April 22 is Earth Day 2011

Sometimes I can overwhelm myself by focusing all my attention on ways that I’m not “green” instead of celebrating the small changes we have made. As Earth Day 2011 approaches, I thought I’d share with you the 11 ways we’ve changed:

  1. Get to know Earth911.com. Great resource for the latest in all things “green” but what we use most is their search feature that lets you type in anything you want to recycle along with your zip code and it directs you to the best place.
  2. We use Nellie’s PVS Free Dryer balls instead of dryer sheets. They help clothes dry faster, aid in wrinkle & lint removal and act as a natural fabric softener.  I know, I know… we should hang clothes outside and be even greener but I’m not there yet.
  3. Educate the kids! Read Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax about a creature that speaks for “the trees”, watch The Story of Stuff or borrow the DVD of Wal Mart: the high cost of low price from your local library.
  4. Support green companies. We’ve loved Bloomin for a while for their fantastic seed cards, gifts & green practices but a few weeks ago they also did their own Earth Day article that carried suggestions for ALL WAYS to reduce, reuse & recycle. Locally, here in St. Louis, check out Home Eco or the fantastic new Verde Kids.
  5. Turn off water while brushing teeth. Leaving the tap running during the recommended two minutes of brushing can waste up to five gallons of water a day.
  6. Buy local food. Join a CSA, grow your own with the help of Backdoor Harvest or frequent any of our (or your) fantastic farmer’s markets. Additionally, here in St. Louis, Local Harvest Grocery has just moved down the street into a fantastic space and is better than ever offering at least 50% of their goods from within 150 miles.
  7. Buy secondhand clothes. Read the rest of this entry

What a Waste!

Today is World Water Day which was created by the UN in 1993 to bring awareness to the global issue of water. The object of World Water Day 2011 is to focus international attention on the impact of rapid urban population growth, industrialization and uncertainties caused by climate change, conflicts and natural disasters on urban water systems. It’s also a great opportunity to take a personal look at how we’re using our most precious natural resource.  Did you know the average American household uses 2,000 gallons of water a day? That’s TWICE the global average.

I had blogged last summer about our crazy dependence on bottled water – ‘There’s Something in the Water‘ which provides a great list of resources to help you kick the habit. My only addition to the article would be my own new personal favorite reusable bottle made by Contigo! This fabulous bottle is BPA free, can be used with one hand (nothing to flip, unscrew or turn), fits in cup holders, and has an autoseal lid, built in carabiner clip & wide mouth for ice cubes.

To further assist you to say, ” NO to wasting H2O”, greenfeet is offering 30% off select water conservation products on their site.  Also, spend a quick minute checking out any of these sites for easy, water (and money) saving tips for your home. What are you waiting for?

All She Does is Wine, Wine, Wine!

My friends like to tease me that I’m a seasonal wine drinker – white wine in warm seasons and red wine in cool seasons. Needless to say, I enjoy my wine and now more than ever I’m finding fun and functional accessories that I believe are worth sharing.

The Vinturi Red Wine Aerator breathes life into wines instantly, with or without a decanter. The simple act of pouring wine through the aerator ravi-wine-chillerincreases pressure as you pour, drawing in and mixing just the right amount of air to help wines open up to their full potential. I mentioned the Ravi  Wine Chiller in a previous post but I’m still a big fan of this great gadget that instantly chills your wine from room temperature to its ideal serving temperature.

What to do with all those corks? Turn them into a creative Trivet with this winecorkDIY-thumbnailgreat kit from Greenfeet or if you have a huge amount, send them to Yemm & Hart who are one of the few places that recycles them. My friend, Kristina, turned me onto the potpourriburners_2111_22951214Woozie, an insulated sleeve for your wine glass. They are made from neoprene and are stretchable, washable and reusable. They can be purchased from a variety of places online or locally here in St. Louis at Embroider the Occasion in Webster Groves. Perfect for these hot summer days & nights.

Many of the items mentioned here would be great gift ideas or think about “adopting a vine” for a special wine person in your life. Both Taylor Brooke Winery and St. Helena Winery both offer such programs. Cheers!

Fresh or Foul?

imagesMy friends and family are going to be hearing a lot less from me now that I have found this practical and fabulous website called Still Tasty that lets you know the “shelf life” of your favorite food or beverage. You can browse shelf life information by categories such as vegetables, dairy & eggs, meat & poultry, etc. and they also answer questions such as “Is It Okay to Put Hot Food Directly Into the Fridge” and “How Long Can You Keep Thawed Ground Beef”? Essential information for this culinary challenged chicka.

To help you retain a longer shelf life from the beginning, Greenfeet has plenty of safe storage options such as this small glass container with glass lid or this set of 3 glass containers of varying sizes (easy nesting storage) with #4 plastic lids. However, my most recent favorite is this set of 4 Coverflex 51iZfpQ360L__SL250_Reusable Food Covers from Simple Ecology.  This amazing food cover is a great alternative to traditional throwaway products like plastic wrap, plastic bags and/or aluminum foil, which all present inconveniences beyond just being wasteful. These covers easily adapt to all types of dishes, bowls, pans and are safe for use in the freezer, refrigerator, microwave or oven.

Read the rest of this entry

Going, going GREEN!

Earth Day is just under a week away so I thought I’d jump on the bandwagon and offer up a few of my favorite green things. Greenfeet continues to be my favorite site for the absolute best variety of green products. Whether for yourself, your home or someone else, Greenfeet should be your first stop. The owner of Greenfeet says it best, “Living green is just a lot of common sense. Stop. Think. Live Consciously. You’re probably more eco friendly that you think. We just help make it even easier”. And with products such as the JOEmo Tea Brew Travel Mug (it will make you want to toss your other mugs in a very ungreen way), Stainless Steel LunchBot Snack Container, Ionic Laundry Ball, and Fire & Light Martini Glasses, going green has never been easier.

Looking for new ways to recycle? Start with your shoes. Nike Reuse-A-Shoe is where you can turn your old sports shoes into places to play. Read the rest of this entry