Sunday, July 29, 2007

On Vacation...

I'm on a Road Trip and will come back soon, in the meantime, here's some info on BUg repellent:

Researchers at Iowa State University found the essential oil in catnip to be about 10 times more effective at repelling mosquitoes than DEET, the widely used synthetic repellent. Simply crush the leaves of any of these plants to release their scents and rub them on your exposed skin.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

I thought the first myth was funny...

Organic Myths

Myth: Organic food tastes like cardboard.

Fact: This may have been true of processed foods at one time—take crackers or pretzels for example—but this stereotype is as outdated as the hippie connotations that follow it. Today many organic snack foods taste the same as their conventional counterparts, while most people agree that fresh, locally grown organic produce does not compare to the alternative. Even organic produce that is not in season and has been shipped thousands of miles to reach our grocer’s shelves cannot compare to the produce found in our own back yard or at farmers markets. Taste is certainly an individual matter, so give organic a try and let us know what you think!

Try baking a couple batches of cookies or prepare a couple of bowls of fruit or vegetable salad; use organic ingredients in one and conventional ingredients in the other. Which tastes better?

Myth: Organic food is too expensive.

Fact: In general, organic food costs more than conventional food because of the laborious and time-intensive systems used by the typically smaller organic farms. You may find that the benefits of organic agriculture off-set this additional cost. At the same time, there are ways to purchase organic while sticking to your budget. Consider the following when questioning the price of organic:

Organic farmers don’t receive federal subsidies like conventional farmers do. Therefore, the price of organic food reflects the true cost of growing.
The price of conventional food does not reflect the cost of environmental cleanups that we pay for through our tax dollars.
Organic farming is more labor and management intensive.

Myth: Eating organic food is the same as eating natural food.

Fact: Natural foods do not contain additives or preservatives, but they may contain ingredients that have been grown with pesticides or are genetically modified. In other words, the ingredients in the ingredient panel will look familiar, but they have not been produced organically. Natural foods are not regulated and do not meet the same criteria that organic foods do.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Native Plant Resources

These are mostly for Northern California:

California Flora Nursery
Fulton, CA

Cornflower Farms
Elk Grove, CA

Larner Seeds
Bolinas, CA

Mostly Natives Nursery
Tomales, CA

Native Here Nursery
Berkeley, CA

Saratoga Horticultural Foundation
San Martin, CA

Freedom, CA

Yerba Buena Nursery
Woodside, CA

Also ask your current nursery – they’ll supply
more local CA natives if they know of the

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Alameda county is all over this green stuff:

You can get some brochures/pamphlets on a variety of topics such as bay-friendly gardening, recycling guides, tips on friedly janitorial supplies and landscaping tips.

If you live in the county you can order the printed versions free, if you live outside the county, you can still download the .pdf free or order copies for a small cost.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

A Safer Stripper?

From Molecular-Tech Coatings Inc. in Canada...

some product details:

2. Product Name

3. Product Description
Specially formulated for environmentally friendly paint stripper. To replace chlorinated solvent, and prevents localized breakdown of the passivating oxide film. No activated acid and no HAP. Formulation contains no Methylene Chloride, no Formic Acid, nor Carbonic Acid, and no N-MP (N methyl Pyrolidone).

4. Vehicle Type
Ethyl cellulose

5. Pigment

6. Use
Paint stripper for aerospace aircraft paint, epoxy primer, fiber glass boat, gel coat, wood, metals.

7. Product Information
Color Milky
Gloss None
Dry Films Thickness 30-40wetmil
Volume Solid 1
Immersion Corrosion No Effect
Sandwich Corrosion No Effect
Hydrogen Embrittlement No Effect
Density 1.0313 kg./lt.
PH 5.7-6
Sag 30-40mil.
Viscosity 80-100 KU @77°F

8. Application
Application Spray On, Brush On, Roller On
Application Temperature 39-100°F
Recommended Thinner None
Recommended Cleaning Cold Water
Lift Time Overnight
Substrate Aluminum, Magnesium,
Steel, Gel Coat, Wood

9. Dry and Handling
Dry and Handling Not Applicable

10. Storage and Handling
Packaging/Shipping Weight 1.0313kg/lt. and Container Weight
Flash Point P-M Closed 212°F
Shelf Life Manufacture Date 6 Months Subject To Inspection
Recommended Storage 39°F to 77°F

11. Preparation
Scrape the paint film off with plastic scraper or pressure wash then rinse and neutralizes with Soapy water. Separate the solid paint and residue from the liquid. Then contain the solid in a drum for disposal.

12. Application Condition
Room Temperature

13. Application Equipment
Air spray with a wide open nozzle, brush, roller.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Organic Wine

From Radish Magazine

Green is for grape: What's up with organic wine?
Comment on this article

from the Editors of E/The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk:
I’ve been noticing a lot of organic wines lately in the supermarket. Is this going to be a continuing trend? -- Peter Toot, via email

The recent upsurge of interest in organic foods has indeed not escaped the wine business and, yes, organic wines are more popular and more readily available than ever.
According to the Organic Trade Association, an industry group representing organic food producers and distributors, U.S. sales of wines made with organic grapes reached $80 million in 2005, a 28 percent increase over the previous year. Such sales represent little more than one percent of the total U.S. domestic wine market, but the association expects organic wine sales to grow about 17 percent a year through 2008, mirroring growth across all sectors of organic agriculture.

There are two types of organic labeling on wines. The vast majority of wines made with organically grown grapes do not qualify for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) white-and-green “certified organic” label. This is because, like many conventional wines, they include added sulfite preservatives to prevent oxidation and bacterial spoilage.

While trace amounts of sulfites occur naturally in wines during the fermentation process, most producers add more, later in the winemaking process, to prolong shelf life. An estimated one percent of consumers, primarily those with asthma, report sensitivity to wines with larger amounts of sulfites. Symptoms can include a quickened pulse, lung irritation, skin redness and rashes. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned the use of sulfites on fruits and vegetables in 1986 after 13 consumer deaths were linked to them.

Current USDA rules allow wines containing fewer than 10 parts per million (ppm) of sulfites and made from organic grapes to carry the “certified organic” label. But organic wines may only advertise that they are “made from organic grapes” if they contain more than 10 ppm and up to 100 ppm of sulfites. Some organic grape growers consider it unfair that the addition of sulfites—which occur naturally and are not synthetic chemicals—should disqualify their wines from “certified organic” standing.

Moving beyond organic, a handful of vineyards have adopted so-called “biodynamic” (BD) grape growing methods, adding to organic methods the practice of cultivating, pruning and harvesting on a strict calendar in sync with lunar cycles. Many view such practices skeptically; nonetheless, proponents claim that BD wines taste better and remain drinkable longer. The website Wine Anorak (“anorak” is British slang for “geek” or “nerd”) lists biodynamic wine labels from around the world.

Some leading organic (and low-sulfite) wines include varieties from Ceago, Frey, LaRocca, Bonterra and Organic Wine Works. Meanwhile, the California-based Organic Wine Company sources and distributes organic wines from around the world. Additionally, California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF), a trade group representing that state’s organic agriculture industry, provides a free online directory of California organic products and services, including the state’s many purveyors of organic and biodynamic wines.

Contacts: Wine Anorak; Ceago; Frey Vineyards; Bonterra; Organic Wine Company; CCOF Organic Directory.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Building Green

their top ten producucts of 2006

Polished concrete system from RetroPlate
Underwater standing timber salvage by Triton Logging
PaperStone Certified composite surface material from KlipTech Composites, Inc.
Varia and "100 Percent" recycled-content panel products from 3form, Inc.
Recycled-content interior molding from Timbron International
SageGlass tintable glazing from Sage Electrochromics
Water-efficient showerhead with H2Okinetic technology from Delta
WeatherTRAK smart irrigation controls from HydroPoint Data Systems, Inc.
Coolerado Cooler advanced, indirect evaporative air conditioner from Coolerado, LLC
Renewable Energy Credits from Community Energy, Inc.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Because Mother Earth Is a Woman

I'm not sure what her tag line really means, but sometimes this blog is interesting.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Kitchen Gardens

their tag line:
promoting the "localest" food of all, globally

check out their "GrowoffShowoff" contest

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Green Travel

In searching for a flight to mexico, I noticed that Travelocity is encourging customers to Travel green by buying carbon=offset credits. They've even created a little cartoon rabit to make it more appealing...,,TRAVELOCITY|3689|vacations_main,00.html