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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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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

What About Water?

80% of the Earth is covered with water, yet only 3% of it is fresh water, and less than 1% of all water is ok for human consumption. The rest of the water is salty ocean water, or fresh water that is frozen in a glacier. And of that tiny 1% of fresh water that we can use, an even tinier amount is used as drinking water. There are many places in the world that are reaching the limits of their water supplies. As populations rise, and the climate gets warmer, more and more people will not have access to fresh water. In fact, it is predicted that 2 out of every 3 people with suffer from water shortages in the next few decades.

Here’s what you can do:

Did you know that every time you flush the toilet, it uses five to seven gallons of water? That means that in a year you will flush about 13,000 gallons of fresh water down the toilet! Luckily there is an easy solution if your home does not already have ultra–low flush toilets. Find a small plastic juice or water bottle, soak off the label, fill the bottle with water and close the cap tightly. Place the bottle in the tank of the toilet, making sure to position so that it won’t get in the way of the flushing mechanism. This is called displacement. The bottle will fill part of the space in the tank that water would normally fill. You will save 1 to 2 gallons every time you flush! Try this in all of the toilets in your home, and estimate how many gallons of water your family will save.

Other tips for saving water:

–Turn the water off while brushing your teeth, washing your hands and doing the dishes.
–Take shorter showers. See if you can get your shower time down to less than 5 minutes.
–If you help out with the dishes, fill the sink or a tub with hot water to wash the dishes in. Rinse the clean dishes in another tub of hot water or rinse them all under the faucet at once to reduce the time that the water is running. Make sure to only run the dishwasher when it is full.
–The same applies to laundry, only run your washing machine when you have a full load.
–Water your lawn and plants in the morning or evening. Water evaporates 4 to 8 times faster during the heat of the day. Use a watering can instead of a hose.

How much water does it take to...

-Take a shower or bath…17 to 24 gallons
-Brush my teeth…2 to 5 gallons
-Wash the car…50 gallons
-Use the dishwasher…8 to 15 gallons
-Run the washing machine 35 to 50 gallons for each load
-Watering the lawn with a sprinkler…210 gallons per hour

Monday, April 21, 2008

Pillow case tote bags

I just came across this cool project on that would be a great activity for Earth Day. Use this tutorial to learn how to make your own tote bags out of old pillow cases. They can be simple or you can embellish them with your own "flare!" And as if you need any reminding, we all need to bring our own bag and say no to plastic as much as possible.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Earth Day Goodies

A great way to lighten your footprint and get cool stuff this Earth Day is to swap the stuff you no longer want with the stuff you'd like to have. In honor of Earth Day this Tuesday,, a website where you can trade the books, DVDs, CDs, and video games you have, for the ones you want, for free, will be donating $1 dollar for every trade made on Earth Day to The Sierra Club.

National Geographic Kids’ series on PBS Kids, “Mama Mirabelle’s Home Movies,” celebrates Earth Day and Mothers Day with special themed episodes and companion activities on the PBS Kids/Mama Mirabelle website - where kids can continue the celebrations online, outside and with their families and friends.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

How To Do Things...the green way

I have an article featured on How To Do on packing an eco–friendly school lunch. My piece is one of several articles on Green Living in honor of Earth Day. Check them out, there are many great tips!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Happy Birthday=Happy Environment

Birthday parties come and go in a whirlwind of shrieking kids, inflated balloons, sugar highs, and greasy pizza. Left in their wakes are piles of plastic cups, forks, and plates topped with barely eaten birthday cake. A dozen new toys means mounds of packaging and wrapping paper will end up in the trash, along with the old toys now being tossed to make room for the new. Why is it that kids birthday parties too often turn into a frenzy of waste? Having a green party can be as easy as pie. Just incorporate all the eco-friendly changes you have made in your home while planning your party.

Here's some tips to keep it green:

-Send out evites instead of regular paper invitations.
-Use real silverware, or reuse plastic ones.
-Use real or biodegradeable plates and cups.
-Use cloth napkins.
-Instead of giving cheap plastic party favors, be more creative and give something that you made, like these homemade crayons, or that will be useful, like pencils.
-Host a party outside and enjoy the day without depending on store–bought games. Go to the beach, the park, the pool or play games like tag and wiffle ball.
-Prevent all the waste involved in receiving gifts. Here's a guide to turning the usually wasteful and over done gift giving aspect of a birthday party into an opportunity to help out one's community.

Here's a video with some more earth–friendly party tips:

How To Host A Green Event