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Bitter About Litter

Who are these people?  What kind of person has such apathy – such a basic lack of fundamental respect?  Who do they think is going to pick that up?

These questions ricocheted around my brain last week as I turned into the road leading to my house.  A trail of trash littered the entire right hand side for a good 50 feet.  Having this eyesore so close to home made me mad, sad and embarrassed.  Not only was it a bad reflection on my neighborhood, it was also an ugly reminder that there are people that just don’t think or care about the health of our planet.

Instead of spending the day seething, I decided to get involved.  Donning a pair of gloves that I usually reserve for more pleasant pastimes (gardening), I set out to set things right.  Sticky plastic cups, random paper scraps, discarded fast food wrappers and other bits too miserable to mention were taken out of nature and put in their place.  I filled an entire trash bag during my 15-minute walk.

Looking back down the now clean stretch of road, I felt protective.  Woe to the person that tosses trash on MY street!  (OK, who am I kidding – I’m not a confrontational person…I’ll just quietly be back out there, picking up others’ laziness)   Although, according to Keeping America Beautiful, I may not have to.  One of the strongest contributors to littering is the prevalence of existing litter.  Picking up litter is one sure fire way to make a positive impact.  I am now totally tuned in to litter.  I see it everywhere (a mixed blessing of sorts) and you can bet I’m out there picking it up and putting it in its place!

Share your thoughts on litter; leave me a comment – let’s commiserate and cheer each other on!


Windy Chocolate

Walk into our production facility and you’ll see a shiny, metallic maze of tanks, tubes and tracks that continuously melt, move and wrap chocolate bars that support conservation.  How do we power all of those chocolate-filled machines?  With wind!  100% of the electrical energy used to power our office, warehouse and production facility comes from clean, green wind power.  This renewable energy source is harvested from wind farms here in Indian, purchased through Indianapolis Power & Light Green Power Option.

In order to make a commitment to renewable energy, we needed to find room in our budget.  Interestingly enough, our investment  in wind power was made possible by greening up our energy usage.  A 2009 power audit prompted us to make smart improvements to our HVAC system – which reduced Endangered Species Chocolate’s energy consumption by 40%.  A small portion of this savings was all that was needed to invest in purchasing 100% renewable energy for our building.  Endangered Species Chocolate has been an EPA Green Power Partner ever since!

Our annual green power purchase eliminates 501 metric tons of CO2 emissions associated with our purchased electricity – that’s the equivalent of taking 110 cars off the road every year.  Buying green power is truly one of the easiest and most effective ways we’ve improved our facility’s environmental performance.

Comment and share how you’ve reduced energy consumption in your home or office.


An A+ Shopping List

When my refrigerator went kaput last summer, I spent an entire day researching a replacement – comparing cost, quality, Energy Star ratings, company profiles, etc (while simultaneously consuming all the ice cream in my lukewarm freezer).

With big purchases, I’m all about digging deep to ensure that the product I’m investing in matches not only my budget – but my values too.  But I admit, with it comes to day-to-day, grab-and-go buys, I don’t always do my homework.  I mean, who has space in their brain to remember which juice brand hinders clean water access abroad or which pasta sauce earned a Greenwash Award for public deception?

When Endangered Species Chocolate was named one of the 20 Best Companiesby Better World Shopper, they sent us a complimentary copy of the indispensable guide.  The Better World Shopping Guide (available for ipod too) can turn a grocery list into a powerful tool for changing the world.  It grades popular products on five essential issues:

  • Human Rights
  • The Environment
  • Animal Protection
  • Community Involvement
  • Social Justice

Using an easy to grasp A+ to F grading system, I can quickly identify companies to lovingly embrace (“Corporate Heroes”) and ones to avoid like the plague (“Corporate Villains”).  A good place to start is with changes that make to the most impact, Top 10 Things to Change.  Me, I’m tucking this pocket-sized guide in my purse and heading to the grocery store.  Hopefully fellow shoppers will stop and ask why I have my nose in a book.  I’ll give them a sweet, green-minded earful – especially if I don’t see reuseable shopping bags on them! *wink*

Which products/services have your switched in order to better align with your beliefs and values?