Saturday, December 19, 2009
Check out PlanetGreen.com's article: COPing With the Stars: The 13 Biggest Players to Emerge from Copenhagen. You might be surprised to see Sen. John Kerry and Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke made the list, but I have a feeling we'll be hearing much more in the months to come from these thirteen.
There is much work to be done - and all of us are responsible to help. Knowledge is power, but for many around the world, Copenhagen has been a series of TV news sound bytes and tweeted updates on Twitter. It continues to be so much more. For more information, check out Wikipedia's article(s) on the 2009 UN Climate Change Conference and the Kyoto Protocol.
Monday, November 23, 2009
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Tuesday, November 17, 2009
How to Make an Inexpensive Holiday Centerpiece - With a little creativity and items from your garden or pantry, you can make simply beautiful table centerpieces for the Season, with little or no money spent.
How to Recycle Last Year's Holiday Cards - From scrapbook pages and wall decor to placemats and gift tags, there's a great way to recycle cards from previous Winter holidays.
5 Great Holiday Gift Ideas for the Eco-Conscious - If you are looking for great gift ideas this Holiday Season for friends and family that embrace a greener lifestyle, or perhaps you yourself are committed to reducing your own carbon footprint, here are five ideas to consider.
"No longer forward nor behindI look in hope or fear;But, grateful, take the good I find,The best of now and here."[John Greenleaf Whittier]
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Twitter, Facebook and other social networking sites can be good places to connect online (which can also lead to some offline connections as well). I've recently started compiling my own Twitter Green list - feel free to snag a few followers -- we're all in this together.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Friday, October 9, 2009
- Check out Fair Trade Sports website which carries a line of sports balls for soccer, football, basketball, etc. that are certified green and fair trade.
- Beyond the "new" products, there's also companies like PlayItAgainSports which has over 350 locations in the US and Canada, where you can buy and sell used sports equipment (for parents, that can be a pretty budget-friendly way to get a few items from your Christmas list), or
- LostGolfBalls.com where you can purchase quality used golf balls by the bucket.
- Even big box stores like Target and Walmart carry eco-friendly gift ideas for the sports enthusiasts. Organic t-shirts, eco-friendly water bottles... just to name a few.
- Looking for an eco-friendly skateboard? Check out BambooSk8.com
For more reading, check out a great article on the eco-impact of professional sports around the world: "Blowing the Green Whistle on Sports" at Grist.org
Friday, September 18, 2009
- Combine errands that are usually spread out over a couple of days into one trip.
- Park and go inside to order food as opposed to using the drive-thru.
- Carpool with neighbors or co-workers at least once a week.
- Buy eco-friendly car parts (like oil filters)
- Keep your car maintained. Change the oil, check the tire pressure, and regularly replace the oil filter.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
I'm an avid reader, but I rarely buy new books and magazines for myself. Originally, I was doing this because of my "genetically instilled" thrifty values - my mother was the queen of yard sale bargains when I was a kid, and I'm happy to say that particular trait didn't skip a generation!
Reading enriches our lives and creates lifelong readers and book collectors. Of course, that in itself is the main reason for the number of vast home libraries and collections. However, according to some reports, as many as 30 million trees are cut down in the U.S. alone to be used in the production of new books and magazines.
So how do you continue to enjoy reading, but minimize the effects on the environment? By becoming an eco-friendly reader. Here are a few ideas to get started: Read the full article here
Sunday, August 30, 2009
SolarAid thinks so too.
"SolarAid aims to enable the world's poorest people to have clean, renewable power. Solar power leads to better education, health, safety and income by allowing poor communities to cook, pump water, run fridges, store vaccines, light homes, schools, clinics and businesses, power computers and homes, farm more effectively, and much more.
SolarAid carries out DIY solar projects - training local communities how to build small scale solar devices such as solar powered radios and lanterns - and installs small solar systems for community centres, medical clinics, schools and other such communal infrastructure."
What do you think?
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Hope, Medicine & Healing is a *FREE* book that is being offered by the Oasis of Hope Hospital in San Diego, CA. Oasis provides alternative cancer treatments designed to improve the mental, spiritual and physical quality of patients' lives.
The Federal Citizens Information Center has a vast collection of informative brochures on health topics (as well as family, food, small business, housing, etc.). The majority of the publications you can order from the site are FREE. Under Health, here's a few of the interesting topics: Antibiotic Resistance, Sports Injuries, How to Get the Best Pharmacy Benefit, and Drug Interactions. Be informed and go green by opting for the PDF version of each of their publications.
The Oregon Dairy Council has a free downloads section that includes: Fuel for Training & Competition, Weight Management, Whey Protein Info and the MyPyramid mini-poster for kids.
And, lastly : Health Profile Organizer FREE pdf download. It's a 13-pg health history form available from Health InfoSTAT. You can print out and fill in all your pertinent info onto the form, or you can opt to download their software and keep a secure copy on your computer.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Last Christmas I opted to support a variety of charities in lieu of buying gifts for friends and families. In the process of searching for organizations, I came across the Darfur Stove Project - a program that brought together a group of UC Berkeley engineers and the women of Darfur, who have endured not only poverty and displacement, but the constant threat of rape every time they leave a camp to gather wood for cooking.
Check out the project story, donate if you can, and please pass it on to others.
The website also has instructions for building your own Berkeley Darfur stove. What a great project this would be for a science class, a scouting adventure, or even a family project for your next camping trip.
The Berkeley Darfur Stove® is four times more efficient than traditional 3-stone fires and two times more efficient than clay stoves. The efficiency and design of the stove has many benefits including:
- less time outside of the camps collecting fuel wood, reducing the risk of exposure to rape.
- fully enclosed flames reducing the danger of the dense straw and stick shelters from burning down.
- reduction of smoke production compared to other stoves, reducing smoke inhalation and lung disease.
- saving time by cutting down fuel wood treks, allowing women to pursue income generating opportunities.
Eco-friendly Solar Ovens
Solar Cookers or Sun Ovens harness the energy of the sun to bake, boil and steam a wide variety of foods. They're eco-friendly, relatively portable (depending on size), and uses a free fuel source. Even if you're not ready to cook full-time on a solar oven, it's a worthy investment for part-time use.
Prices for solar ovens can vary from $40 to a small model for camping or fishing, to more than $350 for a large model designed for use as a primary stove. Solar Cookers International has a great "Solar Cooking Archive Wiki with lots of information and recent news. The wiki covers a variety of topics from the basics of solar cooking to water pasteurization and global usage.
There are a variety of types of solar cookers: over 65 major designs and hundreds of variations of them. The basic principles of all solar cookers are:
- Concentrating sunlight: Some device, usually a mirror or some type of reflective metal, is used to concentrate light and heat from the sun into a small cooking area, making the energy more concentrated and therefore more potent.
- Converting light to heat: Any black on the inside of a solar cooker, as well as certain materials for pots, will improve the effectiveness of turning light into heat. A black pan will absorb almost all of the sun's light and turn it into heat, substantially improving the effectiveness of the cooker. Also, the better a pan conducts heat, the faster the oven will work.
- Trapping heat: Isolating the air inside the cooker from the air outside the cooker makes an important difference. Using a clear solid, like a plastic bag or a glass cover, will allow light to enter, but once the light is absorbed and converted to heat, a plastic bag or glass cover will trap the heat inside. This makes it possible to reach similar temperatures on cold and windy days as on hot days.
Alone, each of these strategies for heating something with the sun is fairly ineffective, but most solar cookers use two or all three of these strategies in combination to get temperatures sufficient for cooking. -- Source: Wikipedia.org
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Once again, my favorite resource for eco-friendly house plans is offering new selections for download. I recently got an email from FreeGreen.com that announced their new Tiny House Plans. There are three different models to choose from: Tiny Rustic, Tiny Modern and Tiny Traditional. Each house is only 525 sq.ft. Note: You must sign up for either the premier or professional membership to download these house plans, but I guarantee the annual membership fee ($19.95 or $59.95) is worth it!
"Tiny House Plans were developed to offer our users and alternative path to the typical home. Used as an office, in-law suite, or starter home to build off of, these homes are easy and cheap to build. A DIYers dream, each of theses house plans are simple enough for any handyman to become his or her own general contractor. As a great addition to any current lot of land, or as an ultra-economical vacation home solution we hope that all of you will enjoy building and living in FreeGreen’s Tiny Homes. Finally, in true FreeGreen fashion each of these homes have been designed to achieve (or nearly achieve) zero energy performance (depending on your building location)."
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Monday, July 13, 2009
These vertical green bio-walls are adding value to the urban neighborhoods they are created in, as well as the air quality in the area. Exterior green walls can reduce the overall temperature of the building they're attached to, and can purify grey water by absorbing nutrients. Indoor living walls are now being credited with curing sick building syndrome in some cases, using the sciences of biofiltration and phytoremediation.
Botanist and inventor Patrick Blanc is a visionary in the world of vertical gardens, creating some of the most awe-inspiring walls, like his Le Mur Vegetal (Vertical Garden System) at the Musee du quai Banly in Paris. (pictured above). Patrick Blanc's work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, House & Garden and many others. To learn more about Blanc's green wall systems, visit his website: www.verticalgardenpatrickblanc.com
Nature and buildings in harmony- not only is it a green thing, it's a good thing...
Monday, July 6, 2009
Cradle to Cradle (C2C) products are becoming more and more popular (thank goodness) and incorporate using recycled materials, helping us to get one step closer to being waste free. McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry, LLC. (known as MBDC) are the folks currently issuing C2C certificates for manufacturers of everything from roofing materials to baby products. You can view the list of current C2C certificate holders here. Certification criteria includes using safe and healthy materials; using water efficiently for production, and instituting socially responsible strategies. Hopefully, there will be thousands of products added to this list in the next 3-5 years.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Retailers and restaurant supply wholesalers are now offering biodegradable alternatives for the standard Styrofoam plates and plastic deli containers. Items such as plates, bowls, cups, straws and deli containers are made from compostable materials like sugar cane and corn.
Here are a few suggestions for finding alternative disposable products.
Check with your local healthy foods stores like Whole Foods, or even Wal-Mart and Target. Many stores are beginning to offer a larger selection of eco-friendly tableware alternatives.
Check out Branchhome.com to find assorted products that are eco-friendly. Their biodegradable party kit is less than $50 and serves 50 people. Hot and cold cups as well as disposable flatware are also offered.
Use Pristineplanet.com to do a disposable product search for you (and compare prices). The site has been connecting consumers and green retailers since 2004. Several of the retailers offer green products in large quantities, making them a viable option for catering events or eco-friendly weddings.
Two of the online retailers I found offer these organic products by the case, such as the 9"Sugar Cane Bagasse Dinner plates - $57.69/cs (500 count) at Organicsbythecase.com or the 8x8x2 Corn Clamshell Containers - $64.93 (160 count) at the BiodegradableStore.com. Consider using eco-friendly disposable ware for your next BBQ, corporate event or even a green wedding. After the event, add the trash to your compost - your garden will love it!
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Check out the eco-friendly pet poop bags at FlushDoggy.com.
- 100% biodegradable & flushable
- Dog waste bag measures 10.75" X 8.5"
- 10% of sales donated to the ASPCA to fight puppy mills
- ON SALE now - get an annual supply (420 biodegradable flushable poop bags) + Free Shipping for less than $55!
- Great gift idea for your favorite dog walker or dog lover.
71,000,000 dogs create 29,000 pounds of waste each day.
While dog poop is biodegradable, the traditional plastic bags we often use to dispose of it are not, which means it creates problems for our landfill and sea-bound water systems.
FlushDoggy even offers a poop calculator, just in case you're really that curious...
Thursday, June 18, 2009
In case you haven't heard, Aveda has a recycling program for plastic jug & bottle caps that is a simple way to help the environment. Did you know many of the city curb side recycling programs don't want you to throw in the caps when you throw away your plastic water and soda bottles, or milk and juice containers? Huntington Beach's recycling is one of those who don't, and at times it's felt like those little caps were multiplying everywhere! I found them in baskets, the junk drawer, shoved at the back of the counter... you get the picture. So I was very happy to hear about Aveda's program - and it couldn't be easier! Simply take all your collected caps into the Aveda Salon/store nearest you, and they'll do the rest. Aveda has pledged to keep these rigid caps out of our water and away from birds and other marine creatures by repurposing them into product packaging. Now that's what I call a beautiful thing! For more information, click here.
Speaking of beautiful things -- Check out these great recycled shopping bags!
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Friday, June 12, 2009
What you're looking at is a recycled drum from an old washing machine. Add a seat, casters (although I think those could be optional) and you've got cool extra seating available for indoors or even out on the patio, depending on the type of fabric you use for the cushion. I came across this eco-friendly DIY project on the Eco-street.com blog. I'd love to see how other readers became inspired to do something similar.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Sunday, June 7, 2009
Thursday, June 4, 2009
I wanted to showcase these great market bags, 1) because they are so much better for the environment, and 2) because Rachel Conry is a talented crafter, who will even do custom orders. She also makes iPod cases so your accessories can be completely coordinated. I'm happy to showcase other eco-friendly crafters' wares - especially solo entrepreneurs or small businesses, so if you are one or know one, be sure to drop me a note. In the mean time, check out Rachel's Etsy Store.
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Sunday, May 31, 2009
Scheduled to be unveiled Summer 2009 in Glastonbury is this nifty gadget that allows users to extend their mobile phone battery life even if there's no electrical outlet or car charger available.
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Friday, May 29, 2009
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Monday, May 25, 2009
I recently wrote an article for eHow to help others select the right water filtration system for home use, and save our landfills and oceans from being overwhelmed with plastic bottles. If you'd like to read more: How To Choose A Water Filter.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Friday, May 15, 2009
Friday, May 8, 2009
Saturday, May 2, 2009
Check out these great little recycled Indian bangle bracelet boxes from VivaTerra.com. They're on sale for $9 (a 60% discount) so get them while you can! VivaTerra has lots of other gifts and home decor that are eco-friendly! Mother's Day is just around the corner...
Monday, April 27, 2009
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Monday, April 20, 2009
Here are a variety of resources to use for finding free children's books including illustrated classics and audio books, that you can read online, or in many cases, download and read at your leisure.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Freegreen.com has done it again! I am a big fan of this site and their commitment to offering eco-friendly houseplans that are available free of charge to the masses. Their latest is the Modern Cube, a 3 bedroom, multi-story house with a sub-terrain 2-car garage. Check out the virtual tour on their site.
Friday, April 3, 2009
Planting a memory has never been so easy! The two heart tags you attach to the favor cards are imbedded with wildflower seeds that can be planted. Personalize the card with your names and choice of lettering style. The verse is only as shown. Price is for black ink; for a colored ink add $6.50. Moss jute cord is sold separately. Customer assembly required.