Archive for March, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Turtle eating plastic

Source: Mother Nature Network


Wordless Wednesday

Think Green


Source: estrodariatnosihaloho

Meatless Monday

Here is an excerpt from ShopSmart magazine which identifies what we sometimes think of as “healthy” foods which aren’t so healthy. I find myself eating a lot of these foods as substitutes for my regular fare on Meatless Monday. Who knew???

  • Vegetable Chips
    Their colors may be mesmerizing and seemingly healthier than the standard chip, but they’re still high in calories and fat, and they don’t count as a serving of vegetables.

    Try this instead: Have some air-popped popcorn or freshly cut-up veggies with some hummus.

  • Applesauce
    Sweetened applesauce is loaded with sugar and calories, and it contains very little nutrients.

    Try this instead: Go for the unsweetened version sprinkled with a bit of cinnamon. Or, better yet, opt for a whole apple. You’ll get extra fiber as a bonus.

  • Granola Cereal
    Granola is usually high in sugar, fat, and calories and relatively low in vitamins and minerals. It also contains a whopping 400 calories in an average cup. (This was very surprising…I love granola).

    Try this instead: Have a bowl of an airy, oat-based cereal, like Cheerios, which topped ShopSmart’s test of kid-friendly cereals. For extra crunch and sweetness, add a sprinkling of granola on top.

  • Trail Mix
    Nuts can be a good source of heart-healthy fats, but some mixes contain calorie-laden dried fruits and even chocolate. One cup can contain almost 700 calories! (Did I mention I love granola in my trail mix!)

    Try this instead: Air-popped popcorn is a good source of whole grains, and it’s filling.

  • Turkey Hot Dogs
    A lot of turkey hot dogs are surprisingly high in fat, and some contain even more than regular hot dogs. They can also be loaded with sodium and nitrates, so beware. (Not exactly appropriate for Meatless Monday but still noteworthy).

    Try this instead: A turkey breast sandwich is a better choice. But if you’re really craving that hot dog, read packages and go for a turkey version with the least fat — and skip the bun.

  • Wrap Sandwiches
    These sandwiches can trick you into thinking you’re being healthier because the bread is thinner, but in reality, they are often made in a size that’s large enough for two people. ( Veggie wraps are were my one of my favorites).

    Try this instead: Have a sandwich on whole-grain or whole-wheat bread. Fill it with lean meats and plenty of fresh veggies.

  • Banana Chips
    Yes, they are made from bananas, but they are typically fried in coconut or palm oil, which is ultra unhealthy.

    Try this instead: Have a real banana. You’ll get lots of nutrients for half the calories and no fat.

  • Bran Muffins
    Many bran muffins are the over-sized and loaded with fat, sugar, and calories.

    Try this instead: Have bran cereal with low-fat milk. Add some fresh fruit on top, and you have a healthy start to your day!

  • Frozen Yogurt
    Frozen yogurt may be the most deceptive of all. It has more sugar and less protein and calcium than plain yogurt. Beware of bottled smoothies, too.

    Try this instead: Choose a light yogurt that’s low in fat and calories or a Greek yogurt that has live, active cultures. Then, top it with some fresh berries.

  • Couscous
    Just like white pasta, regular couscous is a processed, refined grain with little nutritional value.

    Try this instead: Buy whole-wheat couscous or opt for a whole grain like quinoa or brown rice.

Did any of your favorite foods make the list?

Earth Day Countdown: 29 Days



Recyclemania Tip:

Newspapers, magazines, and white paper can all be recycled as long as the paper is clean and dry. Plastic wrap, stickers, or rubber bands should be removed, but staples and plastic window envelopes are OK.

RecycleMania trivia question: Paper can be recycled up to _____ times before it is turned into organic waste and breaks down.

Comment on today’s post with the correct answer for a chance to win a prize from the Office of Sustainability. The winner will by randomly chosen from correct answers submitted by 5 pm (EST) on March 18, 2011. (Note: Prize must be picked up in the Office of Sustainability).

33 days until Earth Day on the Plaza….will you participate?

Wordless Wednesday


Source: Lawrence Academy

Say goodbye to your light bulbs

Did you know that beginning in 2012 there will be major changes in the way that you light your home? In an effort to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions the following changes will take place……..

  • The manufacture of 100-watt incandescent light bulbs will be banned beginning in January 2012.
  • The manufacture of 75-watt incandescent light bulbs will be banned beginning in January 2013.
  • The manufacture of 60- and  40 watt incandescent light bulbs will be banned beginning in January 2014

 2012: 100W phase out; 2013: 75W phase out; 2014: 40W & 60W phase out

What does the legislation say?
Between 2012 and 2014, standard A-line 40- and 100-watt incandescent light bulbs must use 30% less energy, but produce the same light output as the incandescent bulbs most of us use today.

What does this mean for me?
While you won’t be required to throw out your existing bulbs, you may be surprised when trying to find the same replacements at the store. After 2012, you’ll find that these bulbs will have to be replaced with energy-efficient options, such as Halogen, Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFL) and Light Emitting Diode (LED) light bulbs.

 Standard incandescent bulbs will be replaced with energy-efficient options such as Halogen, CFL, and LED light bulbs.

How much energy can an energy-efficient lighting really save?
The most common alternative to incandescents used today is the CFL. While the upfront investment is more for these bulbs, the cost is more than offset in money savings and product longevity.

Using a GE Energy Smart® CFL vs. standard incandescent bulb

Initial purchase price, per bulb $0.27 $3.77
Replacement cost (need to purchase 7 more) $1.89 $0.00
Energy cost (based on $0.10 per kWh over the life of the 8,000-hour bulb) $48.00 $12.00
Total cost $50.16 $15.77

savings in this example = $34.39

How will this legislation affect you? Were you aware of the changes?

 Source: GE Lighting, Business Wire

 35 days until Earth Day…test your shooting skills on the Plaza!

Easy Bake Ovens…say it ain’t so

It seems as though the traditional Easy Bake Ovens which hit the market in 1963, use a 100-watt incandescent light bulb to produce the heat need to bake. (Remember 90% of the energy produced by an incandescent bulb is lost to heat…rather than to light). Well in 2012 new energy efficiency lighting standards will take effect and these bulbs will no longer be available. (More on these standards next week).

 So Hasbro has decided to “upgrade” the popular toys with the introduction of the Easy Bake Ultimate Oven which uses a more energy efficient heating element. So these toys will not necessarily become extinct…but changed forever.

At least I can say I remember when. What did you make in your easy bake oven? Did you have any idea that new lighting standards were on the horizon?

Source: Mother Nature Network

Photo: The David Blahg