Monday, May 18, 2009

Spring Is Here!!

The pumpkins have germinated! The GIANT sunflowers are getting bigger, and the corn is growing tall at a rapid rate!

I can't wait for heirloom tomatoes and fresh peppers and herbs!

Also, our front lawn is finally gone! gone! gone! (we have dug out all the grass and xeriscaped) We planted a giant sagebrush as well as other native and/or drought tolerant plants in place of water wasting & useless grass.

Why do so many people hate "yard work" so much? When I was working nonstop this weekend and had no time to dig in the soil, I felt lost! There'sthis exciting feeling of accomplishment you get when the seed you've planted, after weeks of anticipation, finally decides to pop out and greet the sunlight. It's even more exciting when your mature plant produces it's first crop, or blooms for the first time! It feels incredible and rewarding to be responsible for helping create such beautiful life!

Besides, our house is rarely clean and organized so it's nice to escape it into the yard, which is always amazing and full of surprises. Plant a garden, you'll see!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Our friend in the Superstition Mountains

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Misleading and Annoying- reprint from last Earth Day

So, a couple days of ago I was given a little "environmental" coupon book at Safeway in celebration of Earth Day. It has a few good examples of ways to help the environment (i.e. rechargeable batteries, biodegradable & phosphate free detergents, and a couple organic foods) but i find a lot of it misleading and ridiculous. Examples:

Frozen, pre-packaged dinners


Nestle bottled water


Recycled paper towels


Suave products

Reasons why these products are misleading people by saying that if you purchase them, you're saving the environment:

1. Frozen, pre-packaged meals. Think about all the packaging from all your pre-cooked, sodium loaded, nutrition deprived foods. Besides being unhealthy and using unnecessary packaging that is going to end up in the trash, fresh food tastes better and doesn't have to take a long time to prepare. Besides, as we are buying all these things that are suppose to "save us time", what are we doing with this "extra time?" Watching tv? Playing video games? Sitting on Facebook?

2. Pepsi. Go to this page : and read how Pepsi ships thousand of tons of plastic scraps to India, where hardly any of it is recycled. PepsiCo has also been alleged to practice "water piracy" due to its role in exploitation of ground water resources, resulting in a scarcity of drinking water for the natives of different regions of India. There has also been controversy about pesticides being found in Pepsi products made in India. In this coupon book, it says that Pepsi is environmental because of the amount of cans that are recycled- As if PepsiCo should get the credit, not the actual people dropping off the cans at the recycle bin.

3. Nestle (or any brand, for that matter) Bottled water. The coupon says that it has an "Eco-Shape Bottle" to save plastic. Do I really have to explain why this is re-god-damn-diculous? First of all, just last year Aquafina (owned by Pepsi) was forced to admit that their bottled water was nothing more than tap water. They were forced to change their bottle labels. Read this article The Bottled Water Lie: to find out how "corporations that sell bottled water are depleting natural resources, jacking up prices, and lying when they tell you their water is purer and tastes better than the stuff that comes out of the tap." Get a damn re-useable bottle and refill it.

4. Coca~Cola. Issues with Coke are similar to Pepsi. In 2003, the Centre for Science and Environment (New Delhi, India) reported that some aerated waters produced by Coca-Cola in India contained toxins including lindane, DDT, malathion and chlorpyrifos — (pesticides that can contribute to cancer and a breakdown of the immune system). Coke also depletes ground water in many different countries, posing a serious threat to the livelihood of many communities. They also have human rights and labor issues in Colombia, Guatemala, and India. This coupon book says that Coke has created their own recycling company, which I guess is better than doing nothing, but does that make everything else the corporation does OK? Why do we need disgusting liquid candy rotting out our teeth and making us fat anyway?

5. Recycled Paper Towels. Just because it's recycled, doesn't mean it's not ridiculous. Use rags and wash them! Wow! you can use them over and over!

6. Tide. Well, being a product of Procter & Gamble is bad enough. Brands like Tide are not required by law to list their ingredients on the label of a product. They are very secretive about their products and formulations are confidential. Some common ingredients used in popular detergents are : 1- a variety of different synthetic surfactants that leech chemicals into the environment, biodegrade very slowly, and have been implicated in chronic health problems. 2- Artificial fragrances and colorings that are made from petroleum and other unnatural ingredients. Many do not biodegrade, and may have toxic effects on both fish and mammals when disposed of. 3-Optical brighteners: a broad classification of many different synthetic chemicals that, when applied to clothing, convert UV light wavelengths to visible light, thus making laundered clothes appear "whiter." Optical brighteners do not readily biodegrade. They are toxic to fish when washed into the general environment and can create bacterial mutations. 4- Phosphates: contribute to significant eutrophication of waterways and create unbalanced ecosystems by fostering dangerously explosive marine plant growth. For these reasons, they are banned or restricted in many states. Products containing phosphates should be considered unacceptable. Go to for more ingredients.

7. Suave products literally consist of a toxic chemical soup. Very bad for the environment and very bad for you. Suave products contain: 1- cancer causing agents titanium dioxide, that is linked to reduced fertility and a reduced chance for a full term healthy pregnancy. 2- penetration enhancers: SODIUM LAURETH SULFATE, PROPYLENE GLYCOL, TETRASODIUM EDTA. These agents work to infiltrate the skin membrane (i.e. penetration enhancer) and in doing so, may increase exposures to carcinogens. They also contain many untested chemicals and "fragrance", which is usually made up of an unspecified mixture of chemicals of which are commonly used throughout the industry that have been linked to immune and nervous system toxicity. Could you imagine what these chemicals do to the environment? Just because your new bottle design saves plastic (again, is a better action than doing nothing at all) doesn't mean you are "saying YES to a beautiful planet" like this preposterous ad claims in the coupon book.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

It's a marketing scheme to be "eco-friendly" or to "go green," and corporations make loads of money off of this popular fad. These corporations are protruding the image of conservation and care for our natural environment simply to make a profit. These campaigns are misleading and insulting and should never be marketed as "eco-friendly."

It's great to see giant multinational corporations appear to make an attempt by launching organic and/or environmentally friendly products, but again, don't be fooled. They are still giant multinational corporations. Be familiar with what you are lathering into your hair and skin, using once and throwing in the trash, and with what you are feeding your children.

And support your local farmer's market and local brands!

Happy Earth Day Everyone!


Monday, June 30, 2008