Monthly Archives: December 2006

Turning Green as a Stay at Home Mom

Being a stay at home mom means you’re there to set a great example for your children. Wouldn’t it be nice to show them how important you consider helping our planet to be?

Admittedly, being a stay at home mom can be pretty environmentally friendly in some ways. You don’t drive to work every day or to the daycare. But in other ways it isn’t always so good.

You may regularly use harsh chemicals to clean your home, for example. Not only are these really not so good for you or your family, they aren’t so good for the planet. It’s not the kind of pollution you’d notice right off hand, but it is there.

Consider replacing some of your household cleaning chemicals with more environmentally friendly alternatives. A vinegar and water mixture can be amazingly effective as a cleanser. Continue reading →

He He He He… I’m Winning at Last!

My husband is finally getting just a little bit more into organic gardening. I think it’s more out of despair for how poorly our garden did last year than anything else, but it’s still a start!

He has started putting our veggie and fruit scraps into the blender with water to make some quick compost. I’ve been telling him for a while that a little bit of composting might be possible, even if a full compost heap would be tough here at this house we’re renting, as it doesn’t have a good place for one.

This last growing season was terrible for us. We garden partially for the food but also because the kids love helping out. It’s not easy… he built large containers that he put in the part of the yard our landlords covered in wood chips so that we could somehow have a garden. But he got the soil mix wrong or something, and that combined with a major heat wave really kept the garden from thriving. Continue reading →

California Cutting Small Engine Emissions

What a great move! The EPA finally granted California the right to require that the emissions of smaller engines, such as lawnmowers. New small engines sold in California will have to be sold with a catalytic converter starting January 1.

It doesn’t surprise me that these engines are highly polluting. I don’t own a lawnmower myself, as we are renting a house and the landlord hired someone to take care of that. I’m hoping to just have a push lawnmower when we do have our own. My husband has used that kind before and doesn’t feel it’s that bad.

The new standards will cut emissions by around 40%. That’s pretty significant, especially when you hear that lawnmower emissions are estimated to cause about 7% of California’s mobile source smog emissions. Continue reading →

Going Down to 1 Car?

My poor old Saturn is dying. It’s the transmission, and I don’t think it’s going to hold out much longer.

I’ve told my husband I’d rather not replace it right away. We can’t afford the kind of vehicle we want, and quite honestly my personal need for a car is quite minimal. Most of my errands can be done in his car after he’s home from work. It’s maybe every couple weeks that I HAVE to have a car to take the kids to a doctor appointment or such.

So I’ve told him that I don’t want to replace it right away. Yes, I do want to replace it eventually, as he has to have a car for his job as he has to go to customer’s homes sometimes, but I would rather do it when we can buy the kind of vehicle I want.

You probably know what I mean… low emissions, great gas mileage. Continue reading →

No More Baiji

Just found this one out in my online wanderings. The Chinese Baiji, a freshwater dolphin appears to be extinct or in so low of numbers that they will be shortly.

They had been trying to save that species, but it appears to have been a failure. The Yangtze River is just too busy for the dolphins to survive.

Apparently it wasn’t just toxins in the water, which they say weren’t at a sufficiently hazardous level to have caused this extinction. It appears instead to be more related to the amount of traffic on the river, which made it difficult for the dolphins to use their sonar.

I know in the coming years reports of various species going extinct will become more and more common. That’s just how the world today is and little can be done for it. However we can work to slow these things down and save many species.

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