Real men go green

Real men go green

10 July, 2013
Earth-friendly tips
Here’s a few tips for the man who wants to be eco-friendly without losing any of his edge

There is nothing sexier than an eco-friendly man who talks the green buzzword peppered talk and walks the carbon-neutral walk. We know it’s difficult to let go of our high-tech powered lifestyle – we’re simply too plugged in with our smartphones, iPods, laptops, and any other electronic device on us. To help those just starting down the environmentally friendly path, here are a few helpful tips and guidelines.
When you’re looking for new gadgets, try to aim for those that promote more eco-friendly options. A great way to start is by consulting whether your electronic gadget of choice is EPEAT certified. EPEAT, or the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool, is the LEED equivalent for electronics.
EPEAT, managed by the Green Electronics Council, envisions a world where the “negative environmental and social impacts of electronics are continually reduced and electronic products are designed to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainability.” The EPEAT gives ratings for computers and displays, imaging equipment (photo copiers, fax machines, printers), and TVs.
You’ll be surprised at the variety of options available for EPEAT-approved electronics. There are even big corporations listed on its Silver and Gold recipients, including Samsung, Apple, Dell, HP, Asus, Canon, Epson, Fujitsu, Xerox, and Asus. Examples of Gold certified products include Asus Bamboo Series, Apple Macbook Pro, Dell Latitude, Fujitsu Lifebook, HP EliteBook, and Toshiba Tecra. To check out the full list, you can go to their website, for their registry of participating manufacturers and model names.
Another useful certification program to look out for when shopping is Energy Star, a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency voluntary program that helps monitor the standard for energy efficiency in products. Although it started in 1992, it has grown since then, and is now an internationally adopted program by countries including Australia, Canada, Japan, the European Union, New Zealand, and Taiwan.  
You can also be eco-friendly by choosing gadgets that are powered not by electricity but by renewable energy. Not only will you help burn less fossil fuel, you won’t be in a pinch when you can’t find a power plug and you’re desperate for some juice. There’s a water-powered clock by bedol, a solar-powered portable charger by powermonkey, and a wind-powered laptop by Fujitsu. The list doesn’t stop there – start googling and you’ll find yourself overwhelmed with the amount of eco-friendly gadgets out there on the market. And since this is sunny, windy, and rainy Hong Kong, your gadgets will be powered up in no time.
What if you’re in the market for gadgets bigger than a laptop, say, a car? Cars have a large carbon footprint with all the gas they guzzle out, especially if you’re driving a SUV. So the best way to cut-down on gasoline while still enjoying a sweet ride is to invest in an electric car or a hybrid. 
If your car is not a Toyota Prius, don’t panic. Another way to improve your car situation is to make your current one a little more eco-friendly. Get your car tuned up to boost your mileage, empty your trunk to save on fuel consumption, install low-rolling resistance tires to improve your mpg, and keep your tires properly inflated to avoid extra fuel consumption. All of these tips will help your car last longer, prevent your car from guzzling gas, and thus help you save money.
But remember, the best way to cut down on your carbon footprint is to take public transport instead of your car. And if you do use the car, why not carpool? Or instead of buying one, choose to rent one for a day? These options will also help you save you a lot of money too, which you can save up or spend it on other interests.
And for the DIY home-improvement geeks in us, why not opt to recycle thrown-out materials instead of heading to a store? There’s almost always a section in each apartment complex reserved for residents’ furniture cast-aways. Pick up old mops, sofa stuffing, wooden tables and chairs, and saw off the pieces you need to create something new. You’ll be reusing material, saving money, and giving yourself a challenge that’ll only help you improve your DIY skills.
Know what else is also pretty hot? Nicely groomed men. We’re not talking about make up for men, but about shaving, exfoliating, and moisturizing to maintain a clean figure. So instead of using shaving cream, which comes in an aerosol can that packs a heavy punch of toxins and chemicals, why not opt for the more environmentally and economically friendly shaving oil? You can make your own at home by pinching a few drops of jojoba oil, olive oil, or grapeseed oil from your kitchen for your chin.
To take extra care of your skin, try a mask once a week for 10-15 minutes at a time. Instead of buying an expensive mask, try mashing 2 tablespoons of papaya (seeds removed) and applying it all over your face. Your face will feel moisturized and give off a healthy glow.
These are only a few of the many tips that you can incorporate into your daily lifestyle to help Earth by becoming more eco-friendly and sustainable. Other tips include buying clothes made from natural organic fibers or donating old unwanted clothes instead of throwing them away. There are countless ways to change your every day habits (like taking public transportation, using a reusable water bottle or grocery bag, taking the stairs instead of the lift, etc.) to help conserve the Earth and its resources.
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By: Soo Jin Kim


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