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Fun Fact Friday - Glass Recycling

glass bottle recyclingHappy Friday, everybody!  Today's Fun Fact Friday is going to be discussing glass recycling.  

Whenever you have the option to buy glass vs. plastic, glass is always the more eco-friendly option.  While plastic is technically recyclable, it's actually "downcycled," meaning it's turned into lower quality plastic.  On the other hand, glass is 100% recyclable.  It can be recycled endlessly without it declining in quality, which no other food or beverage containers can do.  ... read more

Leaf Blowers and the Environment

Leaf blowers and the environmentEvery now and then my city revisits the idea of banning leaf blowers.  So far, a ban still hasn't come to fruition, but I hate leaf blowers.  Nothing drives me crazier than a quiet, crisp fall morning ruined by the sound of a neighbor's leaf blower.

The noise pollution is one thing, but even worse is that leaf blowers cause serious air pollution.  In fact,  a 2011 test done by Edmunds showed that “a consumer-grade leaf blower emits more pollutants than a 6,200-pound 2011 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor.”  Wow.... read more

Go Green -- Go REUSABLE!

lunch boxIt's time to make the switch from disposable items to reusable.  And at the very least, lessen your use of disposables.  Here are some household items that you can buy to help reduce your use of wasteful disposable items.

Where to start?... read more

  1. Switch to cloth napkins.  
  2. Forget paper towels -- usereusable dish towels instead!
  3. Use reusable coffee filters.  (And don't forget to compost those coffee grounds!)
  4. Stop using tea bags and use tea infusers or strainers with loose leaf tea.  Loose leaf tea tastes better, too!  You can also compost the tea leaves.
  5. Ditch the plastic sandwich bags!  There are reusable sandwich bags or use reusable sandwich containers.
  6. Just say no to juice boxes for your kids!  Whatever happened to a good ol' Thermos?  That's what we always used growing up -- and never did we brown bag our lunch; it was always a trusty lunch box.  

Exercise Greener

green runnerEven the greenest of us might find that keeping up with different green habits can fall by the wayside.  Exercise can be one of those things.  You may drive to the gym, throw your used sneakers in the trash, or drink Gatorade out of disposable plastic bottles.   Here are some ideas to make your exercise a little bit more eco-friendly.  ... read more

Green Tomato Ideas

Tomato gardening season is nearing an end for us, as the threat of the first frost is appearing in the ten-day forecast.  This means it's time for us to pick all of our tomatoes before the frost ruins them.  

What are some fun things to do with green tomatoes?  

Let them ripen inside.  Sitting them on the window sill to ripen works well.  You can also put them in paper bags to let them ripen...but we've also forgotten about them this way, and wound up with a bag of nasty, rotten tomatoes that had to be composted.

Make salsa.  This green tomato salsa verde will use up a lot of green tomatoes.  You could can it, too!  

Make chutney.  We made this amazing green tomato chutney last night (pictured right) and dipped Trader Joe's garlic naan in it.  Fantastic!  ... read more

Fun Fact Friday - Give a hoot, don't pollute!

Anyone who grew up in the 70s and 80s remembers those PSAs starring Woodsy Owl.  "Give a hoot, don't pollute!" 

A little bit of trivia on Woodsy:... read more

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Plant Garlic this Fall

garlicBefore cleaning your garden to prepare for winter, you can plant some garlic for a an early summer harvest.  By planting garlic cloves in the fall, they will grow roots over the winter, grow greens in the spring, and you will be able to harvest the bulbs by the early summer.  

 

Growing garlic is easy and fun, even for a novice.  You don't even need to go to a garden store; cloves from the grocery store will work well.  Use the larger, outer cloves for planting. ... read more

Top 4 Most Innovative Green Car Advancements

Green automotive technology is the future. With hybrid and electric optimized vehicles, consumers can get more bang for their buck. The biggest boon is that dependency on gas is lowered, and thanks to steadily climbing gas prices, green cars pay for themselves. It makes plenty of sense that consumers are demanding better fuel economy from their vehicles.

Ford EcoBoost

Companies like Toyota, Elon Musk, Chrysler, Honda and others have responded. For example, Ford has produced an EcoBoost engine family and they're being used in various models. Of particular note is the 2015 Ford Mustang EcoBoost, amped up with about 310 horsepower. That's not too shabby for a green tech car.... read more

Change starts in the classroom: benefits of composting programs in schools

Food waste is a chronic issue; nearly one-third of our landfills are piled up with scraps of leftover grub from home kitchens and larger producers like restaurants. While not all of this refuse is actually recyclable, diverting the portions that can be transformed into nutrient-rich fertilizer for gardens and lawns, makes a significant difference. And there’s no better time to get the ball rolling than during the early years of a child’s schooling.

 

When it comes to saving the planet, today’s younger generation is most definitely our future. Schools are the perfect forum for teaching young people the importance of composting organic waste  Lessons on composting allow them to see how  their lunch scraps can have on the landscape. Let’s walk through the ways composting programs can enhance school education, especially in elementary grades.

 

Schools should utilize resources to get students engaged, such as Team Compost.... read more

Green Ways for Businesses to Prosper During the Winter

green ice meltWinter months can be quite costly on any aspect of life including business. Dropping temperatures cause you to invest more money into maintaining heat while ice-covered walkways could prove hazardous to your customers. Instead of putting money into methods that are not conducive of a green way of life, even when everything around you is white, there are alternatives to promote sustainability in the workplace during the harshness of winter.

Organic Ice Melt - Instead of using rock salt, there are organic methods you can use that provide a more sustainable future for the ground water table and surrounding plant life. Many of these products can be bought at a dollar per pound or less. The organic and natural deicer compounds are friendly to the environment as well as animals that may frequent your business. While you may not have pets on site, why not provide a safe pathway on the sidewalk for pets of your potential customers? It could even be used as a great method for marketing your business as environment and pet friendly.

Sugar Beet Juice - A growing trend for many is the use of sugar beet juice on roadways to prevent ice from forming. This non-corrosive, biodegradable and non-staining substance has been used in various cities as a way to promote a less-costly way to keep citizens safe. Not only does this require less material in order to provide expected results, but it is much safer for the environment than other chemical alternatives and requires no cleanup in the spring.... read more

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