Monthly Archives: October 2008

Green Doesn’t Grow On Trees

Recently, I walked through our backyard and checked every tree and there wasn’t one coin or bill dangling from the limbs. We just took our last vacation for the “summer” to the Bay Area and I’m tired of it; not the vacation, but the Bay Area. I’ve lived it and done it several times over. I want to visit some place exotic like Bolivar, TN where my in-laws live. The only problem is that what I want to do isn’t what I can afford to do right now. I want economic change in my life and I want it now.

Just to let you know, I’ve tried it and wishing upon a tree hasn’t created any monetary blooms.

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Seeing Green In November: The Energy Crisis On All Ballots This Year

It’s the middle of October and election day is fast   approaching. With November 4th comes one of the most highly anticipated and unprecedented presidential elections this country has ever seen. This year perhaps more than any other year before it, environmental issues–the idea of a nation learning daily how to go green and greener still–will play a significant role in choosing candidacy, as no doubt our nation’s leadership will help propel or hinder our forward motion in the areas of eco-friendly living and preservation on a global scale.

Feeling strongly that you should make the decision for yourself–and hopefully you already have–I am not here to sway you to one candidate’s side or the other; nor am I here to debate along partisan lines.

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All The Brown Material You’ll Ever Need For Your Compost Bin

At my house there is never a shortage of green material (also known as wet or nitrogen-rich matter) – orange peels, corn husks, dinner food scraps, yard waste, etc. – for my compost bin, but when it comes to finding brown (also known as dry or carbon-rich) material, in the past I’ve often ended up coming up short. The trick, of course, to getting compost to work and breakdown into that coveted nutrient-rich soil is to have the right combination of both green and brown matter.

About a year ago, however, I posted my first Green Tip of the Week suggesting that my readers keep a bag or two (or three) of their dry fall leaves to use throughout the coming year as brown material to add to their compost pile or bin.

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Recycled Note Of The Week: Thanks For Being So Dear

© Ink+Wit

These modern takes on traditional thank you cards from Tara Hogan are 4.5×5.5 inch hand-made postcards, with plenty of room to write on the back. These particular notes come in a set of five, and are comprised of 100% cotton paper, 100% cotton white envelopes and water based inks, which means not only are these cards adorable (and they so are), but they are also an eco-friendly option for sending the best and brightest of all grateful correspondence. Their pun-ny slogan, combined with all of the above is what makes them this week’s Note Of The Week.

Visit Tara Hogan’s Etsy shop, and her main art & design site at

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Does Anyone Want My Lexus? IGO Car Sharing!

Car payments, leases, insurance, gas, parking, washes, maintenance, I-Pass… it all adds up. Before you know it, you are in over your head. When I look at all the extras in owning our car, I always come back to the basic philosophy our family recently adopted. We want less.

However, this simple life strategy isn’t quick or easy to achieve. Take for example, the 2007 Lexus parked in our garage. Thank heavens it is leased so that in a couple months (don’t say years, it sounds too long) we can happily hand it back to the dealership and politely say no thank you to their pitch for the newest model.

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Green Beauty: Are Cosmetic Labels Meaningless to Determine Safe Products?

johnson's head to toe baby washHow do you figure out what’s safe in beauty and personal care products? I previously posted about how the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not test cosmetics before they go on the market. Cosmetic manufacturers must list all ingredients on cosmetics, but who in the heck even understands the chemical names? How do you figure out what is safe when you are standing in the middle of Target, reading the back of a bottle of liquid foaming soap? It says that it contains sodium laureth sulfate derived from coconut, so it must be safe, right? It says it is natural, so it is okay, right?

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Acupuncture for Seasonal Allergies

Autumn brings the best and the worst in the same season. Long before the official beginning of fall, I am ready for the sweaters and the jeans. Reborn with the crisp morning air as I wake up, I long to snuggle into my warm comfy sheets at night. By far I am more peaceful (than usual) this time of year.

However, as the cooler temps bring me pleasure, they also bring me pain. I have seasonal allergies that irritate my sinuses when the leaves start to die and the mold count climbs. In the past, I have relied on prescription nasal decongestants to get me through.

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Green and Gorgeous: Green Beauty Tips

The bathroom is often regarded as a sanctuary of the family home: a place to unwind in a hot shower, pamper oneself with a spa treatment, or simply take care of business in relative privacy. Unfortunately, however, the average American bathroom has become a haven of chemical exposure, housing a variety of personal care products that may be harmful to your health.

Just how toxic is your bathroom? To date, 89% of the 10,500 ingredients used in personal care products have not been evaluated for safety by the FDA, the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (an in-house panel appointed by the cosmetics industry), or anyone else.

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What Does Buying Local Mean To You?

What does the term “buy local” mean to you? There is an increasing push for people to start buying local foods and products of late. I think it’s a great idea. You need to first ask yourself, what does that mean to you? Does it mean that you buy foods and products from just your community? Your state? Our country?

It can mean all those things. Here in Idaho, we have a campaign called “Buy Idaho”. T.V. and radio ads encourage Idahoans to purchase goods and services within our state. I’m sure other states have this kind of program too.

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What You Can Do About Sweatshops

toothpaste for dinner

It’s hard to believe that sweatshops could possibly exist today. But they do. And if you buy stuff without paying attention to where it comes from, you may unknowingly be supporting the cycle that causes them. In an effort to make cheap stuff even cheaper, sweatshops exploit workers with long hours, unfair pay, and unsafe working conditions. Sweatshops are most common in poorer countries where labor practices and health and safety violations often go unreported. But these factories have also popped up in the U.S., as poor workers are lured with the promise of high pay and good benefits, only to essentially become indentured servants.

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