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20 Totally Painless Tips for Reducing Waste

The average American is responsible for generating 4.4 pounds of trash generated daily and most developed world numbers aren’t far from this norm. Shocking, isn’t it? Don’t despair, there are actions you can take in your everyday life to reduce waste and do your part to curb the trend!

Here are our 20 tips:

1. Invest in a good reusable water bottle
Plastic single use water bottles and paper drink cups are terrible for the environment and downright unnecessary, for general use. Your choice to select a durable water bottle and a good travel mug for hot drinks will ensure that you are always in control of your hydration on the go and keeps bottles and cups
out of the landfill.

2. Say no to plastic shopping bags
Plan ahead and bring your own cloth bags to pack and carry groceries instead of relying on supermarket plastic bags.

3. Opt out of junk mail
Get online and cancel your physical mailing list subscriptions with companies that may be bombarding your physical mailbox with catalogs and junk mail. These days, offers and ads for the stores you love can be received by email.

4. Compost
A good amount of what you throw into the kitchen trash may be suitable for compost and returned to the earth for gardening. All it takes is a small lidded bin and a little counter space to get started 

5. Use real dishes for everyday and for entertaining
The tremendous waste produced by disposable plates and utensils is not worth the environmental cost we all pay. Take the time to roll up your sleeves to wash while a friend dries!

6. Fix it, don’t toss it
Be sure to invest your money (and time) in finding good quality products that will last, rather than re-buying items of poor quality that are surely destined for trash.

7. Reuse containers
Good air-tight containers are great for storing food items like baking ingredients, cereals, and many perishable items. Some stores and bulk providers encourage you to bring your own clean jars and containers for purchase and carry.

8. Plan your meals
For starters, don’t shop for groceries while hungry! Having a meal plan and a list will help you to buy only the food you need and avoid the guilt and disappointment of tossing spoiled food.

9. Discover E-books
Save space and stay organized by adding to your collection of e-books and audiobooks instead of paper books. Use the library for books you don’t want or need to own.

10. Digital subscriptions
Cap that tower of monthly magazines! Most major mags are available in e-versions that can be purchased as a single issue or for ongoing release and easily toted on your phone/tablet.

11. Track your spending
Dedicate a month to spending as mindfully as possible and document where your money goes. This will help you to identify areas in which you are acquiring more than you actually need.

12. Avoid processed foods
Soups, salad dressings and simple desserts can be made at home very easily and will save you the cost and waste of packaged goods.

13. Take-away with less waste
Decline the offer of paper or plastic (plates, cups, straws and single-serving containers) that you may not need. For the sake of eating on the go, it’s a good idea to carry your own travel utensils and straws when possible.

14. Flip the page
Be sure to use both sides of a piece of paper before recycling it.

15. Clean with cloth
Use old clothes for cleaning rags around the house, instead of paper towels. In lieu of using disposable paper napkins, cloth napkins add a comforting touch when dining at home.

16. DIY personal care products
Research and review recipes for making your own toothpaste, deodorant, and shampoo. You’ll save money and you’ll be able to keep the ingredients non-toxic and environmentally friendly.

17. DIY cleaning products
Avoid the chemicals and plastic bottles that store-bought cleaners offer by making and storing your homemade cleaners in a recycled glass bottles with repurposed spray nozzles from old empties.

18. Donate
Old clothes cluttering your space, but still in good condition? Give them new life through donation.

19. Recycle, of course
In every city, recycling processes allow you to recycle more than ever before. Take the time to Find out which items you can recycle locally, and how to do so.

20. Paperless billing
Bills are never welcome, but they are necessary. Switching from mail to electronic billing will reduce your clutter and keep your bills organized and accessible at all times.

With love and compassion,
Team Karunaki

Photocred: NeONBRAND on Unsplash

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Walk the “Plalk” – Picking Litter while Walking a.k.a. Plalking

Plalking (no coincidence, it rhymes with walking!) is a light-intensity version of Sweden’s recent fitness craze, Plogging, named by combining the word jogging and the Swedish term “plocka upp” (translation: “pick up”). Ploggers stop to collect litter throughout during their runs. In this way they are cleaning up the environment as they exercise. Following its first official U.S. event in Denver, Sweden-based
organization Plogga has been encouraging individuals to start their own groups locally. Whether it’s picking up cigarette butts or food wrappers, regular plalking groups are making a real difference in reducing the trash in their communities and making way for greener, cleaner spaces that can be enjoyed by all.

Either way you go about it – plogging or plalking – every bend to pick up litter can provide the physical benefits of a squat. At any activity level, if you have an interest in doing good for our planet it’s easy to get started – here’s how:

1. Dress for success
To be effective in your plalking session, it’s a good idea to dress in comfortable walking clothes and shoes and be sure to dress suitably for the weather. Gloves are recommended as the litter you come across may be hazardous – or downright gross – in some instances. Disposable gloves can be tucked away for use as needed. Thicker gardening-style gloves can certainly provide you with greater protection from possible sharp edges and stickier situations – they should be
washed after each use.

2. Stash it
Depending on the distance and path of your outing, you may choose to use a regular trash bag or even a reusable shopping bag for collecting and storing litter as you go. Make sure the bag is easy to carry, and can safely hold sharp, dirty or moist items.

3. Get moving
This is a daytime activity (seeing where you’re going and what you’re picking up is key) without rules about how much or how little trash to collect. Remember that no stray piece of garbage is too small to be picked up. It all adds up, making this a great activity for easily-distracted and detail-oriented people alike! Safety should always be your first priority when deciding whether to pick an item up (e.g., broken glass). If there’s any doubt If in doubt, leave the item where it is and either get suitable gear to remove it, like a litter claw and a strong container, or request
assistance from the local authorities. If you must step away, be creative in marking the unsafe item clearly to help other avoid it.

4. Be loud and proud of your plalking efforts!
Sharing will inspire a wider collective movement on the task of cleaning up and it fosters a culture of litter prevention. Imagine the positive impact of every person in a small community picking up a single piece of litter each day!

Studies show that men and women are equal offenders when it comes to littering and, in general, people are more likely to litter in the presence of existing litter. The most common litter includes Common litter includes cigarette butts, plastic bags, paper, candy wrappers, fast-food packaging, bottle caps, 6-pack can holders, glass bottles, and plastic straws. $11.5 billion is spent annually on litter cleanup across the U.S., just one example of the high cost worldwide. As you’re out and about, we hope you’ll seek out opportunities to personally make your surroundings cleaner, brighter and more enjoyable for all!

With love and compassion,

Team Karunaki
Photo cred: 
Darryl Dyck, Canadian Press
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Eco Fashion – Fashionistas for a Better Planet

We’re facing a major fashion emergency – and that’s no exaggeration, in the eco-sense. The global fashion industry is big business, worth $2.5 trillion, and its operations requires a staggering amount of water. As an example, 2,700 liters of water go into the production of a single cotton t-shirt, according to the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). One in six people worldwide works in a job related to fashion, an industry known, in too many instances, for unsafe conditions and exploitative practices.
When doing your best to ensure that your best looks are planet-friendly as well, you’ll want to shop consciously, checking fabrications and production practices to determine whether they align with your ecological values. This is the philosophy behind sustainable fashion, a growing trend that considers the environmental impact and social responsibility for our clothes.
How does one shop with their ethics in mind?
REUSE
While more companies than ever are ecologically-conscious in response to the backlash towards fast, disposable fashion, nothing is kinder to the planet, or on your pocketbook, than recycling or reusing clothes and accessories. Check out your local offerings, including garage and estate sales, charity shops, thrift stores, vintage shops, consignment and resale places. Online sales boards are a great way to find out if people near you are looking to unload (at a great price!) the perfect item for your eco-conscious wardrobe.
SWAP, DON’T’ SHOP
Gather some friends together for a casual clothing swap. Everyone brings their personal stash of gently-used items that they’ve been thinking of donate for a friendly trading exercise. Participants walk away with some “new” pieces and whatever’s left over is hauled off for donation or consignment. Everybody wins!
BUYING NEW
And now, some tips for buying guilt-free when you need to shop brand new:
1. Think of your new clothing purchase as an investment that is only worth making if it complements your existing wardrobe or serves a unique (and useful) purpose.
2. Read the labels and look for easy, sustainable care options as well as hints about brand ethics that align with your own (i.e., if cruelty-free matters to you, you’ll want to avoid animal-sourced components and reduce the water, energy, and toxic chemicals that often go into processing them).
3. Look in your own closet to get a sense of the synthetics fabrics you may already own and, going forward, try to avoid materials like rayon and polyester which have a high environmental impact in the production phase. Long after purchase, some synthetics are responsible for shedding micro plastics into the ocean during washing.
Eco-friendly brands are on the rise and they aren’t shy about sharing what they’re up to in terms of preserving our plant. It’s easy to get connected with producers of clothing that you can feel great about and look great in!
Check out some of our favourite eco-friendly brands on IG and tell them we sent you!
Reformation
Organic Basics
Everlane
The Vegan Imperative
With love and compassion,
Team Karunaki
Photocred Organic Basics
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Living the Eco Life in Hollywood – Top Stars who Love the Planet as much as You Do

Hey there eco-warrior, we salute you for the everyday choices you make to contribute to a healthier planet for us all. In no particular order, here’s our list of 15 celebs who are using their star power to “walk the walk” as environmental advocates. We can certainly get behind their efforts!
 

Hayden Panettiere

Hayden Panettiere is the spokesperson for the Whaleman Foundation, dedicated to protecting dolphins, whales and oceans.

Olivia Wilde

Wilde co-founded Conscious Commerce, a creative agency and incubator that guides conscious living and connects non-profit foundations to sustainable business models.

James Cameron

The legendary filmmaker has adopted a plant-based diet and even grows his own vegetables using animal by-product free compost.

Alanis Morissette

Morissette is the narrator of the environmental film The Great Warming and promotes sustainable living. In her personal life, she is a long-time vegan and user of bio-diesel buses while on tour.

Matt Damon

Matt Damon co-founded Water.org which has emerged as a leader in the water and sanitation sector. The organization works to break down barriers between people and access to safe water.

Woody Harrelson

With “tree-free” paper as the goal, Woody Harrelson’s paper company Prairie Paper produces paper made from 80 per cent wheat straw fibre with 20 per cent Forest Stewardship Council certified wood fibre.

Rosario Dawson

Founded by Dawson, Studio One Eighty Nine uses fashion to implement social change and eco-friendly practices. The artisan produced fashion lifestyle brand and social enterprise produces African and African-inspired content and clothing.

Shailene Woodley

Woodley has been quoted as saying that 97 per cent of her clothes are from thrift stores and gathers her water from fresh springs when she can. The Environmental Media Association Awards has honoured her commitment and dedicated involvement in social and environmental issues.

Ed Begley Jr.

Begley has written two popular books on sustainable living and been featured in a web series about building North America’s greenest, most sustainable home.

Alicia Silverstone

Famously vegan, Alicia Silverstone has also contributed as a Newsweek writer on the topic of animal agriculture as one of the greatest threats to the climate.

John Salley

The outspoken former basketball player founded vegan food companies Violife and The Vegan Vine. He aims to educate people on the health and environmental benefits of a plant-based lifestyle.

Pamela Anderson

Anderson is board member of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, an international non-profit, marine wildlife conservation organization.

Mark Ruffalo

Ruffalo has campaigned heavily against the dangers of hydro-fracking, a process the involves the injection of a mix of chemicals and water into wells in order to extract natural gas and other fuel trapped in rock thousands of feet beneath the earth’s surface.

Gisele Bündchen

Beyond modelling, Bündchen is Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Environment Programme and star of Gisele & the Green Team, an animated series about a group of teenage girls who lead double lives as supermodels and environmental superheroes.

Pierce Brosnan

Brosnan has campaigned against illegal whale hunting and promoted wetland protection, for which he was inducted into the Environmental Hall of Fame. He is a board member of several organizations including Natural Resource Defense Council, California Coastal Protection Network and Sea Shepperd.

Image(s) source: IMDB

 

With love and compassion,

Team Karunaki

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How You Can Save Money by Living the Eco Life

Can you save money by going green? Yes! Here are 10 easy and realistic steps to get you on your way, today!
1. Buy eco-friendly products
Consider the environmental impact of every day items like the plastic drinking straw. When you’re ready to take the simple step of investing in a reusable straw that lasts, looks good and saves the environment you’ll discover that products like Karunaki Bamboo Straws are a no-brainer. These straws are not only cool and durable – they are so affordable, you’ll save money in the long run.
2. Use raw ingredients
When you buy and use bulk food ingredients, rather than processed foods you’ll avoid the environmentally un-friendly packaging that comes along with single-purpose processed goods and save money by stocking up. For example, there are many ways to combine raw sugar with other simple ingredients in the kitchen. It’s worth thinking twice about buying pre-made lemonade or hot chocolate powder ever again!                                                         
3. Save by using less energy at home
Your home is your sanctuary and as you enjoy modern comforts it’s easy to forget that electricity comes at cost – until the hydro bill arrives. Replacing aging infrastructure, purchasing renewable energy and phasing out coal-powered generation are factors that contribute to rising energy costs. Taking on a lights-off approach when you leave a room benefits us all.
4. Drink more water, avoid the plastic bottle
Need further incentive to invest in a reusable water bottle? Get this: the average American buys an average of 167 disposable plastic water bottles, costing $266 a year.
5. Freecycle
Freecycling is when a person passes on, for free, an unwanted item to another person who needs that item. There’s no better way to build up eco-karma than by giving old items new life and alleviating the need to store or maintain them.
6. Use (and reuse!) what you’ve got on hand
Think before you use. As long as they are in good condition, common items like bags, envelopes, jars and packaging can be used again and again to serve multiple purposes and save you the cost of replacing them.
7. Buy second hand
By shopping second-hand, the price you pay is only a fraction of the original retail cost of a clothing item. Reducing textile waste means you’ll be saving clothes from the landfill and can discover cool stuff from creative sources at exceptionally low prices.
8. Go meat free
By now you’ve heard – meat production is a leading cause of climate change, water depletion, soil erosion and most other environmental problems. Looking for savings? Quality meat is generally more expensive than good quality veg-based
protein, especially when you prepare meals at home!
9. Conserve water
Water is not a never-ending resource. As demand threatens to outstrip supply, new infrastructure will need to be built, at significant cost to everyone. It makes a difference to take shorter showers and turn off the tap while you brush your teeth,
shave or wash your hands, and turn it back on for rinsing.
10. Join a sharing community
Using social networks and apps find others who share your interests, it’s easier tan ever to learn new skills, decrease waste, save space in your home – all while tapping into community. Many large cities have tool-sharing coops and makerspaces that allow you to borrow and return resources that you might only need once or twice.
With love and compassion,
Team Karunaki
Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash