A fun Blog to share fun and easy ways to be green!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Office Depot to Open First Green-Certified Store

Office Depot Inc. plans to build and open its first certified green retail store in Austin, Texas, in mid-2008.

The site will meet the U.S. Green Building Council´s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design requirements to receive certification as a green building, said Edward Costa, vice president of construction for Delray Beach, Fla.-based Office Depot. The company´s membership with the USGBC and its plan to build the prototype LEED-certified store are examples of its overall environmental mission, he said.

"Office Depot has successfully implemented a number of environmental construction initiatives over the past few years," Costa said.

The company has saved some 66 million kilowatt-hours of electricity through energy efficiency and conservation efforts in its North American warehouses and stores, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions 10.1 percent in those buildings, he said. It also has retrofitted nearly its entire store chain, 1,186 sites in North America, with high-output lighting.

Keep America Beautiful Inc. Names Matthew McKenna President

Keep America Beautiful, Inc., the nation’s largest community improvement network, is pleased to announce the appointment of Matthew McKenna to lead the organization effective January 1, 2008. McKenna currently serves as the Senior Vice President, Finance, at Purchase, N.Y.-based PepsiCo, Inc.

"Keep America Beautiful has an incredible 54-year legacy of building sustainable communities through education and hands-on stewardship," said McKenna. "I am inspired by the work of KAB’s millions of volunteers nationwide, and I look forward to advancing the organization's mission to engage individuals in taking greater responsibility for improving their community environments."

McKenna will continue the work of current president, G. Raymond Empson, who has led the organization since 1996, establishing many of KAB's current programs, and expanding the affiliate network to over 560 local grassroots organizations from coast to coast. Empson will retire from KAB effective January 1.

"It has truly been a pleasure to serve Keep America Beautiful's board of directors and affiliates, and to serve America's communities for these past 11 years," said Empson. "I am confident, and the board is confident, that Mr. McKenna will effectively lead our organization to even greater growth and success."

As president of Keep America Beautiful, Inc., McKenna will be responsible for the organization’s strategic planning and program development, and will oversee KAB’s financial stability and growth. At PepsiCo, Inc., his recent responsibilities have included leading the company’s capital planning and review process, and managing PepsiCo’s tax strategy, planning, and global compliance. He has previously served as the company’s Senior Vice President and Treasurer.

A graduate of Georgetown Law School, and an active director of Foot Locker, Inc., McKenna is an adjunct professor at Fordham University Law and Business School. He has served on the board of trustees for Hamilton College, and the board of Manhattan Theatre Club. He is actively involved in the Bronxville, N.Y. community, where he lives with his wife, Nancy, and four children.

Wal-Mart Dumping Powdered Detergents

This is especially interesting as I just heard at the Recycling Coordinator Certification Workshop that Wal-Mart is driving many products to "go green." I think it has more to do with greenbacks than the environment - you see they will save fuel and have more space on the shelves - but I suppose it's all good in the end.

Wal-Mart will start selling only concentrated liquid laundry detergent, a move the world's biggest retailer says will save millions of pounds ofpackaging each year.

Wal-Mart said that its stores account for 25 percent of liquid laundrydetergent sales in the United States and that its effort will save 400 million gallons of water, 95 million pounds of plastic and 125 million pounds of cardboard. The company would also save fuel by transporting less mass. The concentrated liquid detergent will arrive on all shelves at U.S.Wal-Mart and Sam's Club stores by May. Stores in the South will receive the smaller liquid detergent containers starting next month, and the rollout will continue by region.

Read More

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Buzz Cut

I got my first electric lawnmower - a Neuton - at the Lawn Mower Exchange in April, and I LOVE it. It is so nice to have a push button starter and clean air while you're mowing! I liked it so much that I later bought an electric "weed eater."

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Pets View of Global Warming

Green MBAs?

I love it. How to succeed in business without really frying the planet.

Green is Good for Business

Check out this article from The State about the Green is Good for Business conference held in Columbia on Monday. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend because that was the first day of my four-day Recycling Coordinator Certification Workshop. I've been learning a lot and will have some neat facts to share later this week.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Happy Hallow-Green!

Coming in October: Tricks to Make Your Halloween a Treat for Mother Nature

Halloween is spooky, but it doesn't have to be a scary time for the environment. You can have a jack-o-lantern full of Halloween fun while helping to protect and preserve the environment.

Starting next week, we'll be sharing eight tips to make your Halloweeen more green!

Campaign Earth

In a political season that leave many of us frustrated and undecided, here's one campaign you can get excited about: Campaign Earth! This site has great ideas for businesses and individuals to help the environment by taking simple steps.

Looking for a way to help the environment but don't know where to start? Need simple ways to get involved? Join Campaign Earth's monthly challenge.They'll give you one new step to take each month. They even send you emails to keep you motivated and reminded when it's time for your next challenge.

Throw your hat in the ring for Campaign Earth today!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Wal-Mart to unveil its own line of energy-saving light bulbs

From The Wall Street Journal:

Wal-Mart brands green strategy: Discount retailer to unveil its own line of energy-saving light bulbs

One of the biggest U.S. proponents of energy-saving, compact-fluorescent light bulbs will double its bet on the technology as Wal-Mart unveils its own line of the spiral-shaped bulbs under one of its in-house brands.

Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer by sales, plans for its Great Value CFL bulbs to cost less than brand-name bulbs, pricing a pack of four bulbs at $7.58, or about the price of a three-pack of brand-name bulbs.

The Bentonville, Ark., retailer intends to stock its bulbs in 3,000 — or nearly three-quarters — of its U.S. stores this month.

“The introduction of our Great Value bulbs makes CFLs a more accessible option for our shoppers,” said Andy Barron, Wal-Mart’s senior vice president and general merchandise manager.

Wal-Mart has promoted CFLs for the past two years as a cornerstone of its green strategy to cut its waste and offer environmentally friendly products. Working with suppliers such as General Electric Co., the retailer pledged in November to sell 100 million CFL bulbs by the end of 2007. At last public disclosure, it had sold more than 80 million.

Andy Ruben, Wal-Mart’s vice president of strategy and sustainability, said during a Sept. 4 speech that CFLs account for 15 percent of light-bulb sales at Wal-Mart, up from 5 percent nine months ago.

North American sales of CFLs have tripled in the past five years, according to Susan Bloom, spokeswoman for Philips Lighting Co., a division of Philips Electronics NV’s North American unit.

“We’re very supportive of Wal-Mart and any decision they make to help increase penetration of this product in the marketplace,” Ms. Bloom said.

Kim Freeman, a spokeswoman for GE’s consumer and industrial division, declined to comment on Wal-Mart’s plans.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Coffee Talk

From my new favorite book, The Green Book, here are small ways you can make a difference with your morning cup of Joe:

Use a ceramic mug. Americans use more than 14 billion paper cups every year, enough to circle the world 55 times. Styrofoam cups will stay on the planet for nine generations, enough time for your great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grand kids to be born.

Don't use disposable stirrers. Just pour in your sweetener and milk first, then add your coffee. Each year, Americans throw away 138 billion straws and stirrers, enough to make a giant straw statue 20 times taller than the Statue of Liberty.

Use loose containers of sugar/sweeteners vs. individual packets. When you use individual packets, you're using about as much packaging as the sweetener in it.

Monday, September 17, 2007

The Watch Dog Upstairs

Many of you have asked about our fourth animal, who you've never seen. Here is sweet Cebu (pronounced Say-Boo or Se-Boo, depending how fast you talk). While Winnie and the kitties are down here with me, Cebu is keeping faithful watch upstairs. This is an extra sweet moment when she is getting her beauty rest, but don't let her fool you - she'll bark out a stranger in a skinny minute!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Don't Wash Your Dishes, Recycle Them

Not too sure about this one...

This household appliance concept from the ever-ingenious researchers at MIT would inevitably put a stop to a lot of after dinner arguments were it ever to make it to market. The DishMaker concept would enable users to create dishes on demand and then recycle them after use. No washing, no storage.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

How Green is YOUR Purse?

Check out my FAVORITE new Web site: Big Green Purse.

Big Green Purse believes that the fastest, easiest, most direct route to a clean and healthy environment is to shift spending to environmentally-safe, socially responsible products and services.

Gentleman, the site is geared toward women because we spend 85 cents of every dollar in the marketplace, but you can learn from it, too.

Oh, and they even have a BLOG!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

And We Wonder Why Her Name is Duchess?!

Duchess is still claiming my photo studio as her own! Every time I tried to photograph the clock tonight, she found her way into the picture!

Gotta love a cat who craves face time, so I thought I'd give her just a little more!

21 Things You Didn't Know You Could Recycle

Great article from Co-op America Quarterly!

No. 19 is one of my favorites: Buy a recycled plastic toothbrush or razor from Recycline, and the company will take it back to be recycled again into plastic lumber. Recycline products are made from used Stonyfield Farms’ yogurt cups. You can buy them at most "healthy supermarkets" and most recently, I even saw them at Wal-Mart, undoubtedly part of their greening campaign.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Poo Poo Paper

Okay, you won't believe this one: paper products made from elephant poo poo. Wouldn't this be a great gift for your favorite Republican? Click here to visit the Poo-tique!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Recycling: It's The Real Thing

Coca-Cola announced Wednesday that it will pour $44 million into its first U.S. plastic-bottle-recycling plant as part of a larger $60 million effort to give the company a "greener" environmental image.

"It's important to consumers, it's important to our system and our employees, and it's the right thing to do," says Sandy Douglas, president of Coca-Cola North America.

The "bottle-to-bottle" plant — it recycles collected bottles into new bottles — will be built in Spartanburg, S.C.

Coke's plastic bottles currently contain about 10% recycled PET. The company has a goal of 30% by 2010 and hopes to eventually approach 100%.

For more info, click here.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Behind the Scenes at TRASHformations

While I'm working diligently on the site, I have company downstairs! Winston, our 115 lb. Lab mix, watches patiently (and sleeps) on the day bed in the office.

The cats, Pikachu and Duchess, usually just hang out out of Winnie's line of vision.

Last night, I set up the backdrop for my TRASHformations photo on a table in the studio. It's nothing fancy, just a box and some white fabric draped over it. Somehow, the cats found it and have been laying on the fabric all day, like they're waiting for me to take their pictures! (As you can see, I obliged, but they really don't look so happy, huh?)

You don't even want to know what two cats can do to a piece of white fabric. Needless to say, I'll have to wash it before I take my next round of pictures.

And Cebu, our sweet Cebu? She's ruling the roost upstairs, playing top dog! Unlike Winnie (and apparently the two cats), she doesn't go for picture-taking, but I'll get her on here soon.

Sitewise, I'm working on a new system for the ReWrites cards. In the next couple of days, you'll see them priced and sold as sets, mixed and matched.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Open for Business

Yep, TRASHformations.com is up and running, but is still a work in progress.

Within the next few days, I'll be adding more ReWrites and more ways to purchase them - sets and grab bags!

Within the next week or so, I'll be adding the fabulous paperboard card holders and bottle cap album clocks.

Within the next few weeks, I hope to add Palmetto tree wine bottle lamps.

And I still have a few surprises, including a fun product born from retired computer keyboards!

Please take a few minutes to walk through the site, and please give me any feedback. If something doesn't make sense, let me know. If something is hard to navigate, I need to know that, too.

Finally, keep checking back. Even though we're technically open for business, it will be a few more weeks before everything is just the way I want it!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Tick, Tock, Tick, Tock

Okay, I think I'm really going to make this deadline of Labor Day for the site to be up and running. But keep in mind that I didn't say what TIME on Labor Day!

I'm still running into creative challenges with the pictures, so bear with me. I imagine I'll be polishing the site, especially the pictures, through the next week. And, of course, I'll be making a lot of new product additions between now and November, too.

Winnie needs to go baf'room, so I'm calling it a night on the site.