College students are hard up for cash after the new school semester begins and after they have depleted their bank accounts for holiday expenses. Campus Books Rentals “RentBack Program” actually helps college students be green and make some green at the same time.
Reusing text books allows students to save money on the books they need for class and make money off the books they have already purchased. Renting text books is a cheaper option for college students wishing to save a few bucks. Textbooks can get very expensive and if a full-time student is taking four classes it means buying at least four books and that can take a sizeable chuck out of the wallet.
CampusBookRentals.com makes students feel good about saving money and renting text books. The company has partnered with Operation Smile to make a difference in the world. Operation Smile, an international medical charity, helps heal children’s smiles and changes their lives forever. Operation Smile provides safe, effective reconstructive surgery and related medical care to children born with facial deformities such as cleft lip and cleft palate. Campus Book Rentals has committed to donating a minimum of 80 surgeries between June 2013 and June 2014.
An Australian yachtsman, Ivan Macfadyen, was disturbed by the silence he heard on the ocean. It wasn’t complete silence as the waves still crashed against the boat, but it was a silence of another sort that caught his attention. There were no birds.
“After we left Japan, it felt as if the ocean itself was dead,” he told Newcastle Herald. “We hardly saw any living things. We saw one whale, sort of rolling helplessly on the surface with what looked like a big tumor on its head. It was pretty sickening.”
Mcfayden has traveled extensively on the ocean and this was the first time he heard and saw a distinct silence in the 3000 nautical miles he traveled. There was no fish to be caught, no birds to be seen, but there were plenty of items to be seen floating in the ocean.
Debris covers the surface and the depths of the ocean. There are thousands of plastic buoys, tangles of synthetic rope, pieces of polystyrene foam and slicks of oil and petrol. Broken chairs, glass bottles and large quantities of plastic swim in the ocean where fish used to live. Garbage was found in excess.
The killer tsunami that hit Japan and the consequent nuclear power station failure in the country has led to the devastating impact on the ocean.
Macfayden said, “We were weaving around these pieces of debris. It was like sailing through a garbage tip.”
“The ocean is broken,” he said.
The biggest worry about Macfayden’s findings is that no one is going to do anything about the devastation. A group of United States Academics asked Macfayden and other yachtsmen to go to collect samples of the ocean for radiation testing. He asked several organizations and the United States to send a fleet to clean up the mess. He was told that the environmental damage from burning fuel to clean up the mess would be worse than just leaving the debris where it is.
Macfayden has decided to contact Australia’s major ocean race organizers. He hopes that the yachties will be willing to volunteer to monitor the debris and marine life. He also has plans to lobby government ministers in order to make a change and fix an ocean that has faced heartbreaking degradation.
Heifer International seeks to empower families in order to overcome hunger and poverty, but not in the traditional way. Heifer uses agriculture and partnerships to help families build a sustainable income. The company provides partners with animals which then provide food and a reliable income through products such as milk, eggs, and honey, all of which can be sold or traded at market.
Honeybees/Rafael Morales, a ten-year-old boy from Honduras, enjoys honey from Heifer’s Honduran Bee Project, which has helped his family rise out of poverty. Photo by Amy Davenport, courtesy of Heifer International.
Hiefer has listed a vast array of gifts for the holiday season and we have compiled a list of those we think are terrific for giving back to the earth, the people and creating a sustainable community:
Photo: Gift of Trees/Eight-year-old Nana Shubitidze of Georgia collects apples from her family’s tree. Photo courtesy of Heifer International.
Gift of Trees- The gift of trees comes with seedlings and saplings of trees that are appropriate to the region. The trees provide firewood and fodder, yield fruits and nuts, and also enrich and purify the air. Cost is $10 per share of seedlings.
A Flock of Chicks- This gift helps a family in need become empowered to create a sustainable home. A starter flock of 10-50 chicks, and the training to raise them, can provide eggs and a reliable income to the family. The chicks, once raised, can be used for food and the offspring and extra eggs can be sold or traded. A flock of chicks starts at $20.
Honeybees- Honeybees are an amazing gift that keeps on giving. The gift includes a bee package, hive, box and training in beekeeping techniques. Honeybees stimulate the growth of other crops through pollination and can provide families with income through the sales of honey and wax. The honeybee gift costs $30.
A Boost of Nutrition- This gift is an amazing package for families that are in need. It includes fruit and vegetable seeds, enough to start a small farm, chickens to raise and maintain the farm, and training in sustainable farming and nutrition. This gift gives families a head start in combating hunger and poverty. Proceeds from the farm can be sold or traded at market. The cost of this gift is $36.
Flock of Chicks/Each chick is a life-saving gift for five-year-old twins Roeuny Chanda and Roeuy Chandy from Cambodia. Photo by Russell Powell, courtesy of Heifer International.
There are many other gifts worth checking out through Heifer International.
The Natural Seal from the Natural Products Association (NPA) lets consumers know that products are actually natural. The seal is used to give a natural certification to products that contain at least 95% natural ingredients, avoid using ingredients with health risks, do not use animal testing and use biodegradable or recycled material in the packing of the product. It is the only certification in the country for products that claim to be all-natural. If the seal is on the product then it has met the standards set by the NPA.
There are hundreds of products available on the market that have been certified with the Natural Seal. These products include everything from personal care products to home care products. The standards for the products are set by the Natural Product Association and are based on four main ideas: natural ingredients, safety, responsibility and sustainability.
Going green in the winter isn’t hard if you have already been on a green path all year long. Even if you haven’t, going green in the winter can be easily accomplished. These tips will help the environment, lower your heating costs, and have fun when the snow is piling up outside.
Check Seals and Ducts
Homes have their highest energy demand during the winter months. Thirty-four percent of all annual utility usage comes from heating. The average home becomes an emitter of carbon dioxide emissions worse than a vehicle. To reduce heating costs and keep a greener environment in the home make sure that the heating ducts in the home are free of any leaks. If any leaks are found, wrap with duct mastic. Sealing the ductwork can increase efficiency of your heating unit and make your home warmer. Remember to check window seals also!
Today starts our series on some great green gift ideas. I’ve been doing some early holiday shopping and found that there are some great gift ideas and stocking stuffers to get excited about created by businesses which include sustainability and an attention to the environment.
Artterro is an award-winning eco-friendly arts and crafts store for the whole family. A love of art and kids inspired and shaped the business. Forrest and Jen, the owners of Artterro, used their love of art and the environment to create a business that provides quality art material kits.
Skeeter Snacks are perfect for people with tree nut and peanut allergies (TPA) and they make a great stocking stuffer for the holiday season. The company was created by two dads with nut-allergic children in Westport, Conn. They wanted to create a great-tasting, high-quality treat for their children that was 100% safe for those with nut allergies.
Skeeter Snacks is seeking world snack domination one snack at a time. The first snack the food innovation team created that completely nut free was cookies. The cookies come in four varieties including Chocolate Chunk, Golden Oatmeal, Skeeter Doodle and Chocolate3. Products can be found online and at a variety of major retailers including Shaw’s and Shop-Rite.
We just celebrated America Recycles Day , but with it some people may have a few questions about the various forms of recycling and what do they actually mean? What are the benefits? When did recycling get so complicated? I turned to one of my great green friends to help us out with learning about the benefits of the green cycles.
Green cycling can help the environment and help you build a better, greener, healthier planet. There are several different cycles and each have various benefits. It may be hard to do all of them, but many of them can be easily adapted into everyday life.
It’s American Recycles Day! Do you recycle? I admit several years ago I made a promise to myself to recycle as much as I possibly can. There are several different ways to recycle such as:
Traditional recycling: Sorting paper, plastic, and aluminum to be picked up and recycled by your local waste management companies or dropped off at waste management services.
Reusing/Upcycling/Repurpose: There is a lot of talk about “reusing” items and “upcycling.” Basically both work the same way. You can either find a new use for an item, such as aluminum cans or bottles or you can “upcycle” them turning them into a new and interesting item – like jeans made into purses or pillows.
Electronic recycling: There are a number of different ways and services available to help you with recycling your used electronic such as cell phones, computers and video games and equipment.
So the other day as we placed our trash curbside I noticed that yes, I’m reaching my goal to recycle as much as I can. My recycling container is no longer the little box that I started out with but a great big trash can sized container marked RECYCLING. I actually have more in my recycling container than I do in my trash can. Now that shows you that there are so many things you use in your home that you could use over again.
According to the EPA these are just a few of the benefits of recycling:
Reduces the amount of waste sent to landfills and incinerators;
Conserves natural resources such as timber, water, and minerals;
Prevents pollution by reducing the need to collect new raw materials;
Reduces greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global climate change;
Helps sustain the environment for future generations;
Helps create new well-paying jobs in the recycling and manufacturing industries in the United States.
How can I get started recycling or how can I do more?
In honor of America Recycles Day use this plan of action:
Visit www.IWantToBeRecycled.org for more information on where to find the nearest recycling center to you and what materials can be recycled, how they should be recycled and what products they can become in the future.
Pledge your commitment and encourage recycling by joining this Thunderclap and Tweet on November 15th to help spread the word about America Recycles Day. (Your tweet will say “Today is #AmericaRecyclesDay! I pledge to recycle more, waste less & encourage others to do the same. http://thndr.it/1aZ1ro2”)
Do more recycling. Look at your recycle bin today and take a picture. 30 days from now look at it again. Are you recycling more?
Encourage others to join you in recycling, not just on Nov. 15 but throughout the year. Set up recycling centers in your home especially when guests come over. You may be surprised by the conversations it will generate.
Need some help getting started? Check out these products from Amazon. Grab and book and teach your children about recycling too. Make it a family affair.
Disney might be best known for creating beloved cartoon characters but it should also be known for its great green efforts. Disney’s commitment to conservation, environmental stewardship and community engagement has not gone unnoticed.
The Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund (DWCF) has contributed more than $20 million to conservation efforts worldwide since it was established on Earth Day in 1995. Funding through DWCF has helped scientists and communities study animals, preserve their habitats, and respond to wildlife and wild places in crisis.
DWCF and The Walt Disney Company Foundation have contributed to projects protecting birds, primates, sea turtles, elephants, rhinos and to projects that study lions, tigers, leopards and other cats. They have established the Disney Wilderness Preserve as well as partnerships with The Nature Conservancy, Disney’s Friends for Change and iTunes make funding these projects more than a possibility.
Theatrical film releases about wild animals and the wild places they live in through Disneynature help make a difference. Donations tied to opening day film releases of Disneynature films has helped DWCF plant three million trees in Brazil’s Atlantic Forest, establish 40,000 acres of marine protected area in The Bahamas, and protect nearly 130,000 acres of wild chimpanzee habitat. Funding has also helped educate 60,000 students about chimpanzee conservation and cared for orphaned chimpanzees with the Jane Goodall Institute.
The goal of DWCF is to make a difference for wildlife and provide “urgent conservation support to meet the many challenges the planet is facing.” DWCF seeks to help kids develop lifelong conservation values and provide a “long-standing commitment to protect the planet and conserve nature for future generations.”
“Bears” an upcoming new Disneynature movie will help the National Park Foundation protect wildlife across the National Park System. It is the fifth theatrical release under the Disneynature label. The other four include “Earth,” “Oceans,” “African Cats” and “Chimpanzee.” The films are among the top five highest grossing feature-length nature films of all time. Each film contributed to different wildlife projects through DWCF.
Annual grants provided by DWCF in 2013 have gone to umbrella bird conservation in Ecuador, conserving Papua New Guinea’s grasslands, lion conservation in Tanzania, restoring habitat for gopher tortoises in the United States, saving the sea turtles in Costa Rica and many other great green projects.