Thursday, April 24, 2008

This Is Why We Shop


The Story of Stuff is a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns, with a special focus on the United States. All the stuff in our lives, beginning from the extraction of the resources to make it, through its production, sale, use and disposal, affects communities at home and abroad, yet most of this is hidden from view. The Story of Stuff exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues and calls for all of us to create a more sustainable and just world. It'll teach you something. It'll make you laugh, and it just may change the way you look at all the stuff in your life forever.

Click the picture to see the video. It's shorter than Oprah's 22 minutes of air time on her 1 hour long show. (the rest of the time is for commercials)



Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Hip Hot! Pimp My GREEN Ride-Earth Day Special!

Earth Day getting old? Seen enough "go green" ads to throw up? I know what you mean, so today I've found something sooooo great to share with my eco-posse!

Once again, rap superstar and car enthusiast Xzibit and car customization specialist Mad Mike take aim on the biggest clunkers on the road, but today, will do something DIFFERENT! Arnold Schwartzenegger visits the gang and shares his enthusiasm at their efforts.

Click here: Watch The Episode Now:

(if video doesn't appear, click here)



You've seen the latest Pimp My Ride, you've been following the 12-step Break the Addiction program, and you know that climate change is real. So what are you waiting for? It's time to pimp your ride eco-style!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Sick of Going Green?


Everyone that knows me, knows that I am FOR the planet. I'm doing my part for our Mother Earth. BUT. It makes me mad that all these corporations are making commercials that emphasize their wonderful, eco friendly, green, bio healthy ways when they haven't changed a single thing about how they do business!


For example, on cafemom this morning, I saw a "green" Coke ad. Coke? Green? Since when? For every Coke in someone's hand, they are healthier? I do think so! The last time I looked at the ingredients on a Coke, it said HEALTH WARNING on it!


Yesterday, an ad for Subaru, said it's now a zero landfill company. Really? Ask the garbage man if they do a weekly pick up there! There isn't a C02 molecule of truth in that one!


There's a plethora of events for this beautiful planet this month and it's all geared toward consumers. Buy this, buy that, and you'll be green. Here's a word to the wiser.. consuming more STUFF won't make you green! In fact, it's ANTI-green!


If you truly want to contribute to the continuation of the Circle Of Life, just educate yourself about products that YOU ALREADY USE and make a switch to simply choose better ones. Like garbage bags, they make biodegradable ones now. Shopping bags, get reusable ones and use them. Cleaning supplies can be non toxic or don't use them at all, use steamers! And the foods you eat, just stop eating fast food and buying packaged preserved food. And of course, get outside and take a walk!


I blog to share what I've learned about how to ECO-CONVERT your lifestyle without falling victim to corporate greenwashing.



It's LESS About Saving The Planet And MORE About Saving Your Life!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Growling Mad!

Our friend Eddie at the EWG.org site has informed me today of some very disturbing testing results.

Recently, they told us about the non-stick chemicals scientists found at high levels in pets. That's not the only thing that stood out, though.

The scientists at the lab also found high levels of a kind of chemical called phthalates (which they tell me is pronounced THAL-ates, like PAL-ates, although how you get that from a word that starts with ph is beyond me). Phthalates are used in certain kinds of plastic to make them softer, and in things that need to smell nice to make the fragrance last. They're endocrine disruptors, which means they can mess up our hormones, and they may also cause reproductive problems and cancer.

Animals studied were contaminated at really high levels. In dogs, it was higher than 80% of the population. In cats, one of the kinds of phthalates was higher than has ever been found in people!

There are lots of different ways that we're exposed to phthalates. For one, it's in some of our toys. Soft plastic squeaky toys (like the rubber ducky you're always stealing from your human sister) are made with PVC, which leaches phthalates. And that smelly stuff my human dad is always spraying on the couch after he kicks me off of it probably had phthalates in it too (febreeze?), but there's no way to tell since the government doesn't make them list it on the ingredients (anyway, do I really smell that bad?).

Phthalates are also in many shampoos and cleaning products, and even some veterinary medicines. Hard to believe they'd let such toxic stuff be all over the place, isn't it? We're in quite a mess, which is why I need your help!

Meet me over here to play! http://www.petsfortheenvironment.org/

Thank you Eddie! We here at the Eco-Converts Blog are with you all the way! Sign up everyone! And tell everyone you know!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Who Is Earthman?

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I have recently met a very dedicated and amazing person. He's known around these parts as Earthman.

Go Check out this amazing and educational website at http://www.earthman.tv/
This is both "Hot" and "Cool"!! Click Climate Crisis Jam music video

Earthman Lanny and his band are spreading the coolest info about a hot topic! I recently had the chance to speak to Lanny and he's an amazing person. In addition to his live music concerts, he's currently visiting schools and educating children about global warming, what it is and how we can take care of Mother Earth and slow the warming down to the natural pace she intended! If you're interested in his special appearances, you can contact him through his website, or (since he's obviously busy right now) leave a message on this blog and I'll make sure he gets it!

Here's a partial list of his current concert schedule, you've got to go!

  • April 12 - 1pm North Miami Beach WaterFestSat.
  • April 12- Miami River Day 4-5pm - Jose Marti park in Miami Sat.
  • April 19th - Captain Planet Earth Day Festival Atlanta, Georgia - Afternoon, Chatahoochee Nature CenterSun.
  • April 20 Miami Springs Riverfest 2-3pm
  • April 21 10:30 - 11:30am Caleb Center, Miami - 1,000 children
  • April 22 (Earth Day) - Nashville, Tennessee - Belcourt Theatre (evening)
  • April 26 - Broward Audubon Earth Day, Ann Kolb Park - Hollywood, Florida
  • April 26 - 6pm Parkland Library, Parkland, Florida
  • Go to a Florida Marlin's home game and see Earthman on the jumbotron with Billy the Marlin talking about conserving water!!!!

If you get a chance to see him live in concert, or visit his site, let him know you're rooting for him and this cause. Share this information with others who might want to know this too (who doesn't-come on!) Oh, and tell him JoAnn said Hi!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Green Festivals - You've Got To Go!

Green festivals are so awesome! Like minded people converging and celebrating the greener side of life. (If you don't see the video below: click here!)



At Green Festivals, we’re celebrating what’s working in our communities—for people, business and the environment. Here, green means safe, healthy communities and a strong local economy.

Join us at the nation’s premier sustainability events, where you will see the very best in green. You’ll enjoy more than 125 renowned authors, leaders and educators; great how-to workshops; cutting-edge films; fun activities for kids; organic beer and wine; delicious vegetarian cuisine and diverse live music. Shop in our unique marketplace of more than 300 eco-friendly businesses—everything from all-natural body care products and organic cotton clothing to Fair Trade gifts and beautiful kitchen tiles made from renewable resources.

Visit the official site for Green Festivals here: http://www.greenfestivals.org/

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Top 10 UN-Green Products!

1. Disposable Products
Styrofoam, plastic cups and utensils are not biodegradable, which means it's here forever. Next time, get your coffee to go in a reusable coffee mug or thermos. Skip the fast food, and use glass and metal storage containers whenever possible.

2. Paper products
Properly managed, paper is a renewable resource. But many of us tend to use more paper products than necessary. Paper towels and napkins are particularly wasteful of forest resources, landfill space, and your money. If you do purchase paper towels or napkins, make sure you buy an eco-friendly variety. A better alternative is to use cloth napkins at meals, and rags, sponges, or towels to clean up messes.


3. Bleached coffee filters
Dioxins are chemicals formed during the chlorine bleaching process. Dioxins contaminate groundwater and air, and have been linked to cancer in both humans and animals. If you are a coffee drinker, make sure you buy eco-friendly unbleached filters, which are healthier for both you and the environment.


4. Product Packaging
How often do you buy products that are wrapped in layers of heavy plastic, bubble wrap, or mounds of packing peanuts? Excess packaging wastes resources and costs you more money. A large portion of the trash in American households comes from packaging, which contributes to our overflowing landfills. Whenever possible, buy products in bulk, without excess packaging.


5. Tropical hardwoods
Teak and mahogany are beautiful, long-lasting woods. Demand for these woods has increased their harvesting from tropical rainforests, where over half of the planet's plant and animal species reside. Help protect the rainforests. Next time you are in the market for wood furniture, make sure it's manufactured through certified forestry programs. Even better, consider purchasing products made from bamboo, a highly renewable resource that causes less damage to the environment.


6. Household cleaners
Many household cleaning products contain hazardous ingredients. Rather than purchasing products with scary warning labels, try to buy natural cleaners. They are better for your skin, your lungs, and your indoor environment. A clean home doesn't have to be an unhealthy one. Visit: Clean-Safely.com


7. High-octane gas
High-octane gas releases hazardous pollutants into the air and could be bad for your car. Today, only one in ten cars manufactured since 1982 requires high-octane gasoline. Try to use the lowest octane fuel recommended for your car.


8. Toys made with PVC plastic
PVC plastic, the least recycled plastic, is mainly used in construction. But it can also be found in everyday plastics, including children's toys. Vinyl chloride, the chemical used to make PVC, is a human carcinogen. Other dangerous additives, such as lead and cadmium, are sometimes added to PVC to keep it from breaking down. These additives are particularly dangerous in children's toys.


9. Incandescent bulbs
With relatively inexpensive compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs) available, it makes no sense to buy old-style bulbs for most applications. CFLs don't radiate light the same way as conventional bulbs, but they use 75% less energy. Make sure you dispose of CFL lightbulbs properly, because they contain a small amount of mercury.


10. Disposable batteries
Most of the 15 billion batteries manufactured each year are alkaline batteries, which are discarded after their life cycle. Batteries that are thrown away and taken to landfills break down and leak chemicals into the groundwater. With so many electronic devices surrounding us, it makes environmental and financial sense to switch to rechargeable Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) or Lithium Ion (Li-Ion) batteries. Do your research on eco-friendly batteries; you'll limit the amount of toxins entering the groundwater, and save yourself some money.


Tips from my newest favorite website for parenting tips and super great information at http://www.familyeducation.com/home/


Tuesday, April 8, 2008

I am NOT planting a tree for Earth Day!






I'm doing this!

You don't need dreads and a canvas messenger bag to join in the festivities at the Green Apple Festival! Free public events in New York City (Central Park), Washington, DC (The National Mall), Chicago IL (Lincoln Park Zoo), Miami FL (Bicentennial Park), Denver CO (City Park), Dallas TX (Fair Park), San Francisco CA (Golden Gate Park) and Los Angeles CA (Santa Monica Pier).

The third annual Green Apple Festival, produced in partnership with Earth Day Network and presented by Chase, announces “America’s largest Earth Day celebration”– a weekend of music and environmental awareness culminating on Sunday, April 20th with eight free festivals occurring simultaneously at landmark locations across the U.S.


Click HERE to see the official site!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Questions About Your Stimulus Check?


Everyone's talking about their stimulus checks. Myself included. While chatting with a friend, I realized I needed to know a few more things about this. What I found out really opened my eyes to the fact that a lot of people are eligible but don't know it!



  • What are stimulus checks?

  • How much will they be?

  • What do I have to do to get it?

These questions and more are common! Read on and then make sure to pass on the link to this site to be sure your friends and family don't miss out on getting their checks because of all the dis-information that's going around the internet.


This information was obtained (and filtered through my "average Jo logic database,") directly from The Economic Stimulus Payments Information Center for the IRS.

Starting in May, the Treasury will begin sending economic stimulus payments to more than 130 million households.


To receive a payment, taxpayers must have a valid Social Security number, $3,000 of income and file a 2007 federal tax return. ON TIME!!!!


IRS will take care of the rest. Eligible people will receive up to $600 ($1,200 for married couples), and parents will receive an additional $300 for each eligible child younger than 17. Millions of retirees, disabled veterans and low-wage workers who usually are exempt from filing a tax return must do so this year in order to receive a stimulus payment. DID YOU SEE THE LOW WAGE PART?


You May Be Eligible Even if You Normally Do Not File a Tax Return REALLY?

If you have at least $3,000 in certain types of income, you may be eligible for the economic stimulus payment.


You also may be able to use FREE FILE. See the website for special types of benefits or income that qualify below:
Especially for Social Security Recipients

Especially for Veterans Affairs Recipients

Especially for Railroad Retirement Recipients
Especially for Low-Wage Workers or Self Employed


Find out more here and visit this page regularly for the latest updates. Visit the IRS website here: http://www.irs.gov/irs/article/0,,id=177937,00.html


Once you've received your stimulus check you should know that Bush's intention was to "stimulate the economy" by asking you to spend it!


I highly suggest that you don't do that!


It's traditionally recommended that you put it in a savings account, pay off debt or certificate of deposit (cd). However, putting it in a bank with the dollar falling faster than Bush's popularity rating, would be like throwing it away!


Would you like to know how the rich, middle class and poor spend their money? Click to watch these two cartoon videos and you'll be surprised!


I opted to use last year's IRS Refund to start a business. I couldn't afford the traditional business with doors and inventory and employees. I began a home based business with just a few hundred bucks and have learned a new career. All the training comes with it. I am personally working with others who make six figures after only 8 years in the business. Another member of my team did it in just under 3 years on the internet.


It's just one option of many out there, but it just made the most business sense. If you'd like to learn more about the home business I chose, watch the presentation here: http://poweredfromhome.com/JoannHillebrand_main


Thanks for reading my blog today and make sure to spread the word about those checks!





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