Category Archives: “Green” Things

Cutting down on pollution, and waste and other “Healthy Earth” items

Paradise down under

This week has been amazing. I discovered heliotrope, watched meteors at night, saw satellites cross the sky, discovered an indigenous grasshopper. The girls loved learning about Jupiter, constellations and using the World Wide Telescope to see our night sky before going out and seeing it in person.

I have been in Australia for about 2 months so far and really enjoy the tropical paradise of Queensland near Cairns. Our own back yard is populated with a variety of plants and trees, a variety of birds, some geckos, cane toads, and green ants as well as an interesting spider or two. Our street alone has a large variety of palms and other type trees.


These images open my Google Picasa web album “Australia” no matter which one you click on. There are captions for most of them in the album but to sum up these photos, this is just a small taste of this tropical paradise called Queensland.

In two days my fiancé and I will be getting married and I can’t think of a better place for such a great occasion. We could literally get married in our back yard, on any lawn on our street, or just randomly pick anywhere in the city and it would be perfect.

Our honey could very easily be on the patio under the stars since I discovered how incredibly bright the stars are here. There are thousands more and so much brighter as well the Moon appears so much closer to Earth. We have easily observed several satellites with the naked eye and several meteors due to the lack of light pollution.

Summer is in full swing but I have yet to witness a thunderstorm here even though it has rained at least 50% of the time I have lived in Queensland. Considering we are a little less than 17° south of the equator, it stands to reason that we experience an almost rain forest climate here explaining the lush green and flourishing ecosystem.

Until next time…

381 years old and counting

Some things look better with age. This Bonsai, just over 2 feet tall is 381 years old.


Housed at the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum in the United States National Arboretum, Washington D.C. (see map)

Photo courtesy of the USNA.

Catlin Elm Grove

Photo courtesy of the USNA.

Sex Offender or Earth Conscious?

Green Good or Green Bad?

Recently the Ontario environment minister Laurel Broten announced that Ontario will be rewarding motorists for driving environmentally-friendly vehicles with a green license plate.

The Ontario Liberals said motorists who drive a low-emission car will soon get a green-hued license plate and access to perks like free parking or access to car-pool [HOV] lanes.

This could pose a problem for Ontarians traveling to the United States with their “eco-license” plates, especially in the states of Alabama, Ohio and Wisconsin. Earlier this year these states have proposed fluorescent green plates for their “registered sex offenders.” OOOPS!

So now we have a question. Which do you think is going to be more acceptable, Canada and the “Green Earth” plates or the U.S. and their “Green Sex Offenders” plates?

Personally, we in the U.S., have been going “green” in so many different ways in recognition of energy conservation and environmentally friendly habits for so long, that I don’t understand the individual states proposing green plates for sex offenders. It just doesn’t make any sense that they would pick green and purposely confuse the issues. Maybe its just the states that don’t really have any real “green earth” programs or attitudes.


What are your thoughts on this situation?

Forcing the “Gasoline” Issue

In conjunction with our rage over gas prices, we all have to do our part to force the price of gasoline down. The true solution to lower gas prices is to force the issue, by literally changing the supply and demand ratio. Less demand for a product forces the price down.

Since Congress (being the opposite of progress) offers no solutions, no help and are completely worthless in doing the bidding of the people, then it’s up to us, “We The People” to take matters into our own hands. Doing so will result in a healthier Earth and a healthier (pun intended)”US”/U.S.

Among our many choices of alternative fuels, non-fuel energy and alternative sources of energy is good old human power. We can choose to purchase all electric cars or hybrid cars, we can choose solar water heaters or tankless water heaters, we can choose…

…Reel Mowers – the old-fashioned push mowers of your grandparents’ day. Many people cringe at the thought of reel mowers, sure it will make lawn mowing harder than it has to be. The truth is, mowing with a reel mower is much easier than mowing with a heavy, gas powered mower. Modern reel mowers are lighter than their ancestors (usually around 17 to 20 pounds). They are also much gentler on the grass than powered lawn mowers. Reel mowers are the best choice for the environment and the budget conscious, with the only possible exception being a goat.

Reel mowers require minimal maintenance. When new, the blades often stay sharp for the first year or two (some as long as 10 years) and then can be sharpened once a year after that. Reel mowers are also the quietest way to mow and provide a nice, easy aerobic work out in the process. When was the last time you could talk on your cell phone and mow your grass at the same time? If you had a steep slant to your yard, would you be riding a lawnmower on it or trying to use a gas powered push mower on it? Did it feel dangerous? Hard to manage? You would be amazed how nicely a reel mower will cut some of the steepest yards with ease.

A drawback to reel lawn mowers is that they do not mow tall weeds. If you keep on top of your lawn mowing and can get to it each week, before tall grass and weeds shoot up, this won’t be a problem. But, if you are an infrequent mower, then a reel mower is probably not for you.

If you are considering a reel lawn mower, consider Scotts Classic reel lawn mower. Scott's Classic Reel MowerThis mower comes with its own sharpening kit and a grass catcher. Also the price range of this mower will fit just about any budget. I found the prices for this one 20″ reel mower to be anywhere from $120.00 with tax and shipping included to $156.92 shipping included, but tax not included.  Click here ( sells the lowest) for the  price comparisons.

If you would like a little beefier priced reel mower with a sturdierBrill Luxus 38 look and feel, take a look at the Clean Air Gardening center’s choice, the Brill Luxus 38, where you will find a lot of great “healthy Earth” products and ideas as well.

What a great fun way to a healthier Earth and a healthier US!