just a few ways for you to go the extra mile:

Swap those water filters: Soma’s uber-chic, shatter-resistant glass carafe is made from entirely biodegradable materials and operates on an all-the-rage subscription-based service, so new filters get delivered right to your door every two months. Translation: you’ve basically run out of excuses for forgetting to change the filter. Not to mention you’ll feel awesome every time you do, because a portion of the sale of every filter goes to Charity:Water and brings clean drinking water to people around the world.  With one purchase you win in three ways: go green, give back, and stay stylish (because plastic water filters aren’t exactly the prettiest at a dinner party).

Recycle old electronics: ecoATM is an automated electronic recycling kiosk where you can drop off your old phone, tablet or MP3 player and get cash back (return ranges from $1 to $300). There are 900 kiosks nationwide, so check here to find one near you, dig out the old iPhone 4 hanging out in your closet and not only will you go green, you’ll get some in return. Sweet!  

Change a light blub: How many eco-minded individuals does it take? Just one.  Something as simple as swapping out one standard 60W incandescent light blub for an LED bulb can save you about $6 a year on electricity bills and is 75-85% more efficient. It might not seem like much, but according to Batteries Plus Bulbs, a specialty nationwide light bulb and battery retailer, the average home has approximately 60 light fixtures. Do the math, and yep, you could save up to $6,500 by the time a newborn turned 18. Hello, my-kids-are-off-to-college vacation!

Get socially savvy: Did you know that your morning glass of soy/almond/coconut milk does more than taste great in your morning smoothie or bowl of cereal? It saves 500 gallons of water per half gallon over conventional dairy milk! And better yet, Silk is partnering with The Nature Conservancy to donate $20,000 with your help. Simply get your social media on: visit silk.com/yaywater and for every video share, they’ll donate $1 (up to $20,000).

Stay committed: Make a pledge to do an “act of green” at earthday.org and become part of Earth Day Network’s “A Billion Acts of Green” movement.

What are you doing to celebrate Earth Day? Let us know in the comments below!

Photo by Ericka McConnell

More From FITNESS:

10 Ways to Go Green, Get Healthy, Save Money
Easy Ways to Green Your Fitness and Daily Routine
How Do I Eat Green?

Green Your Ride: What to Do With Old Bike Parts

Written on August 3, 2012 at 11:09 am , by

Don't toss those unwanted bike parts! (Photo by Karen Pearson)

Written by Laura Cofsky, editorial intern

When it’s time to replace worn out bike parts, have you ever wondered what to do with the old ones? Instead of tossing them aside – or worse – in the trash, recycling them is your best bet. And now it’s become a whole lot easier. Performance Bicycle, in collaboration with Liberty Tire Recycling and Resource Revival, has launched The Tube, Tire and Chain Recycling Initiative. The first of its kind, this campaign is designed to make one of our favorite environmentally friendly activities even, well, friendlier.

Every Performance Bicycle outlet now hosts a blue recycle container for you to deposit blown-out tires and tubes, which are transformed into mulch for playgrounds, athletic fields, railroad ties and highway asphalt. Old chains are repurposed into fun and functional gifts, along with promotional items cyclists will truly adore.

The companies involved have already been doing their green part for years. Liberty Tire Recycling, for instance, collects tire scraps from dumpsites around the country and recycles them. Every year they collect and recycle one third of America’s scrap tire material – talk about a major impact! Resource Revival also takes scraps, turning them into handcrafted, usable art like picture frames and bottle openers.

We’re really excited about this program and hoping to see the initiative catch on at other stores. After all, every thing we can do to help reduce our carbon footprint is a step in the right direction!

More from FITNESS:

What’s Your Bike Type?

Joy Ride: Bike Parts Smarts

Don’t Throw Out Those Used Sneaks! How to Recycle Fitness Gear

 

4 Ways to Go Green For Earth Day This Weekend

Written on April 20, 2012 at 10:08 am , by

Another way to go green? Bike rather than drive for your close errands. (Photo by Alexa Miller)

Living an eco-friendly lifestyle has become a year-round affair. However, the environment gets a little extra love in April, and on Sunday in particular for Earth Day. Here are four fun ways to mark the holiday this weekend…no composting required (unless you want to, of course)!

  1. Make a pledge to go green. Plant a garden, unplug appliances you aren’t using, cut a minute off your shower time…it all adds up. Do an “act of green” this weekend and log it at earthday.org to be a part of the Earth Day Network’s Billion Acts of Green.
  2. Find earth-smart family entertainment at your IMAX theater. Step into the polar bear-filled world—you’ll feel like you should have brought your winter coat to the theater the 3D is so real!—for a virtual trip To The Arctic. The 40-minute film narrated by Meryl Streep shows the struggles animals and wildlife are having in the region as global temperatures rise. It’s sure to spark some interesting family discussions!
  3. Head to Target for a free reusable shopping bag. On Sunday, the superstore will be handing out 1.5 million totes across the country to encourage visitors to shop more sustainably. Grab one near guest services, and while you’re there, snag a booklet for savings on Earth Month products. For more details, click here.
  4. Check out page 24 of our April issue for our favorite eco-friendly finds. Whether you’re looking to spruce up your garden, wardrobe or walls, we selected six of our favorite environmentally-conscious and wallet-friendly goodies to feature. Take a look and treat yourself or a pal!

Now tell us: How will you be celebrating Earth Day this weekend?

Eco-Friendly Kitchen Tips from Green Expert Sophie Uliano

Written on April 22, 2011 at 4:38 pm , by

Photo courtesy of Sophie Uliano and Post-It

Photo courtesy of Sophie Uliano and Post-it

You don’t have to spend big bucks to eat green. Here are easy, money-saving tips from Sophie Uliano, author of Gorgeously Green, The Gorgeously Green Diet, and the upcoming book Do It Gorgeously, to help you have a more environmentally friendly kitchen.

  • Cook from scratch as much as you can. You avoid processed foods (which cost more money) and cut back on waste from all the extra packaging.
  • Buy in bulk and plan ahead. Choose a meal plan for the week and make your shopping list before you head to the grocery store. “Following a meal plan for the week helps me eat healthy and lose weight because I know exactly what I’m eating,” says Sophie. “And I only need to do one trip to the store.”
  • Do prep work. When you get home from the grocery store, wash and chop your produce and store them in containers in your fridge. “I love making salads for me and my family. Having the ingredients washed and pre-cut means I can make meals in minutes.”
  • Don’t forget! “You have every intention to bring your reusable bag to the grocery store, your travel mug and reusable water bottle, but sometimes you forget,” says Sophie. “I like to leave a note by my door to remind me.” She recently teamed up with Post-it Greener Notes so those go-green reminders are on recycled paper.

Want more tips? Check out Sophie’s website GorgeouslyGreen.com where she’s got how-to videos and recipes to make your own eco-friendly products at home.

Got simple ways to go green at home? Share them with us on the comments section below!

Eco-Friendly Fashion Finds

Written on April 22, 2011 at 2:12 pm , by

eco1
In celebration of Earth Day (today!), we’re sharing our favorite eco-friendly finds from head to toe!

  • Start with Loomstate. You’ll look fab and feel great knowing they produce their organic cotton designs in environmentally conscious ways.
  • For an extra pop of color wrap yourself in Lemlem‘s handmade, natural cotton scarves.
  • Treat your feet to Olsen Haus‘s chic all vegan shoes.
  • Carry your belongings in Ellington’s eco collection bag which uses vegetable tanning methods and zero chemicals.
  • Polish your nails in a pretty hue without breathing in harmful chemicals, like formaldehyde, from Rescue Beauty Lounge.

Now tell us: How are you making your Earth Day greener?

15 Easy Ways to Go Green on the Cheap

Written on April 21, 2011 at 10:51 am , by

Photo courtesy of SparkPeople

Photo courtesy of SparkPeople

During the past few years, “green” living has gone mainstream. Words like “carbon footprint” are commonplace and many companies are trying to highlight (sometimes even fabricate) how eco-friendly they are so that consumers will view them more favorably.

But one thing you may wonder, whether you’ve considered switching to plant-based cleaners, energy star appliances, organic cotton clothing, or a backyard composter made from recycled plastic is this: Why does “doing good” for the earth have to be so darn expensive? Organic, natural, plant-based, recycled, biodegradable, and fair trade do—for the most part—cost more. And that higher expense, unfortunately, deters many consumers from changing their ways.

But if you’re willing to spend a little time and think creatively, there are plenty of zero- and low-cost options to green your lifestyle, diet and home. In honor of Earth Day tomorrow, here are some of the cheap ways you can go green to protect our planet:

1. Buy secondhand. If you do need something, buying secondhand is always better than buying new, even if that new product is eco-friendly. Buying secondhand uses existing resources instead of tapping into new ones.

2. Stop buying single-use disposable goods. If you are regularly buying single-use disposable items, such as bottled water, disposable toilet scrubbers and the like, consider investing those same dollars into a more permanent solution to save money and decrease waste that goes to landfills.

3. Unplug and turn off. When plugged into an outlet, many electronics are using power even when they’re off. You could invest in an expensive “smart” power strip to prevent this, or for free, you can simply make it a habit to unplug your electronics whenever you aren’t using them.

4. Opt out of mailing lists and switch to paperless billing. This will save you time, paper waste, and postage. Each time you buy something from a website or catalog, request that company not share your address with anyone else and say you do not want to be added to their mailing list. And don’t forget about officially opting out of credit offers (it’s free and easy!) to prevent even more junk mail from coming your way.

5. Buy fewer packaged foods. Those little plastic produce bags for your apples and broccoli—totally optional. When possible, forgo food packaging or try to make some of your purchasing decisions based on foods that use less packaging. This most often will apply to processed foods that you often don’t need to eat anyway. When you do, choose the larger sizes in lieu of small packages or single serving items to decrease packaging waste.

Continued: 10 More Tips to Be Green on a Budget


More From Spark People:

30 Days to a Greener Lifestyle

6 Ways to Get Lean Going Green

The Proven Weight-Loss Program That Isn’t a Diet