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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