Category Archives: eco-friendly

7 Laundry Hacks That Save Time, Money and the Planet

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Laundry is a drain on the modern green household. It sucks up energy, water, and time — three things very precious to any eco-warrior. Fortunately, technology has some excellent solutions to our laundry problems. Here are seven laundry hacks that help you make sure your washer and dryer are doing their part for the planet.

1. Upgrade to an Energy Star Model

If your current washer and dryer are more than 10 years old, upgrading them will save you significant time doing your weekly laundry and also reduce your utility bills. Energy Star–rated washers can reduce your water use by 45 percent and your energy use by 25 percent. An Energy Star–rated dryer will save you around $245 in energy costs over its lifetime. If upgrading isn’t an option yet, be conscientious about using your current washer’s settings correctly. If you have water level settings, make sure to set your washer to the lowest one. If not, always use the correct load size setting — small for small loads, medium for medium loads, and so on. You could save more than 1,200 gallons of water per year.

2. Wash Your Clothes in Cold Water

Almost 90 percent of the energy a washer needs is used to heat water. If you wash your clothes in cold water, you’ll cut down your energy use significantly and save $66 or more a year on your energy bill, depending on the amount of laundry you do. New high-efficiency (HE) washers clean just as effectively with cold water. Make sure to use a specially designed HE laundry detergent.

3. Select the Fastest Spin Speed

Choose the fastest spin speed your washer (and your clothes) can handle. The faster the washer spins, the more water is whisked out of the load, and the less time it needs to spend in the dryer. Be sure to use this for towels, if nothing else.

4. Take Advantage of Sensor Features

Load and moisture sensors will intelligently adjust your washer and dryer cycles. Load sensing assesses each load you put in the washer and determines how much water is needed to clean it properly. Similarly, moisture sensors are more efficient than setting a timer on your dryer. These sensors can tell when your clothes are dry and stop the machine, reducing your dryer’s energy use by about 15 percent.

5. Opt for Models That Use Less Water

Traditional top-loading washing machines fill up the entire tub with water and rub clothes against the agitator in the middle of the tub. New top-loader models don’t have an agitator — they flip and spin clothes through a stream of water instead of filling the whole tub, which significantly reduces water usage. Front-loading washers tumble clothes to clean them instead of using an agitator. Either option is an eco-friendly choice that will reduce the amount of water you use to do laundry.

6. Turn Down the Dryer Heat

Longer drying cycles on a low heat setting use less energy. Be sure to clean the filter in between loads to keep the dryer in top working order.

7. Toss a Tennis Ball into the Dryer

This old-school trick really works. When you’re drying large, bulky items — such as down comforters, jackets, blankets or pillows — throw in a couple of new tennis balls with the load. The balls bounce around in the dryer to separate the waterlogged, heavy material, which reduces drying time and energy usage.

Follow these laundry hacks to take advantage of today’s washer and dryer features that save time, energy and water for a super-green laundry routine.

Jennifer Tuohy is an earth-conscious mom who writes for The Home Depot on a variety of green, tech, and parenting topics. She provides advice on easy, simple ways to be greener when doing your laundry. To see a selection of Energy Star-rated washers and dryer like the ones Jennifer mentions in this article, visit The Home Depot here

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7 Laundry Hacks That Save Time, Money and the Planet

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Is Plastic Really That Bad?

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Is Plastic Really That Bad?

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Yoga Pants Are Surprisingly Harmful

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Yoga Pants Are Surprisingly Harmful

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20 Ethical Gift Ideas for the Person Who Already Has Everything

It?s almost that time of year again, when holiday music resurfaces and you have to figure out what to buy for that annoying friend who already has everything. Jokes aside, most of us have pretty much everything we need, not to mention a whole lot of stuff we don?t. (Stick up your hand if you?re overwhelmed by clutter.)

This year, let?s make the gifts we give really count. By choosing to buy something that?s been ethically sourced and produced or gives back in some other way (e.g. TOMS One for One campaign) you?re going to feel a whole lot happier about parting with your hard earned greenbacks.

I?m not saying you feel resentful about spending money on Christmas gifts, but let?s face it, it?s an expensive time of year. Knowing you made a difference in some way will help when you find yourself living on ramen noodles and air come January.

Ethical Gift Ideas for?Women

Bought Beautifully boasts an extensive selection of handmade jewelry for the magpie in your life. From bold to understated, there?s lots to choose from. They also give you the option to ?shop by story? in case there?s a particular cause you?d like to support.

It?s been scientifically proven that all women love chocolate, so getting a gourmet chocolate tasting box for the lady in your life is sure to earn you some big points.

Ethical Gift Ideas for Men

For the James Bond wannabe in your life, this copper and wood mixology bar set will be well-received. Even more so if it comes with a bottle of ethically produced gin.

Give the guy in your life a Harry?s subscription and you?ll be giving him a clean shave and supporting their 1+1 giving model at the same time.

Ethical Gift Ideas for Kids

Teenagers are tricky to buy for, but who knows, the one in your life might enjoy a pair of Etiko flip-flops or sneakers.

Shopping for Change has some really sweet baby gifts that give back, such as these hand knitted snowy owl ornaments, this whale baby lovie blanket and this organic onesie set.

These school essentials are so cool, the kids in your life (the younger ones, anyway) will be super chuffed to find them under the Christmas tree. Who wouldn?t want a Dabbawalla backpack or a Diddy bag pencil case? I know I would!

For the greenie parents, Eco Toys is a win. They?ve even put together a Christmas guide, which includes some really cool stuff, like seedling modelling clay, crayon rocks and a rainstick tower.

Ethical Gift Ideas for?Foodies

Got a wine lover in your life? Ethical Edibles has you covered with their wide variety of adult grape juice. (Shiraz for me, please.)

The foodie in your life is bound to get excited by anything from?The Greenheart Shop. From bowls and cutting boards to salad servers and even mini tagine sets, there’s lots to choose from.

Ethical Gift Ideas for Arty Types

Got an old school doodler in your life? This Buy 1 Plant 1 Padfolio will rock their world for sure. Your purchase today plants a tree, ensuring a better future for our planet and future generations.

The writer in your life will be blown away by this handcrafted CAUSEGEAR Leather journal. Each purchase supports a job that pays five times the norm?and features the crafter?s name and picture on the first page.

Ethical Gift Ideas for Hippies and Eco Warriors

For the hippie workaholic in your life, a hemp briefcase or hemp laptop backpack will go down a treat. (Actually, anything made from hemp will probably light their smudge stick.)

For the minimalist in your life, World Concern gives you the option to buy a gift in someone else?s name. You also receive a card to give to them that describes what you?ve given in their honor.

Water Aid has a bunch of cool stuff in their shop for the eco-warrior in your life, including totes, t-shirts and iPhone covers. They also have an under $25 section if your family has put a spending limit on gifts.

When you?re a kid, underwear is worse than no gift at all. But for us adults, it?s the best. Give the person in your life some Me Undies and watch their face light up.

Ethical Gift Ideas for Everyone Else

Anchal has a range of unique, one-of-a-kind socially conscious gifts under $50. Choose from scarves, pouches, art slates and more. These are great stocking fillers for pretty much everyone in your life.

Got a runner in your life? Then you need to get them a pair of Brooks running shoes. According to the guys at Urban Meisters, the company has put in a lot of effort to get ahead in the green race.

I get that it?s not summer everywhere, but how awesome are these SunBear Co. eco-friendly travel beach tents? They?re made in California from recycled fishing nets.

Finally, if you?re on the hunt for something a little unusual, The Great Gift Company is probably where you?ll find it. Solar powered Einstein, anyone? How about a milkshake in 30 seconds?

A Little Added Inspiration

If you need additional inspiration, be sure to check out Ethical Superstore (UK), The Ethical Shop (Aus) and Social Enterprise Alliance (US). Not enough? The Green Hub put together a list of 18 online stores where you can shop for ethical fashion.

Right, I?m off to do some Christmas shopping.

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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20 Ethical Gift Ideas for the Person Who Already Has Everything

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6 Must-Try Green Subscription Box Services

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More subscription box service firms specializing in green and natural living are opening up (pardon the pun). If you’re looking to switch to more eco-friendly products, it’s a great way to try new products without a huge investment. Most of these services offer a monthly box, and give discounts for long-term subscriptions.

Here is a list of six must-try subscription box services for discovering great green and natural brands.

Ecocentric Mom

Ecocentric Mom mom box. Image: Ecocentric Mom

Ecocentric Mom offers four different box options: Pregnancy, Mom and Baby (0 and 18 months), Mom and Toddler (18 months to 4 years), and Mom/Woman Only, so you can choose the one that’s right for you. Each box comes with five full-size items, including personal care products, cosmetics, natural remedies, snacks and more. The monthly box runs $27.99, and recent boxes have included everything from lip conditioner and body balm to baby milestone stickers and onesies.

Homegrown Collective

Homegrown Collective is a subscription box service that delivers a “homegrown” experience to your doorstep every month for $34 to $39 per month (plus $9 shipping). Rather than products for you to sample, Homegrown Collective’s Greenbox includes items to teach you a way to live more sustainably and become more self-sufficient. Past boxes have included everything you need to create your own detox products, home remedies, beauty products, household cleaners, kombucha and more! Even the packaging is designed to create less waste.

Natural Herbal Living Herb Box

Do you want to learn more about herbs? The Natural Herbal Living Herb Box is designed to help you learn about herbs on both an intellectual and physical level. Each month, the herb box includes ingredients to make several recipes shared in Natural Herbal Living Magazine (subscription included). These items may include the herb of the month, essential oil, flower essence, additional herbs, oils, beeswax, vinegar, honey and other herbal goodies necessary to make the recipes of the month. Mini boxes are available for $24, while full-size boxes are $48.

UrthBox

Each month, UrthBox delivers a package of sustainable, non-GMO snack foods that they hand-pick from brands that care for the earth. Choose from Classic, Gluten-Free, Vegan and Diet options in four different sizes, from six  to 25-plus snacks ($19.99 to $49.99). Shipping is free in the U.S., $6.95 to Canada and $14.95 worldwide.

Green Kid Crafts

There’s a green subscription box service for kids, too! Created by a mom, Green Kid Crafts delivers monthly boxes that include hands-on, award-winning and eco-friendly STEAM-themed kits (that’s science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics). There are boxes available for ages 2 to 10-plus, each with various projects, step-by-step instructions, an activity magazine and achievement badges. It’s a great way to give your kids a creative outlet and support a green company. Rates start at $17.95 per month.

Kloverbox

Kloverbox is a subscription box service that helps you discover organic, natural and cruelty-free beauty, health, nutrition and household brands. For $25 per month, you will receive six to eight deluxe or full-size products from pure and sustainable brands that you can use for an at-home spa day.

Do you have a favorite subscription box service? Share your thoughts with us below.

Feature image courtesy of VFS Digital Design

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How to Store Vegetables Without Plastic

Bringing a reusable canvas?bag to the grocery store is a fantastic way to avoid sending plastic to the landfill on a regular basis. But what happens when you get all that delicious produce home? How do you keep it from going bad without using plastic wrap, plastic baggies or other types of packaging?

That’s right, we’re talking about zero waste food storage!

Stored in plastic, fruits and vegetables stay fresh for weeks. But the environmental footprint?that comes with using plastics?wildlife-destroying pollution, endocrine-disrupting chemicals, adding debris to landfills?makes?using plastic bags and wrappers far from eco-friendly.

Ready to kick your plastic habit? Here’s how to store every type of vegetable in your fridge without a single piece of plastic. Stored like this, your produce?should last for up to 2 full weeks!

Veggies by Type

Leafy Greens

Leafy greens are known for their tendency?to wilt or brown quickly. To keep your greens from spoiling too soon, first remove any tight bands or ties, then rinse and dry fully (these should not stay wet!) before wrapping loosely in a dry tea towel and placing uncrowded in the fridge. Kale, a hardier green, will stay crisp and full when placed in a cup of water like a bouquet in the fridge.

Bulb Vegetables

Bulb vegetables should always be stored in a cool, dark, dry place with good air circulation (a.k.a. a cellar or cool pantry). You can also store them?together with tubers in a thick paper bag, then place them in a cool area. A dark corner of the kitchen pantry?should work too!

Tubers

Store your tubers just like your bulb vegetables (see above), in a cool, dark location that has good air flow. What you?re trying to avoid is your potatoes getting too much sun and greening or growing eyes.

Fruit Vegetables

Fruit vegetables like bell peppers, cucumber and zucchini?have a tendency to mold, thanks to their high moisture?content. Only wash these vegetables right before you?re ready to eat them, as wetness will decrease your storage time.?Place?your?vegetables loose in the crisper if it?ll be a while before you use them, or leave them?on the counter for up to a week.

Inflorescents & Mushrooms

Inflorescent vegetables like broccoli or cauliflower should be put?in an open container or wrapped with a damp towel then placed in the fridge. However, they?will likely have the best flavor if used the day of! Mushrooms, on the other hand, should be stored in a paper bag in the fridge. Bonus tip: if they dry out before you use them, you can reconstitute with water!

Root Vegetables

Beets, carrots and the like, tend to wilt before they mold. No one wants a soggy carrot! To store properly, cut the tops off (leaving any top on root vegetables draws moisture away from the root, making them lose firmness) and then place in an open?container with a moist towel on top,?or dunk in cold water every few days to rehydrate.

How do you keep your vegetables fresh without using disposables?

Related:
Tips to Reduce Vitamin and Mineral Loss When Preparing Food
8?Tips for Keeping Vegetables Fresh Longer
Make Your Own Vegetable Broth

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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How a Minimalist Lifestyle Can Add to Your Green Efforts

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You may have seen the term “minimalism” being thrown around a lot lately, especially in the eco-friendly sphere. As more and more people have adopted minimalist lifestyles, the concept has begun to slowly creep to the forefront of our collective consciousness. But what exactly is minimalism? To be honest, it can be a little hard to pinpoint.

Minimalism means different things to different people — it’s unique to the person living it. The truth is, there’s no “one size fits all” to this approach. However, one thing that can be agreed upon is that living as a minimalist is far more earth-friendly than how the majority of Americans are currently getting by. Let’s take a closer look:

What Is Minimalism?

Ranging from apartment-dwelling urbanites to country homesteaders, minimalists come from vast walks of life. They might be single or have a large family, have a house full of treasured items or live out of a backpack. The common ground lies in the opposition to the American ideal of working more to make more, and spending more to have more.

The true essence of minimalism is determining what provides you the most value in life and removing everything that is simply excess. It’s a very intentional way of living that gives rise to positive changes in almost all aspects of life. Being a minimalist means choosing to live your life with great purpose.

Curbing the Consumer Mind-Set

Society’s greatest lie is that a good life is based on the accumulation and possession of as many material items as possible. Massive houses, expensive cars, grand yachts, glittering diamonds — you know, the Instagram-worthy, Kardashian-inspired lifestyle. When we believe that more is better, we fall prey to the notion that money can buy happiness. That’s where minimalism comes in. Minimalism frees us from the all-consuming desire to possess. It sidesteps consumerism and compels us to seek happiness in experiences and relationships. It encourages us to actually live a life instead of buying one.

Now, all this isn’t to say that there’s anything wrong with owning material possessions. It’s more about throwing off the meaning we attribute to said possessions. To put it more plainly, acquiring more stuff shouldn’t come before our health, relationships or personal growth. If owning a house or a car is important to you, that’s perfectly fine. Minimalism is merely a method that supports you in making these decisions more thoughtfully.

When it comes to your possessions, adopting a minimalist lifestyle means being very intentional about what you own and not being distracted by material belongings. While you may want to start your minimalist journey by getting rid of a bunch of stuff, the focus of minimalism shouldn’t be on what you are throwing out, it should instead be on the benefit of removing what doesn’t bring value to your life. Though minimalism sounds like it’s all about having less, there’s actually a lot of “more” that comes along with it. You’ll have more time, more space, more peace and more freedom.

Minimalism Is Eco-Friendly

The basic tenets of minimalism are surprisingly in tune with the eco-friendly way of living. For instance, by making a conscious choice to only purchase what is absolutely needed, you’ll naturally consume less. The less gas, plastic and nonrecyclable materials you use on a regular basis, the fewer nonrenewable resources are used up in their production. Reuse allows you to take this even further, say by borrowing a book from the library instead of buying a new one.

Minimalism makes you more aware of how much waste you generate. Buying less means wasting less; the fewer purchases you make, the fewer boxes, bags and packing materials end up dumped in landfills. What’s more, when you produce less waste, sorting through it for recycling and composting purposes is far easier and more efficient.

Minimalism is helpful in overcoming perceived obsolescence. Perceived obsolescence is when an object is completely functional but is no longer perceived to be stylish or appropriate. It’s rendered obsolete by perception, rather than by function. Minimalism encourages you to purchase goods designed to last for a long period of time, and use them for their entire life span.

Though eighty-sixing excess possessions is a big part of minimalism, the concept goes far beyond what you own. Minimalism should be practiced in all areas of your life — determine what you value most and remove what stands in the way. Apply this to how you spend your time, who you have relationships with, what you eat and so on.

Minimalism, like so many things in life, comes in many forms — it’s a flexible concept. You can choose to adopt the aspects of minimalism that appeal to you most and adapt others to fit your lifestyle. And since it all depends on what adds value to your life in the moment, it’s bound to change over time. After all, what’s meaningful to you in your 20s is not always the same as what’s meaningful to you in your 50s. Just remember, the true aim of minimalism isn’t to deprive yourself of anything, it’s to focus on the things that bring you the most value, cultivate your relationships and live the best life you can.

To learn more about embracing minimalism, check out these fantastic minimalist blogs.

Feature image courtesy of Shutterstock

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Surprisingly Sustainable: Oktoberfest’s Green Side

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Some celebrations are almost synonymous with waste. Picture the plastic-bead-strewn streets of New Orleans after Mardi Gras, or the mountains of plastic packaging and wrapping paper after Christmas. For the environmentally conscious, the incredible wastefulness of these occasions is enough to make a Scrooge out of even the most festive individual.

Surprisingly, an environmental hero has arisen from a most unlikely holiday. A celebration that seems to have no other purpose than excessive drinking. No, not St. Patty’s Day (although there are ways to go green then, too!). Friends, we’re talking about Oktoberfest.

Yes. Really.

The Environmental Oscars

Here’s a tidbit that might shock you — it certainly surprised us. Oktoberfest — the real one, that is, held in Munich, Germany, each autumn — is one of the most environmentally friendly events out there. So much so, in fact, that it was awarded the Environmental Oscar in 1997 for its efforts to be as minimally wasteful as possible.

How have Oktoberfest organizers achieved this? Three main aspects contribute to their environmental success:

Disposing of Disposables

In 1991, the city of Munich banned disposable servingware. No more paper plates, no more plastic forks. Instead, food was served on real plates, with real silverware. Drinks were served in glasses, rather than plastic tumblers. This one change reduced waste at the annual festival by over 90 percent. It’s an encouraging statistic for festivals worldwide, especially those that think that waste-free celebrations are beyond their capabilities. After all, Oktoberfest is hardly a small-time operation; it hosts six million visitors each year. If they can go without one-time-use tableware, surely your next backyard barbecue can too!

Organics & Recycling

Gray water from washing all these dishes doesn’t just go down the drain, either. In almost half the festival tents, gray water is reused to flush the toilets (I’ve always wondered why we don’t do this everywhere). Reusing water like this drastically reduces the need for fresh water, and ensures that Oktoberfest gets the most use out of every drop. Much of the food served at Oktoberfest — including the meat — is also organically sourced. And while we could definitely make a strong case for reducing the amount of meat eaten at the bacchanalian beer fest (each year, attendees devour tons of sausages and almost 500,000 chickens), choosing poultry that’s been organically raised does make a huge difference.

Renewable Rejoicing

Since the year 2000, streetlights, toilets and all other public areas of the festival have been powered by renewable energy, making the festival one of the greenest in terms of how it powers its raucous celebrations. This attitude of environmental awareness has filtered through to its vendors, too — approximately 60 percent of them have followed suit and also chosen renewable power sources.

Oktoberfest is one of the purest festivals out there when you look at pure intent. It was originally celebrated to mark the marriage of Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig to the Saxon-Hildburghausen Princess Therese on Oct. 12, 1810. These days, it’s a chance to celebrate good beer, great brats and dudes in lederhosen. But the way Munich has focused on creating sustainable Oktoberfest celebrations is an example to all of us that life needn’t be dour and stark to be eco-friendly. In fact, quite the opposite.

Your Own Green Event

So, how can you bring a little of Munich’s environmental sensibilities to your own Oktoberfest celebrations — or any other party, for that matter? It is possible, even if you can’t use gray water to flush your toilet or suddenly switch to renewable energy:

Use e-vite sites like Green Envelope or Paperless Post to create online invites instead of mailing paper ones.
Follow Oktoberfest’s lead and ditch the disposable plates, cups and silverware. If you’re worried about tipsy guests breaking your good dishes, pick up an inexpensive set at Goodwill or Value Village. It’ll likely be the same price as (or cheaper than) disposable stuff, and you can reuse for many parties down the road. Just remember to wash well before use.
Provide bins for compost, recycling and garbage. Often just providing guests options for eco-friendly waste disposal is all you need to do to decrease the amount of waste your party produces.
If you’re going all out for the celebration, rent a costume instead of buying one. Good lederhosen don’t come cheap, and cheap ones won’t last long. Get into the spirit by renting a costume that’ll help you dress the part without taking up space in your closet the rest of the year.
If it’s in your budget, offer your guests organic refreshments and food — organic and/or local chickens, sausage and even beer if you can find it!

We hope you have a fantastic time celebrating good beer, great friends and the crisp arrival of fall. Happy Oktoberfest!

Feature image courtesy of Shutterstock

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5 Tips for Biking to Work in the Rain

Biking to work is a wonderful way to commute. It’s healthy, eco-friendly and saves you tons of money on gas! However, biking to work becomes instantly a lot more complicated in inclement weather. How do you stay safe when visibility is down and it’s cold and wet outside?

Whether you’re dealing with a thunderstorm or a spring shower, these tips for biking to work in the rain will help you get to work safe, on time and completely dry. Before you know it, you might actually learn to love riding in the rain!

5 Tips for Biking to Work in the Rain

1.?Bundle up

First things first, you need to learn how to layer. Layers trap your body heat, ensuring you stay warm during cooler weather.

If you’ll be riding in the rain, you’re going to want to choose a waterproof jacket, rather than a water-resistant one, to keep you warm and dry. Look for a garment that is seam-sealed (turn the garment inside out to check), but also has vents to help release body moisture without letting rain?in.

Your jacket of choice should also fit snuggly over a wool or synthetic polypropylene-polyester base layer, which will help keep sweat off your body (so you don’t get chilled when you stop moving). Just make sure it doesn’t restrict your movement in any way.

Here are a few bonus features?you’ll want to check for as well:

Comfortable cuffs that fit tight around your wrists
Pockets where you can stash your phone and other essentials

2.?Be as visible as possible

Reflective clothing is your friend! If you’re going riding in the rain, make sure you’re wearing a variety of items that will ensure you stay visible on the road. Some great options include: a high-visibility vest, a flashing?light for both the front and the back of your ride and reflective spray (yes, spray!) that helps you show up in the dark and washes off when you’re done.

3.?Learn?the rules of the road

Biking in the city is hard enough as it is; keep yourself safe by following the rules for bikers on the road. Here are some of the basics:

Behave predictably ? stay visible, leave distance and yield as much as possible
Ride on the right side of the road and not on the sidewalk
Yield before entering major?roadways ? stay behind crosswalks and away from the curb
Look before moving laterally or turning ??check your blindspot and?use hand signals
Use correct lanes ? choose right, left or thru lanes like you would if you were driving
Stay visible to motorists who may cross your path and make it clear you need your space

Following these rules and signaling properly will ensure you stay safe and visible to other drivers on the road.

4. Know your bike

Find?a safe, rarely-trafficked area to test your bike’s behavior. How does it respond to wet conditions when you brake? Do you find it more difficult to control? In what specific scenarios should you be wary when you’re riding for real?

Riding in the rain is more challenging for obvious reasons: everything gets slipperier when?wet. So keep an eye out for painted surfaces, metal manhole covers and?rainbow oil residue.?You’ll also want to be careful when you turn; sudden movements or leaning could cause you to spin out.

5. Embrace it

Unless you live where the sun always shines,?rainy days can really mess with your biking schedule. So brave?the rain, power through with confidence and bike like the hero rider you know you are.

Are you a cyclist? What tips do you have for our other riders? Let us know in the comments!

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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5 Tips for Biking to Work in the Rain

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5 Zero Waste Swaps to Make in Your Bathroom

Going zero waste can feel daunting ? trust me, I remember the feeling! The average American generates 4.5 pounds of trash every single day (that’s 220 million tons total each year).?How in the world does a person shrink down all that?household waste into nothing? Are there really?sustainable alternatives to everything I use in my daily life?

Truth is, going zero waste happens over the course of a lifetime ? baby step by baby step. One day, you decide to stop accepting plastic straws at restaurants; the next you locate a bulk shop in your area and start shopping exclusively package-free. And every day in between you gradually replace disposable, limited-use items with reusable, lasting ones.

Why This is Important

Our world is hooked on disposables. We manufacture and purchase?vast amounts of unrecyclable goods that are?designed to fail on us, then we throw them away without a second thought. Many of these are?single use plastics?that will not?decompose?for hundreds, if not thousands, of years.

As such, most of these swaps involve replacing plastic with something better (often stainless steel, natural fibers or bamboo) that will stand the test of time or decompose naturally when it’s time to toss it.

Ready to join the party? Start by using up your old products (recycling, giving them away or selling them online), then gradually introduce these new options into your routine. Take care of them and you’ll be able to prevent all sorts of bathroom garbage from going to the landfill. Yipee!

10 Zero Waste Swaps to Make in Your Bathroom

1) Handkerchiefs vs. Tissues

Whether you’re fighting a cold or just dealing with allergies, it’s likely you go through a lot of tissues in your daily life. Grab a hankie instead! You can rinse?these as you go, then boil and line dry to get rid of any bacteria. Plus, they’re so much softer on the nose.

Related: 6 Potent Healing Herbs for Cold and Flu

2) Safety Razor vs. Disposable Razors

Disposable plastic razors are non-recyclable and extremely expensive. Plus, I’ve found that they tend to deteriorate remarkably quickly. Keep your skin smooth with a durable, stainless steel safety razor like this one instead and stop tossing razors for good.

3) Bulk Shampoo vs. Packaged Shampoo

Did you know you can buy hair and beauty products in bulk at most?bulk health food stores? It’s true! Just pour?what you need into a refillable glass pump bottle and use till it’s time to top off again. I purchased mine from Amazon, but you could likely find these in the bath aisle of any department store.

4) Coconut Oil vs. Makeup Remover

I’ve never found an eye makeup remover I like better than pure, organic coconut oil. It’s multi-purpose and dissolves?whatever tough makeup I have on at the end of the day. Buy your coconut oil in glass, then reuse or recycle the jar when you’re done with it.

Related: 15 Surprising Uses for Coconut Oil

5) Bamboo Toothbrush vs. Plastic Toothbrush

It’s time to be done with plastic like this for good! Standard plastic toothbrushes with plastic bristles are non-recyclable and wasteful. Look for a bamboo option instead. They are 100 percent biodegradable, eco-friendly and sustainably sourced and produced. Cool right? My favorite brands include Brush with Bamboo, WowE?and f.e.t.e. Huge fan!

Which zero waste swaps will you be making in your bathroom this fall? I’d love to know which ones stand out to you!?

Related:
How to Host a Zero Waste Dinner Party
3?Essential Zero Waste Items to Keep in Your Car
10 Ways to Start Living Zero Waste

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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5 Zero Waste Swaps to Make in Your Bathroom

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