“How we treat the environment begins with how we treat each other”
John Francis
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Archive for January, 2009

Cup Couture is Fun, Funky and Fresh!Cup Couture is Fun, Funky and Fresh!

Next time you stop at your local coffee shop take a moment and think green.

  • Fair Trade Coffee, Please!- Ask your Barista for the Fair Trade Coffee instead of the conventional pour.  Fair Trade Coffee is certified and exported from developing countries with the help of international organizations.  This organized social/market-based movement helps to regulate fair pricing, improve social and environmental standards, promote sustainability for producers and workers, increase economic self-sufficiency. Impoverished countries and societies are empowered by this development aid.
  • Say NO to the Sleeve- Before you take one of those handy cardboard coffee sleeves think about your impact on the forestry industry.  Instead of grabbing that cardboard sleeve, you can slide on your own customized “CupCoat”.  Cup Couture sells the most amazing insulated sleeves that fit 12oz, 16oz and 20oz coffee cups.  Using a reusable sleeve will save 6-10lbs of paper waste per person a year.  I own the Mint Chocolate Design and am the envy of my local coffee shop.
  • Think before you Pour- Forget about using that plastic stir stick.  Add your sugar or sweetener of choice before you fill the cup with coffee.  This will naturally melt the sugar and allow you to conserve energy, oil and reduce waste by not using the stir stick.
  • BYOC - Bring your own thermal refillable/reusable cup for the road.  Think of all of the waste you’ll be reducing by just supplying your own personal mug.

Taking these 4 quick and easy steps will drastically reduce your global footprint making you Eco-Chic in every way!

I was talking with a friend this week about Family Farms, Co-op and CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) offerings located in our area.  I gave her a few local references to look into for the coming season and other options for healthy organic farming.  We talked a while about the positive aspects of being a part of a CSA and my own experiences.

I believe that purchasing organic foods, grass/grain feed meats and locally grown/farmed foods is key to a healthy sustainable lifestyle.  I was surprised to learn from my friend that there is a movement sweeping the nation to revitalize this “homegrown” style of agriculture that I had not yet heard of.  So began my introduction to The WHO Farm (The White House Organic Farm Project).

This non-partisan, petition based initiative is being led by two young men,  Daniel Bowman Simon and Casey Gustowarow.  Their vision is clear with a five part recipe for success.   They would like to have The White House as a model for healthy, economical and sustainable living.  They are designing the project as an educational tool and economic aid for our nation’s capital.  Check it out!

So, it happened!

Last night my TV finally blew up.  There was a loud popping sound followed by a lovely chemical burning scent.  It was so strong that I had to open up the house to force all of the fumes out even though it was 16 degrees.  Brrrrrrr

It’s been a full year of fighting back and forth with my lovely friend, “The Big Screen”, always giving me sound but struggling to show me the picture.  Like you, I’ve spent many waking hours with my TV.  It’s been there for me in good times and bad. Now is the time I can say goodbye to my good ole’ friend.

As part of my mourning process, I’ve begun the search for a local large scale toxic waste recycling center.  Since televisions contain lead in their picture tubes, along with all sorts of other toxins, it is important to find a recycling center that handles toxic waste. Then I had to find one that accepts televisions larger than 27″.  Luckily, my city offers several different weekend tox drops….Unfortunately, none of them handle anything on a larger scale then the 27″ screen.  There are all sorts of independently run centers that handle electronic recycling, but they also charge for the service.

With a little online research I was able to found one local center that doesn’t charge for the disposal and recycling of televisions of any size.  This got me to thinking.  In a city of almost 3 million people, why is there only one option to recycle a large hazardous electronic for free? How can this be? I could go on forever answering my own questions, but I would like to urge you to look at the options for recycling toxins and electronics in your area.  A quick and easy reference no matter where you live is  It’s always good to be informed and once you know where to take these items it becomes easy to actually do it!

Step up and recycle!

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