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!