Friday, September 25, 2009

Use post-it notes to change other people's wasteful behavior!

Where I work, I see a lot of people leaving their computers on, leaving lights on in their office. Those that work in the factory leave the test equipment and other electronic devices on as well.

Instead of complaining, I decided to make up some bright green post-it notes, and place them on the device, so the person sees the "reminder" when they come back. This way, you don't need to confront the "accuser" and make them feel bad. Often times, people just forget, or don't realize that it should be turned off.

Each pad comes with 50 notes, and they can be re-used (like a normal post-it note). Simply scan your work area, or your house, and place the note on anything that should be turned off. Certain items (like refrigerators) need to stay on all the time. Focus on the items that definitely need to be shut off. If you can follow up with this approach and feedback for one month (20-30 days), that should be enough time that behavior starts to change, and people will become more cognizant of what they're leaving on.

To order some of these post-its:

Green "Turn Off When Done" Post-It Note Reminders

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Debbie Meyer Green Bags actually work!

We saw these bags on the TV infomercials, and it looked too good to be true, so we decided to order some. We typically have problems with spinach and raspberries. They usually go bad after about 2 days, and we have throw them away. When using the green bags, they were still good after a week and a half (about 10 days). We ate them before 30 days, so we don't know if it will last out to 30 days, but we were very happy that it gave us that much time to eat them.

This will definitely save us money, and will stop us from wasting good fruits and vegetables. They're only about $10, so it will pay for itself the first or second time you use them.

You can order them on

Monday, September 7, 2009

Virgin Islands Sustainable Farm Institute (VISFI) leading the way

On our recent trip to St. Croix, we discovered a very cool farm up in the rainforests. The VISFI provides "a working educational farm enterprise that integrates sustainability in education, environment, and community through quality instruction in Agroecology and related fields." We wanted to get a first-hand look at what they did, and so we made the trek up the mountain for a visit.

They offer many workshops and educational programs to study-abroad students, along with the locals. The have recently setup the VI Locally Grown program, where buyers can purchase local produce and hand-made crafts online.

The first thing you notice is the solar panels on the roof of the community center. Inside is a library of sustainable books, along with tables where the staff work wirelessly from their laptops. There is also a kitchen, where the food from the land is prepared each day.

Everyone was very friendly and helpful. We decided to take the self-guided tour. We were given a map of the area, along with descriptions about each area.

One of the coolest features was the treehouse, which had a bed and living room area. It was buried high up into the trees, and could fold up during inclimate weather. There was a lot of craftmanship that went into building it.

Another helper lived in the yurt pictured above, which was buried into the forest, and was difficult to find.

They also have a program called Farm Stays where you can stay in one of the solar-powered cabanas for about $35/night and help out around the farm during the day. A great option for those trying to save money. The farm is only a couple miles drive from the beach, or you can also opt to hike down from the mountain.

There is a lot more that they offer, so visit the VISFI website for more information, or stop by if you're ever in St. Croix.