Cascadian Farm Organic Goodness

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GARDEN TIPS TO GREEN FAMILY ACTIVITIES.

Cascadian Farm Celebrates Earth Day with Blog Carnival

 

Recycling is a simple way for consumers to help the environment by taking a product that has reached the end of its useful life and transforming it into another product. Recycling helps to preserve valuable resources, and is essential for the health of our environment and communities.

Many of you are probably already utilizing curbside recycling bins for household paper, glass, aluminum, and plastic recycling. However, recycling goes well beyond the curb—there are recycling services available for an array of other common household products, from electronics and prescriptions to automotive parts and hazardous waste.

Read on to learn how to find recycling facilities in your area for products that you aren't sure how to dispose of properly.

 

1. Electronics: Electronic waste, or e-waste, is a huge problem for our environment, because if it isn't disposed of properly it can be hazardous. You can find an e-cycling center in your local area at E-cycling Central, which offers a huge array of electronic recycling services.

2. Rechargeable Batteries and Cell Phones: Although rechargeable batteries and cell phones do last quite some time due to their recharging abilities, they will eventually no longer work or become obsolete. Call2Recycle offers the only free rechargeable battery and cell phone collection program in North America. You can find a drop-off location in your areahere.

3. Hazardous Materials: Have you wondered how you should recycle that leftover paint from your kitchen remodel, or those toxic household cleaners? Earth 911 offers a database that allows you to find recycling centers in your area that can dispose of hazardous material properly.

4. Automotive Parts: If you have an automobile that is inoperable, or are wondering what to do with used auto parts that you no longer need, contact the Automotive Recycling Association (ARA). The ARA offers automotive recycling to help conserve the future. You can find an ARA recycler in your area here

5. Plastic Bags: The best option when it comes to plastic bags is to refuse them. However, if you have some that you are looking to recycle, PlasticBagRecycling.org can help. PlasticBagRecycling.org recycles the plastic bags into composite lumber and “new” plastic items. You can find a drop-off location in your area here.

What items do you need to recycle?

Photo Credits: “Trash Recycling with Disposable Containers” by epSos.de”7th Street e-Waste” by greenbk“Beautiful Junk” by Rainy City.

 

Hi friends! This past Saturday, we held our Change Flows cleanup of the DuPage River in Illinois, and it was a huge success. Hundreds of volunteers of all ages and backgrounds showed up to lend a helping hand. The volunteers spent three hours on a Saturday morning pulling all sorts of junk out of the DuPage River and its tributaries.

The volunteers were armed with Cascadian Farm T-shirts, trash bags, gloves, garbage pokers, water, and our Cascadian Farm granola bars to keep them going.

Change Flows

When this river was cleaned in previous years, it wasn’t unusual for volunteers to collect as much as 11 tons of debris. Now, that number has dropped to about seven tons. Part of the decline can probably be traced to a greater public awareness of our environment, but persistent cleaning also keeps junk from piling up.

Change Flows

It was amazing to see all the debris that was pulled out of the river. We found a grocery cart, a playhouse door, coils, and even a public hand-washing sink. Everyone left with a real sense of accomplishment seeing all the debris that was cleaned up. It’s truly remarkable what people can accomplish when they come together with a common goal.

Chang Flows

Change Flows  

Brett Adams, the Pioneer Park Cleanup Coordinator, had this to say:

“This is such a great project for people of all ages! We have a mix of middle schoolers, high schoolers, and adults, and they all have fun and get something out of it. It’s amazing the types of items we found, and it’s awesome to see the difference you can make in just a few hours.”

Change Flows

Andrew Fahlund, Senior Vice President of Conservation for American Rivers, said:

“With the help of Cascadian Farm, we were able to raise awareness of the issues facing our rivers, and help people learn how important they are to a healthy community. Simple steps like participating in a local river cleanup can help our waterways thrive for generations to come.”

Thanks again to everyone for your support. We couldn’t have made this big of an impact without you! In the next month, we will have more details on how much debris was actually taken out of the river. Stay tuned…

It’s always nice to freshen up your home right in time for summer. However, buying new things to brighten up your home isn't exactly eco-friendly. You can spruce up your home with very little impact on the environment and without breaking the bank. You have heard of the three Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle); read on to learn my seven Rs for freshening up your home. Then lay back, relax, and enjoy the summer to come in your “new” space.

1. Rearrange: By simply rearranging your current furniture, you can get a whole new look without buying anything new. Consider moving pieces of furniture, accessories, and even pillows and artwork from one room to another.

2. Re-cover: Do you have a sofa or chair that has seen better days, but still has great bones? Consider re-covering it with a slipcover, or have the piece reupholstered. It is much more eco-friendly to reupholster a piece of existing furniture than purchasing new. For a quick update without the larger price tag, consider swapping out your existing living room pillows with brighter, fresher ones for an instant makeover.

3. Reorganize: The quickest and simplest way to freshen your home is by reorganizing and de-cluttering. By simply recycling old paperwork, and tidying up closets, cupboards, and dressers, you can clean up a space in a snap. Take this time to go through your closets and decide on items to sell or donate. Then, take a few minutes to walk through your home, removing any objects that are simply collecting dust.

4. Revamp: It’s amazing what a new coat of no-VOC, eco-friendly paint can do to a room. Painting is the fastest way to give a room a new look and instantly freshen up your home. Paint can give an added pop of color to older pieces of furniture, giving them new life. Another option is to replace doorknobs and the existing hardware on cabinets and dressers, which will give furniture a quick, modern makeover.

5. Refresh: Give your bathrooms a quick makeover by switching out your regular towels with plusher, softer, eco-friendly versions. New linens add a newness to your bedroom and make you feel pampered every time you use them. Another way to refresh your home is by adding several potted plants and scented soy candles.

6. Repurpose: If you have a dresser that isn't being used, consider repurposing it as a buffet in your dining room or use it as kitchen island. An armoire can be easily converted to a toy closet or gift-wrapping station. And a small table that isn't being utilized can be used as a desk in a child’s room or a plant-potting station on the patio.

7. Reconsider: Above all else, the next time you consider purchasing a new piece of furniture, appliance, or accessory for your home, ask yourself these questions: Is this item something that I really need? Do I already own something that could be used instead? Is this item something that I could borrow from a friend or rent from my local hardware store? By simply asking yourself a few questions, you can save yourself a lot of money and save the environment at the same time.

How do you freshen your home for summer?

 

Photo credits: Repurpose photo via NolaClutterBusters, Refresh photo via sfllaw

Recycling is a simple way for consumers to help the environment by taking a product that has reached the end of it’s useful life and transforming it into another product. Recycling helps to preserve valuable resources and is essential for the health of our environment and communities. Many of you probably are already utilizing curbside recycling bins for household paper, glass, aluminum and plastic recycling. However, recycling goes well beyond the curb -- there are recycling services available for an array of other common household products from electronics to prescriptions to automotive parts to hazardous waste. Read on to learn how to find recycling facilities in your area for products that have reached their end of life.

 

Editor’s Note: Our Change Flows initiative may have come to a close, but here at Cascadian Farm we aim to make Earth Day every day. Here is some great information about how you can set up a river cleanup in your area!

Every year, huge quantities of trash find their way into our rivers. This garbage takes away from the natural beauty of the river and pollutes the water, wildlife, nature, and communities that it sustains. America's rivers provide our drinking water, fish and wildlife habitat, and recreation areas—making the health of our rivers everyone's priority. Clean rivers supply a healthy, vital source of water that is essential for a thriving community and environment.

You can make a difference in the health of our rivers by helping to restore a river in your local area, either through participation or organization of a river cleanup. In just a few hours of your time, tons of trash can be removed from our rivers. You can find a national river cleanup to participate in through American Rivers here. You can also learn more about organizing your own local river cleanup by watching this fantastic video from American Rivers. It gives you an outline of all the steps you need to take to make your river cleanup a success.

 

 

Sources:
American Rivers: www.americanrivers.org
Howcast: http://www.howcast.com/videos/265972-How-To-Organize-a-River-Cleanup

Photo Source: 
“MN- Mason Neck River Cleanup” by vastateparkstaff

During April, we're focusing on our Change Flows initiative in partnership with American Rivers. We know that millions of people will be thinking about the environment on Earth Day (April 22), but we hope you'll join us in making every day Earth Day—support our river-cleanup initiative by "Liking" your region on our interactive map. The region with the most “likes” will receive a river cleanup sponsored by Cascadian Farm.

We would also like to share some tips to help you conserve and protect water within your home. If you have any tips you’d like to share, we’d love to hear them. Leave them in the comment box below.

Follow these 10 simple tips to help make a difference:

  1. Did you know that it can take approximately three liters of water to produce one liter of bottled water? Consider drinking tap water.2
  2. Collect the water you use for rinsing fruits and vegetables, then reuse it to water houseplants.
  3. A full bathtub can require up to 70 gallons of water, while taking a five-minute shower uses only 10 to 25 gallons.3
  4. Use mulch wherever possible to keep moisture from leaving the soil and to minimize weed growth.
  5. A leaky toilet can waste about 200 gallons of water every day. To tell if your toilet has a leak, place a drop of food coloring in the tank; if the color shows in the bowl without flushing, you have a leak.4
  6. Wash your hands with a soap that is made from natural ingredients so that you aren’t transferring those chemicals down your drain and onto the food you prepare.5
  7. Baking soda, vinegar, and boiling water make a good alternative to store-bought drain cleaners.6
  8. During winter months, use as little salt and other de-icing materials as possible on your driveway and sidewalks. 7
  9. Some regular laundry detergents contain phosphates, inorganic chemicals that damage nearby lakes and rivers. Consider using a biodegradable powdered detergent. 8
  10. Leave your grass clippings on the lawn. They provide your grass with all the natural nutrients it needs. 9

 

Sources:

American Rivers www.americanrivers.org 1 ; Pacific Institute http://www.pacinst.org/ 2 ; WaterSense – An EPA Partnership Program epa.gov/watersense/pubs3,4 ; http://www.seventhgeneration.com/learn/guides/guide-creating-healthy-home 5 ; http://www.seventhgeneration.com/natural-alternative-drano 6 ; http://www.cheltenhamtownship.org/stormwater/solution%20to%20pollution06.pdf 7 ; http://video.about.com/greenliving/Go-Green-With-Your-Laundry.htm 8 ; http://watoxics.org/healthy-living/healthy-homes-gardens-1/factsheets/cleanwater 9

 

Photo by fox_kiyo

Going green at home can mean many different things. This month, I wanted to focus on the parts of everyday living that most families have to deal with on a regular basis. There are green alternatives to paying your bills, keeping a schedule and getting projects done around the house. Read on to learn how you can rent power tools and 8 other ways to green your home lifestyle.

1. Schedule It: For busy families, I recommend placing a reusable dry erase calender in the family room or kitchen. This is a simple way for each member of the family to update their schedule into the family calender. The best part, you can simply wipe the calender clean for the next month. Just remember to choose Eco-friendly and refillable dry erase markers such as AusPen.

2. Pay It: Set all of your bills up on e-reminder through your online banking system. Then, choose to only receive all other bills via e-mail. This simple task eliminates all paper bills from being delivered to your home. All you need to do is log in and schedule your bills to be paid on time.

3. Stop It: Did you know that 44% of junk mail and catalogs that we receive is simply tossed into the trash or recycling bin without a second glance. With more than 100,000,000,000 pieces of junk mail being received by Americans each year alone, equally more than 100 million trees, removing junk mail from our lives is absolutely necessary. You can stop the junk mail by signing up for a service like 41pounds.org. You can also sign up to stop the delivery of the Yellow Pages phone books here.

4. Reuse It: If you are like me, your to do list grows and grows each day. Instead of writing down your daily agenda on sticky notes or a paper pad, consider using a reusable dry erase board or list on your smart phone. You can add to and remove tasks on your daily list, without using a single piece of paper.

5. Book It: The next time that you craving a good book to snuggle up on the sofa with, consider getting it used. You can find a fantastic selection of gently used books at your local thrift stores or yard sales. Some libraries also have a section where you can purchase gently used books for huge discounts. Another great option is to swap a book that you have already read with a book that you have been dying to read. My favorite online book swapping service is PaperBack Swap.

6. Rent It: There are so many items that we purchase that we could share with other people. For instance, instead of buying a new lawnmower or wheelbarrow, consider borrowing one from a family member or friend. You can also rent common household items such as a kitchen mixer, shovel, camping gear or power tools on Rentalic.

7. Think About It: The next time that you consider printing an email or online recipe, consider whether it is necessary. Instead of printing the recipe, simply take your notebook computer into the kitchen while you cook. Instead of printing an email, jot down the important details on your reusable dry erase board or smart phone.

8. Consider It: Basically, if you don't need, don't buy it. You will be surprised how many purchases are made each year that are unnecessary. There are so many things in our home that can do double duty, you just have to get creative. Take a look around your space and see if there are items that you aren't utilizing that you could.

9. Spread It: One of the best ways to be Eco-friendly is by spreading the word. The more that you share the information that you know, the better. Many people are not aware that for almost every action that we take, there is a green alternative. Sharing your ideas can help to secure a bright future for all of us.

How do you green your everyday lifestyle?

Photo Credits: shutterspower tools, keyboard, list, reusable bag

A greener workplace equals a smaller carbon footprint and is also good for the employees who work there and can save the business money too. From how you get to work, to the choices that you make while putting in your 40 hours, your decisions can have a significant impact on the environment. There are simple ways that you can green your office whether you telecommute or work outside of the home, here are my top 8 ways to get you started.

File:Sydney Public Transportation.JPG

1. Getting There: How you get to work is a significant portion of your daily carbon footprint. The best options include; telecommuting, walking or biking. Other Eco friendly options include taking public transportation and carpooling. The bottom line is the less time spent driving to work - the less impact on the environment.

File:Samsung Printer.jpg

2. Printer Perfect: If you don't absolutely need to print a document, then don't. If there is no way around printing, make the best printing choices. When choosing a printer, pick an all-in-one model, one that prints, faxes and scans. These models use up to 50% less energy than having a separate machine for each function. Choose 100% post consumer paper, soy based inks and when possible print on both sides of the paper.

3. Green the Kitchen: If your office has a kitchen, consider bringing your own dishes to use for your meals including a stainless steel water bottle and reusable coffee mug. If your office doesn't have a kitchen space, bring your lunch in a reusable lunchbox. This will keep you from raiding the vending machine or picking up fast food - both of which come in wasteful packaging and are hard on your budget too.

4. Get Reusable: Whenever possible, choose office supplies that are reusable or refillable. This includes: dry erase boards that can be used over and over again for everything from agendas to calendars - to refillable ink and pen cartridges. Refilling an item will always be more Eco friendly than buying a new item each time you need one.

           

5. Green Clean It: Request that the office be cleaned using only green cleaners to protect the Earth. The business can save money by making their own cleaners or buying green cleaners in bulk. And considering that you are unable to open the windows in most office buildings - using green cleaners keeps the inside air free from toxic cleaning chemicals - which is always better for your health.

File:NEA recycling bins, Orchard Road.JPG

6. Make a Recycling Center: If your business doesn't already recycle, consider setting up a recycling center where employees can easily recycle paper, plastics, ink cartridges, bottles, cardboard and cans when necessary.

7. Power Down and Turn Off the Lights: By powering down equipment when it isn't being used, a business can save up to 25% energy. If you also power down all of the equipment at the end of the work day, you can save up to an additional 50% energy. And remember to turn off the lights on your way out the door.

8. Spread the Word: Show your excitement and get others involved with greening your office. The choices that you make as a whole can have a huge impact on the environment. Start talking about the changes that you would like to see and you will be surprised to find that there are many other people out there that care just as much about the environment and their health as you do.

How do you green your office?
How have you encouraged others in your office to get involved?

Photo Credits: Office, Public Transit, Printer, Kitchen, Reusables, Green Cleaners, Recycling, Light switch, Shout

Winter is one of the times of year that you can really see an increase in your utility bills. This is especially true, if you live in a climate where everything is cold and icy outside. There are simple, Eco-friendly ways that you can save money on your utility bills. Here are my top 8 tips to get you started.

1. Get with the Program: The simple act of installing a programmable thermostat will pay for itself twice over within the first year. For every degree that you reduce the temperature on your thermostat, you will save 5% on your seasonal heating bill. A programmable thermostat will also assist you in remembering to turn down the heat when you are away at work or asleep at night.

2. Go Low Flow: You can save 25% to 60% more water and 50% more energy by switching to low flow shower heads. And don't fret, the new low flow shower heads have just as much power and water pressure as the older conventional ones. They are affordable too, ranging from $10 to $20 each.

3. Seal it Up: By weather stripping only the front and back doors of your home, you can save over $30 a year in heating costs. Now, just think how much more you can save if you insulate your attic, garage, basement doors, windows and outlets.

4. It's Laundry Day: Did you know that washing your clothing in cold water, not only gets them just as clean as washing them in hot - it is also better on your clothing, making them last longer? Plus, when you wash all of your laundry in only cold water, you save over 50% more energy. To make even a larger impact, only wash loads that are full.

          

5. Flip the Power Strip Switch: Plugging your energy vampire gadgets and appliances into a power stripe is a great way to save money and the environment. A good rule of thumb to remember is that if your gadget or appliance has a clock or remote, it will continue to consume energy even when it is turned off. In fact, 40% of the total energy is consumed when they are turned off. An affordable power stripe is the answer, when you aren't using these gadgets and appliances, just flip the switch off.

     File:Energy-star-logo-big-image.jpg

6. Wish on an Energy Star: When your refrigerator, washer or dryer finally gives out - replace it with an energy star appliance. Depending on the age and repair of your current conventional appliances, energy star appliances can save you up to 80% more energy each year and a lot of money too!

7. A Bright Idea: The next time a light bulb burns out, replace it with a CFL. CFL's may cost a little more upfront but the amount of money and energy that you save overall really outweighs the upfront cost. Each CFL bulb last ten times longer than a conventional light bulb and will save you around $60 per bulb over its lifetime.

8. Put a Jacket on it: If your water heater isn't insulated or was purchased prior to 2004, consider wrapping an insulating jacket around it. You will save 10% on your water heating bill each year.

How do you save money on your utility bills?
How do you lessen your impact on the environment when it comes to your utilities?

Photo Credits: Home, Thermostat, Shower Head, Weather Stripping, Laundry, Power Strip, Energy Star, CFL, Water Heater,

Editor's Note: At Cascadian Farm, we believe that there shouldn’t just be one day devoted to Earth Day, there should be 365 days. That’s why this year, we’re helping you live more sustainably every day by giving you tips and advice on how to do just that. If we all make a conscious effort to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle everyday, we will be helping to protect the planet for many generations to come. Below, Jennie Lyon from MySweetGreens.com gives us ten tips to get your New Year started a little greener. Over the next year, we will have more tips and advice on how to live greener, so keep a look out for those in upcoming e-newsletters.

1. Go Local: One of the best ways to live a sustainable lifestyle is by going local. Finding and supporting local resources is also great for your community. Research and find local farms to support while purchasing local food. Local artisans are the perfect resource for the purchasing of home goods, personal care products, clothing, jewelry and gifts. Going local can also include utilizing public transportation, frequenting thrift shops and tag sales and vacationing in your local area. The key is to try to stay within 200 miles of your home.

2. Find a Green Energy Supplier: Switching to a green energy provider may be one of the largest impacts that you can have on the environment. Most areas have a green energy program that you can enroll in. You pay a small premium on top of your normal energy bill each month, which puts green energy on the grid. You can find Green Power providers in the U.S. here and Green Power Providers in Canada here.

3. Conserve Water: Consider taking shorter showers and choose an Eco friendly shower head. Remember to turn off the sprinklers when it is raining outside and turn the water off while brushing your teeth. If you can, reuse rainwater or gray water to care for your yard, flush your toilets or wash your car. You can also help to save water by only washing full load of dishes and laundry.

4. Eat Less Meat: You don't have to become a vegetarian or vegan to make a huge impact on the environment. You can reduce your carbon footprint by simple making more of your meals meatless. Whether you decide to cut out meat during the weekdays or become a member of the meatless Monday club - less meat equals less emissions and pollution.

5. Refuse, Refuse, Refuse: Think of how many purchases we make, simply because we can. If you ask yourself the simple question, "Do I need this item?" before every purchase, you can reduce the impact on the environment and your finances. Also, there are many other venues to consider when you do need to make a purchase, including; thrift shops, garage sales, free-cycle or even borrowing items from a friend or family member.

6. Alternative Modes of Transportation: When choosing how you get around, consider other modes of transportation besides your car. If you are traveling to school or work, can you carpool, walk, bike or catch the bus, train or subway? Can your children walk or bike to school? If you have to get out to run errands, consider grouping all of your errands into one trip, this will save you time, money and the environment will thank you too.

7. Conserve Energy: When you leave a room, flip off the light. When you aren't using your electronics, power them down and turn off the power-strip. Choose a programmable thermostat and unplug electrical items that you don't use. If you have to change a light bulb choose a CFL. If you don't have to drive your car, ride your bicycle. Think twice before you purchase a new item and again when you think of throwing something away. All of these small things can save a good amount of co2 and money.

           

8. Recycle, Reduce, Reuse: Consider adhering to the three R's as often as possible. Reduce your consumption of products, resources, energy and water. Recycle and reuse anything that you are able to. If you no longer have use for a particular item that can be used again, consider selling or donating it before tossing it in the trash.

                      

9. Choose Quality Items: When you do need to make a new purchase consider quality over quantity. Choose items that are built well, are energy efficient (if it is an appliance or vehicle) and that will last a long period of time. Refuse to purchase anything that is disposable or is only good for a one time use. For items that you have to dispose of including toothbrushes and razors, choose Eco friendly versions including toothbrushes and razors where you only replace the head. Also, look for products that come in minimal, recyclable packaging.

                                 

10. Buy Local Organic: When possible, choose local, organic goods. Especially when it comes to meat, poultry, dairy, fruit, vegetables and personal care products. If there isn't a local organic version available, consider the local product first. Purchasing foods or clothing that have been shipped across the world isn't as Eco friendly as buying an item that is local.

What ways do you plan to live more sustainably in 2011?

Photo Credits: Local, Green Energy, Conserve Water, Eat Less Meat, Refuse, Transportation, Conserve Energy3 R's, Quality, Organic

My recent post about composting got me wondering how much of the trash in landfills is comprised of food waste. Well, according to the Department of Agriculture, it’s approximately 100 billion pounds every year. The average household alone ends up throwing out 14 percent of their food purchases. It’s pretty shocking. Many people assume that food waste is not a big deal because it is biodegradable, but a single carrot can take up to 40 years to fully break down. An even bigger issue is the methane (a greenhouse gas) that is released from rotting food. Our households are not the only source of food waste; it comes from farms, supermarkets, restaurants – check out this interesting article in the Wall Street Journal about of the cycle of food waste. However, there are some easy things we can all do to reduce the amount of food that we personally throw away. Since the life of most of your food usually begins and ends in the refrigerator, it’s important to take a closer look at our kitchen’s most used appliance.

  • Check the temperature settings. Food should be refrigerated at 39 degrees, frozen at zero; warmer than that will encourage your food to go bad sooner.
  • Keep it neat and organized! A messy fridge makes it difficult to see what you have and easy to over look leftovers. Store them and very perishable items at eye level in clear containers so you see them at first glance. Try to always keep condiments and sauces in the same location so you don’t end up with multiple, half empty bottles.
  • Freeze large quantities in single servings in freezer safe bags or containers and label them with the date and contents. If you really love organization, you can print these pretty labels from Martha Stewart on adhesive back paper. Since most recipes only call for a small amount of stock or broth at a time, freezing the leftover portion in ice cubes trays (then transferring to freezer bags) is a great way to avoid waste and save money – organic, free range chicken stock is not cheap!

 

Try those easy tips to reduce the amount of food wasted in your home. And I challenge you to be conscious of all the food you throw out this week. Keep track of which veggies are going bad in the crisper and what goes stale in pantry. Chances are, buying smaller quantities and shopping more often will make a big difference.

 

Photo by petrr

Dear Friends,

Earth Day is a month away (April 22nd), and we are really excited to share what we have planned! We believe that promoting and furthering organic farming is one of the most important ways that we can save this planet, and we are asking for your help.

We're asking you to make a pledge on facebook to follow a few eco-friendly tips (you can choose from one of 8 different pledges). Cascadian Farm will donate $1 to the Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) for each pledge (up to a maximum donation of $40,000 with a minimum donation of $20,000). OFRF is committed to helping to promote organic farming growth.

This year is the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, and our goal is to donate $40,000 - which means we need 40,000 people to step up and pledge. This is a lofty goal, but we've been overwhelmed by your support on Facebook, and we believe we can do this with your help.

You'll hear us talk more about this as we get closer to Earth Day, but we hope you will take just a minute to make a pledge, and invite your friends today! [image invite your friends]

Thank You,

-Cascadian Farm

Do you want to save gas, money and the environment when using your automobile? You don't have a drive a hybrid to be more Earth Friendly. There are several simple green steps that you can take to green your current automobile.  For instance, have you considered only having one automobile? My family is a one car family and has been so for almost 9 years.  Since, most of the work that I do, can be from home and my husband's work is only a few miles away, we are able to live quite happily with one car. At first it did seem a huge inconvenience but I soon found a lot of enjoyment out of walking, biking and busing my way around town. Also not having a car payment didn't hurt either and since our car has been paid off for several years, it has freed up alot of funs for other things in our budget.
 
If you are like my family and want to continue to use the car that you have, you can do so and help the environment at the same time. Here are my simple steps to keep your current car with minimal impact on the environment. Then, when your current car is on its last leg, you can consider one of the many fabulous hybrids and electric vehicles that are hitting the market.
 
1. Drive Less
Have you considered how many places that you may drive to every day that are within walking or biking distance? I prefer to walk or jump on my bike to run errands and get a great workout in the process. My bike has multiple baskets on the front and back so there is always room for groceries, library books or other goodies. In some areas, you may be able to get to work or your errands faster by bike or public transportation, since you can bypass the traffic congestion. How about carpooling? If you live near several of your co workers or friends, this is a fantastic way to catch up with each other, lower the number of cars on the road and save some money at the same time. I really love public transportation because it gives me an excuse to sit back, relax, catch up on the news or read that best seller. Since walking, biking, public transporation and carpooling is so affordable you will have extra funds in your budget. You will also save a lot of money on gasoline, car repairs and maintenance and need for two cars if you drive less.
 
2. Tune it Up
Getting your car tuned up when manufacturers recommends can save you 4-40% on your MPH. Also, when you keep all other auto functions in check and running smoothly will help to avoid untimely and expensive repairs all year long.
 
3. Get Inflated
Each month, check your tire's pressure with a tire pressure gauge. If your tires aren't properly inflated you are wasting hundreds of dollars worth of gasoline each year. It only takes a couple minutes and can save you and the environment big time. You should also have your tires rotated and aligned when the manufacturer recommends to avoid improper wear which can waste gasoline too.
 
4. Clean the Air {Filter}
Make sure your air filter is clean. A dirty and clogged filter will block the air your automobile needs to burn fuel efficiently. You don't have to replace the air filter every time you get an oil change, but you can ask the service attendant it to 'blow it out'.  They will use the air compressor to blow all of the dirt and gunk from the filter, allowing you to use the same air filter for much longer, which will save you money and the landfill in the long run.
 
5. Get A Mug
Do you stop for a morning Cup o Joe on the way to work or a soda pick me up at the end of the day? If so, always keep a reusable stainless steel mug in your car. This will keep you from purchasing a beverage in a cup, can or bottle that will end up in the recycling bin or landfill. Also, did you know that most gasoline stations will let you fill your mug with your choice of beverage for a fraction of the cost of a cup, can or bottle of your favorite beverage. Just ask how much it will cost to "refill" your mug, you will be pleasantly surprised. This little tip will save the environment from countless cups, bottles, lids and straws and will save you some money too.
 
6. Enjoy the Ride {Slow Down}
Did you know that every five miles per hour you go over 60 MPH, you lower your gas mileage? Waste gas by speeding will only cause you to pay for more for gasoline fill ups. Not to mention speeding tickets are bad on your wallet, your insurance rates and possibly your health. So, sit back, relax, listen to your favorite radio program and enjoy the ride. 
 
How do you get around?
What other tips do you use to green your automobile?
Photo Via:: Zach Heller Photography on Flickr


Organic living is definitely a way of life, but if you have a family with kids, you may find that buying organic and eating organic often seem to be less than frugal.  It doesn't have to be that way.  In fact, there are ways to live organically that won't break your pocketbook and can even have you living more economically friendly for the New Year.

1.  Buy in bulk.

Buying large quantities is often cheaper per ounce/pound than buying individual-sized portions.  Consider a warehouse membership or just look in your own grocery store for larger packaging.  Look for recipes for interesting and new ways to utilize the larger amount of food to be sure it gets eaten or flash freeze it and store for use later.

 

2.  Join a CSA.

Look into Community Supported Agricultural shares at a local organic farm.  You'll be supporting a local business and benefitting from seasonal produce during growing season.  Find a CSA near you.

 

3.  Visit your farmer's market.

Make a habit out of going to the local farmer's market to buy product and meat.  You'll get to know where your food is coming from and you're sure to be buying in season and will cut out the middleman of a grocery store by doing so.  Oftentimes heavy fruits like melons and squash that are paid for by the pound in the store are significantly cheaper at a flat rate from the farmer's market

 

I am a light shade of green.

I have not arrived, but I am on the journey towards a “greener” lifestyle. Yet in all honesty, sometimes I get overwhelmed. Sometimes it can seem like there are so many changes to make, so many things I am doing wrong. I still drive a minivan, I shower a bit too long and I let my kids play in the sprinkler on a hot day – to name just a few.

 

Cascadian Farm Old Organic Sign

You may be considering going green, but think to yourself, where do I begin? It can be overwhelming and hard to decide where to start with your new green lifestyle. When my family decided to live a healthier and greener life, our son was a toddler and we wanted to feed him a healthier diet while teaching him about his direct impact on our environment. We started by researching, reading books and watching documentaries about organics. One of the first things that really struck a cord with us was the negative impact that fast food has on the environment and on one's health. We were also concerned with the amount of pesticides found in most conventional foods. The amount of hydrogenated fats, high fructose corn syrup and aspartame in fast foods are enormous, not to mention the amount of waste that is created with fast food packaging. We immediately stopped frequenting these types of establishments. When it comes to pesticides, they are a major concern because they are sprayed directly on to the food. Therefore having a direct impact on our health, the health of the environment and the birds, amphibian's and beneficial bugs that share our environment.