Musings of an everyday woman . . .

Reflections on living and loving life . . .

“One Green Thing” # 6-10 March 15, 2009

OK, I must admit it’s bit a “helluva” week at school/work with long days and late nights with meetings, presentations, and courses;  plus submitting our students to the second week of standardized testing; etc., etc., which has left me very little time left for blogging!

During that time, I did update my school/educational blog, so if you’re interested in what students I’ve coached in ExploraVision have accomplished;  Roxy the “reading dog;” or what’s new in mathematical theory go there by clicking here.

Which is why my aim to post “One Green Thing” each day has fallen by the wayside.  So, I’ve got some catching up to do.  Here goes . . .



I’m now a pretty faithful “curb-side” recycler (as my town has weekly trash & recycling pick-up) with items likes cans, bottles, and newspapers, but I know there’s so much more I can do (like NOT buying these items in the first place!)  Although I regularly enjoy good, old-fashioned tap water from my stainless steel/reusable bottle, my DH has a favorite, cranberry drink that he just loves!  He’s also a bit old-fashioned in that he likes perusing the newspaper in the am or pm or whenever he has a chance, which brings me to green thing # 7.


I’m okay with doing a quick review of anything news-worthy online, so I’ve cut down on newspapers somewhat.  I recently learned that our home-town newspaper is joining the effort to “Save the Planet by GOING GREEN” by encouraging academic subscriptions to have students use the E-paper daily instead of the printed version.

Here are the facts:

  • Every ton of paper that is recycled saves 17 trees
  • To produce any Sunday newspaper, each week 500,000 trees must be cut down
  • If all newspapers were recycled, we could save about 250,000,000 trees each year
  • Get more facts by clicking here.


I’ve been doing this for a while now, paying as many bills as I can online, and setting up others in the format.  I find it’s much easier and quicker to get the job done (with a click of the mouse); to stay current (as some accounts can be set up to pay automatically); and there’s no need to search for envelopes, stamps, etc! 

Lots of paper saved and probably better for your credit score, too!


St. Patrick’s Day is traditionally when people in our parts think about getting peas in the ground.  If you can’t plant outside yet, why not bring something green inside?  My all-time favorite way to welcome in spring is with pansies!  They add a splash of color–outside or in–and can even withstand a frost, if there’s still that possibility, as there is here in New England!

Plus, plants give off oxygen!



I attended an Organic Gardening Workshop yesterday with my daughter at our local Garden Center and I’m going to try to employ more organic gardening principals this year in my favorite flower gardens!

Although these organic practices were mostly “old hat” to Abbie, here are some good ideas I came away with:

  • Everything starts with the soil and gardening success come from building the soil biology, so I may try some soil testing this year.
  • Choose native plants for best results.
  • Make sure you choose the right plant for the right place or it just takes more work on the gardener’s part.
  • 90% percent of insects are actually beneficial (like bees, flies, ants, etc. for pollination and ladybugs, which attack aphids), so be sure to positively identify “pests” before trying to irradicate them.
  • Organic mulch not only mimics natural soil cover (like holding moisture), it also adds organic material to the soil.
  • Try physical and biological control of pests before using chemicals, i.e., row covers for physical barriers and the afore-mentioned ladybugs, etc.

Here are some great resources for more organic gardening info:

  1. Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA) @
  2. Organic Gardening Magazine @
  3. People, Places & Plants Magazine (with a New England Focus) @

I’ll keep you posted on  how these  organic gardening endeavors work out!


One Green Thing #2: Recycle Print Cartridges March 2, 2009


I’ve been meaning to do this for a long time and, in fact, I’ve been saving used-up print cartridges.   I noticed a while ago that return-addressed envelopes came packed with my new  HP cartridges.  All you do is stick the empty cartridge (or two)  into the envelope, which goes to “HP Planet Partners,” at no cost to the sender (you). The empty inkjet cartridges are then recycled into raw materials for new HP products.

For more info, go to: or call 1-800-340-2445.

This is one green thing that must become a habit for me!  How ’bout you?


Recycling CFLs February 19, 2009

Filed under: Living Green,Recycling — everydaywomanusa @ 10:09 am
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Lisa over at Retro Housewife. . . Goes Green is encouraging an e-mail campaign to Lowe’s to encourage them to take on recycling CFLs at their stores, as Home Depot currently does.   As she mentions on her blog, the company is already involved in a host of environmentally-friendly products and services and is interested in hearing more about customers’ wants and needs.  If you’d like to dash off an e-mail supporting the idea of them hosting a drop-off site for CFLs (so they don’t end up in landfills), you can e-mail Lowe’s at: 


Dining Out “Green” February 15, 2009

We had the pleasure of enjoying a Valentines Day dinner with another couple at the first “certified green restaurant” in our little neck of the world.  My good friend made reservations at Donovan’s Reef, telling me that she knew I’d appreciate their environmentally-aware techniques because she’d just seen a news story on their green efforts.

What does it mean, exactly, to earn the designation of  “certified green restaurant” from the Green Restaurant Association?


Well, Donovan’s Reef has been in business for 20 years, but it recently decided to work toward lessening its environmental impact, showing that even established restaurants can change their habits and implement new practices.   Donovan’s began working with the national non-profit (GRA)  in July 2008, to incorporate sustainability into the day-to-day operation of the restaurant.

So far, the restaurant has accomplished 11 steps under the GRA guidelines,  including installing energy-efficient lighting, low-flow faucet aerators in the kitchen to conserve water, and a full-scale recycling program.  The restaurant is now also composting food waste.

I dined on a delicious dinner of Lobster Pie, while my Valentine enjoyed his NY Strip (as per usual:  seafood for me, beef for him, when we’re out) and call it my imagination, but I think it tasted even better knowing the restaurant is practicing “green dining.”  Also, the price was right in line, if not more economical, than other restaurants serving similar fare in our area that aren’t certified by the GRA.

Oh, and another thing that would please our daughter, the environmental science teacher,  is the leftover beef we brought home for Duke and Eddie, was packaged in a recycled, cardboard-type of container, not polystyrene foam (aka Styrofoam) products.  They absolutely loved it!  I know that Abbie is also interested in how much of the food they serve at Donovan’s is LOCAL, so I’m checking into that as well . . . I might even invite her to join me there for lunch . . .


Turn Old Tees into Cool Totes! July 24, 2008

Filed under: Living Green,Recycling — everydaywomanusa @ 12:47 pm
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Got any old “Tees” hanging around?

Why not convert them into cool, new totes?

Just cut the arm holes and neck a bit bigger and stitch up the bottom (by hand or machine).  Tank tops work especially well!  Voila!  You’ve got one of most chic bags around!  They’re stretchy and strong!                      If you’re not ready to cut up your old shirts just yet, why not visit a thrift shop where you can find clever Tees and tanks for just pennies?

My “Life is good” bag is one of my favorites!