Archive for November, 2008

Bring Your Own Chopsticks (B.Y.O.C)

Posted in Chopsticks, Deforestation, Food, Reusable Chopsticks, reuse on November 29, 2008 by MarilynB

There is a lot of misinformation regarding chopsticks. They are not all made from bamboo. They are no longer made solely from scrap wood. Most chop sticks are made from birch and poplar trees. Razing “fast growing forests” of birch and poplar trees has ecological impact because these types of forests are an early step in the reforestation process.

China produces approximately 63 billion pair of chopsticks annually while Japan uses 25 billion pair. Taiwan takes up another five or six billion pair. Disposable chopsticks are part of deforestation. The environmental impact led to the the Bring Your Own Chopsticks movement (B.Y.O.C.) as an easy way to reduce the number of disposable chopsticks used.

Trophy Bikes is selling great reusable chopsticks from Snow Peak. The chopsticks unscrew to fit into a nylon carrying case. The eating end is white ash, sourced from recycled baseball bats from Japan. The end that you hold in your hands is stainless steel. At $29.95, they probably aren’t an economical budget item but if you live on the go and eat a lot of Asian food, these chopsticks could save some trees. Plus they are a beautiful novelty Christmas gift for the type of people who adore folding bikes or who include chopsticks with their dining utensils. Maybe a folding bike is out of the budget this year but folding, reusable chopsticks are still affordable.


Used Electronics Drive – Toxtour

Posted in Uncategorized on November 22, 2008 by MarilynB

What is Toxtour? Many electronics recyclers don’t actually recycle a single thing. Many electronics end up overseas, dumped wholly intact into a landfill or an incinerator, leaking heavy metals and toxic chemicals into the soil and the water. Even if you just leave your old electronics in the attic or a closet, they will still leak toxic chemicals into your home.

Chris Swain, an environmental educator developed Toxtour as an education tool, fund raiser, and way to stop electronics from polluting the earth. Recyclers pay a dollar per pound to recycle, while the host organization receives 15 cents for every pound collected. All downstream electronics recyclers have signed the Basel Action Network’s Electronic Recycler’s Pledge of True Stewardship. Nothing is incinerated, dumped into landfills, or shunted to developing countries. So get those dangerous old electronics out of your house and recycle them!

Date: Saturday, December 6 (rain or shine)
Time: 11am – 2pm
Place: Cedarbrook Middle School, 300 Longfellow Road, Wyncote, PA
Cost: $1.00 per pound (ethical recycling fee)
Contacts: sarah {at} ttfwatershed {dot} org, 215.208.1613 or
Accepts: Televisions, Computers, Monitors, Keyboards, Drives, Cables, Cords, Peripherals, Fax Machines, Scanners, Laptops, Stereo Equipment, Speakers, CD & DVD Players, Telephones, Remote Controls, VCR’s, Projectors, Digital Cameras, PDAs, Speakers, Radios, Answering Machines, Camcorders, Electric Typewriters, Video Game Systems, Pagers, Microwaves, Toasters, USB Media, Magnetic Media, Zip Disks, Audio Tapes, Floppy Diskettes, etc.

Scrub Your Pans With Loofah

Posted in Uncategorized on November 21, 2008 by MarilynB

Loofah works well on your pots too! It’s tough, made from a gourd (so it’s biodegradable), and gentle enough for non-stick surfaces. While loofah scrub pads are available commercially, it’s more economical to make your own by simply slicing off the top of a loofah scrubber from the grocery store or drug store.

Read more at or

Mushrooms Increase Your Locavore Quotient

Posted in Diet, Dietary, Food, green, Local Food, Mushrooms, Organic on November 19, 2008 by MarilynB

The most green diet includes lots of organic, local food. How do you do that in the fifth largest city? MsPhillyOrganic fully intends to explore “really local food” in many posts and acknowledges that eating green will require ongoing discussion. It is possible to eat more local food without destroying your budget (if it is still intact).

Locavores eat food grown within 100 miles of their home. Local food is generally considered as hailing from a source within 50 to 150 miles. As we all know, Kennet Square in Chester County is the Mushroom Capital of the world. Kennet Square is approximately 30 miles from Philadelphia, so it meets the mileage requirement for locavores and the broader definition of “local food.” It’s hard in any city to find food grown within 30 miles.

Mushrooms are cheap, starting $3.99 per pound while 90% lean ground beef costs 4.99 per pound. Steak costs even more, depending on the cut, fat percentage, and other factors. Mushrooms save dough! As an added bonus, mushrooms are a dietary superstar. They’re low fat (how you cook them is your business), full of micronutrients that are hard to find, and low calorie (a full serving has 20 calories.) They’re an important source of protein for vegetarians and vegans. Mushrooms are also low-carb. Plus they’re loaded with umami, the fifth taste!
Eating vegetarian is one of the best ways to green your diet. Factory raised meat dumps a lot of unprocessed waste directly into the water systems, not to mention that animals and meat are trucked all over the nation to be butchered and stocked in the store. Mushrooms grow in compost that growers reuse. When it is “spent” for their purposes, growers make it available for little or no cost to the public, for whom it’s still viable garden compost.

Replacing just a few meat meals per week with mushrooms makes your food source more local, more environmentally friendly, healthier, cheaper, and more green! This is a sure bet with no way to lose. Tomorrow’s dinner could be only 30 miles away and not in Topeka.

How Does Single Stream Work?

Posted in Uncategorized on November 18, 2008 by MarilynB

The Recycle Bank produced an informative, digestable video series that covers the single stream recycling process from your curbside pick up to new products. It includes a few small facts concerning how quickly aluminum soda cans can return to the grocery shelf and water amounts used to manufacture a water bottle…before it’s filled. Watch and learn!

Plastics above 2

Posted in Uncategorized on November 15, 2008 by MarilynB

This is a late notice but tomorrow you can recycle plastics labeled from 3 to 7. On November 15th between 8 and 9 AM, volunteers will collect plastics numbered three through seven. Plastics with these numbers are typically yogurt and take out containers. Containers must be rinsed out.

To contribute your plastics. go to Lanoce Park (on Rochelle between Kalos and Osborne). Volunteers to assist with collection are welcome. If the event is successful, it may happen monthly monthly basis. Check back for updates!

Green$ense from Citizens Bank

Posted in Reduce, Rewards on November 6, 2008 by MarilynB

Citizens Bank now offers the Green$ense program, which earns account owners 10 cents per transaction without paper, to a maximum of $120 per year. Paperless transactions include using your debit card, online bill payment, and automatic payments (like your gym membership). Citizens deposits your green rewards monthly and sends an email notification that includes green living tips.

The debit card that accompanies the account is made of recycled plastic. According to the Citizen’s Bank web site, any personal checking account can be enrolled in the Green$ense program. It would be best if they didn’t send a new plastic debit card but continued to use the customer’s current card, whenever a customer is not new to Citizen’s Bank.

The also site will calculate the number of trees and pounds of paper that you save by switching to electronic billing and payment. If you’re already a Citizen’s customer, this is a great way to get paid to modernize your life and reduce your impact. If you’re not a Citizen’s customer and you don’t use electronic billing, this might be the enticement you need to start. It definitely makes economic sense while it earns a little money for you.