Jul 15, 2011
Fab Fridays: Gia Machlin of EcoPlum
Simplifying Fabulous! with Gia Machlin of EcoPlumAbout Gia is the President and CEO of EcoPlum, a green shopping rewards site. She lives on the Upper West Side of Manhattan with her husband, Corey, and her two children, Noah and Talia. Robin Baron: What about EcoPlum embodies the mantra of Simplifying Fabulous: Confidence Begins at Home? Gia Machlin: Living an eco-conscious life and keeping an eco-friendly home is all about simplifying your life, doing without that which you don’t need, reducing clutter, reusing items, and of course, recycling whenever you can. That’s why we are proud to feature your green design tips once a month in our Designing Green with Robin Baron series, Robin! To further Simplify things for Simplifying Fabulous! readers, we are offering a special 10% discount with code SIMPLYFAB at checkout. RB: As the president of EcoPlum, you must know the best green home products! What are your favorites? GM: I love the Glass Dharma glass straws. They are made of non-toxic glass and are quite durable. The "Decorative Dots" style is definitely my favorite. Another favorite of mine is the EcoBag lunch bag. I pack my daughter's lunch in one every day. What's so great about it is that your child can decorate and personalize it (using non-toxic paints and markers). It light and easy to carry yet incredible sturdy and can be machine washed! RB: What inspires you? GM: I am still completely inspired by my 90-year-old dad and 85-year-old mom. They have both been through so much and yet they continue to have this incredible zest for life and deep love for each other. They still live at home and have made it such a beautiful personal space for themselves. Here are my mom and dad on their wedding day in NYC in May 1960 and just this year in their home with my kids. RB: Do you have any special organizational tips/tricks? GM: I keep 4 “recycling” bins (canvas bags, actually) in the back of the kitchen. Once a week (or a month – depending on how quickly they get full), I take them in to their respective collection places.
- One is for #5 plastic – primarily those take out food containers that, at least in New York City, are not recyclable. That bag comes with me on my weekly shopping trip to Whole Foods where they collect #5 plastic for the Preserve “Gimme 5” program that makes toothbrushes and other household items out of recycled #5 plastic.
- The second one is for torn, stained, or just old clothing that’s too worn down to bring to the local Thrift Shop or Goodwill for reuse. I bring that bag weekly to the Wearable Collections drop off location near me. They recycle textiles that can’t be reused (old underwear and socks, anyone?)
- The third is for old shoes. My kids go through shoes like water, and with all the walking I do in NYC, I go through shoes a bit too. I bring them to Soles for Souls drop off location.
- The fourth is for small discarded electronics (cell phones, electrical cords, chargers, broken cameras). That bag goes to my local Best Buy where they collect all kinds of e-waste for responsible disposal and recycling right at their customer service desk. With all the e-waste ending up in our landfills and in third world countries, it’s nice to know that mine is getting reused and repurposed.