Growing A Greener Outer Banks NC

February 24, 2011

Save the turtles by picking up the trash

Filed under: community, environment, Events, Fundraisers — Tags: , , , , — 4x4RE @ 10:44 am

Network for Endangered Sea Turtles (N.E.S.T.)

For the past couple of years volunteers have managed to raise over $100 for N.E.S.T. by sending in granola bar wrappers and Frito-Lay potato chip bags.  Many of the N.E.S.T. volunteers have worked hard to collect wrappers and bags from around the beach. So congrats to everyone and keep that “trash” coming!

Here is what can be donated:
Any granola, power, nut, or Clif bar with a foil lining.  No candy or cookie wrappers.
Any Frito-lay bag.  No other chip companies.

For those who wish to participate:
Once you’ve saved up a stash of wrappers and bags, send them in to Christian Legner at the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island P.O. Box 967 Manteo, North Carolina 27954. Please make sure wrappers and chip bags are separated from each other.  Thanks!

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June 10, 2010

Is there a sensible solution to the BP oil spill catastrophe?

Is there a sensible solution to the BP oil spill catastrophe?  Perhaps there is.  The video link below will take you to an amazingly simple way to absorb the oil while cleaning up the mess with all natural materials.   It seems all the tools are readily available, inexpensive and easy to use.   

OK, I know this sounds crazy.  The government doesn’t do simple, easy or cheap; usually the chosen solutions are complicated, difficult to administer and expensive.  I mean, Kevin Costner’s invention from Water World?  Really?  It wasn’t even a good movie!

If, after you view this video, you feel a glimmer of hope, please pass it on to everyone you know plus your government representatives.  Perhaps the EPA guys will see it on twitter!!

Hey, it is worth a try before the oil gets to the Outer Banks and ruins our pristine coastline, not to mention our economy.  Talk about beach closings, this could be the daddy of them all.

See the cool solution here.  And thanks for helping.  Maybe we can save some wildlife before they need that bath with Dawn!

June 8, 2010

June’s Green Action Tips

Filed under: Tips — Tags: , , , , , — 4x4RE @ 5:30 pm

Tips for Going Green on a Budget

Going green doesn’t have to cost a lot of green! Use these simple tips to make a positive impact on the environment while keeping your wallet intact. It’s easy, even for the laziest of environmentalists.

  • Shut down and unplug electronics. Make small changes to use – and pay for – less energy, like shutting down your computer when you’re not using it and plugging your cell phone and other electronics into power strips so you can turn several devices off with one switch.
  • Wash your clothes in cold water. By using cold water instead of warm, the average household can avoid emitting 1,281 pounds of carbon dioxide annually and save on energy bills.1
  • Fill your bottle with filtered tap water. Choose the greener solution by using a reusable bottle, like the FilterForGood bottle, and filling it with filtered tap water. If you use a Brita filtration system you can make another responsible choice by recycling your pitcher filter when you replace it, which should be about every two months (or every 40 gallons). Find out more about recycling Brita filters here.
  • Update your wardrobe for less. Instead of consuming new products, trade fashionable clothes, accessories, cosmetics and shoes for free (you only pay for shipping). By swapping merchandise you can lower the amount of harmful emissions caused by the manufacturing process. Check out swapstyle.com to learn more.
  • Exchange CDs, DVDs and books instead of buying. Now you can avoid purchasing new products without forfeiting your entertainment needs. Visit swapacd.com, swapadvd.com and paperbackswap.com for access to thousands of CDs, books and DVDs.
  • Use refurbished electronics. You can get refurbished electronics for a steal (they often sell for less than 50 percent of the retail price!), and before they’re resold to the public, they go through an intense defect-testing process and the warranties usually remain intact. So you can save money and help reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills. Shop at www.dyscern.com and www.refurbdepot.com.
  • Use kitchenware products made of recycled materials. Preserve uses items such as recycled Brita pitcher filters and empty yogurt containers to make their line of colorful kitchen gear. Since they’re about the same price as regular kitchenware, it’s a no-brainer to choose Preserve products. Visit preserveproducts.com to find a retailer near you

May 4, 2010

May’s Green Action Tips

Filed under: Tips, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — 4x4RE @ 2:39 pm

Living Green – Spring Clean

As spring settles in, the days get sunnier. Doesn’t it feel like it’s time to open the windows and spruce up your living space with a little spring cleaning? In these rough financial times, we’re all looking to save a little green. However, for those of us who are trying to live green and are already paying a little extra for organic foods, shelling out a little extra for greener household products might not be an option.

Here’s some good news: You can make your own cleaners for a fraction of the cost. And not only can they lift dirt and grime to leave your house sparking clean, these cleaners, with ingredients like bay leaves, lime, and peppermint, can also lift your spirits with their fragrance!

All-Purpose Cleaner
To make a simple cleaner for wiping down counter tops, sinks, and cupboards, mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle.

For cleaning linoleum and tile floors, place this same mixture in a bucket and dip your mop in.

Air Freshener
To get rid of unpleasant odors, leave out a halved lime (make sure that the cut side is facing upward) in a bowl of baking soda. Instead of throwing the lime and baking soda into the trash when you’re finished using them, grind them up in your garbage disposal instead to freshen the surrounding area.

If you’re a coffee drinker, don’t toss out your coffee grounds after use. Instead, put them in a bowl to absorb odors.

To keep kitchen cupboards and drawers smelling fresh, add a few dried bay leaves.

Fabric Freshener
To freshen couch cushions, use a spray bottle filled with water and two drops of an essential oil such as lemon, orange, or peppermint. Essential oils are very potent, so one or two drops is all you need. Shake the bottle to mix the ingredients and mist whenever freshening is needed.

Carpet Freshener
Crush a couple of bay leaves and mix them with a bowl of baking soda. Add one to two drops of an essential oil and mix with a spoon. Sprinkle this mixture on rugs and carpets, and allow it to stand for a few minutes before you vacuum it up.

Cooktops and Ovens
For cleaning cooktops, dust with a bit of baking soda and squeeze some lime juice over it. You can use the cut lime half as a scouring tool to scrub the cooktop. Use a toothbrush to scour any hard-to-reach spots. For tough spots, make a paste out of some lime juice and baking soda, and let it sit on the problem areas for several minutes before scouring.

For ovens, make a paste out of lime juice, baking soda, and salt. Wipe out the inside of the oven with a damp sponge, then apply the paste. Allow the paste to stand for about a half-hour, then scrub it off using a scouring pad.

Hard-to-Reach Grime
Have an oddly shaped vase that you can’t seem to clean the inside of? Squeeze a drop of dish soap or some vinegar into the vase and add water along with a small amount of dried rice. Cover the top with your hand, shake and swirl the rice around, then rinse.

Homemade Elbow Grease
You can make nontoxic, cruelty-free cleansers from just a few ingredients that you probably already have lying around the house.

All-Purpose Cleaner: 1 part distilled white vinegar, 1 part water, and a few drops dishwashing liquid
Bleach: Hydrogen peroxide or borax and water
Carpet Shampoo: 1/4 cup mild detergent or soap, 1 pint warm water, and 2 Tbsp. distilled white vinegar
Deodorizer: Baking soda and/or borax
Disinfectant: 1/2 cup borax and 1 gallon hot water
Drain Cleaner: 1/2 cup baking soda and 1/2 cup white wine vinegar (let sit for a few minutes, then follow with a pot of boiling water)
Floor Cleaner: 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar and 1/2 gallon water
Furniture Polish: 1 part white distilled vinegar and 3 parts olive oil, with a dash of natural lemon oil
Glass Cleaner: Club soda
Oven Cleaner: Ammonia (set a shallow pan in the oven and let stand overnight)
Rust Remover: Salt and lime juice (let stand for several hours)
Tub and Tile Cleaner: 1 2/3 cups baking soda, 1/2 cup liquid soap, 1/2 cup water, and 2 Tbsp. vinegar

Happy spring cleaning!

(Thanks to Rebecca Siegel, from our Duck, NC sales office for these great tips from the PETA website!)

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