Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Welcome! If you are new to our challenges and would like a little more information, please click HERE.
Before we get started, I'd like to say Thank You to everyone who voted for Reduce Footprints in Blog Interviewer. As of this writing, we have 116 votes which puts us in 6th place. There are only a few more days of voting remaining but I think that, thanks to all of you, we made a wonderful showing. I'm feeling proud!
Last week we asked that you cut the number of showers you take in half. The idea was to see how few showers we could get away with and still be clean. Each time we eliminate a shower ... it's water saved. Let's see how our Honor Society met this challenge:
Aine Butler-Smith joined us. She brought up a very good point ... "over bathing not only uses more water it strips your skin and scalp of nourishing natural oils, drying them out".
Brian also commented on showers and skin health. He's trying to teach his son not to take all-day showers and says that's a real challenge.
EcoGrrl has already cut her showers down as much as possible. But ... always thinking of new ways to conserve, she's going to shave her legs outside the shower to save even more water.
Ange leads a pretty active life (daily sports and even a 7-day, non-stop adventure race) so daily showers are necessary. Instead of cutting showers in half, she decided to turn off the water while soaping up. Great water-saving technique, Ange. By the way, Ange ... lovely new header on your blog!
Mrs. Green is another Eco-conscious person who has already reduced washing down to bare minimum (sorry ... pun intended). She's going to concentrate on other ways to conserve water. You can read about her ideas HERE.
Marvinlzinn stopped in with a very profound comment which reminds us that using less water, for many people worldwide, isn't a choice. Many people consider bathing ... even once a week ... something of a luxury because taking that bath may mean no food and/or no drinking water. It's a sobering thought. Thank you, Marvinlzinn, for that reminder.
Emmie took the challenge. Since her solar heater isn't in place yet, her showers are cold so ... she says it keeps her in line.
Kate has a very good reason for not cutting back on showers ... she's pregnant and hot showers help get her through the day. It's okay, Kate ... got to keep mommies happy and healthy. She did complete a previous challenge to plant something ... she planted carrots, salad mix, spinach and cilantro. Yay!
Harmony is doing a lot to "green-up" her life. Because of her work, she feels it's necessary to bathe daily. Here's a hint why ... beer. To find out more about that and read her adjusted challenge, click HERE.
Nancy joined the challenge via Harmony's site. Yay! Nice to have you with us, Nancy!
We had a few Twitter friends out there spreading the word about our challenges. If you're a Twitter member, click over and meet these great people: @catcanpaint, @ttotshop, and @waylandcook. If you Tweet about our challenges, be sure to use the hashtag #ctww ... that way I'll find you!
As always, the Honor Society did a great job. Each week, as I read comments and posts, I'm always impressed by individual efforts ... even when the challenge, as written, doesn't work ... our Honor Society searches for adjustments which will accomplish the task in new ways. And that's really what this is all about ... searching for all the ways in which we can thread lightly on the earth.
I've Stumbled and Tweeted your articles.
Okay ... onto a new challenge:
This week remove, or begin to phase out, antibacterial products from your home (specifically those products containing Triclosan). Why? Antibacterial products contribute to new strains of antibiotic-resistant "super-bugs". They are toxic chemicals which also pollute waterways and affect the environment. So this week ... get rid of them.
If you have already rid your home of antibacterial products, please write a post about all the commonly used products which contain Triclosan and suggest alternatives.
What do you think? Can you do it?
WE'RE CHANGING THE WORLD ... ONE CHALLENGE AT A TIME!
Monday, April 26, 2010
- Before sending something to a landfill ... or even before recycling ... can it's life be extended by using it again or in another way?
- Before buying something new, is there something that we already have that can be used?
- If we decide to purchase something, is there a "pre-owned" version available.
I've gotten in the habit of looking at everything before tossing it, either in the trash or the recycle bin. The recycle bin? Yep ... reusing products, when possible, is even better than recycling because the item does not need to be reprocessed before it can be used again. Here are some ideas:
- Cans are perfect for holding all sorts of things. They can be used as pencil holders, vases, art supply containers, and planters.
- Plastic cups and utensils can be washed and reused for picnics, camping or eating around the pool.
- Plastic coffee containers make great planters ... just punch a few holes in the bottom and plant. The containers with a handle are perfect for hanging plants. We're growing habanero peppers in a blue Maxwell House container and it looks great ... and the peppers are thriving.
- Many restaurants use Tupperware-like containers to send food home with patrons. These containers are great for storing leftovers or filling and taking on a picnic or potluck.
- Aluminum foil can be washed and reused.
- Plastic non-dairy creamer containers also make great planters. Hang them upside down, poke holes in the sides and plant things like potatoes or beans ... the vines hang down and become beautiful patio plants with the added benefit of providing something good to eat.
- Plastic lids make great table top protectors for house plants.
- Jars are great for storing homemade sauces or salad dressings. They're also great for storing nuts, bolts and buttons.
- Spice bottles work wonderful for making up your own spice blends or storing summer herbs that have been dried.
- Pill bottles, once thoroughly cleaned, can do double duty holding seeds or small items.
- And talk about extending a life ... cars can be fixed up to run thousands of miles longer. Consider this ... for the price of a new car and the associated insurance, license tabs and emission checks, how many times could an existing car be fixed to extend it's life? In my opinion ... many times.
We keep a container full of things that I just can't toss (surely there's a use for it that I'm not seeing). Later, when I need something, I go to that box in search of something that will work. Nine times out of ten, I find it. For example, in the spring I wanted to get some herbs started in the house. I looked in my box and found containers that originally held store-bought mushrooms. I put a few holes in the bottom and they worked perfectly as herb nurseries.
When we decide to buy something new, we consider "pre-owned" versions before buying "brand new". This works for cars, computers, books, clothing, furniture ... pretty much everything except perishable items. Here are a few places to consider when making your next purchase:
- Thrift stores ... today's thrift stores are stocked with almost new items. With an open mind and a little patience, one can find all kinds of bargains.
- Flea Markets and Garage Sales ... one person's trash is another person's treasure.
- Computer Recycling Stores ... amazing discounts on computers and accessories. They'll also take any computer stuff you want to get rid of, refurbish it and resell it.
- Online ... check out Freecycle, Craigslist, Amazon or Ebay for used items.
- Bulletin boards ... at church, school, the library or your community center.
- Trading parties ... I've read about trading parties cropping up around the country. Basically, a group of friends get together with items that they are tired of and ... they trade. This has especially worked well with clothing (remember trading clothes with your best friend as a kid?).
- The Classifieds ... all kinds of used stuff for sale
- And while it's not "owning" a book, consider the library the next time you want to read something.
I hope that this post got you thinking creatively about how to reuse items in your home. Be watching for part three of this series ... Recycle.As always, I would love to hear your ideas for reducing, reusing and recycling. Just click on the comments link, located at the bottom of each post, and let me know what you think and how you conserve.
Friday, April 23, 2010
Kathryn Brennar is a communications coordinator for Friedland Realty, a commercial realty agency specializing in the lease and sale of Manhattan and Westchester office space. Friedland has held an exemplary standard of real estate knowledge and expertise for the past thirty plus years and continues to bring their customers the best in commercial real estate service.
And now ... Ms. Brennar's post:
From Grey to Green
Building a green infrastructure is no longer a new idea. Going “green” is actually becoming quite popular. However, the ways that people go about doing it can be new and unique. City developers are beginning to incorporate some creative strategies of their own. Specifically, there has been a recent spike in the level of interest that communities have had in developing their parks and outdoor recreation areas, as well as housing and building complexes. While incorporating and maintaining them has always been an important priority, especially within densely populated cities, the latest trends show that community developmental plans are now incorporating “green” design. They are realizing that there is an opportunity to provide people with a necessary recreation area while creating a positive impact on the global environmental crisis.
Currently there are a number of projects taking place in major metropolitan areas in an effort to reverse the negative effects that humans have had on the environment. One project that is currently gaining publicity is the green rooftop. Green rooftops utilize commonly unused space atop buildings and convert them into green zones, where gardens or turf are planted. These roofs help reduce the heating and cooling costs it takes to power a building, and also create a habitat for birds and insects. Additionally, green rooftops reduce the amount of contaminated runoff water that can collect in local sewer systems and waterways. Even major companies and organizations have taken notice and are beginning to implement similar environmental strategies. The Ford motor company installed a 450,000 square foot green rooftop on their new Dearborn Truck Plant. Recently studies have been preformed comparing green rooftops to conventional asphalt or concrete roofs and results show that temperatures on the green rooftops can be as much as 32 degrees lower than conventional black roofs. This proves that green rooftops could help reduce the “urban heat island effect,” which occurs when black top buildings absorb solar energy and radiate that energy in the form of heat.
Another sustainability initiative that is becoming increasingly popular in urban (as well as suburban) areas is the rain garden. Rain gardens are planted near areas of high storm water runoff. Instead of allowing the excess water to travel into the sewer, (which can cause backup and increased water contamination) water flows into strategically placed gardens, thereby reducing overflow problems. Currently in the District of Columbia, the department of Agriculture has been spearheading an initiative to increase the number of gardens that are sustained by the community, termed “people’s gardens.” Rain gardens are amongst the initiative along with community vegetable gardens where the produce is donated to local soup kitchens. They are also contemplating rooftop bee hives to aid in the pollination of the plants. In Portland, Oregon local policy makers are taking another approach and creating Green Streets. A number of city and suburban streets were identified as being excessively wide and creating too much run off water. In response to this problem, Portland officials created curbside gardens that allowed for the collection of street storm water. The gardens collect water at the surface and disperse it amongst the vegetation thus allowing for a gradual and natural water filtration process to occur.
While the public sector has started to take on green initiatives, private developers have also joined forces to implement change. Even though NYC is literally wall to wall with buildings, architects with a soft spot for the environment have been able to incorporate a green atmosphere in areas that many believe had no room left for design changes. On the West Side of Manhattan a new park built on the old High Line stands 30 feet above street level. Landscape architect firm, James Connor Field Operations, and Diller Scofidio + Renfro, worked with designer, Piet Oudolf, to create this elevated oasis. The architects were able to integrate vegetation into the existing structures left from the railroad to create a beautiful natural setting for locals and visitors.
On the lower end of Manhattan stands another structure, The Visionaire, which focuses on bringing New York to the forefront of green initiative. Designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, it stands as the greenest residential skyscraper in the US. The architects incorporated a highly insulated wall system with insulated glazing and low energy reflective coatings. They also overcame the lack of horizontal space that New York buildings are allotted by successfully creating a number of terraces using green rooftop techniques. The building boasts a wastewater recycling system where all tainted water is cleaned within the building using a membrane filtration system and is then reused in the buildings toilets, green rooftops and cooling towers. Lastly, the building uses solar panels, a natural gas powered turbine and byproduct heat recycling amongst other energy efficient, low impact building and utility strategies.
Cities across the nation are developing creative and effective solutions to our global sustainability problem. By creating and implementing a green infrastructure and building practices, urban and suburban communities can contribute to the overall “greening” of the planet.
I'd like to thank Ms. Brennar for that interesting and informative article.
As always ... I'd love to hear from you!
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Last week we challenged ourselves to plant something. Plants are marvelous ... they clean the air, provide beauty and food, they offer habitat to small critters ... and cultivating them can be as good as meditation or therapy. At my house, we plant everything in containers which then cover almost every inch of our apartment patio. I personally believe that herbs and vegetables are beautiful so ... no ornamentals in my "farm" ... just edibles. This year we decided to grow everything from seeds, some of which were collected from last year's harvest, rather than purchase plants from the local nursery. It is one more step towards sustainability. We planted heirloom tomatoes, peppers, beans, peas and all kinds of herbs. We also planted tamarind trees. We're keeping our fingers crossed for a ton of fresh produce this year.
Our Honor Society spent the week planting, as well. Let's check in with them:
Mrs. Green has been busy planting ... she's growing the usual vegetables and herbs ... but this year she's also growing something quite unique ... something which will help her with cleaning. Intrigued? I sure was ... read all about it HERE.
Kathleen joined us ... she just finished planting seeds for her family's first vegetable garden. Yay! I hope you'll come back, Kathleen, and update us on how your garden grows. By the way, if you enjoy contests and giveaways ... and interesting blogs, be sure to stop in at Kathleen's place ... lots of good stuff going on over there!
Argentum Vulgaris took the challenge. He's growing cayenne peppers and chuchu. Can you guess what chuchu is? Read his post HERE to find out. If you didn't know, AV is a chef ... so I'm anxious to see what he ends up doing with the chuchu.
Krys and the boys have been busy planting. In fact, they are already harvesting their produce. They have a spring garden where they grow greens, lettuce, broccoli and a few other treats ... and then they have a summer garden where they grow wonderful things like eggplant, cucumber, and okra. They even grow watermelon. Check out what they've already harvested HERE. And here's a tip ... if you're interested in vegan recipes and meal ideas, be sure to browse Two Vegan Boys ... I get hungry every time I visit!
Brian grew up in a family who always had a garden ... and it's in his blood. This year, in addition to planting vegetables, he's planting fruit trees. For those of you who know Brian, you are, no doubt, familiar with his brilliant writing ... he's a published author. On his blog, The New Author, he recently wrote about gardening. How does an article about gardening fit into a blog about writing? Read this POST to find out.
The Accessory Lady took the challenge and planted calendula seeds in pots on her windowsill. While she may only have a small space to plant, she appreciates nature and shares many of her "finds" with readers HERE.
Loving Kindness@Samsara dropped in ... always nice to see you Lian! If you've never been to Lian's site, I encourage you to visit ... it's a lovely, peaceful place with great, thought-provoking posts.
EcoGrrl has planted all kinds of things ... kiwi, corn, carrots, onions, spinach, lettuce, leeks (to name just a few). Want to see pictures of how her garden grows? Click HERE ... it's like a virtual tour of her yard!
Pacebutler stopped by and took the challenge. If you're interested in recycling, especially cell phone recycling, be sure to drop by his site for some great information.
KiraC joined us. She's relatively new to gardening but is giving it her best. She's going to plant a garden full of herbs and veggies and ... she and her son have scattered wild flower seeds around the front perimeter of their home. Oh .. I'll bet that is going to be beautiful! Nicely done, Kira!
Le-Chat just finished planting coriander seeds gathered from last year's harvest. If you are familiar with Le-Chat's blog, then you know that she is an expert at finding things, normally items destined for a landfill, which she then reuses ... often after a little creative re-engineering. That includes gardening supplies and even tulip bulbs. Scroll the posts HERE to see what I mean.
REWinn took the challenge. Always creative and inventive, REWinn is growing something quite unique. Here's a hint ... how does one Grow a Compost Pile? Find the answer and a very interesting idea HERE.
Wow ... wasn't that great? Our Honor Society never disappoints and always offers us so many variations on a theme. Thanks to everyone who participated!
Are you ready for a new challenge? Our very first challenge asked that we cut down showers to no more than 10 minutes. That challenge was quickly upped to no more than 2 minutes, which many of us accomplished. So this week we're going to return to showers and fine-tune our water use. Here it is:
This week, cut the number of showers you take in half. If you take a shower daily, try taking one every other day instead. Whatever the number of showers you take in a given week, cut it in half. Warning ... accepting this challenge may negatively affect any social functions or gatherings ... but will save water. :)
So what do you think? Are you up for the challenge?
As always I have Stumbled and Tweeted your articles. Information about our challenges, as well as a complete list of activities, can always be found HERE.
WE'RE CHANGING THE WORLD ... ONE CHALLENGE AT A TIME!
Monday, April 19, 2010
The Story of Stuff
Ok … on to the subject of reducing. Reducing refers to lessening the amount of items or resources that are consumed, using only the amount that is needed, and looking for alternatives that will lessen our use.
Here are some interesting facts: Even biodegradable items like food can hang around in garbage dumps for years. Trash is packed so tightly that it doesn't always get the necessary light, oxygen, and/or microorganisms it needs to decompose. Researchers have found 25-year-old corncobs and grapes, and 50-year-old newspapers that are still readable, in landfills.
While our trash situation is a big concern, reducing isn’t all about the landfill. It’s also about not having so much stuff to begin with … stuff that takes natural resources to create. Most of us consume as though there is no end to our resources. But the truth is that our resources … things like water, gas, trees, food, minerals and metals … are either finite or being used so fast that it is impossible to keep up with the demand. Someday we’re going to run out. And that could mean the end of … us. We can run headlong into running out and see what happens (nothing good, I’m sure) or we can start limiting our consumption … and consuming smarter … so that what we have will last a lot longer.
So how do we do that? Reduce! Reduce everything from our energy, water and gas consumption … to our purchases … to what we eat. Consider whether or not a purchase is really necessary … or is it just more stuff. When a purchase is made, consider the packaging and opt for bulk materials whenever possible. Purchase durable, long-lasting goods. Think about sustainability. Here’s a simple example: if we eat just one fish today, we allow the others to reproduce … providing us with fish for another day (that’s sustainability). If we eat all the fish today, however … we have none for tomorrow (that’s extinction).
Starting today, take a look at everything you use … and use less of it.
Watch for Part 2 of this series (Reusing) in an upcoming post.
As always, I would love to hear your ideas for reducing, reusing and recycling. Just click on the comments link, located at the bottom of each post, and let me know what you think and how you conserve.
Friday, April 16, 2010
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
In the fall we challenged ourselves to plant something ... something which would benefit by the cooler temperatures and, in most cases, the increased rainfall. Now that it's spring, we're going to focus on planting for the warmer months.
This week, plant something. This can be as large as a vegetable garden or landscaping a yard ... or as small as planting an herb garden in a container for your window. You can plant by seeds ... or transplant something from your local garden shop. The idea, here, is simply to plant something.
If you've already been busy planting, we'd like to hear about it. So, please write a post about your planting adventures and include why it's good for the earth.
Last week we used a carbon calculator to measure ways in which we could reduce our footprint. What I found most interesting about it was how very small actions had the power to reduce our carbon footprint in a big way. Let's see how our Honor Society did with it:
EcoGrrl pointed out that the carbon calculator makes assumptions that don't fit everyone. She's already ahead of the game by not having a car, A/C or a printer. She also suggested that we try carbonfootprint.com for a more in-depth calculator which should cover more options and situations. Thanks, EcoGrrl!
Two Vegan Boys joined our challenge (and thanks, so much, TVB for the mention in this POST). Krys and the boys are doing a lot to reduce their carbon footprint including using cold water to wash clothes, showering every other day and making use of natural light.
Waterwaif dropped in. From a previous challenge she shared that she and her family have cut out all white and enriched breads, flours and pastas and only eat whole grain varieties. They've also been enjoying raw veggie salads.
Argentum Vulgaris doesn't have a car, a dishwasher or air conditioner ... he also doesn't use paper. He saved $289.00/year and 850 lbs. of CO2/year. Yay! He also confessed that on the previous challenge, he didn't end up eating wholemeal bread for a week. It's okay, AV ... there's always another day (we could never hate you)!
Ange said that her husband loves these kinds of things and that he would probably be going through their home, evaluating everything. Since Ange and her family don't have a microwave, air conditioner or clothes dryer, she thinks that the car will be her best bet at reducing her carbon footprint.
Mrs. Green joined our challenge. She has a car, uses paper and uses a shower ... but the one change she is making can be found in this POST. Not only did she take the challenge but she did a little investigative work to find out why this particular activity is beneficial and safe.
Emmie from Bloomin Lilacs didn't have much to calculate but, from our whole foods challenge she made natural pomegranate/raspberry tea. Mmm ... that sounds wonderful! Would you, perhaps, like to share your recipe, Emmie?
Great job everyone! Don't forget ... I Stumble and Tweet your articles, as well as link to them here so ... write something up and leave a comment with the link address. It's my way of saying ... Thanks For Participating!
WE'RE CHANGING THE WORLD ... ONE CHALLENGE AT A TIME!
Monday, April 12, 2010
The other day, while walking along the river, I came to an area where Daffodils were blooming. They were beautiful! On the ground around them, Dandelions were also blooming. The affect was stunning ... masses of bright yellow Daffodils above a carpet of bright yellow Dandelions.
A little later on my walk, I came upon lovely blue, purple and white flowers ... growing wild. The plants were healthy and thriving.
Returning to our apartment complex, landscapers were out in force ... spraying chemicals on the lawn, riding gas powered mowers, cutting down trees and creating the perfectly manicured lawn. I thought ... what's wrong with this picture? We destroy beautiful plants (weeds) which grow without any care or maintenance and replace them with inefficient landscapes which require watering, fertilizing and a lot of care. Seems backwards, doesn't it?
Beautiful lawns and exotic plants are lovely but they aren't environmentally efficient. Here are a few reasons why:
- Lawns are only able to absorb about 1/10 rainfall ... the rest is runoff.
- The shallow root systems of grass are not able to stabilize the soil resulting in erosion.
- Pesticide use, to keep those lawns green and perfect, kills beneficial insects and birds.
- Some exotic, non-native plants invade an area, killing native vegetation (think Kudzo and Japanese Barberry).
- Lawns and exotic plants require up to 60% more water than native plants and typically don't survive droughts.
So, does that mean we can't have lovely, efficient yards? Not at all! Here are a few ideas:
Choose native plants for your landscaping. They are hardier than exotic plants and will require less water, fertilizer and care.
Consider deciduous trees. They not only offer shade and beauty to a yard, they can also offer shade to your home. That, in turn, will cut down on cooling costs in the summer. In the fall, when they loose their leaves, the barren branches will offer variety and interest to the yard as well as allow sunlight to heat your home.
Rather than planting a lawn, consider installing a woodland or use wild flowers to create a lovely meadow effect.
With a little thought and planning, our yards can be beautiful and "Green".
As always ... I would love to hear from you.
Friday, April 9, 2010
In northern Florida, in a favorite park, we once found beautiful carnivorous plants growing wild ... Pitcher plants (pictured), Venus Flytrap, and my favorite ... the small Sundew. It's illegal to take these plants ... their numbers have declined because of habitat loss and illegal poaching. They are also susceptible to pollution.
In a recent Scientific American article, I learned that carnivorous plants are on the decline for another reason ... the insects which they "eat" are contaminated with cadmium ... and the cadmium is killing the plants.
Cadmium is a metal and occurs naturally, in small quantities, in soil, water and air. As a metal, it doesn't break down and can accumulate over time. It's the build-up of cadmium that can be a problem ... in humans it can cause lung and kidney disease and make one's bones weak. In plants it appears to prevent growth, preventing any new shoots from developing.
So, how do the insects become contaminated? Cadmium is released into the environment through the burning of fuel, making and using phosphate fertilizers, mining and metal processing operations, and disposing of metal products. When we burn fuel, cadmium is released into the air and eventually settles to the ground as a dust. Phosphate fertilizers contain cadmium which is transferred to plants through the soil. Through mining and metal processing, it is released into both air and water ... and disposing of products containing cadmium (some rechargeable batteries, paints, plastics, Ceramic ware, etc.) causes air, water and soil contamination. Once it gets into the environment, insects ingest it.
And that brings us back to the carnivorous plants.
It may seem like a small thing ... many people have never even seen a carnivorous plant. But as I've said before, what happens to us when plants and animals become extinct? And if plants, out in nature, are showing a build-up of a metal like cadmium, how long will it be before we are suffering the affects of cadmium contamination?
The struggling plant population is another wake-up that our actions have consequences. When we are next tempted to just toss a recyclable battery into the garbage or burn household waste ... when we feel like driving long distances or fertilizing our yards ... let us remember the plight of the carnivorous plant and remember that our actions matter.
As always ... I would love to hear from you!
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Let's see how our Honor Society did:
EcoGrrl took the challenge for 2 out of 3 meals a day for a week. She asked if cheese and pasta were considered "whole" and yes, they can be. Look for organic varieties of cheese and pasta made from whole grains (which should be the very first ingredient).
Mrs. Green took the challenge. In her post, which you can read HERE, she reviews the foods she ate the day before and considers where she could make changes. Mmm ... the avocado with vegetables made my mouth water.
Argentum Vulgaris joined us. In this POST, he talks about getting fresh milk directly from the farm and agreed to eat whole grain bread instead of white. How did it go, AV ... did you miss white bread?
The Accessory Lady dropped in. Hopefully she'll be sharing her whole food recipe with us. From our previous challenge to observe Earth Hour, she offered this POST. Be sure to check it out ... she combines her wonderful photography with an Eco-friendly activity.
Waterwaif stopped by ... nice to "see" you!
Ange took the challenge. But I have to say that she and her family are already doing a fabulous job ... most everything they eat, on a regular basis, is made from scratch and consists of whole foods. They even get their olive oil from a friend's farm.
Two Vegan Boys joined us. She and her family are already way ahead of most people ... when her husband opened their pantry he commented about how he loved finding NO processed foods on the shelf. By the way, if you're looking for great whole foods ideas, be sure to check out her blog ... makes me hungry every time I visit.
Millenniumhealth took the challenge and posted this delicious, whole foods recipe: Curry Bean Soup. I'm definitely trying this one! Thanks, MH, for sharing it with us!
As always our Honor Society did a great job ... and proved, once again, that walking gently on the earth can be fun and easy!
Okay ... new challenge. Are you ready? Here it is:
This week, please visit "Stop Global Warming" and use their Carbon Calculator. Then, choose at least one activity, improve it, and at the end of the week use the Carbon Calculator again to measure the improvement. This challenge is all about awareness! Be sure to come back here and tell us what changes you made to improve your score.
I've Stumbled and Tweeted your posts and, as always, you can find more information about these challenges, including tips and ideas, HERE.
the more people participating, the greater impact we'll have.
WE'RE CHANGING THE WORLD ... ONE CHALLENGE AT A TIME!
Monday, April 5, 2010
By Simon Marshland
Where fly our bees and butterflies
Where nest our birds of song
Who cares if our last meadow dies
Who bothers what’s gone wrong
What selfish careless things we’ve done
How deep should be our shame
Cupidity and greed have won
Base urge of the inane
This land is ours but ours on trust
Not ours to mar despoil
Ten million years turned back to dust
Two thousands wasted toil
There is still time but only just
Still time to mend our ways
And together with concerted thrust
Reverse this trend that slays
Aid the miracle of rebirth
For the children yet unborn
To shape a fresh and new Earth
With a living breathing dawn
For more from Simon Marshland, please visit his site "Simon Says".
For more information on writing, please visit "The New Author".
And as always ... I'd love to hear from you!
Friday, April 2, 2010
This month's recipe comes from my bloggy friend Tracy from Strawberry Hedgehog. I first got to know Tracy through her vegan soaps ~ seriously luxurious bars of pure decadence. Reading her blog, I've learned about the benefits of Shea butter, how certain essential oils have healing properties and ... received wonderful vegan recipes.
This recipe would be perfect for an Easter brunch or a special breakfast for Mom on "Mother's Day" ... or, just anytime that a delicious treat is in order. A big thanks to Tracy for graciously sharing it with us! I hope you and your family enjoy it!
TART LEMON-BLUEBERRY MUFFINS by Strawberry Hedgehog
2 cups unbleached flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup almond milk
1/2 cup canola oil
juice of one large lemon
zest of one large lemon
1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 tbsp almond extract
1 cup frozen blueberries
turbinado sugar for garnish
Preheat oven to 375 and lightly oil a muffin tin. Whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Make a well in the center and mix with almond milk, water, oil, juice, and zest. Fold in frozen blueberries. Fill the muffin tins half way, sprinkle with turbinado sugar and bake for 20-25 minutes. (Large muffin tins will take the full 25 minutes or a little longer, if you opt for fresh berries, check them earlier). Allow them to cool before attempting to remove (I usually cheat and pop the entire muffin tin in the freezer for a few minutes so they’re easier to handle and remove.. yes, I am that impatient when there are yummy goodies involved).