It hasn’t been so easy being green lately. A trip to Thailand (oh, the plastic!) and several other international trips will do that to you.
However, as I suddenly find myself with a little more time on my hands and no more long flights on the horizon (until I figure out how I want to cash in all those frequent flier miles, that is!), I’m rededicating myself to my pretty green efforts, with a little help from some of my favorite things.
1. Klean Kanteen Water Bottle with Sports Cap
I used to be a devoted Sigg girl, and I still think they’re great. But when I found this bottle at my local Whole Foods, I knew it was the one for me. The sports cap is great for the gym (though fair warning: it does squeak a bit. I choose to think of this as a way to educate the plastic-bottle-carrying girls in my kickboxing class. Squeak squeak, look at me, I’ve got an awesome reusable bottle!). Mine’s orange (go Giants!) but they come in tons of great colors. Plus, they’re BPA-free and responsibly made. Find one near you here.
2. My Kindle
Like many others, I resisted the Kindle for a long time. How could it replace the feel of a real book in your hand, or the smell of a great bookstore (am I the only one who loves the way bookstores smell?)? But after losing a book I was excited about on my flight to Thailand, I finally caved, and I’m so glad I did. I’ve been reading more than ever, love that I can instantly buy a new book as soon as I finish the last, and honestly find it much more comfortable and easier to hold than a paperback. I know there’s been some debate about how green Kindles really are, but after reading a report that says “printed books have the highest per-unit carbon footprint,” and “on average, the carbon emitted over the life of the device is offset after the first year of use,” I feel comfortable with the decision. Of course, I still continue to visit and support my favorite local bookstore, and think books make wonderful gifts. Some of my favorite reads since I bought the Kindle: The Help, Sarah’s Key, Bossypants, The Glass Castle and Spoiled. What are you reading? Any recommendations?
3. The Train
You know what’s awesome? Taking the train. Over Memorial Day Weekend, I hopped on Amtrak and went down to visit my friend Janet of This Confetti Life (if you’re not already reading her blog, you must!). My friends in London teased me about the six hour each-way journey – “you know you could get from London to Paris and back to London and back to Paris in that amount of time” – but the hours flew by while I read my Kindle, chatted with my friendly fellow passengers, napped and visited the snack car. Before the trip, I didn’t know what to expect, but I was beyond impressed. The seats were huge and comfortable, the staff was friendly, funny and helpful, and the scenery was great. It’s so much easier than traveling by plane: you can bring liquids on board, you don’t have to get there hours in advance, and it’s generally pretty darn affordable. Plus, there’s that little matter of your carbon footprint. According to this Newsweek article, “Hands down, traveling by rail is the most fuel-efficient and least-carbon-intensive way you can go.” All aboard!
So there you have it: a few of my favorite pretty green things. What are your favorite eco-friendly discoveries or rediscoveries of late?