Aside from the fact that consuming a lot of goods is bad for the environment, there are necessities in life that we do have to buy quite often. And if you are going to be buying them anyway, why not buy the “green” version of the things you buy most often? Since going green can be an expensive endeavor, I figured listing a few things you could pick up on the cheap on your next trip to the store could be helpful. You do not have to put solar panels on your house and drive an electric car to make a difference…if everyone just did the easy simple stuff it would have a huge impact. Here are 5 things you can buy today to start helping the environment.
A new toothbrush made out of recycled yogurt cups. The Preserve toothbrush is both made out of recycled plastic and can be recycled at the end of it’s life, which is something that regular toothbrushes cannot claim. The plastic is from recycled Stonyfield Farm yogurt cups, and when you are done with the toothbrush, you send it back to Recycline (free postage included) so they can turn it into recycled plastic lumber. Available at Target, Wild Oats, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and now Wal-Mart.
Recycled toilet paper. I know it took my mom a long time to get over the idea that the paper was recycled, but now that is what she buys as well. I am afraid many people have the same preconception that she did – it was not as soft, it had been “used before”…but there is absolutely no difference between toilet paper made from recycled paper and that made from fresh pulp. It feels and acts exactly the same! Just the fact that we cut down trees to make paper to use for this purpose is amazing, and no one should be buying new paper toilet paper. Just get yourself some decent stuff from Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods and even some regular grocers, and be proud of the fact that you are no longer contributing to the cutting down of trees to make toilet paper.
Get yourself a power strip for all your electronics. These can be had for as little as $10 and they make a huge difference in your electricity use. Using power strips for your computer, television and other stuff you don’t need powered up when you are not using them can cut your electric bill by a substantial amount because these products normally draw “phantom power” even when they are off. No sense in doing that, right? We have them on our computers and our television/DVD player so that at night or when we go away we can just flip the switch and cut off the power completely. Without making a change to the electronics you use, you can cut your consumption by at least 50% and your bill as well. I like this one, as it does everything automatically for me.
Biodegradable laundry soap. If you are not adventurous enough to make your own, the least you can do is to buy biodegradable soap! It cleans just as well as the big name stuff but does not have any of the nasty chemicals normally found in them. It is better for the environment (you know that water goes somewhere, right?) and it is better for you because the clothes you wear are no longer leeching the chemicals into your skin. It costs no more than the regular stuff, so why not make the change and make a difference? Method and Seventh Generation make some good stuff.
If you use disposables or cannot go to a straight razor (which I have not done myself because of my fear of cutting my face off), you might want to try a Preserve Razor Triple, which is kind of like the Gillette Mach 3 or other razors, except the handle is made from 100% recycled plastic, they aren’t tested on animals, and they are way cheaper than the refills for other razors. Again, you can mail it back to the company free of charge if you ever need to buy a new handle.
These are 5 very simple and cost effective things you can buy today that A. cost no more than your normal goods and B. help the environment. If you want to make a difference but you feel like you have to live in a cave to do so, these are just a few of the things you can do immediately that will have an impact without affecting the way you live!