Thursday, February 3, 2011

Eco Friendly Dry Cleaning Bag! Green Garmento!

Photo courtesy of Green Garmento.

Dry cleaning can help keep that cashmere sweater in tact, not shrink your favorite jeans, help colors stay bright, and get out that greasy stain on your silk blouse from last night's dinner.  Yes, some clothes require us to have them dry cleaned, while others of us just don't like to do laundry.  So the dry cleaner is like your best friend.  Yes, we all have been to the dry cleaner and some more regularly than others.  Do you ever stop to really look at how much plastic dry cleaner's use?  A LOT!  More than you can probably imagine!  Think of how many dry cleaner's there are in your area, in your city,in your state, and in the country!  That's billions of plastic bags being used once around each garment we dry clean.  Seems like a big-ole waste to me.

Are these plastic bags really necessary and at what point do people decide that sheer convenience is not worth the environmental impact? Many have begun to carry cloth bags with them when they go grocery shopping, but not enough people have looked to their dry cleaner. Not only are those giant strips of plastic a suffocation risk for children and animals, but most people only use their bags to take the clothes home and then toss them out.

It is estimated that one dry cleaner uses more than 100,000 plastic bags per year!  I don't even think my brain can wrap around that number if you multiply that by every dry cleaner.  Insane!!

Photo courtesy of Green Garmento.

So...what can you do?  Bring your own garment bag!  Plain and simple.  Actually, my dry cleaner sells a garment bag called the Green Garmento. I had never heard of this before and one day when I walked in, voila!...there it was...in all it's lime green glory!  I wish I had thought of this!!!  This bag is not only a garment bag, but can serve as a laundry bag, and duffel.  They even have an official "GTL" bag you can get and be like "The Situation" from MTV's Jersey Shore.  And the price couldn't be more affordable at less than $10 (my dry cleaner sells two for $10).

In the end, it takes a tad more effort because the dry cleaner will actually have to match up the bag to the clothes and their customers will have to remember to bring the bag.  But this little extra effort can do a lot for our world!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Santa Monica Bans the Plastic Bag!

Attention Santa Monica Shoppers!

As of Tuesday, January 5th, Santa Monica becomes the eighth city in California to ban the single use plastic bag.  The Santa Monica City Council approved a ban of plastic bags in all retail outlets except for restaurants.  Retailers will still be able to sell paper bags priced at a dime or more.  So if you are going shopping in Santa Monica, plan on bringing your own bag!!  And although banned as well in grocery stores, for health purposes, people will still be able to get the rolled plastic bags used in the meat and produce sections.

This has been a long time coming and I am very happy to see this happen in a city that's part of Los Angeles County.  Two years ago, Santa Monica had considered such a ban but lawsuits from an industry group prevented it from happening.  Wonderul environmenta activist groups such as Heal the Bay, spearheaded the effort to curb widespread use of plastic bags.  This was a victory.
Photo Courtesy of Kate Ter Harr/flikr.

Many of you may ask...why the need for banning plastic bags?

Ever see plastic bags in trees?  On the beach?  In storm drains?  Plastic bags are mobile and they can be found EVERYWHERE in large cities...mainly on the sides of the roads and in storm drain areas.  The average American uses between 300 and 700 plastic bags per year, says Answers.com.  That's Crazy!!!  And we use these once!  Wake up people...stop using plastic bags!  There are so many alternatives now-a-days.  Almost any grocery store sells reusable bags (some which are made from recycled bottles) for about $.99 per bag.

Let's do our part and help reduce useless waste.  This should have passed years ago.  Let's relish in this victory and hope other cities see the benefits and follow in these footsteps!

Photo Courtesy of energy-green.net.
Photo Courtesy of inhabitat.com

Monday, January 31, 2011

Welcome to On The Green Scene!


What does that mean?  I mean really, what does it mean to be "green"?  When we hear "green," most of us think of something planetarily environmental...something in the forrests, the sky, the ocean, or the mountains.  We think of the ice caps melting, green house gases, ozone depleting and toxic landfills.  We basically think of things on a global level when we hear "green"...things that affect us, but not necessarily so close to home.

I would like for you for a moment to think of "green" as YOU, your environment.   I am not just talking about your living space or car, I am talking about your body, your health, your lifestyle and your mindset.
Just take it in for a moment and really think about it because it affects each and every one of us, every single day.  The most important thing about "green" is to know that it isn't something far off or out there and it's not just the air you breathe.  It's in everything you do and everything you are.  And being green starts right here, right now, in your immediate environment, your body.

There are so many factors that make your body or "environment" a greener one.  It is so interesting to me how different parts of this country view being environmentally conscious.  I travel a great deal for my work, and I have the wonderful opportunity to experience many cities in this country, and in the world, on a regular basis.  For some, being green is all about recycling...bottles, cans, and paper.  For others, green is a way of being and they incorporate it into many aspects of their life...food, exercise, health, beauty, shopping, clothing, and recycling.

There are many shades of "green" and it is so important to know which one you are.  There are little things that you could be doing every day to bring "green" into your life.  It doesn't have to be time consuming, or extreme.  It can be as easy as reusing a water bottle instead of buying a new one, or bringing your own bags to the grocery store.  Those little things can make a big difference to your life and those around you.

My tip for today...BUY A REUSABLE WATER BOTTLE!  Yeah, yeah, yeah…you say you know how damaging one-time use water bottles are to the environment, yet YOU STILL BUY THEM!!  Yeah…you!  We are all guilty of this one, but come on people, we just buy it because it’s convenient and the packaging is pretty.  There's a simple alternative to bottled water: buy a stainless steel thermos, or BPA free plastic reusable bottle, and use it. There are tons of options and colors for you to choose from.  Don't like the way your local tap water tastes? Inexpensive carbon filters will turn most tap water sparkling fresh at a fraction of bottled water's cost.  How cool would it be to buy your own water bottle that you can take around every day…like your new sidekick?

Let me give you some facts so you can think before you drink.  According to Reuseit.com…
  • ·      Americans will buy an estimated 25 billion single-serving, plastic water bottles this year. Eight out of 10 (22 billion) will end up in a landfill.
  • ·      1.5 million barrels of oil is used annually to produce plastic water bottles for America alone - enough to fuel some 100,000 U.S. cars for a year.
  • ·      Imagine a water bottle filled a quarter of the way up with oil. That's about how much oil was needed to produce the bottle.
  • ·      Like all plastic, these bottles will be with us forever since plastic does not biodegrade; rather, it breaks down into smaller and smaller toxic bits that contaminate our soil and waterways.
  • ·      Bottled water is big business.  It’s labeled the “Blue Gold” of our time.
  • ·      Along with plastic bags, plastic bottles are one of the most prevalent sources of pollution found on our beaches.  These bottles kill marine life because birds and fish mistake our trash for food.

For some reason, Americans have this obsession with water in a bottle, and in reality, many studies have shown that the quality of bottled water may be no better than that of your tap.  So let’s stop this insane addiction of buying and throwing bottles away!  Make a commitment to yourself to use less and refill more.  It’s a simple thing we can all do to help. 

Check out this new product!  Water Bobble!!  It is BPA free, Made in the USA (Woo hoo!), Recycled, and REUSABLE!  It kind of acts like a portable Brita.  Great for people on the go.  It has its own filter so you can fill it up with water anywhere, and it is cleaned out before it hits your mouth!  You can even replace it with new filters.  Check it out at http://www.waterbobble.com/.  Also available to buy at Target.  

Bottom’s up!
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