Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
- Leave a comment in the comment section saying you'd like the book.
- Make sure I have a way to contact you if you win. The winner will be chosen randomly. If I chose you and find there is no way to contact you directly, I will chose another random winner. You can either leave your e-mail address in your comment, make sure that there is a link along with your comment that leads me to contact information, or as some smart people did last week - leave me your twitter name.
- Live in the U.S. Sorry, I can't ship to other countries at the moment.
- The contest ends at 11:59pm EST on Monday, June 29th. Winner will be announced onor before Wednesday, July 1st. (okay, I just realized July is only one week away - scary)
A single dollar; that's all.
Who cannot afford a buck even in these times? We know you can spare a dollar to help out our fellow humans!
But how do we all decide which charities to give 100% of all monies raised to? Well, we are going to put it to a vote and let you guys decide. The 10 websites participating have chosen 5 charities for all donors to vote for, and we are going to let you guys choose which two of them will receive the all monies donated.
Our purpose in doing this is three-fold
- It gives YOU a voice. As loyal readers and stewards of our environment, we want to offer you the opportunity to make a difference without breaking the bank.
- It gives the two charities with the most votes some much appreciated funds to continue their mission
- It allows all of us an opportunity to connect as a community of like-minded people working for the common good of ourselves, our families and our planet.
Below you will find a poll and a Paypal donation link asking you to choose which of the 5 charities your favorite is. We ask that you please donate a dollar to the charity pool if you are going to vote, and know that even if your absolute favorite does not finish first or second, all the money donated will be going to worthwhile causes. If everyone we know who reads our sites, our Twitter feeds, our Facebook sites, etc. donates just $1, imagine the impact we can have as a group. And please, spread the word!
The poll has closed. Thank you to all who participated!
Please take a moment to vote for your favorite and to donate just a single dollar to these charities. Times are tough and our collective might can really help them out. The results will be tallied two weeks from today, and we will write another article detailing the amounts and the two charities who garnered the most votes and will be receiving the money collected. It's only $1, so please donate!
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
I'll be shipping National Geographic's True Green Home to deoxy who told us about one way she goes green in her home
Right now I'm trying to make my skin care greener and less toxic. I'm using jojoba oil as a moisturizer while I use up the rest of my cleanser. When it is gone, I am going to try using a mix of Castor and jojoba oils for the oil only cleansing method.
So far the jojoba is working wonderfully as a moisturizer. I was a bit skeptical, since I have somewhat oily skin, but I only use a tiny amount and have had nothing but good results.
I'll probably post the next book I'm giving away later this afternoon or evening.
Monday, June 22, 2009
Thursday, June 18, 2009
- Leave a comment in the comment section saying you'd like the book and list one thing that you do around your own home to be more green.
- Make sure I have a way to contact you if you win. The winner will be chosen randomly. If I chose you and find there is no way to contact you directly, I will chose another random winner. You can either leave you e-mail address in your comment or make sure that that there is a link along with your comment that leads me to contact information.
- Live in the U.S. Sorry, I can't ship to other countries at the moment.
- The contest ends at 11:59pm EST on Monday, June 22nd. Winner will be announced on Wednesday, June 24th.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Okay, enough words.
Monday, June 15, 2009
- Go through everything that the kids bring home and see what can be saved for next year. Each year, we get a supply list and not all of those supplies are consumable. Some things you may be able to save for next year are scissors, calculators, rulers, highlighters or binders. When your kids bring these things home, put them aside to be used again next year so you don't have to buy them again.
- After you look through the tons of papers that come home, make sure the ones you aren't keeping end up in the recycle bin. Or, if the backs of the papers are still good, use them for scrap paper or in your computer printer.
- Take a good look at their lunch boxes, thermoses, drink containers, etc. Can you get another year out of them? Clean them up, perhaps sprinkle them with a bit of baking soda and set out in the sun for a bit, then put them away for next year.
- Inspect backpacks. They can be reused next year, too, if they are in good condition.
- This would be a good time to go through your kids' books, too. Their reading levels have gone up over the year, and some purging might be in order. Give away to younger friends or relatives (or donate) books that your kids have moved beyond. Make sure there are enough books at their reading level to have on hand for the summer. Visit the library for appropriate books or see my post on greening your summer reading list for ideas on how to stock your home library with less of an environmental impact.
Friday, June 12, 2009
I was going to write a post about how to properly dispose of your old television set if you're deciding to go the route of buying a new TV instead of just a conversion box, but as I was checking my RSS feeder this morning, I saw that our friend Adam Shake from Twilight Earth has already done it. So why reinvent the wheel.
The gist of it is to make sure the TV gets e-cycled (electronic recycling) instead of tossed in the trash. There's a lot of good, reusable materials in old televisions that don't need to end up in landfills. You can hop on over to Adam's post TVs Go All Digital Today - Don't Toss Your Old One - eCycle Instead for the details.
Image: Daily Invention
Thursday, June 11, 2009
I had an unexpected knock on the door this morning. It was the local phone/internet/cable company canvassing the neighborhood looking for more business. The man noticed that while we had their phone and internet service, we were not taking advantage of their television service.
“We don’t have TV,” I said to him.
I got a very strange look. Not even an incredulous, “You don’t?!” Just a stare.
Clearly he needed more explanation. I said the first thing that popped into my mind.
“Oh,” he replied and smiled. I said something else about not wanting our children to become little consumers so we banned commercial TV from our house, but I can’t be sure of what I said exactly. I was too surprised that the “We’re hippies” comment was so easily accepted and understood because we’ve been trying to explain for months to friends and family why we unhooked our TV from all cable, even basic cable, rendering it useless for watching broadcast shows (we can still watch DVD's on the TV).
While I won’t pretend saving money wasn’t a part of our decision, a bigger part of the decision for me was getting my children away from television commercials. According to the book Affluenza by DeGraaf, Wann and Naylor,
The average American will spend nearly two years of his or her lifetime watching TV commercials. A child may see a million of them before he or she reaches the age of twenty. There is more time devoted to them now – the average half-hour of commercial TV now has eight minutes of commercials, up from six two decades ago. (p.149-150)
Those statistics are simply unacceptable to me. There are many reasons why, but lets just look at this from the environmental perspective. Over consumerism is a huge environmental problem. All of the things that we think we must have take resources to produce. And, when we realize they weren’t all that important to begin with, disposing of them becomes an environmental problem.
I know I can’t keep my children away from the knowledge of all of the advertising that is aimed towards kids these days. They will still see it when they are at their friends’ houses. They will still get it at school. They will still see it on every inch of space that the marketing gurus can find to slap it on. But, they will not see one million of them while sitting in my living room. I will not allow it.
I know that unplugging the TV is a bit extreme. It won’t work for everyone, especially those who are huge sports fans or news junkies. But it works for us.
I think it’s important for families to find a way that works for them to expose their children to less advertising and commercials. To do what they can to limit the exposure to consumerism and the “gotta have it” attitude that is prevalent today.
It may mean setting limits on TV time. It may mean using a DVR to record programs and watching them with your kids – fast forwarding through the commercials as you go along. It may mean getting rid of TV altogether like it did for my family.
And don’t worry – limiting TV time or getting rid of it altogether won’t turn you into a hippie. But if you find people questioning your choice, you can always fall on saying you are one. Apparently, it works.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
- The library - I've read that library usage is way up in this economy so if you are going to use the library to get required books, you may want to pre-order them if your library allows. My library allows me to go online and select a book. If it's available they pull it from the shelf, and it's waiting for me when I get there. If it's checked out, it tells me when it's expected to be returned, and how many other people are waiting for it first.
- Library book sales - You can get books very inexpensively at library book sales, but you never know what you'll end up finding. If you're looking for specific books, it will be hit or miss. If you or your kids are just looking for something that catches your interest, this will be a great place to find it. You can go to booksalefinder.com to find library book sales in your area.
- Yard sales - Again, it's hit or miss, but you never know when the yard sale gods will smile down on you.
- Trade books you don't want anymore - Swaptree, Paperback Swap or Book Crossing are sites that allow you to trade books (and other media) and help to match you up with someone who has what you want and is looking for what you have.
- Buy used online - eBay; half.com; amazon; barnes and noble; alibris - these are all places where you can buy used books online. Be careful to make sure that the books are used; these places sell both.
- Put out a request - Send an e-mail to your friends and family or put out a request on Facebook to borrow a specific book. If your 10th grader needs to read The Count of Monte Cristo for summer reading, someone you know is bound to have a copy of it.
Monday, June 8, 2009
Friday, June 5, 2009
Hang-dry that it. Our home blogger over on MNN, Matt Hickman, had a post yesterday about states tackling clothes line hang ups. Okay, welcome to day two of my ranting (well, as much as I can rant) about things that the government shouldn't be doing because we could just be doing it ourselves! Yesterday, it was banning and taxing paper and plastic bags. Today, it's drying clothes on the line outside.
Clothesline bans, usually enacted by homeowner and condo associations, operate under the guise that they these simple energy-savers are unsightly blemishes on urban and suburban landscapes. States including Florida, Colorado, Utah, and most recently, Maine, have right-to-dry laws intact while other states such as Maine and Hawaii have similar bills in the works.
- I get fresh air
- I get a little exercise (hey, after a certain age just bending over repeatedly to reach into the laundry basket is considered exercise)
- I have a chance sometimes to chat with my neighbor (who is not offended by the site of my clean laundry)
- I save money
- I reduce my green house gas emissions
- I save energy
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
So this year, why not come up with great gifts that honor dad and the Earth and that cost little in terms of money or the planet, And whether we're talking about your dad (if you're reading this), or your kids' father or grandad, be sure to look for ways to put more meaning in the greening.
Start by focusing on doing instead of buying. What if your dad were king for a day? What would would his perfect day look like? Would he sleep late? Enjoy breakfast in bed, or brunch served outside? Would he like to work in the garden kids by his side, fly a kite or go for a hike? Would he love to see his bike sparkling clean or that light that's been broken for years, fixed? Whatever his wishes might be, consider how you can make them come true by planning the perfect day. And before each activity, you can loudly proclaim, "By order of King ____, we, your loyal subjects are thrilled and delighted to accompany you as you ________." (And don't forget to make a crown and award it in a ceremony for which you--and/or your kids, write a heartfelt script.)
Make or embellish a gift. According to www.ShopLocal.com, more than 50% of those polled said they are never fond of their Father's Day gifts. So one more tie or pair of socks doesn't cut it. Again, look to your dad's likes for ideas. If he's into reading, make him a clock from a book on a subject to which he's addicted, or choose a favorite old CD and do the same. (You can purchase clock works for under $10 from a crafts store, or if you have an old clock and are handy enough to take it apart and recycle the works, all the better!)
Most dads can never have too many t-shirts. Purchase organic cotton ones, then have kids personalize them using fabric crayons. When a friend and and her brothers were small, her mom gathered all the children together for this project. Years later, when their dad had worn out the three tees, mom turned them into pillows.
Or why not repurpose a beloved, out-of-style shirt, into a pillow--no sewing required. If dad used to dig cowboy apparal and has a favorite fancy shirt stowed in the back of the closet, wrap it around a pillow and set on dad's favorite chair. Keep the memory, lose the embarrassment of him, heaven forbid, wearing the oldie out in public!
Think gifts from the heart. Whether you're six or sixty, you have personal gifs to offer dad. To make your offer even more meaningful, let him know you'll do something special for him once a month for a full year. You could make him a calendar with your monthly contribution written on each date or secretly add them to his PDA, phone or digital calendar.
Below are some ideas to use as a jumping off point. When you think about your relationship with your dad and your own talents, you'll come up with 12 perfectly tailored gifts.
- Send him notes in his lunch.
- Make him brownies or his favorite treat.
- Go for a walk together.
- Take a lesson from him in anything he likes to do (fishing? woodwork? cards?)
- Shine his shoes.
- Accompany him to an activity he enjoys.
- Teach him something you know how to do.
- Make a video about dad.
- Wash his car.
- Write poems or stories with dad as the hero.
- Go camping if he enjoys this, even if it's at home or in your yard
- Plant a tree, bush or flowers accompanied by a handmade wooden plaque with dad's name and date.