We held our 12th Annual Sustainable Design Awards in New York…. Our Coalition for Resource Recovery (CoRR) team in NY hosted a two-day conference on commercial food waste and food service packaging, finishing up on America Recycles Day…. Our New Orleans office presented a Build It Back Green (BIBG) workshop on “Winterizing Your Drafty New Orleans Home”…. Walker Wells served as an award juror for the LA Sustainable Innovation Awards, presented by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC)…. Mary Luevano and Gina Goodhill met with homeowners interested in rebuilding green after losing their homes in the San Bruno pipeline explosion last year… Gina Goodhill presented Global Green’s bike sharing proposal to the City of Santa Monica, which was approved by the City Council…. Matt Petersen gave a talk at the TEDxWomen conference…. Paul Walker was in The Hague for a Chemical Weapons Convention….
Archive for November, 2011
We would like to think warmly about this season of giving, but we’re often disheartened by a culture that promotes over-indulgence and crazed consumerism. So our version of a holiday gift guide includes tips and suggestions that are less extravagant and more eco-friendly. You won’t have to enter a mall for any of these gift ideas, either.
If you want to give a book or movie, we have lists of Green Books and Green Films recommended by our staff members. And we also believe that giving a gift membership to Global Green USA to help support us and the work we do is a mighty fine idea, too. Below, favorite green gift ideas from staff members of Global Green, along with some stellar wrapping alternatives.
IT’S REUSED AND RECYCLED
“I traditionally buy used books from Amazon as gifts. And, now with e-books, it’s even easier to give books, old or new, without needing transportation, paper, or postage.” — Lily
“Sometimes I give something I already have if it is unused or in good condition and I believe the person will truly appreciate it.” — Linda S.
“Dig up family heirlooms to give as gifts.” — Nina
“I think cooking gifts is a nice idea — whether it’s fudge, your own special Chex mix, or candied nuts. And you can give it in reusable tins or storage containers.” — Jeannine
“I give my parents a gift certificate to a fancy dinner.” — Gina G.
“I enjoy going to the farmers’ market and buying fresh, local fruit to make preserves or apple sauce as gifts.” — Ali
“I like to give locally-themed drink kits. For example, the fixings for Autumn Mojitos: Old New Orleans Rum, Steen’s Cane Syrup (made in Louisiana), locally-grown mint and limes, and either an organic ginger ale or Blenheim’s Ginger Ale (brewed in South Carolina). It makes for a tasty and seasonal gift.” — Laney
“I plan to make infused olive oil (organic, of course) with herbs from the garden (rosemary, lemon verbena) and put it in a cleaned-out wine bottle with a cork stopper.” — Stef
“I like to go a local market and fill one of their reusable bags with gourmet treats. Also, if you have any kind of a cooking gene, homemade food is always a winner. I make my brother ginger bread men cookies (his fave) every year. Better than almost anything I can buy him.” — Mary
IT’S AN EXPERIENCE
“My brother gave his girlfriend a great gift last year. He planned an entire day — went to the farmers’ market, made breakfast from food they bought, then had a local hike picked out, and packed a picnic to eat at the top. He wrote all of this out in coupon, which was the ‘gift.’ ” — Sarah
“I have given concert and comedy show tickets for an experience gift.” — Ali
IT’S HANDMADE AND LOCAL
“I like to buy all my holiday gifts from the various arts and crafts markets around town. Because I’m in New Orleans, we aren’t limited to just kitschy handicrafts — lots of local vendors sell handmade things created from salvaged materials, CDs of their music, and re-purposed items.” — Becki
“I like to give pottery. It is a connection to the earth — as it is from there — and you can easily buy local. Also, it is useful and long-lasting. Cups, pitchers, tea pots, planter pots.” — Richard
“I like to buy jewelry from the thrift store, take it apart, and remake it into multiple pieces to give to all my girlfriends.” — Hagu
“Subscriptions to online magazines or newspapers are always a winner and are completely waste-free.” — Lily
IT SMELLS GOOD
“I have made sachets of herbs wrapped in fabric and also filled vintage jars with floral water I’ve made with rose and lavender.” — Michelle
“I like to give the 21st century mixtape — a playlist, transferable by USB. It’s personal, creative, and waste-free.” — Lily
“Give the gift of a living tree.” — Ruben
IT HELPS GLOBAL GREEN
Check out the list of friends of Global Green who support us with proceeds from sales of goods and services.
IT’S A WRAP
“I have been known to wrap gifts in silk scarves or articles of clothing that are also part of the gift.” — Lily
“My father always wraps our presents in newspapers — he also has come up with more elaborate pretty bows (also made out of newspaper) over the years.” — Jeannine (her magazine bows are pictured above; check How About Orange for a tutorial on making a magazine bow and Instructables for making paper flowers)
“Wrapping in my family is ALWAYS in Trader Joe’s bags or newspapers, with a little bit of painters or masking tape. Or, wrapped in some tweed string. Or, we just have people close their eyes, and we hand them their gift and make them guess what it is.” — Sarah
“I wrap the gifts creatively, sometimes with saved wrapping paper, sometimes in the pages of a beautiful old calendar or the funny pages. I also make my own cards.” — Linda S.
“An easy way to green your gift giving is to make the wrapping a part of the present. A scarf around homemade beauty supplies, a printed dishtowel around organic wine, or a fair trade woven basket with farmers’ market finds can make the present prettier and more sustainable!” — Laney
“I used to paint and instead of throwing them out, I have used those paintings as wrapping paper.” — Michelle
“Recycle newspaper as gift wrapping and have the kids draw something special or write a special note on each wrapped gift. Adds a special and more meaningful touch to your gift wrapping, plus it gives ‘bored’ kids a chance to color, paint, draw, etc.!” — Vanessa
We turn to films for entertainment, but also for information and inspiration. A film can provide an escape from reality, but it can also provide an emotional connection for the viewer. After the recent release of Chris Paine’s “Revenge of the Electric Car,” a sequel to his groundbreaking “Who Killed the Electric Car?,” we were inspired to ask staff members to reflect on the green films that have informed us, angered us, and ultimately influenced us and guided us in doing the work we do.
“In a movie filled with personal scandals, murder, and deception, it’s thrilling to watch Jack Nicholson’s detective character uncover a corrupt scheme to control the city’s water supply.” — Stef
Erin Brockovich (2000)
” ‘Erin Brockovich’ highlights the connection between the environment and human well-being, both physical and emotional, in a bittersweet and complex way. It does a great job of showing that environmental efforts aren’t about preserving an aesthetic — they are about protecting quality of life.” — Lily
“This film had quite an effect on me being that I was raised in a rural Louisiana town and being able to literally attest to the material that was used in the film.” — Jon
Scarred Lands and Wounded Lives: The Environmental Footprint of War (2007)
“This award-winning documentary film by Alice and Lincoln Day is about our deep dependence on the natural world and the significant threat posed by war and preparations for war. (I’m also interviewed in it.)” — Paul
Soylent Green (1973)
“Classic Charlton Heston pic with over-the-top acting and a fun sci-fi premise that shows a dire scenario where people are forced to eat people (unknowingly) to survive (and encourage euthanasia to keep food supply abundant).” — Ruben
“It shows what we’ve become as a society of people who are over-consuming and over-indulging — and what the Earth would look like if we continue on our path.” — Vanessa
Waste Land (2010)
“Director Lucy Walker (friend and GG supporter) captures the beauty — yes, beauty — of the world’s largest trash city, Rio de Janeiro. It truly is a captivating documentary about art, waste, recycling, and humanity.” — Sarah
Even more great green films favored by our staff members:
Carbon Nation (2011)
Fern Gully (1992)
Free Willy (1993)
In Our Own Backyard (1982)
Island President (2011)
Princess Mononoke (1997)
What Would Jesus Buy? (2007)
Who Killed the Electric Car? (2006)
The China Syndrome (1979)
The Day After Tomorrow (2004)
The 11th Hour (2007)
The Inconvenient Truth (2006)
The quote from today’s staff meeting comes from author Nelson Henderson: ”The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit.”
Get your motor running: The green car of the year from Green Car Journal was revealed: The Honda Civic Natural Gas. (Blog post)
And then there were 10: We announced the top 10 finalists for our Green School Makeover Competition, along with their proposed project ideas. (The finalists, with their proposals)
Green economy, please: A new study shows EPA regulations create jobs and help grow the economy. (Reuters report)
Recycle and Reuse: All those containers and cups and other wasteful packaging from the food service industry? We held a two-day conference in NY to discuss ways to cut back, change the supply chain, and find greener package alternatives. (Blog post, with video)
NY Awards: At our 12th Annual Sustainable Design Awards in New York, we honored Adrian Genier, 350.org, Starbucks, Sprint, and Fisker Automotive. (Our report, including photos and video clips)
Laugh of the week: Saturday Night Live’s Kristen Wiig in a hilarious Funny Or Die comedy bit: how to end the global warming crisis. (Funny or Die)
Our CEO Matt Petersen was on the jury once again to help select the 2012 Green Car of the Year, presented by Green Car Journal. For 2012, the Honda Civic Natural Gas took the top prize, beating out the Ford Focus Electric; Mitsubishi i; Toyota Prius v; and VW Passat TDI. More information from Green Car Journal.
We’ve announced the 10 finalists of our Green School Makeover Competition and you can read about their inspiring proposals here. While in New York for the Sustainable Design Awards this week, Ruben Aronin and Mary Luevano had the chance to visit one of the schools in contention: The French American Charter School in the Bronx. Here are some of the kids — noses covered — learning about composting.
Our Coalition for Resource Recovery (CoRR) team hosted a two-day conference this week on resource recovery, finishing up on America Recycles Day. Key leaders in resource recovery from New York City and across the country joined us in discussing waste diversion methods, challenges and strategies.
Next up: we will be talking with more restaurants, haulers, and recyclers in the coming weeks about getting involved in our New York City pilot.
We began to work with Shae Kalyani, Vice President of Marketing for Pureology, when Pureology began supporting our efforts at Global Green. Recently, they sponsored our Green School Makeover Competition and have joined us in working to educate and inspire parents, teachers, and kids about greening schools.
What would surprise us about your work?
Pureology was founded on the notion of giving back and being responsible citizens of the world.
Who is your hero?
My kids — they inspire me every day and remind me that the simple things in life sometimes bring the biggest joy.
What has been your greatest success?
Leading a team of extraordinarily talented people that I get to work with on a daily basis.
What has been your greatest failure or challenge?
Everyday I’m constantly challenged to make the right decisions to ensure that my children and generations to come have a clean environment to live in.
If you had the power to make one global and green change, what would it be?
Global change: World peace. Green change: Help people to realize that making simple changes in your daily life can make a big impact on helping the environment.