Author Archives: Virginia


I’ve noticed the Natural Gas Industry has been bombarding the airways with commercials, in an attempt to drill into everyone’s minds that they are a good clean natural alternative and their industry is boosting the economy by creating jobs.  I had to laugh, knowing very well why they are all of a sudden investing so much into marketing, having their commercials play over and over again, as we are all glued to the Japan reports on CNN.

Their aggressive and very expensive new ad campaign is all damage control after film maker Josh Fox came out with the documentary Gasland. The film focuses on communities in America impacted by natural gas drilling.  Hydraulic fracturing is a drilling method which blasts chemicals and water into the ground creating mini earthquakes to release natural gas out of the earth. The process also causes natural gas and chemicals to seep into peoples water supply.

Watch this preview. It shows a guy holding a lighter to his tap and the water catches on fire!

Can you believe that some people are showering in the dark because the water and fumes from the pipes all through their home smells like gas and they fear their shower water will catch on fire if a light bulb blew?!

In this day in age we feel we are being protected  by science, testing, rules, regulations and restrictions. Something like that wouldn’t be allowed if it was known to be so damaging. It’s hard to believe that could possibly be happening here but don’t underestimate the power of money, the government did indeed exempt Gas companies from environmental regulations such as the Safe Drinking Water Act in the Energy Policy of 2005 and peoples water really is being contaminated.

Beware, Hydraulic fracturing is also happening in the Atlantic Canada.

Hopefully this Oscar Nominated Documentary helps force the government to put a stop to this before drilling spreads to a community near you.  Awareness is key.


Wasting Trees

This article Auburn Fans Mourn Trees By Killing More Trees, made me stop and think about just how wasteful our society has become. We just continue to waste with complete disregard to the fact that the more we use, the more we destroy. As individuals it may not seem like much but with everyone doing it that adds up to 6 soccer fields a minute of rain forests being wiped out! Now I’ve gotta put more thought into paper.

Toilet Paper

Seeing the irony in all that toilet paper hanging on those poisoned trees the college students were mourning in that article made me consider looking into recycled toilet paper. This was shocking to my friends because in the past this has not gone over well with me. Years ago one of my roommates bought recycled toilet paper and it was awful. It wasn’t soft and even had blue flecks in it! Are those the blue lines from recycled loose leaf? Needless to say he was no longer allowed to make those kinds of purchases lol. I figured it was time to check it out again, they must have improved the recycling process by now.

At Superstore I found 3 kinds.

PC Green recycled but looked cheap and rough.

Majesta Soft & Green looked normal and soft but it wasn’t recycled. It called Treesposible, they plant a tree for every one they cut down. Better than nothing but I think recycled would be a better choice.

Cashmere EnviroCare is made from 100% recycled fiber but didn’t look cheap so I went with that. It’s no different than normal forest chopping kinds. No blue flecks and was just as soft. No sacrifice, switching was easy!


Way ahead of this one, I have been buying recycled printer paper for years. 🙂 Having a business, it’s kind of hard to ignore the stacks and stacks of paper I collect each year.


I had already switched all the mail/bills I could to email statements a while ago but I haven’t figured out how to stop receiving flyers yet.


My fellow greeners are using handkerchiefs but since my family still hasn’t gone through a whole box this past year I decided to keep the tissue paper.


This one is gonna be hard since I always use paper napkins when I set the table. I’ll keep an eye out for cloth napkins though and once I find a pretty color I really like I’ll pick some up. They would make a better table presentation anyways.

Paper Towel

Turns out the Sponge Towels I have been using were Cashmere EnviroCare as well. Super, I don’t have to switch those but to be honest I had no idea they were recycled. Before this whole greening venture I have never really paid much attention to packaging.

Although this was easy because I didn’t have to make a switch,  it does require a bit of a sacrifice. I have to be more conscious of just how often I use it. I’m trying to use cloths instead of paper towel when cleaning except for gross things and glass. I’m not giving it up but am doing my best to use less.

Any suggestions on good lint free glass cleaning cloths?

Take a peek at the article that I was talking about

Auburn Fans Mourn Trees By Killing More Trees

at least look at the picture!

Giving Up Sanitizing

I thought I had a head start on this one. Everyone knows too much antibacterial isn’t good so I gave up sanitizing my home years ago. I had bought into the clever advertisements convincing us that we must constantly sterilize our homes and had Lysol wipes all over the house.  Well I tossed those for plain old soap and water but held onto the antibacterial hand soap.

I keep hearing about Triclosan and how bad it is for many other reasons. It’s an antibacterial ingredient so I’ve gotta give up the soap too. Not too hard, just a matter of switch the soaps by my sinks. Easy to find, there are all kinds of natural hand soaps, I picked up some Kiss My Face and Method hand soap. They work good, smelled good, really it’s just hand soap. One foams, one’s a gel, one’s creamy, not much difference besides I have noticed my hands aren’t dry anymore.

It never really occurred to me just how often I was washing my hands with antibacterial soap. In the kitchen I’d wipe the counter, wash my hands, cut up onions, wash the knife, wash my hands, touch meat, wash my hands, wipe the counter again, wash my hands, feed the cat etc etc. No wonder they were dry, I was stripping them by constantly sterilizing them with antibacterial soap!

So I made the switch and it was easy, then I found out that triclosan is in so many other products besides antibacterial soap. 😦 Avoiding it isn’t gonna be as easy as I thought. I don’t think I can make the switch on some of those things. Maybe some things like deodorant and face wash but I’m keeping my toothpaste.

If  you want to know more about Triclosan…


If you want to know about green toothpaste…

Green Actually Works!

Under my bathroom sink is now all green! To be honest, I really wasn’t sure about this. I didn’t do any research and just grabbed some products that claimed to be green.  I tried them and they cleaned just as easily as my normal cleaners. A natural, chemical free cleaner can’t possibly clean that well, I expected they would require more scrubbing. When I took a closer look at the bottles I noticed the Clorox label on the Green Works products. I was convinced I got Greenwashed by Green Works, as I associate Clorox with chemical products.

I searched the net and found an article on saying that it’s 99% Natural. Clorox still has plenty of bad chemical products but their Green Works products are green. I must say I was impressed! Who knew I could clean the tub just as easily without getting all lightheaded from breathing chemical fumes. Green actually works.

Check List

  • Green Works Bathroom Cleaner
  • Green Works Toilette Cleaner
  • Nature Clean Glass Cleaner
  • biodegradable (not polluting water)
  • no fumes
  • all bottles are recyclable

Under the Bathroom Sink Done! 🙂


If you want to know what the 1% non-natural parts are


I should also mention the Nature Clean product is 99.9% natural. I’ve only tried the glass cleaner so far and it worked extremely well. I’ll have to test out some more Nature Clean for my next purchase.

In-Your-Pocket Bags

I was so excited to find In-Your-Pocket bags today! I can not believe how excited I was.

I’m always forgetting my green bags.  Too often I don’t expect I’ll need them. Today I bought some books at Coles and of course declined the plastic but I didn’t have a bag and was left carrying my books through the mall. I was saying to my mom, that I wish I could carry my green bags in my purse. I take them to the grocery store but I don’t carry them around the mall while browsing and don’t plan to buy something. Minutes later I spotted pocket bags in the check out at Sobey’s. I was so excited, as I raved to my mom about how convenient these will be,  lady’s behind me started grabbing some too!

Get one, it’s my new favorite thing! They hold a lot but are very light and you just fold them into a long strip, roll, snap a button and put it in your purse.  When folded they are teeny tiny.


In-Your-Pocket bag

I think they were a $1 or $2 at Sobey’s

Is it Green?

I don’t know about fabric, it may be nylon. Not sure if that is green approved.

Maybe it’s nylon made by DuPont 😦 I’m mad at them but that’s another story.

Funny Mishaps

I obviously have plenty to work on. I live a very unhealthy lifestyle so as I have mentioned in previous posts, I signed a contract with Lynne. We selected a 5 things I needed to work on for 1 week. She required correspondence each day in order to ensure I was actually doing it. It didn’t go so well but I thought I’d share my Greening Disasters on here. Why are such simple task so difficult for me, you may ask. I’d like to know that myself lol.

1st Report (Promises)

Me : So I didn’t make it to the Bulk Barn but I promise to make toast and drink lemonless water first thing tomorrow.
I’m gonna walk at the cup in the mornings with my father until I get my crossbow set back up. Then I can Row for 15 minutes each day.
Good thing I making the easiest meal tomorrow because I suspect it will take me a long time to track down all of these strange organic ingredients.

Lynne: Glad for the report. Naturally, I was concerned. So far, so good. Pledging to make toast and drink lemonless water is an excellent step in the right direction. I will note it on your file. That’s right. You have a file.  Walking with your dad is good for two reasons. Excercise, and a little quality time. I fully support the endeavor. You can do this. Action Plan to obtain the crossbow? When are we expecting it? What’s your ETA? 15 minutes is a good start. I like it, I like it a lot.

Couldn’t help but note the phrase “strange organic ingredients”. I smile to myself, but feel a small lecture is in order. Not strange. “Healthy”. Beautifying. Delicious. Not strange. But frankly, at this point, so long as you pick them up I can deal with it.

Day 1 (Shopping Gone Wrong)

Lynne: It’s five to four. A great time to be starting dinner for this evening…If you haven’t stocked up on nice organic groceries, now is the time. I don’t want excuses either. So help me, I’ll be checking your crisper!
Me: Well, I must say, my organic shopping did NOT go well! First I went to the bulk barn and they didn’t have much of what I was looking for in organic. Then as I was at the check out inquiring whether the insane amount of plastic bags I had accumulated there were biodegradable, I realized I had forgotten my green grocery bags! I then had to drive back home and get those before I went to Superstore. I spent a lot of time searching for organic, antibiotic free and aluminum free products. I was not as successful as I had hoped. Only half the vegetables and fruit I bought were organic. I could only find antibiotic free chicken breast and the rest of the meat was just normal. I was pleased to easily find certain canned goods organic and aluminum free in the Naturals section. Even found almond milk there too. It took me a while to track down ingredients I didn’t even know what they looked like. Fortunately I ran into a few clients who I know are expert cooks to help me. I couldn’t find organic milk or eggs but I did at least buy eggs in environmental friendly cartons instead of styrofoam. I got everything on my list except extra virgin coconut oil, it looked like wax in a jar. Is that what it’s supposed to look like? It didn’t look right, so I skipped it for now.

Although only have of the groceries were organic, it’s still much better than the junk I usually buy. It also cost much less than I normally spend. That’s the good news so be proud of me and don’t hold this next part against me. The whole shopping thing took way too long, gave me a headache actually. By the time I finished it was almost 5:00 so I went to Water Street Bakery bought a u bake pizza, came home, popped it in the oven and took some meds and a pepsi. I’ll start bright and early tomorrow I swear. This whole organic shopping thing is exhausting and time consuming. I’m convinced more than ever that I should hire a personal shopper.

Lynne: Dying laughing. It’s bad. Okay, first things first. Organic milk and eggs will be found in the natural section, not the regular section. Also the only place in a grocery store you’ll ever find almond milk. Virgin coconut oil is more like a wax. It’s thick and you can scoop it instead of pouring it. The title is misleading. The herbs at bulk barn are never organic and I should have told you so. That one’s my fault, and I’m sorry. I should have went with you. I know where all that stuff is at Sobey’s and now it takes me no time whatsoever. It isn’t expensive, which is surprising. Tomorrow is an alright start date. After all, I didn’t give you enough guidance here. You won’t need a personal shopper. It will only get easier and easier. Just think of how fast you can locate a TV Dinner. Soon, you’ll find organic cheese that fast.

Day 2 (Cooking Gone Wrong)

No healthy smoothie this morning, my blender didn’t work. I did eat breakfast though. Pizza.
I drank nothing but lemon water all day, no pepsi, to make up for it lol. Tomorrow I’ll start having healthy breakfasts. I swear.
I went out and bought a blender and coconut oil this afternoon but I forgot my green bags again. 😦
I did cook supper but it didn’t go well. It took forever. I can’t remember the last time I spent that much time in the kitchen.
I peeled and chopped all the vegetables. Then I spent an hour washing dishes. My last green dishwasher experiment went terribly wrong.
All the dishes ended up with a baked on white film that wouldn’t scrub off so I had to soak 6 sinks full of dishes in vinegar then scrub them with soap and water.
Then by the time all of my dishes were all sparking clean, supper was ready. I was all proud of myself. As I was about to serve it my father called and asked what all I put in it. “It’s a boiled dinner, what do you think I put in it? Ham, onions, carrots, turnip, parsnips, cabbage.” He starts laughing at me and points out that I forgot the potatoes!!!! Yep, I did indeed forget one the main ingredients. It then took me another 45 minutes to scoop everything out of the pot into a big bowl, pour the juice into a smaller pot, peel chop and boil the potatoes to add them to the dinner. Despite all the mishaps, it did turn out good in the end though. 🙂

Day 3 (Confession)

No smoothie this morning. I went out to breakfast with a friend instead.
Still drinking the lemon water. Getting off the Pepsi is easier than I thought.
Didn’t have to cook supper after the huge pot I made yesterday. That
was convenient.
Oh and not sure if you noticed, I haven’t been reporting back about
exercising. Well that’s because I have  been doing it.
I was just avoiding the subject and hoping you wouldn’t ask.  I
thought I’d confess now after I actually did some today.

Day 4 (Doing It)

Finally tried the smoothie. It didn’t go so well.
It was all thick and lumpy, so I put it back in the blender but then the almond milk seemed to curdle and separate from the oats.
It took a lot of effort for me to even take a sip. It tasted ok but the texture was weird. I must not have made it right. Maybe it would be better without oats.
Still drinking the lemon water, still no pepsi. I did exercise.
Cooked the chicken pasta for supper and that went well.

This isn’t so bad.

Green Groceries

I took my Light Green grocery list and went to the Superstore. I had strict instructions; organic vegetables and fruit,  herbs, spices, and oils. Organic, hormone and antibiotic free meat, milk and eggs. I was aloud to get a few canned ingredients but it had to be organic and aluminum free.

The Result

I was not as successful as I had hoped. Only half the vegetables and fruit I found were organic. I couldn’t find any organic, antibiotic free meat except chicken breasts. I searched and searched, looking for organic symbols, reading labels, all through the aisles looking for organic eggs, milk, and canned goods. It was very frustrating and took forever! Then I realized at the end, it was all in an aisle I was never in before in the naturals section.

Shopping Tip

I had no idea they had another refrigerated section by the pharmacy. I was amazed with the variety of stuff they had in that little section. I later found out, if you’re sticking with green you just have to walk around the sides of the store and stop at the Naturals section and skip all of the other aisles in between.

4 stops
Produce, meat, freezers and naturals.

If you can’t find something in the Naturals section then go to the other aisles.


Since the store did not have all of the things on my list in organic, my Light Green Cooking Plan is now Half Light Green 😦 but still it’s a lot better than the junk I have been eating. It shouldn’t be that hard to find organic food. I need a one stop shop. I am not going to go to one store for organic meat and another for organic vegetables and another for other basic groceries.

As I was searching the store I’d ask nearby employees to point me in the right direction and they’d say they don’t carry it, there isn’t enough demand for it, they had once carried something like organic peppers but people didn’t want to pay the extra 10 cents for them. 10 cents are you serious. What difference does a few dollars a week make if you pay a few cents here and there for some fruits and vegetables. I shouldn’t talk though, I am the worst when it comes to prices. Comparative price shoppers are smarter than me.

I’m not a very responsible shopper, I hate shopping. It’s one of those things I don’t feel I have time for. I have no idea how much anything costs, I don’t look, I just throw things in the cart and rush out of the store as quickly as I can. It’s like a race, if I realize I forgot something and I have already passed the aisle, I don’t have time to walk back and get it, I’ll just have to do without or stop at a convenience store and pay twice as much. I’m working on that too.

I did notice though that I got a whole lot more groceries for a whole lot less than I normally pay. Those convenient items I usually buy are much more costly than organic ingredients.

What we can do…

Keep an eye out for organic when shopping.  Some people are going totally green and some of us will make smarter purchases if they are available.  Buy organic if  you can and if there is no organic options at the store you faithfully shop at, just ask an employee in the produce section or meat section. It only takes a minute, maybe they do have it somewhere you weren’t aware of. If they don’t, your asking gives the store feedback, lets them know people are looking to buy organic.

As more of us ask and buy, the stores will then supply us with more options.

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