Looking for Sustainability ideas

I thought I find a way to keep costs down while still trying to stay eco-friendly. Trying to keep striving for sustainability. This a record of that journey.

Sometimes blunt and straight forward then sometimes sarcastic

This frugal crunchy hipster single momma is doing what she can to save Mother Earth while not breaking the bank!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Real Food Plan

I hate that they are calling this the real food diet, cause diet don't work. It is more like the real food change of lifestyle plan. I have made the new year resolution to eat less pre-packaged meals and healthier. You may have seen Michael Pollan the mind behind the book _In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto_ on "Oprah". I knew when I saw the ads for this show it had to be along the lines of the movie "Food Inc". But I found out that I am trying to follow his advise with trying to eat healthier.

His main points for the real food plan is:

Eat but not too much, mostly plants.

Eat REAL food
anything that dies he pointed out..... Not super processed food.

Eat Local.

Eat in season

Eat Superfoods
foods that are packed with nutrients.

I think that the greatest thing I have heard is that the deep colorfully vegetables and fruits are rich in anti-oxidants because they are that way to protect themselves from the environment . So look for the bright food.

ivy

The Junk Mail Magic Words: "please do not rent, sell, or trade my name or address"

This morning I been reading some eco-friendly sites and found my self at Eco-cycle. I found some information about removing my name from list for junk mail.

first thing you can do is to sign up with a remove your name organization DMA.  Print there form here.  It only cost a dollar! however the mail addressed to “resident” or “occupant” cannot be stopped through the DMA. Like the ads for the stores in your area.

Any time you fill out a form including the warranty cards cards. Include the Magic words: "please do not rent, sell, or trade my name or address" Oh no I did just fill out on line 2 warranties........ guess I have to go with the other ideas if my name has been sold..... Plus you don't have to fill out anything more than the name address and product information on the card.

Call the 1-800 numbers to stop catalogs. Some where usually by the address of the company is a 1-800 number for customer service. Call that number and ask for your name to be removed form the list.

If you see anything like this on the mail:
* return service requested
* forwarding service requested
* address service requested
* change service requested.

You can return to the company with "refused, returned to sender" written on the unopened envelope.

Granted there are companies out there that will charge you to help get your name off the lists, but I really don't keep the junk mail to be able to fill out the forms. They are shredded and put in the recycling bin or compost pile. Plain paper no shinny paper can be shredded and put int he compost pile. Add like you would the yard waste.

Then I see how to get my name removed from the phone book list... Cool! A little to late this year but I can do this for next year. Oh yea and the Verizen book will be coming soon......... I don't know why I get the Verizen book but I get like 3 phone books..

* DEX: 1-877-243-8339
* Yellow Book: 1-800-929-3556 -- renew every two years
* Verizon: 1-888-266-5765

ivy

Saturday, January 30, 2010

The new dirty dozen.

Last year I wrote a blog on the dirty dozen.  The fresh food items that had the most pesticide according to the   Environmental Working Group. There is a PDF version of the guide plus a page with the full list of all fresh fruits and vegetables to help you decide what foods to buy organic. So they updated the list after testing the foods.

The Dirty Dozen:

(worst)Peach (highest pesticide load)
Apple
Sweet Bell Pepper
Celery
Nectarine
Strawberries
Cherries
Kale
Lettuce
Grapes – Imported
Carrot
Pear

Tomatoes have their name taken off the dirty dozen. The Environmental Working Group. is not sure why they have tested with less pesticides. Humm maybe more companies are listening to the reports then we thought....

The least to have a high pesticide residue:

Onions
Cabbage
broccoli
sweet potatoes



Fruits and vegetables that have a thick skin are protected from pesticides:
Avocados
Pineapples
mango
Kiwi
Corn
Sweet peas
eggplants
papaya
watermelon

But wash the outside before cutting them anyway.

ivy

Friday, January 29, 2010

They know their numbers!

The girls know their numbers! Yea  they are like young adults. But I am talking about  the recycling numbers of plastics recycling.............. I am so proud.  They were helping clean out the refrigerator when they began to look at the bottom of many items we have bought and looking at the number in the middle of the recycle arrows.  Look the sour cream; it is a 5!  Most drinks are a 2 etc...  Hey they were having a good time and my refrigerator was getting cleaned!!
    Miss animal rights has little nick names for some of the plastics.  Number one is of course PETE so she began to nick name some  the rest........ Number 2 is hope (on plastic is HDPE.)  5 (PP) is the best for food because there is no BPA she named The food plastic.  Oh they know what that BPA means too....... Both 2 and 5 was reported to be good for food.  Depends on who you read.
  They found and was very upset that we had some plastic containers that where older with the number 7.  Both Smiley and Miss animal Rights said at the same time...... the BPA junk plastic.  Ok I did tell them that 7 was plastic of Other (all the other stuff) and that it's the plastic that has BPA. That it was the plastic stuff that was the cheapest to make. And that why is was so popular to use.  So we went threw our plastic containers and had to recycle  many!   When telling Tech about it they both told him that 3,6 and 7 have BPA or are bad for your health.  Almost  like a song they sang together.
I am so proud!

ivy

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Finally!


The house has finally past the bill against BPA in baby and children's food and beverage containers! Yea!! BPA (bisphenol A)  is an industrial chemical that makes plastic hard and clear.  It passed  on Monday on a 95-1 vote!!  Ten days ago the U.S. Food and Drug Administration told the House that BPA potential effects on the brain, behavior and prostate gland of fetuses, infants and young children.
Washington Toxics Coalition labeled BPA a synthetic sex hormone thatresearch has linked to cancer miscarriage, obesity and reproductive problems.

Next stop food container!!!!!!!!


ivy

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Sun Crystals.. Have you tried them?

I saw the ad for Sun Crystals and thought wow I wonder what they are like. I found on the Sun Crystals site a form for a free sample!

Get your free sample from Sun Crystals here!

With the latest craze of diet drinks and energy drinks containing sucralose I had to research the ingredient. The kids are drinking those drinks. Yea they knew my next move.

We know the danger of aspartame. the chemical can attach the brain tissues and blood supply causing neurotoxin havoc.. Gives me a huge migraine. That nasty after taste.

Studies have found that sucralose can cause weight gain, disruption of sleep patterns, sexual dysfunction, increases in cancer, decrease in birth weight. Weight gain? Gee I thought that people trying to lose weight use that product. It is also found to increase your appetite! You want to eat more not less.

Stevia on the other hand is all natural made from the stevia plant. I guess the only down side is price. Like most sugar free items it will be more per pound. But might be nice for something to stick in your purse or pocket for a safe alternative when needed.


ivy

Monday, January 18, 2010

Free software....

I found a great site called Giveaway of the Day. Software that is absolutely free. That means – not a trial, not a limited version – but a registered and legal version.  It will be a full 24 hours that you can download the software of the day. Then it will remain on the site and you can add your reviews and comments at any time. Or even check out reviews to see if this is a software you would like to purchase. You get updates, information and special offers from the companies.   It like when bloggers review items.  It brings people to the companies site and free advertising for their company. If you like a free download, you might get other programs from their site.  Word of mouth advertising is a growing popular idea online. 

Ok I haven't downloaded anything yet because I got there a day late for a program I would like...  wouldn't ya know?  But I thought I have to bookmark this! While looking around I found a button for their site.  Ok better yet I could post a blog sending people to the site... I will be remind of the site when I work on my blog........

Check them out... oh also if you have a gamer in the family there is the Game Giveaway of the Day.

ivy

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Ignorance is bliss, Knowing can drive you crazy

Bisphenol A (BPA)) is the latest buzz word to reduce the use of plastics in our daily lives. BPA is a hormone-mimicking chemical and is know for being a endocrine disruptor. It is also being said to aid in obesity, because the chemicals are changing the body’s metabolism. Back in the 1930 they worried that BPA was hazardous to humans but just lately the outcry of many consumers concerned over the amount of BPA in baby products. This is including the baby bottles. In turn has brought to light a new movement for BPA free items. With big bright stickers on the package stating BPA FREE...

With thinking of reducing the amount of plastic in my life I began to notice just how much is in my home. AND at work......  packages for many items I buy, the cooking, eating and baking items I use. I know that plastics with the recycling arrow with the number 3 and 7 contain BPA. 1,2,4,5 and 6 do not. #5 plastics are among the safest for not leaching BPA.  But many bowls, slotted spoons and etc don't have the wonderful recycling arrow so how do I know what this stuff is made out of.....

Plastic bags and plastic are dangerous to animals. I posted a power point blog post last year with pictures of animals encased in the plastic. The oceans have floated plastic debris  called the North Pacific Gyre that are as big as Texas and nature can't destroy it. So how is my body? I remember seeing Chris Jordan's Midway Message from the Gyre (warning not for younger viewers rated R in my book) pictures of albatross chicks that stomachs where full of plastic and how as the animal decayed the plastic did not...... Haunting.  Really haunting. 

Then I look at the pits in my plastic turner and spoon. Ok I have to get rid of these...  I have to.  I can just picture some photographer shooting picture of my family with pieces of cheap plastic ware chips in their bellies......  Ok not really but did wonder if the ocean, animals or anything can't break down the plastic what the heck is that doing to my family.  Of course they know me especially when I feel I must protect them.  

Well just like the post I do read to much!!  I started to feel the inch to replace many of my cooking items with not plastic. It was a burning inch. I had to fix this for my family.

First stop was Deals.  I got 2 mixing bowls:  one huge the other one was smaller.  I told the girls that the in-between size  projects use the casserole bowls, they say ok great idea! Plus they had a slotted spoon, a cookie turner (it was so cute), a serving spoon, a ladle  and clips for packages that where steel. YEA!  Under ten dollars. YES!

Miss Animal Rights needed some undergarments and will not get them from a resale shop. Ok I say I understand and yes we get undergarments new.  So I went looking at the cooking section. I found measuring spoons and cups for a good price,  I tease the girls that the strainer was next time and they talked me into this time.  "it's a good price." they said.  Then  told me "you know it will drive you crazy every time one of us use the old plastic one.............. " So I got it. Ok again under 10 dollars. Yea!!

My collection of shiny steel and ok a handle has plastic.  Shiny... pretty safer for my family I feel better now.....  But still wonder if giving my old plastic ware to Good Will is a bad thing......

ivy

Friday, January 15, 2010

HOT!!

bhut jolokia.  Nicknamed the ghost chili pepper.  Tech made some ghost chili last night.  Yea he is the spicy hot the better, the more burn  the better guy.  He put about 2 tablespoons of dried ghost pepper in the pot.
  Ok I not the hot the better type but thought why not try this......... Just a taste.  I love crackers in my chili and dripped one in.  It tasted good. I took a spoonful. Yum. More crackers.. Yum then OMG get the milk!!! My lips started to burn.  My goodness this is hot.  I burped like 4 and half hours later and felt like my mouth was just lit up........... LOL.  He took it in to work cause the guys want to try it.... A group of guys in a office after eating very hot chili....... giggles.... I am glad I don't work there. 
The girls said NO WAY.. They are smart....

So this is what I learned about the ghost chili and how hot it really is. I guess I should KNOWN after last night....

Capsaicin is chemicalthat causes the heat.  They rank or score the pepper by  Scoville units. They identifies  and measures amount of Capsaicin in the peppers A measurement of one part capsaicin per million corresponds to about 15 Scoville units.  Ok so what does that mean?  I found this info to better explain just how hot this pepper is. 
tabasco sauce ranges -2,500 to 5,000
jalapeno pepper - 2,500 to 8,000
Red Savina habanero, -580,000
bhut jolokia - 1,001,304

The cool thing I also learned that they believe that this pepper is good cure for stomach problems.
Well maybe my stomach doesn't burn like most spicy foods can do.... Not sure I would try this when it hurts! 

ivy

Thursday, January 14, 2010

For our babies

A true reason to remove the toxins for your home, your children. EPA, carcinogens average 10 times more potent for children than adults. When many items in our homes contain toxins, like formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane in their soaps, shampoos and bubble bath they are at a great risk. Adults will eat 1/40th of their weight where a child will eat 1/10 of their weight in carcinogens.  scary see how many manufacturers including Johnson and Johnson have know that formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane cause cancer! And it still in their products.  Japan and Sweden have already ban these ingredients from personal care products, yet her in this country we still find them on sale at the local store.  On April 29, 2009, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) introduced the Safe Baby Products Act for the Food and Drug Administration to investigate and regulate hazardous contaminants in personal care products , yet the FDA has not done anything.........  Read more about this horror at Campaign for  Safe Cosmetics.   There is many anti-bacterial, anti-microbial or disinfectant cleaners, sprays and even toys. To see the commercials, we need these  anti-bacterial, anti-microbial or disinfectant cleaners to make everything clean.  These cleaners kill both beneficial and harmful bacteria.  The chemical Triclosan which give these products the anti-bacterial qualities  is be thought to weakening of the immune system,  decreased fertility,   altered sex hormones,  cause birth defects, and is a carcinogenic. Studies  have shown that these cleaners can help make super bacteria and germs.  Just like the anti-biotic resistant infections. 

33% of the personal-care products on sale in the USA are known to cause cancer and they keep them in our products.  The USA has banned only 10 ingredients in the European Union they have banned 1100+ products.   The European Union test most ingredients where the states have only tested 11%.
Many ingredients that are on sale here but ban in the European market are:   
 mercury(said to cause autism),  parabens  (has the prefixes methyl-, ethyl-, butyl-, or propyl.),
lead acetate (the stuff we use to remove finger nail polish) formaldehyde (used in dead people),
petroleum distillatesParadichlorobenzene (a strong pesticide),  ethylacrylate,  coal tar, Phosphoric acid (used in fertilizers),  dibutyl phthalate, Turpentine (the strong smelling stuff that removes paint),  Fragrance (which can cause allergies and alergic reactions), Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Toluene and Xylene

Sunday, January 10, 2010

bacteria grown in feces now on sale at your fast food place


I have I was in shocl when I saw the Digg post of 48% of Soda Fountains Contain Bacteria from S&*t. 
AND 11% contained E. Coli,. Just gross....

I used to work in a couple fast food places and really had a hard time with the ice bins. Guess it was my curse to get to clean them when it came to the snow days of slow business. But if you could see the slime, black mold and paper things that I found while cleaning them you would also ask for no ice please. I did train a couple stores in the area how to remove the nozzles off the soda machines to clean. One store I had to spray water threw and thick snot looking stuff came out. It was gross.

But I believe that it is because most people don't wash their hands well. Yep I said it. Have you seen the 20/20 shows or reports on local news where they test the sinks, door handles and even women's purses. They find fecal matter and bacteria on them. Guess I will not be eating that here...........
No fecal matter with that drink please. YUK! Gross!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

I tripped over it on my way in the front door.......


The dang phone-book! It was in the bag sit close to the door but with a few grocery bags I didn't see it.  I hate that!  I swear that happens every year.  The thing is always put away and forgotten.  Here I get about 3.  I get the city phone book.  I get the neighboring area phone book.  Then I get a business one.  I really don't need one let a lone three!  Once in a  while we use the city book but most of the year it sits in the little hiding place we find for them.

So yes I rejoiced when I saw the Ban The Phone Book site I had to check it out. Only around 15% of these books get recycled. It costs close to 17 million each year to print these books. It takes up to 5 million tress to produce. That would like cutting down trees to let rot.

Now I know some people use there phone books they don't have a computer connection or maybe a cell phone. But the petition is not to end phone books but to let us choice to get one.  Sign the petition  to create an opt-in delivery program.  It at the very top right hand corner you can't miss it.

Save a tree or maybe a million trees!
Added bonus to get the picture of my friend Tigger hugging a tree go to Super Coloring pages I know that the paper wouldn't be wasted;)

Blast from the Past

I just got a green newsletter that said the funnest thing. I guess since I am older and remember this item from my youth is was something that didn't surprise me.... FINALLY!! A safe alternative to plastic ice cube trays! Stainless Steel Ice Cube Tray!! Well I remember those aluminum trays were about the only thing you could get when I was little. Now they are green. If only we knew then what we know now.. Amazon.com has one here. But they are a higher priced item at $29 Plus tax.

Humm I wonder if one could find them at resale shops......... or if my pack rat parents saved one........ It might just be somewhere in the attic, garage  or basement.  Aluminum doesn't rust right??  My dad probably  has  his screws, nuts and bolts in one.  He is the one that taught me to reuse many items.  I also share my reuse ideas with him or the one I find online.   My late mother taught me how to cook and clean with natural items.  Felt like I had to give both of them equal kudos!! 

But the first lesson one learns from this ice cube tray is NEVER open one with wet hands...... The handle likes to stick to you.  It's like the famous holiday movie where the little boy gets his tongue stuck to the pole.  I double dog dare you!!!!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Eat Local tool from NRDC

I found a great tool that I put on this blog from NRDC, The Natural Resources Defense Council. You can find out what produce is in season and usually is at a better deal at the stores. I wanted to keep it and what better place then this blog...... Granted my area doesn't have to many things in season due to the foot of snow with more lake effect snow expected all week, but still will come in handy when I go to the farmers market!


I also put it half way down on my blog for ease of use.

The site also has what they can the frequent fliers the produce that really has a long trip to get to our table. This equals more green house gas and a bigger carbon footprint. Some items you want to grow yourself or buy from your local farmers market. Oh if my raspberry bush takes off like it did last year I will be doing good for this spring... My tomates didn't do that good but then I get many from friends and family for the girls eat them like apples. Plus I cook them up and make sauce.

Frequent Fliers

  •  Asparagus (Peru)
  • Bell peppers (Netherlands)
  • Tomatoes (Netherlands)
  • Blackberries (Chile)
  • Blueberries (Argentina)
  • Cherries (Chile)
  • Raspberries (Chile)
  • Peaches (Chile)
  • Nectarines (Chile)
  • Papayas (Brazil)


ivy

Friday, January 1, 2010

What are your Green New Years Resolutions?



Recycle? Do I have to say that? I think most cities and areas now have recycling pick-up. If not I hope most are recycling centers (hey I still turn my aluminum cans in for a nice little reward. We have pizza night with our reward)
Reuse your items? Join a craft site like Craftster and find ideas! For reconstructing your clothes I like Theadbanger; they have videos that show you how to if you a beginner... Plus they have other ideas on reusing and have a younger feel ideal for the teen in your life. I even found a cool kids calendar with ideas for kids to reuse. A group of teacher put this together.
Reduce using waste and use less natural resources. Less water, gas and electricity? Saves on the household costs..
Use less plastics? Did you know that there is a island of plastic in the ocean known as The Great Pacific Garbage Patch and is estimated to be as big as Texas? Fake Plastic Fish has a list of things she did to cut her use of plastics.
Eat less frozen food meals? Make more from scratch? Surprising how much more the little ones and the older ones too eat something that taste better because it was made at home. Plus it taste better when they help make it.. ;)
Eat locally grow fruits and vegetables? Like the 100 Mile Diet? Visit framers markets and co-ops when you can?
Not buy anything new? A group in San Francisco called The Compact is not going to buy anything new, buy most of the things from second hand stores or getting them repaired. Of course food can be purchased new..

Live a low impact life? Like the Low Impact Man? I think he even got a t-v show. He unpluged but now is on the tube.
Remember the cradle to cradle ideal? Use our dollars to tell the companies that we will only purchase something that will last and can recycled??
Recycle our electrics?? And get some money?? Eco New pays for your used electrics. Walmart even will trade in your old electrics.

Have a staycation? With no worries of luggage getting lost or the driver!

Mine:
Make more things from scratch - eat less processed foods
Keep up the saving of natural resources. Keep down household expenses, with my income!
Try making things that are commonly made with high fructose corn syrup at home... trying new ideas...
As much as I can remove BPA foods from my pantry.

ivy

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