This is my first personal blog. I have been camping for the last week and a half with my family. They know me better than anyone; so to see the change in me as far as my new healthy eating habits, environmental conscientiousness, and political interests was more apparent to them than to anyone else.

I have decided to not be silent when there is something to be learned but to not be obnoxious or act righteously towards anyone who does not feel the same as me. I was surprised at the annoyance and persecution I received from people who love me. First of all, I have been overweight almost all of my adult life and have started eating MUCH differently than I used to. I am also a student at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry and have become more informed on issues and opinions that are more like those that I sympathize with so my eating habits have developed into a hybrid form f buying local and organic with less to no red meat. Issues come to mind easier than they use to also.

My nephew bought a package of those new silly bands. They are rubber bands in the shapes of a multitude of things that kids wear on their wrists and trade like the last generations Pokemon or my generation’s D and D or baseball cards. I was wondering on the origin of silly bands and found they are often manufactured in countries that have lower environmental standards than others. I remember reading recently, in a book called The World Without Us, about the amounts of plastic that gets dumped into the ocean (mostly in the form of colored pellets that are melted down to make the products) and I mentioned my curiosity about this to my father who rolled his eyes and said, “Oh my God, will you lighten up!!”. I am sure there are other issues at play between me and family members but that is a whole other kind of blog!

I don’t really want to be seen as “snooty”, or “better than” just because of the truths I have been learning about how close we REALLY are to the 11th hour concerning environmental issues. Is it wrong to want to educate people in a non-obnoxious and factual way when a topic comes up naturally in a conversation? Also though, is it wrong of me to assume that people are willing to hear things from another perspective.

My life is going in a different direction now than it used to be. The language I use will change, the products I consume will be different, the ideas and topics that interest me may not be what you remember being interesting to me. I hope someday the stigma that wanting to be a more responsible human being (in whatever that means to you–spiritually, environmentally, politically) means that you think you are better than or think you a smarter than or righter than others will fade.


Part 1: “Do One Green Thing: Saving the Earth Through Simple, Everyday Choices” by Mindy Pennybacker

Official seal of the National Organic Program

Image via Wikipedia

“Do One Green Thing: Save the Earth Through Simple Everyday Choices”
by Mindy Pennybacker
copyright 2010
U.S. printed by: St. Martin’s Press

Her website:

This is my attempt at retrieving information from different sources and posting what I learn. I’m not, by any means, a pro at documentation….so don’t sue me, I’m trying!!

Food and Drink

–Bottled water is not always safer than tap water
–Bottled water is less regulated
–Social Justice: Companies that bottle water contribute almost no money to the local community in which they receive this water.
–You can use a carbon filter on your tap water or use one of the filtering systems like Brita, Pur, or Zero Water.
–On July 1st your water company is required to send a reprt of what contaminents are in your water that exceed EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) levels.
Or you can look up this information:

–Although they can filter out a lot of heavy metals, parasites, etc. carbon filters DO NOT remove bacteria.
–You can recycle your filters:
Preserve Products recycle Brita filters
You can mail filters to Brita and Zero Water for discounts

Water Bottles
–Stainless steel is your best bet or tempered glass
–Only re-use ones that are MEANT to be re-used.
–Safe: HDPE #2, LDPE #4, PP #5, Other #7
–Unsafe: PC #7 –> BPA
–DO NOT re-use: PET, PETE #1
–BPA can interfere with brain function and hormonal development
–Although you can’t re-use PET they are VERY recyclable.
–There are now Bioplastics made from corn or potato starch, but they are not recyclable.
–Filtered water bottles:
Aquamira w/ microbiolological filter
Fit and Fresh Liv Pure
Katadyn Micro WB
Water Geeks

–organic choices reduces exposure to pesticides
–choosing local preserves small farms and green space
–Because eating organic or local can be expensive, get the produce you eat the most as organic or local. Or you can get the organic version of produce with known high pesticides.

Toxic 13: known to use large amounts of pesticides
Apples, carrots, celery, cherries, grapes, kale, lettuce, nectarines, peach, pear, spinach, strawberries, bell peppers.

Tasty 13: known to use small amounts of pesticides
Asparagus, avocadoes, broccolli, cabbage, eggplant, mango, onion, pineapple, seet corn, sweet peas, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, watr melon

What does organic and local mean?

Organic: USDA Certified Organic
–must have 3 years of organic practices applied to the soil before you can be certified.
–40% higher levels of cancer-fighting anti-oxidants
–certifiably free of genetic engineering or modification

–within 100-200 miles of where it is sold
–ask farmer if pesticides used, sometimes they are organic but cannot afford the certification from the USDA

Good Green Labels:
Demeter Biodynamics
Fair Trade Certified (Transfair USA)
Food Alliance Certified
Integrated Pesticide Management (IPM)
Rainforest Alliance Certified
Salmon Safe
Transitional Organic: farmers using organic methods can use this label until certified
USDA Organic

–Best to eat what is in season because of the carbon footprint of greenhouses.
Find out what is in season in your state
Find Farmer’s Markets

Some definitions:
100% Organic – ALL organic
Organic – at least 95% organic ingredients
Made with Organic – at least 70% organic ingredients, may not have USDA logo.

Coffee, Tea, and Chocolate
Bird Friendly Coffee
“shade grown” and cultivated in a rainforest under a natural canopy. Leaf litter creates a natural fertilizer and these crops house more types of forest birds.
–Certified Organic
grown w/o synthetic pesticides using cover crops and other methods
–Fair Trade Certified
prices are higher than commodity market rate, IPM methods used
–Rainforst Alliance Certified
worker’s rights and welfare looked after, no child labor, at least 40% of the crops are grown in shade.

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8