Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year's Resolutions for the Environmentally Conscious

The new year is here! It's time for change and time for improvement.

1) Recycle
This might sound simple but aim to really recycle everything possible. Don't think that just one can of soda won't make a difference. It won't, but we can't have everyone thinking like that.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Humans have built and explored big things for many years. First it was the ocean now it's space. The next frontier will be on the nano scale. As technology grows smaller, the number of possible applications increases. A nano-scale steam engine has already been created. Although there are no applications for it yet, it creation was a big breakthrough that will lead the way for further developments.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Easy Compost

 Autumn is here, and for many of us in the north, that means hauling out the rakes and bags and getting to work raking those leaves. The lucky few will only have to gather a bag or two, a mere handful when compared to the tens of bags that others will amass. Fear not! There is a bright side to all this. That mountain of bags on your driveway waiting to be picked up can serve a nobler purpose.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

America Recycles Day!

Happy America Recycles Day! Today is dedicated to remind you to recycle. More importantly, it's to make you think about where everything you consume comes from and where it eventually ends up. So think before you buy that bottled water. And when you throw it away, think once more about the landfill it'll become a part of. The Earth is a closed system; what you put into it is what you'll get out of it.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Organic Deoderant

The last time I looked on the ingredients list of my deodorant I found something that I didn't expect to see: Aluminum. Aluminum has been linked (not definitively!) to Breast Cancer and Alzheimer's. I decided to make my own deodorant to avoid another common source of unnecessary chemicals. Here is a simple recipe. 

Friday, September 2, 2011

Your Water Footprint

A water footprint is a person's total freshwater usage. This goes beyond water used for drinking and bathing which is known as direct water usage. Your water footprint also includes all the water that is involved with manufacturing goods you use, growing (or raising) the food you eat, and producing energy that powers your home. This "behind the scenes" and much larger part is known as virtual water usage.

Monday, August 22, 2011

DIY Toothpaste

Toothpaste is something that we use more than most other household chemicals. So it makes sense that it should be organic. The fewer chemical laden products we use, the fewer chemical end up circulating in our environment. This recipe for tooth paste is based on the recipe provided in a post that I read here. It uses three main ingredients that, in moderation, are good for dental health and have anti-bacterial properties.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Fight Overpopulation with Education

One of the main reasons we have such a big impact on the environment is because of our burgeoning population. Although the world's rate of growth is slowing, the world's population is growing. It is expected to reach 7 billion by the end of this year. Most of the growth is from the less developed nations. As the population continues to grow, it is becoming increasingly obvious that a country's growth rate is linked to the education provided to its women.

Saturday, August 6, 2011


E-waste is a loosely defined term that refers to disposed electronics. With the demand for high-end electronics on a rise, e-waste is becoming a serious problem. Chances are that you, me, and anyone who has ever bought and disposed of an electronic item has contributed to this problem. A lot of this developed world garbage ends up in less developed nations where people, often children, forage through the materials looking for small bits of precious metal that can be salvaged. By doing so, they are exposed to toxins that for most of us are heavily regulated and kept in low concentrations. These toxins include substances such as mercury, lead, chromium, beryllium, and others.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Organic Cleaners: Lemon Juice

Organic cleaning products are a great alternative to the types of chemical laden cleaners you find at the store. Not only are organic cleaners better for the environment, but they are very easy to make. The recipes are simple and involve readily available ingredients the most common being vinegar, lemons, and baking soda.

One of the simplest and cheapest cleaners is made from lemon juice and water. Simply dilute lemon juice into an equal amount of water. Store the solution in an empty spray bottle.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Benefits of Houseplants

We may not realize it, but indoor air is often more polluted than the outside air. Some indoor pollutants, such as formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, radon, and VOCs, usually result from common building materials. Although these pollutants are in concentrations determined to be safe for exposure to humans, their concentrations build up over time due to lack of ventilation. Others, such as animal dander, mildew, bacteria (builds up in hard to reach places such as deep within carpet fibers), and dust mite feces are biological in origin. The presence of these and other pollutants often results in sick building syndrome.

The best way to reduce these pollutants and to make the indoor environment cleaner is to use houseplants. Plants are great at reducing air pollutants by absorbing pollutants in from circulating air. (Kobayashi, 2007). Not only that, but plants have also been shown to improve the mental state of people (Harte, 2010).The best part about all this is that nearly all plants sold for indoor use are very tolerant of neglect. They require a lot less care and maintenance than most people realize. Houseplants are an investment that will pay off.

Here is a list of just a few out of the hundreds of plants that are excellent for improving indoor air quality:
- pothos
- snake Plant
- spider Plant
- rubber plant
- areca palm
Snake Plant
- dracena

Some more interesting information:
- NASA plant study
- USU benefits of plants
- EPA indoor air pollution

Monday, July 11, 2011

What I already Have

I would like to start out by listing the things in my house that are already environmentally  friendly. Like most newly renovated houses, my house has many energy efficient appliances and electronics.  Most of the original light bulbs are the compact fluorescent types. All the essential appliances that we purchased such as the washer and dryer meet the guidelines that qualify them for the Energy Star label. The toilets in each bathroom are designed to use less water per flush then the average toilet.