Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Who Doesn't Like Taking Quizzes?

Here is just some fun stuff for you to do. I went to and found some pretty interesting quizzes.

I took the "Are you a green beauty?" quiz and didn't do too well on it. My score was 2/10. I did it just for fun to see what I got, but apparently I know a lot less than I thought I did about the chemicals in make up.

I did learn a lot though from my wrong answers. If you get an answer wrong, they explain what the right answer is and the harmful side effects. As you answer correctly, they add in more little facts about that answer.

To take up some more time before my next class, I took the "What's Your Clothing Footprint?" With this one, I got 4/10. I was a little more knowledgeable, but still didn't know what I thought I did.

There are others, so check them out and let me know what quiz you took and your score!

iPod Powered by Our Heart?

While I was checking out Treehugger today, I came across an interesting article about iPods and our heartbeats.

According to some scientists at the American Chemistry Society, we might see this type of technology in the next five years. How cool would that be to power our iPods with our own hear beat? I think we would save a lot of energy then.

Lead scientist, Zhong Lin Wang, Ph.D of Georgia Institute of Technology, and other researchers have made a break through after working on creating this technology for six years now. They have created a small flexible chip that generates electricity when squeezed between two fingers. Soon this will change to generate electricity from our pulse.

"This development represents a milestone toward producing portable electronics that can be powered by body movements without the use of batteries or electrical outlets," said lead scientist Zhong Lin Wang, Ph.D. "Our nanogenerators are poised to change lives in the future. Their potential is only limited by one's imagination." Zhong also said that the faster this comes out into the market, the better our lives will be without all the batteries and chargers.

nanogenerators chip image

The way this works is by zinc oxide (ZnO) nanowires. These wires are piezoelectrixc, which means that they create electricity through any body movement, inlcuding blood flow through the body. Nanowires can also generate electricity by wind and even rolling tires.
What do you think about this? Would you want and iPod that is powered by your heart beat?

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Lights out!

Tonight from 8:30 to 9:30 turn out your lights to be a part of Earth hour and conserve energy.

This will be the 4th year for Earth hour, which started in Australia in 2007 by the World Wildlife Fund. So far 128 countries have participated. To find out more you can go to

Are you going to join in tonight?
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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

"Green" Taxes?

How would you feel about a "green" tax? This tax would be put on products that don't help improve the environmental impact. It would make people pay for everything that goes into making the product; the whole process from resources, to production, to distribution, to disposal.

So how would you feel about this? Denmark already does this to help lessen their impact on the Earth. They tax more on vehicles that use gasoline, instead of electric cars; this also means they tax more on gas. I talk more on this topic in one of my previous posts in October of 2010.

Do you think that the U.S. should do the same? Would you support and vote for a "green tax?"

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patty's Day!!


I felt like I had to post something today, since it is a "green" day. But other than that, I don't know what to say, except to be safe tonight.

Alright, I also wanted to say that I am done with finals, so I have plenty of time to keep up with my blogs.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Would you bath in cancer?

I don't think so. And I wouldn't either. Here's yet another one of Annie Leonard's videos about our cosmetics.

Here is a website where you can check out what's in your shampoos, body washes, etc. Go to It will tell you what is in your products and give it a rating of how safe or dangerous it is.

Let me know what you found out about your products. Will you keep using them?

Friday, March 11, 2011


Here is a video about our electronics:

Ecological Footprint Calculators

I have taken one quiz to figure out my ecological footprint last year. I was curious as to whether there are any others out there that are more accurate, so I did some more searching to find more ecological footprint calculators.

The first EF calculator I did was for my Sustainability Marketing class. My prof had us go to this website: It does a pretty good job, but it is a little vague with some of the answers; some of the answers are too broad. To make sure you get the right site, here's what it will look like.

When I took this quiz the first time, my result was 3.8 earths. I later took it again after achieving a few goals. My results then were reduced to 3.5 earths. Check out my blogs on these days for my before and after results: 9/29/10 and 11/30/10

My second choice of EF calculator is from Conservation International. They actually have two different options to do: 1) Carbon footprint calculator or 2) Ecological Footprint ( click the links and it will take you straight to the Carbon calculator or the EF calculator). I did the second option. This calculator asks questions and you select all applicable answers to that question. The one thing that I don't like about this calculator is that I don't really know how relative my results are to the preferred number. Here is what my results were:

According to them, I am and Eco-Apprentice, but I still have room for improvement.

I also decided to find out what my carbon footprint is. With this one, I found out that if you want a detailed summary report and explanation of your score you have to pay them. So here is what I have, but not sure what it means:

Alright, I found one more that seems to do a decent job from the WWF. This one is set more for the UK though. I tried it and guessed when it asked about prices because the currency is in euros. But here are my results:

I got about 2 planets for this particular calculator. I like this result much more than the first EF calculator I took. :) Along with my EF, they also calculated my carbon footprint, which is 6.78 tonnes per annum (don't know what that means).

With this calculator, they ask you more specific questions in the "Stuff" section of the quiz, like about pets, personal grooming products, DIY projects, jewelry, etc.

Try some of these and let me know what your results are! Are you living a sustainable life?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Bottled Water Anyone?

Sorry about bombarding you guys with all these blogs for today, but this stuff is interesting and I want you to know about it. Hope you don't want bottled water after this video. Here is the website if this video doesn't work. Which it doesn't look like it is.

Do you use a reusable water bottled?

Do you ever wonder where your stuff comes from?

Watch this video by Annie Leonard about the cycle of our "stuff." You'll be amazed.

Did you know about all of this? I know I sure didn't. It's going to make me think twice now about what I buy.

Boimimicry & Architecture

I love watching TED videos and using them for my blogs, if you haven't noticed. I learn so much from the speakers. This video has speaker Michael Pawlyn talking about using biomimcry to help design better sustainable architecture. If you don't know what biomimicry is you can look at one of my previous blogs where I discuss it more and share my idea for a biomimicry influenced product ( see my 10/21/10 blog). But to give a quick definition, biomimicry takes the wonders of biology and nature and puts those ideas in to create sustainable products, thus having a closed loop cycle. This allows products to have a "cradle-to-cradle" cycle instead of a "cradle-to-grave" cycle.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Home made toaster?

This video isn't really about sustainability, but it does show you a lot about what goes into a toaster. Thomas Thwaites decided to make his own toaster from scratch. This meant that he mined his own iron and copper, and even made the plastic cover out of oil.

His video really made me think of all the stuff that is in every product we buy. He said that his first step was to buy a toaster and take it apart. He found about 400 different pieces in the cheapest toaster he could find. I wonder how many are in the expensive ones?

And just think, when the toasters go out, where do people dispose of them?... The landfill.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A Car that has 200 MPG? Sweet!


This is an awesome car that I found. It's the first 3 wheel 2 seater fuel efficient car. Steve Fambro thought up the idea while sitting in traffic one day.

It was created to go through the wind and not push it, which makes it more efficient. It also was put on a "car diet." They said that it is harder to get going when you have more weight on the car. So, they redesigned the car and it only weighs about half of a normal car. You can also have 2, yeah I said 2, elephants stand on top of this car with barely a dent. That's pretty awesome if you ask me!

The Aptera was designed and manufactured in California as a fully electric car. The first edition of the car, the Aptera, came out in 2009. The second edition, 2e, is a hybrid of electric and gasoline and my finally be on sale this year after being talked about since 2007. These cars are set at a somewhat affordable price of $30,000 or lower.

Here are some sweet features of this "Jetson" car:

  • Seats made out of recycled plastic bottles
  • Made to charge during the night
  • Even if you are only driving, you get dibs on the HOV lane
  • Solar cell-covered roof keeps cabin at the right temperature, not matter what the weather is like

This is their pledge

How's that for efficiency? In our opinion, not enough. That's why we'll keep working to reduce our energy consumption through new technological and environmental advances.

What will you think up while sitting in traffic?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Natural Colour Cotton

Yet again, I found something pretty cool to talk about while reading for one of my classes. In my second to last blog post, I talked about the book, The Ecology of Commerce, and the sustainable businesses it talks about. Well this company, Natural Cotton Color based in Europe, uses organic cotton that has its own natural color. These natural colors consist of greens, beiges, and browns.

The Chinese have been perfecting this process of nature cross breeding over the last 20 years. The plants are naturally resistant to pests, so there's no need for pesticides or other chemicals. The fabric is 100% natural. There are no chemicals, no dyes, it's eco-friendly, and people friendly. Together the Chinese and NCC are the only manufacturers of this type of cotton.

In their Milton Keynes showroom, they have over 200 different fabrics that range from jersey knit, woven, corduroy, and pique. They have eight fabric designers and technologists. Currently they are working on The Perfect Start collection (baby collection) and the Disney Loved by Nature collection.

Right now they are producing baby clothes with this natural cotton as their newest collection. They say that it is the best for sensitive skin and that it is like a second skin. They also have fashionable clothing for adults including underwear. Besides clothing, they offer towels, linens, and nursery bedding.

Here above  is one gift set for the baby clothes.

For the fashion forward, 


Above are some of the Nature Cotton Color designs for the Fall/ Winter Collection of 2011.

On their website, they do have available for everyone to see that they are 100% natural and that they sustainable producers of this natural cotton.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Climate Culture Calculator

While typing up and researching the previous blog post, I found this cool climate calculator on They have several different options for you to pick from  to figure out how much money and CO2 you can save each year by doing less.

To test it out, I decided to see how much I would save by driving more slowly, sometimes I get to be a speed demon on the freeway. I wonder if this will change my mind. Here are my results:

I could save $145/year and 1,108 lbs/ year of CO2 emissions. Wow! That's a lot that I could be saving. Maybe next time that I drive home for the weekend, instead of thinking about getting there fast, I'll think about the money I'll be saving in gas and CO2 I'll be saving.

Let's look at another one. How about driving less. I roughly drive about 265 miles/ month (that's if I go home twice during the month and drive about 10 miles during the week.) If I only drive home once and drive about 5 miles during the week, here are my results:

Oh man! $129 in savings and 983 lbs saved! Looks like I'm going to be driving slower and less  from now on. If I do this, then my total savings would be $274. I could definitely use that money for school and books! Ha!

You should check it out and let me know what you could be saving. Just go here:, and scroll down a little bit and the Climate Calculator will be on the right side of the screen. Have fun!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Deja Vu For Your Feet

As I was reading on of my lovely books for class today, The Ecology of Commerce by Paul Hawken, the author   was talking about the environment and how companies need to start making products that are more cradle-to-cradle, than cradle-to-grave. He brought up Deja Shoes as an example. I became very interested in the company so I decided to research more about it. Sadly I couldn't get on their website because the company no longer exits, but I still wanted to find out more about what they were about.

Julie Lewis got the inspiration to design shoes that are made of recycled materials from a sandal that was being made from old car tires. Lewis, an avid recycler herself, wanted to put society's waste to a better place than the landfill. Deja Shoe was then created in 1991.

They had a hard time in the beginning when they started because no one really wanted to invest with them. But once they saw that Deja Shoe generated $5+ million each year in free advertising and marketing, others wanted some of that money. Retail stores like REI, LL Bean, Nordstrom and Bloomingdales wanted in on the exclusive brand too.

Deja Shoes are made from all sorts of recycled materials from plastic bottles to felt to jeans to disposable diapers.

Even the boxes the shoes come in are sustainable. There are no glues or staples used to hold this box together. It is made so that it can just be unfolded and refolded back together. The ink used is soy based.

They were given several awards for their amazing sustainability efforts. They were given the United Nations Environmental Fashion award, the Environmental Achievement from the American Marketing Association, and the Best Recycling Innovation award from the US National Recycling Coalition.

They were ahead of their time for this type of industry because they were only around until 1995. Deja ended up being owned by two other companies. But Lewis didn't give up on the industry. She tried again with company Jade Planet, and anagram of Deja. Today, Lewis has both companies now and new Deja products, along with the shoes, can be found on

Do you use reusable bags when you go grocery shopping?