Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Latest Carb'ument

Over break I ran across an article entitled (and subtitled) “Put Down the Cookies, Santa:  Scientists Say Carbs—Not Fat—Are The Biggest Problem with America’s Diet.” 

The ricocheted argument is back: Are carbohydrates on the naughty or nice list this year? Likewise, are fats getting the lump of coal or are an array of angels singing their praises? 

To see the article all for yourself (in its entirety), go to .

For the short version: coal goes to carbs, nice list goes to fats…well, sort of. You’ve got good and bad versions of both. Having watched "King Corn" and also having just driven to and through the Corn Belt this week, I’m reminded how corn-infused EVERYTHING is. I had a good friend in college who was allergic to corn and wheat (which is called “irony” in the
Midwest). It was then that I got my first glimmer of how invasive corn products are in the grocery store as we became label-readers: corn starch, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, corn oil, corn solids, monosodium glutamate (MSG), dextrose, corn-filler-fed meat... It's everywhere and in most everything.

I’ve had my own bouts of dieting/calorie counting/food & lifestyle changes.  The South Beach Diet, Mediterranean Diet, or the very similar Sonoma Diet win for me, largely because I've learned I don’t have a shut-off switch when it comes to yummy stuff like pizza, bread, French fries, and pasta (carb, carb, carb, and carb). Proteins and vegetables work well for me…you can eat a million of veggies given how low-cal they are. Two weeks off the carbs and I’m golden and can turn down the cookie tray (and even the Fritos)…if I’m inspired to be that much on my own bandwagon!  For me, I can see how eating the white starches and white sugars trigger the insulin and set my body into “fat storage” mode. Also, by eliminating prepackaged foods like packaged noodles and such, my blood pressure went way down due to steering clear from the sky-high sodium that’s in packaged products. I feel better when I’m eating fresher, healthier food!  And go figure…I have more energy too.

But, throwing the baby out with the bath water in never good. As a buddy told me (irate upon reading the above-mentioned article) fiber is found in complex carbs.  My pal reminded me that bad fats are just that--bad fats!   Fruits are good for you too--even though they are nature's sugar and carbs! 

However, a look around Wal-mart in middle America shows you that our middles are growing wider and wider. We have a TV/gaming-oriented society that would rather sit and couch potato in rather than hit the great outdoors (anyone read Richard Louv’s Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder?). Doing that and eating super-sized portions, is it a surprise that Type 2 diabetes and obesity are on the rise? According to one statistic I saw recently, approximately 30-35% of our population is obese, and another 35% or so are overweight and getting close.  No wonder Michelle Obama started her "Let's Move" campaign (, and foodies like Jamie Oliver and Chef Ann Cooper are trying desperately to get healthier food in schools.

I also see all of the above influencing the waste (not just “waist”) problem in America. Gone to a restaurant lately and seen the portions they offer up?  Compare them to the true portion size that we SHOULD be eating! Yikes!?!  Add in, if you DON”T eat it all up right there, lucky you can take it home in a polystyrene (aka: non-recyclable styrofoam) clamshell doggie bag, typically bagged up in a single-use plastic bag too. And where do they both end up? Landfills and waistlines = waste, waist, and waste.

So ‘tis the season for New Year’s Resolutions.
Based on fitness club commercials and the billions of dollars they spend post-holiday advertising (where memberships are at their highest, then dwindle about 4-6 weeks later with everyone’s failing willpower), health and fitness are on everyone’s minds this time of year.

Here we are--well past the holiday season, and Santa has moved on beyond the cookies.  Have you?  That gets us circling back to the "carb’ument"…to carb or not to carb? That IS the question.  Only you know for you. As for me, it goes back to the oldie but goodie: Eat less and exercise more. I’m going to work on greening my plate with loads of veggies, and wipe out the wasted calories of the "white stuff." But, I’m going to remember that those complex carbohydrates are fiber-filled and good in moderation. That and an exercise class with a partner in crime (to keep me honest with myself) will hopefully fill my plate, drop some numbers, increase some energy levels, and fulfill one of my New Year’s resolutions!
* * * *

For an additional read on Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" program and the controversy a healthy eating platform can bring when it comes to political warfare, read Fred Hiatt's Washington Post article from December 25th entitled "
How did obesity become a partisan fight?" .

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Clue Into Climate ~ Curriculum Cache

      “The earth continues to get warmer, yet it’s feeling a lot colder outside. Over the past few weeks, subzero temperatures in Poland claimed 66 lives; snow arrived in Seattle well before the winter solstice, and fell heavily enough in Minneapolis to make the roof of the Metrodome collapse; and last week blizzards closed Europe’s busiest airports in London and Frankfurt for days, stranding holiday travelers. The snow and record cold have invaded the Eastern United States, with more bad weather predicted.
       All of this cold was met with perfect comic timing by the release of a World Meteorological Organization report showing that 2010 will probably be among the three warmest years on record, and 2001 through 2010 the warmest decade on record.
        How can we reconcile this? The not-so-obvious short answer is that the overall warming of the atmosphere is actually creating cold-weather extremes. Last winter, too, was exceptionally snowy and cold across the Eastern United States and Eurasia, as were seven of the previous nine winters.”                                                       
~ Quoted from Judah Cohen’s “Bundle Up, It’s Global Warming” article in the New York Times, published December 25th, 2010 (
In a winter such as this--in a warming world such as this--it definitely gets you thinking about the best way to teach about Climate Change to our global youth. (That same global youth that will be our leaders and decision makers in 15 year or so!)

Lucky for all of us, we don’t need to reinvent the wheel…or “climate change curriculum!!” The Internet comes to the rescue once again and will lead you to a great resource to use to teach about climate change. Click on the title above, or go to for everything you need. 
Aligning with both state and national science standards for grades 4-8, Clue into Climate hits these 4 major strands:
  • Increased Greenhouse Gases Contribute to Climate Change
  • Climate Change Affects Ecosystems and the Distributions of Organisms
  • Climate Change Affects the Water Cycle
  • Climate Changes Can be Mitigated by Using Renewable Energy Sources
For an added bonus... 
Also on this website, you can go to to find out about a "Journey of the Plastic Bottle." The video is eye-opening, giving detail about our "Garbage Super Highway"…also known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch!!! Plus, you will also find there are a bundle of other videos (& lesson plans associated with them) so you can incorporate all sorts or info about climate change, pollution, green eating, and other aspects of the environment into your classroom (or with your own eco-minded children at home.).

PS..Don’t forget to read Judah Cohen’s entire article at There, you’ll see the how the snow of Siberia plays a substanatial role in our winter weather worldwide.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Have Yourself a Merry Li'l Snowglobe

Everyone loves early Christmas gifts...especially mom's of 5 year-old boys.  And five-year-old boys love giving those early gifts in an "I just can't wait" manner!!

Yes, it's early, but I don't think it's going to matter.  One of my favorite gifts this year has been a hand-made gift from my preK'er...à la the creative genius of the PreK/Kindergarten crew at Eagle Cove School, my Maryland "Green" School.  Spearheaded by their fabulously-talented and creative teacher assistant, each child gave their parents a hand-wrapped gift, with a recycled-card, gift: a hand-crafted snow globe constructed nearly entirely of recyclables.  

To made this wonderful gift, it took an old baby food jar, past Christmas ornaments, and some well placed water, glitter, and glue gun glue.  To add to the "green-ness" of it all, they were packaged in a box constructed of remnants from the laminator and paper shreds from last week's newspaper advertisements.  A true keepsake in every sense of the word!!
And, when it's presented with the pride of a 5 year old who made it all by his most certainly can't be beat!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

On The Road, December-Style

I feel a bit like I'm living a cross-over of Jack Kerouac's On The Road meets Bing Crosby's 1943 "I'll Be Home For Christmas:"  
 Packed car. 
"Have presents, will travel."  
GPS address locked and loaded, 
and off we go.

The map below isn't quite the route we took, but pretty darn close.  12.5 hours drive time and 6 states later, you get to see a lot of the landscape of our countryside.  The Appalachian Mountains, the rolling hills of Ohio and Pennsylvania, the flatland of the Midwest.  You also get to see the decorated tree in the arrival of "home."  (No doubt, the best part.)
On a trip like this, you realize the vastness of our country, yet you further realize how awe-inspiringly small it is in planetary-comparison to all of our oceans and continents.  You see the magnitude of the vistas and the beauty of December snow....and the pollution that settles upon it--by way of litter, fly-away plastic bags, and soot-particles that fall from factories and automobiles.  

Add in...a trip like this gives you a lot of captured time to think as you're taking in the landscape.  It's a gorgeous li'l world we have out there.  It's my Christmas wish that we, as a human race, all get it together and take care of it.

Seasons Greetings
Happy Holidays
Merry Christmas 
Feliz Navidad
Wonderful Winter Solstice
from the Green Team Gazette
Images from:

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree....

Tonight I watched the Maryland Public Television's rendition of the lighting of the National Christmas Tree from last week's December 9th, 2010. 

Being an hour away from DC, there have several years I've gotten a chance to meander down to DC's ellipse (just beyond the White House Lawn) to see the National Tree and all the individual state/territory trees.  It's an amazing sight, a massive tree.

The current blue spruce is a live tree, and has been there since 1978 & the Carter era.  At 42 feet tall, most certainly is a sight to behold. The tradition of lighting DC's national tree has been around since 1923 & Calvin Coolidge. In 2009, the lighting of the tree went  a "green," using LED (light-emitting diode) lights.  What does this mean?  According to
"LEDs Offer More Efficient Technology than Incandescent Lights and CFLs:
According to, LED bulbs are lit solely by the movement of electrons. Unlike incandescents, they have no filament that will burn out; and unlike CFLs, they contain no mercury or other toxic substances. Proponents say LEDs can last some 60 times longer than incandescents and 10 times longer than CFLs. And unlike incandescents, which generate a lot of waste heat, LEDs don’t get especially hot and use a much higher percentage of electricity for directly generating light."
And as for 2010 in the historic world of the National Christmas Tree...the timeline grows.  This year marks another notable eco-event.  Not only do the LED lights continue to illuminate the tree (and heck, these might even be the same type of lights on your tree at home!), but  it
"is the first year that custom ornaments are not being used on the National Christmas Tree. Today’s LED ornaments are not only energy efficient and long lasting; they’re also very beautiful--even during the day when they are not lit. They can enhance any holiday lighting design,” said Mary Beth Gotti, Manager of the GE Lighting Institute in Cleveland, Ohio. (quoted from
Of the 750 strings of lights, the 430 colorful sphere decorations and the 84 snowflakes (all LED), each ornament only uses about 2 watts of light, making the total tree power consumption about 7000 watts.  According to the National Tree website (see link above), incandescent lights of Christmases of yesteryear (or make that 2 yrs ago!) took the total wattage to well over 50,000 watts. That's a big difference!  LED is clearly the light at the end of the tunnel, illuminating the way to go!

So the timeline is marked....the history is noted...and the tree is green (in more ways than one).  Gives new meaning to the song...
O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree,
Your branches green delight us.
They are green when summer days are bright;
They are green when winter snow is white.
O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree,
Your branches green delight us!

Image from

Friday, December 10, 2010

Seeing With New Vision: Wind Vision 2010

"First, there is the power of the Wind, constantly exerted over the globe.... Here is an almost incalculable power at our disposal, yet how trifling the use we make of it! It only serves to turn a few mills, blow a few vessels across the ocean, and a few trivial ends besides. What a poor compliment do we pay to our indefatigable and energetic servant!" ~ Henry David Thoreau, from Paradise (To Be) Regained [1843]
Last weekend, my green partner in crime at Eagle Cove School went to "Wind Vision 2010: A Maryland Citizens' Conference for Offshore Wind Power" in Annapolis.

What is "Wind Vision?"  From their website ( it is:
WHAT: First-ever citizens' conference on offshore wind power in Maryland. Sponsored by the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, the National Wildlife Federation, the Maryland League of Conservation Voters, Environment Maryland, the Maryland Sierra Club, and the United Steelworkers.
WHY: Because federal and international leaders are moving way too slowly on clean energy. It’s time to make Maryland a wind power example to the world.
 From the 6 hour conference, here are my eco-cohort's notes/key points:
  • Just in case you still don’t “believe” that the world is warming … The warmer temperatures means that there is an excess of water vapor in the air. Last winter, we had the 3 highest snowfall events since 1850 ALL WITHIN A 6 WEEK PERIOD! And we had the hottest year on record in Maryland.
  • The Mid-Atlantic Bight is a coastal region that goes from North Carolina to Massachusetts. It is 600 miles long and covers 9 states.
  • If wind turbines were in place throughout the Bight they could produce 70% of the power used in the U.S.
  • A connector cable for the East Coast is being planned right now. It will be underground and be able to handle 6,000 megawatts. This system could easily be up-graded to carry more wattage.
  • After “Inconvenient Truth”, Al Gore gathered a group of scientists to discuss how long it would take this country to produce all its energy without fossil fuels. Their answer was 10 years.
  • This same thing was done at the beginning of WWII. In 1939, 2,000 warplanes were produced in this country. By 1946, we had produced 257,000 warplanes.
  • The same thing happened with putting a man on the moon.
  • It’s not a matter of technology; it’s a matter of will.
  • Today, 60% of our energy in Maryland comes from burning coal, 30% from the Calvert nuclear plant, and only 7% comes from renewable sources.

  • Based on both legislation by Gov. Martin O'Malley & Maryland's Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards [Maryland is 1 of 33 states to have one of these], Maryland's goal is to produce 20% of its electricity from renewable resources by 2022. The current projections are: 2% from solar, 2% from burning biomass, 2% from onshore wind, and 2% from offshore wind.  (Of course, by my GTG calculations, that math doesn't get us to 20%!)
So Maryland is taking the position as a leader among states.  By "greening the grid," more jobs and cleaner energy will come our way...2 rather important things for this congested, populated area in a time when CNN reports a near 10% unemployment nationwide based on November 2010's statistics.  Way to go, Maryland!  Based on the Space Race and WWII warplane production, clearly we all can do it....IF we put our mind to it. 

Let's hope Gov. O'Malley energy initiatives & leadership goals for renewable energy production will "blow" Maryland toward a grand success, and not just be "hot air." 

For more on Maryland's 2022 intentions, check out the news article at

Dance With Wind

Wind is the fate we are facing
Wind is the life we are touching every second
Wind is the love we don’t understand but feel
Wind is the bridge we cannot see but feel
Wind is wind is wind is wind is wind
Wind is the rope we to ourselves not to be free
Wind is……… Wind is…………. Wind is…………
Driving into human imagination unknowingly

~ by Nyein Way

Mid Atlantic Bight image from

Saturday, December 4, 2010

"Retail Philanthropy:" Gifts That Keep Giving

In this holiday season, even if you are a die hard eco-warrior with many-a-good-intention to cut back the giving of "stuff," sometimes you just can't help it.  There are people in your life who you love, and (especially if they are li'l ones), the holidays are synonymous with wish lists and wants.

One way to combat the consumption and commercialism of Christmas is to give gifts that give back.  Here are some of my favorite ones:  (At check out, enter code: EAGLECOVE1011)......... Eagle Cove School and CynerGreen have partnered to create a school fundraising site. There, all items are Earth-friendly, and 20% of each purchase goes to support Eagle Cove School, a Maryland Green School in Pasadena, Maryland. As a great aside, if you'd like to create a similar eco fundraising site for your school/organization, go to  A lot of schools know about "Box Tops For Education."  You've seen those li'l pink box tops all over your pantry items.  Well, now there is a whole "eBox Top" marketplace.  By starting your online shopping spree at the site above, you can link into a number of well-known stores (big box, boutique, and beyond)...then your school can earn electronic "eBox Tops"--which equals more money down the line for your organization.  To find out more about the stores involved, go to .  If your school isn't signed up and you aren't sure who to support, "Eagle Cove School," is ALWAYS a great options!  At "A Little Green House," you can take advantage of both eco-friendly finds and creations by Maryland artisans while doing your gift-shopping.  In addition to that, local companies and non-profit organizations (of your choice) can benefit from your purchase by receiving 25% of your sales.  Currently, you can choose between 11 Chesapeake Bay & Annapolis area nonprofits to support including the Annapolis Opera, the Cheasapeake Bay Environmental CenterMaryland State Firemen's Association, or St. Andrews UM Day School.   If toys are what you are in pursuit of, "Careful Planet Toy's" is an online toy store that might be for you.  All items are made of recycled, biodegradable, and sustainably-safe materials. Their vendors operate in an "ecologically conscious" way...from manufacturing to packaging.  They carry items from companies such as Bioviva Games, Eco Angles, Green Toys, ImagiPLAY, Late for the Sky, Maple Landmark, miYim, Sabamba Bikes, Schylling, and Sprig Toys.  Uptown Liz is a company that was created after the founder's sister died of breast cancer at the young age of 28.  The mission of the company:  to "promote products from companies whose proceeds directly give back to charitable organizations.  You can shop on this one-of-a-kind Web site by charitable cause or product category." There, you'll find "art, clothing, jewelry, house wares, beauty and eco-friendly products (just to name a few) that benefit charities all over the world."  You will find a lot of cool items there
  At Tattered Cover, as a "Tattered Cover Gives Back" member, 1% of your pre-tax sale goes to one of 2-dozen+ Denver-area non-profit partners.  Partners include the Blair-Caldwell African American Research LibraryThe Children's Museum of Denver Literacy ProgramsColorado Public Radio, KCFR/KVODThe Colorado Symphony OrchestraDenver Urban GardensHabitat for Humanity of Metro Denver, among many more

    So as you are shopping, especially if you are like me and would rather do it from the comfort of your own computer rather than going out in the world to wrestle the traffic and the havoc, these are some great places to start!  Shop with a purpose to make the season doubly meaningful.

    December's GTG Newletter Has Hit the Stands

    Hot off the presses.... December's Green Team Gazette Newsletter is out!

    Given it's the season of giving, this month's GTG is dedicated to helping you encourage your youngsters to think a little lighter on the side of consumption and packaging, by encouraging the 3R's.

    This month's highlights include:
    • Marvy Multiplication (with a "Landfill & Trash" slant)
    • Re-Thinking the Grinch (and link it to Annie Leonard's "The Story of Stuff")
    • Reduce, Reuse, and Wrap It Up (creative wrapping ideas with leftover items)
    • From Landfill-Lover to Eco-Warrior Board Game (a "Chutes and Ladder's" Style of slippery slides to total transformation!)

    Saturday, November 27, 2010

    Black Friday Burn-out

    I'd like to know who came up with the idea that the Friday after Thanksgiving is the day that should become "Black Friday?" Is it that it's a 4-day weekend for most, opening up prime shopping time before returning to work and school? Is it that it officially opens up the Christmas season? (Which is a joke any more given that glittery, plug-in Christmas trees start showing up in the Big Box Stores round-about the same time Halloween costumes start coming down.) Is it what happens when the economy goes slightly crazy?

    Yeah, I know. All of the above.

    But I think the comic up there is fitting. Let's spend a day of feast, plenty, and giving thanks, with family and friends, content with what we have...only to then go home, set the alarm for a bizarre middle-of-the-night wake up time, and go out with the masses to "shop till you drop." It's craziness, I tell you! Madness indeed! I find it additionally frustrating, that marketing advertisers play on the tight economic times (and everyone's own tight budgets) by dangling the carrot of "Deals, deals, deals!" in front of us. So, Pavlovian as we all are, shoppers head to the stores...hypnotized much like the followers of the Pied Piper of Hamelin.

    Of course, it might go without saying that I'm not a shopper. Spending hard-earned, valuable monetary resources on a boatload of stuff that a year from now you won't remember...not my thing. Add in the millions of people, the traffic, the lines. Definitely not my thing. (Remember, I'm the one who, a few short weeks ago, cleaned my garage, shaking my head all the while.)

    However, one year (not so many years ago) we actually did try to take advantage of the advertised mucho mega "Black Friday" sales. I believe a big screen TV was our quest. We showed up at the store at 3 a.m. to wait outdoors, shivering in a cold and lengthy line, complete w/ blankets to keep warm and chairs to be comfy. They let us in at 5 a.m (or was it 6?), where...just as all the video footage you've ever seen...people bolted in the store and up the escalator. I'm talking sprinting, get out of the way or you'll get hurt, through the stores, up the stairs, sprinting. This was a "respectable department store" too, not the madness of a crazy over-crowded mega-mart.

    Of course, the quest led to an over-small, over-crowded electronics department with yet another line, and numbers being handed out. Surprise to no one but perhaps me, they were under-stocked (purposely) but had lots of other inviting things that perhaps we'd want to purchase instead. Yeah, no thanks. So we went home empty-handed, disgusted with the whole ordeal, and I think we were napping by 9 am. So not worth it. Again, big surprise to no one but me!

    And yet, according to Tampa Bay Newspaper's Online Edition "Black Friday" business will be booming this year: (from
    "Nationally, more than 138 million people are expected to head to the stores on Black Friday weekend, and millions have spent time mapping out their strategy and completing their shopping lists. According to a National Retail Federation survey by BIGresearch, of the 138 million who say they plan to shop, 60 million say they will definitely shop this weekend, while 78 million say they’ll wait and see how good the deals are before deciding to brave the crowds and traffic."
    Annie Leonard, creator of The Story of Stuff, wrote a very powerful blog this November 23rd entitled "Choose Family Over Frenzy" (find it here: In it, she talked abut how, by this past Tuesday, she'd gotten 7 email ads for "Black Friday" sales. It got me curious and counting my own inbox: 20 in the 24 hrs of post-Thanksgiving/pre-"Black Friday" frenzy. All from caring merchants either thanking me for my previous shopping or my wish to be on their newsletter list. Thank you so much for kindly thinking of me! Delete. Delete. Delete.

    So Black Friday has come and gone for 2010, but there's still Cyber Monday, and a whole season of shopping ahead. It does bring about the curiosity of what the credit card bills and garages across our country will look like for 2011 ahead.

    Wednesday, November 24, 2010

    Attitudes of Gratitude

    Here we are, on the eve of Turkey Day (or "Tofu"rkey Day, if you prefer), which most certainly puts us in a mode of Thanksgiving.  
    Being Thankful.  

    Whether you're young or old, in classrooms or not, approaching life with an "attitude of gratitude" is certainly a good idea.  I think it's easy for people, environmentalists in particular, to fall into a "doom and gloom mentality" based on how overwhelming some of our planetary problems can feel...especially given the economic struggles of the last few years.  Yet, I think it's a good habit of behavior--and sometimes, depending on our perspectives, a bit of a perspectivizing challenge--to list all of the things in life we are thankful for.

    This season of Thanksgiving, make a list of 5, 10, 20, perhaps even 100 things both in your life, the world around you (and the issues you believe in) that you are thankful for.  Write it down, keep it somewhere handy, and check back in with it frequently

    It makes for good "food for thought" as you celebrate your Thanksgiving feasts this season!
    "Develop an attitude of gratitude,& give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger & better than your current situation.”   ~Brian Tracy

    Sunday, November 21, 2010

    Eco...or is That Elmo??

    Who doesn't love Elmo

    I mean really....he's small, cute, furry, red...and Elmo!  
    Follow Elmo here as he and Jason Mraz Join Sesame Street to get kids Outside.
    Join Maryland and their "No Child Left Inside" program to follow Governor Martin O'Malley's urging to get our youngsters outside, embracing the great outdoors, and taking advantages of the resources that surround them!!

    From their website:

    "If you want to build a ship, don't drum up the men 
    to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. 
    Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea."

    ~Antoine de Saint Exupery

    Saturday, November 20, 2010

    Planning for an Eco-Turkey Day

    Moonbeam PilgrimTurkey Day is right around the corner (leaving many of us wondering how on Earth it's humanly possible to be this time of year, but that's another commentary entirely)! 

    So, as you are gearing up your cornucopia of menu ideas for your feast, there are a ton of FUN ideas for classroom and family-table alike over at PlanetPals. 

    recycle artPlanetPals is a warehouse of educational, eco-friendly, ideas that can suit any grade level.  On top of that, there's not only a teachers page (chock-filled with lesson plans and activities), but also a parents page.  PLUS there's arts, crafts, and games galore that are fun for your little ones.  It's a pretty packed portal!

    Thanksgiving-specific, you can find:
    • "15 great 'E'cology tips to help you make a greener world this holiday!"
    • "Edible Food Art Thanksgiving Crafts"
    • "Thanksgiving Recycle Crafts"
    • "Gratitude and Thanksgiving: A World-wide Tradition!"
    • "Tis the Season for Homespun Traditions"
    • "Thanksgiving Travel Can Be A Gas....Saver"
    • "Don't Gobble Up The Earth! Learn how you can to SAVE MONEY and SAVE EARTH This Thanksgiving"
    • "A United Nations Thanksgiving Proclamation"
    • "Recycle Your Pumpkins After Thanksgiving"
    To check out these great ideas (and to find the cute images above), go to

    To learn the PlanetPals story, go to 

    Thursday, November 18, 2010

    "Green Your Routine" and Live In "Harmony" Friday, November 19th, 2010 at 10pm EST on NBC!

    Harmony Movie Trailer from Balcony Films on Vimeo.

    It only makes sense that "Green Week" should happen in the same week as "America Recycles Day."  Makes almost as much sense as it happening concurrent to "Earth Day."  Well, in November of 2007, during a one week time period, NBC TV did just that.  They shared 150+ eco-themed programming & their commitment to sustainability (aka "Green Week").  The Week of Earth Day 2008 it only seemed natural that they do the same (aka "Earth Week"). 

    Thus started a bi-annual NBC TV event  (interestingly enough, tied this year with TV mega-week "Sweeps Week"...where anyone who knows a bit about TV knows that this is the week where show ratings are bigger, and more important than most--so I find it bold that they are linking Sweeps with their Green Week!!).  

    Harmony: A New Way of Looking at Our WorldPerfectly timed for NBC's Green Week, tomorrow night (Friday, November 19th) at 10 pm EST, NBC is airing the movie "Harmony: A New Way of Looking at Our World."  

    Prince Charles (aka, His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales) takes viewer to visit with global leaders about global environmental issues.  From their website:
    "They are working to transform the world, address the global environmental crisis and find ways toward a more sustainable, spiritual and harmonious relationship with the planet."
    But more than a mere documentary on issue awareness, Prince Charles and the Harmony visionaries are also looking for and offering solutions.

    So, whether it's "Date Night Friday Night" or not, be sure to set the DVR and tape "Harmony: A New Way of Looking at Our World" so you can watch it, then watch it again, ruminating over the richness of our planet, and take stock in what you can do.

    To learn more about NBC's twice annually "Green Week," go to learn more about Prince Charles' inspired movie "Harmony: A New Way of Looking at Our World go to

    Tuesday, November 16, 2010

    Bag the Bag & Plastic Plague

    Strange Days on Planet Earth 2Two great video clips narrated by Edward Norton from National Geographics 2008 4-part environmental mystery series "Strange Days on Planet Earth2" (which you can rent to watch from Netflix...along with the original 2005 "Strange Days on Planet Earth" )

    Monday, November 15, 2010

    Celebrate America Recycles Day TODAY!

    Passing this along from our friends at CynerGreen!  and CGKidz

    Celebrate Monday, November 15, 2010
    America Recycles Day
    by choosing to make a difference.  (Please pass along)

    You can:
    • Find a recycling bin and facts from your local pickup on what is accepted.
    • Think before you Toss.  Almost everything these days can be recycled.
    • Support local efforts to increase recycling rates.
    •  Purchase biodegradable products and remember to REUSE so you reduce the need for Recycling!
    • Go big and eliminate the use of plastic water bottles completely.  Purchase a safe, stainless steel, reusable bottle.


    • We use 80,000,000,000+ aluminum soda cans a year.

    • If every American recycled just 10% of their newspapers, we would save 25,000,000 trees a year.

    • The amount of wood and paper we throw away each year is enough to heat 50,000,000 homes for 20 years.

    • There is no limit to the amount of times an aluminum can be recycled.

    • Approximately 1 billion trees worth of paper are thrown away every year in the U.S.

    • Americans use 2,500,000 plastic bottles every hour! Most of them are thrown away!

    • Mining and transporting raw materials for glass creates about 385 lbs of waste for 1 ton of new glass.

    • Plastic bags and other plastic garbage thrown into the ocean kill a 1,000,000 sea creatures every year!

    • The average American uses seven trees a year in paper, wood, and other products made from trees.

    • Americans throw away 25,000,000,000 Styrofoam coffee cups every year.

    • The energy saved from recycling one glass bottle can run a 100-watt light bulb for four hours or a CFL for 20 hours. 

    • An estimated 80,000,000 Hershey's Kisses are wrapped each day, using enough aluminum foil to cover over 50 acres or 40 football fields. All of that foil is recyclable.

    • 100 acres of Rainforests get cut down every minute!

    • A single quart of motor oil can contaminate up to 2,000,000 gallons of fresh water.
    •  A modern glass bottle would take 4000 years or more to decompose -- and even longer if it's in a landfill!
     Happy Recycling!

    Danelle Hoffer
    CynerGreen | EcoFab Stores, Inc.

    The Promenade, Chenal