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The Future

I think teaching kids about "going green" is key to changing our future.  If we start young enough and get kids thinking about the environment around them the future could be brighter for our world.... read more

A Greener Lunch

I try to be as green as possible in my daily life. I compost. I recycle (even though we have to pay for curb-side service in my city). I buy a majority of my food at various farmers markets, and talked my family into joining a CSA this summer. I store my photos online (okay, that may be more laziness than a conscious choice). I buy all natural cleaning products and refuse to use chemicals on my lawn or in my gardens.

On point with this post, though, I have a resuable lunch bag that I bring to work (almost) daily. The thing about lunch bags, though--at least the size I like to carry--is that it doesn't hold much. There's plenty of room for the (reusable) plastic container holding my main course and my fork, but that's about it. If I want to pack some trail mix or some grapes, I usually find myself begrudgingly shoving them into a resealable bag because there's no room for another container. And, although I really want to use those bags more than once, I just end up throwing them away because I don't like mixing the flavor of yesterday's snack with today's.... read more

Living the Green Life

As long as I can remember, I've been living green in some sense of the term. It started as a teen in Minnesota when our neighborhood implemented a recycling program for newspaper and paper. Later we started recycling cans and bottles. We had separate cans in the kitchen for each of these, and were diligent in filling the recycling cans up.... read more

Green Book Review: The Blue Economy, by Gunter Pauli

The Blue Economy, 10 years, 100 innovations, 100 million jobs is a phenomenal book I have been reading lately by Gunter Pauli, founder of Ecover, and The Zero Emissions Research and Initiatives organization. The philosophy behind the book is the recognition and emulation of the interconnectedness of the five kingdoms of nature. Pauli presents an alternative economic system where human processes are modeled after natural systems, and work with nature, rather than against her. ... read more

Aquaponics - the inside scoop on the closed-looped, fish and produce yielding system

What is Aquaponics? 

It is a closed-looped, symbiotic process involving fish and produce where fish waste provides a food source for the plants and the plants provide a natural filter for the water the fish live in. So that means you can raise your own fish and grow your own produce in a self sustaining nutrient system.... read more

Green Company Profile: ChicoBag!

To continue my "ban the bag saga," here is a Company profile on ChicoBag, my personal favorite in the reusable bag sector.

Why its Keen:

ChicoBag has a very inspirational start-up story: "In early 2004, Andy Keller, now ChicoBag™ president, took a trip to his local landfill after spending the day landscaping his backyard. He was horrified by what he saw. Single-use bags were the dominant article at the landfill that day, blanketing the landscape in a thin mix of white and beige plastic. On his way home he began to notice plastic bags everywhere, caught in trees and on fence posts, half drowned in gutter puddles and blowing in the streets like urban tumbleweeds. That day Andy vowed to stop using single-use bags. Inspired, Andy dropped a few bucks on a second hand sewing machine and began sewing what would ultimately become the first ChicoBag™ brand reusable bag."... read more

Interview with Assemblywoman Julia Brownley, Author of AB 1998 - Ban the Bag

I have had the wonderful opportunity to connect with Assemblywoman Julia Brownley regarding the pending legislation bill that if passed, would BAN THE BAG!! This issue hits very close to home for me because UCSB friends and I have spent a lot of time and effort raising awareness of the detrimental effects single-use bags have on our local environment while also promoting reusable bags. Assemblywoman Brownley is taking initiative in addressing this issue through AB 1998. If passed, the bill will be a milestone California can be proud of in terms of environmental protection in the form of prevention instead of mitigation... This interview is a great follow-up to a recent post I made about AB 1998. (Keep your eyes open for an upcoming Company profile with ChicoBag!)... read more

Ban the Bag! California's effort to ban the use of single-use plastic bags

Over 19 billion plastic bags are used annually in California, and constitute one of the largest forms of urban litter pollution. Urban litter pollution is the primary component of marine litter, which feeds into the North Pacific Gyre - also known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.... read more

Make a Solar-Powered Oven

I actually learned about this craft from an episode of "Curious George!"  :-)  George and The Man in the Yellow Hat made a lasagna this way during a blackout.  I thought it was a neat way to reuse a box, cook using just the energy from the sun, and do a neat little craft project.  How keen and green can ya get?!

All you need is a box (a pizza box is perfect, because you can't recycle those!), foil, plastic wrap, newspaper, and a knife.... read more

Reusing Floppy Disks

Hey, remember floppy disks?  I recently came across some old ones in our house (along with some old blank cassette tapes and those annoying AOL CDs...but that's for another entry!)

GreenDisk.com takes old floppy disks, but what if you can reuse them in a really cool way?  Some perfect ideas for the eco-minded craftmaker!... read more

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