Earth Hour - will you be in the dark?

March 29, 2008

On your mark, get set, go get ready to turn off your lights for a one hour period of time dedicated to being in the dark. Saturday March 29th at 8:00 pm, your local time, marks the second anniversary of Earth Hour.  You need to act quickly and get out the candles for a quiet and dark hour that evening.

We invite you to join millions of people from around the world in making a statement about climate change by turning off your lights. Earth Hour is an event that originated in Australia and was created by the World Wildlife Fund.

 For more information about this event refer to Earth Hour's website.


Earth Day Free Music Festivals

March 27, 2008

Earth Day Network and Green Apple Festival just announced an incredible line-up for the 8 simultaneous concerts they will be staging on April 20th. They are billing the event as "America's Largest Earth Day Celebration" at venues including: The Mall in Washington DC, Golden Gate Park, the Santa Monica Pier and Central Park.

The concerts are expected to attract approximately a half million people who will not only hear incredible music from acts like The Neville Brothers, Big Head Todd and the Monsters, Gov't Mule, Ziggy Marley and Arrested Development, but learn from speakers like Treehugger's founder Graham Hill.

The music industry has been at the forefront of the Green movement since its earliest days and concerts for environmental causes are not new.  Yet, the convergence of music and corporate America continues to accelerate along with the magnified focus on sustainability throughout the country. We support the integration of these forces which benefits a lot of people, and most importantly the environment through increased awareness.

For more detailed information on the Earth Day Music Festivals please refer here: http://www.jambase.com/Articles/Story.aspx?StoryID=13376


Earth Day Resolution # 3 - Thirst for Eco-friendly Water Bottles

March 24, 2008

Whether you are a business owner or an employee or a chief executive mom, we can each make a positive environmental impact by choosing our drinking water thoughtfully. The recommended water intake per person per day is about 60 ounces (between six and seven glasses). Water is definitely a healthy and necessary daily drink to keep our bodies hydrated. However, the type of water we drink and the item from which we sip our water makes a huge difference.

Did you know that in the United States alone, we consume more than 2.5 million bottles of water every hour, and only approximately 10% are actually recycled? The other 90 percent of water bottles end up in landfills where it takes thousands of years for the plastic to decompose.

Consider tapping into a less costly means of staying hydrated. Drink tap water from a glass or a stainless steel reusable bottle. For those who prefer filtered water, invest in a filtration system for the home and/or office and drink it from a glass. You might be surprised to know that bottled water is not always cleaner and healthier than tap water. If you find that hard to believe, check the EPA's website.

With just one month until Earth Day, think about making a resolution to eliminate those plastic 'recyclable' water bottles and opt for an eco-friendly glass of tap water instead, well actually, 6 eco-friendly glasses of tap water a day!


Is Going Green An Investment Or An Expense?

March 20, 2008

Turn the dial back a couple of years and the notion that a mainstream company (as opposed to an obvious polluter) would make modifications to the way they operate their business, in an effort to become increasingly sensitive to the environment would have seemed like a far-fetched idea.

With similar hindsight, the concept that purchasers (be they consumers or businesses) would factor the "greenness" of a company into their decision-making process would have been equally outlandish.

In just a few short years, the recognition of the importance of Going Green has been significant, yet it's still in its infancy. Trying to make heads or tails of what it means to become Green remains fuzzy for many people, including grasping the proper perspective to embrace the costs involved. Are they actually costs or are they part of a branding process to help define a company (i.e. marketing)? Please refer back to our blog post from last Monday regarding Whole Foods.

At the end of the day, Going Green is all good. Most importantly, it is the right thing to do from an "eco" perspective, but it may also be beneficial to the business in a number of other ways. So although Going Green may result in some incremental costs, those funds could plausibly be viewed as an investment rather than an expense.


Happy Green Holiday

March 17, 2008

It’s hard to believe that the calendar is already indicating that the Ides of March have come and gone. The clocks have sprung forward and, if you are like me, you are still trying to get used to waking up in the dark. While many parts of the country are anxiously awaiting the arrival of spring, they are still seeing lots of white (ie snow).

However, this Monday, many parts of the country / world will be seeing Green. I am not referring to Green as in dollars and cents (although that would be nice). I am not referring to Green as in the environment (although that would be even nicer). I am not even referring to Green as in seeing grass rather than snow. I mean Green as in Saint Patrick’s Day Green. The luck of the Irish Green. The little Irish mythological fairy known as a Leprechaun - Green. As in shamrocks, four-leaf clovers, Green beer, Green clothes, Green hair. Green! Green! Green!

Not only is Ireland known for its Green landscape but it is actually known for being forty shades of Green. Do you think they knew centuries ago when people started celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day how cool and positively impactful being Green could be? We at Green Business Alliance wish you a Happy Saint Paddy’s Day and encourage you to join in the green festivities and Greenify Today for a Better Tomorrow.


Earth Day Resolution #2 – Whole Foods Takes A Big Step; What Can Your Business Do?

March 12, 2008

In late January, Whole Foods announced that they were going to cease offering plastic grocery bags to customers, effective on Earth Day (April 22, 2008). Instead, customers are being encouraged to purchase reusable shopping bags at Whole Foods or elsewhere.

From a business owner’s perspective, this is a very bold move. It’s usually not a great idea to add an obstacle to the sales process, and that is exactly what Whole Foods has done. The theory is that if you make it less convenient for a customer to buy something, then they will find somewhere else to buy it.

I believe Whole Foods will disprove that notion and to the contrary, increase customer loyalty through this initiative. Unlike many other markets, I always find that there’s a buzz when I walk into Whole Foods. People seem to really enjoy shopping there and part of that is their significant focus on promoting organic food and messaging throughout the store that is environmentally conscious. I would be willing to wager that the average Whole Foods customers share these philosophies and are prepared to go through the extra steps involved in bringing their own (reusable) bags each time they shop.

In honor of Earth Day 2008, business owners should consider making a pledge to truly understand the mindsets of their customers and make decisions that will benefit the company, the customer and the environment. Be Bold. Go Green. Benefit. If you would like to read more about the Whole Foods program, please click here, http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/byobag/.


Loca - What?!

March 9, 2008

An email arrived in my inbox this afternoon containing a suggestion from a co-worker for an upcoming blog topic. The message included a brief description and a few urls describing the following word…Locavore. I immediately thought to myself…Loca what?! Locavore. It was not a typo and it was not a dinosaur descriptor.

In fact, it was The New Oxford American Dictionary’s word of the year in 2007. The word is just a few years old and originated in the San Francisco area. Locavore is defined as a person who seeks out locally produced food. As I dug a little deeper on the internet, I came to find out that many Locavores only eat foods produced within a certain mile radius of where they live. There is even a challenge known as the 100-mile diet.

Wow! This seems to tie in nicely with Earth Day Resolution #1 – Go Green – I Mean Literally. The resolution encourages people to make an effort to eat more locally grown greens, fruits and other colored vegetables. Who knew it had such a fancy name and that locally could be translated into an actual mileage radius! Suffice it to say, I continue to learn something new every day and today, I learned a cool ‘green’ word.


Earth Day Resolution #1 – Go Green, I Mean Literally!

March 6, 2008

What would be a resolution, be it New Year’s, Earth Day, or Birthday, without it having something to do with eating habits, diet, or losing some extra pounds? It just seemed like the natural choice for our first Earth Day resolution to have something to do with food. Green food that is, but food nonetheless.

This Earth Day, why not resolve to Go Green, and I mean literally. Promise yourself that you will make an effort to eat more locally grown greens, fruits and other colored vegetables. In addition, start making organic food choices when local options may not be available.

By supporting your local farmers markets and agricultural services, you will contribute to a reduction in the amount of fuel needed to transport the food to your home. In addition, the more nutritious your diet, the better you will look and feel and the greener you will be.

In honor of Earth Day 2008, make a pledge to: Buy Local, Eat Organic, and Go Green! Green-up your food choices (and, may I add that Green M&Ms do not count!) to become healthier while simultaneously helping our environment.


Sticky Fingers and a Blue Trash Can

March 3, 2008

Having just returned from a week outside of the office, I was thrilled to walk into the kitchen to see that someone was kind enough to bring in a dozen fresh donuts. I went looking for a plastic knife, as my philosophy for eating donuts is that it’s less fattening to eat one in pieces (even if I wind up eating the whole thing).

My search for a plastic knife was unsuccessful, and then I remembered that part of our internal effort to become a Green office was to finish our current supply and then transition to actual silverware that you have to bring from home, and then take home to wash. Needless to say, I was unprepared for the change in regimen and as a result was forced to break apart the donut with my fingers. I wonder whether the resulting use of a paper towel (recycled of course!) after I washed my sticky fingers was as anti-green as if I had used a plastic knife in the first place.

Another change I noticed was the appearance of a blue trash can under my desk. After inquiring with my peers, I found out that it is specifically for paper, magazines, newspapers, junk mail etc. that can be recycled. I now have a bit less legroom under my desk, but am pleased that I have taken another step in our quest to operate as a Green office.


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