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Music Monday - Mercy, Mercy Me (The Ecology)

We can all use a little fun on Monday, right?  It's time for some #musicmonday action!  There are a lot of great songs about the environment out there, so why don't bring some music into our Mondays and celebrate them?

Today's Music Monday is one of the best motown songs ever:  "Mercy, Mercy Me (The Ecology)" by the one and only Marvin Gaye.  The whole album has a very socially conscious theme and "Mercy, Mercy Me" is about the environment.

An excerpt: 

Mercy, mercy me, mercy
Ah, things ain't what they used to be, no no
Oil wasted on the ocean and upon our seas
Fish full of mercury
Ah, oh mercy, mercy me
Ah, things ain't what they used to be, no no
Radiation underground and in the sky
Animals and birds who live nearby are dying... read more

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

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

Fun Fact Friday - Can Recycling

can recyclingRecycle your cans!   Today I have some trivia for you about aluminum beverage can recycling.  ... read more

  • Did you know that it only takes approximately 6 weeks total to manufacture, fill, sell, recycle, and then remanufacture an aluminum beverage can.

  • Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to run your television for three hours.  On the other hand, throwing away an aluminum can will waste as much energy as pouring out half of that can’s volume of gasoline.

  • The recycling rate for aluminum beverage cans in the United States reached 58.1% in 2010.  That is more than double that of any other beverage container!

October 12: The Great Halloween Costume Swap

Who has old Halloween costumes catching dust in their attic?  *raises hand*  

I propose that on Monday, October 13 on social media, mom's groups, school list servs, and local forums (i.e., craiglist) we offer to swap Halloween costumes with other members of the community.  Post pictures of the costumes and see if there's anything out there that you like!

halloween costume swap... read more

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