Category Archives: environmentally-friendly

This new-fangled ‘Green Thing’ or just the King’s Clothes?

This Green Thing - Brown Paper Bag

image courtesy of

Checking out at the supermarket, the young cashier suggested to the much older woman, that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren’t good for the environment.

The woman apologised and explained, “We didn’t have this ‘green thing’ back in my earlier days.”

The young cashier responded, “That’s our problem today – your generation did not care enough to save our environment for future generations.”

She was right — our generation didn’t have the ‘green thing’ in its day.

Back then, we returned milk bottles, lemonade bottles and beer bottles to the shop. The shop sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilised and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled.

But we didn’t have the “green thing” back in our day.

Grocery shops bagged our groceries in brown paper bags, that we re- Used for numerous things, most memorable besides household bags for rubbish, was the use of brown paper bags as book covers for our schoolbooks. This was to ensure that public property (the books provided for our use by the school), was not defaced by our scribblings. Then we were able to personalise our books on the brown paper bags.

But too bad we didn’t do the “green thing” back then.

We walked up stairs, because we didn’t have a lift in every supermarket, shop and office building. We walked to the local shop and didn’t climb into a 300 horsepower machine every time we had to go half a mile.

But she was right. We didn’t have the “green thing” in our day.

Back then, we washed the baby’s Terry Towel nappies because we didn’t have the throwaway kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy-gobbling machine burning up 3 kilowatts – wind and solar power really did dry our clothes back in our early days. Kids had hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing.

But that young lady is right; we didn’t have the “green thing” back In our day.

This Green Thing - Wastebin

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Back then, we had one radio or TV in the house – not a TV in every room and the TV had a small screen the size of a big handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of Scotland In the kitchen. We blended and stirred by hand because we didn’t have electric machines to do everything for us. When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used wadded up old newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. Back then, we didn’t fire up an engine and burn petrol just to cut the lawn. We pushed the mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn’t need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.

But she’s right; we didn’t have the “green thing” back then.

We drank from a tap or fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water. We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.

But we didn’t have the “green thing” back then.

This Green Thing - Petrol Pump

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Back then, people took the bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their Mums into a 24-hour taxi service in the family’s £50,000 ‘People Carrier’ which cost the same as a whole house did before the “green thing.” We had one electrical outlet in a room, Not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances and we didn’t need a computerised gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 23,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest pub!

But isn’t it sad that the current generation laments how wasteful we Old Folks were just because we didn’t have the “green thing” back then?

Please forward this on to another selfish old person who needs a lesson in conservation from a smart arse young person…

We don’t like being old in the first place, so it doesn’t take much to piss us off…especially from a tattooed, multiple pierced smart-arse who can’t work out the change without the cash register telling them how much it is!

Here endeth the bloody lesson!

It’s Christmas – The Best Time To Think about Ethical Fashion

Pamela Ravasio will present a webinar that looks at clothing manufacturing and pollution and the importance of thinking and buying ethically.

The webinar will take place on Monday, December 12, 2011, 7:30 PM (GMT)

Sign up for the Webinar at 21st Century Network’s Meetup page here

Pamela is a freelance business consultant for ethical fashion SMEs, a market researcher and a journalist. Pamela is further the founder and managing editor of Shirahime (, a blog 
that focused on the topic of sustainability in fashion, and which in 2011 won the prestigious ‘Observer Ethical Award’ in the 
category ‘ethical blog’. Pamela has previously given a webinar and organised a meetup on ethical fashion.

A new investigative report from Greenpeace, entitled ‘Dirty Laundry’, profiles the problem of toxic water pollution resulting from the release of hazardous chemicals by the textile industry in China. The investigations focuses on two facilities that were found to be discharging a range of hazardous and persistent chemicals with hormone-disrupting properties. These results are indicative of a much wider problem that is posing serious and immediate threats to both our precious ecosystems and to human health.

In the follow up research commissioned by Greenpeace International (‘Dirty Laundry 2’) it is revealed that clothing and certain fabric-based shoes sold internationally by major clothing brands are manufactured using nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs). NPEs — which are used as surfactants in textile production. They break down to form toxic substance called nonylphenol (NP) which is a persistent chemical with hormone-disrupting properties that builds up in the food chain, and is hazardous even at very low levels.

While Greenpeace did only analyse dye houses and brands that are – in the global context – ahead of their peers, the more worrying fact is: the vast majority of clothing brands have no means of telling if and what toxic substances are used in the manufacturing of their collections. And maybe worse: for a vast range of chemicals used in textile manufacturing, the long-term impacts on human and animal health and the environment are unclear, or even unknown, till this very day.

Greenpeace is challenging industry leading brands brands and suppliers to become champions for a toxic-free future – by eliminating all releases of hazardous chemicals from their supply chains and their products. And also governments have a crucial role to play by putting suitable frameworks into place and enforcing adherence and retrospective accountability.

The webinar will take place on Monday, December 12, 2011, 7:30 PM (GMT)

Sign up for the Webinar at 21st Century Network’s Meetup page here

$25K for the Greenest Family in NYC Tri-State Area–special from Shel Horowitz

For those of you reading this in the NYC Tri-State Area, PrincipleProfit author and ethical marketing guru, Shel Horowitz, pushed this my way so I’m pushing it your way!

I am always thinking of you, my readers–so when I saw this in this morning’s Help a Reporter, I stopped what I am doing to tell you about it. I know nothing about this other than what is below, but it certainly seemed worth passing on. If I lived in the Tri-State area and had kids the right age, I’d enter myself.

HARO is a no-charge service that sends reporter queries three times a weekday.
You can subscribe at

I suggest you respond with two or three bullets and a sentence or two about your qualifications – let them follow up later)–the faster the better.

Please respond to the reporter *using the address in the body of the request* (I wouldn’t mind being copied but if you only send to me, I won’t forward it) with HARO as the first word of the subject line.

Remember–I didn’t write this and can’t answer any questions about it. All I know is what’s below.

18) Summary: CASTING: How green is YOUR family?

Category: Entertainment and Media
Media Outlet: Anonymous
Deadline: 7:00 PM EST – 8 December

How green is YOUR family? A NYC based media company is casting three families in the tri-state area to enter an eco-friendly challenge! We are looking for outgoing families who are comfortable on camera. Shoot dates will be mid-to-late January for two days in your home.

Here’s the deal! Each family will name one of their children (age 6-10) as team lead, and under the guidance of a green expert, each family will be asked to create solutions to (1) save water, (2) save energy, and (3) reduce waste at home, in their neighborhoods and in their schools. Each family will be compensated; however points will be awarded for each activity and the winning family will appear on Better TV and receive a $25,000 savings bond for their child’s college education.

Does your family have what it takes to win this challenge? Write a brief description explaining why, grab your favorite family photo, and submit to

Accurate Writing & More, 16 Barstow Lane , Hadley, MA 01035, United States

Save money with the Eaga ShowerSmart

To help you make savings, we’ve got together with Eaga to help give every home in the UK a FREE Eaga ShowerSmart device that works with non-electric showers.

Your Eaga ShowerSmart is great for your pocket, great for the environment and thanks to this government backed initiative, it won’t cost your household a penny!
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Create you own custom eBook for FREE – Great Wikipedia Resource!

I’ve just come across this great resource via The Social Media Guide. Did you know how easy it is to create an ebook with Wikipedia’s Free eBook Generator? Great idea for a personalised offer from your business or to your family and friends as it gives you the option to pay to have it printed and delivered.

It’s Moving Day—What Are You Going to Do About Junk Removal?

Whether you live in an American city like Phoenix or a Canadian one like Toronto, there will come a time when you need junk removal. Most people need to have junk hauled away when they’re moving from their current home into a new one. If you live somewhere for a length of time, say two or more years, it’s amazing how fast possessions and just plain junk can accumulate. If you are planning a move in the near future, then here are some suggestions for ways to whittle down your possessions and make your move go more smoothly.

First, look over everything you own, including the stuff that’s tucked away in closets, under beds, on top of bookcases, etc. Once you’ve done a visual inventory of all of your stuff, then comes the hard part: deciding what you’ll really need in your new place. If you have furniture that’s too big and clunky for your new place, or has seen better days, get rid of it! Ask yourself how many chairs you really need, how many coffee tables your new place can accommodate. If you have patio furniture that’s old, ugly, or rusty, ask yourself if you really have the time and resources needed to restore it. If it’s too much work, or too expensive, then get rid of it. Either give it to friends who might need it, or call a junk removal Toronto service, or a similar business in your home town, and get rid of it.

One crucial task to perform when you’re moving is to check your garden shed or storage area for cans of old paint, old cleaning products, waste oil from changing the oil or your car, old batteries, or anything else that could be considered hazardous waste, and then consult with your local waste disposal services to find out the safe, legal way to get rid of those items. There’s absolutely no point in transporting such things, so they should be one of the first items that you get rid of when you are moving.

If your garden shed, garage or carport contains old, broken items like lawn chairs and the like, the chances are that it’s just not worth the trouble to fix them. Get rid of them! Have them hauled away by a junk carting service. Be ruthless. Don’t be sentimental about old, broken items no matter how many memories they hold. Think about it, you don’t want to spend time repairing things like this, so make sure they’re disposed of properly in a landfill. Don’t let junk take over your life. Get rid of everything that’s broken, or that you haven’t used or even looked at in the last two or three years.

You can make an exception for camping equipment like tents and camp stoves that you haven’t used recently because you will probably be using it some time in the future. Of course, if you’re too old or disabled to go camping any more, then you should think about passing on such things to people who will use them regularly. If you don’t have friends who like to use camping gear, then think about having a massive yard sale before you move.

Don’t just sell things like camping gear. Go through your tools, old clothes, books, DVDs, kitchenware, and other possessions and sell everything that you don’t use anymore. Getting rid of excess possessions can be very liberating. Most people who live in modern, Western cities in the U.S., Canada and Western Europe probably have too many possessions anyway. Don’t be a slave to the stuff you own, control it, and make your life easier. As Henry David Thoreau advised, “Simplify, simplify.” That’s good advice for anyone, whether you’re in the process of moving or not.

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junk removal

Benefits To Using Reclaimed Building Products

Simply put, reclaimed building products are building materials that would otherwise end up in landfills if they were not recycled. When old buildings and warehouses are demolished much of that material can be reused, but more often than not it ends up in the dumpster. However, as our focus shifts into more environmentally friendly options in the way we live there are more and more companies reclaiming old building materials and making them into beautiful products we can use in our own homes.

What Type of Material is Reclaimed?

When a building is torn down everything you can imagine can get reclaimed. From the roof to the floor and everything in between it can be reused. Many of the products are in near new condition even though they have been in homes and buildings for years. Some of the more popular reclaimed products are:

Wood floors






Floor / Ceiling Beams

What are the Main Benefits to using Reclaimed Products?

Okay, the biggest benefit in using reclaimed materials is that you are being friendlier to our environment. Millions of board feet of flooring are reclaimed each year and reused. This would have ended up in landfills, resulting in more trees being cut down, had the products not been reclaimed.

Some other benefits include the character and charm that can come from a reclaimed product. Anybody can buy a wood floor, but not many people can have a wood floor that is over 100 years old and looks brand new – you can if you choose reusable flooring options.

This article is not intended to talk you into using only reclaimed products on your next remodel, but take a look at what is out there you just may find something you love that has less impact on the environment as well. Everybody wins!

Roberta is an eco-consultant who focuses on environmentally friendly home design. If you want more information on reclaimed flooring check out Roberta’s latest site: