Transparency is a big buzzword these days, but when it comes to product labels it can be a good barometer to know that a product is truly green. That doesn’t mean that the product comes wrapped in cellophane or see-through vinyl packaging. Transparency in this context means that the manufacturer proudly states the product’s complete ingredient list on the label, despite laws that protect them from having to share such secrets.
It’s Memorial Day Weekend again, which means just about everyone is going to join in the fun of at least one barbecue over the next few days. While having a fun outdoor party certainly is not the worst environmental sin, it’s important to do your best to keep your party as green as you can.
Here are some tips:
The latest Surfer Magazine features an eye-opening article on the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. That’s the nightmarish oceanic trash dump that’s about 1,000 miles off the coast of California. The patch is roughly the size of the United States (reports on its size vary) and it’s only getting worse. It contains mostly plastic that does not break down. Instead it breaks apart into tiny flecks that cannot be cleaned up. The impact on wildlife is already catastrophic.
I was having fun mocking and looking down on all the hysteria around swine flu. Loads of fun – right up to the moment that my 15-month-old Riley woke up at midnight in a pool of sweat and we found she had a high fever. The flu. Which flu? That flu? The moment I picked her up I went from cool social critiquer/cynic to panicking mom. Her fever climbed. And then it fell, as fevers do. She felt miserable and then she felt better. Now she’s fine. Whew, what a ride. No swine flu here. Just regular old flu.
If you’ve just done a big spring cleaning or you are about to, you’re probably thinking about (or kicking yourself for) how much clutter has built up since your last major clean. What is all this stuff and how does it get into your home? Are you hanging on to things to keep them out of landfill or because they enrich or serve your life in some way?
This one had me stumped – what’s a green cleaning approach to getting rid of a mouse? It’s not like calling an exterminator is an option. Wouldn’t it be greenest to keep the cute little guy around, give him the run of the place? Let him dine on organic vegetable scraps. Fill his little dish with filtered water?
Etiquette says always be gracious when someone gives you a gift. But that doesn’t mean you have to keep it. Re-gifting is a great idea for that book you have no interest in or the elephant figurine that doesn’t match your décor. But what do you do when someone gives you a gift that is not only not to your taste, but downright toxic?
Bleach is one of those household items that has been around for so long no one can remember when we didn’t use it. So it’s often assumed to be non-toxic and even natural. While bleach isn’t the worst toxin you could have in your home, it is an EPA-registered pesticide that is bad news for the environment and human health — and there’s really no reason you need it around.
Last week I did the research on the legal and financial ins and outs of hiring someone to clean my house. I determined that my dream candidate would be an individual person who is in business for themselves and therefore will keep their own records and handle their own taxes. I figured out my budget as well. This week’s task: Find a cleaner and make sure he or she is green!
I keep seeing articles on this apparently national seasonal phenomenon, and they always have bright, fresh photos and great encouragement to dive in and clean your whole house at once. What fun! Pardon my whining, But it’s SPRING! And the sun’s out! And if I’m not working, I definitely want to be out there in the spring sunshine!