Vapur Collapsible Reusable Water Bottles

March 14th, 2011 Posted in plastic, reusing | 1 Comment » Make sure you like EcoJoes on Facebook to stay updated on green ways to save money and help the environment. Just click the "like" button below. Muchas gracias!

We all know that feeling. You’re plum tuckered out from the sport of your choice, whether it be polo or croquet, but you just don’t didn’t have the space in your sport bag for a non-collapsible water bottle. What’s a thirsty athlete to do?

Luckily, there’s the collapsible Vapur water bottle. I was recently lucky enough to get me two o’ them, and was struck off the bat by how little packaging they used. Less packaging = less waste.

This nifty, reusable water bottle is made of strong, BPA-free plastic, and comes in a bunch o’ colors, or “colours”, for the Brits in da house. When you’re not using it, you can roll it up for easy transportation, and even lock it down with its included carabiner. Check it. READ MORE »

Carnival of the Green #211

January 18th, 2010 Posted in energy conservation, event, green living, health, plastic, reusing, transportation | 1 Comment » Make sure you like EcoJoes on Facebook to stay updated on green ways to save money and help the environment. Just click the "like" button below. Muchas gracias!

Welcome to the Carnival

Holy moly, it doesn’t seem that long ago that I last hosted the Carnival of the Green, but it’s been almost a year! Truly, time waits for no man. Just last week, Eco New Mexico hosted the Carnival, and next week it is moving on to good ol’ Enviroblog.

But enough talk of time and such; let’s take a look-see at this week’s Carnival of the Green submissions:


Surbhi brings the ruckus with this in-depth look at natural ways to stay healthy.

The venerable Fake Plastic Fish continues her one-woman war against plastic with a shocking exposé on a nasty chewing gum ingredient: plastic. After reading that, I think I’ll steer clear of gum for awhile and maybe check out Glee gum, made from natural chicle.

Gracy Queen wins the award for best blog post title, with her piece on vegan food choices entitled, I Can’t Has Cheezburger. I, myself, am not a vegan, but if you’re gonna be, here’s some good tips on what to eat.

Jourdan asks if being “green” makes you feel stressed out, and breaks it down to the basics to show that you can make some small, simple changes to be greener.

Climate Change

Dr. Kneidel exposes the plight of the noble trees, brought about by recent climate change.

Green Linguistics

Colin Doyle is trying to export a linguistic gem from Australia; calling fossil fuel energy “black energy“. It might make it a lil’ easier to have talks about green vs. black energy.

Beverly decides to make a New Year’s resolution to “grab a tiger by the tail” and go green. However, she then delves into what exactly this mysterious saying means.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

The aptly named Mrs. Green contributes 11 ideas on how to reuse coffee grounds. I’ll be using some of her tips, since I do enjoy the occasional coffee.

Stuff With A Purpose has some good tips on how to reuse plastic bags. The best thing to do is avoid them altogether, but barring that, he has some good ways to reuse them.

A shorty named Renee that I met one day has some good tips for how to compost during these frigid winter months. Since my current compost bin is overflowing, I plan on using some of her advice to figure out what to do.

Do It Yourself

Emily Moser, of the strangely named Becoming A Radiologist website, has listed some good resources for making some homemade soap.

Around the House

Brenda Pike got herself a Kill-A-Watt (I got one of these a year ago and it’s great!) and ran around her house measuring how much electricity various appliances used. Very interesting, and it convinced me to fully turn off my Wii instead of putting it into standby with the Wiimote.

Stacey Doyle decides to look at some easy ways to live in a more eco-friendly way.

Case examines the pros and cons of compact fluorescent light bulbs, including examining just how green these CFLs are.

Mark Donovan show us some easy yet effective ways to reduce your home’s ecological footprint while also saving money. Sounds like my kind of post, if you know what I mean.

Pure Natural Diva has some general tips on how to go green for today’s on-the-go diva.


Vihar tells the world of how St. Louis has opted for a tiny tax increase to help fund its public transportation system. Kudos to Vihar for breaking this story.

Phew! Welp, that about does it for this week’s Carnival of the Green. Hopefully we all laughed a little, cried a little, and, just maybe, learned a little. I leave you with the Top 5 EcoJoes Posts of 2009:

Happy Carnival!

Green Tip: Cut an “empty” bottle in half to get more out

September 10th, 2008 Posted in food, green living, plastic, save money | 1 Comment » Make sure you like EcoJoes on Facebook to stay updated on green ways to save money and help the environment. Just click the "like" button below. Muchas gracias!

This here tip will reduce food waste AND save you literally pennies each time you use it! I had to use this here tip last weekend on a plastic barbecue sauce bottle. I squoze the bottle with my gnarled and calloused hands ’til nothing else came out, then good ol’ Tiff told me this helpful lil’ green hint:

1. Take bottle (lotion, ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard, etc.)
2. Cut bottle in half using scissors (please wear goggles, gloves, elbow pads, and a mouth guard, and have your parents supervise you)
3. Use a spatula to get out the rest of the sauce, salad dressing, or what have you.

Simple. A tip that reduces waste while saving you money. Now that’s an EcoJoes© kind of green tip.

I’m EcoJoe and I approve of this message.

New Milk Jugs | Where Captalism and Environmentalism Merge

July 11th, 2008 Posted in food, green business, inventions, plastic, save money | 1 Comment » Make sure you like EcoJoes on Facebook to stay updated on green ways to save money and help the environment. Just click the "like" button below. Muchas gracias!

So square it's hipGood ol’ Wal-Mart and Costco have started using a new design for their milk jugs, and I think they’ve come up with a real winner. The new design has a whole mess of environmental and cost advantages compared to the milk jug design that you’re probably used to, but there are some people that jes’ plain don’t care for it. Here’s a brief summary of its pros and cons.

New Milk Jug Design Pros

  • Less shipping materials – The old jugs had to be packaged with heavy shipping crates. The new ones can be stacked with just a layer of cardboard between them.
  • More efficient transport – Less shipping materials means more milk jugs can be transported in each truck, so companies save money on gas and cut down on air pollution.
  • Shipping labor cut in half
  • Water usage cut by 60-70% – The old shipping crates had to be sprayed off after each run, since milk would spill on them and birds would roost in them
  • Lower milk cost! – “Sam’s Club said [there] was a savings of 10 to 20 cents a gallon compared with old jugs.
  • The new milk jugs fit better in your fridge.

The Bad Side of New Milk Jug Design

Amy Wise spills milk all over the place

Amy Wise, a homemaker in Ohio, said the new-fangled gallon jug spilled milk everywhere. Judging from the picture, I’d say her main problem is that she’s trying to pour the milk into an imaginary cup in her left hand. No wonder she looks frustrated.

Many people say the new milk jugs are harder to pour. But I think with more practice, people will get used to them quickly. With all the benefits (less pollution, cheaper milk, easier transportation, and more efficient use o’ materials), methinks that the new milk jug may be here to stay.

* The bodacious picture of Amy Wise was taken by David Maxwell of The New York Times.

No More Credit Card Offers

February 18th, 2008 Posted in paper, plastic | No Comments » Make sure you like EcoJoes on Facebook to stay updated on green ways to save money and help the environment. Just click the "like" button below. Muchas gracias!

Credit card offers are no fun. A bunch of paper gets wasted, lots o’ gas is burned to deliver the credit card offers, and then they just fill up your mail box.

Well I say “No mas”. Here is how to stop getting credit card offers:

Go to Opt Out Pre-Screen and fill out the short form, or call 1-888-5-OPTOUT.

I was worried it was a scam, but it turns out that even the good ol’ government recommends this site.  So I went ahead and filled out the form (I left my SSN blank, just in case), and am now several months away from being free of credit card offers.  Hallelujah.

P.S.  You can also opt out of getting phone books here.

Floating Island Built on 250,000 Reused Plastic Bottles

November 26th, 2007 Posted in eco hero, green living, off the grid, plastic, reusing | No Comments » Make sure you like EcoJoes on Facebook to stay updated on green ways to save money and help the environment. Just click the "like" button below. Muchas gracias!

Wow, this seems like such a great way to reuse plastic bottles. Risha Sowa, an Englishman (and official EcoJoes Eco Hero), moved to Mexico back in the ’90s and built his own private island using around 250,000 plastic bottles and sand from local beaches. He had his own solar cooker, composting toilet, and lots of pets running around. Unfortunately, Spiral Island was beached during a hurricane, but Sowa is now building a new and improved version. Here’s a video of the original Spiral Island:

Bonus Fun Fact: The host of that video is none other than good ol’ Dave Lister (Craig Charles) from Red Dwarf, a great show if I do say so myself.For more information on Rishi’s past and present islands, I heartily suggest you check out his website: Spiral Islanders.

The Day I used a Reusable Cloth Bag instead of Paper or Plastic

November 4th, 2007 Posted in green living, paper, plastic, reusing | 5 Comments » Make sure you like EcoJoes on Facebook to stay updated on green ways to save money and help the environment. Just click the "like" button below. Muchas gracias!

Reusable Cloth Bag Welp, today I finally took the plunge and actually managed to have a cloth bag in my car when I went to the grocery store. As I entered the store with my reusable cloth bag in hand, little did I know the amazing experience that I was about to have…

No Shopping Cart, No Problem

I passed rotch by the shopping carts, and just went straight to filling my cloth bag with some groceries. This was good, since I just could go straight to the food. Of course, I wasn’t getting too much stuff, but if you are, you might want to use that shopping cart.


After buying the groceries, I stuffed most of the food inside the reusable cloth bag. I didn’t have to worry about it ripping (like a plastic or even paper bag might have), so I just stuffed food into it until it couldn’t hold no more. Luckily, the tote bag held quite a bit, mainly because it had

More Room than a Plastic or Paper Bag

I was downright dumbfounded when I dared to discern the depth of the dapper cloth bag. I fit pretty much all the groceries I bought into it, making it easier to carry them all to the car and into mi casa. The only groceries I didn’t put into the bag were the ones that already came in a bag (a bag o’ apples). So the reusable cloth bag’s big volume was a definite advantage over plastic or paper bags.

Lack o’ Clutter

I would’ve used two or three plastic or paper bags today, but instead I just used one reusable cloth bag. The paper or plastic bags would’ve ended up taking up more room inside my house, but Mr. Cloth Bag just sits in the car, awaiting another mission to the grocery store.

Ecological Impact

This is what causes most people to choose reusable cloth bags over flimsy, disposable paper or plastic bags. Yes, it took some ink (and chemicals) to make my cloth bag, but now that I am reusing it again and again, that can be a sunk cost. If I was to continue to use paper and plastic bags, each one would have a double environmental impact; the considerable chemicals used in their production, plus the impact of their disposal, whether it’s in a landfill, or disposed by burning it.

Using a reusable cloth bag seems to be the way to go. It’s a tiny difference that everyone can easily make, and instead of being a sacrifice they have to make, it’ll actually give them the same benefits that I enjoyed today. So be cool, and use (and reuse) that cloth bag with pride.

Oh yeah, I got my reusable cloth bag for free. So they’re not too expensive.