Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Take a Minute for Yourself

Do you get the Daily OM? A couple of years ago, a friend of mine forwarded me an email she received called the Daily OM. I was so inspired by the words I read, I immediately signed up for my daily dose of encouragement.

The Daily OM is advice and guidance to help through everyday dilemmas and struggles. It may help you deal with a suffering friend, or it may help you to meditate on your creativity. If one email a day is simply not enough, you can also request to receive a daily email geared towards your sun-sign, or recommendations of meditation-friendly music.

The Daily OM only takes a minute to read and can make a positive impact on the rest of your day. So, before you tackle your hundreds of work emails take a deep breath and read your Daily OM. Your day depends on it.


Monday, October 29, 2007

The Path Less Green

I know I've passed along these eco-footprint quizes before, but here's another. This eco-game created by American public Media asks a lot of good questions about your lifestyle. With each step of the game, you can see how many earth's it would take to support you, and the rest of the world, if we all lived with the same habits. I'm a pretty green-savvy gal, and I was very disappointed in my own score. I have some more work to do!

So, go to the Consumer Consequences game. You get to select a character and dress him/her up as ridiculously as you please. (mine was a little old lady sporting a bonnet and black dress buttoned up to the chin) You then choose your hood. Next step is answering the questions about the stuff you trash, the food you buy and the energy you use. When it is all done, you are given an idea of how wasteful, or not, you are. Then, after you've received your score you have the option to learn how to improve your score and compare yourself to other players.

This is a great way to show kids the impact they have, individually, on the earth!

Thanks for caring for Mama Earth!


Sunday, October 28, 2007

Almost Home Grown

Who has the time, space and green thumb for home grown organic produce? I sure don't! I am, however, lucky enough to live near grocers who have many organic products.

I also use LocalHarvest.com to find local farmer's markets, farms, restaurants and co-op's carrying organic goods. I can even shop from farmers directly on the site. I love this option to buy online for those shoppers who find organic products hard to find of for more specialty items. It's a great online community for those looking to be a little more organic and sustainable.

I know I needn't remind you, but organic is as good to you as it is the earth!


Friday, October 26, 2007

Tis the Season to be Crafty

The shopping frenzy that kicks off the holiday season comes swiftly. And with Black Friday comes craft fairs at churches, school yards and fair grounds. I love craft fairs. The goods are creative, well made, one of a kind and more affordable than items of equal quality at the mall.

If you live in Los Angeles County there are a couple you must check out. The best part is they are before Thanksgiving so you may get almost all your holiday shopping done and be able to avoid the horrific mall crowds entirely! Not to mention, I'll be there!

The Craft Republic Fair is on November 10th. www.crfair.com at the Pomona Fairplex.

Also on November 17th and 18th is the Saint Charles Borromeo School Holiday Boutique in North Hollywood. Part of the proceeds from this boutique go to support the school.
Saint Charles Borromeo School
10850 Moorpark Ave.
North Hollywood, CA 91602
(818) 508-5359

Don't forget, craft fairs usually have raffles. So, not only are you getting great stuff, but you might win something too! And most importantly, you are supporting your local small business people.


Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Green Behind the Mask

Most halloween parties and trick-or-treat get-togethers are this weekend. If you haven't already pieced together your perfect costume, then you are in a panic to look like anyone else but yourself at these festivals of candy.

The ultimate earth-friendly halloween costume is of course one that is rented or gently used. In Los Angeles, Fantasy Costume has a huge selection of costumes for pumpkin-carvers of all ages. Use Google, or your local yellow pages to find a costume rental near you. If you prefer to buy and alter a costume, try Ebay. But makes sure it's used to help preserve Mama Earth.
If you are handy enough, you can sew an earth friendly costume for you or your kiddos. There are lots of options in organic cotton and bamboo fabric these days. Martha Stewart and other craft websites have lots of costume ideas.

For those who couldn't be bothered with a costume at all, try this simple option.


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Sugar High

Who doesn't love a little sugar!?! I'm talkin' candy! With Halloween hastily approaching, we must accept that our children, will gorge themselves on sweets of all makes and models. At the very least, being of sound mind and adulthood, we should provide the lil' ghosts and ghouls with candy composed of ingredients they can actually read! No! I do not speak of corn syrup.

This year when you buy your treats for Halloween check out naturalcandystore.com or shopnatural.com. You'll be helping the children by not feeding them random chemicals and preservatives, and you'll be supporting companies doing their part to keep the world a greener place.


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Beachy Green

The South Bay of California is a place like none other. Beautiful weather, ocean breezes and small beach communities dot the coast off the Santa Monica Bay. Any given day at the beach you'll find the ocean providing fish to local fisherman and waves to surfers and swimmers. But the ocean can provide these things only if we care for it. One group who feared beach-life was in danger was the Heal the Bay organization.

Finding itself a dump site for trash and sewage, the Santa Monica Bay needed a hero. In 1985, Heal the Bay held rallies, involved the media and joined in lawsuits already pending against the City of L.A. for environmental abuse. These actions began the greatly needed process of healing for the coast off Los Angeles. Today the bay is not perfect, but much better than is was and is on the right track for further improvement.

It's easy to get involved. Heal the Bay has numerous volunteer opportunities, Adopt-a-beach groups, and of course monetary donations are always helpful. You can also participate in online petitions helping environmental causes, and other causes too of course!

So take a couple minutes for our oceans because it makes a world of difference for future generations.


Saturday, October 13, 2007

So Fresh and So Clean, Clean.

We are bombarded with cleaning options for our home, pets and ourself. A good majority of the products out there are not earth friendly. It's bad enough when we slather bottles of chemical-enriched lotions and soaps all over our skin (which by the way is our largest organ and absorbs into our body lotions and soaps that are put on it), but these same products get rinsed down our drains into our water sources during our daily shower or swim at the beach. So not only are you harming yourself, but you are also harming the earth around you.

I'll make it easy for you! Check out the products made by Ecos. They are in recyclable containers, not tested on animals, made with organic essential oils, and earth friendly. They have all the bases covered with products for the kitchen, laundry, personal care and even Rover can benefit from their eco-pet products.

My husband loves using the dish soap to wash down his beloved car, Benny, our Boston Terrier enjoys an after walk refresher with the pet wipes and I dig the hand lotion! What can I say, it's a family affair.

Check out Ecos.


Thursday, October 11, 2007

Mama's Preserves

I've been making a concerted effort to only purchase products that are on the green side. Sustainable, recycled, and recyclable. I'm lucky to live in one of the states that boasts a Trader Joes in every city. And, it was in Trader Joes that I discovered the Preserve toothbrush. It hadn't even occurred to me that a recycled toothbrush existed.

I purchased the brusher of teeth and have to say, I've been pretty happy with it. It is made by Recycline, a company also producing eco-aware tableware for single use, toothpicks and razors. The best part, is when you are done with your toothbrush, tongue cleaner or razor, you can return it to Recycline to have it recycled. And, as if you weren't sold already, they have a postage-paid label you can print off their website, so you don't pay a dime to recycle your goods!

No natural grocer in your area? Preserve products are also sold on their website!

Now go brush to greener teeth....


Sunday, October 7, 2007

The Green Street Journal

Investing in the stock market has never been second nature for me, but I do try to keep my investments green. Buying stocks is another way to support businesses doing their part in the fight for sustainability. I'm not suggesting you blindly invest in any company waving a green flag. Do your research and make smart investments.

One way to keep up with eco-business is GreenBiz.com. Articles from around the world are updated daily on this website. The stories are about businesses taking sustainability initiatives, statistics and research relating to earth-friendly products or approaches, and anything else you would expect to find in your daily newspaper, but with an eco-twist.

So, turn on your computer, curl up with your morning coffee (fair trade of course!) and catch up on your environmental news.


Saturday, October 6, 2007

I Would If I Could

I am in recycler's heaven. I have a bin on wheels in my driveway, and anytime I want, I can take my bag of recyclables to the big blue bin and I know they will be properly sorted and recycled. But many people still suffer the pangs of a neighborhood with no recycling.

When I first moved to Los Angeles I didn't have the option to recycle in my apartment building. But I went online and found a directory of local recycling centers on Earth 911. I was then able to bag my plastics, glass and paper and take them to a local center for recycling. Some centers will pay you back a deposit on the glass and aluminum but this is dependent upon the state in which you live.

While this is good for individual eco-advocates, I encourage you to talk to your home owners associations and begin a recycling program for your neighborhood or apartment complex. You can do the right thing for Mama Earth and help others in your community to do the same.


Friday, October 5, 2007

The Beetle and the Beast

My favorite past time is traveling, be it the United States or abroad. I always feel a little guilty flying due to airlines' contribution to pollution. I could talk about air pollution, but I'm referring to the airlines' lack of cooperation on the eco-front. I often keep my empty can or plastic bottle when the flight attendants collect trash knowing my recyclable goods will end up in the garbage. I know, I'm loco for the green movement.

I live in California and travel to Hawaii frequently. I get on the computer to compare and book my flight and rental car. I was so happy to discover the Bio-Beetle amongst my car-rental choices. Available for rent in California and Hawaii, the Bio-Beetle is an economical and ecological choice with competitive rental rates and all their cars running on biodeisel.

Daily rates start at about $49 a day. For those who wouldn't be caught dead driving a Beetle, fear not. Quite a few of your choices are various types of Volkswagons, and you do have the option of Jeeps in some locations.

So, traveling west for some warmer weather? Be sure to include the Bio-Beetle as one of your car rental choices!


Thursday, October 4, 2007

I Give Therefore I Am Green

One man's junk is another man's treasure, or at least the story goes. If you are anything like me, you find you have more belongings than you do space. A couple times a year I begin a look around my house, especially my garage, and the "everything must go" mentality takes over. My rule is, if it hasn't been used or worn in a year it is not necessary.

I suppose these are belongings that could be considered garbage and used to pack the local land-fill. I know quite a few people who take the opportunity to donate to Goodwill for a small tax deduction. Another option for listing your goods as "up for grabs" is to Freecycle.

Freecycle.org directs you to a local email group. You can post any items as long as they are free. I'm sure there are some other requirements so be sure to read the policies. (for example, nudie pics are probably frowned upon) People can contact you about your items and with any luck you'll have one less item of which to keep track.

If you prefer a tax break, you may want to try Classified Circles. Much like Ebay, you post your unwanted goods on the online auction. There is no charge for the auction. Even better, the proceeds from the sale go directly to the charity of your choice.

So, toss your unwanted items online and let's make our landfills more like a big compost heap.


Monday, October 1, 2007

Stick to Green

I made a professional and personal commitment to help Mother Earth, and I haven't shut my trap since! I'm sure friends and family have just about had it with my eco-preaching. However, I feel if I don't pass along the knowledge I gain, I might as well do nothing.

You can imagine how thrilled I was when I discovered I could save my breath and instead just post stickers on any available surface! One with the Earth has developed a universal symbol for environmental awareness . This symbol appears on the stickers they've design to help you spread the green message. Put a "turn off" memo on your light switches, or a "please recycle" request near the trash can.

Whether at home or the office these little notes are a friendly reminder to do the right thing for the environment. I like the added bonus of my being able to talk about things other than eco-awareness, and I don't get annoyed glances!

Get your free stickers.
Check out my recycled note cards.