storm preparations

It's the most wonderful time of the year.

Hurricane season starts Monday, which for all residents of southern Louisiana means it's time to let out a collective groan and start stocking up on emergency supplies.

This weekend is a Louisiana state tax-free weekend for all hurricane supplies, so of course I'll be out stocking up, so I'm not buying flashlights one day before a hurricane hits. But as with any scenario, I asked myself, how can I do this greener?

When buying flashlights, make sure to get ones with LED bulbs, which are brighter, more efficient and last forever. Lots of emergency flashlights and radios have hand cranks, which I will be keeping an eye out for. This way they either use less or no battery power, saving tons of chemicals from landfills. There's also the option of using candles for light, though I'm not sure scented soy candles officially count as hurricane supplies.

When buying canned food to store, go for the organic options. There's no need to be unhealthy in the event of a power outage - go for the organics! There's pretty much an organic alternative for any food you would need in the event of an emergency.

And the water. Cases of bottled water for $4. When storing water for an emergency, it's easy to just buy a ton of plastic bottles, even though it's terrible for the environment. If you really want bottled water, look for the companies that use less plastic in their packaging. Or you can buy larger containers, such as gallons of water and using your regular glasses to drink from. Or do like my family does and refill containers you already own with water and seal them to make sure nothing gets in (though we always end up with a case of bottles as well). It's also customary to fill the bathtub with water in case you need it for anything else. If you end up not needing that water, don't just pull the plug and let it drain - use that water in your garden! The plants won't mind (if they're still there after a storm!)

So if you live in Louisiana, make sure to get out this weekend and get your hurricane supplies, while still keeping the environment in mind. View FEMA's full supply checklist before you head out.

(And should you need to evacuate, look for a green hotel! And my posts come full-circle!)

green lodging

Since Memorial Day marks the official beginning to summer and since my family is en route to their summer vacation, I figure a hotel-centric post is appropriate.

More and more hotels are becoming eco-friendly, partly through a motivation to become a designated green lodging facility. My father told me the hotel they are staying in on the way to Disney World is one such certified green hotel. Through a search of green Florida hotels, I found a list from the Department of Environmental Protection of all the certified hotels in the state. 

What's great about this list is that it shows you don't have to spend a ton of money to be green on vacation. My family is staying in a Holiday Inn Express - an economical choice.

So while you plan your summer vacation, take into account where you can easily be more eco-friendly. Check out green hotels in your destination area and see if it's possible to make the better choice. 

make it green

Yahoo is having a contest right now where DIY green ideas are submitted and the best ideas could be featured on an episode of Everyday Edisons. Even if you don't have wear the inventor cap too well, the site features all of the submissions and ideas.


all you ladies

Warning: No boyz allowed! Squee! Go away so we can paint our nailz and prank call Timmy!

Some of the most annoying things women must buy are tampons (and other feminine items). They're a necessary evil for many reasons, but one large evil to take into consideration is how bad they are for the environment.

The components aren't safe for the environment, they use plastic and they aren't safe for us women. But what better options are there?

Seventh Generation has a great article about the damaging effects of tampons on the environment and also sells organic tampons. Their site has a store finder, but a search pulled up nothing within a ten mile radius of my zip code. Nevertheless, I will be on the lookout while I'm at health food stores. CVS' website also carries organic tampons, but they are listed as online only. 

This is honestly one green path I have yet to go down, so I can't say if organic tampons comparably do their job (or say if they're ridiculously more expensive than generic tampons), but after reading Seventh Generation's article, they are worth a shot. There has to be something that can do the job without putting toxic materials in girly places. It also makes me want to throw out the toxin-encased-in-plastic ones I have now. But that's still wasteful.

the plastic island

I wrote last week about what happens to plastic bags after we throw them away. Today I found another sobering article, about the plastic island floating in the Pacific Ocean that is now twice the size of Texas.
This is what happens when people are simply careless with trash. I’m sure the majority of this trash is even recyclable and could’ve saved us from using more resources. This is probably the most extreme form of littering, but it still comes down to not dumping that old fast food bag in the parking lot or leaving beer bottles all over the sidewalk after a night out.
It doesn’t a master’s degree to properly dispose of simple items, yet people still don’t care what happens with things when they are through with them. But what I feel is forgotten is that these items don’t just disappear once a person is through with them – they have to go somewhere. And the Pacific Ocean is the one suffering for it.
This has major implications for wildlife, besides just the environment. To the millions of marine animals in the ocean, their home is being taken over by our leftovers. And the trash is making its way into the food chain, killing animals and harming even us. The longer this goes on, the more we’ll end up eating plastic toxins.
When I was younger, I remember being taught to cut the six-pack rings because they can easily strangle animals like turtles and birds. I always threw them away, but made sure to cut them first. You just never know where they’ll end up.
It’s a long but incredibly riveting article. Please take the time to read it. It’s just further evidence in the argument of reducing the materials you use and throw away. The less we use, the less there’s a chance of it being discarded and polluting the earth.

feliz cinco de mayo!

How about an organic margarita tonight?

I will now be on the hunt for 4 Copas organic tequila. You know, for all those times I drink tequila.

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