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February 2011

02/28/2011

Helpful Links: EWP's Recommendations

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Planet Driven: A section on Road & Travel Magazine dedicated to eco-friendly automotive topics and reviews.

Earth Tones: An earth-friendly travel section on Road & Travel Magazine. Visit its archive.

Bestgreenblogs.com: Browse different environmental blogs, from the most popular to the totally obscure, in more than 100 different categories.

EcoDriving USA: Get your community driving more efficiently with EcoDriving's EcoCalculator, Virtual Road Test, and other news and events promoting overall fuel economy.

02/25/2011

Organic Coffee Options

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By Samantha Gasco

 Organic coffee Blended, iced, or piping hot, it’s what gets the majority of us through our busy days. Coffee, a substance drank so often it’s worth knowing where it comes from and it tastes even better organic.

Farmed without harmful pesticides, organic coffee costs only pennies more than your traditional cup of joe. And it’s well worth it considering most organic coffees are also fair trade, meaning farmers are paid fair wages to produce a quality product. So on your next shopping trip, try one of these great options and see if you can taste the difference.

Wild Oats'Organic Daylight Blend is supplied by Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, a progressive Vermont-based company that has introduced organic coffee into convenience stores and fast-food chains throughout the Northeast.

Arbuckles' rich, aromatic Organic Ariosa Coffee comes with a peppermint stick tucked inside.

Equal Exchange sources the fragrant beans for its heavy-bodied Ethiopian blend from a cooperative of small farms in Africa.

Click here for more eco friendly advice and tips.

Packing to Tread Lightly

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35317816 No matter where your travels lead you, a footprint is always left behind. So, before you leave on your next vacation here are some tips on what to pack in order to tread lightly and reduce your carbon footprint.

When it comes to toiletries try buying small re-usable containers and filling them wit the products you need. Travel-size packages might seem quick and convenient, but all that extra packaging takes a heavy toll on the environment.

If you think ahead to where you are going, you might realize that recycling options may be hard to find. So bring a water bottle with you that you can refill, it’s better than going through plastic bottles that are not biodegradable. If and whenever possible, take your re-usable version with you. 

Travel light and take only what you need. This will make it easier to take public transportation and get around. The more pounds you carry the larger your carbon footprint.

Click here for more eco-friendly travel tips from Earth Tones.

02/24/2011

Enjoy a Fuel Free Getaway

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Home-ranch Want a truly eco-friendly vacation? Or are you just looking for the experience of a lifetime? Well leave the car keys at home and reduce your carbon footprint by riding to work on a horse at the Lazy E-L Ranch.

  • The Lazy E-L Ranch, 70 miles southwest of Billings, Montana, is a cattle ranch.
  • This is a working vacation that may reorganize your priorities: your to-do list includes riding the fences, doctoring calves, and herding cattle.
  • The ranch disputes the notion that ranchers and conservationists can't get along goats are used instead of pesticide to eliminate weeds.
  • There are rooms in the lodge, but for the truly pre-industrial experience, ask for the riverfront cabin. There's no electricity or running water, only an outhouse, some cooking supplies, and a wood-burning stove to keep you company.

Visit Earth Tones for more on sustainable travel.

Traffic Tips and Tools to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

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Traffic Frugality is in. Everyone wants to save a few bucks here and there, and guess what? You can reduce your carbon footprint along the way.

In order to survive many of us have no other choice but to commute a long distance back and forth to work, which means spending a lot on gas and emitting a lot of carbon. If you are unable to carpool or take public transportation, here are a few gas-saving measures that will help you conserve fuel and reduce your footprint.

1. Check tire pressure. Under-inflated tires reduce gas mileage by 3 percent.

2. No more junk in the trunk! Removing 100 lbs of unneeded weight improves mileage by 2 percent.

3. Avoid sitting in traffic. Some newer model navigation systems provide real-time traffic for the latest and most comprehensive traffic information available.

5. Slow down. Where’s the fire? You will be surprised at the gas mileage you can get when driving at or below the speed limit.

6. Take the highway instead. The U.S. EPA reports the difference between highway and city gas mileage is about 30 percent.

(Source: Traffic.com)

02/23/2011

Tips for Going Green in the Kitchen

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Going Green in the Kitchen Green is always a good color for the kitchen. Whether it is the color of the food on your plate, or if it's decreasing your carbon footprint, going green in the kitchen is very easy. All it takes is a few minor adjustments and you will see yourself saving some of the green in your wallet. Here are a few tips.

1. It’s time to ditch the bottled water. It’s pricey and uses a lot of fuel to make and transport.

2. Buy locally. Find farmer’s markets and co-ops in your area for great selections of organic or locally grown produce and goods. It’s healthier and reduces the amount of fuel used to transport goods.

3. Use real dishes. Instead of relying on single use containers just wash and reuse the ones you have.

4. Buy in bulk, or buy items that have little packaging. Select items that have less plastic and extra fillers stuffed inside.

(Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Follow link for more great tips for going green in the kitchen.

02/22/2011

Eco-Friendly Windshield Solution

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Windshield WashingEver wonder how the inside of your windshield gets so dirty?  It's from your heater, air conditioner, and general fumes within your vehicle. The grime that creates on your windshield can prevent you from seeing clearly when driving; especially at night. A simple, easy and eco-friendly solution follows:

Windshield/Glass Cleaner
Spray bottle
2 cups of filtered water
1/2 cup white or cider vinegar
1/4 cup rubbing alcohol
100% cotton cloth (lint-free)
Microfiber cloth (buffing cloth)

Prepare the solution and spray directly onto the cotton cloth. Using long sweeping motions, spread the solution over the windshield. When complete, use the microfiber cloth to buff the windshield. You will have a crystal clear view of the world. 

This solution can be used on any window or glass surfaces. Paper towels make waste, so using the cotton and microfiber clothes also add to you being a "green" consumer.

More eco-friendly home and garden tips.

02/18/2011

Cook Your Way to Green Goodnewss

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By Liz Kaadou

Greencooking Creative and eco-conscious cooks around the world bring your water to a bubbling boil and prepare for an exciting and environmental lesson in “green” cuisine! While lettuce, broccoli and cucumbers technically fit the greens category of cooking, we are talking about engaging in food preparation methods that are consciously conducive to promoting eco-awareness. Follow these quick and tasty tips to transform your kitchen into an appetizing eco-oasis.

 

1) Opt for local produce from farmers markets.  They are a great alternative to the standard supermarket and can be a superb source of local, organically grown products.  By satisfying your shopping needs at these niche markets, you are helping to promote a healthy and happy environment because their products do not need to be shipped, which reduces gas usage.  In addition, you are supporting the local economy!

 

2) Start your own organic garden! Purchase seeds and some soil and you are on your way to having healthy produce in your own backyard.

 

3) Make the microwave your friend! These energy-efficient cooking machines are great options to avoid using your stove. Although you may not be able to create gourmet meals in the microwave, it is great for quick and easy cooking!

 

4) Keep your refrigerator door closed.  How many times have you been quickly trying to prepare dinner and you leave the fridge open so you can keep grabbing ingredients? Instead, make a list before you begin your cooking adventure so that you only open the fridge once and check off the items as you go.

 

5) Reduce cooking time! Why keep food on the stove longer than it has to be.  Once you bring vegetables to a boil for instance, you can turn off or lower the stove temperature and just let the veggies cook in the already scorchingly hot water.

 

6) Utilize eco-friendly cookware and kitchen utensils, like Cusinart's Greenware cooking collection, Click Here to buy.

 

7) Cut your food into smaller pieces, this reduces cooking time and of course requires less energy.

 

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

 

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