We love spreading the word about conservation, so here are our favorite and most fun ways to live green. If you didn’t see our email this week, sign up to get tips like these mailed straight to your inbox!
Punxsutawney Phil has spoken, and if the groundhog is to be believed, it looks like spring is right around the corner. Time to start thinking about spring flowers?
Last week, Treehugger blogger Sami Grover wrote about a growing movement of people swapping seeds. These folks are planting more than plants and vegetables; they’re committed to biodiversity in their gardens. Many will be meeting up in England for a “Seedy Sunday” this weekend.
But if there’s too much snow on the ground to make it to a seed swap in your area, get started with our brand new wildflower seed bombs. Choose a packet from your region, and you’ll be ready to go with wildflower seeds
native suited to your area. Each bag contains 5 seed bombs, plenty to fill your backyard or share with your neighbors.
Originally these bombs were created as a way to revive vacant lots in Cincinnati. But I think they might just revive all of us from the winter blues!
Read on for a full list of seeds included in each set.
We asked you what kinds of gifts you were shopping for and we heard green, fair trade, & sustainable. So our gift to you: a guide of the best gifts to give with a conscious this holiday season:
Black Floral Belt: Like a casual treasure discovered in an open market far, far away, this textured statement piece is a brilliant way to add color and craftsmanship to my uniform of jeans and tees. But the best part? It’s hand-embroidered with curly wool thread by Fair Trade artisans in Peru. Plus: Julia Roberts wears one on in Eat, Pray, Love. (Just saying.)
Who hasn’t come across the renowned World Wildlife Fund (WWF) panda logo before? World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is the world’s leading conservation organization, working in 100 countries for nearly half a century. With the support of almost 5 million members worldwide, WWF is dedicated to delivering science-based solutions to preserve the diversity and abundance of life on Earth, halt the degradation of the environment and combat climate change.
I embrace WWF’s work because I see the organization as very caring, responsible and credible. I’ve learned from early on how important it is to conserve earth’s resources and that it’s more efficient to work with nature instead of against it. From the Amazon to the Arctic, WWF is building a future where human needs are met in harmony with nature. By 2020 their goal is to conserve 19 of the world’s most important natural places and significantly change global forces to protect the future of nature. Their experts are active at every level – from field work to government – conserving the largest tropical rain forests, the most diverse coral reefs, and the world’s most endangered species.
Some of WWF’s current projects include:
• advocating for the protection of Arctic species including the polar bear and western gray whale
• calling for moratoriums on gas and oil exploration in the Arctic, as well
• advancing grassland conservation in the Northern Great Plains by establishing conservation areas and protecting species, such as bison and prairie dogs
• empowering communities in Namibia to manage their natural resources
• creating protected areas in parts of Asia where tigers are losing their habitats due to deforestation
There are so many reasons why the work of WWF is so important and should win the Better to Give contest. Most importantly, conservation and restoration is something that needs to happen on a large scale and on a global level and WWF has the resources to reach out to and work with people all around the world. In order to achieve its goals, WWF partners up with different groups, such as other NGOs, governments, businesses, scientists, investment banks, farmers, fishers, businesses and local communities.
WWF also uses its resources to run public campaigns that are designed to influence decision makers and educate people on how to live a more sustainable life. Thinking about the big picture of our changing climate, it is apparent that a behavior change needs to happen on many levels and having a widely-recognized brand and strong public outreach programs helps in getting things done.
– Trini Gantner, UncommonGoods Sustainability/Product Development
Agree with Trini, our sustainability expert? Vote here to put WWF into the final round for the Better to Give contest.
Congrats to our winners, Kristen and Courtney.
Be sure to subscribe to our RSS feed, to get the heads up on all our giveaways and contests.
Earlier this week we gave away a WindowDry rack to promote line-drying. And today we’re giving away two more, to spread the word about our friends at Project Laundry List.
This Sunday is 10/10/10, a global work party, in which people like you and me take on small tasks to make a big difference in the fight against global warming. Some groups are fixing up bikes. Some are planting trees. Some are installing solar panels. And some are saying no to energy-sucking dryers and switching back to the good old-fashioned clothesline.
Our friends at Project Laundry List, an organization devoted to the “Right to Dry” movement are having a Halloween party in New Hampshire this weekend. They aim to raise awareness about “vampire appliances” (ie. dryers that suck up energy). Learn more about their fun party (with a graveyard tour!) here.
Imagine what a difference we could make, if we all let more of our clothes hang in the breeze! (And how much softer our clothes would feel.)
Even if you’re not in New Hampshire, you can get involved. Make a pledge to try out line-drying (or leave some helpful tips if you’re an experienced clothesline user) in the comments below, and you’ll be entered to win 1 of 2 WindowDry racks.
We’ll announce the winners on Monday. Hope you have a fun 10/10/10!
For the sake of Janice Jacoby’s house guests, we’re giving her the first WindowDry rack in our giveaway:
“I line dry as much as possible but here in Florida we have so many unexpected thunderstorms it is hard to do for much of the year. I actually have a line stretched across my porch that has almost strangled unsuspecting visitors! I sure would love this and so would my company.”
Made just outside of Seattle, the WindowDry rack is a great solution for urban line-dryers or clothesline aficionados caught in rainy weather. The rack folds up easily when not in use, and can be hung in a shower, on a window, or on tile walls.
How did the WindowDry rack come about?
Laura Bridenbeck says, “We live in Seattle where the climate is wet, so our drying happens mostly indoors. Brent developed the Windowdry rack out of necessity because the large, bulky rack I was using was continually being knocked down by our 90 pound golden retriever and 4-year-old daughter. He decided to build a rack that could be mounted up and out of the way yet be near or on a window.”
But does one small rack hold a full load of laundry?
“One of the first questions people ask after seeing this rack is how much weight does it support using suction cups? It supports over 25 pounds (average load of wet laundry weighs 11 lbs)and we have even tested it with our 36 pound daughter!”
Today we’re giving away one WindowDry rack to a lucky reader who’s ready to make the switch to line drying. Just leave a comment below, and let us know why you want to be a line-dryer. Winner announced at 6 pm ET today.
Eco Salon finds a mod, green home worth dreaming about: meet the itHouse. [Eco Salon]
Dutch designers are having an eco-friendly moment: Architects, graphic designers, fashion designers and jewelers developed a collection of sustainable work for new exhibition reTHINK at the Textiel Museum in the Netherlands. Passing through Tilburg? Send us pictures of the solar-powered textile robot. [Eco Fashion World via The Textiel Museum]
Here’s looking at you, Greenpoint. Newton Creek, the backyard waterway separating Brooklyn and Queens, gets a Superfund nod from the EPA, which promises a “thorough environmental cleanup for the long-neglected” waterway. [The New York Times]
Get creative, activists: Grassroots initiatives around Atlantic Rising, an educational organization focused on promoting shoreline erosion awareness, taped yellow “caution” tape around a Nantucket lighthouse. “The more of this, the better,” reports columnist Andrew Revkin. [Dot Earth, The New York Times]
Because all cool things start in a lab: Japanese scientist invents a machine that converts plastic into oil. A magic box that recycles and restores a precious resource! We want one in our kitchen. Scratch that: We want four. [You Tube via Eco Friendly Mag]
While we’re on oil: Researchers say the U.S. military needs to ween itself from the slick stuff by 2040 if it wants to stay strong (read: eliminate weak spots, like a 77% operational dependency on petroleum). [Tree Hugger via the Center For A New American Security]
Today’s electric slide: A study released Monday by the Baker Institute claims that if 30% of Americans drove electric cars, U.S. oil use would drop by 2.5 million barrels a day and reduce oil imports by 20%. [CNBC via the Baker Institue For Public Policy]
Today our CEO, David Bolotsky, is joining Andrew Kassoy, founder of B Lab, and other business leaders on a panel discussion about sustainably-minded businesses and the laws that could make it easier for companies to become more ethical, sustainable and accountable to our customers.
And of course, part of our commitment to a sustainable business model means that we’re accountable to you. If you have any suggestions for how we can make our business better, leave a comment below!