This is a great article from agreenliving.net about the best indoor plants. I stumbled upon it at the perfect time because we just moved into a new studio and as the final touches are coming together, I’m realizing we need some green life in there! Plants add such a warm feeling to a room. Plus, they help purify the air and are known to make you feel happier! (There’s science behind it, but the overall consensus is that plants boost your spirits, aid with depression, help reduce stress and induce calm.) I’m heading to our local greenhouse this weekend to find the ideal plants with this handy guide in mind. My favorites are bamboo and jade – do you have a favorite potted plant in your house?
Karen G., Sunnyside NY
Do you have an old t-shirt, jacket, etc…that you love but no longer wear? Repurpose it! Send us your old t-shirt, jackets, baby blankets — whatever! — and we’ll lovingly repurpose them into a fabulous new bag. eThreads rePurpose makes a thoughtful and unique gift. Click here for more info.
Is your best friend’s birthday coming up or your parent’s anniversary just around the corner? Instead of sending them a paper card — which uses paper and ink — think about sending e-cards! E-cards are more environmentally friendly because they use less paper and no ink. In fact, FriendsoftheEarth.com estimates it takes 200,000 trees to make the 1.7 billion holiday cards sent in the UK each year alone. Imagine how many trees are used for greeting cards around the world the rest of the year! Also, not only do e-cards reduce waste, they cost less too — many are free! So next time there’s a birthday, anniversary or the need to send party invitations, use e-cards to send your greetings — they are environmentally and budget friendly.
If you like to save money you’ll love this eco-tip! It’s easy to do — simply wash your clothes in cold water. Using cold water 80% of the time (not even every wash!) can save you $60-$100 a year on energy costs according to PlanetGreen.com. Imagine what you’ll save if you wash your clothes with cold water 100% of the time! It’s easy to do: just push the “Cold/Cold” button on your washing machine before starting the load. That’s it! I’ve been doing my laundry in cold water for months and the clothes feel just the same as using hot water. Not only are you saving money, you are reducing your waste. According to PlanetGreen, 90% of the energy used in washing clothes is to heat the water! So if you use cold water you’re using only 10% of the energy used in a typical laundry load. Washing your clothes in cold water saves money and reduces carbon dioxide emissions! Sounds pretty good to me.
Spring has arrived, but there is still a chill in the air. If you’re feeling the frost, take a look at your windows. One-third of your home’s heat loss usually occurs through windows and doors, according to SimpleSteps.org, a website for better health and sustainable living. Luckily, there are a few easy fixes to reduce energy loss and retain the heat in your home.
First, you can install window films to retain heat. According to GreenYour.com, a guide to green living, adding one isolating window film to your window can help retain 55% of the heat in your house!
If you rent your home or just want to save money, install heavy drapes or curtains to regulate the heat in your home. When it’s sunny keep the curtains open to absorb heat, and as soon as the sun sets close close your curtains to trap in the heat. I made curtains for my apartment out of some old corduroy and we can totally feel the difference! So when you want to feel the heat, keep your windows closed and use the curtains. It will save you money and cut down on your waste!
I just introduced eThreads ecoTips as a way to provide easy and cheap ways to live more eco-friendly. I like this first tip because it’s a simple thing to do that won’t require a complete rewiring of your habits.
How many of you get hangry (a hybrid of hungry and angry) and rip open the fridge, gazing over the array of food options while the cool frost whips over your shoulders? I used to do this a lot, until I heard that it’s a big waste of energy leaving the refrigerator door open.
Your fridge’s compressor works to keep your food nice and cool. This means that when you leave the door open while contemplating your next snack, cold air is rushing out and suddenly your fridge is working harder to keep the temperature cool. This means a lot of wasted energy. How much? According to the good people at Ideal Bite, the average household wastes 50-120 kilowatt hours a year by opening the refrigerator door – that’s like leaving one to three 100-watt light bulbs on all year! You could also be adding up to $20 on your utility bill.
So next time you’re hangry (which, if you’re like me, happens 5 times a day,) think about what you want to eat before opening the fridge. Also, keep your foods in the same place so you know where to reach every time. Additionally, let your foods cool before you put them in the refrigerator. By adding hot objects to your fridge, you’re asking the compressor to work harder to cool the item, thus using more energy. Finally, keep liquids and foods covered up — otherwise they can release moisture that makes the compressor work even harder. Want more tips on keeping your fridge and other appliances efficient? Click here for more info.
We hear some tips about eco-living that seem to involve a decent investment in money, like buying new appliances or energy-efficient cars. Those are excellent ideas, but out of reach for many cash-strapped citizens like myself. Instead, I like to focus on simple, easy and CHEAP ways to reduce, reuse or recycle.
That’s what eThreads ecoTips is all about. Here I’ll talk about simple things you can do to reduce your environmental impact; nothing serious or earth-shattering (pun intended) just some easy and simple ways to reduce waste and save money.
Do you have an ecoTip that you’d like to share? Leave a comment or email me: email@example.com. I love hearing about new tips because I want eThreads to be as environmentally responsible as possible. To start, we participate in ShopGreen to reduce our carbon footprint, use recycled packaging, offer a custom-made reusable shopping tote, and offer some eco-friendly fabrics. There is still a lot more to be done, and I’d love to hear your suggestions!