Green Careers


The Carbon-Friendly Commute: Bicycling

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Bicycling to work 

Biking to work may not be the most practical option for all of us - especially those of us who wear skirts on occasion, or need to drop the kids off at daycare - but it remains an option. If you're one of the brave few who strap on a helmet daily, we've provided a reminder round-up of safety tips to keep in mind. 

And for those of you who have never even considered biking to work, give it a second thought. With gas prices skyrocketing, it's a sure way to save some cash and get a good workout in at the same time! 

1. Be bike safe (and smart)
Just like you would tune-up your car before a trip, take stock of your bicycle and take time for proper maintenance.  For more tips, visit the League of American Bicyclists.

  • Wear a helmet
  • Check the air pressure in both tires; know what pressure is best for your tires and your terrain
  • Pack a portable pump and extra inner tubes or a patch kit so you are ready to fix a flat
  • Know the bicycle safety and traffic laws for your area 

2. Turn your bicycle into the ultimate commuter
Forgo the racks or panniers and opt for a lightweight trailer like this one from BOB.

  • Easily attaches to your bicycle’s back wheel
  • Has a low center of gravity to keep weight off of your bicycle frame, which means better bike handling
  • Tracks with your back wheel, which means it’s easy to navigate your commuter route
  • Provides plenty of storage capacity for all of your gear, plus anything you need to pick up along the way

3. Dress for commuter success
When commuting by bicycle, be prepared by anticipating changes in weather and wearing comfortable clothing. These factors can make or break an enjoyable commute. 

  • Dress in layers made of breathable fabrics.  It may start out cooler at the beginning of your morning ride, but you’ll warm up quickly and may want to shed layers
  • If your ride is longer, consider wearing bicycling shorts
  • Don’t forget to tie down your right pant leg – your drive train can easily chew up loose fabric
  • Shoes should be sturdy with rubber soles to provide traction on pedals

4. Map your ride
Find the best bike route and get mentally prepared using Google's Bicycling Directions. Even take a virtual ride before you go.

5. Pack up essentials
Take a few minutes and consider what you’ll need to make it easy, convenient and fun:

  • A change of clothes or shoes
  • A travel set of toiletries such as deodorant, hair brush and cleansing body-freshening wipes to transition from the bike lane to the office setting
  • Pack your lunch and snacks to maintain energy throughout the day

For more earth-friendly transportation ideas, visit our Road & Travel Magazine partner, Planet Driven.

(Source: BOB Gear)


Eco-Friendly Office Habits & Rewards

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Office deskYour nine-to-five may not seem like the most eco-friendly atmosphere, but a recent study revealed that companies are making strides in adopting environmentally-responsible business practices, and many employees make it their personal mission to be mindful of the environment at the office. But as far as the average working American is concerned, U.S. companies and employees could improve greatly when it comes to "going green" at work, and it's up to every single person in the workplace to make it happen. 

Nearly two in three working Americans believe their current employer could do a better job of being environmentally considerate by doing things like recycling paper or refilling ink cartridges. This might result from companies not effectively encouraging green business practices; only one third promote recycling by placing bins around the office, only one in seven assign someone to oversee green initiatives and a mere 8 percent incentivize employee participation. (A reward for recycling? Yes, please!)

All that said, the majority (84%) of working Americans say they personally recycle paper at work, and four in ten are motivated by their desire to set an example for coworkers. And scrutiny is high. Nearly three-quarters of professionals say their current colelagues could improve their habits to reduce their company's environmental footprint. 

So, what do associates want in return for making green choices? Business owners and managers listen up! An extra day of vacation, free lunch or party or a special green gift is all it takes to encourage people to take part and motivate. Are you doing anything at your office to spur eco-smart choices? If so, please leave a comment to share!

Source: Office Max. For more green lifestyle choices, visit our partner, Earth Tones.


All New for May 15, 2011 - 5 Frugal Tips for Living Green & Earth Friendly Oil Changes

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All new for May 15, 2011 - Our new issue sets its sights on for green-minded travelers, how earth-friendly is your oil change, 5 frugal tips for living green, and how to plan an action adventure vacation while treading lightly on mother earth. Visit EWP's Partner Website - Road & Travel Magazine now!!!


Green Collar Jobs: Sustainable Renovation

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By Lauren Bjerk87481521[1] 

In all too many areas of the world, certain jobs are becoming obsolete. But in particular areas of the job-sphere, there has risen a shade of occupation to counter the typical colored jobs: Green Collar Jobs. Every  
  week, we'll profile a new, unique occupation that has come into play in our gradually changing, eco-conscious world, and this week we're looking at sustainable renovations.

Rarely do you see a "For Sale" sign on a home that totes the electricity hungry aspects of a traditional, environmentally-blind structure. Coupling the cost cutting effects of modifying your home to be eco-friendly, along with it's positive effect on the environment, many citizens of planet Earth may be intrigued, but at a loss of how and where to begin. Enter the sustainable renovator.

The key aspect of a sustainable renovators job is simple: make the home greener. But what does that entail? Here are a few things this occupation focuses on:

1. Energy Efficiency. The renovations must conserve energy, not just in the present, but the long run as well.

2. Ecological Designs. The renovator must be informed by up-to-date ecological and holistic designs.

3. Sustainable Materials. When building or rebuilding, the renovator must use all materials deemed sustainable.

4. Responsible Waste Management. This is key in the renovation, because for this occupation the end result is just as important has how it came to be, and in this case, how the wasted materials were recycled or reused.

5. Non-Toxic Beauty.Like any other design job, customer satisfaction is key. Green houses not only need to be healthy for the environment and it's inhabitants, but also long-lasting and visually appealing. If they fail to meet this key requirement, than it looks like just another obsolete or underused job.  

Click here for more environmental articles from Road & Travel Magazine.


Witty Ways to Greenify Your Work

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By Liz Kaadou


Paperatwork Prim, proper and paperless? Sounds like the perfect combination for an efficient, effective and eco-friendly work environment. Did you know that as much as 93% of all office waste is actually paper, and most of it is recyclable. The problem is, most employees quickly crumble up used paper and target it directly for the trash. Instead, here are some extremely easy ways to take your work routine from wasteful to wonderful.  


Recycle bin 1) Set-up recycling bins around the office for paper and plastics. People like convenience and if the bin is directly in front of their trash cans, chances are they will think twice before trashing recyclable materials and documents.


2) Contact companies that dispose of old software and electronics in an eco-conscious way.  This will put your out-dated technology to good and gratifying use! 


Emailmessage 3) Add a signature to all emails that reads “Only print if extremely important.”  This will remind those printer-happy employees that not everything received in an email needs to be documented on piles of precious paper.


4) On a more humorous note, place a sign in the lavatories that states, “This is our last roll of toilet paper, so please use it wisely. After that, we are going paperless.” This is an ingenious method to add a bit of comedy into the work place while simultaneously reminding employees of the perils of extreme paper use!

Check out RTM's Earth Tones section for more ways to go green!

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Want a Green Job? You Could Already Have One!

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Jobs Though the green job search may not scream your current title, those kinds of jobs are the ones that so desperately need, well, greening. The creation of green jobs will boost our economy as well as help reduce American oil dependence and carbon emissions, but the underlying factor for green change to happen is by changing daily habits - and this means changing normal jobs.

Choose green supplies whenever you can

Start an online carpooling network using your work's email program or social networking sites 

Store information digitally on your computer rather than in paper files, don't print receipts if possible

Start recycling, or lobby for recycling bins

Start biking to work as often as you can    

Bring a lunch or eat at a restaurant rather than using styrofoam take-out containers; lobby for a no-styrofoam policy

Get a petition for an environmental cause signed during break-time

Ask your boss about offsetting company carbon emissions

Don't take out the garbage until it's full to avoid wasting plastic bags

Make any project you're assigned environmentally sustainable

These are universally applicable tips for anyone, in an position, in the workforce. If there's anything you've thought of that's bad ecological practice, specific to your job, change it! Do whatever you can to cut down your consumption, promote eco-friendliness in the peers and patrons you work with, and give people the opportunity to go green themselves. Most companies are starting to get the hint about environmentally-friendly practices, but don't know where to start, or just need an extra push.


For more green career tips, visit RTM's Earth Tones section.


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The 5 Most Eco-Friendly U.S. Colleges: Big & Small

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Collllege It's like the environmental Freshman 15 - people go away to school and may find themselves confronted with culture-shock induced temptations to be live life less green. Well, that's not gonna happen at these colleges.

1. Unity College Unity, MA - America’s Environmental College only offers environmental courses, with all progressive, nature-friendly majors and minors. Majors like Adventure Therapy, Environmental Analysis, and Sustainability Design are the norm.

2. Evergreen State College Olympia, WA – This state college owes its high class of sustainability mostly to its students. With the large organic farm, the dorms’ massive composting facility, and 100% clean power, students support sustainable systems and have even approved fee increases.  

3. EARTH University Costa Rica - Dedicated to promoting sustainable development in the tropics, students go through a four-year program to earn an agronomy degree as they learn to balance ecological preservation and agriculture. The university's Rational Use of Resources program aims to instill an eco-ethic in everyone on campus.

4. College of the Atlantic Bar Harbor, MA - This small school has just one major: Human Ecology, which is the study of our relationship with the environment. It was also the first college in the U.S. to pledge carbon neutrality.

5. Harvard University has made major investments in energy conservation, making their campus buildings the most eco-friendly according to the U.S. Green Building Council. Plus, 20 green new-construction and renovation projects have been certified since 2002, and home-cooked biodiesel is used in university buses.

For more green living tips, visit RTM's Planet Driven Section.

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How to Green Your Existing Degree or Get a New One

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Kid. Wish your job title could be as green as you try to be at home? The problem with green career programs is that - while there are a lot of students out there considering them, most people already have degrees. But by going green at work, employees can find more job security. Based on the concept of intrapreneurship (making changes from within the company), employees can become more valuable by coming up with some idea or project that is good for the environment and also drives sales or saves the company money. For example, when Vanessa Farquharson of Toronto's National Post began a column and blog (which eventually became a published book: Sleeping Naked Is Green: How an Eco-Cynic Unplugged Her Fridge, Sold Her Car, and Found Love in 366 Days) about making green changes in her life, she not only did an environmental good deed - or 366 - but increased her job's value as her story's popularity increased. 

For those that are currently in school or wish to go back, the selection of green degrees is getting a little broader - there are now tons of green MBAs and masters of green project management programs, which put those who earn them in control of how green our businesses will become. Making new businesses environmentally-friendly is an important step in greening the planet, but revamping old ones is of equal or higher importance - consider businesses such as oil, plastic, and even most restaurants.

Unity College in Maine offers all environmental degrees, like Environmental Humanities, Environmental Writing, Adventure Therapy, Conservation Law Enforcement; and Agriculture, Food, and Sustainability. You can even be certified as a Leave No Trace Instructor to inform people best practices when using the wilderness for adventure and recreation.

For more green news, visit RTM's Earth Tones Section.

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Stepping Stones to a Green Career: Getting Started

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Greencareers So, you want your career to have green makeover. Where do you even start? If you're not in the market for one of those new green degrees or certifications, you can still be professionally "green". First of all, if you're fine with not having the actual degree on paper, there are plenty of free online college classes to take in the environmental field. Here are 100 of them that'll give you hardcore environmental prowess.

Also, consider taking on a green project at your current job - if it is something that can benefit the company financially, it may even pave the pathway to a new job title. Be the one to relentlessly take recyclables to a recycle bin when they're on the way to the dumpster, to set a good example and show that you really do care.

Find more environmental advice from RTM in our Earth Tones Section.