Friday, January 12, 2018 | By Heather Rivera | No Comments
January is National Hot Tea Month. Takes the Chill off and can be helpful when it comes to better Health, especially if you Green Up Your Tea! It’s an easy #1THING you can do!
Here are a few ways thanks to the Sierra Club! Enjoy and help Mama Earth at the same time!
Buy loose-leaf tea: Opt for loose leaf tea over disposable tea bags, which use carbon-intensive packaging materials. Many tea bags also contain polypropylene mesh, which can take several years to degrade. Additionally, bagged tea is often machine processed, producing a larger carbon footprint than loose leaf tea, which tends to be hand-picked. If you do purchase tea bags, make sure they’re biodegradable and unbleached. Avoid bags with staples, strings, or tags.
Minimize your water footprint: Only pour enough water to fill your cup to avoid wasting energy boiling what you won’t drink anyway. If it’s safe, use local tap water to brew your tea.
Cold-brew your iced tea: It not only tastes sweeter and smoother than traditional hot-brewed iced tea, but it spares the energy needed to boil your water, relying mainly on an already-running appliance—your refrigerator.
To cold-brew your own iced tea, add about 1.5 times the amount of tea you’d normally use to a pitcher. Pour in cold water, add a lid, and let sit in the fridge for about 4-10 hours. White teas, green teas, and flat oolongs need less time to sit, while rolled oolongs require more time. Herbal infusions and black teas usually need to sit the full ten hours. Strain and enjoy.
Repurpose tea leaves: Most of us know to reuse tea leaves or tea bags for our next cup of tea, but their use extends beyond the kitchen. The high nitrogen content in tea leaves makes them the perfect plant food, which does double duty by helping repel insects and other pests. When transferring a plant to a pot, line the bottom of the pot with used tea bags before adding soil. The tea bags will help retain water and release nutrients into the potting medium.
Dried tea leaves also make fantastic deodorizers. Toss some in the litter box or dog house to remove pet odors. For all-over freshness, sprinkle and gently crush some dried leaves over your carpet. Wait about 10 minutes, then vacuum.
Choose eco-friendly labels: As you would with coffee, buy brands labeled “USDA organic” and “Fair Trade Certified.” To earn the USDA’s organic seal, farmers must not have used synthetic herbicides, pesticides, or fertilizers for at least three years. Meanwhile, although fair trade certification primarily ensures that farmers are paid a just price for their crop, it also has environmental side effects. In return for providing good working conditions and fair wages, producers get paid more for their tea. As a result, famers need less land to support themselves and their families, leaving more land available for natural habitat.
Monday, January 8, 2018 | By Heather Rivera | No Comments
Make 2018 the year of Cool Green Grabs. Affordable & Cool Green Grabs that are an Awesome #1THING for You & Mama Earth!
The EcoTools short story: Sisters Jen and Stacey set out to create a brush collection that was not only environmentally friendly, but chic, high-quality, and affordable too. After sourcing recycled materials, renewable bamboo and better manufacturing processes, in 2007, EcoTools® was born. Look Beautiful. Live Beautifully.
I became a fan of EcoTools makeup brushes a few years ago. I grabbed them on a whim thinking they were a decent price, and if they are eco-friendly even better. I wasn’t expecting much, but I was surprised how well they work and hold up. I finally had to replace them after cleaning them several times, which should be done w/ any type of brush that touches your face on a daily basis. I ran across this set at Target over the weekend $12.99 plus tax makeup bag included. They are Awesome! Plus the entire set is Mama Earth friendly..
EcoTools celebrated their 10th Anniversary in 2017, and 2018 brings even more EcoTool goodies to you…
- Cruelty Free – PETA certified which means 100% cruelty free and vegan
- Recycled Materials- Belief in giving a new purpose to old things with products created from recycled aluminum and plastic
- Tree Free – Packaging is made of 100% Tree-Free Paper w/ 20% cotton & 80% Bamboo Fiber
- Recycled Bamboo -The Handles on their products are made of renewable bamboo, one of the fastest growing plants on the planet.
Click here to find out more about this Cool Green Grab for January 2018!
Thursday, December 28, 2017 | By Heather Rivera | No Comments
How many Paper Towels do you use during a day? If you aren’t sure, usually means too many. I’m guilty of doing the same thing. I was thinking for 2018, maybe trying a #1THING of going Paper Towel-less could be cool. #1THING
Here are a few Paper (Towel) stats :
40% of U.S. landfill trash is paper products.
The paper industry is the third largest contributor to global warming.
The average American discards of 700 pounds or more of paper each year.
If every household in the U.S. used just one less 70-sheet roll of virgin fiber paper towels, that would save 544,000 trees each year. Change that to using three less rolls per U.S. household per year, and that would save 120,000 tons of waste and $4.1 million in landfill dumping fees.
Your typical paper towel is manufactured using chlorine, which releases carcinogenic dioxins and furans
Ways to stop / slow down the usages of Paper Towels:
- If you have to use them, go for paper towels made out of recycled material.
- Using cloth towels saves more energy and creates less greenhouse gases compared to paper towels.
- Compost Paper Towels that area unbleached and chlorine-free, they are safe to toss into your compost bin, not the trash.
Just a few of several ways to help slow down / stop paper towel use. I need to break the habit too! #1THING for Mama Earth during 2018!
Friday, December 8, 2017 | By Heather Rivera | No Comments
You can Give Green to your kiddos w/ Eco-friendly Toys. Start them early helping and appreciating the world around them. There’s only 1 Mama Earth, and we need to take care of her. Here’s a list to check out. It’s #1Thing you can do.
Top 10 Toy Brands
Tuesday, November 7, 2017 | By Heather Rivera | No Comments
Thanksgiving will be here before you know it… Thursday, November 23rd! You could make it extra special doing #1THING to make your Thanksgiving more Eco-Friendly. A Big thing for Mama Earth, and one of the best holiday gifts ever! Shannon shared some Sustainable Tips that will be helpful to do #1THING for Thanksgiving this year! Check them out… Have a Happy, Safe & Green Thanksgiving! Enjoy w your family/ friends! #1THING
Thanksgiving is a time for many of us to gather with family and friends. Your Thanksgiving meal and the activities that go along with it present many opportunities to be sustainable and eco-friendly:
- When shopping for your Thanksgiving meal, keep two words in mind: organic and local. These keywords will guarantee a fresher, more nutritious meal.
- Set the table with cloth napkins and reusable dishes, glasses, and silverware. Consider renting more formal tableware that you might not use very often. Also save and reuse decorations.
- After holiday festivities, put leftovers in recyclable containers, and share them with family, friends, or others.
- Where possible, compost leftover food scraps, leaves, and grass clippings.
- After the meal, fill your dishwasher to capacity before running it. You will run fewer cycles, which saves energy.
- Wash and reuse empty glass and plastic jars, milk jugs, coffee cans, dairy tubs, and other similar containers that would otherwise get thrown away. These containers can be used to store leftovers.
- Show your guests where to put recyclables such as aluminum, glass, and plastic beverage containers.
- Avoid placing hard, thick, or waxy food scraps down the drain. These materials can clog the pipes or damage garbage disposal blades and send parts of your sink to the landfill before their time.
- Buy products in concentrate, bulk, or in refillable containers. Many items are available in these sizes. They reduce packaging waste and can save you money! Combine waste reducing practices, such as buying coffee in bulk and storing it in your leftover empty coffee cans.
- Instead of firmly planting yourself in front of the TV for the day, consider getting some fresh air or playing a board game. Take advantage of the time together with friends and family while decreasing your energy usage.
- If you going away from home for the holidays, to save energy, turn down your thermostat and put lights on timers.
- November is an excellent time of year to conduct neighborhood food or clothing drives to help those in need.
Monday, October 23, 2017 | By Heather Rivera | No Comments
Things are starting to change when it comes to Fashion and Donating Clothing. From Eco- friendly designers and fashion lines, to retail stores having a clothing donation program to help stop filling the landfills up. The Fashion minded are starting to move into a ‘Green Way of Thinking’. Thanks to many shoppers who are voicing their concerns of what do to w/ their clothing when they are cleaning out their closests. With more & more retail businesses making an effort to do their part, it really will help Mama Earth. #1Thing
- Here’s a #1Thing that Nordstrom is doing by launching a clothing donation program encouraging customers to keep their stuff out of landfills. At the same time, Nordstrom is piloting an in-store donation program at six locations in Washington
Following in the footsteps of other retailers who have been doing their part doing 1Things:
- H&M – In 2013 they launched their garmet collecting initiative worldwide. Shoppers can drop off their unwanted garments, no matter the brand or the condition in all H&M stores across the globe. They make sure the clothing gets reused or recycled and not end up in landfills. Around 95% of clothing thrown away could have been reused or recycled. H&M nearest you. Click here!
- Madewell- Blue Jeans go Green. 1.) Bring your old jeans into any of their stores anytime of the year. 2.) They will be sent to ‘Blue Jeans Go Green’ to recycle into housing insulaion 3.) You’ll get $20 off a new pair of jeans! Click here.
- REI COOP – Keeping used gear and clothing out of landfills is important to us. REI makes it easy to donate your gear with Give Back Box® . Click here
- Amazon works w/ Give Back Box® making it easy to donate items you no longer need to charity with ease and bring new life to your empty Amazon box. Donations go directly to your nearest participating charitable organization using a free shipping label and Amazon (or other) box. Click here.
- Loft have partned w/ charities so you can donate gently used clothing and accessories thru Give Back Box® . Click here
- Levis will give your clothes a second life when you donate the clothing you no longer need through the partnershiup with Give Back Box® Click here
Monday, October 9, 2017 | By Heather Rivera | No Comments
When you think ‘Vegan’, food normally pops in the head. But Vegan can happen w/ other thingies besides food. How about ‘Vegan Shoes’? Yes, there is such a thing as ‘Cute Vegan Shoes’. They are made without animal products like leather or by-products like wool. Fabulous 1Thing additions that can be included in your Fall wardrobe. Or perhaps holiday gift ideas for a Shoe-nista in your life (you too)!
- RAFA – Several extremely cute Vegan 2017 styles. All hand-made. High quality that does come w/ a price tag. Or course the ones I think are cute are on their high end… STICK BOOTS.They are cute!
- NATIVE SHOES – Signature Style starts at $40. Offering winter weather- friendly boots, knit athletic sneakers. 100% Vegan company that carries their shoes in women’s, mens, girls and boys options. Venice Print caught my eye for Fall
- VAGABOND – Swedish shoe label w/ several fall friendly vegan options… booties, chunkyplatforms, flat soles and more. Women’s & Men’s sizes. They have a Vegan / non-animal collection . I’m liking the Aurora chunky heeled loafer.
- MATT & NATE – Montreal – based shoe label. Everything is Vegan & Sustainable. It’s either ade from recycled or renewable materials like rubber and cork. The styles are on point trendy and classic… block heals, mules, boots and booties and more to chose from. One of my favs is the Sold Out Radisson. They have so much more than shoes.
- VEGETARIAN SHOES – Based in the UK. Men, Women & Kids sizes. From sneakers to hiking boots to cute loafers. One of my favs Airseal Boulder Boot (Cherry) They ship Worldwide! Vegan Friendly for 26 years plus years!
- NOVACAS – Spanish for ‘NO COW’! MooShoes house brand. Men and Women sizes. High heel clogs, booties & more! The Sierra Clog caught my eye.
- VEJA – French sneaker brand mostly made from recycled and or organic cotton & wild rubber in Brazil. Price point from $65 – $116. They come in my size 11 and larger!! WATA Black Pierre would be one of my choices.
- INSECTA SHOES – Brazilian shoe label makes unisex boots, chukkas, oxfords and sandals in cool patterns, velvet and faux- leather. 100% Vegan. Everything is made from recycled bottles & vintage clothing. Their website doesn’t ship to the US, but you can find them online places like MooShoes. Synesthesia Sandal is cute, and not cheap.
- DOC MARTIN – Yes, they also have a Vegan line of Docs. Best to do the search on their site VEGAN. They have the same iconic look. Women & Men sizes. Vegan Jadon II is one of my picks!
Tuesday, October 3, 2017 | By Heather Rivera | No Comments
October is Vegetarian Awareness Month
Happy Vegetarian Awareness Month! If you’ve been toying with the idea of going meat-free, this month is the perfect time to start. Vegetarian diets have proven health benefits, save animals’ lives and help to preserve the Earth.
- Reduce the risk of major killers such as heart disease, stroke and cancer while cutting exposure to foodborne pathogens
- Provide a viable answer to feeding the world’s hungry through more efficient use of grains and other crops
- Save animals from suffering in factory-farm conditions and from the pain and terror of slaughter
- Conserve vital but limited freshwater, fertile topsoil and other precious resources
- Preserve irreplaceable ecosystems such as rainforests and other wildlife habitats
- Decrease greenhouse gases that are accelerating global warming
- Mitigate the ever-expanding environmental pollution of animal agriculture
If you are a vegetarian and want to educate those around you, Vegetarian Awareness Month is a great time to raise awareness and encourage friends and family to join you in adopting a vegetarian diet. Here are some easy ways to do that:
- Make a list of your favorite vegetarian restaurants, or those that serve favorite dishes, for your friends and family—or take them to one of them to see (and taste) for themselves.
- Share some of your favorite vegetarian recipes with your friends and family members. Give them a recipe list, or make them one of your favorites and attach the recipe to it.
- Are you a gardener? Need to get rid of the last of your summer produce to make room for your cool season crops? If so, give those you love a basketful along with recipe and meal planning ideas. Not a gardener? Then shop at your local farmers’ market and give them a basketful from there.
- You can also organize a produce swap. This can be with friends and family or with other gardeners, to increase their awareness about the number of produce varieties to choose from.
If you are not a vegetarian, here are some tips for you:
- Observe Meatless Monday. This is a growing trend, and is a perfect way to kick off the month by eating meat-free for Vegetarian Awareness Day. You can also try to do this throughout the month and have a variety of vegetables to keep your diet interesting.
- Educate yourself about the nutritional benefits of a vegetarian diet and find out the other ways that it can benefit you.
- Go for one whole day as a vegetarian and tell friends and family you are doing this.
- Host a meatless meal or potluck with your friends. This will help all of you get more tasty recipe ideas and become familiar with different veggies.
- When you dine out, try the meatless options and encourage your friends to do the same.
The North American Vegetarian Society is giving non-vegetarians an added incentive to go meat-free. Pledge to go meat-free during Vegetarian Awareness Month and you’ll have the chance to win up to $1,000. Even just one day will make you eligible for the drawing.
Non-vegetarians who pledge to abstain from all meat, fish and fowl will be entered in a random drawing for cash prizes. Click here to find out all the details.
Friday, September 29, 2017 | By Heather Rivera | No Comments
Pumpkins, Hayrides and Corn Mazes! Find some Awesome Pumpkin Patches around the Austin area thanks to DO512Family When you get the Pumpkin for a natural Fall/ Halloween decoration and then do something cool and/ or yummy w/ it.. it’s a #1THING shared w/ family & friends.
Find out more here! Have Fall Ya’ll! Happy Halloween!
Wednesday, September 27, 2017 | By Heather Rivera | No Comments
The month of October shows Love for the Vegetarian Diet and Green Halloween Tricks and Treats and more. You do 1Thing it will help Mama Earth, which is important to us all, since we live on her. Pick one, two or more and go for it! Do #1Thing.
- October is Vegetarian Awareness Month. Eating more plant-based foods such as vegetables, fruits and legumes and cutting out meat will boost your body’s health and reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes and even some cancers. Plus going meatless has environmental benefits such as cutting greenhouse gas emissions produced by livestock by 70%.
30 Day Vegetarian Diet Vegetarian Awareness Month Vegan Diets Reduce Global Warming
- Think Green when it comes to Halloween. Avoid costumes w/ toxic chemicals. Use existing clothing and fashion costumes from recycled materials. Host a community costume swap. Decorate Naturally with locally grown pumpkins to reduce waste and carbon emissions. Celebrate at a local farm w/ hay rides, corn mazes and yummy produce. Make it a Green Halloween
- October is Adopt a Dog month. Adopting is Greener than Breeding. Each year 4-5 million dogs (& cats) are put down in shelters across the country. Keep the good of saving their life by caring for them in an eco-friendly way. Get organic food and treats. Buy pet products made with organic or recylced materials. Buy local – the less time spent driving makes for a healthier and happier pet and environment.
8 Tips for Raising Environmentally Friendly Cats and Dogs
- This October Choose Green Spirits. A growing number of breweries and wineries are adhering to organic, environmentally-conscious practices and are working toward operating with 100% sustainable energy. Many parts of the country have local wineries that produce delicious, organic products each season. If local varieties aren’t available to you, check out this green wine guide to help you make some tasty, healthy picks.
Easy 1Things that can be done to have fun and help Mama Earth at the same time. Give one or two or more a try. You will be making a Big difference.