Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Are you drinking processed water?

My sweetie recently got these BPA-free water jugs for us to collect "wild water!"

When I was traveling I heard a podcast that made me think about drinking water in a totally different way. Just like food in our culture, water has become highly processed, going through many filters and chemical treatments before it ever reaches our mouths.

I'm not saying it's bad to remove contaminants from water, but along with contaminants important nutrients are also lost and some chemicals are added. That's why I've been using spring water as my main source of drinking water.

Check out this link to see if there's a spring near you!

Monday, April 07, 2014

Melting snow exposes plastic

This photo may look dirty, icky and grey, but it was a welcome spring sight to me.
Yesterday I was excited to see running water. It's been a long winter and with snowbanks surrounding me  I was excited to see the water. I was remember smiling and thinking about it as I was hurriedly walking to my car. My smile quickly faded as I noticed some plastic bottles in the news stream running down the side of the avenue. "I should pick those bottles up, or they will end up in Lake Superior for eternity," I thought to myself. But I was busy with work and I had on a pretty, filly white shirt. I kept heading for my car. As I got into my car I noticed a empty plastic grocery bag and decided that I could pick up the trashy plastic and place it in the bag.
I could not get in my car and drive away without picking up these bottles.

I grabbed the bag and started picking up plastic bottles, and noticed more and more plastic. I just keep picking it up while trying to avoid soiling my frizzy long sleeve silky shirt. I knew the plastic I was picking up was just a drop in the bucket. I told myself to pick up ten pieces of the most non-compostable litter that I saw. I left a piece of cardboard in the stream. I could have spent all afternoon on this street and I had other things to do, and it wasn't even my neighborhood. I wondered if when I walk my dog if I should pick up plastic.  I used to do that but gave it up because I was doing more stopping and pickup up of plastic than walking the dog.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Trying not to use plastic

Miss Naomi here:
Well, I've been environmentally conscious for several years now, but this December while I was trying to clean up my work office I noticed that I had quite a few plastic bags to throw out. It bothered me that I used so much plastic. I was tempted to save the bags. I am a saver. It is just so hard for me to throw out anything that is still usable. But I knew if I kept them they probably wouldn't get used and would just add to my mess.

That's the long way of saying that I was considering to make my new year's resolution not to use plastic bags. (The ones in my office were sandwich bags, which indicated that I was being environmentally aware on some level because I must have packed my own lunch. Bring you own lunch saves of the environment and is usually more healthy for you, but that is a whole new blog post.) 

So here it is the middle of January and I've felt like I hadn't implemented my no plastic bag use policy.
Today,  went to a mainstream grocery store. I thought about bringing my own bag...lord knows I have enough of them, but I couldn't find any clothe bags, except for ones that had a competitors logo on it. I didn't want to be tacky and bring a competitor's logo into a store.

Anyway, I had a list of items I needed to get. Some were for my husband. First all he wanted cherry juice, because whatever is in cherries relieves his condition. But it can't be just any cherry juice, it has to be real cherry juice. We've learned that the hard way. Many brand try to pass their product off as "real" cherry juice. The brand we have to by is Indian Summer.
As I searched in the juice aisle I notice that ever single bottle of juice was plastic.
Next I wanted to get some potatoes. I only wanted  a few small ones and they were in the bulk section. There were plastic bags for the customers to take to carry them. I knew I could put some in my cart without a bag...but I want to contain them somehow. I noticed that some onions and other produce were packaged in paper sacks. I walked around the produce section looking for empty paper sacks but could not find any. Finally I found a clerk and told him that I wanted to get some bulk potatoes and I didn't want to use the plastic bags and did he have a paper sack I could use. He went to get me one. He went behind a door for employees and came back with one little bag sack for me. Had he come back with a  couple paper sacks I would have put some of the bulk chocolate covered nuts in the second bag. I didn't feel like asking him to trudge back and get another paper bag and I knew I didn't really need the chocolate cover nuts, so the store just lost an impulse purchase sale from me.  I wonder why they don't have more paper sacks available? Do they cost more money or make mess on the retail floor?  

Next up was for me to get my husband some milk. I found it, but I think the carton has a lining of plastic. (That's also another blog post.) I do know that it had a plastic spout. I'm not sure why cartons now have this.

Milk cartoons now have this plastic spout.

I decided that I would like some quick cooking rice. Everything was in a plastic bag-type container. The only thing I could find in a cardboard box was macaroni and cheese. Since I eat vegan mac and cheese was not an option. I try to eat organic and now most of the food, even if it is organic is package in a plastic bag.

This rice is in a plastic container.

Some frozen orange juice is in a cardboard container, but most is in a plastic container.
My husband also wanted some orange juice so off to the frozen aisle I went. Lots of the frozen juices there were in little cylinder plastic containers, but I opted for the juice in the cardboard cylinder with the metal ends.  

If you want to use less plastic it seems like a person will need to do a lot of cooking from scratch. My lifestyle is so busy that I really have time. 

Thursday, December 05, 2013

First Blizzard of the Season

So much snow I don't know where to put it. The poor horses and I have been couped up for going on three days. I'm so ready to get out. I'll have to get snow tires because my car thinks it's fun to do 180s. Below are before and after shots of the storm at Rocky Run Stable.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Doctors prescribed mineral baths in Hot Springs, AR

At one time this bathhouse had many visitors come for spa treatments.  The building is now owned by the National Park Service.
(This story took place in September.)

We went to Hot Springs National Park in Hot Springs, Arkansas today. The region is full of geothermal springs that come to the surface at temperatures as high as 140F. In the late 1800's and early 1900's grand bathhouses were built downtown that diverted spring water into spas. People from all across the country came in hopes that soaking in the water would cure what ailed them. The national park now maintains these historic bathhouses and protects the springs. It's interesting that doctors back then prescribed mineral baths and time in nature. We should have more of those types of prescriptions again instead of just pushing pills. Now I really want to go to a spa!

One of the natural hot springs still allowed to flowing above ground.

THis is a test by Naomi.
I'm trying to teach Rebecca to post

Friday, September 13, 2013

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute remembers terrorism

The 16th Avenue Baptist Church was bombed 50 years ago. It was Sept. 15, 1963. In this photo an American flag is raised by firetrucks on the anniversary of 9/11

On Sept 11, our nation was focused on remembering in 9/11 and the terrorist attack in New York, Washington, DC and Pennsylvania. That day, the Eco-cowgirl and her sidekick arrived in Birmingham where preparations were in order to remember the terror inflicted on United States citizens by some of our own citizens...the bombing of the 16th Avenue Baptist Church.  Four girls attending Sunday school were killed. The church is next door to the Civil Rights Institute. 

Four girls who were attending Sunday school were killed in the bombing.

Do you know the significance of the statue of an attacking dog?

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute

Freedom Riders bus

 The Eco-cowgirl writes
Today we went to the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute in downtown Birmingham, AL. It is a great interactive museum that takes you back to what life was like late 1950's and early 1960's for blacks in the South. 
The courage of these people in face of violence is amazing. I don't understand how anyone can justify treating another person the way the blacks were treated.
16th Avenue Baptist Church
 The 16th St. Baptist Church across the street from the institute was bombed on Sept. 15, 1963 killing four girls. 
This week marks the 50th anniversary of the bombing and march for civil rights so the institute was having special events this week. 
A must see if you're in Birmingham!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Eco-cowgirl finds a unique college in North Carolina

On Sept. 7 the Eco-cowgirl her sidekick were in Ashveille and visited  a unique restaurant

Here's what Eco-cowgirl has to say:

So many organic and vegan friendly places here! Also Warren Wilson College is really beautiful and cool. It has some of the best native landscaping and green architectural design I've seen.

Sustainability is woven into the fabric of Warren Wilson College

The campus specializes in sustainable farming with greenhouses and fields right on site.
What kind of college has no football, no fraternities or sororities, and believes that one person can change the world?

Written — at The Green Sage.

See this story:
Could Asheville become a hub for green economy?

Eco-Cowgirl and her sidekick impressed with Asheville's commitment to healthy lifestyle

The eco-cowgirl, Rebecca, and her grandmother are on an ecological journey, traveling to wherever their wanderlust takes them. 

Eco-cowgirl writes:
Yum, yum kettle corn and it's organic and low salt!

We happened to be in Asheville, N.C. during Organicfest, a "celebration of everything organic," held in the town's downtown plaza.

There were all kinds of venders displaying crafts made from recycled and earth-friendly materials, organic food, growing systems, local farms, and many informational booths.
Grandma Janette learning more about bees

My grandma and I stopped to talk with a man working to protect bees and promoting the health benefits of honey and bee pollen.  He travels around the US educating people about bees and beekeeping. He doesn't wear any protection when working in his hives and says bee stings have taken away his muscle pain.

Another booth we stopped at had a home hydroponic that grew plants by only running water with added nutrients over the plants' roots. It works indoors and outdoors and can grow enough food for a family of four.
Grandma Janette poses beside some hydroponically grown plants.

My grandma lives in a condo and thought it would be great for her patio. I think it would be nice to have in the winter to grow fresh leafy greens.

When we were done looking at all the booths we stopped and got a treat from a local vendor selling ice cream.  Being vegan, I usually don't get to eat ice cream unless I buy a nondairy kind at a grocery store. Lucky for me all the ice cream to this booth were vegan and some made with mostly raw ingredients!
General sillyness with my grandma.

What a difference it is to go to an event and actually be able to find things I can and want to eat. I left Asheville feeling very impressed with the community's commitment to organic, local food and healthy lifestyle.
Remember to recycle...ya'll