Green is Universal

Green Holiday Gifts for Babies, Kids and Teens: All from Small Eco-Businesses

span class=”mt-enclosure mt-enclosure-image” style=”display: inline;”>monkey toy.jpgAs a savvy auntie, I feel especially qualified to cover this topic. Never a mom but nine times an aunt and even more times a FONM (friend of a New Mom), I’ve shopped for babies, kids and teens more often than I can remember. I know how hard it is to find just the right thing – not too scratchy, not too babyish, “in-the-know” and trendy but not trying too hard…So I’ve decided that this holiday season, the right thing is the green thing. Bringing kids up to be eco-friendly is a gift they will appreciate forever as you introduce them to the more natural, more sustainable things in life. Here are a few great green gifts to start them on a greener path (all from small eco-companies who need our green during this tough retail season).

Babies and Kids personal care kits:

California Baby: Green moms love these safe, non-toxic, personal care baby soaps, creams, lotions and bubble baths. Baby gift sets can be completely customized and come with a non-toxic bath toy and product samples.

Burt’s Bees kits: Try the Baby Bee Getting Started Kit…all SLS and paraban-free creams and lotions made with soothing buttermilk and coconut oils.



10 Easy Tips to Green Your Holidays

By Debbie Levin


Did you know that Americans increase their garbage by 25% from
Thanksgiving to New Years?  That’s a lot of garbage — more than 25
million tons of extra waste, according to the EPA.  But the good news
is that there are some simple things we can all do to limit our impact
and reduce our overall consumption.

Here’s what you need to know to go greener this holiday season:

  1. Use Recycled Wrapping Paper – Wrapping paper and
    shopping bags account for 4 million tons of trash annually in the U.S.
    Most wrapping paper isn’t recyclable because it’s made out of materials
    that are dyed and laminated, contains non-paper additives such as gold
    and silver coloring, and usually is taped.  You can get recycled
    wrapping paper from companies such as Fish Lips and Earth Love’n Paper.  Or get creative — make fabric gift bags, or visit for other alternatives.
  2. Recycle Your Tree – Over 33 million Christmas
    trees are purchased in North America every year and most of those end
    up in a landfill or rotting somewhere.  Find out where to recycle your
    tree by visiting In the top right of the page, enter your location; the site will give you local recycling facilities.
  3. Buy Recyclable Christmas Cards – There are 2.65
    billion holiday cards sold each year in the U.S. If they are shiny, or
    contain glitter or other materials, they aren’t recyclable. So buy and
    send cards that are made from recycled materials. And, after the
    holiday, recycle the non-shiny cards you received.  Another option:
    Send out e-cards rather than real ones.



Green Screens End of Week Update

By Susanne Sonderhoff, Marketing Manager, HP Social, Environmental Responsibility

I just wanted to take a moment to thank everyone in New York and around the country that has come out during Earth Week 2008 to responsibly dispose of their old electronics. While there are many industries that have a very obvious impact on the environment, technology is not typically the first that comes to mind since the production and use of technology products doesn’t directly involve carving holes into the earth,
felling trees, or using up excessive amounts of water. So why are tech companies
taking environmental issues so seriously?



Green Screens Sunday Update

By Dan Estabrook,

I spent yesterday beginning the process of “greening” the NBC Universal Corporate Mailroom at 30 Rockefeller Plaza by eliminating the company’s junk mail. If you don’t know about GreenDimes, we are the trusted leaders in eliminating junk mail for consumers. When you purchase our full service reduction service, we also plant 5 trees to help offset the waste even more. You can find out more at

GreenDimes is working with NBC Universal during Earth Week to promote junk mail elimination. If you visit the NBC Experience Store, you will find a kiosk where you can order our service. The windows at Rockefeller Center are decorated with junk mail exhibits and it was amazing to see the GreenDimes logo in the middle of it all. The whole display is eye-catching and very cool.

I arrived to the mailroom to find 17 boxes filled to the brim with junk sent to NBC over three days last week. I expected volumes, but I was shocked to find over 1,000 pounds of junk mail. Over an average week, that works out to just over 2,100 pounds (assuming not so much comes in on weekends). Per day, it equals 300 pounds (as much as the average household receives in one year, based on our data). That’s three entire trees!



St. Jude’s Ranch Recycled Card Program

cardpic2.JPGEver wonder what to do with all those beautiful cards you received in holiday seasons past?

If you’re anything like me, you save them with the highest hopes of making something, like a beautiful decoupage box that you can give to an unsuspecting friend whose card is the center piece for your design. But in reality, they stay in a box that gathers dust until the next holiday season where you plop some more cards on the pile!

St. Jude’s Ranch for Children is here to help. Their Recycled Card Program accepts all occasion cards for a limited time through out the year.

The children participate in making the new cards by removing the fronts and attaching new backs. The result is a beautiful new card made by the children and volunteers that St. Jude can then in their online shop. And for a limited time, as a special thank you to their customers, all recycled card orders will be shipped free.

For more info, go to


Green Screens Sunday Update

The second and final collection day of green screens was an even bigger hit than Saturday.  At almost every location, collection numbers were larger.  Check out the widget below.  Previous means Saturday, November 15th and Current means today, Sunday, November 16th.  Yes, that’s 206,000 lbs. collected just today!  For a total New York City collection of 359,000 pounds of electronic waste this weekend.  What a wonderful way to kick off Green Week!

Again, I want to thank all of the New Yorkers who turned out in the thousands this weekend to recycle your electronic waste responsibly.  I worked at the Queens location and we saw some folks come back up to three times.  Every time with a smile and appreciation that we were offering this event.  A lot of people also asked when we would do this again.  So check back at often for updates on our next event.


Green Screens Recycling Event: Full List of Accepted Materials


This year’s Green Screens Recycling Event will take place in each of the 5 Boroughs of New York City November 15-16 from 8am-2pm.

Our recycling collection partner, Electronic Recyclers International, can be reached at 1-800-RECYCLING for any questions.

The following is a full list of the materials they will and will not accept during the recycling event.



Little Things Make a Big Difference

By Carl Eckersley, Manager, Personal System Group Product Stewardship

I consider myself very fortunate and I am proud to work for a company that has valued corporate citizenship for over 50 years, caring for the environment and caring for others is part of who we are at HP. Even if your company doesn’t have a history of environmental responsibility, it’s never too late to get started. There are lots of simple things that any employee at any company can do to help reduce the impact of their workplace on the environment.

To get started, take a look at power use in the office. As an individual, you can ensure your PC always has power management features enabled, which will put it in “sleep” mode after a short period of inactivity. Some PCs, like those from HP, are built with energy-efficient features and ship with power management enabled, so looking for those types of features is always the energy smart choice when purchasing new equipment.




Deck the Halls with LED

GE-lights.jpgWhy It’s Good:

These multi-colored bulbs are larger and have a cool retro-style – great for both the tree and your outdoor decorating.

Why It’s Green:

LED lights use only 10 percent of the power that traditional ones do. Plus, they’ll make your holiday decorating easier – they last about 10 years longer than traditional lights and if one bulb goes out, it doesn’t affect the whole strand!

Where To Get It: | $19.97




By Nicole Walters,

If you went to grade school with a girl who used oral reports as a forum for environmental issues, chances are you went to grade school with me. Since I can remember, I have been an advocate for the environment. So last year when my project launching hulu ended and the Green is Universal project came across my desk, I jumped at the opportunity. It seemed a natural progression, no? From hand drawn posters of recycling bins and the ozone layer to digital versions of the same… and this way I get to save paper.

Being an advocate and actually being someone who does things to save the environment are two very different things. Launching a website like shined a light on all of the things that I wasn’t doing, and as my knowledge grew, so did my list of personal commitments.

verde.jpgOne of my first was to remove plastic shopping bags from my life. So I bought this bag. There were lots of other designs to choose from but I liked that this one said “Verde!” instead of “Green!” (I realize it’s the same thing, but when you work on a “green website” about “going green” and all the things you can do to “green your life”, it’s funny, but you start to develop an aversion to the word.)

The first time I used my new bag, I was so proud! It fit what would have been about 3 or 4 plastic bags worth of groceries and slung easily over my shoulder. But that was just a small, stop-by-the-shop-on-the-way-home-from-work, shopping. I live out in the ‘burbs where weekend grocery trips are a major event to some folks. I’ve seen families pack two carts full of food for the week. My family isn’t that big yet, but I knew my single canvas bag was not going to cut it for that weekend’s trip.

Any Project Runway fan whose worth her salt knows how to make a pattern, so I used my Verde! bag as a template and commenced to making 4 more. Don’t ask me how long it took, but now that I’m practiced I’ve decided to make more as gift bags for the coming holiday season to cut out gift wrapping. Actually, now that I think about how long it took, I should get started soon! Since those initial 5 I’ve managed to add a few more to my collection, including a Marks & Spencer bag brought from the UK by my mother-in-law and a Green is Universal bag that conveniently rolls up to a size that fits in my purse.

And after all this effort… I still forget them sometimes! I know I’ve got work to do, but it’s like we say here at Green is Universal – it’s the little things we do that add up to make a big difference. The amount of plastic I’ve reduced in my life is significant to the environment, but in our shrink-wrapped, fast-paced world, there will always be more room to reduce, reuse and recycle.

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