Our Blog

Buy Nothing Day - Nov. 28 and 29

by: Heather on 11/27/2008
Posted in: Activism

Now in its 17th year, Buy Nothing Day is celebrated every November by environmentalists, social activists and concerned citizens in over 65 countries around the world. Over the years, Buy Nothing Day (followed by Buy Nothing Christmas) has exploded into a global movement, inspiring the world's citizens to live more simply and buy a whole lot less.

read full article


by: Heather on 11/14/2008
Posted in: Events

The blog will be quiet this week as we hit the road for Greenbuild in Boston, MA. If you're planning on attending be sure to stop by our booth - we'd love to see you! The conference runs November 19-21 at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, and Archbishop Desmond Tutu is the keynote speaker.

read full article

Guest Post - Sharif Abdullah

by: Heather on 11/14/2008
Posted in: Guest Posts

This post-election message just in from Sharif Abdullah, author of The Power of One. Thanks Sharif!







Yes, congratulations, you made history, yada, yada, yada. Not to diminish your amazing accomplishment, but since you've heard it all so many times by now, I won't dwell on it (although, if you and I had a few hours, I COULD!)


No, I would rather not take up your time on that. I have a few pieces of advice for you. If I had five minutes of your time, the following is what I would say to you directly.


But first, who am I to be offering you advice? I have been exploring our need for a value-driven, inclusive and sustainable society for decades, including as Founder and Executive Director of Commonway Institute. The title to my second book sums up my philosophy and my life goal: "Creating a World That Works for All". I offer my counsel to you.




This part goes without saying: while you are in fact the first African-American President (Elect) of the US, that is an IDENTITY, it is not the core essence of who you are. One day, even being President will be a past accomplishment. You, however, will still be you.


You are the first President (Elect) of the 21st Century - I expect you to act like it. (We obviously aren't going to count the last 8 years. We are now seeing the close of the last Presidency of the 19th Century). As the first 21st Century President, you will set the model for all of the other Presidents to follow. Aim high.


Bill Clinton was a very admirable bridge between the 20th and 21st Centuries. There are many advisors around you who would like to copy those times. Don't listen to them. Your arc must be higher.

read full article

The Human-Powered Home: Choosing Muscles over Motors

by: Heather on 11/13/2008
Posted in: New Books

Tamara Dean's The Human-Powered Home is off press and receiving rave reviews! The book examines the evolution of human-powered devices and how they are used around the world, and then provides complete plans for a huge variety of projects. You can build a bike-powered blender or grain mill, a treadle-powered water pump and a pedal-powered washing …

read full article

Guest Post - David Spero

by: Heather on 11/12/2008
Posted in: Guest Posts

This fascinating post-election reflection just in from David Spero, author of Diabetes: Sugar-Coated Crisis. Thanks David!

In researching and writing Diabetes: Sugar-Coated Crisis, I learned about the social causes of illness. Not just bad food and little access to medical care. Everybody knows about those, but they really play a rather small part …

read full article