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26 Days

T-Minus 25~ Wow, this month already seems to be flying by!

Today's green tip of the day:

Leave the bleach on the shelves!

We are conditioned in our society to believe that the over powering smell of bleach is the only real proof of a clean surface. Not true! Thankfully, the cleaning industry has tapped into the reality of natural products and they are becoming more and more readily available. Even Clorox now makes a green friendly product.
However, making your own natural products is still an effective way of cleaning, not to mention easier on your pocket book. You can find thousands of natural cleaning recipes online, but here is a basic all purpose cleaner to whip up and keep on hand:

All-Purpose Cleaner

2 tbsp vinegar
1 tsp Borax
Hot water
a few drops of a mild dish detergent
10 drops of essential oil *optional for scent*

In a 16 spray bottle put vinegar, borax and a little hot water. Shake/swish until borax has dissolved. Add dish detergent and fill the rest of the bottle with water. Add the essential oil if using.

dangers of bleachCollapse )

29 Days

No, not the movie - 29 days until EARTHHOUR! YAY!

Green tip of the day:

Give your hot water heater a blanket!

Especially important for those living in colder climates.

From Greendaily.com

"If your hot water heater tank feels warm to the touch, it needs a blanket!

You can find pre-cut blankets for about $20. You'll want to choose one with an insulating value of at least R-8. You can reduce your heat losses by 25% to 45% with this simple step.
Installing a hot water heater blanket is probably something you can do on your own if you have an electric hot water heater, but be sure to follow the directions carefully and call in a pro if you are unsure. If you have a gas hot water heater, you'll definitely want to call in a professional plumber or heating contractor."

Less money you spend on gas bills and less energy used! It's a win/win!

ps. oh yes...to dispel any confusion, I changed my username from mrs_bananahead to just_jenn. The fruit has left the building. ;o)

Reusable Bags

Here in DFW, most of our stores have .99 cloth bags you can purchase as well, but if you are not fortunate enough to have that, I found some great ones here:
http://www.reusablebags.com/

These were my first purchase:

They hold a little more volume than a regular paper grocery bag, and the handles are super handy!  :P
I have 4 of these and an assortment of bags from the various stores around here. I have some favorites, and I have a "bag of bags" in my car (with favorites) and I try to keep a few in hubby's car, and the rest in the pantry. Since I started doing this, I have seriously become addicited to shopping bags. I even have 2 that fold down into their own little pouches to carry in my purse! 

I spend a lot of time on the highway with my kids - both teenagers. I have challenged them to count the number of disposable plastic bags they see stuck in trees and fences on the side of the highway. On a windy day in a rural area just on the edge of the metroplex, we countd 87 bags in a 2 mile stretch. 

here is a gorgeous photo borrowed from the gallery at ReusableBags.com: (originally uploaded there by Vincent Cobb) I just love the white plastic accents in this tree! GAH!

30 Days

It's officially 30 days to Earthhour. Whoo hoo!!!

I thought it'd be cool to not only post a daily countdown to the big event, but also post green tips of the day ~ because the truth is, while Earthhour is a magnificent move towards environmental activism, it should be an every day event in all our lives. Even if we can't do all that we wish we could, we can do small, simple things every day that lesson our environmental footprint. I really am a firm believer that if everyone did small things it could most definitely lead to bigger changes.
So on that note, today's green tip of the day is:

Use cloth bags for your grocery shopping!

One of our local grocery stores here in Texas sales decent cloth bags for about $4each. My family bought 6 or 7 of them and we love using them --when we remember to bring them. That's our own downfall. We made the commitment, but then so often we forget the bags at home. So part 2 of todays tip is to leave the bags in your car. Seems so logical now that I've typed it. :o) We do most of the shopping in my husbands car so I'll put most of the bags in there and I'll keep just a couple in mine.
I really feel so good when we check out and use our bags. I feel like we've got a edge up on everyone else. I feel, too, like maybe we'll inspire others to do the same because it sure as heck isn't a common thing around these parts. The one thing I will say, is pack wisely. Because they're bigger they can tend to get very heavy. So if your checker bags, pay close attention or offer to do it yourself.
Can't find bags you like? Buy some funky fabric and make some on your own! Totes are incredibly simple to make (trust me, if I can do it, anyone can).
Lets make being the bag-lady cool!

Icon or Banner

I made this banner for my various blogs (with a hyperlink to earthhour.org). Please feel free to use it as a group icon or banner for your own sites.
The earthhour.org site has downloadable banners (which are very cool), but they were too large for my sites so that's why I created this one.

~ My intro ~

My name is Jenn.
I'm a lj addict.
Wait. Wrong group.
;o)

I'm a 33 year old stay-at-home-mom/wife. I have two kiddo's, ages 10 and 7. I've been married to my husband over 8 years (this is my second go at married life). He's a sergeant in the Air Force and we're currently stationed in West Texas. I am from Texas (born in Austin, raised in Houston area) and love it, but admit, I'm not too fond of this area. I've also lived in Florida and Italy.
I go to college every so often and will one day complete my degree in art with a secondary in education (art teacher). I also love cake decorating and make a penny here or there doing that.

I have always been enamored with Mother Earth. She is breathtakingly beautiful and magnanimous. It breaks my heart that not more people can see that and are willing to make even small sacrifices to protect her. I have always been interested in environmental issues. I haven't always, unfortunately, done my best at contributing to the betterment or planet Earth. I admit, it was much easier when living in Europe because the attitudes there are so different than here. Living green is an attitude staple there, whereas here in the US most seem to view it as a burden.
We recycled regularly in Italy because there were bins next to the regular trash bins. It was easy. We didn't have electric air/heat so we lived off fresh air. We walked everywhere because it was convenient. Now, living in a rural area with no city wide recycling program and at least 5 miles to get anywhere we've fallen into old habits. BUT, we still make efforts here and there by buying green cleaning products, using only energy efficient bulbs, conserving water, recycling cans & plastics, not buying bottled water, using cloth bags for grocery shopping and simple stuff of that nature. We can always do more, though, and for the past several months I have been actively making those steps. That's why I fell in love with Earthhour. I think it's both brilliant and simple. I also think that if it gets people doing one small thing and opens conversation about such an important subject, then we, as a society, might be inclined to do more. Even one simple change is a step in the right direction.

Kirafyre Intro

personal intro:

My name is Mimi (aka Kirafyre on LJ). I live in the DFW metroplex, Texas.
I am a 30-something full time vet-tech and part time mom to a pair of teenagers. I am married to the most amazing man in the world. I work with cat rescue and I am privileged to share my home with an assortment of cats and dogs. I have been trying very hard to take large steps back from the consumer lifestyle, and I fully stand behind EarthHour2008. It is not a bash on the electric companies, just a coordinated effort to reduce our consumption. 

I personally plan to have a candlelit dinner with my husband and then snuggle on the couch with good books by candlelight or oil lamps. I think it will do us a world of good to be unplugged!

I personally lived several months without electricity many years ago (though we had propane for refrigerator and stove and heat) so I know for a fact that it is easier than people think. Just one hour is all it takes.

Tags:


Hello all, I created this community to give LJers a place to talk about EarthHour2008. Post ideas about how to spend the time, share stories, whatever.

Here is the video from http://www.earthhour.org

Shared Wisdom

"Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little." - Edmund Burke

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