Going Green is not just a trend. It’s a priority for all of us if we want to continue to live on a beautiful, life-giving planet. Thinking of ways of going green, however, is not always easy. Just because we buy organic food and recycle doesn’t necessarily mean we’re making much of a practical impact. We need to have a whole plan for Going Green. One element in that plan should be buying eco-friendly products or Melrose Hill. But how do we find eco-friendly products? Well, one way is to buy products made from renewable resources.
Buying products made from renewable resources should be a priority for each of us when going green. These types of eco-friendly products insure that we don’t use earth’s resources too quickly. We need to let our planet replenish it’s natural resources at the same rate as we are consuming them.
So, what are good eco-friendly products– products made from renewable resources?
Here’s a list of 10 types of products made from renewable resources:
1. Paper products- while these should be used sparingly, they are better than plastic in that they are biodegradable and come from renewable trees
2. Cotton products
3. Spudware- biodegradable cutlery made from potatoes, corn, and soy oils
4. Solar energy- solar panels on your house, solar battery chargers, etc.
5. Bio-based tableware- for example, plates and bowls made by Earthshell
6. Bamboo products- bamboo furniture, bamboo cotton clothes, etc. (a good alternative to other tree products, as bamboo is highly renewable because of it’s fast rate of growth)
7. Digital products- Highly reproducible, long-lasting, only needing the support of electricity
8. Wind energy- support wind energy development in your city, county, and state; consider getting electricity from wind power at your home.
9. Bio-based fuels- while not always the most sustainable option, they are renewable
10. Plant-based cleaners- great products made from renewable resources to help you in going green and healthier for your body
Here are 5 products not made from renewable resources that should be avoided:
1. Plastics- while renewable plastics are being researched, currently plastics are made from petroleum a non-renewable resource
2. Many paper cups and plates- while the paper is renewable, the plastic coating is from petroleum and makes the product take about 500 years to biodegrade
3. Wood in furniture or other products from old-growth rainforests- while these are technically renewable, the amount of carbon released into the environment and the incredibly slow rate at which they replenish themselves makes them for all practical purposes non-renewable and definitely not eco-friendly products.
4. Energy from oil and coal- gasoline products and coal-based energy are highly non-renewable; unfortunately, much of our electricity currently comes from coal. Consider the switch to solar or wind energy in your home as your first big step in going green.
So continue on the path to going green by changing your purchasing habits. Decide to buy products made from renewable resources.
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Many consumers are doing their part to find eco-friendly household goods, lighting and other methods of recycling waste to cut down the impact that many of these things have on our environment and natural resources. Furniture is also something can be explored in terms of finding green alternatives. One such alternative is in the form of bamboo.
Bamboo is featured in many products from chopsticks, fencing, musical instruments, flooring, and of course furniture. The pulp from the bamboo plant can also be turned into material or fabric for use in products like mattress coverings, clothing and other uses. Something else that the bamboo plant produce are called shoots. These shoots are cylindrical almost in the shape of a tusk and protrude out away from the base of the plant. In China these shoots are harvested in the spring and winter. The outer part of the shoot is peeled off and they can be cooked and eaten. Chinese consider these a vegetable and can be found throughout markets during the different seasons that they are harvested.
Bamboo is often mistaken as a hardwood from China. It is true that Bamboo is found throughout Asia and most of China however bamboo is actually classified as a plant or a grass. Bamboo grows very quickly and as it matures the stalk of the bamboo grass hardens considerably and typically within 5-7 years many species of bamboo plants have reached almost 60-70 feet tall at which time they can be harvested. Compare this with the fact that most oak and maple trees of the same size take between 40-45 years to reach this same height says a lot about the quick maturity of bamboo plants. Once harvested bamboo can usually be reseeded in about 3 months where the grass will again grow quickly replenishing the land in a short amount of time. This cannot be said however for hardwood trees like oak and maple that require decades of growth. That is why many environmentalists believe using bamboo as an alternative building material or resource can help to alleviate the use of these woods.
A furniture manufacturer in the United States by the name of Ramblin Wood actually decided that they wanted to offer beds in an alternative wood source to help provide customers with the choice of getting furniture made with eco-friendly materials. They visited the Las Vegas market which led them to California and eventually took them all the way to Shanghai China where they discovered a manufacturer making moso bamboo boards for building and construction. They toured the plant as well as the countryside where the bamboo was being harvested and replanted and were quite amazed by the fact that there was no clear cutting. The bamboo was being reseeded so quickly that no sooner had bamboo been harvested people were preparing the soil for replanting. This seemed to them to be a responsibly harvested resource with little to no impact on the environment and Ramblin Wood decided to begin importing the moso bamboo boards into the United States for creating bamboo beds, nightstands, bed drawers and dressers.
After reading this article I hope you'll find that bamboo is an ecological friendly choice as an alternative to other building resources. Bamboo beds, musical instruments, flooring and kitchen cutting boards are just a few of the many uses that bamboo can offer. Bamboo is classified as a grass and because it can be grown, harvested and reseeded so quickly it makes its usefulness as a responsible alternative to hardwoods very apparent. Bamboo is also a source of food in many Asian countries and this further increases its worth as a resource which sets it apart from hardwoods. Alternative building materials like bamboo make sense not only for our homes but also for our planet.
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Last week's article discussed eco-friendly summer events taking place around the country. These events range from discussion forums about eco-friendly living to music festivals that focus on staying green and having little impact on the environment. I had the opportunity to attend Rothbury, which is one of the eco-friendly music festivals. This event strives on making their event as eco-friendly as possible. Here is a list of the top 5 eco-friendly things happening at the second annual Rothbury.
1) Utensils made of corn: After ordering some delicious food at the festival, I noticed that my fork wasn't a plastic fork like I am use to getting but was instead made of corn. This corn made utensil reduced the amount of plastic at the festival. Having products made from renewable plant sources paralleled with their idea of having a green festival. The forks were sturdy and easy to dispose of properly.
2) Green Team: The Green Team was great at Rothbury. They were there around the clock helping Rothburians dispose of their garbage properly. All around the festival there were areas where someone was there to assist whether items should be placed in compost, recycling or trash. Having these people around was great and very helpful!
3) Think Tank: The Think Tank at Rothbury was a place for like-minded people to gather and talk about important topics surrounding the environment. They discussed such things as the green economy, green jobs and ways to reduce your energy bills. Having the Think Tank allowed for concertgoers to take a break from the music and have a discussion about these eco-friendly ideas.
4) Reclaimed art: Throughout the festival grounds, there were large-scale art that made bold statements about recycling, sustainability and being eco-friendly. All the art was made from reused, recycled and natural materials. These larger than life pieces were reflected all of what Rothbury was about. As one walked through the forest there was no choice but to stop at look at these pieces made from recycled materials.
5) Human energy to charge cell phones: This was the most eco-friendly thing going on at Rothbury and I found it to be very impressive. At this booth, people rode stationary bikes together to charge their cell phones! If that doesn't scream eco-friendly, I don't know what does. As Rothbury attendees peddled together, they were able to generate enough power to charge cell phones and even record music. The electricity was generated and then used to digitally record songs that were later available for download. Exercise, charge your phone, record music and be eco-friendly all at the same time!
Rothbury was a great 4-day festival that promoted sustainability. It was great gathering with people that enjoy great music and doing things great for the environment. Having festivals such as this one encourages people to be more eco-friendly which is always a good thing!
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