Environmental

  • Water Conservation Anyone who lives on a well knows the importance of water conservation. Not only from an environmental standpoint, but also from the short term point of view that if you waste water on a well, sooner or later you will run out. And when that happens you have to haul water, which can be a ...
  • GMO Foods Need to Go Not Grow Have you ever wondered what’s really in your food? GMO foods are a scary view of the future. A few years ago I attended a showing of the documentary The Future of Food. It’s something anyone who eats food (therefore everyone) should see. The GMO/GE foods monopoly is taking away our freedom of choice when ...
  • What You Should Know About Cheese If you’ve ever looked at the ingredients in a package of cheese and seen the word “rennet,” you may be wondering exactly what that is. Rennet is the name of the ensymes in a young mammel’s stomach. These ensymes assist animals in digesting and absorbing their mother’s milk. These ensymes in fact separate milks into curds ...
  • Second Hand Stores Are Good for the Wallet and Good for the Earth There are a few people I know who are embarrassed to admit they shop second hand. Apparently there’s some sort of stigma attached to shopping at second hand stores. But I think those who shop at second hand stores should be proud to say so, because it’s not only good for the wallet, it’s good ...
  • GMO’s Don’t Work Anyway Advocates of GMO crops often try to tout their products as necessary by claiming that Round-up ready crops require less pesticides, however, what happens when the GMO’s don’t work?  When Monsanto first introduced their Bt corn, the idea was that farmers would able to apply less pesticide because the corn had been genetically modified to resist ...
  • 10 Reasons to Love Yurts Simply put, yurts are cool! Here are 10 reasons to love yurts. Yurts are Eco Friendly Because there are so few materials used in the construction of yurts, it gives them an eco friendly edge. Most yurt companies ensure that the wooden framework for their yurts is from sustainably managed forests. The smaller footprint of yurts also ...
  • What if We Could see CO2? If we could actually see CO2 coloring our planet, would we take better care of it? I recently came across a very creative children’s book by Gregg Kleiner called Please Don’t Paint Our Planet Pink!: A Story for Children and their Adults. It’s a great way to really make people (children and adults alike) think about ...
  • Do It Yourself Pest Control: Aphids If aphids are sucking the life out of your plants, try this homemade spray recipe for a little do it yourself pest control. Last year I posted a few of the natural methods we use to control aphids on our farm (read if here if you missed it) . We like to keep everything on ...
  • Natural DIY Dandelion Soap Dye If you live in an area with dandelions, it’s super easy to turn them into a beautiful golden dandelion soap dye. Dandelions are far more than just “weeds” to me, they’re one of my favorite things about spring because they’re what I use to make my yellow soap dye (If you’ve ever had one of ...
  • Types of Mulch that are Free Mulch is an important part of gardening as it helps keep plants from getting too dry or weedy. Here are a few types of mulch that you can often get for free. GRASS Grass is one of the most common types of mulch in the free price range. All you have to do is save your lawn ...
  • Eco Friendly Clothing Though many of us wear cotton, it’s not exactly one of the most eco friendly clothing choices. Cotton is one of the most heavily sprayed crops there is. Because it is prone to pest attacks, it uses more pesticide and insecticide than almost any other crop. Cotton is believed to account for 25% of worldwide ...
  • Essential Oils for Cleaning If you’re looking for a natural way to clean house, try using some essential oils for cleaning. Essential oils have so many great uses. They’re good for health, relaxation, cosmetics, and the non-poisonous oils can even be used in cooking. It’s also a wonderful experience using essential oils for cleaning. As a general rule to use ...
  • Grey Water Recycling Grey water recycling is a great way to cut down on the amount of water you use around the yard. Grey water is the water than is normally sent down the drain after a shower, a load of laundry, or running the water in the bathroom sink. It’s essentially good, clean water that’s simply being sent ...
  • Genetically Modified Food Health Risks There is a lot of debate about genetically modified food and the associated health risks. I myself have long been against genetically modified food, and believe that it should be labeled. If big farms want to grow GMO crops, that’s their right, but it should also be our right to choose whether or not we want ...
  • Straw Bale Houses Straw bale houses are one of my favorite forms of eco-friendly housing. Maybe it’s the extra thick walls, or the ease of building, or just the general fairytale quality that’s emitted by straw bale houses, but they’ve always been one of my favorite “alternative” types of housing. They were certainly my first love when it ...
  • 7 Ways to Reduce Waste It cannot be denied that there is a lot of waste in our world today. Here are a few simple ways to reduce waste in your life. RECYCLE YOUR BATTERIES Most people looking for ways to reduce waste already recycle, and while it’s easy to recycle your bottles, cans, and newspapers, batteries can be a little ...
  • GMO Apples Coming to a Stand Near You Well they’ve done it again. They’ve taken yet another healthy food and defiled it in the name of “progress.” This time it’s GMO apples coming to a stand near you. As if we already didn’t have enough genetically engineered foods to try and keep off our plates (read my previous post about the most common GMO ...
  • Keep the Vampires Out of Your House I really had ya going with that title didn’t I? The vampires I’m actually referring to are the appliances in your house that use “standby” power. They’re often referred to as vampires because they suck energy from your home the way vampires suck blood.  Many of our household items such as computers and televisions are always ...
  • Fracking and Organic Agriculture Don’t Mix Hopefully by now you’ve heard the good news that fracking has been banned in NY, but the fight against fracking isn’t over yet. Having fracking banned in NY is great victory to be sure, but there are other states still under the threat of fracking. As the old saying goes, you catch more flies with honey ...
  • The Benefits of Hemp Fabric Industrial hemp is a very versatile plant with a myriad of uses, including my personal favorite: hemp fabric. Industrial hemp unfortunately gets a bad rap because of its relation to marijuana. However, industrial hemp cannot get a person high, as the levels of THC in industrial hemp are much lower than those in marijuana. Industrial hemp ...
  • Upcycled Furniture Whether you’re looking for a fun project, or just need to give the rooms in your house some new life, try some upcycled furniture. Upcycled furniture is a great way to spruce up your living area without spending a lot of money. Basically all it’ll cost you is a few cans of paint. And because you’ll ...
  • Fracking Stories A friend recently sent me this story about the Desatoff family and their experience with fracking in their neighborhood. Walt and Marilee Desatoff tell how they eventually had to leave the home that had been in their family for generations due to fracking operations right across the street.
  • In Praise of the Wheel Hoe There is something quintessentially “farmy” about using a wheel hoe to cultivate your produce rows. I have an old wheel hoe (well, an ancient wheel hoe to be a little more precise). It belonged to my great-grandfather, so I guess you could say it’s an antique. While it’s certainly a beautiful tool of days gone ...
  • GMO vs Hybrid: What’s the Difference? Hybridization and GMO are not the same thing. When it comes to GMO vs hybrid, one is natural, one is definitely not… I felt compelled to write this post after hearing someone at a local farm market saying that hybridization and GMO were the same thing. They’re not. One is a safe, natural method of creating ...
  • Homemade Red Lily Beetles Deterrent If you grow lilies, you’ve probably noticed red lily beetles chewing on them. Instead of using poisonous commercial sprays to deter them, make a homemade red lily beetles deterrent from something you probably already have in your kitchen. Our lilies are now in full bloom and they look as nice as they have in several years ...
  • ExxonMobile CEO Against Fracking… …at least when it’s in his own backyard. In what must be the ultimate case of irony, ExxonMobil’s CEO Rex Tillerson has joined a lawsuit to prevent fracking near his home. Specifically Tillerson is hoping the block the construction of a 160-foot fracking water tower that would be built near his own million-dollar property. The reasons ...
  • The Basics of Starting Seeds Indoors Want to get a jump on the spring growing season? Try starting seeds indoors. March is the month for starting seeds indoors. The cold winter days give way to the warm hints of spring (though sometimes winter likes to remind us with a March snowstorm that it’s not quite done yet). Starting seeds indoors give you ...
  • 7 Commonly Genetically Modified Foods While almost any food can unfortunately be genetically modified these days, there are some foods that are more likely than others to be genetically modified. Here are 7 of the most commonly genetically modified foods: 1.) Potatoes – Genetically modified potatoes are not any more pest or disease resistant than other potatoes. The only purpose for genetically ...
  • GMO-free Seed Suppliers Looking for a place to get GMO-free seeds to grow your own produce? Try some of the companies on this list. Monsanto has done its best to make it difficult to avoid GMO foods in the grocery store by launching a massive campaign against labeling GMO foods. This has caused many people to turn to local markets ...
  • GMO Foods: Why Doesn’t Monsanto Want Them Labeled? If GMO’s are so safe, why doesn’t Monsanto want them labeled? Last week I talked about Monsanto and the dirty tricks they used to get rbST approved for use in the United States (read it here if you missed it). This week’s post is about Monsanto’s supposedly safe GMO foods. GMO (which stands for Genetically Modified ...
  • rbST – The Truth About Monsanto With the controversy surrounding the labeling of GMOs, a name that’s getting a lot of attention is Monsanto (the same company responsible for rbST). Monsanto is currently running a large ad campaign trying to discourage the labeling GMOs, touting them as safe. I will be following up this post next week with a post about ...
  • Battery Operated Christmas Lights from Brussels Sprouts Not a big fan of brussls sprouts? Would brussels sprout battery operated Christmas lights change your mind? Some scientists in London from The Big Bang UK Young Scientists and Engineers Fair have created a huge battery made of brussels sprouts and used it to power a full size Christmas tree. The brussels sprouts battery operated Christmas ...
  • How To Use Soap Nuts for “Greener” laundry Want a natural, renewable source of laundry detergent? Try using soap nuts in your next batch of laundry. It’s not hard to learn how to use soap nuts and it makes laundry so much healthier and eco-friendly. Despite their name, soap nuts are not actually nuts at all. They’re a type of berry from the ...
  • Tell Walmart to Stop Torturing Pigs Walmart’s torture of pigs is a real American horror story. Driven mad from boredom and stress, pregnant pigs confined to filthy gestation crates. Walmart must stop supporting cruel gestation crates. Sign the petition here At Walmart pork suppliers, thousands of pregnant pigs spend nearly their entire lives crammed into cages so small they can barely ...
  • Natural Homemade Bug Repellent Recipe I’m always on the lookout for natural remedies, as I prefer to avoid synthetics as much as possible. It’s so much nicer when we can put natural things in and on our bodies as opposed to factory-produced synthetics. In particular, I choose to avoid synthetic bug sprays as they can be quite hazardous to one’s ...
  • Go Green, Save Green: Reusuable Containers. Reduce, reuse, recycle isn’t just a trendy catchphrase, it’s a way of living. Going green doesn’t have to be expensive, in fact there are little ways of going green that can actually save you money. You can save green, by going green. Every year in America, people throw away 25 billion foam cups (according to ...
  • What’s the Best Way to Prevent a Landfill? Recycle of Course! Recycling is one of the easiest things we can do to keep our planet beautiful. It’s as simple as throwing a bottle into the blue bin instead of the trash bin, but it’s amazing how many people simply don’t do it. I’ve actually had people tell me it’s just too much of a bother. Really? Recycling ...
  • A Little Research Can Prevent a Lot of Animal Cruelty I don’t eat a lot of meat, but I am not a vegetarian, nor do I have any qualms against people eating meat; I simply have issues with the way many animals are treated before they reach our dinner tables. Killing an animal for food is a basic instinct dating back to prehistoric humans. It ...
  • Can Green Energy Help Prevent Nuclear Weapons? We all know that green energy is good for the environment, better for our breathing air, and helps lessen our dependence on foreign oil, but what about world affairs? Can green energy help with that? Well, it could certainly help prevent the generation of dangerous nuclear weapons. Some people refer to nuclear power as a “green” ...
  • An Easy Homemade Cleaning Product When it comes to household cleaners, many of them carry a toxic chemical ingredient list long enough to warrant a hazmat designation. These noxious chemicals pollute our water when they’re washed down the drain, as well as being potentially hazardous to breathe while they’re being used to clean. Fortunately there are some safe (safe enough ...
  • Cheap Home Decor from Nature Leonardo da Vinci once said “Those who take for their standard anyone but nature – the mistress of all masters- weary themselves in vain.” He was right. When it comes to creative design, Mother Nature is still the greatest maker. Decorating with branches can be an easy and inexpensive way to put Mother Nature’s beautiful ...
  • Renewable Energy Doesn’t Have to Be Ugly When people mention green power, images of clunky solar panels and huge fields of wind turbines often come to mind. These are often the way sources of green power are implemented. The problem is that they’re such an eyesore, people are often hesitant to accept these alternative sources of energy. That’s understandable, as anyone who has ...
  • A Few Thoughts on Fracking We recently had a discussion about fracking at work, and my coworker Calvin had this to say about his experiences with fracking in Pennsylvania: “I went to college in Mansfield PA, and have many friends still down in the area. The past few times I have gone back to what used to be a great, quiet, ...
  • Why buy new when you can buy second hand? I am a huge fan of shopping at the Salvation Army, Volunteers of America, the Goodwill and just about any other second-hand shop you can name. For one thing I like to experiment with clothes and costumes that I’m making. I don’t feel as bad if something gets wrecked when it was a used item ...
  • Black Goo With all the news surrounding the mysterious “black goo” that was found on swimmers at the local Kershaw Park, (which turned out to be from 80 year old buried oil drums that had missed detection), I can’t help but think about fracking. Fracking companies don’t even have to disclose the chemicals that they pump into ...
  • Don’t Frack with my Water! The debate about fracking in New York State is still ongoing, but hopefully they will rule against it. Back in December I wrote a piece here on why I believe the dangers greatly outweigh the benefits. If you want to get involved, here’s a form below you can send in. Since money seems to be ...
  • Edible Flowers Everyone knows that flowers are pretty to look at, but a lot of people don’t realize that many of those delicate blossoms are also quite edible. A few years ago at the local farm market I attend, one of the vendors had implemented the ingenuous idea of selling “edible bouquets.” They were exactly what they ...
  • Fracking: Short-Term Benefits, Long-Term Catastrophe With the current possibility of New York State being opened to fracking, the debate about whether the benefits outweigh the risks is a hot topic. There are extremes on both sides, with some people claiming that there are no benefits to fracking, and others claiming there are no adverse effects from fracking. The truth is, ...
  • Homemade, chemical-free shampoo I decided to try a little a experiment this week after stumbling across an idea for homemade shampoo. For the most part I use commercial shampoo that’s on the organic/natural end of the spectrum with as few of the nasty shampoo toxins as possible (no SLS!). Even so, basically every commerically bought shampoo has a few ...
  • Be Bee Friendly Without bees there is no pollination, and without pollination, there is no food. Be Bee Friendly. Colony Collapse Disorder is a problem currently talked about a lot among beekeepers. No one knows the cause of it, and therefore, no one knows how to fix the problem. But a problem is exactly what it is. For reasons ...
  • Thrift Store Sewing Material I’m big on recycling, no matter what it is, so one of the things I try to do when I’m sewing is use as much salvaged or recycled material as possible. When I say recycled material, I’m not referring to material that has gone through a recycling process, rather I’m referring to the vast quantities ...
  • No More Plastic Bags When it comes to things like food packaging, plant fiber bags are a biodgradable alternative to traditional plastic. Plastic is one of the least environmentally friendly things around. It takes oil to produce which means possibly destroying pristine environment in order to obtain the oil. It runs the risk of possible oil spills once the oil ...