earth day festival

I missed it last year due to a freak eye infection, but this year I made sure I attended the Earth Day Festival at Vermilionville. It was this past Sunday and it was a nice little afternoon. I hadn't been to Vermilionville since, oh, the last time my class took a field trip there. Probably 4th or 5th grade.

Anyway, there were tables set up for different aspects of the green lifestyle throughout the village. I got a cloth bag, plenty of brochures, and talked to some great people. Finally, not talking to myself about being eco-friendly!

I've got some ideas about where I want to go next in my environmental quest and I'm ready to put them into action!

Until then, enjoy the 40th Earth Day and some photos from the festival this past weekend.

The lovely and brown Vermilion River.
Green Living section of the festival.

The sweet little ferry ride across the bayou. Completely eco-friendly, as it involves pulling yourself by rope to the other side.

Solar display. I'm fascinated.

Green living tables.

Where the sidewalk ends.




Today, April 15, Starbucks is giving away a free brewed cup of coffee to anyone who brings in their reusable mug.

Visit their site and make the pledge to help make a difference.

And I learned that you can bring your reusable mug in anytime and get 10 cents off any coffee order.


As I occasionally shop for cold medicines, one thing always comes to mind. Why, exactly, does every single liquid medicine come with a dosage cup? In the first place, there should at least be a universal dosage measuring system so you could use one cup for any medicine. And for the argument that you either lose the cups or you need more than one, I feel like you should just be able to buy replacement dosage cups as necessary. If people just throw them away when the medicine is over, then medicines need to carry “Please recycle this dosage cup” labeled on it.

I live on my own and I’m on bottle 2 of my nighttime cold medicine and bottle 3 or 4 of my sore throat medicine. And in my bathroom cabinet is 5 dosage cups. I am but one person. What am I going to do with 5 dosage cups? Line up shots and call it a party? As much fun as that sounds, I do have to go to work in the morning.

Why can’t medicines not come with a dosage cup by default and replacements be sold separately? That way, they would be used more on an as-needed basis and lots of plastic could be used for something else. Is there an actual, concrete reason every bottle of cold medicine comes with its own dosage cup, or is it just a standard practice?

what i've learned

I feel like I'm writing a final thesis on my six weeks of vegetarian research. Easter was today and my official stint as a vegetarian has come to an end. I will, however, be continuing my meatless diet, because I enjoyed the time and the new recipes and missed eating meat less than I thought I would.

I've thought about it many times over the past six weeks, why I wanted to go vegetarian. I'm not discounting animal cruelty and welfare, but it wasn't the main reason. It was a lot of thinking how I rarely cooked with meat in the first place and I always strive to eat healthy, so eliminating meat was a logical idea. What I found was that I cut out trips to fast food places and ate healthier at restaurants. But I also found I ate at restaurants less and opted to eat at home. My grocery trips were much more fun when looking for organic, vegetarian options. I made (almost) vegan lasagna last week and it came out delicious. Tofu, organic spinach, organic lasagna noodles, organic tomato sauce. The only thing I cheated on was using regular mozzarella cheese instead of a vegan substitute, because I just couldn't find an acceptable substitute.

I learned more about alternative ways to get protein, and have eaten even more hummus than usual. I also ate chickpeas with more of my meals, and have shelled edamame in my freezer. I limited the amount of fish and seafood I ate, but didn't give it up completely. (I can quit burgers much more easily than I can quit sushi - even though I have conducted a mini survey of the veggie rolls in town. It was very tasty research.)

Through my research, I found two great magazines, VegNews and Vegetarian Times. I also came across a book of veggie burger recipes, even though I've yet to go through it. I suppose the piece de resistance is my viewing of Food, Inc. tonight. I know that'll throw a lot of new thoughts into the mix.

The biggest thing right now that sticks in my mind about the animal industry is the sheer amount of grain and energy it takes to raise these animals (cruelly) for the sole purpose of making meat to sell. All this food going to the animals, all the water it requires to make that food and give to the animals, plus the energy it takes to run the factories - it uses more resources than we even have. If more Americans switched to a plant-based diet, world hunger would decrease dramatically. Basically, we are taking all this grain and giving it to the animals we're going to kill and eat ourselves. Instead of giving the grain to humans who have nothing. Plant-based diets are simply more sustainable for the planet and its inhabitants.

Now, if I may get back to my Sunday night cinematic feature...
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