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Archives for March 2012

Earth Hour

Earth Hour is March 31st, 2012 at 8:30 p.m. Will you be participating? If so, what do you plan to do for the hour? And are you challenging yourself to do anything after Earth Hour?

Upcycling: the Art of Re-imagining our Waste

Made from plastic that washed up on the shore.

Granted, it may have all started with Marcel Duchamp’s “Fountain” back in the 20’s, but today’s trash artists are upping the ante when it comes to artistic upcycling like never before.

Whereas Duchamp’s purpose was more for shock value by rendering a urinal as a work of art, upcycling involves repurposing the item itself as a medium to create a new kind of art form. It rings of an altruistic intention for objects left for the trash heap by changing them into something better and more transcendent than what they were originally.

Upcycling in the modern sense may seem completely novel, but in artistic terms, the thought of creating something from nothing has flourished for centuries. By rendering art out of common everyday trash, artists are revealing something truly beautiful from what we deem useless and functionally broken. Their efforts show a real paradigm shift when it comes to our views of the waste cycle process as well as a growing movement toward a zero waste mentality.

If you google you can see a plethora of creative compositions from upcyclers online: Computer parts turned into sculptures; album covers framed and wall mounted; pieces of old CDs fashioned into jewelry or yard ornaments; old lightbulbs made into suncatchers; vases from wine bottles. The concepts are unending as well as the availability of the medium.

Not only is the upcycling trend lending a growing street cred when it comes to environmental awareness, it’s making a profound statement of the mass consumerism that characterizes our society. The result is inspired art that is both reflective of our changing values as a culture and symbolic of our evolving attitude towards trash as we know it.

As the old adage goes—one man’s junk is truly another man’s treasure. Seems that truism has more validity today than at any time in recent memory.

Today’s upcycler isn’t just imitating life through art. He’s re-imagining it from the ordinary around us.

He’s not just out to shock our senses or even for pure self expression. He’s saying something important about the way we think about life in general—

Beauty, in all forms, is often found in the most mundane.

I think it’s time we opened our eyes and see how true that really is.


Photo credit- L. Marie

About the Author

Tom Hill is the CEO of American Waste Control, Tulsa Recycle and Transfer and American Environmental Landfill along with a member of the Tulsa Master Recyclers Association.  Tom’s company recently opened a six million dollar expansion to their recycling facility called Mr. Murph. For the past year, he’s devised and led American Waste’s green recycling initiative, aimed at communicating ways in which Tulsa families and businesses can reduce their waste through recycling to better help the environment. He and his wife, Olivia, have two children and live in Tulsa, OK.



New Eco-Friendly Restaurant Opens in Norman

Norman has a new eco-friendly restaurant to try out. Local opened earlier this month and is located in the Normandy Creek Shopping Center at NW 24th and Main. Local is a casual dinning restaurant that follows the farm to fork concept.

Local focuses on locally sourced, sustainable and creative American food. They feature a seasonal menu, which includes grass-fed meats and specials created with fresh, local produce.

Local not only has great food but also has retail space which features complete take-away meals, local products, and more. And if that’s not enough they also have a children’s center called “Localville.” Localville is great for families. Local know kids often eat differently and faster than adults so kids can go to Localville to eat, watch movies, read, and play!

“We are busy people,” states owner Melissa Scaramucci.  “Sometimes we want to just pick up something that is fresh and nutritious, so we created a take-away retail space.  Sometimes we wish we could sit down with our friends or husbands without having the expense of a sitter, so we created LOCALVILLE for the kids.  But mostly, we love sustainable, locally sourced, delicious food, which is why we hired Ryan Parrott.  This has been our dream.  And now we’re excited this dream is our reality.”

If you are looking for a new restaurant to try in Norman be sure to head over to Local. You can learn more about Local on their website, Twitter, Facebook,  and YouTube.


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 freelance writer. 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.




The United State of Oklahoma to Air on Local TV Stations

An educational, in-depth look at the unique history of the Chickasaw and Choctaw nations and the events shaping our water future.


Check your local listings for times and dates.

President Obama Gives Energy Policy Speech in Oklahoma

Read more about President Obama’s speech and visit to Oklahoma on KFOR.

World Water Day 2012

Today is World Water Day. While right now Oklahoma has been getting a lot of rain, everyone can remember this summer and the terrible drought. With climate change and rising temperatures, droughts will become more common and our need for water will rise. We must start conserving water now.

We would love to hear some of your tips for saving water, share below or on our Facebook page.

New Eco-Friendly Restaurant Coming to Tulsa

The owners of Elote in Tulsa are building a new restaurant in Tulsa. The new restaurant is called The Vault and they hope to open late this summer. The restaurant will be located at 624 S. Cincinnati in the old First National Auto Bank building.

The people of Tulsa can expect the same green standards used at Elote will be used at The Vault, as Libby Auld explains, “We will use biodegradable to go products, local foods and of course recycle. We are trying to restore the building rather then create waste with an unnecessary build out.”

The Vault will focus on fresh and local ingredients. The food will be American fare with a seasonal dinner menu. You will also find a fun cocktail list with both classic and contemporary cocktails.

If you want to get updates on The Vault be sure to follow Elote on Facebook. Also be sure to visit Elote for some fabulous Mexican food while you wait for The Vault to open.


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 freelance writer. 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.




Ask Green Oklahoma

“I make a lot of my own household cleaners.. I have read different things about the use of borax.. What’s are your thoughts?”– April

That is a great question April! Borax is one of those issues few seem to be able to agree on. It is toxic if ingested so should always be kept away from pets and children. It can also cause skin irritation for some people so those with sensitive skin may want to stay away from using it.

Other wise, borax is normally safe in normal amounts. Problems come when there is a large amount of contact. However, with the risks some choose to not use it. You can read this study on Sporax (a brand of borax used to control a tree root disease), while the application is different it still talks about about the effects to humans and the environment.


If you have a question for us please post in the comments below, on our Facebook page, via Twitter, or email us at gogreenokla@gmail.com.


Featured Business: The Peaceful Housewife

The Peaceful Housewife makes homemade, eco-friendly cleaners and personal care products. The ingredients for the products are disclosed and many can even be customized. We had the chance to talk to Jenny of The Peaceful Housewife, here is what she had to say.

GO: What made you decide to start The Peaceful Housewife?
The Peaceful Housewife:
Our son was born 6 ½ weeks early in 2007, and when he came home from the hospital we quickly discovered that he had eczema. It was obvious that he was reacting to disposable diapers, so we put him in cloth diapers to help clear up his skin. While, that helped, he still had reactions to the detergent that we were using to wash our cloth diapers. I formulated our first product, our laundry detergent, because of that need. When we found a formula that we really loved, we decided to share our products with other families in order to give them less expensive, better options for their family.

GO: Why is it important to you that your business is eco-friendly?
The Peaceful Housewife: Wow, so many reasons, really. First and foremost, we believe that God gave us the Earth and asked us to be good steward of the resources and gifts that He gave us. It’s important that we honor His creation and take good care of the Earth so that it’s here to take good care of our children.

We also know that the majority of the time, taking better care of the Earth also means that you’re doing things that are better for your health.

GO: What’s the best advice about going green you have ever gotten?
The Peaceful Housewife: No one can flip a switch and magically be green in every area of their life overnight. There are many shades of green, and no one should feel guilty for not being as green as they would like to be. Going green is a process, and you have to prioritize what’s most important for your family and start there. And don’t get overwhelmed in the process!

GO: What’s your favorite product that you sell?
The Peaceful Housewife: My favorite product is the one that started it all – our laundry detergent! I love seeing the looks on peoples’ faces when I tell them that they can get a year’s worth of laundry detergent for $50 or less. And I really love it when those same people come back and talk to us months or weeks later and tell us that they love our detergent more than the mainstream detergents that they had been using. We’re giving people options that are more economical, healthier and work better. What’s not to love?!

GO: Why do you feel it’s important to support locally owned businesses?
The Peaceful Housewife: There is so much data out there showing that areas that support local businesses rather than big box business are more resilient to recession, and that in itself is a huge bonus. When you do business with a local small business, you’re helping your area stay financially strong.

GO: What is your favorite thing to do in Oklahoma?
The Peaceful Housewife: We love taking our kids to the zoos here in Oklahoma, whether it’s the Tulsa Zoo or the Oklahoma City Zoo. It’s such a fun family time with great learning opportunities. My husband and I also love to go camping with our tent and float the Illinois River. The sun on your shoulders, the cool water and great friends. It’s a favorite pastime for sure!

GO: Other than your own business what is your favorite eco-friendly business in Oklahoma?
The Peaceful Housewife: We love Green Bees Diapers! Raye is such an amazing woman, and so much fun to do business with. We love that Raye is making cloth diapering financially viable for more families and helping to introduce cloth diapers to those who might not have otherwise heard of them. In fact, we love her so much that we carry her diapers right here in our store.

If you would like to learn more about The Peaceful Housewife please be sure to visit their website, and don’t forget to tell them we sent you.

Hope you enjoyed getting to learn more about The Peaceful Housewife and the faces behind the business. Be sure to let us know about other local green businesses you would like to see featured. Just post in the comments below, on our Facebook page or email us at gogreenokla@gmail.com. All photos are property of The Peaceful Housewife.

Breaking News: Evacuation Advisory for Medford Due to Gas Leak

Gas has been leaking from the ONEOK plant in Medford since Wednesday night. The spill started as a saltwater spill from a storage well. The saltwater, also known as brine, turns into propane gas vapors. These fumes are flammable and are now blowing into Medford.

According to the American Red Cross of Central Oklahoma, the city of Medford will be issuing an evacuation advisory at 3 p.m. Citizens in and around Medford should use caution and be prepared to evacuate. A shelter will be available at the old Wakita school in Wakita.

For up-to-date info follow the American Red Cross of Central Oklahoma on Twitter and keep an eye on local news.