1. What’s Going On

    Posted on March 30, 2012 by Allie

    Hella Wella says juice fasts aren’t worth it.

    Umbra answers the question: Are coffee cups recyclable?

    greenUPGRADER has instructions for a cute, simple air freshener.

    Crafting a Green World has adorable reuse ideas for your garden.

    INHABITAT says Venice is sinking a lot faster than previously thought.

  2. What Are You Doing Saturday Night?

    Posted on March 29, 2012 by Courtney

    I know what I’ll be doing: Playing board games, reading a book, or just talking with friends by candlelight. Anything that doesn’t involve electricity between 8:30 and 9:30. Why? It’s Earth Hour!

    Since 2007, households all over the world have turned off their electricity for one hour in a show of support for climate change awareness. It began in Sydney, Australia, but soon spread to the rest of the world. Last year, Earth Hour grew to include hundreds of millions of people across 135 countries.

    So how do you participate? It’s easy: When 8:30 p.m. rolls around, your local time, just turn off the lights and unplug most everything that uses electricity. TVs, computers, and alarm clocks are easy. Light some candles and entertain yourself however you see fit from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. And you’re done! Hopefully it’ll inspire you to try and save energy during other hours of your life, too.

    (Word to the wise: You could be an overachiever and unplug your refrigerator, but think about how much juice it’s going to take to get it back to the correct temperature after an hour. My advice is to leave the fridge plugged in during Earth Hour, because all your energy savings will be negated when it has to work extra hard to get back to the correct temperature.)

    The Earth Hour site has all sorts of inspiring stories, photos and videos of people all over the world showing their support for the environment. There are also many ways to get involved with the Earth Hour movement aside from turning off the lights for an hour. The movement has grown so big that many famous landmarks turn off their lights to show support, including the Eiffel Tower, the Empire State Building, the Burj Khalifa,  the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and the Sydney Opera House.

     Have you observed Earth Hour before? What did you do to entertain yourself in the dark?

  3. Happy Trails: Green Travel

    Posted on March 28, 2012 by Courtney

    Please welcome today’s guest poster, Karen Ho Fatt.

    I admit it. I love to travel. But I know that the farther I travel from home, the more fossil fuels I’m likely consuming to get there. And once I get there, I’ll probably stay in a hotel that expends ridiculous amounts of energy on lighting, heating, and even laundry. In recent years, my guilt over the environmental toll of travel has put a damper on my adventures. I’ve wondered if I should just give up traveling altogether and take up knitting instead.

    I did a bit of research and I’ve stumbled on a few solutions that allow me to indulge my wanderer’s itch without trashing the planet and reducing my share of carbon footprints. Eureka! Traveling that doesn’t harm the environment? That’s a win-win for everyone, right? Here are a few of the “green” travel ideas I’ve stumbled upon:   Read more…

  4. Five Games in a Tiny Package (and a Giveaway)

    Posted on March 27, 2012 by Jacob

    My wife’s family love card games. Me, not so much. I lack the attention span for most games, so much so that I never even really got too into video games because I’d get bored by the second level. When I was offered a chance to review Spot It!, a game by Blue Orange, I knew I’d be a pretty tough judge. If I approved, it was going to be a good game. Just to make sure I gave it a fair shake, I asked my card-game-loving wife and my 4-year-old son to help me test it out. Read more…

  5. Meatless Mondays: Barley Risotto with Asparagus and Lemon

    Posted on March 26, 2012 by Courtney

    Image credit: Colin Erricson/www.robertrose.ca

    Today’s recipe comes courtesy of Camilla Saulsbury’s 5 Easy Steps to Healthy Cooking, a new cookbook containing 500 recipes that are healthy, natural, and don’t take too much time and fuss to create. The five steps are:

    • Choose fresh, whole foods
    • Eat mostly vegetable- and fruit-based foods
    • Opt for healthy fats and proteins
    • Select superfoods (nutrient-dense foods)
    • Eat more whole grains

    Here, the bright flavors of lemon, basil and asparagus play against the earthiness of barley and onions.  Read more…

  6. A/V Fridays – What is the single best thing we can do for our health?

    Posted on March 23, 2012 by Allie

    It’s very simple.

    via 13 Wham News This Morning.

  7. Happy World Water Day!

    Posted on March 22, 2012 by Courtney

    Image source: The Nature Conservancy

    Do you know how much water you use every day?

    I’m not just talking about the water you use to drink, take showers, wash dishes, and do laundry. I’m talking about the amount of water it takes to produce the things you buy. For example, did you know that it takes more than 30 gallons of water to produce just one cup of coffee? 49 gallons for one bag of chips? 400 gallons for a cotton T-shirt?

    751,777 gallons. That’s how much water you, I, and every American goes through every year. That’s not a collective number — that’s how much water we each use. Is your mind boggling? Mine is. Just take a look at this infographic presented by The Nature Conservancy — many of these stats may surprise you!

    The Nature Conservancy is partnering with the Water Footprint Network to bring awareness to World Water Day, which is today. It’s no secret that there’s a shortage of fresh water for the people and animals that need it worldwide, and something needs to be done about it. The health and well-being of our planet is fundamentally rooted in the availability of fresh water.

    So what can you do to celebrate World Water Day? Take some tips from The Nature Conservancy and learn how you can curb your own water usage. It may seem like a drop in the bucket — pun intended — but collectively, it can make a real difference. Here are some tips I learned:

    • It takes more water to manufacture processed foods, so stick to fresh food whenever possible. There are so many reasons to do this, water conservation being just one of them.
    • Avoid plastic utensils. It takes 24 gallons of water to create 1 pound of plastic, not to mention the environmental cost of disposing of something after just one use.
    • Water your lawn or garden in the morning or evening. Water evaporates slower during these times of the day, which means it takes less water to keep your plants hydrated.
    • Even electricity uses water. Unplug your chargers and other electronics when not in use; a day of typical electronic use in an American household uses 4-5 gallons of water.
    Are you surprised to learn how much water we use every year? How will you cut down on your water usage?
  8. Real Men Go Green

    Posted on March 21, 2012 by Mickey

    I made it to the top of the rope in gym class. I’ve struck out the side. I drive a pickup. I drink beer.

    I’m a man.

    And yet, I can’t help but take offense whenever someone tries to paint environmentalists as somehow weak and “unmanly.” I don’t think it helped our case when the hippies all grew their hair long and danced around to pan flutes and bongos. Then again, the hippies also dug Jimi Hendrix and slept in the mud. That’s pretty manly.

    At the risk of alienating the ladies, who get a free pass from the establishment when it comes to hair length and interpretive dancing, here are some things that might be even manlier than climbing the rope in gym class, and also happen to be green: Read more…

  9. Healthy and Sexy Hair Without the Shampoo

    Posted on March 20, 2012 by Courtney

    Please welcome today’s guest poster, Lydia Quibbin-Jones.

    Everywhere we look, we see the promise of healthy, bouncy, and gorgeous hair — from TV commercials to prints ads to giant billboards in the city. They often feature models with luxuriously shiny tresses that make us wonder: “How do I make my hair look like that?” Before we know it, we’re dashing off to the supermarket to hoard bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and various styling products.

    Many people don’t realize, however, that hair care products actually do more harm than good. Shampoos strip off natural oils released by the scalp, while conditioners (used to counter the drying effect of shampoo) block the release of natural oils. Because of this, our hair becomes dependent on these chemicals to look healthy.

    While there are specialty products that claim to be milder, they are often more expensive and still contain chemicals. So how do we keep our hair clean and healthy? It’s simple, really: raid our pantry and kitchen cabinets.   Read more…

  10. Meatless Mondays: Spaghetti Bread

    Posted on March 19, 2012 by Courtney

    Look, no one is saying this dish is healthy. It’s deliciously cheesy, bready, and carb-laden. It’s pretty much the ultimate in comfort food!  Read more…

Tip of the Day

If It Doesn’t Smell, Don’t Wash It

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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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