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RECYCLE IT! Recycling Tip of the Week #2 - Bring it to the Recycling Center

recycling styrofoamHappy Monday, folks!  I hope everyone had a nice weekend!  

In last week's RECYCLE IT! series, I wrote about how you can recycle bottle caps right along with the bottle!  In this series, I want to make all of our readers the most efficient recyclers they can be.  There are a lot of items where the average person might be unsure whether or not it's recyclable.  Sometimes it's confusing.  We all know the basics - recycle your jars, cans, and newspapers.  Put them in your recycling bin, drag it curbside, and your duty is done.   Right?  Well, not always.

 But, some things are a lot less clear.  Some items are totally recyclable, just not through curbside recycling.   That brings us to...

Recycle It Tip #2: Call your city and go to the recycling center!  ... read more

Fascinating Fact Friday - Robin Williams, the Environment, and FernGully

Today's "Fun Fact Friday" has a bit of a sadness to it, so I've changed it to "Fascinating Fact Friday" - just for today.

As the world mourns the loss of Robin Williams, I began to think about the different roles he played over the years.  My favorite was Mrs. Doubtfire, but another movie I enjoyed as a kid was FernGully: The Last Rainforest.  

 

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Eco-Friendly Back-to-School Shopping

Eco-Friendly Back-to-School Shopping

It's hard to think about this while still in summer mode, but yes, it is that time of year...it's time to get ready to go back to school. 

How can you buy school supplies for your kids in the greenest way possible?

1)  Avoid backpacks made of (PVC) vinyl.  Vinyl contains dioxins, which the EPA says is a leading cancer-causing agent.  Soft vinyl sometimes has di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate, which the U.S. National Toxicology Program has identified as a carcinogenic compound.  Seek backpacks made of cotton, canvas, or even hemp or bamboo!   Pick something sturdy and long-lasting, one that you won't need to replace annually.  LL Bean backpack last forever!  

2)  Buy a reusable lunchbox or bag instead of having your kids use paper lunch bags.  Again, avoid PVC.  We like this Litter-Free Lunch Kit.  

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Greenify Your Commute: Even a Little Bit Helps

Gridlock

Americans, on average, spend 25.5 minutes on their way to work according to the US Census Bureau. That's only one way. Which means most of us are spending nearly an hour a day traveling to and from work. 10.8 million Americans travel an hour each way. For 600,000 unfortunate souls, called mega-commuters, an average commute is at least 50 miles and 90 minutes one way.

Spending that much time in the car each day isn't very green. Using all of that gas, running air conditioning, idling in traffic — none of it is good for you or the environment. How much can you make your commute greener?

Choose the Right Route

How often do you feel like you're stuck in gridlock traffic?

Gridlock is bad for your mental health and productivity — that much is obvious. Traffic congestion has also been quantifiably tied to negative health effects. Scientists at Harvard's School of Public Health reported in 2011 that more than 2,200 premature deaths are annually caused by air pollution from traffic congestion.... read more

RECYCLE IT! Recycling Tip of the Week #1

This is the first in a weekly series entitled "Recycle It!"   I was inspired by a little tiff I had with my husband about whether or not an item was recyclable.  We are both obsessive about recycling but sometimes one (or both) of us is unclear about what is recyclable or the rules of recycling.  Sometimes they're not obvious - even to avid recyclers like my husband and me!   Other times, the rules change with more modern recycling technology.  

So, I bring you "Recycle It!"  Every Monday we're going to start the week off with a tip to help you make the most of recycling!  

Recycle It Tip #1:  Leave the bottle cap on the bottle!... read more

Fun Fact Friday - Mr. Rogers and an Electric Car

A few years ago, I used to write a weekly post profiling a Keen and Green celebrity every Friday.  It was a fun series to do, but ultimately I ran out of celebrities to cover.  I started to miss having a Friday series to close the week, so today I am starting "Fun Fact Friday."  I'm going to dig up some trivia, interesting information, or a tidbit from history - all related to the environment! - to share with you every Friday.  Enjoy!

Today's fun fact is that Mister Rogers did a number of episodes with a focus on the environment.  Now I want to share this video of Mister Rogers learning about electric cars.  As a kid of the 80s, I watched a lot of PBS and my first exposure to the electric car was from this episode of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood.    ... read more

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Steps to Take Before a Vacation to Ensure You Don't Waste Energy While You're Gone

Home safety and security are often foremost on a homeowner's mind prior to going on vacation. To be able to fully relax and enjoy themselves, people should tend to these issues before leaving. Likewise, considering energy conservation while they're away is also a good idea.

Individuals and families can avoid wasting energy while they're away having fun with a few simple steps. By making these steps part of every pre-vacation checklist, no one will have to worry about appliances that were left turned on or anything else that might waste energy and result in a high utility bill.

Before going away for the weekend or an extended length of time, use these steps to ensure savings and smart energy use.


It pays to ensure all electronics are turned off before leaving for vacation.
... read more

Making Your Hotel Stay as Green as Possible

Whether your travels take you to hotels for business or pleasure, you might want to consider making your stay there as green, or environmentally friendly, as possible. Although we take for granted the many wonderful services offered to hotel guests, those combined services come at quite an environmental cost. 

This article will explore ways that you can simply and easily increase "greenness" in out of town accommodations to help reduce your carbon footprint, improve the world, and make you feel virtuous in the process.

Laundry

The amount of laundry that is required to keep hotels functioning to stay clean is staggering. At home, most people will use a towel more than once in the bathroom, so why not when staying in a hotel? Just leave your towels on the rack or hooks, rather than on the floor or in the tub. In today's world, that's a clear signal to the housekeeping staff that you plan to use the towels again.



Reusing towels in your hotel is a great way to be a green traveler!

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Water Quality Testing 101

As a first world nation, it’s easy to take water quality for granted. While it’s true that the EPA has strict regulations for public drinking water, that doesn’t mean that all sources of water are equally safe.

Safety and Quality Concerns

If you rely on privately sourced water — like well water — it is your responsibility to test and manage the water quality. Dirty or contaminated water is cause for great concern, as common contaminants like fecal bacteria, pesticides, mercury, lead, nitrates, and other chemicals and organisms can cause serious illness.

However, even if you rely on quality-regulated public water, there are milder quality issues that you may wish to investigate. Comparatively minor issues like hard water, water with slight impurity concerns that result in stained fabric, or water with a slightly distasteful flavor are all hazards that may prompt you to test your water.

Getting the hard facts — through testing — about your water’s quality can help you choose the best course of action for resolving any issues you may face.... read more

PROGO 3000: An Eco-Friendly Propane Powered Scooter

propane scooterEverybody is always looking for an inexpensive and eco-friendly mode of transporation.  That's why I was excited to hear about the PROGO 3000 from ProGo Recreation, LLC.    After two years of research and testing, ProGo Recreation announced that they are starting production on the PROGO 3000 - the first-ever propane powered scooter!  And you can help them fundraise on their Kickerstarter page!... read more

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