Earth Day is on April 22 this year, but it started in 1970 as a way to bring attention to the importance of environmental protection in the United States. Earth Day has grown into a global celebration and has inspired environmental awareness and countless acts of environmental stewardship worldwide.
Here are some ideas to help you and your family celebrate this important day and understand the impact on their environment.
Plant a tree: Planting trees help to lower greenhouse gas emissions, and they are great for encouraging other plants and animals to enjoy your garden. Your local nursery will have plenty of varieties to choose from. More trees in your yard can actually lower your cooling bill by providing shade over your house.
Make pine cone birdfeeders- Everyone loves to see beautiful birds in the yard. Attract birds right to your yard and watch them as they enjoy a healthy snack. Making pine cone bird feeders is a fun and easy activity for children.
Plant a vegetable garden- Spring is here, it’s time to head outside again. Planting a backyard garden is easier than you think, whether you want to plant lettuce, herbs and other veggies, or a beautiful flower garden. Planting a garden is a great activity the family can enjoy together. Gardening helps kids experience nature and learn about where food comes from.
Picnic in the park
Get out into the fresh air and enjoy a day out to the park for a picnic. All you need are some snacks in a basket and a cozy blanket head to your nearest and greenest outdoor space. If you’re taking the kids along, this is a good time to teach them about the importance of keeping waste to a minimum and recycling.
Take a hike
Get the whole family outside for a hike and enjoy nature, fresh air and exercise at the same time. There are great hiking trails all over the country, and while on your adventure, you’ll be sure to find all sorts of creatures and habitat. If you don’t live near a trail, head out to a park or explore your neighborhood. You could even take some photographs and start an Earth Day scrapbook.
How will you be celebrating Earth Day? Share your comments with us below.
Everyone loves a good spring clean – out with the old, in with the new. Spring cleaning does not have to be an arduous chore, and you can clean up without harming the environment or your health.
Here are some quick tips to help you get started:
Choose Eco-Friendly Products
You don’t need to buy expensive eco products when you can use cheap ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen such as baking soda, white distilled vinegar and lemon juice.
• Baking soda works great as a deodorizer and it can get some pretty stubborns stains up from your tub.
• Vinegar cleans floors, counters and windows. Mix it with water, and spray it wherever you would normally spray an all-purpose cleaner. Don’t worry, the smell won’t linger and make you smell like a British chippy!
• Lemon juice disinfects your home and serves as natural bleach. Spray it on counter stains, and watch them disappear. You can also run lemon peels through the garbage disposal to improve freshness.
Organize Storage Spaces
• Start in the kitchen. Get rid of outdated spices and the stale cereal at the back of the cupboard. Match the lids to food storage containers. Do you really need four baking trays? As you empty each cabinet and organize your kitchen, wipe down the cabinets. In your sorted kitchen, cooking is easier and more enjoyable.
• Next, clean out the closets in your home. Can you easily get to your clothes? If not, it’s time to clean out the closets. Donate clothes that no longer fit or that you haven’t worn in six months. Sort shoes in a bin or hanging shoe organizer. You might even want to install shelving. With neat closets, getting dressed takes less time and is easier for you and your family members.
• Go through books and magazines and donate the thoroughly read to a local library, charity shop or take them along to your next book club meeting. Renew your library card because borrowing books is not only good for your bank balance, it’s good for the environment too!
What are some of your Eco-friendly Spring Cleaning tips?, we’d love to hear them in the comments or at our Facebook page.
Everyone loves a party, but throwing a good shindig can create a lot of unnecessary waste. Here are some tips to celebrate in an eco-friendly manner:
Use locally sourced, organic ingredients. Items such as fresh herbs, free-range chicken and whole-grain pizza dough, they may be a little more expensive, but think quality over quantity. Don’t make too much food either as you don’t want a ton of left overs.
Reduce and reuse by renting
You can rent anything these days such as: place settings, tablecloths, cloth napkins, decorations, coolers and more. Rent gowns and costumes, or shop second-hand stores, rather than buying party new.
Hire a bus to transport guests to the venue. Group transportation reduces pollution, saves drivers from finding parking spaces, and gives your guests a designated driver. You could even include bus schedules and bike paths in the party invitations to encourage guests to use petroleum-free modes of transportation to the party.
Get the good China out
Avoid using plastic or paper plates. Real china looks great and eases the impact on landfills. You can always rent some if you don’t have enough to go around.
Clean up responsibly
Encourage guests to use cloth napkins or at the very least, recycled, unbleached napkins and paper towels. Put out recycling cans to make it easier for everyone to recycle.
Let Nature be your decor
Forgo expensive, tacky decorations and use mother nature as your inspiration. Have a look around to see what seasonal foliage, rocks, branches, shells and plants you can use to create a party atmosphere.
You can get a wide variety of organic drinks to serve at your party. Serve biodynamic wine, organic beer, fresh-squeezed juices and Fair Trade coffee. Consider creating an eco-themed custom cocktail just for your event (maybe a green mojito with plenty of organic mint).
Share some of your tips on how to throw an eco-friendly party in the comments section below.
As the New Year kicks off to a start, many of us take the opportunity to take stock, examine our lives and make changes. New Year Resolutions are never easy because they require effort and commitment, but there some Eco friendly resolutions you can make that are easy to implement and bring great rewards.
Reuse what you already own
Every day, we are bombarded with new gadgets and gizmos and we can fall victim to ‘shiny object’ syndrome. Don’t do it. Think about the stuff you already own and how you can reuse and recycle without polluting the planet with more material things.
Recycle your wardrobe
You don’t need a whole new wardrobe when you can switch up your outfits by mixing and matching scarves, ties, belts and shoes. You’ll be surprised at the new combinations you come up with.
Save money by going green
Unplug electronic equipment you aren’t using; turn off the lights; lower your heat and wear an extra sweater. Switching from chemical cleaners to homemade baking soda/vinegar combos can save you $600 a year, and taking public transportation saves countless money on gas.
Become more efficient
Save money by investing in modern, efficient appliances, the extra money spent upfront will save you more in the long run. A programmable thermostat could have you saving as much as 15% on your energy bill. In other cases, you might have to invest just a bit more time-making your lunch ahead of time instead of ordering take-out, baking your own bread, or learn some simple home repair and save hundreds of dollars.
Yes, you know you have too much stuff—especially if your home just received an influx of gifts over the holidays. Unclutter and update your closet by hosting a clothing swap, and keep your foyer table clear by cutting junk mail. Getting rid of excess in your home by reusing it means less waste, fewer landfills, and—eventually—less energy spent on the production of a whole lot of unnecessary junk.
Yes, that old chestnut! Many classic weight loss tips—eat fresh vegetables; skip the processed food aisle, cut out red meat—line up perfectly with a green lifestyle. Get more active - If you’re going less than one mile, trade driving for walking; for longer distances, dust off your bike and start pedaling as you watch the pounds melt away.
Apart from all the health benefits you will enjoy, cigarettes are a huge source of litter—plus there’s nothing eco-friendly about the pesticides, deforestation, paper use, and waste output of cigarette production. If you’re ready to quit, replace the habit with exercise, or snacks of fresh organic veggies.
Set Up A Friendly Swap
This is fun and easy to do. Invite a group of friends to bring clean, gently used or no longer used clothing and home accessories…you can even trade art and craft supplies; this is such a wonderful way to connect with friends while exchanging things you don’t use for things you will. This is amazing for a group of friends with kids of varying ages.
Share your new year’s resolutions with us in the comments section
Christmas is almost here and every year we see so much waste with gifts, wrapping paper and excess everywhere. But there is something you can do to make your holiday celebrations eco friendly and fun. Here are some quick tips to help you get there.
· How to choose a tree: Every season 35 million trees are cut down to accommodate the Christmas season. One tree has the ability to remove 48 pounds of carbon from the atmosphere. Consider buying a live tree that is already potted so you can plant it in your garden after the season is over.
· Decorate the tree: There’s no need to buy expensive, toxic decorations when you can use cones from the yard, or popcorn strung together. Children will love helping you decorate!
· Decorate your home with natural décor: Add fruit, nuts, and pine cones to your holiday centerpiece or fireplace mantle to bring in rich color and an organic touch to your decorations. Simple ornaments strung with dried citrus, apples, pine cones and cinnamon sticks will look great on your Christmas tree.
· Recycle your live Christmas tree: Take advantage of local recycling which will turn your tree into wood chips, and mulch for landscaping. This gives you peace of mind when enjoying throughout the holiday season. Many neighborhood waste collection agencies will have a plant clippings pickup for your home. Check with them to see if they recycle Christmas trees.
· Eco-friendly Christmas cards: Choose greeting cards printed on recycled paper. Forget mailing cards and send egreetings instead. These are inexpensive and fun way to send holiday greetings.
· Wrapping: Lastly, what to use to wrap gifts? Instead of wasting all of that wrapping paper, try making homemade gifts which are often too big or bulky to be wrapped traditionally anyway. Instead, use gift bags that you have collected throughout the year.
From the Organic Cotton Plus family; we wish you a wonderful holiday season!
You want to play your part in helping us keep our beautiful planet healthy and safe, but daily laundry can be an eco-nightmare at the best of times, so what do you do?
Here are some simple tips that will reduce the impact all those loads have on the environment.
Wear it more than once
Wearing your clothes more than once before tossing them in the dirty pile is the first step in greening your laundry habits. A United Nations Environment study revealed that you can consume up to five times less energy by wearing your jeans at least three times, washing them in cold water, and skipping the dryer or the iron.
Control the Temperature
About 90 percent of the energy associated with doing laundry involves just heating up the water. An easy solution is to wash all your laundry with cold water. Unless you work in the coal mines, your clothes never really need the hot wash to get out stains.
Wash Full Loads
The average load uses 40 gallons of water. Reducing the number of loads you do each week will save water and money.
Invest in an Energy Efficient Washer and Dryer
There are plenty of stylish and energy efficient models on the market that will save both water and energy which will also reduce your bills.
Use Natural Detergents and Stain Removers
Natural products tend to be free of chlorine bleach, synthetic fragrance, dyes, and optical brighteners. They’re usually plant (not petroleum) based, contain biodegradable surfactants, and are often specifically formulated to perform well in cold water. They will get your laundry just as clean as chemically laden, harmful detergents.
Toss the Dryer Sheets
Dryer sheets have similar chemicals to those found in conventional detergents. They’re not exactly healthy for human health and the environment. If you really must use dryer sheets; at least use eco-friendly ones.
Hang Clothes to Dry
Keeping your clothes out of a dryer extends their life, reduces energy use, and cuts costs. Whether indoors or outside, line drying can be done year round. Hey, if it was good enough for your grandma, it’s good enough for you!
You won’t mind this tip. Ironing is a tedious chore and it also consumes energy and can deteriorate fabric. You don’t have to look like you slept in your clothes so to avoid looking haggard, simply hang clothes up immediately after the wash cycle is complete. The water still in them will work with gravity to pull most wrinkles out.
Say NO to dry cleaning
Conventional dry cleaning is very unfriendly to the environment and our bodies. Most businesses use the chemical perchloroethylene which research studies have shown may be dangerous to our health. Exposure to this chemical has been linked to increased risks of bladder, esophageal, and cervical cancer; eye, nose, throat and skin irritation; and reduced fertility; among other effects. Just say NO.
What eco friendly laundry tips do you have to share with us? Please post in the comments or join us on our Facebook page HERE
“To sleep, perchance to dream….”
Slumber is certainly the Holy Grail for many stressed out people today. Work, family and life responsibilities keep many of us awake, but there are steps you can take to make your bedroom a true sanctuary. By making your bedroom as eco-friendly as possible, you can help the health of the planet – and your own health, as well. It’s surprisingly easy to transform your room into one that is good for the environment; it doesn’t take a whole lot of time or money to do so. Check out our top tips for achieving a green bedroom:
Unplug Electronics at bedtime – Put down your laptop and phone, turn off your TV. This will reduce the electromagnetic radiation in your room which will help your body to naturally shut down ready for a good night’s sleep.
Use Blankets – Using as little electricity as possible is a great way to help the health of the planet. Instead of using a high energy-consuming space heater in your bedroom, then, stock up on warm, comfy blankets instead. Nothing beats getting all bundled up in soft, high quality blankets; splurge on a nice set to make getting into bed a real treat.
Get a house plant – This will help with the natural cycle of carbon dioxide and oxygen to help with a good night’s rest. It’s also calming and aesthetically beautiful
Use an Eco-Friendly Mattress – Sleeping on synthetic mattresses is not only bad for the environment – when you throw it away, it sits in a landfill – but it’s also bad for your health, too. Organic mattresses help you avoid breathing in chemicals and other harmful things, letting you enjoy a much safer and more relaxing night of sleep. If you can’t spring for a new mattress, you can use an organic Barrier Cloth Mattress Protector.
Buy Organic Bedding – The benefits of the best mattress in the world can be canceled out by bedding that’s made out of scratchy, synthetic materials. Organic bedding is becoming more and more popular these days; using it is a great way to do your part to save the planet, while improving your overall health as well. We recommend our bedding of course! How about our gorgeous Capital Collection?
Wear organic to bed - As you know, regular cotton is grown and processed with heavy amounts of chemicals. Get a better night’s sleep with a pair of soft and natural organic PJs.
Use Low-VOC Paints and Varnishes – Volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, can produce harmful off-gassing that can compromise your health. Many common paints and varnishes contain VOCs, but you can purchase products that use little or none at all, too.
Avoid Carpeting, If Possible – Carpets can be breeding grounds for dust mites and other contaminants. Many carpets are made out of synthetic fibers that contain VOCs. If you must use carpets, select ones that are made out of all natural fibers. For best results, stick with hardwood floors to avoid the issue altogether.
Use Earth-Friendly Cleaning Products – When you clean your bedroom, only use gentle cleaning products that don’t contain VOCs or other harsh chemicals. Otherwise, you are introducing all sorts of unpleasant gases and fumes into the air of your bedroom. It’s much easier now to find and use pure, natural ingredients to keep your room clean and you can help the planet as well.
Buy Used Bedroom Furniture – Reusing existing furniture is a lot better for the health of the planet than buying it new. It can also be a lot of fun to scour flea markets and consignment stores to find something beautiful and unique that doesn’t harm the environment.
We would love to hear how you keep your bedroom or other rooms in your house environmentally friendly. Please share your ideas with us in the comments box!
Magnolia Organics brings together eco-friendly products with an ethical and environmental conscious to unparalleled quality and design. See our Organic cotton sheets and towels HERE
We are passionate about reusing, reducing and recycling here at Magnolia Organics and what better way to celebrate your new organic, toxic-free sheets and towels than putting your old ones to good use. There’s something comforting about turning something old into something new without harming the environment.
Here are some great ideas you can use throughout your home:
Window treatments. Fold over six inches of the uppermost edge of the bed sheet and sew. Run a tension rod through the new loop and secure above the windows. Makes a bright, vivid panel.
Chair upholstery. For much-trafficked uses (chairs, sofas, etc.), make sure to double up fabric before upholstering. Many chair cushions from inexpensive furniture can be easily removed; pull bedding tightly over the cushion and secure with a staple gun.
Ironing board cover. A staple gun comes in handy again—secure bedding to underside of an ironing board. If it’s particularly colorful/stylish, keep the ironing board in plain view in the laundry/mudroom.
Pet bed lining. A particularly cute idea if you also have scraps to make small pet pillows or toys.
Bulletin board cover. Purchase a bulletin board at any office supplies store and cut bedding so it fills the whole sheet of cork, edge to edge. Secure with glue or staple gun. This is great for cards, invites and shopping lists.
Artwork. If you’ve got a pretty design on your bedding, buy three blank canvases (any size square or rectangle works) at an art supplies store. Wrap each in sheets and secure on the backside; the DIY triptych will brighten up any space that needs a punch.
Cleaning Rags. Hey, this is something our mothers and grandmothers always did and it worked fine for them. This is probably the easiest way to reuse old towels. All you have to do is cut them up!
Picnic Blanket. Who doesn’t love a picnic in the park or at the beach? Old towels can be sewn together to make a huge picnic blanket. Take four to six bigger bath towels, and then using a sewing machine or an old-fashioned needle and thread, create a blanket two towels wide by three towels deep. Now all you need to do is go on a picnic.
Dishtowels. Your old towels can transition from drying you to drying your dishes. Cut them into dishtowel sizes, and hem the edges. They really soak up the water when you’re drying dishes.
Spa Slippers. Ok, so you need a bit more creativity on this one, but it’s worth it. You also get to revive an old pair of slippers or flip flops that were destined for the trashcan. By tracing around the slippers and doing some careful sewing, you’ll get a great pair of spa slippers for almost nothing.
Ironing Board Pads and Covers. Hands up who hates their old, stained, ripped ironing board cover? Where do those stains come from anyway? You can easily make a new ironing board cover by using towels and an old bed sheet. Cut the towels to size, then cut the sheet larger than the board so you have extra space to wrap around and create a drawstring pouch. It takes basic sewing skills and a little time, and it’s way cheaper than buying a new cover.
Why don’t you tell us what you are going to turn your old towels and sheets into? Share with us on our Facebook Page @ https://www.facebook.com/magnoliaorganics
Now-a-days we are bombarded with messages encouraging us to lower our carbon footprint! But believe-it-or-not, that isn’t the only footprint to be worried about. All of your actions have an impact on the environment. Every time you buy a new t-shirt, (or new bedding) you leave a FIBER FOOTPRINT. This evaluation takes into account where the cotton is grown, where it is manufactured, how much water and energy was required, chemicals and transportation. Magnolia Organics decreases their water footprint by using less-intensive irrigation practices. Water is also sustained during the production of Magnolia Organics’ sheets because no toxic pesticides, insecticides or fertilizers are used during the growing process. Thus, water is not wasted diluting toxic concentrations of chemicals.
Magnolia Organics also scores extremely well in the carbon and land footprint categories. Each step of the entire production and manufacturing process occurs within miles of each other, lessening the carbon released during transportation. Our 100% organic cotton is grown in healthy soil that is prepared through crop rotation. This retains moisture in the soil and fosters healthy and sustainable cropland. Once the cotton is ready to harvest, natural defoilation from freezing temperatures and water management is utilized. This has a smaller carbon footprint than conventional practices which induce harvestation with toxic chemicals and waste finite fossil fuels with aerial spraying of insecticides and intensive irrigation.
Compare the footprint of conventional cotton to that of organic cotton and make an informed decision the next time you buy!
Thread count is the number of threads, both vertical and horizontal, in a one-inch square of fabric. Does thread count matter? Not exclusively. The general misconception is that the finer the threads, the softer the fabric- but that is not always the case.
In competitive spirits, manufacturers manipulate the calculation of their thread counts to be high, higher and highest. They count not just each thread, but each fiber (called plies) that make up each thread. So a single thread might be four plies twisted together. One company will call that one thread, while another will call that four threads. Inconsistent, we know. High thread count doesn’t mean anything if the threads being counted aren’t high quality. Take the weave into consideration…
Percale: Percale sheeting is one of the finest available. It is made with both carded and combed cotton containing a high thread count that combines to create a silk-like feeling.
Flannel: Flannel sheets are a soft, medium weight fabric with a napped finish on one or both sides. The raised surface makes it look fluffy and is great for warmth in the winter.
Jersey: Jersey is a plain stitch knitted cloth that is extremely elastic. Think about a soft tee-shirt.
Sateen: Sateen has more yarn surface on the face of the cloth and is softer with a more lustrous look.
Magnolia Organics’ offers both percale and sateen sheet sets with thread counts ranging from 200 to 550. At the end of the day, it’s important to make a bed that you can lie in. The best sheets are the ones that you think compliment your bedroom and feel great against your skin.