Category Archives: Ways To Be Green

Get Your Walk On!

May 28, 2010


Although I moved to Portland over a year ago, I am still overwhelmed by all of the distinct neighborhoods that dot the city. Because Portland is a patchwork of nestled hot spots, tucked between the trees and hills, it can be difficult to know what is down the street, let alone across town.   

Thankfully, however, a recent Cash4Books customer informed us that they had located our company through the website Walk Score both rates the walkability of neighborhoods, as well as provides a wealth of information about pedestrian-friendly destinations in an area. You simply put in an address, and Walk Score generates a map and list of nearby cafes, movie theaters, libraries, bookstores, grocers, even public transportation. In addition, Walk Score provides contact information and reviews for each attraction within walking distance. As it turns out there is a café a quarter mile from my front door. Because it’s down the hill from my home, behind quite a few trees (including a cool monkey puzzle tree), I honestly would never have found this little gem without Walk Score.

But why walk? Isn’t driving faster and easier? Walk Score lists the environment, health, our pocketbooks and the community as benefactors of high walkability neighborhoods. Not to mention, by walking you get to take in that sweet sunshine, and inevitably discover far more than is possible peering from the window of your car!

With summer weather on the horizon, I am antsy to get out and explore. Although my own address scored a mere 52 out of 100 – rated as “somewhat walkable” – I am ready to check out what my new neighborhood has to offer. What’s your Walk Score?

Organic Children’s Books

May 27, 2010

Finding fun, interesting children’s books isn’t hard.

Finding fun, interesting children’s books that are also organic can be a bit trickier. When I say “organic” books, I mean made from recycled materials, using Earth-friendly inks and dyes – even cloth books!

Paper cannot be recycled over and over, the fibers break down and lose connectivity. Some publishers are now mixing paper from trees grown in sustainable forests with already recycled paper, strengthening the fibers and prolonging paper-life. Using soy ink, instead of petroleum based ink, also aids us in our quest for organic books.

Cloth books are great for very young children; easy to teethe on, impossible to tear apart, usually very colorful and some have noisemakers or “feely” objects. The best part about a cloth book: they don’t require any paper!

In my own search for great, sustainable books for my kids, I came across a few wonderful publishers. Priddy books has started it’s own line of natural books called “Natural Baby“.

And here are a few sites offering a selection of cloth books, including how to make your own!

Oompa Cloth Books

Make a Cloth Book

Make Your Own Cloth Book

And, of course, your local used book seller should have some children’s books – buying used is a great way to be green!