Green Prophet <![CDATA[Cloth Diapers Quick Tip by JadeLouiseDesigns]]> Fri, 30 Sep 2011 07:48:05 +0000 <![CDATA[ Oh, the Books You can Read!]]>
That may sound like a common statement, but in my case it's quite a generous compliment. I'm one of those heartless, evil libertarians rightists keep saying are unpatriotic and leftists keep saying are racist. (And no, I'm not especially unpatriotic or racist. I can see the angle on the first one because I think nationalistic traditions are given far more relevance than they need and I hate the idea of needing papers to travel or live in the country. But I consider the latter a form of libel and WILL sue anyone who seriously applies it to me.) That means I want my taxes as low as possible and have a deeply rooted streak of government distrust, so I take even the policies I agree on with a grain of salt.

Public libraries are of of the very few aspects of government I accept without question. I credit my parents with encouraging me to read and teaching me to do it well, but it's public libraries which are the unlimited source for me to actually read just about anything I want. I write a small independent blog about baseball literature called Lit Bases (, and I cull nearly all of my material for it from libraries. I wish the libraries would get the new material faster, but I otherwise have access to a lot of titles and hard to find books on baseball.

Yes, reading a ton of baseball books definitely leaves a little bit of burnout on the subject, which is why it's also important that I can grab books on virtually any other subject. I read a lot of classics - Hemingway, Dickens, Twain, Updike, Vonnegut - all authors whose work I schooled myself in through expansive use of libraries. In the main branch of the Chicago library system, there are various quotes by certain people espousing the virtues of reading. One of them by a person whose name escapes me says the Chicago Public Library is his alma mater. That is a well-spoken statement, and one with which I completely agree, except mine would also include the Buffalo library system.

Having used two different library systems, it amazes me that this simple concept can differ in so many little ways. In Buffalo, I can accrue fines up to ten dollars before they shut down my account. In Chicago, your account will be shut down if you're just a single day late with a few cents of a fine to pay. In Chicago, they let you borrow music CDs for three weeks. In Buffalo, you get them for just one.

CD's. That's another thing. You can borrow CD's from libraries, and movies too. You do have to be careful about them, though, because they often carry much heavier fines than the books. Also, they tend to be scratched up a lot sometimes, which always amazes me because I don't think a journey from a case to a player is a particularly difficult one which would result in injuries.

There are more books on this planet than there are libraries, so it's not merely possible but in fact quite likely that a library may not own any copies of a certain book. In this case, you can order the book you're looking for from a different library and have it sent to the branch you usually visit. I like this idea because it ensures a constant flow of reading material that interests me.

Yes, libraries have their problems, but it's foolish to consider anything perfect. Public libraries perform a valuable service. Without the wealth of reading material I've borrowed from public libraries, I probably wouldn't be a libertarian. How's that for irony?]]> Thu, 23 Jun 2011 11:54:16 +0000
<![CDATA[Reusable Shopping Bag Quick Tip by devora]]> Mon, 13 Jun 2011 19:24:10 +0000 <![CDATA[Reusable Shopping Bag Quick Tip by BaronSamedi3]]> Wed, 8 Jun 2011 15:37:34 +0000 <![CDATA[ Walk On]]>
At first thought, walking would seem to be ideal for quite a bit of the average joe's average day. It certainly has its uses, but how much you can feasibly depend on walking is pretty circumstantial.

If you walk for exercise, there is a certain way you have to do it. That certain way is to place one foot in front of the other very rapidly, or else you're not burning many calories, and you certainly won't be building muscle. You will only be taking a light stroll, and the only way that can really benefit your body is if you happen to live in an area with a lot of steep slants and inclines so the feeling of walking up and down a lot of stairs can be at least somewhat simulated.

Location is also the key to how useful walking can be as a form of transportation. It's just fine if you live within a short radius of the sources of your living necessities - say a mile or so. Walking from one place to another is slow going, and it can take hours to go relatively short distances that a car or a bus or a bicycle can cover within a matter of minutes. Walking for long distance travel is out of the question is out of the question unless there is literally nothing else on your agenda. But it's not impossible - there are a lot of proponents of long-distance walking who use this simple means to go from one place to another, and they turn the walk itself into an opportunity to sightsee. Acclaimed filmmaker Werner Herzog is among these proponents - he once walked from Brazil to California.

People like that are exceptional cases, though, and if you're trying to walk for practical purposes while living in a rich, far-off suburb or whathaveyou, you can forget having a ton of free time. If you live rurally, it's impossible. Practical walking is best suited to urban environments or speed walking for exercise.]]> Wed, 25 May 2011 15:29:56 +0000
<![CDATA[Recycling Quick Tip by BaronSamedi3]]> Tue, 17 May 2011 15:29:26 +0000 <![CDATA[ UN-Sustainable!]]>
In fact, I started shopping there more than 20 years. Very friendly employees, fun & colorful packaging, easy to handle and perfect for bachelor/ettes & college students, loooow prices, and kitchy titles on self-branded items.

But my boyfriend & I no longer patron them. This is why: Processed foods from far away places (talk about 1500 miles from farm to table; transporting foods is a huge source of global warming); loads & loads of packaging; heavy use of palm oil in every one of their desserts and other products (unless it specifies "sustainable certified", palm oil is the #1 reason for deforestation, esp in Indonesia where orangutans are going extinct); fake "dolphin safe" tuna from Indonesia (false labeling, only one dolphin safe tuna is guaranteed:; and harmful toxic products in nearly all of their beauty goods.

I've sent a letter about the palm oil, talked to more than 3 store managers at 3 of their W LA stores about packaging and toxic beauty product materials...but more customers need to speak up.

Trader Joes never claimed to be an eco-friendly store, but I think most of its shoppers would be shocked to find out just how Un-sustainable they are. I do wonder if they could use some guidance at their corporate office, e.g., a sustainability coordinator?

So until some effort's been made on their part to step green, we'll continue to use their hardy tote bags (made from non-organic cotton), but that's where our buck stops at TJ's.]]> Wed, 23 Mar 2011 21:09:26 +0000
<![CDATA[Trader Joe's Quick Tip by Clay_Miller]]> Mon, 28 Feb 2011 19:02:13 +0000 <![CDATA[ Yum]]> Fri, 25 Feb 2011 03:47:48 +0000 <![CDATA[Composting Quick Tip by sustainablogger]]> Thu, 24 Feb 2011 19:49:53 +0000 <![CDATA[Precycling Quick Tip by EcoMama]]> need. Ever since I left my full time job to stay home with the baby (and work from home part-time) we have been a lot more selective about what we buy, many things people consider 'necessities' we do just fine without. Healthy food is our biggest necessity.]]> Mon, 21 Feb 2011 22:03:36 +0000 <![CDATA[Freecycling Quick Tip by EcoMama]]> Mon, 21 Feb 2011 20:51:19 +0000 <![CDATA[ Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara¬†Kingsolver]]> While out of town, I had the chance to do some Actual Reading.  It was delightful–staying at my folks’ place, we were all four of us staying in one big room, so there wasn’t much we could do after the kids went to sleep besides read.  I guess we could do it at home too, but we for some reason just…don’t. Which is too bad…

I finally read Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, MiracleIt’s a nonfiction chronicle of her family’s year of eating entirely seasonally and locally–a really wonderful read about a family’s amazing journey.  I enjoy Kingsolver’s prose a lot, and her account of the year (from the first asparagus of spring through a year of planting and cheesemaking and turkey sex) (no, really, she breeds turkeys. Or learned to, that year.) is comfortable and fun and feels very Real.  And makes me want to go out and plant a thousand veggies, raise chickens, and maybe get a nice dairy goat or something. (Don’t worry, I won’t. But she makes me feel as though I could.)  And throughout the book there are little sidebar essays by her husband elaborating on points she’s mentioned, and each chapter ends with a reflection and several recipes by her college-aged daughter Camille. And they also have a website with lots of info and recipes.

Even for folks who aren’t sure about this whole local eating thing–heck, especially for those folks–this is a great book to read.  Because the thing is, most of us have grown up not even realizing we have choices about what we eat and where we get it.  Food comes from the grocery store shelves, that’s that.  But in this newly awakening world of urban gardens and farmers markets and local eating and awareness of the amount of fossil fuel required to put our dinners on our table, we’re beginning to realize we have choices.

I’m not ready to go Barbara’s route yet.  We still buy bananas and pineapple, we still eat New Zealand apples in the summer, and I don’t always take the time to figure out the absolute happy chicken factor in the eggs I buy. (God, it’s confusing.)  But she’s made me think.

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle By Barbara Kingsolver, Camille Kingsolver, Steven L. Hopp

]]> Wed, 26 Jan 2011 19:33:04 +0000
<![CDATA[ Mobion Fuel Cell by MTI Micro Is the Future of Green Batteries]]> The Mobion fuel cell developed by MTI Micro is a green solution to battery technology. In fact the Mobion Direct Methanol Fuel Cell (DMFC) technology is much greener than batteries that use lithium for power plus the DMFC lasts hours longer in small electronic devices such as cell phones, laptops and digital cameras.

Methanol, once known as wood alcohol, is used to supply the power for the Mobion which can easily be recharged once the methanol runs low. The methanol can also be generated from biofuels for pennies on the dollars making it a green and cheap alternative.

The Mobion is being heralded as a personal power generator in that it is portable (you are not tied to the electrical outlet) and will provide electricity to any device with a USB port. The methanol cartridge is hot swappable meaning that even if your device is plugged in, it will continue to play as you put in a new cartridge (in a pear tree – hey it’s the holidays).

Read more about the Mobion Fuel Cell ]]> Wed, 12 Jan 2011 19:24:28 +0000
<![CDATA[TOMS Shoes Quick Tip by ariajuliet]]> Wed, 12 Jan 2011 18:54:38 +0000 <![CDATA[Meatless Monday Quick Tip by devora]]>
Furthermore, a lot of meat in the States is really unhealthy, chalked full of growth hormones and a lot of times, the animals aren't fed what they're meant to eat, but they're fed things that will make them meatier, which often times is detrimental to those who consume them.

All the more reason to keep meat consumption as low as possible.  It would be of benefit to everyone to have meatless days more often.]]> Fri, 7 Jan 2011 21:27:58 +0000
<![CDATA[TOMS Shoes Quick Tip by Bethany_K]]> Fri, 7 Jan 2011 15:27:36 +0000 <![CDATA[Trader Joe's Quick Tip by Bethany_K]]> Fri, 7 Jan 2011 15:13:24 +0000 <![CDATA[Meatless Monday Quick Tip by EcoMama]]> Fri, 7 Jan 2011 06:42:30 +0000 <![CDATA[Meatless Monday Quick Tip by ariajuliet]]>
Eating vegetarian meals can save you a lot of money as they add up (vegetarian entrees at restaurants are typically $2-$5 less, and vegetables are the grocery store are very affordable!)]]> Fri, 7 Jan 2011 06:09:05 +0000
<![CDATA[ Very good price and good quality]]> organicandmore on ebay. I bought a sheet set for a full-sized bed in the solid "natural" color (which looks ivory) for $52.40 (shipping included). They're the cheapest I've seen for an organic cotton sheet set--and organic cotton sheets can cost more than that for just one sheet. They claim the sheets are organically grown and processed. I'm not an expert on sheets, but they do appear to be of good quality and do wrinkle when washed and dried (so they really don't have the undesirable "no wrinkle" chemicals on them).

Organicandmore also has a website where these sheets are sold for $109.95 for the above set. You can get a similar sheet set from Savvy Rest for $109 (and free shipping, I believe).]]> Thu, 9 Dec 2010 17:08:04 +0000
<![CDATA[Walking Quick Tip by Zzzluckylady]]> Tue, 26 Oct 2010 09:58:00 +0000 <![CDATA[ Geography Changes Every 5 Miles]]>
Tip:  Some of the roads were closed which made our drives a quite a bit longer than expected, so be smart and check to see when roads are closed... we didn't :(

I'll leave a lot of the descriptions of all the sites to some others, but i just wanted to share a couple of photos from our recent trip there. 

Roosevelt Gate North Entrance:

Stinky Sulfur Cauldron:

Obligatory Old Faithful Pic:
]]> Fri, 22 Oct 2010 00:33:18 +0000
<![CDATA[ You seriously can't throw away your garbage?]]>
Thats one side to littering.  Heres the other side and the more common and damning one is littering outdoors.  Picnics on the beech or the park, people can be pretty careless in leaving they're junk lying around afterword.  If your going to use the land, then you should take care of it.  It's not a hotel where you leave a mess and someone cleans up after you.

One day, and it will be sooner then we think, we won't be here but someone or something else will be or at least here still.  If they don't have hands then I don't see them picking up our mess.  If they don't have brains, I don't see them making a creation to pick up our mess.  I guess the moral of this review is, don't make a mess.  This started off me complaining about lazy customers who leave junk lying around and it got me to talk about a bigger picture.

Awesome.]]> Sat, 25 Sep 2010 04:10:12 +0000
<![CDATA[Littering Quick Tip by TheJohn]]> Sat, 25 Sep 2010 03:12:43 +0000 <![CDATA[lisa @ EWG (enviroblog) on Twitter Quick Tip by EcoMama]]> Wed, 22 Sep 2010 05:23:44 +0000 <![CDATA[Public Libraries Quick Tip by objective1]]> for new books, movies, TV shows on DVD, etc. Then go to the library site and reserve the ones you want. Some take weeks to get delivered if they are popular, while others are available in a couple days.]]> Fri, 27 Aug 2010 17:29:53 +0000 <![CDATA[ One of the Best Grocers]]> I don't have a Trader Joe's near me, and that is the only reason I don't give them 5 stars. It would be nice if they had an online store too.

Otherwise, I love their products and philosophy. Great tasting, wholesome food at affordable prices. Their Red Pepper (and Eggplant) spread (formerly Pinjur) is to die for. Trader Joe's gathers tasty treats from across the globe and puts them under one roof. Their stores and marketing have an old-timey feel that really appeals to me.

If you have a store nearby, I envy you. Visit it today! I have to wait until my next vacation and hope that there is one in whatever local I end up.]]> Thu, 5 Aug 2010 20:15:04 +0000
<![CDATA[Freecycling Quick Tip by donna_r]]> Wed, 4 Aug 2010 21:47:28 +0000 <![CDATA[Green Jobs: A Guide to Eco-Friendly Employment Quick Tip by donna_r]]> Sun, 25 Jul 2010 22:26:43 +0000 <![CDATA[ Is recycling an excuse?]]> Is recycling or the ability to recycle used as a justification for consuming more stuff that is simply disposable. We live in a time where everything is made as cheaply as possible giving the consumer the illusion of having real buying power. All it really is, is uncontrolled creation of waste. Walk into any big box store today and look at all the isles and isles of stuff that really is not intended to last. And even though many items are recycleable, how much of it does get recycled? If it it does land in the reycling bin, what does it actually cost in energy to get something processed and put back into the economy? I can tell you - the cost is to high.

Is there anyway to get back to producing products that have the intention of lasting a long time, maybe even a life time? Well my answer is yes. We are going to have to. The raw materials used at an ever increasing rate are getting harder and harder to find and extract. All the ore and cheap energy we have been able to rely on for the last 100 years is going to start getting a lot more expensive. We will have to make things last a long time and cheap disposable junk isn't going to remain in favor if you can't afford to replace it over and over again. I envision a future industry that takes apart old landfills and reclaims the junk of the past.

You can start now by looking at what you consume and try to limit one time use disposables like plastic grocery bags and plastic water bottles. Buy a high quality reusable grocery bag that is compact and easy to keep with you and will last years and years and years. Not one of the $.99 bags they sell at the checkout counter. Those are still more disposable cheap products not intended to last that long. Quality is a step towards a cleaner planet. It's all about habit. If we can change one habit it's a start. Then maybe look at another.

Thanks - Brandon]]> Fri, 23 Jul 2010 07:02:31 +0000
<![CDATA[Public Libraries Quick Tip by Count_Orlok_22]]> Sun, 11 Jul 2010 21:34:44 +0000 <![CDATA[Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life Quick Tip by Sweet_Martha]]> Fri, 9 Jul 2010 18:15:19 +0000 <![CDATA[Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life Quick Tip by Blurgirl]]> Tue, 6 Jul 2010 21:26:40 +0000 <![CDATA[Cloth Diapers Quick Tip by EcoMama]]> Thu, 1 Jul 2010 04:36:31 +0000 <![CDATA[Public Libraries Quick Tip by hawthorne82]]> Thu, 1 Jul 2010 00:41:17 +0000 <![CDATA[ Kingsolver captures audiences again in this well told memoir.]]> Who knew gardening could be so exciting?  Barbara Kingsolver and her family make the trek back east to live more simply and connected to the earth.  Beginning with crisis-of-conscience moments at the gas station on their way out of their former desert hometown, Kingsolver takes you through the highs and lows of eating local and seasonal.

I found the excerpts from her 19 year-old daughter and husband a great way to balance the monthly tale of meal planning, pest extermination and over-all intensity of life on a farm.  Camille's perspective was refreshing and hopeful.  The more scientific interludes from husband Steven Hopp were just enough to make you feel like the thinking was validated without overwhelming you.

Careful planning and consideration went into this year of eating, but Kingsolver invites the reader to consider incorporating some of the easier ideas right away.  Meal planning around what is in season is not only cheaper, but often more flavorful as food travels less and thus, is fresher. 

More challenging items, like raising and then butchering your own poultry, are obviously not for everyone, but still make you think about where your food comes from and perhaps, broaden your mind a bit.  What is most amazing is that the family does all of this in addition to their regular routine of live, work and play.


]]> Wed, 23 Jun 2010 14:35:19 +0000
<![CDATA[Reusable Shopping Bag Quick Tip by Del_Mar_Designs]]> Tue, 15 Jun 2010 20:10:29 +0000 <![CDATA[Public Libraries Quick Tip by acs518]]> Tue, 15 Jun 2010 15:47:09 +0000 <![CDATA[Walking Quick Tip by CampingDog]]> Mon, 14 Jun 2010 23:00:44 +0000 <![CDATA[Walking Quick Tip by MarySoderstrom]]> Sat, 5 Jun 2010 11:41:58 +0000 <![CDATA[Walking Quick Tip by DonnaL1]]> Sun, 9 May 2010 00:22:44 +0000 <![CDATA[Walking Quick Tip by Bethany_K]]> Sat, 8 May 2010 20:15:17 +0000 <![CDATA[ TOMS: One for One]]> How can one be opposed to a company who is founded on the premise: with every pair you purchase, TOMS will give a pair of new shoes to a child in need. 

Buying shoes has become so ordinary and common for most women these days, that owning 30-40 pairs isn't uncommon. Yet, we never stop to realize that a young child in a developing country walks barefoot everyday, picking up diseases that ultimately will harm their body.

TOMS has opened me eyes to the gift of giving to those less fortunate AND their shoes happen to be super comfortable. Jump on board and help out a child. 

Hint: My personal favorite are the natural canvas classic shoes that go with everything and anything.

Womens Natural Canvas Classics TOMS Shoes Side

]]> Fri, 30 Apr 2010 04:31:21 +0000
<![CDATA[ Tom, You Have Stolen My Heart]]> I think the idea behind TOMS shoes is great!  They are really trying to make a difference in the world one step at a time (pun intended) through fashion.  It's wonderful that these shoes have really caught on as a major trend among hipsters.

If I knew nothing about the concept behind these shoes though and caught sight of them,  I would probably hate them. Frankly, I think they're kind of ugly. I am probably a horrible person for admitting this, but from a striclty fashionable point of view.....not so much.

I'm fairly certain I cannot be the only person in the world that feels this way, so that makes me think that this is an even more exciting trend. Why? Fashionistas and Fashionistos are not buying these kicks because they are made out of the most gorgeous and rare materials or because they elongate the leg or because they are constructed using the newest and greatest technology. No. People are buying these shoes because it helps others, and really, that makes these shoes the most beautiful ones I have ever seen.

Sorry Jimmy. Sorry Manolo. Sorry Christian. Tom's the new man in town.

Check out for more trends that are taking over your town!


]]> Fri, 30 Apr 2010 02:19:09 +0000
<![CDATA[ In Desperate Need!]]> I have seen all the hype about TOMS Shoes, but have yet to get my hands on a pair (I know, save your gasps). I think they are a perfect pair for just about anything to achieve a casual, carefree vibe. Plus, they pretty much scream spring/summer, so what am I waiting for?

I'm really digging the pale yellow Bridgeports. I picture wearing them with some white linen shorts and a breezy button-up for an extra preppy look. While the price is typically a little more than I shell out for shoes (I'm a bonafide Target girl), they are definitely still within reason. And since a pair is donated to a child in need, then I'd say money well spent.

Looks like I'm about to bust out my debit card and spend the very small remainder of my student loans on a pair of casual-chic TOMS once and for all.]]> Thu, 29 Apr 2010 18:25:09 +0000
<![CDATA[ You don't want to miss out on TOMS Shoes new styles!]]> Light Blue Bridgeport Linen Classics or the Red Newport Cordones, then you need to hit up the TOMS' Web Site right away! Wear them when you're walking to those summer classes you are inevitably dreading or when you're dancing to the harmonies of Dave Matthews Band at Bonnaroo this summer! The Vegan Classics  now have funky and colorful patterns to pair with any floral or striped summer romper! And can you believe it? TOMS Shoes has a page dedicated to Wedding Styles including silver and gold glitter TOMS. Don't miss this opportunity to have the newest styles on your feet. Plus you know the brand motto, One for One. When you buy a pair of TOMS, another pair will be donated to a shoeless child. Join TOMS Shoes Club at IU if you are in the Bloomington area and want to join the movement or visit for more information.

TOMS recently just added a "TOMS LOVES MOMS" Mother's Day campaign, so if you haven't bought Mom a gift yet, buy her a pair of Yellow Portsmouth Cordones or Seaport Vegan Classics. The new styles are definitely something to look forward to, but I love the classic TOMS just as much. So if I have the opportunity to buy the old or new, I say why not both?]]> Thu, 29 Apr 2010 05:49:50 +0000
<![CDATA[TOMS Shoes Quick Tip by amylevin]]> Wed, 28 Apr 2010 05:10:07 +0000 <![CDATA[TOMS Shoes Quick Tip by Savvygirl]]> Mon, 26 Apr 2010 19:20:30 +0000 <![CDATA[ Save the planet, one pizza box at a time...]]> If you are like me, you like to order pizza. Sometimes you just feel like eating at you call your local pizzeria and order it "to go".

But there is a problem. A big problem...

The biggest problem with ordering  take-out pizza is that you are left with a huge cardboard box. It's usually stained and grease covered.

If you are like me, you end up throwing it in the trash. These boxes are to soiled and dirty to do anything with so we just... throw them away...

Sure, we would compost them if we could. But as you may know, you can't really compost grease

Think for a minute if instead of throwing out your pizza box, you just washed it and put it on the shelf until the next time you ordered a pizza.

DMS Innovations has come up with a solution.

The re-usable pizza box! Instead of getting your pizza put in a card board box that will clog your local landfill, you can have a your pizza put in a Hybrid Pizza Box.

This is a box you can use again and again. Up to 500 times to be exact.

First the box is made out of high impact polystyrene. You can easily clean it with a sponge or wash cloth.  (And according to the company: at the end of their use cycle, they can be recycled into another product).

This makes lots of sense to me.

Both for the environment as well as economically. Using the pizza box will actually pay for itself.

There are a number of pizzerias already on board with this concept.

One of them Mombo's in Santa Rosa, They have been using these pizza boxes with great success.

As a matter of fact, they will give you a dollar off your pizza each time you use your re-cycled pizza box.

So you not only get great pizza but, you save money at the same time.

A bit of a warning here: don't put these boxes in the oven or your microwave.

I think this is an idea whose time has come.

I will be doing more research on this great product.

If you want to learn more, go to the Pizza Therapy Pizza Blog.

I plan on interviewing, Mike Sudia, the owner and inventor of this great product. In the meantime check out the DMS Innovations website. I'll keep you posted...

And think about using a re-cycled pizza box next time you order a take out pizza.

Remember: "The life of a traditional pizza cardboard box has a one time one purpose."

But a recyclable pizza box can be used again and again.

I would love to hear your opinion on the concept of re-usable pizza boxes.

The planet you save, could be your own!

]]> Thu, 22 Apr 2010 03:00:04 +0000