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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

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