By Jen Wos
Going “green” is finally cool. With so many great eco-friendly products out there now, it’s no wonder. Every little bit counts, so using a refillable pen, replacing all those single-use plastic forks with reusable bamboo ones, and tossing a nylon shopping bag over your shoulder instead of a plastic one goes a long way. Even better, many of these products will end up saving you money. Take a peek at some of what’s out there, and take a step in the right direction. Leave your carbon footprint in the dust. Mother Earth would be proud.
Product Spotlight: To-Go Ware™
“For here or to go?” the ubiquitous server asks.
“To go,” you inevitably reply. Who has the time to sit and eat, for crying out loud?
Plop, plop. In goes the styrofoam container, the plastic utensils, and last but not least, condiment packets. The paper bag is tucked inside a plastic one with a bright yellow smiley face saying “Thank You.” Dinner is served.
There’s more than dinner in that bag. All those non-biodegradable products inside a plastic garbage bag then get shipped off to a landfill to rot – in about a bajillion years. Check out these not-so-fun facts:
1. Americans throw away enough plastic forks, spoons, and knives to circle the equator 300 times.
2. One styrofoam food container requires more than one million years to decompose in the landfill.
Rather not choke that down? Here comes To-Go Ware to the rescue. Let’s rewind.
“For here or to go?”
“To go, but could you put it in here, please?” you reply, pulling your 2-Tier Stainless Steel Food Carrier out of its Cotton Carrier Sling Bag, hand-crafted by WEAVE, a women’s co-op for Burmese refugees.
“You’re all set,” the smiling server says. And you certainly are, since you have your super cute Bamboo Utensil Set tucked away, too.
All of To-Go Ware’s products are a great quality and hold up against the hustle and bustle of city life. Plus, you can feel good knowing you can chow down while living sustainedly and looking trés chic at the same time!
Find a store in your neighborhood, or simply order online at www.to-goware.com.
The next stop on our tour of lifestyles of the green and sustainable, are a few products from the cool chicks at Eco Geek Living. First of all, ladies, let’s admit it, we’re gadget geeks, just like the boys are. While the latest Xbox game might not turn our heads, a solar-powered battery charger just might do the trick.
Power Monkey eXplorer Power Charger will revive you cell phone, MP3 player, PDA, and digital camera. It’s small enough to fit in your pocket, so you’ll never have to say, “The battery’s about to die,” ever again. It’s ten times more powerful than a battery, and all you need is sunlight (and a few cords, which are included). Just let the Power Monkey absorb the sunlight, and it can hold that energy for up to a year. They don’t call it solar power for nothing!
Everyone needs a flashlight. It’s a household necessity. But how many times have you blown a fuse and gone for the flashlight only to find that the battery’s dead. Never again because with Eco Geek Living’s LED Shake Flashlight, all you have to do is shake to power the flashlight for a full 30 minutes. Just don’t forget where you put the flashlight, and you’ll be able to let your little light shine nice and bright.
Eco Geek Living has tons of products. Check them out at www.ecogeekliving.com.
Our eco-products tour doesn’t stop there. Baggu, a 100% nylon shopping bag that’s small enough to fit in your pocket, is here to rid you of ever having to answer, “Paper or plastic?” again. This reusable and stylish bag is perfect for anyone on the run (i.e., all of us).
Many of us already take canvas bags with us grocery shopping, but what about those last minute, on-the-way-home errands? Or on a forgetful day, you won’t have to vow to the ecology gods it’ll never happen again. Forgo the plastic bags for good with Baggu.
Slip one (in any of the 21 available colors) into your bag, backpack, glove compartment, or back pocket when you leave the house in the morning, and your errands are covered. Since its made from rip-stop nylon, it’ll go strong for a long time, and once it does run out of steam, you can send it back to be recycled with a $1 credit toward a brand new one. Take about being able to go full circle. Baggu certainly makes it easy to look good while staying green. Check them out at www.baggubag.com.
Our last stop for this week should not be overlooked. While paper and pens may seem to be a thing of the past with all those Blackberry, Bluetooth, and other colorful, oddly-named devices running around, they are still a necessity. Why not use ones that are made from at least 50% recycled materials and are packaged in recycled and recyclable ones. Many are refillable, too. The Recycology™ product line from Pentel brings you a whole slew of eco-friendly pencils, pens, markers, and highlighters.
As a writer, pens and paper are totally up my alley. I checked out these “green” pens – available in blue, black, and many more. Two of my favorites are the:
BL57 Refillable EnerGel™ Deluxe Liquid Gel Pen, which looks sleek and is still made from 50% post-consumer plastic, writes like a charm.
SXS15 Handy-line S™ Retractable & Refillable Highlighter, with 54% post-consumer plastic, this little guy works great, and you can keep him for a really long time by simply refilling the ink.
It’s the little things that make a difference. Likewise, little things add up. Think about how many pencils and pens you go through in a year. The Recycology™ line from Pentel can help you make another step toward a greener environment – one word at a time. You can browse and buy the whole line at www.pentel.com, or look for them at a retailer near you.
Stay tuned for Part Two: A Green House is a Home for more exciting products to help you go green and help the environment to stay that way.