Family Transportation in a Sustainable World

Sustainable World

Sustainable WorldWe all got used to driving large cars, SUVs and pickup trucks in the last few decades. There were times when the price of gasoline was quite low and sacrificing gas mileage for comfort seemed to be a worthwhile trade-off. Those days seem to be long gone as car makers have recognized the nationwide trend of driving more fuel efficient vehicles.  The market now demands a new generation of family transportation in a sustainable world.

Transport in a Sustainable World

Today, high gas prices have caused most families to think twice before deciding what type of new car to buy. The size of the family is a major factor in deciding just how big a vehicle to buy. If you have six kids, you will need something that can seat 8 and that limits you to a large SUV, minivan or a few crossover vehicles. While you don’t have to necessarily have a vehicle that can haul the whole family around, it is nice to have that option.

If you are a family with one or two kids, your choice of family transportation is virtually unlimited. Toyota is still amongst the leaders when it comes to producing a car with a minimal environmental footprint.

A Prius, in all of its various configurations will still get you 40 and maybe even 50 miles to the gallon. Most of the other car manufacturers have at least one vehicle for sale that gets at least 40 miles per gallon.

Family transportation is not just about getting the most miles per gallon. Sustainable family transportation that will do a good job of getting you from place to place should also keep with a green theme. It should have as low a carbon footprint as possible and also be designed and engineered to last a long time.

Probably just as important as how much carbon pollution is emitted in to the atmosphere is how long we keep our cars on the road. When a car has reached the end of its useful life it must be disposed of somewhere.

That means a few tons of metal, plastic and rubber will be added to the refuse of the world. It is true some parts can be recycled, but overall, a junked car winds up in a landfill or junk yard.

Families can buy electric cars or hybrids which use less gasoline. They can buy cars that run on ethanol. Perhaps the best thing they can do to reduce the environmental impact is to drive less. Stay home more as a family. Plan your shopping and other chores so you can make just one trip instead of 2 or 3. The less you drive, the better it is for the environment.

Reducing, Reusing and Recycling Excess Packaging

Recycling Excess Packaging

Recycling Excess PackagingConscientious consumers can easily minimize their household’s waste and carbon footprint by reducing, reusing and recycling excess packaging through creative and resourceful measures.

The environmental impact of waste begins in the supply chain, continues through the consumer’s home and ends hundreds of years later when plastics breakdown.  To reduce the environmental impact of consumer goods, manufacturers have been turning to lifecycle analysis programs to develop beneficial packaging and shipping materials.

These include reusable and recyclable glass containers, corrugated cardboard, which is ideal for recycling, and lightweight plastic designed to minimize transportation-related fossil fuel emissions.

Recycling Excess Packaging

Any household can minimize waste by choosing food items and food storage containers that are compatible with the reduce-reuse-recycle principal.

Reusable grocery bags and cloth produce sacs are ideal for minimizing unnecessary waste and trash. While plastic grocery bags can be recycled, lightweight produce bags are more likely to be thrown in the trash. Cloth sacs can also be used to transport bakery bread as an alternative to plastic sleeves and disposable bags.

Avoiding prepackaged produce items and salad mixes is another way to reduce waste from foam trays, plastic wrap, plastic bags and supplemental packaging. Purchasing economic family size containers rather than individual servings is one of the easiest ways to reduce packaging consumption and overall waste.

Large quantities of dry goods can also be purchased from bulk bins and transported in reusable sacs to reduce unnecessary packaging and prevent waste.

Many plastic, glass and metal containers can be reused or re-purposed before they are recycled. Plastic containers, glass jars and tin cans can be turned into garden pots or used to store and organize items.

Glass jelly jars can be turned into creative drinking glasses or used to store dry goods, spices and herbs.

Glass jars and food storage containers are among the best choices because they are reusable, recyclable and non-leaching unlike tin cans.

The hormone Bisphenol A also known as BPA is associated with plastics as well as the protective lining used inside metal cans. Studies show 90% of canned goods contained measurable levels of BPA, which leach from the plastic lining.

Although plastic wrap has a smaller environmental impact compared to tin foil, it has been named as a source of BPA. If possible, reuse tin foil that has not been soiled or cover dishes with a plate instead.

Wax paper, freezer paper and waxed bags are all eco-friendly alternatives for storing foods without risking exposure to toxins.

With a few simple steps anyone can reduce their household’s waste and carbon footprint. There are lots of other ways in which consumers can help with recycling excess packaging, and some are quite imaginative.  Share any tips you have in the comments below.

Sustainable Living – The Basics

Sustainable Living

Sustainable LivingSustainable living requires very little effort from an individual, but can have a dramatic, positive impact on the environment and a person’s bank account. No longer can homeowners turn a blind eye to the massive overuse of the world’s natural resources while polluting the earth with toxic waste.

Sustainable living can help preserve the precious, fragile ecosystems that are being destroyed little by little, everyday. Learning how to reduce the amount of electricity and other resources used, limiting the amount of waste, and using products made with recycled materials are all part of sustainable living.

Sustainable Living and Lifestyle

The idea behind this cost effective lifestyle is to leave less of an environmental impact on the earth. Millions of people over hundreds of years living carelessly without a thought about the environment are slowly depleting the earth’s natural resources and causing irreparable harm to this beautiful planet.

Homes can switch to alternative energy sources. Solar and wind powered homes are becoming increasingly popular. In fact, governments all around the world are offering incentives for those that switch to these green energy sources.

The cost savings to the electric bill will pay for the system in a matter of years. Solar power is one of the easiest systems to install and can even be used in densely populated areas. Panels are placed on the roof of a home to avoid taking up precious space. Solar shingles are another option a homeowner can choose to install.

Collecting Rainwater

Rain barrels are an ideal way to save money on the water bill, while preserving a valuable commodity. Rain barrels are very inexpensive and can be used to water lawns and gardens throughout the summer. There are numerous designs and sizes that are sure to suit any home’s style and meet any homeowner’s association laws.

Reducing Waste

Waste is quickly becoming a problem. Landfills are overflowing with needless garbage that will take several decades to break down. Recycling plastics, glass and paper products are a vital part the preservation of earth.

Consumers can help reduce the massive piles of waste by buying products made with recyclable materials. It is also important consumers send a message to wasteful companies by only buying products that are made with recycled materials.

Conclusion

Some of the above may seem very basic given the amount of awareness in the modern world, but even these fundamentals still allude some.  Others become complacent and switch back to old bad habits.  Review your household energy use and see if there are ways you could improve.