You are currently browsing the monthly archive for February 2008.

It’s Friday, which means it is time for green shopping ideas and alternatives to unsustainable consumerism. :) Yay!

oji

First, let’s start with the Rust Belt company. Rust Belt is a collaborative work of two designers, Anna Bario, of Field & Fountain, and Page Neal, of F190 [there isn’t a web site yet, at least not one I could find]. It is a line of casual jewelry that is crafted from re-purposed materials [like salvaged metals and chains] using low-impact, environmentally conscious practices. The designers launched Rust Belt with a concern for “working in an industry of luxury built on mining and refining systems that have enormously negative environmental & social impacts.” Bario and Neal came together to create the Alluvial collection. I bought the Oji Ring from the Alluvial collection for Marine and my one year anniversary and love the one-size-fits-all, textured sterling silver double band. It is just so beautiful and bright. I love not only the ring, but the packaging and concept. Nice work ladies!!!

us

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bags

Next, my new favorite bag…flip & tumble. I got one today and love it. The picture above is what the bag looks like open and here is what mine looks like when I’m not using it…

Ball BAg

It is easy to throw in my other bag, to have whenever I need it. It is a delight as it weighs nothing. It is also really easy to ball back up, which is important. To watch a video on how it all works, click here. I’ll see how it takes to weight, but so far so good [again I have only used it once and had it less than 24 hours. :D].

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Glose Vase

Lastly are products I have not used yet, but seems cool. They are Rechargeable Atmosphere Bowls and Vases, which allows you to control 7 color combinations to change at random or to be set at a particular color. Only three hours on the included smart charger will provide a decorative and fun glow to an area for up to 8 – 10 hours continuously. Each bowl and vase is dishwasher safe and includes an environmentally friendly Ni-Mh AA battery.

Why they are Green…

* Reduces the use of non-renewable resources
* Utilizes LED lights
* Smart charger prevents overcharging and wasted electricity

Groovy…

-Cara

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Livestock production is responsible for 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions measured in CO2 equivalent, a share 38 percent higher than that emitted by all the world’s vehicles. Domesticated animals worldwide are the source of 37 percent of all human-induced methane, with most of that coming from intestinal fermentation of ruminants. They also are the source of 65 percent of human-induced nitrous oxide, the great majority from manure. Methane and nitrous oxide are exceedingly more potent greenhouse gases than carbon dioxide. Livestock are also behind almost two-thirds of all human-induced ammonia emissions, which contribute significantly to acidification of ecosystems.

I LOVE COFFEE!!!

I love coffee so I thought it might be time for an entry on how to obtain a more eco cup of Joe. Not only that, but I only buy Starbuck’s, which I’ve heard rumors might be bad, but honestly I have no idea, it just doesn’t seem right.

What I want to accomplish with this entry is find a coffee that is manufactured and distributed by a Fair Trade company [Fair trade is a trading partnership, based on dialogue, transparency and respect, which seeks greater equity in international trade. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing the rights of, marginalized producers and workers – especially in the South. Fair trade organizations (backed by consumers) are engaged actively in supporting producers, awareness raising and in campaigning for changes in the rules and practice of conventional international trade.], that it is organic [Organic farming is a form of agriculture which excludes the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, plant growth regulators, livestock feed additives, and genetically modified organisms.], and the closest one to where I live so I have the smallest carbon footprint [a “measure of the impact human activities have on the environment in terms of the amount of green house gases produced, measured in units of carbon dioxide”.] I can.

I will put some links of organic, fair trade coffee companies. Out of all these coffees I have only tried Green Mountain and I must say I didn’t love it, but I only tried French Roast [my personal favorite roast] in bulk and only once. Who knows maybe the store filled the bin with another brand, a bad batch, or maybe I’ll like another of their roasts. I am willing to try again, as they seem like such a good company on the whole and they are right next door to me in Vermont. I will try to review all these coffee companies and update this entry as I do.

List of Some Organic, Free Trade Coffee Companies

  1. Vermont Green Mountain Coffee Roasters [Since 1981, they have been roasting the finest Arabica beans from coffee-growing communities around the world, creating award-winning blends that inspire and delight the senses. Their goal is to provide you with an extraordinary coffee experience that’s environmentally sound, socially just, and undeniably delicious.] They also are the roasters for Newman’s Own Organic Coffee.
  2. Alter Eco Fair Trade [They offer Fair Trade Certified coffee, tea, sugar, rice]
  3. Eco Java [All of their “Roasted to order” coffee beans are Bolivian, organic, Fair Trade, and have no defects. Their coffee beans are single-locality (terroir), 100% Arabica (Tipica 80%, Caturra 20%), shade grown in the higher altitudes of the Caranavi region, washed using pure Andes glacier-melt water, sun-dried on wooden table tops and hand selected by “Palliris” (Aymara Indian women food graders).]
  4. EcoCoffee [All their coffees are sourced from ethically trading and environmentally responsible producers. A premium price is paid to the farmers, who must comply with welfare and eco friendly standards. All coffee is single origin (bar one premium blend of three) and the origin and producer is always clearly identified. We supply only 100% arabica beans, usually shade grown, many certified organic. You will even know the day on which it was roasted (227g packs).]
  5. Grounds for Change [a family owned and operated coffee roasting business located in the Pacific Northwest. They roast our 100% Fair Trade, Organic coffee in small batches to ensure that you receive the freshest coffee possible. All of their coffee is Fair Trade Certified by TransFair USA and their Organic Certification meets the stringent Organic Processor Standards enforced by the United States Federal Government and the Washington State Department of Agriculture. The vast majority of the coffee they sell is also Shade Grown Coffee which ensures healthy habitat for migratory birds.]
  6. Last but not least, Dean’s Beans I think this company seams super serious in a good way.
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    All Organic and Kosher – Respect for the Quality of Life

    All of our fine whole bean specialty coffees are certified organic, kosher coffees, and are roasted in small batches at our beanery in Orange, MA. We know that the planting, care, harvesting and processing of the beans is done in conformity with international standards for the health of the farmer and his environment, as well as the high quality of the bean. The vast use of pesticides in coffee production has serious impact on the ecology of the coffee-growing world and the health of farm communities. Our commitment to only purchase shade grown coffees supports healthy environments for coffee growers and protects critical migratory bird habitat. It is important to us that the quality of our coffees includes respect for the quality of life of our southern partners in the coffee world. And that respect translates into superb tasting coffee for your pleasure.

    How a Great Cup of Coffee Makes the World a Better Place

    Besides only roasting organic coffees, Dean’s Beans® only purchases beans from villages and importers that are committed to Fair Trade and working towards better economic opportunity, improved health and nutrition in the villages. We promote local empowerment and self-reliance through our Fair Trade purchases and our work with local grassroots development and human rights groups. We also sponsor projects here at home with disenfranchised communities such as Native Americans, the homeless and disabled, and many other groups trying to improve their lives and that of their communities. Every cup you drink and every pound you buy contributes directly to the welfare of coffee growers and consumers.

    We only purchase beans from small farmers and cooperatives, largely made up of indigenous peoples working hard to maintain their culture and lifestyles in a hostile world. We do not buy beans from large estates and farms. We’ve been there, and have seen the conditions of chronic poverty and malnutrition within which these farms produce those other coffees. Look in your kitchen – do you know where your beans come from?

    Dean’s Beans® represents a fully integrated progressive coffee trade system.

    Each player in our cycle of production and distribution, from the farmer to the consumer, participates in socially just and environmentally responsible trade. We hope that all other coffee companies will follow our lead.

    We are proud to be a founding member of Cooperative Coffees, Inc., the first roaster’s cooperative created to buy direct, Fair Trade coffee from farmer coops, and make it available to any small roaster who wants to participate in the Fair Trade movement. We are also active members of the Fair Trade Federation, an international organization of dedicated Fair Traders (no poseurs allowed).

A few coffee facts from EcoCoffee,

* Coffee is the second-most traded commodity in the world economy, after oil.
* The global coffee industry is worth $60 billion annually.
* Some coffee farmers earn as little as 10 cents a kilo for the coffee they pick by hand.
* Most of the world’s coffee is grown by small-scale coffee farming families.
* 25 million families around the world work in the coffee-fields and totally depend on the coffee crop as their only source of income.

ECO CUPS

Green Mountain

According to the Green Mountain Coffee [GMC] company, every year, Americans drink more than 100 billion cups of coffee. Of those, 14.4 billion are served in disposable paper cups— enough to wrap the earth 55 times if placed end-to-end! Those paper cups contain a plastic lining made from a petrochemical that would produce enough energy to heat 8,300 homes. That’s a town the size of Newtown, Connecticut.

What Green Mountain Coffee is doing to combat this situation is work with International Paper to develop a new cup that uses renewable resources and make less of an environmental impact. What they came up with is the ecotainer™ cup, an eco-friendly cup designed for hot stuff. It uses a lining made from corn instead of petrochemicals. I love corn.

Their philosophy on cups is the same philosophy throughout Green Mountain Coffee.

Green Cup

Another cup option I found is Eco-Friendly Coffee Mug. These mugs are made from 100% U.S. grown corn. Completely heat stable, hand wash only and reuse over and over. I’m getting one just to smell it. I am so curious. I don’t love the design from the image, but I will not judge until I see it in real time…

cup cup
OK , that’s a wrap, as soon as I try any of them, I’ll let you know. I am drinking the last of my Starbucks.I love coffee.-Cara
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Eating a plant-based diet guards against disease: first in an active way with complex carbohydrates, phytochemicals, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Then by default: the more plant foods you eat, the less room you have for animal foods that clog arteries with cholesterol, strain kidneys with excess protein, and burden the heart with saturated fat. Clinical studies have shown that meat-free diets reverse diabetic symptoms and reduce cholesterol levels by about as much as the use of cholesterol-lowering drugs.

Green

Home & Garden Television [HGTV] is building and giving away [EDIT– Some people already have become confused by the phrase “giving away”, so for those people…HGTV is having a sweepstakes [A promotion that awards prizes on the basis of a chance drawing or preselected numbers. Similar to a contest, but without the element of skill—and usually for legal reasons, without “consideration”.] to win the green house. It is not a contest and they are not going to just come to your house and hand it to you, without entering said sweepstakes first. I apologize for not being clearer.] an eco-friendly home and I am super jazzed. I don’t care, I am going to try to win this thing everyday and in every way [you can enter in Spring ’08]. It’s in South Carolina, by the water, and looks awesome [at the blueprint stage at least]. It is also by a golf course, which I know will make someone I love very happy. :) Well, really a few people I love very happy. Me, not so sure about golf yet. I almost forgot, in the video they say the golf course is also “green“, well uses some “green” practices at least. :D If you go to this link, you can watch a two and a half minute video on the house and hear more about said “green” golf course.

HGTV also has some photos up from the HGTV Green Home Jobsite. I guess they are going to keep updating the pictures here, so you can track the HGTV Green Home taking shape.

Wish me luck.

-Cara

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To supply the corn and soybeans to feed the livestock to bring daily meat to America’s dinner plates has meant concentrated levels of pesticides, fertilizers, and farm chemicals contaminating many aquifers across the Midwest. Some towns have come to rely on their neighbors for fresher, though expensive, supplies of water. But a recent boom in cattle and pig operations has poisoned these stores as well, prompting plans for government-subsidized pipelines to link towns with major rivers. Some, however, see such costly schemes as ill-advised and the subsidized water as exactly what got the towns in trouble in the first place.

cc

Be Green Now’s web site hosts a cool Carbon Calculator for all you car drivers. Figure the size of your carbon shoe here.

How do they come up with the figures you ask…

Vehicles

Vehicle emissions are calculated by determining the quantity of gallons of gasoline you use annually and multiplying that number by the amount of kg/CO2/gallon emissions rate. The resultant kg CO2 emitted by you was then divided by 1,000 to determine metric tons of CO2 emitted.

* Once you input your vehicle Year, Make and Model, we look up the average MPG of your vehicle and use the average of highway and city miles to determine the estimated fuel economy of your vehicle.

Electricity

To calculate the CO2 emissions you avoid, we simply multiply your monthly electric usage times the CO2 emission rate of typical system power in your area. The CO2 emissions rate is determined using the EPA’s eGRID 2006, Version 2.1, year 2004 database.

Air Travel

When you provide your actual flight data, we are able to accurately calculate your emissions resulting from air travel. We look up your flight Flight leg miles were converted to flight leg kilometers and were broken-out by short hauls (< 452 km), medium hauls (452km < x < 1,600km), and long hauls (> 1,600 km).The total kms traveled for short, medium and long hauls were then multiplied by the appropriate emissions factor for each haul distance.

Natural Gas

We calculate your emissions from natural gas usage by multiplying the appropriate CO2 factor by the quantity of Therms used annually.

I do love calculators.

-Cara

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Bypass surgery requires that your rib cage be opened, your heart stopped, and your body hooked up to an external pumping machine so a vein from some other part of your body can be removed and grafted as a replacement blood vessel to your heart. Memory, language ability, and spatial orientation remain impaired in 10 to 50 percent of bypass patients six months afterward. Side effects for some never go away. Gloom and depression affect between a third and three-quarters of patients. Many will require a second operation. A vegetarian diet, regular exercise, and spiritual nourishment have proven to reverse heart disease–the biggest killer in Western countries.

view note in box

What is this box is right… I personally love boxes ;), so I was intrigued….what was all this talk of a green box…

Here is what I found out on Greensender’s web site,

Included in this box are a few useful items that will help anyone get started or continue incorporating green practices into their daily lives. These things take “going green” out of theory and discussion and make it real. It’s no longer just something to think about. With a Greensender box, it’s in your hands.


• An eco-friendly aluminum SIGG water bottle.
• A reusable grocery bag.
• An energy-efficient cfl light bulb.
• An organic cotton t-shirt.


Color of t-shirt and bottle received may differ from product pictured.

The obvious benefit of using these items is the reduction of the waste and production associated with their disposable, toxic and less energy efficient counterparts. The less obvious, but more dramatic benefit of using these items, is that the daily use of them will serve as a reminder that excess consumption and waste is easily avoided. And that there are painless, smarter alternatives to the practices that have become commonplace in our lives.

So that seems like a cool idea for a gift. I really like the last sentence of Greensender’s mission statement,

No one can do everything today. And no one can do it by themselves. But, we all have the responsibility do something. So, let’s get started.

I need to think who I can bestow this awesome gift upon…I’ll let you know.

-Cara

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Every year, Americans suffer from approximately 76 million illnesses, 325,000 hospitalizations, and 5,000 deaths from something they ate. That something was probably of animal origin. The main culprits are E. coli, salmonella, listeria, and campylobacter. The annual cost to the U.S. for the top-five foodborne pathogens, all predominantly associated with animal-derived foods: $6.9 billion.
gg

I love Sunday’s games. Today’s is, Planet Green Game. It is a super green teaching machine this game. Love it. Starbucks is trying to give some of the love back….interesting….

About the Game

The challenge of global climate change requires us all to think beyond our traditional ways of doing business. At Starbucks we are passionate about contributing positively to communities and the environment. Our core business is coffee, an agricultural product that is grown in tropical regions around the globe. Climatic conditions strongly influence the yield and quality of annual coffee crops. We are working to better understand the risks and implications that climate change may have on our business, as well as identify how we can minimize our contribution to climate change.

When we look at the greenhouse gas emission associated with our operations, we are driven to take action in two major areas that make-up 99% of our emissions: energy used to operate our stores and the energy and emissions associated with roasting coffee. And while taking action on our own carbon footprint is our first step, we also realize we have a unique opportunity to leverage our size and reach to advocate for the need to take collaborative action.

Starbucks and Global Green USA collaborated on the Planet Green Game to educate the public about climate change through engaging and informative game play while encouraging individuals to become part of the solution in their own lives. The game also assists individuals – through simple tools and links – in advocating action by elected officials, business and community leaders.

About Global Warming

Take Action

Disclaimer:

The fictitious names of companies, products, people, characters and/or data mentioned herein are not intended to represent any real individual, company, product or event. Any rights not expressly granted herein are reserved.

;) lol.

-Cara

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About 25 million pounds of antibiotics are fed to U.S. livestock every year primarily for growth promotion. This is almost eight times the amount administered to humans. Though perfectly legal, the practice is leading to the selection of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and adding to the general worldwide crisis of drug-resistant disease. The consumption of meat contaminated with these superbugs raises the threat of human illnesses that physicians are unable to treat.

What I learned today on earthpledge.org was how to turn organic waste into energy.

Waste Not Want Not

Here’s what I know…

Why Waste=Fuel?

Current waste management practices in New York City are environmentally and economically unsustainable. Every year, the city landfills over 7 million tons of food and other organic wastes. According to the EPA, this biodegradable waste discharges over 1.8 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere. The collection of this waste requires hundreds of diesel trucks, which both damage the city’s transportation infrastructure and further pollute the environment. In addition to these environmental costs, the financial expenditure of waste collection exceeds 1 billion dollars per year.

What is Anaerobic Digestion?
In a controlled, oxygen-free environment, naturally occurring anaerobic bacteria break down matter and produce energy-rich biogas (over 60% methane), which can be used to generate renewable energy or to power clean fuel vehicles. Anaerobic treatment has proven effective with a wide variety of organic wastes, including agricultural waste (animal manure), municipal solid waste (food and yard waste) and wastewater (sewage sludge, industrial sludge, and food processing waste).

Having recognized the environmental and economic impact of food and other organic waste, some governments —most notably those of the European Union, Japan, and Australia—have imposed restrictions and landfill taxes on garbage disposal to divert waste from landfills. These restrictions, in addition to government incentives, have led to the installation of hundreds of Anaerobic Digestion (AD) facilities that divert biodegradable waste from landfills, generate renewable energy, and mitigate the release of greenhouse gases. Over 125 European AD facilities produce more than 300 Megawatts of electricity (enough to supply 300,000 households), divert millions of tons of food waste from landfills each year, and significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Benefits of Anaerobic Digestion:

  • Substantially reduces greenhouse gas emissions, odor and other pollutants from food and other organic wastes.
  • Is a source of renewable energy: 1 ton of organic waste can generate over200 kWh of electricity—a day’s supply for 10 average U.S. households.
  • Creates a pathogen-free, humus-like fertilizer, superior to chemical fertilizers.
  • Reduces food waste volume.
  • Is compact and sanitary, and can be used in urban areas.
  • Employs a proven technology, with several facilities in operation since the late 1970s and close to one hundred more that have been constructed since the early 1990s.
  • Diverts municipal wastes from landfills, reducing the amount of fuel used and pollution generated by waste transportation.
  • Enables communities to recycle and reuse waste locally.

Initiative Information

Goal
Earth Pledge’s Waste=Fuel initiative aims to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions produced by urban, rural, and commercial organic waste, while supporting the development of a new source of renewable energy.

Waste=Fuel Objectives
Waste=Fuel proposes the use of AD technology to combat air and groundwater pollution, improve solid waste management, and reduce energy consumption. By promoting the use of AD—a sustainable waste management technology—to a range of audiences, and spearheading a variety of pilot projects, we aim to position AD as a viable and popular alternative to conventional food waste disposals methods.
Our objectives:
•Demonstrate the environmental and social benefits of AD application to our private and public sector communities.
•Encourage the adoption of AD technology by large-scale producers of organic waste.
•Work with cities and municipalities to create incentives around the adoption of AD.
•Use AD to divert 7 million tons of organic waste annually in New York City, generating significant 1.4 billion kilowatt hours of electricity, and preventing the release of 3.5 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere.

Digesters in the Private Sector implementation
With input from engineers, we are advising companies on the installation of an AD facilities at their locations. We are focusing these feasibility studies on companies that handle large volumes of organic waste, such as food wholesalers, compost farmers and restaurants. These facilities have the potential to divert a large fraction of their waste from landfill and provide energy in the form of heat or electricity as well as a compost material. In the process, these companies will improve their environmental portfolios by achieving greenhouse gas reductions.

Target Audience
Waste=Fuel Initiative reaches stakeholders in the food, waste, and energy industries. In particular, this initiative targets the hospitality industry, solid waste industry, energy suppliers, renewable energy investors, natural gas vehicle developers, academic institutions, and federal, state, and local agencies.

Waste=Fuel Resources and Links

General Information About Anaerobic Digestion:

ATLAS Project
The ATLAS Project, a European research initiative on energy technologies, details the history, uses, and benefits of anaerobic digestion. The website also notes the existing barriers to widespread implementation.


Biogas Works

An excellent introduction to the process of anaerobic digestion.

California Energy Commission
This site is an excellent source of information on energy issues facing California. The research & development section of the site discusses a number of innovative energy efficient technologies that are being explored for California, including anaerobic digestion.

Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
This site explains the significance of methane, its cultivation and its uses.

University of Southampton
The University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton, UK, offers extensive information on anaerobic digestion systems with illustrative diagrams.

Related Publications:

Biocycle Magazine

This journal about composting and organics recycling has a particular focus on cutting-edge waste management technologies including anaerobic digestion.

Environmental Business Journal
A publication that provides a strategic overview and an independent perspective on the different segments of and issues within the environmental business community.

Solid Waste Digest
A monthly newsletter providing the industry with strategic market information, data, and analysis on issues such as waste disposal pricing.

Waste News
Waste News reports on waste management, hazardous waste disposal, landfilling, waste generation and reduction, and recycling.

Waste not, want not. :)

-Cara

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Approximately 800 million people today live with chronic hunger, and 16,000 children die from hunger-related causes every day. Yet the world cycles nearly 43 percent of all the grain that is harvested through animals to produce meat. To get a feedlot steer to gain a pound, you need 7 pounds of corn. Likewise, additional pounds of pig, chicken, and farmed fish will cost you, respectively, 3.5, 2, and 3 pounds in feed. Of course, large portions of the added weight turn into inedible tissue, such as bones. The meat industry does endeavor to increase feed-to-flesh efficiency, but the “improvements” sadly come via genetic tinkering, growth enhancing drugs, and questionable feed.

It’s Friday which means it is Eco Consumption Day her at TDAAIT. Let’s do this.

Eco Plant Food. I love my plants. I am so curious if this will work…no chemicals is fresh.

Plant Food

Solay simple Biodynamic natural plant food mix is formulated with ingredients that come directly from nature including Himalayan salt, Sea minerals, Herbs and Humus. Nothing has been chemically altered or synthesized only energetically enhanced. All the ingredients are mixed in the patent-pending Vortex Brewer ™, to enliven, imprint and make more potent. The solution is concentrated. All that’s left to do is dilute and apply.

Glass

Manufacture of vases, goblets and tumblers using reclaimed bottles. The Green Glass Company offers unique, sustainable glassware that’s good for our earth and I think they are beautiful and super cool.

charger

At Eco Shoppe they sell a solar powered battery charger. That is such a good idea. Here is the product description,

Features: – Charges 1-4 AA Rechargeable Batteries at a time – Charges NiMH and NiCD batteries – Resistant to any weather condition – Built-in blocking diode prevents the reverse flow of electricity from the battery – Equipped with an angle stand, the charger can directly face the sunlight to receive maximum sunlight. – Easy and simple to use – Environmentally friendly – Operating cost is free – Equipped with a meter to indicate solar intensity and charge time.

Note: Rechargeable time will vary depending upon the strength of the sunlight or the level to which the batteries are discharged and the battery capacity. The higher capacity of the battery will require the longer charging time.
Shop Eco People!
-Cara

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Pigs are naturally anything but dirty and brutish and, if given half a chance, display high intelligence. Ask Professor Stanley Curtis of Pennsylvania State University. He taught several pigs to understand complex relationships between objects and actions in order to play video games. Curtis, along with his colleagues, found these creatures to be focused, creative, and innovative–equal in intelligence to chimpanzees. Other researchers have found chickens to be good at solving problems, cows to respond to music, and fish to be as individualistic as dogs.

H Bird

This time it’s a turbine powered brothel, I love it. I also love who is doing it, none other than Hollywood madam and ex-con Heidi Fleiss. According to Elle Magazine, “…[she] is going to make a comeback—any day now, she says—starting the world’s first legal, wind-powered brothel for women with exclusively male hookers (and a spa)…” :D

Some other facts about Heidi Fleiss, according to Jezebel is, she lives among a few hundred parrots [really only 24], was a prison lesbian even though she hates screwing girls, inspired one prison “girlfriend” to get out of the drug business and start her own business, and comes across like a genuinely good person. “Who was it, Oscar Wilde, I think, who said people can adjust to anything. I was perfectly adjusted in the penitentiary, and I was perfectly adjusted to living in a chateau in France,” she tells Elle Magazine.

I hope she means it.

-Cara

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A meat diet dramatically raises your risk for heart attack, but in recent years you’re less likely to die from the trauma. Technology will probably save your life, leaving you to live with the consequences. In the case of congestive heart failure–an increasingly common outcome–your heart, now damaged, is unable to adequately circulate blood to the rest of your body, resulting in fluid build-up and organ damage. In the U.S., nearly 5 million people live with the condition, and about 550,000 new cases are diagnosed every year. The disease is the leading cause of hospitalization among the elderly, and hospital bills attributed to it total $29 billion annually.

ECO-LogicalART
New Art, With History

chillin

Today’s blog is about eco-art. Taking trash and flipping it into art, making it functional and of use again.

According to Eco-LogicalART’s site…

Eco-LogicalART is a dynamic new non-profit sister company to Peter Schulberg’s personal recovered element studio, the DejaDesign Gallery. Both entities share his conviction that beautiful objects surround us and only need to be re-envisioned.

With Eco-LogicalART Schulberg takes his theory of creative recovery to ground braking—or rather ground liberating new heights. The gallery’s fine art line features original art painted on recycled billboard vinyl. Tossed into landfills by the ton weekly, this heavy, ink impregnated material is an environmental nightmare. But ECO-LA takes the indestructible nature of the advertising vinyl and turns it into an asset. In fact the art can even hang on an exterior wall. To date his Off The Wall 1 and 2 indoor/outdoor art events have drawn hundreds of spectators and produced over $25,000 in sales of original art on recycled vinyl. OFF THE WALL 3, which will premiere on Earth Day Eve, 07 (April 21), promises to be bigger than ever because in addition to the art in and on his gallery exterior original art on 5 actual recycled billboards will be up for display around Los Angeles. At 14 by 48 feet it is estimated that over 250,000 people a day will see the free art month long drive-by “exhibit.” To put that in perspective the famed Getty Museum averages about 4000 visitors daily.

By definition Eco-LogicalART works are cutting edge and provocative. With original billboard elements peeking through, then artist re-envisioned, the pieces recalibrate the old question with a new eco-answer– offering neither art nor commerce, but art from commerce. Dynamic and aesthetically pleasing as they are, the works offer something more– the feel good satisfaction of knowing that a landfill, somewhere, is a little less full because of the art hanging on your wall.To that an old Shaker saying is recalled that is one of Schulberg’s touchstones:

“We do not inherit the earth from our parents; we are borrowing it from our children.”

I like the idea and images.

Good stuff.

-Cara

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The Humane Slaughter Act requires that mammals be rendered insensible to pain before being slaughtered. A Washington Post series in 2002, however, exposed a packing industry hard pressed to follow this law. Animals were found regularly butchered alive on speeded-up conveyor lines. A resolution that the Humane law be followed to the letter did become part of the U.S. Farm Bill. But long after the politicians enjoyed their photo-ops, the live butchering surely continues. Appropriated Farm Bill funds ended up being diverted to food-safety inspectors already employed. In the end, it almost doesn’t matter. The Humane law does not even apply to 99 percent of animals slaughtered, because poultry and fish are not covered by it.

I dedicate this entry to my Papa who’s Birthday it is today.

RAIN BARRELS!!!

Rain Barrel 1

When I was growing up in Miami my Nana and Papa always had rain barrels, buckets and other rain catching devices outside of their house. They were there to water plants and anything else you may have needed rainwater for. I always thought the water from the sky was purer, realer than from a hose or sink. That rain contained magic that eluded processed water. That’s why my Papa collected water from the sky, while neighbors used their sprinklers. My Papa, he has always been close to the earth and a bit magical.

I was thinking last night, after a day of driving in the rain, I have a million plants I need to water a week, I also have a fire escape, and rain, so what am I waiting for. I can save natural resources by watering my plants with rainwater and also infuse some of that magic into their lives. :D

Below I will list steps on how to build your own rain barrel system for people who live in a house and where to buy them as well. For now, I’m going to cut off the top to a couple of soda bottles and put them on my fire escape, until I come up with a better way. I want to see if I can use stuff I already have instead of buying more stuff. As I look out my windows right now it is a gorgeous, sunny day. Watch, it probably won’t rain for weeks! I will build my first system today. I already have an old, wooden box on the fire escape to use as my base.

Wood Box

I will update with more photos when done…

Southwest Florida Water Management District’s web site has a great how-to rain barrel your life section. There’s even a video. :)

Rain Barrel

Building your own rain barrel

Decide where to place the barrel — many people put them under a downspout for easy attachment. Also consider the distance to your plants, gardens and flowerbeds.

If you don’t have gutters, put the barrel under a valley in the roof that sheds a lot of water. Be sure to put a screen over the open barrel to keep out debris, small animals and insects. This will take a lot longer to fill, but may be more practical for your location.

Step 1. Clean the barrel

Use food-quality containers, not ones that held harsh chemicals. Rinse the inside of the barrel with vinegar or lemon juice [Thanks Sue] and 5 gallons of water to wash away food or juice remnants.

Step 2. Install a hose spigot

To install a 3/4″ hose spigot, drill a 15/16″ hole for the spigot threading just a few inches from the bottom of the barrel. This will provide a few inches of clearance for attaching a hose or filling a watering can and allow for debris to settle below the outlet to reduce clogging.

Step 3. Build a platform

Concrete cinder blocks provide a strong, stable and level platform for your rain barrel. If you use more than one layer of blocks, stack them in a crisscross pattern so they won’t tip over.

Step 4. Connect downspout to barrel

Position the barrel at its set height and measure where you need to cut or disconnect your downspout. Often you can disassemble the downspout at the gutter by taking out screws or drilling out rivets. If you do have to cut it off, use a fine-toothed hacksaw blade or tin snips.

A flexible downspout extender makes an easy transition from the downspout to your barrel lid and eliminates the need for exact measurement because it bends and stretches to the length you need.

Step 5. Cut barrel opening

Place the downspout connection in the barrel. If your barrel comes with a lid, or if it has a sealed top, you will need to cut a hole in it.

Overflows and multiple barrels

You may want to connect an overflow pipe or link multiple barrels together. An overflow pipe will carry excess water that would normally overflow the barrel to another part of the yard or into another rain barrel; this is a great way to reduce water around the foundation of your house during rain.

I also found a cool alternative to downspouts, Kusari Doi [rain chains]. In Japan, Kusari-Doi or “rain chains” have been used for hundreds of years, copper rain chains can be found on homes, gardens and temples throughout Japan.

Lily

According to ValesGreenhouse.com,

“Rain Chains replace the traditional downspout on a typical household gutter system. They are a unique decorative accent to your house, while maintaining the functionality of a traditional downspout. With rain chains, you can actually see the water as it clings to the chains, or funnels through the cups, as it makes its way to the ground. The look and sound of the cascading water is mesmerizing. Rain Chains have been in use in Japan for hundreds of years. The Japanese name for Rain Chain is Kusari Doi. The copper variety will gain a rustic and timeless verdigris patina colour as it ages. They are a perfect accent to any home, and they are an endless conversation piece. Let a vine climb up for the summer and be amazed when you see the ice on it in the winter.

Rain Chains are 8 feet in length and attach very easily from the hole where the downspout was. All you may need is a screwdriver. Each chain is provided with a hanging hook that adjusts to fit virtually any gutter hole.”

I think they look beautiful. There is even a site I found where you can build your own “Globe Link” Kusari Doi.

Globe

I love new projects.

-Cara

——————————————————————————

The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that 70 percent of the world’s commercial fish stocks are fully exploited, overfished, or collapsed. To supply surging world demand, fishers use rapacious techniques, such as sonar, driftnets, longlines, dredgers, and leviathan fish-packing vessels. In the case of longlining, 4.5 million hooks are launched daily. A third of the world’s harvested fish go to feed livestock or farmed fish. The ocean’s interconnected ecosystem simply cannot keep pace. Now, 90 percent of the coveted top predator fish are gone. Consequently, fishers have moved down the food web to species once considered “trash.” These species, of course, are the food source of the fish that were initially overfished. In 2006, a report published in the journal Science gave the world until 2048 for all wild commercial stocks to be wiped out. The world could be left to fish nothing but jellyfish and bait.

I went to Baltimore and had a blast today, so this entry is going to be small…

Here’s your tip for today from Lighter Footstep

Clean or replace your air conditioning filter. Depending on where you live, air conditioning filters can get dirty in a matter of days. An air conditioner with a clogged filter has to work harder, which means higher power bills and the creation of more greenhouse emissions. Running clean, you can save up to $150 each year. You’ll also enjoy the benefit of fewer allergy causing particles in the air, and a more comfortable home or office.

Dirty Filter

 

————

When people adhere to a diet rich in animal fat and protein and get little exercise, cancer risks are increased. Beef consumption raises the level of toxic substances called N-nitroso compounds, which are formed in the large bowel. The substances are believed to stick to DNA, making mutations more likely. Dietary fiber could be helpful in repairing the damage. But only plant foods contain it.
Lips

Time to play. Today you can play, improving your memory while doing so and if you want, learn more on how to keep your lips soft, click here.

————

Reason 2 from, 101 Reasons Why I Am Vegetarian:

America’s farmed animals produce 1.3 billion tons of waste per year, or 5 tons for every U.S. citizen. (Just one cow produces 100 pounds per day.) And the pollution strength of it all can reach levels 160 times greater than that of raw municipal sewage. This vast accumulation is not neatly contained; manure is the most common pollutant today in America’s waters. Land sprayed with pig excrement is particularly toxic, since pigs contract and transmit many human diseases–namely, meningitis, salmonella, chlamydia, giardia, cryptosporidiosis, worms, and influenza. Manure is laden with phosphorous, nitrates, and heavy metals and emits ammonia, methane, hydrogen sulfide, carbon monoxide, and cyanide. Manure has always been seen as fertilizer. But in today’s quantities, it is an under-regulated industrial pollutant.

This is the only dedicated blog entry that will be solely on Pamela Rice and her book, 101 Reasons Why I Am A Vegetarian. What I am going to do for the next 101 days is, at the end of the next 101 blog entries, I will quote one reason from Pamela Rice’s book for anyone who wants to read it. I am going to be reading each reason for the first time as well, so lets hope it’s good! :P :D :)

Go Vegetarian

Who is Pamela Rice you may ask, according to her web site, VivaVegie Society,

“Pamela Rice is the author of the popular 16-page pamphlet “101 Reasons Why I’m a Vegetarian,” which boasts some 180,000 copies in circulation, 10 printings, and 6 updated editions. Many have dubbed this veggie manifesto “the mighty convincer.” A good read-through and you’ll find yourself at least considering reducing the amount of meat in your diet.

Ms. Rice has dedicated her life to ferreting out every argument under the sun that lends credence to the personal choice of vegetarianism — the environmental argument, the health argument, and the ethical argument.

Ms. Rice is currently the director of the Vegetarian Center of New York City — a referral center, a reading room, a research library, and a cultural hub for vegetarians to meet and form groups.

She is the publisher of the incisive magazine The VivaVine: The Vegetarian-Issues Magazine.

She is also known to engage the public through “vegetarian street outreach,” distributing pro-vegetarian literature, including her “101 Reasons,” using eye-catching costumes and arresting images.

Reason #1:

  1. Nearly all of the some 10 billion animals slaughtered for food in the U.S. every year are the end result of a behemothic-sized swift-moving assembly line system, incorporating dangerous, unprecedented, and unsustainable methods of production. If America’s farmers were required by law to give their animals humane living conditions, including spacious quarters, clean surroundings, fresh air, sunlight, and opportunities for social interaction–and if it were illegal simply to drug the animals who would otherwise die from the conditions in which they live–cheap meat could never exist. Time and again the industry balks at even low-cost measures designed to improve the animals’ plight. Prices have been driven to levels unnaturally low, and, alas, a luxury good has been transformed into a staple.

That’s sad. :'( I think Marine is going to do a blog entry on organic, hormone free, free range meat and fish for all you carnivores sometime soon..

-Cara

I’ve decided Fridays will now be the official, Eco Gadgets and Recycled Gems day, like Sundays are Game Day here at The Day After An Inconvenient Truth. This entry I will show you some cool gadgets and green things.

I’m not sure if you can actually buy the Barcode Trashcan, but I love the look of this sleek, sharp, futuristic recycle can. There’s one bin for each type of recyclable material. Just swipe the item in question over the top and the bin that opens is your winner. Nice… :)

Can It

With this next recycle gem, I will just say now, I am going to steal this idea. I live in NYC and see computer monitors on the curb all the time. What a great idea. My cats will love this.

Computer Monitor

These speakers are made out of recycled stuff and come in multitudes of colors and a few styles. You can fold them flat and throw them in your bag. These are cute for going to the park or beach with you peeps. Plug them into any mp3 player, all this for only $14.95.

Speakers

Recycled and fun.

-Cara

Tat

Let’s get into some good green loving for Valentine’s Day…

Earth Erotics is an on-line store that offers non-toxic, green sex toys, organic cotton linens, and environmentally friendly bedroom ambience. For the environment and for your health, natural sex toys are PVC-free and phthalate-free.

The Smitten Kitten, an education-based, retail, sex toy store in Minneapolis, doesn’t carry any sex toys containing toxic materials, nor do they purchase products from companies that use hazardous manufacturing processes. They educate consumers about the dangers of toxic sex toys and safe alternatives. To further their goal of industry change, Giordani and Pritchett co-founded the first ever adult consumer advocacy organization, The Coalition Against Toxic Toys, in 2005.

Babeland sells Body Wax Candles made from essential oils that, once melted, can be dripped and rubbed right on the body. Made from soy wax, which burns cleaner and at a lower temperature than paraffin. Available in nude (unscented), lavender, vanilla, mango, and energy.

Where green porn is concerned there is Vegporn.com, the first and only adult site featuring a cast of sexy vegans and vegetarians! Veg Porn is alternative erotica and sex-positive culture for herbivores and those who love them. We think you’ll find something here that tickles you fancy- we welcome models of all shapes and sizes. We also welcome everyone to visit and join the site. I myself enjoy naked vegans cooking shots…who doesn’t really?

Last but not least, for my more conservative constituents, a nice green gift idea is an elephant dung heart shaped paper. “Amazing and beautiful hand crafted message pads, made from elephant dung and recycled paper – you wont believe your eyes. Perfect for jotting down sweet nothings to your loved one.” It is 75% elephant dung and 25% recycled paper

Happy Valentine’s Day.

-Cara

Green Birthday

 

Today is my Birthday, so I thought I would write 3 tips for a greener Birthday.

  1. Let’s start with a no brainer, paper invitations. If you happen to be throwing a real party send out E-vites on-line, not invites via snail mail. You could also make invitations out of recycled stuff around the house and walk it over to your friend’s house. :P
  2. Use washable plates, utensils, and cloth napkins and tablecloths. No more Party City people, so much disposable junk.
  3. Make your own wrapping paper out of stuff you already have around. I sometimes take old newspaper and wrap a gift, but I make a collage out of it that represents the person who I am giving the gift to. It just seems like a waste to buy paper for someone to tear up and throw away. Instead what you could use are old maps, newspapers, magazines, old calendars, spare pieces of fabric, paper bags that you can draw on…multitudes of things to do to be super green. Oh and Gaiam makes seed gift wrap that is biodegradable paper embedded with wildflower seeds. Just plant and water. There’s no waste … just beautiful blossoms that make this wrapping paper a gift in itself.

IT’S MY BIRTHDAY!!!

:D

-Cara

Today’s blog entry is all about buying recyclable and eco-friendly goods. A shopping blog…fun!

Record Bowl

Eco-Artware describes Jeff Davis’ bowls, …made from vintage 33 rpm vinyl records, put the right spin on entertaining. Use them to serve fruit, pretzels, wrapped candies, or to hold a small bowl of dip surrounded by chips. A Mylar seal protects each record label and seals the spindle hole in the center. Do not use them to hold liquids or hot items.

Because the bowls are made from limited quantities of unplayable records, we can’t fill orders for specific artists.

To care for vinyl bowls, wash by hand with warm, soapy water. Do not place on or near extreme heat–stove-tops, radiators or microwave ovens.

Artist Bio
Jeff Davis, a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, designs furniture, museum installations and stage sets, and provides new uses for unplayable records and other found objects.

What I Think: It is cool that you can choose either Female Pop, Crooners, Rock, or Show Tunes album for your bowls. If anyone has tried them, let us know what you think.

Fresh Towels

Skoy are towels to replace paper towels.

Here’s what Pristine Planet says about them,

The SKOY cloth is a fabulous, absorbent, biodegradable and natural multi-use cloth. This re-usable earth friendly cloth is perfect in your kitchen, bathroom, and on most surface areas in your home or office. SKOY cloth can be used in place of your sponge, wash cloth or paper towels. It is a European made product and 100% biodegradable because it is made from a natural cotton and wood-based cellulose pulp. SKOY cloth is a chlorine-free product using water-based colors and inks. After an independent composting test, SKOY cloth broke down completely within 5 weeks. The SKOY cloth is 6.75 inches by 7.75 inches and can last months. Using a SKOY cloth is equivalent to using 15 rolls of paper towels in an average home. With the high cost of paper towels, at least $2 a roll, SKOY cloth is the obvious choice for your wallet and the environment. The SKOY cloth has an absorption factor of 15x its own weight. As a result, producing the most superior cloth product available. Shipping is free.

What I Think: I am going to pick some of these up. If they are awesome, friends expect some!

Last but not least the eco-bra that turns into a shopping bag.

Bra Bag

Triumph Japan came up with this super bra.

According to Pink Tentacle, “Each year, Japanese shoppers receive an estimated 30 billion plastic shopping bags, which, in terms of the oil resources needed to produce them, amounts to two giant tankers full of oil (millions of barrels). About 30% of these bags are thrown away without being reused, and since the consumption of plastic shopping bags contributes to environmental problems such as increased energy usage, trash buildup, and global warming due to CO2 released in the garbage incineration process, there are urgent calls to reduce their usage.

What I Think: I am very pro-bra and reusable shopping bags!!! Perfect. :)

I think I will make one day out of the week an eco-shopping entry.

Shop green.

-Cara

OK, so right now I am more or less self-employed, but I will probably have a job at some point where I’ll be able to bring my lunch with me. This is a good thing as I love cooking and we always seem to have leftovers, so I’ll eat good food and save money!

I do make lunches most days for my significant other, like today what I did was wrap up a slice of this meatless meatloaf I made last night. Which was soooo good. I found the recipe yesterday on-line [I used organic, free-range eggs, not the vegan version, but I will try it that way as well.]. What inspired me to look was I am attempting to eat more green after writing the green calculator entry on Saturday. Which you know…not only does that mean not eating animal products, but you must also buy food from local farmers/distributors. The best I could do yesterday for jelly was to buy the one non-Italian made product, but for the produce I did alright. I realize I should make it a habit, at least once or twice a week, to go to Union Square Farmer’s Market, Greenmarket, and get my cheese, bread, produce, etc., since I am blessed to have one so conveniently located.

Back to the point, when I put together lunch-to-go today, I wrapped the meatloaf and bread in aluminum, put the mayo in a cleaned, recycled, plastic, delivery container and then put the lunch into a plastic bag that I use to put said lunch in everyday. On Global Stewards’ website they give some tips and information on how to pack a waste-free lunch. Let’s see how I did today….

Pack a Waste-Free Lunch

A waste-free lunch means that you have no packaging to throw away when you’re done – nothing other than apple cores, banana and orange peels, peach or cherry pits. The best way to reduce garbage is to not create it. (source: Environmental Forum of Marin)

Five Simple Ways to Pack a Waste-Free Lunch

YES
NO
REUSABLE carrier (cloth bag, lunch box)
NO throw-away bags
REUSABLE containers
NO plastic wrap, foil or Styrofoam
THERMOS for drinks
NO single-use cartons or cans
CLOTH NAPKIN to wash and re-use
NO paper napkins
SILVERWARE to wash and re-use
NO plastic forks and spoons

Lunch Waste Facts

ALUMINUM FOIL More than 20 million Hershey’s kisses are wrapped with 133 square miles of foil every day
ALUMINUM AND TIN CANS In the time it takes you to read this sentence, more than 50,000 12-oz. aluminum cans were made
BANANA AND ORANGE PEELS Food debris in a landfill decompose only 25% in the first 15 years (try composting or vermiculture!)
JUICE BOXES Most inorganic trash retains its weight, volume, and form for at least four decades
PAPER BAGS AND NAPKINS It is estimated that 17 trees are cut down for every ton of non-recycled paper
PLASTIC BOTTLES, FORKS, WRAP U.S. citizens discard 2-1/2 million plastic bottles EVERY HOUR
STYROFOAM U.S. citizens throw away 25 billion Styrofoam cups EVERY YEAR

My big mistake was the aluminum foil! I always think about that. :) Tupperware is the solution. I realize aluminum seems much easier because you can throw it away with no clean-up, but what a waste for a few minutes of manual labor or a few seconds if you own a dishwasher. Plus for me, I just remembered I have a super-fresh lunch box I got as a gift awhile back, now all I need is a job to go to!!!

My Super-Fresh Lunch Box

My Lunch Box

Another tip I read somewhere is when you are ordering delivery make sure to tell them you don’t need any disposable utensils. No one ever uses them really and then they end up either in the garbage or in a drawer for a few months until you finally decide to clean that drawer where you keep all your unwanted plastic utensils…or is that just me?

Waste Free!!!

-Cara

IC

Sunday’s Game – Let’s Play.

-Cara

Eating green…sounds good. I have always been a big fan of changing and incorporating a defined structure to my diet. I am already a vegetarian, was a vegan for years, sustained myself on a raw diet for a hot second, and also lived on a macrobiotic diet, so I figure how hard can this green diet be?

I found some great tools to aide in establishing a greener diet in my life on cspinet.org. First, the Eating Green Calculator calculates how what you eat impacts the world, ecologically. Then, on this site, you can also discover how your diet scores on nutrition, the environment, and animal welfare. Lastly, you can take a tour of how food supply of non-organic food ends up at your house. It is super fun and education. :)

The website is promoting and selling a book, Six Arguments for a Greener Diet,


A diet based more on plant-based foods than meats and dairy can lead to extra years of healthy living. This very same diet reduces environmental damage and farm animal suffering. CSPI’s new Eating Green brings to bear the science on a greener diet and its impact on the environment.

Six Arguments for a Greener Diet. CSPI’s new book provides thoughtful advice to consumers and policymakers alike on moving to a plant-base diet.

Maybe I’ll pick up this book and see what it is all about.

Eat green!

-Cara

The power of one to inspire and make a difference.

oneearth.org

-Cara

Super Solar Phone Concept By Nokia is dedicated to Marine’s blog entry, Nokia has the Green Light.

Nokia’s new mobile phone concept reveals a self-reliant, no plug-in socket phone consisting of a solar paneled case to convert sun power to electricity. It sparkles! I mean how awesome is that. No more charger…sweet.

Word on the street is the concept is about a year from being produced commercially.

I’m ready.

-Cara

I have now found a way to recycle all my technotrash in one day for free in NYC…Well free, if I already happen to have a car, if not Zipcar for a few hours is not too much money to help save the world. These guys seem super fresh. Here is a bit of information on them.

Build It Green! NYC and Lower East Side Ecology Center have teamed up to provide a permanent electronics recycling drop-off at Build It Green! NYC. Electronics can be dropped off any time during Build It Green! NYC’s business hours.”

What can you bring there?

Working and non-working:
Computers (laptop & desktop),
Servers, mainframes
Monitors
Printers, scanners, fax-machines, copiers
Network devices (routers, hubs, modems, etc.)
Peripherals (keyboards, mice, cables, etc.)
Components (hard drives, CD Roms, circuit boards, power supplies, etc,)
TVs,VCR & DVD Players
Audio visual devices
Radios/Stereos
Cell Phones, pagers
PDAs,Telecommunication (phones, answering machines, etc.)
Media (floppies, cd’s, zips, VHS tapes)

Next time I have a car I am there.

I love New York!

-Cara

In New York City something we have a lot of is homeless. You see them everywhere, on the stairs of churches, in the subways, reading the paper in the park, having lengthy discourse with each other about current events I know nothing of… I was reading an article about ways to help out homeless people on Charity.org yesterday and one idea was simple, give them restaurant gift certificates so they have a meal in their pocket whenever they want it.

I don’t really agree with the places they suggested you buy the gift certificates from, as all of them were fast, junk food spots. I am a real believer that garbage in, equals garbage out. If you give people food that makes them more tired and depressed, how is that really helpful? I decided to see if I could find national chain restaurants you can buy gift cards from that have higher nutritional value food. It would be a way for the homeless to get food that not only feeds their body, but uplifts their mind and spirit as well. It is important for us to help others to achieve true happiness, as all energy is infinitely connected.

A site I found to purchase restaurant gift certificates at is Restaurant.com. The service they offer is to purchase restaurant gift cards online, using a local restaurant search engine [via zip codes]. They are BBBOnLine members which means they will always resolve any complaints by consumers. They offer a $10 gift card for $3 or a $25 gift card for $10. That’s cool.

Yummy

I also discovered that at most grocery stores you can buy gift cards at the store [or order them online]. I did some research and created a list of gift card links to grocery stores around the country. I like this idea as it gives someone back the freedom to choose what they want.

Here’s the list:

  1. Publix [This store is mostly in the Southeast I think. It was my store growing up in Miami.]
  2. Winn-Dixie [Which used to only be in the Southeast when I was growing up too, but now they are everywhere…I think.]
  3. Food Lion [I know nothing about these guys! :) ]
  4. Jewel-Osco [My old grocery store in Chicago. I think I still have a Jewel-Osco shirt. :P]
  5. Shaws [This store has everything!!!]
  6. Stop & Shop [This guys are all over the Northeast.]

That’s all I have for now. If you know other grocery stores that offer gift cards let me know and I’ll add them.

Food For Free!!!

-Cara

So you want to get rid of the couch, some appliance you are replacing, all your furniture :), but you think the stuff is still in good enough shape not to trash out on the curb, or you just love recycling!!! What can you do???

I found a few things. One, this website appliance x change, is a free appliance classified ads site. The website has used appliance ads from appliance dealers and individuals.

Her are some of the faqs…

Registration

Q: How much does it cost to register?
A: Nothing. Registration is FREE.

Q: Do I have to register to use the site?
A: No. You can browse and search ads without registering. You should still register, to save time, as the site will remember various preferences for you. If you want to create ads, you will need to register. Registration and placing ads are FREE.

Pricing and Payment

Q: How can it be free–what’s the catch?
A: Our goal is to make ApplianceXchange.com the leading side for appliance classifieds. To do that, we are making all ads free as we bring together appliance dealers and individual buyers and sellers.

Q: How Much Do Ads Cost?
A: All ads are FREE–any category–any amount!

Q: How Long Does an Ad Run?
A: Each ad runs for 360 days or until marked as sold by the seller.

Next, if you live in the NYC area we have, Furnish A Future: Enhancing the Lives of Newly Housed Families and Individuals

Furnish a Future is New York City’s only free furniture bank. Since 1992, Furnish a Future has helped more than 22,000 formerly homeless families turn bare rooms into comfortable, functional homes.

The furniture you donate today will help transform an empty apartment into a warm, welcoming home for a formerly homeless family or individual.

They are located in my old neighborhood of Bushwick, actually right down the street on Jefferson. You can bring your stuff there to donate or for a small donation fee, they will come pick up some of your stuff, but check this link first to see what they will pick up and they recommend you call first as well. I wish I would have known when I lived there, but I left my furniture and appliances in a huge commercial loft and know that Curly, my super super took some of the stuff down to the front yard [a.k.a.- The Garage] and added to his already eclectic collection of furnishings, as did others, I’m sure.

I’m out.

-Cara

I think out of all the super fresh Sunday chilling blog entries, this is my favorite!

Greenpeace Rocks!

Eco-Quest is three mini games to save the world. When you lose you learn.

Have fun.

-Cara

Being a girl with a drawer full of old glasses and having a family that all wears glasses [the one thing I remember distinctly about our family reunion is that EVERYONE in my family had four eyes. this is of course was before laser eye surgery, we have since lost a few to this modern marvel.], I wondered, what could I do to recycle all the ones I don’t need?

I found the answer, but let me build up to it…

According to Unite For Sight,

  • Over 1 billion people in developing countries need eyeglasses but cannot afford them.
  • Over 4 million pairs of eyeglasses are thrown away each year in North America.
  • 25% of the global population needs eyeglasses.
  • 50% of children in institutions for the blind in Africa would be able to read normal or large print if they had eyeglasses
  • The price for glasses in Benin and other African countries can exceed three months’ average salary

If you go to their site, and complete a quick little form, Unite For Sight will send you an automatic reply with additional information about where to donate your glasses.

I also found needed information on where to drop off old glasses and some awesome ways to go even a step further on Charityguide.org.

Donate your old eyeglasses and sunglasses to help people with eyesight difficulties worldwide. (Sunglasses can be non-prescription. They are needed in countries near the equator to help protect people’s eyes from sun damage.) Collection facilities include Goodwill Industries stores, LensCrafters stores, and Lions Club drop boxes. Items also can be sent in padded envelopes or boxes to:

New Eyes for the Needy
549 Millburn Avenue
P.O. Box 332
Short Hills, NJ 07078

E-mail ten friends who wear glasses to see if they have old pairs that could be recycled for people with eyesight problems. Collect them for donation.

Check with lost and found departments in hotels, stores, police stations, and mortuaries for unclaimed glasses that could be donated.

Easy enough.

-Cara

Me

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was working on another idea for today’s blog entry when I found this site, Earth 911. It is a simple and clean site where you list what you are trying to recycle and your zip code and poof, it gives you the nearest location to recycle whatever it is you are looking for, if it exists.

I don’t have to save 20 lbs of ink cartridges to mail first, which the clutter would make me crazy. I think GreenDisk.com is a better site for companies that have a large amount of technotrash or people that live out where there are not local recycling spots. In that sense they rock!

For a girl living in the Big City, all I have to do to recycle my inkjet cartridges is take them to a Staples or Best Buy. That is green and easy. That’s living.

Perfect.

-Cara

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