Thursday, April 30, 2009

Save Money and Lose Weight?

Sound too good to be true? Well in truth it is not really difficult to save money by preparing meals from healthful recipes meant to cook in bulk. There is no magic secret that healthy people understand; it is all about making smart choices when selecting the foods we purchase to prepare.

The internet is a wonderful place to discover a plethora of recipes on the subject -- higher fiber, more produce and grains, less sugar and processed goo -- and I tracked down this interesting three minute video on YouTube to give a boost in inspiration for how to get started.

After checking it out, consider purchasing the organic versions of fruits and veggies and also, as the temperatures warm up across the United States, look into local farmer’s markets or smaller roadside farm stands as the prices at these locations tend to be more reasonable than large chain grocery stores, the produce tends to be fresher and generally everything is grown organically. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Green Shame

We have talked at great length over here at GLR about the Earth, how we can all make our world a better place and ways to be a bit more eco-friendly, but in the process of sharing all those nuggets of awesomeness everyday I have insisted that by no means am I going to claim to be perfect; I live the life of tradeoffs just like the next planet lover. So today when I read back through some of the more recent posts of one of my favorite bloggers, I could not stop laughing at his Earth Day Can Blow Me post. (Please note there is very strong language in almost all of his writing) Just in case some of you do not have time to head over and read his witty banter I will summarize for you here.

Jim’s wife went into a coffee shop to purchase a cup of hot Joe one morning on the way to work. She requested a second, empty cup due to a sensitivity to heat. The server offered a cardboard sleeve. She asked for the other cup again and the clerk essentially said he did not want to give it to her because he wanted there to still be trees for his grandchildren. Jim’s wife was shocked (as I think all of us reading the story were) but acquired the cup anyway and went on her merry way.

Now as a self proclaimed tree hugger (in only the loosest sense of the word remember we have talked about the eco-tradeoffs of the lifestyles we all live, most especially me) my immediate reaction to his 1,000 word ranting was to ask what exactly the cardboard sleeve was made from that server offered instead? If it was not created right in the back room of the establishment, by hand and made from hemp or some such other environmentally friendly fabric then how would using that item be any better for our planet than the second cup (potentially created from post-consumer recycled content)?

I thoroughly enjoy sharing the tips and tricks, products or items I have discovered in my travels that could help us all be a little greener and in the future I really hope that the coffee server follows that lead by instead saying something to the effect of ‘you know for an extra dollar I can put your coffee in a reusable travel mug that might better protect your hands’.

As I have said before, in the end simply being aware of the choices available to us is going to bring the most change but each of us will need to make our own informed choice as to what works for us and what does not.

Have any of you experienced green shame while out and about? How did you react?

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Cleaning up the town, post Earth Day

Hey all, Melissa again...back so soon because I needed to share a little Earth Day-related bit before it got to be the 4th of July!

This past Saturday was my little burg's town cleanup day, held, as in the past, the weekend closest to Earth Day. I'd been raring to go on this since about January, hoping to rally whoever I could to get out there and pick up some of the detritus that collects in any town over time.

Because the event coincided with my kids' soccer practice -- the reason I didn't participate last year -- I decided to try to tackle the soccer field and playground that are part of our town park.
Thanks to the parents and especially the kids who joined me and mine on a hot, sunny April Saturday to do a little bagging duty!

Signs to rally some support....

Samples of what we found (there was plenty more where this came from)

Citizens pitching in to clean up a place they care about

In the end, we didn't have quite the volume of stuff I had envisioned, but that's what happens when the trash you pick up is mostly cigarette butts (yiiiiigh!) and candy wrappers. All the same, we had fun collecting (lots of golf balls and a few baseballs, as well) and got to feel good about brightening up our park. Can't wait to see if there are photos from the efforts that went on around the rest of the town.

And even now, I find we're all so much more alert to the bits and pieces of castoffs that line the roadways that it's hard not to slam on the brakes and jump out to pick stuff up. So instead of the usual "Make every day Earth Day" closing (with which I totally agree, by the way!), I think maybe I'd say, "Make every day town cleanup day!"

Friday, April 24, 2009

To color or not to color...Aveda makes the dyeing dilemma less painful

Hey all you GLR regulars, Melissa here, taking a spin for Jenn. Enjoy!

Among my many baby steps toward a greener way of living have definitely been a few that some people would not even contemplate. I won't even bother to list them, but I figure these are the ways in which I account for the steps I, in turn, can't contemplate. Like navy showers. Like trying to fit three kids in car seats into a Smart Car. Like moving from the suburbs to the city. Everyone has their level...enough said.

One step I've contemplated, but ultimately rejected (for now, anyway) is giving up on hair color. I gave up on length (going from shoulder-length to my current pixifed do) to save shower time months back, and have been loving how fast it is to shampoo and rinse now -- so much less guilt! That said, all the trims that have been necessary to maintain the shorter style have brought me up short in another way: the last of my last hair color session (done at home, from a box that cost probably no more than $10) was all gone. And the greys were taking a spot front and center.

For months and months, I hesitated. I really hated to be responsible for dumping more dye chemicals down my drain. It just seemed out of kilter with everything else I've been trying to do. And I didn't really want to pay my colorist to dump them down her drain either. I know I'm not the only person who cares about the environment to fret about whether to color or not. But who wants to look 50 at 40?

Well, not me, for one. So, in doing some desperate online research, I was reminded that
Aveda, purveyor of a range of beauty products and services, offers hair coloring services that use more nature-based ingredients. But since I didn't have time to look up the details right then, I didn't get too far.

After some more stalling, I finally decided the time had come, and booked myself at a salon that uses Aveda products. I verified with my colorist that, indeed, Aveda's line is more environmentally-friendly (Um, not to say I would have leapt, outraged, out of the chair if the answer had been "no, not really!" The greys had to go!) than most other DIY or salon coloring products.

Here's how Aveda's Web site describes its Shades of Enlightenment Advanced Lifting
Creme Hair Color (not sure if this is what I got, but I think it's close): "Blondes awaken with the first permanent hair color system that's 97 percent naturally derived—capturing the active energy of plants."

My colorist noted that the hair color line does contain a small amount of peroxide -- necessary for the color to "deposit" (I have to confess I don't know precisely what this means, but my guess is that it means the peroxide helps the dye to do what you want it to do to your hair). But the overwhelming majority of Aveda's products are plant-derived, and they have a whole
policy around their process for selecting green ingredients. And a quick search on Aveda at Treehugger shows them to be generally beloved over there.

As for my experience, the first thing I noticed was that I didn't smell any of the usual smells when the colorist wheeled out her tray with the mixed color. She warned me that some natural products can actually have a stronger smell even than traditional peroxide-heavy colors, but even when my entire head was foiled, I never smelled a thing. And I have an obnoxiously well-developed sense of smell, so that's got to be worth something!

And the color, when all was said and done, looked good. I'd say great, but we went for highlights and lowlights of blonde and brown -- subtle with a capital sssss. It's so similar to what my own normal hair would look like that it's hard to gush about it...maybe I'll be a little bolder next time. All the same, I'm happy I did it, because I'm not looking quite so salt-and-peppery now.

Oh, and one more hair remains happily unfried, something I could not say of my past out-of-box experiences!

If there's a downside, it's the price tag. Like any salon process, this cost more -- way more -- than doing it yourself from a box you buy at CVS or Target. And it probably even cost a few bucks more than I've shelled out in the past for highlights, even when my hair was long. But I think the environmental benefits made it worthwhile. What with the sun finally warming things up now, I can probably stretch this round of color six months, right? So I'm pinning four green leaves on Aveda for the moment -- could jump up to five if my next attempt at a slightly gutsier look works out!

Eco-Fashion Friday Featured Designer: Jess Pillmore of A Second Chance

Last summer I started my journey into eco-blogging by doing write ups and interviews for The Organic Mechanic blog and during those months I had the pleasure of running into many fine artisans from every genre possible. One of those amazing interviews was with Jess Pillmore of the shop A Second Chance. I enjoyed interviewing her so much it is time to feature her work yet again!

A Second Chance is full of pieces Jess has knitted or crocheted from upcycled materials, in fact every hand made piece is created in this manner and she has even begun offering skeins of the reclaimed yarn she uses, indicating in the item description:

“I pick high quality, gently used sweaters for my projects and for my yarns.”

Her price point for hand made knitted and crocheted pieces of this quality is moderate, with accessories at about $30 and tops falling in the $50 range.

In addition to her hand made items, A Second Chance also offers vintage pieces, which is another terrific way to “recycle” clothing!

Chatting with Jess was a joy as I learned that she ships in either recycled or once used materials and she will “drive to the thrift stores in a Prius.” Not only that but she donates 10% of each sale to Kiva, an organization which provides financial assistance via person to person loans to entrepreneurs starting their own business.

With such an eye on the planet as a whole, as well as her humanitarian efforts, I must grant Jess’ shop A Second Chance a Four Leaf Rating!

I am overwhelmingly impressed with her work and spirit and I hope everyone has a chance to visit her shop and see for themselves the quality work she completes!

Thanks Jess ♥love♥

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Natures Source Toilet Bowl Cleaner

In a recent trip out to acquire some cleaning supplies I came across a product called Nature’s Source toilet bowl cleaner. Upon inspection of the label, the ingredients are listed as natural and since I was in the market for this very product (and not yet brave enough to test mixing for the vinegar method) I decided to pick it up. Overall I must say I am fairly satisfied with this product and would likely purchase it again.

The cost was somewhere around $2.50 for 24 oz size. As compared to some of the chemical based products that run upwards of $4.00 for the same volume, I found the price to be fantastic. The nozzle was easy open for grownups but would not be as easy for kids as it is a squeeze and turn style. Due to this type of top however, the bottle leaked some after use so it had to be sponge cleaned prior to putting it away which was a bummer as that was unnecessary waste. It is not the thickest formula but it did adhere to the sides relatively well and did not sink to the bottom of the bowl immediately.

The packaging noted that the cleaner is “plant based” so I reviewed the website to discover it is born from coconut and palm kernel oils.** Also used is: purified water, lactic acid and xanthan gum (fermented glucose). It is unclear if the lactic acid is derived from a milk base or other sources such as cornstarch, potato or molasses (rendering the product vegan). The one disappointing ingredient is the addition of synthetic dyes & fragrance although the bottle says there are only “small amounts”.

The fragrance does give the cleaner a fruity, pleasant smell which was more enjoyable than some. I would say this cleaned equally as well as any chemical based cleaner I have used in the past and I only left it on for about the same amount of time as usual (about fifteen minutes). The bottle itself is made from 25% post-consumer plastic, is recyclable and the S.C. Johnson Greenlist promise symbol is displayed proudly.

With all of that said I have decided to grant Nature’s Source toilet bowl cleaner a Three Leaf Rating!

Taking out those synthetic substances, listing the source of the lactic acid and improving on the cap design so there is no leakage would be some improvements I could suggest to garner the coveted Five Leaf Rating but it is nice to see such a solid effort being made already, keep up the trend S.C. Johnson!

**I know there has been talk as to the validity of the environmental benefits of coconut oil and although I do not dispute that it is a compelling argument, I personally feel happier using something that is plant based and biodegradable rather than man made with chemicals. In the event of leeching I feel safer with plant based oil. This is a personal decision and I welcome comments as to your own thoughts and feelings on the subject!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Closing the Carbon Loophole

President Barack Obama calls for clean energy; investing in it and the workers who will create and install these advances. He sees that the future of the planet depends on closing the loop and expresses those thoughts for the world to hear.

On a day like this, Earth Day, it is more important than ever to act on both the local and global levels to ensure our clean energy and economic future.

This is from President Obama’s press conference on April 14, 2009.

Happy Earth Day everybody!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

How Do You Plan to Celebrate Earth Day?

Wednesday April 22, 2009 is the thirty ninth annual Earth Day -- an effort that began as a grassroots movement started by one concerned man, Senator Gaylord Nelson, when he announced the plan for a “teach-in” demonstration while speaking at a conference in Seattle back in September 1969. On April 22, 1970 approximately 20 million Americans took part in Earth Day celebrations, due to the efforts to spread the word across the country, led by Denis Hayes. As of now this event is held in upwards of 1,000 countries and celebrated by approximately one billion people world wide.

With such an amazing turn out it makes me wonder exactly what people will be doing tomorrow to celebrate, show support or simply commemorate this day dedicated to our planet.

We have nothing specific planned in our home because we attempt to treat each day of the year as if it were Earth Day and approach our lifestyle from a place of conscious thought as to what impact our actions might have on future circumstances. However, with that said, here are some of the things we do consistently that can easily be adopted to begin your own celebration for the planet:

♥ Recycle
♥ Turn off unused lights
♥ Unplug unused appliances
♥ Drive only as necessary
♥ Complete errands on one day as opposed to spreading out driving
♥ Take public transportation
♥ Ride a bike
♥ Eat less meat
♥ Use market bags and forgo plastic
♥ Switch utilities to wind power

This is a small fraction of things that can be done to place annual focus on the planet but if ever there was a great time to start it would be tomorrow on Earth Day! Share what you will be doing tomorrow to commemorate this world wide day of awesomeness!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Fused Plastic and Salvaged Fabric Laptop Bag

As a gal who enjoys whipping out the sewing machine and also someone who ends up with way too many plastic bags (regardless of using our reusable ones most of the time) I am very happy to have come across this video tutorial. This looks fairly simple, not too many steps, and will be a very personalized item. So cool!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

New Cool Toy

I am a sucker for things that scroll and look awesome so when I discovered this website that allows creation of widgets with pictures and banners and fun little scrollie things I was hooked immediately! The first one I created is a brand new term for me, its called a Blidget as it is a widget intended for a blog. What do you think?

If you like it and want to play around with creating your own get on over to Widgetbox and go through their incredibly quick registration (name, password, email) and their super easy widget wizard, which allows you to pull from images already on your blog / website, use custom colors, size and information.

I am now off to create widgets for everything, hope to see your widget sometime soon!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Eco Fashion Friday Featured Designer Jon Marro of Blend Apparel

Finally something for all the guys out there as well as the gals! The last couple Eco-fashion Fridays were definitely for the environmental gals but this week I am giving a major shout to Blend Apparel. This company is founded on one thing -- love. Love for each other, the planet, comfort and originality. How much more awesome does it get than that?

Jon Marro, Founder, Owner and all around Blend Apparel Guru, creates T-shirts from organic cotton and bamboo fibers using environmentally friendly inks/dyes and printing methods. Did I mention the company’s servers are also run using wind power? Did I also mention I have had the pleasure of interviewing Jon before? He shares a passion for art and how “iconography” can bring the world together. And it is all done with enormous love.

The average cost online for a plain old bamboo fiber or organic cotton T-shirt falls in the range of about $20, so considering there is a conceptual graphic design, applied using an eco-friendly processes on each shirt, the average price point of about $25 is well within reasonable. Never mind the fact I have spent more than that on a shirt from a concert which lasted half as long and was less than half as comfortable.

In all honesty I have read through their entire website (a few times actually, go ahead, call me a groupie) and attempted to find something wrong but Jon has such a big heart for the Earth it spills out all over his designs and I have no choice but to grant the company the very honorable Five Leaf Rating!

Keep up the amazing work Jon and we will keep spreading the word.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Red Tree Studios Eco-Greeting Cards

This afternoon I ran into my local Walgreen’s to pick up a birthday card for a friend. I enjoy reading through a bunch of cards until the perfect one makes its way into my hand so while perusing I noticed a card with Al Gore wearing a birthday hat. I was intrigued and decided to check it out. As a self proclaimed member of the eco-police I could not help but laugh at this card and, although I purchased something else for my friend, I picked up the Al Gore card simply to share it with all of you.

I was immediately impressed with the card considering I read “On recycled paper since 1971” at the bottom. Once I arrived home I pulled up the Red Tree Studios website to discover they also offer e-cards for free, and there are so many adorable ones too! There are even e-cards specific to today (Income Tax Day). I fully intend to send this card to one of my Greenie friends for their birthday but in the meantime I am granting Red Tree Studios Three Green Leaves for their attention to recycled paper, use of environmental topics as a fun birthday card and e-card option.

I would be excited to up this an extra leaf for adding the option of Earth Day e-cards but in the meantime, keep up the great work Red Tree Studios!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Happiest Places in America

Coastal locations in the United States have been hit hard by the current state of the economy so where should one be living to be the most financially secure, happy? Well, a good place to start is Nebraska.

Unfortunately I could not locate a place where this video was available to embed so please check it out on:

ABC News -- Happiest Place in America

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Eco-Fashion Friday (on Sunday) Featuring Jennifer Brown

It has been a busy week over here and unfortunately I had to let the slightly more involved Eco-Fashion Friday feature slide until today. I really apologize but am very excited to share this amazing designer, her thoughts and work with everyone. So, although it is a couple days late, please enjoy this feature on Jennifer M. Brown of both Under the Root and Quarks.

Jennifer M. Brown is a gal with an eye for style and I first came across her online shop Quarks through our mutual membership in Team Eco Etsy. I was immediately impressed with her ability to take seemingly unrelated pieces and infuse them together to create garments that are not only budget conscious but have a strong vintage feel to them. One of the best things about Jennifer’s shops is that a gal can outfit almost her entire bod as Jennifer creates everything from undergarments to stockings, dresses, arm spats, hats, chokers and even a cloak for those chillier days (and even undergarments for men!). For fashion her price point is amazing -- most items hover in the $50 - $60 range with some more, some less. Best of all she utilizes sustainable, repurposed, reclaimed, upcycled and recycled materials in just about all of her work.

Because of her strong commitment to fashionable items that are fiscally viable to the larger public and her use of repurposed materials in her work I am granting Jennifer Four Green Leaves!

Please continue on to read the fantastic interview Jennifer was kind enough to grant us here at GLR, then stop by both of her shops to check out her fantastic work.

How long have you been creating eco-fashion?

I began assembling used/vintage textiles into theatrical costumes during the high school years. Wow, that was some 20 odd years ago. Clothing came next while using a secondhand, black lacquer Singer and the miscellaneous textiles from garage sales, thrift stores, estate and church sales, and reclaiming used/found materials. While studying Dance at Columbia College Chicago, I realized that costumes played an intricate role for the performances. The availability in movement and projection of each design was tantamount for dancers, performers and individuals alike. Today, each handmade structure reflects the use of cottons and the grace of the human body.

Where do you acquire your materials?

The designs are ever-changing and the materials are strictly obtained from sustainable resources, designer cutoffs, thrift stores, estate and church sales, swaps, and trades.

Do you try to acquire sustainable fabrics?

Sustainable fabrics came into my focus around 2005. The manufacturers were popping up all over and the prices were in my price point. Under The Root is leaping in this direction and my hopes are to educate, sustain, and grow with the future of 'gentle' structuring.

Are your designs OOAK?

I do many personal, custom pieces which are one-of-a-kind. In fact, that process is still a major foundation of the outlet for the deep-rooted artist in me. I love watching creations grow from visions of the beautiful people on this planet, and sometimes other planets.

Did you go to school for fashion design?

I began sewing in high school and started the first Fashion Club with the class of 1988. My teacher was careful, kind, and knowledgeable in so many areas of life, not just sewing. She cared for our time. The time I spent in that class with all the tables, machines, tools, and fabrics will forever be an inspiration for Under The Root to give people their desires. After high school, I studied Business, Design, and Dance. I read tons of practical applications and find the greatest source for continuing on with oodles of noodles and practice.

Thank you for bringing Green Leaf Reviewer 'under' the root of it all.
Undergarments/Findlings -- Under the Root
Clothing/Accessories -- Quarks

Saturday, April 11, 2009

A Fun Day Trip to Connecticut

Yesterday Matt, Melissa (our very own talented GLR poster), and her three boys visited the Mystic, Connecticut Aquarium and Seaport. It was a great day full of exciting marine life sightings, toy boat construction and lots of laughs playing games in the car. In addition to the wonderful beluga whales, penguins, sharks and tall ships we had the joy of photographing, all three of us adult types were happy to see that there were separate recycle bins for plastic, cans and glass in both locations, but I was most impressed on the way out of the Aquarium when we came across this:

It was a simple little bin at the exit doors but the amount of paper, and everything associated with creating each map, it likely saves made it my favorite sighting of the day. Well, okay, maybe second favorite next to the sharks. We took full advantage of this and tossed our two maps inside before heading back to the car. Admittedly we are all eco-police types and would have no doubt recycled them at home but it was nice to see the option available right there for future visitor’s use. Thanks Mystic Aquarium for going that one step further toward saving the planet!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Creatures in the Yard

The song is fun, adorable even, and the video just made me love it all the more. The following is a video for Creatures in the Yard by Bushwalla (featuring MC Raz). I hope this sweet song and video brighten up your day!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Solution for Used Toner and Ink Cartridges

Quick -- raise your hand if you have used a Xerox copier, printer or fax machine? Now keep your hand up if you have ever been forced to throw away the empty ink or toner cartridge because you had no idea what else to do with it? Aha! Just as I suspected, many of us have. Well never again will I be doing this now that I have discovered the safe haven known as Cartridge World!

Yesterday I was helping my favorite Accountant reorganize her office and there was a stack of old, empty cartridges just hanging out in the corner. She told me she does not want to pitch them but did not know what else to do. I was convinced the town had a DPW station where they could be dropped so we did a quick Google search but came across Cartridge World instead.

Upon exploring their website we discovered that one of the company’s over 1600 international* locations was conveniently only about five minutes away. Their website said they took just about anything so even though some of her items were from printers that even the most seasoned Techie Geek has never heard of, we boxed them up and took a ride down there. She went in with a full box saying ‘wish me luck’ and came out empty handed with a smile. She said he even thanked her and it cost nothing to drop off! Score!

The stores are franchised locations (independently owned and operated) and in addition to recycling old empty cartridges they might just carry replacements for the toner cartridge that was just dropped off. Make sure to get a toner Recycling Collection Bin from your local store and start collecting not only yours but your friend’s and family’s, office’s or neighbor’s cartridges so everything can be recycled and kept out of landfills. Cartridge World is committed to a Greener Environment and they are proving it.

I have read every page of their website, and now have first hand experience with the convenience and eco-impact of this company, so although I have tried to find anything preventing it I have no choice but to grant Cartridge World the illustrious and well deserved Five Leaf Rating!

I am truly impressed by this amazing business model making a surge to employ local workers, encourage entrepreneurship and do their part to save this planet. Way to go, keep up the amazing work!

To find a location near you please visit their website or call 1-888-99-REFILL

* currently operating locations in the US and Canada.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Cutest Eco Car From GM and Segway

It is common knowledge that United States auto makers are not only struggling in this current economy but some are flailing to the point of potential shut down. President Obama has encouraged these manufacturers to conceive of innovative solutions in order to offer a fresh face to the consumers of the country and reestablish their ability to turn a profit, keep thousands of people employed and provide financially viable solutions. As President Obama is also a supporter of smart environmental practices, it was only a matter of time before the two concepts met, fell in love and got married. The happy couple in this case is GM and Segway.

The baby that these two companies produced is the most adorable and efficient thing I have ever seen. The vehicle, known as PUMA (Personal Urban Mobility and Accessibility), is an electric, two seat vehicle that only weighs 300 pounds, can reach speeds of 35 mph and can run up to 35 miles per charge of the lithium-ion battery, making it the ideal city car. In addition, there will be an interconnected network between vehicles that allow users to discuss impediments in their way. In an even more futuristic development, the eventual ideal is to have the vehicle run itself via a GPS transponder ensuring it would never be part of an accident or stuck in traffic. Fun! The cost has not yet been revealed but has been estimated to be around a quarter of the cost of the average vehicle.

Because of their attention on the environment, the American consumer’s wallet and the desire to begin thinking outside the SUV as a means to keep their company from drowning in the proverbial economic sludge, I am granting this little baby Four Green Leaves and allowing both GM and Segway to bask in the glory of the rating as well.

Keep up the amazing innovative partnerships and your company will be right back on top again GM!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Monday Inspiration on a Grey Day

It is a gloomy and rainy Monday here in the Boston area which has had me thinking a lot about that old saying:

“April showers bring May flowers”

While pondering the fact that the sun may not make an appearance until the bright and beautiful colors of those spring flowers pop out, I wanted to maintain a happy mood, so I went looking around for some inspiring words of wisdom that would keep my spirits lifted. The following three really hit me and I hope they bring joy to you as well, no matter what kind of weather comes your way today.

“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude to me is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than success, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, gift, or skill. It will make or break a company...a church...a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past...we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10 percent what happens to me and 90 percent how I react to it. And so it is with you...we are in charge of our attitudes.”
~ Charles Swindoll

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
~ Mark Twain

“I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
~ Michael Jordan

Sunday, April 5, 2009

We Have Been Nominated In Bloggers Choice Awards!

My site was nominated for Best Blog About Stuff!

Huge thanks to Ginger -- this little blog has been nominated for a Blogger’s Choice Award for 2009 in the category ‘Best Blog About Stuff”! Wow, it is very exciting to be nominated and receive votes. I did not even know this award existed until yesterday morning; just as a side note there is no Green or Eco-Living Blog category but perhaps we can work on changing that by next year’s awards.

So what needs to happen for GLR to be the big winner? Well I need everyone to hop on over to the link below and sign up to VOTE for GLR. It is a short form and a couple quick steps to sign up then voting is as simple as clicking on the word VOTE.

Head on over to the Green Leaf Reviewer Nomination Page.

Sign up.


Once you’re signed up and have placed the vote for GLR it will be a breeze to vote for Ginger as well, nominated for Best Food Blog.

Thanks loyal readers, let’s try to proverbially knock one out of the park!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Kicking Off Eco-Fashion Fridays

In a new concept here at GLR I have decided to provide a themed posting once a week. The theme is Eco-Fashion Fridays! In my low emission travels I have come across so many amazing designers of environmentally conscious fashions from little girl’s hair accessories to couture and everything in between so it seems appropriate to feature these amazing designers here on the blog and of course grant a Leaf Rating for their efforts.

The ratings I will be based on a few key factors:
☼ Resources
☼ Materials
☼ Cost
☼ Lifecycle

Additional factors may come into play of course as each item and / or company will have their own unique footprint (carbon or otherwise!).

So to kick things off I am featuring the designer who started the idea churning in my mind this past week while I was catching up on a marathon replay of the most recent season of the Bravo TV show Project Runway, this past season winner, Leanne Marshall.

Her clothing is beautiful but designed for a high fashion market that the majority of us will find slightly out of our budget. She announced to the world that her final collection made use of about 50% sustainable materials. Her clothing is well made and although there is a slight flair for the dramatic in her pieces, overall her designs could be worn by just about any woman for years due to the element of classic feminine style present.

All of these reasons prompt me to grant Leanne Marshall Three Green Leaves!

Leanne Marshall’s amazing evening gown.

I will keep my eye out for a budget conscious line from Leanne as I feel her work could easily translate into mass appeal. Keep up the amazing Green design!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A Happy Day for Grover the Squirrel

The flood waters in Fargo are threatening many homes and people so workers have their hands full trying to keep the levels at bay. But amidst all the difficult hours of rescue and recovery comes a sweet story about a little squirrel caught in the rising waters. This is no April Fool’s joke, this little guy had a pretty lucky break due to some very wonderful, dedicated and caring workers.

Out of the Flood, A Squirrel Rescue

I apologize for not being able to link the video directly, Blogger and embedding video seem to be having some trouble lately.