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10 Baby Steps to Change

In response to my recent blog post on reducing toilet paper use, I received a comment from someone promoting the use of bidets instead of toilet paper all together. For those of you who are not familiar with a bidet, this is an attachment to the toilet which cleans your bottom using a pressurized stream of water. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for the use of bidets to reduce paper consumption – just not for me. Part of what I was getting at in my post was that if everyone makes a conscious commitment to small changes in daily habits, we can make a big impact on the environment. While I support the commenter’s choice to make the switch to the bidet, that is just too radical of a change which I am not yet willing to make.

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10 Ways to Teach Your Kids to be Green

Sometimes it seems to me that kids are more involved in keeping our planet clean than we are. That being said, there is always room for growth. Here are a few ideas for ways to help your child be more environmental aware:

10 Ways to Teach Your Kids to be Green

1. Toy Swaps: We all know how quickly kids outgrow their toys. In order to reduce waste (and save a little $$ in the process) organize periodic toy swaps. Have all of your parent friends bring toys their children have outgrown and swap out for new, more age appropriate toys. If you can’t do a toy swap, find a consignment toy shop in your area. No need to keep producing new toys when there are so many already out there! As we know, kids learn from the examples we set.

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Green Computing with Google & Lenovo, Water Saving Tips

Wednseday morning quick hits to help all those keen for greeners get over this hump day.  A few quick links, but this time I decided to chose the stories from across the blog-o-sphere.  I am thinking now of making Monday news day, Wednseday blog day and Friday fun day for these quick hits posts.  Tell me what you think and if you hate/love this idea.

New Lenovo ThinkCentre, New GreenTech Approved Desktop: Jeremey Kaplan of GoodCleanTech just reviewed the perfect solution to small to medium size business computing.  It is the The Lenovo ThinkCentre M58p, costing $1,089 for direct purchase.  Read more about why it gets the greentech approved seal from PC Magazine.

Google dribbles out PowerMeter smart-grid servie: Martin LaMonica, the senior writer at CNET'sGreen Blog, put up an update about Google'sPowerMeter program.  Follow this link to read about a previous post on this blog, which talks about the product.

Google Power Meter - KeenforGreen

Government Launches $1-Billion Clean Energy FunGlobe-Net recently ran a piece explaining the new $1 billion fund for clean energy established in Canada.  This new fund will help our neighbors to the north study and advanced clean technology.

An Easy Tip To Stop Wasting Water: And finally, this is a great posts by Beverly Clarke of thegogreenblog concerning easy water saving tips.  I had to post it just for the awesome picture alone.

Children Save Water... read more

Plants that Repel Mosquitoes & Pesky Bugs

Basil repels mosquitoes

Anyone who lives somewhere with hot, muggy summers knows how mosquitoes can ruin an otherwise lovely hot summer evening.  How many times have you been sitting in the backyard swatting and scratching because of those pesky skeeters?

There are many ways to repel mosquitoes without having to even use bug spray!  ... read more

Take the Toilet Paper Challenge: “Can You Spare a Square?”

Take the Toilet Paper Challenge: “Can You Spare a Square?”

In the 1990’s sitcom, Seinfeld, character Elaine Benes asks this question to her neighbor in a public restroom, and is outraged when her neighbor refuses to share. I was similarly stunned when I recently learned that in the year 2008, the US consumed approximately 7,170,261,504 rolls of toilet paper! That’s approximately 7,026,856 trees used to manufacture toilet paper alone and is significantly more than any other country in the world. Further more, Americans are demanding the crème-de-la-crème, softer-than-soft varieties which cannot be made from recycled paper. The negative impact this is having on our environment is clear, and for this reason, I beg of you, Can you spare a square??... read more

Ladybugs are a gardener's best friend!

Not only are ladybugs super cute, they are useful in the garden.  Ladybugs will kill many common pests, so throw away that pesticide and set some ladybugs loose in your garden!

Ladybugs will prey on aphids, mites, mealybugs, and more.... read more

Monday Morning Quick Hits

Good morning all keenfrogreeners and welcome to another work week.  I had a wonderful time this weekend at the beach in Santa Cruz and thought the best way to start the day was with some quick hits for your enjoyment.

Green Job Evangelist Sells Obama's Ambitious Plan: Van Jones recently spoke to the San Jose Mercury News about promoting the President's greening agenda.  My facorite quote has to be the following; "It's like playing a new video game. It's simple when you're an advocate. You have a paddle with two buttons — 'please, please' and 'protest, protest,' " Jones said during a recent interview. "Now it's a much more complex keyboard, and I'm still learning how to read the music sheet."

Getting Out From Behind the Wheel:  A great article featuring baseball turned social statistician Nate Silver discussing what he believes is a sea change in car usage by the American public.  Vauban, Germany is also mentioned in the article as a possible way towards the future; a community designed to be less car dependent.

The Most Suprising Thing About Green Power: MSNBC took a look at the EPA's list of top 50 green power users and was suprised by what they found.  Intel makes sense, but PepsiCo., Kohls and Whole Foods?

Green Diapers: Love at First Flush: A great article by Tracy Alverson Euler of the Miami Herald concerning her experience with gDiapers.  These green alternatives seem to be making the rounds across the internet and I am definitely taking notice since my baby will be here in less then two months.

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Goodguide: How Green is....

The Good Guide

Listening to Forum on KQED I found out about a really interesting website.  During the interview between Michael Krasny and Daniel Goleman a site was mentioned where a person can not only check out the environmental effects of products but also their lifetime cycle, carcinogenic effects and labor practices.  The site was, a web portal which accesses over 200 independent databases to provide information for consumers to base their facts on.... read more

Bamboo Floors: A sustainable flooring solution?

Did you know that bamboo is the fastest-growing plant ON THE PLANET??  That's a pretty impressive title to hold.   It can grow as much as 47 inches a day! Wow!! Because of the rate that it grows, it's more sustainable than tree products. Bamboo can restore itself for use in only 5 years and it uses much less energy to harvest and than most other types of wood.

There's so much that you can use bamboo for.  Bamboo shoots often make appearances in Asian cuisine, such as in Thai curries or dim sum.  (YUM!)  Clothes and shoes can be made from bamboo. has a great article listing all sorts of uses for bamboo...even instruments, toys, and bicycles can be made using bamboo.

Bamboo has recently gained popularity for use in wood flooring.  We recently replaced our icky old carpet with fantastic new bamboo floor:

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15 Cheap Ways to Go Green

Transitioning to a green lifestyle can seem daunting, and sometimes expensive.  But it really doesn't have to be!   I'm the first to admit that I'm a little bit on the cheap side, so here are some ways to "green up" your lifestyle that are free or inexpensive.

Here's how!

1)  Gardening. Seeds are super cheap.  You can start growing them inside in the winter, and transplant them in the spring.  For a low cost, you can grow all sorts of things.  Use organic soil and avoid pesticides, weed killer, etc.  Gardening is also eco-friendly because you're not buying produce that's been transported in a vehicle and it doesn't have all that pesky packaging.... read more