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Blog: Green Forests, Cool Planet

Archive for the ‘Go Green!’ Category

Just say “no” to the yellow pages!

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

Twice a year they arrive on my doorstep with a loud and familiar thump: the “yellow pages” - a book two inches thick and wrapped in plastic so that the pages don’t get ruined by the rain or dew or sprinklers. And when it arrives, I dutifully pull my old dusty, yet unopened book out from underneath my computer monitor, throw it in the recycling bin and put the new yellow pages in its place, where it will hold up the monitor until the next book arrives.

What a waste! It takes 19 million trees, 1.6 billion pounds of paper, 3.2 billion kilowatt hours of electricity, and 7.2 million barrels of oil to produce the 500 million directories that are delivered across the nation each year. (Source: YellowPagesGoesGreen.org, an organization working to stop the delivery of unwanted Yellow and White Pages Books.)

And for what? For most of us, the yellow pages are obsolete; there are so many great online resources that are available like switchboard.com or yellowpages.com. These sites provide all of the address and phone number information that we used to gather by flipping through the yellow pages, plus they can provide maps, directions and more.

If you are using one of these (or similar) online directories and no longer wish to receive yellow pages, contact the company that publishes your yellow pages and ask them to stop delivery to your household and/or business.

  • Verizon (Superpages/Idearc): 800.888.8448 
  • Dex (Yellow Pages): 877.243.8339
  • Yellow Book: 800.373.3280
  • AT&T/YellowPages (formerly SBC/Bell South): 800.792.2665 for AR, KS, OK, MO and TX only/All other states call 800.848.8000

Or, you can sign up with YellowPagesGoesGreen.org and they will contact your local phone company for you. Their service is free.

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12,000 Green Walkers expected at October 19th AIDS Walk LA

Wednesday, October 15th, 2008

This year AIDS Walk Los Angeles is making a big effort to promote its Green Walker program, which allows walkers to opt-out of printed and mailed materials and instead do all of their registration, fundraising, and communication about the walk online. And their efforts are paying off. AIDS Walk LA organizers expect that more than 30,000 people will participate in the October 19th event and more than 40% of the walkers will register for the Green Walker program.

With expanded efforts to recycle, minimize waste and reduce consumption along the 10-kilometer route and through partnerships with 41pounds.org and other environmental organizations, AIDS Walk LA is targeting a 25% reduction in environmental impact this year. The thousands of people who have signed up for the Green Walker program are helping AIDS Walk LA to raise money for the fight against AIDS, save paper and postage, and make the event’s footprint a bit greener.

Walk on Los Angeles!

~ Margie

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41pounds.org joins Bill McKibben and others to cut global warming emissions

Sunday, September 14th, 2008

41pounds.org has joined author and activist Bill McKibben (author of Deep Economy, The End of Nature, and Enough) in Brighter Planet’s challenge to actually achieve the global goal — reduce our global warming emissions by 350 parts per million.

Yes, it *is* doable. And stopping junk mail is a part of it. By stopping junk mail, we keep more trees in the forest absorbing CO2 and providing oxygen for us to breathe. And, we cut down on the amount of paper that is processed, printed and shipped — which means we save a lot of energy that produces CO2.

New research shows that junk mail’s contribution to climate change equates to nine million cars on the road, or the heating of nearly 13 million homes for the winter! That’s a huge amount of greenhouse gases — all entirely unnecessary.

When 41pounds.org joined the global blogging effort in the “350 Challenge,” Brighter Planet donated money to offset 350 pounds of CO2. Meanwhile, Brighter Planet is gathering a wide range of products and services that help create a sustainable future for the planet and its people. We’re glad to help out!

If you’re a blogger out there, why not become a part of this?

~ Carolyn

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Carbonfund.org’s partner program passes 2 billion pound milestone

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008

I just heard that Carbonfund.org’s CarbonFree™ Partner program has brought in more than $5 million in donations, which helped to offset more than 2 billion pounds of CO2 emissions. That’s impressive! 41pounds.org is a proud partner in their program, now entering our second year.

Some of the other CarbonFree partners are a little bit bigger than 41pounds.org… including Dell, Live Earth, Volkswagen, Avis/Budget, Lancôme, Discovery Networks and Allstate Insurance. Fortunately, Carbonfund.org’s program is not a “one size fits all” approach!

Hats off to Carbonfund.org and all of the companies and individuals who are taking action to both reduce their carbon footprint AND offset what they can’t reduce!

I encourage businesses large and small to learn more about the program and sign up.

~ Carolyn

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Explore nature in the San Francisco Bay Area with BayNature.org

Monday, July 21st, 2008

This summer is an ideal time to stay local: Beat the cost of gas and concern about CO2 emissions … and truly appreciate the wonders of Northern California. Whether you live here or are visiting, BayNature.org gives you an online guide to the most beautiful and biologically diverse urban area in the United States.

At BayNature.org, you can quickly:

  • Discover great places to explore from 2,000+ parks.
  • Learn about your local environment from 700+ articles.
  • Choose from hundreds of local nature-related events and outings.
  • Track seasonal changes in local plants, wildlife and weather.
  • Watch videos about nature nearby.
  • Connect with more than 300 environmental organizations.

With the help of BayNature.org, you’ll enjoy new places and rediscover favorite places. Local naturalists and experts will guide you, courtesy of Bay Nature magazine’s vast collection of articles, images, maps, videos, and other resources, to a deeper understanding of the natural world of Bay Area. At this virtual gathering place, you’ll also tap into a wealth of local organizations and events … plus opportunities to join with others to protect wildlands and wildlife. You can count on Bay Nature for accurate and accessible information and for inspiration to make your own discoveries. Season after season, you’ll come to know and enjoy our unique corner of the world more than ever.

Start right away at www.baynature.org.

~ Carolyn

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Picnic reminder…napkins come from trees

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008

Summertime is picnic time, and the supermarket aisle is jammed with paper plates and napkins, plastic forks, plastic cups, vinyl tablecloths…all stuff you’ll use for a few minutes or hours, and then get tossed into the trash.

Here are some ways to reduce your picnic trash and keep the planet healthy so your grandkids can also enjoy a summer picnic in a few decades.

  • Plates, cups and utensils that are biodegradable and compostable. Ecowise (a fabulous online store) has plates and cups made from bagasse, which is sugarcane fiber remaining after extracting juice from the sugarcane. Their utensils are made primarily from non-GMO corn starch.
  • Napkins made from recycled paper. I’m a big fan of Seventh Generation, a company that was offering super-Green products long before it was trendy. Their napkins come in unbleached or white. If you’re hosting a big event, check out the selections at EcoProducts where you can buy in packages of 400 to 10,000.
  • Tablecloth made of actual cloth instead of vinyl or paper. I like the pink daisy one I found at One Mom and a Party (an eco-friendly party supply site). But a sheet, sarong or home tablecloth works fine.
  • Water fountains. Remember water fountains? Many picnic areas still have them. Check and see before you buy a case of plastic water bottles. If there’s no water supply nearby, simply remind your guests to bring their own full water bottle (I prefer the beautiful aluminum ones made by Sigg or Klean Kanteen) and have a fun large jugs of water handy for refills.
  • Non-toxic insect repellent. Stores like REI have several options. I can vouch for All Terrain’s Herbal Armor.
  • Non-toxic ant solution. There are so many easy, safe ways to keep the ants from spoiling your summer fun. Check out Earth Easy’s tips and bring along the dried mint or citrus oil.
  • You can shop online and stock up for a whole summer of fun. Meanwhile, make sure to talk to the manager of your local grocery store and encourage them to stock these items year round!

    ~ Carolyn

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Give a Green gift on Father’s Day – a junk-free mailbox

Thursday, June 12th, 2008

Wondering what to get the Dad who has everything? How about a junk-free mailbox?

The 41pounds.org service is a great Green Father’s Day gift — and you can grab it in a couple of minutes online (and generate a quick gift card to email or print).

You’ll stop his unwanted catalogs and other junk mail for five years — AND save trees, water and energy. You’ll also help reduce global warming. Did you know junk mail produces more greenhouse gas emissions than 2.8 million cars?

The service costs $41 for five years, and 41pounds.org will donate more than 1/3 of the fee to the environmental or community organization of his choice!

Go to www.41pounds.org or call 866-417-4141.

Did you know the average person spends about 70 hours a year dealing with their junk mail?! Now’s the time to sign up your father or grandfather up for 5 years of junk-mail-free living and give him more time to enjoy the people and activities he loves!

Happy Father’s Day!!

~ Carolyn

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Elementary School Kids Recycle to Raise Money for Habitat for Humanity.

Tuesday, April 29th, 2008

I love to see kids making a difference! This news comes from our friends at Habitat for Humanity. Last week, a group of children from Ida Price Elementary School in San Jose presented $1,069 to Habitat for Humanity’s Silicon Valley Chapter. The kids raised the money by recycling cans and bottles!

The folks from Habitat for Humanity gave the kids a tour of their 6-home build site in San Jose and showed the kids and their teachers the Green innovations happening there. The $1,000 raised by the kids will buy a furnace or small bathroom for one of the homes. A visiting teacher told Habitat “It is really miracle work being done there.”

What a wonderful way to give back.

~ Debbie

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AIDS Walk finds an innovative way to Go Green

Wednesday, February 13th, 2008

I’m impressed with our new partner, AIDS Walk. Here they are, about as green as you can get — they’re not even driving, they’re walking — and they’re looking for more ways to inspire their walkers to go even further. They’ve announced a new Green Walkers program. Their goal is to make AIDS Walk as paperless an event as possible.

Simple but powerful changes: If you’re walking in the AIDS Walk and you do all of your fundraising online (no checks, money orders, gift forms, etc.), and agree to receive all of your AIDS Walk correspondence by email, then you qualify to be a Green Walker, and get some special benefits — like, not waiting in line the morning of the AIDS Walk. In New York, where they are anticipating about 50,000 walkers — that’s no small reward!

It’s amazing how often we realize that Going Green is not just about saving the planet (though that’s usually inspiring enough in itself), it’s also about simplifying our lives so we can focus more on the fun stuff — and the great people around us. Kudos to AIDS Walk. We’re thrilled to be a part of your Green Walkers program.

~ Debbie

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Focus the Nation is hosting a national teach-in on global warming solutions

Tuesday, January 29th, 2008

Exciting news from 41pounds.org partner Focus the Nation! On January 31, Focus the Nation is spearheading a national teach-in that will engage millions of students and citizens with political leaders and decision makers about global warming solutions. The teach-in enables each school — faculty, students and staff — to put aside business as usual and turn its attention to this crucial issue. I’m looking forward to hearing what all these bright young minds come up with!

Focus the Nation is tapping into the power and energy of students to spearhead Global Warming Solutions for America — a powerful educational initiative involving over a thousand colleges, universities, high schools, middle schools, faith groups, civic organizations and businesses all over the country. You can find out more about the program or make a direct donation on their website. This is a great way to bring forth ideas and energy to address global warming!

~ Debbie

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