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It has been forever and a day since I wrote a green shopping review. I have been getting a little too political and musical lately. I need to bring this blog back to its roots. :] Let’s start with this super fresh bag by Green Chic Bag Co.
Green Chic Bag Company

Natalie Bag

Green Chic Bag Company was kind enough to send me one of their bags, the Natalie to be precise. First off, I enjoy the softness of the bag’s stylish exterior fabric. It has a really nice feel that you just need to experience to understand. The interior lining of the bag is waterproof, dark and smooth. I posses multitudes of bags I take shopping, and this is my favorite size-wise. I especially like the depth of it. The straps are very sturdy. I have filled it up a couple times and it is no worse for wear.

I also adore the logo…

green-chic-bag1

Cute Logo

My only issue with the bag is if I have a big sweater and heavy jacket I can’t really throw the bag over my shoulder. When it gets really cold here I may not use it as much, but come the three other seasons, it is my first choice.

It really is a fabulous bag.

-Cara

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jeffe-me

That’s right a year ago, on January 10th, 2008, “The Day After An Inconvenient Truth” was formed. When I first started this blog it was to have a voice in the world that differs from mainstream television, radio, satellite, newspapers, etc.  I was inspired by the movie, “An Inconvenient Truth“, drawn into the meaning of an “inconvenient truth”, the fact that you might not want to hear what the problem is and what can be done to solve said problem, but here is the truth and now that you know, what are you going to do about it?

In the beginning, what I primarily wrote about was eco, environmental “inconvenient truths”, following in the footsteps of the film, but as time went by I began to find “inconvenient truths” in other areas as well, be it the issue of gay rights, human rights, animal rights, freedom of speech, freedom of art, whatever is going on in the world that mass media does not cover or covers up, these were the pieces I exceptionally enjoy writing about. Then there are the “recycle stuff” ones, just there for some information of what extra steps you can take to make a better world, the D.I.Y. projects using recycled materials, or just how to make something green and cool for your everyday life.  Throw in a few organic recipes, cool green events, green product reviews, games, petitions, stories of amazing people who inspire me, beautiful photos, and sometimes just a funny video to relax and you have, “The Day After An Inconvenient Truth“.  :]

What I am getting at with all this is to say, “The Day After An Inconvenient Truth” has evolved from when I began to where it is at now. I went from doing blog entries everyday from January, 10th, 2008 to October 13th, 2008, right around when I got an official 9-5 job, to now where I may not blog everyday, but no more than a few days go by without me throwing one out there. I needed to find a balance in my life and for now this works for me. I’d rather have good ones than just have ones. :]

I really like writing this blog, even when I can’t think of what to write about, or when I’d rather be playing PlayStation with Ms. Marine or web 2.0 out on the million social networks. This blog makes me more accountable.  It is something I started and am still doing a year later (see Tony). Listen, for someone with absolutely no attention span to anything (besides computers and all things tech), I am pretty amazed that “TDAAIT” is still going. What is crazier is when I started this blog I was surprised if I got 10 hits a day, to now where I get on average over 300 unique hits a day from all over the world. Though businesses like MSNBC and other corporations that I do not have any respect for, ask me to place their advertisements on my site, I refuse. I was not working a real job when I started this blog and could have used easy money like that. Instead, I was insulted that they would even ask me, so much so I responded that they obviously had not looked at my blog, because if so they would never have asked me! In retrospect, I am sure they would have asked me anyway. In their minds people are just a herd of non-thinking cows who when they see a blinking ad, inevitably they must click on it. That goes against what I am trying to achieve here. I really hate ads everywhere. I am blessed in  many other ways through this blog, so it doesn’t need to monetarily support me as well.

What else have I gotten from writing, “The Day After An Inconvenient Truth”? I have learned about a lot of bad stuff that goes on, and I have learned about good people, things and ideas, living and growing here on this Earth (I liked it when Alice Walker called humans “Earthlings” in this interview.). I maintain hope and an awesome faith that things will only get better if you do good.

Something I keep in the forefront of my mind is, what each of us does affects the other. It is not just the huge things necessarily, even our smallest thoughts affect the world. Also, we can as one person change things; who you touch in turns will touch others. You may not get the gratification of seeing the change you bring to the world directly, but if you do it, you may see the world itself change. I search for happiness and peace, by going inconveniently through its sorrows, untruths, truths, and ugliness. I also keep the faith. Faith is the most important thing, without it you are lost. I guess that is what, “The Day After An Inconvenient Truth” is to me, a way to not lose hope and to maintain my faith during the era that is the beginning of the end.

This year I have learned that humanity is not as bad and hopeless as it seems, so that’s cool.

-Cara

General Motors are at it again, but this time they are loaning out their “green” Chevrolet Equinox Fuel Cell electric vehicles to the United States Post Office. I guess that way they’re not people’s personal automobiles, so possibly in GM’s mind, postal workers will not get so attached and protest the destruction of said electric cars. Well they will have no claim to them anyway.

GM better think this one over, I’ve heard some people who work for the postal service may be a bit sensitive, anxious, stressed and easily annoyed.

The chosen citizen test drivers are only allowed to have the car for three months. I guess that it the limit before attachment begins to set in by their test subjects.

The technology is interesting to the nerd in me.

I don’t trust them.

-Cara

One of my former co-workers, Guillaume, brought this site to my attention. The video makes it sound like it is the start of an awesome site. There is a blog about the coming of GlobalPost. There is also a registration page, where you can sign up for the launch on January 12th.

I hope it is not an illusion or distraction. We will see.

Observe your surroundings and discover the truth.

-Cara

January 1st, 2009

January 1st, 2009, NYC, NY

It’s the New Year (shout-out to 2009) and Marine and I were searching for what’s next. On the 1st of this New Year we ended up at La Palapa Cocina Mexicana in the East Village, eating really fresh Mexican food with some fantastical margaritas (good times). It is in this magical place that we came up with a plan. Our plan is to become real life educated consumers (time frame one year), in our own way. What that means is whatever we buy we need to know before we buy:

1. Location of business in regards to our Spanish Harlem apartment (we just learned yesterday that our neighborhood’s nickname is SpaHa. I really don’t like the way SpaHa rolls off my tongue).

2. Who owns the company

3. Company’s philosophy

4. Are they green? How so?

5. How the employees are treated

6. Where does the company get their inventory

7. Price

8. Product review (by the people and the industry)

9. Company review (by the people and the industry)

Exceptions

1.    Medical Prescriptions

2.    Cigarettes

3.    We Know, you don’t need to know everything

4.    Eating out, Delivery, and Pick-Up

5.    Rent

6.    Bills like ConEd, Phone, Mobile, Web Hosting, etc.

Exceptions does not mean we do whatever we want. It is just places where we indulge somewhat, it is a freedom of sorts. Who knows where this year will lead us, but I know for myself if I try to control all my elements I fail. I need to have some leeway to breath.

Today is the 3rd of January and here is the list of things we have purchased under this new regime.

1.    New York Cake and Baking Distributor, 56 West 22nd Street, NYC, NY – $8.99, tax – $0.75, total – $9.74 -Fox Run Kitchens – French Bread Pan – Made in China, Fox Run Craftsmen Ivyland, PA 18974, Concord, ON L4K 3V4, tinplate – Cara

2.   Poland Spring Natural Spring Water, 700mL, Poland Spring Water Company, Division of Nestle Waters, North America Inc. , Greenwich, CT 06830, Mood Building Vendor, 225 W. 37th Street, NYC, NY 10018, $2.00, #1 PETE plastic bottle, blue flip top – Marine

3.    Mood Fabrics,  225 W. 37th Street, NYC, NY 10018, $100 gift card – Cara

4.    Supercuts [Regis Corporation], 460 3rd Ave, NYC, NY 10016, $19 hair cut, $5 tip – Marine (It was Marine’s first time going to a Supercuts. She had said she was going to go there before the 1st of January to experience the true American less than $20 haircut. It is something everyone should experience once.)

As you can see we haven’t done so well…so far… Keep in mind this is a learning experiment. :] We bought bottled water on the 2nd of January and I didn’t even realized we had failed until today. Marine and her SuperCuts haircut… What you have to keep in mind is we have stopped ourselves from buying multitudes of things from the 1st to today, to take the time to research. For real… I will be tracking our progress here to make myself (and maybe Marine) more accountable. I know at least one person in my family reads this on occasion… :]

Keep it real.

-Cara

——————————————

UPDATE [February 24th, 2009] – OK, I need to reassess this project as it was way more difficult than I thought. I am definitely more conscientious about what I buy, but that leave me little time to log it all. I will cover cool finds here and if it becomes easier, or I become more motivated I will track my consuming for more than one day. :]

begleys-natural-cleaners

I live slightly under a rock not having a TV with satellite, cable or any local stations broadcasting from it. Imagine my surprise when I came across Bagley’s Best products, by Ed Begley Jr. of course. I loved “Living with Ed“, when I had a TV, so much so it was one of the first blog entries I wrote about back in the day.

Bagley’s Best was started when a man named John Watts bumped into Ed Begley Jr. in Real Food Daily. It was this occurrence that created an eco Paul Newman like business, where most of the company’s profits got to charities, environmental causes and non-profits.

Live the life.

-Cara

I went to my YouTube channel CaraTV today and had a friend request from LivingGreenChannel.com.  It is there I heard about this new BMW Electric MINI E.

The BMW MINI will release an electric MINI Cooper line, some of which will be available as early as next year (2009). Up to 500 test drivers in the US (Southern California, New York City and New Jersey) will get the chance to take the MINI E for a spin. The MINI Cooper E will have the standard 150 mile range before needing to be recharged, and the car also uses a regenerative braking system that conserves power while driving in a metropolitan area. The standard recharging time is three hours using the quick charge kit MINI provides or when you’ve got the time you can plug it into any wall socket. The MINI goes from 0 to 62 in just over 8.5 seconds, and can reach 95 miles per hour, which is more speed than most need. The MINI Cooper E has no backseats, as the size of the battery created design constraints. They cost around $850 a month to lease.

mini-e

500 to lease only…remember the evil General Motors’ EV1 scandal…

Beware of wolves in sheep’s clothing.

-Cara

Better than a dream.

-Cara

crushed

I watched a movie tonight called, “Who Killed the Electric Car“. and it was a great documentary on the electric car and the auto industry’s, mainly General Motors’ relationship with the government and their consumers. There is definitely a lot of information in that movie that people need to be made aware of. At least so they can make the right decisions about their effect on the environment through their car consumerism. I mean it’s conspiracies theories coming true right in front of your eyes. General Motors is an anti-green company run by middle east controlled monkeys in love with money, which still hasn’t been able to fill that void within them.

After the movie I felt a bit overwhelmed and not sure what was that I could do about the issue of the auto industry’s insistence on keeping Americans addicted to oil, especially foreign oil or George Bush’s desire to take nature preserves in Alaska and destroy them by drilling for a minimal amount of oil. During “Who Killed the Electric Car”, they mention a web site called, Plug In America. It was there I found a petition you can sign to automakers stating, “Plug-in vehicles are in America’s national interest. They decrease fuel costs, greenhouse gases and our dependence on foreign oil. I want to buy a vehicle that runs on cleaner, cheaper domestic electricity. I want to be able to plug in my car! Please manufacture plug-in vehicles immediately.” You can even start your own petition drive by printing this form and getting people to sign. At Co-Op America they have a petition speaking out to Ford about the importance of produce plug-in hybrids. These and other things I found here can make a difference, you just need to take the few minutes it takes to do it. In the long run it is definitely worth it.

Be good.

-Cara

pretty-snow

I think it is interesting that it is snowing tonight on the day Marine wrote this blog entry, and wore her Be Nice, “Pretty Snow” shirt. Don’t you?

:]

Cara

im-local

This design is printed with green eco-friendly ink on a natural organic American Apparel t-shirt. It was designed by Marine.

“I’m Local, talking to me will not increase your carbon footprint”. I think it is a little funny. This shirt is specifically recommended for single beings.

You can get it online at ubenice.com.

It’s been awhile since I covered the junk mail issue, so here we go…

Do you get those Valpak coupons in the mail and just throw them out? If so here is a link to opt out. They are an huge waste of paper and mostly carpet cleaners and window blinds coupons from companies stealing the BBB logo. :]

If you are also sick of getting credit card offers all the time, there is www.optoutprescreen.com. Less paper and less risk of identity theft.

Through this website, you may request to:

  • Opt-Out from receiving Firm Offers for Five Years – (electronically through this website).
  • Opt-Out from receiving Firm Offers permanently – (mail Permanent Opt-Out Election form available through this website).
  • Opt-In and be eligible to receive Firm Offers. This option is for consumers who have previously completed an Opt-Out request – (electronically through this website).

Less paper is always good.

-Cara

I haven’t had that much inspiration lately, so I was really glad when I came up with today’s entry. It is a challenge I issue to myself and anyone else reading this. The challenge is to use cloth napkins instead of paper. According to Seventh Generation’s website “If every household in the U.S. replaced just one 250 count package of virgin fiber napkins with 100% recycled ones, we could save:

  • 1 million trees
  • 2.7 million cubic feet of landfill space equal to over 4,000 full garbage trucks
  • 380 million gallons of water, a year’s supply for 2,900 families of four
  • and avoid 64,000 pounds of pollution!”

What do you really need? Enough napkins for a week for two people (14) and additional ones for company and in case you may need two in one day (9), a total of twenty-three (23).

Here is a super simple way to make some napkins. You’ll need:

  • fabric (people recommend quilting cottons) cut into squares around 12–18 inches wide
  • a sewing machine
  • scissors
  • thread

Here are the steps to make these napkins:

  • First, press in double 1/4-inch hems (fabric folded over 1/4-inch is a hem) on two opposite sides, and sew them with a straight stitch.
  • Press in the remaining two sides 1/4-inch and sew.

That is it! Seems super easy. I will update this entry with pictures once I find some cute fabric.

Cool.

-Cara

E.ON Energy Champions is a eco, flash game where you collect the recycling dropped from above by the selfish, lazy, littering workers and place them in the correct recycling bins before your carbon footprint becomes enormous.

It’s a fun one.

-Cara

With that said…

The Day After An Inconvenient Truth

The Day After An Inconvenient Truth via e-mail, a gift from me to you.

You’re Welcome. :]

-Cara

I am on vacation and have not been writing many blog entries lately and need to catch up, so lets start with what we can do about dry-cell battery disposal/recycling.

First lets cover what dry-cell batteries are, they include alkaline and carbon zinc (9-volt, D, C, AA, AAA), mercuric-oxide (button, some cylindrical and rectangular), silver-oxide and zinc-air (button), and lithium (9-volt, C, AA, coin, button, rechargeable).

There are two types of batteries:
1.  Primary — those that can not be reused
2.  Secondary also known as “rechargeable” — those that can be reused.

Primary batteries include alkaline/manganese, carbon-zinc, mercuric-oxide, zinc-air, silver-oxide, and other types of button batteries. Secondary batteries (rechargeable) include lead-acid, nickel-cadmium, and potentially nickel-hydrogen.

Next, lets talk about some potential problems or hazards with throwing away your batteries in your household garbage.

  1. When burned, they pollute the lakes and streams as heavy metals vaporize into the air.
  2. Heavy metals leaking from old batteries into the Earth.
  3. Exposing the environment to more lead and acid.
  4. Containing strong corrosive acids.
  5. May cause burns to your eyes and skin.

In landfills, heavy metals have the potential to leak slowly into Earth’s soil, groundwater or surface water. Dry cell batteries contribute about 88 percent of the total mercury and 50 percent of the cadmium in the municipal solid waste stream. In the past, batteries accounted for nearly half of the mercury used in the United States and over half of the mercury and cadmium in the municipal solid waste stream. When burned, some heavy metals such as mercury may vaporize and escape into the air, and cadmium and lead may end up in the ash.

Here are some tips to reduce battery waste, starting with prevention, which create less potentially hazardous waste from seeping into our Earth.

  1. First, whenever possible, buy hand operated, solar powered, kinetic powered, water powered, wind powered, potato powered :] items that function without batteries. If that is not an option, I feel as though plug operated is better for the environment than buying heavy metal laden batteries.
  2. If you need batteries buy rechargeable batteries, but remember that they also contain heavy metals such as nickel-cadmium, so it is still a problem, but less of one than non-rechargeable batteries.
  3. Look for the batteries that contain less mercury and heavy metals than others.
  4. Lastly, if batteries are your only option, before buying more check to see if you already have some at home.

We must keep in mind, that yes, rechargeable batteries result in a longer life span and use of fewer batteries. However, rechargeable batteries still contain heavy metals such as nickel-cadmium. The use of rechargeable nickel-cadmium batteries can reduce the number of batteries entering the waste stream, but may increase the amount of heavy metals entering unless they are more effectively recycled. As of 1992, the percentage of cadmium in nickel-cadmium batteries was higher than the percentage of mercury in alkaline batteries, so substitution might only replace one heavy metal for another, and rechargeable batteries do use energy resources in recharging. When disposing of rechargeable batteries, recycle. [Source: ESHO]

Here is a great link to Call-2-Recycle, whom I wrote about in my fourth TDAAIT entry, back in January! All you need to do is put in your zip code and they will tell you where to take your recyclable batteries (and old cell phones).

If you did not find a place through Call-2-Recycle for your rechargeable batteries, you can always bring them to any of these locations to recycle:

In the US: Alltel, Batteries Plus, Best Buy, Black & Decker, Cingular Wireless, The Home Depot, Milwaukee Electric Tool, Orchard Supply, Porter Cable Service Center, RadioShack, Remington Product Company, Sears, Staples, Target, US Cellular, Verizon Wireless, and Wal-Mart.

If you are in Canada: Battery Plus, Bell Mobility, Canadian Tire, FIDO/Microcell, Future Shop, The Home Depot, Home Hardware, London Drugs, Makita Factory Service Centers, Personal Edge/Centre du Rasoir, RadioShack Canada, Revy, Sasktel, Sears, The Sony Store, Telus Mobility and Zellers.

There are not a lot of places that recycle non-rechargeable (typically “alkaline batteries”) that I could find. The best bet is to go to Earth 911 and put in their search feature, “alkaline batteries” and the zip code where you live. I know in NYC we have places for New York residents (only) to take alkaline batteries, maybe you do to!!!

One day I hope we no longer need batteries.

:]

-Cara

Yes, another Ecological Footprint Calculator, but this one has birds, music, animation. I really like it. If everyone lived like me we would need 2.9 planets. I need to work on that.

Currently they have calculators available for the U.S. and Australia. Click here to see how your living habits relate to your use of the planet’s resources.

Nice.

-Cara

Veggie Pride Parade

Reason 101 from, 101 Reasons Why I Am Vegetarian:

When you fork over that $1.89 for those 7 ounces of Brown ’N Serve Sausage Links, it’s really quite a bargain, or so you might think. But such purchases–collectively trillions of them across the globe–accumulate a steep ecological deficit. In time, the debt will come due. Future generations will be the ones remitting its payments, in installments, with global warming, aquifer depletion, topsoil erosion, desertification, collapsed fisheries, wildlife extinction, deforestation and lost ecosystem services. Isn’t it time to start eating lower on the food chain? Get Hip. Go Veg!


It has been 101 days since I started the 101 Reasons Why I Am A Vegetarian journey. I commend Pamela Rice for her commitment to wanting to protect the wild animals, human animals (sometimes wild as well) and the planet we live on. I might not have agreed with every thing she said or maybe more of how she said it, but always with her mission. There are not many people out there who believe in a humane cause and then follow it up by actually doing something, something big. It is a sign of great character and I respect that.

Thank you.

-Cara

My Sust House is a fresh flash game that teaches us about issues of sustainability in design and planning. There are two games dedicated to exploring what sustainability means and how it relates to our homes. What I love is the two characters that lead you on this ecological journey posses charming Scottish accents, which makes the game more pleasurable…at least for me!

Here is information on the two games from the creators of My Sust House.

Game 1

Environment explores ways to create a more sustainable environment. Subjects covered are: location of a house, saving energy, water, and waste. Player receives a printable certificate with their score. Suitable for pupils from 9 years.

Game 2

Building challenges the children to build a sustainable house. Subjects covered are: building materials, insulating materials, power for a house, heating a house. Player receives a printable certificate with their score. Suitable for pupils from 12 years.

In choosing their materials, students must take both cost and environmental sustainability into account. They have £100,000 to spend and the budget is displayed on screen. If you exceed the budget you must repeat the game The sustainability meter is displayed at all times and varies according to the player’s choices. In addition there is an animated globe in the top left corner, which changes appearance according to the current score.

I hope you enjoy it.

-Cara


Reason 100 from, 101 Reasons Why I Am Vegetarian:

Eating vegetables keeps the brain young, a chorus of research shows. One recent 6-year study in Chicago tested 2,000 seniors, their mental acumen paired off with vegetable intake. Subjects who ate more than two servings of vegetables per day appeared about five years younger by certain indicators than those who ate few or no vegetables. Green leafies (spinach, kale, and collards) appeared most beneficial.

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

——————————-

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.

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

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