Friday, January 23, 2009

Increased Mortality Rate for Forests

"Tree death rates have more than doubled over the last few decades in old-growth forests across the Western United States," said U.S. Geological Survey scientist Phillip van Mantgem, coauthor of a paper published in today's issue of the journal Science and released Thursday. Read the full story in the L.A. Times. Take a class about tree care or volunteer to help trees.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Caulking Is an Act of Conservation

Energy prices, especially in Philadelphia, are high and our coldest weather has arrived. A friend of Mr. Philly Organic said her gas bill was $350 this month. Our own gas bill was a hundred bucks less, although our house is older and larger. Mr. Philly Organic often gets frustrated with our 102-year-old house. It requires a lot of attention, love, and money. He has spent a lot of time weatherizing the house with everything from reusable acrylic window shields to foam to caulk. While we can’t make an across the board comparison between the two houses, the gas bill is a good indication that his weatherization efforts have lowered our energy usage and made our house warmer. When it comes to living green, we must reduce what we use and waste less. Weatherization is one the most green acts and can be done by anyone: homeowner or renter, wealthy or poor, handyman or the repair inept.

Friday, January 9, 2009

End Transmission

February 17, 2009, is when television broadcasts transition to digital. You don't have to throw away your television! One option is to buy a converter box. Buying a converter box is probably the more economic and sustainable choice but if you chose to buy a new television, please recycle your old set!

Weekly Curbside Pick-up Is On!

No more blue and green weeks! City-wide weekly curbside pick-up started this week. So long biweekly pick-up and hello increased participation and smaller piles of recyclables. Now get those buckets filled!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Cleaning Up, Greening Up or Is It Greenwashing?

Msphillyorganic just applied a little shea butter with ginger from Juju Salon. It's a small sample after the pedicure I had on Friday and it's much needed after today's housework.'s filthy. House cleaning products are filled with chemicals that are dangerous for humans and pets and horrible for the environment. There are alternative products but how many of them are actually safe and environmentally sound? There are cheaper and safer ways to clean your home.

First, it's important not to throw out the cleaning products you have in your cabinets and replace them with other products. This is not fiscally sound and it doesn't protect the natural world. Once in the trash, the products will travel to a landfill and leak into the soil and groundwater. You could turn them in on hazardous waste day or you can start fresh after you use them up.

How do you start fresh? We'll visit this topic a lot. The green and environmental debate about Clorox's Greenworks still rages. I looked at their label and everything listed is plant-derived, but so was the poison administered to Socrates. I've not found a single review of the line that was written by a scientist with the education necessary to determine the safety of the products.

There are older green products out there but many of them, like Simple Green, are not as safe or green as advertised. Others are heavily criticized for reluctantly or partially revealing ingredients. Finally a lot of environmentally sound companies charge more for the privilege. Clean with baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice, and vegetable oil cheaply and environmentally!