ReTale’s Green Gesture for the Digital Age

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So how did this awesome project begin?

We got inspired to start this online for bloggers after reading a study by Dr. Alexander Wissner-Gross, who calculated the average amount of CO2 emitted when anyone visits a website. Our corporate sponsor, Retale, is a digital platform for shopping, so the company is already paperless. Retale wanted to address the emissions that come from the internet in efforts to be a truly green company. Not only is planting trees vital to maintaining our environment, but it also actively fights carbon emissions. We figured the simplest way to combat carbon emissions was to try and replant America’s forests together with bloggers.

What has been the most exciting support you’ve received for this project?

The most excited support or situation we’ve had because of this project I think is yet to come. We have only just started collecting participants, although we have done this project in 5 other countries with exciting results. If I count our sister projects, I’d say the most exciting event was the replanting of the Gévezé forest in Brittany, France. With the Arbor Day Foundation, we plant species of trees that are carefully selected according to the location in which they will be planted. We will have more information on the species of trees planted after we send our first round of trees for fulfillment. This is something we’d like to include in the planting update when we get the information from the Arbor Day Foundation.

How can we bloggers get involved?

Bloggers can get involved by writing about our project, spreading the word via social media, and reducing the carbon footprint of their blog by letting us plant a tree for them. The reason why spreading the word is so important is because the more bloggers who agree to participate in the project, the more trees we will plant and the bigger the impact on the environment will be. We need great blogs like Miseducated who have a strong following to set an example for the blogosphere by proactively helping the environment. I think taking a stand to reduce the carbon emissions of Miseducated is absolutely an example of doing what you think is right no matter what others say! Many people don’t realize that CO2 is emitted by websites. They assume because it’s paperless, that there are no adverse effects to the environment, but this is not true. We need to work together to show the blogosphere that a) their blogs are emitting carbon too, and b) they can do something about it.

Where are these trees located?

We make quarterly donations to the Arbor Day Foundation for all the trees we plant to Green Gestures. Right now we are collecting our first 1,000 blogger participants to plant a big batch of 1,000 trees. We plan to update the Green Gestures website with information (and hopefully photos) about where the trees were planted. It depends on where the Arbor Day Foundation has the most need for reforestation. If you’re interested to see which forests they are focusing on this year, you can see a list of national forests on their website here.

Do you have any other environmentally friendly projects we should know about?

The use of paper is related to two major environmental problems: loss of biodiversity and damage to the environment. Paper production contributes to the loss of biodiversity through the destruction of native forests, the expansion of monoculture eucalyptus and pine trees, and high levels of water and energy usage. Paper consumption also generates an enormous amount of trash – much of it is not recycled and ends up in landfills, incinerators, or littering our nation’s landscape. Through our Green Gestures campaign, Retale™ aims to reduce paper consumption (and paper waste) by creating a more sustainable way to shop. With our website and mobile apps, you have instant access to thousands of diverse offers and catalogs from stores near you. Using our digital service means that you can reduce your paper waste by opting out of the weekly ads and catalogs you currently receive in favor of viewing them online.

In addition to providing a digital solution for consumer shopping needs, Retale™ also engages in efforts to help the environment with two initiatives: our “Make a Green Gesture” campaign (described above) and our Sustainable Careers portal. Retale™ also supports the green economy with our Sustainable Careers portal, a virtual service providing specialized listings for environmental and sustainable employment. Through this portal, we aim to help professionals in environmental fields find meaningful employment, and thus contribute to building a society that lives in harmony with the environment.

Why Should I Become Vegetarian or Vegan?

“Oh, Lady Gaga’s job is to do outlandish things, and this certainly qualifies as outlandish because meat is something you want to avoid putting on or in your body.” ~ PETA president to NYDN

While I am an animal lover and animal rights advocate, and my reasons for being vegan are largely spiritual, I think it’s also important to recognize the environmental impact that this lifestyle has. In June 2010, The Guardian discussed a a United Nations Environment Programme report that underlines the negative impact that consumption of animal products has on our ecosystem. The article quotes the original UN report:

“Impacts from agriculture are expected to increase substantially due to population growth increasing consumption of animal products. Unlike fossil fuels, it is difficult to look for alternatives: people have to eat. A substantial reduction of impacts would only be possible with a substantial worldwide diet change, away from animal products.”

Professor Edgar Hertwich, the lead author of the report, said: “Animal products cause more damage than [producing] construction minerals such as sand or cement, plastics or metals. Biomass and crops for animals are as damaging as [burning] fossil fuels.”

It goes on to suggest a gradual change: try giving up meat for one day each week. I agree with this approach. If you’re a red-blooded, meat-and-potatoes eatin’ American and you’re ready to make a change, good for you! Just know that you’re probably going to feel unsatisfied if you suddenly remove meat, dairy, and processed foods from your diet. You’ve gotten your system used to taking in that sort of fuel; it will take time for it to recalibrate. Set a realistic goal and start slowly, knowing that every step you take towards an animal-free lifestyle is making a difference.

Read the original article here.

“From the meat industry’s rampant abuse of animals and environmental devastation to the tremendous health benefits of a vegan diet to helping end world hunger and deplorable working conditions in slaughterhouses, there are countless reasons why more and more people are leaving meat off their plates for good and embracing a healthy and humane vegan diet.” ~ PETA

More Meat Free Resources

10 Easy Ways To Be More Eco Friendly

Being environmentally friendly is big news these days, and here I share with you my top ten tips to be an eco warrior.

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1. Use public transport. Better yet, walk.

It’s an easy one, but it works. It’s stated that New Yorkers save on average $19 billion a year simply by using sustainable transportation. This shows that in addition to being good for the environment, it’s good financially too!

2. Reduce, reuse and recycle.

This is important for so many reasons and it takes just a tiny bit of extra effort. From saving habitat destruction to reducing pollution caused by waste, the advantages of this are huge.

3. Eat locally sourced produce.

Visit your local farm shop or farmers market. Not only is the food from there more eco friendly, it’s healthier, tastes better and is often inexpensive!

4. Use both sides of paper.

I am guilty of this one, but it’s such a simple way to help cut down on deforestation!

5. Use canvas bags when shopping.

There really is no excuse for not implementing this one. Everyone uses them now, even super models like Kate Moss have been snapped with them!

6. Wear extra clothing rather than turn up the heating.

It’s so simple yet so easily effective.

7. Download music, rather than buying CDs.

It cuts out on waste and is so much better for the environment.

8. Switch everything off at the plugs every night.

This can save a huge amount of wasted energy and takes just a few seconds!

9. Refill water bottles.

Refilling water bottles rather than buying more each day cuts down on waste and is way better for the environment!

10. Use rechargeable batteries.

This can save you money as well as being a step towards being an eco warrior!

So those are my top tips, what are yours?

Mew for Today: Tickle Me Green

It’s St. Patrick’s Day, green shamrocks and rainbow bridges to pots of gold. Green beer. It’s time to celebrate because, as if you needed a reason anyway, there’s a holiday underway.

Green is the color of life and the earth. It signifies growth, health, environment and is often used for it’s calming effects.

Spend Your Day Tickled Green

First, start your day by preparing the cutest of the sweets, pistachio macarons at Tartelette. If you’re feeling thirsty grab an iced green tea to refresh and wake you up. Use milk and matcha powder or brewed green tea with ice.
Next get prepared for a night out on the town or for a very-green party at home. Make sure your outfit contains lots of green and is reminiscent of whimsical St. Patrick’s Day for extra fun — I relate green, rainbows and gold to St. Patrick’s Day due to the decorations!
Add a couple of drops of green food coloring to just about anything to green it up in a flash. This is great for beer and drinks as well as baked sweets.
No matter what you do I hope you can spend it with loved ones having fun and enjoying great food as every holiday should be shared.

Dress Up, Go Out

Green Love

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Green Tea Cupcake

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