Thursday, March 25, 2010

Greening Our Lunches...

I've been feeling guilty about it for a long time...the shame of it...the convenience of it...but finally my 6 year old called me on it, "Mom, why are you using plastic bags for my school lunches? It would be better for the environment if you used reusable containers."

Thank you Sweetie for the wake-up call! My immediate response was that the containers we have probably have chemicals in them such as BPAs that would make it unsafe. My next response was that Mommy will look into safe alternatives immediately.

I found lots of options on, a website "keeping families safe." They list products from baby utensils to toys, pacifiers, lunchbox items, you name it, and they have so many choices! I was immediately drawn to anything with a bento box theme such as this lovely pictured above by Laptop Lunches. It is BPA, PVC and Phthalate free - no worries, right? This next one I LOVE even more, and I know my 6 year old will approve as well.

This is the Laptop Lunches Bento Box System 2.0 - Alien. It's so awesome I have to post the link to it. It's also top rack-dishwasher safe (a must have for my germophobe ways.) Check it out at
Hello there, I just got a little greener today! Have you made the break from your trusted Ziploc bags yet?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Going Green? There's an APP for that!

YES! Earth Day is coming up you about uploading some GREEN iPhone Apps in anticipation! Apparently there are over 100 apps already, and while I definitely see lots of "let's measure your carbon footprint" themes, I'll bet there are some other fun ones too. I'm off to go try some of them!

Hope that wherever you are, the sun is shining :)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Recycle that Clutter Please

One of the first things I tell any of my clients when preparing to sell their homes is that they need to declutter. We try to see the house through the eyes of a potential buyer, and if they can't see the features of the home through all the stuff...well, we have a problem.

So what do we do with all that stuff? If you're like me, I'll bet there are things that you don't even want anymore, really. You're just too busy to sort through and find new homes for those odds & ends. Plus, they may be perfectly good, and no one likes to waste or throw away perfectly good things. (Ask Grandma, who grew up in the depression - she saves EVERYTHING. "You never know when someone might need it.")

Turns out a lot of people could use your stuff. There are so many charities right around you that will happily take household goods & clothing off your hands, libraries that will accept your book donations for their annual book sale or library bookstore. There are consignment shops that would love to try to sell your unwanted purses, lamps, etc. You already know about donating to Goodwill, Big Brothers & Big Sisters, but what about the other stuff?

The Hartford Courant ran an article in last weekend's Home & Real Estate section (I told you I read the Sunday paper) that addressed where to donate or recycle unwanted items that I thought you might find helpful.,0,1206157.story

Another article from presented an A-Z type guide or refresher course on what can be recycled.

Do you have something you just have no idea what to do with? We do. It's this creepy picture we found in our attic. For years we toyed with the idea of donating it to the historical society, but never did. Then, a few weeks ago I was looking through Grandma's old photo albums and lo and behold there was the same photo - hanging in her cousin's house in Sweden. Turns out it is my husband's Swedish great-great grandparents. Still don't know what to do with the creepy picture though, so it sits dusty in my attic. Doesn't that lady look angry? I heard she hated clutter too. (Just kidding. Grandma doesn't even remember her name.)

Whether you're getting ready to sell or not, decluttering is good for you. For most of my clients, once it's done, I hear them say they wish they'd done it sooner, and how much bigger their homes feel. If you're a believer in Feng Shui there are added benefits of energy flow, which will affect different areas of your life. For instance, I've always found that if I clean my front porch my business picks up. Coincidence? Perhaps, but it's a win-win every time.

Happy Spring Cleaning!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

My Daily Dose of GREEN

Maybe it's an obsession. I spend entirely too much time thinking about being GREEN, about living an environmentally-friendly life. Lately I stay up at night thinking about my garden soil (does it need peat moss this year? is the neighbor's horse manure aged enough to use?) I've even caught myself trying to use the word eco-licious in a sentence, "That Matt Damon is eco-licious." (Despite the fact that sure, he is, I can't seem to say it with a straight face!) Maybe if I were referring to an organic vegetable...

(This lovely green icon, by the way, is the logo for Growing A Greener World TV and was designed by one of their fans, David Bilbo.)

I find GREEN inspiration every day. Or, rather, it finds me. (Confession time - despite the fact that I moan like every other realtor in my office about the company cutting our print advertising budget, I'm not reading print news either. Correction - with the exception of the Sunday paper. You don't monkey with tradition.) My news comes from my use of social media and in my world it has become hyper-local and global all at once.

For some time now, my daily dose of GREEN has been coming to me via my news feed on Facebook, and I LOVE IT. Talk about easy! My favorite pages to follow are The National Association of Realtors Green REsource Council, (which is a PBS show that I can't seem to find in our marketplace but who's FB posts can be useful and fun to read.) The gardener in me is crazy about Growing a Greener World, which is a brand new PBS program that I hope we'll get through our Boston PBS station. I'm also feeling the whole Greenopolis vibe. The blogs can be pretty good. (Their post on feeling guilty about using paper towels was directed at me, I'm sure. It was a reminder that I need to cut back. Waaaay back. Did I mention before that I'm very much a GREEN work-in-progress?) BTW, I can't help but appreciate the irony that the Greenopolis website is sponsored by Waste Management. I swear, almost every time I'm driving behind a garbage truck, there's garbage blowing out the top and littering the road. It could be a different I'll be on the lookout. Maybe Greenopolis is their way of making up for that?

Twitter is working the GREEN line for me too, but as I spend more time on FB at this point, I get more of my info from there. Couple that with the websites I frequent, and there you wonder I'm always thinking about being GREEN.

BTW, if you live in my part of Connecticut, we have our own GREEN superhero. His name is Andy Bauer and he's a passionate environmentalist. Special thanks go out to Andy for giving Scott the push we needed to apply for the solar lease program!