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Archives for November 2011

Shop Green & Local This Holiday Shopping Weekend

According to The 3/50 Project; for every $100 spent locally $68 stays in the community, for every $100 spent at a big box store $45 stays in the community. So this holiday shopping weekend shop locally, for your community and your planet. And don’t worry this doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of great deals this weekend, many local businesses are offering wonderful deals. We will be listing all of the deals we find here, we will add them as we find them so keep checking back and if you spot a deal post in the comments below or email us at gogreenokla@gmail.com

Bouncing Woolies– Discounts and deals will be posted on their Facebook page so keep an eye on it this weekend.

Native Roots Market– On Monday Native Roots will pay tax on any purchase if you mention anti-cyber Monday. And Black Friday through Christmas Eve you can buy $100 worth of gift cards and get a free $10 gift card.


Green Bambino–  Open at  10 a.m. Friday with free coffee and muffins. On Saturday you can get free stuff and other goodies.

Soap For Goodness Sake– Save 10% with the code CYBERME on Cyber Monday. Click here for details.

Shop Good– Save 20% 11/24- 11/27 with the code blackfridayforgood. Click here for details.

Collected Thread– 20% off the whole store on Black Friday.

Theraganics– On Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, buy 3 soaps and get 1 free. Also save 30% off of creams and scrubs.

Birdie/Fin and Feathers– On Black Friday, save 30% off at 8:00 a.m., 20% off at 9:00 a.m., 15% off at 10:00 a.m. and 10% off 11:00 a.m. until closed.

Blue Seven– On Black Friday, TOMS are buy one, get one half off.

The Changing Table– Black Friday- Cyber Monday get 20% off AppleCheeks and Happy Heiny, 15% off Best Bottoms, Blueberry, Swaddlebees, Weehugger packages, and select PlanetWise wet bags, 10% off EcoPosh, B1G1F bumGenius Econobum, B2G1F GroVia shells and AIOs, B3G1F or $15.95 each Fuzzi Bunz (excluding the Elite), B4G1F Rumparooz, B5G1F bumGenius 4.0, Elementals, and Flips, Free gift with every $50 spent on Friday.

 

Don’t forget to keep checking back and if you spot a deal post in the comments below or email us at gogreenokla@gmail.com

Make Your Own Reusable Bag

Did you know about 1 million plastic bags are used every minute?! That’s a lot of plastic and only .5% to 3% of the plastic bags are recycled. Reusable bags can help reduce your impact. If you are the crafty type why not make your own? They would also make great Christmas gifts. Here are a couple of video tutorials to get your started.

If you can crochet or knit, you can take the plastic bags you and your friends have and make them in to reusable bags using plarn (plastic yarn).

If you have any ideas for making your own reusable bags, post in the comments below.


 


About the Author

 

Lisa Sharp is passionate about green living, organic food, animals, and natural medicine. She is an environmental activist, green living expert, and consultant. In addition to being the founder and editor of Green Oklahoma, Lisa has a green living blog, Retro Housewife Goes Green. You can follow Lisa on twitter @Retrohousewife5 and Facebook.

 

Photo credit: cakersandco

Keystone XL Pipeline Sent Back

Last week there was a big win for the environment, President Obama sent the Keystone XL pipeline back to the State Department for a re-review! Many analysts say this will kill the project, some say it’s just a delay. The State Department plans to conduct a new environmental review, that process will likely take 12 to 18 months.

Since the announcement that the pipeline plans would be re-review, TransCanada has announced it will reroute the pipeline to avoid the environmentally sensitive area in Nebraska called the Sand Hills.

While the re-route will ensure that the pipeline won’t be going through some of the most sensitive areas, it will still hold many environmental concerns. The current Keystone pipeline leaked over 10 times in less than a year, it’s first year. Oil leaks are serious anywhere and can cause major environmental harm.  With the pipeline going through Oklahoma many Oklahomans are concerned about the pipeline and possible leaks.


Environmental groups are still working to ensure that the Keystone XL pipeline is never approved. Tar Sands Action is encouraging people to pledge to take nonviolent action against the pipeline and to keep up the fight. People are also encouraged to thank President Obama for sending the pipeline back.

In the next several weeks we should learn more about what will happen with the pipeline and just how big this win is. If you want more information on the Keystone XL check out Tar Sands Action and the U.S. State Department’s website.



About the Author


Lisa Sharp is passionate about green living, organic food, animals, and natural medicine. She is an environmental activist, green living expert, and consultant. In addition to being the founder and editor of Green Oklahoma, Lisa has a green living blog, Retro Housewife Goes Green. You can follow Lisa on twitter @Retrohousewife5 and Facebook.

 


Photo Credit: Danielle Scott

 

 

Popular Baby Shampoo Contains Hazardous Chemicals

Raising children in the world today brings about more concerns than it used to. We are finding more and more products that are made with hazardous chemicals. Which products are safe to use and which will cause harm. It can be an overwhelming picture.

Many new parents receive a common gift at baby showers, baby shampoo and bubble bath. Every baby needs to be clean and that sweet smell of the bubble bath will do the job, right? What many parents do not realize is that the most commonly given baby shampoo and bubble bath contains known carcinogens.

Johnson and Johnson’s baby shampoo contains two carcinogens—formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane—that were not listed on labels. The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics has actually been trying since March of 2009 to have the company remove these ingredients from their products. The company has come out with a “natural” product that does not contain any known carcinogens. However, the “natural” formula costs more than the original formula, which still contains the harmful chemicals and is still on the shelves.


The problem with this is that many families are still purchasing the original formula because of the cost factor and because it has been around for years and being the original shampoo people feel that it can be “trusted,” but apparently that is not the case. Johnson and Johnson made a statement on Oct. 31 2011, stating that they plan to phase out formaldehyde-releasing chemicals from it’s baby products worldwide. This will be a great relief to parents!

Editors Note: Click here for a few alternative baby care products. The Soap For Goodness Sake product is a locally made product!


About the Author

 

Deanna Layman is a stay at home mom, blogger and passionate about “going green.” After the birth of her son she realized just how much we are exposed to chemicals. She decided to begin her journey of going green. She is passionate about it and love to share all the new adventures she is experiencing. She also started a site for moms, Raisinginspiration.com, a place for moms to go and be encouraged, inspired and to create community.

 
Photo credits: Chesi – Fotos CC


Record Breaking Weather and Climate Change

Oklahoma’s record breaking 5.6 earthquake on Saturday is not the only record breaking weather event to take place in the state this year. We have a had a record drought, broke the state record for most snow to fall in 24 hoursbroke the record for coldest day, had the warmest July on record for the whole U.S., record windspeedrecord wildfires, and more.

With all of these events happening this year, Oklahoman’s are left wondering what is causing all of this extreme weather? Some scientist have linked these kinds of weather events to climate change.

“All weather events are now influenced by climate change because all weather now develops in a different environment than before. While natural variability continues to play a key role in extreme weather, climate change has shifted the odds and changed the natural limits, making certain types of extreme weather more frequent and more intense. The kinds of extreme weather events that would be expected to occur more often in a warming world are indeed increasing.”- Current Extreme Weather & Climate Change


This video does a great job of explaining what’s going on with our weather and how climate change is effecting it.

The Current Extreme Weather & Climate Change paints a pretty serious picture of what these extreme weather events can do to the human population.

“Changes in extreme weather threaten human health as well as prosperity. Many societies have taken measures to cope with historical weather extremes, but new, more intense extremes have the potential to overwhelm existing human systems and structures.18 More frequent and more severe extreme weather events are more likely to destabilize ecosystems and cripple essential components of human livelihood, such as food production, transportation infrastructure, and water management. Death, disease, displacement, and economic hardship may follow, as we have seen with recent hurricanes, floods, heat waves, and droughts.”- Current Extreme Weather & Climate Change

As it seems extreme weather will become more common, we should all be sure to stay prepared for possible natural disasters. Most Oklahoman’s have grown up being told to stay prepared for tornadoes but now we should add earthquakes, floods and other disasters to our lists. Knowing what to do and being prepared is the best way to save lives. You can learn more about preparing for natural disasters on the CDC’s website.


About the Author


Lisa Sharp is passionate about green living, organic food, animals, and natural medicine. She is an environmental activist, green living expert, and consultant. In addition to being the founder and editor of Green Oklahoma, Lisa has a green living blog, Retro Housewife Goes Green. You can follow Lisa on twitter @Retrohousewife5 and Facebook.

Photo credit: eschipul

Oklahoma’s Energy Future Forum

Saturday, October 29, the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign hosted the Oklahoma’s Energy Future Forum at the Oklahoma State University Campus in Oklahoma City.   There were 75 guests in attendance at the forum to learn about and discuss the opportunities and resources available in Oklahoma to develop a statewide energy plan that will create jobs, clean up the environment, and protect the health of Oklahoma residents.

Mary Anne Hitt, National Director of Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign, was the keynote speaker of the forum and kicked off the event by introducing the Beyond Coal Campaign and addressing the many  problems associated with the dirty energy source.  Hitt discussed that in order to be successful and effective in moving toward a clean energy future, action must happen at the state level.  She said, “There are a few states that can be massive clean energy leaders and Oklahoma is one of them.”

Following Mary Ann Hitt’s speech was a panel of other energy experts that expressed their thoughts and ideas about the future of energy production in Oklahoma.  The panel included Michael Ming, Oklahoma Secretary of Energy, Jim Roth, attorney with Phillips Murrah Law Firm, Rob Janssen with Kelson Energy, Chris Knapp with Apex Wind Energy, Phillip Teel with Clean Line Energy Partners..  Michael Ming was the first panelist to speak and he started off with a thought provoking analogy, which had the audience look back on the progress, or lack thereof in energy production.  This analogy illustrated what would happen if Benjamin Franklin and Alexander Graham Bell were to come back and see their inventions in their present day form.  If Bell were to see our cell phones, many of which resemble mini-computers, he would probably have no idea what it was or even that it had developed from his original invention.  On the other hand, Franklin would easily be able to recognize our modern day electricity because it has hardly changed from his original invention.


The common theme amongst many of the panelists was that Oklahoma has the ability to become the leader in the movement towards cleaner energy.  Oklahoma has long been a leader in energy and has the resources necessary to move away from a dependence on coal fired power plants.  Jim Roth stated in reference to wind and natural gas “when it comes to new sources of energy, we should use our native blessings.”  Whether or not you think wind is a blessing, it is a sure fact that Oklahoma has enough of it that can and should be used to our advantage.

After the panel concluded, there was time for questions and discussion with the audience.  Participants broke for lunch provided by the Sierra Club and continued conversation about the energy future of Oklahoma. Following lunch, the attendees relocated to two smaller breakout sessions.  One group discussed clean energy policies while the other discussed the grassroots movement to transition away from coal and what they thought the campaign should do in order inform others about the problems and dangers of coal powered energy.  The clean energy policy discussion was led by Bud Scott with Oklahoma Progress, PLLC and Montelle Clark with the Oklahoma Sustainability Network.  The main topics discussed were incentives and tax exemptions for individuals or companies that use clean energy.  The group also covered ways of lowering individuals’ consumption levels, including in-home displayed monitoring and pre-paid metering.  The main consensus in the other group, which focused more on achieving campaign goals rather than policy, was that in order for more people to get involved, there needs to be a greater awareness of the problems and dangers of dirty energy.  One way that the Beyond Coal Campaign is attempting to do this is by encouraging people to host mercury teach-ins for their friends and family.   If you want to find out how to host one of these teach-ins email whitney.pearson@sierraclub.org

Although Oklahoma’s Energy Future Forum took place early Saturday morning, there were still 75 dedicated individuals including public officials, energy experts, industry representatives, advocates, and interested Oklahomans eager to gather in order to learn about and discuss the solutions of moving Oklahoma beyond coal toward a clean energy future.  This forum was one of many exhibits of the continuously growing popularity of the topic of future energy production in the state.  The Governor’s Energy Conference is a similar event that will be held Wednesday November 9, 2011 at the Cox Business Center in downtown Oklahoma City.  These discussions are timely as the Environmental Protection Agency will be finalizing two new regulations by the end of the year (a regional haze plan and a mercury and air toxics safeguard) that will require utilities to decide whether to invest in cleaning up their coal plants or retiring them.

 


About the Author

Laura Tucker is a human relations student at the University of Oklahoma and an intern for the Sierra Club.

Oklahoma Rocked by Record Setting Earthquake

Saturday night Oklahoma set a new state earthquake record, 5.6. This earthquake came after a 4.7 earthquake, early Saturday morning. Oklahomans aren’t used to earthquakes and many were confused about what was going on. Some people thought there was an explosion, others figured it out but were unsure what to do during the more than a minute of shaking.

Oklahoma typically has around 50 earthquakes each year but as of 2009 the number started to greatly increase. Last year over 1,000 earthquakes shook Oklahoma. Most of the earthquakes have been small with the 5.6 being the largest in state history. The earthquake was felt all over the state and even as far away as Illinois and Wisconsin.

With the big increase of earthquakes in Oklahoma, many are now questioning why and one hypothesis is that hydraulic fracturing (fracking). Arkansas is also studying this theory after having a major earthquake swarm in part of northern Arkansas.


A study on fracking done by the Oklahoma Geological Survey (OGS) this past year had this to say about an earthquake swarm in Oklahoma near a fracking site, “the strong correlation in time and space as well as a reasonable fit to a physical model suggest that there is a possibility these earthquakes were induced by hydraulic-­?fracturing.” It goes on to say that is hard to say with a “high degree of certainty” if the earthquakes are being caused by nature or fracting. More studies will need to be done to know what is going on for sure.

Oklahoman’s may continue to feel aftershocks from the 5.6 earthquake for the next couple of months. Oklahoman’s should learn how to be prepared for earthquakes as the number of earthquakes is increasing. Also, it’s suggested that Oklahoman’s check to see if their insurance covers earthquake.

 


About the Author


Lisa Sharp is passionate about green living, organic food, animals, and natural medicine. She is an environmental activist, green living expert, and consultant. In addition to being the founder and editor of Green Oklahoma, Lisa has a green living blog, Retro Housewife Goes Green. You can follow Lisa on twitter @Retrohousewife5 and Facebook.

 

Map Credit: U.S. Geological Survey
Department of the Interior/USGS

Rare Sumatran Tigers Born at the OKC Zoo

Photo credit: Lisa Lee

On July 9, 2011 the Oklahoma City Zoo welcomed four Sumatran tiger cubs. This is the first time Sumatran tigers have been born at the zoo. The cub’s parents are mom Suriya (suh-rye-uh) and dad Raguno (ruh-goon-oh). There are three females; Leeloo, Lola, and Lucy, and one male, Leonidas (lee-oh-nie-duhs). Mom and the cubs are doing well and can be seen in the Cat Forest exhibit from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., weather permitting.

These births are very important as there are less than 300 estimated to be living in the wild. Sumatran tigers were being well researched but due to political unrest in Indonesia many researchers have been forced to flee. Thankfully, things have improved and much of the research is underway again.

Photo Credit: Leno Kofoed

The Sumatran tiger is the last Indonesian tiger species. Two others have gone extinct, the Bali and Javan tigers. The last observations of the Bali tiger were in the late 1930’s and the Javan tiger was last recorded in 1976. In an effort to protect the Sumatran tiger from suffering the same fate, the World Wildlife Federation and other groups successfully lobbied to have Tesso Nilo, an important Sumatran tiger habitat, declared a National Park.

Photo Credit: Scott Jackson


You can help save the remaining wild Sumatran tigers by purchasing the new Save Vanishing Species stamps, which are available at Post Offices nationwide, USPS.com and the Zoo’s Safari Gift Shop (while supplies last). They are 55 cents- 11 cents greater than a First Class mail stamp. The net proceeds will directly go to helping save species like tigers, elephants, rhinos, great apes, and turtles.

You can help the Oklahoma City Zoo continue their conservation programs by visiting the zoo. You can also make donations to the zoo by visiting their website- www.okczoo.com.

 


About the Author


Lisa Sharp is passionate about green living, organic food, animals, and natural medicine. She is an environmental activist, green living expert, and consultant. In addition to being the founder and editor of Green Oklahoma, Lisa has a green living blog, Retro Housewife Goes Green. You can follow Lisa on twitter @Retrohousewife5 and Facebook.