Tagged with adventures in greening

Adventures in Greening: Link Love + Happy Anniversary

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By Catherine Moran

It’s been a busy few weeks, per usual for this greenie. I got stuck in some train traffic on the way home this weekend, and was thinking – I’ve been writing Adventures in Greening for almost two years now! As we approach my two-year greenieversary, I thought I’d re-share some of my favorite posts from days gone by. It’s been fun for me to write these posts, and I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy writing them! Without further adieu, a jaunt down memory lane:

My very first post! (April 2012)

Jason Mraz is a greenie, and I admire him to pieces (September 2012)

How much do I love buying in bulk? Let me count the ways (October 2012)

All about Buy Nothing Day (November 2012)

All about my love of composting (July 2013)

My friend’s green wedding in Seattle (August 2013)

As always, thanks for reading, and be well, greenies!

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Adventures in Greening is a column running on Kate-book.com every other Monday at noon. It is written by the very eco-conscious Catherine Moran. Follow Catherine on Twitter here, or check out her excellent book blog.

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Adventures in Greening: Green from your couch

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By Catherine Moran

Almost everyone who knows me will tell you that I’m not a big movie buff. I’m lacking a lot of “classic” films from my movie repertoire, much to the astonishment and shame of my film-loving family members and friends.  However, while I go to see films on the big screen very rarely, I’m a bit of a tv addict. Long-form stories give the viewer more time to make a connection with the characters, as well as plots that can unfurl at a less-compressed pace. And, in this day and age, it’s very easy to sit down and marathon seasons of television shows; all it takes is one day of beginning a marathon (curse you, headcolds), and suddenly you’re spending all of your free time catching up to current episodes. I’m not alone here…right?

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How does my love of television relate to being green? Well, it’s the perfect time for me to do some green activities. Sometimes, life gets hectic. And if you’re a (wo)man on the go, you try to consolidate activities. A lot of green activities require time, an element of one’s day that can sometimes feel like a luxury. So, I try to make use of my time in front of the screen. Here are a few suggested green activities that you can multitask while watching television:

• Making your own laundry soap. Grating up a bar of soap by hand can take awhile, let me tell you. I would never do this task without something else to occupy my mind, unless I was using it as a meditative exercise, but I definitely prefer to take my mind off how long the process is (my grater is fairly small; I’m on the hunt for a larger one to possibly help me speed up the process). I feel pretty accomplished when this task is done, and I try to do more than one bar in one sitting, so I don’t have to worry about grating a new bar for awhile when I run out of the first batch. Plus, it works my arm strength, what an added benefit! Good preparation for becoming a green superhero.

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• Ripping the windows off of any envelopes that come your way, mostly from junk mail, or mail that includes a windowed envelope for you to return a payment or other information. In NYC, you can’t recycle envelopes with clear plastic address windows because they don’t dissolve in water (there’s an interesting Reddit thread on this subject and other recycling queries, for interested parties). This is a fun one, because you get the satisfying sound of paper ripping to go along with the task. (Again…just me?)

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• Making Stuff. Get to work on illustrating those homemade birthday cards or knitting beanies for the holidays. Even if it’s summertime, it doesn’t hurt to be forward-thinking; you’ll save time later.

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Of course, this list will only be useful if you’re watching a show that doesn’t require constant vigilance, or includes commercial breaks, or doing a task that doesn’t require strict attention. You would have found me very hard-pressed to draw my eyes away from the first season of True Detective. No multitasking during that hour, no way. Even blinking felt costly.

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There are plenty of other ways to make use of your television-watching time if you so choose, but those are just some of the things I do to save myself some time during the week. It’s all about getting things done sooner rather than later, so they’re not on my mind, and I can free up time for other things later, television-related or otherwise. And watching a show as a purely downtime activity when all else is down is pretty darn enjoyable, too.

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Adventures in Greening is a column running on Kate-book.com every other Monday at noon. It is written by the very eco-conscious Catherine Moran. Follow Catherine on Twitter here, or check out her excellent book blog.

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Adventures in Greening: Change and Challenge

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By Catherine Moran

I’ve been thinking recently about challenges. It’s no surprise that life is full of unexpected (and expected) uphill battles. They can occur in our relationships, our careers, our physical bodies; you name the staging ground, there’s most likely a challenge that could play there. Living a greener lifestyle is definitely filled with challenges, as is any lifestyle change. Change is the operative word here: it’s a scary thing to contemplate.

I was trying to think about what the first change was that made my lifestyle a bit greener, and other than an L.L. Bean backpack that I had throughout grade school (no need to buy a new one every year!), I think the first item that began my transition to less stuff was my iPod. Now, I’m not singing the praises of Apple here, because their use of planned obsolescence maddens me to no end. But mp3 players, in general, are a step forward.

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For the purpose of these ruminations, I am not discussing all of the resources used to construct a music-playing device, or how ethically or environmentally-sourced these materials are (topics for another time, methinks). So, back to the iPod. I’ve talked about my first iPod before, but not how it changed my life.

I’m a big music fan. Okay, huge music fan. I’m lucky enough to work in an office that allows me to have headphones in all day (you’ll be hard-pressed to find me listening to anything but Spotify, music junkie that I am), and teaching yoga on weekends allows me to share music with students. I’d always loved music, but when Napster became the Big Thing, I really went to town on a search for new, unheard-of artists.

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My CDs went with me everywhere. Choosing just five to fit in the Snapple carrying case I’d won in a giveaway was an agonizing process. When I went to college, I left with a larger carrying case, one that fit up to 500 CDs (without cases). I would tote this case between college and home for every visit (did I mention it was nearly full?)

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I had no problem carrying around hundreds of CDs. My family, on the other hand….well, let’s just say they were wiser than I. I accepted the iPod with reluctance (I know this might sound mildly spoiled of me, but I liked the way I was doing things; it took me ages to come around to Spotify, which is my preferred service for music listening these days, though my iPod is still much beloved). It took some time, but I eventually fell for my iPod, and it traveled (and still travels) with me everywhere. I have so much music at my fingertips that it is thrilling, and I refuse to travel further than a subway ride without music. I’m able to carry more than 500 CD’s worth of music at one time, and it weighs so very little.

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Change is hard for many of us, even if the change we are making is a change for the better (add a few letters to the word change, you’ll get challenge). Even after making a conscious effort to go greener, I find myself stumbling. I can’t avoid all plastic packaging, especially when all I want for dinner are some Buffalo Chik’n pieces, or when I forget my travel mug at the coffee shop (this post from Beth Terry is great on Guilt and the Green Lifestyle). And, sometimes, there are changes that I could make, but either run out of time (i.e. making my own almond milk, which just requires advanced planning, which I don’t always make time for), or am just not inclined to try (like forgoing shampoo and its friend, plastic packaging – yes, it’s a movement).

The best we can do is take it one step at a time, and do what we can. And who knows how something we do today will affect us in future? If I hadn’t received that iPod, it’s not hard for me to imagine myself still rockin’ the CD player and lugging around a lot of CDs, instead of using digital downloads, and wanting only digital downloads for my music and movie/television purchases nowadays. We don’t have to do everything all at once, and we don’t have to do “everything,” either. Small changes may not change the world at large, but they’ll change the world around us, and if that translates to something larger, great, but making a change that betters ourselves and the planet, even a bit, means we’re doing well.

 

Adventures in Greening is a column running on Kate-book.com every other Monday at noon. It is written by the very eco-conscious Catherine Moran. Follow Catherine on Twitter here, or check out her excellent book blog.

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Adventures in Greening: This is Just to Say

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By Catherine Moran

that plastic bag
floating
in the tree
still present
closely
gripping the branches
still ugly
in tatters
once again
please leave this lone tree
you still
spoil the view

Inspired by the plastic bag outside my window, first addressed in April 2013, and by the William Carlos Williams poem, “This is Just To Say.”

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Adventures in Greening is a column running on Kate-book.com every other Monday at noon. It is written by the very eco-conscious Catherine Moran. Follow Catherine on Twitter here, or check out her excellent book blog.

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Adventures in Greening: What Do I Do With My DVDs?

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By Catherine Moran

I don’t know what to do with my old DVDs. Well, I guess they’re not old, but they’re underloved and underappreciated. In this new regime of Digital Technology, I would very much like to be able to trade in my physical DVDs for digital copies of the same film, but that does not seem to be an option anywhere that I can find. It’s not as if I have very many DVDs; on the contrary, I don’t have very many, but I have a lot of boxed tv series, and those babies take up space. I’ve been slowly distributing my DVD collection over the past year, but there are some shows and films that I want to hang on to.

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The closest service for turning physical DVDs into digital copies that I have found in my searches is VUDU, which was only available at Walmart when it was launched in 2012. However, the downside of VUDU, for me, is that it is a program. That, and the fact that you have to pay for the service of converting the films. I want to have my purchased movies and television shows available on storage devices, and not accessible only through a program–and you must have VUDU on any device you wish to watch your films on. That sounds like it’s restricting access to something I already own, so I’m not ready to go this route just yet.

Amazon has a trade-in option, but it’s only for certain titles, and they give you a pittance for the product, an amount that does not equal the cost of purchasing a digital copy of your film. You can’t give me $2 for my Harry Potter films when the digital copy is $10! I won’t be magicking my copies into digital any time soon, thank you very much.

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Another sell-back site I found is Zumu, but if I thought the rates at Amazon were abysmal, Zumu is even worse. I am not selling back my DVDs to make money, but I would like to be able to afford to re-buy the DVD that I am selling (I own it for a reason!) Zumu is interesting, in that: “Here at Zumu we don’t just recycle your pre-loved DVDs, CDs and Games by finding a new home for them, we also turn what can’t be re-homed into baby bottles and other useful stuff! “ So, if I do find a way to get digital copies of movies I already own as physical copies, Zumu might be the best place to go to make sure my DVDs are properly recycled.

The search will continue. I am trying to de-clutter my life of Stuff, which I believe is in line with green living: these DVDs could be recycled, or given new life with new owners. If you have any suggestions for legal ways of making my DVDs into digital copies, I’d appreciate it. I have a feeling this is something other greenies would want to do (especially if they live in New York apartments!) Thank you in advance for any help!

Stay well, greenies.

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Adventures in Greening is a column running on Kate-book.com every other Monday at noon. It is written by the very eco-conscious Catherine Moran. Follow Catherine on Twitter here, or check out her excellent book blog.

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Adventures in Greening: Feeling Bubbly

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By Catherine Moran

I’d mentioned in a pre-holiday post that I was hoping that I’d be the recipient of a Penguin Sodastream, and I was very lucky to indeed receive such a generous gift from my lovely parents. They’ve been very supportive of my efforts to go green, even if they still think I’m a bit strange for composting (kidding, I think I’ve won them over to my side on that one, since they dropped off some compost with me once!)

SodaStream basically has the market cornered for home soda makers. There are a few other brands out there (like Cuisinart, Hamilton Beach, and Primo), but the reviews for these brands aren’t as strong as those for SodaStream. They have many options for soda makers, ranging in price and design to suit individual needs.

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The Penguin is the highest priced model, because it is made of metal and plastic (as opposed to the nickel plating/plastic and plastic only models) and because it comes with glass carafes instead of plastic carafes for water storage. The Penguin was the model I went with for these reasons, and because it is the preferred model of the ever-awesome Beth Terry.

I’ve been using my SodaStream daily. I can indulge in some fizzy liquids without having to feel guilt over adding new plastic bottles to the recycling assembly line. It takes about 30 seconds to make a new carafe of liquid, no wait involved! I’ve been experimenting around with flavors, adding lemon and lime. But my favorite has got to be a syrup I purchased at Whole Foods, made by Morris Kitchen: it’s ginger syrup. My homemade ginger ale tastes like I added grated ginger to the bubbles, and less like store bought ginger ale. It’s absolutely delicious. I’m inclined to stick with Morris Kitchen for my syrup needs because they have some great flavors, use fewer ingredients, and sell their products in glass bottles (they also have a great page of featured recipes). The flavored syrups from SodaStream all come in plastic bottles.

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Do you have a soda maker at home? If so, I’d love to hear of any fun concoctions you’ve dreamed up. Recipes welcome!

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Adventures in Greening is a column running on Kate-book.com every other Monday at noon. It is written by the very eco-conscious Catherine Moran. Follow Catherine on Twitter here, or check out her excellent book blog.

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Adventures in Greening: A Book Review of The Good Life Lab by Wendy Jehanara Tremayne

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By Catherine Moran

One of the books I received as a gift over the holidays was The Good Life Lab: Radical Experiments in Hands-On Living by Wendy Jehanara Tremayne. Tremayne is a former round-the-clock New York career woman who realized that her job was impeding on her life, and not making it any better. The cycle of needing the job to have the lifestyle necessary to keep up with the In Crowd, and to have to work even more to afford said lifestyle, didn’t appeal to Tremayne. Rather than stay in the loop of work in order to buy and then have to work more, she shucked that life and headed to New Mexico to live off the grid with her partner. She quotes Krishnamurti: “It is no sign of wellness to be well adjusted to a sick society.”

The book’s physical construction should be remarked upon here. The binding is unconventional, in that the spine is exposed. An explanation from the back cover:

“For this book, each folded group of sixteen pages, called a signature, was individually sewn together with thread, and then the signatures were sewn together into a whole, called a book block. This binding style is called Smyth sewn and is the highest-quality book binding available as it is more durable than glue and lets the book pen flat, making it easier to read.”

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The Good Life Lab is part memoir, part reflection on the benefits and challenges of living off the grid, and part recipe book (recipes for food, medicinal tinctures, how to build a building with papercrete, how to roast coffee beans in a popcorn popper…the list goes on). Beautiful illustrations fill the interior, as do photos of Tremayne and her partner working with various materials.

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I found this book to be inspiring, but also intimidating. While I enjoyed The Good Life Lab and definitely resonated with Tremayne, I can’t say this book is for everyone. I’m not even sure it was for me, but I’m more inclined to say that it wasn’t for me at this point in my life, but could very well be a handy resource in the future. As I said, Tremayne’s story is quite inspiring: she has been able to create a life in which she and her partner are sufficiently able to make almost everything they need for themselves (or buy it secondhand to repair and use). I would like to be able to do as much as she and Mikey do, making all food from scratch and taking classes to learn to weld and solder and craft things with my hands. But herein lies the problem for me, and I’d imagine many other casual readers: I’m still stuck in the work-to buy-to work cycle (though, in my case, not necessarily to keep up with any crowd so much as to afford rent and cat food). As someone who is not ready to pick up my life and live off the grid just yet, I felt sort of bad about my efforts while reading.

Tremayne’s story itself, in terms of how she made it to New Mexico to begin the life she wanted to lead, was what I enjoyed most. All of the tidbits, such as how to install PV solar panels and use WVO (Waste Vegetable Oil), made me feel sad that I cannot adapt my lifestyle more drastically. I think this book is an amazing resource for someone looking to live a self-sufficient and meaningful life, but I would recommend Beth Terry’s book, Plastic-Free for the city dweller, or the person who is looking to transition portions of her life to be more eco-friendly. Terry’s prescriptions are meant to be taken in small steps, and aren’t as drastic as starting a new life elsewhere, but more about working with what you have, and making change where you can.

Finally, one point that Tremayne touches upon about our society really stuck with me:

“I wonder if people are afraid because they know that they don’t understand the real world? Acculturated knowledge is shallow, and the landscape of commerce is not necessarily logical, fair, reliable, sensible, or just. The footing is unsteady.”

She observes that “Since we are part of the natural world, civilization’s acculturated knowledge is not our own. We cannot intuit it. […] For a world that cannot be intuited and is difficult to understand, we have created a variety of interpreters: lawyers, accountants, and highly specialized people who interpret civilization’s code.”

My mouth dropped after reading these passages. In large, urbanized cities, we are unable to care for ourselves at a human level. Doing taxes is complicated because it is not knowledge we are born with, nor is it knowledge everyone possesses. The law is confusing because it is made up of rules upon rules that do not govern the natural world. This is something I’m sure I was subconsciously aware of, but had never really thought about before, so I felt my mind being blown open while reading such ideas.

In short, I’d recommend this book to anyone looking to make large-scale changes in his lifestyle. You won’t find a more in-depth, helpful resource about starting a homestead from scratch, unless you check out Tremayne’s blog, Holy Scrap, which she runs with her partner. This was a lengthy review, but warranted, because there was so much packed into this book, a true labor of love from the author; such is everything in her life.

 

Adventures in Greening is a column running on Kate-book.com every other Monday at noon. It is written by the very eco-conscious Catherine Moran. Follow Catherine on Twitter here, or check out her excellent book blog.

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Adventures in Greening: Green in 2014!

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By Catherine Moran

Happy new year! I can’t believe 2014 is here already. While I’m not a big believer in resolutions starting at the beginning of a new year (I think if you resolve to make a change, you should start when you can, and not wait for a day predetermined by society…end rant), I am looking ahead to 2014 for some green changes.  What’s on the agenda, you ask? Here are a few green goals I am keeping in mind:

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• Reading more books about being environmentally-friendly. I have a stack of green lifestyle books on my to-read shelf, but I’ve been neglecting them in favor of fiction. This shall be rectified this year!

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• Buy fewer items packaged in plastic. This is an ongoing challenge, and one that I don’t always win. I tell myself I will buy more goods at the farmers market, but that isn’t possible all the time. I know it requires me to plan ahead, and make it part of my weekly routine. Food is the biggest plastic culprit for me, which is why I want to make it a priority for the coming months.

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• Try to think of new ways to reduce plastic consumption, and make my lifestyle greener in general. Sometimes I get frustrated, thinking that I have done everything I can to be greener, while also feeling as if I haven’t done much at all. I want to take a hard look at what else could change in my day-to-day life to help reduce my carbon footprint.

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•  Be kinder with myself when I do not make an eco-friendly choice. I am hyper-conscious of my actions toward the environment, and I have a tendency to get upset with myself if I don’t make the greenest choice. For example, if I forget my travel mug if I get coffee, I will often berate myself for the rest of the day. I need to work on not feeling angry with myself for being forgetful. It’s not helpful to me in the long run, and I’ve found that the desire to change my habits for the betterment of the planet is a better motivator than guilt for decisions I have made that were not especially green. I am not a bad person if I’m not perfectly green all of the time. I can only strive to do better, and I shall!

What are your green goals for 2014?

(This post brought you in part by Pushing Daisies gifs).

Adventures in Greening is a column running on Kate-book.com every other Monday at noon. It is written by the very eco-conscious Catherine Moran. Follow Catherine on Twitter @folowbredcrumbs, or check out her excellent book blog.

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Adventures in Greening: Happy Holidays!

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By Catherine Moran

Happy eve before Christmas Eve, greenies!

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This is a short post to wish you all a happy end to 2013, and a fantastic start to 2014. May it be the best, and greenest, year yet! Here in NYC, we’re off to a great start to getting more eco-friendly in 2014, with a ban on Styrofoam containers starting next year, as well as beginning a composting program in large food establishments in 2015. Woohoo!

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Also, to lift another article from Treehugger, if you still have any holiday shopping left to do, check out Unstuff. It’s the experience gifting site of experience gifting sites, and it uses Facebook to help find events and experiences your friends and family may want, if you’re short on ideas. Awesome!

Have a safe and happy end to the year, everyone. Be well!

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Adventures in Greening is a column running on Kate-book.com every other Monday at noon. It is written by the very eco-conscious Catherine Moran. Follow Catherine on Twitter @folowbredcrumbs, or check out her excellent book blog.

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Adventures in Greening: Green Gifts

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By Catherine Moran

Is it that time of the year again already? It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since last Christmas. Growing up, when people told me that time flies, I had trouble believing them. Now that I’m getting older, I find it’s true. Another year older, another year wiser.

Last year, I shared a list of green gift ideas. Today, I shall do the same! To those of you who celebrate Hanukkah, happy belated holiday! To those of you still in need of gifts, here we go. (As I mentioned last year, I am suggesting Stuff to give that is better than some alternatives. But, you can consider gifting classes or your time to someone this holiday season, which are gift options that don’t include any hard-to-cut plastic).

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1. Etsy is one of my favorite shopping sites. You can support artists both far away and close to home. If you find an artist in your area, there’s a good chance that they’ll be able to tell you if any local stores carry their goods, and then you save on the packaging (and cost) that goes along with shipping.

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2. Arts and crafts/food. This is a gift idea that I’m not all that great at executing, as my physical creative skills are less than ideal for gift-giving. But if you can draw, paint, write a song, make some candles, bake some cookies, share them with a loved one! Gifts that require some investment of time always touch my heart, and stick with me for a very long time, even if their actual existence is not long-lasting (cookies are a perfect example).

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3. A sodastream soda/seltzer maker. I don’t drink much soda anymore; when I do, it’s a special treat. Seltzer, on the other hand…I’ve become a seltzer fan recently. The sodastream is an item I do not own, but one I have requested for Christmas, because even though I love seltzer, I war with myself before purchasing a bottle at the grocery store. I’ve heard very good things about these soda makers from friends, and from plastic-free guru Beth Terry. If Santa deems me a member of the good list and brings me a sodastream, I will be sure to review it in the new year.

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4. A giftcard for digital downloads. There are plenty of sites that sell mp3s and movies for download. Forget the plastic, space-consuming CDs and DVDs/Blu-Rays, and get that media on your computer and mobile!

Good luck in your gifting endeavors, greenies. And don’t forget, amidst the frantic feelings that may accompany the holidays, to go outside and breathe some fresh air, or mediate in a yoga class or own your own. Take the time to remember the good things all around you!

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Adventures in Greening is a column running on Kate-book.com every other Monday at noon. It is written by the very eco-conscious Catherine Moran. Follow Catherine on Twitter @folowbredcrumbs, or check out her excellent book blog.

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Adventures in Greening: In Which I Recycle Content

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By Catherine Moran

As we approach the end of November, it’s become clear to me that our time with autumn has come to an end. It’s frigid here in NYC, and it seems the cold spell is here to stay.

This pre-holiday week was an extremely busy one, so I hope you will all forgive me for doing something I love to do: recycling…old content, and forgive me for that terrible pun. Thanksgiving is this coming Thursday, followed by the dreaded Black Friday. I’m sticking with my decision to avoid buying anything on Black Friday, and I’ll not be buying anything on Thanksgiving, either. This year, some stores are opening on Thanksgiving evening, making Black Friday start on…Thursday, which is outlandish.

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Last year at this time, I wrote a post about boycotting the buying of goods on Black Friday. You’ll find mention of some companies that participate in Buy Nothing Day (the arch nemesis of Black Friday and all it stands for), as well as some information on Small Business Saturday, and my feelings on shopping around on this week, in general.

I’ll be back after the holiday with more greening action, but until then, stay warm, greenies, and happy week of giving thanks!

Adventures in Greening is a column running on Kate-book.com every other Monday at noon. It is written by the very eco-conscious Catherine Moran. Follow Catherine on Twitter @folowbredcrumbs, or check out her excellent book blog.

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Adventures in Greening: In Which I Follow Up

By Catherine Moran

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I’ve written about a variety of green products over the past year, from reusable bags to cell phones. Today, I want to revisit one item: natural deodorant, and talk about a new product that I’m trying out, compostable bags.

I was raving about Meow Meow Tweet’s vegan deodorant back in April. While I’m still using the deodorant from Meow Meow Tweet, I may be switching brands permanently. The post about vegan deodorant prompted one of my friends to email me, asking if I’d ever tried Soapwalla’s deodorant cream. I had not, but of course I had to try. The results were–sorry, Meow Meow Tweet–even better than the first natural deodorant cream I’d tried. The consistency is smoother, and the cream seems to dissolve straight into my skin upon contact. It also doesn’t appear to rub off on dark clothing as much as Meow Meow Tweet’s brand.

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The ingredients in Soapwalla’s deodorant are (as listed on their website):

(*: certified organic, +: food-grade)
Simmondsia chinensis (Jojoba) Oil*; Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Oil*; Rosehip Seed Oil*; Butyrospermun parkii (Shea) Butter; Corn Starch*+; Sodium Bicarbonate+; Kaolin Clay; Vegan Kosher Glycerin*+; a custom blend of essential oils, including: Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender)*; Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree)*; Citrus Sinensis (Sweet Orange); Mentha Piperita (Peppermint)*; Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergaptene-free Bergamot)*; Non-GMO Vitamin E*+.

While there are more ingredients in Soapwalla’s brand of deodorant than in Meow Meow Tweet’s, many are food-grade ingredients, which means they are safe for consumption. Being safe for consumption reassures me that it is safe for my skin absorb these ingredients.

My only gripe with Soapwalla is that the deodorant is packaged in plastic tubs, whereas Meow Meow Tweet uses glass containers. I tweeted Soapwalla to see if the plastic packaging might be replaced in the future, and I’m looking forward to that response! (Fingers crossed!)

On to the next topic: compostable bags. You all know by now how fond I am of composting. A week or two ago, when I was dropping off my compost (using a plastic bag from the grocery store), the man working the booth told me that some people bring their compost to the bins in compostable bags. Whoa!

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For some reason, this just hadn’t occurred to me. I’d been using bags from the grocery store that I have collected over the years, but I hated doing this. I store my compost in the freezer, and on composting days would transfer the frozen compost to the plastic bag. Once emptied of compost, the bag would go straight to the trash. Not very green of me, I know, but I didn’t want to bring a dirty, smelly plastic bag with me on the subway.

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So, when the man working the booth told me about the smart people using compostable bags to carry and drop off their compost, I was overjoyed (not only did I hate throwing out the plastic bags; I’m beginning to run out,  because I bring bags from home to the store, so I am trying to use plastic bags now for collecting cat refuse only). Amazon had a lot of options, but I settled for this brand. I’ve yet to give them a go, but I think they will serve my composting purposes more than adequately (the reviews online include some complaints that the bags split in home composting units after a few weeks, but I will only be taking the bag from my apartment to the composting tent, so I am not worried about this particular manufacturing problem).

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So, there you have it! Another week, another set of green trials and errors. Let’s hope the compostable bags hold, and won’t turn into a teachable moment!

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Adventures in Greening is a column running on Kate-book.com every other Monday at noon. It is written by the very eco-conscious Catherine Moran. Follow Catherine on Twitter @folowbredcrumbs, or check out her excellent book blog.

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