Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tiny Prints

Starting today Tiny Prints is offering the following coupon codes. Just enter the code when asked at checkout. These offers are good through 11/26/08.

10FREE = $10 off + FREE shipping on orders $99 or more
15FREE = $15 off + FREE shipping on orders $149 or more

Fuel Supply - Your Utility Bill

I was reading through the Forbes magazine I picked up at my local library. It is a Special Issue called "Energy + Genius", page 46 caught my eye.

There is a chart labeled, "What can you Afford?". "Wind, Coal Gas and hydropower take the smallest bite out of consumers' monthly electric bills." It claims. The chart not only shows the minimum cost per month per utility, it also shows the range a consumer can pay in cents per kw/h.

Examples are as follows:

Coal and gas both cost an estimated 5-6 cents per kw/h
Hydropower has an estimated 3-10 cents per kw/h

There can be quite a range in cost. It does not say why there is a range but I would guess that the further the consumer lives from the power supply the higher the cost. There may be other reasons too.

Other examples:

Biomass ----- est. 4 to 12 cents per kw/h
Wind ----------est. 5 to 8 cents per kw/h
Geothermal --est. 6 to 10 cents per kw/h
Nuclear -------est. 11 to 14 cents per kw/h

I would like to point out that, though cost vary widely, Nuclear still cost more per kw/h then all the other examples listed above !

Solar is listed at a high cost though, at 21 to almost 40 cents per kw/h, hopefully it will come down a bit.

The information begged a question, considering nuclear needs special hazardous material disposal procedures and takes more dollars from the consumer, why build more of them? Why not build lower cost windmills?

Windmills are not hazardous, or need special hazardous material landfill disposal when they are taken out of service. Windmill electricity even cost less. Landfills take up space and cost the tax payer money, about $700,000 per acre. The price goes up for hazardous material. That is your state taxes at work there.

The cost gets passed on to the consumer in higher utility bills, higher taxes due to more landfills and the dead land that is now no longer available for development into somethings value added like farming.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Holiday Cards

I will attempt to order and send out the greetings cards I never got around to last year. Tiny Prints offers a range of products including gift tags, greeting cards, invitations and even tin mints with a message from the giver. They even have the cards that can include a favorite photo. There selection is wide with chic, fun or elegant choices. My favorite is the Asian inspired tree branch cards. Tiny Prints 2008 Holiday Cards even have an "Eco-Friendly Holiday Card" selection. Find the category on their main page.

Holiday Fun: Midnight
Their gift tags are decorated with a festive snowman design. Send them out to celebrate the holidays with lots of fun.

Christmas Dream: Mint
A delightfully whimsical invitation in chocolate sets a festive scene. Accented with snowy bubbles around a Christmas tree, it's the perfect way to start off your holiday season.

Green Leaves
Make a bold statement with these greeting cards. Decorated and personalized, these cards send out your message in an elegant style.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Choosing a Pesticide Free School

Many schools have real pest problems. Wasps and ticks are a few examples. But there are alternative ways, natural ways, to get rid of pests. Considering the carcinogenic side effects of the common pesticide sprays why not choose natural pest management choosing? A school can rid themselves of disease carrying pests and not contribute to cancer. This is why I applaud states like Connecticut which has ban pesticide application in and near schools.

"Neuroblastoma Linked to Hormone treated with Pesticides", Epidemiology . Where Neuroblastomas account for 10% of childhood tumors and rates have been increasing over the last 50 years. This was a colaborative study between 6 universities and St. Judes Children's Research Hospital.

"Breast Cancer Linked to Hormone Pesticide Chlordane" This study was performed by Texas Tech University Health Science Center, Lubbock, TX and the US Army Institute of Surgical Research.

S.T.A.T.E Report with 38 citations This is a long report but a few of the quotes are as follows.

"Many components are classified as "inert", which allows them to be kept hidden from the public and not listed on product labels. These are more than just fillers or solvents. "Inert" does not mean "inactive" - some, such as benzene and xylene, are more toxic than listed chemicals.(1,2)"

"Fat soluble pesticides accumulate over time in our bodies, then are released at potentially toxic levels when illness or stress results in our fat reserves being metabolized. A large portion of a woman's lifetime exposure to such pesticides is released in the breast milk for her firstborn child.(37) "

"Some pesticides labeled "bio-degradable" degrade into compounds more dangerous than the original. Examples include Mancozeb, which degrades into a substance that is an EPA-classified probable carcinogen.(6) The pesticide industry also implies that "organic" means safe and natural (for example, "Nature's Lawn"), knowing that the term legally may be applied to any compound containing carbon and hydrogen. ChemLawn and other lawn "care" companies and manufacturers have often been sued for fictitious claims.(5-14)"

"Now it is even being found that chlorpyrifos causes multiple sclerosis.(38)"

"The United States General Accounting Office, the investigative arm of Congress, has also tried to alert the public to lawn chemical dangers. GAO's undercover team noted many fictitious claims by many in the lawn "care" industry.(35) Many included illegal claims of product safety. Others were just deceiving, such as the ChemLawn claim that a child would have to ingest ten cups of treated grass clippings to equal the toxicity of one baby aspirin. In fact, the real danger is not that people will be grazing the lawn but that most poisonings come from inhaling pesticide residues or absorbing them through the skin.(6,7,10)"

Parents should also note that many schools may not use a commercial supplier. Often the maintenance personnel does the deed. Though, pesticides applied with or without training can lead to the maintenance person also getting exposure to carcinogens along with the students. That does not seem like a good way to keep insurance costs down.

The responsibility for taking care of the student, that develops the cancer, will fall on the parents. When you think about all the pain and suffering the child will go through, not to mention the cost to the parents, why not use an effective alternative?

Student safety should be at the top of the list of requierments when it comes to choosing a school.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Vintage Hair Clips

Vintage Japanese Barrettes

From: Craftsbury Kids

These barrettes are hand-crafted from vintage Japanese silk kimonos and are shaped as "ume" or Japanese plum blossoms. Plum blossoms are a favorite motif in Japan representing early springtime. Each barrette is one-of-a-kind. Color will vary. Made in the USA.
$16 Per Barrette.

Kimono is the traditional dress of Japan, still worn today on special occasions. The making of a kimono is extremely labor-intensive. Only the finest silk is chosen to be carefully hand dyed and embroidered.
Then, the fabric is sewn so that no seams are visible. It can take several weeks to sew one kimono, and it's not unusual for the price of a special kimono to exceed ten thousand dollars.

In Japan, kimonos are carefully stored and handed down from generation to generation. When a kimono no longer is worn, it is taken apart with loving care, and given new life as a hair accessory.

Made in:

Wooden Toy Train

Little Engine That Could Wooden Toy Train Set
Little Engine That Could Wooden Toy Train Set
- $ 36.95
We love Watty Piper's classic story around here, so we were thrilled to find this Little Engine That Could train set. This wonderful made in the USA toy is compatible with Thomas and Brio sets. Includes the engine, three cars, and red caboose.

:: Authentically made to last for generations
:: Painted with child-safe paints and sealers
:: Fine Hand Detailing
:: Handmade of reforested birch hardwood
:: Railcars are heavier than other brands