This has been a wonderful month. It's actually been ... exciting! We started our weekly challenges and wow ... so many of you are participating. It's a beautiful thing! :)
We've also had some great comments this month ... thoughts that add to the conversation and educate us. Thanks to everyone who took the time to write ... I wish I could feature each and every one of you.
Now ... here are our ten "Comments of Note":
From Green Gardening Tip - Mulching:
I have a compost bin and I was able to completely fill my planter box which is almost 6 ft long with compost from my own bin this year!
On the sawdust issue. You need to make sure that the sawdust is not from pressure treated wood. The chemicals used in treating wood can harm your plants so make sure and ask first!
From Banana fanna fo fanna:
Thomas Goodall said...
I heard criticism of the "fair trade" designation.
The 2 main points put forth were that it was condescending because farmers have to provide and accounting of where their money is spent. As if we should have the power to tell them where they should spend their money. And 2, it was a 1 way street. That we have the power to tell them how to spend their money, but they don't have any control over who their consumers are. Maybe farmer A isn't interested in selling his bananas to customer B because Customer B spends his income on cigarettes and then smokes them in the car with his children.
It wasn't my argument, but I thought it was meritorious.
Thomas, I can't comment on the anti-Fair Trade argument you make since you don't link to it, but it does not sound like any Fair Trade program I have ever heard of. Perhaps you can link to an example?
I have little doubt that there are political factions opposed to Fair Trade because keeping small farmers in debt bondage or the like is highly profitable. History tells us that they will come up with all sorts of academic arguments against fixing the situation. Land reform and so forth is a complicated matter and there's always the possibility that outside efforts can screw up, but more facts would be helpful before condemning Fair Trade.
From Goin to the chapel ...:
The Green Bride Guide said...
These are all great ideas! There are so many ways couples can reduce their impact on the earth and save money too. In addition to what you mentioned - couples can offset their carbon emissions (see http://www.thegreenbrideguide.com/page/carbon-calculator for example).
The Green Bride Guide
I love this post - very thorough. Especially about gift giving to charities and other ways besides "stuff". Giving the gift of time or an incredible experience -that's what's lovely. I stopped doing holiday gifts several years ago and now don't even think about it - my mom and I now have our annual holiday lunch or dinner and I host a Solstice Party (winter and summer) to celebrate friendship and the start of a new season. Most of us would love just more time with those we love and focusing our energy in that way is just plain good for the soul. When a couple is going forth into their new life together, there are so many ways of gifting them with your presence, with words of encouragement and wisdom, with things you've made that really signify the giver and the recipient - NOT Starbucks or Amazon.com.
From Summer Solstice:
Project Savior said...
The Tip about turning off your computer when not in use not only saves energy cooling your house but they use a surprising amount of electricity.
I've stopped leaving my home office computer on at night and my electric bill dropped by $20 a month. That's $120 a year.
BTW: another way to save on cooling costs is to take cold showers. I've got my hacked together solar hot water heater and on a hot day like today I can use it all and get blasted by super cold water for a minute. Even at 85 degree air temperature it takes a half hour or so to warm back up.
I cannot say enough about the joys of line-drying. Even in our tiny apartment, we forgo the electric dryer except for emergencies.
It took a little time to figure out how to get everything to dry, but who doesn't like a puzzle? (This is a big principle: make the challenge into a puzzle, so solving it is fun!)
We learned, for example, that socks dry fine on a set of over-the-door hooks; t-shirts dry fine on coathangers hanging on the shower rod. We have a folding rack for towels and such; it's paid for itself many times over in electricity saved.
The one lifestyle adaptation is that airdried/sundried towels are crisper, more exfoliating, less fluffy. Frankly, we've learned to love them that way but it's a change.
One you go airdrying, you'll never go back! Even in a tiny apartment, it pays!
Wonderful ideas, as always.
My tip to add to the stove-top cooking, try not cooking at all! Make it a point to fresh, no-cook meals a couple of nights a week. Summer is the best times for for fresh, local, often organic fruits, veggies, cheeses, breads... most of them available from you local farmers markets!
Thomas Winther said...
Great list :-)
About clothes drying: Did you know clothes will dry just fine outside on a clothes line in the winter, too? I dry my clothes in the attic, which is so drafty it's almost as cold up there as outside. It's frequently somewhere around -5 degrees celcius (23 degrees Fahrenheit). Admittedly it might take a while for the clothes to dry, but they do. The most important thing when it comes to drying clothes is that there is ample air circulation around them.
Also, if you want even more tips for staying cool in the summer, I'd like to offer my recent series of posts about green home cooling.
From Kicking the habit ...:
K.B. Keilbach said...
Anyone who is on the fence about using plastic bags should look up "Pacific Gyre" on the Internet. By some estimates, the Pacific Ocean Gyre or "Garbage Patch" covers an area roughly twice the size of the continental United States with as much as 100 million TONS of plastic. This "plastic soup" not only pollutes the beaches our children swim in, it poisons the fish we eat and kills birds and other sea life who mistake it for food. Just think about that the next time you're tempted to say, "Plastic, please."
Thanks, again, to everyone who commented! Keep them coming because ... you know I love hearing from you!