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Posts Tagged ‘environment’

“Yellow, let it Mellow. Brown, Flush it Down.”

Gone are the days of the Outhouses, how would we have managed?

This is a wonderful tip for conserving water. Of course, some may not be able to stomach the thought of pee sitting unflushed for the world to see for long amounts of time. I have no problem with it if it’s just the family hanging out, but I have a double standard when guests are coming round and it includes making sure the bathrooms are fully functional and non-repelling. I even have nice smelling soaps hanging out, even though I can’t use half of them (freaking eczema) and I can’t smell any of them (freaking weird phenomenon).

Anyway, it’s a practice to think about starting. You could even go as far as only flushing paper when it’s a poop, too. That way the sewer systems and septic tanks aren’t over-clogged. Or, if you really wanna be green, you could start using cloth for your own bum. Yep, that’s right- have a wastebasket nearby, wipe and toss and REMEMBER to launder. I’m not for sure I CAN LEAP that FAR, just yet. Of course, I have heard it is worth it’s weight in gold to make the switch, seems the ol’ bum can’t fathom anything different after you try it once. It does sound nice, once you get over the yuck factor. I don’t know though, if only I wouldn’t be the one washing….

And here, we’re practically using sandpaper because it’s so darn cheap. (Angel Soft) I still can’t manage to pay $5 for a 4 pack of something that will be sent down the toilet drain. Hmmm, maybe we should switch?

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I was a bit short last week concerning my green post. I was rushed when I posted it and tried to type as much as possible in as few words as possible. I am a wordy person though, so it is nearly impossible for me to get all I want out in only a few sentences. I tend to end up sounding monotone and dull when I do.

This week, I figured I would use my time as ‘wisely’ as I could- taking cues from some of the time management advice I reaped last week from fellow readers/bloggers on my post about trying to balance this mommy life. I truly believe that having children later can be much more challenging, as you must deal with letting go of that long nurtured individual that has been created throughout the years. At least, that’s what I am going to attribute my see-sawing behavior in trying to balance and juggle the demands of daily life. Being a mommy is definitely much harder than I ever imagined. No wonder my own mother is so zaney at times. I completely understand who wouldn’t be with four kids!

As for myself, I think on a monthy basis it all evens out- I mean one day I am on TOP of my game and seem to accomplish everything from cleaning the house to keeping Baby G satisfied, fed and happy as a lark. Other days, it’s all I can do to get us both fed or us out of our comfy clothes. (i.e., pajamas)

Aside from all that juggling, I try not to lose sight that Baby G is ONLY little once and I do not want to look back one day and say ‘Man, I wish I had played with him more when he was a baby.” Or, wake up one day and say “When did he start saying such and such word?” Last summer while I was home, an old friend of the family mentioned this in passing and I think it has been the greatest advice I have received- she commented that she had wished she had worried less about how clean her house was when her two sons were little and had played with them more. I would like to think I will worry less about our house and more about our kids, so on any day that I find myself preoccupied with one thing for too long, I pinch myself and try to remember her words.

In an attempt to enjoy more of those moments and still be a proactive member trying to make a difference environmently- I try to make as much of Baby G’s food as possible. As I have stated, in numerous posts before I have made homemade babyfood in batches that I freeze for later. We have made apples, peaches, pears, sweet potatoes, carrots, butternut suash, yellow squash, zuchini, blueberries, bananas and avocados thus far. There have been a few exceptions lately when I have bought organic pre-packaged babyfood. On these occasions, it was due to not having a seive, which I have finally determined I can go without and simply use our food processor. Another moment of weakness occurred because of pure laziness. In my defense, I have bought ALL bottle babyfood except for maybe about ten plastic greenbean, pea and mixed veggie varieties. Not bad in a 2 month period. I think all in all we have spend approximately $40 on babyfood (this total includes rice cereals, juice, jars, etc.) Imagine the cost if he ate prepackaged foods around the clock, that total would be close if not more than doubled.

Today, for my post I am vowing to stop buying all that USELESS packaging. Plastic seems to rule our lives these days and after reading an article about the fact that almost 40% of processed food comes from CHINA- I am gefinitely not purchasing ANYMORE packaged babyfood. Also, after the 1st foods that Gerber and the other babyfood companies make- most of what’s in the container is simply starches and fillers. Which means making your own and getting back to basics is healthier in the longrun, too. AND IT’S PROVEN TO BE CHEAPER! This reaffirms when I stated last week that going green coinsides with saving money and to me that’s something that wouldn’t hurt any of us in today’s economy!

Now, I know this post probably seems way off topic or you might be scratching your head wondering how it really relates to going and being green, but let me assure you that eliminating all that plastic does help the environment, even if you stuck with glass (also recyclable and profitable still in some states- it is also reuseable) I have collected about 30 babyfood jars and have a few plans up my sleeve as we speak. (Cough, cough…I won’t mention how this makes my husband bonkers (he cannot stand clutter). And, yes granted storage items are most likely plastic or as in my case I store my thawed babyfood in some of the bottles I have from the store bought babyfood and store what is to be frozen in freezer icecube trays and yes plastic ziploc bags that I REUSE- so at least they are being reused and not cluttering our landfills!)

If you grow your own veggies then babyfood becomes SUPER GREEN, because growing your own garden is considered a sustainable and renewable resource. Second best would be buying organic or even non-organic LOCALLY grown produce. Local being the imperative word here AND this in return SUPPORTS our Main Street economy!

Isn’t it time we get back to the basics? Please share your thoughts…

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I’m not usually big on Halloween. Not really for any particular reason, I simply never really celebrated except for as a child and a handful of times as a twenty-something college student. However, I decided this year to step outside my comfort zone and join in the fun! I dressed up with my little man. I have to admit that I felt like a kid again. Although, we only ended up going to our neighbor’s house and then up to visit Daddy and our good friends Jon and Ben; it was a great first Halloween. 

Here’s the pictures we were able to muster up…I knew I should have taken some before we left. Oh, well…Baby G is still the cutiest little bee in the whole wide world! And, to top things off- we made our ‘environmental statement’ on how honey bees are disappearing and all kinds of flowers, etc. need them to survive. I have a link posted, under Enviro This! on the right hand panel of my page- from  there you can find more information and learn ways to help the honey bee population, so be sure to check it out!

Our little bumble bee.

 

Hanging out with Ben, who unfortunately was already out of costume.

Hanging out with Ben, who unfortunately was already out of costume.

 

With Daddy, who we deemed a 'weed'.

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We use at least half less than the amount of detergent called for on its packaging. Give it a try, I promise you will be amazed when your clothing are still clean and smell fresh! I have to admit I have been doing this for years, but then found out I could use even less than what I was using then! In the long-run, this has ended up benefiting us two fold, by using less detergent, we spend less on purchasing it. An extra $8 everso often never hurt anyone, eh? Fabric softners are also a thing of the past. We have stopped using them. It wasn’t intentional, it just happened once Baby G came along. It’s also saved a few bucks here and there. Bryan doesn’t complain about the smell of his clothes so it must not make too big of a difference. I REALLY wish we could line dry our clothing, but we aren’t allowed to have a clothesline because of our ‘Homeowner’s Association’.  I have also started investing in using ‘green’ detergents. I started off purchasing A&H’s free and clear- which means it’s free of dyes and perfumes (things that clog up the green environment) and have now made the switch to Charlie’s Soap- a honest to goodness homemade soap that works wonders on Baby G’s cloth dipes. His diapers have been the main reason for searching for better detergents. I plan to give Mountain Green or Country Save a try soon, too. I am trying to figure out the most economically savvy green detergent now. So, I will be sure to let you know my findings.

I think what is MOST interesting about going green is how it coincides with SAVING money. Geee, you sure would think more folks would jump on that green bandwagon, eh?

Oh well, it can be our little secret for now.

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As the summer comes to an end on the coast, we try to cut back on our energy consumption. One way in which we do this is by turning off the air conditioner once the temperature hits the 70’s at night. Now, this might not seem like much to you guys, but it still gets up into the 80’s well into October around here. Many days the house will get quite muggy, yet on other days we are able to have a nice little breeze circulating through the house. (We also try to start doing this again in March with the heat as the weather is getting warmer.) We are usually able to save about $90 a month during these months.

On another note, energy can also be conserved by unplugging unused appliances until you intend to use them. We are extremely bad about leaving the computer going at all times and having the t.v. constantly plugged in, along with lamps. However, this week I am going to start unplugging all those appliances that are plugged in, but not being used. If I count, I believe we have about 15 things plugged in that are not being used on a constant basis. Which equates into- at least a $10 savings each month on our electric bill. That seems worth it enough to me! (And of course, turning off lights as you exist rooms and not having ‘night lights’ on are another small saver that adds up in the long run.)

Although, I can’t attest to how much we have saved by this next tip, it has helped us to become more aware of the things we take for granted and helped us appreciate ‘simple’ living again (in the broadest of terms). We NO LONGER use a MICROWAVE. Yes, you read that correctly. Now, you may think this is absolutely crazy- but I assure you it isn’t. It happened rather on a fluke. Our microwave stopped working in July and we haven’t fixed it or purchased a new one. We discussed its importance and decided it wasn’t a big deal NOT having it around. We have adjusted our lifestyles and other than in regard to ‘habit’ it was actually very simple to stop wanting to use it. I have found I like this way of living better- I know what I am eating hasn’t been leached of all its nutrition and I feel somewhat healthier for what I am cooking because it has to be done on the stove. Now, our energy consumption probably evens out in relation to what we were using vs. what we use now for cooking, so no kudos for conserving energy. But, it isn’t as bad as one might think and that’s my main reasoning for throwing it out here with this post. Not having a microwave isn’t all that bad. Gasp, to think Garrett’s growing up without a microwave!!

Hope the changing of seasons finds each of you appreciating and conserving your slice of the world a little bit more. 🙂

Oh and there’s only 3 more days left to that green contest I’m running- if anyone still wants to enter.

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***NOTE: This post contains graphic pictures and links to 2 videos with graphic images on animals.

I swear I’m almost done with my political rantings…just give me one more month. (Ok, I don’t swear, but they will be considerly less by then.) So, here’s some more of the same concerning that ‘pretty face’ eyeing the White House. This is written by a friend and family member; it definitely warrants an audience- maybe just maybe it might open some eyes.

 The original post can be found here.

09/27/08 10:12AM 
Wrong Woman, Wrong Message…
I love that I live in a country where I am entitled to have my own opinion as well as the freedom of speech.  I love that I get the opportunity to vote, seeing as one time women were not allowed to.  I have to admit that I have contemplated what difference my vote for president would really make during the elections. I always come to the conclusion that the government and its politicians only have power because we as a people give it to them through our collective consent.

Therefore, this is my blog and my opinion.  I am not writing this blog to try and persuade others to vote the way I do.  I am writing this because I feel the need to voice some issues that are near and dear to my heart, as well as most likely many people have no idea that this is going on.  I am writing this solely because I care about the environment and animals, and they don’t have a voice.

So if you are interested in continuing onward, you will find some information that I have been researching on a certain Republican party candidate who is currently Governor of Alaska.  You will also view some gruesome pictures along with two videos, so get mentally prepared.  Again, this is just one of many reasonings as to why this heartless candidate will not be getting my vote.

*  SHE offers a bounty of $150 for each left front leg of freshly killed wolves.

* SHE promotes aerial hunting of wolves even though Alaskans voted twice to ban it. SHE uses $400,000 of state money to fund a propaganda campaign in support of aerial hunting. SHE believes that the trophy hunters should have no competition when it comes to hunting.

* SHE supports the use of state money to slaughter black and grizzly bears including cubs with the goal being to kill at least 60 percent of the population.  Again the reason for their executions is so that the moose and caribou populations will increase and give opportunity to the trophy hunters.

*SHE strongly supports drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.  It is home to hundreds of caribou who use the refuge as a calving ground, more than one million migratory birds, and countless other wildlife.  It’s the most important onshore denning habitat for female polar bears.  Senator McCain himself has repeatedly voted to protect this pristine wilderness area. 

* SHE is suing the federal government to prevent listing the polar bear as an endangered species.  SHE has argued that the “ice-dependent polar bear”, the first mammal granted Endangered under the Endangered Species Act because of global warming, “does not need additional protections”.  SHE argues that any development or activity requiring federal permits or using federal funds would have to engage in a “consultation” (which is mandated by the Endangered Species Act) process to ensure that the polar bears are not harmed.  SHE believes that the “consultation” “is a long and time-consuming process, and it’s basically a big time-and-money waster”.  Her conclusion, the polar bear isn’t worth it.

*SHE opposes the listing of the Cook Inlet beluga whales to threatened due to pressures ranging from pollution and toxins in the water to increased ship traffic.  She believes that if the belugas were listed as threatened, it may hinder oil and gas development ($).  And just for the record, since she apparently overlooked this memo, the Cook Inlet beluga whale numbers have decreased from 1300 in the 1980s to about 350 today. 

* SHE believes that man-made global warming is a farce!!!!!!  She refuses to believe or support that man-made fossil fuel emissions are responsible for global warming, defying worldwide scientific consensus.  And her drill-keep drilling-drill forever approach to energy issues will do nothing to ease the causes of global warming, promote the use of clean, renewable energy sources, or break our addiction to foreign oil. 

When it comes to animals, you won’t hear her talking about pro-life. The only thing SHE said in her speech at the Republican National Convention that (allegedly) wasn’t scripted was that she’s a “pit bull wearing lipstick”. What an insult to pit bulls! Because they’re often raised to be violent (always the people’s fault), they have an undeserved reputation for bloodthirstiness. SHE was raised that way, too, but at what point should a cruel human know better? Her need to want to destroy wolves and bears is bogus and I find it sad that she is from the great vast state of Alaska. I personally don’t think she has a clue about supporting the natural predator/prey balance and it is obvious that if this is her ability to look at a situation that has clear divisions between the right and wrong action and she is capable of coming down on the wrong side in spite of the obvious correct course of action, she is simply incapable of making balanced decisions. I understand that some people who refuse to live in a civilized society still have to hunt animals for their food, but there is a humane way of doing so.  This issue reminds me alot of the sealions in the pacific northwest being executed for eating salmon. Who would have ever thought that animals would be killed for doing what they are suppose to do naturally? Like a wise friend of mine said…..it’s kinda like a sniper sitting on the top of the grocery store when we go to get our food……..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQobIUE1zTU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6T85cOGc8L0

 

 

 

 

 

 

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