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

Advertisements

Think outside the bottle!

Join me and break the bottled water habit! Getting rid of bottled water is a win-win! You save money and water and help lessen the amount of plastic in landfills! You can now even win a trip to Glacier National Park. Please learn more about the campain here  http://water.newdream.org/campaigns/water/register/78023085e295e74b21a82b2bb7894a34/ 

Break the Bottled Water Habit, Win a Prize and Cut Your Carbon

When you want pure, healthy drinking water, you should reach for bottled water, right? Surprisingly, on neither a personal nor a global level are you making a healthy choice.

For each gallon of water bottled, two gallons are wasted; producing the plastic wastes  the energy equivalent of a quarter-bottle’s worth of oil. And what’s in the bottle could just be tap water.

New American Dream and Corporate Accountability International is asking you to think about where the water in that bottle came from, where the plastic is going, and take the Break the Bottled Water Habit pledge(water.newdream.org) and drink to a healthy ecosystem.

During October, make a conscious choice to slake your thirst without drying up our planet’s resources. In addition to benefiting the environment, participants will have a chance to win a free condo for a week at a ski resort in Idaho.  Visit the website (water.newdream.org now to get started.

The Story of Stuff

From its extraction through sale, use and disposal, all the stuff in our lives affects communities at home and abroad, yet most of this is hidden from view. The Story of Stuff is a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns. The Story of Stuff exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world. It’ll teach you something, it’ll make you laugh, and it just may change the way you look at all the stuff in your life forever.