Green is Universal

Green Screens Sunday Update

By Dan Estabrook, GreenDimes.com

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 www.greendimes.com.

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!

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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 http://www.stjudesranch.org/help_card.php.

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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 greenisuniversal.com/greenscreens often for updates on our next event.

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Green Screens Recycling Event: Full List of Accepted Materials

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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.

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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.

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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:

www.lowes.com | $19.97

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Baggage

By Nicole Walters, GreenisUniversal.com

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 GreenisUniversal.com 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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If you can’t Reuse, definitely Recycle

I recently received an email from a friend with all of this recycling advice from The Nature Conservancy and I thought I’d share:

Aerosol cans: pull off the plastic cap, empty the canister completely and recycle with other cans.

Antiperspirant and deodorant sticks: Many brands have a dial on
the bottom that is made of a plastic polymer that’s different from the
plastic used for the container, so you might not be able to recycle the
whole thing (look on the bottom to find out). Tom’s of Maine makes a
deodorant stick composed solely of plastic No. 5.

Backpacks: The American Birding Association accepts donated
backpacks, which its scientists use while tracking neotropical birds (americanbirding.org).

Batteries: Drop off at the recycling center. For car batteries
– almost any retailer selling them will also collect and recycle them.

Bottle Caps: Visit Recycle Caps with Aveda for more information.

Carpeting (nylon fiber): Go to carpetrecovery.org and click on “What can I do with my old carpet?” to find a carpet-reclamation facility near you, or check with your carpet’s
manufacturer.

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What She Really Wants: Green Holiday Gifts for Gals from Small Green Businesses

BE4G1_yellow_tn.jpgWhether it is already on her wish list or not, what woman doesn’t want a gift that keeps giving back to her family, her community, her planet and herself? This holiday season surprise her with eco-gifts she’ll love and help support economically-challenged green small businesses. In “Buycotting the Holidays“, I explained why these companies need our support to survive this tough holiday retail season…so here are some great green gifts for all the women in your life:

Luxurious eco-clothing, bath and bedding: DreamSacks is a one-stop, eco-shop for comfortable and natural fiber products made from silk, soy and sustainable bamboo. On their website, you’ll find beautiful sheets, blankets, casual clothing, robes and towels. And for a limited time (Sunday November 23rd – Friday December 5th at midnight), DreamSacks is offering a special coupon just for visitors to this blog. Just enter NBCUGREEN at the website when prompted for the coupon code and get 15% off! Quality and value…a dream solution.

Organic Skin and Personal Care: There are so many great eco-friendly, organic skin care companies in business today…please support them so they will all be here tomorrow. A few of my favorites with special offers this season:

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A Trashy Solution

dvd_case.jpgOdds are you’ve come into contact with a plastic jewel case, whether at work or at home. Each month over 100,000 pounds of CDs and DVDs become obsolete in the U.S., with a majority headed for the landfill, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). While reusing the cases for future CDs and DVDs has traditionally been a good way to divert the pesky plastics from being thrown out, NBC Universal is now using an innovative closed-loop recycling process to make 100 percent post consumer recycled paper cases from the 30 Rockefeller Plaza office trash.

So how does it work? With the help of the NBCU facilities team, a compactor in the basement of 30 Rockefeller Plaza has been isolated specifically for NBC Universal paper trash. One week yields approximately 10 tons of paper, which is then picked up by NBCU’s recycling company, IESI, and brought to Pratt Industries on Staten Island. While at Pratt, the paper is sorted, bailed, and pulped. The pulp then enters warm water where it will be deinked, drained, dried, and wound onto a reel. Pratt then takes the material and uses their on-site box plant to create NBCU’s customized DVD cases.

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