Go green this St. Patrick’s Day

For many, March 17 is a day filled with good beer, great friends, and clover-clad attire. This year, why not let your St. Patrick’s Day celebration include making eco-friendly choices that can leave you with a clean (green) conscience, too?

For many, March 17 is a day filled with good beer, great friends, and clover-clad attire. This year, why not let your St. Patrick’s Day celebration include making eco-friendly choices that can leave you with a clean (green) conscience, too?

Stephanie Ackermann, owner of Ecologic, came up with five great tips to help RVA get a little greener. Located at 1606 W. Main Street, Ecologic offers a variety of ‘green’ resources ranging from flooring materials to locally made apparel. Check out their website for store hours and more details.

1. Hit The Bar

Something as simple as trading in your bottles of liquid body wash for bar soap can have an effect on the earth and your wallet. Less packaging, more convenience, and larger variety all make bar soap a great way to get clean and stay green.

“You’ll also be conserving water – the primary ingredient in body washes – and money since bar soaps typically cost less than bottled body washes – we love locally owned Jackson Sage’s all natural handmade soaps,” Ackermann said.

2. Talk Trash

Give used items a second life. With just a little creativity you can take one man’s trash and turn it into your very own treasure. Whatever you have, chances are there is a great way to re-purpose it. Check out EcoSalon for ideas.

“Up-cycling (the process of converting an existing product into a new product or one of better quality) is one of the hottest green trends right now and we’re all for it,” Ackermann said.  “Shop RVA’s many thrift stores or even Craigslist and find that perfect piece that just needs a new coat of eco-friendly paint or stain.”

3. Make Your Own

“Compost helps soil retain water, reducing the need to water and will also eliminate the need for chemical fertilizers,” Ackermann said. “Recycled plastic composting bins and tumblers make the process easy and less messy.”

Composting household waste can be an overwhelming concept for some. Tips on how to get started, where to store your compost and what exactly can be composted are addressed by numerous websites. Visit VegWeb for a great introduction to composting.

4. Know Your Grower

RVA has a number of local growers and farmers markets that provide a variety of fresh foods. Supporting Richmond’s local food economy benefits not just the growers, but the community as a whole.

“By joining a farm co-op you can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support your local economy all while enjoying the freshest foods possible,” Ackermann said.  “We’re partial to Fall Line Farms – Richmond’s online farm to family co-op that consists of more than 40 Virginia farmers and other small businesses all committed to sustainability.”

5. Rethink, Reuse, Remodel

According to American Farmland Trust, we lose over a million acres of farmland in the U.S. alone. “More than 75% of America’s fruit, vegetables and dairy products are produced on urban-edge farms that are threatened by sprawling development,” stated the website.

These days, there are so many options available for remodeling your home in a way that has less impact on the environment. The Earth is not likely to produce more land, so maintaining what we have is of utmost importance.  Ackermann says remodeling your home is more eco-friendly than building a new one.

“You will use fewer resources, generate less construction waste and spend less money compared to building a new ‘green’ home. More importantly, when you remodel you preserve one of our most precious resources: undeveloped land,” Ackermann explained.

“Going green” is a clever title for making choices that can have long-term, positive effects both locally and globally. Whether by simply thinking in a different way about the future of a household item or retro-fitting everything you own with solar panels, becoming more aware of the footprints you leave behind is the first step to greening our planet.

Have a tip for bringing a little more green to RVA? Let us know about your eco-friendly efforts.

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Marge Weimer

Marge Weimer had the distinct honor of being RVANews.com’s first intern. She is a good sport, and we thoroughly enjoy her.

Notice: Comments that are not conducive to an interesting and thoughtful conversation may be removed at the editor’s discretion.

  1. Caitlin on said:

    Composting is so easy, and you don’t need an expensive plastic bin, either! I actually prefer a section of wire fencing, curled into a 3-4 foot diameter bin with an open top and bottom. When it’s time to turn the compost, just pull the wire off, put it in a new location and shovel all the compost back in!

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