1. Two Years!

    Posted on July 31, 2009 by Allie


    Today marks two years since the start of Allie’s Answers.  In the past two years I have met amazing people both online and in real life.  I’ve started working with some of my favorite bloggers, including the best blog partner a girl could ever ask for.   And it’s changed my life.

    I have learned more about the environment, food production, how our stuff comes to be stuff, and how tiny changes can add up to big improvements.  I’ve been figuring out the answers right along with you, and I am so amazed and grateful for this opportunity, and for all of you.

    Thank you for reading.  Thank you for arguing.  Thank you for sharing your opinions and knowledge and perspective.

    And please stick around.  Next week we are headed for some big, exciting changes.

    I can’t wait to start year three with all of you.

  2. Building A Better (And Greener!) Burrito

    Posted on July 30, 2009 by Courtney

    Please welcome back today’s poster, Stefanie.

    burritoPhoto credit: www.insidesocal.com

    You wouldn’t know this unless you happen to have access to the Google calendar that houses the Allie’s Answers guest posting schedule, but today is the day you’re supposed to be reading about environmentally friendly cleaning products. Alas, I am a mere two posts into this guest posting gig and already I am veering from my assigned beat. Why? Because I have burritos on the brain. Specifically, big-as-my-head Chipotle burritos.

    Admit it: you love them too. Yes, yes, on principle I’m supposed to eschew any chain establishment with nearly 900 locations or lose my progressive cred. But that guacamole is perhaps the best anywhere! And that cilantro-lime rice! And the roasted chili-corn salsa! What? I’m just supposed to make those things myself? (Ha.)

    Lucky for me (and you), Chipotle is one fast food chain that we can visit with principles intact. I didn’t really know this until recently. Yes, I knew that when you walk into Chipotle, you get seemingly fresh, made-from-scratch food. But I’ll admit I didn’t know where that food came from. And that “Food with integrity” tagline they’ve been using always seemed a little disingenuous to me, given that Chipotle was owned by the fast food giant largely responsible for the loss of the food industry’s integrity in the first place. (Have you seen Food Inc. yet? You should. Chipotle thinks you should, too, which is why they’ve sponsored free screenings of it all over the country this summer.)

    Read more…

  3. How The ‘Cash for Clunkers’ Program Works

    Posted on July 29, 2009 by Courtney


    There’s been a lot of hoopla in the news lately about the so-called “Cash for Clunkers” bill that has been making its way through our national legislature. The bill was signed into law by President Obama last month, and the rules outlining how the program works were first published last week. Its official name is the Car Allowance Rebate System, but chances are you’ll hear it referred to as the Cash for Clunkers program much more often.

    Read more…

  4. Going Green Has Never Been So Fun!

    Posted on July 28, 2009 by Allie


    Bethe Almeras writes The Grass Stain Guru, a blog about restoring childhood, and saving ourselves in the process. She is the DIY Online Community/Communications Manager for KaBOOM!

    One of the first steps to caring for our environment is getting to know and love it. For those of us who grew up playing outside until the street lights came on, this is not such an alien concept. That said, those days are gone and many kids today are missing out on the opportunities that help foster the connection to nature and help them connect with the world we live in.  Read more…

  5. Eco-Savvy Sippy Cups

    Posted on July 27, 2009 by Courtney

    Please welcome today’s poster, Melissa.


    Hi! My name is Melissa and I am from the beautiful state of Wisconsin. Knowing that it is a passion of mine, Allie and Courtney have asked me to write posts regarding green parenting. I happily obliged, as I feel being “green” is one of the most important things that you can do for your family’s health. It is a fabulous way to help children understand that they are a small, but very special, part of an amazing world out there; a world that they do share responsibility in preserving and protecting.

    Being that we are an average family (I am an elementary school counselor and my husband works as a YMCA camp director) I firmly believe that being green should save you green. I just simply cannot afford to spend lavish amounts of money on eco-friendly items! This leads me to my first post…My search for an affordable, green sippy cup.

    Read more…

  6. Turning Old Clothes Into Something New

    Posted on July 24, 2009 by Courtney

    Please welcome today’s poster, Rachel.


    Hello! I’m Rachel and I’m looking forward to sharing my journey towards a more eco-friendly wardrobe with you. By way of introduction, I’m a full-time graduate student hoping to complete a Ph.D. and live to tell about it. When I’m not reading/writing/researching issues of gender in education, I’m over here, blogging about my creative journey in all-things handmade and making recycled clothing and accessory collections for Made By Rachel.

    When Allie and Courtney asked me if I wanted to write on eco-friendly clothing, I spent four weeks trying to figure out what on earth I was going to write for my first post. Being a practical gal, I decided to stick with what I know best: clothing reconstruction. Two years ago, after committing to working with recycled materials for all of my collections, I made a large recycled t-shirt collection. (You can see most of it here.) All of the materials for this collection were 100% re-used; what I couldn’t find in thrift stores, I found in my own wardrobe and in the closets of friends and family members. Sewing this collection really got me thinking about why I bother buying new at all if I have the time to recreate what I already own? I had just taken the Wardrobe Re-Fashion Pledge and decided it was time to challenge myself to stick to a “new-to-me” take on fashion.

    Read more…

  7. Is Nuclear Power a Viable Option?

    Posted on July 23, 2009 by Courtney

    Please welcome today’s poster, Chris, who is a lecturer at a university in Australia. Chris blogs at A Free Man.


    I’ve been thinking a lot about energy lately. If you are reading this site, you are probably convinced that our current carbon-dependent system is unsustainable over the long run and that we need to come up with alternative energy sources. There has been a flurry of research in the last decade OR SO into sustainable energy. Research that has spurred frequent news stories about the next saviour of the planet – wind, solar, hydroelectric, ethanol, biodiesel. Switch grass. Remember switch grass? But as it stands, 86% of the world’s electricity still comes from fossil fuels.

    This is because there is not yet a renewable energy source that can sate our gluttonous appetite for cheap energy. But there is a cleaner, and thus greener option. Unfortunately it isn’t very popular among those of us who care about the future of the planet.

    Read more…

  8. Countries That Have Committed to Carbon Neutrality

    Posted on July 22, 2009 by Courtney


    Have you ever heard of the island nation of Tuvalu? Before today, neither had I. But this tiny Pacific country is doing its part to battle global warming, and for that it deserves to be recognized.

    Tuvalu is one of several countries that have vowed to become completely carbon neutral, aiming to reduce its emission of greenhouse gases to zero by 2020. By then, says Public Utilities Minister Kausea Natano, Tuvalu will derive all its energy from wind and solar power. Other countries that have made similar pledges include Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Iceland, Maldives, Monaco, New Zealand, Niue, Norway, Pakistan and Portugal.

    Read more…

  9. Thinking Outside the Moving Box

    Posted on July 21, 2009 by Courtney

    Please welcome today’s poster, The Modern Gal.


    I’ve been in the middle of moving into a new old house, of which you’ll probably hear a lot about here since I’ll be blogging about being green at home. It’s been a slow move with the intent of giving myself time to purge all the unneeded clutter in my home. But the urge to purge often means you end up just tossing a lot of that unwanted stuff in the trash.

    I’ve been trying my darndest not to send anything extra to the landfill during this move. It’s required some thinking outside the moving box, so I wanted to share with you some of the tips I’ve discovered.

    Read more…

  10. Jane Iredale Longest Lash Thickening & Lengthening Mascara

    Posted on July 20, 2009 by Allie

    I get a lot of questions about paraben-free mascara.  It’s hard to find, but not impossible.  My current favorite is Jane Iredale Longest Lash Thickening & Lengthening Mascara.

    It doesn’t flake, it’s really hard to smudge (I have a bad habit of forgetting I’m wearing mascara and rubbing my eyes) and it comes off really easily when I wash my face without the need for any special makeup remover.

    I’ve always hated the chemical smell of a lot of mascaras, but Jane Iredale’s mascara has a light, natural vanilla scent.  It’s lovely.  Jane Iredale products are a little pricey, but I’ve never been disappointed by any of the products I’ve tried.  I think this mascara is very worth it.

Tip of the Day

If It Doesn’t Smell, Don’t Wash It


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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