I’ve seen many guides to green gifts, both generic and occasion-specific. But I realized recently that there are not many, if any, guides focused on green gestures. This is the phrase I use when thinking of gifts related to sustainability that do not involve giving a tangible item to the recipient. Instead, green gestures are more symbolic for the recipient or honoree, but they may indeed have tangible benefits for the environment or for society in general. Green gestures are good to keep in mind for the person who seemingly has everything, or for acquaintances or colleagues for whom you do not have a good sense of interests and preferences. Green gestures are also a good solution to expressing appreciation when ethical considerations can make giving or receiving tangible gifts undesirable or inappropriate. An example would be thanking an elected official for speaking at your event. Such gestures are often also used as memorials or to celebrate special occasions like a birth, a wedding, or a retirement. This list is by no means exhaustive (feel free to share your ideas in the “Comments” section of this post), and should not be construed as an endorsement of any of the items or organizations listed by GLRPPR or its host agency, the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center. This list is for informational purposes only, and is meant to help you start thinking outside the gift box.
For those of us in the U.S., the deadline (April 15) approaches to submit taxes for 2010. Whether you’re still scrambling to fill our your forms, or feeling the satisfaction of having turned everything in on time, take a minute to read this informative post on Earth911‘s web site called Green Tax Credits You’re Missing. Author Alexis Petru provides information on incentives for home energy efficiency, renewable energy systems, credits for purchasing greener vehicles, and deductions you can take for donating to your favorite charitable organization or non-profit. Even if these incentives don’t apply to you for this round of taxes, consider what’s available as warmer weather approaches and you begin planning home improvement projects. You might be able to take advantage of incentives next year at tax time and make your choices “greener” in more ways than one.
Celebrate Earth Day with a CyberExhibit (originally curated in 2000 on the 30th anniversary of Earth Day) by the University of Buffalo Libraries, which commemorates the anniversary of Earth Day.
It includes: a brief history of Earth Day, a listing of selected international, national, state, local, and campus Internet resources, and other materials. A special feature on education is added for the 40th Anniversary with expanded resources for kids, and teachers/educators in formal K-12 and non-formal (nature centers, museums, parks, camps, zoos, etc.) settings.
The Sustainable Electronics Initiative (SEI), hosted by the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC), is pleased to announce the availability of its online “Ask an Expert” service for the submission of questions related to electronics and their environmental impacts. Continue reading “SEI “Ask an Expert” Service Provides Information on Electronics and the Environment”
The Fourth of July approaches. For those of us in the U.S. portion of the Great Lakes region, thoughts of Independence Day fireworks displays, parades and outdoor parties beckon from the weekend. While preparing for the festivities, you may want to consider how pollution prevention (P2) relates and include a little green with your red, white and blue. Continue reading “Red, White, Blue & Green: Independence Day P2”
The presentations from the recent Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable (GLRPPR)/Region 7 Pollution Prevention Roundtable conference are now available on the GLRPPR web site. Continue reading “Summer 2009 GLRPPR/Region 7 Conference Presentations Online”
Recently Indiana became the 19th state in the U.S. to enact electronic waste regulations with the signing of HB 1589. The group of states with such regulations also includes Michigan, Minnesota and Illinois in the Great Lakes region. According to the Electronics Take Back Coalition, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and New York will be considering e-waste legislation in 2009. At the local level, New York City also has electronic waste regulations. At the federal level, H.R. 1580, the Electronic Waste Research and Development Act, has been voted upon by the U.S. House of Representatives and been received by the Senate.
Given this trend, it seems appropriate to launch a resource collection on the Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable (GLRPPR) site focused specifically on e-waste issues. The GLRPPR Electronic Waste Sector Resource will include links to relevant legislation, news, events, funding opportunities, and contacts. This resource list is under development, so if you are aware of resources for e-waste programs in your state, please feel free to send links to Joy Scrogum for potential inclusion in this new resource list. An RSS feed is available for the Electronic Waste Sector Resource so you can be aware of new resources as they are added.
GLRPPR is a member of the Pollution Prevention Resource Exchange (P2Rx) a national network of pollution prevention information centers. Another P2Rx center, the Western Sustainability Pollution Prevention Network (WSPPN) has also developed a P2Rx Topic Hub on Electronic Waste. This is linked to within the new Sector Resource on the GLRPPR site and is also available on the main GLRPPR Topic Hub page.
[Post author: Rick Yoder, P2RIC]
So, there I was at the back of the room during the Tuesday morning 2009 Environmental Summit plenary presentation by Marueen Gorsen – a smart & witty presenter who made the start of a rainy day very tolerable. She was opening up about the conundrum we all face – how to justify buying more stuff when consumerism (spending = 70% of the US economy) is at the heart of our environmental problems. Specifically, she offered her rationalization for buying an i-phone. She said it was because she wanted to use a nifty (& free) application called Good Guide. Scott Butner later mentioned that one of the developers of the application has history with the P2 community and specifically with our P2Rx sister center, PPRC.
I didn’t think more of this until I heard a Living On Earth podcast this morning, in which author Daniel Goleman expounded more on the virtues of the Good Guide than on shilling his new book, Ecological Intelligence, even going so far as to take a shopping field trip using the app to buy shampoo. Glad I looked it up – because I’m not a terribly good listener, I’d been hearing its name all along as “Good Guy.”
BTW, I added GoodGuide as a P2TagTeam bookmark on delicious, too.
It’s holiday time again, which means you’re probably going to buy at least one gift for someone, as well as items for celebrations and holiday meals. You may wish to consult Consumer Reports Greener Choices web site, which provides information to help choose more environmentally friendly products. Articles and “green ratings” are available for the following product categories: Appliances, Cars, Electronics, Food & Beverages, and Home & Garden. Within these sections, you’ll find links to articles, information on conservation of resources (such as energy, water, fuel, etc.), resources for shopping greener, and information on recycling and disposal. The “Hot Topics & Solutions” section of the site includes the Eco-labels Center (which helps you interpret what product labels really mean), the Electronics Recycling Center, the Global Warming Solutions Center, and sections on Energy, Water, and Waste.
The “Toolkit” section includes calculators to help save energy, water, and money, as well as a Toxics Search tool to find out whether there’s a potential for exposure while using a particular product, and how that can affect your health. The “Community” section of the site includes links to Consumers Union campaigns, forums and resources for further information, as well as blogs on cars, food safety, green homes, and safety.
Travel Green Wisconsin is a voluntary program that reviews, certifies and recognizes tourism businesses and organizations that have made a commitment to reducing their environmental impact. Specifically, the program encourages participants to evaluate their operations, set goals and take specific actions towards environmental, social, and economic sustainability. The program is also designed to educate travelers to Wisconsin about sustainable tourism practices. It promotes smart business practices, giving the state’s tourism-related businesses and organizations a significant point of differentiation from their competitors, and supports the state’s overall tourism brand. Examples of the types of businesses that can participate include: accommodations, attractions, restaurants, shops, resorts, convention, centers, golf courses, campgrounds, marinas, tour operators/leaders, events/festivals, chambers and CVBs.
Travel Green Wisconsin actually has two separate web sites. The organization’s consumer web site provides lists of certified businesses in the above and related categories, certified events, a map of the certified business locations, FAQs, and future goals. The organization also has an industry site that details how to participate in the program and the benefits, as well as discussion forums.