Author Archives: Carin Lynn

St. Jude’s Ranch for Children Recycled Card Program

St. Jude's Ranch for ChildrenSt. Jude’s Ranch for Children has an awesome greeting card recycling program that is a great way to reuse & recycle while helping the amazing kids at the Ranch campuses.

All you have to do is mail your used thank you notes, greeting & holiday cards to St. Jude’s Ranch for Children.

When St. Jude’s Ranch for Children receives donor cards, the children participate in making the new cards by removing the front of the card from it’s back or inside portion. The donor card front is then centered on either an ivory or white backing resulting in a ‘new’ card with a recycled front panel. The benefits are two-fold: customers receive “green” holiday cards for use and the children receive payment for their work and learn the benefits and importance of “going green”.

St. Jude’s Ranch for Children then packages the cards in packs of 10 with white envelopes & sells them online or by phone (1-877-977-SJRC) for $10 a pack.

You can mail your card donations to:
St. Jude’s Ranch for Children
Recycled Card Program
100 St. Jude’s Street
Boulder City, NV 89005

Tip of the Week – Avoid Drive Through Lines

Avoid Drive Through LinesSave gas by avoiding drive through lines at restaurants & coffee shops. Instead park your vehicle, go inside, and to order your food & drink.

In many cases, this is the fastest way anyway. Think about how many times you have gone inside and came back out only to see people were still waiting in line idling.

For more gas saving tips check out 20 Under $5 Tips to Improve Your Cars Gas Mileage.

Green Holiday Gift Wrap 101

newspaper as gift wrapWrapping paper from holiday gifts is largely to blame for a 25% spike in curbside trash volume between Thanksgiving & New Year’s Day, according to the EPA.

What is the eco-minded gift-giver to do?

The best thing to do if you are giving physical gifts this season is to wrap them in an eco-friendly way. You can make the wrapping a part of the gift, something that can be used for another purpose afterwords, or just use plainer wraps made from recycled materials.

Here are a few ways to give a thoughtfully wrapped present and give back to the Earth too.

Use a Container as Gift Wrap:
Containers make great no-wrapping-needed packaging. It’ll give the recipient a little hint as to what’s inside, but your creative wrapping will get years of use.

  • Wooden wine boxes, baskets or tins
  • Watering can or garden bucket
  • Mixing bowls or a stock pot
  • Canvas shopping bag
  • Scarves or handkerchiefs
  • Towels
  • Blankets

Use Art as Gift Wrap:
When you wrap your gifts with art work you can personalize them for each recipient.

  • Outdated maps, old posters, sheet music or leftover lightweight wallpaper
  • Newspapers, foreign newspapers are great or the Sunday comics
  • Kids artwork
  • Magazine images

Use Recycled Gift Wrap:
To reuse gift wrap is a great way to extend the life of a product.

  • Aluminum foil
  • Paper or bag from last year

Tip of the Week – Green Holiday

Jessica Aldred put together a great list of  A-Z tips for a Green Holiday, so this holiday doesn’t have to be time consuming, expensive, and cost the earth.

Here is a sample of the list…

A is for artificial trees These are not necessarily the greener tree – although they last for longer, they are made from plastic, not recyclable or from a renewable source and have probably been shipped great distances. There are also question marks over where they are made and the labor used. Real trees also help to remove carbon from the atmosphere while they are growing.

B is for batteries New gifts at Christmas often mean that households go through a lot of batteries. Batteries contain toxic chemicals, do not biodegrade and are difficult to recycle. As an alternative, we recommend using rechargeable batteries or trying the new AA size USB rechargeable batteries. By opening the cap and plugging into a USB connector, you can recharge them pretty much anywhere.

C is for Candles Paraffin candles are made from petroleum residue and are no good for your health or for the environment. Candles made from soy, beeswax or natural vegetable-based wax are more eco-friendly because they biodegrade and are smoke-free.

Check out the rest of Jessica Aldred’s A-Z tips for a Green Holiday over at the guardian.co.uk.

Thanks Jessica!

Homemade Holiday Ornaments

Keep the Holiday expenses to a minimum this year & make your Christmas ornaments from scratch.

Just make, bake, & decorate. These ornaments are super eco-friendly, fun craft project for the kids, and can be reused year after year.

Homemade Holiday OrnamentsINGREDIENTS
1 cup salt
2 cups flour
1 cup water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Water-based paints

Place dry ingredients in a bowl, add the water and oil, then stir until blended. Once the dough holds together, make it into a ball and knead it with your hands to make a smooth texture.

Place the dough on a cutting board, and using a rolling pin, roll the dough out into a pancake shape that is a bit thicker than you would use for regular cut-out cookies. Cut out the ornaments with cookie cutters, design your own ornaments using a blunt knife, or shape dough with your fingers. Punch or carve a hole into the top of the ornament to thread a string through to hang the decoration.

Bake at 250 degrees until hard (1-2 hours).

Once cooled, paint with water-based paints if desired, or glue on glitter using white household glue. Thread a string or ribbon through the hole & hang the decoration on the tree or elsewhere in your home.

A BIG thanks to Annie Bond over at Care2 for sharing her awesome eco-friendly holiday ornaments with us!

Product of the Week – Ecolo Green Car Wash

Ecolo Green CarwashMove over bucket & sponge and make room for Ecolo Green Car Wash.

With only the equivalent of a glass of water, Ecolo products will clean, shine & protect your car, boat or bike from the elements and keep it cleaner for longer periods of time.

How Does Ecolo Work?
Ecolo products are sprayed directly onto the paint surface of your car, boat or bike. Special organic polymers dissolve the dirt particles on contact, lifting them from the paint surface to protect from scratching.

The dirt residue is easily and safely wiped off with a micro-fiber cloth.

The surface is then buffed with a second micro-fiber towel, resulting in a beautiful shiny finish and a highly protective glaze making it harder for environmental fallout, hard water spots and any other foreign debris to stick to it.

Check out this video for a step by step demonstration of Ecolo.

In this video Ecolo is put to the true test of cleaning the dirtiest of cars.
Check it out…It really works!

All Ecolo products are biodegradable, non hazardous, V.O.C. compliant, contains no petroleum distillates, non-corrosive, anti-static and 100% environmentally safe.

Buy Now!

Top 5 Green Holiday Travel Tips

Green Holiday Travel TipsTraveling this holiday season? Consider these top 5 easy, eco-effective travel tips:

1- Pack Lightly.
The more weight you carry on, the more fuel the train, plane, automobile, or boat will use. So don’t pack unnecessarily stuff. If you are traveling with companions only bring one of something that can be shared, like toothpaste & shaving cream. Also, find out if the hotel or host has a hairdryer or other appliances, to avoid packing them. And remember, shoes & boots add major weight to a bag, so try to keep extras to a minimum.

2- Take The Bus Or Train.

  • According to the UCS, a couple who go by bus instead of flying coach will reduce their carbon dioxde emissions by 55 to 75%, depending upon the distance traveled. Even if 2 travelers use a fuel-efficient hybrid car, a bus trip will cut their trip emissions in half.
  • UCS researchers report that a train emits 60% less carbon per passenger mile than a car with a single occupant. Compared to a 500-mile trip on a small jet plane, a train emits 30% less carbon.

 

3- Choose A Direct Flight.
If you are flying this holiday try to find a non-stop flight. Not only will it save you time, it is a greener choice.

4- Go Before You Fly.
Use the airport lavatory, not the one on the plane, since, believe it or not, the fuel used for every mile-high flush could run a car for six miles.

5- Look For Green Hotels.
Look around for eco-friendly lodging that has efficient lighting and water fixtures, alternative fuel vehicles, and that recycles.

Tip of the Week – Only Burn Dry Wood

wood burning fireWhen you start a fire in your hearth, at campground, or in your back yard pit – only burn dry wood. That’s becasue wet wood doesn’t burn as completely as dry wood, meaning it releases more pollutants into the air.

The biggest concern with this is particulate pollution, or solid particles smaller than a red blood cell that can cause and irritate, asthma and allergies, as well as lung problems.

By sticking to dry wood, you’ll help reduce particulate air pollution and breathe easier.