Congratulations to Washington University in St. Louis for being named a Tree Campus USA by the Arbor Day Foundation!  When I was visiting colleges, I was very impressed by Arizona State, where the whole campus is an arboretum.  Washington University stole my heart though & I feel confident I made the right choice.  I have many fond memories of my time on campus, although quite a bit of it was spent inside the engineering buildings and not laying under a tree.  I am pleased that their commitment to care of their 46 species of trees & engagement of the student body are being recognized!


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Earth Day Giveaway – Free Reusable Shopping Bag

I love reusable shopping bags, especially when they are free!  I was very excited to see on Facebook that one store in Denver will be giving away a free reusable shopping bag, recycled from their own billboards, with a purchase today (Earth Day!).  See more about Billboard Ecology, a Denver company that creates these bags here.

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Traveling on Earth Day – Save an Acre with United Airlines!

If you’re traveling on United Airlines this Friday, use their mobile boarding pass technology & they will donate $1 to Protect an Acre with our global nonprofit partner Conservation International. United Airlines will donate up to $50,000 for customers of both United & Continental Airlines.

Conservation International has saved 143 million acres of rainforest over the last 3 years. Please save trees and use a mobile boarding pass every time you travel, but especially on Friday!

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Solar Building for 9 – 14-year-olds

I am looking forward to visiting my alma mater next month and am always proud to read about green programs they are doing.  This article caught my eye because I think it is unusual that fourth through ninth grade students get the opportunity to design a solar house.  I am especially impressed because the curriculum goes far beyond students slapping solar panels onto a picture of a house they have drawn – these students learn about considerations that most adults wouldn’t think of, including energy production, energy balance, as well as the architecture of their design.  I may have been an engineering major, but this is one architecture program that I can wholeheartedly approve of.   In fact, I wish I was young enough to participate!

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New Water Sanitation Technology

Congratulations to Rebecca Ye, a freshman at Washington University in St. Louis, for winning the Maine & US competitions for the 2010 Stockholm Junior Water Prize with her inexpensive method to quickly detect E. coli in water.  Unfortunately over 800 million people worldwide currently lack access to safe drinking water, so any improvement in water sanitation technology could make a difference to millions.

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Green Stay at Rancho Bernardo Inn

I enjoyed staying at the Rancho Bernardo Inn outside San Diego this summer.  I didn’t perceive any extreme conservation measures during my visit there, so I was surprised when I found this document on their website. I would enjoy seeing similar statistics from comparable resorts, but I was especially pleased to see that Rancho Bernardo conserved in these ways:

  • Reclaiming water and using it as “grey water” to water their golf course, especially given their location & climate
  • Have a recycling program that includes the following: cardboard, cans, glass, plant trimmings, toner cartridges, & CRT monitors / TV with LCD monitors
  • Collect used cooking oil & donate it for conversion into bio-diesel

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New CD packaging?

I bought a copy of Trace Atkins’ new CD Cowboy’s Back in Town this week.  I was surprised when I opened the package and discovered that the CD did not come in a traditional plastic CD jewel case.  Instead it is a heavy cardstock cover wrapped around a plastic insert that holds the CD.  I hope that more record companies choose packaging like this that reduces the weight and amount of materials surrounding their CD as well as slightly reducing the fuel needed to deliver it.

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