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Ami Voeltz from Do It Green is here to talk about the new 2010 Do It Green Guide and the upcoming Green Gifts Fair! The purpose of Do It Green! Minnesota (formerly The Twin Cities Green Guide) is to educate Minnesotans about green and sustainable living and promote building healthy, local communities through:
- The printed guidebook Do It Green! Magazine and web site www.doitgreen.org
- Community workshops and skillshares
- Creating a model eco home for educational tours
Do It Green! Minnesota will ensure that people of all incomes will have access to our publication and activities, and we will serve as a model for other cities and states nation-wide.
Micaela Preston, Mindful Momma blogger extraordinaire is here to talk about her new book, Practically Green. Practically Green takes the guesswork out of reading labels and will show you how to make smart, healthy purchases for your family without spending tedious hours researching the pros and cons of all of the products available on the market today. Each chapter is broken down into "Buy It" and "Do It" sections. The "Buy-It" section provides key information about everyday purchasing decisions and includes clip-out checklists for you to reference while shopping. The "Do It" section gives DIY ideas for how to make things that are good for your family and good for the environment, such as simple sewing projects, non-toxic cleaning products and luxurious, homemade beauty products. Plus, Micaela shares some of her favorite recipes that are sure to please the entire family. Pick up your copy today and start on your pathway to a greener lifestyle!
Green Info and Tips:
Light Green Tip #294 - Compost Your Pumpkins
After you've finished celebrating Halloween, compost your jack-o-lanterns, instead of tossing them in the garbage (unless, of course, you are going to be turning them into yummy pumpkin pie, muffins or even flan).
Pumpkins, which of course are 100% natural, will break down quickly as compost in your yard, providing you with valuable nutrients for your lawn or garden. As you probably know by now, pumpkins aren't exactly light, so they otherwise take a considerable amount of fuel to haul to the landfill -- plus their bulky size means they take up space.
To get the best results in your compost bin, smash up the pumpkin a bit to provide more surface area. Layer with other types of materials, like shredded leaves, green weeds or grass clippings. Keep the pile moist and turn it over frequently.
If all that sounds like too much work, don't worry about it. In most areas, you can simply toss things in a pile, and just alternate materials as you get them. It may not make the most super-dooper compost, and it may take a little longer to break down, but you'll still get some nice nutrients, and you'll be helping the planet one little bit at a time.
Dark Green Tip #999 - Water Filters!
The lowdown on water filters! For the most part,most US city drinking water is perfectly safe. But after hearing reports of pesticides, pharmaceuticals and other industrial contaminants in water supplies, people often turn to water filters for added peace of mind. First of all, always select filters certified by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF), which tests products to ensure that they remove what the manufacturers say they do... and realize that no filter will remove every contaminant of concern. With that in mind, here are the most common types and the major contaminants they can handle.
- Carbon-filter models include carafes, pitchers, faucet-mounted models, undersink models and whole-house systems. Carbon, a porous material, absorbs impurities as the water passes through.
*They remove: lead, PCBs, chlorine byproducts, certain parasites, radon, pesticides and herbicides, the gasoline additive MTBE, the dry-cleaning solvent trichloroethylene, some volatile organic compounds, some levels of bacteria, and a small number of pharmaceuticals.
- Then, there are Reverse-osmosis systems that push water through a semi-permeable membrane, which acts as an extremely fine filter, and they're often used in conjunction with carbon filters. However, they waste four to nine gallons of water for every gallon filtered.
*What they remove: per-chlorate, sulfates, fluoride, industrial chemicals, heavy metals like lead, chlorine byproducts, chlorides, and pharmaceuticals.
- Ultraviolet light systems disinfect water, killing bacteria... they range from under $100 to $700 and up for NSF-certified models.
*They remove: bacteria.
- And last there are Distillers, probably the least practical home method that boils and condenses water. Distillers use lots of electricity, generate excess heat and require regular cleaning.
*Distillers remove: heavy metals (including lead), particles, total dissolved solids, microbes, fluoride, lead and mercury.
BUT... and this is a big but... The best way to ensure clean and safe drinking water, of course, is to protect our watersheds, which act as natural filters absorbing chemicals, pollutants and sediments.