Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Sustainable Hotel Key Cards

Regardless of your political affiliation...this is a cool story. Over 70,000 biodegradable key cards are being used in Denver hotels for the Democratic National Convention, reinforcing the “green” convention theme and reducing waste.

Sustainable Cards, producer of the United States' first wood hotel key card, has partnered with their manufacturer, CPI Card Group, to donate the biodegradable cards in a ground-breaking effort to reduce the negative environmental impact created by traditional plastic key cards.

The sustainable cards are decorated with the Denver 2008 Host Committee logo and made from sustainably harvested wood, making them a coveted souvenir of the event. The cards will serve to reinforce efforts to make this year's Convention the most eco-friendly ever.

*Photo courtesy of Sustainable Cards LLC

Monday, August 18, 2008

What's Greendex?

So, you've been "green" for awhile now. But, do you ever wonder how or if it's working?

National Geographic and the international polling firm GlobeScan have just conducted a study measuring and monitoring consumer progress toward environmentally sustainable consumption in 14 countries around the world.

From their website: "Why? We wanted to give people a better idea of how consumers in different countries are doing in taking action to preserve our planet by tracking, reporting, and promoting environmentally sustainable consumption and citizen behavior. This quantitative consumer study of 14,000 consumers in a total of 14 countries asked about such behavior as energy use and conservation, transportation choices, food sources, the relative use of green products versus traditional products, attitudes towards the environment and sustainability, and knowledge of environmental issues. A group of international experts helped us determine the behaviors that were most critical to investigate.

The result: the National Geographic/GlobeScan "Consumer Greendex," a scientifically derived sustainable consumption index of actual consumer behavior and material lifestyles across 14 countries. The Greendex will be tracked over time and will be comparable across the selection of countries representing both the developed and developing world.

To provide context for the Greendex results, we developed a "Market Basket", an index of actual consumption in four areas important to environmentally sustainable behavior-energy, transportation, travel, and consumer goods. A Market Basket for each country was assembled using a set of independently collected macroeconomic indicators, gathered by the Economist Intelligence Unit, which mirror, in part, the consumer behavior measured by the Greendex survey. The purpose of the Market Basket is to provide an external estimate of the results of changes in consumer behavior over time. The Greendex, for example, measures things consumers are doing to save energy in a country; the Market Basket measures whether total energy consumption in the country is actually going up or down. The Market Basket will also establish a framework for comparing the relative environmental impact of each country's size and rate of growth, over time."

Monday, August 11, 2008

Trees for Trivia

Just learned of the coolest website: Jogo Green. Log onto the website and answer environmental related trivia questions. When you answer 10 questions correctly, Jogo Green has enough advertising revenue to plant one tree through an organization called Trees for the Future(TFTF).

The idea for the Jogo movement started in early 2008, when trying to think of a fun and easy way for people to learn more about being environmentally friendly, and actually make a difference at the same time. To date, 28,800 trees have been planted. By playing the JogoGame, you're not only planting carbon-hungry trees, but spreading the word about keeping the Earth clean.

Photo: Airlie Oak at Airlie Gardens, Wilmington NC

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Aquarist Receives Certification

The NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher’s Aquarist Brian Germick recently received certification in Avian Husbandry from the Sylvan Heights Waterfowl Park and Eco-Center in Scotland Neck, NC. Germick takes care of the wood ducks and bob white quail within the Aquarium’s conservatory. Introducing birds to the conservatory helps recreate the sights and sounds of a Carolina forest within a space already alive with waterfall, streams, trees, ferns and other plants. The Aquariums plans to add other bird species to the area soon, including a cardinal that came to us from the NZ Zoo.

Sylvan Heights Waterfowl Park and Eco-Center is dedicated to educating people about the importance of conservation and research focusing on waterfowl and wetland habitats.

Through its captive breeding programs, the Breeding Center has made significant contributions to the survival and expansion of many threatened species. With more than 2,500 birds and 170 species, the Breeding Center is home to the largest captive waterfowl population in North America. Pioneering work conducted at the Breeding Center includes Magellanic Steamer Ducks, African and Indian Pygmy Geese, White Backed Ducks and many other species.

*Photo caption: Mike Lubbock presents a certificate to Brian Germick.

Friday, August 1, 2008

"Green" Lunches

As the NC tax-free weekend is upon of us, parents and their students will be snatching up school supplies and new clothes for the upcoming school year. Of course, an important part of going to school every day is lunch!

Garbage and waste is a major problem in school lunchrooms, eventually, ending up in the landfill where it will sit for your child's lifetime, or longer.

If you want to send your kid back to school this year a little greener, there are a few things you can do to avoid filling the dump and polluting the earth.

  • Use Reusable Lunch Bags, Food Containers and Drink Bottles: Cloth lunch bags are easy to store in a backpack and can be thrown in with the laundry at the end of the week. Use plastic reusable food containers to hold snacks rather than buying plastic baggies that will be thrown away. Rather than sending your kid to school with a juice box or a soda can, buy a non-toxic, eco-friendly, reusable drink bottle.

  • Buy the Family Size: Rather than creating waste each time your child eats some chips with individual sized bags, buy the big bag and give them a handful for lunch. This will save you money too.
  • Buy Organic: Instead of feeding kids fruit flavored snacks, buy fresh, organic fruit instead. This will avoid consumption of pesticides or hormones.

Remember, these tips are good for you to practice at work too! So when you're shopping for all those school supplies, avoid the temptation to buy disposable and individually packaged items by giving your child a greener lunch. They’ll also learn how to protect the earth for generations to come.

*Photo from imorganic.com