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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Saving Massively with MassSave

This year I am participating in an educational outreach program for bloggers with MassSave! In addition to providing bloggers with facts and amazing media opportunities, MassSave also sent this huge box of energy efficient products. 


In the box were about 7 different types of eco-friendly lightbulbs. Since I already switched from incandescent bulbs to compact flourescents (CFLs), I wasn't sure when I'd need to replace any of my bulbs. CFLs last 10x longer than incandescents and use 75% less energy! So if a light for about 3 hours a day, the bulb will last 5-7 years. But, what I didn't realize, was that the light in the hallway outside my apartment was NOT a CFL, and sure enough, it burnt out last week, giving me a chance to re-open my box of Mass Save goodies and take a look at which option would be best for the hallway. 


I ended up choosing a 20 watt general purpose bulb (equivalent to a 75 watt incandescent bulb.) And my hallway is beautiful and bright once again. It is also good to know that I am reducing fire hazards by changing the lightbulb, because CFLs generate 75% less heat, and in my opinion, don't break as easily as incandescents. Just by changing that lightbulb, I also saved my landlord about $50 on her electric bill over the course of the lightbulb's life. Not too bad! 


I also absolutely love that the side of the lightbulb box had "Lighting Facts" set up the same way as the "Nutrition Facts" are on food products. It made the label so easy to read!

Visit MassSave for more energy saving tips and eco ways to save money!




Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Adventures in Brattleboro, VT part 2

Brattleboro, Vermont is just about the greenest little city you can find. Besides their fabulous new co-op (see previous post), they also have lots of green-minded shops or regular shops with some surprisingly green flare! These photos are just a brief example of the many eco-friendly products I saw while shopping downtown:


at an Indian clothing and decor store, they were selling repurposed saris as journal covers! Gorgeous! 



Eco-friendly notecards - a boutique must-have!


And I spied this little beauty at a second-hand furniture store: a chandelier made of bottle tops!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Adventures in Brattleboro, VT part 1

While in Brattleboro for the weekend, I got to visit the new co-op. So big, convenient, and so easy to bring your own container and buy in bulk!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Green Transportation in Providence, Rhode Island

Due to its small size, Providence is a great biking city. And though there is no citywide bike sharing program (like Boston's Hubway) there seem to be bike paths an bike lanes throughout the city.

I also saw that the city's busses have been offering free service over the past two days because of the heat. What a great way to promote public health and draw interest to mass transit!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

BGB Takes a Trip

So I'm in our sister city to the south, Providence, for the week! I will be sure to post some Eco-observations about the city soon!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Blog Spotlight: Green Bride Guide

Green Bride Guide is a great resources for couples planning the celebration of their lives! Weddings require a lot of attention to detail and can potentially be quite wasteful, but the Green Bride Guide can help future brides (and grooms) plan a responsible wedding. From decor to dishes to dresses, the Green Bride has tips for everything you may need - and has real wedding examples and photos! Definitely check it out this wedding season.

Gallery Image
The "real green wedding" of Hannah and Marc

And don't forget to sign up for the Wedding Season Swap & Shop with The Swapaholics. Use the code "BostonGreenBlog" for 25% off tickets!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Energy Week Boston

Did you know that we are smack in the middle of Energy Week?!

Celebrate by being extra conservative this week: unplug electronics when not in use, read a book instead of watching tv, take cooler showers, use fans instead of AC, ride a bike instead of taking the T or a car.

And think about attending one of these upcoming Energy Week events:


Wednesday, June 13
6:00-8:30 PM- Northeastern University, West Village 23F Room 20, showing of the film Gasland. Tickets for the screening are $4 and an advance RSVP is required. RSVP, directions, and details can be found at Gaslandboston.eventbrite.com, or by emailing erin@massenergy.org.
Thursday, June 14
9:30 AM-1:00 PM- Citizens clean energy lobby day at the State House.  No experience lobbying your elected officials is required!  For more information, please e-mail lord.ma@husky.neu.edu
Friday, June 15Global Wind Day!
Theatrical premiere of Cape Spin: An American Power Struggle at the Coolidge Corner theater. Tickets are $10.
Saturday, June 16
6:00- 8:30 PM- Tour the wind turbine at I.B.E.W Local 103 (alongside I-93) and stay for a screening of the coal documentary Dirty Business with guest speaker and anti-coal activist State Rep. Lori Ehrlich!  Wind turbine tour and reception will be held from 6:00-6:30 followed by remarks by Rep. Ehrlich and the film screening. Tickets for the screening are $4 and an advance RSVP is required. RSVP, directions, and details can be found atDirtybusinessboston.eventbrite.com, or by emailing erin@massenergy.org.
ENERGY WEEK PREVIEW EVENT!
Even before Energy Week Boston kicks off, we have a “preview” event to wet your appetite.  See below for details.
Saturday, June 2
Celebrate with Co-op Power Boston Metro East at the Energy Efficiency Crew Launch Party on Saturday, June 2 at 2pm on the Lawn at Second Church in Dorchester, corner of Washington St & Talbot Ave, Codman Square, Dorchester, MA with music, food, tour of a “green” home, and prizes.
The Crew provides insulation, weatherization, air sealing to homes in the Greater Boston area. Co-op Power is a consumer-owned co-operative that uses its capital and market power to build good green jobs and community-based green businesses for the benefit of the community at-large.
Please RSVP or send questions to olive@cooppower.coop or 617-282-8881.  

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Review: Nutra Nails Natural Nail Strengthener

Nutra Nail Nail Strengthener - .5 fl oz
Pros                                                                           Cons                       
-Good as a base coat                                                 -Not yet rated on EWG
-Widely available (Drug Stores, Whole Foods)           -Nails still subject to some breakage
-Moderate Price ($6)                                                -Not many 3rd party reviews or certifications
-Recycled/Recyclable packaging                                -Term "natural" used in product label, not defined
-No parabens, petrochemicals, dyes
-No artificial fragrance

Conclusion: I sit at a keyboard all day typing and I'm an intermittent nail biter - which means my nails aren't always in the best shape. I am very pleased with Nutra Nails Naturals Nail Strengthener because it has helped a bit. Honestly, my nails are still a bit rough, but I love the clean looking sheen of my nails after using the strengthener - it is like an automatic buff. It also works really well as a base coat under nail polish. I would definitely buy this again. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Wedding Season Swap & Shop (and DISCOUNT!)

The Swapaholics are hosting the First Annual Wedding Season Swap & Shop next week. Dressing for a wedding can be fun, but stressful too because you want to look polished without repeating the same outfit you wore to all the June weddings last year. Hence The Swapoholics' genius idea of having a wedding outfit swap! The event is next Wednesday evening from 7-9pm at 40 Berkeley St. in the Back Bay/South End.

To find out more information or to RSVP, click here
AND.....use the code "bostongreenblog" for a 25% discount! (standard tickets are $10, but by being a BGB reader, they'll only be $7.50!!!)


Friday, June 8, 2012

Craft Night!

If you're like me, you probably have a pinterest board full of upcycle/repurposing craft ideas. The problem is getting the motivation to actually do them! Recently, my friends and I decided to tackle this problem by making it a party! We sipped white wine spritzers with frozen berries, and snacked on baked brie, and then got our hands dirty by repainting old flower vases.

Before:
Large Clear Vases
image courtesy of cutewineglasses.com


Set up:


During:



Final Products:



OK, so we may not be the most talented artists on the block, but I think they look better than the original clear ones - and they are definitely way more fun. Plus, they will be a good conversation starter at our various apartments around Boston!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

7 Green & Easy Ways to Reduce Stress

1. Exercise - This is obvious, but also important. The best ways to get those endorphins running without using electricity are to run outside, do pilates, or yoga. Yoga can be an especially good stress reliever because of the emphasis on breathing properly and deeply. Make it summer goal to "unplug" your workout.

2. Aromatherapy - Use a roll-on essential oil (like 21 Drops) on your wrists and neck. I find lavender the most soothing. There are many organic options of these types of products available at Whole Foods.

3. Get outside - A little sunlight and fresh air goes a long way. Make sure to put on some sunscreen, but then be sure to spend at least a few minutes outside every day. It is surprisingly relaxing.

4. Drink Chamomile Tea - Make sure it is decaffeinated (caffeine is known to increase anxiety), and drink before bed. I absolutely love this ritual, especially on cold or rainy evenings.

5. Sleep - Getting the proper amount of sleep allows you to think clearly and be more productive, which in turn, decreases stress.

6. Drink lots of water. When I'm dehydrated I get headaches which seem to last the rest of the day, which only adds to my stress level. Just remember to drink tap or filtered tap water and skip bottled.

7. Read - Cracking a book (I prefer novels) is a simple way to get your mind off whatever is bothering you.

image courtesy of scrubadoo.com

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Reusable Lunchbags Can Be Cute!

What girly-girl doesn't love a little Vera Bradley? The floral cloth bags are so summery and sweet, and everyone knows a Vera duffel for weekend getaways is a must-have. But now using Vera can help you be green by reducing the need for paper/plastic lunchbags! Check out these adorable reusable lunchbags by Vera Bradley. One friend of mine recently used her reusable lunchbag at a picnic on Boston Common - and it totally fit the part:


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Review: Vitacare Gum

Vitacare - Key Lime Gum

Pros                                                                         Cons               
-vitamin enriched (A, C, D, &  E)                             -packaging includes un recyclable parts
-whitens                                                                   -loses flavor pretty quickly
-good price ($1.99)                                                  -not yet widely available (can be purchased online(
-soothes gums/strengthens teeth w/aloe & calcium
-no parabens, pthalates, or animal testing
-no artificial colors or flavors
-made in the U.S.
-tastes great
-company has environmental commitments
-no petrochemicals or preservatives
-no artificial sweetners

Conclusion: If you're a gum chewer, Vitacare is a great choice. It is all natural, vitamin infused, and does not contain potentially harmful artificial sweetners like aspartame. It loses flavor pretty quickly, but it is great for a quick pick-me-up/breath freshener. And while I'm not usually a fruity gum flavor person, I do really like the key lime mint flavor. Gum packaging in general is usually pretty horrendous, but this company has a packaging commitment to make it as eco-friendly as possible. In fact, most of Vitacare's other products have 100% recyclable and biodegradable packaging, thus, I am happy to support this company.