Sunday, April 20, 2008

Two days ‘til Earth Day! Two days ‘til Earth Day! While I always advocate for spending more time outdoors, the TV’s (FINALLY) got a whole slew of green-themed programming to fill up one’s Tivo queue for those rainy Sunday afternoons. This article from gives a long list of upcoming environmental programs.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

More wire hangers!

One of my favorite days of the year is here: Saturday April 19th is National Hanging Out Day! Now I’m pretty fortunate I live in a climate where it makes it very easy to embrace the practice of line drying, but even if I didn’t live in sunny So-Cal, I would still try my best to avoid using the clothes dryer. It takes a little more creativity, but it can be done. Retractable hotel style clothes lines can be purchased for under $10 and fold up drying racks for under $20. I usually hang hangers on any available door jamb. The sun isn’t cooperating very much today, but I think the breeze is enough to get three loads of laundry dried before nightfall.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

7 Days 'til Earth Day

With Earth Day 2008 just a week away, I’m trying my darndest to come up with some new and exciting links for the occasion. First up: loving this Sierra Club re-imagining of the Rosie the Riveter poster and the links they’ve got on their “We Can Do It!” site.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Recently one of my best friends, a woman I have known and worked with for 10 years was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was heart-breaking news, but she is facing it with dignity and humor (her slogan is she’s going to “Kick cancer’s ass” and she’s blogging every little detail here:
Her announcement has got me thinking though, instead of “so many people have cancer” I start to think, why doesn’t everyone have cancer? It is a dirty and dangerous world we live in. Even if you try to be good, try to eat healthy, try to limit your exposure to toxins, there are just so many unknown variables that you can’t plan against. Here in California, we’ve got something called Prop. 65 or the Green Labeling Law: passed in the mid-80s, it requires that every building or product containing an chemical known to cause cancer must be labeled with a sign. I’ll admit when I first moved to California, it was a little intimidating passing those signs every day on my way into work…or into the grocery store… Today they’ve become so common that I barely notice them anymore. Every time you you’re your car with gasoline, you expose yourself to a carcinogen. Every time you purchase, use or come in contact with plywood, particle board or wood veneer, you expose yourself to a carcinogen. Livestock hormones in meat used for human consumption, prescription medications showing up in drinking water supplies, lead in children’s toys, the list goes on and on. When is the world going full realize that we are creating our own medical tragedies?

Monday, April 07, 2008

Today’s addition to the monthly packaging reduction goal: no more plastic utensils or paper plates at work. I head to the kitchen for some morning toast, not 10 feet from my office. I grab a paper plate and a plastic knife, both which will hit the trash can in less then 15 minutes. Worse yet, at that desk of mine, not 10 feet away, I have in my drawer, silverware and a heavy plastic dish that can easily be used as a plate. Since 95% of my meals lately are eaten at work, I can easily make a difference with the simple step of saying “no” to disposable cutlery and plates. (I’m also going to try to be better about composting my organic garbage… seems I only eat fruit now when I can find it in the work kitchen!)

Sunday, April 06, 2008

12 Resolutions March Wrap/ April intro

Well March has come and gone in a blur… I guess I’m lucky my life is reasonably simplified or else I would be drowning in a mess of chores, projects and deadlines. Oh, wait. Even with a simplified life, spring has ambushed me with too much to do, and not nearly enough time to do it. My March goal of avoiding Chinese products was slightly successful, in that I bought next to nothing for the entire month (one perk of working 70 hours a week, too tired to shop). Hopefully it will continue to make me conscious of what I buy, when I do need to buy.

My April goal is also pretty ambitious… I wanted to try to reduce my packaging footprint—ambitious because everything we buy is packaged. Shrink wrapping, paperboard boxes, impossible to cut open plastic containers. All one-time use, all destined for the garbage bin once we’ve ripped open the product. I know that glass is heavier than plastic and therefore a product in a glass container needs more energy to transport than the same product in plastic, but the recycling opportunities for glass are so much greater than plastic. That glass jar also is a lot safer to reuse for leftovers and storage. I’m pretty good about making sure all my plastic packaging makes it into the recycling bin, but how much of it actually eventually gets recycled? My goal this month is: "glass and paper-okay, plastic-no way".