Five Things That Are Surprisingly GreenDana Colson
The majority of people in the world will agree that taking care of the planet we live on is a good idea. Sometimes it’s as simple as choosing to use a green option. Here are five things that are surprisingly green.
According to a report by Sure Harvest for the Mushroom Council, mushrooms are surprisingly eco-friendly. For example, both brown and white mushrooms only require 1.8 gallons of water per pound, and only require 0.9 kWh of energy per pound.
Contrast that with mangoes, which require a whopping 190 gallons to produce a pound of fruit, or lettuce, which requires 15 gallons per pound. Olives require 522 gallons for a pound.
Companies are also using fungus roots to make packaging that is fully compostable, biodegradable and stronger than styrofoam. It is also water-resistant and thermally insulating.
Pandas love it, but did you know bamboo is one of the most sustainable plants? You can eat it, build with it and turn it into clothing and wear it, cook and eat with it and then brush your teeth! Bamboo can grow as much as four feet overnight and a crop of bamboo can continue producing for 50 years.
Bamboo can produce 35% more oxygen than trees while absorbing up to 12 tonnes of carbon dioxide per hectare per year. It reaches maturity in a year and quickly regenerates.
Whether looking for furniture, flooring, clothing, cooking utensils or bedding, bamboo is a green choice.
You wouldn’t think that a product forged in a super-heated foundry would be a green option, but cast iron is the exception. Originally produced in China in 600 BCE, it’s been a stable of construction and cookware for millennia.
Long a staple of kitchens and construction, cast iron is durable and completely recyclable without losing any properties.
If you weren’t lucky enough to inherit a cast iron frying pan passed down from previous generations, cast iron is worth the investment and with a bit of TLC, will last for many years. If heats slowly and evenly, holds its heat, and as a bonus, can add tiny amounts of iron to your food, which is good for you. It also becomes more non-stick with use and just needs a soft brush and hot water for clean-up.
Did you know that in the United States, approximately two billion plastic shavers are discarded yearly? While the blades will eventually rust away, the plastic handles are another story. A simple solution is to go old-school and use a safety razor.
Versions of the safety razor started appearing in 1893 when King C. Gillette created a double-sided blade that fit into a handle. Early medicine cabinets included a slot to dispose of used blades.
Safety razors take a bit of practice (and a few nicks) but provide a closer shave. The initial investment is a bit more than the package of plastic disposables, but the stainless steel handle will last for years with proper care. Best of all, both the razor and the blades are fully recyclable and have bonus points because it requires no electricity.
Our ancestors were on to something when they hung blinds on the windows. Not only do window shades or blinds keep the heat out in summer and help keep drafts out in winter, they also protect your floors and furniture from fading due to the sun.
There are lots of green options available including bamboo, biodegradable wood and jute or hemp. There are also a variety of styles to fit every budget and decor. Plus, you save on energy costs.
Choosing green and sustainable options is getting easier as more people put pressure on businesses and governments to make a real commitment to climate change initiatives. With a little research, you can make small changes that will have a large cumulative impact.