Archive for October, 2008

Help the Environment While at Your Kitchen Sink

Periodically, we will take you around the house to give you tips on simple changes, or Earth Promises, that can make a difference both with regard to the environment as well as to your wallet.  And we will not only do the basics like the garage or general electricity in the house.  We will throw in everything including the kitchen sink.  Well, that is a perfect place to start…the kitchen sink.

Here are four easy Earth Promises you can make while standing at the kitchen sink.  

1 – Use concentrated dish soap.  You have to use much less of it which means you have to buy less of those plastic bottles.  

2 – When you are washing dishes, food, or your hands, do not put the water on full blast.  In most cases, it is not needed.  A slower flow means less wasted water.

3 – Instead of washing fruits and vegetables under running water, fill up a bowl with water and use that.  Once again, less wasted water

4 – If you have a decent dishwasher, only rinse off dishes that are covered with food or are a total mess.  If there are a few crumbs on the plate, that’s okay.  Put directly into the dishwasher.  Once again (you got it), less wasted water.

There are many other ways to make a difference.  For more Earth Promises for the kitchen, other areas of the house, or any other aspect of your lifestyle, become a member (it’s free!) of Earth Promise. 


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Survey Stats on Magazines Being Green

Ad Age ran an article on a survey that Hearst Magazines conducted (they publish many mags including Cosmo, Redbook, Esquire, Town & Country, and many more).  They asked their subscribers questions about taking green steps and the statistics were very interesting.  As the repsonses towards pro green practices increase, we will start seeing some big differences with how companies, both publications and others, do business.  These stats combined with the massive uptick in the commericals on TV about companies taking a green step, show that the awareness is increasing not only on the environmental issues, but how we can help to solve the problem.


Readers Do Care if Their Magazines Are Green

Hearst Survey Finds 43% Would Pay More for Titles That Use Recycled Paper

NEW YORK ( — Magazine readers are concerned about the environment and are already taking steps to live more sustainably, according to a survey of Hearst Magazines subscribers aged 13 and up. Almost four out of five respondents agreed that everyone should care about being eco-friendly, the survey found.

Just 43% of respondents agreed with the statement “If I learned that a product I regularly use was not eco-friendly, I would stop buying it.” At the same time, 43% said they would pay more for a magazine printed on recycled paper, while 39% said they would pay more for a magazine committed to eco-friendly practices.

New attention
The magazine industry has been paying new attention to its environmental impact and to reader attitudes about the environment. The subject of sustainability took the main stage for the first time at the American Magazine Conference earlier this month, and Active Interest Media’s Backpacker magazine gave a presentation to attendees demonstrating how it had reduced its carbon footprint to below that of the average cheeseburger.


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The Right Fish to Eat at the Sushi Restaurant – For You and the Environment

As today is my birthday, I decided to write about my favorite foodSushi.  The Environmental Defense Fund has a great section on their site that tells you about the good, the ok and the bad sushi with regard to the impact on the environment as well as on your health.  They show a nice chart with three columns from best to worst.  If you click on a specific type of fish, they give you reasons why they received such a rating, in terms of health and the environment in which the fish was raised or lives. They also have a PDF that you can print out to give you a pocket guide to carry with you and a link which will allow you to download to your phone.  These links on on the upper left.  I am glad many of my favorites are in the good or ok columns.  Phew!

Also in the left column, they have a general seafood pocket guide you can print out for all you cooked fish eaters.


Sushi Selector Guide

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Green Banking – Good for the Customers and the Environment

While many of us are not too happy with the banking industry, it is nice to see that some banks are taking the right steps with regard to the environment.  The Green $ense program described below are the type of small steps that can have a big impact on the environment if many people as well as many banks participate.  In addition to the link to the article below, you should check out the Green$ense’s area of the Citizen’s Bank website.  Great stuff.  


‘Green Banking’ Builds Consumer Connections
by Aaron Baar, Monday, Oct 20, 2008 3:09 PM ET
green sense homepage/green bankingAs economic times get tougher, banks may want to be thinking about a different sort of “green”–the kind that does grow on trees–as they look to connect with consumers.   

According to Susan Menke, senior financial services analyst at Mintel, switching to environmentally friendly practices not only saves money by cutting down on paper costs, but can effortlessly build up goodwill among customers at a time when many are distrustful of the entire financial services industry.

“This is one small thing banks can do to rebuild that trust,” Menke tells Marketing Daily. “It builds better feelings among people.”

Many banks and financial institutions had been promoting green practices–from paperless statements to online bill-paying–before the stock market and financial services industry’s problems were front-page news. As recovery is likely to come slowly, Menke says banks may want to either continue or step up those programs.

“It’s a totally risk-free way to market,” Menke says. “You’re not going to offend anyone.”

Along those lines, Citizens Financial Group (parent of Citizens and Charter One banks), earlier this month launched an incentive program that pays consumers cash for conducting electronic banking. Under its “Green$ense” program, customers get 10 cents for every electronic transaction they complete, with maximum payouts of $10 a month and $120 a year.

“With Green$ense, we pay customers for changing their habits in a manner that not only makes banking more convenient and their lives more manageable, but also is beneficial for the environment,” said Citizens Financial Group chief marketing officer Theresa McLaughlin, in a statement. “We are pleased to offer this first-of-its-kind program to our customers, and proud of the impact it will have on the environment.”

Tying the paperless and environmentally friendly programs to some sort of tangible reward is important in marketing a green banking program, Menke says. “Financial products are intangible. Give [consumers] a compact fluorescent bulb or a reusable market bag when they sign up for paperless banking,” she says.

Given consumers’ general distrust of the financial services industry, however, banks and other financial institutions have to back up these promotions with real earth-friendly practices. “Green marketing is a way to rebuild trust, if you do it in a way people believe it,” Menke says. “You have to do it like you mean it.”

 Article Link

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New ‘Green’ Ad Claim Regulations Coming Next Year

Good article on the Federal Trade Commission updating the regulation of companies “green” practices in advertising.    The third paragraph sums it up for what the goals are.  

New ‘Green’ Ad Claim Regulations Coming Next Year 

by Karlene Lukovitz, Monday, Oct 20, 2008

 In recent years, the Federal Trade Commission has pursued few cases alleging that companies have engaged in deceptive advertising in regard to claims about their “green” practices. But that could change to some extent next year.

 The FTC is re-examining its “Green Guides,” the primary tool in federal regulation of green advertising claims, originally released in 1992.

The U.S. business community is hoping that the updating will clarify gray areas, and therefore make it easier for companies to understand and adhere to green-related advertising regulations.

However, it’s also likely that once the new standards are in place, the FTC will seek to establish legal precedents by going after companies that appear to have been using deceptive green advertising claims, according to David Young, partner in the legal firm Goodwin Procter LLP and a specialist in counseling corporations and organizations in environmental and other regulatory matters.

The FTC brought 37 cases involving environmental marketing claims between 1990 and 2000–but it has brought no cases specifically coming out of the Green Guides’ guidelines since 2000, Young notes.

Read Full Article


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On Global Warming, McCain and Obama Agree: Urgent Action Is Needed

The New York Times had a story in sunday’s edition about where Senator Obama and Senator McCain stand on global warming.  It is a good article which includes a useful chart showing a comparison of the two on specific related issues (Click on the link under Multimedia on the left side of the article).  Both think that the matter is urgent which is good (an agreement!!!) and I sense whoever becomes president will make this a key focus.

On Global Warming, McCain and Obama Agree: Urgent Action Is Needed


 Senator John McCain and Senator Barack Obama part company on many issues, but they agree that the Bush administration’s policies on global warming were far too weak.

Both candidates say that human-caused climate change is real and urgent, and that they would sharply diverge from President Bush’s course by proposing legislation requiring sharp cuts in greenhouse gas emissions by midcentury.

Such rare agreement has both industry and environmental groups expecting a big shift, no matter who is elected, on three fronts where the United States has been largely static for eight years: climate legislation, expansion of nonpolluting energy sources and leadership in global talks on fashioning a new climate treaty.

But quick progress could be held hostage to the financial crisis and the prospect of a worldwide recession. The economic turmoil could force the next president to delay legislation that imposes major new costs on struggling businesses or raises energy prices for consumers.

Read Full Article (remember the Multimedia link on the left)


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EnviroFriendly Cars Important to Buyers

Read this article about attitudes towards fuel efficient cars.  This is becoming more and more of an important issue to the consumer.  According to the study, 58% are considering a more fuel efficient vehicle.  While this is partially driven by the economy, I think the environment and the impact our vehicles have plays a key role as well.  When it is time to get that next car, getting one that is more fuel efficient should be an Earth Promise you should all make.  It will benefit the environment as well as your wallet.


EnviroFriendly Cars Important to Buyers

Last week’s Research Brief about EcoGreen not being the consumers’ hot button notwithstanding, a new Kelley Blue Book Marketing Research study finds that sixty-one percent of new-vehicle shoppers say it is important to purchase a vehicle from a brand that is environmentally friendly. Consumers cite Toyota, Honda and Chevrolet as first, second and third for having the most fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly vehicles. On average, consumers say they are willing to spend $2,600 more for an environmentally friendly vehicle, says the study.

Jack R. Nerad, executive editorial director and executive market analyst for Kelley Blue Book and, says “… The latest EcoWatch results show that brands with robust alternative-fuel-technology models, be it … hybrids… natural gas and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles, or… flex-fuel and the much-talked-about electrically driven technologies… are garnering consumer perception as being the most eco-friendly.”

Sixty percent of consumers are concerned about the environment, with the top issues being water pollution, air pollution, global warming and energy shortages. When asked what they are doing to change their lifestyles in response to environmental issues,

·         58 percent say they are considering a more fuel-efficient vehicle

·         57 percent say they have changed their driving habits

·         56 percent say they are making their home more energy efficient

New-car shoppers also are changing their spending habits in response to elevated gas prices, with nearly 50 percent saying they are shopping less for clothes, going out to eat less and spending less money on entertainment.

In addition, half of consumers say that gas prices have made them change their mind about the type of vehicle they are considering, or have made them think strongly about vehicles they were not previously considering:

  • 58% of shoppers who have already changed the type of vehicle they are planning to purchase say they would not revert to their previous consideration even if gas prices dropped $1.00/gallon

Consumers are changing the specifications on the vehicles they are considering in order to save money and protect the environment. They are willing to compromise on engine size, vehicle size, vehicle category and performance, while they are less likely to compromise on available features and options, vehicle capacity or in-vehicle storage.

The alternative-fuel types in which consumers are most interested are hybrid, hydrogen fuel cell and natural gas vehicles, while consumers are more skeptical about biofuel, diesel and battery-electric vehicles.

The Eco Watch study is an online study of in-market new-vehicle shoppers’ opinions about the effect of fuel prices, alternative-fuel-related technologies, environmental issues, new-vehicle brand and model consideration, and more.

For more information, please visit here.

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Introduction of Earth Promise’s Blog

Welcome to Earth Promise’s blog.  This is an exciting step for us and we hope you enjoy reading it.  Entries will consist of news relating to the environment, updates that are occurring on the Earth Promise site, and most importantly, ideas for how we can all help and have a positive impact.  We want it to be informative, interesting and also entertaining.     

Any ideas you have for blog posts or recommendations for any aspect of the Earth Promise site, please let us know. 

Earth Promise is an online community dedicated to bringing people together who want to take better care of the environment.  We provide an easy way for people to make, track and keep promises about actions that will benefit the earth. 

In addition to provide an easy way for people to make, track and keep promises, Earth Promise will inform and teach you about related issues, allow you to connect with others, enable you to easily spread the word and teach and motivate you. But most importantly, it encourages people to take action.

Earth Promise allows us to act as a united voice to awaken people about damage that has been and is continuing to be done to the environment and how we can all help.  The issue is serious.  This is not just our problem.  This will affect our children and our children’s children unless we take action now. 

The viral aspect of the site will enable the exponential increase of awareness of these promises that can have a huge impact.  Making an Earth Promise, whether large or small, affects not just the individual who makes it.  The promise can be viewed by many others and act as their motivation to take similar action.  One’s promise can immediately become someone else’s promise.   

Being a part of this community allows you to interact with others who are also interested in protecting the environment.  They can share their goals for change by informing you, but they can also learn from you.   

Get inspired and inspire others.  Together, we will be a caring and positive voice for the environment.



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