Thursday, May 28, 2009
Most of us are familiar with the term "fair trade," but do you really know what it means? If you are interested in learning more about it, a great resource is Green America's Guide to Fair Trade. Do you think the fair trade label only applies to coffee? Not true...find out about the people behind fair trade chocolate, tea, fruit, sugar, fashion, jewelry, home decor and even sports equipment. Learn about what the term means and why it matters. Explore some of the places where fair trade is in action. Finally, learn about how you can get involved. It's all in Green America's Guide to Fair Trade!
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
I have a confession to make...I love paper. The eco-conscious and the paper-philes don't generally hang out in the same circles, but this year's National Stationery Show indicates that things may be changing. I did not actually attend the stationery show. Insane, I know, that with huge budget cuts and travel restrictions I was not able to convince the powers that be to allow me to travel to a trade show that has nothing to do with my job. I am fortunate that the good folks at Treehugger reported back on some of the amazing eco-friendly paper products that were showcased at the show.
Now, the stationers that made this best of the best list are doing some amazing work. We're not just talking about 10% post-consumer fiber. We're talking reclaimed cotton, carbon neutral, paper mills running on landfill gas, carbon-footprint labeled eco-friendly stationery! And it's gorgeous! The whimsical designs are matched by whimsical company names like Two Trick Pony and Fugu Fugu Press. Check out the dazzling stationery slideshow at treehugger! If you think you'll forget, just jot a note on your hydroelectric-paper-mill-made-soy-based-ink-printed notepad. Oh, you don't have one? Check out these companies and you can remedy that situation.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Who doesn't like a rebate? Or better yet, a tax credit? Want to find out what eco-friendly rebates are available in your area? Check out the Energy Star Rebate Finder! This easy-to-use resources allows you to type in your zip code and find what rebates are available for appliances, fans, heating and cooling, lighting, office equipment, residential water heaters, and your home envelope (yes, your home has an envelope). Are you considering energy-efficient windows for your home? You could be eligible for a tax credit! Take a look at Energy Star's Rebates and Tax Credit page for more information. So, get a check in an envelope when you check you home envelope...how great is that?!
Monday, May 25, 2009
So maybe the skinny-leg jeans weren't such a good idea after all. Whatever the reason for being done with your denim, you can now ensure your old jeans will get new life! Cotton Incorporated is holding their From Blue to Green denim drive. Get your denim in by June 30th and it will be converted into insulation...not only will it be recycled, but it's being recycled into something that helps saves energy in homes! That rocks! But your old jean jacket does not rock, so go ahead and send it in to be recycled!
Friday, May 22, 2009
Terri Bennett is a meteorologist, earth scientist, mom and all-round eco-guru! Folks from the Charlotte, NC area may recognize her from her weather reporting days, but Terri's Do Your Part initiative should earn her recognition across the state and beyond! Check out the Do Your Part Web site to find out what you can do at home, at work, at play, with your kids and on the road to reduce your ecological footprint. Learn water consrvation tips for the bathroom, greener grilling techniques for the backyard an ways to make the office break room more eco-friendly. I'd say the forecast looks bright from here.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Why, the eBay Green Team, of course! What started back in 2007 with 40 people is now over 1,000-strong. Go to the eBay Green Team site for great resources on not only how to buy green, but also on selling green - from operations to shipping to marketing. The site has fun, lighthearted content like the "What's Your Green Personality?" quiz, but also more serious sections with questions to ask yourself before making purchasing decisions. You are even invited to join the eBay Green Team and share your own experiences with the green community.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Who can't get into a site that says it's at the intersection of the "green" movement and the "home decor" movement? That's re-nest, and their goal is to "connect people to the resources they need to improve their homes, while reducing their reliance on stuff." A noble goal indeed! From shopping guides to home tours, it's surely worth a visit.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
I must admit, my own career in the Girl Scouts was short-lived - one year as a Brownie and that was it. Luckily there are other girls out there who stick with it, and some accomplish some pretty amazing things. Enter Margaret, a high school student from Winston-Salem who decided that for her Gold Award Project, she would teach small groups how to re-purpose old t-shirts into reusable tote bags.
If you're like me, you don't know what a Gold Award Project is. It's a big deal. It is the highest award that a Girl Scout aged 14-18 can earn, and it has been described as the thing that you really want to be remembered for as a Girl Scout. It should be something that the girl is passionate about and that fills a need in her community. Oh, and this one will just happen to impress hipsters, crafters and the eco-minded everywhere, although that is not a requirement.
Margaret chose her project because it combines many of her interests - sewing, repurposing clothing and living green. She is scheduling sewing workshops to teach as many people as possible how to sew the t-shirt tote bags, and she is requesting that each workshop attendee teach at least one other person (how's that for community building?). In addition, she is sewing t-shirt totes to give away at a local supermarket. In each tote she's placing a copy of the sewing instructions and information about the City of Winston-Salem's recycling program.
Margaret hopes that her simple sewing project will empower others by showing them that one person can make a difference and that small steps can be accomplished cost-effectively and creatively...so that everyone can say NO to "paper or plastic."
Congratulations, Margaret, on a thoughtful, needed, timely, creative and eco-chic job well-done!
Monday, May 18, 2009
Check out The Christian Science Monitor's discussion of Climate Culture's Top 10 Green Living Myths! There are some things that may really surprise you, and it highlights the reason why critical thinking skills are such a fundamental focus of environmental education. Recycled paper is always better than virgin paper, right? Well, not necessarily according to the list. There are so many factors that we need to consider that the answer to "what's best for the environment?" can get pretty tricky. This list and the discussion and comments that follow will definitely get you thinking, and that's a good thing!
Friday, May 15, 2009
What a cool idea...it's like Netflix, but with books (you remember books, dont you?). And the best part...it's free (for now, at least)! At PaperBackSwap you list books that you are willing to swap with other members. Once you do that, you get two free book credits with which you can order two books online from the more than 3 million available. That book is now your book to keep. For each book you swap, you get another credit with which you can choose another book. Read on....