Saturday, June 5, 2010

Busting Five MORE Green Myths

Myth #6: Changing over my lightbulbs will save me money, but the payback on everything else just takes too long.
Actually, many changes (like rechargeable batteries and energy star appliances) payback quickly too...often in less than 3 years.

Myth #7:  Small changes won't make any difference.
Actually, I did a post earlier this year talking about the difference that small changes make when you multiply it by millions of people who are making them.  Everything you do either helps the environment or hurts it.  Something as simple as planting your own garden (even a small one in pots) can reduce your carbon footprint.  Substantial amounts of fossil fuels are used to transport fruits and veggies to you.  You can't grow all the food you need, but you can grow some.

Myth #8: Keeping my old appliances is more eco-friendly than replacing them.
There is a bit of truth to this if you take into account the energy used to produce and transport your new energy efficient appliances.  However, the amount of energy you will save beginning as soon as you install them will dramatically reduce your energy consumption, far offsetting this over the life span of the energy effient (energy star) appliances.

Myth #9: It's better to leave my computer on, turning it on and off wears it out faster.
This may have been true of old computers, but today's computers do not suffer from the same issue.  Turn them off when you are not using them. You'll save money and energy by doing so and your computer will not have a shorter lifespan.

Myth #10: There is nothing wrong with buying things made of plastic, it's all made of recycled plastic now, right?
Wrong. Only certain kinds of plastic get recycled. Vinyl and PVC plastic do not get recycled and leach heavy metals into our landfills.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Busting Five Green Myths!

Many people think it's just too hard to go green. I'm here to tell you that it's far easier than you think.  Here are some common myths about going green:

Myth #1: I can't afford to go green.
You can't afford not to! This can be true for somethings, but is definitely not true for most. Eating organic can be a bit more expensive.  However, using eco-friendly lightbulbs and following some of the tips posted in this blog can actually save you money!

Myth#2: I can only be green if I drive a hybrid.
Are you kidding me? Making some very simple changes to your life like eating one more vegitartian meal a week or washing with cold water and hanging your clothes to dry can benefit the environment more than a hybrid car ever would.

Myth #3: We just need to build more power plants and we'll be fine.
Guess what, we have all the energy we need right now if we would just become more energy efficient. Something as simple as every home in North America changing over their lighting to CFL's (energy efficient bulbs) would remove the need for 24 power plants.

Myth #4: I can't switch to CFL's. I've heard they contain mercury which is a bigger problem.
Yes, they do contain a teeny tiny bit of mercury...but it is less than the amount in a watch battery.  You are in far more danger from the Coal and Gas burning power plants that spew mercury into the air when they make electricity than you'll ever be by using CFL's.  These bulbs are so energy efficient that they use two thirds less energy than a standard incandescent bulb. Less energy used means less mercury spewed into the atmosphere!

Myth #5: Solar panels are so expensive, I could never afford them.
That's ok.  You don't need them.  You'd save far more money and energy by making simple changes around your house to make it more energy efficient.  We've given lots of tips in earlier blog posts.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Contest! Help Us Choose Our Charity T-Shirt Logo

As we, at EcoStylish living, prepare to launch our new website on Earth Day, we've put together a fun contest!

Below you will find potential logos for our 2010 environmental fundraising campaign. YOU get to decide which logo we'll use this year!

Once the votes are in, the T-shirt will go up for sale on our website and we will donate 100% of the profit to the World Wildlife Fund to address global warming.

Please leave a comment and let us know which T-shirt logo should win.  Everyone who leaves a vote in the comment section will be entered into a draw and we will randomly pick one winner (must live in Canada or the United States to win).  The winner will receive an organic cotton T-Shirt printed with the winning logo!


website design


logo maker logo creator


logo maker logo creator


logo design

Good luck!!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Admit It, You Aren't Sure That Going Green Will Make A Difference

This year, why not make the choice to join the One Million Acts of Green initiative that allows you to watch the difference that small acts make--one by one.

Log in and pick an act of green--like replacing your light bulbs with CFLs--that you can commit to doing and then witness firsthand the difference one small act can make.

So far, in Canada alone, we have passed 1.8 million acts of green that have saved over 410 million pounds of greenhouse gases. You can make a difference, one green act at a time!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Green Is The New Black Volume IV

Here are five more green tips for living a green lifestyle. You can also check out our past tips in Volume I, Volume II and Volume III.

16. Eat locally as much as you can.  The average distance a piece of fruit or vegetable has travelled to get to your plate is 2400km.  That has a heavy cost in CO2 released into the atmosphere.  Check out local farmer's markets or specialty stores to see what is available in your area.  Even your local grocery store will have products grown close to home when they are in season.  In Canada, there are regulations requiring that signage identify country of origin so you can see where your food comes from.  You can also check out the website for The 100 mile diet for more tips on eating locally.

17. Green your renovations. We live in an old farm house (circa 1854) and renovations have become an ongoing part of our life. I love restoring the house while also being able to incorporate some some green principles into what we are doing.  Wherever possible, we've restored the original floors. Not only are they gorgeous, but by refinishing them we were able to avoid chemically treated carpets. In places where we can not refinish the floors because they are too damaged, we've installed bamboo flooring.  Also beautiful, but from a sustainable resource.  The other advantage of an old farmhouse is the big windows.  They allow more natural light into the house which reduces the amount of time our lights need to be on. We've replaced our old windows with low-e glass. They have a higher R value so they reduce heat loss in the winter and keep the house cooler in the summer. Another, less obvious tip is to check out salvage yards and antique dealers for antique building supplies and decor.  Don't cringe. Even the designers are doing it these days. I've had more compliments on some of the antique doors and door handles in our house than you can imagine. It adds character and restores the feel of an older house.

18. Use the car wash.  You may be surprised to find out that washing your car at home can be much less water efficient than going to a drive through. An average wash at home can take between 80 to 140 gallons of water.  On the other hand, water efficient equipment at a car wash can take water usage down to 45 gallons per car wash.

18. Buy rechargeable batteries. This is one of the best investments our family has ever made.  Sure, they are more expensive initially.  However, the shear number of times you can use them, combined with the materials used, make them much more environmentally friendly than disposable batteries.  In a 2007 study by Uniross rechargeable batteries were found to have 32 times less impact on the environment compared to disposable batteries. The members of our family are big fans of gadgets, so it's been ridiculously convenient to have rechargeable batteries on hand rather than having to run to the store every time a digital camera goes dead. Here's my big tip--pick a spot in the house for the charger and keep it there permanently.  Put a small box beside it for charged batteries. Every time someone goes for batteries, the old ones go into the charger, the charged ones come out and go into their device.  Extra batteries stay in the box so they don't get lost.  Losing the batteries defeats the purpose...we've learned that through experience. At the end of their life when they won't hold a charge anymore, you can recycle them through Call2Recycle if you live in Canada or the United States. They have an extensive list of drop off points so most people will be able to find a location that is very convenient to use.

19. Cut your grass less often. Grass that is greener and requires less water when you let it grow to a minimum of 3 inches. Think of those emissions you'll save by running your gas powered lawn more less often.

20.  Get involved.  It doesn't take very much to have your voice heard by the politicians and to take action on climate change. If you are Canadian, there are some quick tips on Climate Action Network.  In a matter of minutes you can send a message to your Member of Parliament to show your support. You can also take less than 5 minutes to send a note to the Prime Minister and the leaders of parliament through the David Suzuki website.  There is a pre-written email that you can use (though you'll want to do a quick change to the lines about Copenhagen now that December has come and gone). If you are American, a quick search of the web will give you plenty of options. Here are a few different ways to contact the President. Interestingly, he even has a Twitter account.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Fashion Takes Action!

We are proud to announce that EcoStylish Living is now a member of Fashion Takes Action. FTA began in 2007 as a Green Gala fundraiser in support of Environmental Defence. Ten of Canada's leading fashion designers each made three outfits from sustainable fabrics for the event. The goal was to demonstrate, both to consumers and to the fashion industry, that sustainable materials could be used in high end garments.

The organization has grown from this event and now both educates and supports fashion related businesses to become sustainable.  They believe that: 
"If we all make one small change in the right direction--the greener direction--then collectively we believe it can have a positive social and environmental impact."
We are proud to partner with an organization that not only has such a worthy goal, but act on it.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Eco Friendly Fresh Start for Spring!

With Spring quickly approaching, a fresh start to going green may be on your mind.  If so, here are a few quick tips that you may find helpful:

1. Talk to your children about ways to make your life a little bit greener.  You may be surprised by what they already know. Brainstorm with them and come up with ideas that they can actively do to help make a difference for the environment.  With warmer weather approaching, perhaps they can spend more time outdoors and less time watching TV.  As the days get longer, why not leave the lights off until you really need them. Try not to waste water by leaving taps running while brushing teeth.  These are all types of things your children can participate in doing (or not doing).

2. Talk to your children about recycling and composting. Even in urban areas, there are often opportunities to do both.  There are even counter top composting buckets with filters to eliminate unwanted smells.  Why not turn a lesson about composting into an opportunity to garden with your children using the composted material as fertilizer. Even if you don't have a yard, a small herb garden is possible.  Some "green" or "Leed Certified" apartment buildings even offer the opportunity to have rooftop gardens.

3. Walk the Talk.  Teach your children not to litter by setting the example.  Teach your children about endangered animals by doing research with them on the internet or taking them to see them at the zoo.  Teach your children to care, by showing that you care.

And, as in all things, make sure you have fun!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Green Is The New Black Volume III

The "five green tips" series continues!  To see volume I click here.  Volume II in the series can be found here.

It truly is easy being green.  Anything you do to improve your carbon footprint is a win!  You don't need to go "off grid" and become a vegan to live lightly. It's all about making good choices that are easier on the earth. Regular people like you and I with busy lives, children and careers who have been entrenched in a society that promotes consumables and waste CAN make a difference! Here are some more easy ways you can help:

11. Meatless Monday's. Eat just one less meal that contains meat per week and save 300lbs of CO2 per year.  You don't need to become a vegetarian, but if you replaced one steak dinner per week with a meatless alternative, you would not only save CO2, but you'd save 40,200 gallons of water in a year--that's roughly equal to the water used to take 1300 showers. For more information you can visit the Meatless Monday website.

12. If every North American citizen recycled only half of their annual waste, we'd recycle a 280 million TON mountain of trash--the equivalent of 550 Empire State buildings.  Here are some quick stats on recycling to explain the benefit: recycling just one aluminum can saves enough energy to run a 100 watt bulb for 20 hours, a computer for 3 hours or a TV for 2 hours. (EPA, 2008). Glass can be recycled forever.  Americans throw away enough glass bottles and jars every week to fill both the former world trade centre towers...imagine the impact to our landfill sites.  Plastic is also prime for recycling.  If every North American recycled just one out of every 10 plastic bottles, it would keep 200 million pounds of plastic out of landfill sites. 

13.  Paying bills online saves time, postage and trees.  If everyone switches to online banking, we could cut 2.1 million tons of CO2 a year!

14. Use cloth shopping bags. Over 500 billion petroleum-based plastic bags threaten wildlife, waste energy, pollute oceans, and clog our landfill sites each year.

15. Install ceiling fans to keep you cool in the summer. When winter rolls around, run the fans in reverse to push the warm air down and conserve heat. Remember, a two degree adjustment to your thermostat can prevent a TON of CO2 per year!

Do you have any ideas or tips, leave a comment and let us know about it! You can also tweet with us on Twitter.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Carbon Brutal To Carbon Neutral In 4 Easy Steps

I just posted a new article on Squidoo about living a greener life.  You can check it out by clicking on the title of this blog post. Let me know if you find it helpful!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Green is the New Black-Is Back! (More Tips for a Green Lifestyle)

Here are a few sticky notes off my wall with tips I've come across for living a greener life.  To see the first five tips click here.

As always, we'd love to hear your tips for living a greener lifestyle.  Please leave us a comment or chat with us on Twitter.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

ANGeLRoX Partners with EcoStylish!

We are so very excited to share with you the launch of ANGeLRoX products at EcoStylish!

The ANGeLRoX collection is designed by Roxi Sugar who is, by the way, an absolutely delightful and brilliantly talented lady.

Not only do we love her beautiful designs, but we are delighted that Roxi is so committed to sustainability and the impact of her clothing on the environment. Her designs are timeless in a way that transcends the wasteful fashion engine that encourages consumers to buy trends for one season.

Her fabrics are naturally derived bamboo, and organic cotton fibres that are sumptuous on the skin and also biodegradable. Most of the collection is made in Brooklyn, NY using locally sourced fabrics. The few imported items in the collection are made in sweat shop free facilities that guarantee fair wages.

Roxi is committed to philanthropy and has a solid portfolio of charities that ANGeLRoX supports. With her collection, Roxi hopes to inspire people to treat themselves, others and the planet with equal respect and harmony.  We can't think of many goals more worthy than that one!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Green is the New Black!

You don't have to wait until Earth Day to make some relatively small changes to your habits that can have a big effect!  Here are a few of my favorite "green" tips:

1. When you are in the market for a new computer, why not consider a laptop.  It saves space, is portable, and uses 5 times less energy than a desktop!

2. This is one of my recent favorites! Instead of sending your old rugs to the landfill, check with local animal shelters to see if they can use them. Old towels, blankets and sheets are also appreciated.

3. Buy shade grown coffee. It's grown naturally right under the rainforest canopy, preserving forests from clear-cutting and leaving more trees to absorb CO2.

4. The power of one: If every North American home replaced just one light bulb with a CFL bulb, we'd save more than enough energy to light 3 million homes for a year!

5. Washing clothes in cold water eliminates 2lbs of CO2 per load. In my household full of kids, that really adds up over the year!

Do you have any green tips you'd like to share? Please leave us a comment or chat with us on twitter.