A thank you to the Carnival's previous host -- World is Green. Also be sure to check out next week's carnival (#99) at Ethical Junction (love that blog title!)
Want to post? Want to host? It's easy -- just check out the basics at Treehugger.
There's a lot of things we can do to live a greener life. This week's posts illustrate a pretty clear to do list for us greenies.
1. Buy coffee
But not just any coffee. I almost always buy fair trade and organic coffee, but haven’t thought beyond that. Dr. John Gelbard at Conservation Value Notes points out that there’s one more criteria that the truly green coffee drinker should be aware of: shade grown coffee. Fair trade and organic alone are not enough to promote biological diversity in tropical rainforests. He quotes a fairly recent study that find that "...vegetation variables for shade certification significantly correlated with bird and ant diversity."
To sum it all up, Jon says, “if you want to make sure that your coffee not only (1) won't contain nasty toxic pesticide residues and won't pollute local soils and waterways (organic) and the (2) farmer receives a fair price (Fair Trade), but also (3) has minimal impacts on the biological diversity of tropical rainforests, make sure it is labeled as "Shade Grown".”
There are a lot of things you can do with those Triple Certified used coffee grounds, and on the blog InnStyle Montana there are several ideas listed – 11 of them, in fact. From compost to insect repellent to dye and more.
2. Keep up on the newest Green trends
Victoria E has an exclusive interview with the “Executive Producer of Portland Fashion Week, the greenest fashion week ever.” Portland is fast becoming an “outlet for cutting edge fashion” of the sustainable kind.
Tiffany Washko remarks on all the green and natural trends - which are becoming more and more mainstream. Her post seems to be an ad for a “Natural Mom PLR” membership which includes membership reviews and articles.
3. Eat right/Pack right
Michaela at Mindful Momma has a lot of information on plastic wrap in her post this week. Turns out that a lot of plastic wrap is based on PVC (did anyone reading this see the film Blue Vinyl?) and contains a liquid plasitcizer DEHA (Di-ethylhexyl) which is used to make the wrap more flexible. Problem is it can leach and to food and is a possible human carcinogen. Michaela gives us some tips on how to avoid or lessen the impacts of wrap additives – especially important when packing lunch for the kiddies.
4.Take care of our animal friends
How can we help wildlife in your own backyard survive drought and dry weather? Questions answered with 5 simple tips by Sally and Sadie Kneidel over at Veggie Revolution.
I’m sure that St. Francis of Assisi would approve of those tips, and Don Bosch at the Evangelical Ecologist has posted about St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals and ecology – the original evangelical ecologist. Assisi “found in all created things, however trivial, some reflection of the Divine perfection.”
6. Take Care of our plant friends
Stephanie at Stop the Ride shows us how to make a basket planter with a thrift store basket, a plastic bag and stapler. An excellent way to reuse that un-biodegradable bag and make something that looks very nice as well.
7. Plan vacations that don't trash the planet
Pablo at Triplepundit asks, “Is it hypocritical for an ‘eco resort’ to offer helicopter transport?” Pablo calculates the emissions and fuel used by taking visitors by van vs. helicopter to Chaa Creek, an award-winning eco-resort in Belize. And while travel emissions can be offset, you can’t really offset the noise pollution and it’s effects on the birds, the locals and the tourists.
And speaking of offsets, Jeanette Kimmel from Intelligent Travel writes that the Carbon Capital Fund, a new carbon-offsetting agency which is a joint offering from the National Forrest Foundation and the U.S. Forrest Service, plans to offset carbon emissions by reforesting areas destroyed by wildfires and other natural disasters. Our forests currently absorb between 10 and 15 percent of our nation’s emissions, so reforesting makes a lot of sense from an environmental standpoint as well as a tourist one.
8. Celebrate life - and all the fun holidays in an eco-friendly way
Halloween is fast approaching, and Tiffany Washko has posted about some eco-friendly Halloween treats on the Nature Moms blog. She also covers decorations, trick-or-treat bags and costumes.
9. Clean your personal space
Adam on the LifeGoggles blog has posted a review of the ecological laundry powder, Aquados. With Aquados a lot less detergent is used, and if Adam doesn’t pack the washing machine too full he also gets a lovely, clean smell as well.
10. The old standby - recycle, recycle
Adam from LifeGoggles posts a photo with a Friend of the Earth – and there’s a plastic bottle in the picture. He makes the point that plastic is very much a part of our lives, even for us greenies.
11. Get that bike tune-up
Coding Grasshoper has done the math and managed to save £1800 and almost 2 tons of CO2 by bicycling to work every day over driving for one year. That’s a lot of cash.
12. Change the bulbs - and be safe about disposal
Chris Baskind at Lighter Footstep talks about 5 ways to safely dispose of a CFL. Compact fluorescent bulbs have such a huge impact on the CO2 we emit, but they do have that trace amount of mercury. (The links Chris provided to me weren’t working when I piecing this carnival together – I hope they are working by the time you all read this)
13. Purchase Carbon Offsets – or not?
Melanie Rimmer at the Bean Sprouts blog has written about controversial carbon offsetting schemes. She illustrates this by posting about a spoof site called CheatNeutral.com – the idea being that every time that cheats on a spouse they can contribute to another couple who will be faithful on your behalf.
While I agree with Melanie that buying and Hummer and then making up for it by buying carbon offsets is really ineffective, I’m not convinced that carbon offsetting is a completely bad thing. Our family has managed to reduce our car usage and purchase offsetting. I like to think of it as an awareness tool and since I can’t possibly cut out driving altogether, I’m glad to be contributing to building wind farms or planting trees than not doing anything . . .
14. Be Generous
Doris Chua from Organics & Your Health talks about the website Greenloop which is sponsoring a “click for charity” campaign, organized by the artist Mckenzie.
Additional (added at 10:30 am MST):
My spam filter caught a submission that I missed -- good thing I cleaned it out this morning!
Leon Gettler from Sox First posts an interview Triodos Bank executives. Triodos Bank "invests in projects offering social and environmental value." Triodos started in 1980 as a sustainable bank, and I found one fact particularly interesting:
Bas Ruter, managing director of its funds management division said, "Our first fund invested in wind energy after Chernobyl. As a bank, we thought it was not enough to say no to nuclear power if we could work actively on the energy crisis. So we started financing with risk capital in wind energy in Europe." I love this point as in Utah there's a huge debate about building nuke power plants here and out state legislature is hoping to fast track this issue through the next legislative session.
I want to add a big Thank You! to Treehugger and Kara DiCamillo for continuing to organize the Carnival of the Green and for the opportunity to host. I hope you all enjoy reading it, and please comment on what works and doesn't. Thanks!