There is no doubt that plastic bags contribute to waste. Every year, more than 1 trillion bags are thrown away worldwide with 2 million plastic bags being used every single minute of the day around the globe. Only about .5 to 3 percent of those bags end up recycled, so the majority of the plastic bags that are used around the world end up in landfills where they take more than 500 years to decompose.
Due to growing concerns about the environmental impact of plastic bags, a number of cities have worked to enact plastic bag bans. State lawmakers in many areas have been working to try and restrict the use of plastic bags as well; however, there has been staunch opposition both from large businesses that use plastic bags and the plastics industry.
So far, only one state has managed to enact legislation to ban plastic bags--Hawaii. Back in July , Oahu finally followed the lead of the rest of the populated islands in Hawaii by imposing a ban on most plastic grocery bags. Plastic bags are still permitted when buying items in bulk quantities or when it is necessary to protect items being purchased for medical reasons or that would be unsanitary to carry in another way.
California has also tried to enact a law that would require people to pay money to purchase disposable plastic bags in stores; however, the matter is being put to a vote in the 2016 election due to opposition to the law.
Not all states are being as forward thinking as California and Hawaii. In Arizona, a law was actually passed this year to make it illegal for cities or counties in the state to ban plastic bags.
With the plastics lobby wielding so much power in state legislatures, it's important for those who support reductions in plastic bag use to make their voices heard. Even if you live in a place where plastic bags are legal, you can take steps to make your grocery shopping greener by using reusable bags like the ones made by Chico Bag.
How do you feel about plastic bag bans? Share your opinion in the comments!
The holiday shopping season is fast approaching, and Paperless Kitchen is pleased to announce that we've added a great holiday gift to our inventory--the Leafware Holiday Gift Basket!
The Leafware Holiday Gift Basket is a great holiday gift for an individual, a family or even an office. Packed with 300 pieces of biodegradable and compostable disposable palm leaf dinnerware and birch bark silverware, the gift basket makes skipping dish-washing a completely green task. Everything is presented in a beautiful reusable wicker basket tied with a natural bow, so all you need to do is present it to the lucky recipient of your gift. You can even have us ship the gift for you if you wish!
Inside of the Leafware Holiday Gift Basket is:
- 24 sets of full-size Leafware cutlery with knives, forks and spoons
- 100 mini Leafware tasting spoons for appetizers
- 25 Leafware 3" ramekins for appetizers and sauces
- 25 Leafware 6"x9" utility plates for long foods like sandwiches
- 25 Leafware 7" round bowls for soups and stews
- 16 Leafware 5-inch square side plates and 16 Leafware 7-inch square side plates for side dishes, salads and desserts
- 16 Leafware 9-inch square dinner plates for entrees
- 4 Leafware 10"x14" platters for serving
You can purchase the Leafware Holiday Gift Basket for just $120.99, and shipping is free due to the cost of the gift! You can learn more about the gift set on the official shopping page .
Last time, we shared some green gift ideas for the men on your holiday shopping list. There are just as many green gift ideas available for women with options in an array of price ranges to suit your shopping budget. Here are some of our favorites:
With the Mrs. Meyer's Soy Candle in Lavender, a lady on your list can fill her home with natural lavender fragrance to calm her senses. This candle has a soy base with a cotton wick, so it doesn't pollute the air with lead or paraffin. Packaged in an attractive shabby chic jar, the candle provides roughly 35 hours of burn time.
She can treat herself to a spa getaway at home with the Earth Therapeutics Anti-Stress Sinus Pillow. Inside of the pillow, lavender and chamomile herbs provide aromatherapy benefits to alleviate stress. Nontoxic and hypoallergenic, the mask can be placed in the freezer or the microwave to ease sinus pain and reduce under eye bags.
Your favorite yogi will think of you whenever she practices when you give her the Thinksport Yoga Mat. Unlike other yoga mats, this high quality closed-cell foam mat is completely free of toxic chemicals like PVC and BPA. It's 50 percent thicker than others on the market for added comfort in every pose, and it doesn't have that chemical smell of other mats.
The Fit and Fresh Chilled Shaker makes a great stocking stuffer for the busy woman. Perfect for protein shakes and smoothies, this shaker mug holds 12 ounces of liquid and helps to keep drinks cold for as long as possible. Leakproof and unbreakable, the shaker is free of BPA and made from sustainable materials.
With the e-Cloth Home Cleaning Set, a woman will get everything she needs to clean her home from top to bottom without chemicals. The set includes two cloths for glass plus a kitchen cloth, a bathroom cloth, a dusting cloth, a stainless steel cloth and a range and stove top cloth. Each cloth can be used wet or dry with nothing but water to get surfaces squeaky clean and remove up to 99 percent of bacteria.
The Leafware Holiday Gift Basket is the ultimate sustainable disposable dinnerware set with 300 pieces of stylish single use flatware and dinnerware. She'll get enough plates, bowls and silverware to last through several nightly dinners or for entertaining 16 to 24 people for any occasion.
You can shop for the green gifts and other eco-friendly gifts for women here at Paperless Kitchen, and you won't pay for shipping on orders of $50 or more.
Getting your holiday gift list together and checking it twice? If you're trying to decide what to get your dad, husband or boyfriend, brother, uncle, son or another man on your list, there are a number of great eco friendly presents that you can choose from. Here are four of the best green gifts for guys for the 2015 Holiday season:
Crafted out of sustainable, BPA-free stainless steel, the Thinksport Stainless Steel Sports Bottle is the perfect way for a guy to stay hydrated on the go. This water bottle is insulated and vacuum-sealed, so it keeps beverages at a perfect temperature for hours. A mesh filter is included inside to keep the spout free of ice, and it can be used for hot drinks like coffee and tea as well.
The Himalayan Salt Cube Salt Lamp is powered by a USB port, so it's a great desk accessory for his office. Himalayan Salt Cube Salt Lamps help to improve indoor air quality and remove impurities that can trigger allergy symptoms by generating negatively charged particles. Many people find that they ease stress as well. This light has an LED bulb inside, making it as energy efficient as it is sleek and stylish.
Give him the gift of a cleaner vehicle in 2016 with the e-carcare Interior Car Cleaning Kit,! This Kit comes with a cloth that removes salt and dirt from metal without the need for harsh soaps and a glass cleaning cloth that will wipe away bugs and fingerprints from the windshield, windows and mirrors. Also included is an atomizer for spritzing water on for cleaning and a mesh bag for storage and laundering the reusable microfiber cloths.
This set is the perfect stocking stuffer for the guy who loves gadgets! The pair of microfiber cleaning cloths removes dirt and fingerprints from screens and housings of phones, tablets, laptops, desktop computers, eReaders and other devices. With the cloths, there is no need to use water or dangerous cleaning products to keep mobile devices clean. He can also use the cloths to clean the television in his man cave!
All 4 of these great green gifts are available for purchase here at Paperless Kitchen, and you can get free shipping on any order of $50 or more.
Are you hosting Thanksgiving this year? If you want to be not just the host or hostess with the most but also the greenest, follow these simple tips this holiday season:
You can find all of these great green products for an eco friendly Thanksgiving here at Paperless Kitchen. Have you tried any of them already? If so, tell us about your experiences in the comments section!
A search engine called Ecosia lets you search for anything that you desire, and any revenue that your searches produce can help to pay for trees to be planted in deforested areas of Burkina Faso. The site launched in 2009 during the UN climate talks in Copenhagen and has already planted more than 2 million trees in areas around the world.
image source: https://www.ecosia.org
Ecosia is used just like any search engine, and the results that it provides are displayed similarly to the way they are on Yahoo! If you end up feeling like you need to do a Google search, you can click a button to search Google from within Ecosia; however, the site does not receive any revenue from Google searches.
The company behind Ecosia donates 80 percent of its income to its tree planting projects. You don't have to worry about the legitimacy of the company either, as it is B-labs certified and endorsed by the World Wildlife Fund.
Check it out and help plant some trees while you search the web! Then, let us know what you think of Ecosia by leaving a message in the Comments section.
Leafware palm leaf dinnerware has always been great for parties, weddings and corporate events, but we're excited to announce that it's better than ever! Paperless Kitchen is now offering Leafware Signa, a service that allows you to add a custom graphic of your choosing to Leafware plates, bowls and trays to promote your business or set the tone for a special event.
With Leafware Signa, you simply choose the Leafware products that you wish to have customized and send us your custom graphic in a JPEG or PDF file format. Within 2 to 3 business days, we'll create a digital proof for your review. Once you give us the go-ahead to move forward, we'll get your custom printed eco-friendly dinnerware shipped within 5 business days to ensure it arrives in time for your event.
The customization possibilities are truly endless with Leafware Signa. Add your logo to dinnerware for corporate gatherings. Customize the plates and bowls to bring a romantic, personal touch to your wedding. Honor a graduate, a retiree or a guest of honor at a party or make your dinner plates read "thanks for attending" our event! Any wording or images that you can imagine can be added to Leafware dinnerware with this service.
And the best part of the customization process is that it's completely eco-friendly - only a laser is used to imprint logos onto the plates, so there's no dyes or glues added, which maintains the quality and compostability of the Leafware dinnerware.
Leafware Signa service is available for any of the styles in the Leafware collection featured here at Paperless Kitchen with the exception of silverware and the Leafware 3-inch dinner plates. The service comes with a one-time $25 set-up fee, and there is a minimum order requirement of just 100 pieces of any product.
We'll be rolling out the Leafware Signa service on November 1, 2015. Contact us for more information and check out the Leafware Signa collection to see all of the green disposable dinnerware that you can customize with your graphic.
At Paperless Kitchen, we're always on the lookout for new ways to reduce how much paper we use, so I was pretty excited to learn about Scanner Pro 6 by Readdle, an app that lets you use your smartphone to scan a document on the go.
The app has the potential to be a great alternative to photocopying and faxing, especially for people who travel frequently for work. I gave it a try, and here's what I experienced:
- Scanning starts by taking a photo of the document with your camera. It took me a few tries to get the hang of how to line it up. It's best to stand back and capture more than just the document in the image.
- After you take the picture, an editor pops up that lets you select where the document is. The app is smart enough to try and auto detect the borders of the document. I found that as long as my picture was straight, it did this very well and it wasn't hard to focus in. The finished document can be saved as a PDF or as a JPEG.
- Once you're satisfied with the area you selected, you can preview your app. Then, you can add it to your photo library or share it by emailing it, printing it, faxing it, or exporting it to the cloud. Of course, printing and faxing it aren't the greenest of options.
Overall, I'd say that Scanner Pro is worth the $2.99 that it costs to download it; however, if you're going to use it for work, I would strongly suggest experimenting with it at home for awhile because there's a learning curve involved with getting good results. The latest version is only available for iOS 8.0 and later.
Have you guys used Scanner Pro before? What did you think? Do you have another scanner app that you like? Tell us about it in the Comments section.
Did you know that most of us make nearly double the amount of food that we eat and throw roughly 25 percent of it away in the end and that 20 percent of all groceries bought end up in the trash before they're consumed?
Food waste truly is a staggering problem, but it's easy to understand why it happens. So often, you end up with just a little bit of something left, and it's hard to know what to do with it. It's hard to find recipes for one random food or leftover, and as a result, whatever it is sits there until it's no longer good.
But an app called Handpick might change that! With Handpick, you can search through a list of 10,000 ingredients and find out what foods pair well with it. You can also search for recipes from more than 10 million online blogs and recipe websites with the touch of a button. This way, you
can figure out what to do with that extra half of an avocado or leftover rice from your takeout.
Here are some facts about the app based on my test drive:
- The app is very intuitive and easy to use. I managed to find recipes for one dozen different items within just a few minutes.
- You can find ideas for every meal of the day, and there are plenty of paleo, gluten free, vegan and low calorie recipes.
- The recipes include everything from meals you can make for under $10 to fancy ones you can make for special occasions.
- In addition to its food finder, Handpick lets you post your own recipes and follow other users' recipes.
- There is a store built into the app for buying boxes of ingredients with themed recipes that can be shipped to California. The store is unobtrusive. You don't have to mess with it if you don't want to.
All in all, I'd give Handpick a 10/10 as a green app for reducing food waste. The app is free and available for devices with iOS 7.0 and later or Android 4.0.3 and up.
Download it, give it a try and let us know what you think in the Comments section.
Even though most communities now offer curbside recycling programs, we still have a long way to go in the fight against plastic waste. The average person will throw away 600 times his or her body weight in plastic over the course of a lifetime, and collectively, the world throws away enough plastic to travel the circumference of the globe four times!
But the good news is that creative people are coming up with new ways to put some of that plastic waste to use before it hits the landfill, and at the last Mercedez-Benz Fashion Week in Amsterdam last month, one of these new ways was showcased on the catwalk.
It was there that Waste2Wear debuted a line of couture fashions made entirely from recycled plastic water bottles. The fashions were every bit as stylish as the other looks on the runway, but each dress helped to keep at least 30 bottles out of landfills. The collection was a collaboration between fashion designer Monique Maissan and Waste2Wear's founder Monique Collignon. The pair developed everything from evening gowns to work dresses to wedding dresses, all made from plastic.
So how is it done?
Well, Waste2Wear starts by shredding bottles into flakes that are then made into pellets. From there, the pellets are made into yarns by machines. Then, sustainable dyes are used to color them, and they are hand loomed into fabrics by women in India as a part of a fair trade workshop program that Waste2Wear has founded called Waste2Weave.
While Waste2Wear's couture fashion collection seems to be the first of its kind, fabrics made out of plastic aren't entirely new. In fact, we've been carrying an example of plastic-derived fabric for a few years. The To-Go Ware RePEaT Bamboo Utensil Set features cloth travel bags made from RPET derived from plastic waste. You can check them out here.
Take a look at this video of the Waste2Wear collection on the runways and let us know what you think of the designs in the Comments section!