Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Sustainable charity on Oprah

In case you're looking for a good sustainble charity to support, or if you're planning ahead for Christmas gifts, or both - look no further!

Heifer International is a lovely charity that I've been supporting for years. Their projects help end hunger and save the Earth by teaching and empowering people around the world with initiatives in sustainable farming, animal management techniques, gender equality, HIV/AIDS, microenterprise, and urban agriculture.

As for the Christmas angle, you can choose items from their online gift catalog to send in honor of those hard-to-buy-for loved ones.

And right now there's a "double your gift" project for farmers in Honduras.

Charity Navigator gives Heifer International 3 of 4 stars.

Want more? Watch the Oprah Winrey show on Thursday October 1st, which was inspired by The New York Times best-selling book _Half the Sky_ by Pulitzer Prize winners Nicholas Kristof and his wife, Sheryl WuDunn.

Knit unto others

Cold weather is coming... doesn't it just make you want to knit?? Me too.

My favorite cheapskate, Mary Hunt, recently posted some knitting resources in her newsletter for people looking to recycle or donate leftover yarn, or be on the receiving end of such goodness.

National: - online community for knitters to share patterns, yarn, tips & tricks, etc. - buy or sell yarn here

Donate yarn or knitting skills to: -
national charity dedicated to helping preemie and newborn babies - volunteers knit, crochet, or quilt blankets for sick or traumatized children - a project by Guidepost magazine - links to charity organizations

Also check with your local hospitals, churches, nursing homes, and craft stores.

Here are a few of my favorite local yarn shops:

Woolworks near Mount Washington (no website? phone
410-377-2060 or visit 6117 Falls Rd)

Lovelyarns in Hampden

Spinster Yarns & Fibers in Lauraville

Clover Hill in Catonsville

Happy knitting!

Friday, September 11, 2009

How to save water

How do YOU save water? EPA's Pick5 blog has some ideas...

Here are some things I do...

Don't buy bottled water: one of my company's offices saved over $1000 and 6000 gallons by switching to filtered water, not to mention reduced greenhouse gas emissions from not trucking all those heavy bottles around.

Don't run water while shaving, scrubbing, brushing teeth, washing dishes, etc. Also shower less often (think like a European!).

Recycle water from rinsing or cooking produce to water your plants: added nutrients!

Use a rain barrel for watering the garden. I also use a soaker hose buried at root level with a layer of mulch. Watering in the morning reduces evaporation.

What could you do to conserve water in your life?