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Green Book Club

Green Book Clubs

There has been some discussion of using ‘Green” books like the kindle or using the local library.  I have another perspective and that is the green book club. I think discussion with others is a great way to expand your knowledge of topics.   To help people better understand or to just grow in appreciation for the environment I would suggest a book club.  Instead of discussing the most recent fiction best seller why don’t we concentrate on sharing the knowledge of the world around us with our friends and neighbors and talk about a real life issue?

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Don't Throw Out Your Old Shoes

Nike Reuse-A-ShoeNike Reuse-A-ShoeI was at the outlet mall this weekend and, while waiting for a friend to finish shopping at the Nike store, I perused their literature display. Now, I'm not going to pretend I am up-to-date on Nike's social practices, nor am I going to deny that their shoes work best for my proluxating feet when I work out. Social politics aside, what I saw in their literature case made me very proud to be a working out gal with Nikes on her feet.... read more

Eating Locally at Restaurants

I'm going to Cambridge Brewing Company in Cambridge, Massachusetts for dinner tonight and I'm pretty excited.  Aside from their tasty beer, they serve food featuring local ingredients.  Their menu changes seasonally.  Looking at their menu right now, I'm thinking about linguini with Wellfleet clams or the local steak served with an onion marmalade made at a nearby farm.

As the knowledge spreads about the importance of eating locally, more and more restaurants are making efforts to serve local food.  Even as part of Boston's restaurant week, you can search by restaurants serving local food.  

Luckily, LocalHarvest.org, (already my one stop shop for finding farmers markets, CSAs, and more) has a function where you can search for restaurants by zip code that serve food made from local ingredients.... read more

Be a Greener Reader

Since childhood, one of my favorite activities has always been reading, and a quick glance around my house proves it. I'll be the first to admit it: I'm a book junkie. I have at least one book I'm currently reading in each room of my house, and my Sunday afternoon library trip is one of my favorite times of the week. The problem, though, is books are not the most green of habits, especially if you purchase your own books and only read them once. However, there are plenty of ways to be a greener reader. ... read more

  • Utilize your public library system. Publiclibraries.com can help you locate a library anywhere in the U.S. (including Presidential libraries) and also has a neat forum to give authors a chance to share their books with potential readers. 
  • Donate to and purchase from local book fairs. Most of the larger ones in your area will be well advertised in local news media, but you can also find one here, if you're in the U.S. or Canada. Note that, due to the enormous task of sorting all the books before a sale, most fairs stop taking donations about a month ahead of time, so check before you donate.
  • Use websites developed for book sharing. There are dozens of them out there, but my favorite is bookcrossing.com. Used BooksUsed Books
  • Buy an ereader. The two most successful are the Amazon Kindle and the Barnes & Noble Nook. While ereaders are a hefty investment up front (find them used and save some money--I got mine from craigslist), they have the potential to save you a lot of money over time, since you can get newspaper and magazine subscriptions on them (cheaper and greener than the paper versions) as well as purchasing books at a considerable discount. And most of the classics are free via sites like Project Gutenberg. 
  • Download audiobooks. Personally, I like to actually READ a book, but I swear by audiobooks for car trips or the occasional workout.
  • Have a creative side? Get artsy with old books here. 

The Not-Your-Average Recycling Guide

We all know that standard bottles and cans are recyclable. Some items, on the other hand, are less obvious. Some items that you may think are recyclable are actually not. Some things need to be brought to a recycling center. Some things might be partially recyclable. 

Here is your guide to those items. These can vary from city to city and it can also depend on whether or not your city has single-stream recycling, so if you are unsure or have any questions, contact your city’s recycling department.
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Tim Hale

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Indoor compost bin

We have a little compost bin to keep inside that we got from Gaiam.  It quickly gets disgusting in there...moldy, smelly, and with fruit flies.  Anyone have any ways around that?  It's a pain to go outside each time we have something to compost!

Sustainable Fish

Sustainable Fish

So what’s for dinner???

This question is heard countless times a day around the world, and for some the answer is fish.  For most people that answer is sufficient but today more than ever YOU need to ask more questions.  What kind of fish?  Where is it from?  Is it farmed? Is it wild? Is it sustainable?  These are all important questions as the world’s fisheries see constant decreases in their populations and overall fish size.

What kind of fish? This is important because some fish have different names, and suppliers may choose a name that they believe will sell.  As an example the Chilean sea bass is also known as Patagonian toothfish, Antarctic cod and icefish.  Know what you are eating, ask the question, and if there is no answer make another selection.

Where is the fish from?  A very important question that needs to be answered if you are trying to use sustainable fish.  As an example shrimp can be found in many parts of the world.  Shrimp that are harvested in Southeast Asia should be avoided because shrimping in this region can have negative impacts on the environment.  In comparison wild caught shrimp from Oregon, is a better choice because it does not have a negative impact.  Next time you see shrimp for sale at the local food store ask the fish monger, “where are these shrimp from?”  At the restaurant, ask the server “where are these shrimp from?”... read more