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Which Diet Has the Least Environmental Impact on Our Planet?

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diet with least environmental impact

When we think of living a sustainable life, we often think about renewable resources of energy, Eco-friendly packaging, reducing or eliminating plastic use, and checking our water usage. One very important way that we all can make sustainable choices every day is by making changes to the food we eat. 

Research has increasingly shown that what we eat has a huge impact on the environment. Omnivorous diets, vegetarian diets, and vegan diets are common but which diet has the least environmental impact on our planet? 

Findings from several studies have pointed to the vegan diet being the best for the environment. A vegan diet is one that excludes all animal products, including meat, dairy, and even honey. Why is it the least destructive diet for the planet? Let’s examine the findings from research on the topic.

 

Greenhouse gas emissions

cows emit greenhouse gases

Nitrous oxide, carbon dioxide, and methane are greenhouse gases and animal agriculture accounts for 18% of all greenhouse gas emissions. Of this, livestock accounts for about 51% of global greenhouse gas emissions

In fact, for every kilogram of beef produced, 43 kg of greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere, with 22 kg of these emissions being from methane. Methane is actually a more destructive greenhouse gas, having a global warming potential that’s 86 times greater than carbon dioxide. 

Raising livestock also increases nitrous oxide emissions by 65% – a gas that has 296 times higher global warming potential than carbon dioxide. While vegetarian diets report lower figures, dairy products still make up about 40% of greenhouse gas emissions. 

A vegan diet, by contrast, can result in a reduction in your carbon footprint by 50% and save 1.5 tons of carbon dioxide annually. It can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 17% for carbon dioxide, 24% for methane, and 21% for nitrous oxide. 

   

Land use

Meat production makes up 39% of land use and livestock farming utilizes 70% of the world’s agricultural land and 1/3 of its arable land. 1/3 of global land has been subjected to desertification because of livestock operations. 

The production of animal-based protein requires 18 times more land than vegan protein sources, which just requires 1/6th of an acre to feed one individual for one year.

When compared to vegan staples like potatoes, rice, and beans, producing just one kg of beef needs 163 times more land, 19 times more nitrogen, 18 times more water, and 11 times more carbon dioxide. Land use could be lowered by 50% if the world’s meat and dairy production was replaced with the production of plant-based sources of food.    

Livestock, as well as, feed crops are destroying our rainforests, with 91% of deforestation in the Amazon rainforests being due to animal agriculture. About 26 million acres of rainforest have been cleared for the production of palm oil, while 136 million acres of rainforest have been cleared for meat and dairy production. 

Desertification has resulted from such practices as native vegetation has been ruined, increasing soil erosion.

Not only does this eliminate carbon dioxide storing trees and plants, but it also affects the habitat of animals living in the region and has led to the extinction of several insects, plants, and animal species that were earlier dependent on the rainforests.

     

Water use

water use - diet with least environmental impact

About 1/3 of the freshwater resources on the planet are used by the meat and dairy industry, with animal agriculture accounting for 55% of water use in the US, while domestic consumption in the US is just at 5%. 

In the US, 56% of water resources are directed for the growth of feed crops for livestock farming. Egg production (1 lb) requires 477 gallons of water, while cheese production (1 lb) requires 900 gallons of water. It takes approximately 1000 gallons of water for the production of just 1 gallon of milk. 

Just 1 kg of beef needs 13 kg of grains, 30 kg of hay, and 105400L of water in comparison to 500-2000L of water for the production of 1 kg crop. Just 1 kg of animal protein requires 100 times more water consumption than 1 kg of plant-based protein. 

A vegan diet requires 14.4% less freshwater resources and 20.8% less groundwater resources when compared to an omnivorous diet. You’d be cutting your water footprint significantly by following a vegan diet.

  

Waste 

In the US alone, 7 million pounds of excrement are generated every minute by animals being raised for food, which is 130 times higher than the waste being generated by humans. This waste is typically the runoff from farms, which enters our water bodies, posing risk to our health and destroying the planet. 

About 3/4 of global fisheries have already been exploited and approximately 2.7 trillion animals are pulled out from the ocean annually. Several species that aren’t being targeted also end up in fishing nets as by-catch (5 pounds of by-catch for every pound of fish caught). This has massively reduced the population of dolphins, sharks, seals, and whales. 

The next time you’re wondering about the diet with least environmental impact on our planet, give the vegan diet a try. You’ll be benefiting the planet in a big way through the simple yet powerful act of eating foods that don’t come at the cost of the environment.    

Best Ethical Sneakers

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best ethical sneakers

Sneakers are an all-season closet favorite. Whether you’re traveling for an adventure or stepping out in the rain, sneakers are not only fashionable but also sturdy shoes.

They’ve undoubtedly become an indispensable part of our wardrobes. Looking at how popular and comfortable sneakers are, people tend to buy them more often and love having an entire collection. 

Most of the popular sneaker brands are far from ethical and repeatedly buying from these brands doesn’t help our environment in the least. 

The hazardous pollution and sweatshop labor characteristic of the fast-fashion industry takes a huge toll on our ecological systems. As consumers, we owe it to the environment to make more sustainable choices and help reduce the burden on it.

This is where ethical sneakers come into play. 

In a quest to help consumers buy ethical sneakers – sneakers made using fair trade practices and ethical, ecological standards – here is a compilation of our favorite ethical sneakers brands. These sneakers not only reduce our carbon footprint on the planet but also help lighten our conscience.

 

Rothy’s

rothy's ethical sneakers

This San Francisco-based ethical sneaker brand is not only sustainable but also vegan. Rothy’s traces every step of its supply chain and strives for zero waste at every level possible. Out of the numerous Eco-friendly materials that Rothy’s uses, the most crucial ones include bio algae and repurposed plastic water bottles. 

When it comes to adding finishing touches to its sneakers, the brand uses water-based glue. Unlike traditional industrial glues used by fast-fashion brands, water-based glue is very environment-friendly.

The brand also uses low-impact dyes to style their sneakers. Their designs are also sober, classy, and super comfortable. Rothy’s production workshop is located in Dongguan, China.

 

For Your Earth

For your earth ethical sneakers

Using repurposed plastic water bottles and recycled polyester, For Your Earth produces sustainable and sneakers perfect for streetwear. Other sustainable materials used in their sneakers include water-based glue and non-toxic pigments. These sustainable materials come together in a harmonious way to help the brand follow ethical standards with ease.

By embracing sustainability in fashionable ways, the brand strives to provide their customers with ethical sneakers that are also super trendy and in style. Moreover, what sets the brand apart from others is that it is going a step further in helping sustain the Earth’s ecosystem. 

For Your Earth collaborates with Planete Urgence and plants one tree for every pair of sneakers that they sell.

 

Etiko

Etiko sneakersBased in Australia, the award-winning ecologically sustainable sneakers business is family-owned. Etiko is fair trade certified and produces all its sneakers with the highest ethical standards.

They use zero-animal material glues and natural pigments to style their sneakers. Doing so enables them to produce their ethical sneakers in very fashionable colors and cuts.

Their ethical sneakers are also vegan and they are delivered to the customers in boxes made entirely of post-consumption waste. To take things even further, Etiko uses freshly-tapped natural rubber to prepare the soles of the sneakers. 

Plus, all their products are also prepared and hand-stitched by Fair Trade certified employees. This certification means that the employees are being paid fairly for their labor and are not underpaid or forced to work in hazardous sweatshops. 

 

Allbirds

Allbirds sneakers

Another San Francisco-based ethical sneakers brand, Allbirds is possibly the most popular brand in this category. They use TENCEL™ Lyocell to make their sneakers, which is an excellent alternative to traditional cotton. 

TENCEL™ Lyocell uses 95% less water in production and thus helps Allbirds reduce their carbon footprint by a humongous margin. The shoe soles of these ethical sneakers are made of sustainably-sourced sugarcane material.

This brand is also certified with the Forest Stewardship Council. This certification means that the brand has responsibly sourced all materials from the forest and they meet very strict ethical guidelines for the same. 

This certification also means that in sourcing their natural materials from the forest, Allbirds doesn’t harm or cause trouble to any indigenous people living in that forest area.

 

Veja

veja sneakers

Veja is another note-worthy ethical sneakers brand that has made considerate efforts in ensuring that the sneakers are made responsibly. 

They are manufactured in Brazil using ecologically safe materials such as wild rubber and recycled cotton. Veja also does not invest in any advertising. By not doing so, they’re able to focus their monetary efforts in other domains.

One such domain includes paying their vendors. Veja pays all their co-operative vendors of cotton, rubber, etc 30% – 100% more than the current market price. This way, they do their bit in strengthening the businesses of rubber tappers and cotton growers and produce responsibly-made ethical sneakers.

 

Conclusion

Ethical fashion doesn’t have to mean boring. These ethical sneakers’ brands have taken upon themselves to help people revel in the timeless fashion of sneakers while ensuring that the environment doesn’t come to harm in the process. 

If you are concerned about your carbon footprint and wish to do your part in helping sustain a healthy environment, choose ethical sneakers that would also compliment your outfits for several years to come.

What You Should Know Before Starting A Vegan Diet

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starting a vegan diet

A vegan diet is one that excludes all animal products. Some people often confuse it with a vegetarian diet but while vegetarians steer clear of meat, a vegan diet excludes meat, eggs, milk & milk products, honey, and all other animal-derived ingredients.

Vegan diets have become extremely popular today and more people seem to be making the shift to it. People opting for a vegan diet today report multiple reasons for their motivation – concerns over the treatment of animals, environmental concerns, or concerns for their health. 

Regardless of what your motivation is, if you’re looking to make the switch, here’s what you should know before starting a vegan diet.

You’re not going to die of a nutritional deficiency 

Most people are worried about whether or not they’re going to get the required nutrients if they switch to a vegan diet. The good news is: you can meet your nutritional needs and even thrive on a vegan diet. 

You just need to make sure your diet is well balanced. Plant-based foods are rich in fiber, antioxidants, and a variety of minerals, vitamins, and nutrients needed by the body. You’ll have to pay careful attention to the following:

  • Protein – rich plant-based sources of protein include lentils, beans, chickpeas, peas, grains, tofu, nuts, chia seeds, spinach, hemp seeds, and quinoa to name a few. 
  • Calcium – rich plant-based sources of calcium are leafy greens, almonds, sesame seeds, chia seeds, dried figs, tofu, amaranth, and broccoli. 
  • Iron – rich plant-based sources include cashews, legumes, pumpkin seeds, raisins, oats, figs, tahini, cacao beans, spirulina. Oranges and broccoli that are higher in vitamin C help with iron absorption. 
  • Omega 3 fatty acids – chia seeds, flaxseeds, walnuts, hemp seed oil are good plant-based sources of Omega 3 fatty acids. 
  • Vitamin D – some fortified cereals and non-dairy milks contain vitamin D but you need to make sure you’re getting enough exposure to sunlight (at least 10 minutes 3 or 4 times a week) to maintain vitamin D levels.

You’ll need a B12 supplement

supplements for vegans

B12 is produced by bacteria in the soil and freshwater resources. As our lifestyle has become more urbanized, we’re quite far removed from nature. 

We wash our vegetables in filtered water and no longer interact with the soil as closely as we once did, causing B12 levels to drop. The reason many people who eat meat get this essential vitamin is because animals eat directly from the soil and consume water containing B12. 

In many other cases, they’re injected with B12 supplements. So you won’t have to feel like this is a failure of the vegan diet. Just take a vegan B12 supplement to maintain your B12 levels and you’ll be fine.

You don’t have to opt for expensive vegan alternatives 

There are several vegan alternatives coming up in the market, including plant-based milks, cheeses, and even meats, and some of these may be a little expensive depending on where you live. 

The good news though, is that these alternatives aren’t a necessity to being vegan. You can still be perfectly healthy and meet your nutritional needs without having to rely on these products. 

Rice, beans, potatoes are often the cheapest products at supermarkets and guess what? They’re all vegan. You can be on a vegan diet on a budget and still eat a well-balanced meal. 

You won’t automatically become healthier

a vegan diet won't make you automatically healthy

It’s true that eliminating animal products can result in several health benefits. It can significantly reduce your risk of developing chronic diseases and in some cases, even slow down or reverse the progression of diseases, like in the case of diabetes and heart disease. 

They have no cholesterol or saturated fats, which means that you can experience improvements in your health when you switch to a vegan diet. However, if you want to become healthier, you’re going to have to do more than just cut animal products out. 

Potato chips, non-dairy ice creams, and other fried foods may be vegan but that doesn’t make them healthy. Replacing animal products with highly processed, fatty junk food isn’t going to make you healthy so pay attention to what you eat.

You’re going to have to get used to reading food labels 

Be prepared to read food labels (yes, even chips) to check if the product has milk solids, whey, casein, or food additives that aren’t vegan.

You won’t have to stop eating out 

With the word “vegan” becoming more popular today, many restaurants are aware of what it means and will be happy to meet your specifications while serving you. They may even already have vegan items on their menu simplifying your journey to starting a vegan diet.

Yes, it is healthy even for children

starting a vegan diet for kids

The American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the largest global organization of food and nutrition professionals, has declared the vegan diet to be “appropriate for all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, adolescence, older adulthood, and for athletes”. You just have to make sure you’re eating right.

You’re going to have to get used to responding to people 

We couldn’t end this list of what you should know before starting a vegan diet without cautioning you about the questions/remarks you’re going to end up hearing from people when you start a vegan diet. 

The best way to tackle these is to be prepared. Do your research and inform them of the facts if they express concern. If you sense that they’re doing it mockingly, save your energy for someone who is genuinely worth the effort and stay calm.

The Beginner’s Guide to Carbon Offsetting

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carbon offsetting

Individuals are responsible for roughly 5% of all carbon emissions. However, human activities account for almost all the increases in global green house emissions in the last 150 years. It doesn’t sound like much. In fact, you could argue, if you as an individual contribute that little to greenhouse gas emissions, what’s the point of cutting back or even offsetting?

We’ll use a simple analogy: A single drop doesn’t make the rain. But combine a few of those drops, and it becomes a drizzle, then torrential rain causing floods and mudslides.

You get the picture.

While an individual might not contribute much, combined, they contribute a whole lot. These individuals are also part of the big corporations and nations that make the biggest polluters. If we can’t tackle the problem individually, what makes you think we can succeed at a global level?

This simple guide provides a general introduction to allow you become more involved in environmental preservation.

Some of the issues covered include;

  • What carbon offsetting is and isn’t
  • How to go about it
  • The resources to help you offset your footprint
  • And the cost of carbon offsetting

Let’s jump right in.

 

What is Carbon Offsetting

carbon offsetting for beginners

Carbon offsetting is the act of restoring carbon to an equivalent carbon sink. In simple terms, you can think of it as balancing out your carbon emissions.

It’s the reduction of carbon emissions and/or enhancement of carbon sequestration or storage to compensate for an emission, typically associated with travel or consumption, that would not otherwise have occurred had the carbon offsets not been purchased.

Carbon gets into the atmosphere through carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, carbon monoxide (CO), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O). The carbon content in the air is measured in parts per million (ppm); carbon molecules occur in trace amounts.

For instance, if you drive a regular gasoline vehicle, you emit some carbon every day. A typical car emits about 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year.

You’d need to perform a counter-activity that absorbs or eliminates 4.6 metric tons of carbon per year from the environment when offsetting.

An example would be planting trees or even using more clean energy from renewable sources. You can also trade your carbon with others whose activities absorb more carbon from the environment than they emit.

This, in turn, helps keep carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere from increasing further, which leads to carbon neutral or carbon negative “status.”

Carbon offsetting, as used here, is a term that applies only to individual carbon footprints. While these differences may seem minute, the cumulative impact of carbon trading is a more sustainable environment for future generations.

 

How to go about it

One popular way to offset your carbon footprint is through carbon trading markets.

Here’s how that would work:

Suppose you produce a tonne of carbon per year. (We’re just using that as an example). If an auction greenhouse gas emissions credit goes for $2 per tonne of carbon, then you’d purchase that to offset your footprint. Your money, in ideal cases, is reinvested in green projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the environment.

Alternatively, you can bypass carbon trading platforms and invest directly in carbon offset projects.

These are sustainable development initiatives that reduce carbon emissions or remove carbon from the atmosphere. For example, reforestation is a carbon offset project because trees remove carbon from the environment and store carbon dioxide in their trunks.

soldiers planting trees

Carbon credits

Carbon offset projects are typically registered with a carbon credits system under the Kyoto Protocol, an international agreement between many countries to reduce carbon emissions. If the carbon offset is carbon reduction, then it can also be traded on carbon markets.

Carbon offsets are usually purchased in units, which represent one ton of carbon per carbon offset. This amount of carbon is called carbon equivalent, which measures the carbon emissions prevented or removed by implementing carbon offsets.

Many companies offer carbon offsetting, and these firms often purchase carbon credits on behalf of their clients to reduce carbon emissions through carbon trading partnerships. The Kyoto protocol has established an official pricing scheme so that each country can trade their carbon credits in a carbon trading exchange.

This carbon trading scheme allows carbon credits to be traded between different carbon markets, defined based on the location of carbon emissions you will offset.

Carbon emissions can be measured in several ways, including carbon equivalent, total tons of carbon dioxide per year, and carbon intensity (total tons of carbon released per million US dollars).

You can calculate the carbon emissions from your regular activities such as driving, flying, among others here: Carbon Footprint Calculator.

In fact, you can offset your carbon footprint individually or as a group. It’s also worth noting that it’s especially beneficial for people who live in the west and developed nations to offset their carbon footprint because they tend to produce more carbon per capita than people living elsewhere.

 

What does it mean to be carbon neutral?

If you’re carbon neutral, your carbon cycle has already been balanced. All carbon emissions have either been used, offset, or absorbed back into carbon sinks.

Most carbon offsetting at the individual level is carbon neutral. While carbon offsets go towards carbon-neutral projects and companies, carbon offsetting allows individuals to contribute to carbon-neutral projects and companies financially.

 

Benefits of Carbon Offsetting

carbon offsetting - benefits and shortcomings

Carbon offsetting can be used for carbon-intensive activities such as air travel, electricity consumption, and shopping.

You can easily acquire carbon credits – that counter your emissions through third-party platforms and organizations such as TerraPass, CarbonFund among others.

Carbon emitters who purchase carbon offsets are gaining the ability to continue producing carbon without negatively affecting the environment.

However, it’s worth emphasizing here, before you spring your wallet and buy individual credits, look at the alternatives. Can you plant a tree? Can you find more ways to reduce your carbon footprint, such as driving less, reducing food waste, and recycling more?

If you need ideas, our green living guides can get you started in the right direction.

 

Summary

Offsetting can be beneficial to both carbon emitters and carbon sinks. The carbon emitter gets to continue their daily activities while still feeling like they are contributing to the environment, and the carbon sink gets to gain carbon-storing capabilities that will improve its health.

Therefore, carbon offsetting is an easy way for individuals to help minimize climate change through individual contributions; however, it should not be used as a green-washing technique.

Individuals should still do their part in reducing carbon emissions, making carbon offsetting even more beneficial.

Celebrating Thanksgiving the Eco-Friendly Way

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celebrating-thanksgiving-the-eco-friendly-way-green-decorations

Thanksgiving is part of a wonderful time of the year with family and friends, leaving us filled with gratitude (and good food)!  

There are always ways to celebrate time-honoured traditions like Thanksgiving gatherings in a more eco-friendly way.

It is also an opportunity to start new family traditions, more sustainable ones.

celebrating-thanksgiving-the-eco-friendly-way-green-shopping

Green Shopping

The retail sector booms during the holiday season, and not much attention is placed on greener ideals.  

It is more than bringing your own reusable shopping bags, foregoing the plastic bags for fruit and veg, and ditching a straw.  

Recyclable plastic bags and paper bags are noble, but both require raw materials and excess energy to manufacture, so fabric bags are still the best option.

In the name of creating lasting change in the world of holiday traditions, try to find free-range turkey if meat is on the menu.  

A humanely-raised turkey may cost more (not always) but it’s likely to taste better and it won’t contain any questionable growth hormones or other carcinogens.

It also supports growers who practice ethical husbandry, encouraging more locals to follow your example. Look for the American Humane Certified label. If you can’t find one, the next best turkey to purchase is one marked with the USDA Certified Organic symbol.

celebrating-thanksgiving-the-eco-friendly-way-green-agriculture

Green Greens

Local organic agricultural products are always better for the ecosystem.  

Make new shopping habits for the holidays and source all the groceries you can from local, organic, and sustainable sources.  

Organic produce is fresher and better for the environment.

Make use of community supported agriculture (CSA) programs in your area – not just in the holidays, but perhaps as part of a New Year’s Resolution to go green, too.  

It helps you eat seasonally, support local producers and stay away from unknown chemical residues on imported products.

Some programs even deliver to your door, maximizing family time. How convenient!

Browse farmers’ markets instead of retailers who import greens.  Buy free-range eggs from the farmer down the road instead of the mass-produced, unethically-produced stuff.  

Not only does organic food taste better but your purchase supports the organic farmers in the area, an excellent way to say thank you for treating the earth with care.  

celebrating-thanksgiving-the-eco-friendly-way-green-cooking

Green Cooking

Turn the furnace down as you start cooking your dinner. Your oven and stove burners throw off a lot of heat, which you can use to warm your home.  

Unless you have a smoky situation, leave the kitchen fan off to keep the aromas and warm air inside your home.

If you need to bring in extra equipment (like two-plate stoves, and heating boards), try to use induction-smart paraphernalia which uses much less electricity and cuts cooking time right down, too.

It’s easy to splurge on food for Thanksgiving dinner, so either send guests home with extra food or save space in the freezer.  

Instead of using plastic freezer bags or containers, start using glass jars to store food. The glass lasts a long time and does not emit harmful chemicals into the food, even when microwaved.

When freezing liquids in the jars, leave at least one inch of space at the top of the jar to allow for expansion as the food freezes.

celebrating-thanksgiving-the-eco-friendly-way-green-decorations

Green Decor

Don’t buy paper decorations that last one Thanksgiving. Even if paper goods are recyclable, any food spills contaminate it, making it unusable. Try more eco-friendly crafts:

  • Use colorful fall leaves or edible fruit baskets for decorating.
  • Use fabric tablecloths and napkins which last many seasons over.
  • Make candle holders of gourds and other compostable items (like oranges and sour apples which smell great with a tea-light candle).
  • Use dry flowers and grass to weave beautiful welcome wreaths.

celebrating-thanksgiving-the-eco-friendly-way-green-waste

Green Disposal

Minimise waste wherever possible this holiday.  Who knows? It might become a lasting habit and a new family legacy, too.  

  • Set up recycling points for Thanksgiving guests to access easily.  
  • Use dishes, real cutlery, and material napkins, not paper plates, plastic forks or other disposable materials.
  • Use a borrowed roasting pan rather than a disposable one.  Imagine how much less waste there would be if everyone in the Western world did this for every holiday meal.

Put your feet up and share stories around the dinner table by candlelight. Take time to truly connect, with smartphones in a basket to one side.

Happy Green Thanksgiving!

What to Do With Old Bras: 3 Ideas

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Closet and dresser cleanouts can be a cathartic experience. Getting rid of clothes that no longer fit or are no longer your style is a great way to whittle down your wardrobe to include only the pieces you love and really wear. 

Taking tops and pants to a donation site or clothing drive is a fairly common practice, but women are often left with the question: what do I do with old bras? Whether you’ve outgrown them or they never quite fit right, donating these frees up space in your drawers to find a bra that fits you perfectly

Luckily, there are many ways to reuse, recycle or donate bras instead of tossing them in the garbage. We share a few of those tips below:

 

1. Donate 

You may have thought that donation sites only take brand new bras, but gently worn bras are also accepted at many clothing donation organizations. Organizations like I Support the Girls accept new and slightly used bras for people experiencing homelessness across the world. 

Free the Girls is another great organization to donate gently used bras to. The organization helps women who have been rescued from sex trafficking to achieve financial freedom by offering them the opportunity to sell slightly used bras to their communities.

There are also many local donation organizations to look into in your area, like Goodwill or the Salvation Army. However, whether Goodwill takes bras and other underwear depends on the need of your local Goodwill. It’s a good idea to call your local Goodwill to ask whether they take bras before bringing them in – otherwise, they may be tossed. 

You could also try calling local schools or women’s shelters to see if they have a need for gently worn bras. 

 

2. Recycle

Far too many textiles end up in landfills. In fact, the EPA found that textiles accounted for over 5.8% of all municipal solid waste (MSW) in 2018, totaling more than glass. 

To help keep your used bras from contributing to that statistic, try mailing your old bras to an organization like The Bra Recyclers, which is a clothing recycling company dedicated to extending the lifespan of clothing items (such as bras) and cutting down on textile waste. No matter the condition of your bra, the organization will find a use for it. 

 

3. Reuse

Lastly, if your bra isn’t in a condition to be donated you can try a few different methods. Upcycling clothing is a common practice where you can take a bra and turn it into something new. A few ideas include:

  • Use the padding for extra shoe support
  • Repurpose your old bra into a new purse (Try this DIY tutorial)
  • Sew the padding of your old bras into a backless dress or top to give you extra support 

If your bras are made of natural fibers such as cotton, silk and wool, they can be composted. You’ll just want to remove any elastic and anything else that won’t biodegrade (including tags and any plastic) with scissors.

Next, cut the rest of the bra into small pieces so that it can compost more easily before putting the pieces into a compost bin or distributing them in soil. Easy peasy. 

When you’re doing your next Marie Kondo sweep of your wardrobe, be sure to keep these tips in mind. And for additional tips, our friends at Tommy John have created a helpful infographic on how to use your old bras for good, including a donation checklist to ensure your bras are ready to go to a new home.

What to Do With Old Bras

The Best Eco-Friendly Light Bulbs + Ways to Reduce Light Pollution

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Best Eco-Friendly Light Bulbs

Did you know that light bulbs can be harmful to planet Earth? In fact, some contain mercury, which can be hazardous if not properly discarded. While some light bulbs have a shorter lifespan than others, which increases the amount of glass in landfills. 

Moreover, artificial light from light bulbs causes light pollution, which can disrupt nighttime ecosystems and makes it difficult for humans to see the night sky. 

In this post, we’ll discuss the most environmentally friendly light bulbs and ways you can reduce light pollution.

4-main-light-bulb-types

Light-Emitting Diode (LED) Light Bulbs

Light-emitting diode (LED) light bulbs were originally created as colored lighting indicators used in labs in the 1960s. LED bulbs became available for residential use in the 1990s, but were quite expensive and difficult to find. Today, due to technological advances, they’re readily available and much less expensive.

LED light bulbs are one of the most energy efficient bulbs available. Additionally, they last up to 50,000 hours, give off little to no heat, and are typically made of recycled materials. 

Incandescent Light Bulbs

Incandescent light bulbs are perhaps your most traditional type of light bulb. They’re also one of the more common light bulbs due to how inexpensive they are and that they emit a warm light many people prefer in their residential homes. 

Unfortunately, incandescent light bulbs aren’t as energy efficient as LED lights and only last about a year. So, they need replacing often, which is bad for the environment. 

Halogen Light Bulbs

You can think of halogen bulbs as improved versions of incandescent light bulbs. . Halogen light bulbs usually produce white light and you can often dim them. 

They’re more energy efficient than incandescent bulbs, but still lack the efficiency of LED bulbs. 

Compact Fluorescent (CFL) Light Bulbs

Compact fluorescent (CFL) light bulbs are more energy efficient than halogen and incandescent bulbs, but less so than LEDs. They’re also not as long-lasting as LED bulbs, but CFL light bulbs can usually be recycled. 

 

How Artificial Light Affects the Planet

Inefficient light bulbs and those that don’t last as long (incandescent) end up in the trash and landfill. Therefore, it’s best to spend more money upfront and purchase LED and CFL light bulbs, both of which have longer life spans than halogen and incandescent bulbs.

Artificial light, which is light produced from light bulbs, also affects Earth in the following ways:

Light Pollution: Light pollution is caused by artificial light and makes it difficult for humans and other animals to see the night sky. The other environmental impacts are noted below, but in general, it’s unfortunate that the vast majority of humans are affected by light pollution and cannot see the Milky Way. 

Disrupts Ecosystems: Artificial light disturbs relationships between nocturnal hunters and prey. The light gives hunters an unfair advantage when spotting prey, which can decrease certain preyed-upon animals’ numbers. 

Migration Patterns: Some species of birds, bats, and insects travel or migrate at night. Large amounts of artificial lights from cities and residential neighborhoods can disrupt these migrations patterns. This is dangerous for certain species as they might not reach their necessary destination in time. 

For tips on how to reduce your light pollution and which light bulbs to purchase, checkout HomeAdvisor’s infographic below: 

Boost-your-mood-while-reducing-your-pollution-infographic

Vegan Pumpkin Pie Recipe

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Vegan Pumpkin Pie

This vegan pumpkin pie is not only appealing to a wide variety of folks with food restrictions and allergies, but is simple to create – the perfect concoction to bring to a Thanksgiving dinner, summer or autumn gathering.

vegan pumpkin pie
Yield: 12 Servings

Vegan Pumpkin Pie

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

This vegan pumpkin pie is not only appealing to a wide variety of folks with food restrictions and allergies, but is simple to create – the perfect concoction to bring to a Thanksgiving dinner, summer or autumn gathering.

Ingredients

Crust

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 3/4 cup Earth Balance butter substitute, cubed
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped

Filling

  • 1 large can pumpkin purée
  • 1 cup coconut cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 pinch cloves

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Mix together the crust ingredients to make a dough. Vegan Pumpkin Pie Ingredients
  3. Press it firmly in to the bottom of a square or circular pie dish.
  4. Blend all the filling ingredients together. Vegan Pumpkin Pie Filling
  5. Pour the filling in to the prepared baking dish, spreading the top so it is even.
  6. Insert it in to the oven and bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until the center is firm. Vegan Pumpkin Pie
  7. Remove and allow to completely cool before serving.

Nutrition Information

Yield

12

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 377Total Fat 27gSaturated Fat 7gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 19gCholesterol 0mgSodium 216mgCarbohydrates 34gFiber 3gSugar 29gProtein 4g

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7 Unique Ways to Make Money With Your New Eco House

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custom home

Many people are not aware that homeownership can be a fantastic financial investment. With each mortgage payment, you increase your home equity and wealth, not to mention the possibility of building a green, sustainable home.

Making mortgage payments differs from paying rent in this way. You gain from mortgages, and your landlord benefits from rent.

 

Build a Custom House

custom house

 

Before you start making money with your house, you have to build a comfortable space that offers opportunities for investment. The possibilities are endless when it comes to designing a custom dream house

You can decide what type of heating system, whether or not there will be an open kitchen/living space with a bar in the middle for entertaining guests, and even if you want all white walls throughout!

You can achieve all of these decoration design ideas with the help of professional home builders. Once you build the home of your dream, you can start making plans for investing. 

A home-based side hustle or passive income opportunity can help you pay for real estate taxes, homeowners insurance, and even house improvements. Here are seven methods to assist you in making money after buying a new house or property.

 

1. Rent out an Accommodation

People occasionally require a temporary residence for a variety of reasons. You can earn a monthly income while also assisting someone in need of a temporary home by renting a room. If you don’t need a full-time roommate, consider renting out your space to travelers, similar to a Bed & Breakfast.

If you reside in a high-traffic location with many events and activities close by, this is a good option. It’s a fantastic way to generate money, meet new people, and possibly form new, lifelong friendships.

 

2. Run a small business

small business

All of the ideas for making money from home listed above are home-based enterprises, but they are by no means the only ones. Operating a home-based, or a sustainable green business has many advantages, whether you wish to work from home or utilize your home as the platform for your new small business. 

Running a business out of your home, for example, lowers overhead, provides income tax benefits, and, if you’re able to work from home, allows you to stay at home with your children while earning money.

 

3. Collaborate with A Property Management Company

People who buy a property and then move to some other place can hire a Property Management Company to look after it in their absence. While buying a new house, you can think of collaborating with professional property managers to help you manage your rental property. 

Property managers check the daily operations of a building and manage relationships with renters.

In addition to paperwork, property managers may also set the rent price for a property, identify tenants, and, if necessary, handle evictions. They will usually take care of any maintenance concerns that arise during the rental period.

 

4. Rent out the spare space

You can find various platforms that might help you make additional money if you have an underutilized garage, attic, or driveway.

If you have extra storage space in your garage, spare room, or even a spacious closet, you might consider renting it out to others. If your community lacks a storage facility, you will be providing a service that will be appreciated for its convenience.

 

5. Organize some Events

garden wedding

If you have the necessary property and the desire, you can host a few events. Outdoor weddings in beautiful, rural settings are always popular during the summer.

Agri-tourism events like seasonal mazes, wine tastings, and mini-markets are popular ways to celebrate small-scale food production and community if you reside in a rural or agricultural area.

However, if you own agricultural land, make sure to check to discover what commercial activities are permitted on farmland in your area before you begin. Certain activities may be limited, outlawed, or necessitate special permits.

 

6. Start Childcare Services

You may have a large number of children in your neighborhood, and there will be occasions when parents require child care on a regular basis or for a night out.

Depending on your availability, this could be a service you could provide at your house to earn some additional cash while also being a nice neighbor.

Home daycares have their own set of rules and regulations, which vary depending on where you live. Before you offer this service, go online and conduct some research.

 

7. Board a Pet

board pets in new house

You can utilize your spare space to house a pet or two if you love animals and have the area.

Make sure you have enough space outside to welcome your animal visitors.

Boarding pets while people are on vacation or business requires you to be available at all times to care for the animals, and depending on where you are located, you may need a specific license and supplementary home insurance.

Before offering this service, make sure you know the rules and regulations in your town or city. 

 

Conclusion

So, these are the most effective suggestions that will surely work to gain some money by utilizing the spare space of the home. Remember to take professional or legal advice before renting any part of your property.

7 Sustainable Business Ideas for Eco-Entrepreneurs

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7 Sustainable-Business-Ideas

Green industry business is a booming opportunity for eco-entrepreneurs around the world. In developing countries, many people are turning to green business as a way to provide sustainable livelihoods and improve their quality of life.

Sustainable businesses have been shown to be more profitable than traditional ones because they require lower startup costs and don’t incur the same high operating expenses. 

Also, consumers nowadays care as much about corporate social responsibility (CSR) as they do about a company’s goods and services.

Sustainable businesses also give back in other ways, such as providing products or services that benefit society or improving environmental conditions so future generations can enjoy them too!

 

What is a Green Business Model?

A green business model is a way of doing things that benefits the environment and people at the same time. Sustainable businesses follow three main principles:

  • Being environmentally friendly by providing products or services that benefit society or improve environmental conditions so future generations can enjoy them too and reduce waste.
  • Following ethical practices to ensure the way a business operates is just and fair.
  • Being financially stable by keeping costs down, increasing revenue streams, and maintaining good relationships with suppliers. Sustainable businesses practice all of these principles to improve their impact on society as well as financial performance.

 

Green Business Ideas for Eco-Entrepreneurs

There are many environmentally friendly business ideas that also contribute to sustainability and profitability. These business ideas are not only Eco-friendly but budget-friendly also. So, even if you’re low on budget, you can kickstart your business model without spending much.

You can find 7 sustainable business ideas for Eco-entrepreneurs with their estimated startup cost in the infographics below by GetVoIP. You can pick any of these ideas depending on your budget and can start your green business right away!

Sustainable-Business-Ideas-You-Can-Start-Today

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