Author Archives: Guest Contributor

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Recycling Electronics The Safe Way

This past week my husband and I finally broke down and bought another computer. It has been almost five years since our last computer purchase. In computer years that translates to one hundred people years. The purchase of a new computer led me to wonder how to dispose of the old one.

Computers and other electronics contain some of the most toxic materials of any other product group. Technology items such as cell phones, gaming systems, and computers contain lead, mercury, plastics harmful to the air, and many other chemicals that can cause serious damage to the environment. Because of these contaminants, disposing of electronic items can be extremely difficult.

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The Dangers of Polyvinyl Chloride Plastic (known as PVC)

In my last article I discussed some of the dangers and chemicals associated with back-to-school supplies. One of the toxins commonly present in school supplies is Polyvinyl chloride plastic (known as PVC). I had not heard about the dangers of this plastic before, so I decided to further investigate the dangers associated with PVC plastic.

PVC is a material that is commonly used in many different forms of products. Toys, vinyl flooring and seating, shower curtains, dishes, and some technology items all use PVC as a form of plastic. Fifty percent of all PVC plastic manufactured is used for building supplies because it is cheap.

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Healthy Peach-Banana Smoothie – Recipe

1 ripe medium banana
1 cup vanilla low-fat or nonfat yogurt
¼ cup fresh orange juice
¼ cup wheat germ
1 cup ice
1 cup sliced fresh peaches or banana slices

Put banana and yogurt in a blender with peaches, orange juice and wheat germ. Add ice and blend until smooth. Garnish with peach or banana slices and sprinkle 2 tsp. wheat germ on top.

Go a little crazy! Put 1 cup of yogurt, ½ cup of milk, and 2 cups of ice in a blender and add any fruit from your basket that’s getting a little too ripe. It’s hard to find a combo that doesn’t taste good together!

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MiniMonos: A Virtual World for Kids, Inspired by An Inconvenient Truth

Please give a warm 5 Minutes for Going Green welcome to our newest guest poster, Andrea Deely. Andrea is a blogger at the new virtual world for kids, MiniMonos and a passionate green advocate.

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Melissa Clark-Reynolds, Founder of MiniMonos

Al Gore’s movie ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ caused an epiphany for mother-of-two Melissa Clark-Reynolds and put her on the pathway to creating MiniMonos, a virtual world for good green kids.

Seeing Melissa’s tears during the movie, her husband solicitously suggested she have a cup of tea to calm down, but tea wasn’t going to cut it for Melissa. She wasn’t going to rest until she got hold of Mr Gore himself.

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One Less

You can gradually reduce the carbon footprint of your baby with Baby Pottying or Elimination Communication. (Did you see the word “gradually” in that sentence?)

Gradually is there because you can ease into EC slowly, taking baby steps to gain your confidence and discover some EC tools with your baby to reduce your use of diapers in time.

Imagine if every baby wore just one less diaper each day because Mom and Dad are dabbling in baby pottying? That means millions less disposable diapers will be tossed in the bin.

EC, or Elimination Communication, is an ancient approach to baby hygiene that involves getting to know your baby’s patterns and rhythms of elimination so that, together as a cooperative team, you can “catch” some of their business in a potty, potty bowl or other suitable place.

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Freecycling Into 2009

The holidays are behind us, and we’re moving into the time of year when lots of people are facing the daunting twin tasks of finding places to put all the Christmas presents and getting ready to do some serious Spring cleaning.

If you’re like me, you may even have made a New Year’s resolution that seemed like a good idea at the time, but now seems a bit daunting: “Take care of the clutter problem.”

I suspect de-cluttering is harder for those of us who hate to add things to the waste stream. The thought of putting something into a landfill that someone else might get use out of is bothersome, but how do we find someone who needs or wants our old stuff?

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New School Thinking

As we make strides to green our home and our lifestyle, we wanted to share our enthusiasm with the preschool where we send our two sons.

After noticing that the school did not have any recycling bins and the amount of paper scraps in the trash at the end of each session, I started thinking about how to reduce the waste and teach the kids about recycling.

Thankfully the head mistress and teachers have welcomed my suggestions about adding recycling bins in the classes. By allowing me to start with my sons’ classes and the office, it will quickly demonstrate how easy it is while providing an opportunity for the kids to learn about conservation.

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Holiday Card Wreath

Undeniably one of my favorite things about the holiday season is the holiday cards.

Despite switching to YouTube to send our video holiday greetings, I still adore the old school holiday card sent via mail. Being the organizer that I am, I started to wonder how to display and then store the cards in a way that was space efficient, chic and functional.

What better than a wreath made of your holiday cards?

Involve the whole family and you’ll have a fun and simple craft that will create a holiday keepsake to enjoy year after year. Create one per season or, like we did, one for the family and one for the kids comprised of cards from their favorite classmates.

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Reflecting On The Best Of 2008

As the end of the year draws near, we all get inundated with the “Best of 2008” programs, lists and commentaries.

Well, as I am a junkie for montages that reflect on what happened over the past year, and how it impacted one’s daily life, I thought I would share my own!

The Best Eco Friendly Changes I Made In 2008:

1. Used Miracle Mulch (eco-friendly coconut)
2. Added weather stripping to conserve energy.
3. Used motion sensors for outdoor lights to save energy. Turned off the porch light whenever we could.
4. Installed ceiling fans throughout the house. Never turned on the AC in 2008!

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Green Glue

Despite being sick for three days now, I have been expending all my energy to prepare for my big event this week.

You could say I am hosting an eco-friendly cocktail party and tour of my home to educate friends and family about going green, but my mission focuses just as much on community as it does on conservation.

Once I started seeking out everything eco-friendly in the city, I couldn’t help but talk, talk, talk; you know how it is when you are excited about a new adventure. My energy overshadowed my fear that the green community was so tight that I would be an outsider looking for help.

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