Hello, Kittens! When I first started blogging, I became an instant fan of Liz on the Fragrant Muse. She has taught me so much about essential oils, which are now a staple of my laundry room, first aid kit, yoga practice, and stay-sane regime. Essential oils are the only permissible perfume in my world, and I even like to re-broadcast what Liz has taught me. Please click here to read my recent Examiner post featuring The Fragrant Muse, who is by far, one of the smartest cats I know. Peace & Love, Kitty.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Kittens, Earth Day is coming! Are you ready to green up your attitude? Let's start by getting rid of toxic cleaning products in our homes. Save big on Eco-friendly products that help you help the planet.
Here are some easy things you can do now:
- If you aren't recycling yet, start small. Maybe you'll just do plastic. That's very helpful. Although curbside recycling is offered in my community, I just stuff paper grocery bags with cans, bottles, plastic, and the mountain of papers that comes home from school every day. When I have a few bags, I drop them off at the recycling bin.
- Group errands (such as the aforementioned recycling trip) so as not to be driving all over hell's half acre every day.
- Observe Ozone Action days. As the temperature soars, it's better to fuel vehicles and run the lawnmower early or late in the day.
- Turn off everything that's not being used right now. If your microwave or coffeemaker has a digital clock, unplug it.
- Does your pool or hot tub really need to be 90-100 degrees all the time? I cut my electric bill in half this winter by turning down the swim spa to 80. This is a good tip for water heaters as well
- Don't run the tap while you are brushing your teeth.
- Just buy less plastic period. Plastic is hella bad for your health, and for the environment. It's unrealistic to think we can live without it, but all of us can certainly think of ways to cut back on our consumption before even purchasing plastic. See Citizen Green's blog on "Stupid Plastic Crap." It will educate you and make you think twice before buying plastic you don't need!
Taking it to the next level:
- Check the weatherstripping around doors and windows, and replace it if necessary.
- Consider getting a tankless water heater. You'll always have hot water and incur less charges for gas or electricity because you'll be heating on demand.
- Switch to washing most laundry in cold water and buy eco-friendly detergents. Wash large loads, and do the same with the dishwasher (allow dishes and as many clothes as possible to air dry). Go easy on the bleach.
- When it is time to get rid of expired pharmaceuticals, take them back to the pharmacy rather than flushing them or tossing them out so medications don't end up in the waterways.
- Ditto for batteries. Many hardware stores have collection sites for used batteries; switch to rechargeables while you're at it - especially if you blow through them playing Wii and Guitar Hero like we do!
- Buy Energy Star appliances. You may get a tax incentive to do so.
- Consider replacing doors and windows with the more energy-efficient newer models; if you do this for your family home, you may get fat tax breaks.
- Stop accumulating plastic bags already! Take your own to the store!
- Quit drinking so much bottled water; get stainless steel canteens (not lined with plastic so as not to ingest BPA), and refill as you need to rehydrate. Take your own mug to the coffee shop, too!
- Clean up your cleaning products by making your own, or switching to green brands that don't pollute our waterways when they are rinsed down the drain.
- Buy local produce to cut down on shipping emissions.
- Buy organic anything and everything from foods to meats to clothing. Cotton manufacturing incurs many pesticides; organic farming of all agricultural products is best for the Earth and our bodies.
- Green your personal products and cosmetics. Read my blog, Organic Orgy to learn how!
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Two things today, kittens. First and foremost, BPA. Bisphenol-A, or BPA is now being taken seriously by the Environmental Protection Agency. BPA is the nasty chemical in plastic that leaches into our food and beverages. How you ask? Canned goods and bevs are lined with a think plastic layer to keep the product from oxidizing. Microwaveable dinners come in plastic containers; baby bottles and sippies are often made of plastic, notably polycarbonate (#7). Heat these things in any way, including leaving water bottles in the sun and you will be ingesting BPA. Gross. This insidious chemical is also in some cosmetics. Read my full post in my column on Examiner.com; please do subscribe! I list some options for getting this toxin out of your life!
Second, a blogging tip from me to you: ever find yourself cutting and pasting some mobius strip of code? You can easily shorten long URLs by going to bit.ly. No www is necessary. Copy your link into the magic box and you'll get a bit that looks like this: http://bit.ly/chLoja. Presto! No more ridonculously long web addresses!
Don't forget your sunscreen, kittens. As promised, I will be posting a piece on green and natural sun options. I am still hard at work testing some products for you. (Update: click on the latter link; I just posted a little something for you) Love, Kitty