For the Greater Goods

A lifestyle blog for the conscious consumer


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Ireland Goes Green

You may have noticed I was completely MIA for the first week or so in July (and if you didn’t notice maybe you should pay a wee bit more attention to my blog *wink wink*). Well, guess what? I was in Ireland (and subsequently  recovering from jet lag)! My friend and I drove around Ireland for a week and stopped at Dublin, Galway and Cork. We saw gorgeous green landscapes, explored castles, and ate one too many potatoes.

50 shades of green

50 shades of green

Green as far as the eye can see...

Green as far as the eye can see

Last year when I went to Iceland, I wrote a post about Icelanders’ socially conscious efforts. When I went to Ireland I was equally inspired by their environmental effort. Here are some of Ireland’s green initiative:

Biking

Public bike rentals were introduced to Dublin in 2009 and since there has been a big push to encourage riding bikes. Last year there was a 14% jump in the number of cyclist in Dublin. In the coming years Dublin hopes to continue to increase bikes use and further reduce their carbon footprint. And while Dublin is no Amsterdam or Copenhagen, one day it could be.

Now to a U.S citizen, bikers in Ireland seem nuts. These bikers are literally risking their lives for the environment. With the combination of narrow roads and fast drivers, willingly biking on the street seemed downright crazy to a foreign tourist. In the US people slow down and go around bikers. Even if they’re riding on the shoulder, we normally make an effort to avoid them. Not the case is Ireland! Bikers are given about 3 inches of space and no courtesy slow down. I can imagine that almost getting hit is just a regular old day over there. In the name of the environment I guess?

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This road shouldn’t be able to fit two cars and a biker, yet somehow it does.

ATMs

One of the more surprising Irish eco-friendly initiative were the ATMs. After you take out money the ATM makes you think long and hard about whether or not you really need a receipt. Apparently receipt litter became a big enough problem that in 2007 a protocol was developed to reduce the amount of ATM receipts that ended up on streets and sidewalks. The protocol includes:

  • receipts are only available when customers request one
  • an on screen message helps create awareness of receipts’ environmental impact
  • under each ATM there is a trashcan to throw unwanted receipts in

It may seem like a small step, but I’ll admit I didn’t see any receipts on the street. _MG_1857

Wind Turbines

It is Ireland’s goal to generate 40% of its electricity from renewable resources by 2020. In 2013 47% of Ireland’s renewable energy came from wind. The biggest issue that surrounds wind turbines is the impact they have on the visual landscape and consequently tourism. Although I thought it was cool to see the turbines, I can understand the concern.While it may not be feasible to power the entire island with wind, it’s a step in the right direction. So whether or not more wind turbines pop up, Ireland is committed to decreasing their carbon footprint.

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Green Your Routine

Happy Earth Day, everyone! Although Earth Day is a great reminder of the beautiful planet we live on, I think Earth Day is something that should be celebrated everyday. So I have complied a list of three everyday items that you can incorporate into your daily routine to decrease your environmental footprint. It’s that simple. Let’s get started.

Phone RoutinePhone Earth Day

Solar energy is responsible for creating approximately .5% of U.S electricity. So why not replace .5% of your electricity usage by charging your cell phone with a solar powered charger. Simple enough, right? There are quite a few on the market if you google “solar power phone charger”, but I personally love this ultra fashionable Henri Bendel one. Now I know exactly what some of you are thinking: “but Annie, I charge my phone at night”. I can totally understand that. I’m one of those people too. Instead you can use this hand-powered charger and get a little bicep workout in while you charge your phone. Depending on how often you use your phone, these items may not fully replace your current phone charging routine, but they’re a start. Also I think either of these would come in handy while traveling because 1) You don’t have to fight at the airport for an outlet and 2) Traveling to a foreign country and forgot a converter? No problemo, muchacho.

Bag RoutineBags Earth Day

Snack bag. Grocery bags. Dog poop bags… Disposable bags are used in daily situations and while they may be super convenient, they’re not super great for the environment. So in order to green your bag routine, try swapping disposable bags for more eco-friendly options. For instance did you know that 20 million sandwich bags end up in our landfills… a day!!! Bleh! Check out these reusable sandwich/snack/anything bags and you will no longer be part of the 20 million. Other bags you can switch out are plastic grocery bags for these super cool market bags. Make grocery shopping chic. And lastly dog poop bags.  It’s a sin these days if you don’t pick up after your dog. But instead of using just any old bag, use these instead. It won’t make picking up poop any easier, but it’ll be better for the environment.

Beauty RoutineEarth Day Zoya

And lastly, green your beauty routine. I wrote about Zoya in a post last week. Zoya is very passionate about keeping harmful chemicals out of their nail polishes and it’s no surprise that they are also very passionate about keeping chemicals out of the environment.  In honor of Earth Day and for a limited time only, Zoya is offering to give you free nail polish! Sounds too good to be true, right? But it is true! All you have to do is send in old bottles of nail polish (from any brand) and they will send you new bottles of Zoya. For free. Zoya will dispose of your old polishes in an environmentally friendly way. Definitely beats throwing them in the trash. You can check out more details here.

How do you plan to green you routine? Leave your tips and tricks in the comments below! And if you still need some more inspiration, check out last year’s post: 7 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day.


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Friday Finds

Check out what I’ve been checkin’ out this week…

Friday Finds 1.23.15

1. Like I said last week with the cat cafe, I love a cleaver solution to tough problems. Could tiny homes be part of the solution to homelessness?

2. Manatees are cute. This story is cute. If you don’t think so then I’m sorry to inform you, but you have no soul.

3. This video isn’t new, but it popped up randomly on my news feed this week and I think it was a sign that I needed to share it because its worth watching multiple times.

4. You have until January 31st to bring your old jeans to J. Crew to get $20 off on your next denim purchase. The donated jeans go to Blue Jean Go Green which uses the recycled denim to make building insulation, which is so cool.


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Presents With A Purpose: Protecting Our Planet

Day 3! Today’s Moorea Seal products give back to the environment. 7% of proceeds go to Semilla Nueva, which means New Seed in Spanish. Those 4 years of high school Spanish finally pay off.

New Seed’s mission is to develop locally-led farmer education programs that rebuild the soils and improve food security and income for Guatemala’s rural poor. They plan to do this by harnessing the power of sustainable agriculture technologies, organizing communities, and engaging with local government. In the future Semilla Nueva hopes the increased incomes and environmental protection will go hand.

Check out my top gift picks from Moorea Seal’s Protecting Our Planet section below.

Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 10.20.51 PM1. Laundry Day Candle / 2. Screw Cuff / 3. Salt + Pepper Foldover Cowhide Clutch / 4. Reversible Feather Pendant / 5. Stir Shake Calender / 6. In The Garden iPhone 6 Case / 7. Golden Fern iPhone 6 Case / 8. Dos Tonos Ankle Boot / 9. Tomato Tea Towel / 10. Caramel Flecked Clutch


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Friday Finds

Here’s what I’ve been reading this week…

Friday Finds 4

1. Check out the airplanes of the future and how they will be better for the environment.

2. This New Yorker doesn’t own a trashcan because well, she doesn’t need one. Read all about her “no waste” lifestyle. Think you could do it?

3. Vending machines that dispense natural beauty products are popping up in airports everywhere.  So cool! And so dangerous for my wallet.

4. Speaking of beauty products… Target has put together a natural beauty box you can order online for only $5! (and free shipping whoop whoop)

5. This is a heartwarming story about a homeless man who put out a personal ad to find someone to share Thanksgiving. I love happy stories like this.

6. When 3 year old Ariana saw a video of a sick girl without hair her response was, “Oh, she can have some of mine.” So cute!


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#tossthetube

The other night while watching the TV show Extreme Weight Loss and eating a mini Kit Kat, I saw a commercial for the tube-less toilet paper rolls from Scott.

17 billion rolls is an incredible amount! The commercial states that that is enough to fill the Empire State Building twice, which is kind of scary, but this also got me thinking about what other things could be filled with 17 billion toilet paper rolls…

I looked up the volume of the Empire State Building and found it is 37 million cubic feet. So I’m assuming 17 billion toilet paper rolls take up about 74 million cubic feet (twice the Empire Sate Building). Therefore, 17 billion toilet paper rolls could fill:

Spaceship Earth

Spaceship Earth at Epcot aka the giant golf ball thing that no one realizes is actually a ride (2,200,000 cubic feet) approximately 33 timesSydney Opera Housethe Sydney Opera House (880,000 cubic feet) about 84 times

Goodyear Blimp

the Goodyear Blimp (203,000 cubic feet) almost 365 timesBig Ben

Big Ben (164,200 cubic feet) about 450 times

I clearly have a little too much time on my hands, but I’ll admit before today I never really thought about the environmental impact of toilet paper rolls. And I’m sure this never even crosses most people’s mind, but this commercial definitely gets the conversation started. You can check out some more information here and make your pledge to #tossthetube to get a coupon for some tube free tp.