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38 posts from October 2007

October 15, 2007

Daily Tip : October 15, 2007

Build your own rain barrel! Now you can not only enjoy the rain from inside the comfort of your own home, you can also know that you are saving money on your water bill and reducing water pollution. For easy instructions on how to build your own rain barrel, check out the Center for Watershed Protection's step- by-step guide here (pdf).

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October 14, 2007

Got Something to Say?

Blogaction724374Then why don't you just come right out and say it?! On October 15 (that's tomorrow), some 14,000 12,000 bloggers are going to be writing about the environment for their collective audience of more than 12 9 million readers. Sure, we do that every day, but it's going to be great to see what bloggers who usually focus on tech, books, music, or martial arts bring to the conversation. If you've got a blog, add your voice to the mix. We'll round up some of the most interesting entries on Tuesday.

October 13, 2007

Tricks and Treats for Halloween

Halloween should give you some good scares, not actually anything to worry about. For a safe and ecofriendly holiday, try these tips:

  • Set a spooky mood with soy or beeswax candles, not those made from petroleum-based paraffin. If you like scented candles, look for ones with fragrances derived from essential oils rather than synthetic chemicals.
  • Invest creativity instead of cash in your costume. Dig into the back of the closet (yours or a friend's) or hit the thrift store to find wacky clothes and accessories instead of buying plastic costumes. Need inspiration? The Green Guide and Care2 have clever DIY ideas that can be great projects for adults and kids. (You can make your own decorations too.)
  • Istock_000003387084xsmall_2Avoid masks made out of vinyl. Latex ones are safer, unless you're allergic to the material.
  • Whether you're going glamorous or ghoulish, use natural makeup to avoid chemical exposure.
  • Hand out fair trade or organic chocolates, organic hard candy, fruit snacks, or other ecofriendly edibles to all those cute trick-or-treaters. Global Exchange evens sells a Fair Trade Trick or Treat Action Kit that includes individually wrapped chocolates along with Halloween-themed informational postcards.
  • Worried about rotting those little monsters' teeth? Fun nonfood alternative treats include nontoxic crayons, coloring books, stickers, or even small change.
  • Whether for dressing up or handing out, avoid costume jewelry, especially glossy, fake painted pearls and toys from vending machines, both of which may contain lead. There were almost 30 recalls of lead-containing children’s products this year, so use a LeadCheck kit if you're unsure about a toy your child already owns.
  • Look up some recipes for pumpkin pie, soup, or curry so your decoration doesn't go to waste after Halloween. (Not much of a chef? Compost that jack-o-lantern, at least.)
  • Don't forget a reusable shopping bag to carry your trick-or-treating haul!

October 12, 2007

Take Refuge

This weekend, kids can travel through an educational "Bear Maze" in Louisiana, while Nwrslogobg_2amateur lepidopterists can count butterflies in Texas--and those are just two of the events being held in celebration of National Wildlife Refuge Week, which wraps up on Saturday. The wildlife refuge system's 547 locations--at least one in every state, from the Yukon Delta to the Lower Suwannee--encompass 97 million acres of habitat and 2,500 miles of land and water trails. So find a refuge near you and get out and explore it!

Daily Tip : October 12, 2007

Instead of meeting a friend for lunch at a restaurant, meet for a picnic in a park or outdoor area. Reconnecting with nature will make the rest of your day brighter and remind you why you are making an effort to implement green solutions in your everyday life.

--Submitted by Ivy Main

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October 11, 2007

Daily Tip : October 11, 2007

More and more local utility companies are giving customers the option to choose alternative sources of energy. If your power company isn't one of them, speak up and let them know that you would like the choice. Click here to find out if green power is available in your area.

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October 10, 2007

Daily Tip : October 10, 2007

Enhance your practice -- when it's time to get rid of your smelly old yoga mat, look for one that is PVC free, like this one from Barefoot Yoga. You can also hang on to your old mat for those messy projects around the house like painting or art projects.

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October 09, 2007

Trash Talk

Seattleites are serious about their garbage--about seriously reducing the amount they generate, that is. First, there was the woman who carried around all of her non-recyclable trash (making an understandable exception for her cat's poop) for two weeks to raise awareness about garbage. Now, a whole group of Emerald City waste-haters have declared this week, October 7-13, to be No Trash Week Notrash and have compiled a helpful list of tips for anyone who wants to join in.

While completely eliminating garbage from your life may be difficult, you can reduce it significantly with some pretty simple steps. I've really become militant about bringing my own reusable bag with me everywhere I go, in addition to toting my trusty travel mug. And I was so pleased to discover that my neighborhood grocery store now sells bottled milk from our friends at Straus Family Creamery--they actually take the bottles back and reuse them, just like in the old days.

What are your best tips for reducing the amount of trash you create?

Daily Tip : October 9, 2007

We know that parenting is one of the toughest jobs out there, so here are a few easy ways to be a green parent. For more, check out Baby Center's Green Parenting article here.

Rethink the baby wipes - They're definitely not eco-friendly as most baby wipes take centuries to biodegrade. Switch to washcloths instead.

Have a kid swap party - Don't buy more clothes or toys, host a kid swap party and swap toys and clothes with other parents.

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October 08, 2007

Daily Tip : October 8, 2007

Fill an empty soda bottle (or two) with water and place it in the toilet tank away from the operating mechanisms. This will save water with every flush, by reducing the amount of water it takes to refill your tank. (This is meant for older toilets, not new high-efficiency ones.)

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