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Posts Tagged ‘green living’

Opt-Out of Yellow Pages, Opt-In to a Sustainable Living Business Directory

April 16, 2009 2 comments

ReDirect Guide CoverIf you’re like me, coming home to find a plastic bag filled with several pounds of phone books sitting by the front door makes your blood boil.  The trees cut down to supply paper, the ink and energy used to print, the fuel and exhaust to deliver, and yet another plastic bag used to contain something you didn’t request and don’t want to begin with…AAARGH!

Well, now you can stop the madness and seek out a greener alternative. 

First, opt out of unsolicited phone book delivery at YellowPagesGoesGreen.com.  Doing so is fast and free.  And it is important.  As greenbean at what gives!? points out, you’ll be doing your part to help keep almost half-a-million tons of yellow pages and the like out of landfills…per year!!

Second, start using a Sustainable Living Business Directory.  If you are lucky enough to live in Denver, Boulder, Fort Collins, Salt Lake City or Portland, you have the outstanding ReDirect Guide as the green alternative to yellow pages.  The ReDirect Guide is available on line at www.redirectguide.com.  If you prefer a hardcopy of the guide, you can pick one up at a participating business in your community, or at your local Green Drinks gathering.  And you can do so knowing that the folks at ReDirect Guide walk the talk when it comes to all aspects of their business – from paper selection and printing to distribution and transit to relationships with employees and community. 

The 3rd Annual Edition of the ReDirect Guide will be released on Earth Day, April 22.  The new edition features educational articles on green living, suggestions for greening your business, sustainable living community resource information including a CSA map, farmers market listings, green events, a business directory, and more.  All businesses listed in the directory are qualified for providing green products or services.

If you don’t live in one of the communities mentioned above, google sustainable living business directory or sustainable business directory.  Add in the name of your city or state to determine if you have a local option.  Here are some examples:  Chicago Green Business Directory, GreenList Louisville and Hawaii Health Guide Green Business Directory.

So Redirect away from yellow pages and toward the ReDirect Guide or your local equivalent.  It’s greener, it’s thinner and it’s opt-in.

Not So Big Living = Green Living

February 8, 2009 2 comments

One of the simplest strategies for living a greener life in a more eco-friendly home is to subscribe to the teachings of architect Sarah Susanka.  Susanka is the author of the bestselling “The Not So Big House” series, in which she makes the compelling case for choosing quality and efficiency of space over square footage.  Her upshot – a smaller, carefully planned home will always feel more comfortable and cozy than the vacuous expanses of your typical McMansion or Starter Castle.  From an environmental perspective, the benefits of not so big are obvious…a smaller home requires fewer resources and less embodied energy to build, and generally consumes less energy to heat, cool and illuminate. 

 

Dave and I live in a 1,200 square foot house built in 1952.  Now, in the interest of full disclosure, it is quite energy-inefficient (we’ll be working on that, one project at a time) and we do have a long-range plan to expand our livable square footage to approximately 1,900.  We have lots of family and friends visiting us in Colorado, and putting visitors up in my office with an inflatable mattress on the floor and sharing a single bathroom with all of them is a true test of family and friendship bonds.  Of course, we’ll be blogging about our energy efficiency improvements and sustainable remodeling project efforts along the way.

 

So if you are thinking about a new home, think about how not so big principles could help you buy or build less house than you might otherwise have done.  Better still, think about how you might implement not so big to stay in your current home and make it work for you.  In particular, Susanka’s books “Not So Big Remodeling…” and “Not So Big Solutions for Your Home” can help you be happy staying put.  Your soul and your wallet will thank you. 

 

What?  You say need room for all of your stuff?  Re-think that too.   We’ve all fallen into the trap of filling up space with stuff we rarely (if ever) use.  A move to a new home can be a great time to sort and shed stuff (be sure to google “donate used your city” to locate organizations who can put everything from eyeglasses to clothes to sports gear to vehicles to productive re-use).  It is also an excellent opportunity to start a new habit of buying and accumulating less.   Look to George Carlin for humorous inspiration .  On the serious side, consider Annie Leonard’s “The Story of Stuff”

 

So, get inspired to live larger by living not so big – dig into Sarah Susanka’s great work, and check out the quick video below which shows an example of not so big put into practice in our home.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IImDlQ3aNRU]