Monthly Archives: February 2011

Do this, not that. Really easy ways to eco-fy your home!


  1. Buy recycled content paper products! Trader Joes offers a lovely line of very affordable options. In this day and age there’s really no excuse and it’s not so cool that certain manufacturers haven’t gotten on this already! Better yet, use cloth napkins and microfiber cloths to clean.
  2. Use a filter or buy a Bobble, I mean really. For god sake don’t use bottled water!!!  If you must buy into the “spring water” ploy make sure it really is spring water, not just re-processed, including adding artificial flavoring, municipal water and buy it in bulk, aka large, reusable jugs.
  3. Check out supplies like Method and Seventh Generation for some good house hold cleaners that won’t make you worried about getting cancer every time you clean your bathroom. Ditch the sponge for something biodegradable or has a longer lifecycle than a couple weeks.
  4. Unplug! The toaster, the computer, hairdryer, phone changer when not in use. A plug left in an outlet still captures electrical charge and is like leaving the faucet running, which brings us to…
  5. Use less water. Take slightly shorter showers, turn off the water while you brush your teeth, only run the dishwasher and washing machines when full. If you have a yard, consider using drip irrigation and collected rain water to hydrate it.
  6. You’re cold, so tempting to turn up the heat right? Reach for a sweater and a hot beverage instead, or better yet install a wood burning stove or gas fireplace. You’re hot? May I suggest just getting as naked as possible and turning on a fan!
  7. Install Energy Star products when it’s time to replace old items. Consider going the whole 9 yards by getting solar panels or exploring waste water recycling methods that are permitted in your area.
  8. Eat organic, vegan and local as much as possible they all help to lower your carbon impact on the earth.
  9. Use the dryer less, it’s a major energy waster!
  10. Compost if possible! It’s a great way to cut down on household waste and I put my paper towels & bio-degradable utensils in it too!

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Travel and your Carbon Footprint.

I love to travel. I mean I live to travel. I average about six round trip flights a year and a handful of road trips. Other than not taking a private jet, (as though it were an option), I haven’t given much thought to how to offset these carbon emissions. This is why I was thrilled to see the option when I booked my latest plane ride with Delta Airlines. Right there after selecting my seat and payment option appeared the choice to off-set carbon emissions with the Nature Conservancy. By using the miles traveled and fuel consumed it estimated that I owed about $18, wow not too bad!

How does carbon offset program work you may be asking? After entering information about your home energy, transportation use, and recycling/waste and food choice an amount in tons of CO2 equivalent/per year is calculated. The average American uses 27 tons per year. The Conservancy then translates this into a dollar amount in an investment you can make to protect land and plant trees that will help reduce greenhouse gases through O2 production.

Conclusion: having a dollar amount to assess my travel contribution to greenhouse gases makes it easier to make the efficient choice and look for new ways to reduce my emissions. Measure your own footprint!

Kudos to Delta and the Nature Conservancy!

Plus, I also took the Greyhound trip recently and was happy to see they have introduced a more efficient fleet complete with wi-fi and power outlets. Also, look for hybrid-electric cabs whenever possible.

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Valentines done right with recycled paper made in the USA.

My adventures in mass market “green” products are yielding some great finds. See these Valentine’s from Paper Magic Group. Made from recycled paper with vegetable based inks from a company that runs on bio-gas! Their packaging is also recycled  and they are an American company. And they were $2.99 from K-Mart. Crazy right!

In order to sustain our own economy it is really important to support made in USA companies!

I used some “eco-fi” felt, made from recycled fibers, to spruce mine up a bit and add a bit of texture.

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S-lush: learn the best way to drink for your health & the environment!

http://s-lush.com/

I’m  honored to be contributing to this wonderful new blog. Look forward to getting to know all about sustainable wine, beer & liquor from us as we leave no glass un-turned, (pun intended), on the search for the best drink for you, the environment and the economy.

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Major Swedish retailer takes a leap into green fashion


So I’d been avoiding one of my favorite clothing stores because they didn’t seem like a “green” company. But yesterday I was in need of some retail therapy and I went in “just to look”… and picture this my friends-front and center-green tags advertising … yes thats right sustainable products!!! Now thats the kind of retail therapy I’m talkin’ about!

http://www.hm.com/us/materials

Featuring many recycled materials such as polyester, (made from bottles and remnants) polyamide (made from fishing nets), recycled wool. And thats not all! They also feature organic cotton, denim & linen.

That’s not all, they also rolled out a winter wear line free of fluorocarbons!

http://www.hm.com/us/corporateresponsibility/aboutourproducts/functionalwearwithoutflourocarbons__Functionalwearwithoutflourocarbons.nhtml

Check out this video and take a gander at my fabulous, affordable enviro-friendly digs!

Sustainable fashion with H&M

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Bison, it’s what’s for dinner!


Once on the verge of extinction * thanks to government sanctioned measures to starve Native American Indians in the late 1800’s, the American Buffalo is making a comeback thanks to being a gourmet choice of delicious, lean, Omega rich, red meat. This is wonderful proof that consumer concern over where and how products get to the table has a massive impact on an industry!

But buyers beware; there are two types of buffalo and only one is getting my official sustainable seal. The issue is over grass vs. grain feeding, as with beef, Americans have grown accustom to the taste of grain-fed and prefer its’ consistency. Grass fed buffalo is healthier due to a better Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratio. Also grass is the natural food source of the animal and it is readily abundant and easy to sustain with grazing rotation, not to mention being more humane than a feed lot.

Pleasing our fickle taste buds makes it very hard to find grass fed buffalo at the moment. (Not surprisingly Ted Turner owns the largest mainstream buffalo ranch). So fellow consumers its time to send the message- we prefer truly sustainable food that meets more than one prerequisite.

Happily, Whole Foods is exploring other options, *they make it easy for the shopper to see where and how their meats are made with labels in their deli, they are talking to their suppliers about still feeding grain at the end of life but in the pasture vs. a feed lot.

Sources
New York Times, “Plains Giants Establishing Tiny Foothold on Tables” Kirk Johnson, Jan.23rd 2011

http://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/bison.html?id=Pennsylvania

http://wildideabuffalo.com/

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