Thursday, July 17, 2008

Santa Barbara Green Spot is now GreenFixes

Many of the conscious spending blog readers are also fans of Santa Barbara Green Spot, so I wanted to let you all know that Crystal's bitchin' blog has officially been changed to GreenFixes, located at

This blog has a national focus in environmental issues, thus the name was changed to best communicate/fit the solutions presented in the blog.

If you were a subscribed reader, please change your saved website link to the new one.

Green Fixes is for all things related to sustainable business industry trends and best practices.

The green fix blog and business goal: Uniting businesses with our natural environment by allowing them to value the services provided by a rich and diverse natural environment while still remaining profitable, competitive, and valuable to shareholders.


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Impact of Plastic Bags

My fabulous friend Samantha emailed a great link to me today - remember to be conscious when you use those eco-icky bags and watch this!

It's very important to understand what plastic bags are doing to our environment and the health of the planet. When you watch this link and you will be amazed...We need to kick the plastic bag habit!

I know many of our blog readers are already "converts" and try to no longer use plastic bags, but we can always have further convincing...

Many countries around the world and some cities in the USA have banned the use of plastics bags. If your town doesn’t have a ban, get one!!!
Please forward these photos and information on the damage to our earth and its life caused by plastic bags (made from an oil by-product).

4 Ways to Reduce E-Waste

Co-Op America emailed out a GREAT checklist on easy ways to reduce e-waste!

1. Check your television. – Many TVs made after 2003 were equipped with digital tuners. Look for a label that says "Integrated Digital Tuner," "Integrated Digital Receiver," "Digital Receiver Built-in," or "Digital Receiver Built-in." If you have a digital tuner already, you're all set.

2. Use a converter box. – If you don't have a digital tuner, a set-top converter box can still keep your TV from becoming e-waste. Each household is eligible to receive two vouchers, valued at $40 each, to use toward purchase of a converter. Check out for more information.

3. Recycle your television – If you must purchase a new television, make sure your old one isn't simply carted to a landfill. The Basel Action Network provides a list of recyclers who have pledged not to export hazardous e-waste. Also, Sony is offering a free take-back program for all Sony electronics in the US.

4.Speak out about the e-waste nightmare -- Finally, take our action to tell the FCC that you're concerned about the coming deluge of e-waste that may be triggered by the digital switch. Tell the FCC to require manufacturers to follow Sony's lead and take responsibility for their products throughout their entire life cycles.

BONUS ENERGY-SAVING STEPS: If you must purchase a new television, look for an LCD (liquid crystal display) model, marked with the Energy Star label. LCDs use six times less energy than plasma screen models. You can cut your energy use further by unplugging your TV (and its attached appliances) when you're not watching it; this prevents your electronics from consuming electricity even while not in use.

Please forward this blog post to all your friends and family. We need as many people as possible to understand how to reduce the impact of the digital switch, and we need a groundswell of pressure on the FCC and the electronics companies to manage the e-waste problem better.

Send an e-mail to the FCC today and visit our Responsible to find contact information for major electronics manufacturers, and links to the TV TakeBack campaign.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Electric Bikes = Happy Environment

We stumbled upon a great article on Santa Barbara Electric Bicycle's blog about The positive Impact Electric Bikes have on our environment

According to the post, "Using an electric bicycle instead of an automobile greatly reduces your carbon footprint! The average car emits 1 pound of CO2 for every mile driven. By using an electric bike you will be reducing pollution in the form of CO2, as well as NOX, tire and brake lining fragmants."

So you reduce carbon emissions AND get fit - how coolio is that? :)

Monday, April 28, 2008

Natural Glue - Egg Whites!

Hey Conscious Spenders!
It's been a loooooooooooong time since I posted...but I just got re-inspired by a really cool tip on an egg white blog (of all places!) that inspired me to post about non-toxic glue! Hope this is a handy tip!

From the Organic Egg White Blog powered by Eggology:

Egg Whites are Not Just for Eating!
Did you know that you can use egg whites as a glue substitute? Use it to glue paper or light cardboard in place of white glue.

So while you are buying natural, healthy food, you can re-purpose it for glue - how conscious is that! :)

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

20% OFF Spring Dresses and Skirts at Greenloop

Eco Fashion Baby! Save 20% on spring dresses

User Code: DRESS20. Offer valid until Sunday, April 13th, 2008

First ever Seattle Green Festival at the Washington State Convention and Trade Center

Co-op America is extending a special invite for their first ever Seattle Green Festival!

A two-day party with a purpose, the Green Festival celebrates what’s working in your communities — showcasing the latest in renewable energy, recycled products, sweatshop-free clothing, Fair Trade, organic food, and much more!

With admission to Green Festival you will be offered a FREE Co-op America membership. You will receive the National Green Pages™, Guide to Socially Responsible Investing, Real Money Newsletter and Co-op America Quarterly for FREE.

All you have to do is stop by the Co-Op America booth and sign up!

Their roster of more than 150 visionary speakers this year includes Amory Lovins, Bishop Steven Charleston, Frances More Lappe, Gifford Pinchot III, and Amy Goodman. We'll have more than 300 green business exhibitors, Clothing Swap-o-rama-rama, Community Action Center, delicious organic cuisine, cutting-edge Green films, Fair Trade Pavilion, green shopping, and hands-on workshops on everything from green buildings to green careers.Come experience the best of the green economy, all under one roof.

If you are in Seattle, this weekend, take advantage of this special opportunity!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

16 Ways to Heal Your Home

Co-Op America sent an email today with great new links to help your home...

From Co-Op America:

"Did you know that here in the US, about 80,000 industrial chemicals are registered for use in all of the products we eat, touch‚ wear‚ and use to furnish our homes… but that fewer than 20 percent have been tested for their impact on human health and the environment?

These include ingredients in our food, household cleaners‚ and body care products. They include chemicals used on and in toys and furniture and clothing and bed linens.

Wouldn't it make more sense to prove a chemical is safe before running the risk of harming people who use the product‚ workers who make it, and the communities where the manufacturing facilities are located?

That’s the idea behind the Precautionary Principle. It turns right-side-up the upside-down way our society makes decisions about risk. The Precautionary Principle requires proof that products are safe‚ and errs on the side of caution."

Co-Op America added a Healthy Home Center to their website, pulling together the best "healthy home" articles from our green-living newsletter‚ Real Money‚ along with new tips and strategies from the spring issue of our Co-op America Quarterly magazine.

Check out their great 16 Ways to Heal Your Home link...

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

New Guide to Ending Sweatshops

Co-Op America recently launched their 2008 Guide to Ending Sweatshops. They want to make it easier for you to avoid the worst companies, reward the best, and take action to keep sweatshop labor out of the supply chain.

Be a conscious spender, be aware, make good choice, support Co-Op America so they can help us!

Monday, March 31, 2008

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Earth Hour will be the largest voluntary power down in history

Tonight, March 29, the world will take a stand. Millions of people from Australia to America and buildings including the Sears Tower and the Golden Gate Bridge will turn off their lights for one hour to show how working together we can make a difference in the fight against climate change. Staring in Christchurch, New Zealand, Earth Hour will roll through 14 time zones, wrapping up in the Pacific Time zone representative San Francisco, CA. Traversing more than 25 cities in 10 countries, Earth Hour will be the largest voluntary power down in history.

Please consider participating in this effort by, that's right, shutting off your lights tonight from 8-9.

Who's Involved?

World Wildlife Fund

Sports Teams and Corporations

Phoenix Suns

Chicago Bears

Hewlett Packard


National Geographic Channel

McDonald's will turn off its golden arches in over 480 locations in Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana.

Flagship Cities

Aalborg, Denmark

Aarhus, Denmark

Adelaide, Australia

Atlanta, United States

Bangkok, Thailand

Brisbane, Australia

Canberra, Australia

Chicago, United States

Christchurch, New Zealand

Copenhagen, Denmark

Dublin, Ireland

Haifa, Israel

Manila, Philippines

Melbourne, Australia

Montreal, Canada

Odense, Denmark

Ottawa, Canada

Perth, Australia

Phoenix, United States

San Francisco, United States

Suva, Fiji

Sydney – Australia

Tel Aviv, Israel

Toronto, Canada

Vancouver, Canada

Find out more

Spread the message.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Push Large American Mutual Funds to Use their Clout to Push Companies in Climate Change

Co-op America needs our them help you by pushing some of the largest mutual funds in America to use their biggest weapon (their wallets!) to push companies on climate change.

This just in from Co-op America's email:
"Mutual funds like American Funds, Morgan Stanley, Pioneer, Vanguard, and more have a history of abstaining or voting against climate resolutions. Tell them with us that the time to act is now.

Push mutual funds to act on climate change »"

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Big deals at Patagonia

Patagonia, one the the goodest (I know that's not a word, but it's our blog and we can do what we want to) companies on the planet. If you need any great gear that will last a lifetime, then check out their uber-fab dealios:

From a Patagonia email:

After your downwind paddle, glide on over to the Web Specials* section of and dig in to some discounted gear. The list below is just a sampling of the off-season and special make-up items you'll find at 30-60% off retail prices. Styles, colors and prices change periodically so check back often.

M's Nooner Jacket Was $138 NOW $70

W's Braata Flair Pants Was $50 NOW $30

Overhead Shed Was $245 NOW $125

Critical Mass® Bag Was $99 NOW $49

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Organic Style Early Bunny Special: Tulips + Chocolate Giveaway

Hey Conscious Spenders! If you are in the market to send flowers, go organic!

Organic Style sent an email out announcing a special flower deal with - they are offering a FREE chocolate gift with Easter Tulips!

Organic gifty fabulousness!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Contact Your Senator Today to Vote YES on Toy Safety Amendment

Three Leaf Cards loves the Breast Cancer fund because they work so hard to get to the root of breast cancer issues - it's all about research and education and health issues start early....

I never think about toys being toxic, but they can be and you can help. From a recent BCF email:

"What started with lead in children's toys has become much more—and forced us all to look more critically at the toys and teethers we buy for our kids.

Yesterday, Sen. Dianne Feinstein introduced an amendment to the Consumer Product Safety Commission Reform Act that would ban six toxic chemicals called phthalates from children's toys and child care articles. A vote on the amendment is expected this week.

Phthalates, a family of industrial chemicals used to make plastic soft, have been linked to birth defects in baby boys, testicular cancer, liver problems and early onset of puberty in girls—a risk factor for later-life breast cancer.

The European Union and 14 other countries, including Japan, Argentina and Mexico, have already banned these toxic chemicals from children's toys. In October 2007, California became the first state in the nation to enact a statewide ban on phthalates in children's toys, and now about a dozen states are following suit.

Urge your senator to vote yes on the Feinstein amendment, and to oppose any weakening amendments.

Contact your senator TODAY »
USA Today: "Everywhere chemicals" in plastics alarm parents »
Ask friends and family to take action »

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Our way of life is killing the planet

I rarely use the blog to rant - it is my job to give you ideas about how to spend consciously, but I had a crude awakening over the weekend that I wanted to share as I think it applies to some of our planetary pitfalls and if we don't become more aware of the connection of our lifestyle and the impacts of it on the planet, we will hose ourselves.

Okay, here I go....

I travel a lot for work and as a conscious spender, I work to offest my impact with things like Terrapass to offest my carbon emissions for driving, to stop junk mail, I use eco-friendly cleaning products and I support conscious businesses....BUT...I was strapped for cash last weekend and selected a more budget hotel (vs. a sustainable hotel) this weekend (I was teaching in the Bay area) and because I had time alone to think and observe, I really got a nasty taste of our time-crunched culture and how our way of life may be a direct link to the negative dent on the planet....

Let me explain....

I stopped to get gas as I drove up the coast and the places I stopped at for gas only sell junk...plastic water bottle everything, packaged foods, ick. I watched as my fellow travelers purchased dozens of plastic bottled goods and body-toxifying items (that really aren't food when you think about it) All the junk being sold at "convenience stores" have packaging that can end up in landfills OR hopefully some plastic will get recycled, but it's really disturbing when you look hard at it...

I will not name the hotel I stayed it, but I can tell you that I am NEVER staying there again! I got up for my continental breakfast and I was abhorred by:
1. All the crap that was out for breakfast
2. That ALL the serving utensils were plastic or foam!
3. All the trashable crap that was in my room from coffee making items, toiletries and more.

To help diminish my eco-impact at breakfast, I went up to my room and got my personal cup for coffee but I was really freaking out as I watched my fellow travelers eat fast, eat stupid and worst of all - waste, waste, waste.

Shame on the hotel for not being mindful of the products they put out, but

SHAME ON US for our time-crunched culture where we all move so fast and multi task and eat on the run so we make so much waste. I really believe that our culture is the culprit and until we change our lifestyles, we cannot make the best choices for our planet and future generations.

It's hard being a single girl on a's not always easy to support eco-friendly hotels when you have bills to pay, but frankly, I'd rather be poor in paradise then go cheap and stay somewhere like I did last weekend.

We CAN make a difference if we care and are aware. I want everyone to think about ways they can ease the time crunch so you have time to fill your own reusable cups before you hit the road, actually eat while sitting down so your body gets the nourishment it needs and you can take a moment to breathe and remember to recycle, make conscious choices and give a damn...

I welcome all opinions - I need ideas, thoughts, challenging opinions!

Friday, February 29, 2008


Yep, you heard plastic water bottles :) I committed to not buying plastic water bottles as part of the no Plastic Water bottle Challenge hosted by the Brooklyn Green Team and that is my story, and I am sticking to it!

I am 11 days into my commitment and it's been no problemo. I even walked my desk-ridden bum down to the water dispenser (a few blocks away from the home office) this week with two gallon jugs and paid my 60 cents to refill them then walked home. Eco-friendly, low cost workout for a healthy planet and healthier body!

Your future Brooklyn green friends (SIGN UP) send reminders once you commit to the challenge and I love the great tips. Here's one from this week:

"Remember to use a ceramic or glass mug for your liquids throughout the day and when you need water on the go, look for a #1 or #2 plastic to avoid leaching. OR try Swellz a company that makes water sacks, hand-made in Spain (the original birthplace of water sacks) using latex interiors hand sewn with soft leather with a handy-strap for carrying. They're good for hot and cold and they age like a favorite baseball glove."

Three Leaf Cards is also supporting the challenge by donating a free one-year e-card membership every week until Earth Day for individuals who join the challenge. Our eco-cool cards are nature-inspired online greeting cards (tree-free!) and we donate 10% each of annual membership fees to nonprofit organizations.

Erase waste, reduce, reuse, recycle! And join the no water bottle challenge - I DARE YOU!!!

Kick the Disposable Lifestyle this FEBRUARY - APRIL
To Join, email and write SIGN ME UP! (please include your first and last name or at least last initial)

Thursday, February 28, 2008

A GreenSage Guide to Indoor Air Quality

Elaine Ireland did a great post for, Where Every Issue is a Green Issue (love that!) on Indoor Air Quality.

Did you know that one of the WORST places we can be for toxins is inside and worse, in our homes (eeek!) We have to think about this stuff...environmental issues are not just political, they are emotional because they impact our health!

Per Elaine's post:
"Thousand of pollutants are found indoors. Chemicals, particulates and biological contaminants can wreak havoc on occupants. Indoor exposure concentrations are one to five times, and sometimes as much as 100 times, more polluted than outdoors. Here's the Guide to what these pollutants are and what you can do."

Check out the GreenSage Guide to Indoor Air Quality

Consciousness starts with awareness - pay attention to your environment (and I'm not just talking about outside!!!)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Santa Barbara Sustainability Blog

A super cool Santa Barbaraian, launched a Santa Barbara Sustainability Blog that we wanted to share - it is a blog with passion and purpose:

"This project is to educate and inform while providing consultation and "green" ides to companies so that they may make better strategic business plans that include "go-green" eco-friendly ideas that will support our surrounding environment and will save companies money."

The blogger, Crystal, is a student at Antioch University in Santa Barbara, Ca. It is so cool to see great resources like sustainability blogs pop up online! Bookmark this blog babes - this blog will be a wealth of information!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Story of Stuff - You HAVE to watch this!

One of my super great friends just sent me the link to the Story of Stuff - so cool!

The site explains the video well:

"From its extraction through sale, use and disposal, all the stuff in our lives affects communities at home and abroad, yet most of this is hidden from view. The Story of Stuff is a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns. The Story of Stuff exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world. It'll teach you something, it'll make you laugh, and it just may change the way you look at all the stuff in your life forever."

You owe it to yourself and family to watch this and be a conscious consumer!!!

Kenneth Cole Launches New Fashion aWEARness Blog

Kenneth Cole has always been a trendsetter, not only with his stellar style, but also in his social, political and environmental activism.

Now Cole has an aWEARness (how cool is he?) blog to communicate and generate awareness about social issues and more.

It's about time fashion REALLY met function. Support companies like Kenneth Cole who are gusty enough to flex the art of fashion and the power of media to influence greater good.

Check out the new aWEARness blog by Kenneth Cole.

This YouTube Video put on by the Kenneth Cole team made me cry at my desk. This is what it's about conscious spenders - being aware and learning to care...

Monday, February 25, 2008

Patagonia & UClimb invites rock climbing beginners to Joshua Tree

For many people interested in learning to rock climb, the most
daunting hurdle is finding a safe and cost effective first experience
more than the physical challenge of climbing itself. UClimb, an
organization designed to bring people closer to the outdoors by
teaching rock climbing in comfortable small-group settings, is an
ideal entry point for those with the desire to do just that. One of
four national UClimb events occurring in 2008 will be hosted in Joshua
Tree, California on April 12-13.

Sponsored by Mountain Gear and Patagonia, the Joshua Tree UClimb event
will include professional climbing instruction. Instructors will take
small groups of climbers to get hands-on experience while learning
climbing techniques, how to use the gear, knot tying, belaying and

"UClimb is dedicated to not only getting new rock climbers involved in
the sport, but also getting people enthusiastic about outdoor
activity," said Phil Bridgers, UClimb event coordinator.

Registration for the weekend event begins at $159 for youth ages 10-17
and $199 for adults. Registration includes professional climbing
instruction, camping at Indian Cove Campground on Friday and Saturday,
transportation from the campground to the climbing areas, a barbeque
on Saturday and a pancake breakfast on Sunday.

For more information and to register, call 800.829.2009 or visit:

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Day 7 of the No Water Bottle Challenge!

I am on day 7 of my commitment to not use disposable water bottles challenge I have successfully re-used my containers for gym water and have not purchased any plastic bottles!

I walk my gallon jugs to a little water refiller in Summerland, Ca where I live so I am even re-using my old gallon jugs.

Since I committed to the challenge, I have been really surprised at how aware I am of ALL the plastic water, gatorade, juice and tea that are everywhere. Dang, what happened to actually pouring or making a beverage and not having to throw it in our eco-raper cars and drive to our next "thing" Yeesch.

As I work on my issues with our time crunched nation and societal norms and consumption, I will continue to blog about the challenge and anything green and great!

Be aware, make great choices and think not just about the now but how our actions impact the future!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Last Day of Patagonia's 50% Savings on Warm Gear!

Hey Conscious Spenders!
If you need (note - NEED) any winter or warm gear that will last through the ages (Patagonia stuff lasts forever!) Then you can still find super steals and deals on fall/winter Patagonia clothing.

The Winterfest Sale ends today!

Shop Patagonia Sale

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Tell America's Banks: Clean Energy Now!

Co-Op America, one of my favorite non-profit organizations on the planet (that serves to help the planet!) is urging us to tell America's banks that we want clean energy now. We CAN make a difference and sway the organizations we support to continue to serve our wants and needs.

The tide is turning for coal, which is a devastating environmental call (if you have ever seen a coal plant live, it is the most disgusting thing ever!) Good new is that three of America’s biggest investment banks – Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, and J.P. Morgan Chase – announced that they have developed new “Carbon Principles,” calling for increased investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy, and limited investments in coal.

The door is still open for these three banks to invest in coal – if it can be shown to turn a profit – and their new standards don’t go far enough in limiting other polluting technologies, or in funding green energy solutions, so we need to communicate our desire as customers of all institutions that we won't settle for pollution.

A recent study released by Ceres ranked the world’s banks on their commitment to addressing carbon emissions, with European banks taking the top five slots in their survey. And compared to community investing banks and credit unions nationwide, which set the standard for lending that helps communities and the environment, America’s largest banks are in the dark ages.

Help Co-op America help you as a banking and financial services customer, to reach out to four of America’s largest banks – Citigroup, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Wachovia – and tell them they need to do more on climate change. They need to end all financing of coal, set targets for the reductions of CO2 emissions for all their borrowers, and set targets for investments in energy efficiency and renewables.

A few years ago, 150 new coal-fired power plants were proposed across the country. Co-op America’s members and e-activists raised their voices to say to no to the utilities that propose coal plants and the banks that finance them, and in the last two years, 15 plants opposed by Co-op America have been canceled – with dozens more canceled after local and national opposition. We need to keep the momentum up to convince banks that coal is never a good investment.