Archive for the 'Green Friday' Category

Green Friday-Local Farmer’s Market

So I have just grasped the idea of spending a little more money at the Farmer’s Market to support local commerce.  Besides that very important issue, I have fallen in love with the Fulton Heights Farmer’s Market.  This is a Farmer’s Market here in West Michigan.  For more Farmer’s Markets in West Michigan look here.  If you do not live in West Michigan I found an excellent website to search for organic food sites and farmer’s markets here.

A friend of mind has been trying to talk me into going for awhile.  I just kept grumbling at how I can get it cheaper somewhere else.  Well, here is the thing,  the extra money spent is worth the quality you receive.  Every blueberry is huge and juicy.  The peaches are to die for.  The sweet corn-well forget about it.  There are bread stands with yummy pizza crusts and sweet breads.  I love it!  Most is organic and it helps local farmer’s.

So today I got 5 pounds of blueberries, a lot of peaches, and 3 pounds of green beans.  My daughter and I started the preparation of freezing.  I put her on bean snapping and set out to wash and rinse berries and peaches.  The berries you wash and put on a cookie sheet to freeze.  Easy!  The peaches you have to wash and cut up.  From another friend, I learned to just wash the peaches, cut them, bag them and add 1/8 cup of sugar.  So after my daughter finished with the beans, my daughter helped with the peaches.  About 3/4 of the way through I realized she was biting off each slice of peach before putting them in the bag.  Won’t that be a pleasant surprise all winter long.

So before Farmer’s Market season is over, I challenge you to visit some in your area.  Support the local farmer’s.  Freeze fresh produce for winter.  Enjoy the process like my family!

Green Friday-Reusable Wash Rags

In my efforts to become a better steward to the Earth, I am making great changes within my house.  These changes are coming slowly but surely, but they are coming.  I have 99% eliminated paper plates.  You can read about that here.  Next on the check list has been a really really hard one-paper towel.

On my quest to eliminate paper towel we have successfully eliminated those tubs of chemically treated wipes.  That was easy!  But that also increased our usage of paper towel.  So I really had to stop and think about what I was doing.  Seriously, with two smaller children there is a lot to clean up , disinfect, and wipe up.  A side note to that statement, I am a little bit of a germ freak.  Not excessive, but just certain things.  For instance, until recent months I would never use a bath towel more than once.  It was used.  I know! I know!  It wiped off my clean body.  I have heard it all before.  Another one-wash clothes disgust me (almost as much as connected hot dogs-that one is for you Big Binder 🙂 ).  But in order to be better to the environment and instill these practices within my children, I am learning to overcome my ISSUES.

Enter-reusable wash rags.  I have a set for the bathroom and a set for the kitchen and a miscellaneous set.  I use them to wash their designated room and in the wash they go.  Who knew it could be that easy.  I also purchased about 20 washcloths at the dollar store in packs of four for daily use.  These are the clothes that I use on counter tops, tables, sticky hands, and at the end of the day in the wash it goes.  Small, small changes is the key to making the transition easier.  Now don’t get me wrong, I still purchase papertowel.  But I went from buying it by the case at Sam’s club once every other month, to 2 rolls a month.  Huge reduction!

I don’t have any fancy dancy statistics on the average household use of paper towel or how long it takes to break down, but I do know that less paper towel waste is better all around.  So even though paper towel can not be infiltrated with sandpaper, bricks, or a 10 pound weight-reusable rags are the way to go.  Try it!

Late Green Friday-Crystal Mountain a Green Vacation

I am enjoying my last full vacation day at Crystal Mountain in Thompsonville, MI.  This is our second year coming to this awesome resort for the 4th of July week.  I could talk about this resort for pages and pages, but I am going to try and keep this to the point. 

We came last year for the first time as a family and we were sold on coming here every 4th of July until our children are grown up.  The resort is filled with tons of things to do from Alpine Coaster, climbing wall, pool with slides and mini sprinkler, kid camps, bonfires, golf, carnivals, fireworks, and on and on and on.  So my family is sold on returning.  We check in this year and immediately are told the indoor pool is closed due to a new spa they are building.  At first I was very frusterated because the day we checked in it was raining.  So we went to our condo and set up our kids for some indoor play and parent move-in time.

I sat down to read up on the lastest happenings at the resort only to find out a few wonderfully “green” things about Crystal Mountain.  The first thing I found was that they offer recycling in all their units.  Its a resort wide in-room recycling program.  They make it easy for the guests too.  There are either bins inside the unit or just outside.  I have been monitoring the amount of stuff we would normally throw away at any other resort, and have been amazed at our contribution as one unit to reducing waste.  Way to go Crystal Mountain!

Next, sit down, this is awesome!  This coming December is the grand opening to a full-service destination spa and upgraded indoor pool and fitness center.  Some of you might be saying, “So what, its a new spa?”  Well, this spa is special it is being build with numerous different green efforts.  This spa will also have a LEED Certification.  LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.  You can learn more about LEED here.

LEED buildings cut energy use by 30-50%, use 40% less water and generate 70% less waste.  This to me is fascinating beyond imagination.  You can learn more about the construction, spa, and resort here.  To name a few of the green aspects concerning the actual construction they are utilizing bamboo flooring in the lobby and lots of use of natural light. 

Inside the spa you will find the following:  a dozen treatment rooms offering numerous different services, locker rooms with saunas and steam rooms, meditation room with private garden and hot tub.  This spa is attracting our family to possibly make Crystal Mountain a twice per year family vacation spot.  Winter ski trip and summer fun trip!

Once again I can not say enough wonderful things about this resort and now that I am aware of their green initiatives, I am even more in love.  I wish I could stay all summer long!  So if you are looking for a great family spot, this is the place to be!

Green Friday a little late- Paper plates be gone!!!!!!

Sorry this is late, but I am packing to leave on vacation for a week and its taking its toll.  Enough excuses, right?  Sooooooooo, tis the season for picnics.  I am challenging everyone for the rest of the summer to do away with paper plates.  Can you imagine if everyone did this, even just for a season, how it would impact waste?  You can go to the dollar store and purchase plastic, reusable plates.  Spend 10-15 dollars and you have plenty for most gatherings.  If you get your close friends to do this, you can borrow if you have a bigger party.

Think about it!  When you go to a picnic you sometimes get a plate for appetizers, a plate for dinner, and another plate for desert.  That is three plates per person.  Rather ridiculous if you ask me.  So go purchase some cute and trendy reusable plates to serve up some great summer picnic food on.

Green Friday-The Ever Popular Garage Sale

I know its a pain in the you know what, but its an excellent way to make a little money and recycle things you have no use for anymore.  I am having my second one this season today (and dreading it), but it will clear out the house.  I view garage sales a little bit different than most.

First, and foremost I like the garage sale to declutter your house.  Seriously, if you haven’t used it in the last year chances are you will not.   Second, you can earn a little extra money.  I will admit with this statement comes one of my hugest pet peeves–The Overpriced Garage Sale People.  Come on people!  I do not care if its Gymboree, Gap, Hannah Montana (or whatever that brand is), its a GARAGE SALE AND ITS USED.  If a garage sale is a source of income, thats probably a problem.  I like to think of the garage sale as earning a small amount of money, cleaning out my house, and getting my things to other people’s homes for them to utilize.

So if you have a spare Thursday/Friday (because its the new Friday/Saturday in the garage sale world), throw up a sign and a couple tables and enjoy yourself.  You can post your garage sales for free on Craigs List , put an ad in the paper, post in a church bulletin, or send out an email to all of your friends.  So for my Green Friday I am encouraging you to have a garage sale, maybe even do it with a friend to try and make it a little more fun!  Enjoy!