Nothing offends the eco-conscious psyche these days more than the matter of waste. This is true to an even greater extent when talking….well, bathrooms. Vivid memories from our indulgent past remind us that at one time, we flushed waste down the toilet with a water volume that resembled Niagara Falls. And if that didn’t deplete the water table, we just jumped in the shower and finished it off.
Gone are the days of flushing a toilet that needs an upwards of five gallons of earth’s most precious resource to clean its bowl. Water-saving toilets, and faucets, are fast becoming an integral part of the eco-conscious home, and for good reason.
Using less water makes sense environmentally. Conservation is the hallmark of sustainability. And in municipal regions where home owners pay based on water consumption, high-efficiency fixtures mean savings for your pocket book as well.
Shopping online offers clear rewards. It’s more convenient to do all of your holiday shopping or purchase specialty grocery items without the need to leave the house. Online retailers are also able to offer their wares at lower prices than brick and mortar shops, due to lower overheads. However, there’s yet another reason to start browsing online for the perfect little black dress or recycled lighting fixture. Shopping online can also be more environmentally friendly, expending less energy. However, just how much more eco-friendly is online shopping? After all, online retailers still must burn fuel when shipping your items to you. It’s helpful to take a closer look at this aspect of e-commerce.
How E-Commerce Stacks Up
It’s difficult to pinpoint just how online shopping compares to the traditional shopping experience, with such a diverse range of services and shipping distances. There have been several studies conducted to attempt to put this into clearer perspective. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development is one group that tackled this problem, using factors like vehicle emissions, shipping distances, retail space, and air transport in their calculations. They found that high street or shopping mall boutiques were not only more expensive for consumers, but also take a greater toll on the environment. Although consumers could benefit from immediate service, unsold products returned to the manufacturer created a higher rate of return than with e-commerce.
2013 is finally upon us. There isn’t a better time to implement some green tips in our lives by consulting a few of the green guides published on Greenr in the past. Whether it’s improving our home heating system, applying some energy saving ideas in our home, office or school, or looking at ways to reuse some everyday household items, we have it covered.
Green Tips for the Whole Family
- Efficient Home Heating
While the temperatures drop outside, it’s possible to enjoy a nice temperate climate inside thanks to home heating systems. Here are some ways to make heating your home as green as possible.
- 5 Energy Saving Tips (Home, Office or School)
Saving energy, whether at home, work, or school, is easier than you think with these five emission-reducing tips. For the most part, all it takes is a little forethought and common sense.
- Waste-free Lunches – Putting Landfills on a Diet
Plastic sandwich bags, aluminum foil, and plastic utensils all contribute to needless lunchtime wastefulness. Learn how we can change these hard-to-break habits and create zero waste at noon.
- 5 Green Ideas to Use at Home
Some of our most precious resources, such as water and trees, can be spared by following these simple tips for ‘greening up’ your home.
- Reuse – Items with an ‘Afterlife’
Doesn’t it make us feel good when we think of innovative ways to reuse things? Here are are a few items we can learn to reuse and information on how to extend their lives.
Have you got a green tip you plan on implementing this year? Let us know in the comments!
Have you ever wanted to recyle something but were unsure of where you could take it? You’re not alone. Certain types of batteries and plastics can only be recycled at specific depots, and, if you have hazardous waste like oil and grease, the list of drop-off locations gets even slimmer. However, if you live in Manitoba, you no longer have any reason to fret (or any excuse not to recycle).
The Manitoba government has recently launched a new website and iPhone app that enables local residents to enter their location and each item they would like to recycle (such as cell phones, pharmaceuticals or plastic). The website then generates a list of the closest recycling depots and displays them on a handy imbedded map.
The iPhone app, called MB Recycling, also enables users to find recycling centres close to their homes, along with driving directions to each centre. The app is available for free download on the iTunes store.
Conservation and Water Stewardship Minister Gord Mackintosh was pleased to annouce both new services: “If you need to find a place to recycle your phone or laptop – now all you need to do is ask them. Green Manitoba’s new online tools make it easier than ever to find the many accessible recycling depots in the province.”
The development of both the iPhone app and the website are part of Manitoba’s Green Plan called TomorrowNow, Manitoba’s eight-year plan for protecting the environment while ensuring a prosperous economy.
There’s something about rich Italian coffee that I love. Espresso is the base for all of my favourite drinks, like smooth foamy lattés, spicy cappuccinos, and chocolaty mochas. That’s why, when I discovered the Hammacher Schlemmer Hand Powered Espresso Maker, my heart skipped a beat. Did someone create an espresso machine that delivers my favourite beverage while still thinking of the planet? Yes!
The Hammacher Schlemmer Hand Powered Espresso Maker creates rich Italian coffee drinks without any electricity. All you have to do is pour hot steaming water into the top of the machine; pushing down both levers drives a piston down, creating up to 10 bars of pressure to extract rich, complex espresso topped with that dark reddish-brown foam we all love called crema. The included hand-powered frother also produces foamy milk for cappuccinos or lattés. The espresso maker itself is made from durable cast aluminium and the water reservoir is made of hard plastic. A perfect gift for that eco-conscious coffee lover.