Greengirlinc's Blog

Greening the world one blog at a time.

Eco School Supples and More August 12, 2010

It’s that time of year, back-to-school.  I know, we have mixed feelings about this time of year.  Most kids are groaning, and parents are secretly cheering (one can only take the sibling bickering or hear “I’m bored” so many times).  So how do you plan on greening your children’s school year?  There are things you can do to reduce their carbon footprint.  How about starting with how your kids get to school.  Many people drive their kids to school every day.  Now, sometimes this is necessary, when there are circumstances like a ridiculously early bus, no public transportation where you live, or heavy instruments that need hauling.  In those instances it’s best if you can at least car-pool.

What else can you do?  If your kids take their own lunch, then a waste-free lunch is the way to go.  Numerous companies both online and in physical retail sites have water bottles, lunch bags, lunch boxes, cloth napkins, sporks, GoToobs, reusable lunch containers and reusable non-plastic lunch pouches.  A great place to look in your town is at your local natural foods store or co-op.  If you can’t find what you need in town then I have a list of online stores where you can find what you need.

So, transportation and lunch are covered, what else?  How about the all important school supplies?  Try to replace the typical non-recycled or petroleum-based supplies with recycled content and non-petro based products.  Here is a list of products: recycled content notebooks, upcycled wrapper folders and notebooks, upcycled wrapper pencil pouches, recycled plastic pencil boxes,  recycled denim or newspaper pencils, stapleless staplers, recycled plastic scissors, solar calculators, soy or bees-wax based crayons, solar backpacks or messenger bags, recycled PET backpacks, well, you are starting to get the idea.  Maybe you can’t afford to buy all these items, but maybe you can get a few.

If nothing else, stop wasting your money and poisoning your home with cheap, disposable PVC backpacks.   A few years ago I made the switch to good quality backpacks for my kids.  PVC or polyvinyl chloride off-gasses for years and contributes to poor indoor air quality.  Think about your child having this toxic substance strapped to their back.  Plus, most of those cheap backpacks fall apart halfway through the school year and then sit in landfulls (yes, I meant landfulls) for a millennium.

The following is a list of websites and resources to help you green back-to-school.

The Ultimate Green Store

Reuseit

Posh Pouches

Kids Konserve

TerraCycle

Life Without Plastic

eBags-Recycled Backpacks

Green Peace-How to Find and Avoid Toxin Vinyl (PVC) in Your Home

The Nature Conservancy-Enviro Tips

 

Reuseit and A Waste-Free Lunch August 10, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tiffany C @ 10:19 AM

Reuseit is running a summer sale for supplies for a waste-free lunch.  Not only that, but you can vote for your favorite school to receive a $500 donation from Reuseit to use towards lunch gear.  You can leave a comment to have your school in the running on Reuseit’s Blog or go to the Reuseit Facebook Page.

Reuseit believes in giving back.  They are a 1% For The Planet Member.  This is the perfect time to green your child’s lunch routine, and possibly help out their classroom or school.  It is also a perfect time to green your own lunch routine.  Some of the items in their waste-free lunch supplies can be used for waste-free take-out.  So, go shopping, and stop leaving a trail of trash when you go to lunch or get take-out food.

Reuseit Store

I am a Reuseit Ambassador, and believe in the company.  I do use their products.

 

Changes Coming to Green Girl Inc.’s Blog August 9, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tiffany C @ 7:41 PM

Green Girl Inc.’s blog is going to be moving soon.  I’m combining my website and my blog into one site.  I hope you will come along for the ride.

 

High Fructose Corn Syrup Everywhere You Look August 7, 2010

Yesterday I wrote about the new study which confirmed what many of us have thought for a long time: high fructose corn syrup sucks.  Now, what do you do about it.  I’m sure you’ve all gone through your cabinets with a fine tooth comb to rid your home of this scourge.  There are two ways to avoid HFCS: don’t eat processed food, including most restaurant food, and/or shop the natural food section.  But remember, you always have to read those labels.  I really think HFCS and trans-fats have a lot to do with our countries weight and health issues.  Eat real food, eat organic food, shop your local farmers market, frequent stores that carry locally produced food and eat at restaurants that use local ingredients.  Changing habit is hard, but it can be done, and you’ll be glad you did.

 

Deep-Six The High Fructose Corn Syrup August 6, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tiffany C @ 9:42 AM
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You’ve heard it from me before, get that crap (a.k.a. high fructose corn syrup a.k.a. HFCS) out of your diet.  Now there is a study to confirm what many people have said for years, all sugars are not created equally.  Yes, white sugar is processed, but not to the extent that HFCS is processed.  HFCS is one of the monstrosities of the lab.  Now, not all chemistry is evil, and there is a growing trend in green chemistry.  High Fructose Corn Syrup is not green chemistry.  It may not have the immediate toxicity of strychnine, but it is still dangerous.  Read the article below, and then do yourself and your family a favor, and go through your cabinets, and deep-six everything with that crap in it. It will amaze you all the places it hides.  Don’t assume because one product by a company is free of HFCS that all its products are free of HFCS.  V-8, for example, has fooled our family before.  Their Fusion drink does not have HFCS, but their Splash product does.  Get ready to give your eyes a workout. Hmmm, where are those reading glasses?

Cancer Cells Slurp Up Fructose, US Study Finds

 

Dehydrator Review, So Far August 4, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tiffany C @ 9:28 AM
Tags: , ,

Well, I’ve been using the dehydrator to dry locally grown, organic blueberries.  Now, these blueberries are HUGE, so it has taken much longer than I thought it would.  After talking to others who have also been trying to dehydrate these monster blueberries, I’m not alone in struggling to get these suckers dried.  Literally, some of the blueberries are the diameter of a quarter.  That said, I am happy with the dehydrator itself.  I bought the Sausage Maker Stainless Steel 10-Tray Dehydrator  Model D10 w/Timer from Harvest Essentials.  I upgraded the trays to stainless steel.  This did up the price tag quite a bit from one of the plastic models, but it does have a 20 year warranty that the small plastic ones do not have.  It is big, but I knew that.  Setting up the unit was pretty straight forward.  I do think the literature with the unit could be a bit more informational.  I wanted a stainless steel dehydrator because I didn’t like the idea of heating food on plastic, especially for long periods of time.  This dehydrator is quiet, which I like.  The motor is on the back of the unit, so it blows evenly across the food instead of concentrating the drying on the bottom of the unit.  The trays have 3/8″ holes.  I  wish the company offered stainless steel mesh for small items.  All they offer is a plastic mesh.  I’ll keep looking for a food safe stainless mesh to put on the trays.  The timer is a must have in my mind.  This unit also has a temperature control, which will be helpful for different types of food.  This unit can be used to make sausage, obviously, it’s in the name.  We plan on attempting to make sausage this winter.  I’ll update the review after we have tried that.  Overall, I give the Sausage Maker Model D10 w/Timer a thumbs-up.

Sausage Maker Model D10 w/Timer

 

Reduce Your Plastic Use August 2, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tiffany C @ 1:09 PM
Tags: , , , , ,

Image by Life Without Plastic

There are companies that can help you use less plastic in your daily life than you are currently using.  There are the obvious places to ditch the plastic like switching from disposable plastic bags to quality reusable bags.  Switching from disposable plastic water bottles to reusable water bottles in glass, stainless steel, aluminum or food-safe and BPA-free plastics (my personal favorite is stainless).  If you don’t have perfect water, there are water purifiers on the market that can make almost any water potable.  Now, here’s where it gets interesting; how do you get plastic out of those daily mundane chores.  Believe it or not people used to clean without plastic.  A company in Germany is making things like toilet and dish brushes without plastic.  I have found an Internet company called Life Without Plastic that carries these brushes, plus stainless steel ice-cube trays, stainless steel drink ware and tableware, plastic-free toys, even a plastic-free fly swatter.  Then there are the places outside your home where using a reusable instead of disposable plastic.  Getting into this habit is hard, but oh-so-worthwhile.  Our family loves Dharma Glass Straws and Endurance Stainless Steel Straws.  My new favorite to replace a disposable is the Sanctus Mundo Airtight Watertight Takeout Containers.  These containers range in size from 3″ diameter to 6.25″ diameter.

Look around your life.  Every time you are about to buy another plastic thing, consider if you could find that product in a plastic-free form.  You might be surprised.  These items will most likely cost more initially, but they will probably last longer.  At the end of their useful life, these products are recyclable or biodegradable.

This is a short list of resources, I could go on and on, challenge yourself to do so.

Reuseit

Dharma Glass Straws

Eco Baby Steps

Plastic Free Pledge

Terra Trendz

TerraCycle

Posh Pouches