Try these ideas for a barbecue Mother Nature herself would love.
In the Market for a New Grill?
Sportprofwhiteleft Go solar. A solar stove cooks more slowly and won't get you the grilled flavor you expect from the barby. But it can't be beat for a clean-cooking cookout. (Models start at less than $200.)
Choose gas or electric. Most grills use either natural gas, propane, charcoal, or electricity. Of these options, charcoal causes the most trouble, emitting more carbon monoxide, particulate matter, and soot than any of the others. If you already use natural gas to heat your home or power your appliances, you may be able to hook up a gas line directly to your grill. The convenience of not needing to refill propane tanks may outweigh the cost of the hook-up. Otherwise, choose a propane grill, which burns cleaner than charcoal. (Electric grills are another clean, though less common option. If your energy source is windpower, an electric grill will generate the least pollution of all the options
Blog Posts by Diane MacEachern
Try these ideas for a barbecue Mother Nature herself would love.Read More »from Grilling Green
- Diane MacEachern | Work + Money – Sat, May 15, 2010 5:45 PM EDT
Put another nail in the coffin of the 'green costs too much money' myth. At least when it comes to nail polish (the kind on your fingers and toes, not in your tool box), buying the most eco-friendly brands costs you far less than the conventional -- and more polluting -- options.
Plus: Not only does buying eco-friendly nail polish save you money, it reduces your exposure to harmful chemicals. A recent study by The National Healthy Nail Salon Alliance reports 74% of popular nail care companies no longer use the "toxic trio" of toluene, formaldehyde and dibutyl phthalate, dangerous compounds linked to health problems such as asthma, cancer, and reproductive problems.
The good news is that you will likely find your favorite drug store brand among the 18 options that are "three free." L'Oreal, Orly, Revlon, and Sally Hansen all have eliminated these harmful chemicals from their ingredients. Where does the cost savings come into play? The safer, widely available brands retail forRead More »from Think you can't afford 'green' nail polish? Wrong!
In 1974, an environmental scandal rocked my world. I and millions of other people living in the state of Michigan were informed that the milk we'd been drinking had come from cows that had accidentally been fed fire retardant instead of cow feed.
I don't remember how much milk we'd all drunk before the mistake was discovered. I do remember watching the television news reports of the incident. Over 500 contaminated Michigan farms were quarantined. Approximately 30,000 cattle, 4,500 swine, 1,500 sheep, and 1.5 million chickens were destroyed, along with over 800 tons of animal feed, 18,000 pounds of cheese, 2,500 pounds of butter, 5 million eggs, and 34,000 pounds of dried milk products.
I'll never forget the feeling I had watching millions of gallons of milk being destroyed. But what I also came to realize was that it was far easier to get rid of that tainted milk than it was to eliminate the fire retardants that had accumulated in my body as a result of drinking it. FireRead More »from What's in YOUR body, Mom?
One of the most economical gardening moves I ever made was to join my local horticulture club.
For just $12 a year, I get access to great gardening advice, some lovely garden tours, and a list-serv of other gardeners who are not only willing but eager to swap plants with me so we can all save some money.
I put that list-serv to good use this past weekend. After a harsh, dry winter, my yard needed a face lift. The sunny spot in front was completely overgrown with weeds. The mostly shady back yard had been overtaken by senecio daisies and creeping astilbe, let alone all manner of weeds. I wanted to restore the front with native plants that would thrive in hot afternoon sun, and add variety to the shade plants out back.
A quick trip to the nursery made me realize that my ideas would cost me some serious cash - at least $50 just for the plants in front, even without adding an accent bush or two.Read More »from Don't Buy Plants, Swap! (I did, and saved $50)
- Diane MacEachern | Healthy Living – Sat, May 15, 2010 5:05 PM EDT
Tree poseIn 2008, Yoga Journal published a "Yoga in America" market study. According to the report, 6.9 percent of U.S. adults, or 15.8 million people, practice yoga. The study also showed that Americans spend $5.7 billion a year on yoga classes and products, including yoga mats, clothing, and media (DVDs, videos, books and magazines).
Where's the eco in all of this?
In the past, we've talked about the value of recycling your clothes. And we're big proponents of getting books and DVDs from the library or swapping with friends.
But what should you do about yoga mats?
Good question. Traditional mats are primarily made from polyvinyl chlorides, or PVC. PVC is widely considered to be the most toxic plastic produced because dioxins and other carcinogens are released into the atmosphere during its manufacture. Furthermore, the plasticizers added to make the PVC, and your mat, soft and sticky, include lead, cadmium, and phthalates, which have been found to disrupt the endocrineRead More »from Twist into 'Nature's Pose' by Recycling Your Yoga Mat
- Diane MacEachern | Green – Mon, May 10, 2010 8:26 PM EDT
1) Volunteer. Folks in the affected areas need help washing wildlife, answering phones, and doing everything in between. Register online if you live in Louisiana or Florida. Oil Spill Volunteers will also help match you to a group that needs your services. You can also call toll-free 1-866-448-5816.
2) Pick up beach trash. Garbage harbors oil and can be dangerous for wildlife. Work with local beach crews to get debris off shores.
Oiled bird 3) Get help for injured wildlife. That doesn't mean you should try to pick up birds or animals covered with oil. Distressed animals bite. Plus, crude oil can hurt your skin. A hotline has been established for injured and dead animal sightings. Call 1-866-557-1401 to leave a message with the animal's precise location. iPhone users in the Gulf can download the Noah project's app to document distressed animalsRead More »from How You Can Help Clean Up the Gulf Coast Oil Disaster
- Diane MacEachern | Parenting – Mon, May 10, 2010 8:23 PM EDT
The sickening disaster in the Gulf of Mexico is irrefutable evidence: We face a moral imperative to use less oil.
But how can we cut back if, as President Bush once famously said, "We're addicted to oil"?
The fearless women behind the Green Moms Carnival tackle the issue head-on this month.
Jen at PuddleJumping in D.C. puts things in perspective with these amazing statistics: The U.S. consumed almost 3 gallons of oil per person per day in 2007, with about 70% of that fueling transportation. Jen compares that to the 1.6 gallons per day per Japanese citizen and 1.2 per person per day in Great Britain. Jen recounts her family's efforts to travel by foot, bicycle and stroller as much as possible, and makes a strong argument for planning communities that don't depend on cars.
Lisa of Retro Housewife Goes Green reviews what using oil really costs us. In addition to the 11 human lives already lost in the explosion, all kinds of wildlife and fish are now at risk in the Gulf.Read More »from Green Moms Want Safer, Cleaner Transportation Choices
Gmp_logo3smallCan kids save the world?
The kids who founded GreenMyParents sure think so!
This youth-led movement is officially launching on Earth Day with a plan to inspire peers, parents and millions of American families to go green.
In the process, they aim to save $100 Million by this time next year. How? It will start with 100 "youth champions." Each of them plans to recruit 100 more kids, then train them to promote easy, everyday steps that protect the environment and save money, too, at least $100 per family. It's hoped each of those kids will recruit another 100, and another 100, and another 100, until tens of thousands or even millions are involved.
Gmp_Book_Cover_225X325 The program kicks off April 22 at 1 p.m. EST with a youth-led webinar via The National Wildlife Federation's SchoolTube.com, plus the downloadable publication of the Green Your Parents book.
But don't wait until then to learn more about the amazing kids behind this initiative. They include:
• Adora Svitak, a 12-year-oldRead More »from Kids Launch "Green My Parents" to Save the World
- Diane MacEachern | Work + Money – Mon, Apr 12, 2010 9:08 PM EDT
Are you one of those people who think you'll save energy and water if you wash your car at home?
Sorry. Just the opposite is true. When you wash your car in your driveway or on the street, the wash and rinse water - loaded with dirt, exhaust fumes, oil and detergent - runs off down the storm drain and eventually into rivers, lakes and streams. All that dirt can contaminate the water and threaten the fish, birds and other wildlife that live there. Plus, washing a car at home usually uses far more water than at a car wash, since so many people just leave the hose running while they wash the car.
A commercial car wash.
* By law (in both the U.S. and Canada), commercial car washes must drain their wastewater into sewer systems so it can be treated before being discharged back into waterways.
* An added advantage? Commercial car washes use computer-controlled systems and high-pressure nozzles and pumps to minimize water use.
* Many facilities alsoRead More »from Environmentally Friendly Car Wash - Not in Your Driveway!
Moving from one home to another is not a low-impact activity. If you're relocating from one coast to the other, you could use as much as 120 pounds of cardboard and generate 5,000 pounds of climate-changing carbon dioxide. Even moving from one side of your state to another could have a 500-pound carbon impact, given the fuel burned by moving vans and the resources you use to pack up all your stuff.
How can you make you move more eco and less yecch?
• Don't move what you don't need; to unload unnecessary stuff, donate to Goodwill or the Salvation Army; have a yard sale; freecycle.
• Save newspapers in advance of your move to use as packing paper.
• Pick up discarded boxes from local stores.
• Pack things in suitcases or containers you are also moving to save space and reduce the number of throwaway boxes you use.
• Use the right size truck. A too-larger truck wastes energy. A truck that's too small may need to make too many trips.
• Recycle boxes andRead More »from Get an (Environmental) Move On!