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EXCLUSIVE: Becoming the Ultimate Green Shopper

Published on May 22, 2010 by   ·   86 Comments Pin It
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Although nothing is truly green about consumerism, let’s face it, we all shop.   And if you are going to shop.. why not shop green? With Summer hot on our heels, and nature about to be in in her fullest glory – now is the perfect time to get into the eco-friendly groove and think about the impact you can make in  changing the way you shop.  Here are some of the best ways you can help our planet and improve your health courtesy of TheUltimateGreenStore.com:

1. Clean Green

Most conventional cleaning products are petroleum-based and contain toxic, unhealthful ingredients such as chlorine bleach, ammonia and synthetic fragrances, which are carcinogenic and/or potential hormone disruptors. Here’s a fact: If every household in the U.S. replaced just one bottle of petroleum-based cleaner with plant-based products, we could save thousands of barrels of oil-enough to heat and cool hundreds of U.S. homes per year.   Here are some of GirlieGirlArmy.com’s favorite articles on the topic: How To Green Clean Your Palace (written by a green cleaning professional,) and this article on DIY, earth-lite Cleaning Products is great for learning how to make your own cleaning products for mere shekels.

2.  Don’t Dry-Clean, or Turn to Green Alternatives

The traditional dry-cleaning process involves the use of very toxic chemicals. There are alternative dry-cleaning companies emerging all over the country. The Environmental Protection Agency has a state-by-state list of green dry cleaners. The dry-cleaning business also uses a ton of those plastic bags in which you get back your garments. You can shop for reusable dry-cleaning bags, give them to your cleaner and tell them you want your clothes back in them. No plastic, please!

The  Green Garmento Reusable Dry-cleaning bagDropps  Eco-friendly LaundryMethod  Bathroom Detox Kit
“Green” your cleaning routine with  The
Green Garmento 3-in-1 reusable garment bag  ($9.99), Dropps biodegradable, 20-load  laundry pacs ($6.95) and   Method Bathroom Detox Cleaning Kit ($26.95) , which features cleaning products that have naturally-derived, non-toxic ingredients that will leave your bathroom smelling like a spa!

3. Abandon Aerosol Sprays and Traditional Air Fresheners

Aerosol sprays contain propellants-not something you want to be breathing. Traditional air fresheners are also petroleum-based and release harmful chemicals into the air no matter how good you may think they smell. If you like to use store-bought air fresheners, turn to alternatives that are plant-based.

4. Beware of Ingredients in Skincare Products

When buying skincare products, be familiar with some important buzzwords. Avoid using products that are made with mineral oils, parabens, phthalates and other synthetic petrochemical derivatives, which can be carcinogenic and/or cause hormone disruption. It’s best to go organic.

5. Don’t Be Fooled by the Word Natural

The word natural is not a regulated term. Products claiming to be natural or touting natural ingredients or scents often contain only a few natural ingredients that are buried in a long list of synthetic chemicals. Instead, there is no doubt that to be a green shopper, one has to be educated and learn to read the labels.

6. Buy Organic Cotton or Alternative Textiles

Conventional cotton accounts for 25 percent of all pesticides used in the world. For every T-shirt made of conventional cotton, one-quarter pound of harmful chemicals is used. Now think of an entire bedding set! Other sustainable materials that are wonderful alternatives to cotton and synthetic man-made fabrics are bamboo and hemp. Contrary to popular misconceptions, these fabrics can feel every bit as luxurious and soft as cotton.

Holy  Lamb Organic PillowsCoyuchi  Organic SheetsLoop  Organic Towels

Coyuchi organic cotton sateen sheets are woven with a satin weave and are silk-like to the touch ($14-$250). Loop organic cotton Turkish towels  make a luxurious, eco-friendly  addition  to your bathroom! ($10-$34)!

7. Buy Recycled Materials

Manufacturers of all kinds of things, from clothing to carpeting and furniture, are using recycled and salvaged materials in innovative ways. For example, you can buy green carpeting and fabulous bags and shoes that are made out of used soda bottles.

Matt & Nat bags feature recycled soda bottle lining!   OlsenHaus shoes are made from recycled TV sets!

8. Save the Trees with Rapidly Renewable Alternatives

One of the biggest threats to our environment is from the clear-cutting of forests for wood products. There are now wonderful alternatives such as furniture and wood flooring made from sustainable bamboo, paper made from agricultural waste and pencils made from recycled newspapers.

TreeSmart Gift SetObon  recycled bindersEcoPaper Coffee Paper Ream
TreeSmart offers a variety of  tree free pencils  made  from old newspapers  (Gift set – $22.50) and O’bon binders  are made from 100% recycled cardboard (Set of 3 – $26.95). These mini-reams  by EcoPaper are made from coffee paper ($20.95) and are  a great way to go green at the office!

9. Don’t Get Overwhelmed

There is a lot of information out there and it can be overwhelming. None of us can do everything, and realistically, it’s almost impossible to live green in every facet of our lives. Make the changes that make sense for your life and know that you will be making a difference.

10. Go Vegan! Or, at the very least, try Meat-Free Mondays!

We all know GirlieGirl Army’s Advice for the #1 thing you can do to help planet is earth is to go veg! Vegan.org states; “Animal agriculture takes a devastating toll on the earth. It is an inefficient way of producing food, since feed for farm animals requires land, water, fertilizer, and other resources that could otherwise have been used directly for producing human food. Animal agriculture’s dependence on higher yields accelerates topsoil erosion on our farmlands, rendering land less productive for crop cultivation, and forcing the conversion of wilderness to grazing and farm lands. Animal waste from massive feedlots and factory farms is a leading cause of pollution in our groundwater and rivers. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization has linked animal agriculture to a number of other environmental problems, including: contamination of aquatic ecosystems, soil, and drinking water by manure, pesticides, and fertilizers; acid rain from ammonia emissions; greenhouse gas production; and depletion of aquifers for irrigation. In a time when population pressures have become an increasing stress on the environment, there are additional arguments for a vegan diet. The United Nations has reported that a vegan diet can feed many more people than an animal-based diet. For instance, projections have estimated that the 1992 food supply could have fed about 6.3 billion people on a purely vegetarian diet, 4.2 billion people on a 85% vegetarian diet, or 3.2 billion people on a 75% vegetarian diet.” For more on the environmental effects of animal agriculture, visit the United Nation’s report on Livestock and the Environment. Use your dollars to support vegan businesses and by shopping for vegan and organic foods!   Learn more about our favorite brands and vegan businesses here.

Allison’s Gourmet Vegan Brownies, Daiya Vegan Cheese, and Field Roast Vegan Grain Meats.

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Readers Comments (86)

  1. […] ***The GirlieGirl Army*** » Blog Archive » Becoming the Ultimate Green Shopper girliegirlarmy.com/blog/20100522/becoming-the-ultimate-green-shopper – view page – cached Although nothing is truly green about consumerism, let’s face it, we all shop. And if you are going to shop.. why not shop green? With Summer hot on our heels, and nature about to be in in her fullest glory – now is the perfect time to get into the eco-friendly groove and think about the impact you can make in changing the way you shop. Here are some of the best ways you can help our… Read moreAlthough nothing is truly green about consumerism, let’s face it, we all shop. And if you are going to shop.. why not shop green? With Summer hot on our heels, and nature about to be in in her fullest glory – now is the perfect time to get into the eco-friendly groove and think about the impact you can make in changing the way you shop. Here are some of the best ways you can help our planet and improve your health courtesy of View page Tweets about this link Topsy.Data.Twitter.User[‘thelovelycorina’] = {“photo”:”http://a3.twimg.com/profile_images/898790161/173_normal.jpg”,”url”:”http://twitter.com/thelovelycorina”,”nick”:”thelovelycorina”}; thelovelycorina: “RT @marykaymanfeed: Becoming the Ultimate Green Shopper: Although nothing is truly green about consumerism, let’s face it, we all shop… http://bit.ly/dCgeK8 ” 26 minutes ago view tweet retweet Topsy.Data.Twitter.User[‘marykaymanfeed’] = {“photo”:”http://a1.twimg.com/profile_images/442646010/Me_normal.jpg”,”url”:”http://twitter.com/marykaymanfeed”,”nick”:”marykaymanfeed”}; marykaymanfeed: “Becoming the Ultimate Green Shopper: Although nothing is truly green about consumerism, let’s face it, we all shop… http://bit.ly/dCgeK8 ” 28 minutes ago view tweet retweet Filter tweets […]

  2. OrganiKooK says:

    With so many delicious vegan alternatives these days, the excuses for not adhering to a vegan diet are dwindling. If all the preconceived ideas that were fed to us from older generations could just be let go, the new information would have room to just “flow” in!

  3. Ecover Blog says:

    Thank you for making green cleaning the number one item on your list! Using ecological cleaning products, like Ecover, is a very important part of leading a sustainable life. Great post!
    -Deb for Ecover

  4. […] The Girlie Girl Army wants you to wise up to the best ways to green your shopping. Here are 10 tips to get you started. [Link] 4. Beware of Ingredients in Skincare Products […]

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