Wednesday, September 10, 2014

OK - I'm taking a couple days off from the office, but will be back again after the weekend. Thank you for understanding :)

Please do scroll through the archive posts though and feel free to share any information or resources with anyone in your contact list.

L.

Monday, September 8, 2014

It's easy to be green!



-- Quote of the Day -- 

 
" Nature is man’s teacher. She unfolds her treasures to his search, unseals his eye, illumes his mind, and purifies his heart; an influence breathes from all the sights and sounds of her existence."

 ~ Alfred Billings Street

-- Positive Living -- 

Nature is such a powerful entity, one that rejuvenates us and makes us whole. We can give back to nature and help protect sensitive living beings with some very simple steps. Fall is here and it is time to plant trees... That is always a good place to start. Planting a few trees on your property, donating some to the city park or local schools is always helpful to the community - or join some of the non-profits out there that plant trees for your with your donation. Starting a garden and landscaping your property, encouraging your apartment or condo building to start balcony and roof top gardens, creating more diversity in the gardens and landscaping... mulching and using water saving irrigation. 

Of equal impact is to pick up litter... when walking the streets and alleyways, when enjoying parks, when hiking trails or visiting lakeside shores - we can easily pick up some litter. Just pack a few plastic shopping or bread bags in your pocket and make an effort to fill at least one of them during your outing. Be sure to sort out the returnables and recyclables when you get home. If you have found something reusable (i.e. a child's toy, dog's ball, person's eye glasses) take it to a shelter, a thrift or second hand store, or some other outlet in your community that accepts donated items. 

Increase your recycling efforts at home and at work. Keep a box in the vehicle for recyclables too. 

These simple activities take very little time or effort, they cost virtually nothing (except in the case of planting perennials and trees of course) and each action has a massive ongoing impact on the environment, available resources, businesses, community, and health. These activities are easy to make into habits, and family activities, or workplace social events. 

Imagine how much of an impact you can have if you personally took on these activities this year, and every year after. How many people will you influence and inspire to do similar things? What if you got your business, fellow employees, or family involved? You'll see the positive impact of your efforts immediately and it is so satisfying.

To learn more about how you can save money, improve your community, build a better business, and make the world a better place  - visit: http://brummet.ca/store.html  - and look for the links pertaining to the Trash Talk - It's Easy To Be Green 2-part book series. ($6.99 ebook / $12.99 print version)






Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: http://brummet.ca * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well! 


Sunday, September 7, 2014

sustainable business



-- Quote of the Day -- 

 
" Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times,
if one only remembers to turn on the light. "

~ Steven Kloves

-- Positive News -- 

It is encouraging to see the business community taking notice of the impact they have on the environment and being willing to show concern and take steps to reduce their impact. Of course it is win-win, since today's educated consumer is looking to spend their budget in the most conscious way possible.


A new study done on Japanese businesses found that 70% are continually working towards and improving existing efforts on conservation, maternal health, human rights, advancement of women, prevention of environmental contamination and adaption to climate change. The country is now looking at ways to encourage business sector to also take actions against diseases, poverty and other social issues – and to expand their efforts to reaching beyond Japan’s borders.




Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: http://brummet.ca * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well! 


Saturday, September 6, 2014

World of Writing, interview



-- World of Writing -- 

Today’s interview comes to us via publicists Laura Watkins and Theresa Sneed
(Book Manager and Blog Tour Assistant) on behalf of their client - Deirdra Eden, and her latest release: The Watchers - Knight of Light. Deirdra has spent the last decade captivating audiences of all ages with her novels and fairy tales. Her specialty is paranormal theology that delves into documented historical phenomenon and natural disasters of biblical proportions that entices indulgence of a fine line between fact and fantasy. Find out more via: www.knightess.com

Deirdra enjoys jousting in arenas, sword fighting and archery, planning invasions, horseback riding through open meadows, swimming in the ocean, hiking up mountains, camping in cool shady woods, climbing trees barefoot, and going on adventures with her family.


Q: Deidre – tell us a little about yourself.
I love adventures, all different kinds of people, kitties and unicorns. I sword fight and do archery. I love to remodel old buildings and explore the woods. I can walk along the ocean coast for miles, looking for shells and pretty rocks or just being memorized by the waves. I love to walk across wooden bridges, hang out in tree houses, and eat black berries off the vine and fruit that I pick from the trees. My favorite time is in the morning at sunrise and when it rains. I have lots of other books I've illustrated, but the books I have planned for this series are:

Book #1: Knight of Light
Book #2: Hidden Fire
Book #3: Flood and Fire
Book #4: To Capture the Wind
Book #5 White Dragons
Book #6 The Silver Phoenix


Q: How long have you been writing? 
I can say I've been writing pretty seriously for seventeen years now. Holy smokes, I just realized how long that is and I'm just getting published now. I'm glad I didn't know how long it would take back then or I might have given up.

Q: Have you written in this genre before?
Fantasy is really all I've ever written before. I'm not sure why. I've tried writing other things, but its been too tempting to add in something fantastical.

Q: What advice would you give to someone who is interested in your topic?
Don't take fantasy so seriously. Just enjoy it. Stop looking for Hogsmeade Village on the map of England, and your debates over whether or not vampires sparkle is pointless. That's not what fantasy is about. Fantasy is meant to be a way for people to be somewhere and someone else for a while so when they come back to reality they feel empowered and understand themselves and the world with a happier and clearer perspective.

Q: What kinds of benefits come from participating in groups and organizations?
I can't even tell you how valuable advice is from someone else besides your friends and parents. Not only can they help you improve your skills, but they can also offer advice on the literary business.

Q: What are your thoughts on the publishing industry?
Plain and simple, everyone must find his or her own way in the publishing world. There is no one and only right way to publish.

  Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: http://brummet.ca * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well!  

 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Eco-fashion


Environmental And Social Standards In The Fashion Industry

* Today's article was written by: Dylan Tanner - an eco-entrepreneur and writer who founded the newsletters Asia and China Environmental Reviews and has been writing about environmental and social trends within a business context for fifteen years. His latest venture is a www.ekobai.com" B2B directory of SA 8000 certified companies and other certified suppliers.


Environmental, social and ethical pressures on the global textiles and fashion sector emerged in Europe in the early 1980s. The main driver was consumer concern over the safety of the materials. However in parallel with this trend, a minority group of ethical consumers demanded “chemical-free” and low environmental impact clothing and fashion goods. This resulted in the European and later the US organic labeling system being extended to include criteria for clothing and textiles, such as organic cotton. As of 2007, the sector was the fastest growing part of the global cotton industry with growth of more than 50% a year. With reference to safety standards, primarily addressing consumer concern over chemicals in textiles, the Oeko-Tex standard has become highly popular in the industry. Although unknown to consumers, It tests for chemicals such as flame retardants in clothes and categorizes goods according to their likely exposure to humans (e.g. baby clothes must adhere to the strictest standards for chemicals). Thus the issue of chemicals in clothing has become largely one of liability risk control for the industry with the consumers obviously expecting products to pose no risk to their health. Organic and eco fashion and textiles attracts a far smaller, but fast growing group of consumers, largely in Western Europe and Coastal US.

Of far greater concern to the global fashion sector is the issue of worker welfare. The issue was highlighted by pressure groups such as Global Exchange in the US targeting Levis and Nike and others.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s anecdotal evidence began emerging from labor activists in the US and Europe concerning the supply chains and overseas factories of leading US and European multinationals. A key target was the world's leading maker of denim jeans Levi Strauss, but more significantly Nike, the world's largest sports shoe marketing firm. Global Exchange launched its Nike Anti Sweatshop campaign, focusing on the firms sourcing in China and Indonesia.

Issues included child labor, minimum wages, working hours and employee benefits. Activists argued that such issues should not differ too widely from standards mandatory in the West, while Nike argued at the time that differing national economic and social conditions dictated different standards globally. A good deal of negotiations and stakeholder meetings led to a generally accepted code of practice for labor management in developing countries acceptable to most parties involved. 

The SA 8000 emerged as the leading industry driven voluntary standard on worker welfare issues. SA 8000 supporters now include the GAP, TNT and others and SAI reports that as of 2008, almost 1 million workers in 1700 facilities have achieved SA 8000 certification. Such a certification requires investment in the process but also more significantly in changing labor practices such as wage structures. It is clearly being driven by large US and European multinationals that may require certain suppliers to gain certification.

The Fair Trade movement has also had a significant impact on the fashion business. The standard combines a number of ethical issues of potential concern to consumers – environmental factors, fair treatment of developing country suppliers and worker welfare. The Fair Trade label has show explosive growth.

Albeit on a very small scale and not always at the top end of the fashion industry, many niche brands have emerged which promote themselves primarily on sustainability grounds. People Tree in the UK states that it “creates Fair Trade and organic clothing and accessories by forming lasting partnerships with Fair Trade, organic producers in developing countries."

 Leading fashion journal Marie Claire ranked its “top 10” eco brands in a recent issue - and the key points they focused on were: remaining chemicals in clothing (certified by organic and Fair Trade labels), worker treatment (certified by SA 8000 and Fair Trade) and increasingly mainstream environmental issues such as climate change. 

The Carbon Reduction Label verifies a product’s cradle-to-grave carbon footprint, although is not specific to clothing. Mainstream brands such as Louis Vuitton, Gucci, H&M and Zara have been slower to make firm commitments on the full rage of ethical issues due to the difficulties of switching their supply chains and products lines completely in favor of organic or Fair Trade certified or other standards and norms. They are however, moving slowing to ensure they capture the market if it becomes significant – the world’s largest fashion brand Louis Vuitton recently acquired a small eco fashion label. It is clear, however from the example of Nike and Levis, that certain issues are here to stay, such as a demand by Western consumers that leading brands manage the issue of worker welfare in their supply chain properly.


Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: http://brummet.ca * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well! 


Thursday, September 4, 2014

Joys of Nature

-- Quote of the Day -- 

 
"The tulip and the butterfly
Appear in gayer coats than I:
Let me be dressed fine as I will,
Flies, worms, and flowers exceed me still."

~ Isaac Watts



 Ah the joy of viewing nature. One of the things about gardening that keeps me going is simply watching things grow. Plants constantly amaze me with starting out as one little brown hard lumpy seed, to producing an amazing array of colors, leaves, heights, textures, flowers - each providing the earth with a service: each feeding and nurturing other life, each giving back even at the end of their lives to help improve the quality of the soil. 

I love watching the different colored insects that come along throughout different times of the day - and birds too. Butterflies of different sizes, amazing color displays... iridescent bees and so on. I often discover a life form I haven't heard of or seen before and that sends me running to the book shelf or to the online search engine to learn what I can about them. 

When camping and hiking I've sometimes brought identification books with me to try and figure out what the plants or mushrooms or trees are. I'm not terribly knowledgeable because I often forget what I looked up last year, or before that even... but I enjoy the process.

Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: http://brummet.ca * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well! 


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Part 2 - Scolarships and grants for people interested in Green Jobs



 This is the 2nd installment of a 2-part article offering resources for people looking for new careers or help for their intended career in the realm of green jobs. Part 1 was published on September 1st.  So here is Part 2 of:

50 Awesome Scholarships For Eco-minded Students

* Written by Raj Prince


  26. Blade Your Ride Scholarship - Offered to full-time undergrad and grad students at an accredited university or college in the US. One student will get $15,000, and two will get $5,000.

27. American Fisheries Society

28. Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation - Called the Wildlife Leadership Awards, it covers a $2,000 scholarship, plus a one-year membership to the Elk Foundation.

29. American Ground Water Trust - Offers opportunities to college eco-students who wish to get into ground water studies
30. The Explorers Club - Awards $500 to $1500 to high school students and college undergrads.

31. National Wild Turkey Federation - Awards $250 to deserving students, who will then become eligible to compete for a $1,000 scholarship. The winners in their respective provinces compete for the national scholarship, worth $10,000.

32. Walt Disney Scholarship Fund - Awards $100,000 to grad students in conservation and environmental education.

33. United States Society on Dams - Awards $1,000 to $10,000 scholarships to deserving graduate-level students who have research studies relevant to dam-related topics.

34. American Nuclear Society - Awarded to engineering or science majors.

35. Snograss Memorial Research Award - Awards monetary grants to graduate students who are engaged in entomology, particularly arthropods, taxonomy, or evolution.

36. BioQuip Undergraduate Scholarship - Offers $2,000 to undergraduates who want to achieve a entomology degree or pursue a career as an entomologist

37. Jeffery P. LaFage Graduate Student Research Award

38. Stan Beck Fellowship - offered to graduate and undergraduate students entomology.

39. National Poultry & Food Distributors Association- Agriculture scholarships

40 Professional Soil Scientists Association

41. American Meteorological Society

42. Wisconsin Environmental Health Association

43. Florida Environmental Health Association

44. National Association of Geoscience Teachers, Far Western Section

45. North Carolina Association of Nurserymen

46. British Columbia Aboriginal Fisheries Commission

47. Perennial Plant Association Scholarship

48. Golden State Bonsai Federation (California)

49. American Indian Science & Engineering Society

50. American Electroplaters and Surface Finishers Society - Environmental Engineering 

 
 

 With the multitude of eco-related scholarships for eco-students, choosing where to apply entails a major task ahead. Hopefully, with this list of 50 awesome scholarships for eco-minded students you'll be able to narrow your choices down to find out which suits you best. 


* I'd also like to add to this article's information by saying simply going online and using the organization title as a key word you can find out a lot more about what they are offering and any requirements they may have. Perhaps you can find several scholarships and grants, instead of focusing on just one source. Don't forget to do a search online for your particular area, country, county, state, province, city, etc. You never know what you might find. There are grants and scholarships for all ages to be found, if we just put in the time to look.  You might also find the interviews we have done on our radio show with non-profits and environmental groups where you can learn how they are run, difficulties they have faced and what they did to over come issues, and much more. There are also lots of job search, interview and resume discussions with a wide array of professionals that may help you as well. 

Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: http://brummet.ca * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well!