Tuesday, April 26, 2011

School promotes environmentally friendly living

More and more schools are taking part in the eco movement, working towards raising awareness within the educational community with regards to going green. It makes me proud to be a teacher when I come across projects like this one, wherein people unite for such a meaningful cause.

Bancroft, Canada - North Hastings High School is putting the earth first as a part of their Earth Week event that will take place between the days April 11 and 15. Collectively, the students will be taking part in a number of different activities and shifts in their daily schedule to help promote more environmentally friendly living.

The week will begin with one of the simplest ways to take care of the planet: picking up the trash. The Monday will see gym classes sparking the week off with taking some time outside cleaning up the community by picking up garbage that lies all over Bancroft after the snow melts.

After picking up the trash, students will then be encouraged more on the Tuesday to eliminate the amount that is wasted each day. Students who come into class using reusable plastic containers will get points for their colour team in the ongoing House Points competition for the 2010-2011 school year. To further encourage the elimination of waste at the school, vending machines will also be shut down for the day not only conserving energy but also stopping the access to the wasteful packaging that fills bins at the school each and every day.

Wednesday will see a large portion of the school go lights out. All the lights will go off for one period of class to save energy and to rely on the natural light that is provided by nature itself. Though the lights will stay on in the tech wing of the school for obvious safety reasons, the rest of the school will be able to take part in a huge energy conservation initiative.

Thursday will be Earth Care Day at the school with the student-driven group serving hot chocolate in the rarely used courtyard at the school. For many of the students who spend their breaks inside the walls of the school, the hope is that there will be an appreciation for earth the week is dedicated to saving by spending some quality time soaking up the sun.

The week will conclude with an eco-friendly twist of fabric. Earth Care along side the NHHS Student Council is putting on a Green Fashion Show. The clothes that will be shown off to the student body will be made solely out of recycled items. House Points are also available on that day in the construction of a artistic statue that is to be made out of recycled items from the school.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

"Eco-Friendly" Weddings a Top Trend for Spring

Everyone seems to be jumping onto the engagement bandwagon – which means that as we speak, engagement parties, bridal showers, bachelor parties and of course, wedding receptions are being planned.

It used to be that the brides to be would be fussing over everything whilst the groom’s main contribution is just to show up on time; however recent studies have shown that couples nowadays are taking it upon themselves to extend a little extra something to enjoy a ceremony that is kind to the Earth as it is beautifully creative.

Top wedding trends for Spring 2011 cover a few themes – your customary traditional with a modern twist, the simple yet elegant with bold color choices and dominating patterns as well as destination ceremonies that draw families and friends to the most serene and breathtaking locations. The common denominators of these themes according to research, however, is that most couples hope to also raise awareness by showcasing their environmental consciousness not just at the actual wedding, but in the process as well.

As couples move toward having less conventional weddings, eco-friendly concepts are rapidly growing in popularity, which can lend itself to an array of styles from the elegant to the more casual backyard affair. This speaks to how environmental trends continue to take hold and crop up in what might be considered unlikely places.
Below are the top Environment Friendly Wedding Themes that are trending today. So whether you happen to be a frazzled bride, an eco conscious couple or an eager single woman who just enjoys perusing the net for wedding related ideas, have a look and see if any of these would be your cup of tea:

• Green (Eco-Friendly) Weddings - Eco-friendly weddings are emerging. Everything from sustainable wedding dresses to plantable favors and recycled invitations will be commonplace. The setting will likely be an outdoor venue or tent, with decor consisting of LED lights and locally produced flowers. Green, brown and rust are common color choices.

• Vintage Inspirations - Vintage inspired weddings are one of the biggest trends for 2011. Brides can be glamorous and chic without breaking the bank. Common themes include beaded or feathered hairpieces, and natural and outdoor settings. These weddings could include lots of lace and do-it-yourself touches such as homemade favors and hand-tied ribbons around the invitations. Softer, muted colors help add a touch of romance to the occasion.

• Traditional Elegance with a Modern Twist - This bride embraces the traditional wedding but wants to add her own personal flair. This may include an unexpected pop of bold and bright colors with her clutch or shoes, a unique hair piece, bold necklace or modern invitations and stationary. Colors are primarily white, silver and ivory with a minimally used accent color like red or chartreuse.

• Bright and Bold Color Choices - Expect to see lots of color in 2011, from the Pantone® Color of the Year - Honeysuckle Pink to Turquoise, Coral and the ever popular Apple Green. Bold colors are hip, attention grabbing and the perfect way to add lots of personality to your special day.

• Black - Like the little black dress, Black is always in fashion. Although it is traditionally associated with more formal black-tie events, today it lends itself to a variety of styles from contemporary and elegant weddings, to the romantic and baroque. It also pairs well with almost any accent color.

Whichever theme you decide to go with, remember that there are numerous ways to make your wedding memorable – with a green twist! You can opt for fabrics made from natural fibers, create the invitations and party favors yourselves, have a feast with an organic spread and beautify your setting with locally produced flora.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Schools urged to submit eco-friendly programs

MANILA, Philippines -- The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has urged all “green” schools in the country to start submitting their eco-friendly programs and get a chance to be acknowledged in the 2011 National Search for Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Schools. The deadline for submission of entries is on April 29.

DENR Secretary Ramon Paje expressed hope that more schools will participate and take part in the heightening environmental awareness among Filipino youth.

The nationwide contest was organized to highlight the commitments of schools in implementing various environmental programs. It is open to all elementary, high school and tertiary school levels.

The activity aims to encourage schools and academic institutions to become more actively involved in environmental issues at practical and local levels.

It also aims to develop skills and understanding among students, faculty and school administrators to initiate active responses and increase community awareness and involvement on environmental concerns.

Specifically, the participating schools are required to fill up their on-line entry at the National Search for Sustainable and Eco-friendly School website at http://www.sustainableschools. ph and submit their entries in three hard copies.

School entries should revolve around the theme: “Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Initiatives.”

These small steps are being made in the hope that more and more people will choose to be more aware and proactive in taking a stand and protecting what is our most precious resource – the Earth.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Green Travel a Growing Trend

For all you beach bums out there, here’s our holiday travel site recommendation! Who says your responsibility for good stewardship needs to take a break just because you’re on a vacation?

More than one million vacationers will hit the beach in 2011, but with the help of the growing eco-friendly vacation trend, their impact on the environment can be minimized, protecting the fragile ecosystems of our beloved jungles, beaches and oceans and enhancing relationships with the local culture.

Eco-friendly travel is more just than a buzzword; it is a way to preserve beautiful destinations for future generations and for the locals lucky enough to live there.
Apple Vacations is proud to partner with a variety of resorts that have made an extra-effort to preserve our planet. Eco-friendly resorts can fit any budget and will leave travelers with a more authentic vacation experience, due to a deeper understanding and respect for the places they visit.

“Green” resorts can now be found throughout Mexico, the Caribbean and Hawaii. For example, Sandos Caracol Eco-Resort & Spa in Riviera Maya, Mexico offers travelers luxury accommodations coupled with a light carbon footprint. Features include:

• 96 ecological rooms that reduce CO2 emission by 75%
• Solar water heating
• Ultra-efficient air conditioning systems with low electrical consumption
• Furniture made from certified wood
• Guided Eco Tour exploring the Mayan jungle including 16 natural cenotes, indigenous animals and exotic plants.
• Recycling and separating the trash
• Use of biodegradable bottles throughout the resort
• Wildlife conservation
• Using recycled paper for all printed material

To get the full list of Apple Vacations’ eco-friendly resorts, please visit www.applevacations.com/gogreen.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

NEC To Focus On New Ideas For 'Green Brunei'

Asia Inc Forum has officially announced the date for the next National Environment Conference, and also given details on what is to be expected.

Now in its fourth year, the National Environment Conference (NEC) will take place at the Rizqun International Hotel on June 8, with the theme "Green Brunei: New Ideas for a Sustainable Country".

The conference will focus on the state of the environment and the priorities for Brunei including water, marine conservation, disaster preparedness, green business sustainability and youth advocacy.

It will also feature overseas speakers from Singapore and Australia who will assess how we can best adapt to our changing climate.

The conference will coincide with the "Youth Go Green Initiative Awards", an event held to recognise the contribution of the young citizens of Brunei in promoting environmental awareness on the effects of climate change and global warming as well as stimulating their creative minds in taking action to save the environment for their future through innovative green solutions.

The 2011 Youth Go Green Initiative Awards will be founded under the theme "Saving the World, Saving Our Future", and is organised in collaboration with the Science, Technology and Environment Partnership (STEP) Centre, Ministry of Education.

Another feature at the upcoming NEC will be the "Green Showcase", an exhibition of initiatives or programmes by Asia Inc Forum's corporate partners and local businesses in promoting products and services, which will be open to the public.

Also to be showcased are the outstanding and shortlisted entries of the 2011 Youth Go Green Initiative Awards and projects by the next generation, including the "ISB Short Eco Video Competition" which aims to educate the public about the importance and relevance of taking action and adopting a green lifestyle.

For more information and to register for the conference, the awards or the exhibition, you can visit Asia Inc Forum's website, www.asiaincforum.com.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Pan Pacific Hotels to open garden concept hotel in Singapore

Ever wonder what else there is to see in Singapore? Whether you’re a local who just craves for something new, or a tourist curious to find something refreshing, I definitely think this would be worth checking out once it’s finished.

Pan Pacific Hotels Group will open a £170m (S$350m) 'garden-in-a-hotel' concept property in Singapore next year.

Designed by Woha, the 363-room hotel is located in the Central Business District and the Raffles Place financial hub, with waterfront entertainment and restaurant options along the Singapore river also being close by.

The property will feature 15,000sqm of gardens, reflecting pools, waterfalls, planter terraces and green walls. A day spa, nature trail and waterfall walk, pool terrace, gym and business centre will also be available for the enjoyment of all.
A rooftop bar with 360-degree view of the city will ‘top’ of this magnificent little paradise.

This is certainly something to look forward to – we’ll be keeping an eye out as this project goes underway, and will surely keep you posted, so keep on reading!

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Environmentally Friendly M.B.A.

Eco-friendly M.B.A. programs now offer combo degrees and green electives....

Environmentally conscious M.B.A. students are increasingly looking for more from their education than a patina of financial acumen and a degree that will ratchet up their income. These students have adopted the goal of sustainability; that is, conducting business in a way that keeps the world in good physical shape for future generations.

Over the next decade, M.B.A. programs will increasingly offer courses that consider the social, environmental, and financial impact of every business decision—the "triple bottom line," says Paul Rowland, executive director of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.

Gabriel Kauper is one of the new wave of students exploring how businesses can develop eco-friendly policies and products while still turning a profit. When researching M.B.A. programs, Kauper consulted the Washington-based Aspen Institute's "Beyond Grey Pinstripes" survey, which ranks b-schools that integrate environmental and social issues into their curricula. The George Washington University School of Business in the nation's capital ranked highly in the think tank's report.

Kauper, 28, from Virginia Beach, applied to GWU and was accepted to the class of 2012. When he took his first course in sustainability, he says, "it was like I had found my tribe—other students and professionals who shared my values."

In fact, Kauper's "tribe" has grown as universities have expanded their green offerings. Currently, a handful of business schools, like Dominican University of California in San Rafael and the Presidio Graduate School in San Francisco, feature programs where every course from marketing to accounting includes an environmental and social impact angle.

At Dominican, graduates can receive an M.B.A. in sustainable enterprise, which the school markets as a "GreenMBA." Other institutions are adding sustainability courses as electives or creating combo-degree programs. At the Stanford University Graduate School of Business in Palo Alto, Calif., for example, students can combine an M.B.A. from the business school with a master's in environment and resources from the School of Earth Sciences.

These environmentally enhanced degrees can lead to greater professional opportunities. Of course, nonprofits and federal agencies, like the Environmental Protection Agency, are always hiring. But private employers, including leading consultancies like Booz Allen Hamilton and large companies like Westinghouse and PepsiCo, are also recruiting.

Even graduates with an entrepreneurial bent are capitalizing. For example, in 2005, Atlanta native Jen Boulden, 37, used her M.B.A. in environmental management from GWU to cofound Ideal Bite, a free E-mail newsletter offering eco-friendly tips on how to make a difference in the world.

By 2008, the newsletter had amassed 500,000 subscribers, and Boulden was able to sell the company to Disney for $20 million. She credits her degree with convincing investors that "I was not just a Johnny-come-lately to the green business field. I was an expert."

Erwann Michel-Kerjan, who teaches a class on environmental sustainability and value creation at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, cautions students that they can't just dream about the environment. They need to show the bottom-line profitability of business decisions to boards of directors. If you master "both sides of the equation, you are very powerful" in the market, he says.

Joel Makower, executive editor of Greenbiz.com, agrees, noting that many businesses still do not actively recruit green M.B.A.s. He suggests students develop critical business skills, like marketing or finance, or learn organizational development, to get hired. Once in the door, they can then find ways to apply their passion for the environment to their job.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

For the Fashion Forward: Shopping Gone Green!

Before the men make a mad scramble to navigate away from this page, give me a chance to show you the perks of this new site I just discovered – think never having to struggle with the hassle of window shopping for that perfect gift for that special woman in your life!

Etsy.com is an online community that buys, sells and markets all things handmade and crafted with natural fibers and other earth friendly materials. They carry items that range from unique dresses, beautiful accessories, delicate glassware, needlecrafts, wood workings and plants and edibles! Etsy.com carries anything and everything you may need for your home, to purchase as presents or just to browse through for future gift ideas. With clear pictures and an idiot proof site, steering through this online store will be a breeze for anybody.

Not only do they allow for you to make a selection with ease; Etsy.com also provides avenues for creative sharing of designs, craft ideas and even inspirational bits about people, places and things. With their main focus coming from William Morris’ famous instruction that one should “have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful”, the Etsians as they have dubbed themselves aim to inspire with the imaginative, the durable, the forward-thinking, the lovely, the comforting and the provocative.

Enough said about that – I, as a young woman with concern for the environment need little prodding on this aspect. Give me an excuse to shop, and being kind to the Earth with each purchase is more than I need.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

KABAKA accelerates ‘clean and green’ project in Manila’s streets

MANILA, Philippines -- Count this high, for ‘it can be done.’

The civic, service-oriented Kabalikat ng Bayan sa Kaunlaran, prominently known in the metropolis as “KABAKA” is putting to high gear its clean and green and beautification campaign in Manila residents’ backyards, side streets and riverbanks.
Being that the limited space bounding private residences, commercial, industrial and even government-owned edifices have not hindered the progress of this program, members of the board are confident that this project that has been going on for more than decade and a half, will continue to soar.

The program is a major tenet in KABAKA’s project for sanitation and hygiene.
The call lodged to city residents is one to protect the environment, encouraging every member of the community - man or woman, youth or adult, high ranking government official or private enterprise executive down to the working man on the street, to take heed of Mother Earth’s pleas – to which each individual aired nods of agreement and approval.

On Dec. 5, 1985, KABAKA was founded as a non-stock, non-profit, socio-economic, cultural, civic and service-oriented organization in Malate, Manila.

In 1987, founder Amado Bagatsing was elected Representative of the 5th district of Manila, and through his initiative, a sibling known as KABAKA Foundation, Inc. was developed, and registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in 1988.
This movement began not solely for the purpose of cleaning and beautification, but most importantly in effect, as an enhanced course of action to protect the city environment, which must be set in the minds of the city residents not only during the time of cleaning or dredging the riverbanks, but must be observed at all times, because human health is a paramount factor that is at stake and needs utmost protection.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Ecotopia Brings Eco-Friendly Gameplay to Gamers on Facebook

We all know that Facebook is just full of all these games right? Well, for those who are devotees of said games, and even those who are closet game enthusiasts, here’s an excuse for you to stay hooked onto your laptops, ipads and PCs – just tell everyone to leave you alone, you’re helping the Earth!

What’s the newest way to go green? Play Ecotopia. For a limited time only, select Facebook gamers can sign up to play the upcoming eco-friendly Facebook game during beta testing before its official launch. Developed by new independent game studio, Talkie (http://talkie.tv), in association with Conservation International (CI), Ecotopia is a Facebook gaming adventure advocating environmental activism through engaging storylines and dynamic gameplay.

Players interested in beta-testing the game can visit the official Talkie website for a chance to participate before the trial ends.

In Ecotopia players are tasked with transforming an unsustainable city into a digital paradise, in an eco-themed, hero versus villains challenge. Players participating in the closed-beta trial will encounter the following features:
• In-game quests – By carrying out in-game quests to generate resources and utilizing what they collect, players can develop their own environmentally friendly areas.
• Interactive activism – To add to the game’s philanthropic message, gamers who perform real-world acts of sustainability and upload photos and video will be rewarded with in-game points.
• Ecotopia TV – Players can view video clips from Conservation International and participate in green contests, either by voting on videos from other players or uploading their own.

So get on in there, join the bandwagon and get those fingers working! At the very least, wouldn’t it be nice to know all the hours spent are being put to good use?

Monday, April 4, 2011

Debate fumes as Sydney apartments ‘butt’- out smoking

An Australian apartment block which has banned residents from smoking in their homes has sparked anger from civil libertarians. However, advocates say it could be the way of the future for high-density living.

Owners of the apartments in Sydney's inner western suburb of Ashfield agreed to introduce a by-law which bans smokers from lighting up inside their flats or even on their balconies – in the hopes of turning it into a smoke free zone in its entirety.

The move came about after some residents of the late 1960s building had complained about smoke drifting into their apartments from vents in the ceiling or from neighbours having a cigarette on their balconies. In addition, there was a constant problem with cigarette butts all over the gardens and footpaths.

It was then that some people from the community took a stand, proposing a by-law to ban all smoking in units as well as common properties. It only took two weeks for them to draft out the said request which was accepted soon after.

While those in real estate and apartment management said non-smoking residences could become more popular in high-density cities, civil libertarians labelled the move outrageous; others even claim that it is unjustifiable to prohibit the use of a lawful product in someone’s own home.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Eco-friendly and organic vodkas

Further proof that moving into a greener lifestyle is filled with limitless perks and possibilities! Save the earth one cocktail at a time with these eco-friendly and organic vodkas. Tips on how to enjoy them best included, of course.

Prairie Organic Vodka - not only is this vodka certified kosher by the Orthodox Union and organic by the USDA, but it's also gluten-free. Prairie is distilled in limited quantities in the same community in which the corn is raised, by a co-op of 900 Minnesota farmers who are stakeholders in the brand.

- Prairie Lemon Basiltini
2 ounces Prairie Organic Vodka
1 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 ounce simple syrup (see recipe below)
4 basil leaves
Bruise basil leaves, add remaining ingredients, shake and strain into a martini glass.

Mix tip: If you don't like your martinis served at room temperature, add some crushed ice before shaking the drink.

Simple syrup recipe: Bring 1 part water and 2 parts organic cane sugar to a boil in saucepan, and then cool. Source: http://news.prairievodka.com

360 Vodka - the bottles (made from 85% recycled glass) use a swing-top cap that can be removed and sent back to 360 Vodka in a postage-paid envelope that is made from 100 percent recycled paper and attached to the bottle. The program, called "Close the Loop," donates $1 to Global Green USA for every top consumers send back. Mimimal effort and hassle free for a maximum impact, don’t you think?

- A Kiss From Mother Earth
2 ounces 360 Double Chocolate Vodka
1 ounce agave nectar
3 ounces heavy, or whipping, cream
Chocolate syrup, for decorating glass
Drizzle chocolate syrup in glass. Add all ingredients, shake and strain into martini glass.

Mix tip: Add some crushed ice to the shaker to cool this creamy concoction.

- 360 Ecolade (E-Ko-Laid)
2 ounces 360 Cola Vodka
3 slices of cucumber (muddled)
Lemonade (I used 4 ounces)
Lemon-lime soda (I used 8 ounces)
Add all ingredients to a tall glass. Fill with lemonade and top with lemon-lime soda.
Source: www.vodka360.com

Crop Organic Vodka - available in Artisanal, Cucumber and Tomato, Crop Vodka is certified USDA organic and distilled so that no carbon treatment or charcoal filtering is required.

- Organic Vodka Shortcake
2 ounces Crop Organic Cucumber Vodka
1 ounce lemon juice
3 ounces muddled strawberries
Fresh mint leaf
Add all ingredients to a glass. Stir.
Mix tip: This is a fruit-heavy drink with very little liquid. Add 4 ounces of lemon-lime soda to make this a perfect mix of fruit and fizz. Source: www.cropvodka.com

There’s 3 more reasons to go green – and 3 excuses to throw a party and spread the word to your neighbors! So have a go and have a blast. Clink your glasses to Mother Earth and to those who find more creaative and enticing ways to nudge us into the greener side of things. Cheers!