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    Meatless Mondays? Not yet, but we are going to talk about toilets! YAY!

    So, Meatless Mondays is not quite ready to get back up and going (don't worry, I haven't stopped doing meatless Mondays, I still eat meat free every Monday, and I actually have about 4 months of documentation and articles written almost ready to go). In the future Meatless Mondays will include 2 recipes and experiences with them, they will all be old at first but eventually, they will eventually be an old one, and the one I had the week before, and then eventually the one I had the week before. They will also be posted very early on Monday, so you can try the recipes that day! So, stay tuned.

    Today though, we are going to have a brief conversation about toilets. Toilets (next to showers), are the most water using device in most people's homes. First off by just replacing a 3.5 GPF toilet with a 1.6 GPF toilet can save a family of four 16,000 gallons of water per year. That is a lot of wasted water, and wasted money. I have heard many times about replacing toilets, or making sure new toilets that you buy are low flows, but the truth is, many of us are not in a position to buy a new commode, or really can't (you rent). 

    A reader brought this product to my attention, and I did some research on toilets and new waves of toilets (I will be honest, I am not a toilet expert). The new thing is toilets (or relatively new), is the dual flush system. You have two flushes, one for paper and water, and one for "when you need a full flush" as the demonstration video put it. The flush for just paper and water is just half the tank. The second flush uses the whole tank. Seems pretty reasonable to me. Here is the demonstration video:


    The MJSI HydroRight Drop-In Dual Flush Converter is available over at for less than twenty dollars, and is sitting at a four star review right now from almost three hundred customer reviews. Has anyone tried this, or a similar product? What are your thoughts? It might be something that I invest in and play around with and see how it works (hard to judge my water usage, because I don't get charged per gallon like normal people). Let me know what you think?!

    Product page on Amazon: here.

    ---Justin J. Stewart ( provided by Tiffany McFarland)


    Slay Energy Vampires! the return, plus a new local business in Tempe that composts!

    Hello all! Justin here, and I am pleased to announce the return and reboot of Slay Energy Vampires. I am sorry for leaving all of you hanging, I took a quick break for the holidays, but when I returned I found that my computer was on the outs, and after many weeks of battling the computer, and other issues I finally started gathering information and idea for the return of Slay Energy Vampires! We are back in complete operation now, hoping to provide you with tips and tricks on reducing your footprint, plus local businesses trying to make a difference, and yes, Meatless Mondays, and my own adventures to make my house just that much energy conscious. I thank you again for the patience, my own person New Year's resolution this year was to make this site 100,000 hits...please help me out, spread the word, send me some links, or heck, even write an article, this is a community here, not just me...

    Now with the news!

    Coming out ot Tempe, Arizona, there is a new business in town called EcoScraps. EcoScraps offers to takes unusable rotting fruits and vegetables from local restaurants and grocery stores and uses them to turn into nutrient-rich compost and which they then  sell back to local nurseries and landscaping companies. This is removing the need to ship in other compost from out of town, and keeping the whole decomposition chain local. According to the press release from the City of Tempe:

    This month alone, they will likely create enough compost from what would otherwise go into a landfill to offset the emissions of 13,000 cars for a month.

    That's a lot of cars to offset. I applaud companies like this that take the initiative to bring green farming, and sustainable practices to a city and community.

    EcoScraps started as a brainchild of Dan Blake who noticed that so much of his food was getting thrown out in restaurants. He started dumpster diving for food from local restaurants and composting at home as an experiment with different methods of composting. EcoScraps is currently in Colorado, Utah, and Arizona. You can find EcoScraps on Facebook: here.

    ---Justin J. Stewart ( via Angie Fretz)


    LINK THE LAKE - this Saturday 12.4.10, a benifit for the Fretz family, and a rememberance of bicyclists involved in road accidents

    Just a reminder for those that are in Tempe, that Link The Lake is this Saturday at the newly refilled Tempe Town Lake. Unfortunately, we cannot even talk about this blog with out talking about this event. This even is in part a response and tribute to our blog's founder, Jay Fretz, who was killed in a motor vehicle/bicycle accident on his commute home from work, a commute he had been doing for two year without a car, to try and make the environment better his daughter.

    The Not One More Foundation, focuses on education, legislation, and outreach to make Arizona drivers and cyclists more aware of cycling laws, and the idea of "sharing the road". As their name states, their goal is not complete until Not One More cyclist is hurt or killed while riding their bike due to a road accident.

    Link the Lake's goal is to get as many cyclists and cycling groups around the state of Arizona, or even the U.S. to connive upon Tempe Town Lake and literaly create a chain of bikers around the lake to show support for legislative change for cyclist safety. The event this year is also a tribute to Jay Fretz and other cyclists that have fallen this past year, or have been involved in accidents on the road. It will also help raise money and show support for the Fretz family. Angie Fretz and her daughter has shown to be a true beacon of hope, as she battles breast cancer along the loss of her husband. She has been the support of many other people (myself included), while many other people have supported her during this time. The overwhelming support of strangers, and the events like Link the Lake, has given a new faith in humanity, and the human spirit.

    If you can attend the event, I urge you too. If you can't please consider a donation to the Not One More Foundation. You can donate at the bottom of the page HERE.

    Here is a rundown of events:

    We are very excited so many are attending Link the Lake!
    Riding or driving - Meet at Tempe Beach Park by 8:30
    Between 8:30 to 9:00 AM:
    * Commemorative Link The Lake T-Shirts will be distributed
    ...* Contributions will be accepted
    * A Banner with signatures of support for Legislation for a special signature wall
    * Water & Fruit will be available
    9:00 AM Sharp - 15-20 min (Max) a brief Ceremony will Include:
    * Intro of new legislation released today by Not One More & Supporting Legislators
    * Introduction of Angela Fretz and her family
    9:15 cyclists will be dismissed to circle the lake. Upon completing the link (approximately 9:45), Angela Fretz will be on a boat circling the lake and signal cyclists that they can ride home by releasing white homing pigeons. Those who have driven to the Lake with families are welcome to ride on the bike paths to the East dam and back together, but there is no organized ride for this. All cyclists should be careful to obey all traffic laws to and from this event.

    the Facebook pages can be found here:

    and here:

     This is truly an amazing event and I hope that everyone in Tempe, and/or Arizona can attend...

     ---Justin J. Stewart


    Sir Richard Branson decides to step into the high speed rail market, in America

    The hopes for high speed rail in the United States has been kept together by various groups trying to keep awareness of the need for high speed rail in the American people's radar. Even though they have been raising millions of dollars for the projects, and the idea has been wildly talked about and promised with in the Obama administration, a name and a face behind high speed rail in America (and more importantly the capital), seems to have been missing after the past few years of promises, promotion, and hope.

    Enter Sir Richard Branson. Chairman of Virgin Group, a collection of airplanes, music, and now spaceships, has decided that it is time to break into the American market, with high speed rail. Branson has taken on other various philanthropic efforts, including currently working on a Center for Disease Control in South Africa. Branson's spirit, past accomplishments (involvement with the X-prize), and his availably of large amounts of capital and investors, might just be what American high speed rail has ordered!

    ‘I think it’s important for the States’ and Federal government to help support these trains but it’s also important for companies like ours and other investors to be involved, too,’ explains Branson

    Hear, hear! Welcome to American Sir Branson, Cheers!

    whole article can be found:


    ---Justin J. Stewart


    General Electric announces "laregest order in history" for electric vehicles via Kevin Fretz

    General Electrics has announced that that this week it will receive the "largest order in history" for their personal fleet of cars. GE does have some stake in this since they are one of the largest shareholders of the electric car battery supplier field, with their A123 lithium-ion battery system. GE's current fleet consists of 45,000 vehicles, and they expect that half of the vehicles will end up being electric vehincles. All though the average consumer is still warming up to the idea of electric vehicles, large businesses see the future cost-cutting benefits of using electric vehicles in their fleet. This is a bold and refreshing step to see large businesses helping spur on electric car growth.

    Article from here:

    GE's 'Largest Order in History' To Boost Electric-Car Market

    ---Justin J. Stewart (link via Kevin Fretz)