Monday, December 12, 2011

Recycling Christmas lights-

picture from

There would not be a holiday season without holiday lights. How many of you have spent hours checking those lights or tried to detangle the strings and finally give up and bought new ones? Where do defective Christmas lights go if not in the garbage?

Unfortunately, there isn't a holiday lights recycling program located in Miami (if you know of such a program, please let me know), except for the few days in November when Home Depot accept a trade in.You may see the details here.
However there is a mailing program at where you can send your old lights and get a coupon for LED Christmas lights.
Why choose LED lights? Because they use less energy than their regular counterpart and they last longer. Please see more details on howstuffworks here.

picture from howstuffworks

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Stop unwanted mail-

picture from The Catalog Canceling Challenge site here.

You may have bought a Christmas ornament from a catalog three years ago and here you are three years after and still receiving the company catalog. If you buy from different companies, this can add up really fast. Most companies have website now and usually, you may access the same information that the one in the catalog. Catalog can be recycled in single stream but you may want to consider canceling their subscription to save your time and paper consumption for the environment. I did it several years ago as I was getting buried under the pile of weekly catalogs. I am so glad I did.  Most of them stopped coming almost immediately (several weeks are needed sometimes). One kept coming but I notified the site and it eventually stopped.
You may want to give it a try. You don't have to get rid of all the catalogs you receive if shopping on line isn't for you, but you may want to consider getting rid of the ones you know you will not buy from.
You may find the Catalog Choice website here.

And for the catalogs you still have, check out this craft on Zakka life here.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Garden in Miami- The Kampong


Located on Biscayne Bay in Coconut Grove, Florida, The Kampong contains a fascinating array of tropical fruit cultivars and flowering trees.
The garden is named for the Malay or Javanese word for a village or cluster of houses. Some of the first plantings there came from Indo-Malaysia, brought there by the renowned explorer/horticulturist who introduced these species to the United States and who owned the property in the early 1900s. The collections were expanded and diversified by the next owner, who eventually gifted the garden to the NTBG.
Kampong Planting Heritage collections from Southeast Asia, Central and South Americas, the Caribbean, and other tropical locales create a cornucopia of exotic fruit, including candle fruit, peanut butter fruit, egg fruit, cocoplums, and over 50 varieties of mango. Numerous species of palms, cycads, and flowering trees are studied by scientists from the world over.
The Kampong serves as the mainland campus for the NTBG's educational courses, as a living classroom used by universities and colleges for botany and horticulture courses, and is a popular spot for plant enthusiasts of all ages.
The property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

 Please find more information on the National Tropical Botanical Garden website here.

pictures from

Holiday decorations- Paper snowflakes tutorial

This is a very easy craft for the holidays and the result looks beautiful. Even kids can participate under adult supervision.When you get familiar with the tutorial, you may want to try different types and sizes of papers, even old transparencies to get different effects.

You will need:
6 squares of paper

1-Fold your paper

2-Fold it again

3-Cut it 5 times

4-Open the paper

5-Tape the first square

6-Turn the paper over and tape the second one

Until you get this
7-Repeat another 5 times and attach together

End result shown by Nikki Orchard who taught me this craft last year

Sustainability- Publix

Check out the Publix website on sustainability here and look for the "what you can do" section with tips here.

Footprint calculator-

You can calculate your footprint on here.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Stickers turn cardboard trash into playtime treasure- Springwise

pictures from

Even in today’s world where children are being treated to their own range of tablet computers, it’s still the case that many are quite content to while away their hours playing with simple cardboard boxes. With that in mind, Arizona-based Box Play for Kids now offer a range of whimsical stickers designed to jump-start kids’ imagination when playing with cardboard.

Read more on the Springwise website here.


ACORE Renewable Energy Policy Conference

December 6-7, in Washington, D.C.

Phase II National Policy Conference: “Renewable Energy in America - Creating Security and Prosperity”   

This year’s renewable energy National Policy Forum takes place at a critical juncture. Our nation’s economy teeters on the balance after the super committee failed to produce a viable deficit reduction plan forcing Congress to decide whether to accept automatic spending cuts or find a more deliberate approach to shrink the massive budget deficit. Discussions are taking place to sort out next steps, such as tax reform legislation, as well as extension of the important 1603 cash grant in lieu of tax credits and the PTC, both set expire at the end of 2011 and 2012 respectively. The Phase II National Policy Forum will define the next steps for the future of renewable energy policy: Will Congress follow through on sequestration and what does it mean for our sector? Will renewable energy face extension, expiration or premature elimination of government incentives? Why should and how can Congress best support renewable energy development in this age of fiscal austerity? 

The U.S. renewable energy market is accelerating, fostering much needed investment and jobs. The Department of Defense is investing heavily in renewable energy while regulatory policies are opening new market opportunities in the utility and transportation sectors.  Join renewable energy leaders from Capitol Hill and across the country in the U.S. House of Representatives Cannon Caucus Room as they assess the volatile state of renewable energy policy today and lay out a best case policy framework for 2012 and beyond. 

See more here.

Campus Sustainability Blogs- AASHE

AASHE released a Campus Sustainability blogs list. You may find the list here.