Monthly Archives: February 2009

Dry Your Clothes Green

After a reading a few comments on my post called Saving Green by Going Green, I thought that the topic of clothes drying could use a little more attention. So, this week I am going to focus in on a few different issues about living green and drying our clothes that I believe everyone can benefit from.

First of all, it was brought to my attention that the dryer balls I referred to in my original post were, indeed, made of PVC, which is obviously not a green material. With that said, I was assured by distributors of these balls that they are made with safe practices, but let’s face it, any way we can avoid PVC (especially heating it) is probably a good idea.

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Green Coffee Break

Until I met my husband I didn’t like coffee. I was a tea person and maybe the occasional whipped cream topped, syrup flavored something, but even that was rare.  Now, I’ll go through three or four cups in the morning and I almost always have another pot brewing by afternoon.

Have you really looked at all the “green” factors that can go into a truly green cup of coffee? I’m not going to throw facts and figures at you and try to scare you. That’s just not my style; I like to blog about what I learn and how I understand it.

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Do You Know Where Your Fish Comes From?

The reef here in the VISurprisingly, many of us don’t.

The tuna you had on the salad last night may have been from waters off the coast of India. Your farmed raised tilapia may have been raised on a farm in Indonesia. At the end of the day, what safe fish options do we actually have?

I know there are many of you that do not eat any kind flesh, including fish, but many of us enjoy the bounty of the seas.

So what is a greeny to do?

There are quite a few things we can easily do, the most obvious of which is reading labels.

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New Ways To Recycle

Most curbside recycling programs and collection centers accept a very specific and somewhat limited set of items. The usual suspects are #1 and #2 plastics, paper of all kinds, and aluminum cans. Sometimes corrugated cardboard, metal food cans, and glass containers are accepted as well. But in our over-packaged society, there’s always a lot of waste left behind after the recycling bins have been carried out.

Over the last few years, I’ve stumbled onto a few less-conventional avenues for recycling and reusing some things that our curbside recycling won’t take. By making a few calls around town, you might be able to find places to offload your extra odds and ends.

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Put That Stimulus Between Your Legs

Part of the reasoning behind economic stimuli (at least in the GWB school of thought) is that if you give people a little extra cash, they’ll run right out and buy a good or service, and that enough people doing this at once will act like a booster shot in the arm of a struggling economy. This reasoning does not, of course, take in to account that giving a family of 4 an extra $1,000 and telling them to buy a new TV doesn’t address the $10,000 of credit card debt, $500 of car repairs and $1,500 mortgage their still be facing next month.

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Recycled Note Of The Week: Pretty & Plantable

Every week we use this space to feature a recycled note or three from some of our favorite online sources. This week I found an Etsy shop specializing in cards comprised of 100% recycled paper embedded with wildflower, sunflower, spruce and clover seeds. All of the cards sporting the aforementioned seeds can be purchased at Grace Graphics, and my three favorites from the shop are listed below.

Bouquet Of Three

Plant these cards and they grow a gorgeous garden of wildflowers! Yep, that’s right! The seeds are in the paper. The ultimate card for the eco-conscious gift giver!

This set of 3 cards on handmade peach tinted paper is embedded with a blend of wildflower seeds that will grow most anywhere.

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2009 Tax Breaks For Going Green

Are you ready to install solar panels or a wind turbine at your house? How about adding insulation or installing more energy efficient windows? 2009 may just be the year to take the plunge, thanks to some new, extended and improved tax credits.

Details can vary depending on your project but energy efficient home improvements including replacement windows (capped at $200), insulation (10% of the cost, capped at $500), sealing cracks in the shell of your house and in the duct work, and energy efficient water heaters and furnaces (capped at $300) can get you some very helpful tax credits.

The existent tax credit for installing solar panels was extended for 2009 giving you a 30% credit against the cost of your equipment with the previous $2,000 cap removed.

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Good Safe Fun!

These days it is hard to know which toys are truly safe for our children to be playing with. Between phthalates, BPA, lead, and every other nasty chemical out there, it can leave you feeling like you don’t want to give your child anything more than a wooden spoon to enjoy!

Well, rest easy- there are lots of wonderful toys available out there that you never have to second guess, and a few you can create yourself with very minimal effort. Here are some ideas:

-Encourage imaginative play! That wooden spoon just may not be such a bad idea! See how many brilliant things that spoon can become in the hands of your little one.

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It’s Almost Time!

tulipsThere is nothing that makes winter more bearable for me than hope.

The hope of spring, of budding flowers, of green again. Since November, Michigan has gotten less than 20% of actual sunshine, and let me tell you, we’re feeling it. If it were economically feasible, I would start heading to the tanning booths for a shot of Vitamin D. Unfortunately, it’s probably not the best for my skin anyway.

I like to make preparations in the fall to give myself and my household a little boost in the middle of February. Being that my thumbs are mildly green and I have an obsessive need to fill my house with all manner of growing plants, I started looking into ways to get flowers out of the ground a little earlier each year.

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Great Green Giveaway: Bummas!

This 5 Minutes For Going Green Great Green Review is brought to you by Pacific Northwest resident and new mom, Jenifer of Quarter Life Crisis. Read what she thought of her very comprehensive trial of Bummas, and then read on for details on how you can win a set for yourself!

When we found out I was pregnant with our first child last year, my husband and I decided early on that we were both committed to raising our baby as green as possible, which naturally led us down the predominantly-paved-in-plastic path to cloth diapering. When looking at the pros and cons of disposable versus cloth diapering, the decision to embrace the latter lifestyle was pretty much a no-brainer for us.

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