1. 5 Green Ways to Stay Cool

    Posted on June 30, 2010 by Courtney

    I don’t know about your area, but here in the South, it’s been pretty much blazing hot for several weeks. I’m okay with sweating a little, but when temperatures hit the mid-90s, I feel okay about turning on the air conditioner. The problem is that every time I hear the unit kick on and feel the breeze blowing out of the vents, I’m glad for the cool relief, but also increasingly worried about what my power bill will look like this month. Since I’m not exactly rolling in money, this is a concern.

    But we don’t have to rely on air conditioners alone to keep us cool, not even when outside temperatures are approaching three digits. Here are five ways to keep yourself cool without the use of electricity, making your power bill cheaper and your house a little greener. Read more…

  2. What’s Going On

    Posted on June 29, 2010 by Allie

    O Magazine talks about the gospel of green.

    Corona’s Save The Beach program is building a trash hotel.

    Howling Hill makes her own drain cleaner.

    The Good Human has a great guest post about the importance of planting native species.

    Retro Housewife Goes Green writes about resisting change.

    Fake Plastic Fish asks if we should worry about little plastic produce stickers.

    What’s going on with you?

  3. Review: Sula Shea Butter Balm

    Posted on June 28, 2010 by Courtney

    As I learn more about green living, one thing I’ve learned is to read the ingredients of everything I buy. When it comes to beauty products, I always look for items that are petroleum-free. There are ways to moisturize that don’t involve things based in oil, and the more I think about it, rubbing petroleum on my skin is kind of gross anyway.

    So I’m pleased to tell you about Sula Shea Butter Balms, a line of gently scented, all-purpose body balms. They’re made with ingredients I can pronounce: organic shea butter, organic sunflower oil, beeswax, organic jojoba oil, rose geranium essential oil, and rose otto essential oil.

    These handmade balms come in .37-oz. tins, so they’re very portable and not messy at all. My favorite thing about this balm is that it’s so versatile — you can use it on your hands, feet, lips, face, cuticles, and even your hair. I like using it mostly on my hands and feet because it moisturizes without feeling greasy. The sample I tried is the Rosa Demascena scent, which is light and flowery and not overpowering at all. Other scents include Bergamot and Neroli Blossom.

    Sula Shea Butter Balms retail at Anthropologie, Ulta, and sulabeauty.com for $8-$9.

  4. Here a Cluck, There a Cluck

    Posted on June 24, 2010 by Courtney

    Today’s post is written by our newest Greenist, Howling Hill!

    One of the easiest ways to green your kitchen is to keep a small flock of chickens. Easy to care for, versatile, relatively quiet, and amusing chickens are a must have for any microsteader* with a little space.

    When Wolf and I first discussed getting chickens we had a fair amount of fear. Neither of us had any idea how much work they would be. I can say without any deception chickens are very little work. Feed and water them, collect the eggs, and chickens pretty much care for themselves.

    Feeding is easy. We give our flock a combination of foods. First, they have access to our compost pile, which they love. Within days a clump of rotting vegetables and fruits is a dark, wonderful compost ready for the garden.** Second, we give them all kinds of table scraps (no meats though): vegetables, fruits, breads, cheese, yogurt, nuts. Third, they get egg-laying chicken feed, though we use that to supplement their diet, not as their only food source. Fourth, they eat bugs so their poop will attract flies, etc. the chickens will scratch through and eat the larva of the flies, the flies themselves, mosquitoes, snakes, chipmunks, you name it. Chickens are omnivorous and they will eat anything including each other and their own eggs, so just be vigilant. Read more…

  5. Aussies and Kiwis block commercial whaling

    Posted on by A Free Man

    The current Australian Labor government has had a rather spotty record during its brief hold on power and may, in fact, be imploding as I write. * One thing they’ve been consistent on, however, is an opposition to whaling. In fact Australia and her Antipodean sister New Zealand, have been two of the most vocal opponents to commercial whaling. This is largely because much of the whaling done by Japanese ‘researchers’ is carried out in the Southern Ocean, waters that Australia and New Zealand hold dear.

    Their opposition to whaling was on display again this week as the International Whaling Commission (IWC) met in Morocco this week to consider lifting the international ban on commercial whaling. Japan, Norway and Iceland wanted the ban lifted, claiming that many of the animals are no longer endangered and thus, no longer require protection. The IWS says that their proposal, which lifts the commercial ban for a decade, could potentially offer more protection to whales through lower quotas and better monitoring of whaling activities. Realistically, however, all the proposal meant was that Japan would stop killing whales for ‘research purposes’ and start killing them for commercial purposes. Less semantics, same amount of whale slaughtering.

    Read more…

  6. Make Your Own Natural Insect Repellent

    Posted on June 23, 2010 by Courtney

    Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gyuvallos/71410563/

    Summer makes me happy. I love going swimming, watching baseball, and not wearing socks for four months. But if there’s one thing about summer that bugs me, it’s … well, bugs. Not only are mosquito bites itchy and painful, they’re also dangerous. Going outside, especially into a wooded area, with no insect repellent is not an option.

    But insect repellents, as you can imagine, are neither eco-friendly nor particularly good for you. Many are made with DEET, which is highly effective in warding off pests but not something you want swimming around in your bloodstream, which is exactly where it ends up after you spray it on your skin. Fortunately, for those who want to protect their health by avoiding both bug bites and chemical-based insect repellents, there are all kinds of do-it-yourself recipes for natural bug sprays. Read more…

  7. Traveling – The Good, The Green & The Worst Toilet Ever

    Posted on June 22, 2010 by Allie

    I’m currently in Seattle, taking a little vacation after a reading/signing for STAY, and I am loving what a green city Seattle is.  Citywide composting means that every home and every store has a separate bin for food scraps.  Menus commonly state that the food being served is free-range/antibiotic free/organic.  And there are vegan donuts!

    Read more…

  8. Time Out for Big Oil

    Posted on June 21, 2010 by Dingo

    Oh my, my, my, BP has been a very naughty company. Very naughty. You can look up its previous spills, its terrible safety record, and its criminal price-fixing elsewhere, but the deadly Deepwater Horizon explosion and spill are the icing on a very bad cake. I mean Cakewrecks bad. I would suggest that BP go to the Time Out corner and think about what they’ve done, but I really don’t think they will ever give a crap. With Tony “I just want my life back” Hayward watching his yacht race on the clean, untainted waters off the Isle of Wight and BP goons burning endangered Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles and other wildlife ALIVE as wildlife rescuers were prevented from saving the animals, it’s time that we put our money where our outrage is.
    Read more…

  9. A/V Fridays – The Cove

    Posted on June 18, 2010 by Allie

    Have you seen it?  Do you plan to?

  10. Everybody Hurts*

    Posted on June 17, 2010 by Mickey

    When driving on the freeways around Atlanta at, say, 2 a.m., the joy and freedom of owning a car in a country with an extensive network of well-maintained roads is readily apparent: light poles flashing by, the hum of the macadam beneath my tires, the near-empty lanes inviting me to push the pedal down a little harder and just keep going- if I weren’t so tired, that is, because it’s 2 a.m. on a Wednesday and why the heck aren’t I home in bed?

    Venture out onto the same stretch of road anytime between the hours of 6 and 10 a.m. or 3 and 7 p.m. and instead of joy and freedom you’re more likely to experience violent rage or, at best, abject helplessness as you watch the windblown litter make more expedient progress down the road. Read more…

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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