Around the Greenosphere



                               

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I don’t know about you, but March is my least favorite month. In my part of the world, it’s not yet spring, but the lingering winter is no longer welcome; the crocuses try to unfold, just to be deadened by frost. Fog sets in, along with days of rain. Mud cakes boots. And all those best intentions I made back in January seem so very, very distant.

In short, by March, I could use a bit of a boost, so today, I’d like to share a few links with you all. The following are websites and blogs which inspire me to take those big (and small) steps toward a greener me. Toward a more eco-minded household. I hope they will inspire you when you need it as well.

The first is Remains of the Day. Remains of the Day is like freshly baked bread: wholesome and filling and homey and substantial. You can sink your teeth into it, and it leaves you both satisfied and hungry for more. Writer Andrea continually reminds me what a deliberately lived life looks like, and for that I’m grateful. Check out her recent post on her quest to get plastic out of her house: Getting the Plastic Out, Stage One.

Through Remains of the Day, I’ve discovered One Small Change. This site is full of little inspirations which add up big, like a bucket full of pebbles. In the comments, you can read about others’ small measures taken for a greener life. Many of their efforts hadn’t even occurred to me!

Many of you are probably already aware of Fake Plastic Fish, a tremendous resource about plastic waste and its impact on the environment. If you’re not, please visit. It’s well worth your time!

One of the first bloggers I ever read was Kelli of The Brown’s Go Green. She’s honest and funny and makes healthy and eco-living seem so enjoyable you just wanna try it yourself!

The last link on my list is actually a group of local links. They’re the URLs to my local Craigslist listings, my area’s Freecycle, my library, and my farmer’s market. I’m also on the email lists for several area produce stands and U-Pick farms, so they can alert me when my favorite apples and pears are ripe for the taking. These links are not only useful resources for me, but they remind me to consume locally and second-hand whenever possible.

What websites and blogs are invaluable to your environmental success? Please share!

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Amy Whitley is excited to be writing bi-weekly for the 5 Minutes for Going Green team! You can read more about her attempts at eco-living at her blog The Never-True Tales and find great places to travel with children at her review site Pitstops for Kids!.



                               

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Suburbs Have a Leg-Up on Greening

Last week Mireya Navarro reported for the New York Times on the greening of suburban municipalities. In Green and Greener in Suburban Towns Navarro highlighted the Long Island town of Babylon.

“FOR two years, Valerie Williams had been considering making the five-bedroom home she grew up in more energy efficient — hoping to shrink her $350 monthly utility bill — but more pressing expenses always came first.

Then the town of Babylon came up with an offer she couldn’t refuse: if she and her husband, Carlos, paid $250 for an energy audit, the town would finance the recommended upgrades. The couple would repay the town at a monthly rate below the savings on their utility bill.”

Babylon is not alone.

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Green Family Friday – October 2, 2009

We may have started the fall conversation almost two weeks ago, but there is something about the first of October that makes the season more official. And that’s even aside from the hard layer of frost I had to scrape from my windshield first thing yesterday morning.

As temperatures drop and day light wanes keeping green families busy gets tougher, but not impossible. As a matter of fact, it seems most of us are thinking along the same lines these days — gardening and preparation are the name of the game.

5 Minutes for Going Green reader, Shannon, shares two wonderful blog posts with us this week.

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On Saving Energy. And Bats.

Bats are an ongoing issue in our horse barn. It’s old and as such has numerous nooks and crannies through which they find their way in. So much so that the hay loft may as well be officially dubbed a bat hotel. As much as I loathe their presence, shudder when I hear their high-pitched squeals from above when I do chores I also appreciate their service. And so far, their keeping themselves confined to the loft and the great out doors and not venturing into my tack room.

Bats, as creepy as they may be, are a vital component in insect population control and living near a river and flood plain in a state known for it’s killer mosquito population I can readily appreciate their value.

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First Weekly ‘Green Family Friday’

Family Fun Big or small, traditional or uniquely unconventional, all human or composed of those that stand on more than 2 legs as much as those that do; families are beautiful things. At 5 Minutes for Going Green, we value families and the things — both big and small — that they do together to be a little more friendly to our planet. That’s why we’re excited to announce our first weekly Green Family Friday .

Each week we’ll be collecting tips, tricks and ideas for green weekend activities from families just like yours! And every Friday morning we’ll feature them here.

Looking for something to do?

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Recycled Note Of The Week: Squirrel In The Attic

Every week or so we use this space to feature a recycled note or three from some of our favorite online sources. This week we’re showcasing the hand-drawn recycled notes from the Oxford-based Etsy shop, Squirrel In The Attic.

A little bit about Squirrel In The Attic, in their own words:

You know how sometimes you want a greeting card to simply say “hey”, but still want your recipient to feel special, knowing the card was chosen just for them? Well, here at Squirrel in the Attic, we produce hand drawn greeting cards that do just that by coupling the word “hey” with a fun descriptive noun.

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Great Green Giveaway: NoPlastic.ca

I think by now most of us know we as a society and a planet use too much plastic on a daily basis. We’ve talked about it on the site before, about where our plastic goes to die live forever in our oceans, and about proactive ways to minimize our reliance on plastic.

I’m happy to introduce you to NoPlastic.ca, a Toronto-based green business helping consumers lessen their plastic footprint with every product they sell. Their passion and focus?

They’re here to help you clean your food from the outside in.

The story behind NoPlastic.ca:

We use enough plastics on a daily basis!

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Recycled Note(book) Of The Week: Esta Sketch

Every week or so we use this space to feature a recycled note or three from some of our favorite online sources. This week I thought I thought I’d switch it up a bit and feature two recycled notebooks from an extremely talented Australian artist, Esta Sketch.

I love the fact that they’re discarded sketches re-purposed into artistic and usable notebooks. Which makes every one them (lovely, and) one-of-a-kind!

Recycled Art Notebook (blue)

From the seller:

This is a handbound notebook constructed from cartridge paper and silk screen prints. The cover features one of my ‘comfort’ prints that didn’t turn out perfectly.

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Recycled Note Of The Week: AC Bohman Designs

Every week or so we use this space to feature a recycled note or three from some of our favorite online sources. This week we’re showcasing the beautifully designed and playful cards from AC Bohman Designs, a North Carolina based freelance designer with an etsy shop filled with unique recycled cards.

Here are just a few of my favorites:

Rad Father’s Day Card

From the seller:

This A2 sized card is made of heavy eco-white stock and flat printed with a vintage illustration (in black) and typewriter text (in red). Paired with a recycled kraft envelope and packaged in a clear archival sleeve.

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This Just In: Earth Week Giveaway Winners!

Two weeks ago we hosted a giveaway carnival of sorts in celebration of Earth Day, offering five giveaways for readers to win, one for each day of the week.

After an AMAZING response, I’m pleased to announce the winners of each of those five giveaways. Ready? Here we go!

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The winner of the Naked Binder Giveaway is commenter #23, Ikkinlala!

The winner of Glass Dharma Giveaway is commenter #79, Autumn H.!

The FIVE winners of the Seventh Generation Giveaway are:

  • Commenter # 24, April!
  • Commenter #56, Shari!
  • Commenter #79, Mya!
  • Commenter #150, Claudia!
  • Commenter #340, Rachel!

The winner of the Through Endangered Eyes Book Giveaway is commenter #18, Mrs.

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