Monday, March 22, 2010

It's World Water Day!!

Water is one of the aspects of our planet that I am most passionate about and since it's World Water Day, I just had to write something.  We all know that the Earth is composed of about 70% water, but did you know that only about 1% of it is available as freshwater for our use?  Unfortunately, nearly 1 billion people lack access to healthy water, yet we still waste water and damage our freshwater sources with pollutants.  Demand for water is increasing significantly with continued population growth, so now is the time to take action to protect our water sources.  Visit The Nature Conservancy  and World Water to find out more about World Water Day and what you can do to help. 

Here are some basic things you can do (in case you don't make it to the websites):  Install low-flow shower heads and aerators;  always turn off the water while brushing teeth (make sure the kiddies do too); and take showers instead of baths (quick ones!)  We have done all of the above, but DH's shower times are still an issue -  I'm working on it though!  We have also filled large juice bottles (like Ocean Spray jugs) with water and put them in the toilet tanks to reduce how much water we use to flush.  I'm also hoping that this summer we will be able to get a rain barrel to water our lawn instead of using public water.  If you are planning to landscape your yard, please choose plants that are native to your region and that consume less water to stay healthy.  Also, please be mindful of what you use on your lawn.  Those chemical fertilizers and herbicides that make suburban lawns so lush and green can be very toxic.  The residues can run off into streams and rivers or seep into soil and pollute the underlying groundwater.    These contaminants also reduce oxygen levels which can kill fish and other wildlife, accumulate in the tissue of the fish we catch and eat from the lakes and reduce the beauty of the water. 

So, lets make some small changes so that EVERYONE can have access to safe, clean water.  Happy World Water Day!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Reduced, Reused, Recycled into....a Dollhouse!

Some months back, I made some bendy dolls for my daughter out of chenille sticks (above) and wooden beads,  but they didn't have a place to live. So, for Christmas, dh and I bought her a really cute modular dollhouse.  She loved it! Well, she also started playing with and receiving Barbies, which made me remember how much I loved them when I was a kid (way before I got all irked about their unrealistic size).  All that aside, Barbies can be cool, in my opinion.  So, before I knew it, she had 5 dolls - 3 that were gifts (including Grace), and 2 that I got from the thrift store and gave makeovers to.  I then decided that I wanted a few "collectables" for myself, so I have 2, for a total of 7 dolls who needed a home.  Since we had just bought the modular dollhouse and weren't planning on spending anymore money, I decided to use some empty boxes to make a dollhouse. Well, I must say, IT IS SO COOL!  Check out the pictures:

Just about everything in this dollhouse is made from things I found around my house outside of the kitchen "wallpaper", which is scrapbooking paper bought at .59 a sheet and the rocking chairs, which I found for .25 a piece (there is one in the picture - the other is being painted), and the mirrors which my girl SB (who helped me with my hair) bought from the dollar store.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Blood, Sweat and Takeaways...

This is a show that comes on Planet Green, and I must say, it is a great show.  Read more about it here. It really, really makes one think about how all the food that we consume gets on our plates.  It's based in the UK, but the same premise can apply in the US - do we aimlessly consume food without thinking about what sacrifices are made to get it to us?  I have made a commitment to make healthier food choices (I don't really eat a lot of junk anyway, but sweets are my downfall), but now, since watching the show, I want to gain a better understanding of the human costs of the food I buy.  Buying more fair trade items is my preferred way of doing this, but is there more that I can do? That we all can do?

Some food for thought - many of the workers that supply some of our food survive on less than $7 per day, most others, even less than that.

P.S. There is a follow up to this/sister show called Blood, Sweat and T-Shirts. Same premise, but applied to clothing!