I just completed my 7th marathon, The Avenue of the Giants Marathon in Humbolt Redwoods State Park in Weott California. Staring up at amazing Redwood trees for 26.2 miles (when not watching out for pot holes), I never got bored - those tall trees, standing proud for so long are something everyone should stare at for 5 hours. After spending so much peaceful time with them (although, I guess not everyone would consider running a marathon "peaceful") I wondered how I can keep up my marathon running lifestyle in a green friendly way.
Here are some things I've found that any type of runner can do to lessen the impact:
1. Never litter while running, even during a marathon. I'll admit it's tempting to just throw your gel wrapper on the ground, but even during a marathon, try and find a trashcan. Or better yet, buy gel in larger quantities and refill your water belt containers.
2. Buy green friendly running products. If you are a running gear junkie like me, you'll be tempted to try all the latest products. To save money and lessen your negative impact on the environment at the same time, try and choose products from companies Atayne, they are committed to being green and offer running shirts that are made from recycled material.
At first I chuckled and almost joined, because it is just the type of thing I am lazy enough to do. But then I gave it a second thought. What a waste of energy it is! I'm a big fan of line drying clothes. In the winter, we have a clothesline in the basement with our washer and dryer. In the warmer months, it's easy to just dry your clothes outside under the sunlight.
Aside from being a huge waste of energy, it's also a waste of money. According to MichaelBlueJay.com, you can save almost $200 a year by drying your clothes on a drying rack or clothesline. I think my desire to be green and my cheapness trumps my laziness. ;-) ... read more
In the early staging of planning my July 2010 wedding, I'll admit that I didn't really think of ways to make the wedding itself environmentally friendly. At first, I was overwelmed, excited, more overwhelmed and more excited. I concentrated on getting the "big things" done first. I had to decide on where, when and who would cater it before I thought of anything else.
During that crazy time, I indirectly did a few things that I think are good: I planned on having it on the east coast so no family members had to fly, I am having it outside at a place that promotes environmental studies at the Morris Arboretum in Philadelphia, I am providing a shuttle for our guests from the hotel. These choices were made mostly because: I love the outside and flowers and trees, I didn't want to make my family spend the money on plane tickets, I didn't want to make people drink and drive (if they chose to drink).
Now as the wedding planning progresses (two months to go!) and I have a little more time to think things through, I've compiled a list of things you can do to make your wedding as green friendly as you can, without making your stress levels turn you blue:
1. Wed Locally. If you can, pick a destination that eliminates long distance travel for most of your guests. If your heart is set on a destination wedding, pick a place that promotes sustainable travel.... read more
First of all, DON'T USE HOT TAP WATER. This is especially important if you have a baby and you're using tap water to make a bottle of formula. This is because hot water dissolves contaminants more quickly than cold water and sometimes pipes in homes have lead that can leach into water. ... read more
I was always a big fan of Tom's of Maine. From their deodorant to their toothpaste, I've bought many of their products. Aside from the fact that they offered widely available products without all the garbage in typical personal care stuff, I also liked that they were not a major corporation. In 2006, I was a little disheartened when the Colgate-Palmolive company purchased Tom's of Maine.
It made me think a bit about some of the other big brands of natural and organic products, and who owns what. ... read more
Level 100 workshops are one day introduction courses open to anyone interested in learning more about rainwater harvesting in non-potable applications, such as landscape irrigation. This course will provide an overview of rainwater harvesting, history, uses and applicability to conserving rainfall as a natural resource. Concepts and techniques are introduced on harvesting rain for non-potable uses such as landscape irrigation and wildlife management.... read more
Some details surfaced this week about a patent Apple filed last May for a system to manage power delivery to home electronics. It is based on the HomePlug standard, and it appears there is a provision for energy storage in the home.
Another store giving an incentive to bring your own bags! While running errands today, I discovered that CVS now has the "Green Bag Tag" program. It's a little tag you put around your reusable shopping bag. The tag costs 99 cents, and they scan it along with the Extra Care Card when you make a purchase. You get a $1 "Extra Buck" every 4 purchases when you bring your bag. The tag itself is made of corn, instead of plastic.... read more
For the past thirty-seven years, a non-profit organization sought to bring sustainable gardening to the San Francisco Bay Area one sale, one class, one gardener at a time. This non-profit is Common Ground, a loved pillar in the green community of Palo Alto, CA. Common Ground is actually an offshoot of another non-profit organization, Ecology Action. Ecology Action was founded in 1972 to research and develop a high-yielding, sustainable agricultural system that emphasizes local food production and is based historically on intensive gardening systems. The system is called GROW BIOINTENSIVE. Ecology Action needed to promote this "new" system of agriculture and chose to use education and training as the avenue. Common Ground sprung forth as a store-front dedicated to providing all the needed materials for the GROW BIOINTENSIVE system and train individuals in sustainable gardening and land use processes.
Today, Common Ground is run by center director, Patricia Becker. This enthusiastic woman manages the actual store, coordinates classes, edits a newsletter, and runs a demonstration garden at the same time. Not a small list of things to do.
I visited the storefront last weekend and was impressed by what I found. The actual storefront itself is small but clean. Everything is there for the novice gardener or the experienced horticulturist. Tools, seeds, soil amends, plants, and so much more may be found there. All of the profit goes simply in sustaining Common Ground and their demonstration garden. The staff is very knowledgeable and helpful to all that walk in. Do not worry if you do not know anything about gardening or if that green thumb actually seems to be black. Just step right in and ask any of their helpful staff, such as Don Lawson, for some great quick tips.
What if you need more than quick tips? Well, Common Ground has multiple levels of gardening education for you. First, Common Grounds has a small but complete selection of literature of gardening for sale. Most important in their library is How to Grow More Vegetables and Fruits, Nuts, Berries, Grains, and Other Crops Than You Ever Thought Possible On Less Land Than You Can Imagine, the primer on sustainable Biointensive Mini-Farming by John Jeavons. Next, Common Ground has a multitude of classes at very reasonable rates. The classes range in topics from yoga for gardeners, growing biointesive composting, to rainwater harvesting. If you can think of the gardening topic it is most likely being taught in one of their two hour classes. The price is very reasonable at thirty dollars. Finally, if you still aren't sure about striking out on your own into the sustainable gardening model then Common Ground provides a number of business affiliates in the area who are familiar with sustainable gardening and the methods used at Common Ground.... read more