Simple energy tip: voicemail vs. answering machine

ans mchineWhile year after year the use of landline telephones is decreasing, over 70% of American households still have dedicated home phones (yes, I happen to be one of them… it’s a “comfort necessity” for me because of having little kids and the need to know I have a ringing phone available even if I forget to charge my cell and knowing I can call “home” if I’m away!).

If you have a landline chances are you also have an answering machine or voicemail associated with that phone (how could you not?).  Well did you also know that choosing the latter is incredibly green? Answering machines consume energy 365 days a year and when they stop working, they become hazardous electronic waste that gets added to your local landfill.vmail

If every U.S. household switched to voicemail instead, the annual energy savings would be approximately TWO BILLION kilowatt-hours.  The reduced pollution resulting from this reduced energy consumption would be the equivalent of removing 250,000 cars from the road!

See…  just another little testimonial for the “little daily life things”! Simple.

FREE Giveaway: “The Green Book”

join greenThere are so many ways to go green, it can sometimes boggle the mind… but Mom Goes Green has always been committed to all the little things that, when combined together, make a “great, big green difference!”

I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again… I’ve always felt that going green isn’t just about installing solar panels on your rooftop or buying a hybrid car… it’s about doing those little things in our daily life that can make a bigger and better impact.

One of my sources for all of these “daily life tidbits” is a fantastic little book called “The Green Book”.  It has shown me countless and simple ways to put conservation to work.  It includes tips for everything from home, to work, to school, to shopping, to travel…. all neatly and clearly organized.

And if you think the “little things” can’t possibly amount to much, read this excerpt from the book:the grn book

“You create 4.5 pounds of trash every day.  Over the course of your life, that will total six hundred times your average adult weight… in garbage.  Broken down, your torso would be paper.  One leg would be yard trimmings, the other food scraps.  One arm would be plastic with a rubber hand.  The other would be metal with a wood hand.  Your head would be glass, and your neck would be all the other stuff.  In the end, we will each leave a ninety-thousand-pound legacy of trash for our grandchildren.”

If you think you’ve heard this before, it’s because I did a giveaway of this book a few months ago, but it just so happens I have another copy I’d like to share with a reader… interested?  Well, just leave a comment here saying you’d like to win, or send a Twitter message that includes a reply to @momgoesgreen and a link to this blog.  Facebook friends can also leave a comment to be entered. The winner will be randomly selected on October 8! (U.S. entries only… sorry!)

Good luck!… and cheers to all the little green things!

Help stop the push for genetically modified salmon!

Food seems to be a hot topic for Mom Goes Green lately, but again it seems there’s good reason… food producers continue to want to alter our foods to make it more profitable for them, but are they risking our health in the process?

slmon filltQuite frankly, genetically modified food scares me.  When you mess with nature, it seems obvious that it opens the floodgates for unknown risks.  I want no part of that.

The latest concern?  Salmon.  It seems the FDA is on the verge of approving AquaBounty Technologies’s request to create mutant Atlantic salmon by artificially combining growth hormone genes from a Pacific salmon with DNA from an eelpout. This will make the salmon mature in 17 months (as opposed to 30 months) in “farm” settings (Note: this does not apply to wild-caught salmon).

Just as alarming is the fact that the FDA will NOT do its own testing but will rely on information provided by none other than AquaBounty Technologies themselves… the company that wants approval!!!  Adding insult to injury, this genetically modified salmon will NOT have to be labeled and identified as modified, so you will have no idea what you are consuming.slmon farm

Change.org has posted a petition to speak out against this pending approval from the FDA… if you feel compelled to add your signature, please click here.

My recent post about the Seafood Watch Guide already indicated that our best choice (for both health and environmental concerns) is Wild Alaskan Salmon, but more than anything, I’m telling this story so my readers can be aware KNOW where your salmon comes from because, yes, … something smells fishy…

Taste the rainbow: how to get kids to eat good food!

I’ve long since concluded that I believe organic foods are all-around better for us.  I’m also a firm believer that they tastes better as well.  And whether you buy all organic or stick to the Dirty Dozen/Clean 15 list to select what you buy, we’re all likely spending good, hard-earned money on good, nutritious food…

But sometimes a dilemma looms… how do you get the kids to actually EAT IT???

Well, Mom Goes Green has a fun little set-up that I use to encourage my kids to snack better and it’s well worth sharing.  This came to me by way of my Juice Plus+ rep and she swore by it… now, I swear by it too.muffn pn snacks

The trick:  a muffin pan

No, I’m not kidding.  Each day, I serve up a muffin pan filled with all of the best snacks and I “serve the rainbow!” I fill each compartment with colorful, healthy snacks – everything from fruits (fresh and dried), to veggies, to healthy snack crackers, pretzels and nuts, to cheeses and cereals.  Certainly the “snacky” things seem to go first, but they’re excited to see what is served each time, and when it’s gone, it’s gone.  Inevitably, the fruits and veggies get consumed too, because they know that those are the snacks of the day and if they want to snack, that’s what’s offered.

There’s a saying that “you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink”, but when you give them a fun rainbow of choices, the odds might get a bit better!

How does your organic milk “rate”?

We’ve been exclusively organic milk drinkers since our daughter was old enough to drink milk (8+ years and counting!).  I’ve written about milk numerous times on topics that include the benefits of organic milk, comparing organic to natural milk, as well as reading beyond the organic label.

milkWhile I believe that the benefits of organic milk are indisputable, I recently learned that there is yet another side of the story.  Do you ever wonder how ethical those organic dairy farms are (in terms of everything from how they treat their milk producing cows, to how they acquire the milk, to their overall business practices)?

Well, The Cornucopia Institute set out to find the answers.  I was surprised to learn that our “former” milk of choice (Horizon) chose not to participate (hmm?), but I was happy to learn that our current milk of choice (Organic Valley) rated “four cows” out of a possible five.  It’s great to know that while we’re consuming our organic milk, we’ve also made a smart choice in supporting a trustworthy brand that rates high on the “cow scorecard”.cow

Want to know how your organic milk rates? You can find the scorecard by clicking here (best to worst, or alphabetically).  If you want a full explanation about the ratings you can find more information by clicking here.

I hope you’re not disappointed by what you find, but if you are, now you know how to truly find a happy cow farm!

Got milk?… well, now you can GET MILK with peace of mind.