I thought I’d share some of the cool new things I’ve read about, whether they be projects in communities or products I’ve tried, or interesting stuff I am eager to try myself (or hear what you have to say!)…

Sustain Dane started a community rain barrel program and in the past three years have distributed over 2,000 rain barrels to their community, allowing thousands and thousands of gallons of rainwater to be harvested.

* Ikea sells a super cheap roller blind that I installed in my bedroom which has the only south facing window in the house (not fun in summer in my non-A/C house!)  It made a HUGE difference and even a dork like me could install it!
* Ever have a small spot in your house that you found out is not insulated but don’t want to buy those huge batts?  I have a 5′ x 5′ bump-out breakfast nook (added 10 years ago to my 1925 house) that has no floor insulation, so winters are always chilly on the feet.  Ecohaus sells insulation batts in 5′ increments, made from recycled denim scraps.  I can’t wait to have this installed (why not do it myself?  y’all, I don’t do crawl spaces, so I have a handyman for these not-so-fun projects!).
* I have a dog.  A wonderful, sweet, lovable Rottweiler named Daisy.  But seriously, I wish her poop would vanish into thin air.  Using biodegradable bags means zilch when we all know that nothing decomposes at the dump.  And unfortunately, not so good for compost piles.  Killer product I’ve heard about? The Doggie Dooley, which is available through Gaiam, one of my favorite green catalogs (and cool website to boot), is like a mini septic tank for doggie doo, and uses enzymes to break it down so it can go right back into the earth.  Nifty.
* Volunteering has been something I’ve always loved but really amped up during this time of unemployment (fortunately I’m anticipating a job offer, but it’s been a challenging time).  One of the organizations I’ve begun to get involved with is Depave, a group here in the Portland area who gets people together to take out parking lots and replace them with more earth friendly projects, such as community gardens.  The video above is huge inspiration and I hope more communities see what’s possible.  A little goes a long way!
* And finally, it’s that time of year where we are going to have to face the fact that bundling up is imminent.  Viva Terra, my all time favorite shopping site for green home items, has the yummiest looking scarves for fall and winter.
Autumn…look around you…enjoy what is all around us.

Everyone must take time to sit and watch the leaves turn. 

 ~Elizabeth Lawrence

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