Monday, December 24, 2012

How to have a Holiday Party

Well folks, another year… another holiday season!  As we plan our parties with friends and gatherings with family, we begin to realize… “My goodness this is a lot of work!”  On top of the usual holiday stressors of determining the number of guests entering your humble abode or deciding on that perfect menu to “WOW!” your guests, figuring out how to “green” your holiday party is typically not on the top of your list.  That’s where Be EGOlogical comes in.

There are a variety of ways your holiday party can reduce its environmental impact that can cause you to go extremely out of your way, potentially remove your guests from their comfort zone, and become costly.  Hosting a holiday party is difficult to run and maintain with little, or zero impact.  Therefore, it is all about the small steps you can take that add up to a fabulous, yet green…er holiday party. 

Try the following Be EGOlogical tips to having a “green…er” holiday party:

Keep track of who has RSVP’d to your party so you can prepare just the right amount of food.  Having too little could be disastrous and having too much would be a waste of Earth’s natural fuel.

As your guests arrive, turn down the thermostat and let your guests’ body heat naturally warm the room.  This will reduce your electric and/or gas bill.

There are two necessities for your holiday party that you cannot forget: 1) A permanent marker, and 2) Wine charms.  Wherever drinks are being served, ask guests to write their names on their disposable cup with the permanent marker and use wine charms on wine/champagne glasses.  This will eliminate the use of extra cups or washing extra glasses because a guest forgets where they set their drink and need a new one. 

Reuse holiday decorations from previous years.  It is an extra cost of time and money to buy new decorations for this year’s holiday party.  That way you won’t have to worry about buying new items that will most likely sit in house for years and eventually end up in a landfill.  Since many new holiday decorations are made of plastic and metal, it would take thousands of years for an inflatable snowman to decompose.

Poinsettia Decorations
Avoid buying poinsettia plants.  The American culture associates poinsettia plants with the holiday season and are often used as decorations or given as gifts.  Each holiday season millions of poinsettia plants are purchased and are thrown away.  This uses up a large amount of resources to grow, package, and transport the plants to the consumer, who will throw it out when the holidays are over.  You will save money and resources by not buying them as decorations and/or gifts this holiday season. 

Hope your holiday party will now be green…er than it would have originally been.  Just keep in mind that every little effort counts and adds up to one big change!  Wishing you a happy holiday season and a Green…er New Year!   

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Say NO to Bagged Salads

In today’s modern society, people tend to live exceptionally busy lifestyles.  Innovations in technology have found ways to make everyday tasks more convenient and save some precious time.  One of those innovations was invention of pre-packaged bagged salads. 

Bagged salads contain chopped lettuce leaves that are washed in chlorine.  In order to keep the leaves fresh, they are packaged in an airtight plastic bag.  These processes cause the leaves to lose their antioxidant nutrients and also cause a need for excess energy.  The amount of energy used to manufacture bagged salads causes pollution during energy production and consumption, therefore polluting the environment and accelerating climate change. 

Instead of grabbing a pre-packaged bagged salad at the grocery store, buy fresh lettuce heads and create a unique salad of your own.  Yes, it may take you a few extra minutes… but the rewards are worth it.  You are obtaining more nutrients, saving money since lettuce heads a significantly cheaper than bagged salads, and saving the environment all at the same time!  

Friday, July 13, 2012

Green Cleaning

It happens quite often throughout your home; juice spills on the kitchen counter, bathroom gunk build up, bacon grease stuck on the stove … Surfaces are difficult to keep clean and are often subject to being cleaned off using various disinfectant products.  Many disinfectant products are made of toxic chemicals that are hazardous to our health and the environment.  Sprays can harm our respiratory health and pollute the air and other cleaners can seep into our groundwater causing harm to the local environment. 

There are alternatives that are more environmentally friendly and save you some money.  Vinegar, lemon juice, and baking soda are cheap alternatives and are extremely effective cleaners.  You can also try different lines of green cleaners sold in the store right near the “normal” cleaning products that are usually the same or cheaper in price.  One line of green cleaning product is JAWSJAWS stands for “Just Add Water System” and what makes these cleaners so special is that they are non-toxic, come in an empty spray bottle, and are reusable.  The empty spray bottle can be reused once the JAWS cleaner is used up by simply buying a cartridge refill and refilling the bottle with water.  This reduces the amount of plastic being produced and thrown away into the landfills and as well as reduce the amount of CO2 emitted during the production and transportation of more product.  It will also prevent you from spending excess money on more cleaners, when you can cheaply and conveniently refill the JAWS cleaners.  Visit to learn more about where or how you can try JAWS.  Who knew cleaning that bacon grease off your stove could be so EGOlogical? 

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Cool Down

When cooking large hot meals, it can often lead to having left overs for another time.  After consuming your hot meal before storing it, make sure you stay away from using plastic bags and keep food fresh in reusable containers.  In order to keep your food fresh for longer periods of time, food must be stored in the refrigerator.  However, don’t put your hot food container in the refrigerator right away.  Let it cool down outside the refrigerator first, and then proceed to placing it inside.  Above is a picture of the spaghetti and meat sauce I cooked last night that I let cool for a couple hours before storing it in the refrigerator.

Whether you have 20 minutes to let it cool before you have to run somewhere else or a couple hours until you go to bed, letting your food cool prior to refrigeration will prevent your refrigerator’s inside temperature from heating up.  This will reduce the amount of energy your refrigerator consumes in order to keep a constant cool heat.  Saving energy will reduce the amount of greenhouse gasses emitted during the production on the energy’s source and will also save you money on your electric bills.   

Friday, May 18, 2012

Empty vs Full Freezer

Your refrigerator and freezer take up about seven to nine percent of your energy bill.  There are many ways to reduce the amount of energy used to keep your freezer cool by simply reducing the amount of warm air that enters.  When warm air enters a fridge or freezer space, the fridge/freezer’s natural instinct is to get it back to how cold it was prior to the door being open.  Therefore, it will use more energy to cool the air inside. 

Previous Be EGOlogical tip: “Hunger + ? = Bad” recommended avoiding leaving the fridge/freezer door open for a long time to reduce the amount of warm air entering.  Another way to save money on the energy costs of your fridge/freezer is to keep your freezer stocked at all times.  It takes more energy to cool down empty air space because when your freezer is full, there is less room for warm air to enter.  Therefore less energy will be used to cool down your freezer. 

If your freezer is not full of food, you can fill the empty space with cardboard boxes full of newspaper or frozen water bottles.  By keeping your freezer full, your will reduce the amount of energy your fridge/freezer uses and therefore reduce the amount of greenhouse gases emitted during energy production and save some money on your energy bill.  

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Cold vs Hot Laundry

How many times have you fiddled with the settings of your washing machine and wondered if you are applying the right settings for each load of laundry?  Every washing machine is different and can often times be confusing.  Once you set it for the right size and type for the clothing you are washing, another option listed is the water temperature.  You might have heard that washing your clothes on warm/hot water will “kill the germs better” or “clean your clothes better,” however this is typically not the case.  Most clothes do not need to be cleaned with hot water and can get the job done with cold water. 

By reducing the temperature of water used, you reduce the amount of energy used to wash that load.  This will reduce the amount of greenhouse gases emitted during energy production and consumption and will also save you money on your energy bill.  Another added bonus is that your clothes will last longer, therefore reducing your clothing consumption rates.  So next time you are about to run a load of laundry, make sure your water temperature is set to “Cold” to save energy, the environment, and money!  

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Spring Cleaning

As the school year is coming to an end, college students often find themselves with a lot of items they need to get rid of.  Whether they are moving away permanently, for the summer, or simply want to do some spring cleaning, getting rid of items can be a hassle.  From couches to mini fridges to extra pens and binders, these are all items that can be reused and do not need to be thrown away and sit in landfills.  One option is to sell things on ebay or craigslist, however those can be a hassle and time consuming.  Another option is to use a network called Freecycle. 

The Freecycle Network is a grassroots nonprofit movement to encourage people to give things away and prevent them from ending up in landfills.  Membership is free and all you do is go to, sign up, find your community, and join your local efforts.  When you have something or a bundle of items to get rid of, list your items and if members in your community want them, they will contact you for pick up.  This is an easy and convenient method of cleaning out your dorm, house, or apartment.  The Freecycle Network can also work the other way when you may need an item that someone in your community is getting rid of.

By using the Freecycle Network, you will reduce the amount of resources extracted to produce new things as well as reduce the amount of pollution created during the production and transportation of those items.  Other people can benefit from what is in essence, your garbage.  You will also save money, since all items are free.  And who doesn’t love free stuff?  Visit to find out more information and sign up!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A New Way to Park

In today’s modern society, car usage is vital for many people to go about their daily lives.  Unless you walk, ride a bike, or have access to public transportation, you are most likely to drive a car to get around.  With rising gas prices, people are looking for ways to reduce their gas consumption.  

One way you could do this is to pull all the way forward into a parking space.  This EGOlogical tip is very simple and will help reduce the amount of carbon emitted from your car as well as save you money.  If there is no parking block in the way, go ahead and pull into the spot in front of it.  That way when you are ready to leave, you will just have to pull forward and be on your way instead of having to go in reverse, back up, maybe idle a little because you have to wait for a pedestrian to pass by, and then put your car in drive and drive away. 

All those steps may seem small, but they add up to wasting gas and emitting more carbon into the atmosphere than you would be if you took the step to simply pull into the space in front it of.  Now I know not ALL parking lots have spaces that would allow you to practice this tip, but if you ever are in a parking lot that does, keep this EGOlogical tip in mind.  

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Earth Hour 2012

Have you ever wondered how much energy the world would save if everyone shut off their lights for just one hour?  Well, as a matter of fact, this phenomenon is attempted throughout the world one day a year, for just one hour.  Earth Hour is an international event where millions of people around the world show their support for climate change action by turning off their lights for one hour.  Started in 2007 by WWF Australia, people from over 135 countries pledge to participate in Earth Hour in a community or individual setting.  From 8:30 to 9:30 pm, it is a message made and a sight to be seen that each of our actions add up to one big change. 

Set your alarms for 8:30 pm tonight (Saturday, March 31st) and turn off your lights for one hour! Here in Las Vegas, the Las Vegas Strip and “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign will be shutting off its casino lights during Earth Hour.  Your local city and businesses may be participating as well.

For more information about Earth Hour, visit:

Thursday, March 22, 2012

World Water Day 2012

Happy World Water Day 2012!  United Nations put aside this international day to celebrate freshwater and to focus our attention on the importance of freshwater and advocate for sustainable management of freshwater resources. Each year, the UN chooses a focus for World Water Day and 2012’s focus is about water and food security.  The importance of your water footprint due to water, food, and clothing production are highlighted by providing the problems and mitigation strategies.  Everyday, water is used and polluted to produce the items we consume at an alarming rate.  Visit to find out more information about World Water Day.   On their website are activities and tools that will also help explain the importance of water conservation. 

One Be EGOlogical tip previously highlighted about your water footprint is to stop drinking bottled water and drink tap water.  Bottled water is literally bottled tap water and companies around the world are drying up natural sources and selling you “clean, pure, tasty, and healthy” water.  Bottled water also has many negative impacts due to the production, transportation, and disposal of plastic bottles.  The video, The Story of Bottled Water, explains the reasons why bottled water is not good for our health or the environment:

If you want to watch a more detailed documentary about the negative impacts of the bottled water industry, I suggest you watch the documentary, Tapped.  (Don't forget the Be EGOlogical tip, Don't Buy, but RENT DVD's).  You can watch it on Hulu for free or if you have Netflix it is also on there.  Below is the trailer for Tapped:

Another Be EGOlogical tip to reduce your water footprint is to participate in Meat Free Monday.  Going vegetarian would be ideal, however for those of us who are not quite ready for this step, giving up meat once a week is definitely a feasible goal.  It takes HUGE amounts of water to produce the grain/plants that are used to feed animals, so why not skip the cow and just eat the plants?

Next time you are shopping, try to be aware that whenever you buy an item you are voting.  Be conscience of your purchases, because you may be supporting things that are not good for the environment.  Spread awareness and take action by doing the little things that all add up to one big change. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Natural Sunlight vs Electric/Gas Dryers

As we hang up our turtlenecks and coats and say goodbye to Winter, we are giving a warm welcome to Spring’s sunlight and warm temperatures!  Increased temperatures send out personal invitations for humans and other species to interact in the warm and friendly outdoors.  This increase in heat energy also allows us to utilize the natural energy source for a variety of uses.  This EGOlogical tip encourages you to say NO to your electric/gas powered dryer and begin drying your clothes in the sun.   

Saying NO to a dryer will reduce the amount of pollution emitted when creating the energy and it will also reduce your gas and electric bills.  If you have access to a backyard, set up a clothing line outside to hang up your clothes.  If you don’t have access to a backyard, get creative and find places around your home to hang your clothes to dry, such as the shower, balcony, or chairs. By not throwing your clothes in the dryer will also prolong the life of your clothes since they won’t be tossed around in an electric monster.  This will prevent you from having to purchase more clothes in the future.  You may notice your clothes may not have that fluffy teddy bear soft feeling once hung up and dried, but I guarantee your swag will be perfectly okay and you’ll still be looking freaky fresh.  

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

"Studying" by Dannica

Don't forget to send a picture of an EGOlogical tip in action to
and have it featured on the "Home" page and "Share Your Photos" page!

EGOlogical Tip: "Half vs Full Flashcards"
"Studying" - by Dannica

Friday, March 2, 2012

Dr. Seuss' The Lorax in Theaters Today!

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!  In celebration of Dr. Seuss’ birthday and to kick off Read Across America Day, Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax has hit movie theaters across the country!  The Lorax is a children’s book written by Dr. Seuss in 1971.  It portrays the story of the negative effects of environmental degradation in the land of the trufulla trees.  A mythical creature named, the Lorax, speaks for the trees against the Once-ler’s selfish actions on the environment.  The story sends a powerful message to its readers acknowledging the idea that it is ultimately up to us to save the Earth by fixing environmental damage and preventing further harm.  The animated movie version hits theaters TODAY!

Here is The Lorax movie trailer:

Just a little forewarning, there may be some news in the media questioning Universal Studio’s decision to partner with various companies that aren't necessarily the most committed to the environment.  For example, the movie has partnered with Mazda to promote a new gasoline powered crossover SUV by bringing a guy in a Lorax suit to schools and donating $1,000 to 21 different schools in 20 cities and an additional $25 for every kid that convince their parent to take a Mazda test drive.  Now, doesn’t this just makes you stop and question Universal’s motives?  First off, bringing marketing to schools can be controversial and also partnering with Mazda still promotes unnecessary consumption.  However, if you look at this from another angle, environmental education is the key to saving the environment.  From this program, thousands of kids that did not have any previous environmental education will now leave school with a message to change their own habits and maybe even pass them to their family and friends. 

I commend Dr. Seuss’ efforts to spread environmental awareness and to Universal Studies for continuing to spread Dr. Seuss’ message.  If you visit the movie website:, you can find out more information such as “Go Green” tips or environmental education games. You can also check out The Lorax Project to learn more about forests in danger just like the Trufulla Tree forest and more tips on what you can do the help the environment. It is up to us to make the decision to think twice about our actions and realize that every small act towards the environment adds up.  Like the Once-ler says in The Lorax, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better.  It’s not.”  

Friday, February 17, 2012

Meat Free Monday

Vegetarians… typically you hear how these people do something society thinks is crazy by choosing to give up meat because they want to help the animals, or that it’s better for your health, or to help the environment, or maybe for whatever social and economic goal they are trying to achieve.  As an environmentalist, I often get asked if I eat meat and I’m going to be honest, I do.  Just a little background of the environmental impact meat has on our Earth from PETA:
  • It takes sixteen pounds of grain to produce one pound of meat.  70% of the grain we grow for things like cereals ends up being use to feed farmed animals.
  • Requires eleven times for fossil fuels from the production to the consumption of one calorie of animal protein that one calorie of plant protein.
  • One pound of meat requires 2,400 gallons of water while one pound of grain only requires 25 gallons.
  • The fecal byproducts of the animals contaminate groundwater supply and the methane gas also contributes heavily to greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Thousands of aces in the rainforests are not being chopped down for their trees to make paper, but to clear land to create animal factory farms. 
  • Including the land used to grow the feed crops and land used for grazing, more than 30% of the Earth’s land mass is used to produce meat.
  •  “According to the Environmental Defense, if every American skipped one meal of chicken per week and substituted vegetarian foods instead, carbon dioxide savings would be the same as taking more than half a million cars off U.S. roads” - PETA
Wow huh! I typically get an array of responses and I honestly feel like a hypocrite.  I have contemplated giving up meat before, but at the end of the day I come to realization that I would be giving up so many things that I love to eat and meat makes me happy.  This was my pattern of thought for a while, until my friend suggested we try Meat Free Mondays

Meat Free Mondays is a campaign started by Paul McCartney with his daughters Stella and Mary.  The purpose of Meat Free Mondays is not asking you not to give up meat completely, but to do your part in reducing your environmental impact associated with the meat industry.   Not only will this help the Earth, it will help your health by eating more vegetables instead of meat, and it will also save you some money too. 

Being EGOlogical isn’t about altering your life completely for environmental change, it’s about the little steps you can do that add up.  By participating in Meat Free Mondays and giving up meat simply once a week, you will be greatly reducing your environmental footprint.  A few of my friends and I have done Meat Free Mondays for the past two weeks and I must say, it is an extremely rewarding experience.  I previously felt that by giving up meat, I would be sacrificing some of my happiness not eating the things I love.  However, each Monday I now experience a different kind of happiness from knowing that I did something great for the environment and my health.  And that happiness is a whole lot stronger and much more rewarding than any happiness, or maybe I should say, satisfaction, I have or would feel from eating meat. 

This experience has been extremely rewarding so far.  I find that I am trying a lot more foods that I would have usually ignored too.  Maybe one day you will decide to be a full-time vegetarian/vegan.  But for now, giving up meat once a week is a great step.  If you would like more information about Meat Free Monday, visit and find out how this small step can have a huge impact.  Good luck!