This spring and summer, I have been focusing on reducing my family’s use of air conditioning.  Most days, when temperatures have been in the 70s and 80ss, I have been able to avoid its use completely, or at least limit its use to the evening only, by using the following strategies: Continue Reading »

Shirt Laundy - shirts in plastic wrappers and plastic bagIn this post, I want to focus,not on the chemicals used for drycleaning, but on the packaging.

My husband regularly takes his dress shirts to our local dry cleaner to be cleaned and pressed.  (I tried washing and ironing his shirts at home, but without a professional pressing machine it required a ridiculous amount of time and effort.  Often the starch would leave residue on the shirts and I’d have to re-wash them.  It just didn’t work.)

The shirts are returned to us neatly folded, which he finds convenient to tuck into his bag or luggage as needed.  However, I was unhappy with the plastics involved.   There are several plastic clips along with several pieces of cardboard used to secure each shirt into shape.  Each shirt is wrapped in an indivdual plastic sleeve.  Then the shirts are placed in a large, handled plastic tote.

This means that if he wears five shirts a week, that works out to around 240 individual plastic sleeves per year, nearly 500 plastic clips, and nearly 50 large plastic totes per year in the trash! 

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I’ve learned that in New Jersey, I have a choice to opt for greener methods of electrical generation through the New Jersey Clean Energy Program.  Through this program, I may opt to purchase my electrical power through one of two alternative providers:  Community Energy or Sterling Planet.  (The NJ website also lists Green Mountain Energy as a participant, but the GME website says that it is not currently available in my area.)

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Hanna Anderson

I was pleasantly surprised by a package I received in the mail today from Hanna Anderson.  I was pleased not only with what it contained – fun, colorful, organic cotton kids clothing – but also with what it didn’t contain – there was virtually no plastic in the box!

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I just sent these two emails to LL Bean:

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Today, on the walk into my house from my driveway, I picked up the following:

Over a dozen plastic bits.  What makes that remarkable to me is that I already picked up several plastic items this morning when I took out the trash, and more yesterday evening.  Living along a suburban street, these bits of plastic refuse end up in my yard all the time – blown from garbage cans, accidentally or intentionally dropped, or thrown out of cars as they pass.  The cellophane from cigarette packages, candy wrappers, coffee cup lids, straws, plastic bags, and more.

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Over the past few months, I have been working to green up my laundry room.  This has been one of the easiest changes for me, perhaps because I am the only one who uses the laundry room, so I don’t have to drag any other family members kicking, screaming, and complaining into greener habits.  Or maybe it’s because I find doing laundry the green way a LOT more pleasant.

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