Friday, July 29, 2011

Bicycle Helmets: When to replace?

Via FaceBook, bike blogger Jillian sends this link from the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute for when to replace your helmet.  It's a lot more detailed, but here's the bullet list:

  • Did you crash it? Replace immediately.

  • Did you drop it hard enough to crack the foam? Replace.

  • Is it from the 1970's? Replace.

  • Is the outside just foam or cloth instead of plastic? Replace.

  • Does it lack a CPSC, ASTM or Snell sticker inside? Replace.

  • Can you not adjust it to fit correctly? Replace!! 

  •  I need a new helmet.

    Thursday, July 28, 2011

    Gainesville Sun's Ron Cunningham comments on his blog about Republican bike vs. truck race

    Ron Cunningham is a true-blue green patriot because he is a dedicated Gainesville cyclist and a great advocate for the rather large bicycle culture in town.  He weighed in briefly on the recent Alachua County Republican Party-sponsored "race" between a truck and a bicycle:

    I don’t know about you, but I’m glad Stafford Jones and Alex Patton don’t ride bicycles. First, they’d almost certainly hurt themselves, and we’d never hear the end of it. And second…Alex, seriously, nobody hauls lumber on a bicycle. That’s  dumb as…well…dumb as wood.

    THANK YOU, Ron, for validating my point that no dedicated green patriot worth their salt would attempt a lumber carry on a bicycle without the proper equipment!  Alex Patton also responded to this post with a nice letter that took offense that Ron was skeptical of Patton's ability to ride a bicycle.  I think everyone should be questioning the logic of a cyclist who would carry a 2x4 on their bike without at least a trailer.  Very impractical, Alex.

    Saturday, July 23, 2011

    Alachua County Republican Party doesn't like bikes

    You need you some panniers, Alex Patton!
    I think that is a pretty good summary of the Gainesville Sun article posted today, where the GOP machine in Alachua County sponsored a cycling event in the 13th Street Home Depot parking lot.  The goal?  To prove that bicycles are inefficient and impractical for transportation in Gainesville and the rest of the county.

    This is hardly about whatever deficiencies riding a bicycle (besides not having the benefit of having about three tons of metal between you and another vehicle) in the city may present to citizens.  This is about stopping all efforts to promote more efficient roadways and other city planning projects that would benefit pedestrians and cyclists:

    In Alachua County, 90 percent of the money raised from the 5-cent gas tax goes toward paying for roads. The other 10 percent goes toward bicycle paths.
    Patton said bicycle usage outside the downtown area doesn’t warrant that level of contribution.

    Of course not!  What could possibly be the benefit of safer bike pathways on roads outside of the city limits?  No one with a "three ton Chevy Avalanche" needs a bike path, and those who do are just poor and so who cares?

    Alex Patton, who rode the bicycle against the above-mentioned truck, apparently lost the race because he was attempting to pick up cartons of eggs and ice cream, some dry cleaning, and a 2x4 as part of the errands to accomplish during the race.  This is without any sort of carrying component to the bike other than a backpack.  A 2x4?  Seriously?  

    I've reported over the years about the various changes we've made to our family's bicycles in order to carry out the day-to-day activities we do with just one car; when DJ was a toddler we had in him a child trailer which eventually became a grocery trailer; a child carrier on the back of the bike; a ride-along bike trailer when DJ was learning how to bicycle; and finally, DJ is now old enough to ride his own bike and I have attached a cargo trailer on our extra beater bike.  As any seasoned commuter cyclist who spends a good portion of time riding to and from their destinations knows, you need the right tools to do the right job.  Like anyone who owns a big ol' truck, you have tools in case you break down (in fact, my blogger buddy, Jillian, just posted about the tool kit a commuter cyclist needs on the road).  

    This was obviously an exercise in futility if you require a cyclist to make these kinds of trips with nothing more than a backpack; anyone who only had a bike and needed one 2x4 would ask a friend with a car for help (like asking the driver of the truck, for instance), or making the trip on the bus.  It's possible to carry a 2x4 on a bike, but there is little reason for someone to do it when there are other options.  I'm sure there's an argument to be made about this if the person in question is poor and cannot afford the bus or has no friends with cars, but it seems like any argument for or against bicycles is going to somehow entail some kind of inconvenience.

    Be prepared to hear the "bikes are inefficient" line over and over again anytime the question of taxes for city planning and bike pathways that in any way improve the bike-ability of Gainesville or Alachua County is raised.  Critics will most likely even point to this Gainesville Sun article as an example.

    Thursday, July 21, 2011

    Update on bulk soaps at Citizen's Co-op

    So I reported last week that me and DJ took a first shopping trip to our shiny, brand-new cooperative food store, Citizen's Co-op.  That trip we concentrated on bulk food items; today I ran in with a couple of containers to get castile soap and Charlie's laundry soap.  I was a little disappointed that they did not have a huge bucket of castile soap and instead had gallon jugs of Dr. Bronner's; don't get me wrong, I grew up on Dr. Bronner's almond-scented liquid soap (which I bought today, in fact) but it would have been cheaper to have gotten it in larger bulk.  It was still pretty cheap, though; an 8-ounce bottle was $2.80USD (they charge by bottle size).  The Charlie's soap came in liquid and powder; I'm used to the powder so that is what I got - it was about 7-dollars for a smallish OxyClean bucket - about 15 scoops.  I actually should have been more scientific about it and DANG IT! I threw away the receipt.  Why did I do that???  Okay, now I have to go back and get the price breakdown.

    Anyway, while I was there, the kind gentleman who helped me get the tare weights the last time helped me do this for my OxyClean container, and I mentioned that I didn't see any unscented castile soap.  He said they tried to get the Dr. B's Baby unscented but it didn't come in gallon jugs; I suggested they try to purchase Stephenson's organic castile soap.  Last time I bought it, it was around 22-dollars a gallon, and the price breakdown got better the more you got (they also had 5 gallon and 22-gallon barrels).  The gentleman said he would check into it; I think it would be a good choice for the store because I'm positive it would be cheaper in the long run to have at least a 5-gallon bucket of unscented than the gallon jugs of the Dr. Bronner's.  Also, I like to put my own fragrance in the castile soap, if I am of a mind.

    In the end, I'm really glad that Citizen's Co-op has bulk soaps (forgot to mention they also have Charlie's All-Purpose Cleanser which I will have to try next) and that will be my go-to place for laundry and body wash from here on out!

    Monday, July 18, 2011

    Urban Agriculture and the Alachua County Comp Plan: What You Should Know!

    Diana, the nice lady I buy eggs from on payday, sent this my way via Facebook so thought I'd share it on the blog - It's taking place Wednesday, July 20, from 6:00-7:30pm at the Downtown Public Library.  Here's the text:
    FREE Public Forum. Join Alachua County Growth Management Planner Holly Banner who will present information on proposed changes to the Alachua County Unified Land Development Code (ULDC) relating to agricultural uses.

    The intent is to support and promote a stronger local food system with improved access to healthy, affordable, nutritious food. This will be achieved by expanding the list of allowable uses to include more urban agriculture, such as backyard chicken keeping, community gardens and farmer's markets.

    Holly will run through the proposed changes and take your questions. This promises to be a lively evening of sharing! Free and open to the public. 
    This is part of Grow! Gainesville, a part of Gainesville Farm Fresh, a new site dedicated to connecting area folks with sustainably-grown, local foods.  If you follow the link you can connect to them via Facebook, as well :)

    Sunday, July 17, 2011

    Front Yard Gardens

    Clothesline, twine, and tent pegs
    Bamboo and twine
    My big one right now is actually in the back yard, but wanted to also show a couple of other yards on my street, each with its own, unique system of lattice work for vines. Mine, as you can see, is a makeshift job of clothesline, with twine anchored down with tent pegs. I'm actually quite proud of myself for coming up with that! The second yard is up the street a few houses, and the neighbors rigged up a pretty cool-looking network of bamboo poles and twine.  Beautiful sunflowers!  The last one is our neighbor Mark's garden, and he has the most unique set up I've ever seen.  For the past two years he's used these Rubber Maid bins that are self-contained growing spots for at least a spring and summer garden (I believe he lets them winter over, covered with plastic sheeting.  I had been telling friends about this set up and said that he had started with one and now had four, but looking at the picture I realized he is now up to six!  And he's growing corn!!  I don't want to be a hater so will merely channel the frustration and envy of those who have unsuccessfully tried to grow corn in their garden plots -- KHAAAAAAAANNNNNNN!!!111!!!!!

    The thing I love about Mark's lattice work is that he is totally a dude and went with PVC pipe; I really shouldn't be so sexist!  Even if he wasn't a dude, it makes perfect sense to build a frame of PVC pipe to hold up your tomatoes and squash (I think it was actually a cantaloupe I saw a ways back), because you can just disassemble it at the end of the season and let the pipes and joiners rest neatly in your shed until next year. 

    Native American cucumber
    Here's a couple of updated photos of the backyard garden; The vines are crawling up the twine very nicely as you can see.  The vine in front is a vegetable plant Hollie from Morningside Nature Center gave me in the Spring; it sprouted one vegetable, and from the photo it looks like a yellow squash, but not so!  I finally decided to bring it inside and slice it to find out what it was (I thought Hollie had said it was a watermelon) and while it looked like a squash on the outside it was more cucumber-looking on the inside, and had a nice, tart flavor - if I hadn't eaten it raw right then and there it might have made a nice accompanyment to some pickled vegetables.  Spoke with Hollie later and she said it must have been one of the Native American cucumber types she had sprouted.  Cool!  I saved the seeds so maybe next year I can get some more of these.  It's still going strong, though, and actually put out another blossom yesterday - maybe we'll get another cucumber for pickling!

    The other vines are loofah sprouts I got from Farmer John's table at Ward's; the bean plants are also from Farmer John's but I can't for the life of me remember what they are, except some kind of bean plant.  They could be edible or ornamental, so will have to wait and see.

    Saturday, July 16, 2011

    Citizen's Co-op: First Shopping Trip

    The Citizen's Co-op is finally open!  Yay!  They apparently opened up earlier in the week with a "soft" opening, but DJ and I went over there on Friday to get some bulk items we needed and have a look around.

    Having your own co-op in town is a really nice feeling, and when we first walked in we were greeted cheerily by everyone working and shopping.  Yes, being greeted by both counter folk and shoppers might seem strange, but I think everyone is just so excited that the dang store finally opened that the mass greetings were more like, "isn't this freakin' great?!"  My next impression was that the store was awfully small, but really, it's maybe a little smaller than the Ward's departments that are all hippy-fied.  And it had the immediate accessibility of a corner Korean grocery that were ubiquitous in my previous hometown of Manhattan.  Much, much cleaner, however.  It had that new store smell.

    So, after finding the corner that contained the bulk items - and there was really nothing that I noticed not present among the items I usually buy; today I had to get some flour, sea salt, and sugar.  Being all about bringing my own bulk-item containers I had brought some so as not to use the baggies, and vaguely remembered a recent communication from the co-op that said they would put the tare weight on the container so they could deduct it once it was filled and weighed.  I stood by the counter with my containers and very shortly a man who wasn't aiding a shopper helped me weigh the containers and put the tare weights on them.  Gretchen, the big Kahuna of the Co-op, even came by to thank me for bringing containers; honestly, the first time anyone has thanked me for making more work for store employees.  Then I set DJ to work filling them while I perused the store.

    Well, I actually didn't really get a good look at everything because I was hovering over DJ to make sure he didn't spill more of the sugar on the floor than in the container.  While I'm looking at the first picture, I just noticed that there was indeed bulk castile and Charlie's Soap in the store ("soft" opening operative, Bren, had related as much) and you can see the canisters and bottles in the lower left corner of the photo.  So, they took my suggestion or is this just standard for all co-ops?  Perhaps I'll never know, but I'll have to go back when we need laundry soap and dish detergent; I know they have one, but need to check on the other.  They had some local produce, but I think the season made it difficult to have a lot of stock as we are in the dead summer months; they had some nice looking local peaches, however, but wavered on whether to get some even with the big chance of them rotting in my crisper.

    There's a lot convenience and packaged foods - DJ found a lemongrass-flavored ramen he wanted to try - but I'm there for the local produce and bulk items, really.  Along the back wall there were various affirmative statements (maybe mission statements?) about food and eating and it was all very artfully done.

    The prices were all very reasonable and comparable to Ward's (I don't go to Mother Earth much so I don't know how it stacks up to that store), and that may be one of the main criticisms I have about the place; it might just be replicating other Gainesville efforts at sustainable, healthy eating.  Overall, however, I was very happy with the place; lots of natural lighting, pleasant people on both sides of the counter, and a warm, gentle atmosphere made it imminently more appealing than any other food store in town.  We'll definitely be going back there, if only so I can look at the dairy and meat sections, which I didn't get a chance to peruse on this visit.

    Pictures of Citizen's Coop, 435 S. Main Street Gainesville, Florida 32601 | 352.505.6575 |

    Updated to include link to site, address and phone number

    Friday, July 15, 2011

    Because You Googled It: More on Cottage Industry Act

    It's funny that I would be begin the AE's new feature, "Because You Googled It" with a summary about the Cottage Industry Act (which is not its real name, as I will get to in a bit); within a day, the Google stats showed about 14 searches for the house bill on this site; the law took effect on July 1st of this year.  I was originally going to do the first BYGI on bringing cast iron cookware on a plane, and will probably get around to answering that question at some point.

    First of all, it's not actually called the Cottage Industry Act; it's regularly known, in the FL legislature, as House Bill 7209, or the "Consumer Services Functions/DOACS," and was signed into law by Governor Scott on 06/21/2011.  It took effect on July 1st of this year, and here is the summary of the part about cottage industries:
    The bill creates a regulatory system for Cottage Food Operations, to exempt from permitting by the department a cottage food operation that sells less than $15,000 annually, and provides for labeling requirements of cottage food products.
    Pretty straightforward, and basically what we already knew.  There are three companion bills, one is still in the system, one failed, and the third one, SB2122, is (like the other two) basically contains deregulatory measures through attrition of resources and personnel and keeps taxes low on grapefruit and other Florida citrus.

    That's really all the info I have on it right now.

    Thursday, July 14, 2011

    Cottage Industry Act

    Okay, so what little I could glean (guess I'm going to have go deeper by *gasp* going to the library) it's a new Florida law that lets people who want to sell "safe" foods like jam, cakes, or cookies, have to go through less licensing rigamarole in order to go into business - they cannot make more than 15k/yr with this enterprise, however.  

    At first I thought this would open up Florida markets to have above-ground dairy and meat producers on a micro-scale, like the Glades Ridge Goat Dairy (I so love their chèvre), who are forced to sell their items for pet food.  But, I don't think goat chèvre counts as a low-risk food (children, can you say "listeria?").  

    On the other hand, this new legislation might end up becoming a trap for these Florida producers of dairy and meats since this law is so specific; this is just an initial thought and I don't have much to base it on, but authorities might use the Cottage Industry Act to distinguish between "legitimate" cottage food businesses, and those businesses they perceive as skirting the law through the pet food loophole.  It could be a blow to the Florida small farming community, and especially during these dire economic straits our state finds itself in these days.

    Got the photo from Homestead Revival blog post, "Does canning jam really save money?"

    Sunday, July 10, 2011

    First AE Like Prize Derby Commemorative Blingee

    AE Prize #1
    Because the first winner is such a patriot (I don't really know this) I made a Blingee which I love so much!  It is a great gift - Build Your Own Patriotic Image!  So, I'm hoping the winner contacts me so I can send it to her.  Anyway, I'm tired (as evidenced by this stupid Blingee) and must retire.  Congratulations to the winner and thanks, once again, to all of the wonderful friends and FB denizens who like the Accidental Environmentalist on FB.  Each week I'll have a different random drawing for prizes (sustainably repurposed from my own collection of stuff), so don't forget to "like" my Accidental Environmentalist page on Facebook!

    Username on Facebook/Prizes for liking

    Reached 25 likes on FB so I was able to get a username, making it easier for people to find the page: - thanks to everyone who has liked the FB page and follow the Blog page!  You are the song in my heart and the smile on my lips; you keep me blogging!

    Just so you know, each week for as long as I find "prizes" around the house I will be having a drawing for each week's FB users who like the page.  I hope this will be a lot of fun for people, because I know I'm going to have a lot of fun seeing how much you LOVE the prizes I find!

    Operation Sunflower in Fukushima Prefecture

    Just wanted to pass this along via boatsie on DKos:

    ...a group of scientists launch Operation Sunflowers, an experimental project in three locations in the Fukushima Prefecture. The hope is the sunflowers, fertilized with kalium which has similarities to radioactive cesium, will absorb large quantities from contaminated soils.  A visit to the sites early this month revealed the seeds are already sprouting in an atmosphere where radiation one meter above the ground radiation levels range from 7 to 21 microsieverts per hour.

    Awhile back, the old man told me about Chinese brake fern and how, when it has absorbed arsenic from the soil, will repel bugs.  There is a science that studies and cultivates plants for removing toxins from the soil, called phytoremediation, and two of the scientists researching brake fern are developing it for use in phytoremediation.

    So, anyway, I find this all fascinating and it is early on Sunday and I need to get up and make breakfast.  Coffee first!

    Got the photo above from Deinha1974's page on deviantART.

    Saturday, July 09, 2011

    Are CSAs Worth the Money?

    So, I've been thinking about joining the Swallowtail Farm CSA in the Fall (The Gator Share CSA starts in the beginning of October and runs to the end of April) and am kind of having a hard time swallowing the 480-dollars that you need upfront in order to get a share in the harvest.  It's 7 months, or roughly 69-dollars a month, and I'm not sure we eat 69-dollars worth of vegetables a month.

    We do eat vegetables, but sometimes we have to rely on frozen veggies for dinner; I realize that that's not such a bad thing, but fresh would be totally better.  And thank goodness DJ is one of those kids who likes broccoli and carrots, two of the easiest veggies for us to prepare, so I know he's getting something wholesome in addition to the rest of the crap he eats. 

    Starting tomorrow, I will be logging how much our family spends on vegetables, frozen or otherwise, and figure out if this is a good option for us.  Of course, you have to take into consideration that joining the CSA might be more than what we spend at Ward's or Publix, but the fact that it's local, it's farmers market fresh, and it's sustainably cultivated is worth a few extra dollars.

    Here's a link for CSA's in Florida.

    Different Summer, Different Sandals

    Last summer I was all about my Okabashis, and my favorite comment was by alert reader, Tammy, who told the best story in the world about looking at Okabashis one day at the drugstore, so I encourage you to read it because it was totally the "ut."

    This year, I splurged on a pair of Birkenstocks, because it is the 7th initiation rite in belonging to Gainesville.  My son, DJ (short for "Dude Junior"), because he is growing like a sprout, started wearing them when I wasn't looking, and I went for hours in sadness because I did not have my Birkies.  Anyhow, I finally broke down and bought him a pair of his own and in retrospect I should have gotten him a pair in my size because he still steals mine.  What's it going to be like when he's in high school?!

    Here is a link to last year's post about the Okabashis (similar photo!) - I'm waiting for him to realize that wearing the same sandals as your moms is uncool.  Maybe it isn't anymore?


    Just returned the Wattmeter I borrowed from our public library.  This is a great new resource and I'd be curious to know if other public libraries in other states have these.  It's a device you plug into an outlet and then attach the appliance you want to test to see how much energy it uses and how much it costs to run.  It is already set to GRU's Kwh price (.032) so all you have to do is follow the instructions.  Because I did this in between other wheel-spinning around my house, I only got to test my laptop and my cordless phone charger.  The laptop was surprisingly low, costing about 15 dollars a year to run, while the phone charger was about 30/yr.  Now, I may have those numbers wrong and may have to revisit the wattmeter thing again, but it was interesting to try this gadget out; actually, I don't think I'll get a chance to retest these appliances anytime soon, because there is a big ol' waiting list for the thing.

    Thursday, July 07, 2011

    Accidentally Environmental Thing: Zippo Lighters

    Area with circles is where sparks come out.
    Son DJ helped with this post, and right now he is all about Zippo lighters after seeing his first one today while at a friend's house.  After thinking about it, I realized that Zippos are an Accidentally Environmental Thing!

    First of all, every part in the Zippo lighter is replaceable.  They come in a whole dang lot of styles going from denim-covered lighters to concealed lighters in pretty eggshells. Zippo lighters have been around since 1933 and are made in the USA.  Finally, they are guaranteed for life, like the Jansport backpack - "It works or we fix it for free."

    If you are going to buy a Zippo be careful if you have small children because they do not have a safety device because kids can easily pull back the striker because there is no child safety device and even when you do it sparks will fly in different directions. So be careful that you don't get burned.

    Citizens Co-op is finally opening!

    Got an email that said so, so I really, truly believe it.  They're finally opening!!!  They're having a "soft" opening for members that starts on July 12th but then a public grand opening on July 15th.  Gee, you know, the thought just occurred to me that I don't have a card or any proof of membership or anything.  I hope they have me somewhere on record as being a member.  Oh geez, something else to worry about.  Oh, I guess I could email them.  Let me do that.  I wonder if they'll have bulk laundry and dish soap.

    Tuesday, July 05, 2011

    Eureka, an (obvious) fix for PSS (Panty Shield Shift)

    NOTE:  Males will not find this at all interesting and perhaps a little gross.  Women, too.  Why am I writing this?  I am compulsive.

    So, in the past I've made menstrual pads from flannel from a modified pattern from Many Moons that no longer exists, but since getting the Diva cup I've used actual pads-in-the-pads very little.  But they make great panty shields on the spotty days - except for the fact that they shift around like mad and actually do not provide much shielding at all.  I guess they're not that great.  BUT, the other day it occurred to me that if I put another snap on the thing that would pull it tighter, I wouldn't have this problem.  I found the snaps, hammered in another one, and lo!  Problem solved.  That is a combination of "eureka!" and "duh."

    Yes, here is a picture of the extra snap, to the left of the original and, yes, I would indeed show my skanky old reusable pad in a blog post to illustrate this solution.

    Monday, July 04, 2011

    Update on Sierra Club "Go 60 mpg" Campaign

    I need a horse.  I've got a concept where I hitch the horse to my car and have some of the 1870's farm folks get in the car (the driver on the roof with the reigns) and that will be my cautionary tale about why we need 60 mpg fuel efficiency standards.  So, if you have a horse and live in or near Gainesville, please don't steal my idea but do contact me. 

    Your Fourth of July Super-Patriotic Thing: Go 60 mpg

    I haven't done an Environmental Patriot post in a few years so thought I would post about a cool project that Sierra Club is doing to petition for a 60 mpg standard for cars in the US.  It's a spectacular idea and I would certainly sign it immediately.  Sign it, share it on FB and the Twitter Machine, this is important stuff - at least for me.  So, if you don't want to sign it for the environment or the little creatures the scamper or swim about, do it for me.  I worry.

    Oh, SNAP!  It's not some regular fail petition, neither!  It's a some kind of photo petition where you have to get out your camera or cell phone, use just enough energy to point at something and take a picture.  Then you have to email the dang photo and THEN sign the petition:
    1. Snap a photo of the reason why you want 60 mpg.
      • Thumbs down at the pump — because you can't afford to fill up so often.
      • Your fuel efficient car — because you have high standards, and your car should too.
      • You holding a sign with your own reason — because there are so many reasons to Go60 mpg.
    2. Email your photo to with the subject line: "I want 60 mpg because..."
    3. Sign the petition to show your support for strong vehicle fuel efficiency standards - 60 mpg by 2025.
    4. Tell your friends!
    Send us your photo!
    We will collect the photos and deliver them with your signatures to President Obama and other key decision makers at the EPA and Department of Transportation to show them it's time to set a strong, 60 mpg standard! The images you submit will put a face on this issue - a face that cannot be ignored.

    I'm sorry, that's just too much work. What? You think I should do it anyway because I always say I'm a "super-duper patriot?" It's true! I do always say that about myself, but I'm also extremely lazy and short-sighted. Whatever, man, that's my motto. I like to think of it as being more Zen than lazy, actually.

    Oh, okay. OK! Geez, stop it, already - I said I'd do it!  Will post with an update - if you post about this on your blog, send a link and it will encourage me to actually do an update and post it along with the update.

    Saturday, July 02, 2011

    New look for the blog

    Am trying to do more towards getting the blog live on my server, but in the meantime, thought I would change the template - I really like this one - it seems more roomy.

    Friday, July 01, 2011

    Japan's Electricity Conservation Posters

    Okay, one more post, because I saw this on Pink Tentacle via gmoke's post earlier today ("Japan Aftermath") on DKos.  As I've recounted in a couple few places (+ here and here) I'm a sucker for environmental art propaganda, and here is the latest from Japan, where they are still (and probably for the foreseeable future) dealing with the massive devastation to their country in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami that took place in March of this year:

    In Tokyo and surrounding areas, signs of electricity conservation are visible everywhere. Rolling blackouts are in effect, train services have been scaled back, stores and businesses are using fewer lights, advertising signs and escalators have been switched off, and even some pachinko parlors have cut their hours of operation. On Twitter, a community of graphic designers has sprung up to create posters encouraging people to save power. Residents of eastern Japan are encouraged to print them out and post them where they live and work.

    The summers are pretty dang hot in Florida and while we have yet to deal with catastrophic earthquakes, we deal with catastrophic hurricanes (tsunami's western cousin) on a pretty regular basis.  We shouldn't just be making cool, arty posters about the environment when the times are good, we need to use this resource to encourage people especially now in these bad weather and economic times.

    Speaking of which, the first set of posters I reported on as part of ReadyMade's "Poster Children" series from 2008 are in danger of being removed because ReadyMade has gone out of business, unfortunately.  If you want to save these posters because they are so very artilicious, take the time now to download them and upload them to your flickr or whatever so we will not lose these important reimagining of WPA style poster art from the 40's.

    As an aside, I linked to Pinktentacle once before in 2008, reporting on a tip sent by pal Stace about a bra that turns into a tote bag - very sustainable!

    Everything I need to know about living sustainably I learned from the United States Postal Service

    Tonight is kind of meh for me so I'm just going to post a pic of the new "forever" stamp collection from USPS of Go Green stamps and call it a night.  Remember when green stamps were something you exchanged for a toy cash register at the S&H store? At least my mom's green stamps did.  You don't remember?  Well, then.  I am old.