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Monday, April 18, 2011

Today Is My SITS Day! Woo Hoo!!!

For Women

When I saw the email from Kat, I couldn't believe my luck.  Was it truly my turn?  After months of waiting (somewhat impatiently) for my day in the sun?  The answer was, "YES!"  Today is my SITS day!  For those of you who're wondering, "What the heck is a 'SITS Day'?" I'll tell you: SITS stands for "The Secret To Success Is Support."  It is a wonderful group of over 8,000 female bloggers who support one another and today I'm the featured blogger (YAY!).  You may find my feature here.

A HUGE "thanks" to everyone for stopping by!  I really hope that you find at least one thing that you can implement in your life to make it greener.

I also really appreciate all of the wonderfully encouraging comments.  I will reply to each and every one of you on the SITS page and will try to here, as well.  It may take me awhile, but I will!

It's been a great day :)

Elena White is the founder and editor of  Life The Green Way, corporate sustainability coordinator at her day job, and a "rurban" wife and mother.  Learn more about her here and follow her on Twitter at @Lifethegreenway.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Do You Know When To Buy Organic?

Most of us cannot afford to buy 100% organic when we grocery shop- I know I can't. Here's some information to help you decide what foods are better, i.e. healthier, when organically grown: the Environmental Working Group (EWG) advises that consumers can reduce their pesticide exposure by 80% by avoiding the most contaminated fruits and vegetables and only eating the cleanest ones. If consumers get their USDA-recommended 5 daily servings of fruits and veggies from the 15 most contaminated, they could consume an average of 10 pesticides a day. Consumers who eat the 15 least contaminated conventionally grown produce ingest less than 2 pesticides daily. The "dirty dozen" are the foods with the highest concentrations of pesticides and chemicals — even after washing and peeling, so buy organic whenever possible.

12 Most Contaminated:
(Buy organic when possible)
  1. peaches
  2. apples
  3. sweet bell peppers
  4. celery
  5. nectarines
  6. strawberries
  7. cherries
  8. pears
  9. imported grapes
  10. spinach
  11. lettuce
  12. potatoes
15 Least Contaminated
(Okay to buy non-organic)
  1. Pineapple
  2. Honeydew Melon
  3. Cantaloupe
  4. Watermelon
  5. Grapefruit
  6. Kiwi
  7. Mangoes
  8. Sweet Potato
  9. Onions
  10. Eggplant
  11. Sweet Peas
  12. Asparagus
  13. Cabbage
  14. Avocado
  15. Sweet Corn

Monday, April 4, 2011

My City Rocks, Part 2: Birmingham's Railroad Park is the Best Park in the Nation!

Shot of the Railroad Park from the BridgeImage by Terry McCombs via Flickr
It's official! Railroad Park is the People's Choice 2011 Best New Park Winner!  A big "THANK YOU" to all who voted. My awesome, loyal readers already know how much I love this park, so if you're new to my blog, first a big "Welcome!" to you and secondly, you must click here to read my manifesto about Railroad Park.  You'll also see some pictures of the lovely park that I took on a family outing there).  Enjoy!

Elena White is the founder and editor of  Life The Green Way, corporate sustainability coordinator at her day job, and a "rurban" wife and mother.  Learn more about her here and follow her on Twitter at @Lifethegreenway.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

April is Earth Month: 4 Fun Earth Day Facts


As the vernal equinox has just passed, the weather is improving and tidings of an impending summer are in the air. In less than a month, environmentally-conscious citizens and nature lovers everywhere will be given a day to celebrate that which guarantees our very survival- our wonderful planet. As you prepare for Earth Day celebrations, here are a few fun facts about the day and its origins that may surprise you.

1. The idea for Earth Day was first started by a Wisconsin senator.
In 1972, Wisconsin United States Senator Gaylord Nelson first conceived of the idea of having a nationwide day that took a hard look at environmental degradation. By galvanizing mostly college and high school students and teachers throughout the nation, Nelson envisioned a day-long teach-in, modeled after the Vietnam War teach-ins, in which lecturers, students, and community members would gather to discuss environmental activism.

2. The first Earth Day was coincidentally held on a Lenin's 100th birthday, leading many to believe in a communist conspiracy.
Ah, the Cold War days. Although Nelson had planned for Earth Day to be held in late April, when exams and vacations wouldn't interfere with observing the day on college campuses, his plan somewhat backfired when the first Earth Day happened to fall on the centennial of Lenin's birthday. A Time magazine article reported that there were allegations of a communist plot. A delegate from the conservative group, the Daughters of the Revolution was quoted as saying, "Subversive elements plan to make American children live in an environment that is good for them."

3. The first Earth Day drew together 20 million participants on a grassroots level.
More interesting than the plans that were made to make the first Earth Day a success, was the enormous turnout that the day garnered. An estimated twenty million people from thousands of universities and high schools across the country participated, gathering to discuss and protest issues like oil spills, pesticides, the pollution from factories and power plants, the destruction of wilderness, and more.

4. The international UN-organized Earth Day traditionally takes place on the vernal equinox.
While the April 22 celebration has also become an international event, a separate holiday was first introduced during the UNESCO Conference for the Environment in 1969 and came to fruition in the spring of 1972 when the UN Secretary General Kurt Waldheim observed the holiday. The event is often planned in conjunction with the April Earth Day, and traditionally the Japanese Peace Bell is wrung to commemorate the beginning of spring and promote respect for the planet earth.

These are just a few interesting facts about Earth Day. For more information on the day's full history, check out the Wikipedia entry as well as this History Channel webpage.

Mariana Ashley is a freelance writer who particularly enjoys writing about accredited online colleges. She loves receiving reader feedback, which can be directed to mariana.ashley031@gmail.com.