Thursday, October 16, 2008

All Bound UP.... no more!

This week I wanted to share with you my journey through some natural remedies, what worked and why I began searching for something in the first place. On with my story...

Ever since I was born it seems I've been constipated. Whoops can I blog about this??? Anyway, I used to use all the common and OTC remedies like laxatives, psyllium husks, fiber, prunes, citrate of magnesia, etc. Think I tried them all. Fiber bound me up even more, most laxatives were way to harsh and I never understood the fascination with prunes. Didn't work at all. So I'd go once a week, if lucky, and usually felt miserable. The picture is the little wee me at 3. Awe! Was I ever that young?

In 1986 went to the doctor, he poked and prodded around my abdomen. Couldn't find anything. Suggested some tests. Through ultrasound they found I had gall stones. I was completely asymptomatic but they wanted to take out my gall bladder. Was told that 'I was a ticking time bomb and if I didn't have surgery one day I'd have an attack and may die as a result'. Oh my GAWD!I asked my doctor if there was an alternative to surgery. He said not that he knew of and if I found one he wanted to know. I began searching and found a natural gall stone flush which I did several times. Saw the little green stones in my stool... it worked!Told my doctor about it. He was amazed and said, " I still think you need surgery." Hummm. My conclusion... he was fixated on surgery, rather then the cause of my constipation. Seemed there was nothing else he could offer. So I opted to keep my gall bladder and went on my own personal search to end my constipation. Looked to natural remedies, various colon cleansers and herbal laxatives like Cascara Sagrada. They worked about as well as the OTC I tried, but didn't fix the cause. healingcenterAZ

In May 1989 I traveled to Sedona, AZ for a week long healing retreat at the Healing Center of Arizona. I wanted clarification that a decision I made was on target. I wasn't really looking to be healed, rather wanted to experience everything I could. The week was filled with all sorts of treatments, crystal healing, 'Life Healing', massage, veggie diet, acupressure, past life regression, daily walks on the land and nightly dancing. It was a veritable feast of alternative treatments, joy and fun. I met lots of folks who felt like family and felt truly at home. It became clear that my decision was on target. I felt full of energy and purpose. cassia-angustifolia

Fast forward... January 1992 started a 3 year spiritual journey  traveling and camping all over the country without a stationary home. Well you can imagine the effect traveling and camping in the backwoods had... hummm, no private bathroom to sit and cogitate. In early 1993 made a brief stop in Sedona where I met a chiropractor. Told him about my constipation and he suggested a product he sold called ChiroCleanse. I bought a box and tried it... was a miracle! It moisturized the stool, was gentle and effective. The main ingredient was Cassia Angustifolia. But I couldn't find it anywhere else so was still in a bind... so to speak. Blush, ahem.

LaciLaBeau On another trip (1994) through Sedona I met a man who had the same difficulty. He used Laci Le Beau Super Dieter's Tea and enemas. I opted for the tea, thank you. It was widely available at health food stores and contained Cassia Angustifolia which I already knew worked for me. Everything was good in my life. I drank a cup of poop tea, as I affectionately began calling it, every night before bed.

Back in Sedona again (early 1995) rented a room for a couple of months from a woman who talked about the value of coffee enemas and green juice fasting. You guessed it! I did a week long fast with daily coffee enemas and poop tea too. Even opted to do another gall stone flush in the process. I felt squeaky clean as a result... but, afterward was still bound up. The only thing I didn't try during all of this was a colonic. oatmeal

Fast forward again... in 2004 a friend suggested I read Outlander  by Diana Gabaldon. Are you thinking, "What that heck does Outlander have to do with any of this?" Well it was one of the steps that lead me to a solution. In the 'Outlander series', Jamie and his Scottish comrades protest the lack of oatmeal in their diets because they swore it kept flaxseed them regular. When I read this a bell went off. I added oatmeal a couple of times a week which made a difference. Then another friend suggested I add ground flaxseed too and sent me some to try. It also made a visible difference.

In 2006 still doing nightly poop tea and oatmeal with ground flax... I began wondering about long term deleterious effects of the tea on my body. I didn't notice any, but hey 13 years of doing any herb nightly seemed excessive to me. Enter my x-husband, his fiancee, son and great aunt. While they were concentraceminerals staying with me for a couple of days he let me try some ionic minerals which he took daily and swore by. He mentioned that too much gives one loose stool, so gave me a smaller dose. Wow such an effect. I stopped drinking nightly poop tea. I bought some of the same product he suggested online, used it up and started looking for a local source. Ended up buying ConcenTrace Trace Mineral Drops and taking 1/2 teaspoon in orange juice daily. I thought the minerals would be a replacement for the nightly tea and most likely I'd be taking them for the rest of my life. Wrong! After 8 months of taking a daily dose, my body started having reactions after I took it. This was an indication the body had enough so I stopped altogether. I thought I'd have to go back to poop tea again. Joyous surprise... I haven't taken any more tea since.

I continue to eat a bowl of oatmeal with ground flax regularly. I haven't been constipated at all. Thank God for small miracles!

Here's a couple of oatmeal/flaxseed recipes I created:

Bonnee's Yummy Breakfast Oats (microwave or stovetop) for 1 serving

1/2 cup regular organic oatmeal, 1 cup filtered water, pinch of sea salt, handful nuts (almonds, pecans, walnuts, etc.), handful pumpkin seed (shelled), handful sunflower seeds (shelled), handful chopped or whole dried fruit (cranberries, raisins, apricots, dates, etc.), 1/4 to 1/3 cup ground flax seeds.

Microwave: Put all ingredients except flax into large microwave safe bowl. Cook 3 to 4 minutes. Add flax, stir and serve with real maple syrup or vanilla almond milk.

Stovetop: In a small stainless steel pot bring water and salt to a boil. Stir in oats cook till soft about 3 minutes. Transfer to serving bowl stir in flax meal, seeds, nuts and dried fruit. Serve with real maple syrup, vanilla almond milk or whatever you like.

Bonnee's WoW Soft Oatmeal Cookies

Bake 350° 11 minutes. Makes about 2 dozen 2" cookies.

1 cup organic whole wheat flour, 1/2 cup ground flax, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, 1/4 lb. (1 stick) organic sweet butter, softened, 3/4 cup packed brown cane sugar, 1 large organic egg, 1/8 cup organic unbleached sugar, 3/4 tsp real vanilla extract,   1-3/4 cup organic oatmeal, 1/2 cup mixed raisins, gogi berries and dried cranberries (softened in hot water and drained) and a handful of each pumpkin seed (shelled), sunflower seed (shelled) and chopped walnuts.

Sift together flour, salt, spices, baking powder and soda. Stir in ground flax seed, set aside. In another bowl cream butter, add sugars and beat until smooth and creamy. Add egg and vanilla, beat until well incorporated. Slowly add sifted flour. Dump in oatmeal, nuts, raisins, and seeds mix to incorporate well. Drop by tablespoon onto Silpat, parchment or greased cookie sheets. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly brown. Cool 2 minutes on sheet and transfer to cooling rack. Enjoy!

Conclusion: My chronic constipation seemed at least in part to be the result of a mineral deficiency. When the minerals were balanced my chronic constipation was gone. Hope my discoveries and journey were interesting and helpful.

Caveat: Always use discernment with everything in life. Never ingest something to which you are allergic and ask your doctor's advice before trying something new.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Exciting New Environmental Technologies

I've been reading up on some innovative new products and technologies. It's so exciting I just had to blog about what I found.

Effective Environmental Services - Organic EM

Discovered by Dr. Teruo Higa, EM or Effective Micro-organisms are Probiotic, non-harmful, and non-genetically modified. They are the same cultures found in yogurt, cheese and beer. Some uses of EM include: agriculture - organic fertilizer increases crop yield by 30%, 90% decrease of antibiotic usage in livestock, sewage treatment - 50% increased efficiency, 90% reduction of toxic gas, organic mold handling, home - extends shelf life of produce, reduces laundry detergent use by 2/3 and more. A list of EM products are available here.

Petro Algae - Oil from Algae

PetroAlgae Melbourne, FL owned by XL Tech Group is growing a renewable, sustainable, essentially carbon neutral source of oil. High yield - can produce 200x more oil per acre than traditional biofuel crops like soy. PetroAlgae systems do not need arable land for production, so are not in competition with traditional food crops. Algae oil can be used for transportation and home heating fuels, bioplastics, nutraceuticals, pigments and cosmetics. In addition the byproducts can be utilized for livestock feed, fertilizer and biomass for electricity generation.

PetroSun Rio Hondo, TX algae bio-diesel plant started production April 2008. First Algae Biodiesel Plant Goes Online: April 1, 2008 (29, March 2008) 4.4 million gallons of algal oil and 110 million lbs. of biomass per year off a series of saltwater ponds spanning 1,100 acres. Twenty of those acres will be reserved for the experimental production of a renewable JP8 jet-fuel.

GreenFuel Technologies high yield algae farms recycle carbon dioxide from flue gases to produce biofuels and feed, reducing net carbon dioxide production as waste becomes profit. Harvesting algae for biofuels enhances domestic fuel production while mitigating CO2.

Green Tech Media Life on Mars: The Secret Ingredient for Bio-fuel (27, May 2008) writes about algae bio-diesel applications and companies.

ABsalutecology - new filtering system cuts CO2 by 99.95%

ABsalutecology Karaganda
Kazakhstan has developed a new filtering technology which removes Sulphur dioxide, CO2, Nitrogen and particulates from factory smoke emissions. This new filter removes 99.95% of harmful particulates and toxic gas.

Amazing! A great interim step to help clean the atmosphere while other environmentally friendly manufacturing processes are developed.

6 ways Mushrooms can save the world

Paul Staments, Mycologist talks about fungi. He says partnering with mycelium can save the world and illustrates its' beneficial effects. Some of these include: medicinal -fungi has strong antibiotic action against Pox and flu viruses, natural pest / bug control - testing shows desporated fungi kills most insects, petrochemical spills  - mycelium cleaned up a diesel spill and regenerated the soil restoring life, ethanol production - fungi is fast growing and can be converted into ethanol, nerve gas breakdown, and agricultural applications. Staments holds 22 patents for mushroom-related technologies.

Ethos Environmental, Inc. - Ethos FR reduces emissions by up to 63% and increases fuel efficiency as much as 10%

Ethos FR is a fuel additive which helps engines burn liquid fuel more efficiently. It is non-toxic, non-hazardous and works with any fuel or oil. Ethos is free of carcinogens and is not derived from petroleum. It utilizes three specific cleaning and lubricating esters suspended in a 100% pure mineral oil base. One cleaning ester group penetrates the metal and dissolves carbon buildup, as well as cleaning and removing gum and soot buildup. The other two esters are lubricating esters. One is a surface lubricant the other a penetrating lubricant. Ethos FR, a great interim product to help lessen environmental impact now.

Some links you may enjoy:

Aarcher Institute of Environmental Training - courses address developing environmental management and regulatory challenges, while remaining centered on core environmental concepts and standards.

Bainbridge Graduate Institute - BGI's pioneering MBA and Certificate programs prepare diverse leaders to build enterprises that are financially successful, socially responsible and environmentally sustainable.

World Resources Institute - is an environmental think tank that goes beyond research to find practical ways to protect the earth and improve people’s lives.

Earth Policy Institute - dedicated to building a sustainable future as well as providing a plan of how to get from here to there.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Green ecology, Green finance, Green consciousness

This week I've been talking to people and reading a lot about the condition of the economy. But from the most gut wrenching levels... the effect financial mis-management has had on the people and the world at large.

tentcityDid you know there are increasing numbers of people who are jobless and homeless too? Some people are living in their cars or in tents. I lived in a tent and a car for 3 years so I know what it's like, but mine was by choice, not necessity a very different thing.

The foreclosure rates are soaring in the USA. 102,000 in August alone. Year-to-date, 1,450,000 US homeowners (19.6 of every 1,000 households) faced pre-foreclosure. That is mind boggling.

Credit-card debt is on the brink of imploding and will be the next storm to hit. Innovest StrategicValue Advisors, a consulting firm, forecasts that banks will charge off $18.6 billion worth of credit card receivables in the first quarter of 2009 and $96 billion in 2009 -- that would be 261% more than in 2007 and 131% higher than the level it expects by the end of 2008.

Makes one wonder why? Since 2004 the interest rates on credit cards have climbed from 4% to more then 24.99%. This is for those with good credit scores who maintain a balance and pay their bills on time. The credit lenders promoted card usage by upping available credit limits, issuing checks and offering 0% rates on some new cards. Some credit card companies even issued cards to those who had just filed bankruptcy. Would this be considered questionable credit lending practices? Some people abused the system, over spent and were irresponsible. But many, perhaps unwisely, used credit cards to supplement income; to buy food and pay bills, insurance premiums and medical expenses. Thinking they'd be able to payoff the balance at the current interest rate. But the rates kept getting higher and higher which can be devastating financially. 

As well subprime and prime mortgages were written with questionable financing. I have a disabled friend that refinanced his home in 2007. Said he couldn't afford the principle and interest payments, so opted for interest only for 5 years. Another woman I know purchased a home 3 years ago and her payments ($4,600/mo.) are more then 75% of her income. Why would any responsible lender do this? Why didn't they deny the loans? Have we put our trust in a faulty system?

Even if the lending practices were responsible life circumstances can change. Another woman I met over coffee last week said she lost her primary income source and is doing everything she can to keep her home. She has it up for sale, but the slow markets keep her house poor. What little income she's able to generate goes to the house payment. She applied for food stamps but was ridiculed and investigated because she owned a home. She opted instead to visit the local food bank to survive. Do we sometimes judge others to harshly? Or come to sweeping conclusions which are erroneous?

These 3 good, honest people are on the brink of financial collapse. If anything else is added to their plates they may all end up homeless. And these are only a few of folks I know. Imagine what it must be like nationwide or perhaps worldwide?

And we've got the opposite end of the spectrum. WAMU's CEO Alan Fishman worked 3 weeks, now is headed out the door with $19 million in his pocket. There are too many other stories like that I won't write about. I'm certainly not against people getting bonuses, but when the CEO gets $19 million and the stock holders get zip... that's convoluted.

When there is so much disparity, one may ask, 'What's wrong with this picture'?

Global Financial Crisis?

U.S. turmoil churns up an ill wind worldwide (1 October 2008) Park Yung-Chul, a Korea University economist, who also has taught at Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology says of the USA, "On finance, you're becoming a second-class economy. How could you do so badly managing your economy and managing international affairs? And now you've created this global financial crisis for which everyone is going to suffer!"

Put pollutionClimate Change Solutions on hold?

In Australia there is talk about a 60% or even 90% reduction  in green- house emissions by 2050. (30 Sept 2008) Rudd's expert wants tougher carbon goals. Top climate change adviser Ross Garnaut has warmed to the idea of a deep cut to greenhouse emissions - but he thinks it probably won't happen. The Business lobby group, Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) said tackling climate change must be approached cautiously because of global financial instability.

Let's rethink this...

Global financial instability is a reality. Global warming is also a reality.

Green ecology...

Massive change is needed in the world financial markets for survival of the global economy. Just like massive change is needed in the current pollution of the environment for survival of life. While the financial world is being restructured it is an excellent opportunity to consider greener ways of doing business, living life, interacting with each other and our environment.

This is Green ecology -  the interrelation of people, the environment and the economy. It considers the big picture.

Green finance...

Green finance specifically considers money and how it is managed. The creation and distribution of money with consideration given to how it impacts not only the economy but society as a whole, the earth, and all life. How we can wisely manage money to benefit all... not just a few.

With wise restructuring of money also comes the wise use of resources and the impact on society and the environment. Green finance as I see it is a holistic approach. It is no longer possible to live on our small planet without rethinking... implementing and living in harmony with consideration given for all life.

Green consciousness...

Green consciousness considers our interactions with one another. It addresses the issues of our peaceful co-existence and the creation of a worldwide balanced, equal, loving, supportive, helpful environment.

The way things have been done in the past no longer work. Rethinking, devising a plan and implementing changes on all fronts is necessary for our survival financially, economically, socially and environmentally. The alternative... we have economic chaos, social disorder and an inhabitable planet. 

It is a critical time. An exciting time. It's not too late to turn this mess around if we all jump on board and come from a place of  compassion and love for all life. It's time for action...

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Green Concepts, Green Action, Green Change

As ever I seem to be stumbling upon a lot of wonderful and exciting concepts and actions being taken for environmental change. Here are a few of the coolest....

Carrot Mob - consumer mobs for environmental change

Consumers have the power to make change. Carrot Mob located in San Francisco, CA, the brain child of Brent Schulkin is proving that by organizing consuming mobs for environmental change. They interview businesses and pick one that offers the most toward change. Then organize a large group of consumers to mob the store and buy something. The first mob in March 2008 called 'We Make it Rain' was a resounding success. The mob spent $9,276.00 at K & D Market in a couple of hours. The store committed to spend 22% of the money on greening their store with guidance from the San Francisco Energy Watch Program. And the local SF Food Bank received 366 pounds of food. Carrot Mob has taken off, is growing and has lots of great ideas for the future. The second mob of a Cafe in downtown is currently being organized. You can find out more at Facebook Carrot Mob.

A mob is also being planned in Kansas City at World of Spirits on October 21, 2008. This great new idea is expanding worldwide too. The UK has jumped on board. The first UK Carrot Mob took place September 16, 2008 in London at Redchurch bar. It was a resounding success. A second UK Carrot Mob called 'Maddness in the Minimarket' event is planned for November 6, 2008. According to facebook all of Finland has jumped on board and 2 mobs are currently in the works. This is exciting... grass roots activism at its best! - Random acts of environmental kindness is a website dedicated to offering ideas and stories of people helping each other. They suggest the following ways we can help the environment...

Practice kindness towards the environment. Participate in beach or park cleanups. Reduce air pollution by carpooling, taking public transportation, biking, or walking. Recycle all aluminum, plastic, and paper materials. Cut down on the energy you use by lowering the heat and turning off lights and unused appliances. Learn more about solar energy. As gifts, give houseplants to teachers, friends, or coworkers. Plant a tree in your neighborhood. What a terrific website based on the concept of 'Pay it Forward'. How cool is that!

Sheryl Crow singing in environmental change

Sheryl Crow, singer/song writer and environmental activist is singing about change. Her latest album Detours is her most out-spoken record to date. She says about the album, “the most honest record I’ve ever made. It’s about being forced to wake up.” Sheryl Crow Interview: Can "Detours" Help Pave the Way to a Better World? by Larry West. Sheryl says, "Although I hate that a movement can be inspired by fear, at least people are talking about it, talking about ways they can incorporate green living into their homes and workplaces. If the IPCC reports are right, then we’ll see a third of our species, counting man, become extinct, a thing of the past. It’s very worrisome, but I have to believe that there is hope and that we can incite a sense of urgency in everyone. Our farming community [in Tennessee] is trying to go wind and solar, to remove ourselves completely from the grid. If we’re successful, hopefully we can be an example to other communities of how they can come together, work as a community, and become part of the solution." Thanks for your great work Sheryl!

UK's Big Green Challenge working together for change 

Big Green Challenge, the people-powered innovation prize from NESTA. The £1 million prize fund is designed to encourage and reward people who work together to develop new ways to save energy and lower CO2 emissions by 60% in their communities. 350 projects were entered, of them 10 finalists were selected. Each team of finalists were given £20,000 to develop their ideas further over the next year. Here is a list of the finalists.

Mirror News (12 September 2008) Big Green Challenge: Finalists up for £1million environmental prize. Nesta chief executive Jonathan Kestenbaum told the Mirror: "The fact that we had over 350 communities submitting strong ideas demonstrates there is the passion and knowledge across the UK to devise imaginative responses to climate change. "We are confident the 10 finalists will step up to the challenge of tackling the biggest single issue facing the planet." A very exciting contest can't wait to read who the winners will be. Yahoo!

A few interesting environmental links:

People & Planet an online global resource for environmental issues and solutions and their impact on the peoples of the world.

E - the environmental magazine - online and print magazine which provides independent coverage on a wide range of environmental issues.

Grist, environmental news and commentary - “Grist: it's gloom and doom with a sense of humor. So laugh now – or the planet gets it.” An online environmental magazine with a sense of humor and a little seriousness thrown in for good measure.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Change Please!!!

The girl who silenced the world at the UN for 5 minutes.

Severn Suzuki a 13 year old Canadian who formed ECHO (Environmental Children's Organization) speaks from her heart to the UN. Her message is powerful and thought provoking.

Severn says, 'I'm frightened for my future. I'm here to speak for all generations to come. I'm afraid to go out in the sun now because of the holes in our ozone. I'm afraid to breathe the air because I don't know what chemicals are in it. You don't know how to fix the holes in our ozone layer. If you don't know how to fix it, please stop breaking it."

But she says so much more. It leaves one pondering if indeed our children's children will even have a habitable planet to live upon.

In the late 1960s I joined with tens of thousands of other young people in Pittsburgh, PA in a peaceful demonstration. We chanted and sang for several hours with exuberant naive hopes of ending the war. Because of our efforts the park was renamed 'Peace Park'. Our message wasn't just about the end of war. It was also about love and respect for each other. The Vietnam war did come to an end eventually. But war didn't! How many wars have there been since? Our message of peace was forgotten. Peace is a collective worldwide vision. It's about love for all of humanity and a peaceful worldwide coexistence. Peace sustains us. It is something we carry forward through generations. Peace is a lifestyle. If we don't live in peace we could ultimately destroy all of humanity and the planet.

As I see it the same message is brought forward again in our Green movement. Living green is about love and respect for ourselves and the planet. Green is a collective worldwide vision which sustains us. It is something we carry forward through generations. Respect for humanity and our eco-system. Green is a lifestyle. If we don't live with this respect we will destroy our eco-system and ourselves ultimately.

Severn's message was given in 1992, 16 years later have we got it? In 2008 we have powerful spokespeople for climate change and perhaps we can turn things around. But we'll only do that if we all jump on board and make changes in our world, governments, societies, businesses and family.

Change begins with me... so I'm doing what I can at home and at work and writing this blog to let you know what I've discovered.  And I trust my little bit is enough...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Extreme Green - 'Zero Waste' Businesses

I just read the latest issue of The McKinsey Quarterly entitled 'Business strategies for climate change'. The report says, "Climate change is top of mind for many executives. We believe that the shift to low-carbon economy is already underway and that businesses must get ready for it, especially in energy, transport and heavy industry." The report suggests that businesses utilize existing methods to lower carbon output and suggests that it will be necessary to develop new low-carbon technologies to meet carbon reduction goals. It also suggests methods for implementation including reducing trash output, utilizing power from alternative sources like solar, wind and water, improving insulation and utilizing enzymes.

Have any businesses jumped on the Green bandwagon and made positive changes to the way they do business, manufacture products or handle waste? The answer is, absolutely, yes!

Here are some who are zero waste leaders...

Boulder Outlook Hotel - Zero waste program

Boulder Outlook Hotel in Boulder, Colorado is actively working toward Zero waste. Currently it recycles or composts 80% of it's waste. The current goal is 90%. They hold weekly brainstorm sessions to generate ideas on how they can become even greener. They utilize cornstarch based straws, cups and to-go containers which are compostable, utilize enviro-friendly cleaning products and give all frying oils to a bio-diesel firm. Their slogan is 'The cure for the common hotel'. They even have allergy friendly rooms with air filtration and other features. How cool is that!!

General Motors - landfill free program

GM's Transmission Facility in White Marsh, Maryland Achieves Landfill Free Status (28, August 2008). It eliminates 8,000 tons of trash by smart plant design, recycling, reusing, or removing and unique partnerships.

General Motors' goal is to have 1/2 of it's major manufacturing operations landfill free by 2010. Go GM go!!

Goodwill Industries works with GM disassembling obsolete containers. Then selling them to recyclers and compounders who turn the materials back into usable parts for the auto industry.

Anheuser Busch - Work Green program

Anheuser Busch Brewery in Baldwinsville, NY institutes numerous eco-friendly changes. The brewery recycles 99.9% of solid materials. They have also under taken measures to further reduce their carbon foot print. This was done by  changing lighting -which led to a 40% savings, reclaiming heat, and utilizing an anaerobic digestion system (bio-energy) for waste - producing methane gas for 19% of their fuel needs.

15 other Anheuser Busch plants have bio-energy, some also utilize solar and one is brewing organic beer. You rock AB!!

Subaru - WasteWise programSIA

Since 2004 Subaru Indiana Automotive (SIA) has achieved zero waste by recycling 99.3% of its' excess / leftover steel, plastic, wood, paper, glass and other materials. The remaining 0.7% is utilized by the city of Indianapolis to help generate steam.  SIA was awarded EPA's Gold Achievement AwardOne in 2006 for its' long-standing environmental program 'Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics'. It has heightened awareness for a clean environment by taking it's Leave No Trace program on the road reaching over 8 million individuals, in 48 states. Thanks Subaru you're leading the pack!!!

Other auto companies are greening their manufacturing facilities too...

Subaru's "Zero Landfill Waste" Auto Plant Raises the Bar by John DiPietro says, "In the automotive high-jump event known as environmental safeguarding, Subaru set a world record of sorts by being the first automaker to achieve "zero waste to landfill" status. Indeed, the company set the bar very high, and it's great to see that others have been inspired to start clearing that bar as well. Honda's Alabama plant is also a zero-landfill plant. Rolls-Royce's Goodwood, England plant (opened in 2003) boasts an 8-acre "living roof." Covered with sedum plants, this roof provides insulation from the heat and the cold; of course, as is the case with all green plants, these sedum plants also clean the air by ingesting carbon dioxide and producing oxygen. The Rolls plant also sends waste leather (from the upholstery division) to shoe and clothing makers, and filters run-off water from the roof and parking lots before it enters an on-site lake. Ford's Rouge plant also employs a living roof and similar water-saving measures."

This is great!!! Now if we could only get all businesses, plants and products zero emissions too. Am I crazy to think that's possible?

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Makin' it Green

I was wondering if there were actually people out there who have changed their lifestyles to be more eco-friendly. I searched the internet to see who was doing what. Are people Makin' it Green? The answer is a resounding... Yes!!!

One man moved to the New Mexico wilderness to live without oil. Another family in California changes their urban yard into a farm complete with animals. And a Canadian couple goes off the grid but keeps their middle class lifestyle. And there are a lot more. All wonderful stories which inspired me. 

Inspirational stories of folks 'Makin' it Green'...

Farewell my Subaru - a greener life in New Mexico, USA

Doug Fine is the   author of 'Farewell my Subaru' a book about  his life without oil. Doug moved to New Mexico, USA with his girl friend. They built a green sustainable home, are raising goats, chickens, dougfineducks and growing much of their own food. You can read the continuing story of his new greener life at his blog. He is funny, charming and actually doing it... well. Amazing!!!


Path to Freedom - urban homesteaders in California, USA

An eco-pioneering lifestyle in Pasadena, CA. This is a story of a family who turned their lot into a 1/10th acre  farm which, produces 6,000 lbs. of organic food annually. On a path to self-sufficiency the Dervaes grow and preserve 99% of their ecopioneerown food, recycle, make bio-diesel, utilize solar power and more. You can read their blog or watch more videos at Dervaes' channel on Awesome!!!


 Off Grid Living - with renewable resources in Canada

Bill and Lorraine Kemp live a normal middle class lifestyle in an average home with all the things you'd expect like a big screen TV, home office filled with computers and other equipment, washer / dryer, and even a cappuccino machine. But the thing that makes them unique is that they live completely off the grid. They have wood heat, solar/wind power for electricity, a well and waste water reclamation system. You can read their blog or watch more videos at aztextpress channel on

We can make it green living well and inexpensively. So exciting and inspirational!

Some wonderful sustainable resources...

JanaiaDonaldsonPeak Moment TV - A network dedicated to sustainability and issues of our changing world. There are 23 interesting 28-minute episodes hosted by Janaia Donaldson (photo left) you can watch at Global Media. You can also read Janaia's blog about the latest goings on at Peak Moment too.

Natural Life Magazine - A paper and online magazine that is about how to create a greener, healthier and more sustainable lifestyle.

Your Backyard Farmer Located in Portland, OR. A great concept people who love to farm, do it for you and it's all organic.