Thursday, October 30, 2014

Thank You, Mayor Menino

Former Boston Mayor, Thomas Menino, passed away this morning. During his 20+ years as leader of the city, Menino did many great things - including great strides in sustainability and climate change preparedness. Though we'll miss Menino, his legacy will live on for years. We are ever grateful for everything he did for Boston.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Time to Weatherize Your Home or Apartment

Here are some easy ways to see energy savings on your bill this winter! Start before November, and you'll get the best results.

1. Install temporary window film to blog out the cold. 
2. Make blankets easily accessible for all of the places you spend the most time at home. 
3. Make a habit of opening blinds during the day and closing them after the sun goes down.
4. Insulate your water heater to keep it from losing heat.
5. In the winter, you'll likely take warmer showers - use a timer to make them as efficient as possible.
6. Use a draft blocker for leaky doors. 
7. Dress appropriately, you really shouldn't be comfortable in a T-shirt indoors when it is freezing outside. Dressing appropriately will allow you to turn the thermostat down a bit.
8. Create a sense of warmth with solar powered candles and a cup of tea. 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

October is Fair Trade Month!

In honor of Fair Trade Month, I am sharing some of my favorite fairly-traded beauty products! When we think of fair trade, we often think of chocolate, coffee, and sometimes jewelry - but some of our go-to beauty ingredients, like shea, are grown abroad where farmers and tradesmen and women are not paid fairly for their work. Do your part by supporting companies that ethically source their skincare products. My favorites include:

Everyday Shea Body Lotion (widely available - try Whole Foods or Follain)

Fair Squared Lip Balm (foreign fav)

Lush Fair Trade Foot Lotion (a classic cabinet staple)

what are your favs?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Spotlight: Behind the Walls Magazine

Love sustainable design? Cutting edge architecture? Non toxic living? Check out the Behind the Walls Magazine kickstarter campaign. I've read through their three issues so far and am loving it! It is like a sustainability-focused Architectural Digest, featuring has diverse content like spotlights on innovative companies, products, and people making a difference in the field. They've partnered with The Wall Street Journal for distribution, but are now looking to take the next step and gain an independent audience. A $25 donation to their kickstarter will give you a 1 year subscription to the magazine! They also have a fantastic website which I highly recommend adding to your RSS reader.

Lets wish them lots of luck - we are anticipating many more informative issues!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Green Happenings this Week

image courtesy of Prepfection

  • Happy Columbus Day
  • Need a Friday distraction? Look through these motivating pieces of Earthspiration

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Businesswomen Taking the Lead on Sustainability in the Corporate World

Cox Conserves recently conducted a survey to determine the state of sustainable solutions for small and medium-sized businesses. The results revealed an interesting gender gap. Apparently, women are more likely to support sustainability initiatives in the work place and supply chain. Some of the specific results included:

Committed to Increasing Level of Sustainable Business Activities:
• Female: 70%
• Male: 62%

Satisfied with Current Level of Sustainable Business Activities:
• Male: 50%
• Female: 44%

Oct. is National Women’s Small Business Month, proving the survey data to be timely. The results show that women-led SMBs currently embrace sustainability more than those led by men. To help further sustainability among women-owned SMBs, Cox Enterprises will donate one dollar to the Women's Business Enterprise National Council for every person that tweets #CoxConservesSMB through Nov. 30  (up to $10,000).

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Spotlight: Green City Growers

Earlier this month at BostonEco's Sustainable Home event, I had the pleasure of learning about Green City Growers - a business that "transforms unused space into thriving urban farms, providing clients with immediate access to nutritious food, while revitalizing city landscapes and inspiring self-sufficiency." This gives power to schools, churches, restaurants, and homeowners to build a food-producing farm in any space they have available. It is a perfect solution for those that want to become part of the local food movement but don't have enough resources to build a garden themselves because Green City Growers will install and maintain the raised bed garden space. They also provide urban farming courses and workshops for those that are aiming to be a bit more self-sufficient. Green City Growers is an incredible resource for the greater Boston area, and I look forward to seeing new gardens pop up all over the state!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

East Boston Library Awarded LEED Gold

On Tuesday, Mayor Walsh announced that the East Boston Branch of the Boston Public Library earned LEED Gold certification! Established by the U.S. Green Building Council and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute, LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and is the world's foremost certification program for the design, construction, maintenance, and operation of green buildings.

“The City of Boston is committed to green design practices and eco-friendly development,” said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “By earning LEED Gold certification, the state-of-the art East Boston branch demonstrates how a successful architectural addition to a community can also be a sustainable one.”

The East Boston Branch, a 15,000 square foot building at 365 Bremen Street. The library building earned LEED certification for green design and construction in the areas of energy use, lighting, water, and material use as well as incorporating a variety of other sustainable strategies. These features include: water conservation through storm water management, rainwater collection, underground recharge tanks, and low-flow bathroom fixtures; sustainably harvested and certified wood; underfloor ventilation and conditioning; a reflective roof; high-performance glass; daylight harvesting/dimming and occupancy sensors; 75 percent of construction waste was recycled; and use of low emitting materials and materials with recycled content.

“This building will not only have a long lasting impact on learning, but also on the City of Boston’s environmental footprint,” said Brian Swett, Chief of Environment, Energy and Open space. “Developing new municipal buildings in a sustainable way demonstrates the City’s commitment to building healthier buildings for our citizens and to reaching our goal of reducing municipal greenhouse gases 25 percent by 2020.”

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

TONIGHT: Sustainable Home Event with BostonEco

Join Boston area entrepreneurs and green living specialists to learn & network! The night will feature lots of activities and giveaways, including:

  • Meet modern green home design experts from the award-winning ZeroEnergy Design firm and learn what is a passive home and why it is the future.

  • Check out Green City Growers' vision for urban farming in Boston and how to transform any size space into a fresh organic food garden. 

  • Find out what's happening at the startup Behind the Walls, the first and only magazine for eco home and healthy living enthusiasts. Pick up a free copy of the newest fall issue.

  • Learn about community solar, free home/apartment assessments and free, easy-to-use energy efficient products from Next Step Living.

Plus, there will be free samples from local eco companies including non-toxic, pint-size paint samples from the Old Fashioned Milk Paint Co., free copies of Natural Awakenings Boston healthy living magazine, and you could win of one of the giveaways including a $75 gift card from the Climate Store and a copy of "The Urban Bounty" from Green City Growers.