Sunday, September 20, 2009

Pure Wine-ing


I did some wine shopping today. Nothing special, but I wanted a red and a white to have in the ready at home. While perusing the aisle in this small package store, I could not find an organic wine. Why was this important to me all of a sudden? I love all wines, but I watched a great movie about where our food comes from (which will be in another post), and I was re-enlightened about the use of pesticides and chemicals in agriculture.

So when I got home I went on-line to look for some organic wines. I learned new terms such as bio-dynamic, vegan and NSA no-sulfites added.
It's not just about how the grapes are grown but how the wine is crafted.
The best place that I found to get a wide selection of organic and bio-dynamic wines is on www.Wines.com . They have an organic section and Organic Wine club.

I'm not quite ready to join a club, but I do feel more knowledgible about organic wines and will continue to look for them in the local stores. However, this would make a good gift! wink wink :)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Gorgeous gardening




Let's take Going Green literally today and apply it to the back patio.

About a month after moving to Mississippi, the community held a "garden party". A local landscaper brought in plants and low-water shrubs to teach us about garden care.

The first 50 people would get a free garden hose and petunias.

I, of course, went and got my petunias for the front yard and since I already had hoses, they gave me a free sprinkler. They had all sorts of plants on display. The soil here is mostly sand so there were a lot of grass varieties that you would find on the beach. They also had some standard flowers that grow well in full sun in pots.

Before I left they asked me to sign up for a drawing. They were giving out these tall spindly stalks to a few homes. They said they would bloom, but the guy couldn't remember what the plant was called, unusual I thought since he was representing a landscaping company. But I don't remember the company's name, so I can't hold it against him.

Anyway, I won one of these plants and put it in my backyard. Well, the wind came and blew it over once, so I moved it to against the house. I gave it water and some fertilizer and one morning I walked out to the sight above. I grabbed the camera and then looked up the plant on the internet.

I had won an Angel Trumpet.
It blooms at night and closes during the day.
It has a wonderful sweet smelling fragrance.

Well, now I have a reason to enjoy the back patio at night and in the early morning. I get to see the Angel Trumpet in full bloom. Who knew that going green would smell so sweet?

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Homeproject


I just watched an amazing moving called Home.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jqxENMKaeCU

It has beautiful cinematography that captures the beauty of our planet. It also shows what is happening to the planet today.

After watching I feel a greater need to reduce my footprint and I have an idea...

Most Americans love to get something new. But why does new have to mean manufactured and fresh from the factory. Why can't new be something new to you, or repurposed, or a new creation from something old. You see this a lot in art but not so much with household items. I'm not talking resold like in a thrift shop. I'm talking recreated like the items on this website: Uncommon Goods

I also feel the strong need to Act Local and Think Global more than ever. What if every community could sustain itsself? Each community has its own organic farm and local livestock. Each community had its own crafters. You have your own sources of energy and trade would be out of variety, not necessity. The Amish have it right in some respects but I don't mean to go back before electricity.

Definitely something to think about. Watch the movie and let me know what thoughts you have.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Hello from Mississippi!



I am now writing to you from the beautiful state of Mississippi! Now that I have relocated, I have lots to share about my eco-journey, the many twists and turns, but today I'm sharing my need for a guest bed.

Now that I'm set up in a house rather than an apartment, I now have the room to properly host a guest! However, I move often and do not want a lot of new furniture to populate this room.

I'll be able to decorate the room with stuff I already have, but the centerpiece, the main reason for the room is missing. I need a bed! I looked at many alternatives, sleeper couches, futons, tatamis, air mattresses. All were good, but didn't have the eco theme that I am trying to create. What I need should either be reused or if it's new it is created sustainably.

After days of surfing on the web, I found my solution! http://www.northernnaturals.com/ Northern naturals makes a great mattress out of sustainable materials that I can put directly on the floor and fold up and keep in the closet when not in use. This makes perfect sense for moving around and is a great sustainable product made in Vermont.
I feel good about this purchase on many levels.
My mattress will arrive in a week and I'll post a photo of the finished room.

THE FUTON
The Futon arrived! It's a very pretty red color. I have it folded to the side of the room right now with the comforter on top of it. I have a fitted sheet that I used to use on a full size bed and two pillows that are in the brown chest which I found for $18 at a thrift store. I tried the futon out and it's very comfortable. I don't know why I spent twice as much for my current queen size mattress and box spring. I think I'll make a simple window covering to pull it all together and wha-la!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

New location...newgogrn



Lots has happened since my last blog so i'll start with the end...i'm moving to Mississippi!

So, in the UGOGRN style, i am thinking hard about how to stay green while i'm in this transition.

Steps to a Green Move.
1. Think recycle! - I'm cleaning out the closets and instead of throwing anything away i'm recycling and donating whatever i can. I've seemed to have accumulated a lot of cardboard boxes, small ones, smaller than a shoe box. I think i was thinking of using them as gift boxes, but now i only see them being packed in more boxes. So off they go to the recycling dumpster!

2. Think reuse! - I'm finding homes for everything that i no longer need, and cannot take apart to recycle. Some things i've given to friends, like books and magazines that my friends have said they would like to read. I gave my mom a blouse that I no longer wear, but she is moving too so I just added to her box of clothes. (oops!)
My sorority alumni does a huge garage sale each year. Proceeds go to Children's Hospital and to scholarships. That is a great place for me to donate items.

3. Waste=Food - I am bound to have to throw somethings away. But i need to remember what i put in the landfill may stay in the landfill. I still need to think if i can recycle the item instead of throwing it in the garbage. I have started a pile of items that can be taken to the hazardous material collection point like old paint and batteries. I also have some electronics that I found in a box that are too old for someone else to use..sorry handspring trio! That old thing will need to go to an electronics collection point. I also have a lot of house plants. Those have been going to friends and neighbors as going away gifts. I go away and they get a gift...what a great twist!

4. Clean green - After moving out, i will need to clean the apartment to get my security deposit back. So, i will use non-toxic cleaning supplies to do the job. I use Shaklee products, but there are many products around like Seventh Generation that are non-toxic.

After i make my move, i'll redecorate the site as well as my new home...which is Leeds certified! http://www.greenhomeguide.org/green_home_programs/LEED_for_homes.html
I'm moving on to an Air Force base and the new housing is all Leeds certified housing. I'm so proud that the Services are so environmentally aware now.


I'll try to keep posting while I move. It will be fun to do green reports from the road!

More moving tips: HGTV's Frontdoor http://www.frontdoor.com/Buy/Pack-Up-A-Load-Of-Green-Moving-Tips/1529
Frog box http://www.frogbox.com/

Monday, February 23, 2009

Environmental Stewardship

A few months ago I started working with my church to get it to GO GREEN.

This all started when my Pastor used my license plate in his sermon. He was talking about "getting the message" and used environmental awareness as an example. I was listening intently when he mentioned that topic and to my surprise he said something like...and one of our members of the congregation even put it on her car: UGOGRN...she gets it! This wasn't the main point of his sermon of course, but for me...well that was my in.

After that I volunteered to attend a meeting of the Greater Washington Interfaith Power and Light. http://gwipl.org/ Over the next month I arranged an Energy Audit of our church. It took a few months to get the results back and the team back together, but now we are making plans for building improvements which is a tremendous beginning.

If you are interested in checking on our progress you can view it here:
http://gracepresby.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=50&Itemid=88

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Why Change?


Why Change to CFLs?
Check out this site and post your results.
Here are mine!

14 60 Watts
2 100 Watts
6 65 Watts
Annual savings $157.39
Life of the bulbs $862.40!


http://www.gelighting.com/na/home_lighting/products/pop_lighting_calc.htm

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The New Administration - Going Green?



Just before President Bush left office he signed a bill creating the largest nature preserve ever... in the ocean. Although this is a great step... I feel that re-opening offshore drilling is counterproductive to the efforts of keeping our oceans thriving.

I went online and checked out President Obama's new White House website. Here are excerpts from his Energy and the Environment Plan.

ENERGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT
http://www.whitehouse.gov/agenda/energy_and_environment/

The energy challenges our country faces are severe and have gone unaddressed for far too long. Our addiction to foreign oil doesn't just undermine our national security and wreak havoc on our environment -- it cripples our economy and strains the budgets of working families all across America. President Obama and Vice President Biden have a comprehensive plan to invest in alternative and renewable energy, end our addiction to foreign oil, address the global climate crisis and create millions of new jobs.

The Obama-Biden comprehensive New Energy for America plan will:

* Help create five million new jobs by strategically investing $150 billion over the next ten years to catalyze private efforts to build a clean energy future.
* Within 10 years save more oil than we currently import from the Middle East and Venezuela combined.
* Put 1 million Plug-In Hybrid cars -- cars that can get up to 150 miles per gallon -- on the road by 2015, cars that we will work to make sure are built here in America.
* Ensure 10 percent of our electricity comes from renewable sources by 2012, and 25 percent by 2025.
* Implement an economy-wide cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050.

Energy Plan Overview

Provide Short-term Relief to American Families

* Crack Down on Excessive Energy Speculation.
* Swap Oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to Cut Prices.

Eliminate Our Current Imports from the Middle East and Venezuela within 10 Years

* Increase Fuel Economy Standards.
* Get 1 Million Plug-In Hybrid Cars on the Road by 2015.
* Create a New $7,000 Tax Credit for Purchasing Advanced Vehicles.
* Establish a National Low Carbon Fuel Standard.
* A “Use it or Lose It” Approach to Existing Oil and Gas Leases.
* Promote the Responsible Domestic Production of Oil and Natural Gas.

Create Millions of New Green Jobs

* Ensure 10 percent of Our Electricity Comes from Renewable Sources by 2012, and 25 percent by 2025.
* Deploy the Cheapest, Cleanest, Fastest Energy Source – Energy Efficiency.
* Weatherize One Million Homes Annually.
* Develop and Deploy Clean Coal Technology.
* Prioritize the Construction of the Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline.

Reduce our Greenhouse Gas Emissions 80 Percent by 2050

* Implement an economy-wide cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050.
* Make the U.S. a Leader on Climate Change.

I look forward to see how America responds the next 4 years!!!
UGOGRN America!

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