Thursday, April 30, 2009

Canada Bans BPA

While the FDA is still declaring Bisphenol A (BPA) safe here in the United States, Canada has banned BPA in baby bottles. BPA which is currently found in polycarbonate plastic bottles and epoxy can linings, is linked to breast and prostrate cancer, diabetes, hyperactivity, low sperm count, and early puberty in girls. Wal-Mart Canada is pulling all baby products containing BPA from its shelves and the chain said it plans to stop selling products containing BPA in U.S. stores by next year. Also Nalgene, the maker of reusable water bottles that are popular among athletes, is planning on discontinuing production of bottles made with the BPA and will recall existing products already in stores. Canada's bold move puts pressure on U.S. regulators to reexamine their positions on BPA.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Do you have a green hero?

Do you have someone who inspires you to live a little greener or be kinder to animals? The best thank you they can receive is for you to pay it forward and encourage others to make changes in their life that will make the world a better place. However if you are looking for another way to say thanks, enter them in Kind Green Planet's Pay It Forward Push. By making a small tax-deductible donation to Kind Green Planet, your hero will be entered in four drawings for gorgeously green, animal-friendly prizes. Simply visit and donate $10 and input the name and email address of your kind green hero. Kind Green Planet will send your hero an e-card letting them know that you consider them a kind green hero and that you have entered their name into our fabulous prize drawings. Don't delay the contest ends tomorrow and the winners will be announced on May 1st.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


My daughter got some Smencils from her grandparents for Easter and loves them. What are Smencils you say? They are scented pencils made from recycled newspaper. They are a fun and eco-friendly product. Smencils are manufactured from recycled newspapers, environmentally friendly fragrances, recyclable ferrules and biodegradable erasers. While pencils that come in a plastic tube wouldn't seem earth friendly, the tubes are made of recyclable plastic and in the near future the tubes are going to be made from biodegradable plastic. Smencils are available in these delicious scents - Cherry, Cinnamon, Bubble Gum, Pineapple, Orange, Grape, Fruit Punch, Root Beer, Watermelon and Peppermint. Visit to see how you can save trees, one pencil at a time.

Monday, April 27, 2009

TV Turn Off Week Update

Well my family just completed a week without television and you know what it was no big deal! When I told people about it they couldn't believe we were going to go "a WHOLE week" without TV. It doesn't seem like we watch a lot of television around here - during the day when we are doing school it is off, then we head out for the afternoon activities, really it's just on in the evenings after dinner - so I was shocked when I saw our DVR recorded 25 hours of shows!! Could we possibly watch this much television a week? Well after I deleted the stuff I knew we wouldn't watch I was still left with 15 hours of television. I certainly am not going to watch all that this week, so it's time to evaluate which shows we really enjoy, which ones we watch just for background noise while doing other things, and which ones we watch just because they are there. If I survived last week without any television and actually accomplished more - read three books, organized my daughter's school portfolio, cleaned out some clutter, had my daughter help with cooking dinner, had some game nights, researched some really cool stuff for upcoming school projects, and had some fun family time - do I really want to go back to all that television? I am planning on pairing it down to 10 hours worth of shows, which is even less when you fast forward through the commercials. I am also going to edit how many shows we record a week and just record those we really enjoy. A week of no television every so often is a great way to keep your family's TV time under control. The next TV Turn Off Week is scheduled for September 20-26th.

Friday, April 24, 2009

10 Recycling Tips

So of course you are recycling, but there may be areas you can improve on. Check out this list of 10 great recycling tips:

1. Make sure you are recycling everything you can - contact your local recycling company for more information on what your community recycles.

2. Once you know what can be recycled, do your best to avoid items that can't be recycled.

3. Compost food scraps and yard waste.

4. Contact catalog companies to stop any catalogs you receive and choose to shop online instead.

5. Stop junk mail as much as you can by checking out the tips found at

6. Use the backs of any junk mail you receive for notes or shopping lists before putting them in the recycling bin.

7. Be sure to recycle your hazardous household waste properly, consult for more info on how and where to recycle hazardous waste in your area.

8. Create an attractive and organized recycling center in your home so your family can easy help with your recycling efforts.

9. Create some recycling fun for your kids by making crafts with items that might typically end up in the trash. Need some inspiration, check your local library or bookstore for Laura C. Martin's book Recycled Crafts Box.

10. Try to find ways to recycle everything - donate used clothing to thrift stores, donate magazines, books, and movies to the library, donate cell phones to charitable organizations for recycling, donate old towels to the local animal shelter, donate craft supplies to local schools or nursing homes, offer items you no longer need on - the list goes on and on. Try to make the trash can the last choice for items you no longer need.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Disney's earth

If you didn't see Disney's new movie earth yet - you must! It is a wonderful film with phenomenal footage of some of the most amazing creatures on this planet. It is directed by Alastair Fothergill and Mark Linfield who also did the fantastic series Planet Earth. The main story focuses on a polar bear family, an elephant herd, and a humpback whale mother and calf, but the film will introduce you to never seen before animals like some of the captivating birds of paradise found in the rain forest. At the heart of the story is the perfect relationship between the Earth and the sun. The film reminds us of the fragile balance that our planet must maintain and how connected every organism is to others. The most amazing thing to me is the huge efforts some animals must undertake just to survive - long migrations for food and water, months without eating, and outmaneuvering hungry predators. After seeing the trials of these animals, is it really such an effort to remember your reusable bags as you head into the grocery store with its bounty of food or to to turn off the faucet while you brush your teeth? These simple actions are a small step in the direction of the efforts we need to take as a planet to help us keep these beautiful creatures around for future generations. As an added bonus, Disney will be planting a tree for every ticket sold during opening week of earth.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day 2009!

Happy Earth Day! Earth Day was founded by Gaylord Nelson and was first celebrated on April 22, 1970 as a day to teach people about the environmental dangers facing our earth. Like most holidays, Earth Day is becoming commercialized and over-hyped. Thinking about the Earth and our impact on it one day a year is not enough. What can you do to celebrate Earth Day in a meaningful way? As a family pledge to make one small change that you can continue long term to make every day Earth Day. Remind your family of the beauty of our planet by spending time outdoors- go on a nature hike, a stroll on the beach, or stargazing.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Celebrating Earth Day

Wednesday, April 22nd is Earth Day, a day to reconnect with nature and to pledge to protect our environment. Looking for ways to celebrate Earth Day with your family?

1. Take a hike through nature and appreciate being outside.

2. Read Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax, a wonderful story with a powerful message.

3. Participate in a beach clean-up.

4. Sign a family pledge to make every day Earth Day by recycling, conserving energy and saving water.

5. Educate your children about key environmental issues like global warming, water conservation, protecting endangered species, and pollution.

6. Host an Earth Dinner - where the focus is on local, sustainable, and organic food. It is a time to reflect on the food's journey to your table - where was it grown and by whom? For more information on hosting an Earth Dinner, visit

Monday, April 20, 2009

Why go veg?

Choosing to eat vegetarian is not just an ethical decision it is an environmental one. Factory farms use extreme amounts of water and grains and produce tons of CO2 emissions. How much of a difference can a vegetarian diet make?

If everyone went vegetarian just for one day, the U.S. would save 100 billion gallons of water, 70 million gallons of gas and 3 million acres of land. We would also eliminate greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 1.2 million tons of CO2, as much as what all of France produces!

Not ready to go completely vegetarian - make a difference for your family's and the planet's health by choosing to serve at least once vegetarian meal a week. Will this make a difference - you bet! According to Environmental Defense, if every American skipped one meal of chicken per week and substituted vegetarian foods instead, the carbon dioxide savings would be the same as taking more than half a million cars off of U.S. roads.

Celebrate Earth Day this week with a vegetarian meal. Looking for some great vegetarian recipes? Check out

Sunday, April 19, 2009

TV Turn Off Week

April 20-26th is TV Turn Off Week. Why should you turn off your TV? Televisions, video games, and computers cut into family time, lead to a sedentary lifestyle, and use a lot of electricity. How big is the problem? We are currently a society of more televisions than people. On average, people watch 4 hours of television and then spend another 4 plus hours with computers, games, iPods and cell phones - this is just for recreational use and does not include work use of these devices. By turning off screens(television, computer, and games) you will gain time to think, read, create, and connect with family and friends. Learn more at
Need some ideas for how to spend your free time?

1. Visit the library for books you can read aloud as a family.
2. Attend events in the community - concerts, plays, school sporting events,etc.
3. Cook a meal together as a family.
4. Have a family game night.
5. Put a puzzle together.
6. Visit a zoo or museum.
7. Go on a bike ride, skateboarding, roller skating, or play a game outside.
8. Volunteer in the community.
9. Write letters to friends and relatives instead of emailing.
10. Plant a garden.
11. Go on a nature hike.
12. Clean out your closets and donate excess items to Goodwill.
13. Start a journal.
14. Work on your favorite craft or learn a new one.
15. Bake a batch of homemade cookies.
16. Check out the night sky for constellations and planets.
17. Go through old photo albums and share stories as a family.
18. Write a story.
19. Teach your pet a new trick.
20. Go for a walk around your neighborhood.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Earth Day 2009 Freebies

With Earth Day coming this Wednesday several companies are offering some earth-friendly freebies.

Home Depot
Starting April 19th Home Depot is giving away one million Ecosmart CFL lighbulbs and water-saving faucet aerator inserts in their stores. Home Depot is also offering a free Eco-Options workshop Saturday April 25th. Visit for more information and to find your local store.

Calypso Studios
Calypso Studios who make great reusable bags is giving away $10,000 worth of their Acts of Kindness bags. Visit their website and register before 12pm on April 22nd for your chance to win
Join by April 23rd and receive an exclusive free download of their award winning book, Wake Up and Smell the Planet and you will also be entered for a chance to win tickets and airfare for two to the 2009 Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, TN June 11-14.
The Eco-Office Gals are having a “Green My World” giveaway worth over $400! I love this site they have tons of great tips & green product info

Reynolds Wrap
This Earth Day, try Reynolds Wrap® Foil from 100% Recycled Aluminum Free with mail-in rebate (up to $3.99) Rebate available for download only on Earth starting at 4:22am at their website

On April 19th Target is giving away 1 million reusable bags with any purchase. Visit for your local store.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Bad news for sea turtles

Sometimes it seems that making green changes are more hype than help for the planet. However by choosing reusable bags over plastic bags at the store not only are you keeping plastics out of landfills, you are protecting critically endangered sea turtles. The leatherback sea turtle's favorite meal is jellyfish. When plastic bags and balloons are floating on the ocean's surface they are easily confused for jellyfish by the turtles. A study of over 400 necropsy reports of leatherback turtles found plastic in the digestive system of a 1/3 of the turtles. While researchers aren't saying the plastic is the immediate cause of death, Mike James, a marine biologist at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, says: "Eating something that is plastic can't be good for you, whether it leads to death or not."

What can you do to help sea turtles...

1. Choose reusable bags over plastic bags when shopping.

2. Do not release balloons into the air at celebrations.

3. When you visit the beach, pick up any plastics you find on the beach and dispose of them properly.

4. Support organizations that educate the public about sea turtles like the Caribbean Conservation Corporation

Monday, April 13, 2009

Recycle Easter

Even if you decided to celebrate an earth-friendly Easter, you will still have some recycling to do.

1. Gather up any plastic eggs and pack them up for next year, this will save you money and reduce the amount plastic you buy.

2. I know you were eco-conscious and avoided buying plastic Easter grass, but basket giving grandparents & friends may not have been - what to do with the grass? Use it to cushion items you ship or as filler in gift baskets throughout the year.

3. Reuse your child's Easter basket. We have a large natural basket we use throughout the year - it holds Christmas presents, Easter goodies, birthday gifts, etc.

4. Recycle any cardboard packaging.

5. Compost your Easter egg shells.

6. Don't be lured by after Easter sales unless it is to purchase decorations that can be used year after year or natural baskets that can be used for gift giving or storage around the house.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Eco Easter

This Sunday is Easter and you may be wondering if there is a way to celebrate a little greener. Here are some earth friendly Easter tips:

1. Choose an Easter basket made from natural materials.

2. Skip the artificial grass and opt for a more natural filler like raffia, yarn or shredded recycled paper.

3. When it comes to eggs, purchase fresh eggs from a local farm and color them with natural dyes - for egg dying tips check out my Eco Easter Eggs post from last year.

4. Instead of plastic trinkets, fill the basket with soy crayons, wood toys, tickets to the local museum or a play, or homemade coupons for game nights, movie nights, or fun family activities.

5. No basket is complete without a sweet treat or two, when buying candy choose organics like Surf Sweets Organic Jelly Beans, Yummy Earth Organic Fruit Lollipops, or Sweet Earth Organic Chocolate Eggs.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Disposing of CFLs

While compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) are great when it comes to saving energy, they do contain a small amount of mercury and need to be disposed of safely. Here's some tips for disposing of CFLs without trashing the environment:

1. Check to see if your current garbage service recycles CFLs.
2. Retail stores like IKEA and Home Depot offer a free CFL take-back program.
3. Check to find local recycling at

If you want to avoid the mercury in CFLs check out LED light bulbs. LED light bulbs are shatterproof, run cool to the touch, and contain no mercury or hazardous substances and while they will last longer than CFLs they are currently much more expensive starting at $25 a bulb. Hopefully as the technology improves on LEDs the price will decrease.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Earthbound Farms

In honor of Earth Day, Earthbound Farms has a Sustain Yourself, Sustain the Planet Pledge you can take. The pledge explores simple changes you and your family can make to help the Earth like eating organic foods, switching to reusable water bottles, reducing your meat consumption, composting, and more. As an added bonus for taking the pledge, if you are one of the first 10,000 people to take the pledge each week in April, you’ll win an Earthbound Farm reusable shopping tote! Take the pledge and learn more at