Oct 28, 2008


A new search engine project, ClimateGift.com, has just made its online debut. Dedicated exclusively to the environment, 50% of gross revenues generated by the search engine's users will go directly to benefit some of the nation’s top environmental organizations, including Reef Check.

ClimateGift.com is a fundraising tool that will work 24/7 to help provide funding for these organizations to help them reach their organizational goals. All you have to do is use ClimateGift.com the next time you search the web. Websites and blogs can also make an impact by putting a ClimateGift.com search widget on their site for their users or direct them to ClimateGift.com to develop their custom home page. In addition, its AJAX portal option offers users a means of customizing their home page as well as access to a wide variety of information and tools from across the Web. Each organization’s portal includes specific widgets and news that support its initiatives.

Oct 25, 2008

10 Ways To Go Green At Work

Going green. There are endless ways to create a greener workplace -- from using recycled products to installing doubled-paned windows for better insulation. The best way to start is by taking small steps. Here are a few ideas you can work with.

1. Green up your commute. Since your workday begins when you arrive, let's start with how you get there. The best-case scenario is to telecommute by working from home. Today's technology -- e.g., video conferencing, instant messaging and online seminars -- has made this a reality.

However, if your office can't be home-based and walking or biking is not an option, consider carpooling with two to three other like-minded people or using public transportation. Other alternatives are purchasing a hybrid or electric vehicle or switching from an eight-hour workday, five days a week to a 10-hour workday, four days a week. This will cut your daily commute time by at least 20% and give you longer weekends.

2. Go digital. The greenest paper is no paper, and one of the most effective ways to be more eco-friendly in your office is to reduce paper waste. Switch from a fax machine to a fax modem to send and receive paperless documents. Use electronic forms whenever possible, and email letters and documents to be read online rather than printed out. Have staff members take their laptops to team meetings so they aren't printing reams of reports.

An added bonus: Storing files on your computer saves time, money and space. Just don't forget to backup, preferably to an off-site data system. You can also use compact flash drives to easily and efficiently transport and share documents. Not only are they more convenient than CDs, but most have security features to protect sensitive data.

3. Read the green print. When printing is unavoidable, use the draft mode on your printer and make double-sided printing your default. The same rules apply to your copier as well. You should also use 100% post-consumer recycled paper.

Glenn Croston, author of 75 Green Businesses You Can Start to Make Money and Make a Difference, also recommends using software from Greenprint.com to avoid printing excess blank pages and converting documents to PDF files for paperless document sharing.

4. Green your PC. Since we're talking about using computers to their maximum potential, we also need to discuss how to make them more efficient and environmentally friendly. Start by putting computers on "standby" or in "hibernation" mode when they haven't been accessed for more than 10 minutes; turn them completely off when you're finished working for the day. When it's time to replace older desktop computers, switch to a laptop for more efficiency.

Not only are they more portable, but they use 80% less energy. And when upgrading, take advantage of take-back programs for people who want to recycle their old computers. Some manufacturers, such as Sony (SNE) and Dell(DELL), offer free shipping or trade-in credit toward new purchases.

5. Can you see the light? Daylight is the best natural resource. However, natural lighting is not always adequate, and energy-efficient light bulbs such as compact fluorescent bulbs or LEDs should replace incandescent lighting for cost and energy savings. Just be sure to turn off the lights when leaving the room. Croston recommends installing occupancy sensors or timers on lights so they automatically turn off when no one is around.

6. Get real. ... Plants that is. A silk tree may be easier to take care of, but a real one adds natural beauty to your surroundings while improving the quality of indoor air. This can be especially important if you work in a newer building that is tightly sealed to conserve energy.

Older buildings and homes may also feature materials that produce harmful pollutants from synthetic carpeting and fabrics, plastic coated wallpaper or laminated countertops. One of the best natural defenses against these contaminants is to make liberal use of live houseplants.

7. Take a break. And when you do, toss the plastic wear and foam cups. Encourage your employees to bring lunch from home in reusable containers or frequent restaurants that have green carryout initiatives like Chipotle (CMG).

Provide washable china and utensils in your lunchroom, or encourage staffers to bring their own. This would also be an excellent time to get some coffee mugs with your company logo on them for visitors and employees to use.

8. Perk up. Speaking of coffee, use fair-trade certified, shade-grown coffee in reusable coffee filters. Not only is organic coffee better for you, but the shade-grown beans help to protect biodiversity of the fragile ecosystems in the countries that grow it, while the reusable filters cut down on waste. Croston also cautions against using nondairy creamers in coffee because they are loaded with hydrogenated oils and other unhealthy products.

9. Use green marketing tools. Promote your eco-friendly habits in your marketing materials, both internally and externally. "Let your customers, suppliers and employees know that you are taking active steps to protect and preserve the environment," says business writer Jacquelyn Lynn. "It will build loyalty and enhance your company's image."

This can be done in a number of ways, but one of the simplest is to add a green tag line to emails that [says] something like: "Please think green before printing this email" or "Bio-based for a healthier environment."

10. Don't just think green; wear it. Another change you can personally make is to have a green wardrobe. Purchase clothing with organic fibers such as cotton, silk, wool or hemp, or fabric made from recycled materials. Who knew plastic soda bottles could look so good?

Try to avoid clothing that requires dry cleaning, but if it does, look for a green dry cleaner that uses a carcinogen-free process. Another recyclable fashion alternative is to "go vintage" by visiting secondhand and thrift shops.

Off to a Green Start
Going green in the workplace is easier if you do it from the beginning, and Glenn Croston, suggests looking for green business opportunities. There are green businesses in a wide range of industries, he says. "If you keep your eyes open, there might be a new business you [start] by thinking, acting and working green," says Croston.

However, in many fields, launching a green initiative from the outset is not feasible, especially if you've been in business for a while. So create a plan of action, and jump in anywhere using some of the suggestions outlined in this article. Lynn urges everyone to remember that little things add up to a lot.

"When you're a small operation, it's easy to think that what you do doesn't really matter," she says. "But when you multiply the things you do by thousands of other small operations, it's a big impact"

About the Author:
Charlene Davis (www.cdavisfreelance.com) is a nationally published writer specializing in business, retail, e-commerce and food. In addition to numerous articles and ghostwritten publications, she is the author of "Start Your Own Photography Business," "Start Your Own Clothing Store," and "How to Sell Clothing, Shoes & Accessories on eBay," as well as two additional books co-written with Jacquelyn Lynn, "Make BIG Profits on eBay" and "Start Your Own Senior Services Business," all available from Entrepreneur Press.


Oct 23, 2008

Gen E

gen e

“If role modeling a green lifestyle is our message, then young people are the perfect messengers.” -- Debbie Levin, President, EMA

“gen e” (Generation Environment) is the new generation of Hollywood stars promoting environmental awareness through public service announcements (PSA’s), personal appearances and celebrity role modeling. “gen e” provides positive solutions to young people across the country who have the most to gain or lose from the critical environmental choices we make today.

Young actors, actresses and musicians entertain, of course, but they also serve as role models to millions of people. They are the subject of admiration and inspiration to scores of people in their formative years. EMA works with young celebrities to reach the impressionable youth market with powerful messages concerning the health of our planet. "gen e" attracts an extremely high media profile which directly impacts the environmental awareness and education of millions.

Young Hollywood’s passion for the environment is priceless and EMA is committed to showcasing this synergy in unique, attention-getting ways to the youth around the world. Whether seen driving a hybrid, wearing organic clothes to a movie premiere or planting a tree, chances are EMA was involved! Some other “gen e” activities include:

  • A stylish Hollywood dinner party hosted by Mary-Kate Olsen where celebrity EMA Board Members ‘mentored’ the group on how to live a sustainable lifestyle. Attendees include Mischa Barton, Joshua Jackson, Jesse Metcalfe, Nicole Richie and other young celebrities. The event was covered in Teen Vogue.
  • Playful yet informative PSA’s featuring Emmanuelle Chriqui, Cameron Diaz, Gwyneth Paltrow, Maroon 5, Debra Messing, Edward Norton, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jason Ritter, Marla Sokoloff, Constance Zimmer and others. Topics range from water, air, energy and more, and have been aired nationwide on network, local and cable TV channels as well as specialized radio markets.
  • EMA Board Member DJ AM spins at the first annual EMA E! Golden Green Party, ditching his gas-guzzling car for a new Lexus hybrid. TreePeople planted a tree for every party attendee including: Pink, JC Chavez, Jon Heder, Amy Smart and Sacha Baron Cohen. The event was covered by E! Entertainment Television, InStyle, USWeekly, People and more.

Gen E

Do Not Mail List: Join The Effort to Eliminate Unwanted Junk Mail! | Grow Baby Green

by tara on October 22, 2008

I am person who likes to stay organized. I love reducing clutter and organizing the things I use in an efficient manner. But there is one thing I never seem to be able to stay on top of: Piles and piles of papers. It seems that no matter how often I go through my desk and declutter, piles of unnecessary paper can build up in just a few short days.

As a business owner, I get daily offers for credit cards, legal counsel, software and more. As a mom, I get "free" magazines, catalogs, coupons and newsletters. The vast majority of this stuff just goes directly into the recycling bin. What a waste! Of course there are some catalogs and offers that request, but I would love to not receive most of it. Especially the stuff I never requested.

Forest Ethics, a nonprofit organization devoted to protecting forests and the environment has determined that junk mail contributes 51,548,000 cubic metric tons of greenhouse gases each year. That’s the equivalent of over 9 million passenger cars! As the organization likes to point out, "The average car travels 12,000 miles per year-as opposed to junk mail, which gets us nowhere!" Good point.

If you’re sick of junk mail and want to do something, join Forest Ethics in their effort to create a ‘Do Not Mail’ list, similar to the overwhelmingly popular ‘Do Not Call’ list that protected many family dinners from the dreaded telemarketing call! To support the cause you can sign the petition and post a link on your website! Visit DoNotMail.org for more info on eliminating junk mail.

Do Not Mail List: Join The Effort to Eliminate Unwanted Junk Mail! | Grow Baby Green

Oct 20, 2008

Renewable Energy In Tourism Initiative Best Practice Manuals Available on Website for Feedback

Renewable energy best practices to provide guidance and inspire others in the travel and tourism industry Tourism, the world’s largest industry, has a powerful impact on, and is greatly impacted by, the ecological health of its destinations across the globe.  One of tourism’s largest economic and environmental costs is the massive amount of energy required for the transportation of travelers and maintenance of facilities like hotels and attractions.  Thus, many businesses are eager to minimize their consumption of non-renewable energy, but are often uncertain on how to make it happen due to the technological complexity and rapid rate of innovation in field of renewable energy. 

The Renewable Energy in Tourism Initiative (RETI) has recently developed a set of Best Practices in Renewable Energy for the tourism industry to address this need.  Sustainable Travel International was the lead author of the best practice manuals, which are intended to serve as an inspiration and guide to businesses interested in realizing the benefits of adopting renewable energy initiatives and supporting a healthy planet 

The best practice manuals can be downloaded for free and public input is strongly encouraged.  Each manual was developed to feature industry leaders that have adopted best practices in renewable energy and energy efficiency, and to provide information and guidance to businesses of all sizes interested in realizing these benefits.  Through the use of case studies, each manual outlines renewable energy adoption strategies and highlights that maximize energy efficiency, minimize environmental impacts, and result in cost savings or increased profitability across six tourism sectors: accommodations, airlines, cruise lines, public lands agencies, ski resorts, and tour operators. 

Before the manuals are finalized, the RETI partners - the University of Colorado’s Energy Initiative and Leeds School of Business, the North Carolina Center for Sustainable Tourism at East Carolina University, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory - would like to invite input from the greater sustainable tourism community.  Please participate in this collaborative effort, encourage your colleagues to get involved, and begin by downloading the manuals from www.renewabletourism.org

If you have suggestions on other tourism organizations with noteworthy renewable energy practices to be included in future editions of these manuals, please contact Wendy Kerr (wendy.kerr@colorado.edu or 303-492-2129)

Oct 19, 2008

Fiji Adventure Travel

Fiji Adventure Travel

"Traveling to Fiji may very well be an adventure in and of itself, but not until you reach the tropical paradise will you realize what Fiji adventure is truly all about. Perhaps that is the mysterious allure of the exotic Fiji Islands. They are a place that is perfect for rest and relaxation, as well as being a place to find some of the world's greatest adventures. Whether you love to play underwater as an honorary fish, surf with the dolphins or explore Fiji's tropical and mountainous interior terrain, there's something for every adventurous heart, even if you only feel like watching the surfers from your comfortable spot on the beach."

Fiji Adventure Travel

Oct 16, 2008

New Green Hotel Bookings Site launches : TerraCurve.com - Responsible travel news, places, people and events.

New Green Hotel Bookings Site launches

John Glen DiGuiseppe, Founder/CEO of Investors Hospitality Management (IHM), has just announced the launch of new green hotel booking website GreenHotelBookings.com.

Throughout the travel industry, the hospitality sector has increasingly become far more aware of not only its own responsibility to the environment as well as surrounding individual communities, but to the desires for travelers to be able to choose “greener” options in their travels. Hotels, inns, B&B’s and more have taken to adopting programs such as the utilization of eco-friendly products and supplues, robust recycling programs, energy efficiency, water re-use, and much more.

Meanwhile, certification programs sprout up on a weekly basis; some are government funded (both state and federal agencies), while others are private organizations, aiming to become the next “standard” in green travel. There are many green hotel certification standards with varying levels of compliance.

However, this next standard has yet to be adopted, so consumers have had no place to go that easily displayed all the hotels that met at least one of these qualifications. Greenhotelbookings.com, a new website by John Glen DiGuiseppe, Founder/CEO of Investors Hospitality Management (IHM), is an “attempt to help both the hotel operators and the consumer by providing a place where they can both find what they are looking for.”

Property managers can locate information about certification and be listed on GHB. On the other hand, consumers can search for qualified properties that meet their particular requirements.

GreenHotelBookings.com recommends that hotels pursue certification from outside agencies, however, has established it’s own three tier program to categorize properties that are using eco-friendly products and procedures in their operation. The tiers provide a measure that property owners can use to identify their current level and examine the requirements for other levels they may want to achieve.

Green Hotel Level I:

  • Use of eco-friendly cleaning products, including General Purpose, Bathroom, Glass and Carpet Cleaning
  • Must use at least one ENERGY STAR appliance

Green Hotel Level II:

  • Meet Level I Requirements
  • Use of eco-friendly paper products - Consumable Paper Products shall be made from recycled fibers
  • Linen and Towel Reuse Program – Property shall implement and execute a well designed Linen and Towel Re-use program for all Guest Rooms

Green Hotel Level III:

  • Meet Level I Requirements
  • Meet Level 2 Requirements
  • Recycling Program – Property shall establish and maintain recycling programs for the common areas, administrative areas, and Guest rooms. The Guest Room Receptacle must be clearly identified for Glass, Paper, Aluminum, & Plastic.
  • Lighting – All Guest Room Lighting shall be Energy Efficient. No incandescent lighting is acceptable in Floor, Desk, Table or Nightstand lamps. Bathroom lighting shall be either Linear Fluorescent, Compact Fluorescent or a combination of each type
  • High Efficiency Plumbing Fixtures – Property shall use the following: 2.2 GPM Faucets with 1.5 GPM or less aerators, the shower heads shall be 2.5 GPM or less , and the toilet shall be 1.6 GPF or less.

“This is not a referral program nor a fee-based system but a free, actual verifiable green hotels booking engine, which, through its affiliation with bookings.com, Expedia, Orbitz, etc., provides reservations services in more than 18 languages for domestic and international visitors in quest of supporting sustainable hospitality in worldwide hotels and luxury estates,” DiGuiseppe says. “IHM conceived, developed and trademarked www.greenhotelbookings.com as a dual-focused site which both provides varied certification levels of green hotels, offering consulting to assist venues with methods to acquire higher sustainability accreditation, while simultaneously providing a free international booking system.”

“Over 50 percent of travelers book their travel online,” says Sean Kane, director of operations for IHM. Noting that many smaller hotels do not realize the significant percentage of this business opportunity, IHM has carved yet another niche into its portfolio of hospitality services to capture market share from Asian and European travelers in response to the economy’s current forecast.

“Through IHM’s service, hotels can strategize and/or adjust rates for distressed inventory within a 24/48 hour time period to maximize occupancy and sell rooms,” Kane says.

New Green Hotel Bookings Site launches : TerraCurve.com - Responsible travel news, places, people and events.

Oct 15, 2008

Sustainable Practices: Environmental Tips for Green Hotels

Sustainable Solutions for Green Hotels

This page lists sustainable practices that hotels can implement. Hotels can keep up to date on green lodging news at greenlodgingnews.com. If you would like to encourage hotels you stay at to implement these ideas, consider printing this information and dropping it off at the front desk or mailing it in with the hotel's comment card.

  1. Start a linen (both towels and sheets) reuse program in all guest rooms. One company that sells guest information signs is www.projectplanetcorp.com.
  2. Install low-flow showerheads and sink aerators.
  3. Switch to low-flow toilets or install toilet-tank fill diverters. To learn more about low-flow toilets, go to www.plmg.com/crtoilet.htm.
  4. Switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs in guestrooms, lobbies, and hallways. Use sensors and/or timers for areas that are infrequently used.
  5. Whenever possible, buy food and guest amenities in bulk (i.e., use refillable hair and skin care dispensers).
  6. Educate your staff to turn off lights and turn down heating/air conditioning when rooms are unoccupied. Also, during summer months, to close the drapes.
  7. Install window film to lower heating and cooling loads and reduce glare in guestrooms.
  8. Provide guestroom recycler baskets for newspaper, white paper, glass, aluminum, cardboard, and plastic.
  9. Provide recycling bins both in public areas (i.e., poolside), in the kitchen, and in the back office (including one at each desk) to make recycling as easy as possible.
  10. Buy office and guest amenity products that contain recycled material. For company listings, access the Recycled-Content Product Directory (www.ciwmb.ca.gov/RCP/Search.asp) and/or the Recycled Plastics Product Directory (www.plasticsresource.com).
  11. Buy organic, fair trade, cruelty-free guest amenity products whenever possible:
  12. Use recycled paper products (with high post-consumer recycled content) that are either unbleached or bleached using a chlorine-free process. Minimize the amount of paper used for each guest (i.e., reduce paper size of invoices, etc.). Print with soy-based inks.
  13. Use nontoxic or least toxic cleaners, sanitizers, paints, pesticides, etc. throughout the hotel. Make sure all chemicals are stored safely in a well-ventilated area.
  14. Purchase "Energy Star" appliances wherever possible (Energy Star for Hospitality (www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=hospitality.bus_hospitality) provides detailed information about energy saving appliances and monitoring systems). Replace old washing machines with both water and energy conserving models.
  15. If the hotel has a pool and/or hot tub, install a solar water heating system and use pool and hot tub covers when the pool area is closed.
  16. Provide your guests with bicycles, walking maps, and information on public transportation.
  17. Provide reusable items such as cloth napkins, glass cups, ceramic dishes, etc. with all food and beverage services.
  18. Provide glass cups and ceramic mugs (instead of plastic) for in-room beverages. Place cups and mugs upside down on paper doilies (instead of covering opening with a plastic wrapping).
  19. Use daylight exclusively in your lobby, bar, and restaurant for as much of the day as possible. Consider installing skylights if needed.
  20. Donate leftover food to a local nonprofit organization and/or use a compost bin.
  21. If your hotel has a restaurant, consider transitioning it into a Certified Green Restaurant (www.dinegreen.com). Buy organic, locally-grown food and/or plant an organic garden to provide fresh produce for your guests.
  22. Switch to drought resistant native plants in garden areas. Replace mowed landscaping with native ground cover.
  23. Replace exit signs with Light Emitting Diode (LED) exit signs.
  24. Include filter changes, coil cleaning, thermostat calibration, and damper adjustments in your ongoing maintenance plan.
  25. Monitor, record and post rates of energy and water use. Make repairs or replace equipment when rate changes indicate problems.
  26. Use an energy management system (EMS) to tie in air handling units, HVAC, and lighting to prevent conditioning space when it is not necessary.
  27. Create an incentive program to encourage your staff to participate in and improve upon environmentally-friendly practices.
  28. Use proper insulation and reflective roof coverings.
  29. When doing construction or remodeling projects, contact the U.S. Green Building Council (www.usgbc.org) to learn about the nationally accepted standards for green buildings (called LEED). Buy previously used or recycled-content products whenever possible. For company listings, access the Recycled-Content Product Directory (www.ciwmb.ca.gov/RCP/Search.asp) and/or the Recycled Plastics Product Directory (www.plasticsresource.com).
  30. Consult outside sources to evaluate the total system when replacing major mechanical equipment (such as chiller, water tower, etc). Often, this can lead to downsizing and other opportunities to reduce both the initial investment and operating costs.
  31. Replace electric package terminal air conditioner (PTAC) units with more efficient heat pumps or other geothermal technologies.
  32. Donate leftover guest amenities, old furniture and appliances to charities.
  33. If available, schedule an energy audit through your local energy provider.
  34. If your hotel has a gift shop, consider purchasing fair trade products. A list of wholesalers can be found at: www.fairtradefederation.org/memwhl.html.
  35. Offer discounted rates to sustainable living/environmental organizations who would like stay at and/or hold meetings at your hotel.


Sustainable Practices: Environmental Tips for Green Hotels

Oct 12, 2008

Wind Powered Tram: Melbourne Australia

Wind Powered Tram

Seen on the streets of Melbourne is this wind powered tram. No it's not a tram with sails, but it is using power bought from a wind farm. The tram is currently running on Route 96 from St Kilda Beach to East Brunswick.

Wind Powered Tram
itravelnet.com Travel Blog

Oct 11, 2008

AdventureUs.com | Fiji Adventure Package, offered by Matava - Fiji's Premier Eco Adventure Resort

Fiji Adventure Package
Offered by Matava - Fiji's Premier Eco Adventure Resort
True adventure can only be found in those pristine, out of the way places where new experiences and cultures combine into a life changing experience.

Come experience this awesome adventure at Matava on Kadavu and immerse yourself in world class adventure activities in this outer island paradise.

Dive the world renowned Great Astrolabe Reef and Kadavu's all year round Manta Reef with Manta rays, devil rays and sharks, then spend a day with Matava Gamefishing Charters to catch some yellowfin tuna for fresh sashimi for dinner.

Follow that up with a day's sea kayaking the inlets and mangrove bays of Kadavu with award winning Tamarillo Sea Expeditions.
At the end of each day indulge in the comfort of your own private en-suite bure at Matava, Fiji's Premier Eco Adventure Resort, directly on the Great Astrolabe Reef while enjoying the adventure of a lifetime.

* 7 nights in Oceanview Traditional Bure
* 1 day Gamefishing with Matava Gamefishing Charters
* 1 day sea kayaking with Tamarillo Expeditions
* 1 day 2 tank dive or "Intro to Diving" lesson
* All meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner, unlimited tea/coffee)
* Airport and boat transfers to/from Kadavu airport
* All taxes

Price F$1949 per person

(price based on Double Occupancy and valid to 31st March 2009)


Kayaking mangroves

AdventureUs.com | Fiji Adventure Package, offered by Matava - Fiji's Premier Eco Adventure Resort

Oct 5, 2008

Best coach seats on Singapore 747

Assuming you're flying coach on a Singapore Airlines 747, the hot ticket is to get in rows 61-64(or the equivalent on other airliens configurations), seats A/C or H/K.

The normal configuration of the plane is 3/5/3 but because the fuselage narrows at the back, the seats there are 2/4/2. This gives you a bit more room to place things on the floor or even stretch out a bit and there's an area behind row 64 that's good for standing to stretch out legs and get the blood flowing.

Plus the bathrooms are in the back. Singapore does meal service back-to-front so you get fed first, too. (if YOU order a special meal, and Singapore airlines has quite a nice choice, YOU will always get fed first) There are only 8 of these
seats so you may have to finagle to get