Green Heart

It's my life and I'm trying to live it healthy, happy and enviromentaly friendly.

What kind of bottles to use?

I notice that many people in school or at work don’t carry any liquid with them. And this is exactly why so many people dehydrate, or just don’t drink enough water which can lead to many health problems in future. I know how these things go, I was one of these people once.

Then in high school I started to carry plastic bottle with me more often and when it was empty I refilled it with tap water (which is in most cases totally ok and sometimes even better than water you buy in shops). This is how I started to take care I really drink about 2-3 liters of liquid daily. But then more and more articles came out about the dangers of these plastic bottles. The biggest problem is that they have Bisphenol A (BPA), that is actually dangerous for us. I didn’t know what else can I do, so I continued drinking water from plastic bottle.
And beside the health issues, I don’t think we have to mention the problem of recycling and the price of buying plastic bottles… When you calculate how much it costs and how often you buy it… Yeah, let’s leave it. =)

Soon it was my birthday and I got one great present – quality plastic bottle that was BPA free. I was really thrilled about it and I started to carry it with me all the time. To school, when shopping, when going out… I mean all the time! But there was one problem… After few months of use it started to taste weird and I just couldn’t clean it as well as before. So I guess that showed it’s still just plastic.

Next step was a small glass bottle, that even had a name Emil die Flasche (Emil the bottle). I was using it probably for a whole year or so. But minus was that it didn’t have any protection, none at all. So it happened on a train; I accidentally droped it on a floor and that was the end of the happy relationship we had.

At that point I really couldn’t live without quality bottle anymore. It was my companion everywhere, all the time and it was even on my night table while I was sleeping, in case I’d wake up and be thirsty.
So it was only natural that I needed to buy myself a new bottle. And I did. I bought myself a great Slovenian product called Flaška. It is a glass bottle with 71% silicon-dioxide (the usual amount of silicon-dioxidein glass), but the difference is that Flaška is made out of informed glass. This way even ordinary tap water becomes quality water. Ok, so it’s still a glass bottle that can break, but here you get some protection “suits” for them, so there is some more safety. I really recommend it. And yeah, ok, it’s not the cheapest, but I’m sure it’s quality and you’ll have it for quite a while if you don’t break it. =)

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Have your own shopping bag

I remember few years ago, or I guess even few months ago, when you came to the shop and you bought only few things and they’ve put it in a plastic bag… And I thought that was so not ecological. That’s why I decided to make things different and I started to take my own bag with me. So when they wanted to put my stuff in one of their plastic bags I said that I don’t need it and I’ve put things in my own bag. Some people were looking at me like I’m from another planet or something, because I guess they thought it was totally weird not to take the bag. Sadly, they still do this in many shops. I guess this is the most common in shoe or clothes shops. But at least now they don’t look at me like I’m a total weirdo if I say I don’t want a bag.

But I’ve noticed some great changes lately. In more and more shops they ask me if I want a bag or do I have my own. I assume there were more and more people like me, that declined to take their bag. And when they ask me, I proudly say that I don’t need it and that I have my own. =)
In some shops I’ve noticed they even started to give you “eco points” if you don’t take the bag. You know, when you give them that “shop card” where you collect their points and bonuses and so on, well, they give you extra points. And what happened to me few days ago is that there was a line of people at the pay desk. Woman that was first in the line bought only few small things and she said she doesn’t need a bag and she got these “eco points”. Then the next customer said the same and the next one too. Then it was my turn and I said the same. But the woman behind me bought much more stuff than me and customers in before me, so I assumed she will need a bag. And it surprised me when she hesitated with an answer and said she doesn’t need it. Obviously she didn’t have her own bag with her either. So she just packed what she could in her purse and carried the rest in her hands. I guess she wanted those “eco points” too. =D But that’s ok, why not?! I thought that was great. And I do this all the time if it happens I don’t have my own bag. I just put things in my purse and that’s it.
And you wouldn’t believe how amount of plastic bags in your home just starts to reduce. You still get some, but it’s much less.

Also I notice that more and more shops have biodegradable bags now, so that’s a bit more environmentally friendly. And also now you can buy shopping bags that are made with eco-friendly materials and last for a long time, so you can use them for few months or even years. Most of them even have cute and nice designs, so they even contribute some style to your everyday life. =)
And one idea for this – you can sew your own shopping bag with some old clothes – take some old t-shirt or something and redesign it to a bag! =)

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Bamboo fabric

Source: http://www.ecogreen4us.com

“Bamboo fabric or bamboo textile is made from bamboo fibers. Bamboo as raw materials has many benefits compared to organic cotton. Bamboo can reach up to 35 meters tall and is the fastest growing wood plant on the earth. Bamboo is a grass family and the species could be found in many climates zones from cold mountains to tropical regions anywhere in the world. Since bamboo has high growth rate and the fact that bamboo can grow anywhere in the world, that makes bamboo plant a sustainable, environmentally friendly and resourceful for fabric production.

Bamboo can grow well naturally without using any pesticide. It is rarely eaten by pests or infected by pathogen. Further, bamboo fabric has natural anti-bacteria properties. Scientists found that bamboo owns a unique anti-bacteria and bacteriostatic bio-agent named “bamboo kun”. The finding is validated by Japan Textile Inspection Association. For instance even after fifty times of washing, bamboo fabric still possesses excellent function of anti-bacteria.”

How does it feel wearing the Bamboo Fabric?
“Bamboo fabric is extremely soft and when you wear it, is like wearing cashmere. Bamboo fabric is smooth and luxuriously comfortable. If we see the bamboo fabric at a microscopic level, bamboo fiber has a round smooth surface. That is the reason why when we wear it, we’ll feel its smoothness and sits perfectly next to our skin.

Bamboo fabric wicks away moisture keeping you comfortable and dry. Bamboo fabric wicks away moisture from the body which then evaporates, keeping you naturally drier and more comfortable. In material tests by few companies, organic bamboo fabric (100% bamboo fiber) absorb water more than organic cotton (100% cotton fiber) approximately 1.8 times more.”

“Bamboo fabric is breathable because the cross-section of the bamboo fiber is filled with various micro-gaps and micro-holes. Bamboo clothing is strong and durable. Few tests show that bamboo fiber has a high abrasion-proof capacity and also tenacity.

Bamboo fabric is good for sensitive of allergy prone skin because no chemical treatments which can irritate skin. The fiber is smooth and round and thus non-irritant. Bamboo fabric achieved a score of 50 on the UPF scale (Ultraviolet Protection Scale). This is the amount to a 98% reduction of UV activity reaching your skin.”

Care of Bamboo Fabric

“Bamboo clothing could be washed with cold to warm water up to 60° Celsius or 140° Fahrenheit with a gentle detergent, free of bleach.” It’s best if you use more natural detergents.
“Line drying in the sun is the best, if it is possible, except of fabrics containing vegetable dye, that should be dried away from direct sunlight. Machine drying is good but don’t overdo it. Over drying can result in damaged fabrics.”

Source: http://www.ecogreen4us.com

I have to admit, bamboo clothing is really amazing. It is perfect substitute for all those synthetic sport clothes and it’s especially great for people with allergies.

There are more and more companies that offer bamboo fabric and clothing, but me and my boyfriend are buying it from Slovenian company: www.bambusperilo.si

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Do you need a car?

Do you own a car? Maybe two? How many cars is in your household? These days almost everyone owns a car and it’s very common that mom has her own car, dad his own and kids that are old enough their own. So it’s not unusual if one family has three or even four cars. But do we really need them? Is really one or two cars per family not enough?

Let’s make a list of things why having a car is expensive and then think about what happens if you have more cars…
Buying a car – It’s not cheap, even if you buy old, used car. If it’s not in really bad state or something is wrong with it, you’re probably going tospend quite an amount…
Registration – Let’s not forget this has to be done every year…
Insurance – Even if we take just basic insurance that our car needs, it still costs a lot. Sometimes this costs more than the car is worth (if we have an old car). And let’s not forget that we need to pay this every year! Also if we want some extra insurance for parking, insurance for passengers, road assistance and so on, we need to pay some extra.
Tires – Car needs new tires every 2-3 years, and if you live in a climate with colder winters, you need winter tires as well. This can be quite an expensive but one of the most important things!
Maintenance – And of course there is maintenance involved. It’s not like you buy a car and everything will be ok with it for the rest of your life. No. Car needs to have regular checks, it can be damaged, it’s parts can just wear out. So this leads to more expenses that are usually not planed, and it can happen you will have to pay a lot of money for repairs. Many things can break down and most of the parts are not cheap.
Fuel – And last but not least, there is fuel. Prices of fuel are going up very fast and if you want to drive, you need to buy it. Ok, so maybe you have an electric car or hybrid or something like that – that means you have a bit less to worry about, but most of us still have ordinary cars which means we spend a looooooot of money on fuel.

I’m sure there are some more expenses that I could write down, but I guess these basics tell what I wanted to say. If you need even a bigger shocker, try calculating how much money you spend for fuel per year and how much you pay for insurance… That will give you an idea. Having a car is expensive. Ok, so maybe you will say: “But I NEED a car!”

Let’s think if you really do.
You need it to get to work? Really? There is no way that you could take some sort of public transport to work? Or maybe you can share a ride with a co-worker? Think about it.
You need it to go on vacation? Ok, so it might be convenient, but you can go on vacation with public transport as well! Or you can rent a car or borrow it from a friend. Also if you often travel by tourist agency they usually take care of transportation anyway.
You need it to go to the shop? No you don’t. You can walk to the nearest shop or you can go by public transport. Or you can make a deal with someone with a car, that you share a ride with him when they go shopping.

I know, I know, there are times when having a car is really useful thing and it makes life easier. But as I said before, usually one car per family should be enough. Not every member needs its own car. So if your family would have one car you would still be able to go on vacation with it, transport larger items, take kids to school and stuff like that.
I had my own car, sometimes I miss it, but when I think about how much less I spend and how much good I do for environment because of that, I stop bothering with this. I use public transport or I share a ride with others. If the weather is fine I use bicycle and this way I do something good for my body too!

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