Monday, August 24, 2009

On (mental) Vaca

I've been a little inconsistent with posting because I'm currently in limbo, back in Michigan, and preparing to move back to campus. Since I'm finish with work at my summer job, before I get to campus, I'm home entertaining myself with my old pal Mr. TV. WOW! I've missed so much, but more importantly I've found a new home channel. My first favorite is the Food Network of course, but my new favorite is the HGTV Network. This show called House Hunters is amazing! What a great concept. You can watch people shop for a house, critique every little detail, and then die and anticipation waiting to find out which house they choose! I love it! lol Some of the shows feature domestic searches, but the coolest episodes are in international destinations like Buenos Aires and Nicaragua! Its a dream home (window) shopping spree!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Vegan Ice Cream Challenge

I sampled the winner. It was just ok to me, not SWEET enough for my taste, but try them all for yourself!

Rooftop Wind Turbines in Portland

The first rooftop wind farm for the city of Portland, OR.

An electric garden!

My first thought, "WoW! How BEAUTIFUL!" These are solar SunFlowers created by Mags Harries and Lajos Héder for Catellus Development Company in Austin, Texas. These creatively designed solar collector panels are public art pieces for the whole city to enjoy, bot visually and as a renewable energy resource. Click here for the complete article and more photos!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Friday. FUNday!

Watch CBS Videos Online

Hey how'd they do that? A map of the US made from Jell-o!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Where the desert meets the classroom

The term Greenscreen takes on a whole new and more sustainable meaning for students at Arizona State University. A wall was removed and replaced by "wire trellising and greenery." Now, the 1960s building is self-cooling with a more modern design. This is an example of GREEN planning and design at its best!

Back to School

Already?! Is it that time again?! YES! Kids can get on the GREEN foot and start the school year off right with these tips for going GREEN at school.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Nia Long for PETA!

As a fan of actress Nia Long, I was more than excited to see her in the latest PETA "Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur" ad. Her animal rights activism was inspired by her children. She supports the PETA campaign and strives to be a role model for her children, fans, and the general public. Check out her interview with the PETA Files.

Green Guide Helps Businesses Prevent Greenwashing

Click Green Guide for more information.

GM wants to hear from YOU

Got an idea for the car of the future?! Want to tell GM exactly what you think about their eco-strategies? Great! GM wants to hear all this and more. Visit The Lab and leave your comments, suggestions, and ideas to help their ECOinitiative. Also, check out what projects they're developing!

A GREEN Collar Economy

URGENT: Please watch and share this moving, hope inspiring video, and BE the change you want to see! Courtesy of GREEN for ALL

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A step in the WRONG direction!

Turns out, our global efforts are not getting result in the fight to cut total CO2 emissions. In fact, the German Insitiute for Renewable Energy has concluded that we emitted 1.94% more CO2 in 2008 than in 2007. This global pollution problem is a real detriment to our environment. We can and must do better! According to the IWR, "For emissions to be effectively cut, nations need to link the amount invested in renewable energy to their emissions, and track effectiveness on an ongoing basis." (Courtesy of Environmental Leader)

Kimpton, Boutique Hotel Chain, opens first LEED registered hotel in Philly

Last summer I worked for Kimpton, so this news is very exciting to me. At the property that I worked, I felt that management could do a whole lot more to make the property eco-friendly and less wasteful rather than waiting for corporate to enforce their GREEN company policies, but I digress. The Hotel Palomar Philadelphia is the only LEED registered hotel in the city, and it is eco-friendly as well as pet friendly. A few of the GREEN amenities are, an integrated recycling program for cups and clothes hangers, paperless guest check-in/out service, and unused and partially used bath amenities to be donated to community programs. If you noticed, the Hotel Palomar Philadelphia is only LEED registered, applying to be LEED Building certified. "Approximately 60 to 90 days after opening, Kimpton will know the Hotel Palomar Philadelphia’s final LEED status," according to Green Lodging News.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Nevada to lead the next American Revolution

I had the opportunity to attended the National Clean Energy Summit 2.0 today hosted by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and US Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) with guest speakers former President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore. It was a gathering of clean energy advocates, politicians, executive entrepreneurs, press, and exhibitionists. As you may or may not know, Nevada is at the center of America's plan to develop and implement renewable energy due to its abundant natural resources particularly solar and wind energy. Moreover, Senator Reid is the voice of Nevada in the Senate and has worked fearlessly for policy change and federal funding.

Held at the Cox Pavilion center on the campus of UNLV for the second year in a row, the entire day was dedicated to discussing and brainstorming on two key topics of concern, renewable energy (renewables) and energy efficiency. The morning session was a panel discussion of twenty participants including Vice President Al Gore, US Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, White House Council on Environmental Quality Advisor Van Jones, and energy executive T. Boone Pickens, just to name a few guest from various backgrounds. The guest list was completed with several CEOs, entrepreneurs, and politicians of different levels. The round table was moderated by former Senator Timothy E. Worth (D-CO). Each guest was given the opportunity to speak on one or the other theme and add to the conversation from their perspective and expertise.

Former President Bill Clinton spoke during the afternoon session, delivering his ideas on how American policy reform can lead to action and real change in our struggling economy. Clinton explained that our nation's biggest detriment to the environment is CO2 emission, and 40% of all CO2 emissions escape from our homes, offices, and skyscrapers. As Secretary Chu would say, this problem is a "low hanging fruit." CO2 emission is all around us, but because it is odorless, tasteless, "out of sight, and out of mind," we don't move with a sense of urgency to resolve this manageable problem. Simply, America's buildings must be retrofitted with the latest clean technology in order to be updated and restored to emit close to or zero carbon dioxide.

With such abundant solar and wind energy resources and a staggering state unemployment rate of 12.1%, Nevada is looking to the future and ready to develop and produce clean energy for the nation. Here lies the overall goal of today's discussion, that is, to prepare people for the environmental and economical changes that must and will take place in our country, beginning with the region that is most susceptible to the Renewable Revolution making America more energy efficient, independent of foregin oil, and getting our people back to work.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Wake-up to 101 Vegan breakfasts!

If variety is the spice of life, than a Vegan diet is well seasoned with choices. Check out this extensive list of breakfast ideas.

Coming to a Sprint store near you: a GREEN section

The cellular company Sprint will be adding a special GREEN section in retail stores that will showcase their GREEN products and services, for example, phone cases made from recycled material. Likewise, Sprint announced today the launch of a new "eco-friendly, socially conscious, always networking phone." From the inside out, the Reclaim was designed to minimize waste and be efficiently recycled after use, even its packaging is made of recycled materials. For an added GREEN bonus, for every phone sold, Sprint will donate $2 to the Nature Conservancy's Adopt an Acre program. This phone is definitely worth a second look!

Owens Corning reports big GREEN results for FY 2008

Even if you're not familiar with the name, you encounter Owens Corning products on a daily basis. They are the world leading manufacturer of fiberglass and foam insulation for both the private and public sectors. Better yet, their mascot is The Pink Panther! This year that have proven their commitment to the environment. According to the company's third annual 2008 sustainability report, OC has reduced its energy consumption by 11 percent, water use by 3 percent, and greenhouse gas emissions by 9 percent compared to the previous year. Along with results like these, Owens Corning has managed to continue a healthy economic growth as well. Overall net sales were up in 2008 to $5,847M from $4,978M in 2007. "We have found creative ways to continue our progress in reducing the environmental footprint of our operations-thanks to the commitment of our worldwide employees," writes The Chief Sustainability Officer, Frank O'Brien-Bernini, in the 2008 sustainability report.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

"Greenwashing's More Evil Twin" LOL

This is a serious matter, but I just had to laugh oout loud at this illustrative article title by Greenbashing, the evil twin to greenwashing, is used to undermine progressive environmental projects and GREEN efforts with such jargon about catastrophic costs or unforeseen dangers. Please be aware of these two. You've officially been warned!

Whole Foods now just a "BUNCH OF JUNK?"

The Whole Foods Company CEO, John Mackey, confessed to the WSJ Health Blog that "We sell a bunch of junk." It seems that somehow, the healthy organic food store has made an ugly transformation in to a not-so healthy candy and sweets shop. The proof is in the numbers. Their healthy, bulk foods such as “grains, seeds, nuts and beans” now only account for 1% of sales. Mackey said that this number has dropped from 15-20%. Moreover, today the average Whole Foods Market can be classified as a "food boutique," littered with specialty treats and desserts. From the moment you grab your shopping cart and enter the store to the moment you are greeted by the cashier at checkout, shoppers are overwhelmed by all of the enticing displays of cookies, sugary fruit snacks, and mounds of milk chocolate. Whole Foods even sales a brand of chocolate with BACON infused inside. Yes! I witnessed my cousin try it in the store (simply upon request) then proceed to purchase several packages in different sizes.

I have definitely notice this transformation in WF myself. Now, when I shop there, I have to make a conscious effort not avoid the sweets aisle and bakery corner and stick to my list, or as best as possible. I don't like this WF alter-ego JF, Junk Foods Market. But, it is important to note that the CEO (of all people) is well aware of the chain's character flaw and has a tentative plan of action. He stated, "Customers, we hope, are going to vote them out. You’re just seeing the most tentative efforts at this point because the details are not ready for public release. You need to be fair. I’ve got to plan the revolution." Basically, The Whole Foods Market brand is at the mercy of its shoppers. WE must demand healthy foods at the Whole Foods Market and shop else where for junk!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The #1 THREAT to today's youth

This story really hit close to home for me. I, like roughly 17% of American kids, was an obese child and teen, and like 40% of parents of obese children ages 6 to 11, my parents saw that I was gaining weight too quickly for my height and age, but they still did not perceive me as being "obese."

Yet, I was obese and gaining at least 10-15lbs each year. They were not alarmed by my appearance because I was active and out going. But, I was still not healthy. This article exposed a real truth that I think is overlooked by so many parents. Its not just that kids today are eating too much junk food, its that they are eating too much of everything. For example, as a kid, I loved vegetables and fruits as much as I did Skittles and Gummy Bears, and if you put 3 portions of vegetables on my plate, I would finish them all, whether I was satisfied or stuffed and still eat 3 pieces of fruit for dessert. And when it came to candy or junk food, I never grasped the concept of just eating some, and save the rest for later. I just had to finish the bag, box, or package.

I strongly believe that, like me, this is how kids deal with their feelings like loneliness, boredom, and other emotions. Moreover, food is all around them, constantly being pushed on them at home, in school, and in the media. It is easy to get and tastes good. Without the right tools and encouraging role model(s), its no wonder why they can't reason well enough to find more productive ways to express their feelings and not depend on food to cope. I think a big part of leading a GREEN lifestyle is eating in moderation. We are all born with this healthy habit, but due to the stresses of life and our environment, we unknowingly create new, unhealthy eating habits to just deal.

It's important that families work together to repair their eating habits. Learning about portion sizes and calories is the first step. ALL KIDS LOVE TO LEARN, and they deserve the chance to learn about what they put in to their bodies and how these things affect their growth. EVERY CHILD IS DIFFERENT, so weight loss should not be their only measurable goal. Number of new food they try in a week, number of jumping jacks they can do in a minute, these are examples of non-weight-related goals kids should strive for as they master the components of living a healthier lifestyle.

Monday, August 3, 2009

As luck would have it...

...the Universe is in line with me and my goals too. Check out my horoscope for today!

"Your reputation is your top concern right now, but you could afford to lighten up. Don't despair -- you need to deal with something pretty big, but you've got the resources to handle it without too much effort or worry. You do need to keep pressing forward, no matter what."

Get your horoscope for today at Shine by Yahoo!

Shhh! I'll let you in on a little secret...

...I am a new Vegan, and I am still on a diet. In fact, I want to lose 10lbs this month. And I'll let you in on another secret. Being Vegan does NOT equal easy weight loss! Nope. No way Jose! During these last few weeks of summer, I challenge myself to LOSE and be VEGAN! The plan is to eat smaller portions, write down everything that I put into my body, and up the cardio to at least 60 minutes/day. I'm also going to weight myself DAILY. I know this seems a bit obsessive, and yes, many dietians and weight loss programs do not recommend weighting daily, but I really think that facing the scale everyday is just the type of motivation I need. And of course, I'll be sure to keep you updated on my progress.

Gap Inc. Exceeds Expectations

Gap Inc. announced that it has reduced greenhouse gas emmissions (GHG) by 20% from 2003- 2008 and exceeded its five-year U.S. EPA Climate Leaders goal of 11%. The progress report is available to the public on the Gap Inc. Social Responsibilty website. As a global apparel company their GREEN efforts are very admirable. By accepting the challenging of becoming a EPA Climate Leader, Gap Inc. has proven that it is possible to do business and protect the environement. Even better, their accomplishments have gained national attention. It's great to hear about the US companies that claim to use sustainable, environmentally-friendly business practices AND have quantifiable proof of their GREEN efforts. Likewise, this is great publicity for Gap Inc. that can only help to increase sales and highlight the brands that make up this progressive company.