Archive for June, 2008

Fourth of July Tips

June 30th, 2008


I love the week of 4th of July.  It just feels like, well, summer to me.

I’m off to California to speak at the “greenest fair on Earth” at the Marin County Fair right outside of San Francisco.  It’s one of those fun old fashioned county fairs with farm booths, pie-eating contests, ferris wheels and cotton candy.  I’ll take lots of photos.   If you’re in Marin County, come see me on Wednesday, July 2nd at 6PM.   I’m giving away a free Simmons Natural Care by Danny Seo mattress!

Anyway, here are some fun eco-entertaining tips from my book “Simply Green Parties” that you can use for your own summer parties this week.   First up: lemon scented hand towels.  

Just grab some small towels and soak them in ice water with a squeezed lemon.  Ring them up, roll them up and serve with a lemon slice on top.   They’ll refresh and disinfect at the same time.


For corn on the cob, just grab some twigs from the yard and sharpen them up in a pencil sharpener.  Jab, grill, enjoy!


It’s easy to make your own healthy popsicles.   You find these molds in the kitchen supply aisle.  Just fill it up with a fruity sports drink, insert popsicle sticks and freeze.   Full of vitamins and much healthier than regular sugar pops.

My Regular Texas Trips

June 27th, 2008


As many of you know, I work with JCPenney as their Green Living Partner and help them as a spokesperson and consultant on their eco-product designation campaign called "Simply Green."   The logo helps our customers (and associates) identify products we create that are recycled, renewable or organic.   I'm down in Texas quite a bit for meetings and one-on-one time with design directors, executives and buyers.   So, this time I thought I'd share a little insider view of their Energy Star award-winning corporate headquarters.

Above is what is known as "the statue."   This is a giant statue of the founder, Mr. James Cash Penney.

First Store

Here's a photo of the very first JCPenney store.


One of the first JCPenney promotional gifts given away:  how green!   It's a toothpaste squeezer so you can get every little last bit of toothpaste out of the tube.   I want one of these!   


Some old matches that were given away back in the day.   


Vintage stationary with the old JCPenney logo.   Seeing this photo makes me miss my old typewriter.   I might go search flea markets or a Goodwill store to find an old typewriter to have on hand.  I love the look of the fonts when freshly "struck" to paper.


I also stopped by the JCPenney Stonebriar store nearby to check on my Simmons Natural Care by Danny Seo mattress.    I also go into stores and refluff the pillows and clean-up the displays.   Sometimes I personally explain the mattress to customers who may be there when I'm there.   I always end up giving away free signed copies of my books to people!

Anyway, here's a sign on the bed promoting their 40% off special sale right now.    Good time to buy and save!


And here's how it looks on the sales floor.    So pretty.  

(PS-I've gotten lots of emails asking why it's not available for sale in some JCPenney stores.   This mattress is on display in all 165 stores that have mattress departments; stores that do not have a mattress department will not have this on display.    To find the closest store to you that has a mattress dept., all you have to do is go to and type in your zip code in the store locator.   It will be available for sale in a few weeks on as well!)

Barn Sale

June 26th, 2008


About a week ago, I was sitting at a stop sign in my car and saw a handmade sign next to me reading "BARN SALE!  NEXT SATURDAY!"

I had no idea what a barn sale was, but I soon found out it exactly is what it sounds like: it's a barn full of used stuff for sale.    And it was bargain central, I discovered.

Above is a collection of wonderful country style chairs for around $5-$15 a piece.    Someone should've bought the whole mismatched (but similar) set and used it for a kitchen set!


I found a collection of vintage garden books for $1 a piece.  I snatched up a bunch, including field guides to trees and shrubs.  I love the green book on the left; the pattern is really pretty and could be a nice pattern for a bedding set.   Hmmm…


And bargain central!   $1 for a vintage crock…$75 cents for an old bronze box…and just $1 for a set of vintage strawberry wooden baskets.   I have a use for all of these in my house.


And here's the crock with the crown emblem on front.   It's all chipped and faded…but that's why I love it even more.   $1!!

And speaking of low prices, when it comes to ridiculously low prices at these barn sales, I don't bargain down.   The only time I really negotiate is when it's something priced above $10.    But how silly would it be to say "I'll give you eighty cents instead of one dollar?"  

Question: can you recycle empty paint cans?

June 25th, 2008

Paint cans

For a long time, I've been told that once a can of paint is completely empty and used up, you can safely toss the can into the curbside recycling bin for recycling.

Well, I just had my house painted with who-knows-how-much-paint from Benjamin Moore's Aura Exterior line.   Above is a photograph of all the empty cans with the dried up black paint dripping inside and outside.

As I looked at the cans, I just couldn't imagine it would be OK to recycle them.   There's still a coating of dark paint inside and outside of the steel can.    If I rinse out food containers for recycling, shouldn't I do the same for paint?

So, I asked Benjamin Moore, and here's what they said:

Always check your local recycling regulations, but in general, once they are dried out, they are safe to recycle in your regular recycling.

So, there you have it.  I'm going to put them out for recycling and see what happens.  Maybe I'll print out the email from Benjamin Moore and tape it to the cans….

Tote Bag Winner

June 24th, 2008

Congrats to "KIEREN" for winning the handmade tote bag.   Many thanks to all of you for entering.   I have learned that we all love chocolate, wine and tofu on this blog! 

I chose a number at random to pick this contest's winner; if they left a way to contact them, they won! 

Congrats to Kieren for leaving "Fruit. Berries. Wine" as her additions to the grocery list.

Plenty more contests to come!