Every Day is Earth Day!

April 24, 2012

Earth Day 2012 has come and gone. This past Sunday, April 22nd, countries spanning the globe came together in celebration of our planet. Reports say that more than 1 billion people across 192 countries celebrated Earth Day this year. Schools, Universities, Corporations, Individuals and Governments rallied, cleaned, celebrated and performed in honor of this 42nd annual event.

Disney Nature was in on the action as well with the premiere of their newest film, Chimpanzees. It has become a tradition for Disney Nature to premiere a film on Earth Day each year. They are a graphic and jaw-dropping reminder of how beautiful our planet is and how careful we must be with our precious resources.

We hope that you had a Green Earth Day and that one of your resolutions is to treat every day as Earth Day. We remind you to Greenify today for a better tomorrow!


Happy Earth Day 2012!!

April 22, 2012

Green Business Alliance would like to wish our members and visitors all the best for this Earth Day 2012!! Best wishes with your environmental resolutions to Greenify your business, home and fun this coming year.


Earth Day 2012...Mobilizing the Earth

April 4, 2012

You may be counting down the days to Earth Day, but I assure you, we at the Green Business Alliance, we are counting down the minutes to April 22, 2012.

This year the theme of Earth Day 2012 is "Mobilize the Earth." It is the 42nd Anniversary of Earth Day.

When Earth Day began in 1970, it was designed to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth's environment.

It was founded by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson, (D) Wisconsin as an environmental sort of “teach-in.” He announced his proposal to a fledgling conservation group in 1969, hoping that a grass-roots effort would prove to Washington that Americans in every state did care and at the same time, light a fire under the country's Greenification efforts, still in their infancy at the time.

After a bit of rooting around for a name, “Earth Day” just seemed logical, according to all involved and they got started organizing the actual event. It was clearly a movement just getting off the ground. The organizers, mostly volunteers and some still in school, were thrilled when New York City agreed to take part with then-Mayor John Lindsay saying that he would shut down Fifth Avenue for the event.

By the time the day rolled around, participation had swelled to 20 million Americans. There were massive coast-to-coast rallies and thousands of college and university-organized protests against the deterioration of the environment. Groups that had been fighting pollution in factors and industrial areas, trying to clean up oil spills, toxic dumps and raw sewage, and prevent spoilage from pesticides and chemical fertilizers used and over-used in our environment, all suddenly came together for a day of celebrating the Earth and recognizing their common values.

There are many ways to become involved...

•  Attend an Earth Day Event
•  Organize an Earth Day Event
•  Greenify your home or business
•  Join an Earth Day Campaign

Check out Earth Day Network's home page to find out more about Earth Day 2012... the history, ways to participate, programs (international, education and policy) or pledge an act of green.

It’s less than 3 weeks before the big day…plenty of time to take action and start thinking about your Green resolutions for Earth Day 2012!


Major League Baseball Goes Green at All-Star Game

July 14, 2011

From a LEED certified stadium, to RECs (renewable energy credits) to public transportation vouchers, recycling and more, Major League Baseball took many steps to integrate environmental stewardship into their recent All-Star Break at the Arizona Diamondback's Chase Field. 

For the complete story about MLB's effort to Greenify, click here http://www.huffingtonpost.com/allen-hershkowitz/the-greenest-all-star-gam_b_896259.html?ir=Sports.


Greenifying: The Presidency

April 8, 2011

Have you ever listened to the President's weekly speeches?  I listen to them every weekend and I want to pass along a few words to you: sustainable, alternative energy, environmentally responsible and stewardship. 

These speeches are a long-standing tradition dating back to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt who delivered his weekly address via radio to a weary and tired nation and called them "fireside chats."  The country was troubled and economically depressed.  Roosevelt comforted the people by speaking to them. 

The White House speeches fell silent for awhile, but President Ronald Reagan revived it to tradition status once again and President George W. Bush moved it to the Internet with podcasts.  President Obama began putting out his speeches early, during the transitional period immediately after he was elected and through his inauguration to the present. (Over the years, the opposing political party has added their own weekly "response" speeches which are equally welcome.) 

In these speeches, you can hear the substance of what the President who speaks cares about and is committed to.   And whether you favor Mr. Obama or his political opponents, listening to these speeches, you can't help but be impressed with the man's commitment to environmental issues.   

On a weekly basis, he talks about the need to find alternative energy sources, to cut America's dependence on foreign oil and to find answers to both economic, business and environmental problems through American ingenuity.  He repeatedly says he believes that creativity and ability will find new paths and develop new solutions to any issues.  It's also a tradition of U.S. presidents to believe in Americans and American know-how.  It's good to see that tradition is changing, evolving and becoming a little greener.


Earth Day 2011

March 24, 2011

Earth Day 2011 is coming up next month and if you haven't taken a moment to get involved, this is the moment to spring into action.  

This year's theme is organized around A Billion Acts of Green®: Personal, Organizational and Corporate pledges to act sustainably. A Billion Acts of Green® is the largest environmental service campaign in the world and has organized 45 million actions to date.  

The elements of Earth Day 2011 will include Athletes for the Earth, which brings high profile Olympic and professional athletes to utilize their star power in support of environmentalism; the Canopy Project, which supports global reforestation; Green Schools, which hopes to greenify America's schools within the next generation; Creating Climate Wealth, which will gather 200 of the world's entrepreneurs to work on climate change and create a greener economy; Women and Green Economy(™), working to engage women in creation and development of global green economy; and Arts for the Earth, which celebrates the environmental artists of the world and hopes to make museums more sustainable. 

But those are just the big name projects.  Consider that Earth Day could be the opposite of a Lenten-style holiday of sacrifice.  Instead of giving up something, perhaps you gain something.  Instead of giving up mileage on your car, you gain a rider (or two) in a car pool. Instead of looking at bare walls in your office, add some plants or a miniature tree.  Instead of spending money on air conditioning this summer, add a fan and keep the air moving to save on electrical power usage. 

A Billion Acts of Green® can start in your office or home as you greenify in small ways.  Because with our Earth, every little bit helps this year and every year.


Don't Have a Cow?

March 3, 2011

I want to point out a type of small business that is coming up on the horizon that is so utterly green that you might want to chew it over.  It's called a "Meat Share."  If you're vegetarian, please look the other way while we discuss this interesting aspect of carnivorism. 

A "Meat Share" is when a group of interested meat enthusiasts get together and buy  a cow, then draw lots for shares, allowing a fair and equal distribution of the meat products to all participants. 

If the organizers are careful in their selection, this also allows them to search out locally bred and organically raised, grass-fed, leaner but still tender healthier cuts of beef at a better price than one can generally get by shopping in the best stores.  Imagine getting the greenest beef possible without the overhead cost and carbon footprint. 

The article that I read (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/22/AR2011022202701.html) about a Washington, DC duo wanting dry-aged, locally produced, grass-fed healthier beef, set out to procure it for themselves.  They needed other participants and set out to gather them, making it fair for all involved. In doing so, they've educated themselves and the other participants about farm production techniques, best practices in butchering and procurement and even beef cooking techniques.    And they got bargain prices on highest quality beef to boot.   

Last night as I walked through the meat department at a certain national warehouse store, I checked out the prices on some of the cuts.  Even here, the "Meat Share" idea had merit as their prices would have resulted in savings here. 

We're not suggesting this idea can replace the big grocery chains right now.  But it's an idea for a small side business that provides a great benefit both financially, health-wise and in green living, too.   

And if you're a vegetarian, this is a reminder that it's time to consider the flip side: which Community Share Association will you participate in this summer?  The blossoms will be on the vine before we know it and Greenification is in the air.


A Plastic World

February 22, 2011

If there was one thing you could do to make your business green this year, it might be to eliminate plastic packaging.  Whether we're talking about a clamshell that conforms and protects the product, some "popcorn" that you pack it in or the bag you send it home in, we all know we have too much plastic floating around our world. 

We use billions of plastic bags, bottles and other debris that end up in landfills or in the ocean.  We've all seen reports on the news about this problem.  We've read of the problems caused by unrecycled plastics (and the vast majority of it goes unreclaimed) that logically, we can't defend ourselves against the accusations of waste.   

Plastic is made of chemicals, often utilizing petroleum products in its manufacture.  It's not biodegradable.  The plastics in the ocean form debris fields, known as "gyres.  Anna Cumins co-founded "5 Gyres Institute" to study solutions to the situation, and says plastics are a problem, "In the marine environment because plastics are designed to last forever.  They don't break down, they can't be digested by marine organisms" and they persist in the ocean for thousands of years."  Think about your future "ocean views," and the image forming is a bit depressing. 

Until we can find a solution (biodegradable, non-petroleum-based, low-carbon packaging and other convenience products?) we're  contributing to it daily.  So what can we do?  Use less. 

Here at Green Business Alliance, we want you to succeed and we know that reasonably, we can't demand you change, but we can ask you to alter your practices.   If your product goes out in a clamshell, look for smaller clams on your next order.  Use less plastic, while keeping an eye out for alternative packaging in the future. 

Sending your product out with popcorn packing?  Consider the lowly bag of air packed around many items currently. Or can you help recycle newspaper by packing it around some items?  (Put up a sign asking for donated newspapers to recycle and see if that doesn't bring in a few new customers!)  

And when your customer buys a product, wrap it up to go in… nothing.  It's alright to send items home with the sales receipt and a grateful smile.  We've proven that customers will pay more for "green" products and packaging.  Think how grateful they'll be to not pay more.   

We may not have the solution to our plastic world yet, but we'll find it.  And until we do, we can Greenify by slowing down plastics consumption piece by piece.


Chevrolet Volt: A Green Success Story

January 31, 2011

We want to point out the latest business Greenification success story.  The Chevrolet Volt is sparking interest even though it's barely entered the American marketplace.   

You remember Chevrolet, right?  They are one of those American automakers that have been so troubled for years.  When Asian carmakers offered better made, smaller, more economically-minded (and greener) cars, they rolled out minivans.  When European automakers offered luxury, American automakers gave us SUV''s.  And when the recession gave us all headaches, they sent us the bill.  We wondered if they would ever recover.  They seemed unable to hear the call to Greenify.

But the Volt is evidence that they can.  Volt is evidence of what our President said in his 2011 State of the Union speech: We Do Big Things.  It's a 16-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery vehicle with a 1.4-liter 16 valve, 4-cylinder, in-line gasoline engine that sips gas from a 9.3 gallon tank.  Worried about pick-up?  It has front-wheel drive and does a peppy 8.8 second zero-to-60.   

And it's putting all that "go" into car shows right now, too.  This past weekend's Portland International Auto Show was packed with car and driving enthusiasts, flocking to the electric cars, hybrids and other green vehicles.  

One of the most popular booths was the Portland General Electric booth, where customer representatives report a lot of questions about one point: how much will it cost to charge an electric car.   

Reports suggest the cost will be about $1.50 per charge.   That charge on a Volt will get you 40 miles, added miles at about half the cost of a gallon of gas.   

Also intriguing?  This isn't a car for nerds.  And instead of being a drain on the company, it may revive Chevrolet's brand all over the world.  Wall Street Journal reviewer Dan Neil had this to say: 

"A bunch of Midwestern engineers in bad haircuts and cheap wristwatches just out-engineered every other car company on the planet."   

Those are karate chop words for some other car makers.   

Unfortunately, there are only about 4 car dealerships offering the car currently.  Just getting on a wait list may take awhile.  But what a turn-around this was for Chevrolet and American business in general.  It proved that it can be done and this is a great success story for pursuit of the Green Dream.


A Year of Green Business

January 19, 2011

Four tree sitters were removed and arrested from a forested area in Arcadia, California in early January.  They were trying to prevent the removal of scores of trees as part of a dam improvement project.  They were escorted out of the forested area and immediately taken into custody.  They were booked on suspicion of delaying a peace officer and trespassing.  

These are four very dedicated environmental activists.  Whether you agree with their actions or not, you can do as much or more this year to constructively to Greenify in your own business.    

This year, you can choose to reuse your computer paper, printing on both sides of each page and then recycling the results after it serves the purpose.   You can offer a price break to customers who use electronic billing.  If you haven't already set up electronic payments, you should do that, too.  You can keep a sweater at your office and encourage your employees to do the same.   

You can walk in the public restroom and check to make sure the faucets are turned off and that no precious water is being wasted. 

You can put plants in the front windows.  They'll insulate against cold in the winter and heat in the summer and create more oxygen.  Plus they create a soothing, more relaxed atmosphere at work.   

These ideas are just for starters.  But these are things you can do starting today and we'll have more ideas for you as the year goes on.  And remember, you don't have to go out on a limb to Greenify your business.


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