Friday, February 13, 2009

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Top 10 Ways to Green Your Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day is all about flowers, chocolates and cards, but how can you spoil the special someone in your life and be eco-conscious at the same time? RecycleBank has come up with 10 tips for greening your Valentine’s Day that will help set the mood while saving the planet!



Here are RecycleBank’s 10 romantic ways to “green” your Valentine’s Day:



1. Set your morning in motion by sharing a pot of fairly traded and organically grown coffee. After all, you will want to keep the night young.



2. Since Valentine’s Day lands on Saturday, skip the power shower and enjoy a soak for two… and save water that way.



3. Get enlightened this year with his and hers, or hers and hers, or his and his (well you get the point) CFL’s. While saving tons of energy, they last up to 8 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs.



4. A rose is a rose is a rose…but is it fairly traded—and how far did it travel to get to your door? There is an abundance of organic, veriflora certified and fairly traded floral options, all perfect gifts.



5. Sweets for your sweetie? Organic and fairly traded cocoa options are sure to send that extra message of sincerity.



6. On this holiday, over one billion cards are sent worldwide. Translation: Save the Trees! Create your own card from recycled goods in your home. After all, it’s not the card, but the sentiment that counts.



7. Enjoy the outdoors. Make a snow-person together. Walk on the beach. Take a hike. Picnic in front of a gorgeous sunset. Or just lie on your backs and count the stars. It’s totally carbon free, healthy and romantic.



8. Make a candlelit homemade dinner for two. There is nothing greener than going local, so stop at your local farmers’ market and buy fresh and organic goodies.



9. Forget red or white; go for a bottle of “green” wine. There’s organic wine for whatever kind of mood you’re in… from Shiraz to chardonnay.



10. To end the night, choose organic cotton, bamboo and linen sheets, towels, duvets and comforters.



RecycleBank is a rewards program that motivates people to recycle by quickly and easily measuring the amount of material each home recycles and then converting that activity into RecycleBank Points that can be used at hundreds of local and national rewards partners.



We hope that you will include these eco-friendly Valentine’s Day tips on your site. We only request that you make clear that they are courtesy of RecycleBank.



Best,

Melody Serafino

Jaguar photographed in central Mexico, first since 1900

February 11, 2009—The largest cat in the Americas is alive and well in the heart of Mexico, scientists say.

Three photographs of a male jaguar and exactly 132 poop samples (including the one above, released February 10) are the first known evidence of the predator since the early 1900s.

The big cat was snapped by a camera trap in the Sierra Nanchititla Natural Reserve.

Jaguars have disappeared from much of Mexico as humans have chopped up their habitat and sometimes killed the animals for the illegal wildlife trade.

Concerned that the big cat was locally extinct, an expedition team set out into the 260 square mile (674 square kilometer) reserve between 2002 and 2004.

The team talked to villagers within the study area, but no one had reported seeing the elusive animal.

That may be because the cats, which were photographed at 6,053 feet (1,845 meters), are forced by their diminishing habitat to travel across higher ground, said study leader Octavio Monroy-Vilchis of the Autonomous University of the State of Mexico.

—Christine Dell'Amore

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Monday, February 9, 2009

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Buying Experiences, Not Possessions, Gives Greater Happiness

Can money make us happy if we spend it on the right purchases? A new psychology study suggests that buying life experiences rather than material possessions leads to greater happiness for both the consumer and those around them. The findings will be presented at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology annual meeting on Feb. 7.

The study demonstrates that experiential purchases, such as a meal out or theater tickets, result in increased well-being because they satisfy higher order needs, specifically the need for social connectedness and vitality -- a feeling of being alive.

"These findings support an extension of basic need theory, where purchases that increase psychological need satisfaction will produce the greatest well-being," said Ryan Howell, assistant professor of psychology at San Francisco State University.

Participants in the study were asked to write reflections and answer questions about their recent purchases. Participants indicated that experiential purchases represented money better spent and greater happiness for both themselves and others. The results also indicate that experiences produce more happiness regardless of the amount spent or the income of the consumer.

Experiences also lead to longer-term satisfaction. "Purchased experiences provide memory capital," Howell said. "We don't tend to get bored of happy memories like we do with a material object.

"People still believe that more money will make them happy, even though 35 years of research has suggested the opposite," Howell said. "Maybe this belief has held because money is making some people happy some of the time, at least when they spend it on life experiences."

"The mediators of experiential purchases: Determining the impact of psychological need satisfaction" was conducted by Ryan Howell, assistant professor of psychology at San Francisco State University and SF State graduate Graham Hill.

HVAC boot cleared of Asbestos in Los Angeles

http://www.ewastedisposal.net