USB Rechargable AA batteries

Worth checking out …The USBCELL rechargeable battery (produced by Moixa Energy) plugs into any computer’s USB port to recharge. It has a flip cap top that houses the USB port. (images available here)

It was awarded a Gold award at the IF Product Design ceremony in March and the Entrepreneur of the Year Award (listed under “Simon Daniel – Moixa”) at the Rosenblatt New Energy Awards in February.

Think twice about dry cleaning your work clothes.

Do you take your work clothes to the dry cleaners? Think twice about the health risks!

Perchloroethylene (or PERC) is a manufactured chemical that is primarily used for dry cleaning fabrics. Most of us won’t be exposed to high levels of Perc which can affect the central nervous system, eye and respiratory irritation, severe shortness of breath, nausea, difficulty speaking and walking, etc. But even small doses can cause dizziness, inebriation, sleepiness, and irritated eyes, nose, mouth, throat, and respiratory tract. If you are pregnant or have disease of the heart, liver, kidneys, or lungs you are much more susceptible to these conditions. Long term exposure can lead to many forms of cancer. (more info)


  • Find a “green” dry cleaner: CO2 or GreenEarth are two choices I found online.
  • Many clothes can be washed by hand.
  • Or try washing in the machine’s gentle cycle.
  • Avoid the problem by buying clothes that do not call for dry cleaning.

(Note: Perc is also found in aerosol products, solvent soaps, printing inks, adhesives, sealants, paint removers, paper coatings, leather treatments, automotive cleaners, polishes, lubricants, typewriter correction fluid, adhesives, spot removers, wood cleaners, and shoe polish.)

Leftovers at lunch?

Can’t finish your meal at lunch? Take it to go and enjoy it later for another meal – a great way not to waste food. But,  that usually that means putting your leftovers in a polystyrene foam container that you will throw away at home. Polystyrene foam takes a very long time if ever to break down, usually cannot be recycled, and has one of the highest negative impacts on the environment.  How about bringing your own container for your leftovers? I bring a collapsible container (Tupperware and Rubbermaid both make these types of containers.)  that fits easily in my backpack and I can reuse again and again.

Rate it Green Web site

This free online community – Rate It Green – is a user driven Web site for green building, products, companies, and services including a green rating system. Created by three unique partners and an advisory board looking for new members to join, their goal is “to facilitate an open marketplace where everyone can shop for and buy green products confidently.” The site includes a forum where users can share their thoughts or ask questions to others about products and services and a section on Green Building Basics. For those not wishing to register, the public areas are free to browse but you will not be able to post, rate or comment.

Check it out:

Green Building Event (Houston, TX)

April 3-6, 2008: Houston Green Expo at Reliant Park invites more than its typical design and construction professionals this year as it will focus on green building, sustainable land use, global warming issues, energy efficiency, and green vehicles. April 5-6 Expo Days are FREE to general public featuring the latest in green building products and related services.  There is even a free GreenRide ride-share program.

Reusable VS. Disposable Mugs

When grabbing a cup of coffee in the staff lounge or at a training session, there is much debate on whether a a reusable mug is better for the environment than a disposable mug. Its takes energy, water, etc. to clean a reusable mug and some argue it is a negative impact to the environment. A 1994 study from the ILEA discussed these ideas if you want to check it out and make your own decision.

But if you have a large staff of people who will use reusable mugs, an energy efficient dishwasher, and don’t pre-rinse or use the heat dry cycle, it is better to reuse your mugs by cleaning them in a full dishwasher.

A great example: I use to attend training sessions at New Horizons Computer Learning Center in Colorado. They might have 4-8 rooms of 10-40 people each doing trainings on the same day. Yet their lounge had all reusable mugs for hot drinks. They had a dishwasher and easily filled it to run daily. For once, I didn’t have to bring my own reusable travel mug 🙂

Save Paper When Faxing

First ask yourself –  can you send the document over the internet? There are many internet options: just send it via emailed instead; for short faxes it can usually be sent for free; for longer faxes there are many services listed here.  Faxing over the internet will also save you a dedicated phone line.

If it has to be sent in non-digital form, you can also create a template and print out many little stickers on one page – slap a sticker on the first sheet of your fax and you have already saved one whole sheet of paper.