What the Hell's In My Tub?
Research time again! Go to your bathroom and grab all the hygiene products you use on a daily basis: shampoo, conditioner, hair gel, soaps, lotions, antiperspirants, toothpastes, makeup, shaving cream, you name it. Drag all that crap down to your computer (or, if you use a lot of product, take your computer to your bathroom) and log on to the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database.
Now start looking up the toxicity level of all those products you slather on your skin every day.
And then think about how porous your skin is.
And then think about whether or not the word "is" is a preposition.
And then think about why your flamboyant 10th grade English Teacher told you to never end a sentence with a preposition.
And then start to wonder if his "roommate" was actually....
It's all starting to make sense now, isn't it?
Anyhow, once you go through and determine the toxicity level of your beauty regimen, start to think of which items you can maybe live without. Or at least find out what alternatives might exist. And where you might buy them at.*
I'll be tossing out some helpful tips over the next few weeks. You know, fun stuff I learned the hard way. But in the meantime, feel free to start swapping toothpaste recipes and paraben-free shampoo products Yahoo! Group.
*Now there's a preposition! And yeah, I spent 50 minutes of the past hour Googling "prepositions" and "dangling participles" and all of 10 minutes writing the actual post. Because I'm thorough like that. ;-)
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
What the Hell's In My Tub?
Monday, July 28, 2008
A lot of folks think that "going green" means giving up the niceties of life. While occasional sacrifices are made in name of the environment, some changes actually result in a higher quality of life. And I'm not talking about "spending more time with family" or "appreciating the beauty of nature". None of that philosophical crap (Don't get me wrong - all that philosophical crap is true - I just don't write eloquently enough to express it without sounding like a moron). I'm talking about something very real. I'm talking about a better tasting cup of joe. This little gem of a change was one I made shortly after I purchased my Kill-A-Watt device.
~~~~WAVY LINES HERE TO INDICATE DREAM SEQUENCE WHEREBY WE ARE TRANSPORTED BACK TO THE ORIGINAL POST~~~~
I have been plugging EVERYTHING in my house into my fabulous, geek-o-rific Kill-A-Watt device and am learning all sorts of unexpected lessons. For instance, one of the biggest energy hogs in my house (besides the heat, a/c, and major appliances) is my Mr. Coffee! When it's just sitting there displaying the time, the thing barely draws any energy -- in fact it doesn't even register a watt. However, when it is brewing or just keeping the hot plate on (which it does for at least two hours each day), it cycles itself on and off at about 900 watts. YIKES!
This one is such an easy fix, though, and it doesn't even require me to break my compact. When the coffee is done brewing, I simply pour it into my already-got-one-so-I-don't-need-to-buy-one coffee carafe. How cool is that? So now I only run the coffee pot for 10 minutes to brew and then that sucker gets turned off! Bonus? The coffee stays nice and hot all morning long and the last cup doesn't have that nasty Burn-O-Matic taste.
The heating element cycles on and off at 1 minute intervals. When on, it's drawing approximately 900 watts, or .9 kWh. So, two hours per day, every single day equates to 27 kWh a month, 324 kWh per year (which, by the way, is about $32.40 in dollar-savings). HAHA! Paid for the Kill-A-Watt and then some!
Difficulty Level: 1 out of 5
Already owned the carafe, just blew the dust off it and set it on the counter. Life just doesn't get any easier than that, does it?
There you have it folks. A better cup of coffee, a cleaner environment and dramatic special effects. What more could you want out of life?
What's that? You want your own Kill-A-Watt? You got it. Temporarily, at least.
Sign up at the Yahoo! Group in the "Kill-A-Watt Borrowers" Database. I'll mail my Kill-A-Watt to the first person on the list. That person can mail it on to the next on the list and so and so on until someone manages to break it or the post office loses it. Whichever comes first.
Saturday, July 26, 2008
I try to avoid CNN.com. I try because every time I hit that site, I find some news story that is so heart-wrenching that I end up sick to my stomach. But, like a bad car accident, I can't help slowing down to look at the carnage. I'm a sick puppy.
But today, I found this nice little gem about a man who sends used bicycles to developing countries. One man making a difference. I love that kind of shit. Instead of slowing down to look at wreckage, I pulled over to see the rainbow.
Pretty corny analogy, but it's early.
Friday, July 25, 2008
Ditch the Paper Towels, Baby!
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Well, it happened again. I had The World's Best Post all typed up. Witty, insightful with just a touch of sarcasm (ok, a little heavy on the sarcasm, but that's how I like it). And then BAM! Blogger frickin' eats it. Sucks to be me.
Frick. Now it's creepin' up on bedtime and I don't feel like trying to recreate the magical post that got away. So you're stuck with this crap instead. Now it sucks to be both of us.
So the heck with this post, go read a book instead. One that deals with environmentalism, preferably. One that you borrow from a friend or library or bought used. But not a new one. Not this time.
I'll offer you some suggestions from what I've read so far:
***** Deep Economy
***** Omnivore's Dilemma
**** In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto
***** Animal, Vegetable, Miracle
*** Last Child in the Woods
* Affluenza (I didn't like this one much, but others find it amusing)
** Consuming Kids
*** Simple Prosperity
** Common Wealth
Those are supposed to be "stars" next to the book titles, but after losing a post to blogger purgatory, I'm in no mood to fancy shit up. If you're looking for in depth review of eco-books, check out the awesome Blogging Bookworm site set up as a continuation of Green Bean's "I'm a Bookworm" Challenges.
And as always, feel free to hop on the Yahoo! Group and share your envirobook recommendations!
Monday, July 21, 2008
Friday, July 18, 2008
Whew. I'm pooped. Are you pooped? I am. And it's got nothing to do with soiling myself. It's been a long week. My sitter is on vacation so I'm hanging with the kiddos 24 x 7 - in addition to trying to keep up with all the summer sewing orders. Not easy my friend. Not easy.
So let's make today's change an easy one. You good with that? I mean, it's Friday... the weekend's almost here... I'm exhausted....
Now let's see... easy change... simple... hmmmm....
OOH! I know! Yeah, yeahyeahyeahyeahyeah. Super easy. And gas-related, which seems fitting, since I've recently started to think I may be lactose intolerant.
Today's change is: Don't start the car till you're ready to go.
Wow. Earth-shattering stuff here at Burbanmom. I'd expound on the idea, but I already did that in the original post. I could copy and paste, but that sounds a lot like work. And did I mention I'm TIRED?
And for those of you who don't drive, but instead rely on public transportation, bikes, or Nike Power. Take the day off. You've earned it! And if you've got a free moment, stop by and watch the kids so I can take a nap.
Join the discussion at the Going Green Yahoo! Group.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Monday, July 14, 2008
Friday, July 11, 2008
Food has played such a HUGE role in my greenification (my word, you can use it - 2% royalty, though). From joining a CSA, planting a Victory Garden, shopping at the Farmer's Market, buying organic (ummm, how did I manage not to make that a blogpost?), meal planning, eating less meat, avoiding factory-farmed meat, avoiding corn syrup. The list goes on and on....
But I promised this would be easy. One year to a greener you. So let's take it one small step at a time. We'll start with the big impact stuff first - Stop Eating Factory Farmed Meat.
You've heard the stats before, but I'll put them out there again - just to remind us all how many resources are required to raise feed-lot cows for food.
- Ten people could be fed with the grain that you would feed a cow that would be turned into food for one person
- Each pound of steak from feedlot-raised steers that you eat comes at the cost of 5 pounds of grain, 2,500 gallons of water, the energy equivalent of a gallon of gasoline, and about twenty-five pounds of eroded topsoil
- Over 30% of North American land is devoted to grazing
- Over 50% of America's cropland is dedicated to growing feed for livestock
- The livestock industry consumes over half of the water used in the US
- Livestock produces 130 times the amount of waste that people do
- Every second of every day, one football field of tropical rain forest is destroyed in order to produce 257 hamburgers
- Feedlot cattle produce almost one fifth of global methane emissions
Now don't get me wrong here, folks. I love to splurge on a nice, juicy porterhouse now and again. I'm a carnivore from way back. But the thing is -- and this is a hard concept for many of us to grasp -- we need to eat beef in moderation. If and when we do buy beef, it should come from a local farm that feeds the cows grass - not grain.
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Monday, July 7, 2008
Line Drying The Wash