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Good Morning Nature

Daily Eco

Switch your cleaning products to earth friendly and bigger containers, the less bottles the better!

My favorites include: Mrs. Meyer's, Ecover, Method and Seventh Generation.

We use all three in our house and think they're great! I particularly love Mrs. Meyer's counter top stray, I do wish it came refillable though!

Fact Shocker

If humans were to disapear from the Earth, it would take approximatly 100,000 years for the carbon dioxide we've added to the atmosphere to be gone!

100,000 years!


If you see a We Can Solve it ad while surfing the net, click on it and sign up! Click below to watch a wonderfully remixed version of Al Gore's Speech complete with beautiful images and the song that makes it that much more emotional...

Weekend Reading

Here is a link to a great article on NY Times I just read. This is about how you go about cutting meat out of your life. Helps dispel the protein myth as well! I love the image as well!

and if that link doesn't work, try this:

Weekend Reading

Each week I'll bring you interesting articles I've been reading.

Here's one from Treehugger about how eating less mean helps save the planet:

I've mentioned that I work on the advertising for The Alliance For Climate Protection, you may have seen their WE bubble ads with Al Sharpton and Pat Robertson sitting on a couch on the beach? Well anyone, they bring together unlikely alliances for the greater cause of climate protection, here's an article about the next possible alliance:

I've posted recently about plastic recycling, here's a link to more info:

Daily Eco

Don't buy the paper, read it on line!  If you love holding that paper in your hand see if you can split the paper with a friend or someone at work, you read on the your morning commute and they get it on the way home!  Share! 

My Growing Urban Garden

I adore succulents and have as many as can fit in my tiny apartment!  I urge you all to go out and buy up the garden shop!  Stock your house full of plants, they make you happy!  I swear!

Save Your #5's For a Good Cause

#5 recyclables are often characterized as "jar like" with a mouth about the size of the body, or as I like to explain it, your sour cream tub, spreadable butter container or yogurt cups. Those are most often #5's, at least as far as what Kevin and I eat.

After reading that New York City didn't accept #5 recyclables in recycle bins I was horrified and searched for an alternative. I found one! The Park Slope Co-Op collects #5 recyclables and sends them to Recyline, which then turns them into great products like toothbrush's, cups, forks etc. (I've blogged about them here many times, search the 'products I love' category and you should find more information).

So Kevin and I began check all of our plastics for #5's, we would joyously proclaim "I got one!" and then we'd clean and tuck it away for the day we would load up a sack like Santa and bring our #5's to Park Slope to be given new life as a razor, plate or colander.

Well the weekend finally came when we had enough to bring, so Kevin and I excitedly drove to Park Slope, #5's in toe. What did we learn, well first off we are by far not the only ones doing this, we saw tons of people headed to the Co-Op with bags 10 times the size of ours balancing on "granny carts" towards the drop off. What else we learned was how much yogurt people eat!

The drop off program consists of Co-Op volunteers literally going through each piece individually and telling you what's clean enough and what needs work, they see things you'd never see, it's a bit discouraging at first, all your hard work cleaning out at home ends up leading to time spent on site with seventh generation spritzed paper towels, scrubbing out every last bit of food, dust and dirt. After cooling off from the heat and realizing we were in this for the long hall, I looked around and was pleasantly calm and happy, seeing all those individuals, couples and families doing their part, for not other reason than the good of the planet. I mean these containers could easily be thrown out with the rest of you garbage. It was really how life should be and I can't wait to go back with round 2, hopefully more will pass the first inspection though!

Also, check out this NY Times article about this Park Slope Co-Op and what Recycline Does!

(Image Preserve:, Image Yogurt Cups:

You Can Butter Me Up

So I've been on the search for environmentally friendly nail polish for a while now. The choices are slim, well at least they are few and far between. I just read about one in Natural Health magazine and am planning on picking up a bottle or two soon.

Butter, it's a chemical free nail polish that avoids the "3" (cancer-causing formalydehyyde, toluene and dibutyl phthalate) ingrediants that should send all all running from the nail salon!

I will continue my search to bring you more options, but for now, I'll take my nails with some butter please.

Pick up your own at


Gore's Challenge to America

As many of you may know, I changed jobs recently and now work for the Martin Agency in the Ingenuity Media group, working on the Alliance For Climate Protection campaign. I was so pleased to be alligned with this campaign today as Gore made a wonderful speech. Click to see below

Check out Al Gore's Challenge To America at the Alliance For Climate Protection homepage:

Ah! Succulents!

More Brooklyn Botanical Garden....

What's In Your Cosmetic Bag?

Next time you are at your local pharmacy check out Organic Wear, a lovely organic makeup line available at affordable prices. Made by company Physicians Formula, certified organic and made with minerals. Product lines include powder, bronzer, concealer, blush and tinted moisturizer all packaged in recycled materials. Ingrediants were grown without the use of pesticides or chemicals as well. I plan on picking up some bronzer this weekend!

Here's a snippet of their mission statement:
"This became our mission while developing the greenest makeup ever created without compromising performance. After all, to really enjoy a better, greener world, we need to feel and look good!"

Check out more details at:


Daily Eco

Ease up on the hair dryer! It's summer, air dry! If that isn't something you'd like to try, compromise and let you hair air dry for 10-15 minutes before drying, it'll cut down on dry time and save electricity.

More Botanical Garden...

Can You Recycle Light Bulbs?

Kevin and I are trying to figure out if you can recycle light bulbs?

Anyone know?

So far it seems that you can't but I just don't want to accept that! Post your thoughts....

Eco-Mama Serves It Up: G-Diapers

Hello from the life of busy eco- mama! Today I want to tell you all a ittle about my experience with G Diapers.I like g diapers...but not the cost. Although I didn't have a full experience with them, I feel that they are a greatecological alternative to disposables and cloth diapers. They fit my baby well, and never had aproblem with pee diapers! They look utterly cute on their bums, and are soft cotton, bigplus in my opinion.

My baby didn't ever have a bowel movement though when wearing them, so I can'tsay they work for infant breastfed poo. (she has one a week at this point)I always put her in a disposable at night, I just never manage to change herenough in the nighttime, so I didn't feel comfortable with the g overnight. but my lack ofexperience leaves me with no advice or knowledge over what could have happened had she wornit all night. sorry i cant contribute to that. I did love the fact that while using them I was contributing to the good of theenvironment. something I wish I could do ALL the time. I even put a few in a compost bin,so in 50 days I'll be checking the breakdown status! But I don't love the cost. Siena outgrew the small size too fast, and I am not willing toinvest the $ in a whole new set up for the medium size. Plus they cost $5 more per pack then what I pay for Seventh Generation.
I am extremely thankful to the mother from the Williamsburg mothers yahoo group: Brooklyn Baby Hui who gave me all the small g pants!! thank you! but as a single mother working to make ends meet, I can't go with g's cost...if I find a way to get them wholesale, I will use them again definitely.

I hope there are moms out the that continue to use them! they really are afantastic addition to the diaper market! as a baby I grew up in cloth diapers. By the timemy sister came along, my parents switched to disposables, for their convenience, so they were thrilled to see thedesign of the g diapers. My father is a biodynamic agricultural consultant, (his friends and colleagues call him the compost guy of Maine) owner and president of Woods End Labs, so he's excited to see what the breakdown process is in his compost pile.well that's all for now!~mariah (ma to Siena 3 months today!)
For more G Diapers information check out the first G Diapers on Urban Branches by searching in the search box (tick to search within the blog) for G Diapers. You can also check out their website at:

I Heart The Brooklyn Botanical Garden

Kevin and I spent the day at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden and had such a lovely day. Kevin's Mom gave us memberships as a gift and we couldn't have been happier!!

We saw amazing herbs and vegetables, succulents (my favorite) and even bunnies. Enjoy the photos over the next few days.

Daily Eco

Ever wonder how much longer your compact florescent light bulb (CFL) lasts than a regular incandescent light bulb? The answer might surprise you:

10 times as long!

Now that you know this, switch those bulbs!


On To Bigger & Greener Things

The hunt for ethically responsible companies is something we should all be on the quest for. As I come across companies that have made "the switch" to greener pastures (or a greener worth ethic) I will share them here.

Cadbury Schwepps (Brands include Green & Blacks Chocolate, Snapple and Halls cough drops, Dr.Pepper and of course those delicious Cadbury eggs) recently came out saying they plan on reducing their gas emissions by 750,000 each year by powering its plants with cleaner energy sources (like natural gas for example). In addition, the company will swap out their current packaging to 100 recyclable or biodegradable packaging by 2010.

Lots of companies are getting into the news with statements like this, some of which are considered greenwashing (see my article on greenwashing by searching within Urban Branches for greenwashing), so it's important to stay vigilant while supporting these initiatives.

I love Green & Blacks Chocolate, it's organic and now a bit greener!

Recycle By Numbers

Check out this link for more recycling information and sign up for daily tips from Ideal Bite! Ads seen on Urban Branches!

Daily Eco

Go online and search for your local recycling guidlines. New York has their own set of rules, and I am sure each city has their own. Be a responsible citizen!

Recycling: The Stats

So you toss your bottles and cans into the recycling bin, good. Here's some data to help give what you're doing a bit more meaning.

-By recycling glass, we save as much as 70% on creating new materials. And when you avoid creating new materials you lower emissions and greenhouse gases which are produced in the process.

-The average American uses 700 lbs of paper every year. So stop printing all of your emails and make sure you check your "print preview" option to avoid printing unwanted pages.

-Plastic is created with petroleum and never biodegrade. Enough said.

So, bring your own bag, use both sides of the paper, invest in cloth napkins and dishtowels and please recycle. Kevin and I are trying to reduce our garbage weight by rethinking each item to see if it can be recycled. Get rid of extra garbages around the house the hinder your recycling. We have a small trash by the computer literally feet from the recycle bin and we both toss paper in there without thinking. So we are getting rid of it!

Daily Eco

Don't bag all your veggies and fruits at the grocery store. I saw a woman today bagging 1 lemon in one bag and 1 lime in another, seriously! Only bag wet lettuce or the huge amount of beans, no need to bag those bananas or oranges, especially when you have a cart!

Greensburg Rebuilds, You Guessed It, Green!

Have you all been tuning into Planet Green since it launched in June? Here's one reason it's well worth your time and money. Greensburg, the 13-part docu-series which follows the town of Greensburg as it rebuilds their entire city green after a devastating tornado which was said to be 1.7 miles wide and traveled for 22 miles! 95% of the town was completely wiped out and the other 5% sustained severe damage. The town is full of people trying to rebuild their lives, one green step at a time. It is inspiring and educational. Please watch!

Go check out:

Below is an article posted on

New York Times Magazine article

For their special Earth Day edition, the New York Times Magazine ran several articles on sustainable living. Here is reporter Emily Biuso's take on Greensburg's rebuilding as a model green community:

LEARNING FROM KANSAS: Before Greensburg began to live up to its name, it was a dying town in rural Kansas. Then, last May, it was ravaged by a tornado, and most of its 1,400 residents were left homeless. Some saw hope in the devastation. “We were left with a blank slate,” says Daniel Wallach, a resident from a nearby town who started Greensburg GreenTown, a nonprofit group devoted to making the place the ultimate energy-efficient community. There will be a bio diesel plant, LEED-certified churches and schools and geothermal-powered homes. “Ninety-five percent of the town was destroyed,” Wallach says. “You don’t get opportunities to re imagine towns from scratch.” Already, 26 public and commercial buildings (including the John Deere dealership) and half of the town’s homeowners have committed to sustainable rebuilding, Wallach says. The endeavor hasn’t gone unnoticed: Leonardo DiCaprio produced a documentary series about the town that will be broadcast on Discovery Planet Green, formerly the Discovery Home Channel, in June. The radical re-creation of this conservative farming town may seem unlikely, but the project, Wallach says, “gives meaning to our pain and suffering.”


Green Your Diet: Shade Grown

One way to green your diet is to switch to Shade Grown coffee only. It is a giant step you can make towards a more environmentally friendly drink as well as supporting a great industry that needs to grow bigger. Coffee plantations that are grown without the shade of tree uses tons of fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides to do the work that can all be done naturally.

I found a great explanation to share,

"Traditionally, all coffee was shade grown. Most varieties of coffee are naturally intolerant of direct sunlight, and prefer a canopy of sun-filtering shade trees. The trees not only protect the coffee from direct sun, they also mulch the soil with their fallen leaves which helps retain soil moisture. The nitrogen-fixing shade trees enhance the soil, and also provide habitat for birds. The birds in turn provide natural insect control with their constant foraging. This sustainable method of farming uses little or no chemical fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides."


New hybrid coffee beans were made to grow best in direct sunlight, but the consequences are devastating. Look for that seal, it matters.

Find this coffee online buy Google-ing "Shade Grown Coffee" and start looking wherever you currently buy coffee, if they don't carry it, ASK for it to be there! Now you know why it's important, so share it!


Good Morning Peony!

I just can't get enough of peonies! They are simply the most beautiful flower. I just found out I can have them for my wedding! I had been wanting them as long as I can remember, but had to cut them from my list due to the month of our wedding. We are getting married in September and as many of you know peonies bloom for a short period in Spring. Our florist has discovered that she can put them in a storage container into the cooler and they will last! Amazing!! So I don't need to hurt the environment like many brides, having flowers shipped in from across the country and the world, I can have my cake and eat it to. All of our flowers will be locally grown, and I couldn't be happier.

Peaches, Strawberries and Spinach OH MY!

Real Food by Nina Planck is an amazing book. A look at what we really should be eating and how we should be eating it. Nina Planck believes eating real food is what our bodies are meant to eat and it's the chemicals, GMO's (genetically modified foods), pesticides among other things that messes up our health and in turn our planet.

In the book, there's a great "Most contaminated" with pesticide residue produce list (scored of 1 is least contaminated and 100 is the most contaminated). The list comes straight from the Environmental Working Group:

Most Contaminated
Peaches 100
Strawberries 89
Apples 88
Spinach 85
Nectarines 85
Celery 83
Pears 80
Cherries 76
Potatoes 67
Bell Peppers 66
Raspberries 66
Grapes (imported) 64

Least Contaminated
Sweet Corn 1
Avocado 4
Pineapples 6
Cauliflower 10
Mango 12
Sweet Peas 13
Asparagus 16
Onions 17
Broccoli 18
Bananas 19
Kiwi 23
Papaya 23

This is a great list to keep with you when you're shopping because if you can't afford the high price of organic produce, you should be choosing your organic and conventional produce wisely.