January Green Tips

Say Farewell to Junk Mail

By: Mary Closser

How many pieces of junk mail did you receive last week? The last month? Just when you feel you have it under control, written or electronic, it bombards you again. The heaps of unwanted mail, catalogs, credit card offers, coupons, and donation requests actually add up to 100 billion pieces per year in the U.S. – much of which ends up in landfills. It’s not only our precious trees that are wasted, but also water and greenhouse gases. Read on to learn ways to nip it in the bud:

  1. Go to the Source – Remove your name from individual mailing lists at http://www.dmachoice.org and/or https://www.catalogchoice.org/. It can take up to 90 days to cease the flow since many mailings are already in process. Electronic mail is the same – find “unsubscribe” at the bottom of individual emails and click it!
  2. Credit Card requests: To eliminate credit card promotional mailings, call 1-888-567-8688 (that’s 888-5OPT-OUT)or visit http://www.optoutprescreen.com. You will have the opportunity to choose either a five-year or permanent removal.
  3. Charity mailings: Check out http://www.charitywatch.org/articles/seventips.html on ways to manage the number of solicitations from your favorite (or not) charities.
  4. Junk Promo Products: Any mail sent to “Resident,” “Current Resident,” or “Current Occupant” can be refused if it is sent First Class or contains a phrase such as: change service requested or forwarding service requested. Simply write “Return to Sender” and slip it back into your box.



Get the Chemicals out of your Cosmetics

By: Lindsey Nielsen

Everyday products implemented into our daily grooming routines contain dangerous chemicals linked to cancer, learning disabilities, and reproductive health issues. Anything we put onto our skin makes its way into our blood stream, making the lead found in lipstick, the mercury found in lotions, and the formaldehyde commonly found in baby shampoo, problematic. What happens when we throw these chemical-laden products away? The chemicals leach into groundwater and soil systems, polluting our environment, and threatening wildlife. Use these tips for switching to chemical-free cosmetics for a healthy body, and a healthy planet.

Moisturizer: Argan oil will not clog pores, but still moisturize skin. It also is a natural sunscreen, contains Vitamin E, and acts as a disinfectant and anti-fungal.

Cleansers and Acne Treatments: Benzoyl peroxide (Bp) is the most common over-the-counter acne treatment, and is a known carcinogen with the same effects on skin as UVB rays. A natural alternative for treating acne is tea tree oil. It is a natural antiseptic, antifungal, antibiotic and insect repellant. One drop diluted in moisturizer is sufficient.

Perfume: Essential oils are the chemical free way to go.

Deodorant: Crystal rock salt deodorant is sold at any natural grocer, and will kill the bacteria on your skin that cause foul odors when you sweat. Best part about this option? It is aluminum chlorohydrate, hypoallergenic, fragrance and paraben free.

Shampoo: Mix one-cup baking soda with one-cup water.

Conditioner: Mix one-cup apple cider vinegar with one-cup water. Yes, the vinegar smell will go away!



The Day to Day with Sustainability

By: Mary Closser

Errands. They can be time-consuming and carbon-footprint heavy. For example, is it truly necessary to drive to SLC for the familiar hair-stylist or therapist when there are so many top-notch ones in PC? Beyond hair, it’s a creative and conscientious thought process that many of us could improve on. How does every choice or purchase we make or every errand we drive to affect our environment for our future generations? Times are changing, so can we. Read on for a few ideas on how we can incorporate sustainability into our day-to-day living.


  1. Driving. Keep it local… really local. Doctor, hair, auto/hardware, grocery and more… do you really need to drive across town for a certain grocery item or dentist? Can you change your doctor or PT to be closer to home?
  2. Online purchase vs. local. Consider transportation and packaging waste in all purchases (including alcohol). Which best supports your domestic economy?
  3. Children’s activities. Do they really need perceivably the best if it means driving across town or to SLC?
  4. Home service. They have to travel, too. Choose one closer to home and that is eco-friendly.
  5. Dining. Can you walk, bike or take the bus there? How eco-friendly is the restaurant? Do they use Styrofoam?
  6. Sports. Can you take the bus, at least carpool, to the ski area or trailhead?
  7. Clothing, gifts & personal products. Buy for quality, buy less, shop local, make your own.
  8. Work smart. Propose to telework one or two days/week – leave the keys at home!



Eco-Friendly Cleaning Alternatives

By: Lindsey Nielsen

Did you know conventional household cleaners sold at grocery stores often contain toxic chemicals that are harmful to you and the environment? Toxins including phthalates (known endocrine disruptors), perchloroethyene (a known neurotoxin, possible carcinogen, and environmental blight), and sodium hydroxide (which is extremely corrosive, and will cause severe burns if it touches skin) are found in fragranced dish soap, toilet paper, spot removers, carpet cleaners, oven cleaners, and clogged drain openers. Below is a list of all natural and eco-friendly household cleaning alternatives.

All-Purpose Cleaning:

¼ cup baking soda

½ cup borax

½ cup vinegar

1 gallon water

Spot Cleaner:

2 tbsp. washing soda

1 cup warm water

Rug/Upholstery Cleaner:

1:1 ratio of white vinegar and water

¼ cup baking soda

Lemon Essential Oil


1 cup washing soda

1 cup borax

1 bar Castile soap, shaved

Clogged Drain Opener:

¼ cup baking soda down the drain, followed by

½ cup vinegar

Cover drain and let sit for 15 minutes. Follow with 2 quarts boiling water.

Toilet Cleaner:

¼ cup baking soda

¼ cup white vinegar

¼ cup borax

Wood Polish:

2 tsp. lemon oil

1 pint mineral oil

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