The company Amazon seems poised to one day take over the world. Whether it’s the ability to shop for virtually whatever we want in our underpants, or their newest innovation of trying to bring same day delivery of goods, Amazon never ceases to amaze. By venturing into green items, the firm is looking to bring a whole new shopping experience to those conscious of the environment.

The new site will be called and aims to provide only the most environmentally friendly goods to your household.  The company’s mission statement is to, “[e]xamine and scrutinize the claims made by each supplier and manufacturer so that, when adding a product to their basket, consumers can enjoy peace of mind that a purchase really is organic.”

Here is a screenshot of the website:


As you can see, the site offers a variety of products, ranging from household to grocery items.  That being said, we have seen some attempts by companies to make sustainable shopping easier and more convenient. One such example is Green America which, “…[i]s designed to help consumers source locally produced produce.” So what makes so different? Well, being that it is the brainchild of, you know quality and customer satisfaction are assured. Based on its past successful ventures and ideas, the firm seems only to expand its business when the concept is right and can benefit a majority of people. My experiences with the parent site have only been positive, and it is safe to assume that I will expect the same kind of experience when I use The fact that the site will have a dedicated team to making sure all of its products are environmentally friendly is both assuring and a sign of how far the green movement has come. With the help of, purchasing sustainable products will be even easier, and now with the added benefit of being able to do it in our favorite pair of Hanes.


Earlier this week, I commented on the 2012 NBC Education Nation Summit in New York City.   I voiced concerns that the education dialogue failed to address green issues, which potentially could be affected by its suggestions.  After a lively discussion with other “green” bloggers, I feel that I should qualify some of my stated concerns.

First of all and perhaps most importantly, I agree that technology is a key element in the education of America’s youth.  Tablets, computers and smart phones definitely deserve a place in the hands of students because they offer immediate global access to knowledge.  The exercise of using these devices in itself aids in the development of skills in critical thinking and problem solving.  Nonetheless,I stand by my concern that any movement to supply these devices to all students carries with it a responsibility and accountability for the proper management of these electronics in order to avoid pollution of the environment.  A plan has to be in place to properly recycle and/or dispose of obsolete devices.  Students simply cannot “throw them in the trash” and move on to the latest and greatest device.  Landfills simply cannot tolerate the potential volume of debris.

Secondly, any dialogue on the incorporation of digital instruments in the educational system must include concern over the lack of access to Internet service by many communities in this country.  An examination of recent statistics by the Federal Communications Commission indicates that 19 million Americans still have no access to high-speed Internet.  Approximately 14.5 million of these individuals or around 5% of the total U.S. population, “live in rural areas, where Internet providers do not offer services because ‘there is no business case to offer broadband’ services”.  Although the Telecommunications Act of 1996 required the FCC to ensure that broadband was rolled out on a “reasonable basis” to all corners of the country, the current report indicates that this is not happening.  It now is the FCC’s goal to have “universal broadband deployment” in the country by 2020.  Any recommendations by education summits and conferences, as well as any national education benchmark programs to incorporate digital technology through the use of electronic devices for all students will need to address the problems of the digital divide so as to guarantee the availability of these services to all public school students.

Another issue in my previous blog addresses the subject of online courses for all students.  While I do agree that there is a place in the educational system for online courses as a learning tool, and I acknowledge that they positively impact the green movement with reduced transportation of students to classrooms, I still believe that we need to be careful about initiating programs that potentially limit or eliminate the requirement for face-to-face interaction between students and teachers.  We have to proceed cautiously here to avoid overzealous efforts of some government administrators and elected officials to adversely impact the public education systems through harsh budget costs and elimination of teacher positions, books and supplies.  Also, while it would be great for students to meet at area museums, galleries and other cultural centers to get a hands-on experience in many subject areas, the proponents of these ideas must face the reality that there are many towns and even counties in this country that either do not have these cultural attractions or who have eliminated them because of economic restraints.  Access to cultural centers for hands-on education is great, but any dialogue must address the availability of this for all students.

In conclusion, any education summit or conference that aims to improve America’s education system must be mindful of the needs of all students served by the system.  The respected experts who are entrusted to establish the guidelines for programs to improve public education must be fair and just in their decisions.  Education and the green movement go hand-in-hand.  The green movement strives to preserve our planet for future generations, and “education is simply the soul of a society as it passes from one generation to another” (G.K. Chesterton).  Let’s learn green, live green, be green!

In its analysis of media coverage of climate change, the Union of Concerned Scientists concluded, “93 percent of Fox News’ and 80 percent of the Wall Street Journal opinion pages’ climate coverage is inaccurate and misleading.  This is unfortunate because many people entrust major news sources to deliver true information.  Now we find that often news, especially that related to climate change sometimes is “fiction”.

Some scientists think that the failure to accurately report on climate change results from the lack old credibility of reporters on these topics.  It is common to see weather forecasters present as climate experts, and they are “about as credible as someone claiming to be an expert on the Greenland ice sheet because they eat ice cream”.  Also some news stations tend to lean to the right, with a substantial percentage of their audience being conservatives, who often dismiss the notion and relevance of climate change.  We all know that the bottom line for any television station is the ratings.

The important lesson to take away here is that with worthwhile endeavor, accurate information is key.  It is up to us as individuals to do our own research on issues of climate change and green living.  To accomplish this, we first have to seek reliable sources for our information.  A 30-second blurb on the evening news is not sufficient.  This situation presents a wonderful opportunity for each of us to engage our children and the school system for information on climate change.  Local government sources also are reliable for rules, ideas, and projects to help the environment, save money and to live healthy.

Let’s be good citizens and great stewards of this planet.  Strive to reap the benefits of healthy versus unhealthy living.  To save our planet, let’s learn green, live green, be green!


Perusing through the web, I came across this telling statistic on Living Green Magazine regarding the U.S. House of Representatives and green policy making.

“The 112th Congress has adjourned until after the election but leaves us with a shocking statistic: Since January 2011, one out of every five votes during the last 2 years was to undermine environmental protections.”

Now keep in mind, we have no insight into why these bills were passed over and ultimately rejected. As we all know, laws are especially difficult to pass with a partisan government, let alone the petulant bi-partisan one we have today. Yet, by all indications, votes were not cast in a rational basis through facts and hard evidence (I mean what the hell is all that gibberish anyway). Rather, as the article indicates, “The House’s anti-environment votes largely fell along party lines: 94 percent of Republican members voted for the anti-environment positions, while 87 percent of Democratic members voted for the pro-environment positions.” And even more shocking was that some of these votes were cast in an attempt to weaken the “Clean Air Act,” a 40 year old bill which regulates air pollution.

Among the other reprehensible attempts to undermine environmental policy include:

1. 39 votes were to weaken protection of public lands and wildlife.

2. 31 votes were to undermine Clean Water Act protections.

337 votes were to block action to address climate change.

With election day coming up and the topic of healthcare on everybody’s mind, environmental policy may take a relative back seat so-to-speak. Yet, as we’ve made it clear here at livegreenbegreen,  affects everyone, and everyone has the ability to affect it. Making the planet cleaner and safer to live in requires both parties to lay down their swords, and come to the table seeking compromise. Only in this way can we, as a nation, move toward a world in which we all live green, and be green.


This week’s NBC Education Nation was touted as a must-attend/must-see event for anyone interested in the education of America’s youth.  This summit, hosted by NBC in New York’s Rockefeller Center brought together more than 300 leaders in education, philanthropy, government and the media.  Guest speakers included President Barack Obama, Presidential hopeful, Mitt Romney, U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, and a host of other CEO’s, politicians, journalists, etc.

I have followed this summit online, reading excerpts from town hall meetings and blogs, as well as watching reports on the local news stations.  A lot of problems with the education system have been mentioned, but the subject noticeably avoided was green initiatives.  In fact, some of the suggestions offered may conflict with the green movement.  Primarily, there is an emphasis on technology in education, which endorses equipping students with tablets, laptops and smart phones to be used in the classroom.  While this may sound like a great idea on the surface, one can only imagine the magnitude of the negative impact of this huge amount of electronic debris on the environment.  Of course, such ideas are great for Microsoft and other computer and electronics manufacturers, who make large notations to schools or who sell these products to students at a discount, thereby reaping large financial gain and tax credits.  Their bottom line is different than that of the green movement.  Also, one must question the equity in this suggested program.  To effectively address the issue of education, any program would need to be inclusive of all children irrespective of station in life.  It would be unfair for students in the poor school districts to be left out of these programs because they do not have access to Internet or other systems necessary to support the use of these devices.

Another topic not addressed at the summit was learning environment.  To be successful in school, students need access to physically healthy structures.  This summit seemed to ignore the fact that there are a lot of “sick” school buildings still in use, once again predominantly in poor communities.  Many children in this country attend schools that are polluted with mildew, mold, outdated structures or inadequate/no heating system or air conditioning, thereby making learning difficult or impossible.  The provision of a suitable learning environment has to be part of the education nation dialogue.

A third topic of the summit was online learning.  There are two sides to this story also.  Access to online courses is beneficial to some people, but it should not replace the traditional classroom, which presents a valuable opportunity to ask questions, and more importantly, to hear the questions and comments of other students and instructors.  I can recall times that a student did not ask a question, but a teacher recognized a confused look and addressed concerns of that individual.  Online courses potentially remove the ability of a teacher to recognize the need for additional help from a student who may not be able to verbalize this need.  Any online course programs definitely should incorporate a hybrid component, which require some face-to-face group meetings.  Additionally, school attendance presents an opportunity for the school systems to guarantee healthy meals for breakfasts and lunches.  This is important for so many children and must be continued.

The issues discussed here represent only a few of the issues that needed to be addressed at the NBC Education Nation Summit.  There was some discussion of curriculum, but the Summit should have included experts in the green movement, as these individuals are well aware of the environmental issues that need to be addressed through education.  Discussion could have included the need for commitment to develop and implement educational programs to build the workforce to find solutions to green issues threatening the planet.

This writer thinks the NBC Education Nation has earned an F for its grade for this year’s summit.  Our very existence mandates that we learn green, live green, be green!

Green initiatives were not well represented in 2012 NBC Education Nation Summit

Fall is a great time for true gardeners.  The weather is cooler, making a day in the garden a more enjoyable experience.  While fall is the best time to plant trees, shrubs and perennial plants, it is also the optimal period to save on purchases of gardening equipment and nursery stock.  During the autumn season, the soil is warmer, thereby promoting root growth, unlike the spring season, which is unpredictable and generally is followed by a potentially long, hot dry summer period which could be detrimental to young roots.

For those interested in growing vegetables, there are several perennial varieties that flourish during this time of the year.  They include asparagus, bamboo shoots, bunching onions, garlic, horseradish, kale and collard greens, radiccio and rhubarb.  These are hearty vegetables that can be easily grown.  A fall harvest of these items provides the opportunity to eat fresh vegetables well into the cold season.  For those interested in fall flowers, there are several choices available, including chrysanthemums, marigolds, dusty miller and aster, just to name a few.  As a bonus, autumn presents a wonderful landscaping opportunity.  Combinations of pumpkins, flowers, bales of hay and wreaths and arrangements made with corn and cornstalks create a festive mood for any lawn or garden.

Autumn also is the time to divide and plant mature perennial plants and flowering bulbs.  A little research now on how to handle each plant species will ensure that you properly divide and plant so that you will enjoy a dazzling display next spring and summer.  It is also important to mulch garden beds in the fall to retain ground moisture and protect plants while they sleep over the winter.  Building a compost pile for mulching using lawn and garden debris is a great way to be both economical and eco-friendly.

Maintenance of garden tools and equipment should be a priority during the fall.  Now is the time to give those shovels, hoes and other metal tools a good scrubbing and polishing prior to storing them over the winter.  Gas-powered equipment should be cleaned thoroughly and filled with gas containing a stabilizer to prevent condensation and deposits from developing in the engine.  After completing equipment maintenance, an inventory can be taken of useful equipment, followed by a shopping trip to replace items if necessary.  The best deals on garden equipment and tools often can be found during the Fall.

The work is now done, and it is time to enjoy your fall bounty.  Then get rested up and start planning your spring garden.  Live green, be green!

Beautiful flowers with a fall color schem


Living in New York, and more specifically for the past four years in New York City, air quality was always a concern. Whether it was the plumes of smog or the beautiful eminence that was city bus exhaust, breathing felt more like a chore than anything else. That being said, the  Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) just released its newest report of its top twenty “toxic” states according to emissions in the US sector from the year 2010.  Pollution statistics were broken down by state into their most prevalent types i.e coal in Ohio. To our delight, the study found a, “9 percent decrease in all air toxins emitted from power plants in 2010, in comparison to 2009 levels.” This was due in large part because of the emphasis on clean energy, and more specifically natural gas. Comparably, the top two states occupying the list, Kentucky and Ohio, ranked so highly because the majority of their emissions were in the form of coal-fired power plants. So take a look and see how your state ranks, if at all, on the “Toxic Twenty”, and be sure to check out the NRDC report below.

The “Toxic Twenty″ list (from worst to best) are:

  1. Kentucky
  2. Ohio
  3. Pennsylvania
  4. Indiana
  5. West Virginia
  6. Florida
  7. Michigan
  8. North Carolina
  9. Georgia
  10. Texas
  11. Tennessee
  12. Virginia
  13. South Carolina
  14. Alabama
  15. Missouri
  16. Illinois
  17. Mississippi
  18. Wisconsin
  19. Maryland
  20. Delaware


NRDC report:

It is amazing that in this whimsical world of information and technology, we are bombarded on a frequent basis with “new” and often-conflicting information on health regimens and dietary and nutritional information.  Yesterday Vitamin D was a good thing.  Today it is bad.  The same thing applies to fish oil– a miracle supplement a few months ago and now useless.

I find it refreshing that Jesse Ziff Cool, chef and lecturer, and owner of Cool Cafe has dug in her heels on the health benefits of organic nutrition.  It is interesting to note that Jesse Cool operates out of Stanford University, the home of the recent study questioning organics.  It is with strong conviction that Ms. Cool, who also is the author of Simply Organic, states, “I’ve been pioneering and advocating organics for 37 years.  Once you really embrace that, you don’t want to feed yourself or anyone near you anything that could some day harm you.  All you want is real food”.  Her philosophy will not be changed by one study.

Others in the business of organics concur with Ms. Cool.  They include Bob Quinn, the president of KAMUT International ( and Arran Stephens, CEO of Nature’s Path (  These two men note that the Stanford study is inconsistent with their experiences of 25 and 45 years respectively.  I agree with the theory of organics from a common sense approach.  Surely food grown without “toxic pesticides, glyphosate herbicides, synthetic fertilizers, genetically modified organisms, sewage sludge and radiation” must be healthier for everyone—farmers, consumers and the environment, than food produced using these substances.

It is important to keep abreast of research and studies on organics and other matters affecting your health and the environment.  It also is important for each of us to turn on our internal filters and delete false or faulty information from our internal and external databases.  As quoted by Voltaire and aptly restated by Ellen Kamer, (columnist at the Edgie Veggie) “tend your own garden”.  Let’s eat green, live green be green.

Rebellious Naturals refuse to be moved by Stanford Study which dismisses the benefits of organics


Tailgating, an American tradition as invaluable as hot dog eating contests, and pre-black-Friday campouts. The modern day holy trinity of tailgating is: beer, large consumptions of meat, oh and did I mention beer. More recently however, some innovative sports teams are trying to incorporate a new feature into this pigskin throwing, and gluttonous eating event called the sports greening movement.

In its essence, sports venues who, cough cough hint hint, don’t condone these event, yet fully acknowledge their existence, have tried to make tailgating more eco-friendly. Such teams as the Philadelphia Eagles are beginning to provide recycling bags to patrons, and educating their fans about making clean, healthy, and sustainable choices.

Here are the original tenets of the sports greening movement.

  1. Add fruit and vegetables to the mix: what’s not to love about having more reasons to       grill more kinds of food?
  2. Choose sustainably-produced meat (including chicken and fish): Look for products marked with the USDA Organic seal. That label ensures the meat is held to a higher standard.  And by buying it you’ll be supporting farmers who raise healthier animals. 
  3. Use propane to avoid burning your food: Use propane instead of charcoal because it provides an unmatched level of control and evenness of heat over the grill’s surface–and that means less burnt food and food waste, and more importantly for your health, less undercooked food.
  4. Know when you’re full enough and store leftovers for later to reduce food waste: The environmental cost of wasted food is staggering: 25 percent of all fresh water and 4 percent of all oil consumed in this country are used to produce food that is never eaten.
  5. Bring reusable serviceware and containers, and cloth napkins to cut waste: Pack reusable utensils to reduce waste (and cost). Don’t forget to collect recyclables and compost in separate bags.

Some items I’d like to see added to the list which are tangential to but not all related to tailgating include:

1. Providing incentives for those who actively participate in recycling and other sustainable actions with reducing admission to future games.

2. Having green areas that educate on the maintaining of the team’s home field, while also explaining other green initiatives.

3. Have a reuse and recycle program which turn recycled cans into BBQ’s to be rented out at fans’ convenience.  This will enable more people to use public transportation and leave their grills at home, while also getting the benefits of the tailgating experience.

4. Having a “sustainability day” or “eco-friendly day” at the ballpark with giveaways such as reusable Nalgene products or other green products.

5. Granting important figures in the green community with unique experiences at the ballpark. i.e. free private tour of the ballpark.

Such small changes will clearly affect the way we think and behave at a sports venue, and will bring us one step closer to a world where we all live green, and be green.


You probably are familiar with the old adage, “put your money where your mouth is”.  This saying definitely applies to the green movement.  Green initiatives require an enormous financial commitment to develop and advance the technologies necessary to address the issues of climate change and to reverse the pollution of the Earth.  Statistics collected in Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2012 Report, a study backed by the UN Environment Program, have tracked financial investments in green energy globally since 2004.  These statistics reveal the following:

  • Investment in renewable energy accounted for 44% of all new energy generation capacity added last year.  This represents an increase in renewable investment, up from 34% in 2010 and 10.3% in 2004.
  • The majority of the money invested in renewable energy came from the private domain and largely was invested in the area of research and development.  In fact, investment from the private sector was twice that of government and public bodies.
  • The renewable energy sector of emerging economies, such as India and China, has the biggest boost.
  • In 2009, China surpassed the United States in total annual investment, and in 2011, it attracted more money than any other country.

While these statistics show a financial commitment to the green movement, statistics indicate that investment in green initiatives still lags behind that of traditional sources.  In 2011, only 6% of the world’s energy requirements were generated by renewable sources.  A caveat to this situation is that many clean tech companies have suffered from the volatility of the markets over the past two years, and in many countries, policies established to encourage investment in renewable energy have been weakened by austerity measures undertaken to upright faltering economies.

When considering investing in renewable energy or other green initiatives, the due diligence requirement cannot be understated.  Thorough understanding of this market sector is mandatory.  For example, it is important to know that these markets require government confidence and commitment in order to be successful.  Financiers require stable policy to back green investments.  It is important to identify mature technologies because they have longer track records.  These often include onshore wind and solar energy.  Remember:  Lower technological risks equal more finance.

Investing in renewable energy and green initiatives presents potential opportunities for financial gain, as well as moral commitment to the green movement.  As with any investment, make sure you do your homework and seek professional advice so that you understand the many factors involved.  A place to start your journey to green investments is:

Let’s live green, be green!

Due diligence– Prior to investing in any commodity, do your homework, and if necessary, seek professional financial advice.