Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Reasons to choose greener clothing

In the post previous to this I wrote about organic clothing that I have purchased.
This is an excerpt from an email I received today from Green America:
In 2011, US clothing sales totaled more than $329 billion. 
To me, that's 329 billion reasons to stop buying conventional clothing and turn to green fashion.  It's a big deal, because our clothing choices have huge impacts.  Many of us know already about the problem of overseas sweatshops, or the heavy environmental toll taken by conventional cotton, which uses 25 percent of the world's pesticides. 
But did you know that US clothing companies have also been connected to the trafficking of child slaves in the cotton fields of Uzbekistan?  Or that some of the finishes that conventional companies apply to fabric promote wrinkle- and stain-resistance are known carcinogens or linked to hormone disruption?
For the "Green Fashion" issue of our Green American magazine, our editors tracked down the greenest clothing companies, and exposed the problems in the conventional clothing supply-chain from the fields to store shelves.   Our online feature from this issue, "Green Fabrics and Labels to Look For" will help you find the best clothing for you and your family. 
It is signed Alisa (signature) Alisa Gravitz,
Executive Director,
Green America

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Organic clothing

I like to save tags from products that I buy becuase I have the intention of blogging about them. Problem is I drawers full of tags.

Today while most people might be enjoying the last days of summer on this Labor Day Weekend, I told myself that I was going to clean out my room, especially my "junk drawers.  So here is a quick post about a tag that I found in a drawer. I am about to throw the tag away I purchased a silk and organic cotton sweater two years ago. I like the sweater. It is made by Indigenous Designs, natural fiber clothing.

The tag says it was printed on recycled paper.  And that the company is a member of the Organic Trade Association and the Fair Trade Federation. Remember even if you are purchasing new clothes, you can purchase products that adhere to your values of treading gently on the earth.

Monday, May 07, 2012

How to Make Flowers the Perfect Mother's Day Gifts

Guest Blogger
Mothers Day gifts are our special way of saying thank you to the woman who devoted her life taking care of us. There's only one day in a year where we celebrate an occasion that is especially dedicated for her. One of the gifts that are commonly given to her on Mother's Day is a bouquet of flowers. While some people think that flowers are ordinary gift, there are many ways to make flowers the best gift your mother ever receives.

Most people think of flowers as ordinary gift because they usually receive such gift in a very ordinary way. However, if you add variations or arts to the flowers, then they become very special. If you mom loves gardening, then she will surely appreciate her flower bouquet that comes along with seeds of the flowers that you just gave her. For example, you can give your mom a bouquet of beautiful carnation arrangement on Mother's day. She will surely admire the flower and would want them to last. However, flowers can only last for few days. You can hand over a small bag containing carnations seeds to her. You can tell her to plan them in order to see additional carnation flowers. She will surely be happy taking care of plants and will remember you while looking at them in her garden.
Another way to make flowers a special gift is to use them to surprise your mom. You can use rose petals to decorate her room while she out. The scent of the rose will fill the entire room. Any woman who sees rose petals scattered on the floor and bed in her room will instantly feel romantic. This will make her feel the love from you. Do not forget to highlight the gift by giving her a big bouquet of red roses and taking her down to a special dinner.

Flowers become special Mothers Day gifts when they are given with special meaning. Thus, you can ask all your siblings to give your mom flowers on Mother's Day on top of whatever they plan to give her. Each of you will give her flowers or bouquet of flowers when you arrive. This will make her feel very special. Make sure that each of your siblings will bring a different kind of flower. Having roses, tulips, carnations, orchids and other types of flowers will surely amaze her.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Getting Ready

Content by guest blogger Sol Rosales

I called TexasElectricityProviders today after I got my new dryer dropped off. I got one of those great industrial dryers. The ones that have a huge drum and literally will dry an entire load in under thirty minutes. I didn’t realize that I hadn’t bought “white glove delivery” so the dryer was just dropped off in the room that it needed to be in. It wasn’t actually hooked up. Then, I realized that the plug didn’t look anything like any of the outlets that were in my laundry room. When I got in touch with our electricity provider they were so helpful. They said that it was probably a higher voltage plug and gave me some more information. They even suggested that I get in touch with one of their suggested electricians to have a new outlet put it. Later that day, the electrician made it over and now I have a fabulous new dryer ready for use. It is going to make my life so much easier. Now, I won’t have to spend ninety minutes waiting for my clothes to dry!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Green Romance

From the website:

The scene is set for romance…perfume, candles, flowers, chocolate, and champagne. But wait…some of these products might contain toxic chemicals! Remember that what goes on your body also goes in your body and into your bloodstream, so be sure to choose products without a lot of added chemicals. A spritz of most department store perfumes, for example, can contain over 100 different synthetic chemicals to make the scent, plus things like phthalates, and parabens.

Saturday, February 11, 2012


I appreciate the guest post, Ignacio Phillips

I was watching a movie on Direct TV yesterday and I heard a crash come from the kitchen. I immediately hopped up and ran to the kitchen. I saw my dog standing in the kitchen with a plate that had fallen off of the counter than had a whole Derby Pie. I cooked the pie for a party that we were going to that evening. It is my specialty. Of course, you can guess what my pup was doing. By the time I had gotten in there, he had eaten half of the Derby Pie. I was so upset I popped him. I picked up the rest of the pie and set it on the counter. I was so distraught, I called my husband and told him that he was going to have to pick up a pie on his way home from work so that we could take it to the party. I simply didn’t have enough time to fix another pie. I told him what Henry ( our beagle) had done. He raised a great question that I didn’t even think of because I was so upset with the dog. He reminded me that dogs weren’t allowed to eat chocolate.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Eco-traveling and translations services

One way to learn more about the environment is to travel. Traveling is fun, and a person’s eyes can be opened to new ideas. When you come home you look at your home city with fresh eyes.  If you are going to travel to a land where the people speak a different language than you, you might want to check out translation services first. One service is Rosetta. As I look over their site it seems they are mostly for business. You could check them out for your personal travel. They translate documents and will do something called cuchotage or whispered simultaneous interpreting. (Chuchotage is French.) This type of interpretation is good for groups of four or less.

Eco-travel is something that is growing in popularity. The word eco-travel can mean two things, either traveling to see environmental wonders (or everyday sites), or it can refer to what kind of a carbon footprint you leave on the environment. Do an Internet search for eco-tourism and see what you might find.

Last year my daughter and I went on our first cruise. It was a vegan cruise, meaning all the food was plant-based – no meat, dairy or eggs. We had a great time and we also did some exploring at the ports. It was fun to see different plants and different topography than we have at home. We experience several languages on this cruise: Italian, Bahasa Indonesia, German and Spanish. The ship was an Italian ship and many of the people in charge were Italian. Many staff members doing the menial work were from Bali. Also the passengers were a mix of people from the U.S., Italy and Germany. In Porto Rico we had a tour guide who tried to teach us Spanish with a Porto Rican flare.

All activities were in English so you didn’t have to worry about service. 

Everyday little things like shopping choices make a difference

It’s those little boring things that a person does everyday that can contribute to society. I find that every consumer decision I make is also an reflection of my commitment to the environment. For example, purchasing a shower curtain can be a reflection of your conviction to the environment. I kept the same shower curtain for years, because I didn’t want to throw my old one in the landfill AND because I was worried about off-gassing of PVCs a new plastic curtain would produce. PVC is polyvinyl chloride. It contains phthalates, which is a toxic plastic softener, used in the coating of shower curtains. Phthalates have been linked to hormone disruption, cancer, and liver and kidney disease. You’ve heard about them in plastic baby bottles.

Today I have been asked to blog about shower curtains for, you might want to check their links to shower curtains. I will see if they have some environmentally friendly shower curtains.

In looking over their selection at I don’t see any that specifically advertise that they do not contain PVCs, but one option you have is to pick a cloth curtain.

Another topic I’ve been asked to blog about is a square teak table for 8. If you follow this link to the site you will see tables. I would say to choose a table that is made in the United States, close to you. Teak typically is not grown in the United States.

The third topic I’ve been asked to mention is a bedding comforter with a Mario theme. As I look at the link I see most are made of polyester so you will have decide if you want all natural fabric or if your child’s desire for a Super Mario them overrides the environmentalist in you. Sometimes you have to give in to keep peace in the family.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Minnesotans thank the EPA

By Rebecca Bischoff

Environmental reporter/writer

On a sub-zero day in day in Duluth Minnesotans gathered at the Environmental Protection Agency office near Lake Superior to thank the agency for issuing strong new mercury pollution safeguards. They presented a large thank you card signed by local Duluthians and a banner made by Girl Scout Troop 12965. In December, the EPA finalized strong public health safeguards to limit mercury and other toxic pollution from coal power plants.

Caption: Dr. Carl Richards, Director of the Duluth EPA laboratory, shakes hands with Sierra Club member John Doberstein as he accepts a thank you card signed by Duluthians in support of stronger mercury emission regulations for coal power plants. To Richards left is a banner made by Girl Scout Troop 12965.

Attendance included members of the Sierra Club, the Duluth faith community, Duluth City Council, Izaak Walter League, and University of Minnesota Duluth students.

Sierra Club member John Doberstein said the new safeguards will slash mercury emissions from coal power plants by up to 90%.

City Councilor Linda Krug said she has heard from citizens concerned about Lake Superior’s water quality. “Toxic levels of mercury in Lake Superior are not what we want for Duluth, Minnesota, or America.”

Pastor David Carlson of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church spoke of the importance of creation care and being a voice for the voiceless. “They [wildlife and future generations] can’t help it, but we can,” he said of environmental issues.

Sportsman Darrel Spencer of the Izaac Walter League said his family’s diet consists of large amount of wild game. “It sickens me that we have to limit our fish intake in [waters as pristine as] the boundary waters.”

Kate Mensing, a member of MPING, a UMD student group that focuses on issues of environmental and social justice, said her group was involved because mercury pollution “affects both wildlife and citizens.”

According to the EPA, these new standards will prevent up to 150 premature deaths in Minnesota annually and create up to $1.2 billion in health benefits each year.

Rebecca Bischoff has a degree in environmental science from Northland College, Ashland Wisc. She lives in Duluth and is interested in fitness and nutrition and all issues relating to environmental protection.

Sunday, January 15, 2012


Contribution by Stevie Kirby

My husband refuses to use a GPS. We got one a few years ago and I thought it was the coolest thing because it would save us so much time by keeping us from having to look up directions. We keep the GPS in my car because that is the car we use more frequently when we are going somewhere with our whole family. Whenever my husband is going to drive somewhere, he always looks up directions online. He says that he wants to use our clear Dallas internet to make sure that we have directions in case something happens to the GPS. However, once he gets in the car, he refuses to look at the GPS and only uses his written directions. I told him that he needs to trust modern technology because it is safer to use the GPS than trying to read a piece of paper while driving. His response was that the GPS does not always go the quickest way and that sometimes the GPS is incorrect. I do remember one time when we were going to a wedding and the GPS told us to turn on a road that did not exist and we ended up being late to the wedding. I still think it is safer to travel with a GPS than reading paper while driving. I guess it does not hurt to have a backup though.