terra, not terror

sharing ideas about a simpler way to live

Upcoming Events February 7, 2008

Filed under: local — terra @ 12:00 pm

I listed some upcoming events on the right. Akron is getting more active and involved in being environmentally aware. It’s very exciting to see so many people joining clubs, hosting events, and telling people about our impact on the planet.

Feb 28th 4:00 – A live presentation of “An Inconvenient Truth” at The University of Akron. Students at UA have formed a club called Environmental Akron. They are very involved on campus, and in the community, trying to raise awareness and take action to recycle and reduce our impact on the plane. Inspirational!

March 4th – primary election day. Please vote to keep the Akron Metro RTA system running. I’m not getting political here, but the Metro is critical to keeping our economy as affordable as it is. Without the bus system, workers won’t have a way to get to work, so employers will have to hire people with cars who demand a higher wage, which will increase the cost of goods we buy in the Akron area. The Beacon Journal did a good job of explaining the importance of the RTA. Please read the article with an open mind. Think long-term about the economic consequences.

April 22nd – LightsOut Akron 8-9 pm. The Portage Trail Sierra Club is sponsoring this event. Here’s their description: “LightsOut Akron is a community-wide event for citizens, businesses and governments across Summit County to turn off their non-essential lighting for one hour. It’s a simple act that you can turn into a long-term, high-impact habit to cut carbon emissions.” It’s a Sunday night, so light some candles, get some wind-up flashlights and turn out those lights!

april 22nd – Earth Day

Metro Parks have a lot of activities. Get outside and enjoy our wonderful parks this spring!

 

The Story of Stuff February 6, 2008

Filed under: social consciousness — terra @ 7:00 am

Instead of reading a post today, take 20 minutes and watch The Story of Stuff.

stuff

 

Share the love on Valentines Day February 5, 2008

Filed under: conserve, gifts, social consciousness — terra @ 7:00 am

I’d like to share some Valentine’s Day gift ideas with you. Thanks to Annie’s V-Day 101 post for the reminder that Valentine’s Day is coming up.

Flowers
If you must buy flowers, look for Organic flowers. It seems like everything “has to” be organic these days, but this is not only for your benefit, but for the workers’ as well. Most flowers we buy in the US come from South America, where 20% of the flowers are picked by children. To preserve our flowers and keep them pretty, they’re soaked with pesticides, which the children breathe while they work (and while their lungs are developing). Many of the pesticides used are banned in the US, and 2/3rds of the workers in Columbia and Ecuador have pesticide-related health problems.

Trader Joe’s and Safeway (west coast) sell flowers from VeriFlora, which are sustainably grown. Another good idea is to buy flowers grown organically in the US. You’ll help a local farmer, and show your loved one that you care about the planet too.

Be original

Get your sweetie something they will really enjoy. The New American Dream has suggestions for making a meaningful holiday, while living within your means. Here are a few of their ideas:

  • Give fruit, or dates!
  • Go to a community theatre, or something community. Cook a homemade dinner before.
  • Stroll through a botanical garden.
  • Set up a scavenger hunt for your sweetie to find special treats at each location, or reminder her/him of special days in your history.
  • Give something that will help someone else. Adopt a manatee, provide clean water for Sudanese refugees. Include a home-made card to show how your loved one inspires you …
  • Make a mixed cd. This oldie-bu-goodie still works. It’s so special, and can be enjoyed throughout the year.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone. Share the love with the planet and your fellow citizens too.

 

New Page, Beet Juice, and a random thought February 4, 2008

Filed under: local — terra @ 12:00 pm

I’m starting a new page for “Buy Nothing New.” Click on the tab to follow my thoughts as I try this experiment for myself. If anyone else is buying nothing new, please share your successes and struggles too. It will be a fun collection of ideas about buying nothing new. I won’t write posts, just a string of comments. The newest will be at the bottom, so you can keep track.

The city of Akron has been using beet juice along with a de-icer on our roads. I love it!! I can tell when they used salt vs. beet juice. The beet juice mixture doesn’t leave salt slush puddles on the side of the street. And, the street is clear and dry, and not slick at all. I believe they only use the beet juice when below 20 degrees, because it is slightly more expensive than the salt. But, it lasts longer and only requires 1 application, as opposed to 3 salt applications, so the added cost works itself out. With the beet juice, my car doesn’t get salty, and neither do my dog’s feet. It’s so nice that they turned to something more natural for a solution.

Random… I can see the search terms that lead people to my blog. One of the search terms was “inexpensive combat tank.” Someone is looking for an inexpensive combat tank on the internet? I have two questions: 1. Who is looking for that? 2. How does Google think that my site is a good match for that search term? (I’m sure I can figure it out, but really?)

 

Happy Birthday Pets February 4, 2008

Filed under: gifts, pets, social consciousness — terra @ 7:00 am

Those of us who have pets instead of kids miss out on planning birthday parties, and seeing the joy on our little ones’ faces as they open gifts. Sure, Christmas is fun, but what about birthdays? I have not yet held a cat or dog birthday party, but I’ve been inspired by a great idea… My mom’s pup is having a birthday party this weekend, and all the gifts are going to the dogs. Not the birthday dogs, but to their less fortunate 4-legged friends.

Instead of loading the birthday dog up with raw-hides, bones, or chew toys, the party hosts ask that doggie friends bring supplies for the local humane society. If you host a pet birthday party, consider having the gifts donated to a local pet organization.

Summit County’s Humane Society is overflowing with wonderful animals who desperately need a home. The staff also need supplies to keep up with the ever-growing population.

In Akron, One of a Kind Pets recently opened a low-cost spay and neuter clinic for strays, which also needs donations and supplies. They are also a rescue organization with plenty of pets for everyone.

These are 2 of my favorite pet rescue groups in Akron. There are many more. Check Petfinder.com to find rescue organizations near you.

The list of needed items is usually the same, and is generally inexpensive:dog bday

Dog Biscuits
Leashes and Collars
Sheets, Comforters, Blankets
Cat liter
Cleaning supplies such as…
Paper Towels
Sponges
Bleach
Vinegar
Latex Gloves
Laundry Detergent
Stamps
Heavy Duty Trash Bags

So while it may sound goofy to have a birthday party for your pets, donating the gifts to a local pet charity makes it worth it!

(photo: that’s not my dog)

 

Friday Recipe: Chipotle Black Bean Burritos February 1, 2008

Filed under: food — terra @ 7:00 am

Chipotle Black Bean Burritos

Ingredients
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium-size red onion, chopped
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 15-ounce can black beans, drained
1/2 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
1/3 cup plus 3/4 cup purchased chipotle salsa
1 avocado, halved, peeled, pitted, diced
6 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
4 10- or 12-inch-diameter flour tortillas
1 cup crumbled queso fresco or feta cheese

Directions
1. Heat olive oil in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and chili powder; sauté until onion softens, about 4 minutes.

2.Stir in beans, corn, and 1/3 cup salsa. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook 10 minutes to blend flavors, stirring often. Season filling to taste with salt and pepper.

3. Stir together remaining 3/4 cup salsa, diced avocado, and 2 tablespoons cilantro in small bowl.

4. Heat tortillas 1 at a time over gas flame or electric burner for several seconds on each side to soften. Transfer to work surface.

5.Spoon filling onto centers of tortillas, dividing equally. Top each with 1 tablespoon cheese and 1 tablespoon cilantro. Fold 2 sides in over filling, then roll up burrito from unfolded edge. Place 1 burrito, seam side down, on each of 4 plates. Top with avocado-salsa mixture and remaining cheese.

Serves 4

This recipe is from Bon Appetit, December, 2003. I found it on Planet Green, in their “make your own takeout” series.