1. BPA: Not Just in Water Bottles Anymore

    Posted on March 31, 2010 by Courtney

    bottled water

    We’ve written a lot about BPA here at The Greenists (see here and here for a refresher) and suffice to say, we’re not fans. Short for bisphenol A, BPA is thought to contribute to obesity, neurological issues in children and fetuses, thyroid issues, and even cancer. Most of the time, you’ll hear about BPA in relation to water bottles — since BPA is used to harden plastic, they’re used in plastic water bottle production and can leach into the water as you’re drinking it. Many of us have switched to reusable, BPA-free bottles for our water on the go — it’s healthier and creates less waste.

    But it turns out BPA isn’t just found in water bottles. The EPA has become concerned about the amount of BPA in all sorts of things around us — food packaging, thermal paper (such as ATM receipts), molds for casting metal, and many others. The EPA adding BPA to its list of “chemicals of concern,” which will require studies on where it’s being used and how much harm it’s actually doing. These studies will likely be followed by regulations limiting the use of BPA.

    Keep in mind: The EPA declared BPA “safe” as recently as 2008. While I’m glad the agency is aiming to limit the amount of BPA in our lives, it makes you wonder what else out there has been declared “safe,” doesn’t it?

  2. My New To Go Cup

    Posted on March 30, 2010 by Allie

    photo-1

    I try really hard to bring my own beverages when I head out to run errands, but that usually limits me to water. I don’t drink a lot of carbonated beverages, but when I do, they can’t go in a bottle with a sports top (unless I want to experience volcanic beverage activity in my car). I like to hand rinse my bottle, so I don’t have to wait for the next dishwasher cycle to clean it, but the narrow mouth makes it harder to clean, so juices and sweetened teas make too much of a mess. Plus, I know it’s silly, but I cannot stand the sound of ice cubes hitting the sides of the metal bottle. I almost always end up with a bottle full of room temperature water, which gets kind of boring.

    When I really thought about it, I realized that I don’t really like the experience of drinking out of my sports bottle. It’s utilitarian, and it does exactly what it’s supposed to do, but it’s not fun. Maybe it’s weird, but I’ve realized that the draw of stopping at Starbucks for an iced tea isn’t just about the tea. I like drinking out of to go cups. I like stirring the ice around with my straw. I like the overall feel of the cup, and that little sense of indulgence. I missed that. Because I missed that, I would occasionally cave and buy an iced tea or coffee in a plastic, disposable cup, because drinking iced tea out of a glass when I got home didn’t fully supplement that experience. Read more…

  3. 5 New Uses for an Old CD Jewel Case

    Posted on March 29, 2010 by Courtney

    CD JEWEL CASE

    I know what you’re thinking. CD case? What is this, 1995? Yeah, most of us download our music these days (score one for the green movement — less plastic!) but I know I still have a couple hundred CDs and their cases lying around, and I’m betting you do too. Here are five ways to put them to good use.

    1. Coaster: Attach felt to either side of the case and voila: instant coaster. You could also do this with the CD itself. Use your most embarrassing music for extra fun.

    2. Ice scraper: When your windshield is covered in ice or snow on chilly mornings, use a jewel case to scrape yourself a clear line of sight.

    3. Picture frame: Put a photograph in an open jewel case and prop it up on a desk or bookshelf. If you want to get really crafty, you can put several pictures in many different jewel cases, then arrange them in a collage pattern and attach them to a wall.

    4. Christmas tree ornament: Get creative with glitter, felt, and other crafty items to create a holiday scene. Then drill a hole in the case, thread a string through the hole, and hang it from your tree.

    5. Organizer: Keep a jewel case in a desk drawer to keep stray paper clips, rubber bands, and other small office supplies in one place.

    Can you think of any other ways to reuse an old CD jewel case?

  4. A/V Fridays – Douglas Adams on Parrots, the Universe, and Everything

    Posted on March 26, 2010 by Allie

  5. We Could All Use Some Sun At This Point, I Think

    Posted on March 25, 2010 by Mickey

    flower

    I’m sure someone out there is cursing their meteorological fate and wondering when winter will pack itself away and let spring have its shot, but that someone is not me. Here in Georgia the fairest season has sprung in all its flower-poppin’, shorts-wearin’ glory. On Saturday, what seemed to be every resident of metro Atlanta found their way outside into the sunny, mid-70s air for some recreation and a free dose of Vitamin D. I’m sure some of them dug a few holes or tossed a few balls in their own backyards, but the rest of us (and certainly those without yards) looked for the nearest green splotch on the map. Luckily, we have a few of those around. Read more…

  6. Don’t Forget Earth Hour!

    Posted on March 24, 2010 by Courtney

    Earth Hour logoImage credit: www.earthhour.org

    What are you doing this Saturday, March 27, at 8:30 p.m.? I’ll give you a few ideas: You could read a book by candlelight, or play a board game by candlelight, or sit with a few friends and have some good, old-fashioned conversation. You can do anything that doesn’t involve electricity, because this Saturday at 8:30 p.m., your local time, is Earth Hour.

    Earth Hour began in Sydney, Australia in 2007 as a way to raise awareness about climate change. Since then, it’s grown to include environmentally-minded people all over the world. Last year’s Earth Hour stretched to more than 4,000 cities in 88 countries.

    So what do you have to do? It’s simple: Just turn off the lights for an hour. That’s it. If you really want to get involved, you can urge others to participate through Facebook or Twitter. You could even talk to your community leaders about getting your entire town to participate. Visit the Earth Hour website (linked above) to find out more.

    And of course, don’t limit your energy consciousness to one hour per year. Be aware of your energy usage all the time, and do everything you can to minimize the amount of energy you use every day.

  7. What’s Going On

    Posted on March 23, 2010 by Allie

    Baby_Duck

    Crunchy Chicken may be going to the ducks.

    Inhabitat talks about coffee you inhale instead of drink.

    The Daily Green has a list of five products designed to fail.

    Rob’s World discusses The Story Of Bottled Water.

    Condo Blues takes on bathroom mold without bleach.

    Grist reports on a plan to turn deserted malls into indoor gardens.

    What’s going on with you?

  8. Make Your Own Mop Cloths and Solution

    Posted on March 22, 2010 by Courtney

    mop

    Image credit: mikknits.blogspot.com

    It’s hard to beat the convenience of a battery-powered mop. All you have to do is press the button, and the cleaning solution squirts out onto the floor right in front of you! Then, with just a few back-and-forth sweeps of the mop, your floor is clean!

    But let’s face it: Those mops aren’t exactly green. You have to replace the plastic bottle that contains the solution, and those pads that affix to the bottom of the mop are disposable. But fear not! If you have a wet-jet mop, there are ways to green it up a little. Read more…

  9. Green Dating

    Posted on March 19, 2010 by NPW

    kermit-the-frog

    Would your friends describe you as a tree hugger? Are you more interested in composting techniques than long walks on the beach? Well, single eco-friendly peeps out there: it’s your turn to find love! Apparently there are multiple green dating sites out there, complete with slogans like “Make every day Earth day!”, and “We are choose green color because it is a life color, tone of hope, signal to move, to go. We are sincerely wish to everybody who want it, to find her or his another half and be happy, very happy!”

    Uhh, right.

    Seriously, though, for the most part, the green singles sites look pretty interesting. I didn’t want to go so far as to sign up for one because I don’t know how closely I fit the requirements of vegans, organic farmers, holistic and new age philosophies, or alternative educations, but I did peruse some of the sites. The most promising among them seemed to be Green Singles, Planet Earth Singles, and EcoDater, but there seem to be many more “green” dating sites available.

    What I found most interesting is the broad range of topics that seem to fall under the (organic, recyclable) umbrella of eco-friendly. Raw foodist? Sign up! Moisturize daily with hemp? There’s a match for you! Live in a yurt made of solar panels? You’ll be married within a fortnight!

    All joking aside, there are many viable options for those out there who would like to meet people with similar values without having to go through all the preliminary getting-to-know-you stuff. I mean, who wants to go through the entire eHarmony rigamarole before finding out your potential match doesn’t even believe in global warming?

    Just one plea for those of you out there looking to green date: please use the comments section to tell the people at Green Passions that their website sounds like you’ll soon be making out with Kermit. C’mon now, I can’t be the only one who thought that.

  10. Happy New Year! (Er, Sort of…)

    Posted on March 18, 2010 by Stefanie

    cheers

    Photo courtesy of marie-II

    Are you a New Year’s resolution maker? Yes, yes, I do realize it is March, which probably seems like a strange time to be asking about New Year’s resolutions. But judging by the thinned out crowds and significantly emptier parking lot at the gym recently, March is about the time a lot of people abandon their New Year’s resolutions. So maybe that means March is a perfect time to revisit your resolutions or, if you didn’t make any a few months ago, time to start setting some.

    Read more…

Tip of the Day

If It Doesn’t Smell, Don’t Wash It

19980_m.jpg

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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