Monday, August 21, 2006

Furnish from the heart.

We've been doing a lot of cleaning up and discarding lately, and in the process have found numerous items that can be donated for reuse or recycled. We knew what to to with the old rechargable batteries, the clothes we no longer wear, the old cell phones, excess school supplies and some other stuff. But what about the furniture we no longer needed? It can be hard to find an agency that will accept and use good quality, used furniture. That's where NFBA comes in.

The National Furniture Bank Association "is a non-profit association representing almost 70 furniture banks across America. The mission of the NFBA is simple - increase the capacity of existing furniture banks, and open new ones." They list several reasons to donate furniture:
* It's a very worthy cause. We all want to ensure that no child in America has to sleep on the floor.

* Furniture banks make it easy for people to dispose of furniture they're planning to replace. It will go directly to a family in need of essential home furnishings.

* Lastly, it's good, green thinking. Furniture banks keep thousands of tons of items from going into incinerators or landfills every year.

And they make it easy. Just click to find the furniture bank nearest you. We used the Furniture Bank of Metro Atlanta. They picked up our items and the donation is tax-deductible! You can't beat it.

So next time you need to dispose of furniture you're planning to replace, consider donating it to the furniture bank nearest you. You'll love providing "Furnishings from the Heart." (Thanks, Kwadjo!)

"The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." - Plato

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Re-envision your 'trash.'

They say one person's trash is another person's treasure, and when you consider what you put into the trash, you'll find that's the truth. We throw away so much that can be reused, refashioned, and recycled; it's a shame to waste so much when there are other alternatives. Here are some ways you can re-envision your 'trash' and reduce your waste:

* Don't waste your newborn's umbilical cord blood. Donate it for use in biomedical research or life-saving medical treatment.

* Don't waste napkins or diapers. Use cloth ones that can be washed an reused over and over again.

* Don't waste your body or organs after death. Donate them for medical treatment or for medical or forensic training.

* Don't waste your hair. When you cut it, donate it it to Locks of Love.

* Don't waste fruit and vegetable peelings and other plant matter. Compost it instead.

* Don't waste the bounty from your garden. Donate it to a local food bank or food rescue organization.

* Don't waste things that can be recycled. They still have life left.

* Don't waste gas. Drive gently.

* Don't waste time. If you ever begin to think you're bored, check out So what can I do for some productive and meaningful ways to spend your time.

"Waste not, want not;" that's how the old saying goes. Words to live by!

"There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered." - Nelson Mandela

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Don't forget.

Sometimes we have the best intentions, but with our busy lives it can be easy to forget to do the things we want to do to make the world a better place. Well, forget tying a string around your finger, or putting a wastepaperbasket in the middle of the floor, reminding has moved into the 21st century! Here are several free email reminder services (here, here, here, and here) that you can use to help you remember to do the things you want (and need) to do. For example,

* Remember to give blood every 56 days to save three people's lives.
* Remember to change your car oil, recycle the waste oil, and replace with synthetic oil.
* Remember to cut your hair and donate it it to Locks of Love.
* Remember to click everyday to make free donations to worthwhile charities.
* Remember to visit your weekly or monthly local farmer's market to stock up on locally-grown fresh foods.
* Remember to read So what can I do for the latest ways to make a difference.

Soon these activities will become a habit, like brushing your teeth, buying gas for your car, or purchasing your monthly transit pass, and you won't need a reminder. But until that happens, use one of the free reminder services to make sure you are doing all you can to improve yourself and improve our world.

"Ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have." -James Baldwin, writer (1924-1987)

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Be an Energy Star.

In these days of high fuel costs, energy-related pollution, and development of 'alternative' energy sources, it can be confusing for the cost and environmentally minded consumer to make wise appliance, construction and home-improvement choices. That's where Energy Star comes in. is "a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy helping us all save money and protect the environment through energy efficient products and practices. Americans, with the help of ENERGY STAR, saved enough energy in 2005 alone to avoid greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those from 23 million cars — all while saving $12 billion on their utility bills."

Check out these ways to save money, while reducing harm to the environment, in your home and business:

* "Products in more than 40 categories are eligible for the ENERGY STAR. They use less energy, save money, and help protect the environment."

* Remodeling suggestions will help you "reduce energy costs will make your home more comfortable and help protect the environment."

* Your new home can be Energy Star Qualified, making your home more comfortable, and helping to protect the environment.

* Business improvement strategies may help you lower costs and distinguish your organization. also has educational information, advice on the use of tax credits, lists of and tips for selecting service providers, and much more. It makes it that much easier to be an Energy Star.

Sometimes I think I'm runnin' out of energy
Seems like we use an awful lot for
Heatin' and lightin' and drivin'
Readin' and writin' and jivin'
Energy ... You'd think we'd be savin' it up."
- George R. Newall (Schoolhouse Rock)