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All posts tagged Eco-Friendly

 

No detail is too small, especially when it comes to cleaning. This idea can be applied to every area of hospitality, but today we are specifically referring to spring cleaning. When you think about spring cleaning, de-cluttering comes to mind, but have you thought about the cleaning products you use? Sustainable living starts with our daily routine, so let’s pay attention to how we can reduce our impact while doing daily chores and cleaning at work or home.

 

Cleaning products can contain harmful chemicals that end up polluting our soil and waterways. Below are some eco- and wallet-friendly substitutes for commercial cleaning products that do the job and are appropriate for office, hotel properties and even your home.

 

 

  1. Use baking soda (bicarbonate of soda) to clean silver items

Baking soda is a great cleaning product that is readily available and is quite inexpensive. When cleaning, add three parts of bicarb to one part with water and mix it, creating a paste. You can use this paste for any silver item. Once finished, rinse with water and wipe with a dry cloth.

 

  1. The microwave-lemon trick

Squeeze some lemon juice into a microwaveable bowl and cook for three minutes in the microwave. Afterwards, leave it to stand for approximately five minutes, then open the door and wipe out the microwave using a dry cloth. The microwave grime will come right off! If lemon juice is cost-prohibitive, vinegar works just as well!

 

  1. Dabble in vinegar

Speaking of which, vinegar can have multiple uses for cleaning. It works well to remove grease in the kitchen, and clears up cloudy deposits on wine glasses, and to clean mold and mildew in bathrooms. It even works well to works well to freshen up leather products – dab using a dry cloth and gently brush on. Here are more uses and recipes for vinegar as a cleaning product!

 

  1. Environmental friendly cleansers:

If using chemical or commercial cleansers inform yourself about ingredients and packaging. Check the ecolabel and be sure to read more on criteria to evaluate green supplies.

 

There are many ways to make a positive impact on our environment. While it can be intimidating to “go green“ in every part of our lives, every small step can make a big difference.

 

Read more on eco-friendly cleaning here.

 

 

 

 

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The paperless kitchen challenge

Categories: Green Tips, Planet
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The paperless kitchen challenge

Have you ever considered the potential positive impact to the environment and to your pocket of a paperless kitchen? We all use paper towels for cleaning up those little culinary mishaps; we use paper napkins at the dining table, and many of us carry our snacks to work in paper bags.

Take up the challenge of going paperless in your kitchen.

Why have a paperless kitchen?

Most paper towels cannot be recycled. Many are made of recycled paper and the fibres are at the end of their life cycle. Used paper towels also harbour bacteria and this not only raises concerns about hygiene but could also damage, potentially, other perfectly recyclable materials.

N.B. : Used paper towels, napkins and tissues are compostable

Adopting a paperless kitchen is a simple switch to reduce your kitchen waste and paper costs!

Making the switch

Getting started can be a challenge – but in developing this positive approach you can make a huge difference to your lifestyle.

Top tips:

Photo credit: The Linen Works

Photo credit: The Linen Works

1. Set a timeline

A slow yet steady transition is the best course. Remember to use a cloth whenever possible and you can gradually reduce the dependence on paper towels. Set yourself a deadline for dispensing totally with the paper alternatives!

2. Buy natural-fibre fabric

Invest in new towels and napkins before you run out of paper napkins and paper. Choose eco-friendly natural-fibres for your napkins, dish towels or hand towels whenever possible. Browse sites such as PaperlessKitchen.com to find your perfect natural cleaning cloths.

3. Replace paper towels with reusable rags

Look around your house for items such as old bathroom hand towels and cotton t-shirts. Cut them into manageable sizes for use around your home. Learn how to turn old t-shirts into rags.

4. Develop a system that works for your kitchen

Make the switch to a paperless kitchen easy to implement. For example, use colour coding for all your cloths in the kitchen and bathroom. When your whole family is on board, going paperless is possible.shutterstock_308344490

Check out these useful links:

•   Clever Ways to Store Your Kitchen Linens

•   Declutter Kitchen Towels & Dish Cloths

5. Laundry

Worried about the extra laundry? Soak the cloths in warm water with baking soda or vinegar to remove any grease before washing and rinsing as normal.

Being paper-free in your kitchen can be a challenge. It needs dedication and commitment and it does require a little extra work – the rewards are found in the cost savings and the benefits to our environment.

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Going Green with Your Fitness Regime

Categories: Green Tips, People and Places, Planet
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Fitness Routine

Get fit and stay healthy. That is our motto and New Year resolution for 2017!

Upgrading your fitness routine to the next level also helps to protect our planet. Here are some of our favourite eco-friendly fitness tips to help you to ‘go green’ with your workout:

 

Green commute

GREEN YOUR COMMUTE

Reduce your carbon footprint while you exercise. If possible, try walking, jogging or riding a bicycle to the gym or your next destination whilst getting your heart rate up at the same time. If it’s too far, not safe or simply impractical then choose public transport if possible or try to join a carpooling scheme with your fitness friends. Services such as uberPOOL make it easier to carpool and cut down on your fuel costs. And having a gym buddy is an instant incentive to keep up with your fitness goals! Read more on how to commute green to get lean, and how to commute in an eco-friendly way.

 

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The author enjoyed a grand sunrise atop Mount Yotei, Japan. 2016.

TAKE YOUR WORKOUT OUTSIDE

Exercising outdoors is a low cost, enjoyable and cheap and green way to take your health to the next level. Instead of increasing your energy consumption via home or gym exercise machines, take advantage of running, hiking or biking trails in your area. For some motivation, check out AppCrawlr’s recommendations for the best outdoor fitness apps.

 

fitness gear

USE ECO-FRIENDLY FITNESS GEAR

Choose products that are made of sustainable, recycled or earth-friendly fabrics. Here are 11 great picks for eco-friendly workout clothes. Remember to always carry a reusable bottle or hydration pack for your water, tea or sports drinks.

 

Local products at street market

MAINTAIN ENERGY LEVELS WITH SUSTAINABLE FOODS 

Fuel your body with organic energy bars, fresh fruit, and juices before or during your workout. You can also get vitamins and nutrients from locally grown produce and help to cut down on environmental waste.

 

Earth Day Run 2015 (Photo courtesy of National Geographic Channel)

Earth Day Run 2015 (Photo courtesy of National Geographic Channel)

 RUN FOR A GOOD CAUSE

Isn’t it wonderful when your fitness regime also benefits those in need? Sign up for a running event that supports ‘green’ cause. Check out details of your local Earth Day Run. Your registration fee benefits the organisation that helps to make a difference for local communities and environments.

 

DONATE YOUR SNEAKERS

When your sneakers are worn out – don’t throw them away. Donate them. Give your shoes new life with Nike’s Reuse-A-Shoe, a programme that recycles and transforms athletic shoes into surfaces for tracks, playgrounds, basketball and tennis courts.

Stay fit, stay healthy and help your local community and environment.

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Sustainable Holiday Gift Ideas

Categories: Community, Green Tips, Planet
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Finding the perfect holiday gifts for loved ones may seem difficult and stressful sometimes. For this holiday season, instead of giving the traditional boxed gifts, consider giving a present that has a really positive impact.

Here are some great ideas to help you become a responsible gift giver this holiday:

Sustainable Material Gift

  • Choose Sustainable Materials: Choose items that are made from natural and renewable materials such as organic cotton, bamboo, wood, hemp, wool, or silk. Not only do these materials feel nice, but they also support sustainable industries.

Vintage Gift Ideas

  • Shop second-hand or vintage: One of the most sustainable things you can do for the planet is to support recycling. Shopping second-hand and vintage goods helps to extend the life cycle of a product. These gifts are unique, thoughtful, and full of history, and are often less expensive than their newer counterparts – not to mention the consignment and vintage shopping experience itself is part of the thrill of finding the perfect holiday gift.

Shop Local Gift

  • Purchase responsibly: We recommend that you buy fair-trade products that support goods produced in developing countries to achieve sustainable development, that support fair-trade farmers and small communities. Shop local to support your own community or consider supporting other small businesses online such as through Etsy – a peer-to-peer site that sells homemade/handcrafted and vintage goods.

 

The Gift of Charity

Image credits: TisBest

  • The Gift of Charity: The holiday season is a time for giving. By giving a charitable gift for the holidays, you’re actually giving twice! Consider giving a charity gift card, or making a donation in a loved one’s name this holiday, allowing the recipient to experience the rewards of donating to a cause of their choice. Check out TisBest for more information

Give an experience gift

  • Celebrate Together: Rather than giving something material, which could eventually find its way to the landfill, ‘give an experience gift’. Purchase a homemade coupon for a family bowling outing, a museum visit, a picnic in the park or other fun activity. Better still, in the spirit of holiday, find a way to conserve resources while at the same time connecting with others, thus creating lasting memories by inviting friends and family to celebrate with you in your home. The perfect gift for this festive season!

Enjoy a responsible holiday and make sure you do your part this year. We wish you much joy as you celebrate a ‘greener’ holiday!

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Go green this Christmas with eco-friendly decorations

Categories: Energy, Green Tips, Planet, Waste
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shutterstock_528925795

The festive season is here! You can already see red and green decorations and hear ‘Silent Night’ being played everywhere you go. Homes are lit up with fairy lights and Christmas trees are being put up and decorated. But do try not to get too carried away by the holiday spirit and forget all those sustainable habits that you’ve been working on so successfully in 2016.

Check out our tips on how you can make your Christmas even ‘greener’ by decorating your home and office with eco-friendly decorations:

Photo credits: carlaaston.com

Photo credits: carlaaston.com

  • Christmas Trees – If you plan on purchasing a real tree we recommend getting a ‘living tree’, which you can grow outside after the holidays and reuse every year (How to choose a living Christmas tree). In countries like the US and the UK there are companies where you can rent trees. For those who prefer artificial/plastic trees, we suggest that you buy second-hand and use it for as long as you can. Check out websites such as Ebay, Freecycle, Freegle, Craigslist or Gumtree to find your perfect tree.
  • Décor – Be creative and do-it-yourself! Look around your house for materials you can reuse to make wreaths, ornaments and garlands. You can even spruce up last year’s decorations and reuse them. Another option is to ask your family and friends if they would like to trade holiday décor.

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  • Gift Wrapping – Hate receiving junk mail? Instead of putting it directly into the recycle bin you can use it to wrap gifts instead! You can also use old calendars, magazines and newspapers. Read on for eco-friendly and reusable gift wrap ideas.

Finally, wherever you are in the world we wish you a Happy Christmas and a fabulous eco-friendly New Year!

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Green your ways to go to work!

Categories: Green Tips
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How do you go to work?

There are so many ways to commute. But, is your way of commuting eco-friendly? ‘Green’ commuting can make a big difference to the environment. It not only reduces your carbon footprint but it also you can save time, money and even help to lose weight!Green your ways to go to work

Close to 90 percent of Americans drive everywhere they go and driving accounts for the average annual production of six tons of carbon dioxide per car. The average driver in the US spends just over $2,000 every year on gasoline. In comparison, heating a home for a year produces four tons of carbon dioxide and costs, on average, US$1,800.

How can we commute in an eco-friendly way that helps to save money and our planet at the same time?

Carpooling or ‘slugging’
Carpooling is now a familiar concept for travel to work, to school, to sports events and more.
Check out Carpool, BlablaCar – sites where you seek other people going in your direction.

‘Slugging’ is a way to get into the HOV lanes (High Occupancy Vehicle) without having a formal carpooling arrangement. Sluggers go to a designated pickup area to meet people looking for a ride. You get matched up with people going to the same location, and share the ride. The driver gets to use the HOV lane, and the sluggers get a free ride.

Telecommuting – What is ‘Telecommuting’?
Telecommuting basically means that people can work from any other place and do not have to be present in an office. Telecommuting stands for an electronically established working environment, through which employees can interact, work and communicate.
American workers spend an average of 47 hours per year commuting through rush hour traffic. This adds up to 23 billion gallons of gasoline wasted in traffic each year but, by telecommuting, you can avoid the rush hour and no gas is wasted.
There are other benefits to telecommuting, e.g. more privacy than your cubicle, a more peaceful and quiet work-environment, and, of course, no commute is shorter than one to another room in your house. If you cannot do telecommuting, try to adjust your working hours to leave earlier or later than the masses.

Public transport
Switching daily driving to using public transport saves, typically, more than $800 a year in travel expenses and decreases the household carbon footprint by 10 percent. It may take a little longer to get to work by public transport than by driving but being able to skip the traffic jams, avoid parking fees and carbon emissions in favour of a more relaxing journey may well be worth it.
Use your time effectively whilst travel by bus, train or metro.
Of course, walking or cycling is the ultimate ‘green’ commute. Electric-powered bicycles are becoming increasingly popular – but always wear a safety helmet.

Try some green ways of commuting and reduce your negative impact on the environment! Visit Greener Pittsburgh  and The Nature Conservancy to get more green tips about commuting.

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Portland, Oregon Uses Toilet Turbines to Power City – Genius!

Categories: Americas, Energy, Planet, Recommended Reading, Return, Waste, Water
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February 24 2015 – Portland, Oregon has started using something called toilet turbines as a source of renewable energy, and it’s one of those ideas that makes everyone slap their forehead and say, “of course!”

The idea behind the concept of a toilet turbine is remarkably simple. Scott Falkner Read more.

Lane Cove River Tourist Park aims to operate an ethical and profitable business that is sustainable, without destroying or depleting natural resources and the natural environment, polluting the environment or taking from the local community and indigenous culture.

by EarthCheck Pty Ltd

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The InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa stands out for its commitment to sustainable tourism. It has been EarthCheck Certified since  2006 and, with three years of benchmarking data, has tracked the impact made by improvements and new systems designed to reduce their environmental footprint. Today, the resort is a leader in innovative technology and practices.

by EarthCheck Pty Ltd

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As a major hotel in Hong Kong, Eaton Hotel understands their responsibility to understand, reflect upon and change processes and policies that have the potential to inflict harm on the environment, communities and future generations.

by EarthCheck Pty Ltd

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EarthCheck Case Study: Eaton Hotel, Hong Kong

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