Click for tips on designing pet-friendly yards

Credit: Mr. Tree and Lawn Service, LLC.

The Autumn season marks the start, in many four-season areas of our country, of a time during which yard work becomes crucial.  Often overlooked and neglected, lawn care in the fall can easily improve the condition of the grass and shrubbery, not only for the present season but for the future spring season.  So while you’re all gearing up to treat your grass and landscaping, please do try to keep in mind those four legged friends that occasionally graze the yard, both wild and domesticated.  And if you have children roaming the yards, working to improve your treatment methods is a no-brainer.

There are better options than automatically resorting to chemical fertilizers and other harmful practices. Read More →

On numerous occasions, we here at LGBG have gone into detail on the burgeoning relationship between the green movement and architecture. Whether it’s sprucing up your living room or assessing the value green initiatives may have on your home, the worlds of being socially responsible and architecture are now becoming firmly intertwined.

Occurring in sporadic movements throughout the years, deconstruction is coming back with a greater vengeance than Denzel Washington’s character John Creasy in Man on Fire. In its simplest form, deconstruction is where a demolition crew, “Carefully dismantles an older property by hand instead of using bulldozers.”[1] The movement has been around for decades and allows for the reusing of materials from older homes for the construction of newer ones. The end result is hundreds of thousands of tons of potential trash is diverted away from landfills.

With that said, you might be asking yourself: Why has this beneficial movement waxed and waned through history more than Mr. Miyagi and why is it suddenly back? The first question is a bit more puzzling to decipher, but can primarily be explained by the fact that deconstruction, even in today’s generation which focuses on green building and initiatives, is nonetheless five times more expensive in comparison to a traditional obliterate-your-home-with-a-wrecking-ball demolition.[2] In addition, the process of deconstruction takes about twice as long as the more destructive alternative.


You said you needed to replace your windows right?

So why is the movement suddenly back? That question, while also complex, warrants a simple solution: A tax-credit from Uncle Sam. Yet, this same tax credit, which occurs when a homebuilder donates materials to a qualified 510(c)(3) charity, has been around for decades and arose in tandem with deconstruction itself.[3] More recently however, contractors are placing a greater emphasis on the financial benefits of deconstruction to potential home builders. For example, the Weiss family who were featured in the Wall Street Journal Article: The Demolition Discount, “Paid more than $20,000 for the disassembly, roughly double what they would have paid for a wrecking crew.” However, as a result of the tax credit through donations of materials to charities, the family will have saved more than $66,000 in taxes. As a result, despite the higher upfront cost and greater length of time to complete the project, the tax shelter and socially responsible benefits have outweighed these side effects in many homeowners’ eyes.

I believe what has really catapulted the movement forward is our nation’s greater awareness, and emphasis of green initiatives. Our society has begun to recognize that sustainability is a difficult and slow-moving process, yet can be achievable in anything and everything that we do. Whoever you want to credit for the successes of the green movement, the consequences are that as a whole, nations have a top-of-the mind awareness of green initiatives. So couple people’s awareness of sustainability, with the availability of deconstruction, and sprinkle in a nice tax incentive, and the end results are that citizens are more willing to listen to green ideas, and sustainability projects like deconstruction are experiencing greater success rates than ever before.

Obviously deconstruction is not ideal for everyone. You have to initially lay down more capital into a house that is already expensive enough as it is, while also having to wait longer to live in the home you purchased. However, there are some real social and financial benefits to deconstruction for homeowners that may outweigh the negatives. That being said, here are some more tips related to this conversation for homeowners to keep in mind:

  1. Persuade others to use deconstruction if possible.
  2. Donate used goods from your home to charities and shelters. You don’t have to be building a new house to live by the ideals of deconstruction.
  3. If building a new house, try to use eco-friendly materials and alternative energy sources like solar panels for the home’s construction.

Through these actions and the right knowledge, we can all strive to live in a world where we live green, and be green.




This Monday’s good green news features  This global organization, led by author and environmentalist, Bill McKibben, focuses on global grassroots efforts to raise awareness of climate change caused by human impact, to confront climate change denial and to cut emissions of carbon dioxide, all in an effort to slow global warming.  The group’s name derives from climate scientist, James Hansen‘s, assertion that any atmospheric concentration over 350 parts per million is unsafe.  Rather than being one organization, is a global network of over 200 organizations around the world.

A primary feature of is its 350 workshop.  This group has helped organize workshops in more than 20 countries.  The staff members assist climate change campaigns in the development of skill building activities that effectively articulate their points.  They focus on leadership, organization and communication as the key components necessary to build the political will to solve the climate crises.  They help local green groups to organize marches, to participate in non-violent demonstrations in the Middle East, and to lobby political leaders on matters relative to climate change and clean energy.  Their primary goal is to utilize a worldwide approach to create a huge wave of climate activism globally that cannot be ignored and will lead to lasting large-scale changes.

Each year identifies key campaigns of concern.  Its current projects include moving India beyond coal, ending fossil fuel subsidies and showing the human face of climate change. boasts a very user-friendly website loaded with information on its organization’s mission, projects and available workshops.  The website also provides access to membership, as well as an opportunity to donate to help this worthy cause finance its missions. leads by example in the movement to fight climate change and to save the planet.  This organization presents a great opportunity to live green, be green.

Grassroots networking to fight climate change


October represents the ninth annual celebration of Fair Trade Month.  Over the ensuing weeks, eco-friendly consumers, ethically committed retailers and brands will sponsor special activities to promote Fair Trade.  In this month’s “simple list”, the October issue of Real Simple notes that five million men, women and children in developing countries benefit from the global sale of Fair Trade products.

This movement has proved to be a great way to enhance the lives of farmers and workers.  A certified Fair Trade product must be produced in a manner that is socially and environmentally responsible, including, but not limited to, no employment of children or engaging any practices that threaten the environment.  Additionally, all workers for these businesses must receive fair compensation.

Fair Trade Month is an opportune time to make a commitment to the green movement through the purchase of Fair Trade products.  While shopping, trade in an item on your list for a Fair Trade version—maybe a cup of coffee for starters.  This also is a good time to learn more about the Fair Trade movement.  Get socially connected as a fan of Fair Trade Certified on Facebook where up-to-date information on the latest news on this movement is available, along with recipes, give-aways and conversation from dedicated supporters.  Fair Trade USA can be followed on Twitter and Instagram and is a great source for information.

Perhaps you already are committed to do something special for Fair Trade Month but need ideas.  There are several options available, including making a donation to Fair Trade USA.  Monetary gifts to this nonprofit organization support farmers and workers globally and specifically in the areas of economic security, schools, scholarships, environment sustainability and empowerment of women.  Other ideas include gifts of Fair Trade products to friends and family members, which will commemorate important milestones while also introducing them to this wonderful concept.  Thirdly, this is an opportune time to join or start a Fair Trade campaign in a local community or on a college campus.

Any contribution made to the Fair Trade movement is important, and “every purchase matters”.  Getting involved in the Fair Trade Movement during this celebration month is an excellent way to live green, be green.

Count Me In!


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


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.


Simple sustainability efforts go a long way.  Here’s a bit of a scoop on one such effort we’ve deemed worthy to shake up our headlines here at LGBG.

That’s right. It’s a company by the name of MPG Car Rental, and although its not the largest company, it hasn’t allowed that small fact to prevent it from doing big things!

Similar to rental car services like Hertz, Budget, Enterprise, and even old Thrifty, MPG provides a slew of automobiles to its customers on a temporary, rental basis.  No biggie, right?  But what sets this little Venice, California-based rent-a-car service apart from its traditional competitors, is that MPG’s fleet of vehicles are “all green” and still suit all needs.  Whether customers are looking for compact sedans or full-size SUV’s, MPG Car Rental boasts a wide range of eco-friendly vehicles.

The brand management experts at Interbrand rank the most green global brands yearly, based on what they consider to be critical criteria in determining the sustainability of business efforts.  In first, third, and fourth place on 2012’s Interbrand Best Global Green Brands list were Toyota, Honda, and Volkswagen, respectively.  It should therefore come as no immediate shock to the consumer that MPG Car Rental offers some of the flagship hybrid vehicles associated with these top performing brands.

Aside from Toyota’s three generations of Prius vehicles, MPG offers its Camry and Highlander hybrids, as well as its Lexus offspring, including the CT 200 hybrid and two variations of the RX model.  Also members of the all-green MPG fleet are Honda’s Insight, Volkswagen’s Jetta TDI (diesel), and Chevy’s new Volt and hybrid Tahoe.  And the customer should look forward to seeing this selection of vehicles change, as MPG makes it a point to constantly re-examine and continually update its fleet’s member vehicles to reflect current top performance trends.

What further sets MPG’s business model apart from those of competitors is its special test drive program.  MPG allows its customers who are thinking about purchasing a eco-friendly hybrid vehicle to rent and test drive any member of its fleet for up to four days to see if the vehicle fits the customer’s lifestyle.  From that point, if the customer purchases that model vehicle from one of MPG’s affiliated dealers, the customer is automatically eligible for the reimbursement of up to four days’ rental of that MPG vehicle.  Clever and helpful.

Through minimal efforts in specialization within the constraints of already established methods of business in an industry, MPG has managed to re-vamp operations to increase sustainability.  Customers can rest assured that they are not only receiving vehicles that perform well, but that they are helping lessen their carbon footprints all the while.  MPG Car Rental should be an example to all future rent-a-car companies, that small change can make a difference and still pay off financially.  Hopefully the company continues to grow, both in successful business, and in the admirable ideologies with which its conducts its business.

US Open Is Going Green With Viridian

I bet you have never heard of the company, Viridian Energy.  Didn’t think so.  Neither had I until a couple of days ago.  But you know what?  I am glad I finally did, and I am also willing to bet that after reading this post, you’ll be damn glad you did so.

After reading up on the Norwalk, Connecticut-based company, I can honestly say Viridian is looking to change the landscape of energy supply and has gotten off to a great start doing just that.  As a retail energy supplier, the company aims to be socially responsible in its operations and deliverables.  In addition to providing green energy within their current markets — including New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Illinois, and of course, Connecticut — Viridian places extra emphasis on making those resources affordable, as well.  It is the company’s hope that this can facilitate consumers’ decisions to switch to their eco-friendly energy solutions, from those of more traditional providers.

In fact, resting on the core values of environmental sustainability, reliability, empowerment, integrity, and customer focus, Viridian Energy views affordability to be of fundamental importance in is overall aim and purpose:

Viridian Energy provides greener electricity at an affordable price, allowing our customers and independent Associates to make a difference in the environment and their personal lives simply by switching energy providers.

We are proud to stand out among competitors who charge a significant premium for green electricity. We understand that you may not be able to pay more but still want to do your part. We take a lower profit in order to deliver a higher quality product, offering the best of both worlds – greener electricity and affordable prices.

Needless to say, LGBG by PMD United is in support of everything Viridian stands for.  However, what we loved even more than learning about Viridian Energy’s products, was learning about the initiatives they have taken in the world of tennis, specifically in relation to the US Open taking place in Flushing, Queens, in New York City.

Viridian Energy understands the impact that widespread travel of participants and spectators to and from the US Open can and will have on the environment.  For this reason, the company has taken it upon itself to purchase 455 metric tons of carbon offsets in an effort to negate the environmental impact of the estimated 2.2 million miles of local and air travel associated with the tournament.  The carbon offsets to be used are Green-e Climate and Carbon Standard certified and were purchased domestically.  This is a fantastic program to help the US Open go green, and we applaud the company for its pledge and commitment to its initiatives.

For more about carbon offsets,we recommend reading Sarah Dowdey’s great article on How Carbon Offsets Work.

For even more on Viridian Energy’s full sustainability initiatives and programs, we recommend you start reading up on them here.

I think it is safe to say that most of us recognize the need to protect the planet; however, we are so bombarded with information on environmental problems that we often become stymied on where to start to make a difference. I think a good start would be with our children and incorporating green tips to improve their lives. The education of our children is the most important responsibility for most families today, and with school starting soon, a few green shopping tips really could be beneficial.

Before taking that annual trip to the store to purchase school supplies, take inventory of items on hand. Try to use products left over from last year, or consider donating items that cannot be used to less fortunate students. When purchasing paper products, shop for recycled, renewable school supplies. Several stores, including Target and Office Depot, offer biodegradable pencils and other eco-friendly products. Backpacks also are major purchases each school year. Invest in a good one made from eco-friendly, well-padded material well suited for your child’s size. A good backpack will be friendly to both the environment and your child’s back.

The return to school signals big changes in meal schedules and food purchases. Be ever mindful of the need for your child to start the day with a good breakfast. Try to incorporate fresh fruit and wholesome grains into breakfast and avoid cereals loaded with sugar. Eating a good breakfast is the first step to take to be prepared to learn. Lunches also are important. Opt for reusable containers for sandwiches and snacks as opposed to plastic baggies. You will save money and the planet. Bamboo cutlery as opposed to disposable utensils is a stylish and economic alternative. Of course, the choices of food that goes into these containers are important. Be creative. Plan healthy lunches and snacks, and try to stay away from processed foods full of salt and other preservatives. Make sure your child stays well hydrated. Invest in BPA-free water bottles, and try to avoid sugary drinks.

Transportation is a big issue during the school year. If your child’s school does not provide bus service, consider walking or biking to school, making sure the routes and pathways used are safe. If you do not accompany your child to and from school, please make sure that your child travels in a group and not alone. If walking or biking is not an option because of distance, contact other parents and form carpools. This will save time, and gas and also eliminate traffic congestion.

The biggest purchase for school, of course, is clothing and shoes. Before going out to shop, take an inventory of clothing on hand and only purchase what is needed. Once again, consider donating clothes that no longer fit or are no longer wanted. When shopping, be sure to look for eco-friendly clothes and even consider organic and recycled clothing. With careful planning, your child can return to school in style.

Preparing to return to school can be costly and overwhelming. However, with planning, careful shopping, it is possible to get this accomplished while buying eco-friendly. In the words of Mahatma Gandhi, “Be the change you want to see to save the world”. Live green, be green.

The core of our mission in all aspects of this farm and farming is to preserve the ways of the past while honoring mother nature.

So reads the mission statement of Stoney Mountain Farm in Burlington, North Carolina, an organization that strives to perhaps revolutionize farming by simply reverting to older, less technologically advanced methods.  As opposed to many green farming technologies and developments to keep up with the changing world, the methodical approach of Stoney Mountain is to simply revert back to times when greater forces than technology – like nature – had control.

The farm allows old Mother Nature to take control of much that governs activity on its grounds.  The fields and pastures are not intensively plowed or even mowed.  The animals are not fed any hormones or medications.  They only worm as needed, and plant a variety of herbal remedies around their grounds, which the animals are naturally drawn to when they instinctively need it.

These methods prove extremely important not only to the environment, but to Stoney Mountain’s main revenue stream.  The farm specializes in 100% all natural wool products for consumers, offering a wide variety of felting kits, wool dryer balls and kits, and even eco-friendly wool cat toys.  Also, what is extremely unique is Stoney Mountain’s ability to produce and provide roving, batts, and yarns of over 20 natural colors.

All of this, we believe, and all that Stoney Mountain Farm stands for, is great in all its simplistic glory.  Few words can sum up our reasoning for loving Stoney Mountain more than its own words:

Through these practices, we believe we offer beautiful venues for our guests and the best quality products with healthy, happy livestock