Links to sites with tips for living Green

Sometimes it seems as if the amount of really valuable information available on the web is overwhelming, but I’m so grateful it’s there. I don’t know about you, but when I stumble across an interesting website, I have a tendency to bookmark it/add it to my Favorites, and then forget that it’s there.

Earlier today, I decided to sort through a bunch of my saved sites and I came across some real treasures, so I thought I’d share a few of the “living green” ones with you.

http://safesolutionsinc.com/ A site dedicated to providing non-toxic pesticides and green housecleaning products.

http://www.takeitbacknetwork.org/ This Network was developed to provide consumers with safe and convenient reuse and recycling options for products that contain toxic or hazardous materials.

http://greenlivingideas.com/ Provides ideas, tips, and information to help you improve the environmental sustainability of every aspect of your life: home energy, green building and remodeling, cars, food, waste recycling—and everything in between.

http://www.catalogchoice.org/ Free service to opt out of catalogs, coupons, credit card offers, phone books, circulars and more.

http://greenhomeadvisor.org/alice-kuder/index Green Home Advisor is your source for information about home improvements that save energy, reduce your home’s carbon footprint and save you money on your energy bills.

http://www.ecosquid.com/client/index.jsp Sell or recycle your gadgets. Instantly compare cash offers and recycling options from across the web in one easy search.

See what I mean? So much useful information and tips for living green, no matter what shade of green you are 🙂

What are your favorite sites for information about living green?

 

 

 

Christmas Trees: living green for the holidays

When it comes to decorating for the holidays, nothing says “Christmas” to me like a traditional tree. I love the lights and the ornaments and the smell.

I have a tiny little house, so some years I have opted to put up a Christmas tree and some years I haven’t. In the past, it often depended on how much furniture I had and how many dogs were living with me.

About a dozen years ago, I concluded that buying an artificial tree was a good way to further my goal of living green. They look so real that it seemed like a sensible, economical, earth-friendly thing to do, and I didn’t have to struggle with getting it home from the tree lot. So I bought a 7′ artificial tree when I was renting my loft apartment. Unfortunately, the house I bought in West Seattle the following year has 6.5′ ceilings.

I decided to give the tree to charity, only to discover that most charities wouldn’t take it. So much for being earth-friendly. I can just picture landfills overflowing with artificial Christmas trees.

I hadn’t decided what to do this year until I was shopping at Home Depot and saw that they had 3′ tall living Christmas trees (i.e. potted in soil) for $15! And some were even Colorado Blue Spruce! (I love the way spruce tree branches show off the ornaments.) So I bought one. Hopefully I can keep it alive through the holidays and transition it back outside to plant in my yard in the spring.

What about you? How do you feel about Christmas trees?

Here’s a picture of mine, all dolled up and glowing.

My living Christmas tree

And here’s a closer look at the Angel on top. My mother hand-stitched it and gave it to me as a birthday gift many years ago.

My mother's handiwork.

Living Green in my car

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I am not a car buff. When it comes to my car, I want it to be dependable and economical with a little bit of “cute” mixed in. My 2001 Toyota Echo fills the bill. The only thing that is likely to convince me to trade it in rather than run it into the ground is the lure of an electric car (or at least a hybrid).

Yesterday’s Seattle Times ran two blurbs on the front of the NW Autos section that apply to me. The headline of the first read, “Been a while since you bought a new car? There are big advances to anticipate.” The second read, “E-FOCUS on sale.”

It’s true. When I see or hear about the features that are now standard in new cars, I feel as if I’m in a time warp. In fact, when I bought my car new, it was devoid of many of the updated features that other cars had, so now I am even further behind.

Even so, I’m pleased that I get an average of 33 mpg, have no car payments, and have logged over 110,000 miles with no major repairs. It fulfills, in part, my commitment to living green in terms of transportation. Yes, I could probably take the bus more often, but even though my job as a Prudential real estate agent requires a lot of driving, I still put fewer than 10,000 miles/year on my car. Fortunately, I live in the Westwood Village neighborhood, which is a very walkable part of West Seattle. Even in the worst snow storms I can walk to several West Seattle restaurants, grocery stores and other retailers, plus the Post Office, Southwest Community Center and more.

I suspect that it may take another 5-10 years for the auto makers to really perfect electric cars, which should be just about the time my current car “runs out of gas” (pun intended). That, and the $40,000 price tag on the E-FOCUS, give me the incentive to wait for my first electric car.

How about you? Will your next car be a hybrid or all electric?