We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow the earth from our
-Native American Proverb
We have been treating the Earth like we don't live on it.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas-Be Kind

Why can't everyone be this nice year round? Yesterday, everywhere I went people where into saying "excuse me" or "thank you" or any other kind gesture you can imagine. Yes, imagine that. Here where I live people lost there way and think it is not ok to be kind anytime of the year except the holidays. They are being nice enough to start conversations with me! Why does the human race find it necessary to be so horrible any other time of the year? That is why I love the holiday season. People are nice.

My dog got out of the yard yesterday. A neighbor I don't know caught her and called my house. (Our number is on her tag.) I didn't know the woman but she was being nice. Who knows maybe she would have helped me any other time of the year, but then, maybe not.

I went to get take-out food and while in line a slightly older couple just started up a pleasant conversation about how short the line was and thought it would be much longer. It didn't take much to smile and say something pleasant, we're all stuck in line together. No where to go so might as well talk to the person standing next to you. I thought maybe they were from another state where people are nice.

I was also in line at another store for 40 minutes, I looked around and people were smiling. SMILING! In the Bay Area! Did we all win the lottery, no! I think they are not stressed. They don't have to work for the next couple of days AND, believe this, they are happy about GIVING to others! Imagine that, giving gifts to family and friends can make you happy! And at this time of year they also give smiles and kind gestures to strangers and, wow, that makes them feel good inside.

This seems like the only time of the year-between Thanksgiving and New Year-that we are thankful for what we have. Why can't we be thankful every day?

I just don't understand. Actually, I do. Most of the time people are running around trying to work and get as much as they can done and don't think about other people much, even family. If everyone stopped for 2 minutes and thought about how lucky most of us are in the "modern" world to be free of common diseases, to be free of war on our soil and to be free of starvation, maybe then we would think we were luckier than some in this world and then we would SMILE! If everyone stopped and became thankful for their health and their loved ones health. Thankful for their wealth-home, warmth, food, and clothes. Maybe more people would smile and be kind to strangers all year round.

So if you are one that is nice year round thank you so much. You make the world a better place. All the others need to work on it!

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Richest Man in Town

"No man is a failure as long as he has friends."

I think this may be my favorite movie. And I cry every time I watch it!

Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 19, 2008


Meadow Turf has a simple post about the Cedar Waxwings in her neck of the woods. I love birds. They seem to be the life that persists in winter when everything else is silent. The other day while trying to catch a photo of Mount Diablo with snow I caught a flock of pigeons feasting on seeds left behind after crops had been harvested. Humans tend to not like pigeons, calling them flying rats at times, but to see them in more of a semi-natural setting I can see that they are just birds. I captured a flock which is a rare sight near any cities.

(Mt Diablo, Northern CA, East Contra Costa County)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Let your greatest fear be that there is no PMS and this is just your personality.

My Jeans

(That's not me, but those are my jeans.)

How many more days until the Big "C"? I think I am done shopping now. I can finally rest and just wrap gifts and bake cookies. This is when I start to put on the pounds, when I stop. I was just thinking yesterday that my jeans still fit me. I guess I better break out the sweats. Ha ha. Anyway, my green goal for this season is to not gain weight. Why is that green? First, I don't consume as much so less product is bought and less product needs to be grown and less travel to the supermarket and less pollution. Secondly, if I gain weight I will need to buy new pants in a larger size which is more product made and placed into society. The basic premise here is to comsume less-food and items- and the world will be greener. We'll see, that chocolate chip cookie dough calls to me every night after the kids are in bed...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Green Holiday Guilt

(Our crabapples withering away in the cold.)

I feel so guilty this morning. Every post I read on my favorite green blogs is about how they are greening the holidays. I have not. Well, I have made an effort to buy less, recycle and upcycle anything I can but when I have been buying gifts I haven't been buying green. I take that back I bought recycle cotton socks at Target, yes Target. I bought some great palm oil candles from my mom. She is a seller for Aloha Bay Candles and these candles and salt products are great! Some of their items are organic and/or fair trade. The scent coming from the candles is far superior than petroleum based candles and they last 3 times as long. And I am going to try and find some java logs to burn in our fireplace.

Other than that not much greeny going on with me. So you see my green guilt. I can admit much of the non greening going on is from my husband the light and fire guy. He bought all new lights for the house and loves to have a fire every night. I don't blame him, he loves this time of the year and so do I but I should have found greener alternatives for him.

I can say I tried some. I did look for recycled wrapping paper and found it more expensive. I am cold right now because of the thermostat being turned down. I do walk around in the dark to save energy. But I feel I have strayed from my green goals.

Next year: bake mostly organic cookies, find organic turkey and trimmings, and replace broken and burnt out lights with LED lights.

I am going to start in spring and look for greener alternatives to our favorite holiday traditions. I will set a date on my calendar so I can remember. (That's how I remember most of my life, ha ha.)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Recycle Christmas Lights?

Wow! This week is going to be crazy! It is the last week before my kids get out of school for winter break so my shopping needs to be done by Thursday. I will be going into their classrooms on Friday for parties. I am almost done with my gift shopping. I wish I could go greener but try explaining that to my family. The greenist I can go is bringing my own bag, buying quality gifts and not wasting anything from food to goods for the holidays. Actually this is what I do year round. I wish I could get it all done for $200 or less like Beth.

I did go to the Goodwill last week to look for a used blender for paper making but had no luck. I also went to see if I could find blankets or sweaters I could unravel to make something new from them. No luck there also. I live in a small town so maybe if I headed to a larger city to shop the thrift stores I would find more. I only scored 2 frames for my paper making and they were only .99 each! If I have time this week I will make some paper tags.

I do have a huge dilemma!! We have a ton of Christmas lights that don't work and I really don't want to throw them out but it is looking like I have to. Should I give them to the Salvation Army? Would they really want mostly burnt out lights? They are the little lights that are hard to replace if they are broken or burnt out. I looked online and found no way to recycle them and my husband is being very adamant about getting rid of them to make room for the new ones he bought this year. (I can't control his buying.) What should I do?

Greener Seasons!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Plastic Bags and Crochet

I am trying this soon. Maybe after the holidays!

Day Without a Gay?

I love that it rhymes. But, really, could the organizers of this could have picked a worse time for gay people to do this? I mean how many gay people need to go to work everyday? Hello? It's the holiday season, does anyone want to miss out on pay today? Gay or straight? Ok, if you are on salary you can take the day off and go rally; take your sick day. But what about the homosexual that gets paid on commission or hourly? Many times he or she cannot take the day off, especially right now! I am not gay and I am a stay-at-home mom but this even pisses me off. If I were gay and worked on commission I wouldn't be able to take the day off and support a cause I feel strongly about. And did I mention people are being laid off by the thousands every week because of the economy? Do you think a gay mom wants to play with fate and take a day off and possibly lose her job?

I don't normally rally for gay rights, I let gay people do that. I support them with a "way to go" or "good for you". My money, time and heart are with animal and children's rights. But, hey, this should have been done at a better time, seasonally and economically. Can gay people just wear rainbow bows like the ones for breast cancer and still go to work?

I hope it plays out ok today.


Saturday, December 6, 2008


What? A Saturday post? Yes, I am so unpredictable these days. Ha ha!

As if I don't have enough going on in my life I decided I am going to try and make my own recycled paper. Yesterday I was looking around Etsy and I noticed recycled notecards and I thought, "Hey! How do you make homemade paper?" I watched some videos here. And now I am on a mission to make homemade paper tags for my Christmas gifts. And I want to find all my "tools" used, like a blender and picture frames, at a thrift store. (Hey, maybe while I am there I will look for yarn!) This seems like a fun and easy craft I can do with my kids so I thought I would give it a try.

My crocheting is coming along. I crochet everyday, but usually end up taking apart the project because I don't like what I've done. I also crochet samples of stiches and yarns for future reference. Below is what started out as a double stitch sample and ended up a scarf for my daughter in her school colors.

I want to make scarves for my kids' teachers this year. So yesterday I started on a simple black scarf for my son's teacher and I have already taken it apart 4 times. Once or twice because I didn't like the stitches and a few more times because the stitches were uneven and off count. Here is what I have so far but I am going to unravel this one also.

Have a green weekend.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Ready for a Green Winter?

(At my in-laws in Michigan-BURR!)

I have found that I was not ready to be green in the winter months. Robin mentioned that she is having a hard time with being green in the winter and I agree. But I am still trying. Things you can still do:

  • Turn down the thermostat- wear a sweater and slippers in the house and drink hot tea
  • Turn on lights a little later
  • Combine trips for errands
  • Take short showers and turn down the hot water (hot water dries your skin anyway)
  • Find drafts and cover them, even with a towel
  • Cook double and freeze leftovers-this saves in energy on your stove and time for you later
  • Use all your leftovers for soup, wraps or burritos
  • Close vents in rooms you don't use
  • Put an extra blanket on your bed at night
  • Use your oven's heat after it is off by opening it to share it with rest of house
  • Use clothes dryer (if you need to) at night (if in house) to share the heat (mine is next to kitchen so I get heat)
I can't remember anything else right now. And I live where it does not snow so feel free to add to my list in regards to freezing weather and being green.

Stay green and warm.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Aaahhh! The Holiday Season

Ah! I love the holiday season. Time to gain 10 pounds, sit on your butt and snuggle. This is usually the only time of the year I can get through a book. Any other time I can't sit down long enough. So this season I have chosen my books: Marley and Me and Generation Me.

I have been wanting to read Marley and Me for a while now but like I wrote I have to wait for the holiday season. I just adore dog stories. And since the movie will be out soon I have a goal to read it sooner than later.

I found out about Generation Me from a radio morning show out of Sacramento called Armstrong and Getty. The author, Jean M. Twenge, was featured on their show recently. I am always intrigued by people's behavior as a group. This book is based upon my generation, well, barely, I was born in the early 70's (damn, I have to disclose my age!) and that is when she says "Generation Me" started. The premise is that people born to the "free love" generation that experienced a new openness with themselves in the 60's have created a generation that thinks they have no boundaries and are all individually great because mom and dad and society told them so. That is all grand until you get into the "real" world where you are no longer perfect at everything and you no longer get a trophy for just showing up. Interesting?

Anyway, if I feel inclined I will spoil the books for you when I finish them. Ha ha!

I still have my eco books waiting on the shelf like Omnivore's Dilemma and Silent Spring but I tend to read those in the springtime.

Oh! I am looking for a good Christmas themed book to read. One with a good message to it. A real feel good book. If you have read any let me know.

Happy holiday season!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I Won!

I really shouldn't be on my blog right now, I am suppose to be in the shower. But I have to tell you I won a contest!!!!
New Green Mama has a new Etsy shop. Well, to celebrate opening her shop she had a comment raffle sort of contest giveaway going on. And I won!!! I get a personalized magnet, handcrafted by New Green Mama.
Thanks!! I am so happy.

Now I can go take a shower...

Attention Mommy and Daddy Photographers

Do you constantly take photos of your family but they never turn out that great? Or do you think they are great and they really aren't? Well, DesignHerMomma is hosting her first bloggy carnival and it stars you, the wanna-be photographer. Well, it includes me too. You can be a great photographer also, I guess you can put us all to shame. Go ahead, destroy our moment in blogosphere glory.

Here is what it's about:

1. Click here or the banner above or the banner to the right. Which will take you to DesignHerMomma's blog.
2. Her blog describes what to do. I'm not in the mood to describe it to you right now, sorry.
3. Basically you take funny, cute or just horrible holiday pix of you family, dog, hubby or whatever and you post it to her blog for the world to see. Sound great?

So get going. Take a cutesy picture of your cat or hamster or niece.

I just loved her picture of her darling little girls. Don't you just love little girls?

Monday, November 24, 2008

Is it me or is there more advertisement for "green" products? I have been seeing more commercials for hybrids, green carpet cleaning, green landscaping, anti-water bottle (from Brita) and just more environmentally friendly business all around. With the economy taking a downturn I thought for sure "green" would be put on the back burning. I guess I was wrong.

My home page is MSN. Just about everyday they have a green feature story. Today is "What are Heritage Turkeys". Don't know? Go see or read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and you will find out.

MSN and Yahoo both have a green sections. There is a green channel on cable and it features well-known personalities like Emeril and Adrian Grenier (hello? Entourage) and Tommy Lee (like him or not). There is an awesome story on what to do with that pizza box there today and so many more useful articles. Or you can watch Bill Nye tell you how things happen. I love Bill Nye. I remember his show "Bill Nye, the Science Guy".

I am ecstatic over the fact that we seem to be moving to greener lifestyles. The only problem is much of it is driven by money, of course. Right now being green makes money. (Us greenies know it can save money too!) Let's hope this movement results in new ways of life and more break throughs in green technology.

Friday, November 21, 2008

New Green Mama's New Green Shop

(Felted Wool Upcycled Sweater Sleeve-Owl Perching)

New Green Mama has her Etsy shop up and running and I have already bought 2 of her coffee cozies. Her artwork is very nice and earth friendly. She makes beautiful glass pendants and great felted pieces. She also thinks of mother earth when shipping the items to you by reusing and reducing. Check out her goods here.

Happy Friday

I want to write today but I don't know what about. It is a beautiful day outside with just a bit of a nip of cold in the air. It is quiet yet there is hustle and bustle in town. I need to clean my house but I really just want to take pictures outside and read blogs. What to do?

I found a flickr group that posts photos of their journey through the book How to be an Explorer of the World. Remember I posted about it? I love it! It combines my love for photography with my love for viewing my life as a journey. My first photo is boring. But I was suppose to sit down and find 10 things I didn't notice when I first sat down. Hmm? I am sitting at my desk so I know every little detail. It was hard to find things I have never noticed before. Anyway, many of the photos and posts are so imaginative. I want to be like that.

I am also so giddy today. I am going out with my husband for dinner and a movie. It has been so long since we have been alone outside the house. I am very excited!

Have a happy Friday.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Green Lately?

(Our local pumkins carved into Jack O Lanterns.)

I haven't been writing much lately, I guess I go through spurts. And I definitely haven't been writing about my green adventures. Well, that could be because there isn't much to report on that subject. I still try to buy local but the farms have closed for the season. I try to buy organic when it doesn't damage my checkbook too much. I still recycle and print on both sides of the paper. I turn off lights. I wash with vinegar and baking soda. I even got really angry when all the junk mail from the "green" politicians came in the mail. I do all my usual green works.

I can step it up a notch and ban more plastics but my family is already rebelling and wants me to buy plastic water bottles. I have not given in. If they want plastic water bottles they will have to buy them. I still need to switch to cast iron pans and stainless steel but maybe Santa can bring those.

I did buy local pumkins. It was nice to have a local farm open for fall. And I was able to buy some butternut squash there also. So yummy roasted!! But I have to tell ya. Those local pumkins molded and fell apart within one day of carving! I couldn't believe it. We were lucky to have carved them on October 30th, we usually carve the weekend before Halloween. Unfortunately, I will not be buying pumpkins from that farm again. But then again carving pumpins is not green.

So when I do something green or find out something great about the environment I will post about it. But for now I may just write about my crochet, my kids or just life.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Simba in Box

My blog is turning into a "family" blog. My daughter joined me this morning to read blogs and she brought her stuffed animals along. The above picture is Simba in a box. The story is that she crawled into Sugar Pie's box and got stuck. My daughter loves stuffed animals and loves to turn "trash" into treasure, she learned that from Girl Scouts. I love the concept but I don't like all the "treasure" in my house. When she looses interest the "treasure" gets recycled.

(Sugar Pie)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Snapshot of Me

This is my desk. My life. My day and night. My world. My family. My junk. ME.

If you want to know who I am and how I tick, it is all here...

Look in the top left corner. There are pictures of family in Yosemite. And under my desk mat are more. Mostly candid pix of my kids but me, my husband and the dog are there also.

My computer, where I communicate, work, and have fun.

My photography notebook where I take basic notes like what a ISO. (I tried to take this picture without a flash but the details would be missing.)

The pizza I ate and the soda I drank. (Not so green everyday.)

My yarn for my crochet projects.

My scouting clip boards where I stay up-to-date with my Cub Scout den and Girl Scout troop.

Even my coffee warming pad ( AKA a candle warmer) is empty at night but in the morning will have a cup of Jo with soy creamer in my favorite clear mug.

The box in the top right holds all those pesky bills. I hide those until the first of every month.

Under the pizza plate is even my son's Narnia book and his rough drafts of his book report due earlier today.

The phone that I never answer-I hate phones.

This is my life, all on my desk. It represents me. It tells you a little about my days and my nights.

It's Friday, Take It Down A Notch

I LOVE Friday. I take it down a notch on Friday. I sit down a little more and try not to think very hard. I mean even on simple subjects like what is for dinner. (Am I spoiled or what?)

I finished my first scarf and it is my design; not from a pattern. I used a basic single stitch for the body of the scarf and then a combo of single stitch and treble for the fringe.

Tomorrow is Scouting for Food. As I was walking around the neighborhhood yesterday distibuting the door hangers I felt a little guilty for killing trees to spread the word for this event. But it is one of those catch 22's where you think that it is for a great cause, to feed the hungry. My guilt deminished just a little. And then tomorrow we pick up the food left on the front porches. This food will most likely placed in plastic bags. I hate plastic bags, as much as I hate polluting. But, again, FEEDING THE HUNGRY. The door hanger does say "place food in recycled bag." I thought about that. "Recycled bag"? Don't they mean "recyclable"? Anyway, I will go about my merry way tomorrow with my scouts and know that we are helping to feed a person or family down on their luck.

Have a great weekend. Be Green.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


(Photo stolen from Cocktail Party Physics.)

I think I am finally finding Allison. I feel I have found a place in me where my heart and mind agree. I know what I want for me.

Yes, I know I am a wife and mother. I do those relatively well. I would never give up those roles I hold most dear. But for years I didn't know what I was inside. I mean what I truly love in life. I have always known I love nature and children but I never knew how to harness that love into something concrete. Are you following me here?

I always envied those people who knew, "I am a writer or policeman or attorney or whatever" and I loved to hear stories of people blossoming a talent or love like a sewing or cake decorating business. They had a PASSION and followed it.

I never had that. I was once going to be a biologist, then an anthropologist, then a writer, then a clerk, then a librarian, then a park ranger, then a real estate agent. I enjoyed studying and pursuing all these fields but never had that passion. If for the exception of park ranger. I would still pursue that life goal if my age didn't get in the way.

I never had a concrete hobby. I volunteer for scouts, parents club, ski, hike, go the gym, write my blog, go to the movies, cook, bake, garden etc. But nothing was satisfying enough to feel I needed it in my life. I do love hiking, camping and scouts (park ranger ring a bell?) but that really revolves around my children and when they someday leave the house I probably won't be involved like I am now.

Now in my mid-30's I think I have found what a need in my life. I love photography. I feel it. I have come full circle. I almost need it. I feel the need to take my camera on some days and take 300 pictures of one tree or my children or birds or my cooking. It feels natural to me. I don't need to pursue it; it came to me.

I feel this way about crocheting also. It sounds so weird! My mom taught me as a little girl how to crochet and didn't pick it up again until just a few weeks ago. And now I can't stop. The beautiful and intricate designs created are so fun to make.

I have the luxury of being able to pursue and explore my passions because of my husband. He has worked very hard since we married and had children to make it possible for me to have a great life at home. He has given his time and patience so I can find myself. He made it feasible for me to stay home with the kids and care for our household and nurture me. He has always been encouraging if I stayed home or decided to work outside the home. He always gives me time. We manage, in Northern California, to have one income. He has made it possible for me to find Allison.
My dad always had a nickname for me: Mari. (Roll the "r"). I never questioned him until about a year ago. "Why do you call me Mari?" I asked. He very simple stated, "Because I like it, it is short for mariposa." Mariposa is Spanish for butterfly. That is what I am today, a butterfly. Finally coming out of my Chrysalis to be ME.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Scouting for Food

Clean out those pantries and gather some non-perishable food because the Boy Scouts are coming. This Saturday morning, November 15th, Boy Scouts of America will be visiting many homes across the country to collect food for shelters, churches and food banks. My son as a Cub Scout will participate in this annual drive. Please don't forget to put food on your front porch to have these great boys pick up your donation.

Not sure there will be a pick up in your neighborhood? You can enter your zip code here and call your local council to find out if the scouts will be in your neighborhood November 15th. You can also keep an eye out in your local newspaper for information. And some troops place reminder cards on your front door.

Please give if you can this year to any food collection participants. This year is proving to be especially hard on people who have lost jobs and/or have experienced natural disasters in their areas. I spoke to a representative from a local food bank last week and she stated that the need for food donations is up 20% this season.

Scouting for Food

Monday, November 10, 2008

Crochet and Funny Kitties

I apologize for my absence lately. Hell, I haven't been around at all. If you were my spouse you would threaten divorce by now. Well, I have a good excuse. Umm, I am busy. My kids, those life sucking creatures that live with me that I love dearly, have been keeping me on my toes. And when they are not I have taken up crocheting. Yes, that great folk art form used to make great scarves, beanies and the infamous afghan blanket. When I finish a project worth showing I will post it. But so far I have been making little blankets for my daughter's stuffed animals to practice my stitches. And you know, crocheting can be green. I heard that people go to thrift stores and pick up blankets, unravel them and then rework the yarn into a new project.

I am still pursuing photography, it's just that the weather has been too gloomy to go out and practice my photo taking.

I did, however, have time to sit with my kids and watch some really funny cat videos that had us laughing Friday night. If you need a simple laugh just watch these:

Friday, November 7, 2008

Modern Day Noah

My friend, Cindy, sent this link to be this morning. It is funny. You don't need to be religious to read it just have a sense of humor.

Be Green.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Breathe...take a breathe...it's over. No more political ads, yes! No more VERY annoying phone calls! Obama has taken it and we can all be excited that W. will be gone! I actually lean a little conservative and I can't wait for George to LEAVE! I can admit I did not vote for Obama but I am ok with him taking the presidency. He is a good man and I feel I can trust him. He is as close to a "statesman" as we are gonna get these days.

That said.

Woohoo Prop 2 passed! No more inhuman (funny word to use for animals) confinement for our little friends (that we eat). This is awesome! It does not become operative until January 1, 2015 so let's hope it does not get overturned in the mean time. Congrats little piggies. Now if we can get the hormones and antibiotics out of our food supply...

Have a great day!


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Other End?

Where do I start? I don't kow if I will ever make it back here before Christmas. My days are so full right now I can't tell morning from night. I want to write so badly but I can't. My blog takes last place after laundry, meals, dusting, running to football, running to cheerleading, vacuuming, and whatever else busy moms do with their time (just read my last post.)

This is frustrating because I worked hard to get my blog where it is and then it seems like I have left it. I didn't, really. I even have a blog theme going right with Save Green while Being Green. And I can't even spend time for that. I am so sorry.

So keep using your canvas shopping bags instead of plastic. And drink from the sink. (Hey, when I get time I think I will make a banner that says that.) I will be back in due time. In the mean time there are some great blogs on my right margin you can explore if you have not already.

Be Green.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

My Week with Busy

I know there are times I am sporadic in writting posts but this week has been my worst so far. Since last Friday I have not had a chance to breathe let alone get on my computer to do anything.

Last Friday I started to feel sick. In true me nature I fought it. Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday I woke up with headache and sore body. This morning nothing! Just tired from my busy schedule. I won! If I just pump myself with lots of veggies and fruits, a multivitamin, some green tea and don't stress over things I make it through.

This has been the busiest week I can remember in my recent history.

  • Sunday- football and cheer game about 70 miles away, then it was my daughter's birthday so we took her to buy a bike and lunch. Did I mention the game started at 9 AM and we are required to get my son there 2 hours early and we live 1 1/2 hours away from the football field (we travel a bit for this league). You do the math on what time I woke up that morning. Hint: it was still VERY dark outside.
  • Monday- Plan for special Girl Scout meeting that happens on Tuesday. I wanted to dress like a mad scientist and have my house be a lab. Upload all 192 photos I took at football game and send to 50 parents (still not complete). Prep clothes and items to give to Salvation Army, which means I have to clean out my kids bedrooms of old toys and clothing. And football and cheer practice that night.
  • Tuesday- The Halloween Girl Scout meeting at my house. Had to go buy a pretend lab coat and some decor. Set up my house like a lab with bottles of fake bugs and a human hand and darken the house. The girls loved it! We did experiments with static electricity and vinegar and baking soda (don't ever mix those while your cleaning). Football and cheer practice that night.
  • Wednesdays- Right now I am tired. And hopefully not sick. BUT my right eye has been tearing since I woke up, pink eye? I have never had it. But can't stop now! I have to finish what I started at the beginning of the week. At 11 am I am suppose to help my friend at the kids' school with Jump Rope for Heart. My daughter has a school musical tonight and cheer practice that she will be late to. And I need to do laundry, I have no pants to wear.
  • Thursday- Oh, the fun does not stop today. I have to plan a Halloween haunted house for our Cub Scout meeting tonight. I do have the props for the Girl Scout meeting so I am mostly there. And my son has football practice tonight.
  • Friday- normally I veg today. But, no, my daughter has a birthday party to go to at the movie theatre. High School Musical 3! I will be staying home with my son. Hopefully I can sit down but I know the house will be a mess and dinner will need to be made. Oh, I forgot I help with math now in my son's classroom on Friday mornings.
  • Saturday- Don't let the fun stop now. Football game in the morning. Then Girl Scout overnighter that night at the mall. Rollin' in the fun times and no sleep.
  • Sunday- Cheer competition. Yes, no sleep the night before for me or my daughter and she has competition. Actually, at her age, 8, they don't compete but they perform and they like to have us there bright and early. You ask why I did a sleep over the night before? Well, I didn't plan it that way. Originally the cheer competition was Saturday and we would have gone to the overnighter after. But the league changed to the date on us.

I don't normally stay this busy year round. This time of year everything converges-football, cheer, scouts, birthdays, and holidays. And you still need to make sure great wholesome meals are on the table, the house is clean and everyone washes their hands a lot to avoid getting sick. And I need to shave my legs! All you working moms, I applaud you for getting through busy days and weeks.

I am not looking for sympathy. I just wanted you to know where I have been and why.

So I apologize for no posts this week. See you on the other end...

Thursday, October 16, 2008

GSG: Brew Your Own

I am uber busy today. I have so much to do my head is spinning. So I was going to just come in and say have a nice, green day see you tomorrow. But before I did that I checked on Robin's blog and had the most pleasant surprise this week. She wrote about brewing your own coffee. How perfect for me! It is a great follow up to my post from yesterday, Eat at Home.

Robin has a great story about brewing coffee at home and how much it saves money and the environment. She mentions buying fair trade coffee and organic milk to put in it. I would have written the same post except I use Silk Creamer in my coffee. (I wish they sold it in more enviro-friendly containers but I needed to give up my non dairy creamer and this is where life took me.)

Don't like coffee? I'm sure you are brewing your own tea at home. Just don't forget to look for the same great green standards you would with anything else you eat. Look for fair trade, organic, loose-not in bags and try to find it local, well, at least a local seller.

Have fun today. I am off to walk my dog and plan for my cub scout meeting I have this afternoon.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

GSG: Eat at Home

(My local meal from this summer.)

We all know eating at home saves you money, that is the given here. We also know eating at home, with your loved ones, promotes family togetherness. And we all know that it is healthier, if you don't fry everything you eat and bring lots of veggies to the table. But greener? Is it really greener to eat at home. Yes.

Having your meals at home is a lot greener than eating out. Let's start with the basics.
  • Less air pollution. You don't have to drive to the restaurant. But, you say, I have to drive to the grocery store. Yes you do but you can do multiple meal shopping while there.
  • You have more opportunity to choose organic, fair trade or local. More and more restaurants are providing greener options but not like your local grocery store is. For instance, I like to go to Panera Bread for lunch at times. They offer organic peanut butter and organic milk for the kids to eat but my meal is not. But if I eat something similar at home I can bring home an organic salad with homemade soup made from organic vegetables.
  • Less waste. This mostly applies to fast food where you are served on disposable containers. At home we can eat on reusable glass plates and glasses. And cook in them also.
  • Less pollutants. This can cover so many areas I don't think I can list them all. But one that comes to mind is your cookware. If you cook without Teflon, say glass baking dishes or cast iron, you know your kitchen is environmentally friendly. But what does your favorite restaurant cook with? Who knows. Maybe we should ask.
  • And lastly, you have better portion control thus not wasting food. How many of you eat half of a hamburger at a restaurant and just leave it there to be thrown out? I am guilty of that sometimes. This is wasteful on many levels. But if you eat at home you can have half a burger and refrigerate the rest for tomorrow. I know, you can bring food home in a doggy bag. One, better bring your reusable container to do that. And two, who really brings home a full hamburger and then eats the mushy lettuce and soggy bread later? At home you can easily store everything separate and eat non-soggy leftovers later.

I know I probably missed a lot of reasons eating at home is just generally better than eating out but you can add those in the comments. I think my readers got the idea.

Oh, one more thing, eating at home does not include delivery. That is more expensive and is still non-green. So make your own pizza with the kids.

Monday, October 13, 2008

GSG: Do Buy This

In a previous post I talked about the best thing you can do to be green and save some green is to just don't buy things you don't need. But what if you do need something, like furniture. Buy used, eh, previously owned.

Buying used not only saves you money but it also saves the environment. How you ask? Buying used saves new resources from being cultivated like trees or metals. No need to cut down new trees or mine for new metals to make anything. Also, it takes a lot of energy to make new stuff. Much of the energy in the United States is produced by burning coal (which was mined, destroying the earth to leave it barren) and this pollutes our air and soil. The used item is just being recycled to a new owner.

Here is a list of items that you can buy from someone else at a much cheaper price and what I have learned about them.

  • Books. My favorite thing to buy used. It is easy to buy even from Amazon but you can find used books all over the Internet, just Google search it. Caution: When ordering the book request homes that do not smoke or maybe have animals, the smell will travel with the book.
  • Clothes. This can be fun. You can find name brands for less than a quarter of its original price. Search for Goodwill stores, thrift stores or even consignment shops. Caution: Same as books. Also check the item for discoloration, missing buttons, rips etc.
  • Housewares. Cast iron pans are environmentally great and if the previous owner took good care of the pan and seasoned it well you have a jewel in your kitchen. You can also find glassware for cooking or eating, jars for preserving, cloth napkins, blankets. You name, you can find it.
  • Furniture. This can save you a lot of money. I have not personally bought used furniture except for small pieces like a lamp or book shelf but always look for the same quality you would look for in a new piece. And again check for smells. Garage sales are great for finding these deals. Caution: When buying mattresses and couches or anything with a filling try to buy from someone you know and/or trust. These items can bring mold or microorganisms into your home. And sometimes bedbugs.
  • Vehicles. If you have the cash this can save you a load of green. The original hybrids are now selling used at great prices. Beware of smog regulations for older cars and outdated cars can be huge smoggers. Loans on used cars tend to have a higher interest rate so you end up with paying the same amount you would with a new car in the end; go in with cash. I have not had the pleasure of owning a used car because my knowledge of cars is very limited but if you have that knowledge go for it.
  • House. I can say we bought a "used" house. We know this saves trees and building materials because new homes are not produced using pristine resources, but how does this save money? When my family was in the market for a house the new and used were about the same price, it seems you pay for the neighborhood and the homes features. BUT we saved our money by not having to landscape and get window coverings. Those are huge! Our home was not very old when we bought it so our immediate costs and short term costs were minimized. Over the years we had to replace a water heater and paint but you do that for any house that you live in long term. (Not to mention we scoped out the neighbors that were already established and we loved them, and still do. In new neighborhoods you have no clue to who your neighbors will be.)
  • Other things to get used: your bike, kids' toys (classic wooden ones are great or electronic ones work just fine), plants or trees (sometimes people relandscape and if they take the plant out properly you can snag these for free), appliances (watch for energy saving and cleanliness)
  • Things maybe you should not buy used: underwear (yuck), pillows or hats or stuffed animals (may have lice, unless you know how to get rid of this problem, I just avoid them), old computer software (usually outdated, but if you don't mind then buy it)

Remember to always check the item, thoroughly. Are there leaks, rips, smells or discoloring?

Buy here: EBay, Craiglist, PaperbackSwap, consignment shops, thrift stores, garage sales, estate sales or just search the internet.

Do you have any other ideas? What is your story?

Friday, October 10, 2008

Friday Finds: Found Myself in Books This Week

I'm at a loss for words this morning. I am computered out. And frankly tired of hearing about our weakening economy. To cope and not worry so much I have lost myself in books.
I am reading The Secret Life of Bees. I started it because the movie will be released soon and I want to try to read the book before the release. I never do that. I mean read books. I read blogs and internet articles but rarely novels.

I am about half way through and it is a great story. It takes place in South Carolina, 1964. The author does a wonderful job of describing the South during a time of Civil Rights upheaval but manages to keep the tone positive and the intertwined stories interesting while using the beautiful imagery of bees.

As if that is not enough I almost finished with The Girl's Guide to Starting Your Own Business. Yes, I am looking into starting a business. The economy is throwing a wrench in it but I am in the research part of starting so I still have some time for the economy to strengthen. I won't tell you what I want to do just yet, some day.

Anyway, this book is awesome. The author's take a bland subject and makes it fun. It addresses serious business with a girlfriend's advice. I love it!

And lastly, I was at the book store yesterday and found this materpiece. I went against all my green morals and bought a new book. I had to have it. I usually go to the book store to get lists of books I like then go home and order them used online. But this book wanted me to take it home.

I haven't started it yet. Actually, it is not a novel. It is a "how to" book. The whole book is hand written, even the copyright page.

Keri Smith, the author, seems to trully be an "color outside of the lines" girl. I am looking forward to exploring this book and exploring my word through different eyes.

How to Be An Explorer of Your World:

p. 5 Keri Smith

1. Always be looking. (Notice the ground beneath your feet.)
2. Consider everything alive and animated.
3. Everything is interesting. Look closer.

It goes on for 10 more. You gotta get the book to read the rest.

Have a green weekend.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

GSG: Bank Online

I know talking about banks is a sore subject right now but overall banking online is still safe, easy, cheap and green.

I have been banking online for many years now and I truly love it! I check my balance, pay my bills and have even paid my dentist with online banking. It actually makes dealing with my bills fun. Just kidding but it is faster and easier. Here is why you save money and time with online banking with personal accounts:

  • Most banks offer free access to your accounts, checking and savings.
  • They also offer free bill pay.
  • You save stamps. I pretty much only buy stamps at Christmas time for sending greeting cards to friends and family.
  • You save time. Once all your accounts are entered all it takes is a click to pay them. No more check writing and mailing.

But how does this save the environment?

  • No more checks, envelopes, and stamps. Saves paper. Thus saves trees. (Some bills may require the bank to send a check to them but many institutions have set up electronic bill pay accounts with banks.)
  • The check doesn't have to travel to its destination. Saves gas. Thus less air pollution.
  • You can ask your bank to stop sending paper statements and you can view them online.. Saves trees. Some of your creditors and utility companies have started this practice also, call or go online to find out more.

If you are worried about the security of the online banking call your bank to find out what steps they take to secure your money and information. I have done online banking for over 10 years now and not one negative incident has occurred. Knock on wood, now I have cursed myself, ha ha.

Online banking is easy. Try it.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

GSG: Turn Off the Lights

(Image snagged from Treehugger.com, go read.)

There are so many ways to save on your electric bill and the environment that I could write for days on the subject. And if you are an avid green blog reader you already know what to do. If you don't here is a helpful source for you at Mr. Electricity.

What I found was it is so easy to do everyday saving for the planet and your bill with the appliances you already have at home. Turn them off or down. Over this last summer I turned up my A/C and saved an average of $150/month. I asked if I could compare my bill to my neighbors' bill. Her electric bill in August was over $300 and mine was $160. I could have done better, and I will next year. I also turned off lamps in rooms I wasn't using at the moment, shut down my computer at night, kept curtains closed. and washed with cold water. The biggest energy hogs in my house are the KIDS. They leave lights on everywhere. I had to follow them around, and still do, to turn off lights. It is tiring work. I even let my hair air dry to avoid the hairdryer. (This is huge for me, hee hee.)

Simple solutions. I wish I could go solar but money is tight so we won't be buying any solar panels at the moment. I also tried to convince hubby to look into electric companies that use alternative, cleaner sources of energy and he wasn't ready for that yet. So I did what I could to help my pocketbook and the planet.

San Francisco

(Diego Rivera "Vendedor de Flores", SFMOMA)

Yesterday my Green Saving Green post was never accomplished. Instead I took a sporadic trip with my daughter to San Francisco. My husband took my son fishing so I wanted to take advantage of the time alone with my daughter and make it a "chick" day. We took BART into "The City" (in the Bay Area you call SF "The City") to enjoy some free tourism. On the first Tuesday of every month certain museums offer free admission so we went to the Museum of Cartoon Art and the SF Museum of Modern Art. I thought my almost 8 year old daughter would be bored but she loved the museums! We looked at originals drawings of Casper, Snow White and Richie Rich. Then at the SFMOMA we "discussed" how the art made us feel and whether or not we could paint like that. She thought it was funny when I called the pigeons there "city pigeons" and how they were tougher than our pigeons at home. (We live about 50 miles east of SF in a more rural community with some farming but mostly comprised of families that have mom or dad commute.) We really enjoyed ourselves.

(City pigeon)

I will write my entry for Green Saves Green and it will appear later today.

You know, I have been thinking, next month I am going to change up my blog just a little. I am going to start blogging a little more about my life, not just my green life. I seem to have hit a plateau with green writing and doing. I can go more extreme green and I constantly work on that but it seems to be a slow process, too slow for blogging. So I may start writing about other things because I am not just striving to be greener I have other hopes and dreams too. And I would love to share them with my blog friends.

P.S. My kids are on a fall break for 2 weeks.

Monday, October 6, 2008

GSG: Tapping the Tap

When it comes to drinking water we have many options but the cheapest and greenest one is your tap! Yes, the good ol' kitchen sink. The most convenient, accessable and cheapest way to get water.

When I was a kid I drank out of the backyard hose in Los Angeles. Yes, L.A. water, the horror! But I am still alive. (And I think I have no brain defects, ha ha.) Actually it tasted a little metallic but as a kid you stop for nothing when fun play is involved. No pee breaks and no water breaks. So why has this changed? Many people today will not drink tap or hose water. Study after study has proven our tap water in the United States is above standard.
Is it the taste? Put a lemon sliver in your glass or use a filter. ( A filter is still less money and less plastic than a plastic water bottle.)
Was it the advent of bottled water? Yes, this water does taste better but I have read that the regulations governing tap water are more stringent that bottled water regulations.
Is it convenience? Yes, it is more convenient to grab that bottle of water when on the go. But honestly, how long does it take to fill a reusable container? A minute? And convenience costs more. A simple 16 ounce bottle of water costs about $1, no big deal right? A glass of water costs pennies. Yes, you have to buy the container it goes into but those last years. Over time the cost for the container will make up for the hundreds of plastic bottles you buy during the same time period.
If you are green you will stop the plastic insanity and buy a reusable water container. They are beginning to look cool too! Be the first mom on the soccer field with it, you will be so cool! Especially if you get a "designer" container.
And, hello? This goes for other drinks also. Coffee: brew it at home (organic, fair trade of course) and use a thermos. When out at your favorite coffee shop take your own container. Many shops will give you a discount.
I think I have ranted enough. And there is a plethora of articles to support my claims here, I have them below.

Resources and links for more info:

The Tappening- Switch to Tap Water
ReusableBags.com- Buy your water container here.

Friday, October 3, 2008

***Go Mitch, Go- Please read and pass this on***

I just happen upon a blog today and prompted me to write one more simple post for today.

I am a lucky mom. I get to stay home with my children of almost 8 and 10. They are healthy and smart and loving.

If you are a mom or just have someone you love deeply imagine losing him or her. That is what happen to a mom, Tracy, I just read about. She lost her son at 10 years old to Leukemia. Her story has touched me and I want to pass on this story to my readers. What makes this story beautiful is her friend at JenX67 has agreed to donate $1 for every original comment made here to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in the name of Mitch. Take 1 minute to help the Go Mitch, Go fund.

JenX67 "Go Mitch, Go"- to comment so she can donate another $1

Have a great day.

Friday Finds: GSG

I am going to take a break until Monday for my Green Saves Green posts. And I haven't done my Friday Finds for a while. Call me lazy and busy, I'm sorry.

But today I will stay with my October theme and I found blogs that posted about being green and saving money.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

GSG: Don't Buy That!

(I stole this picture from ShirtWoot.com.)

I have a secret. Don't tell anyone! It is the ultimate secret to being green and, wow, it saves a bundle of cash! Here it is: don't buy what you don't need. Simple isn't it? Logically green. If you don't buy crap, and I mean useless crap, you won't need to throw it out and it won't end up in a land fill. And if we stop buying what we don't need the raw resources and energy it takes to make crap is lessened. Thus, Green. Don't buy a new purse just because it is fall, buy a good quality one that is eco-friendly because you need it. Do you really need a new car? Sofa? Shoes? Twinkies? Come on ladies, our rear ends don't need Twinkies (sorry Hostess). That also applies to the air conditioning (read Robin's take on this), turn up that thermostat and sweat just a little more. Before I buy something I always think, "do we need this to live and be healthy?" You will be surprised how many times the answer is no.

Oh, don't get me wrong, I enjoy Ben and Jerry's Chocolate Fudge Ice Cream every once in a while. And, yes, I do buy things on occasion if I don't need them but I take care of it after and I don't abuse what I consider a privilege of today's standards. If it were 100 years ago many of the modern conveniences we have were not around and people survived. Change the way you think and life will uncomplicate itself and you'll find you are a greener, happier person. And have more in the bank (or under the mattress these days, hee hee.)

Ok, you bought crap. And you need to remedy yourself of it. Don't throw it out if it is still viable. Give it away, yardsale it, trade it or freecycle it. Here are resources you can use to get rid of your crap:

And you can also buy from any of these locations. I found a great Limited Too jacket at Goodwill for my daughter and you can't tell anyone wore it. That helps to keep items out of landfills and no new resources are needed in the creating of these items.

Don't forget your new reusable bag when you shop!

How do you refrain from buying useless stuff? Do you have a favorite place to buy "recycled" clothing? Have you joined a challenge to buy nothing on another blog?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Green Saves Green-BYOB

Good Day! October is a great month to review what is green that saves you green, money that is. The weather is changing and the stock market is looking pretty bad so let's see what we can do to not only save money but the environment as well.

Robin has started off our journey with a great green term, stewardship. Her post today rings true for all of us in that we need to take care of our earth and our money.

With that in mind I am going to talk about my favorite way to save money and the environment. Back in April 2008 (yes, barely this year) I was tooling around the internet and discovering all these nifty ways to be green. I was amazed at how much more I could do besides just recycle and throw trash in the garbage. Thus I started my new quest in life to be as green as possible to myself and my environment. I started reading bloggers like Life Less Plastic and Fake Plastic Fish and these women inspired me to review my plastic usage. One simple way to curb the use of plastic was to BYOB. No, not your own beer! Your own BAG!

I had been practicing this concept for many years before I read about this with some very sturdy canvas bags I bought for 20 cents when Montgomery Ward went out of business. But I would only use them when I would remember (almost never) or when it was convenient for me (not embarrassing). So I decided to make it convenient and not embarrassing and left them in my car all the time.

Soon it was a no brainer. Safeway, Target, Trader Joes, Goodwill, Farmer's Market, wherever I shop I take my bags. Since then I have expanded my bag army to include ones that fit in my purse (above), Trader Joe bags and my favorite "Plastic Bags Blow" bag (below). Not only that but the kids get reusable lunch bags and I buy the best purse so I only need one for years (there are purses made of seat belts now, awesome!). I have actually had the clerk take my food out of the plastic bag and use mine. So what, he should have listened when I said, " I have my own bags." And the clerk at Kohl's gave me the funniest look when I handed her my bag. But I bet I was the topic of conversation with her friends that day. The word gets out in any way. I have gotten to the point where I don't like the feel of plastic anything-bags, cups etc.

Why should you take your own bag? Duh!? Because plastic bags kill animals. They pollute. They are toxic when breaking down. They are ugly. They produce toxins when made. You can read a little at ReusableBags.com (and buy a bag while you're there.)

So how do plastic bags save you green? One, many grocery stores will give you 3-5 cents back per bag you use. Not much, I know. Two, is an indirect answer. Retailers have to buy those plastic bags that everyone uses. They just pass the cost to you. If everyone started to bring their own bags that cost could be minimized. BYOB saves in clean up costs around the world. And it saves in animals lives. Not to mention, to clean up the animals is not free either. Many times saving animals is run by volunteers but where do they get the tools to clean the animals? They have to buy them or they are donated, both cost money. So you may not see the savings directly in your pocket book but you will see it in a more beautiful world.

P.S. While you are shopping for that perfect bag, look for recycled and organic materials made where labor laws are good and local.
(I do not get any money from ReusableBags.com, I just like them.)

Monday, September 29, 2008

Green Saves Green October Challenge

I did it! I figured out how to make a VERY SIMPLE banner for my first challenge- Green Saves Green. This is a joint venture between me and Robin at A Little Greener Everyday. She has been challenging her readers every month with new eco challenges so she convinced me to get one going for the month of October. Actually my challenge is a direct result of me ranting and worrying about being green during economically troubling times.

Here is what I need you to do for the month of October's "Green Saves Green Challenge":

  1. If you have a blog, post one idea everyday, or how ever often you like, about what you do to stay green and save money. But don't just post a list or a small thought, elaborate on your thoughts. Tell how you accomplished it or who gave you the idea or any story that relates to why you perform that specific green task.
  2. If you don't have a blog you can email me and I will post it here with full recognition that it is you and not me with the idea. Or you can tell your story as a comment. Every Monday I'll remind you to post your ideas in my comment section.
  3. Let me know. Comment to my post today or email me that you are in. I will list you in my margin to the right. Don't forget your blog link so I can include it.
  4. Grab the banner above and put it on your site. Right click. Save it to your harddrive. Place it on your blog. Link it back to my site, http://itsthelittlethinks.blogspot.com/ or Robin's, http://robinshreeves.blogspot.com/, whom ever you favor.
  5. Have fun.

I am looking forward to hearing your insight on being green and saving moola.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Tubing for Greenies

Green and Clean Mom has a video of herself on her blog and it is so cute. She is featuring the 4Real food she bought. Go check it out. But that is not why I am writing this post. I am writing because she posted her video on Go Green Tube. This is like YouTube but green. Duh, I'm sure you figured that out yourself. But nothing like pointing out the obvious on your own blog, hee hee.

So. For the lazy reader and sit-on-your-butt-computer-geek (me), this is a great resource. Just sit back and watch how to be green or get your green news. Awesome! I know some action needs to take place eventually but take a break and go check out Go Green Tube, now.

Monday, September 22, 2008

I Wish Football was Green

Yesterday we went to a 49er's game. Talk about non-green! Sometimes I like the green bubble I live in. I get to control how much trash I throw away, when lights get turned off and ride my bike if possible. But when you get out into the "real" world you realize how being green is a true challenge!

Just getting to the game is so ungreen with traffic jams galore. Once parked and walking to the stadium the trash (mostly alcohol bottles and cans) is everywhere. I can just image all that garbage ending up in the SF Bay. The stadium is full of things to buy-t-shirts, foam fingers, hats, crappy stadium food, trinkets, whatever. Many of these items will end up at the bottom of your kid's toy box or thrown out. What a waste. But the true kicker for me was seeing the huge lights on during the day! The game started at 1:00 PM and the stadium lights were on during the whole game. Even the slightest of green person would see this as a waste. And at the end of the game it took us a couple of hours in traffic just to get away from the city of San Francisco and on our way home. Barely any public transit to be found. Wow! All this from a city that boasts being a green city.

I'm not saying I hated going to the game, I had a fun time. But why does so much waste have to be generated just in the name of fun from the fans perspective and money from the NFL's perspective? Can anything be done? This is truly a challenge. I will continue to do my part and hope that others learn and try also.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Rebutal to Myself

Yesterday I ranting and worried over our nation's fiscal dilemma possibly resulting in our green ways being compromised. Some of it may come true on a large scale like oil drilling for a profit. As voters and citizens we can try to stop things like that from happening. But I am here to argue against myself and say that our green ways don't need to be left behind because gas costs more or our money market account is taking a downward spiral. Fight it. Everyday you can do things that are not only green but cheap! It proves, actually, that being greener is cheaper.

Robin suggested that October be "Green Saves Green" month. That sounds handy! I love that idea. So for the month of October, hopefully everyday, I will post one idea that you can implement during your normal daily routine that will not only be green but inexpensive. You can play along also. Now, since we all read each other's blogs there will be repeats but that's o.k. because we all have our own take on being green everyday. What can be done, to make the idea unique, post the idea then how do you use it or a story behind it. For instance, if you ride your bike then write about something funny that happen to you while riding or what inspired you to start. And posts pictures, those are always fun to see.

We have 12 days...

Be Green.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

OK, Now I Am Scared

I am scared for green U.S.A. I am scared because I felt like we, as a nation, were starting along a greener future. My hopes were up. But now that our economy is taking a beating, the first thing to go is our green morality (among other things of course, but I am thinking in green terms right now). I can't quote exactly but I do know that along the California coast new oil drilling has been put to a halt. That's great. But California is in a financial crisis and these idiots running the place won't come to common ground on what needs to be done financially. Hence, when finances go askew people turn to the easiest way to make money and screw the environment we are selling our trees and our offshore oil to get the state out of financial ruins. So I am scared for our environment.

That's just California, which I should say is a huge part of the financial United States market. With 30 million people living in this state our financial ruin could cause financial heartache around the country. I am no economist by far but I don't hear words of financial ruin just yet.

Let's look at the rest of the country. Hurricanes are bashing the lower eastern states. AIG is being bailed out for $85 billion (with a B) with a loan from our government. Other banks have faced bankruptcy for there "junk" mortgages they granted a few years back. The stock market has been slipping for a couple of days now. (Luckily, it's just slipping not falling. This shows we still have some faith in our markets to keep investments in.) Oh ya, we are still in Iraq and Afghanistan. Fewer homes are being made. People are getting laid off from major corporations. Gas is still high priced. And grocery prices are high. This is not financial ruin by far but it is enough to scare the general public into believing that to raise money for our distressed market we need to drill for oil or cut down trees or just put aside our green goals to take care of the immediate future. When the market is going well people are willing to splurge and look at the bright side of things. They are willing to buy wind or solar energy. Buy organic foods. Fight to save the environment. But when people hurt financially all they can think about is how am I going to find money to fill my tank or make my next mortgage payment.

Do you see where I am heading? It sucks. I feel that some of the green ways that were adopted by many people this summer and years past because they could afford organic chicken will be placed aside to be able to buy regular hormonal chicken at a cheaper price. Among other things. Green will take a step back until the market sees sunshine again. And it will bounce back. But what will become of the small solar business that just started out? Or the organic farmer who nobody buys from because his food costs more thus he defaults on his loans?

I am rarely a pessimist. I always try to see the bright side of things. So I hope none of this happens. Next time you go to buy groceries still support small local farms or organic. If you take a trip find hotels that are more environmentally friendly. Let's help green make it through the hard times too.

Don't think for one minute I am not worried for Hurricane Ike survivors or the people laid off everyday because some bank or hospital went under. I worry for them also. But my blog is suppose to focus on green and that is where I go.
Cartoon found at Slate.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Happy Birthday, My Little Guy

Today is my son's 10th birthday! Ten years ago today I became a mother to a chubby, bald little baby boy. I have thoroughly enjoyed being his mother and I remind him that he will always be special to me because he was the one that made me a mom. He loves when I tell him that. So I took him cookies at school and let him ignore me in front of his friends like boys start to do at this age. But he still wants me to tuck him in at night or take care of his boo boos, I'll take what I can get.
Happy Birthday "T"!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Petsmart Helping the Earth and Animals

Do you have empty inkjets sitting around your house? Or a cell phone that you no longer use? Do you have a soft spot in your heart for animals? Petsmart will recycle your empty inkjet cartridges and your relatively newer cell phone and the money goes to their Petsmart Charities to help homeless animals.

What you do is visit the nearest Petsmart location, pick up the envelopes to send in your empty inkjets and/or cell phones, place the items in the envelope (certain restrictions do apply, check their website above) and send them off for free. Petsmart charities for animals gets $2-15 donation for each item. It is that easy. I grabbed 4 envelopes while I was there so I don't have to go back repeatedly.

If you don't have a Petsmart near you try Earth911.0rg, they are great resource in finding out where to recycle just about anything.

Help a homeless dog or a stray cat have a happy life. As of today over 3 million animals have been saved. And save the environment too!

Be Green.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Big Flying Thingy

The other night I went to retire for the night. My dog, Maggy, was outside where she can chase evening bugs on the cool grass. (She LOVES to chase bugs and birds.) I proceed to open the sliding door to let her in and I heard something hitting the top of our patio cover, over and over. Dummy me turns on the porch light, which is about 15 inches from my head, to see what the commotion was. This hug flying creature comes barreling toward the light and me! I quickly turned off the light, closed the door and tried to watch it using the light from inside. I couldn't figure out if it was a really small bat or a big moth! It was the size of a humming bird. You see, here in California I am not accustom to large bugs. And this one freaked me out! Finally I came to the conclusion it was a big moth. Then I thought, we have tomato worms and I know they get big, about 4 inches. This has to be a moth from one of those worms. YUCK! Normally my husband picks off the tomato worms and kills them but our gargantuan tomato plant hides these creatures too well.

Reading a little more about these pests I realized they are not worms (I knew that from Biology class long ago) but caterpillars for the Five Spotted Hawk Moth. "Hawk Moth". Does that say something about this creature? Here is a great, organic reference to maintain the Tomato Hornworm.

Well, I went to bed and knew I would not see this "Hawk Moth" again, hopefully. But when I go out to pick my tomatoes I wonder if more on on their way...

Friday, September 5, 2008

Friday Finds

My beans, romas and zuch

    It has been a busy morning. When you own a 7 year old vehicle things start to break down. My brakes have been squeaking for a couple of days now. And then the radiator started to leak yesterday, what a horrible, toxic smell! Needless to say, I had to take my blazer in this morning and hope I don't get ripped off at the mechanic. I took it to the shop and walked home. At least it was a pleasant walk. I beat the heat, it is suppose to reach 104 degrees today here.

    So my Friday Finds are being pushed back to noon.

    Be green. Enjoy your weekend.