Wednesday, March 12, 2008

HP, more than just a printer store

Yesterday, I picked up a three pack of HP printer cartridges (black number 56) at Costco for around $50 - great deal! Anyway, I just jammed my pair of orange handled scissors into the blister pack and used my super human strength and only a few French words as I pried one of the cartridges out.

And what to my wondering eyes did appear, but a postage paid envelope for me to send my empty ink cartridge back to HP to recycle. I was thrilled! I usually take my old one wrapped in paper towel to Officemax or O-depot and turn it in for my $3 credit. I didn't mind losing the credit for the incredible ease of popping the cute green envelope in the mailbox for Dale to pick up today.

Thanks HP! Enjoy!

Monday, March 10, 2008

I'd live with Ed

That's Ed Begley Jr., but few could compete with his wife Rachelle who is beautiful and funny and manages to deal with how green Ed really is. I love their show on HGTV - Living with Ed and have now learned about Ed's new book Living Like Ed.

Published by Random House, they write:

A committed environmentalist for more than thirty years, Ed Begley, Jr., has always tried to "live simply so others may simply live." Now, as more and more of us are looking for ways to reduce our impact on the planet and live a better, greener life, Ed shares his experiences on what works, what doesn't - and what will save you money!

From recycling more materials than you ever thought possible to composting without raising a stink to buying an electric car, Living Like Ed is packed with ideas - from obvious to ingenious - that will help you live green, live responsibly, live, well, Like Ed.

Sounds like a great green read. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Recycling's in and up in Seattle

Not the biggest news, but I was pleased to read in our local paper the other day that Seattle's recycling rate (consumers and businesses) was up to 48% of garbage in 2006. Not sure why we don't have access to 2007 figures, but at least they're counting.

But the figures were confusing, later reporting that businesses recycled 54% of their trash and single family homes 64%. I guess there's some distinction between 'garbage' and 'trash'? Maybe the reporter was just mixing it up, I wonder.

The goal as set by City adminstrators is for all of us to recycle 60% of our waste by 2012. Apparently next year the city will require all single family homes to sign up for (this must mean pay for) table scrap recycling.

Guess my ziplog (now glad) container under the sink for food waste might get an upgrade!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Hair it is - the word on phthalates

I try to live by the golden rule for awesome hair - only wash every other day, or if you or your family can stand it, every third day.

And when I do scrub away, I go phthalate free. That's the nasty group of chemicals that has been shown to cause problems in animals, ergo people animals. The GreenGuide has a super primer on what products are free of the accused and a great list of brands you can trust. A couple of personal favorites include Aveda and Tom's of Maine. Okay, the aluminum free deodorant tends to leave you smelling like a travel weary tourist in mid-August, but I feel good about the product ingredients and when my husband used it, his armpit rash vanished.

Don't forget to suds up with my every other day routine of Super Shiny Grapefruit & Sugar Beet Shampoo.


Monday, March 3, 2008

EcoMoms Unite!

It started on vacation when I saw the headline in the NY Times: For ‘EcoMoms,’ Saving Earth Begins at Home. I got intrigued, but between catching up on email, real mail, laundry and de-sanding the suitcases, I haven't picked it up again until now. I'm glad I did! I just signed up for the EcoMom Challenge. It's the brainchild of excellent mom, Kimberly Danek Pinkson, who started the EcoMom Alliance to "leverage the power of mothers to help reduce global warming; To inspire and empower mothers to take First Steps For A Sustainable Future by Sustaining their Homes, Sustaining their Planet and Sustaining Themselves."

Here are the first 10 Steps to getting eco, mommy style:

1. Change a light. If every household in America changed out just 5 light bulbs to energy efficient CFL's it would be equivalent to taking 8 million cars off the road.
2. Drive More Efficiently: Car pool, don't idle during drop off and pick up, drive a hybrid and drive less.
3. Shop local, fair trade and organic.
4. Use non toxic products for cleaning, bathing, even make-up and you'll protect the environment as well as reduce you and your family's risk of disease.
5. Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.
6. Turn off and unplug electronic devices and you'll reduce your exposure to electromagnetic radiation, and save on energy and CO2 emissions.
7. Re-think your laundry plan!
8. Plant a Tree.
9. Buy carbon offsets. Click to learn how
10. Play more.

Stay tuned and enjoy!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Soup in a Box

I found a delicious organic creamy tomato soup this week that came packaged in a box. They're so convenient and I like the idea that my soup doesn't sit on a shelf in an alumnimum can for ages. I'm sure that's much worse than a plasticized box, but oh well.

I figured I could recycle the soup box, but called Imagine's customer service anyway where I was connected with George, a very helpful fellow. George confimed that 'yes, the boxes can be recycled' and gave me the manufacturer Tetra Pak's website. Here's what I found:

"Tetra Pak was founded on a remarkably simple idea: that a package should save more than it costs. This is still valid. We make food available to the world in lightweight packages that are safe, hygienic and made by clean industrial processes. This means we are constantly reducing the environmental impact of our operations, products and packages. For example, our aseptic cartons are 20 per cent lighter today than they were 20 years ago. Our packages meet the requirements of all four waste management options: source reduction, recycling, energy-from-waste-incineration, and landfills."

I now feel great about indulging in more box soup.