tag: environment

Posted by in holidays

paperless post yup, it’s that time of the year again- time to send out invitations, christmas cards and thank you’s! you might remember how much i love this company, as paperless post makes sending cards easier, cheaper and greener. whether you’re hosting a traditional dinner with family or a friendsgiving get-together, their custom, personalized invitations and announcements have the same thought and care as previous generations. best of all, you can start the holidays being environmentally-conscious!

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Posted by in simple living

i was tempted to title this post ‘gmo’s and what you need to knows’, but you get the idea. :) there’s been a lot of buzz around gmo’s (genetically modified organisms) lately and rightly so, it’s a very important subject! GMOs are in as much as 80% of conventional processed food and today i hope to give you the essential information on what they are, what you need to know about them, and how you can avoid them. let’s go!

GMO's and what you need to know

what is a GMO?

GMO’s, or “genetically modified organisms,” are plants or animals that have been created through the gene splicing techniques of biotechnology. this (very experimental) technology merges DNA from different species which creates an unstable combination of plant, animal, bacterial and viral genes that cannot naturally occur in nature, or even in traditional crossbreeding.

but why?

virtually all commercial GMOs are engineered to withstand the direct application of herbicides and insecticides (brilliant, right?). Nope. not only do none of these practices offer increased yield or enhanced nutrition, a growing body of evidence connects GMOs to health problems and environmental damage.

are GMOs safe to eat?

most nations do not consider GMOs safe to eat. in nearly 50 countries around the world (including australia, japan, and the european union) there are heavy restrictions or outright bans on the production and sale of GMOs. in the u.s. however, the government has approved GMOs based on studies conducted by the same corporations that created the GMOs in the first place.

are GMOs labeled?

unfortunately, no. even though polls consistently show that americans want to know which foods contain GMOs, the biotech lobby has succeeded in keeping this information from the public.

what do GMOs do to the environment?

in short, a lot. over 80% of all GMOs grown worldwide are engineered for herbicide tolerance. as a result, the use of toxix herbicides (think roundup) has increased by 15 times since GMOs were introduced. GMO crops are also responsible for things like ‘super weeds’ and ‘super bugs’ which can only be killed with more toxic poisons. a major concern is that we don’t really know what the long-term effects will be, but we do know that once released into the environment, they cannot be taken back.

GMOs are in as much as 80% of conventional processed food

so, which foods might be GMO?

there are several foods that are especially at high risk for being GMO. they are:

- alfalfa
- corn
- flax
- rice
- sugar beets
- yellow summer squash
- canola
- cotton
- papaya
- soy
- zucchini
- milk*
- meat*
- eggs*
- honey and other bee products*

* these are also a major risk because of potential GMO contamination in feed and other inputs.

how can i avoid GMOs?

in the u.s., GMOs are in as much as 80% of conventional processed food (think cereals, snack bars, snack boxes, cookies, processed lunch meats, crackers, etc).

-  purchase organic foods as much as possible. they will not contain any GMO’s (though there is potential for cross contamination from other GMO crops).
- look for the non-GMO project label.
- shop brands that participate in the non-GMO project, see a list of them here.

what else can you do?

- tell the fda to label genetically modified foods! sign the petition here.
- tell grocery store CEOs to refuse monsanto’s GMO sweet corn- sign the petition here.
- know what’s most important to buy organic by using this guide.
- know your labels - part 1 and part 2!

thank you to the non-gmo project for this great information, pictures and excellent resource guide!

simple living

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food waste matters

June 14, 2011

Posted by in simple living

when i recently read why food waste matters by jonathan bloom (author of american wasteland) , i started giving thought to all the food we buy, eat and sometimes waste. we’ve all wasted food before. even me, who married a garbage disposal wonderful man who eats a lot, we still find rotten food in the fridge. whether it’s moldy leftovers in the far back corner or a forgotten veggie in the ‘crunchy’ drawer, we’ve all been there.

the truth is, americans squander roughly 40% of our food and throw away $1,300 to $2,200 of food a year (together, that’s $160 billion annually). and that’s a big problem.

why, you might ask? well beyond the obvious reason of wasting our money, there are also environmental, ethical and economic reasons why food waste matters. a huge amount of resources (mostly oil and water) go into producing our food. when we waste a large chunk of it, we’re also wasting those embedded resources. and, by sending this food to the landfill, we’re fueling anaerobic rotting which creates methane. that means we’re largely contributing to climate change. we could also be smarter shoppers and give our savings to help feed the hungry around the world.

the good news is, fresh supplies us with several tips on how to reduce your food waste, save money and support the environment. here’s how!

claudia pearson{plum ketchup by claudia pearson}

- plan your meals in advance (remember this great guide?). make a menu for the week and stick to it. it will make your life easier, your grocery bills cheaper and decrease your amount of wasted food.

- make just enough. serve sensible portions, clean your plates and have minimal leftovers (plus, maybe shed some weight!).

- check your expiration dates. try to consume food that’s close to expiring, but always check it before you throw it out. if it smells good, tastes good and looks good, you’re most likely fine to consume it.

- love leftovers? go ahead and make enough for the next day, but make the most of it. eat them for lunch or work them into your next night’s dinner, but make it a priority to consume them within 24 hours.

- use the freezer. if you’re going out of town, can’t finish a jar of pasta sauce or just have too much food in your fridge, stick it in the freezer. you can freeze just about anything (even eggs!) so utilize your freezer to cut down on waste.

- learn to compost. by keeping food waste out of the garbage (even carrot ends and fennel fronds!) you’ll significntly cut down your environmental impact. you can compost anywhere, even if you don’t have a garden!

helpful sites: portion calculator, tips on how to freeze everything, how to compost

resources: fresh, why food waste matters

simple living

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a·gree

March 18, 2011

Posted by in simple living

a·gree: [uh-gree], a·greed, a·gree·ing.
–verb (used without object)
1. to have the same views, emotions, etc.; harmonize in opinion or feeling

environment

this week i’ve been able to catch up on some reading, and one of my favorite books has been eating animlas by jonathan safran foer (recommended to me by beryl- thanks!). though i’m not but half way through it, i know that i can already recommend it to you, as it has taught me so much already. i’m sure i’ll cover it in greater detail once i’m finished, but today i wanted to share with you just one part that has engaged in me much thought.

“… most people agree that the environment matters. whether or not you are in favor of offshore oil drilling, whether or not you “believe” in global warming, whether you defend your hummer or live off the grid, you recognize that the air you breathe and the water you drink is important. and that they will be important to your children and grandchildren. even those who continue to deny that the environment is in peril would agree that it would be bad if it were.”

to me, this passage gives me hope. a common ground on which all of us agree. a starting point. it makes me feel less hopeless about misunderstandings and under-educations, and more hopeful because we all really do care. we must. it simply looks different on every person, and every person cares in different ways.

what do you think?

i hope each of you have a wonderful weekend full of light and love, and i will look forward to seeing you back here next week. xox! bonnie

{photo by aniatot}

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skip the paper towels

March 8, 2011

Posted by in simple living

i haven’t bought a roll of paper towels in 5 years. many years ago when i started learning about our environment and what effect we have on it, i quickly felt a personal responsibility to reduce my impact. first on the list was to cut out any unnecessary items. what was first? paper towels! they are a convenience we simply can’t afford. we just don’t need ‘em. here are some quick statistics:

- americans send 3,000 tons of paper towels to landfills each day.

- 51,000 trees per day are required to replace the number of paper towels that are discarded every day.

- the paper industry is the third largest contributor to global warming.

ready for the solution? switch to cute cloth napkins and dish towels!

vintage napkins
 
if your household uses one roll of paper towels per week, you could save more than $100 per year by switching to dishcloths, tea towels and napkins. plus, how darling is it to hand out cute vintage napkins to your guests rather than paper towels?!

think you can make the switch?

vintage napkins:

{row 1: 60′s neon splash napkins, gray and burgundy napkins, vintage napkins}
{row 2: rust rose circa 1950, lime green linen dinner napkins, mod rust and brown linen napkins}
{row 3: turquoise and fruit napkins, vintage earthtoned colored napkins, linen harvest dinner napkins}

simple living
 
resources: 1800recycling, a lighter footprint

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tomorrow is earth hour!

March 26, 2010

Posted by in handmade

happy friday lovelies!  don’t forget, tomorrow is earth hour!

earth hour

clockwise :: quick draw- let there be light, edison light bulbs, earth friendly artwork i will save the planet, first day of spring, light bulb reusable shopping bag, earth from above

earth hour is a worldwide act when millions of people, organizations, corporations and governments around the world come together to make a bold statement about their concern for climate change by doing something quite simple—turning off their lights for one hour. it’s tomorrow evening at 8:30 p.m.- your local time.  i’ve made a group for going home to roost readers so you can:

click here to take the earth hour pledge!

let’s set an example to show that we care about climate change and are willing to do what we can to make a difference.  i’ll join you in the dark tomorrow night at 8:30!

happy weekend!  love, bonnie

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Posted by in handmade

happy monday!  how was your weekend?  ours was wonderful but quite rainy.  we enjoyed good company at a birthday part on saturday and yesterday ended up being very productive as well.  after church, david and i had a comical day filled of honey-do’s.  i was busy sewing on a new batch of aprons (viewable later today!) and watching hgtv while the mister installed deadbolts on the doors while listening to the decemberists.  with the hammering, music, sewing machine and tv on (and the occasional frustrated yell from the hub- who knew it would take 4 hours to add a lock to the door?) it was quite noisy around here!  we had fun having a totally stereotypical married couple day.

shop eco friendly

i’m excited to introduce a new shop to you today! my friend eva halkias has been working hard to open a brand new online shop where you can purchase with peace of mind.  green rainbow is stocked full of beautiful eco-friendly, recycled, homemade & vintage products.  she just opened last week so i though we could all spread the love by sharing her incredible shop with the people we know.  in addition to the products, she also features a section for eco tips and links so shopping there becomes a learning experience as well! you’ll even be able to see my pillows there soon!  by shopping green we’ll all be able to keep seeing the beautiful colors of the rainbow- so go check it out and spread the word!

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