Sunday, October 26, 2008

Out with the Household Toxins

The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) held a collection for the past 2 weeks for Household Hazardous Wastes right down the road from me, and I took advantage! A few months ago I collected all my cleansers that were deemed household toxins (aka not Earth and people friendly) and boxed them up so I could hike them across town to recycle. I hung on to the boxes for a little while so we could be sure that we weren't going to need them, or change our minds... the last thing I want to do is buy more chemicals! Thanks to the EPA, I only had to drive 3 minutes down the road and they even took the boxes out of the car for me! I dropped off 3 small-medium sized boxes of cleansers, a few petroleum based candles, and a couple of batteries. Feels good to have all those toxins out of our home, not to mention all the cabinet space I've gained!

If you have Hazardous Household Waste (batteries, paint, tires, cleansers, pesticides, etc.) - PLEASE act responsibly and dispose your HHW properly! Improperly disposed HHW can contaminate septic tanks or wastewater treatment systems if poured down drains or toilets, and these in the end lead to our oceans! Not sure where to recycle/dispose your HHW? Go to Recycling Hotline: Earth 911 and simply type in your zip code and what you'd like to recycle - from plastic to household cleaners to mattresses. This hotline helps you locate recycling centers in your community.

Here's an interesting article on Hidden Household Toxins

Saturday, October 25, 2008

GREEN Holiday Cards

Last night I bought Christmas cards. That's right, it's October 25th and I already have Christmas cards... ME who usually buys them a week before Christmas and may or may not actually get them in the mail in time! I was shopping with a friend and she needed to pick up a few Birthday cards at the Hallmark store, so I went in with her and behind where she was looking was shelves of holiday cards... and then I see a couple of shelves labeled GREEN eco-friendly cards (or something like that I don't quite remember). Well of course that peeked my interest so I took a closer look. They have a whole line of boxed GREEN holiday cards - and cute ones too for a great price! I'm disappointed to say that I could not find these on the Hallmark website to post a link to them here. Such a shame... well, here's what is printed on the package:
These cards are made from 50% sugarcane by-products and 50% recycled paper, so no new trees were cut down to make them. They are also recyclable. Happy Holidays to the planet and to you.
WHOOHOO! I'm so excited to send these to my family and friends this year! Below are a few links for places to buy recycled holiday cards online:
Pear Tree Greetings
KidBean (expensive but cute!)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Sustainable Kitchen

I stumbled across a blog post by Kelby Carr titled Sustainable Kitchen Project, and was inspired to start my own... or really continue the "project" I started back in May. Somehow life going-ons (mainly work and travel) have gotten me off track - and I need to re-focus! Below is a list of my own goals for a sustainable kitchen. I think these goals are realistic for me, and a good start...
  1. Make my own yogurt
  2. Start a compost - stop talking about it and DO it!
  3. Buy MORE local produce and products
  4. Make more kinds of breads
I'll let you know how it goes! What are you doing to have a more sustainable kitchen?

Ode to Pumpkin

Pumpkin! Oh how I love thee... Pumpkin Spice Latte, Pumpkin Bread (with chocolate chips of course), Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pancakes, Pumpkin Soup, toasted Pumpkin Seeds, and don't forget the Pumpkin Pie!

One of my favorite Halloween traditions is watching It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown - I've watched it just about every year for as long as I can remember... ABC is airing it on Tuesday Oct. 28th 8/7c so set your DVRs! I'm sure I'll catch some edited for TV scary movies as well. Gotta love the classics like Halloween I, II, III (actually there are 9, yes NINE!), and my absolute favorite - Beetle Juice!

Here are some fun facts about pumpkin you might not have known, courtesy of The Pumpkin Patch.
  • Pumpkins contain potassium and Vitamin A.
  • Pumpkin flowers are edible.
  • The largest pumpkin pie ever made was over five feet in diameter and weighed over 350 pounds. It used 80 pounds of cooked pumpkin, 36 pounds of sugar, 12 dozen eggs and took six hours to bake.
  • In early colonial times, pumpkins were used as an ingredient for the crust of pies, not the filling.
  • Pumpkins were once recommended for removing freckles and curing snake bites.
  • The largest pumpkin ever grown weighed 1,140 pounds.
  • The Connecticut field variety is the traditional American pumpkin.
  • Pumpkins are 90 percent water.
  • Eighty percent of the pumpkin supply in the United States is available in October.
  • Native Americans flattened strips of pumpkins, dried them and made mats.
  • Native Americans called pumpkins "isqoutm squash."
  • Native Americans used pumpkin seeds for food and medicine.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Waste To-Go

I love the convenience of food to-go, but I HATE all the waste that goes along with the food. I was ecstatic to find out that the company I work for is finally making changes to become more eco-friendly in our cafeteria. They've stopped using evil Styrofoam and clear plastic to-go containers in 2 (grill and deli) of the 5 stations, possibly more but I didn't scope out the other lines. Instead they are using paper baskets which I hope are made of recycled paper. Today I happily waited in the deli line, trying to crunch the numbers of this change - how many to-go containers are prevented from going into landfills, how it impacts the to-go container industry, etc.. So then, I ordered my chicken wrap with side salad. I take my chicken wrap wrapped once in paper, and I almost said, no paper basket but then I thought oh well, the salad will have to go in there... um, wrong... she handed me a clear plastic fancy cup of salad topped with saran wrap. Seriously? Before, side salads were spooned into the container from a large bowl. So really, they traded the waste for another kind in a different shape? UGH. Oh well, baby steps right? I really hope this is just the beginning. I do have to give them props for selling to go mugs offering discount refills, and making a major attempt to reduce the amount of waste - but they have a ways to go.

I still try to pack and bring most of my lunches from home, use SS flatware and my cloth napkins. Curious? You can check out my previous entry about waste-free lunches here!

Saturday, October 11, 2008


Another random post for this type of blog - but I can not wait for this movie! I really hope it can live up to the book... but it looks great.
Twilight HD Exclusive Trailer

I stumbled across this blog post while googling the new Twilight trailer that was really interesting. The blogger is getting a PhD in fantasy literature adaptations (book to movie to video game, basically a PhD in Harry Potter, Twilight, Lord of the Rings, etc.) - SERIOUSLY how cool/fun is that? There are no real spoilers in this post except for maybe defining Edward's character so if you haven't read the book, be warned. Anyway, check it out here.