Sunday, April 18, 2010


bookforest: where people can leave or find old books

Friday, March 26, 2010


How refreshing is this... There is an organization in San Francisco that aides in helping women from low incomes start cleaning co-ops. But that's not all the good they do. Their cleaning is green. No, I don't mean when they leave, your once sparkling white tile will be green, it will be white - but it will be lacking harsh chemicals that hurt you and your family.

For more information on this organization, check out their website at

And, look over at the archive list for "Household Cleaners" to read why you should be using, all-natural, biodegradable cleaners to protect you and your family.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Making Your Own Organic Planting Pots

How to make organic planting pots using old newspapers - More DIY How To Projects

What's in your toothpaste?

" in fact a dangerous poison, an industrial waste containing small amounts of lead, mercury, beryllium, and arsenic. The official reason why the U.S. Government promotes the compulsory addition of fluoride to drinking water is to improve children's dental health. Which as common sense recognizes is not undermined by a shortage of fluoride, but by an unhealthy diet, insufficient dental hygiene and too many sweets... According to some experts fluoride only protects the teeth of children up to the age of 5. Since that age group comprises only a small percentage of the population it seems indefensible to force this highly controversial chemical onto everybody, irrespective of their age and dental condition... It causes fluorosis in one of every eight children, resulting mottled, discolored teeth... It is also claimed that the prolonged intake of fluoride can be linked to increased risk of cancers, hip fractures, osteoporosis, kidney trouble and even birth defects." - Healing the Gerson Way

"The late Dean Burk, Md., who had worked for more than 30 years as Chief Chemist at the U.S. National Cancer Institute, declared, "Fluoride causes more human cancer deaths, and causes it faster than any other chemical." - Healing the Gerson

One more quote. "To guess the truth about the claim harmlessness of fluoride, we only have to read the warning on any tube of commercial toothpaste; "Keep out of reach of children, less than six years of age. If more than used for brushing, is accidentally swallowed get medical help or contact a POISON CONTROL CENTER right away. Children two to six years; use only a pea sized amount and supervise child's brushing and rinsing to minimize swallowing." - Healing the Gerson Way

With so many toothpaste alternatives on the market not containing fluoride, purchasing the right one for you and your family is easy.
Here are some I recommend and that I find at my local Kroger, Sprouts and Whole Foods.

Kiss My Face Organic Toothpaste (what I personally use)
Tom's of Maine Toothpaste

Juneau, Alaska has decided that the risk outweighs any benefit in putting fluoride in their public drinking water. More communities are taking note, and community leaders and members should be aware of this enormous health issue.
Article on Juneau's Decision:

Local Events

Dallas area "green living" events are abundant this time of year with Earth Day, April 22nd, just around the corner.

Here is a quick glimpse of green events in the Dallas/Fort Worth area this April:

Friday, April 17th Green Living Expo 9am - 7pm
Plano Centre 2000 E. Spring Creek Pkwy. Plano, TX 75074

Saturday, April 18th Oakcliff Earthday Noon - 5pm
Lake Cliff Park 1200 N Zang Blvd, Dallas, TX 75203

Thursday, April 22nd Earthfest 10am - 2pm
Downtown Dallas AT&T Plaza and Pegasus Plaza

Saturday, April 24th Priarie Fest 10am - 8pm
Tandy Hills Farm 3400 View Street Fort Worth 76103 | 817-731-2787

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Composting 101 - Absolutely Everything You Need to Know

Composting can seem so confusing - from experience I know. The lack of knowledge is definately enough to deter you from starting. This is the best, most inclusive "how to" and "why" article about composting I've ever come across.

Take your time reading through it - I promise you will not have any questions after reading.

We've started our compost here at home. We're using a large planter filled with dirt, and the pulp that is left over from when we grind up carrots and apples in our juicer. We've made a point to stir it once a day - and it looks great. We will definately be ready for planting time after this freeze.

Profile of Fellow Jenna Hanson

Profile of Fellow Jenna Hanson

What are GMOs?

Genetically Modified Foods

Genetically modified products were introduced roughly ten years and were put on the market without any long term trials or tests. We do not know the affects they will have on us, or our children. Because of the lack of adequate testing, there is a campaign to get GMO-containing foods to be labeled.

Currently there is no law that requires labeling of GMO ingredients.

Many countries have banned GMO products but our grocery store aisles are filled with these “frankenfoods.” The the most commonly genetically modified foods are: soybeans, cotton oil, canola oil and especially, corn. As of 2007, 91% of the US’s soybeans were genetically modified. It has reached the point that unless the box says “No GMOs” or “organic”; you should assume that it contains GMOs.

Because GMO foods are hidden in the labels, it is especially important to buy from companys that do not use GMOs.

Thanks to for the information.

15 Reasons to Buy Organic
Courtesy of Amy's Kitchen

Organic products meet stringent standards
Organic certification is the public’s assurance that products have been grown and handled according to strict procedures without persistent toxic chemical inputs.

Organic food tastes great!
It’s common sense – well-balanced soils produce strong, healthy plants that become nourishing food for people and animals.

Organic production reduces health risks
Many EPA-approved pesticides were registered long before extensive research linked these chemicals to cancer and other diseases. Organic agriculture is one way to prevent any more of these chemicals from getting into the air, earth and water that sustain us.

Organic farms respect our water resources
The elimination of polluting chemicals and nitrogen leaching, done in combination with soil building, protects and conserves water resources.

Organic farmers build healthy soil
Soil is the foundation of the food chain. The primary focus of organic farming is to use practices that build healthy soils.

Organic farmers work in harmony with nature
Organic agricultural respects the balance demanded of a healthy ecosystem: wildlife is encouraged by including forage crops in rotation and by retaining fence rows, wetlands, and other natural areas.

Organic producers are leaders in innovative research
Organic farmers have led the way, largely at their own expense, with innovative on-farm research aimed at reducing pesticide use and minimizing agriculture’s impact on the environment.

Organic producers strive to preserve diversity
The loss of a large variety of species (biodiversity) is one of the most pressing environmental concerns. The good news is that many organic farmers and gardeners have been collecting and preserving seeds, and growing unusual varieties for decades.

Organic farming helps keep rural communities healthy
USDA reported that in 1997, half of U.S. farm production came from only 2% of farms. Organic agriculture can be a lifeline for small farms because it offers an alternative market where sellers can command fair prices for crops.

Organic abundance – Foods and non-foods alike!
Now every food category has an organic alternative. And non-food agricultural products are being grown organically – even cotton, which most experts felt could not be grown this way.

Organic foods Save Energy
Organic farming requires more people-power. Weeding by hand and using green manures and crop covers rather than synthetic fertilizers to build up soil are the foundations of Organic agriculture.

Whereas, conventional farming uses more petroleum than any other single industry, consuming 12 percent of the country’s total energy supply. Did you know that most commercial fertilizers comes from petroleum? More energy is used to produce synthetic fertilizers than to till, cultivate, and harvest all the crops in the US.

Organic farming protect farm worker health
A National Cancer Institute study found that farmers exposed to herbicides had a six times greater risk than non-farmers of contacting cancer.

Organic Farming combats Global Warming
Data from The Rodale Institute’s® long-running comparison of organic and conventional cropping systems confirms that organic methods are far more effective at removing the greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide, from the atmosphere. Organic farming improves the soil unlike conventional farming which strips the soil of all nutritional substance.

Organic Farming can cure world hunger
The Journal, “Nature” reported that organic methods for growing rice, corn and wheat all produced significantly higher yields—and at less the cost—than monoculture farms (farms where only one crop is continually planted).

Organic farming is good for the family farm
Many organic growers are small, independently owned farmers who have found that organic farming is one of the few remaining ways they can stay competitive with larger-scale farms.

What is Organic?

What is the definition of organic?

The following definition of "organic" was passed by the NOSB at its April 1995 meeting in Orlando, FL.

"Organic agriculture is an ecological production management system that promotes and enhances biodiversity, biological cycles and soil biological activity. It is based on minimal use of off-farm inputs and on management practices that restore, maintain and enhance ecological harmony.

‘Organic’ is a labeling term that denotes products produced under the authority of the Organic Foods Production Act. The principal guidelines for organic production are to use materials and practices that enhance the ecological balance of natural systems and that integrate the parts of the farming system into an ecological whole.

Organic agriculture practices cannot ensure that products are completely free of residues; however, methods are used to minimize pollution from air, soil and water.

Organic food handlers, processors and retailers adhere to standards that maintain the integrity of organic agricultural products. The primary goal of organic agriculture is to optimize the health and productivity of interdependent communities of soil life, plants, animals and people.

From the Organic Trade Association,

Thanks to for the information.

Household Cleaners


Many household cleansers contain toxins and chemicals. They are linked to human health problems such as respiratory ailments, eye and skin irritation, and headaches. They can also lead to more serious reproductive issues and cancer. Cleansers carry toxins down the drain and put VOCs (volatile organic compounds) into the air. Although there are no set environmental standards for household cleansers, and manufacturers are not required to list ingredients, it's worthwhile to seek out less harmful products.

Look for products with environmentally friendly ingredients instead of petroleum, phthalates, phosphates/EDTA, chlorine and antibacterial agents. Buy olive oil polishes, natural citrus oils (orange and lemon) for degreasers, and tea tree and eucalyptus for disinfectants (they'll freshen the air at the same time). Natural drain openers use digesting bacteria and enzymes to eat through clogs. Non-chlorine bleach uses oxygen to whiten and brighten clothes. You can make your own household cleansers with items on your kitchen shelves; a paste of baking soda and water is good for scouring, and diluted white vinegar can clean windows and kill bacteria, mold, and viruses.

Composting What you Used to Throw Away

Pilot Composting Project to Nourish Campus Farm at University of Illinois from ASAP Illinois on Vimeo.

Doing it Organic

Starting Out: A First Season on Gray's Farm from ASAP Illinois on Vimeo.

Why Organic? Vol. One

The Dust Bowl of the 1930's is the perfect example of why growing organic and sustainability in general is important. During this time, farmers were planing their crops at full capacity, and all the time - never allowing the soil to regenerate. They were using slash and burn practices, which reaked havoc on the soil and eco-system. Why was this done? Most efficient, more yield, less time working, larger profit. We now understand that these types of farming practices are harmful, unfortunately, so many people lost so much in learning this lesson.

Why organic?

"Many people are aware that food grown according to organic principles is free from exposure to harmful herbicides and pesticides, but that is only one small aspect of organic agriculture. A larger part of organic agriculture involves the health of the soil and the ecosystem in which crops and livestock are raised. Organic farmers recognize that healthy, vibrant, and live soils and ecosystems significantly benefit crops. Natural, undisturbed soil is alive with microbiotic organisms that exist in harmony with the native plant life and the inorganic minerals that provide the soil's substrate.

Synthetic chemicals (such as herbicides, pesticides, and/or fast acting inorganic fertilizers) applied in or around crops interrupt or destroy the microbiotic activity in the soil. Once the microbiotic activity in the soil has stopped, the soil becomes merely an anchor for plant material. In this conventional method of agriculture (in use for only the past 75 of 10,000 years of recorded agriculture) plants can receive only air, water, and sunlight from their environment -- everything else must be distributed to plants by farmers, often from inputs transported thousands of miles to reach the farm. Plants are commonly fed only the most basic elements of plant life and so are dependent on the farmer to fight nature's challenges, e.g. pests, disease, and drought."
-Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Ficus benghalensis

Banyan "A tropical Indian fig tree (Ficus benghalensis), often widely spreading because of the many aerial roots that descend from the branches and develop into additional trunks. It is planted for ornament and shade."