Five Things We Can Do to Save the Planet

December 31, 2008 by  
Filed under Blog, Front Page, Iowa, My 5, Slideshow

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If we want our legacy to the future to be a healthy planet populated with children of our species, we must improve what we’re doing now. None of us can change the world alone, but collectively, our actions will make a difference. We can’t wait around for someone else to pick up the standard and carry it to the future for us. It’s our turn, mine and yours. And we have to start now.

Blue Planet Green Living has been looking to the future for the past few weeks, asking each of our interviewees the same question that we’ve asked of ourselves:

What are the five most important things we can do to save the planet?

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My 5: Mike Frisch, 1 House at a Time

December 31, 2008 by  
Filed under Blog, Front Page, My 5, Texas

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Blue Planet Green Living asked Mike Frisch, Founder of 1 House at a Time, in Austin, Texas, “What are the five most important things we can do to save the planet?”
These are in no particular order:

* Reduce your own footprint. That’s where you should start.

* Volunteer [with an organization] or start your own volunteer effort.

* Consider a career in which you can make a difference in the environment.

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My 5: Effie Brunson, Rays of Hope

December 31, 2008 by  
Filed under Blog, Front Page, My 5, Texas

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Blue Planet Green Living asked Effie Brunson, Development Director and Founder, Rays of Hope in Austin, Texas, “What are the five most important things we can do to save the planet?”
EFFIE BRUNSON:

I’ll give these in reverse order, with the least important first:

5. Plan your trips; drive less.

4. Buy intelligently; be an informed consumer.

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My 5: Roger Treloar, Odor Cell Technologies

December 31, 2008 by  
Filed under Blog, Front Page, Iowa, My 5

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Blue Planet Green Living asked Roger Treloar, CEO of Odor Cell Technologies, Iowa City, Iowa, “What are the five most important things we can do to save the planet?”
ROGER TRELOAR:

• Make efficient use of what you have if it doesn’t cause a by-product that negatively affects the planet. You have to become more in unison with the earth. The earth is a wonderful ecosystem and a natural purifier. We’re getting things out of balance. We need to use what Mother Earth has given us and change that direction back. We can do that with natural purifiers. For example, clams purify more than a hundred gallons of water a day. We should utilize what we have to improve air and water quality naturally, not invent something unnatural.

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My 5: Chris Donatiello, C. Donatiello Winery

December 31, 2008 by  
Filed under Blog, California, Front Page, My 5, Wine, Wineries

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Blue Planet Green Living asked Chris Donatiello, CEO of C. Donatiello Winery in Healdsburg, California, “What are the five most important things we can do to save the planet?”
DONATIELLO: There are a few things I really think need to happen, in this country especially, but also throughout the world.

* Reduce dependency on fossil fuels. We’re harming the environment. We’re taking something out of the earth — not putting it back in, then burning it and hurting the atmosphere. It’s a one-two punch.

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My 5: Harry Johansing, Costa Rica Natural and EcoPaper

December 31, 2008 by  
Filed under Blog, California, Costa Rica, Front Page, My 5

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Blue Planet Green Living (BPGL) asked Harry Johansing, CEO of Costa Rica Natural and EcoPaper, “What are the five most important things we can do to save the planet?”
HARRY JOHANSING:

1. Love.

2. Be honest.

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Solution to Conference Waste Is in the Bag

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If you’ve been a registered participant at a conference or trade show, chances are you’ve walked away with a conference bag. Have you ever wondered what happens to the extra bags that no one picks up? Tens of thousands of conference bags are dumped in landfills every year, and most of us never give it a thought.

Not so for Jeff Johnson. In an email, Jeff shared with us a bit about his personal crusade to put conference bags to good use. We were so intrigued, we wanted to share his letter with our readers.

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Birth of a Biodynamic Winery

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At Truett Hurst Winery, a new addition to the fine wineries of Sonoma County, we not only have decided to forgo pesticides and herbicides, we also have begun to farm biodynamically. Simply put, biodynamics is a form of farming that strives to be self-sustained, self-contained, and harmonious with nature.

We have embarked on a three-year program to adhere to the rigid standards set by Demeter, an international certifying body, whose standards are said to exceed those of the National Organic Program. We are confident that the winery we are creating will be sustainable both in farming practices and economically, and will produce world-class wines.

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There is No Me Without You: One Woman’s Odyssey to Rescue Her Country’s Children

December 27, 2008 by  
Filed under Activists, Blog, Books, Front Page, Health

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Despite the overwhelming fear and prejudice of her neighbors toward those suffering from AIDS, Haregewoin Teferra, grieving from the deaths of her husband and daughter, gave up a comfortable, middle class lifestyle to take in dozens of children left orphaned by the virus. In There is No Me Without You, author Melissa Fay Greene humanizes the story of the millions of African AIDS orphans by introducing readers to some of these children whom no one else wanted.

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A Hot Planet Needs Cool Kids: Understanding Climate Change and What You Can Do About It

December 27, 2008 by  
Filed under Blog, Books for Kids, Climate Change, Front Page

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When I was teaching fifth-grade science in the late 1980s, we didn’t talk about climate change. But had the topic been part of our curriculum, as it surely is today, this book would have been in high demand. The text is accessible for most middle school students, but not insulting to older readers. And helpful […]

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Children Raising Children: Documenting Africa’s AIDS Crisis

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“Any human being who could look at these photos and not be moved would have to be lacking a heart,” I said, clicking through pictures of AIDS-orphaned children in Sub-Saharan Africa. “They are so beautiful. ”

“Yes,” said Karen Ande, the photographer. “That got to me, too.” Karen was at her home in San Francisco, California, when I called her for this interview. “From the first moment I saw the kids, I was taken. The children are all beautiful. Absolutely beautiful.”

Ande is a documentarian of the struggles of AIDS orphans in Sub-Saharan Africa. She supports various grassroots organizations working there, raising funds partially through the sale of her photographs.

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Who Killed the Electric Car? (DVD)

December 26, 2008 by  
Filed under Blog, Car, DVDs, Electric Cars, Front Page, Movie Reviews

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“What is the danger of the electric car? The danger is that it can stop you from buying oil.” — Who Killed the Electric Car?

You won’t find a General Motors EV-1 on the streets of your city, my city, or any city. It’s dead, and GM killed it. But why?

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Your Money or Your Life: 9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence: Revised and Updated for the 21st Century

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“There is a way to live an authentic, productive, meaningful life—and have all the material comforts you want or need. There is a way to balance your inner and outer lives, to have your job self be on good terms with your family self and your deeper self. There is a way to go about the task of making a living so that you end up more alive. There is a way to approach life so that when asked, ‘Your money or your life?’ you say, ‘I’ll take both, thank you.’ ” — Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin, in Your Money or Your Life: 9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence: Revised and Updated for the 21st Century

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Easy Green Living: The Ultimate Guide to Simple, Eco-Friendly Choices for You and Your Home

December 25, 2008 by  
Filed under Blog, Books, Front Page, Green Cleaning

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In Easy Green Living: The Ultimate Guide to Simple, Eco-Friendly Choices for You and Your Home, Loux shows the way to make practical and healthy choices that will do just as she says: help the planet and improve your life. When you read what Loux has to say about how to be green, you know you’re reading from a reliable source; Loux is the host of Easy Being Green on Fine Living TV. From green cleaners to efficient lighting to healthy products for your bathroom, she walks you through how to make your home a greener — and safer — place to live.

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Save the Planet (and Money) by Living Your Values

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“It doesn’t matter if you think you’re an environmentalist,” says Susan Roothaan, executive director of A Nurtured World, “your footprint isn’t proportional to your opinions and views, but to your income level. I’ve seen some conservatives with lower carbon footprints than radical leftists. People’s actions don’t always follow their opinions.”

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Wake Up and Smell the Planet: The Non-Pompous, Non-Preachy Grist Guide to Greening Your Day

December 24, 2008 by  
Filed under Blog, Books, Family, Front Page

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Ready for a good laugh? Want to learn something at the same time? Then Grist’s book on how to save the planet is a must for your reading list. Grist’s take on the environment makes learning how to be green an entertaining experience. All day long, you have choices to make, and they really do make a difference. If your interest lies in shrinking your footprint and making the world a more inhabitable place, you’ll want to read this book.

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The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Green Living

December 24, 2008 by  
Filed under Blog, Books, Books on Kindle

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If you’re a beginner at going green, take heart! This book will show you an abundance of ways to begin your journey. It’s an easy read, but not one that you’ll want to do all at once. Pick it up and put it down. Each time, you’ll find tips that are both easy and useful ways to reduce your footprint, save money, and live an ecologically sound existence.

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Improve Quality of Life by Lowering Your Carbon Footprint

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It might be surprising to learn how easily the average person in an industrialized nation can make changes to reduce our carbon footprints. Want to learn how to reduce yours? Susan Roothaan’s workshop teaches how to improve quality of life and save money while reducing your impact on the planet.

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Tailgating for A Common Green Purpose

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Did you watch the Bears play the Packers yesterday from the warmth of your home? Or maybe you were among the frozen fans braving 7-degree weather to root for your favorite team on the shores of Lake Michigan. Blue Planet Green Living was there, too, tailgating in the parking lot of the Adler Planetarium near Soldier Field.

So, go ahead, ask. What does the Bears/Packers game — and tailgating, for that matter — have to do with green living? It’s a fair question.

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Let’s Talk Toilets

December 22, 2008 by  
Filed under Blog, Front Page, Slideshow, Tips, Water, Water Use

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Toilets account for almost 30 percent of residential indoor water use in the United States. They’re also a major source of wasted water due to leaks and inefficiency. Unless a replacement has been installed, in a home built prior to 1993, each toilet likely uses 3 1/2 gallons — or more — for every flush.

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