Saturday, April 11, 2009

Earth Hour to Earth Day Challenge Week 2

DAY 9: Easter Egg Fun
I am going to be a good blogger and post this nice and early... well early for me since I am the Queen of Procrastination! With Easter fast approaching, you will most likely be dyeing some eggs soon. How about staying away from the traditional 'dyes' (some of which,according to a 1983 study by the FDA, were found to cause tumors) and using natural versions. Admittedly, this method is a lot more time consuming but may prove to be even more fun for the kids as they can put their aprons on and play with some food, spices, pots and pans.

I have found a load of great links on the topic, so I will just point you there rather than trying to recreate the wheel. My own personal tip is make sure you buy white eggs and buy them 5 days in advance. (Older eggs will peel much easier after hard boiling.)

Great links on natural egg dyes:
Crunchy Domestic Goddess
Better Homes & Gardens
Green Living Ideas

DAY 10: Down With Starbucks & Dunkin' Donuts

Do you know how just how much trash you are creating by using cups from your favorite coffee shop every day? Try this Coffee Waste Calculator and see. And just think of how much money you are wasting too. Why not get yourself a travel mug (I love Thermos brand for durability and longevity) and bring the java from home? You'll get to keep the coffee grounds for composting, you'll save the resources that are needed to make paper or plastic coffee cups and you'll save a buttload of money.

DAY 11: How to Decorate Your Home with 'Green'
I am a huge proponent/lover of using found items and/or salvage to decorate your home. When I lived in Littleton, New Hampshire, I discovered my first salvage store: ADMAC Salvage. It was like a shoe whore living next to Off Broadway Shoes. I was constantly shopping there for anything from trinkets to cabinets. Not only does the stuff have great personality, you are saving it from a landfill. I have a great island in my kitchen that I built with legs fashioned from stair banisters. I would recommend that everyone go to your local salvage store and take a peek, you'll be shocked at the great stuff they have. In (and around) New Hampshire, we have
ADMAC Salvage
Vermont Salvage
Old House Salvage
Nor'East Architectural Antiques

And for tips on how to decorate green or with found art, check out these sights:
Planet Green
Today Show
Care 2 Green Decorating

This is a given for green tips, but I'll say it anyway... Start by saving energy in your home. Shut stuff off when it's not in use and unplug stuff to cut down on the ghost loads. If you have trouble remembering to unplug, get yourself a handy Smart Power Strip, which will detect when appliances are not in use and shut them down.
Replace your thermostat with a programmable one. This is so easy to do and it will save you tons. Also, at most times, your local power company will be sponsoring a rebate to get the money back on the thermostat which will make it free or close to it. Just set the thermostat to go lower at times when you are not home or if you are sleeping.
Stay Warm NH is an outstanding website to give NH residents a plethora of ideas on how to be more energy efficient.

DAY 13: Green Websites

Here are a few of my favorite green websites. They deserve a bookmark or subscription as they all have great content and ideas.

Ideal Bite: They have great tidbits that you can have emailed to you every day. They also have a Mommy subdivision for those Mom's trying to go green.

The Soft Landing Baby: It's a website dedicated to feeding supplies for babies and children.

Green and Clean Mom: A great blog, the name says it all.

Eat Well Guide: A place to find local, sustainable, organic food in your area.

Terminally Pretty: a blog by a Mom like me, slowly trying to go green.

DAY 14: Reusable Water Bottles

Use reusable water bottles and save all the resources from disposable water bottles, from the actual plastic to the fuel to ship the bottles around the world. Go with stainless steel and avoid BPA, PVC and phthalate. Check out this article for more info.

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