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Looking Ahead to 2010

In my last post I considered the changes I made in 2009; now it’s time to think about the things I want to do in 2010. This is more brainstorming than resolution-making. With that in mind, here are some things I might write about here this year.


  • Read Green Metropolis
  • Read Farm City
  • Read Toolbox for Sustainable Living
  • Read Extraordinary Uses for Everyday Things
  • Find life cycle analysis of Kindle vs. paper books


  • Figure out how to clean shower and toilet with vinegar


  • Look into organic cotton
  • Find vegan shoes in Boston
  • Look into green dry cleaning

Energy Use

  • Put plastic frame in single-paned windows
  • Get roman shade for back door
  • Finish caulking
  • Finish adding V-channel weatherstripping to windows
  • Rack dry clothes
  • Replace desktop computer with network-attached storage
  • Look into LED lights


  • Eat more in season
  • Figure out what’s most important to buy organic
  • Set up system for storing root vegetables
  • Can more food
  • Use the slow cooker
  • Make bread/pizza crust
  • Make soup stock
  • Find organic/fair trade chocolate
  • Find organic/fair trade coffee
  • Find organic/local beer


  • Test Crystal deodorant
  • Find moisturizer that’s not tested on animals
  • Look for toothpaste not tested on animals
  • Look into phosphate-free laundry detergent


  • Tour Cambridge recycling facility?

Water Use

  • Replace shower head with 1.6 gpm model
  • Turn our toilet into a dual-flush toilet

I’m sure lots of other stuff will come up as the year goes on, but this is what I’m thinking of now. Any suggestions for things I should add?


Comment from Katie
Time January 6, 2010 at 10:26 pm

Hey Brenda,

I’m really enjoying your blog! Thanks for gathering all this great info in one place.

I can recommend a good cookbook for stock and possibly bread recipes – though I’ve only made the stock, so I can’t guarantee the turnout on the bread. It’s Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian.

I think Taza chocolate is organic and fair trade, and it’s made in Somerville. Also: delicious!

For laundry detergent, maybe try looking at some of the detergents used on cloth diapers, like Nellie’s All Natural Laundry Soda or Mountain Green Baby Detergent. Usually I think those are phosphate free.

And John Fluevog’s on Newbury makes a line of green shoes, though I’m not sure they’re vegan.

Comment from Toula
Time January 7, 2010 at 1:31 pm

The Environmental Working Group puts out a list of the of “Dirty Dozen” foods you definitely want to by organic. Here’s the link:

Comment from Mike T.
Time January 7, 2010 at 1:34 pm

Tom’s of Maine Flouride Toothpaste is FDA certified without the use of animal testing…

Comment from Brenda Pike
Time January 7, 2010 at 1:36 pm

Thanks. However, they focus on pesticide residue left on food, and I wonder more about how much pesticide/fertilizer is used for each crop, increasing its effect on the surrounding environment. Make sense? The EWG info is everywhere, and it makes it difficult for me to find other information on the topic.

Comment from Brenda Pike
Time January 7, 2010 at 1:40 pm

Thanks, Katie! My nephew gave me How to Cook Everything Vegetarian last Christmas, and it’s become my bible. However, much like the bible, I haven’t read all that much of it yet…

We actually went on a Taza factory tour a month ago. I can’t say I’m a big fan. I tend to like smoother chocolate. (But the hot cocoa they were giving away was really cool. It was strong–almost like coffee.)

And thanks for the laundry detergent and shoes suggestions. I hadn’t heard of any of them!

Comment from Erin aka Conscious Shopper
Time January 7, 2010 at 3:24 pm

You need to do The Conscious Shopper Challenge. 🙂 I also started a Facebook group called “go green without going broke.”

How much does it cost to turn your toilet into dual flush? And do the water savings recoup the cost? Very interesting idea. I was going to put a bottle in my toilet until I discovered it’s already a low flow kind and that might break it. But the dual flush thing is an option.

Comment from Brenda Pike
Time January 7, 2010 at 3:37 pm

I seriously do! I’m debating how bad signing up for a grocery delivery service like Peapod would be. If we cooked more because of it, that’s good, right?

One2Flush only costs about $25, and it gets good reviews. I’m a little worried about the installation, but people say it’s relatively easy. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Comment from Brenda Pike
Time January 7, 2010 at 3:39 pm

Is that what you guys use? Is it good? Considering my family’s dental history, I have serious fears for my teeth.

Comment from Mike T.
Time January 8, 2010 at 3:49 pm

Yep! I’ve used it for years and no cavities. It is much less sweet than traditional toothpaste, but you get used to that quickly. Some of the flavors are weird and/or gross (i.e. cinnamon, gingermint, spearmint), but peppermint is good.

As for efficacy, the only real active ingredient in toothpaste is fluoride, everything else is just a way to make the process of physically cleaning your teeth more pleasant, foamy or minty. Either way, Tom’s seems to have natural equivalents for just about every toothpaste feature out there.

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Time June 21, 2010 at 10:28 pm

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