Earth Day: One Month and Counting!

March 18, 2009

Earth Day is one month away and, yes, we’re starting count the days here at the Green Business Alliance.  (It’s an “Earth Day” of sorts every day here, but we do take extra joy in the rest of the planet celebrating with us!)  Did you see the cool spinning globe and countdown timer on the front of our homepage?  Lots of activities and different events are being planned all around the world.

I think my favorite ones are the ones at schools.  The current generation is just getting started at cleaning up the world, but those kids are the ones who are going to have to push forward on the job.  And there are thousands of educators lining up to help them learn about those activities. 

Already, many schools have signed up to participate in National Environmental Education week from April 12 to 18.  During that time, they’ll focus their students attention on Earth Day through creating day after day of learning and activities in K-12 classrooms, nature centers, zoos, museums, and aquariums.  Think about it: thousands of eager young minds, all thinking about and learning about the problems of pollution in our world. Think of the good they can do if each of them just picks up one piece of trash on the way home after school!

It’d be nice of the rest of us grown-ups (and semi-grown-up people) would consider doing that, too.  Every little bit helps.  So turn off that light after you leave the room.  Recycle that soda can.  Stop drinking bottled water and get a filter system on your kitchen tap. 

Going green is going to take all of us making a concerted effort, long after Earth Day is over.  We’ve got a month to get ready for Earth Day and think about what we can do to Greenify and help one little patch of Earth at a time.


Earth Day Is On The Way!

March 14, 2009

Earth Day is now just over a month away and signs of this year’s celebration are beginning to build.  I was in a business in Arlington, VA this past week and noticed a paper poster that looked like a child’s bright-colored painting of a bright green bush with the words “Earth Day 2009!” printed on it. 

What does Earth Day bring?  It’s a chance to remind everyone on the planet that this is where we all live and work.  And that we have to share its resources and work together to make sure that it stays a healthy place to live and raise families.

Earth Day is our chance to stop focusing on the problems that we all face, dealing with the economic worries and the poor job climate and the mortage/market crises.  It’s a day to put those aside and focus on being positive about our planet and our ability to work towards one goal for the good of all people.  (I wish I could say it was a day off from the threat of terrorism and all violence, but I don’t think terrorists work like that.)

It’s also a day to stop, smell the roses, feel the grass under our feet and find the cleanest air we can to inhale.   There will be demonstrations and gatherings all over the world this year. There will be people shouting their strong feelings and those quietly smiling as they enjoy watching cows graze along the side of a road somewhere.  There will be words from our leaders and probably a few proposals put forward on this day.

But also let’s keep in mind that if just a few more of us decide to recycle and try to reduce their carbon footprint, the most important goal of Earth Day will have been achieved: to bring us together to protect and improve life here on this great green Earth.

We can be the Green Generation: a generation that really gets the effort underway to Greenify and to make the planet a better place for those to come.


Earth Day Planner: Personal Observance

February 10, 2009

How do you plan to observe Earth Day, 2009?  It’s coming up in April and if you plan now, you can Greenify and observe it simultaneously at home and at work.

Here are some easy suggestions for how:

  • Close up shop for the day to give employees a chance to go to the Festivities in your town.  Save on resources and enjoy a day of honoring the Earth.
  • No festivities to observe?  Stay open and offer an Earth Day “commemorative token” to each customer who comes in that day.  Preferably, something with the business’ name and contact information on it.   We like apples and if you start now, you can get some nifty stickers with your company logo printed in food-friendly non-toxic ink.
  • Treat Earth Day as the start of the planet’s New Year and resolve to do more to Greenify.
  • Make a contribution to a favorite green organization.
  • Plant a tree or bush.  Better yet, offer seedlings to your customers to plant.  They are remarkably inexpensive when purchased through the Arbor Day Foundation.
  • Remind family members that it is Earth Day and discuss with youngsters why this is important.

Whatever you do on Earth day, know that the most important thing is free: to recognize the Earth’s importance and our individual stewardships in taking care of it.   We’ve wounded our Earth in some ways, so we’ve got plenty of Greenification opportunities to go around.


Earth Day Resolution #7 – Greenify

April 22, 2008

It’s hard to believe but it is finally Earth Day! This blog series began 55 days ago when many of us were seeing white (as in snow) but hoping for green (as in spring). Along the way we discussed Earth Hour, Earth Day music, eco-friendly water bottles, reusable shopping bags, green foods, green fundraisers for schools, and carbon footprints. We have now reached our seventh and final resolution for Earth Day 2008. We can sum it up in one word, 8 letters…

GREENIFY

This Earth Day resolve to make a permanent change to your daily habits by making the decision to Greenify at work and/or at home. Integrate environmental stewardship into your day-to-day routine. We at Green Business Alliance can help you to achieve this goal. By implementing our Guidelines to Greenify your home or company, you will not only have a positive impact on the environment, but also on those around you. You will send a message to others that you are a part of the go green movement and that you have taken action to ensure that your daily practices are eco-friendly. To learn more about how to Greenify, visit our business and residence pages.


Earth Day Resolution #6 – Going Green for Schools

April 18, 2008

For the past few weeks, the parents at my children’s school have been hearing about the upcoming spring fundraiser. One never knows what that is going to entail – selling cookie dough, chocolates, wrapping paper or magazine subscriptions. As I my kids became more excited about the ‘sale’ and the prospect of selling enough items to get that coveted grand prize, I became more concerned about which neighbors and family members were ‘on deck’ in the friendly rotation of supporting one another’s schools via the children’s fundraisers.

I was very pleasantly surprised when the folder came home in the backpack and it looked unfamiliar. My kids could not stop talking about the ‘Go Green’ sale they were having. “Go Green,” I asked? “Yes mom…you know Go Green as in doing something good for the earth,” the kids replied. I immediately opened the envelope to find an eco-friendly looking brochure from Growkids – help children/heal the earth. What a concept, the kids are going to sell items like seed collections, green foaming soap, reusable shopping bags and hemp frisbees. The school receives 50% of all proceeds, a tree is dedicated and planted for every sales participant and the products being sold are environmentally friendly. It seems like a win for all – the school, the kids, the buyers and our environment!  As Sarah Talley, the founder of Growkids states on her website, “I’m not ready to run off into the forest and forfeit all of the comforts of modern life ... but I am learning to walk a little softer on the earth.”

In the midst of my excitement I picked up the phone to tell a friend at a neighboring school. When I started to talk about the Go Green fundraiser at our school, my friend quickly responded with her school’s version of the Green sale…CFL light bulbs. Her school was having a CFL sale. We seem to be moving away from cookie dough, candy and magazine sales. How nice!

This Earth Day, resolve to help spread the word at your children’s school about Green fundraising opportunities. Face it, the school fundraiser is here to stay. It’s a right of passage for the youngsters. The cute faces knocking on your door eager to make a sale are not going away and I hope they never do. Why not teach the kids about the importance of doing the right thing for the environment while going green and helping their school at the same time! I hope that we can all walk a little gentler this year!


Earth Day Resolution #5 – Reducing Your Footprint

April 11, 2008

What size is your carbon footprint?  The national average is around 8 tons of Carbon Dioxide per year depending on which Carbon calculator you are using. Do you think your footprint is larger or smaller than the average? 

You can calculate your carbon footprint on one of the many web-based carbon calculators. The EPA has a more sophisticated calculator which asks questions pertaining to the type of dwelling you live in, the number of people in the household, transportation, waste and more. They also offer a calculator on the same page to reduce emissions. Yahoo’s Green site is the simplest calculator which only asks 7 general questions. MSN’s Green site has a carbon calculator which is somewhere between Yahoo’s and the EPA’s.

So gather recent natural gas, heating oil, propane, and electric bills, click on one of the calculator’s above and get ready to determine the size of your footprint. The good news is that no matter how big or small your carbon footprint is, there are many actions that one can take to reduce the size.

With Earth Day just around the corner make a promise to yourself and resolve to reduce your carbon footprint by at least one size. The earth will be a better place for it and you will be happier with your new footprint knowing that your smaller steps have helped our planet by leaps and bounds.


Earth Day Resolution #4 – Plant Trees

April 4, 2008

April showers bring May flowers. April showers could also bring May trees! The 30 days that take place between March 31st and May 1st, commonly known as April, could just as easily be referred to as Go Green month. April starts by fooling us and quickly moves to celebrations for Earth Hour, Earth Day and Arbor Day to name a few. We have talked about Earth Hour and Earth Day in the Green Business Alliance Blog. We have not yet discussed Arbor Day which will take place on April 25th this year.

According to the Arbor Day Foundation’s home page, Arbor Day is a nationally-celebrated observance that encourages tree planting and care. It was founded by J. Sterling Morton in Nebraska in 1872. National Arbor Day is celebrated each year on the last Friday in April.

This year, in honor of Arbor Day and Earth Day make a plan with your family members to Go Green and plant trees periodically throughout the year. Trees not only beautify an area, but they also add oxygen, absorb carbon dioxide, provide a natural cooling mechanism, and, in many cases, increase property values.

Resolve to be a tree planter. It is a wholesome, outdoor family project which has lasting benefits for the environment and your health.


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!


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/.


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