Posts tagged internet – saving earth one tip at a time

Sometimes you don’t have time to sit down and read an essay about what you can do to help the world.  But that doesn’t mean that you don’t want to make a change – somewhere between that lunch meeting and your niece’s birthday party.  For those days, check out  This site offers daily environmental how-to tips focusing on ways you can simply reduce your burden in various areas of life.  It’s not heavy reading, more like an RSS headline feed, but it’s a good way to jog your memory on the importance of practical application when “going green”.  You’ll find the tips indexed by topic or date, for easy browsing.

Here’s their mission statement, in their own words:

Earth Share supports a nationwide network of America’s leading non-profit environmental and conservation organizations, and works to promote environmental awareness and charitable giving through workplace giving campaigns. Founded by its member charities in 1988, Earth Share is an opportunity for environmentally-conscious employees and workplaces to support hundreds of environmental groups through a charitable giving drive.

It especially focuses on the workplace, and has partnered with many large corporations and other organizations to provide a blueprint for greening the office place, their EarthShare workplace campaign.  You will also find links to affiliate sites, one for most states in the US, which offer stories, opportunities, and tips tailored for your neck of the woods.  And be sure to check out the links section for interesting reading should you ever find yourself with that elusive free moment.

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Who’s Hiding in Your Kitchen?

“Scryve is a collaborative web resource and browser tool combination that provides a resource for environmentally and socially aware Internet browsing. Look up company ratings using the search box below, or Download our browser tool to see the rating of any company whose website you are on in the top right corner of your browser. If you like the rating, keep browsing, if you don’t like it, click on it and we’ll show you why the company is rated that way and give you alternative companies to use.”

I figured I’d just let them speak for themselves, this time. The browser interface is very nice, though the recommendations seem to be based on a keyword algorithm that sometimes return humorous results. As is it obviously designed to be a user-driven site, right now, in its youngest stages, there are a lot of basic ratings and company information. Probably with a little more time and user traffic to get the recommendations streamlined, this site will become a valuable resource. For now, it functions best as a lesson in who owns what in the world. You might be surprised just how few people that could really be.

Going green and/or running from the grid are drastic changes to make in one’s standard lifestyle. But not because they require you to sell your soul or start making pemmican professionally from a National Forest treetop. It also has a lot to do with looking at the greater picture of things, which is a skill that translates across to successes in all walks of life. When I realized how easy it is to make a few simple changes and effectively shut out the power (both literally and figuratively!) of the people that I didn’t want telling me how to live each day, well, I was hooked. Success coaches stress the importance of success as a mindset. We would all do well to start out giving ourselves small goals that we actually achieve rather than big ones left half done. Try picking one alternative company to your mega mart today. Then, once you’ve adjusted your routine, pick another. Then you build with a solid foundation for future change.

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The Green Guide from National Geographic

National Geographic has a long history of both excellent journalism and unabashed support of nature and her many splendors. So when I heard about The Green Guide, I was pretty excited. And a visit to their website only enforced this emotion. You can find the Green Guide by check-stands at Whole Foods Markets around the country, but for a greener alternative to all that paper, just stop by their site. The inaugural issue is packed with good tips on how to green your life and become more aware of your planetary footprint. For example, you’ll find a glowing review of Freecycle, the site I profiled earlier in the week. And a nice story about the life (and death) of plastic bags headed for WalMart. And they have a Green Tips newsletter which will deliver good news to you weekly. Check it out!

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And now for something completely different…

You may see from time to time (like in the post below) a box stating “Clipped from Clipmarks” in a post. Well, it isn’t exactly an earth-saving technology, but Clipmarks can save you a lot of time if you are storing information from the internet. And that, in turn, could result in less time on the computer, and therefore less energy used. Certainly less of your own brain energy! Clipmarks allows you to “clip” certain sections of a webpage and then do one of many things with it. If the item you’ve clipped is less than 1000 characters (you will quickly find out how small this really is!), then you can save it to a public clipcast, which is basically your own TV show of the things you like across the web. You can also post directly to a blog, as I do here. If you have something longer you want to save, go ahead! The interface will still allow you to save longer clips privately (so you can still access them), or (my favorite feature) email the clip to yourself, the full text and a link back to the original source, not just a link to visit somewhere else and retrieve the info. Basically it’s copy and paste super-charged. And then, to top things off, you can post your clips to the’s and reddits of the world with a single click. I’d only be slightly exaggerating if I said it’s changed the whole way I do business on the web. Best of all, if you use firefox, you can get the clipmarks extension, which will place a nice little button in your browser bar to automate the process even further.

Remember, there are a million ways (at least!) to rethink your activities and make them more earth friendly. Especially once you decide to make the leap toward off-grid living, this site could be a big help in getting your facts straight and organized so you can actually find them again. ‘Cause we all forget things sometimes. =p

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EPA Carbon Calculator

Here’s another carbon calculator for you to try: This one is from the EPA, and has a nice feature that allows you to not only calculate your emissions, but also learn what you can do to reduce your totals through specific actions. I thought this site was better than most in ease of use and allowing you to customize your results in cases of unusual living habits. However, it doesn’t cover lifestyle choices like buying recycled goods, etc. Click the link below to get started on your test… my results are below.
clipped from
EPA has developed tools to help individuals (and households) reduce greenhouse
gas emissions and take action. Businesses and organizations interested in educating
their employees and members about what they can do at home to help protect
our climate can also use these tools.
Use this online calculator to obtain an estimate of your personal greenhouse
gas emissions or your family’s greenhouse gas emissions. Then move on
to the next section of the calculator to explore actions you and/or your family
can take to lower your emissions while reducing your energy and waste disposal
costs. For each action you choose to take, the calculator displays the amount
of emissions you could avoid and how that amount relates to your total emissions.

[logo] US EPA
  blog it

My Carbon Emission Totals My Carbon Reduction Potential

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What is your Green IQ?

My GreenIQ is 73

Here’s my IQ:

Green IQ

There are so many different facets of life that deserve a once-over with your green eye.   This site gives you tips (and ads, you are forewarned) about how to lessen your footprint, and keeps track of your collective Green IQ score.  Not a bad way to spend five minutes, and the tips section is nicely divided into rooms of the house.

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Saving the Planet from your Browser

I’ll admit it – I’m addicted to the web. Putting in around 50 hours a week, it’s more than a full-time job! So when I see way that I can help the planet without even getting up from the computer, it’s a big deal. Here are a few “goodies” from the internet that I’ve come across lately. None require more than a minute or two to make a real contribution to a world-saving cause.

Surf the Web, Save the Planet

First up, Friends Green. This Google replacement allows you to run a search using Google technology. The bonus? For every search you run through their site, they make a donation to saving the rainforest. There aren’t a ton of features, like with Google, but if you know “Search engine speak”, you should still be able to find everything you need. Including a piece of pristine rainforest when you need one.

Next, email. Planet Save has been providing planet-friendly email accounts for years. Their service is reliable and fast, and every time you send an email, they donate to a worthy cause. Their site is also a storehouse for environmental news and activism opportunities.

Want to donate to someone in need? Here are four sites that let you do it (for free!) with the click of a button. Visit each often, or if you use iGoogle, get a widget that places all four links together for easy access here: Add to Google. Poverty Fighters even lets you count clicks toward your college alma mater, keeping tabs on the most philanthropic school out there.

Hunger Site
Hunger Fighters
Por Los Chicos
Poverty Fighters

Finally, when trying to cut down on your carbon consumption, it can be hard to tell when you’re making progress. Enter The Carbon Diet. This site lets you create a profile and enter your daily carbon expenses, based on the carbon “accounts” you set up (these are the sources of your carbon emissions). It will then make a nice “diet chart” for you, showing your progress. You can even compete with your friends to see who makes the biggest cuts. Kind of like Weight Watchers for greenies.

So next time you think, I’m too _______ to do anything right now, you can jump online, make a quick contribution to the greater good, and get back to your excuses.

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