Sunday, December 27, 2009

Sun and Warm Weather is where its AT!

Last Sunday this happened in my hometown:


Now I’m enjoying the lovely weather in the southern California desert! It’s close to fifty degrees warmer here than it is at home. I feel for everyone back there but Christmas in Cali is a very nice change. Not to mention we have been having an amazing time with Matt’s family which is a rare change from our usual as my family is the one centrally located in Boston.

We do miss our nephews and Matt’s sister and BIL of course but seeing an entirely different side of the family has been fun. FIL and Step-MIL plus Matt’s Aunt, Uncle and two cousins are here and we rarely see any of them so we’re making the most of the fun together!

My sister is also driving out from Arizona today (hooray!!!) and it will be fantastic to spend some time with her this Christmas as well.

If I’m a little spotty this week I apologize but I fully intend to enjoy this vacation of warmth on the other coast so I can soak up as much as possible before heading back to the likes of the photo above.

But don’t forget to swing back over after the New Year to read about the Green Gift Guide and giveaways!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Eco Fashion Friday Featured Website Rusty Zipper

Short and sweet today folks because its time to go get my Christmas on but I thought everyone could appreciate this website because they have taken Vintage to an excellent extreme! I highly suggest grabbing a warm cup of cocoa, some blue eye liner and a can of the strongest hairspray you can locate while you peruse through the selection of Christmas sweaters from the 1980’s. Oh yes, appliqués, fuzzy collars, plaid and huge gold buttons abound!

They don’t just have Christmas sweaters though, check out Rusty Zipper for all your Vintage shopping needs from men’s hippie clothes to women’s suits to sew it yourself patterns for both sexes and just about everything in between. Their prices are reasonable and the photos are clear enough to get a great idea of the item for sale. Their selection is wide and varied and I plan to spend a bit of time checking out the whole site tomorrow.

But for today…Enjoy your day and for those who are celebrating today along with me, Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Fabulous and Frugal

Let’s face it, most of us have cut back on buying outrageously over priced merchandise at the drop of a hat in recent years. Then again, some of us never went that route to begin with but even still, we did like to shop. So what is a girl to do in the midst of a recession? Why we get creative by getting frugal!

I was introduced to the Fabulous & Frugal website via Facebook by a mutual friend and let me tell you, these gals have got the right idea -- their tag line reads “A Girl’s Guide to Living Well and Spending Wisely” Nice!

With tips on everything from how to live frugally in some of the most expensive cities across the United States (think San Diego!) to making home made gifts that will not only get use but are sure to impress, the site provides an insane amount of information for how to cut back without anyone ever being the wiser.

One of their recent articles was with regard for giving cost effective gifts to all of those people you really aren’t sure what to do something for like bosses, co workers, hostesses and neighbors. I fell in love with this article and began considering using their ideas immediately.

The holidays are not just limited to Christmas of course, there are always birthdays, Mom & Dad’s Day, Anniversaries, Valentine’s Day and more throughout the year and I am always on the lookout for ways to keep costs low, but personalization high, for gifts on these occasions as well.

So basically I wanted to give a shout to Stephanie Berenbaum and Brandi Savitt over at Fab & Fru because you have saved me very likely hundreds of dollars over the next year and sparked my own creativity where gift giving is concerned, so thanks ladies!

And speaking of gift giving & being Green…stay tuned just after the New Year for your guide to some of the most amazing gifts to give in 2010, as well as a giveaway of a whole slew of those very same items! A giveaway, talk about being frugal -- free and won items are the best yet!

If you are on Facebook you can find the ladies at Fab & Fru over there as well, just click on their logo to go direct and become a fan today!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Thanking the Troops

In keeping with yesterday’s theme of awesomeness and Monday’s message to be grateful, this is the perfect day to thank our troops for all the work they do toward ensuring our freedom in this country. I recently came across a website called Let’s Say Thanks and it definitely falls into the awesomeness category!

The program is sponsored by Xerox and it is so easy to send a postcard of support.

First, choose the design you like best. All of the colorful and inspiring postcard designs were created by children across the United States.

Next, personalize it with a message or select from the pre-written messages of thanks right there on the site.

Hit ‘Submit’.

Yes that’s it! It is free and so easy to tell out military service men and women how much we appreciate what they do and at this time of year when they can not be home to enjoy the holidays with their families it is vital to show how much we care.

I encourage everyone to pop on over to the Let’s Say Thanks website and take a minute to send a message today! Mine has been sent, I used the postcard above, as designed by Austin, in Upper Saddle River, NJ. Thanks Austin, and thanks to our troops! Get home safe and soon!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Awesomeness Defined

Well I finally did it this morning, I Googled ‘awesomeness’ and you want to know what I discovered? There is a whole lot out there on this one little word!

First of all Urban Dictionary defines awesomeness as:
An unmeasurable amount of awesomenimity something can produce.

Wow! That seems above and beyond the best ever right? And that was just one of the definitions. The general rule of thumb seems to be that awesomeness is something way beyond the standard level of awesome.

Next I discovered that there is an entire website dedicated to nothing but awesomeness -- Score! Well I’m not exactly sure where the 585 area code is but if you live there you can have Awesomeness come on over and hook up your computer network. Not only that but they will service or repair it too.

Scrolling down I discovered that you can actually buy awesomeness from Well that didn’t exactly surprise me considering they have everything else for sale over there but then again, isn’t awesomeness a state of mind? I had to explore further. Turns out awesomeness is a tag that users can attach to products on Amazon. Some of the things people considered for the awesomeness category include: a T-shirt with a great white on it, Stanley heavy duty utility knife blades, organic celery seeds, Living Life As A Thank You book, the Planet Dog Cozy Hemp Adjustable Harness and so many other items I could never list them all. If you’re looking for products that are even better than awesome head on over to Amazon and check it out.

Going back to Google I also found out that I can listen to awesomeness. Over at people listen to their favorite grooves and rate them in categories including awesomeness. Curious what some people think of in this way? How about NOFX, Radiohead, Michael Bublé, Beats Antique, The Appleseed Cast, Alice In Wonderland, Skye, DJ Bitman and Paramore not to mention a whole bunch of others. Not sure who any of those acts are? Well lets you find out!

I was also amazed to learn that awesomeness is available to watch, read, join and most importantly read about. For example, Harvard Business Review has an entire post dedicated to what awesomeness means to businesses everywhere entitled The Awesomeness Manifesto.

And all of this was only on the first page of the search! Whew!

I guess what it all comes down to is that awesomeness is everywhere, we just have to be open to recognizing it even if it isn’t defined as such.

What is your personal awesomeness?

Monday, December 21, 2009

Things That Make Me Feel Light

Happy Solstice everyone! Today, in about 20 minutes from when I started writing this post, at 12:47 the light here in Boston will be a mere 9 hours long; six less than what we’ll see in six months on the Summer Solstice. The good news about that is at 12:48 the sun starts making its way back here for longer and warmer days ahead.

In the spirit of the returning light I thought today would be a fantastic day to share my lightness list -- thinks I’m thankful for, happy for or just enjoy in general.

It starts with this photo of a sunset I took down my street in July of last year. It was one of the warmest days and nights of the summer and the sky was a blazing red as the sun dropped out of sight. Even in the city, there is nothing quite like a great sunset!

A cozy hug.
My nephews smiling faces.
Warm meals with warm company.
Music that punctuates an occasion perfectly.
Water -- to drink, swim in, bathe in, etc.
Reading the perfect line then realizing I wrote it.
Reading the perfect line that someone else wrote.
A well placed saxophone or keyboard solo.
Inside jokes with Matt.
Home made hot chocolate on the stovetop.
A really well made pesto.
Cheezy 80’s pop songs.
Road trips and travel to warm places.
Conversations with my sister.
Spending time with family and friends.

What lights you up during these cold winter months?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Silly Sunday Fun

Good morning friends! Snowing like mad here in Boston, Massachusetts and I am planning to just relax with some tea and my manuscript all day so I can stay warm and cozy indoors. But I couldn’t very well leave everyone hanging with nothing on this fine Sunday morning now could I?

I received the following message from quite a few people and it is definitely something to consider, especially today in the northeast quadrant of the United States. I think after our storm is over there will be a whole lot more joining this cause.

Hundreds are gathered to discuss climate change and fight back against global warming!

Wherever your travels take you today I hope that you have a nice laugh, smile and think Green!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Eco Fashion Friday Feature: Baby Its COLD Outside!

Good morning readers! As I write this in my semi-warm home office (temp set at 64 during the day to conserve) it is only twenty two degrees outside. Of course with a thirteen mile per hour wind speed, what we call the wind chill, brings the temperature into single digits. Holy crow that’s cold!

New England in December tends to usually hover in the 30’s - 40’s during the day but this is extreme temperatures even for late winter like February. Brrr!

Because I write from home and do not want to crank the heat (so I can not only save those precious natural resources but a little bit of cash in my wallet as well), I thought it would be fitting to do a nice feature on some of the Green items that could keep me warm and toasty during extreme situations like this!

Fingerless gloves -- Nothing beats this item for a person who types all the time. They keep the majority of the hand warm while the fingers are still free to bang away on the keyboard. I found this pair from Etsy seller AnnyMay made out of renewable bamboo fiber. Very chic!

Shawl -- Again, something bulky like a blanket with sleeves is not always practical. Sure they are lovely while on the sofa relaxing but during the day when I just have a slight chill and want something warm on my shoulders I’d rather reach for this organic cotton shawl from Enuwbe. The piece can be used all year long -- use it as a belt around a sleeveless sundress in summer & when the temps drop at night it’s a cozy little shawl again.

Hat -- What was that statistic our moms used to tell us? Something about losing 40% of our body heat through our heads? Well I don’t know if the number was that high or not but when I wear a hat, I do feel warmer. This braided wool hat from quarks would certainly help retain the heat through use of natural fabrics, and the vintage flowers just give it a cutsie touch the UPS delivery man can appreciate.

Warm & cozy socks -- You can ask Matt, even when it is in the seventies out my hands, nose and feet are perpetually cold so its no surprise that I am drawn to wool booties. These versatile slipper socks are made by OfftheHooks and are constructed from what once was a sweater. They suggest wearing a pair of socks under them for added warmth. Now we’re talking!

Warm and comfy sweats -- I admit it, most of my indoor wardrobe consists of sweatpants and hoodies. Don’t put me on that TLC show though, it generally isn’t what I wear out. But these eco-fabric pants by branchhandmade in organic cotton/recycled poly/natural rayon are so cute I might be tempted to do so! Or maybe I’ll just wear them in my chair next to the window; since they’re available in black they can soak up all the passive solar rays of the sun.

How are you staying warm this winter?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Earth FM Broadcasting Live to Our World Leaders

As many of you know our world’s leaders are in Copenhagen right now to discuss climate issues, such as global warming and what role they play in making changes to our world, at the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference.

This morning I received an email from the folks at encouraging us all to add our own voice by recording our message for change at their broadcast station, Earth FM.

Here’s the content of the email:

On December 16 world leaders are meeting in Copenhagen for the COP15 Climate Summit, where critical decisions will be made on taking action against global warming. We need to make sure world leaders Vote Earth.

You can record a message which will be broadcast to world leaders on Earth FM at the COP15 Summit. It’s about making our voice heard as one people, because it’s not about what country you’re from, it’s about what planet you’re from.

A special Earth Hour event, Earth Hour Copenhagen, will take place at 7pm CET on December 16, uniting the people of Copenhagen for an hour of darkness. The culmination of this event will be UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon accepting the 'People's Orb', symbol of the collective will of our planet.

So get on over to Earth FM now to record your message of encouragement to the leaders for change! The messages are going to be played tonight so there is still plenty of time.

A little voice shy? Not a problem! Just head on over to the Earth Hour homepage and click the huge ‘I VOTE EARTH’ button smack dab in the middle of the screen. There is a short form to fill out and your vote will be added to the hundreds of millions of others who have already raised their hand and said they stand behind making our planet a better place to inhabit.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Cleanest Car Argument

This morning I was perusing Yahoo and came across a video released by Reuters that explains how Toyota, based out of Japan, is going to start introducing a plug in version of a Hybrid car within the next two years. I remember the old days of plug in vehicles and although they were cool I can’t help but think what the environmental impact of something like this might be, something that is purporting to help might just be hurting as well.

Before I go much further, please watch this video, it is only a minute and a half and will give more information as to the plans Toyota has. Its okay, I’ll wait.

Now that seems great right? Sure it does! Mass volume of Hybrids that run on charged batteries at affordable prices is a great idea! Especially considering they are going to start by introducing these vehicles into the market through local governmental officials being the first to test drive them.

But here in lies the potential snag. The manufacture of more batteries (the reason for the two year wait period) plus the fact that they are running off of electricity means the initial environmental impact is going to be up there. Also, until the system is proven to work and hold up for a bundle of years how do we know what will happen to all of those batteries?

Now don’t get me wrong, I feel that if the user has an alternative energy system at their charging location to provide the required electricity, this is certainly a far superior alternative to an emission releasing, standard fossil fuel vehicle. I am just concerned that the bigger picture is not being addressed as to the emissions released during manufacture and the use of those same fossil fuels to provide the electricity that in turn powers the vehicle.

If one must drive a vehicle, a Hybrid is a smarter alternative, but I wonder if we can all consider different ways to get around such as walking, biking, public transportation or carpooling?

How do you travel? Where could you place greater emphasis on reducing your carbon footprint?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

You Are Awesome, So Smile! And get Validation

My Mom posted this Friday night and I am still smiling after watching it. I highly recommend taking the fifteen minutes to check out this digital short starring TJ Thyne (many of you will know him from his work on Bones). The message couldn’t be clearer so get out and spread the word all over the place, tell everyone you know today how awesome they are and make someone smile!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Eco Fashion Friday Featured Designer The Hempest

This morning I was doing research into what this week’s Eco Fashion Friday feature could be so I put the question out to some friends and one simply said ‘Hemp clothing’. It occurred to me this is one area we haven’t covered very generously over here at GLR as primarily bamboo or organic cotton seems to be the fabric of choice for most eco conscious designers. So while researching clothing made from hemp I came across The Hempest and was so impressed I may just pick up some of their cozy looking fashions for gifts in the near future!

The Hempest, founded in 1995, provides environmentally sound fashion choices made from organic hemp for both men and women. In addition to their cool clothing they also provide a line of body care, accessories like purses and fedoras and even hiking shoes (not to mention books, hacky sacks, lip balm journals and other fun stuff)! For the more adventurous types they even sell their own spun yarn so you can make your very own hemp statements.

The one drawback of the clothing is that it is pretty pricey for the average consumer considering many of the pieces are hemp/cotton or hemp/bamboo blends. The sweater in the photo above is 45% cotton (not noted if it is organic) and listed at $98.00, the fedora at $45.00. Although it is important to point out the tensile strength of hemp fabric so these items are definitely going to last when they are cared for correctly, making it an overall great investment.

I like the colors and styles available as they resemble more mainstream fashions but make use of an unconventional material such as hemp. Additionally, other than the one brick & mortar location in Vermont, all three of their other locations are right here in Massachusetts! Because of their commitment to using rapidly renewable resources such as hemp, cotton and bamboo I am granting a Four Leaf Rating to The Hempest!

Nice job bringing this environmentally responsible fabric choice into the mainstream consciousness Hempest. You might just see me in your Harvard Square location one of these days!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Organic Tailgate Goodies from Atlanta Falcons Fullback Ovie Mughelli

Good morning readers! Tis the season to start thinking about what we will create to wow and impress the taste buds of our friends and family, those dishes that will have them asking ‘can I get that recipe?’ and us responding with a sly smile and a wink of the eye as we protect our secret concoctions! Well maybe not all of us are so protective. One Greenie is fully willing to share his organic recipe, Ovie Mughelli.

We have talked before about Ovie and his amazing contributions to the youth of America through his Ovie Mughelli Foundation, as well as his strong eye on the planet. This is something that is rare in the world of football players, rare in the sense that it is infrequently discussed among the pigskin and gridiron talk but it is nice to see at least one player speaking out to share his love of the planet!

In an effort to reach a wide audience on all things Green, Ovie has decided to share his own recipe for Organic Chili with Charleston Spice. Not only will this be a yummy indoor winter meal, but all of you tailgaters can truly warm up by partaking in a bowl of this delicious chili! Here’s the recipe:

One 16 oz can each - black beans, pinto beans, kidney beans (organic)
1 lb pkg fresh organic whole kernel corn
3 plum tomatos, diced
1-2 lbs free range organic boneless, skinless chicken (or substitute as desired)
Two 16 oz cans organic diced stewed tomatos
2 T olive oil

Charleston Spice:
4 T chili powder
2 t cumin
½ t turmeric
1-1/2 t cocoa powder (unsweetened)
1 T sea salt
1 T minced garlic
1 t granulated garlic powder
½ t coarse ground black pepper

Dice chicken into ½ inch cubes and lightly season with salt and pepper.
Sautee in olive oil and minced garlic until brown, remove from pan.
In a stock pot bring beans, tomato and corn to a slow simmer.
Add Charleston Spice, simmer 5-10 minutes.
Add cooked chicken.
Let sit on low heat about ten minutes.
Remove and enjoy with organic cheese or sour cream.
Serves 8.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Innovations for Our Feline Friends from Yesterday’s News

In the past here at GLR we have discussed ways we can provide more environmentally friendly experiences for our pets. There are dog collars made from recycled materials, hand made organic catnip pouches and even toys created from found materials but what about that most important thing of all -- cat litter**.

Since training a cat to use and flush a toilet is fantasy better left to the movies, most indoor cat owners will still be using a littler box of some variety. There are self cleaning boxes that offer the ultimate in hands off convenience to a cat owner. The cat does their business, the box senses when a cat has vacated the box, an electronic arm scoops up the clump and deposits it into a container which has a cover and can be removed to throw away without ever coming near the litter. Sounds great and all but they do utilize electricity and the throw away containers are made from none other than PET based plastic.

Another option for the majority of cat lovers is the standard litter box. Literally this is a big plastic tub that the litter is placed into where the cat can do its thing. Later the owner comes back with a little shovel to scoop out the clumps and toss them away. The majority of litter on the market today is made from clay, this is why it clumps when exposed to liquid and allowed to dry. (Other styles include wood, paper or even sometimes straw)

Clay is definitely a natural based material but new clay must be sourced for each box of litter. Well Purina thought this seemed wasteful and they have created a litter called Yesterday’s News. The litter is created from 100% recycled newspapers and the Softer Texture version (recommended for cats) is purported to feel more like the standard clay type!

Some of the cool features of this litter include -- 99.7% dust free, up to 3 times more absorbent than clay, non-toxic, low tracking and Veterinarian recommended. Not to mention the obvious benefit of using a recycled paper product instead of a newly created material.

It is said to absorb liquid from the bottom and the pellets will expand once all of the liquid has been retained. It is recommended to wait a few minutes for the paper to fully expand before scooping. The product is said to be tough on odor as well as it should absorb most if not all associated smelliness.

I don’t have a cat so I haven’t been able to try this yet but if any of you awesome readers do have a cat and check it out, please report back and let us know your first hand experience on its functional and financial viability as compared to the standard clay types on the market. Before you shop, be sure to go online and claim the $1.50 coupon.

** Yesterday’s News also comes in brands specifically designed for rabbits, ferrets and small bedding animals (gerbils, hamsters, mice, etc)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Helix Wind Creates Sculptural Wind Catching Turbines

One of the most important ways we can fight against rising costs for fossil fuels and conserve these resources is to source alternative energy solutions such as solar, hydro, or even wind. Most people are familiar with the look of a typical wind turbine -- very impressive up close (mostly due to sheer size of the blades) but from a distance they look just like any other windmill. But that was all before the inventors of San Diego based Helix Wind hit the scene!

With turbines for all manners of smaller scale installation, from residential to commercial, agricultural to industrial and everything in between, these folks really know their wind! Their vertical axis turbine system is proven to capture from 300W to 50kW of energy, and because they are mounted up to 35 feet high and make use of Savonius turbines (vertical) that take up a diameter of only 4 feet, they will generate electricity in winds as low as 10 miles per hour.

They offer so much information on their website as to the viability of a system like this for the everyday consumer that I could never begin to share it all! Suffice to say though this is a more viable option than most. Because there are no blades to spin, only scoops to turn, the profile of necessary space required is much smaller than an everyday style turbine. These are personal systems and generally speaking, one turbine would be sufficient for a home’s supplemental power. Plus with up to a 30% tax credit it is a smart investment for homeowners.

Pricing is not listed on the company website but one of the most innovative things I could find about the company is their desire to utilize already existing structures to provide the energy. For example, cell phone towers are littered all over the highways and on top of buildings. A Helix Wind turbine could easily be retro fit on top and help offset the energy required to run the tower itself. Cool! The first two will be tested in southern California in 2010.

So if you’re thinking about installing alternative energy but are limited on space, Helix Wind could be just the innovation you are looking for!

Friday, December 4, 2009

‘Tis the Season for Sharing and Caring

Welcome back to Eco Fashion Friday loyal readers! This week I have a nice idea for all of you regarding some of our old fashions becoming a new piece for those in need.

Twice a year I sort through my wardrobe to swap over clothing for the seasons so a couple days ago I finally admitted that my flip flops and tank tops should probably be packed away and replaced by sweaters and winter accessories. Here in New England it is vital to have clothing that accommodates for every conceivable type of weather -- temperatures from below zero to over 100 degrees, snow, rain, sun, clouds, wind and any combination of those above.

With those sub zero temperatures on their way, the most important piece is a winter coat. I just recently purchased a new one as my old jacket had never been functional for me. The arms fit but my shoulders are quite a small frame so the jacket would slide backwards and it was uncomfortable. But because I am a gal who firmly believes that saving money is a virtue, I have worn this jacket for the past ten years anyway.

It is still in perfect shape, seeing as though there are not too many days below 20, so I had considered donating it to the Goodwill, until last night. While watching television I saw a commercial for the Burlington Coat Factory Coat Drive and knew just what to do with this jacket!

Together with One Warm Coat, this is the third year that the national chain will be receiving gently worn coats to help cover those who are greatly in need. Last year they received just over 177,000 coats and they hope to top that number this year. With donation stations at every customer service desk it is easy to donate.

Best of all, they will give a 10% off coupon to anyone donating so if you’re in the market for a new coat yourself and already planning to purchase one why not consider doing so at Burlington Coat Factory this season?

Those in need will be truly grateful for the donation and you save a little money in the process. Now that is what the holiday spirit is all about!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Yes, but why?

Hey there, fans of the environment and Jenn. Melissa here. I know, I know, here I am butting in just as Jenn gets back from her literary adventures, but I've been backburnering this review for weeks just because it's been a crazy month, and she's been asking, so here it is.

A couple of months ago, Jenn asked me to check out Guiding Light for your Mailbox, a product so tough to explain that the manufacturer, Sharpe Products, Inc., doesn't seem to be able to give it a blurb of less than 10 words. Their attempt: "The ultimate in night time home identification -- when seconds matter."

Actually, it's a mailbox "saddle" -- designed to sit on top of mailboxes -- with backlit house numbers, so emergency responders will immediately be able to ID your home from the mailbox, should the need arise.

"But what's the green angle?" you say? Well, the backlighting for the house numbers is solar powered. Four hours of sunlight charge three C-size rechargeable batteries to provide the illumination.

Does it work? I'm pretty sure you could see my house numbers from space, so yes, in that sense, it does work. There are some limitations. It only works for standard size, upside-down U shaped boxes that do not already have some sort of decorative housing on them (my box has a housing, so I was unable to fully screw the saddle down as intended -- fortunately we didn't have any gale force winds while I was testing it!).

Second, I live in a neighborhood where the post office has decreed that all mailboxes be on one side of the street, which means mine is paired with my across-the-street neighbor's. My box is on the "inside" as you drive down our street -- so emergency responders would have a great view of my box if they were stopped directly in front of it, but would have a hard time seeing it through my neighbor's box. I'm sure the company could find a workaround (like numbers for the front of the box), but....

One bigger question remains. Why? Why does this product need to exist? Adhesive reflective numbers that go on mailboxes or houses themselves have been around for ages, and they're plenty easy to see. And sure, it's solar powered, but why does the world need big plastic mailbox saddles, and all the chemicals inherent in their manufacturing process, not to mention the petroleum and carbon emissions from shipping them? And what happens to those saddles and batteries when they wear out?

Maybe there's something special about how Sharpe makes these that the company didn't bother to share in the packaging (ack, another environmental cost!), but even if there is, is it so necessary that it's worth all those considerations? I just can't see how. Just in case I'm missing something, I'll give Guiding Light for your Mailbox two leaves.

Subtract a half leaf, at least, if these are produced and shipped in your standard not-particularly-environmentally-friendly methods. My final thought for today (at least for GLR): Life cycle, life cycle, life cycle!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Getting Back in the Groove by Giving

Good morning everyone! What a refreshing day it is, December first snuck up so quickly it surprised even me but I managed to complete the novel with a count total of 58,134 words. Yippie! What a fun time too! Now it is on to NaNoEdMo -- National Novel EDITING Month -- for me as I intend to complete my three or so rounds of edits during December and January and have this project of mine ready for publishing by February 2010.

But editing without a deadline means I can come back and keep up with all things Green again, hooray! I missed the research, reading and innovation available in this sector.

To get the ball rolling again I have started clicking to give.

A couple weeks ago my Mom sent me a link to the Animal Rescue Site. At the top of the page there is a big purple button that reads “Click here to give - it’s FREE”. I had forgotten about this website as it was something I used to do as part of my daily routine -- read email, click to donate.

There are six causes in total that are associated with the click to give movement:

Animal Rescue
Breast Cancer
Child Health

The sponsors of the website place advertising and donate based on the free clicks. Each page shares stories of how the sponsors were able to share through just a click of a button. The stories are also fascinating to read through, it is nice to hear how the simple click of a button can provide so much for so many. Our world is truly a fascinating place!

I strongly encourage everyone to click today (and everyday!) to help provide resources toward these very important causes. It only takes a second to click.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Putting My Mouth to Work and Getting Paid to do it

Good morning loyal Greenies! I apologize for not getting in here sooner this week, with writing my novel for NaNoWriMo my time has certainly been sucked right out of me; its hard to believe its past mid November already!

I am writing with both some exciting local and potentially personal news as well. Over the summer I reported on the Cape Wind project having their permits approved and how exciting it was to consider the prospect of bringing that many jobs and megawatts of electricity right here to my home state.

Unfortunately many of the efforts have been blocked by people and groups who oppose placing these turbines off shore in the middle of the ocean. However there are groups fighting to keep the project on schedule and one of these groups is Environment Massachusetts.

I haven’t talked about these folks yet but about six months ago many of you may have noticed their link showed up on the sidebar. I receive regular email updates from them on all of their clean air, clean water and open space initiatives and their big thrust is going to Cape Wind right now.

Yesterday I started looking for a part time job and wouldn’t you know it, Environment Massachusetts is hiring for their grassroots initiatives! Hooray! I meet with them today to discuss the current campaigns and which one I might be working on. My understanding of the position is it’s a part time gig that involves lobbying, fundraising and face to face discussion of the campaigns. Right up my alley if I do say so myself.

I will let everyone know how it goes but I am super excited to be meeting with them and learning more about their efforts, then hopefully getting hired so I too can get my butt out there even more so to make a difference in my local area.

Wish me luck!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Shoo Fly, Don’t Bother Me

A friend of ours, Charmaine Manley Design, is always on the lookout for the most environmentally friendly ways to take care of certain problems and she is willing to share her finds with us over here at GLR!

Today’s tip is about how best to scare away flies. There is no death involved, no harsh chemicals or sticky substances. The best way to scare off flies is a bag full of water.

Nope, I’m not kidding at all! It seems that a friend and fan of This Old House who lives in the Miami, Florida region of the United States tested the experiment out and was amazed to find that flies actually flew away from the dangling bag of water.

He placed a smelly pan of something outside to attract the flies and then held the bag full of water near the swarm. Apparently within just a few minutes the flies were all scared off. And no one had to kill them to do it!

The theory is a fly sees the bag as something predatory looking to trap it for dinner, a spider web or hornets nest perhaps, through the refraction of light over their many eyes and that shoos the fly away. It seems this practice is most popular in more temperate climates. From what I’ve read it only appears to work on flies, not stinging insects such as bees, mosquitoes, wasps or hornets.

Take a regular old, large zip top, clear plastic bag. Fill it about half way with plain old tap water. Use a heavy duty string or twine to tie the bag shut and leave plenty of slack on one end so it can be strung up on a hook above the area you are looking to protect and have a fly repellant that is environmentally friendly, non-toxic, safe, inexpensive and simple.

Some people also place a penny inside. A theory on this is that the fly sees the penny as a big spider in the web and they want to stay away. Since we unfortunately can’t get inside the mind of a fly we just have to test it to see if it works.

I do not have problems with flies but I’m sure many of you do. If this is something you test out I would love to hear about your experiences with using this method for effectiveness!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Keeping Myself Sane

Hey friends and dedicated readers of GLR! Most of you might remember that back on November first I featured the Chuckie Goodnight Foundation. Those folks are really cool and have a whole bunch of fun stuff on their website that is aimed specifically at kids in order to teach them about the benefits of environmental protection.

Another thing all of you fine peeps might remember is that I have officially signed on as a NaNoWriMo participant this year. Why? Well simply because I know there are a few novels inside this old head of mine that are going to cause it to explode if I don’t let them out! So far the challenge is going great and I am staying on track to my personal goal of 2,000 written words per day.

So what do these two things have in common?

Well in the greater sense of the world at large, not much, but in my world they have met with a sweet hug. While perusing the Chuckie website I came across a coloring page. I saved it because I had meant to include it with the last post on these folks but in the end forgot to do so. Here is what it looks like in its original state:

I love that they have included a whole slew of different animals and ecosystems into this one fantastical rendering. A long time ago I read somewhere that coloring is a very calming activity so I decided in order to shut off my brain from characters and dialogue for a while, why not pull this baby up in Photoshop and give it some punch! I have always been a literal coloring gal, even as a kid I was not the one who created a purple sky or orange whale so in keeping with my standards here is the finished product:

I had to make a few minor line placement adjustments to make sure they were connected in certain places so when I used the fill bucket it didn’t fill in half the page but voila! I love how it turned out and for the thirty or so minutes I was filling this baby in my mind was completely free of clutter.

I think I might just have to locate my colored pencils (always my favorite over crayons) and print out a few copies of this just in case I get stuck on a scene. Freeing my mind helped me to write almost 6,000 words in one day so thanks Chuckie Goodnight Foundation! I feel ready to tackle the second half of this writing challenge.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Eco Fashion Friday Featured Designer Jonano

We gals love to feel enveloped in something luxurious, even women like me who tend to wear sweats and hoodies most of the time! There is something about pulling an all natural, fine fabric from our closet for those special occasions that can give us a feeling of total heart rush. Jonano is a company that recognizes how a lady likes to feel pampered every once in a while and they sent me one of their gorgeous silk and linen scarves to try out.

The weave is tight enough that even the sheerness of the fabric does not threaten the strength of the item. The fabric is soft and it drapes beautifully. I tried wearing it in a couple of ways -- over my head to protect my hair from the rain as well as around my neck. Here in the northeast United States it is vital to have a warm scarf all winter long. I was not disappointed, my neck was toasty warm but I didn’t need a super bulky item to ensure it.

As a supporter of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Bonnie Siefers created this scarf for the Daffodil Collection. 10% of all the proceeds go to support the cause. Nice!

I know that many of you might be thinking ‘but creating silk kills the silkworms’ and typically that would be true, however, Jonano uses peace silk in their garments which ensures the silkworm is unharmed in the creation of the fabric. Instead of creating one continuous silk thread by not allowing the creature to emerge from its cocoon as a moth, the moth emerges and the cocoon is then harvested to be spun into fiber instead.

The price for this scarf is somewhat beyond the reach of many women at a suggested retail of $69 but it is a well made item that will be a versatile piece meaning it will potentially get a lot of wear. The one thing I was put off by was that the fabric shed. I tried it on first with a white button down shirt, then the green shirt seen in the photo above, and the scarf left behind tons of pilled fibers. Sadly because I was asked to return the item to the company after testing it out I was unable to wash or dry clean it to see if it would eliminate the issue.

Overall I am impressed with the humanitarian efforts to support breast cancer research as well as the ethical treatments of the silkworms used to create this item and I am awarding a Three Leaf Rating to this chic scarf! (an array of cool fashion is available online, I highly suggest checking out the website for more!)

Thanks for proving that couture can be Green, Jonano! ♥love♥

Thursday, November 12, 2009

EcoSmart Garden Insect Killer

A few months ago at our monthly Bennetts Brook Green Group meeting a few members were discussing the need to rid their yards of grubs that were wreaking havoc on their gardens. We all went on the hunt for an environmentally friendly alternative that would not simply flood our lawns with heavy doses of chemicals. So when EcoSmart contacted me to review their Garden Insect Killer I was definitely excited to report back to all of you as well as the BBGG.

The product comes in either a 32 ounce bottle with a nozzle for a hose attachment or a 24 ounce spray bottle (the one I was sent) and individual bottles retail for $8.00 - 15 in the EcoSmart online shop. The price is right as I did a little research in my local garden center and chemical based insect killers average at a similar cost.

And that is the best part. The ingredients in this product include a whole bunch of natural oils such as: rosemary, peppermint, thyme and clove. Additional ingredients are listed as water, mineral oil, octadecenoic acid potassium salt, and lecithin. Naturally I had never heard of octadecenoic acid potassium salt and was curious as to what it was.

Turns out this is a fatty acid salt. So what does that mean? It is classified as a soap and adjuvant (an agent that is inert alone but modifies the effects of other agents). So since this is an agricultural adjuvant I consulted Wikipedia to read:

The adjuvant acts here by reducing the surface tension of the water on the surface of the spray drop and by reducing the interfacial tension between the spray drop and surface of the leaf. This requires an adjuvant that will preferentially aggregate at these surfaces. This may not be done effectively by the surfactants that form and stabilize the oil/water emulsion from the concentrate formulation

Basically what I have deduced is that this acts as an extender to help spread the oils out all over the surface since the main ingredient is water and we all know that water and oil don’t mix. Fair enough but what exactly is octadecenoic acid? When I plugged this into wiki it suggested a new spelling (octadecanoic) and led me to the page for stearic acid. A fatty acid, it is developed from animal fats. As is lecithin.

So the good news is that EcoSmart’s claim for an all natural bug killer is in fact all natural, the bad news is it is clearly not a Vegan alternative. The other good news is that it is listed to rid the yard of aphids, mites, thirps, whiteflies, beetles and caterpillars. Grubs become beetles and therefore would be removed naturally. Again, the bad news is that by then it is potentially too late as new eggs may have already been laid causing more grubs.

I will be giving this bottle to my sister in law, you all know her as the fearless writer and reviewer Melissa around these parts, so she can give it a go and hopefully rid her yard of these pesky critters once and for all, in the most environmentally friendly way possible. Until her practical review comes out however I am granting a Three and a Half Leaf Rating to the Garden Insect Killer!

EcoSmart you have shown that with an eye to the planet as well as the health of humans and our pets we are able to have natural alternatives to keeping our gardens pest free. ♥love♥

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Earthworm Cleaning Products Series Odor Eliminator and Upholstery Cleaner

Good morning folks and thanks for joining us for the final installment of the Earthworm cleaning products series. Clean Earth Brands sent me two full boxes of their fine products to review and Leaf Rate. I have used all of the products sent to me to date and today I would like to discuss both the Odor Eliminator and Carpet and Upholstery Cleaners.

Before I go on I would like to remind everyone that this is the final installment of a long running series on Earthworm products and that out of the gate there were some fabulous benefits as well as an overall impressive factor to the products that did seem to work but sadly as I have used more of these items I have become less enthusiastic and more concerned for their effectiveness and truthfulness in marketing.

I shook up and sprayed the Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner on a small spot on Matt’s chair (that you can see just in front of the bottle in the picture above) and the Odor eliminator across our kitchen where we had cooked with onions the night before & they were still lingering. As instructed I let the Upholstery Cleaner sit for about seven minutes. I grabbed the suggested rag and began blotting. Nothing happened so I figured perhaps I didn’t leave it on long enough and re-sprayed, this time leaving it on for twelve minutes. This is the result of two applications:

As you can see there was literally no change at all to the spot. I tried it on a black spot on my carpet with similar results. Sadly the Odor Eliminator also gets my thumbs down as my kitchen still smelled like onions.

As I mentioned yesterday -- What most concerns me, is that every single product I have tested so far is comprised of the exact same ingredients, which leads me to wonder if it is the same product repackaged with a new name and sold as something different -- how could a mildew remover take a spot of dirt off my upholstery or smells out of the air?

Sorry Earthworm, although I truly send ♥love♥ out for your effort to make the planet a better place through lack of chemical composition, I smell Greenwashing here and I can not grant more than a Two Leaf Rating for these products, collectively.

It saddens me to end this series on a downer note but I truly believe that the consumer should be aware of what it is they are buying when they spend money on an alleged Earth friendly item.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Earthworm Cleaning Products Series Floor Cleaner

Welcome back to the Earthworm cleaning products series! Clean Earth Brands sent me two full boxes of their fine products to review and Leaf Rate. Now that I have had a chance to put the rest of these products to the test, today I would like to share my feelings on the Floor Cleaner.

Our back hallway is a rolled vinyl that has definitely seen a better day so I was interested in what the Earthworm Floor Cleaner could do to possibly bring some new life to this older floor.

I shook it up and sprayed it on a small section of floor including the scuff mark shown in the picture above. As instructed I let it sit for about seven minutes. Since our floors are not level some of the liquid pooled up in one spot and I could see that it was a brownish color which had me encouraged.

I use a Bona mop at home so I wet the reusable cleaning pad and started to wipe down the floor. And then I continued to rinse and ring out the cloth to wipe down the floor some more. And then more. All told I rinsed and wiped four times and still there was a film of bubbly something left behind. It mortified me how much water I had to waste to remove the product from the vinyl and it didn’t even take all of it off in the end! Sadly, many of the marks did not come off either which leads me to believe it rides on the surface only and does not penetrate to really clean.

Here is my after picture of the same spot:

**As with the other products I have already reviewed the ingredients contain preservatives. Again, I would like to be clear as to what these preservatives are?

What most concerns me, is that every single product I have tested so far is comprised of the exact same listed ingredients, which leads me to wonder if it is the same product repackaged with a new name and sold as something different? **

Overall I was somewhat happy with the performance but saddened by the waste of water which still had me not even fully remove the product so I am granting the Floor Cleaner a Two and a Half Leaf Rating!

Sorry Earthworm but this one did not impress like the rest ♥love♥

Coming up tomorrow -- Earthworm Odor Eliminator

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Earthworm Cleaning Products Series Bathroom Tub and Tile Cleaner

Welcome back to the Earthworm cleaning products series! Clean Earth Brands sent me two full boxes of their fine products to review and Leaf Rate. Now that I have had a chance to put the rest of these products to the test, today I would like to share my feelings on the Bathroom Tub and Tile Cleaner.

We do not have tile in our home but our tub surround is a little grimy with soap scum and build up from time to time so I was eager to give this a try. Again, as per their directions I shook it up well, sprayed it on and allowed it to do its thing for about seven minutes. It indicates an absorbent sponge or cloth should be used so I made use of the one in the photo, which also has a mild scrubby side.

The formula did not immediately run down the wall which was nice, it was more of a spray on foam that adhered to the surface but lightly covered. I scrubbed gently with the sponge and then used moderately hot water from my removable showerhead to wash it off. The result was pretty good. It did not remove any stains that had set in previously but it did take off all the soap scum and left the surface feeling clean.

**As with the other products I have already reviewed the ingredients contain preservatives. Again, I would like to be clear as to what these preservatives are?**

I am leaving the above paragraph static as I feel it bears repeating in all of the Earthworm reviews. What most concerns me is that every single product I have tested so far is comprised of the exact same listed ingredients, which leads me to wonder if it is the same product repackaged with a new name and sold as something different?

Overall I am pleased with the performance and granting the Bathroom Tub and Tile Cleaner a Three Leaf Rating! ♥love♥

Coming up tomorrow -- Earthworm Floor Cleaner

Friday, November 6, 2009

Eco Fashion Friday Feature Organic Cotton is All the Rage in Band Tees

A couple weeks ago a bloggy friend of mine sent me the link to a sale going on in the tee shirt shop** of one of GLR’s favorite eco-conscious musicians, Jason Mraz. Back on October 10th, all tees in the shop were to be listed at $10; it was called the 10-10-10 sale. I decided to give a look as it had been a while since I had purchased a tee, least of all from this guy’s cool shop and what I found had me really excited!

This tee is made from 100% organic cotton, as are many in the online shop, but best of all it showed off Jason’s strong commitment to a healthy environment through the wind turbine and mountain graphic; something I would wear proudly about town. I placed my order right away.

When it arrived I was excited to try it out but as with all clothing I buy, it was washed first. The tag indicates “This EarthPositive shirt was manufactured solely using renewable green energy from wind and solar power.” Sweet!!

Flipping the tag over for washing instructions however I was slightly confused as it suggests to “save the climate wash cool - line dry”. It did not indicate that it should not go in a dryer, just that it was a suggestion for a more Earth friendly alternative. Since line drying is not possible in my apartment building, I opted to set the dryer on the lowest setting.

When the shirt came out I was definitely disappointed. It appears that the fabric pieces were not cut on the correct line of the weave and the side seams had turned about an inch and a half toward the front / back of the shirt (a semi bias cut). The neck and shoulder placement maintained alright and the graphic remained intact (I also always turn graphic tees inside out) but I was wholly disappointed by the shrinkage. Luckily I had snapped the photo prior to washing and I was happy to have only spent $10 on this tee (although shipping was almost as expensive at just under $8).

I will continue to wear this shirt but sadly it would never have fit as comfortably as it should have due to the fabric twisting incorrectly because of the cut, it is just more noticeable now after going through a low dryer. In the future, I will likely reserve my band tee purchases for after the show and will always remember to check the fabric weave for any signs of ill construction prior to purchasing!

** Please note all tees are temporarily sold out.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Robbie Adrian is Helping to Raise an Eco Conscious Generation

As a gal who loves to curl up on the sofa with a warm cup of tea on a cold day, a soft and warm throw is a must in my house. When I received the sample from northern California based company Robbie Adrian that indicated just how warm and soft their products are, I was intrigued. After reading up on the item and finding out it was created from organic cotton and silk I was suddenly picturing lots of afternoon naps every weekend this winter!

Robbie Adrian sent me a sample size of their product in the form of a baby’s Lovey. Since I do not have children I plan to gift this to a good friend of mine with twin one year olds. Hopefully they do not fight over it too much because this roughly foot square of fabric is soft and plush.

The motto of the company is that they “marry elegance with earth friendly, beauty with sustainability” and it shows. With organic cotton that is not only certified back to the originating bale but further certified by the company to accompany each item that is created they take their business very seriously.

Products are available to purchase direct from the website as well as in retail stores. The blankets are available in twenty seven of the fifty United States in a slew of locations (including five right here in Massachusetts) as well as in Australia, Canada, Indonesia and New Zealand.

There are two concerns I have regarding this line of blankets, first is the price being out of reach for many. All children’s blankets (with and without trim) range from $38 (for the 25” x 19” fleece ‘Lil Robbie) to $270 and adult fleece throws range in price from $132 - $226. A new line of blankets consisting of less trim retail for $26 - $78; the Lovey I received is part of this new line which the company calls “recession friendly” as the customer receives the same luxury for a little less money due to a little less silk.

My second concern is the use of real silk. As silkworms must be killed to create this thread it is a bothersome concern for many environmentalists. The piping style utilizes less silk overall and would be the less impactful choice, but the company does not offer a silk free design as of this time.

Overall the organic cotton is warm and a good alternative to synthetic fibers found in so many youth and adult throws so I am granting the Robbie Adrian collection a Three and a Half Leaf Rating!

With a 100% organic cotton version of this blanket I think it’s safe to say your Leaf Rating could soar to Five pretty rapidly so keep up the innovative work Robbie Adrian! ♥love♥

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

National Novel Writers Month Is Taking Over the Green Leaf Offices!

Those of you who have been reading GLR for the past year may have picked up on the fact that I love to write. In fact so much so that I host another blog and publish articles online as well. What many of you may not know is that I have long dreamed of being a novelist but could never seem to fit it into my already jam packed life.

As you may have guessed, the real issue here was my fear of just going for it with reckless abandon. Generally speaking it was because most of us writers have that sneaky inner editor that eventually shows up to convince us that what we have written is crap; sadly I have listened to it all these years.

But no more!

NaNoWriMo is an event, which takes place in November every year, that allows writers to lock away their editor and throw out the key until December. The way to win NaNoWriMo is to write a 50,000 word novel (minimum) in just 30 days. Woo hoo!

I have a few fantastic characters who have been trapped inside unfinished 8,000 word stories for far too long now and the lucky one who has come out to play is a pretty cool gal named Sarah. The novel is a chick-lit style where she and her friends (not to mention an overbearing mom) live their life on a day to day basis and we readers get to share in 50,000 words of it.

Some basic outline and a few plot twists and turns have been put to paper already but for the most part this is going to be the first time ever that I have:
A. written something this long
B. mostly developed my cast on the fly
C. been encouraged to write 1667 words of fiction per day
D. done something this insane in my writing career
E. been so jazzed to see the end result

Because the month is going to be a blur of characters, I will potentially be posting a little less in the way of reviews. As of now I have done a big push to front load a whole bunch of posts that are scheduled to go up automatically through about the middle of the month, and I am allowing myself up to five days off from the book so I plan to jam in a whole bunch of reviews during that time too. You may see a post or two from Melissa during this month as well, who knows!

As a little teaser I will tell everyone that one of the characters in the story is very eco-centric and has made a fortune on a Green line of products.

I hope everyone has a great month and I do intend to report back on my overall progress either here or over at Random Lunacy sporadically during November.

If you would like to track my progress on the novel feel free to visit my author page!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Home Improvement Projects from Reused and Upcycled Materials

Over the past couple months, Matt and I have been completing a few minor home improvement updates, upgrades and modernizations to our rental apartment. One of the most important upgrades we have made has been the mattress topper that we replaced.

Since I am not only a Greenie but a novice seamstress as well, it only seemed right to do something functional with the old one. After all, just because it had outlived its useful life on top of the bed, did not mean it could not be turned into a wonderfully functional addition to a couple areas around our home.

All I had to do was cut it up!

This bench seat came from my grandparent’s home. It was originally designed as a phone table due to the attached shelf. We placed it in a small nook in our mudroom and hung my Van Gogh “Starry Night” print above it but it just didn’t feel homey; I knew there was unlimited potential for this space.

We decided on a beach theme since both of us are beach lovers so I wanted a fabric for the cushion that would help draw attention away from the somewhat yucky vinyl floor. With a perfect sized scrap left over from a prior project, I set out to create the seat cushion.

After taking a basic measurement of the seat opening, I cut the foam to match. I then cut each fabric piece at ½ inch larger than the foam on all sides and stitched all but a three inch opening on one of the seams. The seams were pressed open and turned right side out, foam was inserted and using an inside stitch the opening was closed.

The vase was acquired at a discounted irregulars shop and the grasses are faux so they will last for ages. The sand came from a garden supply center and the blown glass starfish was a birthday gift this past June. Matt and I had taken a ride to a favorite beach spot and collected a whole slew of rocks. I also snapped a few photos of the ocean while we were there and one was pretty enough to frame.


We plan to acquire more rocks to fill in the rest of the corner behind the vase, as well as the strip of missing flooring at the far back wall and I will likely stain the bench to match the frame color.

It is true that almost all of these items are newly purchased and only the components of the cushion were reclaimed, but every time we walk in the back door now it is like we are in our own little beach sanctuary. It is calming and relaxing and that is the main thing we were going for. We both love it and know it is a design that will last through the years in our home; and it was all inspired by creating a cushion out of reclaimed materials from the hand me down bench.

Luckily however, I will find about 100 other uses for the foam pad…

The first of these projects will be as cushioning for 5 chairs around the house -- my sewing chair (being recovered) and our 4 kitchen chairs (which will be covered for the first time and using a painted drop cloth for the fabric. I will report on that one soon!)

What outdated materials have you breathed new life into?

**Please note our house is completely out of level and plumb so unfortunately everything is a little crooked.

Monday, November 2, 2009

My Earth Too Is Doing Their Part in Creating a Trendy Green Planet

As I mentioned yesterday, The Chuckie Goodnight Foundation is a not for profit based in Brewster, New York that is committed to a better Earth and they complete this goal by educating our children. In a bold move to even further spread this vibe, founder Cherie Ingraham co-founded My Earth Too.

The company is committed to creating clothing made out of organic cotton. They sent me two shirts to check out -- a Men’s XL and a Women’s L. At first I was concerned that the shirt was going to be huge and I might have to borrow a ‘how to reconstruct a tee shirt’ book from a friend but when I put it on I found that it actually was fairly snug, and I am usually a small! I wondered -- perhaps they sent a youth L by mistake? Either way, it fit fine and was so comfortable; I gave the XL to Matt.

Made from 100% organic cotton, the fabric is very soft. The graphic logo takes up most of the front of the shirt but is primarily an Earth that has been reshaped to form a heart so it is attractive and pretty cool to show off.

They indicate the desire to make organic clothing an affordable option and they mean it. Only logo items are available online for clothing pieces (all other items with and without a logo can be purchased in a retail store) and they range from $12 - $18 depending on the item.

Overall the mission of Chuckie Goodnight, with My Earth Too as the clothing pioneer in supporting that effort, is a great one and I am granting a Three Leaf Rating to My Earth Too!

Thanks for setting the trend in the right direction My Earth Too, I will look forward to seeing your items in lots of stores in my area! ♥love♥

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Chuckie Goodnight Foundation for the Environment

I was recently introduced to The Chuckie Goodnight Foundation and wow these folks are really cool! Founded in by Cherie Ingraham in 2001, and currently located in Brewster, New York, this non-profit is committed to bettering planet Earth through education and they start with the youngest members residing on our ball of dirt -- the kids.

Through efforts of the organization, the attainment and subsequent restoration of green space is achieved in order to preserve the lands available to us on our planet. The primary focus of these land acquisitions is to create botanical sanctuaries and areas of discovery for all people but the primary focus is on engaging children in how to protect the environment. The organization accomplishes this goal easily through their spokesman Chuckie Goodnight.

Chuckie is a dog who, along with a cute group of friends that includes all manner of “creatures” from trees to flowers to teddy bears, encourages everyone to be an Earth Steward. His motto is: “It’s your Earth and my Earth too, let’s make everyday Earth Day! Please be kind to Earth!”

Chuckie places a heavy focus on Earth Day and how we are able to make everyday Earth Day by adhering to small steps such as conserving water, recycling, turning off lights, using rechargeable batteries and generally acting with respect toward all things. Not only is this wonderful environmental information it is just good social teaching to instill in the youth of the world!

Tomorrow I will be featuring a company called ‘My Earth Too!’, co-founded by Ingraham, which designs clothing created from organic cotton. The company donates a portion of their proceeds to Chuckie Goodnight. Their clothes are super soft and light weight and I can not wait to share all about this fantastic company as well!

In the meantime, I hope everyone will have a chance to visit the Chuckie Goodnight Foundation website. Especially readers with children because there are all kinds of fun activities from coloring pages to at home eco projects to do together.

Go Green, go Earth!