Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Love Your Mother (Earth that is....)

Anyone that knows me knows that I am very passionate about the environment. I started, many years ago, acting in a more respectful way when it came to my daily consumption of goods. The first step I took was starting my candle company around 6 years ago. I wanted to create candles that used naturally occurring scents and, at the same time, helped the air you would breath instead of hurting it. Many people were not aware of how dangerous those ever-popular paraffin candles were (are). When a product actually steals healthy oxygen from your air and replaces it with petroleum by-product toxins, you will not have healthy air to breath. So, years later, I am still making those candles and still feel passionate about the environment, but I have added many things to my list of Eco-Friendly practices. Today, I want to focus on the 2 things I feel are crucial to change in your daily life and changes that I have committed to making. First: Plastic Bags-Not only are these another petroleum product (we all know that more petroleum products mean more coal and oil use throughout the world), but they are piling up by the MILLIONS in our landfills, oceans, streams and streets. Many retail outlets are wising up and either charging for plastic bags or getting rid of them all together (Whole Foods is a great example of a company who has made the decision to rid their stores of plastic bags). Well, I made 2 big changes to my shopping habits. First: I now reuse a small amount of plastic bags and keep them handy in my car for those unplanned stops to the store and so I won't ever be without them. Second: I always have 4 or 5 large reusable totes made from heavy duty plastic or cloth that never need to be thrown out or recycled. I purchased a great tote made out of plastic "yarn" from an Etsy Shop called Claudia's Creations. It is super durable and made completely from plastic shopping bags! I love it and use it for many different things from a purse to a shopping bag.

OK, Second big change I have made is no longer purchasing water or any other plastic drink bottles from the store. There are so many options for SAFE bottles that can be reused and travel with you. Many places like Starbucks will let you fill your container with the beverage of your choice so your don't have to worry about finding a place to recycle your paper or plastic cup. If you do find yourself with one of these plastic or paper cups, then you can keep a bag in your car with you for these items and every few days remove the items from the bag and recycled them at your home or office. The point is, you do not have to thrown these things away just because you don't have an immediate way to recycle. I also encourage everyone to demand your favorite coffee shops and fast food establishments have recycling bins available for their packaging and cups.

So, bring your own bags cups or keep a bag in your vehicle for all those items that can be recycled! It is really easy and once you start looking at these items in a different way, you will act in a different way. So, make the commitment and change your habits! It is one of the best decisions you can make!

Have a great recycling habit that you have adopted? Tell me about it! Everyone that posts will receive a coupon from me to use in my shop! Just make sure you leave me your email address!!


GreenSpaceGoods said...

Great post! I didn't know until recently about the dangers of regular candles. We switched to reusable bags a long time ago, but have recently been slowing switching to natural cleaning agents like vinegar and baking soda around the house. By the way- if you need something with grit for cleaning, a little kosher salt does the trick :)

Alex Whatton said...

Definitely agree about the water bottles, but my husband is allergic to flouride! It really is the worst - we can't figure out what to do!

Great post and thanks for commenting on my blog!

~ Alex

Red Raider 14 from ETSY said...

Great ideas. My family just recently started using reusable bags. We aren't met with a lot of happiness at the checkout lane, but I know we are helping in our own little small way. I also have a project at school.


Patricia Hecker said...

All excellent ideas!
My husband and I keep our reusable cloth grocery bags in the car and on our bikes and have them ready for impromptu shopping or visits to the farmers market.
We have also encouraged the art festivals where we sell our work to begin having containers avaialble for the recycling efforts.
We use cloth napkins, dry our clothes by the wind or in front of our wood stove and compost most everything from our vegetarian kitchen.
Every little bit counts!
Here's to the good green life!

Brandon said...

Thanks so much for sharing!


Mandy said...

Nikki, you are my Earth Day Giveaway winner! Convo me on Etsy with your mailing address and I'll put your prize in the mail! Thanks for playing!

Arasay Ontaguemay said...

fantastic post! I try to make these sort of "green" changes in my life, too. I'm getting ready to recycle my cell phone... find out how on ema-online.org. :)


Crystal Leslie said...

Oh I so agree with you on this. I was just talking to one of the nurses I work with about this. I had no idea of how much waste plastic bags create. I do reuse the ones we have, but I plan on getting reusable bags when we go shopping for now on. Great post.

- Crystal