Saturday, October 23, 2010

#4 BPA and you

There have been under "rumblings" about BPA, it's safety, and how it effects the human body. I'm going to share with you what I know, and my point of view on it.  I want you to know before you read any further, I don't have a science background.  So, big words and other scary descriptions won't be found in this post.

Bisphenol A, or BPA for short is found in plastic.  Commonly it is found in products baby and water bottles, sports equipment, medical and dental devices, dental fillings and sealants, eyeglass lenses, CDs and DVDs, and household electronics.  Most concerning though are baby bottles and canned goods.  Cans are lined with a plastic barrier to keep the food from the metal of the can, and the BPA can and does leach into the food. BPA has also been detected in nonstick-coated cookware, plastic wrap for food packaging, recycled food boxes and clothes treated with fire retardants (think...your kids' pajamas???).

So why should you avoid BPA?  Here are a few things that BPA has been linked to.

1.  Obesity.
2. Neurological disorders, brain structure and function, and possibly ADHD
3. Thyroid Function.
4. May be a carcinogen, and also may effect chemotherapy treatments.
5. Reproductive health issues.

At this stage in the game, I have a bad feeling that many politicians have their hands in "the cookie jar" so to speak, and are reluctant to move on any specific ban on BPA.  I know that the research has been done quietly, and new findings are quietly discovered.  However I am going to refer to an old fashioned saying;  When in doubt, throw it out!

Here are a few ways to keep yourself clear of BPA.

1. Don't get receipts.  Receipts are typically laced with BPA coated powder, and I'm sure you don't eat your receipts, but exposure is exposure.
2. Avoid canned foods.  Learn how to can your own things, or stick to fresh (if you're lucky enough to live in that kind of climate).
3. Avoid soda.  Soda comes how?  Either in plastic bottles...or CANS.  Hard to escape that one.
4. Buy water bottles that specifically say BPA free.
5. Don't buy flame resistant clothing or furniture.
6. Stay away from Teflon coated pots and pans.  Even plastic spatulas.  Stick to glass, wood, or uncoated metals.

1. Green LA Girl
2. BPA Not yet Banned
3. The Washington Post

Thursday, October 21, 2010

#4 Ditch the plastic bags

If you're one of those people who roll your eyes at the hippy who brings their own bag to the grocery store, you need to listen up.  Ever hear of the Pacific Garbage Patch?  What about the more recently discovered Atlantic Garbage Patch?

Both of these patches of trash in the ocean consist mostly of plastic debris.  Lot's of this is water bottles, and other containers that don't break down easily, but there is a lot of this that is also the simple one time use plastic bags.

Reusable bags can take up to 450 years to biodegrade!  The process of making paper bags creates more pollution then plastic.  The recycling process for plastic itself is a dirty, pollution causing process. Need to know more? Click here for 25 reasons why you shouldn't be using anything but reusable shopping bags.

There's more when it comes to the bags too.  Cheap reusable bags aren't doing you any good either.  Get yourself about 5 or so good quality bags, and never worry about them again.  I suggest Flip and Tumble or Envirosax.  My favorite cheap bag is from Ikea. I've had my 99 cent bags for YEARS! Crafty types can make their own (which I am crafty, but I haven't done that yet...I'm busy!!).

For those of you who do use them, be sure to clean them out after each use.  I also stick them right back in my car when I'm done with them.  Otherwise, I don't have them when I need them.

1. Reuse this bag
2. Reusit!
3. Altantic Garbage Patch

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

#3 Ditch the water bottle...

Recently I stumbled across this video below.  Stop wasting your money on bottled water, and get yourself a reusable BPA free travel water bottle, and fill it up with tap water.  You'll be saving the landfill, and your wallet.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

#2 Greening the laundry room

Going green in the laundry room is not only good for the environment, but it WILL save you money.  Here are some simple things you can do to lessen your impact when it comes to laundry.

1.  Wash with cold water whenever you can.  Most energy used in hot wash cycle is strictly to heat the water.  Limit your hot water usage to linens and undies and you'll be lessening your impact.

2. Don't wash your clothes after each time you wear them.  Tight fitting shirts and undies should be washed each time, however your jeans can be worn up to 4-5 times before you toss them in your dirty clothes basket.  If you live in a colder climate, you might be able to push it more.  Real Simple Magazine had a very interesting article over the summer called When to wash it.  It's an easy read, and it will put your mind at ease (I'm not totally nuts...I swear).

3. Use green laundry detergents, or better yet, make your own.  Conventional laundry detergents contain phosphates that encourage algal bloom, and damage marine life.  Look for labels that say phosphate free, plant-based, or biodegradable. One of my favorite companies out there right now is Sun and Earth.  I have tried all of their stuff, and recently had a giveaway.  If you're adventurous you can try one of the many laundry detergent recipes here.

4. Hang your clothes out to dry.  For a while I had a load a day method. I'd wash, and hang that load out to dry.  Rinse and repeat the next day.  It was so very nice.  Laundry never got overwhelming.  Now I'm in an apartment, and I can't hang my clothes to dry like I used to.  I hang some, and utilize hangers in the bathroom on the shower rod.  Where there's a will there's a way, and nothing beats the smell of outdoor dried clothes.  Even in the winter!

5.  If you must use the dryer, maximize it's usage.  Clean out the lint traps after each use, and ditch the dryer sheets.  Conventional dryer sheets often have chemicals in them such as toluene and styrene which are carcinogens.  Correction: Toluene is a carcinogen.  For more information on the harmful effects of styrene, read here. For more thoughts on dryer sheets read here.

6. Skip the dry cleaner.  Conventional dry cleaners use a chemical called perchloroethylene, or perc for short. Not only is this chemical bad for the environment, but it's bad for us too.  It's been linked to increased risks of bladder, esophageal, and cervical cancer. Also eye, nose, throat and skin irritation and even reduced fertility. Omg!

1. Top Green Laundry Tips

Tuesday Hoppin

Here's to some Tuesday blog hopping. How to Green your laundry comes later today. :)

BWS tips button

Tuesday Tag-Along

To-the-TOP Tuesday

Linking back to:

Monday, October 18, 2010

#1 The wha about light bulbs...

It's pretty common knowledge that traditional incandescent light bulbs are being phased out because of their poor energy use...I think it's common knowledge, right?  These lights are being banned throughout the world, Ireland being the first to ban them on March 1, 2009.  The EU has a scheduled ban taking place much to the chagrin of some Europeans, who are claiming it's some kind of "light bulb" socialism and they're stocking up on these outdated energy burning bulbs.

So what should the common average joe know about light bulbs so they can make the best purchase for their family and for the environment?

One option is a compact flourescent bulb, or CFL for short.  I personally find these bulbs abrasive to my poor sensitive eyes, however under a lamp shade, they're not so bad.  Each bulb costs considerably more then your traditional light bulb, however they last much longer.  There are some things you should know.  Turning them on and off frequently can shorten the life of the bulb.  The Energy Star program suggests you leave the light on a minimum of 15 minutes when you turn it on.  Another concern about these bulbs is the mercury content.  The amount of mercury is minimal (way less then our old fashioned thermometers), however these bulbs need to be disposed of properly, and precautions need to be taken to prevent them from breaking in your home.  If you use these bulbs, and don't know of a recycling center, you can look that up here at Earth 911 or here.

The last concern with fluorescent lights is something called "Short Wave Ultraviolet Light".  Each bulb releases a tiny bit of this damaging light, which is the same cancer causing light that comes from the sun.  Light bulb technology is getting better every day, and those with the brains are working hard to fix this problem.  It's way better then it used to be.  Look for plastic coated bulbs (like the kind Ikea sell) if you're concerned.

Another option for light bulbs is the Light Emitting Diode, commonly known as the LED light. These have been around a long time.  They light up the numbers in your alarm clock, microwave, and even watches.  There's a lot of complicated stuff on diodes and how these lights work, but I won't get into that.  What you should know is they are the most energy efficient of the bulbs I've discussed today.  They don't contain mercury, or UV light.  They don't burn out, but fade over time, and can last 35,000-50,000 hours.  To use these bulbs as regular light fixtures in the house is a little cutting edge, and may be more common in the next decade or so.

So what kind of light bulb are you using?


1. Lights Out
2. Gettin Around the EU Ban
3. The end of the lightbulb as we know it
4. How an LED Works
5. Why LED?

Menu Plan Monday

I think October is my favorite month.  My favorite foods are ready to harvest, the trees are beautiful, and Halloween is one of my favorite holidays.  This month has been so incredibly busy already, and I'm just happy as a clam.  I love cooked squash, carrots, parsnips, apples, spice cakes...I'm in heaven.

So here's to being green, and having a menu plan that rotates with the wheel of the year.

Monday: Apple and Sausage Pie
Tuesday: Cream of Mushroom Soup and home made bread for dipping.
Wednesday: Grilled Cheese Sandwiches with bacon and pear
Thursday: Slow cooker Chili and corn bread
Friday: Home made pizza
Saturday: Leftovers or take out
Sunday: Roasted Chicken with taters and carrots.

Fun fall snacks:
1. Acorn Dough Nuts which will have my own added style of being completely home made.
2. Baked Apples with apples from my friend's tree! :)
3. Maple Butter Spiced Popcorn

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The silent week...

This week I needed a pause.  Life has been crazy, we're putting an offer on yet another house (this will be the third one!) and hopefully three times is a charm, right?  One of my close friends out here is foreclosing on her house soon.  I've been trying to help her as much as I can, yard sales, selling her jewelry (she is an amazing jewelry maker!).  I'll be adding a widget to her new etsy store this coming week on the side so you can see how awesome she is.

I've been brewing up a new project for the blog too.  Starting tomorrow, I'm going to be doing a 101 ways to go green, and I'm going to explain and simplify the tough questions some of us have when it comes to green.  What kind of lights, bags, gas, cars, food, wha?

Just to share a bit of cuteness with you, here's a photo of my girl playing the organ at my friend's yard sale.  She was such an amazing little helper, and the weather has been so nice.  

Ni Hao Y'all

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Tuesday Hoppin

Doing some hopping today before I go off to can more tomatoes.  I need to do it quick before they go bad.  Pictures to come later. Have a great Tuesday everyone! :)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Giveaway Winner!

Congratulations to Jessica over at Who are you calling Crabby? 

She is the winner of the massive loot from Sun and Earth.  

For those of you who didn't win this time around, please go check out their wesbite and try their stuff.  You will be glad you did. :)

Menu Plan Monday

This week began with an awesome weekend.  The fall here is amazing, and I got to have so much fun yesterday. This week I'll be house hunting still, but otherwise nothing exciting going on.  The give away ends today, so if you haven't entered, you still have a good chance of winning.

Anyway, here is the plan for the week.

Monday: Rosemary Chicken with taters and carrots
Tuesday: Grilled Shrimp on a Steeek! with rice ;)
Wednesday: Vegan Mexican Corn Salad
Thursday: Slow Cooker Chicken and dumplings
Friday: Homemade Pizza
Saturday: Leftovers
Sunday: Undecided :)

Have a great week everyone!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Saturday Hoppin

I'm going to be entering as many blog hops this week as I can to get the word out about my giveaway.  Who wouldn't want FREE environmentally safe house cleaners?  So much stuff, just check out the Official Giveaway page.

And of course, just follow me for the sake of the blog hop if you'd like. Hope everyone has a great day!! :)



Friday, October 1, 2010

Canning Friday!

Yesterday I got some tomatoes from a farmer's market for super cheap. I'm going to be doing some canning today, so I wanted to link back to my tomato canning post from last year. I'll be posting pictures of these organic beauties and updating my canning process.

Off to the hot humid kitchen. If you haven't signed up for my giveaway, please do! You won't want to miss this one.



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