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Green Thanksgiving Tips

November 24, 2014

Thanksgiving is this week! As you start making your holiday plans, be sure to thank Mother Nature by making your Thanksgiving an eco-friendly affair with these green Thanksgiving tips:

Use the slow cooker. Instead of heating your oven to prepare your Thanksgiving feast, why not try your slow cooker instead? According to Planet Green: “When compared to a conventional oven which uses 2.7 pounds of CO2 for one hour of use, a slow cooker uses .9 pounds of CO2 for seven hours of use.” Think of how much of an impact we could make if we used our slow cooker more often! Not sure what to make? Here are some terrific Thanksgiving slow cooker recipes from Mother Nature Network.

Carpool. According to Use Less Stuff, if each family reduced holiday gasoline consumption by 1 gallon (about 20 miles), we would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 1 million tons. Consider carpooling to Grandma’s house or if it is close enough, walk or bike. Save fossil fuels and burn off some of that dinner at the same time.

Headed out of town?  Check your air filter and make sure your tires are fully inflated before hitting the road; you’ll reduce your carbon emissions and get better gas mileage.

Plan Ahead to Avoid Waste. Of course when we think of Thanksgiving, we think of an abundant feast! But, don’t let the excess turn into waste. Plan out meals using leftovers for the rest of the holiday weekend or consider a smaller “feast” that will be completely consumed on Thanksgiving Day. Not sure what to do with your turkey carcass? Try making delicious organic turkey broth to use later this winter.

Use the good China and Silverware.  Regardless of whether you use  your finest china and silver or your everyday plates and flatware, avoid using disposable paper plates and cutlery. Opt for cloth napkins as well!

Use the Dishwasher Wisely. Dinner is over and now it’s time to clean-up. If you are like many people, you will be filling your dishwasher several times before getting all those piles of dishes clean. To save energy, be sure to run the dishwasher when full and don’t rinse the dishes with hot water. Instead scrape your food waste into the trash and compost what you can. Conserve even more energy by allowing your dishes to air dry instead of using the heat dry setting on your dishwasher. And of course, opt for a eco-friendly dishwasher detergent!

Avoid Plastic Wrap. Storing leftovers in the fridge or sending food home with guests? Don’t reach for the plastic wrap to protect that food! Plastic wrap is a single-use petroleum product, and contains PVC, a chemical that can leach into your food.Use glass containers instead or aluminum foil that can be recycled.

Decorate Naturally.  We all love a beautifully decorated table to celebrate with our family and friends. And why not decorate with the most beautiful items available from Mother Nature? Nothing says autumn more than beautiful fall leaves from your own backyard. Or how about pumpkins and gourds to create a festive look around the house? Get outside and get creative with decorating naturally.

Eat Green. Use locally sourced fruits and vegetables that are currently in season to cut down on the energy required to transport food from the field to your table. Traditional holiday meals are already stacked with seasonal fruits and veggies like pumpkins, apples, and cranberries that you can find at local farmer’s market.

Purchase or Borrow a Roasting Pan. Disposable roasting pans are inexpensive and readily available on grocery store shelves, especially this time of year. But if everyone in the United States used a disposable roasting pan to cook their Thanksgiving turkey, there would be 46 million tinfoil pans heading to the landfill every year. Instead, borrow or purchase a heavy-duty pan that can be reused year after year.

Turn down the thermostat. Between a house full of guests and a kitchen full of hot food, your house will more than likely be warm without the overuse of the thermostat. Turn your thermostat down 3-5 degrees – no one will notice the difference.

Use non-toxic household cleaners. When preparing your home for family and friends, be sure to clean with non-toxic, natural cleaners such as lemon and white vinegar.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Eco-friendly Tips for Moms

November 11, 2014

green tips for momsEco-friendly tips for moms! Whether your little ones are crawling or driving, here are a few tips to make your family greener:

CLEAN GREEN. Switch to natural cleaning supplies such as lemon juice, vinegar and water. Not sure where to begin? Check out these DIY Natural Cleaning Products.

SAY NO TO PLASTIC. Avoid using those plastic bags while grocery shopping by switching to reusable bags. Always seem like you forget them at home? Add them to your diaper bag or store them in your trunk after each use.

MAKE RECYCLING A FAMILY AFFAIR. Get the kids involved with recycling around your home. Talk about why it is important and what items can be recycled. Even take a tour of the recycling plant in your area!

READ THE LORAX. Bedtime snuggles can be made even more meaningful by learning a little about the environment with Dr. Seuss! Looking for other fun Lorax activities? Check out a few ideas here.

DON’T DO DISPOSABLE. Have a little one still in diapers? Did you know one baby in disposable diapers will contribute at least 1 ton of waste to your local landfill? Make the switch to cloth or biodegradable diapers.

CREATE A PAPER TOWEL-FREE HOME. By replacing just one roll of paper towels a week with cloth, you can save more than 1,000 paper towels a year! So, make the switch from paper towels to cloth to clean-up those messy high chairs, faces, hands and counters.

PURCHASE NATURAL BEAUTY PRODUCTS. Many traditional products such as baby shampoo, toothpastes and lotions contain an ingredient list that is not only LONG but full of words that are difficult to pronounce! Avoid all those chemicals and green your home by purchasing natural beauty products. Visit the SKIN DEEP database from the Environmental Working Group before heading to the store.

BUY USED OR CREATE A SWAP. Save money and the environment by swapping baby gear, clothing and other items with friends and neighbors. Or purchase gently used items at your local consignment or thrift store.

SHOP THE DIRTY DOZEN. Can’t afford to buy all your produce organically? Be sure to shop the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen.

LIMIT SCREEN TIME. Not only will limiting screen time to save electricity, it is beneficial to your children’s overall well-being. According to the Huffington Post, after just 30 minutes of screen time a day, researchers saw that children’s grades began a steady decline. Unplug the electronics and plug into family time.

BATH TOGETHER. Instead of drawing a separate bath for each child, bath multiple kids (and yourself) at once to save water.

TURN OFF THE WATER. Teach the kids to turn off water when brushing their teeth. Also, help kids decide BEFORE opening the refrigerator what items they will need to save energy.

VISIT THE LIBRARY. Save a tree and borrow your next book instead of buying a new one.

LEAVE THE CAR AT HOME. Walk or ride a bike to your errands that are two miles or closer.

SHOP AND EAT LOCAL. Support your local economy and shop at your farmer’s market or locally-owned restaurant. Support local restaurants that use food derived less than 100 miles away, and learn more about the benefits of eating locally. Visit the GoGreen Web Directory to find local, green businesses in your area.

GET RID OF BPA. Bisphenol-A (BPA) is a chemical used in hard clear plastics and as a liner for certain food containers and is linked to certain illnesses in animals. To be safe, choose plastic bottles marked (# 1, #2, or #4), or switch to glass or stainless steel.

What Green Tips for Moms do you have to share?

 

Go Green This Halloween!

October 27, 2014

Ready to take your Halloween celebration from orange and black to GREEN? Here are a few ideas on creating a festive event while still protecting Mother Earth.

1. MAKE YOUR OWN COSTUMES. While to some of you this may seem scarier than Halloween itself, many costumes can be created from clothing you already have or by purchasing inexpensive pieces at a thrift store or consignment shop. Here are a few great ideas on how to make your own costume: CLICK HERE

2. FORM A COSTUME SWAP. Still not interested in making your own? Then, why not trade with friends and family? The kids are sure to have costumes in the drawer that they have outgrown and adults love to see what is in the neighbor’s closet! Get creative. That prom dress from high school could be just perfect for transforming your daughter into a princess or that high school letterman jacket can create the best “jock” costume for your son.

3. AVOID PLASTIC MASKS AND TEETH. Halloween masks and fake teeth are often made of rubber and vinyl and can contain lead paint and chemical plasticizers that can be absorbed when being worn. Opt for eco-friendly face paints instead.

4. FACE PAINT. Be sure you are using eco-friendly face paints and make-up when creating your perfect costume. Often store bought face paints can contain harmful metals and other potentially harmful ingredients. To avoid this, try creating your own! The Environmental Working Group has some great recipes for safe DIY face paints  that aren’t harmful to you or the environment.

5. OPT FOR THE WIG. If you or your child MUST have a change of hair color for Halloween, opt for a wig or hat instead of spray on hair color that can contain synthetic chemicals.

6. BUY LOCALLY. Purchase pumpkins, gourds, treats and more for your holiday at your local farmer’s market or farm. Why not make a day of it and enjoy nature as a family to a local farm for hayrides, corn mazes and warm apple cider!

7. GREEN CANDY. Yes, candy is the theme of the day. But, it doesn’t have to be completely unhealthy. When shopping for your treats, look for organic, all-natural, dye-free ingredients that are (ideally) ethically sourced and packaged with the Earth in mind (e.g. compostable packaging, sold in bulk, etc.). Or how about giving away other treats such as organic juice boxes or pouches or organic fruit snacks? Or why not try non-food items such as pencils made from recycled materials or soy/beeswax crayons?

8.  GREEN DECOR,  Instead of decorating with plastic spiders or ghost masks, why not try more natural home decor?  This time of year is full of colorful maze, gourds, leaves and other natural materials that can be found at your local grocer or even right outside your door!  When the season is over these items can all be composted!  So much better than filling our landfills with plastics. Also consider planning a “Recycled  Halloween Craft Day” with the neighborhood kids and create all types of decorations from recycled products.  Here are a few we love:

egg carton bats

haunted halloween village from milk cartons

halloween bunting from old magazines

9. GREEN LIGHT. Have you carved the perfect pumpkin? Then you are ready to illuminate your masterpiece with candles!  Be sure when lighting your pumpkin that you are using soy or beeswax candles since these do not increase CO2 levels in the atmosphere and do not produce black soot making them better for the environment and you .  Ready to head out after dark to do your trick or treating? Be sure to equip the kids with a solar-powered or crank flashlight instead of a traditional battery operated one to lessen your impact on the environment.

10. GREEN BAG. Avoid the temptation to buy that plastic trick or treat bag or plastic pumpkin head at the store (even if they ARE super cute!) Instead, create your own unique and eco-friendly bag by having  the kids decorate old pillow cases. Or create a one-of-a-kind bag from an old Halloween shirt that the kids have outgrown! Here’s how to turn that shirt into reusable trick-or-treat bag and create a lasting memory:

WHAT YOU NEED:

Old Halloween t-shirt

Straight Pens

Plate

Marker

Scissors

Sewing Machine or No-Sew Fabric Glue

2012-11-05_17.48.32INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Place your old t-shirt on a flat surface and carefully cut off sleeves (remember to leave the seams attached to keep the handles of your bag strong)

2. Turn the shirt inside out and lay a dinner plate across the neck opening of the T-shirt. It should be half on and half off. Trace around the plate with a pen.

3. Remove the plate and cut along the line  to create the opening of your bag.

4. Pin the bottom opening/seam together to create the bottom of your tote.

5. Glue or sew together along the bottom edge. (Be sure it is secure to hold all that candy!)

6. Turn right-side out and your bag is ready!

How do you go green for Halloween?

 

Have a favorite green Halloween craft, party idea or candy? Share with us in the comments below!

Weatherizing Your Home for the Winter

September 29, 2014

The beautiful fall leaves can only mean one thing: WINTER IS COMING.

With energy costs skyrocketing and with the environment to protect, winterizing your home is as important this fall as candy corn and raking leaves!

Not sure where to begin? Here are a few ways to save on your energy bills this fall AND help protect the environment:

1. DRAFTS. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, drafts can waste 5% to 30% of your energy use. Avoid drafts under doors by simply rolling-up a bath towel and placing along the bottom. Or how about creating one of your own using these simple instructions.

2. WINDOWS. Replace old or broken windows with new energy efficient windows or seal off drafty windows using clear plastic and tape. Or how about this little trick from LIFE HACKER: Simply add bubble wrap to old windows to keep cold air out and the light coming in. This is especially useful for renters!

3. HOT WATER HEATER. Consider blanketing your hot water heater and pipes with fiberglass insulation to conserve energy during the long cold months. If it is time for a hot water heater upgrade, consider purchasing a tankless water heater instead.

4. CEILING FANS. Reverse the direction of your ceiling fans from summer to winter to push hot air down from the ceiling and help warm the room.

5. THERMOSTAT. Keeping your thermostat lower in the winter not only saves resources, it saves money as well. Consider wearing an extra layer of clothing (including socks!) or adding an extra blanket to your bed instead of turning-up the thermostat. When upgrading your thermostat, purchase a programmable Energy Star model that automatically lowers the temperature at night and when no one is home.

6. PLANTING TREES.  Consider planting evergreens close to your house or even create a Windbreaker to protect your home in the winter AND summer months! A windbreak can save up to 30% in energy costs.

7. VISIT YOUR LOCAL FEED STORE. Purchase straw bales to place around the foundation of your home. This will block cold air and help keep the floors warmer, especially if you have pier and beam.

8. PREPARE ELECTRICAL OUTLETS.  Install foam insulation gaskets around your electrical outlets and keep the outlets covered when not in use.

9. CHECK FURNITURE PLACEMENT. Be sure no furniture is blocking your vents. This will allow better air flow during the cold winter months and help keep your energy use down.

10. WARM YOUR TOES. Instead of turning the heat up to warm your digits, try adding a little ginger to your socks! Many people swear by this practice. Also, opt for natural fibers like wool or organic cotton when purchasing your socks this winter.

11. CLEAN YOUR GUTTERS. Before the cold of winter hits, be sure to clear all autumn leaves and other debris from gutters. A clean drainage system will help keep water from seeping into your foundation and freezing underground pipes.

12. WINTERIZE YOUR A/C.  Be sure to drain any hoses and air conditioner pipes and check to be sure you don’t have any excess water in any of the equipment. Remove any window air conditioners and store for the winter or be sure they are sealed properly so they don’t allow drafts during the colder months.

 

How do you prepare your home for winter? Share with us in the comments below.
ABOUT THE GOGREEN WEB DIRECTORY:

On the GoGreenWebDirectory.com you will find local eco-conscious businesses, will learn about green events in your community, and will connect to green living information and news. Rest assured that that those listed and advertising on the directory meet green standards for their type of business. While individuals should always ensure that the green businesses they support are taking acceptable measures, all of the businesses listed on GoGreen have been vetted.

GoGreen is the place to find hundreds of hand-picked green business listings that are local to you.

Eco-Friendly Fall Cleanup

September 15, 2014

eco-friendly fall cleanupFall is a great time to Go Green with an eco-friendly fall clean-up indoors and out! Here are a few tips on making the most of your time:

1. GREEN YOUR LEAVES. According to the Audubon Society, American yards generate two tons of clippings each year. Don’t throw away yard waste into landfills.  Instead, use leaves as mulch around trees and bushes to help protect them through the cold winter or add yard clippings to your compost pile. Don’t have a compost pile? See if your community offers a industry compost site that accepts yard waste.  Not sure what you can compost? Check out the EPA’s website to see the DO’s and DON’Ts of composting.

2. MUSCLE OVER MACHINES. Did you know a typical riding lawn mower actually produces four times as much pollution per hour as a car.? Use that muscle power instead of fossil fuels by ditching the leaf blower and pick up a rake instead. Opt for a push mower instead of gas powered when mowing your grass.

3. INSPECT THE FIREPLACE. More than likely your fireplace has sat dormant for several months this summer. Be prepared for the first cold snap by having your fireplace cleaned and inspected by a professional.

4. SPRING CLEAN FOR FALL. Clean the house top to bottom with natural cleaning products before sealing windows and doors for the winter. Baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice and water are all great ways keep your home clean, germ-free and free of toxic chemicals. Add a few indoor plants to purify the air and improve indoor air quality throughout the winter.

5. DISPOSE OF HAZARDOUS WASTE PROPERLY. Now’s the time to clean out the garage and closets and dispose of items you no longer use. But remember, items like pool chemicals, old paint, spray cans, used batteries and more do NOT belong in the landfill. Contact your local government to see how to dispose of these items properly and safely. Live local? The Town of Marshfield will be having a Home Hazard Waste Collection on September 20, 2014 from 9am-1PM at Furnace Brook Middle School.

6. INSPECT YOUR AMERICAN FLAG. Summer sun and wind can take a toll on your American Flag. Take a minute this fall and replace your tattered American Flag and dispose of the old one correctly. Local folks can find a disposal bin at the Marshfield Town Hall.

7.CHECK THE PRESSURE. Cooler temperatures lower tire pressure and that, in turn, lowers fuel efficiency. So, be sure to check the air pressure in your tires regularly.

8. PREP THE FURNACE. Soon it will be time to turn on your furnace again. Be sure to have it cleaned and tested before you really need it! Check your owners manual for proper maintenance or call a professional. If you have a gas furnace, have it professionally inspected once a year. Keeping a well maintained furnace will not only keep you warmer this winter, it will be more energy efficient as well.

9.INSPECT WINDOWS. Check windows for proper caulking. If you have single-pane windows, add storm windows. Even a plastic film over windows will reduce heat loss and save on your energy bill.

10. REMOVE AIR CONDITIONERS. Using a window air conditioner during the summer months? Be sure to remove it for the winter. If it can’t be removed, seal it with caulking or tape and cover it with an airtight, insulated jacket.

11.INSPECT GUTTERS. Clean the roof gutters and make sure downspouts are pointed away from the house. Thinking about installing  a rain barrel? Now’s a perfect time to add this to your home! Visit the GoGreen Web Directory to find out more.

12. PREPARE YOUR SPIGOTS. Remove your water hose from the spigots and store for the winter. Install foam covers over outside water spigots to prevent freezing.

How do you plan on preparing for an eco-friendly fall cleanup?

DIY Natural Personal Care Treatments from Everyday Ingredients

September 1, 2014

Why spend hundreds of dollars on beauty aids that may contain ingredients that are harmful to both the environment AND you. Instead, why not try a few of these homemade personal care treatments made from items you probably already have around the house! (Remember to try a small area first to be sure you do not have an allergic reaction or other issue with any of these treatments!)

PUFFY EYE TREATMENTS:

1. Parsley Eye Mask.  Roughly chop a handful of parsley and place it into a small bowl. Grind the leaves with the back of a wooden spoon or use a food processor. Add the hot water and stir the mixture together. When it has cooled, soak up the juice into two cotton balls. Lie down on your back and gently press the cotton balls under your eyes for 10 minutes.

2.Place four metal spoons in a glass of ice water. When chilled, place one spoon on each eye, following the contour of your eye socket. As the spoons begin to warm, switch them with the spoons chilling in the glass of ice water. Continue this process until swelling subsides. The cool temperature of chilled metal spoons constricts blood vessels, which helps decrease redness and puffiness in the eye area.

3. Steep green or black tea bags for 3 minutes. Allow bags to cool to room temperature. Place moist bags over eyes for approximately 15 minutes to reduce puffiness.

4. Peel and slice a potato into small strips or use a grater. Place potato strips into a clean cloth and tie the top. Place cloth over the eyes and allow the anti-inflammatory properties of the starch to reduce puffiness around the eyes.

GLOWING SKIN:

1. Stem 3 to 4 small strawberries and cut into small pieces. Mash strawberries with spoon until softened. Add 1 tablespoon of honey and gently mix together. Using small circles, continuously massage the mixture into your face for 3 minutes; rinse with warm water.

2. Create your own DIY toner with apple cider vinegar and aspirin. FIND THE RECIPE HERE.

3. De-stress with this facial mask! Combine 2 parts plain yogurt with one part honey in a bowl. Spread over your face and neck and relax for about 15 minutes. Rinse with warm water.

4. Scrub away dirt and grime with this simple recipe made with brown sugar. Combine 2 parts milk, 1 part brown sugar and an egg yolk in a bowl. Using small circles, scrub face and neck and rinse with warm water.

5. Have glowing skin with this honey scrub. Add 1 teaspoon pure honey to 1/4 cup light olive oil. Blend with 1 cup raw or granulated sugar. Mix in 2 teaspoon fresh citrus zest. Blend until well mixed, then store in a jar. Use as an all over body scrub.

6. Mash half an avocado into a bowl and spread evenly on your clean face. Allow to remain for 15 minutes, then rinse off with warm water.

7. Take the inside of the peel of the avocado and rub over your clean face before heading to bed to add extra moisturizer to your skin all night long!

8. Soften cracked heels by applying mashed bananas to the soles of your feet for approximately 20 to 30 minutes and then rinse.

FOR THE HANDS:

1. This one is “grape” for your cuticles! Take 5 red grapes and slice in half width-wise. Dip the fleshy side of the grapes into 1 tbsp of sugar and use it to massage the skin around each nail for about 30 seconds. Rinse hands and apply hand cream to finish the look.

2. Perfect scrub for fall from the Wellness Mama. Pumpkin Pie Hand Scrub! Combine 1 cup of brown sugar, 1/2 cup coconut oil, 1/2 tsp vitamin E oil and 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spices or cinnamon in a bowl or jar and use whenever you wash your hands. This recipe should last up to 2 months on the counter.

3. Whiten your nails with this easy tip! In a small bowl mix a 1/2 cup hot water with 1 tsp 30% hydrogen peroxide and 1 tbsp baking soda. Stir with a spoon until the powder dissolves. Soak your nails for approximately 10 minutes (or until the stain is gone). Wash your hands and add a moisturizer.

4. Make your manicure last longer by wiping your nails with a cloth or paper toilet dipped in vinegar before applying polish. The vinegar removes any excess oil and nail polish remover from the nail, making your manicure last longer!

FOR YOUR HAIR:

1. Combine  2 Tbsp Honey, 1 Tbsp Olive Oil and 1Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar in a bowl. Apply to dry, unwashed hair and wrap in a towel or shower cap for approximately 30 minutes. Rinse and shampoo and condition like normal.

2. Deep condition those locks by massaging a tsp of extra virgin olive oil into hair (especially at the tips) and wrapping hair in a warm, damp towel for 20 to 30 minutes. Wash hair as normal.

3. Mix 2 tbsp of baking soda and water until if forms a thick paste. Massage into damp hair and let sit for 15 minutes and then rinse. Repeat every couple of weeks to remove build-up from shampoos and other hair care products.

4. Remove dandruff by combining 2 cups apple cider vinegar and 2 cups warm water in a bowl. Pour mixture into hair and massage for approximately 5 minutes. Rinse with water only. Do not shampoo or condition for about 12 hours. Repeat once a week to control dandruff.

FOR TEETH AND MOUTH:

 1. Freshen your breath naturally by chewing on fennel seeds. Fennel seeds stimulate saliva production and helps reduce bad breath. Chewing on fresh mint, anise seeds, or parsley can also help.

2. Whiten teeth naturally by combining 4 tsp of baking soda with enough lemon juice  to form a paste. Brush paste onto teeth with a toothbrush and leave for one minute. Then rinse.  (Lemon juice can hurt enamel, so never leave on longer than one minute. Check with your dentist before trying this one.)

 

SOURCES:

http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/beauty/skin-care/our-favorite-all-natural-home-beauty-treatments/

http://www.wholeliving.com/142061/diy-mouth-care/@center/144874/diy-beauty#130008

http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/beauty/anti-aging/homemade-skin-care-recipes#slide-1

http://hair.allwomenstalk.com/diy-healthy-hair-recipes

 ABOUT THE GOGREEN WEB DIRECTORY:

On the GoGreenWebDirectory.com you will find local eco-conscious businesses, will learn about green events in your community, and will connect to green living information and news. Rest assured that that those listed and advertising on the directory meet green standards for their type of business. While individuals should always ensure that the green businesses they support are taking acceptable measures, all of the businesses listed on GoGreen have been vetted.

GoGreen is the place to find hundreds of hand-picked green business listings that are local to you.

Go Green for Back to School!

August 18, 2014

Go Green for back to school already? It seems like summer has just begun! As summer is winding down and you prepare the kids to head back to the classroom, here are a few tips on going green for back to school:

GREEN YOUR RIDE.   Did you know the average school bus can hold approximately 36 children, meaning a single school bus is equivalent to taking 36 cars off the road? Whether you walk the kids to school, ride a bike, carpool with neighborhood friends or ride the bus, go green with your children’s school transportation this school year. And don’t forget to participate in International Walk to School Day on October 8!

PACK A GREENER LUNCH BOX. Don’t send the kids off with a brown paper bag lunch and plastic baggies! Instead send them in (eco-friendly) style with a metal lunch pail or canvas bag that can be used all year long.

REMEMBER TO GREEN THE INSIDE AS WELL. Avoid filling that lunch box with plastic sandwich bags, paper napkins and disposable utensils that eventually end-up in landfills. Opt for re-usable plastic (PVC-free) containers, butcher paper, or parchment paper for wrapping food and toss in a cloth napkin and reusable cutlery.

EAT GREENER TOO!  Give those little brains the fuel they need by filling those lunch boxes with organic and locally-grown meats, dairy, and produce instead of processed packaged foods that contain little to no nutritional value. When purchasing nuts, granola, organic crackers or other snack items, don’t purchase single-serving snack packs, opt for the bigger package instead and make single servings yourself in re-usable containers. Better for the environment AND better for your wallet!

AVOID PVC IN SCHOOL SUPPLIES.  According to the Center for Health, Environment & Justice, PVC can be found in some unusual places when preparing for back to school. Did you know backpacks with shiny plastic designs often contain PVC and may contain phthalates or lead?  The colored plastic coating on the metal spirals of some notebooks can contain PVC.  Even many 3-ring binders are made of PVC and may contain phthalates. Be sure to check labels on backpacks to be sure they are PVC-Free, opt for metal spiral notebooks WITHOUT the plastic coating and choose binders made of cardboard, fabric-covered, or polypropylene.

TAKE INVENTORY BEFORE YOU BUY. Save money and the environment by taking a few minutes to take inventory of what you already have at home from previous years before heading out to complete the school supply list. Chances are you have more than you think!

PURCHASE ECO-FRIENDLY SUPPLIES. According to the EPA, for every 42 notebooks made with 100 percent recycled paper, one tree is saved! So, after you have made your list of items that DO need to be purchased for back to school, look for recycled, renewable school supplies. Most major retailers now offer a wide selection at reasonable prices.

SHOP GREEN. There is nothing more exciting for the first day of school than a brand new outfit and shoes! But for day two and beyond, consider some green alternatives. Clean out those closets and see what still fits and what doesn’t. Make a list of “MUST HAVES” before heading to the mall to avoid overbuying and consider hitting the consignment stores and thrift shops first. Take the clothing that no longer fits and create a clothing swap with friends and neighbors.

JOIN THE CLUB. Does your school have a recycling program? If so, get involved! If not, start one!  Even better, consider starting a “Recycling Club” and get students involved by making their classmates aware of what and how to recycle, helping place recycling bins around the school, create classroom competitions to see who can recycle the most and more. What a fun way to educate the next generation on protecting Mother Earth.

MAKE YOUR SCHOOL AN ECO-SCHOOL. Join over 30 other schools in Massachusetts and become an ECO-SCHOOL! Eco-Schools from the National Wildlife Federation is an internationally acclaimed program that provides a framework to help educators integrate sustainability principles throughout their schools and curriculum. Find out more about this program on the National Wildlife Federations Website.

How do you plan to go green for back to school?

 

ABOUT THE GOGREEN WEB DIRECTORY:

On the GoGreenWebDirectory.com you will find local eco-conscious businesses, will learn about green events in your community, and will connect to green living information and news. Rest assured that that those listed and advertising on the directory meet green standards for their type of business. While individuals should always ensure that the green businesses they support are taking acceptable measures, all of the businesses listed on GoGreen have been vetted.

GoGreen is the place to find hundreds of hand-picked green business listings that are local to you.

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