Sustainable People

23 Aug 2011 Mark Langan’s Corrugated Art – The Ultimate in “Upcycling”

Mark Langan SalutationUnless this is the first time you have visited our blog, you already know we are avid proponents of reusing and recycling packaging. That is especially true of our corrugated products that offer the most in recycled content, because no one has figured out how to improve on 100%. The one area of sustainability that we have yet to master is that of “upcycling,” which is recycling a product and making it even more valuable than it originally was. I sincerely appreciate and respect people who are able to take empty juice pouches and turn them into fashion handbags or use empty wine bottles to create beautiful table lamps out of what might otherwise end up in a landfill. However, Mark Langan, with a lot of talent and time, is able to take corrugated board and turn it into beautiful works of art.
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07 Jun 2011 Mahamosa – Tea with a Giving Heart

Mahamosa Globe Guard® 100% PCW recycled content corrugated shipping boxI often say that one of the greatest benefits of operating a green business is all of the extraordinary people and companies we get to meet. Our new friends at Mahamosa are a perfect example. Social Responsibility and Environmental Responsibility For most green companies, it is not a choice of one or the other; the question is how best to accomplish both. We try to make the environmental part of that objective as easy as possible by providing our customers the most eco-friendly packaging available. The nice people at Mahamosa quickly agreed that our Globe Guard® 100% PCW recycled content corrugated shipping boxes were consistent with their goals and messaging.
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19 May 2011 Grouples (pronounced: grup’ els) Are Green Couples Making a Living While Making a Difference

1820 HouseThis past weekend, Lenora, my wife/business partner, and I attended Green America’s Chicago version of their Green Festival. As usual, we had a great time seeing a wide variety of new green products and meeting some really nice people in the process. For the very first time, we also realized how many husband and wife couples have become green entrepreneurs and are enjoying building a green business together. Some are applying their past experience and skills, or in some cases they are utilizing brand new, previously undiscovered talents. In either case, they have teamed up with their significant other and together are making an equally significant difference in the irreversible green trend we are all witnessing. Maybe it’s a sign of the economic times or a result of the continued interest and growth in sustainability that has helped to create these husband and wife green teams. Or perhaps it is simply that no one other than a loving life partner would be willing to work as long or as hard, and in many cases for little or no immediate compensation. Certainly the sacrifices of owning your own business are many, but so are the benefits when you both enjoy and are totally committed to what you are doing. The festival was filled with many wonderful “grouples” stories, and I would like to share a few with you.
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01 Sep 2009 We Buy It Green – A Free Shoppers Guide

The internet is well populated by websites offering green products. Sometimes they are products they manufacture, other times it is items that they simply distribute. Jay Kilby’s site, “We Buy It Green” is rather unique in that they sell nothing directly and serve primarily as a product guide for the eco minded shopper. With the holidays closer than we would all like to admit, I had the opportunity to interview Jay about his part-time project and full time passion.
we-buy-it-green
DS: Jay I know your profession is being a school teacher so please tell us little about how, when and why you started your excellent website, www.webuyitgreen.com. jay-kilby-we-buy-it-greenJK: I teach a course called Contemporary World Affairs, and as I prepared for this course, I learned more about the significance of climate change and the growing green movement. At around the same time, I read an Atlantic Monthly article about how former President Bill Clinton was coming up with new ideas for creating private markets to promote public goods (like a clean environment) as a more effective strategy than simply relying on charity or government. I began to get ideas for a website that could do the same kind of thing by bringing eco-friendly merchants and shoppers together and providing the kind of information shoppers need in order to identify genuinely eco-friendly choices. DS: Your Green and Fair Trade Directory is an excellent resource. Please tell us about how products and companies qualify to be listed at no cost. JK: All products on our site must have some distinctive feature that makes them eco-friendly, or they must be certified fair trade products, or they must be sold by a merchant that practices fair trade. For eco-friendly products listed on our site, we check third-party resources, such as the Green America Responsible Shopper guide, to see whether merchants have a poor report card on fair labor practices; if so, their products are excluded from our site even if they are “green.”
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11 Aug 2009 He Never Met a Stranger

Joe Dutelle October 12, 1940 – August 5, 2009

joe-dutelleI am not sure who I should credit for that quote or if it is simply is a variation of something someone like Will Rogers might have said, but it was never truer than when said about my dear friend and mentor, Joe Dutelle. Joe was diagnosed early last week with terminal liver cancer and died suddenly on Wednesday, leaving everyone who knew him in shock. Rarely has anyone lived life as richly and deeply as Joe so his sudden loss left the many people who loved and respected him, stunned with an overwhelming need to say goodbye to a most unique and loving man. A Beautiful, Well Deserved Tribute I attended Joe’s memorial service last Friday and was honored when asked by his lovely wife Joanne to speak during his eulogy about Joe’s very successful career in packaging. Joe’s pastor spoke before me and I was followed by Joe’s youngest son Mark and his only daughter Nikki, both who under the circumstances did an incredible job of sharing their life with their dad with the crowd. What many people noticed was the amazing consistency of the comments made from four different people, with four different perspectives, speaking about four different facets of Joe’s life. All four of us speakers talked about Joe’s loving nature, as well as his unselfishness and willingness to share his time and extensive knowledge about almost anything at all. We all recalled Joe’s genuine warmth toward all people regardless of who they were or what they did for a living. In Joe’s mind and heart, the president of a company ranked equally with a bus boy or waitress and he treated everyone as if they were a long lost friend. Joe had a rare ability to make people feel important and loved, and not surprisingly they instantly loved him back. Traveling with Joe as I often did, was truly an experience. He would always make time to chat with people we met along the way, so we were often behind schedule but well ahead in terms of Joe’s purpose and passion. Business Is What We Do, Not Who We Are
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02 Jul 2009 No Getting Around “Green”

I have often described green as a fast moving, irreversible trend that will only grow in strength with each new generation. In fact, the word and name green - or greene, if you prefer the silent “e” - has been around for some time, one could even say for generations. To solve this little quiz, you may need help from an older or younger generation because the questions and answers range from pop culture of the 40’s to now. So, if you find yourself with some time to spare this holiday weekend and are willing to focus on colors other than red, white and blue, please enjoy.
Warning: Answers appear at bottom of the post, so don't peek under the Big Green Question Mark.
The Green Culture Quiz
  1. Mean guy from Pennsylvania - __________ Greene
  2. West coast punkers of the 90’s – Green ______
  3. Mellow sounding unity advocate in 1972 - _____ Green
  4. Crime fighter and Kato’s buddy – Green _______
  5. TV westerns were a bonanza for him - ________ Greene
  6. Mid 60’s TV series featuring transplanted NYC couple – Green ___________
  7. Premier funny man of the 70’s - _________ Greene
  8. Baseball hall of famer _______ Greenberg
  9. 40’s and 50’s actor - ___________ Greenstreet
  10. Went home with Oscar in 1941 - _______ Green _____ ______ _______
  11. Justice League member and superhero – Green ___________
  12. They were eco before eco was cool – Green___________
  13. 70’s movie NOT a favorite of AARP - __________ Green
  14. Hitters nemesis in Boston – the Green ________________
  15. Acclaimed 1999 Tom Hanks movie – The Green __________
  16. Favorite breakfast food of Theodor Seuss Geisel – Green ______ ___ ______
  17. 1968 John Wayne film The Green ____________
  18. NFL rival of the Chicago Bears, the Green ______ __________
  19. Captain Kangaroo sidekick, Mr. Green ________
  20. Former Fed Chairman and economic guru ______ Green______
  21. Popular "chick flick" _________ Green __________
Answers appear below the Big Green Question Mark
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