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May 2009


Eco-Friendly Travel to British Columbia, Canada

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Green_lodging_2 Back when the ditty “(It’s Not That Easy) Bein’ Green” debuted on Sesame Street in 1970, a handful of British Columbia outdoor adventure companies began including an ecological ethos in their mission statement. “It’s beautiful!” crooned Kermit the Frog, “And it’s what I want to be.” Gradually, more fledgling wilderness tourism operators appeared with environmental sustainability on offer. For its time, this was as radical a step as restaurants featu ring fresh, locally-sourced menu choices. While many may profess a dedication to green initiatives today, these operators profess their success with a lifelong commitment.

Great Green Getways in British Columbia:
Tofino Sea Kayaking
Purcell Mountain Lodge
Bluewater Adventures
Great Explorations Cycling

Find out these travel companies keep it green in RTM's article on Eco-Friendly British Columbia.


Eco-Friendly Pet Clothing, Scutte, Keeps Your Pet Socially Responsible

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Eco-Friendly Pet Clothing Kira Stackhouse, owner of Nuena Photography and Fetch Foto, launches Scutte, a San Francisco–based pet apparel company specializing in T-shirts, sweats, accessories, and toys. All Scutte items are unique and individually handmade from the highest quality recycled materials.

Scutte is proud to be an eco-friendly business, and its mission is built on style, sustainability and social responsibility. Designs are influenced by classic and current “people” fashion, products are made from vintage materials, and special care and thought go into making each piece both stylish and functional.

Scutte has recently partnered with Muttville, a San Francisco-based senior dog rescue organization. Muttville rescues senior dogs and finds them loving homes or gives them hospice. On a global level, Muttville provides information about caring for older dogs and support for people who do. All of Scutte’s dog models are either adopted or adoptable Muttville dogs, and a portion of all product sales are donated to Muttville to support its efforts.

Scutte products are available online and in select retail stores.

Click here to visit the Scutte website.

More eco-friendly news and tips on Earth Tones.


Travel Eco Friendly With Humanitourism

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Humanitourism-pic1 Most tourists travel to an area's hot destinations and famous attractions then head home with some great stories having never really experienced the culture of their destination and often have left behind a hefty carbon footprint. Inside/out travel company has come up with a plan to change that with a new kind of travel they call "humanitourism," which combines a humanitarian project with an eco-friendly guided adventure travel.

“Ideally, we’d love for people to return home and continue a relationship with the project and people visited, either with support, mentoring or even return visits,” said inside/out founder Zoe Katsulos.

The travel experience includes stays with local hosts or in culturally significant accommodations and enables travelers to experience local food and culture. On most trips the volunteer work lasts seven days with 6 additional days for local adventure. Small group sizes, from 6-12 people, are designed to provide opportunities for each traveler to personally interact with the local population and make a difference.

Click here to learn more about "humanitourism."


The 2009 GMC Sierra Hybrid New Car Review

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GMC-Sierra-Hybrid Let’s face it, as much as we would like oversized vehicles to just go away, we really can’t do without them. But for all the heavy weights there is hope. The new hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) GMC Sierra 1500 full-size truck packs all the power and performance to get the job done with a little eco-friendly twist. The truck stocks a two-mode hybrid propulsion system, which includes two 60-kW electric traction motors packaged as components of GM's new electrically variable transmission (EVT). At low speed, the truck can move using one of the electric motors or a gas-fired 6.0-liter V8. At highway speed, the second mode works with all eight cylinders of the V8 firing when commanded, or with only four cylinders operating through AFM technology to conserve on fuel. Sierra the HEV can pull a trailer weighing up to 6,100 pounds.

Click here for more hybrid car reviews.

More on GMC Vehicles.

Gas Past the Pump: Crude Oil's Role in Everyday Life

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19048249 Just a little something to think about: crude oil - or petroleum - is used in more products than just automobiles. Cars are not the only culprits of consuming an abundance of oil: the

same stuff that has you cursing at the pump is also used in the production and transport of the bottled water in your hand, the diaper on your baby's behind, and the food on your plate. If 10,000 people stopped buying bottled water for a year, the oil they'd save could fuel four cars over the same period.

In reality, only 88 percent of all petroleum extracted is processed as fuel; the other 12 percent is converted into other materials such as plastic. And judging from the absurd volume of bottled water at stores and in trash bins, bottled water is a huge portion of that 12 percent.

From start to finish, it takes at least a gallon of oil to produce a pound of beef. In fact, every year over 400 gallons of oil end up in each and every American's stomach. Not literally, of course, but consider the oil used in fertilizer and pesticide production, operation of machinery like tractors and grain elevators, the creation and maintenance of irrigation systems, and the production of livestock.

Oil's not just on the plate and in the tank, either. Everything from asphalt in roofing, to no-stick frying pans, to computers, to basketballs are not just made from petroleum, they're also made using the stuff.

Click here for the full article.

For more buzz from the automotive world, check out Road and Travel Magazine.


Eco-Friendly Ways to Pack for a Trip

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Eco-friendly packing Organization has always been the key to packing light, and surprisingly enough a little organization can help you pack the eco-friendly way.

First, put a little thought into packing. Where are you going? What will you be doing? And will you be going anywhere that requires a dress code? Think about what you need, and bring only that. As long as you aren’t out rolling around in the mud or stinking up your clothes, most things can be worn more than once.

Remove packaging waste. Take anything that is packaged out of its wrapping before packing it. It will save you space in your suitcase and you won’t be transporting waste.

Airlines have strict rules about the size of many liquid items and travel sized toiletries can be a big waste if you travel frequently. So think about where you are going, most hotels provide any personal item you might need and if you are staying with family, use what they have. If you do use travel sized items save the bottles so you can refill them for your next trip.

Making good packing choices and taking a moment to think about it rather than just throwing random items into a bag, will save you space and essentially reduce waste. The lighter your bag is the less energy you are using to transport it.

Click here for more eco-friendly travel tips.


Eco-Friendly Footwear : More Fabulous Than Ever

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Nothing is better than the perfect pair of shoes, whether it is a strappy heel, a sleek flat or a sassy boot; any woman knows, when you find that perfect fit, it’s worth every penny spent. But there is a way to kick your love for fabulous footwear up a notch, and that is finding a shoe that both you and our planet can love.

Forget Birkenstocks, it’s time to show off your eco sensitivity with some stylish shoes. Beyond Skin, an England based footwear manufacturer, provides the most environmentally-friendly shoes in all the chicest styles.

Beyond-skin-shoes Shoes are non exploitative to humans, animals and wherever possible the wider environment. Using no animal products, all footwear is hand-made to order in the UK promoting ethically-sound and less energy intensive working practices.

These gorgeous shoes are suitable for vegetarians and vegans alike. Producing various collections throughout the year, Beyond Skin is worth the cost. A highly recommended brand for any fashionista.


Eat Leaner and Greener: An Easy Way to Eat Better

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Produce People are always trying to make lifestyle changes, whether you are trying to live more eco-friendly or trying to eat better, here are some ways you can do a little bit of both.

Avoid boxes at the supermarket. Whether they are frozen or sitting on a shelf anything in a package most likely is processed or contains refined ingredients. Get a little more down to earth when it comes to shopping; fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and other natural grains and nuts are all great options. You are also eliminating all the extra packaging that comes with boxed and wrapped goods.

Another option is to shop organic. Today, supermarkets are doing a great job keeping organic goods stocked. However, a better option is to shop local at your local farmers market. Not only are you buying goods knowing exactly where they came from, you are supporting your local economy. Farmer’s markets are a healthy and wallet friendly option.

Just making simple changes to your shopping habits can make a difference in your goals to become more eco-friendly and healthier.


Vacation Eco-Friendly at Utah’s Wind Powered Hotel

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1049680_42_b The Treasure Mountain Inn has taken hotel sustainability to a new level. Located on historic Main Street in Park City, Utah, this green hotel is an ideal lodging spot due to it’s proximity to Salt Lake City. The beautiful mountainous surroundings inspired Treasure Mountain Inn to embrace their role as stewards for the environment.

As of March, Treasure Mountain Inn has been 100 percent wind powered. This means that the hotel has purchased 781,200 KWH of wind power, the same as planting 41,025 trees or not driving 81 cars.

Featuring a plethora of other green amenities such as a lobby recycling center, the Treasure Mountain Inn is Utah’s only 100 percent carbon neutral hotel as well as EPA certified and a member of the Green Hotels Association. The inn also donates a minimum of 1 percent of its annual sales to fund organizations working to conserve and protect natural resources.  Looks like Treasure Mountain Inn has set the bar high in the sustainable hotel industry.

Learn More about the Treasure Mountain Inn.

More eco-friendly hotel guides can be found on Earth Tones.


Maximize Fuel Economy With the 2009 Chevy HHR

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2009-chevrolet-hhr-08124511990004 When Chevy rolled out its HHR four years ago, it seemed aimed at a nostalgia-minded crowd. Even the HHR designation, derived from "High Heritage Roof" recalling the original 1949 Chevy Suburban, begged for a trip back in time. Maybe it was imagining the crackling static of a radio filling hot summer nights with word pictures fanned by imagination when TV was still in its infancy.

The 2009 Chevrolet HHR takes a 180-degree turn away from memory lane. Now it's becoming a staple of parent General Motors' contemporary efforts to squeeze out every ounce of fuel efficiency from a vehicle that can double as a cargo hauler, spacious ride for five with a lot of pizzazz thrown in. HHR's new sport-tuned high-performance SS version underscores its serious fun status. To balance that off, the new flexible fuel version shows it still has a conscience in the process.

A year ago, flexible fuel vehicles capable of burning E85 — an 85 percent ethanol/15 percent gasoline mix — were just gaining attention. HHR, gasoline only at the time, still had one of the lighter "carbon footprints" among sporty, utility vehicles earning an impressive 22/30 miles per gallon for the front-drive version. That improved to 22/32 for 2009 with regular gasoline. Now using E85, it delivers less power, resulting in a fuel economy of 16/23.

Click here to read more about the 2009 Chevy HHR.

More eco-friendly SUV reviews on Planet Driven.