Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Happy Earth Day!

Earth Day is relevant to our lives now more than ever. Our daily choices can either make or break our environment for future generations. I know there's a LOT of advice out there involving living a more eco-friendly lifestyle and it can be quite overwhelming. Start out small if you can --- Every bit helps.

Here's a list of environmentally friendly tasks you can easily accomplish in your family without going broke. I'm sure we've heard of some of these....
  • Have you seen those reusable grocery bags in stores? They're all fairly cheap (between $1-$2 each) and nearly every store has them. Better yet, go to Michael's (or any craft store or dollar store) and pick some plain ones out and let your kids (or you!) decorate them using paint, markers or iron-ons. Fun art and environmentally-conscious project all in one!
  • Switch a few of your light bulbs out for CFL's. A lot of utility companies (APS in Arizona) are offering discounts on CFL's at Home Depot.
  • Grow your own veggies/fruits/herbs. I'm about 2 weeks into my gardening endeavor --- nothing exciting happening yet. It's a great way to ensure what you're eating isn't tainted with pesticides and other chemicals and give you a better appreciation for nature and the food we eat.
  • RECYCLE! I know a lot of communities don't offer recycle bins so this may be a bit more difficult, but if your community does, take advantage of it! The City of Phoenix offers large recycling bins.
  • With our triple digit Arizona summer quickly approaching, it's easy to flip the switch on that A/C. Consider installing (or using if you don't!) a ceiling fan in the busiest rooms in your house. The circulating air will make it feel cooler in the room. If that's not an option, try installing a programmable thermostat so your air isn't running when you're not home. You can find them at the hardware store between $25-$70 depending on how hi-tech you want to go.
  • Switch to Cold Water detergent. You'll save money and energy by not heating the water.
Here's a list of Earth Day happenings around Arizona (and some Earth Day stuff you can do at home too). I know it's going to be 90+ degrees outside, but hopefully you can get out and enjoy it. It's up to us to make changes today for future generations.

Clean Air Days (Tucson)
ASU Global Institute of Sustainability (Tempe)
Earth Day Crafts
Earth Day 5K & Green Expo (Tempe)
For the Earth Corporation (Phoenix)
Earth Day Celebration (Phoenix Country Day School - Paradise Valley)
Every Day is Earth Day (Scottsdale)
Earth Day (Phoenix)
Qwest Earth Day 2009
Earth Day Phoenix 2009 (Phoenix)
Preservation for Generations (Scottsdale)
Quiessence Restaurant & the Farm at South Mountain Veggie Dinner & Tour
Disney's Earth Movie
Do Just 1 Thing (Martha Stewart)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

One of the nation's "Greenest" universities here in AZ

Did you know that Arizona State is one of the first universities in the nation to offer a School of Sustainability? I had no idea - and I have several ASU alum friends who had no clue (ahem...).

The school, which opened in 2007, offers degrees in
sustainability at all levels (B.A./B.S.-Ph.D.) and hosts a variety of seminars and events with the eco-conscious in mind, including growing organic food on campus.
"Our mission is to bring together multiple disciplines and leaders to create and share knowledge, train a new generation of scholars and practitioners, and develop practical solutions to some of the most pressing environmental, economic, and social challenges of sustainability, especially as they relate to urban areas." ~ ASU School of Sustainability
A very belated congrats to ASU in their efforts to promote a more organic lifestyle in the next generations of Americans.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Maybe I don't have a 'black' thumb!

I found this awesome gardening "tool" in my quest to plant an organic garden of my own:

It's called the EasyBloom Plant Sensor. Basically, you stick it in the ground where you want those herbs and veggies to grow and it analyzes everything from temperature to drainage. After about 24hrs, plug the device into your computer's USB port and the EasyBloom will tell you which plants (from a database of 5,000!) will thrive well in your soil environment. (SWEET!) It's an investment, (it's $60), but I think it's well worth it when you consider how many trial and error things I've planted that have totaled well over $6o.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Organic Housekeeping

Organic Housekeeping: I've heard rave reviews about this clear and concise book by Ellen Sandbeck. In it, she provides tons of valuable advice for organic cleaning in the home and why it's important to avoid so many of the chemical cleaners we're all guilty of using on a daily basis (I'm the WORST offender with my Lysol, etc.). I'm headed out to buy my own copy today!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

30 Days, 30 Ways...Tips for going green

To celebrate Earth Month, Whole Foods is sending a 'green' tweet a day. Follow them on Twitter: WholeFoods

Carefree Farmer's Market Weekend Event

This weekend only, the Carefree Farmers Market will be open Friday - Sunday during the Sonoran Festival of Fine Art in Carefree, AZ. Usually only open to the public on Fridays, the farmers market will feature local growers and products (some organic!). Admission is free and the weather should be great!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Roadrunner Park Farmer's Market

A friend of mine just told me about a cool farmer's market in in the north Phoenix / west Scottsdale area at Roadrunner Park on the corner of Cactus and 36th Street (near PV Mall).

She said there are a TON local farmers there with local produce, dairy and other miscellaneous products, along with a variety of local artists showcasing their goods every Saturday. Sweet! AND they accept credit cards... woo hoo! Well-behaved canine family members are also welcome (so, not mine...) and admission and parking are FREE. Double 'woo hoo'! I hear parking can be a bit crazy though, so head out early (starts at 8am and ends at 1pm) and check it out.