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3 Surprising Ways to Go Green in 2016



With global warming making this one of the stormiest and most turbulent winters in recent memory, and 2016 predicted to be the warmest year on record, we all want to do whatever we can to reduce our carbon footprint and help transform the world into a greener place.

Most of us are aware of the importance of reusing, reducing and recycling, but there are still so many more things we can do to save the planet, and some of these things may surprise you! We look at some of the most surprising and effective ways to go green in 2016.

1 – Fly in a private jet

Aviation and environmentalism don’t traditionally go hand in hand. Air travel is one of the biggest producers of carbon dioxide in the world. But flying private, if you do it right, is one way to take to the skies without destroying the Earth. Environmentally-conscious private jet company Bespoke Air Charter discuss the various ways to be green and fly private, looking at how the aviation industry it doing their part.

They point to how a private jet user can make sure they are flying in a newly-developed ultra-efficient plane, like the  Dassault Falcon 5X or Citation CJ2+. These planes have better engines that use less fuel, and their wings allow for higher lift, meaning the engines do less of the work, lowering carbon emissions even further.

Because of the customisation and freedom of choice offered when flying in a private jet, you will also be able to make sure your jet uses sustainable fuels for an even greener airborne experience.

For eco-conscious flyers who can afford it, taking a private jet is a no-brainer.

2 – Keep using products that are bad for the environment

If you have decided that 2016 will be the year you fully commit to using eco-friendly alternatives to your household products, you might want to hold off making the switch immediately. Though the decision to switch to environmentally friendly products in every corner of your home is a big one, throwing away all your toothpaste, body lotion, washing up liquid, shampoo and whatever else and rushing out to the shops to buy sustainable versions could actually do more harm than good.

The folks at Tree Hugga talk about this frequently. For example, in this post about buying eco-friendly clothing, Kim Davies says throwing out your old wardrobe and replacing it with a new, entirely organic wardrobe is wasteful, and actually harming the environment more than helping it. The same principle applies to every harmful product. The fact that you have already purchased it means that using it up before replacing it is the more eco-friendly approach.

3 – Have a green funeral

We hope none of your loved ones pass away in 2016, and when a friend or family member dies, the environment is understandably not always the biggest thing on your mind. Still, funerals are often surprisingly wasteful, so it might be worth making sure you are know how to arrange one that will not damage the environment if the worst happens.

Good Funeral Guide lays down the basic principles of a green funeral in this article on green funeral basics. Their approach has a lot to do with the spiritual aspect of becoming one with nature. If this is important to you, a green funeral is a must. But even if your green views are more about practical preservation than spiritual connection, a green funeral can still be the way to go.

The Green Burial Council in the USA outlines the problems with traditional funerals on their website. Put simply, traditional funerals waste a lot of raw materials and energy. Gravestones are manufactured and transported in unsustainable ways, so green funerals do not have them. The same goes for most coffins. For a list of GBC-certified funeral materials and practices, see their certified green products section.


Want to Connect With Nature? Start by Disconnecting From Busyness



Connect With Nature

Have you ever found yourself staring at one of your (many) devices and feeling slightly disgusted with how much time you waste on technology? If so, you aren’t alone. We all have moments like these and it’s important that we use them as motivation to change – especially if we want to be more connected with nature.

How Busyness Impacts Your Connection With Nature

Whether you realize it or not, you live an ultra connected life. Between smart phones, tablets, computers, and wearable devices, you’re never very far from some sort of technology that can connect you to the internet or put you in touch with other people. That’s just the world we live in.

While it could be argued that this sort of omnipresent connectivity is a positive thing, it’s also pretty clear that being permanently tethered to technology impacts our ability to strip away distractions and connect with nature.

When you’re always within arm’s reach of a device, you feel a sense of busyness.  Whether it’s browsing your social media feed, uploading a picture, reading the news, or responding to an email, there’s always something to do. As someone who wants to spend more time in nature, this is problematic.

4 Practical Ways to Disconnect

If you want to truly connect with nature and live a greener lifestyle, you have to be proactive about finding ways to disconnect. Here are a few practical suggestions:

1. Switch to a New Phone Plan

It’s not always practical to totally unplug from the world. Family and work responsibilities mean you can’t go off the grid and continue to fulfill your responsibilities. Having said that, there are some ways to scale back.

One suggestion is to switch to a prepaid phone plan. When you have a prepaid phone plan, you’re far less likely to spend hours and hours of your time making phone calls, sending texts, and surfing the web. It forces you to be more conscious of what you’re doing.

2. Get Rid of Social Media

Social media is one of the biggest time wasters for most people. Whether you realize it or not, it’s also a huge stressor. You’re constantly being exposed to the best snapshots of everyone else’s lives, which makes you feel like you’re missing out on something (even when you aren’t).

If you want to feel a sense of relief and free yourself up to spend more time in nature, get rid of social media. Don’t just delete the apps off your phone – actually disable your accounts. It’s a bold, yet necessary step.

3. Create Quiet Hours

If you aren’t able to get rid of social media and disable various online accounts, the next best thing you can do is establish quiet hours each day where you totally detach from technology. You should do this for a minimum of three hours per day for best results.

4. Build Community

Do you know why we’re drawn to social media and our devices? Whether consciously or subconsciously, it’s because we all want to be connected to other people. But do you know what’s better than connecting with people online? Connecting with them in person.

As you build real life, person-to-person relationships, you’ll feel less of a need to constantly have your eyes glued to a screen. Connect with other people who have an appreciation for nature and bond over your mutual interests.

Untether Your Life

If you find yourself constantly connected to a device, then this is probably a clear indicator that you aren’t living your best life. You certainly aren’t enjoying any sort of meaningful connection with nature. Now’s as good a time as any to untether your life and explore what a world free from cords, screens, and batteries is really like.

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6 Tips for an Eco-Friendly Move



Moving can be a stressful and challenging time. No matter how many times you’ve done it in the past, the process of packing up, transporting, and unpacking isn’t very fun. It’s also not very eco-friendly. As you prepare for your next move, there are things you can do to ensure you leave less of a footprint behind.

6 Tips for a Greener Move

Because of the stress and pressure felt when moving, it’s pretty common for people to rush through the process and focus on getting it done. In fact, a lot of people take an “at all costs” approach; they’ll do whatever it takes to make the process as cheap and fast as possible. Don’t be one of those people. It doesn’t take much effort to turn a standard move into an eco-friendly move.

1. Maximize Each Trip

When moving across town, it’s imperative that you make as few trips as possible. Each trip requires more gas, more emissions, and more waste, and more time.

If you’re taking your personal vehicle, consider pulling a trailer behind it. You’d be surprised how much stuff you can fit into a small trailer. Not only will it make your move greener, but it’ll also save you a lot of time.

2. Donate Things You Don’t Want to Keep

The longer you live somewhere, the more junk you accumulate. This isn’t always obvious until you start packing for a big move. Instead of bringing all of these things with you to your next home, get rid of the stuff you don’t need! If the items are useful, donate them. If the items don’t have much value, toss them.

3. Reuse Moving Boxes

Not only are moving boxes expensive, but they’re also wasteful. If you need a bunch of cardboard boxes, consider looking around on Craigslist, asking friends, or checking the dumpsters behind stores. You can usually find a bunch of recycled boxes of all different shapes and sizes. Here are 12 places you can get them for free.

4. Get Creative With Packing

Who says you need moving boxes? You may find that it’s possible to do most of your move without all that cardboard. Things like storage containers, trashcans, filing cabinets, buckets, and dressers can all store items. Blankets and sheets can be used in lieu of bubble wrap to prevent your items from getting damaged.

5. Use Green Cleaning Supplies

Once you arrive at your new place, resist the urge to pull out a bunch of harsh chemicals to clean the place. You can do yourself (and the planet) a favor by using green cleaning supplies instead. Ingredients like vinegar, baking soda, and ammonia are great to start with.

6. Forward Your Mail ASAP

Don’t delay in forwarding your mail from your previous address to your new one. Not only is it wasteful for the Postal Service to route your mail to a place where you don’t live, but the next owner is probably just going to toss your letters in the trash.

Moving Doesn’t Have to be Wasteful

Most people only move once every few years. Some people will go a decade or more without a move. As a result, the process of moving often feels strange and new. The less experience you have with it, the less likely it is that you’ll be as efficient as you should. But instead of just diving into the process blind, take some time to learn about what an eco-friendly move looks like. That way, you can leave behind the smallest footprint possible.

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