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Best Green Ideas of the Week

By Paige Brady, February 5, 2009  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Paige Brady
Lots of green stuff caught my eye this week. I loved this article: Utilities Turn Their Customers Green, With Envy. Here's an excerpt: So, in a move that has proved surprisingly effective, the district decided to tap into a time-honored American passion: keeping up with the neighbors. Last April, it began sending out statements to 35,000 randomly selected customers, rating them on their energy use compared with that of neighbors in 100 homes of similar size that used the same heating fuel. The customers were also compared with the 20 neighbors who were especially efficient in saving energy. Customers who scored high earned two smiley faces on their statements. "Good" conservation got a single smiley face. Customers like Mr. Dyer, whose energy use put him in the "below average" category, got frowns, but the utility stopped using them after a few customers got upset. What a great idea! Take our natural competitive drive and turn it into a force for helping our environment. Does this have legs? How else could we set up green competition? On a different track, do you have a mail order catalog problem? I do. My father recently moved and his mail was forwarded to my home. Oh my!! I cannot believe all of the catalogs that are jammed into my mailbox these days. I've been saving them for the day that I can spend hours making phone calls to get taken off their mailing list. (Like that day is coming anytime soon!) Then a friend came to my rescue with this Catalog Choice website that makes the whole process a lot less painful. Yeah! Valentine CardFinally, with Valentine's Day right around the corner, I've been wondering what to do with all the little cards my 10-year-old brings home from school, besides simply recycling them after she's thoroughly reviewed them and determined her social standing in the class. Any ideas? I did find the Care2 free eCard website. If you are going to send a Valentine's card (doesn't work for kids' classroom exchanges) this could be a cool way to go.  For every eCard sent, Care2 makes a donation to an environmental nonprofit to save a square foot of rainforest. Any thoughts out there on taking any of these a step further?
Category: Green Action

 

6 Comments

Comments

Bonnie says ...
The Valentines can be used for a mobile or collage. You may be able to find a local group to use them, too. Some non-profit groups collect greeting cards for any occasion to use to create new ones. A local retirement center raises money by doing this, too. Residents create beautiful new greeting cards regularly by cutting out designs from the gently used ones, and gluing them flat or layered onto cardstock to fit new envelopes. They sell the cards in their gift shop for a reasonable charge and lots of paper is reused.
02/05/2009 11:48:04 PM CST
Rebekah says ...
I like the "keepin' up with the Joneses" idea regarding energy conservation. Not sure how it would fly tho. Some people might just get ticked and not do anything, except maybe send complaints to the company.
02/06/2009 1:53:40 AM CST
Jennifer Wright says ...
Hi Paige - I have a green idea that might interest you. I am a partner in a company that is marketing an environmentally friendly pizza box. The pizza box is made from 100% recycled material. The top of the box breaks down easily into convenient serving plates, eliminating the need for disposable plates. The bottom of the box folds neatly into a handy storage container, eliminating the need for follow-on storage materials like tin foil and plastic wrap or sacks. There are over 3 billion pizzas consumed in the U.S. every year, with 70% of the material usage being virgin pulp. The Green Box eliminates the use of virgin pulp. In addition, we estimate that over 900 million disposable plates are used every year with pizza meals and that 1 billion feet of plastic wrap and tin foil are used for storage. By adding serving plates and a storage container to the pizza box, this follow-on waste can be eliminated. If you google "Green Box" and "pizza" you will find a number of blogs about the Green Box. Here is one link to Triple Pundit: http://www.triplepundit.com/pages/can-a-pizza-box.php Best, Jennifer Wright
02/20/2009 10:52:31 AM CST
paig292 says ...
@Jennifer Wright: What a cool idea! I've sent the info along to our green team specialists across the country so they can check into it further. Thanks!
02/20/2009 12:01:11 PM CST
Jennifer Wright says ...
Fantastic! We think they'll love it! Thank you Paige! Best, Jennifer
02/21/2009 3:22:50 PM CST
Jennifer Wright says ...
Hi Paige - You may recall that I wrote you all the way back in February 2009 about our environmentally friendly pizza box. As a reminder, it was a pizza box made from 100% recycled material that broke down into plates and a storage container. Well, I want to thank you so much for passing our info along to the green team specialists because a year on we are now producing a Whole Foods Green Box! If you would like to check it out, there is a photo on our blog at the following link: http://tinyurl.com/357kamy . We shipped our first order to the Rocky Mountain Region this Friday and we are now in the process of getting the word out to each of the Whole Foods GreenBox is now available for all interested regions! Again, our sincere thanks! Kind Regards, Jennifer
06/15/2010 11:20:15 AM CDT