By Toni Salter
"A garden is one of the few things in prison that one could control, being a custodian of this patch of earth offered a small taste of freedom." - Nelson Mandela
These words penned by Mandela in his autobiography made me wonder about the inmates on the infamous Alcatraz Island, which housed some of America's most notorious criminals until the 1960's.
The popularity of the TV series by the same name has renewed interest in the prison and for me was a reminder of the garden I visited when I was last in San Francisco.
Prison gardens are not something new, in fact they've been around nearly as long as people have been incarcerated. Certainly an important part of time spent "inside" for many, the gardens are a symbol of hope for some and a means of healing for others.
ECOMII'S COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE TO GARDENING
7 CREATIVE WAYS TO GROW HERBS
Gardens in correctional centers provide fresh produce for the sustainable running of the facility and outdoor activity that many of the
By Toni SalterRead More »from Doing Time in the Garden: The Gardens of Alcatraz
- ecomii.com | Green – Thu, May 31, 2012 12:17 PM EDT
By Green Diva Meg
The first in our series on earth-friendly and vegan shoes. Seriously - we wouldn't be green divas if we didn't love shoes! We recently hooked up with PlanetShoes.com and to our amazement, there is a plentiful variety of not only eco-friendly shoes made from recycled materials, but vegan shoes? Ok, I'm not a vegan virgin, but really vegan shoes? Does this mean I can eat them?
Of course, I jest, but one usually thinks of the term vegan in relationship to food. But, there are folks who are THRILLED to be able to wear shoes that don't look like bricks or little burlap sandals on their feet - shoes that are congruent with their values as vegans. I interpret that to mean that there are no animal products used in the production of the shoe - cruelty-free shoes.
Read More »from Electric Cars: Real Vs. Compliance Cars
by Green Diva Meg
You're probably aware that there are a lot of new electric cars coming out. Thanks to California zero-emissions regulations, which have been adopted by several states in the northeast as well as the northwest, many car manufacturers have incentive to create new zero-emission electric cars. Good right?
Well . . . If you listen to this interview, which is the first of our 2-part series with our favorite green car dude, John Voelcker, editor of GreenCarReports.com, you begin to separate the real from the marketing hype.
Here's Part 1: What is a Compliance Car?
- EcoSalon | Green – Thu, May 31, 2012 8:33 AM EDT
By Sarah Irani
Is the economy beating you up? It's time to get creative. Next time you have an ache or pain, forget about a costly trip to the drugstore and test drive some of your grandmother's remedies instead. It'll save money and be gentler on your body and the environment. Recessionistas (and Gents), welcome to the DIY medicine cabinet.
Indigestion and Heartburnspicy-food1
It almost goes without saying - but consider why you're getting heartburn in the first place. Did you overeat? Too much grease or spicy food? Eating late at night? Scout out the cause and try to stop this before it happens. Then, put down the antacids. The belching, bloat and heartburn caused by indigestion come about because you don't have enough stomach acid to do the job right. A spoonful or two of apple cider vinegar will help break down the excess food that is causing you trouble and bring your stomach back to balance.
Sore, scratchy throats are usually a sign of a cold or flu coming on, so you Read More »from The Best Natural Remedies for the 15 Most Common Aches, Pains and Health Complaints
Read More »from 30 Unexpected and Unusual Things You Can Compost
Composting isn't just for food, silly! You'll be surprised at all the strange, random junk you can toss in the compost bucket. Don't draw the line at peach pits and coffee grounds - start chucking the following items into that bucket and watch your garbage bill go down while you create top-drawer dirt (and help the planet, of course).
1. Bills - because somehow it's a lot more satisfying shoving bills in with melon rinds and egg shells than the recycle bin. Trust me.
2. Latex condoms - both latex and sheepskin condoms are biodegradable; note that sheepskin does not protect against STDs.
3. Junk mail - if you're like me not even the Do Not Mail list has managed to alleviate the jubilant deforestation companies are undertaking on your personal behalf.
4. Catalogs and magazines - just shred them first.
5. Old fish food and stale catnip
6. Abandoned hide/bone dog chews
7. Worn out rope and used masking tape
8. Any old leather - shoes, gloves, wallets, belts, "sexy" Halloween cat
"The Diva Digs Up the Dirt" by Krista DavisRead More »from Dig that Diva, Digging Up the Dirt
Reviewed by David Marshall James
Does she ever-- literally and figuratively.
Plus, she has a reality TV crew encamped in her backyard, but all's well that ends well with that subplot.
The title Diva, Sophie Winston, writes a domestic-advice column, sort of "Dear Abby" meets "Hints from Heloise." She also works as an events planner in and around Old Town, Alexandria, Virginia, an historic area with plenty of historically oriented and metro-DC happenings to keep her on the run.
Indeed, the plethora of local gatherings can easily support another Domestic Diva, Natasha, Sophie's childhood bete noire. Not that much has changed in their relationship. Natasha's competitively manic proclivities have intensified, up to her latching onto Sophie's ex-husband, Mars.
Sophie has been tolerant of her neighbor and rival Diva, which hasn't gone unnoticed by Mars, who-- in a manner of speaking-- may have traded up for the shinier, flashier model when the
- The_Stir | Green – Thu, May 24, 2012 12:31 PM EDT
You probably have a bunch of stuff lying around your house that isn't quite in good enough shape to donate or use, but is still decent enough that you feel weird throwing it out.
You can go all Ma Ingalls, mending tears in clothes and darning socks, or you can go all hip and Etsy-crafter and upcycle.
More from The Stir: 6 Fabulous Home Designs Inspired by Your Favorite Games
What is upcycling? This edition of MomEd: Green Living has all the details, but it's basically taking an old piece of clothing or knickknack, like a worn-out shirt or broken crayons, and turning it into something new and cool.
The best part is, you don't need Martha Stewart-level crafting skills. In this episode, you learn how to turn a piece of fabric from that tattered shirt into a reusable sandwich bag, how to re-create old wool sweaters and turn them into soft toys, and how to make cool new crayons from old ones.
Want more? Here are 10 projects to get you started:
Old men's shirtsRead More »from What is Upcycling? 10 Easy Ways to Make it Happen (VIDEO)
Read More »from 10 Greenest U.S. Cities
By Stephanie Rogers
Honking cars emit foul black clouds, skyscrapers blot out the sun, litter lines the gutters and healthy green space can be hard to come by. But in many of America's biggest cities, these negative traits are being eclipsed by clean, efficient public transit, bike-friendly infrastructure, multiplying trees, reliance on renewable energy and a fierce pride in locally-produced products. Slashing greenhouse gas emissions and coming close to zero waste is no easy feat for a metropolis with a population of at least 250,000, but these 10 cities - from Boston to San Francisco - prove that sustainability is possible on the largest of scales, in good economic times and bad.
10. Boston, Massachusetts
Representing the entire East Coast in impressive renewable energy stats, Boston boosted its solar power with the Solar Boston program and counts wind among its top three sources of electricity, with a turbine on city hall and more slated for several public schools. Other big
Because figuring out what kind of fish to eat is practically rocket scienceSeafood lovers concerned about sustainability may already be familiar with the popular Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch's pocket and mobile guides, which divide up fish caught in the United States into easy-to-follow "Best Choices," "Good Alternatives," and "Avoid" lists based on the management of the fisheries for each species, population data, and fishing methods. While helpful, these lists leave out a component also worth considering when making seafood choices: toxin levels and omega-3 levels.Read More »from The Best Fish to Eat
Click here to see The 10 Best Fish to Eat PLUS Recipes
But now there's a new list, dubbed "The Super Green List," which attempts to take all of these factors into account and boil them down to a "top 10" list. The fish that make this list have fewer than 216 parts per billion mercury and 11 parts per billion PCBs (a toxic byproduct of industrial activities), and yield at least 250 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids per day based on a weekly consumption of eight ounces of fish per week. To
- ecomii.com | Green – Wed, May 23, 2012 11:26 AM EDT
by Marie OserRead More »from Tea Tree Oil: Effective Alternative to Hazardous Household Cleaners?
Cleaning the house can certainly be a chore, but it shouldn't expose you to health risks and foul the earth. The issues associated with toxic chemicals found in household cleaning products that line store shelves across America are a concern to health conscious consumers.
A recent Product Report from the Organic Consumer's Association stated that the chemicals in many cleaners that foam, bleach and disinfect to make our dishes, bathtubs and countertops gleaming and germ-free, also contribute to indoor air pollution. Fragrances added to many cleaners may cause acute reactions such as respiratory symptoms, allergy and asthma, headaches, sneezing and eye irritation.
DISCOVER THE CLEANING POWER OF WHITE VINEGAR
3 TIPS FOR REDUCING WATER WASTE AT HOME
Oftentimes common household cleaners contain substances that are poisonous if ingested and/or harmful if inhaled or touched and many are among the most toxic products of any found in the home.
The Environmental Working Group
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