Little things to make your spring green and healthy

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Little things to make your spring green and healthy

Spring is the greenest season, with new life sprouting from the ground. So it’s appropriate that it’s also home to Earth Day, which marked its 40th anniversary last Thursday. To commemorate, events were organized including Earth Hour, a global campaign encouraging people to turn off the lights in their homes for an hour to raise awareness over environmental issues.

Although Earth Day has passed, you can still be green-conscious in many ways, not just for a day but for months and years, with environment-friendly goods that also happen to be stylish.

Here are a couple of suggestions while the glow of spring is upon you.

Turn empty bottles into piggy banks


The Recycle Bank manufactured by Iconic, a local stationery maker, is one of the hottest items at the online markets Interpark and Gmarket.

A single kit costs 3,800 won ($3.50) and comes with four bottle lids with a slit plus decorative stickers.

Once you finish a bottle of juice or an energy drink, rinse the glass with clean water and you’re ready to turn it into a piggy bank.

Replace the bottle’s lid with the one with the slit and attach decorative stickers, and you have a convenient place for loose change.

Add three more bottles, and you can separate different denominations or even currencies.

Wind up your radios!


Without batteries or electricity, a normal radio is useless. But Eco Coop has revived an engineering marvel that uses neither: the windup radio.

The prototype was invented by British accountant Trevor Baylis back in 1989. Though developed for poor countries with no electricity or for military applications, today it’s being marketed to the earth-friendly, too. Crank up the radio for a minute, and you’ll reap 25 minutes of listening time on FM and AM stations. The radio is available at any Eco Coop store or at their Web site, for 8,000 won.

Similar radios are also produced by Sony. Wind-up flashlights can also be found online.

Cut through sour smells naturally


Citric acid is commonly used as an additive to give a sour taste to food and drink. But the natural preservative is also widely used as a substitute for hazardous synthetic cleaning liquids.

Mix five grams (two-tenths of an ounce) of citric acid powder with 200 milliliters (four-fifths of a cup) of water and the result can be sprayed onto the toilet bowl, sink or even cutting board. Baby goods can be cleaned without worries about toxic chemicals. The powder can be mixed with baking soda for additional abrasive action.

Citric acid is available at online markets. Prices vary but a 500-gram package is typically priced at about 6,000 won.

Cover your wall with corn


For those who are concerned about toxic chemicals such as formaldehyde used in new wallpaper, various types of green wallpaper made from cornstarch began to hit the market a couple years ago.

Since these coverings are made from natural ingredients, there’s less chance they’ll affect air quality indoors - though of course one must also keep in mind choice of adhesive and how one removes existing wallpaper.

Seoul Wallpaper and LG Hausys are two manufacturers that provide a range of cornstarch products.

*For more information, visit the companies online at and

By Sung So-young []
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