Thursday, November 27, 2014

Reduce Footprints is on hiatus

Reduce Footprints is on hiatus

It's time for our winter break.

We will return on January 19, 2015

In the meantime ...

Special discounts on Eco-friendly products Special discounts on Eco-friendly products Special discounts on Eco-friendly products Special discounts on Eco-friendly products

Visit our Special Offers Page
for discounts on Eco-friendly products!


Read my reviews of body care products, books, and more:

Tasha Hussey Body Care Products
Click photo to browse reviews

Visit our Change The World Wednesday page
for fun, green activities:

Change The World Wednesday
Click banner to see the current challenge


Meet some "Green" Bloggers via our Meet & Greet Series:

Meet & Greet on Reduce Footprints
Click banner to access Meet & Greet link-ups

Feeling hungry?

Try the delicious dishes listed on our Recipes Page:

Red Lentil and Winter Squash Bisque
Click photo to see all of our recipes

Wishing all of you a lovely holiday season!

Reduce Footprints is on hiatus

See you in 2015!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Change The World Wednesday (#CTWW) - What would you change?

Welcome to Change The World Wednesday (#CTWW)!

Wondering how to live greener? You've come to the right place. Each week we challenge ourselves to try a new task ... or "amp up" something we're already doing. We raise our awareness, learn from each other and develop Eco-friendly skills which will improve our lives and protect our planet. Doing so together gives us power ... the power to Change The World!

If this is your first visit, please click HERE for information and a complete list of all the challenges we've taken on so far.

This post contains great information and I encourage you to read through it at your leisure ... however, if you are short on time, you might find the following quick links helpful:

Last week was fun! We considered an area which most people don't think about ... cocktails. It turns out that there are quite a few ways to "green" our libations. I was surprised to learn that beer in cans has a lower carbon footprint than glass bottles. Thanks to a question by Aimee, I discovered a site, CorkWatch, which lists wines with natural corks. Several sites discussed using local fruits and herbs to make drinks and others talked about "green" snacks to complete our home bars. Whether we are enjoying a drink at home or serving cocktails to guests, we learned how to make the experience both enjoyable and Eco-friendly!

The Honor Society are those people who help us spread the "green" word by writing an article about our challenges and/or leaving pertinent comments.

In I’m dreaming of a green Christmas…, Mrs. Green talks about how she and her family celebrate the season. Of course, we'd expect no less than a green holiday from Mrs. Green and she does talk about ways to keep things earth friendly, but you might be surprised to learn that she and her family celebrate the shortest day of the year rather than Christmas! I love her reasons for doing so!

A holiday without a tipple or two? Argentum Vulgaris says "Bah Humbug" to that! In Change the World Wednesday – 19th Nov he talks about the libations he'll be including in his celebrations. He brings up some interesting points about beer in cans and boxed wine ... and why he avoids both!

Lois isn't serving adult beverages this year but in Change the World Wednesday, Plus Keeping Warm she discusses the operating costs of an ice machine. It's a surprising amount!

Aimee stopped by and shared this: "Most excellent topic! However I'm curious, how do you know if the wine you are buying has a natural vs synthetic cork until you open it? Speaking of corks, when we went to wine country, one of the smaller vineyards uses glass corks - so awesome as we now use that cork to keep our other wines fresh after opening them as it has a better seal than using the original or those rubber things. Anyhoo - we are not doing any entertaining this year, just keeping things quiet and intimate as our first holiday as married folk :) For Thanksgiving I am going to make a turkey (local pasture-raised organic) and a pumpkin made from one we grew in our garden, and for Christmas we'll just make something simple on Eve and for Day we're going for Chinese at our favorite (yes, and organic!) restaurant downtown. For the occasional winter cocktail we love ginger toddies, with Draper Girls local organic unpasteurized cider and New Deal's organic ginger liqueur ( made here in Portland. SOOO good!"

Clare did a great rundown of her home bar. In Christmas Cocktails -The Green and Eco Friendly Way! she talks about her beverage of choice, what's available in her area, and recycling containers.

"Save Our Planet, For 'tis The Only One With Beer!" That saying was shared by Randy who offers us another package option for his favorite libation ... a growler. Ever heard of one? Randy tells us all about it in A Growler For The Environment #CTWW.

Ann shared our CTWW banner in Save the world: emergency survival sleeping bag.

Mary dropped by and shared this: "This is a great challenge! You don't usually think about being green with alcohol, so this is great, especially with simple facts that wine is the greenest! Thanks for sharing this!"

The The Green Daily mentioned a CTWW article ... was it yours?

Our Twitter friends joined the conversation and shared the following:

From @GreenQueenofMod
- Holiday libations go #green. Take the challenge: I infused local #vodka with basil!

From @fruitsherbrooke
- we infuse our #vodka with chocolatecherry jelly #yeglocal cherries

From @lbpaints
- Reused glass containers.
- Soda pop glasses
- Cut and melted wine glasses.
- Glassware made from recycled car windshields! ;-)

The #CTWW Gang are those folks who tweet our challenges using the hashtag #CTWW. If you're a Twitter member, I recommend following them ... they share great things. Let's meet them:

@allcollegeplan @almosttruth @andreaptak
@artbysandra @bates232russ @beatepdx
@blaucube @cannyhighlander @cathycelt
@cellomomoncars @collegegogreen @corneliagracchi
@ecoexpert1 @envirobooty @factorydpromos
@familyfocusblog @fleurdeb @foggybottomgal
@forloveofadog @freshcleanersaz @fruitsherbrooke
@ginavalley @givetreegifts @greenageworld
@greenglobaltrvl @greenqueenofmod @groovygreenlivi
@helalraghda @herbgir1972 @jnaquins
@juanithecrazy @justanotherhat @kaitlingarder
@kayhahn1 @kriswetherbee @krmbalclothing
@laalicia @ladyjcmuses @laurelhounslow
@lbpaints @leslieveg @lilmissscooter
@lioncontainers @lumleysplacebnb @luthienthye
@mamasmoney @marjoriemcatee @marylolagouge
@museumoflitter @myzerowaste @nolafusion
@pedalgadgets @rckayla @rckweddings
@realityarts @robinjfarr @romerojewelers
@ruralmoms @sfcouncil @smallbits
@spafloating @temilarashy @theworld4realz
@treesgroup @turningclockbac @urban_mining
@wasteeguru @wastejobs @wencdj

My Final Thoughts:

This challenge, like so many others that we've tackled, points out that green living is about everything we do. It also reminds us to be diligent in our choices and to always think about the bigger picture. Everything, from the type of fruits or grains used to make adult beverages to the distillation process to the recyclability of the packaging ... it all matters. This challenge also shows us how easy it is to green up any activity. To that I say, "Cheers"!

Thanks, everyone! If you wrote an article, I Stumbled, Tweeted, Facebooked and posted it on Google +. You can help spread the "green" word by using the share features located below this post.

This Week's Challenge:

Change The World Wednesday (#CTWW) - What would you change?
How can we improve?
This is our FINAL CHALLENGE OF 2014. I will be taking a break from blogging beginning November 27th, returning on January 19, 2015. I would like to thank each and every one of you for your CTWW participation. You have truly made a difference in our world.

Here's your challenge ...

Using the comments below, please answer this question:

What would you like to see on Reduce Footprints in 2015?

I'd like to know if there's anything you'd like us to add, delete, or change. How can we improve? Does Meet & Greet work for you? Do you find guest posts valuable and, if so, what topics would you like to see? Can we improve upon the Recipes, Reviews, and Special Offers pages? All suggestions are welcome so ... the sky is the limit ... consider this your "wish list" for a new Reduce Footprints blog!

Are you up for helping me improve Reduce Footprints? I know that you are!

See you in January! Until then ...


Monday, November 24, 2014

Skip Black Friday and go Eco-Friendly Instead

This post introduces the companies listed on our Special Offers Page. I received no compensation for this post ... I simply want to introduce you to companies doing their best to operate in an earth-friendly manner.

Every year, I hear about "Black Friday". Not about great bargains or companies offering folks a helping hand, but rather about customers physically fighting over a limited quantity of this year's "hyped" toy or people battling for position in lines, waiting for stores to open. Stories tell of greed and selfishness ... all for the sake of "stuff".

Ironically, this happens right after Thanksgiving, a day for family and gratitude.

I propose that we take a new approach and think outside of the box.

Gifts aren't always necessary

  • Give the gift of time. Arrange a visit with your loved ones or spend an afternoon with nursing home residents who may not have family. Listen to an elderly person's stories of the past or take a walk with someone who doesn't get out much. Time is so much more precious than stuff.
  • Invite your friends and family over for meal ... or prepare a meal for a person or family in need.
  • Give a service. Offer to clean house, wash a car, or do the laundry for a loved one.

Create gifts with recycled materials

  • Fill your mason jars with ingredients for a delicious soup, stew, chilli, etc. Don't forget to include cooking instructions.
  • Use old jewelry to create unique Christmas tree ornaments or beautiful memento boxes.
  • Turn scrap material into a lovely quilt.

Buy Eco-friendly gifts

  • Look for items made with earth-friendly materials and minimal packaging.
  • Shop locally.
  • Buy quality items which will last.

Support Eco-friendly vendors

Special Offers and Discounts from Eco-friendly Vendors
Click on image for exclusive offers
and discounts on Eco-friendly products.

By supporting companies who are trying to operate in an Eco-friendly way, we encourage all entrepaneurs to adopt "green" standards. To make that a bit easier, the following companies are offering Reduce Footprints' readers special deals on their products and services:

For details and discount codes, please visit the SPECIAL OFFERS page.

This holiday season, let's say no to Black Friday and make our gift giving truly thoughtful ... to those we love and to the planet.