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Re: E-M:/ Ideas Consumers Can Truly Use

Enviro-Mich message from "Cynthia Price" <skyprice@gmail.com>

Add-ons to this "buy local food" idea, which is of course excellent by my sights -- are 1) to start as soon as possible growing your own food, which is not only about as cost-effective an idea as you can find, but also a lot of fun; 2) preserve it yourself by learning canning (and freeziing to a lesser degree); and 3) compost your organic waste for use in the garden. There is some investment in number 2, but it repays itself many times over. Also, buy fair trade coffee if you drink coffee. (Sierra Club actually sells it I believe.)

Another idea, though not as inexpensive, is to purchase clothing and other goods made from hemp or bamboo, which are easily renewable and not grown with the dreadful pesticides normally used on cotton and flax --- or buy organic cotton. There are businesses springing up all over that sell these kinds of goods -- in Grand Rapids it's Clothing Matters and a few others. Some shops are specializing in clothing and "stuff" made out of all recycled materials. And also along those same lines, particularly for children's clothing, shop at Goodwill and other used clothing/household goods places.

In our area (and I'm pretty sure I've seen it posted from other areas too), concerned groups are hosting eco-sensitive product fairs for Christmas purchasing.

A big boost for "the environment" and cost-saving as well would be to work out some kind of outdoor-machines-sharing scheme with neighbors, particularly as far as lawn-mowers, which seem to be a requirement for not getting kicked out of most neighborhoods. This might also work with some appliances, such as washing machines, but it would be a stretch.

I believe Shaklee products are good but would like to get others' perspective on that.

Other sources for green ideas: www.greenconsumerguide.com, www.eartheasy.com (which has not only product but conservation tips, etc.). In fact, googling "green consumerism" yields a whole lot.

That's just the tip of the iceberg. Wish I could claim I'm doing it all, but I'm certainly, and regrettably, not!

Cynthia Price
Greater Grand Rapids Food Systems Council

On 11/20/06, Amy Butler <butleraa@michigan.gov> wrote:
Along this line, check out the following article on fixing thanksgiving
with food obtained from within 100 miles! __________________Beginning this week, 11-20-06, the Environment Report
will provide the following stories to public radio stations around the
country.Please check your local station for air times. You can also hear
and read these stories on the Environment Report Web Site at
http://environmentreport.org .

***Check out the Environment Report podcast:

For tech-savvy listeners, this report can be downloaded to your iPod
automatically each week!  See the RSS feed on our homepage for

No iPod? You can also download the Environment Report as an .mp3 file.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- THE 100 MILE MEAL: A HOMEGROWN THANKSGIVINGhttp://www.environmentreport.org/story.php3?story_id=3219---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Amy A Butler
Chief, Environmental Science and Services
DEQ 517-241-0490

>>> "Maggie Fields" <FIELDSM@michigan.gov> 11/20/2006 10:11 AM >>>

Enviro-Mich message from "Maggie Fields" <FIELDSM@michigan.gov>

I'd like to suggest DEQ's P2 Week tips go to www.michigan.gov/deqp2initiatives and click on P2 Week on the

you might also find some things to help on the
www.michigan.gov/deqconstruction  click on construction resources
under information - home renovation has limited resources but there is
landscaping links as well

Other useful sites - this is not an endorsement - http://www.newdream.org http://www.ucsusa.org http://www.nyc.gov/html/nycwasteless/html/home/home.shtml

I think it just comes down to making each decision count when you do or decide something - consider environmental
can you buy a more energy efficient model so you save money and
pollution at the power plant
can you buy a car that is more efficient (doesn't have to be
- or car pool
can you insulate your house so it uses less energy and reduce green
house gas emissions
can you do buy using less toxic alternatives (vaporless paints,
cleaners, pest control)
can you buy anything with more recycled content
can you buy a more durable version so there is less disposed in
landfills (avoid disposables)
can you buy from an environmentally friendly company so you know
the making the product didn't cause environmental issues somewhere
can you buy green made products - labeled environmental in any
can you reduce the waste you generate or recycle what is generated
don't dispose of any non-kitchen or biological waste down the sink
or toilet
can you buy from local sources so there's less transportation
emissions involved and supports local businesses
check out area restores for building materials in renovations -
these come from saving materials from someone else's renovation that
might be perfect for you Resources are in the Building Material
Recycling related link on the construction web site.

As you can see, a lot has to deal with purchasing power.  We do a lot
of that.  What we buy affects the products that are made, how often
how much we dispose of waste (durability) and how efficient our energy
demand is in the home.  If you find good resources in any area that
you'd recommend, let me know and I'll see about adding them to our P2
Week web site.

Good luck

>>> Sarah Alexis Westerman <sarah78@wayne.edu> 11/20/2006 9:25:56 AM

I joined this list not because I am well-educated on
all things environmental, but because I want to
learn more, understand better, and ultimately help
save our planet.  I've found very little information
how to begin to do that, and I'm hoping for some
help.  Unfortunately, I don't have the money to
install solar panels on my roof, replace all of my
appliances, or any of the more costly options
available to homeowners.  What I can do is remind my
kids to turn off the lights; have leaky faucets
fixed immediately; turn the furnace down at night or
when I'm not home.

Surely there are people on this list who know more
than that - what can I do, in a way that is either
free or inexpensive, or at the very least will be
extremely cost effective, to help make my home
and/or vehicle a little more eco-friendly?

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