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I’m Green I Recycle, What more can I do!

Recently had conversations with people and it’s natural that in creating friendships that people want to know what you do for a living.  When I tell them I’m a Green Living Online Store owner, the “Green” questions arise.  It’s really interesting that they think because they recycle that is all there is to being Green.  Don’t get me wrong, recycling is a HUGE deal.  It shouldn’t be taken lightly, but by far is only a small fraction of what being Green is all about.  I love, really love helping people see the small steps they can take to becoming more Green.  Being green doesn’t have to be such a huge life changing event once you understand that you can take small steps that make a big difference in the world and then move on to larger steps later.  If becoming Greener seems scary, too overwhelming or you just don’t have time to read all about it to make the changes, here are some tips that you can do now to make the movement from “just recycling” to having a more greener lifestyle.

 

  • Donate to Goodwill, Freecycle or Salvation Army
  • Save old towels and wash cloths for rags
  • Have Yard Sales
  • Use Non Voc or Low VOC paints
  • Use car washes that recycle their water
  • Buy Green cleaning, and bath & body products
  • Turn your hot water heater down
  • Close windows and doors in the evening to prevent heat escape
  • Turn your thermostat down at night or up if it is air conditioning
  • When  traveling refuse to have sheets changed daily
  • Use a re-usable shopping bag and drinking travel cup
  • Use non-toxic-non-chemical products on your lawn and yard
  • Buy Organic food whenever possible
  • Buy used clothing
  • Look for recycled content when buying new
  • Repair instead of replace when possible

Each step you take creates a ripple in the world that will spread and eventually become commonplace.  It makes a huge difference in the Green movement.  Little by little with every step the world becomes cleaner, healthier and more sustainable for all life.  Make the change to one new Green step a month and you can have a Greener lifestyle in no time.  For a listing of our our Green Living products visit us at www.mypumpkindoodle.com

 

Eco Summer Fun

Wow it is hard to believe that Spring is almost over, soon June will be here and kids will be out of school.  This is a time of family vacations , camps and outdoor activities such as picnics and barbeques. Then the not so fun part of summer is bugs…

During the summer fun, chemicals are used and tons of waste disposed of.  It is a very important time of the year to be Eco aware.

What can a Mom do to cut down on the carbon footprint of Summer fun?  That’s a great question and one that is not as hard as you might think.   Though going 100% neutral is difficult there certainly are lots of options for Eco alternatives to the common non eco mainstream products.

Let’s start with clothing.  Some may think that organic cotton is the only option for eco clothing.  I hear that comment frequently.  Actually, organic cotton is certainly the most pure if it is undyed and fair trade.  Cotton is typically the fabric of choice since it is light weight and cool, but there are many other fabrics that fit the summer eco fashion scene.  Bamboo Viscose is light weight and cool and has a

Yala Gumdrop tunic with shorts

natural stretch to it.  It doesn’t wrinkle like cotton and dries easily.  I compare it to silk as it has the silky feeling of silk and the durability polyester ( old school) but seems to work well in the summer as you hardly know you have it on.   Our bamboo fabrics are grown in ethical manner and many are certified organic bamboo.  If your looking for an alternative to organic cotton, I suggest bamboo viscose fabrics.  Kids love bamboo clothing!  Mom’s love the durability of bamboo , wrinkle free , fast drying aspect of it.  For vacations, it is wonderful as it doesn’t need ironing and it can be rolled up in the suitcase and ready to go when you arrive.   I love bamboo  for many reasons, but the most important part is that it doesn’t stain like cotton.  Bamboo clothing is great for any activity and great for active kids…  Mom’s  can do yoga in Bamboo clothing and still look great to head out for shopping and dinner afterwards… very versatile fabric.   Combine bamboo with cotton and you have the best of both worlds.  Our GGO Yoga Clothing ,  Yala collection and our Bamboosa Collection both offer the best quality in Eco fashion wear for infants, children and adults. Mom’s & Dad’s like it too!

 

Shoes are another way you can Green your summer footprint (pardon the pun).  So many more options these days, and a Green Mom might find it hard to go Eco in the shoe department.  If you look further you can find that Eco shoes are getting not only more fashionable, but more available in the mainstream at affordable prices.  A little bit of Eco goes a long way and a lot of Eco makes a huge difference.  Our purchasing choices play a role in what manufacturers design in the future.  Several shoe companies have used partial sustainable materials and some like our Colorful Grass Shoes and our VOS Flips are as Eco friendly as you get.  Colorful Grass Shoes are vegan shoes and are made from Hemp, Organic Cotton, Recycled Rubber, PU and Coconut buttons and made with ethical labor practices. VOS Flips are made from natural rubber and are recyclable both companies have a strong commitment to the environment, fair trade and have created shoes that are both comfortable and fashionable without compromising the environment.

Quality doesn’t have to be compromised just to be  eco friendly..  Our line of Eco Friendly shoes and Vegan Shoes we are sure you will find top of the line.  Our children’s line of shoes are non-toxic washable leather.  They are handmade and have been tested to meet the American Standart ASTM as well as the European Safety Standard EN71. Our soft soled leather shoes are chromium (VI) free (chrome-free leather) and pass all known specifications for Formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, and glutaraldehyde, including those for baby clothes.  The strictest of standards.  Soft soled shoes are so much better for developing feet and washable leather makes it a great plus for mom’s.

 

 

Aside from Summer eco Fashion how can you make Summer a more eco season.  Instead of using insecticide in your cabinets and drawers use our Eco tube.  It works great for counters, cabinets, dresser drawers, under dressers and sinks, behind toilets    and even in picnic baskets to keep those pesty insects away.  Our Eco tube is 100% natural and biodegradable.  Specially selected

Eco Tube

herbs are used to create this great natural pest control tube and it smells great too!  Insecticides are a huge burden on the environment as well as our health.  Natural methods to prevent and destroy insects and spiders keep those beneficial insects that we need from dying out.  Bug zappers in particular are killing all insects that are attracted to light.  Beneficial insects and birds can prey on the insects that we are killing with bug spray and zappers.  Buying bat houses, swallow houses and setting out praying mantis eggs in the spring can keep most of your pesty insects to a minimum.  Also, beneficial flowers such as marigolds not only add to the beauty of your yard and deck, they also keep insects away.

Everyone loves a cookout in the Summer! Nothing better than to have friends and family over for fun and food.  Plastic bottle and tableware and cups, Paper products such as napkins, plates, and table cloths  get thrown in the landfill.  Using re-usable and take home and wash (as you would with any dinner party) or use biodegradable products. Biodegradable is less work to clean up and you just toss them in the compost bin and go.  Many other products such as aluminum foil can be purchased that are made from recycled content, this saves the environment by not having virgin materials to produce. You can now buy eco friendly lighter fluid and charcoal for those grilling parties, no need to use toxic chemicals to get the job done.  Remember to eat left overs!  It might seem trivial, but in reality, it saves on your carbon footprint.  Meat, and Beef in particular, has a massive C02 burden on the environment, just in raising the cattle, so does pork and chicken.  So before you throw away ( remember to not put meat products in your compost) re-think and eat left-overs. It not only keeps it Green – it helps your budget too!  And least, but not last, one of the most important parts of being healthy and green, is skin care.  Summer time is the time when skin care products are used the most.  Sunscreens, moisturizers and sunburn soothing lotions, tanning products etc. are skin care products and along with pesticides are toxic to the environment as well as our health.  Remember to buy products that are free from the most common carcinogenics and most especially for your baby and older children, because their system is still developing and is sensitive to chemicals.  Please read the labels and do research on the products to avoid. Find  sunscreen that contains ingredients that are better for your health and the environment than products that contain chemicals.  For more information on the skin care products and toxicity visit Enviromental Working Group.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The “Green” Trend

I’ve read a lot of blogs and other “Green’ sites over the years since I’ve been in business (2006). I read their mission statements and ethics. There seems to be a misconception that just because “being Green” is a trend,  a “HIP” thing to do that, that seems to negate the real commitment someone has to the environmental causes. I disagree wholeheartedly!

Looking back at history you will find so many things that are now a “habit” for us all and have even become a “necessity” to us in society now that once began as a “trend”. Sometimes things have to become a trend, a Hip thing to do before the masses will follow and it then becomes a habit. Just because being Green is hip now, doesn’t mean it isn’t a necessity as well. This is why when I promote my site I state that” being green is a hip and necessary thing to do!”  This is how I came up with my trademark. It’s Hip To Be Green because of this need for being green to spread as a trend and then become a habit for society. Some trends do come and go. That doesn’t mean that they all do. I don’t feel it has to be one or the other it can be both. Green trend becomes a Green lifestyle, a Green habit and most importantly a Green mentality!

Becoming Green is not only Hip and a necessary, it also is fun, educational, inventive and thrifty as well.  There is so much that encompasses the Green movement!  Hopefully we all can agree – it is that we get there that matters  most. It really is Hip To Be Green!

 

Earth Day 2011

Earth Day 2011 is on April 22

Earth Day is a time to reflect on the ways in which our lifestyles can be impacting the world in a negative way.  It is a time to give back to the Earth connect with nature and others that share the vision of creating a cleaner, non-toxic, thriving environment. A time for educating others on the ways in which our society has become habitual in the cycle of creating and disposing of our everyday stuff.  We all have a choice in the way we shop, the products we purchase and the way we dispose of them. It can be a fun and life changing habit change.  I think that there is a misconception that “Going Green” is difficult and costly. It is quite the contrary, it can save you money, and is just like any other lifestyle change, with time becomes easy.  The more small steps we take as a people the greater the impact on the world.  Generations of waste sits in landfills and mountainsides where trash has been dumped. Still to this day, decades later, it remains. In the USA alone 11 billion tons of solid waste are produced each year! It is time we all make a conscious decision to be responsible for our children’s future environment. As I watch all the amazing life changing events that has happened in 2011 thus far, I can image what an impact it would have on the world if we all took a stand and demanded cleaner water, cleaner air and cleaner oceans.  The events of 2010 will long remain the memories of many of us who watched as millions of gallons of oil destroyed the Gulf, destroyed the livelihood of thousands of people. Let’s make Earth Day 2011 a day of remembering our footprints on the Earth and make a choice to take action to create a more sustainable world.

There are so many ways that people celebrate Earth Day.  Festivals, local clean up crews, planting trees, music, marathons, fashion shows, tailgate markets and many more.  Finding local events in your area will help you connect with others that also share the same commitment to clean up our world.

 

Here are a few Going Green tips to help you become more Earth Friendly in your daily lives.  Feel free to add more if you have one you would like to share.

  • Treat the Earth as you would your  home.  You wouldn’t dump trash inside your house.
  • Reusable bags and drinking bottles – make sure it is recyclable and BPA free.
  • Re-use everything that is re-usable- even aluminum foil or food container etc.
  • Down-cycle I down cycle my old towels and rip them up to use as rags and it saves buying paper towels.
  • Double- duty – drinking water, when someone leaves water in a glass – I water my plants or citrus cleaner when I’m done, I pour it in my toilet to leave it fresh smelling.
  • Refuse non essential items when shopping- sale flyers  you won’t read, drinking straws you don’t use, or even a glass of water at a restaurant that you won’t drink.
  • Un-plug cell phone charges, toaster ovens, computers etc. when not in use. They still draw electricity.
  • Turn out the lights when you leave a room and only use the amount of light necessary. We use 1/3 the amount of light bulbs in our home.
  • Recycle, Recycle, Recycle take the extra time to find out where to recycle items you throw in the landfill. It is estimated that only 1/10 of recyclable products are recycled in the US.
  • Donate to Goodwill, Freecycle or any other charity that can use a still working product.
  • Have yard sales it is a great way to earn money, meet people, and get rid of stuff that someone else can use.
  • Buy used – it is one of the best ways to help cut down on the carbon footprint  it takes to produce new items.
  • Take care of what you have.  It may not seem like a Green thing to do, but it is. When we take care of what we have, we don’t need to replace it as often. Or if we do replace it, it is in good condition for someone else to use.
  • Use chemical free products whenever possible. Chemicals in our body products, make up and even lawn care end up in ground water and it does impact the environment in many ways from it’s production to the impact on our health and soil.
  • Buy Eco friendly products that are produced in a way that has less negative impact on environment.
  • Read the labels!  So many products are marketed as Green when they are not. This just furthers the issue of Greenwashing. Educate yourself on how to spot a non-green product even when the label says it’s green.
  • Get envolved in local groups that help clean up your local area.
  • Most importantly write our government and tell them you support Greener standards, cleaner energy and safer products

 

Earth Day can be a fun and educational time for families.  It can be a day of honoring the amazing planet we call home.  I hope you will enjoy Earth Day 2011 and celebrate greener efforts for the future.