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The Organiblog


Compostable Mugs – Eco Products We Can Live With!
May 27, 2010 at 7:42 pm

Although Earth Day has come and gone, that doesn’t mean our impact on the environment has disappeared too. Many people tend to forget about the little things that affect our ecosystem, and what they can do to help. The EPA estimates that every year, Americans throw away 25 billion one-use paper and styrofoam cups. A majority of the time, these cups are from drinks purchased at commercial establishments, or provided by the office. These 25 billion cups could circle the Earth 436 times! The worst part about this statistic: these cups are not biodegradable and will end up in landfills for the next few hundred years.

The solution is simple. If everyone started using their own reusable, refillable cups and mugs, we could reduce this number drastically. Even Starbucks, one of the largest coffee chains in the world, is doing something to help reduce the amount of paper and styrofoam cup waste. Since 1985, Starbucks has been offering a 10 cent discount to any customers who bring in their own mugs, for any drink, anytime. In 2003 alone, this movement encouraged 13.5 million customers to keep 586,800 pounds of paper out of landfills.

i’m Organic has the perfect eco friendly travel mugs so you can help too. Made completely of corn and with a touch of oatmeal, these organic travel mugs hold 16 ounces of your favorite warm or cold drink. Best of all, when you’re ready to recycle, the eco friendly mug will disappear in an industrial compost trash pile within two months. This i’m Organic travel mug is FDA approved, BPA free, and microwave safe. In other words, the perfect solution for helping everyone to GO GREEN!

These compostable mugs can also be purchased wholesale for companies and businesses looking to encourage the green movement among their employees. Contact i’m Organic today and start GOING GREEN!

Posted in (News) by Justin
Comments (1)


Happy Earth Day 2010 – A New Era
April 3, 2010 at 5:45 pm

Earth Day 2010 logoWe here at i’m organic are excited for Earth Day on April 22, 2010! It’s a great day for the entire world to focus on supporting our planet. We encourage you all to join the millions of others around the world to make your community and the world cleaner and more sustainable this Earth Day. This April, millions of people all over the world will come together in celebrating the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. Participate in Earth Day 2010 and help raise awareness of environmental concerns.

Even the littlest things can have a big impact on our Earth. There are many fun and easy thing you can do to participate in Earth Day this year. Organizing a recycling drive or starting a community garden in your neighborhood are good ways to get the whole community involved in Earth Day this year. Your involvement in Earth Day doesn’t have to be huge – by simply replacing the light bulbs in your house with energy-efficient lighting, you will help conserve energy. Car pooling, taking the bus, or riding a bike are all good ways to help cut down on air pollution and carbon emission. Even simply purchasing a reusable grocery bag or water bottle, take action today and start planning your Earth Day 2010 event to create a global green economy. Pledge to make a difference in your own unique way on Earth Day 2010!

Earth Day 40th Anniversary Shirt celebrate organic living and a healthy earth in 2010In honor of this momentous anniversary, i’m organic created an i’m organic Earth Day shirt. Tell the world, “I’m Organic on Earth Day…and every other day” with our 100% certified organic cotton special edition 40th anniversary Earth Day shirt. And why stop after Earth Day,? Make a lifelong commitment to greener living by making simple eco-friendly changes like using 100% organic products to cut down on waste and pollution.

Join the Billion Acts of Green campaign and make a personal pledge to help create a greener world this Earth Day!

Earth Day 2010 Logo



Happy Earth Day!!
April 23, 2008 at 4:07 am

Happy Earth Day to you all.  I wonder how many people realized it was Earth Day today?  My daughters said there was no mention of it at all in their high school.  When we called the grandparents today and wished them “Happy Earth Day”  they thought we said “happy birthday” (very confusing since they are no where near their birthdays).

Earth Day, in this very crucial time, has largely come and gone with very little fanfare.  It’s not that we haven’t tried, but there’s not much excitement about Earth Day.  Maybe we need to give presents or have parades to make a bigger noise and have this day be noticed. 

Actually, not having the usual hooplah on this day is very appropriate.  After all, what is Earth Day about?  It’s a day to stop and think about what we are doing to help keep our Earth home safe, healthy, and happy.  No matter what a person’s opinion about global warming, he’d have to be pretty stubborn not to admit that in order to survive here on Earth, we need clean air, clean water, and healthy soil.  That’s really the whole idea in a nutshell.

Jill Palermo and her mom Judy have come up with a great idea to help us keep focused on the daily things we need to do to keep our Earth healthy.  With the “We Add Up” campaign, you can pledge to make a difference in your own unique way and be a part of a growing number of people who want to improve our planet. 

So this earth day, give a present if you like, have a little parade around your neighborhood, and live like what you do can make a difference.  It can.

Deb

 

Posted in (News) by Debbie
Comments (0)


The Payoff
April 22, 2008 at 4:18 pm

Well, I did say I would come back and finish the tale of our maple syrup making.  We had a wonderful year for our small family operation.  We made 5 gallons of syrup, which doesn’t sound like much, but it’s enough for our family to use with some left over to give away.

                                    3.JPG

Here’s how we finish the project.  Once the sap is running, we pour the buckets into clean plastic garbage cans.  These are wash prior to using with a non-toxic cleaner and of course rinsed well. 

       bigger pouring sap.JPG          4.JPG

Then the sap is poured into a stainless steel pan and boiled over a wood fire for hours.  It takes 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup.  Once the sap is cooked down outside, we pour it through wool felt and paper filters.  It’s then brought inside to finish to the final syrup stage. 

We can the syrup in canning jars and we’re done.

                                          6.JPG

You might ask why we go to all this trouble to make just 5 gallons of syrup.  The whole process is something that connects us to our land and to each other.  While we love maple syrup, we could buy it in a store.  Somehow, producing your own food makes it more precious.  And we will always cherish the memories of syrup making with the many people we’ve shared this with.  It just makes the syrup that much sweeter.

Posted in (News) by Debbie
Comments (0)


Tap, Tap, Tapping
March 25, 2008 at 5:41 am

As I promised, here is the first of several installments on maple syrup making.  This is the best time of the year for me because I know that spring is just around the corner.  And, it’s fun to be outside as a family in the woods.  I have great memories of the kids taking turns scraping the last of the sticky syrup out of the pan.  They don’t waste a thing.

How do you get started making maple syrup?  First and most obviously, you have to find a sugar maple tree.  Other maples like silver and red maples can be tapped but they produce a slightly different tasting syrup.   All maples have opposite branching, meaning the branches and twigs come out directly across from each other.  Sugar maples also have a specific leaf shape (think Canadian flag) and have a distinctive bark and bud shape.

So how do you tell it’s the right time to tap?  There are lots of “folk” methods of telling like when the skunk cabbage comes up or when the lake ice turns black.  The best way to know is by looking at a thermometer.  When the temperatures are around and just above 32 degrees F, you can tap your maples.  If the temperature is lower, the wood is frozen and it will crack a bit making a loose tap hole.  If you wait until the temperature is higher, the sap run slows down and the sap becomes bitter and cloudy.

Once you’ve found sugar maples, measure the diameter of the tree.  Use only trees that are over 10 inches in diameter (12 preferred – a 12 inch tree has a circumference of about 37 inches).  To tap a maple tree you will need a drill bit (7/16ths to 1/2 inch), a spile, a hammer, and a bucket.

 drilling hole with bit and brace

Using a bit and brace, drill a hole above a large root, about 3 feet off the ground.  Make the hole about 1 1/2 inch deep and angle it downward slightly.  As the hole is drilled, the bit is reversed from time to time to clear the hole of fras (little shavings).  Watch for a change in the fras from dry to wet.  If the sap is running you will see the liquid begin to run down the tree trunk.

Next the spile is gently tapped into the hole using a hammer.  Once the spile is correctly in place you should see sap dripping from the spile.  We use a variety of spiles.  The newest spiles we have are plastic and they connect to tubing which can go into a bucket.  While that sap is dripping it’s time for a taste.  Yum, this is very cold, lightly sweetened water straight from the tree.  We’ve also heated this and made tea in the waterery, slightly sweet first sap. 

 dripping sap 2.JPG

The last thing we do is connect the spile to the tubing and put them through the lid of a bucket.  We also use the “old fashioned” spiles and buckets that hang from them.  I still like these buckets because I love the lovely pinging noise that’s made as the first sap drips into the empty buckets.

hose and bucket.JPG

So far this year, we’ve collected about 160 gallons of sap making 4 gallons of syrup.  Tomorrow I’ll share the process of boiling and filtering the syrup.

What’s your favorite way to have maple syrup?

Deb

 

Posted in (News) by Debbie
Comments (5)


Organic sweetness
March 18, 2008 at 2:30 am

Hey, it’s spring here in Western PA and the work has begun.  We are blessed to have sugar maple trees nearby that we can tap to make maple syrup.  While I concede that most people are not going to go through all the trouble of making maple syrup at  home, it is one of nature’s sweetest pleasures in spring.

Over the next week, I will chronicle our work with photos and actually show you how to make syrup. Even if you don’t make your own maple syrup, adding it to your diet isn’t a bad idea.  Maple syrup contains potassium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, and other trace minerals.  And, you don’t have to have it just on pancakes or waffles.  It tastes great in oatmeal, drizzled on some walnuts, or stirred into plain yogurt with some cut up fresh fruit.

So, happy spring to you all and be sure to pop back to see how we are doing.

Deb   

Posted in (News) by Debbie
Comments (0)


Connecting Threads
February 18, 2008 at 6:42 pm

Lately I’ve been all over the place both physically and mentally.  I was fortunate to be able to spend some time at our local Focus the Nation event.  It was small but for me it was a well needed ray of hope.  I’ve been feeling rather isolated and hopeless about finding other like-minded people in my area.  It just seemed to me that no one really cared about the environment or even their own health.

Several things occured around the time of the Focus the Nation event. I went searching for a local foods coop that I knew existed “underground” here in my area.  The food is ordered from a place nearly 2 hours away and delivered to a home here in my area.  This is all done rather casually, so it was difficult for me to identify the person receiving the deliveries.  After finally remembering the name of the food supplier, I called and asked for the name of the local contact person.  This contact turned out to be a wonderful, like-minded woman who was a wealth of information and really just a nice person. 

So in a short time, I picked up my first delivery of organic food (25 pounds of organic oatmeal makes a lot of granola!).  And at the time of the pick-up, I was able to talk to my new friend and learn about all the things she is involved with locally.  She’s come to the conclusion that a web page for local green information would be helpful to people searching for things in our area.  I couldn’t agree more.

Secondly,at the Focus the Nation event, I was able to identify some area people who had businesses selling organic/green products and organizations interested in environmentaly stewardship.  And, I was able to see and talk to people who were trying to make some individual differences in controlling the causes of climate change. 

How does this change anything?  I can’t explain it, but knowing that you aren’t the only one who sees what is going on does make a difference.  I’ve stepped up my work on some local projects.  Personally I continue making changes in what I buy and the way I live.  I urge you all to begin to connect locally to organizations that promote green and organic causes.  You’ll may have to really look hard to find someone like you.  But don’t give up, they’re out there. 

Posted in (News) by Debbie
Comments (1)


Start The Day Right
January 30, 2008 at 6:38 pm

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  You’ve probably heard that 1000 times, and actually it is true.  Breakfast gets you set up to do the work you need to do.  Not having breakfast or not having a good breakfast sets you up for a mid-morning slump.  And kids who don’t eat breakfast don’t do as well in school.

So, when your sleepy-eyed family comes out in the morning, what does a organic mama feed them?  Well, here are some of the things we usually have for breakfast:

Organic oatmeal with dried, fresh, or frozen blueberries.  Put a little real maple syrup on this for sweetness.

Organic eggs and organic whole grain toast.

Organic whole grain toast with organic peanut butter.

Fruit and yogurt.

I’ll bet most of these things sound like traditional breakfast items.   They are, but we just buy the organic version.  Sometimes I make whole grain pancakes or waffles or some sort of muffins.  But I think keeping breakfast simple is the best way to get people to eat breakfast every day.  Most of these items don’t cost too much more in their organic form.  Especially oatmeal (you can buy bulk organic oatmeal) and yogurt can be made at home or bought in large containers. 

What’s your favorite organic breakfast?

Posted in (News) by Debbie
Comments (1)


Focus the Nation
January 28, 2008 at 8:04 pm

On January 31st, universities and schools across the nation will be conducting the largest teach-in ever attempted in US history. The event is Focus the Nation.  Focus the Nation is “a day of focused discussion about global warming solutions.”

This attempt at connectedness is important in a country that is as disconnected as you can get.  Even in my own community, I could not identify all the organizations and businesses that are making efforts toward sustainability and reducing global warming.  The events on Thursday may help solve some of that problem when local organizations, educators, and legislators sit down together to listen and learn about climate change. 

My hope is that this event doesn’t become another exercise in academia, where we all listen and nod our heads and then walk away only to be swept up in the business of life.  My hope is that instead, real connections are made and we, as communities, come out of this with plans and goals in hand.   

What can you do?  First, if at all possible, attend one of the Focus the Nation events in your area.  Some events are including family friendly activities.  Others will have on hand climate researchers, explorers, and other experts to speak of their first hand experiences with climate change.  Second, get connected in your community.  Climate change is a cause that needs a face.  Unless we begin to connect and work together in our communities, climate change will be just another item on the evening news.  And by the time we see that the face being effected by climate change is ours, it may be too late.  So, let’s focus nationally and connect locally.  

Posted in (News) by Debbie
Comments (0)


A Time To Speak….
January 17, 2008 at 4:19 pm

There is a time for everything says the book of Ecclesiastes.  The time to speak out is now.  I can’t remain quiet one second longer as I read that the FDA has deemed that both cloned animals and GMO ingredients are safe(?) for human consumption.  This is science.  Science can be wrong.  Science once told us the world was flat and Diethylstilbestrol (DES) was safe.  Science was wrong.

Common sense can tell us that when you alter one thing, it changes many things.  Altering genes in plants and animals may produce some desirable characteristics, but other parts of the animals and plants will be affected.  Why do we think ingesting these foods won’t affect us?

My state and U.S. representatives and senators are receiving calls and letters from me today.  First, they will hear that I don’t want cloned animal products to enter our food supply.  If they do enter our food supply, I want them to be clearly labeled.  Second,  they will hear that I do not want genetically modified crops of any kind in this country.  Any product containing a genetically modified ingredient should be labeled clearly (currently 60 – 70 % of processed foods on the shelf contain genetically modified ingredients according to this article).  And finally, organic standards should remain tough enough to prevent any chance of an organic product including genetically modified ingredients.  Please, I urge you, don’t wait, call and write.  There is hope, other countries are seeing victories because small groups of people have made loud protests.  The time to speak is now.

Posted in (News) by Debbie
Comments (2)


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