Tag Archives: local

How To Throw An Earth Day Party

earthday
image from theskywatcher

With the environment gaining more of the limelight than ever before, Earth Day is rising through the holiday party ranks, beating out Arbor Day and Hug An Australian Day for deserving a legit celebration. Earth Day celebrates the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970, and the concept is re-emerging. Earth Day is next Tuesday (but really it’s every day), so here’s how to start planning an eco-friendly Earth Day party.

1. Buy local or organic beverages

By purchasing locally produced or grown products, you are supporting the local economy and reducing the gas burned for the product to be transported to you. Free State Brewery, 636 Massachusetts, sells kegs of its locally produced beer, which start at $96 for a full-size (15 gallon) keg of its standard beer. Smaller kegs and different varieties of beer are also available.

Honor vodka is produced in Lawrence and available in most liquor stores. Several locally grown and produced wines are also available in many stores. Unfortunately, these are not usually separated out from traditional wines and liquors, so read the label to see where the product was grown.

Ace Frazier, who works at Mass Beverage, 3131 Nieder Rd., says local and organic wines are typically about the same price as their traditional counterparts.

2. BYOC—Bring Your Own Cup

You got the booze, but have guests bring their own reusable cups. This reduces the amount of waste generated and cuts back on your party’s dependence on foreign oil. You could also provide reusable, recyclable or compostable cups. Compostable cups are corn-based and will naturally biodegrade when in a composting barrel.

3. Get out

Students spend the majority of their days indoors, so go outside to celebrate. Use available natural light. If going outside isn’t an option, dim the lights inside or condense the party to one area of the house so you need less light. Replace old incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs to save energy.

4. Play old games with an environmental twist

Whether it’s Greenhouse Gas Pong or Presidents And Al Gores, have some fun with your environmental knowledge. Also try Environmental Bullshit (“I have one United States and two international treaties.” “Bullshit!”), the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report drinking game (drink anytime you read “climate change”) or Ring of Fire (that’s engulfing the planet).

5. Above all, don’t forget the three Rs

Remember the point of Earth Day, and don’t needlessly buy anything that isn’t necessary. If you must buy, try to buy local or organic. It all comes back to reduce, reuse and recycle, even at college parties.

originally published in Jayplay magazine on April 17, 2008 (PDF). Click here for its original online home.

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How To Green Your Sex Life

greensex
image from margolove

Nothing says “I love you (and the Earth)” like a Valentine’s Day full of organic massage oils, a box of fair trade chocolates and a bottle of locally produced wine.

Some sex toys, including dildos, contain chemicals called phthalates, which makes hard plastics like PVC softer and gives a jelly-like feeling. But phthalates are endocrine disruptors, which means the chemicals mimic hormones and do damage to sex organs. Contributed photo Even though most people don’t think about keeping the environment clean before doing the dirty, spending a little extra time choosing more environmentally friendly products is worth the delay.

Some sex toys and dildos contain chemicals called phthalates, which makes hard plastics like PVC softer and gives a jelly-like feeling. But phthalates are endocrine disruptors, which means the chemicals mimic hormones and do damage to sex organs. The European Union has banned the use of phthalates in children’s toys since 2004.

According to TreeHugger, a surefire warning sign is a disclaimer that you might find on sex toy packages that say that the device should be used for “novelty purposes only.”

To avoid the more dangerous end of the chemical spectrum, look for sex toys made from hard plastics, silicon, metal or glass.

As with all your purchases, try to find products that are labeled “natural” or “organic.” Steer clear from petroleum-based products and anything with artificial scents, flavors and colors. Find products that are sexy but durable and rechargeable. Although these products might be more expensive initially, you get more bangs for your buck in the long run.

Latex and lambskin condoms are generally thought to be biodegradable, but polyurethane condoms are basically plastic, which does not biodegrade and creates more landfill waste. Unfortunately, there are not many green products available locally — both Richard Osburn, the owner of Naughty But Nice, 1741 Massachusetts St, and Holly Kirkpatrick, manager of Priscilla’s, 1206 W 23rd St., say they did not carry any specifically environmentally friendly products — but a quick Google search should satisfy your green spot.

Latex and lambskin condoms are generally thought to be biodegradable, but polyurethane condoms are basically plastic, which does not biodegrade and creates more landfill waste.

Still, the best green love option available is to find someone who isn’t going to fuck over you or the planet. For single ecosexuals, there are several online dating sites that promise to hook you up with your green soul mate.

One of the oldest green dating sites is Green Singles, which first started out as a postal newsletter in 1985. Lee Schulman, president of GreenMatch LLC, says the site has just over 14,000 members with 800 new members each month.

Schulman says that GreenSingles was created “as a place for progressive singles in the environmental, vegetarian and animal rights community and other green singles who love the outdoors, holistic living, personal growth and spirituality to meet up and network for friendship, dating, romance and the exchange of information and ideas.” Other dating Web sites for the environmentally friendly include Green Passions, Human2Human, and Veggie Romance.

Of course, there’s always the Lawrence Farmers’ Market, the Wal-Mart Recycling Center, Critical Mass gatherings or the produce department at the Merc to find that special someone, too.

originally published in Jayplay magazine on Feb. 7, 2008. Click here for its original online home.