Monthly Archives: September 2008

Seven Years Later

Today is the day that most people know exactly “where they were when”, never forgetting those moments of realization at what was happening. The day when everything stopped, and everything changed. Forever.

Of the estimated 400,000 people believed to have been heavily exposed to pollution from the disaster, data suggests that 35,000 to 70,000 people developed PTSD and 3,800 to 12,600 may have developed asthma, city health officials said.

Read the rest here. The aftermath continues.

Today we honor those that lost their lives on that day. You are remembered.

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Eco Options in Mattresses and Covers

SleepingIn recent years there have been studies and news stories about the danger inherent in our bed mattresses. Conventional mattresses contain toxic chemicals which leach out into the air over time (off-gassing).

Mattresses today are required by law to have fire retardant materials in them to allow consumers more time to get out of their homes in the even that there is a mattress fire. While that is the goal, the exposure that consumers may have to fire retardant materials in the mattress may be leading to the same potentially lethal outcome.

Boric acid, a household product often used to kill roaches is now being added to some mattresses to help them pass the government’s flammability test.

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Localvore Challenge

All summer we have been buying food at the local farmers market. Last week I signed up for the Green City Market’s Localvore Challenge. Starting September 10 all of the participants will eat only locally produced food for two weeks. At first the challenge seemed improbable for someone with a family; however, after planning the menus and considering the impact, I find it works on so many levels. Health. Small business support. Environment. Money. Education.

As you can imagine, the health benefits are significant. No preservatives. No chemicals. You eat fresh foods that retain their nutrients. Trust me, they even taste different when they are fresh.

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Paradise Lost, Garbage: Found

Need physical proof we are daily polluting our most valuable and natural resources? Look no further than the Hawaiian islands.

Lapping lazily in a relatively stationary section of the North Pacific Ocean, in between San Francisco and Hawaii, accumulated waste swirls in a never-ending circle, pushed along by the North Pacific Gyre, a large-scale vortex of ocean currents. Comprised primarily of various plastics, it has been estimated that 80% of the garbage comes from land-based sources, and 20% from ships at sea.

Charles Moore was sailing in a Los Angeles-to-Hawaii sail race when he and his crew first saw the dense mass of trash, floating in what he calls “one of the most remote regions of all the oceans.” He explains:

“Throughout the race our strategy, like that of every other boat in the race, had been mainly to avoid the North Pacific subtropical gyre-the great high-pressure system in the central Pacific Ocean that, most of the time, is centered just north of the racecourse and halfway between Hawaii and the mainland.

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Starting at Square One

One of the biggest goals for me in my journey toward going green is eliminating paper products, especially tissues and paper towels. Looking back it was easy for me to say that I would just make handkerchiefs and napkins out of squares of old sheets and damaged clothes. Sure, they wouldn’t be perfect but they would be Anthropologie-like chic- of course! It sounds easy enough, right?
Wrong. Since my mom is a well established seamstress, she gave me a Viking Husqvarna sewing machine to start my crafty adventure. Little did she know that I haven’t the foggiest idea of how to use the thing.

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Be Healthy: Get Active with Your Kids

Previously, I wrote about my weight loss journey and overall, journey to be healthy. My children are an extension of me and therefore my journey is their journey. What I eat, how I exercise and the way I view the world affects them. This is why it is extremely important, for me, to set a good example in as many ways as possible. The way I see it, when parents set good examples the children learn what the parents does. Children usually do as they see. I love reading, for example, and I continually saw my mother read and encourage us to read, instead of watch television.

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Around The Greenosphere: Weekly Link Roundup

We love finding fabulous links from around the web for you each week, and this week they are all from the personal blogs of our awesome Green Team here at 5M4GG. Enjoy!

Sommer from Nature Moms is sharing about her success with homeschooling, and making me realize how fun it could be.

Jennifer from The Smart Mama spreads the word about the potential for chemical burns from tagless labels.

Green Mamma, Jessica, started a great series on trash that continues our quest for reducing waste and safely getting rid of the rest.

Sommer from Green & Clean Mom gives us tips on green camping (I adore fall camping!) and there’s even a giveaway!

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Eat Your Greens!

Child eating corn from the local farmer's market.

My mother always told me to eat my greens. That advice is as true today as it was when I was young. But these days, green foods go beyond spinach and broccoli to organic selections of coffee, fruits, veggies, and burgers.

Conventional farmers use around 300 different pesticides to grow foods that are sold in supermarkets every day. These chemicals pollute the soils and waterways, harming fish, birds, and other wildlife. Pesticides are also dangerous for the farmers who are exposed to them on a daily basis. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that pesticides are responsible for 20,000-40,000 work-related poisonings each year in the United States.At home, these pesticides hitch a ride to the dinner plate on our favorite foods.

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Eco-Friendly Ways to Manage Tricky Trash

While those of us living a green lifestyle are committed to practicing the 3 Rs (reduce, reuse, and recycle), every now and again even the greeniest of us may need to discard of items that our community trash collection does not accept at the curb (or is inappropriate for reuse and donation). What to do? Here are a few suggestions for safe and environmentally friendly disposal of a few tricky items from around the house:

In the medicine cabinet

To safely get rid of old and unused prescription medications, the Office of National Drug Control Policy recommends the following:

1. Remove medication from its container and place pills in the trash.

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How To Green Your Home Office

How to green your home office

It seems like every home has a “home office” these days. For some, it’s their sole place of employment, for others it’s simply a place to pay the bills, surf the computer, and help the kids with homework. But whether yours is a dedicated room, a corner of the kitchen table, or just a state of mind, there are lots of things you can do to make it a greener and cleaner place to take care of business. Here’s how to green your home office:

Install CFLs: Replace traditional light bulbs with long-lasting and money-saving compact fluorescents that are better for the planet and better for your wallet.

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