green

Can I just throw away this light bulb?

August 13, 2013 - 1:58pm

Photo courtesy of IncasePhoto courtesy of Incase

"Can I just throw away this light bulb?" I found myself asking this question today, and with much consternation, I realized that I had to look up the answer. I consider myself a little more knowledgeable than the average bear about how and what to throw away, recycle, and bring to a designated location, but somehow, I still had no clue what to do about my dead light bulb. Thanks to the City of Minneapolis website, I now know not only what to do about my current light bulb disposal issue, but how to dispose of more than a half dozen different kinds of light bulbs. I spent much more time than I’m willing to openly admit surfing the website, looking up how to dispose of all sorts of stuff. I even learned that there are a few things I was disposing of in the wrong way (woops). I definitely recommend checking it out for some interesting reading.

GreenCoffins?

August 9, 2013 - 8:44am

We often think of “green living” as recycling what we can, minimizing our carbon footprint, and installing energy saving appliances in our homes, etc. Not true for Affordable Coffins & Artery that found a way to make us greener even in death. This unusual company sells green coffins. Talk about thinking outside the box! (Ba-dum Ching) This company sells “sturdy, dignified, and reasonably priced coffin made from green materials.” Not only do they offer green coffins, but also the entire “green burial” process which involves skipping the embalming process and using biodegradable coffins. Although this story is kind of odd, it does beg the question, in what unexplored ways can we lead more planet friendly lives (and deaths)?

Recycle your old recycling bin!

June 25, 2013 - 8:11pm

As the city of Minneapolis delivers our new recycling bins, many of us are trying to figure out what to do with the old ones. While one member of the Morph team is using the old bin as a glorified wheelbarrow, another has come up with a genius solution to use it as a compost bin. Our carpenter, Brandon De Pillis, discoverered that by drilling holes in the plastic bin and adding a lid, you have a free and easy compost pile!

Give Green Wednesday: People for Parks

June 19, 2013 - 9:26pm

People for Parks

What do they do?

They were created to stimulate financial and community support for Minneapolis Parks from citizens, businesses, and organizations. They sponsor programs and projects that enhance and promote our city's park services and facilities.

What have they done?

Since 1977, People for Parks has identified and funded over $2 million dollars of special projects and events that improve Minneapolis and its parks.

Want to get involved?

People for Parks invites your ideas for improving Minneapolis and its park system. Painting a building. Planting flowers and trees in your local park. Organizing a music event. Sharing your ideas, time and talents. For more ideas on how to get involved, visit their website.

People for Parks

What do they do?

They were created to stimulate financial and community support for Minneapolis Parks from citizens, businesses, and organizations. They sponsor programs and projects that enhance and promote our city's park services and facilities.

What have they done?

Since 1977, People for Parks has identified and funded over $2 million dollars of special projects and events that improve Minneapolis and its parks.

Want to get involved?

People for Parks invites your ideas for improving Minneapolis and its park system. Painting a building. Planting flowers and trees in your local park. Organizing a music event. Sharing your ideas, time and talents. For more ideas on how to get involved, visit their website.

What is the Give Green Program?

When you work with Metamorphosis, we will donate a portion of our profits to your choice of our 4 featured organizations? So, not only are you remodeling or selling your home, you’re also supporting your community.

Spring Cleaning Part #3: Clean Green

May 14, 2013 - 8:39pm

Homemade cleaning wipe supplies by Anna Sattler

Spring Cleaning Part #3: Green Clean

For the last 2 weeks, I’ve talked about options for dealing with your unwanted stuff after you spring clean. BUT, I haven’t talked about the spring cleaning itself (silly me). While you are unearthing forgotten things and cleaning in places you otherwise forget about, consider using green cleaning products. There are several brands of green cleaning products available for purchase and even more options for making your own. Decreasing the amount of chemicals introduced in your home can contribute to lower occurrences of disease for the whole family. Check out these helpful links for more information:

Why use green cleaning products and how to make your own green cleaners.

Project Awesome Backyard 2013

May 9, 2013 - 11:13pm

The Fish Camp

Project Awesome Backyard 2013

After so many months of winter, it seems that the whole Midwest is savoring the warmth, sunshine, and refreshing breeze. People have flocked to their favorite outdoor spots to spread a blanket on the ground and read a book. How many of us can say that our favorite place is just outside our back door? Personally, my backyard is brown and brittle and sad. Not a great place to lay in the grass. Therefore, this weekend will begin Project Awesome Backyard 2013. Are you interested in designing a backyard haven? Here are a few links for some great DIY ideas.

30 DIY Ideas How To Make Your Backyard Wonderful This Summer

Instructables

Create a water garden

Make a sandbox

Spring Cleaning Part #2: Garage Sale!

May 7, 2013 - 12:53pm

Photo by EastlaketimesPhoto by Eastlaketimes

Spring Cleaning Part #2: Garage Sale

Have you done your spring cleaning yet? I haven’t either, but once I get around to it, I’m pretty sure I will have an embarrassing amount of unwanted items that I don’t know what to do with. Luckily, there are many options for getting rid of our home clutter. One option is to donate your surplus (check out last week’s post for more info), another option is to have a garage or yard sale. At first, the idea of holding a garage sale seemed too daunting. I thought, “First I go through my house and unearth things that I’ve never used, but somehow moved four times….now I have to catalogue them, put prices on them, and display them?!” At this point my brain shuts down. But have no fear, interwebs to the rescue! I have found dozens of “how to” lists about how to not only schedule and hold a garage sale, but also how to correctly price your items. I also discovered that many areas of the Twin Cities hold neighborhood-wide garage sales. Meaning they do all the advertisement, you just have to sign up and get your unwanted wares priced and displayed. How great is that! Maybe this garage sale idea isn’t as daunting as I thought.

Interested in having a garage sale? This is what I recommend:

· Find out if your neighborhood has a group garage sale. If so, join in!

· Check out a few of these “how to” lists for ideas on holding an organized and (dare I say it) profitable garage sale. Ehow.com, Howto.com, Garage Sale Tracker (great for pricing your items).

30 Days of Biking

April 23, 2013 - 1:00pm

Written by Samantha Strong for the 30 Days of Biking Blog

I got into biking because of a guy. 15 years ago, my boyfriend at the time was a junior pro cyclist. (He used to brag about riding with Lance. Wonder how he feels about that now?) Anyway … he built me a bike. It was a sweet Raleigh beach cruiser. I wasn’t going to win any races on this thing, but it felt good to ride it. And we rode a lot.

I would ride it to work on the nice days (bussing all the others). It made the tedious chore of getting to work much more fun. And there’s a point of pride in showing up to work with that pant leg rolled up and sweat running down your neck. “That’s right, I’m gross, but I worked to get here. What did you do this morning?”

He and I have long since broken up (and I would later realize that my bike wasn’t sized right_ ah, the metaphor). Coincidentally, it was stolen from my garage the same year my current partner and I shacked up.

This guy is also a bike fanatic. A year_round rider, never is it too cold, too icy, too hot, too wet for him to get on his bike and tackle the elements. Honestly, his stubbornness amazes me. Riding is the only option, anything else is an insult. (That’s his trusty winter steed above.)

I am not that person. I have my single speed, but it’s nothing to write home about. But because I am not that person, I want to do whatever I can to support the people who are. Biking is a simple way to get off your duff and enjoy your neighborhood, meet new people, and build community. This is what my company, Metamorphosis, is all about.

Thank you, ex-boyfriend, for getting me into biking, Thank you, JP, for being an inspiration. Thank you, 30 Days, for starting this movement. Metamorphosis is a big fan.

Earth Day!

April 16, 2013 - 12:52pm

Did you know that the first Earth Day was held in 1970 as a day of environment learning? Twenty million demonstrators, together with thousands of schools, participated in that first Earth Day. In 1990, Earth Day became an internationally recognized holiday when 141 other nations joined in the festivities. We encourage you to be part of the tradition and join the rest of the world in participating in Earth Day this year. Not sure how to get involved? Check out a few of these sites for some ideas.

· Department of Parks and Recreation

· Friends of the Mississippi River

· List of Earth Day events in the Twin Cities

Vertical Gardens

April 10, 2013 - 9:55am

Photo by  wiccahwangPhoto by wiccahwang

Research has shown that having plants in one’s home, office, or school increases productivity and decreases stress. Succulent plants in particular have many added benefits. Many succulents are edible and provide herbal remedies for ailments like minor cuts and burns and sour stomach. Besides the health benefits, plants make any room feel fresh and cozy. Check out this University of California site on how to build your own vertical succulent garden for your home or yard.




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