Green Living Tribe - Part II - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 752 Old 03-19-2007, 11:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Update: MDC now has a Living Green forum!

3 months and almost 1600 posts after Eli's_mommy started the first Green Living Tribe thread, we're overdue for a new thread!

I'll keep this first post updated with links (like the list started by noorhajan) and other helpful info.

Welcome!
If you try to live green, you've found the right tribe! Feel free to post questions, rants, success stories--anything!

If you'd like to make a pledge to work on certain areas, check out the Green Living Challenge.

A special thanks to Eli's_mommy for starting the first ever Green Living Tribe thread!

Tribe History:
Part I

Expecting #2 in May 2013!

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#2 of 752 Old 03-19-2007, 11:58 PM
 
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Subscribing!!!

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#3 of 752 Old 03-20-2007, 12:59 AM
 
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ooooo, very nice, thanks for the fresh start!

I have a question, when you have compact flourescent bulbs, does it use more energy to turn them on and off? I have heard the argument that leaving them on uses less and this doesn't make any sense to me.

-Sheryl

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#4 of 752 Old 03-20-2007, 03:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have a question, when you have compact flourescent bulbs, does it use more energy to turn them on and off? I have heard the argument that leaving them on uses less and this doesn't make any sense to me.
The Washington Post had an article with a good explanation:
Quote:
If you turn the lamp off for only a few seconds you'll still save more energy than it takes to start the lamp again. An energy study by the University of Oregon says that many people developed the habit of leaving lights on when fluorescents first came into use in the 1950s. But modern fluorescents are more durable and efficient than they were then, and save energy long term...

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#5 of 752 Old 03-20-2007, 05:04 AM
 
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The Mythbusters recently demonstrated that you're better off turning the lights off, of any kind. Of all of the bulbs they tested (incandescent, compact fluoros, LEDs, etc.), the one that had the biggest power surge is still best turned off unless you're going to be back in the room within I think it was 26 seconds.

They even tested turning them off and on thousands of times to see if doing so shortened the lifespan of the bulb. It didn't.

So turn the lights off unless you're literally stepping in and out of the room within a few seconds.


My turn for a question...I'm going to be buying a new computer soon. I've read and been informed at the store (by a trusted salesperson who happens to also be a good friend) that the new Core 2 Duos use less power. My husband said he read that while chip manufacturers used to ignore power usage, all of a sudden they're coming on board (mostly from a cost perspective...it's expensive to run lots of computers in a big company) and basing the new chipsets on laptop models which of course are better with power because of the need to not suck batteries dry too fast.

Anyway, I'm considering the Core 2 Duo over the mostly equivalent Athlon for this lower power usage reason. But another friend online is now telling me that the chipset doesn't matter, only what the power supply sucks in regardless of whether or not the chip uses it. However, I've also read that Core 2 Duo machines can come with a smaller power supply so they pull in less since less is needed (unless you have a mega-video card and I won't).

Do any of you have any expertise in this area? What would you say is the "greenest" computer choice right now?

I'm also considering replacing my horrible old 15" monitor with a 17" LCD one because I've read that the LCD ones are also better on power. Comments?

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#6 of 752 Old 03-20-2007, 08:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm also considering replacing my horrible old 15" monitor with a 17" LCD one because I've read that the LCD ones are also better on power. Comments?
I don't know about the processor issue, but LCD screens definitely use less power than typical monitors. Also, they emit less radiation.
Quote:
Flat-panel monitors use less energy (22 watts when left on, 3.3 watts in "sleep" mode) than regular monitors (75 watts when left on, 5 watts in "sleep" mode), McCall says.
I was wondering with the new lead requirements for European markets if we'd see less lead used in computers and their peripherals (keyboard, mouse, etc). If I find out that's the case, I would buy a new computer in a heartbeat and sell/donate my current one! Have any of you heard about the lead issue in regards to computers?

p.s. That was my 500th post!

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#7 of 752 Old 03-20-2007, 11:45 AM
 
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re: the computers, this doesn't answer the question that was asked about the chipsets, but an interesting project with some usage comparisons:
http://computing.fs.cornell.edu/fsit...ainability.cfm

We're trying to initiate something like this at work, but it is so hard, people love to leave their computers on at night!

The same is true w/ computers as with light bulbs - if you aren't using them, turn them off!

Callie, mom to Nora (12/7/05)
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#8 of 752 Old 03-20-2007, 12:20 PM
 
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Look into getting a Mac, they're usually ahead of the game on these things. They're not perfect, but they seem to be on top of it. And now that they have the intel chips, you can probably run your pc programs if you have something you need for work.

Lisa
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#9 of 752 Old 03-20-2007, 12:37 PM
 
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Thanks for the new thread. I joined WAAAAAYYYY back when this thread first started.:

Anyway, my DD is turning 2 next month. I have been trying to find a company that is eco friendly for party supplies. Does anyone know of anything? I would like to have a green party for her without taking away from her birthday. Also, what could I do about all that wrapping paper?!??! It's SO wastful. Do you all think it would be rude to request recyclible wrapping paper. Maybe suggest news paper or paper bags?

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#10 of 752 Old 03-20-2007, 12:55 PM
 
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You may want to do some research on the Macs. I remember reading that there are issues but I cannot remember what! I do know I love our laptop.
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#11 of 752 Old 03-20-2007, 05:56 PM
 
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I don't know if this has been covered, but it was news to me that you need to find the right recycling facilities for the flourescent bulbs because they contain mercury. Jeez.. now I have to check where I saw that because I can't remember now, but I was really glad to find out before I've had to change out any.
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#12 of 752 Old 03-20-2007, 06:09 PM
 
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I don't know if this has been covered, but it was news to me that you need to find the right recycling facilities for the flourescent bulbs because they contain mercury. Jeez.. now I have to check where I saw that because I can't remember now, but I was really glad to find out before I've had to change out any.
This is for the most part true. By federal law, you (as a household) are not usually required to find special disposal or recycle them, because the amount of mercury generated is so small. But some state and local regulations do outlaw throwing them away. (I'm not saying this to advocate landfilling them, just to say that shouldn't discourage you from using them if you absolutely can't recycle them)

even though the CFs do contain mercury, the amount they contain is less than what would otherwise be produced by burning coal to power an equivalent incandescent bulb (from a life cycle perspective)
so it is a beneficial tradeoff...

However, it is best to recycle them if possible, here is a good site to look up places in your zip code that take a wide variety of wastes: http://www.earth911.org/master.asp

This is true for a lot of things not just CFLs - paint, cleaners, antifreeze, etc... (supposed to be recycled or disposed properly rather than throwing away with MSW)

Callie, mom to Nora (12/7/05)
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#13 of 752 Old 03-20-2007, 07:11 PM
 
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Good to see a new thread....finally!

greenkids - i suggest using cloth napkins and if you're planning on using paper plates or something, seventh generation carries some of those products i think. for wrapping paper you could recycle a paper bag and maybe decorate it? or if you have any gift bags saved (i have tons from over the years) you could reuse one. have fun!
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#14 of 752 Old 03-21-2007, 05:07 AM
 
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Thanks for the computer articles! I'm going to read them and send them to my husband as well.

If I could find a system that had a shorter bootup time, I'd turn mine off whenever I leave the room since I'm not likely to get back to it for at least a few hours. But right now when I get computer time I can't wait for the several minutes it takes to boot...especially with this old hunk'o'junk having to be rebooted several times per session because it's so old that the browser chokes regularly and brings on the BSOD.

So I do the power-down thing, but not fully off. I'm hoping the newer models will let me turn it off more regularly and require fewer bootups...my husband read today that with efficient power supplies, bootup takes up the vast majority of energy uses so in some of those cases you're better off leaving it on but in a power-saver mode, rather than booting up every time. It's so hard to know what to do in each case, isn't it?

As for Macs...my husband is a Mac zealot and I know there are some things about them that I'd like, but I've evaluated this option and it's not right for me.


Party stuff: I'd totally ask for recyclable/reusable gift wrap. Heck, get the gift-givers to get some cheap newsprint and paint it themselves...creative, cheap, and recyclable! The newsprint itself could even possibly be recycled stock to begin with, if you can find it.

My husband and I only use gift bags but this past Christmas we let our toddler rip up some paper...but it was remnants from before I saw the light and stopped buying the stuff, and half of it had been re-used several times already. And I put it in the recycling because I think some of it should be recyclable, at least...none of it was the foil kind and I made sure all ribbons/bows/tape was removed.

http://findinggaia.com - a novel about romance, shifting gender politics, and environmentalism

http://eat-the-evidence.com

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#16 of 752 Old 03-21-2007, 08:45 AM
 
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Originally Posted by WonderMa View Post
I don't know if this has been covered, but it was news to me that you need to find the right recycling facilities for the flourescent bulbs because they contain mercury. Jeez.. now I have to check where I saw that because I can't remember now, but I was really glad to find out before I've had to change out any.
I posted a link about this on the other thread. Living on Earth had a piece on NPR about it a couple weeks ago. Here

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#17 of 752 Old 03-21-2007, 08:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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For the party, could you send the invitations out using comics from the newspaper or some other repurposed paper and ask guests to use it (the invitation itself) to wrap their gifts? Maybe that wouldn't be enough paper though. So maybe on the invitation, you could give silly ideas for wrapping gifts, kind of how Target puts silly ideas for reusing its plastic bags on the side of the plastic bags?

Or you could say there will be a prize for most creatively wrapped-in-reused-paper gift. That way it could be a fun aspect of the party!

Expecting #2 in May 2013!

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#18 of 752 Old 03-21-2007, 12:51 PM
 
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Thanks for the info on turning off the lights, settles the dispute here, and perhaps will get my in-laws to turn off the dang lights!

For the recycling of flourescents, save your receipts and boxes (or POP) and return for the warranty (typically 10 years). This may not always be an option, but for future purchases, don't forget this step, you'll get a free replacement, and the company will recycle your bulb. I sent one in and got two bulbs back. I wonder if you could even send a bulb back to the company for recycling if there are no recycling options in your area...?

I like the birthday party ideas, especially a contest for the most creative *recycled* wrapping. I may steal that idea. You could say on the invite that the theme, or part of the theme is *green* or *zero waste* or something and ask people to reuse or recycle to help out in their wrapping choices.

-Sheryl

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#19 of 752 Old 03-21-2007, 01:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I like the birthday party ideas, especially a contest for the most creative *recycled* wrapping. I may steal that idea. You could say on the invite that the theme, or part of the theme is *green* or *zero waste* or something and ask people to reuse or recycle to help out in their wrapping choices.
That sounds like a fun party to me!

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#20 of 752 Old 03-21-2007, 01:34 PM
 
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http://www.eere.energy.gov/consumer/.../mytopic=10070

this gives a good rule of thumb - if not using your computer for more than 20 minutes, then turn the monitor off; if not using for more than 2 hours, then turn the CPU off

But I agree about the time it takes, especially w/ older models so sometimes I leave mine on too...

another frustrating thing is that for work, I work part time and do some working from home, but in order for me to remote desktop into my work computer and our network, I have to leave my computer at work turned on : although I do turn the monitor off. I keep asking our tech support folks to come up w/ a better way!

Callie, mom to Nora (12/7/05)
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#21 of 752 Old 03-21-2007, 01:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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another frustrating thing is that for work, I work part time and do some working from home, but in order for me to remote desktop into my work computer and our network, I have to leave my computer at work turned on : although I do turn the monitor off. I keep asking our tech support folks to come up w/ a better way!
I'm in the same situation. There is a way to remotely wake up a machine, but I don't know exactly how. It has something to do with setting something in the remote computer's BIOS. I think it's called "Wakeup On Lan" or WOL? Maybe you could mention that to your tech support folks and they would know what that is or at least be able to research it? I haven't approached our support group yet...

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#22 of 752 Old 03-21-2007, 03:45 PM
 
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http://www.eere.energy.gov/consumer/.../mytopic=10070

this gives a good rule of thumb - if not using your computer for more than 20 minutes, then turn the monitor off; if not using for more than 2 hours, then turn the CPU off

But I agree about the time it takes, especially w/ older models so sometimes I leave mine on too...

another frustrating thing is that for work, I work part time and do some working from home, but in order for me to remote desktop into my work computer and our network, I have to leave my computer at work turned on : although I do turn the monitor off. I keep asking our tech support folks to come up w/ a better way!

Yeah, I've got this one to turn the monitor off after 10 minutes and the hard disks after 20. That's all this Win98 Dell will do...it won't do the "hibernate" thing newer models can where it truly powers off but comes back with your desktop exactly as you left it, with everything saved and all of that.

But even then, if any of these things are left plugged in we know that they're still consuming something. So technically we should all be turning it all off and unplugging it, including the power bar! But when I get a quick baby break I just don't have time to wait for it all to come on. Bummer.

And I totally understand remote access...our personal machines have the power-down thing going but the servers are 24x7, as is the DVR. If we power them down, we'd have no music or TV (except for live TV and who watches that anymore, especially with kids who'll see the ads?). All of our hundreds of CDs are on our MP3 server (note: all within fair use, we do not steal music), and I serve up playlists for my daughter through the day.

Of course, NONE of this would have a carbon footprint if we could afford solar panels. Nevada Power does a rebate up to $15,000 but I read up on it and we'd need the $25,000 system to be totally on solar, and we don't have that upfront or even the $10,000 difference...and that's only if we get chosen for the rebate because not eveyrone who applies does, since it's limited. The state should be subsidizing the panels so every roof has them!

At least Nevada Power is putting up Nevada Solar One soon, which allegedlly will make our consumption the greenest percentage in the country. About frickin' time.

I've got links but baby's up gotta run....

http://findinggaia.com - a novel about romance, shifting gender politics, and environmentalism

http://eat-the-evidence.com

http://kimberlychapman.com

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#23 of 752 Old 03-21-2007, 05:02 PM
 
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3 months and almost 1600 posts after Eli's_mommy started the first Green Living Tribe thread, we're overdue for a new thread!

I'll keep this first post updated with links (like the list started by noorhajan) and other helpful info.

Welcome!
If you try to live green, you've found the right tribe! Feel free to post questions, rants, success stories--anything!

If you'd like to make a pledge to work on certain areas, check out the Green Living Challenge.

A special thanks to Eli's_mommy for starting the first ever Green Living Tribe thread!

Tribe History:
Part I

Thank you!!!!

Still trying to be as green as I can. I've really been on hiatus from the lovely tribe for sometime...I finally got a house (I know I mentioned that once before), and I can focus more on making my entire life green!

I'm going to start by better insulating my home. It's pretty old and could definately use weatherstripping and more insulation in the attic (and double pane windows for that matter!)

I encourage all of you to check out my best friends' blog- she has a ton of green living resources listed in her linkys, not to mention, she herself is in construction and interior design and has a ton of great and spectacular ideas!!!!!
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#24 of 752 Old 03-21-2007, 08:16 PM
 
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thanks for the new thread.. the other one was daunting!

11/06 and 1/09 :
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#25 of 752 Old 03-21-2007, 09:49 PM
 
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Thank you!!!!



I encourage all of you to check out my best friends' blog- she has a ton of green living resources listed in her linkys, not to mention, she herself is in construction and interior design and has a ton of great and spectacular ideas!!!!!
Where is her blog?

Erin-doula and mama to Ari Beat (4/7/03) and Eli Roots (3/27/06) angel.gif 6/09 angel.gif 10/09 and sweet Bodhi (6/25/11). Now growing #4 who we will meet in October joy.gif
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#26 of 752 Old 03-21-2007, 11:38 PM
 
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YEah! Thanks for starting us fresh again! I was having a hard time with the sheer size of the last one! : I have this paper due tomorrow for my political geography course that I've had soooooo much fun writing... I'd like to share if anyone wants to read:

Here's the assignment:

Geography 4321

In this essay, respond to this quote thinking about what Leopold means and how it relates to your life.

“We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.” ~Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac

I would like you to craft a response in three parts. First, explain what Leopold means? How is land a commodity, and is his sentiment that ‘we do not respect and love our land’ accurate? Perhaps you might want to define “we.” Second, what consumption or lifestyle practices lead to your commodification of land and territory? Explain how you as an individual might be part of the problem. In the third part, think about ways in which you might think about your relationship with land as part of your community and how you might be more careful about your practices in the future. What will you do or change about yourself to take a more progressive view towards improving environmental health?

And here's what I've got so far:

Exercise III- Aldo Leopold & the Land Ethic


"We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect." –Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac

In the above statement Aldo Leopold is explaining that it is our perspective of land that is causing an imbalanced relationship with it. Leopold is referring to the American commercial perspective of land as commodity; an item of value that can be traded, bought or sold. Aldo begs that we view land as a “community” not a “commodity”. Land is commodified not only by sale and purchase but also through objectivity that it has inherent worth of value. The perspective of land as having implicit value leads consequentially such activities such as mining, timber extraction, intensive grazing and monoculture. These activities are intrinsic to American commerce in Aldo’s day as well as today. In the sixty years since the publication of A Sand County Almanac and hence this quotation there is yet to be a philosophical shift in the general American public, the above statement is as pertinent and relevant now as it was then. We, average Americans, do not love and respect the land.
Despite the fact that I consider myself to be an environmentalist I also participate in this philosophy perhaps as a result of living under the “American rule” of capitalism and consumption. I “own” my own portion of the land when I made the purchase of my condominium. Notwithstanding the grounds beneath and encompassing our building are community owned by our HOA we none the less “own” the property and are responsible for maintenance, adherence to city code and regulation and are subject to violations of such. It would be difficult to argue that I am any less responsible for commodification than the average homeowner or even oil speculator because philosophically the foundation of possession remains the same.
Admitting I own real property though fundamentally not the picture of the “community” ethic as Leopold may imply does not inherently mean I am absent to his ideals and philosophy. On the contrary I find it quite healthy to be able to care for family in a culturally accepted way, for although my family enjoys squatting on Federal Forest land for a short duration on a yearly basis (for the Annual Gathering of the Rainbow Family of Living Light) this is not acceptable nor necessarily Leopold’s idea for “healthy land” use for true communal living to take place an extended basis. However having participated in the Gathering of 25,000 and upward fashioning our own sanitation system and water supplies is quite impressive and encompasses a true need for people, land and biota to be perceived as a single community (closest perhaps to the philosophy to the land ethic one might find in the present culture) I doubt that a return to nomadic living on a full time basis is a viable or attractive solution.
I do share Aldo Leopold’s convictions and I do my part as a steward of the land to promote a positive and loving view of our one and only planet in numerous ways. The majority of the produce my family consumes is grown about a mile from our home in San Marcos, TX at the community gardens. Every bit of vegetable matter and that is not consumed in our household is turned back into soil via the compost bin we created in our small flower garden. As each of our conventional light bulbs expires (the ones that came with the purchase of our home) we replace them with compact fluorescent light bulbs, and of course turn them off when not necessary. We have recently replaced our antiquated washing machine with a high efficiency front-loading model (and in only one month have had an eighty dollar saving on our electricity alone)! We are also in process of remodeling our master bathroom in which the old commode will be replaced with a more water savvy one as well as consideration taken to consider the longevity and durability of the products we choose for our new powder room. It has been a priority for us to replace the appliances that squander the most water even though we pay a flat rate for water through our HOA, this is likely an uncommon perspective.
Many of my parenting choices are also made with consideration of the big Mother (Earth). We chose to have our daughter at home with a midwife (and her assistant) in attendance and as is our plan for our next little one underway. A home birth (two women and one small bag of equipment coming to your home) entails a fraction of energy and resources when compared the massive infrastructure of the hospital. I also exclusively breastfed my daughter until she was ready for solid foods which I then made for her. Breastfeeding does not require any additional packaging, advertising and transport and so is the best choice for one following the philosophy of the land ethic. There are many, many more ways in which my family attempts to live lightly on the land. The important thing is that green living is our philosophy and part of our everyday life. I like to think when my fellow friends and neighbors see me pull up the bicycle rack and pull my daughter and cloth bags out of the Doodlebug bicycle trailer at the grocery store I am showing the world that things can be done in ways other than the conventional. I know I’ve made an impact on my friends in such a way and I’m sure my children will eventually learn the strange and wasteful ways of the world when they begin to associate more and more with peers. In the meantime I find myself quite satisfied with navigating through the obstacles of compassionate living while sustaining my family in a material world.



I'm just going to close it with ways I try and do my part. That's why I went back to refer to my original post here at the GLT. I welcome any constructive criticism. English was not my first language so I tend to have issues with structure and wordiness! If you made it to the end thatnks for reading!

orngbiggrin.gif mom of three with stork-suprise.gif on the way

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#27 of 752 Old 03-22-2007, 01:12 AM
 
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English was not my first language so I tend to have issues with structure and wordiness! If you made it to the end thatnks for reading!

for english not being your 1st language...wow. I was reading that thinking it sounded very well put together and thought out.

11/06 and 1/09 :
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#28 of 752 Old 03-22-2007, 01:35 AM
 
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Thanks BMT!

I just edited so you could read the end part... that's the best part if you ask me. My major is geography with an empasis in resource and environmental studies and I find it exciting to pull my passions and philosopy into a class like political geography (and history and the others)!

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#29 of 752 Old 03-22-2007, 12:21 PM
 
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Where is her blog?
Please excuse me- I'm slowly losing my mind!

http://newhaydens.blogspot.com/

She's got some cool posts (some related to green living, some not...), but the links off to the left have great resources. She is in interior design and her husband owns a construction business and they're both into green design. If you have any questions, I'm sure she wouldn't mind if you posted them on her blog. She had spectacular ideas!
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#30 of 752 Old 03-22-2007, 12:42 PM
 
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The nytimes.com has an article about a family trying to live with no/little impact for a year:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/22/garden/22impact.html

It is interesting how much of this we do!
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