Tag Archives: sustainability

Justified Nap

Trail Mix with Processed M&Ms
Giant bowl of trail mix includes: 2.5lbs of granola, 2lbs lightly salted peanuts, 1-2 C raisins, and two large packages of m&ms.

“And, no more ‘nap when he naps’, OK?” That’s what Levi’s doctor said during his 3 year check up. He also gave the advice of “no processed” food, so it is evident this is his catch-all advice and not specific to one situation over another. This post, for lack of a more clever thesis, is about advice.

I chuckled when his doctor said that. He doesn’t remember that I have Grave’s Disease, and he certainly didn’t know that my thyroid levels were coming down. I think I muttered (maybe just in my head), “We’ll see,” with a chuckle. Yes, I will take a nap thank you, when I am tired. Sometimes, dear doctor I operate on five hours of sleep, and napping while my dear Levi-bug naps, is necessary for everyone’s sanity.

The whole processed food thing was really entertaining. I blinked and looked at him, “Like what?” “We’re suggesting parents limit things like fruit roll ups (light goes off, ‘oh duh’) granola bars, etc.” I looked at him and said, “If I want a granola bar, I’ll make one myself.” He chuckled, “I don’t need to know how.”

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NRDC: Trashy Habits — Reducing Your Waste

NRDC: Trashy Habits — Reducing Your Waste.  So, everything is about the “Green Life” these days.  Linux themes, many blogs, and even some green washing.  One of my favorite sites for information is the Natural Resource Defense Council.  And, it looks like they’ve picked up on the demand for Green Life blogs (linked above).  Today’s blog was on Trash.  A favorite topic of many the greeny.   How do we dispose of our waste in a more responsible manner so that we’re not sweeping the issue under the rug?  The author-urbanite provides some quick logic and a no-nonsense look at what we waste, why, and how to reduce it.

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Nature Cures Clinic on the Health Benefits of Organics

Nature Cures Clinic : A Naturopathic Clinic in Portland Oregon.

The timing is a perfect follow up to the last paragraph of my blog yesterday.  Some of the highlights:

  • First off, the study says nothing about the health impact of daily exposure to residual pesticides and herbicides.
  • It says nothing about the health impact of GMO foods, which are well established, even if they are not acknowledged by the FDA.
  • And it says nothing about the detrimental health impact of the environmental degradation that results from conventional farming.

Add to the conversation – what do you think the health benefits are of organics?

Eco lunches

Peter's Eco Lunch Bag
A homemade duck-cloth lunch bag.

I’ve noticed lately two things:  1) there are a lot of tips to show you how to build a green lunch and 2) there is a lot of talk about how organic food doesn’t hold any more nutrition than conventional food.  The discussion that could happen based on these trends is amazing, and I would like to add a few points to hopefully further the discussion. Continue reading “Eco lunches” »

How to get Free Mulch in the Portland Metro Area

Yesterday, I received an email from “Ben”.  Unfortunately, my reply bounced back.  Regardless, I said that when asked a question, I would post it here.  Ben was interested in more concrete places to get free mulch, and this is what I’ve set to tell him:

We got our free mulch from Asplundh, who I believe were contracted by P.G.E.  They trimmed our neighborhood’s trees when I wrote that post a few months ago.  They simply had a sign that read, “Free Wood Chips.”

I believe tree trimmers and arborists have to pay a fee to dump mulch, so they’d much rather give it away.  I’ve heard that some tree services have a long list of names, so it may just take some inquiring to find out.

As for a place to start…  I would contact these companies or agencies in addition to Asplundh:

  • International Society of Arborists, Pacific Northwest Chapter:  http://www.pnwisa.org/ – they may have further direction.
  • James Kinder, Green Options Tree Care, 5755 Willow Lane, Lake Oswego, OR 97035, Phone: 503-744-0914, Email: info@gotreecare.com, Website: www.GOTreeCare.com
    ** Update 16-Mar-2010: They take their tree removals and recycle them at the “goat farm”.  Sorry, no chips. Great eco-company regardless.
  • Mark Bourgeois, Arbor Pro Tree Experts, Phone:  503-473-TREE (8733), Website: www.arborpronw.com – this man specifically told me to call his company and they would maintain a list, and if in my neighborhood may be able to donate mulch.
    ** Update 17-Feb-2013: They no longer do free mulch. Friendly group, so give ‘em a call if you need an arborist!

Lastly, I’d call the Oregon City Hall to find out if they use a specific tree service and get that company’s name to call directly.

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The Triple Bottom Line

One aspect of sustainability is something called the Triple Bottom Line. It’s gone by different names such as the three-legged stool concept and the 3 Es. The idea is that you factor the economy, the environment, and social issues on the same or a level playing field, each getting equal weight when being considered for a decision. So, if something doesn’t consider the economic impacts of say an environmentally sound project, it wouldn’t balance by the Triple Bottom Line assessment. The questions we should be asking ourselves, according to this idea, would be: “How does this policy/plan/product impact the environment/people/economy?” If we’re considering outsourcing jobs, for instance, who is being displaced then by lack of a job? How would that benefit those who are losing there jobs? Is there another plan we could use that could balance the economic side while not exploiting the people who get the job done?

A Last Push to Deregulate itemizes some of the recent rules President Bush plans on putting through as his term nears an end.  How does relaxing drinking water standards, for example, impact people and the environment?  Is it a good decision for either?  Would it balance under the Triple Bottom Line assessment?  Does it take into account a longer impact such as health impacts from drinking potentially contaminated water?

No, rules like this do not take a Triple Bottom Line assessment into account. How long will we go before we realize that this type of planning will only serve to harm us? Perhaps the November 4th election will proffer hope or change no matter which party rules this new administration. Perhaps we can see a more complete form of planning for the next 4 to 8 years.

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