Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Pure Green Living Series - Amie from EcoFrenzy

This is Amie Vaccaro. She lives in San Francisco and is the author of EcoFrenzy, an amazing blog that lends a business perspective to sustainable living, as well as new green products, green research, and green living in and around her city. I hope you enjoy her angle on green living; stop on over and pay her a visit. (I hope you don't mind the lengthy post: this is good stuff!)

What she does for a living: "I am an Associate with Social Venture Technology Group (SVT Group), a boutique consulting firm focused on measuring, managing and communicating social and environmental impact."

Green Philosophy: "I am an aspiring sustainability aficionado and advocate living in San Francisco. I want to share what I know of green happenings with others and create a place where others can share their wisdom as well. I am not as green as I could possibly be - sometimes I forget my coffee mug or reusable tote bag, other times I don’t buy the organic fruit - but I am working on that."

How Amie lives Green (from EcoFrenzy): "These are the four items I take with me every day. I haven’t always done this, but now that I have gotten into the habit of packing reusable goods I’m realizing how much money and more importantly resources I’m conserving."

1. The reusable “plastic” bag: We’ve all heard how important it is to bring your own bags when grocery shopping etc. I’m advocating bringing your own bag everywhere.

Planet Savings: 500 bags/year. An average American uses 300-700 plastic bags a year (according to ChicoBags). Let’s say 500 bags on average. 97% of these bags do not get recycled and end up in landfills or littering the landscape.

Financial Savings: $15/year. Many retailers will give you a 10 cent credit for bringing your own bag. Assuming only 150 of the 500 times you use a bag each year gives a credit, you’ll be saving $15 over the course of a year!

2. The reusable “brown paper” bag: It’s perfect for pastries, fruit and veggie purchases and other small edibles and other delicate small objects. It basically replaces the brown paper bag.

Planet Savings: 180 bags/year. Let’s say the average American uses one every other day. Going reusable will save 180 brown paper bags per year per person.

3. Travel coffee mug: I carry it with me everywhere for all my hot and cold daily beverage needs.

Planet Savings: 300 cups/year. Among coffee drinkers, average consumption is 3.1 cups per day. Let’s assume that half of these cups are imbibed at home with reusable kitchen mugs. So without a travel coffee mug, the average American will use ~300 paper or styrofoam coffee cups per year. Ouch.

Financial savings: $30/year. Many coffee shops offer a discount for bringing your own mug; your mug will pay for itself after 4 to 8 months!

4. Reusable water bottle: carrying your own water bottle not only ensures you stay hydrated, and protect the environment, it also keeps toxic plastics out of your body.

Planet Savings: 100 bottles+/year. Americans drink an average of 99 liters of bottled water per year; over 80 percent of plastic bottles are simply thrown away, according to Green Options.

Financial Savings: $100+/year. Americans spent $15 billion on bottled water. If you’re buying bottled water at $1 per bottle, twice a week, you could stand to save $100 a year!

PG Note: Thank you so much Amie for being the first contributor to Pure Green Living. Keep in mind, your own green living contribution can be anything, from your craftiness, decor, bike route, clothing, food, career.... If you can't think of anything, maybe you should start! Come on guys, I look forward to hearing from you. For more info, click here.

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