What is Freeganism? The Wikipedia definition says – Freeganism is an anti-consumerist lifestyle whereby people employ alternative living strategies based on “limited participation in the conventional economy and minimal consumption of resources. Freegans embrace community, generosity, social concern, freedom, cooperation, and sharing in opposition to a society based on materialism, moral apathy, competition, conformity, and greed.” The lifestyle involves salvaging discarded, unspoiled food from supermarket dumpsters that have passed, or in some cases haven’t even passed, their sell by date, but are still edible and nutritious. They salvage the food not because they are poor or homeless, but as a political statement.
There is much controversy over this issue of “dumpster diving” for food and the Freeganism way of life. One of the main concerns is the cleanliness of food that is dumped in a dumpster filled with germs. The second and third go together, the company is liable if someone gets hurt and the legality of salvaging food from a dumpster. In many states it is illegal.
What can we do to help? How can we stop perfectly good food from being wasted and thrown away? How can companies stop waste?
First lets look at an article from Donna L Montaldo about How much food does your family waste? In her article she states that an average family of four tosses out an average of $590 a year of food, wastes 14% of their food purchases and 15% of that waste is still within its expiration date.
1. Recyclaholics.com has some real ways that we can make a difference, starting with our homes and branching out to the communities we live in and businesses that we work for.
2. Heifer International has some great ways that we can limit our waste.
Continue reading “Freeganism – How can we do our part?”
Universities all over the Nation are using text messaging to instantly communicate to all students that sign up, wherever they are located. How it works is that the University sets up an account with a company like e2Campus, Rave Campus, or Mobile Campus and in the event of an extreme, campus-wide, life threatening emergency, the University would text message alerts to students, faculty and staff. Knowing that over 90% of all students have cell phones today, text messaging alerts are the ideal way for schools to communicate swiftly and effectively.
Not only are Universities going to be using emergency text messaging notification. In an article from CNN, the FCC has approved an emergency alert text-messaging system for all cell phone companies that choose to participate. The FCC representative explained how the plan would work. Cell phone companies that voluntarily opt into the system would send text-based alert messages to subscribers in response to three types of events:
1. A disaster that could jeopardize the health and safety of Americans, such as a terrorist attack; these would trigger a national alert from the president of the United States
2. Imminent or ongoing threats such as hurricanes, tornadoes or earthquakes
3. Child abductions or Amber alert
Even Businesses, Organizations and some High Schools are taking advantage of this effective way to send emergency alerts.
Check out this article at NewScientist.com for more about text message disaster alerts.
After my trip to the grocery store to buy dryer sheets and seeing how expensive they are, I decided I would figure out what alternatives are out there. I found some interesting things. My main reason for wanting an alternative is to save money, but what I found was a lot more reasons why I should find an alternative. I did not know there were so many bad chemicals in dryer sheets, such as Benzyl Acetate – Linked to pancreatic cancer, Ethanol – known to cause central nervous system disorders, Limonene – a known carcinogen and Pentane – a chemical known to be harmful if inhaled, just to name a few. For the complete list of chemicals and information on what those chemicals can do to you, check out the article “The Toxic Danger of Fabric Softener and Dryer Sheets” by ezinearticles.
Here are 5 alternatives I found.
1. Dry your clothes on the line. This is great for this time of year when we have lots of sun and clothes get dried fast. As the weather changes you can try one of the options below.
2. Dryer Balls. Eco-friendly alternative to dryer sheets and fabric softener. As your wet laundry tumbles in the dryer, these bumpy balls lift and separate fabric to make it soft and fluffy and to allow air to flow more efficiently. Check out gaiam.com for price and more info.
3. Don’t dry your clothes completely. Hang your clothes to dry or dry them on a drying rack for the last 10% of drying. The small amount of moisture in the clothes helps static from getting a foothold. Check out more ideas from grinningplanet.com.
4. Trader Joe’s sells lavender sachet dryer bags a natural alternative to dryer sheets. Most Health/Organic food stores sell all natural alternatives. Check out your local stores and see what they have.
5. Apple cider vinegar in your rinse water takes away static and makes your laundry extra soft. Try a 1/2 cup for big loads and 1/4 cup for small loads.
Please share any other alternatives you may have for dryer sheets or comments on the the alternatives I did list.
This is not a scam or a gimmick. There are companies out there that actually will supply you with a free car. The drawback is that there are advertisements all over the car. There are other companies out there that will pay you to have their advertisement put on your own car. Some people don’t mind this and if you are one of them, then this is a great way to make some money or drive a free car. Here is a list of a few companies that can help you get started.
1. Freecar.com has a list of companies that will sponsor your car for $500 a month(sometimes more) and pay for your car repairs.
2. Freecarmedia.com is another one who pays you to drive around with an advertisement on your car. Most of their programs last 3 months on average and you can get paid up to $900 a month.
3. Freecarindex.com Get paid up to $500 a month to drive your own car or drive one of their new cars for free. They also cover car repairs and service.
4. Myfreecar.com just recently merged with trashtalkFCM and they offer free cars and they will pay you to put an advertisement on your own car. As for the details, you will have to contact them because the site doens’t give any details as to the amount they pay.
In order to qualify for a “get paid to drive” program, you must be at least 18 yrs old, have a valid drivers license, have a clean car, and have an excellent driving record. You must sign an agreement that specifies how and where you will drive, for how long, and under what conditions.
I just listed a few companies that I found, there are many more out there. Check them out and start driving for free.
I was searching the Internet for a free organizer and stumbled across The PocketMod website. The free recyclable personal organizer. The PocketMod is a new way to keep yourself organized. Basically the PocketMod is a piece of paper that you create, print off, cut and fold to fit in your wallet or purse. You click on the link Build a PocketMod now! and create your own PocketMod. They have lines, grids in three sizes, tables, story boards, music staff sheets and music tab sheets. They have a calendar tab, with a deadline plotter, appointment time-sheet, and full year calendars. Under the organizers tab, you will find shopping lists, task lists, food diary and more. Reference pages with conversions, formulas, tips tables(which really would come in handy for those hard to calculate dinners) and Morse code. They even have a tab with games, I guess you could have that ready for your kids when they get bored, unless you are a big Tic Tac Toe or Dots fan. You can also customize your own pages. They have a step-by-step folding instruction guide and if that isn’t easy enough you can watch the YouTube video on “How to fold your PocketMod”. I created one and the YouTube instructions were very easy to follow. You have to remember this is a small organizer but I was amazed at how many things I could actually fit on one piece of paper. Also you will need a flash player in order to run the application. Check it out and create your own PocketMod today.
In an article at ecocycle.org they give you seven easy steps to stopping the Junk Mail Monster. This will take time and effort on your part but none of these steps are difficult. As for most of us who care about the environment, it’s more than the annoying junk mail we have to sort through, it also is a huge waste of our natural resources. Each year 100 million trees are used to produce junk mail and 250,000 homes could be heated with one day’s supply of junk mail. Those statistics amazed me.
Junk Busters is another site that has some good info on how to stop junk mail along with so many other helpful hints. There mission is to enable you to get rid of any junk mail, telemarketing calls, junk faxes, junk pages, junk email, unwanted banner ads and any other solicitations that you don’t want. This site is very easy to navigate, with simple to follow, step-by-step instructions.
One thing you have to remember is that this is an ongoing process and though you may get fewer pieces of junk mail after implementing these steps, you have to be diligent in keeping up with the little junk mail that still comes and continue to follow these steps. So lets get out there and stop the junk mail and help our environment! Do you have any helpful hints on how to keep the junk mail at bay?
 “Junk Mail Reduction Fact Sheet.” Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. 19 June 2008 <http://www.epa.state.oh.us/opp/consumer/junkmail.html>.
I was searching the web for Organic Farms in my area and found localharvest.org. It is an impressive site with a great search engine to find, farms, co-ops, grocery stores, farmers markets, CSA(Community Supported Agriculture) and restaurants, all in your area, just by adding your zip or state. It has an on-line store for those hard to find items. It gives a list of events in your area, photos of farms, a forum with tons of helpful info, news and even a blog. You can sign up for the monthly newsletter and even view the newsletter archives. Check out the Benefits of eating and buying organic, local foods. Have you come across a great website about organic or local farms? Please share.
Researchers at The Endocrine Society found a way to avoid the weight regain after dieting by eating a big breakfast packed with carbohydrates and protein, then follow a low-carb, low-calorie diet the rest of the day. They compared their new diet with a low-carb diet. Both diets were low in fat and total calories but differed in the carbohydrate distribution. They found after four months there wasn’t much difference between the two diets but after eight months the women on the new diet kept the weight off and lost more and the women on the low-carb diet regained more then half of the weight they lost after the first four months. The study found that women who ate a big breakfast reported feeling less hungry, especially before lunch, and having fewer cravings for carbs than the other women did.
If you haven’t heard Starbucks has been offering some great perks for registering your Starbucks card. I just saw yesterday that they are NOW sending a Free Beverage coupon to anyone who registers a Starbucks card between June 3 – July 14. And they added MORE perks for registering. If you haven’t taken advantage of the rewards, what are you waiting for? With a registered card, milk options and extra syrup are all on the house, free beverage with any whole bean purchase, free refills on brewed coffee and up to two hours of AT&T Wi-Fi every day. For all the details check out Starbucks website.
With gas prices well over $4.00 everyone is looking for gas saving tips that really work. Edmunds.com website has a great article on what really saves gas. They have tested the tips and give you the Results, Cold Hard Facts, Recommendations and an explanation on how these tips were tested. They claim “If you listen to us, you can see hybrid-type savings without having to buy a new car”. Go try these tips for yourself and start saving money today. Do you have any gas saving tips? Please share them.