Botanical Beauties – Meet The Blossoms honoring Japan

In honor of Japan. Meet The Blossoms (Sakura and Tanka) – the newest creatures to join the Botanical Beauty and Beasties. Their core is from Cherry Blossoms, but they are created from blossoms of all kinds.

Given the state of disrepair and tragedy in Japan The Botanicals believed it would be nice to have a breath of beauty. Hence, this weeks theme of Beauty and why The Blossoms came to stay. Sakura and Tanka are all about beauty, strength, and unity with, and for, one another. They hope that the possibility of closing your eyes and resting is possible, even when mass chaos surrounds you, and that hopefully there is a bit of beauty in your minds eye at that time of respite.

cherry blossom is the flower of the cherry trees known as sakura (桜 or 櫻; さくら). Cherry blossoms are indigenous to many East Asian states including Japan, Korea, and China. Japan has a wide variety of cherry blossoms (sakura.) Cherry blossoms are celebrated for their beauty.

Why the name Tanka and what does it mean?  Tanka (短歌)  is a short poem and part of a larger Group called Waka, which literally means Japanese poem. The term waka originally encompassed a number of differing forms – Tanka being one of the five. Of the five only Tanka survived and so the term aka eventually came to refer only to tanka.

Beauty ON us… Are you an Eco-Fashionista?

Save the Earth with Good style! You walk around – why not look good and so promote Sustainable Beauty!

Fashion and Green – it can be tricky but doesn’t need to be…With a little effort there are LOTS of choices in Green fashion today – Green (as in Eco) is the new black  for fashion! Join in the trend – it’s actually pretty easy!

Yum researching resources for Eco Fashion Beauty

Yum has done some research – she found a very nice link from Eco Chick. Here’s the link Online Resources for Ecofashion, Beauty and Green Goodness … and then there are some easy finds- Levis Jeans has an organic line and waterless (!), Whole Foods has some great clothing and Premium Body Care… Many brands are adding “green fashion and beauty” to their collections. As M.S. would say – “It’s a good thing.” Wondering about waterless – check out http://airdye.com/Synthetic textile-dyeing consumes 2.4 trillion gallons of water a year, enough to fill 3,700,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools. AirDye reduces water use up to 95 percent.** “

Sticking to our Boston base from yesterday – check this out!  A “Boston-based IVEE is a fashion forward sportswear company dedicated to creating luxuriously comfortable sportswear embodying simple glamour and natural elegance.” Items look very nice on line…I am anxious to try some out! http://www.iveestyle.com/ Here is a way to carry all your cool green stuff around – check out Green Style On The Go®  at www.sakysacks.com. Very Cute! Very Pretty!

Are You Up on Eco-Chic Green Fashion Lingo? Learn the green fashion terms.

100% Organic Cotton: To be considered 100 percent organic, cotton must be “certified by a third party (such as the USDA), following strict guidelines for growing the fiber, using no disallowed synthetic chemicals.

Bamboo: A textile made from the pulp of the fast growing bamboo plant that’s soft, highly water absorbent, and anti-bacterial.

Fair Trade: Fair trade companies look at more than just the bottom line. They look at development as a whole and create more of a partnership with suppliers, which makes for a fairer exchange system where workers get paid fair wages and work under good conditions.

Hemp: A strong fabric sewn from the fibers of the fast growing cannabis plant (a variety that contains virtually no THC, the active ingredient in marijuana).

Recycled/Upcycled: Material that’s been reprocessed at the end of its life into something new and useful.

Sustainable: Describes a product created by a process that can continue indefinitely without causing environmental destruction or usurping resources.

All sorts of fun fashion green info here!

http://www.squidoo.com/eco-chic#module11609300

Beauty in Gardens:Boston Common and Boston Public Garden

This week is all about Beauty.

Yum will be the spokeswoman of the week. She feels with all that has gone in the world in the past few weeks we all need a break and breath of fresh air- hence the theme of Beauty this week!

Yums Story/Job: Yum is a magic fairy. She flies over the land and sea and keeps all in love and peace. She has extraordinary sight, so she sees all, knows all, and helps all.
 (Mixed floral)

The focus of today will be natural beauty – enhanced by humans for our joy of beauty – served up by Public Gardens! Since Yums home turf before she moved to Botaniumus was New England – and the Boston area in particular she want to chat about Boston famous Commons and gardens.

Boston Common was America’s first park, the Boston Public Garden its first public botanical garden.  The commons have seen the likes of George Washington & John Adams in 1768. In WWI victory gardens sprouted up in an WWII  The Commons gave it’s all in giving up most of its iron fencing for scrape metal. It was in the Commons that Charles Lindbergh promoted commercial aviation!

Peaking out
Yum and Charles Lindbergh (Photo from top-10-list.org)

In the 19th Century Bostonians added trees, fountains and statuary. The Common became the park-like greenspace we know today. The park includes ballfields, a totlot and the Frog Pond, which provides skating in winter and a spray pool for children in the summer…. The Public Garden was created in 1837, Boston Common in 1634. What a difference two centuries made. From its inception, the Public Garden was decorative and flowery, the Common pastoral and practical. The Common’s walkways were for crosstown travel, the Public Garden’s paths for meandering. The Common was America’s first park, the Public Garden its first public botanical garden.

This style of park, featuring the gardener’s art, was ushered in by Victorians who had new techniques readily available to collect, hybridize and propagate plants. They had access to showy annuals. Greenhouse-grown plants could assure that displays would be seen at their peak. With such abilities, they bedded-out the Garden in intricate floral patterns of blazing color and planted exotic imported trees. These features are clear in the design by George Meacham, who won the public design competition for the Garden. The prize was $100. … We (Boston Gov) maintain the Victorian traditions for the most part, and we feature the Garden as one of Boston’s great attractions…The plants used in bedding-out the Public Garden are grown in the Boston Parks and Recreation Department’s greenhouses. Over 80 species of plants are cultivated there for future plantings in the Garden –

All information is from http://www.cityofboston.gov/Parks/emerald/public_garden.asp

Fun Facts Friday – and the last day of Power Source Week.

Help for Japan:
Donate to the Red Cross http://american.redcross.org/site/PageServer?pagename=ntld_main
Donate to Doctors without Boarders: http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/donate/overview.cfm

How much of our electricity is generated from renewable sources?
How much of our electricity is generated from renewable sources? http://www.eia.gov/energy_in_brief/renewable_energy.cfm

* Did you know that just one wind turbine can produce enough electricity to power up to 300 homes? Or that biomass is actually stored solar energy?

* It almost always takes less energy to make a product from recycled materials than it does to make it from new materials. Using recycled aluminum scrap to make new aluminum cans, for example, uses 95% less energy than making aluminum cans from bauxite ore, the raw material used to make aluminum.

* Gains in Home Energy Efficiency Offset by More Electronics and Appliances

Total residential energy consumption rose approximately 13% over the past quarter century. This was lower than both the rate of population growth (+24%) and new housing starts (+36%) due to energy efficiency improvements in heating and cooling equipment, water heaters, and major appliances. Efficiency gains were offset by increases in the number of homes with clothes washers, dryers, and dishwashers. Additionally, a growing number of U.S. households now have multiple televisions, computers, and refrigerators.

The percentage of homes with central air-conditioning has more than doubled since 1980, with nearly 60% of homes having a central system. All areas of the United States show a significant increase in air-conditioning equipment and use in recent years. Cooling now accounts for 8% of total residential energy consumption in the United States, double its 1980 share.

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  • 500–900 AD: The first windmills were developed in Persia for pumping water and grinding grain.
  • in 2007 : Wind power provided 5 percent of the renewable energy used in the United States.

1860 :Auguste Mouchout (FR), a mathematics instructor, was able to convert solar radiation directly into mechanical power.
2001: Home Depot began selling residential solar power systems in three stores in San Diego, California.

1898:Marie Curie (FR), 2x Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry & Physics, discovered the radioactive elements radium and polonium.
2007: Browns Ferry Nuclear Power Plant Unit 1 was the first U.S. nuclear reactor to come online in the 21st century. Shut down in 1985, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) decided in 2002 to restart the unit. It had the capacity to supply electricity to about 650,000 homes.

B.C.:Hydropower was used by the Greeks to turn water wheels for grinding grains more than 2,000 years ago.
Today: Between 6% and 10% of U.S. electricity comes from hydropower, depending on water supply and annual rainfall. In total, the United States has about 80,000 megawatts of conventional capacity and 18,000 megawatts of pumped storage capacity.

all from Energy KIDS (http://www.eia.doe.gov/kids/index.cfm)