Archive for Clean Living

March 30th, 2017

A Night to Remember: Saying Goodbye to Plastic Bags at Town Meeting

A Night to Remember: Saying Goodbye to Plastic Bags at Town Meeting Groovy Green Livin

I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve lived in Massachusetts for over 20 years (how is that possible?!) and I’ve NEVER been to a Town Meeting until this week.

For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about let me fill you in.

What is Town Meeting?

Participating in a Town Meeting is democracy at its best. Registered voters gather together to voice opinions and directly effect change in the community. The Annual Town Meeting is generally held in the spring to enact the following year’s budget, plus whatever other matters are placed on the Town Meeting warrant, either by the Selectmen or by citizen petition. Cities and towns throughout the US each have their own form of democracy and it could look very different from what we have here.

After the election this past November I decided to make an effort to become more involved on a local level. After all, that’s where it all begins.

I kicked off my involvement by marching in Boston with thousands and became truly inspired to do more. I wrote a political post which is pretty out of character for me. One of the suggestions I shared was to “get to work on a local level and elect/appoint those who are like-minded and care.”

So I decided to heed my own advice and off I went to my first Town Meeting.

Sitting down beside a friend I took a look around at the full house and couldn’t help but think that every one of these people had taken time out of their busy schedules to be there.

They knew something that I was just discovering: that their voice mattered. Coming to Town Meeting was a simple way to voice opinions, listen to others and vote on matters that would help shape our community.

Wow. How had I missed this opportunity for so many years?

Vote to Ban Plastic Bags

A Night to Remember: Saying Goodbye to Plastic Bags at Town Meeting Groovy Green Livin

Aside from my general interest in participating in the process there were a few articles up for discussion and a vote that caught my attention. I was most interested in the proposed plastic bag ban. From water bottles to plastic wrap, I’ve been writing about the detrimental effects of plastic for years.

There’s no denying that plastic bags are polluting our environment. It’s hard to miss the enormous number of plastic bags swirling around in local parking lots and water ways. The bags never fully decompose and remain a significant threat to marine animals and other wild life.

Over 40 other communities in Massachusetts have passed bylaws to reduce the use of thin-film plastic bags.

I’m proud to share that after a lengthy discussion the bylaw passed and plastic bags are now banned. The bylaw doesn’t alleviate all plastic bags from circulation, but it’s a great start. The ban applies to those thin plastic bags we receive at the grocery check-out.

What you can do

Now we all need to do two things:

  1. Focus on remembering reusable bags when we shop.
  2. Add your community’s Town Meeting (or whatever form of democracy your city or town subscribes to) to your calendar.

Given that there’s been a tremendous amount of municipal support, it’s my hope that Massachusetts will enact a statewide plastic bag ban in the near future.

The plastic bag ban is a baby step, but a step in the right direction and I’m proud to have been a small part of the process.

What form of government is there in your city or town? Is there a Mayor? City Council? Town Meeting? How do you participate?


P.S. If you liked this post you might enjoy our FREE Groovy Green Livin NewsletterReceive new posts and special opportunities delivered right to your inbox! Sign up HERE.


 

 

March 9th, 2017

It’s Time to Ditch Your Reusable Plastic Water Bottle

It's Time to Ditch Your Reusable Plastic Water Bottle Groovy Green LivinIt’s time! Line up your reusable plastic water bottles and please (pretty please) STOP using them.

I’ve been secretly cringing for years when I see someone drinking from a brightly colored, BPA-free reusable plastic water bottle. Reusable plastic water bottles are a dime a dozen at my gym, sit alongside yoga mats in my yoga studio and crowd the classroom in my son’s karate class. They are everywhere. And I get it. Plastic water bottles are easier to transport than glass or even stainless steel. They generally don’t dent or break and drinking from them is a breeze. Placing those conveniences aside, plastic water bottles come with a list of possible health hazards and the list isn’t pretty.

It's Time to Ditch Your Reusable Plastic Water Bottle Groovy Green Livin

Removing BPA from plastics was a good start, but it’s not enough

A few years ago we learned that BPA is a hormone-disrupting chemical that’s been linked in lab studies to breast and prostate cancer, infertility, early puberty in girls, type-2 diabetes, obesity and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Now we’re discovering that  “BPA-free” doesn’t mean it’s safe“. Once BPA was found to be toxic, retailers and brands began replacing it with substitutes that could be just as dangerous. Many manufacturers have replaced BPA with something called fluorene-9-bisphenol, or BHPF. In a recent study, it was found that BHPF has the potential to cause fertility problems.

When you buy a plastic water bottle it doesn’t come with a list of “ingredients” so it’s virtually impossible to know what they’re made from.

Time to ditch the plastic

The information is starting to stack up against plastic reusable water bottles. Even those companies that have phased out BPA could still be using a chemical that has almost the same negative health impact on our bodies-hormone disruption. As the evidence continues to mount showing that plastic water bottles could be dangerous why not be proactive and make the switch to stainless steel or glass water bottles?

A few of my favorite non-plastic reusable water bottles

I have a few favorite reusable water bottles to share. Take a peek HERE.

There’s another favorite reusable water bottle to add to the list. Klean Kanteen let me do a test run with their new insulated (cold drinks only) Reflect reusable water bottle. I’ve been using it for a few weeks and I love that it’s completely plastic free. The lid is made from bamboo and stainless steel, and the bottle is completely stainless with a silicone seal.

Do you avoid reusable plastic water bottles? How about BPA free products? 


P.S. If you liked this post you might enjoy our FREE Groovy Green Livin NewsletterReceive new posts and special opportunities delivered right to your inbox! Sign up HERE.


Disclosure: Some links on this page are affiliate links, which means that at no additional cost to you I may get a small commission if you decide to make a purchase. 
October 16th, 2014

My Love Hate Relationship With Composting

Groovy Green Livin Composting

Composting hasn’t come easily for me. I’ve been trying on and off for the past few years to compost our kitchen scraps and encourage my family to do the same. Seems like a pretty simple task, yet I’m struggling.

I have all the right equipment- an outdoor compost bin and an indoor compost pail, which is always under the sink.

My composting system is in place, however I can’t get into a groove.

Here’s why composting isn’t working for me:

  1. The smell
  2. The fruit flies

The fruit fly problem was so awful last year that I ended up leaving the composting pail on our back deck for most of the winter.  I needed a composting vacation.

Now I’m back from my composting vacation and I’ve decided to take the NBC Green is Universal Eco Eats Challenge to compost kitchen food waste.

Here’s the challenge:

Give Compost A Chance: Food scraps make up 7 percent of household waste, on average. Try composting your food scraps instead of sending them to a landfill and and watch your garbage bag deflate.

Did you know that a typical household throws away an estimated 474 pounds of food waste each year. That means about 1.5 lbs per person a day in the U.S. Food scraps generated by all households in the United States could be piled on a football field more than five miles (26,400 feet) high. That’s a lot of waste.

The solution to my composting issues was simple: dump the compost pail outside in the compost bin daily so there’s no opportunity for fruit flies or that horrible smell to surface.

Here are a few tips to make kitchen scrap composting work for you.

  1. Invest in a quality compost pail for your kitchen.
  2. Do not compost meats, dairy and fish. Stick with other food scraps.
  3. Keep all pesticide and/or herbicide treated food scraps out of your compost bin and pail.
  4. Empty your containers daily to insure that no smell spreads throughout your kitchen or home. This will also keep the fruit flies away.

It’s amazing how I’ve reduced the amount of garbage we throw away by composting our kitchen food waste.

What’s your trick to composting? I’d love to hear.


P.S. If you liked this post you might enjoy our Groovy Green Livin NewsletterReceive new posts and special opportunities delivered right to your inbox! Sign up HERE.


 Disclaimer: Please know that if you make a purchase using a link on this page, I may earn a commission (at no extra cost to you), which in turn helps support this site. None of the companies I promote on this page have paid me, I just really like their products. Thank you in advance.

 Are you interested in ‘eco-eating’? NBC’s Green is Universal is hosting an “Eco Eats” sweepstakes from September 29 – October 17. To join, visit their free green-living tool, One Small Act, and join the “Eco Eats” challenge. Everyone who signs-up and tackles at least one action by October 17th will be entered to win one of five 6-month subscriptions to NatureBox. No Purchase Necessary. Must be US resident and 18+. Read official rules here.

Note: In exchange for participating in the challenge and writing this post, I was given a gift package from Green is Universal. All opinions here are still my own.”

photo credit: London Permaculture via photopin cc

July 3rd, 2014

Kale is the New Carrot and Other Summer Scenes

Groovy Green Livin Kale

Kale is on my mind. Keep reading and you’ll see why.

I hope everyone’s having a wonderful summer. Unfortunately I didn’t have a chance to write much this week so I thought I’d share with you a few of my latest photos from my summer adventures. If you’d like to check out more photos please come and find me on Instagram. I’d love to see what you’re sharing too.

This photo was one of my favorites from this week:  Kale is the new carrot. It was hidden under a pile of art work by artist Dug NapVoted Vermont’s best cartoonist in 2012, best poet in 2011, and best visual artist for 2008 & 2009 by the readers of Seven Days, Vermont’s alternative newspaper, Dug Nap is a self-taught artist who was born and raised in Vermont. His work is fabulous.

Groovy Green Livin Kale

Cycling along the roads of Vermont I came across this.

Groovy Green Livin Kale

Yet another reason to love Vermont!

I mailed many letters to my three boys who are away at summer camp from this adorable post office.

Groovy Green Livin Kale

One of my favorite breakfasts of the summer to date was this plate of fruit. So simple and easy to prepare. My second favorite breakfast was a smoothie made with many of these fruits and a little kale.

Groovy Green Livin kale

Have a wonderful and safe 4th of July. If you’re firing up those grills here are a few tips to help keep your grilling safe. And don’t forget to use green accessories for the barbecue!

Let me know if you have any incredible summer adventures planned. I would love to hear!

 

August 30th, 2011

Staycation and Other Odds & Ends

Vacation

Staycation

As of today I will be taking a short staycation: a vacation where I won’t be blogging and I’ll be sticking pretty close to home (low carbon emissions during this vacation!) for a few days. During my staycation  I’ll be spending time with my three lovely boys before the back-to-school frenzy hits hard next week. We have a few things to accomplish while we’re staycationing:

We will be getting much needed haircuts.

haircut

 

We will be trading in our highwaters (they came in handy this week during flooding from Hurricane Irene) for pants that actually fit.

pants that fit

 

We will be brushing our hair for possibly the first time all summer. I’m anticipating this task will take a minimum of one to two days to complete. Our hair looks something like the one on the right (our lips look nothing like either pair of lips).

hair

Before signing off  I wanted to share two interesting and important articles that were recently published. Take a look when you have a chance.

  1. Mail Online reported : Scented laundry products (dryer sheets etc…) could be releasing cancer-causing chemicals when clothes are tumble-dried.
  2. The New York Times reported: The anti-bacterial chemical, triclosan, raises safety issues. Triclosan is commonly found in anti-bacterial soaps, kitchen cutting boards and even a best-selling toothpaste, Colgate Total.

Although I won’t be posting much for a few days, there will still be a few not-to-be- missed things happening at Groovy Green Livin :

  • Don’t forget to enter the GIVEAWAY for a Kids Konserve reusable lunch sack with great coupons inside for free products. Entries will be accepted until midnight, August 30, 2011 and 5 winners will be selected.  I will announce the winners on September 1, 2011.
  • JOIN ME FOR A TWITTER PARTY: Want to learn some tips and tricks for non-toxic living on a nickel? Join me on Thursday, September 1 at 6pm PST/9pm EST  for a Twitter Party with Healthy Child Healthy World.  I will be a panelist along with Paige Wolfe “Author of Spit That Out”, blogging at spitthatoutthebook.com , Rene of Budget Saving Mom, Emi The Cloth Diaper Report and Easy Peasy Japanesey. We will be discussing how creating a cleaner, greener, safer home does NOT need to cost an arm and a leg (really!).

We will return to our regular scheduled programming after Labor Day. Have a wonderful few days!

 

[Photos used under Creative Commons from Jeff Turner, D.Sharon Pruitt and Saffy/Flickr]

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About Lori

Hi! I’m Lori, a recovering attorney, writer, and mom to three boys. Join me as I uncover and share the latest info on healthy living. Learn more.

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