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Archive for the 'anti-consumerism' Category

And now a few words from our sponsor

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

It’s great to buy green gadgets that are earth friendly or promote sustainability on some level but while buying green stuff may help you feel better about your purchase ultimately it likely won’t really do much to help the environment or change our culture of over consumption and unsustainable consumerism. The real need is for more people to reduce their amount of stuff, reuse or buy used. Ask yourself do you really need this item? Our homes and society is becoming overwhelmed with crap, we all need to find new ways to change our orientation so we can feel good about making do with less.

It may seem odd to read this on a blog that promotes green shopping but perhaps you can think of it as an “anti-advertisement”! A few words from our “sponsor” – Mother Earth! Seriously though, An excellent resource for anyone who wants to follow the tenet of reduce, recycle and reuse is the Vedant.net site on Overcoming Consumerism. Check it out.

Build Your Own Eco-Friendly Christmas Tree

Sunday, December 14th, 2008

Forget the toxic plastic artificial trees and the pesticide laden live trees. Here is nn excellent way to remove some of the consumerism out of Christmas and make your holiday’s a tad greener is to make your own Christmas tree. This video (and the book they promote) shows how you can make a Christmas tree shaped plywood constructed and drilled holes to be a holder for live pine branches that you can gather from discards at nurseries, your own back yard or local woods. (just don’t take enough branches that might actually harm the tree) If you make it sturdy enough you can use this for many years.

One of the Best Ways You Can Help Reduce Global Warming

Wednesday, December 10th, 2008

cow burp mask
cow methane backpack

Can’t afford a Prius or Solar system for you home? There is another, basically free, way you can do even more to do your part to help reduce greenhouse emissions and lower your carbon footprint in a big way – Stop eating beef.

The constant belching and flatulence from cattle produces enormous quantities of methane, a greenhouse gas 23 times more potent than carbon dioxide. This makes for more greenhouse gases than all the cars, trucks and ships combined. This UN news article discusses the many ways the rearing of cattle is playing a major role in contributing to global warming.

There are many people currently working on a variety of innovative approaches on ways to curtail bovine methane such as cow “beano” type medications or food additives like cashew oil, special grasses to be added to their feed, flatulence vaccine, and more. However cows wearing gas masks and fart-capture backpacks won’t be likely to go over too well with the cows or people.

One thing that is easy for us non-farmers and cattle-people to do right now is to dramatically reduce or stop eating beef. Going veggie will not only do as much for the planet as driving a Prius but will give you the added benefit of being healthier from eating less saturated fats, hormones, antibiotics and other chemicals. Factory farmed cattle are bad the planet in many ways, here is a excellent huffingtonpost article that discusses this at length.

Make your own Sun-Powered cooker

Sunday, August 3rd, 2008

sunnycooker

Freewebs Sunny Cooker has an interesting article on how to go about making a sun powered oven-cooker for basically free, essentially just using cardboard, aluminum foil and a patient knack for following detailed instructions. This would be perfect for adventurous epicurean green cooks, homeless people, frugal types and maybe freegans cooking up a yummy pot of fresh dumpster diving treasures.

Sites to Help You Get Rid of Junk Mail

Friday, June 6th, 2008

No Junk Mail
If you house is like ours, we get a ton of junk mail everyday that goes straight to the recycle bin. (actually, its not quite a ton, the average person gets 41 pounds of junk mail a year) Most household waste consists of unsolicited mail and to no one’s surprise most junk mail is discarded unread and unopened. Over 100 million trees are ground up each year to make the paper for junk mail and a lot of junk mail, especially glossy catalogs, are difficult to recycle, as the inks have high concentrations of heavy metals.

Here is some information on free (or even get paid a dollar) ways for you personally to get rid of your junk mail. Some new websites like ProQuo.com and GreenDimes.com will do most of the grunt work for you so it is pretty easy. I signed up with the new site, ProQuo, that makes it easy to get rid of many of the prime culprits, like coupon ads, Credit Cards offers, insurance ads and the like. They also allow you to opt out of catalogs but you have to individually pick which ones you don’t want (and they have an offer to choose to get the catalog if you don’t already get it – which makes me wonder if this is where they hope to get their money from)

ProQuo to get rid of junk mail

They also make it easy to get on the do not call registry (you go to another site) all and all the process was fairly quick and easy (they did require you to give them info like your address and social security number) this made me nervous at first but after investigating them a little, it seemed a legitimate request – you can do it without the social security number but they claim it isn’t as effective. It will take about 3 months to know for sure if this site delivers on its promise. They have some clever videos to promote their site (they must have gotten some serious startup cash to make all these professional promotional videos – but some of them are quite funny. (I liked the medieval junk mail the best)

Another site that looks very promising in stopping junk mail is Green Dimes, I haven’t tried it so I can’t comment too much, but they do offer to pay you a dollar and guarantee results.

If you don’t completely trust these sites with any of your personal information or think they are just out to make a buck off of you some how? I don’t blame you for thinking that way – So here are a couple of sites that give you some useful information on how you can do it all yourself. A wiki on getting rid of junk mail

And a very comprehensive series of articles on the problems of junk mail and how to get rid of it at
ecofuture.com

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