Monday, April 19, 2010

Happy Earth Week!

I'm so happy that Earth Day has given rise to such a flurry of activity and buzz that what use to be a one day celebration has turned into a week long party. My hope is that soon it will be a year long awareness of the best thing we have going, our planet.

So many retailers have special Earth Week giveaways this year. From Home Depot, to Target, to Walgreens, it seems as though the retail world has gone green. This is a good thing, though most of it is marketing. My feeling is that as long as this raises awareness I'm all for it. The more people get on board with the eco-friendly way of living, the greater the chance we have of saving the planet. I'm not advocating running out and buying what you don't need, but what I am saying is that there's never been a better time to make small changes that will have huge positive impacts.

Walgreens has designated a section of each store the "Earth Zone". By featuring products such as Brita pitchers, Green Works cleaners, and Burt's Bees skincare products, they show consumers that they do have options when it comes to choosing everday items. Walgreens is also offering printer cartridge refills for $1 on Earth Day. Refilling cartridges keeps used cartridges out of landfills. In addition, they accept used cartridges and cell phones for recycling in their photo department.

Despite the plastic bag incident Mom had at Target a couple of months ago, she still believes they are committed to doing right by the planet. With an eight page pull-out Earth Week circular tucked into the weekly circular, there are so many ways to go green at Target.

Target started this Earth Week by giving away reusable bags. It's one thing to receive a reusable bag and another thing to reuse it. The easiest way to remember your bags when shopping is to leave them in you car where you can see them. At first, carrying bags into the store make not be easy but it quickly becomes habit. And don't just use them when grocery shopping. Make every shopping trip a reusable bag trip. One advantage to using reusable bags when shopping is that it keeps you from buying too much stuff. If Mom takes two bags in the grocery store, then she can only buy two bags worth of stuff. Seems silly but it works. Refuse plastic bags no matter what!

Back to the Target circular. Not only is Target giving away a 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid but they also have lots of eco-friendly products on sale. That cool new Method laundry detergent, Seventh Generation laundry detergent and dish detergent are all products that make the green grade. From LED light bulbs to Energy Star rated LED HDTV's, there are so many opportunities to green your lifestyle at Target.

Mom tweeted last week about the new recycling kiosks Target has placed in its stores nationwide. You can now recycle your plastic bags, ink cartridges, cell phones, and MP3 players in one convenient location. But the coolest promotion that Target is running by far is called Recycle=Reward. Simply send them five Target plastic bags and they'll send you a coupon for $1 off any reusable bag valued over $1.49. They have partnered with TerraCycle on this promotion and what's so cool about it is that the circular has instructions on how to send the bags. You create an envelope from a page in the circular by folding and taping it. Stick the bags inside and mail it prepaid to Target. How cool is that?

Not a Target shopper? Then head on over to Walmart where they've teamed up with Terracycle to sell 60 of its products in stores nationwide. The coolest part is that the products will be sold next to the original items from which they were made. Take a stroll down the snack aisle and right next to the bag of compostable Sun Chips will be a tote bag made from Sun Chip bags. Mom is not a Walmart shopper but gives kudos to them for moving in the right direction. The sustainability policy they launched with their vendors last year is going to change the way so many manufacturers operate. Walmart has been critizied in the press for selling single use, cheap products made by sweat shops in developing countries, but I hope by setting this presedence with their vendors, businesses will start taking sustainability matters to heart and change the way they do business.

The theme at Home Depot this week is water conservation. YEAH! In the spirit of conserving water, Home Depot gave away free faucet aerators to its first 250 customers on Sunday. They will also be holding in-store water conservation clinics to educate consumers on how easy it is to conserve water. And of course, Home Depot has many eco-friendly products on shelves every day like CLF bulbs, composters, rain barrels, and 100% recycled plastic bags.

There's also a flurry of activity at the college this week to celebrate Earth Week. Even though Mom is not manning an Earth Day booth at the Environmental Club's expo this year, she will be attending several events this week starting today at bio professor Elizabeth Martin's presentation on her personal experience of joining a CSA last year. Mom is friends with Elizabeth and remembers her talking about the bounty of goodies she received each week last summer, so the presentation should prove to be both inspiring and educational.

Bio professor Kelly Cartwright is giving a presentation called "It's Easy Being Green" on Tuesday evening. Kelly and Mom are good friends and Kelly is a total greenie. Mom is attending the presentation to support Kelly and also to see the reaction of the crowd when Puglet's video is shown. How cool of Kelly to show the video! If you haven't seen the video yet, you are missing out. Puglet worked for weeks on it and it's the best green video of 2010. Awards and accolades are streaming in for Puglet and he's sure to win an Oscar for his effort. Feel free to post Puglet's video on your bloggie this Earth Day to spread the message that going green really is easy.

The rest of the weeks activity at the college include the very popular "Snakes Alive!" program which draws families from all over the county. The presentation on Wednesday is sure to be a hit once again as a bio professor and a director from a local discovery center present an array of snake species native to Lake County. Mom thinks the coolest part of the program is the natural history of the snakes in our area but all the kids think it's the fact that they get to touch the snakes. Mom is hoping her favorite snake, the indigo snake is there again this week.
Thursday's presentation on preserving open spaces is on Mom's calendar as is Friday's amphibian conservation program which is presented by Mom's former from the forest preserve. The week wraps up with a volunteer workday at a local forest preserve where residents can get involved with habitat restoration.

The whole point of Earth Week is to make people aware of the growing need to tread a little lighter on Mother Earth. By providing opportunities for consumers to change their buying habits and giving residents a chance to attend programs on topics they be unfamiliar with, Earth Week has something for everone no matter where you live. We all have a chance to make some changes this week so please tell me the changes you are making. Big or small, every little bit helps. Don't ever feel like what you're doing isn't making a difference because it is. We're all in this together and together we can change the world.


Brutus, Ellie, Pippa and Otto said...

Hey Stubby - great post. Just wanted to tell you that your posts have made mom & dad more aware of trying to be green and recycle. We got one of those cool reusable bags at Target on Sunday - we already use bags at Walmart, Kohl's and PetSmart.

Mom wants to know if you have any ideas for getting rid of kitty litter waste instead of using plastic bags (mom uses plastic shopping bags, but wants to be more eco friendly)

Happy Earth Week!! :):)

Pugs & Kisses,

Yoda & Brutus

Sequoia & Petunia & Emma said...

Dear Stubby

During this earth week Mom was wondering if you could maybe post your fav green products. Just like regular stuff we use everyday. Like TP, cleaners, Paper towels, shampoos, filter systems for waters, anything really. Mom says once we move there will be a lot of great green changes. She is excited to have a garden and do things differently. Here she feels slightly limited but you seem to know so much.

Thanks S&P

Archie and Melissa said...

hi stubby!
happy happy earth week to you!
what a wonderful post!
m & e

Mia said...

Stubby, thanks for all of the wonderful information!!! You and your momma are always so helpful!!!



Those Elgin Pugs said...

Oh Stubby my Studly Man,

Happy Earthy Week to yous too!
This is so exciting! Spring is here. Mommy and Daddy are planting flowers...Peeps and pups are learning things about the planet...Izzy can learns about hers too(Jupiters...snorts)
Mommy and Daddy are using their Brita and taking their own bags to the stores with them when they shops. Mommy just bought a good product called Complete(soap in water 'prolly better...)for whens we gets sick. I just pukey puked the other days..Don't worries I'm fines. Too much velveeta cheese in my pills. And the cleaner was nice 'cuz Mommy gets sick from fumes and this didn't smells harsh and its got the green friendly approval. We are still thinking of ways to improve!!!
xoxox, your Josie Girl

Kelly said...

Oh Stubby- happy Earth Week!

You and your momma sure are wonderful advocates for our planet. You make all of us who read your blog re-think everything we do and how it affects the planet. How WONDERFUL!!!


Stubby said...

Hi Yoda & Brutus! I'm so excited that your parents are trying to be green and recycle because of my blog. It's so humbling to think that little old me is making such an impact. That's so cool that you now have reusable bags from all the stores and now it's just a matter of using them.

As for disposing of the kitty litter, I'm assuming your parents use the bags they get from the store, right? Since they won't be getting them anymore, they could use the bag their bread comes in, the bag the tortillas come in, and the bag the newspaper comes in. If these aren't an option (and of course they're not very green), there's also biodegradable kitty litter bags. Some people also wrap litter in newspapers.

If your kitties don't go outside and have tested negative for toxoplasma, you should be able to flush the used litter. Check with your local sewage treatment facility to see if they can handle it. Composting is another option.

I hope this helps.

Stubby xoxo

Stubby said...

Hi Sequoia & Tuni! What a great idea! Thanks so much for suggesting it. Alicia Silverstone did a post on her blog last week about all the makeup & skincare products she uses. I will ask Mom to start working on her list right away so I can post it later this week.

You are definitely going to have more options once you move. It's so exciting to be able to start over and try new things.

Stubby xoxo

Stubby said...

Hi Melissa & Emmitt! I know you guys are celebrating Earth Week in Colorade because everything is green there. Have a great week!

Stubby xoxo

Stubby said...

Hi Lilo! I'm so glad you liked my post. I had fun putting it together because I love doing research. There's so much cool info out there for me to find!

Stubby xoxo

Stubby said...

Hi Josie Girl! I'm so glad your parents are using their Brita and bringing their reusable bags to the store. Yeah! I know they are learning to be green and that you are helping.

I've never heard of Complete but if you say it's green and you've checked it out then go for it. I'm sorry to hear you were sick from too much Velvetta but I'm glad you're better now. I love Velvetta and can't imagine having too much.

Good for you for thinking of more ways to go green. Maybe you can do a post on the changes you've been making.

Stubby xoxo

Stubby said...

Hi Pearly Poo! I'm so glad people (and pugs) are rethinking the choices they make and how it impacts the planet. There is so much we can all do to tread lighter on Mother Earth.

Stubby xoxo

Tweedles -- that's me said...

Hi Stubby
Happy Earth Week
Thank you for helping us take care of our planet by all your wonderful suggestions and ideas,
It is our world.

Stubby said...

Hi Tweedles! It IS our world and it's our job to take care of it. I'm glad you liked this post and I know that you're doing all you can to save the planet.

Stubby xoxo

Smushie Ranch said...

Stubby, we didn't even know any of this stuff was going on! We're always glad you and your mom are letting everyone know.

Stella, Gunther and Betty

Stubby said...

Hi Stella, Gunther & Betty! I'm so glad I could share this info with you guys. There's even more stuff going on this week that I didn't post about because I didn't want the post to be too long. Have your mom check her favorite retail websites so she doesn't miss out on something really cool.

Stubby xoxo