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krissy's blog

Go Green Giveaway at

AccessoryGeeks, a California-based company that sells electronics accessories, is involved in a Go Green Campaign.   Currently, they have a giveaway in place, where people send pictures or videos of themselves doing something green.  You can win all sorts of really great accessories, from Bluetooth headsets to iPhone cases.

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Napkins and the Environment

One of the simplest ways to go green is to avoid paper napkins and use cloth ones.  A few years ago, we made the switch in my home to use cloth napkins as much as possible.  All in all, we prefer them.  They're much more effective than a paper napkin when eating something sloppy.  I'm a messy eater, and I find that when I use paper napkins, sometimes I go through more than two or three in a meal!  But with cloth napkins, one napkin is more than enough!... read more

Can You Recycle Milk and Juice Cartons?

How many of you throw your empty milk and juice cartons into the recycle bin?Recycling Milk Containers

*raises hand*

Oops.  Apparently, milk and juice cartons are not always recyclable.  Some towns will take the cartons, some won't.

But WHY?

Milk and juice cartons are difficult to recycle, because many have a wax lining or a plastic coating.  Some recycling centers are equipped to recycle them, but some aren't.  Call your city to see if they do recycle cartons.... read more

Trader Joe's Fruit and Vegetable Packaging: I've got a bone to pick!

I love Trader Joe's.   I love their cereals, I love their cheeses, I love the shampoo, I love their friendly cashiers, and I love their prices.  But one thing I don't like is their produce.  With the exception of bananas, I try to avoid buying produce there.  Their prices aren't great when it comes to produce, and I find that their quality is hit or miss.  Don't even get me started on the disappointing strawberries I recently purchased and ultimately fed to Karl, our pet iguana.

But the worst part is the over packaging.  You want to buy pears?  Well, your only choice is to buy a pack of four.  And they're shrink-wrapped.  And they're sitting on a little Styrofoam plate.  And one of them looks bruised.... read more

The Dangers of Styrofoam

The Dangers of StyrofoamI think Styrofoam is disgusting.  In fact, I'm surprised it's even in use.  It's been almost twenty years since McDonald's (of all places!) stopped using Styrofoam for their Big Macs...why have so few other places followed suit?  Even Jamba Juice, which promotes itself as a healthy place, and Dunkin Donuts, which even uses fair trade coffee in their espresso drinks, are still clinging on to the Styrofoam.  It's really disheartening to see places continue to use it.

Styrofoam was created in the 1970s by Dow Chemical.  It's made of polystyrene, which is a type of petroleum-based plastic.   Styrofoam is actually a trademark of Dow for extruded polystyrene foam, but people in the U.S. use it as a generic term for expanded polystyrene foam.

Did you take home a doggie bag from your favorite restaurant last night?  And did it come in Styrofoam?  Well, don't microwave that spaghetti and meatballs in the Styrofoam container!  Because of the heating and cooling process, if it gets hot enough, it's been believed that Styrofoam can break down when put in the microwave, with all sorts of toxins entering your food.

There has also been concern about the trace presence of Styrofoam's production chemicals remaining in the final product which can be toxic. (i.e., benzene is carcinogenic).  ... read more

What is PVC?

PVC - Problesms with PVCEarlier this week, I wrote about how to keep your back to school shopping eco-friendly.  One of the things I mentioned was to avoid backpacks made of PVC.  But what is PVC and why should it be avoided?

PVC, or Polyvinyl chloride, is known more commonly as vinyl.    It can be found in items from building materials to clothing to backpacks.   A lot of times products made of PVC have a distinct smell.  You can smell it in things like vinyl shower curtains.  I also feel like stores such as Target and Walmart smell like PVC all over!

The EPA has recognized that the emissions from PVC plants cause air pollution "that may reasonably be anticipated to result in an increase in mortality or an increase in serious irreversible, or incapacitating reversible illness."

Greenpeace has been advocating a global phase-out of PVC.  They have claimed that dioxin is a byproduct of vinyl chloride manufacture and from incineration of waste PVC in domestic garbage. Dioxins are considered a serious health threat because they can remain in the environment and can travel long distances. It's been also claimed that even at low levels, dioxins have been linked to immune system suppression, reproductive disorders, endometriosis, and cancer when the general population is exposed. ... read more

The Piping Plovers of Cape Cod

During my last trip to Cape Cod, my husband and I were walking along the beach and we saw these cute little birds all over the place that we hadn't really seen elsewhere.  We took a video of them walking around and then later in our trip we learned that those cute birds are called piping plovers.  These birds are so precious to Cape Codders that some beaches on the Cape are actually closed to protect the breeding habitat of the piping plover!

Piping Plover, Endangered Species

Piping plovers are shorebirds that migrate to the Cape in the spring from the coasts of the Southern US and Caribbean.  They can also be found in the Great Lakes Region and parts of Canada.

They nest in little depressions in open flats, laying four eggs to a clutch. When the chicks hatch, they can run around and feed themselves within just a few hours.  Impressive, huh?

Piping plovers nesting in the Great Lakes are listed as endangered and piping plovers nesting along the Atlantic Coasts and in the northern Great Plains of the US and Canada are listed as threatened.  In Massachusetts, the plovers are protected under the Federal and Massachusetts Endangered Species Act.

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Ted Kennedy: A Friend of the Environment

Ted Kennedy: A Friend of the EnvironmentI was saddened to hear the news of Ted Kennedy's passing.  Even though his brain cancer diagnosis was grim, it still was sad to lose such an important, progressive, and influential person in American politics.

As a resident of Massachusetts, I've happily voted for Senator Kennedy, but the funny part is that since I've lived here, nobody ran against him.  I guess nobody wanted to bother running against the Liberal Lion!

Senator Kennedy did so many wonderful things throughout his career, from helping immigrants and the working class to the environment.   He cared so deeply about so many things, and Ted Kennedy was certainly a friend to the environment and the green movement.

A few highlights for what Senator Kennedy stood for when it came to the environment...... read more

Disposing of Batteries

Disposing of BatteriesHow do you dispose of single-use batteries?  Do you recycle them?  Throw them in the trash? ... read more

Green Restaurant Spotlight: Dorado Tacos & Cemitas, Brookline, MA

Dorado Tacos and Cemitas.Yesterday, my husband and I were walking around Coolidge Corner in Brookline (outside of Boston) trying to find a place to grab an inexpensive and quick lunch.  We noticed a place we hadn't noticed before, called Dorado Tacos and Cemitas. The menu consisted mostly of cemitas and tacos, including fish tacos, and everything was really inexpensive.  The tacos were all under $3, and for $5.99 you can get two tacos, rice, beans, and jalapenos.

While we waited for our order, I noticed a sign that said:  "WAYS WE'RE BEING GREEN."  When I read the list of how they're being green, I was immediately impressed. They blow a lot of other green restaurants out of the water with their eco-friendly practices!

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