Getting to Green - It's a Party!

When we think of large gatherings we think of paper plates, plastic cups, plastic silverware and disposable tablecloths! If it's a birthday party add to that greeting cards, wrapping paper, gift bags and bows! When it's time to party we often don't think about composting, recycling and being earth-friendly!

For our most recent gathering we used EarthShell products purchased at The Anderson's General Store in Columbus. For 25 plates or 25 bowls, the cost was around $3.50 per pack. Once I opened the packages there was a $2.00 rebate inside. If you purchase two packages you get a $2.00 rebate. Very reasonable for earth-friendly products! (Obviously the most earth-friendly would be to use real dishes, etc.) These plates quickly biodegraded in our compost bin outside. The plastic tablecloths, while not "earth-friendly" per say, will be reused as a drop cloth for planting and painting in the future.

In addition to our efforts to purchase products that could be composted, recycled or reused we made an effort to make as much of the food served Green! I purchased items like cheese and fruits on sale and organic for as much as the budget would allow.

Tuesday's Green Tip - A Green Sweep

As I am learning and growing as a Working Mother, I am finding ways to streamline our everyday lives and allow the most quality time with my kids and husband! One thing I have learned over the course of the last 3 years is that I cannot do it all!

One way I have decided to help myself is to hire a Cleaning Company. Not just any cleaning company, but one that would embody the same standards that we have at our house in terms of earth-friendly, kid-friendly, safe products in our quest to maintain the best indoor air quality environment we can for our kids!

A Green Sweep are my helping hands! They provide earth-friendly products (many they make themselves) and cleaning services at a very reasonable price!

Menu Plan Monday

Sunday - Easter Dinner

Monday - Lasagna at a friend's house

Tuesday - Baked Pork Chops, Baked Potatoes, mixed veggies and fruit

Wednesday - Spanish Chicken, fruit

Thursday - Leftover Buffet, fruit

Friday - Homemade whole wheat pizza (I substitute wheat flour in this recipe), fruit

Saturday - Baked Teriyaki Chicken ,chocolate pudding

I’m an Organizing Junkie is home to Menu Plan Monday.

Sustainable Saturday - Raising Environmentally-Conscious Kids

When I think of being a child I immediately think of be carefree and playing outside! We hope that by the example we are setting our children will be environmentally-conscious kids and someday adults. When we purchased our home we consciously chose somewhere where we can walk places; to the neighbors' house where there are other kids who play outside, to school, to the park and up town. I have previously written about our neighborhood, see my previous post here.

This is an excerpt from an article featured on

Is creating the next generation of environmental stewards as easy as sending your kids outside to play? Research suggests the answer is yes. A study done several years ago by Louise Chawla tried to understand what factors went into the make-up of people who demonstrated significantly pro-environmental behavior. After doing a psychometric profile of these people Chawla found they all had one characteristic in common: they all spent a significant amount of time outdoors playing in the wild.

Recent research has continued to expand and support the idea that more than any other factor the act of getting children outdoors will powerfully impact their desire to preserve the natural world. As prominent environmental educator David Sobel eloquently stated, "One transcendent experience in nature is worth a thousand nature facts." It turns out that children who have an immersive experience in nature between the ages of 5 and 10 foster a deep love of the environment that they carry with them their entire lives. Aside from significantly increasing the likelihood that they will actively work to preserve the important life-giving aspects of the environment as adults, an engagement with nature has other positive cognitive impacts, from improved performance in school to moral development to a greater involvement and concern for community well-being. A recent study of 300 of the world's most innovative thinkers and leaders showed clear links between childhood immersion in nature and an out-of-the-box creativity and tireless commitment to society.

You can read the rest of the article here.

In Celebration of Earth Day - Save $5 at True Value and DIY greener this month

There are plenty of projects you can do around the house that are good for the planet as well as your pocketbook. Just in time for Earth Day, we've stocked the Idea House with projects designed to make your home more eco- and budget-friendly. And with this $5 coupon, you can save even more. Head to your local True Value hardware store for the products and advice you need to do-it-yourself a little bit greener.

True Value $5 off a $25 purchase available here along with lots of green tips for your home.

Affordable Green Homes in Cleveland

This is yet another project that my husband has had involvement with in the past thru Cleveland Green Building Coalition. These homes are located in Cleveland, are complete and have been sold.

I invite you to read the article below and visit the links for more info:

Cuyahoga Community Land Trust
Creating opportunities for home ownership now. Securing affordability for the future.

The Cuyahoga Community Land Trust is a non-profit organization that develops permanently affordable homes in Cleveland. The Land Trust makes homeownership a reality for low- and moderate-income families by lowering the price of quality homes.

Right now we have some exciting homeownership programs, including our Homebuyer Initiated Program--offering up to $30,000 off many newly built or substantially rehabbed homes in the city of Cleveland--and the Green Cottages -- a collaboration with Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization, the Cleveland Green Building Coalition and the Cleveland EcoVillage to develop permanently affordable, energy-efficient homes in the EcoVillage.

Today's housing market is full of risks for lower-income families and, as the high numbers of foreclosures and abandoned properties demonstrates, for the larger community, as well. The Land Trust promotes secure and stable homeownership for lower-income families. We reduce the risks associated with homeownership for both homebuyers and their neighborhoods by offering quality homes at substantially reduced prices, assisting our clients to qualify for healthy mortgages, and maintaining the affordability of the homes we sell.

These tools allow the Land Trust to help families fulfill their dream of owning a home--effectively fostering secure homeownership and stable neighborhoods.

To find out more about how we help lower-income families become secure homeowners, or how you can support our work, follow the links above, call us at 216.334.1620, or email

Green Cottage Open House during the month of April

The Land Trust is please to announce tours of the first Green Cottage home during the month of April. Our homeowner will be moving into her new home in May, so stop by during one of our sessions before it's too late!

The tour schedule is as follows:

Tues April 7th and Tues April 21st we will hold an orientation session beginning at 6pm. The orientation will last about an hour, where at 7pm we will head over to the home for a brief tour.

Saturday April 11th and Saturday April 18th we will hold an open house from 1-4pm. Please stop by anytime during these hours to tour the home as well as a brief tour of the EcoVillage neighborhood.

Affordable Home in Columbus Awarded LEED Platinum Certification‏

I am happy to announce that Ohio has its first LEED Platinum Home! Josh (my husband) has spent many hours volunteering his time towards this project! Congrats to Josh and all those who worked on this project!

You can reach Josh directly by visiting his blog here

Affordable Home in Columbus Awarded LEED Platinum Certification

Home is the first Platinum-certified residential home in Ohio

March 13, 2009
Columbus Housing Partnership

The residence at 258 N. 21st Street, in the North of Broad neighborhood of the King Lincoln District of Columbus, Ohio was awarded LEED Platinum certification by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) for achievement in green homebuilding. The home is the first Platinum-certified residential dwelling in the State of Ohio. The home was built by a collaboration consisting of non-profits, government, corporate and educational entities.

LEED for Homes (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a national third-party certification system for energy efficient, healthy, green homes. LEED-certified homes complete a technically rigorous process that includes a home energy (HERS) rating and onsite inspections to verify that the home is built to be energy and water efficient, environmentally sound, and a healthier place to live. Green homes have substantially lower utility bills and may qualify for advantageous financing, lower insurance rates and government incentives.

The home was built in cooperation with Roger Beck, a Technology Education teacher, and the students of the college preparatory Home B.A.S.E. class (Building Academic Skills and Experiences), The Home B.A.S.E. Foundation, Columbus Housing Partnership, American Electric Power, the City of Columbus, NeighborWorks ® America, Limited Brands Foundation, The Home Depot, Betsy Pettit, FAIA, The Building Science Corporation Inc., Contract Lumber, Josh Lloyd, Associate AIA, LEED AP, Phillip Markwood Architects, and Sullivan Bruck Architects.

“The U.S. Green Building Council is proud to help celebrate the product of this collaborative effort and their commitment to greener living,” said Michelle Moore, Senior Vice President of Policy & Market Development, U.S. Green Building Council. “Their leadership, demonstrated at 258 N. 21st Street, is at the national forefront of quality; and their example can help us all to live better by reducing our environmental footprint, cutting our utility bills, and coming home to a healthier place to live.”

“We are proud to be involved in such a groundbreaking project,” said Amy Klaben, President/CEO of Columbus Housing Partnership. “This collaborative effort with a wide range of partners, including students from our community, will demonstrate to our state and the nation that innovation and great design can help us protect our environment and save our planet.”

“This project demonstrates that by engaging in real twenty-first century problems, students will learn the twenty-first century skills and knowledge necessary to solve our nation’s most pressing issues concerning energy, the environment, and education,” said Roger Beck, Home B.A.S.E. class teacher and contractor of the home.
A Community Open House is scheduled for Thursday, May 21, 2009. At that time, tours will be available for the media. For more information, please visit

You can read the whole article here and another article and more pictures here

Earth's Best Products Sale!!

On Friday, April 10th Babies R Us is having a great sale on diapers and baby food. Combined with coupons, this is a terrific deal on baby food!

Check it out here!!

You can print Earth's Best Coupons here

EarthWatch Ohio - Becoming a Local Distributor

As I am always looking for ways to spread the word about Green and Sustainable Initiatives, I have now volunteered to be a Local Distributor for the non-profit Newspaper EarthWatch Ohio. In addition I am proud to be very much apart of the article below as I work for the Ohio School Facilities Commission.

Here is an excerpt from an article published in EarthWatch Ohio's August/ September 2008 Newspaper:

Ohio’s Green Schools Initiative Creates a Healthier Atmosphere for Students, Jobs, and Environment
By: Lt. Governor Lee Fisher, Director, Ohio Department of Development

Ohio is standing on the threshold of an unprecedented opportunity. It’s an opportunity to innovatively promote job creation, educational advancement, and environmental sustainability. Governor Strickland and I are committed
to upgrading and improving our public school facilities through the increased use of green building design. In 2007, the Ohio School Facilities Commission, under the leadership of Director Michael Shoemaker, embarked upon a Green Schools Initiative to create school facilities that are healthier for students and teachers, plus cost less money to operate.

The commission elected to use the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED® for Schools rating system as its roadmap for documenting and measuring the progress of our administration’s initiative. The LEED® system is the national benchmark for high performance green buildings.

LEED® for Schools Certification provides parents, teachers, and the community with a “report card” for their school buildings, verifying that the school has been built to meet a high level of energy and environmental performance. LEED® Gold or Silver Certification is proof that the project achieved its “green” goals.

You can read the remainder of the article here.

Menu Plan Monday

Sunday - Homemade pizza, fruit

Monday - Mandarin Oranges & Pineapple Chicken with rice, fruit

Tuesday - Pork Chops, baked potatoes, asparagus

Wednesday - Taco Salad, fruit

Thursday - Leftover Buffet, fruit

Friday - Whole wheat pasta with chicken & veggies, fruit

Saturday - TBD

I’m an Organizing Junkie is home to Menu Plan Monday.

Spring Into Eco-Action

It's Spring!

It’s the season to enjoy the outdoors and time to start thinking about warmer temperatures. While you clean out your closets and tidy up your budget, it’s also a great time to Phase Green In with some money-saving, planet-saving ideas for spring:

1. Use cloth kitchen towels and napkins or at least half-sheet recycled paper towels.

2. Get a water filter or refill dispenser jugs vs. single-serve, single-use plastic bottles. Check out for some great products!

3. Avoid purchasing single serving packaged items. Instead package them yourself in reusable containers by shopping the bulk bins or buying large packages to save packaging on grains, beans, cereals, pasta and snacks.

4. Reuse shopping bags and/ or buy reusable shopping bags, and not just at the grocery store (though we do give you money back). I carry mine everywhere, even to the mall! Check out for some super cute styles or purchase from stores like Whole Foods for $1!

5. Make and take your lunch and avoid the waste of single-use packaging or take-out containers. Taking your own lunch is not only healthy for the environment, but healthy for your bottom line. Eating lunch out 5 days a week at $10 per day can really add up!

6. Wash clothes in cold water because roughly 80% of washer energy used is to heat water.

7. Watch your portion sizes to help balance consumption with resources (and help your health).

8. Shop the sales on eco-friendly cleaners, recycled paper goods and local, organic and seasonal goods. Check out stores like Big Lots for discontinued Method products, your local grocery store (Kroger often clearances out Seventh Generation Products) and even Whole Foods (periodic sales on a variety of cleaning products) Also, check out my favorite coupon links on the right!