28 June 2010

Natural Calcium Supplements --- from Eggs!

Before you toss your egg shells into the compost bin, remember there's another use for them!

Darla shares how to make your own natural calcium supplement using egg shells.

25 June 2010

Reusable bags found to be dirty

"A reminder to shoppers who use reusable grocery bags: Don't forget to wash them after you've emptied them... "

Why? Read more here

Maybe you don't need to wash your reusable bags after every time you use them but it is encouraged to wash them once in a while for health safety. If you carry raw meats in a reusable bag it is probably a good idea to wash that bag every time to prevent the spread of bacteria.

24 June 2010

Facts on Food Labeling~

Some parts below pasted from Bonnie Bucqueroux's Sustainable blog

GMO, as you probably know, refers to Genetically Modified Organisms, known in Europe as Frankenfoods because of fears that mad scientists may be unwittingly or uncaringly unleashing true monsters upon us.

Concerning food labeling, the issue is whether you can tell how the fruits and veggies for sale at the local grocery store were raised by deciphering the codes, and the answer is a resounding maybe. Here is the key as certified by the International Federation for Food Standards (note that the wording is mine, not theirs):

Four-digit code - A conventionally grown crop. Conventional could mean that the foodstuff has been repeatedly doused with one poison or another -- or not. But at least its genes should not have been artificially altered (though one wonders how many food execs are doing hard time in stir for violating the rules).

Five-digit code starting with the number 9 - Organically grown in compliance with the USDA standards.

Five-digit code starting with the number 8 - GMO foods. (Why didn't they just use 666?)

• Restricted FOR use on products grown in North America, East only (meaning these are codes that were originally assigned as East and were used on specific products grown East of the Mississippi in the United States and East of the Ontario/Manitoba border in Canada. These codes only apply in North America and should continue to be used for those specific products):
4318 – Melon, Cantaloupe/Muskmelon, Small
4319 – Melon, Cantaloupe/Muskmelon, Large

• Restricted FROM use on products grown in North America (meaning these are codes that were originally assigned for a specific region outside of North America and, although are now considered Global, are, for various reasons, impossible to incorporate in the North American market. The recommendation is to only use these codes for items grown and/ or sold outside of North America):
3425 – Tangerines/Mandarins, Ellendale, Small
3426 – Tangerines/Mandarins, Ellendale, Medium
3427 – Tangerines/Mandarins, Ellendale, Large

But before you think you can rely on the fact that foods without the dreaded "8" are not Frankenfoods, you should know that the labeling system in the United States is voluntary. And that means growers who want you to know they are doing good things - basically, the organic folks - are probably quick to slap a "9" on that rutabaga you are scrutinizing.

But I suspect only a truly dumb Frankenfood producer would be likely to warn you off with an "8" on that great-looking tomato. (The logic seems impeccable: "What they don't know might hurt them someday, but telling them would hurt our sales today.")

20 June 2010

Eco-Friendly Gas Stations?

What's the best way to protest BP's actions? The oil spill? By refusing to gas up at BP? Lieber with The New York Times say:

Advocacy organizations like Public Citizen urge consumers to stay away from BP stations. About 550,000 Facebook users have clicked the “Like” button on the Boycott BP page. And angry people have picketed at BP stations.

This doesn’t send a particularly powerful message to BP, though. After all, BP owns only a handful of the 11,000 stations that bear its brand and is trying to sell the few still on its books. So those who wish to inflict the maximum amount of pain on the company are instead putting much of the hurt on the family businesses that actually own the stations.

Umbra Fisk, the eco-queen of the universe, shares her thoughts:

There's no perfect choice, here's how I like to think about buying gasoline ... Every time we go to the pump, a pelican dies. It's a great motivator for using less gas. If we all drove a little less it could have a tremendous impact. If we all take the bus, bike, walk, telecommute or find some other carless way for just one day a week we could have a big impact with a small sacrifice. Even The New York Times concluded that "perhaps the best way for people to express outrage and inflict pain on oil companies is to use less fuel, thereby lowering overall demand."

For the full, informative article from Umbra regarding our gasoline choices, click here.

Greenpeace, instead of calling for a boycott, says in order for us to punish BP, we need to get 'Beyond Petroleum', in fact, 'Beyond Pollution' by boycotting ALL gas stations by using our vehicles less and less.

Beth Terry, author of Fake Plastic Fish argues that it's not just gas stations we need to boycott.
"Boycotting BP and simply going across town to buy our gas from the other guy does nothing to cut the demand for this terribly polluting substance in the first place."

1) Drive less or just stop driving,
2) Don't buy personal care products (most of them contain petroleum-based ingredients and come in plastic, which is made by petroleum),
3) Eat less meat and eat locally (petroleum is used to ship food over long distances),
4) Eat fresh foods! Don't eat processed foods (they contain petrochemical ingredients),
5) Stop buying new plastics altogether (Craig's list, Freecycle or get them from garage sales if you must).

By doing these things, that how BP (and other similar companies) are forced to seek out other alternatives to meet customer demand to thrive as a company. By getting gas, buying new plastics, eating meat, eating fast food, buying shampoo, make-up, and so on, we are helping fund BP and other companies indirectly.

18 June 2010

Hair Soaks Up Oil Spill

The video above clearly demonstrates how different oil spills negatively impact our environment and how bundles of hair can clean up the oil spills.

Watch this video and discuss!

11 June 2010

No Impact Man Movie

In this movie, Colin Beaver decides he wants to make the least impact on earth, aptly titled "No Impact Man". This movie is a documentary of his one-year journey. He first started by refusing to buy anything with plastic, then buying only local/organic foods, walking, biking and taking the stairs (even if it means meeting on the 42nd floor), and eventually turning off the power to his apartment, along with his baby daughter and couture-wearing, reality show addict and coffee-loving wife!

Is it really possible to make no net impact on the environment while living in a high-rise condo in New York City? In other words, no trash, no elevators, no subway, no air-conditioning, no refrigerator, no television . . .? Go rent the movie and see for yourself!

Be forewarned - while the movie is subtitled, the special features section, apparently consisting of educational instructional videos how to do this and that... isn't. That's the only disappointment I had with the movie.

Here's Colin's blog if you'd like to read more about him and his experiences... and his book, No Impact Man.

06 June 2010

A successful Eco-Deaf Clothes Swap!

Many of the deaf women who showed up at this event discussed about how they benefited from the clothes exchange: They socialized, they met new people, they shared delicious food recipes and craft ideas, and their children made friends with and played with other children (and some even tried on clothes, see the little toddler trying on in front of mirror).

Not only did they get rid of unwanted clothes in their closet (Benefit #1), they went to a community event such as a clothing swap (Benefit #2), they find new items to bring back home without paying a penny (Benefit #3), and the pile of clothes that nobody takes--- are donated to charity (Benefit #4).

I decided to do a research about the difference between just going straight to the Thrift shop to drop/donate clothes and going to a clothes swap, here is what I found:

Only about one-fifth of the clothing donated to charities is directly used or sold in their thrift shops. “There are nowhere near enough people in America to absorb the mountains of castoffs, even if they were given away.”

That's why we all feel better that we've traded in almost half of the clothes we brought- so we can feel better about that 1/5th of the clothes that actually get re-used through thrift shops.

Another blog explains why the "consumerism of clothes buying" is hazardous to the environment:

1. Each time you rush to the shops to by a seasons worth of new clothes, that at the end of the season you will throw away because you are bored of them, you are creating damage to the environment.

2. Not only are you creating unnecessary waste which is likely to contribute to the growing problem of landfill but you are also increasing the environmental impact associated with clothing manufacture.

3. Synthetic textiles in landfill do not break down and so remain in the ecosystem.

4. Dyes and chemical finishes can also wash out with rain water into the water systems.

5. Even natural textiles cause environmental problems. When they break down they create methane which is a powerful green house gas.

6. There are a variety of other issues associated with the manufacture of new clothes including pesticide pollution and carbon footprints.

By swapping clothes you can help to reduce all of these. So EcoDeaf encourages you to do something like this in your home area!

Happy swapping (and hopefully, blogging about it!)

05 June 2010

Going Green: Deaf Kids Share Ideas on How to Reduce Our Carbon Footprint

Going Green! was the theme of an annual contest hosted by Gallaudet's Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center. Over 645 entries were submitted from all over the USA and Canada from deaf and hard of hearing children and this online magazine shows their essay, art and photos of their ASL video submissions.

Hosting a Green contest means they need to walk their talk. And they did! They used soy ink and paper from sustainably managed forests that conserve biodiversity... they plant over 650 million new trees per year to keep forests thriving.... You go, Gallaudet!

Some snapshots of the winners below. Go see the full magazine yourself at this link. Enjoy- these Green deaf kids are our future!

04 June 2010

Seattle Green Festival: THIS Weekend! June 5-6

Green-Festival-Square-SE2010THIS WEEKEND: Seattle Green Festival at the Washington State Convention Center,
June 5 - 6


Hundreds of exhibitors on
green living, purchasing, and investing, plus local/organic food court,
kids' activities, hands-on workshops, and more...

We have ASL interpreters scheduled for all mainstage speakers (including Amy
, David Korten, Adora Svitak, Bill Ayers, and more), plus
additional terps on-site for first-come/first-served interpretation at
the smaller stages, at the booths, etc.

Text Andrew at 202-321-1707
if you have any questions, and check in at the ASL table at the front of
the hall to schedule an interpreter for anything other than the
main-stage speakers.

Learn more at www.greenfestivals.org