Support companies who care

We went to the grocery store last weekend, and a representative of SunChips was handing out free small bags of a new flavor ... while that's pretty exciting in itself, the really awesome part was what I saw on the bag: 100% compostable!

Today 33 percent of every 10 1/2 ounce SunChips bag is made with renewable, plant-based materials. It's their first step to reduce the amount of non-renewable materials used for packaging. Besides the few free bags the company has recently been handing out, SunChips plans to completely use fully compostable chip bags in 2010. These innovative bags are designed to fully decompose in about 14 weeks when placed in a hot, active compost bin or pile.

In the short clip below, you can see a time lapse of the bag decomposing.

So you eat the chips. The earth eats the bag. And we all live in a cleaner world!

You can visit SunChips Web site to see more of the ways the company cares for the environment. For instance, SunChips made in California are made using solar energy!

It's important for us as consumers to support companies who care about the same causes we do. We bought two bags of SunChips at the grocery store last weekend—And that's just the beginning.

Do you know of any environmentally-conscious organizations? If so, let me know in the comments section. I want to give them my business, and I hope you will too!


Goodbye, plastic bags!

It’s not always easy bein’ green, but you can make smarter decisions. Small, practical changes in your everyday life can make a big difference.

For instance, I have completely stopped bringing home plastic bags from the grocery store. I take reusable, canvas bags. Not only can you carry more in each one so you need fewer (I use about five for each “big” grocery store trip), but the bags are also much better for the environment than plastic.

More 70 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered by water. While plastic bags weigh less and take up less landfill space then their paper counterparts, many plastic bags don’t end up in landfills. Scientists currently believe the world’s largest garbage dump isn’t on land—it’s in the Pacific Ocean. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is roughly th size of Texas and contains about 3.5 million tons of trash!

In some places, the floating debris—estimated to be 90 percent plastic—goes 90 feet deep. Pieces of plastic outnumber plankton, the main food source for many sea animals, by a 6-to-1 ratio.

Plastic bags don't biodegrade, they photodegrade—breaking down into smaller and smaller toxic bits contaminating soil and waterways and entering the food web when animals accidentally ingest. Hundreds of thousands of sea turtles, whales and other marine mammals die every year from eating discarded plastic bags mistaken for food.

I encourage you to check out this slideshow for a visual represntation of how using plastic bags affects the environtment.

What can you do?

  • Think twice about taking a plastic bag if your purchase is small and easy to carry.
  • Keep canvas bags in your home, office and car so you always have them available when you go to the supermarket or even clothing or other stores.
  • Ask your favorite stores to stop providing bags for free, or to offer a discount for not using the bags.
  • Encourage your local politicians to introduce legislation taxing or banning plastic bags. (A 2002 tax on platic bags in Ireland reduced consumption by 90 percent. San Francisco was the first U.S. city to outright ban plastic bags.)
  • Check out these Web sites for more information:


Wednesday April 22, 2009, is Earth Day

I'm posting my first blog in honor of Earth Day. I'm starting this blog, It ain't easy bein' green, as a resource for friends or visitors to the site to keep up with my ever-increasing bid to "go green" in daily life, as well as to provide helpful tips and resources for you to make greener decisions in your own life.

Last weekend, Alex and I took advantage of the *beautiful* weather in Middle Tennessee to play outside all day. We planted a sycamore tree in our front yard, an herb garden at the side of the house and petunias in our front porch planters.

In this picture, you can see my herb garden. We planted, from left to right, chives, oregano and mint. The chives and mint are perennials, so they should come back each year. We also planted parsley and basil seeds inside the kitchen on the windowsill.

We went to our local Farmer's Co-Op to get the herb plants. It's a great way to support local farmers. It's also a great place to buy honey. Local honey is good for your allergies, and it too supports local farmers. Buying anything local helps conserve the fuel it takes to transport items from one place to another. Your local farmer's market is another way to support local farmers, and your fruits and veggies will be fresh and in season. To find a farmer's market near you, visit http://apps.ams.usda.gov/FarmersMarkets/.

Let me know what you're doing to celebrate Earth Day ... and beyond!