Friday, August 19

3 R Friday

A weekly series of simple tips geared toward helping you darken your shade of green. Easily.

Reduce: Reduce the number of items you buy for back-to-school.
  • Take a look at last year's items, if they are still in good shape don't buy more. (Book bags, lunch boxes, water bottles, pencils, notebooks, clothes)
Reuse: Reuse jeans by patching or sewing.
  • Cut and sew into shorts, skirts, or bags.
  • Patch and wear some more.
Recycle: Recycle your denim jeans with

Hope you found these tips helpful. Feel free to share any tips you may have.

Have a Great Green Weekend!

Friday, August 12

3 R Friday

A weekly series of simple tips geared toward helping you darken your shade of green. Easily.

Reduce: Reduce school lunch waste by eliminating single serving items from the lunches you pack.
  • Say No to juice boxes, single wrapped cheese sticks, bags of chips & cookies, individual serving containers of apple sauce, yogurt, & pudding. 
  • Buy in bulk and pack in reusable containers.
  • Save $ and reduce waste!
Reuse: Reuse food containers as storage containers. Wash and reuse.

  • Also great to send left-overs home with family and friends.
Recycle: Recycle hearing aids at the Lions Club.

Hope you found these tips helpful. Feel free to share any tips you may have.

Have a Great Green Weekend!

Tuesday, August 9

Turn Denim into Insulation - Part 3

The past 2 posts have given you some information about the collection program now I will share some information about the insulation that the denim is turned into.

The Cotton From Blue to Green.® denim drive is a call-to-action to donate denim and give it “new life” by converting it into UltraTouch™ Denim Insulation. The insulation is then provided to communities in need to assist with building efforts.  

 UltraTouch™ is composed of 85% recycled cotton fibers and is an environmentally safe, non-itch insulation without carcinogenic warnings, formaldehyde or chemical irritants. 

 UltraTouch™ provides exceptional thermal performance and acoustically provides 30% better sound absorption than traditional fiberglass insulation. In addition, it is one of the only insulating products that contain an active mold/mildew inhibitor.

UltraTouch™  is a Class-A Building Product and meets the highest ASTM testing standards for fire and smoke ratings, fungi resistance and corrosiveness.

UltraTouch™  Denim Insulation contains 90% post-consumer recycled natural fibers making it an ideal choice for anyone looking to use a high quality sustainable building material.

Another avenue for distribution, at the end of 2010, Cotton launched a Grant Program for architects, contractors, builders and project developers to apply for grants of UltraTouch™ Denim Insulation for community-based green buildings.

To learn more about the Grant Program or to register online, click here.

There is still time to apply for this wonderful grant. I encourage you to share the information with building contractors you may know.

I would love to hear from anyone else who has sent denim to the The Cotton From Blue to Green.® denim drive or who has started a collection drive of their own!

Monday, August 8

Turn Denim into Insulation - Part 2

The Cotton From Blue to Green.® program is now collecting denim through the mail.
  • Limit package(s) to a MAXIMUM of 100 pieces of denim per parcel.
  • You are responsible for the cost of mailing your denim.
  • Make sure your mailing package is strong enough to support the amount of denim you're putting in it.
  • Only denim items can be sent.
  • Any type of denim apparel (not just jeans) is accepted.
  • Colored denim is acceptable.
  • Organic denim is acceptable.
  • The denim does not have to be 100% cotton - it may contain a percentage of another fiber
  • Denim may be mailed in any type of condition - it can contain rips, holes, etc.
  • You do not need to remove anything from your denim. All decorations including buttons,
    grommets, snaps, zippers, etc. are removed during the recycling process.
  • You may download a mailing address label or make certain to label your package exactly as indicated.
  • Contact Cotton From Blue to Green with any additional questions including how to start a denim collection drive!

Sunday, August 7

Learn how you can earn a free Kids Konserve Lunch Sac

Help Donate Lunch Gear to Those in Need

Reposted from Blog:

Last year, as many of us in the office were signing our kids up for their first year of school, we noticed that our school supply lists included optional donations of items like back packs, lunch bags and water bottles for children in need.

It really got us talking - with so many affordable waste-free lunch items in our store, why not pick up an extra lunch bag or set of utensils for our kids' classmates?

So we did! And we're doing the same this year.

We encourage our customers to also consider purchasing an extra lunch bag, reusable water bottle or other back-to-school essential for a child in need.
Additionally, for the second year in a row, we're donating $500 worth of lunch gear to a school chosen by you!

To nominate a school, leave a comment on Reusit's blog post, or visit our Facebook page and tell us about a school that could benefit from a $500 lunch gear donation. (Be sure that we can contact you via email from your comment or Facebook post in case your nominated school wins!)

We'll consider your suggestions and choose a winning school or class at the end of August.

Giving back is part of what we do - to date, we've donated over $200,000 to like-minded non-profits.

Click here to read about our donation to last year's winner. 

Looking for more information on waste-free lunches and how to help your school go green? Check out these resources:
  1. Eco-Schools USA (Program bringing environmental awareness to schools)
  2. 5 Steps to a Waste-Free Lunch
  3. Top 10 Picks for Back to School
  4. Disposable Lunch Item Facts
  5. How to Raise Money for Your School

Turn Denim into Insulation - Part 1

If you are anything like me, you have been forcing your children to try on every piece of clothing they have to determine what still fits and what doesn't so the "School Shopping Fun" can begin.

My children's clothes always get sorted into 3 piles; still nice enough to wear, nice enough for others to wear, and not in good enough shape for anyone to wear.
This last pile is the one that I struggle with.
I can never bring myself to throw this pile away because it always seems like I should be able to "use" it for something.

A while back I learned of a program that recycles denim but they had stopped taking donations. I decided to look them up again to see if maybe they had started again. Sure enough, they had.

The Cotton From Blue to Green.® program is a grass roots program that takes denim donations and turns the material into insulation that is used for communities in need. Here is some information about the program:

The Cotton From Blue to Green.® denim drive is a call-to-action to donate denim and give it “new life” by converting it into UltraTouch™ Denim Insulation. The insulation is then provided to communities in need to assist with building efforts.  

The Cotton. From Blue to Green.® denim drive was first created in 2006 as part of Cotton Incorporated’s groundbreaking collegiate mobile marketing initiative Cotton's Dirty Laundry Tour®. The Cotton. From Blue to Green.® denim drive served as a grassroots student-run campaign to educate college coeds about the natural, renewable and recyclable attributes of denim.
In its first year, the Cotton. From Blue to Green.® denim drive doubled initial collection estimates — a total of 14,566 pieces of denim were collected nationwide. College students across the U.S. rallied their campuses and surrounding communities for donations. 

To date, the Cotton. From Blue to Green.® denim drive program has received over half a million pieces of denim. This results in approximately 1.5 million square feet of UltraTouch™ Denim Insulation to assist with building efforts for communities in need.

Since the start of the Cotton. From Blue to Green.® denim drive program in 2006, the insulation has been distributed to Habitat for Humanity affiliates around the country. 

What a wonderful way to keep those torn, worn-out, don't fit anymore jeans out of the landfill while, at the same time, helping those in need.

Now my "not good enough for anyone to wear" pile just got a little smaller!

Saturday, July 30

EcoSmart Ant Killer

The other day I came home to find a swarm of ants in our garage. I have no idea what they were after but there were hundreds of them along the garage door opening.

After my initial shock  I remembered that I still had some EcoSMART  Ant Killer so I grabbed my can and sprayed away.

Within seconds they were all dead and the garage was left with only a pleasant peppermint like smell.
 That is when I remember just how much I like this product.

Here is some information about the products from a past review I wrote. 

EcoSMART is an organic pesticide and natural insect repellent company which carries non-toxic products that are both child and pet friendly.

EcoSMART products are based on the natural defenses that plants and trees have used for their self protection against insects and pathogens for millenia - essential oils.

Since EcoSMART’s proprietary botanical oil blends attack attributes that are specific only to pests, they do not effect people, pets or the environment.

The primary active ingredients in EcoSMART products are approved as Direct Food Additives or classified as GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.

These oils are commonly used to add flavor and aroma to many cosmetic, beverage and food products, including cake, candy, sweetener, gum, soft drinks, and lipstick. Children and pets are safe. No need to clear them out after application or be concerned if they are near our products. EcoSMART products have no adverse effect on mammals, birds, and fish and also will not contaminate water sources.

Why are EcoSMART's Botanical Products A Better Choice:
  • Targets Insects: Not People or the Environment
  • Made from organic plant oils
  • Safe to use around children and pets
  • No pesticide residue
  • Unprecedented Margin of Safety
  • Extremely Effective Against a Broad Spectrum of Insect Pests
  • No Known Pest Resistance Issues
  • Cost Effective and Easy-To-Use Versus Conventional Products
  • Performance Comparable to Conventional Products
  • Naturally safe and effective
Some other note worthy features:
  • Has a pleasant natural scent
  • Can is recyclable
  • Made in the USA
  • Contains ingredients such as peppermint oil, wintergreen oil, mineral oil, and canola oil
  • No CFCs
  • Is still an insecticide so good safety and storage practices should be followed
Here is a list of some EcoSMART products:
Ant & Roach Killer
Wasp and Hornet Killer
Flying Insect Killer
Insect Repellent

Just recently I saw these products in my local grocery store which is wonderful.

If you have the need for any of these products I would strongly recommend visiting the EcoSMART website and taking a look for yourself especially if you have pets or children!

Friday, July 29

3 R Friday

A weekly series of simple tips geared toward helping you darken your shade of green. Easily.

Reduce: Reduce the unnecessary consumption of antibiotics by purchasing foods that are antibiotic-free especially milk, meat, and eggs.
  • You may also want to ensure that antibiotics are the proper course of treatment for your illness before taking them.
Reuse: Reuse partially used school supplies by donating them to daycare, churches, camps, doctor's offices, police stations, and other places where children can use them.

Recycle: Recycle glue sticks and glue bottles with Elmer's Glue Crew.
  • Think about starting a Glue Crew Recycling Program at your school or daycare

Hope you found these tips helpful. Feel free to share any tips you may have.

Have a Great Green Weekend!

Wednesday, July 27


Love music — and the planet?
You could get a Reverb volunteer spot on one of the 
Maroon 5 / Train or Honda Civic concert tours.  
Stonyfield's partner Reverb works with the music industry to reduce tours' environmental impact, and volunteers help run greening programs on each tour.

The concert tours run from August into October.  
A few lucky Stonyfield fans will be chosen to help out at shows 
across the country, so visit Reverb to find the closest show and
try your luck.  Volunteers receive a t-shirt and show pass but 
most importantly, the amazing experience of helping out at a great concert event.

Learn more & apply now

Sunday, July 24

Decoding Meat + Dairy Product Labels - 2011 Meat Eaters Guide | Meat Eater's Guide to Climate Change + Health | Environmental Working Group


The term refers to hens that are not raised in cages, but it does not necessarily mean they have access to the outdoors. There is no standard definition of “cage-free,” but it generally implies that the birds are free to perform natural behaviors. Many cage-free claims are not certified, though some cage-free eggs are certified by American Humane Certified label.

Certified Humane:

Products carrying this label are certified to come from animals that were never confined in cages or crates, were not subjected to de-beaking (in the case of poultry) and were slaughtered according to specific requirements designed to minimize suffering. It does not permit the use of sub-therapeutic antibiotics or hormones. “Certified Humane Raised and Handled” and “Animal Welfare Approved” are the two leading humane certification systems, although the Food Alliance follows similar standards. “Certified Humane” does not mean animals had access to pasture, but “Animal Welfare Approved” does.

Farmed Fish

This refers to the rapidly growing industry that raises and feeds fish for human consumption in tanks or large wire pens anchored in coastal areas or other large bodies of water. Also called aquaculture, fish farming is expanding to offset the global decline in the wild fish catch. Fifty percent of seafood sold in the U.S. is now farmed. Ironically, feeding carnivorous farmed fish such as salmon requires harvesting millions of tons of smaller wild fish, such as anchovies and sardines, to produce fishmeal and fish oil. Catfish and other farmed fish are fed mostly soybeans and corn, while farmed tilapia eats a variety of algae, seaweeds and other aquatic plants. The use of open ponds and net pens or cages allows ocean water to flow freely through them. These enclosures pollute local waters with fish waste, excess feed and antibiotics and spread disease and parasites to sensitive wild marine species. The rapid growth of farmed shrimp ponds has led to deliberate destruction of thousands of coastal acres of mangrove forests that serve as fish nurseries, protect against storms and provide local economic livelihood.


In the United States, this term applies only to poultry and is regulated by the US Department of Agriculture. It indicates simply that the animals have been “allowed access to the outside.” The USDA does not specify the quality or size of the outside range nor the duration of time an animal must have access to the outside.


This term technically refers only to animals fed a diet of natural grass and other forage, not grain, but it often includes other healthier farm practices not associated with industrially produced meat, such as local butchering, more range time for livestock and less crowded conditions. The three leading “grass-fed” labels, certified by the Food Alliance, the American Grassfed Association or the USDA, require that animals eat a diet exclusively of forage. Some companies that market their meat as “naturally raised” or grass-fed actually feed their animals grain for significant periods. USDA’s grass-fed marketing standard requires only that animals “must have continuous access to pasture during the growing season.” It does not necessarily mean that the animals spent their entire lives in pastures or on rangeland. Some cattle marketed as USDA grass-fed actually spend part of their lives in confined pens or feedlots.

Hormone-free/No added hormones

This means that the animals were never given hormone treatments. To boost profits, some farmers give hormones to beef cattle and sheep to speed their growth and to dairy cows to increase milk production. The USDA does not allow hormones to be used on chicken or hogs. The European Union does not allow hormones in any meat. The extensive use of hormones (see rBHG-free below) in meat and dairy may increase the risk of cancer in humans and result in higher rates of infection in animals. Products labeled “organic” cannot come from rGBH-treated cows. There is no specific hormone-free certification, though organic and grass-fed labels do not allow hormone use.

Lean/Extra Lean

These are USDA-defined terms. To qualify as “lean,” 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of beef must have fewer than 10 grams of fat, 4.5 grams or less of saturated fat, and fewer than 95 milligrams of cholesterol. To be labeled “extra lean,” 100 grams of beef must have fewer than 5 grams of fat, fewer than 2 grams of saturated fat and fewer than 95 milligrams of cholesterol.


The USDA defines a natural product as one that contains “no artificial ingredient or added color and is only minimally processed.” Processing must not fundamentally alter the product. The label must include a specific explanation such as “no artificial ingredients; minimally processed.” All fresh meat qualifies as natural. This term does not include any requirements that animals be raised in sufficient open space or that it has no added hormones or antibiotic; it is not the same as organic. The term can mislead consumers to think that the product is healthier and more humane than it is.

No nitrites/nitrates

Processed meats such as ham, bacon and hot dogs often contain nitrates, which are added to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria and to enhance color. Eating meat that has been treated with nitrates may increase the risk of cancer and other health problems. Vegetable-based nitrates (e.g., celery, salt) are a safer bet.


Food labeled organic must be third-party certified to meet USDA’s criteria. Organic foods cannot be irradiated, genetically modified or grown using synthetic fertilizers, chemicals or sewage sludge. Organic meat and poultry cannot be treated with hormones or antibiotics and must be fed only organically grown feed (with no animal byproducts). Organic meat animals must have access to the outdoors, and ruminants must have access to pasture. There are two ways to identify organic fruits and veggies: by the “100% organic” or “organic” label and by the unique Price Look-Up (PLU) code sticker. (link to Enviroblog post on this: Instead of a 4-digit number beginning with a “4,” organic produce has a 5-digit number that begins with a “9.”


Animals raised in a pasture can roam freely in their natural environment, where they are able to eat nutritious grasses and other plants that their bodies are adapted to digest. There is no specific pasture-raised certification, though certified organic meat must come from animals that have continuous access to pasture.

Processed meats

In addition to sodium, artificial coloring and flavor enhancers, processed meats often contain preservatives, such as nitrites, to reduce foodborne illness retard spoilage from microorganisms and rancidity from fat oxidation. Examples are: sausage, bacon, smoked ham, hot dogs, packaged lunchmeats, pepperoni and salami. Note: You won’t see the word “processed’ on the label! The American Cancer Society and the World Cancer Research Fund recommend limiting consumption of processed meats; research has linked them to colorectal, kidney and stomach cancer.


These products are from animals not treated with recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH), also known as recombinant bovine somatotropin (rBST). rGBH is a genetically engineered hormone approved by the FDA in 1993 that when injected into cows artificially increases milk production by 10 to 15 percent. There are health concerns for both cows and humans exposed to the drug. Buying organic dairy products is another way to avoid rGBH since its use does not meet the organic criteria.

Saturated Fat

This is one of the two main types of fats that appear in foods. Unlike unsaturated fat, it has no double bonds between carbon atoms in its chemical structure, so the fatty acids are saturated with hydrogen. Fat is a necessary part of a healthy diet, but excessive saturated fat has been associated with health problems. Fats in animal-based foods are predominantly saturated. The World Health Organization (WHO), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) urge people to limit intake of saturated fat.

Sodium nitrate/nitrite-free

This chemical preservative and color fixative is typically added to processed meats to lengthen shelf life, make the color more appealing and add a smoky flavor. Processed meats made without these additives are safer; they are likely “cured” with naturally occurring vegetable-based nitrates that are less harmful to human health.

Wild-caught/Wild Fish

The “wild fish” label indicates that the fish was spawned in the wild, lived in the wild and was caught in the wild. “Wild-caught fish” may have been spawned or lived some part of their lives in a fish farm before being returned to the wild and eventually caught. For sustainable fish, consult the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s list of the most sustainable seafood choices, or look for the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) label.
See Sustainable Table’s excellent, extensive glossary to learn more:

Around the Green Blog-O-Sphere


Friday, July 22

3 R Friday

A weekly series of simple tips geared toward helping you darken your shade of green. Easily.

Reduce: Reduce waste and resource usage by saying no thank you to duplicate checks.
  • Go paperless for bills
  • Use every line instead of every-other-line when balancing your checkbook
  • Opt out of receiving a new checkbook cover with every order of checks.
  • Pick up your checks from the bank instead of having them mailed.
Reuse: Reuse cardboard boxes for shipping, moving, and storage.
Recycle: Recycle 'harmful for the environment' items such as paint, batteries, cooking oil, paint thinner, and spent motor oil with your local garbage/recycling center.  Don't throw these items into your garbage cans.

Hope you found these tips helpful. Feel free to share any tips you may have.

Have a Great Green Weekend!

Tuesday, July 19

Promote Waste-free Lunches in Your School - Part 3

Promote Waste-free Lunches in Your School - has started a campaign to help eliminate school lunch waste.  I am helping to spread the word with a few informational posts. I encourage you to help spread the word too!

Waste-free lunches are a simple way to reduce consumption on a daily basis, helping you preserve natural resources and save money. Plus, it encourages healthy eating habits. Simply put, the cumulative effect is enormous!

Ways to Spread the Word

Here are a few high-impact things you can do today:
  1. Encourage your school to link to this page on its website
  2. Tell them to mention this page in their e-mail newsletter and on Facebook and Twitter
  3. Recommend this page as a resource for your favorite blogger, editor or writer
  4. Write a blog post, or share this page on your favorite forums
  5. Use the sharing buttons above to send the message to your Facebook friends, Twitter followers and more
  6. Want to see an example? Here’s how Hamilton Elementary spread the word in their e-mail newsletter!

Additional Resources

Read more about the 5 steps & watch a video here.

Saturday, July 16

04/21/2011 3:23 PM ET
The Seattle Mariners are joining with Nikon to host the team's third annual carbon offset game for Earth Day, Friday, April 22 (vs. Oakland Athletics). In addition to offsets for carbon, the Club will also purchase renewable electric energy and offset the use of water for the game. All kids will receive a magnet with environmental tips, courtesy of Nikon.

The Mariners also will introduce a new environmental mascot to help spread the word about the Mariners and Safeco Field's environmental practices. Kid Compost will join Captain Plastic to help educate fans about the Zero Waste goals at Safeco Field, which have increased the Mariners recycling rate from 12% in 2005, to over 70% in 2010.

Kid Compost, who will be introduced on-field during the pregame ceremonies on April 22, will make appearances during games to encourage fans to participate in the Safeco Field Zero Waste efforts by placing their recyclables and compostables in the appropriate containers on the ballpark concourses.

Safeco Field Soil:
The first five thousand fans leaving the game will receive nine-quart bags of official Safeco Field soil, courtesy of Cedar Grove Compost. Recycling efforts divert an estimated 900,000 pounds of peanut shells, leftover food, compostable service ware and grass clippings from the garbage stream each season. The waste is transformed by Cedar Grove into compost prized by gardeners across the Northwest. Safeco Field soil will also be distributed to fans leaving the ballpark after games on May 16 and May 30.

Carbon & Water-Off-Set Game:
The Mariners have purchased Green-E Certified Renewable Energy Credits from Bonneville Environmental Foundation and green power from Seattle City Light's Green Up program to offset the water usage and climate change impact of energy usage associated with the game between the Mariners and the Oakland Athletics. Impacts to be offset include:
  • Emissions associated with natural gas used to operate Safeco Field on April 22 (1,400 Therms of natural gas),
  • 116,000 gallons of water,
  • Disposal or recycling of waste generated during the game (estimated to be 5.5 tons, 70%+ of which will be recycled),
  • Air travel emissions for the Athletics from Oakland to Seattle, as well as the air travel emissions for the umpire crew,
  • Hotel-related emissions for the Athletics and the umpires (50 hotel rooms)
  • Ground travel to and from the ballpark by staff and fans (180,000 car miles)
The electricity the Mariners purchase from Seattle City Light is already carbon-free and has no greenhouse gas impacts. City Light's Green Up program supports the development of non-carbon, alternative energy sources.

Green Sports Alliance:
The Mariners are founding members of the Green Sports Alliance, a coalition of Northwest pro sports teams and venues committed to sustainable practices to reduce their impact on the environment. Other founding teams are the Seattle Seahawks, Portland Trail Blazers, Vancouver Canucks, Seattle Storm and Seattle Sounders FC. Martin Tull, Executive Director of the Green Sports Alliance, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch on Friday night.

Seattle Mariners Green Facts:
  • From 2006-2009, the Mariners saved over $1 million in utilities costs (electricity, natural gas, water and sewer).
  • Reduced natural gas use 60%
  • Reduced electricity use 30%
  • Reduced water use 15%
  • Through a major capital investment programs and conservation measures, the Mariners are now saving an estimated $500,000 a year in utilities costs.
  • These conservation efforts save the equivalent of 5.1 million pounds of CO2, and are equal to having planted 703 acres of trees and taken 344 cars off the road.
  • Mariners were the first MLB team to stage a "carbon neutral" game on Earth Day 2008.
Mariners staged Zero Waste games for Earth Day 2009 and 2010.
Safeco Field has the lowest "energy intensity" of all MLB ballparks that participate in the EPA's

Energy Star program:
The Mariners have made significant strides in the use of "green" products and practices.
Cedar Grove Compost has hauled away all of Safeco Field's compostables since 2007 when the Mariners began food waste recycling. As the Pacific Northwest's leading organic recycling company, Cedar Grove transforms grass, leaves, yard trimmings, food waste and wood waste into nutrient-rich compost which the Mariners use in landscaping activities.

Grays Harbor Paper of Hoquiam supplies the Mariners with office paper made from 100% post-consumer waste fiber.

American Paper Converting of Vancouver supplies all hand towels and toilet tissue for Safeco Field made from 100% recycled fiber with a minimum of 65% post-consumer fiber.
97% of all custodial supplies used at Safeco Field are recognized as sustainable products by entities such as "Green Seal" and "Ecologo."

Friday, July 15

3 R Friday

A weekly series of simple tips geared toward helping you darken your shade of green. Easily.

Reduce: Reduce food waste by sharing your garden harvest with churches, neighbors, co-workers, food banks, and friends.

Reuse: Reuse school supplies from years past.

Recycle: Recycle your old prescription eyeglasses.

Hope you found these tips helpful. Feel free to share any tips you may have.

Have a Great Green Weekend!

Thursday, July 14

Safeco Field getting greener as more garbage composted

Mariners are ahead of the game on meeting Seattle's new recycling/composting law. 

In the first three ballgames at Safeco Field this year, 70 percent of the service ware — cups, plates, even eating utensils — used by Mariners fans and employees was recycled or composted.
That’s a huge increase from last year, when 38 percent didn’t go to a landfill.

Seattle Mariners spokeswoman Rebecca Hale said the emphasis on keeping food-serving-and-eating items out of the trash will save the team about $100,000 a year in landfill fees; last year, the team saved $60,000.

Beginning July 1, Seattle will become the first city in the nation where all single-use service ware must be either compostable or recyclable. That means Seattle will stop sending 6,000 tons of plastic and plastic-coated paper products to a landfill, or 225 shipping containers of waste.
While the law doesn’t go into effect until July 1, the Mariners decided to start now with the beginning of its season.

There are just 17 garbage cans at Safeco Field, said Scott Jenkins, vice president of ballpark operations. All the others have been replaced with 300 compost containers and 200 recycling bins.
The Mariners have contracted with Cedar Grove Composting to handle the waste. Plastic bottles make up the largest single number of recyclable items at Safeco, Hale said. Beer “glasses” and the cardboard packaging for bobbleheads are plentiful, too.

At Safeco, crews sift through the garbage to pull out plastic bottles. Almost everything else is compostable. Even the plastic beer glasses and eating utensils can be composted. Jenkins said virtually all that’s left as garbage are potato-chip bags, wrappers for licorice ropes and tiny condiment containers.

The key to success, said Jenkins, is educating the fans, who want to throw away their beer glasses and plates. “We’re early in the learning curve, but are doing really well,” he said.
He envisions a 70 percent compost and recycling rate this year, and it could even get as high as 85 percent.

Dick Lilly, with Seattle Public Utilities, said the July 1 change is part of a package of laws passed by the Seattle City Council, that included a ban on Styrofoam packaging and the failed effort to put a fee on plastic and paper bags.

By Susan Gilmore

Tuesday, July 12

Promote Waste-free Lunches in Your School - Part 2

Promote Waste-free Lunches in Your School - has started a campaign to help eliminate school lunch waste.  I am helping to spread the word with a few informational posts. I encourage you to help spread the word too!

Waste-free lunches are a simple way to reduce consumption on a daily basis, helping you preserve natural resources and save money. Plus, it encourages healthy eating habits. Simply put, the cumulative effect is enormous!

Top facts:

  • Eliminating disposable packaging and single-serving items can save families $250 a year. (
  • 40 billion plastic utensils are used every year in just the United States. The majority of these are thrown out after just one use. (
  • Families spend $85 a year on disposable plastic baggies. (Sierra Club)
  • Each child who brings a brown bag lunch to school every day generates 67 pounds of waste by the end of the school year. (EPA) 
  • Read more lunch facts here.

Where To Find Ideas for Packing Healthy Lunches?

Friday, July 8

3 R Friday

A weekly series of simple tips geared toward helping you darken your shade of green. Easily.

Reduce: Reduce waste by saying No Thank You to dental freebies.
  • Take only what you need
  • Don't take the plastic bag just take the items you need
  • Don't take the appointment card
  • Don't take the items just because they give them to you
Reuse: Think reusable instead of disposable!
  • Napkins
  • Drinking containers
  • Plates
  • Utensils
  • Bags
  • Storage containers
  • Lunches
  • Straws

Recycle: Recycle your old trophies at

Hope you found these tips helpful. Feel free to share any tips you may have.

Have a Great Green Weekend!

Thursday, July 7

Tips for a Waste-Free Picnic

Brought to you by

Picnics are a great way to enjoy nature, but not when you’re packing disposable paper plates, plastic utensils, bottled beverages and other use-and-toss items. Take disposable plastic cutlery, for example, they’re a staple at your average picnic. estimates 40 billion plastic utensils are used every year in just the United States – the majority of those were thrown out after just one use. Not only are disposable picnic items a waste of resources used to produce and package them, they're also a waste of money.

Choose to reuse. Utensils, napkins, food containers, thermoses, coldpacks… the list goes on and on! Buy high-quality reusables that you can bring to picnics (and use for lots of other things) for years to come.

Responsible disposables. When you simply can’t pack reusable plates and utensils, pack disposables made from responsible materials that can be recycled, composted or that biodegrade. Many of these are durable enough to be washed and reused as well.

Drink up. Fill a reusable water tank and encourage picnickers to bring a reusable bottle they can refill. Or, bring reusable bottles with built-in filters and fill up at the park or picnic ground.

Use what you’ve got. Instead of buying a paper table cloth or a brand-new picnic blanket, use and old blanket or sheet from home. Pack "real" dishes and silverware that can can be washed and reused.

Buy in bulk & Organize. Opt for large, communal containers of snacks like raisins, chips and crackers over individually-wrapped packages. Coordinate the menu with guests ahead of time so you don’t end up with doubles and extra food that might spoil.

Get a FREE 3-in-1 spork with your order!
Now through 7/12 get a free black Light My Fire Spork when you enter PICNIC at check out.

TerraCycle Summer Bonus Points

Summer Bonus PointsTerraCycle is offering BONUS POINTS this summer just for sending in your waste!

Send in a qualifying shipment between June 15th and August 15th and TerraCycle will give your location an additional 100 points.

Are you are currently signed up for a TerraCycle Brigade and have yet to send in your first shipment?

In addition to Summer Bonus points, if you send in your first shipment between June15th and August 15th TerraCycle will also give you a 200 points bonus for sending in your first shipment through our First Shipment Bonus Points promotion, that’s 300 extra points, just for sending in your first shipment!

Remember, each TerraCycle point is redeemable for a variety of charitable gifts or a donation of $.01 to the school or charity of your choice.

For more information on the TerraCycle Points Program click here.

*See specific Brigade FAQs for any qualifying shipment restrictions

Wednesday, July 6

Refill Ink Cartridges at Costco

The last time I was at Costco I noticed a big sign announcing that they refill ink cartridges so I decided to look into it a little more and here is what I found out.
  • What types of cartridges can be refilled? 
    • HP, Canon, Lexmark and Dell cartridges
  • How long does it take to refill a cartridge?  
    • Typically 1 hour
  • Is there a recommended usage date for a refilled cartridge? 
    • Within 90 days
  • What are the advantages of a refilled cartridge? 
    • You save money on your purchase AND it is good for the environment since the cartridge is reused.
  • What is the proper way to handle a cartridge? 
    • As soon as you remove the cartridge from your printer, place it into a plastic clip. This will protect the cartridge and prevent it from drying out. If you do not have the clip, place 1 to 3 cartridges in a letter sized envelope. Be careful not to rub print heads together when transporting. Never touch, clean or place tape over the print head nozzles. Keep in cool place. Take the cartridge to a Costco 1-Hour Photo for refilling as soon as possible after removing it from your printer. 

I have not actually done it yet so I can not add my personal thoughts and experience. Let me know if any of you have. I am eager to hear first hand accounts!

For more information on refilling ink cartridges at Costco click over to their website: Costco

Special Offer from Green Home

Green Home Special Offer

Tuesday, July 5

Promote Waste-free Lunches in Your School - Part 1

Promote Waste-free Lunches in Your School - has started a campaign to help eliminate school lunch waste.  I am helping to spread the word with a few informational posts. I encourage you to help spread the word too!

Waste-free lunches are a simple way to reduce consumption on a daily basis, helping you preserve natural resources and save money. Plus, it encourages healthy eating habits. Simply put, the cumulative effect is enormous!

The 5 Steps to a Waste-free Lunch

  1. Replace paper bags with reusable lunch bags.
  2. Use reusable food containers to eliminate single-serve packaging.
  3. Switch from plastic baggies to reusable snack & sandwich bags.
  4. Reusable napkins, utensils and even straws replace their disposable counterparts.
  5. Kick the bottled water and juice habit with a reusable water bottle.
Read more about the 5 steps & watch a video here.

Friday, June 17

3 R Friday

A weekly series of simple tips geared toward helping you darken your shade of green. Easily.

Reduce: Reduce the amount of chemicals, dyes, and perfumes your child absorbs by switching to more natural products.
  • Toothpaste
  • Shampoo
  • Lotion
  • Sun Screen
  • Lip Balm
  • Conditioner
  • Soap
  • Nail Polish
  • Nail Polish Remover
  • Bug Spray
  • Toothpaste
    • I know I said this twice but this one is a biggy to me. Read the labels on the big brand children's toothpaste and you might be surprised at what you see!
Reuse: Reuse printer ink cartridges by refilling them at Costco .

Recycle: Recycle your children's old tennis shoes at Nike Reuse-A-Shoe.

Hope you found these tips helpful. Feel free to share any tips you may have.

Have a Great Green Weekend!

Wednesday, June 15

TerraCycle + Kraft = Minor League Baseball Ticket

KRAFT is teaming up with TerraCycle and the MiLB to bring you KRAFT Singles Tuesday Tickets .
 Kraft Singles Tuesday Tickets Bring your Kraft singles package wrapper to the Minor League Baseball box office and buy one ticket and get another one free from Kraft! Only the wrapper is required and the offer is valid through September 6th.

Participants will help KRAFT in their sustainability efforts.

All KRAFT package wrappers that are collected will be shipped to TerraCycle to be upcycled or recycled into various products.

To learn how to start your own cheese package brigade click here. Then sign up and start collecting!

Saturday, June 11

Around the Green Blog-O-Sphere

New Sesame Street Series from Envirosax has a new referral program!

Spread the word, earn store credit!  They'll save $5, you'll get $5.
How It Works
  1. Spread the word - Each new customer that uses your referral code saves $5 off their purchase of $50 or more at
  2. Earn credit - You earn $5 store credit for each new customer that uses your referral code.
  3. Spend it - Your credits are good toward any purchase at

From Green

See photos of Terracycle's new upcycled office space via Earth 911. Very Cool!

Click here to see the list of best sunscreens  

Receive One Free Travel Size Organic Bug Spray with every purchase of a Travel Set at Brittanies Thyme.

Friday, June 10

3 R Friday

A weekly series of simple tips geared toward helping you darken your shade of green. Easily.

Reduce: Reduce waste and resource usage by renting instead of buying.
  • Rent formal dresses instead of buying new.
  • Rent home improvement tools that you won't use more than once or twice instead of buying.
  • Rent movies, books-on-tape, and regular books from the library.
  • Rent a big car when you need one and drive a smaller one for everyday driving.
Reuse: Reuse water for watering plants.
  • Collect the water you use for cooking (pasta, potato, steaming veggies) and after it cools use it to water your plants with. 
  • Left over water from pet dishes.
  • Collect water from rinsing fruit and veggies.
  • Bath water.
  • Left over water from drinking bottles.
  • Collect rain water via a rain barrel.
Recycle: Recycle your children's sport shirts into a memory quilt!

Hope you found these tips helpful. Feel free to share any tips you may have.

Have a Great Green Weekend!

Friday, June 3

3 R Friday

A weekly series of simple tips geared toward helping you darken your shade of green. Easily.

Reduce: Reduce Coffee Waste.
  • Take a reusable mug with you to your favorite coffee shop.
    • Starbucks now sells reusable "mugs" for cold drinks too!
  • Pour cream & sugar in before your coffee so you don't need to use a stirrer.
  • Take a coffee mug to work and use it instead of a disposable cup.
  • Say no to disposable stir sticks and single use creamers.
  • Use a reusable coffee filter.
  • Purchase shade grown organic coffee.
  • Take your coffee bag back to the store and refill it.
  • When drinking coffee at a coffee shop ask for it in a coffee mug.
Reuse: Reuse Coffee Grounds.
  • Sprinkle coffee grounds around outside plants.
    • Most coffee shops will provide you with bags of spent coffee grounds. 
    • Starbucks keeps a bucket of them outside many of their store locations.
  • Compost coffee filters.
  • Sprinkle coffee grounds around areas that cats like to use as "litter boxes".
  • Compost coffee grounds.
Recycle: Recycle your empty coffee bags with TerraCycle.

Hope you found these tips helpful. Feel free to share any tips you may have.

Have a Great Green Weekend!

Sunday, May 29

Conventional Cotton vs Organic Cotton

Post from the Past: Originally posted at Green and Clean Mom Forum:

My daughter and I recently reviewed a 100% cotton T-shirt from Go

While reading about Go Baby’s organic line I learned that: Organically grown cotton is not treated with pesticides, herbicides or petroleum based fertilizers and is manufactured in a much more environmentally sustainable way.

After reading this I wanted to learn more about the differences between regular cotton and organic cotton so I started doing some on-line research. Most sites I found said the same thing but I thought that The green basics on summed it up best.

Conventional cotton is one of the most chemically-dependent crops
  • 10 percent of all agricultural chemicals & 25 percent of insecticides on 3 percent of our arable land
  • 1/3 of a pound of chemicals are needed to produce enough cotton for a T-shirt and 3/4 of a pound for a pair of jeans!
Organic cotton starts with the soil.
  • Compost, frequent crop rotations and cover crop strategies replace synthetic fertilizers to keep the soil healthy and productive.
  • Weeds are controlled by innovative farm machinery, hand labor or flame devices rather than herbicide applications.
  • Organic farmers cultivate a diversity of natural enemies which prey on insect pests, and lure pests away from cotton by planting trap crops.
  • Organic growers shut off water early, and apply certified materials to promote cotton boll opening and leaf dropping, readying the fibers for harvest.
Wow! Those are some amazing differences.

I know that purchasing 100% organic cotton products(like the t-shirts and onezees from Go is an important way for us to show our commitment to the health of our environment, our children, and those people who pick the cotton.

As much as I would love to buy only 100% organic cotton products I just can’t afford to.
Recently I was looking for a pair of organic jeans and the average price I found was $99. I just can't afford $99 for a pair of jeans, no matter how much I know it's worth the $.

In all honestly, I am more likely to buy organic clothes for my daughter than for myself. (I guess I just see her as more fragile.) I just wish that $ was not a factor in my choice.

My hope is that by spreading the word about the huge differences between conventional cotton vs organic cotton I will help increase awareness, increase the demand for organic cotton products, and hopefully decrease the price of these products making them affordable for all.

Friday, May 27

3 R Friday

A weekly series of simple tips geared toward helping you darken your shade of green. Easily.

Reduce: Reduce water waste.
  • Ensure faucets are completely turned off
  • Turn water off when shaving & brushing teeth
  • Don't brush your teeth in the shower
  • Replace leaky faucets
  • Don't turn your shower on all the way (especially good for kiddos taking showers)
  • Use drip lines for watering
  • Ensure sprinklers are not watering sidewalks and fences
  • Install low-flow showers
  • Take a navy shower
Reuse: Reuse egg cartons.
  • Give them to family & friends that raise chickens
  • Take them to your local farmer's market & offer them to those selling eggs
  • Give them to children museums, day-cares, & schools to use for art projects
  • Use the cardboard ones as seed starters and then plant them straight in the ground
Recycle: Recycle your used mattress.
  • When purchasing a new bed shop around to stores that send your old mattress to recycling centers instead of to the landfill.

Hope you found these tips helpful. Feel free to share any tips you may have.

Have a Great Green Weekend!

Sunday, May 22

Rid your home of fruit flies and a big Thank You

Post from the Past:

Before I proceed to my regularly scheduled post I want to say Thank You.

Thank you to all those who follow my blog, subscribe to my blog, comment on my posts, read my ramblings, enter my giveaways, send me e-mails, and blog about my blog. I sincerely appreciate your support, your friendship, and your input.

Every time I open my blog and I see 1 new follower or read a comment someone has left for me it brings me such joy. When I started this blog, a little over a year ago, it was simply a way for me to express the excitement I was feeling about starting my eco-journey. I had no idea that it would grow and evolve into what it has. The blogging community may be difficult for non-bloggers to appreciate and understand but to me, it truly is a community and one that I enjoy being a part of. So thank you.

Now speaking of the blogging community....

I was reading one of my favorite blogs, enviromom, when I scrolled down to the post titled: How to get rid of fruit flies. I jumped for joy after reading her simple and natural solution on how to rid my home of the pesky fruit flies that were invading us (specifically my daughter's room which had become home to not only our fruit flies but to all the fruit flies in the surrounding states)
  • Put a little cider vinegar in a small bowl or jar, along with a piece of fruit (I used an apple core.)
  • Cover it tightly with a piece of plastic (I used old bread wrappers) and poke a few small holes in the plastic with a toothpick.
  • The flies will be attracted to the smell and will find their way in, but won't be able to get out.
  • When you've caught a few dump them outside (in your compost bin!) and do it again until you are fruit-fly free.
This worked like a charm! I could not believe how quickly the flies entered the container (and stayed in there).

I actually placed 3 containers around the house; 1 in the kitchen, 1 outside my daughter’s room, and one in my daughter’s room. After a couple of days I replaced them (the order will get pretty strong if you leave the container for more than a day)

We are not totally fruit fly free but pretty dang close.

Thank you enviromom! (My daughter especially says thanks)