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More Tips on How to Help the Planet: Part 2

by Lambeth Hochwald

As promised, here is part 2 of our Earth Day tribute—more ways to help the planet! Read part 1 here.

Look at what your furniture is made of—and where it’s sourced

Expert: Susan Inglis, executive director of the Sustainable Furnishings Council, an educational and marketing organization promoting healthy environments, in Edenton, NC

“In home furnishings, important things to consider include what the product is made of (i.e., legally logged wood from well-managed forests) and where it was made (i.e., near those forests and/or near you, so that the transportation footprint is smaller). It’s also important to consider how the product is finished. When it has a no-VOC finish, you can be assured that having it in your home will not compromise your health. You’ll be supporting a healthy future, inside and out!”

Hold onto your clothes

Expert: Jason Kibbey, CEO of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, an industry group focused on sustainability in fashion, in San Francisco

“Buy quality products that you love and use them for a long time. Longevity can significantly reduce the negative impacts of a garment to become almost negligible compared to purchasing and replacing the same type of item over and over again.” apparelcoalition.org

Fill your cosmetics bag with organic items

Expert: Rose-Marie Swift, founder of RMS Beauty, an organic beauty company in Charleston, SC

“I’m a firm believer that the best guarantee is when a beauty product is organic. That does not necessarily mean organic certification because there is no real certifying body in the United States for color cosmetics. However, I always encourage people to get to know your brand, brand owners and do your own research on the safety of the products you purchase.” rmsbeauty.com

TIP There is an excess of information on Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep cosmeticsdatabase.com

Start by being mindful

Expert: Paul Schmidt, executive director of Green Spa Network in Atlanta

“To truly be good to the earth, be mindful and honor your truth. By that I mean live your life now from a place of integrity. One of the biggest challenges I see in sustainability is that people think saving the earth comes down to changing light bulbs and using ones that are better for the earth. Instead, there’s a paradigm that needs to shift. A sustainable future happens when you look at your life regularly in a mindful fashion and honor your higher purpose.” greenspanetwork.org

Buy local and never waste anything

EXPERT: Marilyn Majchrzak, MS RDN, corporate food development director,
Canyon Ranch

“Find creative ways to utilize the whole vegetable, including the tops, roots and stems. Doing so cuts back on waste. For example, the greens of beets are edible—sauté and serve as a side dish in place of sautéed spinach or Swiss chard.

“Build your menu around local and seasoned produce. Buying groceries sourced close to home provides a bevy of benefits for your health and the environment. For example, shorter travel times from local farmers means higher nutritional value of the goods, as the concentration of most vitamins and minerals begins to deteriorate as soon as a fruit or vegetable is picked and less air and water pollution.” canyonranch.com

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