Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Going Postal Over Recycled Boxes

The US Postal Service proves yet again why we need UPS . . .

They are hassling a guy in Colorado who runs a non-profit agency and is trying to conserve resources. In using boxes to ship sports memorabilia for his non-profit organization, Gary Adler sometimes picks up priority USPS boxes.

The Post Office claims it is essentially illegal to recycle these boxes. The Postal Service said it promotes recycling, as long as customers pay accordingly.

Dunno about this one. According to Adler and the Postal Service, these boxes were headed for the dumpster.

Does this make any sense to anyone? Or, does it sound like the USPS is trying to keep a revenue stream at the cost of many trees and excessive unnecessary output of carbon to make new boxes?

Read the original story, Reusing Cardboard Postal Boxes Illegal Shipper Must Pay To Use Old Priority, Express Mail Boxes

This cartoon is great. If you can't read the small print (i can't), click on it and go have a good chuckle.
GD Meg

Friday, April 25, 2008

Recycled Rags

This activist, super-mom character is from one of the hippest, kids consignment shops in the NY metro area - Milk Money. A couple of creative mothers started it and it is not only renewing and updating the consignment and used clothing concept, but it is blossoming into a wonderful franchise gig as other mom-types come on board and open up their own shops.

While I haven't done a lot of consigning myself, I've been a proponent of recycling clothing for many years. I clean out my closets every season and bring bags of goodies to my local charity's clothing drop - by the way, there are many charities, including the Salvation Army that have convenient clothing drop bins (ours happened to be right at our recycling depot!).
New York City has it's own recycled clothing initiative, Wearable Collections. According to the statistics presented on Wearable Collection’s website, 386 million pounds of textiles enter the NYC waste stream annually, representing close to 6% of total waste. The Council for Textile Recycling also reports that the clothing recycling industry prevents 2.5 billion pounds of post consumer textile waste from entering our landfills and waste stream each year. The organization is placing recycling bins in designated buildings throughout New York City for the collection of unwanted garments and clothing.

There are a lot of companies now gathering discarded textiles to make new clothing from recycled materials, like Patagonia's Common Thread line.

My girls and I have always enjoyed thrift shops. There is nothing quite like the thrill of finding a unique and sometimes expensive piece of clothing that costs $10 - $20!

I'm wearing a gorgeous sweater today that I found last year in a consignment shop. It looks brand new and I always get a lot of compliments.

There are so many reasons why consigning, donating, and shopping the thrift store circuit should become part of sustainable way of being. My goal is to have some percentage of my wardrobe be made from renewable, organic, responsibly made clothes; some percentage of it from thrift and consignment shops; and the smallest percentage being newly manufactured, store-bought stuff.

Cloth for thought . . .
GD Meg

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Celebrating the Earth Today . . .

and every day . . .

For those of us who have been in the sustainability game for a while, it is exciting, encouraging, and sometimes a little annoying to have all this hype about Earth Day.

It is hard to believe there is anyone out there who isn't aware of Earth Day and all it implies, but I know there are so many folks new to the concepts of greener living and what sustainability means not only to us now, but to our children and grandchildren later.

There are an endless amount of 'festivals' and celebrations going on in every community. While these are fun and hopefully help to create a stronger bond within your community for an effort that will take more than a week to get significant results; my wish is that everyone just takes a at least one moment to sit in the grass, stick your hands in the soil, visit your local farmer and thank them, be aware of the budding of Spring - EVERYWHERE, touch a tree - and listen.

Be inspired by that moment and perhaps take a few of them strung together and have yourself a private celebration!

Find something in that quiet space that you can grasp and remember for the rest of the 364 days of the year.

Happy Earth Day!

:)GD Meg

Friday, April 18, 2008

Fresh & Local

Okay, the verdict is that 71% of you would chose local over organic if you had to make that choice.

I personally feel strongly about supporting my local/regional farmers, and now most of them are transitioning to organic anyway!

Here are a few great resources to get you started in thinking and preparing for our wonderful local food season!

For those that live in my home state, NJ, here is a great listing of farmer's markets all over NJ - the Garden State!

For those of you in nearby New York State in the Hudson Valley, you can have locally grown food delivered!

One way to get wonderful, usually organic, locally grown food is to participate in a Community Supported Agriculture share. You generally buy a share, which usually represents a healthy array and volume of whatever the farmer or group of farmer's is harvesting that week. If you don't know about CSAs, I would encourage you to read up and learn about some local ones to see if it might be a good choice for you.

Here's a CSA in the NY metro area.

Here's a national list of CSAs for everyone else!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Stumble fun - Homeland Security Humor

I stumbled across this site recently and laughed myself silly. The captions to some of our government's universal symbols are hysterical.

The one for this image is: If you have set yourself on fire, do not run.


Check out and get ready to laugh.

It being April 15 and all the annoying media reminders of the IRS and what we owe under all kinds of threatening and scary things, a good laugh may be in order.

When I think of what my tax dollars are being used for, I consider Henry David Thoreau's essay on civil disobedience.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Sustainable Needlepoint?

Okay, not sure what about needlepoint is sustainable, but I wanted to try and make the topic fit!

Most Wednesday afternoons, I can be found with an enlightened group of people. The premise of our small gatherings is to 'study' the Course in Miracles, but we mostly share what is happening in our lives and how the Course may be employed. No matter what is happening, my spirits are always lifted. One of or merry band is an amazing needlepointer (if that is a word). Over the years, I have witnessed the creation of an impressive array of pillows, chair covers, and floor coverings. We all oooh and ahhhhh when we see her progress, especially on this huge, gorgeous runner she is working on right now.

I've been experiencing some anxiety with all the changes in my life and she recognized my need for a project and offered to get me started on my first needlepoint project. She insisted I would get hooked. I was skeptical as I am still feeling quite addicted to knitting (although I'm very much a newbie there too).

We went to one of the local needlepoint shops and she helped me pick my first two projects. We went back to her house and I got my first lesson.

I've been needlepointing every free minute since!

I think I've been moving pretty fast, but as you can see after one week, I'm only halfway through my first project.

Yes, that is pink and green asparagus. What is up with that?

I'm needlepointing myself to peace & serenity and loving it!

GD Meg

Monday, April 7, 2008

Random Stumbles - Earth Alive & A New Grid

First of all, I stumbled upon a website that if HALF of it is accurate, it is pretty stunning. Using statistical data,, shows a live animated representation of births, deaths, and carbon emissions around the world.

Second interesting stumble is a story by Jonathan Leake, Science Editor of British newspaper, the Sunday Times. His recent story 'Coming Soon: Superfast Internet' is some serious food for thought. The implications are beyond my comprehension (the story suggests that it may be beyond the scientists who are working on it, so I don't feel entirely stupid). We aren't even finished exploring the capacity of the current Internet! There are some interesting comments on the story, but let us know what your thoughts are here too!

:)GD Meg

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Sustainability Poll Results!

Thanks to all those who participated in the poll, What Aspect of Sustainability is Most Important to You? Here are the results:
  1. Alternative Energy - 27%

  2. Environmental Issues - 20%
  3. Organic Food/Products - 20%

  4. Buying Local - 10%

  5. Socially Responsible/Green Biz - 6%
  6. Climate Change - 3%

  7. Eco-Home - 3%

  8. Education - 3%

  9. Sustainable Agriculture - 3%
  10. Alternative Transportation - 0% (guess nobody cares about this one!)

If we didn't include an 'aspect' or you have something to add, please chime in!

Meanwhile, check out the new poll on Organic v. Local food . . .

:) GD Meg