20 August 2007

al gore: where's the truth?

many of you have commented (thank you) on the entries in this blog about al gore and the claims that he's an energy hog--preaching something different than he's practicing. i would love to provide both sides of the story but having a difficult time nailing down anything more than just hypocritical claims or information on personal blogs toward the environmental prophet. if you have details, i.e., links, papers, please pass them along to me as i strive to keep this blog educational so we can all make our own decisions about the environment's direction.

keep the comments coming. whether positive or negative, we welcome them all.

16 August 2007

be green in your sleep.

focused on giving back to her community and managing her environmental responsibility, denise stevens shares luxurious comforts for home--home, baby, pets, body--through lush comforts.

"do as i say, not as i do."

today is madonna's 49th birthday. happy freakin' birthday.

for the most part, i like madonna.

but then i learned how un-green she is and it all changed. she's truly a material girl--seeming more focused on investments financially than following the lead of her celebrity associates and large money donors to preserve and save our earth.

she sang at the live earth show earlier this summer and spoke as if she truly believed in the cause. maybe she does. but her actions suggest otherwise: she has invested about $2.7 million in companies that damage our environment instead of save or preserve it. (article from fox news below.)

she and jennifer aniston should join forces. together they could be trailblazers in destroying any environmental resources we have left.


Friday, July 06, 2007

'Green' Means Money, Not Environmentalism to Madonna

Madonna had better clean up her business before she starts cleaning up the world.

The Material Mom is the headliner at tomorrow night's Live Earth show from London's Wembley Stadium. But guess what? For her, the word green means money, not the environment.

Madonna, who seems to be on top of all her many business endeavors, has actually invested about $2.7 million dollars in companies that are creating the destruction that Live Earth is trying to raise awareness about. She has invested in several companies named as the biggest corporate polluters in the world.

It's a cruel irony that Madonna's Ray of Light Foundation owns blocks of shares in companies that folks like Al Gore and Leonardo DiCaprio would like to see punished and rehabilitated for their attitudes toward global warming, climate control and basic pollution.

The companies include Alcoa, Ingersoll Rand, Weyerhaeuser, and several others associated with oil exploration, digging, and refining including British Petroleum, Schlumberger (a chief competitor of Halliburton), Devon Energy, Peabody Energy, Emerson Electric, Kimberly Clark and Weatherford International.

In 2002, the University of Massachusetts' Political Research Institute ranked Alcoa No. 9 on a list of all-time toxic American companies. And I don't mean toxic as in toxic bachelor. This is toxic as in air pollution.

The same UMass PRI study ranked Ford Motor Company at No. 7 on the Toxic Top 10. Northrop Grumman was No. 17. Weyerhaeuser was No. 42. Emerson Electric was No. 56. 3M Corp was No. 70. Kimberly Clark was No. 96.

You get the picture. Madonna's Ray of Light Foundation has stock in each of these companies. Her last published tax statement claims $4.2 million in corporate stock, and only $620,000 in donations to other charities including her pet project: the Kabbalah Center.

Madonna even has 175,000 shares of Ford Motor Company, which in 2005 — the last year for which Ray of Light Foundation's tax form is available — had only one hybrid SUV in its fleet. Even now, but certainly then, Ford was/is not known as a green company. The only obvious thing Ford and Madonna have in common is Detroit — although it could be argued that only Ford has retained its Midwest accent.

Take Weyerhaeuser Corporation, a "forest products" company that is basically in the business of killing trees for paper and wood for housing. In 2005, Madonna owed roughly 1,100 shares valued at an average price of $63. Since then, the share price is up to around $80. If her number of shares remained constant, she's made a nice profit over the last two years.

But Weyerhaeuser is no friend of the green community. A story posted on the Rainforest Action Network details Weyerhaeuser's ongoing fight with environmental activists who call the Seattle-based corporation "a bad investment" and "one of America's worst environmental performers."

Even if more than half the Network's characterizations of Weyerhaeuser are hyperbolic, one has to wonder why Madonna has put even a penny into the company if she has any feeling for environmental causes. But that's an inconvenient question for the material girl as she prepares to close the Live Earth show live from London.

Worse — public relations-wise — than Weyerhaeuser is Madonna's investment in Alcoa, the Aluminum Company of America. Alcoa is under fire all over the world, especially in Iceland, for building aluminum smelters that some feel threaten the environment.

The Ray of Light Foundation's Schedule of Realized Gains and Losses is revealing in many ways. It shows that Madonna, while eager to espouse politically correct beliefs, simply does not put her money where her mouth is. The Ray of Light Foundation, for example, has only a few hundred shares of one media company: Viacom. Madonna didn't even carry an investment in Warner Music Group, the company that releases her music.

15 August 2007

address the mess

You've probably seen this already, perhaps even taken the quiz or watched The Convenientest Truth. But just in case you aren't hip to Comedy Central or haven't read TreeHugger yet this week, here's Address the Mess -- showing you how to clean up your act....

02 August 2007

breathe in, breathe out, breathe clean(er) with plants

With so much discussion about green and about carbon footprints, I thought I'd take this opportunity to promote a few of my favourite things (cue song from Sound of Music here). Plants. Or more specifically, houseplants. I grew up in a house with houseplants, and to me and my siblings, a house isn't a home without a few well-placed, well-kept plants. Have you heard the saying "the air inside your home may be more polluted than the air outside?" Think of all that carbon dioxide and water vapor you exhale in your house every day -- into rooms with poor ventilation and into air with poor circulation. Offset those greenhouse gases and help clean the air with a few lovely leafy plants. Let them drink in and enjoy some of the bi-products of your existence. (And of course, you can always plant a few bushes, flowering shrubs, or garden plants outside your house to add to the effort.)

If you want to do even more with your plants, feed them. And I don't mean with chemicals! You know those grape tomatoes that go squishy in your veggie drawer? or the strawberries that turned a grainy shade of brown before you ate them? or the rest of that mouldering head of lettuce that didn't quite get made into salad? Don't dump it! If you're not already composting, pour your old fruits and veggies into a blender, add enough water to sodden the mix, and blend it to a watery pulp -- then use that to feed and water your plants -- it's full of vitamin nutrition and it's a way to cut garbage! (Of course, you may find that a few baby tomato plants spring up where you don't expect them....)

So head down to your local garden center and pick up a few plants that catch your eye. They'll look great strategically placed around your home, and they'll be a friendly welcome to anyone who breathes.

(At my count while sitting here typing, I have 9 plants hanging out in my apartment -- and I'm looking forward to finding another addition in the near future.)

01 August 2007

recycle your computers san francisco!

so we all know it's important to recycle. way important. but there are just certain items that either seem un-recyclable or pose the question and wonder of where to recycle them? living in san francisco i've become blind to noticing all the computers and monitors and other electronics that litter the street. when I first moved here i found it to be so strange. like, why don't they just dump it in the trash? why leave it on the street? is it that difficult?

welcome to green citizen. green citizen is a self-proclaimed one stop shop for properly recycling your old computers and electronics--serving san francisco and silicon valley. no more leaving them littered on your neighbourhood sidewalk.

they provide everything from destroying your hard disks in a way that will protect your confidentiality to recycling batteries to providing you with collector boxes for those little electronic items. see their full list of items.

most items are free to recycle while a select few cost a couple bucks. that tiny cost is worth it. better than batteries oozing goop in landfills around our world.

be sure to read the scrolling list of comments on the right hand side from green citizen clients.