Green Your Day Off! Memorial Day weekend advice.

This link has 5 great, simple ways to green your day off. I’ll elaborate just a smidgen on each below, but do read this great, full of ideas, short article too:

1.     Ride your bike –

a.     If biking is out of the question for you, then take a walk! Walking is great exercise, doesn’t burn fossil fuels and fun for everyone… especially if you visit one of our beautiful preserves and bird or butterfly watch- ‘tis the season for all sorts of wildlife out and about looking for food, mates and nesting areas. (p.s. info about biking to work will be out soon. We’re participating in Bike to Work week and will have biking buddies, safe route maps and meet up places for group ride-ins. Email me if you’re interested!)

2.     Green up your BBQ –

a.     When thinking about what to grill or serve, go for organic and/or locally produced foods. And when serving it up, choose reusable, washable dishes and silverware…or at least recyclable and make sure it gets recycled!

3.     Clean up…DIY style –

a.     Did you see Tommy and Maura make all those wonderful recipes for household cleaners during Earth Week? What a great video! If you missed it we’ll let you know when it’s posted. In the meantime, check the link above for quick recipes that are cheap, safe and effective too!

4.     Take out the recycling –

a.     I was visiting a class yesterday to talk about sustainability and one student said “some ‘things’ are just not recyclable.” To which I replied, nonsense! Someone either just hasn’t come up with a use/commodity for those “things” or you just haven’t found the spot that does collect it. So, when you are looking at that “thing” that is no longer of use to you, consider it. Is it recyclable? Does someone reclaim it somewhere (ex batteries may not go in your curbside, but you can take them to Staples…same with expired CFL bulbs). If no one takes it, what can you do with it? Make something new, repurpose it, donate it?

5.     Pay Tribute –

a.     Remember this holiday is to honor those that have fallen so we may live freely! Freely with equality and access to fair civil, social, economic and environmental securities. Remember to honor them in some way this weekend. The link has some neat ideas.

Have a safe, green holiday!

Town Bans Bottled Water

One of my pet peeves is drinking bottled water.  The bottles are made from oil, thus furthering our reliance on those non-renewable fossil fuels.  Bottled water is a hazard to our health: carcinogenic and endocrine disrupting toxins leach from the plastic into that expensive water and filtration standards are low to none at all.  In the bigger picture, the toxins from the plastic leaches into our ground water providing us with a second hit, not to mention the all of the other organisms that are also hit with the unpleasant and toxic exposure to our bottled water habit.  Check out this town that has become part of my dreams by banning bottled water all together.  The bottled water industry is even looking to sue the town over this.  http://www.treehugger.com/files/2010/05/concord_ma_to_be_first_us_town_to_ban_bottled_water.php?campaign=weekly_nl

Oil Spill Trends Show Not as Rare

There is a great deal of coverage and debate around the recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Tar is washing up on the beaches of the South.

I recently did a podcast on Black Swan Theory. (you can listen to the podcast here: Black Swan Theory on Check It Out Podcast. A Black Swan is an event that happens with wide impact despite the fact that it has very low odds of occurring when compared to other events. Things like floods, earthquakes, terrorist attacks, and oil spills are all black swans. They are rare, difficult to predict, but greatly impact our lives.

For more on Black Swan Theory take a look at this Wikipedia entry, Black Swan Theory. This is one entry that is pretty good.

It seems that the oil spill on the Gulf of Mexico is a Black Swan. But, we can look at “Oil Spill” Search Trendson Google, and we can see when searches for this term spike. The spikes in searches line up pretty well with other oil spills such as the one that was in San Francisco Bay and the one in Korea. This oil spill feels like a rare event, but they are not that rare as they feel. They are a cost of using oil. The expense for the clean up is sort of like a hidden tax that we must pay at irregular intervals.