Athens Locally Grown tour lets you be a farmer for a day || OnlineAthens.com

off topic, but wanted to share this great article about our friends Ed and Kim at Sundance Farm in Athens Athens Locally Grown tour lets you be a farmer for a day || OnlineAthens.com – also on this CNN video http://www.cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video/living/2010/05/26/natpkg.tour.de.farms.cnn.html

Red, White, Blue and…Green?

Red, White, Blue and…Green?

Posted using ShareThis by Rebecca Lacko, LA Parenting Examiner

Put a little green in your red, white and blue celebration

This Fourth of July weekend, Americans will light up more than 60 million barbecues and will roast about 150 million hot dogs and 890 million pounds of chicken and red meat. A yummy prospect for most picnickers, but consider that, according to Jason Green, coordinator for St. Petersburg College’s Office for Sustainability, “A typical party of 30 guests can create 80 pounds of waste.”

Not only is paper waste an environmental concern, but as Green reports, “It’s estimated that Americans using their grills will create the same amount of carbon dioxide as if 2,300 acres of forest were burnt.”

Think it ends with paper waste and CO2 emmissions? Think again. Fireworks contain potassium perchlorate, which gets into the soil, air and water and causes damage to the thyroid gland. Other ingredients include such heavy metals as barium and copper, which are toxic.

Party Like an Independent American, AND Minimize Damage to the Environment!

What are the best ways to celebrate the holiday season in an environmentally friendly way? Here are some ideas:

  • For July 4 parties, use real plates, silverware and cloth napkins and stay away from paper napkins, disposable paper plates and plastic utensils. If you must use disposable plates, buy plates that are biodegradable. Did you know that  disposable plates are now available that are made from corn, potato and sugar-cane pulp?
  • Throw a potluck party to share resources and carpool.
  • Prepare meals and desserts with locally-grown organic ingredients and free-range, grass-fed meats and poultry. (Bonus: they’re much more delicious!)
  • Balance your meat dishes with more sustainable vegetable-based items. Potato salad, anyone?
  • Provide recycling bins for glass bottles, cans and plastic — A must-do!
  • When BBQ-ing, use natural gas grills — they pollute less than charcoal grills. To make matters worse, over-charring meat produces toxic chemicals in the food itself.
  • Don’t shoot off polluting fireworks at home; instead, go to one of the city- or county-sponsored events.
  • Make your own natural insect repellent! Frequently reapply basic essential oils like lavender, rosemary and cedar wood. These oils can trick insects into thinking you’re a plant.
  • If you must use a DEET-based insect repellent, choose products with less than 20% DEET. Never apply over cuts or wounds; never apply on infants or if you are taking any medications; don’t spray in enclosed areas; and wash skin with soap and water after use.
  • Use environmentally-friendly cleaning products and cloths or micro fiber rags to clean up after the party.

    For more info: Learn more about the sustainable | SPC initiative

Christmas, the recession and how supporting small businesses will help our economy

You hear it everywhere, our economy is down, we are in a recession and everybody is feeling it. My husband has had his own small business for 10 years as a Service provider for large national chains, local restaurants and businesses. He had one, loyal sub-contractor for those 10 years. In 2008, my husband’s revenue shrank 70% and he couldn’t afford to hire his sub-contractor as regularly as all the prior years as he is struggling to stay in business. Small businesses drive the American economy. Research shows that small businesses represent 99.7 percent of all firms, they create more than half of the private non-farm gross domestic product, and they create 60 to 80 percent of the net new jobs. Unfortunately they are also the most vulnerable in our economy. If you have a job with a regular paycheck you feel the financial burden of our economy as well, but you can still get by if you cut your spending. A small business owner will have to let go employees and may cause another family to lose their home.

Please consider this when you are rushing out to get your Christmas shopping done. By supporting your local businesses you can help our country to get back on its feet. Try to buy US made products wherever possible and purchase locally grown food. Thank you.

If you are in Georgia, check out Southeast Green’s Green Holiday Gift Guide http://www.southeastgreen.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=60&Itemid=73