Monthly Archives: August 2008

Around The Greenosphere: Weekly Link Roundup

Happy Labor Day weekend to you all from the green team here at 5 Minutes for Going Green!  Here are some interesting reads for your long weekend:

-Geek Dad creates an incredible Styrobot, all from styrofoam he collected over the past several years.  Check out the awesomeness.

-Last week, our own Crunchy Chicken had some exciting updates on the distribution of pads for her very important and very successful Goods 4 Girls organization.  Go read about what happened in Sudan, Kenya, and Uganda.

-Another one of our rock stars, Mama Bird, pointed out the lack of environmental awareness among the American Dental Association. 

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Healthy Green Pets

Man’s best friends need some love and advocacy from their human friends. Fortunately, there are a number of ways human moms and dads (or owners if you must) can look out for and take action on behalf of their pets. Eddie and the Pets for the Environment, a dog on a mission to educate humans and the government about toxic chemical reform legislation, shares a long list of ways that pet owners can help reduce their animal friends’ exposure to dangerous chemicals and potential disease; some notable changes include:

1. Feed Fido Organic Foods. Go organic and choose pet food that is free of BHA, BHT and ethoxyquin.

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Plastic Fast Food Toys-Reducing Waste

Last weekend we had a family picnic and went to the beach to find rocks. My son is into fossils and thinks he will be a archaeologist and a truck driver.  I cheated and decided we would go to Subway and throw this into the cooler for our picnic. It was a long week and I wanted a break.

Rightly so.

Anyhow, even Subway gives toys in the kids meals and to reduce the waste, my children share a meal because neither will finish a entire kids meal. Small eaters.  My son looked at this dinky plastic key chain and said:

“That’s dumb.”

What?

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Do You Need a Hazardous Chemical Warning Label?

Warning SignMost of us think that toxic chemical exposures can’t be very good for us.  Yet, it seems that we go about our busy days blissfully unaware of the alphabet soup of toxic chemicals to which we expose ourselves each day.  If you think about it, you start to wonder whether you should have a hazardous chemical warning label inked on your chest.

Before you read any more, let me just be clear that just because we are a exposed to a chemical, doesn’t mean that we are going to get sick.  A particular chemical may cause an increased risk of cancer in a laboratory animal. 

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Greensleeves: How To Green Your Wardrobe

Did you know that 1/4 of all of the pesticides used throughout the entire world are used in the production of cotton?  Not soybeans.  Not rice.  Not any of the major food crops.  Cotton.  We can’t eat it and we can’t feed hungry people with it, yet we’re dousing our planet in chemicals to feed our bottomless addiction to clothing.  Add to that the fact that most conventionally produced clothing is made using dyes and finishes that are loaded with chemicals. And to keep clothes cheap, many items are produced using child labor forces in deplorable sweatshop conditions.  Whew!  That means that the clothes on our backs that many of us (myself included!) take for granted, come at a high cost to both society and the environment.

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Great Green Toys

One of the best things about the movement toward natural and green living is the abundance of wonderful natural/green toys available nowadays. Most of the toys you see when you shop at big box stores will be plastic and while I believe plastic does have a place in our lives I am sure I am not the only parent to see the problem they present. Plastic toys are usually low quality, they break easy, and they can’t be recycled usually. Kids get bored playing with then because they really aren’t that stimulating and they capitalize on the latest hot trend or “character” that will be soon be forgotten or replaced.

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Living Your Green Dream

Believe in yourself and there will come a day when others will have no choice but to believe with you. -Cynthia Kersey

Do you remember as a child when there was no such thing as obstacles? I remember always asking my parents “why not?”.  It was inconceivable to imagine that I could not Do or Be anything I wanted. Do you remember that feeling as a child? The sense you had that all things were possible? Take five minutes and have some fun with me because today we are going to do some dreaming!

In the last couple of years I have really come to appreciate the dreaming side of myself.

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Let it rot!

These days, I see a lot of “R”s added to what was originally the sacred trinity of green living: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. My personal favorite is “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rot,” used to encourage folks to compost their food scraps and yard waste instead of consigning it to the burn pile or the landfill.

Many of us will get our first frost of the season within the next month (I know, where did August go?), which means that yard clean-up is right around the corner. In fact, I’ve already been trimming a lot of spent blossoms and pulling out the end of the spring radishes and lettuce (to replant, of course, with fall veggies!).

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5 Minute Green Miracles

Making miracles happen may seem a bit daunting for a Tuesday morning, but with 5 minutes to spare, you can take it upon yourself to make something wonderful happen for our earth. Here’s a few quick ways to make a miracle when the phone is ringing, the kids are making a ruckus, and you’re feeling like green living is impossible:

1. Unplug it. That’s right. Walk over to your laptop and computer, your counter top appliances, your television, hair dryer, vacuum, alarm clock, cell phone and lamps, and pull the plugs. Even when electronics are turned off and plugged in, they continue to draw power.

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Around the Greenosphere: Weekly Link Roundup

More inspiration for the weekend:

-An inspiration post about biking from One Green Generation (with amazing photos).

-Run DMT is talking about why organic produce really IS better.

-What gets us buying the latest and greatest?  No Impact Man reminds us that the zero sum game (i.e., I get everything, you have nothing) is how we are persuaded into unhappiness.

-Burban Mom encourages us to go green with our deodorant, and I second her 9 months on/3 months off plan!

-In her journey to eating locally, Simple-Green-Frugal tells us how you can eat out and still be green.

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