Tag Archives: green

Recycle Electronics for Cash

May 9, 2011

We love that you want to sell your books to us! It’s a winning situation all around: you clear space and get cash and we sell your books to others who want to read them.  Less waste is sent to our landfills as the lifecyle of each book is expanded. But have you ever thought about all of the other things lying around your house that you don’t need? What about those used electronics?

E-waste sculpture

This would also be a cool way to recycle your electronics. It might take a bit more time than selling them to BuyMyTronics.com. Photo: Ross

Well now thanks to our friends at BuyMyTronics.com you can recycle your electronics for cash. BuyMyTronics is an electronics buyback company where you can sell your used electronics including iPods, iPads, smartphones and digital cameras. Check them out here and earn some cash for living green.

Save trees by opting out of Yellow Pages

February 7, 2011

Most of us have experienced the plight of accumulating monstrous stacks of Yellow Page phone books. For me, they sit unused until I work up the energy to recycle them or turn them into nifty, little fire starters. I, like many others, wasn’t up to speed on the process of opting out from their delivery. In many cases the opt-out process was not an easy task: it turns out simply scaring away the delivery man was not a viable option for permanent removal from their delivery service. Yellow Book snapshot

For all of you who find yourself in my position, today is your day. The people at Yellow Pages discovered a cool little fad called the internet and decided to make an easy to use opt-out website that allows you to banish these books from your home for good.

A quick trip to YellowPagesOptOut.com will allow you to remove yourself from delivery for any and all Yellow Pages publications. The only question you leave the site with is what to do with all of that reclaimed space in your home.

Save yourself and some trees by opting out today.

Grubbin’ the Green Way: How to Dine Sustainably

January 27, 2011

If you are like me, you like to eat out…A LOT! More and more, I am seeing restaurants advertising local, sustainable food sources, and energy-saving practices on their menus. This got me thinking….how do you dine sustainably?

Below are just a few steps to pique your interest in eating environmentally.

1. An important first step in eating out responsibly is choosing a green restaurant.

The Green Restaurant Association is a great start! Through their website, you can locate local eateries that meet green certification standards. Over 300 restaurants in 30 states have met minimum standards in the following areas:

  • Water Efficiency
  • Waste Reduction and Recycling
  • Sustainable Furnishings and Building Materials
  • Sustainable Food
  • Energy
  • Disposables
  • Chemical and Pollution Reduction

In addition to sustainable restaurants, several guides exist to help you navigate your way to vegetarian, organic, and local dinner sources.

Happy Cow Compassionate Eating Guide

Local Harvest

VegGuide

2. Remember to eat local.

Try to support restaurants that rely on local farmers, farmers’ markets, and food co-ops to stock their pantries.

3. Be sure to order with a conscience.

Consult the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Guide before ordering seafood. The Monterey Bay Aquarium provides “best choices,” “good alternatives,” and those fish to “avoid” in order to help sustain wild, diverse, and healthy ocean ecosystems for the future.

EarthEasy also has a sustainable seafood list by type.

4. Make responsible water choices.

Only ask for a glass of water if you’ll actually drink it. If the meal is coming to an end, decline last minute fill-ups if you won’t be staying to finish them off.

5. When eating on the go…

Refuse extras like condiments or plastic utensils if taking your food home.  Or, if you know how much ketchup or napkins you’ll need, be specific and request just one or two. Be sure to reuse the bags and cups you get as many times as you can afterward.

6. Doggie Bag?

If you are really hard-core, bring your own reusable container for leftovers. Make doggie bags a thing of the past!

Just a side note – Throughout my childhood, when visiting the buffet, my grandma would hide plastic bags in her purse to bring home “leftovers.” Some may say she was ahead of her time sustainably. But the reality is that she was frugal. :)  I would politely remind her…although it doesn’t explicitly say, “All you can eat HERE,” it should be implied.

5 Helpful Tips For Winter Biking

December 27, 2010

Do you want to save a few dollars this winter, maybe for the holiday shopping or vacations? One possible option is to forgo driving and hop on a bike to save gas, insurance, maintenance, or even public transit costs. In this post I will give a few great tips and tricks that can turn winter riding from miserable to fun.

Fenders!

There is a reason that fenders are numero uno on this list. Notice on the pretty pink bike to the left, over each tire there is a round cover, that is called a fender. Fenders are critical to keeping you dry and clean when pedaling around on winter roads. They are positioned over the part of the wheel that flings mud, water, and muddy water on to your face, legs and back.

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Rain Gear!

While fenders will keep you mostly dry from the wet roads, a rain jacket and a pair of rain pants will keep you dry and warm from the rain from above. Just about any waterproof or near waterproof jacket will do, but since you will be exerting yourself, a lighter and more breathable jacket will be better. Rain pants for cycling can be a little tricky. You will want a pair that can support the range of leg motion required to pedal your bike. Make sure that you can squat down and lift and extend your legs without pressing against any seams or too much fabric bunching. You will also want to make sure that your rain pants (or any pants, really) aren’t too baggy around the ankle/calf area. The extra fabric can get caught in the chain or torn on the sprocket teeth. You can reduce bagginess with the help of rubber bands, Velcro straps, or bungee cords.

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Spare Clothes!

I highly recommend either leaving a complete (I really do mean complete!) change of clean clothes at your desk or  locker at work or school. Another option is to carry a change of clothes in your backpack. Even the most prepared winter cyclist can get caught in an epic downpour or forget their jacket or accidentally run through a 6″ deep puddle and end up much wetter than you would have preferred. Running into a bathroom to change from wet clothes to dry clothes can make the difference between a uncomfortable day and a great day.

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A Plan!

You know that beautiful street lined with trees that you love riding through? During the rainy months that street becomes a death trap: wet, slippery leaves coat the asphalt, branches and sticks need dodging, and deep puddles form in clogged sewer drains. Just because you bike comfortably down a road during the summer months does not mean it will be equally enjoyable during the winter. On your first couple of wintery rides take careful note of which roads are debris free, have bike lanes that aren’t small rivers, etc. A slightly longer bike ride without obstacles is better than a shorter ride where your well-being is risked. Also, many bike shops have knowledgeable staff members or even clinics that can help you plan your winter biking routes.

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Eye Protection!

You probably don’t want water, dirt, and sand flung into your eyes, right? Then you especially don’t want that to happen while you are cruising down a hill at 15mph while atop your two-wheeled steed. Just about any pair of sunglasses will prove to be invaluable during your commute. But the short days might mean you leave or come home in the dark, so you will want to get a pair of clear or neon safety glasses. They protect your eyes as much as sunglasses and can be found pretty cheaply at hardware or outdoor stores.

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Have fun and stay safe out there!

Libraries vs. Bookstores

December 16, 2010

Aside from buying one of those electronic reading devices, one of the greenest things you can do in your reading life is to get a library card. It’s free and one of my most favorite things ever. It might seem odd that I’d be touting the merits of libraries since I work at a bookstore. I can go on and on like the Titanic song about how I much I love public  libraries but I just want to focus on the most basic service they offer: lending books.

Readers are often asked which they like best- libraries or bookstores. And it makes it sound as though the choice should be exclusive. In a reader’s world, there’s room for both and each has their own pros and cons.

Libraries are great places to sample authors and their works without having to fork over some hard-earned cash. It’s not uncommon that you’ll find that book that you absolutely must have. That’s where bookstores come in. Sometimes the pages are just asking to be highlighted or underlined or personalized in a way that you can’t do to a library book- at least, you shouldn’t.

For those new releases and current bestsellers that you either want to read right now or at your own leisurely pace, the bookstore is where you want to be. You don’t even have to necessarily buy the book. Just read it there and then. If you’re willing to wait, libraries often get the same titles the same time but it’s the holds list that may try your patience. On the off chance the library does not have a particular title in their system, there’s usually also the option of suggesting a purchase.

Libraries and bookstores may have different sets of rules but, as long as they provide the books readers need and want, there’s no way I can choose between them.

Do you have a preference over the two? What are some things you love about each one?