Category Archives: environmental friendly

20+ Solid Steps Towards Plastic-Free Living


The use of plastic is a big menace to the environment. Plastic lacks the ability to biodegrade and this means that it pollutes the environment. It is hence imperative to adopt a plastic free living to reduce the overall impacts plastics have on the environment.

Essentially, plastic free living means that one has to avoid or minimize using plastic materials. In other words, the plastic materials we use daily can be substituted by other environmentally friendly materials or can be avoided completely. Here are 20+ solid steps to plastic free living.

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1. Giving up bottled water. Bottled water comes in a plastic package, which requires effort to ship and extract. Using a reusable stainless bottle instead of using the plastic bottles is one step towards a plastic free life. The bottled water is normally filtered tap water so one can just purify tap water in their homes and bottle it in a stainless steel bottle. However, one should avoid reusable plastic bottles and aluminum bottles as they may leach chemicals in water and are lined by hazardous epoxy resins respectively.

2. Use reusable shopping bag The use of plastic bags are on the rise and they contribute greatly to pollution and their production also contribute to global warming. Instead of using a plastic bag next time when doing grocery shopping, you can use other alternatives such reusable paper bags, canvas bags, backpacks, and messenger bags. The reusable shopping bags should be kept in one’s bag or car at all times in order to avoid buying plastic bags.

3. Use reusable containers for take outs and leftovers. Next time you are out for food and you need to take out foods or leftovers use one of your containers instead of the takeout containers provided. Make sure you carry with you a container each time you go out to avoid promoting the use of plastic materials. The move will allow movement towards a plastic free living.

4. Use stainless steel bottles and cups for water or coffee as you move around. When moving around the world on travel or when running errands, one needs water or coffee. These drinks come in plastic bottles or disposable cups. To avoid plastics, you can choose to carry around stainless steel mugs or water bottles to store the drinks in. And to avoid forgetting the mug or bottle at home, you must have a personal policy not to take any of the drinks if you have forgotten the containers.

5. Eat ice cream cone instead of ice cream in a container. Instead of keeping tons of ice cream in the freezer in plastic containers you can treat yourself to cone ice cream occasionally when you have cravings. In addition to reducing the number of plastics in the world, it also reduces ice cream consumption hence a healthier individual.

6. Cut on plastic bottled beverages. Plastic bottled beverages include drinks such as sodas and juices, which increase the level of plastics or non-biodegradable components on earth. Choosing to take fresh fruits or drink fresh juice from the comfort of your home makes it easier to get rid of plastics or glass bottles or containers that accompany these beverages.

7. Buy fresh pastries that come in paper bags or no bags. When going to the bakery for bread or other pastries, you should opt for fresh ones that come in paper bags or no paper at all. A cloth bag or any other clean bag can be used when picking bread from the bakery or farmers market. Additionally, bread stay fresh when stored in an airtight tin or in a cloth bag so it’s an added bonus to using plastic bags.

8. Return used containers to suppliers for reuse. When buying groceries from the farmers market, you can use one shopping bag that you can take for a refill each week. As for the cherries, tomatoes, and jam that can be stored in containers, they should be returned to the farmers market for reuse. Instead of having a pile of containers in your kitchen that keep accumulating each time you go to the market, you can collect them and take them back for reuse.

9. Carry around a container for meat and prepared food. When you go out to for meat or other prepared meals that need packaging be sure to carry your own container from home to avoid their plastic containers. You can ask the butcher to measure the weight of the container you are using and deduct it from the total weight of the meat.

10. Buy milk in reusable glass bottle. When buying milk or yogurt you can opt to use glass bottles. The glass bottles can be yours or you can get milk packed in them in the supermarket. Instead of buying milk packed in plastic bags or disposable paper bags you can carry around your glass bottle that is specific to milk or yogurt. The glass bottles help get rid of plastic bags and paper bags coated with plastic on both sides a major step towards plastic free living.

11. Carry Cutlery and Straws that is Non-plastic. Plastic cutlery such as spoons and knives and straws are among the worst pollutants. They are normally overlooked but they are mostly used and disposed of leading to a pile of plastic disposed in the environment. In order to embrace plastic free living, it is important for you to stop using these plastic cutleries and straws and instead embrace the use of your own cutlery. Carry cutlery with you from home and keep it in the car. It could be made of stainless steel, wood or anything that is not plastic or disposable in order to keep this world plastic free.

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12. Shop in Bulk to Minimize Packaging. It is important to shop in bulk be it for personal effects, grocery, hardware products, cleaning supplies or other products that come in plastic packages. When you shop in bulk, you avoid using plastic packaging or minimize them. There are stores that weigh products you have bought in bulk and package them in personal containers. While shopping carrying these containers or bags, it can be essential in reducing and eventually putting a stop to plastic living.

13. Avoid Buying Foods that have been over packaged, processed, canned and those that are frozen. The ban of plastic completely in the world would mean that people would be healthier. Most of the unhealthy foods are stored in plastic materials whereby they are stored for future purposes. Vegetables and fruits are normally covered in plastic in order to keep them fresh. Frozen convenient foods are normally packaged in plastic bags to avoid keeping them fresh while in the freezer. Canned foods are also coated using plastic called epoxy. If you avoid buying these products, then you are taking a step towards a plastic free living.

14. Try Replacing Plastics in the Kitchen. Most small packages in the kitchen come in plastic packages, therefore bulk buying comes in handy here. Buying in bulk means that you can dictate the package that the product comes in say detergent, for example, and instead use mason jars. Plastic scouring pads made of plastic can also be replaced with copper scrubbers. Plastic ice cube and Popsicle makers can be replaced with stainless steel ones to cut on the use of plastic. Cutleries and other utensils made of plastics can be replaced with either wood or stainless steel.

15. Replace Plastics around the Bathroom. Looking around the bathroom and replacing plastic containers with alternative containers goes a long way in getting rid of plastic. Tooth brushes, combs and hairbrushes with plastic handles can be replaced with wooden handles. Furthermore, instead of using deodorants that come in plastic packaging one could opt for baking soda which is as effective in drying the underarm.

16. Choose Healthier Electronics. Instead of buying new plastic made electronics opt for second hand electronics that have less packaging and less toxics.

17. Forego the Idea of a Christmas Tree. Instead of buying the artificial Christmas tree made of PVC, one should consider getting the real tree. The natural trees are more environmental friendly and they are a step towards living a plastic free life.

18. Throw a Zero Waste Party. Hold a party that requires the use of no plastic materials. Replace disposable plastic plates, cups and cutleries with stainless steel utensils. In case you have limited utensils, ask the guests to carry theirs from their homes to reduce the use of plastic.

19. Modify old clothing and shoes. Next time instead of throwing away old clothes or shoes, you should try modifying it and creating something better out of it. Old clothes that are either out of fashion or do not fit anymore could be taken to the tailor for alteration or you can think of something to do with them. The same applies for shoes.

20. Get Rid of Plastic Trash Bags. Instead of using the plastic garbage bags for trash, you could get a recycled plastic Urban Compost Tumbler which allows you to decompose garbage instead of throwing it away. Therefore, the use of plastic bags becomes obsolete.

21. Repair Things when they Break. Repair things around the house or outside before you opt to replace them. Repair allows old appliances or tools to be utilized instead of buying new ones with plastic packages. This acts as a step towards plastic free living.

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

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White House Has Made Plans to Decrease Renewable Energy Programs By 72%, Report says


It is necessary to note that the president of the United States of America, Donald Trump, stated on Tuesday that his government has ended the unreal “battle on clean coal”. The president has also made it known that he wants to make fossil fuel the main trend of the world.

However, the American government have set out plans to instruct the Congress to decrease the Department of Energy’s renewable energy and other agendas that are associated with efficient energy by 72% in 2019, this was stated by a draft budget that was revealed by Washington Post.

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The draft document says that the White House will also ask the congress to stop the weatherization program which has trained lots of people and has helped alleviate bills on different house owners across the country. Also, the budget proposal will obliterate state energy grants and eliminate the study of fuel efficient vehicles.

Furthermore, it is also necessary to note that the level of recent expenditures of the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) is about $2.04 billion but Trump’s administration is ready to decrease this amount by $575.5 million in 2019, this was also reported by the Post.

In 2018, it was known that Trump wanted $636.1 million to be spent on EERE department, but it was later rejected by the Congress; this was due to the fact that they were in support for an increase in the amount stated by Trump.

The draft budget by the American government decreed a number of cuts and they are aimed to decrease the growth of renewable energy across the country.  Moreover, the draft document stated the reduction of 680 staff in passed budget in 2017 to 450 in 2019. One of the EERE said that, “it is evident that we have made no success in trying to convince the recent government of our value, and if anything, this has also indicated that our value has dropped”

In a statement in response to the Post, the American government said it would not say anything “on any seeped or pre-decisional draft prior to the release of the official document”

We all know that the need for the environment to sustain renewable energy is very important and this is what the EERE supports. The office of the EERE has always been devoted to support the growth of ecological transportation, renewable power, efficient homes and structures across the world and not just the United States alone. It is also vital to know that the EERE program called “SunShot” has drastically decreased the total costs of solar energy in the United States and its environs.

Much of the findings of the EERE is mostly deployed on research and most times at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Co. Also, much of the laboratory’s $293 million budget in 2017 came from the EERE. Sadly, the cut of the budget would be so drastic.

Additionally, the draft has also called for the decrease in the research of fuel efficient vehicles by 82%. This also means that the document has made plans to cut the budget for the production of electric cars from $307 million (which is largest program right now) to $56 million in 2019.

Funds made specifically for bioenergy technologies have been channeled to study renewable fuels from sources which are not from food. Also, this plan will decrease the amount of funds being spent on more efficient building technologies and research into geothermal, hydro, and wind power.

The EERE programs on renewable energy takes about 7% of the Department’s overall budget, majority of the budget is channeled to maintain the country’s nuclear weapons stockpile and take care of different areas that have been adulterated by the country’s nuclear activities.

Trump’s decree on the cuts comes at the same time when he made the decision to enact tariffs on important solar panels and other equipment that are correlated to it. In addition to this, most people have stated that this move will not only suppress the present solar growth, but it will also have bad effect on one of the increasing job sectors of the economy and decrease clean energy innovations.

Although, it is more likely that the draft document might change before the government’s budget is due this month, but as it stands now, the Post has made it clear that the White House will set a preliminary point for certain negotiation to take place; it will also give a statement of resolved and other policy urgencies.

However, the cut under the leadership of President Donald Trump has shown to the world that it is uninterested in fostering renewable energy and producing environmental friendly products. The cut will also lower the funding of research and findings when it comes to knowing more on alternative energy sources like wind, and hydrothermal power. Nevertheless, Trump’s budget will be disclosed later this month, of which everyone is anticipating to see.

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

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China Makes Move to Limit Air Pollution by Ending the Production of Over 500 Car Models


China has made a vital move to stop air pollution by ending the production of more than 500 car models and other model versions that do not meet the economy’s fuel criteria. It is important to note that 535 car models have been affected. However, China’s move to curb air pollution by putting a ban on these car models have been announced on the official state news agency this week.

Furthermore, the suspension of these car models has taken an immediate effect since Jan. 1 2018. Cars that do not meet the country’s fuel economy standards, plus vehicles produced from internal manufacturers such as Cherry Automobile Co, Limited, and also models from FAW-Volkswagen and Beijing Benz Automotive have been affected.

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China’s move was apparent to “shake” the car manufacturing sector which boasts of 28 million vehicles produced in 2016. Nevertheless, China has lots of small-scale car manufacturers, in which some of these manufacturers produce more than a hundred cars annually. The government has made adequate efforts to merge its automobile sector, which is a factor that has played a major role in the suspension.

Moreover, the secretary general of the China Passenger Car Association, Cui Dongshu has said that the suspension of car models in China would only affect 1% of the Chinese market. Although, China’s decision to deregister the fuel economy on different versions of car models is a good sign of the commitment the government has to combat air pollution that is resulting in climate change. The Chinese government has set out plans to promote electric vehicles in order to encourage a better environment.

Before now, China has placed more priority on economic growth than protecting the environment and produced more than half of greenhouse gases, but it has resurfaced as a stronghold to combat climate-change after several actions from the U.S government in the rejection of the Paris climate accord.

However, the Chinese government is under much pressure to dive into the problem of air pollution and put a halt to it once and for all. Several effects of air pollution have caused serious panic to the Chinese populace; there have been situations where air pollution has forced schools and businesses to shut down briefly. Late last year, China made plans to have the largest carbon market across the globe, thus, offering lots of Chinese big businesses a financial spur to operate freely.

The president of Dunne Automobiles, Michael Dunne, has said that “China is sending an immense message across the world”. It is important to note that Dunne Automobiles is a Hong Kong-based company in China’s automobile sector.

Furthermore, it is also necessary to note that China has now emerged as the world’s biggest sponsor of electric cars; it has also offered incentives to car manufacturers to produce electric vehicles. Although, these incentives will be replaced by quotas in 2 years’ time for the number of electric cars that must be sold. This plan has urged lots of automobile manufacturers to increase the pace in the production of electric vehicles.

By contrast, the U.S under the leadership of President Donald Trump has considered withdrawing its support from plans to combat change, thus, killing the tax credit for battery-powered cars in its recent tax overhaul.

However, considering the fact that big automobile manufacturers such as Dongfeng Motor Corporation were not spared, says so much about China’s commitment to fight air pollution and achieve their goals as soon as possible, thereby, not giving-in to favoritism to the “big players” in the automobile industry, says Bruce M. Belzowski, of the Automotive Futures group at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.

China’s commitment has surprised other governments across the world today; this is due to the fact it has never indulged itself to take-up adequate measures on emission standard, not until now. At the moment, the Chinese government is empowering automobile manufacturers in the country to catch-up with the latest trend in making “clean cars”.

Mr. Dunne has made it known that “the latest stride is a recent indication of how fast their own automobile manufacturers have emerged and they are showing no signs of slowing down”.

Nevertheless, other foreign automobile manufacturers had to tally the effect of the ban on Tuesday. Manufacturers such as Volkswagen, General Motors, Honda, etc. have placed lots of probes. BMW, which is one of the biggest automobile industry has said that the company is not yet prepared for any statement.

Moreover, Engadget has stated that “the ban on vehicles that don’t meet the emission standards stands contrasts with the U.S. The Republican tax plan which has been released does not have adequate plans that would take out the EV tax credit, but only the spurs to move for environmental-friendly vehicles, which have little possibility to survive, due to the efforts of the current government to protect fossil fuels at all costs.

On the hand, the Chinese government is increasing its pace in the production of greener cars, because it has no option. Air pollution is imposing detrimental effects on China; due to this reason, the Chinese government is looking for adequate means to sustain the health of its residents.

Image credit: flickr

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him. Follow him on Facebook here.

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