Welcome to the Good Stuff. I'm one of the lucky ones who loves her job--the kind of job that makes you feel good about what you're doing for yourself, for communities across the country, and best of all, for the environment.

And one cool thing I get to do is learn about a lot of good work people do to reduce waste and be kind to the environment--really good stuff--that's worth passing along. Sure, you might find a post or two about my chickens or my dogs (can't resist), but I hope you find this a positive, motivating place to visit to get inspired in some way to think differently or maybe do even more good stuff than you're already doing.


Landfill Harmonic.

Kind of puts it all in perspective, don’t ya think?

The Story of Stuff

Everyone needs to watch this brilliant, enlightening piece.  Go ahead, click it—it gets your brain on the right track.

TerraCycle -- Outsmarting Waste

These guys got it.  I learned about TerraCycle a few years ago when I was buying their liquid worm poop and their organic deer-be-gone stuff.  Boy have they changed.  Now they’re going the full monty and are administering FREE programs that pay us consumers (yeah, they actually PAY us!) to help collect non-recyclable packaging, which is then upcycled or recycled into eco-friendly products.  It’s that simple - they’ve partnered with folks on both end of the consumption spectrum - the waste generators (in terms of packaging), like Kraft and Nabisco, and then the waste recyclers (manufacturers worldwide) who then make re-sellable products.  And they pay us to get stuff from point A to point B.  

And check out what we can send them to recycle (and we send for free, too): stuff like flip flops, scotch tape dispensers, old pens (!), chewing gum packaging, corks, and so much more!  And again, they pay us for this stuff! 

It’s a win win win, for the manufacturer, the consumer, schools/churches/clubs who join a “brigade,” and best of all, the environment.  No more excuses for any of us!

Kickstarter: Fund & Follow Creativity

This one just in - and it’s a site extremely worth your time poking around on.  The concept is beautiful in its simplicity, described as a new form of commerce and patronage.  Say you have a great creative idea—small or large—that you’re passionate and sincere about and want to pursue, but you need funding to push it forward.  Kickstarter provides a forum for you to clearly articulate your idea and put a shout out for funding to the millions of people who have their eye on this site.  And for a very specified time frame, you have the floor.  You can even have the floor if you don’t need funding and just want to get the word out about your project.  All ideas must be creative.  And best of all - it’s free.  Kickstarter only take a very small and fair cut if your project ultimately meets its funding goals.

Seriously.  Take a look.  I hope it’s the look of the future.

Ever wonder…

   how much of the water actually makes it into their mouths?  I do, because so damn much of it always ends up on the floor, at least at our house. 

Seems like a lot of work, doesn’t it?

How many people really recycle the tubes from the toilet paper rolls?  Not me, usually.  And I’m not the only one; according to last week’s Independent, 17 billion TP tubes are produced yearly in the US, and we throw most of ‘em away, resulting in some 160 million pounds of trash.  And I know I could check out Greenpeace’s Recycled Tissue and Toilet Paper Guide (and so could you) to find out which brands are environmentally sound, but I won’t, because we’ll just continue to get the same Kirkland brand TP we always do at Costco.

Or maybe not.  Apparently Kimberly-Clark (home of Kleenex, Cottenelle, and Scott brands) is rolling out to Walmarts and Sam’s Clubs in the northeast a tubeless roll of TP.  Not only will it not unravel, as one might expect, but it’ll allow us to use every last piece of TP in the package (saving us from having to pick off glued-on remainders in those desperate moments).  And the best part is that 40% of the toilet paper itself will come from either recycled sources or sustainably grown forests—and by the end of this year, NONE of it from Canada’s Boreal Forest, the largest old growth forest in the continent.  That’s right.  We’re wiping our bums with first-growth splendor.

We can thank Greenpeace for the major paradigm shift, who, along with other environmental groups, leaned on the paper giant to do the right thing.  Now it’s our turn, even if it means having to go to Walmart for awhile to do it.  Time to put our money where our, well, you know.
You can check out the Indy article here.

I didn’t actually go in and sniff around, but my pal Maria and I probably shoulda.  We did stop and smile though. 

I didn’t actually go in and sniff around, but my pal Maria and I probably shoulda.  We did stop and smile though. 

Curb New Purchases - Swap Instead

I’d be so remiss if I didn’t post this bit I found in this morning’s News and Observer. The point of this story (“Web Gives Swap Shops a Global Spin”) is that, rather than, when we need something, giving in to our first instinct to buy it new, consider obtaining that item or service instead by trade.  Think of all the good this generates.  We demand just a bit less from the planet as we re-use, rather than toss out (straining landfills) and buy (straining natural resources).  We get the satisfaction of community interaction, we get our neighbor what she needs and give her the opportunity to help us out.  The good generated here just keeps on generating.  So, just to get started, here’s a website that points you in local places to begin swapping online:  www.communityswapshop.com/regions.  Elsewhere try swap.com (for books, movies, and CDs), snapgoods,com (to rent stuff you don’t use much, like ice cream makers or underwater cameras), relayrides.com (car borrowing), dignswap.com (clothes and accessories), and timebanks.org (personal time and services). This rocks.

Free Hugs

Ok, so, given that the original “Free Hugs” video has been viewed more than 66 million times on YouTube, this post can’t come as new news to many.  But to be honest, this concept, as well as this video, was my original inspiration for blogging.

The video I have here isn’t the original.  Back in 2004 an Australian known only as “Juan Mann” suffered some serious depression and while out one night was approached by a total stranger—who simply hugged him.  That was all it took.  He started the “Free Hugs” campaign, which, apparently, happens all over the world now.  These hugs are meant to be random acts of kindness—selfless acts done just to make others feel better.

This particular video features Free Hugs in Hollywood.  Make sure your volume’s working, as it’s accompanied by a way familiar tune done by a completely unexpected artist. Note the color change.

Am I the only one who gets all misty when I watch this?