R20 Regions For Climate Action – Paris Highlights October 2014

Originally posted on Paige Donner:

by Paige Donner

“I love sequels. I hope there’s a Kyoto 2. BUT, we shouldn’t wait for Lima or Paris, we should go forward as subnational governments. In California we never waited. We never hesitated. We didn’t do ‘No’ as an answer. “

“Solutions are found in the cities, regions, territories.”

“California refuses to tolerate inaction. We believe in perpetual motion. We have declared war on climate change.”

“Threats of ignoring climate change are immense.”

- Arnold Schwarzenegger

“There is no B plan because there is no B planet.” (paraphrasing Ban Ki Moon).

“The “Terminator” is an Initiator and a Visionary.”

“We must think of this issue as Climate Disruption. Not change. Change can be good. What we are seeing now is climate disruption.”

“Keep in mind that we are the last generation to be able to act on this issue.”

-  Laurent Fabius, French Minister of Foreign Affairs and…

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October 11, 2014 · 9:18 PM

Açai Harvest In Brazil

by Paige Donner

Açai berry branch with fruit

Each and every year in Brazil the population awaits its annual açai berry harvest with bated breath. It’s akin to the yearly Beaujolais harvest in France. A time of year filled with celebration and abundance.

The açai berry has been inching its way into the North American mainstream for at least a decade now. Hailed as a little berry packing a powerfully healthy punch, we first welcomed it in smoothies and nutrition bars.

Indeed some of the properties of the mythical açai berry are :

  • Health tonic elixir
  • Anti-oxidant
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Sweet, Fruit and Fragrant

Açai - Cofruta CommunityAçai berry harvest - man with basket

Açai berries transported by riverboat

Health Properties Of The Açai Berry

For centuries this berry has been used for its health properties by the local Abaetetuba community in the northern Brazilian state of Pará.

The whole of Brazil has embraced the açai berry since many decades for more than its medicinal uses, however. Indeed the culture celebrates the annual harvest by making candies, sweets, and other delicacies out of the dark purple, pulpy and fruity berry.

Its deep purple color are indicative of the berry’s rich anti-oxidant properties. And if you’ve never tasted açai before, the flavor pyramid to expect is : red fruits such as raspberry and wild strawberry giving way to wood berries like blackberries and blueberries ending on a final note of sandal wood and light, aromatic woods.

Açai - Cofruta Community

Natura Brasil’s EKOS Açai Body Care Line

For its EKOS Açai line of body care products, Natura Brasil works with the Cofruta Community, a co-op based in the Pará state of Brazil, who does the bulk of the annual berry harvest.

COFRUTA = Fruit Growers Co-operative of Abaetetuba

This is the co-operative, who in their native Amazonian forest, produces and harvests 95% of the total Brazilian açai berry crop each year. The co-op is made up of several hundred families. The açai berries they harvest are certified organic and along with Natura Brasil, working with them for several decades now, they have developed a sustainable harvesting method. The co-op even produces their own açai berry syrups and jams now in a factory they built in their native Amazonian forest in 2002.

Products from Natura Brasil made from the açai berry harvest are released in limited edition quantities each year. They include :

Triphasée Shower Oil – this fruity and light oil goes on fresh all over your body on still moist, just showered skin. It contains oil pressed directly from the organic açai berry, thus containing concentrated amounts of pure anti-oxidant properties. A fresh, fruity, fragrant scent.

Frescor – the eau de toilette made from organic alcohol and essential oil extracts from the fresh açai berry harvest.

Hand Cream and Body Lotion – These products each give 24hours and 30 hours respectively of skin hydration as well as offering anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant protection.

Ekos Acai_FleurCreme

For more information about these products and the sustainable harvest program that Natura Brasil has institituted with the native Amazonian COFRUTA community in Brazil, go to NaturaBrasil.com.

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The Emissary by Patricia Cori: Interpreting the Songs of the Whales to Save the Earth’s Oceans Indiana Jones-s tyle

Beau Bridges, Actor: "…A uniquely exciting adventure that capture the heart and the soul of the reader.”

The Emissary: Interpreting the Songs of the Whales to Save the Earth’s Oceans Indiana Jones-style

Elisabeth Rohm, actor, author, activist, mother: "The whales and dolphins of this planet need our help – and Patricia Cori is their Emissary!”

Los Angeles, CA, April 29, 2014 – Fans of Animal Planet would likely call bestselling author, Patricia Cori, the "whale whisperer.” However, Cori’s fans deem her a "real-life Indiana Jones.” One thing is for sure. Cori’s debut suspense book, The Emissary (North Atlantic Books) is action-packed and will soon be gracing the big screen in partnership with Global Universal Entertainment.

Since its release, The Emissary has garnered positive attention around the globe. Within the pages of The Emissary, Cori artfully engages her readers with fast action and profound, thought-provoking ideas. "Readers will definitely think about the Earth in a different light after reading The Emissary,” says Cori. "One of the key ideas explored is how our actions today impact the environment tomorrow. We’ve already seen some of this come to reality, however The Emissary explores this idea and the findings are quite unsettling.”

bigstock-humpback-whales-6601517.jpg?itok=bQtQ0eKD

Three events take place nearly simultaneously: People in Los Angeles witness hundreds of birds dropping from the heavens; Beaches in Maine are covered with tens of thousands of dead fish; and a New Zealand beach resort is devastated with dying whales and dolphins. In the aftermath of this chaos, a strange, grid-like pattern forms in the clouds. Readers soon learn that this is not a coincidence, but part of an evil plan to destroy all life on Earth. Enter, the emissary – a leading psychic, who understands and identifies secrets in the songs of the dying whales. She then uses what she learns in her dangerous journey to avert a global disaster.

"The Emissary gives readers the thrills and action-packed adventures that we all thrive upon,” says Patricia Cori. "But it also offers something more, awareness of our oceans and the changes that have come about, due to man’s interference in nature.”

Meet Patricia Cori. Cori is a bestselling author, screenwriter, public speaker and has been interviewed on hundreds of radio and television programs including CNN and Coast to Coast. She’s credited with founding the global non-profit, Save Earth’s Oceans, Inc., whose mission is dedicated to restoring the balance of the ocean’s ecosystems. Cori’s the former host of Beyond the Matrix (BBS Radio) and she is deemed a visionary to her fan base.

The Emissary

www.TheEmissary.net

Pen Densham, Oscar-nominated screenwriter, director, producer, author, artist: "I am a giant fan of creativity that takes us out of our daily thinking. Patricia Cori has penned just such a tale. A broad fantasy adventure that speaks to those who want to think differently and challenge the daily onslaught against nature and our own future.”

Ervin Laszlo, twice nominated for the Nobel prize, Founder and President of The Club of Budapest, Chancellor of the Giordano Bruno GlobalShift University, and best-selling author of 83 books and publications: "The Emissary is that rarest of books: it entertains, indeed, it fascinates, and at the same time conveys a message that we should not forget. Indeed, once we have opened this book, we never will.”

Jim Marrs, New York Times Best Selling author of Psi Spies: The True Story of America’s Psychic Warfare Program: "The Emissary’ brings us government skullduggery, sexy agents, catastrophic events, high-sea adventure, singing whales and a cosmic secret — what’s not to like in this fast-paced page turner?”

New Consciousness Review: "Patricia Cori has done a great service to us all, and I believe the majestic creatures of the sea as well, by turning her skill, passion, and intelligence toward understanding and protecting them, and simultaneously illuminating a path for human transformation.”

Lawrence Bloom, Recently retired Chairman of the UN Environmental Progamme, Green Economy Initiative Council on Green Cities and the World Economic Forum at Davos Global Agenda Council on Urban Management: "It’s a brilliant story – it reads with the pace of a Bond novel, and it’s based in reality. You may not sleep well after you read it! I could not put it down….

Donald Newsom, President, BBS Radio Network, Inc: "Phenomenal! Her extraordinary vision and the way she communicates her truth to her readers will make Patricia Cori a staple in every library.”

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Une Way Of Life: Burnt Red Nails

By Paige Donner

We love (as in love ! love !) Une’s Slightly Burnt Red nail enamel. Red livens up any outfit and adapts to all clothes and makeup, regardless of coloring. Deep and almost brickishly red, it’s a perfect color for early spring and on into the summer. Did we mention how nicely it wears with a deep brown tan ?

NAIL+COLOUR_C09.jpg

Something else you’ll find with UNE nail poishes is an XXL brush that applies your enamel varnish on your nail in one easy stroke. Its not-too-hard, not-too-soft brush fans out over the nail so you’ve got full color coverage precisely and in a flash of one brush-stroke.

And since it’s UNE, ethical is part of the product and part of the packaging. For instance, on the back of each nail polish bottle label is the figure that indicates the percentage of natural origin ingredients for each varnish shade : C09 our Slightly Burnt UNE Red lovely is a whopping 72.1% natural origin.

The Base and Top Coat otherwise known as C00 is 85% natural origin. This adds a natural Ultra-Shine to any of the nail enamel colors.

The color pigments ? They are mineral.

The petrochemical derivatives found in most nail varnishes ? UNE replaced them with equally effective natural origin ingredients : cotton, potato, manioc, algae.

New for this Spring are the 4 shades to match skin color, ranging from NUDE to cocoa brown. Forbidden and exciting shades to wear on your hands as we cruise towards warmer weather.

Other members of the UNE nail enamel color wheel are the SHIL family of shades. These are 2 Natural Shades (soft pink, light beige), 2 Shades Inspired by Lips (blush red, slightly burnt UNE red), and 4 Inspired by Eyes (taupe, khaki, smokey, denim).

SHIL stands for Skin, Hair, Iris and Lips. It’s a sort of (shhh ! secret) code invented by UNE to create natural colors that enhance women of all ages. These shades take their inspiration from the natural shades of Skin, Hair, Irises and Lips.

You can rely on your 3-in-1 UNE nail color formula – that’s Base, Color and Extreme Shine – to be formaldehyde-, phthalate- and toluene-free.

Oil-Based Nail Polish Remover

And now for the real kicker ! UNE likes to say that they don’t know the meaning of impossible. So when faced with creating a natural nail polish remover, they went in the direction of OIL-Based and all natural.

The First 100% natural origin, zero fragrance remover.

What’s more, it not just respects your nails but your cuticles too. Want to know what’s in it ?

80% natural origin solvents extracted from plants.

20% sweet almond and apricot oil

On the light, blossom green bottle you’ll find listed the ingredients, detailing the percentage of natural origin ingredients : 100%

It’s also 100% effective in removing the UNE nail natural ingredient nail polishes. Even my Spring-Summer fave, the Slightly Burnt UNE Red. If only for a color refresh !

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Couvrance – For A Complexion Worthy of The Big Screen

by Paige Donner

Cake-free and doll perfect. That’s you, right ? Of course it is ! And if you feel you need just a tiny little nudge of help in getting there, look no further than Couvrance, the clean pure makeup by Avène, and its line of complexion correcters and foundations.

Couvrance is based on the premise that a woman’s skin is one of her most sensitive and prescious organs. Hence, tender loving care are the operating words here for this line of medical makeup.

The other philosophy is to use the correcter sticks that come in Coral, Yellow and Green to neutralize those small flaws, bags under the eyes and tiny blemishes. Once these small imperfections are made invisible through the delicate application of counter-balancing correcters, a light sheen of Couvrance Compact Foundation Creams can be applied to achieve that flawless Big Screen finish.

Since Valentine’s Day this year is yet again smack dab in the middle of Awards Season, here are some tips that will keep you looking your fresh, radiant and thoroughly seductive self, whatever the occasion :

Dark Circles Under The Eyes

First – and always – thoroughly moisturize under the eye before applying complexion correcters.

For brown undereye circles – Use the coral concealer stick which works for darker skin, the type of skin that tends toward brown undereye circles. The Couvrance Coral Concealer stick creates a very luminous and natural anti-dullness effect.

For blue undereye circles – The Couvrance Yellow Concealer stick works wonders in neutralising the appearance of blue undereye circles.

More Tips on the Concealer Sticks:
Green – neutralises redness, spots, small blemishes

Yellow – neutralises bruises and dark spots
Coral – neutralises brown spots, melasma

Technique « Since your small imperfections have now been neutralised, there’s no need to apply coat after coat of foundation. Instead focus on texture and application techniques, with the desired results in mind. »

Use a brush to apply the Couvrance Fluid Foundation Corrector. This will achieve the appearance of a flawless complexion by casting a veil over your skin. If your complexion tends towards the grey or dull (such as during winter months!), choose a shade with a hint of pink to freshen up your complexion. Choosing a shade that is slightly ligher than your skin tone can help your face appear younger. (Darker shades tend to add years.)

Now, for the finishing touches, you can actually « draw » on your face with the Couvrance Concealer Pen.

These work by applying them to your face after your foundation (to avoid running). The areas of application are on these points : the forehead, nasolabial folds, tip of the nose, corners of the mouth, hollow of the chin.

This adds contour and illumination to your face.

Last step – Mattify your makeup with a dusting of the Couvrance Mosaic Powders. *Hint – these can be used as an eye makeup palette as well.

Whether you set your makeup with the translucent Mosaic Powder, the Radiance or the Bronzer, each are sure to have your makeup lasting all night long and a quick re-dusting of the Mosaic Powder in its slim white compact case during the evening, or any time, will keep your face shine-free.

Nooowww you’re ready for your Big Screen close-up, you doll, you !

*Couvrance are high-tolerance formulas designed for sensitive skin types. They contain no preservatives, no fragrances and are hypoallergenic. They do not smear ; they offer UV protection and are resistant to water and perspiration.

Couvrance by Avène.fr

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Mascara: Green Is The New Pure Black

by Paige Donner

With awards season fully underway and the first of 2014’s runway shows revving up for the world’s hottest fashion weeks, a girl needs her go-to makeup product right at hand. Yes, mascara.

Of course ! Mascara .

According to Premium Beauty News, 54% of women say they couldn’t go without mascara. And counting all distribution channels combined, a whopping one billion little tubes of mascara are sold each year.

Still, one woman out of two claim to have sensitive eyes and who doesn’t want to pamper their peepers ?

So for all you awards show and fashion divas, and all the rest of us lovely creatures who prefer just to watch the parading down runways and red carpets from our perfectly made up eyes, Greening Beauty has scoured the makeup world to find our top picks for green glam when it comes to mascara.

They are Bourjois’s UNE Green Pride Volume Mascara and Avène’s High Tolerance Mascara in its Couvrance line of cosmetics.

UNE is a lusciously lip-smacking green line of makeup, available in Europe (not yet in North America but can be found online) created by Bourjois, one of France’s most established makeup manufacturers. And now they’ve reinvented Black, for the Ultra Black Green Pride Volume Mascara.

Avène is a leading French cosmetics house that specializes in sensitive skin and is one of the pioneers of cosmeceuticals. Their full name is Laboratoires Dermatologiques Avène and for their newest mascara, High Tolerance Mascara, just released in November ’13, they have focused on a product that wears easily not just for women with sensitive eyes or contact lenses, but also for women who want their eyes to sparkle and shine from behind lush, long, black (or brown) lashes.

A few highlights of UNE’s organic and Ultra Black Mascara :

  • Ecocert certified. Means 100% of total ingredients are from natural origin.
  • Boosts lashes by 14x using a combination recipe of three natural waxes : shea butter, carnauba and beeswax. These sculpt, coat and maximize the sheen of the lashes.
  • Holds for 16 hours thanks to the natural polymer, xantham gum.
  • Absolute black for the Ultra Black pigment achieved by pure iron oxide.
  • Brush is small and equipped with supple fibers and « reservoir spaces », a technology that evenly distributes the mascara to avoid clumping, applying the perfect amount in a single sweep.
  • Easily removeable. No rubbing, just dab with spring water and the makeup dissolves gently, respecting sensitive eyes and keeping eyes young looking.

A few highlights of Avène’s High Tolerance Mascara

  • Dedicated to dermatology since 1743, Avène has pioneered the concept of « sterile cosmetiques » or ultra pure cosmetics.
  • The Ultra pure pigments for both their black and brown mascaras have a minimum of metal content.
  • No Paraben. No Phenoxyethanol. No chlorophenesin. No fragrance.
  • Acacia gum allows for full lashes with no clumping. Even after applying several layers. The sheathing and film producing of the natural polymer – acacia gum – mean each lash is coated for perfect definition.
  • Ultra light micro beads in the silica powder increase volume while maintaining a natural effect.
  • Volumising effect : +42% Lengthening effect : +39%
  • High precision brush curved in the shape of an eyelid. Concave side works to make the lashes fuller and lusher. Convex side works to separate the lashes for better definition.
  • Long-lasting : More than 8 hours. Guarantees no clumping while giving high-volume and curl.
  • Easily removeable. Spray a bit of Avène Eau Thermale (natural and very pure French spring water) on your eyes and gently dab with cotton pad to remove.

And Voila’ ! You will not only have the mirrors to your soul shining like rock stars, but your eyes will be saying thank you the whole time to you, too.

http://cosmetiques.ecocert.com

http://www.unebeauty.com

http://www.pierre-fabre.com (Laboratoires Dermatologiques Avène)

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Easy Ways To Green Your Life

by Madoline Hatter (guest post)

Going green in your life doesn’t mean you have to make massive changes. Some of the greenest things you can do are the small ones. Making everyday changes to your life is easy to put into place one small step at a time. Here are some simple ways you can make your life greener and more eco-friendly:

1. Shop Seasonally and Locally – When you buy your food it is easy to pick the brands and products you are familiar with. However if you think about it many of these items must be shipped a long way to get to your grocery store’s shelves. Instead, why not pick up some locally grown or made foods. Not only are they usually cheaper because of a reduction in shipping costs but they are also better for you and for the environment. Buying locally grown or made food means fewer carbon emissions from transportation. It also supports the local economy. Not only that, but produce that is grown locally is also grown seasonally meaning it is better for you and tastes better too. Eating seasonally helps you to keep a variety in your diet and you can even try new foods that you may fall in love with. It is also cheaper to buy foods in season.

2. Go Back to the Basics of Cleaning – In the old days there were not a lot of cleaning products on the market. Basic items like vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, backing soda and pine oils were about your only selections. Today you can embrace the classics and clean green with these same items. Instead of polluting the environment and your home with noxious chemicals, stay clean and healthy and breathe easier by cleaning with natural products. Hydrogen peroxide is a great natural anti-bacterial agent and whitener. Baking soda works to scrub off tough stains and get into the cracks and crevices of your home. Vinegar helps to neutralize odors and get rid of tough stains. Pine oils and other essential oils like orange and lemon are great for cleaning and shining wood surfaces. Pine oil is also anti-bacterial!

3. Reduce Your Water Use –Cutting down on your water use does not mean you can only bathe once a week or never water your lawn. It is simple to cut down your water use and save yourself money as well as saving some strain on the environment. Cut off a minute of your shower time by turning off the water as you shampoo, condition and shave. Turn off the water as you brush your teeth. Do the dishes all at once. If by hand, wash the cups and utensils first and the pots and pans last. That way the water will stay cleaner longer and you can get it all done in one sink. If you use a dishwasher make sure it is completely full before you run it and run it on the fastest setting. In the yard you can water early in the morning or late at night to reduce evaporation. Run it low and slow to reduce run off as well.

4. Plant Local Flora – Speaking of saving water, planting local flora instead of grass is a great way to save water and time in maintaining your yard. Local flora is accustomed to the rainfall and temperature of your area. Not only does it require less maintenance but it is also more resistant to disease and predation by local fauna. You can even set up a wildlife area and attract birds, bees, and butterflies to your yard!

5. Natural Fertilizers – Instead of filling your yard with fake food, why not go the natural way? Not only is it better for your yard and the environment, but it is more affordable too. It only takes a small effort to set up your own compost pile and get to making some nutritious and delicious dirt for your plants. Everyday trash can go into the pile. Items like banana peels, orange peels, egg shells and other organic waste make for great compost. Cut down on the trash sent to landfills and get free dirt all in one step!

6. Recycle – As much as recycling has become a part of our lives there are still some of us who don’t do it as regularly as we should. Make it easy on yourself by setting aside special bins for different kinds of recyclables. Glass, plastic, paper and so on can all be recycled easily. Many garbage collectors often will take recycling as well. Or take it up to your local school or recycling center. Even items like Christmas trees can be recycled. If you drink a lot of canned beverages you can save those up and get money back at an aluminum recycling center. Don’t forget that old appliances can be recycled as well and sometimes you can get money back on those too. Old computers can often bring in some cash from their expensive parts as well.

7. Climate Control – One of the biggest expenses and biggest polluters in our homes are the climate controls. Heating and cooling costs are astronomical and the electricity they use is equally so. Cut down on your cooling costs during the summer by running fans, sealing cracks and covering windows. The sun shining in those windows can create more heat than you would think. Cracks can allow cool air to escape and hot air to take its place. Fans help to keep you cool more affordably than air conditioners by dispersing the heat around your body so that even a warm room feels cooler. In the winter, those cracks should still be filled. Cold air can blow in and warm air escape easily. Windows should be covered at night to avoid the chill factor and uncovered when it is sunny to capture that heat. Keep warmer by bundling up and using other heating elements, like leftover heat from cooking.

8. Cooking Green –Speaking of cooking, you need to be mindful of how you cook as well as what you cook. As I mentioned it is a good idea to cook using high heat during the winter. Using the oven and stove top to cook during the winter helps to heat the entire home and keep down the electric bill. However the same concept does not apply in the summer. Try to avoid using the oven and stove and instead opt for cooking in a slow cooker, outside on the grill, or even eating cold foods. A great way to cut down on pollution and cook your food in the summer is a traditional method in many countries.

Burying your food with hot coals to cook it low and slow is a great way to cook in the heat. Do not just cook a little bit either. Make a whole bunch of food and then save a portion of it for some other meals. That way you can just cook once and then heat it up quickly when you need it.

9. Drink More Water, But Less Bottled –Last but not least I’d like to talk about what we drink. Many of us drink a lot of sugary, artificial beverages that are not good for us or for the environment. Those plastic bottles add up as does the transportation and manufacturing costs. Instead, drink more water. Not the bottled kind but the filtered kind. A filter can give you the same great taste and quality of bottled water but without the high cost or environmental impact. Filtered water is better for you too than drinking
from plastics that can seep toxins into the water. Try using glass or proper containers for drinking water and make sure you don’t cause leeching by putting other beverages in those containers like lemon juices or tomato juices which can be very acidic. As you can see it is not very hard to make small changes in your everyday life and live greener.

It only takes a little bit of thought to change your habits and make a positive impact on the environment. Going green starts one small step at a time, so try out some of these ideas in your home today.

Author Byline:

This article is contributed by Madoline Hatter. Madoline is a freelance writer and blog junkie from ChangeOfAddressForm.com.

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PoweRocks Mini Portable Charging Devices

Magicstick--1 Super Magicstick--2

by Green Blog Network

Portable electronic devices are lifesavers.  Who can live without their SmartPhone or cell phone these days? Apparently not 2.3 billion of Planet Earth’s people.

In more tangible terms, more people have access to a portable phone today than to a toilet.
But when these little buddies – portable electronic devices – lose power, they’re about as useful as dead wood.
Now, however, you can throw your worry out the window. Because Powerocks has invented the genius PowerBank and Magic Cubes.

 
These design-friendly, compact, colorful little devices charge your iPhone, your tablet, your SmartPhone, your cell phone and many other portable electronic devices quickly and efficiently. The PowerBank is equipped with both male and female USB connectors and it also comes with a multiple connector cable good for most devices. And each comes with two output cables so you can recharge two devices simultaneously.
A charged PowerBank is good for about an hour and can go all the way up to 12000 milliamps. It takes only about an hour to charge your PowerBank either directly from an electrical outlet or your computer. The charged PowerBank can last up to a reported 3-6 months. You can find them in many colors – from purple to silver to leopard print – and three power flavors: 6000 mAh,.9000 mAh and 12000mAh. This last one stores enough juice to recharge your iPhone up to 6 times.
You can pick one up for anywhere between $29 to £109. In Canada these stores have them available, perfect for stocking stuffers : )
Canadian Tire, Bell, Rogers, Telus, Bestbuy.ca, Telephone Booth, CostCo’s Wireless, Futureshop.ca
These rechargers are also much more eco-friendly than the standard battery as you can get as many as 500 charges, at least, from one device.

“The Attitude of Free Life”  i.e. never be in an emergency or miss a call when away from home.

Online you can find these cylindrical little lifesavers at Powerocksusa.com

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Greening Your Microbusiness’ Environmental Footprint When You’re on a Micro-budget

Guest post by Susan Chambers

On more than one occasion over the last couple of years, I’ve heard heart-centred business owners declare that they’d love to make a positive difference in the world through their business—if they only knew how to get started transforming their business into a socially responsible entity. I’ve also encountered microentrepreneurs who express fears that going green will send them broke, and yet others who believe that their companies are too small to make a positive difference in the world.

I believe that everyone has the capacity to be a change agent and lead by example when (1) they have the information and resources (a network of like-minded individuals to call on for support or inspiration) to guide their actions, (2) they start from where they are and with what’s available to them, and (3) they make changes through small, incremental steps. I also believe that with some thoughtful planning beforehand and along the way, adopting more planet-friendly business processes ultimately contributes to the overall value of a business; it enhances the sustainability of both the company and the planet.

You wouldn’t set out on a journey without doing some planning beforehand, and the same wisdom applies to greening your company’s environmental footprint (the overall impact your business has on the planet as a result of greenhouse gas emissions, waste production, and usage patterns for resources such as energy, water, renewable and non-renewable resources). Yes, the information gathering, decision making and planning take a bit of time, but in the long run it will keep you within your budget and on track, contribute to some small and encouraging successes, and keep you engaged in the process. Here are a few strategies to get you started.

1. Do a mini appraisal of your business so you have a clear idea of your motives, readiness, and capacity to go green. What financial, material, intellectual, and human resources do you have available to you? Are your investors, partners, employees, customers, vendors, etc, on board with your decision to green your business operations?

2. Do an inventory of the environmentally friendly business processes you already have in place. Give yourself some recognition and appreciation for what you’ve already accomplished: it’s a better motivator than focusing on what you’re not doing or dong well.

3. Measure your environmental footprint. You can either take DIY approach, or call in an expert to do the assessment, depending on the type and location of your business.

4. Based on the results of your actions in steps 2 and 3, write a list of the green business practices you want to implement, then look at the resources (money, time, people) that are currently available to you right now. Based on the resources available to you right now, choose two or three actions that are easy to implement immediately, won’t cost you a cent, and will help you to start saving resources and money. (For example, using less energy translates into lower electricity bills; banishing bottled water saves both money and precious resources.)

5. You may discover that you have one or two “big ticket” items on your list that are not affordable in the short run—and you’re not so sure how you are going to afford them in the longer run, either. If this is the case, set up a “green fund”: direct the money saved from the cost-saving green strategies into a specially designated savings account, and use the money saved in that account to pay for those big ticket items.

Start from where you are, and take small steps that will yield some early successes on your path to greening your company’s footprint. You’ll find that the small steps add up to big changes– and you didn’t go broke in the process. So, are you ready, now, to step up as a change agent and lead by example?

Susan Chambers is the author of Small Business, Big Change: A Microentrepreneur’s Guide to Social Responsibility (Night Owls Press / 2012).

Eco.Luxury.Style – quarterly Sustainable Magazine

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Eco-Chic Aikiou Pet Feeders

The interactive dog feeder improves on the original design with reversible toecaps that allow customers to modify the pressure needed to open the food compartments, thereby making it more challenging and exciting for your pet. The new design also makes it easier to fill the dish and is slightly shorter which allowed for a 15% reduction in production greenhouse gas. The Aikiou dog bowl helps with weight control, digestive issues and stimulates your dog’s brain. It is suited to dogs of all sizes.

For Dogs

The Aikiou Junior is a 3-in-one product serving as a food bowl, slow feeder and puzzle for your pet.

The BPA-free Aikiou Junior has six food openings and lets dogs use their sense of smell to find the food. This allows Fido to eat in a way that is more natural to him.

Because your dog has to “hunt” for his food, it encourages slower eating patterns that help reduce bloating and overweight issues in dog.

For Cats

The Stimulo feeder improves on the original design with an easier to clean base and a new tube design that makes it even more fun for cats to get their food. The product is made using only food grade BPA plastics.

The Stimulo is designed to allow cats to be their natural predator self and “hunt” for food. The prior version of the Stimulo bowl was featured on Good Morning America and won Best in Show at the Global Pet Expo in 2012.

Eco.Luxury.Style – quarterly Sustainable Magazine

Green Blog Network * Greening Hollywood * Greening Beauty
Greening Paris * Greening Vancouver

Recycle, Reuse, Rejoice!

Leave a comment

Filed under Eco Consulting Eco Media