Don’t forget our Earth Hour Event is still coming up! If you have a second, don’t hesitate to Join the WWF Canada Earth Hour Team, other than that, no new updates for now 🙂 Until next week Have a great weekend and a VERY GREEN Saint Patricks Day!
Hope everyone is getting a chance to enjoy the spring weather ! Here are some updates from Laurier and the worldwide web:
The Sustainability Reps in Residences will are hosting a residence wide competition to reduce energy use – the winning residences win gift certificates!!
Happy Tuesday! Hopefully everyone enjoyed last night’s cake decorating competition, and hats off to team six with the winning cake. Earlier today I came across this really cool article from treehugger that talks about not using a fridge (!) and instead using alternative means to store food. At first I’ll admit I was skeptical, but then as I read I felt more inspired (and it is hard to ignore the economical benefits, being a student on a increasingly small budget).
Check out the article here, and don’t hesitate to comment below. Would you ever go fridgeless?
In other news….
Would you take this Eco-friendly cruise on the Amazon? Aqua Expeditions is Eco-tourism at its finest and takes full responsibility for wast management, water purification, fuel efficiency, engine emissions and food security. Aqua Expeditions also works with Díaz Alván, a biologist who specializes both in working with communities in protected areas, as well as in the study of Amazon birds. He manages relationship-building between Aqua Expeditions and the local riverside communities, and also works with the leadership of the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve and other institutions related to tourism and environmental conservation in Amazonia.
….. or would you rather stay in a Yurt?
Have an amazing day!
Happy Thursday! The planning for our Earth Hour event at the end of the month is going really well and thank you so much to all our volunteers for our Out of The Bottle Event. In the meantime, check out the infographic below about Nova Scotia’s Earth Hour from last year and an incredible photo from Nation Geographic. Have a safe and happy weekend.
Zero Waste Home is a blog that chronicles a woman’s firsthand experience at a zero waste lifestyle that is inspiring, honest and funny. Here are some of her tips for how you can incorporate a zero waste lifestyle into your daily routine. Also check out her online shop.
- Welcome alternatives to disposables (paper towels, garbage liners, wax paper, aluminum sheets, disposable plates, cups, etc….): Swap paper towels for reusable rags, swap sandwich baggies for kitchen towels or stainless containers, drop garbage liners all together (wet waste is mostly compostable anyways).
- Buy in bulk or at the counter (see Zero Waste Grocery Shopping), bring reusable bags (dry goods), jars (wet items such as meat, deli, fish, cheese, oil, peanut butter) and bottles (liquids: oil, soy sauce, shampoo, conditioner).
- If you cannot find it in bulk, find a supplier (bring your jar to the ice cream shop, a pillow case to the bakery for your bread, or your bottles to the winery/brewery)… or make it ( mustard, salad dressing, hot sauce, jams, OJ, hummus, cookies, canned tomatoes).
- Shop the farmer’s market: they’ll take the egg carton and the berries baskets back for reuse. Your veggies will also most likely be free of plastic and stickers.
- Learn to love your tap water.
- Use bulk castile soap as a dish/hand cleaner, baking soda as a scrubber (in a stainless Parmesan dispenser) with a compostable cleaning brush (a wooden one with natural hair). Choose dishwasher detergent in a cardboard box.
- Turn your trash can into a big compost keeper. Use your tiny compost keeper as a trash can (on the market, the sizes for these seem to be reversed).
- Reinvent your leftovers before they go bad. Go thru your recipe binder/box and only keep the recipes that can be achieved with zero waste in mind.
- Invest in a pressure cooker (halves the cooking time).
- YOU CAN ALSO… Reuse single-side printed paper for grocery shopping and errands list, use your lettuce cleaning water to water plants, open your oven after baking in the winter (cool your oven, warm your house)…
- Use 100% recycled and unbleached toilet paper individually wrapped in paper (if you have solar you could install an electrical washlet to your toilet sit).
- Use a solution of baking soda/water/lavender essential oil in a spray bottle or an alum stone or straight baking soda (most effective) as antiperspirant.
- For shaving, (re)use a safety razor and shaving soap (usually wrapped in paper) or Alep soap (found in middle-eastern stores).
- Refill your bottles with bulk shampoo and conditioner. If your hair is short, you also have the “no-poo” option: rinse your hair, massage baking soda in, then rinse, with vinegar for shine. Or use a shampoo bar. Instead of hairspray, switch to lemon water in a spray bottle (see Recipes). To go longer between washes, substitute dry shampoo forcornstarch (in bulk).
- For body/face soap, find a package-free solid soap or bulk liquid castile soap. To exfoliate, switch to bulk baking soda or oatmeal for the face and salt for the body. For a mask, switch to bulk clays (French, Kaolin, Bentonite, etc…), mixed with water or apple cider vinegar.
- Switch from toothpaste to homemade tooth powder (see Recipes), in a glass parmesan dispenser. And until we see a wooden compostable toothbrush “made in the US” on the market, there are no right answers out there yet.
- Reduce your cosmetics and consider homemade substitutes such as cocoa powder as bronzer and homemade balm that works on eyes, lips, hair and nails (see Recipes) and in lieu of disposable feminine products, invest in menstrual cup and reusable liners.
- All you need for your nails is a nail clipper, stainless steel file and the homemade balmfor moisture and shine.
- Forget about Q-tips, they are not good for you anyways. Do your research.
- YOU CAN ALSO… compost hair and nail clippings, put a brick in your toilet tank, collect water in a bucket while your shower heats and water your plants with it, and use zero waste cleaning: microfiber cloths for mirrors, hydrogen peroxide for mold, baking soda as scrub, a mix of baking soda and vinegar as drain cleaner (see Cleaning and Recipes)…
- Welcome natural cleaning alternatives: bulk castile soap on floors and sinks, homemade all purpose cleaner (see Recipes), baking soda for scrubbing jobs, and hydrogen peroxide for mildew.
- Welcome alternative house cleaning tools: a metal sponge on stainless, a wooden brush for light scrubbing, an old toothbrush for hard to reach places and microfiber cloths for everything else (counters, floor, fridge, etc… for mirrors and windows, just add water… no window cleaner needed).
- Sweep your floors with a boar bristle broom, wash with a wet microfiber mop and a few drops of castile soap.
- Use worn-out clothing items made into rags on your un-washable messes (wax/auto grease/glue/caulk).
- Buy bulk dishwasher detergent or in a dishwasher detergent in a recyclable cardboard box and use white vinegar as a rinsing aid.
- Let houseplants absorb toxins and clean your air. Open a window instead of plugging in an air freshener.
- Laundry washing once a week saves time and dryer energy costs, use eco-friendly laundry detergent, full loads, and cold water cycles as much as possible. Savon de Marseille, dishwasher detergent, lemon or hydrogen peroxide work great on stains.
- Dry on a line when possible.
- Iron fewer things and use a homemade starch in a stainless spray bottle (see Recipes).
- YOU CAN ALSO… find a sustainable dry cleaner (one that offers a reusable garment bag and non-toxic cleaners), compost dryer lint and dust bunnies…
- Remember to bring extra jars to the grocery store when shopping for company (including take-out).
- Make finger foods for larger parties and consider serving tap water with lemon slices instead of fizzy water.
- Use ceramic dishes, cloth dinner napkins and cloth cocktail napkins at all times.
- Avoid the use of serving platters/dishes: When serving straight onto dinner plates, it simplifies, saves water from extra cleaning, and it allows for a plate presentation.
- Find creative ways to decorate your table with few napkin folding tricks, discarded leaves/branches from the yard, or just seasonal fruit…
- Reuse empty votive tins (and the wick base) to make new votive candles for company with bulk beeswax and lead-free wick.
- Stop buying CD and DVD’s – download music and videos online.
- Bring a jar of a homemade consumable, or your favorite bulk item wrapped in Furoshiki as a hostess gift. Give the gift of an experience as a birthday present.
- Educate your friends about your zero waste efforts (so they don’t bring waste into your home)
- YOU CAN ALSO… bring your own container for leftovers when dining out, use rechargeable batteries for those remote controls, try living without TV for a while…
- Refuse, and therefore help stop the madness of the free-pen / free-pencil give-aways.
- Use refillable stainless pens and pencils, white board markers and highlighters and donate extra office material (paper, pencils) to your public school’s art program.
- Start your personal junk mail war, cancel your phone directories, and sign up forelectronic bills and statements.
- Reuse single-side printed paper for printing or making notepads held by a metal clip, reuse junk mail response envelopes and buy recycled paper products, packaged in paper.
- Ditch the trash can, strive to use your compost and recycling bins exclusively.
- Use, Reuse and Request recyclable paper packing material when shipping (incl. paper tape), print postage and addresses directly on your envelopes, use surface mail, use a return address stamp instead of stickers.
- Reuse paper clips (available in bulk) instead of staples, or a staple-free stapler.
- Use your library to read business magazines and books, sell your books or donate them to your library for other people to enjoy.
- Use memory sticks and external drives instead of CD’s.
- YOU CAN ALSO… use a power strip on your equipment, recycle your printer cartridges and cell phone, donate your unused computer to Goodwill, make paper with double-side printed paper, take unused packing material to your local shipping center…
- Stick to minimal wardrobes, shoes and purses.
- Only shop a couple times a year to avoid compulsive buys.
- Buy mostly second-hand.
- When buying new, buy quality with minimal tags (leave the shoe box at the store).
- Be ruthless on fit, if it fits well, you’re most likely to wear it.
- Bring a reusable bag for your purchases.
- Donate unworn pieces (the most forgiving rule of thumb deadline being one year).
- Keep some of your worn-out clothes for rags and label the rest as “rags” for Goodwill to recycle.
- Learn of few sewing tricks (like shortening a hem).
- YOU CAN ALSO… take it to the tailor to fit it better so you’ll actually wear it, and keep a handkerchief in each one of your purses/bags…
- Keep only a minimal supply, so you can see what you have.
- Ask your pharmacy to reuse your prescription jar. It’s illegal for pharmacies to refill them in CA, but your state might allow it..
- Choose tablets (pain reliever, for example) in a glass or at default a plastic jar (usually a recyclable #2), instead of the tablets individually wrapped in aluminum/plastic and a box.
- Do not buy jumbo size medication jars, they expire way before you can finish them.
- Choose metal tubes instead of plastic.
- Invest in a Neti pot: Great to clear out your sinuses with just water and sea salt.
- Consider a few natural alternatives: a corn silk tea for prostate relief, a senna leaf tea for constipation relief or an oatmeal bath for skin relief.
- Clean cuts and scrapes with soap and water, forgo the plastic band-aids and let air-dry.
- Do not use everyday antibacterial products, they make bad bacteria stronger.
- YOU CAN ALSO… reconsider your true need for vitamins (as opposed to a healthy varied diet) and use sunscreen moderately…
- Use drought tolerant and native plants, replace your lawn with short native grasses.
- Make room for compost, pee in your citrus and compost. Consider a worm compost for liquid fertilize.
- Return plastic containers to the nursery.
- Find bulk seeds.
- Give away plants (also, landscaping rocks, fencing, irrigation piping, etc…) that you do not want anymore. Post them on the free section of Craigslist.
- Find a bulk garden center, and get your dirt, rocks, compost, etc… in reusable sand bags.
- Consider investing in an irrigation controller with a rainwater sensor.
- Install rainwater and gray water catchments (check your city ordinances for the latter).
- YOU CAN ALSO… Keep a minimal and quality tool selection made of metal and wood (which can be repaired more easily)…
Happy Tuesday! Now that spring is officially on the way, here are some great tips for Eco-friendly spring cleaning.
1. Make your own green cleaning products:
- Glass: Mix 1/4 cup vinegar with 1 quart of water in a spray bottle. Spray on glass and wipe clean with old newspaper or a lint-free cloth.
- Countertops and bathroom tile: Mix 2 parts vinegar and 1 part baking soda with 4 parts water. Apply with a sponge, scour, and wipe away.
- Floors: Mix 4 cups of white distilled vinegar with about a gallon of hot water. If desired, add a few drops of pure peppermint or lemon oil for a pleasant scent. After damp mopping the floors, the smell of vinegar will dissipate quickly, leaving behind only the scent of the oil.
- Wood furniture: Mix equal parts of lemon juice and olive and oil. Apply a small amount to a cloth, and rub onto the furniture in long, even strokes.
- Toilet bowl cleaner: Sprinkle a toilet brush with baking soda and scrub away! Occasionally disinfect your toilet by scrubbing with borax instead. Wipe the outside of the toilet clean with straight vinegar.
- Disinfectant: Mix 2 teaspoons borax, 4 tablespoons vinegar, 3 cups hot water, and 1/4 teaspoon liquid castile soap. Wipe on with dampened cloth or use a spray bottle. Wipe clean.
- Mold and mildew: Wipe with straight vinegar.
- Air freshener: Sprinkle essential oil on a cotton ball, and stash it in a corner of the room. If you have kids, make sure it is out of their reach as essential oils are very strong and could irritate their skin. Lavender is a relaxing scent that is great for bedrooms, and cinnamon, clove, and citrus oils are great for the rest of the house. You can stash a few in the car too—try peppermint, which may help you to stay alert.
2. Donate items instead of throwing them out
3. Host a clothing swap with friends
4. Hang your laundry out to dry
5. Try new recipes, flirt with veganism, try a meatless monday or introduce organic foods into your diet.
6. Use old t-shirts or fabric as rags
7. Recycle and compost
Hope everyone is having a great week! Please be sure to stop by Out of the Bottle Today on campus in the Dining Hall! Here are a few quick notes for what’s up with the EcoHawks:
The EcoHawks is hiring executives and a new coordinator for 2012/2013 academic year go to http://wlusuhr.com to apply.
Our Earth Hour Event is coming up, so here are some quick facts:
- Earth Hour 2010 has been the biggest Earth Hour till date
- Total 128 countries took part in the event in 2010
- The energy demand minimized to 500,000 kilowatt per hour in Vietnam while the country took part in Earth Hour Event in 2010. The amount was three times more than the demand in 2009 when it joined the event for first time
- Around 4000 cities took part in the event.
Some of the landmarks those participated in the event are:
- Big Ben, London
- The Empire State Building, New York
- The Sydney Opera House, Sydney
- The Eiffel Tower, Paris
- The Parthenon, Greece
- The Brandenburg Gate, Berlin
- The Forbidden City, Beijing
- Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur
- Great Pyramids of Giza, Egypt
Stay tuned for more info next week and have a safe and happy weekend!