18 July 2008

the winds of change

Lm Otero / AP

When you think of oil in the continental US, you usually think of Texas, right? But what about wind energy? That's right, Texas again. The largest of the contiguous states has already been the US giant of harnessing the power of the wind, and it's just the beginning. State officials just gave the green light to a wind-power line transmission project to the tune of $5 billion. It could be as few as 4 to 5 years before the lines are in service, providing power to an estimated 4 million Texas homes. [MSNBC]

So how can I get me some of that wind power?
You can sign up for wind power, or other alternative energy programs, through your local energy provider. If your provider doesn't offer greener solutions, consider carbon offsets.

(NYC residents, sign up here.)

bees knees (and elbows, and hands, and...)

Before I started paying attention to what was in everything I consume, I would just use lotion that at the very least claimed to be cruelty free. But these days, that's not enough. Going forth with the motto "better safe than sorry" I eschew products that have any suspicious ingredients -- like sodium laureth/laurel sulfate, parabens, petroleum-based glycerin, etc.

There are two products I switch between to keep my skin good and moisturized sans chemicals: Beeceuticals Honey Thyme Lotion and Burt's Bees Honey and Orange Wax Lotion. Both of them are contained in fully recyclable #2 plastic, and both support bees -- a species integral to the production of the world's food supply. But I do prefer Beeceuticals over Burt's Bees for a few reasons: better scent, lack of ambiguous "fragrance" ingredient, and texture.

Beeceuticals Honey Thyme Lotion

  • Goes on smoothly, not greasy at all
  • Subtly sweet citrus scent
  • Contains certified organic ingredients
  • Supports fair-trade practices

Burt's Bees Honey and Orange Wax Lotion
  • Not greasy, but can be a little tacky
  • Neutral honey/orangy scent
  • Leaves skin feeling softly smooth