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"If I had influence with the good fairy who is supposed to preside over the christening of all children, I should ask that her gift to each child in the world be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life." Rachel Carson

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Friday, November 30, 2007

2007 Green Gift Guide

Treehugger has released their 2007 Green Gift Guide. They have a special section for kids with some great items that are both eco-friendly as well as some that help strengthen kid's relationship with nature. They list over 180 gifts categorized in three shades of green.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Green your energy

Did you know that you can sign up for clean Green Energy for your home? Most utility companies offer the choice of green energy at the same or comparable cost as traditional energy from polluting sources like coal–fired plants. We signed up for Green Power through our utility company and had no interruption in our service. As an added bonus, some states do not charge sales tax on the delivery portion of your bill. So you might even save money!

Visit to find out what services are available in your area.

The chemical conversation continues...

I wanted to follow up the last post about toxic chemicals with the startling results of a new study done to test for toxic chemicals in our bodies. The study tested 35 average Americans from seven states. Each participant was tested for contamination by twenty toxic chemicals from three chemical families: phthalates (THA-lates), bisphenol A, and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs). Visit Is It In Us? for more results and information on what you can do.

Here is a NPR interview with Judy Robinson, who works for the Environmental Health Fund, and conducted the study, and Heather Loukmas who was a participant in the study.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

The real dirt on cleaning products


Everyone hates cleaning…and who can blame us? Not only is it tedious, it is also dangerous for your health and the planet. Most household cleaners are made from petroleum and a variety of toxic chemicals. This may seem like a good excuse for get out of doing your chores, but the toxicity of household cleaning products can irritate your eyes, skin, and lungs and even your central nervous system whether you are the one doing the cleaning or not. And whats more, once these toxins wash down the drain, they contaminate streams and ground water.

Did you know?

–Because of household cleaners and pesticides, the air inside the typical home is 2–5 times—and in extreme cases 100 times—more polluted than the air outside.

–Household chemicals are largely responsible for the more than 7 million accidental poisonings that occur each year, with more than 75% involving children.

-More than 150 chemicals that are found in the home are connected to allergies, birth defects, cancer and psychological disorders.

–If every household replaced one bottle of petroleum–based dishwashing liquid with a vegetable–based product, we would save 82,000 barrels of oil a year–enough to drive a car over 86 million miles!
So here's what you can do:

Concoct your own cleaning products.

You can make your own cleaning products out of a few basic household items. This would make a great gift if you made your own labels with the recipe on the side, especially for Mother’s or Father’s Day.

Step 1: Collect empty spray bottles and glass jars with lids.
Step 2: Get a measuring cup and measuring spoons
Step 3: Follow these easy recipes!

Glass Cleaner
1/4 cup vinegar or 1 Tbsp lemon juice
2+ cups water

Fill a clean spray bottle with water and either white vinegar or lemon juice. After spraying on glass, wipe with a rag or old newspaper.

Furniture Polish
1/2 cup white vinegar
1 teaspoon olive oil

Mix in a jar and apply with a clean rag to dust and polish. Reduce the olive oil if wood looks too oily.

(You can also swap the vinegar for lemon juice, mixing equal parts lemon juice and olive oil.)

All Purpose Cleaner:
1 cup white vinegar
1 cup water

Mix in a sprayer bottle.

Mold Cleanser:
1 part hydrogen peroxide
2 parts water

Mix in a spray bottle. Spray on surface and leave to dry for one hour. Rinse the area off.

On the Spot cleaning formulas:

These recipes for homemade cleaners are best used right away. Some of these fun recipes fizz like science fair volcanoes!

Pour 1/2 cup of baking soda down drain, followed by 1 cup of vinegar. When the fizzing stops pour down a kettleful of boiling water.

Tub Scrub:
1/2 cup of baking soda
a little bit of water and lemon juice

Toilet Bowl
Baking soda
White vinegar

To clean and deodorize, sprinkle toilet bowl with baking soda, add white vinegar and scrub with a toilet brush.

Wood Floors
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 gallon warm water

Carpet & Upholstery
Rub a little shaving cream on stains and wipe with sponge

Sunday, November 4, 2007

We did it!

Step itUp 2007

Step It Up came and went this Saturday. I am so glad that people came out to take part despite the Nor'easter. It was a success and we had a lot of fun. Click here to view other Step it up events. After looking at all the other events around the country, I feel confident that we are on a roll and congress will listen!

Morgan and Jason painting banner

Friday, November 2, 2007

Join the Green Revolution!


Tomorrow, November 3rd is Step It Up Day. I urge everyone to find a Step It Up action in their area and to attend. It is so encouraging to congregate with people who also care about the environment and are determined to do something about it. We are not alone in our struggle! Just look at that map up there...everyone of those dots represents an action that will take place tomorrow. We are turning America green!

Here is a link to a guest article I wrote for the Step It Up Blog, and another article about a group of kids that have started a grassroots organization in New York City called Super Heroes Needed.