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32 posts from June 2012

June 15, 2012

DIY in 10 Minutes: Rustic Jewelry Holder

Reclaimed wood jewelry holder DIY projectGot 10 minutes? Our friends at EcoSalon have instructions for a quick DIY jewelry holder made from reclaimed wood.

This easy project costs pennies and adds rustic charm to any decor. Hang it in a bathroom or above a dresser in the bedroom to keep your necklaces untangled and organized (also, so you don’t forget to wear them). The piece of wood used in this project was found on the beach. Try taking apart a pallet or sourcing reclaimed wood in your area.


Plank of wood, drill with ¼” bit, knobs (found at Anthropologie for approximately $5.00), hammer and nails.



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June 14, 2012

5 Last Minute Father's Day Ideas

Father and sonFather's Day is just around the corner. Luckily we have a few ideas to help you celebrate your dad on June 17. Check the Green Life blog all week to find more inspiration.

5 Last Minute Father's Day Gift Ideas

We've offered suggestions all week, but some folks like to wait till the last minute to act. Hey, we understand. If you're running short on time and you still aren't prepared for Dad's big day, we've got you covered.

1.) Send an e-card. What's easier (or faster) than sending an email? Browse the Sierra Club's Father's Day e-card selection to find a fit for your pops.

2.) Plan a trip for the future. You're busy now, but you have free time on the horizon. Book a trip with Sierra Club Outings or just make a date to go for a hike in your local park.

3.) Give him a membership. Go online to enroll your dad in a CSA program or order an annual pass to the national parks.  

4.) Cook dinner. Swing by the farmers' market on Sunday and pick up some local veggies to throw on the grill or toss into a salad. Your company combined with a cold brew and a tasty meal should make Dad feel appreciated.

5.) Sponsor a wild place. Protect the planet in your dad's name with the Sierra Club's Sponsor a Wild Place program. Make a donation online and he'll receive a rucksak or plush animal in the mail.

June 13, 2012

Quiz: Name that Animal Dad!

Golden lion tamarinFather's Day is just around the corner. Take our quiz to find out how much you know about the super dads of the animal world.

Quiz: Name that Animal Dad!

1.) Which animal father keeps its egg warm for two months while the mother hunts for fish at sea?

2.) Which animal father assists the mother during birth by cleaning and grooming newborns?

3.) Which animal father keeps its eggs in a pouch and then looks after young after they hatch?

4.) Which animal father teaches its children to build dams before sending them out to find mates?

5.) Which animal father teaches its babies to swim by holding them on the surface of the water?



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June 12, 2012

10 DIY Gifts for Dad

DIY giftsFather's Day is just around the corner. Luckily we have a few ideas to help you celebrate your dad on June 17. Check the Green Life blog all week to find more inspiration. 

10 DIY Gifts for Dad

There's nothing like a handmade gift to show your pops that you care. Whether you're a pro with tools or just a creative tinkerer, these DIY projects will help you construct an unforgettable Father's Day. 

1.) Keyboard Wallet: For the techie dad, transform an old circuit sheet into an geek chic wallet.

2.) Blazer Backpack: Turn Goodwill-bound threads into an unforgettable bag.  

3.) Blender Lamp: Reminisce about margaritas past by the light of a repurposed blender lamp. 

4.) Solar Oven: For the adventurous chef, make a solar oven for summer food fests. 

5.) Wall Art: For creative types, construct memorable masterpieces from repurposed materials.

6.) Microwave Mailbox: Make mail more fun with this quirky post box made from an old microwave. 

7.) Key Rack: Dad have trouble keeping track of his keys? Give him an eye-catching key holder. 

8.) Car Air Freshener: Pair the key rack with a DIY scent for his hybrid. 

9.) Bike Upgrades: Sew a bike bag, re-cover an old seat, or build your bicyclist dad a new ride. 

10.) Drink Coasters: Make a set of personalized beer coasters for game day.

Bonus: Dress your present in DIY wrapping paper!

Ask Mr. Green: What's the Best Car?

Bob Schildgen is Mr Green

Hey Mr. Green,

What's the best car for both ecofriendliness and driving about 75 miles per day?

--Alex in Manchester, Kansas

Rating a vehicle's whole package is a hugely complicated job. That's because we're talking not just about the carbon emissions of the actual driving but about everything, cradle to grave, in its life span--from the toxics spewed when it's built to the disposition of its mortal remains.

So I defer to the minds at the estimable American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (aceee.org), who rank cars by crunching terabytes of vehicle-related data from reliable sources like the Argonne National Laboratory.

The Mitsubishi i-MiEV, a subcompact electric car that can go 3.8 miles on just one kilowatt-hour of electricity, earned ACEEE's top rating in 2012--the first time a plug-in has done so since 2000.
But if the i-MiEV's limited range (62 miles per charge) is a problem, you could opt for another of ACEEE's top 12 cars, listed at greenercars.org. The Prius C came in second, followed by a tie for third between the Nissan Leaf and the Honda Civic Natural Gas.

With electricity averaging 12 cents per kilowatt-hour in the United States, and gasoline hovering around $4 per gallon at press time, the per-mile cost of running even an efficient gasoline-powered car is about three times higher than that of driving an i-MiEV or a similar EV. Over 100,000 miles, that equates to a savings of almost $9,000. So be sure to factor that figure in--along with federal tax credits of up to $7,500--when shopping for an EV, which can cost up to $20,000 more than a comparable gas-powered car.


Got a question? Ask Mr. Green!


--photo by Lori Eanes

June 11, 2012

20% Off Sierra Club Books for Father's Day

Father's Day is just around the corner. Luckily we have a few ideas to help you celebrate your dad on June 17. Check the Green Life blog all week to find more inspiration. 

10 Great Gifts for Dad from the Sierra Club

Browse the Sierra Club's online store to find outdoorsy volumes for dads of all persuasions. To celebrate Father's Day, we're offering a special deal: Use the discount code DAD2012 at checkout to get 20 percent off!

Here are ten of our favorite reads for dads.

The Bicyclist:

Into thick air
Into Thick Air: Biking to the Bellybutton of Six Continents

Jim Malusa



The Fly-Fisherman:

The river whyThe River Why 

David James Duncan



Continue reading "20% Off Sierra Club Books for Father's Day" »

June 07, 2012

Eco Iced Tea: Thyme Arnold Palmer

Thyme Arnold PalmerCelebrate National Iced Tea Month with one of our four refreshing twists on a classic, hot-weather favorite.

Recipe #4: Thyme Arnold Palmer

This recipe is a fun take on the traditional Arnold Palmer. Use thyme from your repurposed balcony planters for the freshest herbs with the smallest carbon footprint. Try pairing this drink with ceviche made with sustainable seafood.


1 1/2 cups sugar

1 bunch fresh thyme sprigs

2 cups fresh lemon juice (about 13 lemons)

Earl Grey tea (2 tablespoons loose leaf or 6 tea bags )



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June 06, 2012

6 Green Sunscreens for a Superb Summer Glow

Green sunscreenLooking for eco-friendly sun protection? Our friends at EcoSalon recommend these six sunscreens for a safe summer glow.

Our relationship with the sun can be akin to hanging out with an ex-boyfriend or girlfriend. There was a time when he or she warmed you to the tips of your fingers. But if you let your guard down, you were toast. Consequently, it’s time for us to rise up and reclaim our defenses, and keep our outer layer of skin intact. The essential rules to sun care are simple. Hats, clothing, and shade are key in your defense against ultraviolet rays. Sunscreen remains an essential component in preserving our skins, but we have to be careful with which brands we’re slathering on.

Foremost, do not be lured into a false sense of security of sunscreen – a.k.a. spending the entire day in the sun with only one application, then expressing bewilderment that you’re burned. Be sure to reapply it every 90 minutes while you are in the sun, more if you are sweating or swimming. Look for both UVA and UVB protection. (Ultraviolet A is linked to skin cancer, while ultraviolet B causes sunburns.) And be sure to investigate whether its ingredients are as clean as you can get.

And finally, consider these six EcoSalon-approved sun products this summer.

Continue reading "6 Green Sunscreens for a Superb Summer Glow" »

Eco Iced Tea: Vodka Rhubarb Ginger Tea

Rhubarb Ginger Iced TeaCelebrate National Iced Tea Month with one of our four refreshing twists on a classic, hot-weather favorite.

Recipe #3: Vodka Rhubarb Ginger Tea

Seasonal field-grown rhubarb gets its chance to shine in this grown-up iced tea. Use an eco-liquor to minimize your drink's carbon footprint even further! You can also omit the vodka for non-drinkers. Either way, this drink goes well with homemade sweet potato chips.

Serves 8


2 cups rhubarb, chopped (use field-grown for that beautiful pink color)

1 cup water

1 cup sugar

1 tablespoon loose black tea leaves

12 oz vodka

Juice from 4 large limes

2 12-oz bottles ginger ale



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June 05, 2012

Eco Iced Tea: Watermelon Green Tea

Watermelon iced tea recipeCelebrate National Iced Tea Month with one of our four refreshing twists on a classic, hot-weather favorite.

Recipe #2: Watermelon Iced Green Tea

Using seasonal fruit, like watermelon, reduces the carbon footprint of this drink. Feel free to substitute any other fruit (such as peaches or strawberries) that are in season! Try pairing it with an eco-friendly cheese platter.

Serves 8


4 cups seedless watermelon flesh, cubed

2 cups hot water

Green tea (2 tsp loose leaf or 2 tea bags)

Juice of 1 lime

Sugar to taste


Continue reading "Eco Iced Tea: Watermelon Green Tea" »

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