Grab your CSA and get fresh!!!

The clock is ticking!  Have you grabbed your CSA yet???

CSA basketCSAs, or community supported agriculture, are the best way to share in the bounty of the freshest, organic, locally-grown produce.  It’s a partnership between a farm operation and community individuals who support the growing and production of food.  Members “purchase” a share of the harvest and are usually on a system of weekly delivery or pick-up of fruits and vegetables (and sometimes even dairy and meat).

It’s the perfect scenario… you get fresh and organic produce, support local growers and farms, AND avoid the CO2 emissions created to bring your produce from other parts of the country… or world, for that matter!

… so what’s with the ticking clock???  Well, many CSAs are getting ready for the season and probably filling up… quickly.  You certainly want to get your spot now, so to find a CSA in your area check out Local Harvest or Biodynamics.farmrs mkt

If a CSA isn’t the way to go for you, and you just want to locate a local farmer’s market, you can also check another area of Local Harvest or the Farmer’s Market site.

Luckily, I WON a spot in a local CSA at EarthFest at our Zoo!  (Yes, for a change {instead of me looking for a winner} I was the winner!)  I will be sharing in the bounty of Fresh Fork Market, so if you’re in or around Cleveland check them out… there are a few membership spots left!

Now don’t wait a second longer… grab your CSA!!!

The “Toxic 10” … everyday products to avoid…

toxcWhen making the decision to “go green” the list of “should nots” is equally as important as the “shoulds”…

I recently ran across a fabulous list of the should nots that are very much worthy of a mention.  This list comes from Healthy Child Healthy World and includes the top 10 toxic products that you DON’T need in your home. Without further ado, start checking the checklist!:

  • Air fresheners – they’re full of chemicals, synthetic fragrances and even anesthetics that can be inhaled into our lungs (ewww!)
  • Bottled water – this water is no less contaminated (and sometimes MORE contaminated) than your tap water… add the BPA content of the plastic bottles and they are simply bad news.
  • Canned goods – their epoxy resin linings often contain BPA, linked to hormone disruption, heart disease and obesity.
  • Couch cushions – avoid anything containing foam that says it meets California TB 117 because they contain toxic fire retardant (like those horrible mattresses!)  They’re linked to cancer, birth defects, and thyroid, reproductive and neurological disorders.generic bottles
  • Drain, oven and toilet bowl cleaners – they contain lye and acids that can burn skins, eyes and internal tissues.
  • Dry cleaned clothes – even though the chemical perchloroethylene (or perc) is applied elsewhere, it is linked to a number of cancers and even bringing home those clothes (and wearing them!) dramatically increases your exposure.
  • Oil-based paints and finishes – they can contain up to 300 toxic chemicals and 150 carcinogens … enough said.
  • Perfume and cologne – one formulation can contain literally hundreds of chemicals that can absorb through the skin and accumulate in the bodies.
  • Pesticides – these chemical poisons linger and contaminate the air and undoubtedly get dragged into our homes.
  • Rubber duckies! – okay, and ANYTHING that contains PVC or vinyl.  They can leach phthalates (linked to hormone distruption) and lead (a potent neurotoxicant).

Please check out Healthy Child Healthy World’s original post for more great information on all of these “toxic 10”, as well as important suggestions for substituting better options…

So, how many are still in or around your home?… I’ll bet you’re about to change that, aren’t you?!?

See “The Cove”… and take part…

My love of dolphins has been lifelong. I don’t remember when it started, but I know it has never ended.

I do remember visiting Sea World and coming home with a dolphin mobile that hung over my bed from the time I was 5 until I headed off to college.  There is something dreamy, graceful and mesmerizing about these animals and their extreme intelligence is without question.

So when I heard about the documentary “The Cove” I was caught between that feeling of “I must see this” and “oh, I don’t want to see this…”  Well, I watched it… and it is absolutely haunting.

Richard O’Barry, Louie Psihoyos and their team uncover the killing of these beautiful and intelligent animals in a closely guarded and shielded cove in Taiji, Japan.  Each day, they are driven into the cove where the most visually-appealing dolphins are selected and sold to marine and aquatic parks, and the others are brutally and inhumanely slaughtered for their meat (meat that is passed off as expensive whale meat and sold for a premium price, and because of dolphins’ place in the food chain, contains extraordinary levels of mercury).  Take a look…

There are so many points of this story that just sicken me.  From the capture of these animals to turn them into “entertainers”, to the inhuman killings, to feeding unknowing consumers and school children(!) toxic food… it’s despicable.

As pointed out by the film, the 70’s had a massive movement to “Save the Whales”… now is the time to “Save the Dolphins”

Please take time to see this documentary.

And if you’re like me and you want to do something, please go to TakePart… and help us make a change and stop the killing…

Simple gardening tip: “plant native” for a truly green garden

Every spring my family and I spend a weekend cleaning the yard (an activity that can be made fun if you just try!) and planting flowers to make everything nice and cheery.

xeriscapeI’ve never given much thought to what I plant other than selecting what I think is “cute” and my “color choice” for the season, but I’ve also made some poor selections when they’ve required a lot of water to keep them bright, cheery… and alive!

Whether you’re planting flowers, trees, shrubbery or an entire lawn, make sure that your choices are native to your area. Despite having favorites that you’d like to see in your own yard, it’s wiser to choose something that will naturally thrive without watering and excess water use, and will eliminate your need for nasty fertilizers and pesticides.

This concept even has its own term, known as xeriscaping… (make sure you throw that one into a sentence today, to impress your family and friends! And oooh… I need to make an addition to my A to Z list, don’t I?).  Check out for lists of native plantflowrs by state, local nurseries and organizations too!  All of them can help you make the smartest choices.  Eartheasy also has great tricks, tips and ideas that get as green as they come.

Remember that vinegar and water is a great natural weed killer too.  Just be sure to have good aim and a quality sprayer because vinegar is NOT selective and will destroy whatever it comes in contact with.

You may not think you have a green thumb, but with a little effort you CAN have the “greenest” garden on the block!

Giveaway: Bazura Bag… upcycled with a mission & a cause

(This giveaway is now closed for entries. See “comments” for winner announcement!)

My absolute favorite products have to be those that serve a real purpose, help the environment and also contribute to a cause… today I want to give you a chance to learn about and win one of “those”…

baz bagLet me introduce Bazura Bags!  These bags are created by a co-operative of women in the Philippines desperately working to put their lives back together after a devastating typhoon last fall.  Made from otherwise unusable drink containers collected by local schoolchildren (who are paid for their “supplies”), the women of the co-op create and sell these unique, fair trade bags to support themselves and recover from this disaster.

It should come as no surprise that Bazura is actually a Filipino word for “trash”!… well, not anymore!  They are creating these bright and cheery bags that can be used again and again for any shopping trip or occasion when you need a simple tote.  Just yesterday, I saw them for sale in the shop of Cleveland’s Museum of Contemporary Art, so they are truly considered little works of art!

I have a market bag* to share too!  Would you like to win it?  Well, just leave a comment here saying you’d like to win and tell me how you’d like to use your bag, or send a Twitter message that includes a reply to @momgoesgreen and a link to this blog.  Fbaz womenacebook friends can also leave a comment to be entered. The winner will be randomly selected on May 24! (U.S. entries only… sorry!)

Even if you don’t win, consider buying one of your own or take a look at their site for a whole variety of products the next time you have a gift to give… and then smile when you realize all of the ways these bags are making a big difference in the lives of these women and for the sake of the environment!

(*Please note:  because all bags are unique, the bag will not look exactly like the one shown above, but it will be very similar!)