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I have been looking all over this World Wide Web for somewhere I could recycle my colored and black, empty, printer ink cartridges. I mean forever. On my search today for what to write about, I found this site GreenDisk.com

Here is what they’re all about,

Now there is one place to responsibly and securely dispose of all your computer-related waste, spent supplies and obsolete accessories.  GreenDisk handles all your technotrash disposal needs from a CD to a PC and just about everything in between.  (Want to see a full list of what we take?)  You can stop worrying about what to do with all of that old technotrash piling up in your office, store room, attic, or garage.  Let GreenDisk safely and securely destroy your old data, recover reusable components, and recycle all of the rest of your accumulated technotrash – all at your convenience, at home or at work.

I clicked on the link to find out exactly what they take…

What we take

We accept the following in either the Technotrash Can or the Pack-IT service:

  • All forms of electronic media and their cases: diskettes, zip disks, CDs, CD-Rs, CD-RWs, DVDs et al, video tape (i.e. VHS), audio tape, game cartridges, DAT, DLT, Beta or Digibeta, and virtually all other type of computer tapes.
  • Hard drives, Zip and Jazz drives, jump drives, etc.
  • All forms of printer cartridges including both inkjet and toner. [Awesome]
  • All types of cell phones, pagers, PDAs and their chargers, cables, and headset accessories
  • All types of rechargeable batteries (not regular alkaline ones) and their chargers
  • All of the small computer accessories such as MP3 players, iPods, digital cameras, hand-held scanners, handheld games and other connected devices.  (Technotrash Can Only)
  • All of the cords, cables, boards, chips, etc. attached to or removed from a computer.
  • Laptop computers.  (Technotrash Can Only)

Note: We do not accept CPUs, monitors, printers, or other components in the Technotrash Can or Pack-IT service.  Please use the Computer and Component Recycling Service for those items.  We do accept laptops in the Technotrash Can program, not the Pack-IT Service.  To maximize our internal efficiency in operations and to minimize cost, our facilities and processes vary by type of service provided. So, not all facilities are set up to effectively recycle all the materials we take.

We accept the following in our Computer and Component Recycling Program.

Computer System Option: Includes the processing and shipping of a full computer system – CPU, monitor, keyboard, mouse, and associated cables.  This program is a two box service. Pack the monitor in one box and the CPU, keyboard, mouse, etc. in the other. Note that the monitor must be 17 inches or less.

Single Component Option: Includes the processing and shipping of a SINGLE monitor (must be 17 inches or less), CPU (with associated keyboard, cables, and mice), laptop, or peripheral.  Peripheral devices include printers, fax machines, and scanners.

A special laptop program makes it easy for you to recycle your old laptop with certified assurance that the private or proprietary data will be systematically destroyed.  We make sure that your computer is recycled and that your data is not.

Ouch

I knew there had to be some place that took the million failed-to-burn, wasted cds I had…I knew it. I had already made the commitment to make some art out of the next throw away cds I screwed up, but was not looking forward to it. I always think of cd art as a late 80’s, early 90’s kind of thing, and I don’t like the 80’s or early 90’s genre at all… It cost a bit of money to recyle yor technotrash, like $7, plus shipping for 20 pounds of technotrash, but it is the only place I have found so far that takes these printer cartridges. If someone knows of a free service, or even local drop-offs for such things, please post a comment about it to let me and other people know. Until then I will hoard my technotrash until I have 20lbs to ship…exciting. :P I’ll let you know how it goes.

Good times.

-Cara  

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Catalog Stacks

I just moved into a new apartment a few months ago. The people that lived here before loved to get catalogs of just about anything I would never want, plus my own small shopping addiction has lead us to receive a fafillion catalogs a month. Most of which get thrown out the day they come in or weeks after they have sat around untouched. If there was a garbage can right there I would throw them away immediately. Are catalogs recyclable? I always wonder about that shiny, colored paper.

I stumbled upon this website while looking for something to write about today and in theory it looks super fly. I have already registered [which is really simple and fast] and am excited to get the mail tomorrow. Hopefully, it will be that awesome catalog, “Shoes for Crews” that the Reyes [previous tenant], who is a school teacher, got her comfortable kicks from.

Anyway, here are the faqs

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is my personal information kept private?
    Yes. We do not sell, rent or otherwise share your contact details with anyone. Additional protection is described in our security policy.
  • I don’t see the catalog I want to decline on your list. What do I do?
    If you can’t find the catalog(s) you are looking for, please help us by suggesting them for inclusion in our database. Just go to the Find Catalogs screen, and click the “Suggest a catalog” link at the top, and enter your catalog title. (This is more efficient than emailing them to us.)
  • What if I can’t find the customer number?
    The customer number, usually printed somewhere on the catalog mailing label, uniquely identifies you to the merchant. If you include the customer number when opting out, you will increase the likelihood of the merchant identifying your subscription. If you do NOT have the customer number, or simply can’t find it, don’t worry as it’s not strictly necessary. In this case, feel free to click “Not Available” when opting out. (And if you later find it, you can add it to your opt-out record at any time, on the My Choices page.)
  • How do I create additional names and addresses?
    It may be necessary to create additional names, variations of names, and addresses to stop the delivery of catalogs to all members of your household. Once you have created an account, and logged in, you will find a “My Profile” screen, containing facilities for creating additional addresses, as well as additional “names”. (You might use an additional name for a spelling variation of your own name, e.g. “Mr Smith, Anne Smith, A Smith”, or for a spouse’s or child’s name.)
  • Can I use your site to opt out of ALL catalogs?
    At the moment, our site only offers opt out requests for individual catalog titles – unfortunately, there is no way to stop all catalogs with one click.
  • Can I use Catalog Choice to opt-out of emails, newsletters, etc.?
    No. At this time, we are focused on paper catalogs.
  • Is this service available outside the United States?
    No, at this time the service is only available within the US.
  • Will signing up for Catalog Choice result in my information being shared with spammers or junk mailers?
    We only provide catalogers with the information they need to take your name off of their mailing list. We do NOT provide them with your email address; and they are not allowed to sell your address to any third parties.
  • I love this service! How can I help?
    The benefits to the users, merchants and environment increase dramatically with the growth and popularity of the service. You can help us by using the “Invite a Friend” feature to invite your friends and family members, and by posting one of our linked badges on your own website or blog. Visit the About Us page for more details.
  • I’m a merchant, and would like to learn more about how I can benefit from your service.
    Please be sure to visit our merchants website.
  • Have another question?
    Please don’t hesitate to drop us a line.

If anyone has used this site before, let us know what you thought.

I’m out.

-Cara

I went to a billion different websites to find tips I thought were simple enough not to stress over. Maybe just some time is needed to get into the grove with some of them or a plan to make it super simple. Plus saving money is always a good thing.

Computers
Enable the “sleep mode” feature on your computer, allowing it to use less power during periods of inactivity. In Windows, the power management settings are found on your control panel. Mac users, look for energy saving settings under system preferences in the apple menu.

Configure your computer to “hibernate” automatically after 30 minutes or so of inactivity. The “hibernate mode” turns the computer off in a way that doesn’t require you to reload everything when you switch it back on. Allowing your computer to hibernate saves energy and is more time-efficient than shutting down and restarting your computer from scratch

Shut down your PC if it will be idle more than 2 hours. The idea that turning a computer off and on shortens its life is a relic of the mainframe era.

Plugs and Switches

Unplug Your Cell Phone Charger. A charger left plugged in is a continual drain of energy, whether the phone is attached or not.

Unplug Appliances When Traveling. If you plan on being away for an extended period of time there is no need for your appliances, especially those with clocks, such as your stove and microwave, to continue to be plugged in and run up your bill.

Turn Off Those Lights. With just two lights on in unoccupied home, you are wasting precious money. If you feel a light must be left on when you come home in the evening, invest in a solar-powered light or battery-powered nightlight to show you the way in. The minimal amount spend will be saved in a very short period of time.

According to PopularMechanics.com, “Many devices — including anything with a remote control or clock — continue to draw current when they’re not in use. This graph shows how many watts of electricity common devices use when they’re at work, standing idle or turned off. On average, idle machines use 11 percent of a home’s electricity. Want to reduce your footprint? Get unplugged.”

electric-use-sleep-graph-06.jpg

 

There are power strips they called Smart Strip. According to treehugger.com, “The Smart Strip monitors power consumption and can sense the difference between when computers and other devices are on or off. Upon figuring this out, it shuts off the power, eliminating the idle current drawn from them. There are a couple different models and options (including fax/modem and something called “extended sensing”) and they run from US $32 to $35; Smart Strip claims it will pay for itself in as little as six weeks, and it’s available from their website.

Kitchen

Keep your refrigerator or freezer full; it operates more efficiently that way. Low on food? Keep a container of ice in the freezer.

Don’t “peek” inside the oven more than necessary. Check the seal on the oven door.

Wash only full loads in your dishwasher, using short cycles for all but the dirtiest dishes. This saves water and the energy used to pump and heat it. Air-drying, if you have the time, can also reduce energy use.

Washer/Dryer

In your clothes washer, set the appropriate water level for the size of the load; wash in cold water when practical, and always rinse in cold.

Clean the lint filter in the dryer after each use. Dry heavy and light fabrics separately and don’t add wet items to a load that’s already partly dry. If available, use the moisture sensor setting. (A clothesline is the most energy-efficient clothes dryer of all!)

Water Heater

Turn off your water heater while you are on vacation. No need to heat the water when there is no one to use it. When you are home, lower it to 120º

Ok, that is all for now…I don’t want to get overwhelmed. :P

Lights out.

-Cara

 

 

Recycline Company manufactures and distributes Preserve toothbrushes, tongue cleaners, razors and tableware products. I have never used their products, but I really like how they run their business on paper [or online I should say. :P]. They use recycled plastic in the production of all Preserve products. They formed a partnership with Stonyfield Farm to recycle their plastic yogurt containers and use that plastic in the production of the their line. I love that. They are a super, fresh, ecologically friendly company. That should be an award, The 2008 Super-Fresh, Ecologically Friendly award goes to……Recycline!!! :D :D :D

 

Another environmental kudo for Recycline is they are made in the USA.  Most Preserve products are sold in the United States. By making them here, they can ship them shorter distances, using less fuel and limiting their carbon footprint. Nice…

They do not test on animals, nor do they use vendors or suppliers that do. :)  Recycline states, “In the manufacture of our products, Recycline has not and will not do any testing on animals. Recycline also requires that its vendors and suppliers do not test on animals in the delivery of supplied items.” I love animals…

Last but not least, they have a pdf on their website, so that you can print a postage-paid label to return your used Preserve toothbrushes, razors and tongue cleaners to Recycline. FREE!!! I mean what an awesome company. I love companies that allow me to do the right thing without much effort.

Here is some information they post on their website on why recycled toothbrushes are important.

Why Recycle a Toothbrush?

Dentists nationwide recommend that patients replace their toothbrushes at least 4 times a year. The ADA concurs. Toothbrushes not only lose their effectiveness, but they also build up bacteria. Though the average American currently replaces a brush only 1.5 times a year, replacement is expected to increase due to the growing awareness of the benefits of preventative oral hygiene.

If we all obey our dentists, toothbrushes will begin to make a pretty significant impact on landfills. At present replacement rates, annual toothbrush waste amounts to about 50 million pounds. With the Preserve, significant amounts of plastic waste are diverted from landfills back into usable goods. As toothbrushes become more and more of a consumable, using recycled materials and the Preserve’s recyclable design makes more and more sense.

Now, I just need to try their products and see if they rock. Ugh, that would suck if they were no good. I might still use them just for being so Earth Fresh. Next toothbrush I need, I will pick up a Preserve toothbrush and update this entry with a review of said product. I would also like to know what their employees think of working there and if it turns out good I might just create an award so they can win.

Recycle!

-Cara

Build A Pairie

That’s right, game day. Sunday is a day of rest for tdaait, so lets play some ecological Sims. You build and learn with visual stimulation…good times. Super nerdy, yes…Super fresh, yes…play it!

See below for mre information.

Build-A-Prairie. Can you turn a barren plain into a healthy prairie? Take the Build-a-Prairie challenge! Choose the best plants and animals to bring to your prairie restoration site and be sure to avoid dangerous exotic species! Then watch the prairie come to life in exciting animations!

Fun for a Monday as well.

:)

-Cara

Tofu Robot Girl

Let’s talk about tofu today. What you put into your body is super serious and if you want to be the best you can be, fuel my friends is très important! Tofu is one of these super foods, even so, a lot of people seem to have issues with it. Maybe it was due to a horrendous first experience or maybe you just hate it on spec. Look, I can accept people not liking tofu, like people who hate strawberries or beans, but hating it after trying it once…well…that is just not acceptable. It may have been that the preparation was not to your liking that first time, but tofu only tastes like how you season it. The texture as well is up to the chef. I mean it is not only super fresh for your brain, body and soul, but extremely versatile. You must love it!!!

Let’s see what wiki has to say on the subject of tofu

Tofu, also toufu (the Japanese Romaji spelling), doufu (the Chinese Pinyin spelling often used in Chinese recipes) or bean curd (the literal translation), is a food of Chinese origin made by coagulating soy milk, and then pressing the resulting curds into blocks. There are many different varieties of tofu, including fresh tofu and tofu that has been processed in some way. Tofu has very little flavor or smell on its own, so it can be used either in savory or sweet dishes, and is often seasoned or marinated to suit the dish.

The production of tofu from soy milk is similar to the production of cheese from milk (fermentation), although some tofu is made by processing non-soy products, such as almonds or black beans. Two major byproducts of the process are tofu skin and soy pulp.

Tofu originated in ancient China, but little else is known about the origins of tofu and its method of production. The origin is the source of some speculation and legend, but there is insufficient historical information to support such speculations. Tofu and its production technique were subsequently introduced into Japan in the Nara period (late eighth century) as well as other parts of East Asia. This spread likely coincided with the spread of Buddhism as it is an important source of proteins in the religion’s vegetarian diet.

Tofu is low in calories, contains beneficial amounts of iron (especially important for women of child bearing age) and has no cholesterol. Depending on the coagulant used in manufacturing, the tofu may also be high in calcium (important for bone development and maintenance), and magnesium (especially important for athletes).  

One cool thing I learned about cooking tofu is if you want the texture of tofu to be like chicken, buy the extra firm, freeze it for 24 hours, let it defrost, cook it however. You’re welcome. :P There are a million recipes online. I don’t want to give any here because i don’t know what you like, if you like chicken nuggets search for fried tofu recipes, if you like steak teriyaki, search for tofu teriyaki…you get the point.

Plus, tofu is just fun!

Wanna make your own tofu?

150g Dried Soy Beans

2g Calcium Sulfate (aka Gypsum, used for wine/beer making) water

Soak beans in water overnight.

Place the beans in a blender, adding water until they’re covered (about 1″ above the bean level). Blend for two minutes until it’s a smooth liquid.

Using a sack made from two pieces of cotton cloth, squeeze out the soy juice.

Bring the juice to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally to avoid burning. Reduce flame to low and simmer for two to four minutes or so.

While the mixture continues to boil, prepare a small dish and dissolve Calcium Sulfate into two to three tablespoons of water.

Using a food thermometer, bring the temperature of the boiling mixture to 176F.

Pour all of the mixture into a dish with the Calcium Sulfate while mixing briskly for three seconds and stop. Wait 10 minutes for the tofu to set. Serve hot right away, chill or squeeze more water with a cotton cloth while it’s still hot for harder tofu.

Good luck.

-Cara

I always have clothes to donate. Stuff I’ve kept for sentimental value or I’m moving yet again and don’t want to have drag all these textiles with me, or after 10 years I finally decided to give up that shirt I never really wore anyway. Point is, I have a lot to give away, shoes I no longer love as much as I thought I did, purses good hearted people thought I might use, curtains, sheets, blankets, comforters, and towels that don’t match anything. In fact in our closet right now is a bag full of stuff that needs to be donated, but for one, if you check online for donation dumpsters you won’t find any such directory. The only way to find one is by chance, then once you do, you have to walk your stuff all the way there. That takes a special mood, that I am rarely in.

I would love to have a collection bin in my building…Here enters Wearable Collections, a clothing recycling company…

Wearable Clothing Logo

THE PROBLEM. According to a recent study, 386 million pounds of textiles enter the NYC waste stream annually, representing close to 6% of total waste.

THE SOLUTION. Wearable Collections provides a no cost, turn-key solution to recycling clothing within residential buildings in NYC. We handle all the logistics from placement of bins and promotion within the buildings to scheduling weekly pick-ups.

THE BENEFIT. Through our established network we distribute your discarded clothing around the world to people who need it, enabling us to raise money for charitable organizations.

Rather than having your residents haul their clothing to a collection site, or worse, dump them in the trash, we would like to place a receptacle in your building for their recycling convenience. Our aim is to reduce clothing in landfills while helping raise funds for non-profits. Here’s how to get started:

1.PLACEMENT OF BINS
We will provide you with a poly cart, 28.5” deep x 48” wide x 66.5” high, or a similar variation to suit your specific requirements. The cart should be placed in a location that is easily accessible to residents. (i.e., laundry room or basement storage area).

2.AWARENESS
We will notify residents about the program and the location of the bin with flyers placed on the community board or sent to their e-mail addresses. You can download the flyers needed below.

3.PICK-UP
While the amount of the clothing donated will vary from building to building, you can expect that we will pick up, one per week. We will schedule a weekly pick-up with you and adjust accordingly, as volume may fluctuate.

4.EASE AND CONVENIENCE.
Our goal is to maximize clothing recycled while minimizing inconvenience to you. If you are interested in participating in our clothing recycling program we will find a way to work within your building’s constraints.

I am going to request a bin for our building. Ah, I would love it. That’s right I said love. :P

I’m out.

-Cara

When this new phenomenon of everything antibacterial arose, I went through this phase where every soap in my house, including the dish soap had to be antibacterial. Then people started telling me I was weakening my immune system!!! What, no way?!?! In this time of biological warfare I need to be ready! I am one to believe in conspiracies and I know for a fact Armageddon is coming, so I no longer love antibacterial soap or use it…  :) I did some research on the whole subject as I do like to be informed of such things. I will share this information with you now…

According to the Worldwatch Institute:

For most of human history, soap got rid of germs by making surface dirt and oils slippery enough to be rubbed and rinsed off. Since World War II, however, human-made chemicals have altered the traditional recipe. Manufacturers increasingly fortify liquid soaps, shower gels, and body washes with a wide range of fragrances and other inputs including germ-fighting antibacterial properties and tout the benefits of doing so.

But studies show that antibacterial soaps are not significantly more effective at combating germs than regular soaps. Even worse, their popularity is contributing to the growing problem of drug-resistance creating greater opportunities for the emergence of deadly super-bugs that are immune to germ-fighting agents. As a consequence, many antibiotics and other compounds used to fight life-threatening infections like malaria and tuberculosis are no longer as effective as they once were. When it comes to germ prevention, there’s really no substitute for plain old soap and water.

Although labeled antibacterial, most germ- fighting soaps are actually antimicrobial, attacking viruses as well as bacteria.

The global market for soap is projected to reach $6 billion by 2008. Growth is fastest in Asia, where demand for enhanced soap products including antimicrobials is rising rapidly.

Triclosan, the leading germ-fighting compound in antimicrobial soaps, acts by destroying enzymes in bacteria cell walls so they cannot replicate; it targets the same enzyme as the antibiotic isoniazid, used to treat tuberculosis.

In the United States, 75 percent of liquid soaps and nearly 30 percent of bar soaps now contain triclosan and other germ- fighting compounds, whose prevalence can foster the growth of bacterial resistance.

A 2002 study by the U.S. Geological Survey found that triclosan and phthalates from antibacterial soaps and other detergents were polluting water bodies across the U.S. in low concentrations through wastewater.

To fight growing drug resistance, groups like the World Health Organization and the Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics have launched global campaigns against the misuse of antimicrobials, with the aim of informing individuals, health care workers, and manufacturers about this growing problem.

Stop buying soaps and other home products that contain triclosan and other antimicrobial agents including toothpaste, cosmetics, carpets, plastic kitchenware, sponges, and even toys. Urge your family, friends, and workplace not to buy them either.

Wash your hands by rubbing thoroughly with ordinary soap and warm water before preparing food and after using the toilet, as this is still the best way to prevent colds and food-borne disease.

Encourage your doctor and other health care professionals to use alcohol-based hand-rub gels to stop the spread of germs, rather than antimicrobial products.

Ask your supermarkets and drug stores to stop carrying antibacterial products and to educate shoppers about the risks involved.

Spend an hour going through your home to identify any products that may have antibacterial properties, in particular hand and dish soaps and bathroom cleansers. The next time you go shopping, replace these items with plain soaps and cleansers that are free of these compounds. If you don’t find them in a store, let your retailer know what choices you want them to carry.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics
www.tufts.edu/med/apua is an international organization that helps educate consumers and doctors about the risks associated with antibiotic resistance.

World Health Organization www.who.int/health_topics/drug_resistance/en
provides links to worldwide activities, reports, news, and events related to the topic of drug resistance.

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention www.cdc.gov/drugresistance offers a wide range of information on the risks of antimicrobial resistance.

I guess the point is what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger! Germs are our friend…and soap! 

Stay clean.

-Cara

Today is about another easy solution to a huge problem. Using non-recycled paper products is a huge waste for nothing. Pretty much any paper product you can buy, you can buy recycled, which makes the world a better place. Maybe you just need to know why you should do it.  No problem, let me help you out with that…

Choose Tree-Free Paper

Making paper from paper, instead of trees, saves wood, water, energy and greenhouse gases. Chlorine-free paper also reduces the production of dioxins — cancer-causing pollutants that poison our rivers, pollute our air and often end up in our bodies. Use recycled paper at home and bring this initiative to the institutions that you work with.

Environmental Benefits of Recycled Paper

Switching from virgin to recycled content paper results in many benefits. Research by the Alliance for Environmental Innovation has shown that each ton of recycled fiber that displaces a ton of virgin fiber used in coated groundwood paper (stock used in magazines):

  • Reduces total energy consumption by 27%
  • Reduces net greenhouse gas emission by 47% and reduces particulate emissions by 28%
  • Reduces wastewater by 33%, reduces solid waste by 54%, and reduces wood use by 100%

30% Post-consumer Copy Paper

One ton (40 cases) saves the equivalent of:

  • 7.2 trees [forty feet in height and 6-8 inches in diameter] (Conservatree, www.conservatree.org)
  • 2,100 gallons of water, 1,230 kw hours of electricity, and 18 pounds of air pollution  (Californians Against Waste, www.cawrecycles.org)

100% Post-consumer Copy Paper

One ton (40 cases) saves the equivalent of:

  • 24 trees (forty feet in height and 6-8 inches in diameter) (Conservatree)
  • 7,000 gallons of water, 4,100 kilowatt hours of electricity, and 60 pounds of air pollution (Californians Against Waste)

Last, but not least I will include this link to a PDF by Environmental Defense of all the reasons why you should use recycled paper.  I am going to buy recycled printer paper for sure…if I ever print again…lol.

Hug a tree.

-Cara

I came across this Pangea video, by way of a video my mother sent me concerning Arthur Benjamin, Mathematician extraordinaire. I think this video is tight, but my tastes lean towards the nerdy. Feel free to watch and be amazed by Arthur’s  computer brain.

I don’t want to say too much about Pangea Day, because I don’t want to jinx it, but this seems like something that will be pretty awesome. I am going to go to an official showing in New York City. I’m super jazzed I found this event. Believe me there are no such things as coincidences. :]

If anyone reading this has submitted a film, I would love to know about the experience so far.

Below are excerpts about Pangea Day from Pangea Day’s Website and their You Tube site.

That’s a wrap.

– Cara

Pangea is the name of the original super-continent which contained all the world’s land mass before the continents started splitting apart 250 million years ago.

Pangea Day taps the power of film to strengthen tolerance and compassion while uniting millions of people to build a better future.

In a world where people are often divided by borders, difference, and conflict, it’s easy to lose sight of what we all have in common. Pangea Day seeks to overcome that – to help people see themselves in others – through the power of film.

So ask yourself this. If you had the entire world’s attention for just a few minutes, what story would you tell? Perhaps you think the world looks at you, your country and your culture… and just doesn’t understand. Then do something about it. Make a film and upload it here http://www.youtube.com/group/pangeaday You never know. It could end up bringing millions of people that bit closer together.

On May 10, 2008 – Pangea Day – sites in Cairo, Dharamsala, Kigali, London, New York City, Ramallah, Rio de Janeiro, and Tel Aviv will be videoconferenced live to produce a 4-hour program of powerful films, visionary speakers, and uplifting music.

The program will be broadcast live to the world through the Internet, television, digital cinemas, and mobile phones.

Of course, movies alone can’t change the world. But the people who watch them can. So following May 10, 2008, Pangea Day organizers will facilitate community-building activities around the world by connecting inspired viewers with numerous organizations which are already doing groundbreaking work.

The Goals

Pangea Day will:

  • Bring together millions of people from all over the world in a unique shared experience
  • Use the power of film to create a better understanding of one another
  • Form a global community striving for a better future

Natracare Tampons

I myself use Natracare tampons. If you asked me before today why, my answer would have been, “It just can’t be right to stick bleach, or any other synthetic chemical compound inside of your body…” I mean ladies come on. It’s common sense really. Not wanting to be kept in the dark any longer on the subject, I decided I would research what the positive variables are by using organic, all natural tampons… Come join me on this exciting journey! :P

Tampons have been around in one form or another since the ancient Egyptians used softened papyrus, but the tampon as we know it was developed in early 1930s.  During the early post-Victorian era it was not considered ‘proper’ for women to touch their vaginal area, so the manufacturers of the tampon overcame this obstacle by providing the disposable applicators.

Apart from the obvious pollution caused by the manufacturing processes, the average woman uses 12,000 pads/liners/tampons during her menstrual lifetime. It takes 6 months for 1 tampon to biodegrade but plastic used in pads can remain in the environment forever, and it is estimated that 5 million sea birds and 100,000 marine mammals die each year from swallowing the type of plastic contained in these products [This happens when women flush their plastic applicators down the toilet, which from what I am reading is a recent phenomenon.].

According to article, The Pros And Cons Of Tampons, by Laurel Kallenbach, “The most urgent tampon health concern is that chlorine-bleached and rayon-containing products carry trace amounts of dioxin, an extremely toxic chemical that is associated with cancer of the stomach, sinus lining, liver and lymph system. Many people are familiar with the danger of dioxins from publicity about Agent Orange and the Love Canal catastrophe. Tampons are linked to carcinogenic dioxin formed during the bleaching process that manufacturers use to purify and whiten both raw cotton and the wood pulp that goes into synthetic fibers such as rayon, a common fiber in tampons. “You find trace amounts of dioxin in some tampons, which have maximal contact with the vagina’s mucous membrane, which absorbs substances directly into the bloodstream,” explains Philip Tierno, MD, director of clinical microbiology and immunology at New York University Medical Center. To ensure that your tampon is free of dioxin, switch to a brand that’s non-chlorine-bleached, rayon-free, and made of 100 percent-organic cotton. Though cotton is a natural fiber, the majority of cotton crops are heavily treated with insecticides, pesticides and herbicides. Organically grown cotton is not.

In the ’70s and ’80s, toxic shock syndrome (TSS) struck thousands of women. The crisis peaked in 1980 with 814 cases of TSS, of which 38 women died, most due to extended use of the high-absorbency Rely tampon. Today, women still get TSS, though cases are rarely publicized. Yet tampon safety is once again a national issue, in part due to the efforts of Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., who introduced a bill to address the health problems associated with tampon use. The Robin Danielson Act (HR 360) is named after a 44-year-old woman who died in 1998 from TSS because she didn’t recognize her symptoms. The bill directs the National Institutes of Health to conduct reliable, independent research to determine the health risks posed by the presence of synthetic fibers, dioxin and other additives in tampons.

TSS is caused when staph or strep bacteria grow in the vagina, usually encouraged by the presence of a higher absorbency tampon or one that has been inserted more than eight hours. The bacteria produce toxins that are absorbed into the bloodstream, which can cause a severe drop in blood pressure (shock) and/or organ failure, especially of the liver and kidneys. In some cases, TSS is fatal. Its symptoms are similar to the flu, including a high fever, vomiting and diarrhea, muscle aches, dizziness or fainting, a red rash, headaches, bloodshot eyes and sore throat.

“Highly absorbent tampons, especially those containing synthetic fibers, increase the amounts of toxin present in the vagina,” says Tierno.

In the mid-’70s, synthetic fibers were used in tampons because manufacturers wanted to produce more absorbent, leak-resistant products. Since then, three of the four problematic synthetics have been eliminated from tampons. “The only one left is viscose rayon,” Tierno says.

To minimize your risk of contracting TSS, choose a tampon made of 100 percent cotton, preferably organic. “You’re at the lowest risk possible with cotton,” says Tierno. “In my research, every synthetic fiber amplified toxin development, whereas cotton did not.”

Most precautions for guarding against TSS are simple, says holistic nurse practitioner Pam Chandler, a specialist in women’s health care. Wear a tampon for a maximum of six to eight hours to avoid bacterial growth. However, she recommends leaving it in for at least two hours. “If you remove a tampon too soon, it won’t be saturated,” she says. “Then you risk scraping the dry, fragmented cotton across the vaginal mucosa, irritating it and setting the scenario for infection.” Also, using a tampon overnight, when planning to sleep longer than eight hours, is risky. At night, consider wearing a pad instead, she advises.

Choosing a tampon with proper absorbency is crucial to preventing TSS. “At the beginning of your period, if your flow is heavy, you may need Super Absorbency so you don’t have to change tampons too often,” says Chandler. When the flow slows, however, don’t be tempted to continue with a Super because it’s more convenient. Switch to a lower absorbency tampon instead. Also, use tampons only during menstruation.”

So let’s bring this back to me now. I use Natracare tampons like I said before. They were developed as a direct response to health and environmental concerns about dioxin pollution caused by chlorine bleaching, the extensive use of pesticide spraying on conventionally grown cotton, and the use of rayon and other synthetics in tampons.

Natracare tampons are made from only certified organic 100% cotton and are the only fully certified organic cotton tampons available in the world today. They are non-chlorine bleached and women can be reassured that they do not contain synthetic materials, such as rayon, or chemical additives such as binders or surfactants. Certified organic cotton removes the risk of direct exposure to residues from chemical pesticides and fertilisers used on traditional cotton.

For those who stuck through this long journey into the cycle of menstration I congradulate you and hope it was informative and helpful.

Good night.

-Cara

It’s Sunday and a three-day weekend [Thank you Martin Luther King Jr.], so relax and find out which eco celeb you are like.

Quiz is here.

I found this quiz on www.thegreenguide.com/.

About the GREEN GUIDE

Originated as a print newsletter in 1994, then expanded into a web site, thegreenguide.com, in 2002, Green Guide was acquired by National Geographic Society in March 2007, as part of NGS’ global commitment to inform and inspire people to care about the planet. Dubbed the “green living source for today’s conscious consumer”, the GREEN GUIDE makes living in an environmentally-aware way easy, understandable, and practical. Intended for general consumers, GREEN GUIDE (in print and on the web) shows people how to make small changes that add up to big benefits for their wallets, for their health, and, of course, for the health of the planet. Not political or activist, the GREEN GUIDE is chock-full of simple, useful, ideas, broken down into achievable steps, that make going green a gradual and affordable process rather than an all-or-nothing plunge.

Enjoy.

-Cara

What is Slow Food USA?

Slow Food USA envisions a future food system that is based on the principles of high quality and taste, environmental sustainability, and social justice – in essence, a food system that is good, clean and fair. We seek to catalyze a broad cultural shift away from the destructive effects of an industrial food system and fast life; toward the regenerative cultural, social and economic benefits of a sustainable food system, regional food traditions, the pleasures of the table, and a slower and more harmonious rhythm of life.

What Does Slow Food USA believe in?

Slow Food is good, clean and fair food. We believe that the food we eat should taste good; that it should be produced in a clean way that does not harm the environment, animal welfare or our health; and that food producers should receive fair compensation for their work, and that all people should have access to this good and clean food.

We consider ourselves co-producers, not consumers, because by being informed about how our food is produced and actively supporting those who produce it, we become a part of and a partner in the production process.

People respond to the growing movement, and the ideas expressed therein, for many different reasons: some have become tired of eating the same foods wherever they go across the globe; some have noticed the degradation of flavor in our food; some are concerned about the health issues raised by an industrialized food supply; some would like to be environmental stewards of the land through the food choices they make. The beauty of Slow Food is that it provides a welcome home for the food lover, the health seeker, and the environmentalist. With all of these interests in mind, our mission is to create a robust, active movement that protects taste, culture and the environment as universal social values.

Where can you find your local convivium ([Latin] getting together with friends for a meal; it is similar to a symposium; in Latin, it literally means “sharing life together”.)?

Here

What about the Slow Food in New York City?

Slow Food NYC is the New York City convivium (chapter) of Slow Food, a non-profit, member-supported organization founded in 1989 to counteract fast food and fast life. We stand against the disappearance of local food traditions and people’s dwindling interest in the food they eat, where it comes from, how it tastes and how our food choices affect the rest of the world.

Last but not least what is the New York City “Snail of Approval“?

In order to help guide New Yorkers and visitors to food that is good, clean and fair, Slow Food NYC awards the Snail of Approval to those producers, purveyors and artisans who contribute to the Quality, Authenticity and Sustainability of the food we eat and the beverages we drink in the City of New York.

Post Script – Finding this site is thanks to my Ms. Marine. Thank you so very much…good stuff.

Good Day!

-Cara

Web TV!!!

green.tv

green.tv is a web TV channel dedicated to the environment. The aim of green.tv is to raise awareness of environmental issues, especially climate change. We try to do this by collating watchable, engaging films and publishing them online.”

The first video I watched on green tv is called, “Going Big Box vs. Going Local”, which was created by Amy Wolf.

Here is the summary,

Created by Amy Wolf, a Movement Vision Lab Film Fellow in 2007, this short new video follows one woman on a shopping quest – as we learn about the the pros and cons of shopping at big multi-nationals versus local, community-owned businesses. This video explores the social and environmental consequences of shopping at a big box store versus shopping locally.

Here is the film on You Tube:


What I like about this film is it doesn’t just give you information on this particular problem, but it also gives solutions. I think what happens with me sometimes is I get overwhelmed with the problem, that I determine the solution must also be too huge, too time consuming, just too much for me to deal with. I am learning that isn’t the case and that’s cool. Hope on a more consistent basis feels better, it’s empowering! :)

Second, it made me laugh a few times!

Third, it is in New York City Baby! Home sweet home.

I’m going to check out some more of videos, see if they rock as well.

I’m out!

-Cara

I first heard of solar backpacks when I was reading this stuff the crew from “Living With Ed” was writing about. They were saying they used them to charge their electronics. SOLAR BACKPACKS…what? I want a million of them.

You can charge your mobile phones, mp3 players, some even have enough power to charge a laptop. They have the same type of power source as in your car. It is attached to a flexible solar panel that is placed in any of the pluthera of bags out there.

I will give it up right away and start with my favorite site, Reware.com. Understand I’ve tried none of these bags…my judgement is just based on what I have seen on their sites and instinct. :D

Solar Shirt

They created a fresh solar bag line called Juice. They have the widest variety of bags, they are cool and I love the whole idea. I am going to save up some loot and get one . :) Maybe the beach tote and use it as a grocery bag!

Here is a little blurb about them, by them,

NEXT GENERATION SOLAR

Turn free sunlight into clean electricity without moving parts, heat or sound. The Juice Bag’s incredible 7 Watt flexible solar panel is made up of 52 solar cells and represents the latest in flexible solar technology.Our power technology is military-tested and approved, and our stitching and fabrics undergo a triple-quality check before leaving our warehouse.

And, while no small solar power device of this size puts out enough power to charge a laptop directly, keep an eye on us – we have a solution brewing for use with laptops and other larger devices!

SIMPLE TO USE

Juice Bags come with a built-in Car Lighter Adapter (CLA) socket – the same plug as in a car. It’s universal. Just plug in the adapter you would normally use in the car that is approved for your phone, PDA, MP3 player or other 12volt device. The moment sunlight falls on the Juice Bags solar panel, the bag generates electricity. It is that easy!

With Juice Bags, you don’t need a battery to charge your 12 volt devices, but we offer an accessory line of SolarReady Batteries so that you can store the sun if you want. Just plug the SolarReady into your Juice Bag, store up sunlight, then plug the battery into your device later.

Juice Bags are used by travelers, students, relief workers and many others for whom the freedom of clean, everywhere free energy is important.

Imagine going anywhere…anywhere…in the world and being able to keep your satellite phone, GPS Unit or digital camera charged.

MADE IN THE USA.

We now make Juice Bags in the USA with great attention to detail, and use premium fabrics and materials for superior quality.”

——

Next solar bag site I really like is, Voltaic System bags. They were the first company to sell a solar bag powerful enough to charge a laptop.

Solar Laptop Bag

Another reason these guys rock is they use,

fabrics made from recycled PET i.e. soda bottles. We worked extensively with suppliers to develop these fabrics, since they were not previously available. Recycled PET fabric is light weight, extremely durable, UV resistant and water resistant. It even looks better than the nylon it replaced. Most importantly, it uses significantly less energy to produce and creates demand for recycled materials.

My favorite part about the laptop bag is the handle…

Bag Handle

An indicator light inside the handle shows when the panels are generating a charge. That is super fresh.

There are a few other sites that sell solar bags, but their stock consists mostly of leather and that isn’t my flavor. :P I hope these solar bags really are fresh. I’ll let you know when I know.

:)

-Cara

Update- Marine made this solar bag for me she liked this entry so much. :]

Well not just paper, you’ll also need a printer, an envelope and one stamp. That is not a lot to help end world hunger.

What am I talking about…?

“In September 2000, the 189 countries of the United Nations unanimously agreed to “spare no effort to free our fellow men, women and children from the abject and dehumanizing conditions of extreme poverty,” specifically hunger and the “major diseases that afflict humanity.”

To accomplish this great objective would be expensive, and the price was later estimated at about $195 billion a year. It would be very difficult for this amount of money to be raised by private charities or individuals. It would require the combined efforts of governments throughout the world to do it.

Countries Agree to 0.7% in International Aid

In the March 2002 Monterrey Conference, 22 of the world’s wealthiest countries (listed above) agreed to make “concrete efforts” towards the goal of each giving 0.7 per cent of their national income as aid to the poorest countries. This conference was attended by British Prime Minister Tony Blair, U.S. President George Bush, French President Jacques Chirac, and many other world leaders.

In the September 2002 Johannesburg Summit, these same 22 counties re-affirmed their commitment to reach the 0.7% goal. This would provide enough money to raise the $195 billion per year.

Why the 0.7% Agreement?

The countries made this agreement because they realized that it was hard for each country on its own to give a consistent, minimum level of aid each year. Despite good intentions, a country would find that the aid it wanted to give was eaten away by competing political interests, concern about budget deficits, “problems at home,” “problems abroad,” and so on. So they agreed to a minimal, flat rate that each country could afford each year regardless of its current political or economic state.

The 0.7% figure may sound complicated, but it is actually quite simple. You take the total income earned by all the people in the country and then the government gives 0.7% (seven tenths of one percent) of that as aid. Or to look at it another way: for every $100 earned in the country, the country gives 70 cents in aid.

COUNTRY For each $100 earned in the country, how much is donated in aid Aid as % of income How close the country is to reaching the 0.7% goal
Sweden 103 cents 1.03 Already reached goal
Luxembourg 89 cents 0.89 Already reached goal
Norway 89 cents 0.89 Already reached goal
Netherlands 81 cents 0.81 Already reached goal
Denmark 80 cents 0.80 Already reached goal
Ireland 53 cents 0.53 Scheduled to reach in 2012
United Kingdom 52 cents 0.52 Scheduled to reach in 2013
Belgium 50 cents 0.50 Scheduled to reach in 2010
Austria 48 cents 0.48 Scheduled to reach in 2015
France 47 cents 0.47 Scheduled to reach in 2012
Switzerland 39 cents 0.39 No schedule yet
Finland 39 cents 0.39 Scheduled to reach in 2010
Germany 36 cents 0.36 Scheduled to reach in 2014
Spain 32 cents 0.32 Scheduled to reach in 2012
Canada 30 cents 0.30 No schedule yet
Australia 30 cents 0.30 No schedule yet
New Zealand 27 cents 0.27 No schedule yet
Japan 25 cents 0.25 No schedule yet
Portugal 21 cents 0.21 Scheduled to reach in 2015
Italy 20 cents 0.20 Scheduled to reach in 2015
United States 17 cents 0.17 No schedule yet
Greece 16 cents 0.16 Scheduled to reach in 2015

Source: OECD. The figures for 2007 are due out in April 2008.

How are the countries doing?

As the chart above shows, five countries have already met the goal to give 0.7% of their income in international aid: Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden.In 2002 and 2003, five other countries set up a schedule to give 0.7%: Belgium, Ireland, Finland, France, and Spain.In July 2004, the United Kingdom set up a schedule to give 0.7%.In April 2005, Germany set up a schedule to give 0.7%.In May 2005, Austria, Greece, Italy, and Portugal set up a schedule to give 0.7%.

It was not easy for many of the countries to set up a schedule to reach the 0.7% goal. In some cases, such as Britain and Germany, it took the combined effort of many thousands of citizens writing and petitioning their government to get it done.

The remaining six countries

Only six countries have not yet set up a schedule to give 0.7%. These are Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland, and the United States. To raise the $195 billion a year, these six will need to reach the goal.These six countries are all democracies. All that is necessary for them to reach the 0.7% goal is for enough of their citizens to show their support. “

Sources: UN Millennium Project, United Nations Development Program (UNDP), The End of Poverty (Jeffrey D. Sachs), Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

I got all this information above from poverty.com. I have bought into the first-web-site-I-see-I-believe drama before and been made a fool of, so this time I decided to do some research. Here is what I found out on the United Nations’ web site about what went down at the Monterrey Conference pertaing to eradicating poverty. More specifically what President Bush said America would do to help eradicate said poverty. You can read that part here and decide for yourself what he said. I’m not here to incite political debates, I’m just trying to figure out what I need to do to make the world a little bit better…which brings me back to the one piece of paper, a printer, an envelope and one stamp…

This is the link for a letter to send to your specific country’s leader, either encouraging then to keep their word [i.e.- America, Canada, Australia, Japan, Switzerland, and New Zealand] or to tell them they rock for making and sticking to their commitment! All you have to do is click on your country, hit print, fold, put in envelope, address [so you will also need a pen], lick, stamp, send…no more poverty…sweet.

I will mail mine tomorrow.

I’m out.

-Cara

I’ve been going through the green change lately, reading about it, writing about it, living it, etc., but one of my favorite mediums has been neglected…television, tv, the boob tube…I love it…but using all that juice just to watch it, I thought, how can I give back? HGTV [Home & Garden Television] to the rescue. This informative channel is a favorite in our home, it is always on. One day an ad came on for “Living With Ed“. I remembered Ed Begley Jr. on St. Elsewhere from way back in the day. I remember hearing some gossip about him, people saying he was strange to work with or just strange or that there was something different about him…I don’t remember exactly what…but I was curious to check out his show. I set up the Tivo to record “Living With Ed“, and after a few months of procrastination, I finally watched an episode and loved it. In fact I just watched three episodes in a row earlier and guess what…by the end I had the great idea for today’s post. :P GENIUS!!!

 

Rachelle and Ed Begley Jr.

 

The show is awesome. It is Ed and his wife Rachelle, who seem to be people with passion for something good and are intelligent as well, which is fresh. Given the show is more what rich people of California can do to green their property by paying pricey specialists to come in their homes, then paying other people to install said updates, but in the process, we pleabians learn for free why compact halogen lights are better. It is a win/win situation…Right now I can’t afford a house much less solar panels and windmills, but it is a good way for people to learn about the options that are available and of course for people like me who will one day be drowning in riches, I will luckily already know what to do to be the greenest human I can be! :P That’s living…

:)

Cara

Recycle

I had a lot to do today, then later tonight I re-connected with an old friend I had lost contact with awhile ago, so I was super late starting my blog entry. I began panicking because I only had 15 minutes till midnight, which meant a new day with no entry. I thought to myself, great, already on my forth day I can’t even keep up. I hurried and tried to save a draft at 11:59pm, so in my mind, I made the cut…I hit save and lost not only my internet connection, but also the four words I had written so far. A few minutes later I came to the decision that the day does not end until I fall asleep, and begins when I step out of my bed. Sweet, I made it!!! Yeah. :)

Ok, enough about me, I stumbled upon today’s entry via a tv commercial that caught my attention. It was for this web site call2recycle.org. Tim the Tool Man’s assistant/host of The Family Feud, Richard Karn, was the spokesperson. He was talking about people needing to recycle re-chargeable batteries, how it is important to the world and FREE to do. I thought sweet deal, free is good.I will summarize the site and what it is about for those who do not desire to click on links too often.

Summary Begins Here:  Rechargeable batteries are commonly found in cordless power tools, cellular and cordless phones, laptop computers, camcorders, digital cameras, and remote control toys. RBRC recycles the following battery chemistries: Nickel Cadmium (Ni-Cd), Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-MH), Lithium Ion (Li-ion) and Small Sealed Lead* (Pb). RBRC is dedicated to keeping rechargeable batteries and cell phones out of our nation’s solid waste stream and preserving natural resources.

Here is a link that will show you the drop-off joints near you.

“The Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation (RBRC) is a non-profit public service organization dedicated to recycling used rechargeable batteries and old cell phones. RBRC collects the Nickel Cadmium (Ni-Cd), Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-MH), Lithium Ion (Li-ion), and Small Sealed Lead *(Pb) rechargeable batteries that power a variety of portable electronic products such as cellular and cordless phones, power tools, laptop computers, camcorders, two-way radios, and digital cameras.

Through our national program, Call2Recycle™, and with the help of our retail and community partners, consumers can now recycle these items through a convenient and environmental-friendly way.Since 1994, RBRC has recycled more than 22 million pounds of rechargeable batteries. RBRC has also earned numerous awards and recognition, including the Keep America Beautiful First Place National Award in the “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” category, Leadership Award by the North American Hazardous Materials Management Association, Recycling Council of Ontario Minimization Award, Recycle at Work by US Conference of Mayors, inclusion in Environment Canada EcoAction Network and was named ” Environmental Partner of the Year” by The Home Depot in 2002.

RBRC’s Battery Recycling Seal More than 300 manufacturers support the rechargeable battery recycling program by placing RBRC’s Battery Recycling Seals on rechargeable batteries and portable electronic products. This seal lets consumers and businesses know that the battery can be recycled.

RBRC offers recycling plans for retailers, communities, public agencies, and businesses. RBRC provides collection materials and pays recycling costs. Some states have disposal bans of Ni-Cd and Pb batteries that prohibit users from throwing used batteries into the trash. State law requires these batteries to be recycled or properly disposed of through manufacturer/distributor or other collection programs.

Consumers can recycle their used rechargeable batteries and old cell phones by visiting one of the 30,000+ retail stores and community solid waste centers participating in RBRC’s recycling program, Call2Recycle. To find the collection site nearest you, use our online locator or call our toll free helpline 1-800-8-BATTERY or 1-877-2-RECYCLE.”

* weighing less than 2 lbs. / 1 kg.

Last but not least, the EPA’s Battery Alert.

This is something again I needed to know, but had been too lazy to find out how and what I needed to do. Look at that…surprise it is easy. :)

Peace.

Cara  

Free Rice

This one is dedicated to my dad who sent me this site in November ’07.  There is competition, you fight hunger, and learn new stuff…cool…

Here is a blurb about the site…

About FreeRice

FreeRice is a sister site of the world poverty site, Poverty.com.

FreeRice has two goals:

  1. Provide English vocabulary to everyone for free.
  2. Help end world hunger by providing rice to hungry people for free.

This is made possible by the sponsors who advertise on this site.

Whether you are CEO of a large corporation or a street child in a poor country, improving your vocabulary can improve your life. It is a great investment in yourself.

Perhaps even greater is the investment your donated rice makes in hungry human beings, enabling them to function and be productive. Somewhere in the world, a person is eating rice that you helped provide. Thank you.

Today’s thing to do…already, it was hard for me to figure out what I  wanted to write about. What I came up with is a simple solution to a big problem, B.Y.O.B., bring-your-own-bag to the store when shopping. I have had the nerve to tell people they should use their own bags shopping and honestly, I don’ t think I ever have, but I know I have always wanted to and people just should. :P I do use my huge blue Ikea bag [I was forced to buy so I could drag my disposable, stylishly cheap housewares home on the free bus.] to bring my dirty clothes to the laundry.  This is my journey too you know…

Ok, so started my research and on a site I love Care2, I found a piece called, Easy Greening: Shopping Bags, written by, Melissa Breyer, Editor, Care2 Green Living. It has a fafillion reasons why you should bring your own bag, where to recycle them, what stores give credit to you when you bring your own bag, where to get cute bags, the impact on the world, etc. It was everything I needed to know to inspire me to B.Y.O.B. next time I pick up some groceries and whatnot. I know I will forget the first few times, so I will make the commitment now, every time I go shopping and forget my bags I will carry my stuff with no bag at all. After the first few times, I’ll never forget a bag again. Update to follow.

Good Times!

xoxo.

Cara

Here is the article I was talking about:

As far as shopping bags go, the plastic versus paper dilemma is as puzzling as the one about the chicken or the egg. The truth is, the statistics on both types of bags are deeply disturbing. At first glance the alternatives seem less than convenient—-but after learning the facts and finding some easy solutions, we’re saying “neither thanks” to “paper or plastic?”

SIMPLE SOLUTION: In South Africa plastic bags have been dubbed the “national flower” because so many are seen fluttering from fences and dangling in bushes—-some report that at times it looks like a snow storm. According to the National Geographic News, between 500 billion and one trillion plastic grocery bags are consumed worldwide each year. That 100,000 birds die annually from encounters with plastic bags actually seems like a relatively small number—-ditto the estimated 100,000 whales, turtles, and other marine animals.In the United State alone, 12 million barrels of oil are required to produce enough plastic bags to appease our needs. And then there’s that little decomposition problem: 500 years in the landfill.OK, paper then, right? Well, actually. . .producing paper bags requires more energy and creates more air and water pollution than producing plastic bags. Recycling paper is much more energy-intensive than recycling plastic—-and then there’s the issue of all those trees. In 1999, 14 million of them were knocked out to create the 10 billion paper grocery bags we used that year.Armed with this knowledge, here’s what we’ve decided: reusable shopping bags aren’t such a hassle after all. Here are some tips:1. Pack some ultra compact nylon bags (that fold up into tiny packets) in your purse so that you are always prepared for unexpected errands.2. Stow fabric (hemp, jute, canvas, cotton, recycled plastic textile, etc) bags in your trunk for big shopping trips-—just get in the habit of returning them to the trunk after unpacking groceries.3. Reusing plastic and paper bags helps; keep a supply of them in your trunk for groceries and use them until they are too worn, then recycle. (Some stores, like Whole Foods, offer a rebate when you BYOB.)

4. Look French and use baskets when you go to the farmers’ market. Salad doesn’t get as squashed when you put it in a round-bottomed basket.

5. If you get stuck with groceries but without your totes, pick plastic: when statistics are compared, it is the lesser of the two evils. Try to reuse it again and when it comes time to recycle it, tie it in a knot to keep it from blowing away from the trash and landfill and into the trees and ocean. Some chain supermarkets, like Stop N’Shop, actually have a barrel in front for recycling plastic bags.

The best advice is to simply get into the mind-set: once it becomes habit the inconvenience disappears and it seems there was never another way. In fact, in 2002 Irish supermarkets began charging a mandatory 15-cent tax on each new plastic bag. According to one of the largest grocery chains the consumption of new plastic bags has dropped by 97.5 percent—-how’s that for inspiring? Clearly, the plastic bag will not be replacing the shamrock, so let’s follow that example. Here are some good places to start:

For cute and peppy totes: b.happybags

For a great selection of super-practical (including ultra compact): Reusablebags.com

For stylish bags and a 10 percent donation to protect sea turtles: Blue Lotus

One of our favorites—-packs of five wonderfully designed bags that fit in a pouch for your glove compartment or medium-size purse: Envirosax

I was trying to think of another work for truth today and stumbled upon this site called 10X10. I think it has a great concept, look, and feel to it.

It is super fresh!!! I love the visual, with the information. I love how they say, “100 words and pictures that define the time.“. Watch out people I might start to pay attention to what is going on in this world and get involved…

Here is the concept:

10×10™ (‘ten by ten’) is an interactive exploration of the words and pictures that define the time. The result is an often moving, sometimes shocking, occasionally frivolous, but always fitting snapshot of our world. Every hour, 10×10 collects the 100 words and pictures that matter most on a global scale, and presents them as a single image, taken to encapsulate that moment in time. Over the course of days, months, and years, 10×10 leaves a trail of these hourly statements which, stitched together side by side, form a continuous patchwork tapestry of human life.10×10 is ever-changing, ever-growing, quietly observing the ways in which we live. It records our wars and crises, our triumphs and tragedies, our mistakes and milestones. When we make history, or at least the headlines, 10×10 takes note and remembers.Each hour is presented as a picture postcard window, composed of 100 different frames, each of which holds the image of a single moment in time. Clicking on a single frame allows us to peer a bit deeper into the story that lies behind the image. In this way, we can dart in and out of the news, understanding both the individual stories and the ways in which they relate to each other.

10×10 runs with no human intervention, autonomously observing what a handful of leading international news sources are saying and showing. 10×10 makes no comment on news media bias, or lack thereof. It has no politics, nor any secret agenda; it simply shows what it finds.

With no human editors and no regulation, 10×10 is open and free, raw and fresh, and consequently a unique way of following world events. In 10×10, we respond instinctively to patterns in the grid, visual indicators of relevance. When we see a frequently repeated image, we know it’s important. When we see a picture of a movie star next to a picture of dead bodies, we understand the extremes that exist in our world. Scanning a grid of pictures can be more intuitive than reading headlines, for it lets the news come to life, and everything feels a bit less distant, a bit closer to heart, and maybe, if we’re lucky, gives us pause to think. If you’d like to learn more about 10×10, you can read how it works.

I never was like I have to see that Al Gore movie. I was always one to pick on that crazy guy everyone says thinks invented the Internet.  [I still haven’t ever looked into that claim either…I will one day.]  Point is, I didn’t much care one way or another. Don’t get me wrong, I love the world, but am not sure anything is up with this global warming, except longer days where the weather is more to my liking than not. I always say if this is global warming…I’ll take it!

Like many things in my life, this movie just happened upon it. I am recently a member of Netflix [another phenomenon I thought I would let just pass me by] due to a lovely lady in my life. She even set me up with my own log-in to gain unlimited access to their bazillion movies. Wanting to make a good first impression on Netflix and Marine with my amazingly deep movie selection, I decided An Inconvenient Truth would be the perfect way to do just that. It showed up at our apartment the beginning of December and almost a month later to the day I sprang into action, took The Simpson Game out of the PS2 and begrudgingly popped in the documentary to watch…by the end of this movie we had the heat off, all the lights in the house turned off, and I was feeling guilty having the television on to finish watching it.

Where is it I am going with all this you may ask? Well, for one Al Gore is a good man. It is a blessing he did not become president as he is on an important path now, beginning this journey 4 or 8 years later might have been too late or at least later than need be. We would have lost precious time is what I am trying to articulate. He took something I think many people don’t even try to understand, as the enormity of it seems overwhelming, and made it simply understandable. He stayed away from the anger and finger pointing I think because he wants a solution not someone to blame. It is a great documentary and if you have not watched it, you should, as it is important and your global responsibility to not allow yourself to be ignorant to an inconvenient truth. We need to be passionate, we need to care and connect to humanity and nature, it is who we truly are. We have been blessed with the gift of this life. I for one am ready to start kicking some serious ass. This blog is my first step in kicking ass for the good of the World and the awesome [and not so awesome] people who live here. I will not wake up one day and say, “Why didn’t I do anything?”.

Much Love.

-Cara

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