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December 2009

12/30/2009

How To Host A Glam & Green New Year's Bash!

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By Liz Kaadou

NewyearsathomeNothing beats rambunctiously ringing in 2010 with family, friends and plenty of festive party favors in the comfort of your own abode! From gorgeous glitter covered hats to colorful crazy noisemakers and party poppers, New Year's eve is an excuse to let your inner child out and stay up until the wee hours of the morning. But why not make the switch from 2009 to 2010 even better by hosting your New Year's party with all the "green" trimmings? Guests will go gaga for these green ideas that will make the start of 2010 your most exciting and eco-friendly year yet!

1) Opt for eco-disposable plates made from sugarcane, you can purchase a pack of 50 at BiodegradableStore.com

2) Instead of going out and buying extra folding chairs and tables if you do not have enough for your growing guest list, simply ask some of your friends if you can borrow theirs!

3) Why mail out invitations and waste the paper? It is the digital era, so send an invite through email or design a fancy Evite card!

4) Shred up your used Christmas/Holiday wrapping paper and use it as the confetti to cover the tables!

5) Opt for some soy candles to brighten up your green decor, this way you can keep most of your lights off to reduce energy usage. Click here to buy some!

6) Serve finger foods! Guests love these and they require barely an cooking time, meaning less use of electricity.

7) Have an "a cappella" singing contest! Buy some fun sheet music with lyrics and instead of using your CD player you and your guests will have a blast seeing who has the best voice!

8) After the clock strikes midnight, have everyone write down a New Year's resolution about how to go green in 2010 and put them all inside one of the hats.  Pass the hat around and have everyone pick one out! This will help guests see the importance of being eco-friendly for the new year.

Check out RTM's Earth Tones section for more ways to go green!

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12/28/2009

New Year's Resolutions To Go Green

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By Liz Kaadou

New years As the champagne bottles pop and the noisemakers blare away, the countdown begins 3...2...1...and before you know it yet another 365 days have passed in the blink of a glitter adorned eye and 2010 has arrived.  Decked out in party dresses and tuxedos, you all lift your glasses to toast a healthy and happy start to the new year.  But then your mind starts racing, "did I really accomplish everything I set out to do in 2009?" Chances are you didn't, because in all honestly we set so many gigantic goals and many times it is hard to accomplish them all when reality sets in after the holidays.  So this year, make a new year's resolution that you can actually live up to...one that will not only make a change in you, but one that will help change the world as well.  Sounds like a lofty goal? Not exactly, the goal is to go green. Vowing to be more environmentally friendly does not mean trading in your hefty SUV for a hybrid or installing solar panels in your house. These are big steps... and we are talking baby steps.  Here a few simple and easy steps to make a few new year's resolutions for 2010 that you will most definitely be able to keep! Cheers!

1) Say bye bye to plastic grocery/shopping bags- it is really that simple.  According to the Environmental Protection Agency somewhere between 500 billion and one trillion plastic bags are used each year! This year, opt for the smart eco alternative- a reusable shopping bag like the Green Bee tote.  Click Here to buy one.

2) Buy a Brita or Pur water filter and just say no to plastic water bottles! Not only will this delightful device remove 99.9% of water contaminates, but by bottling your own filtered water, you will save money and help the environment by reducing plastic waste from discarded water bottles. Click Hereto take a gulp of green goodness and buy a Pur filter.

3) Here's a bright idea, switch out your regular light bulbs for some energy efficient ones like  the Verilux Global Cooling Bulbs.  These beneficial bulbs last 13 times longer than normal bulbs, which means fewer bulbs in landfills.  They also use less energy to produce light, so fewer greenhouse gases are released into our atmosphere. Click Here to buy some!   

4) Don't waste water! An easy way to be more green is use less water. Turn off the faucet when brushing your teeth, do laundry every other week and invest in a digital shower timer so you can monitor how long you have been in basking the bathtub. 

Check out RTM's Earth Tones section for more ways to go green!

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12/24/2009

Unwrap The Gifts - Save The Paper!

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By Liz Kaadou

Paper We spend endless weeks shopping for the perfect holiday presents then spend hours upon hours carefully wrapping them with fun and festive wrapping paper.  Roll after roll of wrapping paper adorned with smiling snowmen and bright bulbs, we continue to glam up the gifts unaware of the insane amount of paper that will be thrown away once the present is actually opened. It is time for a change...and a paper shredder will come in handy for this one! Fast forward to Christmas morning and your floor is covered with crumpled wrapping paper...instead of furiously stuffing the used paper into an over-sized garbage bag...save it!

Here is the first ingenious idea- recycle the paper! Take all of the wrapping paper and shred it up.  Save the pieces in ziploc bags and use it to put in gift bags instead of tissue paper. You can stock up on gift bag fillers for the entire year!

Another idea is to use the shredded wrapping paper when Easter time comes around. Instead of using grass in the bottom of Easter baskets, opt for the eco-friendly way and utilize your shredded scraps from Christmas!

For more eco-friendly holiday advice, visit RTM's Earth Tones section.

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12/22/2009

Great GREEN Gifts at Your Local Superstores!

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By Liz Kaadou

With the holidays only days away, ordering eco-friendly presents on-line may not be the best or brightest idea! Fortunately, gorgeous and certifiably "green" gifts are actually available at many of your closest and convenient superstores. Forget searching Internet sites for endless hours hoping for overnight shipping.  Instead, here are some creative and unique eco-friendly gifts patiently perched on store shelves ready and waiting for pick-up!

TeasetTea time anyone? This Eco-Friendly Play Tea Time Set by Wonderworld is available at your local Walmart! Made from rubberwood that is from a replenishable source and water-based nontoxic paints and lacquers, this splendid set is superb for youngsters learning to go green and sensational for the environment! Click Here to Buy.

WalmartgreenbagGreen to Go! This convenient and creative Eco-Friendly Insulated Grocery Bag by Quest is the perfect gift for friends and family! At a great price of $10.89, not only will it greatly reduce plastic bag waste, but it will also keep groceries at the right temperature, which will minimize the risk of food born disease. Available in an array of colors at Walmart, this trendy tote will transform anyone into an eco-friendly enthusiast! Click Here to Buy.

CollagekohlsA picture is worth a thousand words, a thousand green words of course! This Eco-Friendly Sierra Matted Collage Frame by FetCo is available at Kohl's and is made entirely of renewable resources to ensure you keep the Earth very happy! Choose a few great pictures and you have a unique and thoughtful gift sure to make anyone smile and say cheese!! Click Here to Buy.    

NapkinsHere is an elegant way to go green with your gift giving. This 8-Piece Striped Placemat and Napkin Set by Park B. Smith, also available at Kohl's, is handwoven with recycled cotton.  It includes four placemats and four napkins and is adorned with a fun fringe trim.  This set makes a wonderful gift for the holidays! Click Here to Buy!

For more eco-friendly gift advice, visit RTM's Earth Tones section.

 

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12/21/2009

Transform Old Christmas Cards Into "Green" Decor!

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By Liz Kaadou

XmascardsPicturesque paintings glowing with glitter adorn the front while happy holiday messages are inscribed inside.  It is estimated by the U.S. Census Bureau that 2 billion of these collectible Christmas cards are sent in the United States every year! Imagine the pounds of paper and masses of material wistfully wasted in creating these pretty printed holiday greetings? The persistent problem is that once the holidays have hurried by, most of these cheerful greeting cards are thrown away.  Instead, once the fun festivities have passed, follow these ingenious ideas to transform your old Christmas cards into eco-friendly items sure to make your holidays jovial with green joy!

1) Cut off the back panel of the card where the message was written and save the cover panel only. Now you can actually send these as postcards next year for Christmas! It's a great green way to recycle your old greeting cards!

2) Since you have saved the front panels, if you would rather not resend them, simply use them to create a beautiful Christmas collage in a shadowbox to adorn your wall.  You can cut all of the pictures up into different shapes and sizes!

3) Convert the cards into beautiful ornaments for your tree! Cut out the picture from the front of the card into a circular shape, glue some lovely lace around it and punch a small hole at the top and happily hang it on your tree.

4) Turn them into gorgeous gift tags.  Use the pictures you already cut out and since the backside will be blank you can write the "to" and "from" message on that side and hang it on any present or gift bag.

5) Create a Christmas scrapbook for your family or friends! This will make a wonderful gift for the following year. You can use the beautiful designs on the cards or messages and cut them out to use as decorations in the memory book.

6) Use them as wrapping paper! If you are placing something in a gift box you can actually use the cards to decorate the package instead of purchasing an entire role of wrapping paper.

For more eco-friendly holiday advice, visit RTM's Earth Tones section.

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12/18/2009

New Car Review: The 2010 Scion xB

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By Bob Plunkett

Scionxb This is wild:  It's Saturday evening on The Strip and traffic on the daylight-bright thoroughfare is jamming with way-cool cars pulsating from serious on-board audio kits.

 

Our vehicle, squeezing into the center of the pack is the souped-up and stretched 2010 iteration of xB, that urban utility wagon by Scion.

 

All Scions carry a long list of standard features including power steering, power controls for windows and door locks and exterior mirrors, a cruise control unit and remote keyless entry device, air conditioning, a steering wheel that tilts and houses audio controls, plus the four-wheel disc brakes with anti-lock brake system (ABS) and eight air bags surrounding riders on front and rear seats.

 

Inside, the four-seat compartment feels airy and spacious, despite overall dimensions which tie the xB to the itsy-bitsy class.  But the wheelbase length stretches to 102.4 inches and the overall length runs to 167.3 inches with the width measuring over 69 inches.  This sets up a large platform not only to enhance the vehicle's stability and ride quality but to forge surprisingly generous room for riders in the cabin.

 

There are a number of stow spots -- like a convenience tray for the driver, a glove box, console box and front door bins. Then a tray concealed below the back bench houses out-of-sight items like a laptop or camera.

 

This Scion feels fun to drive, particularly in an urban environment on city streets. It zips to speed with a quick run through the lower gears, while handling seems acute with responsive steering conducive to quick-cut maneuvers.  It qualifies for ULEV-II (Ultra Low Emission Vehicle) status and delivers fuel economy numbers up to 28 mpg.

 

High-tech electronic controls include electric power steering (EPS) and standard safety gear such as vehicle stability control (VSC), traction control (TRAC), and the ABS with electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD) and electronic brake assist (EBA).

 

There's more value for the 2010 xB due to a new standard Pioneer head unit for the audio system and no increase for xB's base price. Also new is the optional Alpine Premium audio unit that's wired and ready to accommodate a navigation system and back-up camera.

New gear aboard the 2010 version includes an organic electroluminescent (OEL) screen, USB connectivity, Advanced Sound Retriever (ASR) and a subwoofer RCA output. It also has USB and auxiliary (AUX) ports on the center console so you may link to a portable music collection through the xB's six Pioneer speakers.

 

The MSRP for a 2010 xB begins at $15,750 with a manual transmission. Add the automatic shifter and that figure rises to $16,700.

For more car reviews visit RTM's New Car Reviews section 

 

For information on this 2010 Scion xB visit scion.com

 

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12/17/2009

Glam Up Your Christmas Tree In GREEN!

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By Liz Kaadou

Xmastree Sparkly, shiny bulbs beam from your tree's bristles, gorgeous garland wraps it up in glitz and glamour, and tiny twinkling lights illuminate every decadent decoration you carefully placed...does this pretty much describe the average Christmas tree? Well, with pressing environmental issues like global warming on the forefront of concern, it may be time to creatively change up your decorating routine. Opt for environmentally friendly decorations instead and transform your entire tree into an eco-ornament! Here a few great options...


Cdsnowman-big This adorable snowman decoration from Nigel's Eco Store is made entirely from recycled CDs and its shiny sides will definitely glam up your tree!  Click Here to buy one!


Ledlights Light up your tree with these sparkling strands equipped with LED technology - they are more energy efficient and have cool burning bulbs. If you can believe it they are also indestructible and never burn out! Click Here to buy!


StrawGarland72inAVOT9 Straw garland is a great alternative for your eco-friendly Christmas tree! This all natural wheat straw from Crate and Barrel is handcrafted into a gorgous garland of starbursts and spheres. Click Here to buy!


For more eco-friendly advice, visit RTM's Earth Tones section.

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12/16/2009

Disney Darling Selena Gomez Goes Green!

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By Liz Kaadou

Selenagomez Tween sensation Selena Gomez can now add eco-fashion designer to her rising repertoire of singing and acting. The sassy star of "Wizards of Waverly Place," this ambitious 14 year old Disney starlet is using her flourishing fame and role model status in the tween realm to encourage youngters that it really is cool to "go green."

The eccentric eco-fashion line she is co-designing will boast boho-chic styes.  Titled "Dream Out Loud" by Selena Gomez, pieces will range from floral-print tops to dresses and jackets and all fabrics will be organic and eco-friendly. Inspirational quotes by the Disney diva herself will even adorn the trendy t-shirts!

So Selena Gomez fans make room in your cluttered closets to add a bit of green goodness. Her line will hit shelves in the fall of 2010!

Photo: JustJared.com

Check out RTM's Earth Tones section for more eco-fashion news.

 

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We have one planet, one home, no place to go if this one crashes and burns. Think about that! Let's work together to keep our home clean and healthy. Mother nature has already shown significant rage at our lack of respect for the gift she's bestowed, a beautiful place to live our lives. Remember, we need the earth more than earth needs us so let's work with the our remarkable planet, not against it, to ensure the future of the human species in this vast universe. If there is an end, you can be sure it will be mankind who is regurgitated off the face of the earth so that Mother Nature and Father Time can cleanse the planet of the filth we've caused, and thereafter regenerate and replenish itself with new life. It wouldn't be the first time!

12/15/2009

Teach Your Kids To Go Green!

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By Liz Kaadou

Kidsgreen An insurgence of volcanic eruption, increasing amounts of earthquakes and tsunamis, specie disappearance and global hunger.  Sound scary? These terrifying tribulations are what scientists have been warning us about for years - the dangers of global warming. While it may be difficult for youngsters to fully comprehend these horriffic harms, they must be made aware because they are the future of this world. It is never too early to teach kids the importance of protecting our precious planet, because the more they know, the more they can be proactive and make a difference. To help in your mission, Earth Kit For Kids offers a number of fun and entertaining products that will have your kids eager to go green!

 

Kit This Going Green Kit titled "Why should I bother about the planet" teaches kids about pollution and global warming and is an excellent and easy way to introduce children to the environmental problems facing our planet today. For a SMALL price of $18.99, this valuable book teaches kids some BIG lessons!

 

Greenpuzzle Kids will go gaga for this Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Puzzle! Made from 100% recycled materials, this creation is a 2-sided puzzle. One side allows kids to piece together pictures while the other side teaches them facts about the environment. 

 

FreesongsSave the planet with some songs? With this Seeded Download Card, kids can download two songs of their choice and then they actually can plant the card in the ground where it will grow into beautiful flowers!

Visit Earth Kits for Kids for even more eco-friendly kid products!

For more eco-friendly advice, visit RTM's Earth Tones section.

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