Sunday, November 25, 2007

The end of one road and the beginning of the next

Well the semester is coming to an end which means my blog will be coming to an end as well. Luckily next semesters Can Scanners will be taking over our jobs and reporting more eco friendly tips, ideas and news to you so that you can keep up on living green. So stay tuned to The Can Scan for more up coming news.

Before this semester I had heard about going green, but I had never done anything to do so, but after learning about my own footprint on the planet I've had a change in my own life style. Trying products and different things that anyone could do in their homes is actually easy and I know that I will live a little greener in my own life. I will still experiment with different "green" products long after this class is done, possibly keep my blog to inform others of my experiments and new products to try.

Future Can Scanners, this is by far one of the best classes to take. Not only are you going to inform others about what they can do to live a little green in their lives, but you will learn a few things your self. This is a big topic, and there is always something going on. You will be able to work in either groups or alone, but make sure to keep up with your stories and don't let your teammates down. At times this class may seem over-whelming, but just breathe. You have one of the best professors and he's always there to help, you just have to go to his office. Use the equipment and the resources that are given to you in this class. This is VERY important. Speak up in class, although I'm not one to talk in class there were some projects that I may have been able to be a part of if I had spoke up. Lesson learned. I hope you all have a fun time in this class, the time will go quickly and soon you too will be writing your last blog. Good luck and best wishes!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Room to Room

It can be easy to live just a little greener in your life even if you don't have that much money to spend. If everyone lives just a little more eco-friendly that small amount will soon make a difference. It may not be today or even tomorrow but soon mother nature is going to thank you. I am going to help give some suggestions with different rooms you may want to use some eco-friendly products in.

The Living Room:

At least for me, this is probably the room that people hangout the most in. Whether its having guests over, watching t.v. or playing video games. Using Compact florescent lighting will help you save energy. CFL's are recommended for rooms that are used often. They tend to burn faster when you turn the light off and on.
"The five highest use fixtures in a home are typically the kitchen ceiling lights, the living or family room table and floor lamps, and outdoor porch or post lamp, according to Energy Star.
Energy efficient light fixtures use 1/4 less energy than a standard light fixture.

Heating and Cooling:
Heating and cooling seems to always be a problem. There are a few things that you can do to help save a little energy while heating or cooling your house. Energy Star recommends you to clean your air filter every three months, however if they are dirty clean they may get dirty faster if you are using it more frequently.


Have you heard that bamboo is an eco-friendly product? Bamboo is known as one of the most eco-friendly products in the flooring market,according to 123 Bamboo. Also, the fiber doesn't contain any chemicals and is a green natural fiber.
If you are thinking of re-tiling your kitchen think of using bamboo flooring instead. It depends on how much you want to spend on the bamboo but it can run from $2 to $8 per square foot. However, if you are going to use bamboo flooring research it to make sure you know what to look for when you go to kitchen re-done.
If you don't need your flooring re-done, but are looking to re-decorate Target and Crate and Barrel both have bamboo kitchen products ranging from plates, bowls, tea boxes and flatware.

For more great information about bamboo check out Jenna's story
Bamboo: The New and Improved Wood.


The bedroom should be a place for rest and relaxation right? Well being wrapped in your bed may never seem better when you try bamboo or organic sheets. If you are someone who is sensitive to different fabrics bamboo may just right for you, according to allergybuyersclubshopping. You can find these sheets at Target, Land's End and Bed Bath & Beyond.
The fabric is extremely breathable that is made out of 67% bamboo and 33% cotton, according to Land's End

These are just a few rooms that you could be more eco friendly in. Remember one easy way to save water in the bathroom to to take shorter showers and to turn off the water while brushing your teeth. I repeat tur off the wate while brushing your teeth.

Well until next week I hope you all live just little more greener. Have a great Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Taking the Trash Out

No matter how much I try to eliminate my waste at my house I seem to throw things out way to often. Over this semester though I have become more passionate about trying to live eco-friendly and find myself at Wild Oats looking for products that are environmentally safe. Luckily this helps me with my blog.

Well this week I found myself browsing Target, another place that I find myself at when I am bored, I found recycled plastic trash bags by GLAD. Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
The bags are made out of 65 percent recycled plastic, which helps conserve natural resources. Not only does GLAD have the 65 percent recycled trash bags, but they also have a GLAD BlueBag. These bags allow people to put all their recyclables into one bag and not worry about sorting it all through.
According to GLAD some of the benefits are:
  • Materials don't blow away or fall out
  • Easy to close
  • No need to retrieve from curb after pick up
  • Available in Drawstring and Quick-Tie
For more information about these bags and if your local garbage company allows this service visit Tucson Recycles or Waste Management .

BioBag is another garbage bag that is environmental friendly. BioBag is both 100 percent biodegradable and compostable. When using a composting system, BioBags will decompose within 10-45 days, and also doesn't leave any harmful residues behind, according to their website.
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BioBags are made from Mater-Bi a product that uses cornstarch, vegetable oil and other renewable resources.

"Mater-Bi retain their properties while in use, then when disposed of into an environment containing bacteria, biodegrade to carbon dioxide, water and organic humus with no polymeric or toxic residue," according to Plastral .
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When I bought BioBags I didn't realize how eco-friendly the bags were. They work really well and I am glad a I found the bags. Its one more product I can use in my house to become just a little more greener in my life.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Stainless Steal Tastes Better

Since I live in Tucson and it gets really hot outside I drink tons of water. I usually have water bottle piled up in my kitchen waiting to be recycled. However, this can be a waste of plastic. Most people don't even recycle their plastic bottles.

"It is estimated that Americans will drink more than 30 billion single-serving bottles of water this year. Since these bottles are non-returnable, two million tons worth of that everlasting plastic will end up in landfills...and roads, and beaches, and streams," according to Care2.
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Many people, myself included usually don't reuse water bottle in fear of bacteria growing inside.
It's really hard to clean water bottle that have small openings. However, there are reusable water bottle available that have wider openings. This makes it easier to clean.

"Both single-use and reusable water bottles should be thoroughly cleaned and dried between uses. Reusable water bottles generally have wider mouths, making them easier to clean. Dishwashing soap and hot water are acceptable to use for cleaning your water bottle," according to Walking.

Another way to go eco-friendly is to use a stainless steel reusable bottles which you can find at for $15.45.

"Klean Kanteen is made using 304 L.N. stainless steel which is grade blended specifically for food preparation, dairy, brewing, various medical uses and other applications where mineral migration is unacceptable," according to

Ideal Bite, also has FDA approved, non-toxic aluminum water bottles. These allow consumers to reuse their water bottle over and over with other having to worry about harsh chemicals.

"Every year 1.5 million barrels of oil go to making plastic water bottles used in the U.S. and less than a quarter of those bottles end up being recycled," according to Ideal Bite.

Check out your local grocery store to find a reusable water bottle to start drinking out of instead of wasting all those plastic bottles. Then maybe we won't have to use 1.5 million barrels of oil to make plastic bottles.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Ditch the plastic

Has your plastic or paper grocery bags ever ripped while you were carrying them into your house? Or are you ever tired of having a thousand bags at your house but don't throw them way because you feel bad for creating more waste? Luckily there is a solution to those plastic bag dilemmas.

Why not eliminate the waste and look fashionable at the same time by using a grocery tote instead. Companies have now made grocery totes that are fun and stylish. Companies provide an array of styles and fabrics that just about anyone is going to enjoy. Some are even made out for organic materials for those who love organic products.
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One reason why people should begin using some sort of cloth bag is because, "Only 1 to 3% of plastic bags end up getting recycled," according to

In addition to only one to three percent of plastic bags being recycled, recyclers find it a hassle to recycle the bag due to the low quality of the plastic used, according to

Last May IKEA began their 'bag the plastic bag program' where they began to charge their customers five cents for a plastic bag and encouraged them to purchase a big blue bag, according to CSRWire.

"All proceeds* from this 'program year' bag campaign will go to American Forests, the nation's oldest non-profit citizens conservation organization, to plant trees to restore forests and offset CO2 emissions," according to CSRWire.

The bag is plastic, but it is roomy and people are able to use it for multiple uses.
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I found my EcoSac at Wild Oats. If you take your grocery totes to Wild Oats they give either 5 cents off your bill per bag or you can donate the five cents to charity. Although they only had one style, the did have several different colors to choose from. If you visit their website they have a variety of bags to chose from.

Other websites that sell totes are:
One crafty way to have fun with a tote is to crochet one yourself. While I was looking for totes online I found this site, Associated Content that shows readers how to crochet their own grocery tote.

And of course, if you must use a plastic bag remember to recycle. You can usually take them back to your grocery store for recycling.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Snuggling with Organic Cotton

This weekend was one of the most exciting weekends for me. I Finally moved into a one bedroom apartment on Saturday. Good-bye $300 electric bills! When I began decorating my bedroom I went to Target to buy new apartment items and found Organic bed sheets. Although they are a bit more expensive than regular cotton sheets, I found myself trapped in my bed with my sheets wrapped around me. They are extremely soft.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Buying organic is an easy way to help be earth-friendly. It may not always be the cheaper way for the wallet, it is the way to go for the environment.
When consumers support organic farmers they are supporting the land as well. According to Organic Trade Association, "organic farming can help reduce ground and surface water contamination, and can safeguard drinking water supplies."

The 100% Organic sheets sold at Target are made in an Institute for Marketecology (IMO) certified facility. IMO assures eco-friendly products by inspection and certification.

When cotton is grown it is sprayed approximately 40 times with pesticides whereas organic cotton does not have any synthetic produced pesticides used on them, according to ECOchoices. Another important detail is that organic sheets use dyes that are non-toxic and eco-friendly.

By choosing organic products consumers are reducing the exposure of chemicals they may end up in the air, food or water.

Next time you have to buy new sheets think about going organic. Its human and eco-friendly, the way things should be.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Stop the Water Waste

Water is one of the most valuable resources that we have on earth. Although 70 percent of the planet is covered in ocean, only one percent of the fresh water is available for human use, according to howstuffworks. Americans use a considerable amount of water compared to other countries.

According to Recycling and Waste Prevention, "The average North American consumes over 105 gallons of water a day compared to the average European’s consumption of almost 53 gallons. The average person living in sub-Saharan Africa consumes only 2.4 – 5.3 gallons per day."

This is an alarming disparity between the different countries. There are a few ways that people can help eliminate the waste of water in their homes.
One drip from a leaky faucet can waste almost 250 gallons of water, according to Nicor. That is 3,000 gallons of water in a year that is wasted down the drain.
Another waste of water is a leaky toilet. A leaking toilet can use 90,000 gallons of water in a month, according to treehugger.

Buying a new High-Efficiency toilet can eliminate some of the water waste in a home. High-efficiency toilets (HET) use less than 1.3 gallons per flush where the average toilet uses 1.6 gallons per flush. An average person flushes the toilet nearly 140,000 times, according to EPA. Installing a HET, can save 16,000 gallons per year for a family of four, according to Green Matters.

If you can't afford a new toilet there are devices that can reduce the amount of water used per flush. For an older toilet, take a unopened water bottle and place it in the tank. This will reduce the amount of water that is used. There are also displacement devices such as a toilet-tank dam will reduce the amount of water used per flush, according to Living Green.

By checking and making sure that you have no leaks in your house is going to save tons of water.

Low flow shower heads are another way that you can save water while showering. Low flow showerheads use less than 2.5 gallons per minute. "Shower water use can be reduced 50% with a low-flow showerhead, and can save up to 20,000 gallons of water per year," according to Living Green.

Low-flow showerhead with a shut-off valve are also better. They allows you to turn the water off and on instantly without having to readjust the water.

So look around the house to see how you can save some valuable water. Future generations will thank you.