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Living the Green Life

As long as I can remember, I've been living green in some sense of the term. It started as a teen in Minnesota when our neighborhood implemented a recycling program for newspaper and paper. Later we started recycling cans and bottles. We had separate cans in the kitchen for each of these, and were diligent in filling the recycling cans up.... read more

Favorite brand of eco-friendly cleaner?

I like Seventh Generation and Trader Joe's Zen.  

Fragrance Free Day - Friday the 13th!

This Friday is Friday the 13th!  That's right, unlucky 13, and if Clean+Green by SeaYu has anything to say about it, it  will be one unlucky day for chemical fragrance!

Clean+Green by SeaYu has founded Fragrance Free Day, a social media event where people tell the world on Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks that they’ll go "fragrance free" for the day.... read more

Conserving Water By Growing Native Plants

     Water, water, water every_____???  Not anymore. 

In the days of the water restrictions what can people do?  Lawns, plants, pools, car washing, etc., all of these require water usage outside of the daily shower, toilet flushing, brushing teeth and dish cleaning.

All of these could fill a book on how to conserve water and what are the best methods to use the water the most efficiently.  My concern today is plants.  Have you ever taken a look at the plants in your garden?  Have you seen these plants in your local woods, fields or other natural landscape?  I hope so, because if not you could be contributing to water shortages in your town.  ... read more

Aquaponics - the inside scoop on the closed-looped, fish and produce yielding system

What is Aquaponics? 

It is a closed-looped, symbiotic process involving fish and produce where fish waste provides a food source for the plants and the plants provide a natural filter for the water the fish live in. So that means you can raise your own fish and grow your own produce in a self sustaining nutrient system.... read more

Go Green -- Go REUSABLE!

Everybody is talking about reusable bags and reusable beverage containers.  It's a cheap and easy way to make a big difference.  Additionally, there are many other traditionally "disposable" home goods that you can replace with reusables...... read more

  1. Switch to cloth napkins.  
  2. Forget paper towels -- use reusable dish towels instead!
  3. Use reusable coffee filters.  (And don't forget to compost those coffee grounds!)
  4. Stop using tea bags and use tea infusers or strainers with loose leaf tea.  Loose leaf tea tastes better, too!  You can also compost the tea leaves.
  5. Ditch the plastic sandwich bags!  There are reusable sandwich bags or just use reusable sandwich containers.
  6. Just say no to juice boxes for your kids!  Whatever happened to a good ol' Thermos?  That's what we always used growing up -- and never did we brown bag our lunch; it was always a trusty lunch box.  

Can and Jar Your Own Food: Jams, Jellies, Preserves, Ketchup, Pickles....

The green benefits of canning and jarring your own food are numerous...

 ... read more

  • It's healthier.  You know exactly what goes into what you're eating.
  • Tastier!
  • Cheaper.  It's particularly cheap if you can things that you grew in your own garden!
  • You can keep eating locally even during off seasons.  If you make jam from raspberries you bought from the farmers market in June, you can enjoy those local raspberries as a jam in December!
  • Cut down on waste.  You can reuse your jars over and over again!

The Benefits of Eating Local!

Local food movements have been exploding over the past decade.  There are many benefits to yourself and to the Earth for eating local. Here are some tips for finding local foods in your area and a rundown of why eating local is so beneficial to the environments.

Why eat local?

  • Eating local lowers your carbon footprint, because it doesn't need to travel far.
  • Local food is usually fresher because it didn't have to spend days in a truck being transported.
  • Local farmers often engage in organic practices, even if they aren't certified organic.  (Being certified organic is costly, so some farmers forgo the certification process but still avoid harmful chemicals.)
  • Local food often contains less packaging.  Sometimes fruits and veggies from the grocery store (even organic ones!) come in plastic containers, are shrink-wrapped, etc.  If you shop at a farmers market and buy local produce, you can bring your own bag.
  • It's important to support local farmers, local economy, and your community.

How do I find local foods?... read more

  • Garden!  What's more local than a tomato picked from your very own backyard?  Or, if you don't have a yard, find a local community garden.  
  • Go right to the source!  Find you-pick farms in your area.  It's fun, too!
  • Find a local farmers market -- and visit regularly.
  • Join a CSA.  (Community Supported Agriculture) 
  • Find farm stands and produce markets -- but read the labels.  Whole Foods often has local stuff, too.  

Cigarette Litter

Last summer, I wrote a blog post about how bad cigarettes are for the environment.   Today, I want to follow-up with the problems associated with cigarette litter.

Seeing people toss their cigarette butts outside makes my blood boil.  I don't know why some smokers think that somehow cigarette butts don't "count" as litter.  Throwing cigarette butts on the ground is disgusting, careless, and ugly.  And it needs to stop.  

SmokeFree.Gov has resources for those who want to quit smoking.  But for those who haven't been able to successfully quit, please do not litter your butts.  Even, a PRO smokers group, says:  "Considerate smokers don't litter. Those who do deserve criticism as much as any other litterer."

Billions of cigarettes are littered every day.  Cigarette filters are not biodegradable, and even if they were, I find this to be an invalid excuse.  My used tissue is biodegradable, but I'm not going to toss it out from my car window, like one would a cigarette.  And while one may think that it is just "one little cigarette," one cigarette from each smoker who litters their butts adds up to a lot.  

Cigarette litter can cause fires.  They also end up in waterways and sometimes marine life will ingest them.  There was a study done last year stating that they kill fish.  Read here.  ... read more

Killing two birds with one stone (not literally)

How about saving the planet and its animals, all at once?

Many people give up the consumption of animal products for numerous reasons, which may include personal health and well-being, ethical beliefs, food expense reduction, and more. Thinking today about the reasons why I choose to follow a vegan lifestyle lead me to considering the environmental impact of the lifestyle. For those of you who are opposed to giving up your cheeseburgers regardless of the information presented, this will at the least provide you with some food for thought (a small side order for your burger).

In the past, the United Nations issued a report, somewhat like a call-to-action, for the world to reduce its consumption of animal products (both meat and dairy). As quoted in the U.K. Guardian, the UN feels that a "global shift towards a vegan diet is vital to save the world from hunger, fuel poverty and the worst impacts of climate change." Clearly, this is a pretty serious issue.

... read more