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Posts Tagged ‘ways to help the environment’

This tree. This beautiful weeping cedar, a graceful perch for so many birds, is dying. It’s just a tree, I tell myself. But nonetheless, for over sixteen years, without any special wants or needs, this tree’s long, downward-growing branches covered with silvery, grey-green bursts of needles created an elegant archway into my garden. Now, it stands almost completely denuded. The arborist came last week, dug around, and shook his head while he uttered, “Probably some type of fungus. It’s a wait and see game, now.” Everyday, I go outside and look at this tree. I examine it for new growth – there is none. I touch the branches – needles fall slowly to the ground. I scratch lightly at the bark to see if there is any green underneath it – there is. There is still hope for this tree.

#1 – “Staying” Green

Planet earth is counting on creative people to save it. Smart concepts such as this “Urban Hotel” illustrate my point. Although you would expect solar-power and rain water recycling systems in these hotels, a unique feature of this concept are the bicycles in the rooms. The bicycles can be used for exploring surrounding urban areas or used for exercising inside the rooms. While exercising, the bikes convert “the bike’s pedaling into kinetic energy to power the room and any extra energy is used to deduct rooming costs.” Make sure to click on the link to view all the features of this earth-friendly concept!

#2 – The Green Gift

My neighbor came to visit the other day and she brought with her two gift bags. One contained my birthday gift and the other one contained another kind of gift. The bag was filled with empty toilet paper tubes. She remembered a comment I made about how I compost toilet paper tubes and paper towel tubes. After collecting several tubes, I cut them open, flatten them out and then feed them into my paper shredder. They add much needed “brown” organic material to my compost bin. There are many other items around the house that can be added to compost piles. TLC’s article on 75 Things You Can Compost, But Thought You Couldn’t is a good refresher course for those of us who compost. If you haven’t started composting, please consider it. It’s an easy way of redirecting some of your garbage away from landfills and back to the land.

#3 – When Chefs Get Bored

What do chefs do when they are bored? I don’t know the answer to that, but I would imagine they play with their food! Check out this series of food art photos and see that creativity knows no bounds in the kitchen!

#4 – To Market, To Market

What could be better than going shopping? What about shopping outdoors in the fresh air and sun? Most farmers’ markets carry more than just produce. I love walking up and down the rows of stalls looking at and sampling the fresh seasonal produce. I also enjoy visiting the stands that sell olive oil, soap, honey, hand-crafted and fresh baked goods, plants and flowers. I always make sure to bring my own bags/baskets, cash, and, of course, my camera. For more tips, visit Recyclebank’s 10 tips to Shop Smart at Farmers Markets.

#5 – The Tao of Pooh

“Say, Pooh, why aren’t you busy?” I said.
“Because it’s a nice day,” said Pooh.
“But you could be doing something Important,” I said.
“I am,” said Pooh.
“Oh? Doing what?”
“Listening,” he said.
“Listening to what?”
“To the birds. And that squirrel over there.”
“What are they saying?” I asked.
“That it’s a nice day,” said Pooh.
“But you know that already,” I said.
“Yes, but it’s always good to hear that somebody else thinks so, too,” he said.

Benjamin Hoff, author of The Tao of Pooh

Happy Earth Day! What about this? Do one thing every single day that is good for the earth!

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A pretty beach scene – yes, but how much longer will it remain that way? Last week the East Coast had a crazy mix of events with an earthquake, tornado warnings and Hurricane Irene. Today Alaska and Argentina experienced earthquakes and a huge chunk of ice broke off from a glacier in Greenland. Something is shaking up the environment. Is it man against nature or is it nature against man? We can no longer deny the effects that our daily actions have on the environment. On Tuesday I posted directions for making shopping bags out of t-shirts. Today’s post also touches on the environment and creative ways to reuse things.

#1 – Plastic Garbage
Photographer Laurie Penland shares her video and her experience of filming a plastic garbage dump floating off the coast of Belize. View it on the Smithsonian’s Ocean Portal Blog. It will make you think twice about using plastic disposable items!

#2 – Green Glass
Avoid using plastic cups and plastic bottles by using glassware made from bottles. Green Glass Company is the “largest producer of reclaimed glassware in the world” and manufactures candle holders, assorted tumblers, vases, carafes, and goblets from wine, beer and soda bottles. Got a gift to give? Think green!

#3 – Coffee Makers Are Just Not For Making Coffee
Here’s a way to get additional use out of an old or extra coffee maker. Send it off to college with your student! You may want to forward this link to your child on how to cook food in a coffee maker. I can’t vouch for the safety of the procedures or how these recipes turn out, but for some reason I’m intrigued with the whole concept. Wish I had known about this when I was in college, because to this day I remember being a hungry college student. As the saying goes, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” If your student resides in a dormitory, better have him check first to see if coffee makers are allowed in the dorm rooms.

#4 – Reusing Used Paper
In most cases computer paper is used three to four times in my house before it hits the permanent recycling bin. After the original printed paper is no longer needed, it gets put in a bin by my printer for a second-side printing – not big news for there are many of us who already do this. But when that paper has been printed on both sides and is no longer wanted, it goes into another bin in my craft area. These pieces of paper work well to protect surfaces when I’m gluing and painting. They also make good scratch paper for testing colors and for cutting out patterns and templates. Twice is nice, but three times is better!

#5 – The Future
“The future is not some place we are going, but one we are creating. The paths are not to be found, but made. The activity of making them changes both the maker and their destination.”
John Schaar

Have a safe holiday weekend!

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