Thursday, May 27, 2010

Green Job and Internship Available!

Brittanie’s Thyme is a women-owned company dedicated to manufacturing natural and organic products that aid in producing a feeling of well-being, without the expense usually associated with high quality skin and personal care.

Their product developers unite recipes and remedies that have been used successfully for generations with the latest scientific findings regarding herbal and natural ingredients. They strive to produce products that have a minimal effect on the planet, yet provide maximum results for our customers. They do not test any products on animals.

Representative in charge of in-store demonstrations (mainly in Whole Foods).

Mainly on Mondays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

The schedule is completely flexible.

Shifts usually last about 3-4 hours.

Pay: $12.50 an hour (with chance to increase).

Summer Marketing Internship
Eligible for college credit
Get real world experience working closely with a green business
Implement planning, oversee a budget, etc.

For both positions contact: Yvonne Petterson:

Monday, May 24, 2010

A story from May's Eco Columbia

“Take a look at this one”

A man pulled from one of his bulging coat pockets a cylindric blue stone.

“I’m a geologist, Mrs Leanne. May I?” He pointed to a miniature spy glass and set it between his cheek bone and his brow to gaze at the beautiful stone.

“Is is Sapphire, Mr. Brightlinger?” A young shop girl asked from behind the counter whilst cleaning a dream vase.

“No! It’s new, something completely different!”


“Do you remember that woman I told you about? The one who keeps finding me during my digs?”

“The barefoot one? Who appears to you wearing hardly nothing? You told me about that woman, Mr. Brightlinger. If you don’t mind, I don’t want to hear the rest of whatever you are about to tell me!”

“That’s her! But don’t think she’s some sort of appiration! She’s real I swear! I talk to her about what I am doing and why I am digging. But she says nothing. She just looks at me as I dig and sometimes she joins me in my dig. Wh-y,” Brietlinger chuckled, making the spy glass tremble in his eyesocket, “just yesterday we dug a good ten feet into the ground together, simply enjoying our work and looking at the past unfold in front of us!”

“You don’t say,” came the bored reply from behind the desk

“Yes! And this is what we found!”

He stared at the rock like it was worth something, thought Mrs. Leanne.

Later that year, Brightlinger could be found roaming the woods wearing a long trench coat filled neck to ankle with pockets full of rock samples a young woman had shown him. A young woman who disappeared when he called for her and arose from the ground to show him new beauties.

She was Earth.

Story by Samantha Christmann

Check out Eco Columbia here.

Monday, May 10, 2010

so crazy...

...and unfortunate.

this site is so weird! real time stats on birth/death/co2 emissions...look at how big Kazakhstan is...who knew!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Amazing Anti-Plastic Bag Short.

This video is really watch, but the message is know what i mean. Just watch it!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Puma saying goodbye to shoe boxes

Shoes will go into cardboard frames wrapped in reusable bags

FRANKFURT - Sporting goods maker Puma will launch eco-friendly packaging for its sneakers next year to reduce its carbon footprint, beating governments to the punch as it kisses old-fashion shoe boxes good-bye.

Puma said it would roll out the new packaging in the second half of next year and that by putting its shoes in cardboard frames wrapped in reusable shoe bags, it would save 8,500 tonnes of paper— the weight of more than 1,400 adult elephants.

It also said the change would mean a reduction of 60 percent in water and energy used during the production process and the amount needed for transportation due to lighter packaging.

However, Puma Chief Executive Jochen Zeitz told Reuters the company would not save money with the new packaging.

"To begin with, we don't expect to save costs with this. It may even have a negative impact in the short term. But over the long run, there should be cost savings," he said.

"Sustainability is not only absolutely necessary considering the situation our planet is in, we as companies are also overdue to take responsibility," Zeitz said. "We can't wait for governments. Companies have to lead the way and we want to be among the leaders."

annual U.N. climate meetings have failed to achieve any major breakthrough since signing the Kyoto Protocol in 1997.

December's Copenhagen summit was billed as the world's best chance to agree a new treaty. Failure to achieve a treaty or the smaller goal of binding carbon cuts for rich nations has sapped momentum and is forcing a search for less ambitious solutions.

The chief executive said he hoped other companies would follow their lead.

"In changing the packaging and distribution life cycle from the ground up, we hope our new design and comprehensive solution encourages other retail companies to follow suit," said industrial designer Yves Behar, who created the new packaging.

Puma is the world's third-largest sporting goods maker, behind U.S. bellwether Nike and local rival Adidas.

Bike Tune-ups!!

C4Cycling will conduct bike tune-ups on Wed. and Thurs., April 14 & 15 from 2-4 PM in front of 623 S. Wabash. Get your bike tuned for spring. Suggested donation $5-10. Bring your bike, for $5 you could have your bike ready to go for summer!

President Obama's Earth Day Message

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Need a rain barrel? Compost bin?

The City of Chicago is doing things a little differently this year with their rain barrel/compost bin program. The city is offering $30 rebates on your rain barrel and compost bin purchased at any local garden center or hardware store this year. Buy a rain barrel or compost bin that is just right for your garden before November 2010 and send in a completed rebate form and receipt of purchase. They will send you a check for $30.

Residents are eligible for one rain barrel rebate and one compost bin rebate in 2010 ($60 maximum rebate). Rebates will be limited to 500 of each in 2010, so send in your rebate form ASAP for the best chances of receiving a rebate. They will post on their website, when rebates are no longer available.
To get your rebate form, come out to one of the Sustainable Backyard Workshops.

The 2010 Sustainable Backyard workshop schedule is as follows:

Blackstone Library
4904 S. Lake Park Ave.
Saturday, April 24

South Shore Library
2505 E. 73rd St.
Saturday, May 8

Chicago Cultural Center
Millennium Park Room, 5th Floor
78 E. Washington St.
Thursday, May 13

Brighton Park Library
4314 S. Archer Avenue
Saturday, June 26

Chicago Center for Green Technology
445 N. Sacramento Blvd.
Tuesday, June 29

Chicago Lawn Library
6120 S. Kedzie Ave.
Saturday, July 10

Rogers Park Library
6907 N. Clark St.
Saturday, July 17

West Pullman Library
830 W. 119th St.
Wednesday, July 21

Douglass Library
3353 W. 13th St.
Saturday, July 24

3048 E. 130th St.
Saturday, August 14

For more information email

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

He knows best...

Volunteer for the 2010 Chicago Green Festival!

To register to volunteer, please visit:

May 22-23, 2010 at Navy Pier! Are you committed to environmental and social justice? Be a part of helping put on an amazing 2-day event that will educate and activate people to make choices for a just and sustainable world! Become a part of a volunteer team that helps support the largest sustainability event in the country!

Volunteers receive free admission to the event for both days, an exclusive staff organic cotton t-shirt, free memberships to Global Exchange and Green America, and a 10% discount at the Green Festivals and Global Exchange Stores. Volunteers must sign up for at least one 4.5-5 hour shift.

Volunteers can also sign up to work on our Street Team, promoting the event and recruiting the over 1,000 volunteers to work the week-end of the Festival. Street Team volunteers, who give five hours before the event, gain all the benefits of event volunteers, but without having to miss a minute!
The Green Festival is an event co-produced by Global Exchange and Green America committed to the movement towards a just and sustainable society. The festival features: Over 200 Socially and Environmentally Responsible Enterprises * Community Groups * Over 100 leading Speakers * Organic Food Court *Local Music * Hands-on/Educational Pavilions * Green films * Yoga and movement classes * Green careers sessions * Organic beer and wine * Delicious organic cuisine and live music * And thousands of attendees who want to build a just and sustainable world and have opportunities to learn, be inspired, become active, & have fun!

I’d love to sign up your group!

Green Regards,

Kristi Koehler
National Volunteer Coordinator
Seven Star Events
828-236-0324 ext. 130


Earth Day is quickly approaching and The Recycling Program is working hard to make this years Eco Fair an even bigger success then last! Check out this video for some of the highlights from the 2009 Eco Fair so you know what to expect this year!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

New Art Installations Up

Have you seen the Columbia Chronicle stands lately? Well, you should.
The new theme: Food Industry "Efficiency or Deficiency"

If you don't know this is a new happening at Columbia created this spring semester. Twice a semester students will create visual art toward an environmentally-related theme that will be determined by The Recycling Program. Student's submissions will be showcased in the Columbia Chronicle stands around campus. It is a great way to use art to raise awareness of the issues that surround us daily!

Here are a few examples:

Happy Tuesday,

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Obama Proposes More Offshore Drilling Areas

The Obama administration is proposing to open huge coastal areas for expansive oil and natural gas drilling. This would allow oil exploration along 167 million acres of ocean from Delaware to Central Florida. Nearly 130 million acres in the Arctic Sea would be opened too. Bristol Bay, a sensitive community with a few endangered species and plentiful fishing waters will be protected. The shore off of California will also be spared.

The proposal plans to reduce dependence on foreign oil while creating a comprehensive energy plan involving clean renewable energy. But is it worth it? It is hard to deny that we still haven't figured out how to clean up oil spills (and they are wiping out ecosystems).

The Senate may have one last chance to pass climate legislation before mid-term election concerns take over. Could this be a way to appease corporate interests? Offshore drilling would be a big desire granted. The trick is, keeping a strong enough environmentally-minded bill without letting it be stripped by outside interests.

It is not known how much potential fuel lies in the areas opened to exploration, although according to Interior Department estimates there could be as much as a three-year supply of recoverable oil and more than two years’ worth of natural gas, at current rates of consumption. But those estimates are based on seismic data that is, in some cases, more than 30 years old.

The eastern Gulf area is believed to contain as much as 3.5 billion barrels of oil and 17 trillion cubic feet of gas, the richest single tract that would be open to drilling under the Obama plan. Drilling there has been strongly opposed by officials from both political parties in Alabama and Florida who fear damage to coastlines, fisheries, popular beaches and wildlife. Interior Department officials said no wells would be allowed within 125 miles of the Florida and Alabama coasts, making them invisible from shore. Out of sight, out of mind, right?

So, what do you think? A planned transition? Or stuck in our ways?

-Neale Baldyga


Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Attention Film Makers!

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, the Chicago Climate Action Plan (CCAP) team is launching an innovative video contest that allows middle, high school and college students in the city to develop a 90 second video that illustrates how they are participating in one or more of the 35 mitigation or adaptation strategies in the Chicago Climate Action Plan.

Click HERE for more details!

Now get outside! I's a GORGEOUS Spring day!


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Cutting Back on Yellow Pages

When it comes to sustainability, we all know that little things can go a long way to preserving our planet’s resources. Whether it’s turning off your power strip when you’re not using it, or just making sure to hit the light switch when you leave the room, small changes add up to make big differences. The founders of a new website are working on their own way to combat waste, one phone book at a time. Inspired by the National No-Call Directory, a save haven for all of us who hate telemarketers, and motivated by the constant delivery of phone books he was receiving, a Missouri college student has started The aim is not to stop the production of phone books and directories all together, but to prevent them from being delivered where they will not be used.

Every year, 19 million trees are harvested in order to produce 500 million directories. Due to the increase of smart phones and the popularity of search engines, many of these books will just end up in landfills without ever having been used. By adding your name to the list, you can prevent the delivery of your own book and raise awareness about the amount of waste involved in their production.

By: Caro Griffin
Story Courtesy of: Eco Columbia

Monday, March 29, 2010


So here's the deal. On MARCH 30th...tomorrow, from 3:30 to 6:30, the book and paper center is going to allow us to use their equipment to make and bind notebooks. It's gonna be great. It's located at 1104 S. Wabash on the 2nd floor. Come, Join us! make some notebooks so we can give them away at eco fair on april 22nd! You can probably make one for yourself too:)

The Story of Bottled Water

Hey guys, here's another video about bottled water, this one is more interesting than the other...worth watching! so CHECK IT OUT!

Happy Monday

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Welcome to the Saudi Arabia of Coal

Coming to Columbia this weekend!

This multi-media performance portrays lfe in the coal fields of Appalachia where men and women chain themselves to heavy machinery as they try to stop mountaintop removal mining, and where others try to protect, sometimes violently, jobs the mining industry provides.

The play is loosely inspired by Jeff Bigger’s newly released book, Reckoning at Eagle Creek, the Secret Legacy of Coal in the Heartland. Based at the home of Marie and Hovie, a young couple living in the mountain holler of Eagle Creek, the play chronicles their attemps to come to grips with their conflicting fates, when their 150-year-old homestead is threatened by a planned mountaintop removal operation.

With a backdrop of film montages and historically-based satiric
al faux-mercials by filmmaker/actor Ben Evans. “Welcome to the Saudi Arabia of Coal” is a rare journey into the lives of those on the coalfield frontlines, and an entertaining, informative and illuminating theatrical production on the true cost of mountaintop removal and coal mining to our land and citizenry.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Springfield Lobbying Trip

On April 9th I loaded my belongings in a rental car leaving sky scrapers behind for corn fields. We drove through the afternoon, destination: Springfield. We arrived at our motel early evening. We were there for a planned “lobby day”. Put together by ISEC, or the Illinois Student Environmental Coalition it was an annual trip to empower concerned student activists and let them speak out on a number of environmental topics.

We dropped off our belongings and headed over to a gathering in downtown Springfield. There were environmentalists and politicians together, mingling and chatting. We ate dinner and had a very inspiring conversation with representative Julie Hamos. It calmed some nerves about the situation as we got to converse openly and naturally. She has been involved with political lobbying in Illinois since the 1970’s and has a vast understanding on the subject. To our surprise, she was willing to share loads of it. It was a good practice run for the next day.

Before bed, we were put through an hour training session with representatives from the Sierra Club. What could we expect? What would we do in certain situations? ISEC-related students were separated into groups and assigned a packet. Each packet had different state senators and representatives that we were going to discuss issues with. It included detailed information on each individual politician from pictures and office numbers to bill sponsor details. Tracking them down was made as pain-free as possible. It was a really well thought out plan by every organization involved. I was encouraged by the buzz in the room and found it hard to sleep that night.

We woke early on Wednesday. I studied fact sheets and did some last minute cramming before we were to put our knowledge and preparation to the test. Energized by coffee and the beautiful sunshine I set off for the Capitol. I was partnered with a fellow E.P.I.C. (Environmental Protection Initiative at Columbia College) member and friend. We became more confident in our work as the day went on, we were a successful team.

We focused intently on four bills. The first was a package that pertained to solar energy. It would do great things such as lower barriers of entry for homeowners that want to use solar, increase the solar portfolio (make a higher regulated amount of solar necessary as a fraction of all energy use), and also allow citizens with solar panels to give excess energy back to the grid (preferably making some money from it). The second was a bill against Bisophenal-A, or bpa. It has been discovered as a cancer causing agent that still makes up many plastics, especially infant products. This bill would eradicate bpa from child products and force corporations to label any goods that include it. The third bill would allow new housing developments to be built on flood plains. We spoke out against this bill citing various environmental and social repercussions. For example, the big Mississippi River flood of 1993 cost the government over $500 million to move residents out of disaster areas and clean up the damage. The fourth bill we opposed, proposed lifting the moratorium on nuclear plants. We explained that we can’t have any more nuclear waste created if we still don’t have a reasonable way of disposing of it!

We went from office to office leaving business cards and fact sheets in case we couldn’t catch up with our intended “targets” of the day. We wanted them to know that we are paying attention. We got to meet with one representative in her office and a few others in passing. We made a strong case for each environmental bill. At first thought, lobbying seemed a very daunting task as we were up against experience and corporate power. Some of these lobbyists were people that were paid to do just that. We felt fresh and new in comparison, but we did have some important power on our side. We were young, educated and passionate. Soon, our generation will be making most of this country’s decisions.

I can’t stress how vital it is for young people to get involved in their political process. After overcoming the initial shock, one will realize that politicians are just people. If they don’t hear your concerns, how they can be held responsible? The political system as confusing and scary as it is, doesn’t work without citizen cooperation and there’s no better time to start then now.


Columbia Recycling



Monday, March 15, 2010


Earth Hour

On Earth Hour hundreds of millions of people, organizations, corporations and governments around the world will come together to make a bold statement about their concern for climate change by doing something quite simple—turning off their lights for one hour. In the U.S. where we are already feeling the impacts of climate change, Earth Hour sends a clear message that Americans care about this issue and want to turn the lights out on dirty air, dangerous dependency on foreign oil and costly climate change impacts, and make the switch to cleaner air, a strong economic future and a more secure nation.

Participation is easy. By flipping off your lights on March 27th at 8:30 p.m. local time you will be making the switch to a cleaner, more secure nation and prosperous America. View the toolkits, to find out what else you can do to get involved including leading the Earth Hour movement in your community.

Set Your Clock

On Saturday, March 27, 2010 at 8:30 p.m. local time, Earth Hour will once again cascade around the globe, from New Zealand to Hawaii

Sparking a Movement

Since its inception three years ago, Earth Hour’s non-partisan approach has captured the world’s imagination and became a global phenomenon. Nearly one billion people turned out for Earth Hour 2009 – involving 4,100 cities in 87 countries on seven continents.

Last year, 80 million Americans and 318 U.S. cities officially voted for action with their light switch, joining iconic landmarks from around the world that went dark for Earth Hour, including:

  • Empire State Building
  • Brooklyn Bridge
  • Broadway Theater Marquees
  • Las Vegas Strip
  • United Nations Headquarters
  • Golden Gate Bridge
  • Seattle’s Space Needle
  • Church of Latter-Day Saints Temple
  • Gateway Arch in St. Louis
  • Great Pyramids of Giza
  • Acropolis and Parthenon in Athens
  • Christ the Redeemer Statue in Rio de Janeiro
  • St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City
  • Big Ben and Houses of Parliament in London
  • Elysee Palace and Eiffel Tower in Paris
  • Beijing’s Birds Nest and Water Cube
  • Symphony of Lights in Hong Kong
  • Sydney’s Opera House

Make your own Hula-Hoop!

Hey guys!

So the weather is getting warmer and everyone is getting anxious to go outside and get some exercise. Here's a fun way to be active, creative, and green all at the same time. Follow the link and let the hula-hooping begin!

The Whipporwill

The rocky hills of the Ozarks are filled with fossils. An ancient ocean used to flow abundant with life above these busty knolls. Sometimes at the tops of these small mountains, early in the morning, when the sun shines sideways from the East through the cedars and the oak trees, you can smell the stale damp of decay rising from the warmed Earth. The pungently preserved odor of corpses, prehistoric crustaceans and early photosynthetic plant life, long since deceased, still linger like the smell of an animal killed yesterday.

I am careful to tread lightly over these ancestors, not only out of respect, but also because my feet are bare and fleshy and Ozark rock rubble is far from smooth. I am trying my hardest not to make too much sound this morning. I am hunting out of desperate hunger.

Try as I may, the balls and the palms of my feet are still crunching on the sharp fossils, still shooting triangular pieces of shale left and right, outwards in front of me. My toes catch on a large sandstone rock rooted into the red mud and leafy decay of the forest floor. But my balance is stronger than a human’s, because I am animal. Yesterday I was animal, today I am animal, and tomorrow I will be animal.

“Ah” my mind exclaims triumphantly as I hear the low melancholy call of a Whippoorwill. She is close. She called out to see who was there, perhaps another one of her kind, but no bird replies. I hold my stance, plant my feet and feel the Earth’s vibrations and momentum as it spins towards the sun, turning the woods golden with morning light.

I decide to answer her, to tell her I am here. I whistle low, the call of a Whippoorwill, the songbird of the night. She knows I am part human. She is scared; she is no longer under the cover of nightfall. I feel her avian frame near me.


The explosive sound of feathers is in the air as she swoops out of a 100 year old Cedar to my right. I catch a glimpse of her black silhouette against the sunrise.

I lunge into the air, instinctually, belly first with wanting. For a few seconds I am falling upward with predatory strength to meet the fluttering night bird. After her I fly. I am inches from her tail as I stretch my arms towards her, letting my energies flow through my palms and fingertips. I grasp her tail… and begin to fall. As we descend to the rocky earth, I pull her closer to me, wrapping my arms around her wings and hugging her possessively to my chest. She made no sound when we hit the stony soil. She trusted me, and I her.

First, I snap her neck. Then, I run. Swiftly, leaping over ferns and boulders and fallen trees to safety. Where safety is, I am not sure, but I will find it, because I am small and I am fast.

Mountain lions are faster than I, I know this, and I know that they prefer to leap onto their prey from steep heights. The thought of heights make my palms sweat, the thought of mountain lions make me shiver, so I run harder. I’d be an easy meal with an appetizer to the yellow beasts.

My stomach growls as I spot a shallow cave ahead of me. As I run, I pull a sapling out of the ground with my bird-free hand and dive into the cave with the bird and the dying tree. I hide the bird behind me and proceed to whittle a spear out of the child tree, letting its sour sticky blood spill onto my hands, mixing with the Whippoorwill’s. Once I am done whittling, having made a weapon to protect myself from jealous carnivores, I can eat.

I do not cook the meat. My stomach has adapted to such a diet. I pull her dark feathers out and pile them together for safekeeping. I will keep her bones, too. I bite into her cold flesh and shudder. Two emotions provoked this shudder, one was the ecstasy of hunger, and the second was the thought of eating this bird raw six months ago… When I was a “civilized” woman. A part of me wants to vomit all over the bird and cry, but I know that if I vomited, nothing would come out of my starving frame.

I did not choose this life, it was chosen for me. I have adapted, evolved you might say. Others call it degeneration, but I know in my heart of hearts, that within the next fifteen years, every last human on this planet will be living as I am now. Like my delicious Whippoorwill, not everyone will live to see it.

This and more stories in the new Eco Columbia
By Samantha Christmann

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Green Job Posting

Looking for work? Here's a new Green Job Posting!

Hi All,

The National Wildlife Federation's Great Lakes Regional Center has an
exciting new position available. Are you, or someone you know
interested in the Great Lakes Region? We are seeking an individual
responsible for developing state and Great Lakes education policy
initiatives, educating the public and other organizations about those
initiatives, and conducting advocacy (with public officials and the
media) to implement them.

Please see the full job description below and how to apply. And
please pass this on to others who might be interested.


Find a job you’re wild about at the National Wildlife
Federation (NWF), the nation’s largest member-supported conservation
organization, at the forefront of global warming issues, reconnecting
our children with nature, and protecting America’s wildlife and

We seek an individual responsible for developing state and Great
Lakes education policy initiatives, educating the public and other
organizations about those initiatives, and conducting advocacy (with
public officials and the media) to implement them. This position is
responsible for regular communications with a regional network of
grassroots stakeholders, the coordination of regional meetings with
influential people and policy makers, the development of advocacy
opportunities, and partnership development. This position also supports
NWF’s federal policy agenda through state contacts and where relevant
state governments and municipalities are engaged.

Must have a minimum of 5 years experience in conservation
policy/advocacy or youth/education policy/advocacy, project and policy
campaign planning and implementation. Experience in state policy
development is a plus. Knowledge of environmental education and Great
Lakes region and issues are also preferred.

Exceptional interpersonal skills are necessary to build and
maintain the kind of relationships needed to succeed at this job. Must
be an excellent writer, researcher, and strategic thinker. He or she
must have experience motivating, recruiting, and organizing people from
broad and diverse backgrounds; and experience reaching out to media and
decision makers. He or she must have excellent communication and
organizational skills. Must be a self-starter, able to work closely with
local NWF affiliates, regional offices and staff; national education
advocacy team, and regional partners and allies; independently; and able
to travel around the state, region, and anywhere else required.

Do you hear the call of the wild? Apply at and
join us in mobilizing Americans to protect our country’s wildlife.

NWF offers a competitive salary, excellent benefits and is an equal
opportunity employer committed to workplace diversity.

National Wildlife Federation
It starts with people…like you.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Intern Position for No Foam Chicago

No Foam Chicago, the small, advocacy, grassroots group---working to ban "styrofoam" food packaging is in need of an intern! Come work with this passionate and cool group for a great cause! Now that a proposed ban has been introduced in Council, we are very busy and could use some help (5-7hrs a week). Working mostly from your own home or meeting at coffee shops. This will be a multi-tasking position (research, writing, phone calls, events and much more fun!) We are an all-volunteer group so this would be non-paid but you would be very much appreciated, treated to coffee and the occasional lunch- a great project to put on your resume!

More about No Foam Chicago here

Contact Stacey about this position:

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Monsanto Indian Farmer Suicide

Promised future riches from Monsanto's "magic seeds" Indian farmers have been left deeply in debt, ashamed. They view suicide as the only way out.

In return for allowing western companies access to the second most populated country in the world, with more than one billion people, India was granted International Monetary Fund loans in the Eighties and Nineties, helping to launch an economic revolution.

When crops failed in the past, farmers could still save seeds and replant them the following year.

But with GM seeds they cannot do this. That's because GM seeds contain so- called 'terminator technology', meaning that they have been genetically modified so that the resulting crops do not produce viable seeds of their own.

As a result, farmers have to buy new seeds each year at the same punitive prices. For some, that means the difference between life and death.

For official figures from the Indian Ministry of Agriculture do indeed confirm that in a huge humanitarian crisis, more than 1,000 farmers kill themselves here each month.

These stories need to be told!


Read more here

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Green Jobs For Students

Marketing and Development Volunteer Intern

Join the Chicago Furniture Recycling Center (CFRC) start up leadership team!

Assist in development and execution of marketing plans for CFRC activities, assist with operational activities of programs, program calendars, attendance rosters, etc. , Conduct interviews and gather stories for quarterly printed newsletter, Assist in publishing weekly electronic newsletter, twitter updates, web site updates and maintenance, etc.

Keywords for this position will be: Organization liaison, fund raising, marketing, organization development
Scheduling Meetings, Coordinating Committees, Carrying Out Duties

1. Coordinate with board marketing leader to develop branding strategy and ensure that branding strategy reaches all events planned
2. Work with marketing board member to develop CFRC initial marketing strategy
3. Develop fundraising and event planning committee; develop marketing plan for each event
4. Reach out to media on behalf of CFRC, collect stories, write newsletters, etc.
5. Organize Technology and New Media committee/board member to write e-newsletter, upkeep Twitter, and Facebook ensuring overall marketing strategy is actively utilized across social media channels

There will be three meetings per month. There will be 2 committee meetings per month (1 hr) and a weekly Sunday business management meeting (1-2 hrs). Other tasks will be completed outside of meetings (7-13 hrs). So total time spent weekly will be approximately 5-15 hrs per week.

Minimum Requirements: Need to be mature, reliable individual who is able to work on projects with and without supervision, have some marketing experience, computer proficient (internet research, Microsoft Word Microsoft PowerPoint, Publisher, and creative programs), excellent oral and written communication skills, organized, and self-motivated.

Start Up Operations Volunteer Intern

Chicago Furniture Recycling Center (CFRC) start up leadership team. Essentially, the founder and CEO of CFRC is looking for partners to start up this organization. You should be driven and possibly want to work with the team full time upon graduation.

Chicago Furniture Recycling Center (CFRC) mission is to provide recycled furniture to those less fortunate in the Chicago Community. As a start-up we are looking for interns to help in many areas: volunteer coordination, organization liaison, grant writing, fund raising, program research, networking, program development, and more.

Some Specific Tasks Include:
1. Fund raising: Carry plan to hold major/minor events, communicate with possible locations, come with ideas, organize volunteers to carry out plans
2. Budget and Finance Committee: Grant Writing--Manage the Grant Writing Process--Ensure solid completed products and date completion, Communicate with foundations, research foundations, bring CEO in on developments when needed
3. Keep CEO abreast of progress during the week. Set regular work times and check-in with CEO through e-mails for any prioritization, additional needs, duties, or follow up.

Interns will learn what it takes to start a small business as well as the challenges nonprofits face. Weekly internship schedules are very flexible and most tasks can be completed off site.

There will be three meetings per month. There will be 2 committee meetings per month (1 hr) and a weekly Sunday business management meeting (1-2 hrs). Other tasks will be completed outside of meetings (7-13 hrs). So total time spent weekly will be approximately 10-15 hrs per week.

Minimum Requirements: Need to be mature, have examples of leadership (fraternity, sorority, student groups) reliable individual who is able to work on projects with and without supervision; computer proficient, excellent oral and written communication skills, organized, and self-motivated. Candidate preferably will be a sophomore or junior college student. First year MBA students will be considered as well.

Positions open immediately. Interested parties should contact Darein Burton at

Monday, March 1, 2010

Five Step Chicago Chickens

An excerpt from Eco Columbia:

Step 1: Decide you want chickens.

Step 2: Call your Alderman to see if chickens are legal to own in your city's ward.

Step 3: Select a breed, I recommend 'Storey's Illustrated Guide to Poultry Breeds' by Carol Ekarious. This will let you know what chicken's best for you and your climate. In Chicago, a cold weather hardy and warm weather hard bird is best.

Step 4: Find a hatchery that will ship to you, yes, ship. I enjoyed 'Nature's Hatchery' in Naperville, IL. Also, 'McMurray Hatchery' in Webster City, IA. They will deliver as little as 2 chicks.

Step 5: Do your homework on raising chicks. It's easier than you think. I recommend 'The Chickens Health Handbook' by Gail Damerow on everything chicken health, you can never read too much about your chickens. I brooded (raised as chicks) my 3 hens myself by purchasing a used 25 gallon fish tank/terrarium and a red heat lamp. My chickens are now full grown at 10 months. I have 3, 2 barred plymouth rocks and 1 buff orpington. They started laying light brown eggs after 20 weeks and they each lay about 6 eggs a week. They are the best eggs I've ever tasted and my girls have such great personalities. And no, you do not need a rooster for eggs!!

Happy Laying!

Natalie H Wojcik Check out this blog for the whole experience!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Art Installation Call For Work

Remember these? Hint (Columbia Chronicle Stands)

Want to help shape the focus of our next art installation? Have something to say? Send in a design!

Call For Work!

Submission Deadline for upcoming installation: 12:00 Midnight March 19th

Posters will be displayed after Spring Break-End of the Semester

Theme: “The Food Industry: Efficiency or Deficiency?”

Posters must be designed to be printed 11” x 17”

Students are free to interpret this theme however they would like and create a visual (flat image) representation of it. You may use text (facts, quotes, or anything else that might help).

We will be using these themes in the Chronicle stands and in our online promotions (blog, social networking, etc.) You will be credited with your name and contact information (if you would like) on the installation. Looks great for the resume!

Submissions should be sent to Neale at Or can be dropped off at The Columbia Recycling Program 916 S. Wabash 5th Floor

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Green Biz Channel Has Begun

Since its inception in 2002, I-GO has worked to catalyze a set of transportation innovations that make it feasible and desirable for Chicago residents to get around conveniently and economically without having to own a car and, at the same time, reduce vehicle miles traveled and greenhouse gas emissions.

While growing the car sharing market is an important objective, it is only one part of a larger and more important goal: the development of a robust, regional, sustainable mobility system in the Chicago area. I-GO promotes walking, bicycling, public transit, and finally car sharing for trips that are not feasible using the other options. As a part of this overall strategy, car sharing brings important benefits to area residents and to the community at large, including:

  • Significant savings in transportation costs
  • Access to a car without the cost of car ownership
  • Reduced traffic congestion
  • Reduced greenhouse gas emissions and improved air quality
  • Promotion of healthy lifestyles and neighborhoods

"Put your money where your morals lie"


Monday, February 22, 2010

The Raw Milk Crackdown

The article is a few years old but the debate is still extremely relevant:
Do we have a right to consume as we choose?
When does the government overstep their bounds or can it be justified?

Richard Hebron, 41, was driving along an anonymous stretch of highway near Ann Arbor, Mich., last October when state cops pulled him over, ordered him to put his hands on the hood of his mud-splattered truck and seized its contents: 453 gal. of milk.

Yes, milk. Raw, unpasteurized milk. To supply a small but growing market among health-conscious city and suburban dwellers for milk taken straight from the udder, Hebron was dealing the stuff on behalf of a farming cooperative he runs in southwestern Michigan. An undercover agricultural investigator had infiltrated the co-op as part of a sting operation that resulted in the seizure of $7,000 worth of fresh-food items, including 35 lbs. of raw butter, 29 qt. of cream and all those gallons of the suspicious white liquid. Although Hebron's home office was searched and his computer seized, no charges have been filed. "When they tested the milk, they couldn't find any problems with it," says Hebron. "It seems like they're just looking for some way to shut us down."

People have been drinking raw milk for a long time, of course — at least since sheep and goats were domesticated in the 8th or 9th century B.C. Raw milk is rich in protein and fat, and milk from cows became a staple of the American diet in colonial times. When milk leaves the animal, however, it can also contain any number of pathogens, which is why most doctors consider pasteurization — subjecting milk to a short burst of heat followed by rapid cooling — one of the great public-health success stories of the 20th century. By eliminating most of the pathogens that cause disease, including E. coli, salmonella and listeria, they say, pasteurization has helped lower infectious-disease rates in the U.S. more than 90% over the past century.

Raw-milk enthusiasts have a different perspective. They insist that along with the bad pathogens, heat-treating milk destroys beneficial bacteria, proteins and enzymes that aid in digestion. Some people with a history of digestive-tract problems, such as Crohn's disease, swear by the curative powers of unpasteurized milk. Others praise its nutritional value and its ability to strengthen the immune system. "I have seen so many of my patients recover their health with raw milk that I perceive this as one of the most profoundly healthy foods you can consume," says Dr. Joseph Mercola, an osteopathic physician and author who rails against the medical establishment on his website,

You might think raw milk would be a tough sell after the Taco Bell and bagged-spinach E. coli scares. After all, even the healthiest grass-fed cows tromp around in mud and fecal matter and carry all manner of bacteria with them into the milking parlor. Between 1990 and 2004, U.S. health authorities traced 168 disease outbreaks to dairy products; nearly a third were linked to unpasteurized items, according to the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest. But in fact, demand for raw milk seems to be rising faster than cream in an unhomogenized gallon jug. Hebron's dairy co-op has no shortage of customers willing to pay a premium for milk that hasn't been processed. A California dairy producer estimates that 100,000 Californians drink raw milk every week.

All of which has created a simmering problem for health officials. While the U.S. has no laws against gulping milk straight from cows, the government's stance on controlling the sale of raw milk is far murkier. The Food and Drug Administration, which recently determined that it's safe to drink the milk of cloned cows, takes a tougher stand on unprocessed milk. It banned interstate sales of raw milk 20 years ago but left it up to individual states to decide what to do about commerce within their borders. The result is a hodgepodge of conflicting rules and loopholes big enough to drive a milk truck through. While 23 states, including Michigan, officially prohibit raw-milk sales for human consumption, the rest allow money to exchange hands under certain conditions. In California, raw dairy products are available in grocery stores, while Illinois consumers can buy them directly from farms if they bring their own containers. An increasingly popular arrangement designed to circumvent state restrictions is a so-called herd-sharing program, like Hebron's, which requires members to, in effect, lease a portion of a cow — for $20 a year, in his case — and sign an agreement opposing "all governmental standards for food, preparation, storage and safety." The $6.25-per-gal. charge is technically not a sale but compensation to cover board and transport costs.

Some raw advocates believe it's the emergence of these cow-sharing schemes in the past few years that has prompted state agriculture officials to crack down. Columbus, Ohio, attorney David G. Cox says he has represented six raw-dairy producers over the past year for alleged illegal sales, some of whom have been in business for decades without incident. "There seems to be an orchestrated effort to dry up the supply," he says. "I suspect that conventional dairy producers are concerned that if [raw milk] were widely available and people got sick, all milk would get a bad name and the whole industry would suffer."

What raw milk fans most resent is stepped-up efforts to crack down on a personal choice that wasn't doing anyone else any harm. "There are 65,000 child-porn websites," asks indignant co-op member Nancy Sanders, a pediatric nurse and mother of five from Des Plaines, Ill. "Why doesn't the government go after those?"

Meanwhile, farmer Hebron says he won't be spooked by Michigan authorities. Back in business a week after his goods were seized, he's become a cause celebre of the raw movement. After an Ann Arbor retailer he worked with was served a cease-and-desist order, a co-op member offered her nearby home as a new pickup site. Meanwhile, some of Hebron's clients in Michigan and Illinois have been flooding the fax machines of state agriculture officials to protest the treatment of the mild-mannered dairyman. In Feburary, the Amish farmer who supplies Hebron's co-op with raw milk received a warning letter from the FDA about potential interstate commerce violations. Hebron met with federal officials in Detroit on March 6th to defend the legality of herd-sharing arrangments, and is adamant about continuing his milk runs.

Recently, Hebron parked his truck in front of a North Side Chicago health-food store and began carrying crates filled with brown eggs and pasture-raised beef and pork into the shop for co-op members. He had to distribute the milk, however, out of the back of his truck — a rule the store's owner, Paula Campanio, reluctantly imposed after the raid. "I'm trying to be discreet," she says. "When I see a police car go by, I'm convinced they're coming for me." Demand from her customers for the milk is strong enough that she's willing to take the risk, but she's hoping that keeping the stuff out of her premises will make her a tad less culpable. Got raw milk? Shhhhh.


Neale Baldyga


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Check this out! Lots of great information to combat the ongoing argument against the plastic bag. If you're not already bringing reusable bags to the store with you, maybe you will now! Also, while we're on the subject, check out not only do they have some awesome reusable bags for sale, but a lot of other eco-friendly and sustainable products.

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Art Installations at Columbia College

If you’ve been on campus the last few days you may have noticed a change to the Columbia Chronicle newspaper stands. With the Chronicle’s gracious permission we have begun our first installment of themed “art installations” in the plastic cases right above the newspaper rack. These are in nearly every lobby on campus. The current theme is “The cost of coal”. Here are a few designs created by Simon Cervania....

You can check em out all over campus until Spring Break!

Neale Baldyga

Friday, February 12, 2010

secret life of paper

Check out this website! It's called, "The Secret Life Series". They take things we use everyday such as paper and cell phones and question what the products "life cycle" is.

Ever wonder what happens when we toss old cell phones in the trash? Take the paper we read in the morning, or the jeans and t-shirts we wear. have you ever considered what impact these products have on the environment from beginning to end?

INFORM's Secret Life Series is a collection of videos that highlight the environmental impacts of everyday products we all use.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Textbooks the Thrifty Way

With the new semester right around the corner, and the pool of used textbooks always appearing to shrink every term, it’s time to start saving now for the stack you’ll need in the spring. But why not do yourself a favor and stretch that penny jar even further? Rather than scouring online retailers for cheaper books, go after the ones that are just plain free.

Sites like Paperback Swap ( and Book Mooch ( save books from being ignored on a shelf or tossed in the garbage by offering them to anybody with an internet connection. While they may not have that fifth edition chemistry book, chances are they will have those paperbacks you need for your literature class.

And for those harder to find textbooks that you know you will never reuse, there’s always Chegg ( Existing for the sole purpose of renting you those expensive textbooks that are sure to fetch a whole $5.00 come May, Chegg allows you to rent books for (usually) less than half the cost of buying it. Unlike most websites, they also guarantee delivery before your first class. And should you decide to drop the class within the first 30 days? Free returns. But the best part? They plant a tree for every book you rent, buy or sell!

Article by Caro Griffin

Monday, February 1, 2010

next week, february 8th-12th

we have so much coming up next week for the recycling program. Starting on the 8th, we are hosting a "week of accountability" where we, the recycling program, reward you, the students, for recycling throughout the day. we will be hiding out and blending in, in different buildings across campus starting on Monday and ending Thursday. We have received some great prizes from, as well as an ipod nano that was donated to us from the campus apple store.
On Tuesday, we will host our first film screening for the spring semester. Stay tuned for the title!
Also, if you would like to submit something to be in the recycling newsletter, please email it asap to stories, pictures, art,anything you are passionate about. Submissions are due by Wednesday.

Have a great week!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Awesome Event Today!

Title: ConsciousConscious Nosh: Ethical Eating
Date: Friday Jan 28
Time 6-8pm
Location: 618 S. Michigan 2nd floor (Stage Two Lobby)
Event info: Cosponsored with the Columbia Hillel, we will share a dinner and conversation about food production as it related to the environment. This dinner will take it’s structure from a Jewish tradition of having a seder (ceremonial dinner) celebrating the holiday of Tu B’Shevat, the “Holiday for the Trees,” also known as Jewish Arbor Day. This event is sponsored by the Recycling Program and Hillel's Around Chicago: Arts in the Loop.

Come Check it Oou!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Rebates and Discounts: Cash for Appliances

Remember "cash for clunkers"? Well now there are financial incentives to upgrade to a more efficient appliance. The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity has collected more than $12,000,000 from federal stimulus money to provide this opportunity for Illinois residents. Retailers will offer 10-15% off Energy Star qualified appliances at point of sale and there will be an additional rebate available ranging from $50-100 for recycling the old appliance too:

This will happen in 2 phases:

1) DCEO will offer rebates on heating and cooling equipment (furnaces, central AC, heat pumps, water heaters) starting later this winter and offer the program until the funds are depleted.

2) DCEO will offer an appliance rebate campaign this spring (targeting Earth Day) lasting no more than a few weeks, offering rebates through retailers on Energy Star white goods (refrigerators, washers, dishwashers, freezers, room air conditioners), If funds are remaining, the white goods rebates may be offered for a second period, probably in the fall.

Unlike "cash for clunkers" you don't have to trade an old appliance in to qualify. What's even better? Consumers will not be required to haul their bulky old appliances to the dealer in exchange for a new one.

For more information visit Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity