Modern, green art – literally.

These have to be the coolest home decor items I’ve seen in a while. Who knew plants could grow vertically like that? These would look super cool just about anywhere. I would love to get one for the kitchen and grow fresh basil on the wall. Decadent. They’re available through Gardener’s Supply Company, and cost $169 per kit.

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Green tip of the day

“When you’re cooking on the stovetop, observe two simple rules of thumb to improve energy efficiency. First, use the smallest pot or pan you can. Second, don’t be burner-happy. If the circumference of the flames is greater than that of your pan, you’re leaking unused heat into the air.”

Who’s Greener?

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According to a recent report by Grist, it’s a toss up. Unfortunately, the green-est candidate, Edwards, is now out of the running.

Not surprisingly, both Hillary and Obama have some skeletons in their closets when it comes to environmental choices and business alliances. But honestly, the majority of the American population hasn’t been seriously concerned with being green until recent years, so the fact that both candidates have questionable backgrounds isn’t shocking. Besides, I’m more concerned with what they are planning on doing right now than what they did back in early 90’s.

One thing that really worries me about both Hillary and Obama is their strong interest in biofuels, which, as many of you probably already know, aren’t the most environmentally-friendly alternative fuel sources. Another concern from both candidates – clean coal. Can we please just move away from coal altogether? We need to phase it out, not continue research into making it a permanent energy source. A lot of people, however, are saying that this will never happen, and coal is here to stay. God, I hope not.

My deepest wish is for Edwards to become running-mate to whichever candidate pulls forward. However, this may be a pipe dream, especially since there have been rumors of Edwards’ wife’s health becoming an issue once again. But, if this were to happen, there would be a good chance that Edwards’ bold climate and energy plans would rub off onto his superior.

So who am I pulling for at this moment? I gotta be honest. I didn’t attend my caucus because I just wasn’t 100% sure who I wanted. And at this very moment, I still don’t. Like every Democrat, I just want the candidate that will have the best chance at beating McCain.

A SIDENOTE: REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES ON GREEN
While the idea of having yet another conservative in the White House makes me want to vomit, I have to give props to both Romney and McCain regarding their energy plans. Both candidates strongly support the idea of alternative energy and fuel sources, using the argument of cutting international dependencies as the main motivator. It just goes to show, green is not Red or Blue.

Compost tumbler – check.

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After talking about it for almost a year, I finally ordered my super cool compost tumbler. This baby is fully loaded – made of 95% recycled materials (including plastic bags), it boasts a central aeration system, is completely portable, virtually rodent and animal proof (hopefully that will keep Baxter out!), and makes compost in 4-6 weeks.
AND it’s under warranty for 10 years.

I’m very excited about this because this is another goal that I had for myself in being more green. Now I can dispose of my kitchen scraps and other compostables properly, rather than throwing them into a landfill.

I’m also excited to start using this bad boy. I actually tried to start a compost pile at my last place of residence, but it didn’t really pan out. I had to build a makeshift wire cage around it to keep my dog Baxter out, which in turn made it extremely difficult to turn the pile as it needed. This tumbler will make my job so much easier and will keep out furry critters.

Unfortunately this is not the cheapest alternative to composting – the whole unit cost me $235 including shipping. I ordered it on ebay, through the Wheatgrasskits ebay shop. But it’s worth it to me.

Some other places online that sell this tumbler: Cleanairgardening.com, Urbangardencenter.com, and Organiccomposter.com.

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Pollution permits – what up with that?

A couple of our Democratic candidates are keen on the idea of “pollution permits,” which would essentially give the “green light” (pun completely intended) to Hummer, big truck and SUV drivers to continue blasting out loads of carbon emissions – for a fee. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not an idiot. I understand how this can be a good thing. One would hope it would discourage future ginormous automobile sales and might spur large car owners to swap out for a more fuel efficient car. However, I can’t help but feel at the same time, this would really NOT affect people who currently own gas guzzlers at all. These cars are already wildly expensive – what’s a few hundred more dollars a month to continue polluting the environment? If anything, we should be implementing “pollution fines.” (which quintessentially are probably the same thing, just worded differently for the masses)

Why not instead start giving discounts, incentives, tax breaks, etc. to owners of fuel efficient vehicles?

Green resolutions for 2008

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It’s a good time to sit back and take a look at my current greening progress, and evaluate what areas I still need to work on and what things I need to keep doing. Here’s how it breaks out:

Practices to maintain:

  • Diligent recycling
  • Implementing natural/biodegradable cleaning
    and grooming products into the home
  • Shopping with reusable bags
  • Turning off lights and power sources when not in use
  • Reusing plastic bags and other non-recyclable item
  • Using sponges for clean-up rather than paper towels
  • Lower thermostat

Practices to implement:

  • Composting
  • Stop using ziploc bags, use only reusable containers
  • Take quicker showers
  • Offset carbon footprint from car
  • Research carpooling options
  • Research solar panel installation for home

Times Square NYE Ball goes green

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2008 will apparently come in with a eco-friendly bang. The New Year’s Eve ball was re-fitted with 9,576 LED bulbs – very cool. Maybe the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty are next on the list? Way to go, Bloomberg!