I’m Back….FOR GOOD!

Hello World! So I took a little time off and hadn’t blogged in a while. I came to an obvious conclusion that no matter how busy you are at work and in your personal life you ALWAYS have to make time for your passion. I have made numerous excuses for putting my green passion on hold, but that is going to stop. I will make time for it because ultimately it’s what my life revolves around.

So I’m taking a class on weather and climate and we were required to watch the Inconvenient Truth presented by Al Gore. Now I’ve seen this movie quite a few times and believe it’s exclusivly geared towards those knowledgable about the global warming issue. What do you think? Have you seen it? I want to see what you have taken from the film!

That’s all for today!

Talk to you soon!

Go Green! Stay Informed

– Erica

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NEW YEARS GREEN RESOLUTIONS.

So 2010 huh…What are your new years resolutions?

Why not include ” Be more sustainable” to your list.

It is not that hard to be more observant of your impact on our planet. Simple little steps like making sure to turn off all your lights is already a step towards a sustainable lifestyle.

Try this:
– Unplug your charger after your have completed for phone charge.
– Turn off the sink while brushing your teeth.
– Shave off a couple minutes of your shower time.
– SAY NO TO PLASTIC…buy a reusable grocery bag(s)…or if you forgot go paper– not the best choice but the better choice.

Thats just a start! But a great one!

And i guarantee its a resolution that you can stick to!

Let me know what your new years resolutions are!

Stay Informed!

Erica

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The Clean 15

There are so many reasons to buy organic…as I mentioned in my last post.

But here is a list of things that you don’t have to spend more and buy organic for.

The fruits and vegetables on this list were the least likely to have pesticides detected on the parts you eat, after typical washing, whether or not they’re certified organic. (Remember, though, that the farmworkers and the farm soil, will thank you for any organic purchases you can make.)
1. ONIONS– duh this is kinda a no brainer…you peel the exterior “skin” off. Buying Tip: Look for onions that are firm, have a distinctive “oniony” smell that’s not overpowering, and show no visible signs of damage or soft spots. Store in a cool, dry place or in the refrigerator.

2. AVACADOS

3. SWEET CORN– Sweet corn may take a lot of fertilizer to grow, but you’re unlikely to end up with any pesticides on the kernels.

….are you getting the trend here…fruits and veggies that have exterior skin which acts as a barrier to protect the fruit from pesticide residue, which you remove before consuming –> usually means you dont need to spend the extra buck to buy organic.

4. PINEAPPLE

5. MANGO

6. ASPARAGUS– face fewer threats from pests such as insects or disease, so fewer pesticides need to be used.

7. SWEET PEAS

8. KIWI

9. CABBAGE– Cabbage doesn’t hold on to so many pesticides because a ton of spraying isn’t required to grow it. What it does hold onto is beta carotene: It’s a superfood!

10. EGGPLANT– Maybe it’s the thick skin, but eggplants are among the least likely to be contaminated by pesticides, according to the Environmental Working Group

11. PAPAYA

12. WATERMELON

13. BROCCOLI– Conventional broccoli doesn’t retain so many pesticides because the crop faces fewer pest threats, which means less spraying

14. TOMATOS– WHAT?!?!?! –> Tomatoes were on the 2008 Dirty Dozen list of foods with the most pesticide residue, but the latest update finds them cleaner than most. Why? The Environmental Working Group isn’t sure.

15. SWEET POTATOS– Not only are sweet potatoes unlikely to be contaminated with pesticides, they’re also a superfood, packed with Vitamin A and beta carotene.

Now next time your stopping by your local farmers market or grocery store bring along these two lists (the dirty dozen and the clean 15)…after some practice you’ll pick up on what foods you should buy organics and those that you dont necessarily have to.

Thanks for staying informed!

Go Green!

– Erica

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The Dirty Dozen

I always get so confused on which are the best foods to buy organic and ones you don’t necessary need to go organic for. Well I finally found a easy understandable guide.

“Not all of us can afford to go 100% organic every time we shop. The solution? Focus on those foods that come with the heaviest burden of pesticides, additives and hormones. According to the Environmental Working Group(EWG), consumers can reduce their pesticide exposure by 80% by avoiding the most contaminated fruits and vegetables and eating only the cleanest. If consumers get their USDA-recommended 5 daily servings of fruits and veggies from the 15 most contaminated, they could consume an average of 10 pesticides a day. Those who eat the 15 least contaminated conventionally grown produce ingest less than 2 pesticides daily.”- The Daily Green

Here’s the list of the 12 (+ a few newbies) foods you should buy organic; for a healthier more sustainable lifestyle:

1. MEAT– meat production is the king of foods when it comes to environmental impact aside from its pesticide residue.  Animals raised with conventional modern methods often means using hormones to speed up growth, antibiotics to resist disease on crowded feed lots, and both pesticides and chemical fertilizers to grow the grain fed to the animals. (AND you ingest all of this! Gross) THE SOLUTIONCertified Organic Meat–  To meet USDA standards, this meat can come only from animals fed organic feed and given no hormones or antibiotics. Searching out cuts from grass-fed animals ensures that you’re eating meat from an animal that was fed a more natural diet, and looking for a local source of meats lets you question the farmer directly about the animal’s diet and the farmer’s method of raising it. It cuts down on the environmental cost of transportation, too.

2. MILK– Pesticides and other man-made chemicals have been found in human breast milk, so it should come as no surprise that they have been found in dairy products, too. While any residues detected have been rare, and of low concentration, milk is of special concern because it is a staple of a child’s diets. Organic dairies cannot feed their cows with grains grown with pesticides, nor can they use antibiotics or growth hormones like rGBH or rbST. The overall impact of the herd is lessened when you choose organic milk. (AND it lasts longer!)

3. COFFEE– Many of the beans you buy are grown in countries that don’t regulate use of chemicals and pesticides. Look for the USDA Organic label to ensure you’re not buying beans that have been grown or processed with the use of potentially harmful chemicals. Go a step or two further, and look for the Fair Trade Certifiedlabel to ensure that your purchase supports farmers who are paid fairly and treated well. And look for shade-grown varieties for the trifecta: Then you know the coffee is being grown under the canopy of the rainforest, leaving those ancient trees intact, along with the wildlife — particularly songbirds — that call them home. (Look you can kill 3 birds with stone!)

4. PEACHES– Multiple pesticides are regularly applied to these delicately skinned fruits in conventional orchards. Usually fruits that have skin which you eat are the most harmful since the pesticide is applied directly to the fruit and you ingest the peel.

5. APPLES- Like peaches, apples are typically grown with the use of poisons to kill a variety of pests, from fungi to insects. Scrubbing and peeling doesn’t eliminate chemical residue completely, so it’s best to buy organic when it comes to apples. Peeling a fruit or vegetable also strips away many of their beneficial nutrients.

6. SWEET BELL PEPPERS– Peppers have thin skins that don’t offer much of a barrier to pesticides. They’re often heavily sprayed with insecticides.

7. CELERY- Celery has no protective skin, which makes it almost impossible to wash off the chemicals that are used on conventional crops

8. NECTARINES– There were 26 different types of pesticides found on tested nectarines. WOW

9. STRAWBERRIES– If you buy strawberries out of season, they’re most likely imported from countries that use less-stringent regulations for pesticide use

10. CHERRIES- Even locally grown cherries are not safe. In fact, cherries grown in the U.S. were found to have three times more pesticide residue then imported cherries.

11. KALE– Traditionally kale is known as a hardier vegetable that rarely suffers from pests and disease, but it was found to have high amounts of pesticide residue when tested this year.

12. LEAFY GREENS– Leafy greens are frequently contaminated with what are considered the most potent pesticides used on food.

RECENTLY ADDED:

13. GRAPES– Imported grapes run a much greater risk of contamination than those grown domestically. Vineyards can be sprayed with different pesticides during different growth periods of the grape, and no amount of washing or peeling will eliminate contamination because of the grape’s thin skin.

14. CARROTS– Imported grapes run a much greater risk of contamination than those grown domestically. Vineyards can be sprayed with different pesticides during different growth periods of the grape, and no amount of washing or peeling will eliminate contamination because of the grape’s thin skin.

15. PEARS– As insects become more resilient to the pesticides used on pears, more and more chemicals are used. The safest bet is to go organic.

** ALTERNATIVE TO ORGANIC SHOPPING FOR VEGGIES/FRUIT/MEAT…BUY LOCALLY. If you can’t afford “organic” go to the local farmers market. This way you can ask the grower/farmer directly if they use any chemicals. Most likely they cannot afford it or simply don’t believe in unnatural food production. This way its cheaper and you are stimulating yoru local economy. So dont get down if you cannot afford organic their are always SIMPLY EASY ALTERNATIVES TO A MORE SUSTAINABLE LIFESTYLE

REMEMBER: READ YOUR LABELS

Thanks for staying informed!

Go Green!

– Erica

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Astonishing Video

I was shown this video in my Environmental Ethics class and thought it was extremely eye opening. It allows us to see how western culture over consumes.

Artist Chris Jordan shows us an arresting view of what Western culture looks like. His supersized images picture some almost unimaginable statistics — like the astonishing number of paper cups we use every single day. (www.ted.com)

http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/chris_jordan_pictures_some_shocking_stats.html

Tell me what you think!! Is this persuasive? Why or why not?

Stay Informed! Go Green!

-Erica

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Eco-Friendly Father’s Day Gift Ideas

Here are 10 great environmentally friendly gift ideas I found on Ideal Bite, great for the upcoming father’s day:

1.  Does your dad love music?…Get him an iTunes online first certificate ($10-$50)

” Dad can pick his own tracks (or take playlist suggestions, ahem), and you can take all the waste from wrapping, packaging, and plastic CD cases outta the mix. Give it.

2. Take him to the river.

“Has Pa worn out his VHS cassette of A River Runs Through It? Fish for some gift-giving compliments from your fave angler with Bottle Cap Lures ($40/6), lures made from soda and beer bottle caps – that really work. Keeps the caps out of landfills, new materials out of production, and Dad out on the water reeling ’em in. Give it.

3. Charge it w/ a SOLIO HYBRID CHARGER…..THIS MY FAVORITE!!

“Give your gadget-gizmo daddio a slim little Solio Hybrid Charger($80-$170, depending on battery capacity) to recharge his cell phone, MP3 player, digital camera, and all the other electronic stuff he manages to cram into his pockets – all with stored-up power from the sun (free power – woo-hoo!) or the socket. Give it.

4. Eco Friendly ORGANIC grooming kit

“Does your pop like to keep it clean (aside from the language he used when you dented the car)? Pamper him with an Every Man gift basket ($45) from Lula Organics. Includes skin-soothing, paraben-free Every Man Jack shave gel, body wash, and face wash; soap from Pangea Organics; a recycled, reusable razor; and a wooden body brush. Give it.

5. Eco Golf Balls?…no way!!…YES WAY

“Maybe Dad won’t be beating Tiger Woods anytime soon (or ever), but he likes to hit the links. Get your golfer dad some Eco Golf Balls ($10/12) – water-soluble golf balls that dissolve in water after 96 hours, so he won’t be leaving plastic evidence of his birdies and bogies for millennia. Give it.

6. New Daddy?

“Free him from pastel-flowered diaper bag hell with the Diaper Dude Messenger II ($100). Designed by a dad, these manlier messenger bags are made from recycled water bottles (instead of sending them to landfills) and come with lots of pockets, a changing pad, and a quick-release shoulder strap. Plus, a portion of proceeds goes to Global Green USA. Give it. ” That’s Double goodness

7. Writing’s on the wall(et).

Take the necktie to another level with a Recycled Necktie & Suit Wallet ($30) from Uncommon Goods. With a pocket for cash and two side pockets for cards, the billfolds are handmade from used silk ties and suits – saving fabric from the dump and keeping new materials out of production. Give it.

8. To a T.

“Know a young hipster dad that dons jeans and T-shirts more than suits and ties? Give him a fashionable, eco edge with a Perv Teaseorganic cotton tee ($40), with scribbly drawings and snarky sayings like “My guru went to the fifth dimension and all I got was this lousy T-shirt” (goes really well with an ironic mustache). Nonorganic cotton uses more pesticides than any other crop – it takes 1/3 pound of chems to make one shirt. Give it. ”

9. Ham(mock) it up.

“Wanna give Dad some R&R but can’t quite afford that Hawaiian vacation? Give him a getaway in his own backyard with Gaiam’s Ultimate Hammock ($190), made of recycled soda bottles. Waterproof and UV-resistant, this long-lasting lounger is as comfy as its cotton and nylon counterparts, minus the new material. Give it. ”

10. Let’s all go to the movies.

“For the film buff father who’s always spouting quotes from his favorite flicks: Opt for email-able movie ticket gift certificates in the form of Fandango Bucks. Just pick your amount ($10-$100) and the design – perhaps the Give Green one? – and send away, skipping out on any transport emissions or packaging waste. Give it. ”

Also…there are TONS of father’s day cards made from recycled paper…just check the back , you’d be surprised on how many are eco-friendly!!

Happy Father’s Day!

Stay Informed! Go Green!

– Erica

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Have a Green Memorial Day!

Here’s some useful Green tips I got from Grist.org on green grilling:

Charcoal or Gas??….

“Gas. Burning charcoal gives off more nasty particulates and chemicals. And if you’re carnivorous, you’re doubly culpable: cooking beef can be worse for air quality than the charcoal itself. Burnt cow gives off that particulate matter we’ve talked about so often — the stuff that causes respiratory problems, and may have some carcinogenic properties as well. Choose gas if you can, and minimize smoke and heat if you can’t”- Umbra

Check out http://www.grist.org/article/greenguide-grilling for more earth sensitive—and yummy BBQ Facts

For more on buying organic produce and eco-friendly bug repellent for those outdoor cookouts visit: http://www.grist.org/article/2009-05-22-happy-green-memorial-day/

Happy Memorial Day!

Stay Informed! Go Green!

-Erica

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Eco-Friendly Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

If you’re already shopping for a Mother’s Day gift…why not be eco-friendly?

Here are some great websites to find eco-friendly gifts:

http://www.1happycorner.com/mothers-day-eco-friendly-beauty-gifts/

http://www.findgift.com/Categories/Eco-Friendly/

http://www.thedailygreen.com/green-homes/latest/mothers-day-gifts-460421

Here’s some gift ideas from Grist!

Green-cleaning gift certificate
Let Mom save her elbow grease for lifting that organic mimosa you made her, and let the pros freshen her abode with non-toxic cleaning supplies. Maid Brigade recently went green, and Zen Home Cleaningin New York City boasts “hotel-style luxury services.” Or put yo’ back into it and DIY.

Organic desserts
Theo Chocolate offers a wine-pairing kit, with five chocolate bars picked for their compatibility with red wine (not included) and instructions for orchestrating a “tasting party.” Liz Lovely has Mom-inspired collections of organic, fair trade, vegan cookies and chocolaty bakery treats, and their commitment to recycled packaging is simply sweet. Dagoba and Green and Black’s organic chocolate are Grist staff faves, too.

Reusable tote bag
Who’s not a plastic bag hag? Your mom! Before she hits up the farmers market, arm her with a cute pink tote or slightly crunchier woven hemp bag, both supporting artisans in Bangladesh; or check out the ChicoBag that one Grist staffer’s mom can’t stop raving about. Ecobags also has a variety of woven, string, and canvas bags made from organic cotton.

Organic or local flowers
Skip pesticide-soaked conventionally grown flowers in favor of some from Organic Bouquet or those certified as sustainably grown by VeriFlora. Plucking some from your neighbor’s yard is always an option, too. Not that we would endorse such a thing.

Donation to a women-friendly cause
The Women’s Environment & Development Organization points out that women are especially vulnerable to the effects of global warming. Do Mom proud by giving to organizations with an eye on the situations of women worldwide. Support female survivors of war, women-led organizations across the globe, and human rights for women and families. Or go local and find a women’s organization in your state here — you can also give some time if your pockets are thin.

If you have any other ideas, feel free to comment!

Happy Green Shopping!

– Erica

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Being Green in the Bathroom!

According to the California Urban Water Conservation Council, 60% of household water consumption takes place in the bathroom.

It’s important to practice efficiency and conservation with our water.

TOILETS: Did you know that the toilet is the biggest water user in your house? Bet you didn’t know that the standard toilet uses 7 GALLONS for every flush!!!! So if you are remodeling, or in need for a new toilet, here are some efficient alternatives:

**Low -Flow toilet: surpass even minimum federal standards– 1.6 gallons per flush (gpf). You can find these marked by the EPA’s WaterSense label.

**Dual-flush toilets. These are very popular in Europe, but now being introduced to the American Market. With these, one method of flushing creates the standard 1.6 gpf, while another reserved for liquid waste, allows half the amount .8gpf to flow through. Pressure assisted toilets use water pressure to compensate for the smaller amount of water going through.

Don’t want to spend tons of money? WaterSense toilets fall in the the low-to-middle price range

There is also no water toilets..dry…yuck. But if you are adventures , give it a try.

SHOWER: did you know that every minute the shower uses 2.5 gallons of water?

    – Many new shower heads on the market use only 1.6 gallons per minute.Low flow shower heads not only cut your water use by an impressive 20,000 gallons per year, but also save you 10-16% of the cost of heating that water.

GOING GRAY!!! –> another way to spare the planet’s water is to consider installing a gray water system for your home’s outdoor irrigation needs

  Def: Gray water: reuse the water from your clothes washer, bathtub, showers and silks –50-80 % of total waste water from your household for other purposes. There are simple and complex systems, depending on how engineered savvy you wanna be.

  You can reroute your laundry water to the water your backyard!!!–it would filter all the chemicals from soap and shampoos of course.

Visit: www.greywater.com to see more on the process of grey water irrigation.

 

Thanks for staying informed! Go Green

– Erica

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Food & Water Watch

As some of you guys know, I’m applying for an internship this summer in Washington D.C.

I had an internview this morning for an Environmental Advocacy Group, ” Food & Water Watch”.

This non-profit organization strives to take action on food, water and fish safety and quality throughout the U.S.

There website is full of neat and insightful information about food and water, so check them out at http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/

 

Stay Informed! Go Green!

– Erica

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Earth Hour

8pm local time, Saturday March 27th,2009 whereever you are on planet Earth.

Switch off your lights for ONE HOUR

Vote Earth, your light switch is your vote!

 

Be Green!

– Erica

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Stop Junk-Mail…and protect the environment

Sick of getting pointless credit card offers or catalogs? Me Too! Not only is it annoying but junk mail wastes an incredible amount of natural resources and contributes to global warming!

With www.41pounds.org, you cant stop junk-mail for up to 5 years!

41 pounds,a nonprofit service, takes you and your household off these mailing lists !!!!

The Environmental Benefits:

Time — No credit card offers to shred or unwanted catalogs.
Trees — Keep 100+ million trees in forests, cooling the planet.
Water — Protect 28 billion gallons of clean water.
Climate — Junk mail produces more C02 than 9 million cars.
Planet — We donate to your favorite charity when you sign up

41 pounds donates “more than 1/3 of your fee to the environmental or community organization
of your choice:
Eco-Cycle
, StopGlobalWarming.org, Born Free USA, Los Angeles Audubon and others.”- 41pounds

so visit www.41pounds.organd start eliminating

Stay Informed! Go Green!

– Erica

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“Eco-Cities”

China, The U.S. and Abu Dhabi “aim to reduce or even eliminate the environmental cost of city living”- Scientific American Journal

 U.S.- San Francisco Bay—> ” Treasure Island”: A polluted military base is being transformed into a dense green neighborhood

China- Chongmind Island, Shanghahi –> ” Dongtan”: One of the earliest eco-cities announced may take longer than anticipated to complete

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates —> ” Masdar”: Oil wealth fuels construction of an ecological city in the Arabian desert.

Check out http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=eco-cities-urban-planning for all the details of these eco-cities, and each city’s size, schedule (including estimated completion date), cost and their green features.

For a slideshow the cities’ plans visit: http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=eco-cities-urban-planning

What do you guys think?

Thanks for visiting! Stay Informed!

Go Green!

-Erica

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How to Have an Eco-Friendly Valentine’s Day!

NEVER FEAR: Eco-friendly options smell good, taste good (well, maybe not the flowers), and just might land you a date.

Flowers
” In 2001, Americans spent an estimated $50 per capita on flowers, garden plants, and nursery crops, and floricultural grower receipts topped $13 billion. But some industry costs remained hidden. The floral industry uses the highest level of pesticides of all agricultural sectors. And since most of the flowers we buy originate abroad, these pesticides can include some that are banned in the U.S., such as DDT. These chemicals may even remain on bouquets long enough to rub off on skin or be inhaled by your beloved. When the Environmental Working Group tested a small sample of roses in 1997, they found residues of several pesticides at up to 50 times the amounts permitted in food.”- The Green Guide

But the trouble starts long before the flowers reach your sweetheart. Pesticide runoff from flower farms pollutes waterways, and recent research has found that nearly two-thirds of Colombia’s flower workers report maladies associated with pesticide exposure. To add insult to injury, workers on most flower farms still earn poverty wages.

What you can do:

  • Buy fresh or dried blooms at your local farmer’s market.
  • Send an organic bouquet from Organic Bouquet online or from Whole Foods and Wild Oats stores. (Roses are $34.99 for a dozen and $49.99 for two dozen online, or $16.99 retail.)

What you shouldn’t do:

  • Buy flowers through Defenders of Wildlife’s Valentine’s Day campaign. The organization says you can “give flowers and save wildlife at the same time” by shopping at 1-800-flowers.com, which gives 10 percent of every purchase to DOW. Trouble is, 1-800-flowers.com sells conventional blooms, and the pesticides used to grow them threaten wildlife. Shame on Defenders of Wildlife: If it used an organic florist, the organization and the environment would benefit.

Chocolate

A traditional, shade-grown cacao farm can be the next best thing to wild rainforest for species diversity. These days, however, most cacao is grown on conventional farms characterized by environmentally damaging pesticides, child labor, and poor working conditions. The truly compassionate Valentine cares not just for her or his sweetie, but also for the health and welfare of the people who cultivate chocolate — not to mention for the local forests and wildlife, including migratory songbirds. All do better without pesticides and synthetic fertilizers, and when crops are grown beneath the shade of indigenous trees.

Organically grown chocolate may be a touch more pricey, but so are Godiva and other premium chocolates that don’t help support sustainable agriculture and healthy communities. Plus, sharp-eyed shoppers can often find big bars of eco-chocolate on sale at natural-food markets around Valentine’s Day. If you really want to be one step ahead of the game, think about Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, and stock up!

What You Can Do:

Thank you to The Green Guide for this valuable information on how to be Green for V-DAY

..Stay Informed! Go Green!

– Erica

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Green Energy is going to save world economy AND our planet

I came across this article in my news desktop widget. VERY interesting and reasurring 🙂

From REUTERS UK:

Green energy sought as fix for economy and planet

Wed Jan 28, 2009 6:54pm GMT
By Nichola Groom and Ben Hirschler

DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) – Investments and policies to combat climate change will put the world economy on the road to recovery and help cool the planet in the process, delegates at the World Economic Forum said on Wednesday.

Although the meeting is dominated by the global recession, climate change is a central issue for policymakers and business leaders who want to reduce reliance on dirty and imported fossil fuels and support growing industries capable of creating jobs.

“Climate change in some ways is more in the centre,” said Frances Beinecke, president of U.S. environmental group the Natural Resources Defence Council. “Designing a new energy future is much more central to the conversation than it was in the past, where it was considered sort of an add-on.”

If there is any optimism around the potential for aggressive new environmental policies and big investments in renewables to create “green collar jobs,” U.S. President Barack Obama could be given much of the credit.

Money for solar and wind power projects, which flowed at a booming rate for most of the last two years, dried up at the end of last year because of the credit crunch and a fall in the price of oil that dampened investor interest in green energy.

Obama, however, has committed to making clean energy and efficiency part of his $825 billion economic stimulus package.

“The bad news for us is the very low oil prices that we see right now, but… we are very encouraged by what we hear Obama say,” said Steen Riisgaard, chief executiveof Denmark’s Novozymes, a maker of enzymes for ethanol production.

The International Energy Agency said all governments should also seek to green their stimulus plans.

“If governments are spending money for a stimulus package, why not spend it on renewables?” IEA Executive Director Nobuo Tanaka said. “It stimulates the economy short term and in the long term it’s sustainable. You kill two birds with one stone.”

But many energy projects are unlikely to be finished quickly. Analysts have said Obama’s plan to upgrade the nation’s power grid, for example, faces lengthy approval processes.

LOW-CARBON GROWTH

Some delegates cautioned against believing that emissions are declining because of recession-invoked cutbacks at factories.

“That shouldn’t give us a cause for celebration,” Steve Howard, CEO of environmental organisation The Climate Group, said. “When the economy gets going, emissions will start to rise. All growth needs to be low-carbon.”

In addition to his stimulus plan, Obama pledged earlier this week to start reversing former President George W. Bush’s environmental policies with steps to allow states to limit greenhouse gas emissions from cars.

Environmentalists described the move as a sea change in U.S. policy. Under Bush, Europeans viewed the United States as a roadblock to global action on climate change.

Even so, some environmentalists said Obama’s plans do not go far enough.

Obama wants to cut U.S. emissions back to 1990 levels by 2020, but South African environment minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk said this fell far short of the cuts needed.

“It’s still way off 25-40 percent but at least the signs are encouraging,” he said.

Many d3legates said they expected the momentum to continue.

Jim Rogers, chief executive of U.S. power company Duke Energy Corp, said he expected legislators and the new U.S. government to push forward with plans for mandatory cuts in emissions through a cap-and-trade scheme.

“If legislation gets passed in 2009, then the ‘ready’ period could be two to four or three to five years,” he said. “That squares up well with the end of Kyoto.”

The first period of the Kyoto protocol, which set targets for cutting carbon emissions, expires in 2012. Governments from around the world will meet in Copenhagen at the end of this year to try an agree a deal to replace it.

For full coverage, blogs and TV from Davos go to www.reuters.com/davos

(Additional reporting by Barbara Lewis; Editing by Timothy Heritage)

 

Not only is green energy going to help cool and save our planet from further warming (the man made kind), its an opportunity to save our economy!

– Erica

 

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What have you done to protect your home against RADON?

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas, but it can build up inside homes and cause lung cancer (it’s number 2, after smoking). You can buy radon test kits to check for radon, improve home ventilation, and other things.

 January is National Radon Action Month.

Stay Informed! Go Green

– Erica

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Small Act Network

Small Act Network (www.smallact.com) belive that  “it is the small acts that we can all do that are the most powerful source of change. It is not the big act of one, but the small acts of many that will make this world a better place to live for us and our children.”

Their simple goal is to “raise one penny per person per day ($3.65 per year), which means a potential of over 1 Billion dollars per year for charityin the US. By signing up and simply making SmallAct.com your home page you have the opportunity to reach that penny per day goal to help your favorite charity, and importantly, get there without having to spend any of your own money! “— the money doesn’t come from you, but from sponsors and supporters, for every time you access there web page (ie. making smallact.com your home page– they have a google search too!!)

 Something else that’s cool! Every month they have a “New Cause” on their home page. Feeling generous one month? Join the cause and help out! –> This month’s cause “World Hunger” (visit smallact.com to see how you can do a small act to help)

….oh ya and they have a “simple small act of the day” you can do ..you can even suggest one!

PLEASE sign up at smallact.com …..its only $3.65 for the year– for a good cause!

Stay Informed! Go Green

– Erica Stephanie Leznik

Ps. Thank you cousin Lana for this amazing info!

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Alternative at Home Relief

Some of these things might catch you by surprise.  But I assure you it won’t hurt to try, before using all kinds of gross chemical based products

Tape this inside medicine cabinet

 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Ø 

Did You Know That? Drinking two glasses of Gatorade can relieve headache pain almost immediately — without the unpleasant side effects caused by traditional “pain relievers.”

 

Ø 

Did you know that Colgate toothpaste makes an excellent salve for burns?

 

Ø 

Before you head to the drugstore for a high-priced inhaler filled with mysterious chemicals, try chewing on a couple of curiously strong Altoids peppermints. They’ll clear up your stuffed nose.

 

Ø  Achy muscles

from a bout of the flu? Mix 1 Tablespoon of horseradish in 1 cup of olive oil. Let the mixture sit for 30 minutes, then apply it as a massage oil, for instant relief for aching muscles.

 

Ø  Sore throat

? Just mix 1/4 cup of vinegar with 1/4 cup of honey and take 1 tablespoon six times a day. The vinegar kills the bacteria.

 

Ø 

Cure urinary tract infections with Alka-Seltzer. Just dissolve two tablets in a glass of water and drink it at the onset of the symptoms. Alka-Seltzer begins eliminating urinary tract infections almost instantly — even though the product was never advertised for this use.
(Note: Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold Medicine is not the same and contains aspirin, which can cause stomach bleeding if you have ulcers.)

 

Ø  Honey

remedy for skin blemishes … Cover the blemish with a dab of honey and place a Band-Aid over it. Honey kills the bacteria, keeps the skin sterile, and speeds healing. Works overnight.

 

Ø  Listerine therapy for toenail fungus … Get rid of unsightly toenail fungus by soaking your toes in Listerine mouthwash. The powerful antiseptic leaves your toenails looking healthy again.

 

Other Useful Alternatives:

 

Ø 

Easy eyeglass protection … To prevent the screws in eyeglasses from loosening, apply a small drop of Maybelline Crystal Clear nail polish to the threads of the screws before tightening them.

 

Ø  Coca-Cola

cure for rust … Forget those expensive rust removers. Just saturate an abrasive sponge with Coca Cola and scrub the rust stain. The phosphoric acid in the coke is what gets the job done.

 

Ø  Cleaning liquid

that doubles as bug killer … If menacing bees, wasps, hornets, or yellow jackets get in your home and you can’t find the insecticide, try a spray of Formula 409. Insects drop to the ground instantly.

 

Ø 

Smart splinter remover …just pour a drop of Elmer’s Glue-All over the splinter, let dry, and peel the dried glue off the skin. The splinter sticks to the dried glue.

 

Ø  Hunt’s tomato paste

boil cure…. cover the boil with Hunt’s tomato paste as a compress. The acids from the tomatoes soothe the pain and bring the boil to a head.

 

Ø  Balm

for broken blisters …To disinfect a broken blister, dab on a few drops of Listerine … a powerful antiseptic.

 

Ø 

Heinz vinegar to heal bruises … Soak cotton ball in white vinegar and apply it to the bruise for 1 hour. The vinegar reduces the blueness and speeds up the healing process.

 

Ø 

Kills fleas instantly. Dawn dish washing liquid does the trick. Add a few w drops to your dog’s bath and shampoo the animal thoroughly. Rinse well to avoid skin irritations. Goodbye flees.

 

Ø 

Rainy day cure for dog odor … Next time your dog comes in from the rain, simply wipe down the animal with Bounce or any dryer sheet, instantly making your dog smell springtime fresh.

 

Ø 

Eliminate ear mites … All it takes is a few drops of corn oil in your cat’s ear. Massage it in, and then clean with a cotton ball. Repeat daily for 3 days. The oil soothes the cat’s skin, smothers the e mites, and accelerates healing.

 

Ø  Quaker Oats for fast pain relief…. It’s not for breakfast anymore! Mix 2 cups of Quaker Oats and 1 cup of water in a bowl and warm in the microwave for 1 minute, cool slightly, and apply the mixture to your hands for soothing relief from arthritis pain.

 

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The New GREEN Notebook

 

 

 

Looking for a new notebook? Check this out:

“ The World’s Greenest Family of Notebooks”

From the apple.com, “When we redesigned the new Macbook, our designers and engineers set a goal of making not only the greenest notebook Apple ever produced, but the greenest family of notebooks. So every new Macbook has been built using materials that are highly recyclable and free of many harmful substances present in other computers. Apple engineers also designed the software and hardware to work together, in order to maximize energy efficiency and minimize the carbon footprint of the MacBook. Even the packaging was reconsidered and reduced, so there would be smaller boxes to ship and less material to recycle. The result is exactly what we hoped for: the greenest family of notebooks ever made.”

Eco-Friendly Quality? You judge:

The new Eco-Friendly Macbook is

          Highly recyclable

          Eliminated many harmful toxins that most notebooks carry

          Comes with reduced packaging (41% smaller than the previous generation)

          More energy efficient

 

 

The new MacBook family embodies Apple’s continuing environmental commitment. Each new MacBook is designed with the following features to reduce its environmental footprint:

§  Arsenic-free glass

§  Mercury-free LED-backlit display

§  Brominated flame retardant-free internal components

§  PVC-free internal cables

§  Highly recyclable aluminum and glass enclosure

§  Up to 41 percent smaller packaging

 Check it out:

 

 

Intrigued? Me too!!!!!

P.s. it runs on  ¼ of the power of a single light bulb

Stay Informed! Go Green!

Erica Stephanie Leznik

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Organic- It isn’t just trendy. Its safer for your health and the environment!

Lets talk about Food! mmm

The list of dangers to consider is seemingly endless:

  • Mercury and PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) in fish
  • Arsenic and Antibiotics in chicken
  • Hormones in meat
  • Genetically Modified ingredients
  • Mad Cow Disease
  • Trans Fats….etc

Organic isn’t just healthier for the consumer, but does amazing wonders to the environment. Even as critics claim that organic has been “industrialized” and co-opted by big businesses, there is no question that a lot of good has come out of the organic movement. The conversion of land into organic has been great for the environment. It has enabled consumers to have more access to fruits  and vegetables grown without pesticides and to meat from animals raised on healthier feed.

Buying organic can be pricey. But recently WAL-MART (who would of thought) added a substantial amount of well priced organic foods to its shelves!!

** When you buy organic you are voting for a better kind of agriculture, one that supports a planet with richer soil and a cleaner water supply. Along with eating food that is increasingly thought to be better for your health**

Best way to know its organic–> go local! get your produce and meat at a local farmer’s market. You can’t go wrong with that (and its cheaper)

Decoding –> USDA Certified Organic Label:

  • Fruits and vegetables labeled organic are grown without synthetic chemicals, sewer sludge, genetically modified organisms, or irradiation.
  • There are also strict regulations regarding the composting of manure and when it can be applied.
  • Chickens are fed 100 % organic vegetarian feed, and eggs come from hens that eat organic. There are no animal by-products, antibiotics, or arsenic in feed. Chickens also get access to the outdoors, and farms are inspected to make sure these rules are followed.
  • Fish– only labeled “organic” because there is no official USDA standard for organic seafood. The USDA has discussed possible standards for fish and seafood but there were no proposals– go for “WILD CAUGHT”, at least you know they aren’t mangled in nets and harmfully treated.
  • Meat and Dairy- synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, antibiotics, hormones, genetic engineering, irradiation, and sewer sludge are prohibited. Animals must eat 100% organic feed.

All other labels are limited in how eco friendly they are.

Foods to Look out For:

*Overly large luscious fruit, like huge strawberries- Well how do you think they got that big? Genetic Alterations! Ew

*Albacore Tuna – only good in moderation-No more than 6 ounces per week and less for smaller children. Eeek i love tuna!!! When eating canned tuna, buy CHUNK LIGHT not albacore tuna, which has about 3X the mercury as light tuna. Now a little tid-bit on Mercury:

  •  [[Mercury, which is one of the most common fish pollutants is released into the air from coal-fired plants and ends up in rivers, lakes and oceans. Its then transformed by bacteria into methyl-mercury, a highly toxic compound that can harm the developing nervous systems of fetuses, infants and young children. There is also evidence that too much consumption of fish containing mercury can cause cardiovascular disease. ]]

 

Thank you for blogging and staying informed!

 Go Green!..well and ORGANIC

Erica Stephanie Leznik

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Home Electronics Tips

Home Electronics Tips*
 
–  When shopping for home electronics look for energy saving “ENERGY STAR” home electronics
 
–  IMPORTANT: Many appliances continue to draw a small amount of power when they are switched off. Theses appliances include VCRs, TVs, stereos, computers, and kitchen appliances. In the average home, 75% of the electricity used to power home electronics is consumed while the products are turned off. This can be avoided by unplugging the appliance or using a power strip and using the switch on the power strip to cut all power to the appliance.
            –> So unplug your toaster when you are not using it!
            –> Don’t leave your blow-drying plugged in when you aren’t using it!
 
 
–  Unplug battery chargers when the batteries are fully charged or the charger is not in use.
 
– Studies have shown that using rechargeable batteries for products like cordless phones and PDAs is more cost effective than throwaway batteries. If you must use throwaways, check with your trash removal company about safe disposal options.
 
 
Stay Informed!  GO GREEN!
 
Erica Stephanie Leznik
 
*Information Gathered from The US Department of Energy. For more information visit http://www.eere.energy.gov/

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Let’s Recycle

Recycling is not a law in all states, like Arizona. In some states you can get paid for recycling. Recycling saves energy, water, and other natural resources, reduces pollution, including the greenhouse gas emissions, which is a factor in global climate change. Recycling options vary depending upon where you live. Visit Earth911.com to locate a recycling center near you! Post this email by your recycling bin and ask no more!
GOOD THINGS TO RECYCLE:
–          UNBROKEN GLASS CONTAINERS
–          CLEAN DRY NEWSPAPERS & NEWSPAPER INSERTS
–          EMPTY METAL CANS, CAPS, LIDS, BANDS and FOIL
–          PLASTIC  (that has a stamp of #1 or #2 on the bottom )àIMPORTANT
–          GROCERY BAGS- PAPER not PLASTIC ONES
–          PAPER FROZEN FOOD BOXES
–          MIXED PAPER: junk mail, magazines, photocopies, computer paper, cereal/show boxed
o   Be careful with cardboard some places don’t take it
–          SCRAP ALUMINUM
**There is no need to remove labels or bands from cans and bottles. Clean only enough to prevent odors. Do not recycle containers with traces of hazardous materials. Do not recycle dirty or food stained paper.
BAD THINGS TO RECYCLE:
–          Ceramics, Pyrex, tableware, windows, light bulbs, mirrors
–          Rubber bands, plastic  bags, product samples, water, dirt, mold or other contaminates
–          Full cans, spray cans (unless instructed), cans with paint or hazardous waste
–          Plastics type #3, #4, #5, #6 and ESPECIALLY #7
–          Stickers, napkins, tissues, waxed paper, milk cartons, carbon paper, laminated paper, any stained or wet paper
Things that are recyclable but have to be disposed of in a certain manner:
–          Motor Oil à NEVER DUMP IN STORM DRAIN
o   call your garbage company, local quick-lube, tire shop or call 1-800-MOTOROIL
–          Car Batteries, sealed lead/gel-cell Batteries
o   KEEP LED OUT OF THE ENVIRONMENT
o   Bring them into an car or security dealer for recycling or trade in
–          Rechargeable batteries
o   Call 1-800-8BATTERY for information
o   Some grocery stores have a recycling bin for batteries.
–          Laser/Ink Print Cartridge
o   Send to one of many recyclers or re-fillers à Like hp.com
o   Or visit recycleplace.com , it pays $1/each
 
–          Household toxins (paint, oils, solvents, pesticides, cleaner
o   Call your garbage company for advice. DO NOT DUMP IN STORM DRAINS
o   Some cities have monthly/annually toxic waste pick ups
–          Appliances
o   Goodwill accepts working appliances
–          CDs/DVDs/Game Disks
o   Send scratched music or computer CDs, DVDs, and PlayStation or Nintendo video game disks to “AuralTech for refinishing, and they’ll work like new : www.auraltech.com
–          Compact fluorescent bulbs
o   Take them to your local IKEA store www.ikea.com
–          “Technotrash” 
o   Project KOPEG offers an e-waste recycling program that helps you raise funds for your organization. They help recycle iPods, MP3 players, cell phones, chargers, cameras, PSAs, palm pilots, and more
–          Tennis Shoes
o   Nike’s Reuse-a-Shoe program turns old shoes into playground and athletic flooring. Visit www.nikereuseashoe.com for more info
 
Interested in composting? Email me for more information!
 
Go Green!
 
Erica Stephanie Leznik

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The First Step

Dear Friends and Family-
    As many of you know i want to make a difference in our world as part of my career. I would love to work for the EPA (environmental protection agency) but i have a long way to go before i get there. In the meantime i spend hours researching on how to live a greener life, with simple steps we can all do. America is very ignorant in believing that that one person CAN NOT change the whole globe– WRONG, you’d be surprised on how much impact one person can have on our environment. So what i am going to do is send out a weekly email filled with fun facts, and simple steps you can take without effort ( and i know you all love that) to make a difference in the world we live in. Enjoy!
 
TOP TEN TIPS TO FIGHT GLOBAL WARMING:
1) Replace five incandescent light bulbs in your home with compact fluorescent: Swapping those 75-watt incandescents with 19-watt CFLs can cut 275 pounds of CO2.
2) Instead of short haul flights of 500 miles or so, take the train and bypass 310 pounds of CO2.
3) Sure it may be hot, but get a fan, set your thermostat to 75 degrees and blow away 363 pounds of CO2.
4) Replace refrigerators more than 10 years old with today’s more energy-efficient Energy Star models and save more than 500 pounds of CO2.
5) Shave your eight-minute shower to five minutes for a savings of 513 pounds.
6) Caulk, weatherstrip and insulate your home. If you rely on natural gas heating, you’ll stop 639 pounds of CO2 from entering the atmosphere (472 pounds for electric heating). And this summer, you’ll save 226 pounds from AC use.
7) Whenever possible, dry your clothes on a line outside or a rack indoors. If you air dry half your loads, you’ll dispense with 723 pounds of CO2.
8) Trim down on the red meat. Since it takes more fossil fuels to produce red meat than fish, eggs and poultry, switching to these foods will slim your CO2 emissions by 950 pounds.
9) Leave the car at home and take public transportation to work. Taking the average U.S. commute of twelve miles by light rail will leave you 1,366 pounds of CO2 lighter than driving. The standard, diesel-powered city bus can save 804 pounds, while heavy rail subway users save 288.
10) Finally, support the creation of wind, solar and other renewable energy facilities by choosing green power if offered by your utility. To find a green power program in your state, call your local utility or visit U.S. Department of Energy’s Green Power Markets page. See also our Green Power Utilities Product Report.
 
Please don’t send this to spam. It would mean the world to me if you would at least do one thing on this list. Its so easy, and it will be well worth it, you’ll see 🙂
 
Thanks to all,
Erica Stephanie Leznik

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