Archive | Green Living

Clear Your Clutter, Find Your Life

I found this to be a really helpful, succinct article on how to de-clutter your home in this time of spring. Clear Your Clutter, Find Your Life is from Body & Soul’s April 2009 issue.

I’m not even going to try and excerpt the good bits, because it all seems very constructive and helpful. So click through and let me know what you think.

Do-It-Yourself Cleaning Tools from Martha Stewart

This link is the portal to all sorts of home remedies and cleaning supplies – how to make your own all purpose cleanser, laundry detergent, silver polish, toilet bowl cleaner, etc. etc.

Not only will these tips save money but will also reduce chemical residue and are better for the environment.

If you try any, please report back your experience.

Whole Foods Not So Wholesome

Check out this investigative report from the local ABC affiliate, WJLA, here in DC. As usually the FDA is protecting the industry more than the public. Most of the problem foods are under the Whole Foods label 365, which also tends to be the cheapest on the shelf. Problem is that most of the frozen packaged food is grown and packaged in China. So don’t be sure it’s really organic or safe for you or the environment.

To see the list you can click here. It’s an 8 page pdf with the subheading – “Whole Foods Internal Document – Do Not Distribute”

Click here for more information (scroll to bottom) and to file a complaint with the FDA National Organic Program.

Well, I suppose now I’ll be going to the Dupont Circle Market today and every Sunday……

Green Your Fridge

Vegetarian Times offers 10 steps to “green” your refrigerator. Several would only be pertinent if you were building or remodeling your kitchen (i.e. move your refrigerator away from a window or don’t buy a refrigerator with ice and/or water dispensers).

Nonetheless, some of the other suggestions are helpful. The link also includes some food safety tips.

Local Web Site Helps You Go Green

For those in DC, Wednesday brings us the launch of Live Green.

Live Green is a local network organization that aims to

  • do the research and led you to locally available, high quality green goods and services,
  • provide tips for living green
  • help businesses adopt green practices

For more on Live Green’s services, click here.

The launch party on Wednesday, June 18th is at:

Local 16
1602 U Street, NW
Washington, DC

There’ll be live music. There’s a small fee, $13 ahead of time, $15 at the door (but RSVPs are requested).

Check it out.

Clear Your Mailboxes of 41 Pounds!

I’ve found some great tools online to help you reduce the onslaught of paper and phone calls coming into your house. It could not be simpler.

Step one: Register for the “Do Not Call List” This literally takes less than a minute. You enter your phone number and provide an email address. The government sends you an email. You open the email. Click on the link. And confirm. Now the telemarketers can’t call you. Note that non-profits are exempt. And originally we would have to re-register every 5 years, but the program has proved so popular that Congress is considering eliminating that requirement. Go to this link: DoNotCall.gov. (Government can do good).

Step two: Reduce those catalogues. A great new web site called Catalogue Choice can help you do that. First you register – name, email address, real address. They send you an email and you confirm. Then whenever you get a catalogue in the mail that you don’t ever look at – you simple go to the web site, type in the number from the mailing code. And Catalogue Choice will do the rest and get you off the mailing list.

They have many common catalogues listed. But if the one you’ve gotten in the mail is not listed, there’s a mechanism for Catalogue Choice to help with that as well. And if you don’t have the mailing label, and only have your address, they can still help. Check it out: catalogchoice.org.

Step three: New American Dream is a web site with the mission to help us “live consciously,” “buy wisely” and “make a difference.” They offer many mechanisms to help us achieve these goals. (Last month, nilambu notes featured their Simplify the Holidays brochure). You do need to register, but then you get access to all of their services; much is still accessible regardless. And don’t worry, they won’t use your email to clutter up your mailbox. I have gotten some emails from them, but it’s not a deluge.

And they have a special section to help you contact all the folks necessary to rid you of useless mail. You simply type your address in, and the site does the rest. Click here to get started and generate the letters. You just print them out, sign them, and mail them away. Begin now!

One other option – which I’ve not tried – is a service offered by 41pounds.org. So called because, on average, each American gets 41 pounds of junk mail a year. 41 pounds! So, for $41.00 they will remove you from mailing lists and catalogues. If anyone tries it out, please report your experience back to me.

One final resource – Martha Stewart lists 100 ways and reasons to “Get Rid of It.” So if you want to get rid of that mattress or old lap top or suitcases or eyeglasses or pretty much anything else, check out this list of resources to help you figure out what to do with all your needless stuff.