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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Putting Little Green Thoughts Into Practice

There are a bunch of green things that I've heard I should be doing and I'm finally getting around to doing a few of them.  I still have a list of others waiting to be tried, but one at a time, I'm adding them up!  Here's what I'm up to:
  1. Putting the lid on my pots when I'm boiling water.  I've finally made this one a habit and I can definitely tell the difference in less cooking time.
  2. Catching 'gray' water in our shower.  I put 2 open top watering cans in our shower and catch the water that runs when our shower is heating up...since our house is built on a concrete slab, it seems like the hot water takes a while to get upstairs.  After each shower, we empty them into a big container with a lid to use for our garden.
  3. We've been doing cloth napkins for a while, but now I've started to think of ways to use less tissues.  This idea was stolen from my Mom, who does many green things that she doesn't give herself credit for!  Instead of using a tissue for my eye makeup remover, I started using one of the boys' old baby washcloths.  It's just as soft as a tissue and that's 365 tissues I will save this year!  Thanks, Mom! :)
  4. My Mom has to be the queen of quick showers...I think she would win a contest!  So taking my cue from her, I've started cutting down on shower time.  Once the water is hot, I quickly lather up my hair & rinse, then turn the water off while I condition my hair and wash my body.  I also skip showers on days that I'm home and not in need of one, which gives my hair a break and saves resources.  Still on my radar to try is getting rid of shampoo and conditioner in favor of more earth-friendly ones.  Has anyone tried this?
  5. I've been turning off all of the lights after the boys have gone to bed (usually around 8:30 pm) and working by candlelight or just keeping one small light on.  I'm looking into those Smart strips that conserve phantom energy for our tv, computer, etc. - who has these and do you have any recommendations?
Those are just a few that are on my mind right now, but I'll post more later.  What little green thoughts have you put into practice?  Thanks for reading and sharing!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Big Green Families?

I found an article that touched at something I've been thinking for a while, too:  big families aren't necessarily bad for the environment!

You can read it here:

Let me know what you think!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

No More Blog Music

Please come back to my blog!!  I turned off the music so it won't bug you...sorry!  It was a lesson to be learned! :)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Earth-Friendly Toothcare

I was browsing at (amazing to watch their plastic bag ticker....over 141 billion plastic bags consumed this year - ugh!) for some type of reusable straw to carry along for restaurant visits when I got sidetracked noticing some new eco-friendly toothbrushes they are selling:  Eco-Dent TerrAdent Replaceable Head Toothbrush.

I was immediately interested because I have recently purchased the Preserve toothbrushes that can be sent back for recycling (which we have been pretty happy with, except for JD's which keeps losing bristles...probably because he BITES his toothbrush!), but reading some literature at the Eco-Dent site has made me think they are on to something.  They have an article called 'Lone Ranger Recycling' that is very interesting.  I wish it were from a more impartial source, but what they are saying seems to make sense:

Before I found Preserve, we saved all of our toothbrushes for cleaning and to use as paintbrushes, but they will ultimately end up in a landfill.

Anyway, I noticed that they also sell dental floss in some type of recyclable cardboard packaging...which is exactly what I've been looking for - a less wasteful dental floss!  (I still wish someone would sell it in larger family-size quantities, though).

So this company has me pretty intrigued.  I will probably make a few purchases when our Preserve brushes are all used up.

You can check them out here:

And for you Oprah fans, according to their website, Oprah even uses their products! :)

What eco-friendly toothcare habits can you share?  Keep smiling! :)

Monday, April 12, 2010

The 40th Earth Day will be a very special one

Today I start the 39th year of my life...yes, I am the big 3-8!  I was born 2 years after the first Earth Day celebrations.  It is the big 4-0 for Earth Day this year!

I just checked a new book out of the library:  Whole Green Catalog:  1,000 Best Things for You and the Earth, edited by Michael W. Robbins.  Here's a small bit from the foreward by Bill McKibben:
"The series of interlocking environmental crises we now face - global warming, water shortage, food supply, peak oil - seem daunting.  That's because they are daunting, the worst cul-de-sac into which human beings have ever stumbled.  It will take every bit of wit and skill we have to chart a course through the next few decades - and it will demand real community and political engagement from everyone who cares.
But of course, that's the view from up high, taking in the whole sprawling mess.  It can also be viewed, productively, from down below, where each of us actually lives.  Where, a hundred times a day, we make small choices that influence the future, our own and the planet's."
(The emphasis is mine).  I am excited for this Earth Day because I think there is a collective consciousness rising that is the start of a new revolution - one that will treasure and protect this Earth that we live on.  We are all called to make a difference and so many are taking up the charge.  I am so thankful for all of you and encouraged by you!  You inspire me and give me courage to do better.  There are so many caring people, but the following are some I especially want to thank:

I LOVE this blog post by David McKay at:
I also want to give a shout out to Ryan Elizabeth Cope's thought-provoking blog (I think he is on course to be the Jamie Oliver of the 'plastic revolution'):

And to my own Mom, who has a beautiful new blog:

 To Green Lifestyle Consulting for their wonderful blog:

 And Beth Terry at Fake Plastic Fish:

 We always hear 'Let's make Earth Day every day' and this year I think there are enough people carrying the wave that it will keep rolling.....

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Environmental Toxins

Wanted to pass on this great link,28804,1976909_1976908_1976938,00.html from .

It's Time magazine feature on environmental toxins and the perils of plastic.

How do you feel about plastic in our everyday lives?  Any issues jumping out that you'd like to ponder, share or discuss?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Supersized Everything - Waste Included

Glad to be back after a bit of a break!  I'm in MD staying with my parents.  I am finding a lot of food for blogging down here, though! :)

We stopped at McDonald's for ice cream cones last night.  For 3 ice cream cones, they gave us 27 napkins!  Not an exaggeration and not a misprint!  Here's a picture:

Now my boys are messy, but even they don't need 9 napkins for 1 ice cream cone (a very tiny ice cream cone at that)!

We visited Applebee's and the boys were given the plastic kids' cups with lids and straws.  When they asked for a refill and tried to give the waitress their cups, she set them down and brought them brand new plastic cups....?!?  So instead of 3 plastic cups, lids, straws (which was bad enough), we ended up with 5 of each...for 1 visit.

And then there was our visit to Walmart.  We all love low prices, but sometimes you have to wonder at what price these low prices come.  But now TerraCycle has partnered with Walmart, so it makes me want to give them a chance.  Well, the Walmart that I visited here didn't have any TerraCycle items to be found and when I asked 2 of the workers, they looked at me like they had never heard of TerraCycle I wasn't off to a good start.  I did need some allergy meds., though, so I purchased a few things while I was there.  When I pulled out my reusable bag to ask the lady in the 'less than 20 items' lane to use it, she shook her head 'No' and told me to push my items up and she was shoving them as quickly as she could into her plastic bag.  All around me, I watched carts piling up with tons of plastic seems that Walmart has  a policy of only putting 5 items in a bag, no matter what their size.  Some people had what looked like 10 plastic bags for what I'm guessing was no more than 30 items.  ?!?  Did I mention that the entire Walmart store smells like badly offgassing plastic?  What is that all about?  They are not really doing much to improve my impression of them, although I do realize that their prices are hard to beat and there are many people who depend on them for cheaply priced items.  I have a love / hate relationship with Walmart.  I really want to love them, but I keep finding more reasons to hate them.  I guess this story is to be continued...

And I now have 3 letters to sit down and write.  I'm hoping they will be taken seriously.  Have you ever written a letter to a company and gotten a really great or satisfying response?

What's your Walmart story?  What do you think about fast food and restaurant waste?  Lots more food for thought....