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Freedom from Paper

October 3, 2013 — Leave a comment

Inspired by the Earth 911 email sent today, I have progressed further down the path of paper freedom! This is very exciting because our household tends to get overwhelmed with unnecessary paper mailing that just pile up and become one more item on the cleaning to do list. There were six different ways to reduce paper mailing but three in particular that I found to be useful and not as common as the others.

The first had to do with being removed from the phonebook delivery list. The process was very simple and all-encompassing as it gave the option to be removed from all paper phonebooks that your address is eligible to receive. Simply go to the National Yellow Pages site to select the directories you would like to receive or opt-out of all possible options like I did. To be honest, I’m surprised that these paper directories are hanging on with the ever-so-handy internet at our fingertips.

The next, and my favorite junk mail reducer, was to opt-out of the Consumer Credit Reporting offers. This site has the options to be removed from the preapproved offers for either five years or indefinitely. Guess which one I chose! As an added bonus, I was able to remove my husband from their list as well to double our impact.

Finally, I removed both me and my husband from the direct mail list for catalogs and other mail offers through the online tool provided by the Direct Marketing Association. Their home page provides the opportunity to be removed from direct paper mail as well as email offers. This site was a little more complex but seems to have a substantial amount of potential for reducing paper mailings.

Prior to this concise guide from Earth 911, I found these request to be quite complicated. So thanks for mailing the process clear and easy to understand. I’d love to hear if anyone else knows of other ways to reduce the clutter!

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SustainableEatery

What do you think of Chipotle’s interpretation of factory farming and the solution they present? This doesn’t seem to be a branding campaign for the chain as their product is only briefly introduced at the end of the video.

How to avoid letting Chipotle’s depressing new ad brainwash you | Grist.

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London Fashion Week highlighted a few ethical brands that are paving the way through a broken apparel and textile system. The fact is that a majority of fashion companies don’t monitor their individual supply chains to ensure that there is minimum impact on the environment, toxic chemicals are not being used, and human rights are not being abused. Many times, the fashion company may sign a contract with one factory that then subcontracts the work to an unauthorized factory to fulfill the order unbeknownst to the fashion company. Thankfully, there are a few retailers out there that are no longer willing to participate in this unethical treatment of people or the planet. Join me in being a responsible consumer and show the support of our dollars (or votes) to the groundbreaking companies that are changing the face of fashion one consumer at a time.

Building Momentum for Sustainability in Fashion – Green Living – The Ecologist.

ethical fashion

When I first saw the interview with Jonathan on The Colbert Report back in 2010, there was no way of knowing the impact this book would have on my world. It was enlightening to see that humans are so disconnected from our food sources. Many of us don’t see the connection between how our food is currently being produced and the damage it has on the environment and our well-being. When people ask about the food choices I make, they often follow it up with a quick “Nevermind, I don’t want to know. It’ll ruin meat for me.” That’s a HUGE problem and reason that this book is so important. It’s an honest approach that illustrates the immoral practices of factory farming, environmental destruction caused by the current system and physical harm to all parties involved.

Hey – If you like having no control over the fecal matter and other nasty by-products in your food, then there’s no reason to read this book. For the rest of us that do care, it is important to support local farmers in this battle against the giant conglomerates that are only concerned about the bottom line.

Check out Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer’s as soon as possible.

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Recycling an old TV

June 17, 2013 — 1 Comment

We recently got a new TV out of absolute necessity as the picture on our 7 year old screen went completely kaput. Selling it is not an option since it is no longer working at all. So I have been exploring what alternatives are available so that it doesn’t ultimately take up space in the landfill or get shipped to an unethical recycler in another country.

Here are some of the options I’ve found:

1. The Freecycle Network: This is a nonprofit network that connects people who want to give away or find stuff for free in their own town. It’s a great way to reuse object that would otherwise be sent to the landfill. www.freecycle.org

2. eRecycle: It is actually illegal in the state of California to dispose of electronic waste in the regular garbage. This location search helps identify qualified recycling organizations nearby to properly dispose of the out-of-date electronics. www.calrecycle.ca.gov/Electronics/Collection/

I would just suggest that you do your own due diligence when choosing a company to determine their commitment to sustainable recycling. R2 and E-Stewards are Responsible Recycling Certifications that confirm the company you choose is dedicated to following regulated recycling standards. There is a zip code search at www.greenspotdropoff.org/.

3. Donate to a thrift store: Many nonprofit organizations will accept donations of televisions and other electronics that whether they are working or not. Contact your local Goodwill, Salvation Army or other charities that accept donations. They may be able to repair or re-purpose the electronics as needed.

4. Recycling Events: The city also holds designated events for the sole purpose of recycling old electronics. Check out the Environmental Services section of your city’s website. For example, here is the schedule for San Diego: www.sandiego.gov/environmental-services/recycling/events/reselectronics.shtml

Remember that any electronic no matter how large or small can be recycled and that each action we take to move in a responsible direction has a greater impact that we could know. Happy recycling!

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The Natural Resources Defense Council published a good article summarizing the USDA announcement to reduce, recover and recycle wasted food in the US. Check out this article for more exciting information on what changes the USDA plans to make to reach their food waste reduction goals.

US Joins World to Take on Challenge of Food Waste | Dana Gunders’s Blog | Switchboard, from NRDC.

Wish

June 1, 2013 — Leave a comment

This is nice encouragement to keep up the great work each one of us does to combat climate change in any way. Each contribution, no matter how large or small, makes an even larger impact that we could know. Have a happy weekend!

leaf and twig

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that goodness
thrives and multiplies
like weeds.

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The San Diego Union Tribune is at it again with their exaggerated and oversimplified version of environmentally responsible water policy in San Diego. They should be embarrassed of this rant indeed.

The new H&M Conscious Collection makes Sustainability cool. The eco-friendly Spring Line that was represented by A-Lister Helen Hunt at the Oscars is available in stores around the world on April 4th. The Line is exclusively made from organic cotton, recycled polyester, recycled polyamide (plastics) and Tencel. What’s more, they are providing an outlet for consumers to drop off used clothing that will be re-purposed for second-hand wear, reused in other products or recycled into new textile. Hopefully, this is the wave of the future for major retail chains.

Sustainability Becomes Stylish in H&M’s New “Conscious Collection” | Corporate Social Responsibility.