Jeff McIntire-Strasburg occasionally writes posts on new, innovative green products (see Five Greenish Products You’ve Seen on TV and Five More Greenish Products You’ve Seen on TV). Rather than try to steal his thunder, this post looks at some basic, simple, green products that can make your everyday life many times greener.
Staying away from the topics of food and transportation, which are probably the biggest daily products you could green, here is a list of products you use everyday.
Green Your Everyday Life: Top 5 List
1) How many pesticides are you wearing? Always thought cotton was the natural alternative? Cotton is actually one of the most environmentally damaging products in the world. From Pesticide Action Network:
Conventionally grown cotton uses more insecticides than any other single crop and epitomizes the worst effects of chemically dependent agriculture. Each year cotton producers around the world use nearly $2.6 billion worth of pesticides — more than 10% of the world’s pesticides and nearly 25% of the world’s insecticides.
Cotton growers typically use many of the most hazardous pesticides on the market including aldicarb, phorate, methamidophos and endosulfan. Cotton pesticides are often broad spectrum organophosphates–pesticides originally developed as toxic nerve agents during World War II–and carbamate pesticides.
There are wonderful organic cotton, bamboo, and hemp alternatives on the web (and sometimes in local stores). I’ve normally bought my organic cotton and hemp-clothing from Rawganique.com and love the Ecolution brand. Ecolution’s clothes are aesthetically pleasing, super-comfortable, and can often be worn for both formal and informal occasions.
2) Sleep green. If you don’t want to wear pesticides, you probably don’t want to spend 6-8 hours a night sleeping in them. Organic cotton, hemp, and other green-friendly sheets can be found on the above links as well.
3) Clean your house but don’t dirty your world. Conventional cleaners are made with toxic substances that dirty our water, kill the ‘good animals’ and even harm our health. Seventh Generation and Ecover are big-named brands for cleaning your house, your clothes, your dishes, your bathroom, and so on that I have always liked using. Earth Friendly also looks good and uses basically the same ingredients.
4) Light the world. Don’t heat the world. “Incandescence” means “glowing due to heat.” The incandescent light bulb does much more heating than lighting (about 90% of the energy it uses turns into heat). As a result of it’s inefficiency in lighting, it also heats our world a lot more than the newer, compact flourescent light bulbs. As Energy Star states, “An ENERGY STAR qualified compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL) will save about $30 over its lifetime and pay for itself in about 6 months. It uses 75 percent less energy and lasts about 10 times longer than an incandescent bulb.” Change out your light bulbs today (this one you don’t need to wait on). Learn more and buy compact flourescent bulbs here.
5) Don’t forget to brush your teeth! Preserve toothbrushes are made from recycled plastic, including from Stonyfield Farm yogurt cups. The handle can also be sent back to Preserve to be recycled again into picnic tables, boardwalks, and decks. I used these for years before moving to Europe and actually started using their razors as well. To be quite honest, I don’t think I’ve ever had a toothbrush I liked so much.
Make your daily life a green life.
Of course, I don’t recommend throwing away everything you own right now and going and buying this stuff immediately, but when you need to buy another toothbrush or shirt or cleaning liquid, go green!
Image credit: ing jorge via flickr under a Creative Commons license