1. What’s Going On

    Posted on November 30, 2010 by Allie

    The Nature Conservancy has a great green holiday gift guide.

    Grist discusses the Cancun climate talks.

    Inhabitat has photos of a home built in a parking space sized lot.

    The Good Human talks about the environment and prostate cancer.

    The Daily Green has recipes for holiday leftovers.

  2. It’s That Time Of Year

    Posted on November 29, 2010 by Dianne

    Gingerbread Snowman

    As we begin the holiday season I’m always looking for new ways to have a less material season. Let’s face it, most of us have more than what we need, so why add unnecessary things to our lives that we really don’t need. The past few years this has really become apparent to me and I’ve focused on homemade/handmade gifts. Everyone has a talent so let’s look at some ideas of things you can make for your friends and family as the season begins.

    Read more…

  3. Moving Right Along: Going Green While Moving Out

    Posted on November 26, 2010 by Courtney

    Please welcome today’s guest poster, Transit Systems, a moving and shipping company.

    The physical process of moving one’s possessions to a new location may rank among the least pleasant tasks of modern life and can be equally unfriendly toward the environment.

    Between the haphazard, panicked discarding process that often takes place when you are packing your stuff (the disgusted throwing away of old sneakers, mismatched, plastic food container tops, magazines, bent hangers and dorm room-style furniture) and the purchase of new boxes, bubble wrap and other packing materials, the act of moving can have a real environmental impact. Even the six friends you enlist to load up their cars and trucks can bulk up your environmental footprint.

    The good news is that with a little planning, you can significantly ease both your move itself and your impact on the environment. Here are the top 4 ways to accomplish this task: Read more…

  4. How to Clean Your Microwave, in Four Easy (and Five More Optional) Steps

    Posted on November 25, 2010 by Stefanie

    The past few months, I’ve been trying this crazy new thing wherein I strive to dedicate an hour or less to light cleaning once a week or so, rather than let the whole house steadily fall to the sort of entropy that requires a full weekend’s effort to resolve.

    This plan has worked out well, mostly. It’s amazing how much less daunting cleaning is when you actually clean semi-regularly, and it’s remarkable how much happier and at ease I am when surrounded mostly by order rather than chaos. This is not a novel life lesson, I realize. I’ve just never been a quick study.

    One area of my house that’s remained exempt from this routine scrubbing and tidying, however, is my microwave. I would say that I don’t remember the last time I fully and properly cleaned the inside of my microwave, but that would be a lie. I actually remember exactly when I last cleaned it. It was a night when I was particularly annoyed with a particularly foolish boy I briefly dated, and rather than sit at home festering in my annoyance, I decided to channel that angry energy into a useful and productive task (namely, scrubbing my microwave). That is all good and fine, except… that boy? He was my date for the millennial New Year’s (as in, December 31, 1999). And I dated him, as I said, briefly. Can we just pretend for a minute that we’ve forgotten how calendar math works? Because I really don’t want to admit that I’ve had some of the same crusted-on food plastered inside my microwave for dang near eleven years now. For shame.

    Mind you, I’m not entirely an animal. Certainly I’ve wiped up obvious spills and such as they’ve occurred in these intervening years, but an all-out scrubbing of all the caked-on spatters and residue? Somehow that just hasn’t made it to the top of my to-do list. Perhaps it’s because nothing in life has annoyed me as much as that boy since. No, that’s not it. Surely lots of happy, well-adjusted, even-keeled people clean their microwave just because it needs doing. I decided it was time I became one of them.

    If your microwave is sporting some semi-permanent speckles as well, perhaps you’d like to follow the same process I did. That process goes something like this: Read more…

  5. Healthy Fast Food Alternatives

    Posted on November 24, 2010 by NPW

    Look, I won’t lie. I occasionally crave a Crunch Wrap Supreme or a Spicy Chicken Sandwich from Wendy’s. It doesn’t happen often, and even when I do have the craving I usually ignore it, but there are cases (ahem, New York State Thruway) when fast food is unavoidable.

    Happily, in the Boston area I’ve discovered a healthy, nutritious fast food option called B. Good. The company was started by two friends who loved fast food but didn’t love how it made them feel after they ate it. The two friends use all natural ingredients and process all their hamburgers by hand. I can also tell you that their hand-cut sweet potato fries were the best fries I’ve ever put in my mouth. They even make milkshakes using locally-produced ice cream!

    Another local chain that uses all natural ingredients is Anna’s Taqueria. Their super burritos are enough food to feed a small family, but when you try their homemade guacamole and tortilla chips you won’t want to share.

    Plus, it makes me feel good to know I’m supporting my local family-run businesses while getting my delicious fast food fix!

    Unfortunately, both of those options are only available here in Massachusetts. For those of you who don’t live in the greater Boston area, are there other healthy alternatives to fast food near you?

  6. Yurts: Eco-Conscious Harmony

    Posted on November 22, 2010 by Courtney

    Please welcome today’s guest poster, Maria Rainier.

    Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/emdot/16684459/

    While it is true that no one can do everything and everybody can do something for our planet, some Greenists are going farther than others. The very base from which they work is green, something that cannot be said for most of us who live in apartments or houses of our own.

    What Is a Yurt?

    The yurt is to the solar-paneled home as a bicycle is to a Prius—they’re all steps in the right direction, but the former is several steps ahead. Pronounced “ger” in Mongolian, a yurt is a portable, traditionally felt-covered, wood-latticed framed home of nomads in the steppes of Central Asia. Some might equate it to a modern-day tent, but this is far from the truth. A yurt is decided more homelike, with thicker walls for insulation and protection from the elements, and holds a greater symbolic meaning (in Turkish, “yurt” also means homeland). Read more…

  7. A/V Fridays – Cool It Trailer

    Posted on November 19, 2010 by Allie

    Wednesday, Courtney posted a great review of the movie Cool It, and now I’d really like to see it.  I just looked up the trailer and thought I’d share!

  8. Greater Good Network

    Posted on November 18, 2010 by Howling Hill

    In September I got a package from the Greater Good Network which contained the following three items: a hand mirror, a bar of soap, and a container body butter.

    First for the bad news. The three small items came in this big box with lots of plastic packaging. Two of the items, the soap and the body butter, are also wrapped in plastic. The bar of soap was wrapped in a thin piece of plastic fit to size. The body butter is contained in a thick plastic container. I’m not sure if either are recyclable.

    I don’t have much of an opinion on the mirror because I haven’t had reason to use it and I can’t think of when I will need to. I do quite like the blue design on the back of the mirror though.

    Now for the good news: I love, love, love the soap and the butter!

    The lemon ritha soap is wonderfully scented and just the right size for one. The ingredients are coconut oil, palm oil, lemon essential oil, myrobolan (natural color) and ritha dust (exfoliate). It has a great scent and lathers up nicely.

    The African Shea Lavender Body Butter is just dreamy. It’s slippery without being gooey. It’s oily without being greasy. There’s a lot in the container so it’ll last a long time. The lavender is not overpowering so it leaves you relaxed without being drowsy (unless the massage is that good!)

    All in all I liked the products and recommend them.

  9. Movie Review: Cool It

    Posted on November 17, 2010 by Courtney

    When it comes to global warming, the opinions we hear most often tend to be extreme: Either global warming is a fabrication designed to scare people unnecessarily, or it’s a real threat that’s already drastically altering life as we know it. As with most things, it’s wise to research the facts before forming an opinion on this. Obviously we aim to educate people about topics such as this here at The Greenists, but we aren’t in favor of alarmists, either.

    Recently I was given the opportunity to screen Cool It, a documentary based on the works of author and environmentalist Bjorn Lomborg. Lomborg takes a similar moderate approach to the idea — the title of the movie refers not only to curbing global warming however we can, but also calls for cooler heads to prevail on the topic. Based on Lomborg’s book The Skeptical Environmentalist, Cool It takes a look at how global warming ties in with other global crises — such as AIDS, malaria, potable water shortages, etc. — and a few alternative ideas for how to address these problems. Read more…

  10. Eco-Friendly, Easy, Karmically-Wise Holiday Shopping Tips

    Posted on November 16, 2010 by Deborah

    Image from Keetsa.com

    Are you starting to feel that holiday panic? Are you bracing yourself for Black Friday? Are you wracking your brain for gift ideas?

    Take a deep breath and relax. I’m going to tell you how to simplify your life and do massive good deeds at the same time.

    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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