Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Going Green Can Make You Money

Still waiting on that W-2? Need cash now to buy some hot Valentines Day gifts or to pay your gas bill? Check out this article in Planet Green which features ways you can make money by going green. And you thought you only saved money by going green. Karma baby!

Eco Express

One more source for eco-friendly gift giving. Check out the V-Day selections. This one would be a great gift for a guy.

Nancy Judd's Recycled Fashion Slide Show

A little far out for me, but I am sure some of you could pull off aspects of these looks from Nancy Judds Recycled Couture fashions. Check out the slide show.

Organic Valentine Chocolate

A cheaper option from Endangered Species Chocolate at less than $7 for a bag of 24 bite size pieces.

My Favorite Chocolate: Endangered Species

Endangered Species chocolate bars are my absolute favorite. Every weekday around 3pm, I take a chocolate break and enjoy two pieces of my 3oz bar. Dark Chocolate (72%) with Cranberries and Almonds guarantees a head rush! I also feel good about buying this chocolate, because they work with a village in Ghana to ensure quality, fair wages and working conditions and sustainable farming. Anyway, if you file your taxes early, you might be able to splurge and get this special Valentines Day package which includes 24 recycled cards and 24 chocolate bars for $40. Actually that is not a bad deal, working out to $1.66 per person. You could use as treats for your kids to share with classmates or pass out to co-workers and family. I guarantee they will be hooked!! What a sweet and fun way to teach consciousness. If you want to taste one for yourself, you should be able to find in most grocery stores, natural history museum gift shops and definitely Whole Foods Market.

Have an Amazing Organic Valentines Day!

Ahhh! Though it may be frigid and snowy outside, on the inside I am warmed by the thought of having a red hot green Valentines Day, even if it is more green than red hot! Alas, where does one find the tools needed for such a day? Fret no more, click here, for a great article that covers all of the bases - flowers, chocolates, lingerie, candles and dinner. Though written last year, the sources have been updated for 2009. Even if you don't have a special someone in your life, don't forget family and friends love to be loved too! And what a great way to introduce them to ways to love the earth.


Staples to Reward Customers for Recycling Ink and Toner Cartridges | Ariel Schwartz on GreenBiz.com

Staples to Reward Customers for Recycling Ink and Toner Cartridges Ariel Schwartz on GreenBiz.com Get $3 bucks for recycling your ink and toner cartridges with Staples.

Gulf Oil States Seeking a Lead in Clean Energy

Gulf Oil States Seeking a Lead in Clean Energy - NYTimes.com You know something is up when one of the world's most oil rich regions (United Arab Emirates) is seeking to become a world class example of energy efficiency by developing the world's first zero waste, zero emissions city. Sadly in the U.S., we still have government officials cackling and whining about the prospect of improving fuel efficiency standards. And we wonder why innovation has disintegrated in this country in the last decade.

Go Green at Lunch

Check out the website of the female owned, triple bottom line company, To-GoWare for eco-friendly lunch accessories, such as the bamboo utensils pictured here. I like this set in particular, because of the portable pouch included. I can't count the number of forks and spoons that have gone MIA in transit from home to work. Also, available on the site are stainless steel food containers, which are better for salads and sandwiches, since they can't be nuked. Be sure to check out the mission of the company and the featured poem about our disposable eating habits.

Scoop: Appointment of Special Envoy for Climate Change

Scoop: Appointment of Special Envoy for Climate Change Todd Stern, former Clinton advisor on climate change, has been appointed by Secretary Clinton to Special Envoy for Climate Change. Mr. Stern who has an impressive background in climate change strategy and policy, will represent the U.S. in international climate change policies and negotiations. He will also be heavily involved in energy policy discussions within our government.

Obama orders push to cleaner, more efficient cars

Obama orders push to cleaner, more efficient cars - Yahoo! News

Report: Some climate damage already irreversible

Report: Some climate damage already irreversible - Yahoo! News

Saturday, January 24, 2009

EPA a failure on chemicals, audit finds

EPA a failure on chemicals, audit finds - JSOnline We have got to get over the assumption that because a product is being sold, that it is safe for us. The onus is on us to take responsibility for our health and community, because as this article states, we can't count on the government to protect us. So often we blindly use products, drive past buildings belching black clouds of smoke, eat whatever, drink whatever, because we feel that "Hey, this stuff wouldn't be on the market if it wasn't safe right?" Wrong. In the same way that the financial markets have been loosely supervised in the last decade, the environmental protection agency appears to have also taken a "laissez faire" attitude towards enforcing regulations and conducting science based research. We are on our own. The good news is that once consumers start asking questions and demanding accountability, companies seem to move pretty quickly to meet our needs. So start thinking consciously about what you eat, drink, apply to your skin and hair, breathe in, work in, wear, drive, sit on and sleep on and speak up to retailers, landlords, employers, the media and your elected officials about your need for a safe and healthy environment and products. You can use the "Do the Write Thing" links on this website to communicate to your elected officials.

Wishing you a mindful year.


Vegetarian Soul Food Recipes

Recipes-Soul Food Spicy Greens, Sweet Potato Soup, BBQ Tofu, Sweet Potato Pie- and the list goes on. There is a selection of cooked foods, raw foods, vegetarian food that kids and teens will actually eat, groups to share with. If you are ready to go deep with vegetarian soul food, you have got to read my post on Bryant Terry's new book. Check it out here. No excuses now!

10 Ways to Eat Green

This month's issue of Bon Appetit magazine provides 50 tips for eating green, I have selected the top 10 that I like:

  1. Eat Fair-Trade Organic Chocolate - pesticide free and fair wages, working conditions for Africans (you see where my priorities lie. Chocolate!)
  2. Roast a whole chicken - less packaging, less processing, make your own stock w/the bones
  3. Buy in bulk - less packaging, much cheaper, buy quantities you want (grains, beans, nuts)
  4. Eat more veggies, grains, beans - low carbon footprint compared to meat, dairy, poultry
  5. Pack your own lunch - save money, packaging, gas
  6. Support green restaurants - http://www.eatwellguide.org/
  7. Become a locavore - eat food that has been grown with 100 miles of your home
  8. Join a CSA - Community Supported Agriculture, have your farm fresh food delivered or pick up at a designated location www.localharvest.org/csa
  9. Be your own barista - buy a french press coffee maker, buy fair-trade coffee, use a portable stainless steel mug. Ditto for tea.
  10. Scrutinize your fish - Text 30644 and enter FISH, enter name of fish you want to buy and you will get a text with details on how healthy the fish is for you and the planet

After Admitting Faults at Hearing, New EPA Head Starts Work - ProPublica

After Admitting Faults at Hearing, New EPA Head Starts Work - ProPublica It's official, Lisa P. Jackson has been confirmed as head of the Environmental Protection Agency. Use the links under "Do the Write Thing" to share your concerns and wishlist.

Frankenmeat: Genetically engineered

Genetically engineered animals and the FDA - Los Angeles Times Coming soon to a grocery near you, genetically manipulated meat and fish products. When years of breeding is not enough.

The Dirty Dozen 12 Foods You Should Only Eat If Organic

I did some "figuring" earlier this month and realized I was spending way too much on groceries. Now mind you the months under analysis were November and December, in which we all go a little overboard in the grocery category. Anyway, I have been carefully re-evaluating my food selections, with a tighter budget in mind. The thought of reducing some of my spending on organic foods has crossed my mind, but not wanting to take risks of exposing myself to unnecessary carcinogens, I had to make this decision wisely. Remembering hearing someone write about "the dirty dozen", I did some research. Here are 12 foods that you should absolutely eat only when organically grown:

  1. Meat Products - the animals are gobbling up pesticide ridden feed and plants
  2. Dairy - see above. Also non-organic versions are full of growth hormones and antibiotics
  3. Strawberries - literally doused with pesticides
  4. Apples - eating only organic will keep the doctor away, non-organic full of neurotoxins
  5. Tomatoes
  6. Potatoes - pesticides and fungicides (used to treat the soil)
  7. Spinach and leafy green vegetables - some of the most toxic chemicals applied
  8. Coffee - often grown in unregulated countries, only God knows what was sprayed (my recommendation First Colony Fair Trade Organic - smooth as a baby's bottom!
  9. Peaches and Nectarines
  10. Grapes - especially imported
  11. Celery
  12. Bell Peppers (Red and Green) - the most heavily sprayed

I also try to buy only organic corn, peanut butter and soy products, because most of those products in the US are genetically modified.

So there you have it, your guide to organic must buys. I realize that it may be difficult to buy much of this as organic, especially meat, but try to replace some of your meat items with beans, tofu or high protein grains like quinoa a few meals a week. Buy fruits when in season in bulk from organic farmers and freeze or can like grandma used to do back in the day. This could offset the higher costs of the healthier options.

Send this to your phone as a text message, so you have with you when shopping. Or click here, for a shopper's guide from the Environmental Working Group, ranks pesticide content of produce from high to low.

Bono's Clothing Line Edun

Check out this cool tote from Edun. 100% organic cotton, made in the USA. If you were admiring the scarf he wore at the inauguration concert, there are only a few more available. Scarves are now fashionable to wear pretty much all year round.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Will.i.am Debuts Climate Change Song and Video at Al Gore's Green Ball - Fresh Greens (usnews.com)

Will.i.am Debuts Climate Change Song and Video at Al Gore's Green Ball - Fresh Greens (usnews.com) Check out the video!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

EPA Nominee (Lisa P. Jackson) Would Consider Applying Existing Laws to Current Issues - washingtonpost.com

EPA Nominee Would Consider Applying Existing Laws to Current Issues - washingtonpost.com A change gonna come.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Happy Birthday Dr. Martin Luther King Jr!

This has to be one of the greatest birthdays that Dr. King has celebrated since his ascension to heaven. An African American president who has the support of Americans from all walks of life, who will help to bring economic justice to all, who will encourage a "we" not "me" national mentality and who will help America regain respect around the globe and respect for the planet. Happy Birthday Dr. King!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Inauguration Party Recipes - Including Arugula

Since when did reading, drinking lattes and eating arugula become a bad thing? I am all about indulging in all three elitist delights. This is why I was pleased to find via Twitter, these inauguration day recipes featured on the Whole Foods site. A personal favorite arugula recipe:

Arugula (Handful)

Shaved Manchego Cheese (room temperature)

Sliced Roasted Beets (or from the jar)

Salt and Pepper

Raspberry vinegar and olive oil

Whisk seasonings, vinegar and oil. Dip Arugula in mixture. Remove arugula. Add cheese and beets to greens. Drizzle with remaining dressing. Enjoy while reading your favorite book.

Battle Of The Green Inaugural Balls: Who Will Win Your Love? // Archives // ecorazzi.com :: the latest in green gossip

Battle Of The Green Inaugural Balls: Who Will Win Your Love? // Archives // ecorazzi.com :: the latest in green gossip We are representing at both! I personally think the Gore ball will be the more conscious of the two. Wish I could be there!

Replanting Eden

I love the symbolism of this photo. Two beautiful seedlings, what will you do to nurture them? Think about simple changes you can make to your lifestyle to help these two lives grow and thrive.

Exposing the Myth of Clean Coal Power - TIME

Exposing the Myth of Clean Coal Power - TIME I went to a presentation last year where DOW Chemical and the Battelle Institute were extolling the virtues and research of clean coal technology, primarily carbon sequestration. Carbon sequestration basically takes the pollution and carbon dioxide generated from coal plants and re-directs the toxins deep underground. Well after listening to an NPR broadcast on this issue, reading about the TVA coal ash spill, and reading this article, I have my doubts. I think we should pursue this technology, but we need to direct our tax and research dollars into alternative energy and energy efficiency.

Organic Lifestyle on Sale Now!!

Heads up - now is a great time to get great budget friendly deals on organic household stuff. Sheets, towels, blankets, sofa covers, cookware, cosmetic giftsets, candles and clothing are now available at discounted prices. JC Penney, Target, Whole Foods and Wal-mart are just a few places to find these deals.

Physicians Formula: Organic wear® 100% Natural Origin Mascara

Physicians Formula: Organic wear® 100% Natural Origin Mascara I am slowly migrating my makeup to natural versions. Marie Claire magazine has declared this mascara by Physician's Formula to be a must have for 2009 makeup bags. This product line was developed by an allergist who was married to a woman with sensitive skin. Now we can all benefit this act of love!

Green Computing or Stop the Techno Trash!

Two weeks ago I had the pleasure of kicking off a very green work week by attending a Green Computing breakfast presentation coordinated by One Community in Cleveland, Ohio. Prior to attending the event, I thought green computing had something to do with reducing energy use in computers. Well, I was partially correct, green computing is defined by Wikipedia as "the study and practice of using computer resources efficiently." Basically, the attempt to use computers and technology in a way that maximizes the triple bottom line - people, planet, profit. So this would include, energy efficiency, materials recycling and telecommuting. As we have become a nation of gadget-holics, the amount of trash from these mercury and lead laden doo-dads has risen exponentially over the decade. Why is this a bad thing? Click here to read the e-waste post from Ethiorussian and you will understand. This issue will be an agenda item for the House of Representatives in 2009. Anyway, One Community, a technology based non-profit in Cleveland, Ohio has devised a wonderful solution to the e-waste issue that benefits the environment and education. The organization is offering to pick up old computers and related hardware from area businesses and organizations, strip information from the drives and refurbish them to meet the needs of the Cleveland Municipal School District or recycle them with a 100% no landfill guarantee. Is your computer ancient? Don't worry, no computer is too old to serve a child given thin client solutions that enable a central server to do most of the processing. This is a win-win as it enhances the educational experience of our children, unclutters closets and storage rooms of donors and reduces the amount of toxins in the environment. Awesome!! Do you want to help solve the e-waste problem? Check out this Earth911 listing of resources that reuse old electronics. Be sure to go to e-Stewards.org to confirm that the stuff isn't being shipped overseas to poison the lives of others.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Green Jobs Conference 2009

Home Green Jobs Conference 2009 If you are in the Washington D.C. area early next month, you might land yourself a cool green job by attending this conference. It doesn't appear that the jobs are limited to the east coast, so go for it!

Put Eco-Message On Your Old Tee with Fabric Paint

Put Eco-Message On Your Old Tee with Fabric Paint : Planet Green Okay, I am really feeling this one! I used to be the queen back in the day of do it yourself iron-on or markered-on t-shirt design. I have some t-shirts that are in perfectly good shape with the exception of the odd bleach or grease spot. These would be great candidates for an eco-message that I can sport to the gym or on my spring runs.

Yourself Eco-Friendly Crafts : 10 Reuses for Neckties :

Yourself Eco-Friendly Crafts : 10 Reuses for Neckties : Planet Green Actually, I can think of one more reuse.

5 Reuses for: Belts : Planet Green

5 Reuses for: Belts : Planet Green I wish this article was around when I was a kid, because back then, the only alternative use for a belt was for beating butts!

The Top 5 Buzzworthy Green Musicians of the Moment :Wyclef Jean

The Top 5 Buzzworthy Green Musicians of the Moment : TreeHugger Hmm. When I discovered that Wyclef Jean was headlining the official Green Inaugural Ball next week, I became very curious. Could it be that he too is environmentally conscious??!! Well guess what? He was recognized by TreeHugger.com to be one of the top five buzzworthy green musicians. Jean has been very active in working with the people of Haiti to improve farming techniques and reduce poverty and hunger. Check out this article for more information on Wyclef Jean and the other four buzzworthy green musicians.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Obama Girls Go to D.C's Greenest School

New Sidwell Friends Middle School Certified LEED Platinum Features / Archives Green Building News Organic food included.

Green is the new party chic

Inaugural balls making effort to minimize impact on environment -- chicagotribune.com At last, you can now host a party in a full blown eco-friendly manner and not be considered a granola eating freak. The Green Inaugural Ball , featuring Wyclef Jean, is going to show America how to party with the planet in mind. A green recycled carpet will greet guests, soy candles will provide ambiance, party equipment will be rented, the organic food and fauna will be composted and guests will be encouraged to take low-carbon footprint transportation to the event (click here for more details). Al Gore, not to be pre-empted, will be hosting his own Green Ball on the 19th. Look for the Obama's to set the tone for the rest of America to incorporate conscious living into our daily lives. I think that many African Americans are going to learn how to "get their green on". Woo hoo!!

A Very Green Week

Last week was wild, hectic and stressful as I returned to a department of one (myself). What saved my sanity was that I was able to sneak some green business events into the mix, here is a preview of what I hope to post more on this week:

  • Made some connections on Linked In through some green business groups
  • Attended a Green Computing reception, which set a goal of eliminating corporate e-waste via donating old computers to the Cleveland Municipal School District. The computers will be refurbished or recycled if not usuable with zero landfill waste.
  • Attending a presentation featuring the engaging Mr. John Viera, Ford Motor Company Director of Sustainable Business Strategies
  • Invited to join a local Green Action Circle, sponsored by the Cleveland Chapter of the US Green Building Council

Okay, gotta go get some sleep.


Saturday, January 3, 2009

African American Environmentalist Association

African American Environmentalist Association Norris McDonald supports Blagojevich's appointment of Roland Burris to replace Obama's senator seat, in part due to his enviromental background.

In Obama’s Team, Two Camps on Climate - NYTimes.com

In Obama’s Team, Two Camps on Climate - NYTimes.com Given the delicate state of the economy, I am leaning towards Lawrence Summer's approach to slowing climate change via a cap and trade policy that introduced in phases over the next few years. While I agree that we need to take swift, aggressive steps to reduce carbon emissions, I know that sometimes when the government is involved in a program, the bureaucracy can be frustrating and stifling. Small businesses can ill afford additional roadblocks to success. If the Obama administration can duplicate its campaign success and put together a fair and efficiently operating cap and trade program, then I support moving as quickly as we can to reduce our carbon emissions to below 1990 levels.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy First Anniversary Black and Into Green! Feedback Requested.

January 2, 2009, marks the first anniversary of Black and Into Green. The blog was created as I was recovering from a major surgery and illness and wanted to create something meaningful during my sick leave. I decided to share my findings in the area of environmental health and the pursuit of living a greener life with African Americans and others from around the world. It has been a blast, as a whole new world of great people and ideas has opened to me over the course of the last year. I love researching and writing posts, just wish I could squeeze in more time. I will continue to tweek Black and Into Green as I learn about the world of blogging and web design, to make it even more user friendly for searching and relevant to our daily lives. You will continue to see articles from time to time on green business, because as a banker, I just can't contain myself in that area! If you could take 30 seconds of your precious time and provide feedback, positive and negative, I would be ever so grateful. I want to make this site worth your time and a resource that you can turn to again and again and feel good about referring to your friends, family and associates.

Anyway, thank you for your support and encouragement!


blackenterprise.com - A Healthy Perspective

blackenterprise.com - A Healthy Perspective Dr. Christopher Warren and his wife Sharon go deep green with their Washington D.C. based medical practice. Inspiration for the rest of us!

TVA: Pond had problems for decades : State and Regional News : Knoxville News Sentinel

TVA: Pond had problems for decades : State and Regional News : Knoxville News Sentinel If you live near a coal plant, you might want to check things out, based on the findings of this article.

BBC NEWS | Health | Grape extract kills cancer cells

BBC NEWS Health Grape extract kills cancer cells Grapes good. Other power fruits and veggies I have read a lot about include - apples, plums, sweet potatoes, spinach,asparagus, tomatoes, flaxseed and berries (especially blue and blackberries).

willametteLive.com || Indoor pollution: Are we slowly killing ourselves?

willametteLive.com Indoor pollution: Are we slowly killing ourselves? The long and short of this article? Avoid microwave popcorn (chemical sprayed on the bag to prevent oil leaks), chemical cleaners and be leary of plastics, especially if you have children or plan to.

One Brown Girl: A Company for Brown Women Around the Globe

Tracey Friley, age 46, founded One Brown Girl to serve the following mission: "To celebrate culture, diversity and strong self image amongst Brown Girls across the globe. Our hope and heartfelt intention is to in some small way, inspire Brown Girls everywhere to greatness by creating a well known and respected brand that is adopted globally and speaks to the mission."

The One Brown Girl site, marketed to women of color across the globe - Asia, Africa, North America, South America and the islands of the world, offers stories and commentary from these women, products promoting our pride and is eco-friendly.

Tracey is the winner of the most recent Black Enterprise Elevator Pitch competition and had a successful showing on MSNBC's elevator pitch segment of "Your Business". Her products have been part of celebrity swag bags from Los Angeles to New York. Click here to learn more about her business successes. Tracey is currently seeking funding to take her website to the next level.

Let's support this brown and green girl's efforts to get in the black!

New Jersey Community Builds on Arts, Environment | BLACK ENTERPRISE

New Jersey Community Builds on Arts, Environment BLACK ENTERPRISE New Jersey community of Lincoln Park uses arts and the environment to drive economic development. Being green spreads among the business owners in the area.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! Thank you for being readers of Black and Into Green in 2008. I pray for the best for everyone in 2009. In honor of todays' Kwanzaa principle of Imani, let's have faith that this will be a great year for our community.