Saturday, October 25, 2008

back to the simple life

I am taking advantage of the heat and sun where we live. I am loving the entire experience of drying clothes on the line -- from the smell of freshly washed damp clothes, to hanging them, to taking them down, (they are dry within a few hours),to knowing I am not putting more CO2 into the air, to looking forward to the savings on our upcoming electric bill (which by the way, like in many places, the rates have gone up!)

I do put a few pieces once dried that get stiff into the dryer for a few minutes. (jeans and older towels). But the new towels I just got at Costco (Kirkland brand) are so fluffy after being line dried, that they need no dryer time. I am delighted with this. And clothes will last longer without being dried in the dryer. Thanks Mr. Sun!

This is a recent article from, a website designed to provide information about how to offset CO2 levels. Click on the link below to get to their website:

Climate change and global warming FAQ

October 2008

Carbon Dioxide, Global Warming & You

Humanity is facing one its biggest challenges - global warming induced climate change. One of the main offenders contributing to rapidly increasing temperature isn't carbon itself, it's increased carbon dioxide (C02) emissions, methane and deforestation.
Trees ingest carbon dioxide and turn it into carbon which they store - the problem is that there's simply not enough trees left to deal with the massive carbon load we put on our ecosystem.

Our oceans are increasingly bearing the strain of absorbing carbon dioxide, which is making them acidic.

As a part of the battle to help reduce global warming, we need to reduce general consumption and to plant more trees to take carbon dioxide out of the air and turn it into plain old carbon - to carbonify C02! We also need to implement more in the way of renewable energy projects.

... prevention is better than cure, so there's also plenty we can do to lessen the amount of C02 that gets into the air in the first place.
What human activities create carbon dioxide emissions?

With the majority of us still sourcing our power via fossil fuels; the scope of our activities that generate carbon dioxide is massive; for example:

Driving your car
Switching on a light
Watching TV
Heating and cooling your house

In fact, most human activity generates carbon dioxide - even breathing. While we can't stop or reduce that, there are other ways we can start lessening our carbon footprint.
What can I do to lessen my carbon impact on the environment?

Carbonify is powered by wind & solar energy via green tag offsets!- About Carbonify -
Latest Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Levels:383.09 parts/millionTrend : rising read more

Made in Australia, Greening the world!Copyright (c) Michael Bloch and
_uacct = "UA-2648410-2";

Monday, October 20, 2008

another sale

This Thursday I am hosting another Green Mama sale at our house. It's from 10 - 1:30. I am accepting donations, and again, they are pouring in!

This time the money raised is going to benefit Mother Miracle school, a school in India for very poor children. It was founded a few years ago and we have been sponsoring kids since its inception. It was started by this amazing American couple, who decided to sell everything they had and move to India and devote the rest of their life to helping poor children. The school has over 170 kids now. Their intention is to help their students get the best education they can offer. They also want to help their older students get into college, so they can reach their dreams and then in turn help their families break out of the poverty cycle. Pictured above are two of their top students, with our son, both of whom want to be doctors. These teenage girls are now helping teach the younger children. We got to meet them this summer when the founders brought them to America. They were so sweet, humble, appreciative and very bright girls. We really enjoyed them.

This is the link to their school.

Here I am pictured with the founders of Mother Miracle, Patrick and Shahla

The leftover items from this week's sale are going to our local shelter for women and children. Last time we had a truckload. They were also very appreciative, and the items were very much needed, especially bedding.

Please spread the word! We also need donations of food for the shelter (cans, bags of rice, etc.)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

more on tulsi

A friend and I worked last weekend at her tulsi garden to harvest the plants and pluck leaves. My girls also got in on the action and helped. We are going to have the leaves dried and then made into tinctures and tea to be sold on the mainland.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

environmental defense action fund

Below are two links and some excerpts from an email I received today from the Environmental Defense Action Fund.

I thought the email made sense. Everyone is worried about the economy, and we obvious should be. But now, more than ever in history, we should also be concerned about the future of our planet.

"We cannot solve our economic crisis without solving our energy crisis and we cannot responsibly solve our energy crisis without stopping global warming.

Our environmental and economic future is in our hands. We must keep the pressure on our federal candidates to support real action to stop global warming and unleash our green energy future.
It's up to us to make sure that the green energy economy and global warming are front and center in voter's minds when they go to the polls on November 4.

Our 2009 Green Energy Agenda – the strategic principals supporting our 2009 Battle Plan which show how a strong economy and our clean energy future are closely intertwined.
Jargon Watch – a jargon glossary that will help decode greenwashing in political speeches and debates."

The following will be helpful for voters concerned with this issue.

"The following timeline documents America's global warming inaction during the Bush administration. As the timeline makes clear, we are running out of time to solve this urgent environmental threat."

Please pass this on...

happy windmills...there will be many more

let's get serious about reusable bags

Some staggering facts on the PLASTIC BAG issue.

*The United states Environmental Protection agency says that somewhere between 500 billion and one trillion plastic bags are consumed worldwide each year. - National Geographic News, 2003

*Less than 1% of plastic bags are recycled!!!!!!!!! It costs more to recycle a plastic bag than to produce a new one. - Christian Science Monitor Newspaper

*In case you don't find the above paper scientific enough - An article I found on this topic from the Sierra Club states - "San Francisco is considering a 17 cent surcharge on both plastic bags and paper bags at major supermarkets to encourage shoppers to use their own cloth bags. A study by the City of San Francisco determined that 17 cents is what it costs to handle each discarded plastic bag." - Kay Bushnell, Sierra Club

*It costs $4000 to process and recycle a ton of plastic bags which can be sold on the commodities market for $32!!! - Jared Blumenfeld, Director of San Francisco Department of the Environment

A friend sent me this link about plastic bags this summer.
It was heart wrenching for me to watch. I realized how many plastic bags we, as a family, mindlessly use, how cashiers hand them over with very little thought. Once I realized how expensive it is to recycle them, I decided to do my part, and made a vow to stop using plastic bags, to stop taking plastic bags for merchandise from stores, and to start using reusable bags. I have about 20 reusables. I got them at Whole Foods Market in California and Wegmans in N.Y. They are everywhere, and usually only cost a dollar or so. I also found some smaller cloth bags to use for produce and bulk products at an ashram in California last year. They were a dollar each. I bought about 20 and now I wish I had bought double that. They are not available online. However I have looked online and there are plenty of places to buy reusable bags in all shapes and sizes. Here are two places to look into:

By the way, the same ashram was selling handmade products made from woven plastic this summer. (mostly handbags and baskets). People all over the country in this community are getting into the idea of using less, and recycling as much plastic as possible into usable items.

Now I am in the habit of using our new bags whenever we shop -- and I have gotten my sweet husband (Green Papa I call him) also in the habit. I have to remember to put the bags in our cars once we empty them. And sometimes once I am in a store if I forget the bags I have to go back to my car to retrieve them. But it's no biggie.

These bags I have are far sturdier than paper, and especially plastic.
We also have stopped using plastic bags for garbage in the house. We use paper in the kitchen and we don't line small trash cans anymore with plastic. We have considerably less waste each week. We compost so much now, and we have also cut down in buying products with excess packaging. We hardly buy plastic bottles anymore. Most of our recycling is glass and some is metal cans. We also have a lot of paper and cardboard, which is eventually shredded and helps make compost that is resold on our island. I also am composting our dryer lint and some of our paper. It feels so great to have so little waste each week to bring to the curb. Our family of five has less than most of our neighbors with smaller households.

Also our girls have new teachers this year and we have volunteered to recycle their paper from school, so each Friday they are sent home with a bag of paper for us to sort.

Every little bit each of us does makes a difference. The less we pollute the earth, the healthier it will be for all of us. Please forward this information to people who you think will care.

Here is is again:

Monday, October 6, 2008

don't forget to dream

Write them down. They happen when you do that.

Notice the unique handmade letters in the above word. Stay tuned for my idea of making letters and wreaths from, not grapevines, but passionfruit vines.