We’re big fans of metal water bottles. They help reduce plastic waste, encourage people to use free public water sources, and, of course, keep us hydrated. Now, in honor of Earth Day, you’re invited to design a Klean Kanteen Earth Day Bottle for GOOD.
Break out your art-creating equipment/software and make a design that can appear on the Klean Kanteen GOOD Earth Day bottles. The design should somehow relate to the theme of Earth Day, but it can be representational or abstract, it can be a pattern, or it could even just be text.
11:59 p.m. on Monday, March 8.
For more info and to enter your master piece, visit the GOOD Blog.
The 2010 Environmental Performance Index, which ranks 163 countries on 25 performance indicators tracked across ten policy categories covering both environmental public health and ecosystem vitality, has been released, and it’s worth looking at in closer detail for the aspiring expat or the eco-conscious traveler. These are the places with the most pristine environments, cleanest waters, most startling biodiversity and even some of the best public transportation or health– definitely things that should be on the top of any soon-to-be traveler’s mind.
Iceland is known for getting virtually all of its power from renewable energy. They are blessed with rich geothermal resources and roaring rivers for hydroelectic power.
Switzerland is among the several European nations on this list well known for their environmental and green efforts. But Switzerland is particularly noteworthy for their stewardship and “clean freak” mentality. Pristine waters fed from alpine glaciers certainly help to inspire!
Costa Rica’s rainforest conservation programs are renowned around the world. This is one country that knows its most precious resources need to be protected.
Check out the complete list at Expatify…
Beginning in Sydney, Australia three years ago, Earth Hour has grown into a global observance. States, large organizations and individual people observed Earth Hour 2010 on Saturday March 27th, as homes, office towers and landmarks turned off their lights for an hour starting at 8.30 pm local time to raise awareness about climate change and the threat from rising greenhouse gas emissions.
These two photos show Malaysia’s landmark Petronas Twin Towers before, left, and after being turned off its lights to mark Earth Hour in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Saturday, March 27, 2010. (AP Photo/Lai Seng Sin)
The Boston Globe has collected a very cool series of before-and-after photographs from this year - which will fade between “on” and “off” when clicked. Many iconic landmarks and cityscapes from around the world are featured making it a great Bucket List for those of us who ♡ Travel!
Where would YOU like to spend Earth Hour 2011? Leave us a comment!
For many of us, travel is a time to let go, unwind, indulge, or explore. All good things, but that doesn’t have to mean a vacation from your otherwise squeaky-clean, environmentally responsible habits. Travel is one of the more wasteful industries—just think of all those single-use bottles of moisturizer, the carbon cost of transatlantic flights, the rented cars—taking measurable tolls on the planet. Each additional 10 pounds per traveler, for example, requires an extra 350 million gallons of jet fuel each year. That’s enough to keep a 747 jet flying continuously for 10 years—and a lot of bad karma.
The good news is there are some pretty easy ways to minimize your own waste, while also saving money as you go. The smart people at GOOD have put together some Good Instructions for us:
Unplug everything. As long as they’re plugged in, computers, microwaves, televisions, and various other appliances suck power even if they’re turned off, so be sure to unplug them before you leave. (This is a good habit to get into when you aren’t traveling, too.)
Turn off the lights. Make sure your lights are off. If you have outside lights or feel better leaving a light on in the house to fend off burglars, put them on a timer or use solar-powered lights.
Stop your newspaper delivery. Stop newspapers from coming while you’re out of town. This saves you from having to recycle old newspapers when you return and it’s good for safety, too. Nothing is more inviting to a burglar than a pile of unread papers on the porch.
Adjust the temperature. Turn off your air conditioner and heater, and draw your curtains.
Pack light (literally). Packing heavily means more energy used by you, the airplane, the airport carousels, and the car taking you to and from the airport. Wear bulkier items like sneakers or boots on the plane, and go the carry-on route: It saves time at the baggage claim and money on new bag-check fees.
Bring a water bottle and coffee cup. Traveling usually means long days away from your hotel or hostel, making it harder to get hydrated without buying bottled water—unless, of course, you bring along your Sigg. If you’re a coffee drinker, pack a reusable BPA-free coffee cup, too.
Bring your own toiletries. Though more and more hotels are stocking guest rooms with cleaner, more sustainable shampoos and soaps, a lot of them still don’t—and there’s no getting around the wastefulness of single-use plastic bottles. Since you’re going to be packing light (see above) it’s worth keeping small refillable glass bottles on hand for when you leave town. Consider simplifying your regimen as well: Use soap or conditioner as shaving cream; or pack an all-in-one castile soap like Dr. Bronner’s for hair, body, and face.
Put a hold on hotel hospitality. No one washes their towels and sheets every day, so there is no reason to do so while you are on vacation. Request that your linens not be changed during your stay, especially since most hotels use bleach and various chemical detergents to keep their whites white. You can also leave a friendly note in your room asking hotel staff to leave the thermostat where you set it (off, ideally).
Watch your paper consumption. Print your boarding pass at home on recycled paper instead of using the heavy-duty tickets issued by airlines, and use E-tickets when possible. Take travel books out from the library instead of purchasing them, or use free online trip-planning tools like Nile Guide.
Buy local. You do it at home, and you should do it when you’re away, too. Buying local supports the economy wherever you go, and ensures your purchases don’t come with a shamefully huge footprint.
Rent a hybrid—or a bike. If you must have a car wherever you go, reserve a hybrid (they go fast, so make sure you call ahead). Better still, find another way to get around town. More and more sustainability (and hipster) focused hotels offer complimentary bike rentals, but if yours doesn’t, maybe the city you’re in has a bike-share program. Do some research before you go so that your transportation requirements are sorted out before you go—obviating the need for last-minute cab rides or drives all over town.
Offset your carbon footprint. Finally, as you’ve surely noticed, most airlines and travel-booking sites now offer carbon offset programs as an add-on to your flight purchase. It’s a nice move, but it doesn’t let you off the hook for taking other meaningful actions.
Read more at GOOD…
We all know that grocery stores and local markets can be a budget traveler’s best friend when trying to cut meal costs, but make sure you are being healthy and environmentally friendly, too!
Michelle Schusterman explains how to use bento boxes to pack a healthier, more earth-friendly lunch.
Bento boxes, the Japanese art of packing an aesthetically pleasing lunch in a divided lunch box, are more than just a pretty version of a Lunchable. Companies like Laptop Lunches, who sell “bento-ware” in the U.S., Canada, and Europe, are making it easier for Westerners to not only get a grip on portion control and the amount of trash that accumulates from paper bags and Ziplocs, but also how to put a little thought and effort into the artistic side of what we eat.
The beauty of the bento box is that no other container or bag is necessary – the compartments keep your food from touching. Laptop Lunches pride themselves on being a green product:
Our sustainable lunch boxes–which come with a book of healthy lunch ideas and lunchmaking tips and recipes–are reusable, recyclable, and dishwasher safe. Our lunchboxes, recently featured in Shape, Self, and Health Magazines, contain NO phthalates, bisphenol A (BPA), or lead.
Imagine the trash that comes with the average lunch brought from home – a paper bag, a plastic baggie for your sandwich and crackers, napkins. As a former teacher, I remember seeing the amount of trash bags piled up in the cafeteria after lunch and wondering how much was unnecessary.
A good bento box, including Laptop Lunches, will be airtight and easy to clean, a great reusable choice that cuts down on all that one-time-only garbage. To make it even greener, pack reusable plasticware and a cloth napkin.
One look at a bento box tells you why it helps with portion control, but that’s not the only way it can be used to pack a healthy lunch. If you’ve been thinking about the ratio of what types of food you eat, like meat to veggies, or starch to fruit, here’s your chance to see exactly what you’re putting in your body and maybe look at what you eat a little differently.
The bento box pictured here can be used in many ways. Maybe a roast beef sandwich in the big front compartment, broccoli cheese soup right behind it, crackers and salad in the right two compartments and a few grapes in the small container. Hey, we’ve got veggies, we’ve got fruit, it’s got to be a healthy lunch…but what makes up the majority of the meal?
Sandwich, crackers and liquid cheese, with a little produce on the side.
Take the same items and put them in different compartments. Half a sandwich in the back right, a ladle of soup in the green container. A big salad in the front left with a bunch of grapes behind it, salad dressing on the side.
It’s the same food, but this way over half of your lunch is fruits and veggies and you still get the satisfaction of hot soup and a good sandwich.
Happy Earth Day 2010! You may have traveled the world (or want to!) but how much do you really know about the earth? Are you really a Green Globetrotter?
Take these quick & fun Earth Day quizzes to find out your Earth IQ and learn more about Earth Day, conservation and how to make a difference for the world we live in:
You might also like this Earth Day list from Smarter Travel: