Monthly Archives: February 2009

TimeBanks

Today i attended a meeting about TimeBanks. I had never heard of them and didn’t even know they existed. I had read an article in the local rag which sparked my interest on the subject. They are like the barter section of craigslist, but far more intimate.

TimeBanks are organized throughout the United States. I am participating in the one in Durango. This is how they work. For every hour you spend doing something for someone in the TimeBank community, you earn one TIme Dollar. This is especially excellent if money is tight and you always wanted to take piano lessons. Piano lessons can be pricey, but rightly so. So, there is a woman that offers piano lessons, you can earn a time dollar by doing something for her, or for someone else. Let’s say you are a great gardener. You spend some time helping someone in their garden, you earn the time dollars for the amount of time spent helping and you use them to take piano lessons. Just like the monetary world, instead, with services. My thoughts are that the people who participate and the services they contribute will be completely genuine and open.

This is a great way to meet people and become more of a community. It’s a great way to offer your services and in exchange do something you have always desired to do. i am excited. There are people of all ages participating. No one age group is represented more than any other. People are offering babysitting, knitting, dance lessons, piano lessons, driving you to an errand, gardening skills, computer knowledge and the list pours on.

The group in Durango is just getting started. Their first plan of action is to spread the word and create a large community. Who knows what can happen from here. It is just so nice to know people are coming together to help each other. It’s a good feeling.

Check to see if there is one in your area. Go to the website and click on search TimeBanks. They are listed alphabetically. Enjoy!

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Drink up and Fuel the Nation!

…At least that is what some beer companies are aiming for.  According to a recent article in Environmental Leader, the companies E-Fuel Corp and the good folks at Sierra Nevada have teamed up to start producing ethanol from discarded beer waste!  Pretty darn innovative right?  Well turns out that Molson Coors, yep the folks that bring you Keystone and Coors, have been producing ethanol from beer waste since 1996 and produce almost 300 million gallons a year!  Woah!  Surprise to me!  Well, at least those beers are good for something, right?

In fact, it was some ethanol produced by the Coor’s beer waste that fueled the vehicles at the Democratic National Convention last year!  This was just one of the many green initiatives that was taken on by the DNC last year.  To further, the convention had green events happening everyday to encourage attendees to live with a lighter footprint.  As a planner I am so happy to see events like this, and to see so much waste be diverted with a little progressive planning!

So if Sierra Nevada and Coors beers are not your thing, you can always reduce your beer’s footprint by buying organic beer, locally brewed beer, or even brewing your own!  Check out BeerTown.org to find a local brewery in your area and help save some transportation resources while supporting your local economy.  If you enjoy projects and libation, then home brewing your own organic beer may be for you!  Check out Seven Bridges Co-operative for all your home brewing needs.

So drink up folks and re-power America!


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Carrotmob

carrotmob

So, one day while I was perusing the internet, I stumbled across a group called Carrotmob. They are incredible. They are a group of individuals who believe global warming is a real problem. They also believe that corporations and businesses use the most energy and would do anything for money. That being the problem and solution; they would do anything for money.

For their first event they polled 23 liquor stores in a San Francisco neighborhood. They told these liquor stores that they would bring a crowd of people to buy from them, if they would give a portion of their sales that day towards making their business more energy-efficient. The liquor store that bid the highest percentage, at 22%, won the deal. So, Carrotmob brought in an environmental specialist to investigate the store, it’s energy consumption and the appliances being used. As a result, the environmental specialist provided an estimate as to how much money it would take to make the liquor store energy efficient.

The big day arrived, a Saturday afternoon and a crowd lined the entire block leading to the entrance of the liquor store. Two hours later the last people entered the store to buy some goodies. Luckily, the liquor store sold food and household items as well. People from the crowd were interviewed and all seemed genuinely motivated and touched that an organized buying event could have so much impact. Talks of moving to bigger corporations and making other demands started to sprout.

The store, owned by the Lee family, stated that their average weekday earnings equaled $1800-$2000 and their average weekend earnings equaled $3000. Their hopes were to earn $5000 the day of the Carrotmob event. Believe it or not, they earned over $9000. Three hundred sixty-six pounds of food that was bought, was donated to the San Francisco area food bank. With the help of rebates, enough money was raised for the store to completely redo its light system, lamps, ballasters, pay for the labor for the retrofit, buy new gaskets for the refrigerators and pay the hazardous waste disposal fee.

How incredible is that! All it takes is some organization and bringing people together to demand for greener business choices. Take it to the corporate level and let’s see what can happen. Funny enough, we are the consumers and the reason why things are created. That’s a pretty good position to be in. Let’s collect our money and start negotiating!

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Meet the New Urban Eco Nester!

Please welcome Kasi Schnell to the Urban Eco Nest!  This lady bird is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to sustainability and green living and will be a co-nester on this blog.  Check out her biography on the Nesters Page and look out for her posts!

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