from flickr user: the pug fatherTomorrow, April 22nd, is Earth Day!  To celebrate, here is a quick list of ten ideas to get you started:

  1. Start some compost. Composting is one really good way to reduce the amount of waste you produce in your kitchen, and get a really good byproduct out of!  Compost is rich in nutrients that are great for helping your plants grow strong and healthy.  I recently wrote about the “power of compost,” and you can still take advantage of Green Depot’s sale on springtime green products, including compost supplies!
  2. Plant a garden. Growing your own food is a remarkable way to connect to the ecosystem, and at the end of your project you’ll have grown some fresh, healthy food.  Starting a garden can be easy, if you have the right tools.
  3. Take a walk. Getting outside is one of the best ways to express an appreciation for nature.  Here on the East Coast, springtime is in full swing.  Notice how many flowers and new plants are springing up everywhere!
  4. Read a book. Reading about something environmental can open our minds to new ideas and knowledge about the profound beauty and diversity of the non-human, natural world, as well as ideas on how to live more sustainably (and economically).  Green Depot has a few recommendations for you!
  5. Plant a tree. Planting a tree seems to be the traditional way to celebrate earth day – but it’s one that makes a great difference!  Look to your local garden center or arborist to learn more about what you can do.
  6. Talk to a friend. The environmental movement has grown through the media, for sure, but the most profound contribution you can make to the movement is to talk to the people around you – explain how you came to care about the earth, and what you did to begin making a difference!  With any luck, you’ll change a few minds and continue the great momentum we already have.
  7. Ride a bike. Check out this great video from Grist about “the beauty of just getting on your bike.

For green building materials, like eco insulation, as well as many other green products for a sustainable lifestyle, visit http://www.greendepot.com.

photo credit: flickr user cliff1066

On Thursday, April 14, Senator Frank Lautenberg introduced the “Safe Chemicals Act of 2011” to the Congress.  The bill seeks to modernize some aging legislation, namely the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 (TSCA), which was designed to protect americans from exposure to dangerous toxins.

According to a press release [PDF] sent out on Friday, the American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC) is supporting this piece of legislation.  Green Depot, which sells a range of green products, is an active member of the ASBC, and our CEO Sarah Beatty has spoken in favor of this legislation, as well.

“I believe more fervently now than I did six years ago we have the right to know what’s ‘in’ the products we buy,” Beatty said, “and TSCA reform is a vital first step.  As a mother, I believe corporations and government share in the responsibility to safeguard the healthy development of all Americans, especially for our next generation.  As a businessperson, I believe emerging ‘green’ technologies, materials, and green chemistry not only make sense, they will be a key to America’s reinvention and competitive growth.  The time for this reform is now.”

The ASBC has been keen to point our the economic benefits of TSCA reform, noting that the act would cut the costs of hazardous waste storage and disposal; improve worker protection, health care costs, and future liabilities; and supports market trends that transform supply chains that result in better businesses.

For green building materials, like eco insulation, as well as many other green products for a sustainable lifestyle, visit http://www.greendepot.com.

waterMarch 22nd was world water day, and while we’re few weeks late in celebrating it, water conservation is something to always consider.  International World Water Day was first recommended in 1992 at the UN Conference on Environment and development as a way of “focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources.”  The United Nations General Assembly designated March 22nd as World Water Day, and this is a tradition that has occurred annually ever since.

As the webpage for World Water Days points out, each year WWD highlights a specific aspect of freshwater conservation.  It is perhaps especially appropriate for  those of us dwelling in urban areas to (re)consider water conservation in 2011, since this year’s theme was “Water for Cities: Responding to the Urban Challenge.”

But what urban challenge?  Well – this is the first time in human history that more people are living in urban areas than in rural ones, and this trend is expected to continue for some time.  Because urban water consumption is then set to increase, strain will be added to the area watersheds that provide potable water to city populations.  Given that climate change will change some aspects of the water cycle, this strain could increase in some urban areas.

Another major water challenge for the coming decades is that the rapid pace of urbanization has given rise to vast informal settlements – or slums – for which there is often no piped, safe drinking water.  93% of all urbanization is occurring in the developing world, and 40% of that growth is the growth of informal settlements.  Infrastructure has not kept pace with this growth, meaning that conservation is especially important in these areas.

GREEN DEPOT SOLUTIONS

In an urban, suburban, or rural home, water consumption is most likely to occur in the kitchen and bathroom, where in many places our flushable water is the same as our drinking water.  To address issues of water conservation, Green Depot is focusing on green products that reduce water consumption in the bathroom.

Green Depot is currently offering 50% off Caroma Dual-flush toilets and sinks, which gives one the ability to choose whether less or more water is needed to flush. With a two-button system, the user can select a small flush (0.8 gallons) or a larger flush (1.6 gallons in some models, and 1.2 gallons in the High Efficiency models). A 4″ trap throughway assures the user of maximum flushing efficiency.  A Caroma dual-flush toilet will help conserve water in any commercial or residential project, and are certified by EPA-Watersense as a water-saving device.

All models of toilets have complementary sinks–call Green Depot to inquire.

For green building materials, like eco insulation, as well as many other green products for a sustainable lifestyle, visit http://www.greendepot.com.

It’s been several weeks since the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster hit Japan.  We’ve all been harrowed by the scale of the disaster and emboldened by the bravery and resiliency of the Japanese people.  But the disaster is far from over, and folks over there are in urgent need of disaster relief aid.

Green Depot hopes to help the relief efforts this week through a promotion.  Now through April 3, 2011, Green Depot will be donating 15% of all profits made online and at our Bowery Headquarters location to Japan Earthquake Relief efforts.  And to encourage participation, Green Depot is offering 20% off on all purchases of $100.00 and up.

Just to clarify: the offer is valid at http://www.greendepot.com, and at our New York City headquarters, located at 222 Bowery (at Prince st.) in the Lower East Side.  Due to restrictions, the offer is not valid on special orders, Bonded Logic insulation, or in conjunction with other offers.

Green Depot’s 15% donation will go to one of the leading disaster relief agencies in Japan right now – World Vision.  World Vision has issued this call for help in aiding disaster victims in Japan:

World Vision is distributing relief supplies to thousands of people devastated by the massive earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan on March 11. An emergency response team is on the ground in hard hit areas, providing water, blankets, and other urgently needed supplies to survivors. Ongoing efforts will focus on the unique needs of children, who are the most impacted… In the wake of a disaster, World Vision is often one of the first organizations to begin relief work by distributing emergency supplies and sending highly-trained staff to assess and respond to the most urgent needs. We remain on the ground for the long haul, rebuilding communities and restoring hope.

To learn more about World Vision, you can visit their web site.

For green building materials, like eco insulation, as well as many other green products for a sustainable lifestyle, visit http://www.greendepot.com.

Earth Hour 2011

March 26th, 2011 | Posted by tjones in Current Events | Living Green - (0 Comments)

Earth Hour 2011 is today at 8:30pm!  Turn all of your lights off for at least an hour tonight to show commitment to protecting the earth and conserving energy and resources.

Earth Hour is an interesting – and successful – concept.  Organized by the World Wildlife Federation (WWF), it began in 2007 in Sydney, Australia to show a unified stance against anthropocentric climate change.  At the time 2.2 million individuals and 2,000 business participated, according to their website, and the movement rapidly gained momentum, become a worldwide phenomenon with over 50 million participants around the world in 35 different countries and territories.  One of the more dramatic symbols of the movement has been the dimming of major work landmarks – including the Syndey Harbour Bridge, CN Tower in Toronto, the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, the Colosseum in Rome, and the Empire State Building in New York City.

This year, the organizers of Earth Hour are asking participants to extend Earth Hour beyond Saturday into their everyday lives.  The campaign is called 60+  Beyond the Hour, whose webpage is intended to serve as both a source to share ideas on living sustainably, and to find inspiration for living sustainably from people across the world.

GREEN DEPOT SOLUTIONS

Green Depot carries an enormous array of green products intended to help anyone reduce their energy consumption (and, in doing so, reduce their energy bills!).  These green products include green insulation, energy-star certified water heaters, CFL and LED lightbulbs, and many other energy-saving products.  Going “beyond the hour” and extending sustainability into our lives goes beyond energy reduction, though, to include anything from cycling to work to composting at home to reducing plastic consumption.  Earth Hour gives us all something to consider every year – and the inspiration to make important changes in our lives that can help to create a healthier and more sustainable world.

For green building materials, like eco insulation, as well as many other green products for a sustainable lifestyle, visit http://www.greendepot.com.

the bank of america tower, in new york city, one of the world's first LEED platinum skyscrapers

Each year the Environmental Protection Agency posts a list of the twenty-five cities in America with the highest number of energy efficient buildings. As Grist.org reports, “that means commercial buildings that have earned an Energy Star rating that signifies they consume 35 percent less energy and release 35 percent less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than average buildings.”

It may be surprising to learn, then, the Los Angeles – the city of perpetual smog – has actually topped that list for the third year running!

L.A. is home to 510 Energy Star buildings, which is up 75 percent from 293 buildings in 2010.

What’s also interesting about this annual list is that the other winners are not cities one might typically consider “green.”  The top ten are, in descending order:

  1. Los Angeles: 510 buildings
  2. Washington, DC: 301 buildings
  3. San Francisco: 248 buildings
  4. Chicago: 232 buildings
  5. New York City: 211 buildings
  6. Atlanta: 201 buildings
  7. Houston: 175 buildings
  8. Sacramento: 168 buildings
  9. Detroit: 151 buildings
  10. Dallas Fort-worth: 148 buildings

You can read the remaining top 15 cities by clicking here. [PDF]

EPA administrator Lisa P. Jackson noted in a statement that, “Through their partnership with Energy Star, metropolitan areas across the U.S. are saving a combined $1.9 billion in energy costs every year while developing new ways to shrink energy bills and keep our air clean.”

$1.9 billion: that’s certainly not small change.

GREEN DEPOT SOLUTIONS

While extensive green construction may be out of reach for the ordinary home owner, Green Depot carries a number of green products that are Energy Star rated.  You can view them by searching our website for “energy star,” or simply by clicking here.

For green building materials, like eco insulation, as well as many other green products for a sustainable lifestyle, visit http://www.greendepot.com.