Tue 17 Jun 2008

Garbage Warrior DVD – Earthships FTW!

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Garbage Warrior DVDWe just watched a documentary called Garbage Warrior which is about renegade architect Michael Reynolds and his uphill quest for sustainable housing. “Earthship” is the phrase coined by Reynolds for his version of sustainable houses built from mostly trash (used tires, bottles, cans, etc.) and dirt that he’s been developing and improving on for 30+ years.

Earthship Can WallThe advantages of the Earthship are it’s self sustainability (off the grid), ease of building, uses recycled materials, has no need for AC or heaters regardless of the climate, ability to grow all your own food indoors with recycled water, it’s natural disaster resistant, and the list goes on.

Before we watched we had so many questions like; why aren’t these more popular, what does it take to build one, how long as this guy been doing this, and when can I get one? Light was shed on all these questions after viewing the documentary and what we learned the most is how inhibiting our own government can be for advances of new ideas. There is so much red tape involved with building these homes that it literally took years for the smallest step to be taken.

Earthship Tsunami ReliefIn the end Reynolds was met with much less resistance in other countries, especially those hit by natural disasters. Fortunately it seems this is where people can benefit most from these Earthships. Reynolds and his team were able to teach tsunami survivors how to build an Earthship from debris, trash, tires, and rammed earth. This is the “proof in the pudding”, and shows some huge payoffs for the many years of experimental buildings, uphill battles, and overall determination Reynolds shows in this documentary. Read more about the movie from the official site.

From my point of view this is definitely worth buying a copy to watch and share with everyone you know. I rank it alongside the eye opening 20 minute documentary The Story of Stuff as must see documentaries.

DVD available from eBay, Amazon, or directly from GarbageWarrior.com

View Trailer:

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Fri 18 Apr 2008

Grow Green with Organic Eco-friendly Herb Garden

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Organic DIY Herb GardenWe’ve mentioned personal gardens before; AeroGarden, Miniature Garden, Organic Dwarf Lemon Tree, Garden Fort, etc., but none were soooo eco-friendly they came in a biodegradable pot! Ha!

These 100% biodegradable pots are made from renewable grain husks, are certified organic, and will hold their shape and size for about 5 years. That’s a long time to grow some delicious herbs. As an added Green bonus, by growing plants indoors they will convert the CO2 you expel into Oxygen for your lungs. Yay for synergy!

Order yours today and choose between Lemon Basil, Lavender, Oregano or Parsley. Remember you can always pick up your own seeds from somewhere else and use those in these organic biodegradable pots. These make great green gifts for teachers, and families with kids to help show us all what goes into growing food.

$15.95

Find more green growing gifts in our Plants and Gardening gifts section.

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Tue 08 Apr 2008

Unexpected Green Gifts

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Back to Basics LogoMany of us think of everyday items like a car, clothes, electrical devices, etc. when we think of a green gift. Mable’s wants to expand your thinking to notice the things that are eco-friendly without the added manufacturing and marketing.

This blog post we are featuring Back to Basics Toys because, they carry a vast amount of wooden toys and games that aren’t just fun, but also educational and award winning. But, how is a wood toy more green?

Reasons why Wood is Good: Longevity of items (say no to planned obsolescence) , Perfect for your child’s development, Non toxic material, and many are American made, which avoids the need for shipping overseas.

Mable’s wants to remind you that everyday is Earth day and every decision we make has an effect, so let’s do the best we can everyday.

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Mon 31 Dec 2007

Exciting Experience: New Year’s Resolutions

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Exciting Experience: New Year I’ve had some exciting experiences this past year, but they weren’t the awesome fun kind you can get from Signature Days or Great American Days. Most people, including myself, would like to try new things, visit new places, and learn new skills, which is exactly why these make perfect additions to our New Year’s Resolutions list.

Great American DaysThe beauty of an experience gift is that they are planned experiences and activities that can make positive changes in people’s lives. There are so many to choose from that there really is something for everyone.
Some of the more popular experiences are:
NASCAR, Dinner Cruises, Fighter Pilot, Cooking Classes, and Helicopter Tours.
Some of the more unique and unusual are:
Personal Jazz Performance, Rock ‘n Roll fantasy camp, be an Interior Designer, learn to DJ, Kids artistic discovery, and more.

Obviously these can make great gifts for birthdays, holidays, or just for the fun of it. These are all location based as some cities can offer certain experiences others can’t. This allows for either a truly memorable trip away from home, a fun surprise for a visiting family member, or, for those who live in big cities, just an easy way to get someone out of their house.

Signature DaysSome of my personal favorites are:
Private Raw Food Course, Vegetarian Cooking Class, Kids Drawing Class, Kids Surf Party, Stunt School, Skydiving, and Hot Air Balloon Rides. I’d look forward to any one of these experiences for myself if you are interested in buying me a gift certificate. :)

Where can I get these exciting experiences?
Great American Days and/or Signature Days. Both provide experiences as low as $50 with some experiences up into the $1000′s and both seem to have many options for many popular cities.

COUPON: Save 10% OFF at Signature Days, when you use coupon code SIGJASOND at checkout.

New Year’s Resolutions

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Wed 11 Oct 2006

Vintage Board Games

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Mousetrap vintage board gameI think everyone can look back on their childhood and remember a time when they had a couple board games they liked to play over and over. I can even remember playing some board games 2-3 times a day with my little sisters because they were into them so much. But now we hardly play those older board games anymore, and it’s not just because Tiddly Winks or Mouse Trap lost their fun. If you’re like most people, chances are that some of those board games have missing pieces or aren’t even in your closet anymore.

Every now and then I’d like to play the games of yesteryear partly for the memories, but also for the fun of it. After raiding your game stash and your grandma’s closet for all the vintage board game fun you can find you might want to check out some places online. There is the obvious VintageGameStore.com that sells all kinds of board games, even newer ones, but they don’t have much for product descriptions, so I’d recommend finding the game you want first and then trying them. Finding that special board game from your past can be made easier by checking out the great resources at BoardGameGeek.com. You’ll find pictures, suggestions, and in depth reviews of some classic and new games.

Vintage Dark Shadows Board GameeBay is always a great choice for finding the exact board game you are looking for at a reasonable price. That is why we put a live feed for a search on “vintage boardgames” directly to the right. As of this writing there are vintage games like a copy of Go to the Head of the Class made in 1967, RISK from 1959, Charlies Angels from 1977, and an all time classic Hi-Ho! Cherry-O from 1960. Being the huge Star Wars fans we are here at Mable’s we picked up a vintage 1977 Escape from the Death Star off eBay a while back and played the heck out of it. After finding out it doesn’t have too much replay value, we put it back on eBay and now someone else gets to enjoy it’s nostalgic value all over again.

Vintage board games can also make a great gift idea for a sibling with whom you used to always play a certain game with. Or perhaps another family member and yourself played a board game every Thursday night and you’d like to recreate that. Sending a vintage board game to that unsuspecting person would sure bring a flood of memories back, but actually being there to play it would absolutely make their day.

Vintage Board Game PurseYou might have to fight over the board games on eBay with all the craft peeps who want to take old board games and turn them into something different and useful. Useful like an end table, a purse, or a notebook.

If you have a dedicated game room check out this post over at RacketBoy for a creative idea on setting up some board games based on vintage video games.

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