October 17, 2012

What is Green Dentistry?

Nobody wants to look in the mirror and discover that their teeth are green; that could mean serious dental problems.  But what if you could take advantage of greener dental practices when it comes to your oral health?

If you’re already deeply entrenched in an environmentally responsible lifestyle then you have probably found ways to attend to the needs of your teeth on the home front, by making your own toothpaste with baking soda and fresh mint, for example, and purchasing biodegradable bamboo toothbrushes.  But when it comes time to go to the dentist you may balk at all of the electrical machinery, chemical procedures, and waste that go into keeping your smile sparkling.  However, there are now dentists that offer eco-friendly practices, and here are just a few of the steps they are taking to keep their patients clean and green.

Believe it or not, there is actually and Eco-Dentistry Association (EDA) that works to create dental procedure and use materials and technologies that are better for the environment, all while reducing waste and pollution generally found throughout the dental industry.  You may wonder how this can be so in any medical practice, considering how much energy is needed, not to mention disposable materials (for the purposes of sanitation).  But indeed, there are many ways in which modern dentistry is able to conserve and cut back on waste.

Although it would be impossible to completely eliminate disposable waste, due to strict standards of operation for medical practices (pertaining to sterilization of materials), there are certain areas in which dental practices can reduce their carbon footprint.  Many offices are now using fabric (rather than paper) for head-rest covers, bibs, gowns, and so on.  This allows them to launder these items (generally on site, using energy-star washers and dryers) rather than throwing them away.  And many dentists have completely given up on the use of heavy metals for fillings and crowns.  Instead, they are turning to more natural looking composite bonds and porcelain veneers, meaning that fewer metals are being mined from the Earth (polluting in the process) and less metal-related waste is making its way into the water supply.

And they’re also finding ways to cut back on harmful pollutants, in addition to waste reduction.  Most up-to-date offices have now replaced traditional x-rays with digital radiography, which is good for both patients and the environment.  Those who undergo the digital x-ray process are exposed to a tenth of the radiation that normal x-rays deliver.  And the process allows for a drastic reduction in the silver and lead that is released into environment when chemical fixatives needed for the x-ray process get flushed into the sewer system.  In addition, eco-friendly dental offices opt for biodegradable disinfectants and sterilization methods that use steam instead of chemicals, virtually eliminating hazardous waste.

Although these offices may still use quite a bit of electricity, and they can’t completely remove the element of waste from their practices, they are taking steps to ensure that your oral health does less damage to the environment.  So don’t give up on a beautiful, white smile just because you’ve decided to go green.  In this day and age, you can have your cake, eat it too, and still keep cavities at bay.

Leah Ryan writes for Philly Dental Spa where the top Philadelphia cosmetic dentists make your dream smile a reality.

Green Wear – Eco-Friendly Glasses

Eco-friendly features and elements are making their way into everyday products making it easier to find green options for every need. It seems that more companies are aware of their social responsibility to the earth and to its inhabitants. Today, one may even purchase eyeglasses that are not only very fashionable, but also safe for the environment. There are a few notable green product lines that truly take their responsibilities to the environment and to fashion seriously and stick out above the rest.

Iwood

Iwood is an optical line that specializes in glasses made from reclaimed woods. They are fashionable with a vintage twist and a strong commitment to recycling and creating low emissions. The line has many features that make it a great environmentally friendly choice.

• Iwood is made from reclaimed woods that were used for the insides of luxury jets. The wood is collected within sustainable methods and certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.
• The protective elements and the glue used to make the glasses emit no VOCs and are formaldehyde free.
• Locally made within the USA. Each pair is hand crafted in the Midwest.

Eco – Earth Conscious Optics

Eco takes the notion of green living and sustainability to another level. The company strives to not only keep their products green, but also give back to the community. It is one of the few companies that take extra steps beyond making eco-friendly optics to create a better environment in local and international communities.

• Eco glasses are made from metals and plastics that are recycled, and that are certified by the UL Environment as an attempt to prolong each materials lifecycle.
• The company plants a tree for every pair of glasses that are sold.
• Eco further helps sustainability through helping others donate their used glasses to developing countries.

LinkSkin

This company strives to make their product as green as possible and has won many awards for its hard work. They commit to recycling as well as making their own products recyclable, prolonging each elements life cycle.

• The eyewear is RoHS compliant, keeping up with international environmental protection standards
• The company’s materials are almost completely recyclable, and they do not practice soldering or use screws or hinges.
• Accredited in Singapore, Germany and Japan for their green ethics and sustainability.

Environmentally friendly products are becoming a necessity. With the many lines of optical wear that are now following eco-friendly guidelines, functionality, practicality, and fashion can all combine without any sacrifices. The commitment of these three companies prove as much.

Guest author Sara Roberts writes for Just Eyewear, an online retailer of prescription eyeglasses and sunglasses.

Eco-Friendly Eyewear

These days it seems like just about anything in life can be found in a greener package, and eyewear is no exception to the rule.  With everything from wooden frames to recycled lenses making it easier for those with an eco-consciousness to see the beautiful world they’re helping to protect, there’s just no reason to stay in the dark ages when it comes to your specs.  So whether you’re looking for glasses made with sustainable materials, you want lenses that are on their second life, you prefer contact lenses and are looking for an eco-friendly pair, or you’ll only support a company that’s giving back to the community and greening up their entire operation, there are options out there to suit your wants and needs.  Here are just a few you may want to consider.

  1. iWood Design.  The eyewear created by this eco-friendly company is not only good looking; it is also created with an eye on the future.  The wooden frames are made from gorgeous exotic hardwoods that have been reclaimed and certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), meaning they’re harvested through sustainable methods.  Whether you want a boxy pair of wayfarers or a retro look a la Audrey Hepburn, you can find it in polished hardwood with a lightweight frame that may just provide the most comfortable (and guilt-free) pair of glasses you’ve ever owned.
  2. Link Skin.  This green eyewear is not only made with at least 60% recycled materials (both plastic and stainless steel) and constructed without the use of screws or hinges, it is also manufactured through eco-friendly processes and when you’re finished with your Link Skin glasses, they urge you to send them back in to be recycled again.  They also donate 1% of sales to 1% For the Planet, a group that contributes to over 2,000 environmental organizations.  It is this commitment to environmental responsibility that has earned Link Skin several awards, including the Silmo d’Or and the iF Material Award, both in 2009.  And their unique combination of retro and modern styles brings them accolades from their many patrons around the world.
  3. Cazal.  Although this company uses recycled materials and eco-friendly paints to manufacture their gorgeous eyewear, it is their processing that really speaks to those who have embraced a green lifestyle.  They have a commitment to sustainability that is rarely seen in production and they show it by using reclaimed water and biomass heating, amongst other things.
  4. Essilor.  This company takes environmental responsibility to the next level.  They have not only cut their water consumption by 70% and averaged an estimated 7 million kilowatt hours of energy savings a year through conservation, they’ve even used recycled building materials and installed eco-friendly work stations for their employees.  Although the lenses they manufacture could be greener (you may know them best for their Transitions lenses), they are definitely doing their part to embrace an eco-consciousness in their business operation.
  5. Nouveau Eyewear.  This eyewear distributor has teamed up with American Forest to offer the Global Releaf collection.  Although the glasses themselves are not necessarily eco-friendly, the merchandising materials associated with them are made with recycled paper and printed with eco-ink.  In addition, a tree will be planted for every pair sold.

Michelle Lawrence writes for EZ Contacts USA where you can find a huge selection of contact lenses and even search through a large selection of contact lenses for astigmatism.

Eco-Friendly Skincare: Green Your Routine

If you have sensitive skin, you are no doubt well aware of the fact that many cleansers, creams, and treatments contain chemicals, dyes, and fragrances that can leave your skin irritated or even cause rashes and other serious problems.  As a result, you have no doubt invested in skincare items that are free of these toxins.  As for the rest of you, you likely continue to use whatever tried-and-true brand you have been buying for the last ten years, with no notion of the damage it could be causing both you and the environment.  In short, it’s time to take a look at the products you’re putting on your skin and start to consider if there could be alternatives that are equally effective but a bit more eco-friendly.

A good place to start is with your cleansers and moisturizers.  You may think that a laundry list of ingredients you can’t pronounce serves as proof positive that these products are worth the heinous amounts of money you spend on them.  In fact, just the opposite is true.  If you can’t read a label without a pharmaceutical dictionary, there’s a good chance that it’s chock full of chemicals and mostly unnecessary toxins (like fragrance and dye) that do absolutely nothing good for you and may, in fact, cause you some harm down the road.  Not to mention, anything you’re using as a cleanser is going straight down the drain and probably turning male fish female somewhere down the river.  Okay, that is a gross exaggeration, but you get the point.  Consider opting for all natural and organic items (both cleansers and lotions) that offer the same results as the products you’re currently using, but without the attendant chemicals.

You should also take a long, hard look at your makeup bag.  You no doubt have a lot of items without a trace of natural substance in them.  Some mineral makeup provides the exception to the rule, but on the whole, your beauty products can have some pretty ugly side effects (not only because of chemicals seeping through your pores and into your bloodstream, but also through manufacturing processes, animal testing, etc.).  Luckily, there are quite a few companies who have heard the protests and started producing lines that are more in keeping with both a social consciousness and a desire to remove chemical hazards from our homes.  You’ll want to avoid anything with parabens, phthalates, mercury, formaldehyde, and pretty much any chemical dyes, fragrances, or preservatives.  Instead, check out eco-friendly offerings from designer Stella McCartney, model Josie Maran, and holistic company Dr. Hauschka, which offers both skincare and makeup (just to name a few).  For the most part, their prices are no higher than what you would pay at a department store.

In the long run, developing a toxin-free, eco-friendly skincare routine will not only do wonders for your health and beauty, it will have the added benefit of helping to preserve the health and beauty of our planet.  And frankly, a clear conscience is an excellent addition to any skincare and beauty routine!

Breana Orland writes for The Best Degrees where you can find information on tops schools and find out which fields offer the highest paying jobs upon graduation.

Eco Friendly Fitness: How to Get Fit the Green Way

For some, exercise can be a great way to relief stress and get into shape. For others, exercise must be avoided at all costs. Whichever way you look at it, fitness is an essential part of our lives and ultimately affects not only us, but our environment, too. Throughout the world, there is a growing movement of runners who utilize exercise as not only a means of getting to a destination, but also as an advocate for change. Many individuals believe that the environment around us is the contributing factor to why people enjoy outdoor activities. It is important to realize that in order to enjoy the beauty nature has to offer; we must respect it and treat it as our own so others can enjoy its beauty, too.

A great way to incorporate eco friendly fitness into your life is through eco-running. This can include picking up trash while you are on a run, or bringing your own reusable water bottle along with you. You may also want to consider bringing a biodegradable bag while running outside, so when you see garbage lying on the ground, you can easily pick it up and dispose of it later. Eco-running is only one aspect of living a green lifestyle. It not only contributes to decreasing car emissions, but also acts as another mode of transportation. Running can be done just for yourself, while eco-running helps the entire community. This gives you an opportunity to give back to the planet, and helps set a good example to others.

To get better at eco-exercising, sometimes all you need is the motivation. Try encouraging friends and family to engage in any eco-friendly activity, whether it is eco-skateboarding, or eco-cycling. Sometimes attaching the word “eco” to any activity can be a great way of staying conscientious about your environment. Implement this tool into your daily life to set an example to those around you. Just remember to do what you can so that you don’t get burnt out on being earth-friendly. You do not have to dedicate every activity to picking up trash. Just set aside one activity per week that will be devoted to an eco-friendly task.

Maybe on your next eco-activity, try wearing green gear. Although planet-friendly activities do no require any special equipment, it would be in the planets best interest to try wearing sustainable fabrics, like hemp. Remember to recycle any old clothing, or shoes to further along your eco-friendly fitness. The most eco-friendly choice you can make is to continue to wear the clothing you have instead of buying new clothes.

When planning to exercise, try considering your transportation. Are you driving your gas-guzzling SUV to the gym, or park? Is the bike trail close enough to just simply ride your bike? Maybe consider carpooling with a friend for your weekly gym workout. This will help save money on gas and would be better for the environment. Also, try looking up the routes for your public busses. You may find there is one close to where you want to go. Anything to decrease your carbon footprint will help you stay eco-friendly and fit.

Sometimes staying eco-fit is just about making wise decisions. In today’s world, many companies offer great alternative products that will help you make eco-friendly decisions. Do a little research to help you find out which recreational equipment is helping the environment whether from snowboards to bikes. Making small steps towards helping your environment is well worth it, while you get in shape at the same time.

Sarah Danielson writes for a fitness website that features the Total Gym workout machine. Find a Total Gym XLS to meet your fitness needs.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...