Monday, July 23, 2012

Green Light

By now everyone's heard about the benefits of using CFL (compact fluorescent lamp) light bulbs. So why would anyone still use regular incandescent light bulbs? CFLs use only a quarter of the energy a regular bulb uses and last about 10 times as long (between 6,000 and 15,000 hours). That can save you $30 to $45 on your electric bill over the lifetime of the CFL. CFL wattage is less than that of regular bulbs, so you can use this conversion chart to find out what you need.
And if you don't like the shape, they now come in all different shapes, including that of a typical light bulb. So you have no excuse! The only thing is that they do contain mercury, so they need to be properly disposed of. Home Depot and IKEA both have nationwide recycling programs, so you can drop them off there. Or check to see where else you can drop them off. My suggestion is just keep a box in the garage or basement where you can store them so you don't have to make a trip every time one burns out. Just make sure they don't break, or you'll be exposing yourself to mercury. So next time you need to change the light bulb, switch to a CFL. And what can you do with the old light bulbs? Obviously turn them into fruit to decorate your home. Check out this DIY project.
In the future, look for LED (light-emitting diode) lights. Right now they're used in things like flashlights, traffic lights, and holiday lights, but they're going to be the next thing in home lighting. They last about 10 times as long as CFLs and they don't contain mercury.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Mt. Arlington Farmer's Market

Just got back from another farmer's market I found out about. This one's in Mt. Arlington in the Elk's Club parking lot on Howard Boulevard. It's every Saturday from 9-2. It's pretty small; there's only one farm selling stuff, but they have a lot of different things and it's extremely cheap. They have huge heads of different lettuces and kale for $1 each. And corn for 60 cents each (or 13 for $6), which would be great for anyone planning a barbecue. Definitely worth checking out.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Composting Bathroom?

This weekend I was in Lake George. I climbed Prospect Mountain and found this sign on the bathrooms at the top. I'm one of the few people I know who thinks this is cool (ok, it's a little gross), but I have to share anyway.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Makeup Makeover

So I have to admit, I'm one of those crazy people who reads the labels on everything. Grocery shopping with me is a nightmare. But I want to know that whatever I'm buying doesn't have weird chemicals in it. That goes especially for makeup and beauty/personal care products. Think about it... you're using most of this stuff every day and if there's some toxic chemical in it, you're getting a daily exposure. And how many products do you use? That could really add up. I like to check this website, run by the Environmental Working Group, before I buy anything I'm not sure about: Just type in the product (or if you don't know the name of it, type in the company and it will give you a list of their products) and it tells you exactly what's in it and possible hazards associated with it. And it gives each product a rating of 0-10 based on toxicity. You can even type in the name of an ingredient and it will tell you about it. In general, you should try to buy products with few ingredients, and ones you can pronounce at that. Does imidazolidinyl urea sound (if you can read it) like something you want to put on your body? Probably not... it comes from animal pee, yet it's used in mouthwashes (yum), lotions, and hair dyes. Try switching to environmentally responsible companies like Burt's Bees, Tom's of Maine, and Nature's Gate, just to name a few. They're being carried in more and more places, so they shouldn't be too hard to find. Use some of these more natural alternatives and take the chemicals, not to mention the pee, out of your beauty routine!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Eco-friendly Art

Dolan Geiman is one of my favorite artists. I absolutely love his work, and what's great is he uses eco-friendly materials. One of my favorites is "I Love Dirty Hippie Music" which was painted on salvaged wood with recycled paints. Props to Dolan for being creative and responsible. Go check out his website,! This guy is awesome.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


View from the top of Blue Mountain
So I haven't posted anything in a few days because I was at an awesome microbiology conference in the Adirondacks. I heard some great presentations, including a couple about biopesticides. Basically, people are researching about how to use natural alternatives like fungus to kill pests instead of spraying crop fields with chemicals. And I got to present my research which was cool but really nerve-racking. So that was the environmental/science part of my trip. The rest of the time I spent hanging out with great people, eating, and raiding the bar in the lodge with new friends. I even climbed Blue Mountain and on the way home I stopped in Lake George. I definitely recommend a trip to the Adirondacks for anyone who hasn't been there.
Lake George
Top of Blue Mountain