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Green America April 30, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Food & Drink, Nature, Sustainable Living.

Green America sees a world where all people have enough, where all communities are healthy and safe, and where the bounty of the Earth is preserved for all the generations to come.

If you share that vision, you can learn more by visiting:

Green America: Our Programs 

Each year, Green America publishes National Green Pages to inspire consumers to make greener choices with the green in their wallets.

Green America’s corporate responsibility director, Todd Larsen, crunched the numbers published by the US Department of Labor for the average American household’s 2009 purchases, and came away with an inspiring conclusion and a $300 billion challenge:

If all American households shift just 10 percent of their current spending to green purchases, we could steer $300 billion toward green jobs and the green economy.

Think about it. That’s $300 billion toward businesses that build community… $300 billion toward recycling, composting, and reuse… $300 billion toward reduced energy use… $300 billion toward fair supply chains that protect workers and stop sweatshop abuses.

Equally powerful, the reverse of the equation is true. Shifting 10 percent to green means pulling $300 billion worth of support out of the business-as-usual economy. That’s $300 diverted from supporting fossil-fuel expansion … $300 billion pulled from irresponsible, exploitative banks … $300 billion of support denied to big-box stores with questionable sourcing standards and disastrous carbon footprints.


Green America’s website offers a plethora of articles, tips, techniques, and strategies for greening your purchases:

1.  Borrow, Trade, or Buy Used:  The greenest thing you can do is to not buy new at all. Use Green America’s resources for inspiration on how to barter for books, movies, clothing, food, home repairs, and more.

Bartering: Get What You Need Without Money

Dinner Co-ops: Cook One Meal, Eat for a Week

Neighborhood Home Repair Teams

25 Ways to Give and Get What You Need Without Money

2.  Grow Your Own Food:  When you plant your own garden you can ensure that your food is organic and healthy.  A National Gardening Association study found that the average family spends $70 a year on maintaining a vegetable garden, and grows $600 worth of harvest.

Food Miles and Global Warming

Think Globally, Can Locally

3.  Green Your Home Energy Use:  Switch your lightbulbs, fire your clothes dryer, unplug small appliances that draw electricity even when they’re turned off, or go all the way, with wind, geo-thermal, or solar.

23 Steps for Energy Efficiency

Making Solar Affordable Now

Here’s to a more sustainable and just future for our planet!

Aah . . . that’s better!


1. Kate @ Did That Just Happen? - April 30, 2014

I am growing some of my own food this year, and am seriously considering getting a clothes line for the back yard! Love these suggestions, some are so easy and make such a big difference!

nrhatch - April 30, 2014

The Earth and its inhabitants are facing many challenges from fracking, oil spills, climate change, factory farming, habitat destruction, etc. Often we can help in ways that ADD to the quality of our life ~ a win-win!

Hope you enjoy a bumper crop of self-grown food, Kate.

2. Naomi - April 30, 2014

Wow, mind-blowing statistics. Go Green America!

nrhatch - April 30, 2014

We have more choices than ever to reduce our carbon footprint and “walk lightly” on the Earth. Go Green!

3. Val Boyko - April 30, 2014

Great message Nancy!

nrhatch - April 30, 2014

Thanks, Val. If I’d been more on the ball, I might have shared this on Earth Day.

4. jannatwrites - April 30, 2014

I love it when I can buy used – saving money and the environment… can’t ask for much more!

nrhatch - April 30, 2014

Yes! Except for food. I never buy used food.

jannatwrites - April 30, 2014

hahaha…. I’m glad! Some things just should not be recycled 🙂

nrhatch - April 30, 2014

We’ll put chocolate at the top of that list!

5. Pix Under the Oaks - April 30, 2014

Wow! We recycle trees and yard stuff on the Tiny Ten. I am a crazy person about going around and unplugging things that are not in use! I have an outdoor clothesline but don’t use it often enough. We could be doing SO much more.

nrhatch - April 30, 2014

Like you, we do a lot (recycling, not wasting water, donating stuff, buying less, eating meatless meals, limiting our driving and flying, supporting environmental groups, writing our reps in D.C., etc.) but we could do more.

6. Piglet in Portugal - April 30, 2014

I love this idea. We upcycle/recycle as much as we can within the home or if we don’t need something we pass it on. When we take our rubbish to the local skip it’s amazing what people throw away. So far I’ve picked up a nearly new clothes airer, numerous containers which I’ve recycled as strwabery pots in the garden. A pge basket. Vegetable racks… the list goes on.

I’m just off to read your 25 Ways to Give and Get What You Need Without Money… 🙂

nrhatch - April 30, 2014

Cool! I find that many green things are also frugal things ~ leaving us $’s for more important things than shopping until we’re dropping.

Sounds like you make out quite well at the local skip. It is amazing what some people throw away. I’d much rather find someone to adopt the stuff we no longer need.

7. ericjbaker - April 30, 2014

This message gets drowned out by big corporations bent on selling us plastic junk. I swear it’s like they keep inventing electronic toys to distract everyone.

nrhatch - April 30, 2014

When they aren’t trying to get us to eat crap-for-us food, they are trying to get us to buy the latest and greatest gizmo, widget, or gadget.

On the plus side, they’ve given me lots of practice at mindfully watching commercials so that I no longer “take the bait.”

8. Three Well Beings - May 1, 2014

I have actually been looking for a good clothesline and thinking of getting one–again! The funny thing about that is that my backyard had a fabulous, steel reinforced clothesline probably installed sometime in the 30s or 40s and I took it out more than 30 years ago. And here I am now trying to find one again! I can hardly believe that I’m willing to revisit clothes pins. I think this is one of those times when I remember the song, “Everything old is new again!” I would like to study the National Green Pages. I’ll bet it’s inspiring!

nrhatch - May 1, 2014

Good luck finding clothesline and clothes pins, Debra. I expect they’ll find a more prominent spot in stores with our growing interest in renewable energy. Clothes drying on the line is a perfect example of “solar power” at work!

9. bluebee - May 1, 2014

“Dinner Co-ops: Cook One Meal, Eat for a Week” and ” Neighborhood Home Repair Teams” – what fantastic ideas!

I look at Denmark and wonder how they’ve managed to get it so right with their sustainability drives, not to mention their economy and services, and then I look at Australia and shake my head – for a 1st-world country, we seem to be going backwards, fast!

nrhatch - May 1, 2014

I expect that many first world countries will not be leaders in Green Technology because the “powers that be” are dragging their feet and digging in their heels to maintain the status quo.

Countries like Denmark will pave the way with new innovations and may emerge as the new first world.

10. Grannymar - May 1, 2014

For the past thirty seven years I have line dried my clothes, either outside in the garden or in the garage (in winter), where the heating boiler lives. I never had a tumble dryer, or dishwasher and I up-cycled my TV sixteen years ago. My laptop and radio are my toys, sure they keep me in-touch with the outside world at times. So apart from stopping cooking all my own meals and eating, there is not really much left for me to undo to save the planet.

nrhatch - May 1, 2014

In general, other countries aren’t the power hogs that Americans can be ~ houses are more moderate in size, there’s better public transport (trains, buses, etc.), people do more biking and walking for errands. Plus, people eat less without super-sizing everything. We are a bad example for the world to follow.

Grannymar - May 2, 2014

I have been to your side of the pond only once. The thing that shocked me, were the sizes of the food portions, and the fact that people left half of every course on their plates. Here we will skip a course or two if we are not hungry.

nrhatch - May 2, 2014

The portion sizes in many restaurants are obscene. We rarely go out to eat because the fare is almost never as good or as good-for-us as what we can make at home.

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