Monday, March 15, 2010

You Don't Have to Wear Green to Be Green

How many of you are looking forward to St. Patty's day on Wednesday? Have you decided what green clothing you're going to wear yet? This year, you can wear green without having to actually wear the color green! Below are some suggestions from my New Year's resolution blog post, just to remind you of some of the things you may have resolved at the beginning of the year to do to keep our planet green, and also to give you a clever comeback if anyone asks you on Wednesday, "Why aren't you wearing green?" Even if you're not, you can say you are by following some of these suggestions! Also, keep an eye out this week here on my blog page for a "GREEN" contest where you could have a chance to win a sustainable guitar autographed by artists such as Dave Matthews, Willie Nelson, Sheryl Crow, Bonnie Raitt, and more!

- Shop vintage! There are many great finds at consignment shops and vintage stores. Buying clothes second hand helps reduce waste. Another option is to have a party with your friends where you all bring your clothes that you no longer wear and exchange with each other items that fit.
- When shopping, look for garments that are organic.
- Shop clothing stores and designers that are making efforts to be “green.”
- Recycle your cardboard shoe boxes. It’s better to store your shoes in clear plastic boxes or on a shoe stand. Take your empty, unused cardboard shoe boxes to be recycled.
- Recycle dry cleaning wire hangers and plastic garment bags by returning them to your dry cleaners when you drop off your laundry.
- Use dry cleaning services that use non-toxic, environmentally safe chemicals.
- Labels that say "dry clean only" must be dry cleaned, but labels that just say "dry clean" can actually be washed at home on the gentle cycle. Also, when shopping check labels and try to purchase more items that do not require dry cleaning.
- Buy products with less packaging such as the smaller laundry detergent bottles.
- Do laundry only when you have a full load (but don’t overload).
- Use cold or warm water when doing laundry instead of hot water.
- Always clean the lint trap in your dryer before drying each load of clothes.
- Replace your disposable dryer sheets with a more affordable and less wasteful alternative. Squirt two table spoons of liquid fabric softener on a washcloth and let it dry. Once it's dry you can use it the same way you would a regular dryer sheet. Each squirt lasts up to 4-6 loads of laundry.
- Consider using a two-in-one shampoo and conditioner instead of buying each separately. You'll not only save on money and packaging, but you'll likely save time and water. If one in seven households followed this advice, the amount of plastic saved in one year could fill a 27-story high football field. Source: “The Green Book” by Thomas Kostigen and Elizabeth Rogers
- When shampooing, you can shampoo and rinse, but there is no need to repeat. This helps decrease the waste in packaging and distribution.

Have suggestions of your own? Share them by commenting below!

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