terra, not terror

sharing ideas about a simpler way to live

Update April 4, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — terra @ 8:25 am

I’ve taken on another job, so I won’t be able to post as frequently. Although that doesn’t mean there isn’t great stuff going on! Keep up with Planet Green, EcoGeek, or even Instructables. New American Dream is a great site to explore.

I’ll still post weekly, but not every day. I’ll continue to update the “del.i.cious green news” box (right above the search box) on the right column, so you can check that out if you want to know what I’m reading.
Good news! The seeds I planted on Sunday are already sprouting! It’s so exciting because we haven’t even had much sun this week. This was my first time starting flowers from seeds and I’m amazed by the whole process.


Don’t buy a new TV April 2, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — terra @ 7:00 am

Next year, the FCC will be phasing out analog broadcasts that our TVs are used to. Don’t worry though, most of us don’t need to buy a new TV! You can get a converter box, which enables your analog TV to receive digital broadcasts, or you can recycle your old TV and get a new-to-you TV.

Converter boxes can be purchased at big retailers, or you can order one online. The government is offering to ease the pain with a $40 off coupon. Be sure to check the FAQs on DTV2009.gov.

According to DTV2009.gov, consumers have 3 options:

  1. Keep your existing analog TV and purchase a TV converter box. A converter box plugs into your TV and will keep it working after Feb. 17, 2009, or
  2. Connect to cable, satellite or other pay service, or
  3. Purchase a television with a digital tuner.

If your TV is older than dirt and the converter won’t work for you, start checking Craigslist.org or other reuse outlets for a new-to-you TV. Then, you can get a converter box and use the $40 off coupon to save some money.

-Ideal BiteĀ 


I’m back March 26, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — terra @ 4:00 am

Actually, I’ve been here all along. The airlines cancelled our trip. They didn’t give a reason, so I’ll assume weather. In the grand scheme of world events, it’s no big deal, but it was frustrating. On top of being cancelled, the airline provided the worst customer service I have ever seen. Ever.

I’ll continue posting about Earth Day events. I just thought I’d let you all know. Our trip has been rescheduled for June. I think we’ll have nicer weather then.


Philadelphia March 8, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — terra @ 8:57 am

Philadelphia_SkylineI was in Philadelphia this week, and I wanted to share a little about this wonderful city. Philadelphia is a beautiful city with some of our country’s best historical monuments. I was able to walk through Independence Square and see the building that the Liberty Bell is in. I’ve been to the Liberty Bell before, and didn’t have a lot of time for tourist activities, unfortunately. I noticed a lot of environmentally-friendly elements in Philadelphia.

Most people walk, and for good reason. The streets downtown are all 3 lanes wide, and all one-way. One lane is reserved for parallel parking, so there are only 2 lanes to drive in – aggressively!

I saw a lot of people walking, but Philly also has a great train system, and buses, which a lot of commuters take advantage of. It seemed like such a healthy atmosphere because everyone walks.

If you do have to drive, many people use PhillyCarShare, a “nonprofit organization that seeks to maximize the economic, environmental, and social benefits of reduced automobile dependence.”

I love trains! I took a shuttle to my hotel, and it took about an hour to dodge and weave through traffic. On the way back to the airport, I took the train, and it took 1/2 a hour. The train to the airport picks up just blocks from Independence Square.

People who weren’t walking, taking public transportation, or car sharing were riding bikes! Lots of bikes weaving in and out of cars and buses, and zipping down sidewalks. Philly is relatively flat, so bike-riding is convenient. Even business people had their backpacks, helmets, and bikes.

Most of the shops were locally owned, non-chain stores. That was fantastic! It really added to the uniqueness of the city.

My favorite people on this trip were the guys in the Detroit airport who escort people around in wheelchairs. They really put their heart into their job and took an interest in the people they were helping.


Best of… and Things to Come January 2, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — terra @ 7:00 am

Planet Green presents the Best of 2007 posts. #1: Live with Less.

EcoGeek presents the 7 technologies that will save the Earth in 2008. My favorite: the Aptera. The list includes a lot of products that reduce our energy consumption, but doesn’t sacrifice our lifestyle. Saving energy and living comfortably are not mutually exclusive. We can do both!


Happy Holidays December 24, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — terra @ 1:08 pm

I’m relaxing with family and friends, and I hope you are too.

Enjoy the holidays!


Look Who’s Here – The smart Car November 29, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — terra @ 1:43 pm


The Smart Car is currently on display at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, but starting in January, 2008, it will be seen on the roads of USA. The smart fortwo is based on the European model. It seats two, is street legal, goes up to 90mph, and gets 40+ mpg.

It was designed with safety and efficiency in mind, and utilizes a “tridion safety cell [which] is a “hard shell” that surrounds the smart fortwo’s occupants with an energy displacing system of longitudinal and transverse structural members.” It achieved a 4 star crash rating in the US.

The smart gets about 40 mpg. So, why would someone buy it, if it gets less than the best hybrid? Price. It only costs $11,000. (The convertible is $16,000). The Prius starts at $20,000, and doesn’t even include a sunroof. My hybrid was $10,000, but it’s an automatic, and I prefer a manual transmission, which the smart offers.

Reserve one now for $99, which is refundable at any time.

Smart is an independent car-maker, and is a “member of the Mercedes Car Group, a Daimler AG Company.”


Keep those leaves October 31, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — terra @ 2:04 pm

RealNEO has some great advice for what to do with your leaves, to help your lawn and your garden.

Every year, we rake a bunch of our leaves into the street to be picked up, but we leave a lot in the garden as a natural mulch.

RealNEO suggests to not only leave the leaves in the garden, but to mow them too, which will break them into particles on your lawn for the worms to compost underground. This will provide organic composted nutrients to give you a nice, green lawn in the spring.


Don’t forget the Ohio Solar Tour this weekend October 4, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — terra @ 3:30 pm

Akron’s Ohio Solar Tour is on Sunday. This is an excellent chance to see some energy innovations.


Happy Constitution Day September 17, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — terra @ 11:59 am

Month in Review August 19, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — terra @ 12:18 am

I’ve been writing this blog for exactly one month, so I thought it would be fun to have a quick look back. I started this with the intention of sharing positive stories about the environment, ways to live a “greener” life, be healthier, and appreciate nature. I did it because I love learning new things, and to learn something good every day has been so refreshing for me. I expected to post once a week, but I’ve been posting every day! That’s a lot of good news.

My Favorites

Things I’ve Learned

  • Lavender oil is great, but lavender mixed with eucalyptus may be better because bees aren’t attracted to eucalyptus (we haven’t been stung, but I notice bees around the Lavender plant a lot)
  • Green Clean for Drains
  • Turn a Garbage Strike into something good
  • How to get rid of Japanese Beetles
  • That’s certainly not all I’ve learned, but it’s a start

What are your favorites?
Things you’d like to see more of?


Southern Ohio August 5, 2007

Filed under: local — terra @ 7:42 pm

I graduated from Ohio University, and I loved Athens so much that my husband and I try to go down there every year for the Athens International Film Festival. We didn’t make it this spring, so we went down for 2 days this week. We brought our dog, Kimse, and stayed in a cabin on Lake Hope. It was beautiful! We packed our food, and grilled every night. I enjoyed a Burrito Buggy burrito for lunch. Yum! Athens is such a fun town, and it’s always interesting to drive the back roads and wonder about the people who live in Southern Ohio. Here are a few pictures of our trip.

On Friday, we took Kimse and rented a rowboat to paddle around Lake Hope. Kimse, of course, had to fall in. She’s no fan of water, but she composed herself quite well after the experience.IMG_8072

IMG_7963I wanted to show you what poison ivy looks like. It can look different from time to time, so be careful. We saw some that had leaves bigger than your fist, and some with small leaves too. I’ve also read that poison ivy is heartier and more potent recently, possibly due to global warming (co2 is an excellent fertilizer for poison ivy), and clearing land for homes and shopping centers. Poison ivy normally grows on forest edges – where the trees end and grass begins. It also climbs trees, so check the ground around trees for signs of ivy. Leaves of three, let it be! It also has a little red where the leaves meet. Virginia Creeper has the red center, but it has 5 leaves.


What a wonderful trip. We relaxed and listened to the bugs, did a little sightseeing, and spent a lot of time in nature. It was very peaceful.


I like turtles August 2, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — terra @ 12:53 am

I’ll be out of town again for a few days.
Enjoy your weekend.