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Living Lightly
A year of living slightly differently
eveghost
limeliving
eveghost
Hi everyone,
I just joined this community because I'm really interested in ways to make a difference in lifestyles to promote care of the planet. I'm inspired by other people who are the change they want to see...

I wanted to invite you to take a look at my new travel blog which will cater to a group of travelers that I think often have a hard time gathering info...it's for activists, punks, vegans, goths, eco-conscious people, etc. I will explore voluntourism, eco-safe travel, list vegan/vegetarian restaurants with locations, and write about companies that help reduce carbon imprint from travel.

I'm open to any feedback, too!

http://www.punkrocktraveler.blogspot.com

Thanks in advance, looking forward to posting more within this community and reading your ideas as well!
Eve
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fiddledragon
limeliving
fiddledragon
There's been lots of green action in my apartment of late. I am now the proud owner of ten muslin produce bags (5 large, 5 small), which work wonderfully for grocery shopping. None of the cashiers at our grocery store have complained, since while they aren't see-through, you can prop them open on the conveyer belt for easy identification of their contents. If I'm feeling really craftsy, I may make some if I need more. The supermarket has also been really expanding their house organic brand, which makes me very happy. Local would be even happier, but this is a definite step in the right direction. And they lable where all the produce comes from. :-)

My boyfriendn and I really explored the co-op in Cambridge (not actually that near the apartment, but I have to stop there to change busses coming home from work), and they have everything in the world in bulk! I hadn't realized that last time I was there! They have grains and flours and dry beans and snack foods and such like you'd expect, but also laundry, dish, and people soap! local honey! frankincense tears! black, green, white, fruit, and herb/spice teas! nut butters where you put nuts in and turn a crank and out comes goo! And, of course, the majority of this is organic/fair trade and a good bit of it is local. I am entirely too excited by this. I was kind of disappointed to see that it didn't have much in the way of really ethical sustainable meat. Just "all-natural" without hormones, which is better than conventional, but not by all that much. I don't have a burning need to add meat back into my diet, but it would have been nice to have available, and it seems like the sort of thing an organic Co-op market should carry.

On Earth Day we got our first sight of the CSA farm where we are going to get unreasonable quantities of local organic produce this summer, starting in about a month and a half. It seems to be run and worked by a group of really nifty people that I'll be happy to help out.

And for even local-er produce, there are now two empty takeout containers full of seeds on the pantry windowsill -- one with a mix of hot peppers, one with a mix of differnet sunflowers. There's also a packet of nasturiums, but those say to plant them directly in the ground rather than transporting them. They'll all go in the front yard in mid-May, after danger of frost. Maybe I'll try some marigolds as well at some point.
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onelittlething
limeliving
onelittlething
There are fewer than 5000 wild tigers left in Asia.
China - where tiger products are officially banned - are breeding tigers on farms in the hope that China will soon allow the sale of products from captive bred tigers.
More than 4000 semi-tame tigers live on these farms (a disgrace in themselves but that's another issue) and the investors in these tiger businesses are pressuring the Chinese government to allow them to sell tiger products.
Reopening even limited legal trade in tiger products from farms would reignite a demand for wild tiger products. It also would give international crime syndicates an easy avenue for "laundering" illegally killed wild tigers from India, Russia and other countries, making law enforcement nearly impossible.
In essence, legal trade in tiger products from China's tiger farms would spark an open season on tigers in the wild.

Please click the link below to add your name to the campaign to end the trade in tiger products.
Two actions:
- add a photo to the tiger mosaic which will be presented to delegates from 171 countries at the June meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species
- sign the petition to be presented to China's leaders to ask them to keep the tiger products ban in place.

http://mail.panda.org/inxmail/url?v0fr000b3tub0bnmo3a3

Please copy and paste this to your own journal and email forward this message to your friends.
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onelittlething
limeliving
onelittlething
Email Hilary Benn MP and ask him to protect the Congo rainforest. Pre-drafted email, just enter your details and click.

http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/forests/forests.cfm?ucidparam=20070410184948&CFID=7368223&CFTOKEN=10515999

The Congo rainforests of central Africa are a natural wonder we can ill-afford to lose. After the Amazon, it is the second largest rainforest on Earth and a major biodiversity hotspot with species such as gorillas, chimpanzees and bonobos. Millions of people also depend on the rainforest for their survival and like all large forests, it is crucially important for regulating the local and global climate.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), this natural wonder is under threat. International logging companies are causing social chaos and wreaking environmental havoc. The World Bank, by far the largest donor to the DRC, is failing to stop this destruction whilst the rainforest is being sold off under the illusion that it will alleviate poverty in one of the poorest countries on Earth.

Moreover, our investigations have shown that taxes paid by the logging companies, which are supposed to fund essential services like schools and hospitals for local communities, are not filtering back to local communities. Furthermore, the logging companies are entering into agreements directly with local people who, in return for timber worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, are receiving gifts of beer, salt and sugar which can be worth no more than $100.

Hilary Benn, Secretary of State at the Department for International Development, is the UK governor of the World Bank and is attending the spring meeting this weekend. Write to him now and ask him to use his influence to ensure there is a real future for the rainforest with proper safeguards put in place to protect it.
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onelittlething
limeliving
onelittlething
Has anyone heard of this before?
http://www.ecoquestintl.com/dealer_products/laundrypure_home.asp?u=www.ecoquest.com/fabian

If it works it would be brilliant for ridding the world of chemical soap powders, but I'm not convinced of its scientific value.
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sicilianhitlist
limeliving
sicilianhitlist
I live in an older apartment. As a result, it seems that there's this smell that just won't go away. An older, almost musty smell that I'm not sure what to do with. It's strongest in my cabinets, but no amount of sprinkling baking soda is making it go away. It's much, MUCH better than it was when I first moved in, but I still walk in noticing it after I've been gone a few hours.

So! I was to know, ladies and gentlemen, if you have any ideas of natural air fresheners that I can keep in my cabinets (and maybe just use around the place). I have a cat, so I don't want anything that could make her sick.

Honestly, I've thought about just getting some kind of small decorative (but living) tree for my apartment. I've wondered if maybe bringing a little oxygen producing freshness might help the air quality? What do you all think?

If you have ideas other than air smellies -- maybe if you think just an air filter would help, let me know.

Thanks in advance for your suggestions. :)

x-posted
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limeliving
raspberrytue
Pretty Banner I made promoting Wind Power/Windmills. Lyrics by Jason Mraz.

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limeliving
raspberrytue
http://www.algore.com/cards.html


Send a card to your Rep. Every little bit helps, if you have a voice no matter inaudible, use it.
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limeliving
raspberrytue
http://i-am-bored.com/bored_link.cfm?link_id=22059
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limeliving
raspberrytue
Lately I've been climbing up the walls (figuratively) because I can't seem to get some time alone. The people in my house are always hanging around, (only one of them pays rent, so I'm irritated to begin with). I finally got some time to myself, about 15minutes. I unfortunately don't have any receipts of shopping for this week due to my brother and friend shopping, but so far so good on everything. I switched my deodorant to Tom's of Maine, as well as my soap. Produce has been *hell* to get. We finally switched out all of our old style bulbs to fluorescent bulbs.


I finally got to planting in my green house this morning (it's about 9:30 now, and I've been up since about 6). I think I'm going to clear out an area in there to meditate because no one bothers me while I'm in there, which IMHO is a godsend. I got my strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, orange tree, tomato vine, as well as my carrots and potatoes and things like that. The nice thing about gardening up here, is that it's such a long growing season with so much sun everything just springs right up.

I also changed all of the clocks in the house to Water Clocks ( http://www.thinkgeek.com/homeoffice/lights/757e/ ) <--- I love the website, even though some of it is less then enviro-friendly, but a lot of it is soooo awesome.

Hope you guys are having an excellent day. ;)

Current Mood: relaxed relaxed
Current Music: The Space Between - Dave Matthews Band

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soulcatcher318
limeliving
soulcatcher318
I just thought I mention to people in this community here, the green/alternative-energy company known as Renewable Choice Energy.

http://www.renewablechoice.com/


They're based out of Colorado and they've been expanding their wind farms due to increasing business.

My Fiance and I participate in their program for just 15 dollars a month.

Let me explain to you how it works:
If you sign up with them, or a business signs up with them...
You work out how many kilowatt hours of power you use in your home (or in your business)
Or how much pollution in general is generated by you (via powering your home, and your car)
Then you are essentially purchasing "energy certificates/credits", buying into wind power, contributing wind power to the grid...
which means it is offsetting the non-green energy of the grid with green energy supplied by their wind farms. When you purchase wind power from Renewable Choice Energy, your electric bill won't change and so you still pay your utility company to supply electricity to your home. The flow of electricity usually follows the path of least resistance to the nearest demand, so an individual green power customer is probably not really receiving an appreciable amount of wind energy at his or her house. The electricity system operates like a large pool of water, with many power plants adding electricity and many customers withdrawing it. When customers buy green power, instead of actually getting it at their home or business, they are helping to change the mix of generating plants that put electricity into the "pool." The more customers who buy green power, the cleaner the mix of the grid becomes. What you get is the comfort in knowing a specific amount of electricity being consumed is replaced on the national grid with clean, carbon-free electricity. So all of this means your home personally may not be getting supplied directly with wind power... Obviously if you don't live in or around Colorado and where all the company's wind farms are supplying to local grids you're not getting it personally. But someone who lives in the area IS getting it... meaning that is one less person using non-green supplied energy. Meaning there is that much more renewable energy being used in the world period. That is why its called "offsetting" your electric, you're not necessarily directly changing your electric use in your own home, but you're offsetting its effect on the environment by providing green/renewable energy to a grid SOMEWHERE for SOMEONE which still translates to one less home (or business) having to rely on UNrenewable energy.
Pretty cool huh?


This company has really taken off recently... The big U.S. natural foods store chain Whole Foods Market recently signed a multi-billion dollar contract with them to offset the electricity usage of ALL of their offices, warehouses AND grocery stores!

Because the business has been growing the price of purchasing the energy credit certificates has gotten cheaper even just since my Fiance signed up with them 2 1/2 years ago...

Here are the current average prices:
$15 monthly will purchase/offset for 9,000 kilowatt hours per year which is the U.S. family-home average consumption.
It's Impact: 12,528 pounds of carbon dioxide are avoided
Which is equivalent to: 13,677 miles not driven, 165 trees planted

To purchase it on an individual's consumption rate average basis it comes out to:
$5 monthly to offset for 3,000 kilowatt hours used per year of the average U.S. individual.
It's Impact: 4,176 pounds of carbon dioxide avoided
Which is equivalent to: 4,559 miles not driven, 55 trees planted


Currently my household (a small one bedroom apartment with two vegan, green-minded, energy saving people, doesn't produce national averages ourselves. And yet we still pay 15 dollars monthly into American wind... so essentially we're offsetting more than just our own usage, which is fine by us. The more renewable energy the merrier.

The neat thing is now though they have partnerships with various businesses where if you signed up for a year's plan of wind power then you get a "free gift"... something they didn't offer back when my Fianace originally signed us up. It's too bad too, because agreeing to pay 15 dollars a month now will get you a 50 dollar gift certificate/card to Whole Foods Market or from one of 3 other companies!


Anyway, just thought people in a community such as this would find something like this interesting.
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caliantrias
limeliving
caliantrias
I love this comm already. Can anybody recommend an inexpensive source for composting systems. Most of the sites I've found seem too expensive to invest in. (i.e. I can build it for cheaper if I can find the time).
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limeliving
raspberrytue
An excellent way to not only support your own community, but by great products that are almost certainly 100% organic and pesticide free is to buy local. With websites like http://www.localharvest.org/ it's incredibly easy to find local farmers that care about their products.


You can also avoid the transcontinental strawberry. The food only had to travel maybe twenty miles to your home, when produce is known to travel five thousand to get where it's going. Sure, your tasty apple provides 5 calories of food energy, but it takes around 450 calories of fossil fuels to get to your grocery store.

Did you ever notice how much better local strawberries taste, anyway? So they might not have the classic strawberry shape depending on where you live, or even the classic strawberry size, but come on. It's better for not only you, the earth, but lets face it, your taste as well. Why is that? A possible reason could be it was picked a lot sooner and is free of the nasty pesticides that most non-organic commercial produce contains.

One study found that the typical breakfast of apple, bread, butter, cheese, coffee, cream, orange juice and sugar would travel the distance equal to the circumference of the Earth to get to your kitchen. And thats for only one person.

So eating is voting in this sense. If you support your local farmers you not only support your local economy, cleaner air, better tasting food, and better produced food. Seems like it's not even a question of why, anymore.

And I was in the icon makin' kinda mood, so here are a few icons. Feel free to take, no credit necesary but always appreciated.



Useful links:
http://naturalhygienesociety.org - International Natural Hygiene Society
http://www.organicconsumers.org - Organic Consumers Association

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Current Mood: chipper chipper
Current Music: Lean on Me - Bill Withers

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limeliving
raspberrytue
As promised here are the compilation of links, I'll keep it updated as we get them.

Cut because it's gonna get a bit longCollapse )

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soulcatcher318
limeliving
soulcatcher318
Here's a few little random product recommendations for everyone.

And subsequently info about 'Chemicals' in personal-care products.

Info behind the cut!Collapse )
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fiddledragon
limeliving
fiddledragon
What a great idea for a community! I just graduated from college last may, so for the first time I've been able to have almost complete control over what kind of food, products, etc I have :-) I'm living with my boyfriend, who is also committed to trying to live more sustainably, so I don't even have to deal with inconvenient roommates. I can't afford to go completely organic and all that, but I'm gradually switching to what eco-friendly alternatives I can manage. A few things so far:

--We've switched all possible lights in the apartment to compact fluorescents, and watched them pay for themselves in about a week! Our electric usage has dropped almost in half.

--Trader Joe's has turned out to be one of the best sources of affordable organic produce. All frozen, but that just means we can buy it in unreasonable quantities at once and don't have to worry about it going bad. The fresh veggies at this branch are, alas, mostly sad and overpriced.

--While most of the time there's a price difference beyond which I can't afford to buy organic, chocolate has been declared a luxury, and thus I will pay however much it costs for organic Fair Trade chocolate, and if it's too expensive, then I eat less chocolate. Tea will probably go that way when I buy more of it, but this household currently contains more tea than two people should really have been able to accumulate.

--I still eat some seafood (hopefully that won't get me labeled as hopelessly evil here), and I've found some wonderful resources on how to pick local sustainably-harvested species.

--This summer, we've bought a share in the Community Supported Agriculture farm in the area. Local organic produce that we get to help grow all summer! And then lots more root veggies and winter squash in the winter!

--All the cleaning supplies and most of the toiletries are now non-toxic.

--I'm trying to find a drying rack to cut down on electric usage from the dryer...they're surprisingly difficult to find. There's no convenient tethers for a clothesline in the basement and they'd just freeze solid rather than drying in this weather if I set one up outside!
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soulcatcher318
limeliving
soulcatcher318
Woohoo!

Awesome idea for a journal, and I can totally help you out!

I consider it a hobby really, researching products and companies...
Trying to keep on top of it to the extent that I can spend my dollars on products that leave no harmful effect on the planet, or at least as little harm as possible... And working to only support companies and businesses of the same nature.


My standards include:

Trying to keep to things made/produced/grown in America by American companies. The closer to locally grown/produced the better.
(I'll also consider products from Canada and other "First World" countries just because I know they're likely not paying their workers 0.16 cents a week for a living and things like that)

Fair Trade.

Organic! Non GMO! - two factors important to me.

Biodegradable products! This is important when it comes to soaps and cleaning products and so on and so forth, which are going to get washed out into waterways and end up in our soil and so forth. For what it's worth I also use biodegradable trash bags. And I try to buy foods and products that have as little packaging as possible so I'm not generating a lot of waste constantly, and what packaging it does have - that it be recyclable.

I buy Recycled products as much as possible. And/or products that are recyclable.

I certainly prefer handmade, homemade, and small-business made products over large multi-national corporate products.

Second-hand items (One man's trash can be another man's treasure and can assure that much less goes to waste in the world)

And compassionate products: (i.e. no animals, animal parts, or animal excretions are harmed or exploited or used in any way by the company, or to make the product)


:}
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limeliving
raspberrytue
So I spent about 20 minutes meditating today, a little short of my norm, but I had to run to the grocery store.


Products bought today:
NV Granola Bars ----- $3.00
3 Bottles of Water Crystal Gysr Spring Wtr ----- $5.79
Planet Dish Soap ----- $3.89
1 Raspberry Yogart ----- $.80
1 Blackberry Yogar ----- $.80
Colgate Med Brush ----- $2.79 (because I'm neurotic and care about my teeth :P)
1lb of Bananas ----- $.89
2 Kiwis ----- $1.79
.57lbs of Plums ----- $1.70
POM Lychee Green Tea ----- $11.99 (Its like a half gallon of it!)


And I should be good for a few days with that and what I already have at home.

Tags:
Current Music: Waiting all my Life - Raul Midon

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limeliving
raspberrytue
Well, since I haven't gotten to go the store yet today, I figure today'd be a good day for research and sort of thinning out all the fine details, and get a lot of the "What the hell are you thinking"'s out of the way. I'm going to go an entry a week, with a summary of my choices as prices (oh yes, the important part) for the week, as well as product and brand names. I might also include a startling fact or two at the bottom of the entry just to drive the point acrossed that I don't want to do this alone! I'm probably going to advertise a lot today to try and get members to join as well (I could do it on my loner personal journal if I didn't want people to read it :P).

Please excuse my poor spelling and grammar, I'm only human.




Coca-Cola. Sprite. Pepsi. Hershey's bars. M&Ms. Cambell's soups. Progresso soups. Cereals by the big-name companies: Kellogg's, Post, Quaker, General Mills. Even Harvest Burgers from Morning Star and black bean burgers from Natual Touch. They are among the hundreds of products to contain genetically modified organisms, according to tests done for the True Food Shopping List originiated by Green Peace, and now managed by the Genetic Engineering Action Network.
-From Green Living Page 3.

Current Mood: happy happy
Current Music: Keep on Hoping - Raul Midon

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