Saturday, February 28, 2009

Day 312 of our Green Year: Tax Time

Well, today I shaved most of my head to see how it would look, and it doesn't look too bad. Of course, with the hair that came off, I tossed it outside so that this spring, the birds will have something extra with which they can make nests with. When I shave my head again in a few weeks, I will compost the hair this time as hair is a big source of nitrogen for compost and is good for the soil.

However, onto the blog for today. As we all know, it is tax time and people around North America are beginning their efforts to file their tax returns and hopefully get money back. Most still send their tax returns in, but if you want to be green, then nothing will beat an online tax return.

Online tax returns are allowed by the IRS and Revenue Canada, and they save a lot of paper. You do everything you need to online, you upload your return and it goes straight to Revenue Canada. In the days of identity theft, this is also a safe option versus sending it in the mail where it can be stolen.

So, Layla and I will be filing our taxes online this year to save paper, which is a big part of going green. Saving paper saves trees. Saving trees helps take CO2 out of the atmosphere and help our planet battle the climate change we have created.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Day 311 of our Green Year: Observing Earth Hour

Last year a really cool initiative came along called Earth Hour. It involved turning off your lights for just an hour. Created by WWF, it is meant to help raise awareness towards fighting climate change. Its first worldwide participation was in 2008.

This year, Earth Hour will take place on March 28, 2009 at 8:30 pm and Layla and I have decided to observe it as part of Our Green Year. Sure it is early to say we are observing it, but we figure we will throw our support behind it less than a month before it happens.

Last year, 36 million to 50 million people around the world participated in Earth Hour, which is pretty good for something that was being held worldwide for the first time. As for the energy saved, here are a few stats:

  • Bangkok decreased its energy use by 73.34 megawatts, which amounts to 41.6 tonnes of CO2
  • Toronto dropped its power usage by 8.7 percent and saved 900 megawatts.
  • Ireland reduced its energy use during that hour by 1.5 percent in the evening.
  • In Dubai, 100 megawatt hours of electricity was saved, which amounted to a 2.4 percent reduction during that time.
  • Christchurch, New Zealand had the best drop in electricity demand, dropping by 13 percent during that hour. New Zealand as a whole saved 335 megawatts.
  • Melbourne, Australia saved 10.1 percent, while Sydney saved 8.4 percent in power.
Sadly, the worst result on Earth came from our own backyard, Calgary. During Earth Hour, the power consumption of the city actually increased 3.6 percent.

So, here is to Earth Hour and hopefully it is even more successful in 2009!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Day 310 of our Green Year: Using The Outdoor Washroom

Today's blog is about something a bit different. Over the course of Our Green Year, we have done a number of things to go green in the bathroom. Following the toilet rule of "If it is brown, flush it down, if it is yellow, let it mellow" is one of them, as is conserving water in the washroom in a variety of ways.

Well, the next one is about going to the bathroom, but it is going to the bathroom outside. Now, this is only for 'number one' and not all the time (it gets to -40 here.....). However, by going outside to pee on occasion, there is less in the toilet and that means less flushes.

We are on a ranch, with no neighbors around, plus lots of trees so there are no chances of someone coming across me in the middle of my business.

Sure this is an odd one to do, and an unconventional green tip, but going green involves a lot of things, some of which we don't always think about.

So, for me at least, when I am outside I will use nature as my bathroom to help conserve water in the indoor washroom

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Day 309 of our Green Year: One Glass/Dish Throughout The Day

Conservation is a very important part of going green. Instead of allowing ourselves to consume, consume, consume, we need to try and find ways to cut back. There are hundreds of ways to do this, many of which we have covered in the past 308 days.
Another way you can do this is easy. It involves your dishes and it involves how you use them. No, we are not talking about doing dishes, we are talking about minimizing dishes.

Sometimes, and we are all guilty of this from time to time, we will get a cup, use it, put it in the sink and then later on get another cup. Now we are using two cups. Over the course of a day, you may use two, three or four cups. All those cups need to be washed and that means extra time and water to wash them (we do not have a dishwasher yet, all by hand).

So, to minimize our water usage and our consumption, we will start using one glass, cup and dish throughout the day. When we use a glass, we will wipe it out with a damp or dry rag. When we use a dish or cup, we will do the same. That means there will me much less dishes to do, and there will be less waste as a result.

It is win-win, especially for the person who has to do dishes at the end of the night. Now they will only have a few dishes to do, meaning only a little water is needed.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Day 308 of our Green Year: Using Cold

One great thing about being in Canada is that the winter is cold and the snow is plentiful. For one thing, it allows us to gather snow that we melt inside, as we did way back in our first week of Our Green Year (seems so long ago).
On top of that, the cold weather also allows us to give the freezer a break. Instead of filling our freezer with items, which can use a lot of energy if you have a lot of things in there that need to stay cold, we put them in a bin outside. There are no bears here and the dogs know not to go in it, so it is a perfect solution.

In addition to that, we are also able to make ice outside, which we can then bring inside. All we do is take some water, put it in a container outside and within a few hours we have ice.

This little bit of extra work gives the freezer a break, and helps our planet, even if it is a small amount. Remember, small amounts add up!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Day 307 of our Green Year: Car Washing

It is that time of year when the roads get slushy and the cars get dirty. Layla and I take a weekly trip into town to get all the groceries for the week. It helps save on gas and time, but our car is beginning to look pretty dirty as a result of the warm weather we have been having. I am not big on washing the car for the sake of appearances, but it is important to wash your car so that you can stave off rusting. Rusting leads to your car literally disintegrating and that leads to another purchase of a car, thereby increasing consumption.

So, I decided to look into what is better, washing your car by hand or washing it at a car wash. Well, as it turned out, the results were quite surprising.

As it turns out, washing your car at home (not a dry wash which is only good for small jobs) takes up 80 to 140 gallons of water. On the other hand, a commercial car wash uses 45 gallons of water for each wash. In addition, federal laws in the U.S. and Canada require commercial car wash facilities to drain their waste water into sewer systems, where they are treated and discharged back into the environment as clean water. Commercial car washes also use control systems to minimize water usage because too much water usage will cost them money. On top of that, there are many car washes that recycle and reuse their rinse water.

When people wash their car at home, the water and soap goes down the driveway and into the storm sewer, which then makes its way into the environment without being treated.

So, on the rare occasion we wash our car, which we do not have to do often because we do not drive much, we will be taking our car to a car wash.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Day 306 of our Green Year: Turn Off Oven To Save Heat

Over the course of Our Green Year, we have mentioned several ways to save heat and energy. Just yesterday we began closing dampers on fireplaces when they are not in use so that we can save heat and keep it from disappearing up the chimney.

We also keep the oven door closed so that we do not waste heat when we want to look to see how the food is doing. On top of that, we eat cold meals each week to limit the energy we use.
Well, today we are going a bit further by turning the oven off 20 minutes before our the meal is done cooking.

The stove has enough residual heat to last in the oven to cook the last of your meal, and you will save up 20 minutes of energy in your stove! Saving energy is all about doing these little things. Little things like keeping the oven door closed and turning the oven off after 20 minutes can save a lot of energy over the course of the year.

Happy cooking!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Day 305 of our Green Year: Closing Dampers

Months ago, we went around the house and closed out the vents in rooms that are not being used so that we could save energy by not having to heat up rooms. Well, today we are closing something else. It is the damper on our fireplace.

When you are having a fire, naturally you want to have a damper because that sends the smoke up the chimney and out. Closing the damper at that point would fill our room with smoke and it would not be a great experience.

However, when there is no fire in the fireplace, closing the damper is a very good idea. The reason is that you can lose a lot of heat out the chimney when there is no fire going. If you have the furnace running, then you are just wasting heat by sending it up the chimney and outside. In many ways, you might as well leave the door open all day.

So, at our house, we will be closing the damper from now on when the fireplace is not in use

Friday, February 20, 2009

Day 304 of our Green Year: Recycle Cell Phones

Every so often, everyone gets a new cell phone. Layla and I had our business cell phone for five years before it finally crapped out on us and we were forced to buy a new business cell phone. This created the problem of what to do with the old cell phone, plus a few older ones that still sat in a drawer, despite no use for years.

Well, thankfully there is cell phone recycling. With cell phone recycling, your cell phone is recycled to its base parts and elements, and then reused in other electronics, including other cell phones. This makes it a perfect solution, just like recycling your batteries (although we buy rechargeable batteries).

Where we are, there is a place that we can recycle them, and we will be taking our cell phone in there right away to have it recycled into something that someone else will be able to use in the future!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Day 303 of our Green Year: Visit National Parks

If there is one thing Layla and I enjoy doing, it is hiking and snowshoeing. There is something about being out in the wild, being a part of nature and listening to the sound of silence wafting through the trees. We love nature, hence the reason why we are trying to do our part to save it with Our Green Year.

Today, we are asking that if you want to do something to help nature, you can visit a national park. Here in Alberta, there are plenty of national parks and we are going to be visiting several of them this year (including on our proposed two week hike from Jasper to Banff this year!). The reason visiting a national park is green is that not only does it help you learn more about the nature that we all seem to be somewhat removed from, it is also because you pay money to be in the national park. That money then goes to help keep the national park going, helping it expand and helping to keep the animals (some of them endangered) safe in their national park home.

Recently, Layla and I, plus two of our friends went snowshoeing on a trail in Elk Island National Park. The money we pay helps that park, and by extension helps nature.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Day 302 of our Green Year: Birdhouses

Earlier in Our Green Year, we have done a couple things to help the bird populations at the ranch. First, we spay our cats so there are no more cats running around hunting the birds, while at the same time we put up things in the window so that the birds do not fly into the windows. In addition to that, we also make sure we always have seeds out for the birds in three different bird feeders so they always have food for the winter.

Well, for today we are going a step further and are making plans to put bird houses throughout the ranch. Birdhouses are just that, houses for birds. The birds can then live in them and enjoy a pre-built house for themselves. Using scrap wood we will build the houses, as well as buy some houses that comply with our eco-friendly attitudes.

Birds can build their own houses of course, but we figure that we can give them a helping hand with some luxury bird houses for them to enjoy. That way they will have much more protection from larger birds and cats.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Day 301 of our Green Year: Defrosting Food In the Fridge

Typically when people want to defrost something, it involves putting it in the microwave and pushing defrost. Naturally this uses up a bit of energy to do that, so at the ranch, we have decided to do things a different way.

We could let things defrost on the counter, but with dogs and cats in the house, it may result in lost food. As well, we worry about bacteria, flies and more.
This has led us to another solution, which is defrosting food in the fridge.
By taking food from the fridge and putting it in the freezer, we are keeping the food safe from the animals and pests in the house, while at the same time not using the energy of the microwave to defrost it.
We schedule our dinners so that we know what we are going to eat during the week. This helps us defrost things in the fridge because now we can take out the fish, vegetables or whatever we are making, and put it in the fridge in the morning. By the time we are ready to cook those items, we can take them out of the fridge and begin cooking with them.

For the days that we are cooking a dinner and need to defrost what we eat, fridge defrost is what we will do.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Day 300 of our Green Year: Dealing With Gophers

Well here we are! A big day here at Our Green Year! We hit our 10 month anniversary with Our Green Year, and at the same time, we have passed into the 300s. Only 65 more days to go before the Our Green Year odyssey is over.

Today, we are going to be dealing with the gopher population in our horse pasture. The problem with gophers and moles is that they dig holes in the ground. Then, when the horses walk through the field and they run the risk of stepping in the hole and breaking their leg. This is disastrous for the horses and it is something we don't to happen. Hence, we need to deal with the gophers.

Now, while some farmers around here do use poison, we are in no way even thinking of using this. Relocating the gophers with traps may be too large of a job for us, as we found out helping to relocate ground squirrels a few years ago in Trail through our work with Natural Control Alternatives.

Instead, we are using a two-prong method. First, we are going to buy sonic repellers. These proved to be highly effective in Trail when we used them with NCA. So, we are going to use them here. Using D batteries, these devices send a pulse through the ground that irritates the gophers and sends them to a new location. It is cheap and highly effective.

Our second method will be using raptor platforms. We are going to build a raptor platform, which is essentially a pole with a flat spot on the top for a nest to be made. This was another thing we did with NCA and we are hoping for the same good results here. A raptor can eliminate as many as 300 gophers in one summer. It is natural, there is no poison and it keeps the bird populations fed with something they eat anyways.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Day 299 of our Green Year: Dealing with Mice

Since we live at a ranch, there are mice. Most of the mice are dealt with by the cats both in the house and at the barn, but some still get through and on occasion we will see a mouse. While we are okay with living and let live, the problem with mice is that they carry some viruses like Hanta Virus.

So, we need to deal with them in our home, and we have decided to do it humanely. We will not be using snap traps, which are not as humane as you think. While they can snap the neck immediately, killing them instantly. Sometimes though, the snap will hit them in a way that they keep on living, slowly dieing. As well, the snap can get caught on a tail or leg, causing a long and agonizing death for the mouse.

Glue traps and poison are completely out of the question.

Instead, we will use live traps to catch the mice, as we did a few years ago as part of our work with a ground squirrel protection group. We will catch the mice, and then transport them out into the pasture and further out in the acreage. They may come back, but we will just transport them away again.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Day 298 of our Green Year: A Green Valentine's Day

Well today is Valentine's Day, and while we are not big on the holiday, we thought it was a good chance to go green with yet another holiday.
Typically on Valentine's Day, flowers and chocolates are given out. The flowers given out are flowers that are cut and die within a few days, while the chocolates are packaged excessively and made from non-organic ingredients.

So, for this Valentine's Day, Layla and I did the greenest thing you could for Valentine's Day. There was no chocolate, and no flowers whatsoever. For Valentine's Day, we had a nice supper, shared a walk, said some "I Love Yous" and that is about it. Can't get much greener than that.

However, if you were to go to green with Valentine's Day, then instead of giving flowers, you could give a pot of potting soil, with a seed in it. That way, you help a flower grow and come into life. It clears the air in your home and you can keep it as long as you can before it eventually dies. You can also plant a tree as a symbol of your love.

If you choose to buy chocolate, then buy some fair-trade, organic chocolate instead of the larger, well-known brands that may use slave and child labor to harvest the cocoa bean.

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Day 297 of our Green Year: Banning Shark Finning

Recently, I watched a great documentary called Sharkwater. It was about sharks and how they are victimized and slaughtered around the world out of fear, and for their fins. The fins are used in shark fin soup, which is a delicacy in Asia. According to some beliefs, the shark represents power, and by eating its fin, you are transferring the power to yourself.

In regards to the fear, people fear sharks because of shark attacks. Around the world, millions of sharks die every year for shark fin soup and hunting. There are even people out there who hunt sharks and feel they are doing a service. The number of sharks killed each year is as high as 100,000,000. Yes, 100 million. Guess how many people are killed by sharks each year. Well, put simply more people are killed by pop machines than sharks. Sharks kill five people on average every year. Sharks are not even hunting people. They see something and they bite it, before realizing it is not a seal. Sadly, we have frail bodies and that one bite is enough to kill us.
You would not go into the forest and start hassling bears, and you would not run past a pride of lions, yet we think nothing of diving into the ocean where the sharks reside. Then we get mad at the sharks when it does what it has evolved to do.

To this end, Layla and I have signed a petition to ban shark finning and shark hunting, and have species of sharks put on the endangered species list so it is illegal to hunt them.

Sharks have survived for 400,000,000 years (400 million years). They are older than dinosaurs, mammals, birds, reptiles and nearly every plant species. Yet, this century we could see them completely wiped out.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Day 296 of our Green Year: No Impulse Purchases

Months ago, we pledged to limit our purchases by having the purchase questions. As well, we have chosen to reduce our possessions.
Well, we are going to go further and completely cut out our impulse purchases. We do not purchase much on an impulse, very rarely in fact, but never is much better than rarely. we want to have no impulse purchases and that means we are going to use these tips to get rid of our impulse purchases. Impulse purchases can be anything from a fair-trade and organic chocolate bar at the organic store, to buying a DVD.

  • Determine whether or not you need the item, or just want the item. If you want it, then you don't need it and you can ignore the urge to buy it.
  • Stick to your shopping list and stick to your budget, do not deviate from them at all.
  • If there is a new piece of electronics out, don't buy it. Typically new electronics are rushed to the market before they are ready so that the company can profit off of the hype for the product. Unless you want a bunch of bugs in your electronics, wait until later when the price is down and the kinks are worked out.
  • Forget about fads, fashion trends and anything else like that. You may think you want something that everyone else has, but 20 years down the road when you are looking at a picture of yourself, you may not think you made the right decision. Fads are completely useless trends that you should ignore.
  • If you do an impulse buy, find out if the product is green and what effect its ingredients or processes have on the environment. If you do this, you will probably not want to buy the product.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Day 295 of our Green Year: Bubblegum Ban

First, some cool news. Today, we passed the big milestone of 10,000 hits. We are just under 10 months of doing Our Green Year and both Layla and I think it is great that we have hit 10,000 hits and we thank everyone who has come by our site to follow our journey to go green.

Now, both Layla and I like bubblegum, but due to Our Green Year, we have had to cut back our usage of it. First, sugar in bubblegum is probably not fair-trade, nor organic. We could have sugar-free gum but that contains aspartame, which has been found to cause tumors in rats. So that is out. As well, bubblegum can be a very wasteful item. First you have the wrapper, then inside you have a foil wrapping around the bubblegum. Then on top of that you sometimes have a paper wrapping over the bubblegum itself. That is a lot of needless waste.

Then there is bubblegum itself. it is something we don't swallow, so it is thrown away. It does not decay quickly and can sit around for a long time as it slowly decays. Then of course there is the problem with it being put under tables and everywhere else it shouldn't be.

So, for the waste and how it contains many unnatural chemicals, we have decided to not have chewing gum anymore.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Day 294 of our Green Year: Reusing Magazines

Layla and I do not buy newspapers or magazines because of commitments we have made as part of Our Green Year. Instead, we read magazines and newspapers online to save paper. However, some people who we live with at the ranch have subscriptions to magazines, and that begs the question "What do we do with the magazines?"

Well, that is why today Layla and I are pledging to donate the magazines to libraries, doctor offices and more once they have been read. That way, the are being reused by others once they have been used at the ranch.

Along with this, we can use the magazines for other types of things including using magazines in crafts that Layla makes, wrapping presents in them and more.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Day 293 of our Green Year: Cooling Without Electricity

For thousands of years, humans have had to try and cool things without the aid of electricity. Then electricity came along and we had the refrigerator. Heralded as a wonderful invention, it eventually helped deplete our ozone layer due to chemicals in the cooling system and increase global warming by their consumption of electricity.

So, Layla and I are going to take a step back and start to cool some of our food without electricity.

First, since we live in Canada we can use the great cold weather we have to help us during the winter. By just putting items outside in a large box, we can keep them cool through the winter. As well, we can dig into the snow and store items there as well, as long as bears, wolves and neighborhood dogs are not a problem of course.

Another solution is Zeer pots, which are ceramic pots that use water inside of them to help cool the items inside. By putting a small ceramic pot into a big ceramic pot, with a bit of sand, you can cool your food without the need for electricity. You can find out more about this here.

In the summer it is a bit harder to cool items, but by digging into the dirt where it is cool and utilizing shade and other principles like that, you can cool items in the summer. Layla and I will be researching this to learn more so we can do it right in the summer.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Day 292 of our Green Year: Reusing Bread Bags

Yesterday we committed to reusing the tissue boxes that some others here use, and today we are committing to reusing something else; bread bags.
We make our own bread here, so there are actually very few bread bags. Usually these are bread bags for specialty bread like Ciabatta, French and Sourdough. Naturally, we need to find a way to reuse those bread bags.

Thankfully, bread bags can be reused many different times. First we can reuse those bags for the bread we make here. As well, we can reuse bread bags to store a variety of items in the fridge. The bread bags are made from plastic that is safe to use for food.

We can also use our bread bags to collect dew in the morning in spring and summer, and we can reuse the bread bags to store food for when we hike, like trail mix. When we go to the store to get vegetables, we can also store the vegetables in those bread bags.

There are many different ways to reuse bread bags, and these are just a few.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Day 291 of our Green Year: Reusing Tissue Boxes

Everybody gets a runny hose and everybody sometimes cries, hence the reason for tissue boxes. Layla and I prefer to use reusable cloths, but others at the ranch do use tissue boxes (tissues made from recycled paper of course) and that means we need to figure out what to do with the tissue boxes.

Tissue boxes are great for being a garbage can in the car. Just put the small bits of garbage you collect into that box. Take it home and sort it so that you recycle what you can.

If you got a bunch of good recipes, you can use the tissue box to hold recipes. Just cut off the top and recycle it, and make some index cards from paper you have around the house to fit into the box.

We love our little dog and he does have a couple toys. An old tissue box can be the perfect place to store the toys so they are kept in one single place.

We use recycled and reused paper for notes and such, well a reused tissue box makes a great place to store those little bits of paper so you can keep them in one place.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Day 290 of our Green Year: Damn Fruit Flies!

Anyone who leaves fruit out finds that fruit flies can become a problem. These little guys will lay as much as 500 eggs at a time, and they can quickly overwhelm your house and become a serious annoyance. Since we are coming up to spring, this will become a problem but there are plenty of natural ways to keep fruit flies from becoming a problem.

First, at our house we will be covering our fruit and eating the fruit before it can become appetizing to fruit flies. Old fruit is a haven for these flies so it is best just to eat it before it gets old and then you don't develop fruit flies.

In extreme cases, where the flies have become a serious problem, we will resort to more drastic means to deal with them. One such way is one we from UrbanGreenGirl.

To eliminate fruit flies, you will need the following:
  1. A little bowl
  2. Apple cider vinegar
  3. Reused plastic wrap or a small plastic bag.


  1. Fill the little bowl with apple cider vinegar so that the depth is approximately 1in/2.5cm.
  2. Cover with reused plastic wrap or plastic bag.
  3. Take a tooth pick and punch a bunch of holes in the plastic wrap. Make sure that the opening is big enough for them to get in, but small enough that they cannot get out. Do not put them around the edge.
  4. Place the bowl(s) on your kitchen countertop or under the sink; where ever they accumulate.
Thank you to Kelly at KBS Radio, who was nice enough to give us a call today and do an interview with us for Our Green Year! :D

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Day 289 of our Green Year: Using Neem Oil

A few weeks ago, Layla and I talked about how you can keep some pests away from your garden plants. Well, there is another way that you can protect your and it involves using a pesticide.
Well, that is not completely true to call it a pesticide. It does keep pests away, but it is not a chemical pesticide like you normally find in some gardens.

The pesticide is Neem Oil, and it is a completely botanical way to keep pests away from your plants in the garden. made from a plant in Southeast Asia, it does not affect humans, mammals or even bugs that are beneficial to the growing of a garden plant. This wonderful natural oil keeps away aphids, white flies, mildew, mosquitoes and lice from your garden plants.

Many gardeners and farmers are now using Neem Oil because it is an organic substitute for herbicides and pesticides that are dangerous and carcinogenic. Neem oil does not poison vegetables in any way, so you can eat them right out of the garden. On top of that, butterflies, earthworms and bees are not bothered by this oil and that allows the plants to absorb nutrients from these beneficial insects, as well as helping them pollinate.

We are going to give Neem Oil a try in part of our garden this year to see how well it works for us :) Gardening season is only a few months away!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Day 288 of our Green Year: Cooling Water In The Fridge

Warming weather is on the way. In fact, this entire winter has been much warmer than usual and today it even got up to seven degrees Celsius. Seven February! That is a bit odd we feel and hopefully it does not mean that the runaway effect of global warming is here and ready to steam roll over us.

Well, with the warming weather, which will most likely cool soon, we figured we would put out a tip that we will be using this spring and summer. On a hot day, nothing is better than a cold glass of water. However, cooling that water at the tap can waste a lot of water as you try to get the water to the right temperature. Therefore, in our house now, when we want cold water we will be putting jugs of water in the fridge, which we will then let the fridge cool itself.

That way, no water is wasted!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Day 287 of our Green Year: LendAround

Today, we are sharing another great website that helps the environment by using the power of the internet. Like Freecycle, LendAround is a website that uses the amazing networking opportunities of the internet to help us share our resources, rather than hording them.

Just launched yesterday, LendAround specializes in DVDs and the opportunity for sharing them amongst the people who use the internet. Through LendAround, you can borrow DVDs from others for free, thereby saving yourself money and saving the production of DVDs by not needing to buy any.
All you need to do is list the DVDs that you own, invite your friends and the website will arrange the loans and help keep track of where all the DVDs are. You can have a network of friends that share DVDs, allowing you to share literally thousands of DVDs between all of you.
It is estimated that there are 2,000,000,000 DVDs in homes around the United States and Canada. However, only 80 percent of those are watched twice a year. Rather than holding onto DVDs you never watch, you can share them with others so they don't buy DVDs that they hardly watched.

Any service that limits waste, helps us share what we already have and helps the environment is good in our books.

You can visit LendAround at

Monday, February 2, 2009

Day 286 of our Green Year: EcoFont

While Layla and I use recycled paper, print only when we really need to and recycle everything we print (that is not mailed in re-used envelopes), there is something else we can do to be green with our office and it comes in the form of the font we use.

EcoFont is a new font that can actually help you save energy on your printing and save toner because of its innovative style.

This great font comes from a Dutch company called SPRANQ, and it is touted to use 20 percent less toner or ink than other types of fonts. By having small circles in the lettering to reduce the amount of ink needed, it saves energy and saves you from having to buy more ink. The font is completely readable, but amazingly innovative.

It is also free to download from here.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Day 285 of our Green Year: Close The Oven Door

When one is cooking, it can often be useful to open up the stove and look in to see how the food is doing. However, as you open the door to the stove, the stove can lose as much as 20 degrees of its heat. That means it has to use energy again to heat up the entire stove.
Therefore, our tip for today is a very easy one. All we have to do is turn on the oven light briefly to see how the food is doing in the oven. It uses a very small amount of energy and it works just as well as opening the oven up.

It saves a little bit of power, but added up by everyone that amounts to a lot of energy saved for all of us.

Thank you to Wandering Coyote who provided us with a great list of green things you can do located here.

Do you have a tip for us?
Do you have a picture of yourself going green?
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