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Blog: Green Forests, Cool Planet

Find out about Brilliant Earth!

September 27th, 2013

Brilliant Earth provides the highest quality jewelry originating from pure sources and harvested using socially responsible practices. They donate 5% of their profits to help communities who have suffered from unethical practices in the jewelry industry. Great idea!

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Change of Address Scam

July 26th, 2013

It’s one of the million little things you need to do when you move-contact the postal service to change your mailing address.

Here’s where the problem can occur: Many people do a random search for “address change” and wind up on one of a number of sites run by private businesses. These companies charge anywhere from $17 to $24 to file that simple change of address form for you, something you can do yourself on the official USPS site for a dollar.

Read the full article here:

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Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Futures Society Applauds

December 16th, 2011

Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Futures Society has been a fantastic partner for years now. We have worked together on many great projects and are very grateful for their support. I wanted to forward along a blog that they wrote concerning our 5 year anniversary.

Thanks OFS!

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November 1st, 2011

Ferndale, Mich. – celebrates five years of progress to stop junk mail from deluging our mailboxes, ravaging our forests and burdening local communities. Founded in 2006, has stopped 5 million pounds of junk mail, saved 44,000 trees from destruction and raised more than $300,000 for environmental organizations.

“We started because we were frustrated with the huge waste of trees and time involved in junk mail,” said Sander DeVries, Co-Founder of “Then we learned it also uses massive amounts of energy and water, and makes climate change worse. At the end of the chain, about half of junk mail goes to the landfill unopened – at taxpayer expense.”

Once Sander and his two brothers, Tim Pfannes and Shane Pfannes, figured out how to stop their own junk mail, they created a systematic way to stop junk mail for their friends and family. As experts in computer technologies, they refined the process and launched a public service: The name comes from the amount of junk mail the average American adult receives every year.

The service gives people a way to say ”NO” to unwanted catalogs, credit card offers and other junk mail in their mailbox. It keeps more trees in the forest protecting a healthy climate and wildlife habitat. It’s also good for business and charities – so they don’t waste money sending marketing mail to people who don’t want to hear from them.

  • More than 100 million trees are destroyed each year to produce junk mail.
  • The world’s temperate forests absorb 2 billion tons of carbon annually to help keep the planet cool and healthy.
  • Junk mail produces more greenhouse gas emissions than 9 million cars.
  • The average adult spends 70 hours a year dealing with junk mail. stops household junk mail by contacting dozens of direct mail companies to remove our customers from these marketing lists. Customers also specify which catalogs and charity solicitations they want to stop receiving. The service covers everyone in your household for five years and costs $41, including a $15 donation to the environmental organization of your choice. Together and their customers have advanced important work by groups like American Forests, Trees for the Future,,, Center for Biological Diversity, Outward Bound and Habitat for Humanity chapters.

Gorav Seth, head of partnerships at Trees for the Future, said, “ provides a valuable service for their customers, keeps more trees in the forests and helps us plant millions of trees.”

To learn more about junk mail and efforts to create a national Do Not Mail registry, go to

To sign up for the service or give a gift, go to

Contact:   Sander DeVries


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“Green Grade” Homes Improve Property Value

August 17th, 2011

Energy-efficient homes in San Francisco may soon receive an official certification from the city, potentially boosting their resale value.

San Francisco officials are developing what they call the “green grade,” a designation that the city would place on the property records of homes that meet certain efficiency standards.

The certification could help homeowners charge more for their property when they decide to sell. Potential buyers would know up front that green-grade homes have up-to-date equipment, low utility bills and a relatively light impact on the environment.

City officials see the green grade as an incentive for homeowners to improve the efficiency of their houses, taking such steps as adding insulation and upgrading their heating systems. Those upgrades help curb the state’s energy demand and lower greenhouse-gas emissions, bit by tiny bit.

The green-grade program could start later this year.

- Baker, David. “S.F. ‘Green-Grade’ Home Program May Boost Value.” 8-17-2011.

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General Motors Goes Green….Again!

July 19th, 2011

General Motors’ efforts to eliminate the shipment of waste to landfills is spreading to its non-manufacturing sites, ten of which are going to reuse, recycle or convert to energy every last bit of waste in the near future.
GM has been greening its manufacturing facilities, getting 76 of them up to landfill-free status over the past decade. Now, the automaker is moving on to its non-manufacturing facilities, with at least 10 going landfill-free by the end of 2011.

What goes on inside some of GM’s landfill-free sites? Well, a Customer Care and Aftersales facility in Flint, MI, is using bio-based eco-foam made from extruded corn starch to pack sheet metal. A site in Burton, MI uses patented technology to shear and separate cardboard so that it can be recycled. Using tricks like these – and many more – all of GM’s worldwide facilities recycled 92 percent of the waste they generated in 2010. That’s an achievement worth boasting about!

- Loveday, Eric. “General Motors says 86 of 145 facilities will be landfill-free by the end of 2011.”  7-17-2011.

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San Francisco Ready to Ban Phone Books

May 18th, 2011

Great news in the world of junk mail! San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors voted 10-1 to pass legislation that would ban unwanted delivery of the Yellow Pages. Each phone book would have to be “personally delivered to an occupant or authorized representative of the residence or business or left at the residence or business following a request.”

You do have the ability to sign up for an opt-out registry in a few cities, but this bill is different. The Yellow Pages would have to confirm you want a book before giving you one. The legislation also includes a public outreach campaign to make sure seniors and low-income people aren’t deprived of useful information.

This is not a done deal just yet. The bill faces one more vote this week, but it is expected to pass. If it does, it could eliminate over a million Yellow Books that rarely get any use. Let’s hope this starts a trend for other cities to jump on board. Nice work San Fran!

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Happy Earth Day 2011!!!

April 22nd, 2011

We hope everyone out there has a fun and productive Earth Day! If you are going to make a small change in your life that will better the environment, today is the day to do it. Good luck!

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Earth Day For The Kids

April 20th, 2011

There are obviously many things that we as adults can do to contribute to Earth Day, but what about teaching our kids the importance of April 22nd. Let me run through a few quick examples of what you can do.

Arts and Crafts: There are many things you can make with recycled products that your kids will love. The link below has numerous activities that can keep you going for hours!

Earth Day Computer Games: I know, I hate seeing kids inside all day, watch TV and playing video games. But if you do allow them to get some computer time, why not show them the following Earth Day webpages. They can be fun and teach them the importance of recycling, planting trees and many other activities. The two links below will help you get started.

Earth Day Books: There are tons of children’s books that are specific to Earth Day! Click on the link below to find a few of them.

I have listed a lot of links to help teach children the importance of Earth Day. We want to thank those websites for doing such a nice job. Stay green my friends.

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Earth Day Tips for 2011

April 14th, 2011

As you all know, Earth Day is rapidly approaching. It is important that all of us not only celebrate April 22nd, but also make some lifestyle changes to help the environment flourish. Here are some very effective but easy tips that can make a huge difference in your life.

1. Eliminate your junk mail!! - That one is easy. Sign up with and you are all set. (We had to put this as number 1 didn’t we????)

2. Leave the car at home - It might sound tough, but if you actually make an effort, you can make a huge difference. Once a week, don’t drive somewhere where you normally would drive. Maybe walk, or ride a bike, or have someone pick you up. Doing this once a week can cut greenhouse gas emissions by 800 pounds per year! What a huge difference for such a little sacrifice.

3. Use your own grocery bags - Many people have already made this change but there are still so many others that haven’t taken the time. It really does make a huge difference and I like it much better. The bags are more sturdy and easier to carry. I would make the switch even if it didn’t have such a large environmental impact. You can buy these bags at any major retailer and they are usually less then $1.00.

4. Recycle your electronics - Old computers, cell phones, printers, etc. all have important components that can be reused in newer equipment. Go to this website to find out a quick and easy way to recycle all your old gear:

5. Wash when it’s full - When you clean your dishes or your clothes, make sure your dishwasher/washing machine is completely full. Doing half a load is a huge waste of water and can put a stress on your water bills. Also, look into buying water-efficient appliances when your old ones die. The change can be staggering.

Those were just a few of the changes I will be making this year but there are thousands more that you can participate in!!

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