Archived Tips 2009

December Tip~~Happy Holidays!

1. Buy and use only rechargeable batteries.

2. Instead of wrapping paper, try using materials such as paper grocery bags flipped inside out and decorated with soy ink stamps or the comic page of a newspaper for kids. Other great wrapping materials include old maps, sheet music and magazine ads. Try our Vita re-usable tote its a gift & wrap all in one!

3. Try soy or beeswax candles. They are cleaner and gentler on the environment and last longer!

4. Borrow items from nature to set your table and return them when you’re done. Dried leaves or smooth stones make beautiful place cards, and a pinecone lying on its side creates the perfect stand.

5. Be sure to recycle.   Place all paper products, plastic, glass, and metal containers in your recycle bin. Including shopping bags, boxes, wrapping paper and any type of food containers made of plastic, metal or glass.
6. Turn down your thermostat a few notches before your guests arrive. As your guests arrive, the room’s temperature will rise to a comfortable but not stuffy level .  If you are baking remember the oven temp warms the house as well.

7. Recycle your Christmas Tree go to earth911 to find your local recycle center, drop off locations or curb side schedule.

8. If you have leftovers, send guests home with extras in pre-saved glass jars or reusable plastic containers instead of plastic wrap.

9. Too many catalogs.  Before you recycle gift catalogs, take a minute to pick out the ones you don’t want to receive anymore. Call their toll-free
numbers right away and ask to get off their list.
10. If you’re looking for more than a warm and cozy glow, LED (or in some cases, solar) holiday lights for the home, tree and walkway.  If you have old-school lights, enjoy them until they need to be replaced. Recycle your
broken or burned out holiday lights at Christmas Light Source.  The bulbs are recycled and the proceeds are used to aid Marine Toys for Tots Foundation.

Be sure to use a timer and keep them on for only 4-6 hours per night.

**Most important; emphasize togetherness and people over things. Create memories and teach our children (and ourselves) that love and friendship are zero-waste & free.

Wishing you health and happiness this holiday season, and prosperity in the New Year. We thank you for your business

All the best to you, your family.


November Tip

I recently read and article in Natural Home by Gregory Paul Johnson founder of Resources for Life. He spoke of living a lighter life and I found his suggestions worth sharing especially as we head into the hectic Holiday season. Here is an excerpt:

4 Steps To A Lighter Life~

1. Make a list of your priorities & keep it in a visible place to remind you how you want to spend your time and money. Track how you spend your time like you balance your checkbook. A chaotic day is equal to a bounced check.

2. Commit to making and being mindful of small changes. Choose one thing in your life that is getting out of control & decide today what you need to do to get it back on track. The confidence you build by seeing success in one area of life can help you gain victory in others. 3. Find Balance. Consider the areas of your life that consume the most time. Explore more efficient ways to handle these areas. by living a more balanced life you become more effective and help enrich the lives of those around you. 4. Set aside time for important activity in your life. Decide when you are going to do it and black it out in your day planner. If it require an investment of money or space, make it. Your commitment to an activity will result in a higher level of satisfaction.

To put your own life on a diet, begin with one or two of these actions. As you implement more you will SIMPLIFY your life

Happy Holidays~~Tiffany

Read the Article by Gregory Paul Johnson.


Here are some tips to help make your Halloween Green:

1. E-mail party invites rather than snail-mail them. There are some great ghoulish Free e-mail greetings online.
2. Make your own costume or buy one at a second-hand shop. An old sheet still makes a great ghost.

3. Trick or Treat with a reusable bag.

4. Walk instead of driving. If you must drive try car-pooling.

5. Look for locally grown pumpkins for carving & apples for bobbing and other seasonal fruits and veggies

6. If you don’t already compost, Halloween is a great time to start. You can add post-Halloween jack-o-lanterns to your compost bin, along with fallen leaves, food scraps, and other organic, biodegradable yard and household waste. Compost creates excellent soil for your garden

7. Teach your children to keep candy wrappers in their re-usable trick-or-treat bags until they return home, or to dispose of them in trash cans along their route. Preventing candy wrappers from becoming Halloween litter on the street is the right way to treat the environment. Take along an extra bag when you take the kids out treat-or-treating, and pick up litter along the way to help clean up the neighborhood.

8. Make use of all pumpkin parts. After carving a pumpkin, make sure to save the seeds. Bake them and serve them to party guests or feed them to our fine feathered friends, the birds.

9. Candy…No Halloween is complete without CANDY! There are plenty of healthy candy bars on the market these days. From organic chocolate to organic lollipops—available online and from local organic groceries, health food stores, or consumer cooperatives. Try honey sticks or fruit leather at health food stores or tea shops. These organic candies can satisfy your sweet tooth without compromising your health, and they are produced using methods that don’t damage the environment. Choose treats that use little or no packaging . Whenever possible, buy locally produced treats from local merchants.

10. Experience nature. Visit a pumpkin farm. Pick fresh apples. Talk a long walk outside. Look up at the sky. Notice the moon. Enjoy your planet.

Living an Eco-friendly lifestyle and reducing waste and pollution should be a daily event, not a special occasion. With a little thought, you can apply the strategies you use to have a green Halloween to the way you live every day.

Happy Halloween~~Tiffany


Keepin’ it clean

Removing a stain can be tough. Especially tough on natural fibers. Off the shelf stain remover products can harm natural fibers; some synthetic stain removers are flammable; and many people are allergic or sensitive to their harsh ingredients.

There are 4 basic principles to treating any stain. Of course, the sooner you treat the stain the better:

1. Think twice before just throwing stained clothing in the laundry. The heat of the water and dryer can
set many stains.

2. Scrape, blot or remove as much of the stain as you can. NEVER rub.

3. Determine what the stain is and choose the correct treatment for removal

4. I had always been told to use HOT water to remove a stain. Not the case warm or cool water is the
safest for stain removal. Hot water can set the stain.

Below is a list of some of the most common stains and how to remove them naturally and effectively. Please remember to always test a small area of the fabric before treating the entire garment.

Berry stainsDab the stain with lemon juice or vinegar, leave for an hour, then wash as usual.Chocolat
Soak in detergent and launder. If stain remains, soak in an enzyme-based stain remover (Health food stores sell prepared enzyme stain remover products made from “natural” enzymes that have been custom-made for removing certain types of stains.) The enzymes will eat up the dairy products in the chocolate. If you still have a stain after trying enzymes, try soaking the spot in 3 percent hydrogen peroxide.

Crayons and Candle Wax

Freeze the stain, remove the residue, and pull off the wax. Next, heat an iron, cover the wax stain with an absorbent cloth, and melt the wax onto the cloth.

Fruit Juice

Lemon Juice or vinegar. Dab on the stain.


Dampen the area with water, sprinkle with sugar. Roll up and leave for an hour, then wash as usual. Alternatively, rub with eucalyptus oil.


Blot the stain and soak in a bucket of water with 1 tablespoon of washing soda and 1 teaspoon of eucalyptus oil. Also, try cornstarch or citrus solvent.

Blood Soak in cold salt water or just cold water; use a hydrogen peroxide soak for stubborn stains.Cosmetics

Make a solution of 1 part cloudy ammonia (ammonia with a bit of soap added) and 3 parts water. Dab on the stain


Put in freezer for a few hours; once cold, peel off gum.


Soak in milk, vinegar, or Citrus solvent.



Perfume and Essential Oils

Vinegar or baking soda.


Enzyme based spot remover or soak item in salt water. Lay clothing in the sun for a few hours.

Tomato Sauce



Scoop up any solid parts. Enzyme-based stain remover. Alternating between vinegar and baking soda.


Immediately apply soda water. Pour boiling water from a height of 3 feet; may be more effective if you apply salt to the stain first.

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Easy Eco-Friendly Tips For the Office

Turn Off the Computer

Save energy and wear and tear on your hardware by shutting down your computer at night. You’ll save an average of $90 of electricity a year. The Department of Energy recommends shutting off your monitor if you aren’t going to use it for more than 20 minutes, and the whole system if you’re not going to use it for more than two hours.


If your drive to work is 25 miles each way and at least half is in typical stop-and-go traffic, you’ll save almost 10 percent of your monthly carbon emissions by carpooling. Not to mention the gas dollars you’ll save

Pay Bills online

Save natural resources – as well as late fees – by enrolling in online bill-paying options. Paperless billing not only saves trees; it also eliminates the fossil fuel needed to get all those billing envelopes from them to you and back again. Plus, you’ll save money on stamps.

Cut down on paper use when you can, and choose greener paper supplies, from cups to envelopes.

Print on two-sidesConsider this: the U.S. alone uses 4 million tons of copy paper annually, about 27 pounds per person.

Bag your lunch

Skip the fast food and B.Y.O.B….bagged lunch that is. Pack it in reusable containers, fresh fruit, veggies and your favorite wrap. Better yet organize a weekly or monthly potluck in the office and share favorite recipes.

Get some excercise and do some good for you & the community

Use your lunch hour to take a stroll and pick up trash in your community. Hit the parking lot, the parks, the empty lots. Organize a group and enjoy the weather. You will be pleasantly surprised how good you feel physically and mentally

Looking for more Eco-tips. Find these and others like them at and

Don’t Forget! Join us this Thursday August 6th @ 6:00 PM for our “Summer Sale Event” Live and in person. Click for directions and event information.

June Tip of the Month….Earn Money Recycling!!!!

Recycle logo

That’s right….Earn money for your recyclables.  Who couldn’t use a few extra dollars nowadays.

I have found some websites that will actually pay you for various items that you would normally toss or donate.   This is a great thing for kids to do to earn some vacation spending money!

Check these out:

*Not all areas offer the programs listed below.*

TerraCycle.Net Miscellaneous items change often. Trash & recyclable materials. Old Cellular phones. Old electronic devices “E” waste. “E” waste, games, DVD’s Ink toner cartridges

Sell Old Software Old/Obsolete computer software Clothing.  Men & Women

Children’ Children’s clothing, furniture, childcare items. All things recycled search engine.

Local Used book stores are great for those old paperbacks.  They will usually either pay you in credit or cash depending on their policy. Check Your Local Listings

Know the benefits of recycling cans. Some states pay five to ten cents per can. These states will be listed on the cans to check the cans out. If there is no listing for your state don’t worry. Almost every state pays per lb. for the cans. Although every state is different, the average pay is 35 cents per lb. To get paid for recycling your cans Search Your Local Listings

June Tip of the Month….Earn Money Recycling!!!!

That’s right….Earn money for your recyclables.  Who couldn’t use a few extra dollars nowadays.

I have found some websites that will actually pay you for various items that you would normally toss or donate.   This is a great thing for kids to do to earn some vacation spending money!

Check these out:

*Not all areas offer the programs listed below.*

TerraCycle.Net Miscellaneous items change often. Trash & recyclable materials. Old Cellular phones. Old electronic devices “E” waste. “E” waste, games, DVD’s Ink toner cartridges

Sell Old Software Old/Obsolete computer software Clothing.  Men & Women

Children’ Children’s clothing, furniture, childcare items. All things recycled search engine.

Local Used book stores are great for those old paperbacks.  They will usually either pay you in credit or cash depending on their policy. Check Your Local Listings

Know the benefits of recycling cans. Some states pay five to ten cents per can. These states will be listed on the cans to check the cans out. If there is no listing for your state don’t worry. Almost every state pays per lb. for the cans. Although every state is different, the average pay is 35 cents per lb. To get paid for recycling your cans Search Your Local Listings.

Tip of the Month MAY:

Reward Dad with an eco-friendly Father’s Day!

Try giving Dad one of these Planet-Friendly gifts…:*Sun-powered gadgets. Solar re-chargers are both functional and hip.

*Donate to a charity in Dad’s name

*Plant a tree in his honor.

* A year’s pass to a nearby national park is great for hiking-enthusiast Dads, plus it helps support the National Park Service.

*If Dad is a clothes horse then make it a sustainable shirt this year….comfortable, hip and cool!

Make Dad a fun Summer treat & Have some Family fun doing it. What could be better than kick the can homemade ice cream!Celebrate Dad with family together time and a cool treat…it’s easy

What you’ll need:* 1 pint of half and half

* 1/3 cup granulated sugar

* 4 tablespoons of your favorite instant pudding mix

* 10 cups ice

* 1 1/2 cup rock salt (kosher salt or sea salt can be used too)

* 3-pound coffee can, emptied and rinsed

* 1-pound coffee can, emptied and rinsed

* Duct tape

How to make it:1. In a medium bowl, combine half and half, sugar, and pudding mix with a whisk until thoroughly mixed.

2. Place 1-pound coffee can inside the 3-pound coffee can and pour ice cream mixture into smaller can. Cover the smaller can with it’s corresponding lid and seal with duct tape.

3. Surround the smaller can with ice and salt by layering 5 cups of ice with 3/4 cup of salt.

4. Use duct tape to seal the 3-pound can with its corresponding lid and start rolling. NOW, everyone face each other and roll the can back and forth on its side for 10 minutes.

5. After 10 minutes, open the cans and check the ice cream. The mixture on the sides of the smaller can will set up faster than the center. Use a rubber spatula to quickly scrape down the sides and give the ice cream one stir.

6. Next, reseal the lid on the smaller can with duct tape, and set it aside. Quickly dump the melted ice water from the large can, again place the smaller can into the larger can

7. Using the remaining ice and salt by repeat step 3. Reseal the cans with duct tape

8. Roll the large can for 10 minutes more.

9. After 10 minutes you are done, open the cans again and serve the ice cream!

Tips:After the first 10 minutes of kicking around the can, mix in some nuts , fruit or chocolate chips to enhance the flavor of your ice cream.

If you get tired of kicking that can around after only 10 minutes, take this shortcut: Stir the mixture and set it in the freezer for about an hour to allow the rest of it to harden.

Change the flavor by changing the pudding mix you use

Buying green products supports the growing green economy & buying local is even better

Tip of the Month: April
Eco-Friendly Tips For The Garden

As the weather changes and the days get longer it’s time to strip off the sweaters and head out to the backyard for some sunshine and gardening! Here are some tips that we are putting to good use this Spring in our own garden:

Eliminate pesticides and poison in the garden

To help eliminate snails and slugs attract birds. Hang nesting boxes and offer bird seed in your yard and encourage birds to use your trees for nesting. Birds love to eat pests like slugs and snails. Ground beetles and praying mantis are very aggressive and will prey on almost any insect they can overpower. Aside from being pretty and fun to catch, lady bugs make great pest patrol. We release lady bugs and praying mantis into our trees and on plants to help eliminate aphids, scales, mealy bugs, leaf hoppers, mites, and various types of soft-bodied insects. Plant to attract beneficial insects and birds, and put the right plant in the right place.

Allow some of your vegetables to go to flowers

The flower will attract the bumble bees, allowing for the pollination process to begin. Also, plant flowers that will flower as late into the fall as possible. This will allow more beneficial bugs and bees to have plenty of time to pollinate.

Collect rain water

If you live in a climate that rains, collect rain water and use it to water your garden. Direct down spouts to water the grass or garden. Even if you don’t have a lot of rain you can still conserve water by setting up more soaker hoses and plant a drought-tolerant garden. Water infrequently and deep and in the early-morning hours, minimizing evaporation and encouraging plants to root down deep. When you water potted plants allow them to drain down into the earth or other plants.

Compost your garden waste

The composted leaves of trees ,plants and lawn clippings can save you a bundle on fertilizer plus you get a chemical-free nutrient rich soil that works great in the garden as well as on houseplants. You can use the same combination of leaves & lawn clippings add some straw and you have a nice top layer mulch. This mulch will help reduce weeds, cool soil and retain moisture. You should have 2” of mulch in planted areas to maximize your moisture retention.

Plant a tree or two

We planted two new trees this Spring. A single tree will absorb a ton of carbon dioxide over its lifetime while adding oxygen, sheltering birds and securing soil from erosion. Plant to maximize shade in the warmer months and sunlight when its cold.

Grow Native

Growing native plants will help to sustain and shelter local wildlife.

Give children their own garden

This will allow them to connect with the Earth and teach them the importance of nature and the beauty that surrounds them. Grow food crops and startling seeds. It is a miracle of nature to watch the development of these plants and amazing to share with a child. Best of all you don’t need a garden. Instead of pots; recycle jars or plastic containers let the kids decorate them add some sunflower or grass seeds put them in the sun add some water when dry and enjoy the results.

You don’t have to be a gardener to enjoy gardening. Even just planting a few flowering plants or growing a small herb garden there is something healing about spending time “with” nature. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty! Happy Spring.

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March 2009

Eco-friendly non-toxic Spring Cleaning

Use pure essential oils as disinfectants and fresheners.

Essential oils are a great natural cleaner/disinfectant, they remove toxic mold, stale air, unpleasant odors, and kill viruses, bacteria and dust mites.

1.Basic Disinfectant: In a spray bottle, put 2 cups of water and 3 tablespoons of natural soap such as Bath Gel Base or any dish soap that you may have on hand. Add your favorite antiseptic, anti-bacterial essential oils 20-30 drops (Tea tree, lavender, lemongrass etc.). Shake well before each use.

2. Touch up or spot cleaning: Simply add a drop or two of eucalyptus, lavender, lemon, pine, juniper, thyme, or rosemary to a damp cloth. Wipe down the surfaces and enjoy the wonderful smell and feeling of relaxation you never thought you would get from cleaning.

Note: Use natural cleaning tools (natural sponge, mop, organic cloth) because essential oils can react with plastic.

3. A few drops of oil may be added to the dishwasher or garbage disposal to help disinfect and purify. Some popular oils are pine, orange, tangerine, lemon, and peppermint.

Uses for Vinegar or Lemon Juice

1. Vinegar is great for the Bathroom tile and works well on mildew . Simply spray on and let it sit for a few minutes then scrub with a stiff brush. You may substitute Lemon juice if you dislike the smell of vinegar.

2.For windows and mirrors, mix 1/2 cup of white vinegar or undiluted lemon juice with a gallon of water. Add 10-15 drops of lemon oil to neutralize the vinegar smell. Shake before each use, squirt on, then scrub with newspaper.

3.For Hardwood floors combine a solution of 1/4 cup white vinegar and 30 ounces of warm water. Spray on a cotton rag or towel until lightly damp. Then mop your floors, scrubbing away any grime. You may add a few drops of essential oil to the mix a pine or lemon is nice.

Baking Soda or Kosher salt

1.For your kitchen appliances coat the inside of your dirty appliance with a paste made from water and baking soda. Let stand overnight. Scour off that grime and shine with a moist cloth.

2. Skip the Drain openers they are filled with toxic chemicals. Pour 1/2 cup of baking soda into the problem drain, followed by 2 cups of boiling water. If it is a tough clog than add a 1/2 cup of vinegar and cover tightly, allowing the vigorous fizzing of the chemical reaction to break up the gunk. Flush one gallon of boiling water.

3. Baking soda makes a great abrasive cleaner, sprinkle on counter tops and in sinks, bath tub, shower any surface that needs a little elbow grease. If you need a little more use Kosher salt as an alternative the nature abrasiveness of the salt does wonders to break up dirt and grime.

Cleaning your Copper and Brass

Ketchup works well for Brass & Copper cleaning. The acid in the tomatoes and vinegar works to dissolve the tarnish. Just put ketchup on it let it sit until dry then use a soft cloth and wipe it clean to a shine.

Sparkling Silver

1. Aluminum Foil, Boiling Water, Baking Soda and Salt: Line your sink or a bucket with aluminum foil, and drop in tarnished silver. Pour in boiling water, a cup of baking soda and a dash of salt. Let sit for a few minutes. The tarnish will transfer from the silver to the foil.

2. Toothpaste: If you would rather polish by hand simply rub tarnished silver with toothpaste and a soft cloth. Rinse with warm water and dry.

Februray 2009

This month I thought I would help sort out the confusion that comes with “sorting-out” your plastic recyclables.  Not all plastic is created equal and I was shocked to find out how much I was tossing in my recycle bin that was NOT being recycled at the center.  Here is a break down of the 7 types of plastics, their uses and recycle potential.


PETE or PET -Most commonly used plastic.

(polyethylene terephthalate)

Used in: Soft drink, water bottles; mouthwash bottles; peanut butter containers; salad dressing and vegetable oil containers; ovenable food trays.
How to recycle: Picked up through most curbside recycling programs.
Re-Used in: Polar fleece, fiber, tote bags, furniture, carpet, paneling, straps.

Plastic 2

HDPE–Popular in Packing/packaging materials.
(high density polyethylene)

Used in: Milk jugs, juice bottles; bleach, detergent and household cleaner bottles; shampoo bottles; some trash and shopping bags; motor oil bottles; butter and yogurt tubs; cereal box liners
How to Recycle: Picked up through most curbside recycling programs, although some allow only those containers with necks.
Reused in: Laundry detergent bottles, oil bottles, pens, recycling containers, floor tile, drainage pipe, lumber, benches, doghouses, picnic tables, fencing.

Plastic 3

V (Vinyl) or PVC

*PVC contains chlorine, so its manufacture can release highly dangerous dioxins.  Never cook with or burn PVC**

Used in: Window cleaner and detergent bottles, shampoo bottles, cooking oil bottles, clear food packaging, electrical wire covering, medical equipment, siding, windows, piping

decking, paneling, mudflaps, roadway gutters, flooring, cables, speed bumps, mats.

How to Recycle:
Rarely recycled. Cannot be recycled with curb-side recycling programs.

Plastic 4

LDPE–Most plastic grocery bags and dry cleaning bags are made from LDPE.
(low density polyethylene)

Used in: Squeezable bottles; bread, frozen food, dry cleaning and shopping bags; tote bags; clothing; furniture; carpet.

How to Recycle: LDPE is not often recycled through curbside programs, but some communities will accept it find out if your community accepts LDPE. Plastic shopping bags can be returned to many stores for recycling.

Re-Used in: Trash can liners and cans, compost bins, shipping envelopes, paneling, lumber, landscaping ties, floor tile.

plastic 5

PP (polypropylene)with its high melting point PP is often used for containers that accept hot liquid.

Used in: Some yogurt containers, syrup bottles, ketchup bottles, caps, straws, medicine bottles.

How to Recycle: Number 5 plastics can be recycled through some curbside programs. Check you local listing PP.

Re-Used in: Signal lights, battery cables, brooms, brushes, auto battery cases, ice scrapers, landscape borders, bicycle racks, rakes, bins, pallets, trays.

Plastic 6plastic 7

Plastic 6–PS (polystyrene) Rigid and Foam (styrofoam) applications.

**Evidence suggests polystyrene can leach potential toxins into foods**

Used in: Disposable plates and cups, meat trays, egg cartons, carry-out containers, aspirin bottles, compact disc cases.
How to Recycle: Most local curb side recycling programs do not accept it due to its difficulty in recycling. Click to check your local recycling PS6.

Plastic 7–Miscellaneous there are a wide variety of plastic resins that don’t fit into the previous categories.  Polycarbonate is number 7, and is the hard plastic that after studies has shown it can leach potential hormone disruptors.

Used in: Three- and five-gallon water bottles, ‘bullet-proof’ materials, sunglasses, DVDs, iPod and computer cases, signs and displays, certain food containers, nylon.

How to Recycle: Number 7 plastics have traditionally not been recycled, though some curbside programs now take them. Find out if yours is one of them #7.


Tip of the Month:

Be aware of packaging. Most packaging trash comes from the grocery store. Here are some tips to help guide you.

1. Buy fresh food that does not come pre-packaged…..Skip the plastic bags for fresh fruit and veggies-drop them right in your cart.

2. Avoid convenience packaging. Individual juices, lunches in plastic trays, individual snack or veggie servings. Instead buy larger containers of juice and pack a reusable thermos or bottle, separate snacks, veggies and treats into reusable airtight containers and pack in a lunch box or briefcase. This may seem like extra work, but have the kids or your partner help and use it as quality time together.

3. Look for glass or recycled plastic containers. Try to avoid buying plastic containers that cannot be recycled through your local recycle center. Go to to find your local recycle center

4. Most important. Take your own bags. Canvas or nylon reusable bags or shopping totes. More than 100 billion plastic bags wind up landfills every year (only 0.06% of plastic bags are ever recycled) Better yet, don’t take a bag if you are purchasing a small item or a few things you can carry.

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