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.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Mother Nature Must Be Angry with Me!

I love Mother Earth but she has been so mean to me for 3 weeks now! She keeps the pollen coming! Flowers and trees are pretty but doesn't she ever think about the poor souls who can't handle the allergens in the air? And then she adds the wind! Thanks MOM!

I thought we made trade-you stop polluting me with grass pollen and I stop polluting with you plastics and pesticides. What happen? She is not keeping up her end of the bargain!

I haven't been "normal" for 3 weeks and in the last week I have been suffering the worst. I am severely allergic to grass pollens and they grow, literally, like weeds where I live. I have taken everything OTC and they have stopped working. I have to lock myself up in the house and have missed my son's baseball games.

Stuffy nose, watery eyes, itchy throat and too much sneezing. I have always lived with pollen allergies but I haven't had severe symptoms like these for 7 years. I have on my team Benedryl, Sudafed, Visine AC, Saline Nasal Spray, Claritin, 4 Way Nasal Spray, Afrin, 4 boxes of Kleenex (Sorry, I won't use rags or hankies for this job. There is just too much snot.), and a shower every night.

I am looking to my organic and natural friends in the blogosphere to help me. What works? Is there anything natural that I can try to help alleviate my allergy symptoms? I tried to search but I didn't find much. I heard accupuncture helps. I have never done it but I am willing to try.

So thanks mom. But this only hurts you because I can't hang my clothes out to dry. Ha Ha!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Baking Soda Can Do What?

Sodium Bicarbinate. It almost sounds like a chemical we want to avoid. But if you are trying to be green and eco-friendly this is your best friend. It is baking soda. And with a little research, I mean barely any research, I found out that you can do everything but fuel your car with this stuff!
We all know you can deoderize your refrigerator and help bake your holiday cookies. But did you know it can also keep weeds out of cracks? Treat dandruff? Ward off diaper rash? Boost laundry power? Scrub away dead skin cells, even on your face?
Head over to the Arm and Hammer website to find out more and to signup for free e-newsletter and promotions. Reader's Digest has a list of things baking soda can do. And then I found a free web book that I have yet to explore more!
Oh, the things you can find in that little orange box!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Earth Day Gifts from Jose and Clara

Who are Jose and Clara? They are Peregrine Falcons that are new parents this morning! The pair has nested on the San Jose, CA city hall roof! The Santa Clara Predatory Research Group placed a nesting box on the roof for them and this morning 3 baby falcons were hatched! Watch them live here. (I am watching them eat right now, 10:28 am.)

Happy Earth Day!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Live In California? Sign This Petition

This August the residents in the San Francisco Bay Area will be aerial sprayed fumigating against the Light Brown Apple Moth. The chemicals in this spray are known to be toxic to humans. Please sign the petition to stop the spraying. And find more info at StopTheSpray.org.


Thursday, April 17, 2008

My Book Dilemma

So I joined a book club. (I mean a wine drinking club.) And I love it! I don't read very quickly. Actually, let me say I never sit down to read a book and when I do it puts me to sleep. BUT I love to read. So our next book is Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace . . . One School at a Time and I am so excited to read it! This is where my green journey begins...

I head over to FreeCycle, one woman has it but is reading it and no one else answers my request. I try Paperback Swap, nope not there. I try Swaptree, not to be found. Half Price Books (used book store near me), nada. I break down and look at Amazon and Target. Now, do I buy it used and worry about the waste in packing, money (about $10 with shipping) and gas to get it to me. Or do I shop Target and buy it for $8.25 new? I would drive there but I would also buy some necessities while there. Argh! Sometimes being green is complicated. Or should I even worry?

And then I forgot...I took a vow to buy nothing this month!

Maybe I will just wait until May.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Saturday Wrap-Up

Good Stuff I did:
-I joined GreenDimes.com mostly because I hate junk mail but I want to save trees also. And they will plant trees too!
-I put a link to my blog as a signiture on my email. I want people to see my blog and maybe travel around reading my favorites and hopefully they will begin thinking (and acting) green.
-I joined Sierra Club. I generally don't join organizations just because I am greedy with my $25 but they are a great organization. Thank you John Muir and Ansel Adams.
-I started to request my bills sent to me electronically.
-I continue to try to buy local and/or organic. Try Koala Krisp for the kids. My kids think they are getting the sugary cereal.
-I only bought toilet paper at Target. (I vowed to buy only what I need.) Oh, I'm a liar, I bought the kids some clogs I promised them I would next time in Target. Sorry environment, right now I can't let my kids down. But I did buy them slightly big so they will wear them longer.
-We started a garden of veggies.
-I used freecycle to give away some books and receive a book.
-I tried to hang more laundry to dry. But, wow, do those shirts get stiff!
-I carpooled the kids friends.

Bad stuff I did:
-I ate out with my friends and wasted plastic wraps and cups. I did use the plastic cups over and over but I am still leaving a bad enviro-footprint.
-I ate raisenettes. This is more of a health thing for me. But it was bad.

Basically I kept busy at home and didn't need to shop as much as I used to.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Buy Nothing (at the movies)

Over on Crunchy Chicken's blog she has challenged us to buy nothing for the month of April. And I am doing well. Target can live without me. BUT I went to the movies yesterday. Is that considered buying something? AND I bought Raisenettes. Will I be kicked out of my eco-circles for this?

I am a SAHM so I get "me" time during the week with my friends. We like to go to lunch or movies. If I don't do this I will go crazy on the weekends with my family. I try to stay green while I see my friends.

I have 3 vices, which at this time I will not give up but plan to in the future sometime. They are diet soda, Raisenettes (only at movies) and Ben & Jerry's Cookie Dough Frozen Yogurt. But I am even drinking soy milk. That is huge for me because I am a milk and cereal fan. And I have my kids trained to seek out the "O" for organic. They even read labels to look for sugar and fiber content. And we recycle.

So I am hoping that I can slip by the green police and go to the movies and enjoy my snuck in popcorn and raisenettes.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Organic and Plastics

Why are organic foods put in plastic wrap? I know that plastic keeps it clean and germ free but that plastic might end up back in the soil as a toxin which is exactly what organic is avoiding.

The more I try to be a green, eco-friendly mom the harder it seems to be on my brain!!! Argh!

Funny Farmer

I have quite a few farmers in the area but most have their stands closed until May, maybe late April. But one farmer sells starwberries early in the season and he also sells late in the season. Well, I heard he was open! The pleasure of buying local strawberries, and good ones at that, elated me. I was off to Chan's.
I arrive and the lady behind the counter has strawberries and to my surprise asparagus! I said one bunch of asparagus and one basket of strawberries. She proceeds to get the plastic bag. I said no to it that I live close so the produce will make it home. She grunts and knodds. I ask her if she grew the asparagus because I don't see it on the farm. She says, "no, but local". She knows the routine. And then she adds, "strawberry local". I soon figure out that she doesn't not speak english, just some broken farm lingo that gets the strawberries sold. I am laughing to myself now because I so badly wanted to ask if they are organic but figure I will save that for the next time.
Moral of the story: buy local, it's more fun.

My Follow Up with Plastic Bubble Wrap

In my previous post I mentioned I bought green items in the mail that were wrapped in non-green bubble wrap. I wrote to the company, ReusableBags.com.

Hello Reusable Bags,
I am a first time buyer of your site and I am very pleased with my items-3 Sigg bottles and "Plastic Bags Blow" bag. BUT I was concerned to see that you wrapped the bottles in bubble wrap before sending them off to me. I am fairly new to to recycling so please tell me that the bubble wrap you used is 100% recyclable. Your site teaches to stop using plastic bags yet you are shipping your items in plastic bubble wrap. This confused me. I thought for sure the packaging would be made of recycled paper. I can say that I am very disappointed in the fact you used plastic. I may think twice about purchasing from your site again unless I know for sure I can recycle the bubble wrap.
Thank You, Allison

Their response:

Please realize that we are on the same page and as concerned about this issue as you are. We strive as a company to continually reduce our ecoimpact. We try to use minimal packaging, reuse packaging whenever possible, and research other alternatives, such as biodegradable packing peanuts. We've passed along your feedback will continue to work with our suppliers and fulfillment house to identify and use more eco-friendly packaging whenever possible.
Feel free to contact us with any other questions or concern. We really appreciate your feedback and are open to hearing any suggestions you may have for suitable packaging alternatives.

This response does not help my situation. I don't think I will order from them again. I mean honestly, as a "green" company shouldn't they already have a eco impact plan set in motion and use biodegradable?
On a positive note, they responded within a day. I have dealt with companies that NEVER respond.
A+ Customer service
F Packaging

Saturday, April 5, 2008


"Bring your own bag" or "bring your own bottle", it doesn't matter. I have been bringing my own bags to shop for a while now but I just received my Sigg drink bottles that are 100% reusable and 100% recyclable. I am so excited to have them. No more plastic bottles!! And the Sigg bottles keep my drink cold longer. You can see the kids have their own also.

On a sad note, when I received my shipment the bottles were wrapped in PLASTIC BUBBLE WRAP! The site I purchased the items from is an advocate for ridding our world of plastic bags. Now tell me that I can at least recycle the bubble wrap! I don't know. I expect a site that is earth friendly to pack there items in recycled paper, not plastic.

I have emailed the company and hopefully they can redeem themselves to me. At this time I will wait to see if I hear from them to reveal the name of the site. But I can say they really disappointed me, I may not shop there again.


Friday, April 4, 2008

Aaaah, Spring!

My orange tree is starting to bloom!

We have the typical small California backyard, but we like to garden a little. Some of our veggies and fruits need to be kept in containers like our orange tree we just bought over the winter. We planted it in a large half barrel that in its past life was a wine storage container. (Maybe our oranges will have a "oak taste with a touch of plum". Ha ha.) I have been watching the tree and it has had buds for at least a week so I have been waiting for it to bloom. This morning I walked past the tree and the aroma was heavenly!! The tree is in bloom and it is right underneath my kitchen window! I am so excited! If you can I highly suggest having an orange tree, the fruit is great and the aroma from the flowers is even better! It is my favorite.

This will be my first attempt at any vegetable gardening. I grew up in Los Angeles with a tiny backyard. My mom had a very small garden of roses and random plants. But nothing edible. My husband grew up in Michigan on 2 acres and anticipated spring for more reason than I can list but I know he looked forward to the planting of veggies. He loved to plant cucumber, tomatoes, zuchini and peppers. I never had the interest. But this year is different, I decided to go green. So now after all these years my husband will be happy I am joining in on his quest for fresh and pesticide free veggies and fruit.

I am thinking of trying the organic fertilizer and composting. But I know almost nothing of growing plants except to water them. Wish me luck. I will need it.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

A Greener Walmart?

OK, I am not the biggest advocate for Walmart. Personally I feel their stuff if cheap in every sense of the word. And there is a list as long as my arm of reasons why NOT to shop at Walmart. But are they trying to go green? I know it is the "almighty dollar" pushing their reasons for carrying green items but at least they are doing the right thing-finally. Check it out here. I may go get myself a free bag, as long as it doesn't say Walmart on it. Most likely it does.

The one good thing about this campaign is that Walmart does reach millions of people, maybe more people will get the green message and try to help our planet.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Happy April Fools Day

My blog post today has nothing to do with April Fool's Day but I thought I would wish everyone Happy April Fools Day anyway. But today is my dog Maggy's birthday, she is 3 today! And she has pledged to go organic, ha ha. She eats organic food now too! She is trying out Natural Balance Organic. And actually I think she likes it more than her old dog food. She is actually better than I am. I still cheat and go to Starbuck's every so often.

I am starting to get frustrated, though. I am in the bathroom this morning and I want so desperately to get rid of the shampoo, lotions, make-up and cleansers I have there but so many are near full because I not only want to be organic but I want to be frugal. I can't just pour the shower cleaner down the drain. I guess I will wait and finish it off, which may take me a year, and then clean the bottle out really well and replace the cleanser with vinegar and water.

And the same goes for my personal hygiene products. The shampoo is new and full because I don't wash my hair everyday and I use a very small quantity. I am dying to try Burt's Bees or other organic brands but it will be a while. I wonder if I can convince my hairdresser to switch?

Oh! I just want to feel good about what I use and I can't yet! I can replace my feminine products (sorry for being so personal with this subject). That is one product I have no control over the quantity I use. I was reading Allie's Green Answers (not me) this morning and I am glad because that time will be approaching soon. Her subject was which tampons were the safest. I will try her suggestions.