Thu 11 Dec 2008

Green Christmas Ideas

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Green Christmas IdeasWe love our local co-op. Every month they publish an amazing newsletter that is full of fresh articles and ideas that inspire us to “live green”. When I read their December cover list called “Celebrate the Eco Way”, I knew I had to share it with Mable’s readers. Enjoy and have a wonderful green holiday season!

“During the holiday season we tend, as a whole, to consume more. And, in doing so we create more… waste, that is. The following is a short list of ideas to help you reduce, reuse and recycle this season.

  • Purchase living gifts such as house plants, garden seeds or potted trees that can be transplanted in the spring.
  • Reduce waste by offering homemade food items or personal services as gifts. Baking cookies or preparing a meal a week for someone who would appreciate the help are two examples.
  • Reuse holiday wrapping: use old maps or pages from newspaper comics for wrapping gifts.
  • Reuse good quality, nearly new items as gifts or as donations to less fortunate individuals and families. Local charities can help distribute these items.
  • If your celebration calls for a Christmas tree, compensate for the harvest of your tree; arrange to plant a new tree in your yard or neighborhood next spring.
  • Give gifts that promote eco friendly life style changes. For example: cloth napkins and tablecloths, cloth or string shopping bags, a compost bin, gift certificates to resale shops, lunch boxes, reusable or biodegradable picnic plates, cups and utensils, recycling bins, or any gift made from recycled materials.

To preserve the spirit of giving, don’t try to give too much. Less “stuff” means less waste and a healthier environment for everyone.”

For more eco-friendly gift ideas,br> check out our other green holiday pages

Article courtesy of San Diego’s organic and vegetarian Ocean Beach People’s Co-op.

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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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Mon 21 Apr 2008

Earth Day and Beyond

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Today most people will examine their personal “footprint” on Earth, looking for ways to become more sustainable. But why limit our efforts to just one day? This planet is ours to enjoy, but we’re responsible for protecting it as well. That’s why we love the green slogan Earth Day is Everyday: it reminds us to cultivate concern for “the environment” (you know, that things we’re all living in) every single day.

Green Gifts on Earth DayMable’s has green gifts all year in our Eco-Friendly Gifts category. We are consistently looking for new green gifts to add to these categories as all of our products are hand picked.

Mable’s looks for gifts that use sustainable materials, recycled materials, organically grown materials, were fairly traded, reusable, and hopefully come from a factory that uses sustainable energy.

We also just added some BioDiesel Kits to easily convert your diesel engine to run off a more sustainable and cleaner burning fuel, vegetable oil. I’d be all over this kit, but I haven’t found a diesel powered scooter… yet. I guess my 80 MPG gas scooter will do until then.

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Sun 22 Apr 2007

Solar Powered Orb Light

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Solar Powered Orb LightThe weather is changing and that means we get to spend more time outside. Good outdoor lighting can really make a difference and I think everyone should have some glowing orbs lying around their backyard. These aren’t just your ordinary light up orbs though.

Since it’s officially Earth Day I thought I’d recommend these solar powered glowing orbs from Hammacher. Not only do these collect the sun’s energy during the day, they also gradually change colors to create some relaxing ambient light at night. Their sturdy translucent plastic globe is watertight and can be left floating in a pool or set upon it’s stand for table illuminations. The bright LEDs slowly turn blue, pink, and green and the orb can detect darkness to turn off automatically at dawn.

$39.95

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Wed 18 Apr 2007

Eco-friendly Gift Guide

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Green Gift GuideEarth day is just around the corner (April 22nd) and we wanted to share our Earth friendly gift findings from our hand picked Green Gift Guide.

From the usual plant-a-tree and organic fruit baskets to the educational alternative energy house kit we’ve got more than a handful of Earth friendly and economical gift ideas. Remember, it doesn’t have to be Earth Day to give a gift the whole world will benefit from. Let’s create the habit of buying eco-friendly and sustainable gifts all year round.

Find gifts by tags: Solar, Recycled, Organic, Health, Fair-tradeview all tags.

Have any green gifts you’d like to be featured on our Green Gift Guide? Suggest them in the comments and let everyone know about them.

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Fri 08 Dec 2006

The House that Nature Built

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Power House Model KitImagine living on a remote island and to survive, you must learn how to harness the power of the sun and the wind as well as tap the energy of other physical forces. Explore this adventure with the Power House model kit as you learn about almost every earth friendly energy source under the sun. Wind energy, sun heat and light energy, along with plant and electrochemical energies, are covered multiple times in the 70 experiments and 20 building projects included in this kit. Designed for ages 12 and up you can build a model house complete with solar panels, windmill, greenhouse, and desalination system. You can even build and operate an electric train, windmill, solar cooker, solar hot water tank, hygrometer, electric motor, power hoist, sail car, and more! A perfect gift for the young hands on learner that enjoys creating and experimenting with new ideas.

$150

Similar gift ideas: Watermobile: Fuel cell car and experiment kit, and Solaro: has everything needed to build seven models, all powered by the sun.

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Wed 29 Nov 2006

Solar Portable Device Charger

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iSun Solar ChargerCharge almost any portable device on the go with this solar powered battery charger kit. Whether they enjoy hiking with their GPS device, relaxing outside with their iPod, or are always on the go, they can charge their portable device as long as there is some sun out. Made by Coleman this iSun Solar Charger Kit has a built in battery pack plus radio and lantern/flashlight combo. The kit includes plugging accessories that will enable you to run over 90% of all small electronics and what they call a BattPak. When connected, the BattPak enables the iSun to charge AA and AAA rechargeable batteries with only solar energy. The kit also includes a CLA (female cigarette lighter adapter) for anything that has a standard 12 VDC CLA connector (think laptop).

$88

A similar and more compact option is the Solio Solar Charger. The Solio is available at UnbeatableSale and comes in many different colors, but our favorite is pink.

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Thu 23 Nov 2006

Solar Powered Address Numbers

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Solar Powered Address NumbersCollect the sun’s rays during the day and use them to power your LED back-lit address numbers at night. These solar powered address numbers are bright, easy to read, and simple to install. The number plate itself is spaced 1″ from the wall causing the LEDs to provide a back-lighting effect. The numbers are made from anodized aluminum and the entire unit is weather resistant. The LED lights run on for about 8 to 10 hours with direct sunlight producing the best results. These are available @ $19.99 per number via Think Geek. View more photos.

$19.99 each number

Other solar powered address sign options include Solar Rock Illuminated Address Sign @ $29.99 and a Solar Address Display Mailbox @ $259.00

Think Geek also offers gift certificates in case you can’t decide on the best present.

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