tisdag 24 mars 2009

The Story of Stuff

Every wonder why as soon as we buy something a newer model comes out on the market and what happens to all the products we're finished with? Well Annie Leonard has spent 10 years of researching the environmental impact of consumption and produced a fantastic video that everyone should watch. http://www.storyofstuff.com/index.html

The Story of Stuff is a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns. The Story of Stuff exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world. It'll teach you something, it'll make you laugh, and it just may change the way you look at all the stuff in your life forever.

If you don't have time to watch it all right now, you can read the pdf fact sheet.

onsdag 18 mars 2009

I just read the following in a newsletter and am very glad. I hope other countries follow suit and ban the toxic substance BPA found in many baby bottles, especially here in Sweden. They have the number 7 on the bottom of the bottle. So buyers beware.

Baby Bottles are now BPA Free
The chemical bisphenol A has been used since the 50's, but recent studies have shown a link between the chemical and various ailments, specifically affecting children and fetuses, after prolonged exposure. Without admitting that BPA is unsafe, six of the largest baby bottle manufacturers voluntarily stopped using bisphenol A in the USA, after receiving a letter signed by Attorney Generals in three states asking them to voluntarily remove the chemical. The manufacturers may still continue to use bisphenol A in the treatment of baby bottles overseas.

According to three industry funded studies the FDA found BPA to be safe, but a review of the studies by outside scientists has disputed the findings and found that certain evidence which suggested BPA could be harmful to children was excluded. Just recently lawmakers introduced legislation to ban BPA from all food and beverage containers. If the bill passes, the FDA can grant a one year waiver allowing manufactures that can't produce the product without BPA to continue production but include a label on the product stating it contains BPA. The manufactures would then need to submit a plan on removing the chemical from further production.

tisdag 17 mars 2009

What does Eco-friendly mean?

With so many companies and products promoting the Eco-friendly label one has to ask, what does this mean? Does it mean that the products are made with recycled materials or can it refer to other aspects also?

The term eco-friendly in my mind means that the product or company is not causing a negative impact on the earth. This could mean that the product is made from a renewable resource such as coir, bamboo or paper. It could mean that a product is sustainable meaning that it is maintaining a current state, like when we use reuseable shopping bags. When you reuse something you are not taking more from the Earth. A product can be from a recycled item such as advertising banners, glass, leather, etc. A product can be reclaimed or salvaged meaning that it is being used again either for the same purpose of another purpose. Wood floors, old doors, windshield glass, and many other products fall under this category.

When it comes to companies you can look at their manufacturing practices. Are they minimizing their waste? Have they removed toxic chemicals from the production of their products? Are the products recyclable, sustainable, reuseable or help to keep the environment clean?

This is just a start to understanding eco-friendliness and I encourage everyone to do a little research themselves and see how eco-friendly the products you have or use are and to start off a new day with forward thinking about making the planet a wonderful place for our children and the generations to come.

tisdag 10 mars 2009

Green Kitchen and still be functional

The other day I was watching an episode from American HGTV on creating a green kitchen. We're not talking about the colour green but that buzz word for eco-friendly. On the episode a 36 year old traditional kitchen was transformed into an eco-friendly and family friendly environment.

The layout and materials all took into consideration the greater worldly environment as well as the functionality of the people living and using it every day. From the FSC protected wood floors, the recycled glass and windshield countertops, the massive kitchen island made from wood scraps to the high efficiency appliances. In almost every aspect of this kitchen renovation, eco-friendly principles were taken into consideration.

And what about the family function, how can that be eco-friendly? By having well planned spaces that are multi-functional you save on space needed in your home. Instead of having a kitchen that is only a place of cooking and eating, you can have it as a homework area, a meeting hub for a busy family, creative drawing area for small children, place for heart-to-heart talks over tea or hot chocolate, and many other things.

Getting into green thinking doesn't only have to do with having more economical cars, or recycling our waste, it can be brought into all aspects of our life. We just have to think outside of the box and take one step at a time. Change the light bulbs in the house, eat organically and sustainably, use reuseable bags when out shopping instead of plastic or paper bags from grocery stores and boutiques. Anything helps to start you on your process to a greener life.

You can buy reuseable bags at http://www.fabulousliving.se/