04 August 2008

chris elliot and gerry mulligan's tips for green living

Chris and Gerry teach us how to compost [via The Late Show with David Letterman]

But seriously, why should anyone compost? For starters, more than 60% of household waste is recyclable or compostable. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 25% of the food we make each year is trashed. The EPA also reported that in 2005, food scraps accounted for 12% of all landfill waste in the US. This waste contributes to the release of methane -- a greenhouse gas that's 21 times more potent than carbon dioxide -- into the atmosphere. And we all know by now that releasing all that greenhouse gas into the environment contributes to climate change.

So here are some resources for the novice or more experienced composter or gardener:

Books on Composting

Composting Contraptions

Composting Tips

NRDC. The Past, Present and Future of Recycling. (3/28/08)
EPA. Why Is Food Waste an Issue?

less toxic nail polish

I used to be a regular at the local nail salon, until I started thinking about the chemicals I was exposing myself to. Many popular nail polish brands include formaldehyde, petrochemicals, and other nasty ingredients. So for the last couple of years, my digits have usually been unadorned, except for a few special occasions. Fortunately, a few months ago during a spa day (a Christmas gift from my sweetheart) I came across a less toxic nail polish brand: SpaRitual.

It's free of dibutyl phthalate (DBP), formaldehyde, and toluene and after wearing it for a month on my toes, there was no yellowing -- something that commonly occurs with more chemically laden brands like OPI and Essie.

Acquarella is another brand of nail polish that is said to be the least toxic of them all. It's water based, and contains no phthalates, toluene, formaldehyde, or petrochemical solvents. It's also cruelty free and vegan. There is a bit of a learning curve though, as the application method varies slightly from traditional nail polish. Plus it's a little pricier than mainstream polish at $18 a bottle.

If you want to skip the 3 toxic ingredients (and support cruelty-free products), go with these brands:

And for polish removal:
Don't forget the organic cotton balls!