Saturday, November 29, 2008

Reusable Shopping Totes on Black Friday

Hats off to Stride Rite for offering reusable shopping totes in leiu of the traditional plastic shopping bag. Granted, they are not quite as sturdy as the reusable grocery bags but the Stride Rite bags are great for quick trips to the mall.

Green Shopping Tip:
When you are dashing through the mall this holiday season, try to reduce the number of bags that you use. Bring your own shopping totes or consolidate your purchases into one or two larger shopping bags instead of gathering many small bags along the way.

Happy Green Shopping!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Green toy review - plus save 10% at Natural Pod

Fagus Van from Natural PodThe kind folks at Natural Pod sent me one of their natural toys to review. Of course, I had to defer to the expert in the house, my son Alex, who has 13 months of experience with this type of very important work.

The Fagus Van is made from natural maple and fits perfectly in Alex's little hands. Its chunky rubber tires roll smoothly over our tile and carpet and they are rugged enough to tackle the great outdoors (aka Alex's sandbox and our backyard). Most importantly, Alex loves to play with the van and I love the fact that it's made from natural wood (no bells, no whistles, no motors...just imagination).

These toys actually remind me of the toys built in Santa's workshop. Are his elves moonlighting at Natural Pod? They have a wonderful assortment of natural toys and games that will stimulate your child's imagination and help them learn.

Natural Pod is offering a 10% discount on your first order. But hurry! This offer expires December 31, 2008. Use the following coupon code for your 10% discount: GCM08

One last tip: the Fagus Van would be an excellent stocking stuffer.

Happy Shopping!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Five Reasons to be Thankful for Global Warming

As we give thanks this holiday season, we should all try to look on the bright side of global warming. Oh sure, we are depleting our natural resources and our environment is on the brink of disaster but we should choose to see the glass half full of (toxic) water, rather than half empty. Here are a few perspectives to get you started:

1. An increase in our average global temperature means no more bulky reindeer sweaters from Aunt Edna every Christmas. Whew!

2. Global sea levels could rise by 20 feet, which means that I could potentially own ocean-front property if I stay in my house long enough. I’ve always wanted my own private island.

3. Granted, about 200 million people will be displaced with the rising sea levels but just think of the market growth for the moving companies. Talk about a stimulus package! Note to self: buy stock in U-haul.

4. According to the Environmental Defense Fund, the US fire season has increased by 78 days in the past twenty years. Bust out the marshmallows and let’s make some s’mores!

5. More than a million species worldwide could be driven to extinction by 2050, which means fewer endangered animals for the World Wildlife Fund to worry about. WWF employees can finally take that well deserved eco-tour vacation in Costa Rica (but not until that last baby seal is gone).

So before we all sit down to the table with our families this Thanksgiving, let's savor all the reasons to be thankful for global warming and relish in the fact that America is the number one polluter in the world. See...we are still the best at some things. What are you thankful for this year?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Are there any legitimate eWaste recyclers out there?

Watch CBS Videos Online

It turns out over 40 "recyclers" were recently nabbed by the US Government Accountability Office for illegally shipping cathode-ray tubes (CRTs) overseas, thus endangering the environment and the health of the people who dissasemble them. CRTs, such as televisions and computer monitors, contain lead which is a highly toxic metal.

The eWaste segment on 60 Minutes last week left many people (including myself) scratching our heads. How we can responsibly dispose of our electronic waste with scammers like this profitting on our good intentions?

The Basel Action Network and the Electronics TakeBack Coalition partnered to create an e-Stewards Initiative, which holds participating electronic recyclers to a set of high standards. These e-recyclers promise that they won't export, land dump, incinerate, or use prison labor to disassemble toxic components.

To participate in the e-Stewards Initiative, recyclers must go through a paper audit which includes a review of in-house operations and a verification of the chain of custody of toxic materials through final disposition. Although this is basically running on the honor system at this time, they recently announced that they are planning to launch a 3rd party accreditation and certification program in 2010.

So what's a green girl to do with that expired iPod? I plan to checkout the e-Stewards list of approved eWaste recyclers. But if you don't feel comfortable with that, hold onto your electronics until 2010.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Save 15% on Organic Cotton Decorative Pillows

I just love the way that decorative pillows can change the look of a room. I love it even more when the pillows are vibrant and eco-friendly!

These fabulous pillow covers are made with 100% organic cotton, which has a soft and luxurious sheen. Bold patterns are printed using water-based inks. Plus, the pillow inserts are made from recycled plastic bottles! Have no fear, there is no "crunch" in these pillows. They are super soft and very fluffy.

To celebrate these new arrivals, I'm offering a 15% discount on your entire order* from Radiant Ideas. Simply enter the following coupon code at checkout: WABISABI

But hurry! This discount expires November 30, 2008. Visit Radiant Ideas now and place your order for these gorgeous green decorative pillows. Don't forget to enter your WABISABI coupon for a 15% discount.

* Discount valid from November 7 through November 30, 2008. Discount valid on purchases that total $74.99 and up (before tax and shipping). Discount not valid on furniture purchases.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Ten Green Must-Haves for Obama's New Puppy

As promised during the campaign, Sasha and Malia Obama are finally getting their puppy. This is probably the most exciting news they've received (with their father's presidency probably coming in at a close 2nd). After all, who doesn't LOVE puppies?

In honor of this exciting news, here is a list of ten green must-haves for the presidential pooch before moving into the White House.

1. What dog wouldn't want to sleep in this sustainable dog house? It smells good, grows plants, attracts butterflies, filters water, insulates, and repels fleas. Made with FSC wood, zero-VOC paint, and beeswax waterproofing the only thing this dog house is missing is a green roof. Oh wait, it has that too! Checkout Sustainable Pet for designs and pricing.

2. While lounging in the White House, Fido can relax on an eco-friendly dog bed made from hemp fabric. It's durable, mildew resistant, antibacterial, and antifungal. Plus it's made with earth friendly dyes and eco-friendly stuffing. Prices starting at $120 at PetSquared.

3. DoginHaus has created three lines of doggy shampoos that are formulated using essential oils and herbal extracts to protect against dry skin, fleas, and ticks. We recommend the Urban Dog Shampoo for the Obama pooch. Available for $12 at Muttropolis.

4. To show his patriotism, Fido can strut his stuff in a red, white, and blue plaid leash. Made from eco-friendly fabric and renewable cotton webbing. Priced at $28 at Annie's Sweatshop.

5. Speaking of walks, it's inevitable that someone will have to pickup after the Obama pup. Biodegradable poop bags are the way to go! We use Pooch Pick-Up biodegradeable pet waste bags for our doggie, Jasmine. $6.99 for 100 bags at Petsmart.

6. Throw the dog a bone - an organic squeaker bone, that is. These super soft bone toys are made from organic fabric and all-nautral, unbleached cotton fill. Prices from $8 at Trixie and Peanut.

7. While Obama is working on world peace, Fido can be chewing on the "world's best dog ball". The super tough Orbee Dog Toy bounces, floats, and smells like peppermint. Apparently dogs love that minty scent, the bright colors, and the attached bungee. It rinses clean and is 100% recyclable when the pup grows tired of it. Prices starting at $10 from Muttropolis.

8. Once the Obamas name their pup, they should order a dog tag made from recycled aluminum. They can choose a shape and personalize it with a phrase on the front (1st Dog) and the dog's name and number on the back. Priced at $20 from Tuff Tagz.

9. All dogs have different needs when it comes to dog food so it's best to talk to the experts to determine what is best for your breed of dog. There are so many all-natural options on the market and the folks at Petco could help the Obama family out with their selection.

10. End the day with a decadent K9 Confection. These gourmet dog cookies are made in San Francisco using organic, human grade ingredients. Priced at $15 for a box of 15 treats from Keywest Aloe.

Do you have some green products to share with Obama's puppy? Leave a comment and let us know!

Violence Over California's Gay Marriage Ban

California's gay marriage ban (Prop 8) passed yesterday at the polls 52% to 48%. What makes me sad is the disrespectful, malicious, and sometimes even violent way people treated each other regarding this very controversial matter.

A close friend spent the last week supporting her gay friends' rights by carrying "Vote No on 8" signs in their neighborhood. Over the course of the week, she was called terrible names, flipped off repeatedly, and intimidated several times by the opposition.

She also told me that supporters of Proposition 8 were picketing across the street from the elementary school where her neighbor's son went to school. Needless to say, school officials asked them to move but the damage was already done and the little boy came home in tears.

I thought people who supported the ban on California gay marriage were doing so because they wanted to "protect our children". Hmmm...

I should point out that both sides are guilty of inappropriate behavior. For example, a man was arrested after punching his elderly neighbors in the face and head while disputing their Prop 8 signs. Well that's going to make it a little akward at the next block party, don't you think?

Police had to keep the peace and make a few arrests while hundreds of Prop 8 demonstrators clashed in Sacramento. There was pushing, spitting, and even a few knives pulled. WHAT?!?

In San Mateo, A 17-year-old girl was assaulted during a Prop 8 confrontation between supporters and opponents of Proposition 8. They must have been "protecting her" too.

Sadly, the list of random acts of unkindness continues but I won't dampen your day with more examples. This will not be the end of the controversial struggle over gay marriage in California (or the rest of the country for that matter). I bring this to your attention as a reminder that we all need to be respectful of each other's beliefs and opinions. We should agree to disagree without being irreverent or violent.