When she lost her child at the shops, she never expected this to happen
Kellie Turtu of Mama Pyjama is this week’s winner of iBlog Friday with her post…read more
We look at 30 ways to help you reduce your footprint in just 30 days.
End your one-use plastic water bottle addiction by investing in a BPA-free plastic container or steel bottle. If you’re worried about your tap water, pick up a reusable bottle with a built-in filter so that you can hydrate your body without hurting the earth.
If tea time is your 'me time', get more out of each comforting cup by reusing your tes bag about three times before tossing or composting it. Plus, once you’re done with your tea, you can place cool, used bags on your eyes as a soothing compress and to reduce redness and puffiness.
If you’re jonesing for a wardrobe update but you want to go green (and save some green), invite your friends to bring over their unwanted items for a clothing exchange. After all, one woman’s trash is another woman’s tres chic. Turn it into a potluck by making hors d’ouevres and asking everyone to bring a dish. Donate any leftover or unwanted clothing to charity.
Just add spice to banish bugs in your garden without dousing your produce in pesticides. Sprinkle ground pepper or red pepper flakes on damp leaves to get rid of chewing insects, or add it to the ground while planting to keep mammals away.
Ripping open wrapping paper was tons of fun … when you were 8. Now, does it just make you feel guilty? Instead of tossing tons of paper, tissue and gift bags each year, get creative and try packaging gifts sin reusable time like tea towels, scarves, bandanas and more. Your packing will be just as pretty, and it will be even more thoughtful.
Electronic items can still consume energy when they’re turned off, so before you leave the house for the day (and especially if you’re leaving for vacation), unplug ll unused devices. Make this task easier on yourself by plugging several items into a powerstrip. Don’t forget to yank laptop and mobile phone chargers out of the wall, too.
Pretty packaging might make you want to buy that new brand of cereal, but what you’re really paying for is marketing. Ditch the unnecessary boxes and bags and stock up on staples like oats, lentils, trail mix and more in the bulk foods section of your local grocery or natural foods store. Not only are bulk foods cheaper, but you’ll also be able to buy only as much you need.
Cut the clutter and save some trees by converting to online statements and payments for as many bills as possible. From credit cards to rent to electricity, nearly every bill can be paid electronically now, so just create email folders for statements and payment confirmations to organise and keep track of your payments. Bonus: come tax time, won’t be drowning in shoeboxes full of paper statements.
Before recycling glass wine and sparkling water bottles, try reusing them as chic water containers for your next dinner party. Thoroughly wash the bottles to remove any remnants of the original liquids, then soak to remove paper labels. Then, just fill up with water, chill and place on your dining table for a bohemian restaurant feel.
Rather than buying heavily packaged beauty products with unnatural ingredients, try making your own avocado face mask. Combine 1/2 a soft avocado, 1/2 a banana, and 1 egg yolk. Mash the banana and avocado, and mix all ingredients well. Massage onto your skin and leave for 10 minutes, before washing your face. Your skin will feel supple and soft.
Save gas, money and maybe even a gym membership by walking or biking to work, the grocery store or even a restaurant for dinner.
Half the time in the shower is spent avoiding the water while soaping up – so for big water and energy savings, switch off while you lather up.
Matching dining sets are boooring. Amp up the style factor for your next dinner party by picking up vintage plates, bowls, glasses and tea cups. Check out your local flea market or thrift store and play with colour, shapes and design.
You’ll use a lot less water if you only run your laundry or dishwasher with a full load. Running two half-loads uses twice as much water.
Instead of tossing past months’ issues of home, fashion and literary magazines, put them in your gym’s magazine rack. Your fellow exercisers should tank you – new reading material can be excellent motivation to pound out another 20 minutes on the elliptical!
If you can effectively do your job from home, talk to your boss about telecommuting a day or two each week. According to the EPA, leaving your car at home one or two days a week can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 1,600 pounds per year. If telecommuting isn’t an option, check out carpooling, public transportation or private ride-share commuting opportunities.
Save water by washing only full loads of laundry, and make sure to select the correct load size and use cold water as much as possible. If you’re planning to buy a new washing machine, make sure to choose a high-efficiency model.
If you’re running the bath or shower waiting for the water to heat up, put a large bucket underneath to catch the water. Use this water for plants, pets and cleaning.
It’s hard to work up a good lather when water is beating down on you, and how can you tell if you’ve missed a spot shaving your legs? Invest in an inexpensive shower head with an “off” button, and get your suds on while saving gallons of water.
Wandering around in a used book store is not only a lovely way to spend an afternoon, but finding an inexpensive copy of a novel you’ve been dying to read? Well, that’s supreme satisfaction. Next time you need new reading material, root around your local used book store and prepare to come home with nearly-flawless hardcover versions for a fraction of a new paperback price.
Drying on high heat breaks down the elasticity in fabrics, so prolong the life of your clothes by hanging as many items as possible on wooden racks or drying them outside.
You know exactly where your grocery list is – stuck to your desk at work. If you have a smartphone, try emailing yourself your grocery list or making a task list in your calendar. Not only will you save paper, but you’ll save cash by only buying thr items you need.
Clear up any confusion about where your food is coming from by chatting with farmers at your local green market. Ask farmers about what kind of fertilizer they use, and whether they spray pesticides – you could even enquire about recipe tips! If you are what you eat, you’ll finally know what that really is.
Embrace the Meatless Monday movement and go vegetarian one day a week. In addition to the health benefits of adding more produce your diet, you’ll shrink your carbon footprint. If you’re a hardcore carnivore and need your fix, try meat-like proteins such as seitan or veggie burgers.
Author Michael Pollan said you shouldn’t eat anything your great grandmother wouldn’t have recognized as good. So, rid your grocery cart of highly processed, over-packaged foods and kick your diet old school. You’ll see a difference in the way you feel and on your grocery bill.
Paper or plastic? Try neither. Some cities are starting to charge for plastic bags, which is yet another reason to keep a few collapsible bags in your car or purse. Bonus: Fabric bags are a lot sturdier and more comfortable (not to mention more stylish) to carry than plastic.
Share your breakfast with your plants by saving the eggshells from your next omlette and drying them out. Next, blend the dried eggshells in a blender and sprinkle the powdery mixture on your garden to give the soil an extra dose of calcium.
As your career evolves, so do your wardrobe needs. So, whether you ditched your corporate job or went from business casual to super professional, re-evaluate your work look and donate clothes and accessories you no longer need to a women’s career assistance organisation.
Clean heavy, unused items out of your car to reduce the amount of petrol you’re using. As excited as you might be for a golf session, carting your clubs around all the time is going to cost you and the environment.
Collaborative consumption is essentially the idea that if members of the community worked together and shared their resources, then we'd all need to buy a lot less. There are numerous collaborative consumption websites that have been set up, to help people share everything from cars, to power tools, to bicycles, to gardening space. You can see 15 of the best collaborative consumption websites here.
Click through for more brilliant ideas and don't forget to join our challenge and leave your eco tips in the comments below
The Good Hood (brought to you by The City of Sydney) is about celebrating all the good things we're doing to make Sydney a better place. Simply snap a photo of your Good – think recycling, reusing, making, growing and living more sustainably – and upload it to our map of Sydney for your chance to win one of three great prizes. Best of all, you’ll be able to share your Good & see what folks around you are doing. So get snapping or take a stroll through the neighbourhood at www.thegoodhood.com.au
Brought to you by the City of Sydney's Green Villages program, working together to create a more sustainable Sydney.
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