Earth Day!

Welcome to Earth Day 2011!

Recycling one aluminum can save enough energy to watch a TV for three hours – it’s equivalent to half a gallon of gasoline.

“Every day, the saying goes, is Earth Day. But its popularly celebrated on April 22. Why?

Kathleen Rogers, president of Washington, D.C.-based Earth Day Network, which was founded by the original organizers of Earth Day,.. said April 22, 1970, was chosen for the first Earth Day in part because it fell on a Wednesday, the best part of the week to encourage a large turnout for the environmental rallies held across the country.

“It worked out perfectly, because everybody was at work and they all left,” she said.

In fact, more than 20 million people across the U.S. are estimated to have participated in that first Earth Day.

Earth Day is now celebrated every year by more than a billion people in 180 nations around the world, according to Rogers.

… Earth Day’s history is rooted in 1960s activism. The environment was in visible ruins and people were mad, according to Rogers….

Earth Day Evolves

Amy Cassara is a senior associate at the World Resources Institute in Washington, D.C., who analyzes global environmental trends.

She noted that, since Earth Day started, environmentalism has moved from a fringe issue to a mainstream concern. “As many as 80 percent of Americans describe themselves as environmentalists,” Cassara said.

Environmental issues today, however, are less immediate than dirty air, toxic water, and a hole in the ozone layer, she added.

For example, the impacts of global climate change are largely abstract and difficult to explain “without coming off as a doomsday prognosticator,” Cassara said.

“As we become more industrialized and our supply chains become less transparent, it can be more difficult to understand the environmental consequences of our actions,” she noted.

Earth Day Network is pushing the Earth Day movement from single-day actions—such as park cleanups and tree-planting parties—to long-term commitments.

“Planting a tree, morally and poetically, requires taking care of it for a really long time, not just sticking it in the ground,” Earth Day Network’s Rogers said….

What to Do on Earth Day?

For those whose inner environmentalist speaks loudest on April 22, Earth Day Network’s Rogers encourages them to make a public commitment to take an environmental action.

“We are headed for a billion commitments to do something green,” Rogers said. “And that doesn’t mean think about it—it means do something.”

Commitment ideas promoted by the Earth Day Network include pledging to educate friends and family on global warming or buy green products such as energy-saving compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs).

The commitments are part of a yearlong initiative called the Green Generation, which leads up to the 40th anniversary of Earth Day in 2010.”

Excerpts from  John Roach  National Geographic News  Published April 6, 2010. To read the whole article click here.

This blog, these postings, these creatures, this effort from my heart and soul – this is my  “commitment to educate friends and family on global warming or buy green products such as energy-saving compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs).” I hope you find yours as well.

As promised, a great idea for Container Gardening for the Home Cook.

Start your seed/Herb Garden NOW – tips and tricks.

“Each spring, I fill an old wooden wine crate with a cluster of my favorite organic herbs. (Most high-end wine shops will give the cedar boxes away as they typically get tossed once the bottles are unpacked. Drilling a few holes on the bottom for proper drainage is easy, but keep in mind that the wood will only hold up for a few seasons.) I pinch off sprigs of thyme and rosemary for roasted veggies and use spearmint for iced tea. Purple sage adds some lovely color to the overall planting and gives me an excuse to brown butter with my eggs. Bottom line, I’m convinced that having a nice selection of fresh herbs at my finger tips has made me a little more adventurous in the kitchen. Each spring, I fill an old wooden wine crate with a cluster of my favorite organic herbs. (Most high-end wine shops will give the cedar boxes away as they typically get tossed once the bottles are unpacked. Drilling a few holes on the bottom for proper drainage is easy, but keep in mind that the wood will only hold up for a few seasons.) I pinch off sprigs of thyme and rosemary for roasted veggies and use spearmint for iced tea. Purple sage adds some lovely color to the overall planting and gives me an excuse to brown butter with my eggs. Bottom line, I’m convinced that having a nice selection of fresh herbs at my finger tips has made me a little more adventurous in the kitchen.”  Rest of Article, and find other great tips on Practically Green blog. These words from  Estelle Hayes. She lives in Silicon Valley where she blogs at www.underapinkmoon.com. She’s also published regularly on Huffington Post. Estelle’s Herb box below.

Here’s a link for ordering Organic seeds  http://eartheasy.com/blog/2011/01/vegetable-garden-seed-ordering-tips/ ” When the nights are long, and the days dark and cold, gardeners seek inspiration in their online and mail order seed catalogs. Looking at the colorful pictures of vegetables and flowers stimulates optimistic ideas for the spring garden. This is a fine time of year to connect with fellow gardeners to share seed recommendations. These friends may want to order seeds together, thereby saving on shipping and handling fees and perhaps splitting large packets of seed ” Originally published on Eartheasy.com

Estelle's herbs in a recycled box
Estelle's herbs in a recycled box

Spring into your Garden – Get Growing!

♥ Go Green & Get Growing ♥
We are announcing and sprouting off our Start your own Herb Garden Campaign with a CONTEST! Everyone can do this – either virtually or in “real-time.”  Tomorrow I (and Milly) will give you a great idea on how to get going with a physical Herb Garden indoors – no big space requirements here!  Kitchen cooks take note,  a great way to start organic is with your own herbs easy peasy!

For the contest… how much more exciting can it get than to watch the seed grow (ha ha ha) – but wait, there really is more….

WATCH the herb grown in its pot as a sign of springtime.
Milly is the official watcher for us.  First important event is for the seed to pop out of the soil. Next important time and event is when it is big enough and warm enough to go into the ground.  That will call for  a celebration, a party with home-grown organics! Now, here is the party part  for you the viewer. Watch for Blog postings about Milly and her Herb growing/watching/waiting …For every 5th viewer  comment on one of those new post, or the 5th DM from Twitter (@BotanicalB_B) with #MillyHerb,  you will get a package of your own Herb Seeds from the Botanical Beauties and Beasties. For the viewer who guesses WHAT KIND of Herb it is, and when it will be ready to go into the great outdoors – 2 free greeting cards from the Botanical Beauty and Beasties Collection.  Contest starts today and ends – well, now that would be too big a clue!  Stay tuned!

Imagination Week and so long to Twinkles.

Imagination Week. This should be fun!

Twinkles-Spring Thaw
Got to go - Melting! See you next winter.

What are those fuzzy lines between imagination, memory, and dreams?  Is that the core of imagination?  Hard to say… any ideas? Comment to The Botanicals and let us know your thoughts. We think imagination is all that plus freedom of your “inner self” to let “it” out . What’s”It” ? “It” is whatever form suits you – drawing, music, words, dance, acting, cooking, singing, etc. it’s all good.

The first order of business this week is that Twinkle, Goddess of the Shimmering Snow, wants to say Goodbye until next year. It is getting way to warm for her and she is  heading  North to stay cool and not melt away.   As you may remember, she comes in with the winter winds but that means she must leave when the spring temps arrive.  She left many charts and reports on the “dirty snow” from pollutions. She is worried.  Her message as she heads out-of-town:
1) Please, conserve your “ things needs” – you may just want instead of need it . It all ups to used fuel/energy to make the items, deliver to items, and then to possibly trash the items. 2) Please, conserve on your gas and get some exercise. Don’t drive if you can walk or bike ride!
3) Please pay attention and – Recycle your stuff… Reuse what you can…. Reduce your carbon footprint.

Beauty in Sustainable Architecture – more specifically, home dwellings

Yum: Reading Home-Design Book and House Plans

This turned into a little bigger of a subject matter than Yum bargained for: Here are some interesting excerpts for an array of sites…. She went from the small site to the broad stroke of HGTV. First she asked herself and of others – “What does living green mean to you?”

One of her favorite inserts came from Pure Green, and it’s photographer and friend, Erin Monett. puregreendesign.blogspot.
“Living green boils down to respect.  Respect for one’s health and quality of life, and respect for all the earth and creation. I believe we’ve only been given one planet. As far as I’m concerned we have (and continue to) mess it up. It’s our moral obligation to take ownership and make that wrong, right again. Everyone can learn to live a little greener! Make educated decisions about what you are feeding your children, pouring down your drain, and financially supporting in your purchases    BTW- thanks to Céline MacKay, Editor in Chief and founder of Pure Green Magazine!

Then Yum asks herself a bigger questions of what is ” Sustainable architecture” – since your home is indeed architecture of some kind or another. In it’s most simple form Yum says- it simply means that your architecture (home) strives  to be as small a negative impact of the environment as possible. That is done first with design and the materials of your home to enhance it’s efficiency, then what energy that you will consume as the resident of that home, and again, how can you maximize the efficiency. How can your home and your own footprint be as  small as possible on the world?

Further poking around Yum found and liked this:  (HGTV) The 8 categories and the total possible points for each are as follows:

What Makes a Home Green?
  1. Innovation and Design Process. 9 possible points are given for using special design methods, unique regional credits, measures not currently addressed in the Rating System, and exemplary performance levels.
    2. Location and Linkages. 10 possible points are given for placing homes in socially and environmentally responsible ways in relation to the larger community.
    3. Sustainable Sites. 21 possible points are given for using the entire property so as to minimize the project’s impact on the site.
    4. Water Efficiency. 15 possible points are given for indoor and outdoor water conservation practices built in to the home.
    5. Energy and Atmosphere. 38 possible points are given for improving energy efficiency, particularly in the building envelope and heating and cooling design.
    6. Materials and Resources. 14 possible points are given for selecting environmentally preferable materials, efficiently using materials, and minimizing waste during construction.
    7. Indoor Environmental Quality. 20 possible points are given for improving indoor air quality by reducing possible air pollution. 
8. Awareness and Education. 3 possible points are given for educating the homeowner, tenant, and building manager (for larger multifamily buildings) about the operations and maintenance of their home’s green features.

How this for truly a GREEN DWELLING! Super efficient small dwelling  http://www.minibpassivehouse.com/ Follow link to see a lovely drawing of the home.

Next: A home in Michigan that the front glass is put in to reflect the water it is on so it “blends” instead of sticking out from its surroundings. “Because modeling sustainable building practices was a key goal of the project, Baker was averse to demolishing the existing cottage on the property. Instead, builder Luke Gingerich and his crew at Golden Rule Construction removed the pitched roof from the cottage, stripped it to the studs, and used the framing and foundation in the new house.

The old cottage now makes up most of the private quarters, including a small o…ffice, laundry room and master suite downstairs, plus a den, a bathroom and two small bedrooms upstairs. It connects to the new pavilion in a modular, very modern floor plan that doubles the size to 3,000 square feet.” Read the whole story and see a photo of the home.

Do you love to look at house/home photos. Yum does, I do and if you do too- a whole array of amazing Sustainable Homes around the world. Lush photos, a brief description of the homes. Brought to you by  http://www.besthousedesign.com/category/houses-design/green-house/. FAB!!!!!!

Last but certainly not least. So – what makes a home a Sustainable Home?   According to  http://sustainablehouseandhome.com/what-makes-a-sustainable-home/ which is a site is dedicated to those principles that we believe will have the greatest impact to limit our footprints on this blue and green planet we co-inhabit.

“This is a simple answer in terms of coming from a knowledge of these things.  However, when trying to come up with a concrete and succinct answer, it is sometimes a bit more difficult.  The simplest answer is to say that what makes a house a sustainable home is that it is not only built from materials that are harvested or manufactured in a way that is supportive of the larger global environment, but that is in constant balance and harmony with the environment that it is a part of as well.  In other words, it is constructed of materials that support a more ‘green friendly’ – we’ll get to that as well – approach and is also surrounded, supported and maintained in this fashion as well.”

Sounds good to Yum – she is ready to go and start designing her Sustainable Home!

Yum has had a great time this week – she learned a ton and hope you did too. Happy Beauty to one and all!

Tomorrow- Fun Fact Friday…

Beauty ON us… Are you an Eco-Fashionista?

Save the Earth with Good style! You walk around – why not look good and so promote Sustainable Beauty!

Fashion and Green – it can be tricky but doesn’t need to be…With a little effort there are LOTS of choices in Green fashion today – Green (as in Eco) is the new black  for fashion! Join in the trend – it’s actually pretty easy!

Yum researching resources for Eco Fashion Beauty

Yum has done some research – she found a very nice link from Eco Chick. Here’s the link Online Resources for Ecofashion, Beauty and Green Goodness … and then there are some easy finds- Levis Jeans has an organic line and waterless (!), Whole Foods has some great clothing and Premium Body Care… Many brands are adding “green fashion and beauty” to their collections. As M.S. would say – “It’s a good thing.” Wondering about waterless – check out http://airdye.com/Synthetic textile-dyeing consumes 2.4 trillion gallons of water a year, enough to fill 3,700,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools. AirDye reduces water use up to 95 percent.** “

Sticking to our Boston base from yesterday – check this out!  A “Boston-based IVEE is a fashion forward sportswear company dedicated to creating luxuriously comfortable sportswear embodying simple glamour and natural elegance.” Items look very nice on line…I am anxious to try some out! http://www.iveestyle.com/ Here is a way to carry all your cool green stuff around – check out Green Style On The Go®  at www.sakysacks.com. Very Cute! Very Pretty!

Are You Up on Eco-Chic Green Fashion Lingo? Learn the green fashion terms.

100% Organic Cotton: To be considered 100 percent organic, cotton must be “certified by a third party (such as the USDA), following strict guidelines for growing the fiber, using no disallowed synthetic chemicals.

Bamboo: A textile made from the pulp of the fast growing bamboo plant that’s soft, highly water absorbent, and anti-bacterial.

Fair Trade: Fair trade companies look at more than just the bottom line. They look at development as a whole and create more of a partnership with suppliers, which makes for a fairer exchange system where workers get paid fair wages and work under good conditions.

Hemp: A strong fabric sewn from the fibers of the fast growing cannabis plant (a variety that contains virtually no THC, the active ingredient in marijuana).

Recycled/Upcycled: Material that’s been reprocessed at the end of its life into something new and useful.

Sustainable: Describes a product created by a process that can continue indefinitely without causing environmental destruction or usurping resources.

All sorts of fun fashion green info here!

http://www.squidoo.com/eco-chic#module11609300

The sun rose two days early – what!?!???

Wessie wants you all think about this oddity…  Breaking the Horizon – Two Days Early

Greenland-By Flickr user kaet44

 

“Several weeks ago, the sun rose two days earlier than normal in Greenland. This news spread fast around the world. While some people cried out that this was a foreshadowing of a 2012 disaster, others blamed global warming or optical illusions.

You may be thinking “the sun rises every day, why is this a news story”, but in Greenland the sun doesn’t rise every day. Days are dark for several months in the winter because of the country’s location and the sun is never high enough to break the horizon.

Residents of Ilulissat, Greenland, a small town on the western coast, see the sun every year on 13 January. However, this year the sun actually rose two days early on 11  January around 1pm.”  Read more  at  http://www.organicbugblog.com/

Wessie asks -” Is it becoming too warm? What are your thoughts on this story? Is global warming the cause or do you believe another theory?” Let him know in a comment.


écologiste

Did you noticed the French theme the last week? Vaboom is pleased to have a new international friend. It is such a nice way to learn words, culture and views of life. Environmental words are the most exciting to her. She giggles for all she knows now is “Jacques Cousteau.”  She looked up “Environmental” to see what the French would be and she found  “du milieu; de l’environnement, écologiste.”  She likes the sound of  “écologiste” – so that will be her word of the week, and our topic in general this week.  Her New French Friend will be visiting Botaniums soon, and you too will get to meet him!

In admiration of Ecoology Week it was voted that Wessie (Wes) would be the spokesman for this topic this week.

Wessie (Wes)As you may remember –“ Wes soars high above the lands and sea to keep an eye both the Botaniumus citizens as well as the “others” i.e. the WoMes (us humans.) Wes’s job is Liaison of Botaniums and WoMes.To keep the “green lifestyle” active for both sides and incorporate great ideas from one to the other.

(Wisteria and Lilacs)