Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Exciting Dallas Weather

Wow! A real Winter in Dallas this year.

Keepin' it Green (even when it's a white-out :^)

Craig Founder Turning Life www.TurningLife.com

Monday, January 3, 2011

Admission of even the best of Earth-Friends

Green Integrity
I'll admit that I often make every day choices as a consumer which are not necessarily in my highest "Green integrity." Here in the U.S.A. we are out in the front lines of the Green Movement (whatever that means to you), but our daily consumer options to buy green are still lagging dramatically in comparison to their traditional and less eco-examined commercial, residential and industrial product options.


Expanding Your Options
While it surely helps if I, as a consumer, up the ante by opening my wallet (and my search filters)  increasing my oringally intended spend limits, sometimes this doesn't generate any more viable results or options. I can easily lean on the "not readily available" reason code for choosing to buy a product or service that is not sustainable and human/earth-friendly. No matter how much I wish it were otherwise, I am still a pragmatic and practical consumer like most of us and find it difficult to either pay dearly for the available eco-friendly option, or abandon my new item search all together.

Case-in-point; Our family is currently in search of what would seem a very benign and easily available product from our home. We're on the hunt for an area rug for the living room of our modest home. Generally, we find ourselves straddling on a few options;

1) Wool - This material is "natural" obviously, but we have no idea what sort of pesticides and treatment chemicals have been applied to the masses of wool rugs available. It's a problem of traceability and credibility. Not to mention we've also found out first-hand that some wool rugs shed dramatically in the early stages of their life. With a young family, we crawl, roll, walk and play directly on this rug and wonder how many of those little wool shards end up in our lungs and more obviously end up stuck to our skin and clothing.

2) Cotton - Certainly a viable, robust option for an area rug. However, styles and patterns are extremely limited when you add Organic Cotton as a requirement. It is possible to have an organic cotton rug hand made for you, but here's where the pragmatic and practical shopper comes into play. Forking out the money for a custom made 8 x 10 foot area rug is a very intimidating prospect.

3) Jute, Seagrass, Hemp, etc., - I don't know about your experience with these potentially very sustainable and earth-friendly woven fibers, but mine has been mixed. Generally I find the robustness is fantastic and usually a jute (or similar) rug will outlast just about anything in your home no matter how hard you use and abuse it. The down-side is I've mostly found that however well these fibers function from a longevity standpoint, I believe a whole lot of their duration is due to the fact that they are so hard and rugged (like their cousin products - barge rope) nobody wants to spend any time walking or sitting on them much less rolling and crawling. I've seen how my pets develop welts on their bony portions of legs and arms from laying on jute rugs for long durations...highly undesirable.

4) Misc - This list includes many lesser known and sometimes hard to find entries. A less than complete list includes Bamboo fiber (rayon) & Cotton blends, wool blended tiles, bamboo and other wood or wood-like materials. None of these options we researched were as "human" friendly as we desired for our family space and were therefore not considered viable.

Forgive Me
In the spirit of full disclosure, it's my wife Karyn who is responsible for the exhaustive research on family and earth-friendly rugs. Coming back to my previously mentioned "admission"; Here it is...I caved in long before Karyn and suggested we go with a polypropylene area rug and let it off-gas somewhere before we place it in our living space. I know...I have no excuse for this transgression. Again, it's easy to lean on lack of practical options. I also found myself saying something like, "We grew up with these nasty, off-gassing carpets and rugs and came out okay". Does this sound familiar? I admire and appreciate my wife's persistence and commitment in times when mine runs a little thin. And I too act as a champion to Green causes when Karyn may not see the value or justification behind my choice (The LED Christmas tree lights did grow on her after a few days). We make a good team of checks and balances.

Rest assured - Once we find an answer to our long sought hunt for the best family, human and eco-friendly area rug options we will offer them to you on TurningLife.com

Until then, we are a family without a rug...

Keepin' it Green.

Craig
Founder
Turning Life
www.TurningLife.com

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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy 40th Earth Day!

...And many billions more.

Keepin' it green.

Craig
Founder
Turning Life
www.TurningLife.com

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Eco-Ethiconomic Recovery

Whether or not we choose to embrace or admit this, as a society our collective ethics are counter cyclic to our economic conditions. However undesirable this may appear, it is at the same time an opportunity. The current economy has certainly given us time for introspection; about our spending habits, possessions, economic situation with respect to fellow citizens and even our manner of consumption and the global impact. Just recall how quickly we as a nation drastically reduced the number of miles we drove when gas prices spiked. Even as gas prices dropped appreciably we have not returned to our original level of consumption. While it's true many of us seized the opportunity to change gas consuming habits forever, most are likely to resume previous habits and consumption levels when the economy resurfaces from its deep dive. This is unfortunate and not in the spirit of "Eco-Ethiconomic Recovery".

So what does this example of simple economic pressure and response have to do with ethics being counter cyclic? This question is best answered by your own investigation. Did you ditch your gas guzzler, start taking the bus or train, rideshare with a friend? If the answer is yes on any account, did you congratulate yourself solely for your economic gains, or was there also some amount of "green pride" in the mix? Whether or not your habits changed, as your pocket book became more stressed did you at any time consider the intangible impact of consuming oil versus; air quality, water pollution, carbon emissions, renewable energy. Now comes the hard part... if it wasn't for rising cost of gas, would or have you made any change of habit exclusively for "green pride" reasons? Hmmm...

While it's easy to cite the nation's newly rediscovered intolerance of the financial community as evidence to our swinging ethical compass, the example I use above is very subtle and demands focused attention to our own thoughts, intentions and ultimately our actions. In cases of right versus wrong it's very easy to know where we stand ethically. However, in cases of right versus more right, the path is not so clear and well traveled.

I encourage anyone in my sphere of influence to consider your choices as recovering consumers:
First - Don't buy what you won't use. It's really that simple.
Second - Consider the hidden impact of your purchase. For example, by purchasing clothing made with organic material you are voting for manufacturing conditions which significantly reduce or completely remove workers exposure to hazardous and environmentally un-friendly chemicals.
Third - When you begin to buy again...Please donate what you've replaced or will no longer use.

Keeping it Green...

Craig
Founder
Turning Life
www.TurningLife.com

P.S. Turning Life is pleased to announce we have recently been Green America Approved. Read more...

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Swirl of Potential

Have you been feeling a bit conflicted recently?

The groundswell of potential swirls in this country on broadcasts, podcasts and blogcasts. Can you feel it, hear it, sense it...regardless of your political persuasion?

I am energized to invest myself deeper in green and eco-friendly convictions than ever before and at the same time I experience an intellectual/emotional paralysis. I am human and make mistakes. I can be persuaded by the use of psychological tactics, emotional manipulation, statistical deception. There are so many organizations and "agents of change" to ally myself. Which of these causes truly represent my deepest concerns while earning my trust and convictions?

If you're looking to act, but don't know where to start...relax, take a breath and look around you. One of the most powerful agents of social, economic and environmental change you will ever possess is already green. It's literally the change in your pocket. The green in your wallet. You vote for change with each and every penny you spend or give.

Money is referred to as currency for a reason. To be effective, it must be flowing. We can recognize this by the efforts put forth in so many developed nations to get the world's credit markets "flowing" again. We offer our currency and what do we get back...? Change! How ironic.

Where is your currency flowing? Does this flow reflect the image you have of yourself with respect to your social convictions? Does it reflect your desire for a more equitable and environmentally sound society? Don't worry, you are empowered to change the direction of your flow at any time. The mighty river starts as a trickle, but soon flows into the ocean.

Keeping it green...

Craig
Turning Life

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Sunday, October 12, 2008

Your Turning Life

My wife Karyn led the Yoga class in our home town this morning. I joined her class after having been away from my practice for a while. It isn't uncommon for me to drift away from something I've come to know and appreciate from time to time. The beauty of drifting and returning is being able to rediscover and experience again, as if new, my joy and appreciation.

I lay on my back with my legs up the wall and feel safe...even though the world outside our Yoga studio seems unsure and chaotic. I am secure in myself and feel the sense of security in those around me. In this moment there is no financial meltdown, no impeding foreclosure, no big-money bailout. In this moment I am firmly rooted and stable. I hope you too can find that moment...if only for a moment.

As I travel and talk with other like-minded folks, I'm actually encouraged. Yes, we are experiencing troubling times and all of us feel the pain. But how could we ever recognize pleasure if it wasn't for pain to give us a point of reference? During this painful economic time I'm witnessing so many green and eco-friendly initiatives, businesses, and organizations develop their roots and grow. At the same time many of the "green too" marketing schemes are being abandoned as too costly by companies and individuals just trying to capitalize on what they see as the latest trend. This is a time when we begin to separate the organic wheat from the chaff, as it were.

It's okay to drift...and come on back again.

Keepin' it Green,
Craig
Turning Life

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