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Dare Wenzler

Dare Wenzler

The growing cost of commuting -- in both time and money -- is making working from home more and more attractive. At the same time, technological advances are making it easier than ever to work from a home office.  There are a lot of advantages to working at home but, before you set your home office  up, there are a number of important factors to consider. [caption id="attachment_7423" align="alignleft" width="150" caption="Another advantage to working at home: the casual dress code! (image courtesy of"][/caption] The first thing you'll need to think about is finding a space in your home to put your office that is 1) private , so that family members are not constantly interrupting you, and 2) accessible, if you plan to have clients or customers visit you in your office.  The den or a spare bedroom, for example, are obvious choices but what if you don't have a space like this?  Here are a few other options to consider that may not have occurred to you:
  • Basement: If you have a basement, this may be where you'll find the most available space.
  • Attic: An attic can be a large, quiet space–and also bright and cheerful, if you install skylights or roof windows.
  • Attached Garage: A garage will have easy and private access. It has quite a bit of room and can be finished off fairly easily. The big space left by the overhead door is a wonderful opportunity to design in some nice windows and/or door into your office.
  • Hallway: Hallways with niches or extra space are opportunities for small office spaces.
  • Closets: Closets are usually in short supply, so taking one over for an office space may not be a popular idea in your household. But possibly the closet contents can be moved to a basement area, attic area or someplace that is good enough for storage but not good enough for office space.
  • Sharing Space: A wall or two in the kitchen, living room, a bedroom or some other room may work for you. Possibly some office functions can be in one space and others in a second or third space (try setting up your computer in the bedroom and link to the printer in the kitchen).
The next thing you'll need to think about is your office furniture and supplies.  Most importantly, your desk.  Be sure it's big enough to accommodate your needs – one thing you'll find is that no matter how much work space you have, you could always use more!  As for office equipment, in addition to quality, why not consider other attributes like good looks and eco friendliness?  For example,  the GoECOlife shredders are not only highly reviewed in terms of quality and quietness, they are also eco friendly: [caption id="attachment_7429" align="alignright" width="100" caption="If there were only a beauty contest for shredders ..."][/caption]
  • Certified CarbonFree: To meet the rigorous standards of the CarbonFree Product Certification Program, GoECOlife™ assessed the carbon footprint of this product throughout its lifecycle and offset the carbon footprint of the product through investments in renewable energy and reforestation.
  • Energy Saving: GoECO Energy-Saving Technology prevents phantom power loss, so you use less energy and save money!
  • Meets RoHS standards that restrict the use of hazardous substances such as lead, mercury and other heavy metals.
  • Responsibly packaged.
Last but not least, they're beautiful! Learn more about the GoECOLife shredders on an upcoming episode of "World's Greatest", airing on the ION network January 21, 6:30AM ET. 9:30AM PT.
Monday, 28 March 2011 12:12

NIKA Water: Turning Bottles into Trees

Did you know that 20% of the world's population lacks access to safe drinking water.?   Of these 1.1 billion people, about 80% of those lacking such access live in sub-Saharan Africa, Eastern Asia and Southern Asia. Enter NIKA Water;  changing the way we stay hydrated. NIKA donates 100% of its profits to bringing water and clean sanitation into underdeveloped countries.  The first CarbonFree® certified and one of the most environmentally responsible bottled waters on the market, NIKA offsets its carbon footprint by funding the planting of trees in a "NIKA Forest" in Nicaragua to naturally absorb carbon from the atmosphere. Beyond that, NIKA has pledged that for every bottle of their water sold they will ensure that a corresponding plastic bottle is taken out of the environment and recycled. To do this, NIKA is working with schools and universities around the country to create plastic bottle buy?back programs. Participating schools will have their empty plastic bottles collected and recycled by NIKA for a minimal fee. Support NIKA's programs and buy some today.
Monday, 09 May 2011 16:35

In the Market for a New Energy Drink?

If you’re bored with the same old energy drink options and worried about how your choice affects both your health and the environment – search no more!   Monarch Beverages sells a couple of delicious and innovative energy drink brands in the U.S. - ACUTEfruit and  CoMotion, among others .   And now, you can try samples of these products for only the cost of shipping! ACUTEfruit™ :  Provides a sustained boost of physical performance and mental focus, without jitters ! 100% fruit juice, non-carbonated, with no added sugar. No preservatives, artificial colors, flavors or HFCS.  An alternative to juice and a perfect new kind of morning beverage if you are looking for a healthy substitute to coffee and traditional energy drinks .   Order your samples now – for only the cost of shipping. CoMotion™ : Double concentration energy drink with as much caffeine as a 16oz can for a fast-acting, stronger boost .  Contains extra vitamin B12 and Palatinose for even more extended energy effect and  helps enhance well being and relieve stress thanks to antioxidants and adaptogens. Order your samples now – for only the cost of shipping. Best of all, both of these products are certified CarbonFree® by  --the  carbon footprint associated with production and distribution of these drinks are mitigated through supporting’s portfolio of certified carbon reduction projects. Drink up!
Friday, 11 February 2011 13:31

In the Market for Commercial Carpet?

Why not be both design AND environmentally conscious with Tandus Flooring.  Tandus Flooring enhances spaces for learning, working, healing and living. Tandus Flooring partners with to offset the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions of its products. Through a very measured approach, Tandus has ensured that its CarbonFree® product offerings are carried out responsibly through a third-party certified process that produces meaningful results in decreasing the overall level of its GHG emissions. [caption id="attachment_7959" align="alignleft" width="200" caption="Modular"][/caption] Tandus Flooring offers its customers the option to purchase products that are CarbonFree Certified through For a nominal cost, customers can purchase Tandus Flooring’s modular or Powerbond carpet along with a GHG emission offset through a registered and credible program. The fastest growing flooring category in commercial interiors, modular carpet now accounts for nearly a third of all commercial carpet. With inventive patterns and rich solids in a kaleidoscope of colors, these modern modular styles offer designers the freedom to meet any interior design brief. [caption id="attachment_7960" align="alignright" width="200" caption="Powerbond"][/caption] Looking for something different? Powerbond is not carpet. Powerbond is Tandus Flooring’s hybrid resilient sheet flooring of VCTT (Variable Cushion Tufted Textile).  The DNA of Powerbond is its resilient closed cell cushion that provides decades of unfaltering performance, as well as thermal, acoustical and environmental attributes. Powerbond was introduced into the commercial market in 1967 and installations still exist without need of replacement.  Powerbond has evolved to become a design medium for all market segments due to its ability to be inlayed in various coordinating patterns and colors.
LEI Electronics has been named an International CES Innovations Design and Engineering Awards Honoree for certified carbon neutral (CarbonFree®) Eco Alkalines batteries. Products entered in this prestigious program are judged by a preeminent panel of independent industrial designers, engineers and members of the media to honor outstanding design and engineering in cutting-edge consumer electronics products across 35 product categories. Eco Alkalines are the world’s first batteries to be certified carbon neutral (CarbonFree®) by Eco Alkalines are considered earth-friendly and landfill-safe by Canadian and US environmental protection agencies. In a world where manufacturers charge a premium and in many cases provide less quality for Eco Friendly Products, LEI has managed to keep costs competitive while still maintaining the quality of their product that is equal or better to most well-known major brands. The prestigious Innovations Design and Engineering Awards have recognized achievements in product design and engineering since 1976. It is organized by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)—producer of the International CES, the world’s largest consumer technology tradeshow. The Awards are sponsored by PC World magazine. LEI’s Eco Alkalines will be displayed at the 2011 International CES, which runs January 6-9, 2011. The Innovations Design and Engineering Showcase will feature honorees by product category in the Grand Lobby of the Las Vegas Convention Center and will also be featured at CES Unveiled: The Official Press Event of the International CES on Tuesday, January 4. The Innovations entries are judged based on the following criteria:
  • Engineering qualities, based on technical specs and materials used
  • Aesthetic and design qualities
  • The product’s intended use/function and user value
  • Unique/novel features that consumers would find attractive
  • How the design and innovation of the product compares to other products in the marketplace
Products chosen as Innovations honorees reflect innovative design and engineering of the entries. Examples may include the first time various technologies are combined in a single product or dramatic enhancements to previous product designs. All Innovations 2011 Design and Engineering honoree products are featured on You can purchase the batteries at this link and learn more about's product certification program here.
Having company this weekend?  Here’s an idea for an unusual hors d’oeuvre: try a honey and cheese pairing!  But don’t use just any honey;  Royal Hawaiian Honeys are 100% raw, single-source varietal honeys harvested by a family-owned apiary on the Big Island of Hawaii.  They are dedicated to producing the finest quality, artisan Hawaiian honeys while connecting you to their honey’s origin and its story.   Better yet, they adhere to strict standards of sustainability by practicing organic farming and implementing a CARBON-FREE® initiative whereby all emissions associated with manufacturing, packaging and shipping these products are neutralized through supporting’s portfolio of certified carbon reduction projects. These honeys have an almost amber color and thick texture. The texture is a little grainy, and the rich taste is distinctive – you get a taste of brown sugar with some molasses and then, at the end, some spices.  They’re just the thing to pair with cheese.  Click on the links below to order online! Directions: Use some mini toasts or very plain water cracker, spread the honey on them, and top with cheese. Christmas Berry Honey Fresh chevre or other goat cheeses with a sharp, tangy flavor. Lehua Honey Zamarano or Manchego cheese- sheep’s milk cheeses with a dry, nutty flavor. Macadamia Nut Blossom Honey Buttery and rich cheeses made from cow�s milk like a triple-cr�me or brie, or marscapone.
Looking for an eco friendly, better priced battery that performs as well as the same old brands?  Look no further! We’ve written before about Eco Alkaline batteries – in January they received an “Innovations In Engineering” award at the Consumer Electronics Show.  Here are a few things you should know about them:
  • They contain Zero Lead, Cadmium or Mercury.  They are actually landfill safe (although we recommend that they be recycled whenever possible).
  • Eco Alkalines are the first batteries to be certified CarbonFree® by the rigorous product certification program managed by
  • Eco Alkalines are not rechargeable; they are a disposable alkaline battery.  Rechargeable alkaline batteries cannot be called “eco” because they have at least one or more of the heavy metals found in regular batteries.  Since they can be recharged, their composition is much more toxic than conventional alkaline batteries sold today.  During the lifecycle of a rechargeable battery, a consumer must consider the energy required to recharge the batteries.
  • Eco Alkaline Batteries have a 5 year shelf life and have a patent pending leak-resistant seal on the battery.
  • They are offered at retail prices that are competitive to the other major battery brands – customers are not forced to pay a premium to do the right thing when choosing their portable power source.
Today, environmentally friendly Eco Alkalines batteries are available in US and Canadian supermarkets, department stores, toy and hobby retailers, colleges and university stores, and soon, the Eco Alkalines will be used in the hotel rooms of two major American hotel chains. Click here for a complete list of retailers!
Thursday, 21 April 2011 09:59

Cool California : Cool Small Business!

Tropical Traders Specialty Foods, LLC- the company behind the Royal Hawaiian Honey brand- is a 2011 recipient of a CoolCalifornia Small Business Award, administered by the California Air Resources Board. The program recognizes small California businesses (under 100 employees) that have demonstrated exceptional leadership and taken action to reduce their energy bills and greenhouse gas emissions and made notable, voluntary achievements towards reducing their climate impact. Royal Hawaiian Honey is certified CarbonFree® by  In order to qualify for this certification, Tropical Traders commissioned a rigorous product life-cycle analysis on its Royal Hawaiian Honey line to determine its carbon footprint. This calculates how much energy is consumed in the production, shipping and distribution of all of the components that go into each container of Royal Hawaiian Honey; including glass jars and plastic tubs, the production and printing of its label, the amount of energy used in bottling the honey, and shipping from the Big Island to markets on the U.S. mainland all the way to product use and disposal phase.   Once this figure was determined, the energy used is mitigated through the support of’s portfolio of certified carbon offset projects. By taking responsibility for its carbon footprint and neutralizing its emissions, the Royal Hawaiian Honey label is working within its industry to make a difference. The Royal Hawaiian Honey brand is comprised of three single-origin varietals, all harvested on the Big Island of Hawaii: Organic Christmas Berry Honey, Organic Lehua Honey, and Macadamia Nut Blossom Honey. The honeys are available is 12oz. glass jars and 44oz. PP containers. Royal Hawaiian Honeys are:
  • 100% raw
  • Certified organic
  • Certified CarbonFree®
  • From a family-owned and operated apiary, 100% Hawaii-made
  • Single-origin varietals- honeys are from particular blooms and distinctive in color, flavor and aroma.
The honeys are available nationwide at
Grounds for Change, a specialty coffee roaster based in the Seattle area, has released another coffee in its disaster relief/NGO support series. The Japan Relief Blend released today is aimed at providing coffee drinkers with a simple way to donate to relief efforts in Japan. The Japan Relief Blend is Fair Trade, Organic and CarbonFree® Certified, and for each regularly priced 12 ounce bag purchased, Grounds for Change will donate $2.00 to the Japan Earthquake fund at Mercy Corps, a relief and community support organization based in Portland, Oregon. Japan Relief Blend: "Grounds for Change is an engaged member of our global community and as such, we feel compelled to reach out to those in the Miyagi, Fukushima and Iwate Prefectures, as well as other communities affected by the March 11th earthquake, to provide much-needed assistance," said Kelsey Marshall, Co-Founder of Grounds for Change. "The need for relief is massive and the urgency is acute. Many people want to help but don’t know where to start. We’re making it easy for those who drink coffee to make a contribution." Grounds for Change roasts exclusively Fair Trade Certified, Organic, CarbonFree® Certified coffee which is grown in shaded conditions. In 2008, Grounds for Change partnered with to offset 100% of the global warming emissions associated with the full lifecycle of their coffee. Grounds for Change is the first coffee roaster in the country to complete the rigorous third-party certification process necessary to obtain the CarbonFree® Certified Product label. Grounds for Change is also a member of 1% for the Planet and donates at least 1% of its revenues to environmental organizations each year. In addition to donating to numerous disaster relief efforts throughout its eight years, Grounds for Change has developed partnerships with a number of non-profit organizations such as The Humane Society of the United States, Wildlife Land Trust, Seattle Audubon Society and others. Grounds for Change donates a portion of sales from each of these partnership coffees to support the on-going efforts of these valuable organizations. Grounds for Change coffee is served at independent caf� locations around the country and is available online exclusively at Press release reprinted from
March is National Women’s History Month.   To celebrate, Grounds for Change CarbonFree® certified coffee is offering special pricing on their unique and delicious Cafe Femenino coffees.   The Cafe Feminino project is interesting and inspiring: With the help of organic and Fair Trade premiums, much has been  accomplished in the rural communities of coffee-producing countries, from improvement in the local economies, better diets, improved sanitation and new wet-processing mills for green coffee beans. However, the marginalization of women in these rural communities continues. In the urban areas of Peru, for example, the abuse rate is estimated at 40% and in the rural communities the rate is far greater. With little money to count on, a coffee family generally prefers to invest available resources in educating the sons. The daughters stay home and devote themselves to chores around the house and watching over the farm. They usually marry between 12 and 16 years of age and until now, women have only been allowed to participate in the domestic work of the home. If they were allowed to join work groups, it was only in a passive role. In 2003, the first conference of Women Coffee Producers was held in Northern Peru. The concept of separating these women producers' coffee from the rest of the Fair Trade co-op's production was a new idea, developed by the Fair Trade co-op, their organic coffee trading partners, and the women themselves, searching for ideas that would improve their living conditions. The women's conferences focus on building self-esteem, leadership, and sharing experiences. The women's response to these organizational activities has been amazing, as has the support offered by community leaders. There are currently well over 1,000 women coffee farmers involved with the Cafe Femenino Coffee Project in Peru. The women farmers participate in all farm activities: preparing the terrain, nurseries, and the compost to fertilize the soil; preparing bio-fertilizers, as well as harvesting, de-pulping, fermenting, and drying the coffee. It is very rare for women to participate in selling coffee or in deciding how the money from coffee sales will be used - all of which they do with Cafe Femenino. Once the coffee leaves the co-op, all sales contracts for Cafe Femenino must be signed and committed to by a woman, and a woman must participate in the sales and marketing of this coffee. An extra two cents per pound above the Fair Trade price for green coffee is paid by the US importer of Cafe Femenino, and these funds provide income that goes directly to the women producers - the use of this money is for them alone to decide. Grounds for Change donates an additional 10 cents for each pound of Cafe Femenino sold directly back to this women's coffee growing project to fund annual grants requested by the members. This year, they funded a dental health grant for several rural communities in Northern Peru that aims to improve dental education and provide toothbrushes for local children. We hope you take this concept to heart, share the story and the coffee, and be a part of something that can change the lives and futures of many women. Cafe Femenino started in Peru and is now also available from a women's co-op in Chiapas, Mexico.
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