Sunday, May 31, 2009

Dr. Wangari Maathai Basically Says "Just Do It"

Nobel Laureate, Dr. Wangari Maathai, trailblazing planter of trees and hope, asked at a recent climate change summit, "We know what to do: why don't we do it?" Doesn't that sound like a sister for you? Just breaking it down like that.
Dr. Maathai, Kenyan born and American educated is known for taking action, at great costs to her personal life, having experienced prison and divorce for being such a strong willed and determined woman. To date she is responsible for the planting of 3.1 billion trees in Africa and around the world through her Green Belt movement. The movement started in Kenya and she is now working to protect the Congo's forest, one of the world's largest. Dr. Maathai says that if the trees of the Congo are destroyed, the effects from the release of carbon will be felt not only in Africa, but in America and the U.K.
What are you doing to protect and preserve your community and the planet? Just do something. Consider the theory of the butterfly effect, which suggests that a single flutter of a butterfly's wings, may contribute to the formation of a powerful hurricane. You never know, your single action could create quite a stir in the fight against climate change.

Green Stimulus Dollars

GreenBiz reports that the big winners in the American Recovery Act's support of a green economy will be clean energy businesses/investments (solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, smart grid), green building and energy efficiency. Highlights from this article:

  • $94 billion in green funding
  • Rules are complicated to access and understand
  • Funding available in the form of tax credits, federal rebates and loan guarantees
  • More changes coming in the next year to program structures and the stimulus bill

My advice, stay in communications with your state and federal legislators to keep abreast of opportunities and raise their awareness of your organization. Check out for a map of where stimulus dollars are being spent today.

Greenhouse Gas Reduction Bill Moves Forward

Click here for details on the Waxman-Markey climate change that recently made it out of the House Energy and Commerce Committee:

The bill ‘s centerpiece is a greenhouse gas cap-and-trade program that aims to reduce emissions 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020, and 83 percent by 2050. Roughly 15 percent of the carbon permits in the framework would be auctioned off, with the remaining permits given away to a variety of interests, such as electricity distributors, natural gas companies, oil refiners and carbon-intensive industries, such as steel and cement. (Excerpt from the article)

The bill will face many challenges on its way to passage. You can easily write your legislators to express your opinion through the links provided on Black and Into Green.

Black and Into Green Featured on Go Green Sangha Radio

Hello readers! One of Black and Into Green's readers, Ananda Kiamsha Leeke, author, professional, blogger, radio talk show host, art lover, boho BAP and the hardest working woman I know has asked to to join the conversation this evening at 7pm EST, on Go Green Sangha Radio, to share my green journey and discuss how I give of my gifts to support green living. I would love for you listen in if you can! The sessions are also recorded if you can't make it.


Monday, May 25, 2009

Get Your Green Cred Through Community Service

Hey! If President Barack Hussein Obama could gain enough experience to the lead the most powerful nation in the world through community service (a Harvard Law degree didn't heart either), surely you can develop your green leadership credentials through the grassroots as well (grassroots is such an appropriate word)! Learn more about green volunteering opportunities through Bright Green Talent founder, Carolyn Mansfield's article which highlights "21 Places To Look For Green Volunteering Opportunities". You can join her group on Linked In for more great tips.

Green Living And The Christian Woman

I am conducting a seminar in two weeks for a church sponsored women's retreat. My topic will be on "The Green Economy and The Christian Woman". I chose an economic topic, because it was my understanding that many of these women have professional backgrounds I it was appropriate for my work as a banker. I would love for you to share your thoughts on the role of christian women in growing a greener, cleaner, sustainable and loving economy. These are just some of mine:

  • Our first assignment in this world was to tend to the garden
  • We created all kinds of change, once we ate the forbidden fruit- let's encourage our people to be more mindful of what we eat moving forward. Who is the snake in your life? Ego, stress, greed, lack of discipline, lack of focus, status seeking, insecurity, ignorance, boredom?
  • The Lord encourages us to live frugally and focus on the needs of the poor, not the needs of our closet
  • We are not to seek our treasures in this world, but invest in our heavenly rewards. The Evangelical Climate Change Initiative has wide support among christian leaders and outlines strategies for doing good through doing green.
  • Sisters have been change agents for thousands of years-more recently church going women were the driving force behind the civil rights movement and environmental justice movement. (Read When and Where I Enter and Building the Green Economy: Success Stories from the Grassroots)
  • Our economic clout as a demographic and our roles as caregiver and more often as breadwinners and builders of churches, require that we stay on top of opportunities to improve our bottom lines in a holistic manner, one which factors in benefits to household, community and planet
  • We can't afford to sit on the sidelines and let everyone else make plans for our future-(you see where that got us) much is happening now-green schools, churches and buildings are being constructed, stimulus money is being doled out for housing related projects, energy policy is being turned on its head, Michelle Obama is planting organic gardens on the grounds of the Whitehouse-how are we as women of faith going imprint on this movement?

Anyway, those are some of my thoughts about why women of faith can't afford to sit out on the green movement. I would love to hear your comments.

Ready to act? Click here to learn more about what your spiritual group can do to help our climate. GO GREEN FOR GOD's EARTH!

Chillin' In The Garden

Scene from my beloved garden. This is where I spend a lot of time writing posts in the spring and summer.

Happy Memorial Day!

For those of you that are grieving loved ones on this day, my prayers are with you.

This morning, I marched with my fellow recycling committee members and every other interest group in the city, in the Memorial Day parade. We were greeted by great weather, occasional applause and cheering crowds from the neighborhood, often chanting "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle". The positive reinforcement felt great. Although, I have lived in my community for 14 years, last year was the first time I ever participated in any community events, namely the parade and home days. Well, I found out that I have been missing out all of these years. You meet interesting new people, run into pals from high school, chat with neighbors you don't normally speak to and really feel part of something wonderfully old-fashioned (Kinda like Sesame Street meets Andy Griffith). I would encourage anyone, who has not participated in a community event to take the time out to do so this summer. Try it. You'll like it!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Green Soles for the Summer

Check out this blog, which features only products made from recycled materials. This particular post features the top ten recycled sandals.

Reach New Heights as a Green Leader

This was another section of the ropes course at the Joy Outdoor Education Center. During the three day intensive leadership training, I learned the following secrets of exemplary leaders:

  • Model the Way
  • Challenge the Process
  • Inspire a Shared Vision
  • Encourage the Heart
  • Enable Others to Act

I truly enjoyed my experience, especially the video case studies, two of which feature leadership around environmental and nature based issues. Part of my challenge during the course, was to develop an inspiring vision to take back to the workplace. You know what my vision banking. Working in the conservative world of finance, I will need to put all five leadership skills to work!

If you are interested in learning more about these skills, read the following books:

The Leadership Challenge

There is No Box (written by the facilitators of the course)

Lead on people! Let's green up this earth.

Reaching New Heights at Camp Joy

I recently had the pleasure of attending a transformative three day leadership course on the grounds of the Joy Outdoor Education Center near Cincinnati, Ohio. This ropes course was challenging and a little scary but fun and got all 24 participants in the mode of facing fears, encouraging the hearts of others and enabling one another to act.

I enjoyed my time at the facility due to the great staff, the wonderful wooded setting, good food and the fact that it was eco-friendly. What a bonus!

The Scavenger's Manifesto - Free Yourself

When I first saw the title of this book at the Georgia Tech bookstore in Midtown, Atlanta, I had images of strange people (not homeless) rifling through restaurant dumpsters late at night looking for this weeks groceries and was like "yuck". I was pleasantly surprised by the content and the context. This book is a must read for those of us trying to save money and reduce unnecessary consumption.

Simple Cap and Trade Explanation

Want a simple explanation of how a "cap and trade" system will work to reduce greenhouse gasses? Click here to listen to this Marketplace podcast on the topic. I love public radio!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Capitol Report: New mileage rules win where energy bill may fail - MarketWatch

Capitol Report: New mileage rules win where energy bill may fail - MarketWatch

Posted using ShareThis

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Green Mothers Day Gifts

Found these green Mother's Day gift ideas (some are free) in my weekly Inhabitat update. Some other good ideas.

  • Plant a flower garden or buy Mom some beautiful hanging flower baskets
  • Organic spa day for two
  • Subscription to green living magazine (Body&Soul, Positively Green)*
  • Green bath basket (non-toxic lotions and soaps, soy candles, organic towels)
  • Antique teacup and organic, fair-trade teas
  • Invite Mom and Grandma over to a vegetarian meal (it better be the bomb though-because you will hear about it for the rest of your life if it isn't!)
  • Giftcard to your favorite healthy grocer (Wholefoods baby!)
  • Some green sneakers to get her moving

*For more green gift ideas, check out my Amazon Green link.

Happy Mothers Day!

Green At Work and I Mean Green

Hello friends! I apologize for not posting this weekend, I have been preparing for a busy week ahead working in the great outdoors. This week, I am trading the pumps for some Tims, the pinstripe suits for track suits the Blackberry for actual blackberries and paperwork for trees. Did I dump corporate life for good? No. I am participating in a three day leadership development program at the Joy Outdoor Education Center. As much as I don't like being away from my baby and my king size bed, I am definitely looking forward to getting out in the woods, rainy weather and all -you know I did purchase some special head gear from Dick's to protect the do! Wish me luck in climbing the high ropes, getting over the 12 foot wall and a myriad of other team and character building activities.

I'm not taking the laptop, so I will try to sneak in some comments via Twitter over the next few days.

Have a great green week and Happy Mothers Day!