If It's Yellow Let it Mellow...

...If it's brown flush it down. Catchy little rhyme and a good way to help out the environment. My family and I have been practicing this for about 3 weeks now and I have to say I've learned some things about how to make this little diddy work for you:
  • Don't do mellow yellow when it's very hot outside and your upstairs is warmer than the rest of the house.
  • Carefully explain the concept to anyone using the potty under 8 in the home. My 4 year-old lets everything mellow - Eww.
  • Be prepared to clean the toilet more often so it's important to have your environmentally friendly cleaning solution on hand. I like Borax and white vinegar.
  • You may chose not to mellow all day. All night when usage is down - cool. All day, not so much. Try 3 -4 flushes a day, beats the 400 my toddler puts it through.
  • Doing the mellow is a great way to figure out if you and the rest of your family are getting enough water.
  • Invest in a toilet lock if you've got a little one who believes in putting all things movable in the toilet. It's one thing to fish it out of relatively clean water, a whole other thing to go fishing in hour old pee.
  • No mellowing when guest come, I don't care how environmentally friendly they are, they don't wanna share pee with you.
So how bout it folks - should I call you Mellow Yellow or grossed out?


Experience Columbus Going Viral

Experience Columbus is launching a new ad campaigned designed to get the buzz out on all the great things there is to do in Columbus.

With a new, quirky, less stuffy series of ads, the campaign is designed to highlight what is not in Columbus including Sasquatch, the Eiffel Tower and the Pyramids.

Of course, coming off the Messin' w/Sasquatch popularity for Jack's Beef Jerky ads, the stand out funny ad is the "I didn't catch Sasquatch in Columbus, but I did everything else."

There's nothing better than gathering a bunch of bloggers, giving them the scoop over traditional media and throwing in some YouTube video to get the campaign to go viral.

Some bloggers in attendance were concerned that leading with the negative may turn off some Columbusites. What do you think? Are the ads edgy, funny or corny?

photo credit: terreece clarke, screenshot of new "notincolumbus" website set to launch this weekend.


Green Cleaning...

We had a garage sale this past weekend which was our opportunity to get rid of our junk while preventing it from landing in the 'fill. We made a little bit of money, but got rid of a whole lotta junk. Which led to a massive cleaning project that is still going on.

It's amazing how much junk a family can collect and it's even more amazing how much dirt hides behind the junk. Mixing up big batches of cleaning solutions got me feeling all Mother Earth. No one likes to clean but my kitchen floor? Honey, you can literally eat off of it. My 14 month old does.

Cleaning Solution Recipes
Vinegar and Salt. Mix together for a good surface cleaner.
Baking Soda. Dissolve 4 tablespoons baking soda in 1 quart warm water for a general cleaner.
Baking soda on a damp sponge. Baking soda cleans and deodorizes all kitchen and bathroom surfaces.
*courtesy of Clean and Green

Non-Toxic Cleaning Kit


Getting Around By Private Plane - In Columbus...

Cindy McCain was recently quoted in an interview saying the only way to get around Arizona is by small private plane. See interview here.

That is amazing. Here I thought cars were the main mode of transportation. I can just imagine Columbus' take. Instead of Hummers you'd have gas guzzling private planes buzzing the lowly "car driving" peons.

Parking in the Short North would be a bigger nightmare and I won't even go there on traffic going out to the 'burbs. Instead of a three car garage being the height of suburb chic, it would then be a three plane garage.

Let me stop before I give someone ideas ;0)


Green Grocery Shopping...

Gotta get groceries and I gotta get greener - "Green Groceries" this week feels like an oxymoron. I stopped on the way back from Liv's karate class to pick up a few groceries. It was easier to stop at Aldi's instead of taking the extra time to go into Walmart, get seduced by EVERYTHING and end up spending two hours instead of 20 minutes.

Aldi's is apparently not into greening the joint up. All of the fruit and veggies were in plastic containers. The peppers, tomatoes, no veggie was left untouched. Then I spent two minutes feeling guilty over eggs. Are these local? No. They're in styrofoam. Should I still buy them? Is there anything I can do with styrofoam? What crafts?


In the end I got what I needed. Spent 69 cents more on organic tortilla chips and used my cloth shopping bags. I have a feeling grocery shopping is going to be accompanied by a hippie in hemp waggin their finger at me on one shoulder and an a-hole in a Hummer with endangered polar bear-covered seats on the other side.

I could have left, I could have dragged both kids to Walmart up the street, but that felt like a waste of gas. Of course I could have gone to Whole Paycheck, I mean, Whole Foods waaaaay on the other side of town and spent $40 in gas getting there. Why are all of the health stores in the burbs?

The Good:
  • I remembered the cloth bags
  • Saved gas by going to a store along the way home
  • Bought one organic product
The Bad:
  • I bought eggs in styrofoam.
  • I bought grapes encased in a plastic habitat.
  • Got a little pissed at the Earth, the Man and my wallet.
The Lesson: Keep trying and petition Aldi's for a better selection of green products.


Milk-labeling rule upsets Organic Trade Assoc.

Two trade groups have filed lawsuits challenging a new Ohio rule on milk labels. Apparently the Organic Trade Association says the changes violate free speech because the law requires milk labels that advertise the cows were not treated with bovine growth hormone must have a disclaimer saying the government has not found a difference in the milk that contains the hormone.

Read the article here: Milk-labeling rule brings lawsuits

This is a setback for those who are trying to convince consumers to be more concerned about where their food comes from. It boils down to cost really. If the average consumer is weighing the difference between the more expensive organic milk versus store milk on sale and they see the label saying the government says there's no difference I'm afraid price will win out.

I find the wording of the label convenient: there's no difference in the milk. But it doesn't say there is no difference in how the milk may affect the consumer. Nice one lawyers.

What do you guys think? Will the label discourage some consumers or is the "trust your government's oversight" argument losing it's authority?

two headed cow image courtesy of Barcroft Media


Columbus Punishes Residents for Recycling

For most Columbus residents this is old news, but it still irates me and I'd like to talk about it. Why on Earth did Columbus City Council vote to end subsidizing for the recycling program?

We recycle faithfully, admiring how we'd have to go two - three weeks before we could put out a full trash bin because of most of our trash being recycled. Then I hear that the council has voted and instead of paying $20 for 4 months of recycling pick-up, we would now have to pay $8.25/month!


Supposedly the program wasn't very successful with few taking advantage of the subsidized service so they cut it and replaced it with...Nothing. I honestly didn't see much advertising going into letting residents know the service existed. I wanted to start and went digging for the info on the city's horrid "city Web site." (Would it kill 'em to add a little design?)

Beyond the huge price hike, cutting the program has left people who are concerned, but unwilling or unable to pay for the increase. With gas sky high those of modest means are watching every dollar.

We now pile our recyclables into our car and drop them off at a city drop-off point on the way to our daughter's karate class. But there are plenty who aren't dedicated like us. They'll just quit...

A program Columbus should look to is what crazy Carty Finkbeiner has going on in Toledo, Ohio - residents are charged if they DON'T recycle.

Trash Rates Have Toledo Seeing Green

"When the current fee went into effect, the Finkbeiner administration predicted the rate of recycling would increase from 17 percent to about 40 percent because of the $2.50 monthly savings.

Thirty-eight percent of people are pledged to recycle while only about 28 percent currently do so, said Bill Franklin, the city's director of public service.

City officials said there has been resistance to the change, but think the new fee could alleviate that.

"My neighbor takes my papers over to Kroger's and that's what I've had most to recycle," Ms. Wumer said. "The rise in price to $10 was too much, so I have to do it."

"The recycling pledge cards that will entitle residents to a discount on the new $5.50 monthly trash collection fee have been flying out of stores and libraries where they were put on Friday.

"The kits went out as fast as they came in," Nancy Goldsmith, office coordinator for The Andersons at Talmadge Road and Monroe Street, said yesterday.

City Council last month established a $5.50 monthly refuse fee, with a reduced rate of $3 for people who pledge to participate in curbside recycling."

One of my reasons for refusing to move back to Toledo is that Columbus is far more progressive than my hometown. And now To-dol-leedo is blazing past us in this area. What's up with that Mayor Mike?

What ways are your city encouraging recycling? What successful programs do you think may work with Columbus?