Thursday, January 29, 2009

Use energy saving bulbs and save!

One of my favorite dog jokes is "How many dogs does it take to change a lightbulb?"

For a Green Dog, it only takes one - the environmentally friendly and conscious pup and the two-legger they call their 'best friend!'

The right type and kind of lighting is very important, not only to you and how you feel, but to the environment and your wallet, as well!

Did you know that an conventional incandescent bulb turns only around five to ten percent of its consumed energy into light, the rest goes out as heat? That's right, according to Planet Green's article, "How to Go Green: Lighting".

So what kind of lighting is best? Here are some examples and why they help:

CFL's:

CFL stands for compact florescent bulbs. You know, those bulbs that have rungs, instead of just a round bulb. They come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and colors, and are much more readily available than they used to be.

Yep, they may cost a bit more, but they use nearly 1/4 to 1/5 the energy of regular bulbs, and last a whole lot longer. And they don't add extra heat into the room that can contribute to more air conditioning costs in the summer. We use these bulbs all over our house.

LED's:

LED stands for light emitting diodes - a technology that provides extremely energy efficient and long lasting light bulbs. They may be even a bit more expensive than CFL lighting, but use even less energy and hence cost less. An LED light bulb can save on energy consumption up to 90% and last over 100,000 hours. And they light up faster than conventional lighting and CFLs. We use these types of bulbs for task and desk lighting, and for our outdoor holiday decorations.

Here are some more great green lighting tips:

  • Utilize full natural spectrum CFL bulbs. They can boost your mood, energy (and some say health) during low light seasonal times.
  • Be sure and turn off lighting when you're not in the room and save energy and money.
  • Make sure you dispose of your bulbs safely. CFLs contain a slight bit of mercury, so check with your recycling and waste disposal hotline or company in your area.
  • Believe it or not, appliances do use energy as they are plugged in and not in use. So either unplug them, or get one of those smart strips, plug your appliances into them, and turn off the switch when not in use.
  • If you have outdoor lighting, consider utilizing solar powered lighting for your walkways and patios.
  • And while you're at it, why not get your dog their own Green Bulb - made of minty flavored Orbee-Tuff rubber for even the toughest chewers. The bulbs have a hollow end that can be filled with treats for added interest. And they're from Planet Dog, a great green dog company.

So what are you waiting for? Take a tip from the animals at Animal Planet, help your pup, yourself and the environment and progressively change out your old ordinary and conventional lighting with energy saving, CFL and LED lighting!

Lighting resources:

Brookfield??? Desk Lamp Replacement Bulb

Brookfield??? Desk Lamp Replacement Bulb

$15.00

Natural Spectrum?? Compact Fluorescent 3-Way Bulb

Natural Spectrum?? Compact Fluorescent 3-Way Bulb

$25.00

Sunwave Bulb 20W

Sunwave Bulb 20W

$25.00

Happy Eyes?? & Heritage??? Lamps Replacement Bulb

Happy Eyes?? & Heritage??? Lamps Replacement Bulb

$30.00

Princeton Desk Lamp Replacement Bulb

Princeton Desk Lamp Replacement Bulb

$24.00

Anti-Bug CF Lightbulb

Anti-Bug CF Lightbulb

$14.00

Dimmable CF Lightbulb 23W Warm Glow

Dimmable CF Lightbulb 23W Warm Glow

$15.00

Natural Spectrum?? Compact Fluorescent Outdoor Flood

Natural Spectrum?? Compact Fluorescent Outdoor Flood

$25.00

Compact Fluorescent Reflector Floodlight

Compact Fluorescent Reflector Floodlight

$16.00

Minicandle Compact Fluorescent - Edison Base

Minicandle Compact Fluorescent - Edison Base

$10.00

Minicandle Compact Fluorescent - mini base

Minicandle Compact Fluorescent - mini base

$10.00

Natural Spectrum?? Fluorescent Tubes

Natural Spectrum?? Fluorescent Tubes

$11.00

HappyLite?? Mini Replacement Bulb

HappyLite?? Mini Replacement Bulb

$30.00

Aeonic Gooseneck LED Lamp

Aeonic Gooseneck LED Lamp

$105.00

LED Lantern

LED Lantern

$49.00

Solar LED Candle

Solar LED Candle

$24.00

Solar LED Spotlight Set

Solar LED Spotlight Set

$99.00

12 Volt Holiday Lights

12 Volt Holiday Lights

$15.00

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A few winter Green Dog games!

Baby it's cold outside! And Gracie and I are getting cabin fever.

Us dogs, we need activity. We need to work our bodies and our brains to be the best pups we can be - it's a big part of what keeps a Green Dog happy and healthy. So what do we do when we can't get outside and get our usual exercise, or do agility? We play games, inside!

There are loads of games you can play with your dog that don't cost any money, and don't have an impact on a dog's carbon pawprint. All you need are a couple of items you already have around the house, and you've got some great fun ahead of you.

Mum is always teaching me and Gracie tricks, like playing dead, and teaching us to be 'shy.' But one of our favorite games during the winter is what we call 'table games.' Since we do agility, practicing the table is one of the agility obstacles we can easily work on indoors. But this game isn't just for agility dogs, any dog would love it. We don't even use a real agility table, we use our chair ottoman.

Here's a vid of Gracie and me playing table games for our dinner the other night. Can you tell this is one of our favorites?

There are other great games you can play indoors. One of our favorite YouTube friends, Astrid, has two videos of games that we've been playing this winter. The first one is the 'muffin tin game,' and the second one is the 'blanket game.' Both of these games are great for working our brains (which you know can tire out a dog pretty much as fast as most physical activities), and they use only materials that you already have.

What other games can you play with your dog?

How about these:

Find target - reuse an organic yogurt container lid and teach your dog to find it anywhere in the house. Start out showing them the lid, which we call a target. When they touch it, put a treat on it and say good dog, or click if you are using clicker training! Start moving the target further and further away from your dog, until they can search for it from clear across the house. And if you use clicker training (which I hope you do), it makes learning the game even easier.

Hide and seek - a lot of pups like this game. Have your dog stay, and then go in another room and hide. Call their name and let them find you for the big reward. Fade out calling their name and make it a more difficult for them to find you.

These are just a few of the many, many activities you can do with your dog during the dead of winter that don't cost a penny. We'll have more at a later date - stay tuned.

So what are you waiting for, get started and have fun!

Raise a Green Dog interview on Travel, She Wrote!

We are incredibly honored to be interviewed recently by CecliaSue Hecht for her popular blog - Travel, She Wrote. CeliaSue is an independent writer, blogger, news editor and photographer who covers business, health, travel, books, pets/dogs, and more. Her work has appeared in more than 40 publications, including Entrepreneur, USA Today, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Boston.com, the Reno Gazette Journal, and more. Her blog is about her life with her rescued pup, Cici, a two-1/2 year old Dalmatian mixed breed polka dottie pit bull who loves to show off her pink belly. And it highlights all kinds of articles, pieces of information, and fun stuff relating to dogs. The article talks about how we got into dog blogging, and how it's changed our life. It also covers some insight into the world of pet business marketing, and gives some great green tips for pet lovers. Click here to read the article!

RAGD featured on Blog.com!

Wow, what an honor. Raise A Green Dog is featured on Blog.com as one of the 10 Most Popular Simple Green Living Blogs and as one of the 10 Most Popular Dog Blogs. Thanks Blog.com, we sure appreciate the kudos!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Gettin' down to 'business'!

There are times when we just have to go - go potty that is! And that means we need to tell our hoomans that we need to go out.

When I was just a wee pup, about 12 weeks old, Mum started training me with a clicker to let her know when it was time for doing my 'business'. How did she do it?

First she found some old jingle bells in our Christmas decorations box, put them in a clear biodegradable plastic baggie (that's so I wouldn't get my nails caught in them, but could still see them), tied them to the back door knob and we were set.

As a pup I was still being potty trained. So every time she thought it was about time for me to go potty, she would lead me to the back door, have me touch the bag of bells (either with my nose or paw), then she would click the clicker and say 'do you have to go potty'? It was only a matter of a few days that I went to the back door all on my own, paw'd the bells to let her know it was 'time'.

Today we found some great instructions from Instructables on making your own doggie bell doorbell; so all you pups out there can let your pawrents know when 'it's time'. (Just a side note, we would suggest that you wrap the bells in a clear biodegradable material so that your pup doesn't get his/her nails caught.)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Meet Eco, the new Raise a Green Dog mascot!

We've been looking for a while now to find just the right dog to be our representative, be the face of our site, and be our happy, healthy and environmentally conscious mascot. Well, we finally found him.

Meet Eco, our newly crowned mascot for Raise A Green Dog!

Here are some little known and interesting facts about Eco:

And now he has his own line of shirts, mugs, totes, and more. Check out the cool Green Dog items below. And to see lots more, at my CafePress Shop and at my Zazzle Shop!

Don't worry, Mum, Gracie and I aren't going anywhere. Eco is going to help us out on our site and provide lots more information, tips, products and ideas to help your dog be the best Green Dog he/she can be.

Woofs!

Resources:

Organic Dog Foods
Water, the basis of a dog's life
Dog toys, green organic and made in the USA
Green dog gear - beds, clothing, collars and more
Environmental Products: For the home, safe, healthy and happy!
Getting ready for lawn care!
Homemade Frosty Paws

Friday, January 16, 2009

Winter survial tips for the green dog!

There is nothing I like better than playing in the snow, (well, except agility, of course.) See? That's me and Gracie the other day, wrestling away.

But, if you live in many parts of the US, it's been just plain frigid the past couple of days! This morning on our trip out to 'do our business' it was -13F. Now that's cold! No romping out there today.

There are a lot of dangers in the winter months for us dogs. Today, we thought it would be a good idea to share some winter survival tips for the green dog, or aspiring green dog. So, here are our top 15 tips. Feel free to spread the word!

#1 Us Green dogs, we're cherished members of our families, and spend time indoors with our peeps. Many folks, unfortunately, don't feel the same way and leave their dog's outside even in the harshest of conditions.

Spread the word with those you can about the dangers to dogs when keeping them outside. If you see a dog chained outside, this great site - Unchain Your Dog - has some wonderful tips on what you can do to help, and flyers you can share. And you can print it out to help spread the word. We want every dog to be as safe and comfortable as possible.

#2 The salt and other chemicals used to melt snow and ice can not only irritate the pads of your pet's feet, but if they are ingested (like when we lick our paws after coming inside) they can be very toxic. Keep your pet away from the streets and sidewalks that have had salt put down. And if they have to venture out into these areas, be sure and wipe down your dog's paws the minute they come in from outside with a damp cloth. An even better idea would be to use an Earth friendly and safe paw wipe, like this one.

#3 A week or so ago, we had a nasty ice storm. Now Mum never puts down ice melters around our house, because they are harmful and toxic to pets. We have a patio that goes out to the backyard. The morning of that ice storm (which we didn't know had occurred when we got up), Mum let me out the backdoor and I went flying across the patio, skidding on the ice. Not an ideal situation, 'cause I could get hurt. So what did Mum do? She took the mat that we keep in the garage and put it out on the patio over the ice, so Gracie and I could safely travel out to the backyard to do our biz. Worked great!

If you have ice around your home and want to keep us pups safe, and 2-leggers as well, there is a great product on the market - Safe Paw - that melts ice and is safe for us pups.

#4 When it gets below freezing, it's just not safe for us dogs to be out in the cold for any length of time. Even a half hour in frigid temperatures can cause problems. Be sure to keep a sharp eye on your dog’s body temperature and never leave him in the yard for more than 10 minutes when temperatures dip below freezing.

If your dog needs to do his/her 'biz,' and it's that cold outside, don't hesitate to put a nice warm dog coat (and even boots, if necessary) on your pup. They need it. Even for a sporting dog like me, will wear both if it makes me more comfy outside. Yes, I'll even wear my RuffWear boots! You can find some awesome green dog coats and boots on our RaiseAGreenDog Portal Site!

And be sure and make that trip out to 'potty' quickly, K?

#5 Trim the excess fur from footpads and toes of us longer haired dogs. It sure makes it more comfy on our toes in the snow. That fur is a catalyst for building up those painful and nasty ice balls between our toes. And why not add a little Salmon oil on their paws to keep the ice balls from forming, and they can lick it off safely when they come in?

#6 Be super careful with your dogs around rivers, creeks, ponds and lakes. Us dogs are drawn to those areas like magnets and during the winter months they can be deceivingly dangerous. They make look frozen, but many times they aren't (a very tempting danger), and the water can be super cold, creating hypothermia, just like in humans.

#7 Us dogs love to go for car rides. But don't leave us in there without you, K? Cars act as refrigerators in cold weather and we can again suffer from hypothermia. And a running car can accumulate dangerous carbon monoxide levels inside when idling.

#8 Dogs can get frostbite, did you know that? A dog’s ears, feet and tail are highly susceptible to frostbite. So be aware and limit our time outdoors. And keep this link handy, courtesy of the Absaroka Search Dogs. It has great info on recognizing hypothermia and frostbite in dogs, and what to do if you suspect a danger.

#9 My sis Gracie loves to eat snow. A little isn't too bad for us dogs and Gracie thinks its fun, so Mum let's her eat some. But snow is not a substitute for water. Even in the harshest part of winter, make sure your pup has fresh drinking water available at all time. And remember, filtered is best.

#10 During the cold winter months, we are probably all utilizing an additional heating source, like a fireplace. These heating sources can be dangerous to us dogs. Be sure and keep a good eye on us and keep us away from any new dangers in the house during the winter. Use a barrier, like an x-pen if need be.

#11 Watch out for that anti freeze! It can leak onto driveways and roads and it smells and tastes really good to us dogs. But it is highly poisonous and can be lethal to your canine companion if ingested. Keep this phone number and link (from the ASPCA), as well as your vet and emergency vet number handy, just in case of an emergency.

#12 Be sure and don't let your dog off the leash on snow or ice, especially during a snowstorm. Did you know that dogs can lose their scent and easily become lost during these times? More dogs are lost during the winter than during any other season, so make sure yours always wear ID tags, and keep 'em safe, K?

#13 Puppies are much more sensitive to the elements than us adult dogs. So take the necessary precautions. You may want to use paper training during the dead of winter if you are potty training. And if your dog is sensitive to the cold due to age, illness or breed type, take him outdoors only to relieve himself and make the trips quickly.

#14 Running around in the snow is one of my absolute favorite things to do. But Mum only let's me when it's safely warm enough. And we don't do it for long. If your dog spends a lot of time engaged in safe outdoor activities during the winter months and is used to it, increase their supply of food, particularly protein, to keep 'em in tip-top shape.

#15 And when it warms up a bit, get out there and have fun with your dog! 'Cause us dogs know how to have fun.

Stay safe!

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