PERKS+ VACAY THE PERKSTER WAY

PERKS+ VACAY THE PERKSTER WAY

PERKS+ VACAY THE PERKSTER WAY

 

Summer is just a few days away! So get started on your Perks+ Vacay! Everybody loves Summer. School’s out, the days are nice, warm and long and you instantly seem to go into vacation mode. And this year we all could use a nice vacation. So of course you know EnviroPerks has you covered. Introducing Perks+.

 

Perk Yourself Up

Forget the Hub, Perk yourself up! We are so excited to bring you Enviroperks’ very own national rewards platform, Perks+. With Perks+ you, our incredible Perksters, can take advantage of more ways to save. The best part is, you don’t need to use your points. Keep them to continue shopping with and supporting local businesses. And, there’s no need to sign up. If you’re a Perkster, you already have total access right now to deals from brands you know and love like Eco Terra, Banana Republic and Instacart. But that’s not all!  Perks+ offers some hot vacation savings to cool you down this summer. And believe us, you’re gonna wanna see this.

 

Sizzling Hot Vacation Deals 

You can’t talk about hot vacation deals without mentioning Hotwire.  One of the first to launch its unique platform back in 2000, Hotwire has become a “go to” source for cheap thrills and sweet deals. You can book flights, hotel stays, rental cars, and yes, even vacation packages to almost anywhere in the world. They also offer a low price guarantee and 24-hour customer service support. Login to your EnviroPerks account and click the Perks+ icon at the top of your screen to book your hot vacay getaway today! 

 

Let’s Go To Universal!

Studios that is. Yes! EnviroPerks’ and Universal Studios’ collaboration is in full effect. With Perks+, Perksters can enjoy package deals at Universal Studios as well. Take a ride on the new VelociCoaster, “the apex predator of roller coasters”, (their words, not ours). Visit the world-famous studio tour or Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorcycle Adventure! It’s true, there’s almost too much to do at Universal Studios and you can do it for a great price with your Perks+ membership. Log in and check out the deal, my friend.

 

Vacay The Perkster Way

There are still so many more deals available to explore on Perks+. If none of these tickles your fancy for a vacation, you can always choose others as well like Disneyland or Aulani Resort. If resorts and theme parks aren’t your thing and you’d prefer something a little more relaxed, Perks+ also offers money-saving memberships to the most popular hotels too, like World of Hyatt, IHG Hotels & Resorts, and Hilton Honors. No matter what accommodation or vacation package you choose, always vacay the Perkster way and save!

 

J's Article Image 2 Jammica Boone is a writer and content creator for EnviroPerks.

Sustain a Healthy State of Mind 

Sustain a Healthy State of Mind 

Green Goal #5

 

When we think of green goals or living green, we don’t often think about our mental state of being. But as we’ve discussed, just being in nature can have a profound effect on our mental health. So, as we think of living more sustainable lives, we should also consider sustaining a healthy state of mind as well. 

 

May is Mental Health Awareness month. This month we reflect on and pay more attention to our social, emotional, and psychological well-being. Being mindful of our stress levels and triggers, practicing self-care daily, and managing our health through diet and exercise are great starts toward better mental health. We’ve come up with a few more activities you can try that are fun and will have you feeling like you’re walking on sunshine. Come on, Perksters, it’s time to feel good!

Mind Your Mood

We’ve all felt angry, stressed, anxious, or even depressed and that’s ok. “Adulting” can be hard. In fact, according to Mental Health America,anxiety disorders are among the most common mental illnesses in America,” affecting over 42 million adults in the U.S. alone. These feelings can often lead to low self-esteem, avoidance of loved ones, and mood swings if left unchecked. Doing little things to boost our mood periodically, and even daily, helps us cope with life in a more fulfilling way and does wonders for our mental health and overall well-being. 

Top 5 Mood Boosters
  1. Volunteer – Volunteering creates a sense of connection with others and gives us the “warm fuzzies” inside. 
  2.  Listen to Music – Ever heard of music therapy? Music affects chemicals like dopamine in our brain, which is responsible for feelings of pleasure and joy, reducing our stress levels. Try platforms like Spotify or Pandora to play your favorite songs or discover new melodies that please.
  3. Switch Up Your Personal Space – Change the energy in your personal environment with a pop of new color or by rearranging your furniture. Think, “Feng Shui!”
  4. Green ExerciseTake a nice long walk or hike in the woods and allow nature to take its course and begin your healing process.
  5. Make a Calming Candle – Aromatherapy is very useful for relaxation and reducing stress. So, add some calming lavender, chamomile, or sage oil to your candle. 

 

“People who volunteer actually experience a boost in their mental health”

– Elizabeth Hopper, Ph.D. for Greater Good Magazine

 

The Mental Perks of Retail Therapy

Retail Therapy, believe it or not, is a real thing and has been proven to jumpstart those chemicals in the brain that we previously spoke of, giving us huge boosts in our mood and attitude. According to clinical psychologist, Dr. Scott M. Bea, shopping has psychological and therapeutic value. We get an immediate rush of joy and euphoria and even a sense of control in our lives when shopping. And when rewarded or given a “perk”, that feeling of joy is heightened! We not only feel great about the pure act of shopping but we’re getting rewarded for it in the form of a discount or savings as well. It’s that feeling you get at the grocery store when you hand the cashier your coupons and smile as the total drops lower and lower right before your very eyes. 

So go perk yourself up and sign in to your EnviroPerks account. Shop small and save big with deals at local shops in your area or reward yourself and the planet with eco-friendly products from EarthHero.  And don’t forget to check out the incredible rewards on Perks+! We promise it’ll make you feel better. Wink, wink.

 

 

Traveling Your Way to Peace of Mind

Sometimes the best way is to get away. Traveling or taking a vacation is a wonderful way to alleviate stress and get ourselves back to the center.

Travel itself can be a break from stressors piled up back home; a literal escape where you can focus on your own pleasure and yourself can be a welcome change of pace, and help reduce your body’s stress hormone overdrive.”

– Jean Kim, M.D., psychiatrist

Whether it’s a nice, relaxing vacation on the beach or a fun-filled vacation with the family, traveling and experiencing new things allows us to free ourselves of the mundane which helps to stimulate our brains. Our cognitive skills are improved, the reward circuits in our brains are reactivated, and it boosts our mood.

And as a Perkster, you can find great ways to “vaca” through Perks+! Use a little retail therapy and get deals for airline flights, hotels, and even vacation packages. Simply sign in to your EnviroPerks account and look for the Perks+ icon at the top of your screen. Click, and begin your trip to a better you. 

 

Mindful Planeteer

The truth is that life can be hard, but we can make it easier on ourselves when we take care of ourselves. Our emotional and psychological well-being matters and the way we feel and see ourselves dictates how we experience life on this planet and the way we treat it. So, go find your bit of sunshine and try to sustain a healthy state of mind. 

 

J's Article Image 2Jammica Boone is a writer and content creator for EnviroPerks

 

 

***If feelings of depression, anger, or anxiety persist or become simply unmanageable, please seek medical attention and care immediately.***

EARTH DAY The Planet’s Greatest Investment

EARTH DAY

The Planet’s Greatest Investment

Earth Day has been around for what seems like forever now. It’s hard to imagine a time when we didn’t acknowledge it. Each year Earth Day reminds us that we can make a difference in the health of our planet with simple, easy steps to start. But this year is different. The urgency is real and it’s time to “invest in our planet.”

Which Green is More Important? Money or the Planet?

Picture this, it’s the late 60s and the new decade is fast approaching. Industry is BOOMING, so much so that the smell of smog is like money wafting in the air. At this point, there was no real concern for the huge clunkers we called “cars” giving off carbon emissions or siphoning hordes of fossil fuels from our planet. No one really questioned the stacks of smoke billowing out of factories or the chemicals used in agriculture…not yet. 

No, we were in production mode. The last world war was long over, and it was time to truly dig in and be productive again. I mean, we sent a man to the moon for God sakes, surely, we can’t stop there! What’s new? What’s innovative and how fast can we produce it? These were the questions on our minds. Then, in California, something happened that woke us from our polluted slumber: the Santa Barbara oil spill of 1969.

This devastating event would prompt Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin to push for better environmental awareness and change through national “teach-ins” on college campuses. He partnered with Congressman Pete McCloskey and Denis Hayes, a young student activist, and together they carried the message across the nation, creating the very first-ever Earth Day event on April 22, 1970.

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth is

With over 20 million people in attendance, Senator Gaylord Nelson, Congressman Pete McCloskey, and Denis Hayes had the attention of the entire world.

Their single effort gave birth to life as we know it today in the “green world.”  That same year, the United States Environmental Protection Agency was formed, which spawned many other environmental laws. The Clean Air Act, the Occupational Safety and Health Act, and the National Environmental Education Act, just to name a few, may not exist today were it not for Earth Day. All these laws were established as an investment toward protecting our planet so that it could sustain our lives. Because the message was very clear: Act or die.

ROI The Green Way

For many years now we’ve all been reaping the benefits of the investments made toward a greener future. As mentioned previously, the laws established after the Earth Day campaign have had a huge and long-standing impact on our planet. These laws have helped protect thousands of acres of land, endangered species, and people. Take the Clean Air Act, for example. It regulates hazardous air emissions to keep people safe and healthy. If you or a loved one has ever had asthma, you know just how important this law is to your health. And it’s quite possible it may not have been passed or even considered without the establishment of Earth Day.

“One of the goals of the Act was to set and achieve NAAQS in every state by 1975 in order to address the public health and welfare risks posed by certain widespread air pollutants.”
– United States Environmental Protection Agency

 

Invest Wisely

When most of us hear the word “invest” we usually think of money, and naturally so, but money isn’t the only kind of green worth investing in. If Earth Day proved anything it was that there is indeed a need to invest in green. Our environment affects every aspect of our lives from our physical to our financial health. Businesses feel the sting too. For example, an increase in climate change can create environmentally devastating weather situations like violent hurricanes. This can affect every aspect of a business from transport to product quality and that definitely can affect its bottom line.

You see, we truly are all in this together. So, what do we do about it? How exactly do we “invest in our planet” so to speak? Take a look at a few ways you can invest wisely.

  1. Divest from your current bank if they are investing in fossil fuels. Try banks like Aspiration or Virginia Community Capital.
  2. Find one environmental organization in your area and volunteer. Meet new people and learn more about ways to “invest in our planet.”
  3. Bike or walk to a local spot in your area instead of driving. This is not only great for the planet but your heart, mind, and lungs too.
  4. Pack a lunch for work or school. It saves our planet and your dollars.
  5. Purchase products from trusted, socially and environmentally responsible companies. B Corp brands are a great start.
  6. Read EnviroPerks articles and adopt the green living habits and processes we espouse.

 

Laughing All the Way to the Bank

Although we still have a long way to go, we have been making awesome strides since that glorious first Earth Day in 1970. We’ve raised awareness globally and implemented new laws to protect against pollution and unsustainable environmental practices. We’ve chosen to carpool when we could’ve driven solo and listened to music we like. We’ve turned off lights in our homes when no one was in the room and unplugged appliances that weren’t being used. We’ve proudly, albeit clumsily, trotted out of grocery stores arms piled with items as punishment to ourselves for forgetting to bring our reusable bags from the car. But it’s OK, Perksters. Every little bit counts and has collectively helped in the movement toward a greener future. We are determined to save this planet as well as ourselves, and you can take that to the bank–green bank, that is.

 

J's Article Image 2Jammica Boone is a writer and content creator for EnviroPerks

 

Green Banking

Green Banking

Green Goal #3

Everyone’s looking for their pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. So, we figured in keeping with the theme of being green, we’d talk money. Saving it and using it to save the planet. So our Green Goal number 3 is Green Banking. Cha-Ching!

 

What is Green Banking?

Back in October of 2020, we shared a little bit about green banking in our article Stuff Your Wallet with Green. Green Banks are banking institutions that operate like regular banks and provide the same services but they focus their energies so to speak, on investing in things like clean energy, eco-friendly projects, and sustainable technology. They also practice implementing socially responsible practices in the workplace and in business. Something like a B Corp but with banks instead. More importantly, they divest from fossil fuel and other projects that have a negative impact on the environment. 

 

What is Divesting?

Well…divesting, when it comes to green banking, is like singing “we’re not going to take it” with your money. It’s when banks, or you for that matter, decide to put your finances to work and invest them elsewhere. In the case of green banking, investing them in projects you believe in like solar power for an entire city or offering small, affordable business loans to artisans who produce sustainable goods and services.

 

Why is it Important?

Most of us Perksters do all we can to do our part in being good stewards of the earth. We take public transportation during vacations, we reuse items when applicable, we purchase fair trade sustainable products, we even blog while exercising. But here’s the kicker: we have no idea that our banks are not. While we’re writing to our congressmen and women and protesting plastic bags, our banks are investing in the very projects and industries we’re trying to help change. And as long as we keep doing business with them, our green money will be countering our green efforts. 

As we speak, there are bills being submitted across the country to stop green banking institutions from divesting in fossil fuels. According to The West Virginia Legislature Blog, Senate Bill 262 was passed. Writer Christopher Marshall stated, this Bill “…would authorize the State Treasurer to block banks with policies against investments in fossil fuel industries like coal and natural gas…” 

But don’t get discouraged. There are some simple solutions we can implement now to push the movement forward and save green while saving our planet.

 

What We Can Do!

It may seem a bit overwhelming but remember going green is all about starting where you are. That’s why we love sharing these Green Banking Goals with you. Here are a few things you can do now to “divest” and be your green best.

 

 

Simple Green Banking Goal #1 – Go Paperless

Going paperless is the 1st and easiest step in starting your green banking journey. If you already do this, kudos! Have your bank statements sent via email or access them online. Refrain from writing checks & use online banking services instead to send funds. Going paperless is a power move for the environment. It saves loads of paper, which saves trees, which are the lungs of the Earth. And it saves you money too because most banks now charge for mailing paper statements.

 

Simple Green Banking Goal #2 – Bank From Home

No need to drive to your bank. Bank from home! This helps cut down on carbon emissions. Most banks offer every service online that you can get inside the bank. They even offer virtual assistants that can answer your questions right there on the spot. 

 

Simple Green Banking Goal #3 – Start With A Savings Account

When it comes to your finances you always want to make sure you’re making the right choice for you and your family. So, though you may not be ready to move all your financial business to a green bank just yet, you can start with just a savings account. You can also automate the process by allocating a little money into the account at a time. This will give you an opportunity to get to know your new green bank without having a major commitment just yet. Banks like Aspiration are a great start. They’ll even plant a tree every time you use your card.

 

 

Simple Green Banking Goal #4 – Impact Invest

Invest like a green boss. Impact Investing is a great way to get started on the financial green track. Investing with companies like Earthfolio, Wunder Capital, and Virginia Community Capital that promote sustainable business practices and viable change socially and environmentally while creating a healthy financial return is the ultimate win for you and the planet. This gives you an opportunity to get in the game in the right way and get a leg up while giving a handout to people and businesses that really need it and are making environmental changes to better our future on this planet.

 

Gold At The End Of The Rainbow

There are many ways to save green and save the planet. And EnviroPerksters, you can save every day just by logging in to your EnviroPerks account and using your rewards on great gifts and local businesses in your area. Shopping local means a lower carbon footprint and more circulation of your green in your neighborhoods, which can support local green initiatives.

We hope you’ve enjoyed what we’ve shared here and remember just take one step at a time and you’ll have changed into a “greenie” in no time. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

 

J's Article Image 2   Jammica Boone is a writer and content creator for EnviroPerks

Self Love Equals Planet Love

Self Love Equals Planet Love

Green Goal #2

 

Self Love equals planet love, PERIOD. It’s a natural gateway that really all starts with you. When we love ourselves by choosing what’s naturally best for us, we are indirectly choosing what’s best for the planet too. Check it out.

 

 

 

You know how you might watch a documentary or something on the news and they’re talking about the effects on our health of certain chemicals used in agriculture or how producers and manufacturers in other countries aren’t treating their workers fairly, and that Michael Jackson moment hit’s ya’ and you’re like, “I’m gonna make a change”? I’ll give you a minute to hum the tune. I know it’s in your head now. Lol. 

Well, that change is usually one that’s in harmony with our planet.  Here are a few simple Self Love tips that lead to Planet Love, which benefits us all.

 

Self Love Equals Planet Love Tip #1

Make Yourself a Healthy Meal – Use fresh, organic foods to prepare a simple, loving dish. We often associate food with good times, and taking a break to enjoy a home-cooked meal that you know is good and healthy for you is a good vibe move. 

Self Love Equals Planet Love Tip #2

Treat Yourself to a Healthy Meal Experience – Sometimes it’s just as rewarding to enjoy a meal someone else prepared as it is to make one. At Saddia’s Juicebox and Yoga Bar, you can enjoy incredibly delicious, organic, plant-based foods with loads of all the stuff your body craves to keep your energy high and your body healthy and fit. Get 20% off your purchase too, EnviroPerksters!

 

Eating well is a form of self-love and planet love. When you eat well by choosing organic, sustainably sourced foods for your meals or snacks, you reduce the amount of harmful chemicals entering your body through your food. It also reduces greenhouse gas emissions and water consumption and adds to the biodiversity of our planet while revitalizing the earth’s soil. A more plant-based diet has incredible health benefits too. It floods your body with what it really needs, like fiber, vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats. This contributes to a healthier immune system and a reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.

 

Self Love Equals Planet Love Tip #3

Have a Green Day – Visit a local farmers market and check out all the amazing items you’ll find while walking around. Chat with the artisans and learn new things. You’ll be outside getting fresh air, supporting local businesses, and purchasing sustainable products.

Self Love Equals Planet Love Tip #4

Try Green Retail Therapy – It often makes us feel better to treat ourselves from time to time too. So, treat yourself to a green gift! Our partners at EarthHero have a variety of green gifts you’ll love, like this Wooden Smartphone Speaker sustainably sourced from birchwood.  Login to your EnviroPerks account and save 20% off of one item.

 

There are social, economic, and environmental impacts to shopping sustainably. We can rest assured that farmers and artisans are treated humanely without abuse and are paid a fair wage, and that every measure was taken to consider the environmental effects on the planet when producing the product. As a result, we benefit when we support local businesses and corporations that use sustainable practices. Look for certified B Corp, or 1% For The Planet companies that have dedicated their businesses to improving life for people and the Planet when shopping.

          

Self Love Equals Planet Love Tip #5

Make a Green Clean Solution – Take the time to love yourself by creating your own green cleaning formula! Many cleaning products have very harmful chemicals that aren’t good for us or the environment. Or, you can try locally owned natural brands like The Hoot.

Self Love Equals Planet Love Tip #6

Grow an Indoor Jungle – Well, maybe not a jungle, but growing plants can bring peace and tranquility to your home environment which in turn brings peace and tranquility to you. 

“…active interaction with indoor plants can reduce physiological and psychological stress compared with mental work. This is accomplished through suppression of sympathetic nervous system activity and diastolic blood pressure and promotion of comfortable, soothed, and natural feelings.”

Journal of Physiological Anthropology

 

Self Love Equals Planet Love Tip #7

Drink a Glass of Water – Water is life! Some even believe that it is conscious and holds memory.  But no matter what you believe we can all agree that hydration is important to our health. Taking a moment to be present while drinking a glass of water can remind us of what a precious resource it is and inspire us to find ways to reduce wasting it. 

Self Love Equals Planet Love Tip #8

Take a Nice, Warm Bath – Bathing has long been used as a beneficial health treatment. Just being near water can have incredible health benefits. Submerging ourselves in water brings a sense of calm and can reduce our water consumption compared to taking long hot showers. Visit The Green Cauldron Apothecary in Williamsburg for herbs you can add to your relaxing bath for wellness and inner peace and get 10% off your purchase

 

Love Yourself

The Brain and Behavior Research Foundation defines self-love as “a state of appreciation for oneself that grows from actions that support our physical, psychological and spiritual growth.” But self-love is beyond just feeling good, it’s dynamic and helps us to heal the inner parts of ourselves so that we learn to become better human beings, capable of living our most extraordinary lives with intention, compassion for others, and a deep loving respect for our Planet. 

 

J's Article Image 2   Jammica Boone is a writer and content creator for EnviroPerks

GREEN EXERCISE

GREEN EXERCISE

GREEN GOAL #1

 

 

It’s not easy being green. I think we’ve all had our Kermit the Frog moments when it comes to living our best green lives. But, no worries. If we can make just one change at a time, before long, we will have changed not only ourselves but the world around us.

 

This year we want to help you make one positive green change at a time. So, every month we’re going to introduce a new green idea and help you follow through. By the end of 2022, you will have made 12 impactful green changes. We’re calling it our Green Goal Challenge. And our first green goal is green exercise. Let’s get green, Perksters!

 

What is Green Exercise?

So, many of you are already familiar with green exercise even though you may not have recognized it as such. In a nutshell, green exercise is simply any physical activity done in nature. The whole idea of green exercise started at the University of Essex in 2003. A team of specialists ranging in everything from environmental sustainability to physiology and behavior change, came together to research the effects of doing physical activity in nature, and green exercising was born. Their findings were phenomenal.

 

The Green Exercise Way of Life

We’ve all known that exercise can improve our physical as well as our mental wellbeing, but combine that with nature and you get a whole new life experience. The evidence is overwhelming. Green exercising leads to positive short- and long-term health benefits, like improved self-esteem and mood, especially in children. 

And it doesn’t matter what kind of green environment you’re in. Forests, mountains, meadows, you name it, they all have the same positive effect on our health and well-being. However, according to the research, environments with water such as lakes, ponds, or oceans for example, generate even more of a positive effect on us.  

 

“Preindustrial humans expend some 1000 kcal on activity per day, whereas for modern humans the mean is 300 kcal (6). Inactivity increases the likelihood of obesity and reduces life expectancy.
– ResearchGate

 

Being in natural environments like sitting in the park, exercising in natural environments like walking on the beach or in the woods, or just looking at natural scenery from your window, all provide positive health benefits. “Improved immunity, lower blood pressure and potentially more restful sleep at night…” (Schroeder, 2017), are all byproducts of green exercise, according to Mike Rogerson, the research officer on the Green Exercise Research Team at the University of Essex.

 

“Wholesome exercise in the free air, under the wide sky, is the best medicine for body and spirit.” – Sarah Louise Arnold

 

Other studies agree. Exercising in nature, or green exercise, has incredible life-changing health benefits. It increases oxygen and vitamin D levels, relieves stress, provides better sensory stimulation, reduces symptoms of depression and anxiety, and even boosts cognitive function in the brain.

Our planet, through its natural environments, has proven to provide a health oasis that we need for true longevity and a healthy, happy life. Obviously, without it we would not be able to live. But, how cool is it to know that it actually works with us and for us to this degree in such a powerful and simple way?

 

JUST DO IT!

You know the Nike saying, “just do it.” Get out there in nature and exert a bit of energy. It doesn’t take long or very much effort. Try something fun that you actually like doing. Or something new that you’ve always wanted to try!

One step at a time creates a change for a lifetime.

 

Go For a Walk in a Park, Meadow, or Garden

A brisk walk is one of the greatest forms of exercise. It has very low impact on the body, especially your knees, compared to jogging, and it can help maintain your health in unbelievable ways. Best of all, you can do it anywhere. One of my favorite places to walk is Norfolk Botanical Garden. So, grab a few friends, Perksters, and enjoy the scenery of a garden that is like no other. While you’re at it, you can take advantage of their incredible EnviroPerks reward, buy two tickets and get two free!

 

Play Golf

Yup, golf. For eons, it’s been a great way to not only score business deals but exercise as well. Places like Sleepy Hole Golf Course provide beautiful landscapes to get lost in while occupying your mind and providing a light workout. And, Perksters, if you purchase a green fee at the regular price you get the second player’s green fee free. We call that getting green on the green!

 

Pedal Your Way to Great Health

We absolutely love biking. Nothing takes you back to your childhood like hopping on your bike and rolling out. Open air with absolutely no cares. The Dismal Swamp Canal Trail is a great place to do just that while enjoying nature and all manner of wildlife.

Go Wild and Take a Hike

Speaking of wildlife, taking a hike in the woods is the ultimate green exercise. Add bird watching to your hike and now you have a real adventure! The melodic songs of birds in the air combined with the wonder of hiking in the woods bring harmony to the mind and body. And, once your adventure is over, you can enjoy these majestic creatures in your own backyard. An eco-friendly bird feeder from Wild Birds Unlimited Nature Shop is a great way to show your appreciation for all that nature does for you. Purchase a great bird feeder for 20% off with your EnviroPerks membership.

 

Yoga on the Beach

Yoga is a wonderful mind, body, and spirit exercise and when done on the beach it brings all the necessary elements together for green exercise benefits. You have the sand, the sun and the beautiful ocean guiding you to peace and serenity through nature while toning your muscles and calming your mind.

 

No Gym, No Problem. Work Out Outside

Are you a serious workout buff, or just an old school Double Dare fan? Lol. Well, take the road less traveled and try an outdoor obstacle course instead. It will definitely get you fit, and you’ll have loads of fun! Check out the Elizabeth River Outdoor Fitness Course on the Elizabeth River Trail. Get a more dynamic workout in nature that challenges you physically and mentally and take advantage of the free equipment. We double dare ya’!

 

Play Outside with Your Kids and Go on an Adventure

Adventure time equals fun time! And the positive effects of nature on children are incredible. This can be one of the best ways for the whole family to participate in green exercising. Try a treetop adventure, monkey drop, or ziplining at GO APE in Williamsburg, VA. These are all cool ways to bond with your kids in nature while getting some great exercise and creating fun memories too.

 

 

Rafting, Paddle Boarding or Kayaking

These are awesome green exercises. The rowing action offers an intense workout for your arms, and if paddleboarding, you get a great leg workout too. Not to mention, you’re surrounded by beautiful water. As a result, you get even more health benefits. Never been rafting, paddleboarding or kayaking? That’s ok, our friends at Riverside Outfitters are here to help! They are fanatics about the great outdoors and even offer Perksters $5 off their raft, kayak or paddle board adventure. Oh, Yeah!

 

You Can Do It!

These are just a few of the outdoor activities that will keep your heart pumping, your body strong, and your mind at peace. You don’t have to change everything overnight. Remember, Perksters, slow and steady wins the race. So, pick one green activity that you really like and see where it leads. If you keep it up, you will have added another green thing to your life, making this planet a little greener and the world a little better. And that’s the goal, right?

J's Article Image 2 Jammica Boone is a writer and content creator for EnviroPerks.

INTRODUCING EXPERT SOLAR PROS

Expertsolar Logo Blue Transparent

There are several types of renewable energy sources that exist today. From geothermal and hydro power to wind and solar energy, there has never been more options to power our planet in a clean way. And we are proud to share with you a company that’s using one of the most remarkable renewable energy sources that shines above the rest.  Welcome our newest EnviroPerks partners, Expert Solar Pros. 

 

Shining, Shining, Shining, Shining Yea!

There’s no doubt about it, Expert Solar Pros are winning! They have pierced the veil of tomorrow and decided the future’s so bright for renewable energy that they may have to wear shades. 

A local based business out of sunny Virginia Beach,Virginia, Expert Solar Pros specializes in not only solar installations but solar design as well. Their Solar Engineering Team can handle anything. They will get you all SET, with a customized panel design that uniquely benefits your home using top of the line, quality products that will last for years to come. 

But the biggest part and heart of their small business is their knowledgeable sales team. It is their passion to make the dream of eco-friendly, renewable energy available for every household in Hampton Roads. However, they not only desire to help you live green but to save you green as well. Their solar power packages, fit any household budget big or small with financing available for all! 

So what makes solar power so brilliant you ask?

 

Full Steam, Uhhh We Mean Beam Ahead

Renewable energy is the future and solar power is the most accessible renewable energy source today. Unlike the limitations that may occur with other renewable energy sources like wind power, which requires naturally occurring  airflow, or hydropower which needs water, solar power uses the energy of the sun. A star that has been beaming its radiant light for about four and a half billion years now. According to Energy.gov just an hour in a half of sunlight can power the planet’s energy requirements for one whole year! And the sun isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

 

Esp Sun Pic

Harnessing The Power Of The Sun

The sun’s light beams are converted into electrical energy by using solar panels. When the light hits the panels, it is absorbed by the photovoltaic or PV cells embedded in the panels. These cells operate much like plant cells when it uses sunlight for photosynthesis. Both convert solar energy into a useful and beneficial power source. And because solar power mimics nature so well, we get the benefits of a clean and healthy energy source too. 

 

The Bennies Of Solar Energies 

The benefits of solar power are innumerable. It’s a natural, unlimited, renewable source of power that doesn’t emit any harmful gases or byproducts that may contaminate the air or environment. It can also save your household thousands of dollars long term. Market Business News (MBN) stated, “It is a home improvement investment that has an immediate financial and environmental impact.” 

Here are just a few more benefits of solar power

> Conserves water

> Reduces our heavy dependency of hazardous fossil fuels

> Reduces our carbon footprint

> Slows down Climate Change

> Eases the burden on our current power grid infrastructure (Think Texas, yup)

> Lasts a long time because of the durable panels and equipment which secures your investment

> Low to no maintenance costs 

> Saves you money and pays for itself in energy expenses

 

The Bright Side

By now, I’m sure you’re convinced of the incredible power of solar. But just to sweeten the deal, our new EnviroPerks partners have agreed to several rewards just for you. You get a Free Home Estimate, Free Solar Charger with every sit down AND $500 off your solar system installation purchase! Shining Shining Shining Shining YEA! All of this winning, but don’t go losing your mind. Lol. We hope you’ve enjoyed this article and that you’ll take full advantage of this amazing reward, for yourself and the planet. Simply log in to your EnviroPerks account for more details.

 

J's Article Image 2   Jammica Boone is a writer and content creator for EnviroPerks. Live Green Save Green!

Tis The Season To Be Green

Who doesn’t love the holiday season? There’s eggnog, parties, family, friends, food, fun and gifts. It’s spectacular! But in all honesty this festive and most wonderful time of the year is also the most wasteful. Have you ever wondered where all of our holiday trash ends up after the festivities, and how that impacts “joy to the world”? 

 

Ho! Ho! Hold Up….. 

Ho! Ho! Hold Up Pic #1

We usually spare no expense for the holidays. And the National Retail Federation has the proof. 

Last year Americans spent over $780 billion dollars during the holiday season. That included everything from gifts and travel to food and decorations. All of which contribute greatly to our carbon footprint. During the holidays we generate about 25% more waste than any other time of year according to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). That’s an extra 25 million tons of garbage. Break that down on a weekly basis, and you’re looking at about 1 million tons per week. And where does all of this waste go? You guessed it, the landfills.

Landfills aren’t these magical places where trash and waste go to live out the rest of their years. Well they kind of are but they aren’t magical that’s for sure. When holiday waste is discarded into landfills, they begin to break down into a toxic mixture of greenhouse gases that produce methane and carbon dioxide. These gases are super harmful and cause the planet to heat up which contributes to climate change. 

 

Rebecca Campbell Unsplash
Photo by Rebecca Campbell – Unsplash

Holiday Waste! BAAAH HUMBUG

But to be honest, disposing of holiday waste can make you a bit of a “scrooge”. Mainly because most of the left over material isn’t exactly recyclable. Take holiday decorations for example. Christmas tree lights, although made of plastic material, can’t be recycled in your curbside bin. They can get tangled up and cause recycling plants to have to stop everything just to deal with the issue. Elf on the shelf? Forget about it. Unless he’s made of paper, that guy can’t be recycled. Repurposed as a dog toy maybe but definitely not recycled. Even some wrapping paper and holiday cards are questionable. Many of them may have shiny surfaces, foil or plastic pieces attached. It’s safe to say that most items we decorate our tree or homes with can’t be recycled in our blue bins and this adds to the waste issue. So what can we do?

 

Joy To The World!

There are many things we can do to prevent waste and celebrate with style and grace. We can make the holidays fun and green for our family and friends while protecting our most precious gift of all, the planet. 

Krakenimages 7bpuzmcxlhu Unsplash
Photo by Krakenimages Upsplash
Eat, Drink and Be Merry

When having intimate socials use your plates, glasses and cutlery. Wash them and reuse them again. Having a large get together? Consider using compostable plates, cups and cutlery from EarthHero and place a compost and recycling bin near the trash can for discarded food and recyclable items. Want 15% off your EarthHero purchase for the festivities, just log in to your EnviroPerks account. 

Oh Christmas Tree Oh Christmas Treeeeeeeeeeee…

Charlie Brown’s lil tree wasn’t the best. But what it may have lacked in luster it surely made up for in love. And you can show the environment some love too by choosing a live tree this year! It takes about 7-10 years to grow a Christmas tree and during that time, it provides a habitat for small creatures and oxygen for us. Live Christmas trees are biodegradable and way easier than artificial trees to dispose of too. You can toss those babies right in a wood chipper after the holidays and use it for mulch. Also, they make your house smell really good. Sorry, we just like that Snow White enchanted forest kind of thing you know.

Give Green Gifts

On the 1st day of Christmas my true love gave to meeeeee, rechargeable batteries. Who can forget the best part of the holidays. The giving! Gifts are a major theme of the holidays but it can be done green as well. 

> Try making gifts for family and friends this year! Homemade cookies in a reusable tin box are thoughtful and considerate. Or think outside the box.

> Pay for one month of all of their subscriptions like Netflix, Amazon Prime, or Disney+. 

> Purchase virtual gift cards to their favorite stores. 

> Or better yet, give your loved ones experiences! Purchase concert or movie tickets online for them or treat them to a fancy restaurant or place they’ve always wanted to go. 

Any of these options show that you care for them and the planet too. If you must purchase a gift however, look for gifts that are eco-friendly and wrap them in old newspaper, magazines, t-shirts or beautiful second hand cloth and ribbon. This will definitely make your gift stand out among the rest and be stamped with the green stamp of approval. From EnviroPerks of course. Tee Hee.

Wishing You A Happy Holiday

However you choose to celebrate this year, remember to be thankful and thoughtful in your living and your giving. The most precious gift on this planet is you, but there can be no you, if there is no planet. Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Happy Kwanzaa. From us and ours to you and yours, Happy Holidays.

 

J's Article Image 2  Jammica Boone is a writer and content creator for EnviroPerks.

Give Thanks for Small Businesses

There are so many things to be thankful for this year. And the number one thing on our list here at EnviroPerks, is our local, small business partners.

 

Everyone has been affected and taken some hard hits because of Covid. It’s been tough, and small businesses seem to have been hit the hardest. From our favorite bagel shop on the corner to our friendly neighborhood dry cleaners, one by one the little guys all vanished. So here at EnviroPerks, we decided to shine a spotlight on our local, small businesses and thank them for a job well done with continued incredible service that does so much more than we ever bargained for.

 

LOCAL LOVE

EnviroPerks has dedicated itself to the business of shopping small. We get it. And we definitely understand that it’s the little guys who make the big difference. That’s what drives our passion to support local small businesses. We would not be able to offer incredible rewards that incentivize environmental stewardship without them.

Small Business favs such as Taylor’s Do It Center, reward Perksters with savings like a free bag of mulch. Give the gift of reading and get a $10 gift card free at Book Exchange, where you can buy, sell, and trade books! Shop eco-friendly and save $5 off a $50 purchase at Ellwood Thompson’s. An independent, local, small business that has served the community for over 20 years. Or enjoy fresh, local produce sustainably grown by small business farmers in your area! Through Seasonal Roots, Perksters get $25 off the initial membership fee. And they don’t just deliver produce right to your front door every week, they deliver hope for a better future. Their efforts aid in building trust in communities through transparency which helps protect the environment and the welfare of our neighbors, family and friends. You’d have to be loco not to LOVE local. 

Shopping small Makes a BIG Difference!

They say the best way to make a big difference is to start small. Even Whole Foods and Wal-Mart were once mom and pop stores. Small Businesses are a vital part of the local economy, community and environment. Without small businesses we’d be in a world of trouble. That’s why shopping small matters. It creates prosperous communities rich in connection and humanity. Not to mention much needed financial assistance that helps sustain and strengthen the community. When we shop small and support local businesses, local businesses support us! 

A few ways shopping small makes a big difference.

> Creates jobs and provides better customer service

> Cycles funds back into the community for public programs, infrastructure and other vital community services 

> Fosters a true sense of community & social connections

> Reduces the carbon footprint from transport

> Protects local land and farms

> Protects natural habitats and wildlife

 

 

Thank You For Shopping Local Tim Mossholder
Photo by Tim Mossholder

The Shop Small Movement

In 2010 American Express started a little thing called Small Business Saturday. The Saturday after Thanksgiving, people were encouraged to shop at small businesses for the holidays. It was such a success that local officials took notice, causing the Senate to unanimously approve a resolution in 2011 in support of the day. Now that’s something to be thankful for, for sure!  Small Business Saturday will be on November 27th this year so mark your calendar. To find local businesses in your area, log in to your EnviroPerks account, click rewards, search for businesses near you, and choose the best rewards to make your holiday shopping truly unique and special this year. Got a local, small business around your way that you’d like to see get a little love? Send us a shout out! Or contact us via email or facebook

 

Thank you to all the small businesses that have kept our communities thriving and our planet surviving. We truly appreciate you and all you do here at EnviroPerks where we save green by living green.

 

 

J's Article Image 2 Jammica Boone is a writer and content creator for EnviroPerks.

Happy Hallogreen!

Happy Hallowgreen Pic 1 Lukasz Niescioruk

Happy Hallogreen!

Ok so we can’t take credit for Green Halloween but we did come up with “Hallogreen” so that counts for something right?

Green Halloween or “Hallogreen” if you’re an Enviro Perkster, started in 2007 by Lynn Colwell and Corey Colwell-Lipson authors of “Celebrate Green! Creating Eco-Savvy Holidays, Celebrations and Traditions for the Whole Family.” It was an initiative to get people to be a little more earth-friendly during Halloween but also keeping it fun and traditionally magical. So in the magical tradition of the “Hallogreen” season we’re going to show you what to do for your little ghosts and ghouls and throw in some fun for you too. It’ll be spooktastic!

Hallowgreen Costume Xavi Cabrera

Stitchcraft

Well you just can’t have Halloween without a costume. And since none of us are Sabrina, (you know, the teenage witch? Oh come on!) we can’t just use witchcraft to make one appear. Soooooo, why not get a little creative and craft one! Sounds like a lot of effort but honestly it’s really fun! And a great way to get into the “Hallogreen” spirit while doing something cool with your family. 

Best part, you can find materials everywhere! Thrift Stores, second hand shops, even grandma’s attic. There’s sure to be some awesome stuff up there. But if you must purchase a costume don’t fret Perksters, log into your EnviroPerks Loyalty+ account and save 20% off at HalloweenCostumes.com. It’s almost scary how low their prices are.

 

Trick or Treat (We’re Not Smelling Your Feet Though)

One of the most important things you’ll need for all those tricks and treats is something to put them in. But those plastic pumpkins and pales are ghastly for the environment not to mention extremely toxic. So go old school. Remember taking a pillowcase when you were a kid? Well it still works, and you can even decorate them with your little ones for fun while teaching them a new gnarly tradition.  Check this idea out from Kid Friendly Things To Do!

More Hallogreen Tricks & Treats

Try these earth-friendly tricks and treat the planet well this year.

> Donate your old costumes & decorations

> Throw a costume swap party before halloween

> Compost your pumpkins & roast your pumpkin seeds

> Use face paint instead of buying a mask

> Walk or ride bikes to trick or treat this year instead of driving

 

Buried Alive By Natary T

Buried Alive….. AHHHHHHH

There are a monster mash of ways to be green for halloween. The most important thing is to be just a little bit more mindful of what we’re using and where it goes after we use it. According to TreeHugger.com, we’ll spend about 2.3 BILLION, yup BILLION, dollars on decorations for Halloween alone and most of it is not recyclable or even reused. So that means those items are burned creating air pollution or buried in landfills. And don’t forget most of this stuff is made out of plastic. Now that’s scary! 

 

 

 

J's Article Image 2  Jammica Boone is a writer and content creator for EnviroPerks.