Sunday, August 28, 2011

5 Easy Tips to Green the Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) of your Home, School & Business

1. Use “green” cleaning products and techniques to reduce harmful effects of unhealthy chemical exposure.

2. Properly maintain your HVAC system to ensure good indoor air quality.

3. When painting, replacing carpeting or furniture, use products with low VOC emissions.

4. Use task lighting in work areas to decrease energy use and increase human comfort.

5. Provide opportunities for your family and/or employees to have indoor plants that create healthy air quality in their personal breathing space. The peace lily is my top pick – it filters toxins from the air very effectively, and most important, is almost impossible to kill even if you have a brown thumb.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Go Green Initiative Partners with Keep America Beautiful to Promote School Recycling Competition

Are you looking for a fun and creative way to increase recycling participation in your school? Do you need technical assistance and help starting a school recycling program? Recycle-Bowl, a new nationwide comprehensive school recycling competition, could be your ticket to success.

The Go Green Initiative is a promotional partner of Keep America Beautiful’s Recycle-Bowl competition, the first comprehensive nationwide recycling competition for elementary, middle and high-school students. Recycle-Bowl was created to provide students with a fun, interactive way to learn about waste reduction and environmental responsibility through in-school recycling.

Open to all schools and classrooms, the incentive-based recycling competition and benchmarking program kicks off this October and registration is now open on the Recycle-Bowl website at The competition runs from October 17 through November 12, culminating around America Recycles Day. Participating schools will track and report how much recyclable material they collect for a chance to win prizes. At the close of the four-week competition, the school in each state that collects the most recyclable material per capita will win $1,000. A national champion will then be chosen from among the statewide winners to receive an additional grand prize of $2,500.

Educational recycling activities will also be provided on-line and through a registration toolkit. To learn more about the competition, join Keep America Beautiful for a one-hour educator Recycle-Bowl kickoff webinar. The webinar will explain the competition, provide an overview of available resources and highlight the use of a recycling competition at a local Pennsylvania school. The webinar will be held on Tuesday, August 30, 2011 at 4:00 PM EDT. Register via this link -

The inaugural Recycle-Bowl is being sponsored by Nestlé Waters North America.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

5 Easy Tips to Green Your Workplace

  1. Track your electricity usage each month, and set goals to use less
  2. Ditto with water usage
  3. Recycle everything you can, and ensure that you have the proper agreements with both your janitorial service and waste hauler to ensure proper management of your waste and recyclables.
  4. Use less…paper, plastic, electricity, water…everything.
  5. Get your entire supply chain onboard. Make sure that what you purchase comes from companies who share your commitment to ‘going green’.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Are you snacking “sustainably”?

Do you know how much water and electricity it takes to produce your favorite beverages, or if the corn in your favorite bag of chips was grown with the highest standards of sustainable farming? Does your favorite healthy snack travel to your local grocer in an emissions-free vehicle? There is a company working to ensure that their customers can answer all those questions with confidence – PepsiCo. In 2009, PepsiCo made a promise to deliver sustainable growth by investing in a healthier future for their consumers, our planet, and our communities. They are working throughout their supply chain to become more efficient with their consumption of water and energy, and to dramatically decrease the amount of solid waste and greenhouse gas emissions they produce. Tune in to the latest episode of Go Green Radio to learn more about the Promise of PepsiCo, or download the podcast by clicking here.

Friday, August 5, 2011

5 Easy Tips to Green Your Parties or Corporate Events

  1. Instead of giving participants printed copies of handouts, brochures and power point slides, save them all on USB drives, and give those away.
  2. If serving food and drinks, ask the venue to use dinnerware that can be washed and reused vs. disposable items.
  3. Make sure that recycling bins are as readily accessible as garbage cans.
  4. Make your event “goodie bag” a reusable grocery bag.
  5. As the venue or caterer to use locally grown food for any meals that you serve, in order to avoid transporting foods long distances to your event.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Keeping Drugs Out of Your Drink

Did you know…

· More than 100 different pharmaceuticals have been detected in lakes, rivers, reservoirs and streams throughout the world.1

· Pharmaceuticals are being detected in the environment and there is genuine concern that these compounds, in the small concentrations that they're at, could be causing impacts to human health or to aquatic organisms.1

· A vast array of pharmaceuticals — including antibiotics, anti-convulsants, mood stabilizers and sex hormones — have been found in the drinking water supplies of at least 41 million Americans.1

· The New York state health department and the USGS tested the source of the city's water, upstate. They found trace concentrations of heart medicine, antibiotics, estrogen, anti-convulsants, a mood stabilizer and a tranquilizer.1

· Even users of bottled water and home filtration systems don't necessarily avoid exposure. Bottlers, some of which simply repackage tap water, do not typically treat or test for pharmaceuticals, according to the industry's main trade group. The same goes for the makers of home filtration systems.1

· In the United States, the problem isn't confined to surface waters. Pharmaceuticals also permeate aquifers deep underground, source of 40% of the nation's water supply. Federal scientists who drew water in 24 states from aquifers near contaminant sources such as landfills and animal feed lots found minuscule levels of hormones, antibiotics and other drugs.1

1. USA Today. AP: Drugs found in drinking water. Available at Accessed on February 26, 2010.

Scary stuff! But there is an organization committed to a solution. The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) has launched a program that will allow consumers to return their unwanted medications to their local pharmacist vs. flushing them down the toilet or putting them in the trash. On the most recent episode of Go Green Radio, Dr. Lisa Faast, owner of her own local pharmacy, describes how the program works in her store. Brad Arthur owns two pharmacies, and sits on the Executive Committee of the NCPA – he discusses the costs and details of the take back program. Finally, Dr. Carolyn Ha, the Association Director of Professional Affairs for NCPA, discusses the legal aspects of the take back program. You can learn more at

Check out the podcast of the interview by clicking here:

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Think BPA-free Plastic is Safe? Think Again.

BPA seems to be the scapegoat for hundreds of other harmful chemicals found in plastic food and beverage containers. While plastic manufacturers are scrambling to produce materials that can be marketed to consumers as BPA and phthalates-free, a recent study shows that many of these products are still full of chemicals with estrogenic activity (EA), which disrupt the natural function of human hormones. Chemicals with EA have been linked to cancer, reproductive disorders, and a variety of behavioral abnormalities.

On a recent episode of Go Green Radio, I interviewed Mike Usey, CEO of PlastiPure, a technology company focused on developing safe plastic materials and products, and Stuart Yaniger, Vice President of Research and Product Development for PlastiPure, and one of the team of researchers who recently tested more than 450 mainstream brand plastic food and beverage-packages, and found that virtually all leached chemicals that acted like the hormone estrogen, even though many were free of BPA. Check out the podcast here, and learn how to keep your family safe!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Oprah's Influence on My Green Job

Oprah Winfrey taught me a lot. Her show first aired when I was sixteen years old, and the world was a different place. In general, mainstream Americans weren’t thinking globally. The “Me” generation and yuppies were “in,” and everyone I knew considered Madonna’s “Material Girl” an acceptable anthem.

Oprah was as pop culture as anyone, but the pulse of her message was others-centric. She cared about other peoples’ problems, and was ever-patient in explaining why the rest of us should, as well. She sent cameras into places and situations we would have never chosen to see, but we followed her into heartbreaking stories to find ourselves emerging braver, stronger and more confident after crying another’s tears and absorbing both their pain and their triumph.

Oprah let blessings flow through her, and demonstrated the simple act of sharing in everything she did. She shared her friends, her knowledge, her struggles, and her wealth.

Though not a biological mother, Oprah taught us how to mother. We watched her nurture youngsters around the world, as she constantly reminded us that society has an obligation to our children. ..all our children. What we desire for our own children, we should desire for all children. It is that lesson I will carry with me always, and what drives me to do the work I do with the Go Green Initiative. It’s not enough to prepare our children for the future; we must prepare the future for our children. Oprah showed us how to open our hearts, minds and arms to embrace the most vulnerable among us. She made me believe we can all make a difference.

Thank you, Oprah, for twenty-five years of sisterhood and inspiration. You brought out the best in all of us, and the world is better place because of you. I hope you see your fingerprints in the work of the women you have touched.

If you would like to watch my favorite “green” video clips from the Oprah Winfrey show, click here.

Why Oprah says “it’s easy being green”:

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Discover 30 ways to Go Green for Earth Day

I am happy to invite you to take part in a Smarter Life, Better Planet challenge, where I am one of 30 speakers discussing environmental and green topics.

This challenge has a simple format and an inspiring mission: starting from Earth Hour, March 26, until Earth Day, April 22, a new video is going up each day to offer you advice and easy tips on how you can improve your health and our planet.

In less than 3 minutes per day, you'll learn how to:

- Lower your energy use (and bills)
- Reduce your carbon footprint
- Purchase more sustainable products when shopping
- Save money while using less plastic
- And a whole lot more...

Along with watching a video, you can also complete a fun and quick challenge that will help you deepen your knowledge of each topic and create a simple plan just for you and your family to go green.

To take this rewarding journey along with me, my fellow speakers, and all the other participants, go to Click on my picture on the left column to watch my video and hear my challenge.

You can also join the Smarter Life Better Planet conversation on Facebook at and follow @smarterbetter on Twitter.

As always, I appreciate your support and your effort as together we work to create a new and sustainable lifestyle, one action at a time.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

On April 1, I interviewed Dan Ferber, co-author of a fascinating new book, Changing Planet, Changing Health: How the Climate Crisis Threatens Our Health and What We Can Do about It. We discussed the ways climate change causes extreme weather events, and how those events can increase the rate of infectious diseases, threaten our food supply, and strain our national security forces in the face of global shortages of natural resources. We discussed the ways in which children are particularly vulnerable to the health impact of climate change, and ways that everyday people can make a positive difference in our nation’s ability to thrive. You can check out the podcast of this episode of Go Green Radio at:

Changing Planet, Changing Health: How the Climate Crisis Threatens Our Health and What We Can Do about Harvard health and disease expert Paul R. Epstein, MD, and award-winning science journalist Dan Ferber, reveals the complex links between global warming and cholera, malaria, lyme disease, asthma, and other threats such as crumbling ecosystems and lost services. They also examine abrupt climate change, which could cause catastrophic droughts, crop failures, large-scale migration, and war, according to a Pentagon projection. Dr. Epstein, associate director of the Center for Health and the Global Environment (CHGE) at Harvard Medical School, has been documenting the links between global warming and declining human and environmental health since the early 1990s. Co-author Dan Ferber, a contributing correspondent to Science, traveled to rural Kenya, Honduras, Harlem and other places to talk with doctors, patients, scientists and others who are wrestling with these changes. The authors tell their stories and describe Epstein's quest to alert the world to the public health dangers of climate change. Then they draw on the latest science to vet climate solutions, and lay out a suite of innovative solutions to shape a healthy global economic order in the twenty-first century.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Go Green Radio - Straight Talk on Nuclear Energy

In light of the tragedy unfolding in Japan, it is absolutely prudent to take a good, hard look at existing and future nuclear power plants in the United States. The Obama administration is still committed to backing loans for construction of nuclear facilities in the U.S., even as everyday Americans wonder if the facilities are safe. We will be joined by Angie Howard is president of Howard – Johnson Associates, a consulting practice specializing in strategic energy and utility issues, and 2009 recipient of Women in Nuclear Global leadership award. Ms. Howard retired in May 2009 as vice president, Office of the President and Executive Advisor to the President for the Nuclear Energy Institute. We will talk about radioactive waste disposal, nuclear proliferation concerns, and terrorist threats to nuclear facilities. Tune in to learn about the facts regarding nuclear energy in America, and what safety measures are in place to avoid a crisis. Go Green Radio airs live on at 9 a.m. Pacific, noon Eastern every Friday.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Philippe Cousteau…the Family Legend Continues

Today's episode of Go Green Radio might be my favorite so far. After 97 episodes, I have had some brilliant and amazing guests, but Philippe Cousteau was such a delight to have on the show. Of course, it is intriguing that he is the grandson of the legendary Captain Jacques Cousteau, but his current work is fascinating. His organization, EarthEcho International, has some phenomenal programs for schools and kids, and I'm hoping you will visit his website to get involved. You can listen to the podcast of my interview with him by clicking here.