Monday, December 31, 2012

Green in 2013

It's hard to believe in a few hours it will be 2013 already. And of course with a new year comes new resolutions. This year, why not make a resolution to help the environment? A little effort can go a long way in this case, and you're helping more than yourself. Pick one or more of these ideas to add to your list of goals for 2013:

  • Stop using plastic bags. Instead, bring reusable bags when you go shopping. If you haven't already, read my post about the environmental damage caused by plastic bags here
  • Make sure to recycle if you don't already. It is really important and easy... you already take out the trash, so it's not hard to have a separate bin for recyclables.
  • Switch to reusable water bottles and mugs. I also wrote a post about why plastic water bottles are so bad for the environment, which you can read here. If you do this one thing, you could have a major impact on helping the environment.
  • Get healthy and lose weight! This is a typical New Year's resolution, but it can also help the environment. When you eat healthier, it often means cutting out processed foods and junk foods, which are usually produced in factories that use a lot of fossil fuels and put a lot of man-made chemicals into their products. Eating more fruits, vegetables, and natural foods also cuts down on packaging. Apples don't come in any packaging, but chips come in a bag that must be thrown away. Eating a more vegetarian based diet is also better for the environment, because a lot less energy is required to grow fruit and vegetables.
  • Start a compost pile. For those of you that live in rural and suburban areas, you can do this in your yard or woods around your house. For people who live in more urban areas, they do sell indoor compost bins.
  • Make sure to turn off lights, TV, and electronic devices when you are not using them. Being more conscious and making sure to do this can reduce COand SOemissions from the coal burned to provide electricity. This can help slow global warming and prevent acid rain.
  • Educate yourself! Learn about the environmental problems we are facing, what you can do to help, and teach others about them. Ask your friends and family to adopt some eco-friendly practices as well.
I hope you find these ideas helpful and give them a try. If you do, I'd love to hear about it, so send me an email or leave a comment! I hope you have fun celebrating tonight and that the new year is a happy one! AYJ\ΓΌ

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The McRib is McNasty

I happened to come across this article on Yahoo by chance and I thought I should share it. Today, McDonald's is bringing back the McRib sandwich nationwide. This may not seem like an environmental issue, but if you have followed my blog, I posted a while ago about why eating a more vegetarian-type diet is better for the environment. You can read that here, but in short; less resources used to raise the food, less pollution, and it's healthier and more ethical. Meat is especially an environmental and ethical problem when it is produced in large-scale, factory farm settings. If that's news to you, you'll really be surprised to find out how disturbing the McRib is in particular.
The article lists 11 "amazing" facts about the McRib. I think "amazing" is being used here to mean "disgusting" and "people actually eat this?" Yes, I'm using that as an adjective. But anyway, lets go over some of the lovely facts...

  • The McRib is made of "restructured meat product." That's a mixture of tripe, heart, and scalded stomach, which is then mixed with salt and water to extract proteins from the muscle. "The proteins bind all the pork trimmings together so that it can be re-molded into any specific shape — in this case, a fake slab of ribs." Not exactly the pork you had in mind. 
  • What's in a McRib? Ok, well there's stomach, heart, tripe, and also pickles, bread, onions, and barbecue sauce. Think that's it? It actually contains over 70 ingredients, including azodicarbonamide, which is used to bleach the flour in the bread, and also in the production of foamed plastics. In the UK, it is recognized as a respiratory sensitizer. 
  • Not really an environmental issue, but the sandwich has 500 calories, 26 grams of fat, 44 grams of carbs, and 980 milligrams of sodium. 
  • An undercover investigation in 2010 revealed that Smithfield Foods, the supplier of pork to McDonald's, was inhumanly treating the pigs. They were crammed into crates, covered in blood, and baby pigs were tossed carelessly onto carts. I didn't watch the video because I don't want to see that, but there is a link to it on the article. 

To read the full article, visit

Monday, December 10, 2012

Holiday Decorating and Gift Ideas

So I know I have mentioned this site before, but if you haven't seen it, I really recommend checking out I'm not really familiar with Pintrest, but I think it's similar to that. They've got lots of environmental art, gift ideas, and so many great craft ideas. If you're on a budget for gifts or just like making crafts like myself, these ideas are great, and they utilize materials you might otherwise throw away, which saves garbage from going into landfills. Here are some things I thought were cool...

Here are some craft ideas that use mason jars. The candles are really cute.

Here are some cool ideas for handmade ornaments.

It may be a little late for some of these fall ideas, but I think some of them could definitely be used for the winter too. I absolutely love the pine cone garland.

Over-the-ear headphones are popular this year. There are the EKOCYCLE headphones from Beats by Dr. Dre, made from at least 31% recycled material, and also these headphones from LSTN, made from reclaimed wood. I think the earbuds are really nice. And when you buy headphones from LSTN, they donate money to help a deaf child receive medical attention and a custom hearing aid.

Check out Roozt to for eco-friendly clothing and accessory gifts.

And beauty and spa products always make good gifts for girls. Stop by any Whole Foods, natural food store, or even a regular supermarket, and pick up some things like Burt's Bees or Dr. Bronner's products, soy or beeswax candles,  or organic tea.

And remember, I make handmade gifts too. Not that I'm shamelessly promoting myself or anything... but yeah, if you want to take a look that'd be cool. You can find them at I make ornaments that would be good Christmas gifts, and also custom pet gifts, among other things.