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April is Earth Month!

Green Goes Simple: Conservation at Home

Go Green for Earth Month

By Elizabeth Dwoskin for Green Goes Simple

There’s nothing more precious to parents than their kids -- nothing more important than making sure they are as healthy and as safe as possible. Earth Month is the perfect time for parents to put their kids first by making small, easy changes that protect the health of both their little ones and the earth.

While parents can’t control every aspect of their kid’s lives -- though most wish they could -- there is one place where they can take full charge: the home. And these days, lots of parents are looking for green solutions to make their homes more sustainable. Don’t you wish that you had someone to just whisper in your ear, giving you quick and easy green tips every time you needed them?

Enter Janelle Sorensen, chief communications officer for Healthy Child Healthy World. For 20 years, this nonprofit group has been all about giving families the tools they need to create cleaner, greener and safer homes. Sorensen gave us some easy suggestions that you can use to start greening your home -- and saving money -- right away.... read more

Being a Greener House Guest

 

Green Goes Simple: Conservation at Home

 

By Marisa Belger for Green Goes Simple

If you’ve ever been on the hosting end for parties or overnight houseguests, you know that opening your home to guests is a great act of warmth and generosity. This year, try acknowledging the gift of a cozy bed and wonderful company with an eco-savvy hostess present that shows how much you appreciate being welcomed into someone’s home. Hey, think of all the money you’re saving in hotel costs!

Emily Anderson, author of Eco Chic Home, recommends giving gifts that are thoughtful -- without being showy. “When I give a hostess gift, I want it to be a nice gesture of appreciation, but not something over-the-top,” she says. “I’m also sure to think of something that my hosts will put to good use.”

While a bottle of (organic) wine or a pretty (soy-based) candle are classic options, Anderson also likes exercising a bit of creativity in her gift-giving. The results are meaningful and earth-friendly:... read more

Planet-Friendly Holiday Parties

 

By Elizabeth Barker for Green Goes Simple

By making a few easy changes to your party-planning strategy, you can cut back on waste, reduce your use of natural resources and even slash your spending budget. Here, Green Chic author Christie Matheson serves up eight tips for eco-fabulous entertaining:

1. Ditch the disposable goods and use your own tableware. Not enough to go around? Consider renting what you need or borrowing from a friend. You can also check your local chapter of Freecycle.org, an online community where members give away used household items.

2. Hold off on shopping for new serving platters, punch bowls and cocktail plates. "Before you buy anything for your party, see if you can borrow what you need from friends or unearth any hidden treasures from that box of stuff your grandmother gave you," suggests Matheson. If you do need to hit the store, swing by your favorite thrift shop or purchase new pieces made from sustainable materials (such as recycled glass or reclaimed wood).... read more

Eco-Conscious Fashion

Green Goes Simple: Conservation at Home
 

Future Fashion: Eco-conscious Style

By Alison Baenen for Green Goes Simple

For most of us, getting dressed is personal. We use clothes to convey a message about ourselves to the outside world and to express, perhaps outlandishly or subtly, our aesthetic sensibilities. As such, the questions we run up against in the closet range from the prosaic (“Do these jeans make my butt look big?”) to the theoretical (“Can I wear this on a job interview?”).... read more

Water Wisdom: How to Conserve Water Every Day

Green Goes Simple: Conservation at Home

 

By Cynthia Ramnarace for Green Goes Simple

If there is a sound that immediately drives me insane, it’s that of a running tap. And because you have to tell kids the same thing 5,000 times before they get it -- “You don’t need the water on when you brush your teeth!” -- I hear a lot of water waste as I go through my day.

It drives me nuts not only because it’s money down the drain, but also because water is such a precious resource. I was fortunate enough to see this firsthand during a trip to Kenya several years ago. When you’re living in a drought-prone region and the only water you have comes from collected rain water, conservation is how you survive.... read more

Green in the Classroom

Green Goes Simple: Conservation at Home
 

Conservation in the Classroom
 

By Elizabeth Barker for Green Goes Simple

Raising environmentally savvy kids is one of the most powerful ways to help them enjoy a protected planet. To foster your children’s eco-education, encourage their schools to go green.

As part of National Green Week (an annual program developed by the Green Education Foundation), schools can devote any week from now until Earth Day (April 22) to projects that help create a more sustainable classroom and community. “One of National Green Week’s goals is for schools to start making environment-focused changes they can stick with for the rest of the year and beyond, so that the program can truly have a lasting impact,” says Green Education Foundation president Victoria Waters.... read more

Making Your Bedrooms Eco-Friendly

Green Goes Simple: Conservation at Home
 

How Healthy Is Your Bedroom?
 

By Marisa Belger for Green Goes Simple

The kitchen may be the most popular room in the house, but the bedroom is where you clock the most time. Human beings dedicate one third of their lives to sleeping. With good reason: Sleeping refreshes the body and mind, recharging you for the next day. And while you can’t control many of the factors that interfere with slumber -- noisy neighbors, early-bird toddlers, antsy dogs -- a few simple changes can transform your ordinary bedroom into a snoozing sanctuary.

Emily Anderson, eco-style expert and author of Eco-Chic Home, has developed a 10-step plan to improve your bedroom health.... read more

A Greener Party

Green Goes Simple: Conservation at Home
 

Planet-friendly Parties
 

By Elizabeth Barker for Green Goes Simple

By making a few easy changes to your party-planning strategy, you can cut back on waste, reduce your use of natural resources and even slash your spending budget. Here, Green Chic author Christie Matheson serves up eight tips for eco-fabulous entertaining:

1. Ditch the disposable goods and use your own tableware. Not enough to go around? Consider renting what you need or borrowing from a friend. You can also check your local chapter of Freecycle.org, an online community where members give away used household items.... read more

Greening Household Chores

Green Goes Simple: Conservation at Home
 

Everyday Chores Get Greener
 

By Amy Levin-Epstein for Green Goes Simple

Ready to make some eco-friendly changes, but not sure where to begin? Start with the things you do each day: chores!

Yes, even small shifts in your daily cleaning routines can have positive effects on the planet -- no extra elbow grease required. “People have a sense that with green cleaning there is more scrubbing, or it is more expensive, or it doesn’t work. These are all myths,” says green-cleaning expert Annie B. Bond, author of Clean and Green and Better Basics for the Home.

Add these simple tips to your daily chore toolbox and you’ll be a green, clean, dirt-fighting machine in no time: “Going green takes some time to figure out, but once you get it, you’re set for life,” says Bond.... read more

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