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Archive for December, 2008

Check out the Westin A. Price Foundation for finding locally-grown organic and biodynamic vegetables, fruits and grains; and milk products, butter, eggs, chicken and meat from pasture-fed animals.  They have a local chapter in Brentwood.  Contact:  Shawn Dady (615) 336-2286, shawn@sunsetblvdstudios.com

Their goal is education, research and activism

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Check out this article from Bicycling magazine.  It tells how biking to work in the city is far more efficient than driving a car.

http://inthebikelane.bicycling.com/2008/12/the-unthinkable.html

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Don’t be a Grinch and just dump all the Christmas wrappings and cards in the trash!  Here are some great ideas for recycling Christmas. 

The Ribbons, The Wrappings, The Tags, The Tinsel, The Trimmings, The Trappings

  • Have a bag ready to put wrapping paper in to recycle.
  • Break down clothing boxes immediately and put away to use again. I usually break them down Christmas morning, put them under some heavy books to help flatten them good, then take them down the basement.
  • Save gift bags to be reused next year.
  • You know those absolutely horrid, annoying, somebody must really hate parents twisty ties that come on so many toys. The ones that make parents spew foul words out of their mouth on Jesus’ birthday while their children impatiently wait one hour for a Barbie to be extricated from its packaging. They make fabulous tomato plant ties. Save them and use them to attach tomato plants or other plants to steaks.
  • Packing and shipping materials from all that online shopping should be saved to be reused. If you have so much that you can never reuse it all, give it away on freecycle. There’s some avid ebay-er who will be happy to take it off your hands.

The Christmas Trees

Real Christmas trees should be kept out of landfills after their time in your home is done. They make great mulch, and many towns now have curbside pick up for trees after the holidays. If your community doesn’t pick trees up, you can find a place nearby by going to Earth911.

Artificial trees should also be kept out of landfills if possible. If you are getting rid of your artificial tree and it is still in usable shape, donate it, do not throw it in the trash. They are not biodegradable and the toxins in the plastic leach into the soil in the landfill.

The Food for the Feast

It’s estimated that Americans waste about 30% of their food. I can imagine that during the holidays, that percentage gets a little higher. Our celebrations always come with lots of food. I found this advice for reducing food waste on CVS.com.

  • Reduce the volume of food waste you generate — buy and prepare only what you will sell or use.
  • Give to those in need by donating your extra food to food banks, soup kitchens, and shelters or other charities.
  • Feed animals by sending food scraps to accepting farms.
  • Donate waste oils and food scraps to industrial companies who convert them into new products, such as cosmetics, pet food, fuel, and energy.
  • Compost food scraps and yard trimmings.
  • Discard any remaining scraps as a last resort.

One thing this advice doesn’t mention is to eat your leftover food. Freeze larger portions for future meals and turn leftovers into new meals before they go bad.

We need to make sure that all the trappings of Christmas don’t end up trapped in a landfill.

Have a very Merry Christmas  and see you in 2009!

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Check this out, and take action. 

E-mail President-elect Obama with your thoughts.

http://action.sierraclub.org/site/PageServer?pagename=NAT_CleanSlate&autologin=true

Here is the link to the Obama-Biden Energy Plan where you can submit your ideas. 

http://change.gov/agenda/energy_and_environment_agenda/

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Walking / Biking Forum

Check out this walk/bike blog.

www.walkbikeforum.blogspot.com

This forum is to allow for an interactive exchange of ideas, news, information, and general thoughts about walking and biking in the greater Nashville region.

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Check out all the things that UC San Diego is doing to lower their carbon footprint.

http://gogreentube.com/watch.php?v=NDc4OTQ1

For each video you watch as a logged-in user, one pound of CO2 will be offset through CarbonFund. So get watching and let us know whose campus deserves your vote!

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Check out this video about college students who have designed cars that use very little fuel.  It’s the Shell Eco-Marathon!  The cars are amazing.

http://gogreentube.com/watch.php?v=MTg3ODU1

You can also view other green videos by college students and vote for your favorite.

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