Archive for December, 2010

PostHeaderIcon Is it Green? – to Buying Eco-Friendly Products: A Shopper’s Guide


Is it Green? – to Buying Eco-Friendly Products: A Shopper’s Guide

Even with the economy cooling, “Green” products remain — well — if not hot, still very warm.

In a report released in February ‘09, market research firm Mintel predicts 19% growth for eco-friendly products through 2013, even though the current economic downturn is expected to negatively impact sales through this year.

But “Green” can mean a lot of different things to different people. And that produces some understandable confusion for consumers as to what is truly “Green” and what is instead “Greenwashed”.

[Greenwashing is when companies over-hype the positive environmental impact of their products or policies. Tsk-tsk.]

Each and every day we review green deals and giveaways before posting them online to ensure the products being promoted are indeed eco-friendly. Some are easy to assess, like a sweepstakes for a Prius. But many times, the green aspect of a product is not as clear-cut as it is for a hybrid car.

To help us determine what’s green and what’s not, we looked to criteria established by trusted non-profits, such as Green America, the Natural Resources Defense Council and Consumer Reports, and compiled the following rules-of-thumb:

1) Above all, use common sense. Ask yourself …

  • Is the product friendly to the planet?
  • Does it help save energy on the road and at home; conserve water; support organic and sustainable farming?
  • Is it nontoxic, recycled, cruelty-free and/or fair-trade?

2) Look for Certifications/Associations

Is the product certified or does the manufacturer have a membership association? Here is just a small sample of the many, many green certifications and associations out there. Consumer Reports “Greener Choices” website has a terrific Eco-label section which can help you sift through the meaning and relative significance of various labels.

  • Household Products — Green Seal; Certified Biodegradable
  • Cosmetics — Leaping Bunny; Campaign for Safe Cosmetics Signatory
  • Food — Organic Certification; Marine Stewardship Council; Certified Humane Raised and Handled
  • Wood — Forest Stewardship Council
  • Green Business Practices — Green America Approved

3) Read the Ingredient List

If a company or product doesn’t have certification/membership affiliations, is there some way for consumers to evaluate their green claim? For example, products that claim to be natural should include a complete ingredient list.

4) Is the Product Fair Trade Certified?

Fair trade certification ensures not only that the producer of a good is paid a fair price but also that social and environmental standards are met during production of that good. Many companies may claim their products are fair trade, but you should double check to see whether the product has actual certification from a fair trade labeling organization. In the U.S., that organization is TransFair USA (though at this time, they only certify agricultural products, like coffee and tea.)

5) Is the Product Vegan or Vegetarian?

According to a report by U.N. climate experts, animal production is responsible for 18 per cent of all greenhouse emissions, most of it emitted in the form of methane from belching cattle. Yes, that’s right — gassy cows. So shifting your purchases to vegetarian or vegan products — not only food, but items such as shoes and beauty products — can mean fewer burping Bessies and less harm to the environment.

Shoppers looking to go green are welcome to use these rules of thumb as a starting point when trying to evaluate the “greenness” of product. But in order to become true green consumers, there is no substitute for first-hand knowledge. We highly encourage shoppers to become as educated as possible on what is and isn’t considered green these days, and how they can evaluate green claims. Be forewarned — trying to decipher what’s green is not a perfect science, but the non-profits mentioned above are excellent places to start your coursework. Good luck!

Report Links:

Mintel Finds Fewer Americans Interested in Going “Green” During Recession (Feb 09)
Livestock a major threat to environment (Nov 06)

Ecobunga! (http://www.ecobunga.com) lists hundreds of deals and giveaways for eco-friendly products — everything from coupons on organic foods to sweepstakes for hybrid cars. They review every promotion before publishing it online to ensure that is indeed a bonafide green deal. Ecobunga! is pleased to have recently received the Green America Seal of Approval for socially and environmentally responsible businesses.

Technology Environment News 12-14-07 of Dekalb Academy

PostHeaderIcon Celebration Means Brainstorming Ideas For Appropriate Slogans


Celebration Means Brainstorming Ideas For Appropriate Slogans

EARTH DAY IS A SPECIAL DAY – There is a special day each year that was established in 1970 by Gaylord Nelson to raise awareness in individuals, communities, towns, governments and countries about the state of our earth.

We have come to realize that our Blue Marble has finite resources. Once human greed and actions of indiscretion removed or destroyed our land, water, and air it would take thousands of years to repair our fragile planet, if ever.

OUR CHANGING WORLD Many had no concept of the untold repercussions upon all living organisms that would result from thinking only of how to take from the earth and not give back or preserve. We are feeling the effects in our escalating human diseases, loss of rain forests that filter our air, changing climates bringing drought, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes or floods. We are observing the rapid extinction of plants and animals both on land and in our oceans.

INCREASED AWARENESS Due to the heightened awareness from past Earth Day Celebrations many have championed for preservation and replenishing our Earth. This year we hope to far surpass the original 20 million people who were involved with that first Earth Day almost 40 years ago. The need is more pressing and urgent. Our landfills are over-burdened and farm animal waste seeps into our water supplies. We scrape coal from the ground and leave eroded denuded rock. We need to find technological methods to secure nuclear waste, stop air pollution and clean up the invisible acid rain that harms every living thing.

LAWS CAN BE ENACTED Countries around the world have created governmental committees and agencies to spearhead environmental clean up and to oversee improved management of natural resources. We should legislate for better programs and ways to protect our earth. The spirit of the day includes binding people together by simply stating the cause through slogans, posting them on banners in public places and using them as public service announcements.

BUILD COMMUNITY AND AWARENESS WITH MOTTOES Slogans solidify the main theme for each year’s celebration. You may want to emphasize the grand scheme of things or focus on a particular issue. There may be off-shoots from different organizations as they gather support for their favored area. One group may consider the rivers and streams where their people fish and recreate as the top priority. Others may focus on trees, natural preserves, and all aspects of wood and forests. People living in mountain ranges may emphasize the importance of clean air and fight to prevent acid rain. Villages that live on the coasts want to keep their fisheries alive with clean oceans.

GET INVOLVED BY BRAINSTORMING SLOGANS Suggestions for stimulating discussion, approaching the issue of slogans and having fun at the same time:

1. Meditate on the idea of Earth Day. What does your intuition tell you?
2. Look around and take notice how pollution effects you? What is the most important issue?
3. Read the paper, listen to the radio, or search the latest news online. What current event topic comes up most often?
4. Talk with friends, family, community and congregation members. Get some opinions.
5. Join an environmental group in your region and read their articles.
6. Create a survey.
7. Now that you’ve got the juices flowing, begin writing the main ideas.
8. Use as many words to describe the themes and then see if any phrases or words cover these ideas.
9. Are they catchy like the hook of a song or the repeating stanzas?
10. Would the phrase fit on a button or shirt?
11. Are the words powerful? Would they motivate others to action?
13. Are the words emotional? Do they touch the heart with meaning?

http://budurl.com/EarthDaySlogan – See a list of slogans that have been used in the past or have been proposed by others visit this Hubpage
http://www.eventslisted.com/eventlaunchstrategies/ – Learn more about the Social Media aspect of EarthDay and the power of the internet and people working together towards one goal.
Please write to me if you have ideas for EarthDay Birthday Celebration Slogans.

Debby Bruck, CHOM. believes hope and healing can be accomplished through homeopathy. She sees the good in all people and prays that the people of the world will work together to repair the earth. Every little good act makes a better world.

Free Computers of Your Green Life Segment!

PostHeaderIcon Report Greenhouse Gases (GHGs)


Report Greenhouse Gases (GHGs)

The newly formed Obama administration has listed greenhouse gas (GHG) tracking and reporting as a major goal, with the objective of protecting the future of the environment by reducing today’s carbon footprint. If no action were taken, the makeup of the earth would significantly altered. Future actions will establish a market drive carbon cap and trade program to drive GHG emissions reductions.

Greenhouse Gas tracking is outlined in The Climate Registry Protocol, which details the requirements for mandatory monitoring and tracking. The premise around greenhouse gas tracking are included in the U.S. Clean Air Act, aimed at improving air quality and lowering greenhouse gas emissions.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposes mandatory reporting of the gases contributing to global climate change from about 13,000 facilities nationwide. These facilities account for the majority of greenhouse gas emissions within the United States and present a logical starting point for emissions reductions in the US. The regulation would cover companies that either release large amounts of greenhouse gases (GHG) directly or produce or import fuels and chemicals that when burned emit large amounts of carbon (CO2) gases.

One of the major focuses of the Greenhouse Gas tracking protocol is refrigerant gases used in refrigeration and cooling systems by numerous facilities, including manufacturers, food processors, retailers, grocery stores, office buildings, municipalities and hospitals, just to name a few. Because of their chemical makeup, refrigerant gases contain significant levels of carbon in the form of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) and perfluorocarbons (PFCs). Use of these compounds has been regulated under the U.S. Clean Air Act for several years.

Greenhouse gases absorb and release radiation into the atmosphere, setting off a global warming effect on earth. The intent and overall goal of GHG tracking relates to better collection and management of the emissions data now so informed decisions can be made about future carbon trading schemes. The tracking protocols also help government entities to more accurately inventory the amounts of emissions reaching the atmosphere. The new GHG legislation puts in motion the data collection, organization, and first stage reporting mechanisms to allow the US to accurately calculate and maintain a GHG emissions baseline across the entire economy. This will allow for better understanding today as well as to determine progress for future Cap and Trade programs. With this accurate information, it can be determined if the guidelines are effective in lowering the harmful effects of these substances to the ozone layer.

Greenhouse Gas tracking involves measuring direct and indirect emissions and keeping extensive records on its usage, maintenance, leak containment and disposal. Heating and cooling systems, as well as other energy consumption, are defined as direct emissions.

Better and more effective GHG management is an objective of the current US government. No longer will the US sit by and watch the world attack the issue of climate change. The US is now taking action to lower carbon emissions to the betterment of future generations. By taking no action, the earth’s makeup would significantly change, with humans and animals adversely affected and marine and plant life severely damaged.

Greenhouse Gas (GHG) management and reporting is now falling under the EPA regulations contained within The U.S. Clean Air Act because the causes of global climate change is now well know. Human activities and the use of global warming substances, like refrigerant gases, are all leading to increased global warming. The substances are carbon dioxide, chlorine, bromine, nitrous oxide, chloroflurocarbons, hydrofluorocarbons, methane, methyl bromide, methyl chloroform, sulfur hexafluoride, hydroxyl, perfluorocarbobs, halons, carbon tetrachloride, fluorine, and the fluorinated gases hydrofluorinated ethers and nitrogen trifluoride. The mandatory law is aimed at reducing the use of these substances to lower the effects of global warming.

Beginning in 2010, GHG management, tracking, and reporting will be environmental law for the highest emitting facilities. Part of the management will revolve around better tracking and reporting of refrigerant gases. Entities must submit usage reports and service records for all refrigerants having high GWP. Special calculations are applied to refrigerants when any leads occur. The GHG emission reporting rules and related protocols allow for progressive companies to take advantage of software already created to help with carbon emissions reporting. Some web applications allow organizations to track GHGs to the asset level across global, distributed facilities.

Software provided by Verisae tracks carbon dioxide (CO2) gas emissions according to The Climate Registry protocols across all sites so companies can manage their carbon emissions and work towards reducing their carbon footprint. To learn more effective refrigerant management tactics and the tools, you can research http://www.Refrigerant-Tracker.com

Flashlight by Good Green Technologies

PostHeaderIcon Technology Environment News 12-14-07 of Dekalb Academy


Technology Environment News 12-14-07 of Dekalb Academy

Farmers Are Being Pushed to Increase in Size Or Get Out! How to NOT Be One of Them

It doesn’t matter what size it is, your farm is an ever increasing asset, even more so if you can provide chemical free, clean food.

Australian conventional food prices are forecast to quadruple in price over the next five years. The reason is Asia. We are in the middle of a global revolution in the way we think, eat and live.

This week I received this news from Craig Sobey who has recently toured China with representatives from five city councils, Austrade and Regional Development Victoria and reports that there is a real opportunity for all to take a significant market share in this period.

Basically, if it is Australian and premium quality there is a ready market. Australia is seen as a source of safe food regardless of whether it is organic or conventional. At this stage price does not appear in the conversation, just consistent supply and traceability. The interest in all products represented included convenience food packages (pre-cooked), meats, dairy, wines etc.

Did you know:

  • This co-op now owns China’s fifth biggest supermarket chain with over 500,000 stores.
  • There is a farmer’s co-op representative with over five million members?
  •  6,000 of them over 30,000 sq metres. The supermarket turned over 18 billion dollars in 2007 with revenues growing by 150 % per annum on average.
  •  They have offered an entire Australian Pavilion for Aussie produce including organics in their premiere stores in Beijing and Shanghai. Organic Wines were the big attraction.,
  •  China creates 80,000 millionaires each year.
  •  There are over 350 million middle class and a niche market of super wealthy Chinese? (Craig told me that French wine is selling as much as $600 a bottle and even one watermelon cost $40!).

However there is real interest in China for organics (which they refer to as Green Food) and particularly food safety/ traceability which is the paramount concern for all serious buyers they met. A new Australian wide network (not for profit) company is being formed for all sections of the organic market. This is so that a pool of members can tackle the export markets together. Its goal is to give you an export premium to help make membership very appealing.

The time is ripe for all growers to stop and think about the future of their farming. What choice will you make? Your future will depend on it. Even if all of Australia’s certified organic farmers, processors etc. were to unite they could not supply the market in China alone and therefore there is untapped potential over the next ten to twenty years to be further developed.

Farming Secrets is a club for farmers who want to farm healthier and more profitably. Farming Secrets reconnects them with the experts through supporting them with one to one help and constant support from experts in order to fast track their farming goals that much quicker.

Hugo Disler

For More information about Natural and Organic Farming visit http://www.farmingsecretsblog.com

To discover the secrets of natural and profitable farming, visit http://www.farmingsecrets.com

PostHeaderIcon TheGrahamBaileyShow Episode 3 in Going Green


TheGrahamBaileyShow Episode 3 in Going Green

Go Green – Get Rid of Junk Mail

Four million tons of junk mail is sent every year…at least half of which is never even opened. You probably are aware that your name, address, and spending habits are regularly being traded and sold on the open market.  By investing half an hour now, you can rid yourself of most of the junk mail for up to five years…and save a few trees while you’re doing it.

So here are a few tips that you can work on to lessen the load of junk you get every day:

  • Product warranty cards do not register your product…that was done when you purchased it. They are used to fin out about your interests and your income for the sole purpose of junk mail.
  • When ordering something on the phone, tell them specifically to not give your name and address to other companies for any reason.
  • Any time you donate money or order a product or service by mail, write on it in large letters, telling them not to sell your name and address.
  • When the junk come by first class mail, cross out the address and bar code, circle the first class postage and write “refused: return to sender”.
  • Your credit card companies are the worst offenders and probably sell your name and address more than anyone else. Stopping them is easy; you just need your address and social security number. One call does it all for agencies Equifax, Trans Union, Experian and Innovis. Dial 1-888-5 OPT OUT (or 1-888-567-8688) 24 hours a day.

Lisa is a freelance writer with a specialty in Internet content and SEO articles. She has written thousands of articles, hundreds of ebooks and thousands of website pages and related content. She has also authored her own books and works as a consultant to other writers, Internet marketers and Internet businesses.

Professional wordsmith for hire: gamer, wife, mother, entrepreneur, published poet, co-owner of game guides company (http://www.liti4.com), public speaker and Internet business consultant. You can learn more or follow Lisa’s blog from her website: http://www.freelancewriter4hire.com

PostHeaderIcon LEED Schools In Houston Get More Than an E For Effort


LEED Schools In Houston Get More Than an E For Effort

We send our children to school every day and ask them to learn. They are, after all, the future of our world; and so we ask them to learn about right and wrong, learn about the world, and learn how to take care of each other. But do we want them to learn how to take care of the world, too?

That is what LEED Green Building schools in Houston and around the nation are doing. They are teaching the children, through example, what it means truly to earn an A for awareness of the environment’s needs. They stand for the future of America as a benchmark of creation care.

LEED Green Building schools are K-12 schools that are tailor-made to produce an environment safe and healthy for children, comfortable for teachers, cost-effective for the taxpayers, and easy on the environment. By addressing the uniqueness of school spaces and children’s health issues, LEED for Schools provides a unique, comprehensive tool for schools that wish to build green with measurable results. The rating system addresses issues such as classroom acoustics, daylight and views, mold prevention, and environmental site assessment.

In addition, Green schools cost less to operate, freeing up resources to truly improve students’ education. Their carefully planned acoustics and abundant daylight make it easier and more comfortable for students to learn. Their clean indoor air cuts down sick days and gives our children a head start for a healthy, prosperous future. And their innovative design provides a wealth of hands-on learning opportunities.

No longer must they learn through books about environmental safety and/or green projects around the world. Instead, they can learn hands-on at school – through observation and through practice.

Houston has taken the lead around the nation in building green schools. The Houston chapter is dedicated to showing school district leaders how the LEED FOR SCHOOLS process can benefit them. Other leading organizations in the area are also committed. Earlier this year, the Houston-Galveston Area Council joined with the Houston chapter to produce a year-long symposia to educate the public and educators about the facts and costs for LEED FOR SCHOOLS.

They ideally will have all their schools “Go Green” over the course of the next 10 years.

Other cities are following their lead. Salt Lake City, Grand Rapids and Seattle are all among the top cities with at least three green schools. And more are being built monthly. Both students and parents, teachers and administrators see the need and the benefits for green schools, and are lobbying for all school to change their ways.

For students and teachers, green schools mean reduced incidence of asthma, decreased absenteeism, improved academic performance and increased teacher satisfaction. For parents, green schools offer the confidence that comes with knowing their children spend their days in an environment that is both healthy and conducive to learning.

Green Schools get more than an E for effort. They are the bright and healthy future for our children.

Copyright 2009 – 2010 theLEED.com and Green Efficient. Article may be reproduced, unchanged, as long as it retains author information and linking.

Rick Walker is the CEO of Green Efficient. GreenEfficient is the leader in the LEED building maintenance and operations market. Primarily serving Texas, their LEED Accredited Professionals (LEED-APS) manage commercial facilities using their integrated services portfolio of LEED-compliant janitorial services, Integrated Pest Management services, HVAC maintenance, lawn care services, purchasing oversight, occupant training and USGBC submittal services. Offices in Houston, Austin, Dallas and Corpus Christi enable the most active Texas LEED construction markets to be covered by their specialty services. For information on LEED, green building and sustainable products, visit their blog: theLEED

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PostHeaderIcon Celebration Means Brainstorming Ideas For Appropriate Slogans


Celebration Means Brainstorming Ideas For Appropriate Slogans

EARTH DAY IS A SPECIAL DAY – There is a special day each year that was established in 1970 by Gaylord Nelson to raise awareness in individuals, communities, towns, governments and countries about the state of our earth.

We have come to realize that our Blue Marble has finite resources. Once human greed and actions of indiscretion removed or destroyed our land, water, and air it would take thousands of years to repair our fragile planet, if ever.

OUR CHANGING WORLD Many had no concept of the untold repercussions upon all living organisms that would result from thinking only of how to take from the earth and not give back or preserve. We are feeling the effects in our escalating human diseases, loss of rain forests that filter our air, changing climates bringing drought, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes or floods. We are observing the rapid extinction of plants and animals both on land and in our oceans.

INCREASED AWARENESS Due to the heightened awareness from past Earth Day Celebrations many have championed for preservation and replenishing our Earth. This year we hope to far surpass the original 20 million people who were involved with that first Earth Day almost 40 years ago. The need is more pressing and urgent. Our landfills are over-burdened and farm animal waste seeps into our water supplies. We scrape coal from the ground and leave eroded denuded rock. We need to find technological methods to secure nuclear waste, stop air pollution and clean up the invisible acid rain that harms every living thing.

LAWS CAN BE ENACTED Countries around the world have created governmental committees and agencies to spearhead environmental clean up and to oversee improved management of natural resources. We should legislate for better programs and ways to protect our earth. The spirit of the day includes binding people together by simply stating the cause through slogans, posting them on banners in public places and using them as public service announcements.

BUILD COMMUNITY AND AWARENESS WITH MOTTOES Slogans solidify the main theme for each year’s celebration. You may want to emphasize the grand scheme of things or focus on a particular issue. There may be off-shoots from different organizations as they gather support for their favored area. One group may consider the rivers and streams where their people fish and recreate as the top priority. Others may focus on trees, natural preserves, and all aspects of wood and forests. People living in mountain ranges may emphasize the importance of clean air and fight to prevent acid rain. Villages that live on the coasts want to keep their fisheries alive with clean oceans.

GET INVOLVED BY BRAINSTORMING SLOGANS Suggestions for stimulating discussion, approaching the issue of slogans and having fun at the same time:

1. Meditate on the idea of Earth Day. What does your intuition tell you?
2. Look around and take notice how pollution effects you? What is the most important issue?
3. Read the paper, listen to the radio, or search the latest news online. What current event topic comes up most often?
4. Talk with friends, family, community and congregation members. Get some opinions.
5. Join an environmental group in your region and read their articles.
6. Create a survey.
7. Now that you’ve got the juices flowing, begin writing the main ideas.
8. Use as many words to describe the themes and then see if any phrases or words cover these ideas.
9. Are they catchy like the hook of a song or the repeating stanzas?
10. Would the phrase fit on a button or shirt?
11. Are the words powerful? Would they motivate others to action?
13. Are the words emotional? Do they touch the heart with meaning?

http://budurl.com/EarthDaySlogan – See a list of slogans that have been used in the past or have been proposed by others visit this Hubpage
http://www.eventslisted.com/eventlaunchstrategies/ – Learn more about the Social Media aspect of EarthDay and the power of the internet and people working together towards one goal.
Please write to me if you have ideas for EarthDay Birthday Celebration Slogans.

Debby Bruck, CHOM. believes hope and healing can be accomplished through homeopathy. She sees the good in all people and prays that the people of the world will work together to repair the earth. Every little good act makes a better world.


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