Submission Form: Picturing a Better World

November 29, 2008 by  
Filed under Children, Education, Family, Kids, Student Art Gallery, Youth

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Students: Send in your best drawing of a topic that is connected to the environment for posting on Blue Planet Green Living. Be sure to attach a completed and signed submission form. Deadline: March 1, 2009

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Natalie, Iowa, Grade 3

November 29, 2008 by  
Filed under Front Page, Iowa, Student Art Gallery

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“I think that the orange juice containers should be thrown away because they can’t be recycled. But they can be thrown away. But that is taking up room in the landfill! I wish that orange juice companies would use plastic containers so they can be recycled.”

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BPGL Announces New Student Art Gallery

November 29, 2008 by  
Filed under Art, Blog, Events, Front Page, Student Art Gallery

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It had to be one of the coldest November mornings, of course, windy, dark, close to snowing, but just holding off. About 25 hearty souls showed up for the first round of a three-part tour of our city’s refuse and recycling systems. Our first stop was the landfill.

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Ranching Underground Livestock

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“Worm castings are the ultimate fertilizer,” Kevin Somerville says. With a flat-end shovel, he carefully turns the compost pile in a shallow, wooden bin to reveal a squirming ball of red earthworms. Kevin’s wife, Mary, shows us the tiny, white babies, not much wider than a piece of thread. The biggest of the worms is only a couple of inches long.

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Earth & Rowan, Eco-Friendly Art Supplies

November 27, 2008 by  
Filed under Art, Artists, Blog, Ecopreneurs, Front Page, Ireland

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Dublin artist Pauline Rowan wasn’t satisfied with the art materials she and her students were using in their work. Most were filled with petrochemicals and were harmful to the artists and damaging to the environment. Rowan is a prolific photographer and videographer, a filmmaker, a painter, an illustrator and an art instructor. She is also an ecopreneur and the founder of Earth & Rowan.

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A Raw Diet for Your Pets

November 26, 2008 by  
Filed under Blog, Front Page, Iowa, Oregon, Pet Food

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“Raw meat is what dogs are designed to eat,” says Doreen Hock, DVM. “It’s much closer to their ancestral diet.” We’ve been talking about the advantages of human-grade pet foods as compared to the more common, less-expensive foods that contain meat by-products. I’m already convinced from my research that anything containing meat by-products isn’t what I want to feed a pet that I love. But this idea of giving only raw foods is new to me.

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Pet Foods Good Enough to Eat

November 25, 2008 by  
Filed under Blog, Florida, Front Page, Iowa, Oregon, Pet Food

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Concerned that Joe and I may be inadvertently feeding roadkill — or worse (see Pet Foods and Mystery Meats) — to our cat, Keebee, I visit with Julie Phye, co-owner of Leash on Life pet supply in Iowa City, Iowa. Although we’ve been relying on grocery-store pet foods for Keebee, Phye shows me that there are a wide variety of other choices available. Some are made with “human-grade ingredients.”

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The Great, Green Hope

November 25, 2008 by  
Filed under Blog, Front Page

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Interesting, isn’t it, the way we follow trends? Sometimes it seems like we’re mindless sheep, herded easily by advertisers and the media. Buy this, wear this, watch this, drink this, eat this, hear this, read this, say this, and be this. Is that what is happening to us now? Is the Green Movement just another trendy phase we’re going through?

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Pet Foods and Mystery Meat

November 24, 2008 by  
Filed under Blog, Front Page, Pet Food

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“There’s no way to know what the ‘animal by-products’ in pet food are. They could be euthanized pets, animals from research facilities, even roadkill.”

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Food Pets Die For: Shocking Facts About Pet Food

November 23, 2008 by  
Filed under Blog, Books, Farms, Front Page, Pets

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Foods Pets Die For: Shocking Facts About Pet Food by Ann N. Martin and Shawn Messonier isn’t for the faint of heart — or stomach. The text provides grim details about what goes into the pet foods that we find in the supermarket. It’s not pretty: dead animals from clinics, pounds, and shelters; roadkill; animals that have died from illness or disability; decomposing carcasses; even cancerous growths and the contents of stomachs and guts.

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“We Don’t Have the Time to Wait”

November 22, 2008 by  
Filed under Activists, Blog, Front Page, Iowa, Weatherizing

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What would bring 41 young adults outside for three hours on a bitingly cold weekend, when they had midterm exams to take and papers to write? For that matter, they had TV sports to watch, video games to play, or any number of other activities that wouldn’t require them to shiver in the wind. Yet, three students were attaching weather stripping, putting plastic on the windows, and adding a door sweep in the front entrance of Ben Ploof’s home in Coralville, Iowa.

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Pursuing the Dream of a Sustainable Life

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At 9:00 on a brisk autumn morning in rural Illinois, Jill Schutts and her son, Ely, bundle up and trek from their old farmhouse to the out buildings. While Schutts takes Joe on a tour of the hen house and feeds their small flock of free-range hens, Ely grabs a piece of firewood and works at cracking the thick ice on top of the goats’ watering trough. For this family, living sustainably is far more than a platitude; it’s a habit of daily life.

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Legacy of a Green Artist and Dreamer

November 20, 2008 by  
Filed under Artists, Blog, Ecopreneurs, Front Page, Wisconsin

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Jeanne Freymiller was a fiber artist, an unconventional quilter, and a dreamer. She was “green” before it was fashionable, collecting thousands of pounds of castoff and scrap fabric that otherwise would have been sent to the landfill. But she didn’t hoard it selfishly; Jeanne had a vision for how the rescued fabric could be used to help others.

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The House Recyclers

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“We weren’t born with silver spoons in our mouths,” says Lucille Duwa. She stands in the shell of the two-story farmhouse where she and her husband raised their children. In the rooms around her, workers are tearing out floorboards and removing doors. “Leroy and I don’t like to see things that can be used get destroyed,” she adds.

Parts of Mr. and Mrs. Duwas’ 1870s-era home are being salvaged by Friends of Historic Preservation (FHP). The Duwas no longer need this large, old home, as they’ve built a smaller, newer home beside it. Volunteers are saving what they can of the house’s architectural features to take to the FHP’s Salvage Barn. The ultimate goal is for these treasures to be recycled into other projects by new owners.

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Lindsay Rice, Contributing Writer

November 18, 2008 by  
Filed under Contributing Writers, Lindsay Rice

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Lindsay Rice, contributing BPGL writer, says, “I believe that we are an evolving and cooperating species, striving to live in harmony with the Earth. I love the fact that we have so many delicious food choices available to us. Plus, I am just a foodie.”

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A Time for Gathering and Harvesting

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For centuries, traditional healing societies have recognized a correlation between the human body and the cycles of the Earth. Each season has its own unique characteristics and the body responds and adjusts to live in harmony. Specific foods are ready for harvest at specific points throughout the year. The enjoyment of these seasonal foods is most supportive to healthy living.

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Californians Protect Farm Animals with Prop 2

November 17, 2008 by  
Filed under Blog, CAFOs, California, Factory Farming, Front Page

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Californians recently passed a historic proposition that provides a higher quality-of-life standard for farm animals. Proposition 2 (“Prop 2”), also referred to as the Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act, prohibits the containment of farm animals in a way that does not allow them to turn around, stand up, and fully extend their limbs.

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Sabrina Potirala, Contributing Writer

November 17, 2008 by  
Filed under Contributing Writers, Sabrina Potirala

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Hi there. I’m originally from Chicago (the best city in the world, in my opinion). Currently, Iowa City is my primary residence, with the Internet coming in at a close second. Through my writing, I hope to show people that there is so much on Earth worth saving and to inspire them to action and environmentalism.

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Chef Kurt Friese Shares His Passion for Slow Foods in a New Book

November 15, 2008 by  
Filed under Blog, Books, Front Page, Organic Food, Slow Food USA

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“The love you put into the food you cook really does go into your children,” says Kurt Michael Friese, co-owner and “chef emeritus” of Iowa City’s acclaimed Devotay restaurant. Friese is the founder of the first Iowa Slow Food convivium, part of Slow Food USA, a growing movement that promotes eating local foods that are sustainably farmed and lovingly prepared.

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Donate Your Cell Phone

November 14, 2008 by  
Filed under Batteries, Blog, Cell Phones, Front Page, Landfill, Tips

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Do a quick online search for places to donate your old cell phone, and soon your head will be spinning with choices.

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