I had some shopping to do this past weekend, and since I vow never to step foot in Wal-Mart again, I made my way to Target. I mostly needed medicine and food, but I can never keep myself from walking around the entire store.

Halfway through my trip, I looked down in my cart and realized I had Method plant-based laundry detergent, LED Christmas lights (already planning for the tree!), solar-powered LED lights (for the patio) and organic cotton pillowcases (which I thought were bamboo until just now. Sorry cotton, but bamboo is way softer.)

So if I didn't know I was dedicated before, my shopping cart proved it. I also went on to buy organic green beans for the casserole I am making tomorrow night.

It's not easy finding all green products at a big box store, but Target is getting there slowly. I would've felt more successful if they'd had the casserole dish and medicine I needed, but I was still happy to get all my green items. I think the casserole dish situation worked out for the best since I got one for free from my parents. Keeping the circle of kitchenware life going and saving myself money (that I'll cough, spend in Houston this weekend.)
I've been using the Method detergent for about six months now and I think it's great. I can't vouch for how well the solar LED lights work, but I can't wait to try them out. The instructions said to point the panel south to get the maximum sunlight, which poses a problem here in my northwest-facing apartment. I don't think the sun hits my patio until around 3, leaving just a few hours of sunlight come winter.

link roundup

I suppose I should really pick an actual day of the week to have a link roundup. So I'll decide now. Every Friday I'll compile a list of links I've found throughout the week that I have an interest in.

The New York Times has a piece on ToughStuff, a company determined to bring low-cost solar panels to the impoverished in Africa. I'm a fan of companies dedicated to helping developing countries (see: TOMS Shoes) and this is something so many people need.  
ToughStuff introduced its panels in Madagascar earlier this year, and villagers are using the devices to light small rooms, power radios and charge mobile phones. Previously, Mr. Sowden said, “most people would either steal power, or walk 10 miles each way to the nearest town for power.”

This is an older link, but it's a list of 10 simple ways to reduce household waste. I'm a practicer of most of these (still haven't begun composting though), but it's something you can always stand to read. I wish more mainstream stores had a bulk option though. It's just not something common in my area. However, I have very little waste that actually goes in the trash can. I end up emptying my recycling bin more often.

How Green is My Town is a project that's focused on studying the problems cities have and finding solutions to create greener places.

Dow Chemical has created and released a lightweight solar shingle that works with asphalt shingles. Dow claims their solar shingles can offset between 40% and 80% of a home's electricity consumption. They also claim that regular roofers can install them, instead of a dedicated solar installation crew. However, an electrician is still needed to hook all of the shingles into the inverter and home electrical system. I'm very interested in seeing if these shingles take off. They keep the conventional look of a roof while being very innovative.

Planet Green posted a five-minute guide to the Senate Climate Bill that was passed two weeks ago. It explains the positive and negative aspects and compares it to the House's Bill.

The New Republic has a piece looking at why many companies are resigning from the US Chamber of Commerce board over their stance on global warming.

Need to order office supplies for yourself or your company? Check out The Green Office!

This is something I want to dedicate a post to. I've heard about this sustainable home near Opelousas, Louisiana, before, and I'd love to check it out to see all the green elements that work together to make this home absolutely sustainable.

Organic food has become more popular as of late, but the same principles should be applied when looking for makeup. The Daily Green has a list of toxic ingredients that many cosmetics contain. Make sure to find makeup that doesn't contain them and you can feel gorgeous, natural and safe!

wonder cork

The New York Times Green blog has a post today on the new partnership between ReCork and SOLE, an American wine cork recycling company and Canadian footwear company, respectively. ReCork will supply SOLE with corks and in turn receive national marketing exposure.

Shoes consisting partly of cork is a great reuse and goes beyond the standard "make a bulletin board from cork" idea. 

team beausoleil coverage

Treehugger has an entry on Team BeauSoleil in Washington DC praising the house for being green while exemplifying Louisiana culture and being tough enough to survive hurricane-force winds. Some good press from a major force in the green world is definitely a good thing for our team!
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