National Geographic Five Step Plan to Feed the World

July 27th, 2014 Posted in food | 1 Comment »

Earth Sandwich Jonathan Foley recently led a team of scientists with the goal of coming up with a plan to feed 9 billion Earthlings while also cutting the environmental damage caused by agriculture. I humbly suggest you read the whole article, but here’s a brief synopsis (or a “TLDR”, for the Internet generation) of the Five Step Plan to Feed the World.


Keep Deer Away from your Garden with a Scarecrow Sprinkler

June 29th, 2014 Posted in animals, gardening, plants, water | 1 Comment »

Scarecrow deer sprinkler

My friends, I have gathered you here to discuss something very important in the gardening world. No matter how truly green you keep your garden, whether it’s with homemade compost lasagna, or by planting a community garden in your city, there’s one thing that can absolutely destroy it. Something very “deer” to my heart.

If you haven’t guessed, I’m talkin’ ’bout deer! Now, I’ve tried all kinds of things to keep them from demolishing my precious lil’ organic garden — sprinkling hair around the garden, making semi-invisible fences out of fishing line, sacrifices to the Moon God Jokar, even coyote pee.

But you know what? (raises knee up onto stool, props elbow on, looks earnestly into your eyes) None of that worked. I was about ready to throw in the towel to the dastardly deer.

I thought my choices were either build a 15-foot high fence around the garden, or just sit out there with an axe waiting for a deer to try its luck. This year, though, I found a different way (blinks back tears) — a better way.


Keeping My Grill Clean with Tom’s of Maine Toothpaste

May 17th, 2014 Posted in cleaning, green business, health | 2 Comments »

Alright, sit on down. I’ve got another confession to make. For just about my whole life… I’ve been an avid toothbrusher. *shocked gasps from audience*

Yes, it’s true *speaking loudly over crowd booing*. You might know some others who brush their teeth from time to time. I know a lot of people might be ashamed of it, but I’m gonna stand up and proudly admit to my brushing o’ the teeth.

Now that I’ve got that out of the way, lemme rap at you about a toothpaste goes by the name of Tom’s of Maine. I’ve recently had the pleasure of brushing my teeth with this fine toothpaste, and have no complaints. I’ve been using the “Clean Mint” variety, as seen rotch hur:

Tom's of Maine Clean Mint Toothpaste


2014 Raleigh Tour D’ Coop

May 14th, 2014 Posted in animals, event | 4 Comments »

Oh heck to the yeah, it’s time, once again, for the Raleigh Tour D’ Coop, the premier tour for backyard chicken raising!

If you’re interested in raising backyard chickens for their juevos deliciosos (literally, “delicious eggs”), in seeing some jawsome homemade chicken coops, or touring some amazing gardens (shrines to mother nature herself!), then you’ll definitely want to check out the 2014 Tour D’ Coop!

Polish Mophead Chicken on Raleigh Tour D' Coop

I’ve gone three times to the Raleigh Tour D’ Coop, in 2008, 2010, and 2011, and each time you get to see new chickens, cool chicken coops, and interesting garden setups, plus meet a bunch of good peeps who raise peeps (chicken peeps, that is!).

P.S. Durham has its own Bull City Coop Tour, which I attended with much fanfare last fall, and plan to attend this year as well.

Anyhoo, here are the pertinent details, or “deetz” as I’d text it.


Saturday, May 17, 10AM – 3PM


Cary n’ Raleigh
On Saturday morning, online ticket buyers will get an email with the addresses of each coop. If you buy tickets in person, you can get a map at any of the following locations (see below).

How do I Tickets?

Order tickets online, or buy them in person on May 17 at one o’ these places:

You only need one ticket per group, dang, what a deal!! I recommend the heck out of this if you’re anywhere near Raleigh; you won’t regret it, and that’s the EcoJoe guarantee.

Organic Leaf Powder fo’ yo’ Water

April 19th, 2014 Posted in food, health, plants, water | 6 Comments »

Ever get a hankering for a nice cool drink, but the plain old water from your homemade rain barrel just won’t cut it? Would you like a kick of antioxidants as well as a slew of precious vitamins n’ minerals?

Then might I humbly suggest trying some Organic India Moringa Leaf Powder. “Leaf powder”, I hear you axing, “What the blazes is that?”

It’s exactly what it sounds like, ground up Moringa leaves. Now, good ol’ WebMD says that the Moringa leaf is full of antioxidants and helpful vitamins and minerals. So I decided to give it a shot.

Tasty swamp water

The Moringa leaf powder container says to mix 1/2 teaspoon with water, so like a good little sheep I followed directions and did just that. It turns the drink an appetizing color reminiscent of swamp water, or a mini world in a jar.

The taste is not bad; I could see it growing on me. It tastes sort of like yerba mate, the lovable herbal tea de Uruguay and regions thereabouts.

I was impressed to see the “USDA Organic” label on the container, but a bit saddened to see that their claim to “restore your imbalances” had not been evaluated by the FDA. My imbalances felt quite restored after chugging a glass of this stuff.

If you’re looking for an organic, healthy way to spice up your water, I’d say to give this Moringa leaf powder a shot. It only takes 1/2 a teaspoon per glass, so one container will last a loooong time,

A final word to the wise: it was a bit concerning to find some Internet web-pages putting Organic India down for poor quality standards. Basically, just because something is “certified organic” doesn’t mean that it’s 100% pure and free from contaminants. This goes for all organic food and dranks, so watch your back out there.

Help Your Compost with Used Coffee Grounds from Starbucks

April 8th, 2014 Posted in free, gardening, green business, plants, save money | 3 Comments »

Starbucks, that lovable, local mom-n’-pop coffee shop, goes through literally ‘uge amounts of coffee every day. Instead of chucking the used coffee grounds away to waste space in a landfill, they fill up 5-pound bags and let you take the grounds home to help out your compost and/or garden! How boss is that?

As an added moneysaver, you can rebrew some coffee with the old grounds! Enjoy your free weak brew as you chuckle at the thought of ever paying for coffee again!

Bag of used coffee grounds

The nitrogen from the used coffee grounds is a real kickstarter for your compost and garden. Nitrogen is a major fertilizer for crops, and your plants will react to it much as Popeye reacts to spinach.

It’s worth noting that TOO much nitrogen can cause nitrogen burn in your plants, so I don’t recommend planting your garden in pure coffee grounds. If you do though, and it works, let me know, por favor!

The one bad thing about this program is Starbucks doesn’t reuse their bags. I have no idea why; they’re pretty durable, and they’re basically just putting trash in them. C’mon Starbucks, take that next step and reuse the bags if people bring them in!

So next time you’re trudging past a Starbucks, stop in and see if they have any of their big bags of used coffee grounds. Tell them EcoJoe sent you, they’ll know what you’re there for.

Man-Made Disasters

April 6th, 2014 Posted in dang | 2 Comments »

Nothing in this post about saving money or cutting down your carbon footprint. Nope. This here post is just a good ol’ helping of schadenfreude, as we take a look at some of the biggest man-made disasters in history.

Not only did these colossal mistakes hurt our planet, but they were expensive as heck to clean up! All the more reason to be more careful out there.

Be sure to check out “The Weirdest Man-made Disasters” (about halfway down)… some truly triste ways people have messed up parts of the Earth.

(Click on the picture to make it bigger!)

Some big Man-made disasters

Source here.