Friday, December 23, 2011

Newspaper Gift Wrapping

Happy Holidays!  Gift giving is not the most eco friendly activity since it requires buying new things that we don’t necessarily need.  However, around this time of the year it is difficult to avoid due to societal pressures and traditions.  Therefore there are some things we can do to reduce your holiday environmental impact such as buying “eco-friendly” products, making labels out of old cut-up holiday cards, or wrapping gifts with newspaper.  Watch the video, “8 Eco-Friendly Ways to Wrap Gifts With Newspaper” shown below to learn how you can give an extra flair to something as simple as newspaper.  One extra EGOlogical tip to keep in mind, use a small piece of tape to hold the paper together.  I guarantee that two inches of tape can be reduced to a centimeter and still hold the paper together and your wrapping will still look beautiful.  Good luck and Happy Holidays.  

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Say NO to Consumerism and Support Buy Nothing Day

Happy Thanksgiving 2011!  Thanksgiving is a time to spend with your family and friends to eat a wonderful meal and give thanks to the Native Americans for helping the early settlers survive in the North American harsh lands.  However, Thanksgiving holiday has turned into not only a time to give thanks, but a time to spend a lot of money on stuff.  Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving and is known for being the number one day of the year that has the best deals.  People wait in line for hours or even days to snag these deals, but what for?  Do we really need to buy a bunch of stuff we don’t really need?

Well, I hope after eating all that turkey you are ready to fall asleep because that is exactly what you should do!  Instead of going shopping on Black Friday, say no to consumerism and support Buy Nothing DayBuy Nothing Day is a day to “unshop, unspend, and unwind.”   Just relax and do nothing for yourself or the economy for the day.  All the ads may say that these are the “lowest prices of the year and you cannot miss out on these steals!” but why give in?  By supporting Buy Nothing Day, you will be saving many resources that must be extracted to produce stuff and you will also be saving a lot of money since you won’t be tempted into buying these “amazing deals.”  Buy Nothing Day is not about changing your lifestyle for just one day, it’s about making a commitment for one day to hopefully open your eyes to make smarter choices for your future consumption choices.  I know this may be hard, so if you can’t ultimately support Buy Nothing Day, then try cutting back on buying only the things you need.  This will still save excess resources and some money in your wallet.  Visit the Buy Nothing Day website to find out more information. 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Say NO to Sunflower Seeds

When you’re out, a common snack or a way to stay busy is to eat sunflower seeds.  Now with sunflower seeds, the only part you eat is the inside and then you’re left with a broken shell covered in your nasty saliva.  The shells become very messy and a common way to containing them is by spitting them into an empty water bottle.  Whether you’re a baseball player eating seeds in the dugout or eating seeds in a car while on a road trip, avoid spitting the seeds into a bottle.  Or you can simply say NO to sunflower seeds. 

Sunflower seeds have little nutritional value, so getting rid of them in your diet will not severely affect you.  It may even help you because there is a large amount of salt on the shells of the seeds that provide an excess amount of sodium in your diet.  Also, you will be saving money by not buying them.  By saying NO to sunflower seeds will reduce the amount of pollution created during the production of sunflower seeds and it will also reduce the amount of waste generated by the shells.  When the shells are thrown in empty plastic bottles, they will not be able to decompose for hundreds of thousands of years until the plastic bottle decomposes.  This creates a build up in landfills that create a large amount of methane gas.  Sunflower seeds are also a hassle to clean up in public areas where they are thrown on the ground and can eventually cost taxpayers a lot to clean up the litter.  

I understand that eliminating the consumption of sunflower seeds may be difficult, therefore you can reduce the amount you eat maybe find a reusable brown paper bag to spit them in.  That way the shells can biodegrade at a faster rate than if they were spit into a plastic bottle.  If you choose to eliminate eating sunflower seeds and you are craving a snack, try eating a healthier alternative that does not create any waste.  Ex: Apples (and be sure you eat the ENTIRE apple)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Half vs Full Flashcards

There are many methods when it comes to studying for a test.  Some people rewrite their notes, type out study guides, or wastefully make flashcards.  For some people making flashcards are an extremely helpful study technique and that's awesome!  However, making flashcards also wastes a lot of paper.  More specifically, flashcards are used to typically for remembering definitions with one vocab word per card...  ONE!  This technique becomes an extreme waste of paper because there is a lot of empty space on the notecard, therefore excess amounts of paper are being wasted.  Next time you want to make flashcards, try cutting them in half or in fourths (depending on how much information you are writing on them).

Cutting the notecards in half will reduce the amount of paper you waste because you aren't wasting as much plain space as before.  If your information is small, you can even cut your notecards into fourths and this will reduce your notecard consumption even more!  The production of notecards can be costly because the paper is much thicker than a normal piece of paper.  This will reduce the pollution produced in the destruction of forests for paper pulp, carbon emitted during the production and transportation of the item, and the actual cost of buying the notecards from your wallet.  Since you will be using less flashcards you will save a lot money because you won't have to buy them as frequently.  And don't forget the EGOlogical tip to write small.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy (EGOlogical) Halloween

Happy Halloween everyone!  Today is the day we get to dress up in crazy cool costumes we will only wear once and knock on people’s doors to collect candy that creates a lot of garbage waste after its eaten!  Sounds harmful to the environment, but since Halloween is more like a societal tradition it is difficult to expect people to change.  Therefore I am going to point out a few things you can do to have a more EGOlogical Halloween.  From the costume to the candy, the idea is not to enjoy Halloween at all, but more how to reduce your environmental impact your Halloween celebration.

Costume: Try searching thrift stores to put together a costume using used clothing or props.  This will reduce the amount of resources extracted and pollution created during the production and consumption of the product.  Also, use recycled products such as cardboard or plastic bottles to create a neat homemade costume.  You can also spread awareness with your costume by being something with an environmental theme like a Recycle Cop or a Mermaid hit by pollution.  Visit Do Something to view a list of environmental Halloween Costumes.  Be creative! 

Candy: The amount of candy received can add up and create a lot of garbage waste.  Most candy wrappers cannot be thrown into your recycle bin, so they get thrown into the garbage.  However, there is a company that does recycle candy wrappers called Terracycle.  Terracycle works by mailing in your recyclables in a box and shipping it to them where you will receive a certain amount of credits towards purchasing Terracycle products or you can donate those credits in dollar amounts to your school or charity of choice.  Terracycle pays for your shipping too so all you have to do is just collect the waste and you and the environment receives the benefits.  Visit to learn more and find out how you can start recycling your candy wrappers!    

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Say NO to Toothpicks

What is the purpose of a toothpick?  Maybe you use one to see if your cupcakes are done or maybe you grab a toothpick on the way out of a restaurant to get something out of your tooth.  These are each things that are unnecessary and can be avoided.  So next time you reach to grab a toothpick, stop yourself and just say NO!

By saying NO to toothpicks you will reduce the amount of wood or plastic that is produced to make the toothpicks.  Reducing the amount of toothpicks produced will reduce the amount resources that must be extracted and it will also reduce the amount of pollution produced during the production and transportation of the toothpicks.  Since toothpicks typically get food attached to them, they cannot be recycled because they are now “contaminated.”  Therefore they are a nonrenewable resource that should be avoided. 

You will also save money because you won’t have a buy them for your home or restaurant (if you are in the food industry).  If you want to get something out of your teeth, too bad.  Just wait until you get home that night to get it out when you floss, I guarantee you won’t even notice it’s there after a few minutes of leaving the restaurant.  If you are checking your cupcakes, try to use a knife instead.  Works perfectly and you can wash it and reuse it.  

Monday, October 24, 2011

Who Said Tails Was Bad Luck?

How many times have you been walking somewhere and see a penny on the ground?  You bend down to pick it up, but stop because you notice it is facing tails-side up, not heads.  So you get back up, leave it there, and walk away.  Since we were young, society and culture has taught us that picking up a penny on the tails side is bad luck.  However, I am going to encourage you to go ahead and pick that penny off the ground!

I don't know whoever made up the story that pennies facing tail-side up are bad luck because finding any type of money on the ground should be a sign of good luck, especially in today's economy!  Since pennies are made of copper, they cannot decompose.  We also need to Recirculate to Recycle and prevent new coins from being minted.  This will reduce extraction of precious metals ad reduce the pollution caused during the production of coins.  Picking up any coins off the ground, regardless if they are facing heads or tails, will make you a richer person! Yes you might be only one penny richer, but every cent adds up.  Just think, if you've picked up every coin you've ever walked past, you would have more than "just a penny."

P.S. Yes that circular spot on the ground in the picture that looks like another penny is gum.  Make sure you Say NO to Gum so the ground won’t be covered in spots that look like coins!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Disposable vs Refillable Pens

The use of pens are almost unavoidable in today’s society.  You use them at school, work, meetings, to sign autographs…  You know, just the important things.  When you start using a new pen, it feels like you will never run out of ink.  However, eventually the ink will run out and you will have to get a new pen.  Unfortunately new pens typically cost more than we expect, but I have an EGOlogical tip that will not only cut on the costs of new ink, it will reduce the amount of plastic you consume! 

The answer: buy pens that can fit refillable ink.  The initial cost may be a little more than a disposable pen, but I promise the cost is worth it.  Ink refills are fairly cheap and they don’t have the unnecessary extra plastic casing around it that you already haveso there is less plastic being produced and consumed.  They also reduce the amount of pollution produced from packaging and transportation costs.  If you already own a pen that supports ink refills, great!  Just buy the ink refills that are supported by that pen the next time you go to the store.  If you don’t have one, consider investing in a pen that can support ink refills.  Now some may argue buying a new pen is promoting excess plastic consumption, however in the long run you will be saving money and plastic from the landfills because you putting time and money into an investment for your future pen usage.  

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Eat the ENTIRE Apple

Since we were kids, culture has taught us to eat an apple just to the core and throw out the rest.  We would see pictures of apple cores in books or comic strips and would connect that image to garbage.  As seen in the comic Todd and Penguin by David Write below, apple cores are correlated with garbage.  However, I am going to encourage you stop thinking of apple cores as garbage and to eat the entire apple.  I had actually never done it until recently because the thought of eating the ENTIRE apple was just odd to me, but I tried it and it doesn’t taste any different than the rest of the apple.  By eating entire apple, you are reducing the amount of garbage that will be thrown into the landfills therefore reducing greenhouse gasses.

When you hear the phrase, greenhouse gasses, the first thing you may think of are carbon dioxide emissions polluting the atmosphere.  Humans can be blamed for contributing 9 - 26% of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, however there is another type of gas induced by humans: methane.  Methane gas naturally comes from livestock, however the number one cause of methane gas is from landfills.  When garbage is put into a landfill, the chemical reactions and microbes breaking down the waste produce methane gas.  Therefore, by eating your entire apple you are preventing excess breakdown to occur in landfills when your body can benefit from the healthy nutrients an apple has to offer. 

Don’t be afraid to try it, I promise it’s not bad at all.  Eat the seeds too, they don’t taste weird!  If eating seeds is weird to you… don’t let it be because just think, strawberries are COVERED in seeds and you eat those!  So next time you’re eating an apple, be EGOlogical and just think of all the methane you’ll be saving just by eating the “weird” part culture taught us to know as garbage, but what we now know is just a normal part of the apple.    

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Heated vs Natural Hair

Sorry men, this tip is for the ladies… but you are more than welcome to use this tip too if you wish to.  However you can apply this tip, keep reading and it’s at the end.  Now this is a “touchy” subject because “beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” but what does having beautiful hair mean to you?  In today’s society, soft, smooth, and well-pampered hair is highly desired and all it takes to get that is a little bit of heat.  That heat is generated through electrical devices such as hair dryers, curlers, and straighteners.  Every person has a different hairstyle and uses different techniques to style it.  However, I am going to encourage you to let your hair flow naturally every once in awhile. 

There are many different hairstyles that still look nice and don’t require electrical devices.  Visit the youtube channel, Loepsie, and view her tutorial videos on how to create cute natural hairstyles.  By eliminating the use of your electric devices, you are reducing your electricity consumption.  This will reduce the amount of greenhouse gases produced during energy production and electrical consumption.  This tip will also reduce the cost on your energy bill. 

Now men, this is where you can apply this tip.  Encourage your significant other that their hair is beautiful all the time.  When it’s strait, curly, or natural, it’s always beautiful.  This will also cut electrical costs personally and environmentally.  I’m not telling you to never make your hair look nice, maybe just reduce the amount of heat you apply to it.  You will also be saving your hair from making it dead faster.  Your hair does not define your beauty, it’s how you love it, own it, and work it!    

Monday, October 3, 2011

Normal vs Shorthand

How often do you find yourself in class or in a meeting furiously writing down mass amounts of information as quickly as you can?  It’s commonly a difficult task to write down information slide per slide or verbatim out of the speaker’s mouth, therefore you should develop a system of shorthand to help you write more efficiently as well as gain more information in the same amount of time. 

Developing your own system of shorthand can be a difficult task if you’re not used to it, but once you get it down you will be happy you switched.  Not only will it let you write more, it will save the environment!  Since your shorthand will reduce the amount of words/letters you write, it will reduce the amount of ink used in your pen and the amount of paper you will go through.  By reducing your ink and paper consumption rates, you will reduce the amount that needs to be produced.  This will save pollution in production, transportation, and consumption costs as well as save you some money because you won’t have to buy as many pens and notebooks as often AND on top of that you have more notes!  Don't forget to the EGOlogical tip to write small!  

Tips to creating legible shorthand: be patient and figure out what works best for you and if it helps tell yourself you’re doing it for the Earth!  Good Luck!  

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Thank You World!

This is my 50th post on Be EGOlogical and I just wanted to say thank you to all of the people around the world that read it!  Saving the Earth is not only local activity, it’s a global effort that we all need to be aware of.  My tip for you today is that spreading awareness is one of the best ways to educate your peers and there are many ways you can do that.  Whether is volunteering in community clean ups or sharing this blog with your friends, word gets out and people’s lives can change.  Every little effort adds up and does really make a difference.

There are 23 countries the Earth would like to thank for helping change the world by applying EGOlogical tips to their lives are:

Saudi Arabia
United Arab Emirates
United States

As a global entity, it’s our duty to work together and help the Earth.  I challenge you to continue spreading awareness and taking action throughout your community.  Please Contact Me, I would love to hear your stories and feedback about your endeavors and how the EGOlogical tips are being implemented in your life!  Keep up the great work!  Looking forward to hearing from you!  

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Toothpaste Squeezer

We brush our teeth when we wake up and when we go to bed, and what do we put on toothbrush…TOOTHPASTE!  Toothpaste is a commodity we use in our everyday lives… at least I HOPE it is for everyone.  Since we use it everyday, we have a tendency to go through a tube of toothpaste quickly.  When it seems like you’re almost out, you might roll it up to get the remaining toothpaste to squeeze out or you might simply throw it away because it’s too much work to get a little toothpaste out.  So why throw away good toothpaste?  Well I have a solution for you!  Invest in a toothpaste squeezer to push all the toothpaste on the bottom to the top.  You’ll be surprised to find out how much toothpaste is still in the tube when you think it’s empty.  You can find a toothpaste squeezer typically anywhere you can buy toothpaste and you can find some for less than a dollar. 

Yes this is a piece of plastic you a buying, but the key element to this EGOlogical tip is the concept of REDUCE.  By investing in a toothpaste squeezer you will be prolonging the life of your toothpaste tube, therefore throughout your life you will greatly reduce the amount of toothpaste you buy.  This will reduce the amount of pollution since you are reducing your toothpaste consumption rate and it will reduce the amount of toothpaste tubes you throw into the landfills because you won’t go through them as fast.  Investing in a toothpaste pusher will also save you money because you won’t have to buy toothpaste as often.  You can reuse your toothpaste squeezer for a very long time as well.  I’ve had mine for over ten years and it still works amazing.  As hypocritical as it sounds, this little piece of plastic will save a ton of plastic from the landfills!    

One last tip, when shopping for a new tube of toothpaste after you've squeezed everything you can out of your old one, go ahead and buy the bigger tube.  You know you're going to use it all anyway so you might as well.  Buying in bulk reduces the amount of packaging over time and will also save you money.  

Thursday, September 22, 2011

College vs Wide Ruled Paper

When we first learned to write, we probably all received a sheet of WIDE ruled paper to practice our handwriting on.  Wide-ruled paper has BIG lines on it for us to write messy and make lots mistakes especially since we were just learning how to write.  As we got older, let’s say in about third grade, we received new paper called college-ruled paper.  It was probably a big step because now you had to write smaller and neater.  College-ruled loose leaf paper is pretty much all that’s available to us if we are out of elementary school, however there are many notebooks out there that can be bought in wide-ruled.  Since wide-ruled paper has fewer lines than college-ruled paper, you use it up faster and waste more paper.  Whether it’s for school or for work, we have the tendency to write bigger and go through paper faster if the lines are larger.  Therefore, make sure you buy college-ruled notebooks because they will last longer. 

You save the environment by reducing the amount of notebooks being produced and consumed, saving the destruction of forests for tree pulp and the pollution made when producing them.  You will also save money because you won’t have to buy as many notebooks.  It is a common mistake to go to the store and purchase a notebook without reading what kind it is because we ASSUME it’s college-ruled.  To avoid disappointment later, make sure you look at the cover to see if it says “College-ruled” and open it up to double check.  And don’t forget the EGOlogical tip to write small instead of big!  

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Cupcake vs Cake

We all do it.  Crave sweets.  Some people enjoy bought pre-made baked goods and some people enjoy baking their own treats.  If you love baking, then this EGOlogical tip is perfect for you.  Now who doesn’t love a good cake?  When you’re mixing the ingredients together, eating it seems just moments away.  However, it unfortunately isn’t.  Once you put it in the cake pan, the recipe will require you to bake it for 30-35 minutes.  That’s a long time for your oven to be sucking energy and gas!  Therefore, I am going to encourage you to bake a batch of cupcakes instead of a cake.  By baking cupcakes, it cuts the baking time in half due to the smaller size of the individual “cake.”  Cupcake recipes typically require a baking time of 15-20 minutes, which is half the baking time of baking a cake.  By reducing the baking time, you will reduce the amount of pollution it took to run your energy and gas and you will also cut costs on your energy bill (gas too if you have a gas oven). 

A few more cupcake baking tips: don’t use the paper liners, just oil, butter, or Pam the cupcake pan.  This will reduce the production of paper and reduce your spending costs.  Also, make sure you don’t leave your oven on too long before and after you are done baking your cupcakes.  Turn it on and be ready to put the cupcakes in right when the oven is ready and once they’re done, turn the oven off right away.  So next time you’re craving to bake a yummy treat, bake a batch of cupcakes, not a cake, and enjoy!  

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Skinny vs Fat Highlighters

Reading textbooks is often difficult especially when you’re trying to remember all the information.  Highlighting is an easy way to choose what things you want to remember most by highlighting a certain sentence or paragraph of importance to come back to later.  When highlighting your textbooks, what kind of highlighter do you typically use?  Probably just whatever highlighter you had handy.  Now, think back to when you bought that highlighter… did you want the skinny highlighters or the fat ones? 

This EGOlogical tip is going to encourage you to buy and use skinny highlighters versus using fat ones.  As you can see in the photo above, the fat highlighter used twice as much ink than the skinnier one for the same amount of space.  Therefore, you will go through your fat highlighter much faster than your skinner one.  Also, the fat highlighters require more plastic to produce and more plastic means more pollution in the production and transportation of the product.  This will save you money too because you won’t have to buy new highlighters as often since your skinny highlighters won’t run out as quickly.  Why spend more money and pollute the Earth for using a fat highlighter when a skinny highlighter does the same job?  

Monday, September 12, 2011

Say NO to Gum

When on the run there a certain items that are a necessity for you to go about your day.  Whether in your purse or in your pocket, these items typically include your wallet, cell phone, and a pack of gum.  Maybe you have a bad taste in your mouth that you want to get rid of, or you didn’t brush your teeth so you have bad breath, or you like to constantly be chewing something… whatever the cause for your gum-chewing is completely up to you.  However, I’m going to tell you that next time you have the urge to chew on a piece of gum from your pocket or one that is offered to you, say NO to gum! 

Gum is made of a base of non-biodegradable materials including natural or synthetic wax, latex, or rubber.  I know that 99.9% of gum-chewers do not swallow their gum and simply dispose of it on the street or under a table or chair.  This creates a problem because gum is non-biodegradable and stays in that spot for a long time.  When you swallow gum, it passes through your system without breaking down.  Knowing this, a red-alert going is probably going off in your mind that gum is bad for the environment.  Gum thrown on the ground can also be eaten by animals and they can die.  Around the world, cities spend millions of dollars cleaning up gum and it is not easy to remove. 

Not only will this save the Earth, it will save you a lot of money.  Let’s say spend about $5 on gum a month, if you stop chewing gum, you’ll save $60 a year!  Therefore, a simple solution is simply not chewing gum.  For some people chewing gum is a habit that is hard to break, so start by reducing the amount you chew and slowly eliminate it.  And if you chew gum as an alternative to brushing your teeth, that’s gross so start brushing your teeth!  If you are wondering if you can recycle gum, the answer is yes!  Some cities (more commonly found in Europe) have gum-recycling drop-boxes.  Visit or to find out more information and encourage your schools or cities to invest in these bins.   You can also use a Gum Rap to put your gum in and prevent it from being stuck to a surface for a long time.  Visit to find out more information.  Be EGOlogical, and say NO TO GUM! 

Here are some examples of gum's ability to stick around... literally

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Buy in BULK

Have you ever come home from the grocery store and notice how much packaging is used to seal a box of 6 granola bars, and you bought 3 boxes of them?  You are probably left with a good amount of paper cardboard that you have to recycle now.  However, there is a way to avoid excess packaging and also make your granola bars a little bit cheaper.  The answer is buying in bulk.  For example, when shopping at your local Costco or Sam’s Club, a box of granola bars will contain 20 or more in one box, reducing the amount of excess cardboard for individual boxes of 6.  About 8 cents to every dollar is used for packaging costs in food production.  When configuring the individual price of each bar, the package bought it bulk will be cheaper.  So before you buy a smaller package of food at the grocery store, think EGOlogically about how much packaging and money you’d be saving if you bought it in bulk.  

Monday, September 5, 2011

Big vs Small Handwriting

Almost no two person’s handwriting is the same.  Everyone has their own style, thickness, or height to each letter they write.  One thing that most people aren’t aware of is how much space their handwriting fills up on a paper or how much ink their personal handwriting uses.  Next time you’re taking notes in class, at a meeting, or simply writing a grocery list, take a mental note of what size your handwriting is and the also the thickness of the letters you write.  Once you recognize your style of writing, next time you write something down try to write your letters smaller. 

This will reduce the number of lines you use on your paper, in time saving you pages and eventually a lot of paper.  You will also be using less ink since your words are smaller.  Writing smaller will save the amount of paper and ink you will have to buy therefore reducing the polluting production and consumption of those products.  It will also save you money because you won’t go through paper and pens as quickly and you will eventually have to buy less.  This EGOlogical tip is something that you will constantly have to remind yourself because your handwriting is something that comes to you intuitively and it’s difficult to change this routine.  Eventually this new trick will become a habit for you to apply to everything you write down!  Good Luck!


Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Bring Your Own Lunch (BYOL)

Lunchtime.  Probably the most anticipated meal of the day for the people who are excited for a break in their day or the people who are simply just hungry.   Most campuses have student unions or other locations nearby where students can purchase their lunch.  Now we all know that food on the go just always tastes amazing, but do we ever stop to think how much waste is created through the consumption of your meal?  More specifically, take-out places typically use Styrofoam or plastic containers and disposable utensils that will be thrown away and sit in landfills for thousands of years.   Also, just think about how much money you spend on lunch each week!

One more benefit to bringing your own lunch from home is that it is a lot healthier than eating out.  When packing your lunch, use reusable containers for items not individually packed, bring a lunchbox instead of a plastic/paper bag, and bring your own reusable utensils instead of disposable ones.  Keep in mind that bringing your own lunch also needs to work for your own convenience too.  So if you can’t ultimately cut out take-out lunches, maybe try to start brining your lunch three times a week instead of five.  It’s up to you to make the change.  Be committed, I guarantee you will feel proud of eating healthier and proud of that extra money you’ll be saving.  

Monday, August 29, 2011

Education Benefits You and the Environment

Happy first day of school!  Now I know when the word school comes to mind you don’t automatically think, FUN… especially because your lazy and relaxing summer is over and you have to wake up early, attend boring classes, and do assignments that take up way too much of your free time.  Yes school is tough and it could be boring, but I just want you to keep in mind the reason why you attend school.  I know each and every student has a goal, whether that is becoming a millionaire or working to help others, there is a passion and a drive somewhere within that smart brain of yours to help you achieve your greatest desires. Therefore, I am going to encourage you to learn to love school. 

So, you’re probably wondering how this EGOlogical “tip” relates to the environment.  Well, education is the key element to saving the environment.  Modernization theorists believe that over time as technology increases, we will come up with new ideas and ways to better society as well as help the environment.  The only way to live up to those expectations is for us to be educated.  Education opens so many doors for each individual and there are many people that don’t have access to those resources.  So instead of claiming that you’re “bored” in class and posting it as your Facebook status, try paying attention because all it takes is a few educational words from a professor that could change your life.  Or maybe instead of whining about how you have to write a seven-page paper due tomorrow and sharing your aggression about it with the rest of the world on Facebook, who I will add probably don’t even care, actually work ahead and be excited to write a paper that you are proud to turn it.  Our future relies on our success and you are the only person with the power to shape and mold your future.  You are smart, beautiful, and intelligent, so stop whining about school and start using your talents to change the world!   

(Check out the "School" topics section to read EGOlogical tips to use throughout your school year!)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Recirculate to Recycle

Loose change: Quarters, dimes, nickels, and beloved pennies.  Most Americans keep coins from previous transactions in their wallet, purse, piggy bank, a cup labeled “Vacation Funds,” or in the cracks of the sofa the coins accidently fell into.  Today, the value of a penny is worth less than the amount of copper it goes into making it and same goes for the nickel.  Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could just recycle pennies and nickels to collect a higher profit?  Unfortunately, the U.S. Mint has the sole permission to melt currency so we would not be able to gain a penny’s true worth by literally recycling it.  However, I am going to encourage you to “recycle” your coins by recirculating them back into the system.  In other words, instead of hoarding your coins around your room, house, car, purse, etc… SPEND THEM! 

This way the U.S. Mint can melt the coins and recycle the metals so they won’t have to extract the costly metals.  If the supply would reduce, the amount of pollution released from the extraction of precious metals, production of the coins, and the transportation of the heavy metals would reduce too.  Also, maybe eventually the U.S. Mint will not have to create as many coins each year since the supply will reduce because people will actually be spending them.

There is an estimated $10 billion in coins throughout the United States sitting in people’s homes.  Not only will this help the environment, it will help your wallet by 1) making it not as heavy because instead of ignoring the coins, you will spend them during cash transactions and 2) you’re spending money that might be ignored for YEARS, so you’re actually richer than you probably thought you were.   If you don’t spend your coins as you go along, gather them in ONE SPOT instead of around the house and take them to a Constar to get cash, gift cards, or donate them to a charity such as the World Wildlife Fund.  Click on the link to find the nearest Constar near you:

Monday, August 22, 2011

Just Drink Water

Do you ever have that feeling where you just feel like drinking a nice cold soda or a tasty glass of juice?  Especially since water is just so boring and plain right?  And you want them so badly that if you don’t have anything but water in your home, you may even consider going out and buying them?  Well, I am going to tell you to toughen up and just drink water. 

By choosing water over soft drinks or juices, you are utilizing a resource that comes right from your home in the faucet.  Therefore, you reduce or better yet eliminate the production and consumption of sodas and juices.  For example, a bottle of apple juice involves: growing the apples with harmful pesticides, picking the apples and shipping them to a juicing factory creating harmful air pollution, packaging the product with non-biodegradable plastics or containers that will most likely not be recycled, and shipping a heavy product to store shelves which creates a ton of unnecessary air pollution.  If you simply drink a glass of water instead of a glass on apple juice, you eliminate each of those environmental concerns.  
Not only is drinking water better for the earth, it will greatly help you save money.  If you spend $10 a week on beverages every time you go grocery shopping and you go twice a month, that’s $240 in a year you will save.  And on top of that, eliminating those sugary sodas and juices will also help your health because you won’t be consuming as much sugar and you know for a college student, that’s a key element to leading a healthy lifestyle.  I’m not encouraging you to completely eliminate beverages for they are fine to have once in awhile, just be cautious as to how much you spend on beverages other than water.  So, as simply stated early, just drink water.     

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Say NO to "Add a Minute/Thirty Second" Buttons

(I know this post is a little longer than others, but I guarantee this is one of the best ones!) 

A microwave is probably one of the most important appliances in your kitchen.  As I noted in a previous entry, microwaves use less energy than a stove does to heat up or cook an item.  Therefore, they are more environmentally friendly.  I did, however, forget to mention one trick to warming up/cooking in your microwave. Alright, now let’s pretend last night you cooked a delicious meal consisting of spaghetti and meatballs.  You didn’t finish all of it so you put the leftovers in a reusable container (not a plastic bag) and set it in the fridge.  The next night you decide to eat your leftovers and prepare to eat them.  After placing the bowl of spaghetti and meatballs in the microwave, you punch in the desired amount of time you wish to heat up your dish. 

After years of microwave experience, you probably guestimate it will take 2 minutes will do the trick.  Now there were probably a few things going through your mind when you chose 2 minutes as the magical time it will take to heat up your food.  For example you may think that 2 minutes might be a little too much and make your food too hot to eat and enjoy right away, but you didn’t just want to warm it up for only 1 minute and 30 seconds because it may be too cold. 

However, this is when I step in and yell, “WAIT!  STOP RIGHT THERE!”  All our lives we have been accustomed to punching in exact amounts of time in intervals of a minute or thirty seconds.  Some models of microwaves even have buttons that let your “add a minute” or “add thirty seconds” so you don’t have to manually type it in.  Therefore, all you simply have to do is to think beyond that natural instinct and type in a number that you think would heat up your spaghetti and meatballs perfectly.  For example, maybe try putting your meal in for 1 minute and 48 seconds.  Not 1:30 and NOT 2 MINUTES.  Who said the number needs to be rounded to the nearest tenth?  NO ONE!   Another example may be if the box of oatmeal says to cook a bowl of oatmeal for a minute and thirty seconds, maybe try putting it in for 1 minute and 24 seconds.  It will still cook just the same. 

By reducing the amount of time you heat /cook your item in the microwave, the less energy you will be using.  This will reduce the amount of pollution caused by your energy needs and also save you money on your electric bills.  Kitchen appliances use up the most electricity in your home.  Don’t forget, each second adds up!  Be EGOlogical and start using your microwave unconventionally!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Chopsticks vs Fork

Dining out is a treat for most college students on a tight budget.  There are many choices to choose from, but let’s pretend on this particular day you and your friends would like to consume some tasty Asian cuisine.   As your food comes and you reach for your choice of utensils, commonly a pair of bamboo chopsticks may be the desirable choice. 

However, I am going to encourage you not to use chopsticks and to use a fork.  Now I know using a fork at an Asian restaurant is an “American” thing, but it is also more environmentally friendly to use a reusable fork instead of non-reusable chopsticks.  Forks can be washed and reused at the restaurant while the bamboo chopsticks must be thrown away and they cannot be recycled due to the food smothered on them.  If the chopsticks are made of a reusable material then by all means go ahead and use those.  Since the demand will decrease, the supply will decrease as well reducing the toxic environmental production costs.  This tip is also useful for your homes because you don’t want to waste money on bamboo chopsticks when you are going to throw them out once used.  So what are you waiting for?  Grab a fork and enjoy your meal!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Say NO to Plastic Straws

Imagine it’s a busy hot sunny Summer day all day and at the moment, a nice, cold lemonade sounds completely satisfying.  You then proceed to grab a reusable cup, dump some ice into the cup, pour the lemonade into the cup, grab a straw, and sit down, relax, and enjoy.  Now, there is nothing wrong with enjoying a nice beverage, however there was one step in the process you could leave out: Step 4 - Grab a straw.

Straws are made up of plastic that almost 100% of the time will never be recycled.  By not using straws at home, you will be doing a number of things to help the environment including, reducing the amount of pollution made during the production of straws as well as reducing the amount of non-recyclable waste you dump into the landfill.  Not only will this save the environment, it will save you money since you don’t have to buy straws for your home.  Eliminating this cost does not seem like a lot, but over time you could save a lot of money if you are a frequent straw user. 

You can also apply this tip for when you go to restaurants.  If they offer you a straw, simply put it to the side and drink out of the glass.  Some may argue that the glass is dirty, but I promise, the “germs” on the glass are just as bad as the “germs” on the fork you are using or on the table you are sitting at.  Therefore, loose the straw because you’ve got nothing to lose!