Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Job Opening at The Nature Conservancy

The Nature Conservancy is seeking a temporary marketing support staffer to assist with public relations, media and marketing activities throughout New England.  The six-month, part-time position will be based in Boston. Approximately 15 hours per week during regular business hours. 

The successful candidate will have a bachelor’s degree and experience in marketing communications or media, including demonstrable experience with journalistic or business writing. Experience with social media, video editing, web writing, strategic communications or event planning is a plus.

Duties will include assisting our New England marketing team with efforts to increase the Conservancy’s visibility, and could include; marketing research and database management, media tracking and reporting, basic media pitching and press release preparation, writing for web or print publications, community outreach event logistics and support.

The Nature Conservancy is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

If you're interested, please send your resume to: 


Monday, July 30, 2012

July Boston Green Drinks is Tomorrow!

The monthly networking meeting of Boston Green Drinks is TOMORROW at Kingston Station in Downtown Crossing from 6-8pm. This meeting is being co-hosted by Mass Energy Consumers Alliance.

Hope to see you there!

Boston Green Drinks  - July Happy Hour

More info:

A thanks to Mass Energy Consumer Alliance, a Boston-based non-profit committed to making energy more affordable and environmentally sustainable in Massachusetts, for making Green Drinks a truly green event!  They graciously offered to Green this summer’s Green Drinks by matching all the used electricity with 100% clean and local wind power through New England Wind, a program of Mass Energy. You can also green your upcoming event or your electricity in your home with this program! Find out how at or just talk with Mass Energy representatives at Green Drinks.

Join the conversation with sustainability professionals and hobbyists.  Enjoy a Drink at Kingston station and build your connection with our green community!
Keep sending feedback to for ideas about speakers or content for the future and mark your calendar for drinks on the last Tuesday of every month.

Boston Green Drinks  builds a community of sustainably-minded Bostonians, provides a forum for exchange of sustainability career resources, and serves as a central point of information about emerging green issues.  We support the exchange of ideas and resources about sustainable energy, environment, food, health, education.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Buyer Beware: Third Party Verification of "Organic" Claims Aren't Enough

I recently saw this story on 7 News and was shocked. I already spend a fair amount of time in grocery stores reading labels to make sure the food I purchase is 3rd party verified as organic or fair trade, but what this video reveals is that even if something has the USDA organic label on it, doesn't mean it is definitely organic! You also have to find out where it was grown! Take a  look:

P.S. This is Boston Green Blog's 400th Post!!!!!!!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Survivor Tree

During the cleanup after the 9/11 attacks, a  volunteer noticed a still-green tree among the burnt wreckage. The Parks Department and the Citywide Nursery saved the tree and brought it back to health. The "survivor tree," as its become known, is a pear tree that now stands at over 30ft. It is over four times as tall as it was when volunteers pulled it from the rubble! The tree now stands in the 9/11 Memorial Plaza and is a wonderful symbol of the amazing ability for both nature and mankind to overcome obstacles.

image courtesy of

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Review: Bumble & Bumble Hair Tonic

Pros                                                                         Cons                      
-Effectively de-tangles and smooths hair                    -Rated 4 on EWG/Moderate hazard.
-Smells great/No artificial fragrances                          -Moderate price - $20
-No single ingredient is rated above 4 by EWG         -Company has not signed Compact for Safe Cosmetics
-Widely available                                                      -No green commitments listed on website
-Not tested on animals
-Salon preferred

Conclusion: As I've written in other reviews, I am a big fan of tea tree extract - especially in hair products because it soothes the scalp. I was also drawn to this product because it doesn't have artificial fragrances, which is rare in the world of hair products. On the downside, this super-chic company does not have any green commitments! So while, the product contains many natural ingredients, it is not part of a sustainability or health goal. Next time I'm going to grab a product that soothes my scalp AND is consciously mindful of its environmental impact. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Green Hostel Opens in the Theater District

This Hostel is expected to be Boston’s First LEED Certified Accommodation!!! See the official press release below.


Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino, Hostelling International USA (HI-USA) officials, community leaders and travelers  celebrated the grand opening of the new Boston hostel on June 22, 2012. It is located in the heart of downtown Boston at the intersection of the Midtown Cultural District, Theatre District, and Chinatown. The new 480-bed Boston hostel, which replaces the 208-bed hostel currently located in Boston’s Fenway neighborhood, has been built to LEED® green building certification program standards and is expected to be the first LEED Certified hostel in the nation.

"I congratulate Hostelling International on this great new facility and welcome the many new visitors it will attract," said Governor Deval L. Patrick.

Hostelling International Boston will welcome more than 46,000 guests annually, 60 percent of which will be international visitors, mostly between the ages of 18 to 30.  The influx of hostellers will generate more than $16 million of direct spending by  hostel  guests at Boston restaurants, entertainment venues, and sightseeing spots across the city, greatly enhancing the local economy.

“I applaud the efforts of Hostelling International Boston to create affordable accommodations for travelers to the city,” said Mayor Thomas M. Menino. “This  hostel , located right in the heart of our downtown, will draw visitors from all over, but I am equally impressed with the possibility of this being the first LEED Gold certified  hostel  in the country. That speaks volumes about Hostelling International and Boston’s status as a green city.”
“We are thrilled to open the doors to this state-of-the-art facility, which provides travelers safe, affordable and eco-friendly accommodations right in the heart of Boston,” said Deborah Ruhe, Executive Director of Hostelling International New England. “The celebration was a wonderful kickoff to a summer tourist season and our  hostel  will enable us to share the mission of international understanding through travel with more guests.”

The $43 million project is funded through a combination of New Market and Federal and State Historic Tax credits, private financing, and proceeds from an ongoing capital campaign.

With prices starting at $29 per night per guest and with enhanced amenities, such as common space and private bathrooms adjacent to each room, budget travelers will be able to experience Boston’s culture and history without sacrificing comfort or safety. The building caters to the growing international trend toward more environmentally-conscious travel. The adaptive re-use of the historic building integrates new and efficient green technologies and features, including recycled building materials, green elevators, and ENERGY STAR appliances and equipment.

The new  hostel ’s lobby, with floor-to-ceiling windows, a coffee bar and a community room is open to the public and supports Hostelling International’s mission to promote intercultural exchange between guests and the community by providing a place to congregate and connect. Community space will also serve as a platform for educational and service programs such as Alternative Spring Break (ASB) which gives volunteers from high schools and universities across the country the opportunity to visit the city of Boston and perform community service at local non-profits.

“The International Youth Hostel  Federation is honored to celebrate the opening of the new Boston  hostel l, the newest addition into our international network of 4,000 hostels in 80 different countries affiliated with Hostelling International,” said IYHF President Edith Arnoult-Brill. “I commend Hostelling International New England for their dedication to sustainability, and their effort to provide safe and affordable travel for youth all over the world.”

Suffolk Construction oversaw the construction of the project, which involved the renovation of a 55,500 square foot six-story building, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The  hostel was designed by Boston architectural firms Bergmeyer Associates and Stegman + Associates.

About Hostelling International Boston (HI-Boston)
Hostelling International Boston (HI-Boston) is a division of Hostelling International USA (HI-USA) and Hostelling International New England, all of which are part of a worldwide, not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing the cultural interchange by facilitating worldwide travel.HI-Boston provides comprehensive, safe and affordable travel packages and is at the forefront of sustainable ecotourism. Rooted in education, HI-Boston is a dedicated member of the local community, facilitating thousands of hours of community service and conducting numerous programs annually. For more

Friday, July 20, 2012

Sign Up Now for July Walk/Ride Day


CONGRATULATIONS TO JUNE'S CORPORATE CHALLENGE LEADERS: A Better City TMA, Ibex, ACIS Educational Tours, Greater Boston Legal Services, and Millennium Pharmaceuticals.Read more here!

>CAMBRIDGE: Mayor Henrietta Davis is continuing her series of Walk/Ride Day breakfasts, from 7:30 to 10:00 AM. This month’s focus: Women and Healthy, Sustainable Transportation. So please invite staff, colleagues, friends and neighbors to join you there, by bike, foot, bus, train, scooter... even carpool or walk a few extra blocks! Conversation, information tables and goodies. Food and drink from Iggy's bread and other local businesses. More info here!


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Review: Leap Organics Lavender Clove & Orange Soap

Pros                                                                             Cons                                    
-Effective without drying skin                                         -One ingredient, clove oil, is rated 5 on EWG
-Rated 2 on EWG                                                         -Moderate price: $5
-Cruelty-free, vegan, biodegradable
-Company purchases renewable energy
-Shea butter is fairly traded
-All packaging=recyclable and made from 50% Post-consumer content

Conclusion: This product is pretty darn close to perfect. The soap cleans well and smells great while being environmentally and socially responsible - not to mention local! What more could I possibly ask for????!! Consider this a ringing endorsement for Leap Organics! Order online or find in the body section of Whole Foods Market. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Observations: Recycling on the MBTA

I love that there are paper recycling receptacles all over the mbta, and I love that they are placed next to trash cans so they are easy to find. BUT, what about plastic recycling? Hmmmmm

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Keep Cool!

I'm back in Providence for a few days - so I don't have much Boston greenness to report. I'll be back later this week with lots of new content. Until then here are some Eco-tips for this weather:

1. Stay hydrated
2. Sunscreen (try coola natural brand)
3. Check on elderly neighbors
4. Hit public pools and beaches
5. Pull down the shades during the day and open them at night
6. Turn off electronics
7. Water plants in the early morning or late evening only

Monday, July 16, 2012

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Review: BeadforLife Lip Balm

image courtesy of

Pros                                                                                  Cons                              
-All purchases benefit families in Northern Uganda              -Not rated on EWG skindeep database
-Good/unique shape and size                                              -Not widely available. (purchase here)
-No artificial fragrances, dyes, petrochemicals, parabens
-Smooth feel

Conclusion: One of my favorite aspects of being a green living blogger is discovering products that are both environmentally and socioeconomically sustainable. I love my Tom's shoes, my Humps sunglasses, and all of my fair trade jewelry, so it is no surprise that I LOVE BeadforLife lip balm. BeadforLife is a nonprofit organization that sells handmade products like jewelry, loose beads, soaps, and lip balm in order to benefit 750 impoverished families in Uganda. The program gives women jobs creating these items and aims to have families able to make a good living independent from the program within 18 months. Not only that, but the shea butter lip balms are actually good for you! The ingredients are simple, natural, and effective, and though the product is not yet rated on the skin deep database, there are no intimidating items on the ingredient list so I'm sure the lip balm will be ranked well. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Quick Trash Tips

1. Know your town's recycling system (single stream? What numbers do they accept? Etc.)

2. Rinse recyclables.

3. Give composting a try!

4. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

5. Consider packaging while shopping.

6. Use trash bags made with post consumer content. (These are pretty common... Check CVS)

Monday, July 9, 2012

RRR: Vases of Jars + Lightbulbs

On Prince St. in Boston's North End, the window front of a stationary shop features these creative terraniums and vases:

Thursday, July 5, 2012


Nice to know that even the rest stops along the Mass Pike are thinking green!