2 Tip of the Day - Organic Food

If buying organic is a priority to you then here are some tips on how best to spend your money based on the amount of pesticides used on that particular produce. If you can't buy all organic produce pick the one's that would use the highest pesticides if weren't organic.

The Environment Working Group released a study of the pesticide loads in produce. Recently the Nest published an article on the study and I found it to be very interesting and thought I would pass it along.

The Top 10 produce with the highest pesticide loads are:
  1. Peaches
  2. Apples
  3. Sweet Bell Peppers
  4. Celery (is this why I think it tastes like soap??)
  5. Nectarines
  6. Strawberries
  7. Cherries
  8. Lettuce
  9. Grapes
  10. Pears
The Bottom 10 produce with the lowest pesticide loads are (#1 being lowest):
  1. Onions
  2. Avocado
  3. Sweet Corn
  4. Pineapples
  5. Mango
  6. Sweet Peas
  7. Asparagus
  8. Kiwi
  9. Banana's
  10. Cabbage
I can't help but notice that half of the produce in the bottom 10 are typically not grown in our climate. Maybe we are just pesticide happy up here. 


1 WANT!!!!!

Words can not describe how much I love this t-shirt.
Check it out on Threadless. They have lots of great t-shirts and stuff there.


0 No Car Day

Today was 'No Car Day' but it doesn't seem to get any press time. The only reason I heard about it was because the mayor in Mississauga, Ontario (who is around 85 years old) rode her bike into work today. As I was hearing this on the radio I was sitting in some of the worst traffic I have experienced since moving to KW. Slightly ironic, don't you think?

With gas prices at an all time high I am surprised more people do not carpool. I guess it is not for everyone. I used to carpool with co-workers when I worked in Toronto and found it took me twice as long to get to work. I know it was worth it from an environmental perspective but from a 'time is money' perspective it was not. So we stopped as I couldn't justify the 1.5 hour drive to work.

A co-worker and I discussed carpooling together today. Not only will it save us both money but with the winter coming it will be nice to have some company while we sit on the highway going nowhere in the snow. I just hope we have the same taste in music.....you like hard core gangster rap right RN? Whew good.


0 A Rainy Summer is a Good Summer

That is a crazy thought now isn't it. We had so much rain this summer that it made it hard to do anything. But our lawn only needed watering once and our rain barrel was constantly full which comes in handy when you are under a water conservation advisory. Not that we needed one this summer but overall it is still a good program to have. Our day to water is Monday's and if we want to water our lawn or gardens on any other day we can only do so with a watering can or water from a rain barrel.

We got our rain barrel from my co-worker who had a few extra kicking around. In our city they also have a day once a year where they give them away for $10 each (1 per household). What I like about our rain barrel is that you can link multiple barrels together. We currently only have 1 but are thinking about getting another one so we can use it for other purposes like washing the cars (which again we can only do on Monday's).

Right now our barrel is not connected to our down spout but we plan on doing this next year. It involves us cutting the existing spout and adding in a new piece to re-route it to the barrel.

I recommend getting a rain barrel if you don't have one. If your city doesn't have a program where you can pick one up you can easily find them at any big box store (Home Depot, Lowe's, Rona, Canadian Tire). You can also make one if you have an extra barrel kicking around. Just make sure it has a screen on top to keep out bugs and leaves, a spout at the bottom that you can attach a hose to.


8 Cool Product - Earth Chef

For Valentines Day last year Joey got me a new cutting board. He knew that my old one was bugging me (it was glass) so he searched for a new one that was eco-friendly. Luckily there are easy to find in Canada at Zellers, The Bay and Home Outfitters. It is made from bamboo and the company that makes it is Earth Chef. They also have alot of other products that are eco-friendly including cooktops, cutlery, bakeware and cookware.

There has been alot of discussion lately on toxic materials (teflon products, BPA in plastic containers etc etc). Earth Chef products are a natural non stick so they do not have any of the toxic materials in them.

As an added benefit of buying their products the company who makes them will sponser Tree Canada to plant 1 tree and maintain it for 5 years for every skillet sold.

Looking for more bamboo cutting boards?  Check out Bambu

This is not a paid review. We bought this product with our own money. It does however contain Affiliate Links.

Related Posts - Check them Out
Flat Rock Cellars - Going Beyond Organic Wine
Soda Stream = Soda Awesome


2 Backyard Composting Tips

I haven't had a composter since I was in University. I have lived in condos or apartments since then and have never had the opportunity to have one. Our region gives 1 free per household so we picked ours up a few weeks ago. We just had to find the right spot for it. We now have it all set up and have started to throw our compostable waste in it. We are really noticing a difference in the amount of waste that is going out each week too.

Having lived with it for a week or so now here are some tips and tricks to happy composting.

* Pick somewhere close enough to the house that you will still want to compost in the winter.
* Secure the composter to the ground. If you find animals getting into it put bricks around the bottom.
* To speed up the composting process remove the grass under where the composter will go.
* Do not try to add any meat products to the composter
* Keep a small bucket with a lid under your sink. Make sure it is small so you will go out to the composter often. This will reduce any risk of fruit flies.
* Keep a bag of shredded paper handy to cover new food as you add them in
* It is best to start composting in the spring but it is okay to start at any other time. You will just have to wait longer to get some finished product as the process takes longer when it is colder.
* Churn churn churn that composter. The decomposition process needs oxygen so mix up your compost materials to help this process along.
I am looking forward to getting some nice nutrient rich compost out of this thing in the spring but I am not looking forward to the long cold walk to the composter in the wintertime. 


0 Cool Product - Eco Button

Every house has at least one computer and most are probably left running for days (weeks?) on end. So how much electricity is your computer using - somewhere between 60-330 watts for a desktop computer and 15 - 45 watts for a laptop (depending on age). But you have a screen saver right? That actually makes no difference at all in the total energy consumption.

When putting your computer into "sleeper"/dark screen mode your monitor can still use up to 15 watts of energy and your CPU can still use between 1-6 watts of energy. If you simply turn your monitor off you can still be using up to 10 watts of energy on the monitor itself

There are some ways to save energy from computer usage
1. Turn it off after you are done using it
2. Buy an Energy Star rated model
3. Put your computer into sleeper mode and turn off the monitor
4. Check out the Eco Button

The Eco Button plugs into your computer and when you are taking a break you simply push the button and it puts your computer into a power saving mode that uses a little bit more energy than when they are turned off. When you return you don't have to wait to restart your computer, it will be turned back on to where you left off. An interesting feature of the Eco Button is that its software will track your energy savings both in dollars and CO2.


3 Eco-Challenge - No TV RESULTS

So the week is over and I can not believe how long it was...not in a bad way either. At the end of every night I was so tired from actually being active non-stop. Last week's eco-challenge was to go the entire week without TV. For us this fell over the long weekend as well and it sure was a long weekend. We got so much done during the week and I didn't miss the TV at all. At first I did miss the background noise but I liked how productive we were and how we found other ways to spend our time.

We will see if there was any difference in our hydro bill but I doubt that it will actually make any dent at all since our bill is every 2 months.

So what did we manage to do with ourselves with no TV for a week?
- took a walk nearly every night
- finally finished the fence....a year later
- Jen read 1.5 books, Joe almost finished one
- made a list of what we need to buy for our trip
- visited with old friends
- talked on the phone with family
- worked out
- enjoyed our new patio
- fixed some equipment around the house
- cleaned and cleaned and cleaned
- finally started to catch up on my google reader
- picked up a composter and decided where to put it
- made dinner together every night

Going forward we plan on cutting back on our TV hours, which could be hard with the new shows starting...so much good TV....so little time. Bless the (wo)man who invented time shifting!


2 Non-Toxic Oven Cleaner

If you are currently looking at doing some fall cleaning and thinking of tackling the dreaded oven here is a simple eco-friendly recipe that you can use in place of the regular oven cleaners.

All you will need is the following:
* baking soda
* castille liquid soap
* water

1. Wet down the inside of the oven
2. Cover the dirty area's with a sprinkle of baking soda
3. Wet down the inside of the oven again
4. Let everything sit for several hours. Overnight would be even better to get those stubborn spots out.
5. Wipe the baking soda with a reusable rag
6. Never buy toxic oven cleaners again