Thursday, January 27, 2011

A gentle nudging...

Maybe your new years resolution didn't involve improving your recycling habits. Don't worry, I don't judge. Here's some info that may inspire you.

An Apple Core: One to two months or longer. Try composting it and adding it back to the ground when it's time to fertilize.

Paper: Two weeks to Five months. Just recycle it. All paper, even magazine paper is recyclable. Receipts, junk mail, newspaper, everything. Nowadays recycling paper is easy, just do it.

Cigarette Butts: 1-5 Years (another website says 12 years!). Just another reason to quit. They are made of cellulose acetate, and take forever to break down.

Aluminum Cans: 80-200 years. There are can recycling receptacles everywhere. If you don't have this service with your trash pick up, call them and ask why. If you haven't ordered recycling with your service, stop reading this and do it now.

Plastic Bottles: Unknown?! These don't break down, they break up. Into tiny little pieces that end up in the bodies of the animals we eat, which ends up into our bodies and it stays with us...forever. I would go out on a limb here and just say avoid using them period. Sure, if you have them, recycle them. If you can get your own reuseable water bottle and stop buying soda bottles you'd be doing everyone a favor. Use your power as a consumer and stop purchasing them.  If no one buys them, they'll stop making them.

Plastic Bags:  Unknown again.  If exposed to air, they seem to be able to break down in 20-50 years, however air is in high priority in a landfill.  Because of their inability to break down in a typical landfill setting many countries have begun to outlaw them.  They are also one of the largest contributing pollutors to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

Glass: Unknown.  It's estimated that a glass bottle could take upwards of a million years to decompose if it is not recycled.  While it won't shred into tiny little pieces and end up in our food like plastic will, it's irresponsible to not recycle.  Use glass, and use it again and again and again.

1. Landfill Trash
2. How long will my junk sit in a landfill?

Monday, January 24, 2011

ThermaCare Winner!!

Congratulations to Sohamolina! They are the winner of the ThermaCare winter comfort pack!!

You will have an e-mail sent to you shortly and will have 24 hours to respond or another winner will be picked.

Be sure to stick around for another giveaway.  Must be in the air or something, but I have something new lined up...again!!

Menu Plan Monday

So, I bought a new to me car over the weekend. That's my newest adventure. I had my van for about two years but after moving out here, I knew I needed something better to get me through the winters. I have a Subaru Legacy back home in Virginia I was going to tow out here next June, but I'm not known for my patience. I bought a Subaru Outback because I just couldn't wait. Pathetic, I know. ;)

Pictures to come, I'm picking it up later today. ;)

Monday: Out to pick up the new (to me) car!
Tuesday: Barbeque Chicken and Rice
Wednesday: Shepherd's Pie
Thursday: Spaghetti and homemade Garlic Bread
Friday: Homemade Pizza!
Saturday: Out!!

Have a great week everyone!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Sustainable Changes in the Olympic Games -- A guest post

Looking Forward to Sustainable Changes in Olympic Games

The United States Olympic Committee USOC is not only looking to further the athletic accomplishments but make sustainable environmental changes to the Winter Games. And with the bid for the 2022 games being award in 2015, they must move fast with their efforts. This began with naming Andrew Liveris and Dow Chemical the worldwide partner in the Olympics for the next decade.

During the last Winter Olympic Games (the Vancouver 2010 games), the United States held the most medals, with 9 gold, 15 silver and 13 bronze. With dominance in the areas of snowboarding, Nordic combined and skiing, it only makes since that the United States is looking to capture the 2022 bid. With areas like Denver and Reno-Tahoe looking to host, the USOC is looking to make process with the International Olympic Committee in hopes of bring great changes to this world celebration.

Why are these changes such a big deal? As fantastic and unifying as the Olympics are, it's quite a carbon-rich event. It has been estimated that over 2/3 of the carbon emissions from the event is a result of some of the 1.5+ million attendees traveling (mostly via airplane) to and from the event.
The IOC made great efforts to showcase conservation practice and sustainable energy sources during the Beijing Summer Games, but for the future CEO Andrew Liveris and USOC members are looking to do more by basing off of the services used in Beijing. Exactly what environmentally friendly services did the Olympic facilities feature?

· Solar power - Used to light lawns, courtyards and streets at several venues, including the Olympic Village. A 130 KW photovoltaic system illuminated The National Stadium, where events such as athletics and football were held.
· Water Conservation - Waste water collected from the Qinghe sewage treatment plant was filtered and used for the various heating and cooling needs throughout the Olympics site, yielding a 60% savings in electricity. Rainwater was collected from around the grounds, collecting over 75,000 gallons by using water permeable bricks, pipes and wells installed on roofs, roads and green areas.

· Natural Light - Remember the famous 'Water Cube' where the aquatic events were held? The walls of the National Aquatics Centre provided natural light, and for the interior of the building, specially designed 'beam-pipes' funneled sunlight into corridors, toilets and car parks at venues, including the Olympic Green.

· Recycling - The 2008 Olympic hosts aimed for a 50 per cent recycling of waste including paper, metals and plastics at venues. A modest expectation, considering that a test run carried out during the 11th World Softball Championships held in 2007, achieved a nearly 90 per cent recycling rate.

Since the 2008 Olympics the vision of environmental progress has progress to include dozens of other products which will help reduce waste and promote conservation. You can expect these products to appear at the coming events over the next decade and be a part of the USOC recommendations.

Co-written by Nerissa Barry and Daniel Fielding

Thursday, January 20, 2011

#6 Lowering the heating bill

Being my first winter in Colorado, I'm redefining the meaning of cold. Winter here has just begun and I have at least three to four more months of snow and freezing temperatures. On my tight budget I have to figure out how to keep the house warm, and the kiddos comfortable. Fortunately for me, this is also green. Using less energy helps my own carbon footprint.

So here are a few tips I've found floating around cyberspace to help the wallet, and the environment.

1. First windows. Take advantage of southern facing windows, open them up and let the sun warm your space. At night, make sure your curtains are closed. If you have older windows, consider replacing them with double, or triple pain windows. If that's not in your budget, add an extra layer to your window by covering them with clear plastic. Drastic measures? Cover them with cardboard! You can fit the cardboard so you can put them in at night and take them out in the morning. Who needs expensive light filtering blinds if you have cardboard and measuring tape on hand. :)

2. Next fans. Ceiling fans turned in the reverse position can help circulate warm air back downward. You want the air to blow up to the ceiling, not down on you. Vent fans in the kitchen and bathrooms will only blow your warm air out, so don't leave them running. Shut them off as soon as their job is done if you must use them. Also, keep your fireplace damper closed. Having it open just allows the heat to rise out of your house. Keep the heat in!

3. Keep your heating vents clear. Make sure they're not covered by area rugs or furniture. Close them in rooms that are not used often and shut those doors. Vacuum out intake vents, and change filters regularly so your heating system doesn't have to work so hard.

4. Turn the heat down! "The rule of thumb is that you can save about 3% on your heating bill for every degree that you set back your thermostat" full time, says Bill Prindle, deputy director for the nonprofit American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). Put on a sweater, and get out warmer blankets. Buy a programmable thermostat so you can set the house to be cooler when your not there and at night.

5.  Use a candle or incense stick to find any leaks in door frames, electrical outlets, recessed lights, and windows.  Hold the candle and see if it flickers.  Just don't light your curtains on fire...hmm?   Caulk up any leaks or by those long door doggie thingies to keep the cold air out.

1. Real Estate

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tuesday Hoppin

Happy Tuesday! Take time to check out my Giveaway. Such a nice winter comforting pack. :)

Just Married with Coupons

Busy Mom's Tips Tuesday Blog Hop

To-the-TOP Tuesday

Linking back to:
Tuesday Tag Bloghop
Totally Tuesday Bloghop
To the top Tuesdays

Monday, January 17, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

Even though it's not frightful outside right now, I'm craving warm comfort foods. I'm loving my first Colorado winter so far, we've had a couple snowfalls, nothing to terrible here yet.

Have a great week everyone. :)

Monday: Party leftovers, Chicken Nuggets with Mac n' Cheese
Tuesday: Shepherd's Pie
Wednesday: Pot Roast
Thursday: (Vegan) Broccoli and Pasta
Friday:  (vegetarian) Corn and Potato Chowder and home made bread for dipping!

I can't wait to curl up on the couch in front of the fireplace and watch movies with the kiddos on Friday with that yummy chowder. I love winter. :)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Prefenz Winner!

Congratulations to Christina F.  She won the 8 oz. bottle of Prefenz Hand Sanitizer.  An e-mail will be sent to you, so be sure to check for it. :)

 Be sure to check out their website for more information on their products.


Fresh Aire Paint -- Home Depot

I'm sad to hear that Home Depot is discontinuing it's line of greener paint, Fresh Aire. I thought my readers would be curious to know though that for the next 3 days, it's on sale for half price. I bought myself about 4 cans this morning since I have much painting to do in my new house.

So get out there quick, and get yourself some paint if you have any painting to do in the next few months.  The cans usually sell for about 30 bucks, and they're half price right now.

Anyone have any favorites for a new brand of paint?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

ThermaCare Giveaway!

I have yet another giveaway for my readers. ThermCare HeatWraps brand new Facebook page is launching on today, January 11th, and they’re giving away 10,000 free samples.  Anyone can just visit beginning on Tuesday for more details on how to receive one.

Now for the giveaway part! Pfizer Consumer Healthcare has offered my readers a soothing winter prize pack. The winner will recieve:

There are many ways to enter, and please leave a comment for each separate entry so they are each counted.

1. Follow me on Google Friend Connect.  (hit the follow button on the right)
2. Follow me on Facebook 
3. Follow me on Twitter
4. Visit ThermaCare's new Facebook page and "like" them.
5. Post this giveaway on your blog, leave a link to it in your comment.

Giveaway ends Monday January 24th, at 10pm EST.

This giveaway is sponsored by Pfizer Consumer Healthcare. Dealing with the Colorado winter right now, I found their tips very helpful.  This is a snippet from their company:

To help combat these cold weather aches and pains, ThermaCare HeatWraps offer the following tips to keep you moving during the cold weather months.

1. Warm up before any outdoor activity – A quick 10 minute warm up can prevent hours of aches and pains. If you are going to be skiing/ice skating or even playing outside with your family, make sure to stretch and do simple conditioning like squats or lunges to get your body moving before going outside. 

2. Pace yourself while shoveling snow – We all know the aches and pains that come from shoveling snow. However, there are certain things you can do to protect your body from getting hurt. Try choosing a shovel with a plastic blade rather than a metal blade. Plastic blades are lighter and may do less harm on your back. Also try to take breaks and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated in the cold. While this may take a little longer to finish your driveway, your body will thank you for it later!

3. Dress warm and in layers –Minor aches and pains often feel worse in cold weather. If you are going to be outside for long periods of time, remember to wear a hat and scarf to ensure you are staying warm in the cold. 

4. Wear comfortable non-slip shoes – Icy patches on roads are sometimes unnoticeable, so it’s important to do everything you can to avoid slips or falls. When you are walking to and from your car while grocery shopping and doing other chores, make sure you are wearing comfortable shoes with good traction.

5. Try using ThermaCare® HeatWraps – Reach for ThermaCare® HeatWraps when you know you have a long day of winter activities ahead of you to help keep you moving and relieve aches and pains. They are available in custom sizes for a variety of aches and pains and are proven to be more effective for back pain than the maximum dose of acetaminophen (4,000 mg). * (* As measured after 8 hours.)

Now for the giveaway part! Pfizer Consumer Healthcare has offered my readers a soothing winter prize pack. The winner will recieve:

There are many ways to enter, and please leave a comment for each separate entry so they are each counted.

1. Follow me on Google Friend Connect.  (hit the follow button on the right)
2. Follow me on Facebook 
3. Follow me on Twitter
4. Visit ThermaCare's new Facebook page and "like" them.
5. Post this giveaway on your blog, leave a link to it in your comment.

Giveaway ends Monday January 24th, at 10pm EST. This giveaway is sponsored by Pfizer Consumer Healthcare. Good luck!

Tuesday Hoppin

Happy Tuesday! Take time to check out my Giveaway. So few entries means you have a great chance of winning!

Just Married with Coupons

Busy Mom's Tips Tuesday Blog Hop

To-the-TOP Tuesday

Linking back to:
Tuesday Tag Bloghop
Totally Tuesday Bloghop
To the top Tuesdays

Monday, January 10, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

I'm dragging.  Winter is making me turn inward, and it's difficult for me to do much right now.  I reflect, I think, I sit by my fireplace with a warm cup of tea and work on creative outlets, and on myself.  This weeks menu will be simple.

Monday: Weiner Soup and Sandwiches
Tuesday: Spaghetti and Garlic Bread
Wednesday:  Chorizo and Egg Breakfast (dinner)
Thursday: Leftovers
Friday: Homemade Pizza
Saturday: out!
Sunday: Roast Chicken

Have a great week everyone!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

#5 Cleaning with Vinegar

Vinegar is a great household cleaner. It disinfects, and can help get rid of mold, bacteria and other germs because of it's acidity level.  Because vinegar is so safe, I don't mind including my kids in house hold cleaning chores as well.  My mind is at ease I'm not exposing them to harmful chemicals.

Here are some ways to replace potentially harmful cleaners with simple vinegar.

1. Cleaning windows. Before there was windex, windows were cleaned with vinegar and water. Toss the windex, and save yourself the money.

2. Clean your coffee pot with 1/3 vinegar, 2/3 water mixture. Then rinse with just water twice so you don't have vinegar tastie coffee. Sounds yummy..hmm?

3. Add a half a cup of vinegar to your laundry and ditch the fabric softener. If you want to add fragrance, just add a few drops of pure lavender oil. Your clothes will not come out smelling like vinegar...promise.

4. Hard water stains in just about anything.  Toilet stained?  Pour vinegar, swish around, and let it sit for 30 minutes.  You'll see the stains literally break away.  Have hard water on your kitchen glasses?  Soak them for 10 minutes in pure vinegar, then scrub it off.  You'll have brand new looking, less cloudy glasses.

5.  Clean your dishwasher with vinegar.  Put a cup of vinegar and run an empty dishwasher once a month to remove any soap buildup, or mineral deposits from hard water.  You can also add vinegar to each load as your rinse aid, and toss the jet dry.

6.  Bathroom clean up.  Vinegar kills germs, and like I mentioned before removes hard water stains.  Bathtub, shower, toilet, sinks all benefit from this.  Deodorize and sanitize your sink by adding a little hydrogen peroxide to the mix.  Bubble fizz...clean.

7.  Vinegar also removes bad odors.  Remove the stink from your garbage disposal by using a vinegar, baking soda mixture.  Pour down the drain and let it sit for thirty minutes.  Then run the disposal and rinse away the smell.  You can also use vinegar after cooking if you have the smell of garlic, or onions on your hands.  (lemon works well with this too!)

8. To kill germs, spray full strength vinegar on any hard objects (door knobs, etc), and toss out your Lysol.

9. Clean tarnished brass, pewter, and copper with 50/50 salt and vinegar.

10. Ladies...not feeling so great?  Skip the douche and take a vinegar bath.  It's bad for you to douche anyway.

1. Vinegar Tips
2. Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits
3. Cleaning with Vinegar

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Prefenz Hand Sanitizers -- Giveaway!

I was approached by Stacy at Prefenz to try out their hand sanitizer.  I'm very picky on the types of products I review and host as a giveaway, and I asked why she felt her hand sanitizer was a green product.  Because this product contains no alcohol, and it's strong enough to only need to use it once a day it fit the bill.

Their product claims every day protection against bacteria, viruses, and fungi.   I'm no scientist, and I can't say the product does what it says it does.  I will say, I used it my entire vacation while traveling to Virginia.  Airplanes can be gross!  I used it on my kids and on myself while we were traveling and no one got sick.  I also have very sensitive and dry skin, and this product seemed less harsh on my skin the the conventional alternatives.  The active ingredient is amosilq silica complex.  Google it.

Here are some things you should know about prefenz.

1. Like I said before, there is no alcohol. Prefenz is made of all-natural ingredients and has absolutely NO alcohol in it.

2. Their technology protects you for 24 hours or 10 hand washings.

3. Prefenz is non-toxic and safe for kids!

4. Prefenz is silica based which means it doesn’t dry out your hands like traditional alcohol sanitizers. It actually smoothes and softens your hands.

5. Prefenz protects against staph, strep, E.coli, drug resistant MRSA strains, and more.

6. Because “one spray lasts all day” their 1.5 oz Prefenz Botanicals Hand Sanitizer offers 120 applications, costing only $.08 per day, compared to $1.20 per day with alcohol hand sanitizers.

Prefenz has generously offered to do a giveaway. Up for grabs is their 8 oz. bottle of hand sanitizer, yours to try free. Leave a comment for each separate entry. Here's a list of ways to enter:

1. Follow Green Momma using Google Friend Connect, just click the Follow button on the right.
2. Follow Green Momma on Facebook.
3. Follow Green Momma on Twitter @greenmomma
4. Follow Prefrenz on Facebook.
5. Follow Prefrenz on Twitter.

This giveaway is open to U.S. Residents only. Good luck everyone!! The winner will be picked January 14th at 10:00pm EST.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Return of the list

So for my hundredth post I wrote a list of things I wanted to do before I die. I have an update on that list, because I have some things to cross off! :)

First one I can cross off this year is #30.  I had my portrait painted!

A friend of mine is a casual artist (she doesn't even call herself an artist, she paints just for the enjoyment).  She honored me earlier this year by putting a photo of my son and I onto canvas.  The original photo was taken in 2003 just after I brought my son (turning 8 in a few days!).  It was taken late at night by my dad.  I was just a new mother trying to figure things out.  The only instructions I think we're ever given by the divine for parenting is simply to love them.  Standing there holding him at that moment, that was all I knew how to do.

Anyway, here is that portrait and one of the things I can cross off my list!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

I'm back in full swing now that the holidays are behind us. My hope for the new year is peace, happiness and prosperity. One of my resolutions for my menu plan for this year is to add another vegetarian day each week. Typically I had one vegetarian day each week, which I found simple and easy to do since I had been a vegetarian for almost two years. Enough babbling, on to the menu. :)

Monday: Vegetarian Baked Farro Pasta
Tuesday: Leftovers with Homemade Chicken noodle soup and sandwhiches.
Wednesday: Vegetarian Tortilla Stew
Thursday: Slow Cooker Chili and corn bread
Friday: Leftovers
Saturday: Leftovers/Out
Sunday: Homemade Pizza for my sweet boy's Birthday. :)


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