14 posts categorized "One less thing to recycle"

January 03, 2008

Study Reveals that Moms Recycle more than College Kids - go figure...

Trash_4 A new study shows that moms (housewives) deal with the trash more than college age kids. Are you as shocked as I am by the results? No? Even my 85-year-old Mother-in-law recycles all of her cans and bottles. I'm more shocked that we still need to conduct studies to prove what common sense tells everyone - women are the tipping point when it comes to rewiring the world. So.... if you want to create a tipping point for global action, focus on the women! That's what they do in micro-lending for the best return on investments - even women with the LEAST education take the most responsibility for following through.

Research was carried out from a sample of 525 university students and 154 housewives. The research, carried out at the University of Granada,  reveals that housewives are more willing to separate glass from other garbage than students.

The research was carried out in the Department of Social Psychology and Methodology of Behaviour Sciences at the University of Granada. It showed that the level of academic training is not related to the ecological awareness of people, despite the great proliferation of programs designed to educate and increase social awareness of the environment. Thus, according to research, housewives are more ecologically aware than university students, given they are more willing to recycle glass.

The good thing about this study is that is gives us one more thing to write about and quote. Like this conclusion: "In fact, housewives adopt environmentally friendly practices more often than students."

Humm... housewives who care for their kids, homes, schools, churches, town... DO MORE about environmental practices effecting all of the above than college kids who read about it. Who would have guessed that one? I wonder if they did a study comparing the purchasing practices of only mother's-with-children against the general population what they would learn? How about a mom vs. a single woman? How about a single woman against a single man - who would recycle more or make green(er) purchases?  How about housewives against house husbands? That may end up equal in effort, but there are so few house husbands, that the tipping point for global action wouldn't exist.

If you read Lipsticking, Learned on Women, Wonder Branding, Trendsight, Diva Marketing, Marketing to Women online, Interpret-her, La Marguerite, Funny Business, Mom's Rising, not to mention the thousands on BlogHer ... all these professionals could tell you the same thing - it's common sense, not science and not politics.

Here's my New Year's Resolution, it's the same one as last year's - band together ALL women on their very important job in 2008 - educate them on the issues, give them credit where credit is due and trust that their internal compass will guide them to take more action. Big projects like creating alternative fuels is important, but individual households and those who run them is where the real energy for global change will come from.

July 09, 2007

Change a Light Bulb. Boycott a Bottle

Did you party for the planet this weekend? Did you take the pledge? What will you do first to help save the planet?

Water_bottlesBy now, everyone knows that they can save a tremendous amount of electricity personally and globally by just changing their light bulbs to the curly ones. That's easy. Now comes the really hard part. Are we willing to put down the bottle of water? Switching out our light source is nothing compared to switching a mindset of convenience.

Nina Burokas, nicely gave me her copy of this month's Fast Company. In it is a wonderfully written article by Charles Fishman who melds marketing with economics with pure indulgence on our part. How did we go from water on tap to being tapped for $15 billion in bottling in fees?

"You can buy a half-liter Evian for $1.35 - 17 ounces of water imported from France... In San Francisco, the municipal water comes from inside Yosemite National Park. It's so good the EPA doesn't require San Francisco to filter it. If you bought and drank a bottle of Evain, you could refill that bottle once a day for 10 years, 5 months."

On top of this, he reported that it takes two gallons of water to wash and prepare some glass bottles. And over $1 billion of plastic bottles are thrown away each year rather than recycled. The Union of Concerned Scientists noted that "1.5 million gallons of oil - enough to run 100,000 cars for a whole year - are used to make plastic water bottles, while transporting these bottles burns thousands more..."

"What a waste" was never a more apt thing to say.

So how about it? You've swapped out your lights. Are you ready to put down the bottle?

June 27, 2007

"The Road Less Traveled" - Good for the Earth, Stunning for the Home

Dscn3432_2Can "earthy-friendly-only" items make it in this market? If you believe market focus groups it's a definite maybe - according to the reports, not enough people care - yet. That didn't stop Delilah Snell, the owner of The Road Less Traveled from trying. The business is thriving despite it's location in a former palm reader's store, next to a major highway turn off AND on a one-way street going in the wrong direction from drive by traffic.

Nina Burokas (a new BlogHer buddy) told me Delilah's store. Nina lives about 20 miles south of the store and I live within 1/2 mile  of it. I drive by the location 5 times a week, but didn't know it was there until word-of-mouth over lunch got me in the door.

Word of mouth works well for her. "What I hear most are 'My _________ told me that I would really like this place.' Or that they where told to check something out that I carry. After they arrive, most comment that they are surprised, informed and feel a sense of calm or just simply inspired/empowered with the information given."

I agree on the calming/inspiring atmosphere. It's akin to walking through an art gallery where you want to touch and experience everything. Check out that dishware from black Columbian clay. That's REAL BLACK clay, not a glaze. It feels amazing in your hands.

Because there is a lot to experience, she notes that many, "just try to 'digest' what is in here the first time... people are surprised and buy things that they didn't think where green, just because they didn't know.  And some others are just needing a store that actually carries eco-friendly items, they are not into buying on-line and enjoy the tangible shopping aspect.  some people just see my cards around town and are simply curious of what the store is, then they are hooked.  I'm here all the time and I have to say that very few never come back.

Dscn3431_2Delilah hand picks what goes in her store. "All the pieces are favorites!", she says, "They wouldn't be here if they weren't!  I really stand behind every item and I think that honesty and sincerity comes through... things are not just things to me and I really think that others believe the same.  We have kind of lost that notion of connectivity," she continued, "And oftentimes are to afraid to ask if this is really worth the purchase.  I am not afraid to say 'that doesn't look good' or 'if you don't know if you should buy it, then sleep on it' or 'this is a top seller/a great product', because that is the truth, not a pitch... I am not a salesperson... If I had to pick my top favorites, best of the best are: 

- Random Nicole tank tops and infant shirts:  I see how each one is created and how she puts love into each piece of clothing. Why?  Because she is my niece, who when finding out that I was opening a 'hippy store'  made a special line of organic cotton clothing to support me.  Yes, it is organic, but I can honestly say that the tops are CUTE! [and very well made]

-  La chamba pottery:  hand-built, non-toxic, and honestly beautiful casserole & cooking items.  I love the story & I love beauty in the useful.  Food is a worldwide theme of coming together, family, community,art, conversation, connection, memories... what better way to reinforce that than with what the food is made in - it is truly special."

She must be doing something right. Her store is bringing in customers who want to buy things, not just look. She's good at spreading the sustainable word. Tomorrow night the shop is hosting a OC Green Drinks. Delilah not only walks the walk, but serves the drinks.

January 11, 2007

Is bottled water worth $500 to a family of four?

The things you learn while reading other's posts. Andrea Learned was commenting on the difference between what kids in 1970 wanted and what they want in 2005, i.e. 1970/developing a meaningful philosophy of life vs. 2005/ 75% kids want to be well off financially. (she was quoting from a US Census report)

That was disheartening, but on the up side the same report also said that organic growers were on the rise. Perhaps today's kids want to be well off financially, but they'll do it through a better business outlet. Nothing wrong with that.

Duvel_glassOn the down side - the report also noted that "Americans drank 23.2 gallons of bottled water per capita in 2004. Consumption was only 2.7 gallons of bottled water in 1980. (Table 201) " No doubt that number has gone up since 2004.

As a 70s kid who grew up with a glass on the bathroom sink for everyone in the family of 6 to use, I found that startling. It's still hard for me to pay (again) for something that I already paid for via my city taxes and quarterly water bill. It sets off my "how stupid and lazy can I be" radar.

What's 23.2 gallons mean per family of four? A gallon = about 5.3 12 oz. bottles of water. At $1/bottle average that's $5/gallon X 23.2 = $123 per person X 4 = about $500 per family. DANG! Let's say it together.... how stupid and lazy can WE be?

On top of this, we are contributing to the waste stream. Not good. Sure we can recycle, but that adds one more thing to the To-Do list. This is a no-brainer... pay for plastic AND water AND recycling AND your time to recycle OR tap a cold one from the faucet?

I know there are all sorts of pro/con arguments. You have to decide if bottled water is really more "clean" than city water, but it's certainly more expensive. At $500 per family, is it really worth it? If I lived in a zone with contaminated water, yes it be, but I don't so I won't be buying the bottled stuff. 

A friend gave me glass beer goblets for Christmas. I try not to drink and blog, so during the week I keep one filled to the brim with tap water. Maybe it's the smug factor, or maybe it's the glass, but free water does taste better.