The Leaf Blower: A lazy person’s lawn manicure

As you read this, are you listening to the sound of your neighbor's leaf blower? Does it sound like a hoard of angry mosquitoes descending on your home? I absolutely love this time of year.  Growing up in New England, Fall was always my favorite season.  The brilliant reds and oranges of the maple leaves, the crisp, cool mornings, and the earthy smell of the air as the leaves started to drop to the ground.  Then my dad would hand me a rake and tell me to go clean up the yard.  THAT part of Fall I could seriously have done without.  I can not … [Read more...]

Eco-friendly or Eco-crazy? Where Do You Draw the Line?

Where do you draw the line when it comes to reducing your carbon footprint? I like to think that I am an environmentally friendly sort of girl.  I buy organic produce, support my local farmers, recycle and compost.  I have a garden and put my kids' lunches in reusable containers.  I can consider myself green, right?  Mmmmm...maybe and maybe not.  All depends on who you ask. I am part of a number of groups both online and in real life that are focused on living an environmentally friendly lifestyle and I have to say that sometimes I feel like I … [Read more...]

Restaurant Food Waste Facts: How to Reduce Food Waste When Eating Out

Our landfills are straining at the seams and we throw away more and more stuff every year.  From appliances and electronics to household mail and toxic chemicals, humans are wasteful creatures. Some things have to be thrown away but many can find new homes or a new purpose.  I was floored when I started researching restaurant food waste facts.  To throw away something broken is one thing but good food should never be wasted, especially given the staggering number of hungry people we have in this country. How many times have you gone to a … [Read more...]

Eco Friendly Grilling Tips: From Food to Fire!

Now that the warm weather is upon us, I thought I would share a few eco friendly grilling tips with you.  My husband and I are avid grillers and no matter what the season, you will often find our grill sizzling with an assortment of tasty foods.  The great thing about the grill is it falls to the husband to do the actual cooking.  I know, I should be some liberal and self-sufficient woman and tend the fire myself but why should I when the hubby enjoys it so much??  So, I prepare the food and he cooks it on our very awesome ceramic Green Egg … [Read more...]

Natural Ingredients in Food You Really Don’t Want to Eat!

If you are a label reader like I am, you have probably come across the term natural ingredients in food that you purchase for your family.  Have you ever wondered what those natural ingredients really are?  You look at the back of the package and see the words natural ingredients and you think 'That must be healthy, right? '  You might be surprised at what the term natural ingredients really covers.  Ever hear of something called Ambergris? Ambergris  is also known as whale vomit and is considered a natural ingredient in food.   According to … [Read more...]

Mental Health Benefits of Gardening : Can playing in the dirt really make a girl happy?

Have you ever wondered if there are any mental health benefits of gardening?  Can growing a few tomatoes and herbs in the dirt provide anything more for you than a tasty dinner? The last couple of weeks I have been feeling a little bit BLAH.  Maybe it's the weather, could be hormones, or maybe it is just good old stress wreaking havoc on my emotional well being.  Whatever it is, my favorite place this week has been my recliner...preferably still wearing my pajamas or eating chocolate.  I know I need to snap out of this funk before my husband … [Read more...]

Reasons to Support Sustainable Palm Oil Suppliers

A couple of days ago I received an email from Change.org asking me to sign a petition to encourage the Girl Scouts of America to remove palm oil from its list of ingredients due to environmental concerns. Why?  Because none of the palm oil in them comes from sustainable palm oil suppliers.   My daughter is a Girl Scout...thus requiring me to buy and eat large quantities of said cookies but I signed the petition anyhow.  As long as my Samoas are still tasty I am all for making them more environmentally friendly!  Then, I started wondering...what … [Read more...]

Can You Identify Fake Honey? A not so sweet tale of honey impersonation

Have you heard about fake honey?  Did you know that there was a scandal not too long ago about fake honey being sold in stores?  Do you think you can identify fake honey if you saw it? My husband and I have started making mead, a honey based 'wine' that ferments for almost a year before being ready to actually drink.  When we were getting ready to start our first batch, we did a lot of research into what types of ingredients we wanted to include (you can add things like hops or fruit to create different varieties of mead). Obviously, the one … [Read more...]

Eco Friendly School Ideas for Greener Classrooms and Smaller Footprints

Have you ever wished for more environmentally friendly schools in your area?  Did you ever think that maybe YOU could help play a part in creating them? I wanted to share a few eco friendly school ideas for you to research this summer and implement in the fall.  Why do we need green schools?  Most of the time, parents are expected to be the 'teachers' when it comes to their children.  We teach them to walk, talk, use the potty, do their math homework (at least until 6th grade!) and drive a car.  We hope (or pray!) that our lessons are well … [Read more...]

A New Kind of Immigrant and How to Control Invasive Species

If you have ever had to pull ivy off a tree, you may have wondered how to control invasive species in your yard.  Here in the south, we have a plant called kudzu that thrives in the summer heat.  Haven't ever seen or hear of kudzu? It is often called 'The Plant that Ate the South' for a very good reason! This vine can grow at an alarming rate, taking over just about every surface it comes across. Hills and valleys, electrical poles and trees, houses and cars...nothing stands a chance against this fast growing vine. If the south doesn't learn … [Read more...]

Eco Friendly Green Burials : Til a Green Death Do Us Part….

Have you ever considered eco friendly green burials when a loved one passes away? When I was growing up, I lived right next door to a cemetery.  I learned to ride my bicycle along the cement paths and liked to wander through the gravestones and wonder about the life of each of the people buried there.  Now, 30 years later, my parents live in a NEW state...right across the street from another cemetery.  When I visit with the kids, we walk through the paths and wonder about the lives of each of the people named on the gravestones.  My children … [Read more...]

Hanging a Clothes Line? Help Preserve The Right to Dry!

A few years ago, my husband and I decided that hanging a clothes line would be a smart thing to do.  Hanging clothes on the line outside saves money and is better for the environment.  Of course, between the pollen and the humidity, I haven't gotten to use it as much as I would like.  But, despite restrictions from our neighborhood association, installing a clothes line was easy.  There are many people in our neighborhood who want to BAN clothes lines because they are considered 'tacky' or 'poor looking'.  Yes, somehow hanging clothing out to … [Read more...]

How to Celebrate Earth Day? Shocking Facts and How YOU Can Help!

Today is Earth Day and everywhere I look I find tons of information about events, rallies, and celebrations to encourage people to live a greener life.  What originally started back in the 1970's as an 'environmental teach-in' observed by universities across the U.S. is now celebrated by more than 500 million people in 175 countries.  It has gone from a slightly radical grass roots effort to raise awareness of environmental issues to a major holiday in only 40 years.  WHY?  Because people know, deep down, that we are seriously messing up our … [Read more...]

Green Road Trip Ideas for Frugal Family Fun!

I learned many years ago that a green road trip can be both frugal and a ton of fun. We travel by car fairly often...the grandparents all live far away and they like to see their grand kids occasionally.  I look forward to these drives about as much as I look forward to my yearly OB exam.  Days of being cooped up with the kids and nowhere to hide!  To top it all off we usually end up eating fast food, getting leg cramps and headaches, and arrive at our destination with a less than stellar attitude about the whole trip.  I know we should be … [Read more...]

Zero Waste Living: One Man’s Trash is Another Man’s Treasure

When my husband was in graduate school, I worked at a job that paid...well, let's just say it didn't pay very much at all!  We ate a lot of ramen noodles during those years.  Since the graduate schools had a constant turnover of people coming in and out, there were always friends (or random strangers) who begged the use of our truck to help haul stuff.  In exchange, we were often gifted with things that were no longer wanted by their owners...mismatched plates, chipped mugs, lamps with crooked shades, etc.  We were thrilled!  We didn't have a … [Read more...]

How Green is Your e Reader?

Have you ever considered your technology footprint and wondered how green is the e reader you love so much? I have always loved to read...I remember as a kid my dad yelling at me to put away the book/newspaper/magazine/cereal box, etc while I was eating.  I remember staying up til 3 AM with a book while I was in high school and having to get up at 5 AM to shower for school.  Family vacations were spent with my nose stuffed into my latest novel.  NO, mom, I do NOT want to look out the car window and see even MORE COWS!  The first 100 were … [Read more...]

Eco Friendly Fashion: The right choice can reduce your Carbon Footprint

Every once in a while, my husband comes to me with an idea that he thinks I need to blog about.  He is very helpful when it comes to my blogging inspirations!  He recently came across an article about fashion designers who are trying to reduce their environmental impact by creating eco friendly fashion styles including shoes, clothes, and accessories.  There are a ton of eco friendly fashion companies on the web but this article really focused on the big name brands going green.  Designers are coming up with all sorts of ideas, some of which … [Read more...]

7 Reasons Not to Buy Valentines Day Flower Arrangements

Valentines Day is right around the corner and that means millions of people heading out to buy cards, candy, and of course,  Valentines Day flower arrangements!  Why do we celebrate February 14th as a day of love? One legend says that the holiday originated from the ancient Roman festival of Lupercalis, a fertility celebration that used to be observed annually on February 15. In 496 AD, Pope Gelasius turned it into a Christian feast day and moved the date to February 14 in honor of Saint Valentine, a Roman martyr who lived in the 3rd century.  … [Read more...]

Are fake ones just as good as the real thing?

Christmas is almost here and everyone is rushing around looking for Christmas trees to put in their homes.  Some people choose real trees while others look for the best artificial Christmas trees they can find. Are those people making the better choice? Is it better for the environment to choose a real tree or should we all be looking for realistic artificial Christmas trees? In a few weeks there will be millions of dried up evergreen trees heading to the dump.  They have fulfilled their one and only requirement of decorating our homes for … [Read more...]