1. Help me choose an eco-friendly mattress!

    Posted on April 30, 2009 by Allie

    We bought our mattress 6 years ago, and it’s already done for.  It’s a King Koil, and I am naming names, because they aren’t a green company and I’m utterly disgusted by the short lifespan of this product.  We bought the mattress before I started paying much attention to materials and conservation.  It is enormous, and heavy, and chock full of all sorts of materials.  We spent a little more on it than we’d planned, because the salesman pushed the fact that it had a fifteen year warranty.  If you’re going to have the same mattress for the next fifteen years, maybe it pays to splurge.  Right?

    Oh, we were so wrong.

    Read more…

  2. Pants Pillows

    Posted on by Allie

    We were in desperate need of some throw pillows.  I eyed some pretty ones at the store, but, for one thing, the pair I liked was $60, and I’m a tightwad, and for another, with two dogs and a cat, everything we own needs to be rugged, and the pretty ones were made from a delicately woven fabric.  And, whenever I shop, the great green mantra goes through my head: Why buy new when you can make do with what you have? Read more…

  3. A New Way to Compost in Toronto

    Posted on April 29, 2009 by Courtney

    It boggles my mind to think about how many diapers must be in our landfills. Every kid under potty training age, multiplied by how many diapers they go through every single day? I can’t even fathom how much garbage that must generate.

    There are those who use cloth diapers, and there are a few diapers on the market that claim to be eco-friendly, but the city of Toronto has taken a different tactic to reduce the number of diapers in its landfills. It turns out the city will collect dirty diapers from households so they can be composted along with food scraps, yard trimmings, paper napkins, animal waste, sanitary napkins and kitty litter.

    After composting, the mixture is spread out among local farms and parks.

    Pretty cool, huh? Those Canadians. They have everything figured out.

  4. What’s Going On

    Posted on April 28, 2009 by Allie

    Asthma Mom and The Good Human weigh in on swine flu.

    Blogfish says the Great Barrier Reef is recovering.

    WiseBread discusses earth angst at the grocery store.

    Scientific American reports on the scientific discover of Spiderman’s secret.

    Enviroblog wants to know if you’re addicted to plastic.

    Chiot’s Run ponders insects and the balance of nature.

    What’s going on with you?

  5. Down With Bottled Water

    Posted on April 27, 2009 by Courtney

    Here’s an earth-shattering revelation for you: This recession is bad. Bad, bad, bad. People left and right are unemployed, some are losing their houses, and I don’t even want to think about the hit my IRA has taken. But there’s a silver lining to every cloud, and here’s one for you: Since we’ve been in this recession, people are buying much less bottled water.

    I never understood the bottled water fad myself, and the environmental cost of the bottles is not the only reason. To me, bottled water tastes like plastic. And I don’t enjoy drinking plastic. My beloved aluminum Sigg bottle comes with me everywhere I go, and I fill it with tap water that’s been run through my Brita filter. It’s easy, it’s cheap, and no waste is involved except for the filter.

    The bottled water market is down 1 percent, and it may not be just because of the recession. It’s possible that people have considered the fact that plastic bottles are not eco-friendly and have – wait for it – stopped buying them. Though it may not often seem like it, when you see SUV after SUV on the roads and all the overpackaged items in stores, being green is catching on. Let’s hope it’s not a fad.

    In the bottled water case, it’s my opinion that the key to keeping plastic bottles from making a comeback lies in marketing. Nalgene and Sigg and even Brita should be focusing their marketing and advertising efforts on the green angle – as with many environmental matters, sometimes just bringing something to people’s attention is all it takes.  If these companies start pushing themselves as an alternative to wasteful bottles, perhaps reusable bottles will become the norm.

    How do you think this trend can continue? How can we promote the use of reusable bottles?

  6. A/V Fridays – Wear Your Earth Day Suit

    Posted on April 24, 2009 by Allie

    Umbra has some interesting stats on what gets wasted when we treat clothes as disposables.

  7. Simple Combover Bag

    Posted on April 23, 2009 by Allie

    The hubs got me the Combover Bag from Simple for my birthday a few months ago and I am deeply in love with it.  It’s too big to use as a purse, but the perfect size for my laptop, assorted cables, a couple of books, a water bottle, a sweater, and my cell phone. Read more…

  8. Should the EPA Start Regulating Greenhouse Gases?

    Posted on April 22, 2009 by Courtney

    First of all, happy Earth Day! Let’s all do something nice for Mother Nature today, shall we? And every day, for that matter.

    I grew up in Georgia, which means I had to get an emissions inspection done every year on my car. I admit, at the time I thought it was a pain in the rear end to wait in line and then pay $30 to have some teenager tell me my car was within the legal limits. But I was young and stupid then, and knowing what I now know about the dangers of greenhouse gases and how much pollution cars create, I’d happily pay my share in exchange for getting some dirty cars off the roads. (I now live in Tennessee, where emissions inspections aren’t required. There is some nasty stuff pouring out of some exhaust pipes around here, I tell you.)

    But there’s some news on that front: The Environmental Protection Agency has announced that it would like to regulate carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases, declaring them a danger to public health and the environment. The proposed regulations point the proverbial finger at motor vehicles as the primary cause for the concentration of these gases in our atmosphere. If the EPA does begin imposing regulations, it could have a very real impact on the cars we drive, the electricity we use in our homes and offices, and many other areas of our lives.  

    But nothing is set in stone right now, because the EPA cannot impose any regulations until after a 60-day public comment period. If you are interested in reading the full report, you can find it here. To find out how to voice your support or opposition to the EPA’s findings or plans for regulation, this PDF provides detailed instructions. In addition, if you live in either Arlington, VA or Seattle, WA, there will be public hearings on this matter on May 18 and May 21, respectively.

    This is some heady stuff, and I don’t claim to understand it all right now. I do plan to read the report, but while I’m inclined to support anything that reduces greenhouse gases, I think I’ll reserve judgment until I hear exactly how the EPA plans to regulate.

    How about you? Do you plan to voice your support or opposition to these findings? Do you have any faith that the EPA can make positive changes in our atmosphere?

  9. What’s Going On

    Posted on April 21, 2009 by Allie

    The HuffPo talks Boehner and cow farts.

    EarthFirst wants you to keep drinking organic milk.  It’s working.

    Scientific American quantifies the energy costs of spam (the internet kind, not the canned meat).

    CBS Chicago says Spam (the canned meat, not the internet kind) is making a comeback in this poor economy, but I think tofu or TVP would be the better money saving option.

    Petite Planet asks you to please stay home if you’re sick.

    Ecollo says those wacky Brits are going to turn garden weeding into a sport.

    National Geographic has a slide show of quirky ways to celebrate Earth Day.

    The Good Human discusses greener banking habits.

    Fake Plastic Fish rocks an outfit made from plastic garbage.

    One Green Generation teaches Seed Starting 101.

  10. Buy a Used Bike

    Posted on April 20, 2009 by Allie

    It’s bike weather!  Everyone knows that biking instead of driving is a fabulous way to lessen your carbon footprint, save money, and stay fit.  But not everyone knows what to look for in a bicycle.  Read more…

Tip of the Day

If It Doesn’t Smell, Don’t Wash It

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According to Real Simple, if every American made an effort to launder less — cutting out just one load of laundry a week per household — we’d save enough water to fill seven million swimming pools each year.

So if it looks clean, and it smells clean, call it clean and wear it again. Consider hanging worn clothes out on your clothesline to freshen them up between wearings.


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