Due to the increasing number of individuals who have contacted us regarding our pages/posts and those who have chosen to bookmark our website for future reference. We felt it was necessary to add new material to help keep the content fresh and to keep people commenting and sharing which was the original reason we set up this website as a blog. Our hopes are that this site can become a stopping off point for all individuals who would like to share their views and any useful data that they come across when surfing the net or when just ‘doing life’ that can help others lead a more sustainable existence especially if it can be done by adding to the diversity of our lives in an new and interesting way:
If you really think about it (I know I’m guilty of it as much as the next guy) why do we spend as much time on the internet as we do? Probably because we haven’t figured out something better to do with our spare time, or maybe our spare time is so broken up into little segments that we can’t seem to get started on that project in the garage or the garden etc., maybe we’re just too ‘wiped out’ after a long day at work and dealing with the family or whatever. Believe me I understand your plight, because I share it with you, as a small business owner who has been in business less than 5 years. So what is my point? It’s this: and that is that even when we are in Veg mode we can still spend some of our time doing things that will make our internet time productive.
How can we make our internet time more productive? Here’s a suggestion that you can try. Start by keeping a couple of pieces of scratch paper and pencil next to the computer while you are puttering around on the internet. One of them can be a to-do list and the other can be a useful facts list for the things you would like to see happening in the world around you. This can come in useful for those things we all feel in our hearts that we should be doing but some how when we get back out into the world we seem to forget. What the heck was it we were thinking about or checking out on the internet? Let me give you an example in my life: I consider myself an environmentalist but for years I didn’t have a decent way to make sure that the recyclables got to the recycle bins that I have outside. Finally, I remembered to have my wife get a blue colored waste basket that would fit in the kitchen next to the regular waste basket. But, if I would have wrote it on the to-do list I keep next to the computer now it would have happened years sooner. Unlike the recycle bin fiasco, when I decided we were way over do to start a mulch bin for the kitchen and yard waste that could be mulched. This time I had my scratch paper to-do list at hand and we went to the Green Festival we have in town every spring and I bought not only a nice 50 gallon mulching bin for the backyard, I also remembered to get a small 1 gallon size bin with a lid to keep in the kitchen for the kitchen scraps that can be put into the mulch bin. I’m now proud to say that even with four teens in the house (the Uber consumers as I like to call them) we are now recycling more than we throw away.
Something else that I have been in the process of changing out around the house (and in the shop) is the type of cleaning products: dish soap, laundry detergent, cleaning agents etc. and personal care products like toothpaste, shampoo, deodorant, hand/body lotion etc. that we use. Now I purchase products that are produced without the use of petroleum oil, that are biodegradable and use all natural (at a minimum) and all organic ingredients when available. Here’s what I found: because I thought they would be more expensive and/or would work like crap, what was really the case, was that when properly used, many of the sustainable products actually worked just as good, or better than the non-sustainable products. Of course there are always exceptions I had the worst luck with the big name brand “green” products. Most of the lesser know “green” products that I have used worked very well and they are available at competitive prices. I think that since a lot of these smaller Mom & Pop companies don’t advertise they can put more quality into what they sell, they don’t “green wash” us like some of the bigger companies do.
So what got me going on this kick besides knowing that these products are better for the environment, they are also a lot better for us too. Most of us are not aware that the cleaning and personal care products we use are not tested for our safety by the FDA. If the FDA gets a number of complaints about a product, then they can monitor it but there is little they can do about it, do to legal loop-holes since it isn’t a food or a drug. Many of the companies that make personal care products can list a variety of toxic ingredients under the term ‘fragrance’ and they are protected by ‘proprietary ingredient’ laws many are also ‘grand fathered in’. So just be aware of that when you go out to shop for these types of products. Take time to read the labels and know what is in them, don’t get scared by some of the terms used to identify some simple ingredients we all know like ‘Mentha Piperita” or ‘Punica Granatum’ which is just peppermint and pomegranate sounds scary though doesn’t it. But some of the ingredients are scary that is why we need to educate ourselves on what we put into and on our bodies. Fortunately, some socially responsible companies put the common names for the ingredients next to the scientific names to help us know what we are getting, if they don’t we may have to ask ourselves ‘what are they trying to hide?’ For a list of ‘safe product’ providers and other socially responsible companies check out the “National Green Pages” which is produced by Green America every year. They also had great article on this subject recently called “What’s that on your skin?” in the “Green American” April/May 2011, Issue 83, one of their other publications.
Anyway, I just wanted to give readers something else to mull over and hopefully take action on and once again I get to vent some things that are on my mind. If you made it this far I congratulate you on your perseverance, not everyone has your patience and concern for the world or maybe you just didn’t have anything ‘to-do’ with your time at the moment. As always I welcome your comments and any useful posts (civility please) that can help us all live a cleaner, greener, safer life and make this blog of more interest and use to us all.