A Green Day at the Beach

September 15th was National Coastal Cleanup Day and October 20th is Florida Coastal Cleanup Day so it is appropriate that I share tips on how to keep our beaches (and other waterways) clean and green.  Living next to the beach has awakened my senses on how lazy people can be.  Last year we took our 4 yr old (then 3) to a beach cleanup in October and do you know what the most common item on the beach was?  Cigarette butts.  Followed by random plastic debris (bottle tops, straws, etc).  So here are some tips on making your beach trip better for the environment. Pack a small grocery bag in your beach bag for your trash (and for others). Remember the old saying; "Leave only footprints...take only memories", and don't leave anything behind. While you can't pick up the whole beach before you leave you can clean your area; pick up the trash that others have left behind. Have recycleables to trash but the beach doesn't have a recycling area; take it home and put it in your own ... [ Read More ]

Trashy Thursday!

Last week (on Wed. and not Thursday) I started a column on creating childrens art from trash.  I decided that each Thursday will now be known as Trashy Thursday and I will give a new project each week that uses items that would be trash to create fun with your child.  Today's project is a ghost made from a plastic lid (like those on top of Cool-Whip contiainers) and trash bags (any kind of plastic bag that has already been used once, grocery bags work well).  Here is a link to the project for complete directions and picture: http://crafts.kaboose.com/plastic-lid-ghost.html.  How cute!  I think I may decorate my house with these this Halloween.  What a great reuse for a household waste.  Stay tuned next Thursday for more Trashy Ideas.    ... [ Read More ]

How Do You Stay Charged?

I had no idea that my friends would actually start listening to me when I started this blog.  Some of the content actually came from ideas that we talked about the day before.  I thought I’d start by giving you all an update on some of my own changes.  On Car Free Day, I didn’t drive at all.  Neither did anyone in my family.  I saved the grocery shopping until Sunday where I made one more change in my life.  I finally purchased two green bags at Publix.  You know the reusable shopping bags, and I loved them.  They were large enough to hold about the same amount of food as a paper grocery bag, they don’t tear or break, and they are water-proof.  Yes, I did have to test the water-proof ability when it rained on our way out of the store.  Now I just have to remember to take them with me on my next trip to the store.   Today’s tip is on batteries.  My son uses so many alkaline batteries to operate all those fancy toys that are out today.  Everything takes batteries.  I first invested ... [ Read More ]

Saturday is CarFree Day

I live in Florida and we do have a public bus system but that's the only form of public transportation available.  The closest grocery store is about a half mile to a mile away, my only friend within walking distance is my neighbor, all of my other friends are over 5 miles away, and there is nothing fun within walking distance.  It seems a little impossible for me to celebrate CarFree Day but I can try.  We haven't made any plans today other than watching a little football at home; but then again we have no food either.  I guess a trip to the grocery store might be necessary but I still don't see us walking or taking the bus.  Even if you can't go CarFree here are some tips to make your trips a little more environmentally friendly. Combine your trips to minimize the number of stops. Don't idle your car; it's better to turn it off and start it again. Keep your tires properly inflated. Keep you vehicle tuned up. Purchase a vehicle with good gas milage or try a hybrid or ... [ Read More ]

Art From Trash

Ok, so those readers who know me also know that I am a bit crafty.  So here is a creative reuse option for an egg carton.  With the Halloween approaching you could do this project with your child or suggest it to their teacher (great for younger children).  Turn that egg carton into 12 scary spiders!  Another animal that I've seen made from egg cartons are jelly fish.  You use the same concept as with the spiders but instead of legs you have tentacles. So think before you throw something away.  That trash might turn a boring day into a fun day of crafts for kids.  Search the internet for other fun craft projects made from trash...or keep reading The EcoChic. ... [ Read More ]

Bag It!

Bag It!

Next time you are at the grocery store (or any other store for that matter) why not bring your own bag.  We've all seen the green fabric bags that some grocery stores sell for you to tote your goodies home in but how many of us really use them?  I had two friends this week tell me that they brought (and/or bought) their own bags to the grocery store.  I guess I've been rubbing off on some people...but I need to try this one myself.  So what difference will it make?  There are some really neat websites out there that go futher into the debate over paper-vs-plastic and which one is better for the environment however, both choices use natural resources that are intended to be used once and then disposed of.  While many of us have reuse options for these bags (cleaning the kitty litter box, carrying our lunch to work, bathroom trash can liners, etc) I would have to say that most of us have more bags than we have uses.    ... [ Read More ]

Buying Green

shopping-cart.jpg

One of the first places you can begin to make environmentally responsible decisions is when making purchases.  Whether you are purchasing items for home or buisness these tips still apply.  The first thing you want to think about is the packaging of the product; ideally you want to buy the item with the least amount of extra packaging.  The next thing you can look at is its recycled content.  For example; most paper products are available with recycled content.  Post-consumer recycled content means that the materials were recycled from us, the consumer, and not from a manufacturing industry.  So the higher the post-consumer recycled content the better.  The federal government uses a minumum of 30% post-consumer recycled paper office products.  Set a similar standard for yourself.  Paper products are available with up to 100% post-consumer content.  Another good practice it to purchase an item that can be used more than once.  If you are purchasing paper towels for your home consider ... [ Read More ]

Welcome!

Welcome to The EcoChic blog!  I felt that this would be an appropriate day to introduce my new blog; afterall it is the first day of Pollution Prevention Week.  What is Pollution Prevention Week?  Also known as P2 Week; it is a time each year where citizens, buisness and government agencies to show off their enviornmental initiatives and commit to new ones.  So how does this relate to you?  We all have the responsibility to protect and conserve our natural resources for future generations.  I know, you may be thinking that you are only one person and how can you make a difference?  I'm going to share common sense tips with you on how you can help.  In honor of P2 week 2007; here are some simple things that you can do: Recycle your trash instead of just letting it go to the landfill or incinerator. Change your regular incandescent light bulbs with energy efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). Walk, ride a bike, or take public transportation for short trips around ... [ Read More ]