Archive for January, 2009

1st Anniversary Bash

Woohoo!  We’re turning one!  I can hardly believe it!  Of course we’re having a par-tay, and of course you’re invited:

Enjoy refreshments, learn more about green living, and celebrate the unveiling of our Kitchen & Bath Gallery. All are welcome to attend this momentous occasion.

Please RSVP here to ensure everyone gets refreshed!

Throughout February, we invite the public to celebrate our birthday by bringing in items from the Oak Park Animal Care League‘s wish list or the OPRF Food Pantry (Please see the wish list at  Everyone who donates receives 10% off their purchase.

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I made the President stuff envelopes!

Back in the day, when I was  working on the campaign of a current Illinois state officer (NOT the gov!!!), a tall, handsome gentleman walked up to me and told me he was looking for Maria.  After I identified myself, he told me that he was here to volunteer on the campaign.  So I set him up stuffing envelopes, like I had done for about 50 other people that day.  I checked in on him periodically, kept the crew running on juice and cookies, and thanked him profusely before he left.

Little did I know that just six years later, that man would become the 44th President of the United States of America!  I had the honor and pleasure of working with Barack Obama on a few occasions during the years before he announced his candidacy for President.  I was always impressed by his stunning personality, incredible speeches, and casual manner that put everyone at ease.  This was so refreshing too, considering how terrible working with candidates can be.

During most of my time in politics, I had no idea I would one day open Green Home Experts.  I also didn’t know that Barack Obama would be President one day!  But I am thrilled that our worlds have, in some way, collided once again.  President Obama has promised to create green jobs in a variety of ways.  While  several decisions are yet to be made, Congress’ input considered, and the details worked out, here is what was promised during the campaign (source: Barack Obama’s official campaign website):

Create Millions of New Green Jobs

  • Ensure 10 percent of Our Electricity Comes from Renewable Sources by 2012, and 25 percent by 2025.
  • Deploy the Cheapest, Cleanest, Fastest Energy Source — Energy Efficiency.Obama and Biden will set an aggressive energy efficiency goal — to reduce electricity demand 15 percent from projected levels by 2020.
  • Weatherize One Million Homes Annually. Obama and Biden will make a national commitment to weatherize at least one million low-income homes each year for the next decade, which can reduce energy usage across the economy and help moderate energy prices for all.
  • Develop and Deploy Clean Coal Technology.Obama’s Department of Energy will enter into public private partnerships to develop five “first-of-a-kind” commercial scale coal-fired plants with clean carbon capture and sequestration technology.
  • Prioritize the Construction of the Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline. As president, Obama will work with stakeholders to facilitate construction of the pipeline. Not only is this pipeline critical to our energy security, it will create thousands of new jobs.
    (Editor’s note: I admit that I do have some reservations about some of his plan, especially the Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline.  But because the details are not clear yet, I have not yet fully formed my opinion.)

For so many of us, Inauguration Day was emotional, inspirational, and hard-fought for.  For me, it was also an incredible affirmation of the work we are doing at Green Home Experts, the power and future of the green movement, and the promise that each of us is one among many, empowered by our president to make the changes our planet needs.

Please share your Inauguration Day experience with us.  How did you celebrate?  How did you feel?  Did you do anything to document the event?

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Think Green in 2009

I have two green resolutions for 2009:

1) Grow more veggies. I already get much of my fresh produce from the Farmers Market, and I would like to eat even more locally by eating out of my backyard. I’ll be planting beans, tomatoes, squash, and herbs. Any suggestions for other full-sun veggies?

2) Eliminate baggies. Being the Costco junkie that I am, I bought sandwich bags 3, that’s THREE, years ago! And I still have them! Every once in a while, I have to use one. I successfully banned paper towels from my domain in 2008, which was a big challenge considering I have 2 puppies (and 2 men) in my house. I think if I could bar paper towels, sandwich bags should be a zip–haha, no pun intended.

So, what’s your green resolution in 2009?  Please share your thoughts!

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Thanks, Mom, for filling me in on what precycling means.  I yanked this from Wikipedia:

“Precycling is the practice of reducing waste by attempting to avoid bringing into the home or business items which will generate waste.

It includes such practices as buying consumables in bulk to reduce packaging, buying consumables in recyclable packaging over non-recyclable packages, avoiding junk mail, and using electronic media for reading materials, especially throwaway items such as magazines or newspapers.

As recycling requires large amounts of energy to “melt down” and then re-manufacture items, it also sends large amounts of pollution into the air. While it may cut down on the amount of trash that is going into landfills, it is not a sustainable answer to the problem of waste. The original three pronged push for trash management is “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.” Precycling then, is an emphasis on “reducing and reusing”, while harnessing the momentum and popularity of the term “recycle.”

Those that participate in the precycling movement may carry with them a “precycling kit” when they are outside of their houses. Such a kit might include a re-usable lunchbox, a set of cutlery, a cloth napkin or handkerchief (instead of paper tissues) and a thermos or reusable water-bottle, etc.; all items might be carried in a cloth bag that can double as a shopping bag.

Precycling, then, includes any such attempts to reduce the production of waste.”

So, how are you precycling?

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