Friday, June 27, 2008

Worm What?!?

Here's a green tip for your green thumb: TerraCycle has an eco-friendly garden fertilizer made from worm poop. Yes, you read correctly...worm poop. Before you get grossed out, give it a shot! It comes in a convenient, ready-to-spray, liquefied form that you can easily spray on the leaves of plants or poured onto their soil. Plus, this Plant Food comes in reused soda bottles - talk about low impact packaging! The fertilizer works great and they have a very wide variety of eco-friendly lawn products available (fertilizers, compost, potting mix, repellants, and more). I bought my Plant Food at Home Depot but you can also check their site for other retailers and online options.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Joy of Soy (Candles)

Paraffin wax is derived from crude oil, which is a limited resource that is also used to fuel our cars. Alternatively, soy wax is made from the oil of soybeans, a renewable resource that is grown here in the US. Which kind of candle would you rather have burning in your home?

These eco-friendly soy candles have a light fragrance and are made from 100% natural soybeans and premium botanicals. In addition they:

  • Contain no pesticides or herbicides and are biodegradable
  • Burn longer, cooler, and cleaner than paraffin candles
  • Clean up easily with soap and water
  • Promote the growth and care of the environment by utilizing plants that are a renewable resource
  • Support US farmers and our domestic economy
  • Reduce our dependency on crude oil
  • Make it possible for everyone to do something good for the environment

    I absolutely LOVE these candles! They smell great, burn twice as long as paraffin candles, and are good for the environment.


  • Monday, June 23, 2008

    Line Drying Laundry


    I live in San Diego, where the yards are TINY. I really wanted to start line drying my clothes but simply didn't have the space in my yard. Then I discovered this wooden clothes drying rack and my problems were solved! Because it collapses, I just store it behind my laundry room door when I'm not using it. It's easy to expand for plenty of clothes - up to 28 feet of drying space. And it's great for indoor or outdoor use. Saves energy and money and gives your white clothes a little boost of sunshine bleach. I highly recommend this clothes dryer from Abundant Earth.

    Friday, June 20, 2008

    Pick Up Three - Inspiring Video!



    Inspired? Share your thoughts and tell us how you are making a difference at your beach, park, neighborhood, etc.

    Ten Water Conservation Tips

    Water is a precious resource and I'm always looking for ways to conserve where I can. Here are some ideas to make the most of our water supply.
    1. You may have glasses half full of water around the house (especially in the summer heat). Rather than dumping the water down the drain you can use it to water your houseplants, top off the dog's water dish, or give your outdoor potted plants a refresher.

    2. Take shorter showers. This is easily accomplished by not washing your hair everyday (which is not good for your locks anyway). Just shaving 1-2 minutes off your shower time can save up to 700 gallons a month.

    3. Water your lawn in the early morning so the water has time to soak into the ground before the sun evaporates it.

    4. Use low-flush toilets or simply put a soda bottle full of water in your tank to reduce the amount of water used to refill with each flush.

    5. Run a full load of dishes in the dishwasher rather than washing by hand. Newer dishwashers do not require pre-rinsing so cut that step out if you are able to do so.

    6. Do laundry only when you have a full load and use cold water, which is just as effective as warm and takes less energy.

    7. Bust out the broom instead of hosing down your sidewalks or driveway. We call all use some exercise anyway!

    8. Turn off the faucet while brushing your teeth or shaving. This will save 4 gallons of water a minute!

    9. Instead of using the garbage disposal for scraps (and using water to run it) start a compost pile!

    10. Watch out for broken sprinklers, open hydrants, broken pipes and any other significant water losses in your community. Be sure to notify the property owner or the water district of the problem.

    Thursday, June 19, 2008

    Don't pitch that PC!

    In today’s disposable age, most people are used to replacing their computers every few years. But the times they are a-changin’ and with the rising cost of gas, food, and just about everything else, it’s necessary for us to take a step back and reevaluate that new PC purchase.

    It’s not just rising costs that we need to consider. It’s also the toll we take on our lovely planet when we discard those tired computers. According to the EPA, Americans tossed an estimated 1.5 MILLION TONS of computers, TVs, scanners, printers, fax machines, and cell phones into the trash in 2005. Now that’s a lot of eWaste.

    Before you pitch (or donate) your computer for a shiny new one, check out these six easy tips to revitalize your PC and keep it running smoothly for a few more years.

    1. Add more RAM to your computer to make it faster. Today's memory-hungry software makes upgrading your computer's RAM a necessity. View this quick tutorial to learn how easy it is to upgrade your RAM.

    2. Remove unnecessary files from your computer. Be sure to empty your recycle bin on a regular basis. Delete cookies, cache files, Internet history, and temp files from your computer. These are all taking up valuable space on your hard drive and removing them will help you improve your PC performance.

    3. If you are a Windows user, you should defrag your computer on a regular basis. The easiest way to defrag your computer is to use a registry cleaner, such as PC Tune-Up. You don’t have to be a computer wiz to use this program – it even has a “Magic Button” that will do all the work for you.

    4. Dust and dirt block cooling fans and vents, which cause overheating. Remove dust from your keyboard, mouse, screen, and PC unit with a can of compressed air. Use a vacuum to remove dust from inside the case.

    5. Keep your anti-virus and anti-spyware protection up to date. Viruses and spyware are malicious and in addition to slowing your computer to a mind-numbing crawl, they can also steal your confidential information.

    6. Cigarette smoke residue corrodes the metal contacts and delicate circuits of your computer. As a result, your computer will run slower, freeze, and crash. If you don’t smoke, congrats! If you do smoke, keep your butts away from your PC.

    If you’ve tried all of this and you are still ready to buy a new computer, please dispose of your old one responsibly. The EPA has a list of places where you can donate or recycle your computer and other electronics.

    Contest Rules

    From time to time, companies make green products available to Radiant Ideas and we are able to give these away to our loyal readers. Generally, we’ll ask for interested parties to submit a comment or thought on the blog in exchange for a chance to win an eco-friendly gift. Here are the official rules for our eco-giveaways.

    OFFICIAL CONTEST RULES

    1. NO PURCHASE, PLEDGE, OR DONATION NECESSARY TO ENTER OR TO WIN. ALL FEDERAL, STATE, LOCAL AND MUNICIPAL LAWS AND REGULATIONS APPLY. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.

    2. TO ENTER AND PLAY: There are two (2) ways to enter our contests. Visit the Radiant Ideas blog at www.radiantideas.blogspot.com. Locate the blog post that is promoting the contest and leave a relevant comment. If you have a blog or web site, you can also promote the contest on your site. Come back to the Radiant Ideas blog and leave a comment with the link to your blog’s promotion.

    Radiant Ideas will not be responsible for incomplete, illegible, or lost entries or for failure to receive entries due to technical failures of any kind, whether originating with sender or Sponsor. Radiant Ideas reserves the right to disqualify any entries by persons determined to be tampering with or abusing any aspect of the Eco-Giveaways.

    3. ELIGIBILITY: The Radiant Ideas Eco-Giveaways are open only to residents of the United States and Canada, who are 18 years of age or older at time of entry. Winners of any Eco-Giveaways are ineligible to win any other Eco-Giveaways for a period of ten (10) days from the date of the Eco-Giveaway.

    4. PRIZES: Prize values will vary for each Eco-Giveaway. If you have any questions regarding the value of a prize, please contact Radiant Ideas at support(at)radiantideas(dot)net.

    5. ODDS: Odds of winning are based on number of blog readers and responders within the contest timeframe.

    6. WINNER NOTIFICATION AND ACCEPTANCE: Winner(s) will be chosen randomly via www.random.org. The winner will be notified by Radiant Ideas via email within the following seven (7) days of the Eco-Giveaway end date to obtain the winner’s postal address. The winner’s address will be forwarded to the contest’s sponsor, who will send the prize to the winners directly. The winner(s) names will also be posted on the Radiant Ideas blog.

    Inability to reach prizewinner by email after reasonable efforts (as determined solely by Radiant Ideas) may result in disqualification and an alternate winner may be selected. Winners may waive their right to receive a prize. Prize is nonassignable and nontransferable. No substitutions allowed. Winner is solely responsible for reporting and payment of any taxes on the prize.

    7. PARTICIPATION: Participation in an Eco-Giveaway constitutes an agreement by each entrant to comply with these Official Contest Rules.

    8. LIMITATIONS OF LIABILITY: By entering the Eco-Giveaway, entrant agrees that (1) any and all disputes, claims, and causes of action arising out of or in connection with the Eco-Giveaway, or any prize awarded, shall be resolved individually without resort to any form of class action; (2) any claims, judgments and awards shall be limited to actual out-of-pocket costs incurred, including costs associated with entering the Eco-Giveaway, but in no event attorney’s fees; and (3) under no circumstances will any entrant be permitted to obtain any award for, and entrant hereby waives all rights to claim, punitive, incidental or consequential damages and any and all rights to have damages multiplied or otherwise increased and any other damages, other than damages for actual out-of-pocket expenses.

    Green Submission Guide

    Do you have an eco-friendly product that you would like me to review? Fabulous! I love to try new products. All submissions will be reviewed to make sure they match the editorial focus of Radiant Ideas.

    1. Send an email to reviews(at)radiantideas(dot)net with your pitch. What is your product? Why will I love it? How is it good for the environment, good for the world, or good for me? How much does it cost? Where can my readers find it?

    2. If I think your product is a good fit with my blog, I will contact you with my shipping information so you can send me a sample. Submission does not guarantee a recommendation.

    3. I will make every effort to write a timely review after using your product but I cannot be held to a specific deadline.

    4. Please note that all product reviews are impartial and honest. Please be sure that your product is as wonderful and as green as you say it is.

    5. Regretfully, products cannot be returned. I do understand that there are certain circumstances where a product must be returned. In this case, it is your responsibility to arrange and pay for return shipping.

    Thanks for keeping Radiant Ideas in the loop!

    Disclosure

    I started the Radiant Ideas blog as a way to inspire others to make small changes in their lives to help the environment. I don't claim to be an expert – I am just sharing my ideas.

    This blog is the sister site of my web store, www.radiantideas.net, which sells world-friendly gifts and home decor. This blog will occasionally feature products that are sold on my web store but more often than not, I discuss third party products and eco-friendly tips. I encourage you to share your opinions, tips, and product ideas as well!

    For the most part, I write reviews based on products that I have purchased myself and use in my home. However, I do accept product submissions for review with the following disclaimer:

    • I love to try new green products but cannot promise a glowing review. I must be true to myself and true to my readers so all product reviews are completely impartial.
    • I am not Al Gore, a scientist, nor an environmentalist. My reviews are based on my opinion and my personal experience. I accept no responsibility or liability for damage or harm, inferred or implied, that may be caused by products that I have featured, reviewed, advertised, or written about on my blog.

    If you have a product that you would like me to review, please visit my Green Submission Guide for more information.

    Privacy Policy

    I think your privacy is important, and like the environment, I will strive to protect it. Please use caution when leaving a comment on my blog because Radiant Ideas is a public blog and therefore all comments posted are public information. I do not accept liability for any comments posted on my blog.


    I hate spam and I'm pretty sure that you do too! Radiant Ideas will not rent, share, or sell your email address to any third party...period. If you have been selected as a winner of a giveaway or contest that you have entered on my blog, your information may be shared with a third party to ship your prize to you. This is disclosed, of course, in my Contest Rules.


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    If you have any questions about how your information is used on this blog, please feel free to contact me at privacy(at)radiantideas(dot)net.

    Welcome to Radiant Ideas!

    Growing up without much money, I watched my parents save pennies & the environment. I wish I would have taken better notes. Instead, I was more concerned about what my friends thought.

    In high school, I hid the container that held the scraps for our compost pile when my friends came over. I cringed whenever my mom washed a ziplock bag or folded up a piece of tin foil to be used again. And I never understood why it was such a big deal to leave a light on – what’s a few cents anyway? I never gave much thought to growing landfills (they were somewhere else), or drinking water (it was always there), or global warming (Michigan winters ARE pretty cold). Looking back, I think it was natural for me to rebel against my parents’ ideologies – that was my job as a teenager, right?

    Now that I’m a grown woman with a family of my own, I am trying hard to change my way of life to be more environmentally conscious & a better role model for my kids. We do the usual: recycle, use CFL bulbs, take shorter showers, use linen napkins, & buy organic/locally grown produce. I also started my own eco-friendly gift & home d├ęcor business. But I still feel like I could be doing more. Perhaps I'm still harboring some guilt about those careless teenage years?

    It truly can be overwhelming to change everything at once. So each month I pick a new green idea to add to our daily lives. This month I decided to dispose of at least one piece of litter a day. It doesn’t sound like a lot but in a year that’s 365 pieces of trash. I see it everywhere…at the park, on the streets, hiking through the canyons, or strolling on the beach. It’s not a big deal to bend over, pick it up, and toss it into the trash. Who knows? Maybe my neighbors will see me and decide to pitch in too.

    In the meantime, my goal is to share some eco-friendly ideas with you. You may be inspired, you may be bored, but I'm hopeful that if we all make a few small changes we can make a big difference in the future of our planet earth.