This blog was started, and is intended to illustrate that environmentalism happens through small acts, is not difficult, and that it does not always have to be some big life changing event that forces you to live in the tree tops with no electricity. All that being said, one of my small acts was to start this blog to gain some friends to help me save the world.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The obvious

So I made the title of this post as obvious as I hope I make the point of this post, because that is what it is all about, finding the obvious.  There are so many things that we can do during our daily routines to help reduce waste, save money, or well anything really.  And they are so obvious that I think they are sometimes over looked, especially people like me.  For example.  We have a room upstairs in our house that gets really warm during the summer.  Since we are all to cheap in this house to lower the A/C any more than it already is (76 F is it, absolute lowest setting we go to) we started looking into other (cheap) ways to help cost effectively and efficiently manage the upstairs temperature.  Some quick online research and bam found a bunch of solutions.  The ideas that we found were actually so obvious we all had a duuuuuurrrr moment.  A few of them we were already doing, but there were a few that we put into place.  One obvious, dur, suggestion was close the blinds (can honestly say we were doing this one, phew otherwise we would have looked pretty stupid).  Makes a lot of sense right.  So just break it down for a second and it is sooooo obvious.  If it is more efficient for you to use the natural light rather than closing the curtains and turning on an electric light then leave the curtains or blinds or drapes or whatever you call them open.  But if the sun is making your A/C run nonstop then close the curtains or blinds or drapes or whatever.  The other thing was to close all the vents downstairs (which stays a lot cooler anyway because little science class refresher hot air rises, ok I am finished) and force a little extra of the colder air from the aircon upstairs.  This we were only doing in certain rooms, but again pretty obvious, but we have expanded to the whole house.  Not a huge difference in the room upstairs, but enough to make it tolerable to be up there now.  And oh yeah did I mention that all the suggestions do not cost anything extra than what you are already paying for power.  There were other ideas but they required money and time to install some sort of attic fan and other fans that go on your A/C vents but I just wanted to point out the obvious and free ones (of which I am sure there are more if I were to keep looking).  Being environmentally conscious really is just paying attention to the obvious.  It is sort of like the leftover thing.  Sometimes I think I fail to mention the obvious on that idea too.  Beyond the fact that taking your own container saves a bunch of resources, eating leftovers also saves resources as well.  (Side note: it is also actually healthier to have leftovers b/c it helps cut down your portion size, just saying).  But eating leftovers reduces waste and the all the  additional resources that would have had to go into producing more food for you to eat.  Waste not want not (try to remember the number of people on this planet that go to sleep hungry, always helps me to waste less).  I guess the whole point of this post is just to step back for a minute and scan to see what other obvious solutions are staring us right in the face.  We (and by we I mean me) have a wonderful knack and tendency to over complicate things, and that forces us (still mean me) to miss the easy solutions.  Just saying.  If you have any obvious suggestions that you find useful please feel free to share.

Junk Mail

There was a mix up with our mail, long story will not bother to bore you with the details, but because of this mix up we started getting a lot of adverts and junk mail again.  So I thought it might be a good idea to re-share the do not mail site that I have found in the past to be very helpful with reducing the amount of junk mail we receive.  Junk mail is very expensive in many different ways, so if you do not want it, taking your name off of mailing lists will help save a lot of resources. 

Friday, July 20, 2012

Doing the laundry

I was chatting with a lovely person last weekend and she was telling me about how to make your own laundry detergent.  What a lovely and brilliant idea.  As when I hear most great ideas, such as this, I immediately thought of putting it on my super fun blog.  So did a little research and found many great recipes for homemade laundry detergent.  One I liked the best (because it was the easiest) was on another blog I came across when researching.  The blog is  The recipe was simple:
3 Tablespoons Borax
3 Tablespoons Washing Soda
2 Tablespoons Dawn Dish soap
Put these ingredients in a one gallon jug. Pour 4 cups boiling water into the jug. Swirl until ingredients are dissolved in the liquid. Let liquid cool. Then fill almost to the top with cold water. The bubbles will overflow out of the bottle.
I love this because you can pick an awesome scent with the Dawn dish soap. This dish soap works the best because it gets grease out. (recipe found at

The only thing I would change is Dawn, since I do not use any proctor and gamble products, but I am sure that most dish liquids would work and you can find lost of nice smelly ones that are not made by P&G.

Anyway there were a million recipes out there.  And as with most ideas that I like, it is easy and cheap (I know I am setting myself up there with the easy and cheap comment, but lets refrain.)

When I do my first load I will be sure to tell everyone about it!

Always with the Leftover Love

Went to a green event the other night.  First off I would like to say that it is always comforting to meet and interact with other dedicated stewards of the environment.  But at this meeting I realized I may need to make sure that I am perfectly clear about this leftover love stuff.  Very simply the concept is based on the individual making a choice on behalf of the planet.  All you do is take your own personal reusable container to restaurants for a doggy (leftover) bag.   This saves having to take home styrofoam or any other disposable doggy bag that the restaurant may provide.  Now I need to be clear that this does not apply to take out orders.  There are some silly health codes that get in the way there.  But if you dine in, and do not finish what is on your plate (guess all the clean plate club members do not have participate) then you are free to use your own container.  Building upon this idea is the incentive program.   This is were the restaurants offer an incentive, like a percentage of your bill or a free dessert, to those who bring in their containers (which has been started locally and hopefully will continue to expand, but even if it doesn’t still take your own container).  Really just think of it like taking your own reusable grocery bags.  Just instead of bags you take containers and instead of going to the grocery store you go to a restaurant.   Let’s keep it simple and save the planet. 

Monday, July 16, 2012

So this is a hard one

Really this is a hard post for me to write, talk about being a hypocrite.  Since I literally have a foot made out of lead,  since I have 9 to 10 (you sort of lose count after a while (I think the cops have only threatened to arrest me once or twice, again who is counting)) tickets, and since I think I have some freak gene (this is self diagnosed there is no scientific evidence to back this one up, but I think we all know I have a freak gene somewhere in me) that makes me do it, driving the speed limit is a challenge.  But as I am always looking for ways that I can help better serve the planet I thought I would give it a try.
OK so really since we had our son I have slowed down a lot in the car.  I mean there are obvious safety reasons for going (at least somewhere close to) the speed limit.  But as this blog is dedicated to environmentalism, today we will focus on the environmental benefits for driving at the designated speeds.  So let me try and break down some of what I understand to be reasons why driving the speed limit help.  You brake less.  That is a good thing, each time you have to break (or weave, or whatever you do) to slow down because you are speeding you are reducing the fuel efficiency of the car.  You are also have less air resistance as you go slower which reduces drag.  Pretty sure that right about now I should segue into some very complex physic based explanation, but instead I will totally cheat and offer a few sites that may help explain a little bit better  and
One thing I can say please never let your car run or idle if you are not driving.  If you are stopped on a driveway in a parking lot, stop the car.  Running the AC or whatever else you may require is just not worth it.  Turn the car off think about what running the car is doing, oh yeah releasing lot of lovely CO2.
So I am going to end here.  Even if you do it for safety reasons alone, that is good enough for me.  And I will continue to improve my speed limit skills, and practice this common sense, easy, and semi-free (minus the cost of the actual car and gasoline) approach to protecting the environment.

Monday, July 2, 2012


As expected Monday has crept back up on us all, and now it is time for me to write something about living life to the fullest.  OK I need to make sure to make something clear this blog is still dedicated on fun easy ways to help protect the environment.  But why can't that be how someone lives life to the fullest.  So here is my suggestion for the day, research.  I was going to write about being happy, and then I was going to write about being patient, and then (yes I had another one) I was going to write about playing with your kids (if you have them of course, that could get a bit sticky if you don't).  Anyway but as I was brainstorming all those fabulous ideas (don't worry maybe I will wow you with my pearls of wisdom choke, cough, sigh, next week) I thought that research might align a bit more with the environmental theme.  What do I mean.  Research something you like, maybe you will like it even more, maybe less.  But no matter what you will be a little bit wiser and that is a big win.  Research how to help, how to serve, or better your community.  This does not have to be so huge monetary donation, but maybe your time.  Who knows, you will have to research your options.  Research about the companies you buy stuff from.  I know I have, and I have changed my spending practices and I now look for specific companies that I feel help better serve the planet.  Over all it is a win/win.  Research ways to bring about world peace, see that is an easy one right.  But maybe if lots of us look into it we can make it happen.  OMG how awesome would that be?  You may not like some of the results you find, but like I said you may feel a little bit smarter.  Now I get it is hard to decipher what is right, true, and valuable.  But at some point we have to make our own decisions based on our own research.  Own your thoughts and opinions, shop smart, read more, bring about world peace, and research.  Don't let bossy people or companies tell you what to like or buy, figure it out yourself, do some research.  Just a small way to live life to the fullest and oh I don't know help better yourself, humanity, and the planet.  You know nothing major, just all part of a normal week!
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