Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Shrink Carbon Footprint

 




Shrink Your Carbon Footprint By Upgrading Your Furnace
*Author: Olivia Mac


You never go anywhere without your reusable shopping bag. You bike, walk, or use public transportation instead of a car every time you get the chance. You pack your lunch in the same eco-friendly container every day rather than using paper bags. But are you neglecting some simple ways closer to home to live a greener and more sustainable lifestyle? How about the way you heat your house?

A new furnace can provide not just a cozier, more inviting living space for you and your family, but will also help you to help the earth. Did you know that inefficient home energy use is one of the biggest drains on environmental resources that most people engage in? And it's happening through the duration of every single hour that many folks spend at home. Ignorance of this problem is so widespread, and it's really a shame, because, in addition to being entirely unnecessary, it can be such an easy thing to fix. 

We live in a more eco-conscious age than humans ever have before, and new technological developments reflect this. There is a very wide array of green furnaces on the market today. Here's a quick overview of a few of the different types and how they can help you:

§  One widely recommended option is high-efficiency heating systems, of which the SLP98V is but one (stellar) example. The heat will keep you comfortable throughout the winter, and, unlike older styles of furnaces, they make efficient use of energy. One enormous benefit of upgrading your furnace to a high-efficiency model is that not only will you be helping the environment with pretty much no effort on your part other than the initial switch to the new device; you'll also be slashing your heating costs every single month. It's an investment that will continue to keep money in your pocket for years to come.

§  Another environmentally-conscious furnace option is the use of a dual-fuel heat system. By combining both a gas system and an electric heat pump, dual-fuel furnaces will detect the temperature with no help from you, and switch automatically between gas and electric heat depending on which is most efficient depending on the weather at any given time. Smart furnaces are a smart addition to any home.

§  Lots of savvy consumers are realizing the advantages of solar heating systems and updating their homes to add solar panels. When installed by experienced professionals, these panels will produce enough power to offset the cost of operating not just your family's furnace, but other energy expenditures, as well. This is another option that both saves money and helps the planet, while requiring no effort on your part beyond the initial investment in a superior modern furnace.

As someone who tries to do your part to protect precious environmental resources, you care deeply about living an ecologically sustainable lifestyle. Now that you know more about what a new furnace has to offer, you need only select the right option that suits your needs. No matter which green heating option you choose, the most important aspect is that you are making the choice to shrink your carbon footprint. 


Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: http://brummet.ca * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well!




Monday, December 30, 2013

Back on Track!


Back on track - Holdiay gatherings and visitors are mostly done and only New Years coming up. However I'm back in the office as of today. Whew! What a holiday season it was ...so appreciative of everyone and for having some days off to just visit and have fun. I promise though that as of tomorrow you'll see new content here on the blog. :)

Thanks for letting me have this break from the office over the holiday season!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

announcement



-- Announcement -- 

 
Due to a heavy schedule and work load, we have decided to take a brief hiatus from hosting and producing the Conscious Discussions Talk Radio Show.  *We will be back on air as soon as we can, hopefully within a few months.
Re: Any queries or previous contacts... we'll keep your information on hand and will connect with you with a list of available dates when we are back on air.
We will still be running the daily blog, the website will be active, the networking, etc. We are only taking a hiatus from hosting the radio show at this time.
Again - apologies for the inconvenience. I'll be back at the radio show as soon as possible, as I do love hosting the show.

Thank you for your understanding.
in appreciation,
Lillian


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Product Review




While I don’t usually wear makeup other than a little mascara from the health store, I have felt lately that a little help would be nice for special events such for media interviews that I do for streaming video, YouTube channels, and online hybrid radio shows that incorporate video. I also needed to do a few new bio-pictures for the media kit and so I decided that this could be a perfect opportunity for me, personally, to take on the review project. I think my preferred look could be labeled as: natural, casual, and subtle. I don’t want to draw attention or obtain a wow factor, I just want to cover up some flaws and highlight certain points to create a better image.

I was intrigued by the Wantable  (http://wantable.com) subscription service and was glad to receive the invitation from them to review a box. After I headed to their site with the reviewer coupon code I was instructed to fill out a questionnaire – they do this for all their clients. The questionnaire will have you answer a few short questions so they can determine what you love you can decide to subscribe or just try out the service, and the staff will hand-pick unique specialty premium brands that suit your preferences best. 

My customized questionnaire included a choice of:

·      8 types of makeup (such as eyeliner, lash products, lip color, tools)

·      7 preferences for eye shadow (including loose or cream, shimmer or glitter)

·      5 highlighter preferences

·      4 types of bronzers

·      6 types of eyeliner preferences (including color or neutrals, pencil or gel)

·      5 choices for eye lash products

·      5 choices of lip products (such as lip liner, gloss or stain)

·      9 types of lip tones and textures (shimmer, sheer, bright)





Members get a new box each month with a hand picked selection of items that suit their personality and the season. They also offer special holiday themed boxes (i.e. Halloween). The company itself is based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (US) and consists of about 14 developers, designers, marketers, and entrepreneurs.



I ordered my box on Oct 23rd – and it arrived 20 days later here in BC, Canada on Nov. 12th in a recyclable, white cardboard box about 8X5 inches in size. The packaging, unfortunately, was grey foam, which cannot be recycled, however I’ll keep it for reuse in my large box of shipping supplies. I keep this box on hand for our own use of course, but also for any of our friends who are shipping things out. However the packaging for the products themselves were recyclable.



The box contained a bonus sample of Lise Watier Ombre Souffle Supreme (LiseWatier.com – a Canadian company) long lasting anti-aging eye shadow available in 6 shades, but the sample included only “Sunrise Peach” and “Enchanted Green” (vert enchante). This product has a light creamy texture that can be applied with the fingertips or perhaps a Q-tip and gives the eyelids a nice sheen. The product has a 6-month shelf life, however most of the ingredients listed on the sample were unpronounceable and unrecognizable – which is kind-a scary for this nature minded person.  What I did like about it is how easy it was to apply, how far the product will go (for myself, I don’t use much as I prefer a very subtle, natural look), and even though I can be quite sensitive to non-natural products I didn’t have a reaction to this eye shadow.



The box also included a Japonesque brand (Japonesque.com – based in California, US) Angled Foundation Brush (retails for $24.50 US), which was incredibly soft to the touch and is washable as well. Sadly I didn’t have any foundation here to try it out so I hope to visit the health store soon to pick some up. The brush specializes in smoothing cream and liquid foundation in such a way that it minimalizes pores and fine lines and because it is angled it is easy to use around crevices, creases, and angles on the face.



Also included: the Manna Kadar Lip Glaze (“patty cake”) product (retails $19.00 US), which is made in Canada and contains ingredients like lanoline oil, castor oil, jojoba seed extract… but also some not so friendly ingredients. However I really liked the color, the subtle sheen and ease of application of this product – it is durable, holding up to contact with my frequent use of a water glass and kept color for hours after application. And the FACE Stockhom (FaceStokholm.com - based in NY, US) – Lipstick (“pleasant”) product (retails $22 US) – the printing on this packaging however was so tiny that I couldn’t read the list of ingredients, but I did see that the product has a 12-month shelf life. I really liked how, with a light touch, I could get just a little color on without overwhelming the natural look I desire. 





And finally – there was another eye shadow called ‘bright eyes’ produced by the Be a Bombshell company (based in China - BeABombshellCosmetics.com) and retails for $14 US. I have to admit that anything produced in China scares me silly as they don’t have the strict standards for workers, materials or packaging that we have here in Canada. If you think about the shipping alone, this product then has a larger ecological footprint then others. Still of the two eye shadow products in this package, this one was my favorite and I’ll definitely be using it.

In total the products in this package, not including the free sample, came to $79.50 (US) – as such Wantable provides a economical way of trying interesting and newly released products on the market without breaking the budget. The service retails for $40 for a one-time purchase, or become a member and the cost is reduced to $36/month. I think this would be a perfect gift for celebrations or holidays as the recipient can choose from accessories, make up and intimates. The company offers free shipping for any returns from the US, and ships to Australia and Canada as well.  Wantable offers a very convenient service - you can skip a shipment if you expect to be away, update your preferences, or cancel your subscription. If you're not happy with your box, send it back for a full refund, no questions asked! Alternatively, as I mentioned earlier, you can order a one-time Wantable box as a gift item throughout the year for someone you know.

Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: http://brummet.ca * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Kindness & Stress

-- Conscious Discussions Talk Radio --



* Airs live @ 10-11 AM (Pacifc)  - Chat room open for live listeners - all episodes are archived indefinitely within moments after they air live, and are available for you to listen to later on at any time of day.
Sign up via itunes for the Conscious Discussions Radio show: http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/id262138144    


Christmas Eve - the perfect day for offering a discussion on kindness and stress with two experts:  Debbie Mandel is a stress-management specialist, radio show host, mind/body lecturer, creator of an educational website, and the author of three self-help books. CJ Scarlet CJ is an award-winning author, motivational speaker and certified life transitions coach focusing on the benefits of random acts of kindness. 


 Access the live (10-11 AM Pacific) or archived episode:




Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: http://brummet.ca * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well!
 
 
 

Monday, December 23, 2013

Legacy / Waste Reduction



-- Quote of the Day --

 
You know it is never to late to start to think about your legacy; at the same time it is never too early… it is a life long issue, and it something we can be talking about when we are younger. …What do I enjoy most, or think that I would enjoy in my life? – What are you passionate about? – What do I want to be remembered for; what kind of person do I want to be… did you leave your mark on the world? …Sometimes we tend to beat ourselves up a bit because we aren’t feeling like we have done enough. …It is about finding out what makes you feel really good, what sustains, what stays. …Be and become who you want to be – don’t become what somebody else thinks you should be. …Accept yourself for who you are – we came here just perfect, we are unique like snowflakes. …Don’t leave any regrets – if you sit down at the end of the day and you say ‘I wish I would have…’ then do it… so that you have no regrets.”

~ Marion Witte

Today’s quote originates from the Conscious Discussions Talk Radio episode that aired back on June 18… titled: What Will Your LegacyLook Like?

 (*Click on the title to access the full discussion)



-- Positive News -- 



Congratulations goes out once again to the city of San Diego, who is setting the green bar high for other communities to follow. 

The City Council's Natural Resources and Culture Committee worked very hard behind the scenes to develop a Zero Waste plan that will eventually divert 100% of the waste generated in the city from the landfill. Pressure was on, because the Miramar Landfill is running out of space and because the state of California is imposing a 75% waste diversion policy for all cities to abide by the year 2020. Currently, and for the last 3 years, San Diego has a diversion rate of about 68%. The committee's plan will maximize conservation, recycling and composting - things that are already available to most of us, but are not utilized to their full potential.




Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: http://brummet.ca * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well! 



 
 





Sunday, December 22, 2013

Trusting Your Own Wings

 
 -- Quote of the Day --


A bird sitting on a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking, 
because her trust in not on the branch but on it's own wings.

~ Unknown


-- Conscious Discussions Talk Radio --



* Airs live @ 10-11 AM (Pacifc)  - Chat room open for live listeners - all episodes are archived indefinitely within moments after they air live, and are available for you to listen to later on at any time of day.
Sign up via itunes for the Conscious Discussions Radio show: http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/id262138144    


Penelope Tobin has a passion for helping others develop what she calls ‘soft skills’, things we are not taught in public education systems but have profound impact on the quality of our lives. Penelope is the founder and CEO of Barrier Breakers, a published author and created a non-profit called Barrier Breakers Foundation.  


 Access the live (10-11 AM Pacific) or archived episode:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/consciousdiscussions/2013/12/22/develop-soft-skills






Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: http://brummet.ca * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well!
 
 

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Product Review


-- Product Review -- 



I spotted Robin Logan’s invitation for reviews re: the 7Cream.ca products on Nov. 1st and was quite intrigued – by Nov. 4th we got a confirmation and the product was shipped shortly afterwards. It arrived in the mail on Nov. 12th in recyclable cardboard box, with fine paper (recyclable) packaging to protect the product. The 7Cream company is based in BC, Canada. www.7cream.ca - and are registered with Health Canada (known for their strict policies and standards) as a “natural health product”.

Having been busy working with the beams and posts that will eventually form our deck, I’ve had all kinds of strains; scratches, skin stress from the stain itself, and small wounds from wood slivers. I’ve also suffered from eczema throughout my childhood, although it only shows up occasionally now that I’m in my mid-40’s and very conscious of what I put on my skin, what I breathe and what I eat. Because of lots of garden and house projects, I had some eczema getting increasingly worse since this summer on my fingers. I put on this cream as soon as it arrived and noticed a huge difference – the itching went away, the skin on my hands didn’t ache, my skin felt softer and all those little scratches and old sliver spots didn’t sting anymore. So after 3 more applications over a 2-day period I noticed that the small wounds were healing really well and the eczema was nearly gone! Within 4 days the skin on my hands were totally healed, and very soft. That really amazed me since I’d been using prescription cortisone for eczema all my life with very minor results. After looking over their site, I realized that 7 Cream is actually used in hospitals and special treatment centers for burns due to radiation. I am totally impressed with this cream!




7 Cream contains no parabens, mineral oil, lanolin, synthetic fragrances, color, or fillers and is gluten free. It is also made in Canada – which for my situation means there is very little fossil fuel spent in shipping, a definite plus for this environmentalist. This healing cream consists of manuka honey, aloe vera, calendula, shea butter, coconut, avocado, neem and manuka oils. In addition about 70% of the ingredients are certified as organic. I’m sensitive or allergic to a lot of things but found this cream very soothing and I had no reaction to it. However the packaging does warn that people who have allergies to plants in the astraceae, compositae or daisy families will want to avoid this cream.

Our blog readers are probably familiar with most of these natural ingredients listed above but for those of you who are not I’ll list some of the valuable properties in a few of them. Calendula, one of my favorite self-seeding edible flowers for the garden (the petals are wonderful in salads), is actually from the Marigold family and is well known for it’s ability to heal minor cuts, burns and irritations on the skin. Pollinators, by the way, love that flower. Shea Butter is solid oil produced from processing the nut of the Karite tree – from Africa – and is commonly used for moisturizing skin. Hand drummers use Shea butter to heal their hands, and to seal new drumheads. The avocado oil has a lot of different nutrients that skin can easily absorb and is also a moisturizer. Neem oil is one of my favorite gardening remedies comes from a tree that traditionally grows in Asia, India and Africa; it helps plants as a foliar feed spray, cleans leaves leaving them glossy, fights problems from mold to mildew and also works as a natural pesticide, while being completely safe for people and pets. I wasn’t personally familiar with Manuka oil and honey, so I did some research online. These products come from a tree by the same name, which has a lot of healing properties as well. Manuka honey is one of the most treasured honey varieties in Australia and New Zealand regions. Most honeys have antibacterial properties, but Manuka honey has much more of this property, and 4 times more minerals than other honey varieties - as such, it has been used topically to dress wounds, and taken internally for throat and stomach issues (sore throats and stomach ulcers, for instance). As a food, this honey is said to have a slight forest-like aroma. While highly sought after, it is fairly hard to get and is actually up to 10 times the cost of other honey. Other ingredients include geranium oil and castor seed oil.

I’m personally going to keep a tube of 7 Cream (retail $24.95 Canadian) in my cabinet as a medical aid for damaged skin, wounds, cuts, slivers, and of course eczema. The company also produces a lip balm ($9.75 Canadian) and a bar soap ($14.95) product with similar ingredients. They offer a combo pack including one of each of their products for a reduced price ($45.00 Canadian). The 7 Cream and 7 Balm are both made in Canada and the 7 Soap is made in France.

The site offers lots of educational information about the construction of the skin, what skin needs, how to make your own sun screen bars, and much more. You’ll also find information about the founder: “Robin Logan, FSHom, British Homeopath, the creator of the 7 Cream Product Line is the author of the best selling textbook, The Homeopathic Treatment of Eczema, Beaconsfield Homoeopathic Library (1998). In 1994, he was awarded a Fellowship by The Society of Homeopaths (UK) for his contribution to homeopathy. He served as a Director of the Society of Homeopaths for four years and was editor of the Society’s professional journal, The Homeopath, for two years.”


Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: http://brummet.ca * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well!
 
 

Friday, December 20, 2013

Greening the Supply Chain



The Green Supply Chain Defined

Today's article was written by: R. Michael Richmond - director of the Green Business [http://www.greenbusinessleague.com] League. You can find a Certified Green consultant at Green Consultant [http://www.greenconsultantdirectory.com]. Green Business League offers the very best Green Business certification based on the proven adoption of Green practices in the business operation.


It seems that there is a inevitability about going green as a business.  While some charge ahead and other hesitate, the greening of business will touch every level of the marketplace.  I believe that this process will eventually create a period that I have termed The Green Equalization that will drive a new generation of businesses to find a ay to be authentically green.   The public understanding will also mature with realistic green expectations by consumers and more discernment for products and services.  This generation will also reject the superficial attitude toward green that many companies presently use in their operations.  The marketplace will demand more green due diligence to validate the green claims of a firm rather than ignorantly accepting the promotional claims of a product or service.
This kind of authentic green is not easily acquired, however.  The environmental emphasis has basically been singular focused on the marketing end of nearly every business.   It is common for these businesses to pay little if any attention to the purchasing side of the operation.   This separation of commitment will eventually become a marketing error in its own right.  This is where the green supply chain debate enters into the big picture of business ethics.  We are seeing more and more industry articles or conferences making a point an issue of green ethics in the overall operation of a business.  Obviously, if a business wishes to sell green, it should also make it a policy to buying green as well.
Ethically, every business needs to practice what they preach, claim via marketing.  The rampant lack of Green Ethics is demonstrated in a very obvious fashion when the businesses are asking the public to buy their green product or service, but the company does not do the same in their own operation.  The concern for Green Practices heralded by the Green Business League applies here.  The simple solution is for all businesses to apply Green practices throughout the business scheme.  In simple terms, the green expectations found in the marketing department should also be seen in the other practices of your business, and that includes the purchasing department or protocols.
Going green is not just a better way to sell your services or goods.  It is a commitment to a national and world crisis that we all face in this generation.  This issue need not be anti-business to be environmentally honest.  There is, however, often a gaping hole of commitment in what many firms bring to this table regarding environmentalism.  In a parallel effort, the EPA has come out with its Environmentally Preferred Purchasing guidelines.  This initiative mirrors a good part of the green supply chain ideas.  It should seem obvious where all this is going, if you're paying attention.  We are seeing the maturity of the public and business to an environmentally-committed protocol that is ready to "Walk the walk as well as talk the talk."
It may surprise some that installing green practices in any size business is not just about the physical building.  Under better thought, going green is primarily about the operation, programming, or daily practices.   It should not matter if you rent, lease or own the facility.  Any business that envisions the future, needs to begin a thorough process of greening the company from front to back.  Frankly, this is more involved than anyone might think because it takes more commitment than merely changing out your lighting with CFL bulbs.   This should involve the assistance of a Certified Green Consultant, who is a trained professional who not only understands how to take a business green, but can assist the client with acquiring the necessary points for each as a certified green business.  Using a one hundred point scale, the business can earn its Green Business Certification which is something that can be legitimately promoted.  This happens when there is a real integration of green practices and certification by an independent resource. There are a variety of efficient ideas that come with going green now that were not available before.  The process can be a big cost savings as well as a valid market credential.

Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: http://brummet.ca * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well!
 
 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

poetry



I'm taking the day off from the office today - ah, those golden moments of reprieve :) While I love what I do,  without occasional day's off I'd go a bit bonkers :)

I thought it would be a good time to share some poetry excerpts from my book: Towards Understanding




TRAPPED!


There is but a child in me,

Waiting to escape.

To see the wonders of the world,

And rid herself of hate.

She wants to feel joy in living,

And romantic summer eves.

She dreams of running wild,

Through autumn’s fallen leaves.

But I keep her well in side;

Afraid of experiencing pain.

She shouldn’t have to cry,

That sweet little child of mine.



- This poem is in recognition of the superficial relationships I had developed for fear of being depended on, or being disappointed. Experience teaches us, however, that by keeping ourselves locked up in a seemingly "safe" place we only relive old hurts over and over again. By breaking out of that cage we built we are of course becoming vulnerable, but we also get to enjoy new joys and spontaneous experiences that mold new memories for us. 


WIND


Wind is invisible - you cannot see it,

Yet you know it is there.

The movement of the trees and the grass,

And the movement through your hair.

Wind can never hurt you, never fear.

But it can cause things to hit you.

And when strong enough it moves

With incredible strength.

Yet in reality, physically, it is nothing.

Gossip: like wind, cannot hurt you in itself,

It can move others - if it is strong enough,

It can be uncontrollable and unpredictable

Yet in reality, physically, it is nothing.



- At this time I was dealing with work-place gossip where as soon as one person was out of ear shot others would start nattering about him or her. After being shown the gossip side of workplace life, I was first angered by it and this seemed to reinforce my belief that people were in general untrustworthy and vengeful. However as time continued to flow by it dawned on me that other people's words were in fact powerless -gossip only had power if I give it power, if I put meaning or strength behind it. 


Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: http://brummet.ca * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well!