Happy Earth Day, Guys & Dolls! Nothing encourages you to combat global warming more than trying to make it through ninety-eight degree weather in April. Oof! I must confess that yours truly has been playing the role of Goldilocks as of late. Just last week I was complaining that sixty-five degrees just wasn’t cutting it for my spring wardrobe and next thing you know I’m sticking my head in the freezer every five minutes to keep myself from boiling over. Who knew Los Angeles was allowed to get this HAWTTTT?!
Moving on. Here's a list of great, super-easy, and affordable tips on getting in touch with your inner Eco-chic. These tips are so doable that I realized that I've already been doing half of them on a regular basis. Your pocketbook and your environment will heart you. While it's clear that we need bold and commonsense legislative solutions to fight climate change, we each need to do our part. Be green and stay cool!
10 Eco-Chic Tips, courtesy of MSNBC.com:
1. Use natural cleaning products.
Safe cleaning products don’t have to be a luxury. Green Works natural cleaning products are made of plant-based, biodegradable ingredients like corn, coconut and lemon (which leave no harsh chemical fumes or residue) and are affordable and accessible — you can find them at supermarkets, drugstores and mass-market retailers.
2. Get your magazines digitally.
Zinio.com offers digital versions of more than 500 magazine titles like BusinessWeek, Cosmopolitan, Car & Driver, Men’s Health, Dwell, Outside and Yoga Journal. Download the Zinio Reader and read the magazines on your personal computer or access your subscriptions online from any computer at Zinio.com. Owners of iPhones can even access entire magazines through their phones. And in the spirit of budget consciousness, Zinio is offering a free one-year trial subscription to a wide selection of magazines so people can try the service.
3. Use a reusable water bottle.
You’ve filtered your water, now you need a reusable bottle to transport it. There are numerous safe and eco-friendly options from Sigg to Klean Kanteen to BPA-free Nalgene bottles. Check out Filter for Good for more information about the impact of bottled-water waste and to purchase a BPA-free reusable water bottle with the Filterforgood.com logo.
4. Get paid to recycle your electronics and keep them out of landfills.
Instead of tossing your gadgets in a landfill when you’re finished with them, get paid to recycle them. Services like www.buymytronics.com, www.myboneyard.com and www.greenphone.com will recycle or refurbish your electronics, which keeps them out of landfills. Simply mail them in and wait for your check.
5. Turn to eco-friendly materials for affordable fashion.
Stores you know and love are focusing on greener fashion. H&M has an extensive line of products made of organic cotton, recycled polyester and natural wool, American Apparel offers colorful, affordable organic basics and Payless recently introduced Zoe & Zac, an affordable, eco-friendly footwear and accessories line. And this spring, look for Loomstate’s eco-friendly collection at Target.
6. Update your wardrobe by connecting with fashionistas with garb to barter.
Swapstyle.com lets you swap accessories, cosmetics and shoes with fashionistas all over the globe for free (you only pay for shipping). You can also combine barter with cash to trade up while avoiding the full cost — both monetary and environmental — of consuming a new product.
7. Use a car-share service to drive without owning.
Enjoy the freedom of being in the driver’s seat while eliminating the expense of owning (or leasing) and maintaining a car by joining a car-share service. Zipcar lets members locate cars conveniently parked at designated spots around a city and reserve them for an hourly fee (typically between $10.50 and $16.50). The company estimates that each of its cars removes the equivalent of about 15 privately owned vehicles from the road.
8. Ride share to get where you want to go.
Another alternative to owning a car is to catch a ride with somebody else. Ride sharing not only saves you the cost of car ownership and maintenance, but also keeps additional cars off the road — a positive eco step. Zimride is a ride-share service built on the Facebook social networking platform that enables members to create personal profiles and select ride mates who share similar music tastes, favorite sports teams, or who just seem “normal.” Zimmers can also evaluate things like driving speed, music volume and smoking preferences before agreeing to hop in.
9. CDs, DVDs and books: Swap, don’t buy.
Now you can avoid buying new products (good for your wallet, great for the environment) without sacrificing your need for entertainment. Check out Swapacd.com, Swapadvd.com and Paperbackswap.com.
10. Shave with just seven drops.
You’ll live a life free from shaving cream with just seven drops of Pacific Shaving Oil. The natural oil (enhanced with essential oils) will give you the closest shave of your life, and a half-ounce bottle ($6.95) provides up to 100 shaves. The tiny bottle is ideal for air travel, too — perfect for stashing in your carry-on bag.