Posts Tagged energy efficient

Earth Promise Announces “21 in 21” Interview Series in Honor of Earth Day

As a lead up to Earth Day on April 22nd, Earth Promise will post an interview each day between April 1st and April 21st giving different perspectives about the environment from influential people in the green community.  The subjects in the “21 in 21” interview series will give their opinions and thoughts on various topics from how each person greens their lives, the impact they are making in their fields, recommendations for what we can do for the environment, thoughts on President Obama’s plans, and numerous other environmental topics.  The interviews will appear each day in the blog section of the site at

These 21 interviewees come from various areas of interest including the world of politics, radio, business, entertainment, education, travel and the web.  Some of the interviewees include Bruce Gellerman, host of “Living on Earth” on Public Radio International, Olivia Zaleski, the host and editor of CNN’s, The Business of Green, George Newall, the co-creator of Schoolhouse Rock (Schoolhouse Rock! Earth DVD comes out today!), Robert Stone, director of Earth Days set to be released on April 22, 2009, and Alexandra Cousteau, Social Environmental Advocate and granddaughter of Jacque Cousteau.

The following is a tentative schedule for the interviews that are set from April 1st to April 21st.   Come back often to check out what each has to say.

Wednesday, April 1st – Bruce Gellerman, host of “Living on Earth” on Public Radio International

Thursday, April 2nd – Raquel Fagan, Executive Editor for

Friday, April 3rd – Nathan Winters, Founder of Follow Nathan Foundation who will bike across America to raise awareness for land and nature conservation

Saturday, April 4th – Tim Leffel, Travel Writer

Sunday, April 5th – Matthys Levy, founding Principal of Weidlinger Associates, Consulting Engineers and author of Why the Wind Blows, a History of Weather and Global Warming

Monday, April 6th – Traver Gruen-Kennedy, Chairman at Alliance for Sustainable Air Transportation

Tuesday, April 7th – Nora Duncan, Policy and Legislative Affairs Liaison for Governor Jodi Rell (CT)

Wednesday, April 8th – Matt Petersen, President and CEO of Global Green USA

Thursday, April 9th – Leslie Drogin, Government Affairs Analyst at K&L Gates and  former Senior Advisor for Policy and Legislative Affairs at the U.S. Department of Energy

Friday, April 10th – Stefani Newman, Founder of

Saturday, April 11th – Adam Berg, Founder and CEO of Earth Promise

Sunday, April 12th – Eric Mangol, CEO of Figment Media LLC

Monday, April 13th – Howard Waldman, Green Dean at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School

Tuesday, April 14th – Olivia Zaleski, Host and Editor of CNN’s, The Business of Green

Wednesday, April 15th – George Newall, Co-Creator of Schoolhouse Rock!

Thursday, April 16th – Robert Stone, Director of Earth Days (set for release on April 22, 2009)

Friday, April 17th – TBA

Saturday, April 18th – TBA

Sunday, April 19th – TBA

Monday, April 20th – Alexandra Cousteau, Social Environmental Advocate and Granddaughter of Jacque Cousteau

Tuesday, April 21st – TBA

Each interview will first appear in the blog area and then will remain on it’s own Earth Promise page afterwards to facilitate easy access for new and return visitors.  

Get inspired by these interviews to make Earth Promises, or changes, in your lifestyles to help the environment.  No matter how small the change, it makes a difference.  View a categorized list of promise you can make on the site for ideas and inspiration.


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Baby You Can Share My Car

First off, I’d like to apologize to the Beatles for the pun used in the title; I just couldn’t help myself!

The magazine section of the Sunday, New York Times from March 8, 2009 has an exceptionally informative article about the new (American) trend, car sharing. “Car sharing (a European concept) is a model of car rental where people rent cars for short periods of time, often by the hour.  The editorial focuses on the origins of one of the largest car sharing companies, Zipcar.  This is not just a cars on demand type of company, but a community.  Althoughvery convenient for both city dwellers and college students, being a member of Zipcar may not be something for country or suburban folks to participate in. 

To read the article in its entirety, click here  You might think twice about purchasing your next car.

To learn about ways you can make Earth Promises about your transportation, click here.

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AVEDA’s Many Green Layers

I have been an avid Aveda junkie since my college days (early 1990’s). Walking the occasionally not-so-fragrant streets of Manhattan, I would often venture into Aveda’s oasis to get my fix: my olfactory fix.  Sampling the countless oils and lotions, I’d have a sensation of calm for my bustling walk home. 

While I was getting my hair cut last week in Boca Raton, I spoke to my stylist about all the great earth friendly endeavors Aveda participates in.  Little did I know, “In 1989, Aveda open(ed) its first free-standing Environmental Lifestyle Store on Madison Avenue in New York City. Aveda is first company to endorse and sign the CERES Principles (Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies)—which encourages higher corporate standards of corporate environmental performance and disclosure.”  Wow!  I knew they used only natural products and denounced animal testing; but I had no idea the depth and breadth of their eco-commitments.

Packaging, recycling, renewable energy and being socially responsible are all part of Aveda’s conscientious eco-mission.  Aveda’s sleek packaging design is mindful of “minimizing packaging, maximizing the use of post-consumer recycled materials, using materials that can be and are recyclable, and by designing our packaging so that the individual parts can be separated for recycling.”  This brings me to the recycling. Many people don’t realize that when you toss your water bottle, or any bottle for that matter, into the recycling bin, the caps are supposed to come off.  This saves a crucial step for recyclers.  Unfortunately, many recycling plants will just throw the capped bottle in with the regular garbage, thus meeting the fate of the landfill.   These plastic toppers also litter our beaches and oceans.  With the help of the Aveda salons and stores along with local schools, Aveda collects and sends the donated caps to their recycler to be made into new products.  At Dorjon, an Aveda salon in Boca Raton, Florida  there is an eclectic collection of bottles caps where you can drop your used caps off. They will ship them off to be recycled into new products.  For more information concerning what types of caps Aveda collects, click here .

Aveda is also Green-e certified, which means “that the renewable energy (Aveda) purchases meets the strict environmental and consumer protection standards established by the non-profit Center for Resource Solutions.”  Aveda can proudly assert that they were the first beauty corporation to manufacture with 100% certified wind power.  So what does this mean, exactly?  It’s important to understand that electricity is one of the most significant contributors to carbon emissions.  Wind generated power, then, protects the environment by reducing greenhouse gasses.

The social campaigns Aveda takes part in are admirable.  Their annual month-long event, Earth Month begins in April.  Each year focuses on a different clean water project.  Aveda’s 2009 focus will be selling their exclusive Earth Month Candle where 100% of the proceeds will go to support Aveda’s earth month partner, Global Greengrants Fund, who provide grants for community-based water projects around the world.”  This year’s Earth Month event also celebrates Aveda’s 30th anniversary.  During the month of October, Aveda participates in a Breast Cancer Awareness.  A significant portion of Aveda’s grant-making supports projects for indigenous cultures and community groups. “Grants are offered to programs that create sustainable economic activity and support the protection of cultural traditions, environmental quality and community health.” 

For more information about the array of eco-responsibilities Aveda participates in, visit, the Aveda website.

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“Now if we only had a superhero who could stand here and turn the generator real fast, then we wouldn’t need to burn so much fuel to make…electricity.” (Electricity, Electricity— SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK!)


OK, this may not be the most memorable of the SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK! tunes, but it was no doubt, catchy and forward thinking.  Just like Dr. Seuss with The Lorax (published in 1971), the creators of SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK! along with our beloved, Theodore Geisel, initiated eco-topics years ago.  It has not been until recently that the general public is taking notice. The music, lyrics and animation for this ultra-cool and timeless Saturday morning educational series, will always be remembered.   The creators cleverly instruct grammar, history, math, politics, and science in a magnetic way almost every 40 year-old American can recall. 

Just as they did with verbs, electricity and the solar system, SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK! has taken it upon themselves to approach the eco-friendly trend.  Indeed, perfect timing on the creators’ parts: wedged between Earth Hour and Earth Day, the original architects (Bob Dorough, music and lyrics and  Phil Kimmelman, animation) will reveal their talents once again on March 31with the release of SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK! EARTH . Thirteen songs will be used as a learning tool for old and new fans.   Some of the characters we grew up with (Interplant Janet and Mr. Morton) will make cameo appearances. Trash Can Band, Little Things We Do, Savin’ Water and The Rainforest are just some of the amusing, green topics that will infiltrate our minds.  SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK! EARTH will no doubt be a huge success as it is modern and in touch with the eco-generational change.

Get a sampling of some of the video shorts here Afterwards, have your kids join you to make some inspiring Earth Promises.

Friends at The Daily Kool  really talk up the Schoolhouse Rock! (Special 30th Anniversary Edition).  They, like me, are of the age that absorbed Conjunction Junction, Three is a Magic Number, and Interjections!   I secretly had a three-ringed notebook in my room where I’d quickly write all what my 5 year old brain could retain.  My Saturday morning comrades at The Daily Kool enthusiastically watch it with their children (as do I).  They recommend the Schoolhouse Rock! (Special 30th Anniversary Edition) not only because it is their “official birthday present for all of (their) children’s friends,” but because they, too believe ROCK! is a breath of fresh air compared to what our children are exposed to today.  So be sure to visit The Daily Kool to reminisce and be on the lookout March 31st for SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK EARTH!



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Unfortunate Events Turn Cities Green

Headquartered in California, Global Green USA is the offshoot company of Green Cross International  which was “created by President Mikhail S. Gorbachev to foster a global value shift toward a sustainable and secure future by reconnecting humanity with the environment.”  While the international segment’s agenda focuses on innovative methods to resolve the world’s environmental crises, the American sector spotlights the creation of green building and cities. 

One of the various pioneering programs Global Green USA is proud to be a part of is Rebuilding New Orleans. The 2005 aftermath of Hurricane Katrina was horrific.  The government’s initial apathetic response to this catastrophic event drove Global Green USA to help rebuild New Orleans and the Gulf Coast.  Brad Pitt, after visiting the Lower 9th Ward section of New Orleans, knew he had to aid this desperate community and its people.  He work(ed) with Global Green to sponsor an architecture competition aimed at generating ideas about how to rebuild sustainably.”  It was important that the focus of this reconstruction didn’t alter the integrity of the district’s soul.  He wanted to “Make it Right” and Pitt was able to initiate this by collaborating with a team that would focus on bettering the pre and post-Katrina environmental conditions.    Experts in green architecture and sustainable redevelopment specialists are working together to get as many of the Lower 9th Ward district population back to their neighborhood.   Willingly, Brad Pitt continues his charitable eco-mission of rebuilding New Orleans.  Let’s hope these large scale environmental rebuilding efforts continue.  



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Earth Hour, Earth Day, Earth Living

March 28, 2009 at 8:30pm, Earth Hour , a global collaborative, will take place: around the world people will switch off their lights for one hour.  This simple, non-lifestyle-changing event will signify how, if we work together, a monumental revolution can be made in our global efforts to participate in climate change.  “The (2008) movement captured the public’s imagination with lights going out at some of the world’s most iconic landmarks including the Sydney Opera House, Bangkok’s Wat Arun Buddhist temple, the Coliseum in Rome, Stockholm’s Royal Castle, London’s City Hall, New York’s Empire State Building, Sears Tower in Chicago and the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.”

April 22, 2009’s Earth Day will be the 39thanniversary of our once nationwide (now worldwide) response to environmental issues.  The message: collectively we can make this global day of action and participation a commitment to ecological responsibility.  There are countless events and activities happening around the world.  To find or initiate an event near you to protect the future of our planet, visit, the Earth Day site.

So, what happens when Earth Hour and Earth Day unite? Cool People Care is a cleverly, hip site that offers information on events, activities, and volunteering opportunities in your area.  Their philosophy is undemanding: saving the world 5 minutes at a time. Their quick and easy to change green habits can be delivered directly to your email. What drew me to their site was their amalgamation of Earth Hour and Earth Day to create, EH2ED (Earth Hour to Earth Day) Challenge. The idea: you can save the Earth each day by making smart, easy changes.  If you register for the challenge , Cool People will email you green information highlighting an organization, a program, an initiative or a resource that can help you develop eco-friendly habits and behaviors so that you can live a more caring lifestyle.”

With this shared global responsibility to preserve the planet, Earth Hour and Earth Day bring people together who want to take better care of the environment.  Earth Promise is the ideal community to make your promises and connect with like-minded people.


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Green Your Eating And Cooking Habits

We are a society that over-consumes in every sense of the word.  We buy unnecessarily and if you just look around, we eat unnecessarily as well. We have been taught (and somewhat scared) into dieting, using artificial products to add to our foods, and forced to read food labels.  Much of the cuisines we consume or at least have consumed over the past years are filled with toxins.  The process of how food is grown and manufactured has drastically altared.  This has transformed our country into an unhealthy cesspool.  It is important, then, to stay healthy in today’s climate of uncertainty. “We can no longer afford to put health care reform on hold,”  President Barack Obama told Congress.  With the rising cost of healthcare, becoming sick is simply not a financial option.  Both eating well and saving money, then, are crucial.

Below are some healthy, green eating and cooking ideas that can easily be put into your daily schedule and may even save you a few bucks!

·         Grow herbs and vegetables at home ….either in your outdoor garden or on your window sill.  It will be a small investment, but will save you tons in the end.  Be sure to plant the organic seeds (or purchase a small potted organic herb plant); this way you know from the start it is pesticide free.


·         Ban the high fructose corn syrup.  This is where reading labels are vital.  This sticky sweetener is found in the obvious sodas, juices and many cereals.  Go to your cabinet and check out the myriad of products that have this toxic sweetener. D Life  explains that it’s a highly purified blend of sugars (typically 55 percent fructose and 45 percent glucose) derived from corn. Because the fructose in HFCS is part of a manmade blend (as opposed to the natural compound of sugars found in fruit), the body metabolizes it very differently from other sugars.”  If this scientific explanation isn’t enough to change your refined sugar habits, then hopefully the announcement of mercury found samples of high fructose corn syrup will drive you to toss your packaged food out.  The Washington Post article warns, Mercury is toxic in all its forms. Given how much high-fructose corn syrup is consumed by children, it could be a significant additional source of mercury never before considered.”


·         Sugar alternatives.  When Christopher Columbus brought sugar to America, it was, yes, filled with calories, but contained protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals.  Ah, but then the processing of the sugarcane changed dramatically.  A few centuries later, the sugar business needed to revamp their processing methods to get more bang for their buck.  The essential nutrients were then stripped away in a process that produced what we know today as refined sugars.  Basically, a product with loads of calories and no nutritional value. Thus, the root cause for health problems.  Then, there came the birth of artificial sweeteners (aspartame, saccharin) filled with synthetic chemicals. Instead, try agave nectar as it has a lower glycemic index.  Agave nectar is a great economic alternative to other sweeteners since it has approximately “1.4 x the sweetening power of white sugar and, agave nectar’s mild flavor doesn’t vary widely which will lend a real consistency to recipes.” Also try Stevia as an additive to smoothies, yogurts, coffees and teas.  It is not recommended, though, for baking.  Keep in mind that most sugar producers practice unfair labor. Although purchasing the organic, fair-trade brands may empty your wallet, at least you know you are supporting a worthy cause.


·         Fish and mercury levels.  Yes, fish and shellfish are part of a healthy diet.  Yes, they are low in saturated fat, and full of nutrients, but then there is the mercury element.  It is said that all fish have traces of mercury, but certain types have larger amounts that the public need to be made aware of; especially pregnant women and children.  Visit, Environmental Working Group  for a list of fish containing high levels of mercury.


·         Need to thaw?  Do so in the fridge in lieu of running hot water over the food.  This obviously will save water and will allow the food to thaw more evenly.


·         Cook in advance.  If saving time and money are priority, then use (or altar) recipes that call for dry legumes.  Allow them to soak overnight in the fridge.  If you make enough in advance, you can put into smaller containers in the freezer.  Although the canned versions are mighty convenient, some are known to have Bisphenol-A (BPA) an endocrine disruptor in the linings of the cans.


·         Cooking is not just for ovens/stoves.  I’m not suggesting cooking in the microwave either!  How many times do you throw a sweet potato in the oven?  Smaller portions can easily be cooked in a toaster oven and it uses much less energy, thus saving money on your electric bill.  Slow cookers are also a big hit and try plug-in kettles in place of the tea kettle heating up on the stove.


·         To keep the microwave clean in order to maximize its performance.  Maximizing energy means less energy used; thus saving money on electric bill.


·         To cover pots when cooking when possible. This allows you to cook quicker so that you use less energy.


For more eco-changes, visit Earth Promise  and partake in the changes that will help you live a more healthy, green lifestyle.



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