Giveaways, Reviews, Sustainability

Making Sustainable Choices (Plus: A Small Woolite Giveaway)

When I look back on my world view a decade ago, I have to laugh (and maybe sigh a little). I didn’t think about how my choices impacted the world around me and doing right by the planet wasn’t even something that was on my radar. A couple of years ago something just clicked with me and I started really thinking about my life and what role I can play to make a lasting and positive impact on the world around me. A friend of mine recently told me that “You have to grow into your better self” and I couldn’t agree more.

It's An Ordinary Blog

This week I’m doing a Kid’s Closet Connection giveaway. I talked a little bit yesterday about how these sales are a great way to save money but they’re also really great for the environment. Anytime you buy something used (furniture, clothing, toys, shoes, art, etc) you’re making the choice to help protect our planet. I don’t want to focus on the KCC giveaway but it does tie into what I want to discuss today. I am a member of Crowdtap, an organization that connects companies with consumers who are willing to give insight and honest feedback about products, ideas, and marketing techniques. Part of my membership includes the opportunity to receive samples from various companies in exchange for my feedback and participation in moderated discussions.

Woolite Washed

Most recently I was selected by Woolite to participate in an opportuntiy to try Woolite Washed, their every day laundry solution that “keeps clothes looking like new longer”.  The goal of the hosted party was to encourage friends to swap clothes. Not only is this a really sustainable way to get some “new to me” items but it’s also a fun way to get rid of some of that stuff that’s been sitting around in your closet collecting dust. Clothing, accessories, and shoe swaps are so much fun and it’s definitely something I would like to participate in more often with some of my gal pals. Not only is the idea of hosting an in home boutique great for the environment but Woolite is too. Their commitment to protecting the planet through their Green initiatives is one of the things that impresses me most about the company. You can find more information about that here.

I have a couple of extra samples that the company sent me on hand and would love to share them with two of my readers. SO, if you want to try Woolite out (the sample also comes with a $1.00 off coupon) leave me a comment and I’ll randomly pick two readers on Saturday to send the samples to.

Whether you turn off the lights every time you leave a room, recycle everything you can, host clothing swaps with your friends, or plant new trees every Earth day I hope that you’re thinking about the choices we all make and how they will impact future generations. Sustainability matters.

*Disclaimer: My opinion about Woolite and their products are my own. I was given the sample products free of charge in exchange for my honest, unbiased feedback. I happen to have extra samples and Woolite does not know that I planned to share them on my blog.

 

Mad About It Mondays, Rants, Society, Sustainability

Mad About It Mondays: Corporate Irresponsibility

Vacant buildings depress property values in neighborhoods. That’s not a theory, it’s a fact. It’s hard for an area to recover when it begins to decline. What’s worse is that people eventually stop caring, stop trying, and move away into better neighborhoods. When my husband and I first got married we lived in the north part of Kansas City. When it came time to purchase our first home, we opted to move south because it was a growing area with lots of potential and offered significantly better bang for our buck. Several shopping centers in our area have vacant space available in their buildings while shiny new ones are being built down the road. That makes me a little sad. I’m not saying that businesses aren’t allowed to have space of their own, I just wish they would make an effort to try to use the space we already have available instead of cutting down trees to build a concrete jungle.The new businesses aren’t what upset me the most, though, it’s the ones who move into new buildings and just abandon their old ones. It’s a horrible practice. It’s bad for the neighborhood, it’s bad for property values, and (worst of all) it’s bad for this planet.

The first time I saw this happen in my area was when On The Border built a new restaurant next to their old building. It’s LITERALLY right next door and shares a parking lot with the old building. The empty On The Border has been a vacant, abandoned eye sore since the new one opened a couple of years ago. That makes me sick. In my opinion there is absolutely no excuse to validate that practice. The most recent example of corporate irresponsibility is the CVS that closed its doors to open a newer, snazzier building just down the road. I have no doubt that the old building will sit empty for the next several years as well.

 I once worked for a company where the CEO was adamant about proposing solutions when you oppose an issue and so I often think about what I would do if I had the power to make the kind of changes I feel are necessary to help restore our area. At this point, what’s done is done and you can’t go back and change what’s already happened. What you can do, however, and what I think both CVS and On The Border should do is give back to the community. Maybe On The Border could open up its first ever “cooking school” where they teach people a certain recipe for a nominal fee or perhaps they could use that building to host events catered by OTB. Maybe CVS could start caring about the community and open up a health and wellness center where they have volunteers who come in to teach classes on health, wellness, and nutrition. I’m not sure if this kind of thing happens because the people in charge are ignorant to what they’re doing to the community or if it’s because they simply don’t care but maybe they could each do something that doesn’t involve walking away and leaving a property empty and a neighborhood desperate for someone to bring it back to life.

Maybe, just maybe, people will start to care enough to speak up and not support businesses who are too shortsighted to see what they’re doing to the community. If you see something like this happening in your area, I implore you to say something. Speak up. If we don’t, nobody else will. When it comes to corporate irresponsibility, we all suffer. When businesses leave vacant buildings for months or years on end, property values decline, other businesses eventually walk away, the area loses its appeal, people move away only to start the cycle somewhere else.

Culture, Reviews, Society, Sustainability

The Freecycle Network

A few months ago I came across an organization called Freecycle that aims to reduce waste and environmental impact by connecting people who are looking to get rid of items (like old book shelves, toys, etc) with people who might be interested in obtaining them. As someone who is interested in sustainability (it matters) and saving money (who doesn’t appreciate that), I think the idea behind this is incredible. I have to say, though, that I’ve been unimpressed but I want to start with what I enjoy about the Freecycle network.

I decided to go down the list of most recent emails from my local group and list off what people have been offering:

-work gloves

-grout tiles

-file cabinet

-cat food & litter

-gas dryer

-couch

I love that, rather than simply throwing out these items, people are willing to hang on to them for a few extra days in order to reduce their impact on the world around them. That’s awesome…Really awesome.

What I don’t like, though, is the constant (and I mean almost constant) amount of emails I get from people who are flat-out asking for items (usually in list form). That really strikes a nerve with me. I think it’s great if someone is looking to get rid of something that you happen to have a need for, but at what point does Freecycle become a stomping ground for beggars?

Here’s the list of items that people have been asking for lately:

-Hunger Games books

-computer and keyboard

-queen size bed with mattress and box spring with bedding

-children’s clothes from 0-3T

-moving boxes

One of the only items I can understand (and get behind) is asking for moving boxes. That’s legit and it’s a great way to try to find boxes when you’re prepping for a move. The rest of it, however, is ridiculous. As great as this network is, I feel that it’s lost its purpose and that makes me sad. On one hand, I want to say it’s okay to put feelers out there to see if something you happen to need is out there but on the other hand there’s something about the way people are asking in our particular group that I find to be really bothersome. Has anyone else experienced anything like this?

At the end of the day, I’ll continue to be part of the group. We’re in the process of finishing our basement and so I’ll be listing some items in the very near future and, you never know, I may see something that someone has to offer that is right up my alley one day. For now, I’ll take the good and leave the rest…