While it’s sort of a deviation from the norm on here, I’ve gotten a few comments lately about how I should post some of my favorite green tips to the blog, so I suppose this is here based on popular demand. It’s hard to live completely green, but I hope these resources help you to make small changes in your life.
Recyclebank has been a great resource for me over the past year or so. It’s a website dedicated to teaching people about easy ways to recycle and make permanent changes in their life, and as a reward for learning, members earn points that are redeemable for all kinds of products. I’ve cashed in my points for coupons with the Honest Company, a subscription to Real Simple, and all kinds of other goodies.
Their Facebook page also has a lot of daily tips. Very handy!
When in doubt, consult GoodGuide. With so much “greenwashing” these days, it’s hard to know what is actually good for the environment, and what companies just market themselves as being green with no cred to back them up. GoodGuide grades products and companies on three 10-point scales: Health, Environmental Impact, and Society (ethics of the company, how they treat their workers, how they give back, etc.)
You can zero in on factors that are important to you or look at the overall blended score to see how your products perform. It’s a great tool for people starting out looking to green their life. Just replace one item you regularly use with a slightly better item from GoodGuide and in no time all of your products will live up to your standards. Not all products are graded on the site, but it is a great place to start.
The FSC stands for the Forest Stewardship Council. Find this label on tons of different paper products. The label denotes that the products you buy are good for society, good for the environment, and good for the economy. I learned about this certification through Recyclebank, so you know it’s legit.
Recycling plastic by number can be complicated. In some places, you can recycle high numbers, but for most of us, 5s are still not accepted. What to do?
Locate a Gimme Five bin. They are available at many a Whole Foods and several other co-op grocery stores. Your yogurt cups could be toothbrushes or razors before you know it! Speaking of…
Preserve isn’t kidding when they say they’ll make your cups into toothbrushes – they’ll turn around and sell your unwanted containers back to you in useful forms. Right now in my shower I’ve got one of their razors, but they also make reusable plastic tableware, long-term disposables (think using a plastic plate hundreds of times instead of just once) and food storage containers. So, if you’ve got 5s you can’t recycle, make sure to high-tail it to the bins and consider it an investment in your purchasing future.