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How to Save Money on Wedding Invitations and More on Bridal Dress

The budget for a wedding celebration is based on priorities. The wedding venue is always at the top spot along with the food and drinks, photographer, videographer and decorations. Where is the budget for the bridal dress? It is often down the list of priorities.... read more

Labeling Ethically: When "Green" Takes on a Different Tone

When Dole Food Company began labeling its bananas slated for New Zealand sales with stickers that read, "Ethical Choice," it attracted attention. The stickers were backed by a strong promotional push that gave customers the confidence that they were using their money to support a company with fair trade practices and a positive work environment.

 

Food Social Responsibility

Labels help consumers make decisions, and consumers can help create sustainable food systems with their checkbooks simply through their purchasing decisions. In a world where information is pumped out to the public on a daily basis, it's not always easy to keep track of what is actually going on. Therefore, conscious consumers often rely on messages delivered on packaging materials and advertisements to let them know they are making responsible purchasing decisions. When the claims on that packaging and in those advertisements don't match up with reality, it's called green washing.... read more

Meet Me In the Lobby

All this apocalyptic weather and talk of climate doom (1) gets me antsy to do something political, so last week I went to the annual Citizens Climate Lobby (CCL)2 conference. Along with 150 other climate activists from across the country I sat through two days of briefings and seminars and powerpoints in a nondescript conference center outside Washington DC, followed by a day of lobbying on The Hill. There was the usual conference-y mingling, banter, and goofing off, and I had a blast. Each of us was scheduled for six meetings with legislators about climate change and the “Save Our Climate Act” (H.R. 3242)3, four of us in each meeting. Early Tuesday morning we all mobbed onto the Metro which whisked us over to Capitol Hill.

Being from Massachusetts, I met mostly with blue-state pols. The meetings were convivial and the same message repeatedly emerged: climate legislation has no chance of passing if Republicans maintain a House majority after the 2012 elections. You know the story; right-wing Republicans use their majority to block any progressive legislation (especially climate bills) and if nothing gets accomplished, that’s okay with them. Just to be clear: I’m distinguishing the Right from Conservatives, who sometimes cooperate with others to solve the country’s problems.... read more

Have a Green 4th of July!

Green 4th of July

The Fourth of July is a time to get together with friends and family, to celebrate American history, and to eat BBQ in the summer fun.  Traditional 4th of July celebrations can create a lot of pollution.  It's easy to replace some old habits with new ones for this year's Independence Day.

Greener Grilling: On the Fourth of July alone, an estimated 60 million barbecues light up nationwide, consuming enough energy to power 20,000 households for an entire year. But who says you need to give up your hot dogs and steak in order to be an environmentalist? Buy a natural gas or infrared grill instead of dirty-burning charcoal. Avoid chrome-coated aluminum grills and instead opt for steel or cast iron (my favorite). Also, go with a smaller grill, as they take less energy to heat up.... read more

Gone Mad

I’m just minding my own business, and suddenly all these eco-leaders are up in my face telling me to get angry about Global Warming? Bill McKibben -- who never raises his voice -- says I should stop being cynical and start being angry about Global Warming. The ever-methodical League of Conservation Voters emails me to “get angry, and fight this one out!” Even climate scientists, always so calm as they gaze into the abyss, are telling us to get angry. I always figured: if the climate scientists aren’t freakin about Global Warming, then I needn’t be freakin. And, now they’re freakin.... read more

My Company 'tis of Thee

Talk about a cover-up. Just today, the Boston Globe disclosed that electricity giant NStar has been conducting a secret operation that allows their customers to pay more to get their electricity from wind power rather than a carbon-polluting source. Actually, the program, NStar Green,” isn’t a company secret -- but I hadn’t heard of it, none of my neighbors had, and Brookline Climate Action had to go door-to-door to tell people about it. It might as well be secret.

I don’t think NStar Green is some big, bad greenwashing scheme. NStar probably let the program languish because investing more money in it would yield little profit. And that’s okay, because it’s not NStar’s job make clean energy -- or dirty energy. It’s NStar’s job to make money. A corporation is responsible for making profit, and anything after that is optional as long as it’s legal.
... read more

Green Game Day Recipes!

When I sat down to write for Keen for Green today, I was originally going to do a piece on the top tips for greening up those fall tailgates this year, but upon a little perusal, I think they’ve already got that covered!  Between advising you to find local beer, or even better, brewing your own and an awesome article on the best tips for how to throw a fantastically green barbecue, there’s not much left!  (Of course as long as you can get yourself to the game with a barbecue in tote and a cooler full of your beverages, that is.)  In light of that, I thought I’d take a different direction and go strictly food.  Because, truth be told: I don’t drink nor do I watch football, so game days are, for me, 100% about the food.  And to be completely honest, I’d much rather “watch” from the comfort of my own home with a bowl of chili and a hunk of freshly buttered cornbread than stand outside in unpredictable weather with a possibly semi-burnt hotdog in hand.  In case I’m not alone (c’mon ladies!), here are some of my very favorite green game day recipe recommendations.... read more

"Green Living: How Important is It to You?" Survey

  How important is green in your life?  Keen For Green is conducting a poll to learn about people's green habits and what is important to you. Click here to take our brief survey!

The Debate Over California's Solar Energy Policy

California Solar Policy

In July, California Governor Jerry Brown, announced a plan to increase the state's renewable energy to a 12-gigawatt by 2020, by relying on “tens of thousands of little decisions” by residents and business owners. Brown cited the cost of routing large-scale energy farms in remote areas as a reason for focusing on smaller projects. He also cited the delays in previous large-scale desert projects due to litigation over natural resources, native animals, and Native American sites.

However, a recent article from Freakonomics.com points out several concerns with this plan, based on simple cost-benefit analysis:

-Individuals (such as homeowners and small businesses) do not make decisions based on what is “socially optimal”... read more

Cleantech Funding Drops 44% from 2010 to 2011

cleantech venture capital

Like there hasn't been enough bad economic news in the past few weeks? According to a recent Reuters article and study published by Ernst & Young, investment in clean tech/ green tech companies dropped 44% (when comparing the second quarter of 2010 and the second quarter of 2011). This may be in part due to the increased attention on internet IPO's, such as LinkedIn and Zillow.  Still the cleantech field is receiving more financial attention than most: from April to July of this year, cleantech companies saw $1.1 billion in investment funds. ... read more

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