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7 Tips for a Greener Kitchen

We're pleased to share a guest blog post written by Lacey Lybecker of A Greener Kitchen.  Lacey offers seven excellent tips for greening your kitchen.


green kitchen utensils

From choosing locally sourced ingredients to being energy efficient in the kitchen and using eco-friendly tools, every small step you take makes an impact on the planet. Being green doesn’t necessarily mean all or nothing, every action counts. Start by focusing on the heart of your home. Here are seven easy ways to be green in the kitchen:

1. BYOB (Bring Your Own Bag) – Bring your own eco-chic reusable bags to tote your groceries and skip the plastic produce bags by transporting your fruits and veggies in organic cotton reusable produce bags.

2. Eat Sustainably – Visit a farmers market to buy locally grown ingredients or test out that green thumb of yours and plant your own produce.... read more

Merida Sustainable Rug Giveaway!

Merida Home is giving away a 4 x 6 Elements Driftwood sisal area rug in a Green Blog Area Rug Sweepstakes!  This giveaway is exclusively for readers of green blogs.  

All you have to do is register for the giveaway HERE.  When filling it out, be sure to mention that you came from!  

The contests ends on March 14, 2011.  

merida rug giveaway merida rug... read more

The Battle of the "Green" Disposable Diapers

Over the last year or so, I've spent some time reviewing "greener" disposable diapers.   We primarily cloth diaper, but sometimes we use disposables for overnight, daycare, or travel.

Until totally biodegradable diapers become widely available at a good price, I can't imagine disposable diapers being a truly green and economical diapering option.  The chlorine-free diapers, such as the popular Seventh Generation, still contain plastic so they won't break down in a landfill.    

Some of these diapers are greener than others, and some more reliable than others.  Here's the breakdown:... read more

What to do with Compost if you Don't Garden

Put simply, composting is great.  It reduces landfill waste and it's great for your garden.  Joe Lamp'l of Growing a Greener World told us that "compost is the magic bullet for many things."  If you are a gardener, it is worth your time and money to invest in a compost bin. It's pretty easy and the benefits are clear. But...what if you don't garden? What should you do with your compost? If you don't garden but you'd like to make use of your food scraps, there are ways to make use of your compost!  

Lots of cities will collect compost, so check with your local utility. If yours does not,  Find A Composter is an excellent resource for finding a composting facility near you!  You can find a variety of composting facilities or farms that will take your compost.  ... read more

Verizon Wireless’ Entry into Home Energy Management


Verizon Wireless had a coming out party at CES 2011 for their new Home Monitoring and Control service.  One of the applications included in the service will be home energy management.  However, the intent is to offer complete home control and monitoring including lights, locks, webcams, security, home health, and of course thermostats and energy usage.  One of the unique killer apps is the ability to view streaming webcam content from Verizon Wireless LTE-enabled handsets.... read more

Green Profile: Joe Lamp'l of Growing a Greener World

I recently had the pleasure of talking to Joe Lamp'l, gardener, green media personality extraordinare, and host and executive producer of Growing a Greener World on PBS.  

About Joe Lamp'l

Joe initially got into horticulture as a child, after breaking the branch off a shrub, sticking it into the ground, and seeing a mere few weeks later that it had taken root.  

Joe how he has been interested in sustainability for his whole life, but "there was an a-ha moment."  That moment was when he was using synthetic fertilizer in a hopper.  He hit a root and the fertilizer spilled, and he knew that using more than the recommended about of fertilizer is bad, so he tried to remove some of it.   The following day, there was a huge dead spot on the grass where the fertilizer had spilled.  "That was a huge graphic demonstration to me of what was in that stuff," he said, "It really got me going."... read more

2010: A Keen for Green Year in Review

2010 is coming to a close.  Let's take a look at what happened in the world of Keen for Green over the last year:

... read more

BPA Laws in the United States

We all know that BPA is bad.  Yesterday, Massachusetts was the latest state to jump on the BPA-banning bandwagon.  The ban, unfortunately, is still limited and it only bans BPA in baby bottles and sippy cups.   Let's take a look at what other U.S. cities and states say about BPA:

  • Suffolk County, New York banned baby bottles and sippy cups made with BPA in 2009.  Schenectady County and Albany County have similar bans.

  • Minnesota enacted a BPA ban for children's products that took effect this year.

  • Chicago also banned BPA in children's products this year.

  • Connecticut has a much stricter ban.  They not only banned bisphenol A from all reusable food and beverage containers, but also in infant formula and baby food containers.  This happened in 2009.

  • Washington state passed bans on BPA use in baby bottles and sippy cups for babies and toddlers, as well sports bottles.

  • Wisconsin's Senate approved banning BPA use in baby bottles and cups for children 3 and younger.

  • Maryland banned BPA in children's products, including baby bottles and sippy cups earlier this year.

One of the most environmentally progressive states has done nothing to help get BPA products off the shelves.  California's Environmental Protection Agency's Developmental and Reproductive Toxicant Identification Committee unanimously voted against putting BPA on the state's list of chemicals that are believed to cause reproductive problems.  However, this is the same panel who didn't add second-hand smoke to this list until 2006!   ... read more

Bay Area Family Goes Solar to Save Money

Check out this blog post from 3rdGenBruin about how going solar can actually save you a lot of money:

First, I moved to solar for economic reasons, not environmental reasons. The environmental stuff is nice and I’m glad I’m able to do my part, but I really did this to save money.

The company I’m using is SolarCity. They are fairly popular in the Bay Area, but I think they are moving nationwide if they haven’t already. I chose them for two main reasons: 1) lease program (described below) and 2) good reputation in a nascent industry.

The process started with a call and them coming out to do a site audit. They have to check the slope of your roof, look for shade issues (tall trees, buildings, etc.) and a few other factors. I was lucky in that I basically had an ideal setup. This doesn’t happen for everyone. First, I have a two story house and the roof gets lots of sun. Second, I have nearly the ideal slope for solar. From my latitude in northern California, either the ideal is a 22 degree slope and mine was 23 degrees or vice-versa. Basically, I was 1 degree off from perfect. This was for both my south facing and western facing roof slopes. ... read more

Jack Johnson's Green Recording Studio

Jack Johnson secured a spot in our Five "Green" Bands and Musicians list earlier this fall.   Now, let's take a look at his green recording studio.

  • The studio is solar-powered.
  • The insulation is made out of recycled denim instead of fiberglass
  • The appliances are energy-efficient and the light bulbs are CFL
  • The furniture is secondhand
  • The toilets are dual flushing, meaning you can select either #1 or #2 for...well, going #1 or #2.  (The latter uses more water for the flush)
  • The wood throughout the studio was reused
  • The roof has recycled shingles and a duro-last green roof

 ... read more

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