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Clothes Shopping the GREEN Way!

When it's time to update the ol' wardrobe, there are a lot of things you can do to keep "green" in mind. 

Look for:

Organic cotton.  Plain old cotton is one of the most heavily sprayed crops on the whole planet and over 10% of all pesticides sold go to the cotton farming industry.  Switch to organic cotton when you can!

Hemp.  Sustainable and durable, and contrary to what some believe, it is not smokable!  It can also be grown without pesticides.  Unfortunately, it can't be grown in the US, but you can get it from regions such as China, Eastern Europe, and Canada.... read more

Cloth diapers, disposable diapers, chlorine-free diapers, biodegradable diapers: What's Best?

There's no doubt that disposable diapers are the most convenient.  As for cloth diapers, in recent years I've heard the argument that cloth diapers use up so much water to wash them that they are just as bad for the environment as typical disposables.  I don't buy that.  When you take into account the fact that regular diapers cannot decompose, it seems like cloth is the clear choice in terms of eco-friendliness.  It's pretty horrifying to think that dirty diapers I wore have been sitting in a landfill somewhere for over 25 years.  Disgusting!... read more

According to, and The Natural Baby, the studies that claim that cloth diapers are just as bad for the environment were actually funded by disposable diaper companies and that recent independent studies have proven that cloth diapers are better for the environment.

Stop Junk Mail!

It's time to put an end to junk mail.  Some not-so-fun facts about junk mail:

- It destroys about 100 million trees
- It uses more energy than 3 million cars from the production and disposal
- It largely goes unopened.  Studies have shown that 44% of bulk mail remains unopened
- According to a 2002 survey, only 1.9% of junk mail recipients “really appreciate” them
- Less than 36% of junk mail gets recycled

Now that I've disgusted you with all of those facts about junk mail, what can you do to stop receiving them?... read more

Ten Things that are NOT Typically Recyclable

Ten Things that are NOT Typically RecyclableThere are a lot of things out there that you might think of as being something that you can recycle at home, but they actually are not.  By putting things in the recycle bin that are generally not recyclable, you are doing more harm than good.

One thing to keep in mind is that this can vary from city to city.  Some cities might take some of these things, but many may not, so check with your local municipality's DPW.   Earth911 has a search feature so you can find out where you can recycle some of these items if your city doesn't take them.   

... read more

What is Acid Rain?

Diff'rent Strokes Acid Rain EpisodeGrowing up in the 80s, I used to hear a lot about acid rain.   It was a bit of a buzz phrase back then.  There was even an episode of "Diff'rent Strokes" where acid rain turned Kimberly's hair green.  (And they say sitcoms can't be educational!)     I used to be so freaked out by acid rain, that if a snowflake accidentally got into my mouth while building a snowman outside with my friends, I'd be horrified and I swore I could feel the acid eating away at my tongue.

Nowadays, you don't really hear much about acid rain, but it's still a problem.  Acid rain was discovered in 1852, but not until over 100 years later did scientists begin researching it.   They began calling it "acid rain" in 1972, and it became more well-known after the New York Times reported on the detrimental environmental effects at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.  ... read more

Why Castile Soap is Awesome

Over the weekend, I wrote about how you can use Castile soap as an alternative to bleach.  I am a huge fan of Castile soap and it's incredibly versatile.

I was turned on to Castile soap when I was an oh-so rebellious 20 year old getting all sorts of holes poked into my face and ears.  After a slow-healing eyebrow piercing, it was recommended that I try Castile soap.  I bought a huge bottle, it worked like a charm, and since then I learned that there are endless uses to Castile soap.

Castile soap is made primarily of olive oil, and it originates in the Castile region of Spain. ... read more

Green Painting in Menlo Park, California and the Greater Peninsula

Is that house in need of a new paint job following the sun drenched summer or do you need that new interior look to "wow" a visiting sister?  If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area and are concerned about the environmental impact of your painting, I believe I have the right company for you.  Avi Decorative Painting, Inc., founded by Avi Lechner, is a painting company focused on sustainable and low-impact painting practices.  Continue reading to find out how this business was started and why it is Keen for Green. 

1. Why, how, and when did your business come about?

The family-owned, Menlo Park based, Avi Decorative Painting Inc., has been in business for over 23 years, providing a broad range of painting and home improvement services, repaint, new construction, and historical restorations. Range of services include Interior and Exterior, Venetian Plaster, Cabinets, Paper Hanging, and Faux Finishes. 

... read more

Safer Alternatives to Bleach

Bathroom Cleaner & Safer Alternatives to BleachIt's time to scrub that tub, but the Clorox bleach you always used to use is nasty and toxic.  Some of the natural stuff you buy in stores might not always do the trick (especially if you're like me and frequently procrastinate cleaning the bathtub), but there are some alternatives to bleach that are safer AND effective.... read more

Fair Trade: Also Good for the Environment!

Fair Trade Certified LogoThere are lots of benefits to buying Fair Trade items, such as helping farmers and workers in developing countries.  But, did you know that it can be better for the environment?

Many Fair Trade items are often organic.  Currently, over 60% of Fair Trade Certified coffee in the U.S. is also certified organic.  Even if they're not certified organic, they often produce things in a more eco-friendly way such as minimizing herbicides, pesticides, and pollutants as much as possible.  The Fair Trade certification limits the use of agrochemicals, instead favoring environmentally sustainable farming methods.  Fair Trade also helps small farmers become organic-certified.... read more

Don't Flush Old Pills Down the Toilet!

Don't Flush Old Pills Down the Toilet!Previously, people had been encouraged to flush unused and expired pills down the toilet to avoid children or pets getting their hands on them and potentially eating them.  This was initially thought to be safer than throwing them in the garbage, but over the past few years there has been evidence that pills flushed down the toilet is as bad for the environment as tossing them in the trash.

Pills flushed down the toilet end up in waterways.  It is believed that once they end up in the water, they can cause health problems in fish and other marine wildlife.   There have even been studies showing that  fish are developing reproductive abnormalities due to exposure to birth control pills.... read more

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