Friday, November 21, 2008

Sustainability vs. Detroit

I have really tried to keep the Mrs. Green message away from politics. I want to focus on what we can all do to make positive changes. There are times, however, when I have to take a stand on something I believe is really important and this is one of those times.

When I watched this latest clip from my friend Janet about Tesla and Arnold Schwarzenegger, something kind of snapped inside of me. Wasn’t anyone in Detroit reading the paper about the energy crisis? About the success that car manufacturers like Honda have had for years here in the good old US of A with their fuel-efficient, well made cars? Did they not know there are awaiting lists to buy the Honda Fit and that this is nothing new? Could they not figure out that sustainable business practices make sense and make money? Some of “those people” make ten million dollars a year in bonuses alone. Is it not part of their job descriptions to be fiscally responsible, to have solid five year business plans which include a balance sheet indicating a profit? I guess not.

The part in the video where I snapped was when Arnold talked about Tesla Motors being a relatively new company and getting it! What were they reading that the brain trusts in Detroit were not? What did they know that Detroit didn’t? Maybe the Tesla management had a crystal ball…

I am one of many Americans who says don’t bail them out because I don’t want to pay for it nor do I want my children to have to pay for it! I am fed up – that’s the truth. It’s actually a disgrace and a mess that will impact us all regardless of what decisions are made in Washington.

Hope you will check out Arnold’s brief and humorous comments! And then call your elected officials. Mine are going to be very surprised by the side I am taking on this one!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Ready to Have a Fit?

Serendipity is a wonderful thing. It wasn’t two days after my friend Markus went on and on about his Honda Fit, there was a great article in the Wall Street Journal about it. Title? A Candidate for the Best Car on The Road! Gotta love it.

Writer Jeff Sabatini states: “the Fit is unquestionably my favorite car, a vehicle that’s the best all-around transportation available from any auto maker at any price.” Now that’s saying a lot. With a $15,220 base price and stellar mileage, you can’t go wrong. But what interested me about what Jeff wrote and Markus said, is that the Fit is really roomy for an econobox AND fun to drive. It’s got pep and room! And with that low base price, come power windows, a CD player, airbags everywhere, air-conditioning and more. Sometimes the cars priced this low come with windows you have to roll up and down yourself – heaven forbid!

Another thing that Honda has figured out with the Fit is how to build a small car and make it a truly good car. It has to pass crash tests, be comfortable and drivable and still sell for under $20,000. Well, the Fit is not just good – it’s exceptional. And did I say it has front wheel drive? Another huge plus from my perspective.

If you are skeptical about small car hatchbacks, go check one out. If you are in Tucson, good luck finding one at Chapman! You will be pleasantly surprised just as I was. Given the incredibly painful hoopla going on in Washington, D.C. about the car industry bailout, is there not real wisdom here in looking at the automotive change we need? Honda really got it right with the Fit!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Bisphenol-A - The Ongoing Saga

First of all, I hope that newspapers never disappear. I am the kind of person who has to actually sit and read to process well. So the article I read in The Daily Green ( on evidence of government acting in the best interest of the plastics industry and the case for good journalism hit two hot buttons for me. One aspect is that we have to do what we can to keep independently owned newspaper around - even if we disagree with political leanings on any side. And the other hot button is why doesn't EVERY government agency care about all of our best interest when it comes to toxins and poisons? Call me naive.

I an including a lengthy excerpt from the article because I think it's that important and besides, we all got to choose what and how much we read. Regardless, it's food for thought. Bisphenol-A causes cancer - not a word of debate about that. I don't know about you but I would just feel better knowing it wasn't in ANY baby bottles, water bottles or lining aluminum cans. Is that too much to ask of Big Brother?

Article as follows:

Industry Wrote the Rules on Bisphenol-A
Think The Mainstream Media Is Irrelevant? The Bisphenol-A Story Shows Otherwise
October 24, 2008 at 9:10AM by Dan Shapley | comment

Buzz up!
In another sign that the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel is a more effective consumer watchdog than the federal government, the newspaper has turned up evidence that the chemical industry wrote the Food and Drug Administration assessment that deemed Bisphenol-A safe, despite a growing number of independent and government research to the contrary.

The Journal-Sentinel should be commended, again, for its role uncovering and publicizing industry influence on chemical risk analysis in various federal agencies. (Pulitzer, anyone?) Lest anyone fail to realize the cost of turmoil in the mainstream media, this is an example of why the health of the nations newspapers matter. The Journal-Sentinel announced plans in July to cut 130 jobs -- 10% of its full-time staff -- and that was before its parent company announced a third-quarter loss of $17.1 million, according to Forbes.

The paper's latest revelation is that the FDA used an American Chemistry Council report as the basis for its own health analysis of Bisphenol-A, an ingredient in plastics and the lining of cans. It mimics the hormone estrogen and has been linked to a wide range of problems in laboratory studies and, increasingly, human health studies.

The chemical industry, which profits handsomely on sales of the chemical, asserts its safe. The FDA, similarly -- and, not surprisingly, as it turns out -- has agreed. Canada, meanwhile has declared it hazardous and ordered it removed from baby bottles. The U.S. National Toxicology Program also expressed concerns.

The FDA is now reviewing its health assessment. One can hope that shame, if not a sense of public duty, will compel it to independently consider independent science, rather than the industry's spin.

And one can only hope that newspapers with investigative teams like the Journal-Sentinel can survive the turmoil traditional media faces. It's not that online media can't undertake investigations of the same kind, but these news gathering institutions have deep histories, long experience, and are still -- unquestionably -- relevant.

(Another example: The McClatchy news service wrote today that the White House Office of Management and Budget weakened the Environmental Protection Agency's new rule restricting airborne lead, a known neurotoxin, so that 60% fewer facilities would be regulated.)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

How Green Is Your Pumpkin?

Just add this to the list of the questions I never asked myself until Mrs. Green was born! Halloween is one of my favorite celebrations. My earliest memories of trick-or-treating are of walking for miles with my brother and sister and coming home with sacks of BIG candy bars. I truly thought I had died and gone to heaven – nirvana for a chocaholic!

Fast forward to Mrs. Green living more consciously. So how green is your pumpkin? VERY can be the answer! First of all, do your best to buy your pumpkin from a sustainable patch. I know they are out there. As for the pumpkin seeds, they contain omega-3 fatty acids that help with brain functioning, and if you use the rest of the pumpkin, it’s a good source of fiber, beta-carotene, vitamin C and potassium. And I LOVE pumpkin soup. There are lots of really good recipes around to please any palate. I have never actually used “real” pumpkin for my pumpkin pies but I know it can be done – so you can use the guts for that if it sounds better to you than pumpkin soup.

No matter what, it’s yet another great opportunity to think and act green at this fun time of year.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Some University of Arizona Students are Taking Charge

What a great article by Tom Beal on the front page of the Arizona Daily Star this morning A group of students convened an action committee on sustainability last week and are going full speed ahead to say the least.

The students want to compost ALL of the University’s waste, ban Styrofoam, bring in locally grown produce AND reduce congestion in Midtown by making cars available to share on campus. But it doesn’t stop there. They also want the campus grass and greenery to be watered by collected rainwater and the showers in the dorms fed with water heated by the sun. And they want to challenge all the fraternities and sororities to recycle all of their waste. So they have covered water, materials, energy and support. I want to come up with some great resounding shout of support but can’t even begin to find the right words. Stay tuned as Mrs. Green will be calling them so we can hear details on Mrs. Green Goes Mainstream’s radio show.

Dr. Robert Shelton suggested to them that they think outside the box. And so they have.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Solon - A Great Green Gift to Tucson

I was happy to be invited to the ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the official opening of Solon Corporation here in Tucson yesterday. Even though it’s WAY out there by the airport, one of my first happy surprises was the number of people in attendance. There were hundreds of people present – all of whom were celebrating this great new business in Tucson.

Solon is a German-based company and one of the largest solar module manufacturers in Europe as well as an international leading provider of intelligent power plant solutions for large-scale projects. They manufacture state-of-the-art photovoltaic solar modules (actually polycrystalline and monocrystalline modules). A quote from one of their corporate leaders reads: “We are passionate fighters for the ecological change in the energy market. We revolutionize the usage of solar energy with our innovations. We are: The Pioneers of Power.” What a powerful statement and what a great intention.

So not only does it mean great, decent paying jobs for over 200 Tucsonans, it’s a feather in our City’s cap helping to position Tucson as one of the country’s leading solar cities. An immediate, measurable impact of having Solon in Tucson is that FORTY schools in nearby Cochise Country will be installing solar power in their schools. Do you have any idea how much money that will save their school district? And with the new solar tax credit bill passing in Congress, the school district will benefit from that as well.

Welcome to our community, Solon. Your manufacturing of solar modules makes you a partner we can all be proud of here in the Old Pueblo.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

How One Guy Saved His Planet

October 15, 2008

It never ceases to amaze me how many ordinary people I run into doing extraordinary things – which in my mind makes them extraordinary! Here’s one more. I was in my friend Todd Case’s office getting some age spots removed (TMI?) when one of the staff gave me a little book. The name of it is “How One Guy Saved His Planet.” Her husband, Richard, wrote the book to simply share some vignettes about things he had done to make a difference in his neighborhood, in his home owners association and on the planet.

Here’s his introduction. “Thank you for your interest in making your corner of the world a wonderful place to be. I hope these vignettes, all based on real actions I took in my own neighborhood, motivate you to take small steps of your own.” How great is that?

Richard turned a little patch of vacant land in his neighborhood from a pile of junk to a desert habitat; after every rainy season, he cleaned out the wash behind his house, taking junk to the dumpster; and he used donated paint from a friend to wage a one person battle against graffiti.

At the end of this little booklet, Richard shares some closing thoughts which are all wonderful – such as “Make room for nature to re-emerge. It doesn’t take much help for a little mini-ecosystem to develop, even in the smallest or most unlikely place.”

I loved reading what he wrote from cover to cover. One person makes a difference – starting a small fire. Gotta love it.

p.s. If you would like a copy of this little booklet, here’s Richard’s email address:

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Some Interesting Info About Carbon Footprints

There is lots of talk these days about carbon footprints. In simple terms a carbon foot print is the amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that get put into the atmosphere when the goods are made, shipped and stored, and then used by consumers.

The not fun news is that the U.S. emits the equivalent of about 118 pounds of carbon dioxide per resident every day. Annually that’s nearly 20 metric tons per American – about FIVE times the number per citizen of the world at large. Yikes! So we really have some things we can change and I hope we all do - one step at a time.

The little bit of trivia (but not to be considered trivial!) about carbon footprints came from the good old Wall Street Journal last Monday. It’s the measure of six products and six carbon footprints. So here goes: Fleece Jacket – 60 pounds; Laundry detergent – 31 pounds; Boot – 121 pounds; Organic Milk – 7.2 pounds; Car – 97,000 pounds and last but not least – Fat Tire beer – 7 pounds. Without writing a three page blog, I can’t provide you will all the details of how the author measured the emissions but I can tell you he (Jeffery Ball) did his homework. Just one example of how thorough he was is his breakdown of laundry detergent. He based it on a 1.5 liter bottle, 20 loads per bottle and 9.9 pounds of laundry per load. Included in his measurement were making, using, transporting, storing and disposal of the package. It may seem like too much information but the more we know in simple, plain old English, the easier it will be for all of us to make simple changes.

The entire subject of carbon footprints fascinates me so this article was a great find. I can feel guilt free about drinking organic milk and will think twice about buying another pair of boots. All in all, articles like this are raising my consciousness one thought at a time.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

U.S. Mayors Call for 'Green Revolution'

Every time I drive past the Solar Store in Tucson, I check to see if the sign about needing to hire people is still up. So far, still up. From what I hear around town, they can’t hire people fast enough because there is so much consumer interest in solar everything.

So I was not totally surprised when my friend Susan sent me an article about U.S. Mayors calling for a green revolution. From my view, that makes them really smart! Green is the area of job creation and the wheels are already in motion. Again, from where I sit, this is our opportunity to see things through the looking glass and do everything we can to be a part of the revolution.

Some excerpts from the author Barry Janoff writes: A new report from the U.S. Conference of Mayors calls for a "green revolution" and said if it takes place, 4.2 million new "green" jobs could be created in the country by 2038.

The report said the U.S. now has about 751,000 green jobs, which generally involve producing renewable energy or providing engineering, legal or research support. That figure represents less than 0.5% of all current U.S. jobs. The report was based on information provided by research firm Global Insight, Waltham, Mass.

The forecast of more than 4 million new green jobs is based on the U.S. generating 40% of its electricity from alternative fuels (wind, solar, hydro, geothermal, biomass), 30% of fuel used in cars and light trucks coming from alternatives to gasoline and diesel that electricity use in existing buildings will drop by 35% by 2038.

According to the report, some 418,000 of the current 751,000 green jobs in the U.S. are in engineering, legal, research and consulting; behind that was the field of renewable power generation with 127,000 jobs, followed by government administration with 71,900 jobs.

The top 10 cities in the nation ranked by current green jobs and the potential number of green jobs they could have by 2038 are: New York (25,021/197,971), Washington (24,287/192,165), Houston (21,250/168,136), Los Angeles (20,136/159,321), Boston (19,799/156,660), Chicago (16,120/127,545), Philadelphia (14,379/113,772), San Francisco (13,848/109,570), San Diego (11,663/92,285) and Pittsburgh (9,627/76,174).

You have to admit – this really is good green news and when major cities are committed and getting ranked, we are all moving in the right direction. And I also appreciate that not only will so many jobs be created, we will be constantly creating alternative sources for fuel – cleaner, less-dependent-on-foreign-oil kinds of alternatives!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

More Good Green News

In this crazy world of ours with the financial markets turning upside down, it's great to live in and explore all that's great about the "green" world. Creativity, exploration, innovation and change all abound. So let me add this to the "good things happening in green" world. You can imagine my delight when I heard from a young man named Sherif who is a graduate student at the University of Arizona who wrote to tell me several things. First, he listens to and enjoys my show. Gotta love it! And more importantly, he has taken action to make a difference. Sherif has started a wonderful website: The website is inviting and upbeat and according to Sherif "a work in progress given my busy schedule." My hats off to Sherif for taking action to make our world a greener, healthier, safer and ,yes, HAPPIER place to live. And I love that his focus starts right here in Arizona. All the very best to Sherif and I hope you will visit his website.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Good Green News About Running Shoes

I could hardly believe my eyes: eco-friendly running shows you say? One of my favorite green newsletters, Ideal Bites, gave me yet another opportunity to change to a greener practice with the purchase of my next running shoes.

There are big names like Nike (is there a bigger name?) and Brooks that offer green options which means they ARE widely available. They are made from such things are silicone-based green rubber instead of petroleum and PVC which may release carcinogenic dioxins during production. Some lines are even totally vegan and forgo leather altogether.

And a really nice recycling aspect from the place I purchase mine, The Running Store, in Tucson, Arizona. They collect and redistribute old running shoes to places in Africa. There are two organizations you can check out – One World Running and Reuse-a-Shoe if you want to recycle yours. Happy, guilt free running. Gotta love it.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Nature IS all it's cracked up to be!

What better thing for Mrs. Green to write about than nature? This morning I was in a beautiful place here in Arizona called Sabino Canyon by 6:00 a.m. The dawn was breaking, the air was crisp and the birds were singing to their hearts' content. When I met my Better Than Ever group to start the run (half marathon training!), we had only gone a little ways when we spotted three deer. Right after that a few bunnies ran across the road and the sun literally popped it's head up over the mountains. I actually got the hit "blog about this today" and so I am. What better thing can we possibly do to keep us mindful of preserving this beautiful planet than to actually go outside and remember why it is so very very important?

Give yourself a present in the next few days. Go somewhere beautiful and green and give thanks for it.


Monday, September 29, 2008

About Those Reusable Bags

There's a trick to replacing your plastic and paper bags with reusable ones. In order to make a difference, you have to use them! Quite a few articles have come my way recently talking about the incredible number of reusable bags being given away by corporations, environmental groups, and stores everywhere.

The truth about reusable shopping bags is that most of them are manufactured in China, shipped thousands of miles overseas, are made with plastic and could take years to decompose. So if you are not going to use them, you are actually worse of by taking one that's offered to you. However, if you change your habits (and this one does take a little work), each bag used multiple times - at least once a week - can replace 520 plastic bags a year. You might need four or five of them to hit that mark but think of the impact.

Simples hints for changing your habits are to put the bags in your car or by the door you use to go out of the house. You can even put a reminder on your grocery list. That way when you are checking to see if you have everything you need on the list - it will trigger your memory! And if, like me, you get stuck in the grocery line without it at times, you have two choices. One is to go back out to the car and get it (and that's extra exercise too) or the other is to take whichever bag you know you will reuse most - paper or plastic.

Here's to your success in making a difference by taking one simple little step to preserve the planet!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

This LIttle Piggy Went to Market!

Remember that? I can still make small children laugh with that simple little tradition. Enter Trisha from Ten Tiny Piggies Cloth Diapers - another example of necessity truly being the mother of invention. When Trisha, the mother of small children in diapers, searched for a more baby friendly, earth friendly alternative to disposable diapers, her frustration with a lack of viable alternatives led her in the direction of starting her own company. Trisha contacted me about her company, Ten Tiny Piggies, and I have been enamored ever since.

As Trisha's website so clearly states: "Using cloth diapers prevents about 6000 disposable diapers per child from ending up in the landfill where it will take hundreds of years to decompose. Using cloth diapers uses less than 1/2 the amount of water to launder than it does to manufacture disposable ones. It prevents contamination of our ground water by placing fecal matter where it belongs; our sewage system. AND it can save you thousands of dollars!" How can you argue with that logic? And why would you want to?

If you decide to take a minute out of your busy day to visit her website at, you will be delighted or at least find yourself grinning at how adorable she is and hopefully realize that this is one person making a difference for the planet. Trisha has thought of everything. She gives compelling reasons why using cloth diapers are better for your child and for the planet, she gives you instructions on how to use them that are detailed and leave no margin for error and she has other great community information, links and activities posted on her site as well.

My hats off to this budding entrepreneur, mother of I believe 5 young children and someone whose tag line is: saving the planet one cloth diaper at a time. Gotta love it and her!

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Continuing Saga of the CFL

The ongoing, ever-evolving story of the Compact Fluorescent Light Bulb (CFL) continues to unfold. As I have written before, they are not the perfect answer because of the small amount of mercury in them. That piece gets taken care of if you dispose of them properly. But they are an important step in the right direction.

On the solid upside, their benefit in terms of saving energy is unquestionable. So my friend and environmental one man Wikipedia, David Shaller, provided this update today on CFLs. It’s newsworthy and will have a significant impact on a go forward basis for consumers.

He writes: Toshiba to Halt all Incandescent Bulb Manufacture by 2010. Toshiba Lighting & Technology Corp. will close down all of its production lines of incandescent light bulbs by the end of 2010. The company has been producing incandescent bulbs the entirety of its 120-year corporate history and in 2006 turned out 40 million units. Toshiba will halt production of 81 types of incandescents in favor of compact fluorescent (CFL) and light-emitting diode (LED) lamps. Toshiba pioneered the world’s first ball-shaped CFL in 1980.

Thank you David!

And if you did not catch my show on Saturday, you did not get to hear the announcement that TEP (Tucson Electric Power for you out-of-towners) is partnering with Home Depot and Costco on an instant rebate program which makes CFLs affordable AND Home Depot is a drop of site for proper disposal if you break one! It really is another win/win/win. Good the environment,good way to save money, and easy way to dispose of them should you drop one!

Take one small step and change out those light bulbs. There has never been a better, more affordable opportunity.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Bag Lady Is At It Again!

I am sure you have people in your life that when you hear yet another wonderful thing they have done, you say to yourself “Isn’t she/he amazing?” That’s exactly how I feel about my friend and neighbor, Lisa Hawkins.

Lisa was the first guest on my radio show. She started an anti-plastic bag campaign in her school district making posters with great information and graphic pictures about public enemy number one. If you mention her name in the Catalina Foothills School District to almost any parent or staff member, there is usually instant recognition. She quietly goes about the business of changing the world one bag at a time – just one of her passions.

Enter the community garden project. Here’s the quote from the Arizona Daily Star article that cracked me up and touched my heart: “Sunrise parent Lisa Hawkins wasn’t an avid gardener in the past, but her passion for environmental sustainability sparked her idea to create a community garden on the former site of two portable trailers.” She didn’t know a thing about gardening before she started the project but trust me, that didn’t stop her. But then again, what does?

To check out the entire story and see the adorable picture of a six year old working with his Dad on the project, go to and put “garden connects community” in the search area. It will make your day.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Frenzy for Wood Pellets?

With record high humidity and the air feeling more like a sauna than something that helps you breath, it’s hard to get my head around heating my house at this point. Being a desert dweller, it’s not something I think about much anyway. But a Wall Street Journal article in this Wednesday’s edition, brought about the far reaching impact of high fuel costs one more time.

The article talked about homeowners who have more severe winters scrambling to buy wood burning stoves and other hearth appliances that burn sawdust pellets, corn, and even cherry and olive pits. Sales in some stores are up 250% store owners are saying that if the trend persists, people looking for stoves in September might have to wait until January until supplies come in.

The hardest to find items are pellet appliances which run partly off electricity and use sawdust capsules resembling rabbit food as the main fuel. The good news is they are particularly clean-burning and easy-to-use. And are you ready for this number? Sales at Home Depot alone have surged from 300 tons last year to 18,000 tons season-to-date this year. That number just blows me away and I am sure it will continue to rise.

I know that every time we fill up our tanks, it hurts. What I realized after reading this article, is that heating our homes is a place where we will all take another hit this winter. The average U.S. household is expected to spend 20% more this winter on heating with oil, natural gas, propane and electricity. Not a happy thought and one can only hope for a mild winter.

Another interesting little tidbit in this article was information about open combustion fireplaces which many homes have. They can actually be energy guzzlers, pulling heat out of the house and up the chimney. The alternatives like free standing wood and pellet stoves and fireplace inserts with insulated doors, or even newer open fireplaces can raise efficiency significantly.

Ending on an up note – the demand for these wood burning stoves of all kinds is creating jobs for people. Some companies have doubled the number of employees to ramp up for production. I always like to look for the silver lining and I usually find it.

Happy Friday.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Arizona Politicians Mixed on Oil

One of the things that is challenging to me is that when I read the newspapers, I know I am getting the author’s perspective/slant. Over time, one hopefully finds journalists to trust or reads two completely different viewpoints and tries to figure it out. Thus my topic – what’s the truth about oil drilling?

The good news is the both Gabby Giffords and John McCain both agree on opening up new areas for drilling. Giffords is in favor of exploring first and wants to see what’s out there. John McCain agrees. The debate centers on whether opening up new drilling would lower gas prices for consumers. Giffords says it’s a cruel hoax to imply that it would. Tim Bee disagrees.

My take? Total cynicism about oil companies lowering prices for any reason. When you read about record breaking profits and about salaries and bonuses paid to oil executives, you have got to wonder about the trickle down effect for consumers. I don’t ever try to predict the future but my thoughts are that oil companies would put a spin on increased prices due to high costs associated with new drilling and exploration. I just feel like they would find a way to make more money. My dream for the future? Healthy profits for all concerned - not greed and alternative fuels. We can’t let up.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Plastic Bags, Plastic Bottles and Spotlight on Tucson

Today I think I could write a novella just on things I read in the morning newspaper. The first article I want to celebrate is about public enemy number one: PLASTIC BAGS! They were the first topic on my radio show and the impact they have on our planet continues to be documented. So imagine my delight to find that Arizona Daily Star's reporter Stephanie Innes wrote about a photo exhibit that a Green Valley couple has started hoping to create a movement to dig Tucson out of a mountain of plastic bags.

Called The One Less Bag project, the couple want to create awareness and get people to take reusable bags to the store and make changes on their own. They hope with more people using reusable bags, we won’t need a ban on them – people will just want to make a difference. The photos are on exhibit through the end of August at the Rainbow Planet Coffee House at 606 N. Fourth Avenue. My hats off to Scott and Anna and to Stephanie for bringing us that news.

And the debate continues about bisphenol A use. A California bill has been introduced to restrict the use of it and require only trace amounts be used in products used by children under the age of three.

Bisphenol is a chemical found in plastic baby bottles and infant formula cans – to name just two items. There is really little dispute that it can disrupt the hormonal system but this is some dispute among scientists about whether the very low amounts found in food and beverage containers can be harmful. If you dig a little further, you will quickly find out other uses for it in things like dental sealant, eye glasses and other household goods. My take? Get it OUT of everything that any child three years old and under comes in contact with. Isn’t protecting our children from harm what grown-ups are supposed to do?

Now on a very happy note, our very own Desert Museum beat out the famed San Diego and St. Louis zoos in a travel recommendation’s Web site’s ratings of U. S. zoos and wild animal attractions. The Arizona Sonora Desert Museum finished second to the Memphis Zoo in the new rating from the trip advisor. ( ) Given high gas prices, it’s a great deal for locals and a great tourist attraction for out-of-towners who help support our local economy. I need to plan a trip out there with my family as it’s been way too long.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

WOW on the Olympics and a Good Word About Goodwill!

I honestly could not believe my eyes last night as I watched the opening ceremonies for the Olympics and I am soooooooo serious. There were times when my mouth was open, my eyes were popping and I was saying to my friend “how did they do that?” And I said it over and over again.

Even though I was tired, I had to wait to see the American team come out and was I ever proud. I admit to watching Project Runway and they had an episode where they asked the contestants to design an outfit for the Olympics so it really raised my interest level up a few notches. I was NOT disappointed. Our team looked classy, sporty and fun and the red, white and blue made me proud. I am sure the TV station will run clips of it again so try to catch some of the opening ceremonies if at all possible. And what am I thinking? I am sure it will end up on YouTube!!

On a local Olympian note, I was thrilled to see that three athletes with ties to Tucson will compete today. Check out the front page of the Arizona Daily Star for details.

Goodwill – the Ultimate Recycler of “Stuff”

Hats off (no pun intended) to Suzanne Lawder and the amazing staff at Goodwill Industries. The Arizona Daily Star’s Business section reported that with the downturn in the economy, Goodwill’s customer base is growing and the company plans to add FIVE new stores in Tucson in the next 5 years. How cool is that? Very! Suzanne reports that high school and college students have helped create the image of secondhand shopping as “cool and trendy.” I will be checking it out and I hope you do too.

And as a Rotarian, I LOVED the opening paragraph describing events at a recent Rotary Club meeting at which an impeccably dressed speaker told the audience her outfit was from a Goodwill Store. Coming from a modest background, my Mom was the ultimate thrift shop shopper. Since my sister and brother and I went to a somewhat “upscale” school, my Mom told us to keep our thrift shop finds quiet. It was a pride thing and there were times I honestly wished I could get new shoes or a new dress instead of “slightly used.” Well, then I became a “mild” hippie and was so proud to shout to the world my thrift shops finds. Everything cycles – right? So now it’s cool and trendy and GREEN!

Gotta love it!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Blessings to Our Olympians and Plant Waste As Fuel

I could not write a blog on 8/8/08 without sending best wishes and blessings to our Olympians. The Olympics create a spirit in the hearts of every American that puts politics aside and we all stand together to honor our athletes. We forget about the pollution in China, we forget about whether we do or do not respect China’s political practices and we stand tall and proud every time we hear our National Anthem play. I can’t imagine how hard it must be to make it to the Olympics and what it takes. I just know that it’s hard, that many sacrifices are made and that my heart beats rapidly when I sit glued to the T.V. These Olympic Games are supposed to attract the largest viewing audience in history and I know that I will be watching and cheering on the men and women who chose to make all the sacrifices it has taken them to get there.

And now for some Mrs. Green Humor. If you have been reading my blog on a regular basis, I hope it’s fairly obvious that I love being Mrs. Green and writing about all things green and beautiful. And I love to inject humor whenever I can. I am not sure why I think this is funny but reading that BP PLC will invest over $90 million in a U.S. producer of cellulosic ethanol biofuels made from nonfood feedstocks such as plant waste made me laugh. Maybe it’s because I don’t understand the myriad of alternative fuels being developed and maybe the idea of fueling my car on plant waste just hit the humor bone.

Don’t get me wrong. I like the idea. I like any ideas being explored that include the words “alternative fuel” because it gives me hope. And using the kind of waste they described in the article I read makes such good sense because it is recycling of plant waste. Given the mandates of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2008, which requires the U.S. to produce 21 billion gallons of advanced biofuels such a cellulosic ethanol by 2022, everybody in the alternative fuels business better get busy!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Greer Grounds Goes Green and Whole Foods Loan Program

I love alliteration! Imagine my surprise when I went to visit my favorite afternoon ice cream spot up in Greer, Arizona, and found a local Queen of Green! For those of you not familiar with Greer, it is a beautiful piece of green heaven in the northeast part of Arizona and about a four and a half hour drive from Tucson. The elevation is about 8300 feet so for a cool getaway and relief from the summer heat, it's perfect.

But I digress. Greer Grounds, the delightful little coffee shop on the main street, has great ice cream, awesome coffee and other wonderful treats - perfect for a vacation comfort food stop. The owner, Kristi Spillman, is committed to sustainability and making Greer greener! I was thrilled to find 100% biodegradable cups from from corn as well as forks, spoons and dishes all made from biodegradable materials as well. Her website is and I have to say it shows. If she can do it with the size of her shop, every restaurant in America should be able to and we should all be advocating for that every time we dine out.

On another "walk the talk" note - Whole Foods does it again. They have a local loan program that helps farmers to grow their business. The pilot program which can lend as much as $1,000 to $100,000 is called Local Producer Loan Program. The decentralized company is relying on employees who work with new and existing vendors to get the word out about the program. One person who has taken advantage of it received $50,000 to expand his certified-organic facility business which brews tea with sugar to create a fermented drink called kombucha.

I loved reading all the details of this article because Whole Food gets it. They emphasize carrying and marketing food and products from local businesses all over the country. This kind of program offers significant help to small growers and food artisans AND it makes our world a greener, healthier place. Kudos to Whole Foods for demonstrating outstanding leadership one more time.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Green Message Hits Back-to-school Cool & Something Just Plain Fun!

Imagine my surprise when the Accent section of today's Arizona Daily Star had on its front page a young man with a picture of Charlie Brown pointing to the recycling symbol! And of course the shirt was white with the image in GREEN. And to make it even better, the article, on back-to-school clothing trends, is entitled A+ Fashion Advice. It is, indeed, cool being green and a great message for kids to be sending.

To make this blog short and sweet - a simply delightful treat. My brother sent me this email yesterday and even though I was rushing to go somewhere, something made me stop and watch it. I did just what he said - PLAY VERY LOUDLY AND REJOICE.
And indeed I did. I hope you will take the time out of your day to watch this and delight in it like I did. It just purely, simply, delightfully fun. And that is good for our planet! Thank you to the young man who travelled all over the world to make millions of people smile, thanks to the Internet and thanks to my brother for sharing.

Have a great week-end and remember living green can be FUN!!!!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Bagless In Seattle and $11.68 billion Exxon Profit

Thanks to my friends who emailed me about about the plastic bag charge in Seattle. The Seattle City Council on Monday approved a 20-cent charge for consumers who want to bring home a disposable paper or plastic shopping bag from convenience, drug and grocery stores. What I like about this is that you have a choice - bring your own bag or pay for one. The City Council also made plans to distribute at least one reusable bag to its residents and even discussed provisions for low income families. If you ever want to get a visual of our massive plastic bag consumption PER MINUTE, check out this website: and click on Running the Numbers. A picture is worth more than a thousand words. And if you want to change one small habit and take a step towards preservation of the planet, stop using plastic bags. It's a great way to take a single step. And let's hope more and more cities take note and put pressure on leaders to take action.

On another note, Wall Street never ceases to amaze me. I admit I was somewhat disgusted when I read about Exxon Mobil Corporation's record-breaking profits Thursday. I am a GREAT believer in profits - trust me. This number just seemed a bit excessive given our challenging economic times. The world's largest publicly traded oil company turned a profit of $11.68 billion and we all know why because we were paying for it at the pumps!

Imagine my surpise and confusion when I read that Wall Street expected more and Exxon's stock slumped. My old stand-by "are you kiddng me right now" thought came to mind. How much is enough? More research revealed that record energy prices inflated costs for plants that process crude and natural gas into fuels and chemicals so profits fell. And production of oil declined to its lowest average since 2005. My next thought was "so how much is that going to cost us down the road?"

But I am and shall always be an eternal optimist and hopefully will ALWAYS end my writing on a note of hope and possibility. Oil prices will result in increased progress on the alternative fuels front and tap into creative minds committed to finding solutions. And you can be sure I will write about any progress in that arena.

Have a safe, green weekend and remember to take your reusable bags to EVERY store you walk into - not just the grocery store.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Arizona's First Wind Farm a Win/Win/Win

I am happy to report that Arizona is building its first wind-energy farm. The Salt River Project has agreed to buy all the electrical energy from the farm to be built 18 miles northwest of Snowflake.

It's a win because it takes Arizona one step closer to actually using a renewable energy source. We won't run out of wind any time soon.

It's a win because it will bring good jobs, additional revenue and clean energy to Navajo County and thus to our State.

And it's a win because millions of pounds of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, will be prevented from entering the atmosphere.

This is such a step forward for the diversification of Arizona's electricity generation. We all know that the costs of fossil fuels continue to rise and that the electricity generated by wind has zero fuel costs and zero emissions. It should absolutely help lower or stabilize rates for utilities in the long run. Let's make sure we keep watching!

On a local angle for Tucson, Tucson Electric Power Co. is looking a wind-powered opportunities and has issued a request for proposals for renewable energy projects that could include wind. Stay tuned.

And as usual, I have to add my comment about how good it is for our State to be leaders in this arena.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

THe Ongoing Green Conundrum

Today I started reading an article in the WSJ about energy companies flocking to Appalachia to buy land in order to drill test wells in search of natural gas deposits. The more I read the more I wanted to stop reading because I started to get what I call that "green angst." It starts in my gut and moves it's way through my whole body because I really like to be clear about my opinions. And in the rapidly changing, moving to greener pastures world of ours, sometimes it is just what I said - an ongoing green conundrum.

On the one hand, I really believe we need to continue to search for any kind of fuel that makes us less dependent upon foreign oil. There are places in the U.S. where geologists say there is enough natural gas to meet U. S. demand for two years. And that is a good thing.

On the other hand, (and forcing me past the angst and through the article), environmentalist raised what seems to me a very legitimate concern about water contamination. A non-profit news service cited instances of drinking water contamination in states where a particular kind of drilling technique (known as hydraulic fracturing or hydrofracking) is used to drill. Reading on to the very end, the article states that the drilling won't cause groundwater contamination, it's the water being used to drill that's filled with harmful chemicals that is the concern. i.e. How will the water filled with frac fluid and brine be discharged back into the river systems?

What noone questioned was that the chemicals used in the drilling process are toxic.

Thus the condundrum. Can't someone out there just figure this out so that I don't have green angst? How about drill, spend a little more money on treating the water (and we all know there has GOT to be a way), maybe have a slightly less profit margin and turn things into a win/win. Maybe I just don't know enough or maybe even better- it's just that simple!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Cars, Cities and Word About Masks

I am hoping the title kind of throws you! As I was doing my early morning blog preparation, I really wasn't' in the mood to write about cars. But write about cars I must. There are no less than THREE articles about cars in today's Wall Street Journal so I took it as a sign. On the good news list, and I quote "Honda Motor Co is the only major car company that guessed right on gasoline prices and geared up in the past few years to sell small cars." My first thought was how proud I am to be a green partner with Chapman Automotive. I aligned myself with them because of their commitment to working towards a greener company and because of Honda. And with their new plant in Indiana moving ahead, Honda will be providing jobs to Americans and giving us more fuel efficient cars. That makes Mrs. Green smile!

The other two articles affirmed my belief about the confusing part of car talk - is diesel better or isn't it. You can read the article to find out more. Article three gets a mere mention as it discussed how big, flashy, really expensive car sales are down. Oh well.

Now about that "cities" part. There was an entire section in the Journal today about success stories - taking a look at seven places that took different approaches to economic development and came out ahead. Five of those cities are in the United States and two in other countries. The stories were all great, inspiring, educational and did I say inspiring? I live in Tucson, Arizona and wish that all of our City and County leaders would read this and get spurred into action. It takes courage and leadership and solid public/private partnerships. I believe that every city wanting to reinvent itself has the basic ingredients it takes to do just that. It's the leadership and courage piece we need to focus on here in the Old Pueblo. Given our leadership in solar and our Clean Cities initiatives, let's move forward and put our city on the map!

And now about those masks. A few weeks ago, I wrote about the dilemma Olympians face about wearing masks and the potential for insulting the host country. My friend Cassandra,who has visited there very recently, writes: "In Beijing, wearing a mask is not an insult, the Beijingers wear them themselves." So maybe it's just that we would think it's insulting. Thank you my friend!

Have a great, green week.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

A Local Tribute and Heartfelt Good-bye to a National Hero

I admit I was a bit conflicted as I sat to write my blog this morning. Given the fact the people take the time to read what I write, I owe them quality, good content and want to add some humor every chance I get. Upon reflection, writing about good news for Tucson and paying tribute to a national hero who died this week seems like the right thing to do.

Tucson Electric Power was recognized for being among the nation's top 10 "most solar integrated utilities" in the first ranking of its kind by the Solar Electric Power Association. TEP earned its recognition for both its company owned installations as well as the photovoltaic systems that customers have installed on their rooftops through TEP's Sunshare program. It gets even better - they randed 5th for their company-owned capacity and 3rd on a per customer basis. So TEP is walking the walk and local Tucson citizens are stepping up and helping to make Tucson an emerging leader in the area of alternative energy. Congratulations!

In terms of this tribute, I didn't feel as though I could write anything today without paying tribute to Randy Pausch. Randy is the professor from Carnegie-Mellon University who turned his death into a story that uplifted the hearts of millions of Americans.

When Randy found out he had just months to live, he gave a humorous and life-affirming lecture to 400 of his students and colleagues. Thanks to the Internet, the story spread across thousands of websites. During these past months, he also wrote a book called "The Last Lecture" which he saw as a gift to his three young children. "How do you get 30 years of parenting into three months? You write it down is what you do." And so he did.

What impact Randy had on so many of us was to stop and think about how very precious each and every day of life is, that we all need to make sure our priorities, especially in terms of our children,are straight and to live life purposefully. So I take this opportunity to honor Randy Pausch and to join the millions of people around the world he want to say thank you. You are a true hero.

A Local Tribute and A National, Hearfelt Good-Bye

I admit I was conflicted this morning about what to write.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Smorgy Borgy On Green - Cars, Bugs and Fast Food

The strangest thing about blogging is that "send it out to cyberspace" feeling and not ever knowing if anyone is reading what you have written. Well, since I have been blogging,I have found that just putting my many green thoughts in writing feels great and I love it. Enter Sara and Hank - two people who told me yesterday they like my blog and Sara even told me she has added it to her favorites. I am thrilled and will do my best to retain that standing! Thanks to both of you.

In our house when we all have something different to eat for dinner, we call it smorgy borgy so today my blog is just that - three shorts blurbs on very diverse topics.

Cars - every day cars make the news. No surprise on any one's part given the impact of rising gas prices. So after reading a long article today about one car giant teaming with dozens of utilities on plug-in cars this thought struck me - where is all the energy for the plug-in cars going to come from? I am NOT a scientist and I don't even make believe that I understand all of the massive pieces of information out there about electric cars and alternative fuels. But what I do know is that along the education of Mrs. Green journey, I listen to experts of all kinds talk about sucking energy off the grid and that we have to find alternatives to what we are doing now. So there is no conclusion on Mrs. Green's part for this part of the smorgy borgy. My opinion is let's keep working on those alternative fuel concepts that seem to offer so much promise and much needed relief to consumers.

Bugs - if you garden or if you like interesting, fun, funny stories, I invite you to go online and read the entire article in yesterday's Wall Street Journal entitled War of the Roses: Beetle vs. Nematode written by Steve Stecklow. You will love it - trust me. Besides being cleverly written, it epitomizes the challenge of caring, mainstream, committed people and their efforts to go organic. The author declared war on the Japanese beetle but was forbidden by his wife to exercise what he calls "the nuclear option" i.e. poisons. His description of spraying invisible nematodes all over the garden will have you laughing like it did me. There is no conclusion as it's a bit too early in the back east growing season but I will be watching for a follow-up article.

Fast Food - this one is a little bit of stretch for a Mrs. Green topic as it's more philosophical than strictly green. Lawmakers around the country are starting to introduce legislation to ban new fast-food restaurants and regulate the industry because of the war on obesity. Maybe it's just me but I think where I eat and where I took my kids to eat when they were growing up was totally up to me. No one has ever tried to lure me into McDonalds and force a Big Mac down my throat. I always felt it was my responsibility to teach my children about nutrition and exercise and taking care of their bodies. The truth be told, all three of them are much healthier eaters than my husband and I. They have brought us a long way and honestly avoid fast food except for a very occasional lapse. So it is with all things green and beautiful. Parents have a responsibility to teach their children about respecting Mother Earth, about why we don't liter, about conserving energy by turning off lights and not wasting water etc. If you want to take a stand about fast food, don't eat it! Fast food restaurants are already getting the message and are introducing somewhat healthier choices into their menus. Let the market dictate - not the government in this case.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Green Challenges and A little Whining!

As many business leaders, builders and contractors continue to support green building and sustainability, the challenges remain in what I like to call "the emerging market." Laws are being proposed that appear to have some unclear standards and questions are being raised about how the laws being passed will be enforced. Today's Arizona Daily Star discusses those concerns around a proposed City rainwater law. It would require that by 2010, new business developments submit rainwater-harvesting plan. Developers would have to get 75% of their landscaping water from storing rainwater in cisterns or by building berms or large basins to hold rainwater on building sites. I have to say I hope the City stays the course and continues to work with developers to go strongly in this direction. As a desert dweller and as one who has listened to the water experts, doing this will be a win/win in the long run. We have got to figure out ways to make measures like this work - for all of us.

Now a bit of whining. I don't really know all that I need to about oil companies and how they spend their money. What I do know is that once again, all of the "BIG ONES" are posting record breaking profits - in the billions. Granted, many of the oil-firm investors will get the lion's share of the profits. What gets to me is the lip service oil companies pay to so much money going to research and development. FACT: the percentage they spend to find new deposits of fossil fules has remained flat for years, in the mid-single digits. The rise in gas prices is hurting millions of people who live paycheck to paycheck and retirees who have a fixed income and all businesses whose services involve driving (and what business doesn't to some extent?) So as oil company execs and oil-firm investors reap HUGE profits, I say let's put the pressure on wherever we can to find alternative fuels, become less dependent on oil and create new, exciting ways to move forward to a world where we are sharing the wealth AND preserving the planet.

Mrs. Green

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Faith Based Community In Action

It's heartening to see what many faith-based communities are doing to make our world a better place. They are in action all over the country and I am proud to report about a local Tucson community who recently received an honor from the Sierra Club. And I want to thank my friends Tom and Susan for sending me the link as it's one I missed!

Here are excerpts from Stephanie's article:

Stephanie Innes from the Arizona Daily Star reported last week that St. Mark's Presbyterian Church in Tucson, AZ., earned a pat on the back from a national environmental group.
The church is highlighted in the Sierra Club's new report titled "Faith in Action: Communities of Faith Bring Hope for the Planet," released in June. The group recognized the environmental work of religious communities by highlighting one "exceptional faith-based environmental initiative" from each of the 50 states, plus Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.

St. Mark's and its pastor, the Rev. Stuart Taylor, are featured in the Arizona entry of the report, titled "Sacred Water." It recognizes the church's commitment to water issues locally and internationally. Taylor has implored his congregation to envision "an Earth transformed, in which the waters of the Earth are able to bless, heal and sustain all life."

Church members are involved in conserving and restoring water resources, and are developing a rainwater-harvesting system. The St. Mark's youth group recently took part in a cleanup of Southern Arizona's San Pedro River. Taylor reread the Old and New Testaments last year from an environmental perspective and began hosting community education events titled "The Green Bible" about Scripture and the environment. He keeps an up-to-date environmental page on the church's Web site, including tips for reducing one's carbon footprint.

An extensive environmental audit of the church resulted in a commitment to improve its use of natural lighting, as well as to replace shallow-rooted plants with xeriscaping, or desert landscaping that uses little water.
The church, at 3809 E. Third St., also is installing clear, easy-access stations for recycling, particularly near the kitchen and coffee-hour area, and reducing the use of plastic liners for some trash cans.
The "green" tips that Taylor has given to parishioners include: Wash clothes in warm or cold water, turn down the water heater's temperature, buy organic, eat locally grown food, eat less meat and buy in bulk, which uses less packaging.
"Almost all of the world's major religions have long-standing teachings and traditions that shape the way humans should relate to the natural world, although these teachings have not always been emphasized by those in leadership," the Sierra Club report says.
"After centuries of lying dormant, religious perspectives on environmental stewardship are being revived and communicated with great fervor, bringing new energy and vision to the movement to protect the planet. This awakening is not an accident," it adds.

Now that is a community involved and making a difference. It is changing our world - all for the better.

Mrs. Green

Monday, July 21, 2008

Thinking Globally and Acting Locally -Beijing/Tucson

This morning as I was doing my Mrs. Green's Research, think globally, act locally was the first thing that popped into my head after I read both the Wall Street Journal and the Arizona Daily Star.

Globally thinking, I am a bit perplexed about Beijing's notoriously bad air quality and how that fits into the need for all Olympians to breath the cleanest air possible as they compete for the gold. What were people thinking? How bad is it? Well, it's so bad that the U.S. Committee has developed a mask model for athletes in secrecy. Yes, what the mask is made of has still not been released. Athletes will be be in a position of choosing to wear the mask and risk insulting their host country or not wear a mask and literally risk losing their race. You can read all about it on the front page of today's WSJ. Beijing is doing everything possible to improve air quality during the games but the challenges are many with over 3.3 million cars taking to the road daily. Stay tuned.

And on the local front, it was heartening to see the title "Street signs sparkle in solar pilot program" in this morning's local paper. The Tucson Department of Transportation is testing solar powered caution signs to see if they stand up to heat and remain visible during the bright, sunny days in the Old Pueblo. Along the Mrs. Green journey, I have learned that too much heat is a huge challenge to almost solar-powered anything. Mild sunny days are best for solar power. And we have plenty of those so let's keep testing and trying!

Have a great day and do one great, green act!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Green Insurance? Are You Kdding Me Right Now?

Yes, you read it correctly! Wednesday's WSJ reported that a U.S unit of German insurer Allianz will begin offering homeowners' protection in California next month that will cover the cost of rebuilding houses to environmentally friendly standards, the latest sign of green products penetrating the financial services market. The policies will actually be offered through the Fireman's Fund Insurance Co.

So what does "green" insurance actually cover? There's a long list and it's all great: energy efficient lighting and appliances, updated plumbing, heating and cooling devices, and even extends to rebuilding one's home with lumber purchased from companies certified as implementing responsible forest management practices. All of these actions can help reduce energy costs and help preserve the planet.
Having policies like this also mean there is a growing to demand for green!

Cost? Not so much. $70 a year per $1 million in home value.

My question: why only California?

I will keep watching! draft 7:18:00 AM by Mrs. Green Delete

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Wednesday, July 16, 2008


I know this whole green thing has many serious sides but my mantra is going to continue to be "what if living green can be fun?" And so it is.

I know that all the doom and gloom about what is going on right now will bring out great things from deep inside people and creativity, innovation and stimulating ideas will contiue to pop up all over the place. Thus today's topic - Staycationers!
There are even Staycation Planners springing up!

The concept of Staycation is creating a fun, vacation like experience without leaving home. You have GOT to have fun with it. One example: A family in Oakland, CA., passed on a trip to Hawaii this year for a camp-out in their living room. They set up the tent in the living room, cooked s'mores over a candle, ate hot dogs prepared in the kitchen and read camp stories in the tent. They made staying home an excellent, fun, creative adventure. So now every night their 3 year old son asks his dad if they can camp out. Another man in Oregon started furnishing his apartment like a hotel room as a joke saying he was too broke to go on vacation. Word of mouth spread and he has recreated the stunt 11 times since April - renting his place out complete with hotel soaps (which he buys), do not disturb signs and room service from a local restuarant. You gotta love it!

For the complete skinny, check out the 7/16 Personal Journal section of the Wall Street Journal online. Trust me, you will be laughing as much as I did.

Mrs. Green

The most unlikely use for duct tape!

Good morning. There has been a joke around our house for years about duct tape. It can fix anything that's broken, right? Even when we were up in cool, green, high country in Greer, Arizona last week, my husband and I saw a man duct taping the broker skylight window in his vehicle. We made our standard joke about duct tape - it fixes everything.

Well, I would have never thought of duct tape removing kids' warts! You read it correctly - kids' warts! Not only have there been definitive studies supporting this theory (one is Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma), the article I read in the Arizona Daily start was written by a mom who got to try it on her child! In the study, there was consistency - apply duct tape for 6 days, remove, soak affected area, use pumice or emery board to scrape and repeat the process. It took an average of two months for warts to disappear. The mom who wrote the article said they deviated from the forumula and weren't as consistent but guess what? Happy ending! Warts gone, no costly medical procedure needed and no harsh chemicals used to remove the warts. AND most importantly from this mom's point of view - it was painless for her child.

So did I say living green can be fun? And believe me, I can fit almost anything into living a greener life - like removing warts with duct tape.

For more info about this and other great "how to" ideas from the author of the article, Vanessa Raymond, visit

Have a great, green day.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Green is so great!

I continue to believe that living in the "green" world is a happier place to live in a world filled with challenges of just about every sort. So looking for green info is fun, informative and usually has an optimistic outcome.

Today? No exception? Today's Wall Street Journal had a great article in their Enterprise section about businesses emerging to help school fund-raisers go green. How fun and great is that? There is a company called Greenrising that sells products such as recycled gift wrap and reusable water bottles. One school reported that selling these two products resulted in their best fundraiser EVER! Another company, Green Students Fundraising, sells energy efficient light bulbs, stainless steel water bottles and dryer balls (they soften clothes & reduce drying time). And last but not least, Higher Grounds Trading Company is a fair=trade coffee roaster, that is marketing to schools and take it a step further. Schools can incorporate lessons about the environment and labor standards are part of their partnership with schools.

And my final comment is again about why I love living the going green life. One parent quoted in the article said that we are giving kids mixed messages about obesity and eating healthy and then having them sell cookie dough and candy to raise money for their schools. As a sucker for any kid who rings my doorbell, I always say yes and never thought about the conflict. I will now...