kinda genius: water pebble


I chuckled at this “trend alert — stop showering” at Jezebel, but the reasoning behind it (use less water) is sound. And right on schedule, Springwise posts about the Water Pebble. This little invention from Priestmangoode senses how long you shower the first time you use it. After that, it blinks just a little sooner as you shower, giving you a hint to wrap up your water usage. You can buy it in the US at Uncommon Goods and in the UK at places like Amazon, and we’re sure more locations to come. — Mary T.

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help! how do i recycle my fluorescent bulbs?


Kermit the Frog was right: it’s not easy being green. Case in point, I’ve had a rather large, burned out fluorescent tube bulb hanging around my apartment for about a month now and not a clue as to where to drop it to be recycled. I’ve Googled, I’ve Binged, and to no avail. It seems like most places that offer recycling (either mail back programs or drop off locations) only cater to smaller, household bulbs. Any advice, dear readers? –Katie D.

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post off: do you buy food locally?

local foods wheel

Though it’s not a new idea by any means, the local foods movement is gaining momentum. We’ve posted before about joining community supported agriculture programs, and here in New York, our grocery delivery service has been promoting nearby farms with special shopping sections and discounts for buying locally. I’ve also had my eye on the Local Foods Wheel for the region. Available for the San Francisco Bay Area, the New York Metro Area and most recently the Upper Midwest, the wheel is an illustrated guide that details foods that are grown locally by peak season, so you can tailor your local buying to your taste. As a resident of a congested city it’s hard to know where my food originates, but these incentives have inspired me put more thought into the issue. What about you? Do you buy with local farms in mind? – Sarah C.

Each wheel is available for purchase on the site for $12.95, or you can also find yours locally (of course!) by consulting the “Places to buy” section on each region’s page.

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green find: rebinder office and school supplies


Even in a pretty green workspace — and mine is one — it seems we still use a ton of paper for printing, presentations, and note-taking. But I’ve been working on a project recently where we’re using presentation binders that are made from 100% recycled carboard. The three-ring binders are from ReBinder. They’re surprisingly heavy duty and you can replace the covers and re-use the inner workings if they do start to show some wear. ReBinder has a full line of office and school supplies like folders, CD holders, journals, and even labels that you can buy at their site or find in supply stores like Office Depot. In fact, they have a back-to-school kit ready to go. And all are recycled! What’s even cooler is that I’ve learned while working on my project that the company also partners with groups that provide jobs for developmentally disabled adults. These products really are good all around. — Mary T.

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natural room scent: stargazer lilies


I really should call this “natural house scent.” Our home isn’t very large (about 800 square feet on the first floor, if that) and two big, hairy dogs in summer can give it that not-so-fresh feeling. I’ve definitely done the scented candles and oils thing, but it was a birthday present from my husband that made me realize there was a much prettier alternative. I’ve always adored stargazer lilies, so much so that they were our wedding flowers. Part of their appeal is their strong scent — I’m sure there are those who don’t love it, but I do. Last week, every time I opened the front door, instead of wafting dog I caught the scent of lilies! So when my birthday flowers wilted, I bought the ones you see here for just $5. (We’re blessed with some of the most abundant and inexpensive floral stands around.) I think this could be my new semi-weekly boost. — Mary T.

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