1. HFCS Free: Maine Root Ginger Brew

    Posted on February 26, 2010 by Guest


    The following is a guest post from Howling Hill.  If you’re interested in guest posting on The Greenists, e-mail Courtney at thegreenists dot com for details.

    Back when I worked as an EMT in Massachusetts I had this one partner named Gary. He was an awesome partner to have. He was motivated, smart, educated, and funny as hell.

    While there may be a fairly large Jamaican population in Lynn (or, at least there was a decade ago. I don’t know if there is one now) there weren’t a lot of places for Jamaicans to shop for Jamaican food nor were there many Jamaican restaurants. There was, however, this one place in Lynn which Gary used to go to regularly, when he was missing home something fierce. At the time I was a vegetarian so I didn’t sample too much of the cuisine because it was mostly meat based. I did try goat though (it wasn’t bad) and ginger beer. I came away from our partnership with a lifelong love of ginger beer.

    Ginger beer gave me such a hassle though. Finding it in white suburban Boston wasn’t easy and when I did it, it was expensive — finding it in rural New Hampshire was damned near impossible. Certainly I found Goya but it didn’t fit my criteria to ingest. That is, as I got more ingredient savvy I realized how unhealthy ginger beer could be: lots of sugar and high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). It became a treat I didn’t get very often because of the expense and the HFCS.

    Over the last decade I’ve tried to find ginger beer without HFCS and, while I was successful, they tasted awful or, worse, bland. Ginger beer, you see, needs to burn on the way down. It’s the best that way! So the organic ones I found were either to bland or just yucky and the non-organic were filled with HFCS. I was sad.

    I was sad until last weekend when Melissa stopped by and brought some ginger beer. It’s good. It burns.* It has no HFCS and, AND it’s local. How could I get any luckier? Maine Root is the name. It’s a microbrew, if you will, that uses organic cane sweetener and bio-diesel to deliver its product. How effing cool is that?

    So if you love ginger beer (or root beer, or sarsaparilla, or orange, or lemon lime, or blueberry) give Maine Root your business. If your local place doesn’t carry it ask them to or buy online. You palate won’t be sorry!

    *It could burn a smidge more! Just a smidge though.

    Howling Hill blogs from central New Hampshire where she dreams of living on a farm raising meat,vegetables, and fruit to feed the community. She had no idea to be progressive she had to become very regressive. She’s becoming adept at knitting, canning, and generally be more greenly self sufficient.

  2. Size Matters

    Posted on February 25, 2010 by Mickey


    I was working really hard to find a different topic to write about, I really was. Pacing about the apartment, zooming around the internet, looking for ideas. But I just couldn’t shake off the Slate piece I read this morning. Really, don’t even bother reading the rest of what I’ve written here; just go read the source (fantastic title, too.)

    For everyone looking for ways to get people, all people to care about environmental issues, look no further. We can now stand up to all those who willfully ignore the facts or decide it just doesn’t matter to them, look them in the eye and say “Dude, your son’s gonna have a small penis.”

    Read more…

  3. Hey, Nice Rack!

    Posted on February 24, 2010 by Courtney


    It’s easy to line-dry your laundry in the summertime. If you’ve got an outdoor living space with a clothesline, and it’s sunny, warm and a little breezy outside, forget about it. Your laundry will be dry in way less time than it would take in the dryer.

    But what do you do during the winter? If it’s cold and gray outside, your clothes will take forever and a day to dry. You could set up a clothesline inside, but there is another solution that is easier than stringing twine all over the place. That solution, my friends, is the drying rack. Read more…

  4. What’s Going On

    Posted on February 23, 2010 by Allie


    The Daily Green lists seven creatures that have gone extinct in our lifetime.

    Ecollo explores the reality of Uggs.

    NPW turns an old book into wall art.

    Inhabitat discusses a prosthetic good that recycles energy.

    The Good Human wants you to choose ground shipping the next time you send a package.

    Haute Nature has found amazing accessories made from recycled soda bottles.

    Fake Plastic Fish debates match vs. lighter.

    Grist wonders if Facebook deserves the hell it’s getting from Greenpeace.

    Raise a Green Dog wants to make sure your dog’s bowl is safe.

  5. It’s Not Too Soon To Be Thinking About That Summer Garden!

    Posted on February 22, 2010 by Dianne

    Dreaming of Summer

    This time of year it’s very easy for me to get bogged down in the blahs of winter, this is especially true this year when here in Maryland we’ve had 53+ inches of snow in the past two weeks. Give me 4 or 5 inches at a time and I’m a complete snow person, but give me snow taller than my daughter, and well not so much! But with the return of the sun, despite the fact that more snow and ice are in the forecast for this week, I’m starting to think about spring planting and growing my own food! It all started when a seed catalog arrived in my mailbox.

    Read more…

  6. A/V Fridays – Becoming Human

    Posted on February 19, 2010 by Allie

    J and I have been watching the 3-part NOVA series, Becoming Human, this week, and I’d highly recommend it.  One of the most interesting lines of discussion in the series revolves around rapid climate change and its effect on the development of human intelligence and abilities in the evolutionary time table.

    You can watch all three parts of Becoming Human on PBS.com, or on Netflix Watch Instantly.

  7. Moving Right Along

    Posted on February 18, 2010 by Dingo

    Moving Right Along

    The congested throat rumble of the garbage truck reached my ears as I was in the middle of taping up another box of books. Panicked, I dropped the packing tape. It rolled across the floor picking up cat and dog hair, creating the perfect cushion for safely packing china and glassware. As an added bonus, our floor had never looked so clean. I ran to the window and watched the slow progression of the sanitation truck lumber down the street like a drunken pirate hungry for my booty boxes. A bounty of boxes. Short boxes! Tall boxes! Big boxes! Small boxes! But, best of all, free boxes! Curses! Recycling pickup wasn’t supposed to be for another two hours! It was a race against the truck to get the treasure trove of boxes sitting on the storefront curbs.
    Read more…

  8. Clean Coal: Is There Such a Thing?

    Posted on February 17, 2010 by Courtney


    Answer: No. Not yet, anyway.

    Thanks for stopping by! See you next time on The Greenists!

    No, no, stick around. I’m only kidding. We’ve been hearing a lot about this idea of clean coal lately, with President Obama making it a key part of his energy strategy, and I’ve been seeing commercials for it all over the place. So I decided to do a little research and see if there’s any merit to this. Read more…

  9. What’s Going On

    Posted on February 16, 2010 by Allie


    Ecollo discusses the dark side of chocolate.

    The Daily Green talks about how the recent snowstorms don’t disprove global warming.

    Blatherskite makes hand cream and deodorant.

    The Good Human has 17 alternatives to disposable products.

    Scientific American reports that oxytocin may alleviate some autism.

    World’s Best Cat Litter has a $10 off or free bag offer.

  10. Easy Green Fundraisers

    Posted on February 15, 2010 by NPW

    Even though Massachusetts public schools are on February break this week, another teacher friend and I were discussing our respective Green Teams and just how into it the kids are. So many kids want to take responsibility for their own planet that it warms even my jaded little teacher heart. At the beginning of this year, for example, the Green Team installed three different recycling bins in the cafeteria for cans and plastic bottles, one for each grade (sixth, seventh, and eighth). Each week, the grade that recycles the most cans gets to play music during their lunch period and students get to enter to be the DJ for their lunch period. They call it Tunes at Noon and it’s been a huge success.

    Just this week I heard about another program that not only lets the kids have that feeling of responsibility, but also makes money for the school. NSTAR Energy has been promoting their Change A Light, Change The World Fundraiser, and it couldn’t be easier. NSTAR provides energy-efficient bulbs at no cost, and students sell them as a fundraiser. Not only does the school get 100% of the proceeds, but students are also convincing people to switch to energy-efficient bulbs.

    According to the NSTAR website, “The program includes of a kick-off event, educating students on energy-saving light bulbs and energy conservation. The event will also provide the students with an overview of the fundraising program, as well as explain the benefits of saving energy and how the money earned can benefit your school. The students are then encouraged to spread the word on energy conservation and sell the energy-efficient light bulbs provided by NSTAR.” I think the program sounds pretty amazing, especially for school districts that are less affluent and have less access to education on energy efficiency.

    Next week I plan on emailing NSTAR’s contact person to find out more about this program and see if my school’s Green Team would be interested in participating. For right now though, I think I’ll just enjoy my week-long vacation from the darling kidlets.

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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