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Green Consumer Product Site Launched

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A new eco-conscious/Fair Trade oriented consumer info site has just been launched-called Green Scene USA. It currently represents 12 U.S. cities, (including Santa Barbara, L.A, Washington D.C.), but they are just getting off the ground, so expect more to come online soon. The site will increasingly be a place to find cool ‘eco-conscious’ local events, Fair Trade products of every kind, services, you name it. For those who are in business and have integrated green practices, its a good place to advertise. You can also create a blog, or use it for social networking. Its free.

Something I found right away, that was educational and practically useful for me (and hopefully for some of you):

I was looking at the dry cleaning options for Santa Barbara since perc (perchlorethylene–the standard chemical used in the process) is a toxic mess, and I refuse to patronize businesses using it. Evidently, there is a new inert solvent that is silicone based and has passed California’s air quality standards for environmental safety. It sounds like a positive step. Green Earth Cleaning, through Green Scene, provides lists to dry cleaners using the new ‘eco-safe’ solvent throughout the country.

I do have some questions about this chemical, particularly how it is disposed and its effect on marine life. So, I have written the company to ask about this. I don’t imagine it’s fine to dump down the drain. Anyway, I’ll let y’all know what I get back from them.

Aside from my dry cleaning tidbit, a very cool link I found through Green Scene is eConscious Market. It is the Internet’s largest philanthropic eco-marketplace. They feature eco-products created by some of the most innovative, green and socially responsible businesses available. They are supporting over one hundred eco-vendors who stand out in the field of ecological and social responsibility. They also have a commitment to raising money for 125 non-profit partners. Every time someone shops at the eco-market, they give back. They give away 50% of their net profits to the organization that the customer chooses. I’m not quite sure how they do this and maintain viability, but more power to them. It will be interesting to follow the growth of this company.

Like Green Scene, these guys are just getting off the ground, so product selection will be rapidly expanding with new companies coming onboard every week.

They have an online magazine called Ecotimes, which claims to have the latest on sustainable lifestyle choices and the new green economy, cutting edge green media, organic and Fair Trade product reviews, and insights into viable planetary solutions.

Categories include:

  • Conscious Commerce
  • eCo TV
  • Green Living
  • Modern Philanthropy
  • Sustainable Style
  • The Big Picture

There are some interesting conversations going on there.

One of many video clips on the site, (which most of you probably know about) concerns the Texas-sized plastic mass/mess floating in the Pacific Ocean. Its overwhelming.

Another video piece was on the plight of Nike factory workers in Indonesia. It reminded me of the real lives we touch by making conscious (or unconscious) purchases. Voting with our dollars changes things. It affects real people and it is something easy that we all can do to make things better. Today, there are alternatives to most of the things we like to buy, alternatives that are third party certified Fair Trade and if not environmentally safe, at least safe-ER.

So please use the site to stay abreast of current events and options that we have as consumers, as world citizens.

Again, when you stop to think that there are alternatives to just about every product we "need," alternatives which are not linked to environmental degradation, or human exploitation, there’s no longer any reason to just shop as usual. Its just too easy to make a different choice. Every Fair Trade, eco- conscious purchase you make is a stand for humanity, and life on this planet. It’s not about some pollyannish dream of making all things equal. But it is about making things more humane and sustainable for everyone, no matter what their situation. It’s time.


Comments (5 comments)

ClintJCL / May 13th, 2008, 5:57 am / #1

semi-related: Why doesn’t the packing store sell used styrofoam packing S’es? I throw away at least a full garbage cart of them every year! I should be able to sell them back.

Engineer-Poet / May 15th, 2008, 3:51 pm / #2

I was looking at the dry cleaning options for Santa Barbara since perc (perchlorethylene–the standard chemical used in the process) is a toxic mess, and I refuse to patronize businesses using it. Evidently, there is a new inert solvent that is silicone based and has passed California’s air quality standards for environmental safety.

Supercritical CO2 is greener than just about anything else out there; maybe you can find a cleaner using it.

Sergio Castro / January 30th, 2010, 3:10 am / #3

Hello Engineer-Poet:
There is now a dry cleeaners that is 100 % green the name is Norvell Bass Cleaners in Loreto Plaza and in Montecito.
They have been for a year and is a great thing to have now in Santa Barbara!!
Lets patronize them and let them know what a great feeling is to have them and think of our future!

Sergio Castro

Morgaine / May 15th, 2008, 9:08 pm / #4

Engineer Poet: Thanks for the info. Haven’t been able to find any local dry cleaners using this though, not sure why. (start up costs??) But I will look into it further.. Apparently it is also being used as a non-toxic method to decaffeinate coffee now, among many other things.

Clint: Have you tried using biodegradable packing peanuts? or cellulose wrap?

William Prophet / May 28th, 2008, 9:37 pm / #5

Hi Clint. The packing stores don’t typically buy back the Styrofoam peanuts, however most of them will probably accept used Styrofoam peanuts as long as they are clean. I’ve returned them quite a few times to different locations and they’re always happy to accept them – that much less that they have to purchase! Not a perfect system but at least they aren’t going straight into a landfill. Adios.

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